Due to irresistible temptations, one suffers once, in tribulation. Due to
avoidable temptations, of which one knew better, one suffers twice. Due to sins,
even the existence of which, one obstinately denies, one suffers thrice."
The new Mike Restivo - sorta....
The 2010 elections in the United States saw all sorts of bizarre things that were totally unique and unexpected. There was something in Toronto, Canada, however that was - to us at least - even more bizarre: the run for political office by our old nemesis Mike Restivo who wanted to be City Councilman in his home ward where he'd grown up and lived all his life. WHAT? The acerbic and, as many had described him, completely obnoxious Mike Restivo now a politician? How could this be?
There it was: a smiling picture of him along with a story that noted he was in favor of considering road tolls for Toronto, something which seemed to be pretty much his sole running platform plank. It was noted that he was 59 years old and single (apparently not a single woman was won over by his puerile pornography) and a pointer to a website page which could ostensibly explain his position on road tolls.
Needless to say, we clicked on the link to learn more and ultimately came to read a somewhat fanciful biography explaining that he was single, had no dependents and was in excellent health. His resume was - from our perspective at least - pretty notional. The most comical part, though, was that here's a guy who has set up his own website at www.mikerestivo.org (now offline) and we were on that site to look for information where it was, just as ten years ago, lacking a rational menu system. Because Mr. Restivo had warned everyone that using the backspace key to modify a web address in their own web search bar so that they might reach a site's home page was illegal (Yes, folks: that's what he claimed! See here for more details at your own risk!), we simply typed in the web address without all of the directory or page nomenclature. You won't believe it but there - just as he'd done on his other sites so many years ago - was a warning and his cute little graphic that admittance to the root directory was not allowed. Truly, truly amazing. Set up a website about yourself but ignore the home page. Then again, Mike never was a person to follow standard conventions - in anything, it would seem. HE always knew more than the rest - whether he did or not.
So here's what Mike Restivo is up to now - and we do want to give him all of the attention he wants (deserves? craves?). Does anyone except Mike Restivo write as Mike Restivo does? Anyone? Mike Restivo will not only give you free advertising space but Mike Restivo will solve all your problems - as long as you mail them to him privately. Just think....
But alas: all of his problem solving and clever ideas for road tolls fell on deaf ears. For SIXTY YEARS he's lived in the same place and should have made SOME friends. The 'tale of the tape' seems to tell a different story though and less than one half of one percent of voters paid attention to him. Too bad. How sad. But - dare we say - typical of Mr. Restivo's over-inflated opinion of himself.
So the mikerestivo.org website is gone completely. Guess all that enlightened discussion supported by advertising was never to be. So much for Mike's political promises, eh?
While that website was up and during the elections, one of his potential constituents posted the following - and we just howled!
What was PARTICULARLY hilarious was that for years, Mr. Restivo had bragged about his exhaustive knowledge of all things web, including his famous claims that we'd used an "illegal backspace". Another 'subject of interest' which arose from Mr. Restivo's political posturing was his endorsement crack cocaine-user Rob Ford for Mayor. Read about that here.
Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure in this seemingly endless saga!
That Mike Restivo is now adjudged by anyone reading his prolific daily postings to the alt.freemasonry newsgroup as being delusional and paranoid is understandable. The several year process which has led to his descent into ranting and barnyard suggestions, however, is difficult to describe in a few short sentences. What prompted Mike to begin involvement online with those in an organization which he had used for mercenary goals and discarded some fifteen years earlier (see below) will likely forever remain unclear. Mike - despite a once extensive vocabulary - most recently writes in a manner which gives him the opportunity for providing 'alternative' explanations of his true intent.
What we do know was that his stated purpose of providing 'honest criticism' of Freemasonry was far from reality. Like a moth to a flame Mike's online existence seemed designed for him to trumpet himself as an expert on various aspects of the Fraternity, particularly those areas in which he felt Masons were somehow deficient. He referred to himself as a 'Masonic critic' (in his mind, quite different from being an anti-Mason) yet privately he offered assistance and coaching to those who were the most vocal against Freemasonry. His rationale: they were disadvantaged and his extensive knowledge could 'even the odds'. This was the beginning of the evasion, obfuscation, and deceit that has marked all of his encounters with Masons online - and those encounters remain now as then his only online activity. Refusing to simply 'walk away' when his ignorance and/or anti-Masonic behavior was being exposed, it was first a crusade to prove that he was in the right and that those who disagreed were somehow casting aspersions on his good character (and superb knowledge). Today he imagines himself as the victim of Grand Lodges throughout the world who are all plotting to silence him as he exposes the evil of Freemasonry. Casting himself as a victim suffering in measure equal to that of the Jews in concentration camps or those who were caused harm at the hands of the terrorists of 9/11 (while he ignored that suffering, flooding the alt.freemasonry newsgroup with self-serving spam on that very day and the next as the smoke and soot billowed around New York), he labels anyone who dares to send a message to or about him as some type of evil terrorist intent on destroying freedom, democracy, and - most importantly - Mike Restivo's reputation. Characterizing himself as a "justice advocate", he tilts at windmills of his own making while praising himself for so doing.
Sound impossible to believe? It's not - and hundreds of Masons have watched the person first assumed to be simply a pompous, arrogant pedant debase himself by writing filth to create a 'trap' which would ultimately "prove" that Masons were evil and - an essential part never to be omitted - attempting to embarrass him.
The MacMason who knows everything....
Mike actually joined Masonry over two decades ago (1981) but after three meetings (just long enough to take his three degrees), he 'demitted' (quit, albeit in good standing and eligible for reaffiliation). Why did he join in the first place? He admitted that he did so for purely mercenary reasons, totally against all which Masonry asks of its members. In his words:
Mike was at the time of joining Freemasonry was approximately 35 years old - old enough, we think, to have understood and appreciated the questions he was asked before joining - and to also have understood that a principal tenet of Freemasonry is that one should not join for personal gain. Mike claims that his sponsors were good friends; surely, then, he knew what he was getting into.... Perhaps it was just Mike wanting to be generous and share his incredible wealth of knowledge with the ignorant Freemasons as he now claims? We think not.
Mike proceeded with the initiation process - promising before God and man that he was being true to his word and that he was not using Freemasonry in a mercenary way. He then immediately resigned, his true purpose having been fulfilled. He has since argued forcefully and vigorously that his aspirations in the Martinist hierarchy had nothing to do with his joining Freemasonry but his arrogance, evidenced in the message above and many others, proves this a lie. (It's also reinforced by the fact that he joined an organization so he'd - ostensibly - have access to some other rituals but over a decade later, he'd still not have studied yet. Make sense? Not to anyone that we know, for sure!)
Despite current historical revisionism, Mike's constant desire to stay in the spotlight caused him to re-admit his true (and deceitful) intent in becoming a Mason. You can see that full message here thanks to Mike himself whose ego caused him to take a message formerly written on the members-only forums of CompuServe in June, 1996 where it had long since passed into oblivion. Such braggadocio has often proven his undoing and now provides an indelible record of his blunders and blathers.
Mike is an active "evangelical" Roman Catholic - or so he asserts. He would regularly comment proudly that he has been a congregant of the same parish his entire life and is well known by the Archbishop of his Diocese. In numerous messages over the years, he has also noted the Catholic Church's position on Freemasonry being forbidden under penalty of excommunication since the 1730s. Curiously, however - and in another example of his contradictory behavior in apparent violation of his self-claimed strong Roman Catholic beliefs - he decided to join Freemasonry regardless.
Why? Mike was mute on that point for some time. In early 2002, under constant questioning from Masons seeking to understand his motivation, he claimed that the restrictions against Freemasonry had been "relaxed" at the time he chose to join in 1981. (Note: 1981 was, of course, several years after Vatican II at which the Roman Church's position seemed - to many at least - to be less harsh than in the past.) His explanation, however, fails to explain why he would attempt to reaffiliate in 2000 when, as he now clearly states, those bans by his Church were in full force and effect and had been extensively commented on by Mike himself in his only online home, the alt.freemasonry newsgroup. More weathervane excuses - or what some might describe as deceit!
Mike has claimed - alternatively - that he left Freemasonry due to either:
Mike's request for a demit (a 'permission' to remove oneself from participation with Freemasonry) does not elaborate on any of these supposed concerns but he excuses this omission as a desire to not antagonize those in his Lodge. One must wonder why someone who had such strong convictions about so many things he found 'wrong' would then not even mention them as he walked out the door in disgust.
He now also claims that Freemasonry's rituals are sadistic. Again, we wonder whether he realized this in 1981 when he was a participant in them, in 1982 after he'd left, in 1995 when he supposedly had a renewed interest in Freemasonry prompting his involvement on CompuServe, in 2000 when he was applying for reaffiliation, or in 2002 when he began using this claim as a bludgeon. Perhaps it took Mike twenty years to figure it out - and if so, is he really as sharp as he wants everyone to believe?
But let's begin at the beginning:
In the mid-90s, Mike Restivo appeared on CompuServe's Masonry Forum. His first posts were innocuous but they failed to garner much attention (a lament he made in some later posts). He was shortly thereafter found in other CompuServe forums (in particular, the Religion Forum) writing lengthy polemics often focused on the Southern (US) Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, an organization which - even if he had not demitted from Freemasonry immediately - he would not have been eligible to join due to his life-long residence in Toronto, Canada. The Southern (US) Scottish Rite has precious little ritualistic similarity to Scottish Rite Supreme Councils elsewhere in the world with over half of the degrees in Canada being different from those used elsewhere. Mike began using Albert Pike as a convenient whipping boy, failing to acknowledge (or understand?) the profound differences in Scottish Rite Councils. When confronted with this, his postings became belligerent and bellicose. At this time too, there were several vocal anti-Masons on the Religion Forum (including folks like Duane Washum, Acacia Press, and more) and Mike seemed to find pleasure in helping them 'polish' their presentations against Masons although once the knowledge of his claimed Roman Catholic faith and his description of himself as an 'evangelical Catholic' was brought to their attention, he was treated as very much the pariah, another perceived injustice which he blames on Masons. (Can we hum the tune "Lookin' for love in all the wrong places..."???)
Mike's prolific posts demeaning the (presumed) rituals of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite and his philosophical musings on Pike's works were long, tortured, and infused with exhaustive Biblical quotations. In the charged atmosphere of the Religion Forum at a time when online anti-Masonry was little understood and those who berated Freemasonry were so prevalent, he was challenged, debated, derided, and labeled. When his theories and claims were rebutted, he bitterly disputed each and every one, moving inexorably to ad hominem attacks against the Masons who had rebuked his claims and - ostensibly - 'tarnished his image' as a scholar without peer. An objective reader would conclude that Mike did not 'suffer fools gladly'; conversely, he seemed to never consider any information whatsoever that might contradict his contrived positions. Any and all comments on his tortured treatises were seen by Mike as a personal insult to his intellectual dominance. His presentation style and his online demeanor did nothing to foster a spirit of debate and he showed enormous disdain whom he apparently considered his inferiors - which included nearly everyone from whom he'd read more than a couple of messages. His own posts to bolster the opponents of Freemasonry were frequently described as long-winded and boring - usually by the anti-Masons whom he was trying to assist! As a result, Mike sparked little interest except as a provocateur. What appeared to be an over-inflated ego was regularly being pricked by even the most casual visitor to the fray.
From this came the basis for Mike's subsequent claims that he has constantly been subjected to persecution from "goon enforcer Masons". He appeared to determine that if a Mason had the temerity to question his homilies, they were, in fact, prosecuting him.
As exchanges quickly escalated to anger and bitterness, some of the Masonic correspondents began exhaustive research into the Scottish Rite's history. One of them, Mason Mike Poll, has subsequently become a noted author and Masonic educator, specializing in materials relating to the earliest days of Scottish Rite history. On a daily basis, Mike Restivo's claims were being challenged and refuted. This certainly did not go over well - at all! As an example: Restivo would make a claim about a particular piece of ritual; Poll would refute it by noting that said ritual was not in use and hadn't ever been; Restivo would reply that he had no opportunity to know that - with the implication that he was still right in his claim nevertheless. It was just so very foolish....
Mike Restivo also began complaining that the Masons posting in the Religion Forum were unfairly muzzling legitimate dissent from the vocal anti-Masons. He claimed that because of his exhaustive knowledge of Freemasonry, it was his personal responsibility to assist those who were defaming the organization through lies. Strange indeed....
Fast forward several years....
Mike Restivo never fully abandoned his laborious dissertations, but ultimately seemed to recognize that they were of little use in drawing attention (and adoration) to himself. Because those posts would subject him to correction by Masonic scholars, he was chagrined to find he was not lauded as the expert he imagined himself. Correction/refutation is not something Mike willingly endures. The result? Before abandoning alt.freemasonry some 90-95% of his posts were either personal attacks on Masons or whines about his perceived persecution - and the percentage seemed to increase daily. While once his posts were examples of logical argument (although tedious and obfuscating, often with a false premise), organization and extraordinary use of the obscure phraseology, his final modus was the posting of provocative screeds in which he bragged about his prowess - in every arena .
Mike saved his most venemous scorn for Masons whom he determined weren't upholding his conception of Masonic ideals - although why this should matter to someone who freely admitted (and proudly proclaimed) that Freemasonry had nothing to teach him - is a very curious question.
In July, 2003, he began posting anti-Masonic screeds, disparaging his 'major protagonists' such as this site's author, in religious newsgroups without inclusion of alt.freemasonry. Failing at this point in his efforts to raise hackles after such boring repetition of stupidity in alt.fm, he seemingly wanted to prove himself by reiteration of his claims elsewhere so that they might be accepted without challenge. Does it seem rational to anyone that a grown man would need to whine about what others' might have done by posting to places where they might never know about it? Just when we think that Mike can't be any more infantile, he manages to surprise us!
Hyperbole 'R' Us
Mike's partially stated goal is the acclamation by the entire Masonic fraternity of his philosophical concepts on such issues as Masonic idealism and behavior. He has posted that there is no reason whatsoever why he should not be the Grand Master of his or any other (or all) jurisdictions, this being an opportunity for him to 'raise up good Masons' without the evil influences of the "rogue, cult-minded, fanatic, hate-filled, queer-writing, deceptive, attacking, enforcer, goon, cyber-terrorist, newsgroup stalker hate Masons". (There's apparently a ranking system within those words: I and a couple of other Masons active online have been labeled with them all but some have only been called a selected few....) ( again!)
Persons just beginning to come in contact with Mr. Restivo might observe an albeit rare single sagacious Restivo post and presume that Mike has much to offer. It's a pattern that, when Mike's percentage of insults to intelligent posts was much different, was oft repeated although now, the din created by his near-maniacal rants makes it clear that dealing with him as an adult is fruitless. Now, everyone - whether addressing a post to him or not - is the brunt of insults, put-downs, and ridicule: the seeming trademark of Mike's online behavior. Ironically, even other rabid anti-Masons fail to embrace Mike and his vicious bitterness.
Mike's history on our website:
At this site's outset, we had several pages about Mike. They showed detailed examples of what we felt was the foolishness his claims of being persecuted. In late 1999, attempting rapprochement as we neared the end of the century and seeing a continued deterioration in his messaging (his prior cogent arguments descending into rants increasingly composed exclusively of insults and attacks), a few Masons in alt.freemasonry apologized for any involvement they might have had in exacerbating hard feelings and extended the hand of reconciliation. In consort with this peace effort, we removed our separate pages about Mike and limited our discussion to a couple of paragraphs on our 'Others' page. We wrote that we were skeptical such efforts would produce fruit knowing that anyone who seemed to find such profound and continuing solace and recognition in chastising Masons or Masonry unremittingly would never see the endeavor as arising from worthy motives. Regrettably, we were right.
In the Fall of 2000 Mike Restivo - for some unstated reason - reapplied for restatement to his home lodge after a 19 year hiatus, notwithstanding his ongoing hatred (not too strong a term assuredly!) of essentially all online Masons. The action was so out of context with his day-to-day online behavior, questions arose immediately. Speculation ensued, fueled by Mike's oblique and obfuscating replies to messages. Some Masons openly suggested that this was yet another of Mike's "psychological probes" (an activity he not only admits but has often bragged about) or some type of perverted project for a college class ("The Aberrant Behavior of Online Masons When Confronted With The Truth" or some such....). This author now believes that it was simply an attempt to "trap" online Masons which would further prove (in his mind, apparently, to everyone) the wicked and unceasing persecution he claims to be suffering at their hands. The move also garnered considerable attention for Mike, something he craves unceasingly.
His action had it's apparently desired effect. A single intemperate post from a senior Mason in Mike's jurisdiction appeared, expressing his views on the likely (negative) outcome of the ballot. This was perfect for Mike, already posturing as the angrily defensive aggrieved person entitled by right to return to Freemasonry if he so desired - his egregious online behavior notwithstanding. He further asserted that he was certainly capable and qualified to become not only Master of his lodge but Grand Master as well due to his superior qualifications.
And then, almost as quickly as it began, it was over. Mike withdrew his request for reinstatement. Why? Because the outcome was now certain - according to Mike at least. In fact, he created a fantasy surrounding what would happen as his ballot for reinstatement was contemplated and even went so far as to angrily protest that he was not given full and sufficient chance to present his grievances against those whom he had verbally insulted for years.
In his typical obfuscation, Mike subsequently provided several 'alternative scenarios' as to why he might have chosen to reaffiliate but never clearly and without qualification stated his reasons specifically. Curiously too, when Mike first announced his intent, he indicated that it was (perhaps) based on the encouragement of his "friends" in the lodge. Strangely, though, none of them - not his sole living sponsor, not his friend who'd been initially blackballed but who is active in the lodge today, and not ANY of the members of the lodge - have come forward to support him publicly (or privately either it appears, based on certain comments Mike has made). He also indicated that he could become Grand Master and 'make Masons' of better character than the rest - a VERY intriguing scenario too bizarre to contemplate.
During the latter part of 2000 and into 2001, Mike also moved on to increasingly intense ad hominem attacks. Different from his earlier years of writing, these included (and continue to this day to include) many bizarre filthy innuendoes and suggestions. A number of Masons felt that the attempt to reaffiliate was nothing more than a calculated move to secure attention or to play some psychological mind-game. There appears to be consensus that the message relative to the expected outcome of Mike's attempt to return - although expressing what essentially everyone expected - was inappropriate. Mike attempted unsuccessfully to parlay this into a crisis of conscience which could threaten the freedom of all free peoples of the world....
Which brings us to 2004....
Mike, an unemployed 58 year old now who has attended college for the first time and has ostensibly graduated. He promised that after he graduated (claiming initially he'd be done in three years but actually taking the full four) he would consider pursing a law degree so that he can take this site's creator to court where he would 'prove' our "criminal behavior" which - sans Restivo spin - seems to mean that we've embarrassed him by setting forth his many idiosyncrasies! We wish him the best in his endeavors. Update: In late 2001, Mike apparently discovered/decided that he wouldn't be going to law school and now, on a semi-regular basis, taunts me to sue HIM!
And a further update:
in June/July, 2003, Mike wrote to alt.freemasonry bragging about his dominance
by having won some kind of property suit in court. Concurrently, he indicated
that he was 'retired'. The astute reader may conclude that many of Mike's online
actions and reactions stem from things in his personal life. Bereft of a family
or a business (his having apparently failed, thus his attendance at college courtesy of the
Canadian welfare system and an unwillingness or inability to find work following
his graduation despite his braggadocio) he continuously attempts to interest
others in his 'activities', recognizing that Freemasonry provides others with a
friendship and fellowship he will never, ever share.
In all of this, Mike's moral compass appears to have gone greatly askew. In March, 2001, he posted a series of "erotic" stories on his website. When discovered by this site's owner, Mike proudly proclaimed that he had done it simply to "trap" Masons and prove their transgressions. We recount that incident involving a backspace and a LOT of slithering here (please note that we have moved Mike's more salacious material to a separate site so as to ensure this one remains appropriate for family use).
Lest we be accused of not giving Mike an opportunity to present his side of things, you can find his web site about the horrible Masons and his paranoia about a "Masonic Menace" right here. Be forewarned: formatting is not Mike's strong suit and he seems to believe that stringing a bunch of Usenet messages together will readily show you what he's trying to communicate. (In early 2002, he even began using a bombastic introduction for clarification purposes. One can't help but be amazed at the rhetoric.)
So has anyone else noticed Mike? You betcha!
In yet another bit of irony, the person who so dearly craves the spotlight has now received a bit of perhaps unwelcome attention by being labeled by the Crank-Dot-Net website as being - you guessed it - ! It's something we've known all along! Head off to visit their wonderful site where Mike and so many of the others whom we chronicle here are given their 'fifteen minutes of fame'.
Just click on "Prince, the Search Dog" to find things on our site. He's on every page and he'll take you directly to our search form where you can see if we've written about whatever it is you're interested in. Prince has a great memory; he always remembers where things are!
This site and its contents are © (copyright) 1998-2014 by Edward L. King (Ed King). All rights reserved. All comments and opinions are mine personally.
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