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Where Have all the Catholics Gone? On Population Control

by Michal Semín
Note: This is a transcript of a speech given at the Last Chance for World Peace conference in Portugal this past October.

Your Excellencies, Fathers, dear friends in Christ, I will not be offended if you take a nice nap during this talk.  In fact I might do the same if I get a chair.  To speak after such a good lunch is quite a task...

In my first presentation on Friday I talked about the diabolical aspects of the modern mentality, the spirit of Enlightenment, the modern revolution and its challenges to Catholics around the globe. Today I want to focus on one particular aspect of the Revolution which has to do with human sexuality and its social regulation — population control. We cannot understand the phenomenon of population control without taking into account the sexual revolution of the 20th Century.

In the May, 2006, issue of Chronicles, Thomas Fleming has an essay on the results of the Sexual Revolution, “New Wine in Old Bottles.” He writes that “The revolution that made us who we are began during the great revolt against Christianity known as the Renaissance, and it entered an acute phase with the French Revolution. Al-though it has taken many forms and aimed at so varied a set of targets... [it] has hardly deviated from its most basic goal: the liberation of what one of the most virulent revolutionaries termed the libido ...”

When Our Lady warned in Fatima against the errors of Russia, was She also speaking about errors related to the sphere of human sexuality? She probably did, as it was the Communist Soviet Union which was the first country to legalize abortion and openly promote contraception and other sins against the 6th Commandment. Western Europe, under the influence of Enlightenment ideas and liberalism had also brought about a great assault about Christian Moral teaching through legalization of divorce and the struggle for the separation of the state from the Church. Today we are witnessing a worldwide dissemination of these particular errors of Russia and very little opposition to them.

But is the liberalization of the libido only a self-serving matter, just a natural fruit of hedonistic ethics or is there something even more sinister behind the scenes? Hedonism is obviously part of the whole picture, as hedonism is a natural product of the rejection of metaphysics in ethical thought. When human behavior is not regulated by objective moral norms, which could be discovered and known by human beings, then it will be the appetites that will take over the reason and will.

Hedonistic ethics is one of the many poisoned fruits of Enlightenment, with its perverted notion of “freedom”, in the sense of a license, which is a right to do whatever you want to do. Sexual liberation didn’t start in the 60’s; that decade only represents the climax of forces unleashed many decades earlier. E. Michael Jones, in his book Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control, makes a strong and well documented case for the following scenario: the liberalization of human sexuality during and after the breakdown of Christendom is a conscious and orchestrated act on the part of those who want to use it as a means to control the masses. Materialistic and mechanistic philosophy of modernity gave birth to the naked will, emancipated from the transcendentally founded moral norms. But materialism cannot inspire, and the problem of how to control man and direct society in the absence of traditional moral restraints remained.

Libido Dominandi is in large part an exposure of the intellectual dishonesty of modernity, beginning with the idea that sexual liberation means freedom. On the contrary, sexual liberation has meant and continues to mean an enormous increase in the power of government, rule by moneyed elites, and ever-increasing escalation of subliminal control.

    “There are only two options,” Jones writes,

     “Either you control yourself according to the moral law or your passions control you — or someone controls you through the manipulation of your passions. There is either the rule of reason and self-control or there is the sexual revolution and tyranny. The modern regime knows this and exploits this situation to its own advantage. In other words, ‘sexual freedom’ is, in fact, a form of social control, a way of maintaining the regime in power by exploiting the passions of those who then identify with the regime which ostensibly enables them to gratify these passions.

     “Given this fact it should come as no surprise that the Enlightenment’s major proponent of sexual liberation should also be the first to describe sex as a form of political control. I am talking about Marquis de Sade, who was a prisoner in the Bastille in the summer of 1789, writing pornographic novels and growing fat from the food he paid to have brought in. Beginning in July he fashioned a primitive megaphone out of a piece of paper and incited the mob outside the prison to storm it and liberate him and the six other people there. His later novels, written during the time of Revolution, explain that if the revolutionary republic wants to win over Christendom, the passions of men must be fully liberated so that they can bring down the social order

     “The potential for both control and insurrection undergo a quantum change when sexuality is deregulated and allowed to act as a stimulant for perpetual unrest. In fact, since the revolutionary regime is based on the subversion of morals, it can only exist by exploiting sexuality in this fashion. What it proposes to the mob as freedom is really only a form of social and political control. It is from this angle that we should view the legalization of pornography. It is not just some sort of unfortunate byproduct of the revolutionary regime that must be tolerated if we all want to enjoy the freedom, the argument of liberals around the globe.

     “Pornography is the essence of a revolutionary political regime because it is only by managing the passion of its citizens that it maintains its control over them. In gratifying the illicit desires, it evokes the gratitude of slaves and creates out of that gratitude, political control.”

So what has this to do with the population control which is the main focus of my talk? Population control is a regime-orchestrated program of birth regulation through the means of sexual liberation. The control of the number of births is only possible when you disrupt and pervert the end of human sexuality, which is procreation, and make the passions the king over one’s body and soul.

Population control is thus the sine qua non of the New World Order, about which the New Age luminary Marylin Ferguson says:

     “For the first time in history, humanity has access to the control panel of change, to the understanding of the manner in which transformations are produced … The paradigm of the Aquarian Conspiracy conceives humanity as rooted in nature and encourages the autonomous individual in a decentralized society by considering us as stewards of all our resources, interior and exterior. It sees us as heirs of evolution’s riches, capable of imagination, invention and experiences which we have but still only glimpsed.”

Change, novelty, transformation, evolution — these are all code words of the modern liberal regime. Based on the dogmas of modern philosophy, there is no fixed human nature, nothing that defines humanity and the purpose of human life independently of time, culture, and local customs. Human life, man, is just one element in the pantheistic continuum of evolutionary process. This is the ideological source of the “culture of death” — abortion, contraception, embryo experimentation, in vitro fertilization, but also gender policing or unisex clothing, and, of course, of eugenically inspired population control.

The United Nations and Population Control

Since its creation in 1945, when it replaced the Vatican as an international arbitrator of influence, the United Nations has become the seat of a future one-world government. And the sine qua non of this world collectivist state is, as I indicated earlier, total control of the world’s people. It is thus no mere coincidence that within one month of the establishment of the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the spring of 1945, the United Nations established a Population Commission to collect demographic data and to study demographic relationships to economic and social factors. Powerful New Age influences were seeded into all the U.N.’s specialized and interconnected U.N. agencies, including the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the World Bank, all of them institutional subscribers to the ideology of overpopulation.

This “new paradigm” is not at all restricted to these supranational organizations, they dominate the power centers of many nation states as well; they work shoulder to shoulder in making the “new paradigm” the political and legal framework of the whole humanity. The reason they enforce programs of population control, conditioning humanitarian and development aid to poorer countries, is not only to curb the numbers of the less affluent or allegedly backward (eugenic programs of population control were from the very beginning inspired by overt racism), but mainly as a means of  political and social control. The powers that be are aware of the fact that population growth is an asset after all, not a liability, and they feel threatened, both politically and militarily, because of the growing confrontation between the affluent, but dying West and the so-called underdeveloped countries with much higher birth rates.

So after having caused the population dearth in the Western countries through the sexual liberation movement, the regime of Enlightenment needs to undermine the population growth in other countries, to keep the global power structures balanced. It is out of the fear that those nations or cultures that do not follow the ideological plan of Enlightenment might overpopulate the nations that succumbed to the Darwinian mentality, that the idea of population control was born.

In its initial years it was known as the eugenic movement, but because Hitler gave it a bad name, after World War II the Eugenics Society was renamed for Planned Parenthood. But the goals remained the same, only the means have changed. The same people that supported and financed the eugenics program captured the means of communication and started to portray demographic control as concern for “health” and liberation.

To what degree, we should ask ourselves, are the contemporary Catholics seduced by this false and dangerous siren of the need to “curb the demographic growth”? As we all know, the Church always fought against the Manichean distaste of procreation, calling unto Catholics to be generous in giving life to new human beings. As Pius XII stated in his Address in 1958:

    “Wherever you find large families in great numbers, they point to: the physical and moral health of a Christian people; a living faith in God and trust in His Providence; the fruitful and joyful holiness of Catholic marriage.”

“Family Planning”: The Language of the Enemy

Large family was a synonym of Christian family during the pontificate of Pius XII and earlier. But the sixties brought about change. The social upheaval represented by the sexual revolution was so pervasive, that even the Catholic Church didn’t get out of its way. By the way, isn’t the new ecclesiastical orientation after the Second Vatican Council also defined by change and novelty? Even in the Church, everything must be presented in a new way — we have the New Mass (new rite of the Mass), new evangelization, New Code of Canon Law, we have changes in the way the Church views false religions and the modern world, etc. etc.

 In that context it is not surprising that also with respect to procreation we find language and methodology similar to the ones used by our enemies. Even though the famous encyclical Humanae vitae did retain the traditional teaching against artificial contraception, in this important papal document we find the following words:

     “The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources.”

The fact that there might be a demographic growth with potentially disastrous results is not questioned in the encyclical. Since then we keep reading or hearing from the pulpits about “responsible parenthood”, about how responsible it is to limit the number of children, even if there are no serious reasons why to avoid pregnancy and having another child. In the conservative Catholic circles which disapprove of the use of contraception, a practice widely accepted among the young Catholics today, the “natural family planning” programs are popularized.

 From my personal experience years ago I can attest to the fact that I was never told about the conditions under which it is legitimate to have marital relations limited to the infertile days. When I read the NFP literature, it is mostly about how to avoid pregnancy, instead of about how to better understand the woman’s cycle so that it becomes easier to conceive. What is disturbing is that the same line of thought on NFP I have discovered in some literature, written in Czech, in favor of contraception. NFP is presented there as a means how to avoid pregnancy for the religiously or ecologically minded couples!

I am not saying that NFP is identical with artificial contraception, what I am saying is that it can be very easily misused for bad purposes.

How was the change of mentality, change from openness towards life to avoid birth for no serious reason, achieved? We have to understand that it was the Catholic Church which was the biggest obstacle to the population control programs and their success worldwide. The Church and its teachings on procreation had to be attacked, and attacked from within, through Catholics themselves. The revolutionaries desperately needed some well-known Catholics who would work on the change of the mentality from within the Catholic structures.

John Rock and the Pill

Behind the population eugenic project you find names famous for what they call “philanthropy”: the Rockefellers, Ford Foundation, and other well-known financiers of the modern revolution. That you most probably know. But do you know that it was these pockets that fed a Catholic obstetrician Dr. John Rock in his successful effort in manufacturing the Pill? Yes, the Pill is an invention of a Catholic!

Rock studied the function, timing, and chemical triggers for ovulation and conception. His work led to a clearer understanding of the cycles of fertility, which provided a foundation for the development of the “rhythm” method of birth control. In 1939, he founded the first “rhythm clinic” in the United States for patients at the Boston Free Hospital for Women. Rock made clear that his “rhythm clinic” was intended to benefit infertile women by allowing them to identify the best time for conception. His intention — in the time he was young —was to help couples to achieve pregnancy, not to avoid it.

His work overlapped with that of Gregory Pincus, another Boston researcher who was testing the effect of progesterone on rabbits. At this point, however, Pincus and Rock had different goals. Pincus was seeking not to increase the likelihood of conception, but to prevent it. He wanted to develop a pill that would stop ovulation in humans.

In 1951, Margaret Sanger, a longtime crusader for birth control, introduced Gregory Pincus to Katharine McCormick, a wealthy widow who was committed to the birth control cause. Katharine McCormick gave Pincus a check for $40,000 to advance his work. She would eventually contribute over $1 million to support research that was too controversial for conventional funding sources. Pincus had a problem, however. Since he was not a licensed physician, he could not legally conduct drug trials. He thought of collaborating with his fellow Bostonian, John Rock. He knew Rock had experienced some success using hormone treatments to control the timing and frequency of ovulation in infertile women.

In 1952 Gregory Pincus asked John Rock to work with him to make the treatment effective as an oral contraceptive. Dr. Rock was in his sixties and approaching retirement when Pincus made his controversial proposal. Because he believed so deeply in the need for world population control and for married women to be able to avoid unwanted pregnancies, John Rock agreed. This tragic story has no happy end. Not only that with the help of a Catholic the plague of contraceptive mentality was furthered, but Rock himself lapsed and died as an apostate.

Nevertheless, his direct involvement in producing the contraceptive pill had a serious mental impact on the Catholic population. The sexual revolution of the 60’s was, we can fairly say, a demographic attack not only against other nations around the globe, but against Catholics. It was so successful that, within a decade or two, it effectively neutralized the only effective opposition to the eugenic, demo-liberal regime, the Catholic Church.

Too Many People? Too Many Rats?

As we all know today, the population bomb scenario was false. Not only is there no real population growth problem, but what is becoming a serious problem, at least for the Western countries, is the lack of births, not their excess. Just recently the European Union has sounded the alarm on their dangerously low birth rate, which will result in a 20-million worker shortage by as early as 2030. There were no European countries with fertility rates of less than 1.3 children per woman in 1990. By 2002, there were 15, while six more were below 1.4. No European country is maintaining its population through births now, and only France — with a rate of 1.8 — has even the potential to do so. The former Soviet bloc countries have experienced marked reductions in birth rates during the last decade, with an alarming 1.2 children average per woman for the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia and Poland — lower even than Western Europe’s record-setting Spain, Greece and Italy, which have all had 1.3 births per woman for at least a decade. Never in the last 650 years, since the time of the Black Plague, have birth and fertility rates fallen so far, so fast, so low, for so long, in so many places.

A truly Catholic person is incapable to say that there are “too many people”. That would mean that there is someone, a group, or a whole nation, which is superfluous and that it would be better if he, she or they would not live. This is a product of a materialistic mind-set. Human beings affect one another’s lives, sometimes helpfully, sometimes harmfully, and we cannot regard our numbers with distant detachment. They matter. However, what about rats? There are too many rats when they militate against the human well-being, right? Can we use that same phrase in case of people? That would enable some people to claim primacy over other people, just as man claims primacy over animals. But this precisely is the spirit of population growth conferences, that there are some nations that breed like rats and that they militate against the well-being of those affluent, childless, hedonistic elites of the Enlightenment regime.

 The population control ideology reduces the worth of human life to material productivity and efficiency.  That is how the quality of life is measured, by the degree of utility for the society. This quote from the famous book Limits to Growth by Dennis Meadows speaks clearly: “The crux of the matter is not only whether the human race will survive, but even more whether it can survive without falling into a state of worthless existence.” Aha, and we are so humanistic, that instead of allowing someone to live in such a state we will do everything to prevent he ever lives. The fact that he does not exist, is better for him. Nothingness is thus better than being, in the perverted world of Manichean modernity.

But God cannot have “too many people”. The only fully Christian attitude towards parenthood is: “The Lord may or may not give: the Lord may or may not take away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” All the talk of “too many people” usurps a Divine prerogative.

Contra-Contraception

Sins and wrongdoing have consequences. Population dearth and the economic hardship that we all are going to face pretty soon is one of them. But what is much worse is the spiritual price that we are paying. The lack of children in our societies reflects the lack of trust in God’s own Providence, and, consequently, a growing detachment from Our Creator and Redeemer and the order of salvation.

Even Cardinal Ratzinger in his interview book with Vittorio Messori attested to the fact that the period after the Second Vatican Council didn’t bring the expected revivification of the Church but instead brought chaos. So instead of multiplying the graces that flow, we face the situation in which this flow of graces has been blocked.  There are obstacles that are put into the flow of grace — lack of prayer, lack of proper religious formation and the sins against the Commandments (the Sixth that we are dealing with in this talk among them), all this adds up to the diabolical disorientation about which Sister Lucy of Fatima spoke. That means there are fewer graces penetrating into the hearts of the baptized flock. Why do I say that in a presentation on population control?

There is a relation between the degree, or intensity of the supernatural life of the soul and the perfection or virtues of natural life — grace builds on nature.  Where the natural law is not followed, there the graces have no positive effect.  The liberal-minded changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council “reforms” are to the supernatural life and the human element of the Church what contraception is to natural life of a family.

What we, as Catholics, must do, is to wage a war against the contraceptive mentality that plagues our age. Separate ourselves from the “spirit of times”, be counter-revolutionary in being open to life, trusting in God and Our Lady, who loves each and every child, for whom there is no immortal soul that is unwanted.

Michal Semin, from the Czech Republic, is the head of the St. Joseph Institute and Editor of Te Deum magazine.

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