By: Jake the Snake
Lee Ann Harper serves as the manager of the “Office of Youth Protection” for the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut. Sounds like a really important job and I guess in some respects it is. This office was created in response to the Catholic PRIEST sex abuse scandals, because… well, let’s ignore the priests and focus on regular married/single churchgoing volunteers. Yes, you read that right. If you sign up to join the Knights of Columbus—a non-profit men’s group whose purpose is to serve the church—you, not clergymen, must undergo a background check and get fingerprinted prior to being able to volunteer on church property. I found this idea somewhat objectionable because who ever heard of a crisis in Catholic Church volunteers and because KOC members hardly ever work with youth. Despite my misgivings about the need for such a review of my past—I had nothing to hide and was an officer in our local council—I complied with the request. This was four years ago.
I later found out that the results of said background check were sent to the local parish office, not the mothership in New Haven, Connecticut. I have major objections to this, as a close friend of mine was recently told by the parish office that he needed to be checked again because they lost his results. These folks in the parish office, are not Knights, we do not serve them, keep in mind the parish office or diocese (governing body of the Roman Catholic Church) have no jurisdiction over us.
This past year I moved into the important “Deputy Grand Knight Role.” In essence, a position comparable to the Vice President (the Grand Knight is the top dog). In this position, I also had to take the title of Family Director. Family Director is a largely symbolic position as we have an older parish. As a result, the Family Director does nothing as far as the church is concerned.
As a young single man with no family, I know my bounds. I NEVER volunteer at youth events nor volunteer my services to drive/chaperone. The parish office knows this… I do this because the optics look bad, and as a brother Knight, I took an oath to never bring scandal on the church, or our Supreme Pontiff (the Pope). I know my lane and I stay in it…it’s a symbolic position.
Given that the Family Director is just a symbolic position on the Knight’s generic org chart, I was surprised to find an email in my spam folder directing me to submit to a background check for this position, and of course I agreed.
This email was where issues began to turn ugly with the Knights. I found this out about 6 weeks later when I got an overnight FedEx letter stuck in my door. I opened said letter and it stated that due to my driving record, keep in mind my criminal record is clean, I was unfit to hold the position of Family Director and to contact this Lee Ann Harper to discuss my volunteering further.
Let me reiterate, the Knights of Columbus is a volunteer group, one which had no issue with my previous background checks. Again, this letter never specified which position I could not hold, and I hold a bunch of positions, as you will read later.
In response to the letter, I called the mothership and low and behold, Lee Ann was not working, so I spoke to her assistant. Said assistant was the definition of a re-moron (they can’t be classified as a retard or moron, so they get their own title) and I was told that my driving record makes me ineligible.
I hung up and sent Lee Ann an email, since she was out of town according to her hired help. She responded within 15 minutes, saying I could beg for my job back and she was so sorry this happened. This is the typical response of an incompetent Jackhole. First of all, her response was from New Haven, Connecticut according to my iPhone and second, I would never beg to keep my job in a volunteer group let alone a real job. Just to remind people, the background check was only required due to a ceremonial title, not a big deal.
Harper took matters as any other incompetent Jackhole would and decided to fire-off, yet another overnight FedEx envelop claiming I was unfit for the position and was removed as Family Director. You dunked on me pretty good sending this letter to our Grand Knight and Financial Secretary both of whom are great friends. I was embarrassed. Questions were asked, and again, I have no criminal record, not expunged or dismissed. I fielded calls from both men, and both were just as confused as I am. Your exact words in your ill-fated letter to my Grand Knight was that he was directly responsible to make sure I did not hold the position I took as Family Director. I could care less about symbolic positions that are in name only, what was interesting is the remark she made later in this letter “feel free to remain as a brother Knight and keep paying your dues.” Keep paying my dues, and remain as a Knight? Weird, kinda goes back to my other blogs here. The letter sent out by Lee Ann, essentially makes me out to be a person with pedophilia in my background, even though the “sins I committed” in their eyes lie in my driving record. Again, just to reiterate, I have no criminal record, and intentionally stay away from any youth events as the optic of an unmarried young man serving as a chaperone would look bad.
The letters I received saddened me in several ways. First being I never wanted to join this group. I have always believed there is an ugly under belly in every church group and I wanted no part of “seeing how the sausage is made.” I worked a shift as a volunteer with my father who is a Knight, at the fireworks booth, and I met a good Catholic gentleman who I consider one of my closest mentors and friends. When I call, he answers and is always supportive. I still didn’t want to join; however, my father got a bad cancer diagnosis and told me it would mean a lot if I joined…so I did. My father is okay now, and my mother had two bouts with cancer and as a result I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I joined and was viewed at first as an ugly duckling; a young person who wants to volunteer when its mostly an older person’s group. It was a struggle breaking in at first, but eventually I was welcomed. I took time off work to help set up for our events, and while I was always viewed as wet behind the ears, I did my darndest to help out. The turning point was at a crab feed five years ago. I signed up to help in the kitchen and they had too much help. As a result, I was sent home but on my way out the door, I was told to “give this tray of pasta to the youth group.” They were the servers, and this was their dinner prior to the event. I did as I was instructed and was ready to head to the parking lot when a wife of a Knight told me they needed another bartender for the event…I said I would stick around and help. I was a little disappointed about not being needed in the kitchen, but I cannot blame them, and a motto I live by is “a setback is a set up for a comeback” so I helped-out. I wasn’t great. I was pouring for tips and was reminded, we aren’t at a Friday’s or Chili’s, it’s a fundraiser. The head bartender took me under his wing and my volunteerism skyrocketed. While most of my staff is deceased, I have been the bar manager for 3 years. It’s a tough job, but I am good at it now. I would even say really good, as I have been asked to bartend weddings and other events by other brother Knights.
3 years ago, our Grand Knight personally asked me to be his number 4 in command, a great honor. I chaired the Recruiting Committee last year as the number 3 and while the job is not easy, I did my job and again I was good at it. Now as the second in command I have the respect of almost everyone. I hold positions as head bar manager, Deputy Grand Knight, Chancellor of the Admission (new member ceremony) team, and the Warden (formation degree team). Most would say, if you need a guy to run an event ask Jake. In addition, I even raised over two grand for Special Olympics last year at an event I bar tended.
Yet despite my track record of service, incompetent Jackhole Lee Ann Harper wants to end all of this in a dispute over a position in name only, that does literally nothing. It’s funny that Lee Ann wants me gone so badly. In my real-world job, I’m required to undergo a background check annually and they have no issues with my record…oh, and they require that my driving record needs to be clear. In addition, I coach high school football, and both schools for which I volunteer ran my driving and criminal record yet have no issue with me coaching or even driving the players. The owner of this blog has no issue with my driving or background…yet you do?
Despite all this Lee Ann, you want me gone yet you ignore the other Knights who have never completed this type of background check upon joining. What about the leader of our youth group who has a lengthy criminal history… and is also a Knight? I even sent you his criminal record, yet he is permitted to remain and work with children. The owner of this blog knows my history better than you and he keeps me around. Furthermore, I would say he considers me a close friend.
Lee Ann take my advice, resign! I have previously written about your superiors screwing up and you’re irresponsible and arbitrary actions have made you my current target to write about. I have been in contact with our master who claims he has gotten people in your office terminated. You are an incompetent Jackhole and I’m coming for you. No one likes you. I’ve overcome more adversity that you can possibly throw at me. I was born despite my mother’s umbilical cord wrapped around my neck more times than I can count. I accomplish what I set my mind to perform. During the time that I played on my high school football team, we never lost; I have a ring to prove it, you Jackhole! I’m coming for you. Start checking the want ads, I heard your skillset works at Burger King.
Jake the Snake
Oh, I heard Lee Ann approved a member with pedophilia in his background…. stay tuned for my next blog.