Anti-Catholic 'trolls' posing as Catholics


#1

I commented on this on the NPD thread, but that may have gotten buried.
Has anyone else noticed there seems to be more people trying to pull this off lately? They call into Catholic shows or post on Catholic related websites or Facebook pages. They always start my mentioning their strong faith, but as they go on, it becomes clear they're not for the Church at all and quite the contrary. I really wish the moderators on those websites would work a little harder to expose them, after they've bashed the Church repeatedly. I guess some 'trolls' could just be uninformed but there are definitely others with an obvious agenda to rip the Church and try and make it look bad.


#2

There are many Catholics that are not trolls at all. They're just tired of the hierarchy of the Church covering what shouldn't be covered and failing to protect the innocent. There are faithful people that question the leaders of the Church, not Jesus Christ.


#3

I think all of us have our doubts and struggles. I have alot of feelings about things that some may label anti-catholic or troll like.

Yes, you're probably right...some are trolls...but it's probably less than 10%....the rest are smucks like you and I trying to figure out what we believe and why.


#4

But the abuse crisis is one issue concerned mom, many of these people rip the Church for any preceived problem/issue/disagreement!


#5

Yes I have noticed some people who come on the forum with the aim of trying to catch Catholics out or to prove a point about how "bad" we all are.

I myself am almost guilty of that on another website. I just couldn't understand the Catholic's view on abortion so I went on a different site (this is about a year before I joined CAF), started a thread as soon as I got membership and criticised the Church's views and I did not have much of an open mind. However, I read the responses (thankfully they were very kind and put a lot of effort into explaining) and it got my thinking more about the Catholic Church, morality, religion etc etc and a little less than a year later I joined CAF - not with the aim of asking misguided questions in order to try and catch them out/prove someone wrong (because I was unable to understand) but I actually joined with more of an open mind in order to learn more about Catholics with the feeling that I was being called to the Church.

So, long story short - I think an aggressive approach is not the best. I don't think I was a troll on the other website (as I knew I didn't understand and I wanted to), but I suspect I may be labelled as one by some people. I think trolls are people who often don't understand, don't WANT to, and just want to cause trouble. I was not one of those people.


#6

[quote="luvzminis, post:1, topic:234087"]
I commented on this on the NPD thread, but that may have gotten buried.
Has anyone else noticed there seems to be more people trying to pull this off lately? They call into Catholic shows or post on Catholic related websites or Facebook pages. They always start my mentioning their strong faith, but as they go on, it becomes clear they're not for the Church at all and quite the contrary. I really wish the moderators on those websites would work a little harder to expose them, after they've bashed the Church repeatedly. I guess some 'trolls' could just be uninformed but there are definitely others with an obvious agenda to rip the Church and try and make it look bad.

[/quote]

It's no surprise.

Satan knows who the enemy is and he and his followers, 'useful idiots' and willing helpmates alike, are working day and night to destroy families, countries, and the Church.

The up side is that we're finally beginning to see it, and it's getting a little harder for these 'I'm just sooo concerned' trolls to pull the wool over our eyes.


#7

Those who are truly Trolls become quickly evident and tend to rapidly disappear from this website. I can't speak for other ones.

As to those who claim to be catholic, or those who are non-catholic chrisitan, and have problems with Church teaching, are often those who are poorly informed. As mentioned above, an aggressive approach with these folks is not a good idea.

Far better to explain things rationally and charitably, using official documents and Scripture etc to back up the argument. If nothing else, it will demonstrate to others reading the thread that the Church's teachigns are not "willy-nilly" whims of "Old men in the Vatican" but are, in fact, well thought and based on sound principles of Christ Centered Theology.

I believe that such discussions especailly here on a Catholic forum, actually do more good than harm.

peace
James


#8

[quote="JRKH, post:7, topic:234087"]
Those who are truly Trolls become quickly evident and tend to rapidly disappear from this website. I can't speak for other ones.

As to those who claim to be catholic, or those who are non-catholic chrisitan, and have problems with Church teaching, are often those who are poorly informed. As mentioned above, an aggressive approach with these folks is not a good idea.

Far better to explain things rationally and charitably, using official documents and Scripture etc to back up the argument. If nothing else, it will demonstrate to others reading the thread that the Church's teachigns are not "willy-nilly" whims of "Old men in the Vatican" but are, in fact, well thought and based on sound principles of Christ Centered Theology.

I believe that such discussions especailly here on a Catholic forum, actually do more good than harm.

peace
James

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#9

There is also the phenomenon of lapsed Catholics that haven't set foot inside a church for 20 years still telling anybody that asks that they're Catholic. They always remember quite well what Sister Margaret Mary told them in 4th grade religious education class and don't try to tell them they're mistaken, because that's what sister told them. Nevermind that it was over 30 years ago and their understanding of the Church and theology hasn't advanced any over that time.

Technically they aren't anti-Catholic, in the sense that they've come from a fundamentalist or non-denominational background, it's just that what they think and say reads like they did. Alot feel they are more enlightened and knowledgeable about the Church than the poor deluded souls that attend on Sunday and actually believe that stuff.

I've run into that sort of thing in conversations with fallen away co-workers or acquaintances. They always say "The Church teaches ..." If you say "well not quite" or "that's not true," you get an indignant huff like "what do you know? I went to Catholic school for (5, 10, 12 - pick a number) years." Then to justify why they left the Church they'll launch into all these horrible stories about Fr. So-and-so and how he did x-y-z and he was drunk all the time and he ran off with money etc. etc. You could almost write the script for them.

I don't want to discount the fact that there were crimes that were covered up and people were physically and emotionally abused and damaged. But the majority of people I'm talking about have far more mundane reasons for leaving the church and retroactively use the various scandals to build their moral case for why they left. Some people did indeed leave due to that treatment, but many more had left because they thought they knew better.

ChadS


#10

Having doubts, questions, and struggles is one thing, attacking the Church and what we believe in, baseless accusations and bigotry are completely another. We are eager to learn more about our Faith and share the little we have, but trolls aim to confuse and to destroy. They contradict themselves in their arguments because while they claim to be Catholics or searchers for the truth they fail to make the least effort to find the Truth. And no matter what resources and answers they are given they choose not to perceive or understand, 'for this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn . . '. Well, ' you will know them from their fruits.' Peace, Rina


#11

[quote="Rina_Badal, post:10, topic:234087"]
Having doubts, questions, and struggles is one thing, attacking the Church and what we believe in, baseless accusations and bigotry are completely another. We are eager to learn more about our Faith and share the little we have, but trolls aim to confuse and to destroy. They contradict themselves in their arguments because while they claim to be Catholics or searchers for the truth they fail to make the least effort to find the Truth. And no matter what resources and answers they are given they choose not to perceive or understand, 'for this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn . . '. Well, ' you will know them from their fruits.' Peace, Rina

[/quote]

Well stated Rina, and this is precisely the way in which true "Trolls" expose themselves.

Peace
James


#12

ChadS excellent post that rings true with my experiences.

Actually, I find the trolls, and the threads they start and posts they write, very entertaining and also quite educational. They have also provided me with a pretty good chuckle especially when the more knowledgable Catholics join the thread and explain things to them using Scripture, Canon Law or the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Very educational and so very satisfying to see there "purpose" for starting the thread crumble.

They actually are a blessing in disguise but they just don't realize that. ;) So as one who always sees a positive from a negative---I say bring it on. :thumbsup:


#13

Trolls come in with an agenda. Here, they are anti-Catholic and aim to confuse and disrupt the discussions, or they are people who like to stir the pot in whatever arena and this seems as good an arena as any other. Especially since this forum has strict rules against being uncharitable in responses, so they are unlikely to get flamed even in their most outrageous postings, which to a troll is irresistible.

If there is one way to get rid of a troll, it's to ignore them. But in the 10+ years I've been on the internet, (yes, I am a baby compared to the "usenet" people!) I have never yet come across any forum whose members can resist the trollish bait. I liken it to rubber-necking on the freeway - it takes a tremendous amount of self-control to NOT look And on this very kind, sincerely concerned forum, there are many members who give everyone the benefit of the doubt (a good thing to do but then discernment with trolls is better).

I think the very first thread I created here was about the trolls who were merrily yanking chains all over the place and being given a LOT of attention. The ones I remember were declared atheists and weren't about to convert, they were arguing for the sake of it. Maybe they changed their tactics and are now trying to hide within our ranks?
:rolleyes:


#14

Again,

Trolling usually is done by posters with “nothing to loose” there’s been alot of trolling accusations going on around here with posters with hundreds or even thousands of posts.

Sometimes people are off base, sometimes their annoying…and that dosn’t make them a troll.


#15

Thank you for pointing that out. I used to ask questions about people who were more expert than I am, and sometimes other posters would chastise them for answering, saying "do not feed the trolls."

I wondered why we shouldn't? If the trolls are human, then why don't we put on our fisherman's cap and see if we can bait them and reel them in?

Then we can feed them medicine for their ailing minds and hearts. But you can't let them see the jar you're feeding them from, or they will think it's poison.

Give them a little of what they want. Let them say what they will about us, then ZAP. Treat them with love and respect, thank them for taking their time and effort, and basically shower them with Christian love. What sort of testimony about Christians would that make to the alleged heart of the troll?

What sort of chance they will let us feed them medicine and vitamins, if they think all Catholics are good for is to amuse ourselves by tweaking and watching them squeal?

I had to lose my pride in order to test out my theories. If anybody else wants to try, I'd love to watch.

Alan


#16

[quote="Rina_Badal, post:10, topic:234087"]
Having doubts, questions, and struggles is one thing, attacking the Church and what we believe in, baseless accusations and bigotry are completely another. We are eager to learn more about our Faith and share the little we have, but trolls aim to confuse and to destroy. They contradict themselves in their arguments because while they claim to be Catholics or searchers for the truth they fail to make the least effort to find the Truth. And no matter what resources and answers they are given they choose not to perceive or understand, 'for this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn . . '. Well, ' you will know them from their fruits.' Peace, Rina

[/quote]

:thumbsup:
Exactly, Rina. And I've noticed that when one gets any sort of negative answer, or disagreeing answer from anyone, almost immediately afterward a fellow troll will post another obnoxious comment; backing the first troll. Makes me believe there's often a connection--maybe even members of some anti-Catholic organization or pro-abortion. It's all just a little too coincidental, and I've seen it often. Just go to any authentically Catholic forum (happens here at times too, BTW) and follow the posts from those who keep declaring how Catholic they are. Then watch them cause divisions and disagreements as much as possible. They want the Catholic forums to be overrun with negative thinking and comments. And yes, note they also want to keep assuring us how Catholic and faithful to the Church they are. So we're all supposed to naively believe that if such a faithful Catholic has such and such an opinion, they must be right. They mislead the unsuspecting away from the faith, and that's often their goal. I think we should do all we can to expose them, though that might be hard at times.


#17

[quote="Alex2008, post:4, topic:234087"]
But the abuse crisis is one issue concerned mom, many of these people rip the Church for any preceived problem/issue/disagreement!

[/quote]

Yes, and such people will refuse to see the Church's side nor to acknowledge there have been innocent priests picked on. For some of they, hey, if it's a chance to go after the Church, they go! No facts needed, in their opinion.


#18

I've noticed:
Posts that ask how we as Catholics can be more tolerant and accepting of homosexuals, posts that blatantly contradict Church teaching on Birth control, Premarital sex, male only preisthood, or rituals are usually a good indicator. And while some of these are actual faith seeking persons, the ones who are quoted from the CCC or other document, explained the answer and then choose to never respond directly to the actual facts and just move on in defense of their position are usually the ones who are trolling and just pushing an agenda.

I personally know of one prominant calvanist who runs a huge website and publishes many books who comes onto Catholic sites like this one, posing as a Catholic to try to formulate his anti Catholic rhetoric.


#19

[quote="Catholicpotato, post:18, topic:234087"]
I've noticed:
Posts that ask how we as Catholics can be more tolerant and accepting of homosexuals, posts that blatantly contradict Church teaching on Birth control, Premarital sex, male only preisthood, or rituals are usually a good indicator. And while some of these are actual faith seeking persons, the ones who are quoted from the CCC or other document, explained the answer and then choose to never respond directly to the actual facts and just move on in defense of their position are usually the ones who are trolling and just pushing an agenda.

I personally know of one prominant calvanist who runs a huge website and publishes many books who comes onto Catholic sites like this one, posing as a Catholic to try to formulate his anti Catholic rhetoric.

[/quote]

I find that many catechism posters are also just merciless fact pushers. I'd rather some trolls.


#20

[quote="purplesunshine, post:19, topic:234087"]
I find that many catechism posters are also just merciless fact pushers. I'd rather some trolls.

[/quote]

I have seen that too, but I am refering to when someone posts a question or a position, is then informed of Catholic teaching and reasoning, then proceeds to act as if they do not even understand what is being quoted or what standing that has. I do not expect a non Catholic to give it too much weight but when these posters have Catholic on their profile and then give no credence to any form of Church teaching on the afformentioned subjects well one has to wonder......


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