Secret Societies of All Ages - Charles Heckethorn




VIII. The Jesuits

333. Reasons for calling Jesuitism Secret and Anti-Social.—The Jesuits may be classed among secret and anti-social associations, because either they, under false names, insinuate themselves into, or maintain themselves in, countries where they are prohibited. Thus, when banished from France by Napoleon, they continued to exist there under the various aliases of "Associates of the Heart of Jesus," "Victims of the Love of God," "Fathers of the Faith;" the society of the "Ladies of the Sacred Heart," and the "Congregation of the Holy Family," were female Jesuits in disguise. Or because they often act, or coalesce with societies really secret, and also because in all parts of the world they have always had a vast number of affiliates, who, though not openly belonging to the Order, were bound to propagate its principles and protect its interests—such men as in French are called Jesuites de robe courte. Jesuitism is antisocial, for its only object is self-aggrandisement, by opposition to the progress of civil and religious liberty; by endeavouring to suppress the advancement of literary, industrial, and social science; in fact, by seeking to bring men

To a state of abnegation,

Which shall in all things make them willing tools;

In short, reduce them to a set of fools.

334. Analogy between Jesuitism and Freemason?.—There is considerable analogy and similitude between Masonic and Jesuitic degrees. The Jesuits tread down the shoe and bare the knee, because Ignatius Loyola thus presented himself at Rome and asked for the confirmation of the Order. The initials of the Masonic passwords correspond exactly with those of the Jesuit officers: Temporalis (Tubalcain); Scholasticus (Shibboleth); Coadjutor (Ch (g) iblum); Noster (Notuma). Many other analogies might be established. Not satisfied with confession, preaching, and instruction, whereby they had acquired unexampled influence, they formed in Italy and France, in 1563, several "Congregations," i.e., clandestine meetings held in subterranean chapels and other secret places. The Congregationists had a sectarian organisation, with appropriate catechisms and manuals, which had to be given up before death, wherefore very few copies remain. In the National Library of the Rue Richelieu at Paris there is a MS. entitled Histoire des Congregations et Sodalites jesuitiques depuis (1563) jusqu'au temps present. (1709).

335. Initiations.—From this, as well as other works, we gather some of the ceremonies with which aspirants were initiated into the Order. Having in nearly all Roman Catholic countries succeeded in becoming the educators of the young, they were able to mould the youthful mind according to their secret aims. If, then, after a number of years they detected in the pupil a blind and fanatic faith, conjoined with exalted pietism and indomitable courage, they proceeded to initiate him; in the opposite case they excluded him. The proofs lasted twenty-four hours, for which the candidate was prepared by long and severe fasting, which, by prostrating his bodily strength, inflamed his fancy, and just before the trial a powerful drink was administered to him. Then the mystic scene began—diabolical apparitions, evocation of the dead, representations of the flames of hell, skeletons, moving skulls, artificial thunder and lightning, in fact, the whole paraphernalia and apparatus of the ancient mysteries. If the neophyte, who was closely watched, showed fear or terror, he remained for ever in the inferior degree; but if he bore the proof well, he was advanced to a higher grade. There were four degrees. The first consisted of the Coadjutores Temporales, who performed the manual labour and merely servile duties of the Order; the second embraced the Scholastici, from among whom the teachers of youth were chosen; the third was composed of the Coadjutores Spirituales, which title was given to the members when they took the three vows of the Society. The Professi formed the fourth and highest grade; they alone were initiated into all the secrets of the Order.

At the initiation into the second degree the same proofs, but on a grander scale, had to be undergone. The candidate, again prepared for them by long fastings, was led with his eyes bandaged into a large cavern, resounding with wild bowlings and roarings, which he had to traverse, reciting at the same time prayers specially appointed for that occasion. At the end of the cave he had to crawl through a narrow opening, and, while doing this, the bandage was taken from his eyes by an unseen hand, and he found himself in a square dungeon, whose floor was covered with a mortuary cloth, on which stood three lamps, shedding a feeble light on the skulls and skeletons ranged around. This was the Cave of Evocation, the Black Chamber, so famous in the annals of the Fathers, and the existence of which has repeatedly been proved by judicial examination before secular courts. Here, giving himself up to prayer, the neophyte passed some time, during which the priests could, without his being aware of it, watch his every movement and gesture. If his behaviour was satisfactory, all at once two brethren, representing archangels, presented themselves before him, without his being able to tell whence they had so suddenly started up—a good deal can be done with properly fitted and oiled trap-doors—and observing perfect silence, bound his forehead with a white band soaked with blood, and covered with hieroglyphics. They then hung a small crucifix round his neck, and a small satchel containing relics, or what did duty for them. Finally, they took off all his clothing, which they cast on a pyre in one comer of the cave, and marked his body with numerous crosses, drawn with blood. At this point the hierophant with his assistants entered, and having bound red cloth round the middle of the candidate's body, the brethren, clothed in blood-stained garments, placed themselves beside him, and drawing their daggers, formed the steel arch over his head. A carpet being then spread on the floor, all knelt down and prayed for about an hour, after which the pyre was secretly set on fire; the further wall of the cave opened, the air resounded with strains, now gay, now lugubrious, and a long procession of spectres, phantoms, angels and demons defiled past the neophyte, like the "supers" in a pantomime. Whilst this farce was going on, the candidate took the following oath:—

"In the name of Christ crucified, I swear to burst the bonds that yet unite me to father, mother, brothers, sisters, relations, friends; to the king, magistrates, and any other authority to which I may ever have sworn fealty, obedience, gratitude, or service. I renounce . . . the place of my birth, henceforth to exist in another sphere. I swear to reveal to my new superior, whom I desire to know, what I have done, thought, read, learnt, or discovered, and to observe and watch all that oomes under my notice. I swear to yield myself up to my superior, as if I were a corpse, deprived of life and will. I finally swear to flee temptation, and to reveal all I succeed in discovering, well aware that lightning is not more rapid and ready than the dagger to reach me wherever I may be."

The new member having taken this oath, was then introduced into a neighbouring cell, where he took a bath, and was clothed in garments of new and white linen. He finally repaired with the other brethren to a banquet, where he could with choice food and wine compensate himself for hia long abstinence and the horrors and fatigues he had passed through.

336. Blessing the Dagger.—Blessing the dagger was a ceremony performed when the society thought it necessary for their interests to assassinate some king, prince, or other important personage. By the side of the Dark Chamber there usually was a small cell, called the "Cell of Meditation." In its centre arose a small altar, on which was placed a painting covered with a veil, and surrounded by torches and lamps, all of a scarlet colour. Here the brother whom the Order wished to prepare for the deed of blood received his instructions. On a table stood a casket, covered with strange hieroglyphics, and bearing on its lid the representation of the Lamb. On its being opened, it was found to contain a dagger, wrapped up in a linen cloth, which one of the officers of the society took out and presented to the hierophant, who, after kissing and sprinkling it with holy water, handed it to one of the deacons, who attached it like a cross to a rosary, and hanging it round the neck of the alumnus, informed him that he was the Elect of God, and told him what victim to strike. A prayer was then offered up in favour of the success of the enterprise, in the following words:—

"And Thou, invincible and terrible God, who didst resolve to inspire our Elect and Thy servant with the project of exterminating N.N., a tyrant and heretic, strengthen him, and render the consecration of our brother perfect by the successful execution of the great Work. Increase, God, his strength a hundredfold, so that he may accomplish the noble undertaking, and protect him with the powerful and divine armour of Thine Elect and Saints. Pour on his head the daring courage which despises all fear, and fortify his body in danger and in the face of death itself."

After this prayer the veil was withdrawn from the picture on the altar, and the elect beheld the portrait of the Dominican Jacques Clement, surrounded by a host of angels, carrying him on their wings to celestial glory. And the deacon, placing on the head of the chosen brother a crown symbolic of the celestial crown, added: "Deign, Lord of Hosts, to bestow a propitious glance on the servant Thou hast chosen as Thine arm, and for the execution of the high decrees of Thine eternal justice. Amen." Then there were fresh dissolving views of ghosts, spectres, skeletons, phantoms, angels and demons, and the farce, to be followed by a tragedy, was played out.

The Jesuits openly advocated tyrannicide, whenever the tyrant was against them. Even that soft-hearted Jesuit and Inquisitor Bellarmine, who would not allow vermin to be killed, because their present life was their only one, wrote a book to show that heretics deserved death; he also advocated the doctrine of tyrannicide.

Similar Monkish Initiations.—I may here incidentally remark that the candidate for initiation into some other monkish orders had to undergo similar trials. The novice about to enter the Dominican order had to spend some time in the Cave of Salvation (the pastos of the Ancient Mysteries and of the Freemasons), where he was surrounded by hideous monsters, fierce-looking beasts, and skeleton monks, uttering savage and threatening howls; and he was finally carried about in a coffin. Father Antonio, who about 1820 was elected prior of the Hieronymites at Madrid, declared that, though he would rather be the prior of his convent than a grandee of the first class, yet he would have forgone that dignity if he had been obliged, in order to obtain it, once more to pass through the trials of initiation. He said that instead of the Cave of Salvation, the place of initiation ought to be called the Cave of Hell. "If I believed in the devil," he added, "I should be certain I had seen him with his train of demons and imps."

338. Secret Instructions.—It will suffice to give the headings of the chapters forming the Book of Secreta Monita, or "Secret Instructions of the Society of Jesus". The Preface specially warns superiors not to allow it to fall into the hands of strangers, as it might give them a bad opinion of the Order. The chapters are headed as follows:—

  1. How the Society is to proceed in founding a new establishment.
  2. How the Brethren of the Society may acquire and preserve the friendship of Princes and other distinguished Personages.
  3. How the Society is to conduct itself towards those who possess great influence in a state; and who, though they are not rich, may yet be of service to others.
  4. Hints to Preachers and Confessors of Kings and great personages.
  5. What conduct to observe towards the clergy and other religious orders.
  6. How to win over rich widows.
  7. How to hold fast widows and dispose of their property.
  8. How to induce the children of widows to adopt a life of religions seclusion.
  9. Of the increase of College revenues.
  10. Of the private rigour of discipline to be observed by the society.
  11. How "Ours" shall conduct themselves towards those that have been dismissed from the society.
  12. Whom to keep and make much of in the society.
  13. How to select young people for admission into the society, and how to keep them there.
  14. Of reserved cases, and reasons for dismissing from the society.
  15. How to behave towards nuns and devout women.
  16. How to pretend contempt for riches.
  17. General means for advancing the interests of the society.

339. Authenticity of "Secreta Monita" Demonstrated.—The Jesuits deny the authenticity of this work, but they have never been able to disprove the history of its discovery, which is as follows:—

When the society was suppressed by Clement XIV. in 1773, it possessed in the Low Countries, among other property, a college at Ruremonde. Government had appointed a Commission to liquidate the affairs of the Company, and Councillor Zuytgens was specially appointed at Ruremonde to draw up the inventory; but being suspected of having abstracted, in order to favour the Fathers, certain documents, he received a peremptory command to forward all the papers found. Among these the MS. of the Secreta Monita was discovered. The proof of this may be seen in the "Protocol of the Transactions of the Committee, appointed in consequence of the Suppression of the Society of Jesus in the Low Countries," which is deposited in the archives of Brussels. The above MS. was collated, and found to agree with a Latin MS. left by Father Berthier, the last librarian of the Society in Paris, before the Revolution. It also agrees with the edition of the Monita printed at Paderborn in 1661.

340. Jesuitic Morality.—And even if these Monita were not drawn up by a Jesuit, they yet fully exhibit the actual principles on which, as we know from history, the society has always acted, and that every kind of deception, assassination, regicide, poisoning, seduction, unnatural crimes, spoliation, perjury have ever been practised and approved by them, whenever their doing so could promote their own ends, ad ajorem Dei gloriam!

When, in 1760, the Jesuits, in consequence of the bankruptcy of Lavalette, a member of the society, were compelled to produce their "Constitutions," such doctrines as the following were found to be contained in them:—

According to Father Taberna, a Jesuit, "If a judge has received money to give an unjust judgment, it is probable that he ought to keep the money; for this is the judgment of fifty-eight Jesuit doctors."

In answer to the question on what occasion a monk may leave off his monk's dress without incurring excommunication, his reply is: "He may leave it off if it is for a purpose that would cause shame; to go, for instance, incognito into places of debauchery."

Emmanuel Sa, another Jesuit teacher: "Promises are not binding if, in making them, you have no intention of keeping them." "Potest et foemina quaeque et mas, pro turpo corporis usu pretium accipere et petere, et qui promisit tenetur solvere."

"Christian children," says Fagundez, "may accuse their parents of heresy, though they know that their parents will be burnt."

One quite recent instance of Jesuit morality may close these quotations. In 1852 the Jesuits of the rue de Sevres in Paris had determined to build a splendid Gothic chapel on their land. One day money ran short; every expedient had already been tried to raise some, when one of the fathers, the youngest, the most in demand in the noble faubourg, the most popular confessor, proposed a lottery, and himself as the prize. He wrote a hundred tickets, and made it known in a discreet manner that the female penitent who had the winning number should for three days dispose of Father Lefvre at her discretion. The ladies fought for the tickets, and, in spite of the laughter and sarcasms of the sceptics and heretics, the chapel was completed.

The public history of the Jesuits, revealing a system of turpitude such as has never been equalled, does not enter into the scope of this work; but as our government endeavours to exterminate dynamiters, so, in the opinion of many, it ought to crush the Jesuitical fraternity—the "Black International," as it has justly been called.