And before you ask: Yes, people notice these things.
"I tell them, I can't believe this ... this is a dark secret. Are you fucking kidding me? Why don't you send me a T-shirt and a banner?"
We're sure SNAP provides a valuable service for many, many people, but perhaps a bit more discretion is in order. For example, whenever we mail embarrassing letters -- which are the only letters we know -- we use envelopes labeled "World Surf-Karate Championships: Award Enclosed."
We reached out to David Clohessy, the director of SNAP. He was deeply apologetic: "Over the years, we've had a handful of people who've felt we didn't do all we could do to handle their privacy ... I would deeply, deeply apologize for him or her, because obviously it takes a hell of a lot of courage for a victim to speak up. If in any way, shape or form we made it harder for a victim to come forward ... we feel terribly about that."
Without anyone to talk to, Tom dealt with his trauma via a shitload of "indiscriminate" sex in his youth. This is not uncommon behavior for survivors of sexual trauma. "It didn't matter who it was with -- guys in my fraternity and girls and odd threesomes -- there was no lust, and there was no love or revenge. It was acting out, playing a part."
It should come as no surprise that this kind of abuse can manifest in pretty extreme ways in adulthood.
Surprise! It didn't help. And in the end, Tom doesn't have anything optimistic or happy to say about what happened to him. We think articles about these kinds of horrors are important, but ... "There's no message of hope. Things don't get better. I look at people and immediately think they know. It's like having a scar on your face. You always feel like people can tell."
"It's like ... there's no sunshine now, and things are great. I still wonder if I should sue the Church ... but I would burn the money. It would be about revenge. I consider myself a good person. I don't have untoward feelings for children. But I'm hyper-aware of it. I don't hug people."
Not every sad story gets an inspirational ending. Sometimes, tragedy simply stays tragic.
And as for Father Francis Marion Helowicz? Well, he went to jail ... for six months, until it was decided that "incarceration would serve no useful purpose." As far as we're aware, he's not currently working at any Catholic church or school. We asked David of SNAP what usually happens to priests like Father Helowicz. He explained, "They tend to defrock only the most egregious [perpetrators] ... 'We can't have you in a parish anymore ... here's the deal ... I'm going to continue to pay your salary, health benefits, car allowance, and in exchange, you're going to stay invisible.'"
Sure. That seems fair: Molest a few kids and never have to work again. It's like buying a winning lottery ticket with your soul.
For more insider perspectives, check out 5 Things I Learned Committing A Campus Sexual Assault and 5 Things I Learned Pretending To Be A Molested Kid For Cops.
Have a story to share with Cracked? Email us here.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out Donald Trump Finally Embraces The Hitler Comparisons, and other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook, and we'll follow you everywhere.