The Jesuits

UPDATED 03/08/2011

**NEW** 82 Pound Cache of Gold Bars FOUND! **NEW**
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I include this story here because I believe the cache was Jesuit in origin based on the markings cast into the bars.

The Jesuit Expulsion of 1767 Facts
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Some Proofs of Jesuit Mining and Riches
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loyola and pope

" The cathedral church possesses an exceedingly rich treasure in its gold and silver church appointments.  In Spain and the Indies the prebendaries and other canons do not have their choir at the high altar.  Rather, not far from the church entrance is a large, high partition in front of their seats, and from the choir to the high altar for their sole use runs an aisle enclosed on both sides by railings.  These railings run through the entire cathedral church and are of the finest cast silver, each amounting to at least eight hundred weight.  The colossally large, silver hanging lamp inspires awe in all visitors.  It is more than eight feet across and is very thick and massively decorated.  The chains with finger-thick silver links are so heavy that when a ladder is leaned against them they do not move.  A man can quite comfortably walk around the edge of the lamp.  The decoration is rather ponderous, yet its manufacture by a goldsmith [sic] is supposed to have cost two thousand pesos.  I omit mention of the many thick, large silver candlesticks, monstrances, and ciboria of finest gold.  Suchlike are found in proportion and abundance in all churches, even those in the smallest villages for the glorious Divine service............"
Father Joseph Och SJ "Missionary in Sonora; the travel reports of Joseph Och, S.J., 1755-1767


I know. I know. Before anybody starts screaming that the Jesuits never operated any mines in the New World, I will say that I know that this is a very contentious subject. Let me also say that I am not attempting in any way to disparage the Catholic Church or the Order of Jesus. I am simply making (what seems to me) a simple argument that whatever their position, the Jesuits were miners. Plain and simple.

The official position of the Catholic Church and the Order of Jesus (Jesuits) is that they did not own nor operate mines of any kind in the New World (Pimeria Alta specifically for the purposes of this website). From time to time, though, different members of the clergy have let slip certain things that lead me to believe something different.

The official position of Mike McChesney is that there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that not only did the Jesuits own and operate mines in Pimeria Alta, but that mining of gold and silver was one of the reasons for the Jesuit Expulsion in 1767 (I'll explain that later). Below, are three pictures that explain a good bit of my belief in Jesuit Mining:

table of silver












The first picture is of a table full of silver bars that were brought into the United States by a Yaqui Indian in the early 1960s to sell. His story was that they were recovered from a mule train massacre in the early 1700s. Some of the silver ingots appeared destined for the Spanish Royal Coffers as they appear to have Spanish Coat of Arms stamped in them. The remaining ingots bear the names of several Spanish Jesuit Missions, Presidios, and prominent Jesuits (Padre Kino, Governor De Vargas).


silver bars









The picture of the preceeding silver bars was sent to me as just more evidence of Jesuit Mining activity. It is a bar honoring Padre Francisco Xavier Saeta, who was murdered in a Pima Indian uprising in 1695 at the Mission of Caborca (Once again, notice the Cross and "V").



These next two bars are are said to be from a Yaqui family in Mexico. They were supposedly given to the family by Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino shortly before his death in 1711. The story goes that they were handed down from generation to generation until 1947, when the last member of the family (a man named Donkey) needed money more than history. He sold them to a white man he befriended named Ray Kaplan. They remained property of Mr. Kaplan, and were displayed off and on in the Az. Mining & Minerals Museum as "Silver Trade Bars" (even though they contain 40% Gold) from 1947 until 2004, when Ray and the Museum Director assigned ownership to the current owner (an Engineer working for Boeing).


gold bar 1
gold bar 2













The Altar Bar weighs 72.7 Grams, and measures 41mm x 36mm x 5mm

ALTAR is in between The Tubutama Mission and the Oquitoa Mission on the ALTAR River. That is the meaning of the TWO mission symbols (cross over circle) on the bar. The "X" marks the spot of ALTAR (between Tubutama and Oquitoa Missions). The word peseta (meaning little piece) most likely does not refer to the Spanish Monetary Unit PESETA (which came about much later). Most likely, since the Jesuit Bars come in two sizes (about 2" X 4"rectangular and 2" X 2"square), that it refers to the smaller of the two sizes (little piece). Can't be certain though.

The Kino Bar weighs 72.1 Grams, and measures 61mm x 25mm x 5mm

This bar shows the date 1697. This was the date King Charles II gave the Jesuits free reign over Pimeria Alta (as long as they didn't take anything from the crown). This is a very important date to the Jesuits, and may or may not denote the actual casting date. The name KINO is also cast into the bar. Does this necessarily mean that THIS bar belonged to Padre Kino? No. It is most likely an homage to him because of his importance to the Jesuit Order. There are also the letters "S" and "F" cast into this bar. These denote the Saint of Pimeria Alta "San Francisco" Xavier. And lastly, the cross over the circle Spanish Map Symbol of a Mission (with a "V" inside denoting a Jesuit Mission).

Jesuit Mining

Forest Service Sign













Let's start with a quote from Professor W. Wrightson who was the General Agent for the Aztec Syndicate Mining Group. He was exploring the Santa Cruz River Valley looking for good mining sites. Now, I would think that a Mining Syndicate General Agent would be pretty well versed in most all aspects of mining operations. Pretty obvious to me. Let's hear what he says about one of the things he found when he visited the Mission Ruins at Tumacacori in 1860 (it was long abandoned by then):

"To the east of this square of sumptious residences was an oblong building, where the metallurgical operations were carried on. Here are still the remains of furnaces and quantities of slag, attesting the purpose for which this was formerly used."

Furnaces with slag are not indicative of lime or brick burning pits as stated by the NPS (National Park Service).

This quote is taken directly from the National Park Service Website on the Tumacacori Mission. You can read the full article here:

Interesting huh?

Both Padre Kino's and Capt. Manje's (who accompanied Kino on his journeys) Diaries speak of visiting mines. They don't specify who the owners were. There were a rash of Indian Revolts over the years, due to the Indians mistreatment at the hands of their new Lords.

It is a well known fact that the Jesuits TAUGHT MINING SCHOOLS in the New World. Now, if the Jesuits stuck by the letter of the law (according to Charles III, they were not allowed to mine), they would not have owned or operated any mines. We know the Jesuits wouldn't do anything against the King's Laws would they? Why did they get expelled from the New World. Some say because of something the Jesuits were doing in Europe. One person says it was because they were going to assist the Dutch in taking the New World from Spain. Others say it was because the Jesuits were becoming too powerful and wealthy. They had the loyalty of the Indians (at that time), and wealth that made Spanish Governors jealous. Were they just expelled? Did the King just send a letter saying "Get OUT!"? NOPE! King Charles III in 1767 sent a SECRET Envoy to quietly gather up all the Jesuit Priests and put them on a ship back to Europe.

Now, let's look at this a little closer. Why would the King want the priests' roundup to be kept a secret? Doesn't really make a lot of sense on the surface, if you believe that they had no mines. If the Jesuits were poor, what would be the need for secrecy? They couldn't run anywhere. They weren't being executed. Just kicked out of the New World, and sent home. Why the secrecy? No sense at all, UNLESS....................

You imagine for a moment that the Jesuits had mines in the far North of Pimeria Alta. Mines that were in direct conflict with the Jesuit agreement with the King. Seems to me the only SENSIBLE reason to keep the Jesuit roundups a secret, would be to grab them before they had a chance to do or hide something, or run away. As I have stated previously: They were not being executed, just shipped home. No reason to run there. Where would they run to? Further North, into the desert? Not likely. Once again, NO EXECUTIONS, just going home to Europe. Now, let's look at what they had to hide. Crops? Cattle? Converts? Those were all within their charter from the King. Nothing to hide there. Mines? Goes against the Kings Charter to the Jesuits. Large Scale mining operations, and none of the money going to the Crown would be a VERY GOOD reason to keep the Jesuit Roundups a secret. This way, the Spanish could catch the Jesuits before they had time to hide evidence of their mining operations. The King (after receiving reports of Jesuit mines), wanted to catch them with their pants down (so to speak). That is the ONLY good explanation I have ever heard for King Charles III to keep the rounding up of Jesuit Priests a secret. There were two problems in doing this: 1. The Jesuits had already been suppressed by Portugal, France, Austria, The Two Sicilies, and Parma beginning in 1758. PLENTY of warning. 2. the Indians liked the Jesuits more than they did the Spanish. When they saw the roundups in the Port Cities, they quickly sent word to the Missions farther inland. This resulted in the Padres in Pimeria Alta Inland Areas getting about a six week immediate forewarning, but knowing it was coming for a few years. Plenty of time to backfill and bury their mines.

If all that is so, then how is it that there is no written record of Jesuit Treasure? That is a very good question, but easily explainable. It had been a Jesuit Tradition not to put anything sensitive in plain writing. The Jesuits were mostly well educated in Mathematics and Geology. Most of the Earth Sciences we know today were founded by Jesuits. They were also the world's preeminent cryptographers. They were instructed to encode all their important or potentially embarrassing information. If you were doing something highly illegal (Jesuits operating gold and silver mines in New Spain was HIGHLY ILLEGAL), and your only method of communication was via handwritten letters carried on horseback, would YOU take the chance of having that information fall into the wrong hands? Not if you have more than a couple of brain cells in your head!


*****NEW 9/11/12*****

Well............ saying that there is nothing written isn't quite true, is it? Take a look at the two articles below. they are both from 1891. I have the same articles also in both the 1891 Canadian Law Review and 1891 New York Times. Enjoy!


Bay of Plenty Times (29 Jul 1891)


The West Australian (3 Sept 1891)

So, if we were to listen to the Jesuit Order, they would have us believe that they possessed no material wealth. Individually, I believe that to be absolutely true. As an Order of the Catholic Church, it is blatantly untrue. Just refer back to the earlier quote of Saint Ignatius Loyola in which he states that given the choice, people would rather pray in a well appointed and splendidly adorned church. The head scratcher for me is that the Jesuit Order was restored in 1814. Is it possible they knew that vast wealth was hidden in those tunnels for 77 years, and couldn't find a way to recover it? Since so many of the Jesuit Fathers died in transit to Europe from the New World after their arrests, the one or two people that knew about the treasure died without being able to reveal their secret? A head scratcher for certain.

From this point, we move on to an entirely new (and secret) world of ciphers, markers, sun, and shadow signs. See, not only did the Jesuits (and Spanish for that matter) use ciphers to hide the true meanings of their correspondence, they hid their mines, vaults, and trails within a system of encoded maps, rock formations, and trail markers. Many of these will be demonstrated and explained in another section.