“HIS PENIS WOULD BE HANGING OUT”.
I have been given the names and details of four more men who say that Kirby sexually harassed them during their stay at Silvetstream.
I have been refused permission to name them on the Blog for now.
All 4, for different reasons, are afraid of reprisals of various kinds.
Below I publish some the things men said about what happened:
(1) JIM was an early visitor to SP, an aspirant to receive the habit. JIM kept an absolutely meticulous journal of his time at SP. JIM stayed for several months and helped with setting up the house, etc. JIM speaks of Dom Kirby’s bizarre physical and emotional inappropriateness towards Dom Andersen (who was a novice then); this is all related in his journal with some detail. JIM was also personally severely “gaslighted” (in the true sense of the term) and manipulated severely by Kirby. Kirby encouraged JIM, used him, and then found an excuse to turn him out when his presence became undesirable (some of this had to do with the JIM’s curiousity about the “messages” that Kirby would write into his notebook during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament). Since leaving, JIM (a meticulous researcher with many connections) has learned extensively about Kirby’s “gay sexcapades” (his term), while a priest and solemnly professed Cistercian monk, from Washington DC all the way up to Rhode Island. JIM feels so strongly about what he experienced that he would come forward, but only under the right circumstances. JIM has to be careful, as he has now a semi-public persona.
(2) BILL was an early postulant to SP. Unlike the first, sent a formal testimony to the visitation. This individual testified to the following: (a) being scandalised over Kirby’s gross mismanagement of funds and the engagement of unqualified workers who produced shoddy work; (b) Kirby as a master manipulator who sought to use people, especially those with talents and money, to further his ego-driven project; (c) Kirby shared with others in the community and even with outside visitors (over a cup of tea) intimate details of BILL’s mental health situation, things that BILL had shared expecting complete pastoral confidentiality (this is of course also a medical data protection issue); (d) Kirby broke pastoral confidentiality by telling BILL all about Dom Andersen’s personal background (including difficult family matters), as well as information about Dom Andersen’s medical situation. Kirby would send Andersen away, except for the fact that Andersen’s talent in designing newsletters meant that he could not let him go for financial reasons. (e) Kirby once took BILL aside privately to tell him, in “horrible detail”, stories about Kirby’s years of sexual abuse by his uncle. These stories confused and disturbed BILL, and he is still haunted by them. One detail that’s never left BILL is that Kirby’s uncle was known all around New Haven, Connecticut, as “Blw-jb” Kirby (he was known around town as a go-to guy for fellatio). To this day, BILL does not understand why Kirby shared this with him. (f) BILL summarised his experiences thus: “Finally, with the benefit of years of hindsight, I can only regard Dom Mark Daniel Kirby as a disturbed individual and master manipulator who has been driven by ego and delusional thinking (see: In Sinu Jesu) into founding a quasi-messianic monastery which he thinks is going to save Ireland and the world.” Again, all of this was presented to the visitation.
(3) AIDAN was another individual who had been in formation at SP. AIDAN is a very reserved individual and I think that Kirby would have been very cautious about any kind of “touching”. However, AIDAN speaks of feeling extreme pressure and manipulation, both emotional and spiritual, about staying at SP. As is Kirby’s modus operandi, he would recruit others both inside and outside the monastery to pressure AIDAN into staying. AIDAN felt trapped. He liked SP in some ways but he did not feel that he had a monastic vocation. Despite telling this to Kirby, the pressure continued until AIDAN simply had to cut things off and leave. AIDAN, being a very reserved person, does not wish to come forward about this; he simply wants to move on from the experience.
(4) DAVE is individual who lived at SP for a year as a volunteer. DAVE has a harrowing story about his time at SP that is in some ways even worse than what Dom Andersen publicly testified to. DAVE came to SP in a very vulnerable state and a low time in his life. DAVE experienced the typical Kirby pattern of gushing over someone, setting them up, making them feel special and chosen … then, when you become inconvenient or displeasing, he will not only drop you like something worthless, he will seek to destroy your reputation. DAVE felt very pressured to become a monk, which he did not want to do; Kirby brought in other people to try to convince him to stay. One time Kirby told DAVE that “Saint Therese” told Kirby personally that DAVE needed to stay and take the habit. Among the specific physical things DAVE speaks of was Kirby’s habit of coming to his cell in late at night, waiting about a half hour after Compline so as not to be seen by other monks. This man would be in bed in his underwear, and Kirby would say, “It’s okay, don’t change”. Kirby would sit on DAVE’s bed, and even pat DAVE’s on his upper thigh. When DAVE skirmed or showed discomfort, Kirby would say that “it’s nothing gay”, it’s just “Mediterranean”, culturally different from uptight Anglo-Saxon culture, etc. On one occasion, Kirby, during one of these late night visits, asked DAVE if he masturbated, and joked that this individual’s ethnicity is known to be “well hung”. In addition to what he experienced, DAVE could see clearly the psychological, emotional, and spiritual abuse to which Dom Andersen was subjected by Kirby. DAVE does not wish to come forward because he has experienced many terrible things in the Church and his reputation has been destroyed as a result
Additional, minor, testimonials:
(5) A high ranking priest of the RCC in America submitted to the visitation a sworn testimony about his personal experiences with Kirby, including financial issues and Kirby’s penchant for using his abuse story as a “grooming” technique. He expressed also his concern for Dom Andersen and the way in which he has been treated as a result of his revelations about Kirby.
(6) A high ranking priest in the USA with an international profile has spoken of his deep concerns about a novice under Dom Kirby’s care in Tulsa. He has first-hand knowledge of that novice’s 72 hour disappearance from the Tulsa monastery, and regards Dom Kirby as extremely intelligent and a master of spiritual and emotional manipulation.
(7) A Benedictine superior has expressed concerns, privately, about Kirby’s treatment of this young novice who came into his community after being under Kirby’s spiritual care. He does not have proof but the young man’s fragile state could be easily taken to indicate some kind of emotional manipulation or sexual interference.
(8) An American religious and distinguished canon lawyer has said that Kirby’s “sexcapades” all over the eastern seaboard are the stuff of legends in religious communities especially in Washington DC.
(9) The family of a monk have expressed deep concerns about their son remaining at SP. The monk, a young man, would seem to be still at SP.
(10) A seminary instructor knows Dom Kirby from many years ago. More specifically, he has knowledge of Kirby’s sexual profligacy. He spoke to one of his superiors about whether or not he should share his knowledge with the Bishop of Meath in order to back up Dom Andersen. This official told him not to say anything, as it would be “bad for the Traditional Catholic movement”. This individual will not speak out because he is afraid of reprisals from individuals connected to Silverstream Priory.
These new reports and testimonials are very worrying.
No one is asking for Silverstream to be closed.
But Mark Kirby SHOULD NOT be living there.
Kirby needs help.
Young monks need to be protected from him.
ROBERT NUGENT APOLOGY