Why is political discourse so bad right now? How have Christian beliefs, particularly Catholic beliefs, and those who hold them come to be reviled by so many in the secular culture? Where did political correctness, gender conflict, gender confusion — and so many other aspects of the Culture of Death — come from?
The answer to these, and many other questions, can be found in the EWTN Original Documentary “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” a chilling look at the impact of Community Activist Saul Alinsky, whose “Rules for Radicals” still wields a huge influence on American culture – and the world. If you missed the premiere of this blockbuster event, then tune in at 10:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 1 for the encore, which EWTN is bringing back by popular demand!
A special “EWTN Live” episode, in which Fr. Mitch Pacwa interviews “Wolf” Producers Richard and Stephen Payne of Arcadia Films, will also encore in the hour leading up to the documentary (9:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 1). This film is especially interesting because EWTN’s Fr. Mitch is interviewed in this film about his own experience with Alinksy’s tactics.
As a young novice, Fr. Mitch – like most of us — had no idea what Alinsky-style community organizing was all about until he, and several other novices, were assigned to a Chicago parish that just happened to have two priests trained in the technique. These priests wanted to stop the violence between the Hispanic, Black and Italian gangs and touted Alinskyian style organizing as a way to do this.
Notice that the goal is worthy. Father Mitch says Catholics are particularly vulnerable to these techniques because our faith teaches us to help others. Unfortunately, Alinsky’s community organizers use Marxist techniques that call for someone or some group to be cast as an “enemy” who must be isolated and demonized. They are taught to treat people not as individuals but as symbols.
Father Mitch notes that the Catholic faith, in contrast, teaches the importance of “solidarity” and respect for the individual. As most Catholics who were around when Poland achieved its freedom from Communist rule and the Berlin Wall fell, Pope St. John Paul II was a particularly strong proponent of solidarity.
Alinsky further teaches: “The end justifies almost any means. All effective actions require a passport of morality. You do what you can and clothe it in moral garments. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Make the enemy live up to its own rules. Moral rationalization is indispensable at times of action, whether to justify the selection or the use of ends and means.”
You’ll have to tune in to find out what happened in that Chicago parish, but suffice it to say that Father Mitch personally witnessed the execution of a former gang member – as a result of this demonization and stirring up of “enmities” with the goal of trying to help people – which had a profound effect on him.
And that’s another part of the problem. When people work in “solidarity” with one another, great things can happen. But even when these community organizers win the battle – and they often do – they lose the war.
“Even in the communities where there has been Alinskyian organizing, do we see less racism? Or, do we see more polarization?” asks Alinsky Biographer Stephanie Block. “Do we see less poverty, or are there problems with poverty greater now? There’s a real good argument that they’re greater.”
Block also notes that Alinksy “may have had a utopian vision, but what he’s laying out is a situation whereby it has to create the very unrest and disparities that he would say he’s trying to fight against.”
As the film shows, Alinksy was a socialist who utilized Marxist theory; a student Machiavelli’s book, “The Prince;” and an activist who spoke admiringly of Communists as being on the right side of things.
For many Catholics, it will be enough to know that this Community Organizer dedicated his most influential work, “Rules for Radicals,” to Lucifer. You read that right. His dedication reads: “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement of the very first radical who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom, Lucifer.”
Alinsky’s supporters make light of this, but unfortunately this was not the only time this Community Organizer expressed his admiration for the dark side. In a “Playboy” interview, a few weeks before he died, the film tells us that Alinsky said: “If there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell. Hell would be heaven to me. … Once I get into hell, I’ll start organizing the ‘have nots’ over there with a smile. They’re my kind of people.”
Alinsky did not work in a vacuum. As the film notes, he was helped by “the great tsunami wave of European cultural Marxism that would sweep over post-World War II America and empower him in organizing what St. Pope John Paul II termed, the Culture of Death.” Key members of a Marxist institution known as the Institute for Social Research, which was brought to the U.S. from Europe after World War II, “developed ‘critical theory’ as a strategy to change, revolutionize, and bring down America by criticizing it.”
People from the Institute also developed “what we now call political correctness” as well as the “sexual revolution, the search for pleasure.” As the film also points out, “Critical theory exploited the differences between the sexes to excite gender conflict. It exploited their commonalities to incite gender confusion.”
Norman Thomas, America’s Socialist Party candidate in the 1940s once said: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But under the name liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened.”
Watch this film. Become aware of their tactics. Do not be deceived.
And always remember what Jesus taught: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (MT 7:15-16)