I just wrote this ridiculously long thread on Twitter. I’ll only add that though I’m glad Mike has finally got on board, (video here) the way he did it was, to be perfectly frank and given all the crap he’s given a lot of people over the years, churlish and ungracious. Dude, don’t be that guy.
Taylor Marshall and Dom Betinelli have done the more manly thing recently – admitted they were mistaken and wrong to have attacked people who should have been their friends and apologised. Be like them.
I still like Mike, and still want to maintain good professional relations with him. And I look forward to more beer and songs at some point in the future when all is at least a bit better in the world. In professional terms, we go way back and I welcome him to the Super-Sekrit Club, and appreciate his incredible furious flying helicopter of fists now that the crunch seems to be here at last.
Normally I try to keep the WUWTS howitzers cleanly trained on the real enemies, and I hate talking about this internecine bullshit. But I’m also not putting up with any more stupid crap from my friends. It’s feckin depressing. Like watching my parents fight. Screw that.
I think I’d like to make a note here on where I stand re: Michael Voris since people are saying things about it. I like Mike. Years ago I found his stuff and thought it was good stuff. I introduced him to LifeSite and we all got along pretty famously. He came to the Roman Forum retreat in Gardone Riviera and hung out in a very friendly way with the Trads, including Mike Matt and John Rao and Chris Ferrara. We ate and drank and sang songs together and even if Mike wants to forget this – I think he’s taken down the video thing he made there – I’ve got the photos to prove it. We had a great time, and were all in agreement, and this was, if I’m not mistaken, only a few months after the 2013 Conclave.
Since then, all hell seems to have literally broken loose in the world and the Church and huge confusion seems to be reigning, part of which is to set at odds people who either out to be friends or in fact have been friends. I think this has been one of the major effects of the demonic evil that has poured out like a poison fog out of that town down south west of me.
Shortly after that Mike and CMT seemed to get a weird bee in their bonnet about Trads and to dive wholeheartedly into the “conservative” ideology. Well, you can’t tell people what to think. A big part of the problem started when he or people he worked with started trying to tell other outlets how they should be running their editorial affairs. Nearly everyone I talked to agreed that they would have been fine with his/their decision to leave the Pope out of their criticisms of the bishops and to focus their energy on the US situation if they hadn’t then decided to start attacking anyone who didn’t follow that policy.
This created a lot of bad blood that has continued to plague the scene since. In the last five years, it’s become common to consider Mike n’Co to have undermined their own credibility by their determination to clamp their eyes shut about what the rest of us saw as the obvious elephant in the parlour. If he had just done his thing and carried on, if he had even simply ignored the rest of us, we would have shrugged and let him get on with it. But he and his outfit decided to take a circular stance, with, as one person put it, guns pointed outward at everyone who isn’t them. This is the thing that has perplexed everyone so much; the determination to burn all possible bridges between people who by rights should have been working, if not together, then at least not at cross purposes.
So that brings us up to today, a day or so after Mike has issued this video we’ve all seen where he says stuff like, “Five years ago pope Francis came on the scene and everything started totally unravelling.” And the response has been pretty predictable. We’ve been seeing a lot of this kind of thing lately. We Trads have seen quite an influx of former-“conservatives” coming to us saying things like, “Holy sh—! You guys were right all along.” And I know that in most cases (ahem) and despite having been pretty frustrated all this time (in some cases as long as 20 or even 30-40 years) with the sh— and abuse we’ve had heaped on us for our efforts, the response has been mainly gracious. This in fact has been the outcome we’ve all hoped for all this time.
Hard feelings are understandable, but I think in the last five years we’ve all started to realise just how horrifying this evil really is and in an emergency like this it’s pointless to maintain enmity.
Just in the last two or three weeks, I guess since the McCarrick revelation, we’ve seen that effect stepping up exponentially. I’ve had people, and sometimes whole groups of people, approaching me asking how they can learn the things the Trads know. I’ve sent out the book list quite a lot lately. Behind the scenes, we’re seeing things coalescing in a way that we had only dreamed of five years ago. So good a thing is this that it seems a bit churlish to just keep harping on “I told you so” and “I got there first”.
But at the same time, in some cases there were genuine faults. Mike and CMT (and quite a lot of others – I’m looking at YOU Fr. Longenecker, and Phil Lawler, and … ) actually went on the offensive, many times, against those of us who were mostly trying to just keep other people from falling off a thousand foot cliff to their inevitable doom. The phenomenon of “conservatives” suddenly and without warning lashing out at Trads, making up silly epithets and insults, accusing us of “spiritual pornography” and of having bad will, bad motives became so common that we started to just ignore it, or at least just do a bit of eye-rolling before we got back to work. Mike and his group did a lot of this. They did it in public, and they did it privately in PMs and emails.
There has been a lot of speculation about why. A lot of people said it was mostly some other guy’s fault, that he controlled the money and was an Opus Dei guy or that Mike was Opus Dei (and don’t get me started on THAt creepy NuChurch cult) and bcs OD is insanely hostile to Catholic traditionalism that’s what it was about. I don’t know, and tbh I don’t care that much. But I do care that these rifts can’t be healed – and more effective work against the real enemies can’t be accomplished – until there’s some honest self-appraisals.
Steve Skojec has been pretty public about his reasons for not getting behind the Voris announcement that he’s joining us in the fight against Francis, and it’s hard to dispute them. He and others have pointed out that Taylor Marshall and Dom Bettinelli and others who have publicly excoriated us over the last 5 years have also publicly apologised, and these have been welcomed. These guys are now dedicated to the same thing we are, and it’s great to have the band back together like the good old days.
But in his video, Mike hasn’t done that, and it reflects rather poorly on him. Instead he just said, “Welp, we did that, and it was great and the right thing to do and now we’re doing this, so suck it.”
Normally I’d applaud the nerve, but since very close friends have been hurt by his behaviour in the past, I think it’s appropriate to join my own voice to theirs in requiring an apology.
As a friend of mine put it elsewhere:
“On the one hand. Yay! All the Red Pills! On the other — all y’all said some nasty s— about me and mine over the past few years. I know you have since come around, but there are still some fences that need mending. I know we are on the same side now, so maybe we can work together and you can keep your pie hole shut about me and mine in the future. And maybe even squeak out a fetid apology for s—— in my living room…”
I’ve gone out of my way to maintain at least cordial relations with Mike through all this, and trust me, with people on my own team yelling at me for it, this hasn’t been the easiest thing. I’m normally pretty conflict-averse, but this is the time when the actual dull glow of the giant flaming mountain of rock coming at us from out of the sky is starting to be reflected on all our faces, so how’s about we all make up now. OK?
I’ve lost friends in all this – actual, real life, go-over-to-your-house-and-drink-beer-and-watch-Star-Trek kinds of friends. This was because we conflict-averse people think its easier to scream some insults and slam doors on the way out. And it is. It’s my own temptation every single effing day. But right now there’s other stuff going on, and we need to keep it and ourselves together.
So, Michael Voris , just fricken apologise.
Just do it.
Because this s— isn’t cutting it.
Apologise or I’ll post the photos I have on file from the dinners at Garda.
I swear, I’ll do it. Don’t think I won’t.