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Friday, January 27, 2012

Yale Teaching Assistant Blames "Satanic Freemasonry" for Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals

Wonder what's getting passed off as scholarship in Ivy League schools these days?

A Yale University teaching assistant and graduate student has posted her 53,000 word doctoral thesis online, entitled "Shakespeare and Dante: Demonic Agency as Literary Theory.” Margherita Viggiano was let go from her position as an art history TA and dismissed by the dean of the graduate school, Edward Barnaby, after a heated exchange of truly loony emails. The central theme to Viggiano's thesis is that "Satanic Freemasons" infiltrated the Catholic Church and arranged for priests to sexually molest children to destroy the Church from within.

According to the Ivygate website, Viggiano was apparently notorious for distributing conspiracy-laden handouts to undergraduates.

From the Ivygate website entry, In Doctoral Thesis, Rogue Yale T.A. Blames “Satanic Freemasonry” for Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals:

It’s unclear whether Yale has yet accepted Viggiano’s thesis; we’ve emailed Yale’s Department of Comparative Literature for comment, and will update if we hear back.

Referring to an Italian woman who had been “demonically possessed” and the Church’s efforts to save her, Viggiano writes:

"Her case is so exceptional, and the reasons of her continuing sufferings so disturbing, that one wonders why the Church hierarchy in Rome did not publicly intervene to denounce the phenomenon of Satanism in the Catholic Church. The crime of her cursing happened in Italy, performed by Italian fallen priests: therefore, it would have been logical for the Vatican, in Rome, to start a formal investigation into Satanism, looking for the causes that drive ordained priests to renegade God, renounce eternal life, and embrace the cult of Satan instead. If the hierarchy had done so, other scandalous events such as the repeated cases of pedophilia would have been better understood – and perhaps avoided – in light of the infiltration of Freemasonic elements in the Church, with an aim to discrediting the Church in the eyes of the world. As we will see in the section Freemasonry and Satanism, the abuse of children is completely in line with the ‘requirements’ of the church of Satan for its adepts. The defilement and, possibly, the ultimate sacrifice of an innocent – and children of course represent The Innocent, par excellence – is Satan’s attempt to ape the Passion of Jesus, to repeat it for his own glory and the damnation of the priests performing it. [clxxiv]"

The endnote to which “[clxxiv]” refers is, well, you’ll have to see for yourself, after the jump. (Warning: it’s disturbing.)

"[clxxiv] As we will see, Satanic Freemasonry re-enacts the Passion of our Lord quite literally, with the skinning and crucifixion of innocent victims: preferably children, who are figurae Christi. This practice has been in use since the Passion itself, two thousand years ago – but we will especially focus on a famous artistic representation of this torture dating from the Renaissance."

As for Catholic priests themselves, on the other hand:

"Far from being victim souls, many members of the Church hierarchy are often unfaithful and morally corrupted, and a number of them have betrayed God to be part of Freemasonry, which is defined by Jesus as the church of Satan on earth, active within God’s Church itself and covered by a mask of hypocritical respectability."

We’re don’t know what on earth she’s talking about. Unfortunately. At the same time, both the length and complexity of her thesis suggest that those florid emails to Edward Barnaby, her students, and her peers weren’t the result of a momentary lack of judgement, but honest and deep conviction. We’re not sure whether that makes her behavior and her beliefs less, or more, disturbing.


  1. As a Master of a Lodge in Michigan, and as a teacher of the Humanities (I spent time on Dante last semester and just introduced Shakespeare this semester) I would love to find out where in the wold she was going with all of this. The amazing this is that she was able to get so far as to be in a position to write a thesis at Yale. How did she ever get that far? It seems like now is as good a time as there has ever been to be "spreading light." I cringe to think that some other school might be all to happy to pick her up after all of this.

  2. Ironically I decided today to start researching for my blog a post on the psychology and ideology of anti-Masons. Her and her thesis could be my "Exhibit A". :D

    Intolerance and ignorance are deadly combinations particularly when you put them with such hubris.

    Bro. Barry

  3. Ah yes. We're normally rather staid and conservative up here in Connecticut, so our crazies have to work overtime to make up the balance.

    Of course, Yale is in New Haven, where the rumours started that the Masonic Child ID Program actually implanted RFID tracking chips in children.

  4. Wow. My question to her is you're preparing for your Doctorate... from Yale and you have a million things you could write about. You pick something insane and you wonder why Yale pulls the plug?


  5. I find this story to be difficult to believe. As someone who has gone to graduate school and had to write a masters thesis, the subject of the thesis had to be approved by a committee before its writing. Also, there are several meetings with the person's advisor and the committee as the subject of the thesis is researched. It seems almost impossible for a masters or doctoral thesis to be handed in without anyone else knowing what it would be about.

  6. Awfully short for a PhD thesis. And Robert G. is quite right: the thesis would have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb by her committee. I'm guessing this is some sort of worked over seminar paper.

  7. I'm with Robert G on this, in terms of committee oversight. When I _proposed_ my own dissertation research plan at NYU, it had to be approved by a committee of 5 faculty members, including my committee and two outside readers from my department. I can't imagine that Yale is that much less rigorous than NYU [ :-) ].

    The length of the dissertation is not so suspicious to me; lately, it seems, people are getting by with more lightweight dissertations. (Hers is only an 88-page .pdf.) But still, I do have to wonder if this is a seminar paper, or a journal article manuscript.

    The weirdness of it all makes me suspect that this was never passed before a dissertation committee at Yale. Could this be a hoax, or evidence of, ahem, a paranoid process in the technical sense?

  8. Ugh. Somehow Yale as forcing ground for Paul De Man's nuttiness is some sort of telling background for this insanity. It is outrageous that this troubled woman even got this far.

  9. She's probably suffering from some sort of psychotic episode. The only reason her incoherent ramblings have seen the light of day is that whatever troubles she is suffering have led her to post bizarre demonological conspiracy theories on her web page. Her students made sure that her temporary indiscretion is perpetuated so that all may laugh at the freak show.

    I don't agree with a word that she said, but I think she deserves some mercy. She's already destroyed her academic career - I don't think it's useful to immortalize her breakdown.

    Lots of smart people at Yale. Some of them are mentally ill. Laughing at her for no other crime than being semi-publicly crazy strikes me as cruel.

    Bro. Mike from Connecticut

  10. I'm with you, Brother Mike on that. The whole affair is quite sad. Compassion should be the rule here.

  11. I imagine this is yet another feeble attempt to secure a undeserved book contract and get some fast-fleeting notoriety. The fact that Yale University would even consider accepting this as being of doctoral quality is quite disappointing. Out of curiosity alone I will look at the references she has utilized in making such outrageous accusations.

    Joseph P. Bradley
    Congdon-Overlook Lodge #163
    Bernardsville, NJ


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