Joan Miró i Trepat: from the notebooks of Farquhar McHarg (Pistoleros 1: 1918)

La Confederación Patronal Española (Spanish Employers’ Confederation), January 1918: President, Francisco Junoy. (December 1914 – December 1922).

Joan Miró i Trepat, the patron of pistoleros and president of Pavimientos y Construcciones S.A., one of the country’s biggest building firms, was the wealthiest, most influential and reactionary of Catalonia’s employers. Tall and distinguished looking with his wide brimmed Panama and his gold fob watch with its heavy chain which hung in an arc between the two pockets of his mustard­ coloured waistcoat, Miró i Treat’s trademark accoutrements were a small gold Sacred Heart of Jesus pin on his jacket lapel, a silver­ handled walking stick in one hand, and a Romeo y Juliet cigar in the other.

“He was also a man fired by a sense of mission, an almost hysterical obsession to restore to Spain and Europe the spiritual and temporal hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church — and in light of Germany’s defeat, the fragmentation of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the likelihood of apocalyptic terror and world revolution, that mission was now urgent. A hard-line, paranoid integrist who clung, barnacle­-like, to the Tridentine traditions of Holy Mother Church, his life and enormous fortune were dedicated to advancing the cause of Rome. In his worldview, the Church—in its perfect sixteenth century manifestation — was the only institution of spiritual and temporal power by which the unity and glory of Europe could be restored to what it had been during Charlemagne’s Reich, the Holy Roman Empire.

“Miró i Trepat believed absolutely in the divine inspiration and the literal truth of the Bible — the divinity of the Virgin born Jesus, the vicarious atonement by Jesus on the Cross for a fallen mankind and Christ’s bodily resurrection. All the cataclysmic events and great upheavals that were now happening in the world were, he truly believed, described and represented in the Bible — and they presaged the final stygian nightmare battle between Christ and the Antichrist with ‘bodies bursting open from head to toe at every word!’ Facing the warrior Christ, ‘their flesh will dissolve, their eyes melt, and their tongues disintegrate.’ The current abysmal condition of Spain and Europe was the result of manipulation by evil, clandestine organisations hiding behind the veneer of liberal, democratic and revolutionary movements whose sole aim was to spread their demonic, secular humanist ideas and destroy Christianity. The Antichrist was near at hand. Spain had to repent. It had to ask God to cleanse the moral stains that had infected the nation and its godless inhabitants — and he was the man to do it!

“This eccentric entrepreneur’s particular moment of clarity had occurred the previous year when he heard that the Virgin Mary had appeared to three shepherd children near Fatima in Portugal, or rather had appeared to two of them: — Lucia de Jesus Santos and Jacinta Marto, the latter a bossy, sulky and manipulative little crucifix kisser. The third, a young lad called Francisco, simply repeated whatever the two girls told him. ‘Our Lady’, as the shepherd kids called her, had chosen them to pass on to the world three pieces of crucial information: two of which threatened hell on earth. The threat was explicit: Godless ‘communist’ Russia must return to the fold of Holy Mother Church and be consecrated to the ‘Immaculate Heart of Mary’.

“Since the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power the previous October and their overthrow of the bourgeois Constituent Assembly — Mary’s warnings about Russia, as communicated through the shepherd children, had become even more apocalyptic. ‘If Russia doesn’t convert’, she “told” the children, ‘her errors will spread throughout the world, promoting wars and the persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.’ Adding a touch of drama to her warnings, ‘Our Lady’ even made the sun above Fatima ‘dance in the sky’ then ‘precipitate itself from the sky to almost on top of the beholders’.

“The third ‘secret’, to which only a handful of people were privy — one of whom was the well-connected Miró i Trepat — concerned a ‘bishop clothed in white’ falling to the ground, ‘shot dead by a gunman’. This last piece of information put the fear of God into the church hierarchy, particularly the then Archbishop Juan Soldevilla y Romero of Zaragoza — and soon to be Cardinal — who, along with Spain’s devout aristocrats and upper and middle classes, began recruiting pious and not ­so­ pious thugs to protect them from the gunmen of the ‘Antichrist’!

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“In spite of having more affinity with medieval society than that of Spain in 1918 — at least in matters of religion, ethics, philosophy and science — Miró i Trepat was, to all other outward appearances, an urbane and practical politician and businessman — and well able to conceal his bi-polar eccentricities, fantasies and fanaticism.

“‘My life has been dedicated to preventing hell predominating over an indifferent population, and to achieve this I am convinced we must create a confederal and theocratic Europe ruled by devout Habsburg­-Bourbon elector princes — under the papacy. Our princes will wield absolute temporal and spiritual power and defend the Pax Católica under the Kingship of Christ.’

“In other words, the society he wanted to impose was that of an absolutist medieval monarchy administered by vengeful fanatics ruling over a quiescent and deferential population. His preferred outcome was the annihilation of the entire leadership of the organised working classes and the total humiliation, terrorising and intimidation of the union rank and file. His close friend, Milans del Bosch, the captain general of Catalonia and other members of the Hiéron du Val d’Or, a covert, anti-modernist Catholic organisation, shared Miró’s ideas. This fundamentalist Mafia of armed and militant ultra­conservatives was a semi-occult sect founded by Miró’s elderly friend and business partner, Baron Alexis de Sarachaga, a charlatan personally endorsed by Pope Leo XIII. Its members included bishops, cardinals and a clique of venal historians and writers as well as conspiratorial industrialists, businessmen, politicians, civil servants and senior army, police and intelligence officers. Their objective was a Europe-wide ‘moral rearmament’ and counter-revolution against the democratic and socialist movements of the twentieth century; their strategy was to fuse the religious passion of the people with the cold power of the State into one great counter-revolutionary force that would hopefully shake society to its foundations. Were it to succeed it would most likely have profoundly transformed the old autocratic Spain, making it much more powerful by anticipating the later phenomenon of fascism.

“Miró was forever sponsoring ‘closed seminars’ and ‘study groups’ for Hiéron members with specially invited speakers such as the Cistercian monk, Joerg Lanz von Liebenfels, the editor and publisher of the magazine Ostara, and the founder of ‘The Order of the New Templars’.”

From: The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg. Pistoleros 1: 1918