The Mark of the Crackpot

…is his complete imprisonment in the clean, well-lit prison of a single idea. Chesterton remarks on this in Orthodoxy:

If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.

The madman’s explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory. Or, to speak more strictly, the insane explanation, if not conclusive, is at least unanswerable; this may be observed specially in the two or three commonest kinds of madness. If a man says (for instance) that men have a conspiracy against him, you cannot dispute it except by saying that all the men deny that they are conspirators; which is exactly what conspirators would do. His explanation covers the facts as much as yours. Or if a man says that he is the rightful King of England, it is no complete answer to say that the existing authorities call him mad; for if he were King of England that might be the wisest thing for the existing authorities to do. Or if a man says that he is Jesus Christ, it is no answer to tell him that the world denies his divinity; for the world denied Christ’s.

Nevertheless he is wrong. But if we attempt to trace his error in exact terms, we shall not find it quite so easy as we had supposed. Perhaps the nearest we can get to expressing it is to say this: that his mind moves in a perfect but narrow circle. A small circle is quite as infinite as a large circle; but, though it is quite as infinite, it is not so large. In the same way the insane explanation is quite as complete as the sane one, but it is not so large. A bullet is quite as round as the world, but it is not the world. There is such a thing as a narrow universality; there is such a thing as a small and cramped eternity; you may see it in many modern religions. Now, speaking quite externally and empirically, we may say that the strongest and most unmistakable mark of madness is this combination between a logical completeness and a spiritual contraction. The lunatic’s theory explains a large number of things, but it does not explain them in a large way. I mean that if you or I were dealing with a mind that was growing morbid, we should be chiefly concerned not so much to give it arguments as to give it air, to convince it that there was something cleaner and cooler outside the suffocation of a single argument.

I think of this as I behold the spectacle of the discernment-free herd of Independent Thinkers who, getting their marching orders from Church Militant TV and obeying to the letter, are now defending the ”The Principle” (the rock solid new film proving geocentrism beyond the shadow of a doubt and inaugurating a Revolution in our understanding of cosmology).  To a man, they are dutifully reciting the rhetoric crackpots always recite when normal people point out that they are crackpots.  It goes like this:

  • Have you *read* Mein Kampf? Then how can you possibly say that it’s the work of a monster? How do you know it’s not Jews controlling the media responsible for the bad reviews it gets?
  • Have you read the latest research proving that Lizard Creatures control the Vatican? Then how can you know that the people dismissing this theory are not, in fact, Lizard Creatures?
  • Have you read the latest research showing that International Jewish bankers created Nazism as a prelude to conquest of the land of Palestine?  Then how do you know that my gratuitous assertion of this fact in your combox just now is false?
  • Have you read the science in support of the fact that the universe circles a non-rotational earth at hyper-light speeds every 24 hours?
  • I have to say that I am absolutely shocked at the way Professional Catholics like you simply dismiss people who have been talking about nothing but these matters for years and years. Who made you the arbiter of what you decide is “crazy” and don’t spend your time on? You have to spend all your time researching every “crazy” thing so-called “lunatics” want to discuss or we will call you a coward–and a Lizard Creature who may well have Jewish blood. Can you prove you aren’t? Ha! That’s just what a Jewish Lizard Creature would try to do!

Just so it’s clear.  I haven’t boned up on geocentrism or Lizard Creatures in the Vatican or the Jewish International Banker conspiracy to create Nazism as a prelude to conquest of Palestine.  I have better things to do than read the turgid manifesto of a mass murderer.  These things will not occupy one moment of my waking thought, much less every moment for years and years.  Because that is the mark of a crackpot. ”Apostolates” like Church Militant TV should not be promoting and mainstreaming utter and complete crackpots.  But since they have chosen to do so, I heartily urge their growing audience of crackpots to make their thoughts and ideas about geocentrism and, especially, the Jewish conspiracy heard loud and clear in every American chancery and in Rome itself.  It’s long overdue that they receive the attention and reward they so richly deserve.

  • HornOrSilk

    Yes, also, the foundation of heresy and schism often are the imbalance of promoting a truth at the ignorance or removal of other truths. This is also something I find troubling with the Voris group: they always say “this is more important than any others truths, so why is the Pope/Bishop/Priest interested in something not very important?” They don’t see how truth relates to truth and cutting it away in what you see is “secondary” destroys the “primary” as well.

    • ivan_the_mad

      You echo Hilaire Belloc’s The Great Heresies: “Heresy means, then, the warping of a system by ‘Exception’: by ‘Picking out’ one part of the structure and implies that the scheme is marred by taking away one part of it, denying one part of it, and either leaving the void unfilled or filling it with some new affirmation.”

    • SententiaeDeo

      Specifically what truths does “the Voris group” say are more important than others?

  • nosidam

    Yes that group has a leader who rants and raves and mocks and calls names and loves to be an idol. He is being clearly used by the evil one to divide the faithful. He is an angry man and in my humble opinion is filled with pride and self righteousness. I cannot watch him or even look at him because I do not hear the voice of my Shepherd, The Lord coming from him. You can tell true Christians by their love and fruit. No love exuded here and no sweet fruit! I know a person who is hooked on Voris and the more he ingests the poison the angrier he gets! What can we do? Boycott the show and pray I guess! Thank you for this because I thought it was me alone who felt this way!

  • Des Farrell

    I find this subject fascinating. There’s no doubt that Voris has a brilliant mind, just as Malachi Martin had a brilliant mind. Ronald Rolheiser has an hour long talk on YouTube on the paranoid versus the metanoid (or open mind). I met a paranoid man at a talk this week and was warned against speaking to him. But he had such a presence of loneliness and rage, as if he was trapped and couldn’t find a way out. I intentionally spoke with humility towards him and this only made him angrier. I want to mention a word that people may be uncomfortable with. I felt that there was a demon on his back. I mean that literally. I felt that he was being goaded and tormented by a force outside of himself that some kind of weak or damaged mind had allowed in. I admit that this is a difficult subject to address so perhaps I should steer clear of it.
    It’s also fascinating how weak and angry minds are attracted to such dynamic personalities as Voris. I’m typing this on a tiny phone so I shall leave it at that but I appreciate this subject being addressed. There seemed to have been similar dynamics at work during the reign on you know who at the Legionaries a decade ago.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      There is some serious evil out there. Lewis’s Perelandra gave me a new perspective on the demonic.

      • Des Farrell

        I’m not familiar with that Lewis title but I’m a big fan of his. I’ve witnessed the spiral of depression and mental health issues that can happen when a fine mind becomes isolated or terribly hurt in a relationship. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned the subject of the demonic. When a mind closes in on itself it’s difficult for it to open up again because the ego is feeding the paranoia. Sometimes a full psychotic breakdown is the only event that will break the spiral. I know a few, God help them, I mean that.

        • HornOrSilk

          Perelandra is the second of the Space Trilogy, where we see paradise once again given a choice between hell or heaven..

    • Mark S. (not for Shea)

      Would a brilliant mind really have that haircut?

      • Sigroli

        The point is moot, given that a mind of any intelligence at all would be occupied with more important matters.

    • “ONE OF US” ROMANIA

      WOW! What a “brilliant and “subtle” attack! A real man here! Defending the Faith?

  • kirthigdon

    I once read in a very conventonal layman’s book entitled “The Universe and Dr. Einstein” that any point in the universe could be taken as the fixed point and the rest of the universe said to move with reference to that point. It would just be a matter of working out the math. So if some group wants to take the earth as their fixed point, who am I to judge? Indeed, who am I to care?
    Kirt Higdon

    • HornOrSilk

      The reason why we care is if they make it “the only possible fixed point,” and then try to make it “The Catholic view, and everyone else is liberal modernist if they deny this.” Catholics love truth, and science is a part of it.

      But, all in all, as I’ve told people before, Nicholas of Cusa suggested, if the universe is infinite, all points are center. If someone wanted to hold to that (we don’t know if the universe is infinite, though it potentially is), and use that to help interpret the Bible, it’s one thing. But the relativism of it has to be recognized, which is what Voris et. al. do not.

      • Stu

        I agree with you.

        But I also think that attempting to equate a belief in geocentrism with antisemitism or Hitler to be just as “off”. Seems to me that this question can stand on it’s own without having to bring in other non-related topics.

        • chezami

          Nobody’s equating geocentrism. What I’m noting is that Bob Sungenis, geocentrist, is also Bob Sungenis, Jew-hating nut and conspiracy theorist. And Michael Voris is deliberately choosing to promote and mainstream him for his cult of personality.

          • Stu

            I can’t comment on why Michael Voris is promoting the
            geocentrism aspect (you must clearly have more intimate knowledge than I have) but the continual connecting of Sungenis’ geocentrist beliefs with his anti-semetic beliefs just doesn’t make sense. I’m quite confident you could find a scientist who thought geocentrism was wrong but who also was anti-Semite himself.

            Just let the scientific question rise or fall on its own merits. No need to bring things like Mein Kampf, Lizard Men or anti-semitism into the mix.

            • chezami

              Of *course* the connection makes sense. Sungenis asks us to believe, on the basis of his personal authority alone, that a man with a quack Ph.D. should be trusted to know what he is talking about with the “science” *and* the “theology” of geocentrism. It is therefore perfectly reasonable to ask if there is any particular reason to trust him as a stable or reliable teacher, and his ravings about the Jews and various other conspiracy theories are abundant evidence we should not. You’d think that an “investigative journalist” would, you know, *investigate* something like this. After all, he’s been full of burning concern about the evils of Fr. Robert Barron, Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, and Al Kresta, among many others he’s denounced to his cult of personality. But when he’s got a raviing crank with a paper trail of apologetics for mass murder and Jew-hatred as long as the Mississippi in front of him, he becomes the most incurious “investigative jounalist” on the planet. Stop making excuses for this crap.

              • Stu

                “Stop making excuse for this crap.”
                —————————–
                Show me where I have done anything remotely to that. All I have done is point out your use of a logical fallacy. When discussing matters of science, we usually use science itself to prove or disprove an assertion and pass on bringing other non-related issues into the discussion. Again, there are certainly anti-semites in the World who would dismiss geocentrism. By your logic, their views on the former cloud the latter. And FWIW, I don’t support either geocentrism or anti-semitism.

                As for Mr. Voris.

                Q: What’s the best way to keep tabs on what he is talking about?

                A: Read Mark Shea’s blog.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  I think that what Mark means is that when someone sounds very unreliable about some issues, there is no obligation to believe that he is absolutely correct on some other issues, on which he certainly might also be unreliable. That person might be correct, but unless and until I possess all the relevant data myself in order to check his assertions, it is a prudent thing to seriously question what he is talking about. So, it certainly not impossible to find a credible scientist who is also an antisemite, but it does not follow that we should necessarily assume that Mr. S. is correct about a scientific matter just because it is possible to both be antisemitic and a credible scientist. Instead, I would suggest to take what Mr. S has to say with a substantial grain of salt, until proven better.

                  • Stu

                    I understand what he is saying and it’s a logical fallacy.

                    Mark, for instance, knows nothing of firearms and when he comments on them it shows. That doesn’t mean I discount him when it come to speaking on Scripture.

                    Instead of focusing on the person, we focus on what is actually being said.

                    The merits (or lack thereof) of geocentrism will rise or fall on their own. No need to brink Mein Kampf into the equation.

                    • AnsonEddy

                      I remember a Catholic writer of some renown writing a series of articles about logical fallacies some people fall into when arguing. One of them was the genetic fallacy. It was a pretty good series. Nice gentleman, though perhaps a bit on the high-strung side.

                    • chezami

                      So you are seriously defending the promotion of a crackpot geocentrist and anti-semite? You seriously believe that we need to hear out this quack science and quack theology? Knock yourself out.

                    • AnsonEddy

                      Well, no. I don’t really follow anything produced or written by Sungenis. But I don’t follow Voris either. They don’t interest me. I just thought I’d dazzle the crowd with my nimble recall of that piece on genetic fallacy.

                    • Stu

                      So you seriously read all of that in his comment above? You seriously think that his pointing out an error in your logic equates to promotion of an particular pet belief of Bob Sungenis?

                    • chezami

                      No. It equates to promoting *Bob Sungenis* as a reliable authority on Catholic teaching. CMTV is, after all, in the business of telling its cult of personality just who is and is not a Real Catholic. That’s pretty much all they do. And by doing this puff piece on Sungenis, what Voris has made clear to his followers is that Sungenis is a Real Catholic and a reliable source of Catholic teaching,. Indeed, the message his cult will receive is that *because* Sungenis’ revolting anti-semitism and quack science is warned of by such Church of Nice heretics as Yr. Obdt Svt, Karl Keating and Dave Palm *that just proves how deeply and truly Catholic anti-semitism and quack science are*. It’s an astonishingly irresponsible thing for the Savior of True Catholicism to do. But irresponsible demagoguery is CMTV’s stock in trade.

                    • Matt J.

                      Agreed, Stu.

                      I still read Mark’s blog even after his arrogant and foolish display towards sentiments regarding the 2nd Amendment and related things that he previously displayed, for exactly the same reason.

                      Heck, I’d even venture as far as to say that I still respect the man since nobody is perfect, and I can’t expect them to be{1}. We’re all a “work in progress” in God’s hands. This of course includes our dear host :-)

                      Even Christopher Hitchens was a good writer on topics that didn’t involve religion.

                      I’m going to wait for this “The Principle” to be out before declaring further judgement on the matter. There’s no need to pre-emptively speculate on things absolutely before all the facts are in.

                      The fact that many respected scientists in the field (e.g., Max Tegmark) seem to think that “something” is up is enough to at least give it a fair hearing on the matter, rather than jump to all sorts of knee-jerk reactions (as fun as that may be).

                      Is it possible the scientists in the film are all selectively mis-quoted and ripped out of context? Sure. Is it possible that this will be a big embarrassment for him? Possibly. Is any of this guaranteed? Nope.

                      Perhaps there’s something interesting to all this that’s in and of itself valid, that doesn’t necessarily point to the conclusions that Bob wants them to, but still contains valid information (e.g., the Earth is somehow “special” from a purely material point of view) in its own right.

                      Is Bob Sungenis (and also Michael Voris) completely wacky in many ways? Yes. Does he hold opinions which are extremely problematic? Yes. Does it mean that everything he touches is poison? Not necessarily, since that’s the logical fallacy of “poisoning the well.”

                      Remember, a stopped clock is still right twice a day, and God does often humble the proud by using the weak.

                      This is not a guarantee that it will happen in this particular issue, but we shouldn’t pass judgement until all the facts are in.

                      While I can understand the sentiment of pre-emptively “defending” the Church and classical heliocentrism to spare any future embarrassment, one must be open-minded enough to actually understand the full argument before passing judgement on it.

                      I’m saying this as a person who almost had an identical reaction initially to this whole matter as our host Mark did, but after conversations with several people{2}, I’m going to “wait and see” on this.

                      In some ways, it’s similar to Medjugorje. Yeah, it’s probably false, but the most reasonable course of action is a “vigilant skepticism” which is still open to correction should the need arrive for it.

                      {1} – I should note that I’m not implying that a “perfect” person would automatically agree with my beliefs on the matter, but merely that they would give it a fair hearing, which is something that has not happened on this particular issue, since a friend of mine presented various perfectly valid arguments in the comboxes that Mark simply chose to completely ignore and not even interact with.

                      {2} – Which included what I must note is a a brief and casual conversation with a physicist over a glass of Scotch who ultimately disagreed charitably in this matter, yet found some rather clear flaws in the methodology used to “debunk” Bob’s arguments, in one of the “anti” sites I was able to find out on the net regarding this (one that I found as quickly as I could that actually interacted with the arguments), namely on this page: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/01/03/so-the-earth-is-6001-years-old/

                    • http://www.geeklady.wordpress.com/ GeekLady

                      I don’t think you do understand, actually. You keep trying to causally link two things that are never presented as causally linked. Mark is not arguing that Sungenis’s geocentrism implies his antisemitism, or vice versa. He isn’t arguing about Sungenis at all. He’s arguing that the act of Voris’s apostolate promoting Sungenis is both imprudent (the geocentrism) and scandalous (the antisemitism).
                      Imprudent because geocentrism is a ridiculous scientific hill to fight and die one, and as Catholics already have an undeserved reputation as being opposed to science, the last thing a Catholic apostolate should do is try and make us deserve that reputation.
                      Scandalous because, even though it is his work on geocentrism that is being promoted, the public calumny of his antisemitism ought to prevent him from being promoted as a theological authority by a Catholic apostolate.

                    • Stu

                      Well, no.

                      Ever since this whole movie thing came out, it has been along the lines of “Hey look at the geocentrism movie by Robert Sungenis. Of course, you know he hates the Jews too.”

                      So if Voris has some guy on who refuted geocentrism but was also an anti-semite, would we condemn that man too and his belief against geocentrism?

                      Is the issue geocentrism or anti-semitism? What does Mein Kampf or Lizard men or Jewish Bankers have to do at all with former?

                      Does Mark’s skepticism on Climate Change in any way reflect on his belief in Christ as our Savior or are atheists correct when they would assert that his disbelief in science goes hand-in-hand with a belief in a “sky daddy”?

                      Conflating these things is just plain sloppy as both can easily be discussed and refuted by staying within their respective disciplines.

                    • http://www.geeklady.wordpress.com/ GeekLady

                      “So if Voris has some guy on who refuted geocentrism but was also an anti-semite, would we condemn that man too.”

                      Absolutely. If, by condemn, you mean say this man shouldn’t be promoted as any sort of theological authority by a supposedly Catholic apostolate. It’s much the same as the scandal of a Catholic politician publicly and obstinately supporting grave evil. Only I actually think this is worse than the politician.

                      You insist these things are being conflated, but I don’t see it. Being listed side by side isn’t the same thing as conflation.

                    • Stu

                      This entire post is about refuting geocentrism by pointing to other extreme beliefs.

                      And you missed my edit. Would you condemn the non-geocentric beliefs of an astrophysicist because he was a believer in Jewish conspiracy theories? Or, if Bob Sungenis says that Our Lady was conceived without sin, is he wrong because he is also an anti-semite?

                      Now if Mark want to make the point that Bob Sungenis is not exactly the best guy to hitch your wagon too, no argument. But let’s not resort to conflating geocentrism and anti-semitism.

                    • Stu

                      Noted. I obviously have not seen the movie.

                    • http://www.geeklady.wordpress.com/ GeekLady

                      1) Sorry, Disqus doesn’t tell me about edits. Would I condemn the hypothetical antisemitic astrophysicist? Depends. In general, yes, the antisemitic sentiment expressed by such conspiracy theories is to be condemned. Would his position at Bob Jones University be a scandal to the faithful? Not really. A position at MIT, it would be a scandal, but for MIT, not the faithful. At the Vatican Observatory? That WOULD be a scandal to the faithful. I’m not sure what is so difficult about this concept. Obstinate grave sin + public position within a purportedly Catholic organization = scandal.

                      2) Actually, this post isn’t a refutation at all. It’s a reaction to the spectacle of people defending geocentrism because Voris chose to promote it. It points out that the arguments Voris’s minions are using here are the same sorts of arguments used by madmen. And then he concludes by stating that apostolates should not be promoting crackpots.

                      Beliefs in geocentrism and Jewish conspiracy theories are evidence of crackpotism, and connected by a comma, not a QED.

                      3) I don’t think conflate means what you think it means.

                    • Stu

                      What is the obstinate grave sin being committed? Sungenis, by all accounts, has take down any anti-semitic writings. Is he still teaching such things? Does he teach it linked to goecentrism?

                      Further, did Voris promote geocentrism? Did you watch his presentation? is the Paul Halpern’s discussion about the Copernican Theory being challenged evidence of crackpotism? Does it make him an anti-semite too?

                      Mark’s readily admits that he doesn’t know the science involved in this and that is why brings up all of the other things in an effort to refute it (Mein Kampf, Jewish Bankers, Lizard men). Conflation indeed.

                    • chezami

                      Sungenis has *hidden* his anti-semitism, but has not repented it in the slightest. I actually know this for a fact because he wrote me, Karl Keating, and several other, demanding our silence and refusing to acknowledge he was wrong. It was a remarkably delusional letteer.

                    • Stu

                      That still sounds like a private letter to me Mark and not public.

                      Look, I’m not going to defend anti-semitic beliefs at all but to charge anti-semitism everytime the guy opens his mouth on some unrelated topic and then reference a private letter just doesn’t seem fair play to me. I have no reason to doubt you, but I can’t embrace the methods.

                    • http://www.geeklady.wordpress.com/ GeekLady

                      I don’t know whether he still holds antisemitic views. But writing falsehoods or unprovable claims with the intent to damage a reputation is calumny, which is a big deal. I can’t and don’t claim to judge the soul, but to take down his troublesome writings and pretend they didn’t happen is insufficient repudiation to have his views publicly promoted by a catholic apostolate. At the very least there needs to be a written repudiation. I think this what happened with the SSPX bishop in a similar situation, but my recollection may be wrong.

                      I don’t give a trapeze artist’s fart for the geocentrism business. If they want to refuse all good advice and make themselves ridiculous over it, they can go ahead and do so. But I do care when any group wants to hold themselves out as catholic and give a platform to someone in public disagreement with the Church. That goes for Catholics for Choice and it’s starting to go for Church Militant.

                    • Stu

                      And I can agree with your last paragraph though I think the trapeze artist part is a bit weird.

                      But that is the point of it all. It will stand on its own. Or it won’t. I actually bet on the latter. No need to bring Mein Kampf or Jewish Bankers into the discussion.

                    • http://www.geeklady.wordpress.com/ GeekLady

                      The point of it all is that the church militant is damaging their own apostolate by circling the wagons around Sungenis. I gave Voris a pretty generous benefit of the doubt for a long time , but between this and his March For Life antics, I’m well and truly scandalized now. And that makes me cranky.

                    • Stu

                      Honestly, I don’t really follow Michael Voris that much (in fact I don’t know about his “March for Life antics”). I have heard him say things I agree with and things I don’t agree with. Same goes with Mark. Both have their highs and lows and both don’t bat 1.000.

                      However, I don’t disagree with your sentiments on risking their own credibility.

                    • chezami

                      I know. And he does. And he has never retracted a word of what he said about the Jews. Merely disappeared it down the memory hole. And yes, the *central* issue is that CMTV is mainstreaming Sungenis himself as a reliable source of Catholic teaching.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      No, geocentrism is not “open for consideration again,” because of the REASONS WHY COPERNICUS are not being followed already REQUIRE and REJECT geocentrism as well.

                      It’s like someone goes up to a cup filled with liquid. People smell it and taste it, saying it is not water. Someone speculates it might be gasoline. It looks like it. Suddenly someone experiments on it and proves it is not gas. The crackpot then comes out and says: “Well, then we can speculate it’s water again.” That’s exactly what you just did.

                    • chezami

                      GeekLady: Why can’t everybody grasp what you see? It’s really not complicated. Thanks for refreshing my heart with some hope that people can get this simple and obvious point.

            • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com/ Kevin Tierney

              I think it’s more evidence of how when you buy one belief on the fringe, you tend to buy others. It’s why it isn’t really a coincidence that for a large majority of its time (before Williamson was expelled), the SSPX was a hotbed of Anti-Semitic activity.
              It’s why a lot of Ron Paul supporters advocated the hard money gold standard, anti-semitism, government conspiracies, etc.

              As far as a scientific excercise, geocentricism is about as viable as flat-earth, young-earth creationism (the 7,000 year old kind), The Protocols of Zion, etc. Nobody with serious bona fides is out there promoting it. Sungenis tried to say scientists were, but several of them have already angrily shot back he was being deceptive to push his junk science.

              • Stu

                Yes, I would agree that generally the more one subscribes to conspiracy theories the more likely they are to believe new conspiracy theories they encounter. But yet that is not enough to discount them on any particular issue. If an evangelical pointed to Bob Sungenis’ anti-semitism as evidence that his defense of the Immaculate Conception was similarly “whacked” then I’m quite confident our host would disagree with such reasoning and right so. Same goes for geocentrism which as you point out can be discussed on it’s own merits.

                Further, do such assertions in this case work both ways? Given Kate Mulgrew has given her voice talent to this projects, are we to now conclude that she must be an anti-semite? I certainly don’t.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          For those of us who have been watching the Sungenis saga for more than a decade now, the connection between his geocentrism and statements about the Jews makes sense. He started in with both of them around the same time – 2002.

          Prior to that, Sungenis was just another Catholic apologist defending the Faith against anti-Catholic attacks. Those of us who were interested in apologetics owned his books and tapes and recommended them to others. _Not by Scripture Alone_ and _Not by Faith Alone_ were very comprehensive tomes (Mark even contributed a chapter to one of them). _Not by Bread Alone_ was a similarly forceful defense of Church teaching on the Eucharist, (though Sungenis did state in it that God can change his mind, which is theologically problematic). His organization, Catholic Apologetics International (CAI), had a branch in Canada and I think another in Africa, so it was in fact “international.” He also had a show on EWTN and collaborated with other Catholic apologists, such as Patrick Madrid.

          Then in 2002 things just went screwy. He started arguing for geocentrism on a Catholic message board, which caused some controversy. On the heels of that, in early September 2002 he posted the article “Conversion of the Jews Not Necessary? The Apocalyptic Ramifications of a Novel Teaching” which cited neo-nazi and “holocaust revisionist” sources. In response to the latter, EWTN cancelled his show, CAI Canada disassociated itself and changed its name (I don’t know about the other branch), many other Catholic apologists denounced him, and he’s been an outcast from the apologetics movement ever since. It was a rather tragic and traumatic break for many of us who appreciated his earlier work.

          So Mark has reason to make a connection between Sungenis’s advocacy of geocentrism and stuff he has written about the Jewish people. The two topics are not quite as unrelated as they may seem.

          • Stu

            So I guess we can assume that Kate Mulgrew is now an anti-semite? Are all proponents of geocentrism (how ever many that may be) anti-semites? Are the issues that intertwined?

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              I don’t remember Kate Mulgrew being involved in the controversy twelve years ago. She probably knows less about Sungenis’s history than you do. Ditto for proponents of geocentrism who weren’t involved back then. But Sungenis was involved back then, so that’s a bit different.

              In general, the issues are not intertwined, but relative to Sungenis they have become intertwined because of the history of the controversy surrounding him. If, after this film is released, his previous online writings about Jews come to light (always a danger with the Internet), Mulgrew and others may have to distance themselves from him, saying, “I had no idea he used to post that stuff on the WWW!”

              EDIT: BTW, just in case someone somehow misconstrues what I wrote as a “threat” to “expose” him, I have no such intention. He has removed the anti-Jewish stuff from his website so he is no longer promoting that, which is good. That’s what everyone who confronted him on that issue wanted him to do, and he’s done it. That’s fine. His geocentrism advocacy is tame in comparison; I’ll leave it to scientists to answer that stuff, if they so choose.

              • Stu

                So is twelve years some sort of tipping point? Kate Mulgrew is involved now. Robert Sungenis is an anti-semite and believes in geocentrism. Therefore Kate Mulgrew is too. Or so it would seem.

                Sungenis doesn’t need anyone’s help in running his engine with no oil. His positions will either be vindicated or not. (Same with Voris). I’m betting on the latter.

                Regardless, wrapping geocentrism up with anti-semitism as means to discredit him is not a winning tactic. It’s fallacious in reasoning and resembles the very tactics used by those who attempt to refute the teachings of the Church.

                • Rosemarie

                  +J.M.J+

                  I thought I explained myself pretty well. To those who remember the controversy, Sungenis’s past anti-Jewish posts are relevant to his advocacy of geocentrism because he began spouting both around the same time. Those who came later may not be know about the anti-Jewish stuff and so are not to be tarred with guilt by association.

                  However, if someone in the scientific community sees fit to do an “expose” on him (they might not bother, since they may not want to dignify geocentrism with an answer) they could come across information on the Web about his past writings and use it against him. The internet is a public forum; anyone can check anything out on it. He has, to his credit, removed all that nonsense from his site but other sites no doubt mention it still.

                  • Stu

                    But does that mean they are connected?

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      Like I said above, geocentrism and anti-Jewish attitudes are not connected in general. I’m sure many geocentrists are not anti-Semitic and many anti-Semites are heliocentrists. Yet Sungenis’s organization once taught both, so they have become intertwined WRT him, especially to those of us who remember his downfall.

                      Mark seems to be saying that Voris should not be promoting an organization with such a bad track record. He can certainly make that argument. It doesn’t mean that *everyone* who questions heliocentrism is or should be suspected of being an anti-Semite. Of course not.

                    • Stu

                      He can make that argument but he has chosen a sloppy way of doing it.

            • chezami

              Why would you say such a dumb thing, Stu?

              • Stu

                I’m just following your lead.

                • chezami

                  No. You’re poisoning the well. Why would you suppose an actor would have the slightest idea who Sungenis is? But see, an “investigative journalist” who is supposed to have his finger on the pulse of the Catholic Church *should* have some clue–and I think does have some clue–about Sungenis’ background. She was picking up a paycheck for gig. Voris is posing as the arbiter of what is and is not a Real Catholic in the Church. And you continue to make excuses for that. What, would you do, I wonder, if he interviewed Bill Maher urging us to consider “alternative science” and refuse to vaccinate, all while overlooking his pro-abortion background? I doubt you’d be so laissez faire. You embarrass yourself with these defenses of Voris’ promotion of this guy.

                  • Stu

                    Why do you assume she doesn’t know anymore than the average viewer of Church Militant TV. She is a practicing Catholic after all.

                    And again, you try to assert that any criticism of your methods is somehow a defense of either Voris or Sungenis. It’s isn’t that binary or tribal, Mark. I’m saying your attempt to make a point is sloppy. Very sloppy. And I think you could make the same point about Voris without using such slipshod reasoning.

          • Paul Boillot

            I wonder, has Bob gotten a comprehensive medical checkup since then?

            Sudden personality/behavioral changes can sometimes be indicators for CNS problems.

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              I obviously can’t make any kind of diagnosis, having no such credentials and having never met the man. My husband and I have wondered for a long time what set all this off. Did someone who happened to be Jewish do him wrong? I guess only he and God know.

  • kenofken

    My gut tells me the whole Lizard Man phenomenon is a product of our country’s trouble love affair with methamphetamine. Just to cover my bases politically, I’m sending some heat rocks and fresh crickets – Kosher ones – to the Vatican!

  • ivan_the_mad

    One of the conceits of internet discussion is that a lack of reply implies inability to reply, when in truth a reply is often not merited. As a corollary, not all ideas or assertions merit investigation. I think herein you evince conservative instinct (if we mean a conservatism as espoused by Kirk and Burke).

    Kirk on Burke: “A man always desperately busy, lacking time to chop logic, he shared Dr. Johnson’s exasperation at haggling over intuitive truths – the conviction of instinctive knowledge which provoked Johnson to growl, ‘Why, sir, we know the will is free, and there’s an end of it!’” — The Conservative Mind

  • nosidam

    I am leaving the discussion because there seems to be an obvious pride exuding from pseudo high intellectuals here.
    Mark, I accidentally came across your blog here. Why can’t anyone speak in words from the heart? Voris does not and I am not hearing that on this comment line either.
    Leave your brains at the door and talk like loving Christians and it might give you and Voris the peace of Christ. Jesus called the unlearned apostles to spread the gospel, not the learned. I hope to see many of you in the adoration chapel today. God bless.

    • HornOrSilk

      Ok. Down with pseudo high intellectuals! Let’s get angry at them, and not show love at them!

      But what about real intellectuals, and how will you discern? Or should real intellectuals also be done away with, too? Your first post was good but I don’t get this response. “Leave your brains at the door”? That’s not Christian. We are called to love with all our hearts, yes, but also with our mind. We are called to engage the intellect.

    • She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

      “Leave your brains at the door…”

      Really? That’s what the enemy is counting on. When we leave our brains at the door and become mindless sheeple, we open ourselves up to the kind of utter lunacy that Mark is railing against. I understand that you are calling for people to behave in a way that is charitable, but that doesn’t require us to stop being critical thinkers or calling out those who are leading others astray by their own lack of critical thinking. If you think Mark is being harsh, remember that Jesus called the pharisees “a brood of vipers.”

      • merC4all-w/repentanc

        Judas was a so called intellectual…no heart involved. Are there similarities? Hmmm.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          Judas was an intellectual? How do you figure?

          OTOH, St. Thomas Aquinas, whose feast day was just yesterday, was and intellectual and a saint.

          • merC4all-w/repentanc

            An intellectual who is not self serving and has a heart full of Love for Christ is one thing…there are intellectuals who are self serving always picking thing apart and over analyzing to justify their thoughts ect. and who are not charitable to others in their thoughts especially when it contradicts their own.

            In regards to Judas, the Pope says ” those who “isolate their
            conscience in selfishness,” in the end “lose.”This is how Judas ended up… he “was an idolater, attached to money”. I personally am not saying intellectuals are attatched to money but I do see where many do isolate their own conscience in selfishness.

            Below, in one of Francis’ ex “hospitio teachings (April 19, 2013), he addressed the topic of ideology:

            “Let us think of that moment with the Magdalene, when
            she washed the feet of Jesus with nard, which was so expensive. It is a religious moment, a moment of gratitude, a moment of love. And he [Judas] stands apart and criticizes her bitterly: ‘But … this could be
            used for the poor!’
            in the Gospel of poverty as an ideology. The ideologue does not know what love is, because he does not know how to gift himself.”

            Some Intellectuals do not
            know that the Word of God goes to the heart … They are the
            ‘scientists,’ the great ‘ideologues,’ those who do not understand that the word of God … is directed to the heart … because it is the beautiful word that brings love and makes us love. …The Pope warned that those who “isolate their conscience in selfishness,” in the end “lose.”

            And when ideology enters the Church, we do not understand anything of the Gospel. …
            They do not speak of beauty because they do not understand it. Instead, the way of
            love, the path of the Gospel is simple: It is the road understood by the
            Saints! …

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              There’s a difference between an intellectual and an ideologue. An intellectual is a learned person with a high degree of mental capacity, like Aquinas. An ideologue is just someone who adheres to a specific ideology. One need not have a good education and high mental capacity in order to adhere to an ideology.

              I don’t see evidence in Scripture that Judas Iscariot was an intellectual. Most of the Twelve Apostles were simple, presumably unlearned men (except perhaps Matthew, who as a tax collector must have been good with math at least). Judas was certainly spouting an ideology, though Scripture itself indicates that he wasn’t even sincere in his concern for the poor. He just wished he could have gotten his hands on those three hundred denarii.

  • Noah Doyle

    Wait…that’s what that movie is about? I admit, I haven’t really read anything about it, but…

    …geocentrism? Seriously?

    What was the Ulysses spacecraft doing out there, then?

    • ivan_the_mad

      Floundering about in the aether, obviously.

  • Chesire11

    I know the feeling…I spent far too much of last night in a fb discussion with people who claimed thing like: St. Patrick was an Arian, Christianity was corrupted by St. Paul, Christ never expressed the need for penance, the Church has been responsible for introducing misogyny to the worlds…

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com/ Kevin Tierney

    I remember when everyone kept asking “what do we make of Voris doing this or that? We need to get ready, he’s clearly a threat.”

    They’d get all butthurt when I responded “like all people who rely on outrage, their either burn up, or do something so colossaly stupid they alienate many supporters. Let them do what they want, and just focus on things of importance” KEVIN, can’t you see this or that?

    Everyone kept predicting Voris would be the next big thing. Then he goes and enrages pro-lifers and promotes geocentricism. Yes, a few slappies defend it, but I’m a big believer in regression to the mean. We are seeing it happen now.

    • HornOrSilk

      Sadly, I don’t see many of his followers departing over this.

    • SententiaeDeo

      “regression to the mean”? Do you mean going with the flow of the world?

  • Guest

    It is not a waste of time to investigate 911, for it inaugurated a reign of evil that is just beginning.

  • Stu

    So given some comments below, I’m led to believe that this has something to do with the movie.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/physics/2012/05/dark-flow-tugs-from-beyond-the-observable-universe/

    • HornOrSilk

      They are, like usual, abused, you mean, by taking text out of context, so equivocations can go on. “He says the universe is not Copernican” leads to “geocentrism is once again acceptable.” Say what? No, that is not how it works but that is the nonsense being used here. It’s like saying “Now we know Galileo was wrong, for the sun isn’t the center of the universe, so we can assume the earth is actually discworld.” No, you can’t. Illogical steps. And proof of crackpot theory.

      • Stu

        If they do that, you have a point. But have you seen the movie? Do they do that?

        • HornOrSilk

          From Mark W below showing this is exactly what is going on:

          Mark W

          Stu the movie is about the Copernican Principle, not geocentrism. Again, once the Copernican Principle is in question or invalidated, then the standard model is invalidated. Once that occurs, geocentrism is open for consideration once again.

          • Stu

            “open for consideration again” does not equal “geocentrism is once again acceptable”

            • HornOrSilk

              It’s trying to push what is not open for consideration. The complexity of the situation makes Copernicus too simple, not that the universe is suddenly simpler. If it is open for consideration, it is being treated as acceptable. You don’t suddenly go, “Gee if that yellow liquid running down his leg isn’t kool-aid, it’s open to being water after all.”

              • Stu

                Well, it could be water. Look, if something as widely held as the Copernican Theory is off, then it does open the door for there being some other drastic changes. Now I agree, that doesn’t mean the answer is geocentrism but there if no harm in giving such extreme views their day in court. Simply dismissing ideas as the musings of crackpot anti-semites is a bad precedent. In fact, I foresee a time coming when such arguments will be used to discount secular belief by Christians based solely on their theological beliefs.

                • HornOrSilk

                  Why it is off is the issue. They are equivocating. “It’s off, therefore old theories are back in play” is not how science works. It’s off because of more complexities being suggested, not because the earth is the center of the universe (heck, because some of these theories are about multiple universes, which shows how absurd this is to make it go back to geocentrism).

                  • Stu

                    Are you saying that because one of the theories implies multiple universes that it means any other conflicting theory is simply null and void?

                    Personally, I think the Universe is so vast and we know so little that there is probably a wide latitude in theories out there.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      We can rule out theories while still having a wide latitude; we are not relativists who think any idea is equal and worthy of consideration.

                    • Stu

                      No one is calling for relativism. Instead, lets not simply dismiss things with casual charges of “crackpot” or “anti-semite” when we haven’t even see what is being said.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      Actually, you are. Basically you are saying we can accept this crackpot theory, which science shows is crackpot, because of the equivocation its supporters use to suggest it is once again valid. And when pointed out it is crackpot, you say it is fine to hold on to it, that it is just an opinion like everything else. The thing is, this is not how science or rational thought works; it’s how crackpot junk science works. This methodology shows it is a crackpot theory and why it should be summarily dismissed.

                    • Stu

                      Well, no. I say simply let them make their case first, let the chips fall where they man and avoid dismissing ideas with non-related charges of a anti-semitism or comparisons to Mein Kampf.

                      BTW, have you seen their movie?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      No, we don’t simply have to hear every recitation of a crackpot theory each time someone recreates it. I mean, I don’t need to hear any flat earther EVER to judge anyone coming out and saying “We live on discworld” is false. And I’ve seen comments from the film makers who show the typical conman style which I detest.

                    • Stu

                      So you have seen the movie?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      I’ve read Rick’s claptrap through the net. I don’t need to see his reiteration of it. Just like I don’t need to see some stupid film about “the earth is flat and is proven to be on the back of a turtle through our scientific inquiry based upon sand.”

                      I don’t need to go see every atheist video in the world to know their rejection of God is based upon errors, either.

                    • Stu

                      Well, I’m actually curious to what the actual scientists say in it as well as their reaction to how it was put together.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      It’s being done in typical creationist fashion

                    • Stu

                      So you have seen the movie?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      If there is an atheist “Zeitgeist” film done every year, repeating the crap theories of yesteryear, do I have to see next years Zeitgeist to know its theories about Jesus being created by Romans to control the Jews are garbage?

                      Again. I’ve told you the source. You can find him and the debates he had on these issues online. Using these “scientists.” Out of context. Before. Game over — your argument is pure irrational nihilism.

                    • Stu

                      You remarked, “It’s being done in typical creationist fashion.” Seemed to imply that you have seen it.

                      As to my argument, I don’t think you have really addressed it. You just keep telling me how you have seen it all and everything before. Some of us skeptics just have a different approach than calling people crackpots or anti-semites.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that “typical creationist fashion” means the way young earth creationists try to “prove” their position by refuting evolution, or at least a strawman version thereof. Once they’ve finished knocking it down they basically say, “Since evolution is patently ridiculous, creationism must be true.” Yet this is a fallacy since simply refuting ones opponent doesn’t automatically make ones own position true.

                      I think HornOrSilk is drawing a parallel between that and how the makers of this movie will target the Copernican Principle and then say, “Since Copernicus was wrong, geocentrism is plausible.” I could be wrong but that’s what I think he’s getting at.

                    • Stu

                      And such reasoning would be fallacious. I’m simply remarking on the definitive pronouncement of HOW its being done without even seeing the movie.

                      Perhaps an old-fashioned notion, but I generally prefer to see something before commenting upon it. HOS may very well be right and I wouldn’t bet against him. But I prefer to see or hear something before commenting on it.

                    • Wes

                      I’m curious. If Alex Jones came out with a movie on the same topic, would you be saying the same thing? Or would you probably advise people not to waste their time and to seek more credible individuals? If Michael Voris helped him to promote his movie and rather gushed over it without asking Jones about his many other nutty behaviors and ideas, do you think that would be a wise idea?

                      Have you seen the background and other views of these people?

                      http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/some-background-on-the-new-geocentrists/

                    • Stu

                      Yes, I would maintain that before you comment on the content of something that you should indeed know exactly what you are commenting on before opening your mouth and that attempting to disparage it by pointing to other non-related doesn’t make a case one way or the other.

                      As a parallel in the music world, not every song Elvis sang was particularly good and the world is also filled with plenty of one-hit wonders.

                      Now I have no issue with people being skeptical given the background of Sungenis or his credentials. In fact, I would put myself in that camp. Nor do I think it particularly wise of Voris to promote it. But that’s quite different than making pronouncement on the actual movie, which none of have seen or attempting to disparage it because Sungenis’ issue with Jews.

                      If Sungenis had been coming out with a movie called “The Principal” which was about the Immaculate Conception and you happened upon an atheist Patheos blogger who maintained that it’s all just part of the same crackpot thinking like his view on the Jews and then started talking about Mein Kampf, Lizard Men, etc., would the reasoning of this atheist blogger be sound?

                    • Wes

                      “Yes, I would maintain that before you comment on the content of something that you should indeed know exactly what you are commenting on before opening your mouth and that attempting to disparage it by pointing to other non-related doesn’t make a case one way or the other.”

                      I may be wrong, but don’t see that this is what Mark Shea or anyone else here intends to do, Stu. I see that some of the wording was perhaps imprecise in Mark Shea’s original post, but as I read clarifying comments from him and the comment from various others, it seems to me that it’s something a little different.

                      Shea said that Geeklady understood what he intended to communicate and he thanked her for the following comment. She wrote:

                      “Mark is not arguing that Sungenis’s geocentrism implies his antisemitism, or vice versa. He isn’t arguing about Sungenis at all. He’s arguing that the act of Voris’s apostolate promoting Sungenis is both imprudent (the geocentrism) and scandalous (the antisemitism).Imprudent because geocentrism is a ridiculous scientific hill to fight and die one, and as Catholics already have an undeserved reputation as being opposed to science, the last thing a Catholic apostolate should do is try and make us deserve that reputation.
                      Scandalous because, even though it is his work on geocentrism that is being promoted, the public calumny of his antisemitism ought to prevent him from being promoted as a theological authority by a Catholic apostolate.”

                      In your comment to me above, it seems that you wouldn’t really disagree with the above statement. If so, it seems that you’re just talking past each other at this point.

                      You wrote, “If Sungenis had been coming out with a movie called ‘The Principal’ which was about the Immaculate Conception and you happened upon an atheist Patheos blogger who maintained that it’s all just part of the same crackpot thinking like his view on the Jews and then started talking about Mein Kampf, Lizard Men, etc., would the reasoning of this atheist blogger be sound?”

                      That’s apples and oranges, Stu. I’m sure you don’t want to equate dismissing a divinely revealed dogma taught by God’s own anointed with dismissing a fringe scientific theory being taught by these individuals:

                      http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/some-background-on-the-new-geocentrists/

                    • Stu

                      You are doing it again.

                      If you are going to dismiss something without actually reading or hearing it or understanding it based upon the stated beliefs of someone on something unrelated then you really have not ground to stand on when an atheist does the same thing to you, even for a revealed dogma. You say it’s “apples and orange” but he would say its all part of the same “crackpottery”.

                      So, without simply resorting to “that’s different” tell me why, based upon litany of beliefs attributed to Bob Sungenis (and others) on the link you provided, I shouldn’t simply dismiss anything and everything they ever say on any matter.

                      Mark has, in a round about way, made a case that Voris should really think about having Sungenis as a guest but his overall reasoning was flawed. And that has been my point. And you see in return, my character also begins to come under assault as it is them implied that I am encouraging anti-semitism. All part of the same “guilt by association” method of reasoning.

                    • Wes

                      You wrote, “You are doing it again. If you are going to dismiss something without actually reading or hearing it or understanding it based upon the stated beliefs of someone on something unrelated then you really have not ground to stand on when an atheist does the same thing to you, even for a revealed dogma.”

                      I am not dismissing *something* (i.e. geocentrism, per se, as a whole) without actually reading or hearing it. I am dismissing a *particular presentation* of that something because the presenters are not credible. Further, I am dismissing this particular presentation of that something because that something is incredibly complex and revolutionary. Were they to be presenting the case for hydrogenated oils, I might be more inclined to give them an ear – as long as I didn’t have to spend $15 and two hours of my day to do it.

                      Were more credible individuals to come along and claim that geocentrism is true, then I would be more interested and likely to pay attention to such a presentation. Personally, I think that is very unlikely. But it’s possible.

                      That is why your comparison between geocentrism and the Immaculate Conception isn’t apt. I was pointing to the credibility and authority of the *presenters*, not the thing presented itself. On cannot make a case for the Immaculate Conception based on reason alone. We depend on the credibility and authority of the witness: The Church. And we certainly *can* make the case that this witness is credible and authoritative. Not so in the case of these geocentrists.

                      As I said to WMark above:

                      I wish they would do what legitimate scientists do. They should make their case to the real experts. Earn their stripes the right way. Take their bumps and bruises. Press on. Earn the relevant degrees. Earn the respect of their scientific peers.

                      But don’t market what is supposedly a highly technical, specialized argument to lay people who aren’t equipped to really determine whether it’s correct or not. That just seems like what pop controversialists do, not serious scientists.

                    • Stu

                      “I am not dismissing *something* (i.e. geocentrism, per se, as a whole) without actually reading or hearing it. I am dismissing a *particular presentation* of that something because the presenters are not credible. ”
                      ———-
                      Which presenters? There seems to be a whole slew of cosmologists (some notable) speaking in this movie. But, you would have to see it to actually know what was being said.

                      Now can it be edited in a poor way? Of course. But again, has anyone here seen the movie? Unlike Obamacare, you do actually have to see it before you can know what is in it.

                      Now,if you want to say “I don’t think Sungenis and his crew are credible so I am going to pass” then so be it. But you still can’t rightly comment on its content nor can you dismiss it because some of the people involved have some other wacky ideas.

                      And indeed, my comparison to the Immaculate Conception is apt. You want to rely on the authority of the Church (which I agree with). But I can assure that an atheist (or fundamentalist) will point to all manner errors by men of the Church as a justification for discounting everything about the Church. It’s just as faulty a method of reasoning there too.

                    • Wes

                      You wrote, “Which presenters? There seems to be a whole slew of cosmologists (some notable) speaking in this movie. But, you would have to see it to actually know what was being said.”

                      None of the expert cosmologists they list as being interviewed are geocentrists. The producers of the movie are geocentrists – they are the ones presenting the case to the public. And it’s the producers who I don’t find credible and trustworthy when it comes to handling the presentation of the evidence.

                    • Stu

                      Indeed, But again, I have this quaint,increasingly old-fashioned notion of actually having to see that case being presented before passing judgment on it. And on hearing that case, I don’t consider the presenters shoe size, views on the use of vitamins, racial prejudices, etc. I go by the actual ideas.

                    • Wes

                      Are you sufficiently educated in the relevant scientific fields to even know whether you’re hearing an accurate and solid case, Stu? Personally, I’m not. And I doubt most people are. That’s why it takes years earning degrees and working in the field to become an expert on them.

                    • Stu

                      I don’t see how that is relevant to my point of actually hearing a case out before passing judgment. After all,my conclusion might be,”that’s over my head.”

                    • Wes

                      What is your background in science, Stu? I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve read enough about cosmology and the current state of science to know how complex the views and arguments get. It takes years to earn the degrees and gain the experience needed to become truly informed and expert. As such, it seems unlikely to me that one without such a background would be well-equipped to recognize whether he is being presented with selectively edited evidence, bad arguments, or what have you.

                      And considering that they are marketing their movie to non-experts, it would seem likely that they will try to simplify things so that non-experts can understand them. The problem with “simplifying” things like this is that it naturally introduces the bias of the “simplifier”. And again, the average person in the audience would likely have no way of knowing that.

                      Which brings me back to the issue of credibility and the reason why I don’t think it makes much sense to plunk down $15 and spend an afternoon trying to learn science from this group of geocentrists.

                      But like I said, if you want to do that. I hope you enjoy it!

                      Peace.

                    • Stu

                      I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering if that makes you feel better.

                      And I have not indicated that I would spend money on the film. I’m simply speaking out on judging it before you have actually seen it and/or applying the genetic fallacy to disparage it.

                      Just critique it on its own merits once you know what they are.

                    • Wes

                      You’re not reading carefully, Stu. I never judged the film’s content. And I never committed the genetic fallacy, either. In fact, I repeatedly stated that I wasn’t even dismissing geocentrism. My point is simple and reasonable. From above:

                      QUOTE: I am not dismissing *something* (i.e. geocentrism, per se, as a whole) without actually reading or hearing it. I am dismissing a *particular presentation* of that something because the presenters are not credible. Further, I am dismissing this particular presentation of that something because that something is incredibly complex and revolutionary. Were they to be presenting the case for hydrogenated oils, I might be more inclined to give them an ear – as long as I didn’t have to spend $15 and two hours of my day to do it. Were more credible individuals to come along and claim that geocentrism is true, then I would be more interested and likely to pay attention to such a presentation. END QUOTE

                      But you wrote above, “But you still can’t rightly comment on its content nor can you dismiss it because some of the people involved have some other wacky ideas.”

                      Again, this is incorrect on both counts.

                      1) I never commented on the actual content of the film.

                      2) It’s perfectly reasonably for a person to choose to ignore or dismiss a particular presentation of the evidence when the people promoting it give clear evidence that they’re not at all reliable and credible presenters.

                      Now, no offense, but it just seems like you’re arguing to argue at this point. You’ve agreed that these people who produced the film aren’t exactly reliable witnesses and that it wasn’t a great idea for Voris to promote them.

                      If you want to continue with this, you’re free to do so…but I hope you won’t accuse me violating the genetic fallacy if I choose to ignore your arguments at this point.

                    • Stu

                      Wes,

                      I am responding to your post without reading it. Given what you have said before, I’m reasonably confident that everything else you might say is incorrect. No need to dig deeper.

                    • Wes

                      Which is completely your prerogative, Stu. If you believe I’ve given evidence of being illogical and unreliable in my arguments, it would be reasonable for you to not want to waste any more time. And you haven’t committed the genetic fallacy in so doing, either. Of course, I completely disagree with your judgment, which is *my* prerogative. ;-)

                      Peace.

                    • Wes

                      You wrote, “And indeed, my comparison to the Immaculate Conception is apt. You want to rely on the authority of the Church (which I agree with). But I can assure that an atheist (or fundamentalist) will point to all manner errors by men of the Church as a justification for discounting everything about the Church. It’s just as faulty a method of reasoning there too.”

                      An atheist’s reasons for discounting the trustworthiness and authority of the Church are faulty. But the reasons for discounting the trustworthiness and authority of the producers of The Principle are sound. You’re equating the trustworthiness and authority of the producers of the Principle with the trustworthiness and authority of the Church. This is why your comparison isn’t apt.

                      And I’m not just talking about this movie. One of the producers of it has said that geocentrism is an important part of The Principle, but it’s apparently stepping stone to making the ultimate point they want to make in a following movie on geocentrism.

                    • Stu

                      Wes,

                      You can’t have it both ways. You are selectively employing the genetic fallacy.

                      There was a Catholic writer who commented on that once.

                      http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2302/arguing_well_by_avoiding_the_genetic_fallacy.aspx#.Uup90RBdWSo

                    • Wes

                      I don’t think so, Stu. It’s perfectly reasonable to make a judgment about whether a witness is credible enough that he deserves your time (and money, in this case). You’ve agreed with me that people are rightly skeptical of these geocentrists and you even agreed that it wasn’t wise of Voris to promote their work:

                      “I have no issue with people being skeptical given the background of Sungenis or his credentials. In fact, I would put myself in that camp. Nor do I think it particularly wise of Voris to promote it.” – Stu

                      And you’ve agreed with me that the Church is a credible witness – hopefully you agree She’s infinitely more credible than this group of geocentrists.

                      I really don’t see why you’re continuing to argue this.

                      Could geocentrism be true? Yes.

                      Is it currently a revolutionary, fringe idea that is not supported by any of the worlds top cosmologists, astrophysicists, et al? Yes.

                      Is the group of geocentrists who are proposing this revolutionary, fringe idea particularly credible and trustworthy? No.

                      Have they evidenced a tendency to have a very skewed perception of reality and evidence in other areas of logical deduction, inquiry and investigation? Yes.

                      As such, I maintain that it doesn’t make much sense for a non-expert to seek them out for information. That’s all.

                      But if you want to go, hey, I’m not going to stop you. I hope you enjoy it! Really!

                      The thing is, we basically seem to agree with each other on the main points, so I don’t really think it makes make sense to continue to argue over it.

                      Peace!

                    • Wes

                      You wrote, “Now I have no issue with people being skeptical given the background of Sungenis or his credentials. In fact, I would put myself in that camp. Nor do I think it particularly wise of Voris to promote it.”

                      Cool. Then it looks like you and I are pretty much on the same page.

                      Pax.

                    • Stu

                      We certainly are on that point.

          • Wes

            “Stu the movie is about the Copernican Principle, not geocentrism.”

            Actually, it’s both/and. On The Principle FB page, Rick DeLano (one of the producers of the movie) wrote, “”Dr. Sungenis has a film about geocentrism in development” and “Geocentrism is, of course, a profoundly important part of the story of ‘The Principle’,…”

            • Paul Boillot

              “Doctor Sungenis” ~ Bwahaha!

              He got his “doctorate” from Calamus International University…which you can find on this list of unaccredited instituions, it’s a “diploma mill”.

              Bobby’s degree is bs.

              • Guest

                Just FYI – I agree about the doctorate, Paul.

              • Johnno

                Robert Sungenis addressed this already. I’m pasting his words here froma response to Alex Madonik :

                “As for Calamus’ accreditation status, Calamus is not a university of the United Kingdom and therefore cannot have UK accreditation or recognition by the UK government. Neither is Calamus a United States university and so it cannot come within the official US regional accreditation system. Calamus is also not a European Union university and can thus receive no accreditation from the EU. Calamus is an international private distance-learning university and there is no government-approved accreditation system for such universities. There is, however, private accreditation available for independent academic institutions such as Calamus. As such, Calamus is fully accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning, and its website is located at http://www.iadl.org.uk

                • Wes

                  :-/ Johnno, his PhD is deemed “fraudulent or substandard” in the state of Texas where he intends to teach and it’s illegal – a class B misdemeanor to use it. I mean, come on. Enough already.

                  http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=EF4C3C3B-EB44-4381-6673F760B3946FBB

                  .

                • Paul Boillot

                  Bob Sungenis takes us all for fools; in your case he happens to be right. (Or you’re a sock puppet)

                  You are correct in stating that Calamus “university” is accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning. (Sidenote, here’s an Australian article about quack doctors and Calamus “U”. Also, it’s listed as a non-accepted school by the Indonesian CMA program.)

                  There’s a problem, though. And, before I say this, I want you to know that I think this is too good to be true….maybe I did something good in a previous life?

                  The IADL which has given Calamus “university” it’s academic accreditation is, itself, an accreditation mill.

                  BWHAHAHA

                  Here’s a link for you.

                  That Bobby was dumb enough to attend one of these places is…unsurprising. I guess he had no other choice after getting kicked out of a better school.

                  But on top, that he defends the academic status of his “degree” by pointing to an accreditation organization known to provide fake academic status…that is truly moronic. (Come on, did you follow that website link? It’s awful.)

                  Degree.net claims that getting a degree from an unaccredited university can be a gamble, one which *might* just be legitimate in special circumstances. But Bobby’s situation is different. He didn’t just seek a degree from a reputable but unaccredited institution, I’ll finish up by quoting from this section of degree.net’s FAQ dealing with Rob’s special case:

                  Is unrecognized accreditation worse than none at all?

                  In many cases, we think so, because it adds one more layer of possible irregularity to attract the attention of investigators, regulators, decision-makers, and others. When, for instance, a national magazine did an extremely unflattering article on the unrecognized World Association of Universities and Colleges (Spy, February 1995), the caustic comments and the various revelations led readers to think less favorably of the schools this association had accredited. On the other hand, some of the larger distance learning schools make no accreditation claims whatsoever (California Coast, California Pacific, Fairfax, Southwest, Greenwich, etc.), and still manage to attract students.

                  It is common for unrecognized accrediting agencies to talk or write about their intention to become recognized by the Department of Education. In our opinion, however, of the more-than-thirty active unrecognized accreditors listed under Non-GAAP Agencies, only one has even a remote chance of recognition, and that one, the National Association, has been turned down many times over the past twenty years. Some of these accreditors suggest that it is their choice not to be recognized, by writing things like, “This association has not sought recognition…” or “… does not choose to be listed by the Department of Education.”

  • HornOrSilk
    • Stu

      But isn’t that a much better approach than resorting to comparisons to Mein Kampf, Lizard Men and Jewish Bankers?

  • HornOrSilk

    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2014/01/formal-science-education-of-rick-delano.html ….

    I think we all know what is going on. Promotion. Trying to pick fights so people will pay for this junk crackpot theory movie.

  • SententiaeDeo

    Would you consider Leo XIII a conspiracy theorist, Mark? He called Freemasonry, in Humanum Genus, a “dark conspiracy,” after all. Would you consider the unanimous consent of the Fathers of the Church on geocentrism a conspiracy theory? Would you consider the fact that Jews committed deicide a conspiracy theory‽

    By the way, The Principle contains interviews with top experts in cosmology.

    Also, if you do indeed file a canonical lawsuit, I’d be interested to see, if it goes to the Roman Rota, what Card. Burke decides, but, regardless, it probably is a waste of your time.

    And, if you think Sungenis is a “Jew-hating nut,” you must think Catholic theology is anti-semitic, too, since Sungenis merely presents what Catholics must believe, e.g.: (1) That the Old Covenent is no longer in force, (2) that some Jews were culpable for crucifying Christ, (3) that Judaism is a heresy, since it denies Christ’s divinity, etc.

    Illinidiva: Have you read Leo XIII’s Humanum Genus? Also, Catholics cannot interpret Scripture contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; if you do, the Council of Trent and First Vatican Vatican anathematize you. You do not consider Max Tegmark, George Ellis, Lawrence Krause, et al. experts in physical cosmology? Yes, they are in the film, as you can see on its trailer. As for your other statements, such as that only Pilate is responsible for crucifying Christ, anathema sis.

    Paul Boillot: If you think my statement was “anti-Semitic”, then you must think St. Thomas Aquinas and other Doctors of the Church are, too. Read St. Thomas’s Summa Theologiæ III q. 47 a. 6 c.:

    [T]he rulers of the Jews knew that He was the Christ: and if there was any ignorance in them, it was affected ignorance, which could not excuse them. Therefore their sin was the most grievous, both on account of the kind of sin, as well as from the malice of their will.

    • chezami

      Stu: Here is the kind of thinking you are encouraging.

      • Stu

        Oh, now I am to blame as well.

        Amazing leap in logic. Amazing.

        Might as well label me an anti-semite too.

      • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

        I know people seriously tempted to geocentrism who wouldn’t even look at an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, let alone subscribe to one.

        I think Stu’s just making that point.

    • Paul Boillot

      “some Jews were culpable for crucifying Christ”

      Is this Mel Gibson?

      Mel, come on buddy. What did we agree about posting antisemitic slurs on message boards?!?

      Also: wasn’t Jesus a jew too?

      • Johnno

        How is it an anti-semite slur to say the some Jews at the time of Christ are guilty of wanting Christ to be crucified? That’s simply a fact. Much like it is a fact to say that the roman soldiers scourged and pounded the nails into His hands and feet. Does stating that make one anti-Italian?

        • Illinidiva

          It is anti-Semitic because it was used to support a millennia long campaign of terror against the Jews in Europe.

          • Wes

            I appreciate your concern about anti-Semitism, but that’s not accurate. They blamed *all* the Jews indiscriminately for killing Christ, even Jews of today. And that’s why they felt justified in killing Jews thousands of years after Christ. That belief was evil and wrong. The Catholic Church repudiates it.

            But the Catholic Church doesn’t have a problem with stating the fact that some Jews were responsible for the murder of Christ. It’s right in the most philosemitic official document the Church has ever produced: Nostra Aetate:

            “True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.”

            • Illinidiva

              The “Jews” who were associated with killing Jesus were corrupt Temple officials. They were appointed by the Romans and bribed by the Romans. The Temple priests were doing quite while as part of the Roman Empire and all they had to do was demand the execution of a few Messiah types. I don’t think that this was living out the Jewish faith. This is like suggesting that the Nazis were living out the Christian faith during the Holocaust.

              • Wes

                “This is like suggesting that the Nazis were living out the Christian faith during the Holocaust.”

                Not a good comparison. There are no ethnic Christians. Being a Christian is solely a matter of religion.

                One need not be a good, religious Jew in order to remain a Jew. “Jew” also refers to an ethnicity. Judas was a Jew. Barabbas was a Jew.

                To say that some Jews were responsible for the death of Christ is a simple fact acknowledged even in Nostra Aetate. Saying that all Jews either then or throughout time are somehow responsible is a lie condemned by the same document.

                • Illinidiva

                  “Not a good comparison. There are no ethnic Christians. Being a Christian is solely a matter of religion. ”

                  There were many people over the centuries who were very good Christians and felt that it was totally okay to horrifically discriminate against the Jews.

                  http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/cardinal-omalley-jewish-catholic-relations

                  I recommend you read Cardinal Sean’s testimony about the burning of the Jew and how anti-Semitism got to remote Latin American town with no Jews.

                  “”Jew” also refers to an ethnicity. Judas was a Jew. Barabbas was a Jew.”

                  Hitler was a baptized Catholic. Mussolini was also a baptized Catholic. Neither were practicing Catholics. Perhaps we should suggest that all Catholics are responsible for the Holocaust.

                  “To say that some Jews were responsible for the death of Christ is a simple fact acknowledged even in Nostra Aetate. Saying that all Jews either then or throughout time are somehow responsible is a lie condemned by the same document”

                  Some Temple priests aided Pontius Pilate in getting rid of a troublesome Jewish preacher. This doesn’t mean that these priests were being Godly or true to their religion. The Temple priests were patsies of Rome.

                  • Wes

                    Illinidiva – you’re missing my point. It has nothing to do with whether one is a good practioner of Judaism, Christianity or Buddhism for that matter. It was about **ethnicity**. No one is born a Christian. But people are born Jews just as they are born Spaniards, Russians or Chinese. That is why your comparison is not correct. A Jew can no more lose his ethnic Jewishness than an Irishman can lose his ethnic Irishness. It’s in his DNA. But a Christian can apostatize and leave the faith, just as a Jew can apostatize and leave Judaism. Yet, he can never leave his Jewish ethnicity.

                    As such, it is accurate to say that some of those who were responsible for the death of Christ were Jews. Nostra Aetate indentifies them as such. There is nothing inaccurate or anti-Semitic about it. Do you intend to charge the Second Vatican Council and Nostra Aetate with anti-Semitism? Even Abe Foxman and the ADL haven’t gone that far! They seem to really like Nostra Aetate. To say that some Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus is not a statement about the religion of JUDAISM. It’s a simple, factual statement about the ethnic identity of some of these individuals involved in the death of Jesus.

                    Were the Temple priests and the other Jews who followed them in helping to ensure the death of Jesus terrible practitioners of Judaism? Absolutely. Should Judaism itself be condemned for their treachery? No! Should any other Jews except the actual Jews who were involved in the plot be blamed? No! But it doesn’t change the fact that these people – the Jewish authorities and those who followed them at that time – were Jews.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Why is this so important for you? You seem very obsessed with it. The Romans were the ones who were most responsible for killing Jesus. They were aided by Temple priests who were corrupt, appointed by the Romans, and were probably being bribed by the Romans.

                      And of course the ADL likes Nostra Aetate. It condemned centuries of anti-Semitism by Christians.

                    • Wes

                      You wrote, “Why is this so important for you? You seem very obsessed with it.”

                      Why try to read my mind over the Internet? You made a point and I showed from the teaching of the Church and logic that it was inaccurate. My interest is in defending the actual teaching of the Church and making sure that people don’t end up scoffing at a serious thing like anti-Semitism because some people seem to think that even biological and historical facts are anti-Semitic.

                      As I said from the beginning, I appreciate your concern about anti-Semitism. But the answer is not to exaggerate what anti-Semitism is in such a way that historical facts and the teaching of the Church become anti-Semitic. That’s all.

                      You wrote, “And of course the ADL likes Nostra Aetate. It condemned centuries of anti-Semitism by Christians.”

                      No, it didn’t. It doesn’t “condemn centuries of anti-Semitism by Christians”. You won’t find those words anywhere in Nostra Aetate. Please read the documents before continuing to spread false information.

          • Johnno

            That’s certainly true, however should history and the facts be censored completely to protect a certain group of people? Certainly we can state the facts without engaging in persecution and hatred.
            Muslim Terrorists are said to be responsible for 9/11. Should we therefore avoid saying Muslim terrorists were behind the destruction of the twin towers, and pretend militant Islam doesn’t exist and isn’t a problem, because we wish to avoid a campaign of persecution against Muslims in general?
            Most Muslims are also Arabian Semetic people. Is saying that 9/11 was caused by Islamic militants, therefore anti-semetic?

    • Illinidiva

      “Would you consider Leo XIII a conspiracy theorist, Mark? He called Freemasonry, in Humanum Genus, a “dark conspiracy,” after all. ”

      I know the Rotary Club and the Lions are going to take over the world through pancake breakfasts.

      “Would you consider the unanimous consent of the Fathers of the Church on geocentrism a conspiracy theory?”

      No. I would consider the fact that they lived in the 5th century and that the technology that Copernicus used to observe that the Earth revolved around the Sun wasn’t available until the 15th century.

      “Would you consider the fact that Jews committed deicide a conspiracy theory‽”

      No, they didn’t. The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, decided to execute a meddlesome Jewish preacher and was aided by some corrupt Temple priests. Pilate was actually recalled to Rome because he did such a lousy job as governor and caused unnecessary tensions in Judea. The best and the brightest in the Roman aristocracy didn’t get sent to a small, insignificant outpost like Judea.

      “By the way, The Principle contains interviews with top experts in cosmology.”

      People who obtained a degree from a diploma mill based in India are not experts.

      “Also, if you do indeed file a canonical lawsuit, I’d be interested to see, if it goes to the Roman Rota, what Card. Burke decides, but, regardless, it probably is a waste of your time.”

      I don’t think that Burke is on the “in-list” in Rome right now. I don’t think that Pope Francis likes him very much. However, despite his ridiculous clothing, I don’t think that Burke is a cheerleader for people who believe in geo-centrism and anti-Semitism.

      I say go Mark Shea. It is time to get rid of some of the nuts from the Catholic Church.

      “Also, if you think Sungenis is a “Jew-hating nut,” you must think Catholic theology is anti-semitic, too, since Sungenis merely presents what Catholics must believe, e.g.: (1) That the Old Covenent is no longer in force, (2) that some Jews were culpable for crucifying Christ, (3) that Judaism is a heresy, since it denies Christ’s divinity, etc.”
      Read Nostra Aetate. That is not what Catholics believe.

      • Johnno

        —–”I know the Rotary Club and the Lions are going to take over the world through pancake breakfasts.”———

        Well we certainly know who is currently running the world. And these groups’ and secular nation’s ideas of what constitutes good secular governance and the place of religion and Christianity in particular, is pretty much no different than that of Freemasonry. Concidence? Conspiracy? Who cares? Their errors are the same.

        ——-”No. I would consider the fact that they lived in the 5th century and that the technology that Copernicus used to observe that the Earth revolved around the Sun wasn’t available until the 15th century.”——–

        Actually every optical experiment trying to prove the Earth’s revolution around the sun has failed, even with modern intereferometer equipment which failed to detect any motion whatsoever aside from sidereal rotation which still doesn’t answer the question objectively as to whether it’s the Earth or the Universe that is rotating; which is why Albert Einstein cooked up Relativity to explain why they couldn’t detect or measure this motion they assumed was going on based on blind faith adherence to naturalism since the time of Copernicus.

        —–”The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, decided to execute a meddlesome Jewish preacher and was aided by some corrupt Temple priests.”———

        Well the point is that this number of Temple Jews, alongside the general people they riled up to turn against Christ and the early Christians, and whom continued to reject Christ, did, in fact committ deicide. But as Christ Himself speaks, “Father, forgive them, they know NOT what they do.” So no, these Jews didn’t intend to commit deicide. But that’s just like excusing a drunk driver from man-slaughter. He’s still culpable of the deed. And these Jews KNEW they were putting an innocent man to death anyway. The best excuse they could levy against Him was that He ‘threathened’ to tear down the temple and rebuild it in 3 days. But because the religious leaders leaned on politics and their personal hurt pride from the errors and hypocracy which Christ exposed, they in fact committed deicide; even if that particular deed was psychologically unintentional. They had their own idea about who God and the Messiah would be for them. They didn’t care for the one they actually got. Modern Judaism which continues to reject Christ, is therefore logically not a faithful continuity of what Moses and the Prophets taught.

        Read Nostra Aetate, which you yourself recommended:
        “As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation,(9) nor did the Jews in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading.(10)”

        “True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. ”

        —-”People who obtained a degree from a diploma mill based in India are not experts.”———

        So you’re saying Lawrence Krauss and Kaku and the other well known astrophysicists and cosmologists in the film don’t have any crediblity as scientists? There’s hyperbole, and then there’re those who probably haven’t even bothered watching the trailer and knowing who the men in it are.

        • Illinidiva

          “Well we certainly know who is currently running the world. And these groups’ and secular nation’s ideas of what constitutes good secular governance and the place of religion and Christianity in particular, is pretty much no different than that of Freemasonry. Concidence? Conspiracy? Who cares? Their errors are the same.”

          Moat secular governments act on this thing called freedom of religion. They don’t burn people at the stake for being non-Catholic; I know this is horrible to you but I don’t think that Jesus was in favor of such mass executions.

          As for the Rotary Club, I’m not sure how the pancake breakfasts in northern IL hurt you. My theory is that the idea of “Masons” came into existence during the enlightenment because secular organizations were competing against Catholic organizations for social services. Generally Catholic charities helped the poor and used their clients’ desperate circumstances to force the conversion of Jews, atheists, and others.

          “Actually every optical experiment trying to prove the Earth’s revolution around the sun has failed, even with modern intereferometer equipment which failed to detect any motion whatsoever aside from sidereal rotation which still doesn’t answer the question objectively as to whether it’s the Earth or the Universe that is rotating; which is why Albert Einstein cooked up Relativity to explain why they couldn’t detect or measure this motion they assumed was going on based on blind faith adherence to naturalism since the time of Copernicus.”

          Please give this up already. The earth revolving around the sun is scientific fact.

          “Well the point is that this number of Temple Jews, alongside the general people they riled up to turn against Christ and the early Christians, and whom continued to reject Christ, did, in fact committ deicide. ”

          Again, you are using this to condemn all Jews.

          “Read Nostra Aetate, which you yourself recommended:”

          I don’t condemn the Jews to horrific death and damnation like you do. The Nazis according to the Pre-Vatican II Catholics were in the right. They just were getting rid of the Jewish problem and sending all those Jews to horrific deaths. I want you to spend a few minutes contemplating the deaths caused by Catholic anti-Semitism during the Holocaust… the children horrifically gassed at Auschwitz for instance. Perhaps, look at this video. I think that you are hateful because you deny this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcOqDyuzk9U

          “So you’re saying Lawrence Krauss and Kaku and the other well known astrophysicists and cosmologists in the film don’t have any crediblity as scientists? There’s hyperbole, and then there’re those who probably haven’t even bothered watching the trailer and knowing who the men in it are.”

          So more idiots who got degrees at diploma mills. I don’t think that any of them got a degree at an accredited college.

          Again, read Nostra Aetate. Do you accept it.

      • ChadL

        I like the many angles this discussion brings up. I am not pinned to any particular side, but the mockery which is glibly brought in in excess is helpful to no one.

        “I know the Rotary Club and the Lions are going to take over the world through pancake breakfasts.”

        It is good to oppose the crackpottery of people relying solely on emotion and unscientific assertions. But it is not good to do it in a way which silences their sincere attempts to argue a point. Is everyone who is tempted to geocentrism anti-semitic or unscientific? The same applies to creationists or intelligent design proponents – are all of them pure unscientific fundamentalists? Not a chance, though many scientists would charge ALL of them with both. That’s fanatical.

        The same brush used to tar the proponents of geocentricism as fanatical could well be used on their opponents. To deny that the majority of atheist scientists would agree to a number of ideas deemed as conspiracy to many Christians/Catholics is to be fanatical. It may not be conspiracy to positively disbelieve in God, but surely (to a believer) it is conspiracy to believe that our emotions and thoughts can be reduced to accidental/random movement of particles, or that free will does not exist (Calvinists not included here). Point is that we are all conspiracy nuts based on some other’s perspective.

        I am not sure how to take Mr. Mark’s quoting of Chesterton regarding overly-logical crackpots. What percentage of the field of cosmology is strictly logical? Probably a lot. It seems ironic to confidently assert that one cosmological view is superior to another based off of math/logic while at the same using a quote from Chesterton that basically says that part of what constitutes most crazies is they have too much logic.

        It’s acknowledged on both sides of this debate that truth isn’t determined by democratic consensus, in many arenas including science. At the same time when one is unschooled in the health sciences they will rightfully listen to the consensus opinion, such as seeking advice from an MD rather than a witchdoctor in order to treat a type of muscular atrophy (although if you come to Uganda consensus will bring you to the witchdoctor). But to think that the MD vs witchdoctor analogy extends to all areas in science is frankly not fair. Most people in my research lab would have laughed at me if I told them that motor axon electrical properties give evidence of intelligent design, simply because intelligent design is so uncommon in north american Universities it is snidely ignored.

        I think my experience is not at all unusual, and so I have sympathy with those deemed to be conspiratorial in other areas. I find that sympathy on this blog is sorely lacking. Maybe I’m just misinterpreting the scientific “ethos” here, but methinks it is partly because we too often radically limit our idea of conspiracy to basically the idea of tin-hatters proposing the moon is made of spare ribs.

        • Illinidiva

          Why? Mockery of people obsessed with the NWO and a shady Mason conspiracies written about in Dan Brown books is always necessary.

          • ChadL

            I guess you won’t be helping advance the debate past sophists like Dawkins, Harris, etc. as they also use the excuse of mockery to avoid engaging in the weaker points of their arguments.

            • Illinidiva

              People who believe that the Rotary Club is going to take over the world or that the Sun revolves around the Earth deserve to be treated with mockery not engaged in a serious debate.

  • Guest

    I wonder if the people who are basically saying to judge this documentary on its merits alone would be saying the same thing if this movie had been made by someone like Alex Jones. Or would they more likely advise Catholics not to waste their time because the maker isn’t credible and trustworthy?

    If Michael Voris helped someone like Alex Jones to promote his movie on this topic and somewhat gushed over it without asking Jones a thing about his many other nutty behaviors and ideas, do these people think would be a wise idea?

    After looking at the background and other views of these people who are behind The Principle, do they seem credible and trustworthy in terms of handling and presenting the evidence? There’s a website with some of their background here:

    http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/some-background-on-the-new-geocentrists/

    I wonder how many average people out there know enough about science to even tell if these people are misrepresenting or distorting the facts? I also wonder why, if these people want to be taken seriously, they’re aren’t trying to proceed like other scientists do. Why go to relatively uninformed audiences to make your case rather than to actual scientists and experts? Doesn’t that raise a red flag?

    • Johnno

      Robert Sungenesis had already responded to David Palm’s claims some time ago with concern to his credentials as well he is also making it a point to once again address Palm’s geocentrismdebunked site at his site galileowaswrong.com
      In the end, with regards to this case, it will simply be a matter of who is factually correct, not based merely on ad hominem remarks about someone’s character.
      And the film itself is filled with actual credentialed scientists who are the modern consensus’s cream of the crop, who are all saying the same thing in that they are measuring and seeing phenomena that points towards a central Earth wthin the cosmos distribution. So if any red flags should be going up it should be with regards to the philosophically assumed Copernican principle and the fanciful ideas like the Big Bang.

      • Wes

        :-/ Johnno, his PhD is judged to be “fraudulent or substandard” in the state of Texas where he intends to teach and it’s illegal – a class B misdemeanor – to use it. I mean, come on. Enough already.

        http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=EF4C3C3B-EB44-4381-6673F760B3946FBB

        But I’m not even primarily talking about that. Look at the rest of the background and not just on Sungenis. Look at the whole group of them. Conspiracy theories galore. 9-11 was an inside job, probably a nuke. JFK was killed by his wife, the “Jewess”. Holocaust denial. We didn’t land on the moon it was Hollywood hoax set up by Stanley Kubrick. The oceans are rising because people aren’t reading the King James Bible.

        This is all a bit much. To put it mildly.

        • Johnno

          I can’t speak for Sungenis education which will have to be something he needs to clarify, though attacks on the credentials of scientists etc. is a common tactic whenever it comes to any kind of heated debate, whether for evolution, or global warming, homosexuality etc. Nor am I familiar with various conspiracy theories you bring up that he argues for, though 9/11 is not so uncommon a conspiracy as far as the general public goes. But to argue on the basis that someone’s particular topic should be dismissed on the basis of them subscribing to other unrelated particular conspiracies holds no weight. I’m betting that if you were to collect any group of opposing secular scientists, they will most likely subscribe to conspiracies of their own, especially when it comes to the Catholic Church. Everything from the Pope being a pedophile, to Jesus Christ never existing, to Pope Pius XII being Hitler’s best friend.

          If one wishes to argue on that basis, should we not also be equally suspicious of particular scientists who are avowed naturalists and atheists in their beliefs and conspiracies pertaining to Christianity, who then try to tell us that we should accept evolution/copernicus/relativity when we know for a fact that they pursue these explanations in order to fit a framework that seeks to keep God and the Bible out of the picture? None the less, given the quality of liberal theologians these days advocating for the Church to change its morality, who would be correct in this scenario: The credentialed scholar of such and such accredited university covered in honors and BAs arguing for the right of women to terminate their pregnancies for economic goals? Or a lay baptized child in grade school who knows enough to tell you that abortion is wrong because it kills innocent babies?

          • Wes

            You wrote, “But to argue on the basis that someone’s particular topic should be dismissed on the basis of them subscribing to other unrelated particular conspiracies holds no weight.”

            That’s not what I argued, Johnno. I said I don’t find the people behind this movie credible and trustworthy. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a group of credible, trustworthy, renowned cosmologists and astrophysicists who consider geocentrism to be true or even reasonably possible. There doesn’t even seem to be one such individual. So, I’m saying that I don’t think it makes much sense to listen to *these* individuals, much less does it make sense to promote them like Voris did. And I think that’s basically what Mark Shea is getting at.

            You wrote, “I’m betting that if you were to collect any group of opposing secular scientists, they will most likely subscribe to conspiracies of their own.”

            Maybe or maybe not. You say so. Can you provide proof of that? Regardless, I doubt many (if any) hold so firmly to such conspiracy theories that they set about promoting them publicly like these people have. That’s a whole different level. I also doubt that many (if any) hold to the number and wide array of conspiracy theories that these geocentrist people do.

            You wrote, “should we not also be equally suspicious of particular scientists who are avowed naturalists and atheists in their beliefs and conspiracies pertaining to Christianity, who then try to tell us that we should accept evolution/copernicus/relativity when we know for a fact that they pursue these explanations in order to fit a framework that seeks to keep God and the Bible out of the picture?”

            If the only scientists who held that geocentrism was nonsense were atheists and naturalists who hated Christianity, then you might have a point. That might reasonably raise a red flag. But that’s not the case. There are many Christian scientists (not Christian Scientists) who no doubt think geocentrism is ridiculous. And in regard to evolution (macro-evolution, at least), there are credible, trustworthy scientists who don’t believe it – at least as it’s typically presented now.

            • Johnno

              So what you’re saying is that you subscribe to the mainstream consensus opinion of scientists. It’s a fair position to take, but scientific fact is not determined by democractic opinion.

              Once upon a time, the vast majority of scientists were Geocentric. The ones trying to change it were few (Copernicus, Galileo etc.) Were we to frame your argument back in the 16th century, you would then be dismissing Copernicus and Galileo because what they were advocating wasn’t deemed credible by the majority of their peers, and they lived immmoral shady lifestyles, and held odd beliefs; particularly Copernicus, who was inspired by the heliocentric idea because he dabbled in the occult and admired pagan gods like Apollo, therefore because he subscribed to some fringe belief system despite being a canon, we should’ve dismissed his idea?

              Looking even more recently back in time, there is the case of Ignaz Semmelweis advocating that the reason women were dying in the maternity ward was that doctors, who spent time examining cadavers didn’t wash their hands so germs invisible to the naked eye would move from the rotting and bloody corpses and infect other patients via the doctor and medical staff’s hands. The majority of scientists and doctors laughed in his face, declared that there were no such things as microscopic germs, called him a Jew, and ridiclued him right into a mental asylum wehre 14 days later he was beaten to death by the guards. Today you know it’s a widespread accepted general rule of hygiene to wash your hands and practice antiseptic methods that the scientific consensus back in the day rejected because they were the authority and this majority consensus opinion led to the unnecessary deaths of thousands. Oddly enough, such common-place practices that modern science once rejected until around WWI were practiced centuries earlier by the Old Testament Jews through ritual washing and ritual cleanliness and uncleanliness rules. Moses and Joshua got right what the early 20th Century body of scientists got so very wrong for a good while, because the consensus of the world’s credible scientists considered the lonely Semmelweis’ ideas to be nonsense.

              The world of science is not the bastion of objectivity and open-mindedness many imagine it to be. A good essay to recommend reading is Michael Crichton’s ‘Aliens Cause Global Warming’ as an opener to the philosophical biases and hive-mind mentality that infests the scientific community at large. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the majority of scientists think. All it takes is one guy with sufficient proof to back up his claims. And in Sungenis’ case, practically everything of what he brings forward to the discussion are not his own findings, but are the statements and findings of Fresnel, Michelson, Hubble, Einstein, Hawking and even NASA’s own research etc. All whom admit that one can just as easily accept either the Earth-centric or Solar-centric coordinate system equally, because they never had any proof for heliocentrism. The geometry could be arranged to match any kind of system thanks to mathematics, and never could they ever measure the Earth’s assumed revolution around the sun.

              Appealing to Relativity didn’t change this for Relativity had to allow for both positions, all things being relative… Even John Paul II’s letter to the Pontifical academy relied on this argument, and Benedict XVI even wrote on the topic that one could accept either view based on the current paradigm of physics and observation. And now we have observable evidence from various probes that all show the Earth in a preferred location. But admitting this is to admit that the chances of this happening by chance are too astronomical to be left to random causation. It screams intelligent design, and points a big green arrow at the Catholic Church by association considering its history with the matter. For obvious reasons, those opposed to the notion of religion and belief in God will try their best to reinterpret such findings according to their own philisophical worldviews. But why should they be given a monopoly on whose view gets adopted? Because they are the majority?

              Considering the explanations the consensus of atheist scientists are coming up with, in terms of relying on everything from extraterrestrial origins of life to alternate interdimensional universes, you could say the ideas of the current mainstream consensus of scientists sounds just as crazy as any ‘conspiracy.’ In fact they’re even more incredible, considering it’s easier to believe that someone else shot JFK or the moon landing was filmed in some studio, than it would be to buy into the idea that somewhere in another dimension there is an alternate version of you, and that every choice you make splits the timeline into infinite possibilities, where in one plane the cat in the box is dead, in another it is alive, and in yet another it exists in both states in various worlds of which there are various versions of God, and various versions of Christ all forming the pantheistic Godhead should God even exist, so whatever God might be, it ain’t the Christian one. Modern science seems to have found itself back to the philosophical musings of the Hindus and Eastern philosophers where we balance on a turtle on top of another turtle on top of an elephant ad infinitum. They just replaced the turtles and elephants with inflationary bubbles. But you should believe these things because the majority of them are accepted by accredited scientists?

              • Wes

                Johnno, it isn’t just that these geocentrists “believe someone else shot JFK”. They say it was his own wife, “Jackie the **Jewess**”. One of their supposed big scientific guns, Dr. Bouw, thinks that the oceans are rising because people aren’t reading the King James version of the Bible for goodness sake! Sungenis thinks NASA is making crop circles to keep our minds off the Bible and that a nuclear bomb was used in a collaboration between our own country and the Jews to bring down the twin towers on 9-11. Several of them are into Holocaust denial and other weirdness.

                None of that raises a red flag for you?

                I agree that truth isn’t determined by a consensus. But as I’m not an expert in the field, yes, I’m very comfortable believing what the actual experts believe. And if I get sick, I’m going to go to a real doctor who “subscribes to mainstream consensus of opinion” on medicine, too, rather than a fringe guy with no relevant degrees who thinks all the doctors are trying to hide the truth from everyone about simple cures for everything from the common cold to cancer. There are lots of those kinds of guys out there.

                Hey, if it turns out that geocentrism is true, great. I’m just saying that these people aren’t credible enough to get me to pay money to see what they have to say about something this huge and dramatic. That’s all.

                I do wish they would do what legitimate scientists do though. They should make their case to the real experts. Earn their stripes the right way. Take their bumps and bruises. Press on. Earn the relevant degrees. Earn the respect of their scientific peers.

                But don’t market what is supposedly a highly technical, specialized argument to lay people who aren’t equipped to really determine whether it’s correct or not. That just seems like what pop controversialists do, not serious scientists.

          • Wes

            “I can’t speak for Sungenis education which will have to be something he needs to clarify.”

            What is there to clarify? Read the information at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. They state that his degree is “fraudulent or substandard” and that it’s illegal to use his degree – a class B misdemeanor.

            Did you see the other information about his degree? Do you know anyone who has earned a PhD? I know many people with them. Ask them what they think about PhDs from Calamus after showing them all of that information along with the Texas government website.

            • Johnno

              Let’s say I take your word for it that what you are saying is true. It would still have nothing to do with the topic Sungenis is presenting. What matters are the merits of the arguments he’s making. Mere appeals to authority are not a counter-argument where science is concerned. Far better to tackle what he is actually saying rather than to just attack him on some unrelated technicalities that have nothing to do with the issue at hand which is what should be discussed.

              • Wes

                No, I really don’t want or expect you to just take my word for it. By all means, please read the Texas government website yourself.

                http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=EF4C3C3B-EB44-4381-6673F760B3946FBB

                But you were the first one who specifically brought up his credentials, not me. I just pointed out that there’s no good defense of it after you defended it. When I mentioned their backgrounds, I was talking about their background in regard to the conspiracy theories they’re into. Although I guess now that you bring it up I do think it’s relevant when a person says they have a PhD and advertise it from such a place. That doesn’t exactly built confidence, you know?

                My point was just that for the average Joe blow who isn’t an expert in science, there are good reasons to decide that these people don’t merit serious attention on such a dramatic issue. So much of the stuff they’re into is all a bit much. Again, to put it very nicely.

                • Guest

                  No, it wasn’t deleted. But I understand why you’re confused now. I don’t know why, but my first comment says “guest” rather than “Wes”. I don’t understand because I was logged in. It originally said “Wes”, too. Weird.

                  It’s the one that starts, “I wonder if the people…”. Johnno first raised the specific issue of Sungenis’s “credentials”. Then I responded to that.

        • Guest

          I didn’t say that he does. But I think you’d have to admit that it doesn’t look very good that he’s advertising it. And my point was really about all the other odd and sundry conspiracy theories he and this group of geocentrists are into. I still think it’s all a bit much, to be kind.

          • Guest

            Right, and again it was in response to Johnno defending those credentials. I didn’t bring it up out of the blue, Megan. As he kept arguing, I replied back. So what? I do openly admit that I find it a bit silly to actually defend that degree. And, I mean, he openly advertises it, right?

            But you look at what I’ve written on my own that was not in response to what someone else first wrote, you’ll see clearly enough what my primary point is. My first post appears as “Guest” for some reason even though I was logged in.

        • Guest

          “9-11 was an inside job”

          This doesn’t belong in the list.

        • Paul Boillot

          I didn’t know that about his degree being illegal in Texas.

          That’s superb.

      • Illinidiva

        Umm.. Honey. Men have walked on the Moon. It is pretty certain that geocentrism is false.

        • Johnno

          What does walking on the moon have to do with Geocentrism?

          • Wes

            The geocentrists seem to think that if we walked on the moon, then goecentrism is disproved, Johnno.

            Here’s what Dr. Neville Jones wrote about it. He wrote an endorsement in Sungenis’s book:

            “I maintain that a Biblical, non-moving World cannot be maintained if it turns out that NASA put men on the Moon”

            http://www.freelists.org/post/geocentrism/Virtualcreated-reality,2

            • Wes

              But the producer of the movie (Sungenis: The Principle) had Dr. Jones endorse his book on the subject. And Sungenis doesn’t believe we landed on the moon either.

              • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

                And Sungenis doesn’t believe we landed on the moon either.

                The sweet, sweet icing on the crazy cake.

          • Illinidiva

            Because when people go into space they see the reality of this.

  • Guest

    I didn’t see you comments, WMark. Are you one of the ones who follow these people who believe the sun and all the planets rotate around a stationary earth along with the rest of the universe?

    • Guest

      Okay. But are you one of the ones who follow these people who believe the sun and all the planets rotate around a stationary earth along with the rest of the universe? I’m not sure where you are on that.

      • Guest

        Okay. So you’re not an extreme, rigid ideologue like some I’ve seen. Cool enough.

        Here’s my view. I find it highly unlikely to be true. And I’m certainly not expert enough at science to figure it all out on my own. But I don’t find this group of individuals to be nearly credible enough to make me reject the entire scientific establishment on something of this magnitude.

        Cool enough?

        So what is the theological reason leading you to accept it? Personally, the whole basic idea of earth = physical center of the universe = we’re more significant theologically seems like a bad argument.

        Christians commonly held that the center of the earth is where Hell was located. The highest and most important part of the created order – heaven – was located in the periphery, not in the center.

        For example, Dante states it clearly – he described the apex of Hell as being in the center of the Earth.

        “Within the body of this hemisphere was hell, shared as a vast cone, of which the apex was the centre of the globe; and here, according to Dante, was the seat of Lucifer.” [Introduction to Norton's English translation of The Divine Comedy]

        So, does that mean the Devil and souls in Hell are “more significant” than we who live further away from the center, on the surface? (I’m following the argument made by the makers of the “The Principle” – they ask: “are you significant?”) So it just seems a silly argument (earth = physical center of the universe = we’re more significant theologically). It’s seems like the kind of argument I see from over-literal, fundamentalist Protestants. I’ve even seen some of them claim *today* that Hell is literally under the surface of the Earth.

        • Guest

          “You are discounting the actions of the Church in your ideas.”

          Oh, gosh no. I would never do that. I just didn’t get into that in my comment.

          You wrote, “The Principle is a serious movie with serious scientists in it, who say what they want.”

          On that score, I’ll just basically repeat what I wrote to Johnno:

          I wish the geocentrists would do what legitimate scientists do. Make their case to the real experts, test and refine it by so doing. Earn their stripes and respect the right way. Take their bumps and bruises. Press on. Earn the relevant degrees. Earn the respect of their scientific peers.

          But don’t market what is supposedly a highly technical, specialized argument to lay people who aren’t equipped to really determine whether it’s correct or not. That just seems like what pop controversialists do, not serious scientists.

          • Guest

            Well, I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on your last points, here. ;-) But hey, if you want to watch their movie, I hope you enjoy it! Really. I’m just not going to plunk down $15 and spend a couple hours of my day watching it. If and when some credible scientists come along saying they believe the evidence points to geocentrism, I’ll reconsider.

            Peace!

  • Guest

    Look, I’m not saying that conspiracies never happen or that anyone who personally believes one is a dolt, Thaddeus. You’re obviously not. But that quote Mark Shea provided from Chesterton above is really worth re-reading. It’s not really about intelligence. It’s about what becoming a devoted conspiracy theorist does to a person and what it conveys about him.

    Personally thinking that a single conspiracy theory or two may be true is one thing. But becoming so focused on a particular conspiracy theory to the point of becoming an aggressive public advocate is another. And the more conspiracy theories one buys into and even becomes a public proponent of, the more it creates and demonstrates an overly distrustful and paranoid mindset. I’ve seen what that mindset does to people when they get sucked into it. It’s poisonous to the mind, heart and soul. And **that** is part of a very real and known conspiracy theory hatched by the Adversary.

    As I pointed out, if you look at this group, you’ll see quite a number of other conspiracy theories. Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landings in Hollywood. NASA makes crop circles to undermine the Bible. Monica Lewinsky was basically an Israeli agent whose mission was to destroy Bill Clinton. The Holocaust was totally exaggerated or completely concocted by Jews or maybe it really happened but it was orchestrated by Jews to gain sympathy and land. Even geocentrism itself is part of a conspiracy theory to them.

    Have you seen their conference? The first presentation by the head geocentrist (Sungenis) was “Geocentrism: They know it, but they’re hiding it.” See for yourself.

    http://galileowaswrong.blogspot.com/2010/11/first-annual-catholic-conference-on.html

    They even think the Church is part of this huge conspiracy, hiding the real teaching of the Church from us all.

    If they want to make the scientific case, fine. Make it. But unfortunately with this group, the scientific case is inextricably intertwined with poisonous conspiracy theories. And that’s a large part of why I believe neither Michael Voris nor anyone else should be promoting their work. Regardless of whether or not this particular movie (The Principle) promotes their conspiracy theories on geocentrism, if people are drawn in by it, it’s clear what underlies their arguments and where their viewers are being led ultimately. It’s all easily verifiable, from their writings and presentations. And it’s not a good place.

  • Wes

    Look, I’m not saying that conspiracies never happen or that anyone who personally believes one is a dolt, Thaddeus. You’re obviously not. But that quote Mark Shea provided from Chesterton above is really worth re-reading. It’s not really about intelligence. It’s about what becoming a devoted conspiracy theorist does to a person and what it conveys about him.

    Personally thinking that a single conspiracy theory or two may be true is one thing. But becoming so focused on a particular conspiracy theory to the point of becoming an aggressive public advocate is another. And the more conspiracy theories one buys into and even becomes a public proponent of, the more it creates and demonstrates an overly distrustful and paranoid mindset. I’ve seen what that mindset does to people when they get sucked into it. It’s poisonous to the mind, heart and soul. And **that** is part of a very real and known conspiracy theory hatched by the Adversary.

    As I pointed out, if you look at this group, you’ll see quite a number of other conspiracy theories publicly promoted. Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landings in Hollywood. NASA makes crop circles to undermine the Bible. Monica Lewinsky was basically an Israeli agent whose mission was to destroy Bill Clinton. The Holocaust was totally exaggerated or completely concocted by Jews or maybe it really happened but it was orchestrated by Jews to gain sympathy and land. Even geocentrism itself is part of a conspiracy theory to them.

    Have you seen their conference? The first presentation by the head geocentrist (Sungenis) was “Geocentrism: They know it, but they’re hiding it.” See for yourself.

    http://galileowaswrong.blogspot.com/2010/11/first-annual-catholic-conference-on.html

    They even think the Church is part of this huge conspiracy, hiding the real teaching of the Church from us all.

    If they want to make the scientific case, fine. Make it. But unfortunately with this group, the scientific case is inextricably intertwined with poisonous conspiracy theories. And that’s a large part of why I believe neither Michael Voris nor anyone else should be promoting their work. Regardless of whether or not this particular movie (The Principle) promotes their conspiracy theories on geocentrism, if people are drawn in by it, it’s clear what underlies their arguments and where their viewers are being led ultimately. It’s all easily verifiable, from their writings and presentations. And it’s not a good place.

    [Sorry for the double post below - when I looked, it appeared that the post didn't go through so I did it again. I'm not sure why it's saying "guest", either. I was logged in.]

  • W. Louis

    To Paul Baillot -

    Thank you for the information on the accreditation agency that accredited Calamus International University. I’ve seen people saying that CIU was accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning and wondered. I had never heard of the IADL. I didn’t know that the IADL itself isn’t recognized by any local, regional or national governing bodies as legitimate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unrecognized_higher_education_accreditation_organizations#I

    From what I’m reading, this is a common ploy used by degree and diploma mills. They seek out “recognition” or “accreditation” from an accrediting association that itself has no standing or recognition anywhere.

    Quote from the research paper, “Bogus Institutions and Accrediting Bodies”:

    “Clever operators of diploma mills have invented their own accrediting bodies to add an air of legitimacy to their credentials and to further confuse prospective students who know they need to look for an accredited program but don’t know that there are recognized and unrecognized accrediting bodies, much less how to tell the difference. Further muddying the waters, some diploma mills may claim to evaluate a student’s work history, professional education, and prior learning and require a student to submit a thesis or dissertation as the basis for
    their award of the diploma or degree.”

    That does sound an awful lot like what happened with Sugenis. I’ve read that he submitted a dissertation to CIU like this research paper says, too. I actually feel badly for people who get caught up in these kinds of scams. Scam artists can be quite good at trying to make themselves look legitimate!