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Viewpoint from Rev Peter Glanville 26/10/2012

PETER GLANVILLE webRev Peter Glanville
Peter Glanville worked in the BBC throughout the ‘Savile” Years
He is a Hospital, Port and Industrial Chaplain, and is a Deacon in St Mary’s Roman Catholic Parish Great Yarmouth

“Jimmy Savile – is truth the biggest victim?”

So all the salacious and sinister whisperings are seemingly assumed as truth.  And well they might be, as increasing floods of accusations pour across the media. Now it is the sad and unenviable task of appointed investigators to try and establish the truth as they trawl through the past of not just a self destroyed TV star, but also accusations that major institutions – the BBC, the NHS, even the penal system, could be somehow in collusion with the actions of a powerful yet seemingly perverted presenter
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But the establishment of real truth is never easy. Truth is not necessarily perceived as an absolute in our complex lives. What we believe to be true can be altered by many things. - When we believe it, at what age, under what pressure and with what advice. Then there is the benefit of hindsight, and always the pressure and seductive influence of the world in which we live

We like to believe that what we hold as true is unchallengeable - “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…..”
But let’s look at the sorry realities of the Savile case. He seems to have compartmentalised his life into a “Jekyll and Hyde” existence. He used all that was good in it – the charities, the fundraising, the marathons, the hospital work, in diverse ways. Firstly for the good of others; but then to act as a smokescreen for what is now becoming apparent. To use the “right” to offset and hide the evidence of his wrong and predatory ways. It is a common enough conflict. To be aware of wrong doing but to try to rationalise it by balancing it with what is right. In the meantime these two opposite ways of life confound and affect others.  Not just the children for whom he pleasingly “fixed it” but those he may have harmed and tainted with his actions - a confusion of truths
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And what of those who knew him – what “truths “did they possess? How often do we hear “It was a different climate of behaviour then”? Or “It was all gossip.” But gossip and hearsay is the much loved meat of “celebrity” magazines - carefully skating on thin legal ice with paragraphs of innuendo and suggestions that may never be proved true. Titillation that sells so well!

Then there are those not believed? They knew the truth perhaps, but their status - young, disadvantaged, adolescent and impressionable, was pitched against a man who mixed with the mandarins of society – with Prime Ministers and Popes – even with Royalty. Society could find it so easy to side with the establishment. Professionals and pillars of respect - seemingly beyond accusation – even priests!
So now we can sit back and reflect on the apparent contradictory nature of the man who “fixed it” for so many delighted youngsters. Then perhaps he “fixed it for himself”, at so much cost to others

But can we now safely and smugly gloat at such an imperfect life. I started thinking this week – when was the last time I really looked at my life in the glare of truth? To confront myself not just with my innermost thoughts and secret actions, but to audit how they have affected – even harmed – the lives of others. How often have I got selfish pleasures and satisfactions at their expense?

Perhaps I should make my confession - not to anyone else just yet - just to myself!

I confidently hope however that a merciful -“God will fix it”

gracie T Goffe (Guest) 30/10/2012 11:42
Best place to look is in the mirror of your own soul, before anywhere else
(Guest) 31/10/2012 08:36
yes, Tracey. I remember the old teaching 'when you point your finger at someone, you have three pointing back at you'. Great article by Rev Peter, don't you think
gracie (Guest) 22/12/2012 12:52
wish the whole world would look in two places, one in the mirror
second up at the stars at night................gets life into perspective Eh????