Protecting Yourself. Protecting Your Children.
By Kathleen Hoy Foley
Intuition is the one defense–sometimes the only defense–consistently available to us. Intuition offers protection against cunning perpetrators who employ camouflage and deception to gain the trust of vulnerable, powerless, and unsuspecting prey for the specific purpose of carrying out acts of sexual violence, most times with impunity. These skilled predators flourish by exploiting their social status and profiting from the atmosphere of complicit silence, unearned trust and respect, and their own awareness of the blanket approval they enjoy.
From priest to babysitter and all in between, these sexual predators slide easily into normal life with their offerings of personal attention and emotional support while enjoying broad, unwarranted privileges that go unchallenged by those too naïve, too distracted, or simply unwilling to notice.
Skilled predators are exceptionally difficult to identify and impossible to expose. Why? Because exposure falls on closed eyes and deaf ears. Because blind faith and deep-rooted guilt overrides any suspicion. So it is that despite flashing red-alerts, pedophiles and other sexual abusers succeed by hiding in plain sight while the intelligent, sacred power of intuition is ignored, ridiculed, and finally obliterated, assigned to the trash heap of hysterical emotions; condemned as psychic nonsense; and judged as woo-woo. And victims and potential prey are rendered powerless.
Only we are not powerless. We just believe we are.
Of the eight Catholic churches I belonged to during my time as a Catholic, seven of them harbored pedophile priests. Saint Ann’s Catholic Church in Browns Mills, New Jersey gave refuge to Father Frank Iazetta, a barrel of a man with a big mouth and a domineering swagger, and a nasty habit of belittling women from the pulpit. The instant I met him alarm bells I never knew I possessed blared like a cacophony of screeching bluejays alerting to an approaching cat.
But it was the era of Marriage Encounter where the superficial, exhilarating emotions of la-la land love ran high and the overarching spiritual message called for dissolving boundaries between us all–since we are all one–and proclaiming unconditional love by gluing clever, sanctimonious catchphrases onto colorful banners. I was besieged by the heady emotions of devotion to the Church, convinced of the unquestionable authority of the finally enlightened clergy. Passionately and recklessly I nose-dived into my newly discovered religious evangelism and plunged both joyfully and solemnly into my mission of obedience and dispersing la-la land love to one and all.
Submission–that was the missing piece: submission to God the Father. To Jesus the Son. To the Holy Spirit. Submission to the laws of the Catholic Church. Submission to the authority of the priests. Paramount was dissolving my boundaries and resistances. Saying YES to whatever was asked of me, despite my misgivings, despite my screeching intuition. Obedience. That was my path to forgiveness for whatever sins I was guilty of, the way to earn my place in heaven. Obedience equaled love. And I wanted lots and lots of love.
So bowing to the law of religious obedience, I managed to override my shrieking intuition about Fr. Frank Iazetta. That is until he openly began recruiting young boys for overnight camping trips. Suddenly I became unhinged, a caged animal frantically bouncing off live wire, pointing and screaming at the air, begging my friends not to let their boys go with him. They laughed at me.
You know where this is going. Merely days ago, Fr. Frank Iazetta appeared on the list of pedophile priests made public by the Catholic diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. Multiple, credible accusations of sexual assault it read. I was heart-slamming-in-my-chest sickened. But not surprised. Forty some years later and my intuition–my visceral instincts–were validated.
The woo-woo myths surrounding intuition have successfully invaded our culture managing to dismantle and demonize this holistic connection to our inner and outer worlds, and instilling us with fear of this natural, instinctive process. Intuition is not a mystery. It is not an exclusive, psychic gift granted to a select few. Intuition is an inborn, perceptive sense–a practical instinct–responsible for our protection and evolution.
All things radiate energy. People radiate energy. Energy is information. Intuition is a beacon seeking information, seeking truth. It is an inherent, personal sense organically connected to the powerful energy of the universal intelligence–the vital force of life–that flows within and around everything that exists. Intuition is in attunement with the harmony of truth. It is a personal private detective–it gathers intelligence.
Intuition is a responsive sensitivity to our environment, to the vibrational energy that exists around us. It collects information like radar for the purpose of expanding our knowledge and offering clarity. Intuition guides. It empowers. But we are not taught these things.
We are taught to fear our inner guidance. We are taught to mistrust ourselves in favor of following directions from somewhere outside of our intrinsic knowing. We are taught that intuition is an impulse, dangerous to our wellbeing. We are taught to doubt ourselves and entrust our decisions to others. We are warned not to judge, though we judge ourselves harshly, thereby constricting our potential, and allowing our physical, mental and spiritual health to be poisoned by fear.
The power of intuition is obtainable to anyone prepared to do the inner work necessary to cultivate it. Its light exists within everyone and is readily available to all those willing to make the effort to develop the skills of conscious seeing, hearing and listening. Intuition is our clear window into ourselves and into the world around us.
A sexual predator can sense prey from across the room. With expanded intuitive awareness, you will be able to sense a predator from across that same room. It may turn out that your intuition offered you and your children the protection that you did not know you needed. And you will have listened because you are no longer gullible. You know that the Father Franks of the world exist. And your children will benefit from your wisdom.