Featured Post

Blog Status Update 5pm 9/17/17

Followers of this blog might be aware of recent events that led to me shutting down The Hirsch Files for a week . Well, it seems that my pla...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

News From the Crossroads

I'm not a guy who's "in" on any circles.  I make the friends that I make before the ringleader feels threatened and gives me the boot.  I don't have any super rich backers.  Nor do I get support or recommendation too often.  This blog, I suppose, is a form of guerrilla cultural warfare from one guy chained up at a crossroads.

Being the exiled outlier, as sometimes happens, people pass by me, and yours truly gets mentioned somewhere.  A lot of different people end up coming across this blog for different reasons.  This week, it was over at the website of Randy Engel.  She wrote a piece titled All the Men Behind the Opus Dei Curtain.  It's a very long article that is the result of an investigation into the associations of Michael Voris and E. Michael Jones.

She cites a moment from last October when I asked E. Michael Jones why he wrote a book about Michael Voris' past.  Jones told me he wrote his attack on Voris because he wanted to explain what really happened, and he wanted to show the dominant culture's downplaying of such sins and the Protestant notion of cheap grace.

What was Engel's aim with her article?  Basically to show different associations between Voris, Jones, and Opus Dei:
I'd like to propose two other reasons why Jones decided to write the book and use Fidelity Press as the publishing vehicle.
First, because his friend and benefactor of more than thirty years, Opus Dei supernumerary Marc Brammer, asked him to and secondly, because E. Michael Jones's publishing enterprise is an Opus Dei apostolate/auxiliary society.
I may disagree with Jones' attacks against Traditionalist Catholics, and I may not be comfortable with his book about Voris.  However, I do admire much of Jones' writing, and I have already stated that I will be glad when Jones takes on other projects beyond Voris and Traditionalists.

Just today, I listened to a discussion about how there is hardly any Catholic evangelization in the United States.  I am frequently reading about the spread of Satanism and atheism in this country.  These circular firing squad scenarios frustrate me to no end.  Why do we continue to shoot each other in the back?

To make matters worse, as of this moment, E. Michael Jones' Culture Wars website has been hacked.  Type in the web address, and it directs you straight to the Google home page.  You cannot get access to it.  The timing of this hack coincides with the release of Engel's article.  Are there really people out there who hate Opus Dei that much?  I don't know.

I do not know much about Opus Dei.  From what I read of Engel's article, it sounds like a Catholic version of the Freemasons in terms of its secrecy.  If that's the case, then so what?  Why be up in arms about a battle tactic or strategy?  Perhaps someone will correct me, but if anything, we need as many Catholics in positions of power as possible.  I could be wrong.

I mean, if any kind of real Catholic political power is to be achieved in the United States (remember, I'm the guy pushing for a Catholic Monarchy in this country), then some kind of concrete strategy with real money and power will need to be enacted.  But again, I could be wrong.  My opinions are subject to change.

Jones Responds to Engle

In any event, Jones has prepared a response to Engle in the hopes that she might post it on her site:
Dear Randy,
I am not a member of Opus Dei, nor do I have any ties “concrete” or otherwise to that organization. Once upon a time I attended evenings of reflection at the local center, but more recently I was banned from speaking at Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center in Washington. I have friends in Opus Dei. Marc Brammer is one of them. Another Opus Dei friend was warned by the American prelate not to have anything to do with me. Fortunately, he didn’t follow that advice. I have no intention of distancing myself from my friends even if their organization has distanced itself from me. 
At this point, I have a question. Why would an organization like Opus Dei want to be associated with someone with my views? Opus Dei is probably the world’s most prominent purveyor of neoconservative Catholicism, not just here but throughout the world. Why would a group like that want me as a member? Do you think that hobnobbing with the author of The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit is going to enhance Opus Dei’s image in the halls of power in Washington or New York? I don’t think so. Nor do they, which is why they do whatever they deem necessary to avoid any contact with me. Opus Dei is happy to invite George Weigel, but Father Stetson showed what he thought of me when he unilaterally canceled the book signing I had at the Catholic Information Center.
This brings me to the really pernicious aspect of your expose. It’s not simply that it’s full of factual errors, like the alleged location of a nonexistent Opus Dei center in Ferndale, Michigan. Your article is suffused with the sense that personal friendship, far from transcending political differences, is reason to denounce someone for what someone else does or believes. Since you could not make a connection between me and Opus Dei and the sordid story of Church Militant on factual or principled grounds, you had to stoop to guilt by association. Are we now supposed to be judged by our associations instead of what we believe and say and do? As someone I admire once said, “If what I said is false, point out the error. If what I said is true, why do you strike me?”
Why am I responsible for someone else’s activities? Who made you the judge of my friendships? This is the way the Pharisees treated Jesus when he ate with tax collectors and prostitutes. Was Jesus contaminated by his association with them? Am I somehow contaminated by my friendship with Marc Brammer? Or, more importantly, is he somehow contaminated by his association with me? I’m sure there are people in Opus Dei who think so, but I don’t and don’t think Jesus would either.
If this is not the case, why have I been subjected to the same pharisaical strictures which the Jews imposed on Jesus? Who put you in charge of my relationships? The answer to all of these questions is the schismatic lack of charity that pervades traditionalist circles. In his treatises on Donatism and Baptism, St. Augustine defined schism as refusal to associate with the body of Christ out of lack of charity and fear of contamination. Bishop Fellay expressed this fear when he said, “the church has cancer. We can’t associate with the church because then we would get cancer.” 
Now I am subjected to the same intolerable lack of charity by you. This is not the way I run my life. To the point, Bishop Williamson stayed at my house twice. Does this establish “concrete ties” with the Society of St. Pius X? Does it make me a closet Lefebvrite? Or is it an indication that personal friendship can sometimes transcend ideological difference? Is that what you’re trying to preclude? If so, I reject your attempt to do so and the stunning lack of charity and narrow-mindedness that prompted you to make the attempt. 
Please post this response on your website.
As of the writing of this article, Jones' response has not yet been posted.  The events surrounding Jones' The Man Behind the Curtain are beginning to resemble a multi-stage timebomb.

As I've said before, I look forward to seeing all parties involved taking on other projects.

Moving On

Finally, I'm not completely ostracized.

Special thanks to Okie Trad for keeping me in mind.  Your coverage of Tulsa's recent issues has been heartening to a lot of people who feel like they're adrift on a raft at sea.  It was, in fact, just today that someone told me over on DISQUS that there is "a charismatic history of the [Tulsa] area which in recent times has run amok with very strange spiritual activities."

And thank you to all of my readers.  This blog has grown quite a bit since its beginning.  I enjoy everyone's comments, and I hope to see more in the future.  This internet phenomenon is a rare treasure that we have for the moment, so let's make the best of it while it lasts.


  1. I read that article with interest. I know nothing about Opus Dei or the parties mentioned. Many times I've grown a bit frustrated at the lack of frankness about Catholic matters generally. How on earth is a Catholic of any stripe supposed to sort out who is who and what is what, if nobody talks about anything? Or if everyone is so gosh-darn polite that nothing important is ever said! That is often how it feels, reading Catholic blogs. It often appears we have reached the point where we are so confused about committing calumny or worse, not being "nice", that in effect, nothing much gets said. Then Catholics like myself wander around, not exactly sure of spiritual dangers we may inadvertently fall into, because nobody talks plainly. Frustrating.
    So an article like this one is interesting. Maybe not all of it is dead-on accurate, but it's like spaghetti, some of it has to stick to the wall. I at least have a much better appreciation for Opus Dei, which I did not have before.
    It sounds terrible. Terrible terrible. Masonic like. There is a lot wrong with it.
    As for the rest, I don't know. I suppose in general I would be somewhat suspicious now of anyone involved in such an organization, although I can totally see how it can happen with the best intentions. People and organizations can find a zillion ways to go bad. If someone had approached me 25 years ago and told me I was the special kind of person they wanted for their highly spiritual organization, I very well would have said yes to that. So I get it. But, I would want no part of anything even remotely like what is described in that article by Ms. Engel. In my opinion, it is an unhealthy cult.

  2. I read the article by Engle. Everything I have read about Opus Dei in the past leads me to believe that they use cult-like tactics and are filled with people who need to feel special. Can't be a run-of-the-mill, pew-sitting, time-volunteering, family-raising, praying, Bible- and Catechism-reading, Catholic. It's like they see themselves as the Special Forces of Catholicism. But really they are just pushing Super Double Secret Novus Ordo Catholicism. No matter how much secret sauce you pour over the mush, it is still mush.

  3. I always wondered why Dr.Jones trashed traditional Catholic orders.
    Now I know why after reading that article by Mrs.Engel.

  4. "...The answer to all of these questions is the schismatic lack of charity that pervades traditionalist circles."

    No, actually, the answer to all these questions are certain parties intimating that they are somehow to be likened to Our Lord who ate with sinners. The reality is, Mr. Jones, that "we" are the sinners.

    Judas consorted with the Temple priests, Mr. Jones. That is a more apt correlation to what Randy is exposing. Not for condemnation but for prudent consideration, especially when those purporting their taking money from and associating with secret-society members is nothing but above board.

    We do live in "schismatic" times. But most pernicious is the schismatic tendency of the individuals to put themselves above that which they would cast at others. In specific, judgement. For while Mr. Jones asserts his ability to observe and subsequently report on others for the supposed benefit of the flock, he seems exceedingly prickly when the spotlight of justifiable curiosity (for discernment sake) is turned upon him.