OPEN YOUR EYES
To Incest and Sexual Abuse
“In the summer of 2005, there is unfortunately little doubt that some parents and others in positions of responsibility will sexually assault the young children for whom they are responsible. There can also be little doubt that some of these young victims, in order to continue to exist, banish from their conscious memory all thoughts related to these horrific events. It is also clear that these repressed memories can come to the surface many years later causing these individuals, at the time such memories surface, great suffering and emotional distress.”
(Holzinger v. Holzinger, Appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania)
“We find it hard to comprehend… the full extent of the malevolence and suffering visited on this community… by powerful, respected and rapacious priests.”
Report of the Philadelphia grand jury investigating sexual abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese
Grand jury recommendations for changes in sex abuse laws:
· Abolish the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against children
· Lengthen or eliminate statutes of limitations on civil lawsuits involving child sexual abuse
~ Incest Happens ~
OPEN YOUR EYES
As I tell the story of my childhood, of what it was really like growing up Holzinger, I want you to understand that I am not simply telling the story of a dreadful and unhappy childhood. People who molest their children are not nice people. They are extremely sick and evil people. They don’t care about their children. They don’t like their children and they have to keep their terrible secret from becoming public. They have to keep their children powerless and under their control at all times.
It was recently relayed to an acquaintance of mine that I was telling “outrageous lies” about my family. No, I'm not. No one in my family denies that my one brother criminally molested my other brother. No one denies that the same brother molested my foster brother as well. It can’t be denied that three of us are unmarried, with my sister and me, both in our fifties, never having married at all.
I am reposting “Smoke and Mirrors” below. Almost every one of these items is verifiable fact. I learned in therapy that the first item is called “elective mutism” and is highly unusual in teenagers. It usually occurs in young children when they first go to school and do not speak in school. I stopped speaking at home. I would not speak. It so embarrassed my parents when they had “company” for dinner one night that they took me to see a psychologist – a psychologist employed by Franklin & Marshall College.
What is truly outrageous is that my father, an anthropologist, thinks he can explain the train wreck that is his family by simply saying that I am telling “outrageous lies.” But then, incest perpetrators almost never admit to their crime – no matter how much evidence there is. They are the liars. And it is such a heinous crime that society doesn’t want to believe it happens. It does. Take a look at my family.
"SMOKE AND MIRRORS"
(By Lorrie McKinley, attorney for the Defendants. The quotes are from my parent’s response to the appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in the case of Holzinger v. Holzinger.)
“Petitioner Rebecca Holzinger (hereafter “Petitioner”) uses nothing but semantic smoke and mirrors to couch her decades-old claim for tort damages against her elderly parents for alleged abuse during her childhood as an important policy issue for this Court. …she claims that she never experienced any distress as a result of the abuse she alleges until 2002, when she was fifty years old.”
~ I stopped speaking in high school.
~ I had a dreadful high school experience.
~ I began to drink heavily in high school.
~ I gained a tremendous amount of weight in high school.
~ I moved into Holly House, a tiny “guest house” on the property in high
~ I moved into an apartment in the 12th grade and had to change and
graduate from a different high school.
~ I have always had a fear of men.
~ I have never married and rarely dated.
~ And the list goes on and on and on.
“Incest was the molding experience of my entire life. Everything I have thought, said, done or felt has been influenced dramatically by that”
Marilyn Van Derbur
OPEN YOUR EYES
I apologize. I am going to switch up again today. You see, the Sunday News has the article (terrible headline, by the way), “These boots were made for talking,’” which is here. This, of course, is about the “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit against the war in Iraq sponsored by the Lancaster Quakers at Franklin & Marshall College this weekend. And the article mentions my father as being “instrumental in bringing the exhibition to Lancaster.” So I will have much more on all of this during the upcoming week with my series, “Open Your Eyes.” But for today, I am going to rerun an article/email which is mentioned in the original lawsuit against my parents, Holzinger v. Holzinger. Paragraph 6 of the complaint reads: “On or about April 14, 2002, REBECCA read an e-mail sent to her and the other immediate members of her family, from her former sister-in-law concerning certain activities by that woman’s former husband, Tom, REBECCA’S brother.” The e-mail is below.
AN OPEN LETTER TO TOM HOLZINGER
As you may recall, one of the issues that precipitated our divorce was the fact
that you kept bringing guys to have sex in my bed when I wasn’t there, and your insistence that you were going to have sex with your foster brother during his planned stay in our guestroom even though I was at home. It seemed to me that you crossed a certain line at that point.
Now another boundary has been breached. For Easter I went to be with my mother in Pennsylvania for a week, and I naively thought it was very nice of you to offer to feed our cat Cloudy during my absence. As you had once again lost my house key, I had another copy made and I gave you my trust.
I returned on Monday, and we had daily contact as we discussed Misha’s current trip. I had no reason to enter my guestroom until Friday, at which point I saw that the bed had been used. When I asked you about this, you said that indeed you had been there with a friend because “there was physical desire,” but that you saw no problem with that.
Well, there are problems. Firstly, there’s the question of common courtesy. Why wouldn’t one ask permission before using someone else’s place, or at least mention it after the fact? Why do I have to “discover” this stuff? Secondly, there’s the availability of thousands of places for couples to use in Montreal. Why this obsession with having gay sex in MY bed? Have you not yet violated me thoroughly enough? You are a sick man, Tom, and I hope that someday you get the psychiatric help you so desperately need. In the meantime, I need to rethink the influence and even role-model you are for our son, and how much overnighting he should actually be doing at your place. The fact that you hide your actions despite claiming that they are perfectly acceptable indicates a lack of judgment and serious moral confusion.
For years I have maintained discretion with a notion of “protecting” you, but you’ve shown that you have no such scruples. Hence this is an open letter, to which anybody is welcome to respond.
I FIGURED IT OUT
The “Charlie Has Got to Go” story along with a news round-up including G. Terry Madonna and Worst Headline of the Week will come tomorrow. Because I have something pressing on my mind. You see, I figured something out. I’ve had a list, a long, long list for over four years now. A list of questions and puzzles about my family and parents. And one question, one that seemed fairly insignificant, sat at the very bottom of my list for years – why did my parents have built in beds, dressers, bookcases and a desk in my and my sister’s “room?”
The house is an old one-room schoolhouse. The second floor was converted into one large room. There were no divisions, no privacy. My two sisters and I shared it. On the one end, where the ceiling sloped down to the eaves, there were two built-in beds on either side with built-in bookcases at both ends of both beds. There were two built-in dressers and across the end of the room, a built-in desk. There was no furniture that was movable, other than a small table.
I don’t recall ever seeing anything quite like it. My son likes to rearrange his room twice a year when the seasons change. It’s always somewhat amused me because it simply does not occur to me to change around my room. I couldn’t growing up. There was nothing to move.
So, way down on my list, was why? Well, it came to me this past week. Like everything else, it comes down to control and money and my parent’s dislike/distrust of their own children.
In an article several months ago, I took you here, under “SHIPPED READING” in the January 2005 minutes of the Lancaster Monthly Meeting. My parents were busy, busy, busy shipping 164 pounds of books to the children of Lesotho.
Once, when my brother was visiting my parents several years ago he found a book he had loved as a child. My parent’s house has almost nothing other than books and books and books, because they are great intellectuals. So my brother asked my parents if he could take the book home with him to read to his two boys. My parents told him “No.” I could hear the amazement and hurt in my brother’s voice when he told the story. We never, ever said anything bad about our parents because they were perfect, you see. And none of their children ever, ever asked them for anything. And when you went home to visit you worked, because that was what was expected of you. You mowed their lawn and chopped their wood and picked up sticks. And when my brother asked for one of the thousands of books in their home, a book he had loved as a child, a book he wanted to share with his children, my parents said “No.”
People who molest their children are not nice people. And, as I asked in the previous article – what did my parents mail to me? You won’t believe it.
MORE COMING THIS WEEK…
OPEN YOUR EYES
Next week will be a special week for LIP News. Each weekday, I will be running a new series of articles on my family entitled, “Open Your Eyes” and next Sunday will be the one year anniversary of LIP News! Also, please check back this weekend for updates on Mayor Smithgall and Comcast, a news round-up and the winner of the “Worst Headline of the Week” will be announced!
For today, I am going to rerun a letter my brothers and sisters sent to a Doctor of Psychology three months after I published the special eight-page edition of the Lancaster Independent Press, INCEST – A Family Tragedy; The Holzinger Story. I sent a copy of this letter to a friend. She said, “Find a publisher. This is unbelievable.”
Two notes; one, the “disturbing e-mails” they reference will be printed here at a later date. In one, I told them in no uncertain terms that if they went to my son one more time, I would go directly to all of their children and tell them the Holzinger “family history,” because I was quite certain my brothers and sisters had not told their children those very disturbing facts. And two, most of this letter was written by my father.
March 4, 2004
Dr. Andrew Vogelson
Evergreen Counseling Associates
7600 Stenton Avenue, Suite 1-F
Philadelphia, PA 19118
RE: REBECCA HOLZINGER
Dear Dr. Vogelson,
My siblings and I have been in touch with you several times in the last ten months about our sister, Rebecca Holzinger, who is a client at Evergreen.
I am sending you a copy of the 8-page newspaper Becky published in December. Please look at it and put it in Becky’s file. As we told you in our September 29, 2003 letter, she threatened to publish this newspaper in the flyer she distributed in Lancaster in September. We are well aware of the legal implications with the paper’s publication, but we are not pursuing our legal options at this time.
Our purpose in writing you is not to deny any of the allegations in the newspaper, instead, we want to convey to you the depth of our shock and concern with what the paper’s publication indicates about Becky’s mental state. The nature of the paper’s presentation depicts her extreme anger, poor judgment, and impaired mental functioning.
We siblings have received disturbing e-mails from Becky since she distributed the newspaper, and I am including copies of them with this letter. You will see that some of them contain threats toward us as a group or as individuals.
We request that you encourage Becky’s therapist to think about a diagnostic psychological assessment from a doctoral level psychologist. Our concern for her mental health has only increased in the last few months.
also on behalf of
Emily Holzinger Hausman
OPEN YOUR EYES
I spoke with Dr. Misty Bastain, the Chairperson of the Franklin & Marshall Anthropology Department, on April 20, 2005 regarding the Charles H. Holzinger Anthropology Award. Ms. Bastain said she “understood my pain” but the status of the award was up to someone on a higher level. A week later I spoke with Keith Orris, the Secretary of F&M and I am reposting the resulting article here again today.
You see, I went to the local “Eyes Wide Open” website (click here) and on the right-hand side under sponsors it says, “Lancaster Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)” and “Franklin & Marshall College (the Art and Art History Department, the Phillips Museum, The Center for Liberal Arts and Society, and the Anthropology Department.”) Apparently Ms. Bastain did not understand my pain, and apparently her department does not take incest and sexual abuse seriously. Perhaps the Quakers and her department could collaborate on a Charles H. Holzinger Incest Award.