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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
Olive Dawson - How It All Began

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I received the following e-mail from Odhrán McConnell, a nephew of Olive Dawson:
"Please excuse the direct contact, but I read your articles and blogs about Olive Dawson and the Smyth family and I wanted to get in contact. I am Olive's nephew, the son of her sister Maria and I am aware of the fraudulent behaviour of Olive. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Olive has destroyed her family as a result of her actions. Let me explain.

"I have always thought that my uncle David was either a manic depressive or at worst, slightly schizophrenic. My mother refers to him as 'a simple soul' and it's quite an apt phrase as he has never been 'the full shilling'. Back in 1999, he came to me with a book of writings that he wanted me to type up. I had no idea of what he had written about so I agreed to his request. It was strange at the time because he asked me to do this as his godchild, which I am. It quickly became apparent to me that there was something very wrong in the writings so I stopped writing and started asking questions. This is when Olive got involved. In my opinion, she saw a business opportunity and jumped on it. She demanded the books be returned to David but I refused, saying that David should really see a psychiatrist and if the revelations in the books were true then at the very least, they should contact a bishop to investigate. I heard nothing more from her and left the books in the custody of my mother.

"Around that time, my mother was undergoing therapy for cancer and my father was looking after things at home. Olive, David and my aunt Carol came to my parent's house under the guise of visiting my ill mother. Instead, they got my dad to give them the books and never even went to the hospital to see my mum. The next thing I know, Olive is touring the world telling people of her supposed miracle (not eating) and of the writings of 'the instrument'. I was shocked at this as it was purely taking advantage of people by asking for donations and selling books and merchandise. She never took David with her because she knew that it would be a disaster to her promotional revelations. David would have surely said or done something a bit weird.

"Anyway, I've probably already said enough. You get the gist of what she's like. I'd like to say thank you to you too, because you dissected her behaviour perfectly in your articles and I applaud you for outing the truth."
The above-quoted e-mail explains the beginning of Olive Dawson's claims of private revelation and special gifts. Odhrán McConnell gives a description of David Smyth that is in agreement with other sources. See my other articles on this topic:
Olive Dawson and the messages to her brother, David Smyth
Does Olive Dawson live solely on the Eucharist?

Several sources have now contacted me to relate that David Smyth is the source of the claimed private revelations promoted by Olive Dawson, and that he is not at all a reliable person. For example, David claims to have received these messages from an angel. When David asked the angel his name, he is said to have replied 'you may call me Kevin'. But David calls this angel 'R2,' after the small robot character, R2-D2, in Star Wars. David's own nephew considers him to be "either a manic depressive or at worst, slightly schizophrenic."

Why is David Smyth kept away from the events that promote these messages? Why is his name kept out of the various materials that promote this claimed private revelation? Perhaps it is because, if he were allowed to explain his claims in his own words, no one would believe it. What Catholic would adhere to a claimed private revelation from an angel named after the robot from Star Wars?

Olive Smyth Dawson has taken material from David, and presented select material as if it had been given directly from the Virgin Mary, even though David claims they came from an angel. This contradiction is never explained. Olive refers to the source of these messages as 'the instrument'. She hides the fact that her brother David Smyth is the source of these messages. She also does not release all of his claimed messages to the public, but only select messages. All this is done to make the messages seem more believable. But this type of deliberate deception is incompatible with true private revelation.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator
28 December 2011

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