Monday, August 2, 2010

What IS Going On With The Neocons?

I've always like Lord of the Rings because there are many stories with many morals.  The tale of the betrayal of Suraman the White never seems to make the list of good Catholic neo con morality tales.  I wonder why that is?

Frank Cocozzeli asks a very interesting question in his most recent post for Talk2Action and Open Tabernacle. What is going on with the neo cons?  If readers have recently had the chance to check out Deal Hudson's Inside  they will find a new, snazzier format.  This week readers will also find two interesting articles which have almost nothing to do with conservative pro life politics, but a whole lot to do with spiritual fear/warfare and medieval penitential practices. 

Hudson's current article is entitled "Pro Life Leader Who Is Also An Exorcist."  I have to give Hudson some credit, he at least gets the pro life connection in the title.  I am also left with the impression that Hudson and Fr. Euteneur, who the article is about, would like their readership to connect pro life politics with spiritual warfare.  This is the exact connection made by the New Apostolic Reformation.  In this scenario pro life politics is really a Spiritual War between true believing Jesus folks and Satan and all his legions.  Satan's side is represented in politics by pro choicers and gay marriage supporters--amongst a host of 'other' others.  So it should come as no surprise that in this same issue there is also an article which gives strategies with which to deal with gay marriage supporters, along with the one advocating self whipping. 

What I found to be the most interesting part of the gay marriage article was point number two in which the author concedes that the divorce and adultery rate in heterosexual marriage is a counter witness in the defense of heterosexual marriage.  The author, Eric Pavlat then states: 

None of the damage done to marriage and families -- whether by contraception, divorce, porn, affairs, the hook-up culture, or artificial fertilization -- was inflicted by homosexuals. Only by acknowledging this fact -- and stating your opposition to these things -- can you show consistent support for the institution of marriage."

I find this gutsy on Pavlat's part because he is stating that to acknowledge these facts one must also agree with the Church's position on birth control.  I'm not sure most of my conservative friends are prepared to accept that at face value. I'm not sure my gay friends would agree with the statement that gays didn't add to the divorce rate.  Estimates are that 3-5 million gay men and women in the United States have made an honest attempt to do what the Church demands and enter into heterosexual marriages and produce children. What's even more disturbing about this, but not necessarily surprising, is that the largest percentage of these failed marriages come from the Red States.  So does this mean that the position of the Catholic Church and the other Culture Warriors  on gays and gay marriage is adding to the divorce rate?  3-5 million is a lot of failure, but since it doesn't fit in the apologetics, I guess it's best to leave this little fact out.

I don't even know where to begin with Hudson's article.  First it's an advertisement for Fr. Eutenuer's recently released book on his career as an exorcist.  Since Rome's most famous exorcist has done pretty well with his autobiography I suppose it's not surprising that one of EWTN's celebrity talking heads should take advantage of an apparent market.  Nothing like striking while the pitch fork is hot.

This is the paragraph that really got me:  Exorcism and the Church Militant is intended, in part, as a warning to parents who allow their children to be desensitized to "the dark world" by books and films like the Harry Potter series and the vampire books of Stephanie Meyer. Father Euteneuer told me possession is almost always a result of someone getting involved in some sort of occult practices, such as witchcraft, Wicca, tarot cards, and Ouiji boards.

Fr. Euteneuer is either hopelessly naive or an outright opportunist.  Mental health professionals who have worked in this field feel early childhood abuse, especially sexual abuse, has far more to do with this than Harry Potter and tarot cards.  Drug and alcohol addiction also are significant contributors to the ego disassociation exhibited by the 'possession' phenomenon.  It's not hard to think of a reason or two for Fr. Euteneuer to fail to mention early childhood sexual abuse.

It seems to me that Deal Hudson and Fr. Euteneuer should reflect on a lesson from JRR Tolkein in the Lord of the Rings.  The one about dwarves and delving to deeply in the mines of Moria.  That's the story where the dwarves dug too deeply and unleased an evil that overcame them.  Fr. Eutenuer especially should meditate on this story as I don't think he qualifies for the part of Gandalf.


  1. The neo-caths are deeply rooted in Platonic dualism that sees light/darkness and good/evil as categorical absolutes. They will not conceive of any other sort of world. Your last thoughts reflect--once again and again--their discomfort with drawing on the social sciences as any source of information.

  2. Pro-life now fits with masochism? Flagellation goes together with bigotry?

    Instead of birth control get out the whips!

    Face it folks, if this were the middle ages, we'd be sent to the funeral pyres!

    I suppose if you keep people scared of leftists and gays and couples who use birth control, and you throw in a little flagellation so everybody feels "saintly" - then none of them will really notice how bamboozled they've been by a hierarchy that doesn't seem to abide by these same rules they insist are practically doctrines of the faith!

  3. "Fr. Euteneuer is either hopelessly naive or an outright opportunist."

    Mr. Euteneuer is an outright opportunist. He would like everybody to forget his military/intel background. He would like you to develop collective amnesia to the FACT that he was the personal secretary/media spokesman for two successive Palm Beach, FL Bishops....who both had to resign due to PERSONAL involvement in sex abuse!

    His connectivity with Deal Hudson & EWTNs Raymond Arroyo spell:Opus Dei. As big as the famous 'HOLLYWOOD' sign. The pretense of conservatism is 'the way to go'.

    And extactly WHO dubbed Mr. Euteneuer an 'exorcist'? Much less an expert on the topic? Obviously his spiritual powers were not effective in helping his two bishop friends.......

    For him & his ilk, 'exorcism' is what is needed by liberals. By any who oppose or question the power & 'authority' of Ratzy & the gang in Rome.

    It should also be noted that a clueless 'exorcist' may actually have the reverse effect on his client; inviting in evil, instead of expelling it.....

    Anon Y. Mouse

  4. It frightens me to think of innocents being urged to undergo an exorcism by people who might do the "reverse"!

  5. With all the silliness in this article and ensuing comments, it's hard to know where to start.

    Read anything by Fr. Euteneuer on exorcism. You'll find that the vast majority of inquiries do not reach the stage of exorcism, but end in referrals to mental health professionals. The cases are all screened thoroughly, and these professionals even remain involved during cases that proceed all the way to actual exorcism.

    As to whom dubbed Fr. Euteneuer an exorcist, it was, well, the Church. That's the Church's proper authority requires.

    I wish it were more surprising that "enlightened" catholicism finds no need for spiritual warfare, and places itself above those with whom it disagrees - morally and intellectually. The obtuseness here stinks to high-whatever-that-place-is-that-those-silly-Catholics-believe-they-may-if-they're-deemed-worthy-go. Good thing we've effectively secularized the Faith to make it fit our own wishes.

    What gross intellectual laziness and self-righteousness on display here.

    Everyone obeys laws. It's either the Law of the Church or the Law of the self.

  6. @anonymous 8:24

    You don't know where to start your criticism because either you didn't understand Colleen's article or perhaps you were blinded by your emotional reaction to it.

    You don't challenge Colleen's analysis of the predominant causes for "possession" being rooted in early childhood sex abuse. She argues that it is misleading and dishonest to move the blame for possession (or ego disassociation problems) from child sex abusers to Harry Potter and other "occult practices".

    I can't speak for the others here. Maybe I do lack intellect or perhaps I am lazy... So contribute to the discussion a bit. Help me understand. When you say: "Good thing we've effectively secularized the Faith to make it fit our own wishes. " Who are you that you've done such things? Mouse always suspects Opus Dei operatives. Are you one?

    On the issue of spiritual warfare: What teaching of Jesus are you using to guide you on this matter? (Chapter and verse is good) Please do not confuse current American politics with the universal truths of Jesus.

    It must be nice to be so self-assured.


  7. Medieval Penitential Practices...

    My own thoughts are similar to commenter # 16 by "AT"

    "So what is the purpose of this excessive mortification in OD? Is it love of God and neighbor? Or is it part of the methodologies to control the environment of movement members by those in charge, to make them better serve the movement? Its it “the way” to give a “feeling” of self-justification to the members, the “feeling” that one can buy one’s ticket to “holiness”, while giving all of one’s resources to the movement? Isn’t our salvation a free gift from God, and that there is nothing we can ever do to deserve it? Shouldn’t our acts be not so much defined by our willingness to buy our salvation, but rather as a simple expression of our love and obedience to God? With these new outside-side pseudo-orthodox “spiritualities”, that use classic self-serving cult methodologies, the concern is that parts of the Church will continue to devolve to become similar to secular cults."

    Is there is some serious self-hatred going on? Is this practice motivated by some endorphin fueled twisted psych-sexual masochism?

    In the Venn diagram of Religious fanaticism and BDSM there must be a big overlap.

    I've got to go take a shower now, I feel dirty.


  8. Seems to me this blog must be achieving something - or we would not be witnessing efforts to brand the blog and its contributors as heretics etc.

    So, on behalf of all of us, I would like to thank those who've come by to cast stones. Your stones are a clear indicator that we're on the right track here. Thanks!

  9. Perhaps you can answer this for me anon, what does Fr. Euteneuer say about those cases in which the entity does not recognize his authority? What does he do when the problem he is facing is not one which is derived from the Western pantheon of archetypal evil? What does he do when he's faced with the actions of a real sorcerer? Not his mythical Harry Potter type, but the real deal?

    Before you get too sure of yourself, I suggest you do some reading into the history of the Dominicans and Franciscans when they ran into Indigenous sorcerers whose 'spirit' helpers knew nothing about the Franciscan's concepts of Judeo/Christian evil demons. You might find the anecdotal stories fascinating to read, especially some of the archives of the Mexico city branch of the Spanish Inquisition circa 1600. You might start with the book "The Witches of Abiquiu".

    That is you might do that, unless you really really need to believe that the Fr Euteneur's of the world actually do have all the answers about what is a truly huge universe.

  10. One last point anon, you are absolutely right that no official exorcism is allowed by a bishop without the input and monitoring of mental health professionals.

    One of my points is that Hudson's article never even alludes to this fact, and neither did Euteneuer. Instead it's all about New Age 'occult' pracitices and culturally popular series which are designed to appeal to younger people. No different by the way, than CS Lewis or JR Tolkein's the Hobbit.

    Long time readers of this blog are well aware of the fact I find this stuff very serious business because it's one of the fruits of the viscious, at times planned, abuse of our young children. Trivializing this is, in such a political way, is itself of the dark side.

    Besides, as Mouse points out, where was Eutenuer's spiritual warrior self when his immediate bosses were engaging in child sexual abuse? Must have been the same place the Legion brass were when their boss was engaging in his pedophelia.

  11. I wish it were more surprising that "enlightened" catholicism...places itself above those with whom it disagrees - morally and intellectually.

    When we disagree with someone on moral or intellectual questions, yes, we implicitly locate ourselves "above" them, morally or intellectually speaking, at least with regard to the matter in question. Is it possible to do otherwise?

    Can one say, "You disagree with me, but your position is as valid as mine"?

    And how are you any different, anonymous? Do you not see your own beliefs as "above," morally and intellectually, the people you've come here to criticise, at least insofar as you disagree with them? And if not, why are you disagreeing with them?

  12. Prickliest, that is a great question. Must we locate ourselves above someone else to disagree with them? Can the Spirit lead us in what seems to be different directions for one good?

    I especially noticed this in reading Deal Hudson's website. What a load of garbage in there, and yet so many were assenting. I saw in the comments about exorcism the same kind of wondrous fervor in reaching out to the numinous beyond that I see in Colleen's lifestory (cliffhanger so far -- I hope the next reel gets to the theater soon). Who am I to say which is more correct, even though one rings true with me and the other seems hopelessly fearful and superstitious? They read it the other way, and the communion of saints along with God remain inscrutable as always.

    More than anything, I've come to dislike and distrust the person who says s/he knows God better than I do. I'm not above anyone. Just walk with me, pray with me, and let's see if our stories mesh. That's what I didn't like on Hudson's blog and what I sometimes see from the progressives -- a willingness to bend or at least de-emphasize truth in order to continue "my" narrative.

    All in all I think that faith brings grace and grace leads faith. I have to trust that the Ma Barkers and anons are trying to touch the face of God, enough that their obvious flaws get cleaned up for them. And if I have any flaws at all, I have to assume the Spirit is doing that for me too. However, being Irish, I love a good donnybrook as long as we kiss up over a Guinness afterwards.

  13. Colleen -

    You pose an interesting question:

    "what does Fr. Euteneuer say about those cases in which the entity does not recognize his authority?"

    I have seen him interviewed many times on EWTN. To the best of my recollection he has NEVER indicated anything like this occurring. I would have to conclude that he is either lying or has extremely limited experience as an exorcist.

    Regardless of one's opinion of the late Malachi Martin, his book in the topic (Hostage to the Devil) is well worth reading. In considering the cases discussed in that book (and others I am aware of otherwise), my comment would be this:

    Eutenuer has never conducted a real exorcism. If he had, he would not look as young & smiley as he does. The Exorcist is spiritually attacked in any REAL exorcism! So he is left with 'battle scars'.

    I would say that in any country, regardless of what the demonic entities would be (or be called) they would know of & obey in the Name of Christ. Yet some would be harder nuts to crack. I would also doubt he knows what a real sorcerer is & the effects thereof.

    I sincerely doubt he has any real cognizance of what such as Aleister Crowley did & wrote of.

    And....."Colleen's analysis of the predominant causes for "possession" being rooted in early childhood sex abuse."

    I must have missed what you wrote of this. Without knowing anything more, I agree. At the least, it has the possibility of inflicting minor demonic influence in the previously innocent child.

    At may be aware that there is the assertion by Catholic mystics that anal sex has the very real possibility of triggering possession. This is no mere superstition. Especially if we refer to a child who is not capable of giving consent (and/or literal anal rape).

    There is a reason for the phrase 'the Devil's doorway'. You might consider it the opposite of the Forehead onto which & through which we are blessed by God.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  14. "Read anything by Fr. Euteneuer on exorcism. You'll find that the vast majority of inquiries do not reach the stage of exorcism, but end in referrals to mental health professionals."

    At a quick glance this seems to be an innocent comment, which illustrates what many of us know or assume to be standard procedure.

    But I would suggest something more sinaster. If you have paid attention to the words of Ratz, et. al., "Satan" is now those who oppose Ratz & the Vatican. Those who are not (blindly) obedient Catholic, complete with the required 'spirit of docility' to whatever the Vatican belches forth.

    By such definitions, WE are in need of exorcism. To go further, there must be something wrong with us, as we will not submit in 100% obedience to the Church. Therefore, a mental health analysis is in order.

    ...I think you can see where this is leading....

    Anon Y. Mouse

  15. mjc, I also have wondered of late whether the Spirit could be leading people in different directions for ends which are beyond our ken.

    And as to the great question posed by Prickliest, I think it's possible, in a setting of love, for people of very different perspectives to communicate and try and understand each other. It requires an unusual "community" - maybe unusual people as well, who endeavor to come together for a common task, while respecting each other's different backgrounds and different paths. I can think of one such group. This book is the product:

    (maybe you can google the authors and get a better sense of their project - the book costs a fortune, but it's stupendous, as is the project, and I knew the first author long ago before he became famous)

    And now for Mouse's comments. Boy, I have to wonder, Mouse, whether unknowingly - in a sense - therapists are at times engaged not in exorcism per se but in that spiritual struggle with those who have been so very damaged due to childhood sexual abuse (involving ritualized torture) - that the therapist too is left with "battle scars". Indeed, I feel I have been left with them. I believe when you make any progress with such people you have wrestled for their soul. And there is no way to do such work without a firm spiritual foundation. (Indeed, it is through the avenue of treating trauma that spirituality entered psychotherapy!)

    As I said last week, we are either heretics or crazy - in the face of this abusive dysfunctional system we are up against.

  16. Therap your comment about working with those who have been abused as children as an outcome of ritualism brought back very vivid memories of one particular client of mine. I have never seen one client so upset an entire clinic. One therapist said working with this person was like dealing with Jekyl and Hyde. It turns out there was a reason for that.

    mjc it is possible for people who have very different views to respect each other. It takes understanding that the Spirit works with each of us individually at our own pace. That individual treatment means we are all honored for who and how we are. It does not mean we are being singled out for being special or right or more truthful.