Hutton Peter Gibson (born August 26, 1918) is an American writer on Traditional Catholicism, the 1968 Jeopardy! grand champion, and the father of 11 children, one of whom is actor/director Mel Gibson.
Hutton "Red" Gibson is the son of businessman John Hutton Gibson and Australian opera singer Eva Mylott. Gibson's place of birth has been reported as either Montclair, New Jersey or Peekskill, New York. He was raised in Chicago, Illinois. Hutton Gibson's mother, Eva Mylott, died when he was two years old, and his father, John Hutton Gibson, died when he was fifteen. Hutton Gibson supported his younger brother Alexis, who died in his early twenties. Gibson graduated from high school early, at age 15, and ranked third in his class.
According to Wensley Clarkson's biography of Mel Gibson, Hutton Gibson studied for the priesthood in a Chicago seminary of the Society of the Divine Word, and he left the seminary disgusted with the modernist theological doctrines taught there. However, in 2003 Gibson stated that his actual reason for leaving was because he didn't want to be sent to New Guinea or the Philippines as a missionary. Instead, he found work with Western Union and with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Hutton contributed to and edited the newsletter "The Pointer" while he worked in Wisconsin for the CCC from 1938-1939.
Hutton Gibson served as a first lieutenant in the Pacific Theater during World War II after his September 30, 1941 graduation from the U.S. Army Signal Corps OCS program at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. He was wounded by Japanese fire in action at the Battle of Guadalcanal and sent to an invalid home in 1944.
He married Irish-born Anne Reilly on May 1, 1944 at the Roman Catholic parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Brooklyn, New York. They had 10 children and adopted another one after their arrival in Australia. As of 2003, Gibson had 48 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. His wife Anne died in December 1990, and in 2001 he married a woman named Joy. He currently resides in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, after moving from Australia to Houston, Texas in 1999, and to Summersville, West Virginia in 2003.
In the 1960s Gibson worked for New York Central Railroad. In the early morning hours of December 11, 1964 he slipped off a steel platform covered in oil and snow and injured his back. A work injury lawsuit followed and it finally went to court on February 7, 1968. Seven days later, Gibson was awarded $145,000 by the jury. Gibson paid his debts and attorney's fees and that year relocated his family, first to Ireland, then to Australia. Hutton Gibson said in 2003 that the move to his mother's native country was undertaken because he believed the Australian military would reject his oldest son for the Vietnam War draft, unlike the American military. Because of his back injuries, Gibson sought retraining in a new career. He was encouraged to become a computer programmer after IQ testing placed him in the genius range.
After the promulgation of the reformed liturgy of Paul VI, the Gibson family home in Sydney, Australia was used as a temporary chapel where the Tridentine Mass was offered. Hutton Gibson also reportedly used the house to store statues and altar relics which had been discarded by parishes. Gibson was ousted as secretary of the Latin Mass Society of Australia after becoming increasingly vocal about the See of Peter actually being vacant due to John XXIII, who convened the Second Vatican Council, and subsequent popes being heretics.
In 1968, Hutton Gibson appeared on the Art Fleming-hosted version of the game show Jeopardy! as "...Red Gibson, a railroad brakeman from South Ozone Park, New York". Gibson won $4,680 and retired undefeated after five shows per the show's rules at the time. He was invited back to appear in the 1968 Tournament of Champions, where he became the year's grand champion, winning a little over a thousand dollars more, as well as a two-person cruise to the West Indies. Art Fleming noted on the October 18, 1968 episode that the Jeopardy! staff had had difficulty informing Gibson about his invitation because Gibson had relocated his family to Tipperary, Ireland.
Gibson later participated in numerous Australian quiz shows, including Big Nine with Athol Guy and Ford Superquiz with Patti Newton. In 1986, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Gibson had recently won $100,000 and an automobile in a TV quiz program.
Hutton Gibson is an outspoken critic of the modern, post-conciliar Catholic Church and is a proponent of various conspiracy theories. Gibson disseminates his views in a quarterly newsletter called The War is Now! and has self-published three collections of these periodicals: Is the Pope Catholic?, The Enemy is Here!, and The Enemy is Still Here!
Gibson believes that the Second Vatican Council introduced explicitly heretical and forbidden doctrines into the Roman Catholic Church in order to destroy it from within, and he holds that every pope elected since John XXIII, inclusively, has been an anti-pope or illegitimate claimant to the papacy. This doctrine is called "Sedevacantism", from the radices Sede ("See"), and vacante ("vacant"), and affirms that from 1958 until the present, that the Holy See is being occupied by invalidly elected, imposter "popes".
He has been especially critical of the late Pope John Paul II, whom he once described as "Garrulous Karolus the Koran Kisser". Gibson's allegation that the Pope kissed the Qur'an is corroborated by a FIDES News Service report of June 1, 1999, which quotes the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, Raphael I, as having confirmed to the news service that he was personally present when John Paul II kissed the text sacred to Muslims:
“ On May 14th I was received by the Pope, together with a delegation composed of the Shi'ite imam of Khadum mosque and the Sunni president of the council of administration of the Iraqi Islamic Bank. There was also a representative of the Iraqi ministry of religion....At the end of the audience the Pope bowed to the Muslim holy book, the Qu'ran, presented to him by the delegation, and he kissed it as a sign of respect. The photo of that gesture has been shown repeatedly on Iraqi television and it demonstrates that the Pope is not only aware of the suffering of the Iraqi people, he has also great respect for Islam." ”
Gibson has also used his newsletter to argue against Feeneyism.
At the January 2004 We The People conference, Gibson advocated that the states secede from the federal government and that the national debt be abolished.
Hutton Gibson garnered widespread outrage when remarks questioning how the Nazis could have disposed of six million bodies during the Holocaust were printed in a March 2003 New York Times Magazine article. He was further quoted as saying the Second Vatican Council was "a Masonic plot backed by the Jews" and that the September 11, 2001 attacks were perpetrated by remote control. While Gibson publicly questioned the extent of the Holocaust, he did not actually question the historicity of the Shoah itself. Hutton Gibson reiterated his views to radio talk show host Steve Feuerstein a week before his son, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was released in American theaters. He claimed that census statistics prove there were more Jews in Europe after World War II than before. Gibson said that certain Jews advocate a global religion and one world government. Hutton Gibson’s family claimed Steve Feuerstein misrepresented himself when he called Gibson and never revealed that he was being taped with the intent to broadcast his comments on his show, Speak Your Piece.
In the early 1990s, Hutton Gibson and Tom Costello hosted a video called Catholics, Where Has Our Church Gone? which is critical of the changes made to the Roman Catholic Church by the Second Vatican Council and espouses the Siri Thesis that in 1958, after the death of Pope Pius XII, the man originally elected pope was not Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, but another cardinal, "probably Cardinal Siri of Genoa" (a staunch conservative candidate and first papabile). Gibson stated that the white smoke which emanated from a chimney in the Sistine Chapel to announce a new pope's election was done in error; black smoke signifying that the papacy was still vacant was quickly created and the public was not informed of the reason for the initial white smoke. A still photograph of a newspaper story about this event is shown. "Had our church gone up in smoke"? asked Gibson. He stated that the new pope was forced to resign under duress and two days later, the "modernist Roncalli" was elected pope and took the name "John XXIII". In 1962, Roncalli, as Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council. In 2006, Hutton Gibson reversed his position on the Siri Thesis, asserting that this theory was based on a mistranslation of an article written on October 27, 1958 by Silvio Negro for the evening edition of the Milan, Italy-based Corriere della Sera. A similar event also happened in 1939; in that case a confusing mixture of white and black smoke emanated from the Sistine Chapel chimney. In a note to Vatican Radio, the secretary of the Papal conclave at the time, a Monsignor named Santoro said that a new pope, Eugenio Pacelli, had been properly elected regardless of the color of the smoke. Pacelli took the name Pius XII.
Hutton Gibson has been trying to buy a suitable church building for a sedevacantist congregation called St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Chapel. He and his son Mel have tried to buy land and a former Methodist church to turn them into a pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic church centre. Rumors have been spread throughout and by the media that he and the Catholic priest of the congregation, the Rev. Fr. Leonard Bealko, are antisemitic. Critics of the group and of Fr. Bealko and Hutton stated that, while being critical of them because of other reasons, they know nothing about any form of antisemitism present among the group.
“ We feel like hunted Christians in the catacombs — merely because we want to celebrate the Latin Rite which the [Roman] Church has used from time immemorial." Hutton speaking to his local newspaper in 1975 about what life was like for Traditionalist Catholics in the years immediately following Vatican II. Quoted in Wensley Clarkson's Mel Gibson: Living Dangerously, page 43. ”
“ The greatest benefit anyone can have is to be a Catholic. You have the lifelong satisfaction of being right. But we can't go to Mass, there are no sacraments [Gibson thereby implying that the rites revised from 1968 onwards are invalid] and I feel cheated." Excerpted from Wensley Clarkson's Mel Gibson: Living Dangerously, page 44. ” “ I entered the battle to preserve our faith actively in 1971, over heresy taught in religion classes in Australian Catholic schools. I soon read the decrees and documents of Vatican II, and branched out. I hate being robbed, especially by those charged with guarding the treasury." Quoted from a 1997 letter. ”