Ignatius, Spying and Sedition-From A Work in Progress

   Posted by: Nelson Turner   in Writings

The nativity of Ignatius in the mountainous Basque region of Spain would seem an unlikely place to produce a son that would go forth conquering and to conquer in the spiritual realm, though the physical situation of his birth leant itself to a hardiness of constitution in body and soul. The proponents and lovers of the system of Ignatius admit that he was a most unpromising student in academic and religious matters, passionate for personal glory, and desirous of the recognition of the great men of the world. Despite his own deficiencies of body and mind, he achieved the glory he sought and the notice he desired: a hero and saint to his friends and followers; a devil, liar and thief to his detractors. He had grown up in a home with a father and brothers (Inigo was one of nine sons in his family, all of whom entered military service) who had ties to the Spanish chivalric orders modeled upon the pattern of the Knights Templar, an environment that filled his head with the noble deeds of warriors of the faith, and likely exposed him to the esoteric arts and occult traditions preserved in the Templars. It was suspected by the Inquisition that Ignatius was a member of the “Alumbrados,” Ignatius was denounced to its courts, but was released from prison after forty days, and then jailed again for forty-two days. Charges against him by local operatives of the Inquisition appear to have been repeatedly overturned by their superiors. Ignatius seems to have been granted some preferment and protection from the highest levels of the Spanish Court and Catholic authorities that caused him to escape the clutches of the Inquisition. The definition of the term in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia is as follows: “Alumbrados-The name assumed by some false mystics who appeared in Spain in the sixteenth century and claimed to have direct intercourse with God. They held that the human soul can reach such a degree of perfection that it contemplates even in the present life the essence of God and comprehends the mystery of the Trinity. All external worship, they declared, is superfluous, the reception of the sacraments useless, and sin impossible in this state of complete union with Him Who is Perfection Itself. Carnal desires may be indulged and other sinful actions committed freely without staining the soul. The highest perfection attainable by the Christian consists in the elimination of all activity, the loss of individuality, and complete absorption in God.” This description of Illuminism is a description of the spiritual basis of Jesuitism. The principle that sin could be committed without fear or guilt was the doctrine of the Alumbrados, and became the doctrine of the Jesuits. Jesuit James Broderick states in his 1956 work “Saint Ignatius Loyola” that Ignatius saw “something in the air close to him, which gave him much satisfaction because it was exceeding beautiful…it seemed to somehow have the form of a serpent, with many things that shone like eyes, though they were not eyes.” (Page 92) It appeared to him for a “period of fifteen years,” concurrent with his visions of Mary, Jesus Christ, and “The Holy Trinity under the figure of three keys. This was accompanied with so many tears and so much sobbing that he could not control himself.” (St. Ignatius’ Own Story, Regnery, 1956, Page 22.) According to Catholic definition, Ignatius was an “Alumbrado” or Illuminist. The Society of Jesus is the repository of the ancient esoteric traditions, occult practices, and syncretistic practices of the Templars. These occult threads converge and intertwine in the Jesuit Order doctrinally with the teaching that absolute submission to a spiritual superior can and will result in a state of perfection where no action commanded and then committed can ever be sin.

Inigo was admitted to the Roman Catholic priesthood at “an early age” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913) and “tonsured” but was for some “unknown reason” released from his vows. (The release from or breaking of monastic and clerical vows is reprehended by all Romanist authors concerning Martin Luther and the other Reformers, but is passed over with a roaring silence by Catholic writers.) Subsequent to this, young Inigo was sent to the home of the contador mayor (chief treasurer) of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, where he served in their court in some capacity which is not agreed upon by the Catholic writers. It is certain that he learned something of his host’s book keeping and banking profession and this would well account for the later mechanical fashion and form of the Spiritual Exercises. This training would also familiarize the young Spaniard with methods of handling and increasing acquired wealth. His later history and that of his Order reveal an astuteness and acumen in dealing with money, lands, and properties endowed upon the Jesuits by their wealthy dupes. It is to be well remembered that every “religious” takes a “vow of poverty,” only to then precede living from the money and labor of others. Ignatius during his early years was a beggar, begging money from other men that he might devote himself to study and his spiritual pursuits. In rejection of the command, “That if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) he whole heartedly sought the wealth of others for his own benefit. The Jesuit painted picture of a disheveled itinerant wanderer and religious student begging along a roadside cannot be entirely correct or honest. “He went to great pains to find an employer.” (Ignatius’s Own Story, Regnery, 1956, Page 56.) Monks and friars of his acquaintance “found it impossible to get an employer for him.” (Ibid. Previous) One then suggested to him that he leave Paris to go beg in Flanders, where he could get enough money in two months to last him a year. “Once he went over to England and brought back a larger sum in alms that he had been accustomed to do in former years.” (Ignatius’s Own Story, Regnery, 1956, Page 53) In the summer of 1530, the supposed destitute, wandering hallucinating pilgrim student had the wherewithal and connections to visit “London” “for the purpose of collecting alms from the numerous Spaniards who at that time resided in the English metropolis. His visit appears to have been a very brief one, and very little is known about it.” (The Jesuits in Great Britain, 1903, Routledge, Chapter One, First Page.)

What can be known is that the cosmopolitan, wealthy Spaniards living in England would have been ill disposed to endow an un-introduced, ragged beggar with alms who only some short years before had been imprisoned twice in Spain (Alcala and Salamanca) on suspicions of heresy, being a spiritual deviant in violation of inquisitorial Canon Law. These Spaniards would have been merchant men and traders of wines, leather, cork and other Spanish commodities; or retainers and household members of the Spanish Ambassador, whose residence was a portion of the house occupied by the Austin Friars. It is even possible that Ignatius received money or jewels through an intermediary from Catherine of Aragon, the divorced ex-Queen of Henry VIII, a woman much acknowledged for her Popish devotion who still retained her own Spanish ladies in waiting. One Jesuit has stated in his writings that Loyola may have visited Thomas More to peruse his substantial library to enhance his studies and devotions. Sir Thomas More was Lord Chancellor of England at the time, Ignatius’s ability to utilize his library filled with Latin works could only have been rudimentary. Far more likely Ignatius was on a political and religious mission, not just a begging mission, and that he was getting first hand accounts of the doings of King Henry VIII in his government.

“That he would visit the famous and not yet desecrated shrine of Thomas of Canterbury, either on his way to London or on his return to France, we may regard as well-nigh certain; and as more certain that he would sometimes go to pray at the tomb of St. Edward the Confessor in the abbey of Westminster. It is probable, too, that he was hospitably received at the Charterhouse by the Carthusian monks, whose brethren in Paris were amongst his closest friends, and who ere long would, with one unhappy exception, choose death in it most revolting forms rather than admit Henry’s impious claim. Some were hanged under circumstances of peculiar atrocity. With all these devoted men Ignatius had probably held conference on the miseries and dangers of his time.” (St. Ignatius Loyola and the Early Jesuits, by Stewart Rose. Burns and Oates, London, 1891. Pages 153, 154.) Ignatius would have visited the shrine of the traitor Thomas A Becket, spent time with the seditious Carthusian monks who would not recognize Henry’s supremacy, and in between feasted and begged in “the houses of the Spanish merchants, who were clustered together near the river, in the neighbor hood of the Old Broad Street.” (Ibid, Previous, Page154.) The Catholic author has conjectured a very likely, but probably not full itinerary of Ignatius’s foot travel in Britain. The same author said that the “apostasy” of Henry “must have been as gall and wormwood to the heart of St. Ignatius, filling it at once with a righteous indignation at the wickedness of Henry and his counsellors.” (Ibid, Previous, Page 153.) Loyola’s presence would have been a comfort and encouragement to these seditious monks who possessed no private religion or assurance of salvation apart from the Papal blessing. He would have urged them forward in the resistance to Henry, and would have approved the same in Thomas More. The seditious aspect of Jesuitism is rooted in the faith and practice of its founder; no Jesuit has ever denied that its principles come from him.

Prior to his journey across the English Channel, on his first begging journey to Bruges and Antwerp, Loyola encountered a Spaniard of high repute and learning. “He met at Bruges the Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives, who had recently returned from his post in England.” (The Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland and England 1541-1588 by Thomas M. McCoog. Page 12, published by Brill, 1996.) Vives was a professor at the Louvain who had come to England at the invitation of Henry, acted as tutor to Princess Mary (later “Bloody Mary”), but was forced to leave England because he had declared himself against the divorce of Catherine of Aragon. (Encyclopedia Britannica,11th Edition, Handy Edition, 1911, Vol. 28, Pages 152-153.) This Spanish Papist was a connection for Ignatius to the Spaniards in England. He was an excellent Catholic role model for Ignatius, having produced a most bigoted and fanatic, religious murderess in his education of Mary. His up to date knowledge of England, together with letters of introduction from him would have provided open doors for Loyola throughout all strata of Catholic and Spanish society in England. Ignatius also would have been easily able to serve as a courier, bringing messages in and then gathering information for his Lord, the Pope. The beginning of Jesuit espionage and counterintelligence began with the founder of the Order, a calculating militarist who well understood the importance of reconnaissance, logistics and planning.

This begging visit of Ignatius came at a crucial point in English history; just after Henry’s divorce of Catherine and subsequent to the fall of Cardinal Wolsey from the Lord Chancellorship. Thomas Cromwell, a man favorably disposed towards what became Protestantism, was rising in the King’s favor. The dissolution of the major monasteries of England was imminent, the monks and nuns of England were held in disrepute, and the gospel of the grace of God was being heard, read and received by many in England. Roman Catholicism was coming on hard times in the island, collapsing under the weight of its own evils, but even as it sunk, its future champion visited the city on the Thames. Ignatius, still a son of Spanish nobility, now loyal son of the Church, was received and funded by wealthy Spaniards and nobles. This indicates he bore with him some form of official sanction from Rome, Spain, or both. The same man whom women fled from and children stoned is found moving among well dressed, well mannered and wealthy people with guile and success. The mad ascetic moves from the cave to the cathedral with too much ease and too ready an acceptance-an acceptance that strains credulity. His brief but rather successful trip to London appears to have had the approval of some higher power, to have not been carried out on a fancy or whim, at pivotal point in his personal history and that of England. In light of his subsequent doings, it would be foolish to believe that begging was the sole purpose of this visit. Religion and politics converged into one at the onset of the Reformation; every religious change quickly brought political ramifications. Religion and politics was the program of Ignatius from the inception of his Order. There is no reason to think his mission to England was anything less.

The early training of Loyola would later bear fruit in the spiritual surveillance, physical espionage, and a “human resource” inventory system that was developed within the Society. “The detective system which prevails to so iniquitous an extent amongst the Jesuits must prevent friendship by destroying mutual confidence. Loyola was an admirable model for the imitation of his followers in this respect. When in the immediate vicinity of his brother’s castle, to which he was most cordially invited, he passed it coldly by without even a sigh for “auld Lang syne;” and long afterwards when a letter from his brother was placed in his hand, the wretch, proving himself to be a true apostate, as being “without natural affection” threw it unopened into the fire which was burning before him! Yet Loyola was often affected by a disease in the eyes, caused by excessive weeping while delivering his singularly pathetic and powerful discourse!” Full dictatorial surveillance based on the Jesuit model was openly implemented in Western Europe under the Gestapo, and this was improved and expanded upon to control and permeate the intelligence agencies of all nations. It has birthed as well a fraternity of men who have demonstrated the ability to amass the wealth of the nations in heaps and piles across the globe for use to achieve the designs for world domination.


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