German sociologist Gabriele Kuby has been warning the public about threats to society and dangers to the Catholic Faith for years. She has warned of the excesses of the cultural revolution of 1968, offered a critique of the ideology of feminism, and warned of the destructive effects of the sexual revolution. But what makes her especially qualified to speak about such matters is that she herself was a revolutionary soixante-huitard before converting to the Catholic Faith in 1997.
Born in Konstanz, Germany, in 1944, Kuby studied sociology in Berlin and completed her Master’s degree in Konstanz under Ralf Dahrendorf in the late 1960s. For several decades before her conversion, she dabbled in esoteric material and worked as a translator and interpreter. Her first book, Mein Weg zu Maria—Von der Kraft lebendigen Glaubens (My Way to Maria—by the Power of the Living Faith), published by Bertelsmann Verlag in 1998, is a diary of her encounter with Christ and her life-changing conversion.
Since then she has published ten other books about faith and spirituality, the 1968 cultural revolution, feminism, gender and sexuality, and how to find hope through a reaffirmation of Christian values.
Kuby is a frequent lecturer in Germany and around Europe, and has written for numerous print and on-line publications in Europe, including the Die Tagespost in Germany, Vatican Magazin in Germany, and www.kath.net. She has also been a guest on talk shows aired by German public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF, as well as global television network EWTN.
In 2012, Kuby’s latest book, Die globale sexuelle Revolution: Zerstörung der Freiheit im Namen der Freiheit (The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom), was published by Fe-Medienverlag in 2012. Recently, she spoke with Catholic World Report about her book, her work, and today’s dangerous challenges to the Faith.
CWR: What has most influenced your intellectual development?
Gabriele Kuby: My lifelong search for truth. My father, Erich Kuby, was a left-wing writer and journalist. That set me on the path of the 1968 student rebellion and eventually led to the study of sociology in West Berlin. But to me, neither Communism nor feminism, nor the sexual revolution, was convincing—especially given the gap between human reality and the ideals proclaimed by these groups. So I soon moved on.
After a direct experience of God in 1973, I began to search for God on paths where you can’t find Him: esoterics and psychology. For twenty years I worked as a translator in these fields. And I moved through the ideological currents of our time—which made it very difficult to walk through the door of the Church and discover the treasures she offers. But eventually, in 1997, I did. Since then, I have been writing books on spiritual matters and socio-political issues.
CWR: Last September, you published The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom.Why did you write this book? What has been the response?
Gabriele Kuby: After my conversion, it became increasingly clear to me that the deregulation of sexual norms is at the front lines of today’s cultural war. So, in 2006, I published my first book on the topic: Gender Revolution: Relativism in Action. This was, in fact, one of the first books to shed light on a hidden agenda.
As I continued to watch developments in our society, I felt a need to show the whole picture. This is what I have tried to do in The Global Sexual Revolution.
The book has had three editions within a few months, although the mainstream media have ignored it. In German we have the expression totschweigen, which means “silencing something to death.” But it doesn’t seem to have worked! The book has been published in Poland and Croatia, and will be published in Hungary and Slovakia this autumn. And there are ongoing negotiations with publishers in other countries, too.
On September 31, 2012, I had the privilege of putting the book into the hands of Pope Benedict XVI, who then said to me, “Thank God that you speak and write.” This is a great encouragement!
CWR: What is the main message of the book?
Gabriele Kuby: That the deregulation of sexual norms leads to the destruction of culture. Why? Because, as established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the family is the basic unit of society—and it needs some basic moral conditions in which to thrive.
But children—brought up today in a hyper-sexualized society in which they themselves are sexualized by the entertainment industry, the media, and mandatory school programs—are increasingly unable to become mature adults that are up to the demands of marriage, and the obligations of responsible fatherhood and motherhood.
Furthermore, such a hyper-sexualized society cannot do without contraception and abortion. And the outcome of all this is the “culture of death,” a term coined by John Paul II.
CWR: Your book is subtitled, The Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom. What do you mean by that?
Gabriele Kuby: In the wake of the dictatorships of the 20th century, and after a few centuries of the philosophical glorification of the individual, the highest value in our time is “freedom.” The deregulation of sexual norms has been “sold” to people as part of this freedom.
But what happens if you do not control and master the sexual drive? You become a slave of that powerful drive—a sex addict who is constantly on the prowl for sexual satisfaction. And as Plato already showed 2,400 years ago, this leads to tyranny.
Of course, this is all a rather complex process. But a simple thought can make it readily apparent: If people live in a culture where they lose sight of self-giving love—and, instead, use each other for sexual satisfaction—they will use others for anything that satisfies their needs. The only limits will be determined by how much power an individual has. And the ensuing social chaos produced by such sexual deregulation eventually calls for ever more control by the state.
CWR: But doesn’t real freedom mean being able to live without any rules, norms, mores, or laws?
Gabriele Kuby: Freedom is, indeed, a fundamental human value. The freedom of the will is one of the essential differences between man and animals. Even God respects our freedom and allows us to destroy ourselves—and our world.
But freedom can only be realized if it is related to truth—the truth of man, the truth of the relationship, the truth of the situation. Jesus says “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Freedom depends on people who take responsibility for the consequences of their actions on themselves and on others.
In every society, the achievement and preservation of freedom is a battle that can only be fought by mature human beings—people who have realized an inner freedom within themselves. The idea that “freedom” means the ability to do what we like is adequate for a three-year-old child but not for those beyond that age.
CWR: In Chapter XV, you say: “Man is born an egoist. But he must be taught virtue.” Can you elaborate on this?
Gabriele Kuby: A new-born baby cries when he feels any dissatisfaction; and for a year or two, parents should, as best they can, give the baby the experience of Paradise: immediate and total satisfaction. But very soon, as the child grows up, he leaves that Paradise and has to learn that there are other people around him who also have needs, and that there is good and bad in the world—this, the child knows intrinsically.
This means that the ability to choose good requires self-control—and the ability to renounce small satisfactions in order to achieve a greater aim. Sociologists call this a “deferred gratification pattern.” But it must be learned or taught in children. And more than anything else, children learn from the example of their parents, whatever that example may be. Lucky are those children who learn virtue by the virtuous example of their parents.
CWR: You make extensive references to Aldous Huxley’s 1931 classic, Brave New World. Why?
Gabriele Kuby: It’s amazing to read Huxley’s prophetic work today! In Brave New World, people are produced in bottles; they are collectively conditioned to be “happy” by the media and psycho-pharmaceuticals; children entertain themselves with sex, like everybody else; and everything is controlled by “Ford (Our Lord).”
While Huxley had originally conceived of his utopia 600 years into the future, by 1949 he saw it happening within a century. At that time there was no artificial insemination, no prenatal selection, no surrogate mothers, no genetic manipulation, no “parent 1” and “parent 2.” But it took less than fifty years for all that “progress” to occur!
For Huxley, there was no reason why the new totalitarianism should resemble the old. He was aware that a dictator will give more sexual freedom—the more political and economic freedom is restricted. He knew that the real revolution happens “in the souls and bodies of people.”
CWR: How is it that human beings have gained so many new rights but have also lost so much dignity?
Gabriele Kuby: We have not created ourselves nor can we create life. If we lose awareness that we have received our life from God, and that He has made us in His image and endowed us with an immortal soul, then we lose our dignity. And Man then succumbs to the temptation of “improving” man through genetic manipulation, and by discarding human beings at the beginning and end of life ad libitum.
We protect the copyrights of authors with quite fierce laws. Let us also protect the copyright of God for the creation of man. It could save us from many man-made problems.
CWR: So are we in a crisis–of civilization, of the family, or of belief? Where do its roots lie?
Gabriele Kuby: Sometimes at my talks I ask the audience to raise their hands if they think life for our children will be better, say, thirty years from now. Hardly any hands go up. We have this strange phenomenon in which people feel the crisis we are in, but they largely seem to be blind to the evil that brings it about.
The cultural revolution of 1968 brought many ideas and social movements to their apogee. It attacked the Christian values to which the European culture owes its amazing flourishing—that is, its family-sustaining values, which even the Nazis and the Communists were unable to eradicate completely.
CWR: Can you elaborate on the significance of the 1968 cultural revolution?
Gabriele Kuby: The cultural revolution of 1968, brought about by the well-groomed bourgeois student generation of that time who had nothing to complain about, united three revolutionary impulses. First, young people became enthralled with Communist theory at a time when Berlin was divided by a wall and Russian tanks had rolled into Prague. Second, they also followed the call of radical feminist Simone de Beauvoir and others “to get out of the slavery of motherhood” and, above all, propagated—and lived—“sexual liberation.” Finally, there was a philosophical impulse that came from the Frankfurter School, which was made up of people like Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse.
The poisonous temptation was: If you “liberate” your sexuality—that is, if you tear down all moral restrictions—you can build a society free of repression. For more simple—and hippie—minds, this was condensed into the slogan, “Make love, not war (and take drugs).”
The academically trained generation of 1968 realized that they could not mobilize the masses, least of all the “proletariat,” so they set out to “march through the institutions.” And this actually brought them into eventual positions of power in politics, media, the universities, and the judiciary.
The goals of 1968 are now being realized through institutions like the United Nations and the European Union, and through left-wing—and even some “conservative”—governments, in unison with the powerful support of the mainstream media.
CWR: The Brussels-based analyst Marguerite Peeters has also written about the globalization of this revolution. How is this happening?
Gabriele Kuby: Marguerite A. Peeters' 2007 book The Globalization of the Western Cultural Revolution was an eye-opener to me. I focus on the core of this revolution, which involves the deregulation of the moral norms of sexuality.
This global sexual revolution is now being carried out by power elites. These include international organizations like the United Nations and the European Union, with their web of inscrutable sub-organizations; global corporations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft; the big foundations like Rockefeller and Guggenheim; extremely rich individuals like Bill and Melinda Gates, Ted Turner, Georges Soros, and Warren Buffett; and non-governmental organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
All of these actors operate at the highest levels of power with huge financial resources. And they all share one interest: to reduce population growth on this planet. Abortion, contraception, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) agenda, the destruction of the family—all serve this one aim.
However, this doesn’t satisfactorily explain why, for example, an ideologue like American theorist Judith Butler—who wants to destroy the identity of man and woman in order to undermine society through a political strategy of “gender mainstreaming”—is considered a philosopher laureate by these elites. But it perhaps does suggest a hidden agenda of the new world order.
CWR: What exactly is “gender mainstreaming”?
Gabriele Kuby: The term “gender” was introduced into official documents at the UN’s International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 held in Cairo, Egypt, and at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 held in Beijing, China. The idea was to create the linguistic vehicle for a new ideology. “Gender” was to replace the term “sex” in the sense of referring to the binary sexual order of man and woman. Then radical feminist ideas and the LGBT agenda united and gave birth to the idea of “gender mainstreaming.”
The term “gender” implies that a person’s sexual identity need not necessarily be identical to that person’s biological sex. It breaks down the binary male-female sexual nature of human beings.
This dissolution of the binary sexual nature of man and woman serves two primary purposes: First, it aims to destroy the so-called “gender hierarchy” between man and woman. In other words, there are—according to gender theory—not two but many gender identities, which can include lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transsexual men and women. Second, it aims to dissolve heterosexuality as the norm. This gender-based conception of man and woman aims to enter the mainstream of society—and, indeed, this is already happening at an incredible speed !
CWR: What role does pornography play in what you have diagnosed?
Gabriele Kuby: Pornography plays a huge part in the revolution. Maybe it is a kind of male revenge for the feminist war against men. People who drug themselves regularly with pornography lose sight of love, the family, the ability to become a father and mother. They become addicted and many end up on a slippery slope into the criminal use of sex. The alarming fact is that pornography has become “normal” for young people: 20% of teenage boys in Germany look at pornography daily; 42% view it once a week. What kind of people will they become?
It is hard to understand why the EU fights so aggressively against pollution through smoking but not against pollution through pornography. The latter is more serious because it destroys the family. One cannot get rid of the images in one’s mind, even if one wants to.
CWR: In Chapter V, you focus on the Yogyakarta Principles. What are they?
Gabriele Kuby: The Yogyakarta Principles [on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity] were formulated by a group of so-called human rights experts meeting in the Indonesia town of Yogyakarta. They were then presented to the world in March 2007 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
This media event gave the world the impression that it was an official UN document. It is not! But if you do a quick search on the internet, you will be amazed to see how many governments, parties, and organizations are behind it.
I devoted a whole chapter to this document because it clearly illustrates the totalitarian drive of the LGBT agenda. For example, Principle 29 calls for the establishment of “independent and effective institutions and procedures to monitor the formulation and enforcement of laws and policies to ensure the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” This means that a super-structure above the level of the nation-state should be established to reorganize and control the whole of society towards the privileges of the LGBT movement.
I urge people to take a minute and read the Yogyakarta Principles—or at least just this one Principle 29—in order to get a sense of the document’s totalitarian agenda.
CWR: Values like tolerance and diversity seem to have been appropriated to further this agenda.
Gabriele Kuby: The essential values of our time—freedom, justice, equality, non-discrimination, tolerance, dignity, and human rights—have been abused, distorted and manipulated by the cultural revolutionaries.
In much the same way that an embryo is manipulated, the nucleus or core has been taken out of these honorable concepts and filled with something entirely new. One of the chapters in my book is called “The Political Rape of Language” and it considers this phenomenon.
We must remember that the function of language is to communicate truth. So it is, in fact, very dangerous to corrupt language in the service of political mass manipulation. Throughout history, every totalitarian system has corrupted language in their efforts to manipulate people. Recall that the main Russian newspaper was called Pravda or “truth.” Sadly, in today’s media age, the opportunities to do this are much more sophisticated.
CWR: Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre has written that concepts like virtue, beauty, and truth have lost their meaning in the modern world. How can we talk of such things in a world in which they are no longer understood?
Gabriele Kuby: I don’t believe they are not understood. The problem is the cultural revolution which aims at destroying their content—and our cowardliness in failing to stand up for them.
The very reason why the LGBT movement is becoming more totalitarian is that it recognizes that man has a conscience, that man yearns for love, and that he seeks truth, beauty, and goodness. Therefore, everything which tends to wake up man’s conscience must be eliminated.
Thus, children must be programmed and sexualized in kindergarten so that they may lose their natural ability to distinguish between good and evil, and lose their natural inner orientation towards the good.
CWR: John Paul II never shied away from speaking of the sexual nature of man and the beauty of the conjugal union. How do you understand his vision?
Gabriele Kuby: John Paul II gave the Church a great treasure with his “Theology of the Body,” and with the wealth of encyclicals and letters concerning the integrated vision of the human person—in body, soul, and spirit. In this time of great confusion, his is a light that shines into our minds, our hearts, our bedrooms.
If God is love, and if we are called to be fellow citizens for God (Ephesians 2:19), then it follows that in this life we need to learn to love. The most intimate and all-encompassing expression of that love is the sexual union of man and woman out of which a new human being can arise.
The modern world has reduced this sexual union to bodily satisfaction, and in so doing, it has separated body and soul. We already have a word for the permanent separation of body and soul—that is ‘death.’ By reducing sex to the level of the body—that is, the animal level—we have created a “culture of death.”
We need to re-learn that sex is an expression of self-giving, of life-giving love. This would lead to a recovery of our terribly sick society.
CWR: What is the “new anthropology” that you mention in Chapter X?
Gabriele Kuby: Pope Benedict XVI gave a very enlightening speech as part of his Christmas Greetings to the Curia and the Cardinals on December 21, 2012. He spoke then of the “anthropological revolution” of our time, pointing to the “attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family” in the form of a false understanding of man’s sexual nature.
If man denies that he is created as man and woman in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and that his sex is a “given element of nature,” and that he is called to love and to give life, then the root of human existence is being destroyed. The “new anthropology” refers to this conception of man.
CWR: How would you describe yourself? Do you consider yourself a cultural critic, an intellectual historian, or a sociologist of religion?
Gabriele Kuby: People keep calling me a “prophet.” But I don’t, of course, compare myself with such giants—and I don’t particularly like the way they normally died! But as far as the inner obligation goes to speak the truth, no matter what, I feel I am part of their extended family.
CWR: How should faithful Christians respond to the global sexual revolution?
Gabriele Kuby: That, of course, is the big question for each and every one of us. Whether we like it or not, each of us must tidy up our own sexual life and order it according to the call for true, faithful, life-giving love. If we don’t, we will not see clearly—and we will have no motivation or power to participate in the ongoing battle. It is a battle for the dignity of man, for the family, for our children, for the future. Ultimately, it is a battle for the Kingdom of God.
God wants us to live. Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). There are many encouraging developments in Europe—stories of resistance to the global sexual revolution coming out of France, Lithuania, Russia, Hungary, Norway, and Croatia. But we need a strong, courageous movement in every country of people who are still able to recognize that 2 + 2 = 4; that is: that the eradication of sexual norms destroys the person, the family, and the culture.
CWR: Do you think we can succeed?
Gabriele Kuby: Let us not worry about success. We are working for a good cause now; our lives are worthwhile. The ultimate success is in the hands of God.