Saturday, 13 June 2015


In 2000, I was alone in Papua New Guinea with two daughters and a training company to run. I needed someone to help me and I found Linda. She was good to my daughters who loved her.

Those were the days when we all knew little about HIV/AIDS. Linda said she had been alone for over 8 years after her husband died. We came together and she gave birth to a son after 18 months. Then she was diagnosed HIV positive.

Linda and I were Catholic. My faith had slid down badly after my marriage break-up in Australia. I was not worthy. That feeling stays with me.

But I found there was a Catholic priest in Port Moresby in charge of AIDS care – Father Jude Ronayne-Ford. I made contact with him and took Linda along to meet him and help her face her AIDS infection.

Linda and Jude got on very well. I did not mind that he ignored me as it was her sickness. She was a beautiful lady despite her sickness. I did not see the danger signs.

I am a person who cannot sit and be taken over by events. I had visited the National AIDS Office and made myself known to Australian AIDS advisors.

I had talked about Positive Living as explained to me by a doctor in the Port Moresby General Hospital. As a teacher of Biology, my mind moved in the direction of the physiology of HIV/AIDS.

I told the priest what I had found out and he was not impressed. He told me to leave the message to the experts as I did not have the intellect to understand the complexities of the infection. He knew nothing about me.

In a weaker moment, Jude told me he had never seen a person in final AIDS. As well, he said he was a brick-layer before entering the priesthood. So with Linda, he was entering unknown ground.

For Linda’s sake, I maintained contact with the priest though not impressed with his knowledge.

He gave no advice and talked to no church groups. He appeared to know nothing of the virus and the need for Positive Living. Linda was given no advice whatever. He would talk slowly and thoughtfully like a wise man but he would say nothing relevant.

But I was moving on and formed AIDS HOLISTICS to promote Positive Living. Today we all know that the message relates to all health from heart problems, diabetes, cancer and tuberculosis. It was nothing new.

Over the next two years, my son Jonathan had died of AIDS after suffering badly from permanent mucus in the nose and throat. Linda was dropping in body and mind. This was the time before free ARV drugs. I could not afford a lifetime of drugs.

Linda started to suffer dementia. She had dreams that made her scream at night. There was a Samarai woman waiting to kill her for having bashed her husband’s seond wife. There were highlanders waiting to kill her if she went to town.

This is common in dementia in all illnesses involving brain damage from strokes to Alzheimer’s disease. The sufferer experiences delusions and hallucinations of evil people and spirits seeking to kill them.

Linda became violent to me and my daughters. She would bash the girls when I went to work. She responded negatively if I hugged them or kissed them. She was experiencing a total personality change.

I explained to Jude but he had his own agenda. He wanted to destroy the Positive Living message with the gays and lesbians. So he claimed that the decline of Linda was the failure of Positive Living.

People may remember the care meeting at the Holiday Inn several years ago. I attended and sat quietly but saw the priest talking to the security guards and pointing in my direction. Then the guards came and told me I was to be removed. They were my friends and very apologetic. Some had trekked Kokoda with me.

But that creep priest had taken a decision that Positive Living was to be eradicated from the AIDS campaign and saw his right to make sure that I did not contribute at the meeting. 

These days, the priest is just a memory and Positive Living is the only message, even among the churches. It is the collation of all health messages any doctor may give us.

He would tell me that my AIDS message was full of errors. When I asked him to tell me, he would refuse saying that I will find out in good time and my message would be rejected. Silly old twit. Did he think I was born yesterday?

The fact was that people suffering from HIV/AIDS without ARV can only live for 12 years at the most and suffer dementia and decline. By my calculation, Linda live for 11 ½ years. She was probably infected in 1993.

Father Jude wanted to take Linda into care but she did not want this. She preferred to stay with me and her family. She was being supported and did not have faith in Jude.

He had a care centre at 14 mile outside Port Moresby. He gave me severe doubts about his intentions. He selected only pretty young women. He wanted lovely Linda. Family was not allowed to visit their loved ones. The gates were locked to all.

The Positive Living message placed emphasis on family. The priest should have allowed family visits to see the loved one. The patients were not allowed to leave. If they did, they would be removed. That may have been to cover that some had run away.

So many sufferers have enough problems without being bullied by an authoritarian priest. I had the opportunity to observe the priest in contact with Linda. He had an obvious passion for young women. It was he who would look after their bathing, dressing and care at his care centre.

There was a problem with an AIDS care centre for young women run by priest. He was an old time priest who had lived in the developing world and had learned to bully the blackfellas. He would have been unacceptable in a parish in Australia.

I had the opportunity to talk to the Archbishop and told him my severe misgivings about the priest in charge of young women of his choosing. The banning of family probably meant he had sexual misconduct to hide.

Within a month or two, an order of nuns had taken his place and Jude spent his time driving around in the care centre car. Jude seems no longer to live in PNG. He may have left quietly and not farewelled within the church to my knowledge. Now all the infected women would be dead.

Jude may have been able to bully the blackfellas. But he crashed badly trying to bully me. I  am part of the world generation that experienced paedophile priesthood and sees clearly that priests have clay feet. There is no more "Yes father. No father, Bless you father".

As it was, one of Jude's priestly colleagues was shot dead in his bed for reasons never revealed.

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