Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #504 The Vatican Rag, Part I: Reflections on the Death of the Pope

Record­ed April 3, 2005
MP3 One seg­ment
NB: This stream con­tains both FTRs 504 and 505 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broad­cast.

Con­trast­ing sharply with the hagiogra­phies of the late Pope John Paul II that have flood­ed the media in recent days, this pro­gram exam­ines the deep pol­i­tics sur­round­ing the Vat­i­can’s rela­tion­ship to fas­cism and how that deter­mined the char­ac­ter of John Paul II’s reign. Far from being the benef­i­cent crea­ture he has been por­trayed as being, John Paul II appears to have assumed the man­tle of St. Peter fol­low­ing the mur­der of his pre­de­ces­sor and name­sake. John Paul I’s prob­a­ble assas­si­na­tion was per­formed to ensure con­ti­nu­ity in the Vat­i­can’s inner sanc­tum, long dom­i­nat­ed by a fas­cist and crim­i­nal cabal dat­ing to the pre-World War II peri­od. Where­as John Paul I was mov­ing to elim­i­nate the P‑2 Lodge crim­i­nals (Michele Sin­dona and Rober­to Calvi) and their patron Arch­bish­op Paul Marcinkus from pow­er fol­low­ing the death of the fas­cist col­lab­o­ra­tor Pope Paul VI, John Paul II nour­ished these same ele­ments, right up until the expo­sure of the P‑2 Lodge in the spring of 1981. (The P‑2 Lodge was a cryp­to-fas­cist gov­ern­ment that ran Italy for much of the post­war peri­od.) This pro­gram traces the evo­lu­tion of the Vat­i­can bank­ing imbroglio, through the gen­e­sis of the fascist/Vatican finan­cial accord in the late 1920’s, through the Vat­i­can’s invest­ment in Nazi Ger­many in the 1930’s, up to Car­di­nal Mon­tini’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the CIA and the P‑2 crim­i­nals. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis is on the Vat­i­can’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Allen Dulles, the fledg­ling CIA and the Bor­mann group in spir­it­ing Nazi monies abroad after World War II. The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the asso­ci­a­tion between John Paul II and a Pol­ish-born doc­tor named Wolf Szmuness, whose exper­i­men­tal Hepati­tis B vac­cine appears to have been the vec­tor for spread­ing AIDS. With both Szmuness and Car­ol Wojty­la (lat­er John Paul II), one finds the fin­ger­prints of intel­li­gence agen­cies at every turn in their careers.

Pro­gram High­lights: John Paul II’s selec­tion of key Nazi banker Her­mann Abs to straight­en out the Vat­i­can bank­ing scan­dals of the ear­ly 1980’s; Abs’ role in the Nazi flight cap­i­tal pro­gram; the Vat­i­can’s role in the Nazi flight cap­i­tal pro­gram; the role of the World Com­merce Cor­po­ra­tion in the Nazi flight cap­i­tal pro­gram; review of infor­ma­tion indi­cat­ing that AIDS was delib­er­ate­ly cre­at­ed.

1. The show begins by chron­i­cling the deep polit­i­cal his­to­ry of the devel­op­ment of the rela­tion­ships that spawned the Vat­i­can bank­ing scan­dals that emerged into pub­lic view in the ear­ly 1980’s. (For more about these scan­dals and the P‑2 Lodge that was at the cen­ter of the bank­ing scan­dals and many oth­er imbroglios, see RFA#‘s 17–21—avail­able from Spit­fire, as well as FTR#‘s 3, 42, 43, 49, 58, 59, 98, 103, 183, 235, 265, 289, 307, 313, 360, 387, 458.) “Hugh Angle­ton’s rise to pow­er was, in part, an acci­dent of geog­ra­phy. He lived in Milan for many years and made more than a few friends there before the war. It was Hugh Angle­ton who alleged­ly intro­duced Gio­van­ni Bat­tista Mon­ti­ni to Michele Sin­dona, a pre­war banker in Milan. Sin­dona was the cor­rupt financier who lat­er became the advis­er to the Vat­i­can Bank. Mon­ti­ni, who was Vat­i­can Under­sec­re­tary of State dur­ing the war, lat­er became Pope Paul VI.”
(The Secret War Against the Jews: How West­ern Espi­onage Betrayed the Jew­ish Peo­ple; John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons; Copy­right 1994 [HC]; St. Mar­t­in’s Press; ISBN 0–312-11057‑X; pp. 83–84.)

2. At the core of the gen­e­sis of the Vat­i­can bank­ing scan­dals is a fas­cist nexus that saw Car­di­nal Gio­van­ni Bat­tista Mon­ti­ni (lat­er Pope Paul VI) devel­op a rela­tion­ship with Mafioso Michele Sin­dona who, along with fel­low P‑2 mem­ber Rober­to Calvi, became a finan­cial advis­er to the Vat­i­can. The rela­tion­ship between Mon­ti­ni and Sin­dona came after an intro­duc­tion by Hugh Angleton—an Amer­i­can fas­cist and father of CIA coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence chief James Jesus Angle­ton. Both Mon­ti­ni and Sin­dona were intro­duced to OSS and CIA chief Allen Dulles by Angle­ton. (Dulles was the attor­ney who masked the Bush fam­i­ly’s invest­ments in Nazi Ger­many.) “There is some cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence that Hugh Angle­ton also intro­duced both of these friends to Dulles. Both Sin­dona and Mon­ti­ni alleged­ly became sources for the CIA after the war, with Hugh’s son, James Jesus Angle­ton, as their case han­dler. Sev­er­al his­to­ri­ans agree with our sources on this point, although, as we shall see, the Vat­i­can has gone to con­sid­er­able lengths to deny the alle­ga­tions.” (Ibid.; p. 84.)

3. Review­ing some of the his­to­ry of the Vat­i­can’s asso­ci­a­tion with fas­cism, the show notes the Vat­i­can’s finan­cial invest­ments in Nazi Ger­many and high­lights the finan­cial sup­port that the Church gave to Hitler in the imme­di­ate after­math of World War 1. “One of James Angle­ton’s ene­mies, of whom he had many, insists that his father served as a minor point of con­tact and occa­sion­al couri­er for secret finan­cial trans­ac­tions between the Vat­i­can and Nazi Ger­many. That the Vat­i­can encour­aged such invest­ments and even donat­ed mon­ey to Hitler him­self can­not be denied. A Ger­man nun, Sis­ter Pas­cali­na, was present at the cre­ation. In the ear­ly 1920’s, she was the house­keep­er for Arch­bish­op of the Vat­i­can-Nazi con­nec­tion. Euge­nio Pacel­li, then the papal nun­cio in Munich. Sis­ter Pas­cali­na vivid­ly recalls receiv­ing Adolf Hitler late one night and watch­ing the arch­bish­op give Hitler a large amount of Church mon­ey.” (Idem.)

4. Hav­ing received Church mon­ey after the first World War, Pacel­li con­vinced the Vat­i­can to invest large sums of mon­ey in Nazi Ger­many. (For more about Pacel­li and the Vatican/fascist polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic con­nec­tions, see RFA#17, avail­able from Spit­fire.) “Sis­ter Pas­cali­na had absolute­ly no motive to dis­cred­it Arch­bish­op Pacel­li. She was his great­est admir­er and remained his faith­ful ser­vant all her life, even after he became Pope Pius XII. Her sto­ry has the ring of truth, all the more pow­er­ful because it admits the worst blun­der of Pacel­li’s career. It was Pacel­li who lat­er con­vinced the Vat­i­can to invest mil­lions of dol­lars in the ris­ing Ger­man econ­o­my, mon­ey from the Vat­i­can’s land set­tle­ment with Mus­soli­ni that end­ed the Pope’s claim of sov­er­eign­ty over ter­ri­to­ry out­side the walls of Vat­i­can City. It was Pacel­li who nego­ti­at­ed the Con­cor­dat with Hitler’s Ger­many and then had to deal with the con­se­quences of his own mis­takes when he became Pope on the eve of World War II. . . .” (Idem.)

5. Next, the broad­cast reviews the com­bined efforts of Allen Dulles and the Vat­i­can to move Nazi mon­ey (and Nazi war crim­i­nals) to Argenti­na after the war. (Oper­a­tion Safe­haven is the code-name of the Trea­sury Depart­ment oper­a­tion to inter­dict the Nazi flight cap­i­tal pro­gram. That pro­gram, of course, was the Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal pro­gram. For more about the neu­tral­iza­tion of Safe­haven, see—among oth­er pro­grams—FTR#353.) ” . . . Soon after the Safe­haven inquiry into his own Nazi mon­ey smug­gling was buried, Allen Dulles resigned from the OSS and returned to New York to do what he did best: move mon­ey ille­gal­ly for his clients. One of the first names on his client list was a ‘per­son­al mat­ter’ for Thomas McKit­trick, the head of the pre­vi­ous­ly Nazi-dom­i­nat­ed Bank of Inter­na­tion­al Se

ttle­ments (BIS) in Switzer­land. The BIS had over­seen the trans­fer of Nazi assets to Switzer­land. After the war, the Nazis moved the mon­ey via the Vat­i­can to Argenti­na.” (Ibid.; pp. 109–110.)

6. “Dulles rep­re­sent­ed a stag­ger­ing array of Argen­tine cor­po­rate and polit­i­cal enti­ties before and after the war. Pres­i­dent Juan Per­on and his fam­i­ly were ardent Catholics and vio­lent­ly anti-Com­mu­nist, as were many Argen­tines. In fact, Per­on was decid­ed­ly pro-Fas­cist and Argenti­na was the only South Amer­i­can coun­try that con­tin­ued rela­tions with the Third Reich well into the war. The Argen­tine econ­o­my boomed with the mas­sive post­war trans­fer of Nazi flight cap­i­tal. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 110.)

7. Dulles was assist­ed in his mon­ey-laun­der­ing efforts by William Dono­van, who col­lab­o­rat­ed with British intel­li­gence ace William Stephen­son in a Nazi front group called the World Com­merce Cor­po­ra­tion. This orga­ni­za­tion helped to cycle Nazi mon­ey back into Ger­many in order to pump up the post­war Ger­man econ­o­my. ” . . . The ‘old spies’ say that Dulles did not have to try very hard to con­vince Dono­van that Tru­man was an idiot and that the only hope for the revival of an Amer­i­can intel­li­gence ser­vice was to end the Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty’s stran­gle­hold on the White House in the 1948 elec­tion.” (Idem.)

8. “In the mean­time, Dulles and Dono­van agreed that every effort must be made to sab­o­tage the Tru­man lib­er­als and qui­et­ly pre­pare for the Cold War. To this end, Dulles con­vinced Dono­van to serve on the board of a com­pa­ny that would help rebuild the Ger­man econ­o­my as a bul­wark against com­mu­nism. Dulles assured his old boss that there were a large num­ber of wealthy South Amer­i­can investors, espe­cial­ly in Argenti­na, who were will­ing to help rebuild Ger­many.” (Idem.)

9. It was the recy­cled Nazi war plun­der that fueled the eco­nom­ic “mir­a­cle” of post­war Ger­many. “Although Dono­van did not know it, Dulles had conned him into serv­ing as the front man for the Nazi mon­ey laun­der­ers. He and Sir William Stephen­son from British intel­li­gence joined the board of direc­tors of the World Com­merce Cor­po­ra­tion, with Allen Dulles, nat­u­ral­ly, as their lawyer. The Nazi mon­ey flowed in a great circle—out of the Third Reich, through the Vat­i­can, to Argenti­na, and back to ‘demo­c­ra­t­ic’ West Ger­many. The source of the mirac­u­lous West Ger­man eco­nom­ic revival in the 1950’s was the same mon­ey that had been stolen in the 1940’s.” (Idem.)

10. More about the Nazi mon­ey laun­der­ing: “One of our sources, Daniel Harkins, stum­bled across part of the mon­ey laun­der­ing in 1945. Harkins had vol­un­teered to work as a dou­ble agent for Naval Intel­li­gence before World War II. He posed as a Nazi ring leader in Detroit and even had his pic­ture pub­lished in a news­pa­per giv­ing the Nazi salute. He was prompt­ly invit­ed to Berlin to meet the lead­ing mem­bers of Hitler’s cab­i­net. Hitler did not know it, but Harkin­s’s work helped close down the Nazi Bund oper­a­tion in the Unit­ed States.” (Ibid.; pp. 110–111.)

11. “After wartime ser­vice as a naval offi­cer, Harkins was post­ed to the Allied occu­pa­tion gov­ern­ment in Ger­many. Although he was gen­uine­ly anti-Nazi, Harkins loved and the respect­ed the Ger­man peo­ple who had to sur­vive in the ash­es of the bombed-out Third Reich. To Harkin­s’s hor­ror, his Ger­man sources revealed that the big Nazis had got­ten their mon­ey out before the war was over.” (Ibid.; p. 111.)

12. “Through Switzer­land, the SS had pur­chased stock in Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions and laun­dered their mon­ey through the unknow­ing Chase and Corn Exchange Bank. Even worse, the W.R. Grace Cor­po­ra­tion was using its Pan Am clip­pers to fly Nazi gems, cur­ren­cy, and bonds to South Amer­i­ca. Harkins had dis­cov­ered a small part of the Dulles mon­ey-laun­der­ing machine. Before he could find out any more, how­ev­er, he was sud­den­ly trans­ferred to the State Depart­ment, where the Dulles clique could keep an eye on him. To his sur­prise, he was then reas­signed to the out­posts of South­east Asia.” (Idem.)

13. Next, the pro­gram high­lights the Vat­i­can role in the Bor­mann mon­ey-go-round. “State Depart­ment records for South Amer­i­ca con­firm that the Ustashi Min­is­ter for Finance and the French Under Sec­re­tary of State of the Vichy Gov­ern­ment, went to Argenti­na via the Vat­i­can Rat­line. Accord­ing to Paul Man­ning, there were rumors of oth­ers. He cites the FBI’s copy of a sur­veil­lance file for­ward­ed by the Cen­tral de Intel­li­gen­cia of Argenti­na’s Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or: ‘In 1948, Mar­tin Bor­mann received the bulk of the trea­sure that had made up the finan­cial reserve of the Deutsche Bank. . . Like oth­er fugi­tives, he entered Argenti­na in 1948, com­ing from Genoa on a sec­ond-class tick­et, with forged Vat­i­can doc­u­men­ta­tion.’ ”
(Unholy Trin­i­ty: The Vat­i­can, the Nazis and the Swiss Banks; by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons; St. Mar­t­in’s Press [SC]; Copy­right 1991, 1998 by Mark Aarons and John Lof­tus; ISBN 0–312-18199; p. 277.)

14. One of Dulles’s col­lab­o­ra­tors in his Nazi mon­ey-laun­der­ing efforts was Hans Bernd Gise­vius, a for­mer Gestapo agent and an ear­ly Dulles intel­li­gence con­tact. In FTR#445, we looked at Gise­vius’ close asso­ci­a­tion with Prescott Bush, Jr. (the cur­rent Pres­i­den­t’s grand­fa­ther.) ” . . . In 1945, the US Trea­sury Depart­ment accused Allen Dulles of laun­der­ing funds from the Nazi bank of Hun­gary into Switzer­land. Sim­i­lar charges were made against Dulles’s agent, Hans Bernd Gise­vius, who had worked for Dulles as an OSS agent while serv­ing at the Reichs­bank. The State Depart­ment quick­ly took over the Trea­sury Depart­men­t’s mon­ey laun­der­ing alle­ga­tions, and the Dulles-Gise­vius inves­ti­ga­tion was qui­et­ly dropped.” (Idem.)

15. Gise­vius worked for the front group for the Amer­i­can por­tal of the Vat­i­can escape net­works that oper­at­ed on behalf of Nazi war crim­i­nals. Many of those war crim­i­nals wound up work­ing for U.S. intel­li­gence. (For more about this, see—among oth­er pro­grams—RFA#17, avail­able from Spit­fire.) “Gise­vius may have had some involve­ment with the Rat­lines. He was a senior mem­ber of the Black Orches­tra dur­ing World War II and was con­sid­ered to be ‘Allen Dulles’s pipeline to Admi­ral Canaris.’ After the war, Gise­vius per­son­al­ly briefed the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment on Amer­i­can efforts to reset­tle the sur­plus pop­u­la­tion of Europe in oth­er coun­tries, cit­ing the sup­port of the ‘Com­mit­tee for a Free Europe’, lat­er acknowl­edged as a clan­des­tine front for Dulles’s Cold War pro­grams. This was also the orga­ni­za­tion which served as the Amer­i­can end of the Vat­i­can Rat­lines.” (Ibid.; pp. 277–278.)

16. More about the World Com­merce Cor­po­ra­tion: “The most impor­tant front group was an enti­ty called the World Com­merce Cor­po­ra­tion estab­lished after World War II to rebuild German—South Amer­i­can trade net­works. The direc­tors of this cor­po­ra­tion were Sir William Stephen­son, for­mer­ly of British intel­li­gence and Gen­er­al William Dono­van, for­mer­ly of the OSS. One of the attor­neys for World Com­merce was Allen Dulles, whose assis­tant, Frank Wis­ner, was the State Depart­men­t’s deputy for cur­ren­cy and eco­nom­ic reform in the Amer­i­can zone of West Ger­many. Many of the staff mem­bers for the eco­nom­ic recon­struc­tion of occu­pied Ger­many came from the same inter­na­tion­al finan­cial firms which had invest­ed heav­i­ly in the pre-war Ger­man econ­o­my.” (Ibid.; p. 278.)

17. One of the major play­ers in the Dulles/Bormann mon­ey-go-round was Her­mann Abs of the Deutschebank—one of the most impor­tant Nazi bankers before, dur­ing and after World War II. “Accord­ing to sworn tes­ti­mo­ny before the US Sen­ate by a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Ger­man bank­ing indus­try, an orga­ni­za­tion did exist in 1950 which was ‘formed by Lord Shaw­cross of Eng­land and Mr. Her­mann Abs of Ger­many to bring about a Magna Car­ta for the pro­tec­tion of for­eign inv

est­ments of World War II.’ This is the same Lord Shaw­cross who led the recent cam­paign in the British House of Lords to pre­vent the re-open­ing of war crimes inves­ti­ga­tions in Britain. Despite alle­ga­tions by Man­ning, it is dif­fi­cult to believe that Shaw­cross would have lent his good name to Abs’s orga­ni­za­tion if he had known its real pur­pose. In a 1966 hear­ing before the Select Com­mit­tee on Stan­dards and Con­duct of the US Sen­ate, Abs was iden­ti­fied as the com­mon denom­i­na­tor of a group seek­ing return of vest­ed ene­my prop­er­ties of World War II.” (Idem.)

18. “When the Unit­ed States entered the war in 1941, all of the branch­es of Amer­i­can banks in France under Ger­man con­trol were closed, except two which had ties to Abs: Mor­gan et Cie and Chase of New York: ‘both received this spe­cial treat­ment through the inter­ces­sion of Dr. Her­mann Josef Abs of Deutsche Bank, finan­cial advis­er to the Ger­man gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to US Trea­sury agent reports, the favor­able treat­ment was due to . . . an ‘old school tie,’ an unspo­ken under­stand­ing among inter­na­tion­al bankers that wars may come and may go but the flux of wealth goes on for­ev­er.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 278–279.)

19. Abs was very close to Mar­tin Bor­mann, with whom he worked. Abs became a finan­cial advis­er to the Vat­i­can. In RFA#‘s 17, 21, we exam­ined Abs’ close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the late John Paul II after the break­ing of the Vat­i­can bank­ing scanedals. “Accord­ing to Nurem­berg records, Abs’s Deutsche Bank was the prin­ci­pal con­duit for laun­der­ing Nazi mon­ey into Argenti­na dur­ing the war under the super­vi­sion of Mar­tin Bor­mann. The Amer­i­can war crimes inves­ti­ga­tion of Abs, for­mer head of the Deutsche Bank, was qui­et­ly dropped and Abs was appoint­ed eco­nom­ic advis­er for the British zone of Ger­many. It should also be not­ed that Abs became a finan­cial advis­er to the Vat­i­can.” (Ibid.; p. 279.)

20. The pas­sages that fol­low set forth the Dulles/Abs/Bormann finan­cial net­work’s con­nec­tions to the prin­ci­pals in the Vat­i­can bank­ing scan­dals. Again, these scan­dals broke in the ear­ly 1980’s, and the Pope (John Paul II) brought in Her­man Abs to straight­en things out. In RFA#18, we exam­ined the untime­ly death of Pope John Paul I, who appears to have been mur­dered for mov­ing to neu­tral­ize the Montini/Sindona/Calvi net­works inside of the Vat­i­can. That show is avail­able from Spit­fire. “Accord­ing to Pen­ny Lernoux, the finan­cial col­lapse of Vat­i­can-sup­port­ed banks dur­ing the 1970’s involved the same group of peo­ple con­nect­ed to Dulles’s and Angle­ton’s net­work of mon­ey laun­der­ers. Pri­or to World War II, Angle­ton’s father had finan­cial inter­ests in Milan, and may have met both Mon­ti­ni and a Sicil­ian banker named Michele Sin­dona at this ear­li­er time.” (Idem.)

21. “Accord­ing to Lernoux, Sin­dona ‘wan­gled an intro­duc­tion to the pow­er­ful Gio­van­ni Mon­ti­ni in Milan, who would lat­er become Pope Paul VI.’ Mon­ti­ni intro­duced Sin­dona to the leader of the Chris­t­ian Democ­rats. Sin­dona served the younger Angle­ton for many years as a CIA ‘fun­nel for sup­port­ing funds’ to friend­ly Ital­ian politi­cians. In 1969, Sin­dona became the finan­cial advis­er to the Vat­i­can while Mon­ti­ni was the Pope. Sin­dona and his cohort, Rober­to Calvi, cre­at­ed a finan­cial scan­dal that cost the Vat­i­can Bank hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars.” (Idem.)

22. Next, the show exam­ines the Pope’s rela­tion­ship to Dr. Wolf Szmuness, the devel­op­er of the exper­i­men­tal Hepati­tis B vac­cine that appears to have been a major vec­tor for the delib­er­ate spread­ing of the AIDS virus. (For more about the sub­ject of AIDS as a bio-war­fare weapon, see—among oth­er pro­grams—RFA#16, avail­able from Spit­fire, as well as FTR#‘s 16, 19, 24, 25, 35, 56, 73, 102, 132, 140, 148, 156, 212, 220, 225, 228, 269, 282, 317, 324, 411, 472.) “Szmuness, a Jew born in Poland in 1919, was a young med­ical stu­dent in Lublin in east­ern Poland when the Nazis attacked that coun­try in the sum­mer of 1939. When Poland was quick­ly par­ti­tioned by Ger­many and Rus­sia, Szmuness was sent to Siberia as a pris­on­er. His fam­i­ly in west­ern Poland were all mur­dered by the Nazis in the Holo­caust. Szmuness’ years in exile in Siberia were ‘a long, dark peri­od that he was most reluc­tant to talk about.’ ”
(AIDS and the Doc­tors of Death; by Dr. Alan Cantwell; Aries Ris­ing Press [HC]; Copy­right by Alan Cantwell; ISBN 0–917211-00–6; p. 102.)

23. A care­ful exam­i­na­tion of Szmuness’ cur­ricu­lum vitae sug­gests very strong­ly that he was a crea­ture of the intel­li­gence agen­cies. Such is the case with the Pope as well. “After release from deten­tion in 1946, he was some­how allowed to fin­ish his med­ical edu­ca­tion in Tom­sk in cen­tral Rus­sia. While a stu­dent, he mar­ried a Russ­ian woman. He spe­cial­ized in epi­demi­ol­o­gy, and when his wife con­tract­ed a near­ly fatal case of hepati­tis, Szmuness decid­ed that the study of that dis­ease would be his life’s work. In 1959, the Sovi­ets allowed him and his fam­i­ly to return to Poland ‘where he held a series of minor posi­tions as an epi­demi­ol­o­gist in munic­i­pal and region­al health depart­ments.’ ” (Idem.)

24. “Dur­ing this time, he told Kell­ner ‘an inter­est­ing sto­ry.’ Due to exhaus­tion and stress from work, he applied to the author­i­ties for a vaca­tion at a rest home. Szmuness was allowed to share a room with a Catholic priest. A remark­able friend­ship devel­oped and the two men cor­re­spond­ed ‘for a long time there­after.’ The Pol­ish priest even­tu­al­ly became the first Pol­ish Pope in Catholic his­to­ry: the cur­rent, anti-com­mu­nist and anti-gay Pope John Paul II.” (Ibid.; pp. 102–103.)

25. “In 1969, in anoth­er strange twist of fate, the com­mu­nists allowed Szmuness and his wife and daugh­ter to attend a sci­en­tif­ic meet­ing in Italy. While there, he and his fam­i­ly defect­ed to the West. . . . He arrived in Man­hat­tan with $15 in his pock­et. Through the inter­ven­tion of Walsh McDer­mott, Pro­fes­sor of Pub­lic Health at New York Hospital—Cornell Med­ical Cen­ter, Szmuness mirac­u­lous­ly secured a posi­tion as a ‘lab tech’ at the New York City Blood Cen­ter.” (Ibid.; p. 103.)

26. “With­in a few years, Szmuness was giv­en his own lab, and a sep­a­rate depart­ment of epi­demi­ol­o­gy at the Cen­ter was cre­at­ed for him. ‘In what must be record time, he was leap-frogged to full Pro­fes­sor­ship at the Colum­bia School of Pub­lic Health.’ ” (Idem.)

27. “By the mid-70’s, he was a world author­i­ty on hepati­tis and ‘trans­fu­sion med­i­cine.’ In anoth­er unbe­liev­able occur­rence, he was invit­ed back to Moscow in 1975 to give a sci­en­tif­ic pre­sen­ta­tion. As a defec­tor he was ter­ri­fied to set foot in the Sovi­et Union, but his col­leagues assured him he would have the full pro­tec­tion of the State Depart­ment. He final­ly agreed to go, and his return to Russ­ian was a sci­en­tif­ic tri­umph.” (Idem.)

28. Szmuness’ hepati­tis B vac­cine was admin­is­tered in South Africa, one of the areas most severe­ly rav­aged by AIDS. “By the late 1970’s, he had been award­ed mil­lions of dol­lars in grant mon­ey and was ‘phe­nom­e­nal­ly suc­cess­ful’ in his hepati­tis work which had tremen­dous ‘glob­al impli­ca­tions.’ Szmuness’ mete­oric and unprece­dent­ed rise to world promi­nence was halt­ed by his death from can­cer in 1982. (A 1983 paper pub­lished after his death detailed a new exper­i­men­tal hepati­tis B vac­cine pro­gram in Kang­wane that would use Black South African infants as exper­i­men­tal sub­jects.)” (Ibid.; pp. 103–104.)

29. “As a defec­tor, could Szmuness have been a Russ­ian agent? Or could he have been play­ing both sides of the field by work­ing as a ‘dou­ble-agent’ for Amer­i­can and the Sovi­et Union? His life sto­ry was proof that he was hon­ored by both coun­tries. Although the sci­en­tif­ic world would undoubt­ed­ly laugh at these ques­tions, Szmu

ness’ pro­fes­sion­al life in the com­mu­nist and the free-world was filled with the odd­est of cir­cum­stances and coin­ci­dences.” (Ibid.; p. 104.)

30. “As a pre­cau­tion against escape, it is my under­stand­ing that poten­tial defec­tors from com­mu­nist coun­tries are nev­er allowed the oppor­tu­ni­ty to trav­el out­side the coun­try with their entire fam­i­ly. Yet, Szmuness defect­ed with his fam­i­ly in tow. After defect­ing, how was it pos­si­ble to arrange his safe return to Rus­sia ‘to present a sci­en­tif­ic paper.’ Undoubt­ed­ly, coop­er­a­tion at the high­est lev­els of both gov­ern­ments was nec­es­sary to accom­plish this feat.” (Idem.)

31. The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at an excerpt from tes­ti­mo­ny before a House appro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tee that was draw­ing up the defense bud­get for the fol­low­ing year. (The hear­ings were in 1969.) The tes­ti­mo­ny dis­cuss­es the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using genet­ic engi­neer­ing to pro­duce a dis­ease that would be “refrac­to­ry” to the immune sys­tem. This is vir­tu­al­ly the clin­i­cal def­i­n­i­tion of AIDS. It is worth not­ing that the project was fund­ed, and just such a disease—AIDS—appeared in just the time frame posit­ed. It is also worth not­ing that, in the 2002 edi­tion of A High­er Form of Killing, this pas­sage is omit­ted!! “As long ago as 1962, forty sci­en­tists were employed at the U.S. Army bio­log­i­cal war­fare lab­o­ra­to­ries on full-time genet­ics research. ‘Many oth­ers,’ it was said, ‘appre­ci­ate the impli­ca­tions of genet­ics for their own work.’ The impli­ca­tions were made more spe­cif­ic that genet­ic engi­neer­ing could solve one of the major dis­ad­van­tages of bio­log­i­cal war­fare, that it is lim­it­ed to dis­eases which occur nat­u­ral­ly some­where in the world.”
(A High­er Form of Killing; Robert Har­ris and Jere­my Pax­man; Hill and Wang [SC]; ISBN 0–8090-5471‑X; p. 241.)

32. ” ‘With­in the next 5 to 10 years, it would prob­a­bly be pos­si­ble to make a new infec­tive micro-organ­ism which could dif­fer in cer­tain impor­tant respects from any known dis­ease-caus­ing organ­isms. Most impor­tant of these is that it might be refrac­to­ry to the immuno­log­i­cal and ther­a­peu­tic process­es upon which we depend to main­tain our rel­a­tive free­dom from infec­tious dis­ease.’ ” (Idem.)

33. “The pos­si­bil­i­ty that such a ‘super germ’ may have been suc­cess­ful­ly pro­duced in a lab­o­ra­to­ry some­where in the world in the years since that assess­ment was made is one which should not be too read­i­ly cast aside. . .” (Idem.)


No comments for “FTR #504 The Vatican Rag, Part I: Reflections on the Death of the Pope”

Post a comment