Editor’s Note: This will be our last post until the first of next year. As we mentioned last month, we have been posting every week (for the last several weeks) while Pistrina Liturgica has been away, after which we ourselves will “take a break.” Now that they are returning, we’ll be signing off, taking that break, and returning with our usual bi-weekly posts (as we said) on or about the first of the year.
The quote (of Pope St. Felix III) that we used in our last article says it all: “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.” This is a meaningful, far-reaching statement, for two reasons: first, it negates that oft-invoked (and baseless) “Alter Christus” remonstrance that so many culties like to dig up to disallow any criticism of their cult-master idols. And, secondly, it shatters all the “detraction” argument used to silence any criticism of them as well. As that saintly pope rightly pointed out, it is actually sinful NOT to confound such men, and that we actually have a moral obligation to oppose and expose these creeps.
So, how can this be accomplished? Part of the task can be done by having blogs like this one to get the word out to educate people, and to warn them about the cult centers. That we are certainly doing. But, in the final analysis, it is up to the people at those cult centers to heed those warnings, and to act on them. If they do not, then nothing is effectively accomplished, and the cult-masters win. So, what can be done? What should be done?
First, as we just stated, parishioners at the cult centers need to be informed about what is going on. This is easier said than done, but it is by no means impossible. It must start with education: parishioners with the facts sharing those facts with fellow parishioners who know and trust them. A good place to start is with Schiavo, since most Gerties – even the die-hard cult supporters – have no sympathy for what Cekada had to say about that. Ask them if they agree or disagree with what Checkie said; and, if it’s the latter, then share with them some of the pertinent facts about Schiavo, and how Cekada ingonred those facts (there are several Lay Pulpit articles devoted to that). Or, if they’ve been “programmed” (by the cult-masters) to reject “point blank” anything written in our blogs, then glean some excerpted facts from the blogs (or elsewhere), and present it to them.
If it turns out that they are receptive, then show them how to access our blogs (because they may be unaware that they exist!), and then suggest other articles for them to read. It also helps to give them the names of friends and acquaintances (whom they know and trust) who are opposed to the cult-masters – especially friends who previously attended SGG but who have since left. The more of such people one can find, the better, because there is “strength in numbers.” Also, if they have kids – and those kids are not in SGG’s school – ask the parents why they don’t send them there. And if they do have kids at the school, ask them why there are so few of its graduates that achieve any academic distinction, etc.
Second, inform them about all the people who have left SGG, and why they left – especially about Bernie Brueggemann (who, while he was there, was SGG’s main benefactor). Ask them if they know why he left; and if they don’t, tell them why. (Again, there are several articles about that on our website (A Tale of Two Letters is one of them); and the whole SGG Scandals website is also a good source of information. Also, give them the names and numbers of other people who have left – and tell them to contact them.
Third – and this is just as important as what was just said – those people who have left should get vocal about why they left. So many of the people victimized at SGG – especially during the 2009 school scandals – simply “left.” That is, they went quietly, without telling anyone, for fear of “slandering” the cult-masters. Keeping silent is not only wrong, but sinfully wrong. As Pope St. Felix III warned us, “not to oppose error is to approve it”; and so, people who have been victimized by the cult-masters have a DUTY to inform others about it -- others who may become future victims of the cult-masters. By remaining silent, these victimized people have been enabling the cult-masters, thus helping to perpetuate their mischief.
Fourth – and this is important, too – the folks at the cult-centers must not rely on blogs (like ours) to “spread the word” for them. We are doing our part -- giving people the “ammunition” – but they must use it. We cannot “do it all,” i.e., we can print it, but they must “spread the word.” As public critics of the cult-masters, we are already at a disadvantage, in that people like Dannie and Tony are automatically against us – and sure to “forbid” their followers to read us. We are “off limits” to them. Therefore, no “follower” will listen to (or believe) what we say. It is up to their close friends and acquaintances to talk to them. We can only provide the blueprint. It is up to them to put it into practice.1
Fifth, the thing for people to do, above all, is to ORGANIZE. Organization – a concerted effort -- is the KEY to any effort succeeding. “United we stand, divided we fall.” If people are to rid themselves of the cult-masters, they must find like-minded parishioners, and then organize -- and coordinate their efforts. (And don’t wait for “the other guy” to find them. That “other guy” is YOU.) And one last thing to remember is this: do not expect instant results. It took time for people to be brainwashed. It will then take time for them to be “un-brainwashed.”
But what can people do? What are the weaknesses of the cult-masters? Well, perhaps the biggest is their love of “the good life” (and their resultant insatiable need for money). 2 The cult-masters are always begging for money, because that is their raison d'être – their reason for being. And, because they want to appear “needy,” they have a powerful motive for keeping their culties “in the dark” about their finances. Rumor has it that both Dannie at SGG (and Big Don at MHT) have a lot of cash stashed away (in a labyrinthine network of financial “entities” – and that it would be downright embarrassing for them if their culties ever found out their actual worth.
At the very least, the parishioners, both at SGG and MHT, should demand an independent audit of parish finances. We wager that many of them will be “disturbed” by its results. This is potentially “a real biggie,” because nothing focuses peoples’ attention like money -- and nothing raises their ire like the misuse of money. People will “forgive and forget” on a lot of things – but money is not one of them. If they feel that they’re getting swindled, then all those “fund-raising” schemes of the cult-masters, for example, will make them “start to think.”
When we started writing about Dannie and Tony some years back, we were fighting an uphill battle. But now it is the cult-masters who are on the defensive: in traditional circles, Dannie and Tony’s credibility is all but GONE, and their reputation as “scholars,” “Latinists,” and “theologians” is nil as well. Nobody outside the cult-centers takes these bunglers seriously anymore. However, bunglers though they are, they are NOT bunglers in the classic “benign” sense. They are malignant, calculating scoundrels; and there will always be a fresh crop of the unsuspecting who will fall for their siren song.
In our last article, we said that cutting off their financial support is “a good start”; but permanently putting them out of business is the real goal. These vermin must not be permitted to victimize any more people, so they must be decisively and permanently STOPPED. We hope that what we have said here will be of some use in making that happen. But, again, blogs like ours alone can’t do it. We can only inform. It’s the people in the pews who must take the actual steps. And, to repeat, they cannot do it as individuals, but only as an organized group.
Those disgruntled parishioners at the cult-centers, even if it’s only a handful of you, can make a difference. At SGG back in 2009, what started as a protest by a single disgruntled parishioner eventually grew into a groundswell of opposition, resulting in half the congregation leaving – a loss in both numbers and revenue from which SGG hasn’t recovered to this day. So, any size group will do for a start – but a start must be made.
Up to now, Dannie and Tony have been able to succeed in victimizing people because those victims were isolated and alone, not united. So then, the key, again, is to organize and unite with like-minded fellow parishioners, and then spread the word to others in the congregation. And if it happens only a little at a time, that’s okay. “Plant the mustard seed, and it will grow.” Most movements start out small, but they grow – and the key to that growth is perseverance. Do that, and it will happen. Let’s hope that the cult-center parishioners have the courage to do that – to unite in opposition, and see it through to the end.
1 There are several people at the cult centers who are disgruntled with the status quo, and who say, “somebody ought to do something that about it!” Well, to them, we say, “that ‘somebody’ is YOU!” Then too, there are others who are “waiting for the right moment” to do something. Again, that “right moment” is NOW. That’s a universal problem with people: they always expect “the other guy” to do it, not realizing that they are “that other guy.” Or, if they actually decide that they will do it, they tell themselves that they’ll do it “someday.” The problem with “someday” is that “someday” is a tomorrow that never comes. As usual, people are invariably “inertial” when it comes to actually taking that first step.
2 They have other weaknesses as well. For one thing, they are bullies; and bullies are invariably martinets. It was the SGG school principal’s sadistic treatment of school children that precipitated the 2009 debacle; and lately, the same sort of thing has been happening at MHT. (It may still happen at SGG too; but, because of the negative results of 2009, it may have been “driven underground.”) So far, they’ve been able to get away with it “legally” – but some day, they’ll “cross the line.” If parishioners could, say, capture any of this “on video” (with a “smart phone,” for instance), this could potentially put these sleaze-bags out of business – permanently.
Another “Achilles heel” is their schools’ poor academic records (and the fact that they’re not “accredited”). If their local educational (or governmental) authorities were aware of that, this might be a viable “tool” to use against them. (Even if their standards meet “legal” minimums, letting the parishioners know just how sub-standard their academics really are (compared to other schools) would not go down favorably in the minds of parishioners – especially when they’re paying a premium for such trash.
But the cult-centers’ biggest point of vulnerability, to be sure, is their “finances.” If the parishioners can get an accountant involved, and get the cult-masters audited, that would probably be the most effective way of “getting at them.” Also, it would be even better if they were able to expose all of the “front” companies that the cult-masters use to hide their stashes. An accountant would surely know how to go about this.