Common threads between Brett Kavanaugh and me: predatory behavior and the Catholic church

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore addressing the sex abuse crisis affecting the church will not vote on actions as originally planned at the "insistence" of the Vatican. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)

I grew up in the tony suburbs of Washington, D.C. — the moneyed, preppy, elite, entitled bedroom communities of Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Potomac — wreaking havoc in the '80s just down the street from Columbia Country Club, where, allegedly, the young Christine Blasey Ford swam that fateful summer day, pre-gathering, pre-groping, pre-assault.

I attended the all-girls school there, Immaculata Prep. Though I never hung out with Brett Kavanaugh and his buddy Mark Judge, I partied with the boys from Gonzaga and Georgetown Prep. Like Brett, I was the captain and star of the basketball team, maybe surpassed him on the court — being a Washington Post First team All-Metropolitan selection, and receiving full basketball scholarships to Stanford, Notre Dame and Maryland. I, too, worked my ass off to get what I got and had a full summer calendar.


And, I was an instigator of trouble, a master of secrets. I probably engaged in as much sexual acting out as Brett and Mark, if you give credence to their misogynistic Georgetown Prep yearbook boasting.

Several incidents outlined in court documents, analyzed in a Baltimore Sun investigation, indicate that Catholic officials were aware of John Merzbacher's sexual abuse of students in the 1970s but did not report it until he was criminally investigated in the 1990s.

As the youngest of 13 children, I suffered sexual abuse by several of my older brothers, starting at age nine. My parents — a submissive mother and a domineering father with a "boys will be boys" attitude — were complicit in fostering a culture of abuse, denial and secrets.


When one is sexually traumatized as a child, one generally becomes either extremely passive or highly predatory. I hated being dominated, resented my brothers' entitlement to use me and loathed my inability to stop them. By high school, I began modeling my brothers' predatory behavior — preferring power to passivity. I seduced classmates who barely knew about sex. I used my power and status to "score," dumped girlfriend after girlfriend when someone else caught my eye. I sexualized them, cheated on them.

I am not proud of my teen-aged self, but I do see a common thread between Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and me — one that might explain much of our behaviors (mine admitted, theirs alleged). We were all raised in a culture steeped in secrets, lies and hypocrisy: the Catholic Church.

State authorities are investigating how the Archdiocese of Baltimore has handled allegations of sexual abuse through the decades. And the current archbishop, William E. Lori, says officials are supportive of the effort and plan to cooperate. Pardon me if I'm not convinced

Today, Brett attends Blessed Sacrament — the parish where my devout family was groomed to be "good" Catholics and keep secrets. The place where my Catholic school teacher, a woman, carried on an illicit three-year affair with me.

How much sexual acting out happens under the nose of the Catholic Church as well as by its clergy and educators? How does a Jesuit school not teach something better than what exists so blatantly in its yearbooks?

I know why I became who I was in high school. I've done much internal work and been transparent about the sexual abuse. I've also owned my bad behavior, even writing a memoir. I've transformed my life of secrets and lies by bringing it out of the shadows. And that's where this Devil's Triangle of Brett, Mark and me becomes incongruous. They are still hiding out.

a group of Roman Catholics rallies in the rain outside the Baltimore Basilica in response to the sexual abuse scandal, demanding action and reform by the church. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)

When Ms. Ford's allegations became public, Brett Kavanaugh hid behind his calendar and his service at the soup kitchen. Secrets and lies don't preclude good deeds, but they do shroud the bad ones. Brett's lack of compassion for anyone but himself could not have been more apparent.

Mark Judge may have written books about being wasted as a teenager, but when asked to discuss details of whom he may have harmed, Mark remained silent rather than being a transformative role model, rather than carrying a recovered alcoholic's message of changed behavior.

What happened to these Catholic boys? Who taught them this attitude, this way of being, this mindset toward women?

President Trump turned the swearing in ceremony of Brett Kavanaugh into a political event by offering an "apology" to him and his family over his treatment during the confirmation hearings, where Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault.

No institution has more mastery over keeping secrets and denying responsibility than the Catholic Church. What other organization would step over the epidemic rape of children to save face in order to hold onto their image, power and money? Brett, Mark and I came by our dishonest ways honestly, the Catholic Church was our teacher, our heavenly father on earth.

The Catholic Church has been complicit in a misogynistic attitude while grooming its boys in particular to turn a blind eye on their bad behavior much the same as the Church has turned a blind eye on thousands of predatory priests and their victims. Until the Catholic Church comes clean and steps out of the shadows, why should Brett or Mark or anyone whom it schooled tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help them God?

Tina Alexis Allen is an actress, screenwriter and author. She may be reached at tina@tinaalexisallen.com.

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