I landed back in Australia several hours ago to a comment posted on the blog, under the Coincidences? post, which some of you might have missed –
It was signed by someone calling himself, or herself, Satan – with an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. The IP address led me to a server which is anonymous.
Here is what “Satan” had to say –
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on this splendid job you’re doing on behalf of me. To see you rape the spirit of the Camino is a great joy for me. You’re even succeeding in turning true pilgrims into ordinary tourist. Ha, just loving to see you destroying those innocent souls.
But the public ‘execution’ of Sister Simon Clare has been your greatest feat to date. Your destruction of this vulnerable catholic nun warrants an upgrade to your future seat in hell.
Keep up the good work Bill!
You might have seen my reply – and Steve’s reply – calling this Satan a gutless coward for making criticisms without revealing his or her true identity.
I am quite happy to have a dignified debate with this person on the issues he or she has raised, but I won’t do so with someone who hides cravenly behind anonymity.
Mind, you, I don’t know that a dignified debate with this person would be possible. He or she doesn’t seem to be particularly bright.
So ‘Satan” – if you want to step outside and have a real fight, then have the balls to identity yourself.
Come out from your creepy hidey-hole under your slimy rock into the full sunlight of transparency and accountability, and let’s go toe to toe baby…
Go ahead Satan, reveal yourself!
I’m sure the rest of the PGS family would like a glimpse at who you truly are.
Bill, as always I stand by your side!
I have seen enough of him. Don’t dignify him with comments. A losers game.
Thanks Arlene –
But he/she won’t reveal himself.
People like this exist only in the closed biosphere of their cowardice.
I have the guts to stand up and say what I think, fully transparently.
This creep doesn’t. And so anything he/she says carries no credibility or substance.
Thanks again, Bill
It is truly the dark side of the Internet, Bill. I am a dietitian who has worked with a chronically ill population for years. Several times over the past 15 years I have had people just go off on me for any number of reasons because I am very visible online in all sorts of social media venues. I had one woman call me and just start screaming how dare I charge patients for the information that every patient has a “right” to have. I am not as thick skinned as you. I cried my eyes out until my good friend said, “People pay their doctors, don’t they; why not you?” Hang in there. It will stop. I just hope it doesn’t spoil your trip for those who are going. That would be the ultimate sin. Sending you and your beautiful wife virtual hugs from chilly Michigan! ~Julie
Thank you for saying this Julie.
I am thick skinned. When you make movies and have to face unkind and outright denigrating reviews sometimes, this kind of thing doesn’t even register on the irritation scale.
Reviewers too post their reviews under their name. This person hasn’t even had the guts to do that.
You can’t win this one. Don’t even try. Don’t dignify this jerk with any rebuttal, cause he will keep spewing his venom and pissing all of us off.
You’re right Steve,
And as expected, he/she won’t come out from under his slimy rock.
I cast the first vote for you to block this poster.
I doubt that is is truly censorship as it does not apply to a known author nor is there an authentic and coherent point of view being expressed. There is no real criticism being expressed just straight ‘ad hominem’ attack.
Allowing this person access is akin to inviting vandals into the house. I am sure they can find another outlet for their sick (perhaps delusional) pastime.
Brendon, I have to block people all the time on my blog and business Facebook pages. No problem doing it either.
Very eloquently put Brendan. Have since configured him to spam. Thank you.
Block this jerk’s access. You would not be censoring any constructive criticism or real point of view of any sort. There is no rule forcing you to accept ad hominem attacks.
I am sure that others feel the same way. Allowing this twit access is akin to inviting looters and grafitti artists into your house. I am sure there are other places available for sick minds to go play.
PS. Oh… and “Satan”? Give the delusions of adequacy a rest… you are just an annoyance… nothing more.
Bill, I subscribe to a daily reflection by Fr Ron Rolheiser, a highly regarded theologian and author. Just after reading this Blog post, I read the following reflection..
There is no person on the planet – woman, man, or child – who doesn’t in one way or other, daily face the shame of being inadequate, powerless, and humiliated before someone else, apologizing to someone who should be apologizing to them.
POWERLESSNESS AND FRUSTRATION
So what do we do? We absorb, make do, and, through tears or bitterness, somehow cope with the feelings. Small wonder we all struggle to maintain a healthy self-image and that hatred and violence are never far from the surface in our relationships. We all live not-so-quiet lives of desperation, daily feeling a lot of inadequacy, helplessness, and shame.
Painful as this all is, it’s a cloud with a biblical lining. A sense of our own powerlessness is one of those privileged places where grace and the kingdom can break through. When Jesus tells us that little children enter the kingdom of heaven naturally, he is not idealizing a child’s innocence (though it is beautiful) but is highlighting a child’s helplessness. A little child cannot even feed herself or go to the bathroom on her own. She needs help for everything. In the end, so do we.
Inadequacy, powerlessness, and humiliation, like death and taxes, await us all. Invariably we envy each other’s strengths and feel shame in our own particular inadequacies. The choice for bitterness is easy, but the far better choice, as Virginia Woolf says, is use these feelings to help adopt an attitude of compassion for others, knowing that life is hard for everyone, including those who can use words and those who can use muscles.
RON ROLHEISER, OMI
As one who is inadequate, powerless, childish and humiliated, Satan needs our prayers.
We all have choices.
Anne, thank you for taking the trouble to post this comment.
It is very eloquent and very powerful.
And you’re right, he or she needs our prayers, or what other forms of consolation or support.
The person is obviously in pain.
Maybe his mother will pray for him. I wont. We can’t save them all.
Let’s just call it like it is and move on and don’t dignify it with all this rhetoric. He is having his objectives met, i.e. gaining attention. Even, gulp, from me. Damn!!
No more. I have relegated him/her to the spam folder.
Bout time. 🙂
Good for you Steve!
I love it that you don’t pussy around!
The beauty of this blog is in its transparency. I agree with Steve, it is a waste of time to attempt any debate with someone who hides behind a wall of anonymity. Ignore him or her. Julie
It seems Satan that you are no longer wanted on this blog.
I gave you an opportunity to reveal yourself and engage in a debate with full transparency and personal accountability, and you have chosen not to take up this offer.
I offered Sister Clare the same opportunity – for her to post a guest blog, which I would not edit, and she has remained silent.
I am now relegating you to the spam folder – which is where you belonged in the first place.
Bill don’t ask him outside – tell him to stay inside where he can’t run away. Dealing with religious ideologists is at best difficult. You’re right – SPAM. Keep doing your thing – I always thought it was a tourist thing anyway? You never said you were a believer did you? Free will or something like that – I do abhor religion…………
Hey Tim –
nice to hear from you!
I’ve never professed to be anything more than I am.
I’m not a religious person – in that I don’t follow a branded religion. I don’t believe in “heaven” although I do believe in the soul, and Nirvana.
So I guess if I don’t believe in heaven I can’t go to hell!!
Hi PSG familly !
Just want to say to “satan” this : as a member of the portugual trip, I am very aware to be not a pilgrim but a walking tourist and so what ? no problems with that . I will enjoy the group, the easyness of being totally free of preocupation about finding food and housing, the perfec relaxing holidays.. NO SHAME ABOUT THAT SATAN . jealous maybe ?
Marie – there is no shame in doing a pilgrimage walk and staying in decent digs. Anyone who thinks otherwise has problems with ego, I would say…