’s Top Posts of 2013

collar : Madeleine Baran : Ralph Cipriano : Brendan O'Neill : Barbara Blaine

The good and the bad of 2013: (2nd from left) MPR's Madeleine Baran (bad); Ralph Cipriano (good);
UK journalist Brendan O’Neill (good); and SNAP president Barbara Blaine (bad)

As we now approach our tenth year, we would like to thank everyone for making 2013 the best year ever for! Our readership continues to grow dramatically, thanks to you. 2013 was even better than the last, and we look forward to an even better 2014!

There were a lot of important stories in the past year. Between Church-suing lawyer Jeff Anderson's silly "stuntsuit" against the Vatican finally being dropped and Cardinal Timothy Dolan being vindicated against bogus charges of "shielding" money from abuse victims, it was an eventful 12 months. So we figured we would close out the year with a look at our most compelling posts of 2013.

#5 'We'll Say You Touched Us': Robbers Attempt to Extort Priest With Threat of Abuse Claim

It is open season on Catholic priests today. Any accusation, threat, or mere hint of abuse from 50 years ago is enough to destroy a priest's reputation and vault him out of the priesthood forever.

No story more exemplified this than a shocking story out of Chicago, where two men walked into a sacristy and demanded cash from an elderly priest. They accompanied their demand for money with an ominous threat:

"We'll say you touched us, read the paper, they'll believe us."

This disturbing episode only shines a small glimmer of light on the enormous prevalence of false accusations against priests, an issue which the mainstream media naturally refuses to report.

#4 Your Tax Dollars at Work: Minnesota Public Radio Manufactures Story and Repeatedly Smears Innocent Priest

Working off possibly stolen documents supplied to her by a hysterical, disgruntled ex-employee of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Madeleine Baran of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) epitomizes agenda-driven journalism that often passes for "investigative news."

Worse yet, Baran smeared a totally innocent priest twice by falsely implying that he had committed sex crimes against children. Baran and MPR should be ashamed. But, predictably, they're not.

#3 Another Philly STUNNER: Alternate Juror In Priest Abuse Trial Comes Forward, Claims Guilty Verdicts Were 'A Tragic Miscarriage of Justice'

The abominable travesty of justice that has transpired from the Philadelphia District Attorney's witchhunt of Catholic clergy is yet another mind-blowing story that the mainstream media continues to ignore.

In January, an apparent runaway jury convicted two men based on the incredible stories of accuser Daniel P. Gallagher, an admitted drug addict with an extensive arrest record, that during the 1998-1999 school year, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in Philadelphia, he was viciously raped and abused – sometimes for hours on end – by three separate men, all of whom barely even knew each other.

Enter veteran journalist Ralph Cipriano, who originally began covering the Philadelphia trials as "pro-prosecution" but then came to realize that he was witnessing an abominable miscarriage of justice.

Only time will tell if justice will ever prevail and if the two wrongfully convicted men, Fr. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero, will some day be released from prison.

#2 SHOCKER: Widespread Media Claims of Sadistic Abuse at Ireland's Famed Magdalene Laundries Determined to be Completely Bogus

For the past several decades, Hollywood and the mainstream media have told a story of how the Catholic Church in Ireland operated homes for troubled youth – the Magdalene Laundries – that were rife with unspeakable barbarity and unrivaled cruelty from the nuns who operated them.

However, in January, the Irish government released the independent McAleese Report, which sought to examine the country's role in the laundries, which operated for over two centuries until 1996. The report single-handedly turned upside down the dominant narrative of how women were treated at the laundries.

Of the scores of women who were interviewed for the report, exactly zero reported being sexually abused by a nun. None. Nada. Zilch.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media has shown no interest in correcting the historical record.

#1 *EXCLUSIVE* Confidential SNAP Memo Reveals Founder Barbara Blaine Admits Writing Letter on Behalf of Doc Busted With Kiddie Porn, Then Outlines Plan For Cover-Up

According to information exclusively obtained by, Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of the anti-Catholic group SNAP, admitted that she wrote a letter on behalf of a Louisiana psychologist, Dr. Steve Taylor, who was arrested and jailed on charges of possessing over 100 images of kiddie porn on his computer. And after the letter became public knowledge, Blaine then aggressively tried to cover it up.

In 2009, when the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners was considering revoking the license of Dr. Taylor following his arrest for child pornography, Blaine wrote a letter to the board and explained that Taylor had founded a local chapter of SNAP and had done extensive work for the group. She then begged that the board "refrain from taking any action on this case until Dr. Taylor's guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law."

After a number of regional leaders at SNAP apparently became angry that the leader of a sex abuse victims group had written a letter on behalf of a person who had been arrested with sexually explicit pictures of children on his computer, Blaine co-authored a secret internal SNAP memo which began with a stern demand: "Please do not circulate this."

The memo then urged SNAP members not to publicly talk about the embarrassing episode involving Blaine's letter. "As harsh as this may sound, we'd recommend that you not respond [to critics]," the memo asks.

Ever since its inception, SNAP has repeatedly blasted Catholic officials for their alleged "lack of transparency" and "secrecy" in their handling of cases decades ago involving alleged abuse by priests.

And with Blaine's letter, the hypocrisy could not be more clear: Secrecy for SNAP, but full transparency for the Catholic Church.

Blaine's actions have only further revealed SNAP as the mean-spirited, nasty, and bigoted organization that it is, and the time is long overdue for the mainstream media to report on the secret inner workings of this group of hysterics and bigots.


  1. Pat says:

    A good way to end the year.

    With a HUGE defeat for the grandstanding persecutor Philly DA Seth Williams.

    • Mark says:

      Great list. The game’s up for the anti-Catholic bigots. 

      And while the Catholic Church has put its house in order (its measures have been imitated by secular bodies, and were described as “state of the art” by Elizabeth Yore, Oprah Winfrey’s trusted children’s rights lawyer), the sexual abuse of children – TODAY – continues unchecked and uncommented by the media. It has reached epidemic levels. According to government numbers, in 2010 alone, there were some 63,527 reported cases of child sexual abuse in the United States. In other religions, schools, sports clubs, and above all families. How many accusations of Catholic priest abuse there were involving a current minor that were even deemed credible in that same year, 2010?

      Eight. Last year? Six. Out of 40,000 priests. 

      Sure, there have been bad priests who betrayed the Church in the past. One of the Apostles was a traitor. The other 11 were wonderful men. The record of the Church compares very favorably to society at large. Public schools have a record so atrocious that the secular liberal media’s decision to leave it off limits (in the US – though not in countries like England) is a disgrace. Protestant churches are slowly admitting their issues, as are Jewish communities.  

      TMR’s list can basically be divided into two columns: liars and truth-seekers.

  2. Nate P. says:

    I saw that.


    Williams is nasty and vindictive.

  3. dennis ecker says:

    It seems the man who few believe has done no wrong, and who was recently released from prison who many would have thought would be welcomed backed to the catholic church with open arms maybe having a different feeling.

    Yesterday, Archbishop Chaput announced to the public that the now Mr. Lynn will not be allowed to present himself  as a Roman Catholic priest.

    Could this be a move by the Archbishop to distance himself  and his church from an individual who at this time maybe not legally guilty of a crime but morally guilty of a crime for his inactions by not doing everything possible to protect the children of his archdiocese

  4. Publion says:

    In regard to the “Dennis” comment (the 4th, 107PM): there is a far more plausible scenario, based simply on the legal formalities that presently obtain in the Lynn case.

    Specifically: while the Superior Court’s reversal of Lynn’s conviction is clearly (and unanimously) stated, there remains the possibility – however distant it may be – that the DA will appeal to the Commonwealth’s Supreme Court. Until that happens and the Supreme Court acts on it or until the DA’s window for filing such an Appeal expires or the DA formally demurs from filing an Appeal, then it would be premature for Msgr. Lynn to be fully re-instated in the ministry. (Nor does Msgr. Lynn seem ready to simply get back into pastoral harness again anyway, and understandably so.)

    Thus at this point Msgr. Lynn remains – and rightly so – on administrative leave, included in which status is the fact that he is to refrain from formal public ministry. Which, given the legal actualities at this point, makes perfectly good sense.

    If the DA’s possible Appeal does not come to fruition (via any of the routes mentioned above), then there will be further decisions to be made by the AOP and Lynn himself.

    But it has to be pointed out that Msgr. Lynn has not been laicized (popularly known as being ‘defrocked’) and if the DA’s possible Appeal does not come to fruition then there would certainly be no canonical grounds for laicizing him, since he would then be clearly un-convicted, and there was never an issue of his personal physical involvement in any abuse of a minor in any way (including even the lowest-level ‘boundary violation’ or similar situation).

    “Dennis” might want to remind himself that just as he has no ecclesiastical authority to declare himself self-excommunicated, he also has no ecclesiastical authority to pronounce (even through the use implicit “Mr. Lynn”) Msgr. Lynn to be laicized.

  5. Publion says:

    Today the online New York Times put up an article that is dated the 7th (for the print edition), reporting on over a hundred arrests of former police and firefighters for filing and collecting-on false disability claims. The article is entitled “Charges for 106 In Huge Fraud Over Disability”, under the by-lines of William Rashbaum and James McKinley, Jr.


    The relevance for this site consists – I would say – in a revelation as to how such a practice as false-claims can be organized to operate on a large-scale (21 million dollars in allegedly falsely-obtained remuneration  in the case of these accused, and the DA in Manhattan calls these arrests “the tip of the iceberg”).


    Four persons actually organized the seemingly-legitimate ‘service’ that advised and counseled prospective claimants as to how to go about establishing the appearance of job-related disability: “They had been coached on how to fail memory tests, feign panic attacks, and, if they had been working during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, to talk about their fear of airplanes and entering skyscrapers, prosecutors said. And they were told to make it clear they could not leave the house, much less find a job”.


    The report continues: “Many … named in the 205-count indictment had blamed the Sept. 11 attacks for what they described as mental problems: post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and severe depression”. For which – through coaching – the prospective claimants “would go to the psychiatrists for a year to build a false record of mental instability before applying”.


    Many of the same “cookie-cutter” phrases would then be deployed by the coaches’ write-ups of the applications: “I don’t have an interest in anything” and “I am up and down all night long” being two mentioned in the report here.


    Neatly, the applicants  - the accused coaching staff claims – “did have a disability of some kind” and “the prosecutors appear to be alleging that only the mental disabilities underlying the federal Social Security applications were exaggerated”.


    The DA claims that the organizers “received cash kickbacks of more than $28,000 from each applicant, money that was taken from the recipients’ first check from the Social Security Administration”.


    Readers of this site may recall prior discussions of this type of gambit, from which the following elements here are relevant: a) the coaching of prospective claimants in order to enhance (to put it politely) their claims; b) the focus on the types of ‘injury’ that can most easily be feigned (the emotional, psychological, and behavioral – made especially easy after the vast expansion of the originally-military ‘PTSD’ diagnostic parameters);  c) the pre-existence of actual dysfunctions (upon which the enhancements might be built) while d) avoiding the problem of establishing clearly the causality-link between the dysfunction and the alleged precipitating event. One might further consider the probability that claimants and coaches all knew what they were doing in colluding to effect the claim and collect the monies successfully.


    This is a case that will bear close observation as it unfolds.

  6. Jim Robertson says:

    I accuse the evil poster hiding it's identity, called here: p, to be is a professional church apologist. I judge a man by his actions and never, not even once ,has this apologist, this excuse maker, this liar, ever shown a modicum of empathy for the truely abused. He can't, he says, because there's no proof any of us were raped.

    [edited by moderator]

  7. Jim Robertson says:

    Mark on Jan 3 at 6:57 p.m. you stated Judas betrayed Jesus. Did he really? if Jesus became a human to expiate all our sins, didn't Judas help that magical process along?

    Why, if not for Judas there would be no salvation for all mankind. Try thinking a little.

  8. Publion says:

    At the risk of being repetitive: a) we don’t know who has been “truely abused” [sic] and b) we need need a definition of “empathy” (which should not be synonymous with accepting every story and claim and allegation that is thrown up at us on the screen).


    But JR has put his finger on the problem nicely: I “can’t say … because there’s no proof any of us were raped”. Yup – that’s about it in a nutshell. That’s the problem with the Stampede, especially as it has carried on its existence on the internet.


    And while the Wig of J’Accuse repeats yet again that I am “a professional church apologist”, yet i) there is no explanation as to how that accusation has been – at least in the mind of the accuser – arrived-at and ii) we see here yet again a neat dodge of the core problem and the effort to distract from it. Ditto no evidence as to what in my material justifies the accusation that I am a “liar”.


    If I am an “apologist” for anything, it is for the integrity of the judicial system and the rule of law. But that, most very surely, is precisely not an issue the Abuseniks want to go near.


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