I am providing information to assist those in the SDA Church who are involved with perpetuating stories that fuel unhealthy thinking. I realize that those who believe in this type of conspiracy will not be swayed by my information. However; hopefully others on the fringe will be compelled by reason.
In the lore of conspiracism, few religious groups, with the exception of Jews, are more feared or thought to be more powerful than the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). As I write, it was only yesterday that the College of Cardinals elected the first Jesuit pontiff, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis), which makes you wonder: If they were so powerful, what took them so long to ascend to power?
So why are Jesuits so feared among conspiracy theorists? The reasons are many and complex. The Society of Jesus was founded in the mid-16th century, just before the Counterreformation. Their founder, Ignatius of Loyola, was a Basque soldier who had a religious conversion while convalescing from wounds received in battle. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises, a formal regimen of meditation on the life of Jesus, is a foundational document still used in the training of novitiates. Indeed, Ignatius’s Exercises were innovative theology for the time, and Ignatius is occasionally considered the first of the Spanish mystics, who derived knowledge of God not through the sanctioned external authorities of gospel, tradition, and Church fiat, but through revelations from internal meditation (a potentially dangerous and heretical position during the Counterreformation).
I suspect that the word “exercises” is a bit of a play on the Spanish word for army, or ejército, as the order has retained a hierarchical structure and members adhere to a vow of obedience, giving them a bit of military feel. Indeed, the head of the order is known as the Superior General, and the internal hierarchy gives missions to its members largely independent of the rest of the Catholic hierarchy—the Superior General is an appointment for life and he has full control over the order. (For this reason, he is often described by conspiracists as the “Black Pope.”) The vow of obedience became crucial in the development of the Jesuits’ reputation as missionaries, as members could be ordered to the far corners of the world to spread the gospel. And they were. The earliest Jesuits very quickly found themselves dispersed around the world, in India, China and Japan, as well as in the Americas. As part of their missionary charge, the Jesuits established schools around the world (indeed they had dozens of universities around the world by the time Ignatius died in 1556). As a result they are known as an especially erudite order (or to conspiracy theorists, “shrewd”), and they have had a long tradition of being especially friendly to the sciences.
While the educational aspect of Jesuit tradition is likely one source of the widespread suspicion of the Jesuits, as educational institutions nexuses of influence in conspiracy lore, the fact that Jesuits do not have a specific ecclesiastical garb is probably far more central to their perceived untrustworthiness. The Society’s founding documents detail that Jesuits’ clothing “should have three characteristics: first, it should be proper; second, conformed to the usage of the country of residence; and third, not contradictory to the poverty we profess.” Conspiracy theorists have taken this to mean that the Jesuits intend to “blend in” and pass unnoticed. This idea was transformed into a perceived political threat that the Jesuits were thought to pose, as exemplified in a note from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson in 1816:
I do not like the late resurrection of the Jesuits. [...] Shall we not have more of them here, in as many shapes and disguises as ever a king of the gypsies … assumed? In the shape of printers, editors, writers, schoolmasters, &c? … If ever any congregation of men could merit eternal perdition on earth and in hell, it is the Company of Loyola.
Furthermore, during the Counterreformation, the Jesuits could not avoid political entanglements and controversy in Europe, as they worked hard and largely succeeded in keeping Poland from becoming Protestant. Additionally, a handful of Jesuits were implicated in the Gunpowder Plot, lending credence to the notion that the Order was seeking to manipulate world events. Lastly, the Jesuits maintained a special and complicated relationship to the French crown; by the time of the Revolution, the King’s confessor was traditionally a Jesuit. The aristocracy viewed the Jesuits as suspicious because of their presumed influence over the monarchy and association with the Vatican; the general public, unable to criticize the king directly, turned criticism of the Jesuits became a sort of shorthand for criticism of the crown.
The Jesuits possess a number of features that one expects to see in a group of potential conspirators. They are a transnational entity, which to some puts their loyalties in question. Their profession of loyalty to the Pope raises further concerns—indeed a whole imaginary initiation rite has been attributed to the Jesuits, which reads in part:
I do further promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly and openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Masons, as I am directed to do, to extirpate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex nor condition, and that will hang, burn, waste, boil, flay, strangle, and bury alive these infamous heretics; rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women, and crush their infants' heads against the walls in order to annihilate their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly I will secretly use the poisonous cup, the strangulation cord, the steel of the poniard, or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honour, rank, dignity or authority of the persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agents of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Father of the Society of Jesus. In confirmation of which I hereby dedicate my life, soul, and all corporal powers, and with the dagger which I now receive I will subscribe my name written in my blood in testimony thereof; and should I prove false, or weaken in my determination, may my brethren and fellow soldiers of the militia of the Pope cut off my hands and feet and my throat from ear to ear, my belly be opened and sulphur burned therein with all the punishment that can be inflicted upon me on earth, and my soul shall be tortured by demons in eternal hell forever.
This was in fact a late seventeenth-century forgery on the scale of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was authored by Robert Ware and is a prime example of what Richard Hofstadter called anti-Catholic “pornography of the Puritan.”
In nineteenth-century America, the Jesuits were singled out as especially dangerous. In the 1830s, the same decade that saw the original publication of Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosures, the publication of Richard Baxter’s Jesuit Juggling. Forty Popish Frauds Detected and Disclosed. That same year, 1835, saw Samuel B. Morse’s (yes, that Samuel B. Morse) publication of Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States, which posited that Jesuits were being sent to this country by Austria (?!?) to foment revolt. One book, the 1851 publication The Female Jesuit, or, The Spy in the Family, was likely inspired by a line in the Robert Ware’s fabricated oath: “[...] I will place Catholic girls in Protestant families that a weekly report may be made of the inner movements of the heretics.”
By the end of the nineteenth century, fears of Jesuits (and Catholics in general) centered on the role of Catholic parochial education on the youth of the nation, with special attention to which Bible should be used in public schools, the “Romanish” or Protestant Bible. The growing influence of Catholicism in public life was indicative of the demographic shift that had started with the influx of poor Catholics in the early nineteenth century which eventually led to the political mainstreaming of the Catholicism in the twentieth (though conspiracist insinuations of Rome’s potential political influence on the White House dogged Kennedy during his election campaign).
The most visible modern incarnation of anti-Jesuit conspiracy theory seems to draw heavily on Christian fundamentalist fears of the end-times and David Icke–levels of paranoia. I am talking about Eric Jon Phelps, who runs the website Vatican Assassins. Until this week, the website looked like it had been abandoned, as the “News” section hadn’t been updated in almost 400 days, but the election of a Jesuit “White Pope” seems to have brought Phelps back to the website. According to the latest, surprisingly short post: “Vatican Assassins and Eric Jon Phelps will be making a groundbreaking announcement in the coming weeks.”
Phelps has woven a narrative of the type Michael Barkun terms a “superconspiracy,” which is characterized by vast, nested hierarchies of hidden influence. In the case of Vatican Assassins, the Jesuits are actively bringing about the end-times and are the powers behind...well, almost every atrocity, including the Holocaust. (The Southern Poverty Law Center has an excellent write-up of Vatican Assassins.) I interviewed Phelps a couple of years ago at an “alternative knowledge” convention in Atlanta a few years ago. As there were a large number of UFO conspiracy theorists in attendance, I asked him what he thought of aliens, and his answer confirmed to me that I had found my calling:
There are no such things as aliens. The ‘Grays’ are creations of the Jesuits in their deep underground military bases through their genetic experimentation. All the grays are hybrids. They cannot reproduce; they live short lives; they are lesser than what a man is—that’s one of the signs of a hybrid. What I maintain is that the Jesuits have perfected their antigravity craft, and god knows what other technology, and so what they did when they crashed at Roswell, they put those little creatures in there.
Because when you inadvertently reveal one secret technology, the really clever conspirator covers it up with…another secret project. Because nobody would expect that.
"The Jesuit: The Obscurantist without a Homeland." A Propaganda Pamphlet by Hubert Hermanns (1933)
The Nazis declared the Catholic order of the Jesuits "public vermin" [Volksschädlingen] – the same term it used to describe the Freemasons. Its members were persecuted, interned, and sometimes murdered. Conspiracy theories about the Jesuits had circulated since the seventeenth century, and the order had already been banned repeatedly. During the Nazi regime, these conspiracy theories were put in the service of the goal of reducing the influence of the Jesuits, who ran secondary schools and engaged in youth work. Entitled "The Jesuit: The Obscurantist without a Homeland," this propaganda pamphlet by Hubert Hermman warned against the Jesuits' "dark power" and "mysterious intentions."
This could be quite provocative... : )
Speculation is dangerous, more dangerous that the theories of conspiracy that are woven daily.
you are making a poor masquerade, do you think you can fool me like that. Please tell me what danger I have from you? Are you going to disembowel me? Everyone knows there is Jesuits leadership from top to bottom in the RRC. And we know why the Devil is getting ready for the final gambit. Conspiracy really.
This is plastered all over the internet
The following is the Jesuit Extreme Oath of Induction given to high ranking Jesuits only. This oath is taken from the book Subterranean Rome by Carlos Didier, translated from the French, and published in New York in 1843.
"When a Jesuit of the minor rank is to be elevated to command, he is conducted into the Chapel of the Convent of the Order, where there are only three others present, the principal or Superior standing in front of the altar. On either side stands a monk, one of whom holds a banner of yellow and white, which are the Papal colors, and the other a black banner with a dagger and red cross above a skull and crossbones, with the word INRI, and below them the wordsIUSTUM, NECAR, REGES, IMPIOUS. The meaning of which is: It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical Kings, Governments, or Rulers. Upon the floor is a red cross at which the postulant or candidate kneels. The Superior hands him a small black crucifix, which he takes in his left hand and presses to his heart, and the Superior at the same time presents to him a dagger, which he grasps by the blade and holds the point against his heart, the Superior still holding it by the hilt, and thus addresses the postulant:"
My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among other Protestants, generally to be a Protestant, and obtaining their confidence, to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and even to descend so low as to become a Jew among Jews, that you might be enabled to gather together all information for the benefit of your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope.
You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities, provinces, states that were at peace, and incite them to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other, and to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous, cultivating the arts and the sciences and enjoying the blessings of peace. To take sides with the combatants and to act secretly with your brother Jesuit, who might be engaged on the other side, but openly opposed to that with which you might be connected, only that the Church might be the gainer in the end, in the conditions fixed in the treaties for peace and that the end justifies the means.
You have been taught your duty as a spy, to gather all statistics, facts and information in your power from every source; to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family circle of Protestants and heretics of every class and character, as well as that of the merchant, the banker, the lawyer, among the schools and universities, in parliaments and legislatures, and the judiciaries and councils of state, and to be all things to all men, for the Pope's sake, whose servants we are unto death.
You have received all your instructions heretofore as a novice, a neophyte, and have served as co-adjurer, confessor and priest, but you have not yet been invested with all that is necessary to command in the Army of Loyola in the service of the Pope. You must serve the proper time as the instrument and executioner as directed by your superiors; for none can command here who has not consecrated his labors with the blood of the heretic; for "without the shedding of blood no man can be saved." Therefore, to fit yourself for your work and make your own salvation sure, you will, in addition to your former oath of obedience to your order and allegiance to the Pope, repeat after me---
The Extreme Oath of the Jesuits:
"1, _ now, in the presence of Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the blessed Michael the Archangel, the blessed St. John the Baptist, the holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and all the saints and sacred hosts of heaven, and to you, my ghostly father, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in the Pontificate of Paul the Third, and continued to the present, do by the womb of the virgin, the matrix of God, and the rod of Jesus Christ, declare and swear, that his holiness the Pope is Christ's Vice-regent and is the true and only head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth; and that by virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by my Savior, Jesus Christ, he hath power to depose heretical kings, princes, states, commonwealths and governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation and that they may safely be destroyed. Therefore, to the utmost of my power I shall and will defend this doctrine of his Holiness' right and custom against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority whatever, especially the Lutheran of Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the now pretended authority and churches of England and Scotland, and branches of the same now established in Ireland and on the Continent of America and elsewhere; and all adherents in regard that they be usurped and heretical, opposing the sacred Mother Church of Rome. I do now renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestants or Liberals, or obedience to any of the laws, magistrates or officers.
I do further declare that the doctrine of the churches of England and Scotland, of the Calvinists, Huguenots and others of the name Protestants or Liberals to be damnable and they themselves damned who will not forsake the same.
I do further declare, that I will help, assist, and advise all or any of his Holiness' agents in any place wherever I shall be, in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, Ireland or America, or in any other Kingdom or territory I shall come to, and do my uttermost to extirpate the heretical Protestants or Liberals' doctrines and to destroy all their pretended powers, regal or otherwise.
I do further promise and declare, that notwithstanding I am dispensed with, to assume my religion heretical, for the propaganda of the Mother Church's interest, to keep secret and private all her agents' counsels from time to time, as they may entrust me and not to divulge, directly or indirectly, by word, writing or circumstance whatever; but to execute all that shall be proposed, given in charge or discovered unto me, by you, my ghostly father, or any of this sacred covenant.
I do further promise and declare, that I will have no opinion or will of my own, or any mental reservation whatever, even as a corpse or cadaver (perinde ac cadaver), but will unhesitatingly obey each and every command that I may receive from my superiors in the Militia of the Pope and of Jesus Christ.
That I may go to any part of the world withersoever I may be sent, to the frozen regions of the North, the burning sands of the desert of Africa, or the jungles of India, to the centers of civilization of Europe, or to the wild haunts of the barbarous savages of America, without murmuring or repining, and will be submissive in all things whatsoever communicated to me.
I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity present, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants' heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poniard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus.
In confirmation of which, I hereby dedicate my life, my soul and all my corporal powers, and with this dagger which I now receive, I will subscribe my name written in my own blood, in testimony thereof; and should I prove false or weaken in my determination, may my brethren and fellow soldiers of the Militia of the Pope cut off my hands and my feet, and my throat from ear to ear, my belly opened and sulphur burned therein, with all the punishment that can be inflicted upon me on earth and my soul be tortured by demons in an eternal hell forever!
All of which, I, _, do swear by the Blessed Trinity and blessed Sacraments, which I am now to receive, to perform and on my part to keep inviolable; and do call all the heavenly and glorious host of heaven to witness the blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, and witness the same further with my name written and with the point of this dagger dipped in my own blood and sealed in the face of this holy covenant."
(He receives the wafer from the Superior and writes his name with the point of his dagger dipped in his own blood taken from over his heart.)
"You will now rise to your feet and I will instruct you in the Catechism necessary to make yourself known to any member of the Society of Jesus belonging to this rank.
In the first place, you, as a Brother Jesuit, will with another mutually make the ordinary sign of the cross as any ordinary Roman Catholic would; then one cross his wrists, the palms of his hands open, and the other in answer crosses his feet, one above the other; the first points with forefinger of the right hand to the center of the palm of the left, the other with the forefinger of the left hand points to the center of the palm of the right; the first then with his right hand makes a circle around his head, touching it; the other then with the forefinger of his left hand touches the left side of his body just below his heart; the first then with his right hand draws it across the throat of the other, and the latter then with a dagger down the stomach and abdomen of the first. The first then says Iustum; and the other answers Necar; the first Reges. The other answers Impious." (The meaning of which has already been explained.) "The first will then present a small piece of paper folded in a peculiar manner, four times, which the other will cut longitudinally and on opening the name Jesu will be found written upon the head and arms of a cross three times. You will then give and receive with him the following questions and answers:
Question —From whither do you come? Answer — The Holy faith.
Q. —Whom do you serve?
A. —The Holy Father at Rome, the Pope, and the Roman Catholic Church Universal throughout the world.
Q. —Who commands you?
A. —The Successor of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus or the Soldiers of Jesus Christ.
Q. —Who received you? A. —A venerable man in white hair.
A. —With a naked dagger, I kneeling upon the cross beneath the banners of the Pope and of our sacred order.
Q. —Did you take an oath?
A. —I did, to destroy heretics and their governments and rulers, and to spare neither age, sex nor condition. To be as a corpse without any opinion or will of my own, but to implicitly obey my Superiors in all things without hesitation of murmuring.
Q. —Will you do that? A. —I will.
Q. —How do you travel? A. —In the bark of Peter the fisherman.
Q. —Whither do you travel? A. —To the four quarters of the globe. Q. —For what purpose?
A. —To obey the orders of my general and Superiors and execute the will of the Pope and faithfully fulfill the conditions of my oaths.
Q. —Go ye, then, into all the world and take possession of all lands in the name of the Pope. He who will not accept him as the Vicar of Jesus and his Vice-regent on earth, let him be accursed and exterminated."
yes, they are good chameleons
All you have to do is read the Jesuits' own writings, they are very proud of the fact that they can be all things to all people. Particularly you should read about the Jesuit mission to China. I'm rather surprised that as the OP you are not aware of their work. How can you debunk a myth if you do not know the subject in the first place?
Btw: I notice that, notwithstanding the title of this thread, you write more to support the conspiracies than debunk anything. Rather strange it is almost as if you support the theories in spite of yourself.
These are all compelling statements in regards to Jesuits...
“My history of the Jesuits is not eloquently written, but it is supported by unquestionable authorities, [and] is very particular and very horrible. Their [the Jesuit Order’s] restoration [in 1814 by Pope Pius VII] is indeed a step toward darkness, cruelty, despotism, [and] death. … I do not like the appearance of the Jesuits. If ever there was a body of men who merited eternal damnation on earth and in hell, it is this Society of [Ignatius de] Loyola.”
John Adams (1735-1826; 2nd President of the United States)
“Between 1555 and 1931 the Society of Jesus [i.e., the Jesuit Order] was expelled from at least 83 countries, city states and cities, for engaging in political intrigue and subversion plots against the welfare of the State, according to the records of a Jesuit priest of repute [Thomas J. Campbell]. …Practically every instance of expulsion was for political intrigue, political infiltration, political subversion, and inciting to political insurrection.” (1987)
J.E.C. Shepherd (Canadian historian)
This [American Civil] war [of 1861-1865] would never have been possible without the sinister influence of the Jesuits. We owe it to popery that we now see our land reddened with the blood of her noblest sons. Though there were great differences of opinion between the South and the North on the question of slavery, neither Jeff Davis [President of the Confederacy] nor anyone of the leading men of the Confederacy would have dared to attack the North, had they not relied on the promises of the Jesuits, that under the mask of Democracy, the money and arms of the Roman Catholic, even the arms of France, were at their disposal if they would attack us. I pity the priests, the bishops and monks of Rome in the United States, when the people realize that they are, in great part, responsible for the tears and the blood shed in this war. I conceal what I know on that subject from the knowledge of the nation, for if the people knew the whole truth, this war would turn into a religious war, and it would at once take a tenfold more savage and bloody character. It would become merciless as all religious wars are. It would become a war of extermination on both sides.”
— Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865; 16th President of the United States)
Collecting this type of evidence and giving credence to it in our contemporary world does not make your evidence right. This does not help to build faith, and it only feeds the unhealthy paranoid mind.
I disagree. I think it can increase faith for those who don't know and it also keeps us from being unequally yoked. Information is not a bad thing. I think Christ also wants us to be informed and even E.G. White talks about this kind of stuff in her writings. So if all these people and sources made it a point to say do not trust the Jesuits, maybe there is something to what they are saying. Does every jesuit have an ulterior motive? Probably not , but I believe some do. Throughout history governments and political systems have done some pretty despicable things behind the scenes. That's not paranoia -it's history. Remember J. Edgar Hoover? Look at the bible and there are clear examples of how Daniel, Elijah, Jesus and others were spied on. There is nothing new under the sun.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. - Ephesians 4:12