By Kay Ebeling
"I’ve sent the bishop eight survivors of Neary and each one said the bishop told them they were the only person that had come forward about Neary," said Charles Bailey, pictured at right. He is getting justice today for brutal sex crimes committed against him at age ten by Father Thomas Neary, by putting his story out in the public. His book In The Shadow Of The Cross gives graphic shocking disgusting PTSD-inducing detail of the serial felonies, and you cannot put it down. More alarming, Bailey went on a small book tour in the Syracuse area where the book takes place, and in venue after venue, people came up after he spoke and said, "my brother was also raped by Neary," or my uncle, my husband, my dad - dozens of people with the same horrid story of the same horrid modus operandi.
In the Shadow of the Cross tells so outlandish a story, even I began to wonder if it could be true, especially since Charles Bailey says probably 30 people have come to him so far, saying they or a family member were assaulted by Neary. Yet, NONE OF THEM will tell their story alongside Charlie in public, or even to a reporter or blogger like me, even if we keep details anonymous.
No one will go public yet at least.
After Bailey spoke at Creekside Books in 2007, he said, “a dozen or fifteen people came forward, all of them to talk about young men assaulted by Neary. A woman said her husband, a Neary victim, committed suicide when their son was in his teens. She hoped the book would help her son, who a decade later still hates his father. She wouldn't talk about it much but she did say that after reading this book maybe her son would let go of his bad feelings about his dad.”
Neary, pictured below right, devastated Bailey’s body from age 10 to 12, and Bailey dives right in with detailed portrayals of Neary’s assaults. On page 4 he describes “I see him grin and groan as if he is in a really happy state” asNeary has an orgasm, how “he tells me to stop crying and clean myself up. I now know enough to keep a box of Kleenex on the floor under the edge of the bed. Just for his visits." Bailey writes: "I stuff tissues in my bottom and make my way to the bathroom. Don’t get blood anywhere, he tells me. I know that it has to be private between he and my priest, because I don't want to anger you more, God. As I close the bathroom door, I hear him telling my mother not to worry, as I may be upset. It is very emotional to be ‘counseled’ to become a priest.”
This is from Page 6:
“He makes me kneel before him and clasp my two little ten-year-old hands together, like when we receive communion. What are we doing? We pray the Lord’s Prayer. ‘Thy will be done,’ Father Neary repeats that part. I am on my knees staring at his zipper."
This is from Page 7:
“As he helped me to lower his zipper, here was this hard penis staring me in the face. It was hard, hairy, and smelly. Why is there hair? I have no hair except on my head. ‘This is special, just for men of God,’ Neary said. ‘You too will be like this when you get older and help other young boys become priests.' ”
You can buy the book at: http://www.intheshadowofthecross.net/home.asp
For three years Bailey endured brutal crimes more than a hundred times, with the pain, the systematic cleaning up, bleeding into the toilet, then stuffing tissues into his rectum to keep the rest of the blood from dripping down his legs. You picture him, carefully folding paper towel into one pocket, Kleenex into the other, he lived in fear that Neary would pick him up when he wasn’t prepared with tissue in one pocket Kleenex in the other exactly as Neary demanded.
Today Charles Bailey plagued with degenerative disk disease, neuropathy, the chronic pain with which it seems so many pedophile priest rape survivors live.
I asked Bailey,