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Friday, July 24, 2015

Now, I Am Taking a Break

Now that I have finished my business with the Fisheaters forum, I am taking a hiatus from forums and blogs.  I've no idea how long it'll last.  But, for now, I will focus on what I perceive to be more important things.

Neither Fish Nor Fowl, Part 4 of 4

(This is the final post of a four-part series about what happened in my last days at the Fisheaters forum.  My first blog post after being banned--Fisheaters: The Gay Sewing Circle--was directed towards what I thought was the reason for my being expelled.  However, in a private e-mail, Tracy informed me that she actually got rid of me because of her disagreement with me in "taking back the net."  This four-part series is my response to this newly-assumed rationale behind her action.  Whether she banned me for disagreeing with her statements about "gay love," or whether she banned me for disagreeing with her in conquering the internet--I have responded to both.) 

This final part is a response to Tracy's objections and accusations in a thread she posted after I was gone, which was titled: What Happened to the Take Back the Net Subforum

Much of Tracy's retort to my concepts in the now-deleted "Take Back the Net" sub-forum was answered point-for-point in previous threads.  (Those threads, now deleted, have been condensed and reprinted on this blog.)  Since she continues to mention the same objections after I have already answered them, I can only conclude that she has merely glazed over my stance at best, and not read what I've said at worst. 

However, let's take a close look at her response nonetheless.
What Happened to the "Take Back the Net" Sub-forum?
I got rid of it because, as things went, it simply was not serving the purpose I had set out for it.
It was intended to be a place for people who have charity in their hearts to get folks to come help them in a debate somewhere, or ask questions about how to handle a situation or answer someone, etc.
And no, charity is not the equivalent of American "niceness" but can often look like it to some degree insofar as charity is  patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up;  is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 
Feelings do matter. They are not the be all, end all, obviously, and the Truth might hurt and that's too bad (but the way the Truth is presented can mitigate some of the pain), but they matter, especially given the fact that most people are simply not rational and don't -- likely can't -- respond to sophisticated rational arguments.  
Fisheaters as a place for people who have charity in their hearts?  Okay, let's talk about what, exactly, charity is. 

Charity has nothing to do with being nice.  It is vigorously peristent.  It is the opposite of impotence.  It demands that justice is done upon manifested evil.  Before Christ was to rise up into Heaven, He upbraided the eleven apostles because of their incredulity and hardness of heart for not believing Him.  That is, our Lord vehemently scolded them, chewing them out, criticizing them, and reproaching them.    

The people from our era who plunge into Hell are there partially because we are complicit in their descent.  We have failed to be charitable to these damned souls.  We shrug our shoulders, accept indifference--the opposite of love--and we fail to raise our unwelcome objections. 

For modern cowards, such as ourselves, our "love" is conditional.  We are always expecting people to reciprocate that "love."  We do not practice caritas, which is altruistic love.  We fear to practice caritas because it seems unkind.  True altruistic love will yield honesty, while false narcissistic love will stir up lies and manipulation.  When we are to love and turn the other cheek, it is because we are to exercise true charity, even if that charity is returned with a physical or emotional blow.  Consider what Ann Barnhardt asks:
"Is our culture not totally contingent upon reciprocal esteem and quid pro quos?  Is not every word and every action measured by the amount of popularity it generates, with power and wealth coming behind as corollaries?  Is the need to be “liked” not central to most people’s existence?  No one will do the right thing or stand up for the truth because to do so would mean public scorn and ridicule..." 
The opposite of charity is to be permissive of the evil godless Leftism that I've talked about driving out.  The indifference of the past century has led to this awful moral state that we are all trapped in.  Evil demanded toleration, and then ratification, then celebration, and then participation.  We ought to stop evil.  We ought to shame the scoffing SJWs on the Internet social spaces before the multitude of voices manifests into something beyond our toleration. 

Charity is patient?  Very well.  Have I not endorsed running a "long game" when it comes to outlasting the SJW opposition?  Charity is kind?  Of course.  If your hostile atheist is being nice to you, return the niceness.  If they require correction or harsh response, then kindly demonstrate the magnitude of their error in the necessary methods of discourse.  Charity envieth not?  Why envy these hysterical SJWs?  Charity dealeth not perversely?  Have I endorsed perversion? 

Charity is not puffed up?  Very well, do not exaggerate your own ability in the discussion.  But do not hesistate to lay on the Truth...thick.  Charity is not ambitious?  Well, lucky for us, we're talking about nothing more than debating people in Internet comment boxes.  Charity seeketh not her own?  The only people I can think of who seek their own are the folks who stay in their online social communities and fail to venture into the un-evangelized spaces on the Internet.

Charity is not provoked to anger?  Of course not!  Take joy in this task, and smile at the people who hate you.  SJW's hate it when you smile.  And, of course, stay calm and mix your rhetoric with dialectic.  Charity thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth?  Consider only the Truth of the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church, and focus on spreading that Truth to your opponent; do this, and evil will not be your output in these online battles.

Charity bears all things.  Indeed.  The angry, hostile, atheist SJWs will tear at you mercilessly.  Continue to turn the other cheek.  Charity believes, hopes, and endures all things?  Of course!  Endure the online battles with SJWs, hoping for good outcomes, believing that anything is possible.
        
As I've said before, there is no wrong in shaming our opponents.  Shame is a gift from God to sinful men.  We should be covered in shame, due to our sinful nature.  Sorrow for sin is the fruit of the First Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary.  We are to beg God to increase the shame we feel for our sins.  We should struggle to grasp how even the smallest sin is a sin of infinite proportion to God. 

As Barnhardt continues to argue, in the modern world, shame is "a scandal to be eliminated, a character fault to be purged, and a 'hate crime' when recommended to others."  But in reality, a person with no shame whatsoever is either psychopathic, sociopathic, or both.  In reality, shame is a medicinal mercy.  In reality--in spite of what the modernists of our failing world may think--if we cannot generate our own shame, then shame ought to be charitably applied by other people.  This is true caritas.  This is true altrustic love.  This is true charity. 

Feelings matter because people are not sophisticated thinkers?  Look, our society has been making people feel happy for a century, and the Church has been struggling to ensure that everyone feels happy since the late 60s. Ever since Vatican II, a lot of priests concieve of our Lord as "superfun girly pacifist Jesus," who wants everyone to feel good about themselves and frowns upon the harsh reality of Hell.  Unfortunately for modernists, Christ during His ministry talked about Hell quite often.

Tracy continues to try to justify her actions:
The idea that took root in that sub-forum that, in essence, playing fair, refraining from fallacious ad hominems, not doing wrong because the SJWs do wrong and that's the way to "even the playing field," etc., and debating to save souls and for the cause of teaching the Truth aren't important, but "winning" is -- that's not even close to what I had in mind at all. 
Playing fair?   This topic was covered already, but Tracy seemed to gloss over it.  As in all things of war, we should utilize every tactical advantage that we have.   Read Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, or any other military geniuses, and most will attest:  "Superior force in these confrontations is the proven way to win, which is historical and logical. We will lose if we continue feeling. Our side doesn't like feeling morally inferior to the other side--so much so, that we'd rather lose than give up that feeling of superiority in order to meet the enemy head-on."

Ad hominems?  I say, take it even further.  Be cutting.  We should ridicule our opposition.  If you are a fool, then know that you are corrupt, you do abominable deeds, and no fool such as yourself does any good.  "I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!"  That is, "I wish those who bother you would be castrated."  These jabs come from Scripture.  We can be kind, gentle, and loving as we work to put these people in their place.  It would be unkind, most ungentle for everyone, and unloving not to do our civic duty, and engage them at the front line, as I have argued. 

The social justice warriors do wrong because they virulently stand for lies.  Our side stands for the Truth.  Our side is not wrong.  We are right.  Our side will win in the end.  Our side can win now.  Being friendly to the enemies of Christ will get us in the same place it's gotten us in the past fifty years. 

Next, Tracy discusses the success of her forum:
People can argue with me all they want to about this, but for them, I have a few simple questions: How many souls has the Holy Ghost used you to bring to the Church? How many religious, trad seminarians, and trad priests are doing what they're doing because of how the Holy Ghost used you to bring them to Tradition? Me, I can answer those questions by saying "hundreds of the former," and "a good 12, at least, that I know of, off the top of my head," of the latter. What I am saying works, and it is right. The choleric, fighting-to-win and "humiliate" opponents is wrong and does NOT work. I am not "bragging" and know the responses to FE aren't "my" doing except only indirectly, but I also know that I would have NOT had those successes if I were to have a nanny-nanny-noo-noo attitude toward people who disagree with the Church (likely because they are ignorant, in most cases). I'd bet $20 that there's not a single soul that "a certain other forum" has brought to Tradition or to the Church Herself. Unless people really "get" what's at this link, they just won't be effective at defending the Church or evangelizing:  http://www.fisheaters.com/conversionoftheheart.html I believe that to the depths of my being, and simply can't have people at my forum "undoing" what I'm trying to do -- and what has been working.
 Okay, so Tracy says fighting to win does not work.  But, one more time, she is arguing for something completely different.  Her objective and my objective are not the same.

Tracy argued for evangelizing people in internet comment boxes. 
I argued for an aggressive conquest of internet comment boxes.

Tracy is arguing for the salvation of individual souls.  I think that's great, and it is a goal fitting for an internet forum where personal and friendly public conversations take place.  I am arguing for the salvation of our society and the civic good.  If we Catholics are to act collectively in order to achieve a paradigm-shifting change in our society, we are going to have to get real, and not just talk about "sex for ex.", but war as well.  This is a culture war, and no one on our side is acting like it.

What I am saying works, and it is right.  The "choleric, fighting-to-win-and-humiliate-opponents" approach is right, and it DOES work.  Tracy's battle is for the individual soul.  My suggested battle is for the soul of our society.  These things are achieved in different ways, and they are as different from each other as the Old Testament is different from the New Testament. 

I do not wish to undo what Fisheaters has done.  As I've stated before, her website and forum have started a lot of us on our journeys, and they probably continue to do so for other people to this day.  I was on her discussion forum attempting to discuss a new objective for Catholics.  My argument was shut down, and my person was shut out. 
If someone wants to blast away at the SJWs and use SJW tactics, I can understand the impulse. But don't use what was being called "shock troop" tactics (humiliating others, using mean-spirited tactics simply because the SJWs do so, as if two wrongs make a right, etc.) in the Name of Jesus, or while defending the Church. It harms the Church. It wounds His Sacred Heart.
 Using the social justice warrior's tactics is merely returning to our own tactics.  The West has pushed out scoffers from normal decent society for a long time up until the mid-twentieth century.  Boldly confronting our hostile faithless enemies is more than an impulse.  It is an act in a war--that we should at least attempt to win.  Humiliating others?  Did not Elijah do the same against the Baal worshippers?  "Go to Hell's fire, which has been lit for you by the Devil!" said St. Nicholas.  Corrupt cardinals are "a stench that makes the whole world reek," said St. Catherine of Sienna.

What is "mean-spirited" even supposed to mean?  If anything, I am endorsing a spirit of charity and love.  It is good and loving to try to clean up the filthy mess that evil men and neglectful Catholics have allowed to fester because of indifference.  All of this--the correction of corruption--is janitorial work.  A mess has been made of Western Civilization.  And now, compelled Catholic laity (and any remaining faithful clergy) are going to have to clean it up.  Healing the world, driving the godless haters out of public spaces will only help to restore Christendom.  Doing this will help the Church.  Doing this will gladden Jesus Christ's Sacred Heart.
And this stuff of equating any decency with being "wussy" is ridiculous and has to stop. I -- and most of the people posting on this forum -- could've made each and every point made by the person embracing that "shock troop" persona, while showing absolutely no sign whatsoever of "complacency," without "watering down" anything, without missing one single DROP of the Faith that needs to be related to make the point -- and we could've done it: without unnecessarily offending anyone. For the sake of all that's holy, someone explain to me what possible good could come from these schoolboy, ineffective, harmful "shock troop" tactics? "
How could Tracy have "made any of my points" if she disagreed with them?  My endorsement of the "shock troop," robust, confrontational approach to hostile online enemies is the point and has been the point in every deleted thread that I posted in the now-deleted "Take Back the Net" sub-forum.  Your fear to offend anyone offends me!  But I was happy to disagree with you, and I was cheerfully ready to disagree with you in good spirit.  To cut me off and then say these things after I was gone is really special.
That sort of stuff even turns off fellow Catholics, for crying out loud. What do you think it'd do for some intellectually lost, miseducated, radical feminist type who's just ITCHING to find "ammo" to use against the Church -- stuff she can tell her friends about? "So this Catholic dude on this forum was going on about this and that and was being a total ass. That's just how those Christians are. They don't know how to think. They're just stupid." There are some personality types who just don't naturally do well at evangelizing, with empathizing with others, "getting into others' minds" to have a sense of who they are and what they need, etc. That type should absolutely stay away from evangelizing until/unless they work those things through. They do more damage than they do good, and that just IS the way it is.
 This "sort of stuff" is switching on fellow Catholics.  More and more, I see Catholics ready for action and waiting to know what to do about the problems that we have.  The only problem is that there is no cohesion.  There is no uniting force that is bringing we, the faithful laity, together.  They message me often, and I see their desperate search for direction in the comment boxes that the SJWs have overrun.  Indeed, the SJWs are activists, and their overrunning of the internet social spaces are truly and literally a part of an organized campaign of the Left to control culture. 

Tracy says that there are some who naturally don't do well at evangelizing?  I am not talking about evangelizing.    

Tracy argues for evangelizing people in internet comment boxes. 
I argue for an aggressive conquest of internet comment boxes. 

Getting into others' minds is essential for tactical and strategic victory.  Know your enemy.  However, I am not talking about winning them over.  I am not talking about individual salvation.  I am talking about cultural warfare.  In this situation, if we are to know our opponent's mind, it is to know their mind's weaknesses so that we can defeat them.  The objective is different.

The Old Testament is different because God the Father was guiding a nation, a collective.  The New Testament is different because God the Son is guiding individuals and individual people.  In talking about cultural warfare, I am talking about rallying one collective against another.  In talking about evangelizing people, Tracy is talking about evangelizing individuals.
As an aside, when Bible verses get thrown at me, and depending on who's doing the throwing and what the exact situation is, I sometimes reply with, "Eh, you can't play the Bible verse game with me; I'm Catholic. The Church Fathers interpret Scripture, not me, not you" -- coupled with a grin, in a humorous tone. That's worked a good number of times to throw them off their game and make them come up with another approach LOL
The last time I was at a Novus Ordo Mass waiting for the lisping priest to interpret the Sunday Scriptural reading, he introduced a guest priest from South Africa who talked about poverty, feminism, Mandela, and Desmond Tutu, ending his "homily" by asking for donations. 

Beware of how you sport that "grin and humorous tone," Tracy.  You don't want to unnecessarily offend people with your quasi-ridicule. 

Besides, as St. Jerome once said: "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."   Our newest Catechism states that "The Church 'forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."  I will continue to read scriptures, as venerating the Divine Word is of great value to us, and reading for over half an hour gains us a plenary indulgence.  I exhort everyone else to do the same. 
I love the idea of that sub-forum! I was inspired to make it, ironically, because of someone I just had to ban for the above sorts of things I described. And it just SUCKS that I felt the need to do that. He was obviously wanting to spread the Faith, which is SUCH a great thing, a NOBLE thing! I thought it was wonderful of him, and I so wish more and more people had that sort of fire in them that that poster obviously has. God bless him for that! -- but he was just doing it way, way wrong, and I truly, deeply believe it harms the Church and that it works against everything I am trying to do here. I wish that the poster in question would've listened to what I was saying about all this, but nothing I said seemed to sink in.

 Sigh. It just makes me want to cry having to ban someone who wanted to do good and who obviously puts a lot of work into it, especially when it's a poster I liked for a lot of other reasons. It just -- it just &%^%$ sucks.
At which point it becomes even more personal. 

You banned me because you disagreed with me.  Indeed, it does suck that you felt the need to do that.  And I can promise you that should I ever undertake the option of creating a forum of my own, I would absolutely not do the same to you.  Because I am one who believes that discussion forums are for discussing.  As I stated to you in my private e-mail to you: simply asking me to drop the subject would have sufficed.  Different forums have different preferences for what they want to allow.  Communicating with people before making up your mind could be helpful in generating a faithful base of members.  This is the problem that I have seen on your forum, and I have witnessed the same at The Echo Chamber. 

This circle of Catholic forums that we all know of: Fisheaters, Suscipe Domine, Cathinfo, Te Deum--all of these are very personal places, run by individuals.  These are not mega-corporations that are private, cold, and money-hungry, such as Catholic Answers Forum.  We think so little of CAF, and our expectation is thus very low for that place.  But the former four forums are run by private individuals, and friendship and community is implied.  We've expected more from forum moderators of these four places.  If ever there has been or will be any reason that great anger is generated towards the moderators of these forums, it is because banned members have or will feel betrayed.

I, for one, do not easily shed my associations and friendships over mere disagreements.  This explains my presence over at Te Deum, by the way--a place where I am a fish out of water.  However, I know the people there, and I will visit them for as long as they'll have me. 

One final time: Tracy was wrong to ban me without warning me first.  She was wrong for not telling me to "drop it."  She was wrong for erasing our previous conversational threads about "taking back the net."  She was wrong for removing the "Taking Back the Net" sub-forum on Fisheaters.  She was wrong for erasing the threads that talked about sodomite marriage.  She is wrong for putting down what she thinks I said--without me being there to defend myself.  She is wrong for not responding to my e-mail messages.  And she is completely wrong about what my objective is. 

Tracy argues for evangelizing people in internet comment boxes. 
I argue for an aggressive conquest of internet comment boxes. 

I have said my peace on this matter.  I am finished. 


"[B]efore some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people one cannot instruct."
- Rhetoric, Aristotle

Neither Fish Nor Fowl, Part 3 of 4

So, I've never been one to cast stones too quickly.  Often in life, I've accepted people along with both their good qualities as well as their bad qualities.  Such has been the case with my association with Tracy, moderator of the Fisheaters.

Tracy isn't all bad.  The content of her website outside of the forum is of good quality.  I've heard praise of her site, ranging from Charles Coulombe all the way to sedevacantists.

Myself, I particularly enjoyed the different articles she would post.  Two of my recent favorites include Pat Buchanan: The GOP's Iran Dilemma, and Why Men Won't Get Married Anymore.  The latter thread would have been a very interesting conversation to have, as I'm often reading conversations and articles about modern marriage, game theory, and the manosphere.  And it isn't too often that you come across a Pat Buchanan fan.

One person recently admitted his good fortune to have found Fisheaters:
If it hadn't been for your site Vox, my faith would have been in serious jeopardy.
I will admit, I might be able to say something similar.  Seven years ago, I didn't know anything better beyond my Novus Ordo Catholicism.  I knew that there was something wrong with the Church.  However, I was completely ignorant to the facts.  Before the eventual disintegration of the forum, Fisheaters was a remarkable resource for a progressing Catholic such as myself.  It was like getting a shot of B12 vitamins.  Before, I never even knew what a healthy traditional Catholic resembled.  I was accustomed to the modernist Catholic culture that struggles to emulate the Protestants.

I must give this credit where credit is due.  A lot of us used to be at Fisheaters.  It was the place I started at.  I never got acquainted with any real-life friends, but I was introduced to the online Catholic community because of Fisheaters.  Because of Tracy.

Unfortunately, I am considered a "laddish," assholish, gung-ho, kooky Toxic Trad.  However, I would like to remind her of one plain fact stated this month on her own forum by a different poster:
Never forget it wasn't the "Toxic Trads" that destroyed the missionary work of the church, it wasn't them that promoted heretics. it wasn't them that molested teenage boys.
Indeed, I and others like me have not caused this problem in the Church.  If anything, we've all been trying to figure out the problems and fix them in the best way we know how.  

As it was with the last post, I am responding to some material from the following threads on Fisheaters:

What Happened to the Take Back the Net Subforum
Whatever Happened to the Not-So-Toxic Trads
and, What's Up With That Hate Towards the Fisheaters?

Now, this month Tracy responded to the opinions of those outside of Fisheaters.  And she makes a hypocritical statement about others' observations of her actions:
I've heard some super-crazy things said about me. It is kind of hard to believe, really. It's either that people truly are not that bright and cannot parse what is in front of them, or they are just hateful. Or both. Makes no sense. (this is where a toxic type would say, "See? Disagree with Vox and she thinks you're just stupid!", as if they have no understanding of the difference between disagreeing with someone, and mischaracterizing what someone says to the point that you're saying the exact opposite of what was actually said)

I, the toxic type, do not think you regard everyone you disagree with as stupid.  I am unaware that I have made that accusation at all.  And, I will even accept that this statement is not directed towards me in particular.  In fact, other people who are vehemently opposed to your stances freely admit that you are highly intelligent.  So, I do not know where that particular charge comes from.

But you ponder that these people cannot understand the difference between a disagreement and a mischaracterization?  In my particular case, I have been the one who has marked your recent action against me as a disagreement--which you've gone overboard on.  You, on the other hand, are the one who labels people as Toxic Trads.  And you are the one who mischaracterizes my objectives in "Taking Back the Net."

You banned me because you thought I was a zealot who wanted to hurl insults at people in a fit of proselytism that would go nowhere.  You assumed wrong.  In "Taking Back the Net," you talked past me the entire time this summer.  You were the one who missed what I actually said.  

You argued for evangelizing people in internet comment boxes.
I argued for an aggressive conquest of internet comment boxes.

Neither of these objectives are the same.  We could have come to a mutual agreement about this fact, and it is likely we could have ended the conversation in a more civil manner if you had the patience.

As everyone was fooling themselves this month about how "free" they are to talk about whatever they want on the Fisheaters forum, you boasted:
I want this place to be a place where people can get "real" about things. Like sex, for ex.

You will happily let people ramble on about sex.  Because "it's real."  But you will not let people mention war--and their part in it.  Namely, the culture war that we are all a part of, whether we like it or not.

Perhaps Gandhi can break through to you and others about the necessity for aggressive activism:

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.  -Mahatma Gandhi
Passivism was just a tool in an overall strategy that Gandhi applied.  In reality, he had his own battles.  He was not a pacifist.  He wouldn't even condemn his own people when they took up arms against the British.  So much for everyone's favorite Hindu.  

Tracy despises the idea of shock troops. She despises the idea of winning. She despises the idea of being aggressive and impolite.

It is precisely this kind of attitude that has led to the Catholic capitulation in the West for generations. It was not always this way. Catholics used to have political power. We used to have a voice in the public square. Dissenters to Logos would have been run out of the town square at one time.

But all of that is gone now. And left with a fracturing remnant of Christendom--if it can be called that anymore--we find ourselves utterly alone and powerless. Hardly a thing is stopping the powers of Satan from diving in and subduing our very lives.

By all means, let's be kind, folks. We can win the world over with polite conversation! 



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Neither Fish Nor Fowl, Part 2 of 4

Moderate: Okay, gentlemen... take 5 paces, then turn and shoot. SJW has won the coin toss and will shoot first. Understood?
Conservative: Yes.
SJW: Whatever.
Moderate: One...
SJW: turns and points pistol, hand trembling in terror
Moderate: looks at SJW scornfully Two...
SJW: CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE! shoots in Conservative's general direction... misses horribly
Conservative: What the deuce? Turns around. You bastard!
SJW: How dare you turn around! You're not a gentleman!
Moderate: Conservative! You must take three more paces before you may turn around!
Conservative: That coward shot at me after two!
Moderate: Do not lower yourself to his level! Death before dishonor!
Conservative: That doesn't mean what you think it does! aims at SJW
SJW: EEK! cowers
Moderate: How dare you! draws pistol on Conservative If you do not turn around this instant, I shall shoot you myself, you dishonorable cur!
Special thanks, again, to Bateful Higot and VD for this charming example of duplicity and betrayal.  

Greetings, friends.  Laramie Hirsch here.  Toxic Trad, one numbered among the Dread Ilk, and Vile Faceless Minion of the Evil Legion of Evil.  

Following my banishment from the Fisheaters Catholic Forum--a place, to which, yours truly may never return--several conversations have been generated that I would like to respond to.  Namely:


A conversation about this subject really ought to be discussed between the Fisheaters forum owner and myself, either on the forum in a thread for their community to observe, or privately through e-mail correspondence.  Unfortunately for all parties involved, I am locked out from their community, and Tracy no longer replies to my e-mails.  

This fact, I find, is ironic and humorous in a certain kind of a way.  It was just earlier this month that some untrue assumptions about the nature of the forum have been made by various members--many of whom are relatively new to the forum.  
  • "People speak freely here. That's too much for some to handle."
  • I just have to say, I'm really loving this thread. It's an honest and frank discussion that I am very much taking to heart. I needed to hear some of these things. 
  • "I joined FE primarily due to the fact that sane discussion is encouraged..."
To these points, I might correct them, and state that in some cases--no discussion at all is encouraged.  You may not speak freely, because your moderator cannot handle it.  Honest and frank discussion is only tolerated so far.  And as far as "sane discussion" is concerned, that just depends on what you consider sane.  Free, frank, and honest conversation is disallowed.

The "Take Back the Net" sub-forum was shut down, yours truly was swept away, and let's not forget that the following threads about sodomite marriage were also taken off of the forum after I was banned:

1. Article: Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage
2. Concerning defining/redefining/undefining the word "marriage"
3. One reason we now have sodomitic "marriage"
4. Should the two "Catholic" justices who voted for gay marriage be excommunicated?
5. Field Work #3: CAF is afraid of being strong against sexual degeneracy

However, to be sure, some on the forum are pleased as porridge that "ne'er-do-well types" like myself (I guess) have been given the boot.  In discussing how a multitude of Fisheaters members left a couple of years ago and went to Suscipe Domine, Melkite jokingly nicknamed the latter as "Westboro Catholic," and he further boasted about how the nickname seemed fitting for them.  While I may disagree with Melkite--as I prefer "The Echo Chamber" as a more appropriate name--why split hairs?

DCMaccabees, on the other hand, shares a bit more about how he feels of "Toxic Trads," and he takes delight in the fact that such people are to never be heard from again:
..."toxic trads" should be banned hard, early, and often. Their toxicity continues to poison long after they're gone and it has a greatly magnified negative impact on real "on the ground" traditionalism

...If you've been a member or a lurker [of Fisheaters] for a while, you're sure to remember the gaggle of toxic trads.  They've since crawled under a number of different rocks across the 'net., where they spew and hiss their venom.
Again, for people such as Melkite, DCMaccabees, and all others on any forum who delight at getting members expunged from their communities: so much for forgiving seventy times seven.  For these people, if you are so unfortunate to get singled out as a "Toxic Trad," then you are to be the stranger left on the road.  You should be passed by, with no "good Samaritan" to stop and give you aid in this troubled world.  You are gone forever.  

I find this approach to be extremely hypocritical, considering that Fisheaters has a very old thread titled "Banned from CAF," in which members recount the horrible closed-minded methods CAF used to scrub away all "contrary" dialogue.

One fellow this month commented about the insane policing of threads by CAF moderators:
Also its usually the case that on forums were you've crossed the line, the content of your post is blanked out and a red warning tells you, and everyone else, that a particular rule had been crossed. On CAF they just delete it, redacted, as it doesn't exist. This creates a very unsafe atmosphere for debate. People stifle themselves.
The place is a hug box, and a prayer request place, or they talk about completely safe things.
Sorry, friend. Tracy is the same way. Same goes for The Echo Chamber.  Tracy, also deletes threads as if they don't exist.  Tracy, also, creates an unsafe atmosphere for debate.  That is why so many people left and one of the reasons she's created so many enemies.  Is CAF a hug box?  Then what is Fisheaters?  This is how Tracy talks to people who do not disagree with her:
...I really want to give you a hug right now
…All you can do is your best, sweetheart.
I find nothing wrong with being a nice lady.  But the multi-level irony here is too perfect.  This is the kind of kindness Tracy will show you if you are not at odds with her.  

I, myself, dislike all of this fighting among the Traditional Catholics.  I particularly dislike the labeling that Tracy is engaged in with her finger-pointing "Toxic Trad" routine.  This is the same game that CAF plays, but I don't think she realizes that she is also playing it.  

I whole-heartedly agree with this next person's statement on the whole affair:
Well, I feel so delightfully out of touch after reading these posts. I find it terribly distracting putting all these names on people and having so many tags associated with someone. Why? Why must there be this pigeon-holing putting everyone in this or that position. I apologize, but I ain't into that. I am, I suppose, just an old traditionalist Catholic.
Indeed.  Pigeon-holing people into irredeemable slots is very unCatholic.  I despise this kind of behavior on any forum.  Even my most despised opponent on these forums is not beyond change, and I am not above speaking to her one day when she might have repented from her manipulative nature.

Want more irony?  Listen to this chap ramble on about how safe on Fisheaters he thinks he is:
...all charity and integrity requires of us to be self-critical. That's why I prefer this forum to Catholic Answers. We're allowed to disagree, even at the risk of getting into arguments. Because then we can air the problems and deal with them.
Wrong, my friend.  You are not allowed to disagree on Fisheaters.  You are not allowed to disagree at the risk of getting into arguments.  Neither there, nor at The Echo Chamber.  You cannot air out your problems and deal with them.  Not at all.  As I stated last week, it seems that discussion forums are not for discussing. Discussion forums are for agreeing.

I do not take the Michael Voris/ChurchMilitantTV approach.  I do not cast away people.  Should I ever have a forum of my own, I will reserve a lower tier for even my non-Catholic enemies.  And anyone banned from any upper tiers will not be perma-banned.  Rather, they would have opportunities to redeem themselves, or bans would have expiration dates.  There is no point in banning anyone longer than six months to a year.  

I take the Michael Matt approach to the online Traditional Catholic world.  In fact, I told Matt as such just recently:
I'm an FSSP man, myself. I don't really endorse the SSPX. That being said, I am always struck by the charitable attempt by Michael Matt to bridge gaps between Traditional Catholic groups, and the uncharitable slander the SSPX receives from critics. While Michael Matt is doing what he can to find commonality among us torn and struggling conservative Catholics, forums like Catholic Answers Forums and bloggers like Mark Shea smugly shut down anyone who opposes them and ridicules those they see are too far to the right.
Matt (I believe) thanked me kindly, stating that, "We're weak and we're sinners, far from perfect, but to "unite the clans" against the haters of Christ is what gets us up out of bed in the morning."  

If we are to win in this culture war against godless people, then we have got to be able to get along with one another and reasonably talk things out.  Within our communities, we cannot abandon people just because we disagree with them.  In public secular places, I will contend that we should win the social spaces and shame evil voices out of the arena.  But in our own spheres of influence--in our own habitations--we should be correcting one another in fraternal charity, and we should be patient with one another.  If someone needs to be silenced for a time, do it for a time.  But permanently?  Seems like nothing but malice.  I have witnessed such malice take place time and again on forums.  I have not seen too many reasonable mediators, and our side continues to fracture into pieces.  

Another individual has stated that people are much different in reality than they are on the forums:
I have never met anyone I would describe as a "toxic trad" in real life. However, in real life you see a lot more of a person.
Tracy agreed with this sentiment, admitting about how she would like to meet different members in real life:
I've often had the wish that some of the people who loathe me and bash FE could meet with me IRL, over a bottle of Gewurtzraminner (sp) or whatever and spicy snacks and just t-a-l-k. I'd bet that our opinions of each other would soften to a great degree.
I couldn't agree with Tracy more.  It would definitely be a good time for us all to meet one day in person.  Heck, before Fisheaters split into different factions, I recall hearing about people doing actual meet-ups.  Everyone lived up in the Northeast, so there was no possibility of me rendezvousing with anyone, but it was a nice sentiment.

I was actually entertaining the idea of perhaps meeting the Fisheaters moderator up there in Indiana.  One day, I will be taking my family to our ancestral family cemetery in that state.  Wouldn't it have been interesting to be chilling out with Tracy and discussing the current "Gay mayor fiasco" going on in South Bend, Indiana, which E. Michael Jones has been railing about on the local access channel?  What would Tracy say about it if I were to speak to her in person?  

Alas, alliances are shattered frequently.  

Gonates expelled from Athens 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Strategies and Tactics for Catholics in Taking the Net

What should be done with non-believers in the Internet social spaces?

This very question has led to my banishment from about two Traditional Catholic forums.

The question of winning the online social spaces was hotly debated for a very short time in a sub-folder on Fisheaters, titled the "Take Back the Net" forum. Of course, we Catholics would not be taking back the Net at all if we succeeded. The Internet was never "ours" to begin with. But still, I would argue that dominating the Internet is a noble goal that Catholics should collectively strive for.

Winning the social spaces basically involves a war between our side and their side. Such a war is, of course, a culture war. And as with any war, there are universal principles that can be applied to win skirmishes and battles. Tactics and strategies should be carefully chosen in order to win any field of territory.

Unfortunately, Catholics need to first realize that there is a war in the first place, and that this war should be fought as though it really and truly is a war. Most Catholics that I have encountered, however, have a distaste for this kind of engagement. It makes them look mean, harsh, and "uncharitable." Although, ultimately one of the greatest acts of mercy is to instruct the ignorant, is it not?

Now, Tracy, the moderator of Fisheaters, argued that we should be kind and informative with everyone we encounter in comment boxes. It often has seemed as though she wants Catholics to attempt to convert anyone we are confronting in a comment box. I have likened such attempts to the idea of someone going to a nightclub and attempting to convert people there.

My opinion of "taking back the Net" is different from many Fisheaters'--and perhaps, many Catholics'--opinions.

Non-confrontational Catholic: "Oh, we have to engage the other side in order to convert the individual we are debating with."

Laramie Hirsch: "No. We must shame the opponent, win the social space, and plant a flag for our side."

Non-confrontational Catholic: "But oh! Laramie! How could you be so smug and not demonstrate any love for your online opponent if you go about it that way?"

Now, on Catholics forums for the past year or two, I have done my best to explain the rationale behind a more robust confrontation against godless liberal internet social justice warriors. And to explain this, I have taken heavily from the writings of Vox Day. Most of what I have stated to Tracy took place in a thread that was titled, "Strategies in Taking Back the Net." Tracy has since erased this conversation.

I began by drawing upon Vox Day's writings directly, who went on to cite John Wright.
"The only power the Social Justice Whores have over you is the power you give them. There is no reason to give them even the slightest ground; doing so only inflames and encourages them. So don't do it. Root them out wherever they have infested, slap down all their attempts to invade and influence, and resolutely ignore them when they are safely on the outside. John C. Wright explains how they, and a panoply of other evils, will be defeated:
'I submit that victory shall be ours by using the same methods we used to overthrow the Roman Empire and replace paganism with Christianity.
First, we must pray. We must live differently from the pagans around us, according to standards of higher discipline, displaying more fidelity in marriage, eschewing divorce, assisting the poor and downtrodden, and living lives so holy that even the devils are amazed.
Second, by being willing to suffer public scorn, loss of prestige, position, and fortune for Christ.
Third, by being open, vocal, coordinated, and relentless in our efforts. Fourth, by staying on message and never giving an inch.
Fifth and last, by showing the imagination of man that no one can live in the craven airless cesspool of the mental environment of political correctness, but that men flourish and grow strong and brave, not to mention more sexually appealing, in the walled gardens of the Church and the battlefields of life.'
Stay on message. Never give an inch. Stop trying to play moderate in the hopes that you'll escape the heat. Stop trying to win them over by telling them that you're not opposed to them when, in fact, you are. You cannot reason with the willfully insane."

I suppose it could be said that I've definitely met the second criteria. The idea of rooting out hostile atheists and liberal Catholics seems like a foreign concept to many of my, now inaccessible, colleagues. Scorn, loss of prestige and position are just the order of the day for a Toxic Trad such as yours truly.
"[G]ive them an inch and they will not only take a mile, but will insult you in the process. Second, there is absolutely no reasoning with these people. They are an implacable enemy and no quarter should be shown to them even when they wave the white flag and start talking about negotiating a settled peace.
As Churchill once said of the Hun, he is either at your feet or at your throat. We can't leave them alone because they won't leave us alone. We can't tolerate them because they will not tolerate us. So, root them out of your lives, stop supporting them, stop enabling them, and stop funding their assault on your beliefs, your family, and your faith. There are no fences upon which moderates can safely sit in a cultural war. … One cannot reason with totalitarians. One can only refuse to submit to them. And sooner or later, one must fight them."
Eventually we have to fight them. How can this not register for my former colleagues? You know, often in these online Traditional Catholic communities, I read others pining for the spirit of the Vendee or the Christeros--groups who gathered together to militantly fight back with arms against their persecuting authorities. These Catholics sometimes almost wish for the day to arrive in which we are called to resist godless persecutors with our rifles. And yet, two forums and counting have gotten rid of yours truly for daring to be so mean to those poor ignorant faithless SJWs.
"[The] SJW side is not reasonable and is never going to be convinced by sweet reason. They have no interest in it and little capacity for it.

This is the same divide between dialectic and rhetoric that I keep pointing out to everyone. You do NOT fight a rhetorical battle with dialectic; in a rhetorical battle the only use for dialectic is in a rhetorical manner; it can be used to explode pseudo-dialectic poses, but that is the extent of its effectiveness. It is an intrinsically defensive weapon on the rhetorical level. This means you cannot win with it.

The primary difference between the Left and the Right is that the Left instinctively defends its extremists and the Right instinctively runs from them and leaves them out to dry. The latter is an appeasement strategy, and it works about as well as the infamous failures of appeasement we all know from history.

All appeasement does is signal to the SJW what buttons he needs to push in order to force an opponent to retreat. When you dutifully point out that 'you don't agree with everything X says' or 'don’t include the sexists, the woman haters and those who argue in bad faith,' what you are accomplishing is not the inoculation of your argument from their extremist taint, you are telling the SJW exactly how he can rhetorically defeat you by painting you as the very sort of extremist you disavow. And remember, rhetorical victory is the entirety of their objective!

Embrace the extremists [on your side]. Defend them. Refuse to permit them to be cut off and isolated. Allow them to play their role as the intellectual shock troops they are. That is how you win. Because if they're not taking the incoming fire, you are. And the shock troops are much better equipped psychologically to take it and survive than the average self-styled moderate."
At Fisheaters, there was instant revulsion from Tracy about the idea of a Catholic "shock troop" when it comes to winning a social space. Driving out such people was reprehensible in our debate. Yet, what are we to do with Proverbs 22:10?
"Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, even strife and dishonor will cease."

It seems to me that, in past centuries, Christian communities would drive out the filthy and conniving individuals who, today, constantly barrage us with demoralizing insults and thick lies. This was done with shaming and ostracization. Today, however, it appears that the Christian communities reserve banishment for those who dare to even talk about driving out scoffers.

If we are to adhere to the old model of driving out scoffers, then how is this done? The modern godless internet SJW is a twisted, narcissistic fiend who is typically incapable of learning. (Yes, there are exceptions. But we are not talking about that, and exceptions are rare.) Reasoning--dialectic--will get you nowhere with the SJW. They spew forth emotion. They spew forth rhetoric. And rhetoric/emotion is all that they will understand.

Being the higher creature that you are, you should therefore apply rhetoric mixed with dialectic. Most of your oppenent's statements are molotov cocktails. Many times, they will engage you in a back and forth that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, and this is because they love to utilize red herring tactics. They wish to pretend that they are fully equal to you.

Therefore, speak to the Saul-Alinski-trained SJW as an 'equal,' so to speak, and with the same amount of casualness that you would any flaming jerk who runs recklessly through a crowd that does not welcome him. If they want to pretend that objective morality is on their side, let them know that objective morality disagrees with them. Do it with a smile on your face, and as much insensitivity to their feelings as possible. Be kind at first, but if that option is out the window, do not fear to be robust. More often than not, they are a lost cause, and standing up to the likes of them heartens the spectators on your side who have been beaten down by such careless, incendiary error.
 
When you confront these people on the field, perhaps you will ask yourself: Am I being led down into a dark alley? Am I being drawn down into their level?

No, you are not. If anything, you will be drawing the SJW out. Sometimes that is all that you can do. Sometimes, there is no other "victory" when a person is being obstinate. You draw the person out, and the crowd twenty feet away from you is able to visualize what the entire monster looks like. You don't convert your opponent, but then that was never a realistic possibility in the first place. In such circumstances, goals become redefined. The Catholics in the crowd become reaffirmed that, yes, the individual is unreasonable and uncivil, and they become heartened that someone had the patience to do endure a "long game." The faithless in the crowd, meanwhile, recoil at you and bad talk you as a horrible villain. And if there are any people on the fence, they will see the demonstration you've made with your debate, and they will make their own decisions.

Vox Day continues to explain these vital tactics of the culture war:

"...[Y]ou do not defend ordered liberty, constrained government, and rational argument over insanity with unconstrained liberty, government inaction, and talk. You defend it with force, and you defend it successfully with force that exceeds that of your opponent at the point of conflict.

The Romans did not become the Britons by defeating them with superior force. The USA did not become Nazi Germany by invading Normandy (although it may as a result of the 1965 Immigration Act). The Soviets did not become the Afghans and the Coalition of the Willing has not become the global jihad. Batman would not become the Joker even if he snapped the Joker's neck, but he would certainly save the lives of all of those who would have been killed by the Joker in the future.

What frustrates me about the noble defeatists is that they are like a football team who refuses to accept those newfangled rules that permit the forward pass. They play the game in the outmoded way they believe to be the right way, run the ball every down against a defense with 11 stacked in the box the entire game, and inevitably lose when the other team passes for ten touchdowns and wins 70-0.

The problem is a conceptual one. Even those whose devotion to free expression is unquestioned ... fail to understand that their efforts are doomed to failure so long as they confuse the objective with the method used to defend it. This is not a "by any means" argument, it is a straightforward argument for deterrence.
The best defense for free expression is not to permit the other side to freely libel and slander and calumniate and defame and lie while responding with few feeble protests that what they're saying just ain't so. The reason poison gas has made very few appearances on the battlefield since WWI is not because the French, English, and Americans set the Germans a good example, but because they promptly responded by manufacturing and using even more gas than the Germans could. The only reason the USA has not dropped an atomic bomb since 1945 is because the Soviet Union obtained their own in 1949.
Has the assault on free speech gotten stronger or weaker since Belgium introduced hate speech laws in 1981? The high-minded non-deterrent approach has failed, continuously failed, for the last three decades. The SJWs find speech-policing to be a useful weapon for marginalizing, disqualifying, and destroying their enemies and they are not going to give it up until they find themselves suffering from it to a greater extent than the free speech advocates do.
 
If you seek to defend free expression, you can do no better than to follow the lead of Lieutenant General Sir Charles Ferguson, who said of poison gas, which he deplored as a "cowardly" and un-English form of warfare:
"We cannot win this war unless we kill or incapacitate more of our enemies than they do of us, and if this can only be done by our copying the enemy in his choice of weapons, we must not refuse to do so."
This does not mean we must blindly imitate the other side, particularly not in their instinctual resort to stupid and petty lies, transparent psychological projection, and a foolish insistence on defending the indefensible. Nor should we seek to be as blindly ignorant of them as they are of us. What it means is that we should adopt their more effective tactics, and, as the Allies did with gas in WWI, make even more effective and extensive use of those tactics than they do until they agree to give them up."

But oh!  How do we do all of the above? I was asked this on two forums. I tried to explain how this could be done--and have been kicked off of the reservation for it. It seems that discussion forums are not for discussing. Discussion forums are for agreeing.
 
How do we "drive out the scoffers?" If the above was not enough, then let me list some particular points:
 
1. Should we personalize the argument? Absolutely. Nothing is more personal than The Faith, and everything boils down to whether or not you have The Faith. Liberals have been using deconstructive criticism for the better part of a century to tear apart at their conservative enemies. Watch them howl in terror and rage when you turn the tables on them, deconstruct them, and expose their black hearts for all the world to see. Their asperger-like emotional state is their weakness and our strength. Use it to your advantage.

2. Should we characterize or mischaracterize them? Characterize them? Absolutely. People are dense. These days, people no longer have a clear conception of good versus evil. They see a villain, and they want to get to understand him. But saturate an audience with imagery of just what exactly the person is, and they might get it. For example, people just love sodomites these days. Sodomy is now politically correct; the men feign delicate emotion when they talk about themselves, and women just love having gay orbiters to feed their narcissism. But let's put a few movie posters up in various public spaces of a sweaty Jim Carrey screwing his pal in the butt from his movie: "I Love You Philip Morris."  Or, we could arrange to have some cut scenes from Behind the Candelabra pasted into evening prime time television. Do these things, and it is likely that more of the population will resist this kind of cultural change. Mischaracterizing our opponents? We do not have to. They are already ridiculous.

3. Sassiness? Glibness, smugness? Taunting? Why is it that Christians have allowed the other side to own these rhetorical tools for so long? Even biblical heroes have confronted their enemies with a raised chin and a smirk on their face. As Elijah waited on the Baal worshippers to summon their "god" during a contest, he mocked them. "Cry louder for him! Maybe he went to the bathroom!"

4. Should we focus on winning, rather than teaching and converting? Why not? If you focus on anything else, you will lose. You might feel good about yourself for taking the high road, but you'll lose. You are not going to convert any hostile opponent in an internet comment box. Only if the opponent closes off the rhetoric (he won't) and opens himself up to dialectic (it's rare) will he listen to everything you have to say. And that's if he doesn't try to drag a red herring across the road to divert what you are trying to state.  What about teaching your opponent? You will teach everyone by confronting and exposing the other side. You will even teach yourself how to get better at it.

5. Are you failing to be charitable if you take such a strong stance against your enemies? Charity to your neighbor is a commandment after all. The answer? No. You are not being uncharitable. Instructing the ignorant is an act of mercy. Our opponents are ignorant. The people on the sidelines are ignorant--about how to deal with the hostile people on the other team. Instruct them. Lead them. Show them how to stand up.

These things are all helpful, and these things and more are necessary in order to fulfill our objectives. How do we win back the social sphere as a Christian Western society? By not being nice. Christians have been nice for 60 years, and we've done nothing but lose ground. Emotion should not play into any of this--particularly on the Internet.  After all, the Internet renders our thoughts into faceless type-written text messages.

One may ask: "How could you be so smug and not demonstrate any love for your online opponent if you go about it in such a way?" After all, love comes from God, and it is the very purpose of our being.

The answer is that love more than just an emotion. In other languages, there are many different kinds of love, and unfortunately, our Western society uses the generic term "love" to encompass far too much. Let us just say, for now, that ultimately love is an action. Instructing the ignorant is an act of mercy. By standing up to our enemies, we potentially instruct them, we instruct our fans on how to deal with them, and we instruct the people on the fence that our side is not comprised of weaklings. Our very act of asserting ourselves in the manner that I have outlined is nothing less than an act of love. By exercising our civic duty, we demonstrate our concern for others in particular and society as a whole.
 
Tracy of Fisheaters stated that if you can't reason with SJWs, then debating them on the Internet is pointless. However, the lurkers will always be there to observe the arguments. On this, we both agree. To take it further, the lurkers already agree with you, if not intellectually, then they at least sense your cause. But I would say that even if you were debating an SJW without any observers, it serves as training for you. There's no harm in it. I'll even go further and say that "debating" the enemy on their own turf--with a horde of enemies surrounding you--will educate you on the different ways to deal with your opponent, and it'll also teach you on what to avoid in the future.

 If Catholics are to gain any kind of ground, then this trend of appeasement to the other side must stop. As Vox Day stated earlier: "All appeasement does is signal to the SJW what buttons he needs to push in order to force an opponent to retreat."

Appeasement is blood in the water. Your online opponents are not interested in finding common ground with you. They are interested in you agreeing with them completely. They are interested in mischaracterizing you. They will give you attitude. The other side is not interested in finding an ecumenical "common ground" with us. They are interested in winning. For the past century, we've been interested in "live and let live." They're interested in destroying you.

Drive out the scoffers. Shame them. Shame them so that they recoil, and are slow to return to the arena. Expose them to the populace so that they are outed and discovered. Shame them, and encourage others on our side to stand up to them when once they were quiet.

Their side seems to think they are in the right and justified to shame our side with oppressive political correctness. This is completely backwards. The dyscivic acts and behaviors that we observe today would not be tolerated over a century ago, and we have it coming if we are going to be the kind of civilization that allows good people to become villainized.
 
Once more, I'm going to draw upon what Vox Day has to say on the matter.

SJWs have dominated public discourse for almost two decades by targeting, attacking, and disqualifying people in public. The successful adoption and utilization of their own methods will lead us to learning an important lesson about achieving victory.
"We can beat them. We will beat them. The only way that we will fail is if we fail to emancipate ourselves from the limitations of outdated methods to which those who have been attacking us for over a decade do not subscribe."
Perhaps we have deplored the hive mindset or other Internet mob tactics. However, "We are not a hive mind or a mob. We do not howl. We did not initiate the use of these mob tactics and we do not favor them as a first option. We prefer civil disagreement, dialectical discourse, and public debate."

They have left us literally no other choice except submitting to them, which will never happen. Refusing to take a side and trying to remain above it all will no more bring an end to dislikeable tactics than the League of Nations prevented World War II.

Honest debate is something that they will decline from. They must be forced to abandon their incivility and return to more civilized norms. Misbehaving bullies can only be stopped with superior force. To stop these mobs of people, we have to multiply our force. We can abandon the tactic when they do.
"But until the SJWs give up their rhetorical tactics of name-calling, marginalization, and disqualification, we will continue play by the Chicago Rules and exploit every mistake they make and every opening they give us."
We cannot out-argue our opponents. We cannot appeal to the dialectic in a rhetorical battle, where the greater part of those on the other side are not even capable of understanding that dialectic. To try to reason with these people ensures defeat.

Superior force in these confrontations is the proven way to win, which is historical and logical. We will lose if we continue feeling. Our side doesn't like feeling morally inferior to the other side--so much so, that we'd rather lose than give up that feeling of superiority in order to meet the enemy head-on. "When you cannot win by out-arguing, you must win by out-silencing, or you will be silenced."

Finally, as far as getting banned from Suscipe Domine and Fisheaters for even discussing this approach, consider this fictional dialogue from someone nicknamed "Bateful Higot":
Moderate: Okay, gentlemen... take 5 paces, then turn and shoot. SJW has won the coin toss and will shoot first. Understood?
Conservative: Yes.
SJW: Whatever.
Moderate: One...
SJW: turns and points pistol, hand trembling in terror
Moderate: looks at SJW scornfully Two...
SJW: CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE! shoots in Conservative's general direction... misses horribly
Conservative: What the deuce? Turns around. You bastard!
SJW: How dare you turn around! You're not a gentleman!
Moderate: Conservative! You must take three more paces before you may turn around!
Conservative: That coward shot at me after two!
Moderate: Do not lower yourself to his level! Death before dishonor!
Conservative: That doesn't mean what you think it does! aims at SJW
SJW: EEK! cowers
Moderate: How dare you! draws pistol on Conservative If you do not turn around this instant, I shall shoot you myself, you dishonorable cur!
Of the above, Vox asks:
"How can you identify a moderate? He is the man who only shoots at his own side, never the enemy. This isn't to say that moderates can't learn. I have known a few who have done so, gradually and over time, mostly by virtue of having their "friends" on the other side repay their steadfast good will with repeated betrayals and regular stabs in the back. Moderates merit civility, but no respect. And above all, do NOT permit them any input into strategy and tactics. They are worse than useless in that regard."
In my case, the "moderate" who shot me was Suscipe Domine and Fisheaters. But that's moderators for you. Whether it is breaching topics that divide the faithful, discussing how to confront hostile atheists, or even daring to attempt to formulate strategies on how to deal with liberal "Saul Alinsky" social justice warriors, you will find that the moderate lacks the stomach for it.

Perhaps we need less moderators, but more generals and platoon leaders.



* This post is a summary of my statements from the deleted Fisheaters thread: Strategies in Taking Back the Net.  Large portions of my explanations were derived from the writings of Vox Day, who can be read at either www.voxday.blogspot.com or www.alphagameplan.blogspot.com.

** Also, this Fall, be on the lookout for Vox Day's next book, which will cover this matter more thoroughly.  It will be titled: SJWS ALWAYS LIE: How to Defend Yourself From the Thought Police.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

I'd Swear Pope Francis Was Leftist

I often wonder how those with rose-tinted glasses (National Catholic Register, Crux, CAF, etc.) can continue to look beyond the character of the current pontiff.
He has appointed progressives such Archbishop Cupich of Chicago, with deep ties to far-Left dissenters from core Church teachings. He elevated to the rank of papal advisor the Malthusian scientific pessimist John Schellnhuber and radical feminist socialist Naomi Klein, and invited to speak at the Vatican pro-abortion luminaries Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs, whose contempt for unborn life would disqualify them from speaking at a Catholic-college commencement in America. 
The debate Pope Francis enabled about core moral doctrines at last year’s synod on the family was a profound source of scandal to faithful Catholics; if the permanence of marriage and the status of the homosexual “orientation” are up for debate, what else is up for grabs? If the pope is really considering reversing — or evading through tortuous loopholes — an infallible decree from the Council of Trent condemning divorce, why should we hearken to him when he goes far beyond his competence or authority to issue long-winded farragoes denouncing the free market, embracing dubious scientific projections, or demanding that European nations accept millions more Muslim “refugees” into a cash-strapped, jihad-haunted continent?

All of this, and so much more.  And today, I have learned, yet another decent bishop is being demoted, and that his demotion is directly related to a recent "fraternal visit" by His Holiness. The bishop in question was Archbishop Antonio Carlos Altieri.

Archbishop Altieri was dubbed by the media as a "conservative" in the Brazilian episcopate. He was not closely connected to tradition. In 2014 he turned against the state efforts to equate homosexual relationships to marriage. "Society can not simply turn a blind eye to the equality of homosexuals". In the Diocese of Passo Fundo, "concubinage among the clergy is widespread, Archbishop Altieri was at least a ray of hope," said Fratres in Unum. In Archbishop Altieri, Catholics hoped for a suppression of the influence of liberation theology in Passo Fundo.

Suppressing liberation theology?  So much for that.  Can't wait for the Synod.

Turn off your evil air conditioners, folks.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Novus Ordo Mass: Conceived in Malice

I cannot express enough how dissatisfied I am if I end up going to a Novus Ordo Mass.
I heard it said recently that the essence of Modernism is "We don't really believe what we believe." The Novus Ordo is the liturgical manifestation of Modernism par exellence. It was conceived in malice and built by evil men to scream out to the world that "We don't really believe what we believe." And now, almost no one does. It is, in absolute terms, Satan's most wildly successful attack upon the Church and mankind.
Ann Barnhardt has been doing an outstanding ongoing interview over at the Creative Minority Report.  This quotation is just the latest in a so-far-five-part series.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Neither Fish Nor Fowl, Part 1 of 4



I have a mess to mop up. The first part of cleaning up this mess is explaining what happened in the week after Tracy gave me the boot.

As it is already known, I originally thought that that Tracy banned me from Fisheaters because I quoted from the Book of Romans.

In the thread titled: Article: Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage, Tracy said the following:
“I disagree and think that Love is Love, and that the true emotional (non-sexualized) feelings of homosexuals for each other shouldn't be diminished or scorned (or sexualized when they don't need to be).”
I retorted:
“I disagree and think that what people are calling love is a shameful and vile affection."
After that post, I was banned. I thought that I was banned because of what I said about "gay love." But I was informed by Tracy herself that I was wrong. The actual reason that Tracy banned me was because she disagreed with me in the "Take Back the Net" subforum.

However, had my original perception been true, getting banned from Fisheaters was important and noteworthy to the community--this blog, at least--for three reasons.

#1. Those following me at Fisheaters would have wanted to know where I went and why. I was trying to give them an explanation.

#2. It was news in Laramie Hirsch World. This blog is just an extention--a home base of operations--for my online participation. Getting banned from Fisheaters after 6-7 years is definitely noteworthy enough to state for the record.

#3. If I was banned from Fisheaters for the reason I thought I was banned, then it would have confirmed many things that the community of Traditional Catholics suspected. If I was correct in interpreting what happened, then the stories would have been definitively proven true--that Tracy of Fisheaters is so "pro-New Homophile" and so enamored with making nice with gay people, that she would react emotionally to even the slightest hint of my disagreeing with her on the matter.

If all of that premise were true, then I was in a special position that obligated me to caution any wandering Catholics who'd want to venture there.

The idea that even Laramie--the anti-sede, pseudo-Novus Ordo, diocesan TLM guy--is getting banned because of Tracy's obsession with gays? That would confirm the suspicions that the online Traditional Catholic community has held for 2-3 years, now.

This is what I thought once I was banned. I was mistaken, however. I was incorrect. It has been confirmed that I was banned because Tracy disagreed with me on the "Take Back the Net" subforum. And now, I need to clarify this fact.

Now, in my defense, I would say it's understandable that I was left with this impression that I was banned because of my comments about "gay love." First of all, I was banned immediately after I quoted Romans. Secondly, after being banned, Tracy erased all of the recent threads that discussed gay marriage, leading me to believe that she had been emotionally triggered. Why would she erase all of those threads if it wasn’t because the topic bothered her? What was I to think?

Originally, I thought that Tracy banning me for quoting the Bible was absurd and immature. I thought I had stated something that she could not emotionally fathom. I thought she was having an outburst by just deleting all of the gay marriage threads and then getting rid of me.

I tried for the next two days to contact Tracy to clarify what was happening. I tried to set up two different accounts—just to get a private message through. I simply wanted to ask: “Why did you get rid of me?” But when I tried to start those accounts, no confirmation e-mails came to my e-mail addresses.
 
After those two days, I concluded that Tracy was ignoring me and shutting me out completely. I thought that, once again, a moderator was completely snubbing me. I thought that, once again, I had no recourse to a moderator’s emotional behavior.

Then, like every other time that I get banned—in order to inform those who I previously had access to—I’d communicate the only way I know how when I get ostracized from a place. I posted about the incident on The Hirsch Files. I discussed the incident in the post: Fisheaters: The Gay Sewing Circle. 
 
In that blog post, I expressed my displeasure about the entire incident. Due to that week’s perception, I thought that Tracy had confirmed everyone’s typical gay-orbiter accusations that are thrown at Fisheaters. I insulted her in different ways, and I spread the news on two different forums. I fed the appetites of Tracy’s online critics, even gaining the attention of people who I typically avoid.

I have damaged Fisheater’s reputation because of a misperception. I thought that Tracy banned me for stating that gay men have vile and shameful affections. I was a mistaken witness, and I sowed discord among the Catholics of the online Traditional Catholic community. This, I have done.

If I had given it a week, I could have discovered the true reason that Tracy let me go. If I had known how to properly contact Tracy, I could have talked to her immediately. This misunderstanding would not have taken place. I was not as patient as I could have been.

The sad truth was that—not only had Tracy banned me for something completely different—but also, she was totally unaware that I had shouted about the incident from the rooftops for almost a solid week. Once I was able to come into contact with her, I informed her of my actions. Our dialogue was civil, as has always been our exchanges.

People ask me: “Why care about Fisheaters? It was rotten in the first place.”

I do not know what these Catholic forums are for a lot of people. But for me, forums are a hobby. I do not look upon them as institutions carved in granite with solid maxims that ring eternal until the end of time. They are gatherings of people who have something in common, and they are organized by individual people with different personalities. I do not have a problem with participating in a forum in which I disagree with the moderator. Be polite to me, and I will be polite to you. Is there a taboo subject? More often than not, I don't mention it.

I knew I had some strong disagreements with Tracy. I never really felt compelled or called to confront them. I had a live-and-let-live attitude. Impygate? It came and went for me without noticing much. I might have remarked about it once or twice, but I cannot remember. I did not feel compelled to react strongly to it. I was more annoyed that all of my colleagues were mass migrating over to SD. I found it to be very inconvenient. I followed them there, but I did not consider myself to have abandoned Fisheaters. I despise how the online Traditional Catholic community continues to split itself apart into one branch after the other. It's like watching a microcosm of Protestantism. What truth can be found in this fact--this continuous division--I wonder?

Perhaps I enjoyed the different articles Tracy put up. She's always found a few whoppers here and there. Perhaps it was because I enjoyed the Science subfolder. Maybe I liked the "banned from CAF" thread. I had a neat Charles Coulombe Fan Thread started. Also, I managed to rope some of the biggest viewers to threads, and got a large amount of traffic for the forum. (The "NIA is a fraud" thread comes to mind.) It is possible that I felt rather invested there, given the large amount of posts I had on that forum. Perhaps it was because I had been there for 6-7 years. In the last couple of years, I was not as prolific a poster as I was before. But I still enjoyed the resources that the forum community provided from time to time. Same with SD. It is not inconcievable that I would be stating these same things about SD if I were still there today.

I don't think I have anything profound to state about my membership at Fisheaters. It did suck, however, to learn that it was ended so abruptly over such matters. Whether it was because of criticizing "gay love," or because I was arguing for retaking the social spaces in the "Take Back the Net" subforum, I don't think either was worth getting booted. Not in my case, at least.

These things happen, I suppose.

More to come.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Making Corrections About Fisheaters

I do not have too much time for the computer lately.  However, corrections must be made.

I was in error as to why Tracy banned me from the Fisheaters forum.  The actual reason was because she disagreed with me on the "Take Back the Net" subforum.  There is much more to be said of this matter, but this little bit of information will have to suffice for now.

Most certainly, had I have known the precise reason for her actions, the outcome probably would have been different.

More later.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Break Time. (Not yet. Postponed...)

(UPDATE: I can't bow out just yet.  I need to set a few things right and make come corrections first.)

So, I don't really know how to go about saying this.  But recently, I had a very vivid and terrifying dream about the Four Last Things.  I will not go into the details, but I will say that the dream really affected me for the rest of the week.  After dreaming about Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell, I find that the volume on everything else in this life has been turned down drastically.  Suddenly, I find that politics--even Church politics--do not matter to me as much as they once did.  I look at past posts on this blog and in different forums, and I ask myself how I could have been concerned about such issues.

Suffice to say, the Mrs. and I went to confession immediately after this dream I had.  With that being said, I would like to apologize to everyone who I have calumniated unjustly, everyone who I have tarnished, and for stirring up enmity between any people.

At the moment, I do not know if I will return to my "way of thinking" before that awful nightmare.  This new perception may be fleeting.  But for now, I cannot see myself looking at things the way I used to. Today, I don't think anything is as important as it used to be except where we go when we die. Honestly, I might not be the same again after this. Old priorities may die off.  I could be wrong.  But for now, I think it's break time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Those Destined For A Restoration And Strength Of Will

Given the times that we live in, I think that this should be recited at Catholic gatherings.

"In order to free men from bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of My Most Holy Son will destine for that restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence in God. To test this faith and confidence of the just, there will be occasions in which everything will seem to be lost and paralyzed. This will be, then, the happy beginning of the complete restoration."
-The Holy Mother to Venerable Mother Mariana, 17th Century

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Casting Out Scoffers, Casting Out SJWs

Lately, Tracy at Fisheaters has been stating that she had to ban me--not because I offended her about gay love--but because of my stance about Catholics winning the social spaces.  Followers will know that for the last year, I have been encouraging Catholics to be more strident and forthright, presenting a robust mix of rhetoric mixed with dialectic, in order to force, shame, and compel our hostile opponents out of the social spaces.

On this topic, I've been a lone voice in my circles, it seems. After this latest ostracization, I shared my latest disappointing observations at Te Deum:

From what I can tell, I do not think that Catholics are at all ready to retake the social spaces. We are collectively still in some kind of a retreat mode. There's no way to turn the herd around to make a charge. Most of us are beaten down, and we're in no mood to go out there and expose ourselves to abuse. The abuse is satanic, and it takes a lot out of a person.
...Overall, I see how the Catholic online community is divided against one another, and I realize that there is likely no possible chance to rally Catholics together in any way for any cause. Any collective bargaining power we could have had will never coalesce. 
Tracy has told me that this tactic of using fire against fire, that serving as a shock trooper against SJWs in the comment spaces, is faulty and wrong.  She states that we should be more concerned about our opponent's conversion.  I, on the other hand, have disagreed.  I have likened such a goal--converting people in com boxes--to going to a nightclub and trying to convert everyone there. The internet com boxes are too brief and casual for such a thing, and our side needs to be heartened to see others standing up strong against the mad tirades of the Left.  And not only that, but strategically, we ought to be trying to win the social spaces away from the Left with superior 'force.' In olden days, people used to do this as a part of their civic duty. Nowadays, its frowned upon as bigoted shaming techniques.  I find this funny, because it is Catholics using shaming tactics on me...for using shaming techniques.

Consider Proverbs 22:10, my favorite book in the Scriptures:  "Cast out the scoffer, and contention shall go out with him, and quarrels and reproaches shall cease."  My only remaining question has been...why haven't the Catholics banded together to cast out these scoffers, then?

The very act of questioning my recent tactic has given me pause and caused me to question the validity of the method.  (I could have been brought to this point without getting cut off from, yet, another Catholic community.)  I have therefore gone straight to the source for answers to my dilemma.  I have gone straight to the Dread Ilk, as well as Vox Day with my question.
I decided to share the whole "drive SJWs out of the social spaces" schtick--using force with force--with my fellow Catholics on a Catholic forum. Long story short, I was kicked out. I've been kicked out of a few places, actually.
The idea has been very appealing. And I can even find a small handful examples of taunts and mockery among a few Biblical figures and saints. However, the vast amount of examples of mocking people in the Bible appear to be characteristics of the heathens. Today, I am feeling compelled to drop the tactic, unless Vox has more to add to this approach.
Two verses that struck me the strongest are: 
Proverbs 29:8
Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.
and Proverbs 22:10
Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease.
Verses from Proverbs, no less. My favorite book in the Scriptures. Could I be reading Vox wrong? Is his version of fighting fire with fire--SJW tactics with SJW tactics--somehow different from the examples of the scoffers? We have an example of sarcasm from Elijah, Micaiah, and five instances from Jesus that I know of. I know of a handful of other examples of robust rhetoric from Catholic saints. Yet, mockery and ridicule seem to be trademarks of evil men. Vox, I hope you help me on this. Accepting your tactic (if I'm doing it right) has gotten me banned from several places.
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Mockery

I have yet to receive any reply from Vox Day.  I should probably just send him the question personally as a next step.  However, I have received some replies from the Dread Ilk.  They are as follows:


Zeno

"Accepting your tactic (if I'm doing it right) has gotten me banned from several places."

Sort of like Vox?  And you expected what?

First you show them they are wrong, and then you mock.  Is that your modus operandi, or just mockery off the top?

Jim 

Proverbs 22:10
"Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease."

Tell me: how do you intend to drive out the scoffer?

Mike Farnsworth

You have to consider your venue. Remember debate is not intended to convince your opponent so much as convince (the undecideds among) the audience. If the tone of a forum is such that going hardline will get you kicked out, then adjust your strategy appropriately. That doesn't mean you contravene your own principles, it just means you adjust to gain maximal effect.

It is totally appropriate to point out what SJWs and entryists are doing, and even subtly use their tactics against them in a way that most people won't notice. If that's all you can do, then do it and let the others come to their own conclusions about what to do about the SJWs.

Mockery and taunts are only effective in certain situations. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is Elijah and the prophets of baal, and how much fun he had in the process leading up to a (fatal to them) miracle. There's a time and a place for that sort of thing, but equally there are times and places where it's not appropriate. You have to keep your spiritual eyes and ears open for when the Spirit tells what to do, because obviously He is going to know far better than we do in a given situation what is most effective.

In fact, that's the most important thing: listen to the Holy Spirit, and practice listening. You'd be surprised how often you get indicators on what to do. Galations 5:22-26 would apply, here is a mini-guide for how to recognize and cultivate that skill:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Cail Corishev

Laramie, it's a tricky line to walk. The problem, of course, is the moderates. They'll hold you to a much higher standard than they hold the SJWs, so if you come on half as strong as they do, you just get banned. Take an example from a different area, like GamerGate:

anti-GamerGater: Die in a fire, GG scum. I'm going to get you fired and send ISIS to rape your children.
GamerGater: If you don't stop that, aGGer, I'll fight back.
Moderate: Hey, GGer, you're sounding hateful. Please be nicer and try to get along.

Yes, the imbalance really is that ridiculous. But it means you can't come on strong out of the gate. You have to keep them loosened up with humor and dialectic. Think of those as your jabs, and mix them up to keep the moderates from thinking they know where you're coming from. You're not allowed to seem emotional or to take strong stances; that's only allowed to SJWs. Look into Socratic dialogue, where you ask questions and let them come to the right conclusions on their own -- but don't overdo it, because then they'll accuse you of sealioning. Appeal to their pride in being more moderate and above-it-all than everyone else.

It's hard to describe as a specific strategy, and it doesn't always work, because they've stacked the deck against you. But you can chip away and have some victories. They won't necessarily be out in the open, but you'll get the occasional private message of appreciation from someone who gets it.

And sometimes you just have to recognize that a community is closed to the truth, and shake the dust from your sandals and move on.

Anonymous 1

There's a fine line between sarcasm as a tool and social autism. When I took speech class many years ago, rule number one was Know Your Audience. You need to (a) know your audience, and (b) be a respected member of the community to be able to use them effectively.

For example, Elijah's mockery of the prophets of baal wasn't for the benefit of the prophets of baal. It was to make a point to those watching. And at the end of that story, Elijah did wind up fleeing for his life.

Paul also got lowered out of a city in a basket...

What you have to keep in mind (and this goes double if you're reading Alpha Game), is that the position that Vox is shooting from and the position that you are shooting from are not really the same. He likes to take his shots from Vox Popoli, a position of strength, backed by the Ilk. He did get thrown out of the SFWA by the SJW's. So his experience is not considerably different in that regard.

Anonymous 2

Exactly, Robert. Vox's whole point about the mockery and grinding his opponents into the dust intellectually is that it might help others. The object of the mockery has already rendered himself useless.

There's plenty more mockery and biting sarcasm in the Bible. Just look at some of Paul's letters to the Church.

I totally agree that there is a time to drop the mockery. And that time is when you are dealing with someone who is honestly seeking truth and understanding. That's when you say "let's go an a little intellectual journey and see if we can't figure this thing out for you."

Anonymous 3 

Do not answer A fool according to his folly lest you become like him; answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Anonymous 4

Christ frequently used mockery and sarcasm when dealing with the morally bankrupt and deceitful "religious" leaders. Why, because they were drunk on their own power and convinced of their own righteousness. Christ was also full of compassion and showed great love for those who were seeking truth or in desperate physical need.(the woman at the well, the lame man at the pool)

Sometimes you have to call men a den of vipers or whited sepulchres and then you have to turn around and say, "come unto me all ye that are wiry and heavy laden."

Yes it's knowing your audience, but it is also discernment, knowing why people are saying and doing what they do.

Some people say stupid things because they don't know the truth and are looking for answers. Some people are so full of hate for God and His truth that they are actively and knowingly fighting against the truth. It takes time and hard work to distinguish between the two.

Anonymous 5

I fail to see why getting banned is evidence of a bad tactic. Jesus got crucified. Does that mean He was doing it wrong?

* * *

Thank you, Dread Ilk, for your answers thus far.