FFF 2015 Day 10 Pervert Park

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A Hard Hitting Documentary That Poses Questions Difficult to Answer

A Hard Hitting Documentary That Poses Questions Difficult to Answer

Mrs. LanceAround and I decide to end our 2015 FFF by watching the documentary Pervert Park. After 10 days of intense film watching, mostly documentaries, this film provided a powerful ending to a fantastic film festival.

This well made documentary centers around a trailer park in St. Petersburg, FL, just down the road from Orlando, that houses people who are registered sex offenders. The range of sex offenses causing someone to be registered are many and varied.

One offender was a very young man who was invited to have sex, online, with a 30 year old woman. He was gung-ho, until the woman encouraged him to include her 14 year old daughter. According to him, the woman continued to insist until he agreed, with one sentence, to perform a sex act with the 14 year old. When he showed up, he discovered it was an undercover sting operation. Bang. He’s now labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life.

On the other end of the spectrum was the woman who was encouraged to have sex with her father when she was very young. She then claims she had an un-consenting abortion and was told she couldn’t have children. She did have an unexpected pregnancy and gave birth to a son. When her son was eight, at the encouragement of a man who promised he would send her money and solve her problems, she had sex with her own son. Her son went on to sexually abuse another relative. It was heart wrenching to see her tearfully discuss what even she describes as the inconceivable and admittedly repulsive desire to continue to have sex with her father and then with anyone she could have sex with, including her own son. A competent therapist may have helped her to understand that when a young prepubescent child is forced into sexual acts with an adult who is meant to protect them, it is very common to emotionally intertwine the sex act as the way to express and receive affection. Unfortunately, there was never any therapist to help her work through these difficult and complex issues.

Normally, LanceAroundOrlando does not like to discuss such adult themes in graphic detail on a family oriented blogsite. But we believe this is an important social issue that needs to be examined. On the one hand, those branded as sex offenders are often tossed aside by our society. The trailer park in the movie showed numerous examples of vandalism and ill will sent in their direction, including a resident who found a bag of dead rats thrown into his laundry. On the other hand, repeat sex offenders can have difficulty controlling the illegal activities in which they engage. No one wants to see someone else abused, especially when the abuser had been caught once already.

Ironically, the movie reveals that not even the sex offenders want someone to be abused. The film showed some brutal honesty. Offenders readily admit their crime and express tearful remorse. Most offenders are following a pattern of abuse that began when they were abused and continues to trickle down. Group therapy sessions in the movie explore the dynamic of low self esteem which many offenders admit is a big contributor to their issues.

During this movie, the group therapist who works with many of the residents at the trailer park highlights the downhill spiral that keeps these people from finding redemption. They are branded for life. Many have to be on expensive probation programs, wear bracelets that greatly restrict their movements and have draconian rules which make it almost impossible to find a place to live, work or play. In short, they have nowhere to go and nothing to do. Understandably, no one wants the sex offender in their backyard. Ironically, this attitude tends to create the dynamics that make it even harder to address this issue. Should we simply kill them? Put them away for life? Ship them to a deserted island? No doubt, there are many in our society who believe we should do these things, even if they have the social skills to refrain from saying so out loud.

The person who founded the trailer park spoke about how she became passionate about this issue when her “perfect” son made that one mistake 20 years ago and wound up in the position that everyone in the trailer park finds themselves. She looks at the camera and asks the documentarian, who is off camera, if she has a child. Upon acknowledgement, she asks if the child is perfect. Of course. So was hers, until he made that “one” mistake.

The movie ends with the most dramatic and powerful credits in any movie I have ever seen. In place of normal credits, the screen shows the webpage of each person who appeared in the movie. A webpage that anyone in the world can easily access. It reveals their name, alias, last know address and the crime they committed. The laws of our country require this webpage to be available for all to see. LanceAroundOrlando fully understands the desire to protect our society. We understand the good intentions of those who create these laws. But the unintended consequences of publicly branding criminals has repercussions that cannot be easily dismissed. We know this is a topic with hard questions and no easy answers. The fact that I have spent this entire blogpost looking at this issue and did not spend it highlighting the filming techniques, directorial choices and/or cinematography is a testament to just how well done this film is. It was so good, it forced us to focus on the issue in the film and not on how the film was created. It is very powerful. I highly recommend it.

An earlier movie at the FFF had a father whose black son was killed by a white man at a gas station for playing loud music. This grieving father talked about the issue of our American society which has 5% of the world’s population yet has 25% of the world’s prisoners. Many of these prisoners are minorities from disadvantaged backgrounds. What makes matters worse is that the prisons in this country are, more and more, being run by for-profit corporations who promise 90% occupancy and a profit back to the governmental agency that contracts with the prison company. In other words, we are now using prisons for profit and dropping any pretense of using our incarceration system as a means for rehabilitation, education and healing. The black father identified this dynamic as a way our society is fueling racism. However, the same statistics highlight a concurrent problem that exists with anyone who comes in contact with our justice system, such as these sex offenders. We do not do enough to seek ways to help people find rehabilitation and redemption.

Lastly, for those who read this blog post and are upset with Mrs. LanceAround and I for bringing more light to these issues, I will give you one final piece of information to consider: I, myself, was sexually abused when I was younger by a man named Frank Fimiano. (I have vowed to myself that I will never reveal this information without also revealing the name of the person who abused me–so I fully understand the desire to publicly brand the offender–Am I trying to punish him or protect others from him? That’s the devil I live with every day.) And I know full well how it is to feel intense hatred towards someone who abuses an innocent person. Still, my better angels tell me there must be some way to find rehabilitation and redemption.

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20 Responses to “FFF 2015 Day 10 Pervert Park”

  1. Hal Says:

    Came across this article while doing some research – I, too, was sexually abused by a man named Frank Fimiano. I would like to discuss some things further if you are willing.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Hal:

      Thanks for joining the conversation. So sorry to hear that you were also a survivor of Frank Fimiano. Perhaps there is some consolation in knowing you are not alone. I have spoken with many men who were traumatized by this person; including my best friend Darrel Brubaker who took his own life.

      Of course I would be honored to have the opportunity to speak with you and listen to your story.

  2. Elliot Says:

    I too was abused by Frank Fomiano in the early 1980s. I saw that you are from SE PA, as am I. I also read that you went on to study psychodrama. I went to Frank because he was a psychotherapist. I’d like to talk to you. E

  3. Larry Cronin Says:

    I can be added to the list as well. He kept busy didn’t he. Does anyone know more of his whereabouts? Has he passed away? He should be rather old by now.

  4. Boo Boo Says:

    Well you can add one more to the list, very surprised to see these posts after all of these years. This occurred back in the middle 70s to me. I’m curious as to how many, and saddened I didn’t stop it then.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Boo Boo: Welcome to a club no one wants to be in! Over the years, I have discovered many young men and boys who, like me, have been sexually abused by Frank Fimiano. If you don’t mind, please drop me a private email. I would like to speak with you some more, if you’re comfortable talking. Most of the people I know who were abused by Frank Fimiano were abused in the early to mid 80’s. An abuse in the 70’s is very disturbing as it demonstrates that the circle is even wider than we realize. LanceAround@FloridaDreamHomes.com.

      • booboo18069 Says:

        Hi, you can use BooBoo18069@yahoo.com my other email addresses use my full name and I’d rather not share at this point. 

        WordPress.com |

        LanceAround commented: “Hi Boo Boo: Welcome to a club no one wants to be in! Over the years, I have discovered many young men and boys who, like me, have been sexually abused by Frank Fimiano. If you don’t mind, please drop me a private email. I would like to speak with you some” | | Respond to this comment by replying above this line |

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        | New comment on Lance Around Orlando | |

        | | | LanceAround commented on FFF 2015 Day 10 Pervert Park. in response to Boo Boo: Well you can add one more to the list, very surprised to see these posts after all of these years. This occurred back in the middle 70s to me. I’m curious as to how many, and saddened I didn’t stop it then. Hi Boo Boo: Welcome to a club no one wants to be in! Over the years, I have discovered many young men and boys who, like me, have been sexually abused by Frank Fimiano. If you don’t mind, please drop me a private email. I would like to speak with you some more, if you’re comfortable talking. LanceAround@FloridaDreamHomes.com. | Reply |    Comments |

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  5. Elliot Says:

    Such a triggering story to me and everyone abused by Frank Fimiano.

    #MeToo

  6. Jeff Keck Says:

    Hey Lance,
    The movement has begun. I just let the management company of his HOA, which he is the director of, that he is and was a child molester. The person I spoke with was very concerned and wanted a lot of info which I was happy to provide. Pending review, and hopefully them reaching out to me, a letter will be sent by the management company to ALL of the residents of the community in which he lives.
    If this does not happen, I personally will deliver letters to everyone in his community about what a POS FF really is. I’m also, after the letters go out, planning on getting the local press involved.
    I will also be knocking on the front door of his residence to let him know that we’ve got him!!!
    I just got two more people from Wissahickon to come forward and admit to the abuse they suffered at the hands of FF.
    Now is the time for all of us to stand up and be recognized!!!!! The more victims I am aware of, the more ammo I have to get the police to open an investigation into him. With any luck, they’ll get ahold of his computer, which I’m sure has mucho incriminating evidence on it.
    Sorry for the delay, but the time to strike is now!!!

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Jeff:

      Thanks for your courage in being willing to come forward. I think it can be difficult for people who have never been sexually abused to understand why it can sometimes take decades to be able to share the story of our abuse. It can also be difficult to understand all the conflicting emotions and the need for support and guidance.

      There is no question that Frank Fimiano should face the consequences for all the damage his actions have caused. Know that I stand with you in your attempts to seek justice. For myself, I do my best to approach the situation with thoughtful compassion for all involved. Compassion that does not preclude justice, rather, encourages it to the fullest extent in an effort to bring healing.

      For Frank to continue to be in positions of leadership and influence is unconscionable. You are right to work towards correcting this and I am here to help.

      Please pass along my contact information to the two survivors who have had the courage to come forward and let them know they are welcome to join our group we have formed to help all of us who have been abused by Frank Fimiano. They may contact me, privately if they prefer, through this blog.

      • Bruce Says:

        HI, wanted you to know I too have contacted the board at the location that Frank lives. I indicated his backround and why they would keep such a person on the board. Last I checked nothing changed and I didn’t get a response from them. I stand with you and happy to assist where I can.

      • LanceAround Says:

        Hi BooBoo:

        There are too many people in this world who envision sexual predators as sleazy men walking around parks in trench coats with no clothing. Unfortunately, that would make them too easy to recognize.

        The reality is that many sexual predators are masters at giving the appearance of respectability. They are con artists of the highest order. Often, they have respectable jobs, such as guidance counselors, pastors, youth leaders. Sometimes they volunteer as church leaders, boy scout leaders, athletic coaches. This is where they prey upon unsuspecting victims. By appearing respectable, parents entrust their children to them. They are able to give the most convincing response if someone suggests they did something inappropriate. In some ways, it’s understandable how they get away with it. But once several survivors come forth, it is no longer understandable that people continue to believe and support them.

        It takes a lot of courage for someone who was not victimized to stand up these perverts. Often, the abuser is well respected leader. Many people find it difficult to believe that such a respected citizen would “do such a thing.”

        In the Academy Award winning film, Spotlight, which focused on this issue, the attorney gave this fabulous assessment: “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.” It is, unfortunately, so true.

        I have personally spoken to two people at the community where Frank Fimiano is president of the HOA. Each conversation was over an hour long. Each time the person on the phone was adamant by the end of the conversation that they now believed that Frank was an abuser. One of them then went on to say that they were not willing to do anything further because they were afraid of being sued. They requested that I have no further contact with them. The other said that he would no longer be friends with Frank but he was not willing to do anything beyond that. I don’t know what the truth is? Do they REALLY believe Frank is an abuser? If so, then how can they possibly stay silent. How can anyone know that someone in their community abuses people and stay silent??? The reality is, for many, many reasons people do.

        In my experience, dealing with this issue is a battle and not unlike medieval days. You storm the castle gate by hitting it repeatedly with a battering ram. While you are doing this, supporters inside the castle are shooting arrows and pouring hot oil on you. They are suggesting you are lying, they are defending the abuser, they do everything in their power to smear you. But if you keep battering, eventually the castle gate will fall and the scum inside will scatter like cockroaches.

        Thank you, so much, for the battering you are doing.

        And thanks for standing with us. We really need that.

        I hope some day you will send me a private email so I can know who you are and we can talk about this in person. But not until you’re ready.

        LanceAround

        PS: I have a list of people and organizations that I contacted about Frank who said they would, “get back to” me and who never did. I have come to understand that these people hold a degree of culpability for what has happen and, worse, what then continues to happen. While I understand their difficult position, I have little respect for them. They are the enablers of the village who allow the abuse to continue. And if you (I’m not referring to you BooBoo) if you recognize yourself as you read this–know that it’s not too late to do something. Send me an email, I have a thousand suggestions for how you can help. Call the Board at Frank’s HOA and ask them what they are going to do. Write a letter of support to the survivors and let us know you are standing with us. This is a very long, hard and difficult road. We really need your help.

  7. gbmiller56 Says:

    I’m so sad to read about the number of you abused by Frank Fimiano. Darrell Brubaker was a friend of mine, and his death often haunts me. I was part of the church where Darrell and Frank knew each other, but I had married and left that church by the time the incidents occurred (as far as I know). I think of the way Frank worked with youth and the trust and access he had within the congregation. It’s often been a cautionary story for me. I was absolutely shocked when I heard the back story of what happened to Darrell. I’m so sorry the church failed you and others.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation and for your compassionate words. I’m sorry to hear that Darrel’s death still haunts you. It does me as well.

      Unfortunately, you were part of the church when Frank was sexually abusing. We now know about sexual abuse that occurred during the time Frank was involved in the “Let Youth Begin” and “Let Youth Decide” youth conferences which took place in French Lick, Indiana. We know Frank was abusing people who were part of the Wissahickon School district, the Pennridge School district, The Souderton School district, Messiah College, the Brethren in Christ Church, The Horsham Clinic, his “Action Insights” business–and these are just the ones that have been confirmed. As more and more survivors come forward, we are understanding the scope gets larger and larger.

      For those who don’t know, the “back story” you refer to regarding Darrel Brubaker has to do with how the Brethren in Christ Church leadership responded to Darrel when he attempted to help those who were abused by Frank Fimiano. At the time, Darrel was a minister in the BiC church. For Darrel, it wasn’t as much Frank’s abuse as it was the leadership of the BiC church instructing him to not assist those who were abused that led to his downward spiral into depression and suicide. It breaks my heart to recall being with him when he was in so much distress.

      It is very thoughtful of you to understand that the church failing us is, in many ways, as devastating as the abuse by Frank. I’m willing to share my own story about that, if you are interested in hearing it.

      I hope you don’t mind if I contact you. If you are open to it, I would like to speak with you personally.

      Many thanks for reaching out.

      LanceAround

  8. genechase Says:

    The fellow who posts here as Larry Cronin just told me about this website last night. LanceAroundOrlando, I appreciate you! Darrell’s parents left the BIC for 12 yrs because of how the leadership dealt with Frank. Although they returned to the BIC, they are still hurting. As recently as a few weeks ago, they asked me to transfer a sermon of Darrell’s from audio tape to digital file, so that they could share the sermon more widely. I’ve moved to the apartments where Darrell’s parents live. I see them every day. I still have your email address. I’ll send you an email in a week or so. Love, Gene

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Gene: You have been a good and faithful friend to Larry and I for so many years. Thanks for joining this conversation. I saw Darrel’s parents when I attended Dave Zook’s funeral two years ago. Yes, they are still hurting. It’s understandable. Please say hi to them from Mrs. LanceAround and Myself the next time you see them. Can’t wait to get your email. Can you please email me a copy of Darrel’s sermon as well. Thanks so much. LanceAround

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