136. Memorandum From the Senior Representative, Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida (Dunbar) to the CIA Station in Guatemala1
[place not declassified], April 28, 1954.
- Specific—Catholic Church Activities
- We are very pleased with your report in ref., since we, too, consider it highly important to mobilize anti-communist activities of the Catholic Church dignitaries and of Catholic lay organizations and indications on a continuous and rapidly increasing scale.
- We suggest that ESSENCE (or any
other contacts which you might be able to utilize for this purpose) may
make use of some or all of the following arguments when dealing with
either Church dignitaries and leaders of Catholic lay groups or
- Express gratitude for the pastoral letter, stress both its domestic and its international effect and emphasize the urgent need for more such active, spiritual guidance in the face of the growing communist threat.
- Underscore fear that commies will interfere with religious instruction in schools, with Catholic youth activities and other aspects of church life, as they did wherever their power increased.
- Suggest that the Church might warn the faithful against inevitable spiritual contamination through the commie-led fronts (which should be [Page 268]listed by name, indicating each group’s affiliation with international communist organizations, such as WFDF, WIDF, FUS, IFC, etc.)
- Lay organizations and publications might warn the people that Guatemala will isolate itself from all Latin America (politically, economically and spiritually) if it continues to be springboard for the international communist conspiracy.
- In your dealings with Catholic publications and radio programs, you might—in addition to the above general arguments—suggest that it might not be sufficient merely to tell what the communists did to the Church and to people in general in far-away countries such as Russia (for whose fate the average Guatemalan may not care) in order to awaken popular revulsion against communism, it appears necessary to tie these experiences in other countries closely to the personal lives and interests of your local audience. This could be done, for instance, by describing graphically how the local church would be turned into a meeting hall for the “Fighting Godless”, how the reader’s children would have to spend their time with the “Red Pioneers”, how the pictures of Lenin, Stalin and Malenkov would replace the pictures of the Saints in every home, and the like.
- We are suggesting to HQs to initiate parallel action in other Latin American countries.
- Please keep us informed about the progress of your activities along the above lines and send us copies of all materials which might result from these activities.
Jerome C. Dunbar2