Skip to comments.'Crusader' Takes On eBay Over Sales of Relics
Posted on 11/24/2006 2:49:16 PM PST by rightwingintelligentsia
(Nov. 23) -- Hardly an hour goes by without Thomas Serafin or one of his cyber-sleuths checking what eBay has to offer.
They're not hunting for bargains and never place a bid. Their interest is bone shards, bits of wizened flesh and a contemporary twist on the sacred and the profane: How the ancient trade in the most coveted religious relics has moved into the global flea market of online bidding.
"You can find bone fragments supposedly from St. Augustine being hawked on the Internet along with trinkets and antiques. There is something very wrong here," said Serafin, a professional photographer and Catholic activist based in Los Angeles, who has led an expanding campaign since the late 1990s to block the online sale of objects purported to contain the remains of Christian saints.
Last month, Serafin's group, the International Crusade for Holy Relics, opened a new front that's truly worthy of a David and Goliath metaphor: a call to boycott eBay.
It seeks to pressure the world's largest online auction site to close alleged loopholes used to bypass its ban on allowing bids for human remains.
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Lol! Chicken bones.
HMMMMM. I wonder what they want for shipping?
Is selling these things on the Internet any worse than using them to stimulate contributions from the "faithful"? This just sounds like a new twist on an old scam, to me.
Make sure I know where you're buried, maybe one of your relatives will buy your bones from me... then again, maybe not... i'm sure you wouldn't care by then. I dare them to litigate too.
I was in contact with this guy at one time. He's very...ummmmm...intense.
Sorry, I plan on being cremated. Maybe you can get my ashes with a Dustbuster, but all my kids will care about is how much money I left them. They sure won't venerate any non-financial remains I leave behind, if any.
Brilliant! Yet very strange.
**Lol! Chicken bones.**
But, but the items are not as advertized? I want my money back!
What is my bid on Origen's private parts that he himself cut off?
The Idea! Holy Relics on ebay! There is a sucker born every minute.
If this groups wants the items so badly, they are welcome to bid and buy them up.
Their website had a message board, which I guess only their group was supposed to be able to see. I didn't hack it, I just clicked on the link to it and it took me right there. (I assume the board was supposed to have some kind of security to limit access but that it wasn't working and they didn't realize it.)
After reading their board for a while, I was horrified when I recognized one of their members who posted on the board as a seller of relics on eBay. I figured Serafin didn't know -- or else this guy wouldn't be allowed to be a member of their group. I emailed Serafin back and forth a few times, giving him all the particulars, and the guy ended up being booted from the group. It was pretty nasty. The guy had supposedly been recommended by a bishop.
Serafin was just barely polite and never really thanked me -- just let me know by cc'ing me on an email to someone else that the guy was no longer a member. He then made sure the board was no longer accessible to the public.
I think he was mad that I'd read the board, but I hadn't done anything wrong since anyone could read it. And if I hadn't, the "bad guy" wouldn't have been caught as soon, or maybe even at all. I thought I was doing him a favor.
Anyway, my impression was that Serafin seemed to think he walks on water. He's doing a good thing, but he seems to have quite an ego about it.
I have an antique Greek cross that is supposedly a reliquary (it's thick and looks as though it could be opened). Have no idea how old it is or which saint it's supposed to be.
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