See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Who are these people? Redux

Two years ago I wrote this post... the update occurs at "Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed."

The Anonymous Commenter.

Dianah Vaughan, Leo Taxil, and "April's Mom".
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Who are these people?
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Leo Taxil lived in late 19th century France and was a contemporary of St. Therese of Lisieux, who for a time had been taken in by his scam. Taxil had stunned European society with his conversion from Free-Masonry to Catholicism, and subsequent pamphlets detailing the evil Satanic sect within Masonry. (Read more.) Later he invented a persona named Dianah Vaughan, whom he claimed also converted, with startling details of the diabolic cult. Taxil, an anti-clerical free-thinker from the start, delighted in deceiving and mocking the Catholic Church; the Lisieux Carmel and St. Therese just happened to be amongst those duped. It is said the following lament from St. Therese may be directly related to the farce.
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"I was unable to believe there were really impious people who had no faith... [but] Jesus made me feel that there were really souls who have no faith, and who, through the abuse of grace, lost this precious treasure, the source of the only real and pure joy." - Therese of Lisieux
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The recent discovery that a blogger who wrote under the name of "April's Mom" is likewise a hoax, reminded me of the Taxil story.
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The woman behind the hoax isn't "April's Mom" — a single expectant mother who lay awake at night terrified her unborn child would die at any time, according to the Chicago Tribune.
She is actually Beccah Beushausen, a 26-year-old social worker from the Chicago suburb of Mokenka who says she didn't know how to free herself from the web of lies she wove. "I know what I did was wrong," Beushausen told the Tribune. "I've been getting hate mail. I'm sorry because people were so emotionally involved."
- Story
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Pro-life hearts had been touched by her story of carrying a terminally ill baby to term, only to have the infant die shortly after birth. Beushausen made the whole thing up - before long her blog was receiving 100,000 hits a week - she says she didn't know how to stop the lies. Good people cared about her, prayed for her, supported her, only to be scandalously betrayed.
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This stuff happens - and continues to happen.
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Look at Fr. Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ. Not long ago there was a top blogger in California whom everyone believed to be an orthodox Catholic - it turned out he was a lot more 'liberal' in the dissenting sense, than his readers and $contributors$ imagined. 
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Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed.
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UPDATE August 20, 2011:  As I stated at the top, this post is a couple of years old - but now things have gotten markedly worse, haven't they?  Like... 
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First Archbishop Weakland reveals he's gay in a tell-all book - who knew?!  Then the exorcists' stories catch up with him and Tom Euteneuer is revealed as a deceiver - as was his friend Corapi.  Fr. Cutie runs off with a woman.  We all know this stuff - it's old news.  Except it really seems as if it has been one scandal upon another scandal, doesn't it?
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Yesterday I got scammed - by Catholic deceptives online - the 'anonymous' ones.  I'm amazed at how mean-spirited religious people can become.  A friend of mine once told me, "I am frequently taken aback by the hostility shown by so many Catholics towards those who simply disagree with them.  Many of the tactics used by 'good' Catholics mirror those used by those they condemn as CINO or liberals and dissenters.  They strike me as just as dangerous as those they call their enemies."
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But who am I to quibble - what goes around comes around - my hands have been sullied writing little tabloid posts myself, playing the inquisitor and judge at times - yep, I'm guilty as hell.  Sincere thanks to my anonymous commenters for reminding me how I've wasted my time and how much I have to account for.  It is refreshing and truly a wonderful grace to have someone tell you your faults.  Many thanks.
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Anyway - here are a few maxims I've concocted that may be useful to keep in mind:

  • Except for a few exceptions, most online friendships are not like real, personal friendships.  Undoubtedly we make new friends, but not everyone who links, subscribes, comments or signs on to one's Follower app is a friend.
  • Online enemies are real however.  We don't need to know them, as in 'know your enemies'; Christ simply instructed us to love them, do good to them, and to pray for them.
  • As I said before, and I stand by it:  If anyone thinks they are sent by God to save the world in and through their website, their blog, their incessant twittering and Facebook updates, not to mention their not to be ignored comments, I'd really think that one through again.
  • If anyone claims to be more Catholic than the Church - be on guard.
  • Never take yourself too seriously and always keep a sense of humor - even if they 'don't get it'. 

Fun as they can be, Anonymous comments will no longer be permitted on this blog.  Though I find them instructive and helpful to myself, other commenters do not deserve to be insulted and intimidated by strangers.  Thanks for your understanding.
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That's all.
  

20 comments:

  1. "not to mention their not to be ignored comments, I'd really think that one through again."

    I'd just be happy to get served here once in a while. Talk about a watering hole, a man could easily die of thirst in this joint, these last two weeks. When's the next delivery of lemonade due, or 'doo', as they say in the bronx?

    I sure as heck don't get it Terry, you find a nice quiet bar on forty twelfth street, make a few buddies, then suddenly the whole woyald(world) descends, claimin it's some kinda re-ligious combox......

    Oh wait, this is a combox. I got myself way too confused lately. I'll just sit here for a while and try and figure reality out again, or not, as the case maybe. Did someone say case? What's it a case of? Lemonade I hope! Get the bar tender to stick some ice in it would ya? this place sure needs the heat takin out... ;)

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  2. Actually, shadowlands, all (or most anyway) Americans say "doo" for due and dew, "toon" for tune, "soo" for sue and "loot" for lute. It's standard US English. That's actually one of the key indicators I can use to tell if one of my students has learned US or British English.

    Then again, we make up almost 70% of all native English speakers, so who's weird now, eh? :)

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  3. I'm sorry to hear about your experience with the anonymous commenter but certainly relieved I missed the dust up.

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  4. Those are good maxims. I'd also add:

    If your online "Catholic stuff" has taken the place of prayer in your life, it's time for serious reassessment.

    Always give people the benefit of the doubt online, but don't let your guard down that they could be lying. If your gut tells you there's something not quite kosher about the person, it's usually right.

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  5. Gette - that is a very good maxim - thanks.

    Shadow - I like the bar analogy.

    Carol - in retrospect it was nothing.

    Thanks Mercury.

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  6. "Actually, shadowlands, all (or most anyway) Americans say "doo" for due and dew, "toon" for tune, "soo" for sue and "loot" for lute. It's standard US English."

    And yet Amercians don't say "roof" for roof, saying "ruff" instead. Weird.

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  7. Paul, that's non-standard, but it does exist. But the "oo" words don't trigger the "yu" sound anyway.

    In New Orleans we pronounce "room" and "broom" with the vowel in "cook", but we don't say "groom" that way. Weird.

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  8. Terry, I understand why you did this. I didn't want to jump thru hoops to post officially, but I did hate being lumped in with the "bad" anonymous posters. Now that I am "official", I hope you all will welcome me in this little bar, though I will mostly be hanging out in the back observing the fun silently.

    I have been thinking about what makes us post a comment. I did so, because I wanted you to see how you truly are a port in the storm I am a convert and this year of scandals have been doubly hard on me. I have been really.
    close to walking out and back to the Protestant world. But you said it best, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and not men. He brought me to the Church and in his fold I'll stay. Damn the wolves, my eyes are only on Him.

    God bless! Anne

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  9. Paul - I say roof - as in "Sometimes I may appear rather aloof, but it is only because I'm on the roof - although I have no proof to show you."

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  10. God bless you Anne - the blog world is not the Church - look to what is going on at WYD and that is the Church - where the pope is and the bishops and priests in communion with him are - there are the faithful - and that is the Church. God bless you and have confidence you are in the right place.

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  11. Anne,

    A great big Welcome!

    Glad you are here. You can sit by me, I'm over on the soft leather sofas, near the spider plant(great for hiding behind)!

    If I were you, I would look on Catholic blogger like Alcoholics Anonymous. The comboxes are the fellowship, but your Roman Catholic faith is your program. As with all fellowships you get some folks you identify with more than others and as with all AA meetings, you meet some real nuts!

    Just pull up a chair and ask the waitress to order you a cold drink (no-one knows her name, she's the one with the missing head in yesterday's posted photographs of us all). I think Mercury is behind the bar tonight so don't order cocktails. He mixes home brewed vodka in the orange juice. He calls it Roman Rocket Juice, but it can get some of the folks here a bit light headed after the fourth or fifth double! One guy actually took off last week. He landed over at WDTPRS and they weren't too happy, they thought he was an oversized liberal puppet and set fire to him! That's the real reason Terry has had these arm straps fitted onto all the seats, it was nothing to do with the bets he took for the supposed rapture last May.

    What? ;)

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  12. This:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/08/fr-zs-litany-for-the-conversion-of-internet-thugs/

    ;)

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  13. Well I'll be jiggered.

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  14. Clark - I just saw that too - so someone is bugging him as well - and he only permits registered users.

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  15. Terry: Totally understandable why you'd disable Anonymous. After all, people can only take LarryD for so long before they block him!

    I'm boiling a rabbit.

    Made ya laugh, Chaka.

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  16. RE Fr. Z--Are we supposed to call people trolls when we pray for them?

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  17. Cathy - I really wish you'd unblock me - I promise to be nice. I hope Terry lets this comment through so you can see it.

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  18. Thank you, Terry. You know why.

    Then again, I laughed at someone in Father Z's commbox who castigated anonymous commenters, while he was posting under a weird name that really wasn't a name. As if a weird name suddenly gives you a face and an identity. But at least we can keep track of the weird name, yes?

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  19. Hi Char - well they are being persecuted over there which may account for their increased sensitivity and defensiveness.

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Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.