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Man Scales St. Patrick's Scaffolding to Promote Facebook Page

By Mathew Katz | December 5, 2011 5:33pm

MIDTOWN — Police arrested a man who scaled scaffolding outside St. Patrick's Cathedral to hang a sign advertising a rambling essay on the dangers of religion.

Witnesses said the man climbed the scaffolding at the iconic church at 14 E. 51st St. on Monday afternoon and hung a banner advertising a Facebook site called "I Solved Religion."

The man was handcuffed by police and taken away by an ambulance.

"The cops saw him, yelled at him for a while, and eventually got up to get him down," said Lou Grant, 36, a wedding photographer who was meeting a client at the Cathedral. "He was just asking 'Can I go home?'"

Earlier Monday morning, someone tweeted about a plan to promote the Facebook site on dual Twitter accounts, @ponthapolymath and @thethaumaturgus.

"It is time to release my thesis upon this sphere," the tweeter wrote.

The site links to a 167-page treatise attacking aspects of Christianity and Judaism. The person behind the Facebook site identifies themself on the page alternatively as "Gregory the Thaumaturgus," and "Pontha the Polymath".

Witnesses said the man who scaled the Cathedral did not put up a fight or resist arrest.

Police did not immediately comment on the arrest, or identify the man.

"They went up behind him, surprised him, and got him down," said Liz Obeng, 59, a Salvation Army bell-ringer working outside the Cathedral. "He's going home, alright, but it ain't gonna be the home he live in."