Friday, June 21, 2019

A Chapter-by-Chapter Refutation of Dr. Taylor Marshall's Book, Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within: Part Three

III.    Chapter 2.  The Carbonari Quick-step. 

“The spell lies in two words,” replied Wamba — “‘Pax vobiscum’ will answer all queries. If you go or come, eat or drink, bless or ban, Pax vobiscum carries you through it all. It is as useful to a friar as a broomstick to a witch, or a wand to a conjurer. Speak it but thus, in a deep grave tone, — Pax vobiscum! — it is irresistible — Watch and ward, knight and squire, foot and horse, it acts as a charm upon them all. I think, if they bring me out to be hanged to-morrow, as is much to be doubted they may, I will try its weight upon the finisher of the sentence.”

            From Chapter 26 of Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.

Recently, people have been talking about Dr. Taylor Marshall’s Book, Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press 2019).  After reading some favorable reviews of the book as well as some unfavorable critiques of the book, particularly those by my friend, David Armstrong, I bought the book (Kindle edition) for myself.  Upon reading the book, I decided that my first real apologetics endeavor since my heart attacks and open-heart surgery in 2016 would be a defense of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and her popes from the salacious conspiracy claims of Dr. Marshall. 

In the two posts that follow, we will examine the second chapter in Dr. Marshall’s book entitled, “Alta Vendita: Satan’s Revolution in Tiara and Cope.”   In this post, we examine how he invokes “The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita” like Wamba the Fool advised his master, Cedric the Saxon, to say Pax vobiscum to mislead his captors.  

Dr. Marshall starts out the second chapter of his book with a quote from a document he calls the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita:

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.

Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within.  Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition, Location 171..

In this manner, Dr. Marshall introduces us to the document that forms the cornerstone of his conspiracy claim that Freemasonry and its ideology have infiltrated the Vatican.  Dr. Marshall informs us that the quote originates in a book by Jacques Crétineau-Joly, a 19th-century French writer and journalist, entitled, L’Église romaine en face de la Révolution.  He then begins his discussion of this purported Masonic master plan to destroy the Church. 

Having actually tried conspiracy cases in my legal career, I grew concerned over the paucity of evidence how the Carbonari or Freemasons actually implemented the Permanent Instruction against the Church.  The argument seemed rather disconnected.  The evidence referenced seemed cherry-picked.  He did not seem to examine the evidence in the historical context from which they were created.  I located M. Crétineau-Joly’s book and read it for myself.  The first volume may be found here and the second volume, which is relevant to our discussion, may be found here.  I also reviewed portions of Msgr. George F. Dillon’s book, The War of Antichrist with the Church and Christian Civilization: Lectures. (Dublin: M.H. Gill, 1885) which Dr. Marshall mentions, which may be found here.  I also learned of a third book by Msgr. Herni Delassus entitled Le Problème de L'heure Présente. Antagonisme de Deux Civilisations. [Studies Reprinted from the "Semaine Religieuse de Cambrai." 1904], found here that also references the Permanent Instruction.  Like Msgr. Dillon’s book, Msgr. Delassus details the evils of Freemasonry and its attack on the Church.  Pope St. Pius X himself encouraged Msgr. Delassus to write it. 

Dr. Marshall writes:  Jacques Crétineau-Joly had a fiery faith and entered the seminary only to discern that he did not have a vocation to the priesthood. He had been a philosophy professor and attempted poetry but found his talent in research and writing.

Me: Dr. Marshall does not provide the source for this information.  Similar information can be found in the Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia here. 

Dr. Marshall writes:  In 1846, Crétineau-Joly published an exhaustive six-volume history of the Jesuits titled The Religious, Political, and Literary History of the Society of Jesus (Histoire religieuse, politique et littéraire de la Compagnie de Jésus).

Me:     Dr. Marshall fails to mention that Pope Gregory XVI read this book and was so impressed 
with it that he granted M. Crétineau-Joly access to the Vatican’s secret archives so he could write a
book on the secret societies plaguing Europe and the Church called  L’Histoire des Sociétés secrète. 
M. Crétineau-Joly was also given access to records of the Austrian government to help him write the 
book.  After Pope Gregory XVI died, M. Crétineau-Joly decided to rework the book into L’Église 
romaine en face de la Révolution. [1]       

Dr. Marshall writes: In 1859, with approval and encouragement from Pope Pius IX, he published his most important book The Roman Church in the Face of Revolution (L’Église romaine en face de la Révolution).  [2]

Me:     In the Apostolic blessing that Pope Bl. Pius IX gave to M. Crétineau-Joly on February
25, 1861 references that in 1859, Pope Bl. Pius IX granted Crétineau-Joly renewed use of the documents he acquired during Pope Gregory XVI’s pontificate so he could write the book.
Dr. Marshall writes:  The Roman Church in the Face of Revolution was an explosive work that claimed that anti-Catholic secret societies would no longer attack the Church from without but would infiltrate her from within.

Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition. Location 180.

Me:      Contrary to what Dr. Marshall claims, the book was not “an explosive work”
whatsoever nor was it about how the Church would infiltrate her from within.  It was a reworking of a book that he had previously written while Gregory XVI was pope.  Anyone reading it would find that the book is a history of how the Church prevailed over the forces of Revolution.   The book shows how the Church stood in front of the notion of Revolution from the French Revolution to the European Revolution of 1848 and triumphed. 

It is true that the book shows how secret societies attempted to spread the doctrine of Voltaic and Rousseau that emphasized the overthrow of the monarchies of Europe and to rid the world of the Christian ideal through the rest of Europe. The Permanent Instruction is not mentioned whatsoever in the first volume of the book and was given scant attention in the second.  When the Permanent Instruction was referenced, it was merely one of many documents that he used to provide context and build a narrative around to describe the historical events he provides the reader.  While the Alta Vendita plays a significant part in the book, the Permanent Instruction does not. 

To illustrate the purpose of the book, here is what M. Crètineau-Joly says on pg. 528:

Cette victoire de l'Église romaine, à laquelle nous as sistons, n'est pas sans doute plus définitive qu'aucune de celles qui la précédèrent.  Après l'empereur Constantin vint Arius; après le Concile de Trente et la victoire de la vraie réforme sur le libre examen et sur Luther, le Jansénisme et les sophistes du dix-huitième siècle, nourris sant la Révolution au biberon d'une sauvage incrédulité.

                        Le germe d'une nouvelle guerre existe peut-être déjà; mais ce germe encore
inconnu ne sert qu'à confirmer l'éclatant succès dont nous sommes les témoins. 

My rusty non-literal English translation:

The victory of the Roman Catholic Church, to which we have set out, is probably not more definitive than any of those that preceded it.  After Emperor Constantine came Arius; after the Council of Trent and the victory of the true reformation over private judgment [literally~free examination in French] and on Luther, Jansenism and the sophists of the eighteenth century, all feeding the Revolution with the bottle of a savage disbelief.

The seed of a new war may already exists; but this as yet unknown germ only serves to confirm the dazzling success of which we are witnesses

The book concludes on pg. 531 with:

C'est ainsi qu'en révélant cette omnipotente énergie, cachée sous une apparente faiblesse , Dieu explique, par un seul triomphe, les déroutes de la Révolution et la vic toire de l'Église.

My rusty English translation:

Thus by revealing this omnipotent energy, hidden under apparent weakness, God explains, by a single triumph, the routing of the Revolution and the victory of the Church.

At this point, I will not be so uncharitable as to suggest that Dr. Marshall intended to mislead or deceive his reader, but it is certain that he did not read M. Crètineau-Joly’s book before citing it in his book.  I urge him to do so now.  Having said that, I will merely correct his factual errors in his second chapter about the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita and leave the theological issues for the next post..

Dr. Marshall writes:  The plot was detailed in a secret document acquired from the highest lodge in Italy, the Alta Vendita of the Carbonari.

Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition. Location 180.

Me:     The document to which he refers is certainly real.  The Carbonari were certainly real.
The Alta Vendita was certainly real.  However, I argue that the Alta Vendita was not the highest lodge of the Carbonari in Italy.  

Before I offer my argument on this point, I will acknowledge that Msgr. Dillon on page 64 of The War of Antichrist with the Church and Christian Civilization: Lectures does state that the Alta Vendita was the highest lodge of the Carbonari in Italy.  However, the Permanent Instruction itself notes that the Alta Vendita controlled all of the secret societies, not just the Carbonari.  Second, both M. Crétineau-Joly and Msgr. Delassus indicate that the Alta Vendita was a separate organization from the Carbonari.  In fact, according to Delassus on p. 191 of his book, the Alta Vendita was the successor of the Illuminati which in turn was succeeded by another organization that continued its activities when the Alta Vendita disbanded in 1848.    

Here is what M. Cretinéau-Joly states on page 117 of his book:

La Vente suprême, qui se sert du Carbonarisme et de la Franc-Maçonnerie sans en relever, reste un secret même pour les autres sociétés occultes.

My translation:

The highest shop (Alta Vendita) which makes use of Carbonarisme and Freemasonty without identifying with them remains a secret even from the other secret Sociétés.

Msgr. Delassus writes in his book at p 184:

 La Haute-Vente fut dans le Carbonarisme même une société plus secrète encore, recevant des instructions plus mystérieuses et plus précises pour diriger les efforts et du Carbonarisme et de la Maçonnerie et les faire converger vers le but que nous venons de marquer.

My translation:

In Carbonarisme, the Alta Vendita was an even more secret society receiving more mysterious and precise instructions to direct the Carbonari and the Freemasons and coordinates their efforts towards the goal upon which we have remarked. 
It must be kept in mind that there numerous secret societies operating in Europe after the French Revolution.  The French Revolution created a  movement to overthrow all of the monarchies of Europe, to create nation-states, and to cause the downfall of the Church.  Secret societies of all sorts across the political spectrum, from merely advocating justice for the poor and downtrodden to socialist and radical anarchists, sprung up to foment the Revolution.  R. John Rath, the famous historian wrote in his paper entitled, "The Carbonari: Their Origins, Initiation Rites, and Aims." The American Historical Review 69, no. 2 (1964):

It must not be forgotten that the Carbonari were only one of numerous sects that honeycombed the Apennine Peninsula: Reformed European Patriots, Decisi, Republican Brother Protectors, Society of the Black Pin, Calderari, Sanfedisti, Concistoriali, Federati, Guelphs, and Adelfi, to name but a few. In northern Italy some of these groups, especially the Guelphs, the Federati, and the Adelfi, were much more of a menace to Habsburg interests than the Carbonari. Over and above these conspiratorial groups stood the Perfect Sublime Masters, which were organized by the intriguer, Filippo Michele Buonarroti, whom Elizabeth Eisenstein has referred to as "the first professional revolutionist," for the express purpose of becoming a superior directing society to control all the secret sects, not only in Italy but in all Europe, and use them to establish a democratic republic and to realize the principles of Rousseau's Social Contract and perhaps those of the Babeuf conspiracy. (Footnotes deleted).

The Alta Vendita is the superior directing organization to which Prof. Rate refers..

Dr. Marshall writes:   The Italian Carbonari, or “charcoal makers,” were a secret society
aligned with secret societies in France, Spain, Portugal, and Russia. These Free masonic lodges shared common goals, such as a hatred for Catholicism and monarchy. The Italian Carbonari held a unique posture of hatred because, for them, the chief Italian monarch also happened to be the Catholic pope.

Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition. Location 180.

Me:     There is little doubt that the Carbonari had some sort of affiliation with Freemasonry,
although real scholars disagree on what those affiliations were.  The eminent Church historian Owen Chadwick describes the Carbonari in his book, The Popes and European Revolution  (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2011) on pages 557-564.  He argues that the Carbonari used Masonic rituals in the rites, but adopted a Jacobean world view.  Unlike the Freemasonry, the Carbonari did not believe in indifferentism-they clearly had a Christian outlook-but wanted all priests and clergy to be elected by their congregations and to be married.  If the Carbonari succeeded in establishing the Ausonian Republic in Italy, they proposed that the current pope at the time remain in office so long as the bishops the people elected would select a new patriarch from their ranks.  Ibid. at 564.  In other words, the Carbonari wanted a Church that mimicked that of the Orthodox Churches.  Chadwick also notes that there were a number of Catholic priests and even a bishop who openly professed to be Carbonari.  Ibid. at 561-2. 

R. John Rath further debunks the notion that the Carbonari completely hated Catholicism At p. 364, he writes:

The initial initiation ritual and catechism for the second grade were replete with such terms as the Holy Trinity, the Holy Gospel, the Holy Virgin, Heaven, the Garden of Olives, the Crucifixion and suffering of Christ, the Twelve Apostles, the original sin, and the capital sins. It should be noted, however, that Christ was always alluded to, not in Christian terms, but in the Masonic language of "Grand Master of the Universe."

Dr. Marshall is also mistaken that the Pope was the chief Italian monarch during 19th century.  Italy at that time was divided up into about 8 separate states, including some which were controlled by Austria and by France.  The Pope was merely the head of state of the Papal States in central Italy.  .

In sum, the Carbonari and the Freemasons did share many of the same goals but did not share the same ideology.  They did not agree on their religious beliefs.  There is no doubt that the Carbonari were opposed to the Papacy, but they were not opposed to the idea of Christianity. 

So what can we say about the Alta Vendita? 

M. Crétineau-Joly asserts that the Alta Vendita was composed of only forty members, their identities hidden, in the correspondences they exchanged between them, under pseudonyms. "Out of respect for high standards," remarks Crétineau-Joly, "we do not want to violate these pseudonyms, which today are protected by repentance or the grave. History may one day be less forgiving than the Church.”

Delassus relates that the head of the Alta Vendita called himself Nubius, a man of darkness and mystery. He apparently was an aristocrat and held a high position in the Roman government as a diplomat, which gave him access to the Cardinals, the Roman aristocracy, and the courts of Europe.  Piccolo-Tigre, a Jewish banker; Caetano, an intimate of Prince Metternich’s secretary in the Austrian court; Volpe; Beppo; and Vendix were all men mentioned as members of the forty in the correspondence that Crétineau-Joly obtained from the Vatican archives and Austrian authorities that he places in his book. 

Both authors state that the Alta Vendita was created specifically to advance the cause of Revolution and to destroy the Church and the Christian ideal by attacking its pope.  To accomplish these goals, the Alta Vendita, worked to direct and coordinate the efforts of the other secret societies, especially the Carbonari.  These men pledged themselves to the others under the penalty of death to conceal their activities, assume roles in the secret societies (which might be why Dr. Marshall thinks that the Alta Vendita was the highest hop of the Carbonari) and in the world at large, and operate completely in secret.

Reviewing the Permanent instruction, anyone who gives the document at fair reading would see that it was more akin to a mission statement as opposed to an actual plan of attack.  The goals outlined in the document called for the annihilation of the Christian idea and it outlined the means to do it- the destruction of the temporal power of the Popes and the corruption of the Christian people, their mores, and ideals.  There are many generalities, very few specifics.  I urge the reader to read the Permanent Instruction itself either in the Appendix of Dr, Marshall’s book or here so the reader can see that after stripping out the precatory language, the obiter dicta, and the hyperbolic rhetoric how sparse the Instruction really is.

Here is the sum and substance of the Permanent Instruction as I see it:

After setting out its goals, the author of the document first encourages the development on one’s good reputation:

Now then, in order to secure to us a Pope according to our own heart, it is necessary to fashion for that Pope a generation worthy of the kingdom of which we dream. Leave on one side old age and middle life, go to the youth, and, if possible, even to children. Never speak in their presence a word of impiety or impurity.


In order to reap profit at the home of each family, in order to give yourself the right of asylum at the domestic hearth, you ought to present yourself with all the appearance of a man grave and moral.

Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within.  Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition. Location 3459-66

Second, the member is to get personable with his targets and get them to talk about topics that stir patriotic feelings:

Once your reputation is established in the colleges, in the gymnasiums, in the universities, and in the seminaries — once you shall have captivated the confidence of professors and students, so act that those who are principally engaged in the ecclesiastical state should love to seek your conversation. Nourish their souls with the splendors of ancient Papal Rome. There is always at the bottom of the Italian heart a regret for Republican Rome. Excite, enkindle those natures so full of warmth and of patriotic fire. Offer them at first, but always in secret, inoffensive books, poetry resplendent with national emphasis; then little by little you will bring your disciples to the degree of cooking desired. When upon all the points of the ecclesiastical state at once, this daily work shall have spread our ideas as the light, then you will be able to appreciate the wisdom of the counsel in which we take the initiative.

Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition.  Location 3456-73.

Third, get the target to hate others and to create divisions:

[Create] hatred of the stranger. Cause the German to become ridiculous and odious even before his foreseen entry. With the idea of the Pontifical supremacy, mix always the old memories of the wars of the priesthood and the Empire. Awaken the shouldering passions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, and thus you will obtain for yourselves the reputation of good Catholics and pure patriots.

Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition. Location 3480.      

Fourth, sit back and see the result:

The reputation of a good Catholic and good patriot will open the way for our doctrines to pass into the hearts of the young clergy and go even to the depths of convents. In a few years the young clergy will have, by the force of events, invaded all offices. They will govern, administer, and judge. They will form the Council of the Sovereign. They will be called upon to choose the Pontiff who will reign; and that Pontiff, like the greater part of his contemporaries, will be necessarily imbued with the Italian and humanitarian principles which we are about to put in circulation.
Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition. Location 3480.
Like all good conspiracy theorists, Dr. Marshall got sold on the marketing rather than focussing on the product.

A couple more points.  The Permanent Instruction was not composed by Piccolo-Tigre as represented Dr. Marshal.  M. Crétineau-Joly does not state that Piccolo-Tigre is the author of ‘l’instruction permanente.  In fact, no author is stated in the history. [4]  Piccolo-Tigre is mentioned as the author of a letter dated January 23, 1822 that appears on pp. 119-122 reporting to his superiors in Piedmont on the progress of the implementation of the plan.  If Dr. Marshall has ad fontes evidence to contradict me. Let him put it forward. 

Second, l’instruction permanente was not written sometime in 1831-1846 as suggested by Dr. Marshall.  M. Crétineau-Joly specifically states that the document was written in 1819 in a footnote found on p. 88 of his book: “Cet écrit est daté de l'année 1819 [English: This writing is dated in the year 1819]".

Here is how Cretineau-Joly introduces us to the actual text of the document

A peine la concentration des Sociétés secrètes eut-elle permis à leurs chefs d'organiser le travail souterrain, qu'une pensée démoralisatrice s'offre tout naturellement à leur esprit. Ces Moïses de ténèbres, en échappant tou jours à l'œil ou à la main des gouvernements, evvrewl sans cesse l'art de compromettre des séides de bas étage, comme pour entretenir le feu sacré. Us régnent dans l'ombre; par des serments qui attestent et portent Ja mort, ils se sont assurés d'avance que leurs ordres seront exécutés dans le mystère.
Mais à cette œuvre de dissolution partielle, ébauchée tantôt sur un point, tantôt sur un autre, un grand appui était nécessaire. Pour développer et mûrir des projets antimonarchiques, il fallait s'étayer sur une base anti chrétienne. Cette idée fondamentale une fois adoptée, il ne restait plus qu'à la mettre en œuvre.
                        La régénération de l'Italie et du monde entier ne pou vait être conquise que
par des moyens extraordinaires. Vivifier et propager l'idée démocratique était le rêve de tous les cerveaux malades, dans la Franc-Maçonnerie comme dans l'Illuminisme. Les Rois n'avaient ni assez d'énergie pour l'accepter, ni assez de force pour la com battre. Ils passaient sans laisser de trace. L'Église seule restait debout au milieu des ruines; seule eJJe survivait aux révolutions et aux cataclysmes; ce fut donc à l'Église romaine qu'une phalange de volontaires se proposa d'a dresser tous les coups. L'Église ne pouvait jamais pactiser avec eux; ils s'en constituèrent les plus irréconciliables ennemis. Mais leur hostilité ne s'évapora ni en turbu lences impies ni en provocations insensées; ils eurent le calme du sauvage et l'impassibilité du diplomate anglais.

Quand leurs batteries furent dressées et qu'ils se virent prendre pied dans toutes les principales cités où s'élabo rait le complot antichrétien, ils rédigèrent une instruction permanente, code et guide des initiés les plus avancés. Cette instruction, la voici traduite de l'italien dans son effrayante crudité :

            My rusty non literal translation into English:

Hardly had the assmeblage of the secret societies allowed their chiefs to organize their undercover work, a demoralizing thought naturally arose in their minds. These Moses of darkness, always escaping the eye or hand of governments, had always had resort to their art of seducing low-class minions, so as to maintain the sacred fire. They reign from the shadows; by use of solemn oaths made under the pain of death, they have ensured in advance that their orders will be mysteriously executed.

But it was necessary to provide support to unify the sketched-out points here-and-there of the work of partial dissolution. To develop and mature their anti-monarchical projects, one had to do so on an anti-Christian basis. Once this fundamental idea was adopted, it only remained to implement it. The unification/regeneration of Italy and the conquering of the whole world could only be done through extraordinary means. To vivify and propagate the democratic idea was the dream of all the sick brains in Freemasonry as in Illuminism. The monarchies did not have enough power to endure it nor enough strength to fight it and they passed away without a trace. The Church alone remained in the midst of the ruins standing against them; the only one which survived revolutions and cataclysms; it was therefore against the Roman Church that they proposed to direct a phalanx of volunteers to attack.  The Church could never make a pact with them; they were the most irreconcilable of enemies. But their hostility did not dissipate either in unholy turbulence or in senseless provocation; they exercised the calm of the savage and the impassibility of the English diplomatist.

When their batteries were erected and they found a foothold in all the principal cities where the anti-Christian conspiracy was to take place, they drew up a permanent instruction, a code and a guide for their most advanced initiates. Here is this instruction, translated from the Italian in all of its frightening crudity:
Then on pp. 82-90, he sets out the guide which he calls “une instruction permanente” which Dr. Marshall sets out in the appendix of his own book. 

Now it should be noted that this document is the second of approximately 15 or so documents of the Alta Vendita introduced by M. Crétineau-Joly in his book, L’Histoire des Sociétés secrète. [5]  He introduces a number of correspondences, including some that were actually written by Piccolo-Tigre to show the progress of the implementation of the Permanent Instruction by the Alta Vendita.  These documents are listed seriatim in Msgr. Delassus’ book starting at p 569.  I will not bore the reader any more than necessary by listing them all.

I will try to summarize what Crétineau-Joly relates in his book and from the correspondence he builds his story around for the reader. I apologize in advance for not providing detailed translations of the text.  It would take too much time and I do not believe it would be edifying for the reader.  If anyone thinks I am stating something inaccurate, please feel free to read the books found at the links above. 

I would note that if there is such a thing as the fabric of history, Crétineau-Joly is a master weaver.  He seamlessly offers a detailed account of the history of the French Revolution from its origins through the elevation of Pope Pius IX.  He relates the role of the Freemasonry and that of the secret societies in spreading the ideals of Voltaire and Rousseau, He specifically tells the story of the Alta Vendita and its role in the history of Revolution.  At first, the projects of the Alta Vendita progressed.  However, in 1835, Giuseppe Mazzini, a Carbonari leader, and the founder of the Young Italy movement which openly agitated for the unification of Italy, and of which Garibaldi was a member,  somehow learned of the Alta Vendita’s existence and sought admittance to the ranks of its members.  His request was rejected because the Alta Vendita felt he was too bourgeois, too melodramatic, and too much of a ruffian,  and they felt he would reveal their secret purpose.  The fact that he solicited membership in an organization that supposedly did not exist did not bode well for him or for them.  From this point, the Alta Vendita has competition for the control of the secret societies and the direction that they were to take.

In 1844, Nubius was poisoned with Aqua Tofana and in 1848 he died on the Isle of Malta.  Because the organization was so secretive, many of its own members did not know of this disaster.  However, the Alta Vendita felt that because of certain events that were occurring, they believed that things had advanced far enough to unify Italy and because of the anti-papal antipathy stirred up among the people, it was time for an open revolution to occur  It was now or never.

Contrary to the notion that Dr. Marshall attempts to put into the reader’s mind, the Alta Vendita at this time did not think it had a hundred years to accomplish its goal.  During this time M. Crétineau-Joly relates a whirling series of events leading up to the European Revolution that broke out in 1848 overthrowing the last remnants of monarchical Europe.  Assassinations, uprisings, arrests, diplomatic efforts all deterred prospects of their plan succeeding.  They wanted to win through the spread of ideas, not with gunpowder.  However, now it appeared that the Alta Vendita had lost control of the secret societies and its hope to gain power waned.

Here is a letter from one of the conspirators found on pp. 378-382 of :L’Église romain  From a miscreant named Volpe to Nubius dated January 23, 1844:

Avant de répondre à vos deux dernières lettres, mon Nubius, je dois vous faire part de quelques observations don’t je voudrais bien vous faire profiter. Dans l'espace de quelques années nous avons considérablement avancé les choses. La désorganisation sociale règne partout; elle  est au nord comme au midi, dans le cœur des gentils hommes comme dans l'âme des prêtres. Tout a subi le niveau sous lequel nous voulions abaisser l'espèce hu maine. Nous aspirions à corrompre pour arriver à gou verner, et je ne sais si, comme moi, vous vous effrayez de notre œuvre. Je crains d'être allé trop loin; nous au rons trop corrompu; et, en étudiant à fond le personnel de nos agents en Europe , je commence à croire que nous n'encaisserons pas à volonté le torrent que nous aurons fait déborder. Il y a des passions insatiables que je ne devinais pas, des appétits inconnus, des haines sauvages qui fermentent autour et au-dessous de nous. Passions, appétits et haines, tout cela peut nous dévorer un beau jour, et s'il était temps de porter remède à cette gangrène morale, ce serait pour nous un véritable bienfait.  Il a été très-facile de pervertir, sera-t-il aussi aisé de toujours museler les pervertis? Là pour moi est la question grave. J'ai souvent cherché à la traiter avec vous, vous avez évité l'explication. Aujourd'hui il n'est plus possible de la reculer, car le temps presse, et en Suisse comme, en Autriche, en Prusse comme en Italie, nos séides, qui se ront demain nos maîtres et quels maîtres, ô Nubius!), n'attendent qu'un signal pour briser le vieux moule. La Suisse se propose de donner ce signal; mais ces radicaux helvétiques, embâtés de leur Mazzini, de leurs Commu nistes, de leur Alliance des Saints et du Prolétariat-voleur, ne sont pas de taille à conduire les Sociétés secrètes à l'as saut de l'Europe.  Il faut que la France imprime son ca chet à cette universelle orgie; soyez bien convaincu que Paris ne manquera pas à sa mission. L'élan donné et reçu, où ira cette pauvre Europe ? Je m'en inquiète, Car je me fais vieux, j'ai perdu mes illusions, et je ne voudrais pas, pauvre et donué de tout, assister comme un figurant de théâtre au triomphe d'un principe que j'aurais couvé et qui me répudierait, en confisquant ma fortune ou en pre nant ma tête.

Nous avons trop poussé à l'extrême en beaucoup de choses. Nous avons enlevé au peuple tous les dieux du ciel et de la terre qui avaient son hommage. Nous lui avons arraché sa foi religieuse, sa foi monarchique, sa probité, ses vertus de famille, et maintenant que nous entendons dans le lointain ses sourds rugissements, nous tremblons, car le monstre peut nous dévorer. Nous l'a vons petit à petit dépouillé de tout sentiment honnête : il sera sans pitié. Plus j'y pense, plus je reste convaincu qu'il faudrait chercher des atermoiements. Or, que faites- vous à cette minute peut-être décisive? Vous n'êtes que sur un point; de ce point vous rayonnez, et j'apprends avec douleur que tous vos vœux tendent à un embrase ment général. N'y aurait-il pas un moyen de reculer, de retarder, d'ajourner ce moment? Croyez-vous vos me sures assez bien prises pour dominer le mouvement que nous avons imprimé? A Vienne, quand le tocsin révolu tionnaire sonnera, nous serons engloutis par la tourbe , et le chef précaire qui en sortira est peut-être aujourd'hui au bagne ou en quelque mauvais lieu. Dans notre Italie, où se joue une double partie , vous devez être travaillé des mêmes craintes. N'avons-nous pas remué la même fange? Cette boue monte à la surface, et j'ai peur de mourir étouffé par elle.

Quel que soit l'avenir réservé aux idées que les Sociétés secrètes propagèrent , nous serons vaincus et nous trouverons des maîtres. Ce n'était pas là notre rêve de 1825 ni nos espérances de 1831 ! Notre force n'est plus qu'éphémère , elle passe à d'autres. Dieu sait où s'arrêtera ce progrès vers l'abrutissement. Je ne reculerais point devant mes œuvres, si nous pouvions toujours les diriger, les expliquer, ou les appliquer. Mais la crainte que j'é prouve à Vienne, ne la ressentez-vous pas vous-même? Ne vous avouez-vous pas comme moi qu'il faut, s'il en - est temps encore, faire halte dans le temple avant de la faire sur des ruines? Cette halte est encore possible, et vous seul , ô Nubius, pouvez la décider. Est-ce qu'en s'y prenant avec adresse on ne pourrait pas jouer le rôle de Pénélope et rompre pendant le jour la trame qu'on aurait préparée durant la nuit?

Le monde est lancé sur la pente de la Démocratie', et, depuis quelque temps, pour moi, démocratie veut toujours dire démagogie. Nos vingt années de complots courent le risque de s'effacer devant quelques bavards qui viendront flatter le peuple et tirer aux jambes de la noblesse après avoir mitraillé le Clergé. Je suis gentilhomme, et je con fesse très-sincèrement qu'il m'en coûterait de frayer avec la plèbe et d'attendre de son bon plaisir mon pain quoti dien et le jour qui brille. Avec une révolution telle que celle qui s'apprête, nous pouvons tout -perdre, et je tiens à conserver. Vous devez en être là, vous aussi, cher ami, car vous possédez et vous n'aimeriez pas plus que moi à entendre résonner à vos oreilles la parole de confiscation et de proscription des Églogues, le fatal cri du spoliateur

                        Hœc mea sunt, veteres, migrate, coloni.

Je tiens, je veux tenir, et la Révolution peut tout nous enlever fraternellement. D'autres idées me préoccu pent encore, et je suis certain qu'elles préoccupent à la même heure plusieurs de nos amis. Je n'ai pas encore de remords ; mais je suis agité de craintes , et à votre place , dans la situation où j'aperçois les esprits en Europe, je ne voudrais pas assumer sur ma tête une responsabilité qui peut conduire Joseph Mazzini au Capitole. Mazzini au Ca- pitole ! Nubius à la Roche ïarpéienne ou dans l'oubli ! Voilà le rêve qui me poursuit, si le hasard remplissait vos vœux. Ce rêve vous sourit-il, ô Nubius?

My loose English translation (with the help of a translator and a French-English

 Before I answer your last two letters, my Nubius, I must share with you some observations for your benefit. In the space of a few years we have made considerable progress. Social unrest reigns everywhere; it is in the north as well as in the south, in the hearts of good men as in the souls of priests. Everything has suffered beneath the level below which we wanted to lower the human species. We aspired to corrupt in order to govern, and I don't know if, like me, you are afraid of our work. I fear that I have gone too far; we will be too corrupt; and,by thoroughly studying the makeup of our agents in Europe, I am beginning to believe that we will not be able to withstand the torrent that we have caused to flow at will. There are insatiable passions that I did not guess, unknown appetites, wild hatreds that close around and below us. Passions, appetites and hatreds, all these can devour us one day, and if it were time to remedy this moral gangrene, it would be a true blessing.  It has been very easy to pervert, will it be so easy to always muzzle the perverted? That for me is the serious question. I've often sought to deal with you, you've avoided explanation. Today it is no longer possible to reverse it, because time is running out, and in Switzerland like in Austria, Prussia and Italy, our minions, who will tomorrow be our masters (and what masters, O Nubius!), are only waiting for a signal to break the old mold.  Switzerland intends to give this signal; but these Swiss radicals, embittered by their Mazzini, their Communists, their Alliance of Saints and the lumpenproletariat (underclass), are not of such a size as to lead the Secret Societies to Europe's leap forward.  France must give its stamp to this universal orgy; be convinced that Paris will not fail in its mission: the impetus given and received, where will this poor Europe go? I worry about it, because I am getting old, I have lost my illusions, and I would not want, to be poor and unneeded, to witness like a theatre extra the triumph of a principle that I have brooded and that would repudiate me by confiscating my fortune or by taking my head. 

We pushed too far in many things. We took away from men all the gods of heaven and earth who had their homage. We have taken away their  religious faith, their monarchical faith, their probity, their family virtues, and now that we hear in the distance his deaf roars, we tremble, for the monster can devour us. We have seen him gradually stripped of any honest feeling: he will be ruthless. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that we should be looking for delays. But what do you do at this perhaps decisive minute?We have gone too far in many things. We have taken from the people all the gods of heaven and earth who had his homage. We have torn away his religious faith, his monarchical faith, his probity, his family virtues, and now that we hear his deaf roars in the distance, we tremble, because the monster can devour us. We have gradually stripped him of all honest feelings: he will be merciless. The more I think about it, the more I remain convinced that we should seek delays. But what are you doing at this perhaps decisive moment?  You have only one object; from this point you radiate, and I learn with sorrow that all your wishes tend to set everything ablaze. Is there not a way to back off, to delay, to postpone this moment? Do you think your measures are good enough to dominate the movement that bears ours imprint?  In Vienna, when the revolutionary tocsin (a kind of bell) rings, we will be swallowed up by the peat and the precarious leader who will emerge from it may be in prison today or in some other bad place. In our Italy, where a double game is played, you must be working from the same fears. Have we not stirred up the same filth? This mud is rising to the surface, and I'm afraid of suffocating in it.

Whatever the future holds for the ideas that the secret societies propagated, we will be defeated and we will find masters. This was not our dream of 1825 or our hopes of 1831! Our strength is now only ephemeral, it passes to others. God knows where this progression towards stupidity will stop. I would not back down from my works if we could always direct, explain, or apply them. But don't you feel the fear I have in Vienna yourself? Don't you admit, as I do, that it is necessary, if there is still time, to stopover in the temple before going  on into the ruins? This stopover is still possible, and only you, O Nubius, can decide it. Couldn't we play the role of Penelope and break during the day the plot we had prepared during the night?

The world is going down the slope of Democracy, and, for some time,  democracy now always is the same as demagogy. Our twenty years of conspiracies run the risk of fading in front of some chatterboxes who will come to flatter the people and to shoot at the legs of the nobility having gunned down the Clergy. I am gentleman, and I know very sincerely that it would cost me to spawn with the plebs and to wait on his good pleasure for my bread and for day to shine. With a revolution such as the one that is about to happen, we can lose everything and I want to keep what is mine. You must be there, too, dear friend, because of what you have and you would not any more than me to hear the word of confiscation and of the proscription of the Écologues the fatal shouting of the despoiler:

                        Hœc mea sunt, veteres, migrate, coloni.

            I hold, I want to hold, and the Revolution can take everything away from us fraternally. Other ideas still concern me, and I am sure they concern many of our friends at the same time. I have no remorse yet; but I am agitated with fears, and in your place, in the situation where I see the spirits in Europe, I would not want to assume on my head a responsibility that can lead Joseph Mazzini to the Capitol. Mazzini at the Capitol!  Nubius to the iapean rock or in oblivion! This is the dream that follows me if chance fulfilled your wishes. Does this dream smile at you, O Nubius?
Later that year, Beppo writes to Nubius on the progress to recruit clergy to their side

Nous marchons à grandes guides, écrit-il de Livourne le 2 novembre 1844, et chaque jour nous incorporons de nouveaux , de fervents néophytes dans le complot. Fer- vet opus; mais le plus difficile reste encore non-seule ment à faire, mais même à ébaucher. Nous avons acquis, et sans de trop grandes peines, des moines de tous les ordres, des prêtres d'à peu près toutes les conditions, et certains monsignori intrigants ou ambitieux. Ce n'est peut-être pas ce qu'il y a de meilleur ou de plus présen table; mais n'importe. Pour le but cherché, un Frate, aux yeux du peuple, est toujours un religieux; un prélat sera toujours un prélat. Nous avons complétement échoué sur les Jésuites. Depuis que nous conspirons, il a été impos sible de mettre la main sur un ignacien , et il faudrait savoir pourquoi cette obstination si unanime. Je ne crois pas à la sincérité de leur foi et de leur dévouement à l'Église; pourquoi n'avons-nous donc jamais, près d'un seul, pu saisir le défaut de la cuirasse? Nous n'avons pas de Jésuites avec nous; mais nous pouvons toujours dire et faire dire qu'il y en a, et cela reviendrait absolument au même. Il n'en sera pas ainsi pour les Cardinaux; ils ont tous échappé à nos filets. Les flatteries les mieux com binées n'ont servi à rien , de telle sorte qu'à l'heure pré sente nous nous trouvons aussi peu avancés qu'à la pre mière: Pas un membre du Sacré Collége n'a donné dans le piége. Ceux qu'on a sondés, auscultés, ont tous, au premier mot sur les Sociétés secrètes et sur leur puis sance , fait des signes d'exorcisme comme si le diable al lait les emporter sur la montagne; et, Grégoire XVI mou rant (ce qui va arriver prochainement), nous nous trou vons, comme en 1 823 , à la mort de Pie VII.
Que faire dans cette occurrence ? Renoncer à notre projet n'est plus possible , sous peine d'un ridicule inef façable. Attendre un quine à la loterie, sans avoir pris de numéros, me paraîtrait trop merveilleux; continuer l'application du système , sans pouvoir espérer une chance même incertaine , me produit l'effet de jouer à l'impossible. Nous voici qui touchons au terme de nos efforts. La Révolution s'avance au galop, portant en croupe des émeutes sans fin, des ambitieux sans talent et des bouleversements sans valeur; et nous qui avions pré paré toutes ces choses , nous qui avions cherché à donner à cette révolution un suprême dérivatif, nous nous sen tons frappés d'impuissance au moment d'agir souverai nement. Tout nous échappe, la corruption seule nous reste pour être exploitée par d'autres. Le Pape futur , quel qu'il soit , ne viendra jamais à nous ; pourrons-nous aller à lui ? ne sera-t-il pas comme ses prédécesseurs et ses successeurs, et ne fera-t-il pas comme eux? Dans ce cas-là, demeurerons-nous sur la brèche et attendrons- nous un miracle ? le temps en est passé , et nous n'avons plus d'espoir que dans l'impossible. Grégoire mort, nous nous verrons ajournés indéfiniment. La Révolution, don’t l'heure approche un peu partout , donnera peut-être un nouveau cours aux idées. Elle changera, elle modifiera; mais, à vrai dire, ce ne sera pas nous qu'elle élèvera. Nous nous sommes trop renfermés dans le demi-jour et dans l'ombre; n'ayant pas réussi, nous nous sentirons effacés et oubliés par ceux qui mettront à profit nos tra vaux et leurs résultats. Nous n'aboutissons pas, nous ne pouvons pas aboutir ; il faut donc succomber et se rési gner au plus cruel des spectacles, à celui de voir le triomphe du mal que l'on a fait , et de ne pas partager ce triomphe.

            My VERY rusty non-literal English translation        .

We proceed with great strides (he writes to Livourno, Tuscany on November 2nd, 1844), and every day we recruit fervent neophytes into our  conspiracy. Devoted work, but the most difficult tasks remains not only to be done, but to even be designed. We have acquired, without too great pains, monks of all orders, priests of almost all condition, and some intriguing or ambitious monsignors. It may not be the best or the best at the table; it doesn’t matter.  For our purpose, a brother, in the eyes of the people, is always a monk; a prelate will always be a prelate. We have completely failed on the Jesuits. Since we began to conspire, it has been impossible to lay our hands on an Ignatian, and we should know why this obstinacy is so unanimous.  I can not believe in the sincerity of their faith and their devotion to the Church; why have we never,gotten near a single one, or find the chink in their breastplate?  We do not have any Jesuits with us; but we can always say and get others to say that we do, and it would be absolutely the same as we started our conspiracy,  This will not be so for the Cardinals; they have all escaped our nets. The best matched flattery has been of no use, so that at this time we are as little advanced as at the first: Not a member of the Sacred College have fallen into the trap. Those we have sounded out and studied, We do not have Jesuits with us; but we can always say and say that there is, and it would be absolutely the same. It will not be so for the Cardinals; they all escaped our nets. The best matched flattery has proven useless, so that at the present time we find ourselves as little advanced as in the first: Not a member of the Sacred College has given in the trap. Those who have been sounded out and questioned have all, at the first word about the secret societies and their power, make signs of exorcism, as if the devil were to carry them to the mountain; and, with Gregory XVI dying (which will happen soon), we find ourselves in the same place we were as in 1823, at the death of Pius VII.

What to do in this case?  Giving up our project is no longer possible, other wise it will be an indelible humiliation. To wait for a quine (getting all five numbers) at the lottery, without playing any numbers, would seem too miraculous to me; to continue with the systematic plan, without being able to hope for even an uncertain chance, produces the effect of playing to the impossible. We are now coming to the end of our efforts. The Revolution is advancing at a galloping pace, carrying in riots without end, ambitious men without talent and worthless upheavals; and we who had prepared all these things, who had sought to give this revolution a supreme diversion, feel powerless when it comes to using kingly power. Everything escapes us, only corruption remains to be exploited by others. The future Pope, whoever he may be, will never come to us; will we not be able to go to him? Will he not be like his predecessors and successors, and will he not do like them? In that case, will we remain on the breach and wait for a miracle?  Time has passed, and we have no hope except in the impossible. With Gregory dying, our cause will be postponed indefinitely. The Revolution, whose time is approaching wherever, will lead to a new course to ideas. She (the Revolution) will change, she will modify; but, to tell the truth, she will not raise us to power. We have closed ourselves too much into the twilight and into the shadows; having failed, we will feel erased and forgotten by those who will take advantage of our work and its results. We do not succeed, we cannot succeed; we must therefore succumb and resign ourselves to the most cruel of spectacles, to see the triumph of evil that we have done, and not to share in this triumph.

The Alta Vendita attempted to affect the outcome of the conclave to elect the Pope after Gregory XVI died.  Unfortunately for it, all of its attempts to turn the people against the Church and the Papacy, to influence cardinals and bishops, to corrupt the clergy with notions of liberalism, came to naught with Pope Pius IX to the papal throne.  Revolution erupts in 1848 and most of the monarchies crumble.  The Church did not.  Only the Church remained in front of the Revolution.  The secret designs of the Alta Vendita succeeded in one respect-the overthrow of monarchies-but failed in the other-the overthrow of the Pope. 

Further, the efforts of the Alta Vendita and the Secret Societies to corrupt the Christian ideal failed, at least as far as M. Crérineau-Joly was concerned.  He writes of the Pope exercising the power to spur devotion by declaring the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  He talks about the religious orders re-establishing themselves after being dissolved and new orders came into being.  Lay Catholic charitable organizations like the Vincentians and Catholic hospitals opened everywhere.  Catholic missionaries spread the Gospel in the Americas, Asia, and Africa.  New Catholic schools and universities opened all over the world.  Lay apostolates, sodalities and Marian devotion sprung up like a field of flowers.

Now I do not discount the evils of notions of Freemasonry nor do I ignore the heresies of liberalism, modernism, indifferentism or socialism but all of those ideologies existed in nascent form before the Alta Vendita ever put its Instruction into writing.  Nor do I doubt that someone else came in to take up the projects of the Alta Vendita.  Msgr. Dillon writes that Lord Palmerson picks up the pieces and takes over the Alta Vendita to continue to spread the poison of Freemasonry.  Msgr. Delassus writes in the typical French phlegmatic style at pp 236-237 of his book:

                                    La Haute-Vente est dissoute depuis 1848, mais son esprit demeure. La fin pour laquelle elle avait été créée est toujours voulue; et sans doute qu'un autre organisme, qui aura mieux su maintenir autour de lui les ténèbres qui le protègent et favorisent ses sinistres complots, aura été substitué à la HauteVente pour prendre la suite de ses affaires au point où elle les a laissées

My translation:

The Alta Vendita has been dissolved since 1848, but its spirit remains. The end for which it was created is always desired; and no doubt that another organization better able to maintain around it the darkness that protects it and favors its sinister plots, has been substituted for the Alta Vendita to take over its business at the point where it has left off.

The purpose of the paper was straightforward.  Like Chapter 1 of Dr. Marshall’s book, Chapter 2 is replete with factual errors.  The Permanent Instruction is not some sort of Satanic blueprint for taking over the Papacy.  Instead, the author of that document mistakenly believed that if people were inculcated with the fervor of the Revolutionary spirit and ideals, that men would abandon the Church and their faith.  The author was wrong as M. Crétineau-Joly relates in his book.  It is a historical document that belongs on the ash heap of history.  Focussing on that document distracts from the real evils that are the heresies of liberalism, modernism and Indifferentism. 

In fact, if I were a conspiracy theorist, I would wonder if Dr. Marshall is secretly a member of the Alta Vendita and is putting the Permanent Instruction into effect.  He presents a good reputation, gets people discussing what he perceives to be the ideals of the traditional Roman Catholic Church, is getting people to hate the post-Vatican II Church and those who disagree with them.  Now he just needs to sit back and see if the Revolution he seeks to cause within the Church happens.  Fortunately, I am not a conspiracy theorist ... .      

In my next post, I will examine the actual heresies Dr. Marshall touches upon in Chapter 2 of his book and explain why they are heresies in the eyes of the Church.  Until then, God bless!


[1].  Delassus, Le Problème,  p. 569.

[2].    Dr. Marshall translates the work as The Roman Church in the Face of Revolution.  Based on what I read in the book, I would translate the title as The Roman Church in Front of the Revolution.   The Roman Church in the Face of Revolution would be L’Église romaine facé a la Révolution in French.

[3].  Delassus, Le Problème, p. 611.

[4].  Crétineau-Joly,  L’Église romaine, p. 82-90.

[5].  I have not been able to locate this book yet.  The documents that relate to Le Haute-Vente that are found in it were re-produced in their entirety in Delassus’ book pp.569-611.

Shout out!

In regards to my last post on pope ST. Paul VI's homily about the Smoke of Satan, a friend, Roscoe Coltrane, told me that there was a book by Timothy Wallace about it entitled The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God by Timothy Wallace/  I bought the book for my Kindle and thoroughlt enjoyed it.  

I recommend it for my readers!

Sunday, June 09, 2019

A Chapter-by-Chapter Refutation of Dr. Taylor Marshall’s Book, Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. Part Two

II.                  Chapter 1: The Smoke of Satan or A Whiff of Bushwa.
This post is the second in a series of articles I hope to present as a refutation of the conspiracy claims of Dr. Taylor Marshall which he advances in his book, Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press 2019), in which he contends that in accordance with a plot hatched in the 19th century Satan has replaced the popes of the Catholic Church with one of his own.  This reviews Chapter 1 of the book, “The Smoke of God and the Smoke of Satan.”

The first piece of evidence we will consider is the central fact around which Chapter 1 is written.  Dr. Marshall offers the reader a quote from Pope St. Paul VI’s  1 homily given during a Mass said on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul and in commemoration of the ninth anniversary of being crowned as Bishop of Rome.  Paul VI is supposed to have said:

“We would say that, through some mysterious crack — no, it’s not mysterious; through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God. There is doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest, dissatisfaction, confrontation.” 

Dr. Marshall goes on:

This testimony of Paul VI acknowledged not merely that the Catholic Church had experienced secularization but that the smoke of Satan himself had entered the Church through a crack. 

Marshall goes on to ask, :”What is this satanic smoke?” 2  After asking the rhetorical question, he journeys through the Scriptures to prove that the smoke of Satan that Pope St. Paul VI is the same smoke referenced in Revelation:

I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key of the shaft of the bottomless pit; he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. (Rev. 9:1–3)

The power that Marshall says that passage refers to is a satanic pope set upon the throne of St. Peter in the place of Christ’s vicar.
We know what Dr. Marshall wants us to believe is the “smoke of Satan”, but is it the same thing that Pope St. Paul VI meant by the phrase?  As we shall see, they are not.

As noted previously, Marshall does not provide the source of his Pauline quote. Apparently, he does not wish his readers to read the quote in context for themselves.  I would suggest at this juncture, if he had, Marshall’s readers would soon see that Pope St. Paul VI’s “smoke of Satan” is something far different than what Dr. Marshall makes it out to be in his book.

Here is the link to the original text of the homily found on the Vatican website.  Here is the translation of the text provided to us on the website of Jimmy Akin.  The relevant sections are as follows:

Referring to the situation of the Church today, the Holy Father affirms that he has a sense that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”  There is doubt, incertitude, problematic, disquiet, dissatisfaction, confrontation.  There is no longer trust of the Church; they trust the first profane prophet who speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him and ask him if he has the formula of true life.  And we are not alert to the fact that we are already the owners and masters of the formula of true life.  Doubt has entered our consciences, and it entered by windows that should have been open to the light.  Science exists to give us truths that do not separate from God, but make us seek him all the more and celebrate him with greater intensity; instead, science gives us criticism and doubt.  Scientists are those who more thoughtfully and more painfully exert their minds.  But they end up teaching us:  “I don’t know, we don’t know, we cannot know.”  The school becomes the gymnasium of confusion and sometimes of absurd contradictions.  Progress is celebrated, only so that it can then be demolished with revolutions that are more radical and more strange, so as to negate everything that has been achieved, and to come away as primitives after having so exalted the advances of the modern world.

This state of uncertainty even holds sway in the Church.  There was the belief that after the Council there would be a day of sunshine for the history of the Church.  Instead, it is the arrival of a day of clouds, of tempest, of darkness, of research, of uncertainty.  We preach ecumenism but we constantly separate ourselves from others.  We seek to dig abysses instead of filling them in. 


How has this come about?  The Pope entrusts one of his thoughts to those who are present:  that there has been an intervention of an adverse power.  Its name is the devil, this mysterious being that the Letter of St. Peter also alludes to. So many times, furthermore, in the Gospel, on the lips of Christ himself, the mention of this enemy of men returns.  The Holy Father observes, “We believe in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness its awareness of itself.  Precisely for this reason, we should wish to be able, in this moment more than ever, to exercise the function God assigned to Peter, to strengthen the Faith of the brothers.  We should wish to communicate to you this charism of certitude that the Lord gives to him who represents him though unworthily on this earth.”  Faith gives us certitude, security, when it is based upon the Word of God accepted and consented to with our very own reason and with our very own human spirit.  Whoever believes with simplicity, with humility, sense that he is on the good road, that he has an interior testimony that strengthens him in the difficult conquest of the truth. 

The Pope concludes:  The Lord shows himself to be light and truth for him who accepts him in his Word, and his Word becomes no longer an obstacle to the truth and the path to well-being, but rather a stair-step upon which we can climb and truly be conquerors in the Lord who reveals himself through the path of faith— this faith that is the anticipation and guarantee of the definitive vision.

Note how much Dr. Marshall left out of his smoky analysis.  From the context of the homily, it is very clear that  Pope St. Paul VI’s “smoke of Satan” is not the plot to put a pope of Satan on the throne of St. Peter as suggested by Dr. Marshall.  Pope Sy. Paul VI is not referring to a plot of the Carbonari, the Freemasons, communists, Soviet spies, or anyone else infiltrating the Church to attack it from within.  He is not talking about anyone infiltrating anything anywhere.  No, the “smoke of Satan” refers to poisonous words of scientists, politicians, social engineers, and critics of the Church like Dr. Marshall himself, who seek to sow uncertainty, doubt, and confusion about the teachings of Vatican II.  The pope warns us about the cacophony of voices in the external world seeking to drown out or distract the faithful from the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.     

To emphasize what Pope St. Paul VI stated above:
"We believe in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness its awareness of itself.”
When one examines the quote in its context without Dr. Marshall’s faux commentary, it becomes obvious why he did not give proper attribution or provide context for the quote to be correctly understood.  Dr, Marshall could not let the facts get in the way of his narrative. Truth takes second place to world view.  That’s not apologetics, but polemics or even propaganda.  Contrarty to the spin that Dr Marshall gives Pope St. Paul VI's words, it is obvious from the text of the homily,that it is books like Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within that is "smoke of Satan" to which he was referring.  That book was written precisely to disturb and suffocate the fruits of Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.   

“Smoke of Satan” or a whiff of bushwa spread by Dr. Marshall?  You decide.  In any event, the first link in the pattern of facts upon which Dr. Marshall builds his conspiracy theory is shattered.

Next Chapter:  The Carbonari Quick-Step.


1.               Throughout his book, Dr. Marshall refuses to acknowledge that Paul VI is a canonized saint of the Church who was recognized as such on October 14, 2018.   

2.               Marshall, Taylor. Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within . Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition. Location 131-139.