Book Review

Taylor R Marshall
Crisis Publications
An imprint of Sophia Institute Press
Manchester, New Hampshire
Pub. 31 May 2019

Dr Taylor Marshall’s book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from within aims to uncover the forces within the Catholic Church seeking its destruction. The destruction aimed for, though, is not obliteration. The Catholic Church is far too important as a moral and political power to obliterate. The destruction is in the form of a fundamental or ontological change, the change from one substance to its opposite, the change from the Church of Jesus Christ to the church of Lucifer, the Angel of Light and the Prince of Darkness. It is crucial to understand that the forces of Lucifer are people and ideas. Some agents are conscious and purposeful in their subversion. Others, naive or self-deceived or easily led, drive those ideas. If I were to name the outstanding feature of Dr Marshall’s book, I would say it’s the revelation of those people of influence, many of good will, who unwittingly or blindly clear the way for those intent on destroying the Church as it is and ever has been.

Many Catholics concerned about the sad state of the Church think the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) is responsible. A group of dissenters, those seeking radical change in the Church, hijacked the Council and manipulated its outcome, they say. Dr Marshall disagrees. Vatican II was a major phase in the program of subversion, but he takes us back to 1859, a hundred years before Vatican II. In that year, a masonic plan to change the Church from within was unmasked. Attacking the Church from the outside had proven fruitless. ‘The plot,’ writes Dr Marshall, ‘was detailed in a secret document acquired from the highest [masonic] lodge in Italy, the Alta Vendita of the Carbonari.’ He quotes:

The Pope, whoever he may be, will never come to the secret societies. It is for the secret societies to come first to the Church, with the aim of winning them both. The work which we have undertaken is not the work of a day, nor of a month, nor of a year. It may last many years, a century perhaps, but in our ranks the soldier dies, and the fight continues.
— Freemasonic Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita.[i]

Freemasonry may have originated in the Middle Ages in the fraternities of stonemasons, but by 1859 the underlining philosophy echoed the rationalist and materialist philosophies of major enlightenment philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and David Hume, and the political philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau with their abstract state of nature basis. The key principle of Freemasonry (and the Enlightenment) is that reason is the highest tribunal in human deliberation.  Whatever does not pass that tribunal is to be discarded. The first to go was authority based on religion and custom. Religion was a matter for personal discernment and political authority arose from the deliberations of radically free and equal individuals. The liberty, equality and fraternity of Freemasonry were very different from the liberty, equality and fraternity derived from the Christian Scriptures.  Freemasonry’s task was to infiltrate the Church and switch that crucial understanding in those destined for high positions in the Church.

While Popes Gregory XVI and Pius IX warned the faithful about the deceptive influence of masonic ideas of freedom and equality, a new malignancy arose to lay siege to the Church, a malignancy not unlike the materialist thinking undergirding Freemasonry. The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848, the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Marx took the dialectic of the idealist philosophy of Georg Hegel and turned it into a materialist dialectic. The materialist dialectic was about class struggle, an oppressed class struggling against the oppressor class. Marx claimed that successive class struggles would inevitably lead to a utopian condition where freedom and equality and material welfare would prevail. The Church, forming a superstructure of moral and political beliefs, was an ally of the capitalist oppressor class and a major obstacle on the road to this utopian condition. Pope Leo XIII produced a series of powerful social encyclicals against masonic freedom and Marxist socialism. Those malignant ideas, however, began to have traction among the clergy.

Dr Marshall commends Leo XIII’s successor Pope Pius X for not only maintaining an unyielding stance against socialism and freemasonry but of taking the fight up to those succumbing to one or other concoction of ideas inimical to the Catholic faith. He approvingly speaks of Pius X’s ‘first Urbi et Orbi papal blessing facing into the interior of Saint Peter’s, with his back to the secularized city of Rome.’[ii] Pius X offered more than symbolic action. In September 1907, Dr Marshall writes, Pius X produced ‘his anti-Modernist encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis, in which he described Modernism as the “synthesis of all heresies.”’ But Pius X’s ‘adamantine resolve against the heresy of Modernism’[iii] was not to last. Slackening and compromise with the enemy would weaken the Church resistance.

Against a scenario of creeping intellectual malignancy, Dr Marshall brings in the backdrop of two Church-approved Marian apparitions. He spends some time discussing the significance of the La Salette and Fatima apparitions which one may think weakens his case. Though the Church has approved some Marian apparitions, Catholics are not obliged to accept them, quite apart from the enemies of the Church ridiculing them. The content of the La Salette and Fatima apparitions, however, is striking. The Virgin Mary gives essentially the same message. If the people do not improve their sinful ways, social chaos and the accompanying misery will follow.

In La Salette apparitions (1846), the Virgin Mary warns that ‘the priests, by their wicked lives, by their irreverence and their impiety in the celebration of the holy mysteries, by their love of money, their love of honors and pleasures, the priests have become cesspools of impurity.’ Their sinfulness is crying out for ‘vengeance’.[iv] In the Fatima apparitions (1917), the warning is that ‘if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI [1939] … Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer: … certain nations will be annihilated.’[v] One may be scornful of apparitions, but one cannot ignore the accuracy of the descriptions and prophecies.

The papacies of Benedict XVII (1914-1922) and Pius XI (1922-1939) followed. Both popes were good men and orthodox, but Dr Marshall shows how their slackening of Pius X’s hardline on modernist heresy did little good. The Second World War began in September 1939 and Stalin’s genocidal regime in communist Russia was untouchable. Former communist Bella Dodd testified (1953) that ‘in the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within, and that right now they are in the highest places in the Church.’[vi] She claimed four had reached the position of cardinal.

On the death of Pius XI, Eugenio Pacelli was elected Pope. He took the name Pius XII in honour of his predecessor. Cardinal Pacelli had an outstanding career as Vatican diplomat. I was a child in the 1950s and remember Pius XII being spoken of as a ‘living saint’. On the Pope’s death in 1958, my father openly feared for another war without the saintly Pius XII at the Church’s helm. He was right to be fearful about conflict, but not about visible military conflict. I found Dr Marshall’s discussion of the period of Pius XII’s papacy to the death of Pope Paul VI, covering the Second Vatican Council, the most enlightening – and astounding – of his book, changing my perception of a period I remember well.

Pope Pius XII was ‘known as the pope of Fatima and the pope of World War II.’ He saw the ills of the world with its wars and sinfulness in the context of the Virgin’s Mary warnings at Fatima. His leadership during the war was brave and decisive. He preached the warnings of Fatima. But the second half of his papacy when he fell ill did not reflect the brilliancy of the first half. Unaccountably, he surrounded himself with three ‘Crypto-Modernists’: Father Annibale Bugnini, the Jesuit Augustin Bea, and Giovanni Battista Montini who worked in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State (1922-54) and was consecrated Archbishop of Milan in 1954. In 1948, Pius XII appointed Bugnini to the Commission for Liturgical Reform. Bugnini, later revealed as a Freemason, would be responsible for the Novus Ordo Missae of 1969-1970. Pius took the ecumenist Augustin Bea on as his confessor replacing the Thomist Guérard des Lauriers. He appointed Montini as his interior Vatican City affairs secretary, leaving him to run the Holy See and the papacy from 1955 until his death in 1958.

These three Crypto-Modernists,’ writes Dr Marshall, ‘used the final three years of the pontificate to hatch their plot for a new style of pope, a new council, and new liturgy.’[vii] He compares the suffocating influence of the Crypto-Modernist trio on Pius XII with ‘the evil influence of Gríma Wormtongue and Saruman’ on Theoden, King of Rohan in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings– a vivid comparison.

I leave aside the election of Cardinal Roncalli as Pope John XXIII and the opening of Second Vatican Council. I want to focus on Giovanni Battista Montini who would be elected Pope Paul VI and preside over the second, third and fourth sessions of the Council. I also leave aside the major contentions about the Council and the role of periti or expert advisors to the bishops some of whom were out-and-out heretics.

Philosopher Jacques Maritain whom Dr Marshall calls a ‘pseudo-Thomist’ was a friend and mentor of Montini before and after Montini became Pope. Maritain’s moral and political theory exercised a great influence on Montini. However, it’s not the strength or weakness of Maritain’s ‘Thomistic’ Integral Humanism on which I want to focus. A friend of Maritain was the Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky whom Maritain absurdly called a ‘practical Thomist’.  Such was Maritain’s regard for Alinsky that he organized a meeting with Cardinal Montini. Let me quote from Dr Marshall’s book:

Before the first meeting between Alinksy and Montini in 1958, Maritain wrote to Alinsky assuring him of Montini’s enthusiasm: ‘the new cardinal [Montini] was reading Saul’s books and would contact him soon’… We know that at least three personal meetings occurred between the two, because Alinksy says so in a letter to Maritain dated 20 June 1958: ‘I had three wonderful meetings with Montini and I am sure that you have heard from him since.’ We don’t know what was discussed at these meetings, but the admiration between the two men was mutual. That same year, after the death of Pius XII, Alinsky wrote to a friend as follows: ‘No, I don’t know who the next Pope will be, but if it’s to be Montini, the drinks will be on me for years to come.’ In other words, the author of the Rules for Radicals could think of no better ‘radical’ pope than Montini.[viii]

I could not believe what I was reading when I came to this chapter of Dr Marshall’s book. Alinsky crowned his career as a community organizer with his book Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals (1971). It was a compilation of the rules he abstracted from his long experience of organizing groups and communities. It was truly, as Dr Marshall puts it, an ‘infiltration manifesto’ detailing the ways of infiltrating and manipulating communities. The orientation of his rules was unambiguous in one of three acknowledgments.

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.

In addition to Lucifer, Alinsky admired Machiavelli and Lenin and was a dedicated student of both. ‘The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power,’ he wrote. ‘Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.’ Alinsky divided the world into the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’, a parallel with the Marxist class division into the capitalist oppressor and the oppressed worker. The ways of taking the power away from the Haves were unrestricted as long as they were effective but could be reduced to deceit and manipulation. Alinsky taught that it was fruitless to seek confrontation with no hope of winning. Hide you goals and work within the oppressor system, he urged on the one hand, and work to raise resentment among the groups of Have-Nots, on the other.

Maritain, writes Dr Marshall, ‘praised Rules for Radicals as, “A great book, admirably free, absolutely fearless, radically revolutionary.”’[ix] You have to wonder whether Maritain was out of his head. Did he not know who Lucifer was? Had Montini no inkling of who and what he had three conversations with? It’s staggering. Here was a devotee of Lucifer strolling into the Vatican, sponsored by an eminent Catholic philosopher and mentor to the future pope, to have a cozy chat with that future Pope. No wonder Alinsky laughingly committed himself to buying celebratory drinks ‘for years to come’.

‘Montini had a dark side, as demonstrated by his friendship with Saul Alinsky,’ writes Dr Marshall. But I wonder. Despite the best efforts of the Vatican II infiltrators among the periti, Paul VI closed the Council with the unequivocal stipulation that the Council had been pastoral, not dogmatic. I am inclined to think blindness and naivety laying him vulnerable to manipulating infiltrators were behind his actions.

I have followed a thread to halfway through Dr Marshall’s book – leaving out a lot of accompanying detail, of course. Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, and St Pius X were unflinching in confronting the deadly threat to the Church from Freemasonry and Marxism. After the passing of Pius X, a slackening and an inclination to compromise set in. It did not work. That’s the lesson.

Dr Marshall continues to stitch together examples of the same sort of slackening in the second half of his book to conjure a frightening picture of a Church in captivity.  In the chapters on the ‘Sankt Gallen Mafia’, and the elections of Benedict XVI and Frances, one is left with the feeling the Freemasons might at last have their pope in Pope Francis.

Dr Marshall ends his book with strategies to deal with the present crisis and ‘spiritual weapons against Demonic enemies’.  This is a stunning work. Read it.

[i] Infiltration, p. 9.

[ii] Ibid., p. 44.

[iii] Ibid., p. 46.

[iv] Ibid., p. 23.

[v] Ibid., p. 63.

[vi] Ibid., p. 87.

[vii] Ibid., p. 108.

[viii] Ibid., p. 110.

[ix] Ibid., p. 108.