Author: Huxleў
© Huxleў — almanac about philosophy, business, art and science.
Liberal Arts
6 minutes for reading

WHAT THE JESUITS HIDE FROM US: behind the scenes of the «black legend»

WHAT THE JESUITS HIDE FROM US: behind the scenes of the «black legend»
Share material
Ignatius de Loyola. A Spanish Catholic priest and theologian who, together with six associates, founded the religious order of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) /


In the XVI–XVII centuriesEurope was swept by a movement to reform the Catholic Church. The Vatican recognized this as an existential threat that required extraordinary measures. When life and death are at stake, any remedy is good.

This is how the Jesuit order appeared, which, in fact, saved the Roman Catholic Church by leading the Counter-Reformation. The price of salvation was extremely contradictory assessments of the order’s activities.

«Black legends» around the name of the Jesuits multiplied for more than 400 years. And in our days it is not easy to separate truth from fiction.




Today, the term «conspiracy» has become synonymous with an inadequate view of the omnipresent secret forces that rule the world. When talking about the Jesuits, it is hard not to turn everything into a conspiracy since there are enough mysteries in their history. However, the «black legends» about the Jesuits are too well known to repeat once again.

Speaking of the power and influence of the Jesuits, people forget about the main point — the spiritual nature of this phenomenon. The author of the specific Jesuit spirituality was the founder of the Society of Jesus — Ignatius de Loyola. The life of this saint is like an adventurous novel, and disputes between his followers and opponents have not subsided until now. What was unusual about the traditional monastic vows he made?

Of the three vows — poverty, chastity, and obedience — the Jesuits focused on the last one, elevating it to a kind of spiritual absolute. The severance of personal will and obedience to the will of God, which the Catholic Church and the Pope are the agents of, is the main virtue and formula for the Jesuit’s spiritual perfection.

But strong discipline and obedience are not the end in themselves. Rather, it is a special spiritual practice to achieve the synergy of the will of man and God.




In order to achieve perfection in obedience, members of the order observe the strictest discipline and hierarchy, unconditionally trust and obey their elders: from the confessor to the «black pope» — the head of the order. To the three traditional vows, Loyola added a fourth — «special obedience» to the pope, who was involved in the hierarchy regardless of his relationship with the order.

Guarding the interests of the Church and the Pope, the Jesuits often believed that they knew better than the Pontiff what those interests meant. It is not surprising that some popes actively disliked them. Sometimes, it even came to the point of banning the order. However, the rightness of the Jesuits was confirmed by history — the Roman Catholic Church withstood the strikes of the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and bourgeois-liberal freedoms.

Christian ideals of self-sacrifice, brotherhood, and justice remain an influential value pole in the modern world, and the Vatican is a powerful geopolitical player. The order’s goal is to bring «lost souls» back into the fold of the Church. In the broad sense of the word.

It was not easy to «recode» Europeans stupefied by the Reformation, so the missionaries decided to start «from scratch» — in India, China, Japan, and Latin America. The Jesuits deserve great merit for the fact that today, the number of Catholic flocks is comparable to the population of China.


WHAT THE JESUITS HIDE FROM US: behind the scenes of the «black legend»
Different versions of the Jesuit emblem — IHS (Isis/Horus/Serapis)




Loyola’s principles of spiritual discipline are the core upon which other Jesuit «advantages» are strung. For example, the excellent education for which their institutions are traditionally known. While a graduate can leave the Jesuit environment, the «Jesuitism» of the graduate’s soul and mind cannot. After all, the order is not only about formal vows. It is a special way of spiritual life, a unique type of relationship with «your own», and a special approach to evaluating events.

The first and so far the only Jesuit on the papal throne in history, Francis, the current head of the Catholic Church, will not lie. While he was still a cardinal, he always added S.J. to his name — the first letters of Societas Jesu. But even now, he calls himself «a Jesuit like the others».

Francis admits that he deliberately chose a college that was under the auspices of the Society of Jesus: «Three things impressed me about the Jesuits: the missionary spirit, mutual support, and discipline. This is strange because I am very undisciplined. But it was their discipline, their attitude to time that attracted me then».

Pope Francis knows what he is talking about. For centuries, the educational standard of Jesuit institutions has been an unattainable model.


By joining the Huxleў friends club, you support philosophy, science and art




The order is described as the educator of aristocrats and kings. But with a note: the Jesuits were well aware of the importance of social elevators. Their education provided a pass to the elite for talented people regardless of social status. Not everyone was an aristocrat. Not everyone professed Catholicism. At the same time, the Jesuits’ contribution to world culture can hardly be overestimated.

They gave the world Baroque architecture, without which the appearance of European cities is unimaginable. Their pupils were Conan Doyle, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Alfred Hitchcock… Those who passed the Jesuit school were perfectly prepared for power. It is enough to name two Ukrainian hetmans — Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Ivan Mazepa. And two communist leaders — Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro.

All of them adhered to an anti-church worldview. But does that mean that, in their case, the Jesuits made a mistake? Not really.

After coming to power, Fidel expelled the order from Liberty Island, but he was never able to erase 12 years of study from his life. In the Vatican, they joke: «Even God doesn’t know what’s on a Jesuit’s mind». Toward the end of his life, Fidel, who for 50 years had ruled a country where, before the revolution, 70% of the population was Catholic, chose a course of rapprochement with the Vatican. And after Castro’s death, it was continued by his brother Raul.




Arnold Toynbee, author of the famous «A Study of History», wrote that Loyola stepped in when the foundations of the Roman Church were «shuddering under the strokes of resurgent paganism in Italy and Protestantism in continental Europe». The Church was the central institution of the Western world, so it seemed that the world was crumbling. To bring it back to harmony and order, a flexible and solid «new type» of organization was needed.

The Jesuits became a kind of mix of a monastic order, a political party, and a special service — a prototype of the CIA or the KGB. The way their intelligence was organized was also admired in the Third Reich. In particular, Walter Schellenberg, the chief of foreign security intelligence, and Heinrich Himmler, the Reich Minister of the Interior.

According to some estimates, there are about 20,000 followers of Ignatius de Loyola on the planet today. But the exact names and numbers are known only to a chosen few. The brothers were allowed to lead a secular life without publicizing their belonging to the order.

The formula of efficiency implied the violation of regulations and norms — decisions were made depending on the context, taking into account all the circumstances and intentions. But since the rules were deviated from «for the greater glory of God», the end justified the means.

The Vatican gave the Jesuits the broadest powers, up to and including reporting exclusively to the order’s hierarchs.




It is not in the interests of the Church to admit that the order has double standards. Therefore, the activities of the Jesuits continued from century to century to develop real and imaginary mysteries and riddles. Up to doubts that their true goals are selfless and noble.

In creating a «black legend» about the Jesuits, especially the diligent Masonic lodge — a rival secret organization of the Protestant world, their principal and implacable opponent. And if you think that this confrontation is in the distant past, you are completely wrong.

A year ago, Pope Francis once again declared the incompatibility of Catholic doctrine and Masonry. Catholics have no right to join Masonic associations whose members «are in a state of grave sin and cannot receive Holy Communion». The roots of the conflict are ideological.

The Jesuits present a project of the future incompatible with bourgeois-Protestant values: freedom of the individual, competition, and market economy.

Embodying a unique synthesis of Christian, feudal, and socialist ideas, the Jesuits are advocates of a medieval-style world order, understanding power as the responsibility of the mighty to God for the welfare of their subjects.


When copying materials, please place an active link to
By joining the Huxleў friends club, you support philosophy, science and art
Share material

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: