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The Devil and Communist China: From Mao Down to Xi, Steven W. Mosher, TAN Books, March 19, 2024

(LifeSiteNews) — With the publication of The Devil and Communist China: From Mao Down to Xi, Steven Mosher has produced a compelling account not only of a godless communist regime, but of the diabolical fantasies and practices which led to its capture of China.

It is a book whose careful treatment of its subject excavates from history, biography, and the contemporary Catholic Church a powerful warning against the loss of God. As its depths consume the reader, its message remains clear from the first words to the last.

Few books are necessary at the time of writing. This is one. With the world and the Church in a state of crisis, Mosher reminds us of the urgent need of salvation through Christ, with a dire reminder of the consequences of abandoning Him.

The loss of God

Mosher’s book begins with a quotation from a survivor of the horrors of the religion of man that is Marxism. 

“Men have forgotten God,” said Alexander Solzhenitsyn in a 1983 speech, “and that’s why all this has happened.”

The “all this” was communism. Solzhenitsyn is famous for his accounts of the GULAG system of work camps under the Soviet Union, in which he spent much of his life. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. 

Mosher’s book is an investigation into the nature of the Marxian evil peculiar to China, which has been ruled by the Communist Party since Mao’s victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1949. 

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The biography supplies the detail that Steven W. Mosher in 1979 “was the first American social scientist to visit mainland China,” and is “an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues … [and] has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs … worldwide over the years.” 

With eyewitness experience of China’s diabolical forced abortion regime resulting from its “one child” policy, he was well placed to mark the presence of the devil in Communist China. 

Remarkably, his biography states that he was “a pro-choice atheist at the time, but witnessing these traumatic abortions led him to reconsider his convictions and to eventually become a practicing, pro-life Roman Catholic.” 

It was witnessing the devil’s work which brought Mosher to Christ. Now he has authored a book with the clear potential to bring others from the darkness he has documented – and back into the light.

A work on many levels

This is a book which works on many levels. It is a history of the gods of man that failed, noting the French Revolution and its children as experiments in the worship of mankind in place of God that led to Marxism. It is an account of the crimes of the architect of Chinese Communism, set against the laws of God. Yet it moves beyond historical narrative to explain the crisis in the Church in China by illuminating its wider predicament today. This exegesis of a particular evil has deep roots and a long reach, and its value extends beyond its stated subject. It begins, however, with a portrait of the devil himself, in the person of the man who captured China for communism by force.

The great satanic leader

“Mao was one of the most evil men who ever lived,” says Mosher. His psychological profile of Mao Zedong, who as leader of China’s communist revolution would become Chairman Mao, is neatly folded into an account of the political culture of China. 

According to Mosher, the “legalism” of Chinese culture enabled the personality cult of Mao and leaders such as Xi Jinping to flourish. Mosher’s detailed thesis argues closely that this element partners well with the Marxist promise to make gods of men. 

READ: New book explores the devil’s influence on Communist China

A sea of blood

He returns with regularity to the horrifying death toll of the utopian project of Chinese Communism, whose aim was to replace the divine with itself. As such, Mosher’s book is a studious illustration of the argument that to reach utopia one must cross a sea of blood – but never arrive.

Peter Hitchens said this in his 2020 review of Stalingrad, Vasily Grossman’s novelization of the battle that decided the Second World War. 

Hitchens’ words chime with the argument of Mosher – that the optimism and zealotry of those who would right the wrongs of the world with Marxist fantasies are immune to the fact that it always ends in horror. 

Hitchens says: “But satanic optimism survives every such setback. I sense that they are taking bookings to Utopia yet again. Nobody will mention that the route takes you across a sea of blood, and you never get there.” 

Maoist mass murder

And what horror. Mosher notes that the earlier estimates of 35 million deaths under Mao have been revised upward. A Washington Post report from 1994 cited “new evidence” to support claims of between 45 million and 80 million victims in China alone. 

To this, Mosher adds the death toll exacted across Southeast Asia by fellow communists in Cambodia, North Korea, and Vietnam – all backed by “the killingest man in history” – Mao himself. The killing fields of Pol Pot, the miserable state of North Korea where there is nothing to envy – these are the children of Mao’s revolution. The skulls piled up high beyond the borders of Communist China.

As Hitchens notes in his piece, the left has been reluctant to admit the scale of the waste of human life under communism: “Until surprisingly recently, most left-wing and liberal people were hesitant and equivocal about acknowledging the wickedness of the Soviet regime.”

Mosher’s book presents an equally challenging account of Maoist mass murder, which he notes includes the deaths of over 400 million unborn babies. 

War on humanity

Why did this take place? Mosher tells us Mao’s vengeance on humanity was one he relished, recording the chairman’s political calculus as a self-confessed onslaught on human life. 

“War is politics,” said Mao. “Politics is war by other means.” 

Mosher explains “it was a recipe for endless war on the Chinese people. Paradise was always just one execution away.”

Against the Ten Commandments

Mosher organizes his material in parts as a charge sheet of Mao’s offenses against the Ten Commandments. In this format, the evidence of his – and Communist China’s – diabolism is set against the divine commands they violate in a gruesome industry of destruction. It is one whose reputation has been defended by “fellow travelers” on the left for at least 60 years. 

As Mao’s appalling Cultural Revolution began in 1962-3, hipster radicals in the West took to displaying his “Little Red Book” – a compendium of the thoughts of the Great Leap Forward’s architect.

During this period, a “Red Guard” of fanatical students was formed to invent accusations of anti-Maoist sentiment. No one was safe from denunciation, which would result in the infamous “struggle sessions” – public humiliations of the accused, often ending in execution. Red Guards even denounced each other.

Mosher reports that when Mao brought this madness to an end, he sent these hysterical youths into the fields of rural China to rot in peasant servitude as a reward for their fervent devotion to his cult of death. 

China and the Catholic Church

Mosher moves from politics, through the horrific “religion of mankind” that is communism, to the treatment of the Catholic Church in China. His account of the Church being “driven underground” by the communist state is partnered with the lamentable actions – and inaction – of the Vatican. 

Why was the “notorious homosexual predator” Theodore McCarrick charged with the Vatican’s negotiations with China? 

Mosher’s forensic attention to the devil in the detail is evident in this chapter, which moves the reader to incredulity over the possible motives of appointing a man guilty of, as Mosher notes, “the sexual abuse of minors” to such a “sensitive assignment …which would affect the fate of millions of souls.”

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It is McCarrick’s “widely known … sexual and financial corruption” which explains why the “deal” he negotiated with China’s Communist regime is “so deeply flawed.”

How flawed? Two months after McCarrick’s mission, Mosher records that a Maoist organisation was put in charge of supervising the Catholic Church in China. 

The appointment of the United Front Department to control “religious affairs” was, Mosher says, “a hostile takeover of the Catholic Church in China.” The aim was to turn the Church “into a zombie controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The goal, says Mosher, is to “eradicate this foreign religion” from China, by first absorbing it into the Patriotic Catholic Church. Founded in 1957, this is the Mao-approved vehicle for the destruction of the Catholic faith in China. 

“After the signing of the Sino-Vatican agreement,” continues Mosher, “many felt they had no choice but to join the Patriotic Church.”

The use of an ideological “Ape of the Church” to destroy authentic Catholic tradition, liturgy, sacraments, and worship will be one familiar to audiences outside China. The crisis in the Church, deeply exacerbated by the same papacy which has promoted the decline of the Church in China, is recalled in the reader by Mosher’s close description of a determined ideological project to uproot and extinguish the one true faith – and to replace it with a new “religion.”

The devil and the details

It is a testament to the scope of Mosher’s research and insight that one book can combine so many aspects of evil in a coherent and compelling narrative.  

His skill as a writer is finessed by the neatly book-ended argument of this absorbing account of the devilish details of utopian delusion. 

At the beginning, and at the end, there is God – and the price to mankind exacted by man’s abandonment of Him. Mosher’s message is not one merely confined to the crimes of Maoism, but is an appeal to the faithful – and faithless – of the West. 

“Man began his journey to Communism by rejecting God,” he says, recalling Solzhenitsyn’s verdict with which he opened the book. “America needs to begin its journey back to Christian civilization by rejecting Communism, under whatever seductive guises it is presented to us.”

Mosher’s work here is a valuable map of a road to hell. It is also a signpost to salvation.

Steven Mosher’s The Devil and Communist China: From Mao Down to Xi is published by TAN Books and is available for purchase here.