Saturday, May 03, 2003

The Mr. X Saga

Well, in the last week and a half a bit of a saga has been playing out between CAI (Catholic Apologetics International) and David King with William Webster. This person, only originally identified as "Mr. X" on CAI's site claimed to have some "dirt" on King and Webster regarding a book series they published on sola scriptura. What did Mr. X have to say about King and Webster?

  • He claimed he was reverting back to the Catholic Church that his family left when he was only 8 years old.
  • He claimed they had deliberately left out parts of the quotes used in the book(s) that didn't fit their agenda, or even spoke against sola scriptura. Mr. X stated King and Webster referred to these omitted sections as "bad words."
  • He claimed there was a conference call between King, Webster, Pierce and himself wherein publicity of the book was discussed.
  • He claimed he gave over $18,000 of his own money to go toward the publishing of the book.
  • He claimed he spent months working about 20 hours a week on research for King and Webster.
  • He claimed he compiled a document, which he sent to me, Steve Ray and a couple others, which contained a lot of the quotes used in the King/Webster book.
  • He told Robert Sungenis of CAI that he was now 23 years old (minor point).

Well, CAI published most of this informatioin on their website (now pulled), but did not yet have any of it verified. This is when I became interested and involved. I contacted Robert through IM and told him of my concerns, this was on Thursday, April 24, 2003. I told him that this Mr. X did indeed send me a file, 2 years earlier, and at that time claimed he was reverting back to the Catholic Faith. I was not alone in this conversation. It was initiated on IRC, where Mr. X first contacted us through the #CathApol chatroom. He was speaking to me and #CathApol co-founder who went by the "nicks" of Irish3 and Wolfsong at the time. Irish3 and I were a bit excited, at first, because this Mr. X had been an "op" (channel operator) for James White's IRC channel at the time. We kept asking him when he'd go public with his conversion, and he kept saying that he wanted James to make the announcement - that's about when the "red flags" started waving. Why in the world would James White make such an announcement? After a while, Mr. X began to state doubts about actually converting - stating his 17 year old girlfriend was having difficulty with his decision to convert. Mr. X at the time we were talking claimed to be 18 years old - keeping in mind, this was only 2 years ago.

    Points that concerned me:
  • Now, this minor point that I mentioned earlier becomes a bit heavier weighted - 2 years ago he was 18, and now he claims to be 23. Irish3 and I informed both Robert Sungenis and Jacob Michaels of the discrepency - where did the extra 3 year come from? So, we established that this Mr. X is a liar. He either lied to me 2 years ago, or he's lying to CAI now - or perhaps he lied both times? Whichever, he was lying.
  • During one of our discussions with Mr. X, two years ago, he stated that he had gone back to the Catholic Mass for the first time in 11 years. I didn't add it up till just recently, but if he was 8 when his family left the Church - and it had been 11 years since the last time he went to Mass, that would have made him 19 years old when we were talking, not 18, as he claimed.
  • Had CAI seen the copies of the checks that Mr. X allegedly had written? No. Mr. X claimed he would send them copies, but never did.
  • The document that Mr. X had sent me, I converted to HTML and showed it to James White, who showed it to David King - King claimed that was HIS work! White and King both claimed there was a person who went by the nickname of "RW^" - who was an "op" in their channel and was constantly asking for quotes from them. Somehow, somewhere along the line, King had sent "RW^" this file.
  • On CAI's website that contained the "preview" of the "full interview" Mr. X stated that my debates with James White were part of the reason that he was reverting. Funny thing, if I was so instrumental in his conversion - why had he not even contacted me since 2001? It was no biggie to me that he was going to CAI to share his story, but to not even get back in touch with me at all - that was a bit troubling.
  • The "story" he was telling CAI was like deja vu of what he had told us 2 years earlier (but two years earlier he had not informed us of the "bad words" parts of the document.

Irish3 and I shared our thoughts and concerns with both Robert and Jacob on Sunday night, 4/27/2003, the same night that they were to publish the "full interview" with Mr. X. Well, instead of this interview - they posted a "Hold on - we're checking some details" message. That, coupled with the fact that Mr. X had not shown up and was not reachable started them thinking.

Well, enough for now - I'll post more in a bit.


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