Corrected August 20, 2011, 9:08 MDT. Corrects earlier version in which Voris was identified as President and CEO of RealCatholicTV. Changes are in paragraphs one and six.
RealCatholicTV's Senior Executive Producer and host Michael Voris says he was completely unaware of recently discovered troubles within his organization, involving a staff apologist's sexually explicit writings, and his nonprofit corporation's loss of legal status two years ago.
“I don't know what the issue is on any of this stuff,” said Voris, who is currently in Spain promoting his unofficial “No Bull in Madrid” meetings during World Youth Day.
Voris told CNA on August 16 that he had “no idea” his nonprofit corporation St. Michael's Media had been automatically dissolved in 2009 after failing to file records with the state for two years. An official at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed on August 10 that Voris' nonprofit was “no longer registered and in good standing with the State of Michigan.”
As of August 16, St. Michael's Media's website stated: “We are a 501(c)3 company & donations are tax-deductible.” An earlier test donation, made through the website via PayPal, showed that the officially defunct entity was still receiving contributions.
Officials at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said they had no further information about the dissolved nonprofit corporation's status or the legal consequences of continuing to accept donations. The department said that additional questions should be directed to the Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.
Voris was equally surprised by evidence showing that his staff apologist and program host Simon Rafe – who is the webmaster at St. Michael's Media, and co-authored its “Saint Michael's Basic Training” apologetics course – had also written the “adult” role-playing game “Castle Dracula,” and fan-fiction depicting homosexuality in the Star Wars universe.
“I don't know anything about this,” said Voris, when presented with descriptions of the works and evidence of Rafe's authorship.
As recently as August 15, the website batcave.co.uk hosted the text of “Castle Dracula: A Tunnels & Trolls Solo Adventure by Simon Rafe.” Signed and dated “Simon 'The Darknight' Rafe, Baptism of Our Lord, 2010,” the work contains a paragraph vividly describing a sexual encounter with “a beautiful Elven woman” revealed to be “Asrel, the goddess of love, life, health, healing, beauty and sex.”
Rafe gives the player a series of options in the scenario: “If you would like strength and vitality, turn to 70. If you would like health and life, turn to 383. If you would like true love, turn to 467. If you would like sex appeal, turn to 203. If you would like sexual potency, turn to 366. If you would like make love to the goddess (even if you are female - Asrel is an equal-opportunity lover!), turn to 11.”
A domain name registry search showed that Simon Rafe, working from the physical address of St. Michael's Media, used the e-mail address [email protected]” to register at least one domain name. It was for a Catholic organization whose stated aim was to oppose “promotion of heresy in many Catholic educational establishments and other venues which should be a source of Catholic orthodoxy.”
Rafe gives the same e-mail address as his contact information for players of “Castle Dracula,” in the game's introduction.
In that same introduction to “Castle Dracula,” Rafe directs readers to his blog, which bears the biblically-inspired title “As Iron Sharpens Iron” and was written under the name “Darknight.” In one entry, “Darknight” discusses the ethical implications of a story he has written, which introduces lesbian elements into the storyline of Star Wars.
“Am I self-justifying? Perhaps I am,” he states, regarding his artistic license with characters' sexual behavior. “Perhaps I am also moving beyond some rigid position into a more nuanced one, one where the strictures of duty begin to give way to the fluidity of art. Perhaps this is a dangerous movement, perhaps I should not be going there.”
Voris said Rafe could not comment on the writings, because of a company policy under which only board members may speak to media outlets. For his part, Voris said he previously had “no knowledge … whatsoever” of evidence linking RealCatholicTV's speaker and apologist to the explicit writings, which CNA documented for him from its archives on August 16.
Voris told CNA that his “No Bull in Madrid” project, timed to coincide with World Youth Day despite its lack of approval from event organizers, was occupying his attention such that he would need “a week to figure out” the apparent problems within his organization.
However, the author who called himself “The Darknight” seems to have taken action.
As of August 17, Rafe's “Darknight” writings had disappeared from both the “Batcave” site and his blog. The blog instead featured “an explanation,” stating: “I am no longer running this blog. As it may be important to keep copies of the posts, however, I have marked them all as 'draft' so they do not appear but so they are still saved and accessible to me.”
On that same date, RealCatholicTV's website was still announcing that “Michael Voris, Simon Rafe and other hosts and personalities of RealCatholicTV.com are happy to come and speak at your parish, conference or other event.”
The page gives a number “to book Michael, Simon or another speaker,” and explains that “they can speak on a wide variety of topics related to the Church, Catholicism, Scripture, apologetics and other subjects.”
CNA also provided Voris with state records showing that St. Michael's Media was no longer in good standing as a Michigan nonprofit, having been dissolved by the state in 2009.
The following day, its website continued to claim the same nonprofit status, saying: “Saint Michael's Media is a 501(c)3 company and donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.” The “Make A Donation” button still takes users to a secure server, to make payments through PayPal or with a credit or debit card.