News From the Crossroads

News From the Crossroads

Posted by Laramie Hirsch on Saturday, April 22, 2017

I’m not a guy who’s “in” on any circles. I make the friends that I make before the ringleader feels threatened and gives me the boot. I don’t have any super rich backers. Nor do I get support or recommendation too often. This blog, I suppose, is a form of guerrilla cultural warfare from one guy chained up at a crossroads.

Being the exiled outlier, as sometimes happens, people pass by me, and yours truly gets mentioned somewhere. A lot of different people end up coming across this blog for different reasons. This week, it was over at the website of Randy Engel. She wrote a piece titled All the Men Behind the Opus Dei Curtain. It’s a very long article that is the result of an investigation into the associations of Michael Voris and E. Michael Jones.

She cites a moment from last October when I asked E. Michael Jones why he wrote a book about Michael Voris’ past. Jones told me he wrote his attack on Voris because he wanted to explain what really happened, and he wanted to show the dominant culture’s downplaying of such sins and the Protestant notion of cheap grace.

What was Engel’s aim with her article? Basically to show different associations between Voris, Jones, and Opus Dei:

I’d like to propose two other reasons why Jones decided to write the book and use Fidelity Press as the publishing vehicle.

First, because his friend and benefactor of more than thirty years, Opus Dei supernumerary Marc Brammer, asked him to and secondly, because E. Michael Jones’s publishing enterprise is an Opus Dei apostolate/auxiliary society.

I may disagree with Jones’ attacks against Traditionalist Catholics, and I may not be comfortable with his book about Voris. However, I do admire much of Jones’ writing, and I have already stated that I will be glad when Jones takes on other projects beyond Voris and Traditionalists.

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To make matters worse, as of this moment, E. Michael Jones’ Culture Wars website has been hacked. Type in the web address, and it directs you straight to the Google home page. You cannot get access to it. The timing of this hack coincides with the release of Engel’s article. Are there really people out there who hate Opus Dei that much? I don’t know.

I do not know much about Opus Dei. From what I read of Engel’s article, it sounds like a Catholic version of the Freemasons in terms of its secrecy. If that’s the case, then so what? Why be up in arms about a battle tactic or strategy? Perhaps someone will correct me, but if anything, we need as many Catholics in positions of power as possible. I could be wrong.

I mean, if any kind of real Catholic political power is to be achieved in the United States (remember, I’m the guy pushing for a Catholic Monarchy in this country), then some kind of concrete strategy with real money and power will need to be enacted. But again, I could be wrong. My opinions are subject to change.

Jones Responds to Engle

In any event, Jones has prepared a response to Engle in the hopes that she might post it on her site:

Dear Randy,

I am not a member of Opus Dei, nor do I have any ties “concrete” or otherwise to that organization. Once upon a time I attended evenings of reflection at the local center, but more recently I was banned from speaking at Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center in Washington. I have friends in Opus Dei. Marc Brammer is one of them. Another Opus Dei friend was warned by the American prelate not to have anything to do with me. Fortunately, he didn’t follow that advice. I have no intention of distancing myself from my friends even if their organization has distanced itself from me.

At this point, I have a question. Why would an organization like Opus Dei want to be associated with someone with my views? Opus Dei is probably the world’s most prominent purveyor of neoconservative Catholicism, not just here but throughout the world. Why would a group like that want me as a member? Do you think that hobnobbing with the author of The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit is going to enhance Opus Dei’s image in the halls of power in Washington or New York? I don’t think so. Nor do they, which is why they do whatever they deem necessary to avoid any contact with me. Opus Dei is happy to invite George Weigel, but Father Stetson showed what he thought of me when he unilaterally canceled the book signing I had at the Catholic Information Center.

This brings me to the really pernicious aspect of your expose. It’s not simply that it’s full of factual errors, like the alleged location of a nonexistent Opus Dei center in Ferndale, Michigan. Your article is suffused with the sense that personal friendship, far from transcending political differences, is reason to denounce someone for what someone else does or believes. Since you could not make a connection between me and Opus Dei and the sordid story of Church Militant on factual or principled grounds, you had to stoop to guilt by association. Are we now supposed to be judged by our associations instead of what we believe and say and do? As someone I admire once said, “If what I said is false, point out the error. If what I said is true, why do you strike me?”

Why am I responsible for someone else’s activities? Who made you the judge of my friendships? This is the way the Pharisees treated Jesus when he ate with tax collectors and prostitutes. Was Jesus contaminated by his association with them? Am I somehow contaminated by my friendship with Marc Brammer? Or, more importantly, is he somehow contaminated by his association with me? I’m sure there are people in Opus Dei who think so, but I don’t and don’t think Jesus would either.

If this is not the case, why have I been subjected to the same pharisaical strictures which the Jews imposed on Jesus? Who put you in charge of my relationships? The answer to all of these questions is the schismatic lack of charity that pervades traditionalist circles. In his treatises on Donatism and Baptism, St. Augustine defined schism as refusal to associate with the body of Christ out of lack of charity and fear of contamination. Bishop Fellay expressed this fear when he said, “the church has cancer. We can’t associate with the church because then we would get cancer.”

Now I am subjected to the same intolerable lack of charity by you. This is not the way I run my life. To the point, Bishop Williamson stayed at my house twice. Does this establish “concrete ties” with the Society of St. Pius X? Does it make me a closet Lefebvrite? Or is it an indication that personal friendship can sometimes transcend ideological difference? Is that what you’re trying to preclude? If so, I reject your attempt to do so and the stunning lack of charity and narrow-mindedness that prompted you to make the attempt.

Please post this response on your website.


As of the writing of this article, Jones’ response has not yet been posted. The events surrounding Jones’ The Man Behind the Curtain are beginning to resemble a multi-stage timebomb.

As I’ve said before, I look forward to seeing all parties involved taking on other projects.

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5 comments on “News From the Crossroads

  1. Is Hirsh a dopie? He plays ignorant, but Opie Dopes practice “mental reservation,” a.k.a., lying.

  2. I won’t go so far as to say the author of the quoted piece is just a garden variety “dopey,” but were I to do so, I expect I would not be alone.

    I pay ZERO attention to Hirsh. I encountered his all-over-the-place-semi-solipsism on other venues years ago and wrote him off, back then.

    • [The Okie Traditionalist in praise of Laramie Hirsch]

      Posted by Joseph Ostermeir on Thursday, April 20, 2017

      The Hirsch Files: a Must Read!

      I want to recommend my readers once again to frequent the informative, entertaining, and well-written blog of my Trad Blogger colleague, none other than the Bloggermeister of bloggermeisters, Laramie Hirsch over at the Hirsch Files.

      He and I haven’t made time to hang out for a while, or collaborate like we use to about our blogging hobby. From time to time I do peek in on his daily labor of love, and am delighted to see how well he sustains his zeal and energy for the subject matters he most writes about.

      For some time now, he has zeroed in his focus more and more on matters of faith, for the Catholic, as an advocate for strength and courage in fighting the culture war.

      Hirsch has a talent for writing, of which I will never come close in a long shot. If this were high school sports, he would be senior varsity, and I would be freshman JV.

      The man has a gift for research, reasoning, and articulation. His knowledge of politics, history, and current events is stellar. I’m lucky if I keep up with some latest headlines in yahoo news, or can sketch out in my mind the simple basics of Western civilization.

      Some people do not like to read the Hirsch Files. Laramie can be offensive. Laramie can be very cynical. Laramie can take online squabbles in the blogosphere and forums to new heights of analysis. So be it. His style is not for everyone.

      But for the record, I have enjoyed enough campfires and cigars with the man to know he is a gentleman who, in his own unique way, is devoted to using his blog to promote Catholic truth.

      Kudos Hirsch!

      • That may be all good and well. I am going by material I read by him five years ago.

        I hope his earlier problems have been overcome and that he is a model of traditional perspicacity and decorum, now.

        However, I ain’t interested, either way.

        As mentioned, I have friends I know I can count on – without the theatrics, whether of yesteryear or today.

        But, Tom, your efforts at charity, as always, are entirely commendable.

  3. When it comes to recent and current sources of news and views, I trust Serv, Tom, both our Tims, phaley, Skipper, Howl, quo, ghebreyesus, Cindy, ECS, Adoro Te, Cyprian and my numerous other AQ pals.

    I trust Canon Hesse, John Vennari (RIP), Mike Matt and Chris Ferrara. Oh, and Pat Buchanan, too.

    It’s always, with them, a sincere, well-thought-out comment and common sense. Period.

    Almost anyone else – meh!

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