Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

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Paraguay, The Jesuits in.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Jesuit writers still boast of the model colony they created in Paraguay in the seventeenth century, but historians and sociologists agree that the main purpose was to exploit the natives, and that, though the harsh discipline imposed on them was alleviated with festivals, they were in fact slaves. The first Spaniards who settled in South America admittedly sought wealth only, and with much cruelty and a complete ignorance of economic law. When the Jesuits arrived in Paraguay, in 1586, eager to swell the lists of converted natives which they flourished in Europe, they found the Indians regarding Christianity with abhorrence, and they got royal permission to organize agricultural colonies of their own, none of the inmates of which could he taken to work for laymen. Later they secured a permit to organize them in military service and exempt them from general taxation. By the middle of the seventeenth century they had 300,000 Indians creating wealth for them. They got exemption from civic inspection and refused to teach the natives Spanish. In reply to the criticisms that now multiplied they assured the authorities that the natives were happy, prosperous, and virtuous, and to the charge in Europe that they exploited the labour of the Indians, they replied that they "did not wish to give ideas of cupidity to Christians." The charges against them were, however, not simply the cries of jealous traders. The Bishop of Paraguay very severely denounced them, and in the most thorough and impartial recent study of the documents (Der Jesuitenstaat in Paraguay, 1926) Dr. Maria Fussbinder finds their system "a mockery of Christianity" and a scheme of "oppression, exploitation, slavery, poverty, misery, depopulation, demoralization, and corruption of the Indians" (p. 160). In 1752 the Spanish King ceded part of Paraguay to Portugal, and on receiving proof that the Jesuits secretly urged their armed Indians (15,000) to resist, Pombal moved the King to suppress the Society. Graham's Vanished Arcadia (1924) is a quite uncritical account, and M. M. Mulhall's version in Explorations in the New World (1909) is Catholic, and worthless.


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