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Mel Gibson’s traditionalism seems to be feeding his demons

You don’t have to be a doctor to know that Mel is in trouble. And his Holy Family Church is not helping

By on Monday, 12 July 2010

Mel Gibson and his (former) girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in January (Photo: PA)

Mel Gibson and his (former) girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in January (Photo: PA)

Newspapers routinely refer to any Roman Catholic in the news as “a devout Catholic”. They would not say that of Mel Gibson at the moment, however. Mad Mel is again in hot water for racism. This time it is not the Jews; it is (allegedly) the blacks (or n—–s as he allegedly calls them). He has also, according to reports, hit his (former) girlfriend, the Russian singer Oksana Grigorieva, and called her an expletive-deleted “pig in heat”.

Just like a juiced up Irish-Australian-American, eh? But it seems he was not tight. Whatever the case, a recording was made of Gibson’s alleged outburst and then leaked. Ms Grigorieva and Gibson were already engaged in a bitter custody battle for their nine-month-old daughter, and now Gibson faces domestic abuse charges.

You don’t have to be a doctor to know that Mel is a man in the grip of galloping paranoia and sexual insecurity. He is a puritan who now regrets having departed from the straight and narrow, and is blaming his ex-girlfriend for his fall. He is like a lot of us, in other words. He is also a serious Catholic, however, and has sound liturgical instincts. Unfortunately, he cleaves to a paranoid traditionalism that seems to feed his demons (or at any rate does not destroy them). Maybe he should return to the mainstream, hand his Holy Family Church outside Malibu to some traditionalist group in communion with Rome. All he has to do is place an ad in the Catholic Herald…

The only defence of Gibson I have seen in the past week comes from the likeable Hugo Rifkind. Alas, Hugo plays it safe. In the current issue of the Spectator he deplores Gibson’s racism (as who does not?) but says he will not apologise for remaining passionately keen on Gibson’s movies. “I just wouldn’t have him in the house,” he says.

Me, I’d have Gibson in the house any day, but would not want to watch any of his films again. He’s a poor, often embarrassing actor, and a cheesy director. No exceptions? Well, the first Mad Max wasn’t bad and I think that there is still something to be said for the beautiful, sensational and sometimes horrid The Passion, though I am not sure I would want to see it again.

Then, too, the first five minutes of the little-known Conspiracy Theory are genius. The rest is rubbish, but in those first five minutes Gibson gives a hilarious performance as a paranoid taxi driver. Go here.

“Someone’s got to lift the festering scab that is the Vatican” is a very good line. What is especially droll about this scene is that Gibson himself almost certainly believed some of the rubbish spouted by his character. Heck, even I believe that George Bush Sr was a 33rd degree Freemason.

  • Brian in Wisconsin

    Mr. Reid, you claim his traditionalism is to blame, but then offer no examples as proofs for your argument. As a journalist, I understand the need to stay within word limits, but lose the part about having over Chez Reid, then. You can't do a drive-by shooting like this. It does more harm than good. I would agree, however, that he give the church to FSSP or another in-communion group. They have no real presence in SoCal. Hopefully A/b Gomez will change all that.

  • thetruth

    Listen to the tapes again. Racism is the LEAST of his problems. Did you miss his violent hatred of women? His homicidal and suicidal tendencies?

    Mel Gibson is not a traditional Catholic; he is a heretic and a schismatic. As you noted, he has his own church in Malibu.

  • burritobob

    Listening to those tapes is truly chilling. To be fair, I think the recent ones came out after Stuart Reid posted this comment.

    Is it a sign of egomania to start your own church?

  • Ignatious of Antioch

    Passion of Christ was what led to his downfall….but not in the way you may think….First, the movie was incredible. Second, I truly believe he was guided by the Holy Spirit in making the film. But, because he did not have the foundation of Catholic church, ie. as “thetruth” said, he left himself open to demonic attack, which they were pissed off about the movie anyway. He thus fell victim to “his” demons….they are truly his…..if he would come back to the Catholic Church and God, he would have a better defense against the attacks…..

  • Marie

    Have you heard the tapes in which he is panting like an animal? Words cannot do it justice.
    After listening to the recently released tapes, I believe it is possible to conclude that he is possessed by demons. He sounds positively inhuman.

  • KatrinaWB

    Feelings about Mel's acting or directing ability aside, the fact remains that many, many people were moved to tears upon viewing The Passion of the Christ. I believe that quite a few people returned to active practice of their faith as a result of it, and even some who were in a religious no-man's land might have come to acceptance of Jesus Christ, and the truth of the Gospel due to the powerful emotions felt upon seeing a very realistic and truthful depiction of the Passion and Cruxifiction. Satan must surely be outraged by this, and I tuly believe that Mel Gibson is being directly attacked by demons for leading some people to Chist through his movie. Mel Gibson needs our prayers more than our criticism, and perhaps needs exorcism. Anyone who does any good for the Kingdom is a target of the devil. Satan is obviously enraged, and will continue his attack on Gibson to totally discredit him and his work, and cause people to turn against him. Pray for him.

  • KatrinaWB

    I note in my misspelling of Crucifixion in my post. I am a 60 year old lifelong Catholic, and well-educated, and certainly know how to spell crucifixion. Perhaps I am paranoid as well, but I have had years of computer/spelling/printing errors whenever I was writing anything the devil hates. Every month, like clockwork, for years my computer would malfunction, or the printer wouldn't print, when I was trying to type and print out minutes for our parish Right to Life group. Satan never sleeps, is always on the prowl, trying to sabotage even our smallest efforts to do good, or speak God's truth, and he just proved my point.

  • Rick

    Katrina, I wouldn't worry about the typos. I don't think it's Satan, per se. Typos are common in informal writing such as is found on forums, boards, and replies to articles. Peace.

  • Susanv83

    Finally…….someone with common sense! Katrina is right on tthe mark!

  • Volumina

    This is what happens when an authoritarian right-wing fanatic, religious and/or political, father raises a talented and creative son.

  • Loretta_goldsmith

    Does anyone know how to contact Mel Gibson? I would like to invite him on a retreat; maybe that would help.

  • KatrinaWB

    You are correct, but if you read the misspelled word, its seems a little devilish, doesn't it?

  • Lindanelson1643

    Mel has fallen, he has alot of weaknesses. Just like Jesus fell many times during his Passion so is Mel, but don't we all. The movie “The Passion of the Christ” has put Mel on the front line of the spiritual battle and he has become a major target by the evil one. So many people have had conversions because of that movie!!! So we need to pray, pray, pray for our brother. We have to be careful not to judge or become self-rightous until we can walk a mile in his shoes. He needs spiritual protection–please pray for him.

  • Mo4angelsbps

    AMEN Sister !! In agreement with Susanv83 and KatrinaWB

  • teresa

    Prayer needed. Our generation is not immune to demonic influence. Mel knows what his problem is and he knows where to go to get the help he needs. He has to have incredible will and courage and especially faith in order to defeat the demons that hound him.

  • Paula

    Satan saw Mel as a “big fish” to catch, and catch him he has…but its not too late for Mel…he needs to repent, and follow the whole TRUTH of the true Catholic Church.
    I think he went 'off the track' with building his own church…to me that is like a “break-away” just like King Henry did! Mel needs to get some good spiritual advice…..Father John Corapi would be a good place to start (he sticks to the truth)
    I agree completely with Katrina's comment…I do believe that the movie, “The Passion Of Christ” really enraged Satan…Pray for Mel, he needs help from God, (and likely an exorcism) he needs to turn back to “The Catholic Church”…and not his own variation of it!

  • paula

    This is absolutely correct Ignatious!..
    Christians everywhere need to “storm Heaven” with their prayers for Mel, and hopefully he will see some of these comments to help inspire him to get urgent help from God…and our Blessed Mother Mary, who will intercede for him, if he turns to her….Mel needs to get back to the TRUE Catholic Church…opening his own church left him wide open to Satan and his legion of Demons….Please, pray for him!

  • Bo

    …yes, Katrina…You are right…I do remember what was said when filming of “Passion of Christ” …they had Holy Mass ( Latin ?) every time /day before they start shooting scenes , they did experienced many setbacks….and we know that devil is no friend of Jesus !…Jesus has made spectacle of satan by dying on the Cross – doing Father's will…dying for all humanity…to redeem us !…Devil knew ,that this will be turning point for many….Jesus Christ was accused,scurged,mocked with crown of thorns, spit on, carried the heavy wood of the cross and nailed to the cross….do we remember ,that what Mel went thru?…when all Hollywood was silent, nobody was there to help financing ????…who helped ?….all faithful Christian were behind him….so, not condemn him, please…let's go and pray for him…and definetly he needs a deliverance from evil !…and go to Meddjugorje…(like the actor who played Jesus !)
    ….and for him saying racials slurt, that is NOT acceptable to any of us…..and when dark side is active in people's mind…it is hard for him to control ( spirit of hate,pride,anger, bitterness)…just ask any good and holy preacher…Mel needs our prayers….and also his family…we do not hear about his children…what they are going thru as well…so, please do not condemn….
    ….and do not forget Oksana is actress too…how convenient was to record all …???..somebody is going to make lots of money …lawyers!

  • M. Ray

    I agree with Paula that Mel Gibson needs to get back to the true Catholic Church. Indeed, opening his own church was a bad idea. Presumably he had to hire a priest for his church, and a hired priest is not likely to last very long in his job if he tells his employer that he needs to change his life. Mel Gibson should get to confession asap, with a diocesan priest (or, as Paula mentioned, Fr. Corapi – who would of course be perfect), who will tell him what he needs to do to get his life back in order.

    I don’t recall that there was ever much scandal surrounding Mel Gibson before he made the Passion of the Christ. Since then, his life has spiraled out of control, and only become worse and worse. He needs prayers.

    Part of the problem, which has probably already been mentioned, is Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson, who is an extreme sedevacantist – and just plain nuts. I think that Hutton Gibson has played a large part in ruining his son’s life. Hopefully, it isn’t too late.

  • Julieamateis

    Amen, I couldn't have said it any better, I been thinking the same thing. Mel is being attacked because he brought people to Christ through his movie, let's pray for him.

  • Stevedicarlo

    Without responding to the issues of his acting and directing, I'd like to put Mel's behavior in context of the fact that he is bi-polar. People that are afflicted with this disorder tend to drink as a way of dealing with the problem. It is a way of self medicating. When one is manic, one tends to make crazy statements and for some reason make very prejudiced statements even though the level of mania is not bad enough to make it obvious to those around the individual. I know this because I have a brother who is bi-polar and does the same things as do some of his friends with the same disorder. It's not an excuse, just an explanation.

  • kewp

    Listen to the tapes! Mel is a typical abuser…instilling fear with rage and threats of violence, chipping away at her self-esteem by calling her horrible names, and attempting to isolate her by telling her she has no friends.

    The abuse is REAL, and Oksana and her children are in REAL DANGER. Please don't minimize their frightening situation by suggesting she is an actress, conveniently making these recordings, and she might make lots of money.

    She had to make these recordings to save her life. She had to make these recordings to gain full custody of her daughter to save her from this dangerously unstable man. People ask why is she so calm on the tapes? Every abused woman learns quickly to be calm and quiet at all times, so as not to upset the abuser.

    Yes, of course pray for Mel, but Oksana and her children are in serious life and death danger! Pray for them!!!

    By the way, Oksana is not an actress. She is a classically trained pianist and the daughter of 2 music professors.

  • Bo

    …as for tapes….her voice is so clear…and Mel…it is hard to understand(” panting like animal”.- You say)…please, do not judge…
    Oksana has now two children with two different father…and Mel was good catch… You smell money ,honey?….
    Mel downfall ..who doesn't have it in Holywood….he was married for many years…devil /satan is in peoples mind and actions…
    “Thoughts-> creates images > that creates feelings > that creates “desires “> that creates behaviors & actions…..and our society is full of it…Hollywood…someone once said is like Sodoma & Gomora….from there all is comimg to us….thru TV,films, games,songs, violence, drug addictions,gamblings……
    …so, dear do not judge….. St.Mathew 7:14

  • Rosanna Marie

    Mel is not a serious Catholic…he was a serious break-away Traditionalist, out of communion with Rome.
    That aside, Mel is desparate need of an exorcism. I hope some Catholic exorcist can help him.

  • RosaryGirl

    I would love to see Mel Gibson make a movie about St Michael the Archangel! How cool would that be?

  • Angela

    Mel Gibson is not a traditionalist in the sense that Father Corapi is a traditionalist. Gibson is a sedevacantist, and sedevacatists are in schism. That must be clarified. Gibson does need prayers for conversion, in more ways than one.

  • Ptesse

    Is it me ? But doesnt Mel's girlfiend , Oksana, look like the demon depicted in the passion of Christ. I never cared for that Movie and could not watch it , it was as dark as Mel. I do recall the demon , take a look.

  • Sister

    I did hear somewhere that if a person converts another he will also go to heaven. I'm sure Mel will too.

  • Sister

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  • Sister

    What's Jim Caviezels take on all this?

  • Thegrassysageknoll

    This has got absolutely nothing to do with Mel Gibson's supposed “traditionalism”. There are plenty of average, middle of the road, Catholics who have done the same things as Mel. We should be praying for him and thanking God that we have not fallen into the same pit as him and begging the grace not to do so in the future.

    What the moral point of the story should be is that fame, power and money can corrupt even those who, on the exterior surface, seem to practice the faith.

  • P Baquilala

    I agree with you.Instead of accusations and putting him down which in fact added evil behavior towards someone who needs prayers like Mel Gibson.

  • ginaelise

    Please pray for Mel Gibson and his Family, they need our prayers: please see

  • Lucas Mac an Airchinnigh

    'Just like a juiced up Irish-Australian-American, eh?' – it appears that you are pandering to stereotypes here. At a boarder level, without the massive Irish contribution in America, Australia or, for that matter, England, the Catholic church would be a deshriveled institution, deprived of its dynamic energy and clout. It would be almost irrelevant.
    Don't ever forget the historic debt those countries owe to Irish Catholics.

    Lucas Mac an Airchinnigh

  • Miles

    Yes I believe the same thing. It is not coincidental that one moment he is the biggest star in the world and then the next, after the Passion of The Christ”, then he is now a laughing stock in the world. If you look at how the media is portraying him with pictures of him making weird faces and that is mostly the images that they show of him, you will see that it is trying to degrade him and take him out. I have heard him say that while making the Passion of the Christ movie he said that he keeps on hearing voices that just won't leave him alone. I believe that these are demonic voices that has began attacking him since. These voices drove him crazy and then the demons came in for the kill. these demons are real whether you believe it or not. I am so glad you wrote this because I myself began to think about it and thats what I came up. Anyways I have already prayed for Mel.

  • Ellen

    I think Mel's being attacked for being a perpetrator of domestic violence and being a drunken bigot who is completely narcissistic and selfish

  • Steve Petrica

    “He is a puritan who now regrets having departed from the straight and narrow,”

    Not to be *too* persnickety, but wouldn't that be “the strait and narrow”?

  • ginaelise

    Yes KatrinaWB I was one of the ones in which you speak; I was an alcoholic and seriously depressed. Upon seeing “The Passion of the Christ” movie I was transformed read about it here on the site that I built dedicated to calling everyone to pray for Mel and his Family.

  • Dan Nicholls

    It is as necessary to withhold judgment on Oksana as it is to do with Mel. Your insinuation is simply out of line, so please don't repeat it.

  • M. Ray


    Your website is excellent, and prayers for Mel Gibson and his family are indeed the best way that we can help him and his family. I added my ten rosary intentions on your website today. I was hoping to find a way to post, on your site, my own story of how one of Mel Gibson's films helped me, but couldn't find a way to do so, so I'll post it here.

    Mel Gibson's film Braveheart was a catalyst for my conversion to Catholicism. I saw the film several years after it was released, and was very much affected by it. I was also seriously depressed due to a crisis in my marriage. The film, and the beautiful soundtrack, which I listened to often, helped me to feel better, and caused me to take an interest in Scotland. When I visited Scotland 6 years ago, many graces were put in my path there which led to my conversion to Catholicism three years later. Deo Gratias! And it all began with a Mel Gibson film.

  • Loup Garou

    I am sorry to say that Mel will go to Hell when he dies. He is NOT a Catholic and absolutely does not practice the true Catholic faith. He is divorced, has co-habitated with slutty women and has a bastard child (born without the sacrament of Holy Matrimony). Also he has made severe anti-Semetic statements. Mel,….Our Lord and Savior, the Most Holy Jesus Christ was a Jew! What in the name of Our Lord, The Most Holy Exhalted Jesus Christ is wrong with you???? Dominus vobiscum.

  • Thegrassysageknoll

    Since when did the church empower you to say who is definitely going to hell or not?!

  • David Booth

    Mel Gibson's problems can be summed up simply as too much money and not enough sense.

  • Marie Pati

    Mel Gibson is a sinner like the rest of us, trying to be saints. The title of this article implies tradionalism as a bad thing. This has very little to do with Mel's problems. We just really need to be careful with how we talk about people in the Church. If there are groups of people who are not with Rome, who may have experienced liturgical abuse, well we need to pray for our Church that struggles with this right now and also pray for our friends to come back to the Church, to have hope that things will get better. But to have an article where you are calling out someone's inadequecies with bitter sarcasm & very negative as you do here regardless if he is a public figure, is wrong. Mel is still a human being that should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of his own personal sufferings. Obviously he's suffering greatly in his soul to treat others as such and we can't judge his interior heart only his exterior actions, but with great prudence and humility-which I think this article greatly lacks. In Christ & His Holy Mother, member of the Catholic Church

  • Datamaryck

    The author of this piece needs to do his homework. Mel Gibson is not Roman Catholic. He belongs to a traditionalist break-away church that is not in union with Rome. He is not a Catholic with a capital C.

    He obviously has an anger management thing going on which leads him to go off on verbal tirades saying the worst things he can think of to say to engender a response from the other person. Does he sincerely believe any of the rubbish that comes out of his mouth during those tirades. His life when he is not in this state says no. Hie has many good friends who are Jewish and black. Rascists don't spend time with folks who they despise. My guess is that he couldn't handle the rejection by large segments of the Jewish community for their condemnation of the Passion of the Christ and when he was drunk and got arrested by a Jewish cop, he lashed out, not because he hates Jews but because he felt like a lot of Jews hated him and rejected him so he tried to hurt them back like a kid and say the meanest things he could think of. With his girl friend, the night of the alleged incident, she broke up with him and he was beside himself over the rejection. He got angry and wanted to hurt her back so he unleashed the worst despicable stuff he could think of to hurt her back like he was hurt. It's a childish response to hurt. It akin to a kid saying to their parent “I wish you were dead.” Many folks succumb to this kind of raging torrents of verbal aggression when they have been hurt. It doesn't mean that they believe any of it. Just the same as the child doesn't really want their parents dead. They are just hurt and want the one they perceived hurt them to hurt too. At the end of all his rantings, it's obvious he is just hurt that his girlfriend rejected him as he was still pleading to fix things.

    To extrapolate an anger management problem to actual racism is not fair. He does have an anger management problem; I don't believe it's a racist management problem. Deepening his faith in Christ would probably go a long way to deeper conversion of heart that would allow him to suffer rejection without lashing out at the person or persons who rejected him.

  • Peter Henshall

    Mel Gibson is a disgrace to sane thinking compassionate human beings. No surprise that you Catholics love him then, the same way that your leaders support the abuse of children, Eh? Send me some hate mail in the name of Christ.

  • Heather McDougall

    I doubt Mel Gibson is as bad as he has been painted.We are all human and struggle with ourselves as we make mistakes in life. Through love, forgiveness and thoughtful reflection, we can find a better way. Pray for Mel, that he can find peace.

  • Jmccrea

    The man is a blithering flake, pure and simple.

  • Stu

    Greetings, Pray for our fellow brothers, pray that the Lord heals their pain. If we are Catholics, we should hold to 'prudence' and cover their 'sins.' This is what Christ teaches. They are 'family' regardless if they are Prodigal Sons or Lost Sheep. They are all the same. None of us is without some faults.No one is perfect and sinless.

    Mercy and Compassion, and Forgiveness. Pray for them to heal. So, they can once again feel the Joy and Peace of the Lord. In Jesus and Mary, all through Their Merits.

  • Poulettictac

    It's not good to be unkind about someone who has such problems as Mel Gibson seems to suffer. Smart arsed remarks at someone else's expense usually succeed in tickling the groundlings, of course, but little more. Most certainly, I would have hoped better from someone who had been at SHAC. The late Basil Hume would have smiled his gentle smile and urged some discretion and charity, do you not agree? The very last thing Mr Gibson should do is 'return to the mainstream, hand his (sic) Holy Family Church outside Malibu to some traditionalist group in communion with Rome'. I doubt Mel Gibson considers it 'his'. He probably thinks it is Christ's. You may as well urge him to hand it over the Baptists or the Episcopalians. Your 'mainstream' is not in communion with the past 2,000 years of 'orthodox' Christianity. Your 'mainstream' is the territory and the belief of Teilhard de Chardin and George Tyrrel, both of whom were ultimately condemned as heretics. Mel Gibson is a sinner, as am I. You may be one, too. Don't kick him while he is down, as does your 'mainsream' in your Newchurch of Unity around Nothing in Particular and of Love for All as Long as they are not Real Catholics. Pray for him, Pray for the Church.Learn some Theology and some Canon Law – maybe then you will come to realise how silly and how uncharitable you seem to be.