This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.
I have written eleven books and each one of my books is a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill
I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/
Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/
The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.
Book Excerpt: Communism & Fatima
Fatima was the most important event of the 20th Century and beyond, as Martin (2013, April) notes:
“Fatima was not just the event of the century but an event matchless and timeless, a majestic witness testifying with elemental power about the will of Heaven and the future of earth. It spoke in the fire of the sun and in the gentle words of the Virgin Mary, and promised a surpassing mercy even as it provided a terrifying vision of souls tossed about in the flames of Hell. It set forth conditions for the world’s deliverance from an imminent darkness that would be shaped and spread by the Russian followers of Karl Marx. Finally, it assured us that if the Church met those conditions, there would come unimaginable miracles: a converted Russia, a period of peace, and a world in which the beauty of holiness would be honored in a magnificent new way in the person of Mary. And all this was not a fairy tale but truth—a dazzling revelation that both Rome and the dedicated faithful must yet come to fully appreciate, believe in, and live out if the epic event we call Fatima is to fulfill its glorious promise.” (pp. 22-23) Martin, J. (2013, April) An epic in search of an ending. New Oxford Review. LXXX(3), 22-27.
However, the shepherds of the Church failed Our Lady and our Church then and continue that failure today.
They not only failed to protect our Church from the Communist wolves, but in all too many cases, became Communist wolves themselves.
The speculation surrounding why the appearance of the Holy Mother and her plea to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, has not been followed; continues to this day as Johnston (1980) writes:
“And on 13 June 1929 she [Lucia] received the greatest of all her visions which was only made public in August 1967 after Pope Paul’s visit to Fatima. It was a climatic vision of the Most Holy Trinity in which Our Lady came to fulfill her promise of 13 July 1917: “I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart.” The following is Lucia’s own account of that sublime vision, which she wrote in 1931 on the order of her confessor…
“Our Lady then said to me: ‘The moment has come for God to ask the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart. He promises to save Russia by this means. There are so many souls that the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.’ I gave an account of this to my confessor and he asked me to write down what Our Lord wanted to be done.
“Later on, through an intimate communication, Our Lord complained: ‘They have not chosen to heed my request…As the King of France, they will regret it and then will do it, but it will be late. Russia will already have spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.” (pp. 86-87) Johnston, F. (1980). Fatima: The great sign. Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.
The request for the Collegial Consecration was first promised before the Bolsheviks overcame Russia and her Catholic monarchy, eventually killing the entire family of Czar Romanov, and specifically called for later, and it is still unfulfilled.
Part of the reason—the influential power of human relationships—has been uncovered, as Weigel 2010) notes:
“On September 5, 1978, the new pope [John Paul I] received [Russian Orthodox] Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad, one of the six presidents of the World Council of Churches and a man who struck many Westerners as deeply pious. The KGB knew Nikodim as ADAMANT, as it knew his secretary, Nikolai Lvovich Tserpitsky (code name VLADIMIR). At the end of his private audience with John Paul, ADAMANT suffered a massive heart attack and died in the Pope’s arms. John Paul I later remarked that Nikodim had spoken “the most beautiful words about the Church I have ever heard” during their meeting; his last words, as the Pope held the fallen bishop, were said to have been “I am not a KGB agent.” But he was.” (p. 99) Weigel, G. (2010). The end and the beginning: Pope John Paul II—The victory of freedom, the last years, the legacy. New York: Doubleday.
Russian Communism’s penetration and attempt to control Catholic strategy continued through the papacy of John Paul II, as Weigel writes:
“The search for truth was essential to man, the Pope concluded [John Paul II’s address to the United Nations General Assembly October 2, 1979]. Believers and nonbelievers ought to be able to agree on this as a common matter of humanistic conviction.
“The Central committee of the Soviet Communist Party might not agree on that. It did agree, however, that something had to be done about John Paul II. Six weeks after the pope spoke at the UN, the Central committee Secretariat issued an “absolutely secret” decree, entitled “On measures of Opposition to the Politics of the Vatican in Relation to Socialist Countries.” This was a political document, assigning tasks to different organs of Soviet state power: the various propaganda, radio, television, and press organs; the Soviet Communist Party’s international department; the Soviet Council of Religious Affairs; and the Central committee’s Academy of Social Sciences. Each of these instruments of the Soviet state was to do its own distinct work in combating the “perilous tendencies in the teaching of Pope John Paul II,” which were to be “condemned in proper form.” The decree was signed by the party’s chief ideologist, Mikhail Suslov, and was accompanied by several analyses of the situation, including a memorandum, “On the Socio-Political and Ideological Activities of the Vatican on the Contemporary Stage,” that was prepared by the KGB, although nominally authored under the auspices of the Council of Religious Affairs….at the same time as the decree was issued, the “KGB was instructed…to embark on active measures in the West” aimed at frustrating the designs of John Paul II and demonstrating that his efforts were a danger to the Catholic Church. “Active measures” in this context would have included propaganda, disinformation campaigns, blackmail, and other tactics as required, with special focus on persuading the world media that John Paul II was a threat to peace.” (Ibid. pp. 114-115)
Sciabarra (1995) provides some insight into the cultural history that led the Russian Orthodox Church to work so closely with the Communist state:
“The movement toward dialectical transcendence of opposites is manifested especially in the 1840s in Khomyakov’s critique of Western religion. Alexy Khomyakov embraced the Slavophile devotion to Orthodox Christianity and personal mystical experience. He viewed Russian Orthodoxy, with its Byzantine roots, as the reconciliation of Catholicism and Protestantism. N.O. Lossky, [Ayn] Rand’s teacher and author of the indispensible History of Russian Philosophy, explains that for Khomyakov, “the rationalism of Catholicism which established unity without freedom gave rise, as a reaction against it, to another form of rationalism—Protestantism which realizes freedom without unity.” Khomyakov saw the necessity for a communal, conciliar unity that transcended the Catholic emphasis on the individual judgment of the pope and the Protestant emphasis on the individual judgment of the believer. Russian Orthodoxy bound the Church and the state much more closely than was the case in the West. It was the original organic union, in Khomyakov’s view, a freedom-in-unity and a unity-in-freedom.” (pp. 26-27) Sciabarra, C. M. (1995). Ayn Rand: The Russian radical. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
The Russian Communist presence within the Vatican appears to have been the mortar that kept the Vatican from ever—to this day—fulfilling the wishes of the Holy Mother at Fatima; a tragic conclusion written about by Kramer (2010):
“The subversion of the Orthodox Church by Stalin is certainly among the developments in Russia foreseen by the Virgin of Fatima. This is precisely why She came to call for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart; so that Russia would embrace the one true religion and the one true Church, not the schismatic Orthodox Church which was founded in human rebellion against Rome when it left the Mystical Body of Christ over 500 years ago, and thus was constitutionally incapable of avoiding its total Adaptation to Stalinism.
“The Orthodox Adaptation began officially when the Metropolitan Sergius of the Russian Orthodox Church published an “Appeal” in Isvestia on August 9, 1927…
“This, then, is what the Adaptation involved: The church would be silent about the evils of the Stalinist regime. It would be silent in the presence of the Party Line being broadcast and rebroadcast again and again. It would become a purely “spiritual” community “in the abstract”, would no longer voice opposition to the regime, would no longer condemn the errors and lies of Communism, and would thus become the Church of Silence, as Christianity behind the Iron Curtain was often called….
“Meanwhile, the Church of Silence, in effect, was transformed into an organ of the KGB. Stalin decimated the Russian Orthodox Church; all of the real Orthodox believers were sent off to concentration camps or executed and replaced by KGB operatives.
“Shortly before Talantov died in August of 1967, he wrote as follows about the Adaptation:
“The Adaptation to atheism implanted by Metropolitan Sergius has concluded (been completed by) the betrayal of the Orthodox Russian Church on the part of Metropolitan Nikodim and other official representatives of the Moscow Patriarch based abroad. This betrayal irrefutably proved the documents cited must be made known to all believers in Russia and abroad because such an activity of the Patriarchate, relying on cooperation with the KGB, represents a great danger for all believers. In truth, the atheistic leaders of the Russian people and the princes of the Church have gathered together against the Lord and his Church.
“Here Talantov refers to the same Metropolitan Nikodim who induced the Vatican to enter into the Vatican-Moscow Agreement, under which the Catholic Church was forced to remain silent about communism at Vatican II. Thus, the same Orthodox prelate who betrayed the Orthodox Church was instrumental in an agreement by which the Catholic Church was also betrayed. At Vatican II certain Catholic churchmen, cooperating with Nikodim, agreed that the Roman Catholic Church, too, would become a Church of Silence.” (Italics in original, pp. 108-109) Kramer, P. Fr. (2010). The Devil’s final battle: How rejection of the Fatima prophecies imminently threatens the Church and the World. (2nd Ed.) The Missionary Association: Terryville, Connecticut.
No matter how many times I read this, I am still shocked that it happened and has been so completely documented from so many sources, yet so completely absent within the perspective of the Catholic public.
Communism, being able to accomplish this powerful strategy against critiques from the one force on earth with the spiritual authority to be heard and to combat it, thus proved itself a very powerful and effective adversary.
Communism is a religion, its bible is The Communist Manifesto, its theologians are Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Debray, Fanon; its priests are legion, and its shock troops are too often criminals, harking to the first name of the organization Communism’s founders, Marx and Engels, joined:
“In the spring of 1847 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels agreed to join the so called League of the Just, an offshoot of the earlier League of the Outlaws, a revolutionary secret society formed in Paris in the 1830s under French Revolutionary influence by German journeymen—mostly tailors and woodworkers—and still mainly composed of such expatriate artisan radicals. The League, convinced by their ‘critical communism’, offered to publish a Manifesto drafted by Marx and Engels as its policy document, and also to modernize its organization along their lines. Indeed, it was so reorganized in the summer of 1847, renamed League of the Communists, and ‘committed to the object of ‘the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the rule of the proletariat, the ending of the old society which rests on class contradictions and the establishment of a new society without classes or private property.” (Marx & Engels (1998). (p. 3) Marx. K. & Engels, F. (9198). The communist manifesto: A modern edition. (S. Moore, Trans., English Edition, 1888). New York: Verso. (Original work published in 1848)
Cummins (1994) writes about the deepening of criminal involvement in Communist revolution through the ideas and writings of the radical elements of the California criminal/carceral movement:
“The prison movement had spun away from its union-building phase. In 1972 the National Lawyers Guild reaffirmed once again the leadership of revolutionary convicts and repeated its faith that they would soon make their break to the streets to raise the level of struggle: “Prisoners are the revolutionary vanguard of our struggle. When prisoners come out, they will lead us in the streets.” (p. 221) Cummins, E. (1994). The rise and fall of California’s radical prison movement. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
Russia’s continued domination of the Russian Orthodox Church is reported by Young (2013):
“The biggest news story out of Russia in 2012 was not Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in May. It was the trial of three young women from the guerrilla-girl punk band Pussy Riot, charged with “hate-motivated hooliganism” for a protest performance in a Moscow church. The women’s offense was a brief song-and-dance act at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February, opening with a prayer chant of “Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin.” On August 17, after a nonjury trial in which the judge blatantly favored the prosecution, Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were found guilty and handed two-year prison sentences. In October, two of the women were transported to remote penal colonies.
“The prosecution, which was condemned by figures ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Icelandic singer Bjork to Polish former president and dissident Lech Walesa, became an international symbol of the Kremlin’s heavy-handed approach to dissent and artistic freedom. Yet at its core, the Pussy Riot case was also about the unholy union of organized religion and authoritarian state in modern-day Russia.
“Pussy Riot’s protest song was about not just Putin but also the cozy ties between the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church under the leadership of the pro-Putin Patriarch Kirill. The indictment against the punk rockers accused them not only of demeaning the beliefs of Orthodox Christians but of “belittling the spiritual foundations of the state.”
“The case looked and felt like something out of the Dark Ages. The state-run Rossiya television channel repeatedly referred to the women as “blasphemers,” while a co-founder of the semi-official pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi warned that the decline of harsh blasphemy laws throughout Europe had set the continent on a path to destructive liberalism. During the trial, the judge deemed it relevant that the Pussy Rioters had violated rules established by an eighth-century church council. Outside the courtroom, the lawyer for one of the prosecution witnesses told a newspaper, with no trace of humor, that the group’s actions stemmed from Satan himself.” (n.p) Young, C. (2013, January) Putin goes to church: Russia’s unholy new alliance between orthodox and state. Reason Magazine. Retrieved January 5, 2012 from: http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/26/putin-goes-to-church
The Holy Mother at Fatima also knew about the real criminal danger of an unconsecrated Russia, due to the crimes—though of a much less magnitude of national violence and brutality than the horror of the Nazi holocaust and the Stalinist terror—which have resulted via a world-wide explosion of organized crime emanating from Russia, as Sterling (1994) writes:
“Organized crime was transformed when the Soviet Empire crashed, and with it a world-order that had kept mankind more or less in line for the previous half-century. As the old geopolitical frontiers fell away, the big crime syndicates drew together, put an end to wars over turf, and declared a pax mafiosa. The world has never seen a planetwide criminal consortium like the one that came into being with the end of the communist era.
“Perhaps something like it would have come sooner or later anyway. Most of the big syndicates had worked with one or more of the others for years, the Sicilian Mafia with all of them. But the opportunities opening up for them in 1990 were immense—fabulous—and they responded accordingly.
“International organized crime, an imaginary menace for many in 1990, was a worldwide emergency by 1993. The big syndicates of East and West were pooling services and personnel, rapidly colonizing Western Europe and the United States, running the drug traffic up to half a trillion dollars a year, laundering and reinvesting an estimated quarter trillion dollars a year in legitimate enterprise. Much of their phenomenal growth derived from the fact that they had the free run of a territory covering half the continent of Europe and a good part of Asia—a sixth of the earth’s land mass, essentially ungoverned and unpoliced.
“The whole international underworld had moved in on post-communist Russia and the rest of the ex-Soviet bloc: raced in from the day the Berlin Wall fell. Where Western governments tended to see Russia as a basket case, the big syndicates saw it as a privileged sanctuary and a bottomless source of instant wealth.
“Russia had a runaway black market, a huge potential for producing and moving drugs, an enormous military arsenal, the world’s richest natural resources, and an insatiable hunger for dollars of whatever provenance. Furthermore, it had a rampant mafia of its own, in need of Western partners to make the most of these prospects.” (p. 14) Sterling, C. (1994). Thieves’ world: The threat of the new global network of organized crime. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Control of Russian culture by organized crime after the fall of Communism is also written about by Satter (2003):
“The victory over communism was a moral victory. Millions took to the streets not because of shortages but in protest over communism’s attempt to falsify history and change human nature. As a new state began to be built, however, all attention shifted to the creation of capitalism and, in particular, to the formation of a group of wealthy private owners whose control over the means of production, it was assumed, would lead automatically to a free-market economy and a law-based democracy. This approach, dubious under the best of conditions, proved disastrous in the case of Russia because, in a country with a need for moral values after more than seven decades of spiritual degradation under communism, the introduction of capitalism came to be seen as an end in itself.
“The young reformers were in a hurry to build capitalism, and they pressed ahead in a manner that paid little attention to anything except the transformation of economic structures. “The calculation was sober,” said Aliza Dolgova, an expert on organized crime in the Office of the General Prosecutor; “create through any means a stratum in Russia that could serve as the support of reform…All capital was laundered and put into circulation. No measures of any kind were enacted to prevent the legalization of criminal income. No one asked at [privatization] auctions: Where did you get the money? Enormous sums were invested in property, and there was no register of owners. A policy similar to this did not exist in a single civilized country.”
“The decision to transform the economy of a huge country without the benefit of the rule of law led not to a free-market democracy but to a kleptocracy that had several dangerous economic and psychological features.
“In the first place, the new system was characterized by bribery. All resources were initially in the hands of the state, so businessmen competed to “buy” critical government officials. The winners were in a position to buy the cooperation of more officials, with the result that the practice of giving bribes grew up with the system.
“Besides bribery, the new system was marked by institutionalized violence. Gangsters were treated as normal economic actors, a practice that tacitly legitimated their criminal activities. At the same time, they became the partners of businessmen who used them as guards, enforcers, and debt collectors.
“The new system was also characterized by pillage. Money obtained as a result of criminal activities was illegally exported to avoid the possibility of its being confiscated at some point in the future. This outflow deprived Russia of billions of dollars that were needed for its development.” (pp. 1-2) Satter, D. (2003). Darkness at dawn: The rise of the Russian criminal state. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
Lucas (2012) also wrote about the criminal development of post-Communist Russia:
“In no other country have gangsterdom and state power overlapped to such a threatening extent. The most powerful drug cartels may have high-tech communications equipment or the ability to penetrate a law-enforcement agency, or have some politicians on the payroll. But they have nothing that (yet) matches Russia’s ruling criminal syndicate’s capabilities. It has almost limitless money, global geographical scope and the full armory of state technical and logistical resources, from spy satellites to submarines, giving unprecedented capabilities in snooping and manipulation. Russia’s world-class hackers, for example, work sometimes in government, sometimes under official protection and sometimes entirely in their own criminal interest. Russian dirty money and underhand business practices taint and corrode the financial systems, business cultures and politics of the countries they touch. As Don Jensen, a stalwart American critic of the regime, points out, Russia’s main export is not oil and gas. It is corruption.” (p. 79) Lucas, E. (2012). Deception: The untold story of east-west espionage today. New York: Walker & Company.
The Marxist infiltration of Catholicism began in Europe, and after the years of occupation by the Nazis and the Communists, which solidified their atheistic ideology within an oppressed European peoples where the ambitious and unscrupulous assumed positions of cultural superiority because of their lack of religious commitment to martyrdom, which most of us can relate to—nor do I remove myself from being uncertain how I would react to live peacefully within an atheistic and immoral Communist culture.
Some in the traditional wing of Catholicism—of which I am somewhat partial to, and I will explain the ‘somewhat’—believes the solution to Modernism, of which Communism can be considered as an aspect, is a reassertion of Christendom; the time when European governments—all of which were monarchial—accepted the kingship of God and his vicar, Peter.
The problem here, the ‘somewhat’, is that a central element of God’s plan—until he comes again—is the reign over earth (but not human souls) by Satan, the prince of this world; whose blandishments the Christian way of life is protection against.
Understanding all of this, coming to terms with history and the various blandishments offered by all sides in the Catholic versus Communism debate requires a process of spiritual maturation too few of us reach for.
Maturing in God, is a process each of us has to go through if we are to become mature Catholics, leaving the primitive and childish things like Liberation Theology and Communism behind, and part of this maturation is growing in wisdom and knowledge through the studying of human life on earth through the lens of Catholic doctrine.
About this maturation, Sheed (1946) writes:
“God knew what He would do, but He would not do it yet. “In the dispensation of the fullness of times,: St. Paul tells the Ephesians (1.10), “God was to re-establish all things in Christ.” What does “the fullness of times” mean? At least it means that the Redemption was to take place not at a moment arbitrarily chosen, as though God suddenly decided that the mess had gone on long enough and He had better do something about it. There was a fullness of time, a due moment. Looking at it from our angle, we feel it fitting that God did not heal the disease all at once; a disease should run its course. There is a rhythm of sin, as of revolution. Mankind had started on the road of self-assertion; it must be allowed to work out all the bleak logic of self-assertion to discover for itself all the unwholesome places into which self-assertion could take it. To be redeemed instantly might have left a faint “perhaps” to trouble mankind’s peace; the Devil had said that we should be as gods—perhaps if we had been allowed to try it out thoroughly, we might have become as gods. Well, we were allowed to try it out thoroughly; and we did not become as gods. When mankind knew at last and beyond a doubt that the game was up, might not that have been “the fullness of time”? Certainly there is an element of that in it. St. Paul perhaps is only putting the same idea more positively when he speaks of mankind as growing up, coming to maturity. By sin, mankind threw away the maturity God had conferred upon it, started it off with, so to speak. It had gone after a childish dream and must now go through all the pains of growing back to the maturity it had lost. It would be an element in that attained maturity to know that the dream was childish, to be prepared to put away the things of a child.” (pp. 172-173) Sheed, F. J. (1946). Theology and sanity. New York: Sheed & Ward.
Is this not the wonderful way of divine parentage, which we as humans so often strive to attain in our childraising?
Rebellion and questioning authority are congruent with youth, then as now, and for those of us whose youth was influenced by the siren calls of the rebellion prevalent in our youth, the critical examination of the avatars of our youth is always both difficult and exciting; difficult as it shreds a passion of youth, exciting because it presages the wisdom of age.
And so it is for me, writing about Communism, whose Marxist roots briefly influenced my work in prison and for a time after being released. (pp. 117-131) Lukenbill, D.H. (2013). Catholicism, Communism, & Criminal Reformation, Chulu Press, Lampstand Foundation, Sacramento, California.