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‘I Tried to Investigate Lefebvre & Was Banned’



Characteristic of a Cover-Up


Today, for the benefit of TIA’s readers, I want to explain how a major traditionalist Catholic Internet forum changed overnight. The forum is called CathInfo. What initially attracted me to CathInfo was the vibrant discussion and the intriguing ensemble of personalities. Although officially an SSPX Resistance forum that follows the orientation set by Bishop Richard Williamson, it is also home to “Ecclesia Dei” traditionalists (ICKSP, FSSP, etc), Sede-vacantists, conclavists... even dogmatic flat-earthers..!

I found the “hands-off” moderation style of the forum owner, Matthew, very refreshing; and such a contrast to the repressive ambiences of other Catholic forums: FishEaters (“toxic trads forbidden here”), Suscipe Domine (where bannings are akin to public executions) and Catholic Answers Forum (where getting banned is a traditionalist’s rite of passage), just to name a few.

Leading to my ban from CathInfo, a few months ago, the forum was spammed with propaganda, primarily against Dr. Plinio and TIA. Most readers know the attacks by now: “slavery to Plinio!” “a sect!” “a personality cult!” etc. All of this was refuted decades ago and I won’t say much more about it here. Suffice it to say, though, I was one of several who came to TIA’s defense on the forums.

The attacks began after TIA published revelations of SSPX’s coup in Quito, in which the followers of Dr. Plinio were more or less expelled by the Society’s acolytes there, and certain unscrupulous persons tried to co-opt the devotion to Our Lady of Good Success to fit the ‘Saint Marcel Lefebvre’ meta-narrative (here, here, here, here and here).

With his characteristic neutrality, Matthew made some cordial, balanced comments on the issue. He also asked a few questions. Still, he never took a side against Dr. Plinio and TIA, at least not publicly. When a few persons tried to suppress the polemic, alleging it was clogging the forums with irrelevant information, Matthew appropriately refused to bow to their pressure.

That was the situation on the forums in April. In spite of two or three annoying women who cut-and-pasted lengthy diatribes against Dr. Plinio and TIA ad nauseam, the defenders of Dr. Plinio were free to debate and refute these attacks with complete liberty. It was a kind of stalemate.

Unfortunately, this situation eroded into a state where the attackers of Dr. Plinio and TIA gained the upper-hand. They did so in this way: After TIA commented on the question “Was Msgr. Lefèbvre a Freemason?”, the two women, SSPX lackeys who always maniacally derailed every discussion imaginable (no matter how far removed from the topic of TIA/TFP) into an attack on Dr. Plinio, entered the picture. Like little paranoid persons, they also derailed the burgeoning discussion that was beginning on CathInfo about Lefebvre’s alleged Masonry. This is a great shame because I sensed it was promising to be a vigorous debate unlike any before. It was the most blatant instance of orchestrated distraction I had ever seen on CathInfo.

Of course, I tried to correct the bad course. I made a thread on the forum trying to re-start the debate. ‘The attacks on Dr. Plinio and TIA’ – which had already been discussed time and time again in many other threads (even threads un-related to the issue of Dr. Plinio) – ‘are a distraction from the real issue,’ I said, in so many words. ‘The question of Lefebvre, whether he was in fact a saintly man as he is presented by the Society, is of far greater importance here.’ Then, I listed the pieces of circumstantial evidence presented by former SSPX seminarian Mr. Christopher Shannon, urging that they be refuted as soon as possible. They were creating a scandal, I reasoned, the longer they were publicly known without so much as an attempt at a refutation.

In conjunction with our efforts to get the discussion “back on track,” I expected the forum owner Matthew to come to our assistance, since one of CathInfo’s few rules is that it is not permitted to derail discussions, and that separate topics should be discussed in new threads. Normally, then, when these two women (or anyone) pertinaciously spouts their irrelevant nonsense, the forum owner intervenes and decisively orders the offenders to stop.

In this case, Matthew didn’t intervene, a real surprise. Even more surprising, he broke his neutrality and took sides. He posted a favorite cut-and-paste attack of the two obsessed women (verbatim, I might add). This “is completely and utterly damning for Plinio,” he said quite unconvincingly. I replied with the hyperlink to the refutation. Within an hour, I discovered my account had been unceremoniously banned; several weeks of posts deleted – “memory holed”, to use Matthew’s choice phrase – as though they never existed. An ironic and hypocritical course of action coming from a man who frequently speaks against the contemporary problem of totalitarian censorship...

What would explain such a sudden ‘about-face’ from Matthew? I think there are two possibilities: 1), either he received a menace from the controlled opposition forces in Menzingen (SSPX) or Broadstairs (Williamson); 2), he accepted a recompense to ban the Lefebvre discussion – or perhaps a mixture of both. In any event, I don’t believe he banned me purely on the basis of principle, because I had used the same arguments before and they did not produce that reaction. His change of attitude was literally overnight, most likely caused by an interference from someone above him.

While preparing this report, I learned that Matthew had done similar actions in the past: banning users and memory-holing their posts. This led to popular revolts in the forums, because users were indignant that years of posts could be deleted at whim. For a time, Matthew stopped doing this, but evidently this is beginning anew. In any circumstance, this change – “back to his old tricks” as someone aptly put it – demonstrated that “free speech for traditionalists” is merely a façade.

But, don’t fault me for thinking too naïvely about Matthew at first. If he did to others what he did to me, and is no doubt preparing to do to other defenders of Dr. Plinio on the forums, that means no one would know about it, since all evidence that exists is destroyed, deleted at the push of a button. In other words, the appearance of ‘free speech for traditionalists’ will remain a very convincing illusion on CathInfo.

To conclude. This unfortunate turn of events causes my suspicion to rise that there really is something worth investigating in the case of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the allegations of Masonry. Of course I don’t say he was a mason. But, the fact that his followers do not have the conditions to present effective proof and resort to acts of violence, as well as the visceral reactions of his supporters, lead me to suspect with moral certainty that there is something more to the person of Lefebvre that meets the eye.

The severity of the reaction on CathInfo: one of censorship and deception, instead of allowing an open discussion, seems to me very characteristic of a cover-up.

     Mark J. Williams (Markus)

      28 June 2019

Posted July 2, 2019
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