Editor’s Note: This is the last in our series of articles in “winding down” our blog. Prehaps we may post again (we’ll certainly let you know if we do); but for now, we are thinking that "this is it." In our previous articles, we’ve tried to summarize most of the major problems characterizing the SGG cult; and this last article continues in that vein, recounting some more of the "highlights" of what the cult-masters have done. To that end, we hope that we have “covered most of the ground.”
The “bottom line” on all this is that the cult-masters have shown, over and over again, that they are not Catholic, but self-serving parasites who are out to materially profit at the expense of gullible followers – who tell people what they want to hear, then proceed to exploit them in every which way that they can. They are hirelings, not shepherds – costumed con men who need to be put out of business. Period.
That said, we present our final article…
The great Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc once remarked that the Catholic Church in the late Middle Ages suffered from what he called “calcification.” By that, he meant that it had grown rich, jaded, and materialistic, and that “rites and rubrics” – the "mechanics" of Catholicism – often took precedence over its principles. What this led to were evils such as Lay Investiture, Simony, and the selling of indulgences – evils that ultimately precipitated the Protestant Revolt.
Does this sound familiar? Well, it should, because that is precisely what is happening in Tradistan today -- and what has been for some time: the cult-masters are giving us the mechanics, but not the Catholicism. But today’s “calcification” is something more than that. It is actually worse, because it is actually devoid of Catholicism. The Church in the late Middle Ages was at least united – and true. Today’s Tradistan is a disjointed mishmash of sectarian cults, all fighting with one another, and each making up its own “articles of faith” and its own sectarian “rules.”
Dannie Dolan’s SGG and Not-so-big Don Sanborn’s MHT are Tradistan’s two arch-typical examples of this. As we’ve pointed out so many times in the past, Dannie is all about “the show”; and the Donster is all about hellfire and brimstone (and bullying). Dannie’s penchant for ostentation is so glaringly apparent that it’s almost comical. Look at any of SGG’s bulletins (and especially Dannie’s ’Corner), and you’ll find it crammed full of Dannie’s trademark “S&S” (Syrup and Sanctimony), along with other examples of his empty, meaningless “holy-speak.”
And click on SGG’s bulletin any given Sunday, and you’ll find full-color pictures (and sometimes even videos) from one of SGG’s latest extravaganzas – this past Corpus Christi, for instance (click here). That particular bulletin has a video of Dannie giving his “pontifical blessing” -- which he has even put on YouTube, the ultimate cyber venue for sleazy self-promotion. (Only Dannie would ever dream of putting on such a pretentious display of pomposity.) But such tawdry, self-promotional frippery is what Dannie is all about – ALL about.
All of this ecclesiastical pageantry, of course, is designed to dazzle and impress: his over-the-top Episcopal attire, the billowing clouds of incense (that have sometimes been known to trip SGG’s smoke alarm), the seemingly endless retinue of servers and torch-bearers, the bell-ringing – you name it. It is “the Full Monty” – a perfect latter-day example of Belloc’s “calcified Catholicism.” But, as we said before, none of it is real. It’s more like a cardboard mockup, a façade, a Hollywood stage set – an ornamental stage production.
It is, again, the “mechanics” of Catholicism – elaborately detailed rites, rubrics, and rituals – but totally devoid of its “spirit,” i.e., of Catholic principles and precepts. What the public sees on SGG's website are all its pomp and pageantry, but not the sordid side: the brutality that went on at SGG’s “school,” the blatantly immoral behavior of the school principal’s sons – and Dannie’s condoning of it all. Nor have they ever seen (or ever will see) any retraction from him and Tony of what these depraved wretches said about Schiavo. Such things are kept out of the limelight, because they don’t fit SGG’s “business model.”
And business model is just what it is. Dannie doesn’t really believe in any of this holy-speak drivel that he perpetually puts out; he does it only because it’s “good for business”: it gets his Gerties to donate. That is, it’s all about money. His (and Tony’s) “una cum” nonsense, for instance: they really don’t care about that one way or the other. But it is a good business strategy: if they can convince people that this is something necessary for "being Catholic” – they’ll use this (and other such invented “articles of faith”) to keep their sheep in the pen (and from defecting to other pens) – because “more sheep” equals more money.
And, over the years, Dannie and Tony have exploited their Gerties in every way imaginable, guilt-tripping them into donating both their money and their talents to the cult center. Everything at SGG is geared not for saving souls, but for Dannie and Tony’s comfort – and for emptying wallets. Not a week goes by when Dannie and Tony are not begging for money, and they have devised myriad ways to get it. And while asking the Gerties to “sacrifice” and to “offer it up,” Dannie and Tony "reciprocate" by routinely going on “apostolates” that are nothing more than mid-winter vacation getaways to warm, sunny destinations.
And, in addition to that, they have suckered the Gerties into paying for a new facility they neither needed nor wanted – and then asked them for help in paying its “high heating bills” (when this new, “energy efficient” facility turned out not to be so “energy efficient”). (This new facility, by the way, includes a school that largely stands vacant, and a “grotto” that has had to be repaired and restocked with fish several times.) And now (as we reported in our last article -- click here), their “new facility” is prematurely falling apart -- and in need of all sorts of repairs.
Meanwhile, Dannie and Tony run this crumbling enterprise as if they were “popes” (which, of course, they aren’t): issuing phony “dispensations,” granting phony “indulgences,” and denying people sacraments at will (none of which they have the authority to do), applying “rules” that they themselves don’t follow, and/or applying them “selectively.” These renegades, answerable and accountable to no one, just “make it up as they go along” – and expect their Gerties to blindly obey all their decrees and directives.
This is the kind of “calcified Catholicism” that has come to epitomize SGG – and that goes on there day in and day out. We and Pistrina Liturgica have done our best to expose it and to combat it; and we think that we’ve reached “the right audience” in doing so: both attendance and revenue at SGG are down -- and continue to decline. And, although we’ll never be able to reach and convince the “hard core” there, we think that the cult’s malignant influence has been effectively “checked” -- which is why we have decided to "wind down" our blog. But, although we are winding it down, all that we have written to date – as we said before -- will remain intact, as a permanent reminder (and warning) for people to stay away from these malignant parasites.
Will we ever be able to shut the cult-masters down completely? No. There will always be enough hopelessly gullible there to at least keep them “on life support.” But if we can keep them in check – keep them from growing – that will be “enough.” And, so far, we’ve been able to do just that. Thanks mainly to Pistrina Liturgica’s untiring efforts in exposing the myth of Dannie and Tony as “scholars” and “liturgical experts,” for instance, anyone with an ounce of common sense now sees them for the pathetic know-nothings that they are; and both PL and we have done a thorough job of uncovering their skullduggery and deceit. And, in the main, our efforts have worked.
But this is an ongoing process – and one that cannot totally depend just on what's printed in two blogs. That is why we repeat what we've said many times in the past: that word must be spread – and this can only be done by followers -- by “apostles” – and you are our “apostles.” By documenting what the cult-masters have done, we have made the information available; but, again, it is up to you to disseminate it. As Catholics, we have a moral duty to do so – to actively oppose evil when we can. To invoke once again Pope St. Felix III’s words, “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.” Or, as Edmund Burke even more succinctly put it, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
That is the key: good men must do something. Blogs like ours (and Pistrina Liturgica) have made the truth about SGG and MHT available; that is the “something” that we have done. But that is the limit of what we can do. The “something” that you, our readers, can do -- to reiterate -- is to spread that word. It’s not enough just to say that one “disapproves” of them – and it is certainly not enough to say, “Oh, I go there; but I only go there for the sacraments; however, I do not support them.” These are both “cop-outs.” Besides, “not supporting the cults” may hold them in check, but only active opposition will deliver the “knockout blow.” And, you can deliver that knockout blow by, again, being an “apostle” and spreading the word. It may not be easy – but it’s not impossible either.
Some parting words: As we said in a previous post, this blog, although “finished,” won't be going away. Whatever has been written date will remain intact, to serve as a standing warning against the cult-masters. We will also check our blog every now and then for comments, and respond to them as needed. And will we ever start our blog up again? Some of our readers have sent in comments suggesting that we do, but perhaps on a more infrequent basis – monthly or quarterly, for example. Well, anything’s possible. But, practically speaking, we think we've said just about everything there is to say about the cult-masters – and that this is “enough.”
Besides, since so much of the damning evidence against the cult-masters has come from their own lips, how much more is really needed? If that isn’t “enough,” then what is -- and what more can one say? We feel that we have accomplished our mission, and have made a convincing enough case. We have, we believe, done our very best to put Pope Felix’s words of into action. In short, we believe that we have “done our part”; and we can rest easy, knowing that we have done it.
We also think that many of you, our readers, have "done your part" -- and for that, we sincerely thank you. But it will take your continued help and vigilance to put these charlatans completely out of business -- and get rid of their counterfeit Catholicism once and for all. Let's make that happen.