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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Perceptive Man

The Heresy Hunter called me a punk.

He's an incredibly perceptive man.

To clear up one question in his post, however, a little explanation is in order.

Heresy Hunter was mystified as to why Pat Madrid would declare joy at the thought of my being told to "shut up" (Pat's words).

Therein lies a tale....

Anyone who knows Pat's history knows that he was one of the founders of, which is now known as Catholic Exchange. As most of you probably remember, Pat had founded Basilica Press and Envoy Magazine. Well, both were folded into as part of their "cover all channels" communications strategy, and from what I was given to understand, Pat got a large chunk of change for coming aboard early in e3mil's development cycle.

Well, was bankrolled by a Catholic millionaire that Pat, Tom Allen and a few others had hornswoggled (I never got the name, but my royalty checks are still signed by Peter Daou Foundation, so draw your own conclusions). When the dot-com bubble burst, so did

Pat ran for cover, leaving e3mil and taking Envoy Magazine with him along with a golden handshake. He left Basilica Press behind in the ruins of the e3mil fiasco. But before he ran for the hills, he had signed several authors onto Basilica Press. I was one of them.

I had a book called Scriptural Catholicism which I had self-published for at least a year prior to signing with Basilica. It was really the first of its kind (at least, the first in the last 40 years) in amassing enormous numbers of Scripture quotes into one place. It was a one-volume encyclopedia of apologetics and it sold really, really well. As a vendor, I actually once out-sold Tim Staples at one of Staples' own conferences (80 books to his 30 or 40 sales, in an audience of about 300). I had dozens of bookstores buying it - I thought signing with Madrid and Basilica was just going to mushroom sales. After all, hadn't Pat Madrid and Matt Pinto mushroomed the sales of their own respective self-published books?

Now, Pat made all kinds of promises to me when he signed me, including promising me a stint on ETWN. As a naive young Catholic, I foolishly thought that Catholics would honor promises even if they weren't formally written in the contract.

Hah! I found the joke was on me!

Not only did Pat change my book so as to make it unrecognizable to my audience (he even changed the title to the non-descript "Bible Basics"), he never got me that EWTN appearance or any additional sales. In fact, quite the reverse. Thanks to Pat's expertise, my book sales crashed by 90%. They never recovered.

By absolutely sheerest coincidence though, Pat came out with a competing product, "Where is THAT in the Bible?" just about a year later, right after he left e3mil, in fact.

Now, a few years after that Mel Gibson created his "Passion of the Christ" movie. As you may remember, used Ascension Press to bring out their famous best-seller on the Passion movie, using Mark Shea as an author. In fact, Tom Allen, the head of Catholic Exchange (the resurrected version of e3mil), somehow managed to worm his way into the production and help market the book across the country, to such an extent that his name even appears in the closing credits of the movie.

The movie raised enormous interest in Catholic theology and Catholic handling of Scripture in both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, so the Ascension Press book did VERY well.

And, to their credit, Ascension Press DID put my book in the bibliography of their book on the Passion.
First, in fact.
But, DARN!
By purest bad luck, Basilica Press had taken my book out of production just a month before the Ascension Press "Passion" book released... and Basilica kept it out of production for a full year. Everybody who wanted my book on Catholic handling of Scripture couldn't get it. I had zero sales from being in the bibliography.

But not everyone lost!
Pat Madrid did just fine with his Scripture book (it was published through OSV - he apparently didn't think much of the publishing company he created).

Oh, should I mention that during this time, the people in charge of the distribution of my book at Basilica were the same people in charge of distribution for Ascension Press? Yes, the ubiquitous Lynn Klika and her Catholic Word distribution company worked for Ascension Press, Basilica Press and Ignatius Press! What a coincidence!

And why would Ascension Press screw one of their own products in order to help an OSV product?

Well, Matt Pinto and Pat Madrid both used to work at Catholic Answers for Karl Keating.
Matt Pinto and Pat Madrid are old friends. Very old friends.
(To his credit, Karl Keating spent years refusing to talk to either one after Mutt and Jeff left his employ, for reasons I have never discovered. But I can make a couple of guesses).

Anyway, as a result, Pat Madrid made a TON of money, Catholic Exchange made a TON of money, and I .... oh, well, I wasn't part of the "in" crowd, was I, Pat?

That's why, as Pat points out, even though I once spent a night at his house, he never got to know me too well. Farmers don't spend a whole lot of cozy time with the chickens, pigs or sheep they raise.

So, of course, Pat needs to find me "acrimonious."
It undoubtedly helps him when he thinks about the past, assuming he thinks about the past.

And, of course, with this column, he's helping out his old friend, Matt Pinto and Ascension Press. After all, Matt's business was slowly sinking into the dirt until he signed Christopher West. Without West, Ascension Press would almost certainly have followed Sophia Institute Press and Tan Books into the Chapter 11 "find me a sugar daddy!" phase of Catholic publishing - the interminable senescence before death (the same death Ignatius Press was contemplating before hitting the unexpected pay dirt of having Fessio's friend, Cardinal Ratzinger, elected Pope).

So to be fair, I'm quite certain Pat didn't write that post just to be vicious to me. Knowing Patrick Madrid, he's not only helping Matt, he's probably somewhere got a financial deal cooking in the background, and he needs to show his bona fides to whoever is on the other end of the contract. For my money, Pat's essay is meant to assure someone that Pat is "on the side of the angels," as his friend, Mark Shea, would say.

So, you have your pick of reasons for why Pat Madrid suddenly jumped into the fray "from left field." It could be any one of them. It could be all of them. Or maybe he actually believes what he writes. Who knows?

Ask Pat! I'm sure he will tell you what you want to hear.

And, Pat, if you're reading this, I'm glad to hear you found another sugar daddy for Envoy!

Sorry I didn't respond to your essay earlier, but I didn't know anyone considered you relevant anymore.

To be scrupulously fair to Pat, Ignatius Press had also caught wind of my book at the same time Pat did, and they were also trolling to sign me. I chose Basilica over Ignatius primarily based on the promised royalties. Given what I know of IP, I doubt my treatment would have been any better if I'd signed with them.


Kathy said...

Mr. Kellermeyer,

I'm not sure what you're going through right now, but your postings are getting nastier and nastier.

I've liked what you've said in the past regarding homeschooling, etc., but I am going to unsubscribe from your blog if you continue on this path of tearing everyone down. You're better than this.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


Ok, I honestly don't get it.

When I gave you the reality of the problem with homeschooling, the problems I personally experienced with schools, parishes and dioceses, you ate it up, but I was no friendlier in that history than I am in this one.

I just happened to be goring an ox you wanted to see gored, so on that I was "liked."

Now, I'm telling you exactly what happened to me in another area - Catholic publishing. As with the schools, this is the reality I experienced.

And I'm being gentle. A few years back, I explained how EWTN operates. I could go into further example with Fr. Richard Hogan and *his* whispering campaign.

So, are you telling me that the reality I experienced is nasty?
Yes, I agree. It is.

Are you telling me I'm nasty for explaining how reality works?

Ma'am, I'm also an historian (graduate degree in history) - this is what historians write about. Reality.

Getting hagiographies on these people is easy - just read their press releases. It's just like reading the press release for a Catholic grade school, and just about as accurate.

If you're angry with me because you would prefer not to have your illusions shattered, I will happily apologize on the behalf of everyone who has ever gone on the Catholic speaking circuit - none of us are saints.

Heck, Even Fr. Corapi is well-known for having padded his vitae with Green Beret experiences that turned out not to be accurate.

But if you're angry because I'm treating your "pillars of Catholicity" in the same way I treated the Catholic schools, then take a number and get in line.

I've already got all the schoolteachers trying to burn me at the stake for being honest there. I don't see why I shouldn't have other idolaters burn me for refusing to worship their idols as well.

I expect Catholic homeschoolers to show a little consistency.

Man up.

Brendan said...

How can you be such a bully, picking on little Patrick Madrid?

Revealing that Shea and Madrid think you were bloodied by Peters' correction. It shows what sort of game they think this is.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

You're right.

I feel kind of bad.

After all, I have such a towering reputation among so millions more people than Madrid, Shea and West put together, that I clearly am the heavyweight in every conversation.

That tells you something about the conversation too, doesn't it?

Grover Cleveland was a President renowned for being "ugly honest." As governor, when people tried to quietly offer him a bribe in a coffee shop or tavern, he would virtually shout "What are you offering this money to me for? Are you trying to buy me?"

All eyes would turn towards him and the influence peddler would slink away into the crowd, red-faced.

I've always admired that story - "ugly honest." What a GREAT thing to say about someone!

Chad Myers said...

You should write another book, a guaranteed best seller. It'll make you a millionaire which seems to be very important to you. You should call it:

"Sour Grapes, Lots of Gossip, and the Many Ways Steve Kellmeyer Does No Wrong"

Clearly Patrick Madrid managed to orchestrate a vast Catholic Right-Wing conspiracy to screw you out of a few thousand bucks so that he could pad the linings of his gold-trimmed smoking jackets. All while he kicks back with a Bolivar and a snifter of 30yo double-malt musing on all the ways he's screwed Steve Kellmeyer over.

Drop the hate, Steve. Even if half of what you said was true (which I believe is more like 0% and the rest is imagined or coincidence which you feel the need to blame on everyone else but yourself), the answer is not gossiping and libeling Patrick or Christopher West, or anyone else for that matter.

Stick to the facts, post your sources, address issues point by point, and do it for the glory of the Holy Spirit.

You serve no one but Screwtape by your vitriol and you scratch the flesh of the Body of Christ.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Thanks for your concern, Chad.

Funny you should mention Pat's lifestyle. There is a story about him petitioning money from another Catholic for some project or other (don't remember exactly what the project was anymore).

Anyway, the man being hit up for money suggested Pat divest himself of his snazzy and very expensive sports car first. Pat left without the money. He kept the car.

Heresy Hunter asked a public question, in a very on-target essay. I provided a public answer.

You don't like the answer.
I suggest you buy a handkerchief.

Or, better yet, help heal the Body of Christ by agreeing with me and getting everyone else to agree with me.

I mean, isn't that your point? You want everyone to agree. You don't seem to care WHAT we agree about, just so long as we stop fighting.

Fine. So you'll get right on that, I'm sure.

Oh, and drop the hatred against me, will'ya? It's divisive, it RENDS the Body of Christ - your diatribe comes from Screwtape!

You keep spreading this gossip and these lies and.... oh, wait... I forgot... You're a hypocrite!

Oh, so that's alright then.
Please, continue.

See? That's the great thing about arguments with no stinkin' substance - they point any which way and gore everyone equally. Me. You. All are guilty. Whereas actual substantive arguments deal with facts, and only point in one direction.

I deal in the latter, my friend.

You got facts to contradict me, bring 'em forward.

If you don't, then why are you yappin'?

Chad Myers said...

@Steve: I'm not hating on you, I'm mocking your absurd and belligerent style in obvious hyperbole so that perhaps it might get through to you.

But then you come back at me with more insults about Patrick. Even if everything you say about Patrick is true, you're gossiping and not helping anyone (including and especially Patrick himself).

You're also harming your immortal soul by doing this. Even if it's not a mortal sin, many venial sins add up to a mortal sin as weight upon the soul and a door slam on the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Call me the worst hypocrite, but I call upon you to repent and to use your blog for good. If you have specific instances to call Patrick or Christopher or even me about, then do it straight-faced without vitriol or sarcasm, enumerate the problems and call for repentance and then drop it.

Insulting everyone, including those who call you out for insulting everyone, is simply beneath your human dignity and especially your standing as a prominent orthodox Catholic. You harm us all by your behavior and I call you to stop and try a different tact.

I can assure you it will do less harm to your soul, maybe even heal it and better yet, it will be more effective at making change in Christopher, Patrick, Mark, and readers like myself.

You can't out-hate someone into love.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Oh, so when you mock me, that's ok then?

I see.

Look, I used to have the same high opinion of Pat Madrid that you seem to have. Then I worked with the man. I worked with his friends. He and his friends destroyed my family's livelihood, or at least acted with such reckless disregard for my work that what HAD been a going concern was destroyed.

Now, they're trying to do it again. I sat silent the first time through. I'm not silent this time.

You don't like it.
I don't care.

Don't you think it possible that if their misdeeds are made public, they might try to stop screwing people over?

Do you understand that less than five years after Pat got a hold of my first highly successful book and destroyed it, Matt Pinto tried to get a hold of my second highly successful book?

He pitched me the same way Pat did, but by this time, I had grown wise. I turned him down. Later, in a fit of rage over a related matter, he directly admitted that he had never even read the book he had originally praised and tried to buy off me.

Now what implication am I meant to draw here? I could only come up with one: he just wanted it in his publishing house so he could destroy the competition it represented the same way Pat had successfully torched my first book.

YOU haven't worked with these people, Chad. I've worked with all of them, for months and years.

I've tried silence, I've tried turning the other cheek. All it gets the rest of us is Chris West's heresies.

Chad, I will literally be damned if I stay silent before the heresies West spreads, the heresies that make Matt Pinto physically rich.

If I thought there was another way to stop these jerks, I would use it. If West were to abjure all his false teachings tomorrow morning, really publicly abjure them and apologize for them, I would endorse him and his work wholeheartedly by tomorrow afternoon. I'd wish Matt Pinto millions and gladly watch Ascension Press become the biggest Catholic press in the world.

But no, Chad.
Not like this.
This is wrong.
And I'll blast apart any man who tries to stop me from stopping these heresies, whether he's Pat Madrid or a prince of the Church.

Do you understand me, son?
I don't give a damn what you think.
I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks.

I'm going to keep exposing layer after layer until somebody shuts Chris the hell up or, better yet, gets him toeing the Magisterial line.

DeAngeli said...


Would you care to be as transparent about your own employment history as you are about the business shenanigans of others?

What parishes and dioceses have you worked for and why have you parted ways, most recently from St. Francis in Grapevine, TX?

Why can't you seem to hold down a job?

Pat Madrid is obviously an operator, but he's got my loyalty for his work on LC/RC stuff. He had his kids in LC schools, his son was an LC seminarian, and he pulled the former out, helped the latter out, and has been right at the forefront with news and analysis about the horrors of LC. Good for him.


What are you doing now for employment, Steve?


Catholic publishing and EWTN suck. Everyone knows that. But if you're the savior...why ain't you the savior, Steve?


Here's a clue: if you want an audience to help you take CW down, write a clearly reasoned, witty article and submit it to America or Commonweal or National Catholic Reporter. They will eat that shit up, man. Really.


Are you still speaking, Steve? Where are you appearing next? I'd like to go hear you speak.


(Oh, and on Corapi - do the Catholic world a favor and take your fervor in that direction. I don't believe a word the dude says about his past. Find out the truth about Corapi, and you'll be a hero.)

Steve Kellmeyer said...


Thanks for the additional attacks on my character. I really appreciate it. I recognize you as Anonymous, the guy whose been cutting and pasting this attack all around the Internet. You just grabbed a gmail account name with an alias in order to continue the ad hominem. Sweet. Chris, aren't you supposed to be on sabbatical?

If I wasn't making headway against you, Chris, you wouldn't be so concerned about me that you adopted multiple anonymous and semi-anonymous personaes to take me out. I mean, come on, DeAngeli? "The Angels"? You're on the side of the Angels? That's so Mark Shea-ish. No imagination, at all.

As to your question about my employment history, what makes you think I can't keep a job? Do tell!

The fact that Pat was taken in by the LC hype for so many years, to the extent of allowing his son to pursue it, is a great indicator of the quality of his judgement, wouldn't you say? He's better connected than I am, he knew the score, or should have known it, but he apparently didn't. How's THAT work? And now this former LC cult fan is defending West and Pinto? Great!

And Chris, if you're so interested in Corapi, you go after him. Nothing prevents you.

dcs said...

Even if it's not a mortal sin, many venial sins add up to a mortal sin as weight upon the soul and a door slam on the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Many venial sins do not add up to even one mortal sin.

Hope this helps.

Wade said...

Is this moderated?

Wade said...

Hi Steve,

I was a big fan of your old apologetics website, the one with all the Scriptural quotes. What a gem! I think I even wrote you at the time (late '90s) to let you know, but my memory is foggy.

I am wondering if you could email me? I have had some experiences with Catholic publishing and speakers on the Catholic speaking circuit that I would like to discuss with you. Thanks.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Wade, I don't have your e-mail address. Your personae has no contact information.

For all I know, your real name is De Angeli. Or possibly A Nonymous DeAngeli.

You'll have to find my e-mail address and e-mail me.

With your full name, please.
And location, while we're at it.