New conspiracy theorists have revamped an old story about Freemasonry, the Illuminati, and Satanists, accusing among others Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth.
by Massimo Introvigne
Article 1 of 6.
In exploring the obscure underworld of QAnon for a book review I have been asked to write, I came across references to a secret organization whose name I had never heard before called the Ninth Circle. As I looked more systematically into Ninth Circle stories, I was even more surprised in finding that one source of them was a French book published in 1929, “L’Élue du Dragon” (The Elected of the Dragon), which was and remain popular in Catholic conservative circles. I believed I had debunked the book in my 2016 Brill book “Satanism: A Social History.” But it is still around.
At the origin of the Ninth Circle theory is something called the International Tribunal Into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS). The name sounds serious enough, and some respected international organizations protesting Catholic clergy pedophilia have quoted its documents, which are nicely printed in a style mimicking the official international courts.
However, the ITCCS is actually a hoax. It is a one man show operated by one Kevin D. Annett, a former minister of the United Church of Canada and a leader of the so-called Freeman on the Land movement, which proclaims itself independent of governmental laws and only accepts “common law” as its members interpret it. Annett and others established a common-law-based “Republic of Kanata,” professing allegiance to it rather than to the government of Canada.
Annett created the ITCCS in 2010 and attracted some attention in siding with First Nation Canadians in their protest against abuses perpetrated in Catholic and Protestant residential schools against their children. Later, Annett and the Republic of Kanata joined those who refused wearing masks and being vaccinated in response to COVID-19. They even announced plans to sabotage vaccine supplies to Canada.
The ITCCS started from Canadian residential schools but eventually broadened its scope and started “prosecuting” religious and political leaders, accusing them of being part of a century-old conspiracy promoting Satanic ritual abuse of children. When Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013, Annett claimed he had done so to escape a warrant for arrest issued by the ITCCS.
He also claimed the ITCCS had successfully exposed the German Pope as the current leader of a secretive Satanist organization called the Ninth Circle. Previous leaders reportedly included Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830), the founder of the 18th-century Bavarian Illuminati, Lenin (1870–1924), and Leon Trotsky (1879–1940), while today another prominent member is said to be Queen Elizabeth. Pope Francis is also involved, Annett claims, as are a number of church leaders and politicians in Europe, the United States, and Canada.
Allegedly, the ITCCS convenes in a secret location in Brussels. The International Common Law Court of Justice and the Tribunal into Crimes Against Humanity are other names used by Annett to promote his activities. These organizations issue “press releases” claiming that their “teams” in cooperation with the police have arrested Ninth Circle members, and issue “warrants for arrest” (including against Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth), but all these incidents and activities only exist in Annett’s vivid imagination.
Also obviously imaginary was the claim, in yet another “press release,” that just like Benedict XVI before him, Pope Francis might resign or be removed to dodge the “arrest warrant” of the ITCCS. On July 12, the “ITCCS Central Directorate” claimed that “a secret conclave of the Vatican Curia, or College of Cardinals, continues to debate who will replace Jorge Bergoglio as the Bishop of Rome. According to a source in the Vatican, the conclave has been in session since July 5 and is deadlocked in their choice of a successor to the controversy-plagued Bergoglio. According to the source, ‘Either (former Pope Benedict) Joseph Ratzinger will be given the Papal crown again or more likely, an African Cardinal will be chosen, probably Arinze of Nigeria or Napier of South Africa. What is certain is that Bergoglio is finished. It’s just a matter of time.’”
The “press release” named as members of the Ninth Circle also the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, and was ecumenical enough to include “Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches. Bishop Mark MacDonald, Prelate, Anglican Church in Canada.”
Eventually, the ITCCS “convicted” Pope Francis of having presided over Satanic rituals of human sacrifice and rape of minor girls and boys. This was not surprising, the ITCCS (i.e., Annett) noted: there was enough “evidence of the existence of a document, which was dated December 25, 1967, and called the ‘Magisterial Privilege,’ which certifies that each new Pope had to participate in the sacrificial rituals of the Satanic Cult of the Ninth Circle.”
Queen Elizabeth, Pope Francis, and Benedict XVI were all accused of having actively participated in rituals where children “were cut into pieces on stone altars and their remains consumed by the participants.” Children “were forced to rape and maim other children and then cut their throats with sacrificial daggers” (to their credit, web providers have eliminated the most outrageous ITCCS documents, but references are still available through an Italian conspirationist magazine).
Not even in QAnon everybody believes Annett, but some do, and that the Ninth Circle exists has become an often-repeated theory. It is built on a paradox. Annett is ferociously anti-Catholic, yet part of the evidence for the historical existence of the Ninth Circle is derived from a book fabricated by pious Catholics and kept in print (mostly) by Catholic publishers, reportedly written by one Clotilde Bersone, a woman who had reportedly been a high initiate of Satan and priestess of the Ninth Circle.
What the book is all about will be discussed in the next articles of the series.