|This article appears in the July 25, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
MEXICO'S CRISTERO REBELLION
Synarchism, the Spanish Falange,
by William F. Wertz, Jr.
and the Nazis
This article is dedicated to the memory of Carlos Cota. It was prepared with the assistance of Cruz del Carmen Moreno de Cota.
The purpose of this article is give the potential youth leader in Mexico and elsewhere knowledge of the way in which Synarchism has been used to try to prevent Mexico in particular from developing as an independent sovereign nation-state, as part of a worldwide community of sovereign nation-states mutually committed to the promotion of the general welfare of their respective populations through economic development. This article is necessitated by the renewed threat to both Mexico and the United States, among other nations, that today's Synarchistscentered in the United States around Vice President Dick Cheney, and in Mexico around the National Action Party (PAN)will impose international fascism.
What this article will document is that the Cristero Rebellion, an armed "Catholic" uprising from 1926-29 to overthrow the Mexican government, was orchestrated by Jesuit-trained Synarchists. Synarchism in its various guises is a totalitarian ideology allegedly designed to counter "anarchy," by imposing fascist dictatorships. The same Synarchists who ran the Cristero Rebellion formed the National Synarchist Union in 1937 and the PAN. The National Synarchist Union itself was run by the Nazis, through the Spanish Falange.
Some have argued to the contrary, that the Cristero Rebellion in Mexico was a lawful development unique to the conditions which prevailed in Mexico at the time. Anne Carroll, whose husband Warren Carroll was the founder of Christendom College in Virginiaa cesspool of Buckley family-connected Spanish Carlismargued, for example in her book Christ and the Americas, that the Cristero Rebellion was justified, and that even though not victorious in the short term, it had a positive historical effect, as evidenced by the fact that Pope John Paul II visited Mexico in the 1990s. As she put it: "The blood of the martyrs of the Revolution had borne fruit."
The reason that the views of an otherwise obscure Northern Virginia cult figure like Anne Carroll are important on this question, is that she is part of the synarchist circles of Christendom College and the William F. Buckley family in the United States and in Mexico, which have targetted Lyndon LaRouche, who is the leading opponent of Synarchism in the world today. (See " 'Catholic' Schools Plot Exposed: Who Is Snuffing Your Neighbor's Kittens?" EIR, April 19, 2002.)
In 1985, the associates of Lyndon LaRouche in Mexico produced a book entitled The PAN: Moscow's Terrorists in Mexico, which includes a chapter entitled, "The Cristero Rebellion and the Synarchist International." However, under the misleadership and treachery of Fernando Quijano, a former associate of LaRouche, who conspired against LaRouche when LaRouche was railroaded into prison in 1989 by Quijano's synarchist controllers, a campaign was launched to repudiate everything written in that book. Quijano even said on one occasion that after Mexican President Benito Juárez had the Hapsburg "Emperor" Maximilian executed, he should have shot himself. To grasp the degree of treachery that this represented, one must realize that LaRouche's economic proposal for Ibero-America in 1982 was entitled Operation Juárez.
Anne Carroll also, not accidentally, defends the Hapsburg Emperor Maximilian and denounces Juárez. This should come as no surprise, since Otto von Hapsburg was listed as a contributor to the Carlist Triumph magazine of L. Brent Bozell, with which the Carrolls were associated before forming Christendom College. Moreover, the organization founded by Bozell, Buckley's brother-in-law, the Society for the Christian Commonwealth, adopted the same battle cry as the Cristeros, "Christ the King."
As she put it, after Mexican Independence was declared in 1810, "Men emerged who rejected Liberalism, who professed traditional values, who were loyal Catholics." "Mexican traditionalists realized that in the Church and in traditional values was Mexico's only hope." So that is why they conceived the idea of establishing a Catholic monarchy, with a European prince on the throne, which they discussed with Empress Eugenie, the Spanish-born wife of Napoleon III of France.
In 1854, when President Antonio López de Santa Anna was overthrown, according to Anne Carroll, rebellion broke out with the battle cry of "Religión y fueros""Religion and feudal privileges" (also the battle cry of the Spanish Carlists). Juárez issued the Laws of Reform in July 1859. When Mexico declared a debt moratorium in July 1861, Napoleon III decided to send his French Army, who landed in Mexico in 1862 and after a war, imposed Maximilian as the new Emperor of Mexico. On June 28, 1866, Napoleon ordered the French Army to leave, fearing war with the United States. Maximilian was put on trial on June 12 and executed on June 19, 1867.
Anne Carroll's assessment is as follows: "The United States had supported Juárez and denounced Maximilian because Juárez boasted of his adherence to Liberalism and democracy. But he set up a far tighter control over the country than the so-called autocrat, Maximilian, had done.... He tried and failed to build a secular education system to replace the destroyed Catholic system." This is the viewpoint adopted by Buckley pawn Fernando Quijano and his epigones.
Another major apologist for the Cristero Rebellion is the historian Jean Meyer from the Benedictine University of Perpignan in France, who omits crucial facts in his book, The Cristero Rebellion, in order to cover up the continuity between the Cristeros and the official synarchist movement founded in Mexico in 1937. A third apologist for the Synarchists in Mexico, Benedictine priest Alcuin Heibel, argues that they are not Nazis or Falangists, but rather are a "thoroughly Christian and Mexican movement."
The reality is that the Synarchists were created by the Nazis, who made use of the Spanish Falange to do so.
But to understand the Cristeros, one must look at the role of the Hapsburg family and the Jesuits in Mexico, as well as the influence of Spanish Carlism. Not only did the Carlist wars in the 19th Century parallel the opposition of the Catholic Church in Mexico to the Independence movement of Miguel Hildago y Costilla and the Reform of Benito Juárez, but the very battle cry of the Carlists in the 1880s, "Christ the King," was adopted by the Cristeros. Moreover, the Carlist principle of fueros, or feudal privileges, was the organizing principle employed by the Jesuits before they were expelled from Mexico by Charles III of Spain in the 18th Century, and the same principle the Jesuits used in Mexico before, during, and after the Cristero rebellion. This principle of fueros is the synarchist principle, which also underlies the Hapsburg conception of a "Europe of the regions," as opposed to a Europe of sovereign nation-states.
As referenced above, the Buckley family is a critical connection to the Cristero Rebellion. This also has significance today due to the involvement of the Buckleys in operations against the LaRouche movement both in Northern Virginia and in Mexico. William F. Buckley, Sr. was a key operative in post-1917 Mexico, in organizing against the Mexican Revolution and in inciting the Cristero Rebellion. In the post-World War II period, the Buckley family continued to play a destructive role not only against Mexico, but against the American Revolution and its continuation by Lyndon LaRouche. Not only did William F. Buckley, Sr. promote Nelson Rockefeller, a long-time adversary of LaRouche, as head of the Office of Coordination of Inter-American Affairs; but his son, William F. Buckley, Jr. was assigned in 1952 by James Jesus Angleton, director of counterintelligence for the CIA under Allen Dulles, to set up the first CIA office in Mexico City, where he worked with E. Howard Hunt. Through these connections, the Buckley family has continued to run hostile operations against LaRouche and his associates, while simultaneously promoting the synarchist PAN.
In the critical period after 1917, William F. Buckley, Sr. actively organized against the Mexican Revolution, opposing both the revolutionary laws that threatened foreign oil holdings, including those of Buckley himself, but also the laws that were designed to defend Mexican sovereignty against the sedition of synarchist elements of the Catholic Church. In 1919, Buckley and Thomas Lamont, of the J.P. Morgan banking empire, founded and ran an organization called the American Association of Mexico. Buckley himself was expelled from Mexico by President Alvaro Obregón in 1921 for counterrevolutionary activity. Moreover, Buckley promised to help fund the Cristeros. Although he apparently did not deliver on this promise, the very promise constituted an encouragement and an incitement to rebellion.
The American Revolution vs. Theocracy
To understand the significance of the Cristero Rebellion and its relationship to Synarchism, one must look back to the time of the American Revolution, since Synarchism was, in fact, the oligarchical reaction to the American Revolution. In its many guises, it was created in order to defeat the American Revolution and to prevent its spread to Ibero-America or to Europe.
For Spanish language culture, the key point of reference is the government of the French Bourbon King, Charles III of Spain (1716-1788). There are at least three important aspects to the regime of Charles III. First, he supported the American Revolution against the British. Second, prior to the American Revolution, in 1767, he suppressed the Jesuit Order in Spain and expelled the Jesuits from Mexico and all other Spanish territories. And third, Charles III initiated a series of Botanical scientific expeditions beginning in 1777 to Peru and Chile, the early 1780s in Colombia, in 1787 to California, Mexico, and Guatemala, and then finally to the Philippines in 1789. These expeditions laid the basis for the later expeditions by Alexander von Humboldt and A.G. Bonpland.
The fundamental political issue goes back further, however, to the writings of Dante and Nicolaus of Cusa, in which they rejected the idea of ultramontanism (the supremacy of the Pope over kings and emperors), which stood in way of the creation of perfectly sovereign nation-states dedicated to the general welfare of their respective populations. Both Dante in De Monarchia and Nicolaus of Cusa in Concordantia Catholica denounced and, in the latter case, proved that the so-called Donation of Constantine was a fraud. The Donation of Constantine was used historically to insist upon the supremacy of the Pope, on the fraudulent basis that he was given the authority by Constantine to crown kings and emperors, and therefore had supreme authority in the temporal as well as the spiritual domain.
The American Revolution, with its insistence on there being no established religion, was the political-philosophical realization of the project launched by Dante and Cusa. The suppression of the Jesuits by Charles III, in the context of his support for the American Revolution and his promotion of scientific investigation, was a critical reflection of this same historical current in Spanish-language culture.
The Cristero Rebellion in Mexico was led by Jesuits, using the same methods of organizing that had led Charles III to suppress the order in 1767. Authors such as Jean Meyer falsely argue that the efforts by the Mexican Revolution, and implicitly by the Mexican Independence movement and the Mexican Reform, reflected a form of so-called Bourbon "Regalism." But it is not accidental that Meyer's attack on the Republic of Mexico as despotic and "Regalist," derives directly from the Carlists, who beginning in 1830 fought for a theocratic, medievalist form of Roman Catholicism within the Spanish state.
Historically, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Mexico attempted to exert temporal power and opposed the Independence of 1810, the Reform of 1857, the Revolution of 1910, and the Constitution of 1917, even when other elements of the Catholic Church, as in the cases of Miguel Hildago and José Maria Morelos y Pavón, two priests and leaders of the Independence movement, were active in opposing the oligarchy.
In 1808, Archbishop Lizana and the Inquisitor Obejero were among the leaders of the conspiracy against Iturrigaray, the Viceroy, who was planning independence from Spain. When the War of Independence broke out, more than a hundred priests belonging to the lower clergy enlisted in the ranks of the insurgents, but all of them were anathematized, excommunicated, and degraded from their priestly rank by the Church. In 1811 a book was published entitled An Invitation to Catholic Americans in accord with what God and the General Cortes demand from their faith, in which the leaders of the Independence are called "brazen and sacrilegious men, infamous and unnatural," who "conspire to banish religion and loyalty from this country." The book carried a declaration from the Bishops of Puebla, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Nuevo León granting 240 days indulgence to the faithful "for every paragraph that they read or hear read" of it. Archbishop Lizana and Bishops Abad y Queipo, González, Gergoza and Cabañas, together with the Inquisition, excommunicated all insurgents and their sympathizers.
During the war with the United States in 1847, elements of the Church incited and financed a revolt. They supported the dictatorship of Antonio López de Santa Anna, and sought to found a monarchical protectorate under Spanish auspices. On Dec. 19, 1855, Ortega, the priest of Zacapoaxtla, led a rebellion against President Comonfort. Later, reactionary elements in the Church precipitated the violent War of Reform against Juárez and the new liberal laws, and subsequently provoked, in large part, the French intervention. Archbishop Labastida y Dávalos was a member of the provisional Triumvirate which established the Empire. All the Mexican soldiers who fought against the French were excommunicated.
Under President Porfirio Díaz, a faction of the Church hierarchy sought to re-establish its privileges. They later also conspired to overthrow President Francisco I. Madero and connived with the oligarchical Victoriano Huerta.
Thus, the theocratic, ultramontanist current in the Catholic Church in Mexico never accepted the attempt to introduce separation of Church and State modelled on the American Constitutional principle in Mexico. And if one looks at Mexico from this historical standpoint, it is clear that beginning during the early 1900s, a movement was launched there by Jesuits, based upon the principles of Carlist Synarchism, which had as its purpose the ultramontanist establishment of Catholic rule in Mexico.
As Walter Lippman observed, "in 1926 and 1927 the majority of the prelates [in Mexico] looked for a solution only through the overthrow of the government." He continued that the Mexican prelates viewed the world through Pope Pius IX's 1864 Syllabus of Errors, and that in "their social outlook they assumed the feudal order was part of the nature of things." (This is the same Pius IX who was sympathetic to the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War.)
Dwight Morrow, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico who mediated the negotiations that ended the Cristero Rebellion, pointed to the ideology expressed in the Syllabus of Errors, saying that its principles would not be accepted either by the "Mexican State nor any other modern State.... Not only most Protestants but also many liberal Catholics believe that paragraphs five and six of the Syllabus which deal with the Church, her rights and her relations to other civil societies, are irreconcilable with the independence of the modern national State. The gulf between the Church doctrine in its most extreme form has never yet been bridged in theory. Moderation and good sense, however, have brought about a modus vivendi in most of the important countries of the world."
The Common Origin of Nazi-Communism
As The PAN, Moscow's Terrorists in Mexico, published in 1985 in English, correctly points out, there is no contradiction between the fascism of the Spanish Carlists and the fascism of the Nazis or of the Communist Party. All have the same mother, which is why Synarchism is appropriately characterized as Nazi-Communist.
Especially during the period of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, prior to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II, U.S. intelligence reports from Ibero-America documented the collaboration among Nazis, Fascists, the Japanese, and the Communists. As one confidential U.S. intelligence report from April 9, 1940 indicates: "Russian and German agents, though in opposed Mexican political camps, are not in opposition, but are acting in collaboration and cooperation. Theirs is a single aim of armed revolution in Mexico, of action against the United States, of political control of Mexico.... Communist and Nazi agents are reported to be working actively in all labor groups side by side, to develop agitation against the U.S. to promote civil disorders and to gain ideological control of Mexico."
It is no accident, from this historical standpoint, that Fernando Quijano in 1979 would want to split off the Ibero-American associates of Lyndon LaRouche, in an alliance with Jesuit-trained Fidel Castro's Communist Cubaand then in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s wanted to create a separate Ibero-American organization based on an anti-communist alliance with Blas Piñar and the Spanish Falange (see box).
Moreover, the idea of creating a "Latin American bloc" against the United States, as opposed to a "pan-American" alliance with America, is the standing synarchist policy of the Nazis. In a confidential U.S. intelligence report entitled "Argentina: A Summary of Nazi Activity," dated Aug. 13, 1941, the propaganda technique used in Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America by the Nazi-controlled Spanish Falange is described as "a strong drive for the creation of a Latin-American bloc which, while allowing each country to retain its individuality, would unify the foreign policy of the Southern Continent and provide a sure protection against Yankee imperialism. This drive links up in turn with the Hispanidad movement, formally inaugurated by Spain and Portugal, but obviously directed by Germany."
As The PAN book reports, Manuel Gómez Morín, the founder of the right-wing PAN, was the lawyer for the Soviet Embassy in Mexico in 1926. In 1922, he proposed to the First International Student Congress in Mexico City, "the abolition of the present concept of public power, which, presuming the State to be a sovereign entity, translates itself into the subjective rule of the few over the many ... in opposition to the patriotic principle of nationalism, to integrate all nationalities into a universal community."
Gómez Morín admired Vicente Lombardo Toledano, who, according to The PAN book, was the Comintern's top agent in Ibero-America. Thus, the program proposed by Gómez Morín in 1922 was the program approved by the Comintern at Baku in 1921: to eliminate the sovereign nation-state and impose a Hobbesian synarchist dictatorship upon a multitude of tribal communities. This was the program that Lombardo Toledano was given the task of designing for Ibero-America. By 1926, the year when the Cristero Rebellion was launched, Lombardo Toledano drafted a corporatist proposal to organize Indian communities explicitly on a 13th-Century medieval model. Such a concept was no different in essentials from that advocated by the Jesuit fascists who ran the Cristeros.
From 1920-24, José Vasconcelos worked as the Mexican Minister of Public Education. It was he and his policies against which the Cristeros organized, in behalf of "Catholic" education. And yet the magazine, Timon, of the "communist" Vasconcelos was financed by the German company Transozean GmbH, a director of which was Hjalmar Schachtthe Anglo-American financial oligarchy's man inside Germany responsible for putting Adolf Hitler in power.
Gómez Morín, the founder of the PAN, was the head of the Bank of Mexico under President Plutarco Elías Calles and from that position financed the movement which sought to put José Vasconcelos into the Mexican Presidency.
Lombardo Toledano was a leading member of Luis Morones' Revolutionary Worker Confederation of Mexico (CROM), which was among the most radical opponents of the Catholic Church. And yet Gómez Morín, Lombardo Toledano, and José Vasconcelos all hated Benito Juárez' memory and joined the Synarchists in the Catholic Church in opposing the Constitution of 1917.
Moreover, according to a confidential document prepared on Oct. 31, 1941 by the American Assistant Naval Attaché in Mexico City, Harold P. Braman, Vasconcelos was a sub-chief of the National Synarchist Union; he and Gómez Morín were both members of the Falange-Church Council, the "Council of Hispanidad," or simply The Base, which ran the National Synarchist Union; and René Capistran, the supreme commander of the National League and the Cristeros, was a member of the Central Committee of the same Union.
The Fraudulent Thesis of Jean Meyer
While such historians as Jean Meyer attempt to portray the religious conflict in Mexico as the result of the Bourbons' "Regalist" policy, the reality is that the attempt to establish a sovereign nation-state in Mexico, as a model for all of Ibero-America, was based on the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, this policy was encouraged as U.S. foreign policy. For example, in early 1825, President John Quincy Adams advocated that delegates to the Panama Congress informally advise Ibero-American nations to abandon state religion. Any analysis of the Cristero Rebellion must start from this standpoint, as opposed to the notion that the rebellion was unjustly provoked by Bourbon Regalism, or some other devil's brew.
As Meyer points out in The Cristero Rebellion, the conflict with the Church in Mexico came to a head on three occasions historically: under the Bourbons in 1810; under Lerdo de Tejada, the successor to Benito Juárez, in 1874; and under Calles in 1926. Under the Bourbons, the Jesuits were expelled in 1767, and then in 1799 the judicial immunity of the clergy was cancelled.
After Independence was declared in 1810, the Constitution of Apatzingan of 1814 proclaimed Catholicism as the only recognized religion and restored the religious orders suppressed by the Bourbons.
Meyer argues that "The wars of the Reform (1857, 1867 and 1876) and the anti-clericalism of the Constituents of 1917, the persecution that took place between 1926 and 1938, and the Cristero risings of the same periodall these events were consequences of the Bourbons' Regalist policy." He claims that the policy of Lerdo de Tejada in 1859 "provoked the insurrection of the Religioneros, a movement which resembled the Vendée and Spanish Carlism." He writes further that the attempt to establish a sovereign nation-state on the American model was alien to the Hispanic tradition. According to Meyer, "Modern Mexico has been formed by men who despised ancient Mexico; this was, to a great extent, the root of the conflict which set the nationalist Calles against the patriotic Cristeros."
Thus, Meyer's basic assumption is that national sovereignty is alien to the "patriotic," "hispanic tradition," as reflected in the Religioneros rebellion against the Reform and in the Cristeros Rebellion against the Mexican Revolution. Also, Meyer explicitly compares the Religioneros rebellion to Spanish Carlism. It is also telling that at the end of the book, Meyer writes: "Some have interpreted this war as a movement similar to that of Salazar or Francoa precursor of Sinarquismo, the Mexican variety of Fascism." Of course, according to Meyer, this is not the case. For Meyer, Synarchism is a movement founded in Mexico in 1937. The only connection he is willing to concede between the Cristeros and Synarchism is that according to him, the failure of the former gave birth to the latter and later to the PAN.
But the reality is that the Cristero Rebellion was the direct precursor to the official synarchist movement in Mexico. Moreover, the city of Guadalajara and the state of Jalisco were the stronghold of both the Cristeros and the National Synarchist Union. To this day, Guadalajara is a center of pro-Cristero Synarchism.
Meyer maintains his fraudulent thesis by omitting altogether any reference to the key Jesuit operatives involved in the formation of the Cristeros beginning the 1890s, and the role of these same Jesuits in the later creation of Mexican Synarchism in the 1930s. The key Jesuit operative whom he omits is Bernard Bergoend, even though much of the background on Bergoend which appears in this article was derived directly from books Meyer recommends in his own bibliography. As reported below, Bergoend, who first moved from France to Mexico in 1891, was instrumental for over three decades in sowing the seeds of what later became the Cristero Rebellion. At the same time, as documented in The PAN, when the Cristero Rebellion ended in 1929, Bergoend led the intransigents who refused to accept the Vatican's policy of reconciliation. He founded the "League of the O," also known as the OCA (Organization-Cooperation-Action), which maintained an armed resistance. The OCA contained the nucleus of the militant Cristeros who, in the 1930s, became the National Synarchist Union.
Synarchist Roots of the Cristero Rebellion
The Cristero War of 1926-29 was a continuation of the "religious" insurrections against the Reform of Juárez and Lerdo, conceived and put into practice by the European oligarchy in the Carlist wars in Spain during the 19th Century. The Carlists defended the policies of the Holy Alliance: absolute monarchy, feudal despotism, and rejection of anything resembling a sovereign federal republic.
Prior to the 1910 Revolution in Mexico, while President Porfirio Díaz was still in power, a synarchist Catholic Social Action movement was launched, with the formation of a Union of Catholic Men and a Union of Catholic Women by a Jesuit priest, José Luis Cuevas. This led to the First Catholic Congress in February 1903, in the city of Puebla. One delegate, a young attorney from Jalisco, Miguel Palomar y Vizcarra, proposed the creation of rural cooperative banks at this congress. Subsequent Catholic congresses met in 1904 in Morelia, in 1906 at Guadalajara, and in 1909 at Oaxaca. There were also parallel agricultural congresses in Tulancingo in 1904 and 1905, and at Zamora in 1906. Among the leaders of the congresses, in addition to Father Cuevas and Palomar y Vizcarra, were a layman, José Refugio Galindo; a Josephine priest, José Maria Troncoso; the French Jesuit Bernard Bergoend; and the Bishop of Tulancingo, José Mora y del Rio, who later became the Bishop of Mexico City.
Bernard Bergoend was the key personality who not only shaped the synarchist Catholic Social Action movement in Mexico, which led to the Cristero Rebellion, but also, after the rebellion ended, continued the process which led to the official creation of the Synarchist movement in Mexico.
Bergoend was born in France in 1871 and entered the Society of Jesus at age 18. In 1891, at age 20, he was sent to Mexico, where he studied in San Luis Potosi. In 1900, he was sent to Spain to study theology. He then went to St. Louis, Missouri in the United States, where he was ordained a priest. Thereafter, he returned to Mexico where he had various assignments in Puebla and Mexico City, before being named a professor of philosophy at the Jesuit Institute in Guadalajara.
In 1905, Galindo founded the Guadalupan Laborers. In 1907, Father Troncoso proposed the creation of a Catholic Workers' Union. In 1906, Bergoend organized the first Jesuit "Spiritual Exercises" among the workers of Guadalajara. There he came to know members of Galindo's Guadalupan Laborers and lay leaders such as Palomar y Vizcarra. It was Bergoend who stressed the need to form a Catholic political party to promote social action. He wrote the draft plan of organization and the program for the National Catholic Party, based upon the precepts of a French Catholic party called Liberal Popular Action. On May 5, 1911, for the first and last time in Mexico, a political party was formed bearing the name Catholic. In August 1911, the party held its first national convention. In her book Christ and the Americas, Buckleyite Anne Carroll refers to the National Catholic Party and its auxiliary, the League of Catholic Students, as "the most constructive group" in Mexico at that time.
In 19ll, Bergoend also created a new organization in Mexico, modelled on the Catholic Association of French Youth. Then, in 1912, he moved back to Mexico City, where he became the advisor to the Catholic Student Center. In this position, he proceeded to create the Catholic Association of Mexican Youth (ACJM). It was he who wrote the general statues of the ACJM, which was formally established on Aug. 12, 1913.
In an address to the leadership of the first local chapter of the ACJM, Bergoend made the following statement, in support of a theocratic state:
"All are aware of the sad situation in which our country finds itself. After God was excluded from the laws, from the schools, and from public life, positivism, that cancer of the national soul, was made the religion of the state. The results have not been long delayed: in the field of ideas, a chaos of errors and deviations; in the field of action, an accumulation of calamities. Even among Catholics, indifference has struck deep roots; for many, patriotism has become refined selfishness, our workingmen, in the country as well as in the city, have heeded the destructive doctrines of socialism and, no longer having the restraints of religion, have turned their hatred of capital and of society into deeds. No wonder, then, that the call to fratricidal warfare, which has converted the fertile soil of the Mexican Fatherland into a wasteland of bloody thorns, has erupted so strongly and has wreaked such havoc....
"Oh, the things that could be done for the renovation of Mexico by a good contingent of youth, strongly united, which, animated by a profound faith in the cause of God, of the Fatherland, and of the popular soul, would work as one, for God, Fatherland, and the people, loving God to the limits of martyrdom, the Fatherland to the limits of heroism, and the people to the limits of sacrifice."
The website of the ACJM today reports: "Father Bernard proclaimed to his boys the urgency and the duty of making Christ reign not only within the temple, but also outside, in the workshop, in the school, in the street, in the Congress."
In 1914, the National Catholic Party, which as we have seen, was created by Bergoend, proceeded to consecrate Mexico to Cristo Rey, Christ the King, in a ceremony in the Villa de Guadalupe. This was a declaration of war against the 1910 Revolution.
In 1916, the ACJM spread like wildfire across Jalisco. In January 1917, René Capistran Garza, who was later to become the supreme commander of the Cristeros, was elected president of the Mexico City Student Center, to which Bergoend was the advisor. At the same time, Garza thus became the provisional president of the ACJM.
The lawyer Palomar y Vizcarra, born in 1880, was a lay advisor to the ACJM. He was also a leader of the Catholic bloc in the Jalisco legislature and a member of the faculty of the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Guadalajara.
The Catholic Social Action movement in Mexico was modelled on the Social Action movement in Belgium, France, and Germany, based on the fanatical ideas of Charles Maurras, creator of the pseudo-Catholic Action Française. This was the so-called Belgian-German model of social-Christian activism founded upon a gnostic interpretation of Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum. Essentially, what Bergoend and the other Social Action Jesuits did was to characterize the Mexican Revolution as socialist, and then argue on the basis of Rerum Novarum that the institutions of Mexico were incompatible with Catholicism. Ironically, many of the positive pro-labor policies advocated by Leo XIII were actually incorporated in the Mexican Constitution of 1917. However, Bergoend's Catholic Social Action movement interpreted Rerum Novarum from the standpoint of Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors and focussed its attention in a reductionist manner on Leo's condemnation of "socialism" and defense of private property. The way in which Bergoend and others interpreted Rerum Novarum is analogous to the way in which such American Enterprise Institute gnostics as Michael Novak, George Weigel, and Richard Neuhaus today have misinterpreted the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II in an attempt to hijack the social teaching of the Catholic Church in behalf of the gnostic doctrine of free trade.
In contrast to the cultist appropriation of Leo III's encyclical Rerum Novarum by the likes of Bergoend, one should look at the non-cultist approach by Terence Powderly, the founder of the Knights of Labor, in the United States. This labor movement, although founded by a Catholic, was ecumenical in nature, reflecting a commitment to the "harmony of interests," the American system of political economy of an Irish Catholic, Mathew Carey (who published the first Catholic Bible in the United States), and his son, Henry C. Carey.
Bergoend: Where 'Viva Cristo Rey' Becomes 'Viva Iturbide Emperador'
Bergoend, on the other hand, as expressed in his book La Nacionalidad Mexican y la Virgen de Guadalupe, was a cultist who argued that the sole basis for the nation of Mexico is belief in the Virgin of Guadalupe, an idea later echoed in Alcuin Heibel's defense of the National Synarchist Union. Bergoend argues that Mexico became independent, not with the 1810 Declaration of Independence, but in 1747, with the consecration of Mexico to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He then criticizes Miguel Hildago for acting precipitously in 1810 by initiating the Independence movement, and lends his support to the traitor Agustín de Iturbide, who was executed in 1824 after becoming Emperor in 1822.
In contrast to the American Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, which are based on natural law and the inalienable rights of all human beings regardless of religious creed, Bergoend's conception is an irrational denial of human reason, as that which distinguishes man from the beast and as that power which unites a people in a sovereign nation-state committed to the common good of all, including one's posterity.
In his introduction to the 1968 edition, Ramón Ruiz Rueda reports that, back in 1933, he had asked Bergoend what his book was about. Bergoend's answer: " 'Simply, lad, that without the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico would have already broken into pieces.' " To which Ruiz Rueda adds: "To constitute a nation, it was necessary for the indian to love the Spaniard as a brother, and the Spaniard the indian in the same manner... This was impossible. Only a miracle of God! And God performed a miracle! He sent us his Most Holy Mother.... There is no human explanation for the survival [of Mexico]."
In Bergoend's own words:
"What is the most principal of historical factors which, as a principle of cohesion, has united these various racial elements of Mexico among themselves, until it has formed, with all of them, a new nationality, the Mexican nationality? ... One way or another, one comes across the evident intervention of Divine Providence. God is the author of civil society.... And that is what the Lord did with our Mexico.
"The common good ... consists of a set of material, intellectual and moral resources which come, not from the sum of individual, dispersed efforts, but from a competent authority which prepares and maintains them, so that the members of the community may have free interplay of their activities. It is nothing other than a state of social equilibrium....
"Yes, the Virgin of Guadalupe is the Mother of our nationality and the most principal of supports of its independence!
"With the National Oath [sworn by ecclesiastic and secular delegates from all Mexico, consecrating Mexico to the Virgin of Guadalupe and proclaiming her Patron Saint] ... the date of December 12, 1747 must, therefore, be considered as the memorable date on which the national unity of New Spain was consummated, by law and to perpetuity ... that is, it was a single nationality.
"The priest from Dolores, Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, precipitously proclaimed New Spain's independence at dawn on September 16, 1810.
"This is how Iturbide understood the matter; and therefore, in order to avoid the rough change from a colonial regime to a democratic regime, for which New Spain was not yet sufficiently mature, he opted to introduce a constitutional monarchy in Mexico, so that the country could go through apprenticeship to reach the condition of an independent state.... Does this not, perchance, erase the stain of traitor with which people have tried to tarnish his name?"
In addition to Bergoend, another key leader of the Synarchists within the Church was another Jesuit priest, Alfredo Méndez Medina. He had left Mexico before the Revolution to study theology at the University of Louvain in Belgium. (During the Cristero Rebellion, one of the two main offices of the International Union of the Friends of the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty in Mexico was located in Louvain. The other was in Rome.) There he attended the classes of Arthur Vermeersch in Fundamental Sociology, and later went to Rheims and Paris where he heard lectures by Gustave Desbuquois and Martin Saint-Leon on Social Action. After attending Catholic congresses and "Social Weeks" in England, Holland, and Germany, he returned to Mexico in December 1911 to initiate a course in Catholic Sociology for engineers, doctors, and lawyers at the Jesuit Colegio de Mascarones.
In January 1913, a month before the overthrow of Mexican President Francisco I. Madero, Méndez Medina directed the Diet of Zamora, which decided to undertake large-scale organization of the Christian labor movement run by the Church and in opposition to the state.
When Madero was overthrown in a military coup by Victoriano Huerta, leaders of the National Catholic Party, including Eduardo Tamariz (named by Huerta as Minister of Public Education, but when the Chamber of Deputies opposed his nomination, named Minister of Agriculture and Development), Francisco Elguero (vice president of the Party), Lozano, Blanco Moheno, and Nemesio Garcia Naranjo participated in the Huerta government.
The Constitution of 1917 vs. the Theocrats
Huerta in turn was overthrown by Venustiano Carranza, who ruled Mexico beginning in 1914 as First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army and was to become the first President of the Mexican Republic following the ratification of the Mexican Constitution. President Wilson accorded his regime diplomatic recognition only in October 1915. Carranza then convened the Constituent Congress of 1916-17 at Querétaro, where a new Constitution was to be drawn up. The new Constitution was influenced primarily by General Francisco Javier Múgica, a delegate from the state of Michoacán. The proposed charter contained 130 articles. Of these, Articles 3, 5, 24, 27 and 130 severely restricted the activity of the clergy. Article 130 outlawed any political party having religious affiliation; religious orders were prohibited; clergy could not own property, teach, or vote. There was also a limit placed on the number of priests. Other articles gave land to the landless peasants, reconquered the oil rights granted foreign investors, enshrined the principle of labor-management equality, and built a modern system of public education.
Carranza was elected President under the new Constitution in April 1917, but did not act to implement the above-cited articles, since for each article of the Constitution an implementing law had to be passed by the Congress.
At the end of 1919, a group of Catholics created a new political party to contest the coming election: the National Republican Party. The leading figures were all closely associated with the old Catholic party and with the earlier Catholic Social Action during the Madero era. Heading the executive committee were Rafael Ceniceros y Villarreal (the former governor of Zacatecas), René Capistran Garza, and Lujis M. Flores. When Carranza named Ignacio Bonillas as the official candidate for the Presidency, Alvaro Obregón, who was committed to the Constitution of 1917 and to the development of Mexico as a sovereign nation-state, launched a revolt against Carranza, and in September 1920 easily defeated the Catholic candidate, Alfredo Robles Dominguez, for the Presidency.
Because Obregón came to power militarily, U.S. recognition was initially withheld. The Harding Administration was concerned in particular about the oil expropriation provision of the Mexican Constitution. Washington withheld recognition until 1923, three years after Obregón came to power.
During this same period, Obregón made no moves to implement the articles in the Constitution designed to restrict the political activity of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless, the long-range policy of the Church was demanding nothing less than clerical domination of all education in Mexico.
Obregón moved to try to solve the land problem through the establishment of ejidos (communally held lands granted to landless peasants). The Church condemned these revolutionary agrarian reforms because they did not take into consideration the "just rights of the landowners," i.e., the hacendados.
In 1918, the Revolutionary Worker Confederation of Mexico (CROM) was formed to aid urban workers. The Mexican bishops forbade Catholics to join these "socialist" unions.
It was enough for the bishops that the Syllabus of Errors had condemned socialism. The reactionaries in the Mexican Church, like the Carlists at Christendom College today, strove to reconstruct a medieval world which existed before the Italian Renaissance. With the guild, they hoped to reestablish the system of the Middle Ages. All of the organizations developed within the framework of Mexico's Social Action movement were based on this conception.
In 1920, Social Action leaders organized a Confederation of Catholic Associations of Mexico. Local juntas were appointed by bishops. In Jalisco the junta was run by eight priests. In this same time period, the Jesuit priest Méndez Medina organized a Mexican Social Secretariat, which spread the teachings of Social Action throughout Mexico.
This theocratic offensive on the part of Synarchists in the Catholic Church was met throughout this period with synarchist provocations from the left, which fuelled the religious warfare climate that eventually led to the Cristero Rebellion. On Nov. 14, 1921, for example, a dynamite bomb exploded at the foot of the Virgin of Guadalupe shrine itself at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. On May 1, 1922, an armed attack was launched by the CROM on the ACJM headquarters in Mexico City.
The backbone of the Social Action movement was the National Catholic Labor Confederation, formed in May 1922 at a convention in Guadalajara, which was the organization's headquarters. Also, in 1922, the ACJM held its first National Congress in Mexico City. René Capistran Garza told the delegates that the task was to reverse the "de-Christianization" of Mexico, for which he blamed the Reform of Juárez and the Revolution:
"... the work of de-Christianization begun during the Reform by Juárez, and skillfully continued by the porfirismo [Porfirio Díaz, President from 1877-1911], had succeeded in suppressing almost totally any public manifestation of religious life.... And then came disaster; given the causes, the effects had to follow inevitably; the revolution erupted, spilling out all the evil, all the corruption that had been forming under the protecting wing of liberalism and the protection of the regime. They wanted a people without God and they got only hordes of bandits; they wanted a nation without religion, a Fatherland without history, a civilization without ethics, and they got only disaster, ruin, decline.... In the midst of the inevitable and terrifying general collapse appeared a force of singular vigor and rare potency that had not been taken into account; at the hour of disaster appeared unexpectedly in the public plaza, fully armed, Catholic Youth; and with it appeared, as if surging from the depths of the national soul, as a new fertile bloom from the roots of the Fatherland, Christian civilization with all the luxuriance of its eternal youth, rising above the ruins that seemed to have demolished it forever."
In 1921, a movement was launched to erect a monument to Cristo Rey on the summit of the Cerro de Cubilete, a mountain near León. The monument, according to Mexico City Archbishop Mora y del Rio, would "enthrone the Sacred heart of Jesus all over the Republic." The Church meant to proclaim the temporal ascendancy of the Catholic religion in Mexico. It was the same spirit that led the Catholics to assert the primacy of Social Action over the program of the government. The bishops chose Jan. 11, 1923 to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone. The Apostolic delegate, Msgr. Ernesto Filippi, agreed to officiate.
Two days later, Plutarco Elías Calles, the Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, ordered Filippi's expulsion as a "pernicious foreigner." The government ordered a halt to the building of the proposed monument.
As is clear from this case and also from the policy carried out by Calles once he became President, Obregón was much more inclined to be conciliatory both toward the United States on the oil question, and also toward the Catholic Church on the religious question, than Calles, who was allied with the Synarchists in the government and therefore took a much more provocative approach.
Obregón himself said at the time, "The present social program of the government emanating from the Revolution is essentially Christian and is a complement to the fundamental program of the Catholic Church." But the Mexican Church continued to view the Revolution as the enemy.
The Catholic labor periodical El Obrero in Guadalajara launched a campaign to adopt the battle cry "Viva Cristo Rey." Nonetheless, Obregón remained conciliatory, as did the Vatican, which made no statement backing the Mexican bishops.
In late 1923, early 1924, Obregón was forced to crush an armed rebellion led by Adolfo de la Huerta, who, along with Calles, had been his ally in the overthrow of Carranza.
Then, in October 1924, a Eucharistic Congress was convened in Mexico City. The bishops went ahead with ceremonies in which they consecrated the capital of Mexico City to the Sacred Heart of Christ. Because of threats of legal action by the government, the Congress closed without its planned pilgrimage to Guadalupe.
At the end of 1924, Obregén handed over the Presidency to Calles. In the fall of 1925, Calles' government presented Congress a plan for implementing key articles of the Constitution including Articles 3, 27, 123, and 130. However, only that part of Article 27 pertaining to oil properties was implemented.
The Creation of the National League
As the provocations intensified both from the Synarchists within the Catholic Church and those in the government, an organization was created which had long been contemplated and which became the organization that would eventually launch the Cristero Rebellion. This organization, originally conceived by Bernard Bergoend, was called the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty.
On Feb. 22, 1925, a schismatic movement against the Roman Catholic Church was launched. The so-called Mexican Apostolic Church seized the Church of La Soledad in Mexico City. In March 1925, Calles settled the conflict by ordering the church closed to both factions.
In response, on March 17, 1925, in Mexico City the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty was formed. The founders were Miguel Palomar y Vizcarra, Luis G. Bustos, head of Mexico's Knights of Columbus, and René Capistran Garza, president of the ACJM. Rafael Ceniceros y Villarreal became the National League president and Bustos and Capistran Garza joined him as members of the executive committee.
The idea of a national Catholic defense organization had first appeared in 1918, seven years before its formal creation, when Manuel de la Peza, Eduardo J. Correa and Miguel Palomar y Vizcarra, with the collaboration of Bergoend, decided to undertake such a project. It was Bergoend, again, who drew up the plan of organization. However, in 1918, there was insufficient support for the idea. Another attempt in 1920 also failed. However in 1925, Bergoend's 1918 blueprint was revived at the instigation of Palomar, Bustos and Capistran Garza.
On March 24, the League received a telegram from the Popular Union in Jalisco pledging its adherence to the League. The Popular Union was led by a lawyer, Anacleto Gonzáles Flores, who was also the head of the League in Jalisco and the leader of a secret elite organization called the "U." Gonzáles Flores was born in 1883 in the part of Jalisco known as Los Altos.
The ACJM, which Bergoend also created, and of which Capistran Garza was president, ordered all its over 100 locals to found League committees. Thus the members of the ACJM quickly became the leadership of the League, whose birth was officially reported on March 21.
In the United States, the leading Buckleyite Catholics harped on the theme of the Communist threat in Mexico, alleging that the attack of the government on the Churchand on the oil properties as wellwas part of a worldwide Bolshevik plot. The Buckleyites hoped that by tying the religious persecution to the oil question, the American government might be led to intervene against Calles. Though the avowed purpose of the intervention would be to aid the oil companies, the result would be the overthrow of Calles and the defense of the Church in Mexico.
On April 21, the Episcopal Committee of Mexican bishops issued a letter which asserted the ultimate supremacy of the Church over the secular authority.
On July 14 Calles decreed the necessary laws to implement Articles 3 and 130 under authority granted him by the Congress to reform the civil and penal codes. The bishops gave the League their official sanction to launch an economic boycott. And on July 23, Calles issued his decree implementing Article 3.
On July 31 the bishops declared all religious services requiring priests suspended in all churches of the country. The bishops directed that the faithful withdraw their children from the public schools and support the economic boycott proclaimed by the National League.
When the economic boycott failed, the National League turned to armed resistance, which it had never excluded as an option. Most of the commanders came from the ranks of the ACJM or from the semi-secret organization of Catholic laymen known as the "U." In August, Capistran Garza travelled to Texas to try to meet with Gen. Enrique Estrada to offer him Catholic support for an armed revolution, in exchange for a pledge to respect the interests of Catholics. However, when he arrived, Estrada had been taken into custody for violating the neutrality laws of the United States.
On Nov. 26, a meeting was held at the residence of Bishop Pascual Díaz in Mexico City of lay leaders and the bishops to consider whether armed resistance was justified. Representing the League were Ceniceros y Villarreal, Luis G. Bustos, Palomar y Vizcarra, Carlos F. de Landero, Manuel de la Peza, and Juan Laine, as well as their ecclesiastical advisor, the Jesuit priest Alfredo Méndez Medina. A second meeting took place four days later. The League was represented also by its other clerical advisor, Rafael Martínez del Campo, like Méndez Medina, a Jesuit priest. After the second meeting, Bishop Pascual Díaz said in effect that the bishops did not endorse the rebellion, but at the same time did not forbid the League to join the Cristero rebels in "armed defense."
Fathers Méndez Medina and Martínez del Campo then assisted the League Directive Committee in working out the blueprint for armed revolution to overthrow the Mexican government.
In the last week of December, the League issued a manifesto entitled "To the Nation," signed by Capistran Garza. It attacked "the implacable rule of a regime of armed bandits over a defenseless, honorable, patriotic population."
"Destruction of religious and political liberty, of freedom of education, labor, and press; denial of God and the creation of an atheistic youth; destruction of private property through plunder, socialization of the national strength; ruin of the free worker by means of radical organizations; repudiation of international obligations: such is in substance, the monstrous program of the present regime. In a word, the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Mexican nationality."
The manifesto appealed to the "sacred right of defense" as the justification for the resort to arms and proclaimed "the necessity of destroying forever the vicious rule of faction in order to create a national government."
Armed action in the Federal District of Mexico was prepared at a meeting in Mexico City on Dec. 28. The Special War Committee was represented by a young engineer, Luis Segura Vilchis, who would later attempt to assassinate General Obregón. The commander of the planned uprising was Manuel Reyes, who had been a military officer under Emiliano Zapata (a leader from the state of Morelos who led the Army of the South during the Revolution of 1910), and who had been "catechized" by a nun, Madre Conchita. On Dec. 31, most of the group attended mass at Madre Conchita's convent. She gave the group a Mexican flag to which were affixed images of the Sacred Heart and the Virgin of Guadalupe. A few of the young men tried to see Father Bergoend, but according to one account, could not locate him.
In December, while still in the United States, René Capistran Garza was named as supreme commander of the movement. Palomar y Vizcarra, who had also worked with Bergoend to form the League, was named to replace Capistrán Garza on the three-man Directive Committee of the League. In the same month, Enrique Gorostieta y Velarde, a native of Monterrey and an Army officer under Porfirio Díaz, assumed supreme command of all the Catholic forces in the West, with the blessing of Archbishop Mora y del Rio. Gorostieta himself was a freemason.
Thus, by December 1925, the decades-long work of Bernard Bergoend and the Jesuit Synarchists in the Mexican Catholic Church, aided by radical synarchist elements in the government allied to President Calles, had finally brought Mexico to the point of armed rebellion. However, it must be noted that there was never any possibility that the Cristeros would succeed in taking power. The objective of those who pulled the strings was to use them as cannon fodder to prevent the sovereign development of Mexico and to ensure the faithful payment of the Mexican debt to the Morgan banks and to guarantee conditions favorable to the Anglo-American oil companies.
The Role of William F. Buckley, Sr.
The most prominent of the latter interests was William F. Buckley, Sr., who owned and ran Pantepec Oil Company in Mexico in 1913. He was opposed to the policy of the Woodrow Wilson Administration, which was to support Pancho Villa (who was from the state of Chihuahua and led what was called the Northern Division during the 1910 Revolution) against the government of Victoriano Huerta. In fact, Buckley served as counsel to the oligarchic Mexican government of President Huerta at the Niagara conference of "ABC" powersArgentina, Brazil, and Chilethat mediated between the United States and Mexico after the U.S. naval bombardment of the port of Veracruz in April 1914. So influential was Buckley in Mexico, that he was actually offered the military governorship of Veracruz by the U.S. government, an offer which he refused.
After the overthrow of the Huerta government by Venustiano Carranza in 1914, Buckley opposed recognition of the Carranza government by Washington, and later exerted his influence in opposition to the 1917 Constitution.
On Dec. 6, 1919, he testified before a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as follows: "I think we should settle this matter with Mexico without reference to Latin America or to what Latin Americans or anybody else thinks. I think we should settle it in the right way without reference to anybody else.... Latin America respects us more when we attend to our own business and do not call Latin Americans in for consultation. Our relations with Mexico are our own business and nobody else's." Although Buckley claimed to be an opponent of armed intervention, he concluded his testimony by saying, "Nothing would have raised our prestige so in Latin America as the dispatching of an army across the border the first time an American was touched and the execution of all those who had injured him."
Also, Buckley never denied his involvement in the failed counterrevolutionary movement led by a Gen. Manuel Pelaez, whose ammunition train, sponsored by Buckley, got lost, as its Washington representative, an old intimate of Buckley, was announcing himself to the State Department in Washington as the Pelaez "government's" representative.
Once Warren Harding was elected U.S. President, replacing Wilson, Buckley campaigned against recognition of the Mexican government of Alvaro Obregón.
In 1921, he, along with Thomas W. Lamont of J.P. Morgan, formed the American Association of Mexico, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. The AAM aimed at undoing the confiscatory oil legislation, restoring special privileges of U.S. citizens in Mexico, and eliminating provisions of the Mexican Constitution that forbade American clergymen of any denomination to exercise their religious office in Mexico.
Thomas Lamont was also the head of the International Bankers Committee, which later negotiated a deal with Mexico to guarantee Mexican foreign debt payments to the international banks.
In November 1921, Buckley was expelled from Mexico for "counterrevolutionary conspiracy" by President Alvaro Obregón. Buckley had lost many of his properties, when they were taken over by Obregón's government.
During the Cristero Rebellion, the military head of the National League, René Capistran Garza, visited William F. Buckley, Sr. in San Antonio, Texas. Buckley proposed to offer the Mexican rebels $500,000 to aid their revolution. Buckley saw an opportunity to recoup his fortunes in Mexico by financing the Cristeros in their attempt to overthrow the Calles regime.
Buckley did not intend to furnish the money himself. Instead he offered to introduce Capistrán Garza to Nicholas Brady, who, Buckley said, would give the League representative the $500,000. Brady was president of the New York Edison Company and the United Electric Light and Power Company in 1926. He was the first American layman to receive the title of papal Chamberlain and was a close personal friend of Pius XI and the papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Gasparri.
Buckley was helped in this endeavor by a Dr. Malone, another well-known New York Catholic who was Gov. Alfred E. Smith's personal physician.
Reportedly Capistrán Garza never got to see Brady, because Mexican Bishop Pascual Diaz interceded with Buckley to discourage him from financing the Cristeros. Diaz reportedly told Buckley that the Catholic hierarchy wanted a coalition government led by liberals. Anne Carroll, in her book Christ and the Americas, makes a point of claiming that Buckley decided against financing the Cristeros. She, along with her husband, Warren Carroll, were intimates of William F. Buckley, Jr.'s brother-in-law, L. Brent Bozell, who married Patricia Buckley.
The issue is not whether Buckley personally financed the Cristero movement. The fact is that Buckley encouraged and incited the Cristero movement with the promise of financing. Nor is there any definitive proof that he did not arrange financing in some other way.
For example, in 1926, the Knights of Columbus in the United States passed a resolution stating that they would "assess our membership to the extent of one million dollars" and "pledge the support and cooperation of 800,000 men who love God."
One Department of Justice report from San Antonio on Aug. 19, 1926 stated that there were two American Knights of Columbus associated with a group of Mexican clergy and laymen, who were endorsing the leadership of Félix Díaz in the plan to overthrow Calles. Díaz was to be advanced $5 million by the "Knights, the Catholic Church and monied interests" provided he "would restore the Church and grant certain concessions to oil companies doing business in Mexico."
Another indication of foreign support for the Cristeros is the report from Mr. Montavon, a Mexican formerly associated with oil interests in the United States, and the legal advisor to the U.S. National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC), that British Pearson or Cowdray oil interests in Mexico had incited "militant Catholic elements." Montavon reported that oil interests had come to him and offered to supply $25-50 million, if the Catholics would supply 2 million men. Although this offer was refused, the report of the offer gives an indication of how the Cristero Rebellion was being used.
What complicated matters for Buckley and other oil interests was the fact that the United States imposed an arms embargo in February 1924 against all groups in Mexico, save the recognized government of Obregón. In the Fall of 1926, President Calvin Coolidge made this embargo absolute for all groups in Mexico, since Calles was supplying arms to Sacasa's faction in Nicaraguathe opposition element to that supported by the United States. On March 8, 1929, President Herbert Hoover announced the continuation of the previous administration's arms embargo policy, i.e., to supply arms to the recognized Portes Gil regime only. On July 18, 1929, less than a month after the conclusion of the modus vivendi between the Church and the Portes Gil regime, the United States lifted the arms embargo.
Despite the fact that Buckley and others clearly shared the synarchist ideology of the Cristeros, they used the Cristeros as cannon fodder in order to put pressure on the Mexican government to make concessions in respect to foreign oil interests in Mexico and in respect to international debt payments.
The Politics of Oil
As can be seen from the above account of the roles of Buckley and Lamont, the Cristero Rebellion was directly related to the question of foreign investment in Mexican oil and to the question of Mexican debt to the international banks, which were represented by Lamont of J.P. Morgan.
The 1917 Constitution contained 130 articles. Article 27 provided that "in the nation is vested the direct ownership of oil." It also placed restrictions upon the acquisition of property by foreigners and vested in the nation the possessions of the religious institutions known as churches. Thus, Article 27 included an attempt on the part of the Mexican Revolution to establish its sovereignty over the natural resources of Mexico and in particular its oil resources and at the same time over the material resources of the Church.
While Obregón was President of Mexico, as reported above, the U.S. withheld recognition of his government for three years. It was only recognized in 1923 after Obregón had reached an agreement with the United States on the oil question, the so-called Bucareli agreement of 1923, in which Mexico stipulated that oil lands acquired between 1876 and 1917 by foreign investors, such as William F. Buckley, Sr., could be held in perpetuity. Although Obregón had expelled Buckley from Mexico in 1921, after the Bucareli agreement, the next President of Mexico, Calles, invited him to return in 1924.
However, before the Cristero Rebellion was launched, the principle laid down in Article 27, that in the nation is vested the direct ownership of oil, was embodied in the Petroleum Law of Dec. 26, 1925, which was to become effective on Jan. 1, 1927. This law declared oil to be the inalienable property of the nation. Owners of oil lands who had either begun exploitation before May 1917 or had committed some "positive act" indicating their intention to exploit the oil, were required to obtain the grant of a new right in the form of a concession for 50 years instead of the perpetual right already acquired.
Unless such a new concession were applied for within 12 months, the original perpetual right would be regarded as null and void. A further provision required the insertion of the so-called Calvo Clause, whereby foreigners owning property in Mexico could not claim diplomatic protection from their own governments, but must be subjected to Mexican jurisdiction.
The Petroleum Law of December 1925 was embodied on April 8, 1926 in a series of regulations, giving wide powers of action and interpretation to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Only a small proportion of the foreign oil companies complied with the 12-month regulation, with the result that on Jan. 2, 1927, the concessions of several important American companies were legally null and void.
As even Jean Meyer reports, "Calles resented, as though it were evidence of treason, the chronological coincidence between the religious conflict and the difficulties with the U.S. that arose in January 1926. To the government, the collusion between the Church and the foreignersthat is the U.S. and the oil companieswas so glaringly obvious that it was pointless to look for proof of it. Oil explained everything."
There can be no doubt that this connection was essential and that the Cristero Rebellion with its emphasis on opposition to socialism and defense of private property appealed to the oil interests for support and at the same time was used by the oil interests as a battering ram against the Mexican government to force a reversal of the Petroleum Law of 1925.
Dwight Morrow and the End of the Cristero War
After nearly two years of warfare, with neither the Cristeros, who lacked ammunition, able to overthrow the government, nor the government, which was badly damaged by the rebellion economically, able to completely suppress it, the United States intervened to pressure the Mexican government to resolve the interrelated oil, debt, and religious questions. Thus in 1927, Dwight Morrow, a college friend of President Coolidge and a partner at J.P. Morgan, was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. He arrived there on Oct. 23, 1927.
Morrow resigned from J.P. Morgan before accepting the assignment, and although his connection to J.P. Morgan is significant, he was clearly not just an agent of the Morgan interests. In 1925, he had been chair of the Committee on Military Affairs, which investigated the charges leveled by Col. William Mitchell (head of the Army Air Service) on the inadequacy of U.S. air defense. Also of note is that fact that before accepting his assignment to Mexico he had made the acquaintance of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and suggested he fly to Mexico City. Lindbergh arrived in Mexico on Dec. 14, 1927. Later, Lindbergh was to marry Morrow's daughter. (In 1940, long after Morrow died in 1931, his daughter, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wrote a book entitled The Wave of the Future: A Confession of Faith, which was favorably reviewed by the wife of William F. Buckley, Sr.)
Within a month of Morrow's arrival in Mexico, on Nov. 13, a bomb was thrown at General Obregón, in an unsuccessful assassination attempt. It was blamed on Father Miguel Pro, another Jesuit priest, with the same profile as Bernard Bergoend and Méndez Medina. He had joined the Society of Jesus in 1911 and took his vows two years later. He then spent several years abroad studying in California, Nicaragua, Spain, and then Belgium, returning to Mexico City in 1926.
The person who constructed the bomb was Luis Segura Vilchis, the League's chief of military control in the Federal District of Mexico. He was put in this position because of his outstanding leadership in the ACJM in Mexico City. During the attempt, two conspirators were arrested, Juan Tirado and Nahum Lamberto Ruiz, the latter of whom suffered a head wound, from which he later died. Two escaped, Segura Vilchis and José Gonzáles. The latter, on instructions from Segura Vilchis, had borrowed the car used in the attempt from the League's regional delegate in Mexico, Humberto Pro Juárez. This led to the arrest of both Humberto Pro and his brother Roberto, both of whom were members of the National League, and to the arrest of their brother Father Miguel Pro, who himself worked with the League. Roberto was released, but Father Pro, Humberto Pro, Segura Vilchis, and Juan Tirado were all executed on Nov. 23, 1927.
After his initial escape from the scene of the attempt, Segura Vilchis paid a visit to the home of one Roberto Nuñez, which was the hiding place of the Directive Committee of the League. The Committee had discussed the possibility of killing Obregón, but had voted not to approve the move. Palomar y Vizcarra, however, proceeded on his own responsibility. He received Segura Vilchis in an adjoining room; Segura told him, "Your orders have been carried out." Palomar y Vizcarra gave this account before his death to Antonio Rius Facius in July 1968.
Obregón was to replace Calles as the next President of Mexico when Calles' term in office expired on Nov. 30, 1928.
In the context of the crisis surrounding this failed attempt, Morrow proceeded to negotiate an end to the oil crisis with Calles. Morrow suggested that the crisis could be resolved legally were it determined that the provisions of Article 27 and of the Petroleum Law violated another part of the Constitution, Article 14, which prohibited retroactive application of a law. On Nov. 17, 1927, the Mexican Supreme Court handed down a decision at the direction of Calles, that Articles 14 and 15 of the Petroleum Law were unconstitutional. On Dec. 26, 1927, Calles sent a message to the Congress asking them to amend these articles accordingly. The bill passed on Dec. 28 and was ratified by Calles on Jan. 3, 1928. On Jan. 11, 1928, the bill entered into force, and a new draft of regulations was accepted by the U.S. oil companies.
Thus, both in 1923 and in 1927, the Mexican government, under pressure from the United States and the anti-government policies of the Synarchists in the Mexican Catholic Church, backed away from the provisions of the Constitution of 1917 asserting national control of Mexican oil and made concessions to American and other foreign oil interests.
Once the oil question had been resolved, Morrow proceeded to tackle the problem of ending the Cristero Rebellion. On April 4, 1928, a meeting was arranged by Morrow between Calles and Father John J. Burke, General Secretary of the U.S. National Catholic Welfare Conference, in the island fortress of San Juan de Ulloa at Vera Cruz, with Morrow present. Progress was made, and the Mexican bishops met in San Antonio, Texas, where they demanded that Calles receive Msgr. Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores to confirm the promises made to Burke by Calles. The meeting took place on May 17, 1928. Afterwards Ruiz left for Rome to obtain approval. However, while in Paris, Ruiz gave an interview to the press, which resulted in a postponement of the negotiations.
Progress was further delayed when on July 17, 1928, Obregón, who on July 1 had been elected the next President of Mexico, was assassinated by José de León Toral, just hours before he was scheduled to hold a meeting with Morrow. Toral had known Segura Vilchis and had been a friend of Humberto Pro and had in fact replaced Humberto Pro (after his arrest and execution for the 1927 attempt on Obregón's life) as the agent of the League in the Colonia de Santa Maria la Ribera in Mexico City. His attorney at trial was Demetrio Sodi, whose daughter, Maria Elena Sodi de Pallares, wrote a book about the case.
The irony is that Obregón, while President in 1923, had made an agreement with the United States on oil and had also been more conciliatory toward the Catholic Church than Calles. Thus, his assassination was an attempt to sabotage a resolution of the religious war that had been unleashed under Calles. Certainly the synarchist National League, which ran the Cristeros, saw Obregón as someone who would favor a modus vivendi with the Church, and this ran counter to its ultramontanist policy. On the other hand, the immediate suspicion of supporters of Obregón, was that Calles himself was behind the assassination. Pressure from the supporters of Obregón forced the removal from office of Roberto Cruz, the chief of police who would have headed the investigation, and who had not been on friendly terms with Obregón. Luis Morones, president of the CROM, was also forced to resign as Secretary of Industry for the same reason.
Eventually Toral was found guilty and executed and the nun, Madre Conchita, was imprisoned for 20 years for her complicity in the assassination.
Rome Never Endorsed the Cristero Rebellion
It should be noted that both before and during the Cristero Rebellion, the policy of the Vatican was one of conciliation. This was not a war that had the approval of the Pope: directly the contrary.
According to even Jean Meyer, Rome made every effort to avoid the events of 1926, and it imposed the peace, without consultation with the League, in 1929. It never gave its approval to the insurrection, and it forbade priests to take part in it. In the period prior to 1926, Rome lent more credence to the Mexican government than it did to the Mexican bishops. Rome called the unruly bishops to order, condemning their "incorrect behavior" both in 1923 and in 1924, i.e., in respect to the monument to Christ the King and the Eucharistic Congress.
Rome's silence was never broken, except to deny that any blessing had been given to the combatants. Furthermore, the Pope had dissolved the committee of Mexican bishops in Rome, and stated that both bishops and priests should abstain from giving moral or material assistance to the insurgents. The Vatican's attitude of merely waiting on events, in the course of the Summer of 1926, gave way to opposition to the armed rising, because it was hampering the negotiations being carried on first with Obregón and later with Calles. The Papal Nuncio, Fumasoni Bondi, even wanted the bishops to condemn the League and the Cristeros publicly.
Even among the Mexican bishops there was division in the ranks. On Nov. 1, 1926, the Episcopal committee stated that the Episcopate had never said that what was happening in Mexico was a case of legitimate armed defense on account of the exhaustion of all peaceful methods of struggle against tyranny. Twelve out of 38 bishops denied that they had the right to rebel, while three congratulated them. Two of the three, reprimanded by Rome, obeyed the orders of the Nuncio and ceased to support the movement. The other refused to yield and was deprived of his diocese.
The settlement, which had been possible before Obregón's assassination, was as a result delayed. In February 1929, the Cristeros finally succeeded in making an alliance to overthrow the successor to Calles, Portes Gil. As the Cristeros had attempted to do earlier in the failed attempt to ally with Estrada, this time they formed an alliance with José Gonzalo Escobar and his "Renovators." The deal struck was that the Cristeros would ally with Escobar if, in exchange for Catholic support, he would provide guarantees of religious freedom. The revolt began on March 3, 1929 and was defeated by Calles who came out of retirement to lead the Mexican Army.
After the defeat of this revolt, in May 1929, Portes Gil indicated a willingness to compromise to end the conflict. An agreement was reached on June 19 and approved by the Vatican on June 21, 1929.
An indication that at least some in the Mexican Catholic Church today may have learned the lessons of the Cristero Rebellion, was given by Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City, who gave a homily on June 18, 2003 in honor of the patron saint of politicians, St. Thomas More. The Cardinal called upon Mexican political leaders and those holding public office, to "promote and consolidate a great reconciliation ... that will lead to a great national accord, where the good of Mexico is above the parties and above personal or group interests."
According to the Church-linked website, www.Zenit.org: "At the end of his homily, the Cardinal pointed to an objective of that reconciliation being the three great currents which are conjoined in Mexico: the indigenous, the liberal and the Catholic."
Mexico's Foreign Debt
Once the Cristero Rebellion was officially ended by the Vatican, the final pressure that was placed on Mexico was to come to an agreement on the debt with Thomas Lamont of J.P. Morgan, who headed up an International Bankers Committee.
Under President Porfirio Díaz, the Mexican debt, external and internal, which had been accumulating since 1822, was reorganized on a much-reduced scale and gradually repaid. This restored Mexican credit to a point which permitted the government to borrow in the world markets at 4.25% (1904 and 1910). After the fall of Díaz, the service of the foreign debt was continued until Jan. 1, 1914, when the Mexican government defaulted. In 1919, the International Committee of Bankers on Mexico was constituted, under the chairmanship of Lamont, "for the purpose of protecting the holders of securities of the Mexican Republic, and of the various railway systems of Mexico, and, generally of such other enterprises as have their field of action in Mexico." These securities were held to the extent of about 35% in England, 23% in France, 20% in the United States, and the remainder largely in other European countries. In 1922, Lamont negotiated an agreement for partial resumption of the service on the bonded debt of the government and of the railways (which in 1925 was revised by the Lamont-Pani agreement, under which full service was to be resumed in 1928). It was owing to the impossibility of this resumption that Montes de Oca, in 1927, 1928, and finally in June and July 1930, carried on negotiations with the committee with a view to arranging modification of the previous agreement.
Interestingly, Morrow disagreed with Lamont. The former advocated that Mexico ought to consider itself bankrupt, "and should impose on itself the same obligations with reference to its creditors as a court would impose upon an insolvent corporation.... I think it in the interest of all creditors (including bondholders) that Mexico should divide the available surplus on the same equitable principle rather than in some wholly haphazard way." The equitable principle which he advocated was that the current revenues must first be used to meet current obligationssalaries current or in arrears, bills for services and supplies and not be earmarked in the interests of any single class of creditors, internal or external.
"I regret," he wrote to Vernon Munroe, "that the International Committee still feels it desirable to have a contract rather than to use its great influence with the Mexican Government in the formation of a program. In this, however, the International Committee is merely following the same course that is followed by the other creditors. The result is that none of the contracts can be relied upon as effective.... The International Committee must realize that its contract can only be kept by the Government's breaking other contracts made by the same authorities to be performed during the same period."
On July 25, 1930 an agreement was signed at 23 Wall Street between Lamont and Oca, under which the Mexican external debt was scaled down by 763,000,000 pesos, and a new consolidated debt was created, secured on the customs revenues. Full service on this debt was not to begin until 1936.
J.P. Morgan had won and Dwight Morrow's proposal was rejected. Thus, in the course of the Cristero Rebellion, the program of the American Association of Mexico, created in 1921 by Buckley and Lamont, had obtained its objectives: to force the Mexican government to back down on implementation of the Constitutional provision asserting sovereign national control of its oil reserves for the purpose of nation-building; and to force Mexico to pay its foreign debt to the international banks even at the expense of the well-being of its population. And ultimately, the purpose was to prevent a U.S.-Mexican alliance for mutual economic development: as envisioned by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Mexican President Benito Juárez; by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his Good Neighbor policy; and by U.S. Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche in his 1982 Operation Juárez policy proposal.
The Cristeros Rebellion and the
National Synarchist Union
The true nature of the Cristero Rebellion and those, such as Bernard Bergoend, who orchestrated it, is further made clear by an examination of the continuity between the Cristero Rebellion and the formation of the National Synarchist Union in Mexico in 1937 by the fascist Spanish Falange, in the service of the Nazis, who actually pulled the strings.
As indicated previously, intransigents among the Cristeros refused to accept the Vatican's policy of reconciliation. These were led by none other than Bernard Bergoend, the synarchist architect of the Cristero Rebellion. It was he who founded the "League of the O" or the OCA (Organization-Cooperation-Action), which in the 1930s became the basis for the National Synarchist Union and the PAN, which now controls the Presidency of Mexico.
In 1933-34, the Church-Falange Council was created, taking off from the O League, and is known as the Council of Hispanidad, or simply The Base. According to Jean Meyer, the National Synarchist Union was Section 11 of The Base. According to The PAN book, the PAN was Section 1. The workers section was made up of the "Guadalupan Laborers," controlled by Antonio Santa Cruz, whom Meyer mentions as chief of The Base.
Between 1934 and 1938 a second, less intense Cristero War took place in Mexico, and in 1937, in the midst of this war, the National Synarchist Union was officially formed.
The coherence of the ideology of the Cristeros and the National Synarchist Union is made clear in two books. The first, by the Benedictine priest Alcuin Heibel, published in February 1943, is entitled: Synarchism: The Hope of Mexico's Poor. This apology for Synarchism is, on the one hand, a total coverup of the connections between Synarchism, the Nazis, and the Spanish Falange; but on the other hand, it underscores the connection between Synarchism and the fascist elements in the Catholic Church.
Heibel characterizes Synarchism in Mexico as a Christian Social Movement. "Synarchism has been a natural and Christian development." It is a "thoroughly Christian and Mexican movement." As such, "the Synarchists are not connected with any 'ism,' of Russia, Germany or Spain." "The Synarchists are not anti-U.S., they certainly are not Nazis or Phalangists."
"During the years from 1935 to 1940, the implacable iron hand of Cárdenas, in close alliance with Russian communism, seemed to extinguish Mexican life. The people, who refused to perish, reacted with all the strength of their souls, seeking something that would put an end to revolutionary anarchy. On May 23, 1937 they found Synarchism." This is the period of the Second Cristero War from 1934-38.
Echoing the view of Bernard Bergoend, Heibel writes that Religion, in Mexico, represents National Unity. And devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe is the common bond uniting all Mexicans with a spirit of fraternity.
"To remain in power, they [the Mexican government] have made use of communist plans and doctrines, as those imported from the USSR, thus increasing the anarchy that already existed, and threatening the establishment of a 'dictatorship of the proletariat' in Mexico.
"Any attempt at organization, at the elevation of the masses, at national unity, can never be successful if it is not based on the nation's traditional ties of unity and progress: Country and Religion.
"In the place of the anarchy that has reigned in Mexico, order, discipline, work, study, honesty, authority, morality, religion are called for. To reestablish this is the program of Synarchism.
"The principles of the Synarchist doctrine are absolutely in agreement with the social norms of the Catholic Church.
"The historical genesis of Synarchism and its philosophic doctrine separate it completely from all forms of totalitarianism: communist or nazi."
Heibel then summarizes the Synarchist program in Mexico:
"Synarchism, the antithesis of Anarchism, is a civic movement which endeavors to reestablish in Mexico the Christian social order destroyed by anarchy. We condemn communism, totalitarianism, dictatorships, and tyrannies.
"We affirm the right to private property.
"Synarchism will not rest until it has established a regime of Social Justice in Mexico, nor until it has effected an equitable distribution of wealth.
"Synarchism, briefly, seeks, as has been said, to restore in Mexico the Christian social order.
"It is a spiritual militia.... We constantly seek the derogation of Article 3 of the Constitution, which imposes upon all schools, both public and private, a system of 'socialist' education. Synarchism has saved Mexico from Communist totalitarianism, the false golden dream of the Mexican Revolution.
"The government of Mexico, specially during the six years of the regime of General Lázaro Cárdenas, attempted with all its force to impose Communism upon the nation....
"Synarchism is the negation of atheism and of communistic irreligiousness.
"Synarchism has been maliciously slandered with the accusation of being influenced by nazis, fascists, falangists, etc., and thus constituting a 'fifth column' at the service of totalitarianism."
The second book is Jean Meyer's Synarchism: Mexican Fascism?, which in contrast to Heibel, does characterize the National Synarchist Union as fascist. But he concludes that the Synarchists were fundamentally "national-populist and Catholic." Meyer himself, who clearly supported the "patriotic" Cristeros, is not unsympathetic to the Synarchists, as is evident in his letter to Salvador Abascal, the leader of the Mexican Synarchists from 1939-41, which Meyer signs: "Your faithful servant and brother in Our Lord Jesus Christ."
As Meyer writes: "They [the Synarchists] don't hide their sympathies towards Salazar and Franco, and yes, when the U.S. officially went into war, they shared the sympathies of their troops (and of almost all the Mexican people) towards Germany."
Meyer quotes Juan Ignacio Padillaone of the leaders of the Synarchists, who had overt fascist sympathies: "Frequently there is admiration for the spirit and iron will of those people who were able to uplift their countries from the most ominous prostration to a level of material progress and an astonishing war power. Even the pomp, such as the salute, the discipline and all the good things that proclaim the spirit of those people, such as the national mystique, all of that made an impression among many of us and we were willing to follow suit."
(Juan Ignacio Padilla wrote a book entitled, Sinarquismo: Contrarevolución. As the second in command of the National Synarchist Union, he published an editorial in their newspaper calling for a coup d'état against Mexican President Avila Camacho, the successor to Cárdenas, that prompted the Mexican government to dismantle the National Synarchist Union.)
As to whether the Synarchists were fascist, Meyer says: "The least mistaken of all possible comparisons should not be looked for in Brazilian Integrism (a similar ideology but which lacked the same popular audience) but in the Romanian side, with the Legion de San Miguel, with the Iron Guard.
"This current of thought of intransigent Catholicism was born in the French Revolution, claims to be counterrevolutionary, established itself with Gregory XVI, grew under Pius IX (Quanto Cura, Syllabus of Errors). Following this line, Synarchism adopts for itself the fight against the three 'Rs': the Renaissance, the Reforms (Protestant and Mexican), and the Revolution (French, Soviet and Mexican).
"The great national heroes of the Independence War are presented as reactionaries."
On the anti-Semitic and fascist views of Synarchism, Meyers reports that in numbers 5 and 6 of their newspaper in 1939, they wrote: "Jews in Mexico are undesired, not because of the stupid racist prejudice, but because of the kind of activities they have been developing." But on the other hand, in the Sept. 23, 1940 issue of their newspaper, Abascal advises reading anti-Semitic material such as that of Kahal-Oro, Hugo Wast, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Jewish International."
In May 1941, Abascal, an avowed anti-Nazi, praises Hitler: "Hitler is like the great whip of God, a military genius.... When he's done with his mission, to destroy Russia, he will go through what all instruments of God go through, he will break into two pieces."
As for Franco, Abascal says:
"I have always considered that Mexico's salvation relies on its Catholic spirit, it's Catholic Tradition, and because we have received this from Spain, our links to Spain must be strengthen with the Hispanist spirit. And given that Franco was the one who restored the Hispanidad in Spain, with Spain we have a mystic, ideological-type of relationship."
Nazis Used the Falange To Create a Synarchist Fifth Column in Mexico
While Heibel hysterically defends the Synarchists against charges that they are Nazis and Falangists, and Meyer admits that the Synarchists are indeed fascists, at least "on the edges," both authors reveal that the National Synarchist Union has the same ideology as Bernard Bergoend and the Cristeros. But the reality is that the National Synarchist Union and its ideology, whose origins we have located in the movement that created the Cristeros, was in its 1937 creation a fifth column for the Nazis. This is documented in a book written by Allan Chase in 1943, entitled Falange.
The basic thesis of Chase's book is backed up by confidential reports submitted by Harold P. Braman, Assistant U.S. Naval Attaché at Mexico City, written in October 1941, to which reports Chase may very well have had access. As Braman's report states:
"Mexican Sinarquistas are a dangerous totalitarian group controlled by Spanish Falangists and the Church, with Nazis pulling strings behind scenes. Requested report traces historical background showing Sinarquismo is outgrowth of church groups formed during days of bitter state-church strife. Sinarquista program, designed by Falangists, aims to establish totalitarian state under control of Spain, with Mexico forming a part of a new Spanish empire which would be dominated by Germany. Sinarquistas organize by means of a communist-type cell system, the priests of church supplying names of eligibles to organizers.... Accion Nacional [PAN] is an interlocking group from higher strata of Mexican life and forms part of Falangist movement."
According to Chase, Hitler made Gen. Wilhelm von Faupel chief of the Ibero-American Institute in Berlin. Von Faupel already had significant experience in Ibero-America. In 1911, he joined the staff of the Argentine War College in Buenos Aires; in 1921, after World War I, he was the military counselor to the Inspector General of the Argentine Army; in 1926, he had a high military post in the Brazilian Army, and later in 1926 became Inspector General of the Peruvian Army. He also had close ties to Fritz von Thyssen and IG Farben, and was convinced that the key to dominating Latin America was Spain.
The Nazis divided Ibero-America into five divisions: 1) Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay; 2) Brazil; 3) Chile and Bolivia; 4) Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela; and 5) Panama, Central America, and Mexico. In order to dominate Latin America through Spain, they had to crush the Spanish Republic. Therefore, the Third Reich conspired with officers of the Spanish Army to bring Franco to power.
Faupel decided to work through the Falange of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, whose social theories Fernando Quijano was to advocate in the 1990s. Berlin gave the Falange its principles, which included: "We have the will of an Empire and assert that the historic legacy of Spain is the Empire.... Regarding the Latin American countries we intend to tighten the links of culture, economic interests and of power, Spain claims to be the spiritual axle of the Spanish World as a recognition of her universal enterprises. Our state will be a totalitarian instrument at the service of the country.... No one shall participate through political parties. Party lines shall be ruthlessly wiped out. From the economic standpoint we figure Spain as a gigantic producers syndicate. We repudiate the Capitalist system.... We also repudiate Marxism.... Our movement incarnates a Catholic sense of lifethe glorious and predominant tradition in Spainand shall incorporate it to national reconstruction."
The entire Franco coup was organized by the Nazis. Afterwards von Faupel created the Falange Exteriorthe Spanish-speaking division of the Foreign Organization of the German Nazi Party. The Nov. 18, 1936 execution of Primo de Rivera gave the Falange a martyr. The world was led to believe that Serrano Suner, Franco's brother-in-law, was in charge. But instead, the Falange was placed under the direction of a group of anonymous German-trained Spaniards acting under von Faupel.
The Decalogue for the Comrades abroad included: "Defend without compromise the union of all Spaniards all over the world, under the traditional and revolutionary symbol of the yoke and arrows; Obey the Caudillo (Franco), leader of our people in war and peace; Maintain the brotherhood of the Falange and behave always as national Syndicalists with justice, sacrifice, and discipline; Fight with faith, for the triumph of Hispanidad; and Pay perpetual homage to the memory of José Antonio."
As Chase writes, "Twentieth-century Hispanidad is one of the many brain children of Wilhelm von Faupel." In 1940, von Faupel created a new body in Madrid, the Council of Hispanidad, which was officially formed by the decree of the Spanish state on Nov. 7, 1940.
Under Nazi supervision, the Falange was created in Mexico within weeks of the start of the Spanish Civil War. When German, Italian, and Japanese legations were expelled in 1941, the Axis worked through the Mexican Falange. The nominal chief of the Falange in Mexico was Augusto Ibáñez Serrano, a Spaniard. Mexico was the only country in the Western hemisphere which aided the Spanish Republic and never had diplomatic relations with Axis Spain. Portugal looked after Spanish diplomatic interests in Mexico, and Serrano operated out of offices in the Portuguese legation. His three close lieutenants, all of them lawyers, were: Alejandro Quijano, Gómez Morín and Carlos Prieto. The official Falange in Mexico had 50,000 members. Chief strongholds were Puebla, Veracruz, Mérida, Comitán, Guadalajara, Morelia, Mazatlan, Guanajuato, Tampico, Monterrey, Torreón and Guaymas. Eulogio Celorio Sordo was sent from Spain in July 1941 to take charge of uniformed Falange in Mexico. He was the Provincial Chief of the Falange in Mexico. Spanish military leaders of the Falange in Mexico were Maj. Carril Ontano, Maj. Francisco Garay Unzuenta and Capt. Carlos Aravilla. Orders came from Gen. Mora Figueroa, chief of the Spanish Falange and Minister in the Spanish Cabinet.
Spanish fascists were trained by the Gestapo to work for the Axis in Ibero-America. There were schools for Spaniards in Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, and Vienna. Graduates were commissioned as officers in the Spanish Army's Intelligence Service, the SIM. Alberto Mercado Flores, a veteran Spanish Falangist official, was sent to Mexico to command SIM operations in Mexico.
Hispanidad was the official magazine of the Mexican Falange. Other publications included the weekly El Sinarquista, published by the Falange-operated Synarchist movement. La Nación was a weekly edited by Gómez Morín and Alfonso Junco, Mexico's foremost apostle of Hispanidad.
One book that was advertised in Omega, controlled by the Falange, was entitled, Jews Over America. Chapters include: "El Kabal, Roosevelt Is a Jew on all sides"; "Jews in the New Deal," etc. One issue of Omega includes the following paragraph:
"A democratic government is a thousand times more dangerous than a dictatorship like Hitler's or Mussolini's. Democracy exploits and deceives the people in the name of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The democracies are protecting us from Hitler by throwing us into the arms of Roosevelt, who is the greatest danger of all those that menace Latin America today."
Falange front groups in Mexico included the following:
Academia Española de la Lengua. Ibanez Serrano was an official representative.
Escuadra de Acción Tradicionalista. The supreme commander was Major San Julian of the Spanish Army.
The League of Ibero-American Hispanidad, which spread racist doctrines of the Council of Hispanidad.
Partido Autonomista Mexicano (PAM), a small storm-troop party.
Accion Nacional (PAN), formed shortly after the Falange appeared in Mexico, was a fascist party directed by Gómez Morín. Its program was a corporativist state for Mexico and absolute Hispanidad. It was subsidized by Falange Exterior.
National Union of Synarchists. Nominally it was founded by Salvador Abascal, José Olivares, Manuel Zermeño, and Urquiza. In 1943, it had 500,000 members. However, the actual organizers were Hellmuth Oskar Schreiter and the brothers José and Alfonso Trueba Olivares. The official papers listed these three, plus Melchor Ortega and Adolfo MaldonadoGovernor and General Secretary of Guanajuato provinceand I.G. Validvia, a Mexican lawyer. Schreiter was a native of Germany and carried a German Nazi Party card paid up to date on May 23, 1937. The Truevba Olivares brothers were Spanish hacendados and leaders of the Falange Española.
This information on the National Union of Synarchists is fully confirmed in the Oct. 31, 1941 report submitted by Harold P. Braman, Assistant U.S. Naval Attaché in Mexico, who writes that the Trueba Olivares brothers first tried to create a group called the "Sinarquistas" in 1935 in Morelia, but the group fared poorly. Only in 1937, when Schreiter entered the scene, did the Union take off. Schreiter was a German engineer, who was a professor of English in a school in Guanajuato. His wife was a relative of the Governor of the state. In a report submitted on Feb. 2, 1944, Braman confirms that Schreiter was a Nazi. "Oscar Hellmuth Schreiter and Otto Gilbert are principal Nazi agents connected with Sinarquista organizations and have their headquarters in Guanajuato.... A strong and dangerous Nazi affiliation with the Sinarquistas was found throughout the State of Guanajuato. The principal Germans connected with the movement, and who may be considered as powerful figures behind the scenes, are Oscar Hellmuth Schreiter and Otto Gilbert.
"It was also ascertained through a trusted informant, ... that every cent made available to the Sinarquistas for the first year or so came direct from Schreiter, who received it periodically from influential members of the German colony in Mexico City. These latter are understood to have obtained the funds direct from the German Legation in Mexico City."
Braman also confirms the relationship between the Synarchists and the Church in Mexico. "It so happens ... that the Church and the Falangists have a joint council of strategy which, upon orders from Spain, pulls the Union's strings. Orders to Spain come from Berlin.... [T]he Church of Mexico is at this moment working in full cooperation with the Falangists whom they supported in the Spanish Civil War. The Falangists want an all-powerful Spanish world working alongside Germany, and Mexico is viewed by them as fertile ground for a change-over in government which will bring the nation under direct control of the Spain of today, like the days of the Spain of old."
Braman further documents how the Synarchists created a private school network in the state of Guanajuato, similar to the network of private "Catholic" schools created by Christendom College founders Warren and Anne Carroll in Northern Virginia: "It was found that the priests have had much to do with the establishment of Sinarquista schools throughout the state. These schools have various sorts of names and often an effort is made to obscure the connection of the Sinarquistas or the Church, in order to get more pupils. These schools successfully compete with the public schools, because the Sinarquista propaganda tries to make out that the Sinarquista schools are far superior to the public schools and offer church training, whereas the public schools do not."
In a confidential intelligence report submitted on March 30, 1942, Braman reports: "The role of the Church in the Sinarquista Union has, to date, been a highly suspicious one. Local priests have long been known to supply lists of 'recommended' names for membership in the Union. The Falange, which directs the Axis propaganda work in the Union and its secret ally, the Accion Nacional, has had such a close connection to the Archbishop of Mexico and various key Bishops that all Church activity in relation to the Sinarquistas has been suspected."
In respect to Salvador Abascal, Braman reports that "The German agents had ... worked out a scheme for the Spanish Falangists in Spain to take over much of the active direction of the Union, due to the desire to keep things on a Spanish language and culture basis, for public consumption. Abascal proved to be an ideal 'stooge' for leader, since he would take orders and he stood high with the Archbishop of Mexico.... [H]e was educated in the Seminario de Morelia at a time when the Rector was Luis Maria Martinez, now Archbishop of all Mexico. He formed a lasting friendship at the feet of this powerful church figure, and showed a fondness for aggressive church political work."
In his Oct. 31, 1941 report, Braman adds that the Central Committee of the National Synarchist Union, composed of national delegates appointed by Abascal, includes René Capistran Garza, who was the supreme commander of the National League/Cristeros. So much for the hysterical denial of the relationship between the Cristeros and the National Synarchist Union!
Today, Lyndon LaRouche is in the process of building an international youth movement, including in Mexico and other Ibero-American nations, committed to the republican principles embedded in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution. These principles emphatically include the creation and defense of sovereign nation-states dedicated to the general welfare of their respective populations and their posterity as reflected in their cognitive and economic development.
Historically, the oligarchical enemies of the creation of a global family of sovereign nation-states based on such a community of principle, have deployed to thwart the realization of such a world orderthrough both the promotion of anarchy and the imposition of synarchy. This is particularly evident in the case of Mexico.
Mexico, because of its proximity to the United States and its potential to represent, in alliance with the United States, a unique model for North-South relations for the rest of the world, has been viciously targetted by the Synarchists over the course of the last 200 plus years, including the imposition by Napoleon III of the Hapsburg Emperor Maximilian, a Jesuit-orchestrated "religious war," and the creation of a Synarchist anti-U.S. fifth column controlled directly by the Nazis through the Spanish Falange.
The LaRouche Youth Movement in Mexico, therefore, has a crucial mission to perform in behalf of all humanityto free the Mexican population from the shackles of Synarchism, by organizing Mexico and all of Ibero-America to support LaRouche's Presidential campaign, just as Benito Juárez supported the efforts of Abraham Lincoln in opposition to the Maximilian-linked U.S. Confederacy.
As we have seen, the creation of a "Latin American" bloc against the United States was a Nazi-Falange policy. In contrast, the only fruitful policy in Ibero-America today is to fight to change the United States, by supporting the only U.S. Presidential candidate committed to revive the anti-colonial policies of Lincoln and Roosevelt toward Ibero-America and the rest of the developing sector.
To that end, it is necessary to reject both the Buckleyite pseudo-Catholics of the right and the Jacobins of the left. But most of all, it is necessary to defeat their string-pullers, who operate in the invisible complex domain of universal history.
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Meyer, Jean, El sinarquismo: un fascismo mexicano? (Mexico: Editorial J. Mortiz, 1979).
Nicolson, Harold, Dwight Morrow (New York City: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1935).
Quirk, Robert E., The Mexican Revolution and the Catholic Church 1910-1929 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973).
Rice, Elizabeth Ann, O.P. The diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico, as affected by the struggle for religious liberty in Mexico, 1925-29, Washington, D.C.
 This same issue is once again on the agenda today. During the Presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas in 1938, the Mexican government did proceed to nationalize Mexican oil. Today, pressure is coming once again from the United States, that that nationalization be reversed and the oil privatized. Virtually on cue, efforts are once again being made to stoke the fire of religious conflict. On June 12, the son of Jean Meyer, Lorenzo Meyer, wrote an article in Reforma, which asserts that the conflict between Church and State which led to "open and brutal civil war" in Mexico several times in the past, is back on the agenda.