Practical Life and Public Performances
Learning to cook for twenty or so people after a life of being catered for at home and in College came as one of my biggest shocks, not to mention washing up after such a marathon too. I virtually learned to be a caterer overnight. It might have been alright if everyone liked the same food but the family was first of all divided into vegetarians and non-vegetarians so that two dishes had to be prepared, at least for supper. Breakfast and Lunch were simple affairs and required little or no cooking apart from a massive toasting operation.
The family consumed three to four loaves of bread a day. Because of its size many of our food items were bought in bulk and ordered from storage houses as far afield as Warsaw and Kielce, and this was delivered by lorry to our doorstep once a month. Post-communist Poland being what it was, this service was not always entirely reliable and so required a smart coordinator and chaser-upperer who happened to be Isabel. When the delivery failed to come, we had to make extra trips to Lublin which spoiled our routine somewhat.
All perishables were bought locally, vegetables and fruits coming from the markets. I loved the markets - they were quite unlike my American experience where everything is packaged for convenience. Here one could meet the farmers and market gardeners who had produced them and see them in the raw. Learning to haggle over prices was also something new for me, especially as I did not know the language or, in the beginning, the actual value of things. Learning to count in Polish was therefore essential. If you tried to haggle in English they would assume you were a rich tourist and do everything they could to rip you off. Fortunately we always went shopping in pairs which made life a lot easier for the green that I was.
Cooking was also done in pairs. All these working schedules were worked out between ourselves. Stan would occasionally ask if everyone was happy knowing that the less pushy wives would tend to readily agree to things they might not necessarily like in order to avoid conflict. If there was a problem Stan would invariably get to hear about it in private and with some deft diplomacy, rearrange things to the liking of everyone, to the extent that that was possible.
There were three dishwashers to take care of all the dirties which I rather took for granted since I had not been in the family before they could afford such a luxury. In the beginning everything had been hand-washed and involved strings of washer-upperers and dryerers.
Children were involved in kitchen activities from as young as three years old, and especially at breakfast and lunch. The two sister-wives would often have several little helpers who mostly laid the table and generally made life a lot easier. The older children were expected to help at the evening meal, and from the age of about fourteen also shared in the cooking, especially the girls. Thus only one sister-wife was usually required for that, releasing more woman-power for other important things.
With such a large household, cleaning activities had to be organised as well. People were expected to be considerate and tidy up as they went along, including tidying up after the less thoughtless from time to time. The big cleaning time was Friday afternoon when the house was cleaned from top to bottom after the rest period until supper time at 6 p.m. when the Sabbath officially started. This included hovering carpets, washing wood and lino floors, dusting, cleaning toliets and bathrooms, changing sheets and, just before supper, all our clothes, so we would be presentable and fresh for the evening Sabbath meal.
The use of the large laundry room with several industrial-size washing machines and tumble-driers (except in the summer when we were expecetd to conserve electricty and dry clothes outside) were constantly in action throughout the week, each sister-wife having various slots. There was also a special slot, usually on Monday mornings, for the washing of joint household items like table cloths, pinnafores, and the like, which was assiged by rotation. With so many feet, large and small, dusting and hovering had to be done mid-week also, usually on a Tuesday. The children helped with these duties as well, emptying bins included.
Duties also involved looking after the hen-house which housed around fifty chickens, changing straw and sawdust, providing food and water, and, of course, collecting eggs. All were involved. Though none of these duties officially fell upon Stan, his main responsibility being the ministry, he would frequently help out in the kitchen, making one of his specialist dishes if we had special guests, clearing dishes away, and generally being helpful. He invariably cleaned his own room. His laundry was usually done by one of the wives with the fewest or no children, and rotated once every three months. Keeping laundry sorted was a quite an exercise!
If a sister-wife was ill, contintgency plans existed to fill in her slot with the miniumum of fuss. Military conscription in the Polish army had helped Stan considerably in ordering the household and making sure it ran smoothly. And whilst good-will was always the primary ingredient, good organisation was essential to ensure the best use of people, time and resources.
It was not always so in the beginning, with conflicts of interest, different ways of doing things, and frequent disagreements, all of which had the unfortunate effect of not only lowering family morale but also providing little leisure time. Efficiency is essential in a polygamous household if there is to be quality time together apart from daily chores and duties. In that respect, the Bible was our greatest aid, especially in straighening out those who came from semi-disorganised or disorganised homes where organisation was not important because of fewness in family numbers. This was expecially true for us North Americans who I realised had developped soft underbellies as a result of being over-indulged by an indolent culture. National pride made us loathe to admit it at first and attempts on our part to at first ascribe the more hard-working ways of our Polish sister-wives to "European snobbery" wore thin as our own deficiencies were exposed in the light of the Word. I discovered far too often our wily tendency to play any number of carnal, fleshy cards in order to justify non-Zionic habits. Stan would have none of that.
Raj was, and is, an efficient household, although there are times when order does inevitably breakdown, as when there is a sudden influx of visitors and one wants to socialise at the expense of duty, or when half the family is struck down by 'flu or a tummy bug. Then everyone has to muster round and go a few extra miles. Having visitors from other polygamous families coming to see us at work and to train for communal living is wonderful because they take over many of our duties in order to get experience, especially in the kitchen and nursery! But things inevitably get done slower. The boot is on the other foot when, though not too often, we visit them.
Seeing other New Covernant communities reveals both one's own strengths and deficiencies. We are finite human beings with big dreams, and seeing the effectiveness of someone else where we have failed or haven't even managed to start can at times be discouraging. We, for instance, were by no means self-suffient, being in truth entirely dependent on the state for food (except for poultry), electricity, water, and so on.
Visiting one of our colonies in Sweden where they were entirely self sufficient excited no small amount of envy on my part though I was secretly glad I did not have such a heavy work load. This, however, consisted of many families working together, something we did not as yet have any experience in but which Stan was keen to try out. Hence his interest in moving away from Lublin as there was no possibility of that at kind of endeavour at Raj, surrounded as we were by farmland on all sides with no possibility of building further homes or moving new families in. There weren't, in any case, any other polygamous families that we knew of in Poland, except an heretical semi-Catholic sect called the Mariavites whom we were poles apart from and with whom we had never had any contact, nor wanted any.
Stan was off to L'viv in the Ukraine and would be away for a couple of weeks. We hated his absences enormously, especially as they were becoming more and more frequent as the ministry expanded. The L'viv field had been opened up eight years earlier by the Scandinavian Church and it now fell upon Stan as the nearest resident to look after the interests of the group there.
Every trip he went abroad we furtively wondered if he mightn't bring back a new wife with him, even though it hadn't happened yet. Though he always consulted in great depth with us about any future potential wife, bringing her to Raj for us to "look her over", we had the implicit understanding that if the situation warranted it he would if necessary take another wife abroad without our consent if, for example, returning to that country again might prove dangerous or impossible. This would not necessarily be a problem with L'viv, though, as Poland and the Ukraine had good relations and the border was relatively open, in spite of an old dispute as to the ownership of eastern Galicia, of which L'viv (called Lwów in Polish) was the capital, and which had once belonged to Poland before the Nazi-Soviet partition of 1939.
Stan rarely took any of his family on missions abroad because he felt we would distract him from his work and might actually be in danger. The only exceptions were if he was visiting somewhere like the USA or Canada in which case Sarah-Jane and I mighty accompany him in order to see our families and friends. The others were not always too happy about this in spite of the fact that they would go off to their own families in Poland once or twice a year - what they were sometimes envious of was travel abroad, though for us it was anything but "abroad".
He would occasionally take us, in rotation, on shorter journeys to Sweden, Germany or the Czech Republic. We understood the reasons why travel was so limited for us, for it was mostly economic. If a congregation raised money for Stan to travel to England, often at great personal sacrifice, he rightly considered it morally indefensible to ask that funds be made available to bring a wife and one or two children who were only "coming along for the ride". On one or two very rare occasions a wealthy congregation offered Stan to bring some of his family but this was infrequent and not expected by us. Raj was our home and we were obliged to get the travel bug out of our system. The ancients hadn't needed it, so why should we? Stan had often said, when we envied him his travel, that were he to be free to choose, he would rarely travel at all, for he did not enjoy it one bit, and especially not long-distance.
"I saw the world when I was younger," he once told me, "and frankly, unless you're dispossessed of the Ruach haQodesh, its just one piece of sinful turf against another. Fancy buildings and beautiful countryside I can see on TV or video. I just don't have time for that sort of thing. Travel has become an integral part of our modern culture and there are people in the West who even claim now to be "deprived" if they can't go abroad at least once a year. It's absolute nonsense. Here in Poland people rarely travelled in communist times, and in the USSR, you had to get a permit to leave your home town or city. I can understand how sometimes we want to have a break and just get away, but if it has become habitual to the extent that we believe we abolutely "need" it for our psychological and physical health, then I think something is seriously wrong with our spirituality. There have been many women from your country who expressed interest in polygamy here but once they realised they would have to make a major cultural and economic adaptation, they ran with their tails between their legs."
I knew what he meant for I had once been like that too. It's a materialistic spirit that has Americans by the throat. I used to look at the ads in dating agencies, and especially Christian ones, to see what people were looking for. Basically their Christianity was just an appendage to their materialistic way of life, instead of being the way of life. Apart from the Pastor's two sons who both followed their Dad into the ministry, and whom I greatly admired, all the other boys and young men in my local Baptist Church were to varying degrees very worldly-wise. If you dated them, you had to have similar sports, musical, travel, martial arts or other interests before they would even consider you, unless you were a ravishing beauty, in which case they tried to force you into their mould once they had wooed your heart. The trouble is the women were every bit as feministic as the men were wordly, resulting in either conflict or two separate lives with, as Stan would call them, the occasional "interface". Christian marriage wasn't really marriage at all, but different collections of mutually exclusive interests with one or two areas where husband and wife met to make a sort of "marriage" like sex and partying. And I wanted none of that.
If you want a real marriage, you have to lay a lot on the altar of sacrifice. Stan had had a lot of interests before he converted, but these were sacrificed long ago for the sake of the Gospel and family. Some wives had tenaciously clung on to various hobbies in the beginning - Anna to her tennis, Kryztina to her mountaineering, Suszana to her music, Isabel to her modelling. In a polygamous family you cannot expect everyone to like the same things, let alone have very much time for them. To be sure, Kryztina went off into the mountains sometimes when she went on her biannual holidays home, but the others practically had no time for these interests unless it was in connection with the children and their education. Isabel would spend hours modelling when she first married which had sorely displeased Stan and led to a lot of friction because it led her to neglect her duties, but had found a happy solution when Stan wisely incorporated it into the arts curriculum of home schooling. Nevertheless, Isabel had to cut down her hobby time drastically. It was, as Stan once put it, one of those lawful things that got in the way of the Gospel.
Suszana's music, like mine, had been mostly worldly - pop and rock- and we both had to give this up entirely. Suszana rebelled at first but Stan is not one to tolerate deviation from the rules he has established, and rightly so, as he is God's man in the household and head of the family, charged with the spiritual welfare of us all by God Himself. The true Christian polygamous household is a patriarchal one, with the husband the undisputed head of his family to whom all must submit and obey. It is up to him how much freedom he gives, for that is his calling. Stan's philosophy was that if you teach your wives true biblical principles they will learn to govern themselves with the miniumum of interference on his part, and this was indeeed largely our experience with him. His biggest trouble was always with new wives fresh from the world who sometimes had to have their worldly ways surgically removed when they would not part with them of their own accord, to be followed by extensive "biblical chemotherapy" afterwards, as he called it. In this respect being a husband has to be one of the most unenviable tasks of all.
When a woman wants her way and knows she cannot obtain it by force, she stoops to stealth. I think we all tried our several techniques on Stan at one time or another but he knew every trick in the book, which though at first frustrating for us was most certainly fortunate. Seductive poses, playing hard-to-get, the famous 'headache' ploy, the 'I'm leaving you' threat, and a dozen others were all shot down in flames by him without him so much as his batting an eyelid. I have related Sarah-Jane's high drama earlier. He used each instance of rebellion and attempted manipulation as an object lesson for all the others as they took place, giving a psychological commentary as our failed dramas unfolded so that nobody was in any doubt which side of the heavenly dividing line she was on. Even when on rare occasions two or three ganged up on him, he remained unflustered. He refused to be drawn into heated arguments and merely summarised the situation with a few razor-sharp words.
I remember one incident vividly. I don't remember what the disagreement had been about but Anna had strongly objected to her treatment. Illustrating perfectly Stan's teaching that we are all but a hair's breath away from hell, Anna had lost her spiritual grip and was railing against Stan - the one and only time she did - threatening to expose his whole polygamous arrangement to the press and get him arrested. It was the farthest thing from what she really wanted but the devil had so gotten a grip of her that she was utterly irrational. I knew exactly what she felt like. After she had had her say, staring angrily at Stan waiting for him to cower and give in to her wicked demands, he looked up at her and simply said: "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Anna was completed floored. Her jaw dropped and she was speechless. The impact was devastating on her. He had quoted Yah'shua's words to Judas when the latter was about to betray him during the Last Supper and Anna had immediately understood that the devil had taken her in his unrelenting grip. She just stared and stared at Stan, whose eyes were fixed purposefully on hers, tried to stutter some words as a last desperate defence but couldn't find them. Then she just broke down into tears. To her great credit, she didn't run out of the room as most of us might have been tempted to do, but held her ground, knowing she had been shamed before everyone, and that she must face the music. I have never since ever heard someone speak such condemning words under the Holy Spirit that had such a dramatic and positive effect. Stan didn't need to say any more and neither did Anna. She simply ran up to him and sobbed. And that was that.
Stan never held any grudges, forgiveness was always free and complete when there was genuine repentance. If he was harsh, it was mostly on himself. He knew exactly where the line between acceptability and unacceptability lay and he stood on it like a cherubim with a flaming sword regardless. Only Suszana and Isabel had openly challenged him and left, Suszana for fifteen years and Isabel for three. They bitterly regretted what they had done, and especially the loss their children sustained without a father or mother.
Stan was not, of course, error-free and was many times guided by our advice which had been contrary to his opinion. He would not listen to an angry or accusing voice but absorbed everything any of us said with great attention and interest if we approached him in the spirit of Sarah, in love and submission. He detested the Jezebel spirit with such ardour that anybody in possession of it might just as well not exist as far as he was concerned. He was a far cry from the indulgence of sin pursued by so many modern churchmen - if he hated something, it was with a hate that could have melted steel. He positivelty detested all forms of immorality and unrighteousness and resfued to pay any lip-service to it for diplomatic reasons no matter how much trouble it might get him into, though he was more than endowed with the gift of diplomacy. If God's view was that the unrepentant children of Jezebel deserved to be struck dead, then it was his view also (Rev.2:22-23), though he always left vengeance up to the Lord. He refused to dilute Scripture in any regard - if Christian overcomers were desitined to rule the nations under Christ with an iron sceptre, and dash them to pieces like pottery (v.27), then that's what he believed. Many thought him an extremist but I knew no man who had a better grip of things, nor any who had the life forces within him - justice and mercy - in such perfect balance, than Stan.
If unbelievers and false Christians would come at him with a proverbial sledge hammer in an attempt to demolish his theology and molest his character, he would quietly take all the blows until they were finished, leaving them to believe through his silence that they had effected his defeat.
"Of course, you may be entirely right," he would usually say with a tone of the utmost seriousness, "in which case I have a lot of repenting to do, and you must help me see the light."
But no sooner would smiles of satisfaction come across the faces of these vultures in doves' feathers, than he would continue:
"Of course, if you're wrong, then I wouldn't wish to be in your shoes for anything in the world...My opinion is of no importance in these maters in any case, it is entirely up to God to judge you."
He would pause, and then, almost in a whisper, he would take the Word of God and slice them to ribbons, anticipating nearly every answer they would give before they could even open their mouths. If they tried to interrupt him before he had finished, he would scathingly tell them to mind their manners, and informed them that if they would not let him finish, he would assume that they were not sincere in their questioning of him and were only interested in character assassination.
And so he would analyse their secret motives out loud, cutting off every avenue of escape, before pouncing for the kill. And they hated him passionately for it. But the honest and honourable would go wild with ecstacy as they had done many times in public debates with Catholics and others. He was rarely invited to debates afterwards because of the pummelling his opponents received. The threats, of course, usually followed by mail and in telephone calls, all of which he recorded and published, including the numbers they had rung from using a telephone tracing device he had. He made it a point to taperecord every debate, whether in public or in private, so that nobody could misrepresent what he had said.
One local paper in Rzeszów had totally misquoted him in an article reviewing a public debate he had been invited to by a private Catholic organisation. He had not been very well that day and had got quite a mauling, though he held his own well enough. He sent the editor a copy of the tape-recording which he had made using a small portable cassette recorder hidden underneath his jacket and threatened to sue him and the newspaper if he did not retract his article and make a public apology. The apology was soon forthcoming and the editor, so we heard, was transferred to another local paper by the proprietors.
Stan knew human nature too well even for his own good sometimes because we soon picked up his skills and descernment in a number of areas and pointed out his own flaws. He would laugh good humouredly on most occasions when we caught him unless it was in front of the children which he considered unacceptable. He believed that preserving the dignity of a patriarch in front of his children was vitally important and that their mothers should remember this when in conversation with him.
It was not easy living with such a high-powered brain but I think it is true to say that most of us held our own in a deep conversation with him and on occasion spotted flaws in his reasoning. If he felt outgunned he would go silent and just listen until he felt he had something useful to say. He detested repetition and long flowery statements that concealed more than they revealed. He insisted on precision of thought and used much time expanding our vocabulary so that we might become better able to more finely express ourselves, at times being a little too picky, in our view.
Having seven minds working together to spar with our "other half" gave us a sense of cameraderie as we engaged in friendly verbal combat with him in some of his debates. Kasia and Suszana had incisive minds and more than once clipped his wings and brought him down to a lower altitude when his fancy took him too far into the realms of speculation, though their methods were rather different.
Kasia had the unfortunate tendency to sometimes trip herself up by getting too excited and upset, and tended to lose arguments not because she was wrong but because she did not manifest the grace that was expected of a woman in Christ. She often fell for Stan's ploy of playing devil's advocate, thinking he really believed a position which he was only defending to test our alertness. He considered us every bit as capable of being trained as teachers and priestesses for Christ as he was and strove for our self-betterment always. He did not wish us to be overly dependent on him for theology but to find out the truth for ourselves, for this, he maintained, was really the only way we could genuinely defend the Gospel in public and come to really find the eternal life we sought after.
Kasia was always writing to newspapers and magazines under pseudonyms both in Poland and Russia in order to increase the level of public consciousness, a practice I soon followed in, sending articles back home to the States for publication in Christian magazines and secular newspapers under my maiden name.
Though he often gave the appearance of being as tough as nails, in reality Stan was a hypersensitive man, easily hurt but even more easily reconciled. He admitted that most of his public manner had to be learned and that it had not come naturally to him. Unlike his opponents who relished conflict, he loathed it, but took seriously Paul's injunction to be ready to defend the Gospel in season and out of it. He did not always use the razor method, and often employed humour to good effect in disarming his opponents.
He once wrote an article under the pseudonym of Tomasz Czersky praising some Catholic Bishop who had defended his Church's anti-abortion stance and the need to maintain high moral standards in the increasingly post-communist secularised schools. The interviewer on a radio programmed had used what "Tomasz Czersky" had said against Stan, pointing out how Stan could be an effective force for good in Poland if he would abandon his heretical teachings and get on the Catholic bandwagon like Tomasz. Stan had enjoyed every minute of the interview, letting the interviewer have his own way until he revealed that it was he who was "Tomasz Czersky". He then gave the audience a psychology lesson in separating principles from personalities, showing how their carnal natures, in spite of their good Catholicism, distorted their thinking to such an extent that they could not see the truth because it was coming from the mouth of a man they regarded as their enemy. He was not interviewed on that radio station again either.
There is no doubt that Stan liked different things about his wives and preferred to be with some more than others at different times depending on circumstance and mood. But there was never any doubt as to his love for us which was entirely equal and impartal. But there were, for example, times when he preferred to be with an older wife rather than a younger one, and vice versa. Older people, and especially those who are spiritually whole, tend to be more calmly disposed, which he preferred when he was tired and wanted to relax. Eager beavers like Kasia, Sarah-Jane, Anna and I, who were all considerably his junior, tended to be more excitable and brimming with nervous energy, the last thing he wanted when he was tired. But there were other times when this suited him just perfectly, for he was intensely alive and active within, making relating to him very easy and natural for us in spite of the age gap. Indeed, that was the marvellous thing, for the age gap meant nothing at all most of the time. We younger ones only noticed it when he was ill or tired, for he would need longer convalescent times than us and did not like to stay up late. He was especially critical when we four nattered away late into the night for, as he rightly pointed out, we were far less effective in our duties the following day. Sometimes he drew the leash in but mostly he gave us just enough rope to hang ourselves!
It is surely one of the most frustrating characteristics of being a human being that we are slow learners. We seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. What made it particularly bad was that our spiritual education was so excellent at Raj that we had no excuses whatsover. There could be said to be few sins of ignorance any more, making the burden of sin particularly heavy at times. But that is the price you pay for going deep into the Light of our Lord and getting the blessings therefrom. The same sin can have an entirely different effect on someone who is totally committed to Christ as compared to someone who is not - it is like water off a duck's back for the latter but for the former you can feel like a criminal. And that is probably why so many shy away from true discipleship, because they don't want to take the consequences of abusing their high privilege. And polygamy for us was a high privilege.
The kind of Christian polygamy that Stan lived breeds expanded intellectial abilities, deep feelings of love, and a sense of the eternal. But the flip side of the coin is particularly nasty. When you break your vows and allow the devil to get a grip of you, all these blessings suddenly disappear and the exact reverse happens. You can't think straight, your feelings become superficial and tumultuous, and you sense that the gates of heaven are firmly closed against you. That's why so many people in the world prefer the grey zone of lukewarmness, indecision, neutrality in the moral and ethical sphere, and laziness, because the flip side of the coin is almost the same. As you polish one side of the coin, the other gets blacker. Which is why Lucifer, the Archangel and No.2 in heaven after Christ, fell so terribly low.
It makes me angry when I read stories about women who have had bad experiences in polygamy who then go and blame polygamy for everything. In many cases, particularly in the cults like fundamentalist Mormonism where one sometimes hears horrid stories, the problem lies with the system of polygamy and/or the husband, but isn't the fault of true polygamy. You're as likely to hear horror stories from terrible polygamous marriages as you are from monogamous or even common law ones.
But the art of propaganda has never really died and it's up to the more informed and educated people to vigilently keep a watch on rogue elephants and expose them whenever they can. Christianity as a whole has been subject to no less violent bombardments. We are constantly having to defend biblical Christianity against the semi-pagan Catholic abuses of the centuries.
"How can you dare to claim to represent a God of love considering all the terrible things Christians have done in the past - the inquisition, the crusades, and the concentration camps," secular Poles accuse us of. And one must go to great lengths to explain that Catholicism is a mutant form of Christianity which owes more to paganism than the teachings of Christ. This is hard for them to understand because Catholicism, and to a lesser extent, Protestantism, is all they have heard of. Educating people is therefore one of our greatest responsibilites. It was ignorant mobs who sent Christ to the cross - and demons feed on ignorance.
Stan believed that we had nothing to fear from knowledge because everything, he is convinced, will validate the teachings of Christ. No subject is therefore taboo to him. He even debated with some witches in Germany once, and a more catty, vicious group of women you could not hope to meet. His grasp of the occult and incisive logic brought out the very worst in them and turned the audience completely off them. Their attempts to blacken Christianity by listing the crimes of Catholics and some Protestants backfired when he showed that the spirit behind this counterfeit Christianity was all occult-derived!
When one of them offered to sleep with him and show him what "real" sex was, he sent her into a rage by replying: "You're very kind, but I've had better offers from cockroaches."
Sometimes even Stan went too far, in our opinion, as he had this irresistable boyish urge to play pranks on objectionable people. It was very entertaining but didn't always being glory to Christ. He was aware of the problem, and tried to keep it in check, but sometimes childhood naughtiness would just seize him, especially when he found himself surrounded by what he sometimes uncharitably called "low life forms", like those deep into Satanism whose way of life so utterly disgusted him.
He had enraged a Catholic Priest who was being less than charitable to him by asking him what had happened to a former Pope's pornography collection in the Vatican. He loved to retell the history of the popes and, when a Catholic minister would start to tell of the high moral standards of Catholics compared to non-Catholics, he would dig up some juicy morsel from the past. He was very fond of giving vivid descriptions of how Irish Catholics in 1642 massacred 40,000 Protestants on the Feast of Ignatius Loyola, including children, invalids and the old, where women were tied to posts, stripped to the waiste, and their breasts cut off with shears and left to bleed to death. He described how pregnant women were tied to trees and their unborn babies ripped out and fed to the dogs while their husbands were forced to watch.
"Did the holy father believe that this was an act of Christian charity," he had asked the priest in front of his parishoners, whose only answer had been "Lies, lies, lies!"
"And what is the opinion of the holy father of the St. Bartholemew's Day Massacre on 1572 when 10,000 Protestants in France were massacred?"
The enraged priest had spluttered: "That wasn't the Church's fault, it was the King of France's!"
Stan had smiled: "Then why did the Pope receive the head of Admiral Coligny, the Protestant leader, which the Catholics had cut off? And why did the Catholics start massacring their own people if they weren't sure of their loyalty to the Pope?"
The priest had grown red with rage and you could almost have seen the steam coming out of his ears - Kryztina had tried in vain to pull Stan away, but he was not finished. Stan had turned to the parishioners and asked them:
"How many of you lost friends and relatives to the nazi barbarians in the last war?"
Almost everyone raised their hands. Now Stan was on their territory.
"Why don't you ask your priest why Hitler and all the other nazi leaders who were Catholics like Himmler, who controlled the SS and Gestapo, died as members in good standing of the Catholic Church? Why weren't these butchers excommunicated?"
The parishioners had started talking amongst themselves. But he knew they couldn't answer because they were in the demonic thraldom of their religion.
"My friends, you dare not answer, do you? You are all prisoners of this priest and others like him. You dare not face the fact that the Nazis and the Vatican worked in collusion - you all know about the Concordat signed by Hitler and the Pope. You have given your allegiance to an organisation that has decimated our nation, who believed Hitler would win the war and backed him up until the reverses at Stalingrad. You have been betrayed. The blood of your families and friends cries up against these murderers!"
That was in Białystok. Stan never visits there now because he knows there are Catholics there out to kill him. He has learned to moderate his tone a little but he refuses to be cowered.
"St.Bartholemew's and the Irish Massacres are but preludes of a far greater slaughter to come," he warned us. "Be under no illusion. Our stay in Poland cannot be forever because if we remain we too will be massacred one day."
St.Bartholemew's Day Massacre
That sent a chill down my back.
"We have to get into Protestant Europe where we will be safer until that too comes under Catholic control again."
"What then?" asked Kryztina nervously.
"Then my love, we withdraw to the twelve cities of refuge. By then the worldwide massacres will have begun. All those not belonging to the Whore Church or its allies will be killed. Then the Antichrist will turn on the Catholic Church and destroy it, for it will have served Satan's devilish purpose."
He looked at Sarah-Jane and myself.
"And don't you North Americans think your continent will be spared - it will be just as bad there. The Catholics have great power in the USA and Canada. Evangelist Billy Graham is in their fold, and many other important Protestant ministers. The judiciary and political institutions are largely run by them. Make no mistake, there's a world-wide conspiracy on."
These were not things we liked to hear - Stan had often told us the history of Catholicism but it wasn't until he started talking publically about it in a Catholic country that I started to get worried when I saw the reaction. I could see a deep blindness in the people, that tradition meant far more to them than the truth because it had been their way of life for so many centuries.
Even Anna and the other Polish wives started to get the itch to leave Poland and were sorry to have thrown water on Stan's enthusiasm for Germany. We were even amazed when Anna suggested that if we moved to Germany we might change the Królewiec name back to the old German-Masurian form! Suszana suggested the Danish equivalent as we all put various versions in the basket for consideration. Stan was not too amused by this sudden descent into what he thought was cowardice.
"If you want to, you can all go back to your maiden-names, since that is what you legally have anyway."
We wives were all "Królewieca's" but this did not stand on any legal document as it would have given away our polygamy. We were in fact Berg, Holtz, Merezhkovska. Towianska, and so on. Changing last names by deed pole wasn't as easy in Europe as it was in the States. We would probably be stuck with Królewiec - or at least, Stan would be. The children took their mothers' surnames in any case. So Królewiec remained.
This page was first created in 2002
Last updated on 5 March 2009
No part of this work may be reproduced or stored on any
medium without the express permission of the publisher.
Violators of this copyright will be prosecuted
Copyright © 1987-2009 Chavurat Bekorot
All Rights Reserved | Alle Recht vorbehalten