+612 9045 4394
 
CHECKOUT
The Priests - James M. Miller

Paperback

Published: 25th July 2016
In Stock. Ships in 1-2 business days from Australia
RRP $34.99
$26.95
23%
OFF
if ordered within

James Miller grew up in Newcastle. He attended Pius X secondary College in 1978. He was keen surfer and gifted academically, which drew the attentions of the Principal, Father Brennan, and his deputy, Father Helferty. Aided by his deputy, Brennan found many occasions in which he asked to see James alone, and then sexually abused him, transforming James's naturally sunny easy-going disposition into one wracked with self-loathing and shame.

Confused and bewildered by what was happening to him, James began drinking and secretly self-harming. Any thoughts about telling what had happened to him were abandoned after he left school and married Kate, discovering too late that she was Brennan's niece. With the family connection now firmly established Brennan used subtle - and not so subtle - forms of mental and emotional intimidation to blackmail and threaten James into keeping his silence.

His only plan to escape was to become so successful that he would be out of the clutches of these predatory men. He became a barrister, moved to Sydney and joined a prestigious law firm. However his internal life was a wreck. He was terrified someone would find out what had happened to him, and his marriage crumbled. He also developed a serious substance abuse problem.

Out of the blue he was contacted by another former student of St Pius, asking him to appear as a witness in his lawsuit against Father Brennan for sexual abuse. James had now become such a successful barrister that his evidence would be highly regarded.

James was horrified. He knew that if he appeared at the court case, he would be forced to reveal what happened to him. Worse, he was then contacted by the Father Brennan himself, who in an act of Machiavellian manipulation asked for James' help to defend him.

James became very distressed and had a breakdown, eventually losing his job and becoming homeless, before finding the internal fortitude to resurrect himself and his life. The implied threats and the potential for blackmail from Father Brennan first kept James in Newcastle and then silenced him from speaking out. In 2015 he began a lawsuit against the Newcastle-Maitland Diocese. In writing this memoir, he is speaking out on behalf of victims of institutional abuse everywhere, giving them a voice, and giving them hope that they can be heard and have their hurt acknowledged.

About the Author

James Miller, formerly an academic and a barrister, lives in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. He is available for interviews.

WRITE A REVIEW

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.3

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Informative (4)
  • Easy to read (3)
  • Well written (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Reference (4)
  • Older readers (3)

Reviewed by 6 customers

Displaying reviews 1-6

Back to top

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The only book I have read twice in years

By 

from Newcastle

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Informative
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Reference

    The Catholic dioceses of Newcastle/Maitland and Ballarat vie for supremacy in clerical abuse in Australia. Add to that the abuse within the Newcastle Anglican diocese and it's not hard to see why the region is arguably further ahead than anywhere else in the country. Not a proud record.

    This is one man's story of his life following abuse by his headmaster as a gifted teenager in a local Catholic high school.

    If you find it hard to understand why many victims wait years or never disclose what has happened to them as young people, this book may give you insights you haven't previously had. If you don't understand why their journey through life is troubled and wasted listen to James tell his story. A journey that wasn't helped by finding, well established in a relationship with a young woman whom he loved and married, that she was a close relative of his abuser. A young woman with whom he could not share his secret. This is a guy who ended up a clever barrister - a profession from which he was subsequently disbarred - whilst battling against a desire to throw it all away and jump off a roof. Driving his despair was a string of failed relationships with women.

    As a Newcastle Anglican, one inevitably has a sense of identification with James that's based on shared geography. And the experience he shares with our own Bishop of never disclosing his abuse as a young man until late in mid-life.

    I also listened to James tell his story on ABC radio and was moved to tears wondering how life could have been so different for this highly intelligent man. He was lucky though in some respects. A terrific set of parents and good friends who have supported him since he told his story. One cannot but help to wish him well as he continues to struggle with his demons.

    There are few books I have read twice. This is one of them.

     
    4.0

    Could not put it down

    By 

    from NSW, Aus

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Pros

    • Easy To Read
    • Informative
    • Page-Turner

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Reference

      As I work in a field that regularly deals with child sex abuse cases, I was interested to read of a victim's (I hate that word!) experiences, about how these vile acts impact the psyche of an individual, particularly the developing psyche. The first book I've read in a very long time that I could not put down. I read it in one day, a feat, given I have 4.5 year old twins! But I could not put it down. The first 30/40-odd pages are confronting and difficult to read. But I was very interested in what followed the abuse. ie. how Mr Miller dealt with what had happened to him. At time his behaviour is frustrating to read about, its self destructive; but this read will go some way to helping me understand what the victims I deal with, go through psychologically, and what a couple of men in my life have gone through. The basis of their hurtful behaviours. When I finished reading, my first thought was, "how's he (Miller) doing now."....

       
      4.0

      How to ruin a life

      By 

      from Newcastle,NSW, Australia

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Engaging characters
      • Informative
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Older Readers
        • Reference

        Newcastle has been shattered by revelations of the extent of institutionalised sexual abuse within Anglican and Catholic churches over the last decade. This is one man's story of what happened to him as a teenager at a Catholic school back in the 70s - the powerlessness to stop the abuse, the shame, the impact on his relationships with women, the influence it had on his development into adulthood, the guilt associated with a secret that was hidden for 40 years. The fact that he was academically bright did nothing to protect him - indeed it may have increased his vulnerability. It is well written. One senses we meet the real James warts and all. For any who still doubt the lifelong impact of sexual abuse perpetrated by those in positions of trust, this could shatter your complacency. Highly recommended.

         
        5.0

        This is not a review of the book as I purchased it as a gift

        By 

        from NSW Australia

        About Me Casual Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • The recipient couldn't put it down!

        Cons

          Best Uses

            I used it as a gift having heard the author interviewed on Radio.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Good book

            By 

            from Gosnells Western Australia

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Read
            • Informative
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers
              • Reference

              This book is an indightment against the power of authority and against the oxymoron of a Priestley paedophile!!

              (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              The Priests

              By 

              from Minlaton

              About Me Casual Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Read

              Cons

              • Disappointing

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers

              I am a casual reader and an old person who will not accept words and phrases used by the 'moderns'. There is no need for this. I bought the book because there is so much talk about abuse and I was interested in what he would have to say. I would certainly not pass it on to anyone even given that he gave his life story.

              Displaying reviews 1-6

              Back to top

              ISBN: 9781925048667
              ISBN-10: 1925048667
              Audience: General
              Format: Paperback
              Language: English
              Number Of Pages: 256
              Published: 25th July 2016
              Publisher: Finch Publishing
              Country of Publication: AU
              Dimensions (cm): 22.0 x 16.5  x 1.9
              Weight (kg): 0.3