If you are new to this blog, you may want to read the posts “In a Nutshell” or go to July 2012 and read “Sending out a Letter.” My daughter Emma Katherine Roey lied about a friend being raped and attempting suicide, claimed to have been molested by a priest, and then, just as her attorneys were about to file a law suit, Emma accused her mother (me) of physically abusing her and later of poisoning her with DDT. Emma claimed to have a toxicology report to confirm that her mother (me, again!) poisoned her, but would never turn over this report to my attorney. If you read through the blog, you will find many other examples of Emma’s lying. At one point, she even complained about the way her dad touched her and that he called her a “bitch” and a “slut” everyday. (I refused to listen to her when she talked about her dad like that.) As long as Emma continues with the lies, I will tell her story. Love and thanks to all of you who read and have written to me. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at: email@example.com Please continue to share the blog with others.
Emma and Holy Trinity Anglican Church
This is one of those posts that is way out of order, so if you are one of my regular readers just skip down to the ************************ below while I give a brief introduction for my new readers as to what was going on at the time of which I’m writing about. I have 17 years of Emma’s life to write about, and then eventually, I will go back and put everything in order.
In late 2009, Emma had been really, really ugly to her dad, claiming her called her a “bitch” and a “slut” on a daily basis, saying she did not like the way her dad touched her, etc. Then, on her 16th birthday, Dec. 19, 2009, as Phill and I picked her up from her church youth group, Emma told us she’d received a call from her on-line friend, “Lacey” who lived in Dalton, Ga., and that “Lacey” had been raped and called Emma from the ER and was hysterical. Then the story changed to “Lacey” had tried to commit suicide after being raped.
A few months later, on her dad’s birthday, March 21, 2010, Emma told her dad and I that she had been molested by a priest when she was 12 and claimed that the catalyst for bringing up her repressed memories was “Lacey’s” rape and suicide attempt. Emma had been speaking to one of her church youth group leaders about her “molestation” and this woman had reported it to our church Deacon who go involved on Emma’s behalf and found out what we had to do formally to file a complaint with the church……………………….then the police and DFACS got involved……………………….and you can go back through the blog for more of that part of the story.
At the time, we’d gone to our church for maybe 10 years. I thought we had a church home where we would continue to go for years and years and that maybe one day my daughter would get married there. Emma was very involved in many activities at church: Sunday School (both going and then assistant teaching when she was in 9th grade), the children’s choir, VBS, the newsletter group, the youth group, serving as an acolyte and a lay reader….. anything she wanted to be involved in, Phill and I made sure she was able to be there.
During this time, Emma got her heart broken by a boy who was interested in her and then dropped her and was paying attention to another girl. She was also failing her on line physics class, and these two events may have contributed greatly to Emma making up the “molestation” story. Emma was always a good student as long as it was a subject she was interested in, so she should not have been failing, but at the time, I think Emma spent way too much time writing letters to “Lacey” and on-line chatting with “Lacey” and other students, and not doing her schoolwork.
So, at this point, we’d filed a complaint with the church, dealt with the sheriff’s department, DFACS, Gwinnett Co. detectives, therapists, etc. Emma and I were the ones to make all the decisions about these things, with a lot of help and advice from our church Deacon who also wanted to see this situation handled properly. Phill was very passive and left everything to me to decide how to handle things. I would try to talk things over with him, but he never voiced any opinion about how we should proceed. It probably should have been something we worked together on, but he took a passive role. Of course, if Emma’s parents hadn’t been idiots, we would have investigated some of her stories and caught on to her lying a lot sooner, but that is water under the bridge. We certainly we not going to call up “Lacey’s” parents, whom we’d never met, and ask about the rape and suicide attempt. Even when we were going through the divorce, my attorney was very uncomfortable with getting in touch with “Lacey’s” parents just because if the story turned out to be true, it seemed like such an intrusion into the family. Later on, when my attorney discovered how much Emma had lied about, he didn’t feel like you could trust anything Emma said, and Phill’s attorney had issues with Emma as well.
So……………………we are cruising along with all this drama. We went to church sporadically, and Emma pretty much quit going. Because of the way the church handled, or seemingly ignored our complaint (The incident was reported in March, and we did not hear from anyone until the Bishop came to our home in July to speak with us.) I was not comfortable going to our church anymore either. Phill was ambivalent and would go to church if I was going, but had no opinion about anything either way.
We pretty much quit going to church, and then Emma visited a few churches, checking out the youth Sunday School classes, and she continued to go to the youth group at 12 Stone church at Hamilton Mill in Buford Ga., but she didn’t want to go to church there. It was a huge church, and very different than what we were used to. One of the things that bothered Emma was that some of the modern churches had no icons. It was like walking into an auditorium. There wasn’t a cross to be seen.
Another story that was interesting was when Emma went to visit Hamilton Mill Methodist Church. I had dropped Emma off for Sunday School and then she went to church and I met her afterwards. I don’t remember Emma’s specific complaints about the Sunday School class. It was something fairly mild like they just sat around a table and didn’t do anything, but the more interesting comments came after she went to church. If you remember the story about the couple that Phill and I played cards with, and how Emma did not like their son and later claimed he destroyed a book that belonged to her, thus pretty much ending the friendship between the parents, Emma claimed that this family was sitting in front of her at church. (Oh, my! Emma could not go to church there! Since her arch enemy was her age, they would be in the same Sunday School class! She simply could not have that!) I thought this was odd because they had left our church and had been attending another church, in Sugar Hill, Ga., when we were still friends, and I knew they were quite happy where they were going. Another reason I questioned this story was because I knew this family, and if they came to church, they usually attended Sunday school as well. It’s possible they could have changed churches again, but I always wondered if Emma made up this story just because she did not like Hamilton Mill Methodist for whatever reason.
NOTE: Had I to do it over again, I wish now we’d sat Emma and the young man down together and not let either one go until we got the truth out of who destroyed Emma’s book. It’s sad that a friendship between parents ended based on the lies of a child. This is another example of how much control and power we inadvertently gave to Emma.
One day we visited Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Flowery Branch, Ga.
Holy Trinity was a very small church, but the liturgy was very similar to what we were used to, so of course it was very comfortable to us. (Phill was not interested in participating in finding a new church and pretty much left it up to Emma and me. He would go when we decided where we wanted to go, but he was not going to visit churches and participate in deciding where we would like to go for worship. )
After a couple of visits, Emma and I liked Holy Trinity, but it was hard for me to leave my old church behind. Being somewhat of an introvert, it took me a long time to feel comfortable there, and I wasn’t eager to leave and start over somewhere else. My heart just wasn’t in it. I finally told Emma if she really wanted to go there we probably needed to talk to the pastor and let him know why we were looking for a church, so Emma called up Fr. George Ivey and told him her story. Emma got off the phone, and immediately told me that Fr. George knew the priest Emma had accused and said that when she told him about her “molestation,” even before she said who, Fr. George told her that that priest was the first person he thought of. I’m not sure what kind of bad blood there was between Fr. George and the other priest, but I do remember him telling us about when the Anglican Bishop visited and that priest refused communion from him.
Anyway, Fr. George wanted to meet with us, so Phill, Emma and I went to Fr. George and Paulette Ivey’s beautiful home in Buford, Ga. Sure enough, Emma wasn’t lying this time, Fr. George told us that when Emma told him about being “molested” the first person he thought of was the man Emma had accused.
Fr. George was comforting and supportive, and I felt better about going to a new church since he knew why we were looking for a new church home. Fr. George also got very involved with Emma’s drama, helping to find attorneys, going to interviews, etc.
We began attending Holy Trinity which meant Sunday School, then coffee, and then church. As I mentioned, the church was very small. Sunday School might consist of about 10 people and church might be about 20-25. There were only a few other teens, so there really wasn’t much to offer in the way of a youth group, but Emma didn’t mind. She seemed to prefer being around adults anyway. Partly, I think Emma preferred adults because adults were to eaisly impressed with how smart, polite, etc. she was. She gave a great first impression. (If you have read Dr. Richard Born’s Psychological Evaluation of Emma, you will remember that he mentioned she was not comfortable around her peers.)
Phill and I loved Fr. George’s Sunday School classes. He was the best Sunday School teacher we’d ever had. We felt bad that the church was so small and people were missing out on such interesting and informative classes. Fr. George was an extremely smart man and he had a passion for studying and learning and he generously shared his knowledge. While it wouldn’t have been near as lucrative as his business career, Fr. George would have made a great teacher. Paulette Ivey, however, was an elementary school teacher at Ivy Creek Elementary School, in Buford, Ga.
Things rolled along. Emma began serving as an acolyte at our new church……. Emma was still going to therapy, working on her “sexual molestation” and we were dealing with things with our old church. Fr. George knew someone who worked in, I believe it was the ER, in a hospital in Cumming, Ga., and had discussed Emma’s story with her. She had recommended an attorney firm nearby, and we set up an interview with them. Fr. George went with Phill, Emma, and I to meet two attorneys at this firm. They were interested in Emma’s story, but claimed not to have the “war chest” it would take file the lawsuit against the church.
It was around Oct. of 2010 that I said something to Emma about Allen Hunt. Allen Hunt was a Methodist minister (now Catholic) who had a radio program on WSB radio on Sunday evenings that I, and often Emma, enjoyed listening to. I knew he did work raising money for a home for abused children, and I wondered if he could help us. Emma asked me to write him, and I suggested she write to him as I thought it would mean more coming from her, the “victim.”
Now, Phill likes to say that I, the evil mommy, forced Emma to sit down and write an e-mail to Mr. Hunt. I can assure you that I did not, but I guess Phill can use his standby line that oh, yes I did, but I “blocked it out” and have no memory of forcing Emma to sit at the computer and compose and send an e-mail.
Emma happily wrote off an e-mail and sent it. We quickly received a reply from Mr. Hunt who recommended a place for counseling and who also recommended the firm of Cruiser and Mitchell in Norcross, Ga. Bill Mitchell was a personal friend of Allen Hunt’s and in fact, Mr. Hunt called Mr. Mitchell to tell him about Emma’s story. When I called to set up an appointment, Mr. Mitchell wanted to meet with us right away. I called Fr. George who dropped everything to meet us at the firm’s office.
Fr. George was a tremendous help in explaining the hierarchy of the church, rules, etc. to the attorneys. I won’t go into detailing that meeting again as I have already told that story. For those of you who haven’t read it, you will have to go back through earlier posts in the blog.
Not long after we started attending Holy Trinity, we went to the ordination of Bishop Foley Beach in Atlanta. Foley Beach had left the Episcopal church after the 2003 General Convention in which a homosexual, Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. Bishop Robinson was the first openly gay priest to be consecrated in the Episcopal church, and for anyone in the church during this time, there was a lot of fall out over Bishop Robinson. Our particular church had been growing and had gone to three services on Sunday mornings, but after the General Convention and Bishop Robinson’s consecration, a lot of folks left the church, some temporarily, and some permanently. Our three services were cut to two, but could have easily been cut to one. I think they only kept the 8:30 (early service) for the people who wanted to come to church early so they could get on with their day. If you went to the 10:30 service, by the time you got out and got home, the day was half over, and the early risers didn’t want to waste their day.
Phill was working, but Emma and I went to Bishop Beach’s ordination along with our friend, Janice, who’d grown up as a neighbor of Foley Beach’s wife, Allison. Foley Beach had been the rector at St. Alban’s Epicopal Church in Monroe, Ga. until he left the church and then he became the rector at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville before he became the Bishop.
Befoe meeting with Emma’s attorneys, Fr. George Ivey had spoken to Foley Beach and had told us that Foley Beach was meeting with the Episcopal church and that he would talk to Bishop Alexander about Emma. Just before the ordination of Foley Beach as Bishop, we had settled on Emma’s attorney, and I will never forget going through the receiving line, shaking hands with Bishop Foley Beach, and he said to Emma and I that he understood we were in good hands now, indicating we did not need his help. A short time later, I would be greatly disappointed in both Fr. George Ivey and Archbishop Foley Beach.
Fr. George met Emma and I at the offfices of Cruiser and Mitchell, and we had an interview with Bill Mitchell and one of his associates, whom I believe was named Drew Ashby. The funny thing was, one of Phill’s RC buddies, Mike ( Mike Howell, I believe, but there were several Mikes in the RC group), had given Phill the name of an attorney for us to check out, and it happened to be Stephen Ashby, in Tucker, Ga., who was Drew’s father.
While Mr. Mitchell questioned Emma, Fr. George, and me, Drew Ashby took a lot of notes. At one point, I remember Emma stepped out, and Mr. Mitchell wanted to talk to me without Emma. (Hey, Dr. Richard Born, are you listening? This is something you missed when you did your Psych Eval on Emma!) Emma did a great job, acted very professional and mature as she acted out her drama for the attorneys. She explained how her friend “Lacey’s” rape was the catalyst for her remembering her own molestation when she was 12 years old. She went into detail about the priest following her into the women’s bathroom, pulling down her panties, and sticking a finger into her vagina. She answered all the attorneys questions confidently and was very composed. A couple of things that stood out to me from this session:
Mr. Mitchell said he would need to speak to Phill because often times when a child falsely accusess someone of sexual abuse, they are doing it to cover up the fact that it is someone close to them who molested them. (I have to wonder if this was where Emma got the idea to accuse her mother of abuse. Maybe one day, Emma will let me know.)
Mr. Mitchell mentioned that their firm takes one out of 1000 cases, and he wanted to take Emma’s case. He said he believed Emma and Drew believed Emma so strongly that he wasn’t sure Drew could be objective about Emma’s case.
Mr. Mitchell was firmly against the death penalty. As one who’s always favored the death penalty, when Mr. Mitchell talked about Project Innocence and explained his reasoning and cases he’d worked on, he gave me some things to think about after hearing his perspective.
When Fr. George asked how much we could expect to get from this lawsuit, Mr. Mitchell stated, “The sky is the limit.” His plan was to sue the priest, the church, and the diocese. He would have investigators look into the background of the priest, and they would have to interview Emma’s friend, “Lacey.” A short time later, Emma began making plans on how to spend her money. She could buy a car, use the money for college and would be able to afford to go away to college and not have to live at home, etc. She got a little giddy about her prospective windfall, and that worried me A LOT. I tried to explain to her that this was not about the money, that it was about punishing someone who did something very wrong.
After the interview, Emma and I felt very confident about the situation and indeed felt like we were in good hands. We walked outside with Fr. George and he stood with us in the parking lot and prayed before we all went separate ways.
As Emma and I were leaving, I asked her if she was ok with the attorneys talking with “Lacey” and Emma said she was. She said she had told “Lacey” that we were meeting with the attorneys and that they might need to speak with her and that “Lacey” was ok with it. (At this point, I did not know the whole story of “Lacey” being raped and attempting suicide was one of Emma’s big lies.) Emma had been worried about having to face her “sexual abuser” in court, but after meeting with Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Ashby, Emma said to me, “You know mom, with these lawyers helping me, I could testify in court!”
Emma was almost jubilant as we drove home. She had done a convincing job and had two attorneys that believed her. I guess she was proud of her performance. After dealing with the church attorney the month before (another post I need to write) who was quite unpleasant, I felt comfortable that we had someone looking out for our, but especially for Emma’s best interests.
Just after this meeting, I had to get some papers notarized and faxed back to the attorneys offices. Phill and I rushed around like mad and went to meet a friend from the ladies Bible study that Emma and I attended because she was a notary. I remember us dropping everything to meet her at the Braselton Cracker Barrel on her way home from work so that we could sign and she could notarize. No big deal to Emma that her parents were doing all this for nothing. Emma already knew the lawsuit would have to be stopped and she was working on her plan for stopping it. I hate thinking of how much time and energy was wasted by all parties on Emma’s little drama. Not just my time, but the time of the police, DFACS, social workers, the church, whom I’m sure all had better things to do than take a role in a 16 year old girl’s drama.
If you’ve read the blog, you know that just as Mr. Mitchell was about to file Emma’s lawsuit, Emma had Dr. Elizabeth (Genie) Burnett call the police to say Emma was being abused by her Mother (dramatic music playing in the background). You can read the police report earlier in the blog. I’m not going to rehash that here. I’ve already told that part of Emma’s story, but I wanted to tell about the church’s involvment, particularly Fr. George Ivey’s involvement in Emma’s drama.
In March of 2011, when Emma pulled her, “I want to live in a group home.” at the office of Suzie McGarvey, one of her many therapists, Phill fell apart and couldn’t handle Emma’s problems. Omigosh, his wife was a child abuser! What an idiot (ok that part is true) that it took him 17 years to see that! What an idiot that he had lived with this woman for over 28 years and he never knew she was violent! He had to have a divorce! And besides, there were other fish in the sea!
When Phill turned on me and decided to support Emma, I had no idea what was to come, that Phill would take out a TPO and have me thrown out of my home. My thoughts were to save my family and my marriage. I suspected there was something deeper going on. At this point I hadn’t discovered all Emma’s lies. I didn’t know that “Lacey” wasn’t actually raped, didn’t attempt suicide, her mother didn’t almost die of breast cancer, or that Emma had lied about many, many other things. I was trying to save my family. Even though I was angry at Phill for being so stupid, I thought surely he would come to his senses (boy was I wrong there!).
Phill and I discussed meeting with Fr. George for counseling, and if you’ve read the blog, Phill did go to on therapy session to try to save his marriage. I had talked to Fr. George after Emma accused me of abuse, and he told me he would never believe it. He’d been through his own drama with his two son’s and their addiction/substance abuse problems. Paulette had even told us about one time when he knocked down the bedroom door to their son’s room.
Fr. George told me he saw us every week in church, and he’d noticed how much Emma leaned on me, rested her head on my shoulder, held my hand, put her arm around me, grabbed my arm and put it around her, etc. She was such a touchy feely kid towards me, there was no way he believed she was abused.
After Phill had me thrown out of our home, Fr. George changed his mind about meeting with us about counseling. I knew there’d been a divorce where he’d tried to counsel the couple, and he was called to testify at the divorce. I didn’t know the couple and didn’t know anything about the divorce. I got an e-mail from Fr. George saying he did not want to get involved and one of the funny things I remember was that he mentioned that they tried to make him perjure himself. I thought it kind of funny that he spelled perjure wrong.
This was one of my biggest disappointments in Fr. George Ivey. He knew our family was in crisis. He did not believe Emma, and we were parishioners at his church. I always thought a priest was supposed to care for his flock. Fr. George seemed to care more about the thought of possibly being inconvenienced with his fear of having to testify in another divorce case than he cared about a family in his church. That hard to fathom. I lost all respect for Fr. George after this. I know priests/pastors are human and just as flawed as the rest of us, but I thought caring for your parishioners was part of the job. It seemed that Fr. George just wanted to lecture and stand in front of his church, but God help him if he actually had to get his hands dirty.
Because of the TPO, I could no longer attend church if Phill and Emma were there. My only hope was to get Phill to counseling, so that he could realize Emma had some problems, but Phill decided there was too much water under the bridge and he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. He had no desire to fix our family or our marriage. And besides, SEFF was the following month, and he sure wasn’t going to miss that!
I also sent a letter to Archbishop Foley Beach, since he’d been aware of our drama, explaining what was going on. I got a nice little card from him saying I was in his prayers. (Much easier than actually getting involved.)
To be continued…………