Saturday, February 25, 2006


Former "Playboy" magazine Associate Editor and occultist Robert Anton Wilson has his own academy, called the "Maybe Logic Academy." Guess who the instructors are:

"Pope Bob" Robert Anton Wilson
Chaos magician Peter Carroll
Performance ritualist Antero Alli
Catholic DePaul's faculty member Patricia Monaghan.

The Discordians are amusing and sophisticated with their mockery of religion. Should a Catholic University be amusing and sophisticated in mocking religion as well?

I wonder if someone should send this to him?


It is often said by Masons that Freemasonry is not a religion, it is "A peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."

Symbols are a curious thing. We use them exclusively to illustrate God, since God is pure spirit and we cannot depict Him in any other way. One symbol can mean two completely different things to two different people, though; and so symbols are carefully chosen to mean more than one thing in any interreligious setting.

I had an occasion to visit the chapel at Akron General Medical Center yesterday. It's a new chapel. In fact everything at Akron General looks brand spanking new. The chapel is a work in wood and glass. To step through the doors off the main lobby is to step into a strange world. One enters it from the side, and upon opening up those doors, is greeted by a panoramic stained glass window of brightness that runs nearly the entire length of the chapel on the opposite side. The pastoral scene appears to be backlit, or may actually be an outside wall of the hospital, though I'm not quite sure which. The colors bring the outside in. One is transported to a tranquil hillside scene a lifetime away from the hospital setting. Right in the center of that scene is a white bird in flight. I thought "Holy Spirit" while looking around for what to do next.

There are rows of chairs for those who wish to sit. In front of them there are two kneelers. The chairs and kneelers don't face the stained glass window, however. Apparently that is not the image of the god who resides in this chapel. Rather, the chairs and kneelers face the front.

Up there in the front is a pulpit of sorts off to the side, and an alcove dead center with an altar-like wooden structure built into it, looking rather like a bay window, with plaster where the glass would be. Hanging above the platform in this bay window is a large, elaborate brass sanctuary light with a yellow glow. It seems that those who worship here worship the yellow light god, and that bird on the side wall--the one who reminded me of the Holy Spirit--must be a preliminary introduction to the main attraction. Standing there, just inside the doors, and thinking about the symbols the chapel presented to me, I could only conclude that the chapel was telling me that the Holy Spirit is supposed to lead me to something else, perhaps even something greater. But who exactly is this Something-Greater-God? The light god could not have been more indifferent. It lacked even an animal awareness. It was impersonal. It didn't beckon. It didn't know I existed. It was a symbol of hopelessness. Even its small yellow light was dimming toward darkness. It had me turning away in search of something I could relate to. The only other symbol I could find was located on the back wall. Three stained glass windows sported three different symbols--a cross, a star of David, and a third symbol I didn't recognize but guessed might be Moslem. My eyes went back to the bird, and a sense of creepiness started to overwhelm me, like walking through a cemetary on a dark night and wondering who or what else is sharing the air. I couldn't stay in this place. I certaily couldn't pray in this place. Neither, apparently, could anyone else. The chapel was empty.

I stepped backwards through the doors and closed them. That was when I noticed the sign that offered the times of worship. There were two ecumenical services listed and a Muslim service listed as well. Down at the bottom of the sign was an area covered by masking tape. One could read the letters through the tape. Once they had announced the Catholic Mass, but no longer. Whoever or whatever the light god is, it apparently had managed to evict Jesus.

Sitting in the waiting room a short while later, I watched the waiting room attendant bustling around picking up stuff and straightening up. She noticed me watching her and said "These Jehovah Witnesses keep leaving their pamphlets around. We can't have them in here. We can't have anything religious in here. I have to gather them up and throw them away. Then they come back and leave more."

Whatever else might be in those pamphlets, I'd be willing to bet the word "Jesus" was in them. Once again Jesus was being evicted. Just like He is being evicted from our culture. While the Muslim service, and thus the Muslim God, is still welcome.

Here is the point at which I should offer my profound conclusions about these observations. I don't have any. All I have is sadness as I remember when, 30 years ago, a hopsital chapel was the setting where I knelt and turned my life over to the Jesus who is no longer welcome in such a place.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


last summer. He was listed as instructor and taught the following course:

Summer 2005 Semester Course Highlights

School of Consciousness & Transformation

CT 6715-60
The Eight Dimensions of Mind

This course will provide a model of "consciousness' that synthesizes modern psychology (Freud, Jung, Leary, Berne) with neurology, genetics, the Gurdjieff system and yoga.

Instructor: Robert Anton Wilson is the coauthor, with Robert Shea, of the underground classic The Illuminatus! Trilogy , which won the 1986 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award. His other writings include Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy, called "the most scientific of all science fiction novels," by New Scientist, and several nonfiction works of Futurist psychology and guerilla ontology, such as Prometheus Rising and The New Inquisition. Robert Anton Wilson is also a former editor at Playboy magazine.

Interesting to see Gurdjieff in there.

CIIS is the California Institute of Integral Studies, a school with academic accreditation.


on the web. Looks like a Who's Who of the occult world.

I wonder if DuQuette and Wilson belong to the same O.T.O.? All of the O.T.O. Lodges trace their lineage to Crowley, but there have been schisms along the way.

Apparently there has been a change in the Art Bell Show:

On 8/10/2003 Lon was interviewed by Barbara Simpson on "Coast to Coast AM with George Noory" (formerly the "Art Bell Show") about ceremonial magick.

Here's the website.


In case some of you didn't read through yesterday's linked Bill Forman article from Metroactive Books that focused on Robert Anton Wilson, I'm posting one of the interesting sections:

Careening wildly from detective story to first-person rant, from twisted history to apocryphal speculation, the Illuminatus works continue to influence the oddest assortment of young minds. Camper Van Beethoven were outspoken fans, as were the Seattle Posies, who paid tribute to Wilson on their first album. (Wilson says Guns 'N' Roses were also fans, but it's probably unfair to hold him responsible for them,) Author Tom Robbins is a Wilson devotee, as is Bay Area author R.U. Sirius, who took his name from Wilson's book, Cosmic Triggers, and went on to found Wired magazine precursor Mondo 2000. (Sirius is also one of the instructors at the Maybe Logic online academy, as are Dice Man author Luke Rhinehart; chaos magic godfather Peter Carroll; DePaul professor Patricia Monahan, who is also Robert Shea's widow; and several others.)

Wilson has also inspired at least two religions, or send-ups thereof: Discordianism took root in the immediate wake of the trilogy, while the Church of the Subgenius enshrined Wilson--in the form of pipe-clenching icon Bob Dobbs--as its figurehead some two decades later.

Mrs. Robert Shea is a faculty member at DePaul.

Robert Shea co-authored with Robert Anton Wilson (Pope "Bob"). That is the book that Wilson is most famous for.

To put this in context, check out a report by Michelle Mairesse at hermes-press.com. A few pertinent passages:

** Wilson grew up with nominally Catholic parents in a Long Island working-class Irish-Catholic neighborhood where the neighbors took Original Sin, the wrath of God, and the Devil quite seriously. "Men (and women) indeed become strange when seeking gods. As the present work will show, however, they become even stranger when seeking devils. And the narratives they invent have all the sinister charm and eerie cornball poetry of Bela Lugosi at his best moments.

** He was deeply influenced by nonconformist friends, such as R. Buckminster Fuller, Timothy Leary, and by Israel Regardie, with whom he studied "magick." (Magick is Wilson's term for Aleister Crowley's occult system that imposes the supernaturally charged will on the natural world.)

** Remember that reference to Israel Regardie? He headed the Ordo Templi Orientis, which Wilson describes as "a Freemasonic-style ritualistic occult order that traces itself back to the Knights Templar. Although several groups have claimed to be the real OTO, and there were 1,0005 competing Outer Heads at one time, the federal courts have ruled that the order represented on the World Wide Web (see references) is the 'true' OTO of Aleister Crowley and have granted it tax-exempt status as a charitable corporation and religious entity." After Regardie's death, Dr. Christopher Hyatt assumed the leadership of the OTO. In the entry for Israel Regardie, Wilson writes, "One of Regardie's pupils, Dr. Christopher Hyatt, also practices Jungian-Reichian therapy and publishes books on both the Golden Dawn and Crowleyan schools of magick."

Like Hyatt, Robert Anton Wilson was also a pupil of Israel Regardie. Like Christopher Hyatt, Robert Anton Wilson also practices Jungian-Reichian therapy. Like Hyatt, Robert Anton Wilson also publishes books with New Falcon Publications, the publishing house of O. T. O.

Israel Regardie is best known for his book GOLDEN DAWN. It was one of the first books I brought home from the Kent State University library back in the late 90s after discovering the Gnostic Mass on the web and realizing that it was probably the ceremony spoken of by Malachi Martin. The books 700+ pages of fine print contains the magick rituals for the Golden Dawn. On the page opposite the foreword in the book is the following quote from the Fama Fraternitatis, (1614):

"Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and human things, according to our desire and the expectation of others; for it is fitting that before the rising of the Sun there should appear and break forth Aurora, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky. And so, in the meantime, some few, which shall give their names, may join together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our Brother R.C., and be partakers with us of our treasures (which can never fail or be wasted) in all humility and love, to be eased of this world's labours, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God."

Does Andrew Greeley write about this group of initiates in his novels? Wilson grew up in an Irish neighborhood reminiscent of Greeley's characters.

In an interview on the Positive Atheism website Wilson gives the following response:

RMN: The wars in the Middle East and the rising fundamentalism in the West have been seen by some as the death screams of organized religion. Both Islam and Christianity, however, have survived many "Holy Wars." What do you think the fate of organized religion will be?

ROBERT: I would like to think that organized religion is on it's way out, but I've been doing a lot of research on the eighteenth century for my historical novels. Voltaire thought that the Catholic church would be gone in twenty years, and it's hung around for two hundred years since then. When the Pope disbanded the Jesuits, Voltaire said that's the end, the Catholic church is falling apart. Well, a few years later they reorganized the Jesuits. The Knights of Malta are running the CIA apparently, and the Catholic church just refuses to die. Fundamentalism has staged a comeback. It's fantastic.

Wilson mentions Shea in the interview:

DJB: Have you had any experiences with lucid or conscious dreaming?

ROBERT: I've had a lot of lucid dreams, but I can't think of anything that's particularly worth discussing. I'd like to learn more about it. It happens spontaneously sometimes. I have a very rich hypnagogic and hypnopompic life, like Philip K. Dick. William Burroughs told me that his characters all manifest as voices in hypnopompic reverie before they have bodies, or names, or anything else. Robert Shea, an old friend of mine who's a scientific materialist of the most rigid sort, really blew my mind by admitting he hears his characters talking. I suspect all writers do. I think the difference between a writer and a channeler is that the channeler has found a way to make more money out of it than most writers ever do.

He makes a reference to consciousness studies:

DJB: What do you see coming along up to 2012?

ROBERT: In Leary's terms, I think about one-third of the West now understands the neuro-somatic circuit, and some techniques for activating it. I think that's going to reach fifty to fifty-one percent pretty soon -- and that will be a major cultural change. I think more and more understanding of the neuro-genetic and meta-programming circuits are coming along.

It's very obvious that quantum physics, parapsychology and all the work they're doing attaching brain scanners to Yogis and Zen masters means we're going to learn a great deal about the non-local quantum circuit. I think the history of mysticism has been sort of like a bunch of firecrackers with two or three going off every century. With the LSD revolution it became two or three every month and now it's moving up to two or three every week. I see a real acceleration in consciousness, just like in technology.

Bob Shea's obit can be read at the rosencomet website. Patricia Monaghan's relationship to Bob Shea is confirmed there. (Rosencomet is the web address of the Starwood Festivals, and there is a Starwood link at the bottom of the website.)

According to the Starwood "Starlist" speakers roster, Shea was a "no-show?" at the 1984 event:

Starwood IV: 1984 Devil's Den $35
Robert Anton Wilson, Robert Shea (No Show?), Isaac Bonewits, Sally Eaton, Jim Alan, Selena Fox, William Eichman, John Bassette, Joseph Rothenberg, Jeff Rosenbaum, Michael T. Gilbert, Morgan, Martin Laubach, Michael "Puff" Ingalls, Ian Corrigan, Moira Kyteler, Norm Christiansen, Donna Boswell, Daniel Stool/S.C.A., Dr. Bryan Grotte, Amy Schurtz, Michael Schwartz, Linda Florist, Stardancer, Maggie Crosby

Entertainment: Forbidden Planet, John Bassette, Chameleon, Jim & Selena, Isaac Bonewits & Sally Eaton, Michael Ingalls

Another database indicates Patricia Monaghan was Shea's wife, and documents his work on Playboy Magazine along with Robert Anton Wilson.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I'll try to get something blogged in the evening, but don't count on it.

Meanwhile, there is this little gem from Australia:

CanWest says the screening of a controversial South Park cartoon on its C4 channel last night resulted in a massive boost in its ratings.

The television company says seven times the usual number of viewers watched an episode that included the Virgin Mary menstruating.

According to the article the Catholic Church is protesting to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Somehow I don't think any Catholics will be blowing up any buildings as a result, however.

Meanwhile Irfan Husain, commentator for the Khaleej Times online, believes that the religious reaction to the infamous cartoons is turning into a political action.


At a virgin.com website (which I presume it's his own, since his company name includes "Virgin") website Branson answers questions. This one is interesting:

What would you say are the key things that entrepreneurs need to make a successful business?

To which Branson replies in part:

Finally, I'd better not forget luck. The odd bit of luck goes a long way. We were lucky to sign Mike Oldfield and we were lucky to get hold of the Sex Pistols in 1977. We've also been lucky that people liked Virgin Atlantic's unique airline service across the Atlantic, and I was lucky to survive all my balloon and boat trips!


One of the world's greatest stories, India's Ramayana, is being retold as a post-apocalyptic comic book, in 'Ramayana Reborn,' with an animated television spinoff for kids titled 'The Seven Sounds.' This is the brainchild of the newly launched Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, an entertainment partnership between British billionaire Richard Branson, bestselling New Age author Deepak Chopra, film director Shekhar Kapur ('Bandit Queen' and 'Elizabeth') and India's leading licenser of comic books, Gotham Entertainment Group, which has brought 'Spider-Man' and 'X-Men' to Delhi and Mumbai, as well as launched a new Indian version of 'Spider-Man.'

Continue reading



The following webpage is linked at the one above:


While you're looking at it, notice that ADHD and ADD are mentioned along with a link to a webpage devoted to it; and also notice that Disney is on the list of "saints".


Richard Branson is pictured on the same website with the "saints" list. There is a link there that takes you here where you can learn even more about Branson.

Next take a look at the Encyclopedia Britannica bio. for Richard Branson...make that Sir Richard Branson.


The Starwood Festival has its own radio station broadcasting news, music, and information to Festival goers during the show. One segment, called the "Discordian Radio Hour" is described this way:

The Discordian Radio Hour (From 1-3pm. That's still only an hour in Discordian time...) Join Gryphon and Krissy every day from one to three for an eclectic mix of music along with live perfomances and interviews with guest musicians and presenters. Look for treasured gems of classic rock amidst our usual musings on offbeat pagan philosophy, a running commentary about things we're not supposed to notice at a festival, overwhelming bad taste, and awkward periods of stunned silence. Don't miss our Erisian Spongebath Ritual translated for the first time from the ancient Greek into pantomime! Bring your kids by the station to meet the Stranger they should never talk to... because it still doesn't GET stranger than this!

The "Erisian Spongebath Ritual" is a reference to the Greek goddess Eris--goddess of the Discordians.

Founded in 1958 in San Francisco by Malacalypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst (Greg Hill and Kery Thornley), Discordians or Erisians essentially believe that there is nothing worth believing in and poke fun at everything. The Religious Movements Homepage Project at the University of Virginia gives a detailed description of the movement, calling them an "audience cult." According to the website:

Discordians presuppose that the world is actually chaos, confusion and disorder that we veil with a thin sheet of order and stability. Problems in the world come from those who impose order on others when it really isn't needed. Discordians worship Eris, the Greek Goddess of confusion. Eris began the Trojan War when she threw a golden apple into the crowd at a party she wasn't invited to. On it was inscribed the word "Kallisti." In Greek, it means "to the fairest." The other Goddesses fought over it and the ensuing chaos gave Eris a name. Discordians state that they have been talking about Chaos theory long before it became popular among scientists. The Discordians also revere the Sacred Chao, a yin-yang symbol that replaces the dots with a pentagon and the golden apple of Eris. They call this symbol the hodge podge and it represents the endless cycle of order and disorder that constantly redistribute power between themselves.

On Amazon's list of "Links to Discordian Web Sites" is the Church of the Subgenius, which has been represented at many ACE events by Rev. Ivan Stang whose tapes and CD's are available through the ACE website.

Amazon offers a Discordian reading primer which includes books by, among others, Malaclypse; Aleister Crowley; Robert Shea; Robert Anton Wilson; Timothy Leary; Peter J. Carroll; William Burroughs; Aldous Huxley; Michael Baigent; Robert Thurman; and of course J. R. Dobbs, the "Bob" of the Church of the SubGenius, whose emblem is a picture of a male human head smoking a pipe.

Starwood tops the list in the SubGenius events website. A particularly offensive redrawing of the "Bob" symbol can be seen at this webpage, but don't complain to me if you look at it and regret it. There are also links to "Bob's" sound clips in there.

Rev. Stang and Pope Bob (Robert Anton Wilson) were the headliners at the Dallas MegaFisTemple Lodges Austin Devival.

Another irreverent Discordian website--Discordian Research Technology, a weblog--offers "Angels & Demons" for discussion.

One of my most interesting ambigram projects began when novelist Dan Brown expressed an interest in having ambigrams play an integral part in the plot of a novel he was beginning to write. It was to be named "Angels and Demons", but at first, Dan would not tell me any more about it. So I designed the Angels & Demons title, one of the most challenging ambigrams I've done.

The Barry Bittwister Cabal appears to hold the copyright. I assume that is not a real world name.

Here is Dan Brown's Ambigram website.

Novus Ordo Discordia, supposedly the work of "Father Whiskey" (Father Jung Willie Liquor) former Roman Catholic Priest and Dealer in Chemical Amusement", provides a sample of the "relgion" of the Discordians.

You can see a picture of the Discordian apple at Robert Anton Wilson's website.


Sundays, for the vast majority of Chicagoland Roman Catholics, are spent anywhere but in a church.

It's not a new trend. Only about one in five of the 2.3 million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago -- and that number is down 5 percent since 1990 -- attend Mass.

Rev. Robert Barron has been asked to change this.

Cardinal Francis George approached the 46-year-old theology professor at University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein last November and said he wanted Barron to "jump-start evangelization."

In the country's third largest Catholic archdiocese that's no small chore, especially as the church's image in the Chicago area has been further marred by new accusations of sexually abusive priests.

Continue reading...

The title of one of Barron's books describes his philosophy: "Barron has written seven books, including Bridging the Great Divide: Musings of a Post-Liberal, Post-Conservative, Evangelical Catholic."

He also evangelizes on the radio and has a website where he posts his homilies. Another section of the website provides a forum for discussion. It appears to be getting lots of hits but not a lot of comments.


are growing. WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia believes this will not be good for the spread of Christian faith, indicating that

"It has no depth, in most cases, theologically speaking, and has no appeal for any commitment," the Kenyan Methodist said at the WCC world assembly in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.

"It's a church being organised on corporate logic. That can be quite dangerous if we are not very careful, because this may become a Christianity which I describe as two miles long and one inch deep."

He seems to believe that ties to mainline churches offers a greater opportunity to develop a depth of faith. The two he sites are Anglican and Luthern, making it difficult to agree with him considering the situation in the Episcopalian Church. If in his mind there is a distinction between Anglican and Episcopalian, he doesn't make it in the article.

Both of these churches offer a liturgy, and both are derived from the Roman Catholic liturgy. It would be interesting to ask him if he thinks it is the liturgy that is the distinguishing characteristic; and if it is, why did he leave out the Catholics and the Orthodox?

I suppose, though, considering that he is Methodist, that Catholics and Orthodox are beyond the pale.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The one with Jesus kissing Mohammed (or so I've read that's what's in it, though I haven't looked) is the subject of Robert Duncan's comments.(Scroll down)

One sentence leaps out..."Call it juvenile freedom of speech."

Yup, that's what I'd call it. Afterall, it's been done before, and look at the trouble it caused. No responsible person would repeat such a thing, yet the spokesman for the University of Toronto gets out that tired old "freedom of speech argument" since he hasn't got a better one.

I'd like to propose an alternative...Good manners. Could we have a return to speech that isn't structured to offend? Could we perhaps reinvent civility? Or does that violate the freedom to be obnoxious?


Ohio Pagans can get recharged at WinterStar Symposium when the energy from Starwood begins to wear off. WinterStar, also sponsored by the Association for Consciousness Exploration (ACE) together with Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc., will sponsor the "Sects & Sex", WinterStar Symposium 23, at Atwood Lake Resort in Ohio, this coming weekend.

Advertised on the Cincinnati Drum Circle & Circle Tribal Dance website as "a unique opportunity to experience spiritual growth and good company in luxury-resort surroundings", WinterStar stretches "spiritual" to the breaking point, as can be seen by Rev. Ivan Stang's report on WinterStar 2001. This "spiritual growth" is of the material kind. The event took place in the four-bedroom cabins at Atwood, and consisted of all-night partying, coupled with Rev. Stang's preaching. Notice the picture of Pope Robert Anton Wilson while you're in there. Presumably Wilson will be attending WinterStar again this year, provided his wheelchair is well greased. His cabin-hopping may be somewhat limited by the mechanical device, however.

This year's line-up features, in no particular order:

** Initiated tantric Donald Michael Kraig, author of MODERN SEX MAGICK: SECRETS OF EROTIC SPIRITUALITY, and other books on the subject

** Sheri Winston, teacher of Wholistic Sexuality, who offers "playshops" in which loving, intimate relationships can be explored

** Second generation Pagan priestess LaSara Firefox, who is expected to facilitate gender bending, and a water sharing ritual of the Church of All Worlds. She also offers a class on women flirting with women at which men are welcome

** Garan Du, a scholar of queer and transgendered spiritual history, who writes for Out in America

** Rev. Ivan Stang, First Primate of the Church of the SubGenius

** Phil Farber, guru of group mind, gods, demons and imaginary friends turn-on

** Suzette Henderson, feminist activist

** Ea, an initiate of the Minoan Brotherhood, a Thelemic magical order for Gay and Bi Men, speaking on the GLBT's as guides to the Underworld

** Snakes Rising will perform

Naturally Joseph Rothenberg will provide his spirituality via biofeedback machine that he offers at each of these gatherings.

But all of these presenters pale in comparison to the star performer. This, afterall, is a Catholic blog, so the star of the show, and back for a repeat performance, is...

** Dagmar Braun Celeste ** .

Yes! Former Ohio First Lady, "ordained" Roman Catholic priestess in the Diocese of the Danube, June 2002, Celeste will be performing her Roman Catholic mass ritual on Sunday morning for the entertaiment of the magickal, mystical crowd just as she did at WinterStar 22.

Mocking religion has been on the agenda of these fun-loving Pagans before. The Speakers & Workshops for WinterStar Symposium 1998 included Wavy Gravy, the "magical Court Jester of the Counter Culture". Was he featured at a Catholic clown mass symposium back in the '70s when Catholic priests were mastering the art of clowning for Jesus? In any case, I see that he suggests on his website that Mother Theresa and Harpo Marx were more than passing acquaintenances.

Then there was "Religion and Humor" presented by Paul Krassner, (WARNING: lewd picture) who discussed the "Zen Bastard path of spirituality". You could have learned about "Magickal Balladry and the Psychedelic Experience" and "Singing for the Gods." They also offered "Sound Vibrational Healing" and "Northern Shamanism" back in '98. Could some of our trendy Catholic nuns have attended in disguise?

"The Dances of Universal Peace", creation of Sufi teacher Samuel L. Lewis, were also on the program.

2006 presenter Sheri Winston offered an "Arousal & Sexual Energy Skills" workshop in 2005. Sheri, a certified midwife among other things, provides "primary gynecological care at Mid-Hudson Valley Planned Parenthood. She also offered "Touch Magic - The Rites of Touch", though I doubt that anyone asked the babies about the feel of her hands.

WinterStar 2005 was titled "Rites and Rights".

Incredibly--or maybe not so incredibly--the Unitarian Church is one place where flyers for Sects & Sex might be placed according to the suggestion at the WinterStar website. They also offer promotional tarot cards to place in select "hip and progressive venues." Perhaps they should contact von Balthasar. He might enjoy passing them around wherever he happens to be at the moment. I'm sure he and his "friend" would be welcome at this event. There are probably a few priests who would be as well.

(Ok. /sarcasm.)

DePaul faculty member Patricia Monaghan does not seem to have been invited to WinterStar 23. She was, however, a presenter at WinterStar 1992.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


In a link at Spirit Daily, LifeSite reports:

VIENNA, February 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A German language Catholic news site reports that the rector of Vienna’s Catholic cathedral has instituted a ceremony to bless “couples, fiancés and people in love” including homosexual partners. The cathedral, 800 year-old St. Stephan’s, is the seat of Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, the archbishop of Vienna who is widely regarded as a conservative.

Schonborn is well known around the world as a major contributor to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and for his explanations in the New York Times of the Catholic Church’s understanding of evolution.

The announcement came on St. Valentine’s Day, from Fr. Anton Faber, the rector of St. Stephan’s. Faber expressed his regret that the Church offers “relatively little” to homosexuals. Speaking to the Austrian newspaper ‘Die Presse’ Fr. Faber said, “Today there is no possibility in the Church to bless a union of people with homosexual feelings.”

Continue reading...

Benedict, balls in your court.


Churches which may even belong to the diocese, and which may have been abandoned, are taken over by a group of youths for the purpose of entertainment, apparently, with a thin veneer of spirituality. Very thin. Scroll through the pictures if you don't have time to read the text. The pictures tell their own story. That altar lighted for the evening festivities bespeaks something not Christian. So do a lot of the other pictures. I've spent the day researching Pagan websites. They didn't look much different from what I'm seeing in photos from these German churches over at cathcon, except that the participants were older in the stuff I looked at, and some of the men had long hair. This sure looks like something even worse than empty churches to me. How soon will America be importing the concept?

Another website, Pimp my Church.

Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch for the link.

Monday, February 20, 2006


I meant to mention it and forgot. Last Saturday night we had 6--six!--servers. Two adult males, one teenager, four elementary school-age boys. (We never have girls. Which seems to be working out just fine.) The youngsters appeared to be learning how to serve. The men had the most active role. Not to mention their job as role model.


The Episcopal Diocese of California, the home of Matthew Fox's rave masses, the modern-day Labyrinth movement, the United Religions Initiative, and other New Age follies, will announce on Monday February 20 who is being nominated as its new Bishop.

While going through the selection process, the Diocese made an embarrassing slip: for several months (until the editor of The Christian Challenge, a traditional Anglican magazine, questioned the Diocesan PR man about it last week), the Diocese had a document on its web site with biographies of three exemplary bishops. One of these was a good choice - Archbishop Romero, the Catholic bishop of San Salvador who was martyred in 1980 by a right-wing death squad while he was saying Mass.

One of the other three episcopal exemplars - Steven T. Plummer, the Episcopal Church's bishop in Navajoland until his death in 2005 - is of an entirely different character. In the early 1990s, Plummer was forced to go on leave for treatment for a year - after it was revealed that he had been molesting a teenage boy for two years previously. After a year, the church authorities returned Plummer to his post.

The Episcopal Diocese of California's document on Plummer - which was on their web site from December till mid-February - did not mention anything about Plummer's abusive history; their "biography" was a hagiography. It stayed on-line until last week, when - after the press got wind of it - it was swiftly removed by the Diocese. As noted in the story below, all Diocesan officials deny knowing that Plummer had been a molester - and they removed the document at once.

Here is a link to the story from The Christian Challenge:

The Christian Challenge - News

Here is the whole story, which I am circulating at the request of the magazine's editor. Pay attention to the way that the ECUSA authorities dealt with Plummer; it seems that they and the Roman Catholic hierarchy were using the same manual on how to deal with clerical pederasty:

An Episcopal Exemplar?

Commentary Report By Auburn Faber Traycik
The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)

February 16, 2005

Even when one considers the source--the resoundingly liberal Episcopal Diocese of California--it was hard to believe. But there it was, staring back at us from the jurisdiction's website. The California diocese, which is preparing to elect a successor to Bishop William Swing, had held up as a model "shepherd" a deceased prelate whose ministry was marred by sexual misconduct with a teenager.

One does not wish to speak ill of the dead, of course. But the fact remained that--in an addendum to a section on its website titled "Seeking a Shepherd: Finding Our Bishop in the 21st Century," the diocese cited three episcopal exemplars, each from a different minority ethnic group, among them the late Bishop of Navajoland, Steven T. Plummer. A married man, Plummer was reported in 1993 to have admitted to sexual activity with a male minor over a period of some two years, ending around 1989.

What's more, the diocese's biography of Plummer (which had apparently been on the website for at least a couple of months) did not mention the sexual misconduct. Rather, it hailed the Native American as having led the Navajoland Area Mission (created from parts of the Arizona, Utah and Rio Grande dioceses) "on a path toward greater incorporation of Navajo traditions into Episcopal Church worship." Navajoland's bishop from 1990-2005--he died last year--Plummer "strived constantly to encourage development of indigenous leadership among the Navajo and a more self-reliant Navajo Episcopal church."

The California diocese recently decided to formalize Bishop Swing's "longstanding practice permitting the blessing of same-gender unions" by asking two diocesan panels to prepare a rite or rites to bless such unions. (So much for the Windsor recommendations.). Still, we wondered, could the plaudits for Plummer really signal what they seemed to about how far the revisionist diocese was willing to go?

Voraciously curious at this point, we contacted Sean McConnell of the Diocese of California's Department of Communications to ask why Plummer was not unfortunately disqualified from serving as an inspirational bishop, and why mention of his sexual misconduct was omitted in the diocese's story of his ministry.

Remarkably, Mr. McConnell replied that neither he nor those responsible for selecting the three model bishops were aware of Plummer's impropriety "until you brought it to our attention," even though he said he had met the bishop on several occasions and the prelate was known to other diocesan staff. "That is the reason why there was no mention of the misconduct in Plummer's biography, which has now been removed from the curriculum in question," he told us. "We take all instances of sexual misconduct very seriously in the Diocese of California, and we thank you for bringing this oversight to our attention."

But why, we wondered, had not Bishop Swing prevented this diocesan "oversight"? As leader of the California diocese since 1980, he would have been among bishops to deal directly with this matter (the Navajoland Mission is overseen by the House of Bishops), which was also reported to the whole church.

"Bishop Swing did not create or review the materials in question," nor was he aware of the citation of Bishop Plummer on the website, McConnell said. "I must take full responsibility for the oversight." He said Swing was informed about the matter and approved of steps taken to rectify it.

IF THE PROBLEM HERE was really lack of awareness, though, it is very likely due to the Episcopal Church's handling of the Plummer case.

Simply put: How could people not notice the fact that a bishop was removed for sexual misconduct? The answer is that he wasn't.

While ECUSA generally forces out bishops charged with heterosexual adultery, it handled this case--or at least then-Episcopal Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning did--by sending Plummer away for a year to continue therapy, and then returning him to service as bishop, based on his counselors' opinions that he was unlikely to repeat his former behavior. The victim in the case was no longer a minor and "unwilling to pursue this any further," Browning said in 1993.

At the time in 1994 that Plummer was reinstated, reports indicated that the members and Council of Navajoland were divided on the bishop's return. That there was some opposition was understandable; as we have seen more recently, many did not consider the slate wiped clean when Roman Catholic clergy who molested young people underwent treatment and were returned to ministerial service. Still, Plummer gained the support of Browning and the Episcopal House of Bishops to continue leading the Mission.

HAVE WE COME to the end of this story? Yes, and (possibly) no. It appeared at this writing that the Diocese of California could be poised to offer up another controversial--and this time living--"model" when it elects a successor to Bishop Swing (inter alia the founder of the United Religions Initiative); and in that case no "oversight" could be claimed. Since the election is set for May 6, whoever the diocese chooses at that time will bypass the normal diocese-by-diocese consent process, and instead be up for approval or disapproval by June's Episcopal General Convention.

Unofficial sources in the diocese claim that those responsible for choosing nominees for bishop are currently trying to select a final group of four or five candidates from a list of around nine possibles--three or four of whom are said to be open homosexuals, one of them a lesbian. If so (and admittedly, there are a lot of "ifs" here), should one of those candidates end up among the final nominees and be elected by the diocese, and then approved by General Convention, would-be liberal obfuscators would be stymied. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and his liberal colleagues would not have to worry about fudging a response to Anglican primates who want to know if ECUSA will observe moratoria on the consecration and blessing of those in same-sex unions. The General Convention will have given the clearest possible answer on the matter.

Permission to circulate the foregoing electronically is granted, provided that there are no changes in the headings or text.


In any case, the offending document is now gone from the Diocesan web site. However, I had downloaded the PDF file while it was on the web site. For posterity, here is the text of the hagiography of Bishop Steven Plummer, as it existed from 12/05 till 02/06:


At the page:

The Bishop Search Committee- Learning About the Episcopate

there was this text:

Addendum to Seeking A Shepherd The Lives of Bps. James Theodore Holly, Steven Tsosie Plummer, and Oscar Arnulfo Romero

with a "download" button that had this link:


when you followed that link, you got a PDF file. Here is the relevant text from the PDF file - Plummer's biography/hagiography.


Rt. Rev. Steven Tsosie Plummer (1944-2005)

The son of a medicine man, the Rt. Rev. Steven Tsosie Plummer lived all of his ordained life in Navajoland, and was the first elected bishop of the Navajoland Area Mission.

Born in Coal Mine, Arizona, on August 14, 1944, Plummer said that his first Christian influences came from his mother and from Anglo missionaries. Also key in his formation was Harold Jones, once vicar at Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance and later the first Native American bishop in the Episcopal Church. Jones encouraged Plummer to prepare for training for ordination. Plummer attended schools in the Navajo reservation, and at 21 entered Cook Christian Training School in Tempe, Arizona. He completed a certificate program at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

He was ordained deacon in 1975, and was ordained priest in outdoor ceremonies in the Canyon de Chelley, at a holy site in the Navajo tradition. He spent his entire ordained ministry among the Navajo, serving in the Utah and New Mexico regions.

He was encouraged to be a candidate for bishop of Navajoland by the late Bishop Wesley Frensdorff, who served as interim bishop of Navajoland. Frensdorff said he had found "nearly unanimous" support for Plummer among the Navajo people. "Bishop Wes taught us we had to take risks for the church and for our lives. You have to stand up for yourself and speak for yourself," Plummer said in 1990 when he was consecrated bishop.

The election of a Navajo bishop fulfills "a long-time dream held in a lot of people's minds," said then Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning. "The Navajoland Area Mission was created in part to help give Native Americans a chance to develop their own direction and fulfillment," he added.

The Navajoland Area Mission was created by General Convention in 1977 from parts of the Dioceses of Arizona, Utah and Rio Grande. Its boundaries coincide with that of the Navajo Nation. The only area mission in the Episcopal Church, it functions much the same as a diocese but with more oversight from the office of the Presiding Bishop and House of Bishops.

Soft spoken and with an easy smile, Plummer was well known around the church as an advocate for Native American ministries. He was a shepherd in both a literal and figurative sense. He and his wife maintained a small herd of sheep at their home in Bluff on the grounds of historic St. Christopher's Church. At a workshop in 1990, he was asked to draw something outlining his life. The drawing showed his life starting at a hogan, tending sheep. The drawing showed him going back on a path guided by a cross to a hogan and to his sheep.

He led the area mission on a path toward greater incorporation of Navajo traditions into Episcopal Church worship. He strived constantly to encourage development of indigenous leadership among the Navajo and a more self-reliant Navajo Episcopal church. Those efforts included the development of the "hogan seminary" now known as Hogan Learning Circle in Navajoland. "Hogan" is the word for the traditional Navajo house.

[ end of p. 4 of the PDF file ]

[ start of p. 5 of the PDF file ]

In a convocation address, Plummer told the largely Navajo audience, "We are serious about our Christian faith and serious about our Navajo tradition. Let us challenge one another. We are the missionaries here on the reservation, and we must go out and proclaim the Gospel to our people," he said.

Plummer was also known as a leader of workshops in several dioceses to introduce Navajo spirituality. There are "many similarities between Anglican and Navajo spirituality," he once noted. "There are some conflicts in the ceremonies."

Bishop Plummer was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2000. He died April 2, 2005 in a Shiprock, New Mexico hospital after a heroic battle.

[ end of p. 5 of the PDF file ]


and here is the letter that the Presiding Bishop had sent in 1993 to all members of the House of Bishops (presumably, including Bishop Swing) about this matter:

titusonenine * Blog Archive * Living Church: Few Details on Special Executive Council Meeting

From the comments:

Jim Says:
April 4th, 2005 at 11:19 pm
Re No. 8 (Alice Linsley). The ECUSA has already been involved in a major homosexual sex scandal in Navajoland. As reported by the media, the bishop of Navajoland was finally suspended in 1993 for having sexual relations over a two-year period with a teenage boy. The situation was initially covered up by ECUSA but was eventually brought into the open and reported to the authorities by a young deacon who claimed he was also being sexually harrassed by the bishop.

The sexual corruption of the ECUSA has existed long prior to Robinson, and the Navajos felt it first hand.



May 26, 1993

To the members of the House of Bishops

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I write to share with you a painful matter in the
life of our House and our church. I also want to ask
your prayers that we may approach these difficult
realities as God would have us do, and that healing will
proceed for all concerned.

More than two years ago the Rt. Rev. Steven T.
Plummer, bishop of Navajoland Area Mission since
March 1990, contacted me to tell me that he had
engaged in sexual activity with a male minor in a breach
of a trust relationship over a period of time ending
approximately four years ago.

I requested a thorough medical and
psychological evaluation of Bishop Plummer at a highly
respected medical institution. The evaluation indicated
that he was not "at risk" for repeating the behavior. He
has been undergoing therapy since that time and I have
continued to monitor the situation and to keep in touch
with Steven and Cathy.

At the time Bishop Plummer brought this matter to me
the young man was no longer a minor and unwilling to
pursue this any further. As is always the case in
instances of sexual misconduct, the protection of the
right to privacy of a victim is a primary consideration.
The healing of the young man continues to be of grave
concern to me.

This situation was discussed at a meeting on May
8, 1993 in Farmington, New Mexico of the Council,
Standing Committee and Staff of the Episcopal Church
in Navajoland. At the meeting, the Rev. Gary Sosa, a
deacon of Navajoland, made a statement that included
a report that some two years ago Bishop Plummer had
told him in confidence of the relationship with the
young man. Bishop Plummer made a brief response
and asked for prayers. He indicated that he is taking
responsibility for his healing, and that he believes God
has forgiven him.

After a two-week period for prayerful
consideration, the Council reconvened for a special
meeting at my request on May 22. The purpose of the
meeting was to review all of the information and to
discuss their recommendation to me concerning the
ministry of Bishop Plummer amongst the Navajo
people. Enclosed is a copy of a resolution they passed
unanimously. I commend the Council for moving to
consensus around a painful issue. The spirit of their
resolution and the compassion they have shown
indicates to me that a process of healing is beginning.

The recommendation of the Council has been
helpful to me as I have made some decisions concerning
the next steps. I note that in addition to my pastoral
concern for Steven and Cathy Plummer, their families,
the victim, and others most closely involved, also of
tremendous concern is our Indian ministry, and
specifically the ongoing ministry of the Episcopal
Church in Navajoland.

At my request Bishop Plummer has commenced
a one-year leave of absence during which time he has
agreed not to perform any priestly or episcopal
functions without my permission. He will continue in
closely monitored program of therapy. In addition, I
have asked the Rt. Rev. Stewart Zabriskie, who as
Bishop of Nevada is in a neighboring area, to serve as a
mentor for Steven and his family.

In the meantime, I have appointed the Rt. Rev.
William Wantland, Bishop of Eau Claire, who is the
senior active Native American bishop, as the Interim
Bishop of the Navajoland Area Mission. Bill has
graciously accepted this responsibility. I have also
conferred and will continue to be in consultation with
the Native American leadership of the church about the
ministry of Navajoland. Specifically, I have been in
consultation with the Episcopal Council of Indian
Ministries and asked their help in the evaluation both
long and short range of the mission and ministry of

Prior to the end of the one-year period the situation will
be reviewed to determine most appropriate next steps
for Steven and his ministry, and for the ministry of
Navajoland. As the House of Bishops has ultimate
responsibility for the program and oversight of the
Navajoland Area Mission, I will then communicate with
the House concerning any actions that might be needed
as the 1994 General Convention.

In closing I again ask for your prayers. Let us
pray that the healing love of Christ will transform the
pain of this situation and that redemption can be found.

Faithfully yours,
The Most Rev. Edmond L. Browning
Presiding Bishop


You may forward or blog this story as you see fit.

It does show that - in the absence of publicity and external pressure - that Church authorities (Roman Catholic, Episcopal, and others) have a habit of covering up their abuse scandals. All the mitred men seem to be working from the same rule book.


Sunday, February 19, 2006


There are a number of pictures of Starwood '02 here. One of them shows a pretty design in white on the ground, called a "Rangoli."

You can read and see the description and construction of the Rangoli here.


While we in Western civ. worry about homosexual priests, in Africa there is a different kind of challenge to legitimacy...polygamy. Specifically, if the seminarian's father has more than one wife, may the seminarian be ordained? The topic is discussed at Zenit by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university. The answer surprised me, though I must admit the explanation sounds very sensible.

It's easy to get caught up in the Western expression of the faith and forget there are other problems besides our own that require the attention of our leadership. This is one of them, and so I think it is important to take note of it.


I'm still thinking about it. It wasn't "Catholic" in the sense of resurrecting the older teachings of the Church and reiterating them. The topic has gotten good press in even the liberal circles. Yet it still is Catholic.

The topic was sin and forgiveness, but the particular slant on it that Father used was the need to forgive yourself. He talked about how some people can hold on to past sins and regrets in a way that impedes present relationships, and that it is important to be able to forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made, because God forgives them. He didn't add that God forgives them after we make a good confession, but his entire package of belief in what the Church teaches would mean that is a given.

I wasn't going to blog it. After all, don't we already know that? Well, maybe not. Otherwise, why would Father have thought he needed to repeat it? Sometimes liberal and traditional Catholicism believe in the same things.


ROME, FEB. 16, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Many of the stories go untold, but persecution against religious missionaries happens every day around the world.

Since the earliest days of the Church, missionaries have faced risks. For many, that situation hasn't changed.

A grim reminder of modern-day martyrdom was the funeral held last week in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for Father Andrea Santoro, the Italian-born missionary slain in Turkey.

Then there were the reports of other attacks: another priest, beaten in Turkey; a Jesuit, known for his spiritual retreats, killed in Burundi; a longtime Franciscan friar murdered in Angola a couple of days later; the three Dominican religious sisters sentenced to death for "proselytizing" in Sri Lanka; a bishop and three priests pelted with stones by tribal rebels in India while opening a new school …

Is this a momentary spate of persecution? No.

"On average 30 to 35 Catholic missionaries are murdered every year -- assassinated," said Father Patrick Byrne of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

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