A Troll By Any Other Name: Eagle Reports on Romeo and Juliet Church “Controversy”

The Brooklyn Eagle has focused its laser hot Klieg light of news on frequent BHB commenter Jeffrey J. Smith. The outspoken Smith recently has been very vocal about his outrage over Theater 2020’s choice to stage its production of Romeo and Juliet featuring Muslim and Hindu actors at St. Charles Borromeo Church.

You know, because the Muslims are out to get EVERYBODY.

His BHB comments would make Long Island’s favorite xenophobe Representative Peter King proud with Smith proclaiming, “Catholic culture is indeed rich.” He adds that “this production does not belong in a Catholic facility.”

Apparently, the Eagle newsroom was abuzz when they received a phone call (what? his Telex machine was busted?) from Brooklyn Heights’ answer to Michelle Malkin, Mr. Smith:

Brooklyn Eagle: In a phone call to the Eagle, Smith elaborated by saying that both of these cultures (Islam and Hinduism) are basically hostile to Christianity. He added that during his childhood, before the advent of ecumenism, St. Charles Borromeo was packed on Sunday morning.

Sure, Mr. Smith is entitled to his opinion. Yes we’re glad the folks at the Eagle, especially its esteemed editor/Manhattanite Raanan Geberer, are reading this blog regularly (and perhaps someday they’ll have the technology to LINK BACK to us). But as any self-respecting web savvy commenter knows there’s only one place this discussion is heading:

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  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    I find it interesting that Mr. Smith, having decried the deleterious effects of modernity, can post here: “C’mon do some serious material….let’s hear some Jerry Lee music…”

    Drawing upon an older religious tradition, there seems to be a disconnect between his Apollonian and Dionysiac sides.

  • AEB

    Putting Mr. Smith aside–just for a minute!–I’d like to go on record as having THOROUGHLY integrated Apollonian and Dionysiac sides such that I can think and frolic AT THE SAME TIME!

    Now, as for Mr. Smith’s parochialism (let’s call it): feh!

  • Elmer Fudd

    Oh come on, give JJ Smith a break.


  • Elmer Fudd
  • johng

    Putting aside Mr. Fink’s cheap shots at the eminently sensible Rep King and Ms. Malkin, I would ask Mr. Smith, What better way to foster cultural understanding and fellowship than a Shakespearean production in a Catholic church featuring Muslim and Hindu actors? What a country!

  • johng

    And thanks to Elmer Fudd for the great videos!

  • http://www.theater2020.com Princess

    I feel it is important to point out that Theater 2020’s “Romeo & Juliet” cast are professional American actors of varying spiritual beliefs…including Christian, who are “portraying” Muslim’s and Hindu’s. We cast our artists on talent, and not personal background.

  • Sam
  • Jeffrey j Smith

    Thank you all for all your interest. I apologize for not responding
    I, like many thoughtful Persons have been focused on what is happening with the EU/BIS/IMF Vs. Greece/Spain/Portugal/what- ever country next the NY/London banks want to loot.

    But in response to all the Lilliputians who object to my views. You should all understand you are NOT Simply objecting to my personal views. You are objecting to and in fact denying 2000 YEARS of Church teaching. The real Catholic church has NEVER allowed false gods or “cultures” that worship false gods, to be present in any way the lives of the faithful. Why? Because it leads, quickly, to the demise of souls from a state of grace. How many of you reading this, be honest now, are in a good state
    of grace? Well, if you met your end this moment, where do you think would be your next destination?

    And isn’t that what’s really important today in our world? The basic number of souls that are pleasing to our lord. And the
    basic number of souls who at the end of their earthly existence find eternal reward vs. the number who receive eternal punish-
    ment? Oh I see…this isn’t PC to menton? Hmmmm-

    Then how does an allowing spiritually foreign culture into the church experience serve to goal of preserving souls in a state of grace? Which ONLY the Catholic Church in its faith, doctrine, cannon law and culture in this world can secure? This is basic Catholic belief and doctrine of 2000 years.

    Please THINK about your present “lifestyle” Please THINK about the current condition and direction of the church. Do you believe heaven and hell is real? Well only sort of…? You’ve invented a new definition in this modernist era of the last 40-50 years of the faith and the form of the Church? Really? And you expect EVERYONE to exhibit classic dumb acquiescence?

    Sorry. There are still people of integrity in this world.

    To better understand the reasons for what I say, please consult the following (further) Sources of information on the genuine Catholic faith: http://www.culturewars.com, http://www.cfnews.org, http://www.stjospehforum.com, http://www.legionofstlouis.com and http://www.remnantnewspaper.com


  • Winstion Smith

    Time to shed a little more light on Jeffery J. Smith:
    Back in the day, about 25-30 years ago, when My friends and I used to hang out on the wall of the Applet Court, on Monroe Pl. Mr. Smith used to come around and hand out white supremacist propaganda and try to recruit us to join an organization called the “The Order” (Yes, the “O” had a swastika in the middle). Most of us disliked him and only put up with his nonsense because he also handed out free beer (Oh the shallowness of youth). He would boast about his illegal citizens band radio activities where he would taunt minorities on the air, using the handle “White Power”. He also distributed a fascist newspaper called “The Spotlight” by placing them on car windshields. Eventually, one of my friends (who is Jewish) had enough, and punched Jeff in the face, he stopped coming around after that. We knew him simply as “Jeff Smith” but there is no doubt its the same person.

  • Quinn Raymond


  • T.K. Small

    So Jeffrey, were you a member of a group called “the order”?

  • http://brooklynheightsblog.com John Avila

    John Avila:
    It seems to me that people need to ask themselves what it is that they believe.If,in fact, they do identify themselves as Catholic, certain consequences follow from that identification pertaining to what one believes and,as importantly,what one denies and disbelieves.Of course, one must know what is and has been taught over the centuries and a conspiracy to silence that perennial teaching has blotted the Truth from many hapless minds.We should be grateful that we are reminded of this and that the destruction of the Christian Tradition has not been absolute.

  • WillowtownCop

    I still can’t get my head around the fact that millions of otherwise reasonable adults still believe in ANY of these absurd religion fairytales.

  • y

    Religion is for the mentally weak?

  • yorick

    But “spirituality” is for everyone…right? And Shakespeare is full of that, so it’s all good.

  • http://www.theater2020.com David Fuller

    Rehearsals for R&J are going very well. We have a wonderfully talented cast of professional New York actors. Perhaps some of you will come and see us? Namaste.

  • Mickey

    My questions to Mr. Smith are: if the Catholic Church doesn’t invite others into its buildings, how can they expect to invite them into their faith? I’ve been gone a while, but doesn’t the Catholic Church still believe that it is every baptized person’s responsibility to spread the Gospel? If you don’t reach out to the non-faithful, isn’t your soul just as much in jeopardy for not spreading the Word that you have been given? How can you open your heart to the true God and shut out some of his children at the same time?

  • Soulman

    Is this the same guy who hangs out near Peas & Pickles in pseudo military gear? Seems like it.

  • Jeffrey J Smith

    I rarely respond to other posts directly. Especially on a personal basis. But Mr. Smith either has a VERY inaccurate memory…or is deliberately distorting the facts.

    First of all, I have never been a member of the “order” or distri-
    buted any kind of publication of that name. Mr. Smith may be referring to one unauthorized individual who did distribute several conservative publications in the area till he was banned by at least one publication for improper behavior.

    I am a short wave listener since youth and can attest that during that period the Citizen’s Band radio was used for many ques-
    tionable purposes. But you’ll notice Mr. Smith doesn’t mention
    That it was standard practice for kids in the Red Hook projects to brag to kids in the navy yard area about their latest really violent crime exploits in the Heights. This continued till, under my
    Leadership, the matter was brought to the attention of the FCC office on Varick St in Manhattan.This, and other legal activities brought the above, very dangerous behavior, under considerable

    During that period I and 99% of my neighbors were VERY critical of the often very disorderly crowds of youths MANY who stated they were Packer and St Ann’s students, which would nightly assemble at the 2nd Appellate division court at Monroe Place and Pierrepont St. The last thing I or anyone under my direction would have done would be to hand out ANY alcoholic beverage to people we were nightly calling the police about. Thankfully due to our efforts at least 20, to my memory, of those associated with that location ESPECIALLY those connected With the VERY CONSIDERABLE DRUG ACTIVITY at the location, now have serious arrest records. As much as possible for felonies.

    Yes, there unfortunately a series of physical fights with either those involved in drugs at the location or some of the older “kids” from the site and several of my neighbors. No one, as was crudely put, ever punched me in the face. The ONLY physical incident I was involved in with the groups at the court was when one of my elderly neighbors was assaulted and I had to disarm one of the youths from the scene who in a intox state attempted to assault me with a broken bottle neck(!!!) He was promptly arrested. He plead guilty. By the way, to give you an idea how casino types operate, an attorney from a MAJOR Law firm came to the precinct and attempted illegally to get me to drop charges.

    I and several of my friends during that period did distribute several publications of a conservative or Traditionalist type,
    none of which bore the name: order.

    After the physical confrontation with the youth I had arrested, and throughout the series of threats We received from those involved in drug activities at the St George hotel and arcade area, which occurred during the same period, we made sure to accelerate and intensify our efforts.

    The result gratefully was an end to the presence of problem youths and the considerable drug presence which they brought to the location. Today the grounds of the 2nd Appellate court are a pleasant, safe location Heights residents stop at and enjoy on a daily basis. If say so myself, our activities of that era also resulted in a general major decline in overall crime in the Heights.

    I would be glad to have anyone examine my activities of that period on the behalf my neighbors who were crime victims
    which frankly, I defend.

    Many of you know, that this blog has imposed a often consid-
    erable period in which my comments are held “for review” before being granted access to the blog. This action appears unique among all other contributors. I wonder now if Mr. Winston Smith who has now involved the blog in serious, legally actionable behavior will also be placed under these restrictions.

    Hmmm…that’s what I thought…..

  • Quinn Raymond

    I am reserving tickets for myself and my wife for this as soon as she picks a date. Looking forward to it.

    The producers should consider giving Mr. Smith a commission. ;)

  • Heights Lifetime Resident

    @Jeffrey J Smith

    I have a very strong suspicion that you are indeed the kook who used to call himself the, “White Power Base” on the CB radio about 30+ years ago! You used to spew white supremacist & Nazi propaganda on air and in printed leaflets! One of your disciples was that lunatic “Toolbelt Louie.”

    WTF is wrong with you?

    (Props to Winstion Smith for refreshing my memory.)

  • Winstion Smith

    Soulman, you have a very keen sense of crackpots. The “guy who hangs out near Peas & Pickles in pseudo military gear” is Jeff Smiths only known disciple.

    Jeffrey J Smith, My memory is sharp as a tack and I am not distorting any facts.

    You are the one who seems to have a fanciful memory of those days. There was never any arrest of 20 people or even one person, connected with that group, for drugs that resulted in felony or even misdemeanor convictions. I could go on but quite frankly right now, I don’t have the time.

    As far as what I said, I’ll stay pat with it as I know several others who will back me up on it.

  • Winstion Smith

    Heights Lifetime Resident, Thanks for the back (we must have been writing at the same time).

  • weegee

    So, who WAS that guy who appeared in Bensonhurst in 1998, shadowing an Al Sharpton march, periodically pulling his hands out of his windbreaker to give a thumbs down and shout, literally, “aaahhhhhhh?”

    I seem to recall it being the same person who called for the St. George Hotel complex to “cease to exist” after the fire in ’95.

  • Elmer Fudd

    Wow! Strange stuff. What is in the water over there?

  • Elmer Fudd
  • Jeffrey J Smith

    @ Various parties.

    I certainly do not deny being active in various civic activities through the years. I and many associates help those under attack in other communities. I certainly have been interviewed and quoted widely in many media outlets both locally, nationally
    and internationally.

    The period you mention in the 1970’s was indeed a dark era in which the Heights was under siege with waves of violent crime. We certainly met fire with fire. I do not think that even some of this group would say that the Heights was somehow responsible for kids in the red hook projects openly over the air encouraging kids In the Navy Yard area to assault women in the Heights. Many people used many handles at the time on a sort of rotating basis. We were dealing with some of the worst gang kids during the height of the 70’s drug wars. Appeals to their better nature were unlikely to succeed. What people did during that era turned off the use of this form of communications for crime purposes and was a major component in reducing crime generally. I’m sorry, but we were justified given the level of violence, in using this level of force.

    Funny, in all the comments from Mr. Smith, who certainly IS distorting MUCH of what happened and others here, I’m not hearing one word of understanding or sympathy for the hundreds and hundreds of victims of violent crime which that era produced.

    Next, the comment that somehow I put some kind of extreme statements on the air. Really? Can anyone quote ONE LINE of what I am supposed to have said? Sure we fought fire with fire; sure we did some tough things. Too bad…someone had to step up. And I guess it was us. Notice the real difference in character here; I or my associates weren’t part of the crime problem, we
    weren’t part of the nightly disorderly youths at say the court at Pierrepont and Monroe. I wasn’t the origin or a contributor to hundreds and hundreds of 911 calls from neighbors in the area.

    What was our role in the era? Contribution in everyway we could think of using legal means to step the flood of disorder and violence which plagued the Heights.

    Do I and associates assist other communities being assaulted? Certainly. But someone of standing In the community had to request I or my associates help. I have often been interviewed by media in this regard as to my views on decent communities being assaulted by various questionable influences.

    As to my view of the St George fire. I simply pointed out to media that the standpipes had apparently been shut off. I also said that St George was a constant source of drugs and violent crime in our community. I don’t think even this group would be as ignorant as to attempt to contradict that statement.

    Standing up for what is genuinely in the best interest of anything, be it an individual or community In a corrupt age such as this often involves taking unpopular positions and actions which while
    Successful, are often seen as controversial both at the time of occurrence and for long periods afterward. Usually the corrupt or thoughtless will long assail those who refuse to hide or who simply
    Join the ranks of those who are causing the problems but step up to confront destructive forces.

    Do I hear one person here voicing sympathy or understanding for the conditions of that dark era? Or the legions of victims it produced?….I thought not.

    By the way, it wasn’t 20 arrests, that’s just various youths in and around the court area or related Youth groups plaguing the area. and this was over a 2 ½ period. The actual total was OVER 60
    Arrests mostly on felony charges which I and my associates caused.

  • Knight

    Elmer, perhaps your song should have been Billy Joel’s “The Angry Young Man.”

  • David on Middagh

    …or “Hotel St. George”!