Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Shame of the Order of Malta

By their words and deeds, six members of the Order of Malta (Hope Carter, Jeannie and Thomas Tisdale, Madeline and Philip Lacovara and Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J.) destroyed the mission of Project Pierre Toussaint. In a nutshell, these prominent and influential members of the Order of Malta chose to protect a child molester at all costs and, in doing so, caused the school in Haiti to close and the kids to be abandoned and forced back onto the streets with no food and safe shelter.

It's important to examine how and why Perlitz was able to sexually abuse children

for so many years at PPT and to hold certain members of Malta responsible and
accountable for their actions during the time when the majority of the Haiti
Fund, Inc. (PPT) Board of Directors voted to remove Perlitz as executive director.
Instead of remaining on the board to make sure the school stayed open and the boys were cared for, Carter, Carrier, the Tisdale's and the Lacovara's, among others, worked hard to destroy the mission.

In his March 2010 letter to Catholics in Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI wrote: "Earlier
in my pontificate, in my concern to address this matter (sexual abuse of children), I
asked the bishops of Ireland, 'to establish the truth of what happened in the past, to
take whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from occurring again, to ensure that
the principles of justice are fully respected, and above all, to bring healing to the
victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes.'" 


Christmas Eve, 2010

Mr. Joseph H. Miller, KM
Order of Malta, American Association

Dear Joe,

This email comes at an extraordinary time of year ...... Christmas!  For most, this is
the happiest of days -- a time to celebrate and enjoy the many blessings one has been afforded .... family, friends, food, and gifts - large and small.  Who knows, this very email may find you sitting by the fire in your living room reading it on a new iPAD given to you by your wife or children .... a real Norman Rockwell image.

Joe, six homeless boys from Cap Haitien, Haiti have just left New Haven for another Christmas on the streets in Haiti.  These boys represented the 30 known boys who were  sexually abused by Doug Perlitz over the past 10 years.  These six, no doubt, will meet up on Christmas morning with many of their former schoolmates from Project Peirre Toussaint who are also now living on the streets. 

The six will tell their stories of being in New Haven where they all spoke at the sentencing of Doug Perlitz.  They will have memories of sleeping on a mattress for the first time and how there was more food to eat than they have ever seen in their lives. 

Most importantly, they will tell their friends how they stood in front of a judge in a
beautiful, huge carpeted room and each told their personal story of how they were
raped and sodomized by Doug Perltiz from the age of 11 or 12.  They may cry as
they talk to their friends but they will know that justice has been served and that they were part of an unprecedented and extraordinary legal proceeding.

During the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Cyrus Sibert, a good man from Cap
Haitien, who is the radio broadcaster who first reported on the actions of Doug
Perlitz, broke down in tears as he listened to the boys describe their abuse.  On two
occasions, Robinson Gedeus, who worked at PPT for 10 years, was overcome with
emotion as he spoke to the judge in open court about the abuse and the threats and
intimidation inflicted on the boys by Perlitz.

Sadly Joe, if any child deserves something for Christmas, these children do!  But
there's no stockings hung for them. There's no one to tuck them in at night or tell
them how special they are and how much they are loved.

But, Joe, for as long as you've been President of the American Association of the
Order of Malta, it appears that you have done everything in your power to ignore the practical and emotional needs of an entire group of homeless and vulnerable boys who were sexually abused at Project Pierre Toussaint. 

Please know that this is the first of many letters and press releases intended to
expose you and at least six of your fellow Malta members as the cause of the
downfall of Project Pierre Toussaint. 

Joe, lets make one thing perfectly clear here: it wasn't Doug Perlitz who brought
down Project Pierre Toussaint, it was six members of your Order.  And you,
President Miller, have done everything in your power to protect these people... these good friends of yours!

The six members are:

Thomas Tisdale, 
Jeannie Tisdale
Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J., 
Madeline Lacovara
Philip Lacovara 
Hope Carter

Here are some facts:

1) Connecticut Malta Area Chair, Thomas Tisdale was at the courthouse on Tuesday. Tisdale didn't apologize to the boys of PPT for writing a letter that shut down PPT.  He didn't apologize to the boys whom he has called liars.  Tisdale didn't bother to thank Cyrus for having the courage to report the boys' abuse on his radio station. Neither did he thank Michael McCooey or the other Haiti Fund Board Members for reporting Perlitz's crimes to the United States government. 

Tom Tisdale didn't apologize to Robinson for obstructing the operating of PPT. 
[Background facts:  While visiting the U.S. about 5 years ago, Robinson stayed for an
extended period with Jeannie and Tom Tisdale.  The Tisdales arranged for Robinson to intern at the Tomlinson School in Fairfield, CT.  A close friend of the Tisdales, Barbara O'Brien (a teacher at the Tomlinson School in Fairfield), was told by Robinson that Perlitz was sexually abusing kids at Project Pierre Toussaint. O'Brien did not report the abuse to law enforcement authorities. It would be naive and irresponsible for anyone to think that O'Brien didn't tell the Tisdale's about the abuse.]

3) In February 2006, Robinson confronted Perlitz in Haiti and told him to stop
abusing the students. In response, Order of Malta member, Malta Chaplain and
Connecticut Area Spirituality Director, Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J., didn't talk to
Robinson for the next two years. (Carrier and Robinson were very close friends
prior to this)

4) In May 2008, when the then chairman of the Haiti Fund instructed Perlitz not to
return to PPT because credible allegations of child sex abuse had been brought
against him, Dame of Malta, Board of Councillors member and director of Malta's
Youth Pilgrimage, Hope Carter, secretly flew to Haiti for the sole purpose of stealing Perlitz's computers.  Carter was protecting an accused child molester by removing evidence that could have been used against Perlitz in a criminal trial. It was not until weeks later that Carter, when confronted by the Board of The Haiti Fund about her actions, resigned her position as a Haiti Fund board member.  Incredibly, Carter still serves on the Board of Councillors of Malta, the boards of other local Catholic charities in Fairfield County and on the Board of Directors of the Malta sponsored, Sacre Coeur Hospital, in Milot , Haiti, not far from Cap Haitien and the PPT Village.

This September 8th letter consisted of 11 bullet points of total fabrication.  The
mailing of this letter signed by six members of Malta could only be interpreted as a
way to completely destroy the goodwill and good name of PPT.  After the mailing of this letter, donations to PPT completely dried up and the program was forced to close.  [This September 8th letter was sent on the heals of a letter mailed to PPT donors by the Haiti Fund (attached).]

6] Several weeks later in September 2008, yet another Order of Malta member,
Attorney Philip Lacovara, told Haiti Fund board members that he "knew for sure"
that Perlitz didn't abuse children because he, Lacovara, was the chairman of the
Priest Sexual Misconduct Committee for the Diocese of Bridgeport and "he would
know."  We are now asking the Diocese of Bridgeport to review all sex abuse cases in which Lacovara participated as a board member.

Joe, you have known these facts and many others about this case since February 2010 when you became the President of the Order of Malta.  In addition to the facts above you have also been aware for almost a year of the financial improprieties conducted by these members (including redirecting donations away from PPT as well as the opening of unauthorized Malta charities).  You have also been aware that these six people paraded Doug Perlitz, at the time a publicly accused child abuser, to many Malta events including your white-tie investiture dinner.  

Most unbelievable, however, Joe, is the fact that after learning of all these facts and
probably many more, your first act as President relating to PPT and Haiti was in
April 2010 to award Hope Carter a public commendation in Lourdes, France for her "extraordinary work in Haiti."
Joe, I have heard stories of the "'old' Order of Malta" and I am aware of the great
strides that the Order has made under the leadership of Dan Kelly and others.  It is a disgrace (and I'd like to think of great embarrassment to you) that you have allowed the Order to revert back into an exclusive club where members protect each other at the expense of the Order.

You can resist my efforts to get to the root of the problem, or you can face the facts
and participate in the healing.  Of course an examination of what went so wrong at
PPT and how Perlitz was able to rape and sodomize so many children for such a long time would be included in the healing. 

Let me finish Joe, by telling you that I traveled to Haiti in January 2010 to offer
support to Cyrus and the boys who were abused. My last visit to PPT was in late 2003 so it was shocking and disturbing for me to return to what is now a ghost town of a school. Yet, I couldn't help but notice the many changes and additions. Thanks to Malta and the generosity of many other donors, the school had 8 new classrooms and was poised for a great future.  There was nothing but hard work standing in the way of a successful life for so many street boys in Cap Haitien.

The reckless and self serving acts by the Tisdale's, Carrier, Carter and theLacovara's,
among others, destroyed it all. 

Please do not mistake my pursuit of the truth as some sort of vendetta or revenge.
We need to do everything we can to protect children in the future. We can't fix the
problem, Joe, until we fully understand what happened at PPT that allowed the
sexual abuse of children to go on for so many years. 

However, there is already one thing I know for sure. Certain members of the Order
of Malta put their own self serving interests ahead of protecting and caring for the
most vulnerable children in the world. 

The truth will be told.

Paul Kendrick
Freeport, Maine
207 838 1319


December 30, 2010

Mr. Joseph K. Miller, KM
Order of Malta, American Association

Dear President Miller,

Tens of millions of Catholics have inflicted additional insult upon victims of clergy
sexual abuse by their failure to demand redress for the crimes committed against
children and the cover up of these crimes by bishops, priests and other Church

I am including you in this number, President Miller because you are showing great
insult to the boys who were sexually abused at Project Pierre Toussaint (PPT) and to the people of Haiti by your personal failure to hold Hope Carter, DM accountable and responsible for her role in the cover up of crimes against children at PPT.

You have been aware for almost a year, President Miller, of the following facts about Mrs. Carter:

Knowing that there was an investigation being conducted, Project Pierre Toussaint
(PPT) Board Member, Hope Carter, secretly went to Haiti to steal two computers
used by Douglas Perlitz, but owned by PPT.  Carter gave these computers to Perlitz, thereby obstructing justice and the ongoing investigation.

Mrs. Carter (with 5 other members of Malta - the Tisdales, the Lacovaras, and Paul
Carrier) wrote a 3 page letter of pure fabrication whose sole purpose was to destroy
the good will and good name of PPT.  The letter resulted in the drying up of all
donations to the program and therefore forced the program to close.
Hope Carter helped redirect donations intended for PPT to other unauthorized
Connecticut based Malta charities.

Mrs. Carter paraded Doug Perlitz, a publicly accused child abuser, to Malta
events including your white-tie investiture dinner during the time he was being
investigated for child sex abuse.

The bottom line here, President Miller, is that Carter did everything she could to help Perlitz hide his crimes against children.  It was clearly more important to Carter to protect the abuser than to protect innocent children.

Let me see if I've got this right. Hope Carter did everything she could to protect and cover up for a child molester and now you're doing everything you can, President Miller, to protect and cover up for Carter.

Hope Carter called the abuse victims "liars." She hated them for exposing Perlitz as
a pedophile. She retaliated against the victims by using her position in the community to turn donors away, causing the school to be closed and the boys to be abandoned, homeless once again without food and safe shelter.  

Who is your and Hope Carter's God, Mr. Miller, that you could so despise these
suffering abuse victims? 

The Jesuits taught me that the service of my faith must include the promotion of  
justice. Hope Carter had choices. Isn't it reasonable to expect that even though
Carter disagreed with the majority decision of the PPT board of directors to remove Perlitz, she would have stayed aboard and worked even harder to maintain and preserve the mission of PPT?

Please, President Miller, close your eyes and listen to my words. These boys were
raped and sodomized by Perlitz in the most disgusting ways imaginable. If the boys
didn't cooperate, Perlitz intimidated them by threatening to take away their food or throw them out of school.

So why, President Miller, is Hope Carter held in such high prestige by you and the
Order of Malta that she still holds influential committee assignments?

We all hope to hear your voice soon.


Paul Kendrick. 

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