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How the CIA’s Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church? August 14, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, different religion, episcopate, error, General Catholic, reading, secularism, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.

Commenter JL apprised me (well, all of us, but I noticed it first – heh) of a new book by David Wehmoff with the ponderous title: John Courtney Murray, Time/Life, and the American Proposition: How the CIA’s Doctrine Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church.

From the Amazon synopsis, the books aims at revealing the following:

In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous “Four Freedoms” speech. In that speech, FDR set forth a vision for the reengineering of societies around the globe. The means was psychological warfare, involving the manipulation of ideas, words and symbols to divide target societies and convince these societies of the ideology that formed America. The most important society America targeted was the Roman Catholic Church. Media mogul Henry R. Luce, founder and publisher of enormously influential magazines like Time and Life, used the CIA’s doctrinal warfare program to turn the Catholic Church into a promoter of American ideas. This struggle reached its culmination at the Second Vatican Council with the promulgation of the document Declaration on Religious Liberty. Catholic doctrine did not change, but, defeated at the Council, the Americanists used their media power to win the battle over who got to interpret the Council with disastrous consequences for both the Church and the world. 

I haven’t read the book.  It weighs in at essentially 1000 pages, which is a bit daunting even for a voracious reader like me.  Given that I read about a dozen books simultaneously, anywhere from 5-15 pages a day each, it would take me 2-3 months to finish that book.

Also, I think the writer has some association with E. Michael Jones.  I’ll admit I was not overly impressed by Jones’ biography of Cardinal Krol, it felt pretty dated when I read it almost 20 years after it was written.  I’ll admit to also having a problem with that sort of Neil Sheehan-esque biography.  But maybe this is totally different.

However this subject is right in my wheelhouse – how on earth did the Church, or at least the the vast preponderance of the leadership of the Church – come to embrace such novel views at Vatican II, even over the strenuous objections of a minority of bishops?  Assuming that Doctrine was not formally changed – thank God – even the broaching of these subjects as a matter of debate gave the enemies of the Church, and particularly the press, a PR bonanza in which they could, rightly or wrongly, present the Church as having turned some huge corner and basically repudiated much of her former character and belief!  The mere fact of even discussing potential changes to what had previously been settled matters of faith and morals was in and of itself a signal of a massive shift in the Church.  Anything that sheds light on how that happened is profoundly interesting to me.

Here is an interview with the author made when the book was still being written:

And another interview, I think this is more recent:

I only had time to listen to the beginning of the first interview. What I heard was cogent and well thought out if not particularly revelatory.  I think the “meat” is further on, but I simply haven’t the time right now to listen.

However, I thought I’d throw out a post to see if anyone has read the book, or knows more about it, and maybe provide some motivation for me to buy it.  Also, I thought some readers might be interested in acquiring a copy for themselves.




1. catholicguy - August 17, 2015

Thanks for posting this. Immediately interested. Awesome interviews.

2. John Laws (@jlaws) - August 18, 2015

This information prompts two thoughts:
1. The mid-20th century church didn’t succumb to the general decadence of the culture, but rather to psychological warfare techniques and infiltration by hostile intelligence agents. This makes the character of the struggle very different from the popular understanding of events. It also raises the question of how the church could have defended herself, not knowing how she had been assaulted by weaponized mass psychology.
2. St. Maximilian Kolbe’s militaristic language now seems less bloody-minded, and quite appropriate to the dire threats faced by the church in that era. Do we need to ditch the limp-wristed peace-talk and begin to frame the struggle in terms of military conflict?

Tantumblogo - August 19, 2015

I can’t answer the first, but I can the second: heck yes.

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