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Marian apparitions, social alienation - Mary at Knock - economic stimuli

category national | history and heritage | opinion/analysis author Saturday October 31, 2009 15:26author by ipsiphi .:. (ipsi)(phi...) / i(psi...)(phi) - ( iosaf ) Report this post to the editors

As I write thousands of people, the vast ,majority of them Irish are assembling at the largest public worship building on this island in eager expectation of a Marian apparition. The Roman Catholic church runs Knock and played a vital role in the building of the basilica, local economy, airport & marian cult.

Mary is thought by Catholics to have made her first apparition within a generation of the death of Paul and the apostles on a column perhaps more apt for a sceptic philosopher in what is now the Aragonese city of Zaragossa. Since then she has been held to appear on a roughly bicentianeal basis throughout Europe with some notable gigs in Latin America, none in Africa or Asia.

This might tell us more about the kind of people who see, expect to see or have thought they have seen her than it would indicate any particular favouritism on her part. Each time she has appeared she has been reported as bringing news for the world, after all & not just the typically poor communities.
it may be time to udpate the icon & milk it for what's its worth.
it may be time to udpate the icon & milk it for what's its worth.

She has also changed her style over the centuries. Crowns, imperialistic pomp & glory have gradually been replaced with simple blue and white robes. Her solo appearances have sometimes been expanded to include guest appearances from bearded european looking sainted gospel writers holding their correct medieval symbols of hagiography. No doubt after the catholic absorbtion of the rosary and angelus from Islam, she's been promoting those prayer techiques for the last 2 centuries. Shortly after her son Jesus appeared to a catholic mystic with a bared heart of post-enlightenment anatomical detail - she also included that little detail (as illustrated).

Her visits have never gone without much controversy - Our Lady is indeed a controversial visitor.

There are some who dismiss out of hand the idea that she appears at all. This is for several reasons. The most obvious being that some do not believe in her & such fall under the category of sneering infidels and sinners. The second which ought bear serious consideration by any who do believe in her, is what might be called the protestant approach that scripturally and theologically the marian cult is not satisfactorily compatible with christian thought in that intercession of demigod or semigoddess characters is an internalisation of pagan thought and dilutes the central tenets of Christ's mystery & redemption. In to that later category would fall those boring people who still quibble over the question of where she went & the thorny concept of did she die. For some she ascended in much the same way as Jesus and Muhamad to go out there into outer space or heaven and though forever worrying about us is not really expected to offer an appearance this side of Nostradamus.

Which brings me quite logically to considering without upsetting those of catholic, christian or no faith - the common sociological factors behind marian apparitions in history. They have mostly occured during times of social change, insecurity, economic crises and shifting moral or ethical values. They also tend to occur in areas with poor infrastructure and generally low level of educational attainment.

But undeniably once the marian cult approves an appearance, generally after systematic brutalisation and cruelty to the poor chap or as is the norm - chapette who had the guts to claim s/he had seen Our Lady - the economic benefits are extraordinary.

The RC church frowns upon today's flock who on the word of a Dublin clairvoyant have trundled off to Knock bringing with them what will undoubtedly be a short term economic stimulus. A bIshop has spoken of the dangers to people's faith (one presumes the Roman Catholic faith which accomodates many paradoxes not least of which is the marian cult) on the basis that She did appear in Knock as in Fatima, Lourdes, Zaragossa, Guadalupe, Walsingham, Pontmain, Beuarraing - clocking up a majority of spiritual interventions in times of plague and a fair share of famines - but did not appear in Medjugorje in the lead up to the Yugoslavian wars, the deployment of EU and NATO troops and a contigent of Gardia.

Nor could we not in passing have any of her appearances in north America been approved. I've already made the point that nobody in Africa or oriental Asia (excluding India) has ever dared to report her appearance with the great exception of 7 children who did see her just before the Rwanda Hutsi/Tutsi genocide in Kibeho.

Her un-approved message came in the form of a black woman who called for prayer, penance, conversion, the rosary & warned of an imminent war.

The rest is history.

It ought not go without general social reflection in Ireland, why and how these people not only sustain the cult at Knock but can move to discourage the phenomonal movement of people supported in true 21st century style with youtube and blogs to Mayo today.

It is a very telling sign that for many people who are, I would opine, psychologically vulnerable responding to a synchretic meme. A clairvoyant of the charlantan ilk of fortune tellers and thaumaturgs may to some be a bizarre mish-mash of new age, theosophy, traditional religion, pagan sentimentalism, publicity seeking opportunism & paranoia. To others he and his followers are no different from those who exercise their legitimate and enshrined rights of free worship, assembly and expression.

But regardless of whether or not, today Mary makes an appearance & updates her usual message for the first time in over 200 years - we can not ignore the fact that there are multitudes of post-Celtic Tiger citizens who want to see her.

Perhaps it is time for the magic lantern box to be updated & the fraud bulit on a fraud (For I do ascribe to the theory that the first apparition was a hoax) & some wise soul could ensure that Mary does appear.

- on a regular basis.

Thanks then to "our Lady" or rather her representation & place in mass psychology - not only will Ireland's economy recover from the tourism stimulus but there will be succour for the vulnerable.

I can see no possible harm in that for anyone.

+ here endeth the lesson.


author by ipsiphipublication date Sat Oct 31, 2009 16:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would appear from international media in the traditionally catholic and contemporary post-catholic world of Spanish speaking and French speaking nations - that the expected turn-out of 20,000 has been a rather reduced 7,000. Many hostel owners, nick-nack novelty good suppliers not to mention vintners and caterers will no doubt be disappointed with the inteference in the local economy by the Archibishop of Tuam. If only each of those discouraged 13,000 hopeful had only spent 5 euros the possible benefits would have amounted to 65,000 or a welcome 129euro for each resident of the town at the 2002 census estimate.

It really is thus "timely" that people in Knock and the west take the bishops out of the franchise otherwise it will not negotation the turbulent waters of the current economic climate.

As an example of the way I'd suggest Ireland could exploit the economic possibilities and capitalise on the assets of what is undoubtedly one of our key national resources, I'd point readers to the wonderful advances made by those who manage the Lourdes franchise.

here you may watch the grotto at Lourdes via this live webcam.
There is no reason that Knock shouldn't have a webcam. It could perhaps steal the march on novelty and innovation and include podcasts too. It surely would not be unthinkable in this age were someone to research and develop some kind of Wii game too.

We may also note that the initial teething problems with the Lourdes airline which offers daily flights to the grotto from a range of European points of origin at budget prices have now been overcome. I refer of course to the "war on terror" ban on liquids in hand or stowed luggage which frustrated many pilgrims desire to bring holy water back with them. I covered that story in this back article "the terror of holy water" http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84003

Knock airport which has changed its name as many times as Mary has changed her clothes is undeniably an underdeveloped infrastructural node and it is surely time for some entrepeneur to take advantage of the current exceptions in European aviation law for the transport of Holy Water to offer cheaper budget flights with more holy water out of Knock.

Perhaps the men at the centre of this challenging new marketing shift, Joe Coleman and Keith Henderson could charter an aircraft for their next gig. But no doubt things are on the up for this fresh twist on a tired brand.

author by +publication date Sat Oct 31, 2009 17:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The terse statement from the bishop of Tuam has as has been pointed out caused loss of potential income to the region. It might also be interpreted together with many "no comment" responses as the usual catholic church hiding away and pretending something is not there.

But building on suggestions for innovation, it just might be possible for the catholic church to attract faithful without risk to its official message or dogma & in so doing create jobs.

I suggest a marian twist on the popular US christian theme park idea. The "Holy Land experience" theme park in Orlando Florida occupies 15 acres or 61,000 m2 and thrills American fundamentalist christians with daily shows and re-enactments of their favourite bible stories in a family friendly setting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Land_Experience http://www.holylandexperience.com/

Knock could put a properly catholic twist on the idea which with the usual love dressing up and walking around and theatrics which characterise the religion would in no time prove a real draw for pilgrims, tourists, converts and spin-off industry.

We could see all the great events in the life of Our Lady : the annuciation as she meets Gabriel and learns she's pregnant. the birth as she looks for a stable. Her flight into Egypt could be staged with a connemara donkey. Then her concern for his lost kid could be staged to reflect contemporary worries for safety of the little kiddies which is never far from the mind of any catholic. The piece de resistance would of course be her assumption into heaven on invisible wires or a bungee rope complete with fireworks and a laser light show.

who could object to such a thing?

author by pat cpublication date Sat Oct 31, 2009 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An RIC man confessed on his death bed that he had been behind the "Marian" apparition at Knocj. Indeed he claimed that he used a Magic Lantern.

I hope the foolish masses gathering at Knock today got a good wash in the rain.

author by Tom Williams - nonepublication date Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When you guys are on your deathbeds and staring into your Godless abyss, I can guarantee you that if someone were to project an

image of Meg Griffin on the wall you'd reach out to her, and that's desperation. Don't dismiss the beliefs of tens of millions of people so

lightly. Go and visit Knock with an open mind and feel the peace and tranquility there. Forget about your preconceptions about

Catholicism and just watch as ordinary people go about their devotions. It might even do you some good

author by Cashinpublication date Sun Nov 01, 2009 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The owners of mobile catering vans must be doing a brisk trade these days, as they did in the 1980s during the moving statues frenzy.

author by kevin - survivors of child abusepublication date Sun Nov 01, 2009 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

after 10 years of lies and decit by the church they continune to lie when you have the archbisop amitteing he knew the abuse was going on 40 years ago and you have 800 nuns and brothers walkin around and none going to jail makes you wonder about the holy cathilc church there nothin but scum

author by + ipsiphi .:. - ( iosaf )publication date Sun Nov 01, 2009 14:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I hope it was clear to readers of this article that my intention was not to mock the cult which exists within (& as this latest manifestation well attest) parallel to mainstream Roman catholicism. As always my tone is slightly tongue in cheek, humourous, cynical but it is not my intention nor would it serve those intellectually grounded beliefs of how society's ills may be dealt with in this world to attempt to mock or knock the BVM.

I do believe that the first apparition in the 19th century at Knock was a hoax. It seems from the links presented by other commentators that this is widespread position and one which has been over the years subject to expert investigation. I am reminded somewhat of the curious case of the shroud of turin which for sometime now in the modern age has been the object of speculation and some of our supposedly most advanced scientific dating and forensic sciences. What was in the last centuries presented as a relic of awesome power and in the iconoclastic tradition of christianity (pre-Calvin & post superseccionist Roman or Hellenic christianity in that pivotal period when a semitic God went from non-depiction to crowned monarch) purported to justify most occidental depiction of Jesus of Nazareth, is now suggested to be nothing more than at worst a medieval fake or at best an example of pareidolia.

Yet, for those who staunchly describe themselves, and I ask you to note, justify their political stances, voting patterns and not unconsiderably lobby weight as true believers the role of the shroud is now presented as something which focuses and concentrates the mind on mysteries which are essentially sacred in nature.

It seems to be that the apparition of Knock in similar fashion has been co-opted regardless of the obvious concerns as to its veracity. It now no longer matters if it was a hoax for the good reason that it has served to concentrate and intensify the faith and more importantly practise of Roman Catholicism in Ireland and beyond.

So I return to the first introductory paragraph of my article. It is most striking for me, that Mary and her approved visitations have bestowed such favour & indeed grace on the key regions of occidental & global Roman catholicism. The virgin of the pillar whose appearance in Roman imperial Zaragossa would start the whole tradition saw her feast day celebrated and still sees her feast day celebrated on the 12th of October. Of course that was the day that Colombus is recorded as first sighting and promptly landing in the Americas. by the grace and favour of God's mother an empire was opened

Of all the lists of marian apparitions perhaps the most compelling for speculation is the one whose webcam I linked to in a previous comment. Lourdes is an extraordinary place whose connection with miraculous or sudden cure or remission of certain illnesses such as cancer and physical disabilities is a touchstone for those who seek the intercession of Our Lady in their lives and the intervention of God in their affairs. The most cynical of atheists have of course long pointed out that such miracles have never seen amputated or lost limbs regenerated only the disappearance of malignant tumors and relief on pain which in turn allows those who were infirm to return to their feet and walk.

I think it might be perfectly possible for us to accept that western medicine with its post-enlightenment focus on invasive surgery and reductive analysis the cut out bad bits of the machine approach has in recent years as the success of comparitive medicine traditions such as acupuncture been accepted begun to lose its position on the plinth of absolute knowledge. We need not look far to find those qualified in western medicine to astounding levels of specialisation that acknowledge that the attitude of the patient is crucial to the prognosis of many types of illness. I care not to say whether or not I believe such psychological elements play a part in miraculous cures.


But after suggesting a themepark for Knock complete with telling bungee rope for Mary to be assumed and return -

I'd like to now publically wonder is Joe Coleman breaching the newest concept in Irish Law :-

that of blasphemy?

Is this man with his promises of Marian apparitions and talk of the BVM chat more than simply a charlaton but also a dangerous fraud whose words and deeds are likely to bring into disregard the Roman Catholic church.

after all, had he not trundled off all those people to Knock we on the left would hardly be talking about Knock now, would we?

+ here endeth the lesson
+ pass the plate.

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Sun Nov 01, 2009 17:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When I was a teenager I was very ill, and out of desperation a family member bundled me into a car and swiftly brought me to Knock Shrine. I was indifferent when I arrived and just sat there at the Shrine not thinking about much (as I was too weak to stand or think), just taking in the surroundings, and then a change came upon me and a feeling of immense warmth, peace and comfort enveloped me. I have no doubt at all now that Knock Shrine is a holy place and the reason why people are compelled to go there is that they too have found solace in the experience of attending at such a holy site. I know I would never have survived that dreadful period of my life had I not been brought to Knock Shrine, I have no doubt at all about that.

Pilgrims Robbed Blind at Knock:

Other commemorators have made much mention about the commercial profit and how much the local shops and restaurant must be making out of the recent non-event - obviously, none of you have ever visited Knock, because if you did, you would know that there is very little investment put into the restaurant or the shops over the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ years and visitors are taken advantage of and literally ‘robbed blind’. No pilgrim with a brain who has been there before would eat in a restaurant at Knock nor purchase anything in the little shops, which sell tacky meaningless plastic items made in China and Japan. I’ll tell you of my ‘unholy’ encounter with the sad commercial life of Knock:

Unfortunately, only minutes after visiting the holy Knock Shrine and feeling relatively well, I felt incredibly ill again, as a result of visiting a local restaurant. I would describe it as the ‘restaurant from Hell’ (and would not be out of place in a horror ‘B’ movie) and it was the only restaurant in Knock open at the time. It was dark and gloomy restaurant with an extremely limited menu of: chips with anything that comes in a tin, served on cracked plates with unclean cutlery. I sat there in that dark and gloomy place trying to figure out what the fuck this unhealthy shite was on the plate, whilst being surrounded on all sides by ‘scary looking plastic Jesus(es)’ and plastic bottles in the shape of the ‘Virgin Mary with hideous lipstick’ and plastic 'Rosary' beads with attached price labels on them declaring they came with a discount if ordered with the chips! I left the restaurant feeling sick and eventually did get physically sick (feeling as if I had consumed the Devil himself for lunch).

Better Commercial Facilities Required to Cater for Disabled/Sick People who Travel to Knock:

I would like to advise people travelling to Knock to come armed with their own tea and sandwiches and refrain from engaging in unholy practices such as: purchasing plastic versions of the ‘Virgin Mary’ with their overpriced chips; gurgling and spitting out unclean ‘holy’ water at the ‘Council’s tap fountain’ at the Shrine which will only make them sicker; and to stay away from visiting unclean, unholy overpriced commercial entities and, instead, donate to a charity, as the current commercial life of Knock would make you want to puke - because it is so badly in need of an overhaul, of some class and investment.

Pilgrims who travel from distant lands deserve decent restaurants with reasonably priced healthy wholesome food, which cater for sick people with various ailments (and don’t make them even sicker), and all shops should have wheelchair disabled access, sell souvenirs of high quality from native craftspeople which are reasonably priced and not this plastic tacky meaningless shite that they currently sell - none of which Knock’s current local pathetic commercial life possesses.

It’s Not Right to Knock Other People’s Beliefs:

Many people from all over the world travel to Knock Shrine each year and take great solace from the experience of being there, particularly, when they are ill and in despair. I don’t like to hear of people dismissing or mocking other people’s religious beliefs, particularly, as in most cases nobody has the answers to these people’s problems. I see no harm in people attending the Shrine through difficult times and many people now are attending as they’re going through extremely difficult times and are seeking hope and Divine inspiration when it cannot be found elsewhere - and many have found it there

Do not knock, Knock Shrine.

author by .:. ipsiphi + - ( iosaf in a blue and white geansaí & halo "innocence")publication date Sun Nov 01, 2009 18:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I pray that I am forgiven by those of our secular readers as well as those whose undoubted contribution to pacifism and direct action was inspired by their trust in the christian faith (catholic workers) for the tone of my article and its comments. I would like to explain that my use of specific words like "pareidolia", "superseccionism", "iconoclasm" was not intended to alienate either secular lefists or praciticants of the most admirable stream of christian thought . Rather my slight touches on profound areas of theological speculations which have indeed been the rub & spark against flint & steel of many of western history's wars & the differences between nations, states, neighbours & fortunes was intended more as warning gauntlet thrown against those who would argue with me on grounds of faith than a presumptions or pretensious display of words.

It ought matter not how wide one's vocabulary is, if one can not write a simple short sentance or organise syntax.

The blasphemer and fraud, Joe Coleman who can not even count on a duty priest at the Knock shrine to join him in prayer and recitation of the rosary could arguably under the cutting edge of contemporary Irish jurisprudence be guilt of blasphemy & bringing the Roman Catholic church and Christian belief system into disrepute.

As fans of the schism between the Anglican communion and the Roman catholic church know, the current pope and "german shepherd", papa Ratzi, Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI has made two moves to heal the rifts of schism during his papacy.

The first came in the form of welcoming back a NAZI Holocaust apologist and historical revisionist with his ilk to the church. That poorly conceived diplomatic move excited many responses at the time c/f Benedict 1916 ratzinger readmits Holocaust Denial Bishop to RC Church. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90801.

The latest has come in the form of an ill-prepared invitation to all those who are currently communicants of the Anglican churches, such as the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, the Episcopalian churches of Spain, France and the USA as well as the established churches of post-British imperial Africa to attend mass, take the sacraments and practise as full Roman Catholics.

Even their married ministers below the rank of bishop will be welcomed and allowed enjoy their status as cohabitating ordained ministers of publick worship and continue to raise their children in the faith and full knowledge of the christian mysteries.

They will of course not make too much fuss about the ordained women who they leave behind. For Women are not to figure in the global and catholic church.

Beyond the decision to rehabilitate Oscar Wilde as reported in this article "Pope breaks limp wrist & Vatican praises Oscar Wilde" http://www.indymedia.ie/article/93212 they are not expected to express much more opinion on the tradition established not by Christ but he who never met him: the Roman citizen Paul.

Now I ask whoever has the money to test cutting 21st century Irish jurisprudence and blasphemy law :-

Considering that one of the Marian apparitions and shrines, I listed in the article, that of Walsingham is unique on the list in that it is honoured by both Roman Catholics and Anglicans - can Mr Coleman's fraudulent claims of Marian apparations at a frankly .:. historically bogus shrine, be considered as useful to the causes of ecumenism, the healing of a 500 year old Schism and by that the hope for a peace process on this island where neighbours of RC and CofI faith may look across their hedgerows and exchange not only happy words - but cups of sugar and look forward to the day when their children shag each other on the pill, using condoms and worrying not one whit for HPV?????


.:. + So far Mr Coleman has not be joined in prayer by a representative of the RC church. Considering he was a pilgrim to the basilica this is quite an extraordinary indication of de facto non-acceptance, non-approval & hints at near excommunication.

+ .:. Likewise Mr Coleman has failed to present any hard evidence that the BVM is in regular contact with him, has appeared is about to appear.

.:. + I would presume that in the spirit of charity and succour, were Mr Coleman merely an example of someone suffering psychological delusions or vulnerability, an ordained cleric of the RC church would have as a usual part of their ministry met with him to offer him guidance & comfort.

+ .:. If we are not capitalise on Knock in a purely capitalist and economic way & insist on continuing with the idea that only offers spiritual benefits, then surely it is time to extend the Benedictine rule of monstaries and pilgrimage to Knock & call openly that all pilgrims be housed free, as they are fed and watered????????

here endeth yet another lesson.
passeth the plate of your integrity.
he's a fraud & blasphemer guilty of criminal prosecution
or he's a lost soul of the church worthy of a decade of the rosary at least.

author by unholy joepublication date Mon Nov 02, 2009 03:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe there'll be a miracle someday and an apparition of ten thousand people will show up at a protest in Rossport?

author by gurglepublication date Mon Nov 02, 2009 05:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and a magic lantern or bungee rope, a visitation of the blessed virgin mary of natural resources and zero carbon footprint might be in order & perfectly do-able.

She will appear on a cloud of smog and send a message through a true believer that it's time to give up on the sweat shop produced rosary beads. if you can't make your own and you can't count ten hail mary's and remember to do an our father and cross of the mysteries, sorrowful, glorious and joyful through the week then you're no better than protestant.

She shall beseech us to turn aside from fossil fuels and then smile.

She always smiles.

meek and gentle and mammy like - but the nice mammy - not the bad mammy.

Maybe this time whoever is doing the ecstatic one-to-one with the BVM could get a word in edgeways and ask her a few questions.

did her son have as bad teeth as L-Ron Hubbard?
is it ok to put people on life support machines?
was Paul talking out his arse on the slaves obeying their masters, husbands thrashing their wives and those amongst us who like of their own loincloth being un-natural?
did she die?
where is she buried?
what happened to the magdalene and do she read Dan Brown?

author by Tom Williams - nonepublication date Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When the people of Erris got down on their knees to pray to the Blessed Virgin on 3rd Oct., 2006, 200 Guards turned up and beat the shit

out of them. That's why you won't get 10,000 or even 100 people there any more - they know it's only a matter of time before the Guards

or Security boys kill someone, and get away with it. That's what this irrerverent, blasphemous thread is ultimately about - the aspiration

that new Ireland has to be a country with no religion, no traditions, no links to our past, and, ultimately, no future as a sovereign entity.

And God forbid we mention nationalism or, perish the thought, republicanism. From now on it's about our new identity as represented by

Dustin and Podge and Rodge, and wearing green flashing bonce boppers as we watch England carry out another massacre at Croke


author by Rathkeale Stumppublication date Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I really enjoyed reading that article,particulalrly the part about the Black Mary visiting African Children.I always wondered why Mary was so white considering she grew up in the middle east.

I think one thing these supposed 'apparitions' highlight in Ireland is a real strong class division that is so apparent in Irish society.
Notice how the establishment media reported that the majortiy of the crowd yesterday were travellers. This seems to justify the imminent ridicule and scorn the papers poured on those present yesterday.

I think its important for the left not to join in with the rest of Irish society and laugh at the people who believe in these 'miracles' .These are people who are desperately trying to find a light in their dreary, oppressed lives. As the article suggested there is a reason why these apparition occur in economically starved areas such as Mayo and Rathkeale rather than Donnybrook or Dundrum.

author by DisillusionedLeftiepublication date Mon Nov 02, 2009 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I think its important for the left not to join in with the rest of Irish society and laugh at the people who believe in these 'miracles' .These are people who are desperately trying to find a light in their dreary, oppressed lives. As the article suggested there is a reason why these apparition occur in economically starved areas such as Mayo and Rathkeale rather than Donnybrook or Dundrum."

Perhaps these people could get out on the streets and express their fears in a more practical way than staring at statues to see if they move. That response is no use to anyone. I can understand the left being rather frustrated at these useless behaviours when the support for very tangible and practical attempts to improve the lot of Irish people is often pitiful, yet people continue to allow themselves to be taken in by such nonsense.

I guess that gullibility is what makes them such easy prey for FF politicians and bankers as they meekly roll over for things like lisbon and NAMA and vote in crooks like bertie ahearn for yet another term in office after he fakes a few tears on RTE.

People need to get more skeptical about the world. That includes religion and the motives of big business and politics and the connections between all three. This kind of fluffy non analytical unquestioning thinking is at the heart of some very bad decision making. It is a disease that permeates the bell curve in our society and makes a mockery of our "democracy". We should not pander to and encourage it.

Of course it is in the interests of those that strive for power and influence to dumb down the masses as much as possible and fill them with fears, both of which make them much more malleable, suggestable and open to influence through soundbites from a passive obedient media.

author by .:. ipsiphi .:.publication date Mon Nov 02, 2009 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since I have now been convinced that this is not being played to the economic benefit of Ireland's recovery of the celtic tiger halcyon days of yore. Nor has anyone expressed interest in taking up the "fake her quick" challenge or the "do a theme park". Nor even has anyone seemed to want to pursue the two men through the courts. So the last angle I can think of is anarcho-political opportunism. I'm sure Our Lady wouldn't disapprove of our seeking political advantage in what is quickly becoming a class issue and challenge against authoritarianism.

If Knock will not come to Rossport then perhaps Rossport ought go to Knock.


For the record here are the 3 main irish commercial newspapers pick-up on the story.

Indo's John Cooney opts for the pagan angle and sees the bishops going out of the franchise.
Pilgrims hold out for a miracle as faith falters http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/john-cooney-....html

Irish Times Miriam Lord opts for ETA (estimated time of arrival) and takes the piss out of travellers' fake tan.
Spiritual search turns into a stampede as impatient lose faith in double visionaries

Belfast Telegraph sees a religious ruck coming up on the 8th of December.
Row is brewing with catholic church over visionary claims at shrine

..........told ye the protestant angle was the interesting one.

author by Feudal castratopublication date Mon Nov 02, 2009 18:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Alas, it seems to me that god is not on the side of those fighting the good fight in rossport

Miracle 1: things that go bump in the night...
Mary makes an appearance in rossport. She and a few crony "angels" take the form of a group of mysterious men in balaclavas who proceed to beat up a protester then vanish into the night along with any gardai knowledge, footage, or follow up of the occurrence. Guess that miracle is proof god's mum is on the side of corrupt capitalism.

Miracle 2: The case of the missing oversight / adherence to the sense of the law itself...
Perhaps mary's mysterious regular appearances in belmullet courtroom in the guise of a judge and the subsequent miraculous distortions of the law itself with no oversight from amongst others, a mysteriously absent law society is also proof that god and his mum are celestial capitalist piggies.

After all, if this was not the case, then any just deity or his mum looking on might otherwise feel obliged to intervene in this sorry debacle rather than see an ugly sociopathic corporation get it's way and steal billions of the poor people of Irelands money which might otherwise pay for hospital beds, social programs and special needs education / treatment programs for his most vulnerable children.

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing I'd like better than to see a shimmering apparition of the holy mother appear on Glengad beach and for the pope ("papa ratzi") to declare it a religious sanctuary and send the boys around to call off shell. However it seems to me that there's too much "waiting for a miracle to happen" type passive behaviour in this country.

The fact is, no miracles are going to happen. Shell and the people they bought off or blackmailed will carry on stealing our gas. Lenihan and those he probably did his deals with behind closed doors sans stenographer will continue to harvest every drop of spare cash accrued by the lower echelons of society for NAMA to spare the elite the embarrassment of having to downsize their yachts. The health service will continue to be deliberately driven into the ground so it can be replaced systematically by a private cherry picking basket case of corporate vested interests as can be seen in the US.

There will be no miracles. The only miracle would be if a soap opera infected brainwashed public woke up before it was too late, turned off their TV, burned their copy of the independent, the daily mail (sorry joe!) and the Irish times, opened their windows simultaneously and shouted "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" then got their asses out on to the street and stormed the dail and dumped those sorry assed crooks that pass for politicians in this country out on their asses or constructed a nice set of stocks in which to house them while we expressed our dissatisfaction at their sorry performance and inflated pay in a frenzy of flying fetid fruit or a vortex of vile vegetables. Now that would be a true miracle. I might even start believing there was a god if that was to happen!!


Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDWtZ3xRMb0
author by % Dec. 8thpublication date Tue Nov 03, 2009 04:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Historians aren't even sure if the man supposed to have seen the virgin of Gaudelupe actually existed.

Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin or Juan Diego not only saw Our Lady in the Americas & was instructed to build a church, but before 1649 his birth and death date weren't recorded.

If you believe in Our Lady of Gaudelupe you sort of have to believe in Saint Juan Diego was born in 1474 and travelled to the Americas after Colombus and keen to right the wrongs of the conquistadores saw Our Lady and died onMay 30th, 1548.

Aside from the possibly fictious Saint Juan Diego, everyone who has seen Our Lady has been a child.

a kiddy indeed

female kiddies outnumber male kiddes by 3 : 1.

they have also been almost all employees of the pastoral sector - (sheep and goats kind of stuff like Heidi)

Joe Coleman is not only very old to be talking to Our Lady he quite clearly demonstrates a new departure in heavenly human resources.

which is why the mocking commercial newspaper would wish to present sneering photographs of young women with fake tan who are presumedly (according to the Irish Times) members of the Traveller ethnic minority.


but even Joe Coleman would probably admit, if he could get off the ecstasy buzz that his intercession with the mother of God has not only provoked incredulity but worse :-

Class Hatred.

For if there is one thing the liberal Irish Times establishment and Roman Catholic heirarchy can agree and concur on -

It is a dislike of young women in short skirts and belly button piercings who just might give the international community the notion we post Celtic Tiger Irish live in caravans like white trash.

......................... so are we off to Knock for December 8th?

Our Lady is nothing but ever a controversial visitor.

But at least this time she's starting off on the right foot of class consciousness.

this is the sort of kiddy Our Lady used to entrust with secrets.
this is the sort of kiddy Our Lady used to entrust with secrets.

this is the exceptionally mature man who's inviting us down to Knock on the 8th of December.
this is the exceptionally mature man who's inviting us down to Knock on the 8th of December.

these are the sort of kids putting the shite up the catholic church with their devotion to Our Lady.
these are the sort of kids putting the shite up the catholic church with their devotion to Our Lady.

author by Mother Teresapublication date Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The crowd who gathered on Sunday did their best to destroy the church. Even bringing food and drink in! What a holy show! They won't get in again.

Gathering at Knock 'anything but holy', says shrine manager


A GATHERING of thousands of people in Knock, Co Mayo, on Saturday afternoon to witness a predicted apparition of the Virgin Mary was anything but “holy or reverent”, according to the manager of the shrine, Pat Lavelle.

“People did not behave as they would at normal ceremonies,” Mr Lavelle said yesterday. “Our basilica was left in a terrible state afterwards. It was anything but holy or reverent.

“There was food and drink spilled inside, chairs turned upside-down, the carpets were soiled and even worse than that.”

Mr Lavelle said he would discuss the matter of another gathering at Knock Shrine with the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, over the coming days. He said that following the events of Saturday he would certainly have some doubts about such an event taking place in the basilica again.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/1103/1224257963765.html
author by % Dec. 8th - (iosaf answers the call to manifest & dress up as Mary Dec8)publication date Tue Nov 03, 2009 17:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The last commentator has quoted from the Irish Times coverage which I perhaps foolishly had merely dismissed as middle class sneering hatred of travellers, their neighbours and belly button ring piercings & higlighted for us how the manager of the Knock shrine is complaing bitterly about the clientelle. We are it seems getting names for the people who run the franchise. However it is exceedingly ironic considering the complaints made before and during the Marian apparitions approved by the RC church of astoundingly similar nature.

It was not until the 13 apparition that the village folk brought in the church and stopped saying Bernadette was just a bit soft in the head for talking to Our Lady (though to be fair she had had the good sense not identify the vision as an apparition of the BVM).


That was the local priest and landholder's job. He demanded proof in so far his grasp on these things could go. He also complained bitterly about the passage of people (many unwashed and ill mannered to see Bernadette go into her states of ecstasy). They had the cheek to turn up poorly dressed, leave the food wrappers about the place and generally have a good old day out of it. A bit like the mythic million people who went to see the pope say mass in the phoenix park in a space which can only contain 400,000.

Considering that Mr Joe Coleman is only planning his third visitation (sorry announcing the third visitation of Our Lady this up-coming December 8th) it would see it's unfairly early days for the Church to start hinting at a door policy in Knock and the possible eventuality of subcontracting security work out to IRMS.

We mostly know what the Irish Times have against the travelling community and their kids, but isn't it amazing that mother church in her fecundity can take sides with such class hatred?

We've a very long way to go yet before Garda Intelligence includes the words "Our Lady" in telephone intercept requests to our big neighbours in the global surveillance word or start taking the name & addresses of Marian fans.

..........but we can get there, if we play our and indeed mr Coleman and his humble followers (& of course not to mention Our Lady's) cards properly.

author by Mother Teresapublication date Tue Nov 03, 2009 17:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I detected no class hatred in the Times and there is certainly none on my part. The mixed misguided mob who turned up, basically trashed the Basilica. The manager is entitled to complain about that no matter what the ethnicity or class of those involved.

All priests are conmen even if some of them believe their lies. But this "healer" character is particularly nasty. He pretends thar he has a hotline to Mary and pretends that he can cure illness and heal infirmity. Hes a conman pure and simple.

He also potentially dangerous. He has a following of thousands of excitable people, both settled and traveller. Some of these are likely to follow his instructions no matter how daft or dangerous.

We could have another Jonestown or Heavens Gate.

Anyone spot a Comet?

Jonestown: coming to Knock?
Jonestown: coming to Knock?

author by iosafpublication date Tue Nov 03, 2009 19:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I didn't think and don't want anyone to think you were approaching this from a class angle. In this article and the comments I've left under the names "ipsiphi" "+" and "& Dec 8" I've outlined a series of options most of which curiously enough offer the left in Ireland some political advantage.

Your concerns as you've well articulated them in the last comment would I think have been touched upon the closing section of the article text and the comments thereafter.

You have laws to use and a confidential garda hotline to call anonymously and report a crime and leave a statement of what you think could be the beginning of a long curve which ends in conspiracy to cause bodily harm or murder.

please go ahead. I'm behind you.

meanwhile I'm also behind whoever dresses up as the BVM on December 8th in Ireland.
as I'm behind whoever brings Rossport campaign plackards to Knock.
as I'm behind whoever looks long and hard at the veracity of the claims that a place may be considered holier than others simply because what many believe was a hoax concentrates the faithful of one sector of christianity on its grounds.

I'm looking at all the cards & they do come up trumps.

You're quite right Mother Theresa we've tolerated cults in our midst for too long.
An example ought be made.

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Tue Nov 03, 2009 22:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Disgraceful Treatment of Pilgrim:

I think it is a disgrace that the authorities at Knock Shrine were even thinking of closing the Basilica's doors (for the first time ever) to a pilgrim like Joe Coleman, who travelled from Dublin to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary (which is not such an impossibility, given the fact that the Virgin Mary had appeared at Knock before).

Hypocritical Clergy:

I believe the clergy are hypocrites for denouncing the people for coming to Knock Shrine to see the apparition of the Virgin Mary, given the fact that they were the ones who preached to us all for years about miracles and great phenomena that they are now denouncing. If people expect miracles and strange phenomena to occur there, it is because they have learned about such phenomena from nuns and priests. I recall at school, the nuns and priests who came back excitedly from Medjugore and could not wait to show us the videos of the visionaries seeing the apparition of the Virgin Mary and they had us all enthralled. Why do nuns and priests travel to Medjugore and Lourdes then, if they and the Archbishop are so set against people that travel to seek out miracles and great phenomena?

Travellers at Knock - not a strange phenomenon at all:

Also, there has been great talk in the media about the Travellers at Knock Shrine, as if it were a strange phenomenon indeed to see them there, and to even boldly suggest that they were somewhat out of place at Knock Shrine. Travellers go to Knock every year (several times), it is a common sight to see them there. Travellers attend at not so well known holy sites too, such as the many St Brigid’s wells festivals throughout rural Ireland, you can easily spot them, as it is a tradition with them over the years - indeed, it would be very out of place, for them not to be there.

Webcam for Knock Shrine:

I really like Iosaf's idea of a webcam for Knock Shrine similar to the one at Lourdes (many thanks for supplying the link). It would be great for pilgrims all around the world or even for emigrants who grew up in Knock to be able to go on-line and have a live feed to it and say a few prayers. It might even solve the problem they are having now with crowd control at Knock Shrine!

Related Link: http://www.knock-shrine.ie/
author by pat cpublication date Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Speaking of blasphemy perhaps the star of this play could put in an appearence on 8 December.

Transsexual Jesus sparks protests

About 300 protesters held a candlelit protest outside a Glasgow theatre over the staging of a play which portrays Jesus as a transsexual.

The protest was held outside the Tron Theatre, where Jesus Queen of Heaven, in which Christ is a man who wants to become a woman, is being staged.

It is part of the Glasgay! arts festival, a celebration of Scotland's LGBTculture.

Jesus: Queen of Heaven
Jesus: Queen of Heaven

Related Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8342056.stm
author by Reality checkerpublication date Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is well to be aware of people's psychological as distinct from their spiritual concerns. People sometimes seek meaning in life and explore religious traditions in their search. Other people find meaning through social service and/or agitation, while aesthetes find it through exploration and creation of art and literature. Yet again some people have tried to get to the inner life through drugs and magic mushrooms, with dangerous results. Religion, if not handled with a reflective mind, can unhinge individuals. There are also charlatans hovering in there waiting to cash in on people's searchings and desire for resolution of anxieties.

I diagnose the current apparition expectation as a result largely of social anxiety among the travelling people, and anxiety about the economic results of the financial and banking meltdown among members of the housed (or settled) community. The scandals in banking, business, politics, the medical profession, the clergy and the caring congregations, and sections of the gardai (Donegal and elsewhere) have had a cumulatively unnerving effect on the credulous and traditionally devout public.

This is not to exclude the possibility of unusual spiritual phenomena, whether in Lourdes or Knock. By their fruits you shall know them, goes the old quotation, and alleged miracles in Lourdes are strictly checked by medical commissions. The church hierarchy in the middle of the 19th century was slow to accept publicly the claims of Bernadette in Lourdes, just as today the Vatican has not accepted supernatural claims about Medjugorje. In Bosnia there has been infighting between the secular clergy of the diocese where Medjugorje is situated and the Franciscan congregation. Turf wars sometimes break out within the Catholic Church and claims about truth become bones of contention. Bishops officially do not permit diocesan pilgrimages to Medjugorje and priests and nuns accompanying pilgrims do so as solo runs. The Medjugorje industry is lay-driven.

I think bishops and other church leaders should put socio-psychological facts before the faithful public and they should warn people to be aware of the possibility of false prophesying by mentally unstable individuals or others who are just in it for the fast buck.

author by Jackpublication date Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Bishops officially do not permit diocesan pilgrimages to Medjugorje". I think what you mean is that Bishops do not officially approve of such pilgrimages. There's a big difference.

As for Knock, will most commentators please get a grip!
The people who attended are not loopers or loo-las. They are not taken in by Coleman but went there out of curiosity and to investigate for themselves. Some attended for the craic. Most will now go away and decide for themselves, instead of relying on questionable media reports.

author by Mother Teresapublication date Sun Nov 08, 2009 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Theres a profile of the "visionary" in the IT Weekend. The "seer" is introducing a dress code: He warns against young women dressing disrespectfully, as happened last Saturday. No more thigh high boots I guess, sigh. He also demands respect from the Knock Basilica authorities, he wants: to be respected and protected . Oh, and another thing on his rider, he wants the Knock authorities to provide him with microphones! Surely if the BVM is putting in a visit she could also help him to project his voice.

Get the lowdown on this deluded/conman/psychiatric-case/visionary (make your own mind up) at :

author by iosafpublication date Sat Jan 30, 2010 19:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr Coleman specifically said Our Lady would be making another appearance in Knock this February a month of 28 days which starts tonight. Just in case anyone may still nurse strategic interest in the whole affair & be keen to see the same issues come back up for an airing. Of course by this time it might seem that Mr Coleman is not longer hot news nor interesting. This of course means he hasn't gone the way of Bringham Young or L Ron Hubbard and succesfully started a new religion but of course that was never his stated intention. That said, as before in 2009 there was never any clause hard wired into this whole tale which stipulated that Mr Coleman alone was to see Our Lady in February and the story which played out in the last year of blasphemy law free Irish society is quite probably just as tactically and strategically important as Tony Blair would say. And Tony is a catholic and believes in Our Lady and despite earning 11 million euros in the last three years for speaking engagements & product endorsements we know he didn't pay to meet the pope who indeed made him a catholic. Because Tony wasn't always a catholic.


has the star left the building?
has the star left the building?

author by entrepreneurpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 01:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

These apparition times are a great chance for fish 'n chip van owners, so get out there and feed the hungry watchers.

author by o as ifpublication date Fri Dec 21, 2012 18:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

These days it is not in any way tinfoil hat to want to be inside Newgrange for dawn on winter solstice. Not that ever pretending we are the heirs to pre-celtic neolithics got in the way of building motorways or growing dredds. Many people today are feeling bitter disappointment that a calender which they didn't understand simply clocked up another bukthan and started again. Chinese people are in prison for fomenting an evil cult . A town (Bugarach) & its community in the French Pyrennes finally cashed in on what had been an increasing headache and hassle for them. (I know coz I visited there last year & found the usual pre-event crew. but last night & today a kicking party was had.

Perhaps the Irish Eire state could invest Newgrange with some lustre of apocalypse.
& make it a moveable feast.
Re-align the yoke for summer.

relax even when it is cloudy and grey the BVM is there for you.
relax even when it is cloudy and grey the BVM is there for you.

merry pranksters make light with exhausted locals in Bugarch, France for failed Mayan 2012 alien rescue thing
merry pranksters make light with exhausted locals in Bugarch, France for failed Mayan 2012 alien rescue thing

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