Twelve-year-old Lloyd looked up to Father Carlisle. The priest was an expert sportsman and a friend of Lloyd’s father. He seemed like someone Lloyd could trust. So in the early 1970s when Carlisle offered to give Lloyd some treatment for his damaged legs, Lloyd gratefully accepted.
Some days later Lloyd and his dad went out to Carlisle’s residence in suburban Melbourne. They sat in the kitchen for a while, exchanging small talk with Carlisle and another man. Then Carlisle took Lloyd into the next room where there was a massage table set up.
‘He directed me to take my pants off down to my underwear and lay on the table. At that point I watched him reach up and slide a lock across the door as he said not to worry about screaming as the room was soundproof and my dad would not hear me scream.
‘I was horrified and felt totally trapped and helpless. He told me that the guy in the other room … had the ability to kill Dad if he wished. At this point I was terrified and did not know what to do. He started to rub my legs and this became more and more painful as he started to gouge his knuckles down along the bone. This was the most painful experience I have ever had in my life.’
At some point Carlisle switched from gouging to gentle stroking. He then pushed his finger into Lloyd’s anus several times.
‘I thought “What has this got to do with anything about my legs?” I was too scared to flinch or say anything so I justified to myself that it must be necessary and it would end soon … I cannot remember everything as I seemed to go into a trance where I disconnected from what was happening and I only recall snippets of what happened.
‘He then told me that I had to forget everything that had happened or he would kill me and my father. He had a very calm, soft tone but with a real undertone that was so threatening. He then told me to get dressed and we were done.’
Lloyd could barely walk but he made it out to the car with his dad. When they were some distance away Lloyd asked his dad never to take him back to Carlisle again.
‘My legs were sore for days after but I never showed my parents as I was too scared to. I never did see him again but unfortunately this incident was the most destructive thing in my life and the damage done can never be replaced.’
In his younger years, Lloyd tried to block out all memories of the abuse. Unfortunately he succeeded only in shoving the memories down into his subconscious where they began to control his behaviour and wreak havoc on his life.
‘I lost the desire to study and had this underlying sadness in me. I started experimenting with alcohol not long after and found myself getting into trouble a bit. This then stopped because I had this incredible fear of getting caught at anything, as I was so scared of punishment …
‘I remember being so sad that I saw a [tradesman] one day with a big smile and decided to become a [tradesman] just looking for happiness. This was much to the disgust of my parents and schoolteachers who said I had so much more potential. What I was really doing was hiding from this guy and I remember thinking that if I was a tradie out in the eastern suburbs he would never find me.
‘My whole career path was set in motion by this guy. My personal life was never great and I had real self-worth issues. I was always trying to be something I was not and always sabotaging my life any time I started to get anywhere, as I never wanted this guy to notice me and find me.’
Lloyd got married and had kids ‘but the whole thing was a front and I was never happy’. The marriage ended in divorce and from there Lloyd went through a string of jobs and came close to ‘financial ruin’ many times.
All the while, Lloyd had no idea why his life was so fraught. Then one day when he was in his early 50s he booked a session with a massage therapist. When the therapist touched his legs ‘the emotion all came to the surface. I could not believe what was coming out of me and how the memory of what had happened kept flooding back’.
Lloyd did some research and discovered that Carlisle was in jail. ‘It was at that point that I started to realise that he was no threat to me anymore. This guy couldn’t hurt me.’ More memories came back. Lloyd contacted police and made a statement. He would have pushed the matter further but Carlisle died – ‘rotting in jail where he belongs’.
Lloyd disclosed the abuse to his dad. He didn’t go into any detail but it was still a brutal revelation.
‘He got coached-in by this very manipulative guy and handed me on a silver platter to one of Australia’s worst ever paedophiles and said “Here’s my son”. Can you imagine what that’s doing to him? My dad’s just in hell at the moment … He’s livid. He’s absolutely furious over it. In one way it’s brought us a little closer together.’
Lloyd also contacted the support group Broken Rites who, at the time of his session with the Royal Commission, were helping him to approach the Catholic Church.
‘And I know I’m never going to get compensated fairly for it. I understand that. I just don’t ever want to see it happen to anyone again. I would never wish upon my worst enemy what happened to me. These people have got to be brought to justice.’