How Traditional Catholics are Taking Back the Visual Culture of France, Part 2: A Tactical GuidePatrick Le Brun
Part 1 of this article explained how the line between the domain of the religion and culture of Europe and the degenerate art of our invaders has been dramatically crossed after years of stability. This has been facilitated by a small clique of homosexual cultural Marxists informally organized around the former Minister under Mitterrand, Jack Lang. This affront in the public square has since been met with an equally strong reaction from the small but well-organized Traditionalist Catholic milieu.
What is most disturbing is not that there is a small coterie of homosexuals in Paris with bizarre tastes in art or even that they manage to make a dent in the public culture at large. Rather it is the fact that François Pinault, an elderly, gentile, heterosexual French billionaire, is a necessary part of this conspiracy that is contrived primarily to deprive the state treasury of over six billion euros in estate taxes after he dies. However, the scam of contemporary art is very complicated and deserves its own article.
I first became aware the rising tide of opposition to degenerate art when visiting Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet in early 2011. Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet is a church in Paris which was illegally seized by the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which rejects the validity of the Vatican II reforms. This church property has been recognized in court as belonging to the Archdiocese of Paris, but both the current and previous Socialist mayors have refused to expel the SSPX. Indeed, it would be impossible to remove them without some casualties (probably on both sides) which would only increase the moral strength of the SSPX. It has so far been more efficient to marginalize them through the media.
I visited St. Nicolas to offer support and build links after a particularly bad attack in the press. A young cultural relativist pulled up in front of St. Nicolas with an enormous sign on his lorry saying, “Let’s Talk About Islam.” Father Beauvais ended up getting in a small altercation with the cameraman and journalist and was charged with assault. The video of Father Beauvais in the protest embedded in a later section of this article shows that he is a man of great physical courage who does not shy away from threats of violence.
The small square in front of St. Nicolas is always full of activity on Sundays. Books and alternative newspapers are for sale. Sometimes nuns visit from the countryside selling their prepared foods, religious decorations, and home accessories. There is always lively discussions as new friends and old chat so long that the next mass finishes before the crowd completely disperses. And as always with the Traditionalists, there are scores of well-dressed kids playing around.
The weekend I went, someone was raising funds for the defense fund of an elected FN official, Alexandre Simonnot. He had destroyed an 11 meter tall condom at the roundabout of his small town with his keys. As it turned out the Socialist mayor had spent at least 8,000 euros of the city’s money to mount this “art.” Simonnot had a bill of 10,000 euros after the affair and the faithful were doing their part to ease the burden.
Simonnot acted without forethought, let alone in the context of a strategic campaign. The protesters of Versailles mentioned in Part 1 were organized, but they too were without a serious plan. As Sun Tzu said, “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Polls showed that the majority of French were against Contemporary Art at Versailles, and this position hardened with time, rising from 67% against in October 2010 to 87% against 7 months later (Polemia, Le Monde). Perhaps one of the reasons for this rise in disapproval was the arrival of the Piss Christ in Avignon in December of 2010.
The organized elements of Traditional Catholicism took note and were preparing their response.
Background of Civitas and Renouveau Français
Jean Ousset won the Croix de Guerre for defending France against the German invasion of 1940. This was when England had abandoned their treaty obligations with France to have their “Miracle at Dunkirk.” There were over 200,000 French casualties in 6 weeks as they faced down the world’s strongest army, which would go on to kill 25 million Soviet soldiers. After the armistice was signed between France and Germany, Ousset was one of the over 1.5 million prisoners sent to Germany. He then returned in 1942 as part of an updated treaty between France and Germany to become a police officer. For this young man who was raised with a strong Catholic education by his grandparents who were members of the Action Française of Charles Maurras, this new government, emptied of Léon Blum and his Leftist Front, was more reflective of his ideals. And it fell on them to recover and rebuild France at her weakest point.
With the end of the war came the épuration, a period of judicial murder of the men who took the responsibility for guiding France through defeat and occupation. Many were hanged, starved to death, or died of simple infections in unhygienic, makeshift prisons. Anyone who publicly supported the values that guided France since the Baptism of Clovis, was putting a target on his back.
Nearly 412 years after St. Ignatius of Loyola and his six co-founders consecrated their efforts to create the Jesuits on Montmartre, on July 29th 1946, Jean Ousset and two of his friends climbed the same hill, now crowned with a Basilica, to consecrate their efforts to build La Cité Catholique. This group was organized around clandestine cells which were based on profession. Some of these were for military officers, CEOs, or university professors. Their cell-based structure was reminiscent of what was once used by their arch enemies, the Freemasons, when the Inquisition was hunting down their lodges. The goal was fraternity, intellectual formation, and to orchestrate nothing short of the destruction of the Republic by their hidden hands.
There have been credible claims that they have met some success in having cell members achieve very high rank, including a former Admiral of the Navy and the current Chief of Staff of the Army. This writer is convinced of the existence of an occult war within the ranks of the army and especially in its military academies to destroy the military careers of young Traditionalists and Nationalists before they even get started. Whether the Traditionalists and Nationalists are as ruthless as the “guardians of the République” I am not aware.
Ousset’s organization has supposedly ceased to exist but its function has been taken public by L’Institut Civitas, one of the organizations born of La Cité Catholique. Civitas is composed of non-clerical members but has strong links with the SSPX. It has been run by Alain Escada since 2009. Don’t be fooled by his appearance. Behind his rosy cheeks and eternally boyish face is one of the strongest strategic minds in French politics. He has successfully expanded this think tank into an activist organization of 1,000 members that can mobilize over 150,000 people throughout France and Belgium into the streets with a last minute email.
Renouveau Français is the other organization which has had a major role to play with Civitas around the counter attack against the Cultural Marxists. In 1995, it was founded upon the dissolution of La Garde Franque. It is one of a dozen groupuscules of the “extreme right.” This one happens to be in the tradition of Pétainism, Catholicism, and Nationalism in its strictest sense (they reject regionalism and racialism). In 2010, their Summer gathering welcomed 150-200 youths and their membership was focused around 6 urban centers. They have probably tripled or quadrupled since the anti-gay marriage rallies considering their clear effort to build their organization by attracting the most angry youths from these protests.
Showdown in the City of Popes
In December of 2010, Avignon welcomed the art show “I Believe in Miracles” featuring the works of Andres Serrano, including one of the copies of his Piss Christ. Both the Catholic Church and the much smaller SSPX-aligned Catholics lodged complaints against the city, which funds the museum, and the museum itself. There were numerous small marches and groups that would pray the Rosary in front of the museum entrance. The Museum director stated that he received over 30,000(!) emails calling for the removal of the Piss Christ.
On April 10th 2011, Renouveau Français held its 4th Annual Nationalist Congress. The only other French organization invited was Civitas. The following Saturday, Civitas led a march of Traditionalist Catholics in front of the Museum. The next day, Palm Sunday, when the museum opened at 10 am, two masked men entered. One armed with a hammer and screwdriver, the other with a hammer and an ice pick, they destroyed the Piss Christ. The guards tried to intervene but backed down when threatened with attack. The two attackers were never discovered, nor have they identified themselves. Anglophone readers should be familiar with this event because it was recounted by Mark Hackard on the old Alternative Right site with the title, “The Men of Avignon.”
As far as this author is aware there were no others involved in the action, whether in creating a diversion, blocking a road that would provide police access, or providing a getaway vehicle, but such tactical and logistical support cannot be ruled out. There has been no public reporting on the incident that indicated whether or not volunteers made false calls to police on previous dates to see what the response time was, to create a “crying wolf” syndrome at the police station, and to observe what routes were taken. It is possible for such an action to include more than ten volunteers to ensure that the two saboteurs make it out safely. It would be nice to know exactly how this was done, but at the same time, those involved should be commended for their disciplined silence which is even more important.
If any readers organize such a direct action, it is recommended to think about the entire battlespace and conceive the action from before it begins to well after it ends. When reading about such stories as Avignon, one should not assume that courage displayed by these volunteers is what sets them apart from activists in America. Planning, discipline, and discretion are perhaps more important differences. Plan on making calculated risks; senseless risk is only ever admirable to spectators. This author is not aware of any manual on the tactical planning of such an event, but at the risk of sounding clichéd, one should watch the film Ronin (1999), which does an excellent job of demonstrating how a tactical strike can be planned and analyzed in advance.
Renouveau Français climbed the papal palaces and unrolled a banner that read, “Piss Christ: Don’t Accept the Unacceptable.” Civitas rules out direct action against property among their activists, but unlike the vast majority of organizations that take that stand, Civitas did not hesitate to praise the volunteers who took a stand against the destruction of the sacred. Later that summer, Civitas used a photo of the Renouveau Français banner for their 2011 Session d’Eté “In facing Christo-phobia, revive Christianity.”
Face of Christ and Passive Resistance
One of my great regrets is not attending the Session d’Eté of Civitas at the end of July in 2011 because this was certainly one of the most important meetings in years for our side. Avignon was again in their sites as it hosted the first showing of the play “The Concept of the Face of the Son of God” before it began its tour around France. This play involved children throwing rocks at a 5 meter tall painting of Jesus and ends with excrement being poured over it. The Ministry of Culture under Nicolas Sarkozy was partially funding this show.
Wherever the show went around France, it was met by hundreds of protesters in the streets.
When this shitty play came to Paris, it was time for the big showdown. Outside the theater, Civitas held a march which had been preapproved by the City of Paris, in accordance with laws about public gatherings. One learns a great deal about Civitas when watching the video of what happenned. (1) There are scores of young people ready to risk getting smacked with a club for their cause and won’t run away when they are hit. (2) Despite their apparent anger, they are very disciplined. (3) Xavier Beauvais loves to piss off the cops.
Inside the theater, Renouveau Français did their best to prevent the show from finishing. They climbed buildings and threw cooking oil (though not hot) onto the attendees. They set off smoke and stink bombs at the entrance of the theater. As the show continued, the 8 youth in the video took over the stage first to unfurl their banner carrying the same message being shouted outside, “Christophobia, enough is enough!” They then took to their knees to pray the rosary in a beautiful scene of passive resistance as the riot police came in to arrest them behind the curtain.
It is rather striking that such a play was subsidized by Sarkozy’s government, while two years later Dieudonné’s show, which was far more popular and privately financed, was shut down by the city halls and préfectures at several locations around France.
During the first 7 days of the play’s run 220 protesters were arrested, and this act of resistance attracted youth outside of Paris to join the protests when the play came through their city. None of the dates were cancelled in France, but some showings were cancelled in other countries.
The Christmas Buttplug
The dispute over gay marriage took up most of the bandwidth in the intervening period, but the dispute over the visual culture of France returned with a vengeance in 2014. The Place Vendôme is known throughout France as the location of the finest jewelry brands, as well as the home of the Ministry of Justice, the Napoléon column, the Ritz, JP Morgan, and AXA Private Equity. This year, the Mayor of Paris, Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterrand (pictured in part 1), and Prime Minister Manuel Valls all signed off on the installation of an enormous green buttplug which resembled a Christmas tree if rendered as a “2-d sculpture.” The artist behind this is Paul McCarthy. As soon as McCarthy erected the buttplug a random passerby smacked him in the face. Le Monde reported that he was quite shaken up by the experience and asked whether, “this kind of thing is normal in France.” Yes Paul, it is totally normal. Please tell all your friends back in America.
Within two days of the installation, volunteers sprang into action. Those involved must have been divided into at least two sections. One group created a loud altercation which drew the attention of almost all of the guards assigned to protect the work. A second team jumped the fence, punctured the buttplug, and cut some of the straps holding it in place. Within two minutes they were back over the fence and on their way. It is hard to believe that the CCTV in such an important place is so poor, but none of the volunteers have been identified, nor have they announced themselves. When day broke, Civitas tweeted the news, “Honor to the Resistance that Deflated Paul McCarthy’s Toy.”
Return of Piss Christ and Chocolate Buttplugs at the Paris Mint
Sadly, of all of the actions described above, only the Christmas buttplug attack provoked a retreat of the Cultural Marxists. Since they have the power of the State and the wealth of the billionaires behind them, they are buffered (perhaps too much for their own good) from the disapprobation of the public.
Another copy of the Piss Christ came to France last summer. This time it was hosted by a city in Corsica. A local man spent over a month on hunger strike and organized protests. Unfortunately, the exhibit only shut down for a single day, and the work was left untouched.
Paul McCarthy went on to mount several more buttplugs, only 3-4 meters, within the Paris Mint for his show “Chocolate Factory.” Workers in the show make 300 gram chocolate buttplugs on site to sell for a limited time at 50 euros each. There are also gnomes carrying buttplugs and small chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil with a buttplug engraved and the signature of Paul McCarthy. By the way, McCarthy is on the short list of living artists creating the most expensive art.
Though the Traditionalists have lost most of the battles, it seems they are on the right path to win the metapolitical struggle. However, it is strangely impossible to find published scientific opinion polls relating to any of these three highlighted controversies. It seems that esprit de corps and momentum are on their side. They also have created an organizational constellation which is best suited to the tactical and judicial needs of the movement. That is to say, there is one group at the center that goes no further than protesting, another group which nonviolently breaks the law using Passive Resistance tactics, and then there are unknown actors who are committing violence against property and nothing more.
Ramadan and Menorah Permitted, Nativity not Permitted
However, the power structure in place is crystallized in its position. This year has seen numerous city halls of both the Right and Left host Ramadan dinners. There are dozens of menorahs on public lands in the center of the most important cities which have been lit by important political figures. However, wherever the nativity scene has been put in place by elected leaders, it has been removed by more senior powers. The Traditionalists and nationalists have not missed this opportunity to unveil the contradictions of the ruling class of France which can only be explained by their hatred for the cultural traditions of Europeans.
Nativity in the EU Parliament and on the Streets of Paris
This is why it came as a great surprise that Alain Escada and the head of the SSPX, Bishop Fellay, were invited to the European Parliament to install a nativity scene on December 9th by an MEP from the Lega Nord of Italy.
On December 17th, Civitas held a protest in front of the Libre Pensée headquarters in Paris. This is the organization that has led the judicial battle this year in removing nativity scenes. Their protest centered around a Living Nativity. Alain Escada gave a speech and was careful to request attendees not to speak with the press unless they have been trained to do so by Civitas.
According to BFMTV, 71% of French are in favor of including nativity scenes in public and government-owned spaces. This is quite incredible for a country where less than 10% of the residents make it to church on any given Sunday. When digging deeper into this poll, one finds that 60% of atheists are also in favor of expanding presence of nativity scenes to public and government-owned spaces. Also, there is no significant difference between the overwhelmingly positive view of respondents over 65 and those under 35 years of age.
It is important for the Traditionalists like Civitas to not only continue to increase the tempo and intensity of their resistance to the Cultural Marxists, they must continue to focus on those issues where the public is already with them. There are some differences between the public discourse of the SSPX in France and their discourse in the US. In France, they regularly decry the liberty of religion. They want to return the Church to its status of officially established state religion and limit the freedom of other faith groups to practice their own religions. This is wildly unpopular outside of their small community. If they insist of drawing attention to their unpopular ideas, they will derail the process of empowering the majority of France to take back the public square from the Culture Distorters. Once the press has given up on ignoring them or name-calling, their next tactic will likely be to invite Escada for an interview in which he would be led to share his unpopular views. However, the message control that he enforces at his protests is an encouraging sign that he will not fall for these old tricks of the controlled media.
While there are many profound differences between someone of the Nouvelle Droite like myself and the official positions of Civitas, Renouveau Français, or the SSPX, I wish them Bonne Continuation! with their efforts against our common enemy and most importantly, Joyeux Noël!
Merry Christmas to all involved with Counter-Currents and the North American New Right.
11. the official site of the Paris Mint: http://art.monnaiedeparis.fr/en/exhibitions/chocolate-factory
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