The Course of Reason

Crime Boss Joey Ratz Steps Down: Who will step up to run the global kid raping racket?

February 12, 2013

Today the world mourns the resignation of Joey Ratz as Boss of the Vatican crime family, an underworld racket specializing in the systematic rape of children. Crime family spokesperson Federico Lombardi insists that the resignation is not at all due to external pressure, and is due entirely to Ratz’s age.  If there’s anything we’ve learned from past experience, it’s that the insistence of the Vatican’s spokesperson is at least orthogonal to the truth. What may we infer?  Two things: 1) There is almost certainly a devastating revelation concerning Ratz on the horizon. 2) If we play our cards right we can foment a Schisming within Catholicism, ending its child rape racket once and for all.


coffee mug reading,

Not a clever mug design, in hindsight.

“But Seth, isn’t it a bit cynical, not to mention completely unjustified, to assert that Joey Ratz is resigning for any reason other than the stated one?”

Listen, hypothetical inquisitor.  Let’s keep in mind that the Vatican is full of some of the most power hungry, cutthroat, ruthless politicians ever to walk the earth, and things have always been that way.  Just watch Showtime’s “The Borgias” and you’ll see what I mean.  It is like Game of Thrones multiplied by The Godfather, minus any pesky external legal authority.  One does not simply rise to the top of such a food chain by being a Decent Chap.  It is the original Boys’ Club, requiring a truly special brand of villainy to survive.  The person who sits atop the golden throne is undoubtedly the most power hungry and ruthless of his peers.  Such ruthless power addicts resign only if forced to through blackmail.  This is basically an axiom of power.  You don’t dedicate your entire life to accumulating power within a criminal organization and then simply resign because you’re tired.

“So maybe the Vatican used to be full of ruthless and corrupt psychopaths, but things have really changed over the past 500 years.  As an organization, they are much better now (child rape notwithstanding). It’s not like the Pope and Cardinals raped any kids.”

Sure, Paulie Two Times seemed like a really sweet guy.  But many many thousands (10,000 victims of 4,000 priests between 1950 and 2005 in the U.S. alone) of child rapes happened under Paulie’s watch.  Most of the public outcry stems from the 2002 Boston Globe report on the matter, toward the end of Paulie’s tenure.  Prior to that, his organization had pretty much successfully kept the operation under the public radar.  You can argue that he didn’t know about the problem, but I find that hard to believe.  This makes him a more successful crime boss than Joey Ratz, who is already comically evil.

Ratzinger, looking evil.

“All according to plan… MUHUHAHA!” - Joey Ratz, before being blackmailed into resignation.

But let’s consider this idea that the problems of the Catholic church are all on the ground floor, the priests in the churches and maybe a few bishops here and there.  How is this supposed to absolve the upper level management?  Each upper level manager got his start on the ground floor, and had to rise up through its filthy sewer drains to get to the top.  It’s not like the Vatican hires leaders from external sources.  They promote from within.  This leads to the second axiom of power which supports my assertion:  One rises to power in an organization with a filthy ground floor only by getting dirty.  (Note that this places a necessary condition on rising to power in such an organization, not a sufficient one.)

So, if the argument is that the problems within the crime syndicate only occur on the ground floor, in the community churches and regional dioceses around the world, I don’t see how this is supposed to help matters.  It is undeniable that the organization is corrupt and villainous in at least its ground floor, and by the second axiom of power it follows that all of its top leaders are corrupt and villainous as well.  This may seem like a difficult generalization to defend, but let me take a stab at it.

Suppose there are two ambitious bishops jockeying for the same archbishop position.  One is a Decent Chap, and the other is a Ruthless Villain.  The Decent Chap is, by definition, unwilling to resort to Machiavellian power tactics like blackmail and smear campaigns.  The Ruthless Villain, however, is more than happy to use such tactics, as well as any other tactics that will gain him the advantage.  He will find dirt on the Decent Chap, past mistakes, invent lies, and blackmail anyone else who can put him in a better position.  Who is most likely to get the promotion?  In an Ideal World, the Decent Chap gets the promotion, but thanks to Eve, we live in a Fallen World, so the Ruthless Villain likely prevails.  Thanks a lot, Eve!

This story plays out all throughout the organization, at all levels, culminating at the top, which is where all the Ruthless Villains converge.  Thus, we have good reason to think that all the top leaders are corrupt and villainous. Otherwise, they would have been filtered out by more ruthless competitors.

Machiavelli and quote:

I’m not making this stuff up.  Popes have been playing this game for a long long time.

What this means, unfortunately, is that Joey Ratz’s replacement is likely to be at least as ruthless and wicked as Ratz himself.  In fact, the replacement will likely be the one who recently blackmailed Ratz into resigning.  That’s the third axiom of power: The next guy will be worse.

“Okay okay okay.  What can I, an atheist, do to help?”

I’m glad you asked.  You can help by being an agent provocateur.  This is a time honored tactic for fomenting dissent within organizations.  With the Internet, it’s easier than ever.  You go to an online Catholic forum, pretending to be a Catholic, and you present yourself as a Ratzinger Loyalist, arguing that he is the Legitimate Pope, as papacy is for life.  Who can accept his resignation?  No one, that’s who.  Therefore, his resignation is unacceptable.  Therefore, he has not truly resigned. Tell your atheist friends to do this, too, and pretty soon there will be real life Catholics thinking, “Hey, maybe there’s something to this.”  Boom, Schism.

Anti-Ratzinger Rebels will undoubtedly cite Canon 332, no. 2, which clearly indicates that Popes can resign, so long as they do so freely and it be “duly manifested”, whatever that means.  That’s when you counter with the above blackmail argument, minus a few references to the inherent corruption of the organization as a whole.  Every good conspiracy starts with someone without evidence shouting very loudly, and it’s not like religious people require evidence anyway.  If you keep shouting, eventually they will pick up and do the shouting for you.

Also, Dante places Pope St. Celestine V in hell for resigning (The Divine Comedy), so it must be against the rules!

“Is there any chance we can succeed?”

Sure there is!  Just check out this article, written by a Catholic priest (It reads like a synopsis for the entire Game of Thrones series):

He summarizes the history of papal resignation, and basically it always happens amidst turmoil and subterfuge.  He even states, “there is much to learn from these stories: First, if a pope resigns from office, there will always be the temptation to challenge the authority of the new pope, pitting him against the old…”  It is perfectly expected that such Schisming follow the a crime boss’s resignation, at least until the new guy takes full control and crushes the opposition completely, through murder, blackmail, and exile.  The playbook is already written for us, we just have to sort of nudge things along a little, and quickly!

Donnie Brasco, played by Johnny Depp.

Your future book/biopic cover?

Donnie Brasco was an FBI agent who posed as a mobster in order to strike a crippling blow against the U.S. Italian mafia, and he was played by Johnny Depp!  I am basically suggesting you do the same thing, in order to bring down the Vatican crime family.  So, if you do as I say, you might someday be played by Johnny Depp, or someone equally sexy.  That would be cool!



About the Author: Seth Kurtenbach

Seth Kurtenbach's photo
Seth Kurtenbach is pursuing his PhD in computer science at the University of Missouri. His current research focuses on the application of formal logic to questions about knowledge and rationality. He has his Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Missouri, and is growing an epic beard in order to maintain his philosophical powers. You can email Seth at or follow him on Twitter: @SJKur.




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