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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An Evaluation of the messages of John Leary (

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In my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, the claim that the messages of John Leary ( are private revelation is a false claim. A list of reasons and examples follows.

1. False claim that the faithful must flee during the tribulation to special refuges, led there by angels

There is no support in Scripture, or true private revelation, or the writings of the Saints and Blesseds, for the idea that the good people of the world will run away to special hiding places, led there by angels. In fact, the Book of Revelation makes it clear that even holy persons must suffer during the tribulation. The Church must suffer, just as Christ suffered. The faithful will not be given miraculous hiding places during the tribulation. This false idea is similar to the Protestant false idea that the faithful will be taken quickly away from the world in a 'rapture,' just before the tribulation. On the contrary, the faithful must suffer through the tribulation, just as Christ suffered through his Passion and Crucifixion.

This text from the FAQ section claims: “In the mountainous regions there will also be caves. Some may find that difficult, but Jesus reminds us that He was born in a cave and fled to a cave in Egypt. Also, there will be a natural light in the cave and the temperature is around 50° F. All of the places of refuge will have a miraculous spring of water for healing, and there will be a luminous cross over them. Those who look upon the luminous cross will be healed of all diseases and infirmities. At the refuges the food that you have will be multiplied. The angels will provide the manna and like the quail of the Exodus, deer will be provided. The evil ones will not be able to detect the faithful at the refuges by sight, sound, scent, or any other means of detection.”

The private revelations to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (who was beatified by Pope John Paul II) give many details about Christ's life during his flight to Egypt. He did not live in a cave in Egypt.

The description of these hiding places does not accord with any passages from Sacred Scripture. On the contrary, Christ said, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.... And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved.” (Mt 24:9, 22). And the Book of Revelation clearly describes a time of suffering that includes sufferings for the faithful (e.g. Rev. 13). God does help the faithful to endure sufferings and to do what is right and good. God even provides some miraculous intervention from time to time. But God does not provide so many miracles, in special places of refuges, that the faithful will not have to suffer at all. This idea contradict the teaching of the Bible that the Church must pass through a time of suffering.

At Fatima, the Virgin Mary said, “The good will suffer martyrdom; the Holy Father will suffer much; different nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” From the true private revelation of Fatima, we learn that the good will suffer, they will not be preserved from the tribulation in miraculous hiding places.

Again, another message (Aug, 2005) claims: “My people, this home dug underground is similar to a cave which may not look pleasing, but it is a house ready for the coming tribulation. It is somewhat hidden and could be disguised with more dirt. It is also up high and protected from flooding and storms. It could even be like a bomb shelter if nuclear weapons were used. Caves and homes in the ground can be very useful for My faithful who will be hiding in such places of protection. Such a home in the ground could be very useful as a second home, or a possible refuge in rural areas.”

This message is clearly false, because it contradicts the parable of Jesus in the Gospel, where the servant who buries his talent in the ground because he is afraid is condemned, while the other servants are rewarded. Also, notice that whoever wrote these messages shows uncertainty about the future: “It could even be ... if....” Such uncertainty about the future is one of the characteristics of false private revelation.

2. False claims about the Seal of God on the foreheads of the faithful

The Book of Revelation does say that some of the faithful will be marked on their foreheads with the Seal of God (Rev. 7). However, the messages of John Leary present a distorted and false description of this event.

This text from the FAQ section claims: “We will know the people that will be with us as they will be marked with a cross on their foreheads. Those without a cross will not be with us. Some of the faithful are marked now and the rest will be after the Warning.”

First, Scripture does not say that some will be marked with this Seal or sign on their foreheads now and others later (Rev. 7). Second, none of the faithful have been marked with the Seal of God on their foreheads at the present time (before the Warning). Third, the time when the Seal will be given to the faithful occurs in the latter part of the A.D. 2030's, not in this decade (2000's), nor the next decade (2010's). The faithful will not be marked with the Seal of God anytime soon after the Warning; such is not the truth.

3. Worldly and sensational language

False private revelation can often be recognized by its use of worldly language, expressions, and topics. Jesus and Mary are in Heaven. They do not speak in such a worldly and unspiritual manner. For example, the following words and phrases are found in the messages of John Leary:

“war with terrorists, chemical laden trains, toxic fumes, security measures, implementation of chips in the hand, detention centers, terrorist killings, the Taliban, an all out offensive, national ID cards, covens of black masses, TV programming, smart cards, driver licenses, social security cards, health cards, and Defense Department cards, billions of dollars, the baby sitter, long sports events, computer, job skills, a high paying job, witch covens, recession, high labor costs, outsourced, transporting jobs overseas, corporate welfare, bankruptcies, satellites and cell towers, microwave emissions, HAARP machines, low frequency electromagnetic radiation, space programs and satellite systems, defense and space budgets, inflation, money printing presses, hypnotism....”

Jesus and Mary do not talk in the same way that worldly persons talk. They do not use the same earthly vocabulary and worldly terminology as in secular society. Those in Heaven speak in a heavenly manner. This truth is also clear from the writings of the Saints and from the private revelations that we know are true.

The messages of John Leary are not messages from Heaven, for Heaven does not use such language, nor does it speak about such secular worldly things.

4. The false claim that the Antichrist will implant a computer chip to control people's minds

The message of May 25, 2002 claims: “My people, you are seeing the promotion of smart cards and now chips in the body as a forerunner of the mark of the beast. Trying to force mandatory smart cards will be the first step before mandatory chips in the hand will follow. I have told you in the past how initially chips in the body would be voluntary before they would be forced on people for buying and selling. You would not be condemned for having smart cards, but avoid them as much as possible because they would draw you into taking chips in the hand. Definitely avoid taking chips in your body because these will become the mark of the beast. These chips could be made to control your mind and prevent you from removing it. These chips will be necessary to buy and sell or travel from place to place. Without these chips you will be eventually considered as an outlaw and the authorities will try to kill you. Do not worship anyone other than Me because the Antichrist will try and seduce you by suggestion or hypnotism to worship him.”

This is a commonly claim in false private revelation. It is false for a number of reasons. First, the Antichrist will not arrive for hundreds of years. Therefore, 'smart cards,' and similar things, are not forerunners of some kind of mind control computer chip used by the Antichrist. Second, the Bible clearly teaches that people have free will, to choose to sin or to choose to do what is right. The idea that a computer chip will control your mind, taking away your freewill, is contrary to the teaching of the Church that people sin by their free will. The reason that the Antichrist has some limited success in leading people astray is not that he controls them with 'hypnotism' or with 'chips in your body,' but because people sin by their free will.

Do not trust any private revelations which claim that the Antichrist will control people's minds with computer chips implanted in their bodies. This idea is contrary to the Biblical teaching that sin brings about the tribulation: “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshipping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze...nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their immorality or their thefts.” (Rev 9:20-21).

5. Tabloid style commentary on news reports

True private revelation from God contains an understanding of future events and offers spiritual guidance to the faithful. False private revelation, such as these messages of John Leary, show no understanding whatsoever about future events, but merely comments on event after they occur. And the commentary is sensationalist and worldly.

Various topics in the news, including oil prices, terrorism, weather events, political situations, are all mentioned in messages of John Leary. But these are only mentioned after they have occurred and have been in the news. Would Jesus Christ, the Savior of the whole world, really give a long series of supernatural messages from Heaven just for the purpose of making an ongoing commentary on current events, as if he were one of many news commentators? Such is not the case. The many true private revelations, approved by the Church and the faithful, contain no such messages at all.

Beware of such messages, that continually comment on current events. It might seem as if there is some knowledge of the future in such commentary, when there really is not. For example, some messages commentating on current events try to vaguely imply a continuation or gradual development of such events, would be obvious to any one. And if events turn out so, it might seem like a true prediction. Not so. Such short term guesses based on current events is not characteristic of true prophecy. The Bible predicts events hundreds of years in advance, including the arrival of the Messiah and what His Ministry would be like. False private revelations, on the other hand, use a running commentary on current events to make it seem as if the near future is predicted in the messages. Beware of such deceptions.

6. The author of the messages shows no knowledge whatsoever about the future

God understands the whole future with absolute certainty, because He knows all of our future free will decisions. But the messages to John Leary show a complete lack of knowledge and certainty about the future. The author of these messages makes numerous comments indicating uncertainty about future events.

For example, there have been a number of hurricanes in the Southeastern United States recently. During 2004, there were four major hurricanes that hit the State of Florida. After two hurricanes had struck, a message of Jesus to John Leary talked about the two hurricanes, showing no knowledge of the two additional hurricanes to strike in that same year.

“My people, these two latest hurricanes have brought much destruction and flooding in your southern states. There is still time to have even more storms until this season is over.”

The comment that there is still time for more storms shows no more knowledge about the future than any news commentator. Then a third hurricane hit Florida, and another message talked about the hurricanes.

“My people, after Florida has suffered from three hurricanes in one year, the people there are like with battle fatigue. You are seeing in your news about the latest devastation from Hurricane Ivan how many have lost their electricity and a fair number have lost their homes and their jobs. As the people work at cleaning up, there is a chance of further storms.”

Again, no knowledge of the soon-to-arrive fourth hurricane is seen in this message. Jesus is God and so he knows the future with absolute certainty. Jesus would not say something like 'there is a chance of further storms.' And why would God give repeated supernatural messages commenting on hurricanes, without warning about the subsequent hurricanes? God does not give supernatural messages from Heaven merely to make a running commentary on various news and weather events.

7. Further examples of messages that play off of current events, but show no understanding of the future:

A message of October 3, 2005 claims: “My people, many of you saw the looters going wild in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Looting and stealing after natural disasters or brief power outages could be a new problem for small business owners. As fuel prices increase and brief shortages occur, there could be more stealing of gasoline or threats to tanker drivers. Some owners will have to take more serious measures to protect their properties. The opportune stealing will become more of a problem if your society does not enforce its laws. The more vandals can get away with, the less safe it will be for anyone. Pray for order in your society and less chaos, or you will be encouraging a police state in the name of security. Giving more authority to your military could be one step closer to martial law and takeover by the one world people.”

Notice how this message very specifically refers to the hurricane in New Orleans, after the event occurred. But before the event, New Orleans is not mentioned at all, nor is there any specific prediction related to this event. Also, notice the uncertainty about the future found throughout the message: “could be a new problem,” “could be more stealing,” “will become more of a problem if,” “could be one step closer...” These messages cannot be from Jesus Christ, for Jesus is God and God knows the whole future with absolute certainty. And messages from Heaven do not speak in such a worldly manner as these messages do.

Another message from October 2005 claims: “...your military in Iraq are in over their heads and you are going to see continuing casualties until you leave. Fighting to support a country in civil war will be a never ending losing battle. This war in Iraq will never gain a true democracy that is foreign to Islamic countries. This has become a sporadic guerrilla war which is losing money, vehicles, and personnel every day. As soon as America leaves, another dictator will take over.”

Notice how this message is the same as what many persons in the news media have already said. There is no information about the future in this message. The idea that casualties will continue is obvious. The claim that another dictator will take over is merely a guess, and a fairly common one, about what will happen when we do withdraw from Iraq. Again, here is a message that reads like a tabloid-style commentary on news event, not like a spiritual message from Heaven.

A message from September of 2005 claims: “My people, as one justice has died and another has replaced him, now still another justice has resigned that needs to be replaced. Much political sparring will go on to replace this resigning justice because many are fearing an overturn of your abortion ruling. If your Supreme Court did change this ruling on abortion, many babies could be saved and your nation could be spared many chastisements.”

Yet again, here is a message that comments on news stories. None of these messages predicted the death of one Supreme Court Justice and the resignation of another in advance of the event. Clearly, the person who wrote these messages has no knowledge of future events whatsoever, and can only discuss such events after they have occurred and been reported in the news. The statement that there will be 'much political sparring' is not a prediction from Heaven, but merely an obvious conclusion that any news commentator might reach. Also, notice the uncertainty about the future: “If... could be saved ... could be spared....”

And there are very many more such examples. In short, the messages about the future are either very vague, or they are merely an obvious conclusion based on current events. But the messages about recent past events are very specific. This difference occurs because the author of these messages knows only the past, not the future. On the other hand, true private revelation from God tends to ignore passing worldly events that are currently in the news. True private revelation show certainty about the future, because God is all-knowing.

8. False claims about a 'one world people'

True private revelations, and Catholic eschatology in general, does correctly teach that, in the distant future, the Antichrist will succeed in obtaining control over nearly the whole world. However, false private revelations distort this teaching by claiming that this will happen soon and by claiming that there is some kind of group called the 'one world people,' or various other terms, who are seeking one world government. Not so. The Antichrist will be able to obtain this control, not by being part of some kind of one world people or movement, but by warfare and deception and the threat of the use of military power.

False private revelations often promote various conspiracy theories, including that there is one group or another that is working behind the scenes to bring the Antichrist to power. Such is not the case. The Antichrist will not be born until the late 24th century, and he will not take power until the early 25th century.

9. Claimed that the Pope after John Paul II would be an Antipope, who would help the United Nation control the world

The message of April 6, 1999 claims: "As a result of a world depression and a world famine, the United Nations will call for a global government to restore order. During a time of martial law, a One-World religion will be imposed, which will be a means for religious persecution to force everyone to worship the Beast and take his mark on their body. All those who refuse this mark will be outlaws and liable for death. The Anti-Pope, who will replace John Paul II, will assist in forming this One-World religion of false gods. Once the United Nations controls the world, the Anti-Christ will assume full control and eliminate ALL of the current leaders."

This kind of false prophecy is common in the messages of John Leary. If one reads the older messages, it is clear that such predictions did not come true. The next Pope after John Paul II is now Pope Benedict XVI, a holy Pope who was close to John Paul II for many years. Also, no one in their right mind claims that Benedict's election was not valid or that he is an antipope.

Furthermore, the idea that the United Nations would control the world is absurd. The U.N. has very little power. And, of course, the Antichrist is not in the world today. Now is not the time of his reign or of the mark of the beast, etc.

In Conclusion

There are very many messages in the false private revelations of John Leary. I could go on and on pointing out the worldly language, the false claims about the Antichrist and the future, and the sensational commentary on current events that show no real knowledge about the future. But this should be sufficient to show that the messages of John Leary ( are not true private revelation from Heaven.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
October 9, 2005
(#9 added October 30, 2005)

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