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Gleaners Chapel

Malachi Martin
and the “Enemy Within”

Satanic Plots and the Fall of the Catholic Church

A knowledgeable novelist alleged evil cabals within the Vatican;
but just how much was fiction?

OF THOSE that have accused the Vatican of being infiltrated by satanists, none has been as widely noticed as the late Malachi Martin. An expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, he also wrote about such widely diverse topics as exorcism, Church history and modern geopolitics. None of his books have been so controversial — or so misunderstood or ignored by the mainstream press — as his works that deal with this ominous and sensitive topic.

The late Malachi MartinMartin, from Windswept House jacket

Enter the Jesuit

From 1958 until 1964, Malachi Martin served in Rome as a Jesuit priest, where he was a close associate of, and carried out many sensitive missions for, the renowned Jesuit Cardinal Augustin Bea and Popes John XXIII and Paul VI. Released afterwards from his vows of poverty and obedience at his own request (but still a priest), he ultimately moved to New York and became a best-selling writer of fiction and non-fiction.

Martin had first made explicit reference to a diabolic rite held in Rome in his 1990 non-fiction best-seller about geopolitics and the Vatican, The Keys of This Blood, in which he wrote:

Keys of This Blood coverMost frighteningly for [Pope] John Paul [II], he had come up against the irremovable presence of a malign strength in his own Vatican and in certain bishops’ chanceries. It was what knowledgeable Churchmen called the ‘superforce.’ Rumors, always difficult to verify, tied its installation to the beginning of Pope Paul VI’s reign in 1963. Indeed Paul had alluded somberly to ‘the smoke of Satan which has entered the Sanctuary’. . . an oblique reference to an enthronement ceremony by Satanists in the Vatican. Besides, the incidence of Satanic pedophilia — rites and practices — was already documented among certain bishops and priests as widely dispersed as Turin, in Italy, and South Carolina, in the United States. The cultic acts of Satanic pedophilia are considered by professionals to be the culmination of the Fallen Archangel’s rites.
(p. 632. Emphasis added)

Windswept House coverThese allegations have largely gone unnoticed, possibly because Martin was so crafty in his descriptions that he might even have been referring to the coronation of Pope Paul VI. But he revealed much more about this alleged ritual in one of his last works, Windswept House: A Vatican Novel (1996).

In this story, he vividly described a diabolical ceremony called “The Enthronement of the Fallen Archangel Lucifer” supposedly held in St. Paul’s Chapel within the Vatican, but linked with concurrent satanic rites here in the US, on June 29, 1963, barely a week after the election of Paul VI. In this novel, before he dies, a pope leaves a secret account of the situation on his desk for the next occupant of the throne of Peter, a thinly-disguised John Paul II.

According to The New American, Martin confirmed that the ceremony did indeed occur as he had described. “Oh yes, it is true; very much so,” the magazine reported he said. “But the only way I could put that down into print is in novelistic form.”

Windswept House is a sweeping novel, set on the grand global stage and the unfolding of the next stage of civilization, the ominously-named New World Order. It tackles head on a number of heavy issues from abortion to the Third Secret of Fatima, but the essential message seems to be this: Satanists lurk in the shadows, from the heart of the Vatican down to the local parishes, manipulating those fooled by the false spirit of Vatican II. They are doing their damnedest to subvert the Roman Catholic Church, while Pope John Paul II, intent on his geopolitical millennial endgame, fiddles about, waiting for a sign from the Blessed Virgin while the Church literally goes to hell around him.

In Windswept House, Martin was quite explicit about the conditions in the Vatican, opening the novel with the above-mentioned satanic ritual. In it, Satan was formally enthroned in the Vatican in the Chapel of St. Paul (by all reports a dark and appropriately spooky place). The ceremony was co-ordinated via telephone with another simultanious rite in South Carolina.

(This could be a reference to the claims of “Leo Taxil” who wrote spurious exposés of the Masons and fallen priests as devil-worshippers in the 19th century. He, too, claimed South Carolina — Charleston, to be exact — was a satanic headquarters. This was the hometown of Albert Pike, the only Confederate general memorialized in Washington, D.C., who reformed the Scottish Rite and was indeed an admitted “Luciferian.”)

In any case, since Malachi Martin was a Vatican insider who was there in a position to know, it is not his sources that make this claim difficult to believe, but his jesuitical agenda. Martin cared passionately for the Catholic Church, but as an ex-Jesuit (which may be likened to being ex-CIA, with all the ambiguity that implies), he combined his global vision with a reactionary orthodoxy that at times seems somewhat to the right of Loyola himself. It is temptingly easy to dismiss his claims on that basis alone.

For it is his militant traditionalism that many who lack his profound nostalgia for the Tridentine past find most difficult to take in Martin’s writing. His belief that the problems in the Church today are largely due to the Second Vatican Council seems far too simplistic. While Vatican II opened the windows of change, for better or for worse, the rot began to fester there long, long before. The Church of Rome would not be falling apart as quickly as it is if it were otherwise.

And while there is no real reason to believe that the morals of the College of Cardinals have improved substantially since the Rennaisance, it is difficult to believe that anyone of them would be so foolish as to undermine the papacy itself. Eliminate the pope — sure, that’s been done as recently as the last reign with the suspicious death of John Paul I (which Martin attributes to the KGB with inside help). However, destroying the papal office itself would destroy the cardinals’ own powerbase. The tail cannot wag without the dog.

Hostage coverIf anything, it is his partisan passions that makes his tale doubtful. Looking at his earlier writings, it is hard to detect any inferences that the Devil may be indeed at home in Rome. However, his book Hostage to the Devil (1976) leaves no doubt that Martin believed that a very real, very personal force of evil was abroad in the world. Yet his first hint of any diabolic activity there comes towards the end of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church (1981), a history book that sets out his worldview and concerns of the Faustian bargain with temporal power that the Roman Church made seventeen centuries ago and its corrupting effects ever since. It occurs with his first mention of that ominous saying attributed to Paul VI:

Decline & Fall coverPaul realized in his last two years that something unimaginably ominous had been moving inexorably toward them, was already in their midst, and had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. “The smoke of Satan has entered the church, is around the altar,” he remarked somberly. By 1978 and in the last few weeks of his own life, Paul knew that the rumbling tension of his world had grown to the a roaring, and that around him there was a conflagration feeding on the dry wood and the underbrush of the centuries-old kingdom. (p. 278, emphasis added).

In this history, we also learn that the worst pope of the Dark Ages, Benedict IX, “dabbled in witchcraft and satanism” (p. 132), and that Pius XII believed Karl Marx, the father of Communism, was himself a “dedicated and consecrated Satanist” (p. 175), but that’s about it.

From other sources, it is known that Pope Paul IV was indeed quite concerned about acts of priestly sorcery, but Martin gave no other clue before Keys that I could find that he was indeed aware of diabolic hijinks within the Vatican.

Vatican coverIndeed, Martin made no mention of such a rite at all in his mammoth novel Vatican (1986), of which Windswept House is in many ways but the sequel. This sweeping tale spans the years from the death of Mussolini at the end of World War II up to the election of the pope to follow John Paul II. In it, Martin was not afraid to dish the dirt, starting with the Vatican’s complicity with the Nazi “ratlines” that allowed them to escape to South America in return for stolen fascist gold. (See also the article here.)

It covers in generous detail the entire Vatican Bank scandal, the politics of Vatican II, the KGB infiltration into the heart of the Curia and its use of “liberation theology,” and the Vatican’s counter-moves into Eastern Europe. In doing so, the novel gives a very interesting look into the Vatican’s finances and the forces that actually govern the Church. (Oddly enough, of all the conspiratorial factions who had their hands in the game, the one he never mentioned was the powerful, cult-like ultra-traditionalist group, Opus Dei, which has become a potent player in Vatican affairs, including the banking scandals. He is also quite lenient on his former Jesuit colleagues, despite their involvement with Red-inspired liberation theology.)

Most surprisingly, Martin posited that there was a secret and unspecified “Bargain” between the Holy See and a mysterious governing body — the “Lodge” — that every pope since Pius IX had signed with the “Keeper” — apparently a member of the Roman Black Nobility trusted by both sides. For Pius had lost the ancient Papal States, yet this Devil’s bargain with Freemasonry allowed the Vatican to continue to exist as a political and economic power in the world.

As first set forth in Decline and Fall, Martin saw this diablolic compromise as permitting the world’s wickedness to corrupt the Church by exposing it to the temptation of temporal power, though he had made no mention of a pact with the Masons in that earlier book. The pact, if it exists, was nothing really new, just another step on the long road from Constantine. Though he used transparent psuedonyms, he made it obvious that he regarded John XXIII as a holy dupe and Paul IV, whom he did not like, as an even greater but far less spiritual one. Martin regarded the Ecumenical Council as having been virtually taken over by modernist heretics and Soviet puppets. By the accession of John Paul I to the throne of Peter, one of his characters estimated that in effect, half the bishops in the US were in schism, and a third in heresy. (Other sources have confirmed this is indeed a Curial view.)

In the end, the ultimate villians in Vatican are not corrupt bankers nor priests, nor even the Communists, but a force he called the “Universal Assembly” — a Masonic conspiracy of Western plutocrats, undoubtedly the Illuminati. Although other writers have alleged Curial members belonged to the Masons, Martin even accused Paul IV of being a Masonic Lodge member!

Freemasonry and the Catholic Church have had a long history of antipathy. The Church has long been suspicious of secret societies not under its thumb, and the Masonic claim of being descended from the Knights Templar, condemned as heretics, surely has not helped. Though relations have softened in the years since Vatican II, Masonry is still viewed with much suspicion and Roman Catholics are still forbidden to be freemasons. Even the “good” ones are scorned, much less the “Luciferians”. So how is that members of the Vatican elite could be associated with entities like P2, the infamous lodge involved in the Vatican bank scandals?

In any case, during the decade between novels, as the Catholic Church’s decline and the inability of John Paul II to stem the slide, Martin’s despair grew worse. Did he then merely imagine that satanists had to be responsible, or did he have some secret knowledge?

A Dark Vision

Just how bad did Martin judge things to be? Extremely so, even if his traditionalist viewpoint saw little difference between homosexuality and pedophilia, neopaganism and satanism:

Suddenly it became unarguable that now during this papacy, the Roman Catholic organization carried a permanent presence of clerics who worshipped Satan and liked it; of bishops and priests who sodomized boys and each other; of nuns who performed the “Black Rites” of Wicca, and who lived in lesbian relationships.. . . every day, including Sundays and Holy Days, acts of heresy and blasphemy and outrage and indifference were committed and permitted at holy Altars by men who had been called to be priests. Sacrilegious actions and rites were not only performed on Christ’s Altars, but had the connivance or at least the tacit permission of certain Cardinals, archbishops, and bishops. . . In total number they were a minority — anything from one to ten percent of Church personnel. But of that minority, many occupied astoundingly high positions or rank.

. . .The facts that brought the Pope to a new level of suffering were mainly two: The systematic organizational links — the network, in other words — that had been established between certain clerical homosexual groups and Satanist covens. And the inordinate power and influence of that network.
(pp. 492-3. Emphasis added)

Vatican and Windswept House are novels where half the fun is trying to guess who the real personages are behind the fiction. Some are made ridiculously easy: the pontiff, who is referred to only as the “Slavic Pope” throughout the latter book, can only be John Paul II, of course.

More intriguing is an evil character described as the “Cardinal of Centurycity,” a powerful American Satanist, supposedly based on the late Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, but who bears an odd similarity — doubtless coincidental — to Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles. While this might just be a barb in the venerable literary tradition of putting one’s enemies in Hell, it must certainly have stirred up discussion in chanceries and rectories everywhere. Unfortunately, most of the other characters, if indeed based on real people, are much more difficult to pin down for someone unacquainted with the Vatican.

But these are minor quibbles. Like Vatican, The Keys of This Blood, and Windswept House were written for a wide and not necessarily Catholic audience, but all three books give an odd feeling of being intended for John Paul II himself. If Vatican was the first warning; Keys was written to show the pope that Martin understood what the pontiff was doing in the geopolitical arena and address his concerns for the Church’s internal situation. (One may be reminded of Machiavelli’s The Prince, written also by a courtier exiled from court.) Windswept House, however, even more than Vatican, is a much more dramatic and desperate plea to the pope to get off his throne and do something.

As for Windswept House, it did not receive the critical acclaim nor widespread publicity of his previous efforts. It has been virtually ignored, even though it was published by Doubleday, a major mainstream house. Reviewers, Martin said, “are steering away from it. They don’t know what to think about it; they don’t know what to say.” But Martin continued to speak out until his death, doing numerous radio interviews, such as regularly on “The Art Bell Show.”

At the time of his passing on July 27, 1999, Martin was at work on what he said would be his most controversial and important book. Primacy: How the Institutional Roman Catholic Church became a Creature of The New World Order was to deal with power and the papacy. This work was to analyze the revolutionary shift that lies at the heart of what many see as the breakdown of papal power. It was to be a book of predictions about the Vatican and the world in the first decades of the new millennium.

As far as is known, he never recanted on any of his claims that the scene in Windswept House was based on an actual satanic ritual in the Vatican in the first days of the reign of Pope Paul VI, nor that there exists a general satanic conspiracy within the Roman Catholic Church.

Books by Malachi Martin

Those in bold are mentioned in this article.

The Scribal Character of the Dead Sea Scrolls (nonfiction)

The Pilgrim (under the pseudonym Michael Serafian)

The Encounter

Three Popes and the Cardinal

Jesus Now

The New Castle

Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Americans (nonfiction), 1976

The Final Conclave

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church (nonfiction), 1981

There is Still Love

Rich Church, Poor Church

Vatican, 1986

The Jesuits: The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church (nonfiction), 1988

The Keys of This Blood: The Struggle for World Dominion Between Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Capitalist West (nonfiction), 1990

Windswept House: A Vatican Novel, 1996

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