I will say
up front that I’ve known Dr. Taylor Marshall for many years informally.
We both hopped on “Catholic Twitter” about
the same time, and, as time goes by, you see a person’s stuff pop up and you
find yourself saying, over time, “I agree with that person a lot.”
No one agrees 100% of the time, but over the
years you start to informally befriend those you keep coming across and those
you share ideas with.
blessed to be able to be a chaplain this summer for a pilgrimage to the Holy
Land that Dr. Marshall led.
It was asked
that we do the Latin Mass each day, so I was a little intimidated by that
prospect as I only celebrate that form of the Mass once a week.
I didn’t know how intense Dr. Marshall and the
other 90 people coming on the trip would be.
Let me tell you something, I’ve never been with 90 nicer people than the
90 people I went on pilgrimage with this summer.
Dr. Marshall and his wife Joy brought their 8
children and there were lots of other young adults there, and the pilgrims were
just super normal and super down to Earth.
I share this so that you know 1) my bias and 2) I hope this gives a bit of
insight into the Dr. Taylor Marshall I’ve had the limited chance to get to
notoriety has also exploded over the last 18 months in the wake of the
(formerly Cardinal now Mister) McCarrick story that broke in the summer of
Dr. Marshall had a podcast that
had started prior to the scandal breaking, but it was his episodes,
particularly the ones where he joined with Timothy Gordon, that put him in the
and Tim Gordon, from the moment the McCarrick story first broke, started
talking frankly and clearly about the story in a way that the average Catholic
could understand (also in a way the average priest could not say things!).
awful and (still very much ongoing) scandal needed (and still needs) the sort
of frankness and directness that Dr. Marshall and Tim Gordon have been bringing
to this topic for the last 18 months, and their viewership has grown
the twists and turns of any major story, any good reporter that is able to
explain to people what is happening in clear English will naturally unearth
lots of interesting and noteworthy information from interviews, from their own
research, and from information sent to them as people see the platform that the
So we now
come to the book “Infiltration” by Dr. Marshall which was published by Crisis
Publications in early 2019.
strikes me as essentially a combining together into one book the written record
of the research and information gleaned from his podcast over these past 18
I found the book to be concise
and full of good information that I had never seen before.
I would say that the material laid out in the
book is stuff that the average Catholic can understand, and is also important
information that every Catholic needs to know about.
So let’s get
to the critics of the book.
criticisms I’ve had the chance to come across generally fall into three
1) “Infiltration” is not academic enough. It contains good research in places, and then
it blends in the author’s own hypotheses in a way that serious research does
not. It is not as polished as the Oxford
Dictionary, and there are accusations dropped in that are messy and not always
2) In a related criticism, “Infiltration” is too
“conspiracy theory-ish” in nature.
3) More research should have been done before
to criticism 1: the book is written in a style similar to Dr. Marshall’s
podcasts, and that, in my mind, explains the book’s success so far.
A lot of the people lamenting that
“Infiltration” is too informal are some of the same people that can’t get
anyone to read their books.
It is fairly
obvious why people are drawn to Dr. Marshall’s podcast; he speaks in plain
People, it seems to me, are fed
up with “Church talk” and want to hear, in plain English, what’s going on and
what should be done.
There will always
be jealousy by those who want more people to listen to their version of what is
happening, but can’t say it as clearly and concisely as the people that are
garnering praise and attention for their clarity.
isn’t written in theologian-speak.
don’t believe I saw any instances of the words “ecclesiology” or “Christology”
or any other of the myriad of theological jargon that, while at times
important, puts the average Catholic to sleep really quickly.
to criticism 2: yes, Dr. Marshall puts in some of his own hypotheses, but I
would say to the critics “You mean you really can’t tell where he’s inserting a
To me it is quite obvious
where he is speculating and where he is sharing a fact.
As to the
book being to “conspiracy theorist”, I would say, first of all, the whole
premise is that there is some kind of conspiracy, so that would imply that the
book is “conspiracy theory-ish”.
consider the fact that the following things all are matters of historical
record, and are not “theories”:
1) Bishop Athanasius Schneider endorsed the
2) Paul VI in a HOMILY in 1972 REALLY said: “no
its’s not mysterious; through some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the
Church of God”
3) Pope Pius IX really did approve the apparition
of “Our Lady of La Salette”
4) Leo XIII in 1890 published the Saint Michael
5) Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich really wrote in
the early 1800’s that Satan would be unleashed on the world in the second half
of the 1900’s.
6) Fatima happened, and even if nothing has been
hidden (John XXIII’s secretary has said the second half of the third secret was
hidden) there is much to pay attention to.
That some in the Church have covered
up and never revealed parts of what the children were told to share with the
world is a “conspiracy theory” in the sense that there is strong evidence that
people conspired to do something, but regardless, Fatima itself really happened
is not a conspiracy theory and has much to pay attention to.
7) VENERABLE Bishop Fulton Sheen actually said, in
a book, “He will set up a counter church which will be the ape of the Church,
because he, the Devil, is the ape of God.
It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in
reverse and emptied of its divine content.
It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals
resemble the mystical body of Christ.”
That is an actual quote, not a conspiracy theory.
8) A former Communist agent Manning Johnson
testified before the United States House in 1953: “Once the tactic of
infiltration of religious organization was set by the Kremlin…the Communists
discovered that the destruction of religion could proceed much faster through
infiltration of the Catholic Church by Communists operating within the Church
itself…This policy of infiltrating the seminaries was successful beyond even
Communist expectations.” (public record…not a conspiracy theory on the
9) In 1958, 74 percent of Catholics went to Sunday
Mass, and today it is only 22%. That’s
not a conspiracy theory.
10) In 1965 there really were 49,000 seminarians and
in 2002 there really are 4,700. Not a conspiracy theory.
11) Cardinal Danneels is the one who first let
everyone know there was, as he himself termed it, a “Sankt Gallen Mafia” of
Church leaders. That’s not a conspiracy
theory. He said it.
12) Alice Von Hildebrand reports that Bella Dodd confessed
to her and Dietrich that Russian Communists were working with 4 cardinals high
in the Vatican. If you don’t trust Alice
Von Hildebrand, and put her in the conspiracy theorist category, I don’t know
what to tell you.
As to the
final criticism that there needs to be more research: I agree, as I’m sure Dr.
Marshall agrees and lots of other people agree.
Dr. Marshall is a father of 8 children working hard to raise a family
and teach online and so forth, does anyone actually think one person would EVER
be able to unearth the depth of this situation?
Spotlight story that broke open the abuse crisis of 2002 in Boston had a team
of 5 full time reporters working on the story for years.
How many reporters covered Watergate?
But Dr. Marshall, through first interviewing
victim James Grein, uncovered an eerie connection with McCarrick and Sankt
Gallen (I’ve noticed some professional Catholic outlets criticize
“Infiltration” and then turn around and reference the information Dr. Marshall
unearthed in his interview with Grein, all while not crediting Dr. Marshall
with discovering the info.
plagiarism where I come from.
has been done to some of the stuff that Church Militant and George Neumayr have
They’ve been described as
non-professional, and then, by the same groups, have their work
confident in saying that Dr. Marshall would love nothing more than to see lots
of other people continue to do a deep dive and investigate all the strands of
That no one else seems
willing to look any deeper into this story, given what Dr. Marshall has already
been able to unearth and pull together, will certainly only add fuel to the
fire of those who are tempted to see conspiracies.
for the work being done by Dr. Marshall, the book “Infiltration” very much