In addition to the Oath, the Jesuits have a guidebook entitled Secreta Monita.
To the author’s knowledge it has only been disclosed to the world twice: once in the 1600s and once in the 1800s. Because of the magnitude of its contents as it relates to our subject, The Secret Instructions Of The Jesuits (1857) is reprinted in its entirety [in Vatican Assassins].
[Due to the length of this material, we will only present a few excerpts and chapter headings, but this should be sufficient to give you a pretty good idea of what is contained within them. For the full presentation, refer to Vatican Assassins. The portions you are about to read have not, to our knowledge, been printed in any modern-day newspaper.
What you are about to read, The Secret Instructions Of The Jesuits, was first published in 1669 by the venerable and learned Dr. Compton, Bishop of London. In Vatican Assassins we read:]
His arguments on their authenticity, and his character as a scholar and divine, are a sufficient guarantee that he would never have given his name and influence to sustain a work of dubious authority, or calculated to mislead the public.
We have only to add that the last American edition, published at Princeton, and this one which we publish, are taken from the translation which was published in London in 1723, and dedicated to Sir Robert Walpole, who was afterwards Lord Orford, and who had the high honor of being prime minister of George I and George II.
THE SECRET INSTRUCTIONS OF THE JESUITS
Chapter 1: How the Society must behave themselves when they begin any new foundation.
V. At their first settlement, let our members be cautious of purchasing lands; but if they happen to buy such as are well situated, let this be done in the name of some faithful and trusty friend. And that our poverty may be the more colorable gloss of reality, let the purchases, adjacent to the places wherein our colleges are founded, be assigned by the provincial to colleges at a distance; by which means it will be impossible that princes and magistrates can ever attain to a certain knowledge what the revenues of the Society amount to.
VI. Let no places be pitched upon by any of our members for founding a college but opulent cities; the end of the Society being the imitation of our blessed Saviour, who made his principal residence in the metropolis of Judea, and only transiently visited the less remarkable places.
VII. Let the greatest sums be always extorted from widows, by frequent remonstrations of our extreme necessities.
VIII. In every province, let none but the principal be fully apprised of the real value of our revenues; and let what is contained in the treasury of Rome be always kept as an inviolable secret.
Chapter II: In what manner the Society must deport, that they may work themselves into, and after that preserve a familiarity with princes, noblemen, and persons of greatest distinction.
I. Princes, and persons of distinction every where, must by all means be so managed that we may have their ear, and that will easily secure their hearts; by which way of proceeding, all persons will become our creatures, and no one will dare to give the Society the least disquiet or opposition.
II. That ecclesiastical persons gain a great footing in the favor of princes and noblemen, by winking at their vices, and putting a favorable construction on whatever they do amiss, experience convinces; and this we may observe in their contracting of marriages with their near relations and kindred, or the like. It must be our business to encourage such, whose inclination lies this way, by leading them up in hopes, that through our assistance they may easily obtain a dispensation from the Pope; and no doubt he will readily grant it, if proper reason be urged, paralleled cases produced, and opinions quoted which countenance such actions, when the common good of mankind, and the greater advancement of God’s glory, which are the only end and design of the society, are pretended to be the sole motives to them.
V. Above all, due care must be taken to curry favor with the minions and
domestics of princes and noblemen; whom by small presents, and many offices
of piety, we may so far byass, (bias) as by means of them to get a faithful
intelligence of the bent of their master’s humors and inclinations; thus will the
Society be better qualified to chime in with their tempers.
VII. Princesses and ladies of quality are easily to be gained by the influence of
the woman of their bed-chamber; for which reason we must by all means pay
particular address to these, for thereby there will be no secrets in the family
but what we shall have fully disclosed to us.
XV. Finally,—Let all with such artfulness gain the ascendant over princes,
noblemen, and magistrates of every place, that they may be ready at our beck,
even to sacrifice their nearest relations and most intimate friends, when we say
it is for our interest and advantage.
Chapter III: How the Society must behave themselves towards those who are at
the helm of affairs, and others who, although they be not rich, are
nothwithstanding in a capacity of being otherwise serviceable.
I. All that has been before mentioned, may, in a great measure, be applied to
these; and we must also be industrious to procure their favor against every one
that oppose us.
II. Their authority and wisdom must be courted for obtaining several offices to
be discharged by us; we must also make a handle of their advice with respect to
the contempt of riches; though at the same time, if their secrecy and faith may
be depended on, we may privately make use of their names in amassing
temporal goods for the benefit of the Society.
Chapter IV: The chief things to be recommended to preachers and confessors
VI. Immediately upon the death of any person of post, let them take timely care
to get some friend of our Society preferred in his room; but this must be
cloaked with such cunning and management as to avoid giving the least
suspicion of our intending to usurp the prince’s authority; for this reason (as
has been already said) we ourselves must not appear in it, but make a handle of
the artifice of some faithful friends for effecting our designs, whose power may
screen them from the envy which might otherwise fall heavier upon the
Chapter V: What kind of conduct must be observed towards such religious
persons as are employed in the same ecclesiastical functions with us.
Chapter VI: Of proper methods for inducing rich widows to be liberal to our
I. For the managing of this affair, let such members only be chosen as are
advanced in age, of a lively complexion and agreeable conversation; let these
frequently visit such widows, and the minute they begin to show any affection
towards our order, then is the time to lay before them the good works and
merits of the society. If they seem kindly to give ear to this, and begin to visit
our churches, we must by all means take care to provide them confessors by
whom they may be well admonished, especially to a constant perseverance in
their state of widowhood, and this, by enumerating and praising the
advantages and felicity of a single life: and let them pawn their faiths, and
themselves too, as a security that a firm continuance in such a pious resolution
will infallibly purchase an eternal merit, and prove a most effectual means of
escaping the otherwise certain pains of purgatory.
IV. Care must be taken to remove such servants particularly as do not keep a
good understanding with the Society; but let this be done by little and little;
and when we have managed to work them out, let such be recommended as
already are, or willingly would become our creatures; thus shall we dive into
every secret, and have a finger in every affair transacted in the family.
Chapter VII: How such widows are to be secured, and in what manner their
effects are to be disposed of.
I. They are perpetually to be pressed to a perseverance in their devotion and
good works, in such manner, that no week pass in which they do not, of their
own accord, lay somewhat apart out of their abundance for the honor of Christ,
the blessed Virgin, or their patron saint; and let them dispose of it in relief of
the poor, or in beautifying of churches, till they are entirely stripped of their
superfluous stores and unnecessary riches.
XIII. Let the confessors take diligent care to prevent such widows as are their
penitents, from visiting ecclesiastics of other orders, or entering into
familiarity with them, under any pretence whatsoever; for which end, let them,
at proper opportunities, cry up the Society as infinitely superior to all other
orders; of the greatest service in the church of God, and of greater authority
with the Pope, and all princes; and that it is the most perfect in itself, in that it
discards all persons offensive or unqualified, from its community, and
therefore is purified from that scum and dregs with which these monks are
infected, who, generally speaking, are a set of men unlearned, stupid, and
slothful, negligent of their duty, and slaves to their bellies.
XIV. Let the confessors propose to them, and endeavor to persuade them to
pay small pensions and contributions towards the yearly support of colleges
and professed houses, but especially of the professed house at Rome; not let
them forget the ornaments of churches, tapers, wine, and things necessary in
the celebration of the sacrifice of mass.
XV. If any widow does in her life-time make over her whole estate to the
Society; whenever opportunity offers, but especially when she is seized with
sickness, or in danger of life, let some take care to represent to her the poverty
of the greatest number of our colleges, whereof many just erected have hardly
as yet any foundation; engage her, by a winning behavior and inducing
arguments, to such a liberality as (you must persuade her) will lay a certain
foundation for her eternal happiness.
XVI. The same art must be used with princes and other benefactors; for they
must be wrought up to a belief, that these are the only acts which will
perpetuate their memories in this world, and secure them eternal glory in the
Chapter VIII: How widows are to be treated, that they may embrace religion, or
a devoted life.
Chapter IX: Of increasing the revenues of our Colleges.
XV. Let the confessors be constant in visiting the sick, but especially such as
are thought to be in danger; and that the ecclesiastics and members of other
orders may be discarded with a good pretence, let the superiors take care that
when the confessor is obliged to withdraw, others may immediately succeed,
and keep up the sick person in his good resolutions. At this time it may be
advisable to move him by apprehensions of hell, and at least of purgatory; and
tell him, that as fire is quenched by water, so sin is extinguished by acts of
charity; and that alms can never be better bestowed than for the nourishment
and support of such who by their calling profess a desire to promote the
salvation of their neighbor.
XVI. Lastly, let the women who complain of the vices of ill-humor of their
husbands, be instructed secretly to withdraw a sum of money, that by making
an offering thereof to God, they may expiate the crimes of their sinful help-
mates, and secure a pardon for them.
Chapter X. Of the private rigor of discipline in the Society.
Chapter XI. How our members are unanimously to behave towards those who
are expelled from the Society.
I. Since those that are dismissed, do frequently very much prejudice the
Society by divulging such secrets as they have been privy to; their attempts
must therefore be obviated in the following manner. Let them be prevailed
upon, before they are dismissed, to give it under their hands, and swear that
they never will, directly or indirectly, either write or speak any thing to the
disadvantage of the Order; and let the superiors keep upon record the evil
inclinations, failings and vices, which they, according to the custom of the
Society, for discharge of their consciences, formerly confessed: this, if ever
they give us occasion, may be produced by the Society, to the nobility and
prelates, as a very good handle to prevent their promotion.
VIII. Let the misfortunes, and unlucky accidents which happen to them, be
immediately published; but with entreaties for the prayers of good Christians,
that the world may not think we are hurried away by passion: but, among our
members, let these things, by all means, be represented in the blackest colors,
that the rest may be the better secured.
Chapter XII. Who should be kept, and favored in the Society.
Chapter XIII. How to pick out young men to be admitted into the Society, and
in what manner to retain them.
V. Let them be allured, by little presents, and indulgence of liberties agreeable
to their age; and, above all, let their affections be warmed with spiritual
VI. Let it be inculcated, that their being chosen out of such a number, rather
than any of their fellow-collegiates, is a most pregnant instance of divine
VII. On other occasions, but especially in exhortations, let them be terrified
with denunciations of eternal punishment, unless they accept of the heavenly
VIII. The more earnestly they desire admission into our Society, the longer let
the grant of such favor be deferred, provided at the same time they seem
steadfast in their resolution; but if their minds appear to be wavering, let all
proper methods be used for the immediate firing of them.
Chapter XIV. Of reserved cases, and causes of dismission from the Society.
Chapter XV. Of our conduct towards nuns and female devotees.
[It is noted in the pre-publication copy of Vatican Assassins from which these
excerpts are being extracted that one of the pages is missing from this section
of the instructions.]
Chapter XVII. Of the methods of advancing the Society.
I. Let our members chiefly endeavor at this, always to act with humanity, even
in things of trifling moment; or at least to have the outward appearance of
doing so; for by this means, whatever confusions may arise in the world, the
Society of necessity will always increase and maintain its ground.
VII. The favor of the nobility and superior clergy, once got, our next aim must
be to draw all cures and canonships into our possession, for the more complete
reformation of the clergy, who wheretofore lived under certain regulation of
their bishops, and made considerable advances towards perfection. And lastly,
let us aspire to abbacies and bishoprics, the obtaining which, when vacancies
happen, will very easily be effected, considering the supineness and stupidity
of the monks; for it would entirely tend to the benefit of the church, that all
bishoprics, and even the apostolical see, should be hooked into our hands,
especially should his holiness ever become a temporal prince over all.
Wherefore, let no methods be untried, with cunning and privacy, by degrees, to
increase the worldly interests of the Society, and then, no doubt, a golden age
will go hand in hand with an universal and lasting peace, and the divine
blessing of consequence attend the catholic church.
VIII. But if our hopes in this should be blasted, and since offences of necessity
will come, our political schemes must be cunningly varied, according to the
different posture of the times; and princes, our intimates, whom we can
influence to follow our councils, must be pushed on to embroil themselves in
vigorous wars one with another, to the end, our Society (as promoters of the
universal good of the world,) may on all hands be solicited to contribute its
assistance, and always employed in being mediators of public dissensions; by
this means the chief benefices and preferments in the church will, of course be
given to us by way of compensation for our services.
IX. Finally, the Society must endeavor to effect this at least, that having got the
favor and authority of princes, those who do not love them at least fear them.