Adapted from chapter 16 of our chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford’s seminal book, The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (1996). The book is available at Kindle here, and is available to read for free here.
Since I began my study of the Roman Catholic Church, as it relates to population growth control, some 26 years ago, I have been amazed at the intensity of Vatican activity in the U.S. On numerous occasions, I have observed some activity (usually but not always a political activity) that did not seem reasonable. I would be offered explanations which, upon reflection, would not hold water. When I’ve explored these things, I would often find the Church deeply involved, seeking some gain or other.
In the U.S., the Catholic Church is a $200 billion operation, composed of millions of highly organized workers with an intense sense of mission, a long history of political manipulation, and a superb track record of getting their way. Before I began my study, I had a very different idea of what church and religion meant, having been raised as a Methodist. I was completely unprepared for what I found. Many of the tears in America’s social fabric are the result of Vatican attempts to advance its power, control, influence, wealth or security—at the expense of Americans and American institutions. Rarely was there evidence of Vatican involvement in these activities on the surface, but upon probing, the role of the Vatican became evident. Usually it also became evident that considerable effort had been made to mask the fact that the Vatican was a significant actor. But before presenting specific instances of such activities, a question should be considered.
How Far Will the Vatican Go?
How far is the Vatican willing to go to insure its survival? Some readers may be offended, but this is a valid question. In America, we have the freedom of inquiry and we should exercise it or we are sure to lose it. This is one of the most important unknowns Americans now face. If the Vatican will secretly kill the Rockefeller Commission and National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) initiatives which definitively showed that overpopulation threatens the security-survival of every American, what will it not do? Will it manipulate the initiation of U.S. warfare with other countries to divert attention from the overpopulation problem? Will it prompt a civil war in the U.S., fulfilling the prediction of President Grant, in order to undermine America’s capacity to confront the overpopulation problem? Will it promote disintegration of the American social fabric to save the Papacy?
Thus far, the Vatican has had so much success at shutting down all serious efforts to control population growth that draconian actions have not yet been necessary. But what if the NSSM 200 recommendations had been implemented? Most likely, the Vatican would have done whatever it felt necessary to successfully intervene; perhaps, merely conspiring to force the resignation of a president would have been sufficient. Had they not intervened, self-destruction of the Vatican already might have been complete by now.
The Pastoral Plan’s Broad Consequences
Few Americans appreciate how much the bishops’ 1975 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities has changed America. Every community has been changed by it. Every person in America is living his/her life differently from what he/she would have had this plan not been implemented. Many of our elected representatives at all levels of government would have been different. Many positive changes in our lives, that probably would have occurred had the Rockefeller Commission and NSSM 200 recommendations been implemented, did not occur.
For example, almost surely there would be less crime, the welfare burden would be reduced and the drug problem would be smaller if the recommendations had been implemented. Why? Because family planning education would be much more widespread and integrated naturally into our pattern of family values; contraception would be encouraged; and safe, legal abortion would be much more readily available to all women. Unplanned births, about 50 percent of all U.S. births since 1975, would have been reduced dramatically. The number of poverty stricken adolescents, and men and women in their early twenties, would be much less than it is today.
Also, many negative changes in our lives have resulted from the initiatives undertaken by the bishops as a part of their Plan. The costs to us all have been enormous. Throughout the remainder of this chapter, examples of these changes will be offered. My first two books on this topic contain many more.
As Byrnes concluded in his study, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and United States Catholic Conference (USCC) have been consumed by the abortion issue and this Plan since they were created 27 years ago. They have committed an enormous amount of energy, organization, direction and resources to the abortion and other population-related issues. This commitment has brought serious consequences throughout our society.
One of the more profound accomplishments of this Plan is the takeover of the Republican Party by the Vatican. In a July 28, 1994 Los Angeles Times wire service story, Jack Nelson describes the maneuvers of the Religious Right so that this takeover is all but an accomplished fact. According to Nelson, “GOP moderates have remained passive on the sidelines, unwilling to fight …”
On September 11, 1995, author, journalist and broadcaster, Bill Moyers, was given the American Jewish Committee Religious Liberty Award. In his acceptance remarks, “Echoes of the Crusades: The Radical Religious Right’s Holy War on American Freedom,” Moyers gives his assessment of the influence of the Religious Right: “They control the Republican Party, the House of Representatives and the Senate …”
But who are the Religious Right? The Spring 1994 issue of Conscience, the journal of Catholics For a Free Choice, exploded the myth that the Religious Right is a Protestant movement. It was designed, created and controlled by Catholics in response to the Pastoral Plan. These Catholics recruited opportunistic Protestants to give the appearance that Protestants were the instigators. The leadership is Catholic but the followers are often Protestant. The development of the Religious Right is described in some detail in the two books noted above, published 12 and 10 years ago, respectively. Also discussed is the Vatican takeover of the Republican Party already well underway at the time of their publication.
Even when the Pastoral Plan was first approved by the bishops, the National Catholic Reporter recognized that the plan would lead to a Vatican controlled political party in the United States and the newspaper went on record with this prediction. Rather than creating its own political party, the Vatican chose to seize control of the Republican Party.
The Takeover of the Republican Party
The implications of this takeover for American politics at the national, state and local levels are enormous, affecting us all. Thousands of politicians at all levels whose positions have opposed the Vatican have been victims of the plan, significantly changing the American political landscape.
The ultimate objective of the Vatican’s political machine is passage of the Human Life Amendment (HLA). It should be noted that the HLA need not be enforced to meet the needs of the Vatican. The Vatican requires only that the civil law not conflict with canon law. Then papal authority and civil authority are not pitted against one another. It is only legal abortion that threatens Papal authority.
We all have the illusion, carefully crafted by Papal propaganda, that “lives of the unborn” and “morality” are the issues. This is simply not so. It is survival of the Catholic institution and Papal power that is the issue, not the “lives of the unborn” or anything else. All countries in Latin America (all are Catholic) have higher abortion rates than the U.S. Nothing is said by the Church there. If abortion were the real issue, the Church would be speaking out even louder in Latin America than in the U.S. Only in the U.S., where it is legal, is it an important issue for the Church. Of course, few American Protestants are aware of this fact.
Another major accomplishment of the Pastoral Plan has been its effect on Protestantism in America. The Plan has taken the protest out of the Protestant movement. Until the Pastoral Plan, Protestant denominations had no reservations about protesting or criticizing the Catholic Church. The plan specifically targeted the Protestant Churches to silence them. The bishops succeeded.
Dr. Stephen Mumford is the founder and President of the North Carolina-based Center for Research on Population and Security. He has his doctorate in Public Health. His principal research interest has been the relationship between world population growth and national and global security. He has been called to provide expert testimony before the U.S. Congress on the implications of world population growth.
Dr. Mumford has decades of international experience in fertility research where he is widely published, and has addressed conferences worldwide on new contraceptive technologies and the stresses to the security of families, societies and nations that are created by continued uncontrolled population growth. Using church policy documents and writings of the Vatican elite, he has introduced research showing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church as the principal power behind efforts to block the availability of contraceptive services worldwide.
In addition to his books on biomedical and social aspects of family planning, as well as scientific articles in more than a score of journals, Dr. Mumford’s major works include American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (Amherst, New York: Humanist Press, 1984), The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1986), and The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996).
The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy
By Stephen D. Mumford, DrPH
Paperback Publisher: Center for Research on Population and Security (October 1996)
Kindle Publisher: Church and State Press (February 6, 2015)
Professor Milton Siegel, who for 24 years was the Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, speaks to Dr. Stephen Mumford in 1992 to reveal that although there was a consensus that overpopulation was a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future, the Vatican successfully fought off the incorporation of family planning and birth control into official WHO policy. This video is available for public viewing for the first time. Read the full transcript of the interview here.
Lester R. Brown interview with Rob Stewart
Professor Paul Ehrlich: Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?
Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook