Today marks the 18th anniversary of the death of controversial author, Catholic priest and exorcist Fr. Malachi Martin. Fr. Martin wrote and contributed to over 20 books under both his real name and pseudonym Michael Sarafian, but is perhaps best known for his book Windswept House (1996), a fictional book which dealt with Luciferianism in the Vatican as it’s key theme. Martin was also an outspoken opponent of The Second Vatican Council, an advocate for the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and the Third Secret of Fatima, as well as frequent call-in guest on popular A.M. radio show Coast to Coast AM where he provided Art Bell’s show with many amazing and informative interviews.
Fr. Martin’s journey as a priest began in 1939 when he became a novice in the Society of Jesus (The Jesuit Order) and during his formation, he racked up many credentials both in the ecclesial and academic worlds, having been both a student and professor of Semitic languages. In addition to being quite learned in languages and world history, Martin had a knack for writing and storytelling, using both talents to write about and discuss issues within the Church and the world. This interview that Malachi Martin did with Bernard Jantzen in 1990 clearly demonstrates his talents and also gives you an idea of what his life’s mission was about.
Throughout his life, Fr. Martin was a staunch Catholic who during the 60’s developed a penchant for traditionalism. This was ultimately what caused him to leave the Jesuits and ask to be removed of two vows in 1964. In 1965, he decided from there to move to New York and work odd jobs while pursuing a writing career. Over the years he slowly became a very hot writer in Catholic circles and gained a huge following among Catholics and non-Catholics alike for both his likable nature and the eloquence from which he wrote and spoke. Fr. Martin was also very generous with his time, often giving numerous 2+ hour long interviews on radio shows and volunteering his time to people in New York as an exorcist and priest.
But for all of his admiring fans, he probably had just as many if not more enemies. Martin drew the ire of many in the Church for his rebukes of Vatican II, his promotion of the apparitions Fatima and the Third Secret, but also for “exposing”the Church and its skeletons. In similar fashion, he was and still is rebuked by some traditionalist Catholics, sedevacantists and a handful conspiracy theorists as being a “double agent”. One notable critic of his is E. Michael Jones, former Notre Dame professor who has stated that Malachi Martin was a paid double agent of B’nai Brith, a Jewish fraternal lodge with alleged Masonic ties.
However, these claims have been rebuked, primarily by friends and colleagues who claim that he was an ally of the Church and not someone trying to destroy it. He was also rumored to have been secretly consecrated a bishop as you can see in the same linked clip above, adding even more to the cloak of mystery and controversy that adorned Malachi Martin wherever he went. This shroud of mystery even extends to the death of Fr. Martin which was ruled a stroke, but is doubted by many who have suspected everything from preternatural forces to demons.
Whatever the case may be, one cannot deny that Martin was without a doubt an interesting, scholarly and tactful man who was never at a loss for words and always told his version of the truth whether it was convenient or not. Like so, there will always exist and reemerge theories about Martin ranging from charlatanism to sainthood, but the real legacy of Malachi Martin to me is not so much his work or who he was or wasn’t, but more in the fact that Fr. Martin encouraged many people to think about how nothing is as it appears and to dig deeper than surface level to find what needs to be known. This attitude resonates today not only in respect to the Church, but also politics and society as well, as now more than ever people find themselves distrust certain elements of organizations and institutions in general. To me, Malachi Martin was without a doubt a precursor of the inquisitiveness to come later.