My final public words on Laura
#1
I don't expect anyone to change their minds as to if all this was real or a scam.  In a sense, I don't care, either.  But you know what, if you think it was a scam, keep it to yourself.  Don't bother me with it, don't post it on the forum, don't go doing Google searches or calling places or whatever else seems like a good idea; don't spread talk and stuff on other forums either.  Just leave it be.  If you want to do anything for me out of some kind of respect and decency that I've shown people here, please do that for me, and for Ty, Jesse, Bak, etc. 

I think I've been decent enough to most of you that I am entitled to at least ask that much.

As far as believing or not, that's kind of a funny thing.  Call me naive, or a sap, or a sucker, but I really believe all of this is true. 

I believe with God all things are possible.  From seashells to supernovas, I believe.  I don't believe in UFOs (they're demons) or ghosts (demons again), but I do believe in the reality of astrology in the sense of signs of things, I believe in magick in the sense of the praeternatural, and I believe in alchemy in the sense of something exists in reality besides chemical matter.

I believe God sent His only Son down and because He loved us so He spread His arms on the Cross and died for us.  I believe in Transubstantiation, the angels, the Saints, and that the BVM plays with the infants in limbo to give them comfort.  I don't believe there exists Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny, but I do believe in the concepts of sharing wonder with children and delighting them with fabulous stories.

We spend our whole lives praying for miracles, for final perseverance, for conversion of hearts, etc.  Then one seemingly happens, and suddenly some people don't believe it's possible.  Oh ye of little faith comes to mind.  I feel like I want to remind people that "with God all things are possible" is not just a slogan.  I mean, the point of going to Mass and praying and availing ourselves of the Sacraments is to convert our hearts and obtain sanctification and the beatific vision, right?  So when it looks like the whole thing actually may have worked, suddenly it's not possible.

Really, I think people are listening to the devil in a very real way.  I mean, he can't have something like this happen unspoiled.  I can hear him now: "it's too good to be true!" "It's a big joke and you're going to be the butt of it!" "Don't be a sap, this miraculous conversion stuff is a fantasy of Saul in the Bible!"

God would never say such things.  God would say: Hope that it's true.  Pray for it to be true.  Believe in Me and what I can accomplish if someone opens their heart to Me.  Let them laugh at your belief in Me.  Let them laugh at your trust in Me.  Do so for My sake as I did for you on the Cross.  Let them swindle and con you, I will stand with you if you stand with me.  Don't be afraid.

How do I know this?  I dunno, I just do.  God would never be ashamed of someone who believed in Him.  God would never turn His back on someone that was made the butt of a joke for having Faith in Him.  That's not God.  Not the God I learned about from the Benedictine nuns, or the Jesuits, or the SSPX priests that I admire.  He doesn't sow doubt about His abilities in us - that's the job of Satan, the adversary, the Father of Lies.

Really, I don't understand how people can claim the Catholic Faith if they don't believe the point of the faith, the salvation of all sinners, is possible.  If their response to it is "I highly doubt it."  The conversion of a heart, the turning towards God, the dying in Sanctifying Grace - that's the point of everything.  The point of the Mass, Confession, Last Rites, the Gospel, the Crucifixion, the Immaculate Conception, etc.  Without that soul being saved, all of that is for naught.  Christ shed His blood for us to use it, not just to kneel before it at Mass.  We're supposed to fight until the Last Drop of His Precious Blood.  But then we see what looks like a victory, and some can't believe it.

Sorry, I believe this stuff is true.  First, because I trust God.  If I believe in a lie, I'm still believing in Him.  He isn't the lie.  Second, because I was there.  I was the one talking to Ty and Laura while this was going on.

Oh, but Quis, some might say.  You know, just because we don't believe this doesn't mean we don't believe in miracles and stuff.  Really?  I mean, do you need things handed to you on a silver platter?  Do you need the sun to come down like at Fatima?  To stick your hand in Christ's side?  Or is the greatest miracle of all - and the most important one - someone converting and dying in the Faith to obtain the Beatific Vision and their appropriate Final End?

Why is that so hard to believe?  Doubt, lack of faith, fear.  Pick your poison.  Distrust doesn't come from God.

Oh, but Quis, others might say.  You know, the truth counts for something.  Does it?  I mean are you willing to stand by that?  I hope so, because the "truth" is not a series of events that may or may not have happened.  The Truth is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  The Truth is what sets us free, and in my heart I know Laura was set free.  She was set free from misery, from sin, from a crippling orientation, from pain, etc.  I know because I saw her freed by Christ.  No one else can do that for us but Jesus because He is the Truth and the Way and the Life.  So are you standing for Truth, for Christ, when you think something is "too perfect"?    That Christ would put His hand to something imperfectly I guess is the implication.

And I have to shake my head at the self-serving hypocrisy.  Honestly, besides the original thread that ignited this, the PMs I received after are just, well, kinda shocking to me.

One forum member told me outright we had been had.  They didn't believe a word of it.  I asked them what they needed to believe Laura even existed.  They wanted the funeral director's name who arranged the cremation, the priest who gave extreme unction, etc.  I'm like, no, you're missing my question.  I want to know what you need to know to believe she just was a real human being.  There was nothing that could convince him that I was willing to tell him.  He searched teacher licensing things and stuff (sorry, private schools don't need teachers with certs - I know, "how convenient", but like I said, it may also be the truth), showed me her name wasn't there, etc.

It was those kinds of PMs that made me ask Ty for something.  I told Ty I want to say I saw the proof, and I can't say that unless I see it.  So he sent me the scan of the driver's license.  After I posted that, the same person sent me this (with redactions):

Quote:Now that the whole Laura drama is over, I can see the forum losing the prayerful atmosphere we had going, and descending back into squabbling.

Quis, if this incredible story is honest-injun-no-bullshit true, I would be inclined to pray to Laura rather than for her.  I'm not kidding.  Santa subito.  I'd be asking her for miracles.  I'd want to develop the kind of "popular cult" that leads to beatification.

I just can't wrap my head around the fact that the whole story played out in cyberspace with no concrete evidence that it's anything but clever fiction.  Especially because such things have happened in the past on other sites, as HK points out.  I want to see Laura's death certificate more than the "birthers" want to see Obama's birth certificate.  I want to see her co-workers and students posting memorials on legacy.com to their teacher and friend. I want to know what hospital she was in.  I want to call the funeral director and verify that he handled the arrangements.  I want to talk to the priest who anointed her. I want to know that it's all true.

With the scant amount of information available to me, I can't do that.  Maybe the best way to handle it is to wait a few weeks and find out if a death certificate has been issued for Laura.  What do you thnk?  Do we know whether the coroner was involved, and whether there was an autopsy?

:o

Here was my response:

Quote:You're going to ask her for prayers after you probably cost her soul a bunch by sowing doubt?  Wow, you've got a set of brass ones.

Look, maybe you lack an understanding of social norms, so let me clue you in on something:  She was my friend.  Don't you get that?  I was on the other end of the phone every time she went in an ambulance; I was sitting there crying waiting for word from Ty after they pulled the plug to hear she died.  This isn't a pixel person to me. I lost a friend.  Even if it was what you thought, and it was all fake, that doesn't change the pain I felt over things.  It may have been an imaginary friend I lost, but I lost a friend nevertheless.

If in that you don't understand what might be the problem asking me for "evidence" to begin with let alone now, then you've got a screw loose.  I let you put your hand in her side once by asking for a scan of the DL.  If you want to put it in again by digging up a death cert like a ghoul, leave me out of it.

See, it's all about the person who is questioning.  It's about if they're going to be made a fool of.  It's about they need to know the truth (why?).  It's not about the pain they might cause someone else.  Then as soon as they put their hand in the side, it's prayers for them, not prayers for Laura.  Sorry, it doesn't work that way.  That's not how Faith works.  You trust in God even if you can't put your hand in His side.

I pray for Laura; if she's with God, she knows what I need, and she'll pray for me.  I know that with my heart.  And as I said before, I don't know for a fact she's in heaven, but she's one of the few people I'd bet on.  So within pious allowances, I know she's praying for me, and for Ty, and Jesse, and Bak, and probably for the whole forum because that's the kind of person I knew her to be in the short time I knew her.

I know some people think I have a screw loose.  That I'm in too deep because here is a person who was on the forum for a short time and I'm putting my eggs in that basket.    My only answer is this:  I'm 42 years old.  I'm allowed to take those kinds of risks on someone if I want to.  I don't do it blindly.  I do it knowing full well if I stick my neck out there's a good chance of my head getting cut off.  I do those things for the love of Christ because if it is a choice between letting a soul perish or me being Crucified, well, here's my hand - put the nail in.  I'm nothing without Him, and I'm not afraid to make an ass of myself to further Him.

I'm sure there was a lot of eye rolling by some when I called Laura "my sister".  There's only two other people in this world I refer to like that.  My sister that I shared parents with, whom I love, and Jen, who some people here know.  I'd take a bullet for her.  We even have ourselves listed as brother and sister on Facebook.  She knows why, and I know why, and God knows why, and it's nothing bad - sorry to disappoint those with filthy minds.  Jen is my sister to me as much as the one I share parents with.  I think she feels the same about me, but I won't presume to say that.  And I hope I don't embarrass her by saying this stuff, but I'll never be embarrassed to tell anyone she's my sister and I love her that way, and I always will.

I didn't pick Laura as a sister.  She picked me as a brother, so I couldn't refuse her.  Oh, to be sure, Ty is her non-bio brother.  If anyone on God's green earth deserves to be called her brother, it's Ty and not me.  And to be sure, she's my sister in Christ as all women are.  But that's not the deal.  Here's what Ty sent me right after she died:

Quote:The day Laura got dizzy, fell and texted you, she and I talked later and she flat out told me that when she couldnt get ahold of me because of my phone battery going, her first thought wasn't of Sarah who would have been closer, or Mike who could have come and grabbed her, it was you. Why? Cause of all the people knew she knew you'd be available to talk, calm, and that you'd pray with her. She told me she had so much respect for you and that you were a good guy and that she looked up to you and loved you like a very cool older Catholic brother. She also told me several times how much FE meant to her, and its why she had started donating to your site, she saw it as an awesome thing.

Yeah, I know, it's part of the con.  Fine, I'll be a sap for this, too.  The reason I'll be a sap is because she treated me like a brother.  She talked to me and asked me things as if I were an older brother.  I didn't reach out to her.  This sweet young girl who was nice to everyone on the forum as far as I know reached out to me in a text message and just asked me to pray for her while she was dropped down on the floor and couldn't get help.  That's all she asked me for, was to pray with her and not leave her alone until Ty got back.  Ty did come back, and the result was her first trip to the hospital in the ambulance, the one which she survived.  She trusted in three people: me to stay with her, Ty to come back, and God in her prayers.  Since she saw me as her brother, I say I am her brother.  I'm her brother as much as Mary is my mother.  And Ty is my friend.  He's not a liar.  He's a good guy who, just like Laura, is trying to find God and Christ and make sense of stuff.  And I have his back just like he had mine by scanning a stupid driver's license like a week after someone important to him dies just so I can be honest and tell people I saw proof she existed, people who really only care about themselves.

So y'all can laugh at me.  I don't care.  Just don't do it here in my house.  Don't do it to my face either, unless you want to find out what I'm made of, and I can tell you right now it's nothing nice.  Laura is my little sister because she adopted me as her brother, and I accept, and that's that.

I think one of the things that bothered me the most is that people she clearly thought were her friends turned their backs on her.  Laura sent me this about one forum member (redacted):

Quote:That's one reason FE is so great, the relationships you make with others here automatically have at least faith in common. And I like MemberX a lot too, he's a very fun person and I'm so proud of him for the stuff he does, and the commitment he's got to that.

Here is what MemberX sent to me about Laura:

Quote:I'm 100% convinced that the laurabookworm story is not genuine.... 

Then it details why they believe that, and ends with:

Quote:Alright, I'm done, I know you'll probably want to continue to defend this situation, because that's the kind of person you are and you don't really care about it.  You've made that position clear.  I've said my piece and that's all I can do.  You can decide for yourself what you think.  I don't want to be a part of encouraging her/his/its cult following.

I'm done discussing this issue.

That just makes me sad to think Laura admired someone who thinks Laura is a "her/his/it".  I mean, obviously I have a completely subjective opinion.  I believe the "situation" is real.  Given that, it makes sense I think it's sad.  Yeah, I know, I'm a sucker.

Which brings me to the three final things I want to say:

1) Really, leave it alone.  If I've ever done anything for you, do one small thing for me and leave this alone.  Don't bother me, don't bother Ty, or Jesse or Bak; don't spread rumors or gossip or whatever.  Don't dig for details or bother Laura's family or anything like that.  Believe what you want, but let it alone.  Laugh at me behind my back, sure, go ahead.  It wouldn't be the first time I've been laughed at, but it will be one of the few times it's worth it.

2) Laura told me something important.  It was in a text message, so I couldn't copy and paste it for the memorial thread, and I have to type it in.  But I want to share it with everyone.  At this point Laura knew her heart was going to go.  Not if, but when.  We were talking about how long and stuff, and she said this to me.

Quote:Please pass on my thanks to vox and of course yourself... I love fisheaters, i've learned so much there, more than i'd have been able to learn offline.  Ty is learning too, i see that, and so many others are learning, praying, fellowshipping, it's awesome.  I know that if ty needs a place to hang out sometime later, he feels welcome at your place.  And one day, I hope he finds Christ too.  Sooner than later.  I want to see it. :)

Yep, Laura, Ty is welcome here by me as long as he wants to hang out.  He's my friend now.  I hope he finds Christ, too, and I pray every day that you see it up close and personal in Christ's very wounds as He pours His Precious Blood upon Ty's heart. :)

3) For anyone else who wants to be a "Fool for Christ" (thanks for the phrase MaterLaeta! :)) and believe with me and pray for Laura's soul and for Ty's conversion, here's what I sent to Ty about this stuff.  It's a letter Malachi Martin (a Jesuit! - AMDG) wrote and published years ago.  It's gotten me through all these years on the forum.  When I get tired of the hate mail, the snide comments, people laughing at me behind my back (you know you do, and I know it, too), I pull this out and read it.  It's great advice about what's important in life.  You'll find it in the next post.

So, that's it.  That's all I have to say on any and all of this really.  And, really, just leave me alone.  if you think I'm living in a fantasy, great.  Just let me be.  If I'm made a fool of, fine.  I'll be a fool for Christ and His promise to convert hearts.  I believe in Him and His Promise, and I will not doubt what He can do.

My last public words on this topic if I can help it are:

I love you as my sister, Laura; pray for me as I pray for you.

-Joe
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#2
Here's what Fr. Martin wrote:

I am sending you these few lines as my commentary on the abuse and calumnies flung in my direction by certain members of our Roman Catholic Church. Many of my friends and well-wishers have urged me to respond to the abusers and the calumniators; and remember that this abuse and calumnious attack has been going on for over thirty-three years! That is a long time; and I have become a veteran of such oppression, so much so that in a certain sense I know much better than any of my friends and well-wishers how to deal with this sustained harsh treatment.

The basic lesson I have learnt over those thirty-three years is: not allow myself be diverted from fulfilling my mission as a priest and a servant of the Holy See of Peter. This means not merely refusing to pick up the stones thrown at me and returning them on the heads of my abusers. It means principally that I fulfill my duties as a priest—celebrate daily Mass, recite my breviary, fulfill my pastoral obligations to those under my care. It means that I never allow the distortions—doctrinal and other—of these very zealous abusers and calumniators to enter into my optic or cloud my angle of vision. It means, of course, praying for their spiritual welfare—and also that the Holy Spirit grant them some measure of understanding. For understanding is chiefly what lacks to them.

Well over twenty-five years ago, I wrote to my Superior in Rome complaining about a recrudescence of these attacks, and suggesting a certain course of action. He wrote back quoting that passage of John’s Gospel where Christ warns His disciples that the time would come when they would be ostracized and persecuted by people who would do that to them and think they were doing God’s will. “Can’t you suffer, too, for Christ’s sake?” This was my Superior’s answer.

Besides all that, all these years have taught me a few central lessons; you have to have undergone it all to be able to appreciate the principal lesson. Which is: abusers and calumniators are not out to get the truth, to build up, to edify. Their bent is to destroy, to liquidate. Hence, no matter what information you give them, they will not desist; they will use it to further their distrustful ambition. Hence, I found that there was no point in even trying to communicate with them; anything they learned became merely grist for their grindstones of hate.

A second valuable lesson I learned was this: they don’t really matter in the kingdom of God and in the daily warfare between Christ and Lucifer. There are too many Confessions to be heard, too many Masses to be said, too many souls seeking and needing spiritual direction, too many confused priests to be enlightened, too many aberrant bishops to be corralled back into the fold of Christ, too many holydays in honor of Angels and Saints, too many exorcisms of the possessed and the obsessed, too many of the faithful dying and needing Extreme Unction, too many children needing Confirmation—in a word, too many needy ones for any priest to hesitate for one moment and to tarry over the spewings and spittings coming from the unclean mouths, the jealous souls and the erroneous pens of pigmy men who fancy themselves upon a solid rock and who crave to ascend to fame and vanity over the dead bodies and soiled reputations of their victims.

I have always let such people know that I personally have no difficulty in waiting for the final showdown in the presence of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as the Just Judge of the living and the dead.

In sum, I have no time to wait—there’s too much work to be done. I know that many of my friends and well-wishers now and again answer some of my attackers. I generally discourage any sustained effort in that direction; the reason? Nothing will ever change the minds of these people—nothing except the grace of God. As I said, I am most willing to wait for God to change their minds. In the meantime, I have far too much to do. I can’t afford to waste time on them.

+Malachi
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