“O, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive”– Sir Walter Scott.
It has been 34 years since I spent any time at the ‘Big House’ and after all the accusations, the investigations, the enquiries, the seemingly endless amount of newspaper column inches, the books, the documentaries, the news reports, the criminal & libel trials, the backstabbing, deception and the endless rumour and speculation – what else can there be to add?
Considering I only spent a matter of weeks at the Bryn Estyn Children’s Home between September and December 1978, I appear to have attracted a considerable amount of unwanted attention.
Is it because these people think I may know something that has not been looked at before?
So what is it I really know about the Bryn Estyn story?
A great deal more than I did since November 2012 to be honest, inasmuch as I have gained a rather unique insight into both sides of the story.
Unique in the sense that as an ex-care home lad, I am able to talk to others who have been in the system with none of the suspicion and distrust that accompanies those in an ‘official’ capacity.
Since the Bryn Estyn Story exploded again, I have been dragged into a seething mass of emotions, duplicity and personal agenda’s that have accompanied this story, discovering that nothing much has really changed since the original story started circulating in 1991.
I have read extensively, I have talked to many ex-residents and realised that I had become too involved to see the agenda’s that were being played out in front of my eyes.
Whether it was displaced loyalty on my part, I cannot tell, but I had somehow ignored what should have been obvious to me all along and my normally questioning nature and natural suspicions had abandoned me to the point where I literally could not see the proverbial ‘wood for the trees’.
I am fully aware of the truth now and rather than allow myself to used by the opposing factions in play, I am not going to involve myself in this issue any longer.
What I will say however, is that my initial instincts were right and I still do not believe that the focus of any investigation into ‘Establishment Paedophile Rings’ and highly-placed Political figures should be directed at Bryn Estyn.
That is not to say that physical and sexual abuses against young people did not occur, as there are too many voices that have now spoken out for it to have been simply ‘mass hysteria’ and Mainstream Media manipulation.
The media have played a huge role in this ongoing saga, the Journalist Dean Nelson for example should be questioned as to his role in the manipulation of what were after all, some very vulnerable young men, who’s initial ‘statements’ did not stand up against the more robust questions that accompanied the inevitable investigations.
The Policemen who spoke of ‘Compensation’ payments that could be made available for those who came forward with their stories of abuse should be questioned, as should two Wrexham Councillors, one of whom helped set up the NORWAS Charity that raised a great deal of money for the victims.
While on the subject of money, the £40,000 that was missing from the Charity fund that Steven Messham was acquitted of stealing, should also be looked at as it was never recovered.
There was a much publicised ‘split’ between the Survivors who had initially set up the charity and is still the cause of a great deal of bad feeling.
I also feel that I have been ‘steered away’ from certain people involved in the story.
People who I have since met up with and heard an altogether different version of events, which I am in the process of weighing up against the more popularised and public view of the whole story.
When I first got involved, I saw no reason to doubt much of what had been very publicly thrashed out in full view of the media spotlight.
I genuinely thought that there was not much more that could be known about, what was after all, one of the largest and most expensive investigations into institutional child abuse this country has ever seen.
How wrong I was.
What I discovered was a seething cesspit of backstabbing, ego’s, jealousy and personal greed coupled with a great sense of injustice bitterly felt by both sides after almost four decades of mismanagement and distrust.
None of this will be solved easily and will no doubt take many years to finally lay to rest.
That will require open, and totally honest input from everybody who has a direct involvement, which I am confident will never happen as there is still much to be gained from the endless suspicion and accusations from both sides.
I was duped, I feel I was used by one or more persons who’s side I supported which led to the recent online attacks on my reputation and the altogether more worrying attempts to place my home and family in very real danger.
I have never intended to write about what I call the ‘Curse of Bryn Estyn,’ but I have now gathered enough material to confidently tell an altogether different story.
Maybe enough for a book if the truth is told, but that will be only when I decide and will be something that I shall have complete control over.
That is the only thing I am entirely sure of.