Stalin’s KEY Wartime Deception
by Iain Colquhoun
This is an account of how, during World War II, Russia deceived the West into thinking it had changed. It did so in order to win military support in order to advance its territorial ambitions in Eastern Europe and so gain an expanded Soviet empire. The relevant propaganda succeeded through the support of the Church of England, whose Primate, Archbishop William Temple, delegated the Archbishop of York Dr. Cyril Garbett to go to Moscow with a message of support from the Anglican Church.
First Obstacle to Stalin’s Propaganda War
First we must set these events in context by considering the reaction in America to Hitler’s invasion of Russia in June 1941. By September of that year the Germans were advancing rapidly towards Moscow, and in this dire emergency Stalin urgently appealed to the American President Roosevelt for military supplies. There were two schools of thought in the USA at the time. There were those like Roosevelt, who thought the best way of preventing Germany from breaking out further was to provide this assistance. Opposing that school were the “isolationists”: Catholic expatriates from Europe. Having settled in America, they were reluctant to be drawn into a European war on the side of Stalin, who for years had been persecuting Christianity. Had not Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical Divini Redemptoris, condemned Communism as “intrinsically evil” and warned that “those nations which helped Communism would be the first to fall beneath its oppression”? So their attitude was “let the dogs fight it out.”
The isolationists were well represented in Congress, and as such they posed a threat to the lend-lease bill which Roosevelt was presenting in October. So when he met the Soviet Ambassador on September 11, he “explained in some detail the difficulty of getting the necessary authority from Congress on account of the prejudice or hostility to Russia and the unpopularity of Russia among large groups in the country who exercise great political power in Congress, and suggested that ... if Moscow could get some publicity back to America regarding freedom of religion within the next few days, it might have a very fine educational effect before the next lend-lease bill comes up in Congress.” (Foreign Relations of the U.S., 1941, Vol. 1: US State Department.)
Thus Roosevelt urged Stalin to do something that would suggest he had freed the Russian Orthodox Church, and events would suggest that this bore fruit later. To help Stalin, Roosevelt puts pressure on Pope Pius XII and the American bishops. However, before Stalin had time to act, Roosevelt had found another way around his predicament. He sent an envoy, Myron Taylor, to Pope Pius XII, urging him to issue a statement qualifying his predecessor’s encyclical urging Catholics not to assist the Communists.
Roosevelt’s argument was that Hitler posed an even greater threat to religion than Stalin; and that as Russia was under attack, it had a right to military aid. This appeal put the Pope in a dilemma. If he took sides in this war, he would be compromising his role as Christian pastor. Instead, he instructed his Secretary of State to authorize the US hierarchy to issue a statement of their own to the effect that Pius XI had been attacking Communism, not Russia, and had not intended his encyclical as a blueprint to political leaders in the event of a war. Immediately, the American bishops began work on this statement. The news of this development presented the isolationists with a dilemma. If they continued obstructing Roosevelt’s bill, they would be opposing not only their President, but their bishops as well. They were “out on a limb.” By October their opposition waned, and the bill was passed by a large majority.1
Stalin Wants American Blood and More
Throughout the war, Roosevelt needed to win Congress over to his policies, and he had succeeded this time. But giving supplies to Russia did not commit the Americans themselves: they weren’t going to lose their lives. But when it came to Stalin’s demands for an Allied invasion of France, it was a different question. For the invasion force was to be composed mostly of Americans and so from now on their lives were at risk. So now Roosevelt faced another problem. Here he was poised to take charge of the greatest invasion in history, and unless he had the backing of the people, who were to lose sons in this invasion, they could dismiss him at the next election – which as fate would have it was to be held in the aftermath of the invasion, in November 1944.
During 1943 Stalin kept on demanding a “second front”. It was clear that the Russians were forcing the Germans into retreat. But Stalin wanted more: he wanted the Allies to invade France so as to draw the German “fire-power” from his borders, and enable the Red Army to occupy Eastern Europe. Churchill ,for one, foresaw the danger. But Roosevelt had been influenced by a presidential “aide”, Harry Hopkins, into believing that Stalin had no ambitions in Eastern Europe. But wartime “Venona” intelligence reveals that Hopkins was a Soviet agent who had been recruited for this very purpose (“Free Agent” by Brian Crozier, published by Harper Collins in 1993).
Stalin’s Key Wartime Strategy
So the situation was that from 1943 onwards Stalin had set his sights on territories that would form an expanded empire and so make Russia a dominant power. Because Churchill recognized that danger, he devised a plan to preempt that strategy. That plan would have succeeded but for one thing: it depended on American support, and at a crucial moment, Roosevelt withdrew that support. Churchill saw his opportunity in July 1943 just after the Allies had invaded Sicily. The Italians suddenly dismissed Mussolini and surrendered to the Allies, thus facilitating their occupation of Italy. Churchill then won Roosevelt’s approval for an attack of the mainland. He hoped to press this attack through to the Balkans and eventually Vienna, thus intercepting the Red Army advance before it could enslave Eastern Europe.2 So the news of the Allied invasion of Italy on September 3 would have presented Stalin with a dilemma. Instead of invading France as he wanted, his allies were invading Italy in an attack that, if pressed through to the Balkans, would have preempted his own strategic aims.
Stalin Depended on His Key Propaganda Lie
On the very same day Stalin received Roosevelt and Churchill’s telegram advising him of their forces’ invasion – that is, on the 4th of September – he summoned the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) for a meeting. He offered them concessions in return for a promise to support Soviet policy. He had an immediate aim in view. It was to set up a propaganda event aimed at duping the West into thinking he had liberated the Church (ROC). The first step was to have the acting head of the ROC, Metropolitan Sergei, elected as Patriarch. So Stalin “authorized” a Synod of the ROC bishops on the 8th of September (note the extreme haste) which duly elected Sergei, who was enthroned on the 12th.3 Meanwhile Sergei cabled the Archbishop of Canterbury in England, inviting him to send a delegation from the Church of England, to mark the event. So on the 15th of September, Dr. Cyril Garbett, Archbishop of York, and two clergy, flew to Moscow with a message of support from the Anglican Church. Their journey took four days in order to avoid the war-zones. On arrival the Archbishop was feted as a dignitary. The climax of the visit was a celebration of the Russian Orthodox liturgy at which Sergei was accompanied in the sanctuary by Dr. Garbett, vested in Anglican cope and miter.4 During the visit the ROC bishops issued a “message” in which they “appealed to Christians throughout the world to do everything in their power to hasten victory over Germany, hoping that by the efforts of Christians in all Allied countries, the long-expected second front will at last be established and will bring nearer victory and peace at this favorable time when our own Red Army is victoriously pushing the enemy from our land.” (Keeling’s Archives).
The Western Press Pushes Stalin’s Lie
The Western press reported positively on these events. On September 5 The New York Times proclaimed: “Step to Restore Church in Russia is Announced”. And on the 6th in an article headed “Real Help from West – Russia’s Need, Says Acting Patriarch after Seeing Stalin”, Sergei declared: “I am not a military expert, but it seems to me that the time for the complete annihilation of Hitler has arrived. If the Red Army alone was able to drive back the Germans, it is not difficult to predict how speedily the war will terminate when our troops receive some real help from the Allies.”
Following the news of Sergei’s enthronement, this same paper commented on the 14th of September: “The Moscow Ceremony ... encourages the hope of a common meeting ground between Russia and the democratic world, not on the basis of any one religion but on that of religious liberty.” The London Times commented on the 17th: “The appointment of the Patriarch and the official welcome given to the Archbishop of York as the representative of another national church may be held to signify the acceptance of Russia of another of the four freedoms – freedom of every person to worship God in his own way everywhere in the world.”
Then on the 24th, The New York Times reported Archbishop Garbett as stating, “he was convinced that there was the fullest freedom of worship in the Soviet Union”. Through this propaganda the world was duped into thinking Russia had changed, and Stalin won support from his allies.
Cardinal Mindszenty Sets the Record Straight
But as Cardinal Mindszenty later revealed, it was all a deception: “The news of this reconciliation between the regime and the Church was spread throughout the country and the world... The Communist Party readily shook the proffered hand of the Russian Orthodox Church. Abroad, this concord aroused hopes that the Communists were beginning to accept democratic principles and were on the road to “bourgeois” respectability. In reality, nothing of the sort was taking place. The Church [ROC] did not have its internal freedom restored, but was subordinated to a government bureau. In other words, it was straitjacketed into the system of the atheistic state.”5
Soviets Confirm: It Was Stalin’s Plan
Stalin’s biographer confirms our hypothesis: “Suddenly on the 4th of September 1943, Stalin decided to receive the church leaders ... The next day Pravda reported the meeting and announced that Metropolitan Sergei would convene the Council of Bishops to elect a new Patriarch... Stalin took this step (because) he was preparing for the summit con ference at Teheran at the end of the year and it was his intention to press again for the opening of a second front and also to seek an increase in aid ... Having received a number of messages from the Dean of Canterbury, Stalin decided it was time to make a public gesture to demonstrate his loyalty to the church ... He believed the West would acknowledge that signal and that it would evoke the desired response”. (General Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, Wiedenfield & Nicolson.)
Roosevelt Hands Over Eastern Europe to Stalin
And thus at Teheran a few weeks later, Roosevelt announced to Stalin the date of D-day and so committed his troops. Since they were to spearhead the invasion, he now became in effect the war-leader, and Churchill was forced to take a subsidiary role. Stalin immediately urged Roosevelt to withdraw his troops from Italy and redeploy them elsewhere. And because Harry Hopkins had persuaded him that Stalin had no ambitions in Eastern Europe, he agreed. The troops were re-deployed in an attack on southern France, sabotaging sabotaging Churchill’s plan for a preemptive strike on the Balkans. The stage was now set for the Communist take-over of Eastern Europe.
How Stalin’s Big Lie is Used Today Against Us
Stalin had provided what was asked of him: some publicity indicating that the Church (ROC) in Russia was free. By so doing he had “squared the conscience” of the American people, and removed opposition to proceeding with “D-Day”. So this act of propaganda secured Stalin’s post-war aims, and thus would have proved that the best way to advance Russia’s aims was through the same intermediary. Hence the setting up in 1958 of a “front” comprising the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Western Protestant clergy sympathetic to Soviet aims. Only the target this time was not to American public opinion, but the Catholic Church. The subsequent deployment of this front and the key role played in it by another Anglican clergyman is described in Chapter 2 and Appendix 2 of [www.solvese cret.co.uk].
It is significant that on the 15th of September 1943, the very day Dr. Garbett left for Moscow, Sister Lucy, the seer of Fatima, was urged by her bishop to write down the Third Secret. Thus the start of events that will pose dangers for the Catholic Church coincides with the moment that the leaders of the Church were providentially appraised of those dangers.
The following notes confirm that Churchill did indeed plan to extend the Italian campaign to the Balkans.
(1) Lord Moran (Churchill’s physician): Winston Churchill: The Battle for Survival, Constable, 1966.
August 4, 1944: “This morning, when I went to the P.M.’s bedroom, he did not bother to hide his cares ... He burst out: ‘Good God, can’t you see the Russians are spreading across Europe like a tide: They have invaded Poland, and there is nothing to prevent them from marching into Turkey and Greece!’ And then he made an impatient gesture: It was as if he said, ‘What is the point of talking about this?’ How could I tell him where it would all end? The American landings in the south of France are the last straw. He can see ‘no earthly purpose’ in them: ‘Sheer folly,’ he calls them. ‘If only those ten divisions had been landed in the Balkans ...’ but the Americans would not listen to him: it was all settled, they said.”
(2) In The Struggle for Europe (Collins, 1953), Chester Wilmot quotes U.S. General Mark Clark as stating: “A campaign that might have changed the whole history of relations between the Western world and the Soviet Union was permitted to fade away ... Not only in my opinion, but in the opinion of a number of experts who were close to the problem, the weakening of the campaign in Italy in order to invade Southern France, instead of pushing on to the Balkans, was one of the outstanding political mistakes of the War ... Stalin knew exactly what he wanted in a political as well as a military way; and the thing he wanted most was to keep us out of the Balkans ... It is easy therefore to see why Stalin favored ANVIL* at Teheran ... There was no question that the Balkans were strongly in the British minds, but ... the American toplevel planners were not interested ... I later came to understand, in Austria, the tremendous advantages that we had lost by our failure to press on into the Balkans ... Had we been there before the Red Army, not only would the collapse of Germany have come sooner, but the influence of Soviet Russia would have been drastically reduced.”
(*ANVIL was the plan to invade southern France in August 1944 – it had little strategic benefit.)
(3) In Eisenhower: At War (Collins, 1986), his son David Eisenhower states: “Churchill had doubts about downgrading the Italian front on military and especially on political grounds, lest Stalin construe the Allied commitment to France to be a blank check ... ANVIL was in effect a commitment to the Russians that the Allies, in sparing no effort to establish themselves in France, would not attempt to reinforce their Italian front with the aim of pushing it eastwards ... Churchill opposed ANVIL almost to the end..” |
FOOTNOTES: 1) George Flynn, Roosevelt and Romanism, Greenwood Press, Connecticut, 1970; Joseph P. Lash, Roosevelt and Churchill, Andre Deutsch, 1977, pp. 437-438; 2) Chester Wilmot, The Struggle for Europe; Lord Moran, Memoirs, pp. 161-174; 3) Cardinal Mindszenty, Memoirs, Macmillan, New York, p. 315; Trevor Beeson, Discretion and Valor, Fontana, Glasgow, 1974, p. 62; 4) Charles Smyth, Cyril Forster Garbett, Hodder and Stoughton, 1959; 5) Cardinal Mindszenty, Memoirs, op. cit.