IF YOU WOULD like to divert your fears from the Persian Gulf, where any minute World War III might erupt, or from the worry over the sagging economy and impending recession, you might try this scenario:
Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev and the Capitalist West are in a power play for world domination and whoever wins will orchestrate a one-world government and one-world economy that will affect all our lives.
All this is in a brand new book, "The Keys of This Blood: The Struggle for World Dominion," by Malachi Martin (Simon & Schuster).
Martin, a former Jesuit, theologian and Vatican insider who was a professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute, has written a very long book, his 15th, that will scare the socks off most readers who have the energy to read it all.
The trouble with the book is that it is as scary as the Persian Gulf situation.
The other trouble is that Malachi Martin is a very good friend -- I've known him for 20 years, and he revels in being controversial.
One of his best sellers, "Hostage to the Devil," chilled me to the bone and taught me more than I wanted to know about possession and the pathology of evil.
So now he's done it again, he's telling us something explosive about our global future. I've been enchanted with Mikhail Gorbachev, the jolly-looking little man with the sensitive mouth and expressive eyes, and a wife that loves American consumer goods. This seemingly benign innovator, now Nobel Peace Prize winner, who wants to be our friend, who was responsible for glasnost, is, according to Martin, an avid communist bent on world control. So I called Malachi -- I wanted to hear this new premise, this frightening geopolitical game that he calls the "millennial end game."
"Mikhail Gorbachev is a dyed-in-the-wool Leninist, a card-carrying one. He is dedicated to the proletarian form of government and he is not to be trusted," he said.
I asked him who would be the winner in this theoretical struggle for one-world government.
"John Paul will win, even though the gamble is immense. And this will be a good thing as opposed to the alternatives, an atheistic worker's world . . . remember this is a pope who has traveled to 91 countries and is a principal player now in world affairs."
Martin trusts the judgment of the pope but admits that as he reaches his goal it will be impossible for him to control his church. "His church is in shambles," he added.
This Vatican-watcher said that John Paul is responsible for the deteriorationof the Iron Curtain and that he is the most geopolitical pontiff in history who has daily talks with world leaders and is working on his plan for one-world control.
Interviewing Malachi Martin is not always easy for me, because he is super-intellectual and ultra-conservative, and his rapid fire thoughts often over-run each other.
But he's certainly on target when he writes that the human race is facing issues and choices such as peace and nuclear destruction, the deteriorating environment, the proliferation of drugs, AIDS, wide-spread famine. He says these things cannot be solved by only one nation without the cooperation of all others.
The good news here is that Malachi Martin thinks God wants to save us. Thank God.
If you are a Roman Catholic, you will be frightened by the author's revelations. If you are politically inclined, this book will fascinate you, or anger you, perhaps both at the same time.
You may not agree, and I'm not sure I do, but when Martin writes people read, even if they do not accept the thesis.
I guess I hope that he is wrong. I don't like to think of one-worldism in apocalyptic style. I am an optimist, I want world leaders to be at peace and understanding with one another and I want the world to evolve into a more cooperative community. I want the United Nations to stay united.
But if someone had told me last October that within a year we'd be on the brink of war with Iraq, not Iran, I would have told them they were crazy.
The world is indeed unpredictable, which only make us realize the fragility of our aspirations and hopes for peace.