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Eric Hoyle Lawsuit
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Eric Hoyle vs Most Holy Family Monastery

The Saga of Eric Hoyle vs The Dimond Brothers

 

Before looking at the case associated with Eric Hoyle let’s first reflect upon the story told in the Gospel According to St Matthew about a rich young man who comes to Christ asking what he can do in order to obtain eternal life.

Matthew 19:16-25

(16) And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

(17) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

(18) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

(19) Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

(20) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

(21) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

(22) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

(23) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

(24) And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

(25) When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

There are those who are duped by the devoted servants of the “Father of Lies”; who fall prey to the enchanting words of "false prophets", "false teachers", and "imposter monks" into willfully handing over their possessions, their money; being conned into believing they are following the admonitions of Christ.

But, man’s salvation is not based upon his sacrifice to God but instead our “chance” to obtain salvation was assured us the day Christ died upon the cross. His ultimate sacrifice paid, in full, the price required for the redemption of our sins and the saving of our souls.

Salvation’s primary focus is not based upon what we do; but rather it is founded upon what Christ has already sacrificed / accomplished for us. All we, as the children of God, are expected to do, in order to receive God’s grace, is to live honorable and moral lives, be baptized (becoming part of His Church), confess our sins and follow, to the best of our ability, God’s commandments on a daily basis.

If we will but diligently strive each day to accomplish that challenging / daunting prerequisite, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has guaranteed us that we will be found worthy to be granted forgiveness of our sins and obtain eternal life.

Yet, for those members of Christ's “scattered flock”, those children of God, who feel compelled and duty bound to “renounce the world” and to “embrace the monastic dream” of becoming a “disciple of Christ” then the rules can and do change radically; as in this specific case of Eric Hoyle postulating to become part of what he naïvely believed to be a legitimate Order of Saint Benedict (i.e. the Most Holy Family Monastery in Fillmore, New York).

Eric Hoyle … an incredible “believe it or not” story of a “used to be” rich young man

Eric Hoyle

In the not so distant past … in the year 2003, a young passionate man of 22 years, named Eric Hoyle, was occupied teaching chemistry at a public high school in Edgewater, Maryland; which in and of itself is a remarkable achievement for anyone so young.

Outside of his professional activity, Eric passionately researched various existing religions in the search of the “one true religion” that he desired to commit and dedicate his life to.

As a result of that intense research, in 2004, he arrived at the conclusion that the Holy Roman Catholic Church professed the religious doctrines / dogmas that he'd been searching for. And with that, he made a life-changing decision to abandon his teaching position in order to look into the possibility of entering into a Seminary to study further and eventually, God willing, to take his vows; dedicating himself to Christ, and becoming a priest.

In the months that followed Eric energetically “chased after that dream” but, in the end, came to the realization that he was not ready to commit himself to the life and responsibilities of a “priest”; but would, nevertheless, endeavor to continue delving into the mysteries, dogmas and doctrines of the Holy Roman Catholic Church as a “personal” pursuit.

In early 2005, while living a sequestered life-style, devoted to prayer and study, Eric learned of the existence of a Saint Benedictine Monastery located in upstate New York (Fillmore) that was known by the name of the Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM).

Young Eric was excited about his luck / the find and eagerly telephoned the MHFM, speaking directly with Frederick "Michael" Dimond, the monastery’s purported "Abbot / Superior".

Eric was anxious to to discuss and understand what the requirements were for “joining ranks” with the MHFM. He wanted to know what he must do become welcomed and accepted into the community, as a resident; which would, hopefully, lead one day to his donning of the “black” Benedictine monk’s robe.

In the course of the discussion that followed, “Brother Michael” explained the MHFM’s origins dating back to the 1960’s when Joseph Natale, a professed Benedictine monk, received official permission from Archabbot Dennis Strittmatter of the St. Vincent’s Archabbey in Latrobe, PA, to establish an OSB in Berlin, NJ.

“Brother Michael” went on to explain that a magnanimous benefactor had “donated” to Joseph Natale their current residence in Fillmore, New York, with its 90 acres of land in the early 1990’s for the explicit purpose of establishing a new Benedictine monastery there.

“Brother Michael” explained further that unfortunately Joseph Natale died in November 1995 before he was able to move the monastery from Berlin, NJ to Fillmore, NY; and shortly after Joseph Natale’s demise that he (Michael) had been elected as the MHFM’s Superior and thereafter had supervised the moving of the monastery to its present location in 1997.

Young Eric was convinced that Fillmore, New York, was the Catholic equivalent to what Bringham Young had told the Mormons was the “promised land”.

“Brother Michael”, masterfully using the “Skill of Deceit”, had succeeded in selling the "legitimate OSB concept" to Eric and he placed it carefully into that part of his heart that authorized checks for “donations”.

Thus on April 1, 2005 (April Fool’s Day - which is tragically apropos) Eric wrote his first check / a “cash contribution” of Seven Hundred ($700.00) Dollars to the MHFM.

The hypnotic charm of “Brother Michael’s” telephone voice, was a Siren’s call of sorts; and coupled with the information on the website, that first $700.00 donation merely “primed the pump”.

Eric foolishly concluded that "Brother Michael" was indeed Christ’s last validly chosen remnant leader, the last Prophet on Earth.

Blinded by “demonic” light, Eric was convinced, to the very core of his twisting, turning soul, that he should do exactly what Christ had instructed the “rich young man” in Matthew 19:21 ...

(21) Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."

True or not, I would speculate that May 2, 2005 is a date that Eric will never forget. It may well be that the date went down in his personal journal, if he had one, as the day he “lost his sense of reason”.

Whatever it was, whoever it was that compelled him to make a second "donation" to the MHFM, this time in the amount of Sixty-Five Thousand ($65,000.00) Dollars, surely wasn’t on his side.

Eric’s “guardian angel” must have been somewhere bound and gagged not to have set off an alarm in the lad’s head.

... Or, just possibly, Eric simply wasn’t listening or refused to listen to that “still small voice”.

Absolutely mind boggling, No?

As would be expected, “Brother Michael” became eager and enthusiastic to invite Eric to come and visit, to see for himself, the MHFM, during June and July of 2005.

Eureka … "Brother Michael's" plan worked beautifully!

With those “charitable / friendly” visits and further discussions with Eric, the lad took up residence at the Most Holy Family Monastery in Fillmore, New York on September 27, 2005 as a postulant.

But there was a "massive" catch.

“Brother Michael” made it clear that the condition for accepting Eric into the community and the starting of his training would require that he agree to turn over most of his worldly possessions to the MHFM; as the shedding of material possessions was a requirement of the Order of St. Benedict, and thus the MHFM.

Further to that “Brother Michael” informed Eric that he must specify in writing what portion, if any, of the money he would be transferring to the MHFM would be / must be returned to him should he decide to leave MHFM.

At that time, Eric was the owner of approximately 1,350,000 shares of Guinor Gold Corporation.

On or about November 4, 2005, young Eric transferred 1,045,000 of those shares (valued at $1,233,100.00) to the MHFM; keeping only enough to pay the capital gains taxes due for 2005.

By mid-2006, “Brother Michael” asked Eric, once again, to specify in writing the amount of the transferred share values that must be returned to him if and when he ever decided to leave the MHFM.

Eric complied and created a document that indicated the amount he wanted to back, should he ever decide to leave, would be $750,000.00; and then gave the document to "Brother Michael" without requesting or keeping a signed copy as a receipt; which would prove to “haunt him” later on.

For some unexplained reason, around September 12, 2006, Eric once again felt a compelling urge to give away his possessions in order to further assist the MHFM in its continued work for Christ that he believed “Brother Michael” was involved with; so he made another transfer / donation to the MHFM of 37,400 shares of Central Fund of Canada (valued at $307,989.00).

Within a year of the September 2006 money transfer mentioned above, an issue arose within the MHFM that would lead Eric to begin to suspect that “all was not well in Zion” so-to-speak.

After reading a series of articles written by a former member of the MHFM (Richard Ibranyi), who had been abruptly banished from the community for introducing and promoting the sedevacantist position, Eric became disillusioned and confused.

Why?

Because, Richard Ibrayni's articles drew alarming attention to the “fact” that “the Dimond Brothers” were regularly attending Mass and receiving the Holy Sacrament from a Byzantine Rite Catholic Church that was in communion with the Vatican II Church, in Rochester, New York.

Heresy

Wasn’t that heresy and grounds for excommunication?

Catholic Encyclopedia: Excommunication (1917)

"Next comes the heretic who belongs to a heretical association; for such a person his heretical membership alone is sufficient to bring him under sentence of excommunication. In his case the penalty is incurred by adhesion to the heresy, notably by willful and active participation in Sacris (i.e. in public worship) with heretics"

Why would the Dimond brothers do that? Wasn’t it a fundamental MHFM position that it's a “mortal sin” to simply associate with anyone considered “outside the Church” let alone attend Mass and partake of the sacraments from a “heretical” priest? Surely Richard Ibrayni’s accusations against them couldn’t be true or was it?

It didn’t take long for young Eric to consider the “facts” presented and arrive at the conclusion that Richard’s accusations were in fact “justified”; Brother Michael Dimond and Brother Peter Dimond were “manifest heretics”. Eric was not only shocked but he felt betrayed.

It was an unexpected rude and an alarming wake-up call; which brought with it a heightened suspicion about everything else associated with the MHFM. He cringed at the unnerving possibility that Richard’s other accusations against the Dimond brothers may as well be true:

  • Joseph Natale had NOT completed his training at the St. Vincent’s Archabbey.

  • Joseph Natale was NOT, in fact, authorized by Archabbot Dennis Strittmatter of the St. Vincent Archabbey to establish an OSB in Berlin, New Jersey.

  • The MHFM was NOT a Charter member of the Order of St. Benedict.

  • The MHFM was NOT recognized by the American-Cassinese Congregation and thus

  • The MHFM was NOT founded nor operated in accordance with the requirements of the Order of St. Benedict.

In time Eric would realize that he had been duped ... as the Most Holy Family Monastery was, unfortunately, an "Enchating Lustful Lie".

The revelation took its toll on Eric, emotionally and spiritually; as it meant that his continued stay at the MHFM was futile; and would not bring him closer to his desire of legitimately taking his “Solemn Vows” and obtaining the recognition as a validly professed Benedictine monk.

It became painfully apparent, at that time, that all he’d believed in, had trusted in, had prayed for, had sacrificed for was now little more than a “lesson learned”; which had cost him $1,606,789.00 to understand it.

So, a young dejected Eric Hoyle did the only "Christian" thing he could think of to do ... he packed his bags (which included copies of what he considered to be incriminating evidence … documents and electronic data) and exited the MHFM on December 31, 2007; along with two other lay brothers who likewise believed that there was “active fraud” being perpetuated across the internet by the MHFM.

Eric’s next move was logical. He took a long deep breath, gathered his wits, regrouped his thoughts on the matter at hand, bolstered his faith by continuing to “trust in the Lord”, and found a reputable law firm (CHAMBERLAIN D’AMANDA OPPENHEIMER & GREENFIELD LLP out of Rochester, NY) who believed his story.

Together they went over his findings and decided that once they’d agreed on and formulated a proper legal strategy they would file a lawsuit against the Dimond brothers and the MHFM; alleging that they had conspired and perpetuated a fraud against Eric that had conned him out of 1.6 million dollars; which he had every intention or recuperating.

  • Fraud (mail, wire and banking),

  • Negligent Misrepresentation,

  • Unjust Enrichment,

  • Deceptive Trade Practices,

  • False Advertising and

  • Racketeering

On May 19, 2008 the complaint was finally ready and was officially submitted to the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT / WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.

With that … the legal bantering commenced with "Brother Michael's" defense team (DUKE, HOLZMAN, PHOTIADIS & GRESENS LL out of Buffalo, NY).

The Dimond brother’s attorneys wasted no time at all in going on the offensive; emphasizing that in this case they believed that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction (a religious matter) and therefore the complaint should be dismissed as stipulated the rules governing the application of the First Amendment of the Constitution. It was a nice try but the court denied them that request.

With all of the preliminaries now completed, and the attempts by the defense team to dismiss the case denied, it was time to establish a trial date.

So, on March 10, 2009 Eric Hoyle’s lawsuit was officially filed with the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT / WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK (Case Number: 08-CV-00347-JTC) against the Dimond Brothers and the Most Holy Family Monastery.

Thus armed with the truth and righteous indignation they marched confidently into court. The proof they possessed was overwhelming stacked against the MHFM.

How could young Eric possibly lose, Right?

Wrong ... Read for yourself!

To get a full story of the legal battle that raged for nearly 4 years I would recommend that you take some time and go through the PDFs found at the bottom of this page.

You will discover the proof for yourself that “good doesn’t always vanquish evil”. It's absolutely amazing the injustice of it all.

But with that said … "God’s will be done", though I highly doubt He actually sanctioned the "theft" of Eric’s money no matter what “Brother Michael” says.

In short … the decision of the court came down as this:

Defendants deny that they misrepresented their doctrinal views or their status as Benedictines, and further argue that this dispute cannot be adjudicated without interpreting religious doctrine, specifically the requirements and obligations that must be fulfilled in order for one to become a Benedictine monk and for a monastery to be considered a Benedictine community."

It is undisputed that MHFM operates as a religious organization and not-for-profit corporation.

The defendants consider themselves an independent Benedictine community operating outside the governance of the Benedictine Confederation and the Catholic Church.

Under the "neutral principles of law" approach, this court could properly determine whether MHFM is affiliated with the recognized Order of St. Benedict, but it is a doctrinal issue whether MHFM operates according to the Rule of St. Benedict and can self-identify as a Benedictine monastery."

Defendants believe they are Benedictines, and have a theological basis for this belief.

Apparently, there are critics of MHFM who reject this self-identification.

At the time he donated money to MHFM and joined the monastery, plaintiff knew that MHFM was not recognized by the Order of St. Benedict, but accepted it as Benedictine nonetheless.

The First Amendment protects the rights of the defendants to decide matters of faith free from state intrusion.

To the extent that plaintiff asks this court to determine whether MHFM is a true Benedictine community, such an inquiry would require the resolution of theological issues and religious doctrine and is prohibited by the First Amendment.

To say that “Brother Michael” was overjoyed with the “civil” court’s decision would be a monstrous understatement. He was ecstatic! He’d won!

In using the “Skill of Deceit” … and thanks to his master, the “Father of Lies” … he’d just “legally” enriched himself and his brother by a margin of 1.6 million tax-free dollars.

What man wouldn’t be happy, right?

But any true Benedictine would have been thoroughly ashamed.

“Brother Michael” saw this as an act of God, and NOT the District Court, who had ruled in his favor.

For him, this was “divine revelation” informing the world that he was indeed “the Right Reverend Lord and Father in Christ, Bro. Michael Dimond, Superior of this monastery” … his monastery, the Most Holy Family Monastery.

And to celebrate the event he had one of his misguided underlings create a webpage for him entitled "Amazing: The Final Judgment Ending Our Benedictine Fraud Lawsuit Was Issued on The Feast of St. Benedict - March 21, 2014".

The sheer audacity of this vainglorious man appears to have no limits! How could “Brother Michael” actually, even, entertain the idea that his success in “civil” court was sanctioned by God? By his own words, credence is given to the voiced suspicions raised by others on the internet that Frederick “Michael” Dimond is a depraved, narcissistic, socio-path.

Here are a few of those delusional words:

"This event is a clear, stunning confirmation from Heaven (particularly for other people to see) that we are indeed Benedictines and true members of the Order of St. Benedict. In fact, we are the true Order of St. Benedict in our day. Anyone who knows anything about such lawsuits knows that neither plaintiffs nor defendants control when judges make their rulings or legal decisions are issued. Yet, this “final judgment” was issued on March 21. It’s a smashing victory, an obvious sign, in the face of all our detractors and opponents."

It is tragically obvious that “Brother Michael” is “two cans short of being a six-pack”; and with that thought this scripture comes to mind:

"For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." - (Romans 1:22)

“Brother Michael” may have won in secular “Civil” court but, what does the 1917 Code of Canon Law say about “Rendering Equitable Justice” on a matter such as this? Even “independent” Catholic Benedictines, following the “Rule”, are duty bound to obey those traditional Church laws. Let’s take a look at those “Canons” that “specifically relate to the possessions entrusted to a “religious order”; like Eric had been required to do.


What does the 1917 Code of Canon Law Say about Rendering Justice in a Matter Such as This; at Least on the Part concerning the 1.6 Million Dollars?

Canon 568
Canon Law

In the course of the novitiate, if a novice renounces his benefices or goods in any manner or encumbers [them], the renunciation or obligation is not only illicit, but by the law it is invalid.

Canon 569
  1. Before profession of simple vows, whether temporary or perpetual, a novice must for the whole time in which he is bound by simple vows cede the administration of his goods to whomever he wishes, and, unless the constitutions provide otherwise, he freely disposes of their use and fruit.

  2. If this cession or disposition was omitted because of a lack of goods and later [the novice] comes into property, or it if was done and [the novice] later obtained goods by another title, [the cession or disposition] shall be repeated according to the norm established in § 1 notwithstanding having given simple profession.

  3. A novice in a religious Congregation before profession of temporary vows shall freely produce a will concerning present goods and those perhaps to be acquired.

Canon 570
  1. Nothing for the expenses of postulancy or novitiate can be required except for food and the religious habit that in the constitutions or in express contract has been indicated will be owed upon entering postulancy or the novitiate.

  2. Whatever the aspirant brought and has not consumed by use shall be restored to him if he leaves the religious [institute] without having given profession.

Canon 580
  1. Anyone professed by simple vows, whether perpetual or temporary, unless otherwise provided in the constitutions, maintains proprietary rights over his goods and the capacity of acquiring other goods, except for those that are prescribed in Canon 569.

  2. Whatever he acquires by effort or by reason of the religious [institute], he acquires for the religious [institute].

  3. A professed can change the cession or disposition [of goods] mentioned in Canon 569.2, but not by his own judgment, unless the constitutions allow it, but with the permission of the supreme Moderator or, if it concerns nuns, with the permission of the local Ordinary and, if a monastery is subject to regulars, [of] the regular Superior, providing the change of at least a notable part of the goods is not done in favor of the religious [institute]; and upon leaving the religious [institute], a cession or disposition of this sort has no force.

Canon 581
  1. One professed by simple vows cannot validly before, but within sixty days before solemn profession must, renounce all goods that he actually has, in favor of whomever he wants, subject to the condition of profession [actually] following, with due regard for any particular indults granted by the Holy See.

  2. Upon profession, everything that is necessary for the renunciation to have effect in civil law must be done immediately.


The 1917 Code of Canon Laws is clear … “Brother Michael”, and his so-called Benedictine monastery, were duty bound to reimburse Eric, at minimum, the $750,000 he’d requested, when he decided to leave the community; as he left “before” taking his final vows. Any honorable Order of Saint Benedict would have complied with Canon Law without a single moment’s hesitation; which is just one more proof that the Most Holy Family Monastery is a “counterfeit" OSB and “Brother Michael” is an “imposter” Superior.

“Brother Michael” is NOT a “prophet” but rather a “profiteer” … “preying on” NOT “praying for” the children of God.

“Brother Michael” willfully, maliciously and successfully "concealed“ his “guilt” by hiding his crime behind the First Amendment of the USA Constitution. It is amazing enough that God actually permitted him to succeed in stealing Eric Hoyle’s possessions civilly. Yet in doing so “Brother Michael” has condemned himself before God.

It’s never too late to repent, “Brother Michael”!

Return to Eric Hoyle what you and God both “know” you deceived him out of. (at least the $750,000).

"Be ashamed when you sin, not when you repent." - Saint John Chrysostom -

Pax Tecum

The Eric Hoyle Case PDFs: PDF

 

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