He’s Not Sorry: New Lawsuit, New Church Militant, Same Michael Voris

By Damien Fisher

Church Militant is dead. Viva Church Militant.

The defunct Catholic news outlet is embroiled in a brand new lawsuit, and its disgraced founder is still battling a defamation case while trying to restart the business in Texas. But none of these tribulations is Michael Voris’ fault, according to Michael Voris. 

In November, Voris publicly apologized for the tawdry behavior brought about by his “demons;” but he isn’t to blame for publishing the defamatory article that helped bring ruin to his career, destroyed his Church Militant news outlet, and wrecked the lives of his employees, Voris says.

Niles in a recent YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=shared&v=GtyUGel2Ygo

Instead, Voris blames former News Director Christine Niles for the story that defamed New Hampshire’s Rev. Georges de Laire. But this claim is directly contradicted by damning sworn testimony of a key witness in the defamation lawsuit: Michael Voris.

What remains of Church Militant, meanwhile, is facing a new lawsuit brought by its former web hosting contractor, who says the new owners, conspiracy producers Truth Army, owe $3 million for rebranding services.

Voris blames Niles, Niles blames Voris

As Saint Michael’s Media, the non-profit that operates Church Militant, was settling its end of the lawsuit with de Laire for $500,000, Voris was also in talks to reach his own settlement with the New Hampshire priest. But those talks broke down when Voris refused to take full responsibility for defaming de Laire.

According to records filed in the United States District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, Voris told de Laire’s attorney Howard Cooper that Niles’ failure to vet the story written by Marc Balestrieri is not his responsibility.

“It was Niles’ total responsibility to review and vet the content—not mine,” Voris wrote to Cooper. “Just like she did not hand over multiple things in discovery thus bringing us all to this point, she also failed in her duties to vet the article and raise any concerns to me in advance.”

Voris did not respond to requests for comment.

Both Niles and Voris were caught violating discovery orders by holding evidence linking them to Balestrieri. During a deposition last year, Niles finally handed over numerous text message exchanges she had with Balestrieri. The following day, Church Militant’s lawyers quit the case.

Niles maintains she never intentionally hid the texts, but misunderstood the communications from Church Militant’s lawyers, according to a statement she previously filed in court. Niles had handed over other relevant documents, but she thought only Voris was required to hand over his texts.

Voris refuses to apologize, tanking possible settlement

Voris recently emailed Cooper to reject a proposed apology to de Laire as part of a settlement then under negotiation. Voris told the attorney he would not sign the apology since he could not truthfully take full responsibility.

“I will not present a falsehood in any statement and I’m very confused and disturbed by your insistence that I take responsibility for something I have no responsibility in,” Voris wrote.

Cooper wrote a proposed apology for Voris to sign in which he took full responsibility for the article. Cooper’s draft was in response to one Voris wrote which placed blame on Niles. The original Voris draft is not filed in court, but Cooper wrote to Voris explaining it was not sufficient for a settlement.

“Please understand that it is unacceptable to use the apology to assign blame to Ms. Niles,” Cooper wrote.

But Voris maintains he did not see the article before publication, and relied on Niles to vet the story. Voris offered to take responsibility for hiring Niles, but not for her failures.

“I’m responsible for her being in her post. SHE is responsible for failing in her duties,” Voris wrote.

Niles is not surprised

Niles got wind of Voris’s blame game and sent her own letter to Cooper with receipts from Voris’ sworn deposition in the case which contradict his latest version of the truth.

“While it greatly saddens me that he would make me the scapegoat in all this, it doesn’t surprise me,” Niles wrote to Cooper. “He is a very vindictive man. Considering I was the one who blew the whistle on his misconduct – he would likely still be the president and CEO of St. Michael’s Media had I not brought forth evidence of his misconduct to the board of directors – it is unsurprising that he would try to pin the blame of the lawsuit on me.”

Niles in a recent YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=shared&v=GtyUGel2Ygo
Niles in a recent YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=shared&v=GtyUGel2Ygo
Voris’ sworn testimony puts the onus on him

The misconduct Niles refers to is what former employees called Voris’ “homosexual double life while posturing as a beacon of Christian virtue,” sending unsolicited shirtless selfies to a prospective donor, and other  misdeeds, both sexual and financial. Voris published an emotional video in November of 2023 acknowledging his personal demons. 

“Sometimes it takes very horrible events, even at your own hand, to surface certain things that need to be faced,” Voris said. He announced plans to seek professional help. 

But while Voris took responsibility for the scandal ignited by his more sensational transgressions, he’s steadfastly refusing to acknowledge his part in the actions that directly led to his media empire’s demise. Voris is now claiming he never saw the defamatory article before it was published and had no idea of the exact contents — but he’s contradicted by his own testimony under oath.

In the deposition transcript, Voris had the following exchange with de Laire’s lawyer: 

“Q: Did you review the article before it was published?

Voris: I don’t remember if I did or not. I remember discussing the article before it was published.

Q: I asked you if you reviewed it before it was published, and you said you don’t recall, but that you know you discussed it before it was published.

Voris: [Deponent nods head.]

Q: And I’m asking who you discussed it with?

Voris: Marc.

Q: Did you discuss with anyone internally?

Voris: I—yeah, I would—I would have discussed it with Christine. 

Voris also said that he was still unsure the defamation article was inaccurate. 

What about Marc?

Aside from not taking full responsibility, Voris also told Cooper he could not agree that Balestrieri’s article is actually wrong.

“(I) cannot sign into a statement saying what MB [Marc Balestrieri] said was false because I do not know that. Sitting here today, I still have no reason to believe what he said was false,” Voris wrote. “All I know is that after he repeatedly told me and others he had these sources, he simply refused to provide them. That does not mean there weren’t any, nor does it mean the claims are false.”

Marc Balestrieri

Saint Michael’s Media and former Church Militant reporter Anita Carey both settled with de Laire in February, apologizing for the Jan. 19, 2019 article “New Hampshire Vicar Changes Dogma Into Heresy.” Saint Michael’s Media paid de Laire $500,000 as part of the settlement. Church Militant’s website went offline in March, weeks ahead of schedule.

The article claimed de Laire, who is a New Hampshire parish priest and the judicial vicar for the diocese, is incompetent, emotionally unstable, and known in the Vatican for making errors, among other disputed points. The anonymous sources for these claims have never been identified, and the claims cannot be corroborated. Voris got involved in New Hampshire when the diocese took disciplinary steps against the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a radical traditionalist sect which adheres to the teachings of anti-Semitic Fr. Leonard Feeney.

At the time of Voris’ first foray into the controversy, Balestrieri was reportedly working as the canon lawyer for the Slaves. According to court records, Balestrieri wrote for Church Militant for years using pen names, and he worked as a canonist for Voris and at least one other Church Militant staffer. However, Balestrieri now claims he is not the author of the defamatory article and Voris knows more about the article’s reporting, writing, and sourcing.

“I am prepared to testify to a far different version of events than those claimed by Michael Voris,” he wrote in an email.

Balestrieri also now claims he was never the canon lawyer for the Slaves, despite statements from de Laire, Church Militant, Voris, and the Slaves to the contrary.

“I have retrieved written proof that I was never effectively mandated procurator (representative) or advocate (lawyer) of the Saint Benedict Center or any of its members,” Balestrieri wrote. “Second, there is no correspondence of the Diocese of Manchester recognizing me effectively in canon law as the procurator or advocate of the Center or any of its members.”

Balestrieri has yet to share this “written proof” despite multiple requests.

Voris gets a medical delay and a new (old) lawyer

With no settlement in sight, Voris got a delay on the trial, which was scheduled for April. Voris appears to now be living in Houston, Texas, and he explained to the court he cannot represent himself or assist in his defense as he recovers from back surgery. 

“As my neurosurgeon states, I am on narcotics and will be until the physical condition is overcome (sciatic nerve in right leg) and his sound medical advice is I participate in no legal matters whatsoever until such a time has passed,” Voris wrote to the court.

Voris provided medical records and a letter from his Houston doctor to verify his condition.

Voris had previously attempted to represent himself in court, but New Hampshire attorney Richard Lehmann is now again representing him in the defamation lawsuit. Lehmann, who the third Church Militant lawyer to leave the defense, quit the case after he cited a potential conflict of interest in defending both Saint Michael’s Media and Voris. At the time, Church Militant’s board was considering pursuing criminal charges against Voris.

Voris has cycled through a total four lawyers, including Kathleen Klaus and Neil Nicholson, who abruptly quit because they “could not continue due to the conduct of one of the parties in the case,” and porn lawyer Mark Randazza, who was barred from the case because of his own ethical issues

Lone Star State of Mind: Veritatis Splendor connection?

The Houston relocation comes as Voris launches a brand new media venture also calling itself Church Militant, with a mailing address at a UPS Store in a Houston mini mall. 

Voris was once rumored to be moving Church Militant to Texas to be part of the Veritatis Splendor Catholice mega-development. That project collapsed when Veritatis Splendor’s Keri Beckman was forced out in her own scandal involving an extramarital affair with Jim Graham, the former head of Texas Right to Life

Graham has been named by numerous people close to Church Militant as an advisor and possible money man to Voris. 

The New Church Militant leans into a reactionary brand of politics mingled with right-wing Christianity. The GOD & COUNTRY website’s “about” page says:

“We know if a Communist, totalitarian state takes over, although some will persevere, enormous numbers will simply abandon Christ as we have seen in many instances throughout history when the power of the state is brought to bear against the faithful.”

There is a “donate” button front and center on the site. 


The new site includes blog posts by Michael Voris and also Barbara Toth and former Church Militant personality Jules Gomes. Gomes is a former Anglican priest who was disciplined for his allegedly abusive behavior toward colleagues and staff. 

Voris, who uses his legal name “Gary Michael Voris” on the GOD AND COUNTRY site, most recently posted a meditation on the prison of fear, guilt, shame, and self-recrimination

Original Formula Church Militant 

When the de Laire settlement with Saint Michael’s Media was announced, it was also learned Church Militant would cease operation in April. However, the website went dark in early March with no explanation.

A lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan revealed the reason for the blackout: A lawsuit between Church Militant’s new ownership group and its web hosting contractor. Missouri-based Patmos Hosting claims Truth Army, Geoffrey Sando and Joe Gallagher owe at least $3 million for services.

Gallagher, who attended Franciscan University of Steubenville, is a former Church Militant personality who left last year and started Truth Army, a media website that pushes conspiracy theories such as Jews trafficking children in secret tunnels, and Taylor Swift acting as part of a government psychological operation against U.S. citizens.

When Truth Army bought Church Militant in February, as the settlement with de Laire was finalized, Patmos was finishing a large project to help the company rebrand. After a meeting on March 4 in which Patmos sought payment, Truth Army shut down Church Militant’s website on March 5, according to the  lawsuit.

“On March 5, 2024, Truth Army, Joseph Gallagher, and Geoffrey Sando began to disable the Church Militant website and posted media content stating that Church Militant subscribers should access the Truth Army website. In other words, Messrs. Gallagher and Sando, both Church Militant board members, disabled paying customers’ access to Church Militant and encouraged them to pay Truth Army instead,” the lawsuit states.

None of the old Church Militant content currently appears on the Truth Army site.

Voris, who now inexplicably appears in a football helmet in his Twitter profile, is now the last defendant in the defamation lawsuit. He had been represented by Church Militant in a joint defense until he was fired, but he was always a separate, named defendant. Church Militant and Anita Carey settled, and Marc Balestrieri was found liable by default because he hid from process servers, at one point running into the woods to avoid them. Voris is the last defendant left. 

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4 thoughts on “He’s Not Sorry: New Lawsuit, New Church Militant, Same Michael Voris”

  1. Another excellent update by Damien Fisher.

    Voris, Niles, Rafe et al sound like Adam passing the buck, blaming Eve, who in turn retorts that “the serpent made her do it.” Or like the Holocaust concentration camp commandants “just following orders” and blaming Hitler. Well, the buck stops with Voris! Period! He was the Church Militant fuhrer. Speaking of bucks, I wonder if Benny Hinn or Ken Copeland could use an extra fundraiser.

  2. EVERY time I see Marc Balestri’s photo I think, “discount Brendan Frasier”.

    Every time.

    Yeah, this is all a spectacular pile of glowing refuse. Kind of amazing it keeps going.

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