2 out of 4 stars
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Creed of Vengeance is authored by Aubrey Dasher. The book depicts several dimensions of the battle between good and evil. It describes the physical and emotional violence inflicted by a few Catholic priests who sexually abuse children in their care. In retaliation, the victims and their supporters form the Circle Ten Club (CTC). They are inspired by Dante’s Inferno, which has nine concentric circles of hell for various vices, and they add a tenth circle for pedophilia. The members offer two options to a priest (Fr. Damon) appointed by the Vatican to investigate the matter in their diocese. These consist of an “alive deal" and a “dead deal" including a series of brutal corporal punishments and compensation to the victims. Paul Garceau is elected president of the CTC. His son and daughter (Remy and Eva) have been abused by priests. LeRoy is their uncle who was repeatedly abused as a child. Other members include an ex-priest (called Preacher) defrocked after being caught in the sexual act with a woman. He was fed up of his vocation.
I am intrigued by Preacher’s membership in the CTC. Surprisingly, other members are involved in sexual immorality too. The plot contains a lot of ambiguity about morality in general. Fr. Damon gets involved in a sexual relationship but becomes a bishop. One finds victims of abuse developing a love-hate relationship with their abusers. They have psychological issues because of the trauma they have experienced. Remy looks up to Bp. Arnaud (a pedophile who is trapped by the CTC, incarcerated, released, and acts as an accomplice in the crime again) to teach him shamanic practices that he learns in prison. He is also LeRoy’s abuser and develops a weird philosophy of Jesus’ suffering. Remy and the bishop have “Dreamtime” journeys to the astral world. During one such trip, they meet a beast who identifies himself as Emperor Nero, a persecutor of Christians in ancient Rome. He explains how he guides abused boys to enter the priesthood and commit the same crimes.
The plot has an unnecessary development with Remy going to Iraq. He encounters a few imprisoned pedophiles, and they too are brutally punished near the Garden of Eden. When he is back home, his son falls prey to a pedophile. One is surprised to find the family still practicing Catholicism and history repeating itself. Why would a victim of abuse allow his child to be exposed to a similar situation? On several occasions, the author seems to be trying to entertain his readers with graphic sexuality and violent scenes that are unrealistic. The story seems to be a psychological thriller. It is moderately paced, but the development of its characters is very poor.
I selected this book out of curiosity because it concerns the evil of pedophilia. Firstly, I expected it to be informative about the dark secrets as well as the psychological dynamics of sexual abuse and its cover-up in the Catholic Church. Secondly, I thought the author was motivated by a desire for social justice and the eradication of this evil. Indeed, he tries to go to the roots of child abuse, tracing it back to history when the Church was institutionalized and influenced by pagan licentiousness in Rome. The points are worth reflecting upon; however, they drain one’s energy. I felt so disturbed with the contents (including graphic scenes of sexuality, abuse, and brutal killings) that I had to spend an entire day in meditation before writing this review. Finally, I wonder whether this book is a tragedy or a comedy. Aubrey Dasher seems to be making a mockery of Catholics and Catholicism. This is what I most dislike about the novel. The author’s motivation for writing is unclear.
For all the reasons described above, I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I did not give it a lower rating because pedophilia is a social concern. There are a few grammatical errors, but they are not distracting. Except for the first chapter on “gator hunting,” I did not enjoy reading Creed of Vengeance. Nevertheless, it may appeal to victims of pedophilia (who are now adults) and their dear ones. It may not be suitable for readers who are averse to graphic sexuality and violence. It is certainly not meant for children.
Creed of Vengeance
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