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Monday, July 25, 2022

The Flashlight: Church Militant's Hit Piece on the Wyoming Carmelites Gets Busted! Part 1

Welcome to the Flashlight where grifters and gaslighters are trapped and exposed.

This episode of The Flashlight will discuss Church Militant (CM) and their two videos, Counterfeit Carmel (CC) and Behind the Spotlight (BS) that target the Wyoming Carmelites as a "scam" hiding what is really a ring of homosexual perverts grooming young novices for abuse in the mountains of Wyoming.

Since the airing of these two hit pieces, push back is coming from former novices who, unlike CM's whistleblower, (He was at the monastery for LESS THAN A MONTH.) spent a combined total of over SEVEN YEARS with the monks some of it overlapping the whistleblower's time there. Their testimony is compelling. (Visit their website and YouTube channel.)

You can see three of their videos in my earlier postA fourth former novice of the Wyoming Carmelites has now joined his brothers to defend the monks against Church Militant's vicious accusations.

Why is CM so focused on this particular Spotlight exposé. That's not too hard to explain.

CM garnered more attention with CC than with any other Spotlight to date. They  accumulated more views, hits, and more social media coverage and presumably sucked in more paid subscribers than ever. It was a huge success from their perspective of gaining viewers. They pursued their target with the agenda of destroying the monastery which their slander has damaged. In the BS video they promote "building up buzz" on social media to make sure they get as much attention as possible with their hit piece.

In the earlier post, I described how Christine Niles chortled over the numbers they reached with CC. After the analyst's report, she enthused, "That's fantastic! Those are the results I'm looking for." Attention and money are big motivators for grifters and CM got lots of it with CC. So it's easy to understand why they reprised CC in BS which was clearly intended to build up Christine Niles' reputation as a crackerjack reporter and dispel any doubt about her professionalism. And it is definitely a one-hour puff piece for her complete with close ups of her walking in spiked heel shoes (The games afoot!), choosing just the right jacket for the Spotlight, playing chess with her children, talking on the phone, telling us how much she loves Jesus and how blessed she is, showing she cares for her little team of whistleblowers, etc. 

But think about Christine's words for a minute. 

"That's fantastic! Those are the results I'm looking for." 

What results exactly? 

She says nothing about looking for the truth. The important thing to her and to Michael Voris about the Spotlight seems to be the analytics. How many hits? How many viewers watched the entire episode? Unstated, but apparently never out of CM's mind -- how many donations did CC produce and how many paid subscribers did it rope in? Oh...and how much damage were they able to do to the monks?

And all this based on their whistleblower, Augustine Inferrera who never gets one tough question from Niles in all her interviews. 

Keep in mind that the young man was at the monastery for four weeks (Feb. 23 - March 21, 2020) and his experience was corroborated by another young man who was there for only two weeks. But Niles gives the impression at the beginning of CC that Inferrera was there for a year when she states he was discerning his vocation with the monks "for a year." How many unsuspecting viewers assumed that her statement referred to how long Augustine was at the monastery? Did that imprint on their minds and did they miss the facts later?

In reality, Niles' investigation leading to vile and serious accusations that the monks are a hotbed of homosexual predators grooming novices for perversion involved two young men with a combined experience of six weeks at the monastery. 

On the other hand, so far six former novices with a combined experience of over seven years at the monastery have come forward to dispute Augustine's claims.  The first, Nick, was an army infantry vet who spent four months with the monks and responded to the CM Spotlight on their website. You can read his testimony here which was totally dismissed by the CM grifters because he didn't give his last name or agree to be interviewed by them. He didn't support the agenda so he wasn't useful to them.

Another, Tyler K., who entered in the middle of Augustine's month-long stay, says he never experienced what Augustine describes and calls Augustine's claims of homosexual grooming a "complete fabrication." 

Tyler seems to be the catalyst for gathering other ex-novices to share their experiences at Carmel and is part of a group of former novices/postulants who started a website to defend the Wyoming Carmelites. Check out the videos of these young men at J+J+M+T. The heading stands for Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and Teresa. As I said above, they also have a YouTube channel. See if you aren't impressed with how normal, healthy, mature, and inspiring these young men are, at least two of whom are now married. 

Christine Niles accepted without question (as she does with her other "whistleblowers") all the claims and opinions expressed by Augustine Inferrera. Much of what he says in his 40 page dossier is hearsay, opinion, and interpretation leading to his claim that the monastery is a hotbed of perversion and should be closed. CLOSED! Based on his one month at the Abbey. They are an evil scam, Augustine tells us! And Daddy agrees.

His dossier includes some facts, but much of it is opinion, extrapolation and presumption. My immediate reaction reading it and listening to the interviews was to wonder how mature Augustine is.... and how prudish and naive. For example, making a big deal about group showers. They're common in the military and in boys' locker rooms. I experienced them myself at the local pool in the women's locker room. 

But, according to other novices, there are, in fact, curtains on the showers. Joe McClane of Catholic Drive By interviewed one of the dissenting former novices, Michael Farrell from Ireland, who was at the monastery for two years (2019-2021) and was there during the time Augustine attended. You can listen to McClane's ten minute interview with Farrell starting at minute 29:57. Farrell directly disputes Augustine's accusations about the showers and discussed his objections to the hard work ostensibly leaving them no time for prayer. McClane commented that one of his patron saints, Maximilian Kolbe, worked his friars hard at the mission in Nagasaki. 

One wonders how reasonable Augustine's expectations were upon entry despite his "year of discernment." Did he arrive expecting to spend most of the day in chapel? Was his primary objection the hard manual labor, the same type of labor St. Francis of Assisi did to repair the Church at San Damiano? And all that talk about the monks working out and being buff? Really? Is it credible to believe that after a long day of manual labor these men head to the gym for recreation?  

Hey brothers, let's go to the gym later. I'll bring the heavy rocks for lifting.

Continued tomorrow.......


  1. Mary Ann and Susan: may God reward you for supporting the holy Carmelites (aka. the prayer warriors of the Church). If Voris and Niles don't get what's coming to them in this world for their assault on the Carmelites, they'll surely get it in the next world. Michael and Christine: if you are reading this, you really need to knock it off with the slanderous attacks against these holy men.

  2. I researched this group in 2018 because I have not made a contribution since 2008 ($50) and still receive solicitations from them which never mentioned that they ran mystic monk coffee (until about 2-3 years ago-now have the occasional mention) and always show the men in religious habit but on the internet see them in work clothes. One mailing featured Etienne who is a protege of Lynch. The founding bishops also have sodomite connections but really what bishop doesn't at this point? More disturbing to me was the parents of the prior have been sued several times for their 'troubled youth' work and the land that the monastery is built on seems to come from them (charity tax scam?). Those youth are put to work at the monastery while their parents pay $6000 a month for their treatment and education. One boy couldn't even join the Army because didn't have a recognized h.s. diploma.

    All Roads Lead to... Lynch?
    Before their respective appointments in the last week, not much would've seemed to link a native son pastor in rural Indiana and a Cuban-born cleric overseeing one of South Florida's largest parishes. But Bishops-elect Fernando Isern of Pueblo and Paul Etienne of Cheyenne already shared another notable common bond: Bishop Robert Lynch of St Petersburg…

    The concelebrants included Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; Etienne of Alaska; and Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis. All three have deep connections to Indianapolis.

    Bishop Ricken was the episcopal founder of the Carmelite monks... also written a letter of support for the founding of the New Mount Carmel of America.

    Who is that young man? He’s Bishop Ricken’s master of ceremonies who was that man standing next to Bishop David Ricken at Christmas Mass? He was there for that parish anniversary, too. He’s wearing a black cassock and surplice. Is he an altar server? A seminarian? A priest? He’s Michael Poradek, the diocese’s divine worship director and Bishop Ricken’s primary master of ceremonies. At 26, Poradek is one of the youngest, if not the youngest, primary emcees for a bishop in the country. He is also one of the only laymen serving in a role traditionally held by deacons or, in the past, by the bishops’ priest secretaries.

    Bishop David Ricken of the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne "offers continued prayers and support for (retired Bishop Joseph) Hart," who is named in a civil lawsuit alleging that he sexually molested three children while he was bishop in Wyoming and as a priest in the Diocese of Kansas City…While Ricken's statement did not mention prayers for alleged victims, Glover said "there should be." In May 2002, the Cheyenne Police Department initiated an investigation about an allegation of abuse that occurred in 1977 when Hart allegedly coerced a 14-year-old boy to expose himself.

  3. Having expended more time responding to the original hit piece at Church Militant back in January than I care to remember -- many of my comments which were well informed on the broad context did not pass their censorship board -- I will only say this. Church Militant has exposed itself as nothing but salacious calumny at best, but katholic porn more accurately. It has taken on the character of an obsessive-compulsive substitute for the emotional problem which characterizes its most prominent spokesman. It has divested itself of any worth if it ever really had any. Once deceived, but no longer.

  4. He left his life as a Carmelite hermit in Minnesota because they were losing their vocations. "Young men simply could not adjust to a solitary life; they needed a community – that's why I asked for permission from the prior to start a monastic community."
    Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of Minneapolis gave Father Daniel permission to contact Bishop Ricken in Wyoming, who had let it be known that he was looking for Carmelites to live in his diocese. Archbishop Flynn said to me, "This is meant to be, this is of God." After the meeting with Flynn, Father Daniel called Bishop Ricken, who immediately invited him to Wyoming.

    In anticipation of breaking ground for their new monastery, the monks are busy doing much of the prep work themselves. They are presently digging a trench for laying a new gas line to the building site and are opening a new gravel pit to be able to provide rock for their long roads.

    Their property also includes leases from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and the National Forest. In order to retain these leases, they must run cattle to graze the land, and the minimum number was determined at 123 head of cattle. So, there has been a great deal of fencing completed, with more needed.

    Sunday afternoon, some of us toured what seemed like the entire property on four wheelers. It felt good on this very hot day to get to the higher elevations and enjoy some cooler temps and a nice breeze. … After a full day on four wheelers, we returned to camp for a nice dinner and shared stories from the day. Then it was time to settle in for a good night’s sleep for the work that awaited on Monday! After an early Mass, we saddled up for a day of rounding up cattle and moving them to higher pasture …The Prior’s dad, Jerry Schneider helps oversee the cattle operation, and joined us for the day. … I’m really looking forward to this fall’s elk hunt!”

    The complaint alleges Jefferis and RCR benefited from free labor after selling the current TTS land to Angela Woodward. This labor is alleged to have included fence repair, cattle branding, tagging cattle, cattle drives and stacking hay.

    Daniel Schneider, Angela Woodward’s brother, is accused of requesting labor at his Monks of the Most Blessed monastery in Powell and would transport TCR residents there for forced labor. He did not respond for comment.

    Similar activities are alleged to have occurred with the Diocese of Cheyenne and SOLT. Kara and Kyle Woodward are said to have benefited from forced labor and human trafficking while employees at TTS, and likewise Mathew and Mark Schneider at TCR.

    According to the filing, the “troubled teen industry” is prevalent throughout the United States and is particularly problematic in rural areas where oversight of facilities is more difficult. Timmons said this lawsuit is the first of its kind in U.S. history and expects this case to be a landmark impetus to similar legal filings into the future.

    “It’s a billion-dollar-per-year industry with thousands of people checked annually into unsafe, therapeutic industries selling parents too-good-to-be-true solutions to their children’s problems,” Timmons said, finding only rare scenarios where this type of therapy can work. “It’s unbelievable to me how many turn out to be work camps.”

  5. Dawn Cooper of Birmingham, Ala., took out a loan and cashed in an annuity she had set aside for retirement. She used the money to pay $36,000 for her son to attend the Mount Carmel Youth Ranch in Clark and a related program for adults, Bear Tooth MT Ascent. Both programs share staff members and facilities on a 40,000-acre cattle ranch. for troubled boys is seeking a refund after learning that the correspondence school diploma he earned there does not meet U.S. Marine Corps admission standards.
    She said she left several messages at the ranch expressing her frustration over the school program but heard from Schneider only after The Gazette contacted the ranch seeking comment. “I basically paid money, thousands, for him to go out there and work their ranch,” Cooper said.
    Schneider would not comment on whether he would offer Cooper a refund, and said he was unaware of any problems with the military not accepting students who received diplomas from the ranch’s academic programs.
    A Gazette story in 2007 detailed problems students have had in transferring credits from Mount Carmel’s unaccredited Our Lady of the Rosary home school program
    Public disclosure records for 2008 for the tax-exempt, nonprofit Mount Carmel Youth Ranch show that its annual revenues were $825,220 and that it spent $12,125 on counseling, less than what it spent on advertising and promotions.
    A number of serious incidents have happened over the last several years at the Mount Carmel Youth Ranch. Public documents, including reports from police and the Department of Family Services, detail some of the problems that have occurred. April 4, 2001: A 15-year-old ranch resident is seriously injured while using farm equipment without adult supervision. He files a personal injury lawsuit in 2005 alleging negligence by ranch managers. He is paid $1.2 million as part of a settlement that also mandates equipment warnings at Mount Carmel. .. Nov. 15, 2004: A 15-year-old boy runs away from the ranch after another boy used a rope to choke him unconscious following a dispute. Police reports note that ranch staff "did not think that anything other than boys' rough-housing had been going on."… Sept. 18, 2005: After nine days on the job, a sleeping counselor who was the only adult on an overnight camping trip with eight boys, is brutally beaten with shovels by three of the boys, sustaining a serious and lasting brain injury. Seven of the boys steal a vehicle and flee. One boy runs for help.

  6. A boys ranch north of Cody near the state line is under fire for allegedly running an unlicensed facility.
    A complaint for a permanent injunction was filed in district court by the Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) against Triangle Cross Ranch, 423 Road 1AF, and its owners, Gerald and Michaeleen Schneider.
    If successful, the action will close the facility.
    hneider did not follow through with the application and the submission was closed by DFS on March 6, 2013.
    The department allegedly received information the defendant was operating Triangle Cross Ranch without the appropriate license and sent a cease and desist letter to Schneider on July 27.
    Several youths were living at the facility during a DFS visit Aug. 27 and Schneider said the youngsters would be moving to the Montana portion of the ranch, outside Wyoming license requirements.
    No youth were at the site during a Sept. 5, 2013, visit and staff said they were living in Montana.
    A fire alarm service technician confirmed children were living in the Powell bunkhouse Oct. 8. The fire alarm system was not working properly.
    DFS visited the ranch two days later (Oct. 10) and boys were living at the ranch.
    The ranch advertises itself on the Internet as a place for troubled teenage boys and a Christian therapeutic substance abuse program.
    Admission is $2,500, plus a $6,000 monthly program fee, which includes one-on-one therapy and an individual education curriculum that is not accredited.

  7. I gave up CM about a year ago. No longer truth seekers, just mean-spirited

  8. CM is absolute trash.