“Grifting Vipers: Stop fattening frogs for snakes”

Written only as Dymphna can, I’ve not a word to add. Full cross-post, with permission.


Be extremely careful with  any layman who makes his entire living from writing and talking about the Faith. Those Elmer Gantry’s will not give you Our Lord in Communion. They are not the ones who sit with you as your child dies. They are not the ones who hear your confession on the side of the road because you were so happy to see a priest.  They are not the ones driving miles to get to outlying villages to provide the sacraments. They are not the ones who listened to you pour out your fears and gave you courage to do the right thing about a particular situation, and they are not the ones who come to the rescue when somebody in your household messes with the occult. 

The layman professional Catholic will take your money and if you pay enough of it, you will have access to their designated fan only email in-box or phone line. Oh boy! Doesn’t that make you feel special! These grifting vipers  post photos of their fabulous vacations…err.. pilgrimages  and their tastefully decorated homes that you helped pay for and the foolish will fancy that they have relationship with these people. The other extreme is the professional Catholic who cries genteel poverty and use guilt to manipulate you into donating to them because they are really being brave and sacrificial to bring their “apostolate” to you. They piously turn up their noses at their tacky neighbors and the  consumerism of the masses  but somehow– thanks to donors—manage to make it to  Europe without bilocation, (notice these people never go to Kibeho, Calcutta or the Catholic areas of Nigeria) on a regular basis. 

Some guy with a theology degree and the ability to write well is not your spiritual father or your friend. What you do with your money is your own business but I’ll plead with you. Stop fattening frogs for snakes. Before you hit the patron button do your own research. Find out where these guys have their businesses registered. Go to the state corporations site and look up their organizational documents. If they are registered as a charity then look up their IRS Form 990s. Read how much of the money goes to salaries and what the true expenses are then make an informed decision for yourself. If you can’t find any business or charity documents on their “apostolate,” that could be a very bad sign. If you ask flat out, in their comment section or private e-mail, “Who funds you?,” and get a hostile or evasive answer that’s a ten foot tall neon bad sign.

Take care. 


20 thoughts on ““Grifting Vipers: Stop fattening frogs for snakes””

  1. ….and from writing and talking about abortion and saving the babies.

    I’ve been sending emails to Lila and Lauren at “Live Action” requesting responses:

    “Hello Lila, Lauren,

    So, Lila gets paid $134,000 a year to copy articles and publish them in her daily newsletter…hmmmm….seems like a lot of money to regurgitate stuff that’s been published by other sources.

    Regarding Lila’s book sales….does Lila receive royalties from the sales or do the royalties/profits from the book sales (still waiting for you to provide me the date that proves the book is #1) go to Live Action?

    Please respond within 15 days.

    Thank you so much.

    For the bables!

    Jack Marren”

    “Hello Lauren and Happy Mother’s Day evening!

    Great picture! We could use some engaging smiling faces outside of the West Chester County “abortion mill / killing chamber.”


    Do you consider yourself as staff?

    I would hope that LiveAction adopts a more or less “egalitarian attitude” toward all of those who are on its payroll…egalitarian in the sense that no one would consider it beneath their dignity to respond to an invitation to pray and witness in front of a pp killing chamber.

    In a way we’re all staffers in the fight to save the lives of the unborn…wouldn’t you agree? Some of us are on the front lines and others are in “support positions.”

    So, as a staffer I’m prayerfully hopeful that you will take us up on our offer…and lunch is on us.

    As the Vice President of Strategic Partners you must have access and to some extent control over your calendar and those who other staffers with whom you interact so quick look to the Outlook Calendars should reveal when you are scheduled to be in proximity to West Chester, PA.

    I suspect that your pro life commitment is a common bond amongst all of the LiveAction employes and so all would welcome the opportunity to witness for life and for the unborn in front of a killing chamber…it’s where the “rubber meets the road.”

    Lauren, have you ever knelt and prayed outside of an abortion chamber?

    Well, if you haven’t we’re giving you the opportunity: and we’ll even provide a kneeler.

    West Chester is the richest county in Pennsylvania and populated by quite a few devout Catholics…and even 3 or 4 billionaires. So, from a strategic point of view a visit to West Chester might be a great strategic move.

    Your title is very impressive….can you provide me a link where I can discover your “curricula vitae?” I’d like to share it with my West Chester pro lifers so they can appreciate what you, in your capacity as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, bring to the table?

    Plus, for those who aspire to a Vice President of Strategic Partnership position access to your curricula vitae would provide them with a benchmark or professional goal for them to use as a template to chart their efforts to achieving a similar position.

    We’re in this fight together…some of us are compensated monetarily and others reap spiritual rewards…

    Looking forward to your response with a few calendar dates that work for you.

    Pax Christi,

    Jack Marren”

    …and I get canned responses like this to raise $$$ at Lila’s black tie event.

    This once-a-year, black-tie, fundraising event will be an unforgettable evening to celebrate and support the amazing work of Live Action and the mission to end abortion and build a culture of life!

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 2021
    5:00 – 6:00 pm VIP Reception*
    6:00 – 7:00 pm Reception
    7:00 pm Dinner and Awards
    *with select sponsorships

    The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
    One Ritz Carlton Drive
    Dana Point, California 92629

    Tickets and sponsorships are now available in a very limited capacity for this year’s Life Awards Gala — get them while they last!

    The Life Awards will honor outspoken defenders of preborn children and their families within media, politics, entertainment, and activism.

    I hope you will join us for this beautiful and moving evening as we celebrate the momentum we are building, the beauty of every life, and the next year of Live Action’s culture-changing, life-saving impact.

    Live Action’s Life Awards Gala will unite pro-life leaders like you from across the country to make clear that abortion is the most urgent human rights crisis of our time.

    This event will honor outspoken defenders of preborn children and their families within media, politics, entertainment, and activism.

    The evening will include appearances from prominent voices in the pro-life movement, an exclusive VIP reception for sponsors, a cocktail hour reception, and special guest appearances from friends of Live Action.

    I hope you will join us for this beautiful and moving evening as we celebrate the future of the pro-life movement, the beauty of every life, and the next year of Live Action’s culture-changing, life-saving impact.

    Limited tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available now – get them while they last!

    We look forward to celebrating with you in person on Saturday, August 21, 2021!

    For Life,

    Lila Signature
    Lila Rose President and Founder

    P.S. If you are unable to join us, but would like to donate to Live Action to join in this life-saving work, please click here:


    1. Former tax attorney, here. I’m aware that she’s protesting taxes for religious reasons, but (1) she doesn’t live in the US, so (2) she doesn’t have to pay taxes on any INCOME earned under $108,700 (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion), and (3) I seriously doubt people are donating that much, or that she will earn over $108,700 by selling her book. Donations in her case are considered gifts and are not taxable to the recipient. Unlike other bloggers, she has not set up a non-profit, LLC, or corporation. All of that translates into her not owing any taxes anyway. It is pretty clear that this really ticks of some in the professional Catholic “thinker” community. Envy is such a nasty emotion.

      1. She would still have to pay tax if she has not claimed the exclusion on a timely filed return. You are just wrong. Don’t publish it — whatever. He is still wrong as I explained in a comment that has not shown. DO NOT TRY THIS.

    2. If you’ve read her for any length of time you would know she hates the donate button. You would also know she could have easily sold her brokerage firm and retired comfortably. She didn’t do that because….integrity and loyalty to her clients. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know that I know anyone who would choose poverty over LEGALLY selling their business and living comfortably. In charity, I’m going to assume your taxes remark was not intended to be dig at her character.

      1. Just a reader: I think she lives in Colorado. Well at least that’s where correspondence is sent to her.

        Kono: I’ve read her quite a bit, and probably agree with her 90 percent of the time. She sells her books, and her Cattle Marketing CDs, in addition to having her Donate Button. I don’t think she is choosing poverty. I’ll wager I’m poorer than she is.

        I don’t know the entire story of why she quit, from her own writing its because she saw the system as broken after John Corzine and the gang pulled their heist. I have read other stories that seem dubious. I have beefs with her, but I don’t matter, and she’s practically a Saint. So it’s all good.

    3. “Why doesn’t Barnhardt fit in that category”?

      It’s in Dymphna’s opening sentence.

      “ Be extremely careful with any layman who makes his entire living from writing and talking about the Faith”.

      Ann Barnhardt had a very successful career providing unique services in finance. People paid her a lot of money (evidently) for financial analysis unavailable anywhere else. And she quit that, walked away from a lot of money (evidently) for “ethical” reasons of conscience. Her poverty (whatever that may be) is not because she doesn’t get enough Catholic donations but because she walked away from her profession.

      Her public Catholic writing is something she does for reasons similar to most of us: she wants to make a public contribution to the Faith and draw people closer to Truths obscured by our season of lies and lying liars who lie.

      She *already* made her living. Now she has chosen relative poverty (evidently) and writes for our benefit, not hers. Her way of seeing things is unique and her willingness to act on that vision and accept the consequences of what she sees before anyone else has noticed in the common culture is what sets her apart in her public writing – which also contributed to her public demand and prior source of income in the world of specialized finance.

      In short –

      The grifters who Dymphna wrote about would not be missed if they stopped. They need us more than we need them. They write so they can thrive and make coin and a public name. They encourage dependency to tighten up their financial backers over time.

      The Catholics who are not part of Dynphna’s description would be missed if they stopped. *We need them, more than they need us* (as it were). They write for Catholics’ benefit as a matter of public service and as an expression of our common faith.

      As others have noticed – her donate button is small, unnoticed and generally not talked about. The product she produces on our behalf … is immense.

  2. She’s upfront about being an unlettered laywoman. She gives me the impression of what you see is what you get.

  3. @Kono, I don’t think Just a Reader’s response was a dig. It’s pointing out that one can protest the evil that is the US in a prudential manner. If you don’t have a tax liability, you’re not breaking the law and as an added bonus, you’re not paying into the system. Just like anyone else maximizing legal deductions and credits to not pay any taxes (large families help in this area). When it came out that Trump paid very little in federal income tax allegedly, I thought that should be seen as a huge plus on the man. He paid the right people to ensure that he didn’t pay a dime more than legally required. Why donate to the Treasury when you don’t have to?

      1. Basic stuff he really doesn’t know and should not suggest that he does. She won’t qualify for the exclusion if she hasn’t filed. She’s great — but she is not going to be able to claim this without filing a return on a timely basis. The statute will not close. You don’t have to like it.

  4. He was quite far off on qualifying for the Form 2555 Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and in place of that, a foreign tax credit. He was quite wrong. Somehow my comment disappeared.

    1. I didn’t say to “try this.” I didn’t discuss Form 2555, etc. Why would I? This is a Catholic blog, and we are addressing the accusation by some that she is doing something immoral, i.e., stealing. This is not a venue to discuss the mechanics of filing taxes, and that’s not what I was doing. HOW to file is a moot issue because she is not filing, period.

      The issue: at least one professional Catholic blogger has stated that her failure to file means that she’s stealing money from others, because he’s paying taxes on his income (a defined term in the tax code) and she’s not paying taxes on whatever she takes in, the implication being that she’s sitting on a pile of money like a leprechaun. In response to a comment on this post, I gave a VERY brief overview, from 10,000 feet on the “stealing” accusation: My point is that given that she lives overseas, etc., EVEN IF she were to jump through all the tax hoops properly, she would likely owe nothing. That’s it. I didn’t get into any legal requirements to file, etc., or what forms to use. I simply addressed certain accusations about aspects of the morality of her actions, nothing else. I would think that people would not turn to a Catholic blog for tax guidance from an anonymous commenter. I don’t go to tax lawyers, CPAs and Enrolled Agents for instruction on the liturgy and Catholic morality.

  5. Ann B lives in Colorado. Why do people think she lives overseas. I think they are mixing her up with Hilary White. I expected to read more comments about Steve Skojec not Ann.

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