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Fall into Theocracy #2: One Man Empire

The man in the picture above is Father Tadeusz Rydzyk – the most powerful man in Poland, whose reign surpasses that of the President, Prime Minister and the entire Parliament. He is the leader of a vicious, power-hungry cult existing within Polish Catholicism, and the architect of what is now an enormous financial empire. Millions of people in Poland worship this man as a god, follow his words with fanatical devotion, and worst of all – obey his orders. From simple-minded country folk to high ranking politicians and even party leaders, Father Rydzyk has all the influence to rule Poland from the shadows, imposing his will on a puppet government elected through manipulation and mind control.

Back in the early 1990s, when Poland regained its freedom and set fire to the invalid construct that was the Soviet Union, some people realized that in order to have power in the now democratic country they’d need a way to control the people. Some chose politics, and some went a different path, understanding how deeply rooted Catholicism is in the collective Polish psyche. Father Rydzyk seized the opportunity to become a major player in Polish politics through subtle means, and thus created the most obnoxious, hateful and in fact fascist mass media channel in the country: Radio Holy Mary (Radio Maryja ). It all began in the winter of 1991 – Radio Mary started out as a local station ran by redemptorists with Father Rydzyk as the director, and under Vatican’s complete approval. It didn’t take too long for him to gain country-wide popularity and soon the station had unlimited reach within the borders of Poland.

Even though the programs aired were of a controversial, extremely right-wing nature, only the listeners paid attention, and nobody in the government seemed to care about what was happening at the radio’s headquarters in Torun (ironically, the same town in which Copernicus discovered that the Earth is orbiting the Sun, and not vice-versa). Little did anyone know, Father Rydzyk has already started building the financial empire that he would later use to install his puppet government.

As with the Church in general, most of the money comes from the faithful. Radio Mary decided to make it even easier for listeners – usually poor, elderly people living on government pension (ridiculously low, in most cases around $300 a month) – to send money. The priests took notice that most old people – who make up to 60-80% of the station’s audience – pay their bills at the post office. To this day, it’s common to see pre-printed bank transfer forms with the radio’s account number on them at any post office in Poland. All the faithful have to do is enter the amount of money they wish to send, and sign.

Danzig (Gdansk) Shipyard

Danzig (Gdansk) Shipyard

There are three major controversies around the radio station and Father Rydzyk himself. The first one is connected to the Danzig Shipyard, which holds a very particular place in Polish history – the Solidarity movement and protests began there in the 80s, soon spreading throughout the country and making it possible to bring down communism in Poland. However, in 1997, the shipyard was at the verge of bankruptcy. Rydzyk swiftly picked up on the opportunity, and with the help of his station organized a fundraiser to save the historic naval production plant. The idea was to raise enough money to buy the company and run it privately. People started sending in their entire life savings, because they felt a deep connection with the cause, both organic and Radio Mary-influenced. It’s impossible to say precisely how much money was accumulated by the fundraiser, because there were no documents about it anywhere – some estimations go as high as several hundred million dollars. After two years, the fundraiser was stopped, because in the meantime, the shipyard was taken over by another corporation and it operates to this day. The money, obviously, was never returned; it also wasn’t taxed in any way, and pretty much only padre Rydzyk and his confidants know where it went. The only thing the Polish authorities did about the illegal, as it turned out, fundraiser was…fine the radio station.

It’s most likely that the money was used to prepare and launch Rydzyk’s second means of indoctrination: TV Trwam (loosely translates to “I Endure”, or “I Will Endure”). The television channel is pretty much the same as the radio station in substance, and also has nation-wide reception, now thanks to digital TV being available through ground antennas. This is the second controversy: TV Trwam was rejected from the first digital TV multiplex and was only available through satellite and cable. Where did father Rydzyk get the 68 million PLN (roughly $22 million) to pay his way onto the second multiplex? The question remains unanswered, and untouched by the powers at Vatican City, even though they were notified. They either don’t care at all, or approve of these actions in secret.

Kaczynski and Rydzyk.

Kaczynski and Rydzyk.

With both Radio Mary and TV Trwam established, we come to the greatest outrage of them all, and that’s how these two media channels were used to install a puppet government in Poland, which became known as “The Fourth Republic”. From the very beginning, TV Trwam generated great amounts of viewers, mostly the same people who were Radio Mary listeners. In 2003, when the TV channel launched, Rydzyk was ready to use his power over the minds of blind followers, and that’s exactly what he did. He found a political party that would heed his words and lured them into a trap using ideas of nationalism and anti-semitism (two grossly popular ideas in Poland, to its eternal shame). By the time the elections of 2005 came around, they’ve made a deal: Rydzyk gets the party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s “Law and Justice”, to win the elections, and they do what he says. Simple as that. Thanks to running two parallel campaigns, one official, and the second one via Radio Mary and TV Trwam, “Law and Justice” did win the elections, and ruled Poland from 2005-2007. It was a legally elected government, but so horribly unprofessional and ineffective that it only lasted two years before completely falling apart.

After the fall of Kaczynski’s government, Rydzyk withdrew himself to the shadows because there was no chance of getting back to power after that spectacular failure. He started planning other stuff instead. Several years ago, geologists have discovered that underneath Torun there are geothermal waters that can be used for commercial purposes. Yes, you’be guessed it! The land underneath which the geothermal reserves are is owned by the good padre’s foundation, Lux Veritatis. Of course, this opportunity cannot be missed.

Plans of Rydzyk's resort and spa.

Blueprints of Rydzyk’s resort and spa.

Pictured above are the plans of Rydzyk’s resort and spa, built around a huge, sci-fi looking cathedral that would be the center of worship for an entirely new faith – Polish Catholicism 2.0, so to speak. The financial data of this investment is not public, however analysts are certain the entire cost of getting to the geothermal reservoirs, building a resort on top of them and erecting what’s going to be the biggest church in Poland go into billions of untaxed dollars. Let me put is this way: all of this money was taken from people who were mindfucked into giving it up. So it’s the perfect crime, because there’s no victim aware that they’re the victim. This is not a far away future – they’re already building it.

So by now you’re probably asking yourself, who the hell is this guy who was able to gather such amounts of money with no help from the outside? How can one priest decide who wins and who loses a democratic election? There are some investigative journalists in Poland who believe Father Tadeusz Rydzyk is not even an actual priest. Speculations like these came to light when it was proven that the priests who follow him in close proximity are hired bodyguards only dressed as priests. What raised concern is the fact that in Poland it’s illegal to impersonate a member of the clergy. As always, there was no investigation. It’s certain that Father Rydzyk is completely untouchable by Polish law – not because he’s in the government, but because he’s above it. He can do whatever he wants in this supposed democratic country of law. Poland has an election year coming up, we will be choosing a new government and a president in 2015. Rydzyk has remained in the shadows for too long, and he’s already started negotiations with a certain party. If he manages to pull the same stunt he did in 2005, this country is doomed, and in no way am I exaggerating.

Father Rydzyk’s dangerous activities don’t end here, and meddling in Polish politics is not his only crime. I’m purposefully avoiding discussing things like him owning a Maybach (the most expensive car in the world at the time, with their most basic model priced at around EUR 1 million), or the fact that he used to host extravagant feasts for his associates. These things don’t really matter in the big picture.

It’s a fact that if he so desired, Father Rydzyk could have an actual army of people willing to die “for the radio”. They’re called the Radio Mary Family, and even though not officially organized, they could bring a civil war to Poland within hours of getting such an order from their supreme commander. Even writing about this matter for a foreign website is putting my health and even life at risk – the Family is known for being extremely violent when it comes to defending Rydzyk and the radio’s “good name”. There have been cases where journalists were severely beaten up for publishing articles critical of this mysterious priest. If they come to my house with torches, I can always release the hounds, so it doesn’t really bother me. What’s curious is that if it was public knowledge that I’ve written such articles as these, it could be really hard for me to ever find a job in Poland. Luckily, I’m not in the market. I’m writing these words not to put myself on a pedestal, rather I’m doing it to paint a picture of how sick the system is in this country. Your life can be literally over if you talk shit about a damn radio station.

It’s just a prognosis at my end, but there’s all the data to conclude, that in the following decade there will be a schism in the Polish Church. One group will remain loyal to the Vatican, and the other will establish a new church, with a new religion, based entirely on Holy Mary and pope John Paul II – Rydzyk’s Catholics, with Jesus Christ completely removed from the equation. How will it happen? Well, when the mad priest’s ivory tower is built and standing tall, people will come, even more than have already. Father Rydzyk has in his possession John Paul II’s coffee mug, and some other personal items, which the folk will worship as relics of their most important saint.

This sentence doesn’t require any commentary: in so many horrible ways, Poland is a country where people will establish a militant religion to worship some guy’s coffee mug. The worst part of it is, I’m not even joking.

Written By

Magda Wintar were born and raised in the Central European country of Poland. Being a neutrois musician, novelist, and researcher, they chose to reject the society which constantly discriminated against them and bought their own forest, on the edge of which they now live. Magda spend their days writing, and composing music - the kind of music you need to put your hands in the earth to understand.

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