You're right. I had forgotten about that. And that forum still had a LOT of traffic, despite the ban on sedevacantism. That is, until the forum owner did that expose on Malachi Martin. The forum lost a lot of members over that.
But maybe it had a lot of traffic because there were many SSPX-friendly people who posted there.
Angelqueen was very much an SSPX forum. Just imagine if the SSPX hadn't fallen how many more members CI would have if I didn't have to ban all those who fiercely bashed the Resistance.
And the SSPX was the 800 lb. gorilla in the Trad world. If Traditional Catholicism were Retail Merchandising, the SSPX would be Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, and Target combined. And probably a few others. The other 20% of the market would be divided up among all the other groups. There's a reason why Rome is trying to absorb the SSPX.
And that's another reason why the fall of the SSPX is such a big deal. Most Catholics in the USA (which is all I have any knowledge of; I'll admit that) can drive to an SSPX chapel within 2 hours or so. There are exceptions, like certain states in the Deep South, but you get the idea. But once you eliminate the SSPX as an option (and certainly the Indult wouldn't be an option either, if you're crossing off the SSPX) you're talking THE VAST MAJORITY not being close to a place for Mass. There simply aren't many Resistance, independent, or sedevacantist chapels. Probably 1/5 as many as the SSPX has in this country. It depends on where you live -- some geographic locations have Trad Mass options coming out their ears. Others have next to nothing.
Sean Johnson bringing up AQ is funny though -- that whole "Bleep" thing was ridiculous. In America at least, Sedevacantism is a thing, known by all, and you're not going to squash it by not mentioning its name. People will look at the actions of a Pope Francis and many will consider the position WITH or WITHOUT a ban on it.
You can't treat the whole body of American Traditional Catholics like I would treat my children under 10 (more or less complete sheltering). Young children, yes. You shelter them from opposing viewpoints and opinions until they learn their Faith -- until they learn what truth is, and until they are familiar with our family's position on the Crisis. But grown adults living on their own? That's ridiculous. They can make their own prudential decision about how to deal with the Crisis in the Church.
And I know what some are going to say (or think): "The Church used to have the Index of Forbidden Books -- the Church is all about censorship of dangerous errors which could damage our Faith"
I would respond: "Ok, then show me where the Catholic Church clearly condemns sedevacantism, and THEN I will consider it a dogmatic error, and require all members to be free from that error."
But you can't. Sedevacantism is a disputed point, a debated point of theology arising from the unprecedented Crisis in the Church. No Pope or Council has ruled on this issue, so it's open season, fair game.