In all things we suffer tribulation: but are not distressed. We are straitened: but are not destitute.
We suffer persecution: but are not forsaken. We are cast down: but we perish not.
Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.
For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake: that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2Cor:4:8-11)
Sixty-five years of Chinese communist rule should be mourned, not celebrated. Contrary to the media-fueled image of Mao as a gentle philosopher and great freedom fighter, he was actually a degenerate mass murderer who ruthlessly suppressed all human rights. In their remarkable biography, Mao: The Unknown Story, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday revealed that Mao grew up not as an oppressed hard working peasant dedicated to fighting injustice, but as a loafer who took a job as a Communist International Soviet agent to receive “a comfortable berth as a subsidized professional revolutionary.”
Mao enthusiastically adopted Lenin’s most violent terrorist techniques because he was a vile bloodthirsty thug. From 1920 to 1976 Mao murdered more people than Hitler and Stalin combined – 70-million Chinese. The “Great Famine” (1958-1961) in which 40-million perished was a direct result of Mao’s farm collectivization policies. To eliminate tens of millions of imagined enemies he ordered the “Great Leap Forward” (1958) and the “Cultural Revolution” (1966-1968) which he privately referred to as the “Great Purge.”
Mao attempted to control every form of social intercourse. Merely having a dinner party, use of humor or sarcasm could be – and were – deemed criminal activities that warranted the death penalty. And he was proud of these policies: Mao told his fellow gangsters at the 1958 party conference that they should welcome, not fear, party policies that cause people to die.
Mao ruthlessly suppressed centuries-old Catholic missions. His persecution of Catholics began long before he took over the government in 1949. In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, Mao’s Red armies roamed through Chinese provinces torturing and murdering scores of priests and nuns. In 1947, for instance, eighteen Cistercian monks at Yang Kia Ping were jailed and their monastery was looted. All died from endless interrogations, beatings, and brainwashing.
The Red Chinese were not content with suppressing the Church. They dumped Catholics into re-education camps and used harsh psychological measures that included physical and mental torture to convert them to Marxism. If the education treatments failed, it was hoped that recalcitrant pupils would go mad or commit suicide.
In recent decades, the Communists continued to persecute China’s 5-million Catholics. After the 1989 anti-government demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, there were crackdowns on the underground Church. “House Churches” were destroyed and priests were arrested. Also, Catholic women were forced to have abortions or were sterilized to comply with China’s “one-child policy.”
In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI released a letter to the Catholics of China which dealt with the relationship between Church and State. The pontiff reaffirmed there was only one Church which included both the unofficial underground one and the government-recognized Patriotic Catholic Church. He respectfully called for religious freedom and constructive dialogue to overcome disagreements.
The pope’s pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Priests and bishops are still imprisoned and the faithful continue to be physically abused by government officials.
In May 2008, on the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, Pope Benedict held a worldwide day of prayer for the Church in China. However, Chinese Catholic pilgrims, who travelled to Mary Helper of Christians Shrine near Shanghai to participate in the day of prayer, were denied access to the consecrated grounds by the police.
America’s elitist intellectual and political classes have a distorted view of today’s China. Contrary to their revisionist claims, China’s people still lack basic freedoms and their state-run economic system is built on the graves of millions of victims of Mao’s depravity.
See More photos: On the road, the Catholic Church in China by Lu Nan
“We are at the end of a tradition and a civilization which believed we could preserve Christianity without Christ, religion without a creed, meditation without sacrifice, family life without moral responsibility, sex without purity and economics without ethics. We have completed our experiment of living without God…” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1933)
..with the atom. It says to man: “God made me. He put atomic fission in the universe. That is how the sun lights the world. The great power which the Omnipotence has locked within my heart was made to serve you for peaceful purposes: to light your cities, to drive your motors, to ease the burdens of men. But instead, like Prometheus, you have stolen this fire from heaven and used it for the first time to destroy noncombatants. You did not first use electricity to kill a man, but you first used atomic fission to annihilate cities. For that reason, I shall turn against you, make you fear what you should love, make millions of hearts shrink in terror from your enemies, doing to you what you have done to them, and turn humanity into a victim of Frankenstein, cowering in bomb shelters from the very monsters you have created.”
It is not that God has abandoned the world, but that the world has abandoned God and cast its lot with nature divorced from Nature’s God. Man throughout history has always become wicked when, turning his back on God, he identified himself with nature. The new name for nature is Science. Science rightly understood means reading the Wisdom of God in Nature, which God made. Science wrongly understood means reading the proofs of the Book of Nature while denying that the Book ever had an Author. Nature or Science is a servant of man under God; but divorced from God, Nature or Science is a tyrant, and the atom bomb is the symbol of that tyranny.
Since man trembles before Nature without God, the only hope for mankind must be found in nature itself. It is as if God in His Mercy, when man turned his head away from the heavens, still left hope for him in the very nature toward which he now lowers his eyes. There is Hope and a great Hope, too.
The Hope is ultimately in God, but people are so far away from God they cannot immediately make the leap. We have to start with the world as it is. The Divine seems far away. The start back to God must begin with nature. But is there anything unspoiled and unshattered in all nature with which we can start the way back? There is one thing, which Wordsworth called our “tainted nature’s solitary boast.” That hope is in The Woman. She is not a goddess, she is not divine, she is entitled to no adoration. But she came out of our physical and cosmic nature so holy and good that when God came to this earth He chose her to be His Mother and the Woman of the world.
It is particularly interesting that the theology of the Russians, before they were overwhelmed by the cold heart of the anti-God, taught that when the world rejected the Heavenly Father, He sent His Divine Son, Jesus Christ to illumine the world. Then they went on to predict that, when the world would reject Our Lord as it has done today, on that Dark Night the light of His Mother would arise to illumine the darkness and lead the world to peace. The beautiful revelation of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima in Portugal from April to October, 1917, was another proof of the Russian thesis that, when the world would fight against the Savior, He would send His Mother to save us. And her greatest Revelation took place in the very month the Bolshevik Revolution began.
What was said on those occasions is too well known to be repeated. Our present concern is with the Dance of the Sun which took place on October 13, 1917. Those who love the Mother of Our Lord need no further evidence of this event. Since those who unfortunately do not know either would take proof only from those who reject both Our Lord and His Mother, I offer this description of the phenomenon by the atheist editor of the anarchist Portuguese newspaper O Seculo, who was one among the 70,000 who witnessed the incident that day.
It was “a spectacle unique and incredible. . . . One can see the immense crowd turn toward the sun which reveals itself free of the clouds in full noon. The great star of day makes one think of a silver plaque, and it is possible to look straight at it without the least discomfort. . . . The astonished eyes of the people, full of terror, with heads uncovered, gaze into the blue of the sky. The sun has trembled, and has made some brusque movements, unprecedented, and outside of all cosmic laws. According to the typical expressions of the peasants ‘the sun danced.’ The sun turned around on itself like a wheel of fireworks, and it fell almost to the point of burning the earth with its rays … It remains for those competent to pronounce on the danse macabre of the sun, which today at Fatima has made Hosannas burst from the breasts of the faithful and has naturally impressed even freethinkers and other persons not at all interested in religious matter.”
Another atheistic and antireligious sheet, O Ordem, wrote: “The sun is sometimes surrounded with crimson flames, at other times aureoled with yellow and at still others, red; it seemed to revolve with a very rapid movement of rotation, apparently detaching itself from the sky, and approached the earth while radiating strong heat.”
Why should Almighty God have chosen to verify the 1917 message of Our Lady about the end of World War I, about the beginning of World War II in 1939 if men did not repent, through nature’s one indispensable light and heat? We may only conjecture.
There are three possible ways of interpreting the Miracle of the Sun. The first is to regard it as a warning of the atomic bomb, which, like a falling sun, would darken the world. It conceivably might be a portent of the day when man, Prometheus-like, would snatch fire from the heavens and then rain it down as death on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
On the other hand, it could be seen as a sign of hope, namely, that the Woman who came out of nature is mightier than the forces of nature. The atomic bomb explodes through fission, or one atom rending and tearing another atom. But atomic fission is the way the sun lights the world. God put atomic fission in the universe; otherwise we would not have discovered it.
At Fatima, the fact that Mary could take this great center and seat of atomic power and make it her plaything, the fact that she could swing the sun “like a trinket at her wrist,” is a proof that God has given her power over it, not for death, but for light and life and hope. As Scripture foretold: “And now, in heaven, a great sign appeared; a woman clothed with the sun.” (Rev. 12:1)
There is a third way of viewing the Miracle of the Sun and that is to regard it as a miniature and a cameo of what may yet happen to the world, namely, some sudden cataclysm or catastrophe which would make the world shake in horror as the 70,000 shook at Fatima that day. This catastrophe would be a precocious or uncontrolled explosion of an atomic bomb which would literally shake the earth. This is not beyond the realm of possibility. Einstein and Lindbergh in their scientific writings have mentioned it as a danger. But better than either testimony is the address the Holy Father gave at the opening session of the Pontifical Academy of Science on February 21, 1943 two years before the first atomic bomb was dropped.
Since atoms are extremely small it was not thought seriously that they might also acquire practical importance. Today, instead, such a question has taken an unexpected form following the results of artificial radioactivity. It was, in fact, established that in the disintegration, which the atom of uranium undergoes when bombarded by neutrons, two or three neutrons are freed, each launching itself – one being able to meet and smash another uranium atom. From special calculation it has been ascertained that in such a way (neutron bombardment causing a breakdown in the uranium atom) in one cubic meter of oxide power of uranium, in less than one one-hundredth of a second, there develops enough energy to elevate more than sixteen miles a weight of a billion tons: a sum of energy which could substitute for many years the action of all the great power plants of the world.
Above all, therefore, it should be of utmost importance that the energy originated by such a machine should not be let loose to explode but a way found to control such power with suitable chemical means. Otherwise there could result, not only in a single place but also for our entire planet, a dangerous catastrophe.
On October 13, 1917, believers and unbelievers prostrated themselves upon the ground during the Miracle of the Sun, most of them pleading to God for Mercy and Forgiveness. That whirling sun, which spun like a giant wheel and thrust itself to the earth as if it would burn it with its rays, may have been the harbinger of a world spectacle that will draw millions to their knees in a rebirth of faith. And as Mary revealed herself in that first Miracle of the Sun, so may we look forward to another revelation of her power when the world has its next rehearsal for the Dies Irae.
Devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is actually a petition to a Woman to save man from nature made destructive through the rebellious intellect of man. At other moments in history, she was a Mediatrix of Her Divine Son for man; but here she is a Mediatrix for nature. She seizes the original atomic power which is the sun and proves it is hers to use for peace. And yet it is not apart from man that she would save him from nature, as it was not apart from her free consent that God would save humanity from sin. Man must cooperate through penance.
At La Salette, Our Lady asked for penance. At Lourdes, three times the Blessed Mother said: “Penance, penance, penance.” At Fatima, the same penitential antiphon is struck time and time again. The atom will not destroy man, if man will not destroy himself. An atom in revolt is only a symbol of man in revolt. But humanity in repentance will purchase a nature in complete control.
Like the threatened destruction of Nineveh, the threat of another World War is conditional. The Blessed Mother revealed at Fatima in 1917 that World War I would end in another year. If men repented, she said, a great era of peace and prosperity would come to the world. But if not, another World War, worse than the first, would begin in the reign of the next Pontiff (Pius XI).
The Civil War in Spain in 1936 was thus looked upon by Heaven as the curtain raiser and the prologue of World War II. This war would be the means by which “God will punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.
“To prevent this I come to ask the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays. Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If my requests are not granted, Russia will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have to suffer much, and various nations will be annihilated.”
There then comes a missing paragraph, which the Church has not yet given to the world. It probably refers to these times. Then, as if to indicate that it will be a Time of Trouble, comes the concluding paragraph: “In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and it will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.”
Repentance, prayer, sacrifice – these are conditions of peace, for they are the means by which man is remade. Fatima throws a new light on Russia, for it makes a distinction between Russia and the Soviets. It is not the Russian people that must be conquered in war; they have already suffered enough since 1917. It is Communism that must be crushed.
This can be done by a Revolution from within. It is well to remember that Russia has not one, but two atomic bombs. Her second bomb is the pent-up sufferings of her people under the yoke of slavery, and when that explodes it will be with a force a thousand times greater than that which comes from the fission of an atom! We need a revolution, too, as well as Russia. Our revolution must be from within our hearts, that is, by the remaking of our lives. As we proceed with our Revolution, the Revolution in Russia will grow apace.
O Mary, we have exiled Your Divine Son from our lives, our councils, our education and families! Come with the light of the sun as the symbol of His Power! Heal our wars, our dark unrest; cool the cannon’s lips so hot with war! Take our minds off the atom and our souls out of the muck of nature! Give us rebirth in Your Divine Son, us, the poor children of the earth grown old with age! “Advance Woman, in Thy Assault upon Omnipotence!” Shame us all into enlisting as Your warriors of peace and love!
The World’s First Love
By FULTON J. SHEEN
A full generation before Vatican II, the techniques this so‑called “pastoral” council recommended for updating the Church had already been perfected by Communists working in the Church in China. There it was shown how the dialoguing “study club” could be gradually transformed into the “parish council” which would take over the direction of the parish and eventually the entire diocese.
The following article was written by Mrs. Hertz some years before the alleged “fall of Communism” was heralded by the heroes of Glasnost and Perestroika. As Mrs. Hertz explains, Marx’ philosophy has always hinged on the fomentation of constant change and evolution. Today, Communism is not so much “dead” as it is evolving into its next stage. The following retrospective look at Communism as it manifested itself during the Cold War, therefore, is quite revealing, since the rapid downward spiral of our world and our Church into Godless chaos is a direct consequence of the triumph of atheism, the bedrock of Communism. Indeed, the “errors of Russia” have now spread throughout the entire world—the Orthodox schism has not diminished in the least and atheistic Communism thrives out in the open in the world’s most populated nation and, everywhere else, has morphed itself “doctrinally” and “philosophically” into the very soul of the New World Order. Mrs. Hertz’ article, then, is perhaps more timely today than it was when it was written some 25 years ago.
How do you get a cat to eat hot pepper? This question, a classic in Marxist training manuals, opens an exercise in revolutionary technique. The answer, to which the student is led by logic and common experience, explains how Communism has been able to take over a third of the world without serious opposition.
How does one get a cat to eat pepper, a condiment as unpalatable to him as Marxist doctrine is to healthy human nature? The first answer to present itself says the primer, is obvious: Force open the cat’s jaws and cram the pepper in.
Wrong, the student is told, because the cat’s willing cooperation is lacking. The second answer – to conceal the pepper in a tasty fish – is equally inadequate, because as soon as the cat detects the pepper he simply regurgitates it.
The correct answer: Sprinkle the pepper all over the cat’s mat. When he lies on it the pepper will cling to his fur and sting, so that he will soon be licking himself to get it off. This method assures perfect assimilation because (1) the cat is actually ingesting (2) entirely on his own initiative, (3) and a completely conditioned initiative at that, (4) pepper, which he hates.
Pius XI in effect described this cat‑and‑pepper ploy in his encyclical Divini Redemptorist, promulgated on the feast of St. Joseph, 1937: “The Communist takes advantage of the present world‑ wide economic crisis,” which he foments “to draw into the sphere of his influence even those sections of the populace which on principle reject all forms of materialism and terrorism . . . The preachers of Communism are also proficient in exploiting racial antagonism and political divisions .
It wields “a propaganda so truly diabolical that the world has perhaps never witnessed its like before. It is directed from one common center. It is shrewdly adapted to the varying conditions of diverse peoples. It has at its disposal vast financial resources, gigantic organizations, international congresses and countless trained workers. It makes use of pamphlets and reviews of cinema, theatre and radio, of schools and universities” – a list to which must now be added television and our very churches. “Little by little it penetrates into all classes of the people and even reaches the better‑minded groups of the community with the result that few are aware of the poison which increasingly pervades their minds and hearts.”
Thus works the mystery of iniquity in our time, sprinkling its pepper everywhere. By its own admission it employs a simple technique of temptation which the devil first used on Eve at the outset of the Revolution in Eden. He teaches his followers the same kind of spiritual judo, whereby opponents are led to use their own virtues and strength against themselves, just as the poor cat is drawn to eat pepper through his very distaste for it.
Fallen irretrievably from grace, Satan has only natural means at his disposal to effect super-natural destruction, but he uses these with transcendent craft. Although even in cases of possession he cannot act directly on the human will, he can solicit it in countless ways from the outside, courting its cooperation through its desire for good.
“I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it,” says he in the book of Job (2:2) exposing the source of his know‑how. His superior intelligence understands our earthly nature far better than we do, and he turns it against us with great skill. The richer our nature, the more he has to work with. Despite all her preternatural gifts, he captured Eve’s consent by appealing to her natural desires for what is “good to eat, and fair to the eyes and delightful to behold” (Gen. 3:6), later tempting the Son of Man in the same three ways in the desert, through what ascetical theology calls the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life. By weakening the will and disrupting the judgment, original sin has rendered our good appetites dangerous for us.
Well did St. Paul warn us that our battle here was not against mere flesh and blood, but against “the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Eph. 6:12), for throughout the ages Satan has taught his own techniques to his disciples. The Gospels reveal how, after his failure with our Lord in the desert, Satan inspired the Jews to continue the subversion he had begun. Inciting our Lord to revolution in the form of refusing Caesar’s taxes, they began adroitly by appealing to His integrity and love of justice: “Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou does not regard the person of men.” (Matt. 22:16).
Later, in the Acts of the Apostles, we see how judaizers carried the battle into the Church, for a time even subverting our first Pope. In the last century descendants of these Jews who rejected Christ – Marx, Engels, Heine, Lenin, Trotsky and their countless helpers then and now – have forged an instrument whereby every potential member of Christ’s kingdom can be tempted as was its Head. Popularly known as Communism, it actually constitutes a global temptation seeking to engulf the whole world in Satan’s revolution against God. Through the avenues of the three concupiscences the full force of our fallen nature can now be channeled and hurled against all mankind at once.
Communism may be properly called a Jewish heresy, for by its formal denial of an after life and the supernatural order, its crass materialism and blind faith in temporal Messianism, it is essentially a highly developed form of Saducceeism. The Gospels record conversions to Christianity among the Pharisees, but never from the Sadducees. Their heresy, now launched wholesale upon the world, would seem to be unto death.
“It exceeds in amplitude and violence anything yet experienced in the preceding persecutions launched against the Church,” said Pius XI. “Entire peoples find themselves in danger of falling back into a barbarism worse than that which oppressed the greater part of the world at the coming of the Redeemer.”
“How is it possible,” asks this Pope, “that such a system, long since rejected scientifically and now proved erroneous by experience, could spread so rapidly in all parts of the world?”
“The explanation,” he tells us, “lies in the fact that too few of us have been able to grasp the nature of Communism.”
Then too, as Fr. François Dufay points out in Etoile contre la Croix, we judge Communism much too leniently for the simple reason that communists are so much better than their doctrine. Recognizing in them qualities and virtues derived from natural law which remain in all of us despite the Fall, we attribute these to Communism. The reverse is true with Christians, who always look bad when judged against Christianity, a doctrine so sublime it can never be lived up to completely. Looking at Christians, we think Christianity defective; looking at communists, we find Communism not so bad.
“Brethren,” pleads St. Paul, “do not become children in mind, but in malice be children and in mind mature!” (I Cor. 14:20). There’s nothing Christian about being stupid. “Be wise as serpents,” commanded our Lord (Matt. 10:16).
Communism has been tragically underestimated by those who will not make the mental effort to understand it. For most, a communist is little more than an obnoxious organizer set on annoying us with strikes. Those who accept Pius XI’s word for it that it is “intrinsically perverse,” as often as not see it merely as some force which is out to deprive them of their hard‑earned property, even as they lick up its pepperiest propaganda.
In sober truth Communism provides a comprehensive explanation of all reality, geared to satisfy the most penetrating intellect. The proof is evident, it has won over some of the finest minds in the Church. No mere ideology, and least of all a political platform, Communism is a whole philosophy, a theology, a mystique. It has its Thomas Aquinases, its St. Pauls, its St. Johns of the Cross. For its “Redeemer” it proposes humanity itself! As our Lord predicted, it will be “many” who “will come in my name saying, I am the Christ… and they will lead many astray.” (Matt. 24:5).
Its historical development furthermore reveals a specifically anti‑Trinitarian, apocalyptic character which is even now coming to full term . Tempting man totally through the three concupiscences for food, glory and power as Satan did our Lord, it assaults in turn the three human faculties which constitute the divine Trinitarian image in the human soul, the intellect, the mind or “memory”, and the will. This interior trinity, by whose interchanges man lives as a human being, is analogous to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost in the Godhead.
Communism confronts us therefore with a “trinity” of its own: Marx, Lenin and Mao.
Accepted generally as the Father of Communism, Karl Marx plays the role of creator and source from which the whole movement flows. A theorist who took little active part in revolutionary events, he laid the main lines of a direct and deadly temptation aimed primarily at the intellect. To this faculty, which specifically reflects God the Father in man and is designed to feed on truth, Marx would offer stones for food. He proposed the satanic error called dialectic materialism, whose inexorable laws were to regulate all philosophy, sociology and economics.
To read Marx is to hear Satan’s boast in Isaias: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High!” (Is. 14:13‑14). He will explain everything.
As a temptation offered specifically to the intellect, dialectic materialism necessarily opposes the theological virtue of faith – without which no one may please God (Heb. 11:6). Pretending to enlighten man’s thinking, it will plunge him into darkness, for to accept its tenets is direct denial of God, inasmuch as these hold that human history is produced by blind forces existing in matter, and not by the direction of Divine Providence. In other words, matter created itself, eventually evolving to the point where it began to think, and became man. The Marxist definition of man – borrowed, incidentally, from Benjamin Franklin, whom Marx greatly admired – is an animal which thinks.
The reader is begged to bear patiently with the next few paragraphs, which may not make easy reading, but they are essential in explaining Communism as the end product of a long chain of false philosophies:
1. Marx’ notion of materialism as “dynamic” was actually an adaptation of the German philosopher Feuerbach’s “metaphysical” materialism, wherein Marx replaced God by science as revealer of the universe. With Marx, man no longer receives moral directives from a force outside the world, but from science, which arises from the world itself, and whose origin, nature and direction it gradually explains.
This means there can be no morality outside matter, and inasmuch as matter is obviously in constant flux, human acts can only vary along with it. Man need no longer get in tune with an arbitrary God and His commandments, but must align his actions to developing matter in a perpetual aggiornamento or “situation ethics.”
2. Marx’ dialectics were derived from Hegel, for whom a “world‑soul” engendered matter. By simply reversing the process, Marx postulated that matter in fact engendered spirit – incidentally also engendering Fr. Teilhard de Chardin’s “noosphere” and other related nonsense now basic reading in Moscow. It is true that Hegel identified reason and “idea,” thought and being, but with him the universal principle was still spiritual. Not so with Marx, for whom matter generates the idea.
Hegel furthermore taught that “idea” moves in three (now well‑publicized) sequences: thesis, anti‑thesis and synthesis, which Marx adopted into his system, but for him “idea” is always just matter.
3. Matter moving through these three sequences is dialectic materialism, the struggle matter goes through which produces spirit – and history. Materialism and dialectics are the two poles of the global heresy, with which the world is now so well peppered that Pope Paul VI, Bishop of Rome, has spoken even of the Church as “evolving.”
On dialectics hangs change, the constantly shifting relations of things in themselves and with others. For instance, an apple can be a bud, a flower, a green apple, a ripe apple, or rotten and distributing its seeds to make more apples. The apple is constantly “becoming.” When this principle, which occurs in matter, is applied to all nature and being, we have constant transition and movement, appearances and disappearances, in all orders of reality. Nothing can be definite or absolute, which means ultimately that nothing can be sacred, because it won’t stand still long enough!
For the Marxist this universal flux is governed by four so‑called “laws”:
1. Autodynamism, or constant, self‑generated change, whether in apples or men.
2. Inter‑dependence, whereby these changes act on one another, but with no closed cycles, because the movement is open‑ended, as in the apple which liberates its seeds. This produces the ascending spiral by which matter proceeds in time, constituting “progress.” (For the Marxist any change is always upward and for the better. )
3. Contradiction. Everything in itself contains its contrary, a principle of affirmation as well as negation: Life engenders death; death, life. The apple rots that new apples may come. This battle of contraries insures development.
4. Finally, there occurs in the process an explosive “leap”, whereby quantitative changes become qualitative, in the same way that oxygen and hydrogen together produce water, qualitatively different from is two constituents. The change is sudden, but long in preparation. Essentially this is the analogy Darwin and Lysenko applied falsely to biology.
A classic example offered is that of water being changed into vapor, or ice, depending on the quantity of heat present. The tendency of water to remain as it is—thesis. Its tendency to vaporize (or freeze)—anti‑thesis. These two contradictory internal forces render its equilibrium precarious, and it is made more precarious by temperature changes. Arrived at the rupture point where water boils (or freezes), a sudden “leap” occurs, and vapor (or ice)—synthesis.
All this may be true enough on the purely material plane, but when we apply these laws to higher forms, the error is monstrous. If matter is in fact first in the order of reality, then human thought becomes simply the result of qualitative changes in matter. As soon as the material brain evolved, matter began thinking, for according to Engels, the brain is “the organ which produces thought.” He would not deny that spirit exists, but that’s only matter understanding itself. The evolution we hear so much about is therefore only the history of the dialogue matter has been carrying on with itself throughout the ages, slowly rising from one stage to the next by means of sudden resolutions of its conflicts. Human intelligence is merely a threshold, the cosmos as we know it merely the stage matter has reached for the present.
Applying the four “laws” to human society spells disaster. Autodynamism accounts for the automatic progress of humanity from slavery to servitude to feudalism to bourgeoisie to capitalism and on to the socialism whereby the antithetical “proletariat” is now being produced. (This view of history is powerfully depicted in mosaics at the University of Mexico and the works of the Mexican communist artist Diego Rivera.)
Social phenomena are also inter‑dependent, economic conditions acting on social conditions and producing certain kinds of politics, religion, art, music, etc., each factor being both cause and effect. Contradiction comes into play because according to Marx social structures rest on the economic. Believing that economics depend entirely on the means of production being ever perfected by technology, Marx envisaged the “class struggle” as an inevitable disequilibrium between these new means and the social structures always left over from the preceding stage. Capitalism is doomed, not by its sins, but because its growing means of production pit a huge collective work force against privately held property. Those who possess the means of production are therefore “exploiters” of the “exploited” workers.
We must note here that in Communism, work occupies the place of love in Christ’s kingdom. Christianity teaches that man’s proper act is union with God, but for the communist it is work – not personal work, but the collective work which is the very essence of humanity generating itself. (Marx never speaks of persons, but only of individuals in the “masses”.) It is work, furthermore, which confers ultimate value on things, whereas for the Christian, value is estimated according to its usefulness in helping him get to God. Marxism is not concerned with utility at all in fixing values.
Sociologically speaking, the qualitative “leap” is: revolution, generated by the innate tensions which produce the next stage of society. Although Marxists will espouse “reforms” for tactical reasons, they hold that society as such cannot be reformed. It can only erupt into its next stage.
Unfortunately not all this reasoning is false. In “dialectic” for instance, the classical philosopher easily recognizes the hallowed concepts of “act” and “potency.” What makes Marxism heretical is its wholesale rejection of any and all transcendental factors, with its mechanical application of material analogies, true enough in their place, to higher planes of being. Dialectic, which accurately describes the painful tensions in a human being seeking his proper end, is merely a new word for a very old idea now being misapplied.
As Marx sees it, identity and the principle of contradiction in the classical sense are wholly eliminated. Where everything is in flux, any number of postulates can be “true.” There is only one absolute truth in Marxism, and that is that everything is relative. One would say a thing can’t both be and not be, but Marxism says yes: in that being is forever resolving its own contradictions by becoming. It never “is” anything.
Given such a doctrine, what laws can stand? What vows can bind? Even to study it seriously is to deform the intelligence created for truth. To put it in practice leads us to the works of Lenin
In accordance with his own teaching, Marx expected world progress through revolution to take place automatically. At most one only had to cooperate with the forces at work in matter. When Marx died, Nicolai Lenin, the man destined to play “Son” to Marx the Father in the blasphemous trinity, was only thirteen years old, but soon he would implement on the moral plane what Marx had laid out on the speculative. A keen intellectual, Lenin was also a man of action, who saw immediately that the dictatorship of the proletariat could never be established without help. Although he continued preaching Marx’ false theory, he had no scruples about acting counter to it in practice. In him Communism was made visible to the world and dwelt amongst us. Following him is the destruction of the theological virtue of hope, for through him and in him Communism pretends to give us here and now the substance of the things a Christian must hope for in the world to come. He offers “glory now”, directing the temptation to the human faculty we call “memory” in the theological sense, leading to despair.
A student of the military scientist Karl von Clausewitz, he had been particularly impressed by the latter’s dictum that, “War does not necessarily result from invasion, but from the defense which the invaded puts up against the invader,” like the cat against the pepper. Brilliantly transposing Clausewitz’ strategical theories from the strictly military plane to the revolutionary scene, he developed advanced techniques for leading whole nations to devour themselves in their frenzy to eliminate the evils infecting them. Systematically arousing hatred wherever it was to be found, he learned to aggravate it by ruthlessly pitting every possible “anti‑thesis” against its “thesis” in order to achieve the desired “synthesis” by the leap of revolution. The demonic forces he unleashed produced a chain reaction which resulted in terror and enslavement for millions.
With Lenin, hating became a science. His satanic inspiration can hardly be doubted. He is the very “brightness of his father’s glory,” the “image of his substance.”
He envisaged world revolution in three stages, now only too well known. In opposition to Trotsky, who envisioned simultaneous revolution in all countries at once, Lenin insisted on first establishing the dictatorship in one country in order to provide a solid base of operation from which worldwide revolution could then be directed. This turned out to be Russia, as our Lady came to tell us at the time.
Marcel Clement in Le Communisme Face à Dieu, says he regarded the Russian regime “as the master brain of an immense nervous system spread throughout the world and working everywhere under detailed orders at agitation and communist propaganda.” Eventually “diplomatic representation in every country, through diplomatic immunity, afforded a practically invulnerable center for transmitting instructions to each country. Around this center, the ideological, financial and police units, the use of the revolutionary elite and the proletarian masses, became a simple matter of organization. In a few years the network of world revolutionary organization was extended with extraordinary efficiency over the whole world.” This “cold war” outside the borders of Russia constituted the second stage of the Revolution. Its third stage, establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat over all humanity, is now imminent.
Son Lenin, more astute than Father Marx, was well aware that mere workers could not be depended on to carry out such a program, that little could be expected of these sheep beyond organizing labor unions clamoring for better pay and working conditions. He saw the necessity for carefully choosing and training highly disciplined professional revolutionaries who would be totally consecrated to the cause, and who would in fact function in the satanic state very much as do the religious orders in the Church.
For this purpose was formed the Communist “Party,” which is no party at all in the accepted political sense. Its primary duty is implementing the directives of the international body in accordance with the national problems of each particular nation. Its second duty is adult education on a massive scale, by means of any media to hand, whereby a whole country can be psychologically prepared to take part in the coming revolution. Whereas workers are to be as many and as visible as possible, party members are strictly limited in number, periodically “purged,” and work consistently behind fronts.
So much for the over‑all strategy. Its zigzag tactics as perfected by Lenin are quintessential chutzpah.
The dialectics begin with vocabulary. Intending to substitute in men’s minds a view of reality radically different from the one God has revealed in nature and in the Church, communists as often as possible use the same words we do. They speak of democracy, nationality, liberty, morality, peace, the state, etc., but for them these words have totally different and sometimes entirely opposite meanings. Thus they are able to express their true thought publicly all the while their opponents interpret the words according to the generally accepted sense. By the time the true sense appears, the doctrine has been ingested.
For instance, Lenin defined dictatorship as power limited by no law, resting on force alone. After it became a bad word under Hitler and Mussolini, communists began speaking of “popular democracy,” meaning dictatorship. In like manner, the word “human” which for a Christian necessarily embodies the notion of person, for a Marxist actually means non‑person, or even anti‑person, because for him a man is only individualized matter that thinks. The orthodox definition of “peace” is the tranquillity of order, but in communist lingo peace is merely the freedom to carry on the dialectical conflict. In other words, peace is actually war, the establishment of permanent, self‑perpetuating revolution. Nor is “science” human knowledge, the handmaid of revelation, but simply materialism, for the communist has no God, and science explains everything as matter explaining itself.
There is actually no common language between Communism and Christianity, but by pretending there is, Communism can plead for “dialogue.” So indispensable is dialogue to its offensive, that wherever it meets with real resistance, it is suspended temporarily so that it may be resumed safely later, for without this “service of the word” no conflict could be whipped up and exacerbated.
As St. James warned, “The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, defiling the whole body and setting on fire the course of our life, being itself set on fire by hell” (3:6). It is a matter of record that the Christians in China who were least corrupted by Communism were those to whom dialogue was repugnant. Taught by the devil who first used it on Eve, Marxists are trained to begin with orthodox interpretations of their doctrines. Dialogue once innocently begun leads to dialectic, dialectic to division, and division to death.
Never attacking religion on its own dogmatic ground, Communism sets out to destroy it as Cain did Abel, by inviting believers “into the field,” non‑religious ground where the battle is already lost. Proceeding almost exclusively on the moral, practical plane, Marxism first lures its victims to acts of which they have become doubtful, for instance, contraception. Once practiced, these are accepted, and eventually promoted.
Dialogue is rigged to produce dilemma from which the only escape always appears to be the Marxist solution. (Discussion of world population problems is a favorite introduction to the “necessity” of contraception.) By refusing dialogue at the outset as we would any other temptation, we refuse dilemma and all its consequences. The timid take refuge in the enemy’s ambiguous propositions to salve their consciences, being encouraged to accept Marxist theses in Christian dress which are later interpreted and executed in the full Marxist sense.
Post‑Vatican II developments are sufficient example of this master tactic whereby the dialectical struggle has been introduced into the Church herself. The only power on earth superior to Communism, she is being tempted at all levels to set her pace to the world, for she presents an insuperable obstacle to the Revolution.
The communist never lies or contradicts himself, because for him there is no absolute right or wrong. His Party, midwife of the Revolution, uses any means to accelerate delivery, espousing even reactionary causes if this will aggravate conflict. Lenin laid down as principle that “one must learn to work legally within the most reactionary organization.” Within these groups revolutionaries, always a minority, transmit party orders in the guise of their own personal opinions, harnessing as many non‑communists as possible to the work of the Revolution without their suspecting it.
Never openly preaching Communism, party members are adept at manipulating “peace” offensives, defending “motherhood” and “democracy,” encouraging “patriotism,” so as to neutralize and dismantle any real opposition. All the while, management is pitted against labor to produce the deadly wage vs. price cycle which will wreck the economy and destroy money itself through inflation. Conservatives are hurled against liberals, haves against have‑nots, black against white. In the women’s lib movement even the sexes are turned against each other to produce crisis in the family, basic cell of natural society. In the Church agents are found in traditionalist ranks as they are among the purveyors of the New Religion, promoting discord from both sides. This kind of super‑opportunism at work supporting all sides is incomprehensible to those who can’t see that the basic strategy never varies.
“The dictatorship of the proletariat,” said Lenin, “is a relentless battle, both bloody and unbloody, violent and peaceful, military and economic, pedagogical and administrative, against the forces and traditions of the old world.”
Marcel Clement, on whom this article has drawn heavily, calls Leninism “the methodical exteriorization of all conflicts, based on organized deception and incitement to envy and hatred. Christianity is the acceptance of the Cross, the light of Truth, the pardon of injuries. We are in a way at the eve of the great option. It’s the destiny of the world which is at stake.”
Communism, dedicated to such “exteriorization of conflict,” can never be reconciled with the Faith, which is founded precisely on interiorization of conflict as exemplified by Christ on the Cross, of whom the Psalmist had prophesied, “I bear in my bosom all the accusations of the nations!” (Ps. 88:51).
A full generation before Vatican II, the techniques this so‑called “pastoral” council recommended for updating the Church had already been perfected by Communists working in the Church in China. There it was shown how the dialoguing “study club” could be gradually transformed into the “parish council” which would take over the direction of the parish and eventually the entire diocese. Religious activities were systematically used as pretexts for disguised Marxist indoctrination or ecumenical meetings where real Catholics driven farther and farther “out into the field” were always outnumbered and finally excluded. This need not surprise us, for it was in China, with Mao Tse‑Tung, that Communism attained its Pentecost.
Chairman Mao plays the part of “Spirit” to Marx the Father and Lenin the Son in the satanic trinity. Proceeding from both, perfecting the thought of the one and the revolutionary strategy of the other, Mao’s cultural revolution means to achieve the satanic “sanctification” of the world by finishing touches from “the finger of the Father’s right hand.” There is an eminent congruity in that Mao rose, not from the world’s masculine west, but from its feminine east – woman being the ectype of the Holy Ghost according to the Fathers of the Church. And the Chinese have long been known as “the Jews of the orient.”
As we might expect, he addresses himself to the third power of the soul, the will. His specific temptation will therefore be against the permanent theological virtue of charity. By him humanity is to be led, not only to unbelief, or to despair, but to the consummate formal denial of God’s love which constitutes the unforgivable sin against the Holy Ghost.
Christian imperatives all reduce to one: Thou shalt love – first God, then one’s neighbor for His sake. As we have seen, being vowed to dialectical struggle, the Marxist’s imperative is actually: Thou shalt hate – and deliberately pits neighbor against neighbor. It is true the Christian also hates. He hates sin, but he loves persons. The Marxist also loves, but only humanity, and a kind of mystical, perfected humanity at that, existing only in the future. He hates persons in their actual state. The real “now generation” are the Christians, for they love now as well as in the future.
To effect radical reversal of Christian love, Mao brings to perfection the theories derived from Clausewitz by Lenin and later by Stalin. Developer of the concept of total war, Clausewitz had been guided by the principle that war is merely an extension of politics. He considered warfare as human activity rather than mere confrontation of physical forces, with victory not necessarily the result of greater numbers or physical strength. He taught that the enemy must therefore be weakened not only physically, but above all morally. Also he noted that the fight need not always be fought to a finish, but simply used as a way of bringing one’s adversary to the conference table.
As we saw, Lenin, reversing the thought of Clausewitz, saw politics as the extension of war. For him, peace was simply more and better war, but he didn’t neglect bloody terrorism when it suited his purpose. Compared to Mao, Lenin’s methods seem very crude, for when it comes to pervasive, indirect but relentless aggression, the oriental is matchless. With Mao Communism came into possession of refined psychological instruments so deadly accurate that the battle against God can now be carried not only into the heart of society, but into the human soul itself.
It is frightening to study in detail the campaign organized with such force and accuracy against the pagan Chinese, but especially against the Church. Although the Chinese Christians constituted hardly one percent of the total population, it is revealing that they received the lion’s share of attention from the Communist propaganda organs. Wherever she is found, the Church alone provides the opposition her enemy really fears.
Whereas Marx the Father attacked the juridical order by political revolution, and Lenin sapped the economic order by social revolution, Mao’s vast revolution against all existing culture is designed to liquidate the whole interior spiritual order of the human soul in order to reconstruct it on Marxist lines.
Gauging Marx’ superficiality even better than had Lenin, Mao contended that the most their methods could produce was a sort of consumer‑man conditioned to aspire merely to ever greater creature comforts – a prognostication only too willingly confirmed by both Plus XI and Pius XII
Mao’s truly pentecostal view of revolutionary man was that of a completely new creature, so free that he was liberated even of his entire past, his total human heritage. He saw that mere destruction of private property (on which personal human dignity is objectively based) could never of itself eradicate past culture from human consciousness. All of human memory would have to be blotted out in a new “baptism of the spirit” – of Chairman Mao.
Understanding the power of obsession, he advocates a total change of surroundings before addressing the intellect. Slogans, ideas, posters, radio, songs, dance, theatre, movies, study clubs, schools, demonstrations, lectures, meetings, all become tools for the systematic destruction of the past.
By its very nature behaviorist, Communism has always believed that man will automatically change if his environment can be changed, but Mao has refined such crudity. For him “class” and the class struggle are not found outside man, but inside him, and that is where he looks for it. He has developed what amounts to a whole program ordered to the production of the diabolic virtues, through a diametric reversal of the evangelical counsels.
In the name of “poverty” all the trappings of the past, whether Shakespeare or classical Chinese drama, miniskirts, Mah Jong, are forbidden to 700,000,000 people. Austerity is demanded of all in a land where students must work like coolies and coolies must become students. A Chinese Communist must be denuded of everything. His only possessions are the thought and will of those who command him, for his “obedience” must be total, expected in the internal forum of his conscience as well as in the external, governing not only his acts, but his most intimate thoughts, in private as in public. Nor is “chastity” overlooked, for young Maoists are expected to defer marriage until the age of thirty if they marry at all, in deference to the exigencies of the Revolution. Man’s noblest instincts have been harnessed: As one militant explained, “Several generations will have to be sacrificed before Communism triumphs. These generations are ours: Neither I nor my son, nor even my grandson will see this victory. That doesn’t matter, we are nothing; our job is to prepare a better future for those who will succeed us.”
(It might be asked here, “But what of the Jew Marcuse and the sexual revolution?” These seem contrary at first glance, but they are actually mirror images of Mao and his spiritual regime, achieving the same ends by reverse methods, playing Molinos to his Jansen. By one or the other means whole populations can and are being rendered hostile to their established government and to themselves in the diabolic pentecost whose corrupting fire and flame are even now seeking to consecrate the whole world to the “man of sin.”)
Needless to say, behind all the paraphernalia for destroying man’s past there lurks only the satanic desire to obliterate his religion, which Communism has always maintained is of his own manufacture, a form of thumb‑sucking which makes him dependent on illusion and alienates him from himself. Marx called religion “man’s self‑consciousness before he has found himself – or when he has lost himself,” a “super‑structure” in society designed to console the exploited in the class struggle, an “opiate for the people.”
For Mao religion isn’t even that, but merely a relic of the past. “No more martyrs” is now official policy. Christians are never convicted on religious grounds, but only for impeding the Revolution.
In the name of Marx, Communism denies God the Father, who created heaven and earth out of nothing and who personally directs its every event, whose eye is on the sparrow, and without whose consent not a hair falls from our heads. Communism says it was matter, and not God’s Word, which became man. In the name of Lenin is denied this very Word, God the Son who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” and outside whom there is nothing that was made. In the name of Mao it denies God the Holy Ghost, of whom the Son promised, “He will teach you all things” (John 14:26).
Aping the divine Persons in the Most Blessed Trinity, these three satanic personifications act in the Party as one throughout the world. There is still much work for them to do, for integral, perfected Communism exists nowhere yet, not even in China or Russia, which at best are still in the socialist stage. In so‑called communist countries, the government merely governs, all the while favoring the Party, which is the only direct agent of the communization which goes on internally over a long period of years. It keeps the dialectic ferment active in many “outmoded” structures which are allowed to persist until the new ones can be forged. This is happening now within the Catholic Church, which is being subjected to the same dialectics as other social categories. Like other holdovers, it will be allowed to subsist for a time, but transformed, its dogmatic content replaced by Marxism, its apostolate by Leninism and its interior life of grace by Maoism.
When Mao died on September 8, 1976, he joined Marx and Lenin definitively in their niche in history. The Satanic “trinity” is now complete. Despite any specious “revisionism” to the contrary, it is set from now on to spread error throughout the world with unimaginable coherence – as our Lady warned would happen if mankind does not fall to its knees.
What is the defense against this creeping horror?
Once we have thoroughly understood its tactics, the only possible defense is the one proposed by Pius XI: “No one . . . may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever!” no matter how innocent this may appear. He warned how communists, “without receding an inch from their subversive principles, invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so‑called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church.”
In the face of this warning, the “pastoral” Vatican II laid down in its declaration on Christian Education: “Cooperation is the order of the day.” In its decree on the Missions: Catholics “should cooperate in a brotherly spirit with other Christians, with non‑Christians, and with members of international organizations” with a view to “building up of the earthly city” – in the Lord! In the decree on the Church in the Modern World: “It is very much to be desired that Catholics, in order to fulfill their role properly in the international community, will seek to cooperate actively and in a positive manner both with their separated brethren who together with them profess the Gospel of charity, and with all men thirsting for true peace,” communists in no way excluded. The Council refused a petition to condemn Communism.
The choice lies before all, for the temptation is now global indeed: Apostasy or death? Not a question of saving human life, but of saving the Faith. “Every other enterprise,” said Pius XI, “however attractive or helpful, must yield before the vital need of protecting the very foundation of the Faith and of Christian civilization.”
Fr. Dufay, who witnessed the battle at close quarters in China, says to lose no time in preparing the Church of the Catacombs: “Take as principle that normal exterior life – liturgy, teaching, apostolate – should continue as far as possible. But, at the same time, prepare Christians to preserve their essential religious life in the absence of priests, worship and Sacraments . . . Prepare memory aids on the dogmas of necessary means, marriage without clergy, perfect contrition, assistance to the dying, Baptism, child education, etc., and place these leaflets in safe places…
“It would be good if trustworthy priests of high caliber were to set themselves to living the life of the people. They need profound dogmatic and spiritual formation, especially on the theology of the Church, the meaning and value of persecution and suffering, and should be steeped in the remembrance of the great saints and martyrs of the past. Thus armed, the Christian faith will use its bad times for growth in charity,” making the most of the service Communism will render it by purifying and detaching it from all that is not God here below. And again, “Actually it’s solitaries who must be found and trained, in other words, Christians capable of living their faith all alone, amid the strongest pressures, the most painful happenings and the most forbidding of deserts.”
The Counter‑revolution began in Eden with the Revolution itself, for there on the spot God told the serpent, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed” (Gen. 3:15). Centuries later, when the battle was approaching a climax in Russia in 1917, this “woman” appeared on earth at Fatima to warn that “the errors of Russia” would overflow the whole world unless supernatural means were marshalled against them.
Of necessity the “errors of Russia” can be overcome only by supernatural force, because there are no natural means superior to them. Given the impairment of nature by original sin, there are no natural means which are even proportioned to these “errors”. Certainly no material weapons can destroy Communism’s battlements, let alone shoot down its ideas. No political position can withstand it. No mere strategy can outwit it that is not rooted in grace.
The defeat of Communism will be effected by prayer and penance, in the name of Him who before His Passion said, “In the world you will have affliction. But take courage, I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33). It is not the dictatorship of the proletariat which is “inevitable,” but the triumph of the Church!
“Appeasement is throwing someone else to the crocodiles in the hopes of being eaten last.”
Suppose there were a worldwide movement which openly proclaimed its goal of taking over in your country and every country with the purpose of imposing its system on every human being on earth. Also suppose that this movement had carried out murders and terrorist attacks in your own country, that members of this group promoted violence while gaining political influence. Suppose also that is was highly unfashionable and politically incorrect to speak out against them.
I am not speaking of Islam here, but of Communism. The current wave of censorship and denial toward Islam is not a new development. It is rather a very old one. Islamophobia, like Red-Baiting, is a political term that serves the function of cutting off any discussion of the subject. It precludes any listing of the facts or debates on the issue, by declaring it to be off-limits. To raise the issue is to expose yourself as a bad person whose ideas are unacceptable for public distribution.
When George Orwell was struggling to find a publisher for Animal Farm, he was repeatedly turned down on the grounds that the book would offend the Soviet Union. One publisher wrote to Orwell that he had been dissuaded from publishing the book by an important official in the Ministry of Information (an agency that would become the Ministry of Truth in his novel, 1984) who had told him that publishing such a book would be ill-advised at this time. That official was, incidentally, a Soviet spy.
The publisher went on to say that the book might be acceptable if it applied generally to dictators, but not specifically to the USSR. Finally the publisher added, “It would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offence to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are.”
Change around a few names and this is exactly the rejection letters that courageous books critical of Islam have received. It’s fine to make general criticisms of religious fanaticism, so long as those criticisms are universally applied, and do not offend those touchy people who religious fanaticism occasionally expresses itself in dangerous ways.
In a generally deleted preface to Animal Farm, Orwell wrote, “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact.”
There are quite a few sensational facts and news items that are kept out or minimized in our own media because it would not do to mention them. There are rarely any government officials dictating this censorship, certainly in the United States there are no legal codes that make it mandatory, but this censorship is voluntary. It consists of people censoring themselves, of publications censoring people out of fear of violence, of publishers who feel that this is an ill-advised time to stir up tensions and of a larger body of liberal thinkers who feel that we should sympathize with Islam and ignore any of its violent and supremacist activities.
“At this moment what is demanded by the prevailing orthodoxy is an uncritical admiration of Soviet Russia. Everyone knows this, nearly everyone acts on it. Any serious criticism of the Soviet régime, any disclosure of facts which the Soviet government would prefer to keep hidden, is next door to unprintable,” Orwell wrote in his Animal Farm preface titled, Freedom of the Press.
“Hardly anyone will print an attack on Stalin, but it is quite safe to attack Churchill… throughout five years of war, during two or three of which we were fighting for national survival, countless books, pamphlets and articles advocating a compromise peace have been published without interference… So long as the prestige of the USSR is not involved, the principle of free speech has been reasonably well upheld.”
So too we still have freedom of the speech. We are encouraged to attack our own government, though not the liberal wings of it, but it is still a safer thing to do, so long as the prestige of Islam is not involved. Only when Islam is offended, does the principle of free speech come apart.
It was always safe to attack Bush, but an attack, even on Bin Laden, was considered tacky at best. And an attack on more “moderate” figures, like Tariq Ramadan, was borderline unprintable. While it was ridiculously easy to publish an essay depicting Bush as a war-crazed chimp invading Iraq for oil, Haliburton and Christian fundamentalism, the cultural elites insisted that doing so was an act of great political courage. Meanwhile publishing an essay critical of Islamic figures was next to impossible and dangerously perilous. And those same elites treated it as a despicable abuse of freedom of speech.
The poisonous vein here goes deeper. With the rise of the Bolsheviks there was a vigorous debate over whether or not to recognize the Soviet Union. Two administrations, Wilson and Hoover, chose not to do so. Their reasoning was fairly straightforward and is best expressed in the words of Bainbridge Colby, the Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson.
Colby was a liberal who had co-founded Roosevelt’s Progressive Party and befriended Mark Twain, nevertheless he laid out a clear rationale for extending no diplomatic recognition to the Bolshevik terrorists. “We cannot recognize, hold official relations with or give friendly reception to the agents of a government which is determined and bound to conspire against our institutions, whose diplomats will be agitators of dangerous revolt, whose spokesmen say they sign agreements with no intention of keeping them.”
That policy persisted under two administrations, including that of President Hoover, who had personal experience with the Soviet Union during the Russian relief effort which bailed out the Communists at a crucial time. It was the FDR Administration which was stuffed full of Communists that abrogated it. FDR became the first American president to directly communicate with a Soviet leader and in his first year of office he invited the Soviet Foreign Minister to Washington D.C. and recognized the Soviet Union.
To achieve that recognition, the Soviet Union pledged not to promote or harbor any groups with the aim of “the overthrow or the preparation for the overthrow of, or bringing about by force of, a change in the political or social order of the whole or any part of the United States, its territories or possessions.” This agreement was never honored in any way, shape or form.
Colby went on defending his policy until his death in 1950 as the right thing to do. And the pace of events only proved him right. The USSR used diplomatic recognition to extract aid, plant saboteurs and conduct espionage. It kept agreements only for so long as they suited it.
The pro-recognition lobby backed of diplomats, businessmen and politicians exploiting argued that only engagement would reform the Soviet Union. That same argument was still being made during the Reagan Administration which was berated for its warmongering obstructionism every time it refused to give in to Soviet demands.
We are back to that same debate today between engaging our enemies or accepting their hostility as a fact. The modern diplomatic corps is full of advocates of engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. There isn’t anyone they won’t engage with so long as they hate the United States and seek to destroy it.
Four years of Obama has shown once again that engagement does not work. Not only doesn’t it work, it actually emboldens the enemy and allows the enemy to infiltrate deep within our societies and to corrupt our institutions. That very engagement leads to censorship in the name of friendship. It leads to news articles and books that cannot be printed because they might sabotage the chances for peace.
The hope for peace is the greatest force of censorship there is. Once engagement is passed off as a fairy that you must believe in lest she will die, then censorship becomes absolutely mandatory to keep peace alive. If a book critical of Communism might offend the USSR then it is best not to print it or to water it down. If Muslims riot over cartoons of Mohammed, then it is a civic duty not to print them in the name of peace and understanding.
When we marvel at the Dhimmism in modern cultural life, at the extent to which Islamic viewpoints are presented unchallenged as the establishment devotes its fullest efforts to inveighing against any opposing views, this too has its red precedents.
“The servility with which the greater part of the English intelligentsia have swallowed and repeated Russian propaganda from 1941 onwards would be quite astounding,” Orwell wrote. “On one controversial issue after another the Russian viewpoint has been accepted without examination and then publicised with complete disregard to historical truth or intellectual decency.”
Modern day examples of this surround us on all sides and as a doctor of totalitarianism, Orwell aptly diagnosed the corruption of the elites and their descent into totalitarian expediency.
“If the intellectual liberty which without a doubt has been one of the distinguishing marks of western civilisation means anything at all, it means that everyone shall have the right to say and to print what he believes to be the truth… It is only, or at any rate it is chiefly, the literary and scientific intelligentsia, the very people who ought to be the guardians of liberty, who are beginning to despise it, in theory as well as in practice.
“The word ancient emphasises the fact that intellectual freedom is a deep-rooted tradition without which our characteristic western culture could only doubtfully exist. From that tradition many of our intellectuals arc visibly turning away. They have accepted the principle that a book should be published or suppressed, praised or damned, not on its merits but according to political expediency.”
That principle is now the primary one on the left. This totalitarian cowardice that Orwell inveighed against has been elevated to an unchallenged moral standard. Animal Farm is widely reprinted, but without Orwell’s preface. Like 1984, a book whose composition effectively killed him, it has been treated according to the original plan of that publisher, stripping away most acknowledgements that it is a vicious satire of Soviet Communism, rather than a generic commentary on tyranny.
Orwell’s preface, so rarely published, concludes with his motivation for writing it, “It is the liberals who fear liberty and the intellectuals who want to do dirt on the intellect.”
“They are the most disagreeable of people…Their insincerity? Can you not feel a sense of disgust at the arrogant presumption of superiority of these people? Superiority of intellect! Then, when it comes to practice, down they fall with a wallop not only to the level of ordinary human beings but to a level which is even far below the average.” -Winston Churchill
In the 1960s, the left experienced a resurgence, financed mostly by Moscow through a variety of front groups, and focused on American college campuses. Ever-so-intellectual, they dubbed themselves the New Left, suggesting that they had taken a quantum leap beyond the monolithic bureaucracy of Stalin, and even transcending the moral incentives of Mao. They identified with the dashing, romantic Cuban revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Oddly, somewhere along the way, they missed the fact that these people were mass murderers who made Hitler look like an amateur.
The neo-Marxist philosophy they concocted had no specific goals, other than full adoption of Third World Anti-colonialism, and destroying the existing capitalist state. It was taken on faith that socialist institutions would naturally be created by the freed proletariat, with no previous planning, as if by miracle or magic. Saul Alinsky was one of the New Left’s prophets, and had numerous followers in Academia, such as Cloward and Piven at Columbia, where Barack Obama claims to have been a student. In any case, this is the milieu the current occupant of the White House was raised in, and what he clearly still believes today.
The Left has always been a haven for misfits, ne’er-do-wells, and people with a myriad of psychological disorders. Boozers and dopers like Barry Soetoro found a place where they didn’t feel out of step with the rest of the world — it was the rest of the world that was out of step with them. They could don the mantle of a Revolutionary and immediately become 10 feet tall, bullet-proof, and invincible. Looking at the makeup of the current administration, especially in it’s upper echelon, the policies and legislation they have produced makes it eminently clear that many of these people have never gotten beyond this ideology.
For reasons that are not clear, far too many conservatives adamantly refuse to admit that Barack Hussein Obama is, by his own admissions and open associations, a New Left Marxist. His destruction of the economy, his looting of the Treasury and redistribution of trillions to his backers in the international banking community; his nationalizing of health care, the financial markets and the auto industry; his ratcheting up of more regulations, especially environmental ones, aimed at shutting down our ability to produce energy; his total lack of effort to bring down unemployment are not the result of incompetence. On the contrary. From a New Left point of view, this has been the intention all along: do the greatest harm to the capitalist state in the shortest period of time, and they’ve been very successful.
In addition, they have taken great strides toward undermining the Constitution, and laying the statutory groundwork for transferring virtually unlimited power to the executive branch, making Congress an irrelevant footnote to history. They have ignored the courts, lowest to highest, selectively enforced the laws that are supposed to be applied equally, refused to prosecute blatant violations when it didn’t suit their political agenda, and have been allowed to get away with it. Even Eric Holder’s contempt of Congress is being allowed to get brushed aside as a “distraction.”
And lest we forget, Barack Obama promised his buddy Vladimir Putin that “After my election, I have more flexibility”. He will be in a position to have Leon Panetta over at the Defense Department, unilaterally destroy our nuclear arsenal.
Half of the Cabinet and their second and third rank appointees, and the president and much of his staff and “czars” should be under indictment, There has never been such rampant, unbridled, unabashed corruption in the history of American government. As the Ministry of Propaganda, aka, the “mainstream” media likes to say, “unprecedented, historic!” And nearly as guilty are the Rinos who daily turn into the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil monkeys, allowing our country to be dismantled and turned into an impoverished, Third World has-been dictatorship, right before our eyes.
We, the People, by all real indicators, should win the November elections in a historic landslide of epic proportions. If we do, we have a long, hard road ahead of us, repealing and repairing the damage done by the looters, the misfits, and the lunatics who have been controlling the Democrat party and Washington for the past 50 years. But it must be done, for we are teetering on a dangerous brink, and if we go over, there’s no way back.
In the meantime, remember this truth and apply it: The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.
Too many people think that freedom, opportunity and a variety of choices are ever-present features of life in the U.S. — that fundamental transformation of America will not affect accustomed standards.
When we lived in the U.S.S.R., locked away from the world, kept from traveling abroad and surrounded by government-controlled sources of information, we couldn’t imagine what kind of life people had on the outside. Simple things, like tomatoes in stores in winter, seemed improbable.
When we immigrated to the U.S., I realized that most of what we were taught about capitalism was false. I was surprised how uninformed and downright clueless Americans were regarding communist ideology and history.
The platitudes of communist propaganda that were all around me in the Soviet Union were accepted as something new and wonderful by well-meaning people in the U.S. While Soviet citizens were excluded from the external world by their government, liberal/progressives in the “free world” were insulated from reality.
In the 1930s, when communists were starving the Russian people with regulations on farmers, New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty reported, “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” For his stories, Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize.
Through the late 1950s, liberal newspapers in America ignored stories about work prison camps in the Soviet Union. But more than 20 million people accused of opposition to centralized government perished.
In 1956, Soviets brutally suppressed a revolt against the Soviet-imposed socialist government in Hungary. More than 2,500 Hungarians were killed. In 1968, Czechoslovakia lived through a similar uprising and suppression.
From late 1960s, Soviet dissidents raised their voices against the oppressive, inhumane rule of the communist government in the U.S.S.R. Dissidents were imprisoned, condemned to psychiatric facilities and expelled from work. Their families were persecuted.
Meantime, enjoying the freedoms of the U.S., Weather Underground radicals were calling forces to unite for “the destruction of U.S. imperialism and achieve … world communism.” By 1980, the centrally planned economy of the U.S.S.R. was in shambles. By American standards the population lived below poverty level.
It’s stunning for an immigrant from a socialist country to hear in the speeches of Democratic Party leaders platitudes taught in socialist countries. Even more stunning is how they resonate with people born in the free world.
At the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th calls for “equality,” “fairness,” “sacrifices for collective good” and “social justice” aroused communist revolutionaries in Russia and ushered in the U.S.S.R. They demonized and obliterated any religion that interfered with government authority. They erased individualism and entrepreneurship from society. Animosity among ethnic groups was insidiously cultivated.
In the U.S., fascism and socialism are classified at the opposite ends of the political spectrum; in reality, these two ideologies have a lot in common.
Fascism is “a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition” (Merriam Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).
That definition of fascism can easily be applied to the socialism I experienced. The only difference is that to organize communities of fateful followers, German fascists used an ideal of racial purity, and communists used class warfare. Fascists confiscated properties of non-Aryans, and communists confiscated all private properties.
Free market capitalism, which created a large, prosperous middle class in America, and government-centered ideologies have nothing in common.
For more than 100 years, old and tired socialist propaganda brought out the worst in societies: envy, hate, intolerance and disrespect for human life, just as these traits have increased in the last four years in the U.S.
The U.S. is not 19th century tsarist Russia, but it is being transformed into something far different from the “land of the free.” The softer-styled European welfare societies are falling apart, leaving future generations broke. Is there a chance Barack Obama’s vision of centralized government, surrounded by a web of sclerotic bureaucracies, will create a fair society?
The same reader who commented on my July article continued: “Or is the grim description of life in the former Soviet Union meant to paint Obama and his party as communists/socialists/fellow travelers bent on destroying America and all it stands for?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I mean — and Obama’s rhetoric, actions and results confirm this point.
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I was taught to believe individual pursuits are selfish and sacrificing for the collective good is noble.
In kindergarten we sang songs about Lenin, the leader of the Socialist Revolution. In school we learned about the beautiful socialist system, where everybody is equal and everything is fair; about ugly capitalism, where people are exploited and treat each other like wolves in the wilderness.
Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures.
The government-assigned salary of the proletariat (blue-collar worker) was 30%-50% higher than any professional. Without incentive to improve their life, professionals drank themselves to oblivion. They — engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers — earned a government-determined salary that barely covered the necessities, mainly food.
Raising children was a hardship. It took four to six adults (parents and grandparents) to support a child. The usual size of the postwar family was one or two children. Every woman had the right to have an abortion and most of them did, often without anesthesia.
There is a comparative historical reality that plays out the consequences of two competing ideologies: life in the USSR and in America.
When the march to the worker’s paradise — the Socialist Revolution — began in 1917, many people emigrated from Russia to the U.S.
In the USSR, economic equality was achieved by redistributing wealth, ensuring that everyone remained poor, with the exception of those doing the redistributing. Only the ruling class of communist leaders had access to special stores, medicine and accommodations that could compare to those in the West.
The rest of the citizenry had to deal with permanent shortages of food and other necessities, and had access to free but inferior, unsanitary and low-tech medical care. The egalitarian utopia of equality, achieved by the sacrifice of individual self-interest for the collective good, led to corruption, black markets, anger and envy.
Government-controlled health care destroyed human dignity.
Chairman Nikita Khrushchev released facts about Stalin and his purges. People learned of the horrific purge of more than 20 million citizens, murdered as enemies of the state.
Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise. The majority of those immigrants achieved a better life for themselves and their children in this capitalist land.
These opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party. The freedom to pursue personal self-interest led to prosperity. Prosperity generated charity, benefiting the collective good.
The descendants of those immigrants are now supporting policies that move America away from the values that gave so many immigrants the chance of a better life. Policies such as nationalized medicine, high tax rates and government intrusion into free enterprise are being sold to us under the socialistic motto of collective salvation.
Socialism has bankrupted and failed every society, while capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system.
There is no perfect society. There are no perfect people. Critics say that greed is the driving force of capitalism. My answer is that envy is the driving force of socialism. Change to socialism is not an improvement on the imperfections of the current system.
The slogans of “fairness and equality” sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality.
Today we can define the better system not by slogans, but by looking at the accumulated facts. We can compare which ideology leads to the most oppression and which brings the most opportunity.
When I came to America in 1980 and experienced life in this country, I thought it was fortunate that those living in the USSR did not know how unfortunate they were.
Now, I realize how unfortunate it is that many Americans do not understand how fortunate they are. They vote to give government more and more power without understanding the consequences.
Every American high school student knows, or should know, that President Ronald Reagan went to the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin on this date in 1987. The president said: “If you seek liberalization, open this gate … Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
American journalists were enchanted by Mikhail Gorbachev in those days. The young and charismatic Kremlin boss was “the human face of Communism” that they’d been seeking. The leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, this dynamic man spoke of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (re-structuring). His words were all the rage.
But when the Brandenburg Gate did finally open, in 1989, and when the Berlin Wall was re-structured, as in, torn down, the people in the Communist East German puppet state ran only one way. They ran as far and as fast from Gorbachev and his “workers’ paradise” as they could. When Gorby ran for president of Russia in an open election, he won just 12% of the vote.
As important as Reagan’s dramatic call to “tear down this wall” was, we should not forget what else he said that memorable day 25 years ago. His speech contained the most eloquent paean to religious freedom we have heard.
Reagan was not afraid to point to what he called “the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West”:
The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere — that sphere that towers over all Berlin — the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.
Reagan’s speech that day is known — if it is taught at all — as his “Tear Down This Wall Speech.” But it could as well be known as his “Sign of the Cross Speech.” That’s because Reagan was the first president of the United States to invoke the Sign of the Cross in a public address.
Reagan knew how strong those words would echo in the captive nations, especially in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, with their large Catholic populations. That Reagan, an Evangelical Christian, would be so attuned to the religious vocabulary of millions of Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians is itself a tribute to his open mind.
Winston Churchill was certainly no churchgoer. But he, too, recognized evil when he saw it. He knew that Nazi Germany was evil because it sought to murder the Jews. Churchill had the courage to stand up against the Nazis and their Judenhass (Jew hatred.) “Fear God,” he said, “and dread nought.”
President Reagan carried to every summit meeting with Gorbachev a list of Jewish refuseniks unjustly imprisoned in the Evil Empire. He pressed Gorbachev to free those Jews from the Gulag and let them immigrate to Israel.
Today, the Obama administration works with regimes that threaten Jews with extinction and that persecute their Christian minorities. This administration makes little effort to protect religious freedom.
We have seen Coptic churches in Egypt torched and Christian cemeteries in Libya desecrated. Assyrian, Chaldean, and Maronite Christians are huddling in Syria, awaiting Assad’s fall.
We should remember this day. Twenty-five years ago, Ronald Reagan had the courage to overrule his own State Department, his own Pentagon, his own advisers. None of them wanted him to “provoke” the Soviets with blunt talk about good and evil. No one wanted him to threaten what they took to be stability. These advocates of realpolitik, however, were proven to be politically unrealistic.
Ronald Reagan had a strong grasp of history and power. What’s the good of having power if you don’t wield power for good? Like Churchill, he would fear God and dread nought. Under the Sign of the Cross that day a quarter century ago, Ronald Reagan took a bold stand for freedom.
Fatima, Portugal –October 13, 1917
The three shepherd children reported visions of a luminous lady, believed to be the Virgin Mary, in the Cova da Iria fields outside the hamlet of Aljustrel, near Fatima, Portugal between May and October of 1917. The lady appeared to the children on the 13th day of each month at approximately noon, for six straight months. The only exception was August, when the children were kidnapped by the local administrator-the children then saw her on August 19th in nearby Valinhos.
Lúcia described seeing the lady as “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.” According to Lucia’s account, the lady entrusted three secrets to the children. She also told the children to do penance and make sacrifices to save sinners. They did things such as, where tight cords to cause pain, go without water on hot days, and other works of penance. Most importantly the lady told Lucia to pray the Rosary everyday because it is the key to personal and world peace.
In July the Blessed Virgin promised a miracle to the children on October 13th , her final apparition, so all would believe. This miracle became known as “The Miracle of the Sun.” A crowd believed to be approximately 70,000 in number, including newspaper reporters and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria. When the steady rain had finally ceased and a thin layer of clouds cloaked the sun so that it could be looked upon without hurting one’s eyes. Lucia was pointing towards the sun and called out to the crowd. And seeing various religious figures in the sky, the sun appeared to change colors and rotate, like a fire wheel. For some, the sun appeared to fall from the sky before retreating, for others, it zig-zagged. The phenomenon was witnessed by most in the crowd as well as people many miles away.
Here are briefly the facts; starting from the day after the events, by a reporter who cannot possibly be accused of partiality in this matter and for a good reason! We refer to Avelino de Almeida, the chief editor of “O Seculo,” the large “liberal” anticlerical and Masonic daily of Lisbon. He writes,
“From the road, where the carriages were crowded together and where hundreds of persons had stayed for want of sufficient courage to advance across the muddy ground, we saw the huge crowd turn towards the sun which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It resembled a flat plate of silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. We would say that it produced an eclipse. Then a tremendous cry rang out, and the crowd nearest us were heard to shout: ‘Miracle! Miracle! Marvel! Marvel! Before the dazzled eyes of the people, whose attitude transported us to biblical times, and who, dumb-founded, heads uncovered, contemplated the blue of the sky, the sun trembled, it made strange and abrupt movements, outside of all cosmic laws, ‘the sun danced’, according to the typical expression of the peasants …
Attacked violently by all the anticlerical press, Avelino de Almeida renewed his testimony, 15 days later, in his review, l’”Ilustraçao Portuguesa”. This time he illustrated his account with a dozen photographs of the huge ecstatic crowd, and repeated as a refrain throughout his article: I saw… I saw… I saw. And he concluded fortuitously: Miracle, as the people shouted? Natural phenomenon, as the experts say? For the moment, that does not concern me, I am only saying what I saw … The rest is a matter for Science and the Church.
…Saturday, October 13, begins for the pilgrims, as a walk of penance because it had rained the whole preceding night. Now, this almost sudden change of weather, with the dusty roads transformed into muddy quagmires by a pelting rain, causing to replace abruptly, for a day, the sweetness of autumn with the biting rigors of winter, did not succeed in moving them, to make them give up or despair.
From dawn, our reporter relates, visibly impressed by that calm courage, groups looming up again, intrepid individuals who pass through, without stopping for a moment, the small town, whose silence is broken by the chant of hymns intoned by feminine voices in harmony which contrasts with the roughness of the men… The sun rises, but the aspect of the sky is threatening. Some black clouds accumulate, precisely from the Fatima side. Nothing however holds back the pilgrims who, from all roads and by all means of locomotion, flock in that direction… Some small bells on a chain tinkle; we see here and there a cart decorated with palms. However, the festive atmosphere is discreet; the general manner is grave, the order perfect … Towards ten o’clock, the sky is covered completely and a heavy rain begins to fall. The downpour, whipped by a bitter wind, beating against the face, inundates the gravel roads, and pierces to the bone those who did not take the precaution of carrying an umbrella or some other means of protection from the bad weather. But no one becomes impatient nor gives up following the road…
How many were assembled at the Cova da Iria?
The maximum estimate was from Dr. Almeida Garrett, and was proposed some months after the event. It estimates the spectators at more than one hundred thousand. In “O Seculo” of October 15, Avelino de Almeida wrote: The crowd, by the unprejudiced calculations of cultivated persons very new to mystical influences, was estimated at thirty or forty thousand people. In his article of October 29, he corrected his first estimate: On October 13, according to the calculations established by people free from every prejudice, some fifty thousand people were gathered on the moor of Fatima. A neutral newspaper, the “Primeiro de Janeiro”, also estimated the crowd at fifty thousand individuals. We can therefore say, with a quasi-certainty, that this figure is a minimum; that is why the majority of historians propose as probable the presence of a crowd of seventy thousand witnesses.
In comparing the numerous accounts of witnesses, we can distinguish the diverse aspects and the result of the astounding phenomena established by all. For each one of them, it would be possible to line up some ten pages of witnesses which would constitute in themselves an impressive book.
Here is the first marvelous fact described by Dr. Almeida Garrett: It must have been 1:30 p.m. when there arose at the exact spot where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then a third time…
The Sudden Stoppage of the Rain
Whereas the low and heavy sky had a very dark color, laden with moisture, released an abundant and long lasting rain, during the time of the apparition, the rain stopped totally. Abruptly the sky cleared: The sun triumphantly pierced the thick bed of clouds hiding it until then, and shone intensely. (Dr. Almeida Garrett).
This abrupt change of weather took all the eyewitnesses by surprise: It was a day of heavy and continuous rain. But a few minutes before the miracle, it stopped raining. (Alfredo da Silva Santos)
The Vision of the Sun Without Burning the Retina
Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet … turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations focused, and look at the sun on the other side … I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gazes, and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight … It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled, nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes, or damaging the retina. (Dr. Almeida Garrett).
And then we witnessed a unique spectacle, the reporter of “O Seculo” remarked in similar vein, an incredible spectacle, unbelievable if you did not witness it. From above the road … We see the immense crowd turn towards the sun, which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It looked like a plate of dull silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. One might say that an eclipse had occurred. (Article of October 15, 1917) The people could look at the sun as we look at the moon. (Maria do Carmo)
Suddenly, the heavenly body began to tremble, to shake with abrupt movements, and finally to turn on itself at a dizzying speed while throwing out rays of light, all colors of the rainbow: The sun turned like a fire wheel, taking on all the colors of the rainbow. (Maria do Carmo) It appeared like a globe of snow turning on itself. (Father Lourenço) The pearl-like disc had a giddy motion. This was not the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance. It turned on itself with impetuous speed. (Dr. Almeida Garrett) At a certain moment, the sun stopped and then began again to dance, to spin; it stopped again, and began again to dance. (Ti Marto) It is indeed therefore a triple “dance of the sun” which thousands of witnesses affirm, having contemplated it for several minutes.
The sun took on all the colors of the rainbow. Everything assumed those same colors: our faces, our clothes, the earth itself. (Maria do Carmo) A light, whose colors changed from one moment to the next, was reflected on the people and on things, notes Dr. Pereira Gens.
We suddenly heard a clamor, relates Almeida Garrett, like a cry of anguish of that entire crowd. The sun, in fact, keeping its rapid movement of rotation, seemed to free itself from the firmament and blood-red, to plunge towards the earth, threatening to crush us with its fiery mass. Those were some terrifying seconds. I saw the sun turn and it seemed to descend. It was like a bicycle wheel. (John Carreira) The sun began to dance and, at a certain moment, it appeared to detach itself from the firmament and to rush forward on us, like a fire wheel. (Alfredo da Silva Santos) I saw it perfectly descending as if it came to crash on the earth. It seemed to detach itself from the sky and rush toward us. It maintained itself at a short distance above our heads; but that sort of attack was of very short duration … It seemed very near the people and it continued to turn in the opposite direction. (Maria do Carmo) From those thousands of mouths, relates the engineer Mario Godinho, I heard shouts of joy and love to the Most Holy Virgin. And then I believed. I had the certainty of not having been the victim of a suggestion. I had seen the sun as I would never see it again.
Everyone Had Dry Clothes
A last astonishing fact: all those people, who were for the most part soaked to the bone, verified with joy and amazement that they were dry. The fact is attested to in the canonical process.
The Vision of the Solar Prodigy at a Distance
A marvelous thing, the phenomenon could be admired from beyond Fatima. And even, some perfectly credible witnesses, who were very far away from the Cova da Iria, related having seen the unprecedented spectacle of the dance of the sun, exactly like the thousands of pilgrims gathered around the holm-oak.
In the small village of Alburitel, situated eighteen or nineteen kilometers from Fatima, the whole town was able to enjoy the vision of the solar prodigy. The testimony frequently quoted is that of Father Inacio Lourenço, because it is the most detailed. But what he relates having seen, all the good villagers, questioned by the investigators, confirmed seeing it in exactly the same way.
In October, I will perform a miracle, Our Lady had sovereignty declared on July 13. And on October 13, it was at Her efficacious gesture that the marvelous “dance of the sun” began: Then, opening Her hands, She made them reflect on the sun, and as She rose, the reflection of Her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.
Thus, the magnificent miracle, it is She Who promised it, Who announced it three months in advance, and at Her gesture the miracle was fulfilled. That is the reply of the Queen of Heaven to the instant supplication of Her shepherd: I would like to ask You to tell us Who You are, and to perform a miracle so that all may believe that You are appearing to us. A response surpassing all expectations and one of such magnitude, of such splendor, that no one would dare to dream it possible.
The witnesses of the event were indeed innumerable, their testimonies agree and we are flooded with the documents they have left us.
In the first place, the numerous accounts conveyed appeared at once in the Portuguese press. It is noteworthy that the first to provide testimony were the anticlerical reporters. The three articles of Avelino de Almeida, the one of October 13, immediately before the event, the other of October 15, edited at Vila Nova de Ourem on the evening of the 13th, and a third article of October 29, merit a special mention. In spite of the jeering tone and Voltarian irony which inspire in part the first article, in spite of the expected anticlerical tones which still appear in the article of the 15th. These texts from a reporter of talent, one who besides, is honest and conscientious, are historical documents of prime importance. But he was not the only one to relate the facts, for other reporters were present at the Cova da Iria.
Next there were the official investigations. In November, 1917, at the request of Bishop de Lima Vidal, who was then directing the diocese of Lisbon, the Parish Priest of Fatima led his investigation and questioned several witnesses of the parish. Unfortunately, he transcribed only… four depositions!
The investigations of the historians fortunately compensated for those negligences of the official investigators. Since Father Formigao, who obtained from Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett, professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, a very thorough account, the most scientific report in our possession, all the top historians went to question the witnesses. Father da Fonseca, in order to verify the points disputed by Father Dhanis; Father De Marchi, Canon Barthas, Father Dias Coelho and Father Richard.
In 1977, to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the last apparition, it was still possible to assemble in Fatima more than thirty persons who had been present at the solar prodigy and who could reveal their memories.
Thanks to those numerous testimonies, it is possible to reconstruct a precise running commentary, allowing us to relive, hour by hour and minute by minute, this decisive day, assuredly one of the most important in the history of the world.
More Original Fatima Photographs: