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05:25 pm: School of Darkness: Or How I Discovered That I Was Wrong About…Everything!

On a recent Superversive SF, Peter Bradley recommended a book called School of Darkness by Bella Dodd, a woman who had been active in the Communist party in the 30s through 50s, before returning to the Catholic Church.

School of Darkness

I grew up in New York. My father came from the Bronx. My mental image of Labor Unions was quite a rosy one. I had been told that businessmen were greedy. Working conditions were terrible. Workers spontaneously rose up, of their own accord, and demanded better conditions. This worked.

Halleluiah!

I knew people who thought modern Labor Unions were corrupt, but I thought that, if true, it was something that had happened once they were no longer really needed.

In high school, one of the most chilling things I learned about was the Red Scare in Hollywood. I had a mental picture of Communists sympathizers as sweet helpful souls who wanted to help the less fortunate. I figured artists and actors are often taken in by such things, and thought that the blacklisting of Communists in Hollywood was one of the most terrifying things I had heard of…because I saw myself likely to be part of the blacklisted group.

Because I thought that the actors were just innocent dupes, I figured the other people targeted by the Senate UnAmerican Activities Committee were probably equally innocent or unimportant.

After all, it did not say otherwise in anything I read in school.

Later, I heard that when the KGB opened their documents, the people called before the Senate UnAmerican Activities Committee were actually Communist Party members, many in the pay of the Soviets—actually working for the downfall of America.

I guess, at some level, I had not actually believed it. Or I had pictured them as ineffective intellectuals with glasses sitting around a table somewhere discussing politics and accomplishing nothing.

When I thought of the Communist Party, I pictured, basically, the Libertarian Party. A small party of idealistic intellectuals, devoted to a cause on principle and tirelessly working toward it despite very little success.

I could not have been more wrong.

Bella Dodd was an Italian-born American (she was an American accidentally born in Italy, who grew up there until she was about six,) who went on to become a teacher. Influenced by the young free thinking teacher at her college (who later committed suicide, so empty was her life), Bella became interested in labor rights and was targeted by the Communists.

To my utter astonishment, at that time, the Communists were a huge, well-organized group with fingers in every single pie.

Because they had many of their members stay secret, not reveal that they were actually Communists, they could be members of every group. They formed Fragments, as I think they called them, in every political party, every labor union. Because if this they knew what all the different parties and groups were up to, and could organized coordinated attacks to get their policies across.

In the various teachers unions, their main goal was getting schools to 1) accept federal aid and 2) emphasize separation of church and state.

They had as an avowed goal: designing public schools so as to break up the family and make the children idea future Communists.

The Communists attacked the Church, demonized it, and tried to separate workers from their priests at every turn. Bella saw this over and over and gave some examples. She also admitted to helping over 1,100 communists get into the Roman Catholic Church, with plans to alter and destroy it from within.

They also attacked race harmony in America. Word came from the Soviet Union that America’s racial peace and its morality were its strength, so these things had to be destroyed.

All these things, these things we all complain about but think is just ‘part of life’, this highly-organized, secret group were deliberately attempting to orchestrate.

And they were really clever at it. Whenever anyone came up with a logical argument to make the bad thing sound like the moral high ground, they quickly shared it. Suddenly, that argument was the accepted view.

Here is another person, Mallory Millet,  on the same subject.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/240037/marxist-feminisms-ruined-lives-mallory-millett

It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a "consciousness-raising-group," a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China.  We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

"Why are we here today?" she asked.
"To make revolution," they answered.
"What kind of revolution?" she replied.
"The Cultural Revolution," they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?" she demanded.
"By destroying the American family!" they answered.
"How do we destroy the family?" she came back.
"By destroying the American Patriarch," they cried exuberantly.
"And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
"By taking away his power!"
"How do we do that?"
"By destroying monogamy!" they shouted.
"How can we destroy monogamy?"

Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears.  Was I on planet earth?  Who were these people?

"By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!" they resounded.

Of course, that failed. We haven’t seen any increase in any of those things…

But back to School of Darkness:

Many, many young people flocked to the Communist Party, because they were idealistic and wanted to help their fellow man. They were impressed by the idealism and lack of material goods of many of the inner circle members.

BUT…their goal was revolution. They thought that the Capitalist system had to be overthrown, so that the new better system could come, through violent war.

Everything they did was intended to disrupt America, to destabilize it, to break up the peace and cause discontent.

They caused strikes or lengthened them. They urged workers to join labor unions. American workers were fairly content. Their wages were rising. The Communists had to use propaganda to convince them they were unhappy.

And, boy, did they!

People all over the media and advertising were secretly Communists. They decided how America would see a whole series of things, starting with the idea that fascists and communists are opposites, when both sides were controlled by the same organization. During the Soviet-run Spanish Civil War, they spun the whole thing to make the Church look bad and the rebels look good.

And, they all…this entire movement, took all their orders directly from Moscow, and the moment Moscow said “Jump.” They jumped.

They courted the rich, and money poured into their coffers.

They courted the young and used them up. Bella reported that young people would come into the movement and pour their whole life into the cause in a desire to make the world a better place. The Party would encourage them, use them up, and spend their lives, without much concern for any of them.

Bella Dodd

Bella discovered that the same highly-organized group who put the Communists into power in Russia also helped support Hitler. At one period, during WWII but before Yalta and Bretton Woods, the Communists were told to make peace between the factions.

And, boy, were they effective!

They had a finger in every pie! They stopped all strikes, got the different unions and parties to work together. They had enough control in enough places that they became the go to power to get things done.

But then orders came from Moscow to go back to pushing revolution and business as usual.

This was where it all started to fall apart. These orders included turning on the man who had been running the party all this time in America. He was not necessarily a good man, he had had people beaten and killed, but he was organized and effective. After he was forced out, it began fracturing.

It wasn’t too much longer until Bella, who was a person who spoke up against some of their more foolish actions, was forced out, too.

She remained a long and lost for some time, her husband had left and her parents had died during her quest for Communism.

Eventually, however, she met Bishop Fulton Sheen and found her way back to the Catholic Church.

At the end, do you know what they did, even back then, to throw her out of the party? They called her a racist. They spread about that she was “against the Negro”. Considering that she had spent years living in Harlem among people of all nations and advocating for them, this was the worst blow to her.

It was eerie to see them doing then the exact same thing that crybullies do now: call people racists when they are not racists.

Every time I see this happen—the internet hoards descend on someone and call them out as a racist, someone who is not a racist, I think of all the real racists in the world. I think two things:

One, I think of the story of the man who is looking for a quarter under a street light, instead of where he dropped it, because the light is better under the lamp. They go for the easy targets.

The other is the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Every time anyone attacks a fake racist, they open the door a little farther for the real racists. Because, already, I notice people who have reached the point that they just shrug and turn away at the cry of “racist,” because, in their experience, it is always a lie.
The more people realize that “racist” is just a pejorative for “we hate you,” the more they ignore it.

Which means that the real racists—and there are real racists out there—when they come will be ignored and will get away with much more than they could have in a sane society.

The most horrible part of all, to me, is that this is not a new book. Not at all. In fact, it was written ten years before I was born.

Which means, my whole life, I could have known all this…but I did not.

 

In case you wish to listen to Bella Dodd speaking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37HgRWTsGs0

 

Comments

 

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

Comments

From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 13th, 2016 10:44 pm (UTC)

Growing up in the shadow of communism

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As a trained historian it is hard to realize just how pervasive communist influence was in the early decades of the 20th century. But guess what? They (the Soviets and their minions) were their own undoing. The constant shameless lying and putting narrow, national policy interests helped undo the charade. (think of the Soviet/Nazi pact that had Soviets AND Nazi Germany attack Poland in 1939 launching the second world war). There are so many other examples that can be pulled from the history books. Thankfully communism in the classic form is dead.

Lets' keep it that way by recognizing that deceit, lying and manipulation of the left and right by extremists to "cause the revolution" only causes great misery and pain on a massive scale.

How do I know this? My family came from the Soviet Union. The experiences were personal memory. My dad was in Young Pioneers while my grandfather was in internal exile in Russia. A ten year sentence for merely being suspected of "subversive thinking". Welcome to Stalinism.

The sad news is that while that generation is gone, people willing to swallow shallow creeds and lies to achieve extreme goals are not. The current religious based Islamic terrorism is an example. Horrible? You bet, but no worse than the extreme left wing terror groups of the 1970s.

Me I will never support communism in any form, but I'm not so blind as to think that this movements fall makes the world a better place today. I wish it were so, but all I have to do is turn on the news to know a different generation is doing bad things, just under a different form of extremist cause.
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From:arhyalon
Date:April 13th, 2016 11:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Growing up in the shadow of communism

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Thanks for telling me about this.

Considering how quickly the Conspiracy group changed their name when something went wrong, I wonder if they still exist, putting their fingers in every pie, under a different name.
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From:tinymammoth
Date:April 14th, 2016 10:11 pm (UTC)
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I have School of Darkness on my list, but haven't read it yet. I know I saw it online for free at one point, but I'm not finding it now.

It is astonishing how profoundly the Soviet Union's influence on our country has come to affect practically everything today. It's just crushing how thoroughly this history is obscured and how few people understand.

I recommend Witness, by Whittaker Chambers, for another insider account of communism. Chambers was a former spy.

I also recommend Radical Son, by David Horowitz. His parents were communists and he was a leader in the New Left in the sixties. He's now a conservative.

Both of these books are very readable.

Somewhat tangential, but I love to read accounts by political prisoners, and I am especially fascinated with the Soviet dissident movement. They are role models for us because they faced total evil with incredible virtue.

My favorite book, which I have read 13 times, is To Build A Castle, by the Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky. I think this book deserves to be better known. Bukovsky is a titan of resistance in the face of Soviet repression, and also he's quite an engaging writer. I am awed by his courage and compassion.

Thanks for writing about this, I think it is one of the most important issues of our time.
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From:tinymammoth
Date:April 14th, 2016 10:14 pm (UTC)
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"The most horrible part of all, to me, is that this is not a new book. Not at all. In fact, it was written ten years before I was born.

Which means, my whole life, I could have known all this…but I did not."

I know just what you mean, when I started learning about this those were my exact feelings.

This is worth a read:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_influence_on_the_peace_movement
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 15th, 2016 02:51 pm (UTC)

The great Communist conspiracy...

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I learned about the things you're talking about in recent years and went through a similar revelation... that things really were as bad as they were saying, although I was always pretty predisposed to that conclusion.

The other conclusion I've been coming to in the past several years is that while the West may have won the Cold War and t to he Iron Curtain fell, thanks in large part to Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope Saint John-Paul, notmention the basic laws of economics, that Communism is winning the memetic war. The average young person today considers socialism to be a charming virtue, no different from Christian charity, and that communism failed only because it wasn't doesn't done right.

I have a strong feeling that these lessons won't be learned until the system we have, flawed though it is, is completely crashed.

Oh, and Bella Dodd's claims about the 1100 infiltrators into the Church... I have no doubts... we see its effects all the time. Sometimes it seems like half the Curia are heretics. I've also read that there was a deal cut that Vatican II wouldn't specifically address Communism in exchange for the Soviet Union allowing Russian prelates to attend.

I'm glad that mentality didn't stop Pope Pius XII and Pope John-Paul II and their like from taking bold stands against the evils of their time. (Of course, Pope Pius was constrained by the threats of literal destruction, but he made a heroic stand against evil in every way he could and among other things, saved many thousands of Jewish lives.)

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From:arhyalon
Date:April 17th, 2016 01:22 pm (UTC)

Re: The great Communist conspiracy...

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Very true.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 15th, 2016 04:54 pm (UTC)

Thanks

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This is the second strong recommendation I've heard recently for Dodd's book...sounds great!

I also concur that you'd love "Witness"---it's one the most lyrical biographies I've ever read.

Given that even the Vatican is making Sanders look like a viable choice for Catholics in the Presidential race, it's important that people keep sounding the alarm against where "Socialism" is really headed. (Although I don't know why I say "even the Vatican", given what we know about the infiltration over the decades).

Thanks for being so honest about your epiphany and sharing it with us!
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From:arhyalon
Date:April 17th, 2016 01:24 pm (UTC)

Re: Thanks

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Thank you for thanking me. It was actually really painful. Sigh.

Infiltrators in the church, and the damage they have done in their teaching and their students teachings, is really something to pray about.

Re: Thanks - (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Thanks - (Anonymous) Expand
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From:Tamquam Leo Rugiens
Date:April 15th, 2016 06:21 pm (UTC)

It's the same old serpent

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I had been firmly opposed to Communism since I was in High School and read of the goings on behind the Iron and Bamboo curtains. What I had not realized was the extent that they had co-opted the culture, and me.

A couple of other resources you might find illuminating:

Two videos by a KGB defector https://associationoffreecitizens.org/2012/02/19/hard-to-find-yuri-bezemov-video/

Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa

American Betrayal by Diana West

The Devil's Pleasure Palace by Michael Walsh

I don't doubt for a moment that the spiritual descendants of Bella's former allies are still busily at work bringing their project to completion. One of the first clues I had that there was something going on was Hillary talking about The Great Right Wing Conspiracy. The Left always projects their intentions and operations on their enemies in order to discredit them. In fact, so far as I can see, the Right couldn't organize their way out of a wet paper bag.
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From:Tamquam Leo Rugiens
Date:April 15th, 2016 06:26 pm (UTC)

I've been spammed

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I sure hope this page is moderated. I just posted a rather lengthy comment. The system tells me my post was succesful, but that it was posted as spam.

The nerve!
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From:arhyalon
Date:April 17th, 2016 01:25 pm (UTC)

Re: I've been spammed

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Sorry!

The anonymous posts need me to click on them, and I've been out for two days helping a friend move.

It should be up now...but if it isn't, let me know and I'll look for it.
From:David W
Date:April 18th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC)

Communist infiltration of Unions

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The unions were heavily infiltrated by Communists through the 1950's when the AFL-CIO when there was a major purge. Most Unions were cleaned up of communist infiltration those that werent were forced out. The teachers unions though were never really cleaned up.

I have to disagree with you about Unions in general though. Look at the conditions of American workers they have only worsened as Unions have declined. Real wages have been stagnant for decades. There is currently a massive wealth transfer to the top 20% of society and its the average worker paying the bill.
From:bobkmando
Date:April 18th, 2016 04:56 pm (UTC)
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After all, it did not say otherwise in anything I read in school.


this is no accident. read John Taylor Gatto for the history of compulsory schooling ... and it's devastating AND INTENDED effects.

compulsory public schools were designed to create a compliant and obedient working class for the sweat shop factories of the late 19th century.

they have now been adapted to socializing ( that is, Grooming ) children to grow up to be good consumers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_grooming



Because if this they knew what all the different parties and groups were up to, and could organized coordinated attacks to get their policies across.


i believe ( and have believed for years ) that this is the primary problem with the Repukelican establishment. this is why they are so VERY effective at enacting / failing to prevent Democrat policies.
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From:arhyalon
Date:April 18th, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
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Got you out of spam jail. Sorry about that.
From:bobkmando
Date:April 18th, 2016 05:08 pm (UTC)
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After all, it did not say otherwise in anything I read in school.


this is no accident. read John Taylor Gatto for the history of compulsory schooling ... and it's devastating AND INTENDED effects.

compulsory public schools were designed to create a compliant and obedient working class for the sweat shop factories of the late 19th century.

they have now been adapted to socializing ( that is, Grooming ) children to grow up to be good consumers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_grooming



Because if this they knew what all the different parties and groups were up to, and could organized coordinated attacks to get their policies across.


i believe ( and have believed for years ) that this is the primary problem with the Repukelican establishment. this is why they are so VERY effective at enacting / failing to prevent Democrat policies.



I learned about the things you're talking about in recent years and went through a similar revelation... that things really were as bad as they were saying


it's really amazing how much the John Birch Society was correct about.


the other thing to keep in mind is the Leftist proclivity for the multiplication of societies. any individual Leftist leader may sit on the board of dozens of nominally separate organizations. then, when somebody gets swarmed by a bunch of orgs, it's somewhat assumed to be a 'popular uprising', simply due to the number of complainants.

then you find out that the same 20 people are running pretty much everything? oi. George Soros is the current major locus and funder of this kind of activity.


Look at the conditions of American workers they have only worsened as Unions have declined.


American wages rose before the widespread adoption of the union movement and have fallen with the offshoring of manufacturing.

as one would expect.
From:Mike B
Date:April 18th, 2016 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Not all the useful "idiots" were, in fact, idiotic. They only had to be sincere, and then their intelligence was rather an asset than otherwise.

Among all the death and misery they sowed in the world, it may seem a smallish thing, but to me it's infuriating and one of the hardest to forgive: they corrupted and co-opted innocence. In a way, all evil must do this - twisting the good because they are incapable of any action otherwise - but in this particular, it was a heinous wrong to convince people that normal behavior, wholesome thought, and moral behavior are themselves "false consciousness"... especially since that's exactly what they wished to instill in their newly-hollowed puppets, a false will that they would submit to without question or reflection.

That's how smart and dedicated people became agents of evil. It is, in its way, all the proof anyone should need that richness in brains (like every other richness) is no express ticket to the Kingdom of Heaven. "Indeed, it only makes them more amusing when they arrive," Screwtape may have said of them... or of me, but for the grace of God. (I've told the story before, perhaps even on Mr. Wright's blog - my own family were professing Democrats in the high church of John F. Kennedy.)
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From:arhyalon
Date:April 18th, 2016 11:06 pm (UTC)
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I agree completely on the destruction of innocence! The greatest sign that they are evil.
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