back to article Hellfire and damnation: Two French monks charged over 5G mast arson attack

Two Catholic monks from the Rhône region in southern France have been charged with setting fire to 5G phone masts amid concerns the mobile technology could pose a health risk to humans. The monks were arrested by gendarmes last week as they attempted to set fire to a second phone mast following a similar attack the night …

  1. herman Silver badge

    Fire and brimstone

    These crazies should stop smoking their corn flakes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fire and brimstone

      Sounds like they're part of a cult

  2. Bonzo_red

    True Faith

    I guess they put their faith in the 1G and considered 5G was too polytheist.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: True Faith


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: True Faith

      Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant comment.

  3. ShadowSystems

    Install mast CCTV.

    Install cameras well above head height & pointing down, multiple overlapping FOV's, plus a second ring at ground level "looking up their noses" so it becomes impossible to approach a mast & *not* wind up on multiple cameras for later identification. If a mast gets torched/vandalized, review the footage & go grab the scum by the scruff of the neck. If they begin wearing face coverings to stop being identified during their crimes, maybe they'll forget to remove them later & thus help stop the spread of the plague. Bonus points for using an R'Pi to control a fire hose on a gimbal mount that hoses down anyone approaching the mast without an appropriate RFID tag to designate them as a friendly. Yes hackers will inevitably find the code to broadcast, but then you can invest in ninja clowns to beat them up & eat them... *Cough*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Install mast CCTV.

      So then they do what the sane midnight store raiders do. 'Borrow' a piece of large mobile construction equipment and start to clear a road through the site. Flatten a few of the support cabinets with satisfying crunches.

      You can't negotiate with nuts. They don't know the rules of the road (or society).

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Install mast CCTV.

      "If they begin wearing face coverings to stop being identified during their crimes"

      And here I thought it was the pandemic.

      Remember back when wearing a mask into a bank would have caused fainting?

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Install mast CCTV.

        That's my favorite thing to do for amusement these days.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Install mast CCTV.

          Fainting in banks?

          Odd, but to each their own. Beer?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Install mast CCTV.

        Back in the early days of covid-19, when face masks were in short supply I needed to go into the bank, and I had no mask. There was a sign on the door saying no entry without a face mask. Having a flash of inspiration I went into the shop next door and bought some ladies stockings, and pulled them down over my head. Brilliant, I thought, an excellent, improvised face mask. What a great idea! However, the 28 policemen, armed response unit, police dogs and helicopter that turned up didn't think it was quite so good.

        I get sentenced next week.......

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Install mast CCTV.


          You twit, you are supposed to put them over your head on top of your neck!

  4. Paul Herber Silver badge

    'a Capuchin monastery'

    So, monks getting up to monkey business.

    Où est mon manteau ?

    1. VeganVegan

      Capuchin monkeys

      Are supposed to be quite intelligent, can become well-trained.

      These monks, not so much.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Capuchin monkeys

        > These two monks, not so much.


    2. TRT Silver badge

      Le singe est dans l'arbre.

      1. Danny 2

        Les singes de mon quartier - Brel compared the monkeys and the monks.

        Jacques Brel Les Singes The Monkeys French & English Subtitles

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          In the port of Amsterdam?

        2. TRT Silver badge


  5. Greybeard_ITGuy
    Thumb Down

    Brings new meaning to the phase...

    Act of God

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Brings new meaning to the phase...

      One wonders how things will ultimately play out for them as no doubt Satan has already planned them to be on the hell-desk phones for the rest of eternity...

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Brings new meaning to the phase...

      I would call it an "act for god..."

  6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    No Sheep were harmed

    A good thing French Farmers haven't started protesting about 5G - they usually set fire to sheep

    1. Chris G

      Re: No Sheep were harmed

      "set fire to sheep"

      Got any mint sauce?

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: No Sheep were harmed

      Is that what the French are calling food these days?

      BBQ is not supposed to taste of burning wool ...

    3. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: No Sheep were harmed

      they usually set fire to sheep

      Where did you see that??

      French farmers generally set fire to tires piles and throw manure in the prefectures' courtyards. I don't recall them hurting animals.

      1. DJV Silver badge
    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: No Sheep were harmed

      I had to laugh when they tried setting fire to the fish.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: No Sheep were harmed

        They should have drowned them.

  7. Dwarf

    Village Idiot

    At least before the Internet, the village idiot only had a small number of people to talk to and of those, only a very small number actually thought "Hey that's a good idea". Now we have the Internet, its easy for anyone to come up with any crazy idea and know that there will be a percentage of people that think its real.

    The one that always makes me laugh is the Apple IOS software update that enabled microwave oven charging mode (see YouTube). Similarly, there is the "How gullible are you, send £100 for our questionnaire", which is nice and subtle.

  8. EmilPer.

    ... now if had they complained about the maintenance costs and the energy consumption ...

    ... they might have sparked a debate

  9. skeptical i

    so much for helping the poor

    If, as I understand it, the Capuchin order is dedicated to helping the poor, it is not clear how it is helpful to destroy the cellphone service upon which more poor people rely for everything interwebby (e.g., tele-school using a cellphone, and not on a computer using cable, broadband, or the other options of which less-poor people can more easily avail themselves). Burning down Facebook and things that actually do harm, fine, but cell service?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: so much for helping the poor

      While I agree with the general idea, 5G isn't what the poor use. 5G is a rich peoples' gadget, poor people are happy if they can afford 4G (I'm talking about the devices).

      (Didn't downvote you.)

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: so much for helping the poor

        My, do we have a lot of people working in 5G here...

        Look folks, sorry to have badmouthed not praised your darling child, but it is true that poor people can't afford to rush change device just because a new standard is available in select locations where they don't live anyway. If you have proof to the contrary, step forth and be heard.

  10. sanmigueelbeer

    Two monks purchasing a sizeable quantities of gasoline. That would rouse some sort of suspicion, wouldn't it? I mean if I was the gas station attendant, I would, at least, ask one of them "Why so much? Are you planning to set fire to something?"

  11. Pangasinan Philippines


    "The monks were arrested by gendarmes last week as they attempted to set fire to a second phone mast following a similar attack the night before"

    They should be locked up and isolated from the world . . . .Oh . . . .

    They should be made to do community service in a local brothel or casino.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Punishment

      They should be made to do community service in a local brothel

      Which meaning of "service" did you have in mind?

      Enquiring minds, etc …

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies."

    WTF does 'casually linked' mean in this context?

    That's the stupidest statement I've read in a while. I presume that the WHO knows that radar is a wireless technology and that you can use it to cook birds in flight.

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Generally speaking, when you're talking about "wireless technologies", you're talking about wireless data technologies.

      If they literally meant "anything that doesn't have wires", that would include not only radar, but also shotguns.

    2. PRR Bronze badge

      > WTF does 'casually linked' mean in this context?

      Read again. "causally linked". Not "casually"

      caUsally - "in terms of the way that one thing causes another."

      casUally - "in a relaxed and informal way."

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      5G is necessarily very low power. If anything it's the older technologues which are likely to be problematic in terms of emissions levels

      (It's still unlikely. The single strongest source anyone will encounter in day to day use is the 300mW phone held against the side of their head and the way to make that a 1mW source is to have transmitters nearby instead of several km away, at which point both ends dial down the juice - but the karens of thie world never listen to common sense)

      1. NXM Silver badge

        You can't use logic or evidence against loons.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It's actually a bizarre kind of religious fervour!

          There is a perfectly valid argument for preventing such loons from breeding...

  13. Potemkine! Silver badge

    I don't know if it's relevant, but a small precision: those monks are members of a fundamentalist monastery, guys who proclaim that mass should be said in Latin only: a kind of time travellers from the Middle Age. So it isn't a surprise they believe 5G is diabolical.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "guys who proclaim that mass should be said in Latin only"

      Odd, that. Never made any sense to me. The Jesus dude undoubtedly spoke Aramaic as his primary language. Obviously he knew enough Hebrew to read and argue scripture with the priests, and enough Koine Greek to ask directions, and to avoid getting ripped off at markets ... but likely only enough Latin to talk himself out of trouble with the authorities (and he ultimately failed at that ...supposedly).

      1. Totally not a Cylon

        You are assuming that the Catholic Church is connected to Jesus.....

        Jesus: Love is the law,

        Catholics: Burn the heretics.

        Jesus: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man enter Heaven.

        Catholics: Give us your money or see our first point.

        One of the Holy Roman Emperors changed Christianity to be more like Mithraism (Roman Legion religion) to gain their support around the 4th Century AD

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Catholics: Burn the heretics

          There were changes in Catholicism since Vatican II. Your vision is as outdated as the one of the monks.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            They let them off with being lightly toasted now, do they?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Was Vatican II the one where they moved on from burning heretics to covering up paedophilia?

        2. Adair Silver badge

          People have been trying to hijack Jesus from the beginning, and every generation turns up it's own selection of nutters and greedy chancers.

          Meanwhile, in every generation, others do their best to just get on with following the one who not only talked the talk but actually got on with walking the walk.

          Love doesn't change, but then neither does stupidity, selfishness and downright wickedness.

        3. cmdrklarg

          I was raised Catholic.

          I got better.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "The Jesus dude undoubtedly spoke Aramaic as his primary language"

        Aramaic was a Hebrew dialect/offshoot

        The interesting part is that if you run the NT backwards you'll find that most of the stuff attributed to Jesus is _very_ tightly coupled aramaic verse couplets - except for the bits which are obviously tacked on greek afterthoughts and don't fit (eg: "for thine is the kingdom" etc etc in the lord's prayer). Whoever was responsible for it was highly intelligent, likely spoke several languages and wasn't just one person - then other stuff got bodged on later (probably by Paul)

        Monty Python's depiction of the period being full of prophets calling end of times wasn't far off. The period was one of those times which had been pointed to for a while, so people were expecting something to happen, essentially making it a self-fulilling thing in many ways. Add a few ergot outbreaks and you have instant miracles.

        1. Mike 16


          I dimly recall reading about a a project by Thomas Jefferson: "The gospel according to Jesus", which involved doing style analysis on the earliest versions in an attempt to separate "stuff reliably attributed to Jesus" from "Stuff tacked on to promote the latest would-be theocratic despot" and "stuff that may have been the result of drug use or STDs". No idea how far he got, but it's definitely an interesting idea.

          Of course he is probably best remembered for his relationship to his half-sister-in-law.

        2. Adair Silver badge

          Interesting how hard some people work to discredit anything that questions the status quo.

          And the status quo is: whatever I decide is most important in my life, and no one, but absolutely no one, has the right to question me.

          I mean, this idea that 'Love' is the underpins reality, and that there might be more going on than what my five senses tell me - dangerous, childish nonsense (which also happens to get in the way of my ambitions). Stamp it out quickly, or at least make it look ridiculous; then we can all get on getting rich, getting power and status, using what we want and trampling over anyone and anything who gets in our way.

          And then we're dead - don't worry, it doesn't take long, and there's no going back, so it really is everyone one for themselves, and too bad about the weak, the vulnerable and the planet.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They've probably been reading

    too many Dan Brown novels.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: They've probably been reading

      Which is one Dan Brown novel.

      1. ICL1900-G3

        Re: They've probably been reading

        Absolutely. Complete drivel.

        1. AnotherOldFart

          Re: They've probably been reading

          There are worse things, Jeffrey Archer perhaps

  15. Coastal cutie

    The 17th century called......

    They'd like their Inquisition trainees back please, there's a bloke called Galileo to be dealt with

    1. Danny 2

      Re: The 17th century called......

      1982 called...

      Galileo, Figaro - magnifico

      I'm just a poor boy nobody loves me

      He's just a poor boy from a poor family,

      Spare him his life from this monstrosity

      Easy come, easy go, will you let me go

      Queen were a big rock band with an obviously gay singer and yet a violently homophobic fan base. They played Ingliston in Edinburgh with The Teardrop Explodes in support. The Teardrop Explodes were bombarded with glass bottles full of urine by biker Queen fans who screamed evil, ridiculous homophobic insults at an overtly hetero band. Freddie Mercury said nothing, just went out on stage and gayed the place up.

      I hadn't heard the term cognative dissonance at the time, but would have heard cocknative dissonance.

      It's not just that people are stupid and evil, they club together.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The 17th century called......

        I don't think people are bright enough to be evil, most are just stupid. Thankfully.

  16. lglethal Silver badge

    I wonder if the Mast Operator will have trouble with their insurance company. Seemingly this was an Act of God('s minions)...

  17. Mr Dogshit

    It's almost as if

    these monks believe in unproven fairy stories.

    1. Adair Silver badge

      Re: It's almost as if

      Yeah, that 5G radiation makes people turn blue and their brains to dribble out their noses, or some such demonstrably false nonsense.

  18. heyrick Silver badge

    Jeez, fail.

    You would have thought monks would have had the power to ask him upstairs to smite it verily with a massive bolt of lightning...

  19. Col_Panek

    I read the original article

    I hope that's allowed.

    They state it was an "ultra-conservative" monastery. I wonder what that means, could be fringe crackpots.

    Out of 1 billion Catholics, there are bound to be a few on the tails of the curve.

    Second, a spokeswoman for the monastery stated that "5G is dangerous to health", probably an institutional position. Not the Catholic Church, but whoever runs this "monastery".

    Proving that something is safe for humans is difficult. There are also untested theories, like the one where your sweat pores act as antenna for millimeter waves (?). There is always the nocebo effect, where fear of something (even imagined) makes you sick.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like