Tag Archives: Suicide

Preventing suicide 45 years later

I came across someone the other day with whom I attended a certain highfalutin but compromised in so many ways Catholic Prep School many decades ago.

Back in the day, if I remember correctly, he was thrown into a tizzy by an IQ test we had to take. He had a most rare super-intelligence. He hated that for the reason that he knew enough to know that he had no idea about the most basic questions of human existence, about God, about our fallen human nature, about those who ought to know better being so freakishly corrupt. He wasn’t one to escape this realization like everyone else. His inability to escape and the overeagerness of others to escape both quite destroyed him. He was at a low point. He was scared. He had some suicidal ideation, which he found repulsive.

Mind you, he wasn’t exactly a loner. He was very, how to say, plugged in, situationally aware of people’s motivations. He didn’t know how to interact much because every situation would bring up innumerable questions. He was ruthlessly direct, so you couldn’t mistake any meaning, although entirely polite. But so many of the students, faculty, admin were so shallow, so self-referential. He himself was anything but self-absorbed. He was just terribly hungry for the truth. Who was going to provide answers for him?

I remember the scene. Of all inept people in the universe, he had targeted me, waiting for me near my locker in the corridor outside “The Seniors Room”, at the window, before the tunnel (circled in red above). There was no escape for me. He locked me into a conversation eyeball to eyeball where I had to count on my guardian angel for guidance. This was all about the spiritual life, theology, the meaning of life, every “why?”. He opened up about his struggles. He was superb at spilling his guts in mere minutes, with precise logic, with impossible conundrums, with interruptions from me. All between classes.

I’m quite sure he didn’t approach me because I was anything special or had anything figured out. It’s just that I wasn’t suicidal, and that, I think, amazed him. That’s what he wanted to know about.

Fuller picture: Some rumors about me that had spread throughout the school at the speed of light. I only know about those because of very many students asking me how I was doing, and that they were praying for me. They were all trying to be super tactful, all with great concern, some adding that they had heard about “it”, but that they really weren’t supposed to talk about “it.” I don’t know how “it” got out, whatever “it” was. I had been shot at almost uncountable times, bullets whizzing by my head, but I was never hit… so, whatever. Could that be “it”? Whatever… But that attitude of “Whatever…” was what this smart student wanted to know about. Instead of sympathizing with me about something for which I wasn’t seeking sympathy, he wanted to benefit from whatever was going on with me that provided a strength he wanted.

Now that I think about it, I’ve had discussions with uncountable suiciders over the decades, who didn’t go through with it, thanks be to God, or, years later, a couple of them did so. So sad.

This guy, I’m happy to report, is a world-class good-guy, as I think he always was. For years he’s been helping in his own way to reach into the darkest of the dark side and do lots of what ends up being suicide prevention because of preventing so very much evil from being perpetrated in the first place.

I’m not going to claim that I was able to help this guy back in the day, even as a mere sounding board. Dunno. But, whatever my ‘arguments’ were at the time, surely that’s not what he sought from me. I think he was just looking for someone who was willing to go on in life because of faith in the midst of adversity: someone is doing that… so why not me too? Something like that. Hope might seem elusive, the ol’ hoping against hope, or a thread of hope, but the thing about hope is that it’s actually a harness that’s really difficult to escape.

I think that kind of witnessing is something all of us can do, and I bet we do that much more than we might think. Guardian angels are good friends, helping to set up just such encounters in the first place. We don’t have to be smart. And however weak we might otherwise be, we just have to be faithful.


Filed under Spiritual life, Suicide

Story time: suicide and death dealing angels

The holy angels strike this guy dead on the spot. Yikes!

That reminds me of a priest friend who, as a seminarian, walked into the common room. A bunch of other seminarians were watching some “comedy”, which was instead, of course, some guy mocking Jesus’ death on the cross. It was Good Friday. Our protagonist seminarian watched for a minute and, disgusted, said: “This guy is going to meet a bad end.” And he walked out.

That night, the comedian guy started on a road trip from I think it was Los Angeles, to Las Vegas. Up in the mountains his car was run over by an 18 wheeler…

Well, well. Time to have something more uplifting. A couple of stories about suicide! Lol and choked up at the same time. Father James Blount, master story teller. Really very beautiful…

God wants us alive until He calls us to be alive on the other side. And He will call us, and always much sooner than later, which is 100% the experience of everyone going from this life to the next, from ever so finite time to eternity.

The way for people not to take the scandal being dished out to them is to see the ultimate scandal, and carry it about within us, seeing the good God denied, betrayed, abandoned, tortured to death… for us. It proves He loves us, and wants us in heaven.

He just showed us His goodness and kindness and truth. For us cynics, too much goodness, too much kindness, too much truth. We had to test it for veracity. He passed the test: Father, forgive them! Yep. He wants us in heaven. But He calls when it’s the best time for eternity.


Filed under Suicide

Fr Tim Hirten’s suicide? Is there hope for my friend? We were seminarians together.

(1) Just some peripheral facts about Father Tim’s life:

Tim told me lots of stories in the seminary way back in the 1980s, which he entered after a stint at Franciscan University in Steubenville. He had been of help to his family with a number of food and drink establishments, which he missed terribly, being very much a people-person. And before entering the seminary, despite being an FBI (foreign born Irish), he won three world championships for the ol’ Irish dance. Here’s a sample:

He also played basketball in Europe for three years, another in the Philippines, and then for ten years with the Washington Generals over against the Harlem Globetrotters, covering Curley Neal, the Trotters’ ace dribbler. Super talented guy.

After ordination, Father Tim was in two parishes, one of which sported thirteen Masses on a weekend, all in different languages. There were plenty of priests assigned to that parish. I visited him there when he was just newly ordained. He himself had learned to speak seven languages fluently and many more just less than perfectly fluently.

After those parishes he became an Air Force chaplain, attaining the rank of Major. I’m guessing this picture was taken back in 2018:

Father Tim had been assigned to bases all over the world. Let’s see: Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and closer to home at Dover and Sheppard, not to mention Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma and at Joint Base McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. He loved ministering to the young military families.

(2) What my experience was of seminarian Tim and young Father Tim:

We exchanged lots of enthusiasm about the faith, that is, real belief, especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This was way back in the early-mid 1980s and then early-mid 1990s. With the help of his bishop at the time, he ditched the North American College in Rome for another seminary where I was at for the same reason. The NAC at the time time was a cesspool of heresy, anti-Catholic in every way, doctrinally, morally. Those not like that were smashed down, you know, with all sorts of excuses. For instance, he recounted many times, the “policy” of the NAC at the time was to get rid of those seminarians who were held to be rigid and superstitious because they wanted to go to daily Mass. Really. Truly. I have a thousand stories like this. He told me how he would surreptitiously exit the seminary early in the morning so as to attend Mass at one of the zillion churches in Rome or at Saint Peter’s Basilica a stone’s throw away before classes at the Pontifical Universities. And then the seminary where we were at went bad. Somehow, the Lord got us both ordained and only a year apart. So many war stories. So many. The seminarian Tim and then the Father Tim I remember was all about honor and integrity in the midst of so much dishonor and lack of integrity. His one desire was to lead people to Christ Jesus all the more despite all that hell going on back in the day and today.

(3) The suicide?

I only found out about this just now, at the end of May 2021, just yesterday, as it hit me strongly that I should look him up. I haven’t done that since the early-mid 1990s. Googling his name, suicide was the news that greeted me. His death occurred in mid-August, 2020, as a pedestrian outside of Sheppard Air Force Base, at a railroad crossing. The police ruled it a suicide. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Neither were they. In NYC it’s become a way too frequent thing to throw people in front of moving subway trains. Just saying.

But even if it was a suicide – which, objectively speaking, is a mortal sin that, objectively speaking, will send one to hell – is there not hope for salvation, you know, subjectively speaking? Those who commit suicide are most often in a swirling vortex of confusion and depression. It doesn’t mean that they’ve turned their back on God, just that they were in a terrible swirl of confusion and depression such that they did not have proper use of their faculties. That’s why the Church allows funeral rites for those who have committed suicide, all things being equal.

Mind you, this was in the midst of the most terrible Covid-lockdowns, whereby he was entirely cut off by the military from all ministry. I have not had that experience being where I am, far from such draconian measures coming from whatever direction. Just to say, there are many who took their own lives while suffering horrific lockdowns, from the most diverse backgrounds. We are all fragile. It can happen to anyone. It happened to my friend. And he was a priest, and a good man. And that’s not the first priest friend that has done this. Sigh.

(4) The saint we call Padre Pio:

A woman once ran up to Padre Pio distressed, to say the least, because her husband had just thrown himself off a bridge and was killed. His answer was that she should not worry about his eternal salvation, saying that he turned to the Lord on his way down. I have told this story umpteen times to those in similar distress, saying that we must always have hope, and pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed.

Last night I got a call from a good friend who, not knowing any of this, just felt inspired to call me just to talk about Padre Pio. I was thunderstruck. I then told this friend about Father Tim. We recited a Hail Mary for the repose of Father Tim’s soul. Might you join us?

Hail Mary…

(5) Just to say:

It makes zero sense to be so scared of anything whatsoever that priests are ordered from on high to forbid absolutions to be given, to forbid Last Rites to the dying, to cancel the Sacrifice of the Mass. This may end up “cancelling” lives and eternal life. It needs to stop. Really. We’re back to normal here in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. The Diocese here was simply careful. We’ve been back to normal in my parish soon after Easter 2020.

Meanwhile, in the midst of grief, I’m still very happy to be a priest, in fact, all the more after this latest news of Father Tim. Jesus stepped into all the hell of this world to grab us and bring us to heaven. And Padre Pio is a favorite. And I have hope that some of us, even some of us priests may be saved.


Filed under Coronavirus, Suicide

1:53 pm EST prayers please

Incident in progress…

Update 4:40 pm – conditions changed perhaps for better… maybe ok…

Update 8:02 pm – people got tired of being dramatic in escalation. Bored is good. Over for now.


Filed under Law enforcement, Suicide

Officer Mader style deescalation: two anecdotes including suicide by cop

It’s been well over 3 1/2 years ago that Officer Mader put his off-the-charts skill sets in deescalation into action, and saved the life of a guy wanting to do a suicide-by-cop, well, until another officer just shot the guy three times to the body and once to the head (the latter being the instant kill shot). Then Officer Mader was fired for not firing his gun himself. Mader went on to win a $175,000 settlement for wrongful termination. But then he had to move out of his hometown as the harassment was too great for he and his family. “He’s a coward!” it was said. No. Deescalation is not cowardice. It is supreme bravery if the circumstances were right. It just seems that the officer who arrived in media res might have asked what the deal was. Maybe he did. I wasn’t there.

I would like to share just a couple of incidents about deescalation, one related to me by a Sheriff who did the same as Officer Mader as told to me by that Sheriff himself, and another I personally saw during a heavily armed incident. Both stunning stories. I do this because I’ve seen the same off-the-charts skill sets in deescalation more recently. Hugely impressive. Let’s start with something I saw myself:

[1] The above picture is the entrance to the Fijian Parliament. I was there in the year 2000 taking over the courses for the chair of the Scripture department of the Pacific Regional Seminary which is situated to the right just some hundreds of yards away. The problem was that all the students, staff, faculty and administration to a man, to a woman, had all fled as far away as possible, even to their own countries, to avoid a somewhat violent coup d’état with 21 hostages, members of the parliament, including the Prime Minister, that was taking place in the parliament itself.

Being left behind, as it were, and being behind the last military check point, left to the whims of the hostage takers, I decided – me being me – to read all of the Bible, cover to cover, writing marginal notes and cross indexing everything in my mind and on those pages, all while walking the surf on that southeastern seaboard of the tiny country, directly in front of the parliament. :-)

Sometimes I would end up walking along the road that bordered the sometimes too violent surf, even right at the entrance of the parliament itself, even when some of the hostage takers were also out front on the road. At that point, the side of the road sported a smoking, ashen, burned out fruit bar / restaurant, and now mounting skeletons of cattle the hostage takers had been eating. Deescalation skills came in handy a number of times when I was approached. There were plenty of murders around the mostly peaceful country in now extremely tense times.

Then, just from the POV of the picture above, I saw a dozen soldiers on the one side and a dozen on the other aggressively walk-running toward each other just at this point. They all had their rifles brandished in front of them, pointing at each other, yelling whatever it is that one yells in such a situation. I ran to the left of the picture, trying to get cover from any violence that seemed sure to break out, but I must say that I had a front row seat to what would now follow. There were plenty of bullets that would zip through the seminary grounds (also right next to me, repeatedly… ah… that sound of bullets passing by your head…), so it wasn’t as if anyone was hesitant about pulling the trigger for any or no reason.

When they came together I witnessed the most incredible restraint-as-deescalation I have ever seen or can ever imagine seeing. Both sides did a kind of dance in which they would lunge at each other in the air – pointing their rifles directly at the opposition – only to drop their rifles mid-air (still secured by slings) so that their hands were free to grab the ends of the barrels of the rifles of the enemy soldiers pointing right at them. There would be a tussle for the control of weapons, but then the lunger would retreat having yelled some choice words. After some long minutes of this – and it started to get boring even as they got tired of this surreal dance – the verbal assaults turned into a somewhat more intelligible back and forth between the two leaders of the clashing parties. Surely these were demands being made and such like, you know, like delivering pizza, or re-writing the constitution. The Fijian way. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone went to school with everyone. Everyone went through United Nations military training with each other.

In other words, it’s alright to know your enemy, what he will and will not at all do in certain situations. No one was going to fire a weapon in such a situation. Zero chance. Is deescalation by restraint allowed? It can be dangerous, but yes. There may be a life or two lost here or there because of misreading of certain signs or subterfuge about the same, but hundreds or thousands of lives may be saved because of that restraint.

[2] But even more to the point, let’s take a more local law enforcement suicide-by-cop attempt that took place somewhere here in Western North Carolina (I know exactly where) and told to me by the Sheriff involved, who did the same thing as Officer Mader in the video above. That Sheriff has been reelected many times.

What happened was that the perp had purposely caused a scuffle in town, waiting for law enforcement to show up. It was the Sheriff himself. The perp ran to the nearest creek, some 1,600 feet. The Sheriff caught him, but he broke loose and jumped in the creek, now brandishing a gun and shooting “at” the Sheriff. I put “at” in scare quotes because the shots were way wide. The Sheriff immediately understood that the guy meant him no harm, but was wanting a suicide-by-cop. The Sheriff then went in after him, the perp continuing to pull the trigger, firing more shots “at” the Sheriff. The Sheriff simply tackled him, took the gun, and dragged the perp to the river bank, cuffing him and marching him back into town. The guy goes to jail. A year later, the perp asked to see the Sheriff, who went to see his “assailant.” Sure enough, the perp admitted he had been attempting to do a suicide-by-cop, and thanked the Sheriff for having saved his life with restraint as deescalation. Amazing.

The thing is, you have to keep level headed in such situations. You have to have lots of scenario training, including suicide-by-cop training. Not having that doesn’t make for a happy ending. But sometimes there are those who are super trained up:

So, however sad the situation, that was really funny. Hahahahaha. Sorry, I played this multiple times. I laughed every time.

I mean, just think about it. How many suicide-by-cop incidents, with the perp brandishing a gun, have resulted in no one being injured. Quite a few. Remember the one in which the guy just sat in a chair on the middle of a road after a spat with his girlfriend and brandished a gun? They didn’t shoot him. They knew what was going on. They quietly got a sniper in place. The sniper guy shot and hit the trigger mechanism of the gun, making the gun fly out of his hands. The perp guy didn’t even lose any fingers. But maybe some departments don’t have snipers, etc., etc. I know. I know.

And, yes, I know, all cases are different and very many times you do have to pull the trigger on someone regardless of what they say or do signifying a suicide-by-cop attempt. They are just too dangerous, too out of control, too wild. It is what it is.

Analogy with all matters spiritual in evangelization: Do we ever dismiss anyone ever because they seem to have gone too far, that they are too far gone? It’s not to be done. Our Lord is working on everyone. As long as we are alive, that in itself is proof that our Lord is giving us a chance to get to heaven.

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Filed under Deescalation, Humor, Law enforcement, Situational awareness, Suicide

1/3 kids in ER assessed as suicide risks: loss of identity, self-esteem because…

calvin and hobbes puddle reflection

  • The stats are stunning, with 1/3 of kids admitted to Emergency Rooms being assessed as suicide risks.
  • The stats are stunning, with that suicide risk stat being in direct correlation with the rise of kids with smart phones using social media.

Kids can be horrific bullies. Kids can be ultra-conformist. If insulted, it’s pretty much 100% certain that kids will take the insult to heart, including the bullies, who are, by the way, the most cowardly, the most projecting of themselves upon others: it’s not them with issues; it’s others! Kids without an identity apart from manipulated reactions to social media use are thus brought to the lowest common denominator of death. If you thought such drama to be limited to those we wrongly call “adults”, you’re wrong; it’s a power thing, even with kids.

Generally speaking, kids don’t have the emotional wherewithal to withstand this kind of assault, or the ability to assault from behind a little screen without having to answer to people right in front of you. That’s why we call young people minors, giving them a different status, limiting their participation in society in all sorts of ways and on all sorts of levels – or at least we used to do that.

But with smart phones, all bets are off. The put-downs, insults, threats and extortion, the sexting, the manipulation, the marginalization… it’s all there, just like with adults. We’re all subject to the weakness of original sin, but kids are less apt to be confronting the world with a full sense of identity and therefore reason and balance.

So, what’s the solution? Merely take away or limit use of smart phones? That’s part of it. The real underlying cause, however, is a lack of identity. Social media has become the identity of kids. But why?

People are seeking self-esteem in the face of a fallen human nature that is so easily manipulated particularly when we have no sense of identity, no base, no foundation, as it were, from which to interact with the world. And people fall, and as they fall, they are smashed down and mocked all the more by those who are just like them, only worse in bullying and cowardice. Seeking self-esteem, they make the absurd claim for themselves that what they do in leveling ranker and insults at others, in hurting themselves with immoral behaviors as manipulated by others, is to do the right thing, because everyone is that way, because in that way they are getting for themselves an identity, however cruel, however much this beats oneself up. “I’m me!” they cry in their self-provided self-esteem, beating themselves up, beating others up. And now they’re adults, they think, being able, however, not to act from any real identity, but in being all the more cruel with those with whom one has chosen to give one’s life in being in mere reaction to them, still defining one’s identity by way of reaction to another. How very mature!

So, again, what’s the solution to a lack of identity, to a lack of self-esteem? Religion.

There’s a politically incorrect answer: religion, which, as a virtue of justice, renders to God that which is due to God, our Creator. God expects us to use our free will to be His good creatures. To use our free will we have to have a base, a foundation of identity from which to act, and this is uncomfortable as people are used to having no identity, to being in mere reaction to others. We don’t like this because we are immediately confronted with the fact that in our weak human nature after original sin we have no way to establish an identity from which to act. For fallen creatures to all of a sudden be good creatures – still in all our weakness in this world – we need the intervention of our Creator, His forgiveness, and the wherewithal – in a bond of friendship, of humble thanksgiving with Him – to have an identity once again, a real identity, that of a creature walking in the presence of his Creator.

Religion: God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, to re-establish us before Himself, thankful to Him for giving us our identity which we threw away with original sin and whatever of our own. Jesus rendered to His Father, on our behalf, that which God the Father is due. Jesus is religion Incarnate. That’s religion. That’s all it is. Nothing scary. It’s all Jesus. We have our identity in Jesus.

Self-esteem is no longer sought in reaction to others, which is entirely contrary to self-esteem, making oneself lose one’s self-esteem. Self-esteem in Jesus is now provided by Jesus forgiving us and establishing a friendship with us. He says: “I call you friends.”

We get self-esteem by going to Confession and being brought into this friendship with Jesus. Jesus Himself wanted it done this way. Sin offends both God and neighbor, no matter what, no matter how private – even the “privacy” of hiding behind a screen in social-media. Being reconciled isn’t just a matter of saying, “Sorry, God!” Jesus wants us to be reconciled with Himself and all of us. Saint Paul speaks of this as Jesus being the Head of the Body and we the members of the Body. The priest represents all the other members of the Mystical Body of Christ. When the priest gives absolution of sin in the first person singular – “I absolve you…” – it is Christ Jesus who is speaking, and we are reconciled to both Jesus and our neighbor.

Mind you, the guilt of sin being put aside, while that is a great thing, is only the tiniest part of the story in obtaining self-esteem and identity. The absolution brings about forgiveness by way of flooding the soul with sanctifying grace, with the friendship of Jesus.

Self-esteem? “Jesus, God, loves me!” “Jesus, God, loves us!”

Identity? “I am found by Jesus to be one in friendship with Him. He gives me the base, the foundation, to have an identity in Him. In His friendship I need not give in to the temptation to be in mere reaction to others, to the temptation to be down to the lowest common denominator of death. In Jesus, in His friendship, I can even do something good for others, helping to introduce them all the more to the liberty of wholesomeness, of integrity, of honesty, of goodness and kindness, of friendship with Christ Jesus, who will come to the judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. Maranatha! Come once again to us, Lord Jesus!”


That’s a bit counter-intuitive, isn’t it? Get self-esteem by confessing one’s sins? Yep. I love it. Christianity is full of irony, the wit and wisdom of Jesus. He loves us. Truly.


Filed under Confession, Missionaries of Mercy, Suicide

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Flowers of violence edition)


Wild flowers near the hermitage. Beautiful, eh? Just behind them, between them and the trees you see in the background is a marsh that’s, say, four feet deep at the deepest and maybe ten feet deep when the drainage is in proper order.

It’s said that some old guy was murdered and thrown in there long, long ago. And then there’s the kid that was killed just there, held under water by his “friends”, but he escaped their grasp only to be held under a second time, and then a third time, and didn’t come up again, though it was, of course, as all such things, declared to be a suicide, you know, because we’re all nice people and those kinds of not-nice things don’t happen around here.

Meanwhile, flowers for the Immaculate Conception grow in abundance, not as if they ignoring such gratuitous violence and the denying of it, but so as to say that Jesus came into this world so as to make all things new, taking all that violence on Himself.


Filed under Flores

Murder as suicide: Did Pope Francis get his intervention? So far so good.


I’ve written previously of this relatively recent incident – a conversation at a meal at a private house with many military officers and others – but I refrained from mentioning the involvement, so to speak, of Pope Francis in that conversation. Perhaps I should be more fulsome in these hectic, confusing, dark times. Here’s more detail about that evening with some of the top of our intelligence community. I think it’s safe to say all this now, two full months later. If it had anything to do with Pope Francis in the first place, whatever was happening with the murder as “suicide” thing is a danger which is surely now passed, I guess, maybe. But one should keep up with situational awareness, including those around Pope Francis. After all, there are those who wish harm upon the Holy Father, who do not hesitate to use extortion. Have we forgotten this scene with Mehmet Ali Agca?

fatima pope john paul assassination

I should emphasize that this was a strange evening. In walking into the house… well… it took like 40 minutes to get beyond the entrance as a discussion on what happens at GTMO was so intense, but I digress. Back to the mid-meal bit about Pope Francis:

Intel officer lady standing up and changing the topic: “Hey Father Byers: Pope Francis… Is his papacy viable? Is he worth it?” [This question about “it”, that is, making an intervention on his behalf, was clearly the point of this encounter with some twenty people, many who are in counterintelligence, counterterrorism and are at the top of their game. Everything went silent at this question and some of the main players were able to catch my eyes while they pointed at her, at her question, nodding their heads so as to say: This is it, the reason for this whole evening: Pay attention to the question. For that moment you could hear a pin drop. One stated the importance of the question to the immediate agreement of the others. The question about Pope Francis being “worth it” refers to… what? Since this crowd was making a big deal out of their knowing about every terrorist plot there is as a preface to this question, what am I supposed to think? It’s only a guess, but it is probable that they were taking seriously one of the many thousands of terrorist murmurings that are always being mumbled round about against the Vatican and the Holy Father, both “chatter” and direct threats. It’s only a guess, but it seems a question was posed higher up as to whether making an intervention on behalf of Pope Francis would be in the interests of these United States. Pope Francis, mind you, states that President Trump is not a Christian. Pope Francis, mind you, can offer Mass on the South side of the border fence. Pope Francis, mind you, doesn’t hesitate for a second to interfere in political / economic controversy. On and on. So, Pope Francis being “worth it” is a question. Indeed, I have to think that even the details of methodology were discovered, as we will see below, the whole murder as “suicide” thing.]

Father Byers to all present (paraphrased, as this part of the evening lasted about an hour): “Always, no matter what, any Pope’s security is worth an intervention. Stopping anything untoward against the leader of 1.3 billion people benefits the common good on so many levels and in so many ways. We believe that the papacy is not just some office, stuff to do, but is founded on the person of the successor of Peter himself. To strike at him is to make an attack on the One who has constituted him as Bishop of Rome. But let me tell you why in particular Pope Francis is ‘worth it.'” [A most intense discussion ensues for about an hour. At about the 45 minute mark, this happened…]

A senior GTMO interrogator knowing just about every terrorist plot and clearly with an ax to grind intel officer to me, shaking his head in rejection of my arguments: “Pffft!”

Father Byers baiting the same Senior GTMO interrogator: “Hey! You would know a best friend of mine who lives not quite around here, but, you know, right in this region. He would get permissions exclusively from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs – not the Chiefs – but only from the Chairman. He’s the one who would deliver detainees from black site to black site all around the world. We’ll call him a logistics guy. You would have met him many times. He would know you well.” [Since this conversation I’ve come to know yet another deliverer of detainees, logistics guy, who has been to GTMO many times. Interesting. It seems I’m getting to know all of them.]

Senior interrogator at GTMO: [He didn’t respond other than with two unmistakable tell-tale body language signs]:

  • Momentary fear in the eyes; he knows he can now be exposed, either as outright verified or as using the GTMO thing as a cover. I do have friends, one being frantic to say it is impossible to verify such things. But that’s irrelevant as, either way, the fear of this guy at the meal reveals the veracity of something serious going down.
  • Simultaneous to the fear in the eyes thing, he suffered a slight, bodily caving-in of the chest, accompanied with a slight shrinking in his chair, just a centimeter back and down, but visible, fearful, not wanting to believe what he just heard, a flight response of fear. He’s knows he’s just been had, totally. I really shouldn’t do this. Perhaps this is my weakness: being an enfant terrible, as the French say. Sometimes it seems it’s just too easy. Maybe it’s made to be too easy. Yet…

Top counterterrorism, counterintelligence guy to me, obviously the senior officer in this discussion but privately, now at the end of the meal and making our way outside the house: “I think you are right about Pope Francis.” [I was giving an impossibly positive spin on Pope Francis’ actions, trying to demonstrate that he’s worth the effort to save with an intervention. I think he repeated some four times in two minutes as we were walking outside and then again outside that he thinks that I’m right about Pope Francis. So then he says:] “I have an assignment for you.” [“assignment” – he’s baiting to find out if I’m the guy who stole my identity decades ago so as to do “assignments,” or if I’m me. Perhaps he knows I can have a chat with the head of security at the Vatican.] “Pay close attention to what Bill Binney [NSA metadata predictor of critical incidents and then whistle blower] says is the first thing to know about himself, that he would never intentionally commit suicide.” [He repeated that, emphasizing, for the sake of my assignment, that he would never intentionally commit suicide. Mind you, Bill Binney had not been mentioned that entire evening. That’s the first time I had ever heard of him. I’m guessing that all this murder as “suicide” thing refers instead to Pope Francis, since, as I say, in the midst of all this, this guy keeps repeating that he thinks I’m right about Pope Francis. I’m connecting the dots here, and I know I’m only guessing, but it seems that there was enough metadata to predict an op over against Pope Francis, one that would involve murder made to look as suicide. How devastating would that be for the Church and the world? The darkness and despair would be hard to imagine.]

chess board robert van der steeg impossible world

To be even more fulsome, I should also include here that other chess pieces also came up in the evening’s conversation, including the demise of Miriam Waldu, the “Front of House” for Pope Francis who was murdered a couple years ago in the midst of the gay-marriage referendum of Italy. She was a shot over the bow. Extortion. Strange that her case was jacked up to a full blown murder investigation almost immediately and then absolutely nothing has been said of her since then. Nothing. As I’ve said previously, I think she was the one the FBI had been bragging to me about, a girl from ultra dirt poor Eritrea snatched up by our intel when it was happenstance noticed that she was the best in the world for instantaneous face recognition, able to recite the relevant biography for any of many thousands of pictures shown to her quickly only once, perfect, then, for “Front of House” for the leader of 1.3 billion people.

Another similar person in the employ of the Holy See came up as well. That guy seemed to have plenty of malice about him, and so I unmasked him. Sorry. I’m the King’s good servant but God’s first. You know the drill. That part of the discussion during the meal was all about his “demise” by way of what I still hold to have been a surely reversible cardiac incident. He was an Italian CIA asset working in the CDF. His identity and intelligence connection was confirmed for me not only by his American trainer – a close CIA friend – but by the head of intel / security at the Vatican).

I can’t imagine what kind of extortion Pope Francis is under, but that’s a story for later.


Filed under Intelligence Community, Missionaries of Mercy, Politics, Pope Francis

The blog slowing down doesn’t mean…


Of course, just because the blog slowed down for a while doesn’t mean that things haven’t been at breakneck speed. I’m still racing around to the shut-ins and the hospitals and nursing homes (the picture above being an on-the-way shot. The blog slowing down for just a bit could mean that things have been moving along faster than ever. I hope that doesn’t mean motus in fine velocior. Let’s just say: motus velocior.

Someone showed up recently – Army (counter)intel for years and now a handler for another rather important counterterrorism intel guy – to insist on giving me what he called an “assignment”, namely, considering the fact that if the demise of someone, obviously known to me (an insurance policy) were to come about such a person will not deliberately have committed suicide (a method of the CIA). Obviously there is a very specific person with a very specific intention to murder another very specific person in a way that makes it look like suicide and I should know, of all people, that that isn’t going to be a suicide but rather a murder. There were five individuals known to me who were individuated. So, there’s some sort of ultimatum being provided about what, I don’t know – or else – so that I had better stop whatever it is I’m doing that counterterrorism is interested in having me stop pursuing. I mean, there are a couple of things, one, in fact, that is rather far reaching and which involves counterterrorism and which would be embarrassing to a lot of people. I’ve been spending some time consulting on this with some rather in-the-know people, on a Federal level.

If anyone knows anything about me its that I don’t cave in to pressure. Ever. No compromise. Never. What is life if one sells out honesty and integrity and goodness and kindness and truth and respect for others, for individuals without whom there is no common good?

Meanwhile, I love being the country parish priest who brings Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament to people. But I would never compromise to keep that privilege either. :-)


Filed under Intelligence Community, Missionaries of Mercy

Days-off preparing for *The Day Off* Remembrance of USSOCOM *David* Suicide and Thanksgiving


This massive cross is at the entrance to the property on which the hermitage is to be found. The neighbor is a welder and created this from the downspouts that were being replaced at the parish church which is to be found way down the mountain.

This is where I often come for my day off, during which I often get in some target practice. As it is, I’m practicing quite a bit, as, at Thanksgiving, I may well be here once again, and an old friend will be attendance with some other extended family. The old friend may well have some special effects, if you will, to try out while doing a bit more target practice, or scenario based training and drills.

For those who are a bit cynical of all this “violence”, please know that all this can be quite healing, the get-togethers and the special effects and conversation about old times and hopes of heaven and the present trouble-making we all get into happily. We’re just trying to deal with the mistake of this old friend’s top-tier buddy who took too many pain killers the other week, leaving a small child of whom he had custody, the wife having abandoned them long ago. I wonder if the military provides for dependents in such circumstances. Anyone?

If you know what “top-tier” means, then you know that that buddy, *David*, had seen a hell of a lot of hell already in his short 39 years. These USSOCOM operators are made up of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Green Berets, Delta and the Navy SEALs DEVGRU.

Hey! An idea! Soup kitchens at thanksgiving are often busy places. Whatever you might do there, how about one other thing… Do you know any Vets who are stuck in V.A. hospitals who would enjoy a family thanksgiving even if their own families have abandoned them? Don’t know anyone? But the hospital might be able to tell you if there is anyone who is eligible for a day trip. Just a thought. I mean, after all, the way to celebrate thanksgiving is to say Thank You in an effective way, right? Yes. We say thanks to God, but the second commandment, love of neighbor as oneself, is like the first commandment, love of God, right? Yes. Just a thought…


Filed under Day Off, Guns, Military, PTSD, Suicide, Thanks