The Spanish “Civil War” Lesson for Population Growth Control

By Stephen D. Mumford, DrPH | 28 December 2015
Church and State

Excerpt from chapter 14 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.

This pressure [of the Catholic Church on American journalism] is one of the most important forces in American life, and the only one about which secrecy is generally maintained, no newspaper being brave enough to discuss it, although all fear it and believe that the problem should be dragged into the open and made publicly known.

George Seldes
1890 – 1995
Journalist and Dean of
Investigative Reporters

Over the past 25 years, American political will to deal with the overpopulation problem has been destroyed. NSSM 200 lived and died. As President Nixon’s Special Message to Congress correctly predicted, these outcomes are certain to have an enormous impact on the lives of everyone on the planet. The story of the creation and demise of NSSM 200, and of how the government was thwarted in its effort to resolve the overpopulation problem, received no mention in the news media or any other information source. Few Americans are aware of what is perhaps the most important story of the 20th Century. How could it have been suppressed and for what reason?

Seldes’s extensive study of the Spanish Civil War and the related control of the American press by the Catholic hierarchy is exceedingly instructive for all who are concerned about population growth control. Population growth control is by no means the first instance of absolutely pivotal Catholic hierarchy intervention in American press coverage of an important issue. The hierarchy has a history of manipulating the press to insure that Papal interests are served even at the expense of American interests.

In the 1970s and 1980s, George Seldes told us how and why in seven articles that appeared in The Churchman magazine, an Episcopal journal, founded in 1804, and the oldest religious publication in America. It has always been committed to the truth. (I am honored to be a contributing editor.)

After decades of intense study, in an August 1978 article, Seldes concludes: “The New York Times is still in fear of reprisals from the Roman Church in America, as it was during the entire Spanish War when under managing editor Edward L. James and the notorious ‘Fascist phalanx in the bull-pen.’ James’s four, incidentally Roman Catholic, editor assistants, bowed to the ‘power house on Madison Avenue,’ Cardinal Spellman’s residence, and a certain Father Thorning, and published scores of falsifications from Spain.”[260ii] Seldes provides strong evidence to support this conclusion. For example, he cites The New Republic magazine: “The New Republic, to its credit, in ‘Who Lied About Spain?’ when the war was over 1939 listed the [New York] Times man with Franco as the number one falsifier.” In a November 1981 article, Seldes concluded that all of America’s 1,750 daily papers were similarly terrified by “the Catholic Church propaganda campaign.”[260jj] This “terror” that Seldes describes is still pervasive and has led to the disappearance of a free press in America in matters of concern to the Vatican, such as the recognition of overpopulation as a national security threat.

But let us begin the story at the beginning and allow Mr. Seldes to lay out the evidence for us item by item.

In 1931, Spain became the Republic of Spain, a liberal democracy that separated church and state, ended State monetary support for the church and adopted the principles of Freedom of Conscience, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom of the Press. The Vatican feared for the Church’s very survival in Spain. There had been four insurrections since 1835, and it was the Spanish people, the poor workers and poor peasants, who burned the churches because they blamed the hierarchy for having persistently backed the upper class.[260ii] The latest uprising against the Catholic Church took place throughout the country in July, 1936.[260kk] One historian described it as “the work of masses of common people, a spontaneous uprising.”[260kk] The Vatican feared that the liberal democracy with its freedoms would spell the end of the Church in Spain.

‘Guernica’ was painted by the Cubist Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso in 1937. The title ‘Guernica’ refers to the city that was bombed by Nazi planes during the Spanish Civil War. The painting depicts the horrors of war and as a result, has come to be an anti-war symbol and a reminder of the tragedies of war.

The Spanish War of 1936-39 is often called a civil war. But this was a lie from the beginning. It was not a civil war but an invasion by Hitler, Mussolini and Salazar fascists or what Seldes refers to as the Fascist Internationale in league with the Vatican. Mussolini landed 200,000 infantrymen from his Black Arrow division in Franco-held seaports and Hitler sent Goering’s Condor Legion to bomb civilians,[260ll] involving an estimated 50,000 German aviators.[260jj] All this had been envisioned in Rome in 1934. Seldes writes, “Mussolini and two representatives of the plan … met there and even promised help in overthrowing the Republic and establishing a fascist type of government. They also met with Hitler that same year—and the confessions of the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials confirm the plot.”[260kk] There was to be an uprising of treasonous Republic officers led by Franco, the invasion by the Italian and German forces and the promulgation of the lie that this was an uprising against a communist take-over of the Republic and a “Christian crusade against atheistic communism.”[260mm] The creation of this great lie would be primarily the responsibility of the Vatican.

Cardinal Pacelli, then papal secretary, began this campaign of falsification in America when he came to Hyde Park [New York] to enlist the aid of President Franklin Roosevelt in this undertaking. Pacelli, who three years later was to become Pope Pius XII, was successful. Roman Catholic layman James Farley, a boss of the Democratic party, Cardinal Spellman, and Joseph P. Kennedy, FDR’s ambassador to London, promoted Pacelli’s position. Each warned Roosevelt he would lose the Catholic vote unless he embargoed arms to Spain and joined Chamberlain’s so-called Neutrality Pact.

The making of the “Christian crusade against communism” myth began immediately following Pacelli’s visit to America. “The New York Times, October 1, 1936, was informed from Rome that Pacelli had ‘left for the United States of America to enlist the support of President Roosevelt and the U.S. Government for the anti-communist campaign the Pope has been waging for some time. The Holy See regards the spread of communist doctrine as the gravest and most threatening danger hanging over the world.’ When the cardinal arrived in New York The New York Times headline read: ‘Pacelli Reported Seeking Aid in U.S. in Anti-Red Drive'”[260mm] A myth was born.

In Spain the day before, Seldes later discovered, “The [Spanish hierarchy’s] pastoral letter ‘Los dos Cindados’ of September 13, 1936 had converted a treasonable officer’s rebellion into the ‘Crusade Against Godless Communism.'”[260nn]

Immediately following this meeting, Hitler’s newspapers re­ported FDR had made important concessions to the Cardinal and that Pacelli ‘is declared to have delivered the Catholic vote in the United States to Roosevelt.’ Although this appeared at first to be a typical Nazi piece of propaganda, it seems to have been substanti­ated by important visits to Hyde Park in 1936 by Farley and Cardi­nal Spellman. In every Catholic country in Europe, Cardinals, priests and diocesan publications had openly declared themselves to be against Franco, but not one in America did so [emphasis added].[260mm]

The Neutrality Act was instrumental in the demise of Republican Spain. President Roosevelt prevented guns, food and medicine from being shipped to the Republic.[260ll] Everyone understood this. “Roosevelt was re-elected in 1936, and again in 1940. The Non-Intervention Pact, originated by pro-fascists in the British Foreign Office, remained in effect; the world press either falsified the news of the arrival of German and Italian troops, or confused enough people to prevent effective protest.”[260mm]

“When in 1938, a last effort was made to lift the embargo on arms, The Nation said: ‘The Catholics got busy and reached the President, who was fishing in southern waters. Big Church dignitaries came to Washington and talked cold politics …’ The Nation report, written by Max Lerner, columnist for The New York Post, continues: ‘only a band of heroes could have withstood the combined effort of Catholic votes, State Department leaning and authority, administrative pressure, and mental sluggishness, and the Senate Committee [considering this legislation] was not heroic … the biggest factor in the mind of the President was the Catholic vote … It is a cold political fact that Mr. Roosevelt, who has braved concentrated wealth, has not braved the risk of losing the Catholic vote.’ The repeal move in Congress failed, and the last hope for the Spanish Republic disappeared.”[260mm] This blockade was responsible for the Republic’s defeat.[260jj]

It was not only President Roosevelt who felt the intense Catholic pressure. When Spain’s Congress opened in 1938, “a resolution was introduced in the American Congress to send greetings. Only 60 members had the courage to sign; 440 were either on the fascist side or too cowardly to declare their convictions. The 60 who signed were attacked in the Roman pulpit, the Roman Catholic press, and by the Cardinals as ‘anti-American’ and as ‘Reds’. Cardinal Spellman and his colleagues, whose offices were referred to among newspapermen (but never by newspapers) as ‘the power house’, sent orders to the lobbyists to get retractions from the 60 under threat of defeat in the next elections. Many recanted.” A few half-recanted, saying their greetings did not mean endorsement. Among them: Harry Byrd of Virginia and Claude Pepper of Florida. Three Senators affirmed their endorsement of the Spanish Republic. Among them: Senator Hubert Humphrey.[260mm]

Seldes goes on, “The Vatican lobby continued its work in Washington for many years after the Republic’s demise, seeking quick recognition of the fascist regime, loans, admission to the United Nations.”[260mm]

Spanish Bishops Admit Decades of Deception

The accuracy of this report on the role of the Vatican in the fascist takeover of Spain is irrefutable. Why? Because Spain’s Bishops themselves openly admitted the role of the Church. Seldes writes,

The myth of a Christian crusade against Communism in Spain persisted for decades, despite honest revisionist historians. It was not until 1971 that the myth was finally destroyed by none other than the Roman Catholic hierarchy of Spain. This important correction of history was slurred in the world press and is probably not known to more than one person in a million today (emphasis added).

In Madrid, September 15, 1971, Primate Cardinal Enrique Taracon presided at a Congress of the entire Roman Catholic Hierarchy, with 94 bishops and 151 priests present…. Although a two-thirds’ vote was necessary to pass resolutions, and this one did not pass, it is significant that it received a large majority of the vote … The majority confessed it had sinned in supporting the wrong side (the fascist side) in Spain and asked to be forgiven. ‘We humbly recognize,’ said the resolution, ‘and ask pardon for it, that we failed at the proper time to be ministers of reconciliation in the midst of our people divided by a war between brothers.'[260mm]

“In 1971—and again in 1972, 1983 and succeeding years—a majority of Spain’s 94 bishops and 151 priests attending voted 60% or more for the Church’s apology but never officially passed it.”[260ii] By taking this action, Cardinal Taracon probably prevented widespread killing of priests and nuns upon Franco’s death in 1975.

The news of these votes was almost completely suppressed in the world press. Only three minor reports on this story appeared in the United States.[260ii]

FDR admitted his error in 1939—but it could not be published in his lifetime. He said to his Ambassador to Madrid, Claude Bowers, who had told the truth about the great world campaign of falsehood against Spain and had urged American help: ‘We have made a mistake, you have been right all along….’ He wrote this confession by FDR in 1954. Secretary of State Sumner Welles in his book Time for Decision, 1944, wrote: ‘of all our blind isolationist policies the most disastrous was our attitude on the Spanish Civil War.’ President Harry Truman wrote in his Memoirs: ‘I believe it was a mistake for me to support the Neutrality Action in the first place.’

American Hierarchy and the Vatican Maintain Deception

On the other hand, “The spokesman for the American Catholic Hierarchy, who so powerfully influenced American foreign policy—Farley, Kennedy, Cardinals Hayes, Spellman and Dougherty” and the archbishops and priests and Catholic laymen who so intensely lobbied in Congress, did not join their Spanish brothers and never admitted error.[260mm] Their vital roles and that of the Vatican are unquestionable in the crushing of this liberal democracy.

Franco got support from four main sources: the Catholic Church, Spanish conservatives, the German, Italian and Portuguese fascist governments, and big business in the US and elsewhere.

The Spanish War of 1936-1939 was unspeakably brutal. All told, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 of Spain’s population of 25,000,000 were killed.[260nn] By 1939, an estimated 100,000 prisoners of war had been murdered by the fascists.[260jj] “[T]he official organ of the Roman Church in France, La Croix, was the first to report that Franco killed every Loyalist Republican prisoner—a tremendously important news story. That, incidentally, was also suppressed in almost the entire U.S. press.”[260nn]

These Spaniards were murdered for only one reason—they believed in liberal democracy, just as we Americans do here in this country.

Seldes documents the leading role of the Vatican in the destruction of the Spanish Republic. The murder of 100,000 liberal democrat prisoners by Franco was undoubtedly made easier by Pope Pius XI. Referring to the uprising against the Roman Church throughout Spain in July, 1936, Pius XI attacked the “ruinization, destruction, villainies, barbarities by the savage forces whom it is impossible to dignify with the words human beings.”[260kk] Dehumanization always makes mass murder seem less reprehensible.

“Pius XII declared publicly year after year his support for Franco. He sent Franco the Supreme Equestrian Order of the Militia of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Immediately after the war ended in 1939, Pius XII not only sent his congratulations to the fascist victor, but stated his ‘Christian heroism’ had ‘pleased God’. On July 11, 1939 Pius XII reviewed 3,000 Spanish Legionaries in Rome and called them the defenders of the faith and the culture of their country.”[260kk]

“Pius XII [also] blessed the Italian fascist army and air force on its return from Spain … in 1939.”[260mm]

“All the American Cardinals endorsed the Franco-fascist cause except Cardinal Mundelein of Chicago…. Franco had awarded his decorations, usually the ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’, to all the American Cardinals except Mundelein…. Incidentally, two well known [Catholic] laymen, Ambassador to Spain Ogden H. Hammond and Ambassador William Cameron Forbes, are also listed among the recipients of Franco’s bloodstained medals.”[260kk]

In the publication Historia del Franquismo, which began in 1976 to revise 40 years of Spanish history following Franco’s death,

“Issue No. 1, page 6 states: ‘The rebellion of the generals was first called a Crusade for God, for Spain and for Franco’ by the Church. When Franco won he received the following telegram: ‘We lift our hearts to the Lord sincerely thankful that your excellency has brought a Catholic victory to Spain…. We send your excellency and to all the noble people of Spain our apostolic benediction. [signed] Pope Pius XII'”[260nn]

“To the Spanish press Pius XII issued the following statement for April 18, 1937: ‘The nation selected by God … the people of Spain came to the defenses of the faith and of Christian civilization … God in his compassion will lead Spain on the safe road of your traditional and Catholic greatness.'”[260nn]

“Primate of Spain, Cardinal Goma … called the war ‘a crusade for religion, for country, and for civilization’ in a pastoral letter.”[260nn]

Seldes offers a mountain of evidence to support his conclusions that “it was the Roman Catholic Church which was fascism’s main supporter,” and “It was the hierarchy which originated and propagandized the ‘holy crusade against Godless Communism’. The hierarchy was as responsible as guns and planes in destroying the Republic. It monopolized schools. It propagated Fascism for 39 years.”[260nn]

Why would the Vatican propagate Fascism? “The first fascist newspaper, Arriba España, was published August 1, 1936. One of its directors was a priest representing the Church … on September 16 Arriba España said editorially that ‘Catholicism will find Fascism its best collaborator’.”[260nn]

And what were the Church’s rewards? “Franco repaid the Roman Catholic Church by abolishing divorce, making religious marriages obligatory and restoring taxes for the benefit of the Church—all previously banned by the Republic.”[260nn]

Most important, Franco turned the schools over to the Catholic Church. Seldes offers “two short abstracts from nationally used catechisms taught to two generations of children, in the hope of producing a brain-washed people which would never rebel.”[260oo]

In the second year of the war the Archbishop of Grenada gave his imprimatur to the catechism of the Jesuit priest Angel Maria de Arcos. This catechism was so unbelievable, so obscurantist, incredible, outrageous, that when John Langdon-Davies wrote about it in a London liberal magazine he was attacked by numerous Catholic editors, accused of making the whole thing up. He sued for libel, established the veracity of the catechism, and won his case. Here is what the children in many eastern cities, including Granada, were taught:

Q. Is every Liberal government hostile to the Church?

A. Evidently, since whoever is not with Christ is against Him.

Q. Then there is no grade of Liberalism that can be good?

A. None: because Liberalism is mortal sin and anti-Christian.

Q. What of Communism, Socialism, Modern Democracy, An­archism, and the like sects?

A. They are contrary to Catholic faith, to justice, and to virtue, and as such condemned by the Church.

(In reply to another question:)

A. The Liberal system is the weapon with which the accursed Jewish race makes war on our Lord Jesus Christ, and his Church, and on the Christian people.

In 1944 the new classic catechism, known as the Nuevo Repaldi, and used nationally, was published and introduced into every secondary school in Spain. It consists of 112 pages, and was fully described by the U.S. press attaché‚ in Madrid during the Spanish War, Emmet John Hughes, in his Report from Spain. Of the ten pages which concern themselves with the essential doctrines of Catholic faith and morals, here are a few samples:

Q. What does freedom of the press mean?

A. The right to print and publish without previous censorship all kinds of opinions, however absurd and corrupting they may be.

Q. Must the government suppress this freedom by means of censorship?

A. Obviously, yes.

Q. Why?

A. Because it must prevent the deception, calumny and corrup­tion of its subjects, which harm the general good.

Q. Does one sin gravely who subscribes to a liberal newspaper?

A. Yes … Because he contributes his money to evil, places his faith in jeopardy, and gives a bad example.

Q. What rules can be given to know liberal papers?

A. The following:
1. If they call themselves liberal.
2. If they defend freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, freedom of the press, or any of the other liberal errors.
3. If they attack the Roman Pontiff, the clergy, or the religious orders.
4. If they belong to liberal parties.
5. If they comment on news or judge personalities with a liberal criterion.
6. If they unreservedly praise the good moral and intellectual qualities of liberal personalities and parties.
7. If, in reporting events concerned with the battle waged by Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church against their enemies today, they remain neutral.

Q. What is the rule to avoid error in these cases?

A. Do not read any newspaper without the previous consult­ation and approval of your confessor.[260oo]

These two catechisms make it clear just how strongly the Catholic Church feels about freedom of the press, as well as with what disdain and contempt it views this vital democratic principle.

Others Recognize Press Manipulation

The death of NSSM 200 and the disintegration of American political determination to overcome the overpopulation problem occurred with the knowledge of only a handful of Americans over the past two decades. Has the rabidly anti-free press posture of the Catholic Church resulted in suppression of the American press in reporting on these vital topics? Could the Church, with its bishops and laymen, have had such an effect on the American press? Let us examine Seldes’s findings regarding the Spanish War of 1936-39.

Of course, Seldes was by no means alone in his assessment of the Catholic leadership’s corruption of the press (particularly The New York Times). The Churchman published numerous articles on this topic,[260ll] as did the New Republic. In their June 28, 1939, issue, “Who Lied About Spain?”, The New York Times and its reporter, William P. Carney, headed the list.[260kk] Numerous books were also devoted to this topic (see Herbert L. Matthews, A World in Revolution, and Guy Talese, History of the Times).[260ll] Few Americans today are aware of this page of American history, or of this corruption of the principle of freedom of the press by the Catholic hierarchy, or of its implications for population growth control.

It should also be made clear that not all Catholic reporters were part of the Vatican propaganda machine. Writes Seldes, “In all justice, it must be stated that a score of noted Catholic war correspondents and noted Catholic newspapers—in Europe—reported the war honestly, detailing all the atrocities committed by the Fascist-Nazi forces …”[260ll] (The most famous reporter on the Loyalist (Republican) side was a Catholic named Ernest Hemingway. Other notables were Fernsworth of The Times and Taylor of the Chicago Tribune, both Catholics.)[260mm]

Ernest Hemingway with film cameraman, Joris Ivens, and two soldiers during the Spanish Civil War.
Ernest Hemingway with film cameraman, Joris Ivens, and two soldiers during the Spanish Civil War. In 1940, Hemingway published For Whom the Bell Tolls, the story of a noble American attached to a Spanish Republican unit. The novel is widely regarded as one of Hemingway’s greatest works.

Seldes continues, “On May 12, 1949, one New York newspaper carried this item, otherwise suppressed throughout the country [emphasis added]: ‘Patman Ousts Priest Lobbying for Spain’. Representative Wright Patman (D.-Texas) called a doorkeeper and had ejected from the speaker’s lobby of the House the Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Thorning, editor, college professor, and the best known propagandist [emphasis added] for Franco’s fascist regime in Spain. Throughout the war, Thorning not only praised the fascist coalition but denounced the correspondents who were reporting from the Republican side.”

Seldes concluded, “Although The New York Times always surrendered to Father Thorning, he continued to attack it.”[260mm]

We have witnessed in America since the mid-1970s the application of this same technique for control of the press on the issue of overpopulation. Although the entire press consistently genuflect to the Catholic hierarchy, they are under continuous attack for being too ‘liberal’ and ‘anti-Catholic’. The charge of ‘liberal press’ is always used to attack the anti-Vatican position on every issue. This technique is used hundreds of times each day to control the American press.

In January 1977, Historia revealed for the first time in Spain what Seldes, Matthews, Hemingway, Fernsworth and others attempted to report in this country, that “Nazism and Fascism were accepted and became Franco’s policy from the first days of the war. These facts the American press also largely suppressed, preferring to call Hitler’s and Mussolini’s collaborator Franco a nationalist,” asserts Seldes.[260nn]

Seldes was quite critical of the world press generally. He writes, “The world press it might be said—although no general statement is wholly true—failed its readers during the Spanish war. The democratic Republic was labeled ‘Red’ and ‘Communist’ at a time when there were fewer ‘Reds’ and Communists in Spain than there are today.”[260ll]

The New York Times Was the Worst

However, he singled out The New York Times in his study, concluding that the newspaper was the worst offender and because of its reputation for reliability in reporting, was particularly influential in this case in a most negative sense. He was highly critical of the Times for its refusal to admit to its wrongdoings. He writes:

The Army and the rulers joined the majority of the Spanish people in repudiating Franco-Fascism with the dictator’s death. This left only the Fourth Estate, and notably the outstanding newspaper in the world, the most powerful and important maker of public opinion, The New York Times, to complete the repudiation by confessing the falsehoods and pro-fascism of the past.

Its great opportunity came on August 1, 1977, when it published a two-column obituary of its Spanish War correspondent, Herbert L. Matthews. Instead of confessing that it had falsified history during the war by publishing slanted news and outright 100% pure lies from the Franco side, and harassed and intimidated Matthews, who risked his life and told the truth, this dirty-trick obituary added to the sad record of American journalism’s failure.

This failure of The New York Times to correct its false history of the fascist officers’ conspiracy and rebellion—wrongly called the ‘Spanish Civil War’ (there were almost no Spaniards in the Franco armies: there were Germans, Italians, and the Terico and Foreign Legion of Muslims)—was so flagrant that for the second time in Times history, if not in all journalism’s history, one of the senior editors of the Times was forced to criticize the Times. John B. Oakes wrote a ‘Letter to the Editor’ and it was printed!

Matthews was one of the victims…. Edward L. James, then unfortunately managing editor, published falsehoods alongside Matthews’ factual reports…. Unable to get the truth published in the Times, he wrote it in his book, A World in Revolution. Here are a few quotations:

‘McCaw had ordered the copy readers to substitute the word “Insurgents” when I sent “Italians.’ (p. 26).

‘I saw two of Henday’s Associated Press stories [French border] front-paged, both equally false.’ (p. 35).

‘I especially took strong exceptions to the fact that in the effort to be “impartial” the Times had throughout alternately featured mine, Carney’s and AP Henday’s copy from the Franco side, regardless of news value, accuracy, and honesty.’ (p. 39).

Elsewhere in his book Matthews wrote that ‘Carney was a Roman Catholic … in Carney’s case it blinded him to any other aspect of the rebellion.’ And again, ‘All four of the editors who worked in the bull pen throughout the war were Roman Catholics: Robert McCaw, the assistant managing editor in charge; Neil MacNeil, the second man; Clarence Howell, a convert, was almost fanatically religious; and Harvey Getzloe.’ These four were known in the Times as ‘The Catholic Bull-Pen.’

Guy Talese in his history of the Times refers to them as ‘the Fascist phalanx in the bull-pen.’

It might be worth noting that the N.Y. Times also used the services of the Times of London, whose correspondent in Spain, Lawrence Fernsworth, happened to be an American and a Roman Catholic. Fernsworth also wrote for the American Catholic press as well as the N.Y. Times. When Fernsworth once protested Editor James’ mismanagement of the Spanish War news, James cabled ‘Resignation accepted.’ Fernsworth had not resigned; James threw him out.[260ll]

The editor of The Churchman inserted the following note into Seldes’s article:

[Lawrence Fernsworth’s … articles in The Churchman … titled ‘A Catholic Reporter in Spain,’ gave an inside story of the pressures upon an American reporter working in Spain during those war years, 1936-39. ‘A political church,’ he wrote, ‘was not interested in honest surveys …’ An accompanying editorial in The Churchman for March 1, 1940, stated: ‘All too rarely does the public have the opportunity of being taken behind the scenes of dramatic events of such significance. All through the Spanish war liberal-minded Americans who attempted to counteract the falsehoods of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in reference to that conflict were bitterly attacked, as The Churchman was on many occasions, by Catholic leaders. When we, along with others, insisted that there were thousands of Italian troops fighting in Spain and that great numbers of German army technicians were in that country aiding Franco, we were frankly and bluntly called liars by Roman Catholic leaders. Yet, as the public now knows, we were merely recording the facts.’][260ll]

Seldes continues:

The N.Y. Times under James, by publishing one column of falsehoods alongside one column of Matthews’ eyewitness facts, served the cause of Franco and his allies, Hitler and Mussolini …[260ll]

This very same technique is being used in America today by a press manipulated by the Vatican to misinform Americans, minimizing the threat of overpopulation and, in particular, the threat of the greenhouse effect. The Vatican demand is that both sides of the issues be given equal press. An article of falsehoods is published alongside an article of facts. For example, the United Nation’s task force on the greenhouse effect includes 2500 scientists. There are perhaps a half dozen people with credentials who dismiss this theory. The Vatican has successfully insisted that both groups be given equal press or, better yet, none at all. On illegal immigration, the costs to America vastly outweigh the benefits. The Vatican has succeeded in leveling the playing field using this technique of press manipulation. As a result, Americans remain unorganized on the immigration issue. The outcome: press generated confusion prevents effective protests.

Seldes continues:

If there is any value in history, if history teaches us something and helps world civilization, the Spanish record should be set straight. The Times failed to do so in August 1977. Yet in 1971 Matthews concluded:

I say that not only I, but the truth suffered. No student can today go back to the files of The New York Times from July 1936 and get a competent, balanced, complete journalistic picture of the Spanish Civil War. The Times failed its readers and posterity.[260ll]

The war correspondents, not only Matthews and Hemingway, but the hundred or more without exception, tried to tell the world from Madrid that this was a rehearsal by Hitler and Mussolini for a world war. We said so in 1936 and every year until 1939. We warned FDR and France and England that the Nazi-Fascists, masquerading as anti-Communists, were trying out guns, tanks, and airplanes. There was destruction of whole cities, air-bombing (Guernica), destruction of whole civilian populations (Barcelona block bombing). We tried to tell the world to prepare for the Hitler-Mussolini-Japanese Anti-Komintern Pakt attack—World War II as it is now called—and by preparing, perhaps prevent it. We failed largely because of pressure by the Roman Catholic Church of the United States on the American press—by Father Thorning, Cardinal Spellman and others. And, being the most powerful opinion-making paper in America the Times must share a major part of the blame. Three estates—rulers, army, church—have at least confessed their sin. But not the infallible Times.[260ll]

To this day The New York Times has not published the truth about its falsehoods and pro-fascism of the Spanish war years. We must assume that the Times does not want known the influence of the Catholic hierarchy at the Times during that era. We must also assume that the Times has not acted because the Catholic influence prevails in its editorial offices today.

The overthrow of democracy in Spain by the Vatican with the Spanish War of 1936-39 was viewed as a matter of great concern to the Vatican. Their success required substantial control of the press in Spain and in the United States. Halting of population growth control is far more important to the Vatican than Spain ever was and control of the press is critical. The Vatican is succeeding in thwarting population growth control because it is largely controlling the press on this issue.

Seldes singled out The New York Times for particular scrutiny but his studies showed that all 1,750 American newspapers with few exceptions were victimized by the Catholic leadership and that “The Catholic Church propaganda campaign [was] conducted largely by the Knights of Columbus.” As late as 1978, he concluded that “the New York Times is still in fear of reprisals from the Roman Church.”

In the case of population growth control (family planning, abortion, immigration) no Catholic reporters, editors or publishers, or their counterparts in the electronic media have distinguished themselves, nor have any non-Catholics. The reason? For anyone to emerge from the pack has been made more difficult by the Vatican than it was even during the Spanish War days. Though it seems that a description of the opposition to population growth control and how the opposition operates would be newsworthy, reporters have not distinguished themselves by making this known. Despite its enormous importance, this information never appears in the press.

No doubt the influence of the Knights of Columbus with its membership of 1.5 million means that the American press is not free to report on matters that threaten the security-survival of the Papacy. But as if this were not sufficient, in recent years a new organization has been created to serve as the point of attack on the American freedom of the press—the Catholic League for Religion and Civil Rights. The next chapter is devoted to a survey of the League’s chilling effect on this freedom in the 1990s.

[260ii] G. Seldes, “Reformation in Spain, 454 Years Late,” The Churchman (August-September 1978), p. 6.
[260jj] G. Seldes, “‘LIBERAL’ — A New Dirty Word,” The Churchman (November 1981), p. 6.
[260kk] G. Seldes, “Lies Not Meant For Light,” The Churchman (January 1979), p. 10.
[260ll] G. Seldes, “Falsehoods of the Spanish War,” The Churchman (October 1977), p. 7.
[260mm] G. Seldes, “‘Christian’ Anti-Communist Crusade,” The Churchman (October 1972), p. 11.
[260nn] G. Seldes, “The Roman Church and Franco,” The Churchman (December 1978), p. 10.
[260oo] G. Seldes, “Catholic Spain’s Suppressed News,” The Churchman (November 1978), p. 8.

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)
ASIN: B00TBR5AIK
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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.

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