The Careerists

July 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.

Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function. If insurance companies abandon tens of millions of sick to suffer and die, so be it. If banks and sheriff departments toss families out of their homes, so be it. If financial firms rob citizens of their savings, so be it. If the government shuts down schools and libraries, so be it. If the military murders children in Pakistan or Afghanistan, so be it. If commodity speculators drive up the cost of rice and corn and wheat so that they are unaffordable for hundreds of millions of poor across the planet, so be it. If Congress and the courts strip citizens of basic civil liberties, so be it. If the fossil fuel industry turns the earth into a broiler of greenhouse gases that doom us, so be it. They serve the system. The god of profit and exploitation. The most dangerous force in the industrialized world does not come from those who wield radical creeds, whether Islamic radicalism or Christian fundamentalism, but from legions of faceless bureaucrats who claw their way up layered corporate and governmental machines. They serve any system that meets their pathetic quota of needs.

These systems managers believe nothing. They have no loyalty. They are rootless. They do not think beyond their tiny, insignificant roles. They are blind and deaf. They are, at least regarding the great ideas and patterns of human civilization and history, utterly illiterate. And we churn them out of universities. Lawyers. Technocrats. Business majors. Financial managers. IT specialists. Consultants. Petroleum engineers. “Positive psychologists.” Communications majors. Cadets. Sales representatives. Computer programmers. Men and women who know no history, know no ideas. They live and think in an intellectual vacuum, a world of stultifying minutia. They are T.S. Eliot’s “the hollow men,” “the stuffed men.” “Shape without form, shade without colour,” the poet wrote. “Paralysed force, gesture without motion.”

It was the careerists who made possible the genocides, from the extermination of Native Americans to the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians to the Nazi Holocaust to Stalin’s liquidations. They were the ones who kept the trains running. They filled out the forms and presided over the property confiscations. They rationed the food while children starved. They manufactured the guns. They ran the prisons. They enforced travel bans, confiscated passports, seized bank accounts and carried out segregation. They enforced the law. They did their jobs.

Political and military careerists, backed by war profiteers, have led us into useless wars, including World War I, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. And millions followed them. Duty. Honor. Country. Carnivals of death. They sacrifice us all. In the futile battles of Verdun and the Somme in World War I, 1.8 million on both sides were killed, wounded or never found. In July of 1917 British Field Marshal Douglas Haig, despite the seas of dead, doomed even more in the mud of Passchendaele. By November, when it was clear his promised breakthrough at Passchendaele had failed, he jettisoned the initial goal—as we did in Iraq when it turned out there were no weapons of mass destruction and in Afghanistan when al-Qaida left the country—and opted for a simple war of attrition. Haig “won” if more Germans than allied troops died. Death as score card. Passchendaele took 600,000 more lives on both sides of the line before it ended. It is not a new story. Generals are almost always buffoons. Soldiers followed John the Blind, who had lost his eyesight a decade earlier, to resounding defeat at the Battle of Crécy in 1337 during the Hundred Years War. We discover that leaders are mediocrities only when it is too late.

David Lloyd George, who was the British prime minister during the Passchendaele campaign, wrote in his memoirs: “[Before the battle of Passchendaele] the Tanks Corps Staff prepared maps to show how a bombardment which obliterated the drainage would inevitably lead to a series of pools, and they located the exact spots where the waters would gather. The only reply was a peremptory order that they were to ‘Send no more of these ridiculous maps.’ Maps must conform to plans and not plans to maps. Facts that interfered with plans were impertinencies.”

Here you have the explanation of why our ruling elites do nothing about climate change, refuse to respond rationally to economic meltdown and are incapable of coping with the collapse of globalization and empire. These are circumstances that interfere with the very viability and sustainability of the system. And bureaucrats know only how to serve the system. They know only the managerial skills they ingested at West Point or Harvard Business School. They cannot think on their own. They cannot challenge assumptions or structures. They cannot intellectually or emotionally recognize that the system might implode. And so they do what Napoleon warned was the worst mistake a general could make—paint an imaginary picture of a situation and accept it as real. But we blithely ignore reality along with them. The mania for a happy ending blinds us. We do not want to believe what we see. It is too depressing. So we all retreat into collective self-delusion.

In Claude Lanzmann’s monumental documentary film “Shoah,” on the Holocaust, he interviews Filip Müller, a Czech Jew who survived the liquidations in Auschwitz as a member of the “special detail.” Müller relates this story:

“One day in 1943 when I was already in Crematorium 5, a train from Bialystok arrived. A prisoner on the ‘special detail’ saw a woman in the ‘undressing room’ who was the wife of a friend of his. He came right out and told her: ‘You are going to be exterminated. In three hours you’ll be ashes.’ The woman believed him because she knew him. She ran all over and warned to the other women. ‘We’re going to be killed. We’re going to be gassed.’ Mothers carrying their children on their shoulders didn’t want to hear that. They decided the woman was crazy. They chased her away. So she went to the men. To no avail. Not that they didn’t believe her. They’d heard rumors in the Bialystok ghetto, or in Grodno, and elsewhere. But who wanted to hear that? When she saw that no one would listen, she scratched her whole face. Out of despair. In shock. And she started to scream.”

Blaise Pascal wrote in “Pensées,” “We run heedlessly into the abyss after putting something in front of us to stop us from seeing it.”

Hannah Arendt, in writing “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” noted that Adolf Eichmann was primarily motivated by “an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement.” He joined the Nazi Party because it was a good career move. “The trouble with Eichmann,” she wrote, “was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal.”

“The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else,” Arendt wrote. “No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such.”

Gitta Sereny makes the same point in her book “Into That Darkness,” about Franz Stangl, the commandant of Treblinka. The assignment to the SS was a promotion for the Austrian policeman. Stangl was not a sadist. He was soft-spoken and polite. He loved his wife and children very much. Unlike most Nazi camp officers, he did not take Jewish women as concubines. He was efficient and highly organized. He took pride in having received an official commendation as the “best camp commander in Poland.” Prisoners were simply objects. Goods. “That was my profession,” he said. “I enjoyed it. It fulfilled me. And yes, I was ambitious about that, I won’t deny it.” When Sereny asked Stangl how as a father he could kill children, he answered that he “rarely saw them as individuals. It was always a huge mass. … [T]hey were naked, packed together, running, being driven with whips. …” He later told Sereny that when he read about lemmings it reminded him of Treblinka.

Christopher Browning’s collection of essays, “The Path to Genocide,” notes that it was the “moderate,” “normal” bureaucrats, not the zealots, who made the Holocaust possible. Germaine Tillion pointed out “the tragic easiness [during the Holocaust] with which ‘decent’ people could become the most callous executioners without seeming to notice what was happening to them.” The Russian novelist Vasily Grossman in his book “Forever Flowing” observed that “the new state did not require holy apostles, fanatic, inspired builders, faithful, devout disciples. The new state did not even require servants—just clerks.”

“The most nauseating type of S.S. were to me personally the cynics who no longer genuinely believed in their cause, but went on collecting blood guilt for its own sake,” wrote Dr. Ella Lingens-Reiner in “Prisoners of Fear,” her searing memoir of Auschwitz. “Those cynics were not always brutal to the prisoners, their behavior changed with their mood. They took nothing seriously—neither themselves nor their cause, neither us nor our situation. One of the worst among them was Dr. Mengele, the Camp Doctor I have mentioned before. When a batch of newly arrived Jews was being classified into those fit for work and those fit for death, he would whistle a melody and rhythmically jerk his thumb over his right or his left shoulder—which meant ‘gas’ or ‘work.’ He thought conditions in the camp rotten, and even did a few things to improve them, but at the same time he committed murder callously, without any qualms.”

These armies of bureaucrats serve a corporate system that will quite literally kill us. They are as cold and disconnected as Mengele. They carry out minute tasks. They are docile. Compliant. They obey. They find their self-worth in the prestige and power of the corporation, in the status of their positions and in their career promotions. They assure themselves of their own goodness through their private acts as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. They sit on school boards. They go to Rotary. They attend church. It is moral schizophrenia. They erect walls to create an isolated consciousness. They make the lethal goals of ExxonMobil or Goldman Sachs or Raytheon or insurance companies possible. They destroy the ecosystem, the economy and the body politic and turn workingmen and -women into impoverished serfs. They feel nothing. Metaphysical naiveté always ends in murder. It fragments the world. Little acts of kindness and charity mask the monstrous evil they abet. And the system rolls forward. The polar ice caps melt. The droughts rage over cropland. The drones deliver death from the sky. The state moves inexorably forward to place us in chains. The sick die. The poor starve. The prisons fill. And the careerist, plodding forward, does his or her job.

Source: Chris Hedges | Truthdig

Zion’s Zealots: A Book Review and Nailing of Christian Fundamentalism

November 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Many American Christian Evangelicals interpreted the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the return of the Jews to the Hebrews ancient homeland as a precondition for the Second Coming of Christ.

Millions of Americans believe in the theology espoused in the “Left Behind” series of novels that chronicle apocalyptic times set in the 21st century that winds up in Israel where, according to the author’s understanding of the Book of Revelation, the final battle in the world will be fought on an ancient battlefield called Armageddon. These literalists believe that war will be followed by seven years of global tribulation before Jesus returns to begin a 1,000-year rule on earth; but the Jews and all others who do not believe Jesus is God will be annihilated.

The bottom and nearly the last line in the book of Revelation is this warning:

“I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.

These fundamentalists also believe that the only Jews who are following God are the hard line Jewish fundamentalist settlers who occupy legally owned Palestinian property in the West Bank and who were evacuated from Gaza in 2005. The Jewish settlers and Christian fundamentalists share the core conviction that God made a real estate deal with the ancient Hebrews that gives 21st century Jews every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, and the Mediterranean.

My first book, KEEP HOPE ALIVE counters the theology found in the Left Behind series and the fictional character, Brother Harold nails this particular fundamentalist misunderstanding in Chapter 8

Harold lifted his almost empty pouch of Crown Royal and exclaimed, “Let’s toast the man, and then I’ll tell you what my daddy told me when I was a kid, when my brothers and I would get out of hand. He’d say, ‘boys, you all are going the way of Cain and Abel, and you’d better quit. For one of those boys was filled with so much hatred and jealousy that he killed the other.’

“Then my old man would be on a roll, and he’d tell us about Sarah, Abraham’s wife. And we loved to hear that part, so we’d quit our fight. You see, although Sarah was already menopaused, she still desired a child. God had even shared a laugh with her about it coming true, but just like a woman, she took the matter into her own hands, and refused to wait for the Lord to deliver. So old Sarah decided to give her maidservant to her old man, and that chick and Abraham made a kid. Everything was fine when Ishmael arrived, but only for a very short while.

“Now, although Sarah was a dried-up old crone, she, too, birthed a son, and named him after the laughter she had shared with God, but called the kid Isaac. Sarah had gotten very territorial and demanded Abraham cast out his beloved first son with his mama Haggar, into the barren wilderness, and Abraham did it! But, as God always hears the cries of mothers and sons, he promised to make a great nation from Ishmael’s descendants, too. And thus, the Arab nation was born.

“By the sixth century before Christ, the conflicts in the land were already old news, and Jeremiah warned the people that all God could see was violence and destruction in the city. Sickness and wounds were all around.

“And then my old man would get tears in his eyes and softly recite:

“For every misunderstanding, every condemning thought, every negative vibration, every tear torn from a heart, every time one grabbed and wouldn’t let go, and they only did it because they did not know. The Divine is within all creation and within all women and men.

“And every tiny kindness you have ever done, every gentle word spoken, every time you held your tongue, every positive thought, every smile freely given, every helping hand that opens, helps bring in the kingdom. And the kingdom comes from above, and it comes from within. Imagine a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men.”

Dr. Rev. Stephen Sizer is an Anglican priest from the UK and internationally recognized Biblical authority regarding Christian Zionism.

In ZION’S CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS? Sizer sheds much needed light on how Jesus/The Prince of Peace- who commanded of his followers that they must forgive their enemies and love all people equally- has morphed into a militant crusader by many professing Christians.

Sizer’s timely focus on the Holy Land, in particular Jerusalem, The Temple and the future of the world juxtaposed with the current political climate and neo-con ideology could wake up many American Christians who have been led astray by the heretical teachings of John Hagee, Hal Lindsay and Tim LaHaye.

The vast majority of American Christians are unaware that since 1948, the indigenous Christian population of the land we call Holy has gone from 20% of the total population to less than 1.3% today.

Scholars and researches claim that unless things change asap, there will be no Christian witness in the land where Jesus promised that it is the Peacemakers who are the children of God by 2020!

“It is irresponsible to suggest that God will bless us materially if we support the largely secular State of Israel, especially when this invariably means ignoring the plight of the indigenous Christian population of Palestine.”-page 46, Zion’s Christian Soldiers

Sizer’s previous book Christian Zionism-Road Map to Armageddon? is the companion text to ZION’S CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS? which details how a cultish escapist theology fused with neo-con political ideology which has lead millions of US Christians astray as it tips the world on its side heavy with military artillery.

“Zion’s Christian Soldiers” utilizes easy to comprehend diagrams and thought provoking end of chapter questions that could help bring American Bible Study programs into the 21st Century and infuse them with a much needed breath of fresh air.

Having been to Israel Palestine seven times since June 2005, I highly recommend Sizer’s scholarly yet easy to comprehend work to all Christians who have the courage to face reality and reclaim the gospel Jesus taught which is The Peacemakers are the children of God.

Sizer’s struggle is also intended to provoke Christians to remember that the Prince of Peace is the fulfillment of the Hebrew scriptures as fundamentalist militant minded Christians have replaced Jesus with the state of Israel.

On 23 November 2011, Stephen Sizer wrote:

After extensive field use, I’ve pruned and, I hope, enhanced the Seven Biblical Answers leaflet. I have removed verses used twice and added two illustrations. I hope you find this useful.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Sizer
Christ Church Vicarage
Virginia Water,
GU25 4LD

What follows is an excerpt from Sizer’s Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions can be downloaded here:

God blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who curse Israel

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3). The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ… There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:16, 28-29)

“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore… and through your seed all nations on earth will be blessed…” (Genesis 22:17-18)

This popular assumption is based on Genesis 12:3. First, note that the promise was made to Abram (that is, Abraham) and no one else. Second, there is nothing in the text to indicate God intended the promise to apply to Abraham’s physical descendants unconditionally, or in perpetuity. Third, in the New Testament we are told explicitly that the promises were fulfilled in Jesus Christ and in those who acknowledge Him as their Lord and Saviour. God’s blessings come by grace through faith, not by works or race (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The “Promised Land” was given by God to the Jewish people as an everlasting inheritance

Contrary to popular assumption, the Scriptures repeatedly insist that the land belongs to God and that residence is always conditional.

For example, God said to his people, “‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.” (Leviticus 25:23). In Ezekiel, it seems the Lord anticipated the reasoning of those who arrogantly claimed rights to the land because of the covenant originally made with Abraham.

“Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land? You rely on your sword, you do detestable things… Should you then possess the land?’ … I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end.’ (Ezekiel 33:24-26,28-29)

Residence was open to all God’s people on the basis of faith not race. Indeed, the writer to Hebrews explains that the land was never their ultimate desire or inheritance any way but a temporary residence until the coming of Jesus Christ. Our shared eternal inheritance is heavenly not earthly.

Jerusalem is the exclusive and undivided, eternal capital of the Jewish people

The Christian Zionist assertion that God intended Jerusalem to be the exclusive and undivided eternal capital of the Jewish people has no basis whatsoever in Scripture. God insists in Psalm 87 that Jerusalem must be a shared and inclusive city. Nations specifically mentioned include what is today, Egypt, Iran and Lebanon. Even the hated Philistines are mentioned as “…born in Zion” on the basis of faith not race. Likewise, the vision of Isaiah 2 associates Jerusalem with the end of war, with peace and reconciliation.

“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” (Isaiah 2:2-3)

But what of Luke 21:24, “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”? The assertion that this prophecy came true in 1967 is problematic since Revelation 11:2 says the Gentile ‘trampling’ of Jerusalem would last only ’42 months’. The context of Luke 21 shows Jesus was referring to the events of 70AD and God’s sovereign use of foreign tyrants to fulfil his purposes. The focus of the New Testament instead moves away from the earthly Jerusalem toward the new, heavenly Jerusalem as the home of all who trust in Jesus (Hebrews 12:22-23; Revelation 21:2; 22-27).

Believers will soon be ‘raptured’ to heaven before the ‘end-time’ battle of Armageddon

The rapture is a popular idea that Jesus will actually return twice: first of all secretly, to rescue true believers out of the world, then later visibly with his saints to judge the world. There is, again, no basis in Scripture for this novel idea. The Bible is emphatic: the return of Jesus will be personal, sudden, public, visible and glorious. -Matthew 24:30-31

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the peoples of the earth[a] will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”- 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The idea of a secret rapture is actually based on a misreading of Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-35…Our mandate is to be peacemakers not widow makers (Matthew 5:3-10). We are ‘God’s co-workers’ entrusted as ambassadors with a ministry of reconciliation not speculation (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2)…###

A recent Zogby International poll found that 31% of those surveyed in the national poll strongly believe or somewhat believe in the ideas behind Christian Zionism, defined as “the belief that Jews must have all of the promised land, including all of Jerusalem, to facilitate the second coming of the messiah.”

A CNN/Time poll showed that 59% of the American public believes the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation will come true.

Christian Zionism is an extremist Christian fundamentalist movement which supports the claims of those who believe that the State of Israel should take control of all of the land currently disputed between Palestinians and Israelis and views the creation and expansion of the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy toward the second coming of Jesus.

Christian Zionism is a two hundred year old theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel.

The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.

Christian Zionism is also an escapist theology and a match made in hell for neo-con ideology.

These Christians believe that God fights on the side of Israel and they call for unqualified support for the most extreme right wing political positions related to the Holy Land. Christian Zionism has significant support within American Protestant fundamentalists, who number between 10 and 20 million. Its reach is broad, by virtue of its favorite themes related to the “End Times” and an Israel-fixated Christian media.

Christian Zionism is both a “movement” and a way of interpreting current events. Its focus is on Israel and the Middle East, as much an ideology as a “movement.” Its promoters share many beliefs but are not organized through any one institution.

Throughout history Christians have at times twisted scripture to justify violence: for the Crusades, for Anti-Semitism, and for slavery. Too often the church has been neglected to respond to these biblical distortions and with disastrous results.

Although the Christian Zionists motives are couched in terms of compassion toward the Jewish people based on a literal reading of scripture their political agenda of territorial expansion Zionists has allowed the ongoing injustices against Palestinians.

Tikkun is Hebrew for mend, repair and transform the world. Tikkun is also an organization that researched to discover that there are three distinct elements energizing the Christian Zionists:

1. A strong commitment to conservative and ultra-nationalist American politics (so strong, I believe, that if the U.S. were to decide to break with Israel, this part of the Christian Zionist leadership would go along with that and drop its defense of Israeli policies).

2. Dispensationalist religious commitments that lead many of the Christian Zionists to yearn for a cataclysmic “end of history” eschatological war in the Middle East that will precipitate the second coming of Jesus and the Rapture in which all true Christians will go to heaven and all Jews who have not yet converted to Christianity will burn in hell for eternity.

3. A widespread understanding among many Christians that atonement and repentance is needed for 1700 years of murder, rape, and oppression of Jews that was frequently generated by the Church (though, of course, the Evangelicals do not recognize that church as their church). In this category are many Christian Zionists who genuinely feel terrible about what has happened to the Jews and genuinely want to help the Jewish people. Their philo-Semitism is real and sincere.- Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine page 9, Nov/Dec. 2007

Jews and Christians worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but many fail to comprehend that the first mention of Israel is in Genesis 32:22, when Jacob was renamed Israel for having wrestled and struggled with the Divine.

Thus, to claim that the secular ethnocratic state of Israel has a divine right that supersedes the divine rights of the indigenous people of the land, reeks of racism and misses the point of what the Hebrew prophets were always on about:

“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8

“My people are fools, they do not know me! They are skilled in doing evil, they know not how to do good.”-Jeremiah 4:22

“From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught…that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, ‘vomit you out’ if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]:

“When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ but also ‘you shall love the other.’”-Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007

The term Christianity was also not even coined until three decades after Jesus Christ walked the earth.

Until the day of Paul, followers of Jesus were called members of The Way; meaning the way he taught his followers to be!

Christ was never a Christian, but was born and died a Palestinian devout Jew who was a social justice radical revolutionary road warrior that challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under a brutal Roman Military Occupation.

What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces, by teaching the subversive concept that Caesar only had power because God allowed it and that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Occupation above the elite and arrogant.

The problem is not with Christianity, but that too few who claim to be Christians have actually done what Jesus taught and I spin Jesus’ Manifesto this way:

About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”

In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and ‘sins’ honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.

How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.

God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8

Christ proclaimed more: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”

In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8

“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”

In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’

“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you” Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”

In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.

“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”

And what a wonderful world it will be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.”

And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb; meaning man will make war no more and that would create a sisterhood of man which just maybe the Kingdom of God on planet earth.

Eileen Fleming is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Eileen Fleming, Founder of
A Feature Correspondent for
Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

CNN Catches up to The New Fourth Estate Regarding Walid Shoebat

July 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On 13 July 2011, CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported on the so-called Islamic terrorist export, Walid Shoebat, who has been duping The MSM and making a mint off of Americans claiming he is now a devout Christian after years as a Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist. [1]

See Video here:

On 25 February 2008, this reporter attended one of Walid Shobat’s shows in Melbourne, Florida and most all of the 2,000 seats at The King Center in Brevard County were filled with fannies attached to Americans who paid $18.00 for a seat and upwards of $1,000.00 to attend the pre-show meet and greet with the ‘three stooges’ of Christian fundamentalism during their “WAKE UP AMERICA! Confessions of 3 X-Terrorists” show.

“Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani [who was a no show that night] are the three stooges of the Christian right. These self-described former Muslim terrorists are regularly trotted out at Christian colleges…to spew racist filth about Islam on behalf of groups such as Focus on the Family…Curly, Larry and Mo, who all say they are born-again Christians, engage in hate speech and assure us it comes from personal experience. They tell their audiences that the only way to deal with one-fifth of the world’s population is by converting or eradicating all Muslims.” [2]

This event was sponsored by Project: Restoration, an “educational performing arts ministry that emphasizes Hebraic teaching and support of Israel. [Whose] mission [and] ministry is to restore the biblical and historical truth of God’s word regarding His commandments, His people, His land, and His coming kingdom [by working] together with Christian and Jewish communities to bless Israel and the Jewish people. [For they] believe that we are living in a time spoken of by prophets as the end of times when Israel will be a ‘cup of trembling in the hands of the nations’ and that we must stand with Israel and the God of Israel [for the] Restoration of the Kingdom of Israel and the return of Israel’s King, Yeshua ha Maschiach (Jesus the Messiah).” [3]

Missing from the Christian website and the rhetoric from the speakers were the teachings of Jesus who warned that, “What ever you do unto the least; you do it unto God…Stop judging…Stop condemning…Forgive and you will be forgiven…For the measure with which you measure any other will be measured back unto you.” [Luke 6:36-38] and Jesus’ promise that, “The Peacemakers shall be called the children of God.” [Matthew 5:9].

While the teachings of Jesus were neglected, I was most encouraged when Walid kicked off his show claiming that the “stupid” New York Times and a “stupid” journalist [this reporter] who interviewed his relative Kamal Younis were smearing his good reputation of being an ex-terrorist by exposing his fabricated biography.

From his pulpit, Walid insisted that his father is a fundamentalist and that Kamal Younis’s brother Jawad lost his arm making a bomb and is an attorney who defends other terrorists.

On 3 February 2008, I published my interview with Kamal Younis, titled “USA Air Force Academy Feb. 6, 2008: Failure of Intelligence to Support the Troops” from which I excerpt:

The infamous darling of fear filled fundamentalist Christians and Jews of the cult spewed by the likes of John Hagee and the idiot wind blown on FOX’s Hannity & Colmes, Bill O’Reilly and Neil Cavuto show, will be show boating at the annual political forum at the US Air Force Academy on Feb. 6, 2008.

Walid Shoebat, author of “Why We Want to Kill You” has built a lucrative speaking career by manipulating the fears and whipping up hatred between Jews and Muslims and he claims to be a former Islamic terrorist who has converted to Christianity.

Shoebat also feels very strongly that the ongoing war against Israel has nothing to do with an Arab desire for a Palestinian state, “Never in history was there a Palestinian state,” said Shoebat, “we never wanted a Palestinian state – even today the Palestinians do not want a Palestinian state. They want the destruction of the Jews, period. It’s a religious holy war.”

Keith Davies, the director of the Walid Shoebat Foundation announced that not just Walid, but two other ‘former terrorists’ s would be filling the heads of our troops and he was, “delighted that the United States Air Force has recognized the brave stand that these men take in educating the American people on the real causes of terrorism. The fact that the Academy has invited our speakers is an important step as to understanding the issue of terrorism and the issues surrounding the problems of the Middle East.”

The Navy failed to protect the troops when they failed to investigate the history of Walid Shoebat!

I learned from one of Walid’s many Palestinian American relatives, Kamal Younis, who checked his facts with other relatives and everyone of them agreed that, “Walid’s entire biography is a manufactured fabrication. His handlers have taken one point and have twisted it and built up a fictional story.”

That fictional story can be read @

Kamal clued me in, “His bio claims that his grandfather was the Muslim Mukhtar (chieftain) of Beit Sahour-Bethlehem. It neglects to mention that Beit Sahour is adjacent to Bethlehem, not a part of Bethlehem and also ignores the fact that in Beit Sahour at that time there were eight tribes; two Muslim and six Christian. Walid’s grandfather was only the Mukhtar for one of the Muslim tribes. Walid’s bio claims his grandfather was a friend of Haj-Ameen Al-Husseni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and notorious friend of Adolf Hitler. Walid’s grandfather never even met him and was a peaceful man.

“I helped Walid’s father Ahmad get a job and we both attended Humboldt State College in Arcata, California, from 1954-1960. Walid was born in September of 1960 in Beit Sahour after his American mother and father returned there from America. His older sister and brother were born in the USA, and the family lived in Jericho until 1968, then in Saudia Arabia for two years then returned to Beit Sahour.

“In 1976, his sister Mona was coming home from school with her friends and were stopped and beaten up by Israeli soldiers, they nearly broke Mona’s back. This made Walid very angry and shortly thereafter he attended his first demonstration against the occupation. In 1977 Walid was caught distributing Palestinian flags and was arrested and held for about two weeks in Mascubia Prison, until his mother went to the Embassy and got him released.

“The biggest act of ‘terror’ he ever committed was to glue Palestinian flags on street posts. But, when he was in jail he met someone who invited him to join a group against Israel. In 1977 Walid and his friends put packages behind a bank, but there were no explosives in it. That year he also met some Jehovah Witnesses and joined them for a while.

“Walid speaks about his grandfathers whom he never met, never knew and he labels them as terrorists! I knew them and they were peaceful men.

“Walid came to the U.S. in 1978 and met an Afghani friend and they went into business together, but it didn’t work out, so he moved to Chicago in 1981 where many cousins live and asked for help. He went to Loop College [now Harold Washington College] and was appointed as a foreign student advisor; a position offered him so he could pay his tuition.

“The repo man took Walid’s truck and after that he went back to California. He met a Palestinian girl there and they got married and had a son. But, he beat his wife and that marriage broke up.

“Walid’s maternal grandparents were wealthy and when they died Walid was to share the inheritance with his sister and brother, but his siblings never received a dime from their grandparent’s estate. And, while his own father was in a nursing home in California Walid took his mother and moved far away from him to another city.

“Walid claimed on CNN that he met Sheikh Jamal and was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and claimed he had been a member of a U.S. sleeper cell terrorist group. All his relatives doubt this greatly, but we do believe he is being paid big money to keep saying bad things about Muslims.” [4]

On 5 February 2008, I received an email threat of a lawsuit from Walid’s handler unless I apologized and recanted what I reported.

I emailed back that I would do neither but took Walid up on his offer to engage in a dialogue. I have yet to receive a reply or a legal notice, but I did publish the email threat and parts of Walid’s epistle defending his terrorist past with my side of the dialogue on the 7th of February:

I have known Walid’s relative, Kamal Younis as a friend since 2003. I met him through the non-profit Interfaith Olive Trees Foundation for Peace dedicated to raising awareness of and funds to purchase fruit bearing trees on both sides of The Wall in Israel Palestine who hope to replace the over one million trees destroyed by The Wall. The International Court of Justice in The Hague has deemed The Wall is illegal and it must fall.

“Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [5]

During my five trips to Israel Palestine, I went to Walid’s birthplace; Beit Sahour, a suburb of Bethlehem. I met 8 of his relatives who fed me, gave me a bed and then accompanied me for two days through the Dheisheh refugee camp, which is 100% Muslim and a five minute taxi ride from the Church of The Nativity in The Little Town of Bethlehem: Occupied Territory. Over half of the 11,000 resident refugees of Dheisheh are children under 18 and they exist on less than one square kilometer of the ‘Holy’ Land. I interviewed old men, dozens of teenagers and mothers, but I did not meet any fundamentalist terrorists.

Back to the 2008 Walid Shoebat Show:

Walid’s oratory style is part pep talk and part exhortation with a Hitler-eske intensity and his show is slickly produced to incite the masses.

Walid spewed that, “I love FOX News, but not Geraldo Rivera! His biggest mistake wasn’t drawing the line in the sand in Iraq; it is his support of a Palestinian state.”

The audience roared with laughter and exuberant applause, which was repeated as Walid preached, “Islam is a revolutionary faith out to destroy all governments. Muslim nations have a command from Allah to rule the world. Islam is a constitutional form of government. When you have a senator take the oath of office on the Koran he is pledging to uphold Sharia law and not the Constitution.”

The next morning, I phoned Walid’s relative Kamal Younis the good news that his name was mentioned from the King Center stage and filled him in that his brother Jawad is another supposed terrorist.

Kamal laughed, “Walid is a master of spin! He takes one iota of truth and creates a fiction! It is true my brother is an attorney. It is true that he lost his left hand and some fingers from his right; it was in 1954 and I think my brother was in the sixth grade. Jawad and a half dozen of his friends were out playing under the olive trees in Beit Sahour. They found a grenade left over from the ’48 war, but they didn’t know what it was. Jawad brought it home and got a hammer. He began banging on the grenade hoping to open it up but it exploded! The explosion killed one of the children and we almost lost Jawad too. Today my brother is a well-respected attorney in Amman, Jordan. We all know that King Hussein does what ever the CIA wants, so it would be impossible for Jawad to defend terrorists.

“Walid’s father is no fundamentalist. I have known his father since we were young men, we went to college together. Walid’s father was not too bright and was always at the bottom of the class. In fact, both his parents have something wrong upstairs. Walid’s father is a simpleton, he is a simple man but also an honest and peaceful man. He is religious in that he would pray five times a day, but not a fundamentalist at all. None of Walid’s relatives are extremists, only Walid is. It’s apparent Walid is involved in a smear campaign with fundamental Christian Zionists to convince Jews and Christians that Islam is out to get them.”

I also told Kamal that although the after show crowd around the table of hundred dollar video sets at the “WAKE UP AMERICA! Confessions of 3 X-Terrorists” show, was three people deep, I made my way through to one of the merchants and handed him my business card with phone number and asked him to deliver it to Walid as coming from the ‘stupid’ reporter who had been in the audience and would love to interview him.

I am still waiting.

  1. Preview EX Terrorist Rakes in Homeland Security Bucks
  5. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007

Eileen Fleming is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Eileen Fleming, Founder of
A Feature Correspondent for
Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

Questions for Candidate Palin and Sister Sarah

March 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Sarah PalinThe New Apostolic Reformation/ NAR is a religious movement of elites and regular people guided by an entire genre of books, texts, videos and other media. Among NAR adherents, is Sarah Palin and the NAR just may be the largest religious movement you’ve never heard of.

Jesus called politicians foxes and in a country where Sarah Palin is being touted as presidential material, the issue of faith in politics has never been more deadly.

To Sarah Palin and The New Apostolic Reformation

Researcher Rachel Tabachnick, reported regarding NAR videos that they “demonstrate the taking control of communities and nations through large networks of ‘prayer warriors’ whose spiritual warfare is used to expel and destroy the demons that cause societal ills. Once the territorial demons, witches, and generational curses are removed, the ‘born-again’ Christians in the videos take control of society.”

“The movement’s notion of “spiritual warfare” has spread from the California suburbs to an East-Coast inner city, and has impacted policy decisions in the developing world. Movement operatives are well-connected enough to have testified before Congress and to have received millions of dollars in government abstinence-only sex-education grants. Leaders in the NAR movement refer to themselves as ‘apostles.’”[1]

When Palin was 24, she joined a spiritual warfare network. Rachel Tabachnick, continues:

“These communication networks allow apostles to disseminate new prophecy to their ‘prayer warriors.’ During the presidential election this included prophecies about Palin, including one in which Glazier described a vision that Palin would take the ‘mantle’ of leadership after a period of national mourning, apparently following John McCain’s demise.

“The first Transformation film so impressed pastors in Wasilla, Alaska, that they contacted some of the religious leaders featured in the movie including Thomas Muthee, who was shown driving a witch out of Kiambu, Kenya. Wasilla Assembly of God developed an ongoing relationship with Muthee and a 2005 church video shows him anointing Palin. Unfortunately the press picked up on the witch part of the story, and not the more important fact that Palin has ties to top leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation.

“I believe this movement’s threat to separation of church and state is greater than some of the more overtly theocratic movements of the religious right. The inclusion of women and all races in leadership roles, and their enthusiastic sponsorship of social services conflicts with a popular notion about religious fundamentalism. Despite their radical strategies, leaders in the movement have been labeled in the press as moderate…a ‘new evangelical.’[Ibid]

Evangelical once was understood as a stand up call against slavery. The New Apostolic Reformation is a movement within Protestant Christianity that grew out of Pentecostal and Charismatic sensibilities and ascribes to an ideology that asserts God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, specifically offices of Prophet and Apostle.

They determine what being “saved” means for all and also maintain the need for submission to Church leaders. They have faith in leaders and believe that leaders are ordained by God and given power and authority by God to lead as described in the biblical letter of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians.

The grass roots of the NAR is foremost concerned with a process they refer to as the formation of Christ within its members. Apostolic churches tend to be small, consisting of dedicated believers who carry the weight of the church and are looking to do only good out of love for God.

But as Gandhi warned, “Everyone but Christians understands that Jesus was nonviolent.”

The first and greatest heresy in the Christian faith occurred in the third century when Augustine penned the “Just War Theory” which gave the church’s OK to violence perpetuated by the empire and “our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”-Dorothy Day

Clement, Tertillian, Polycarp and every other early Church Father taught that violence was a contradiction of what Christ was about, but as Gandhi commented, “Everyone but Christians understands that Jesus was nonviolent.”

Christians were not a part of the military until the third century, when Emperor Constantine instituted Christianity as the State’s religion and required all soldiers to be baptized, but “How can you kill people, when it is written in God’s commandment: ‘Thou shall not murder’?”– Leo Tolstoy

Bruce Wilson, Co-Founder of Talk To Action, recently reported, “At least three of four of Palin’s churches are involved with major organizations and leaders of The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit or the New Apostolic Reformation. The movement is training a young ‘Joel’s Army’ to take dominion over the United States and the world.

“Along with her entire family, Sarah Palin was re-baptized at twelve at the Wasilla Assembly of God in Wasilla, Alaska and she attended the church from the time she was ten until 2002: over two and 1/2 decades. Sarah Palin’s extensive pattern of association with the Wasilla Assembly of God has continued nearly up to the day she was picked by Senator John McCain as a vice-presidential running mate. Palin’s dedication to the Wasilla church is indicated by a Saturday, September 7, 2008, McClatchy news service story detailing possibly improper use of state travel funds by Palin for a trip she made to Wasilla, Alaska to attend, on June 8, 2008, both a Wasilla Assembly of God ‘Masters Commission’ graduation ceremony and also a multi-church Wasilla area event known as ‘One Lord Sunday.’ At the latter event, Palin and Alaska LT Governor Scott Parnell were publicly blessed, onstage before an estimated crowd of 6,000, through the ‘laying on of hands’ by Wasilla Assembly of God’s Head Pastor Ed Kalnins whose sermons espouse such theological concepts as the possession of geographic territories by demonic spirits and the inter-generational transmission of family ‘curses’.

“Palin has also been blessed, or ‘anointed’, by an African cleric, prominent in the Third Wave movement, who has repeatedly visited the Wasilla Assembly of God and claims to have effected positive, dramatic social change in a Kenyan town by driving out a ‘spirit of witchcraft.’

“The Wasilla Assembly of God church is deeply involved with both Third Wave activities and theology…The Third Wave is a revival of the theology of the Latter Rain tent revivals of the 1950s and 1960s led by William Branham and others. It is based on the idea that in the end times there will be an outpouring of supernatural powers on a group of Christians that will take authority over the existing church and the world. The believing Christians of the world will be reorganized under the Fivefold Ministry and the church restructured under the authority of Prophets and Apostles and others anointed by God. The young generation will form ‘Joel’s Army’ to rise up and battle evil and retake the earth for God…

“Thomas Muthee visited Wasilla Assembly of God and gave 10 consecutive sermons at the church, from October 11-16 2005. As both Palin and Wasilla AoG Head Pastor Ed Kalnins have attested, Thomas Muthee ‘prayed over’ Sarah Palin and entreated God to ‘make a way’ prior to Palin’s successful bid for the Alaska governorship. Muthee made a return visit to the Wasilla Assembly of God in late 2008.

“Thomas Muthee’s Word of Faith Church is featured in the ‘Transformations’ video which details an account on how Muthee drove ‘the spirit of witchcraft’ out of Kiambu, Kenya, liberating the town from its territorial demonic possession and enabling a miraculous societal transformation…The ‘Transformations’ video has helped spark a network of ‘Transformation’ ministries and mission organizations and ‘transformation’ has become a buzz word for change based on supernatural instead of human efforts.

“The Third Wave, also known as the New Apostolic Reformation, is a network of Apostles, many of them grouped around C. Peter Wagner, founder of the World Prayer Center. This center, which was built in coordination with Ted Haggard and his New Life Church in Colorado Springs, was featured in an article by Jeff Sharlet in Harpers, May 2005, ‘Soldiers of Christ.’ [2]

Charles Peter Wagner, is also a former professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission and he coined the Christian idiom Third Wave.

Each wave identifies with different theologies regarding the Holy Spirit-but, which is universally understood as God within. Many Christians, including even some conservative Pentecostals, have rejected the “Third Wave” as being unbiblical.

One of the top reads in NAR circles is the novel, KINGDOM LOST. According to their website KINGDOM LOST is “A novel they will not want you to read.” “An enjoyable read.” “Tense story.” “Ominous, I would recommend it.”

Wayne Buchanan, Radio Talk Show Host & Assemblies of God Pastor went on the record, “If there is one novel a Christian ought to read in their lifetime, it’s Kingdom Lost. It’ll scare the willies out of everyone else too.”

Something else that should have scared the willies out of everyone was another article by Jeff Sharlet, who wrote for HARPER’S May 2009 edition, “The Crusade for a Christian Military: Jesus Killed Mohammed” regarding the entrenchment of Christian fundamentalism in the USA military beginning during the Cold War that accelerated during the Vietnam era and has wrecked havoc on the soul of our nation and misery for multitudes.

Fundamentalist [referred to as evangelical by Sharlet] Chaplains began to join the military in droves as they aligned themselves with the Industrial Military Complex in opposition with Catholics and mainline moderate Protestant denominations such as Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians who were of one voice speaking out against American terrorism in Vietnam and for following in the ways of the nonviolent Jesus.

“Starting in 1987, Protestant denominations were lumped together simply as “Protestant”; moreover, the Pentagon began accrediting hundreds of evangelical and Pentecostal “endorsing agencies,” allowing graduates of fundamentalist Bible colleges—which often train clergy to view those from other faiths as enemies of Christ—to fill up nearly the entire allotment for Protestant chaplains. Today, more than two thirds of the military’s 2,900 active-duty chaplains are affiliated with evangelical or Pentecostal denominations.” [3]

“For decades, the military built a sense of solidarity out of a singular purpose, the Cold War struggle between free markets and state-planned economies—the shining city on a hill versus the evil empire…meshed neatly with ideologies [that connected] nationalism and fundamentalism…Communism…the dark alternative should we fail to unite. Fundamentalism thrived…a neat, black-and-white [theology and] a foreign policy. The end of the Cold War deprived militant evangelicals of that clarity [and] the emergence of “radical Islam” [became] the object of a new Cold War.” [Ibid]

In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. penned a scalding critique of American Christianity addressed to his “Dear Fellow Clergymen”

Too long has The Peace Process been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. We must come to see that justice too long delayed is justice denied.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever and if repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives in the world can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

The world is pulled to change by extremism and our only dilemma is what will we be extremists for? Hate or love? God or State?

Few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. Too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.

It is a lack of imagination that accepts a future of endless war. It is fear of the other that fuels fundamentalism.

Jesus said: “FEAR NOT! You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Rev. King wondered if organized religion was too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world. He knew that “Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.”

While he lived the FBI placed wiretaps on Reverend King’s home and office phones and bugged his hotel rooms throughout the country. By 1967, King had become the country’s most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 [a year to the day before he was murdered] King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

The last words Jesus spoke to his follower’s before his martyrdom was to “put down the sword” and his first words after his resurrection was “peace be with you.”

During one of my seven trips to occupied Palestine since 2005, Mohammad Alatar, film producer of “The Ironwall” addressed my group on an Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions tour through Jerusalem and to the village of Anata and the Shufat refugee camp, in the very area where the prophet Jeremiah in the 6th century B.C. critiqued the violent conflicts in the Mid East, which were already old news: “I hear violence and destruction in the city, sickness and wounds are all I see.” [Jeremiah 6:7]

After we broke bread and ate a typical Palestinian feast prepared by the Arabiya family in the Arabyia Peace Center, Mohammad Alatar said, “I am a Muslim Palestinian American and when my son asked me who my hero was I took three days to think about it. I told him my hero is Jesus, because he took a stand and he died for it. What really needs to be done is for the churches to be like Jesus; to challenge the Israeli occupation and address the apartheid practices as moral issues. Even if every church divested and boycotted Israel it would not harm Israel. After the USA and Russia, Israel is the third largest arms exporter in the world. It is a moral issue that the churches must address.”

Christians are called by God to prayerfully use the gift of discernment and to test all things according to the teachings of Jesus. A follower of Jesus- perhaps anyone with a good conscience- would understand that war is the ultimate form of terrorism as well as the supreme expression of the spirit of the Antichrist-meaning against what Christ taught and modeled with his life-which was to be a Peacemaker, not to bomb, torture or occupy any.

The term Christianity was not even coined until three decades after Christ walked the earth. Until the day of Paul, followers of Jesus were called members of The Way; the way being what he taught!

Christ was never a Christian, but he was a social justice, radical revolutionary NONVIOLENT Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up and challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Military Occupation; and what got him crucified was for disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces.

My question to my sister in Christ, is Sarah, please define just who your Jesus is and how does your theology inform your political decisions regarding what is best for America- and just what do you think that is?

To Candidate Palin, where do you stand regarding USA policy in Israel Palestine vis-à-vis the theology of Armageddon and a rapture of “saved” believers who live by the sword?



3. Jeff Sharlet, HARPER’S, May 2009 pages 31-43.

Eileen Fleming is a regular columnist for

Eileen Fleming, Founder of
A Feature Correspondent for
Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

‘Christian’ Crusaders and Failures of Intelligence in the US Military

January 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Christian CrusadersThirty years ago, Glyn Bindon, the founder of Trijicon, a Michigan Defense contractor, instituted the practice of stamping references to New Testament Bible verses on combat rifle sights manufactured for the U.S. military.

Trijicon has now released a statement that they will quit their three decades of practice and also provide the armed forces modification kits to remove the Scripture citations from the 300,000 telescoping sights already in use by the Marines, Army and which are being used to train Afghanistan troops.

Beyond the charges of breaking the American government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, this ABC video clip exposes a thriving Crusader mentality in the US Military and a gross failure of intelligence by Christian’s regarding their own faith.

Crusade -Marines Have Secret Bible Verses on Gun Sights

In the video, US Chaplain Hensley, informs the troops, “Special Forces hunt men. We do the same thing as Christians. We hunt people to get them into the kingdom; that’s our business.”

The Chaplain is a heretic, for “How can you kill people, when it is written in God’s commandment: ‘Thou shalt not murder’?” – Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God Is Within You.

Tolstoy understood that commandment meant that all governments who wage war are directly affronting the Christian principles that should guide all life, and shouldn’t being pro-life really be about honoring the sacredness of every life that already is?

Standard issue to U.S. special operations forces is the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, which is marked “JN8:12”  a reference to John 8:12:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with “2COR4:6”

For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

An army spokesman admitted on January 21, 2010, that the service was unaware of the coded biblical references until a few days ago, and so, our troops are also in the dark because of failures of intelligence in the Military establishment as well as due to heretical Christianity.

Christ was born, lived and died a nonviolent Palestinian Jew, who taught his follower’s to put down the sword, to forgive, pray and love one’s enemies; and not to shoot, bomb, torture or kill any!

Jesus envisioned a society based on love and tolerance, which is completely incompatible with war and all violence. When Jesus was mocked, whipped and nailed to a cross he remained NONVIOLENT to prove the only way to over throw the status quo of violent retaliation and eye-for-an-eye mentality.

Clement, Tertillian, Polycarp and every other early Church Father taught that violence was a contradiction of what Christ was about. The first and greatest heresy in the Christian faith occurred when Augustine penned the “Just War Theory” which united church with state and “our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”-Dorothy Day

Within one hundred years after Emperor Constantine decreed Christianity the religion of the state, soldiers were required to be baptized; but it was not required for them to understand what the faith was all about.

“The Crusade for a Christian Military: Jesus Killed Mohammed” by Jeff Sharlet in HARPER’S May 2009 edition illuminated how the entrenchment of Christian fundamentalism in the USA military began during the Cold War, accelerated during the Vietnam era and which has wrecked havoc on the very soul of our nation in the 21st century.

Fundamentalist [referred to as evangelical by Sharlet] Chaplains began to join the military in droves as they aligned themselves with the Industrial Military Complex in opposition with Catholics and mainline moderate Protestant denominations such as Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians who were of one voice speaking out against American terrorism in Vietnam and for following in the ways of the nonviolent Jesus.

“Starting in 1987, Protestant denominations were lumped together simply as “Protestant”; moreover, the Pentagon began accrediting hundreds of evangelical and Pentecostal “endorsing agencies,” allowing graduates of fundamentalist Bible colleges—which often train clergy to view those from other faiths as enemies of Christ—to fill up nearly the entire allotment for Protestant chaplains. Today, more than two thirds of the military’s 2,900 active-duty chaplains are affiliated with evangelical or Pentecostal denominations.” [1]

“For decades, the military built a sense of solidarity out of a singular purpose, the Cold War struggle between free markets and state-planned economies—the shining city on a hill versus the evil empire…meshed neatly with ideologies [that connected] nationalism and fundamentalism…Communism…the dark alternative should we fail to unite. Fundamentalism thrived…a neat, black-and-white [theology and] a foreign policy. The end of the Cold War deprived militant evangelicals of that clarity [and] the emergence of “radical Islam” [became] the object of a new Cold War.” [Ibid]

The roots of American evangelism sprang from the original altar call for Christians to stand up against slavery and what has been passing for Christianity today is the antithesis of what Jesus was all about.

“Everyone but Christians understands that Jesus was nonviolent.” -Gandhi

One of the greatest Christian spiritual leaders of all time, Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk who listened to Bob Dylan LP’s in his hermitage in Kentucky during the ’60’s and was the first religious voice to rise up and speak out against the Vietnam War warned, “The duty of the Christian at this time is to do the one task God has imposed upon us in this world today. The task is to work for the total abolition of war. There can be no question that unless war is abolished; the world will remain constantly in a state of madness…The church [meaning all Christians] must lead the way on the road to the abolition of war…Peace is to be preached and nonviolence is to be explained and practiced.”

The spiritual darkness of Christian fundamentalism is also rampant in the USA Air Force Academy in Colorado which enabled the likes of Walid Shoebat, author of “Why We Want to Kill You” to speak to the troops in his role as a former fundamentalist Islamic supposed terrorist who converted to fundamentalist Christianity.

Shoebat is one of the infamous darlings of fear filled Christians and Jews [Read More: The Walid Shoebat Show and “America is Beautiful, but she has an ugly side.” – Neil Young] of the cult spewed by the likes of John Hagee and the idiot wind blown by FOX’s Hannity & Colmes, Bill O’Reilly and Neil Cavuto who have all hosted Shoebat.

At the US Air Force Academy on Feb. 6, 2008, Shoebat was the headline act at their annual political forum.

Walid Shoebat, has built a lucrative speaking career by manipulating the fears and whipping up hatred between Jews and Muslims. Shoebat insists that Israel should “wake up and smell the Hummus. We must return to the status quo – the occupation…Israel should stand strong and fight – dismantle Hamas and take away all the weapons, the way it used to be. The introduction of weapons into Palestinian society by Israel [under the Oslo accords, Israel gave assault rifles to Arafat’s ‘police force’ –ed.] was a disaster and they must be confiscated.” [2]

Israel originally supported Hamas to be a wedge between Fatah when Arafat became too popular with the Palestinian people.

Shoebat feels very strongly that the ongoing war against Israel has nothing to do with an Arab desire for a Palestinian state, “Never in history was there a Palestinian state, we never wanted a Palestinian state – even today the Palestinians do not want a Palestinian state…They want the destruction of the Jews, period. It’s a religious holy war.”[IBID]

During his time at the Air Force Academy, Jeff Sharlet encountered fervent fundamentalist militant American soldiers who were ignorant of their very own faith, for the Christian “manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers.” -Dorothy Day

There are currently thirty-five wars being fought in the world and the USA is connected to every one of them.

Over forty-thousand people die every day of starvation and three billion humans endure dire destitution. Unmanned drones under the Obama Administration have murdered hundreds of children and America warehouses over twenty-five thousand nuclear weapons; and yet, many deluded Christians believe the US is a Christian nation!

We the people of the world inhabit a world darkened by bureaucratic systematic institutionalized structures of violence that kill human beings through war, poverty and all the consequences of destruction and despair that flow from corporate greed, violence and fundamentalist religiosity.

Nonviolence is at the core of every religion and Jesus promised it is the peacemakers who are the daughters and sons of God. Jesus denounced injustice, turned over the tables of the bankers in the Temple, was arrested, jailed, tortured and brutally executed, but remained nonviolent, compassionate and forgiving to all.

Jesus called us to love our neighbors- meaning everyone on the planet, to be compassionate and seek justice for the disenfranchised, to forgive our enemies and to put down the sword!

His death on the cross was in vain if those who claim to follow him do not have eyes to see and ears to hear that his message was that we are to end the cycle of violence for God created, loves and is within all beings and all of creation.

It is a lack of imagination that accepts a future of endless war.

It is fear of the other that fuels fundamentalism.

The brand of Christianity being espoused in many US pulpits and in the military is a fear-filled ideology that supports empire in this world which has nothing to do with what Jesus stood and died for: nonviolence, love, forgiveness and compassion- not just towards those who think and look like you, but to your ‘enemies’ too!

The militarization of Christianity defies that “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment.” 1 John 4:16, 18

The militarization of Christianity as professed by anti-Christ’s [against the teachings of Christ] from the pulpits of the likes of Pat Robertson and John Hagee and in the fictional “Left Behind” series of profane theology expose the spirit of the anti-Christ: fear of the other that drives one to violence.

The militarization of Christianity thrives on fear of the other but Jesus said: “FEAR NOT! You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

The militarization of Christianity leaves behind all the non-negotiable’s for those who claim to be a Christian; which is you must forgive, bless and love your enemies; not shoot, bomb, torture, starve or occupy them!

The problem is not with Christianity but that too few have done it the way Jesus taught and modeled: to always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with compassion and forgiveness, as Jesus did when nailed to a cross and he prayed:  “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

Christians are called to prayerfully use the gift of discernment and to test all things according to the teachings of Jesus. An authentic follower of Jesus- and perhaps any with a conscience- will choose equality, fraternity, community and nonviolent creative resistance to the evil that is violence as well as comprehend that evil as well as good cut through every human heart.

It is willful ignorance, apathy, arrogance and misinformation that are holding back the transformation of hearts and minds to see that war is the ultimate form of terrorism and violence the supreme expression of the spirit of the anti-Christ.
“The first casualties of the military’s fundamentalist front are not the Iraqis and Afghans on the wrong side of an American F-16. They’re the spiritual warriors themselves.” [3]

Christ laid down in the Sermon on the Mount principles by which to guide lives and he warned that, “Whoever hears these sayings of mine, and put them into practice, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded upon a rock.  And everyone that hears these sayings, and does not put them into practice, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:24-27)

St. Paul warned all followers of Christ to never judge the non-believer, for it is none of your business. But, when it comes to the believer, you must provoke one another onto good works.

The militarization of Christianity and all terrorism committed in the name of God must be challenged in a world desperate for Christians who actually follow what Jesus was all about.

1. Jeff Sharlet, HARPER’S, May 2009 pages 31-43.


3. Sharlet, HARPER’S.

Other Source:

Eileen Fleming is a regular columnist for

Eileen Fleming, Founder of
A Feature Correspondent for
Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

Televangelists Snicker All The Way To the Bank

August 6, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

Benny HinnI detest the prosperity gospel. Ever noticed how the “name-it-and-claim-it” preachers are lining their own pockets but those who support their ministries can barely make ends meet? These smooth talking televangelists are adept at using psychological manipulation and peer pressure to persuade people to pull out their credit cards. (More on this later.)

Televangelists hold to Word-Faith beliefs that are both blasphemous and heretical. Faith preachers say, “Demand what you want by faith and you will receive it!” Moreover, they hold that Christ provided for physical healing at the cross. So not only are Christians saved from sin, they are promised a healthy life! You ask, “Is what they teach biblical?” Nope. Still, Faith teachers contend that their “enlightened” view of the Bible is the gospel truth. Read some of the blogs and you will discover that many in the Body of Christ find the radical beliefs and practices of the false prophets in the Charismatic movement deeply disturbing. Unfortunately much of their unscriptural teaching and ungodly behavior is posted on,, and shown on God TV.

Jesus did not mince words with this warning:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Mat. 7:15).

What I’m about to reveal illustrates the great lengths two false prophets have gone to to add to their own personal wealth.

In a recent article “God Bless Your Credit Card” [1] Rapport news describes what occurred in Johannesburg during televangelist Benny Hinn’s Miracle Crusade. Around 18,000 people went to the Coca-Cola Dome in Randburg to hear Hinn’s message of healing and miracles. What they heard was that God wants to make people rich. Pastor Todd Koontz, who accompanied Hinn, spoke about financial burdens. He told the receptive crowd that 500 audience members would receive “an exceptional blessing.” He said the service would “yield millionaires and billionaires within 24 hours.” The “exceptional blessing” rested on everyone donating up to $1,000. Here’s the catch. To motivate people to part with their money the blessing would be poured out for only two minutes. That’s right. Folks had only two minutes to receive God’s “exceptional blessing.” Credit-card machines were at the ready to accommodate those who were convinced that the “anointing” was flowing through to them.

Pay God for a blessing? Leave it to a sham artist to come up with something that preposterous.

But what about all the disabled who had come to Hinn for healing? Did Koontz really expect them to get to the stage in 2 minutes?

Pastor Tommie Ferreira was not happy with the underhanded way in which Koontz, on Hinn’s behalf, squeezed money from the gullible sheep. He saw a large number of people push their way to the front. “Poor people, rich people, people from all sections of our society.” So naturally he got to wondering if any of the people who donated $1,000 or more had become millionaires, as Koontz promised.

Later that week Rapport News spoke to a money counter in Hinn’s South African office in Durban who admitted that after a week they were still raking in money. Which is not surprising at all considering that many people give to get — and Koontz promised they’d get rich!

Something else the money counter told Rapport:

“’Americans always talk in dollars. If some of the churchgoers believed that they would not be blessed, then they should not have given their money.’”

And besides…

“’The church-goers did not have to give $1,000. If they couldn’t afford it, then they could’ve given less. And, some of them did.”

Does this not make your blood boil?

Ferreira assured Rapport that he wasn’t attacking Hinn and Koontz. “It just20really gets my goat when people make unfounded claims and then they’re off with these people’s money.”

At last, some good news! Someone at the event actually had the backbone to check up on Benny Hinn and put the facts out there!

If this kind of mind-manipulation weren’t such a serious issue in the Church, it would be laughable. But it makes you want to cry. Even though people have been warned about televangelists they continue to contribute to their ministries!

Another televangelist who uses tactics similar to Benny Hinn’s is John Avanzini. At his events a message is flashed across a large screen: INCREASE… INCREASE… INCREASE for the waiting audience to see. Some televangelists induce the “sheeple” to increase a ministries bank account by using psychological manipulation to get what they want.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Crosstalk Radio Talk Show host Ingrid Schlueter drove to Harvest Church in Tinley Park, Illinois to investigate the Inspiring Faith Conference. Ingrid tells us what happened after Avanzini finally arrived on stage: (All quotes by Ingrid are from “John Avanzini and His Talking Stones” 2)

“After a rambling, free-ranging talk about the worsening economy and the price of gas, he told us that he would give us all two things to help us get through perilous times. The first was a list of 7 Bible promises, as he called them, that he had printed up on a card. The mixture of truth and error was very evident here.

“The list…gave the following “seven anchors for these perilous times”. Note that the word prosperity as he uses it is referring to material wealth. Spiritual wealth was never mentioned that night.

  1. God has already made plans for your prosperity. Jeremiah 29:11
  2. Everything you will need and want has already been provided for you by your great God. 2 Peter 1:3
  3. God has already given you his best so there is no need to worry about him denying you anything else. Romans 8:32
  4. God wants you to live with limitless supply. Judges 18:10
  5. Your wealthy place is always on the other side of the perilous times you are facing.
  6. It gives God great pleasure to prosper you in good times…in bad all times. Psalms 35:27
  7. In good times or in bad times, God is willing to make you rich. Proverbs 10:22

Ingrid describes how truth is mixed with error in the 7 Bible Promises:

“All of those Scripture verses given do talk about the prospering of God’s people. The idea that this is always referring to physical wealth is patently absurd. Avanzini and all of his huckster compatriots only use Scripture as proof texts for their own ridiculous claims that God wants everyone wearing Brioni suits and Rolex watches.”

Avanzini informs the crowd that to help them through “perilous times” he would give them a stone. Ingrid describes what the stone represents:

“He went through several Bible references where stones ‘talked’ in the Old Testament. Here Avanzini introduces the stone idea. He strolled down the aisles, his ring winking in the lights, and held out a shiny stone for a woman to hold. Avanzini told the assembled crowd of about 650 people that these stones should be rubbed whenever people faced rising prices or higher prices at the pump. The ushers went down the aisles with buckets of shiny, smooth stones and handed them out.”

As I mentioned above, Avanzini uses psychological tactics on Christians who come to hear him speak. As soon as he had the Harvest Church audience in the palm of his hand, he conveyed his real message. Incredibly, he takes Bible stories out of context and misapplies the intended meaning to get people to buy what he’s selling. For example, he used the story of Gideon found in the Old Testament book of Judges. Ingrid tells how he skillfully twisted the story to suit his purpose: (My comments in brackets.)

“His [Gideon’s] offering of a goat [to God] was such a sacrifice for someone who lived in a cave. He [Avanzini] described how the angel of the Lord IGNITED the offering on the rock. We, who were in possession of the lucky rubbing stones, would need to ignite ours. I’ll give you a guess how that should be done…[I]t turns out, Avanzini had a whole new doctrinal revelation to tell us about: the doctrine of reverse entrapment. If you’ve never heard of that before, that’s because God just showed it to him right there. Reverse entrapment is when you put a gift to Avanzoni [sic] on a credit card and outsmart the lenders who are trying to get rich off your debt. When you put a gift on a credit card, I quote, ‘something happens in the spirit world.’ Here he tells everyone how to have a credit card breakthrough. Turns out Avanzini has a way for you to get rid of your mortgage debt. All you have to do is to give him a20gift the size of your house payment and God will see that your mortgage gets paid off right away. If you don’t have a house, $500 will do nicely for future debt. Avanzini assured us that it worked for him.

“Perhaps the man sensed a few hostile vibes from the audience (from our row in particular) because he warned us not to let the devil keep us back from getting free from debt by putting a gift for his ministry on our credit card. The credit card ‘invitation’ began as the keyboardist began to noodle around with some mood music. Then Avanzini warned everyone again not to let the devil keep us away. The people streamed down to the stage area and wrote out their credit card numbers and house payment gifts and left them at the expensively shod feet of the speaker. While the people came down to the front to divest themselves of their money, Avanzini appropriately chose to tell an Al Capone joke. I doubt if one other person in the house recognized the irony.

“Avanzini then prayed an igniting prayer over the stones everyone was clutching. Presumably, we still have to ignite our own with a credit card gift, but maybe his igniting prayer was considered the first step. The entire thing was an unspeakable tragedy. These men target the poor in particular because they are the ones desperate enough to need a ‘breakthrough.’ That is the evil in all of this. The rich aren’t stupid enough to give away their cash to the likes of Avanzini. It’s the poor and the needy, the hurting and the ill who desperately need help who are vulnerable to these sharks.”

Speaking of sharks. Did you know that God wants popular televangelist Joel Osteen to be rich? repoted in “God Wants Me to Be Rich” [3] that in these troubled times “Reverend Feelgood” wants us to be rich, too.

“Joel feels our pain and has made himself wealthy (reportedly earning $13 million for his last book advance alone) and his church prosperous ($75 million and counting in annual revenue) by urging us to let go of it, to turn it over to God, to accept God’s favor so that we may be as prosperous as Joel.”

So, if we accept God’s favor He will prospers us financially? Who knew? There is no biblical precedent whatsoever for what Osteen preaches. But that hasn’t stopped the name-it-and-claim-it preachers from going all over the world preaching that God wants us to have a big house, drive expensive cars, even own yaughts and jet airplanes – and many of them do!


“Osteen is one of a new breed of televangelists — Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, and Creflo Dollar are also rising stars — who are preaching a less sanctimonious, more inclusive message. His church is in that part of the economy that thrives in troubled times, that can count on full pews when wallets are empty and an ever more receptive audience if we do go into a full-on recession.”

As noted above it would appear that Benny Hinn and John Avanzini are already making plans to see that they, or anyone close to them, won’t suffer during a full-on recession.

Lately televangelists are receiving a huge amount of attention, even from the U.S. Senate. Six prosperity ministries are under Senate Finance Committee investigation because of “possible misuse of donations.” The list includes Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long and Randy & Paula White. All of them have become filthy rich because of supporter’s generous donations. For example, televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s ministry (Eagle Mountain International Church of Newark Texas) owns a multi-million dollar Citation 10 and has a private airstrip capable of landing jets that cool their engines in a hangar. Brother Copeland personally owns three other aircraft. According to t he TimesOnline, Copeland told his congregation, “The Lord spoke to me and said ‘you’re gonna believe for a Citation 10, right now.’” He promised them that the jet “will never ever be used as for anything other than what is becoming of you Lord Jesus.”

TimesOnline revealed that Copeland’s ministry “leases land for Mr. Copeland’s cattle and horses and also leases land to the family so that it can operate oil and gas wells.” The ministry also owns a $6 million lakefront mansion. And that’s not the half of it.

Copeland did not cotton to the Senate’s investigation into his finances:

“In a television interview last month, Mr. Copeland’s son John hit back at allegations of financial impropriety:

‘The jet is a tool. It is just a tool to use in ministry. Where in the Bible does it say you should have watchdogs and judgment groups that watch over ministries?’”

Where in the Bible does it say Christians should be rich? My husband, a pilot, would relish owning Copeland’s ministry “tool,” as would most pilots. Christian pilots can “believe9 D for a Citation 10, but the chances of owning one is slim and none.

Certainly the Apostle Paul’s life would have gone a whole lot smoother had he been the CEO of a tent company, instead of a humble tentmaker. As an itinerant preacher having money would have afforded him first class accommodations on luxury sailing vessels. But God did not open up the vault in the Bank of Heaven for his beloved apostles. To Paul he said, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor.12:9). This is authentic Christianity!

Please join me in “believing” that false prophets like Benny Hinn, John Avanzini, Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland will be exposed as frauds and go flat broke.

“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.” – 2 John 1: 9-11

[1] God Bless Your Credit Card, By Marthinus van Vuuren, Rapport

[2] John Avanzini and His Talking Stones – Ingrid Schlueter, Slice of Laodicea blog

[3] God Wants Me to Be Rich, By Karl Taro Greenfeld,

Additional Reading:
The Word-Faith Movement, By Gary Gilley

Marsha West is a regular columnist for
She can be reached at:

“BAM! BAM! BAM!” said the false prophet

June 25, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

Todd BentleyFaith evangelist Todd Bentley has drawn hundreds of thousands to his Florida Healing Revival to “soak in the glory and spread the fire.” Before you pack up the car or purchase an airline ticket and head to Lakeland Florida, here’s a word of warning: Christians who play with fire will get burned.

All the controversy over the Lakeland Outpouring is causing deep division within the Church. Some Christians believe Bentley is bringing a long overdue revival. They argue that since people are getting healed it’s a move of God. But a growing number of believers say he’s a fraud. So which is it? Is Todd Bentley a prophet of God, or just another huckster? Let’s examine the evidence to find out if a genuine revival is going on in Lakeland.

There’s a plethora of video clips online that show Bentley in all his raging glory, stalking the stage. In one clip I watched, he’s bragging about “grounding and pounding” people who have come to him for healing. In another clip he declares that God told him to batter a woman’s legs with a baseball bat. He then boasts how he has applied choking moves on sick people who come to him for help. Then there’s the story of the “Chinese guy” he “hit so hard that a tooth popped out of his mouth.” Bentley’s “healing” is often so brutal that some witnesses compare it to WWF Smackdown! The man may be a wrestling aficionado, but he’s definitely not a prophet of God. No offense, but he is as phony as most professional wrestlers. But don’t take my word for it. Watch the video clips in this article and you’ll discover that I’m not making any of this up. Here’s the first clip.

What struck me about this clip is that people in the audience, most of whom are professing Christians, laughed and applauded as Bentley blamed God for telling him to inflict pain on people! The Apostles never behaved in such an appalling manner. Would Paul kick a senior citizen in the head, even with lightweight sandals on his feet? Peter may have been hotheaded, still he would never have resorted to grounding and pounding the sick in order to heal them. Now, imagine John choking someone and saying that God told him to do it! What I have just described is Todd Bentley’s WWF style of healing.

Many of Bentley’s “healings” are not instantaneous, by the way. For example, a man claimed partial restoration of his hearing on Wednesday and on Thursday he claimed his hearing was completely restored. Both Jesus and the Apostle’s healings were instantaneous, and that’s because they were authentic. People were restored to full health. Not in Lakeland, though, where they experience “miracles in progress.”

Something I found odd is how Bentley feigns wide-eyed surprise at some of his “miracle healings.” Since he’s allegedly healed masses of people for a number of years, why does he look so amazed when people are healed? The answer is obvious. He plays the audience! And he’s oh so effective at “priming the pump” to keep their minds engaged.

Restoring someone’s missing eye or severed hand is an outward healing. Todd Bentley’s “healings” are inward. Glaringly absent are restored body parts. Several video clips show people allegedly healed of cancer, heart problems, tumors, diabetes, deafness, asthma, fibromialgia, broken bones, and so on. Again, Bentley’s healings are not outward like the genuine healings of Jesus and the Apostles. Moreover, he claims to have raised people from the dead!

The obvious question is if miraculous healings like the sort Jesus performed are actually taking place in Lakeland, where’s the proof? Photos and videos of people with restored limbs and missing body parts would be splashed all over national TV and the Internet, especially on Christian news sites. Where are the “before” and “after” pictures of burn victims, kids with cleft pallots and other obvious birth defects? Absent are stories from Alzheimer’s sufferers who miraculously regained their memories. One blogger made this astute comment:

“Bentley’s close friend and mentor, Bob Jones is sick with kidney problems and is obese. Todd Bentley is overweight and balding and had a recent heart attack. Quite a few of Todd Bentley’s musicians and singers, as others have remarked, are also very big so there is no miraculous weight loss anointing or healing baldness anointing or any healing anointing working among them — and Todd claims the anointing drops pounds off fat people and puts hair on heads. James Goll’s wife is seriously ill with cancer. Get my drift?” [1]

In the next clip an eleven-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsey who cannot walk without a walker has a dream of running around the baseball diamond. The boy sincerely believes he’s been healed. (This one brought me to tears.) He struggles to speak as he relays his “healing” experience to the crowd. All the while his mother holds onto his shaky body to keep him from falling. The boy cannot stand alone, let alone run. Yet he’s told by Bentley that he’s a “healing in progress.” Then before the boy knows what hit him, BAM! he’s “slain in the spirit” (pushed to the floor). Watch it and weep.

What did Jesus do?

“Then he [Jesus] said to the paralytic, ‘Get up, take your mat and go home.’ And the man got up and went home” (Mat 9:6-7).

What about Peter?

“As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. ‘Aeneas,’ Peter said to him, ‘Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.’ Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:32-35).

The obvious question is, does Satan have the power to heal? The answer is that he gives the appearance of healing, but it’s a counterfeit. It’s true that God performs miraculous signs and wonders. And the apostles performed signs and wonders and miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. Sorcerers perform “miraculous lying signs and wonders” that lead people astray and keep them from the truth. But lying signs and wonders may not be miraculous at all. Satan has the power to deceive, “even the elect—if that were possible.” Some faith-healers use social emotional and psychological manipulation to get people to to change their behavior, their attitude, even their morals. In a crowded setting people are more susceptible to manipulation tactics. This is known as peer pressure. Responding to peer pressure is part of human nature.

In his article SOAKING? A spiritual discipline or Eastern Mysticism, Gary Gilley describes psychological manipulation thus:

“John Arnott writes [in his book The Father’s Blessing]: It is no coincidence that we have seen people prophetically acting like lions, oxen, eagles and even warriors. In Steve Witt’s church in St. Johns, New Brunswick, I saw all four of those manifestations happening at the same time — the ox, the eagle, the lion and the man (warrior). The lion and eagle manifestations accompanied prophesying. The man who was acting out the part of the warrior had both hands gripped together around the hilt of a sword, and he was swinging it. These warrior actions give the observer a real feel of battlefield action. The people who were doing this were mostly credible pastors or leaders. I was astonished but sensed the awesome presence of God.

“One lady who played the keyboard and weighed about 115 pounds was on all fours, snorting and pawing the ground like an angry ox or bull. It was obvious that she was surprised and a bit frightened by what was happening, but at the same time she seemed determined to follow the Spirit’s leading (p. 178).”

People who follow the “Spirit’s leading” in this way look like they’re crazy, drunk or possessed, which is the reason Scripture doesn’t support foolish behavior! In this next clip a group of people line up to receive the “anointing.” This is actually scary!

Scripture never mentions lying supine on the floor sizzling like bacon in a frying pan as Bentley induces people to do. Nor does it mention crying or laughing hysterically, screaming, shaking all over, clucking, mooing, barking and roaring “in the spirit.” This may come as a surprise to some Christians, but being slain in the spirit is not normative in Scripture. Read 1 Cor. 14 to learn what God wants a church service to look like. Paul makes it clear that, “Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”

I find the next clip disturbing on so many levels. Watch what’s taking place in the Ashrams of India, the cults, the New Age movement, even inside the church! Popular Word of Faith teacher Kenneth Copeland gets in on the act and comes close to mussing his hair: Watch the mindless mind.

In Galatians 5:22-25 Paul describes the “fruit of the spirit” and how to live a Spirit-filled life. Ponder these verses and decide for yourself if the fruit produced by the Lakeland Outpouring is fresh or rotten. The fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit”

I wonder, are faith-healers recruited by the U.S. military to heal soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who have sustained horrific injuries, from lost limbs to burns to blindness. Benny is always trapsing around the world to bring healing to the sick. One can’t help but wonder how much time he spends bring healing to our brave American soldiers. Our Lord healed the sick in his own backyard:

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God” (Luke 18:34-43).

Now for more “fire burning heat healings” from Todd Bentley. Only this time he takes credit for a three year-old girl’s resurrection from dead.

According to Charisma Magazine, Arnold Palmer Hospital denied the report. A blogger who believes the girl was healed claims that the she died a second time “under mysterious circumstances.” [2]

After watching Bentley in action, any reasonable person would have to conclude that the Florida Healing Outpouring is not a movement of the Holy Spirit as those involved in it believe. This so-called “revival” was birthed in the pit of hell. And speaking of hell, Bentley claims that the audible voice of God told him to pretend to be demon possessed during a Charismatic Catholic meeting. At first he argues with “God” about it, but then caves in and does as the voice tells him. Suddenly he finds himself “writhing around on the floor like a serpent.” Then a demonic power commences speaking from his mouth and he starts cursing and using profanity. Fortunately for him a first-rate faith-healer is on the scene to grab the bull by the horns. The “healer” proceeds to cast twenty-five demons out of Bentley’s body. Don’t take my word for it, watch the next clip.

Bentley has a demon alright — the demon of heresy! (Naming demons is not biblical, by the way, nor is “binding demons.” But that’s another article.) How can a born again Christian be possessed by demons when the Bible says, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1John 4:4). The Holy Spirit indwells true Christians. Moreover, the New Testament does not mention that believers should be concerned with becoming demon possessed. So let’s set the “demons can possess believers” myth to rest once and for all. It can’t happen. Oppressed, yes, possessed, never!

Not surprisingly, Todd Bentley is obsessed with angels. Many of his followers have heard his tall tale of how a 14-foot angel “towers in the apartment,” where he lived. Seven days after the “visitation” he went into ministry. Listen to him “telling the honest truth” about a “visitation from heaven” and how it led to his healing ministry in Albany, Oregon.

It matters not to Bentley’s followers that his angel encounters are unbiblical. He has received “visitations” from the “Winds of Change” and his money gathering angel, Emma. On money matters Bentley offers this advice in his article, Angels and the Florida Healing Revival:

“So when I need a financial breakthrough I don’t just pray and ask God for my financial breakthrough. I go into intercession and become a partner with the angels by petitioning the Father for the angels that are assigned to getting me money: ‘Father, give me the angels in heaven right now that are assigned to get me money and wealth. And let those angels be released on my behalf. Let them go into the four corners of the earth and gather me money.’”

Where do I begin? First, and most importantly, Bentley’s understanding of angels is unbiblical. God does not instruct humans to partner with angels, nor are we to pray to an angel. The word “angel” means “messenger.” God sends messengers to humans via elect-holy angels. Humans are to pray directly to the Father in heaven. Nowhere in the bible are believers instructed to elicit the help of an angel to accumulate wealth! Hence, the “angels” Bentley prays to could not possibly be messengers from God. If you believe that he’s “telling the honest truth” about his “visitations,” understand that the advice he receives is from fallen angels, AKA demons. Had Todd Bentley taken the time to study the Bible to find out what it says about the host of heaven, he’d know that his “visitations” are from the dark side!

Todd Bentley says he has conversations with God. He continually spouts, “the Lord told me…” and passes along to the audience what the Lord supposedly said. But would God really instruct him to kick a woman in the face with a biker boot? First of all, if he actually “obeyed” the voice, he’d have been arrested for battery! Or sued!

What’s up with the people Bentley employs? There are a number of them on stage with him at all times. Apparently they stood idly by when he assaulted helpless sick people, even knocked a man’s tooth out! The question Bentley’s devotees must ask themselves is does this sickening behavior in any way glorify the Holy Trinity?

I’m inclined to believe the “voice” Todd Bentley says he hears is not God at all. Either he’s hearing from demons or it’s a figment of his imagination. It is not in God’s character to lie, nor would the Almighty honor someone who blatantly twists Scripture.

Following is an excerpt from an article I wrote, Found: God’s Will:

“God speaks to us through the pages of Scripture. ‘For all our talk about sola Scriptura,’ says Greg Koukl, ‘many also hold that God speaks to them on a regular basis giving true information about Himself and specific directions for their lives. Their claim is, essentially, “I believe the Bible is a bona fide source of information and the Spirit also gives private information directly to me.” The second step frequently follows the first: The personal, subjective sense of what a person thinks God is telling him trumps the objective Scripture.’

“Koukl makes an important point. Should what we hear in our mind take precedence over what Scripture says? Christians will often toss out the phrase, ‘God told me’ that they should do this or that. Or ‘I felt led,’ or ‘I sensed that God wanted me to___’ You fill in the blank. Televangelists, who pretend to have a direct pipeline to God, prance around in front of the TV camera, claiming to hear a ‘word from the Lord.’ At the risk of sounding negative or divisive, most televangelists teach outright heresy (I can prove it), so why would God speak to them at all? Frauds should not expect to hear from God; they should expect to be rebuked by God.” [4]

And by the way, it’s blasphemous to blame God for giving you instructions that goes against the teaching of Scripture!

Mike Oppenheimer made this insightful comment about Bentley:

“Bentley has a desire for power and experience, which has become the ruin of many before him. If one takes Bentley’s view as realistic and tries to make it normative for today, then maybe we should continue to write Scripture and add it to the Bible. Because that is exactly what Bentley is doing.” [5]

In their book Overrun By Demons: The Churches New Preoccupation With The Demonic, the authors explain the working of the Holy Spirit:

“The Holy Spirit is the One who works in us and leads us, while the Word of God is the means that He uses to bring this about. They are best friends and never travel alone. In addition, they never have an argument; they always agree. After all, the Holy Spirit is the agent used by the Father to write the Scriptures, so He knows them quite well! Therefore the Holy Spirit would never lead anyone to do anything which conflicts with the written Word of God, no matter how convincing the circumstances or intense the experience” [6]

Satan’s counterfeit signs and wonders have one purpose: To destroy the work of Christ. For those who are all caught up in the “sings and wonders” movement here are a few scriptures to ponder:

“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD” (Jer 13:16)

“A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away” (Mat 16:4).

“Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:30-31).

“Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Gal 5:7-8).

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thes 2:9-10).

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Tim 4.3-4).

There are other verses that support this point, but you get the idea. Video clips exposing the Lakeland Outpouring abound. Some of them are far worse than those few I have selected. Most who watch Todd Bentley in action conclude that the man is a false prophet. In my opinion he’s deeply troubled and in dire need of prayer.

Over the years I’ve corresponded with a number of charismatics who have accused me of “quenching the Holy Spirit.” What I’ve found is that if you don’t share their experiences, you’re considered “outside.” In other words, if you don’t buy into the apostate “signs and wonders” movement you lack “divine revelation.” Since when does “experience” override Sola Scriptura? “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching [Scripture], you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8: 31-32).

This is why committed Christians must be in the Word – so that they will know the truth! Knowing Scripture is the only way to become spiritually attuned enough to spot a counterfeit. False teachers are thriving! But in the end they will lose all they have gained here on earth. In Mat 7:21 our Lord gives this stern warning: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

So when a “miracle” takes place, test what the person is teaching! “Do not believe every spirit,” warned John, “but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1-2).

Now, I don’t claim to know Todd Bentley’s motives, only God knows what he’s up to, but I can certainly judge his words and actions. His words are lies and his actions are dishonoring to God. Thousands are streaming into Lakeland to receive the false anointing. Visitors are treated to a magical mystical experience and a bizarre floorshow – literally! Countless people have found themselves on the floor “sizzling in the spirit.” This is not an authentic revival it is a counterfeit! True revival accompanies preaching about sin, sanctification, and salvation. The unsaved leave Lakeland with no concept of sin and repentance. They have not heard the true gospel from Bentley. “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain” (1 Cor 15:1-2).

After watching Bentley’s performance, I’m convinced this is not a move of God; it’s a move of the Adversary. I’m also convinced that the charismatic revival, hailed as another Great Awakening, is a lying sign and a false revival. I realize that some lost souls are coming to Christ in Lakeland but they’re being saved in spite Todd Bentley, not because of him! This has all come about because of a lack of spiritual depth and transformation among those who claim to be committed Christians.

One last comment. Any pastor who advises his/her flock to visit the Lakeland Outpouring cannot be trusted for the simple reason that he/she is sorely lacking in spiritual discernment. Consider looking for a new church!

[1] End Times Prophetic, Prophecy, Visions, Dreams, Revelation, Christian Blog

[2] Miracles, Part 3, blog

[3] Articles By Marsha West (A slew of angel verses in Additional Reading below)

[4] For a biblical understanding of angles, read Unbiblical Ideas About Angels, By Marsha West

[5] An Open Heaven- Todd Bentley’s Highway to Heaven, By Mike Oppenheimer

[6] Overrun by Demons: The Churches New Preoccupation With The Demonic, By Thomas Ice and Robert Dean, Jr., page 88, Harvest House Publishers

Additional Reading:
What Is True Revival? Originally published August, 1989, By Charles Woodruff

Scriptures on angels from Sola Scriptura Project website

Signs and Wonders, Heresy, and Love for God, By Mike Ratliff

Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion, By Warren Smith

Other Todd Bentley “healings” on YouTube

Marsha West is a regular columnist for
She can be reached at:

Crusade of Surge and Siege: Part One

February 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Homeland Born and Bred

Sojourn into the outer recesses of a nation bordering on madness, into a land deeply disturbed and emotionally bewildered, a world of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism, of fanaticism and fundamentalism, entering a case study into fantasyland and escapism, taking a pilgrimage into realms both of purposeful ignorance and blindness, , of electing lifelong incompetents based on wanting to have a beer with them, walking through the dark valley of indifference, climbing the monolithic mountain of hubris, finally reaching the hallowed halls of smoke and mirrors, a place where only the blind lead the blind and where the deafening roars of death and destruction are easily suppressed in delusion and denial. Journey, if you will, into a nation that lost its moral compass inside the dungeons of fear and hatred.

Enter what fascists call the Homeland, what patriots used to call the United States of America, now named, simply, and appropriately, Amerika, a place where corporations enjoy more rights and protections than the People, where corporations – through their products and policies – help kill hundreds of thousands of human beings every year in the name of profit over people, making them mass murderers on a scale reserved only for humanity’s worst; a land controlled by the military-energy-industrial complex, with war the engine for unimaginable profits; a nation now without a Constitution, nor a moral standing; a country that has developed a thirst for human blood and an appetite for destruction; a land of Manifest Destiny leaving death, suffering and destruction in its wake; a sadist entity that develops and refines its crimes against humanity it inflicts upon the people of the world by first practicing them on its own citizenry.

It is inside the bowels of the Homeland that the malignant cancer that afflicts the country can be seen. The inner tumor inflicting constant pain can be seen through the eyes of a people so psychologically damaged by the never-before seen pressures on the human mind caused by capitalism run amok— conditioned to live to work and not work to live, thinking that work will set them free – that no nation on Earth has more citizens taking anti-depression and mind-numbing drugs in order to bandage an otherwise perpetually open gash. It can be seen through a people so internally despondent that only escapism through hours of fantasy-television watching or ceaseless consumption of materialistic goods, a modern version of bread and circus, can alleviate the stress and the pressures and the fatigue and the frustration and the anger developed in the pursuit of empty promises, of fictional dreams, in a world of the unreal.

Crisscross the land of the free and the home of the brave to see those who serve and protect abuse the people they serve. Tour Taser Nation, a land where authorities routinely inflict electroshock torture on the People, pulling the trigger first, asking questions later, as always enjoying inflicting pain and suffering on both innocent and guilty. Students, suspects, the infirm, the handicapped, pregnant women, motorists, the elderly, those asking questions, those protecting their rights and yes, now even children, all can be electroshocked into submission in a legalized form of torture that seems to grow by the day.

Taser Nation has become Torture Nation, zapping one unsuspecting citizen at a time, conditioning the population towards the new normal of police brutality and state-sanctioned intimidation. Welcome to the Land of the Brownshirts, a place where respect for human rights and loving your neighbor as yourself is now frowned upon, a place where bullying, intimidation, harassment and a budding police state are the new normal.

Take an excursion into the vast hinterlands of the Empire’s prison system, a network of concentration camps holding over two million human beings, most imprisoned for petty drug violations, most black or Latino or working class white, many suffering serious mental health problems, many trapped in a vicious circle of indigence, unemployment, incarceration and oppression at the hands of the state. Ostensibly designed to rehabilitate, these jails do the opposite, exacerbating mental anguish, frustration and anger, easing the transformation of human beings into rotting manifestations of lives lost and altered. It is here where Guantanamo and Bagram and Abu Ghraib find their genesis.

These prisons, these cages of solitude and loneliness and madness and survival and violence, are where American society discards itself of the unwanted, the undesirable, those not comporting to the mores of Puritanical code. America’s vast prison system is where those fated from birth to the lower echelons of society’s caste system end up, those millions tattooed with the shackles of American society’s perpetual enslavement, destined to forever live in ghettos, inner city reservations and Bantustans, devoid of opportunity and a future, forced to dwell upon the realities of metaphysical imprisonment, desperate to survive either by illegality or escapism, oppressed and subjugated by authorities, marginalized by society, discriminated against by the state.

It is here, in these rotting machinations of rusted iron, metal bars and decrepit institutionalization, of fetid squalor and sadistic reality, where America’s brigade of automatons makes its problems disappear, creating an entire state and privatized prison-industrial complex dependent on crime, guilt, sentencing and prisoners. It is inside these penal institutions that America’s sadists and authoritarian personalities work, brutalizing and torturing inmates, oppressing and exploiting individuals, fomenting racism and hatred.

It is here where America trains her torturers and her malevolent warriors, her “bad apples” and her fascist enablers, exporting lessons learned abroad, infecting the innocent of occupied lands with the cruel and inhuman punishment that is as American as apple pie. It is here, in these creations of human hell, that crimes against humanity are perfected. It is inside the gates of hell that experimentation becomes indoctrination and where brutality becomes legalized torture.

Rise of a New Crusade

Enter the periphery of the Empire, where fear and hatred together form silent acquiescence to myriad crimes against humanity, where indifference and unconcern leads to war crimes going unpunished, where ignorance of the outside world leads to ignorance of forgotten occupations, where ballots cast help ease into power corruption and criminality and mass murder, where the two headed hydra of the Corporatist Party colludes to condemn millions in Muslim lands to premature death and wretched suffering, where critical thinking is shunned and backwardness embraced, and where progressive, humanist ideals find castration by the knives owned by those living inside the bubble of primitive and extinct days long since passed.

Traverse a nation conditioned to hate the Arab and Muslim world – a land of a billion strong – with its corresponding depravity of jingoism and xenophobia boiling beneath the surface, ready at a moment’s notice, or upon the happenstance of new Pearl Harbor events, to explode in searing anger, for a populace injected with the venom of fear and ignorance easily unleashes its wrath on the chosen dark-skinned scapegoats of the undeveloped world. Programmed fear and molded hatred born of inside jobs and false flag events have unlocked the flames of bigotry from the inner demons of the Empire, creating sub-human scapegoats whose only crime is inhabiting lands the vampire of hegemony needs in order to satiate its ceaseless craving for power and control. Thus, in the lands where black blood flows and the devil’s excrement spills you will find the Empire’s dripping, black stained fangs.

Enter, if you will, the land of Christian soldiers and born-again leaders, a terrain belonging to the army of Jesus and to the vengeful, disastrous deity of Old Testament belief, marching off to victory with a cross in one-hand and an M-16 in the other; a nation of bible camps, bible conventions, bible thumpers and Bible Belts; of mega-churches, mega- proselytizers and mega-hypocrisy; of fanaticism and fundamentalism; of illogical – and damaging – belief in the myth of creationism and the delusions of abstinence; of agents of intolerance, thirst for conversions and theocratic fantasy; of protection and respect of life only if life is that of a zygote, not an actual human being caught in war, terminal disease or endemic suffering; a place where belief in myth and fable and of the never seen is given prominence over reality and reason and modernity’s treatises; of blind faith trumping sound science; of a nation self-professing and monopolizing blessings by humankind’s archaic and historically grossly incompetent divinity; of extremist theism, evangelical psychosis and reactionary emotion; and of evangelical sheep being led to pasture by wolves dressed in shepherd’s clothing.

Indeed, enter the eye of the Middle East storm, the creator of hatred and blowback, the father and mother of the fictional war on terror, the epicenter of the crusade of surge and siege, the fulcrum of Christian extremism, the home of the American Taliban, the disseminator of the self-fulfilling prophesy of a so-called clash of civilizations. From the Cathedrals of Consumerism to the Enormous Edifices of Evangelism, from the Hubris of Imperialism to the Arrogance of Righteousness, it is the Empire itself, holding debauched neoliberal capitalism in one hand, the mutated, distorted principles of the Cross on the other, that has birthed this latest of Crusades into the lands of ancient history.

For it is America, through military might and the power of its weapons, though financial intimidation and market colonialism, that has proclaimed itself heir to the throne of Western imperialism, arrogantly declaring itself the next in line, of humankind’s great historical powers, to reach the apex of Empire. And so, as the maker of mankind’s new reality, as the molder of human destiny, the Pax Americana, through its legions of neoliberal capitalists, religious extremists, corporatist stooges and delusional neocons, has created a collision all its own making, a vicious cycle of hatred born and vengeance sought, of cause and effect, of boomeranging blowback, of making an enemy where none existed, of declaring war on an entire region of the planet.

Thus the fictional war on terror builds the momentum for it to invariably become real, for one billion Muslims – the vast majority peaceful and moderate – to see, and firmly believe, that a Crusade of Surge and Siege has thus been thrust upon them by Christian and uber-capitalist Amerika. By this method the fictional war on terror feeds itself, growing from an invention of fascist Amerika in search of enemies into a mature manifestation of anger and hatred, a true, and artificially engendered clash of civilizations gorging on the boiling animosity of East versus West.

Through momentum that has been building since September 2001, the architects of creative chaos, the designers of bogeymen, the fathers of shock capitalism, and the makers of artificial fear have coalesced into an amalgam of malevolence, planting the seed they hope will sprout a perpetual battle between Muslim and Christian, America and Middle Easterners. In the desert landscape of Muslim lands they have found an oasis from which to plant and grow a modern day crusade, not to reclaim the Holy Land, but to simply claim the vast fields of the Devil’s Excrement; not to rain freedom and democracy on uncivilized people, but to firmly plant permanence in strategic lands; not to bring Christianity to barbarians, but to violently force neoliberal capitalism down the throats of the Muslim world. Such is the method to the madness of the Crusade of Surge and Siege.

First they came for the Muslims…

Navigate from coast to coast, witnessing the persecution of Arab and Muslim groups, most set up by the same government that later concocts charges and smears against them in the usually unsuccessful attempt at maintaining the illusion of insecurity within the greater population. The state propagandists realize that in order to maintain the chimera of an enemy, that in order for the idea of terror to coagulate in the minds of the people, the illusion must be maintained that indeed an enemy exists. It must be made to look as though the enemy lives among us, that it is domestic as well as foreign, that it is planning to attack our way of life. This, of course, also creates the fantasy that the state is our protector, and that in order to protect us, we must sacrifice even more rights and freedoms for security.

The use of scapegoats, in this case the use of naïve, oftentimes incompetent, illiterate, indigent and sometimes even mentally deficient groups of Arab or Muslim men, usually with no political power and no financial resources, is part of a formula of fear designed inside the rubble of the Twin Towers that has been used to terrorize the American people into submitting to a fascist, despotic state. With every persecution of Arab and Muslim groups, charged with planning terrorist activity, usually with little or no proof, usually later found innocent by a court of law, the state further cements the fiction of fear and the illusion of perpetual insecurity in the citizenry. Propaganda makes bogeymen of scapegoats and scapegoats make obedient cowards of us all.

Of course every new persecution is met by a thunderous manifestation of corporate media coverage, bombarding the airwaves with the fictions and illusions of the charade that is the war on terror. There are enemies in our midst, we are told, dreaded bogeymen intent on killing us, trying to shoot up a mall, or blow up a building, or murder our children. Yet, as usually happens, when the alleged plot is discovered for the lie that it is, when the state is forced to drop charges, when a court of law throws out the case, when the innocent’s voice is validated and the condemned are once again free, there is not one camera or reporter or journalist ready or willing to bombard us with the truth. The blitzkrieg of guilt is suddenly replaced with the utter silence of innocence.

The damage, however, has already been done, for in the eyes of tens of millions the parade of fictions and the presumption of guilt that has so readily been beamed by the corporate media have already established the fear and insecurity that America is under siege by the barbarian horde and its evil religion. The illusion has thus been established, the excuse to erode yet more liberties has been successful, and the scapegoat has again been made the object of growing hatred. The people have again been manipulated, conditioned to hate the very idea of a Muslim or an Arab. The enemy has again been vilified, dehumanized and ostracized, the very term “Muslim” becoming denigrated, its practitioners and believers made to wear an invisible crescent moon on their breasts, becoming in many eyes unwelcome pariahs in the land of immigrants and the home of freedom.

Every new so-called uncovered plot, every new so-called uncovered threat, every new depiction of evil incarnate is, of course, used by the Ministry of Truth to validate the belief that the state is protecting us, that our sacrifice of freedoms and rights, that our submission to a police state has been of great service, that it is indeed working and must therefore continue, no matter how intrusive it becomes, no matter how much it destroys the Constitution and no matter how large Big Brother continues to grow. In the end, the formula of illusion, of imaginary enemies, of chosen scapegoats, works to create a harmonious narrative of terror abroad and terror at home, of a war on terror that must be perpetual and ceaseless, of a state working diligently to secure our freedom, our way of life, the American way.

The formula creates a submissive, compliant and acquiescent citizenry, one that does not blink at the mass murder of millions in the Middle East, at innumerable war crimes, at the use of torture and the creation of gulags. The scapegoating of Arab and Muslims by the state and the corporatist media has succeeded in fomenting a xenophobic hatred and anger against those people emanating from and residing in the Middle East. The mission has been accomplished, for the masses, thinking that the shredding of the Constitution has not affected them because they are not terrorists and have done nothing wrong, have voluntarily eviscerated their own rights and freedoms, for eventually, the crimes and horrors and human rights violations and erosion of liberties committed against the scapegoat class inevitably is imputed onto the majority. In a proto-fascist nation such as America, it is only a matter of time.

First the state comes for the chosen scapegoats, using them as the key to unlocking the rights and freedoms of the masses. The scapegoat is the excuse, the mirage to eviscerate the Constitution in the shadows, with the masses blinded to reality, and creating a new normal of fascism and tyranny. Thinking they are safe from the claws of the state, the masses eagerly give up more power and freedom and liberty in the belief that only the enemy is being targeted. Eventually, before the blink of a collective eye, the masses themselves are being eavesdropped, spied on, surveilled upon, interrogated, harassed, controlled, tortured and disappeared. Eventually, it is their rights and freedoms and liberties that no longer exist.

Told today’s eavesdropping and illegal wiretapping by the state is to spy on the few Muslim terrorists, and that immunity for state and corporations is needed for our vital security, we later learn that all Americans have been illegally spied on, that Big Brother is watching and listening and monitoring us all and that we have no recourse to halt or file suit or seek accountability against the same companies doing the spying. Thus yesterday’s malfeasance and criminality become the present’s new normal, and the closer we approach the precipice of despotism.

The formula works every time authoritarian entities are determined to destroy the fabric of a free and democratic people. It is written in humankind’s history books, yet it remains ignored and unlearned by those who refuse to know the history of man. It is in our history that our tendencies are deciphered. It is in our past that our patterns can be anticipated. In the end, compliant Americans become good Americans, freedom is replaced by tyranny, rights and liberties are usurped by a police and surveillance state and a constitutional past becomes a new normal of authoritarianism and corporatism.

This is what happens when the majority ignores the plight of a scapegoated minority that is powerless to fight the claws of a despotic state. This is what happens when the first signs of smoke over the horizon are seen and ignored, only later realizing, much too late to escape its wrath, that a raging inferno enveloping everything in its path has arrived. First they come for Muslims, then they come for us all.

Crusade of Surge and Siege: Part Two: Cages of Conquest

Manuel Valenzuela is a regular columnist for
Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst, current events observer, Internet columnist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by The novel is now available on and We invite you to visit his blog at: Valenzuela’s Veritas
Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at:

Behind the Facade of Incompetence

November 1, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

It is clear that the US media moguls would have us believe that the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq was a sincere effort to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East, gone awry. But we must remember that everything associated with capitalism is about marketing: making the people believe that things and events are the opposite of what they really are, and creating artificial wants that neither benefit the individual nor society, while simultaneously embellishing corporate profits.

This understanding would have been equally evident in the mainstream media’s buildup to the war had we a less propagandized, better read, and more informed citizenry. Even the politically naïve should have known that Saddam Hussein’s threat to the US, so vividly hyped in the media, was pure marketing propaganda.

But the majority of the people bought it, and now we have no choice but to live with our purchase. Short of a major social upheaval, we are going to be in Iraq for a very long time, and the death toll will continue to rise, especially for the Iraqis—the unwilling recipients of our corporate benevolence delivered through carpet bombs, terror, and torture. For these are the undeniable legacy of our foreign policies, and the illegal, amoral, acquisition of property by blunt force trauma.

If we are to survive as a republic, we must appreciate that capitalism and its cousin, global corporatism—not Saddam Hussein, not Communism or Socialism, nor Islamic terrorists, are the greatest threats to democracy. Zionism and Christian fundamentalism, which attempt to provide the flimsy moral basis for our Middle East policy, also pose significant obstacles to world peace by denying justice to others and promoting ethnic cleansing.

It is beguiling that we have yet to learn this fundamental lesson, that we know so little about our own history, and the role that mass ignorance plays in determining the future.

The narcotic of state sponsored propaganda has a powerful and hypnotic effect on our collective senses, and it is rending asunder the fabric of what is supposed to be a free and civil society. We believe what we are told and accept what we are given, without demanding truth, justice or accountability.

It is imperative for the purveyors of war to maintain a cloak of secrecy and a façade of public support where, if the truth were known, none would exist. It is necessary to keep the truth concealed in order to throw the public off the scent of the corruption that is the guiding principle of corporate governance and plutocracy, fomented by morally bankrupt men and women; a system that causes irreparable harm and suffering to its innocent victims and then profits from the misery and suffering it inflicts.

These days it is popular to describe the events occurring in Iraq as the result of incompetence, mismanagement, miscalculation, and benevolent bungling; to characterize them as a well intentioned mistake on the road to freedom and democracy, rather than the moral abomination they are. What we have in Iraq is not the result of any of these phenomena. It is the intended consequence of cold calculation to bomb Iraq into submission, to thoroughly disorient its people, and to apply economic shock therapy before they can recognize what is being done to them.

The intent is to invade sovereign nations either militarily, economically, or both; and to force unbridled capitalism on them. This means, of course, that we must first overthrow the existing governments—many of them democracies, and replace them with ruthless dictatorships willing to betray their own people, and amenable to opening up their countries to corporate exploitation and privatization.

So called free market capitalism requires corrupt leadership on the receiving end that is willing to accept bribes while becoming a puppet to the US. This is how some of the must brutal regimes in the world came into power. Corporate America is always beating the drums of war in search of profits and ever increasing shares of the world’s markets. Enough is never enough—they want it all.

Aside from overthrowing popularly elected governments, the unspoken objective of mature capitalism, guided by the doctrine of economic shock therapy, is to turn once sovereign nations into totally deregulated corporate states, answerable to no one.

This objective will be accomplished by privatizing the nationalized infrastructure, inviting in foreign investors, removing tariffs that protect local business and cooperatives from predatory multinational corporations, and downsizing the workforce; by eliminating social spending, and removing all forms of corporate controls. In short, by conducting a fire sale of each nation’s stolen assets and auctioning them off at bargain basement prices to wealthy multinational investors.

The intent is to create an unfettered corporate state in which the market, driven solely by profit, is the final arbiter of all things; an Orwellian world in which human rights, labor laws, environmental protections, and social justice do not even exist, much less enter into market equations.

Aided by the World Bank and the IMF, we are rapidly arriving at a state of global corporate fascism—the free market reform of manic capitalism, greed on steroids; a horrible economic monster unleashed upon unsuspecting people the world over, masquerading as democracy and free trade. And it is occurring in blatant contradiction to everything that is free, decent, and fair; a monstrosity utterly devoid of humanity and empathy for those struggling to survive.

But behind the marketing façade of a beneficent capitalism that is more oxymoronic than real, the skeleton of Reaganism, free marketry, and trickle down economics is exposed for all to see. We are witnessing naked greed unleashed upon the world like a swarm of locusts the size of North America. The fabulously wealthy are realizing obscene profits, while the majority of the world’s people are forced into economic servitude, many of them living in abject poverty, scratching out a bleak existence on sweatshop wages under horrendous conditions.

Economic slavery and burdensome debt, not freedom and democracy, is what we are imposing upon Iraq, aided by the most powerful military in history and, all too often, with the blessings of an oblivious and propagandized citizenry. Aside from the fierce resistance to the occupation, the US is achieving all of its major objectives in Iraq.

Like flies circling piles of stinking excrement, the lords of unfettered capitalism are buzzing around the bloated corpse of what is left of the world. And they have no intentions of stopping at Iraq. Iran and Syria are waiting in the wings: war that will not end in our lifetime.

If the world were as enamored with capitalism as its adherents proclaim, there would be no need to masquerade it as anything other than what it is—economic self interest for the privileged, driven by insatiable greed, funded by the public treasure. There would be no need to impose it on the world through high tech militarism and occupation, preceded by elaborate propagandistic media blitzes and tricks. All people would seek it out, as they seek water to slake their thirst and nourishment for their bodies.

So we must ask ourselves: When has it ever been in the pubic interest to over feed the rich and starve the poor? When has it ever been in the public interest to destroy the earth for the sake of profits? When has it ever been in the public interest to promote war and injustice over peace and shared prosperity?

Just people everywhere must resist evil or run the risk of being complicit in it. Neutrality, indifference and apathy, are untenable responses to what is being done in our name. Somehow, we must awaken from this media induced cultural stupor. We must do so under the prying eyes of government and private security contractors who are protecting corporate investors from democracy, and from people like us. Each of us is being diminished just as the Declaration of Independence states: “harass our people and eat out their substance.”

Every citizen is faced with a simple choice: organize or perish. The storm clouds of World War Three are looming on the horizon. These are extraordinary times that demand something from every one of us.

Charles Sullivan is a regular columnist for
Charles Sullivan is a furniture maker, photographer, and freelance writer residing in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at

Video: Rapture Ready: The Christians United for Israel Tour

August 13, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Max Blumenthal’s latest takes us on a shocking and at times bizarre tour of right-wing Pastor John Hagee’s annual Washington-Israel Summit, blowing the cover off the Christian Zionist movement in the process. Starring Joe Lieberman, Tom DeLay, Pastor John Hagee, Ambassador Dore Gold and a host of rapture-ready evangelicals praying for Armageddon.

The Enlightenment of Resistance

November 1, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Exorcising Our Demons

Into the infancy of the 21st century has humanity somehow managed to reach, despite our insatiable addiction for violence and suffering that has for millennia been both endemic and devastating, in spite of the continued tribalism, now called the nation state, that fosters competition, ignorance, fear, hatred and war among the peoples of the world, even with the hierarchical need among peoples to perpetually follow corrupt, immoral and warmongering leadership that continues to lay ruin the vast potential within us and notwithstanding the locust-like hunger of six billion primates whose consumptions and needs for resources are raping and pillaging Earth at unsustainable levels, thus accelerating our inevitable implosion.

Into the early years of the 21st century does humanity find itself in, in the present seeing our past, in our future seeing the present, refusing to learn from the sands of time and the chronicles of those who have come before, knocking on the heavy iron doors of progressive modernity yet hearing only the echoing thuds of regressive primitiveness, desperately seeking the keys that will allow us to finally escape the pestilence of times past and malignant cancers of the present.

Yet in turbulent times do we once more find ourselves living in, surrounded by war, destruction and death, gnawed at by suffering and misery, living among the ignorant, fearful and easily led, taken hostage by fundamentalists, zealots and extremists, refusing to eradicate from our condition the plague called violence and the warmongering, greed-infected leaders who birth it.

Inside the scourge of humanity called capitalism and the devastating system of control it has unleashed onto billions of human energies do we find ourselves trapped in, becoming six billion cogs in an engine, oiled by exploiters and oppressors, that runs voraciously on the fumes of conditioned consumerism and programmed parasitic production. It is capitalism, presently inebriated in its most damaging stage, that has best succeeded in tapping the animalistic selfishness and instinctual individualism of the human mind. It is this form of economic governance that has enveloped our animal urges, needs, wants, passions and emotions into an intertwined cocktail of unparalleled self-damage resulting in the virtual enslavement of billions living off the scraps and bones of the Establishment.

Forgotten by the hypnotizing aura of greed and the Almighty Dollar is the inevitable necessity of the common good and the survival of the commons for the benefit of all. Humanism and communalism has been replaced by manipulated materialism and a systemically programmed love of individual self, our animal instincts easily dominated by a system thriving off the human condition and the nature of who and what we are.

For it is easy to manipulate our instincts, creating a system that thrives off our insecurities, fears, emotions, needs and desires, feeding itself from the heavy pressures on us of society, groups and family, draining our energies through the abuse of the inherent human need for survival and manufacturing a fictional world of fantasy and perfection that penetrates our psychology and attacks our behaviors. Capitalism as we know it has been a parasite, using our own weaknesses to exterminate our strengths, becoming the perfect form of economic dependence from which to exploit, enslave and subjugate billions of human beings.

Its primitiveness lies in its strengths, namely its ability to control and manipulate our animalistic behaviors and passions, masquerading as an evolved form of human interaction. Yet evolution is advancement, a progress away from our animal selves and towards the greater manifestations of human understanding. Evolution of economic governance would be a system willing to take humanity away from its animal instincts and towards those mechanisms distinguishing us beyond the confines of what we presently inhabit.

Progress is fighting our urges, our fears, our insecurities and our human nature. Evolution is doing away with our animalistic individuality and selfishness, our mammalian instinct for competition, our lust for hierarchy and territory, our pursuit of power and sexual conquest, our primitive thoughts and beliefs, and of the unyielding control over our lives of both the tribe and archaic theology, both of which prey on our animal instincts for power and survival. In order to be human the animal inside us must be controlled, dominated and understood.

Only by understanding ourselves and the parameters of our existence can a better humanity arise. Only through deep introspections of history past and humanity present can resistance commence and renaissance be born. We must mold who and what we are into a higher being, forming from the clays of Earth a better, more evolved human species, learning from our mistakes, advancing through our triumphs, understanding ourselves and those unknown, joining our strengths and eliminating our weaknesses, in the end working in concert towards the betterment of six billion, not simply 300 million.

The animal inside us must be exorcised from our conscious, its thirst for violence and war finally exterminated, its lust for oppression and addiction to selfishness vanquished, its divisions and fear based on ignorance and reliance on unscrupulous leadership made to disappear. Antiquated notions such as the nation state – nothing more than a tribe on steroids – and reliance on the archaic beliefs of ancient brains living in primitive times must give way to the coming together of the world entire, for the benefit of all, as well as a new understanding of humanity, encompassing progressive pragmatism, educated modernity, communal spirituality, scientific reality and the thought-processes of 21st century man, not those of 8,000 year old primeval primates trying to make sense of an existence both harsh and frightening through now extinct myths and fables that helped explain a once-mysterious world. Only when we put a stop to a condition that has followed us since we left the jungles of the Great Rift Valley will we be allowed to evolve forward, no longer continuing on our slow and painful stagnation towards self-destruction and no longer held back by the control mechanisms of those who have for too long quashed human potential and our inevitable push forward.

To follow in the footsteps of our animal urges and passions is easy to do, it being a simple continuation of all we have ever known and experienced. After all, we have never deviated from this self-defeating understanding of humanity. It is changing direction, however, in such obvious deficit of present-day society and civilization, that truly makes us human. It is when we go against our own instincts, fighting the symptoms of our disease, struggling for the benefit of the many, in an enlightened stage of understanding, that humanity can finally claim victory in escaping its animal self. To continue our ways is easy, for it is what we are; to change course in spite of ourselves is much more difficult, yet what will allow us to claim humanness away from our primate/mammal selves.

When the day finally arrives when we grasp the reality of who we are and discard the fiction of what we portend to be humanity will cease to ride the rollercoaster of our history, so full of violence, exploitation and suffering, instead launching itself to the highest zenith of civilization. It will be when we deviate away from the ceaseless damage we have done onto ourselves and the planet that we can claim resistance and renaissance.

When genocide stops, when ethnic cleansing vanishes, when war becomes nonexistent and the perpetual cycle of violence is washed away from the realm of human existence we can claim Revolution. Resistance will begin when the many begin the healing of civilization and the planet, when a massive movement commences to purge warmongering leadership from our midst, when a tidal wave of humanity floods the concrete jungles and steel canyons we live in, marching to the drumbeats of peace, non-violence and universal harmony. That is Revolution at the dawn of the 21st century; that is the evolution of humankind and our triumph over the primitive conditions of our being that still riddle our existence.

We must put aside ego, forever eliminating the fallacy of our perceived ascendancy and the conditioned greatness of our species, in unity fighting and curing the symptoms of our disease and the conditioned, systemic exploitation of our lives. We must forever banish the exploitation and subjugation advanced by capitalism, where billions are forever condemned to servitude, raped of opportunity, robbed of talent, sucked of energy and perpetually chained to the bondage of a caste system from where few ever escape.

Only when the many, the indigent, the desolate are freed from the meager wages they earn in dehumanizing and torturous working conditions, all for the benefit of the rich nations, corporations and consumers of the north will we be able to claim enlightenment. Only when the lands and peoples of the poor south stop hemorrhaging from the ceaseless rape of their lands and devastation of their environments by the forces of neo-liberalism, market colonialism and globalization will our world become more secure. Only when the peoples of the rich north unite in solidarity and fraternity with their brothers and sisters of the exploited south can we as a species advance towards greatness. Only then will we have resistance. Only then will the many have revolution.

To continue what has transpired and will continue to be is to remain tied to our animals selves, refusing to resist the urges, the fears, the demons and the disease itself, refusing to evolve as a civilization, ensnarled by the clutches of a primitiveness that has yet to let us go. Remaining stagnant, refusing to leave the comfort of the tormented and arduous reality of the only road we have ever known, when we have yet to change or mend our ways, when history’s books are littered with the effects of our disease, when sands and dirt reveal the shattered and ruined remains of the human condition, will inevitably lead to our self-annihilation.

Indeed, for as long as we have existed we have followed a most ominous path, one of constant war, competition, violence, killing, suffering and destruction. From the beginning humanity has marched toward an inevitability, now closer than ever, that we have yet to deviate away from, that unless altered will leave our ruins to the cockroaches and scorpions, free to roam the plains of Earth, the destroyed cities, its deserted streets and once magnificent monuments of a once troubled civilization. Rather, stubbornly we maintain our self-defeating ways, refusing to evolve away from a system that has been broken, even diseased, for millennia. We refuse to fix or alter what has not worked, what continues to devastate the vast proportion of human beings, a poison that lingers without antidote, gaining strength from our indifference, becoming a historical plague subsisting from our weaknesses, forever cementing into our condition the parameters of war and violence, disease and indigence, pervasive exploitation and incessant oppression.

What road six billion people choose to take in the next few years will in the end decide the collective fates of those alive today and those born tomorrow.

Resistance begins with Ourselves

Understanding ourselves in body and mind will lead to the next leap forward for humanity, and with it the liberation of the embedded greatness inside us, released from the dungeons of human weakness, that will spawn a new awakening in the way we see and treat ourselves. Consciously deciding to step forward instead of facing backwards, the enlightenment of resistance must be massive, a giant movement born of synergy, a symbiotic unity of human energy crashing head first into a system for too long eroding the very fabric of humanity, finally awakening billions to a most troubled history. For only in harmony, knitted together from the toughest elements, can a most beautiful orchestra come alive, trumpeting a rebirth of humanity unparalleled in history and unsurpassed in power. The beginning stages will be called Resistance; its finality, Revolution.

The Enlightenment of Resistance commences with the self, in understanding the destructive forces unleashed by our own actions. The Resistance to the system and the corporatists in power begins by fighting the conditioned consumerism, ingrained into us from birth, that envelopes our daily existence. The evils spawned by capitalism, those mechanisms that manipulate our fragile psyches and mammalian needs in order to garner the most profit, must be seen for the exploitation of human minds that they are. Fictions that cannot possibly exist, whether in advertisements, cartoons, television or movies, where perfection is all-encompassing, fantasy is made attainable in the realm of human life and beauty seen as absolute, must be exposed for the psychological fallacy they espouse, existing to manipulate the human mind into returning every working wage we earn to our corporate masters through the purchase of those products that we are made to believe will somehow improve our “miserable” lives.

Thus, resistance begins with understanding that television shows are designed to hook us, like a fish in a lake, for the purpose of cooking our minds in the grill of perpetual revenue and profit. Television exists for one purpose, and that is to blitzkrieg us in a shock and awe bombardment of product placements and advertisements, employed in psychologically manipulative fantasies, designed to consciously and subconsciously compel us to purchase a vast array of products, thus transferring our living wages into the pockets of corporations. Television shows are like an orgasmic drug, addicting us to fictions and hooking us to characters and stories that will hypnotize us through the glare of the screen, acting as magnets that attach us to our couches, all methodically done for the real purpose behind television, namely the huge assortment of advertisements, product placement, and incessant brainwashing that is designed to make parasitic consumers of us all.

Television is thus a conduit by which the corporate world uses us, abusing our psychology and emotions, pitting our rational selves against our animal instincts, carefully selecting marketable formulas that will propel forward the most consumers and invariably, the most profit as well. We are being harvested for our earnings, our psychology is being meddled with. From cradle to grave corporate brainwashing transforms us into robot-like producers and gluttonous consumers of its products, all for profit, all for wealth, and all for love of the Almighty Dollar.

Resistance of self is awakening to a reality that everything you see on television is placed there for the benefit of the corporate world and the government it owns. Television is an instrument of control, of making lifelong consumers and catatonic citizens of us, a means to profit and power, a mechanism of distraction away from those events negatively affecting our lives and a successful formula for brainwashing our mind to the dictates it wants furthered in society.

The best way to punish corporations and the Establishment that owns them, then, is to put a stop to addictions to materialism that are prevalent throughout American society. We must stop our gluttonous consumption patterns and the plague-like appetite for material wealth that lingers in our nation. The corporation does not bleed red, but it does bleed heavily with the loss of revenue and profit. This is our weapon against the system, and if enough of us orchestrate a movement, then in time, one by one, corporations will fall, too anemic to continue ruling over our lives, slowly hemorrhage to death through the accumulated blows of the many. We must hit them where they will suffer most, where we can inflict the greatest pain, nailing individual corporations in their most vulnerable weak spot. It is revenue and profit that grants them life, infecting executives and Board members with greed, lining the pockets of investors and shareholders, making them blind to the damage done to man and land. It is here where we will drive them to the ground. This is the Enlightenment of Resistance.

We must seek happiness over material wealth, knowing that our species cannot possibly sustain its exorbitant lifestyle. We must trade our SUV’s for fuel-efficient cars, our lavish standards of living for a more modest existence. Material wealth must give way to sacrifice and discipline, for the gluttony of the north contributes to the enslavement and exploitation of the south. Boycotts of energy conglomerates and the auto industry must commence, forcing these backward barbarians to expedite the extinction of the internal combustion engine and quickly giving rise to more fuel-efficient modes of transportation. We must push forward the development of solar and wind energy, as well as other forms of alternative energy that are renewable and environmentally friendly.

If we are modern man, then the machines of the past must quickly be phased out, yet in order to maintain profit, wealth, power and control those industries enriched by and dependent on oil refuse to evolve forward, instead condemning the planet to certain global warming and future catastrophe. The technology for renewable energies presently exists, yet it remains hidden, a dark secret in the corporate world’s closet, gathering dust until it is convenient for them to inject it into civilization. Yet as long as the last drop of oil remains below the surface of the only home we know, those in control will continue destroying our environment, helping to set us back decades with each year the devil’s excrement remains in existence. Yet when greed controls and the Almighty Dollar reigns supreme, when immoral scoundrels run the nation’s corporate machine, the oceans of Earth will have to submerge us and devastating climate change will have to decimate us before they realize the destiny their grease-stained hands and fume infested minds have placed humanity in.

Slowly but surely we are killing the planet, and with it ourselves. This, the Resistance needs to remedy. This Beast we need to destroy.

On all Fronts, Resistance

On all fronts the Enlightenment of Resistance must be strong, yet it is in the area of self-education that it matters most. Resistance to the corporatist takeover of America begins with self-enlightenment, in seeing clearly with open eyes and unfiltered minds. It is going back to our childhood and deprogramming ourselves from years of government propaganda and corporate manipulation. It is rewiring our brains so that truth and reality are once more seen over the horizon, turning our backs on skies of pitch dark nothingness where even the brightest stars have been extinguished.

Resistance means reading books of truth, no matter how alien or difficult to bear they are. The truth of what America has been and continues to be must be known. It is the only way to know our enemy. ( I highly recommend Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States) The pages of history must be studied so that we are not condemned to repeat the errors of times past. The teachings of our forefathers must be inculcated, their wisdom understood, their words heeded. The beliefs of those now exterminated should be resurrected for in their philosophies of life, nature and spirituality modern man can learn valuable lessons. We must study how we came to be, how we evolved and how we behave, studying the sciences and ourselves, learning the pragmatism of today and finally letting go the fantasy of yesterday.

Brainwash education must be made extinct, as should curriculum teaching young adults to be thieves and murderers, exploiters and oppressors. New dogmas favoring the pursuit of sustainable development, humanity, peace, love, respect for Earth and unity of humankind should be introduced, replacing those espousing love of individual interest, pursuit of material wealth, indoctrination of mass consumption, generator of waste and formation of automaton-like producers. Jobs for the benefit of humanity should be promoted and encouraged over those promising individual glory and wealth. Selflessness must be preached, as should empathy for our fellow humans. The altar of greed must be exterminated, the temple of the Almighty Dollar bulldozed and burned, and all ideology advocating profit over people forever vanquished.

Human rights must stand for all, not just the warmongers, greed mongers and profiteers. The philosophies of Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King should be taught instead of those of Adam Smith, Machiavelli and American Christian fundamentalism. Morality should not belong to the murderers and war criminals who make of it what they wish, manufacturing lies and deceptions to justify their monstrous thirst for blood and indifference to human life. Never again should we allow those without scruples or love of humanity to falsely condition us to accept unspeakable horrors and devastating suffering befalling onto innocent individuals. Never again should we allow $650 billion a year worth of instruments of death, maiming, suffering and destruction to rain down like a violent hailstorm onto an entire populace, giving birth to the nadir of human hell and condemning millions to a terrorism bordering on the Apocalypse.

The Resistance should do all in its power to deny the military-industrial-complex from pilfering our treasure for its sinister purposes and making monsters of our loved ones, transforming naïve and undereducated citadels of caste warfare into Frankenstein-like creatures robbed of mind, soul and heart, sent to foreign lands to devastate and destroy their fellow brothers of economic circumstance. The Resistance must fight so that $650 billion a year in our treasure does not end up in the bank accounts of murderers and criminals who care not an ounce leaving our children behind and our elderly and sick without medicines or healthcare.

We must strive to live in a world where a nation’s strength is not military might but rather its humanist resources. We should want to live in a world where the military industry is relegated to the margins of society and where the education of our children becomes of paramount importance. Our new world should endeavor for the elimination of the military-industrial complex because as long as it exists, and as long as capitalism persists, war will be ceaseless, it will be devastating, and it will be profitable. Capitalism’s evils include war, for through destruction and murder the corporate world thrives and wealth is accumulated. As long as greed lives war will linger, killing and maiming, destroying and inflicting untold levels of misery.

The military-industrial complex is in the business of death and violence, with access to a military budget that supercedes that of all industrialized nations’ combined. It exists because it kills, and because there are so many people to continue killing. Its power grows because we refuse to act, because of our unwillingness and indifference to control a most malicious beast. Its continued flourishing endangers all of humanity, for it will continue to grow, becoming still more powerful, seeking new blood to spill, new flesh to burn and new bodies to tear open. Each new year its budget swells, each new year its addictions fuse with its ability to declare war, whenever it wants, wherever it wants, easily manipulating the populace and its mercenary armies. Until it is stopped, until our war culture is changed, until missiles and bombs and tanks and artillery and depleted uranium and bullets are no longer manufactured and spat out like warm bread out of the assembly lines of American factories we will not be rid of the pestilence that has forever attacked our existence, pitting poor versus poor and young versus young for the entertainment, accumulated wealth and growing power of the Establishment.

The Greatest Story Ever Told?

The birth of a new humanity and a new America is possible. We simply have to wish it so, acting on our own behalf, claiming for ourselves a better way of life and a better mechanism for human interaction. Resistance is a massive movement pushing forward principles of humanity and morality, born of discontent and protest, outrage and a belief that a better world is possible. A system that exploits billions of people cannot be allowed to continue. A system that in essence enslaves billions, robbing them of opportunity and talent, a future and a life worth living cannot be allowed to fester. For the sake of billions living today and billions to be born tomorrow the Resistance must commence, our outrage and anger channeled positively, uniting in force and commonality to rid the world, once and for all, of the scourge that has lived with us from time immemorial, hiding and evolving, preventing us from flourishing and entering new dimensions of human understanding. The scourge must be brought down by the will of the People, millions united in cause, fists in the air, boots marching together, seeking the beginning of the end for the animal inside us and the wickedness infecting our society.

More and more, America is becoming a fascist dictatorship, combining the power of the state with that of the corporate world. We are in danger, democracy has ceased to exist, the corporatist power grows. The Enlightenment of Resistance must be born, sacrificing our conformity and indifference for the sake of those that have yet to come. This is the calling of our lives, as we stand selected by the energies of the universe to jump humanity beyond the stratosphere of our own weaknesses and limitations, flying high into new rebirths and enlightenments, seeing across the marvels of Earth a humanity changed for the common good, where what is good for one is good for all and where what affects one similarly affects us all.

The Enlightenment of Resistance is going beyond our animal selves, evolving past our instincts and acquired emotions. It is resisting without violence, in the full spectrum of peace and love and kindness and compassion. Non-violence gives us the moral high ground, it gives us what the corporatists can never attain inside the empty cavity that is their heart. It gives us Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King; it gives us goodness, positive energy and humanity. If they strike, turn the other cheek, if they curse, forgive them. If they hate, then love them back. If they fight, give them a warm embrace. We are no match for their ignorance or their callousness or their wickedness or their guns. Our only weapons lie within us, the great virtues of humankind, our love, our sympathy, our goodness and morals.

The Enlightenment of Resistance stands before us, seeking to exorcise our primate and mammalian urges and fears from our consciousness, seeking to liberate us from our perpetuating history, wanting desperately to grant us the freedoms and responsibilities of the next leap forward. Do we evolve towards greatness or remain static in primitiveness? Do we act today for a better tomorrow or do we once again give in to a system that has maintained us on our knees for millennia? The story of humankind keeps repeating itself, over and over, thanks to the inaction of our ancestors and the continued power of the Establishment. Will we be another sad chapter in this disease-riddled story or will we write our own new book, beginning with page one of the greatest story ever told?

We can continue what has never worked, billions rotting and enslaved, gutted and dominated, full of war, destruction, violence and exploitation, or we can resist, knowing that perhaps a better future awaits and a better humanity can be born. It is time to evolve, it is time for change. Humanity has wasted at the bowels of its condition long enough. The time to see how far forward we can go is upon us, for if not now, then when? Let history record this time as an era where bravery and courage awoke to reclaim a sinking ship from a giant iceberg.

Let it be written by the sands of time that it was the men and women of the early stages of the 21st century that defied all obstacles and enemies of man, transforming human civilization into a catalyst for greatness, instigating a paradigm shift whereby a new dimension of human existence commenced.

Manuel Valenzuela is a regular columnist for
Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst, current events observer, Internet columnist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by The novel is now available on and We invite you to visit his blog at: Valenzuela’s Veritas
Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at:

Video: The Doomsday Code

September 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Tony Robinson investigates the people with powerful political friends in the White House, who are trying to bring about the end of the world. Julia Bard reports.

Broadcast 09/16/06 – Channel 4 Documentary

Nature of the Beast

May 23, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

The demonic appears most terrible when it assumes dominance in some one person. They are not always the most admirable persons, either in mind or in gifts. But a tremendous force goes out from them, and they exercise an unbelievable power over all creatures. It is in vain that the brighter part of mankind tries to throw suspicion on them as betrayers or betrayed; the masses are attracted by them.” ~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

America has lost its way. We are a confused nation, beset on all sides by fear and paranoia. After the orchestrated 9-11 attack on New York City and Washington D.C., and its follow-up anthrax attack on Democratic legislators, Americans of all stripes rushed en masse to George Bush’s Fools’ Gate to trade their morality and compassion for empty promises of security. The consequences of that Faustian trade are unbelievable. In order to be safe we signed a pact with Decider Bush to condone any atrocity he could dream up so long as it happened in other lands to other men, other women, other children. He agreed, and further decided that no law conjured up by mere man applied to him, especially the U.S. Constitution, and demanded we sacrifice our freedoms as collateral for this evil pact.

How easily we were fooled! Fat, indolent, and full of self-righteous pus, we were ripe for harvest. We are at the mercy of The Decider, who is manipulated from behind the scenes by unelected neo-Straussian thugs lusting for the matrix of a One World Order. They are joined by Christo-fascists soiling themselves at the thought of gaining dominion over the government apparatus and realizing their dream of stoning gays and liberals to death, and by rapacious corporations intent on ransacking the universe until it is stripped of all treasure and resources. Although their agendae differ, this greedy axis shares a single goal — that of complete power and control — an area where morality dies aborning. They also share one other critical attribute — they are aggressively anti-American — traitors contemptuous of representative democracy who will not rest until every last vestige of it is wiped from the face of the earth.

The war they are waging is on us.

We have lost much over the past five years, but nothing as profound as our spirituality. The religious among us are little more than blind sheep milling around, stumbling in single file in the direction of the loudest voice blaring from Tower of Babel churches and media ministries. They are unable to discern good from evil and incapable of recognizing the filthy hypocrisy of the religious right’s fundamentalist theocracy. And there are more of them every day — God’s warriors eagerly following the divinely inspired Bush into a dark world of assassination, torture, murder and madness. Bush is “born again.” He said so himself. God talks to him. Would he do anything that was not God’s will?

I wonder if there is just one true Christian who can look at what Bush has done in the last five years, and what he is threatening to do in the next three and say that Bush is “born again”? Do Christians not know their own God? Did not God warn us to be vigilant against the “Deceiver” masquerading as a messenger of light lest we fall prey to, and become a part of, the evil swirling around us? Are we not responsible for discerning the nature of the beast — the false prophets sent out into the world?

I do not recognize this devilishly destructive, violent god of the evangelical religious right who has sent Bush on his genocidal mission. The God I am familiar with is the One to whom my mother knelt in tearful prayer each night and raised her sweet, wonderful voice in praise each day. He is the One to whom David sang in Psalm 5:4 –“For thou are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not sojourn with thee. The boastful may not stand before thy eyes; thou hatest all evildoers. Thou destroyest those who speak lies; the Lord abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men.”

Do not be deceived. Emerson says that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment, and each breath Bush, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the hypocritical Republican Christo-fascist machine emit are putrid blasts of evil lies. As Carolyn Baker writes so succinctly…” The religious right of twenty-first century America is anti-American, inherently violent, and a cruel, tyrannical, punitive, force of death and destruction. ”

Baker says the “unredeemed, the unbelievers, the poor, the feminists, the gay and lesbian, the disabled, the homeless, the mentally ill, the addicted, and those who are conscientiously following divergent spiritual paths of their choice, are suffering in the wake of Christian fundamentalism’s devastation of the economy, the earth, and the human race.” She says adult human lives do not matter to these people and, unless we follow their tenets, we deserve to “burn in hell for all of eternity. Hence, we are expendable, inconsequential, and a force to be conquered, broken, imprisoned, or killed.”

How easily these creatures who have never served their country in uniform send others to be maimed, broken and killed in an endless “war on terror,” which is nothing but an abstraction whose reality lies in the mind of the beholder. Day after weary day the bodies pile up at the feet of the stubborn, mean-spirited Bush and the beast he has unleashed upon the world whose thirst for blood cannot be quenched. There have been 2,471 Americans slaughtered because of the shameful lies told by Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and others — and especially by the dishonorable Colin Powell who carried the beast’s water all the way to the United Nations. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghanistani men, women and children have perished on the alter of Bush’s god, who is even now panting to bury his fangs in the throat of Iran.

The present-day “religion” has little to do with Christianity. It is all bloody politics. The Republican party is little more than a fascist religious cult whose goal is to take over this republic and rule it by the cold compassion of the Old Testament God. For those who doubt that consolidating power and controlling politics is far more important to the religious right than saving souls, Katherine Yurica reports in her The New Messiahs text that Pat Robertson announced publicly on his 700 Club at a time when the religious right was gaining dominance, “We have enough votes to run the country — and when the people say, ‘we’ve had enough,’ we’re going to take over the country.”

Yurica said there was never any doubt of the ultimate goal of not only Robertson, but Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye and many others. “What is dominion?” Pat Robertson asked his television audience, “Well,” he said, “dominion is lordship, to reign and rule.”

And kill. The scent of innocent blood sends these guys into nearly as wild a frenzy as it does Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Falwell recently announced in trembling excitement, “You’ve got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I’m for the president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord.”

Robertson has called on his followers to pray for the deaths of Supreme Court justices. He has called for the assassination of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez no less than three times. Both Falwell and Robertson openly blamed the attacks of 9-11 on gays, lesbians and pagan liberals. If Robertson weren’t so dangerous, the blasphemous “chats” with God he claims to have, wherein he trivializes, demeans and ridicules the Creator of the entire Universe, would be hilarious. Just last week Robertson babbled that God gave him a heavenly weather report. “If I heard the Lord right,” he said, “storms and possibly a tsunami would hit US coasts this year.”

And, in April, God helped him cure a woman of her asthma. Robertson said fortunately he had his wife with him — “this haunting woman…very attractive — striking brunette, 45 years old, you know thin, 5’8″ kinda thing…” Robertson said he prayed, “Lord, what’s wrong with her?” And God said, “ask her about her sex life.” Robertson and God argued for a bit before Robertson asked her about her marriage, which she said was “wonderful.” He turned back to God, reminding us again that he had his wife with him, and asked, “Lord, what’s the matter?” God insisted, “Ask her about her sex life.” So, as soon as ol’ Pat asked her about her sex life and she said she didn’t have any, God cured her of her asthma.

The beasts who would destroy us — will destroy us — if we are not vigilant — walk among us not as the hideous demons they are, but hide their true nature behind the masks of their twisted ethos, disguised as bumbling, arrogant fools. Thanks to them, America is no longer a Beacon of Freedom to the rest of the world, but a flickering ray of shame and derision. Thanks to them, God has become a symbol of hate and terror. Because of their lust, the American Flag is now America’s funeral shroud.

Sheila Samples is a regular columnist for
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at: Sheila Samples © 2006