A recent Pistrina Liturgica article (click here) contains a series of comments that we've decided to share with our readers. And the reason we’ve chosen to do so is that some of its comments are so typical of the kind we get from SGG’s (and MHT’s) brain-dead loyalists -- and perfectly illustrate how their minds work. The series began with someone mentioning Sanborn’s having a hoard of precious ecclesiastical paraphernalia, and commenting thusly: “Rumor has it that Don has at least two large safes filled with expensive chalices and such.” One of Sanborn’s (obviously disbelieving) “loyalists” then accused him of being a “rumor monger” (because he started with, “Rumor has it…”), after which the ensuing discussion degenerated into the “Sanborn loyalists” calling their opponents “you women-folk” -- and, of course, demanding proof of the existence of the safes.
Well, the proof eventually came – and it was indisputable photographic proof (click here). However, even photographic proof (apparently) doesn’t convince some people, for a subsequent commenter retorted, “All we have been given is a photo of a safe. So what? That does not prove the rumors of what is supposed to be in it” [as if the chalices and other articles there couldn’t be seen – because it was a locked GLASS case, where the chalices et al were clearly visible]. And, later on, another added, “A photo with a cleric in it who is not unhappy about the photo being taken. Nothing wrong in the photo. You women [our emphasis] are too much.” Well, what can one say? It seems that even photographic evidence “doesn’t work” for the disbelieving. (And what, we may ask, do the phrases, “A photo with a cleric in it who is not unhappy about the photo” and “Nothing wrong in the photo” mean? What relevancy -- or rationality -- do they add to the mix?) (Note also the nice “misogynist” touch: “You women”! This comment, by the way, was followed by an even more misogynist comment: “‘Women’ being the operative word here. Just a bunch of gossipy, old spinsturds.”) [Another nice misogynist touch!]
Pistrina’s “Reader” then responded by reminding the commenter that he was missing the point – actually, two key points: first (to quote him directly, “Sanborn has tons of liturgical vessels. He can afford to outfit the new Melbourne cult center without asking the laity to pay for it.” And secondly, “The ‘rumor’ reported on June 11 12:34 is true, and hence 12:34 is not a "rumor monger" but a truth teller, a reporter of fact.” At this point, a commenter (the same one?), alluding to that earlier comment ("Rumor has it that Don has at least two large safes filled with expensive chalices and such"), replied, “You [“the Reader”] are missing the point. We do not know what is in the safe, do we?
What the commenter was doing here, of course, was “switching gears”: he was switching from talking about the concrete photo evidence of the “glass case” safe – evidence that he could not refute -- to another type of safe: a “bank vault” type (the one from that earlier comment to which he alluded), whose contents, of course, cannot be seen, because such a safe is made of steel, not glass). This deceptive “switch” was, of course, intentional: he had shifted the argument to something else – and then (falsely) added that “the Reader” had “missed the point.” But the Reader’s point was not about “safes” at all. The “point,” as Pistrina correctly noted, was this: why is Big Don asking for donors to furnish items (for the Melbourne chapel), when he already has a whole stash of such items to donate (and probably much more). Whether they are in a glass case or in a “bank vault” is totally irrelevant.1
Later on, another commenter tried to derail the discussion yet again with this: “Pistrina Liturgica June 16, 2017 10:00 AM does not mention the Catholic moral teaching about rumors.” Maybe she will soon. Of course if she does it will be in her usual balanced manner” [our bold emphasis]. This comment (again) alluded to that earlier “two large safes” comment (because its author started it off with, “Rumor has it that Don has at least two large safes…”) – thus (supposedly ) making him a “rumor monger.” Well, “the Reader” eventually (and patiently) answered this new (and false) accusation, reassuring the accuser that “rumor has it” is just another way of saying “it is reported” – and hence is not “rumor mongering.” “The Reader” then gave a succinct (but thorough) explanation about Catholic teaching on rumors, and finally “put this false accusation to bed.” [Note too that the accuser once again used the words “she” and “her” in his misogynist rant.]
Well, after that, the commenter – like the proverbial “greased pig” that he is – slithered off to yet another corner with this meaningless taunt: “Aren't you supposed to be resting from hate today?” (He was inferring, of course, that reporting about safes full of ecclesiastical paraphernalia amounted to “hate mongering.”) Unable to deny the obvious truth of those reports, he resorted to the classic ad hominem tactic -- what some might call “ignore the message, shoot the messenger” – except that he was shooting the wrong “messenger.” 2
So, to summarize, things started off with someone denying photographic proof, then following it up with such obviously irrational (and misogynist) accusations, then trying to “switch” the argument by sending it off in several directions, and then finishing up with a cheap ad hominem attack? What kind of idiots would use such tactics -- and who do they think they’re fooling, we may ask, with such an obvious trail of deception? Don’t they realize that arguing in the face of such clear evidence is self-defeating? And, if they consider themselves “Catholic,” do they not realize that seeking the truth is more important than winning the argument – especially by resorting to such underhanded methods?
Apparently not. For them, “winning” is the only thing that counts. But in trying to defend their cult-master heroes, they blind themselves to the truth -- and end up making liars out of themselves for their heroes (thus embarrassing them and thus hurting them in the process). This says a lot about them; first, that – like their cult-masters, they have no principles. Lie, cheat, steal: it really doesn’t matter, as long as it’s “for the cause”! Principles are nothing. Truth is nothing. Winning is everything. “The cause” – or what they perceive as “the cause” -- is everything. (That’s why they can reconcile themselves to Checkie’s depraved conclusions about Schiavo, to Dannie’s equally depraved “boys-will-be-boys” “morality,” and to the scandalous events at SGG's school in 2009. As long as they get their “show,” they really don’t care.) Pilate once said, “What is truth?” For the cult-masters and their trolls, their answer would be, “whatever we want it to be.”
And the other thing that this “says about them” is how much they’ve been brain-washed by their cult-masters. Not only are they devoid of principles, but they have also become devoid of independent thought. Those “stupid” comments were not so much stupidity as they were the cult mentality at work. When people “drink the Kool-Aid,” 3 they do (and say) “stupid” things – things that they would ordinarily have the good sense not to. And the Gerties (and their swampland cousins) have been “drinking the Kool-Aid” for quite some time – not the cyanide-laced, physically lethal stuff, of course, but the “BS”-laced, spiritually lethal stuff: Dannie’s “S&S” (syrup and sanctimony), his “boys-will-be-boys” hypocrisy (that passes for “morality”), his elaborate pageantry (that passes for “Catholicism”), Tony’s depraved nonsense about Schiavo (that passes for “moral theology” – along with his other mistake-riddled rubbish that passes for “scholarship”), etc.
At both SGG and MHT – the people have been “dumbed down” by the cult-masters’ “Kool-Aid” to the point where they have no cognitive will left of their own. They’re “almost beyond repair,” so to speak, suffering from “terminal stupidity.” Can their “stupid” be fixed? We certainly hope so. But, whether they “learn” or not, as long as others learn -- that’s what really counts. They – not these disillusioned poor wretches at the cult centers – are our real audience. If we can prevent them from falling victim to the cult-masters, then we have done our job.4
1 The commenter’s “point,” by the way, was wrong on three counts: first (as we mentioned), the original point of the discussion was not about what kind of safe (or safes) that Big Don had, but that – whether he had them in safes or not – Big Don had plenty of “goodies” to supply Melbourne – so why ask for “donations”? Secondly, the commenter – in switching the discussion from the “glass case” to “two large safes” -- was talking about the wrong safe(s). And thirdly (and perhaps most importantly), the posed question (We do not know what is in the safe, do we?) is really irrelevant: the very fact that one has a safe presupposes that there are VALUABLES inside, doesn’t it? (So, what did this idiot think that Big Don was keeping inside those safes – his false teeth?)
Actually, Big Don’s hoard of ecclesiastical valuables is quite large – even larger than what it’s “rumored” to be. The Donster accumulated most of it “back in the good old days,” when the Selway cash was flowing freely (just as Dannie accumulated his, when the Brueggemann money was flowing freely). Although times are now “tougher,” Big Don still has a HUGE hoard of goodies -- one from which he could easily outfit the Melbourne operation – and have plenty left over. But, of course, the avaricious (and selfish) Donster wants to keep his hoard for himself. He’s all for “giving,” when somebody else is doing the giving.
2 What makes this taunt so ridiculous is that it was not “the Reader” who reported about the safes full of ecclesiastical goodies, but one of the other commenters. So, it was not “the Reader” who was (allegedly) spreading “hate,” but (again) one (or more) of the other commenters. All that “the Reader” was doing here was trying to provide explanations and clarification (in answer to this commenter’s misinformation and willful misconstruing of facts).
3 This, of course, is a reference to Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (or Jonestown, as it’s better known) – a cult (in Guyana) where he convinced his followers to commit mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced “Kool-Aid” (an imitation fruit-flavored drink made from a packet of fruit-flavored powder, sugar, and water). Jones bade them to drink it, and they robotically obeyed. Over 900 of them died, including Jones himself.
4 That is not to say that we have “given up” on the Gerties (or even on Dannie, Tony, and Big Don). We certainly hope that they someday “learn.” It’s just that we’re not “holding our breath” for that to happen!