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Paranoid Fantasies of an Anti-Racist

Atila Sinke Guimarães

On June 27, 2019, Pacific Standard online magazine from Santa Barbara, California, posted a rant against white supremacists, which included one paragraph against TIA.

It was an article by a certain Mr. David M. Perry, who imagines himself as a scholar. However, Mr. Perry is primitive enough to believe that those who defend Medieval Christendom are white supremacists and those who admire the Crusades are guilty of feeding terrorist plots.

Further, in his nervous 2,938-word article against two specific websites, Mr. Perry imagines white supremacists as:
  • Those who sustain that Muslims tried to invade Europe several times in History, and those who hold that this invasion was stopped in 732 by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers (Tours) and in 1683 by Jan Sobieski at the Battle of Vienna, victories that kept the Muslims at bay;
  • Pacif Standard magazine
  • Those who sustain that the Arabs invaded the Iberian Peninsula;
  • Those who sustain that Islam wiped out Eastern Christianity;
  • Those who believe that the Muslim en masse immigration to Europe is destroying its identity;
  • Those who complain about the birth drops in the populations of Europe and the U.S.;
  • Those who believe in a conspiracy against the Western Civilization;
  • Those who are dissatisfied with the well-documented Jewish control of finances and Hollywood;
  • Those who suspect that the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral was not accidental.
Wrapped in this wide-ranged spectrum of suspicion, Mr. Perry analyzes the message of terrorist Brenton Tarrant – the one who killed 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand – and includes the following excerpt about TIA:

“Here is another place where the links between seemingly respectable sources and white supremacy emerge. At one point, for example, Tarrant inserts a weird English translation of the supposed speech that Pope Urban II delivered in 1095 to launch the First Crusade. It's an important speech that exists in a number of well-documented variations; it's unlikely that any of them were an authentic record of what the pope actually said. But then, authenticity isn't Tarrant's message; he just wants to grab some history that supports a call for what he imagines might become a new crusade.

The origin of the excerpt, though, is revealing. He's pulled it from an English translation of a French translation of a Latin version of the speech. The content isn't unusual: Leveraging versions of Pope Urban's speech to call for modern violence against Muslims is a standard feature of crusading medievalism. But the peculiarities of the textual transmission allowed me to locate it on the website of a Catholic group called Tradition in Action. TIA purports to "defend the perennial Magisterium of Holy Mother Church and Catholic traditions."

“(The site adds that "TIA also works for a restoration of Christian civilization, adapted to contemporary historical circumstances.") The terrorist lifted his translation from one of many articles on the group's website glorifying the Crusades. What happened, in short, is that a reasonably mainstream manifestation of conservative Catholicism posted a text that, in turn, fueled the ideology of a murderous terrorist ideology. (Requests for comment from Tradition in Action were not returned.)
” [bold is in the original; my marks are red]

These accusations of Mr. Perry suggest to me the following observations:

A falsified text?

1. He suspects that the text of the speech by Pope Urban II posted on our website is not objective; he implies that it was falsified by TIA for obscure supremacist reasons. However, TIA gave the source for that speech, which is the History of the Crusades by Joseph François Michaud, a quite reputable historian, whose text of the Pope's speech at Clermont is based on the Historia Hierosolymitana (History of Jerusalem), written by Robertus Monachus between c.1107-1120.

History of the Crusades by Michaud

The famous History of the Crusades
by François Michaud

Regarding the differences existing in the various versions of that papal speech, Michaud explained that several chroniclers of that time reported the speech of Urban II. He noted that all agreed as to the principal points, but differ in the details. He chose Monachus’ text because the latter was present at the Council of Clermont and began his report by stating that the Pope gave his talk not in Latin, but in the vulgar tongue (French).

Given the implicit charge of falsification that Mr. Perris makes against our posting of that papal document:
  • I would appreciate knowing in what parts our translation differs essentially from the text by Michaud.

  • If TIA's translation is objective, it would be interesting to know whether Mr. Perry considers the original History of the Crusades by Michaud as a biased document that falsified the original by Monachus. In this case, I invite him to present the parts where Michaud’s text differs from the original Historia Hierosolymitana by Monachus.

  • In the case that he denies the objectivity of the original medieval source, that is, the actual Historia Hierosolymitana by Robertus Monachus, then he must present the proof that Monachus falsified in an essential way the words of Blessed Urban II.

  • In the eventuality that Mr. Perry does not present the proofs required above in this Item 1, he confirms my suspicion that he is suffering from some severe psychological obsession.
2. He also accuses our translation of being weird. Again, it is implied that we adulterated the text to support a dishonest agenda, which is to belittle the Muslims. That particular text was translated by us from a Spanish translation from the French History of the Crusades by Michaud.

It is understandable, therefore, that some minor differences of form may exist in the various texts translated directly from the Latin original of that Historia Hierosolymitana. As noted above, if TIA had at hand the French version, it would have translated it from that language. I believe, however, that the Spanish copy is more faithful to the original than the English translations.

3. We at TIA have to say that we are always open to improve our translations when someone points out specific problems or errors.
  • Mr. Perry is, thus, invited to let me know the points that should be improved or changed in that TIA translations.
‘TIA is feeding terrorism...’

4. Next, he argues that since a terrorist quoted our translation of that papal speech, this proves that we potentially are fueling the aims of white supremacist terrorists. Regarding this preposterous charge, I have this to say:
  • The mentioned text was posted online for public information on April 18, 2008, that is, more than 11 years ago.

  • Now then, TIA has an average of more than 5,000 visitors a day, each one spending an average of more than 3 minutes per visit. This is equivalent of having 1,825,000 visitors a year or 20,075,000 visitors in 11 years.

  • Any of those visitors could have downloaded that papal text and sent it to the terrorist, without any relation to TIA in this action.

  • Or the terrorist himself could even have been one of those 20 million visitors who read the text and printed it or downloaded it.

  • If someone would conclude that having one of our texts quoted by a criminal were proof of complicity, he should equally conclude that the distributors of fuel in a country should be considered accomplices of terrorists because they allow terrorist to fill the tanks of the vehicles that they use for their attacks.

  • Fordham University Library

    Is the Fordham University feeding terrorism for making medieval documents accessible to the public?

  • On the same note, then wouldn’t Fordham University, which has one of the largest medieval online sourcebooks and publishes translations of five versions of the Pope's speech at Clermont calling Christians to fight the Muslims, also be guilty of fueling white supremacy and terrorist attacks?

  • In other words, the reasoning that TIA is guilty of collaboration with terrorism by offering a text of a papal speech is another proof that Mr. Perry is psychologically unbalanced.
5. Mr. Perry also complains that he tried to reach us and was not successful. The implication is that we would be running from him – the great detective on the brink of exposing our “crime.” Regarding this affirmation, I have this to say:
  • I was unable to verify whether or not his affirmation was true, that is, whether he really tried to enter into contact with TIA.

  • Regarding requests of interviews by phone or e-mail, TIA has a general policy. We realized that many of our enemies send reporters to interview us. Habitually, they fire a long list of biased questions, which, once answered, they will not use since the responses do not conform to their agenda.

    Practically speaking, we lose a lot of time answering questions for nothing. So, we adopted the policy not to answer phone or e-mail biased questions and simply wait for the attack, which would be forthcoming in either circumstance.

  • If, in truth, Mr. Perry tried to enter into contact with us and was not successful, it is because this is our policy; we are answering him now publicly in this post.
I believe that these considerations basically refute all his absurd charges.

A case of paranoid fantasies

Now, allow me a final appraisal.

In this last month of June (2019), I was in São Paulo to help establish the newly born Tradition in Action do Brasil. During a meeting where 10 had gathered to analyze international politics, a doctor – a Professor of Psychology at one of the major universities there – mentioned in passing that one of the personages we were discussing “was crazy.”

David Perry paranoid fantasies

‘White supremacists are taking over the world...’

I asked him whether he was using colloquial language or actually applying the terms of his professional field of expertise. This gave him the chance to explain to those present the phases of craziness.

He pointed out that a person leaves the realm of normality when he starts to have “paranoid fantasies.” He gave this example: A person sees a car passing in front of his house; when the same car passes twice, the paranoid man imagines that the driver is planning to assault or even kill him. This is the second phase between normality and paranoid delirium, which is when the person needs to be interned in a hospital.

If I understood his explanation well, I would say that Mr. Perry is in the phase of paranoid fantasies regarding his observations about terrorism and white supremacy. In these two fields his syllogisms could be summarized in this way:

First syllogism:
  • Major premise: A terrorist killed Muslims and left a text praising the Crusades;
  • Minor premise: Now then, TIA praises the Crusades;
  • Conclusion: Therefore, TIA is potentially feeding terrorism.
Second syllogism:
  • Major premise: White supremacists want to have a pure race;
  • Minor premise: Now then, those who oppose the immigration of Muslims in Europe want to keep each country’s racial identity;
  • Conclusion: Therefore, those persons are white supremacists.
Paranoia of Mr. David Perris

Mr. Perry would benefit from consulting a good psychologist to treat his mental disturbances

In these two syllogisms, the major premises and the minor premises of Mr. Perry are correct, but they are missing the necessary link. Consequently, the conclusions are entirely arbitrary. Specifically: neither those who praise the Crusades are linked necessarily with terrorism, nor are those who oppose immigration in Europe necessarily white supremacists. The gaps between the missing parts of Mr. Perry’s syllogisms are filled with his paranoid fantasies.

I hope that he finds a good psychologist, receives effective treatment and returns to reality.

In the meantime, I can assure him and our readers that:
  • TIA is not white supremacist or racist. We have never spoken discriminatory words against any race; rather, specifically regarding African Americans, we have praised the virtue of many black Saints, presenting them as models for Catholics – here, here, here and here.

  • TIA is not Nazi, Fascist, Francoist, Petainist or any other of the national-socialist variations. We have been attacking them for years – here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

  • Our opposition to Islam is religious/ideological and not racial/military. We have writers who are Arabs and Armenians; friends who are Black and Persians; we attend Mass at a Catholic Armenian Rite.

  • Our opposition to Judaism is also religious/ideological and not racial/military, as we explained at length in our defense against attacks of the Southern Poverty Law Center here.
With this said, I thank my readers for their patience in following this rebuttal of another lunacy.

Posted July 18 2019


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