|ChrisOLeary.com > Sacrificed > The Way OUT is THRU|
It's been a while since I posted my last episode and I wanted to explain what's going on.
Because it's relevant both to what I've BEEN discussing and what I WANT to discuss.
First, I wanted the episode Stika, Predation, and Change to be one that stood out; that people are left with, and to ponder, for a while, because not only WAS it important, but it REMAINS important. I can't get into the details, at the moment, but things are NOT getting better.
And, in some ways, are getting MUCH worse.
Pray for your priests.
They are under TREMENDOUS pressure.
To go along with their bishops.
To (just) follow orders.
And, yes, that's a reference to the Nazi era.
And, of course, Fr. Gabriele Martinelli, one of the priests I discuss in that episode, was recently cleared by the Vatican.
Catholic Church finds itself Not Guilty.
Dog bites man.
And, to the THEME of this episode, for a bit more than three years, I've been fighting Persistent Post Concussion Syndrome as a result of a car accident I was in at the end of August, 2018.
It was a low speed accident, for me at least, that really only flexed and creased my bumper, and didn't do any other damage.
But the resulting jolt from behind was enough to leave me with a concussion. I guess, given my prior HISTORY of concussions?
I had one Loss Of Consciousness concussion due to falling off my bike, while not wearing a helmet, when I was a kid. And then there was that time when I was hit in the head with, and knocked unconscious by, a metal diving ring. And, perhaps, both accidents happened within a year or so? Which, perhaps, made me more vulnerable, as I grew older?
And then there was the OTHER car accident I was in, nine months prior to the one that left me with the concussion, and which didn't seem like a big deal at the time.
But maybe it WAS?
And then there's the whole-body tension, and effects, tied, I can only assume, to the Catholic sex abuse stuff, that affects my posture and leads me to curl up — or try to — into a tight, self-protective ball.
Maybe that's related, too?
Why I'm having the neck and psocture problems that seem to be making things worse?
I don't know but, regardless, it's starting to get scary.
And, yes, in case you're keeping track of the parallels between my story and the story of Job, that means that, at the same time I was dealing with the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, and the fall-out from it, and then my treatment at the Mass of Reparation of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I was also dealing with Post Concussion Syndrome.
And now PERSISTENT Post Concussion Syndrome.
And, three years later, things are only SLIGHTLY better.
I didn't have many migraines during the first half of 2021, but I DID have a headache and tinnitus, at least, EVERY day. And I still DO. And I still have to nap HARD, for an hour, every early afternoon.
What's worse is that, lately, I'm BACK to having migraines EVERY day.
Basically, and in sum, my brain aged 20 years in an instant and, now, I can only really concentrate and work for 2 or 3 hours a day.
Yes, I did go to Physical Therapy, soon after my car accident, to try to get help but, mostly, my original plan was to just wait it out.
To hope it would just go away.
But that's not working.
So, two months ago, at my semi-annual check-up, I went back to my doctor and asked her to prescribe a SECOND round of physical therapy. I had a first course in the months after the car accident, and it seemed to help, at least with some weird eye jumping movement stuff, but the PT didn't make a permanent difference.
It wore off by the Summer of 2019.
I then went to a Neurologist for help, and he prescribed me some of the standard migraine medications, but they either didn't work or, if they did work, cost me so many IQ points that it simply wasn't worth it.
Not being able to think is not an option, if I'm going to be able to eat.
So I've spent the past two years mostly just hoping and praying that my problems will just go away.
Without my having to do anything, more.
Because, in part, WORKING to address my Persistent Post Concussion Syndrome only makes everything WORSE. Basically, I lose AT LEAST the entire day I have Physical Therapy, because doing the exercises stirs stuff up and agitates and irritates my brain. And, sometimes, I lose more than just the day of PT, with headaches that, too often, turn into migraines.
And those can linger for a week.
But, you know what, screw it.
The problem isn't fixing itself.
It's been more than three years since my car accident and I'm not getting significantly better.
Especially since I started this podcast and began to really dig into the Catholic sex abuse crisis stuff, which seems to have made everything worse.
Yes, things are slightly better at the high end; I don't have as many migraines or as much nausea. But, at the low end, really NOTHING has changed.
The length of time over which I'm able to concentrate hasn't changed. I can write for two or three hours a day, at most.
And doing nothing isn't working.
So, I decided a couple months ago that it was time to go BACK to Physical Therapy.
And, yes, it's completely screwed me up. Such that I haven't been able to do much in the way of THINKING, much less WRITING, over the past few weeks.
Thus the gap between this episode of Sacrificed and the previous one, in part.
But I have faith.
Faith that DEALING with my problems is the right thing to do. Rather than avoiding them.
Yes, it's going to make things worse in the short term.
MUCH worse, as it turns out.
But that's life.
There's no free lunch.
You don't get something for nothing.
Not when it's a BIG deal.
Which, of course, is true both of Persistent Post Concussion Syndrome AND the Catholic sex abuse crisis.
The way OUT of the problem — A crisis and THE crisis — isn't AROUND it.
By AVOIDING it.
By doing NOTHING.
Hoping it just goes away.
I tried that and it simply hasn't worked.
Both for my Concussion stuff and the Catholic stuff.
And CATHOLICS have tried doing nothing about the sex abuse crisis and it, too, isn't working. The bishops aren't acting any more responsibly. Instead, they've been emboldened to double down on the old ways. Focusing on themselves and their careers and the church.
And sacrificing laypeople.
In truth, the way OUT is THRU.
THRU the problem and the pain.
And the heartache.
And the fear.
Encouraged and emboldened by faith in Jesus Christ and the example He set.
The Way OUT is THRU
This is Sacrificed, a survivor's eye view of the Catholic sex abuse crisis that picks up, as my story does, where the movie SPOTLIGHT left off, providing the answer to the question, "What happened next? After SPOTLIGHT. And what was it like? How did it FEEL?"
At a high level. Without getting into the gross stuff.
And, more importantly, HOW.
My name is Chris O'Leary and I'm a survivor of the Catholic sex abuse crisis.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was sexually exploited, abused, and assaulted — raped — by a Catholic priest.
Then, when I went to my archdiocese for help in March 2002, and my friend the cardinal — and not the baseball kind — called me back, that's when things got REALLY bad.
When the Abuse of the Abused began.
Epitomized by my treatment at the Mass of Reparation for the sex abuse crisis, in September 2018, held mere weeks after the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, where I was ignored — SHUNNED — by all the priests in attendance.
As was captured by the picture that serves as the cover art for this podcast.
Why would my archdiocese and the Catholic Church do that?
HOW could they do that?
Despite the events of 2002, with SPOTLIGHT and the Dallas Charter, and 2018 and the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report? Treating a survivor in a way that might be CATHOLIC, but is anything but CHRISTIAN? And gives the lie to the promises of the Pope and the rest of the church?
In order to protect certain powerful, connected men.
Abuse Profiteers who benefited from the crisis and their willingness to turn a blind eye to our abuse as children and to then "fix" things when we come forward as adults.
In order to conceal a larger truth.
That some survivors — me and countless others — were simply thrown to the wolves.
As for VOS ESTIS LUX MUNDI, Pope Francis' bill of rights for survivors, which was supposed to — finally — end the torment and ensure we're helped?
It's a sham.
A false hope.
A cruel taunt, directed at survivors.
All of which raises what for me is the big question.
If the Catholic Church can do what it allowed to be done to me, and to us, as children, what else can it justify?
When it comes to children, above all else.
I REFUSE to allow what happened to me to happen to anyone else.
I'll be DAMNED if I allow what happened to me to happen to anyone else.
So I can't and won't stop until I figure out what happened and how.
And ensure it CAN'T happen again.
If Jesus Christ can do what he did, entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to a certain and KNOWN fate, then I can do this.
I'm more than a little, and INCREASINGLY, frustrated with lay Catholics.
That's because, in the face of evil and horrors and crisis and lingering, if not WORSENING, risks to children, women, and men, and openly indifferent and unapologetic bishops, including the Pope, TOO many lay Catholics think doing nothing is an option.
As I documented in the prior episode, Stika, Predation, and Change, the Catholic Church REMAINS deep in crisis. And what's happened since I released the last episode of Sacrificed make it clear things are NOT getting any better.
First, there's the acknowledgment that HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of children were sexually abused in France. Which, if the numbers and ratios hold, suggests there could be a MILLION or more survivors in the United States, alone.
Second, the Pope and the Vatican recently refused to hold accountable a predatory seminarian, and now priest, acknowledging sexual acts happened, but describing them as consensual.
Despite the presence of a power differential, at least.
Which changes everything.
And, as for the sexual activity which is now ACKNOWLEDGED to have occurred in the seminary? I guess the Ontological Change will transform the priest and keep that from happening again? Keep the priest from satisfying his seemingly unquenchable sexual desires with the men of his parish.
Or the women.
Or the children.
And Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville remains DESPERATE to ordain A seminarian — THE Seminarian — who is a known, multi-accused abuser, and who's been thrown out of one order, and seminary, after another.
A pure predator.
Who, I'm told, is being stashed in St. Louis until things blow over and Bishop Stika can get The Seminarian BACK on the path to ordination. And, I can only guess, Stika can earn his Red Hat as a result of his fierce resolve and loyalty to the church. Which can only impress the VERY powerful sponsor of The Seminarian.
And doesn't the coordination of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri, give the lie to the idea that the dioceses and archdioceses of the United States are all independent entities? Not part of one whole. Meaning the multi-state nature of the effort to hide and protect The Seminarian is starting to sound like something the federal government should be interested in?
While they CAN'T be forgiven for not knowing about France, ordinary Catholics CAN be forgiven for not knowing about the case of Fr. Gabriele Martinelli and even the goings on in Knoxville and the case of The Seminarian.
They're the very DEFINITION of Inside Baseball.
Or Inside Catholicism, as it were.
Such that, when those stories ARE covered, it tends to be in publications — like The Pillar — that only DEEPLY committed and involved Catholics read. NOT the popular press. As a result, it's understandable if very few lay Catholics are familiar with the issues.
But that's not ALL of what's going on.
It's NOT the case when it comes to Vos Estis Lux Mundi, Pope Francis' bill of rights for survivors. It's also not the case when it comes to the involvement and culpability of certain bishops in the Catholic sex abuse crisis; their willingness to turn a blind eye to the sexual abuse, of children, that they witnessed.
And turned a blind eye to.
In order to establish themselves as team players.
People like My Friend the Cardinal.
And the stories of Vos Estis and the misdeeds of certain bishops, and especially cardinals, are stories of national import, having been recognized as such, and being told, at least in part, in the national, popular press.
But they're not being told in the CATHOLIC press.
Which is Enabling.
And NOT the way to solve the problem.
Rather, the way OUT is THRU.
☩ ☩ ☩
In an effort to get the word out about the plight of survivors, I've spent a lot of time trying to connect with and talk to people with large(r) followings and get in front of their followers, virtually or in person. Fr. Mark White and the folks at The Angry Catholic dot com are two such people and groups who have helped me.
Hell, even Church Militant helped get the word out, a few months ago.
But they're not the only people and groups I've talked to.
And that's where I start to get frustrated.
Catholic Survivor Advocates
There are other groups out there that I have connected and work with and through.
Groups that advocate for survivors.
I can't name them, because I don't want to get them in trouble. Which, of course, is part of the problem.
I've been told they've already faced retribution from their bishop, who has fired a member of the group, who was employed at a Catholic institution, because of their work advocating for survivors.
The bishop doesn't like what they are doing; trying to hold him and the Catholic Church accountable.
Which is COMPLETELY understandable.
And a sign of how LITTLE things have changed in the Catholic Church; how much risk men, women, and children CONTINUE to be in.
Despite that bishop doing something so OBVIOUSLY wrong — firing a Catholic who would dare to support, and advocate for, survivors, or belong to a group that does — people in the know are STILL helping the church keep its secrets.
For one thing, I haven't heard anything about the retaliatory firings of Catholics, who support and advocate for survivors, or merely belong to organizations that do, in the Catholic press.
Where's the outrage?
At something that, while it might be CATHOLIC, is anything but CHRISTIAN.
What's worse, supporters of and advocates for survivors STILL refuse to discuss Vos Estis, the Pope's bill of rights for survivors, and the problems with it. Starting with the failure of my archdiocese to abide by Vos Estis and the failure of Pope Francis to hold them accountable for NOT following it.
I've tried to discuss the problem in pieces directed at lay Catholics who are supportive of survivors, but my mentions of Vos Estis are always redacted.
Some for the name of My Friend the Cardinal. Not to mention the STORY of his involvement in my case.
All of which is Enabling.
And NOT the way to solve the problem.
Instead, the way to help the Catholic Church is to tell the TRUTH.
The way OUT is THRU.
One of the standard types of stories that Catholic publications like to run are restrospectives.
"One year later," "Ten years later," and "Fifty years later" stories.
As they've run about Fratelli Tutti, Vatican II, and countless other major Catholic documents and councils.
But where ARE the "VOS ESTIS Two Years Later" stories?
Where WERE the "VOS ESTIS One Year Later" stories?
WILL there be any "VOS ESTIS Three Years Later" stories?
I ask because I find it frustrating how LITTLE follow-up coverage there has been of Vos Estis Lux Mundi. In part because Article Five of Vos Estis Lux Mundi, contains a survivors' bill of rights.
And which, were it to be enforced, would end the Abuse of the Abused of me by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. And, hopefully, restore me to the good graces of my family and parish, both of whom are shunning me.
But there HAVE been no Vos Estis one or two years later articles.
And I know — for a FACT — that it's not because the writers don't want to WRITE them.
I VIVIDLY remember the excitement I felt — the feeling of being SEEN — when, a year and a half ago, a freelance writer contacted me in preparation for doing just such a "Vos Estis one year later" article.
But they never got BACK to me.
Because they couldn't find a publication that wanted to, or WOULD or COULD, run the story.
To be clear, the problem is NOT the WRITERS. Ratherm the problem is the editors, publishers, and other higher-ups in Catholic publications.
Who, I can only guess, think they are PROTECTING the Catholic Church by refusing to follow up on or discuss Vos Estis.
And what is THAT? The Catholic PRESS's refusal to discuss Vos Estis?
And it's NOT the way to solve the problem.
The way to protect the church is to TELL the truth.
Not to conceal it.
The way OUT is THRU.
Part of the problem is that Pope Francis is believed and perceived to be under attack.
And maybe he is.
But that's no reason for people and publications and organizations, especially ones that consider themselves to be papal loyalists, to ignore the obvious failings of Pope Francis.
In June 2019, the Pope put into effect Vos Estis Lux Mundi a law that, in part — in Article Five — contains a bill of rights for survivors of the Catholic sex abuse crisis.
Vos Estis, as it's known, lays out both what the Catholic Church and its bishops and archbishops, dioceses and archdioceses, MUST — and, equally importantly, MUST NOT — do when it comes to survivors.
They must HELP survivors.
And NOT terrorize us.
The problem is that, despite the enacting of Vos Estis in June 2019, my own Archdiocese of St. Louis continues the Abuse of the Abused.
They continue to wage a Smear Campaign against me.
And they won't call off the dogs.
Meaning that the people of my parish, and my children, continue to shun me, because they can't help but believe the lies the Archdiocese of St. Louis has told them. Including in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
What's worse, the members of certain Catholic groups, and writers for certain Catholic publications, know this.
And refuse to discuss it.
I know they know it.
Because I've TOLD them.
But they refuse to discuss the problem, I can only assume in a misguided attempt to try to protect the Pope.
An effort that, in truth, is Enabling.
Even Pope Francis is capable of screwing up, and the way to fix the problem is to DEAL with it.
To REVEAL it.
Not CONCEAL it.
The way OUT is THRU.
RIGHT Kinds of Survivors
One thing that really gets to me are events — which, sadly, are declining in numbers — with panels of survivors.
Panel discussions I've never been asked to join.
I suspect, because I'm not the RIGHT kind of survivor.
I'm too angry.
Not positive enough.
Not HOPEFUL enough.
And, I'm sure, it doesn't help that my story involves and implicates someone — My Friend the Cardinal — who MUST be protected. And that starts with NOT naming him. And THAT starts with not having on a survivor panel anyone who could, or worse WOULD, name him.
And, when it comes to the RIGHT kind of survivors, things only get worse from there.
And involve what the French, during and after World War II, called Collaborationnistes. People who willingly, and for their own GAIN, not out of necessity and SURVIVAL, collaborated with the Germans during their Occupation of France.
I see the same kinds of survivors.
Too often, I suspect, because these survivors are being manipulated and exploited.
Now as adults.
As they were as children.
They are being used by the Catholic Church to shape and communicate a narrative that things are just fine.
That survivors are happy.
Getting everything they need from the church.
Meaning there's no NEED to change.
Or look too closely into the claims of survivors.
Which, of course, ignores the plight of survivors like me, and too many others, most of whom have yet to Come Out.
To Go Public.
And who are getting NOTHING in terms of help.
And then there's the problem of lay Catholics who I know know about the existence of survivors like me but who, instead of pushing back on the organizers of events that feature panels of survivors, instead keep their mouths shut.
But it's Enabling.
And it's not going to make things better.
Instead, it's only going to put off the inevitable reckoning. And, in the meantime, puts children, women, and men at risk.
Again, the way OUT is THRU.
If you doubt the existence of A problem or THE problem, I give you the Big Idea of the Catholic Church, at least in the United States.
The Eucharistic Revival.
Every few months, a survey comes out, showing, once again, that organized religion is in decline. That gets parents, and now grandparents, like me, thinking about the role faith and religion will play in the lives of our kids and grandkids.
And, allegedly in response, leaders or members of the religious denominations whose decline is documented by those surveys come out with plans for addressing that decline.
Plans that INVARIABLY miss the mark.
And, at this point, make me laugh out loud.
Because they are the product of organizations that are so DESPERATELY refusing to deal with reality.
To address two things...
Particularly when it comes to the treatment of survivors of sexual abuse.
To be clear, and as I often point out on my Twitter account, this isn't just The Catholics.
The Southern Baptist, and OTHER Baptist, Conventions are in the middle of their own crises. And the parallels are REMARKABLY similiar.
However, since I was raised a Catholic, let me comment on what I see as the problems in the Catholic Church.
It's the indifference, stupid.
It's the HYPOCRISY, stupid.
And the refusal to acknowledge them.
By diagnosing the problem as requiring a Eucharistic Revival, the bishops of the Catholic Church, in the United States at least, are making a couple of things clear.
First, they don't think about survivors.
They've diagnosed the problem of the waning faith of lay Catholics as THEIR problem.
The problem of lay Catholics.
Without any consideration as to why that faith might be on the decline.
Which, I suspect, is deeply involved with and impacted by the actions of the bishops of the Catholic Church.
Starting with their indifference.
And, of course, it's no surprise that the bishops have put themselves at the center of the process of restoring things.
Fixing the problems of the lay Catholics.
Telling lay Catholics...
Despite everything the bishops have done.
And failed to do.
Sure, the bishops of the Catholic Church will tell you that, by telling you to focus on the Eucharist, they are telling you to focus on Jesus Christ, but that's belied by how little concern the bishops of the United States give to the people that Christ Himself cared for.
Starting with survivors.
Something many lay Catholics can see right through.
And see for what it is.
An incredibly hypocritical indifference.
Even if, at the moment, lay Catholics refuse to do anything about it. Besides either ignoring the problem or drifting away from the church.
The Catholic Church, and the hierarchy, in particular, seem to be blaming the LAITY for its loss of faith in them, the church and the men whose underlying indifference, towards survivors, and overarching hypocrisy, has brought the church to this point.
Why SHOULDN'T the laity have lost faith in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church?
If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church doesn't DO what it PREACHES.
Those men — those Abuse Profiteers, like My Friend the Cardinal — who established their loyalty and earned their stations in the hierarchy of the Catholic Churchas a result of their demonstrated ability to SEE, and turn a blind eye TO, the sexual abuse of children.
Why WOULDN'T — SHOULDN'T — lay Catholics reject these men and the institution they represent?
When — and it's so frustrating BECAUSE — the solution to the problem is RIGHT THERE.
In the words, and more importntly the example, of Jesus Christ. And how He brought them to life. How He lived his life. Looking out for the least among us.
But, instead, the bishops of the Catholic Church can only see Jesus Christ as an abstraction.
As a symbol.
Not an EXAMPLE.
I've long wondered whether Jesus Christ come to Earth to be WORSHIPPED?
Or to be FOLLOWED?
And I'd suggest that the Eucharistic Revival is the manifestation of the idea that Christ is RULER.
And I can't blame people for rejecting it.
Especially when the Eucharist is used to blackmail people; to try to force them to STAY in the church. Despite what the bishops do. And how their hypocritical indifference contradicts EVERYTHING Jesus Christ said and did and stood for and DIED for.
Why WOULDN'T people reject that?
And the men are pushing it?
Too many Catholics are trying to hide the sex abuse crisis, and what the bishops did — and did NOT do — from their kids, thinking it will scare them off.
But, you know what will GUARANTEE that your kids leave the Catholic Church?
Hiding the sex abuse crisis from them.
And the actions — and, especially, the indifference — of the bishops.
They WILL find out about it.
In large part, because I and other survivors, and now our allies and supporters, are working to make sure they do.
Because things NEED to change.
And, until they do, Catholics, and their children, need to understand that they are risk.
Because so LITTLE has changed.
Starting with the ordination of problematic seminarians.
Catholics need to undersatand that the way out of the situation the Catholic Church is in ISN'T to ignore it; to chastise Catholics for their loss of faith. Without acknowledging and addressing the REASONS for that loss of faith.
And the way out of the crisis isn't to enable the bishops by going along with them and their plan to blame the LAITY for their lack of faith.
Instead, the way out of the crisis is to RESIST the attempts of the bishops to distract Catholics from their failings.
Which continue to this day.
The way out is to CALL OUT, and hold ACCOUNTABLE, the bishops.
The way OUT is THRU.
One of the reasons I haven't released another episode of Sacrificed, to be honest, is because it's all so DEPRESSING. Especially the indifference of the bishops.
And lay Catholics.
But, last night, I watched an event that gave me some hope.
Because it was so CLEARLY an attempt to solve the crisis in the Catholic Church by going THRU it.
Not AROUND it.
Last night, the University of Scranton held a survivors panel. And not just ANY survivors panel. The RIGHT survivors were NOT present.
Instead, after giving a few introductory remarks, a professor and administrator from Scraton basically turned the evening over to two survivors and a survivor advocate.
And, holy crap, no punches were pulled.
They told it EXACTLY as it is.
Such that I am seriously concerned for the people from the University of Scranton.
What kind of retaliation will they face? For sponsoring such an event.
They said they were going to post the video of the event, but they haven't yet, and what's up with that?
Remember, and as I mentioned earlier, the Archbishop of Milwaukee has fired a member of a survivor sympathetic, advocacy organization.
Will the Bishop of Scranton try to do the same?
I have to assume he will.
And, if he does so, I hope people will sit up and notice.
The OPEN hypocrisy.
Especially lay Catholics.
Who don't seem to want to know.
Who are paralyzed.
Because they feel trapped?
By the Eucharist?
But, I can only hope, the courage I saw on display last night at the University of Scranton will give people, and lay Catholics, especially, courage.
To FIGHT for the Eucharist and its Truth.
Its WHOLE truth.
That it will embolden them.
Help them understand that the way OUT is THRU.
Why are people fleeing the Catholic Church?
Because they're seeing what's happening.
And they're not stupid.
They know that what they are seeing just a FRACTION of what's going on.
And they're fleeing it.
It's the hypocrisy, stupid.
It's the INDIFFERENCE, stupid.
So what's to be done?
What's the solution?
Especially when it comes to Catholic parents who, like me, are concerned about the spiritual futures of their children.
The way OUT is THRU.
Through the problems.
Not AROUND; by AVOIDING them.
Because the problems are so big, and so dangerous, they can't be avoided.
Not any more.
And, I can only hope, prominent lay Catholics will soon start speaking up and out and encouraging their fellow Catholics to do the right thing.
The NECESSARY thing.
Yes, it's scary.
To question and challenge and confront and take on the bishops you were taught to revere.
But the way OUT is THRU.
And, if Jesus Christ can do what he did, entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to a certain and KNOWN fate, then you and I and we can do this.
If you'd like to help support my efforts to create this podcast, and expose the Abuse of the Abused by the Catholic Church, as well as The Program — or to just help me to eat and pay my bills while I'm spending my time on this project — I've set up a GoFundMe...