Jones takes another step out of John Dee’s life for a short segment, and returns to the world stage, setting the reader up for later developments in the chapter.
A LOT happens in the world of John Dee.Jewish world conspiracy in Europe...
And a lot happens around Europe with Jews. When the Spanish exiled the Jews from their country during their Inquisition, the Jews ended up relocating, and created perhaps the first world conspiracy network. Jews functioned as sophisticated spy networks that kept anti-Spain and anti-Catholic forces of the world informed about how to subvert Catholic Spain politically and militarily.
Several Spaniards later regretted the expulsion of Jewish financiers in 1492; in the seventeenth Century Spanish writers first claimed the growing wealth of countries like Holland was due to converso capital flowing into Amsterdam. Later, the mythical decline of Spain and the triumph of its enemies were blamed on the international Jewish conspiracy. Among the first to take this line was the poet Francisco de Quevedo, who claimed Jewish elders from all over Europe had held a meeting at Salonika, where they drew up secret plans against Christendom. Quevedo and others accused the count duke of Olivares of planning to invite the Jews back into Spain to undo all the consequences of 1492.
Where did the Jews go to in order to spread their mischief? Everywhere. But Jones concentrates on about 6 areas: Antwerp in the Spanish Netherlands (or, just the Netherlands, as we know them today), Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Turkey, and Rome. Back in Spain, since the Inquisition was so potently effective, the Jewish-supported heresies "took on a quietist tinge and became Illuminism" of the sort practiced by Gnostics and the earlier heretical Albegensians.
But here is what happened in each of these areas:Spanish Netherlands
: After the Spanish expulsion, the Jews moved here and perfected their skill in international trade. They centralized in Antwerp, "whose citizens percieved the financial advantage of admitting these well-connected merchants." Gradually, they built up a spy network throughout Europe with this new power. They would come in to Antwerp posing as merchants, generally. After controlling the spice trade, they would reinvest profits into the printing trade, and soon they were quickly printing out Protestant bibles. At the end of the 1500s, they were able to throw off their "Catholic cloak" and form their own Jewish communities. Germany:
So-called "Catholic" Jews colluded with the German protestants. Up in the north, Jews were able to expose themselves more, and they found an alliance with the Calvanist Protestants. "Disaffected Catholics who had lived double lives as clerics now made common cause with the Jews who had led double lives after converting to Catholicism to preserve their wealth." The Protestant-Jewish alliance was a "binary weapon," as Jones puts it. Jewish wealth and expertise in finance and publishing aided the Calvanists and their protectors, the princes. Cultural warfare was waged against the Catholic Church and Spain. Poland
: Jewish political influence increased, fueling eastern Polish imperialism. It was a crime to be disobedient to predatory Jewish tax farmers. Soon, "cultural drift in Poland led to an explosion of the sort the Inquisition prevented in Spain."
This led to Polish decline a century and a half later. (I guess the Spanish Inquisition wasn't so bad after all, if it prevented Spain from the decline Poland experienced.)Bohemia:
Jews were passing military intelligence to Turks to fight the Christians. As a result, Austrian Hapsburgs banished all Jews from Bohemia. The area was still red hot from Peasant Revolts, the Anabaptists, and the Hussite Rebellion--all rebellions were Jewish in nature, and all of these past incidents mixed too well with the Jewish sensibility to revolt against the Christian order of the time. Hence, Jewish banishment. Turkey:
Marranos from Spain and Portugal were secretly shipping arms to Turkey to assist the Muslims in their centuries long quest to destroy Christianity. Rome:
On May 5, 1527, Lutheran German mercenaries sacked Rome. Jews took it as if the messiah were coming. The leader's name was Solomon Molkho; he was a marrano. He was later burned at the stake in Italy in 1532. This obvious and clear aggression against the Church has embarrassed Lutheran theologians ever since, and it opened the way for Calvanist influences, since Lutheranism was going to take a back seat from this point onward in the Protestant world.
The response by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, was completely lackluster. Jones really sums it up nicely when he quotes a historian named Walsh who said that "Charles seemd unaware, most of his life, that he was surrounded by the agents of an international conspiracy to destroy everything that his heart loved and revered." Charles V's ignorant decisions led to the Jewish consolidation of power. He promised the expelled Jewish conversos that they could settle in the Spanish Netherlands as long as they did not revert to Judaism or Judaize. But they did it anyway. They transformed Antwerp in to "the center of that commercial system which was soon to be superseded by a large international life ... a stately and egotistical city" which was then the center of the Jewish money power, driven from Spain three quarters of a century before. Along the river were massive warehouses, stuffed with treasures from the eands of the earth." It was with this kind of power that Jewish subversive powers were enabled to aid in the growing Calvinist plots, among others. Charles V learned in 1545 that Marranos from Spain and Portugal were sending secret arms shipment to Turkey, and so four years later, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, expelled the Marranos from Antwerp. However, many of the Jews remained as Catholics, while others simply converted and ran over to England. Yet:
Despite expelling the Jews from Antwerp, Charles was at a loss deciding how to deal with so subtle an enemy. Perhaps passion clouded Charles' judgment. According to Walsh, 'If the Emperor had put on the strong armor of sanctity which the Church, his wife and his conscience had often urged upon him the result might have been different, but a Charles dallying with lusty Barbara Blomberg between fits of gout and spurts of gluttony was no match for the Jews.
Way to go Charles. Thanks a million. Church action, and Jewish-Protestant relations...
The Council of Trent reconvened in 1561, though the English bishops were not there. Queen Elizabeth, in good ol' persecution mode, was not allowing papal delegates in to the country to announce the council. Nevertheless, the Church tied up 17 years of loose ends with the Council of Trent, and the council provided the church leaders with a blueprint that would help to reverse much of the damage of the last 100 years. Jones describes how Pius IV "took a knife to his own household," and soon a Counter Reformation ensued. Jesuits were working in the New World at this point, and much zeal was spread there. We might also want to thank the Holy Virgin Mary for her appearence to the Aztecs at that time. However, the seeds of Protestantism in Europe had taken root, and Jewish involvement was obvious to everyone.
This great passage I'm about to type is from page 341 of the book, and I thought the entire page was worth noting. Statements in brackets are my additions for your further enlightenment.
The evidence that Protestantism was Judaizing was there for all to see. Graetz and Newman [Jewish historians] agree the Jews played an important role in the Protestant revolt. Walsh quotes Cabrera, a Spanish Marrano, who claims "most of the heresiarchs and heretics of this present Century have been of those people," i.e., the Jews. "It is beyond question," he continues, citing another Jewish historian, that "the first leaders of the Protestant sects were called semi-Judaei, or half-Jews, in all parts of Europe," and "men of Jewish descent were as conspicuous among them as they had been among the Gnostics and would later be among the Communists."Now we turn back to John Dee's England, aka "Perfidious Albion"...
Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin were all students of Nicholas of Lyra, a Franciscan monk of Jewish descent who lived in the 14th Century. Nicholas got his ideas from Raschi, who was teh conduit that allowed the Talmudic scholarship of his father, Isaac of Troyes, to flow directly into Protestantism. Reuchlin was another conduit [see chapter seven if you folks are interested in the Reuchlin topic; he was fascinated with the Cabala, and so he debated with a genuine Jewish convert named Pfefferkorn, and he justified Jewish books to the authorities. Corruption won the day for Reuchlin]. When Pfefferkorn accused Reuchlin of being in the pay of the Jews to disseminate their propaganda, the essential truth of the charge caused Reuchlin to issue a violent denial in his pamphlet Augenspiegel. Reuchlin's battle with the Cologne Dominicans was the diversion that allowed Luther to issue his 95 theses with impunity. In each instance, Protestantism exhibited not an advance over Catholic thought, but "one long retrogression toward the moribund Judaism of the Pharisees of the time of Christ."
Conversos waiting impatiently to throw off the pretext of Catholicism were in communion with the Jews throughout Europe and together they formed the nucleus for the coming international revolt. Their skill in finance and printing made them powerful culture warriors who could influence events in ways their opponents had difficulty understanding, and they were quick to put these skills in the service of Messianic political movements. The constant in Jewish participation in revolution from Simon bar Kokhba to Trotsky was not race but rejection of Christ. Revolution was a theological project from its inception:
It was their great tragedy that, having failed to understand Who Christ was, (the Jews) could not get rid of the messianic consciousness for which they had been chosen and consecrated. Finding closed to them the only spiritual door to salvation, they were constantly driven to seek redemption in the here and now, in the resources of matter, in gold and power, in anything, anywhere but Christ. When all their kindom had turned to dust in their patient hands, and the inevitable scourge of persecution came to scatter them again and again, they still followed leaders who kept them blind, and remained missionaries of what Saint John called "the spirit that dissolves Christ."
Many of the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal fled to cities in France. Many more made their way to the Spanish Netherlands, where Charles allowed them to flourish. Lucien Wolf claims large numbers of English Protestants--"and doubtless the most active in propaganda and organization" --were Jews who had become Calvinists in Antwerp where they were active in the Protestant movement and "had given up their mask of Catholicism for a not less hollow pretense of Calvinism." There was a natural affinity between the Calvinists and the Jews. Both were "enemies of Rome, Spain and the Inquisition." And Calvinism was a form of Christianity similar to Judaism in its attitude toward idolatry and the law. As a result, the Jews "became zealous and valuable allies of the Calvanists."
Apparently, Elizabeth enacted a reign of terror against Catholics in England that I, as an American, was not aware of.
The first act of Parliament under her abolished the spiritual jurisdiction and authority of the pope in England; this was called the Act of Supremacy. Its design was to eradicate the Catholic faith from England. Next, Parliament abolished the Mass, making it a criminal offense to say or hear it. All spiritual jurisdiction belonged to the Queen, and an English citizen had to attend the new worship or suffer fines. Those who refused the new worship were refusers who often were martyred. English bishops did not assent to this, so they were replaced with political opportunists. Those new evil bishops then replaced the loyal Catholic clergy with corrupt clergy.
Queen Elizabeth was becoming a tool of William Cecil a politician, and her advisor, the founder of the Cecil dynasty. The inactivity of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and later Philip II, emboldened Cecil and others like him to hold onto the stolen Catholic monastery treasuries, and they were emboldened to put forth their activism in England. Later in 1559, John Knox returned to Scotland, and after collaborating with Elizabeth's advisor, Cecil, they bought off the Scottish nobility with money stolen from Catholic monasteries, and soon Scotlant had banished the Catholic Faith. Mass attendance became a capital crime, and Mary, Queen of Scots, "became a prisoner in her own country."
With all of Europe in Protestant upheaval, Cecil felt emboldened to antagonize the Holy Roman Emperor. Soon, Elizabeth was in charge of an anti-Catholic crusade. Soon, it seemed as if there were no difference between being English and being Protestant. Elizabeth sought to "press th eadvantage of the 'invisible kingdom of opposition.'" Queen Elizabeth:
sent emissaries to the kings of Denmark and Sweden, the princes of Germany and the rulers of Switzerland "and all States alienated from the Catholic Church," proposing a league "not only for the defense of their religion but for its propagation and to so much for the security of their own affairs as to cause trouble and detriment to the Crown of France." To dispose men's minds to this effect she sent four English preachers, four Germans and one Frenchman, from England to Germany, who, feigning to be moved by religious zeal and ardor, went to visit many cities and princes, sometimes themselves preaching what they thought might most facilitate their object, and sometimes making the local preachers perform the office."