Friday, February 7, 2003

Father Tolkien Revisited

A reader sent along the following that he found posted on a newsgroup. It calls into question the veracity of the claims against Father Tolkien.

Öjevind Lång wrote:
"The British police declared they had enough evidence to have him prosecuted. They only refrained from doing so because he suffered from dementia."

The article that this is based on is full of oddities. Read it again carefully.

The only person named as an accuser is Mr. Carrie. I have searched several papers online. None of them name other victims, and none of them seem to have spoken with other victims. And yet the Sunday Mercury reports Mr. Carrie's claims that there must be a hundred victims, and asserts in the second paragraph that these victims numbered in the "dozens". Yet there are no names and the paper doesn't claim to have talked to any of these victims other than Mr. Carrie:

On the other hand, when the police investigated this in 2002, they were investigating only a few possible victims ("in the low single

Of course even one victim is heinous, but if one plaintiff alleges a hundred victims with no evidence, it makes me wonder if he is being
honest in his other claims as well.

The most bizarre part of the story is this. Mr. Carrie, now 57 years old, claims that in mid-1994 he had a conversation with the
77-year-old Fr Tolkien. He claims that Fr. Tolkien didn't deny the abuse. Indeed, says Carrie, their conversation was so friendly that
he entertained hopes that he and Fr. Tolkien might co-author a book giving the perspective of the abuser and the abused. On the other
hand, Fr. Tolkien's story to the police that same day was that Mr. Carrie tried to blackmail him.

Blackmail? Well, one thing that is certain is that Fr. Tolkien has lots of money. The reason I bring this up is that on the victim's own
website he actually accuses _two_ sons of J.R.R. Tolkien of abuse. The two brothers have never worked in the same city (according to the victim's own website). But what they _do_ have in common is they are both heirs to one of the largest literary fortunes of the 20th century.

I don't want to jump to conclusions that this is a lie -- the last year certainly has taught us not to do that! But the abuse cases
we've seen in the past year usually involve one priest and several victims. Here we have two abusers -- both very rich -- and one
victim. Plus, according to Mr. Carrie, 99 other unnamed victims.

And here's one more bizarre angle. Supposedly Fr. Tolkien abused this man in 1956, when he was ten. I would think that a victim in this situation wouldn't want to read the novels of his abuser's father. And yet this victim not only has read J.R.R. Tolkien's books, but has used a Middle-earth theme all through his own webpage, with cute little "Gollum" comments, as well as using a Middle-earth theme in his self-published book (which is named Klone'It, a Tolkien anagram with cutesy punctuation).

I certainly hope the authorities investigate these charges. But based on the evidence so far, I am not convinced.

Update-December 2006:

From Mr. Carrie:

I am determined the story will be known and to that end I have published it free to read on my web site.

I invite you to visit my site, download the now 18 chapters.

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