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Sworn to Silence ‘After a little while he called the other boy over Did the same to him I heard everything Father Smyth was a priest a good man But I knew that some rule had been broken’Brendan was an eleven year old altar boy when he first met Father Smyth When the abuse began he didn’t know what to do – surely he should trust a priest But he knew he wasn’t the only victim and his worst nightmare was that his sisters would be nextIt was three years before he plucked up the courage to tell another priest An inuiry was uickly called in which Brendan was sworn to secrecy But the abuse didn’t stop Instead Father Smyth continued to prey on other children for two decades until he was finally convicted in the 1990s of over 130 counts of child sexual abuseThis shocking memoir tells how for years a priest’s abuse was ignored by the Catholic Church – and how one brave small boy stood up for justice This is a harrowing story of a betrayal of trust by so many people whom the author could have expected to rely upon First there was the priest who inveigled his way into the author's family and used the trust he gained to abuse the author When the author plucked up his courage and told another priest about the abuse the resulting investigation swore the author to secrecy and assured all concerned that it would not happen again and that steps would be taken to stop the abuse of other children continuingBut the actions taken were not effective and the priest continued to abuse children for than twenty years So many people knew of the abuse and turned a blind eye to it Children apart from the author who reported the abuse were not believed or the whole thing was swept under the carpet because 'no lasting harm' had been done to the children It is clear from this book that the harm done is hugely damaging and long lasting colouring the rest of people's livesHow does a child deal with such abuse? They are brought up to trust a priest implicitly and it follows from that that anything the priest does or says must be acceptable whatever instinct tells you about it Then if you say anything to another adult about what is going on the chances are you probably won't be believed All these thoughts and feelings come over so well from this book and I found myself empathising with the author and becoming angry over the betrayal and the way it coloured his life To add insult to injury he had to fight for years to obtain compensation from the church the organisation which should have protected him in the first placeThis is an uncomfortable and disturbing read but a necessary one I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes Disclaimer I received this book through NetGalley as a free ARC in exchange for an honest review This is that review 810 StarsWhen Brendan Boland was fourteen he confided a secret to a priest he didn't know A secret that should have blown the Vatican out of the water and forced the world to take notice A secret that tested his faith his family ties and even his sexuality Brendan had been sexually assaulted by Father Brendan Smythe for years And he wanted it to stop Most of my readers know that I have no love or loyalty to the Catholic church and consider them as a whole to be some of the most hypocritical and self righteous people to exist They are nearly always behind the banning of books that could better be suited to expand the minds of children and young adults and they are always at the center of a sex scandal I did not pick this book based on my biased opinions I chose to reuest this book because of the content and nature First and foremost I am an activist I support human rights campaigns and have been known to fly off to help deprogram individuals who are attempting to leave a cult I have advocated for a cult refuge center and have been successful many times over in getting help to those who need it I am not however a clinical or licensed psychologist Most people who choose to come to me for help do so because of my fighting nature They know that I will not stop protecting or helping them I chose to read this book because Brendan Boland and I are kindred in that respect After giving his testimony in a closed room away from his parents the teenager was sworn to never repeat a word that had been said He assumed that his testimony would be the end of it That Father Smythe would be put far away where he could never harm another child Then Boland went his own way in life Never having fully healed he did he best that he could and found love and loyalty in his wife martina and their two sons Imagine his surprise to discover nearly two decades later that Smythe was in trouble again This time criminally Imagine Brendan Bolands horror to find that telling his story did not save anyone from a pediphile who used G D as his witness and to put fear in children Imagine just for a second what it was like to see his nightmare happening all over the television In every newspaper And to have to tell his story in open court when he had thought it was over The reason for the eight of ten stars is for formatting The book is read like a narrative but occasionally confuses the reader with time and dates as well as the who's who Otherwise it was well worth reading I recommend this book to anyone who has a heart and can stomach reading about the abuse this one child endured as well as the other terrible abuses he witnessed first hand In the end no matter your choice of Faith child abuse is wrong I hope that this man and all the many others like him pay for their sins against these children May their victims find peace How can you not give this book anything but 5 stars for a reviewThis is an horrendous act on children I have never had any sympathy with any perpetrator and although there are books out there some making us try to understand or feel sorry for the perpetrator that will NEVER happen There are plenty of religions that hide and cover up these pedophiles and it makes me livid as this book did Here is an 11 year old boy an altar boy in the Catholic church Young innocent lad Then he gets to meet Father Smyth I don't even want to type his title hidden under his clothe is a wolf in lambs clothing After suffering at the hands of this man he gets the chance to tell another priest of what's happening to him He fears for his sisters too and he is convinced its happening to others Did they do anything about this lads revelation? NO It was many years later when this Father Smyth was brought accountable for his actions but by then he had abused many There is not any excuse for this religious organization to move this person from parish to parish to 'hush it up' Its inexcusableI had read an account of this happening in a different religious sect not many months ago Religious organizations are a great way for pedophiles to 'hide' under the radar and even now this is happeningI applaud Brendan Boland for writing this book It took some guts but I would imagine its also a relief to get it 'out there' make people awareThings like this is not an isolated case its going on even now folks I feel you should read this book to see just what effect it actually haves on the survivors I would like to thank Random House UK Ebury Publishing for allowing me a copy of this book to read and review

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