The Alta Vendita: The permanent secret instruction given to its members

“After we have formed ourselves into a body of action and that order reigns again so in the most remote Sale it runs into the one closest to the center, there is a thought that has always worried men who aspire to universal regeneration. The thought is that of the liberation of Italy, from which must issue, on a given day, the liberation of the whole world, the fraternal Republic and the harmony of humanity. This thought has not yet been sufficiently understood by our brothers in France.They believe that revolutionary Italy can only conspire in the shadows, distribute a few stab wounds to cops or traitors, and in the meantime calmly bear the yoke of the events taking place across the mountains in Italy, but without Italy.

“This error has already been fatal to us several times. It is not necessary to fight it with words; it would be to propagate it: it is necessary: ​​to kill it with deeds. And so, in the midst of the treatments which have the privilege of agitating the most vigorous spirits of our Sales, there is one we must never forget.

“The Papacy always exercised a decisive action over the fate of Italy. With the arm, with the voice, with the pen, with the heart of its innumerable bishops, friars, nuns and faithful of all latitudes, the Papacy finds everywhere people ready to sacrifice , to martyrdom, to enthusiasm. Wherever it wants to evoke it, it has friends who die and others who strip themselves for love of it. It is an immense lever of which only a few Popes have understood all the power. (And still they do not served only to a certain extent.) Today it is not a question of reconstituting this momentarily weakened power at our service:our ultimate goal is that of Voltaire and the French Revolution: that is, the complete annihilation of Catholicism and even of the Christian idea, which, if it remained standing above the ruins of Rome, would later be its perpetuation. But in order to reach this goal more certainly and not prepare ourselves for disappointments which prolong indefinitely or compromise the good success of the cause, we must not listen to these boasters of the French, these nebulous Germans, these melancholy Englishmen who believe they can kill Catholicism now with an obscene song, now with a sophistry, now with a trivial sarcasm smuggled in like English cottons. Catholicism has a life that resists something else. He has seen more implacable and more terrible adversaries; and he has often taken the evil pleasure of blessing the graves of the most angry among them with his holy water. Let us therefore allow our brothers in those countries to give vent to their excesses of anti-Catholic zeal: let them make fun of our Madonnas and our apparent devotion. With this passport (of hypocrisy), we can conspire as we please and gradually reach our goal.

“Therefore, the Papacy has been inherent in our Italy for seventeen hundred years. Italy cannot breathe or move without the permission of the Supreme Shepherd. With him, it has the hundred arms of Briareus; without him, it is condemned to a compassionate impotence, to divisions, to hatred, to hostility from the first chain of the Alps to the last ring of the Apennines. We cannot want such a state of things: we must seek a remedy for this situation. Well, the remedy has been found. Pope, whoever he is, will never come to the secret societies; it is up to the secret societies to take the first step towards the Church and towards the Pope, with the aim of winning them both.

The work we are about to undertake is not the work of a day, or a month, or a year. It can last many years, perhaps a century: but in our ranks the soldier dies and the war continues.

Alexander VI with all his private vices would not suit us, since he never erred in religious matters. A Clement XIV, on the other hand, would be our case from head to toe. Borgia was a libertine, a true sensualist of the eighteenth century misguided in the fifteenth century. He was excommunicated, despite his vices, from philosophy and from unbelief because of the vigor with which he defended the Church. Ganganelli, on the other hand, placed himself with his hands and feet tied in the arms of the ministers of the Bourbons who frightened him, and of the unbelievers who praised his tolerance, and for this reason Ganganelli became a great Pope. In our present conditions we would need such a Pope, if the thing were possible. With this alone we will go more surely to the assault on the Church, than with the pamphlets of our brothers of France and with the gold itself of England. And do you want to know why? Because, with this alone, to crush the rock upon which God built his Church, we no longer need Hannibal’s vinegar, nor cannon powder, nor even our own arms. We have the little finger of the successor of Peter engaged in the conspiracy, and this little finger is worth for this crusade all the Urban IIs and all the St. Bernards of Christendom. To crush the rock upon which God built his Church, we no longer need Hannibal’s vinegar, nor cannon powder, nor even our own arms. We have the little finger of the successor of Peter engaged in the conspiracy, and this little finger is worth for this crusade all the Urban IIs and all the St. Bernards of Christendom. 

“We have no doubts about reaching this supreme end of our efforts. But when? and how? The unknown factor is not yet seen. Nonetheless, since nothing must dislodge us from the traced plane, which on the contrary everything must contribute to it , as if success were to crown tomorrow the work just sketched out, we want, in this instruction, which will have to be kept hidden from the simple initiates, to give the heads of the Supreme Sale some advice that they will have to inculcate in all the brothers in the form of teaching or memorandum. It is above all important, not only required by the most elementary discretion, that you never let anyone suspect that these advices are orders issued by the Sale. The clergy is too directly involved; nor is it permissible for us, in these moonlights, to joke with him as we do with these rulers or princelings who are chased away with a breath.

“a Rivarola? Immediately envelop him in all the networks you can. Give him a reputation that frightens boys and women: paint him cruel and bloody: tell some heinous little thing that easily impresses itself on the minds of the people. When the foreign newspapers then learn from us these facts which they will know well how to embellish and color in their turn, out of the respect that is given to the truth, show them, or rather have some respectable imbecile show them, the number of the newspaper where the names and facts of said characters. Like France and England, Italy will never lack pens capable of telling lies useful for the good cause. With a newspaper whose language he doesn’t understand, but in which he will see the name of his delegate or of his judge, the people will need no further proof. The people here among us are in the infancy of Liberalism. He believes the Liberals now, as he later believes we know not what else.

“Crush any enemy whatsoever , when he is powerful, by dint of backbiting and slander ; but, above all, crush him when he is still in the egg. We must aim at youth: we must seduce young people: it is necessary that we attract youth without realizing it, under the banner of secret societies. In order to advance, with measured but sure steps, in this dangerous road, two things are absolutely necessary for you. You must have the air of being simple as doves, but together you must be cautious as snakes. Your parents, your children, your own wives will always have to ignore the secret you carry in your bosom. And if you like it, the better to deceive the scrutinizing eyes, to go to confession often, you are authorized to maintain, even with the confessor, the most absolute silence on these matters. You well know that the slightest revelation, that the smallest clue that escapes you in the Tribunal of Penance or elsewhere can lead us to great calamities; and that the voluntary or involuntary revealer thereby signs his death sentence .

“Now then, to ensure a Pope according to our hearts, it is first of all a question of forming, for this Pope, a generation worthy of the kingdom we desire. Leave the old and mature men aside; go, instead, straight to youth, and, if it is possible, also to childhood. Never speak with young people about obscene and impious things. Maxima debetur puero reverentia. Never forget these words of the poet, since they will serve as a safeguard against any license, from which it is absolutely necessary to abstain in the interest of the cause. To make our cause flourish and bear fruit in families, to have the right of asylum and hospitality at home, you must present yourself with all the appearances of a grave and moral man. Once your reputation has been established in colleges, gymnasiums, universities and seminaries: once you have gained the trust of professors and young people, see that especially those who enter the clerical militia research your conversation. Feed their spirits on the ancient splendor of papal Rome. There is always in the heart of every Italian a desire for the republican form. Deftly confuse these two memories: excite, warm these natures so inflammable to the idea of ​​patriotic pride. Begin by offering them, but always in secret, innocent books, hot poems of national emphasis: little by little you will lead your disciples to the desired degree of fermentation. When this daily work has scattered our ideas like light on all points of the ecclesiastical state, then you will be able to realize how wise the advice is, of which we are now taking the initiative.

“Events which, in our opinion, are rushing too fast will necessarily lead, in a few months, to an armed intervention by Austria. There are madmen who amuse themselves by cheerfully throwing others into danger: but in the meantime these madmen, at a given moment, drag even the wise with them. The revolution that is being prepared in Italy will produce nothing but misfortunes and proscriptions. Nothing is ripe: neither men, nor things: and nothing will be ripe for a long time yet. But with these future misfortune you can easily strike a new chord in the heart of the young clergy. This chord will be hatred of the foreigner . Let the German become ridiculous and hateful even before his foreseen intervention. With the idea of ​​papal supremacy always mix the memory of the wars of the Priesthood and of the Empire. Resuscitate the badly dormant passions of the Guelphs and Ghibellines: and thus, little by little, you will make for yourself, with little expense, a reputation as a good Catholic and a good patriot.

This reputation as a good Catholic and a good patriot will open to our doctrines the hearts of the young clergy and of the convents themselves. In a few years these young clergy will have, by force of circumstances, invaded all the offices. They will govern, administer, judge , will form the sovereign’s council, and will be called to elect the future Pope.This Pope, like most of his contemporaries, will necessarily be more or less imbued, he too, with the Italian and humanitarian principles that we are now beginning to put into circulation It is a small grain of mustard that we entrust to the earth, but the sun of justice will develop it to the highest power, and one day you will see what a rich harvest this little seed will produce.

In the path that we trace to our brothers, there are great obstacles to overcome and difficulties of more sorts to overcome. One will triumph with experience and sagacity. The goal is so beautiful that it deserves the pain of unfurling all sails to the wind to get there. Do you want to revolutionize Italy? Look for the Pope whose portrait we have made for you. Do you want to establish the kingdom of the elect on the throne of the whore of Babylon ? Let the Clergy walk under your banner, believing they are walking under the flag of the Apostolic Keys . Do you want to make the last vestige of tyrants and oppressors disappear? Stretch your nets like Simone Barjona: stretch them at the bottom of the sacristies , of theseminaries and convents , rather than at the bottom of the sea; and if you don’t crash anything, we promise you a catch more miraculous than his. The fisherman of fish became a fisher of men: you will catch friends and bring them to the foot of the Apostolic Chair. You will thus have caught a revolution in tiara and cape, preceded by the cross and the gonfalon; a revolution that will need little help to set fire to the four corners of the world.

“Every act of our life therefore tends to the discovery of this philosopher’s stone. The alchemists of the Middle Ages lost time and money in the search for this dream. The dream of secret societies will be fulfilled for this very simple reason that it is based on man’s passions. Let us therefore not be discouraged either by a failure, or by a setback, or by a defeat: let us prepare our weapons in the silence of the Sales: let us aim all our batteries, let us blow into all passions, in the worst as well as the most generous: and all leads one to believe that this plan will succeed one day, even beyond our most improbable calculations”.

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