Sunday, January 10, 2016

January 10, 2016

I hope that many of you have read "Great is the Truth" by Amos Kamil and Sean Elder. I found the experience of reading it extremely painful and had to pause halfway through to regroup. The book really captures the way we survivors were viewed and treated by the school. There was really no compassion at all. We were pests and gold-diggers, a danger to the school's precious and undeserved reputation. I search my soul to find forgiveness for these dreadful human beings.
And speaking of dreadful human beings, I call out Anne Somary. It is beyond my comprehension that this woman takes no responsibility for what she and her husband did. Oh we only destroyed 50 or 60 lives. How do you live with yourself Anne? Come clean! Admit your foul acts! Help the survivors get the care they need!
Ed Bowen

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Somary Letter Sent October 29, 2009

Good Morning All,

It's been a terribly long time since I have posted on here. Do forgive me, so much has happened. Many other victims of Somary have come forward. We have been very blessed to find each other and to feel less alone. My identity has been quite clearly established in the press and elsewhere. I can now say clearly and proudly here that I am Ed Bowen, that I was sexually abused by Johannes Somary in the fall of 1973 and that my abuse was in no way caused by me.

I have decided to publish my original letter to Somary here. I sent this letter to him In October 2009 and never did receive a response. I like to think that he actually read it but I am not sure that he did. I am proud of the letter and feel that it conveys a great deal of the pain Somary put me through along with many others

Here it is:

October 29, 2009

Johannes Somary
620 West 254th street
Bronx, NY 10471

This morning as I commuted to work on the subway, Brahms “Nanie” began playing on my Ipod. It brought back a flood of memories of my time in the Glee Club at Horace Mann. There was so much about that time that was so wonderful. My heart and soul were opened up to so much music. You were a big part of that. But there was a terribly dark, really evil, stain on that time as well. That stain has really never washed away and I guess it never will. It is your molestation of me as a 16 year old child.  I am not saying that I was completely innocent at that time. I know I talked to you of my emergent sexuality. Yet, one night, as we sat on your couch after I had babysat your children, you reached into my pants, pulled out my penis and fondled me. I told you very clearly and very specifically that this was not something I wanted. Despite this, a few weeks later, you did the same thing to me again in your car. This second incident was incredibly painful and damaging to me since you so clearly violated me against my will.

I am not sure that you are aware of the seriousness of your unwelcome acts. For me, they have had a devastating impact on my life, my self esteem and my self confidence. This contributed to years of drinking and drugging. I nearly died before I was able to get sober and have been in therapy for all of the years since. Your molestation of me has come up over and over again in my therapy sessions. It is at the advice of my doctor that I am writing this letter. The hope is that by communicating some of my feelings to you I can achieve some level of healing. To do that I also need to work on forgiving you and I am trying. A very great concern of mine is the other children that you and Anne molested. I understand from my mother that one of your “special friends” committed suicide last year. It is beyond my comprehension that you are able to live with yourself after such an occurrence.

I remember you as being quite religious in the days of our acquaintance. I wonder if you have confessed these sins to your priest. I truly hope that you have. I also think you should consider taking some steps to try to atone for your pedophilia in the real world while you are still alive. Perhaps you could fund a mental health program at Horace Mann. You have set a great deal of evil forth into the world with your outrageously inappropriate behavior. Someday there needs to be some sort of divine reckoning.

 I have been trying to write this letter for years and have fallen into serious depressions a few times over it. I am sure the things I have said are most unwelcome to you. Even if that is the case, my words are honest and reflect my life experience. I nearly didn’t make it, yet here I am. I will continue to pray for you and try to forgive your abusive behavior. Only you know how much abusive behavior there actually was. How astonishing that you are walking around a free man! I suppose many of your other victims felt the same shame that I did and thought that this was somehow their fault. That is the classic pattern.

Goodbye Johannes. I do not expect that we will see each other again. I don’t think it would be a good idea for you to write back to me. I have no plans to take this matter up with anyone else so you needn’t worry on that score.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28, 2012

It has been an agonizing few weeks. Our Survivors Group has been meeting once a week. The Group displays a wonderful degree of kindness and support for each other. We are all damaged in different degrees. We have had some opportunities to tell our stories to each other. There is so much pain and heartbreak in them. So much betrayal. It's hard to truly and fully accept the acts that were inflicted on us.

We have written two letters to Horace Mann. The first was so positive and contructive, kind even.
We have still received no reponse at all. We wrote a second letter that expressed our dismay about receiving no acknowlegement at all.

Five of us were intereviewed by CBS on Monday, July 16th. We spoke for about an hour and answered questions from Amy Dardashtian, who seemed very well informed and compassionate. The segment broadcast this past Thursday, July 26th. I thought it was good, but really only scratched the surface. So many of our most significant comments were omitted in the editing. Our main message was our dismay about the non-reponsiveness of the HM Board of Trustees.

I want to reach out again to other victims of sexual abuse by teachers and staff of Horace Mann. I am absolutely sure there are many of you out there who have felt unable to come forward. We need most desperately to know as much as possible of the full scope of this horror. And we need to know you and hear of your experiences and how they have altered the course of your life. Please write to me at

I want to express my deepest gratitude to the HM Alumni who have taken up our cause. It helps so much to know that you care, that you believe in us and that you want to help.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10, 2012

Today marks the day of the actual publication of Amos Kamil very powerful article "Prep School Predators" in the NY Times Magazine in print.

I want to call everyone's attention to this blog/website:

This has been set up by a group of wonderfully supportive and caring people as a resource for all survivors of sexual abuse at HM and their families.

I have been quite literally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that I have received directly through this blog and thorugh other means. Thank you you all for your messages. I wish I could repond to each of them individually.

Despite knowing that going public about my abuse by Somary was the right thing to do, I have been experiencing a great deal of emotional upheaval and pain. I will be seeing a new therapist on Tuesday and hope I can start a new process of healing that way.

I truly wish to live a life that's full and satisfying. I don't want to feel like damaged goods without a central core of self love and confidence. I want to feel worthy of love and I want to believe that healing is possible.

Thanks to all,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7, 2012
Many of you have now read the fine article by Amos Kamil in the New York Times Magazine. It was published on line yesterday and will appear in print this Sunday, June 10th. I thank Amos for his extensive work on this and for his kindness and compassion to me. I have always felt that the speaking of the truth is a healing thing. The awful behavior of Somary was shrouded in secrecy for far too many years. I can't really say that the publication of the article made me happy. In fact, the whole story really makes me sad.
The Horace Mann School sent out a notice to its alumni. I found it to be a sad little attempt to pretend that the school has no responsibility for its outrageous negligence back then. It staggers my mind that Somary was allowed to keep teaching for 10 years after the school was formally notified of his sexual advances on students. The notice had no hint of apology, no trace of caring about the students whose lives were so terribly damaged.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 2012 Update

It has been a very long while since I posted here. The memorial concert for Somary did go on last year though the venue was changed at the last minute. This may have been due to a letter I wrote to Archbishop Dolan. I am certain that there are many survivors out there. Somary was a powerful man and his influence and control likely continues over people. Some seem to feel that he gave so much to them in terms of musical experience and education that to come forward about being molested would be a betrayal. I believe we are about to see some very important developments in the process of the truth being revealed.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Update

As I indicated in a previous comment, I do hope that those who do not wish to comment publicly on their abuse by Johannes Somary will reach out to me privately at I do not wish to hurt or embarass anyone and will fervently respect all victims' needs for privacy.
I have been in contact with one person who was touched and kissed inappropriately by Somary. One of that person's contacts indicates that there were a great number of abuse victims, both male amd female.
Anne Somary has announced a memorial concert in June for Somary. Horace Mann School emailed her announcement of this concert to Horace Mann Music Alumni despite their promise to me that they would not assist in organizing or assisting with any event memorializing or glorifying Somary.
I continue to struggle intensely with the issue of whether I should go more public about the abuse or not.