59. Missionaryism – I
Before tackling this third-rail subject, it is necessary to give an explanation on the correct use of some terms. Nowadays, in all Western languages, the word ‘proselytism’, of Greek origin, has a strong negative meaning: an effort of propagandistic zeal that aims to acquire new followers by subtle persuasion, cunning and deception. The purpose of ‘proselytism’, according to this interpretation of the term, is to increase the number of ‘proselytes’, in order to put together large number of people which, with its numerical weight, can disrupt or overturn not only a religious situation, but also a political, a social, an economic and an ethnic one. Proselytism is therefore subtly linked to the idea of sedition or even subversion. In reality, at least originally, the genuine meaning of the term ‘proselytism’ corresponded to something perfectly legitimate and even beneficial. The word derives from ‘proselyte’ (Gr.: προσήλυτος, read prosélütos), which means ‘newcomer’, completely similar to the meaning of ‘neophyte’ (new sprout). Proselytism, therefore, means to divulge a thought in a way that allows others to assess its rightness and, eventually, approve and share it. Since it is usually applied to the sphere of Christianity, let us see how proselytism is described in the Gospels and in what sense it was indicated as an apostolic activity:
Do not go the way of the Gentiles, nor enter any city of the Samaritans: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: freely you have received, freely give. Do not put in your purses either gold or silver, or copper, or money for the journey, or two garments or two coats or shoes or sticks; for he who works deserves to earn his food. And in whatsoever city or town you shall enter, ask who is worthy in it, and stay there until ye depart. And when ye enter a house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace be upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever does not greet you and listen to your words, when you leave his house or town, shake off the dust of your feet. (Gospel of St. Matthew, X.5-14)
As can be seen, proselytism was then not only licit, but beneficial. In fact, the proselyte had to be able to comply to the new message in complete freedom. This has happened in all traditions. In India, for example, through its paṇḍitas, gurus and ācāryas, the different doctrines were publicly expounded on the occasion of pilgrimages (yatra), in public confrontations between exponents of different currents (ānsīkṣikīm), or at royal courts (rājādhiṣṭhānam). This is how sanātana dharma and the various currents of Buddhism spread in Southeast Asia and the Far East respectively.
The word ‘proselytism’ gradually took a negative connotation; it finally degenerated into missionaryism following the Protestant invention of propaganda. This was later intensified by the mass conviction typical of Marxism, which divides humanity into oppressors and oppressed by appealing to the most basic feelings of envy and revenge. Finally, with the birth of psychiatry we witness the rise of new techniques of collective suggestion and brainwashing practices by the means of technological tools.
Another term has been used to refer to the same practice of proselytism when it is regarded as its virtuous aspect, its good side, its positive reflection: missionaryism. The word derives from the Latin mittere, to send, and was originally related to the idea of an ambassadorship. However, in the praxis, ‘missionary’ has taken a very different meaning. The missionary is sent by a Christian religious organisation not with the purpose of expounding the truth, but of convincing people to convert, using both legal and illicit means. The aim is to push people to abandon with shame their tradition of origin, defined as superstitious and primitive, leading to inferiority complexes. ‘Mission’, far from meaning a temporary representative assignment, indicates a form of permanent and destabilizing infiltration in the core of the civilizations they targeted. Yet, in the popular imagination, the missionary is commonly believed to be a person who generously sacrifices himself for the spiritual, moral, economic and social well-being of the less fortunate populations. These latter are unable to enjoy such welfare and prosperity because of their ‘primitive religion’ or ‘pagan superstition’. Of course, the individual missionary can be an altruistic person; but ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’, says popular wisdom. In fact, he is a cog in the wheel of a perverse mechanism created for the planetary expansion of Christianity. Or, more precisely, of the atheist civilization, the cancer that has metastasized the entire globe, which uses Christianity as a Trojan horse.
Proselytism towards the ‘worthy’ people was the traditional form of Christian preaching from the origins upto the Middle Ages. It consisted in exposing to sovereigns and ruling classes the novelty of the Christian thought persuading them with the elevation of thought, the nobility of feeling and the example of an irreproachable, just and mild conduct. The conversion of the sovereign or the oligarchy meant the acceptance of the new religion also by the subjects, over a more or less long period of time.
Alongside this proselytising of the elites, early Christianity also devoted itself to convincing the plebs. By Preaching humility, demanding ‘social justice’ and the rejection of the ancient pagan religion, this devious form of proselytism insinuated itself into the Roman civil society, thus vilifying the ancient religion and undermining the authority of the state. This form of proselytism from below, subversive towards the Imperial order, can be acknowledge as origin of missionaryism as it appeared from the Renaissance onwards, that then spread everywhere through colonialism. This revolutionary activity de facto, which denied the divine right of Roman institutions and, first and foremost, of the Emperor, was the main cause of the persecutions that the Roman state unleashed against Christians.
Proselytism through ‘worthy persons’ was successful: by decision of the monarchs, it in fact occurred the Christianisation of the Kingdom of Edessa (201 AD), Kingdom of Armenia (301), Kingdom of Georgia (326) and the Ethiopian Empire (330). On the contrary, the imposition of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire cannot be counted among those free conversions of a sovereign. In reality it was the result of an exhausting infiltration into the ganglia of the state by disloyal converts who, indeed, acted to destroy it from within. This weakened the Empire and left it defenceless against the threat of barbarian invasions.
On the contrary, before the fall of the Empire for the barbarian peoples, such as the Germans and Celts of the islands (Irish and Scottish), and later in the Middle Ages among the Angles and Saxons, Hungarians and Slavs, conversion to Christianity was always determined by the sovereign or the oligarchy own choices. The last well-known episode of this form of ‘proselytism from above’ was the vain attempt of St. Francis of Assisi, in 1219, to convert Sultan Malik al-Kamil and with him the whole of Egypt.
At the end of the Middle Ages, Catholic proselytism was in fact exercised by the mendicant orders, the Franciscans and Dominicans. Therefore in 1245 Pope Innocent IV sent the Franciscan Giovanni da Pian del Carpine to Karakoram, the capital of the Mongols, to invite Güyük Khan, successor of Genghis Khan, to convert together with his people. The Khan declined the request, but treated the friar with respect and allowed him to leave with gifts for the pope. In 1294 another Franciscan, John of Montecorvino, established himself as the first archbishop in Peking, at the Court of Emperor Timur, with permission to preach. Again, the Mongol Emperor of China refused to convert with his subjects. However, one of his vassals, the Prince of Tenduk, was baptised with the name George and all his people followed his example.
It will be useful to dwell a little on the preaching of Catholicism in the Americas, especially for the benefit of our Indian readers. In fact, all they know on this subject comes exclusively from the colossal falsification of history carried out by the Protestants. This historical falsification is still disingenuously active and through the means of colonization, and the imposed British educational system, it has conditioned the ideas that the Indian people have about Catholicism in the Americas. The fact that the American “Indians” were colonized by Spain and Portugal, as India was by Britain, triggers in our Indian readers a misguided sense of ‘third-world’ solidarity. Finally, forty years of political and cultural subordination to the Soviet Union by Congress India, has instilled, sometimes even in traditional Hindū circles, the miserable ideology that sees all humanity divided into oppressors and oppressed. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Communist International is globally imposing its new dictatorship through ecologism, globalism and the preaching of ‘cross-breeding’ and it continues to spread the poisons of the ‘liberation theology’, of the ‘ransom’ of minorities, with the purpose of destroying all religious or dharmic traditions. The well-intentioned Indian reader should indeed ponder carefully on what follows.
In 1492, after concluding the reconquest of the territories occupied by the Moslems, the Kingdom of Spain had to face a new domestic danger. For several decades a large number of the Jew population took advantage of the option to simulating permitted by the Talmud, and pretended to convert to Catholicism. Since the Jews had been entrusted with the management of usury and banking, they were usually quite wealthy. By converting, they suddenly had access to the highest offices to both kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, to the Church hierarchy and to the most prestigious families of the aristocracy. They de facto secretly continued to practise their religion, lobbying on behalf of their community, benefiting from their twofold condition. This situation led to numerous popular uprisings against these new privileged people.
For this reason, the Catholic Monarchs issued an ultimatum to the Jews of Spain. Either they sincerely converted, and voluntarily submitted themselves to checks by the authorities, or they would be expelled from the crown territories. Of the approximately 180,000 Jews, three quarters decided to leave and they sold their property and took their movable goods with them. About 50,000 of them preferred to convert and accept to be checked on, avoiding in this way to sell off their property to the unfailing looters who were taking advantage of situation. It is certain that very few of them actually converted and the others continued to rely on the art of simulation. There is a whole literature on the various tricks and expedients they used to deceive the controls.
The same problem affected the assimilation of the Spanish subjects of Islamic faith. The Muslims who remained under the new rulers were mostly of Iberian-Latin and Visigoth origin, Christians who had been forced to convert to Islam, the so-called mulades. They were forced to reconvert to Catholicism by a decree issued at the same time as the expulsion of the Jews. With a behaviour similar to that of the Jews, they simulated reconversion by accepting to be baptised. However, they remained faithful to Islam in private by following the principle of taqiyyah, i.e., the simulation of their inner beliefs. These crypto-Muslims, known as moriscos, adopted the opposite behaviour of the marranos: they preferred to isolate in rural communities to avoid royal control, but they were always ready to sabotage, to banditry, to rebel and to act as a bridgehead for North African and Turkish pirates and slave hunters. Soon the monarchy, the church and the Christian subjects learned to distrust both the crypto-Jewish and crypto-Muslim false converts.
All the above must be well understood in order to have a balanced idea of the ways in which Catholicism expanded in Ibero-America, especially in the conquest of the two great empires: the Meshika-Azteco of Mexico and the Inca in South America. In both cases the tendency of the conquistadors was to convert the respective emperors to the Christian religion. If later there was violence against them, it was due to the initially inclined attitude of the rulers towards conversion. Both Moctezuma II for the Meshika and Atahualpa Inca, after an initial acceptance, wanted to backtrack. This convinced the Spaniards that the Indios emperors were behaving hypocritically, as previously done by the marranos and moriscos in Spain. Hernán Cortés had Moctezuma arrested, who was later killed by an Aztec arrow.
Also, Francisco Pizarro in Peru arrested Atahualpa and sentenced him to death for some gestures considered sacrilegious by the Catholic religion. However, even the defenders of the oppressed American Indians, easily manipulated by Protestant propaganda, cannot understand how a few hundred Spaniards were able to overcome the hundreds of thousands of soldiers of the Meshika or Inca armies. As for Mexico, the Aztec Empire had subjugated many kingdoms of other ancient civilizations and established a regime of absolute terror throughout Central America. Annually, in Mexico City alone, more than twenty thousand human victims, chosen from the enslaved peoples, were sacrificed. Their flesh was then distributed to the Meshika and eaten. Many are surprised by the easy victory over the Aztecs of only seven hundred Spaniards, including 13 arquebusiers and 16 horsemen. But they deliberately forget that more than a hundred thousand warriors of the subjected and victimized local populations had joined them in a real war of liberation from the nightmare of human sacrifice and cannibalism.
The same applies to Francisco Pizarro’s adventure in Peru, where he conquered the newly formed Inca Empire with only two hundred and fifty infantrymen and twenty cavalrymen. He also found peoples, newly subjugated by the Incas, who welcomed the Spaniards as liberators. These populations provided tens of thousands of warriors to Pizarro’s weak army. Besides Emperor Atahualpa was already engaged in a civil war against his brother Huáscar, fact that greatly contributed to the collapse of the Andean empire. These events were not followed by any mass genocide as the ‘Leyenda negra’ claims, on the contrary: just as Cortés had married a daughter of the Meshika emperor, Isabel de Moctezuma, thus starting the Cortés Moctezuma dynasty, so Francisco Pizarro wedded the Inca princess Inés Huaylas, Atahualpa’s sister. In this way began the family of the Marquises Pizarro Yupanqui. The Inca Garcilaso Count de la Vega, a famous Spanish historian and aristocrat, was also a grandson of the second-last Inca Emperor Huayna Cápac. Viscount Juan Cano Moctezuma, was the son of Juan Cano de Saavedra and Isabel of Moctezuma. He married the Duchess Elvira of Toledo, who belonged to the second noblest family of the Spanish Grandes. Thus, began the lineage of the Dukes of Toledo Moctezuma.
If the historian is in good faith and has the courage to contradict the lies of the Anglo-Saxon historiography, he will discover that this was not the exception, but the rule at every social level throughout the Kingdom of Spain. If we analyze the current situation of the ethnic composition of Mexico as an example, 60% are Mestizos, 25% Indios, 10% descendants of Spaniards and 5% descendants of other European populations. In Peru the percentages are as follows: 45% Indios, 35% Mestizos, 8% descendants of Spaniards, 7% descendants of other European populations, 3% Chinese, Mulattos, Zambos, Africans, etc.
In the United States, the percentages are as follows: Whites are 80%, Blacks 12.3%, population from Asia 3.9%, from Hawaiian colony 3% and Amerindians 0.8%. Our friends from India who are reading this article should reflect on these figures and correct the false information they have received from their ancient colonizers.
Franciscans and Dominicans had a decisive role throughout the era of the Spanish conquest of Central and South America and the beginning of Catholic proselytism. In particular, there were generous figures, such as Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, who devoted himself to prevent the sadly inevitable abuses of power and injustices that were often perpetrated due to the distance of the colonies from the Court of Madrid. In fact, the Spanish Court usually promptly punished whoever committed abuses. It is important to stress that the native inhabitants had full Spanish citizenship with all the rights thereto and were guaranteed to retain the private property they owned before the conquest.
Instead, with the Counter-Reformation appeared a new kind of missionaryism, a more degenerate form of conversion of the popular masses that had already been used to undermine the Roman Empire from within.
Maria Chiara de’ Fenzi