Lyndon spent the first three years of his life in a Sydney orphanage before being adopted by a couple in the 1960s. His adoptive father had been persecuted during WWII and had many unresolved issues. ‘Basically he would ignore me or hit me, mistreat me. Even though he was a good, decent man to everyone else, he just had an issue with me. He adopted another boy and my brother was looked favourably upon.’
Lyndon was sent to the local Catholic primary school and then later to a Patrician Brothers college. Although he was a good student, his achievements were never enough for his father. By the time he was a teenager, the problems at home, coupled with the revelation he was adopted, caused him considerable distress. In an attempt to make sense of his world, Lyndon expressed an interest in joining the priesthood. It was during a retreat for priests in training that he met Father Hiscoe.
‘I was pretty much confused. I had discovered I was adopted, began fantasising who my mother was and found it difficult making friends or relating to people. Home life was becoming really hard … I was becoming very much a troubled child. I had a suicide attempt at the age of 16, was generally very unhappy and it was something that no one seemed to pick up … That’s where Father Hiscoe enters the picture.’
Hiscoe took a special interest in Lyndon, who found him to be ‘a really nice man’. When the retreat was finished, Lyndon agreed to Hiscoe’s wish to maintain contact. It was during a subsequent conversation that Hiscoe quoted a popular song by saying ‘I wanna give you all my loving’. ‘Part of me was really “Wow, someone actually loves me” and part of me was “That’s really weird”. But as a 16 year old you think differently to how you do now.’
As the Christmas holidays approached, Hiscoe invited Lyndon and a group of his friends on a camping trip. During the trip, Lyndon revealed his concern about a pimple he had on his penis. ‘He said “Well, show me” … At the time I didn’t think anything of it but I did find it strange that a priest would ask me to show that part of my body … During that time he was buying me presents and doing all that nice things for me. And for me that attention was great because I wasn’t getting that from my father.’
Around this time, Lyndon was driven to a secluded spot by the deputy principal at his college, Bernard Lloyd, who attempted to molest him. Lyndon refused and although Lloyd pressured him, the incident did not progress any further.
When Lyndon was 18, Hiscoe invited him on a weekend break. This time it was just the two of them. ‘He asked me to sleep in his bed with him, which I said “No”. I didn’t sleep with anyone at that time.’ During the weekend, Hiscoe showed Lyndon some pornographic magazines which he claimed to have found in front of the house. The magazines were full of naked men, and Lyndon asked why Hiscoe was showing these to him. Hiscoe replied that he thought Lyndon would want to look at them. When Lyndon declined, Hiscoe threw the magazines in the fire. ‘That was about it. Nothing still clicked with me where this all might end up.’
Two years later, Lyndon agreed to let Hiscoe take him out to dinner. Lyndon had never tried wine and recalls Hiscoe pouring him glass after glass. Hiscoe then took the drunk Lyndon back to his place where he molested him. ‘After that, everything is kind of a blur … He did want me to sleep with him and I said “No” and I slept on the couch and the next day I was kind of in shock ‘cause I remembered what happened.’
Lyndon returned home and remembers ‘not being able to talk to anyone for a day’. He ‘just went out of my mind’.
Soon after this incident, Lyndon and Hiscoe began a sexual relationship. ‘Each time it happened I would feel really ashamed and I’d talk to him about this and he would go “No, it’s okay, it’s just men loving men. It’s normal”. It really confused me. I felt that my whole inside was just split in several areas of “I want this person to love me but this is what I’m doing and I can’t talk to anyone about this”.’
The relationship continued for some years, even after Lyndon’s marriage at which Hiscoe officiated.
‘Later he offered me $50,000 as a kind of incentive to continue to sleep with him. By this stage I had become addicted to Xanax. I was married and had children at the time and I’d gone through rehab and realised this all had to stop. I told my wife everything, my wife at the time, and then sent him a letter saying “I can no longer see you or engage in this sort of relationship”. I’ve never heard from him since.’
Not long afterwards, Lyndon’s wife left him and took the children. She pressured him to seek compensation from Towards Healing. After making a complaint, Lyndon was offered counselling while his ex-wife received $20,000 each from Towards Healing and Hiscoe, on the basis of the relationship’s impact on her and the children.
The counselling provided by Towards Healing proved to be inadequate and Lyndon became re-traumatised. He was later approached by the police in relation to the activities of both Hiscoe and Lloyd, but believes Hiscoe was dead by this time. Lyndon may still be used as a corroborating witness against Lloyd.
Lyndon never remarried. Although he has since found an excellent counsellor, he still continues to experience the lifelong impacts of the grooming he received as a child and the relationship with Hiscoe that followed. Now working with vulnerable children, Lyndon believes in the importance of speaking up about predators and the ‘need to continually be vigilant’.