Editor’s note: We are making “American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security” by our Chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford freely available to download. The book is as relevant and revealing today as it was when it was first published in 1984. Authors of Healing the Planet Ann and Paul Ehrlich write of the book: “Stephen Mumford dares to expose a largely secret but powerful opposition to controlling the runaway growth of the human population and establishing a sustainable society by the Vatican. If only half his claims are true, they still describe a grave threat to the future of humankind and the democratic institutions of the United States alike.” The book is available at Kindle here.
More praise for American Democracy and the Vatican
“… forecasts what could be America’s second civil war. It also describes the action needed to prevent this impending catastrophe.”
—Elton Kessel, M.D., Founder, International Fertility Research Program
“… sharp insights, unyielding courage, and philosophic sweep that is essential reading for everyone concerned with the assault of the Catholic hierarchy and right-wing fundamentalists on America’s long tradition of church-state separation.”
—Larry Lader, Co-Founder, NARAL Pro-Choice America
“… should be required reading for all women…. The virulent moralists not only attack access to medically safe abortion but also attack family planning (especially in developing countries)—indeed, women’s economic rights and independence by seeking to turn women into breeding machines….”
—Fran P. Hosken, Founder, Women’s International Network News (WIN News)
“… can help us reverse current trends.”
—Mary and Lloyd Morain, Planned Parenthood pioneers
“… clearly shows that Paul Blanshard’s warning of thirty-five years ago that the Vatican had a plan to impose its anti-democratic policies on America was justified … the effort has accelerated alarmingly…. Vatican policies, backed by Rome and the New Right, are increasing the overpopulation and insecurity of the world. Rome opposes planned parenthood, sex education, abortion, limitation of immigration, and to what end? To the increase of the Vatican’s political and financial power. It is a power struggle, not a religious struggle.”
—Edwin H. Wilson, Executive Director Emeritus, American Humanist Association
“… extremely interesting and indeed eye-opening…. well worth reading and digesting. Its message is deeply disturbing.”
—M. Rupert Cutler, Executive Director, The Environmental Fund
Excerpt from American Democracy and the Vatican
This book deals with the national and global security implications of world population growth and urges that this growth problem be redefined in terms different from the customary approaches. The solutions—modern methods of contraception, abortion, sterilization, expanding opportunities for women, sex education, and the like—are in fact gravely threatening the survival of the Vatican, at least its political dimension. According to Father Andrew Greeley, the Vatican leaders are concerned not so much with the religious dimensions of the Church as with its vast worldwide political power. The greater the number of their communicants, the greater the power of this hierarchy. These prelates, recognizing their jeopardy, have placed the religious dimension of the Church at risk in order to prevail politically.
The United States National Security Council, on the other hand, in 1979 and 1980, determined that world population growth seriously threatens the security of all nations including our own. Thus the dimensions of the conflict are defined.
The political Catholic Church (the Vatican) is pitted against the national security interests of the United States. Clearly, to ignore the population problem will be to invite severe consequences and, ultimately, a complete loss of our national security.
Thus threatened, the Vatican is resorting to desperate and bold measures in America. Four years ago, it went to great lengths to assist in the election of an American president, using the infrastructure created by the Catholic bishops’ 1975 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities (often referred to as the Pastoral Plan of Action; see, appendix two), purportedly created to combat legalized abortion. The Reagan administration has been overwhelmingly the most Catholic in American history, and its agenda has been essentially the Vatican agenda.
About 4 percent of the U.S. population is Irish Roman Catholic. Mr. Reagan’s father, like the leadership of the Catholic Church in America, was an Irish Roman Catholic, and his brother is a devout Catholic. No one doubts the president’s close ties to the Catholic Church.
In any administration, the appointments most relevant to the population growth-security issue are national security advisor, secretary of state, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, attorney-general (responsible for illegal immigration control), and secretary of Health and Human Services (who sets the national example for provision of comprehensive family planning services).
Mr. Reagan has appointed three national security advisors—Richard Allen, William Clark, and James McFarland. All are Irish Catholic. His two secretaries of state have been Alexander Haig, an Irish Catholic, and George Schultz, a Catholic of German extraction. His CIA director is William Casey, an Irish Roman Catholic, as is his attorney-general, William French Smith. HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler is also Irish Roman Catholic.
In a nation in which only 4 percent of the population is Irish Catholic, this causes no small concern. Any scientist computing mathematical probabilities will agree that the odds of this arrangement happening by chance are nil. Now that it has become apparent that the agenda of the Reagan administration and the Vatican are essentially the same, concern has turned into alarm.
In his book, American Freedom and Catholic Power, published some thirty-five years ago, the Reverend Paul Blanshard discussed what theoretically could happen to American democracy if the Catholic Church conducted itself as it has in most other countries in recent history, manipulating governments at will.
Blanshard’s book was labeled heretical and rabidly anti-Catholic. Librarians were ordered to remove it from their shelves. It was kept secretly in desk drawers. How tragic—for both non-Catholic and Catholic Americans.
Nowhere is it clearer that the best interests of the Vatican have superseded those of the United States than in matters concerning the population growth-national security issue. Many knowledgeable Americans, including Catholics, agree with another Irish Catholic American, a former secretary of defense and World Bank president, Robert McNamara, who believes that world population growth is a greater threat to U.S. security than thermonuclear war.
Of great importance is the fact that, like McNamara, most Catholic Americans do not subscribe to the Vatican position on population growth control. Catholic Americans use the same contraceptive methods and have abortions at the same rates as non-Catholic Americans, and they have the same desired family sizes. Furthermore, most American Catholics deeply disagree with the Vatican on the need for population growth control.
However, there is a cadre of devout Catholics, which, out of deep religious conviction, follow the dictates of the Vatican, without question. There is a smaller group of laypersons, less religious, that carry out orders for the rewards of power and privilege.
They have been joined by certain non-Catholics—fundamentalist Christians, Mormons, and Orthodox Jews—who are genuinely opposed to abortion, legal or not, although they are definitely in the minority among anti-abortionists (less than 30 percent of the activists). Other non-Catholic laypersons, such as Senator Helms and Congressman Levin, have joined the Vatican effort because they derive enormous power from the Vatican. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the energy, organization, and direction of the anti-abortion, anti-family-planning, anti-population-growth-control movement in the United States comes from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.
The fears of the Reverend Mr. Blanshard are now being realized. The president, in a speech in Hoboken, New Jersey, on July 26, 1984, stated that he was following the leadership of Pope John Paul II in determining U.S. foreign policy in Central America in the latest efforts to save Vatican-backed oppressive governments from popular uprisings. The White House position paper prepared for the World Population Conference in Mexico City (see, appendix three) is the same as the Vatican policy on abortion, family planning, and population growth control.
The threat of the Vatican to democracy is overwhelmingly apparent in Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors (see, appendix four), as binding today as when it was promulgated more than one hundred years ago. According to the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia, “all Catholics are bound to accept the syllabus.” Today, before being ordained, every Catholic priest is required to swear to support the eighty articles of the syllabus. Priests who are American citizens have taken an oath to support a philosophy diametrically opposed to and condemning the principles of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.
American Catholics are certain to pay a terrible price for this intrusion upon American sovereignty. In 1969, the so-called Soccer War was fought between El Salvador and Honduras. This was the first war ever directly attributed to overpopulation, a determination made by the Organization of American States. The war was prompted by massive illegal immigration from grossly overpopulated El Salvador into Honduras. Fifteen years later, the overpopulation problem continues to be all but ignored in El Salvador because the Vatican demands that it be ignored. The population today is growing at the incredible rate of 2.6 percent per year, and the country has a doubling time of twenty-seven years! The results of this continued growth have been general chaos, the illegal immigration of more than 20 percent of Salvadorans to the United States, a breakdown in social order, and destruction of the economic, social, and political structures of the country.
This is the kind of chaos that the United States has in store if we allow continued illegal immigration of tens of millions of Catholic Latin Americans and others into the United States. This approach to assuming control over the most powerful nation on earth appears to be what the Vatican has in mind, since it represents the only significant opposition to illegal immigration control.
The public trust in all American Catholics is imminently threatened by this refusal of the Vatican to respect American sovereignty. As soon as American non-Catholics sense that this trust has been broken by a significant number of Catholics who owe their first loyalty to the Vatican, public trust in Catholics in general will be destroyed, albeit undeservedly. If the Vatican proceeds with this infringement on U.S. sovereignty, a violent reaction is already predictable. Unfortunately, all of us will pay for the Vatican’s struggle for power.
On September 12, 1984, Bill Moyers appeared with Dan Rather on the CBS evening news. His commentary referred to the alliance between the Roman Catholic bishops and Protestant fundamentalists. He discussed the threat of the separation of church and state issue, which has been renewed by the 1984 presidential campaign, and placed in the strongest terms the seriousness of this threat to America:
We have an alternative to civil war in this country—a holy civil war at that—and that is the Constitution.
El Salvador and China offer us the best examples of the option Americans will have if we continue to allow a government other than our own democratically representative one to determine U.S. foreign and domestic policy on population growth control activities. Either an insecure nation in social, economic, and political chaos or a highly regimented one devoid of many cherished freedoms may be our future. Neither option should be acceptable to Americans. Population growth control is the only alternative.
This book is devoted to a complete discussion of the population growth-national security threat, and each issue set forth in the foregoing pages is discussed in depth.
Dr. Stephen Mumford is the founder and President of the 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. In 1981, he received the Margaret Mead Leadership Prize in Population and Ecology. He has been recognised for his work in advancing the cause of reproductive rights by the Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association, 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. He has written extensively on the pivotal role of the Catholic hierarchy in thwarting efforts to tackle the world’s burgeoning population.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon requested the authoritative interagency study that came to be known as NSSM 200 (National Security Study Memorandum 200). The NSSM 200 report states: “There is a major risk of severe damage [from continued rapid population growth] to world economic, political, and ecological systems and, as these systems begin to fail, to our humanitarian values.” However, the implementation of NSSM 200 recommendations that were already approved by President Ford was blocked by the swift action of the Vatican. As CIA Director, George H.W. Bush was in the position most concerned with such a grave threat to the United States and global security. Just days after leaving his post at the agency, he told Dr. Mumford, author of Population Growth Control (1977), “I agree with everything you are saying here,” referring to the book, “and I can assure you the folks at the CIA agree with you too.”
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 Population Growth Control: The Next Move is America’s (New York: Philosophical Library, 1977), 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).
As president of the Center for Research on Population and Security, Dr. Mumford continues his work of more than four decades as lead scientist in the development and evaluation of contraception methods and advancing the cause of reproductive rights. Collaborating with health providers and scientists in more than 20 countries, his office is in North Carolina where he makes his home. His wife of 40 years, a Chinese immigrant and leading cancer researcher, focuses much of her investigation on environmental cancers affecting large populations of poor women.
Vatican control of World Health Organization population policy: An interview with Milton P. Siegel
During the formative years of the World Health Organization (WHO), broad consensus existed among United Nations member countries that overpopulation is a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future. One of the founding fathers of the WHO, the late Milton P. Siegel, speaks to Dr. Mumford in 1992. He explains how the Vatican successfully stymied 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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