One of America’s most notorious bank robbers, Willie Sutton(1901-80), is said to have remarked that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” In a strange twist, the banks themselves are now beginning literally to rob their own customers.
The theft occurs via the innovative practice of “paying” (i.e. “charging”) negative interest rates on savings and checking account balances combined with account maintenance fees. Cash strapped Greece is looking to go even further – charging customers for daring to withdraw cash! So what gives here?
Banking Policies Are Becoming Injurious to Your Financial Well-being
Since the global financial near-collapse of 2008, Central Banks, led by the U.S. Federal Reserve, have tried to solve the problem of faltering economies, excessive debt creation, government deficit spending and a deflationary landscape by flooding the system with fiat money, literally created out of thin air.
Their reasoning is that the problem of excessive, unpayable debt can be solved by creating still more debt!
If you had trouble paying off a $300,000 dollar home mortgage, would borrowing another $200,000 to continue making payments help you solve your dilemma? Of course not. You would simply owe a total of $500,000! Yet this is exactly what many of the world’s leading financial wizards have been doing to keep government budgets afloat for the last 7 years.
In an effort to stimulate the economy and encourage consumption, the Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates well below where they would be if allowed to fluctuate based on free-market forces like business and consumer demand.
This has taken us to a Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), which by definition is theoretically the lowest rate that a central bank can impose as part of its strategic agenda. The closer rates get to zero, the fewer options monetary planners have at their disposal to attempt to stimulate economic demand.
Altering Your Behavior
The effect of excessive money creation has been compared to the liquid sloshing around in a giant punch bowl.
And since interest rates are so low, investors must take on more risk in the search get greater returns. Across the globe, this new money – in an uncontrolled manner – seeks out profitable venues for growth.
A great deal of the central bank-created paper/digital money thus ends up chasing finite amounts of art, real estate, collectibles, or financial assets like stocks or bonds. This has sparked the latest stock market bull runs in one country or another, leading to new and unsustainable bubbles.
Afterwards, the supposedly most-connected person on the planet – the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman – always seems to be surprised.
The War against Cash
While investors are chased into higher risk assets in search of yield, we are witness to a simultaneous “war on cash.”
Governments around the globe have lowered the amount of cash a person can withdraw without attracting the attention of authorities, who snoop on you to make extra sure you aren’t dealing drugs or selling weapons to terrorists. France, Sweden, Denmark, Israel are just the most recent to have announced this change.
With the formation of groups like the Orwellian “Better Than Cash Alliance,” plans are underway to eliminate cash altogether and leave the public with little choice but to keep all their money in a digital account. While using only electronic money may seem to be more “efficient,” it makes it possible for authorities to track all of your financial dealings AND even allow banks to impose a Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) upon you.
Without measures to prevent block them, account holders with cash balances might choose to withdraw and hoard paper currency. That would be the simplest way to escape negative interest rates.
But with funds trapped inside of bank accounts, bankers could simply deduct the negative rate charge from each customer’s balance. (Question: Would not such “digital cash balance robbery” be just a modernized version of what Willie Sutton was doing back in the day?)
Targeting You for Outright Theft through NIRP or Asset Forfeiture
And then there are the rising abuses of Civil Asset Forfeiture. If you’re stopped on the road and have a few thousand dollars on you – no matter that you might be going to buy a used car or plan to make some purchases during an extended vacation… the police can easily deprive you of the cash, without even charging you with a crime.
In recent years, Civil Asset Forfeitures have reached the scale of billions of dollars. And police departments come to depend on this tempting “revenue stream,” creating the perverse incentive to seize even more.
Following a lengthy investigation last year, The Washington Post reported,
“There have been 61,998 cash seizures made on highways and elsewhere since 9/11 without search warrants or indictments through the Equitable Sharing Program, totaling more than $2.5 billion. State and local authorities kept more than $1.7 billion of that while Justice, Homeland Security and other federal agencies received $800 million. Half of the seizures were below $8,800.”
“Monetary thinkers” feel things would be so much more efficient — for the government — if we all went totally to digital accounts. No need to carry cash around or pay bills by mail. The authorities will know exactly how much money you have and what you spend it on, placing your balance under their control at the press of a button.
Coming Soon to a location near you?
The legend of the Greek craftsman Daedalus is relevant today. He learned how to fly and taught his son Icarus – cautioning him not to get too close to the sun at the risk of melting the wax on his wings.
Immensely powerful central bankers believe that they can safely “fly high” with their monetary policies. But like Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and plunged from the sky when his contraption fell apart, so too do our monetary authorities run the risk of similar demise – and taking the rest of us down with them.
Financial Repression Has One Logical Outcome…
In a recent article at mining.com, David Levenstein really nails it, saying:
“Financial repression has long been a driver of demand for physical precious metals. This demand will accelerate as measures become more draconian. Some bank customers… will decide that bullion is a better option than sitting on piles of depreciating paper currency or paying banks to hold deposits… Historically, only gold and silver have been trusted private stores of value as well as a hedge against political, financial, and economic turmoil. In such an insane environment, gold and silver will become the only real trusted alternative to fiat currencies. And, as more new capital flows into physical bullion, its price will soar.”
Got gold? Got silver? Got common sense?
Any [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God, and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I’d ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, “I’m awfully sorry, you don’t bring any references with you.” ~ A.W. Tozier
There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not Bono, U2 front man and one of the world’s most recognized rock stars, is an authentic Christian, although he states that he is. Many Bible believing Christians have looked at the evidence and have come out and said that, although he professes Christ, he’s not a true Christian.
So let’s examine the evidence.
On his belief about Jesus Christ, Bono said this:
I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God.
Does he mean the Jesus who’s the Second Person of the holy Trinity?
In 2005 after the release of his book “Grace Over Karma” he stated:
The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.
He’s right. It’s not our own good works that gets us to heaven “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” that saves us. (Eph. 2:8-9)
In 2014 Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, interviewed the rock star on his radio broadcast and said this:
[H]e’s known great success, both in his career as a musician, and in his work as a global advocate for the poorest of the poor. He’s also the co-founder of The ONE Campaign, and their motivation is to help people who are suffering.
All of this is true. But that means he’s a do-gooder. It does not make him regenerate.
Not surprisingly, when Daly invited him on the show conservative Christians who are aware of some of the controversial things he has said over the years thought it was a mistake. Many people wondered why a pro-family leader of Daly’s stature would pass him off as a Christian by saying, “he’s a believer in Jesus Christ, and professes Christ as his Savior. In fact, Bono’s spiritual journey has been greatly influenced by a mutual good friend — Eugene Peterson, who’s the author of The Message. And he’s also written a great book called Run With The Horses that has had a great influence on Bono and many of us.”
I don’t have the space to address my concerns with Eugene Peterson or The Message Bible he penned – it’s a parody of the Bible. So links are included below.
Looking at the things Bono has said (I’m coming to that) although he professes a belief in Christ clearly he doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Moreover, his social views are decidedly “progressive.” In fact, his religious beliefs blend nicely with emergent gurus such as Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo. These men are leftists who are leading the Church away from Sola Scriptura into what Ken Silva referred to as the “emerging cult of the new liberal theology.” The controversial movement, called the Emerging/Emergent Church (EC), seeks to reach the unchurched with their unbiblical version of the Christian message. In so doing they have cooked up a cauldron ofsyncretism stew.
So – what’s important to know about EC leaders is that their aim is change and their plan, and they do have one, is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and bring forth a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.” Be wary of words such as story (story of God, story of Jesus)… becoming… conversation… missional… reimagine… tribe… deconstruction… vision, etc. Emergents are “Christ followers,” they are “Social Justice Christians.”
Social Justice Christianity
The moniker liberals who profess Christ prefer is Social Justice Christian. One conservative blogger commented that Bono is “social justice, ecumenical, globalist, Agenda 21 promoting.”
He’s all of that for sure. Bono’s an activist and philanthropist with a stated goal to eliminate world poverty. Because he’s hugely popular people want to know what he thinks about this and that. So naturally he takes every opportunity to promote causes he cares about including HIV/AIDS infection in Africa and third-world debt relief. Tom De Weese of the American Policy Center once quipped that he “dogged political leaders around the world, using his rock star status to pressure them into accepting his brand of global guilt.”
So – should it matter to Bible believing Christians that Bono is a “progressive”? Should we be concerned that he’s spreading Social Justice Christianity around the globe? I mean, he’s telling people about Jesus, isn’t he?
Well, yes, it should matter to Christians that a person as famous as Bono is promoting an unbiblical version of Christianity and a “different Jesus.” Many people idolize celebrities. Adoring fans hang on their every word. And, sadly, many Christians don’t read their bibles so they not only are ignorant of its teaching, they lack spiritual discernment. In other words, they’re easily influenced by celebrity but not so much by the Bible.
When it comes to a LIE-celeb such as Bono, the question we must ask ourselves is this: What gospel is he sharing, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ or is he sharing another Jesus…another spirit…another gospel (2 Cor. 11:4)? If it’s the later then it makes him a false teacher.
The Apostle Paul spoke out against counterfeit Christians:
And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor. 12-15)
Elliott Nesch of The Waundering Path writes:
How many of those who have been saved from extreme poverty through Bono’s ONE Campaign are now saved from their sins through the same effort? Can social justice, debt relief, and elimination of the AIDS epidemic bring glory to God when it is completely unconnected to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (Source)
A very good question.
Can’t We All Just COEXIST?
Lighthouse Trails Research (LTR) has a piece entitled Focus on the Family Gives Bono a Platform – Another Example Where 2 +2 Don’t Add Up. LTR shares a quote by Christian researcher Berit Kjos from her book Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception:
U2’s 2005 tour was aimed at joining all religions into a unified global spirituality. To emphasize the coming solidarity, the word “COEXIST” was featured on a giant screen. The capital “C” pointed to the Islamic crescent, the “X” symbolized the Jewish Star of David, and the “T” was a reminder of the Christian cross. Bono led massive crowds in a vibrant chant: “Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—It’s True!
Not everyone approved. Singer/songwriter Tara Leigh Cobble said, “He repeated the words like a mantra, and some people even began to repeat it with him. I suddenly wanted to crawl out of my skin. . . . Was Bono, my supposed brother in Christ, preaching some kind of universalism?”
“I felt like I was witnessing an antichrist,” said her friend.
In one song, “God’s Country,” Bono belts out the words, “I stand with the sons of Cain,” The Bible tells us that Cain “was of that wicked one, and slew his brother” (1 John 3:12), not exactly someone who a Christian would want to be found standing in agreement with.
Kjos later says:
Are Christian leaders speaking up and warning others about Bono? No, on the contrary, reveals one Christian journalist:
“One of the leaders being promoted today by those purporting to be officiating the way for our young people—to include Bill Hybels, Brian McLaren, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell—is ‘Christian’ Rock star Bono of U2, whom many emergents view as their ‘prophet’ and the main icon of their movement. In Bono’s rendition of Psalm 23, he alters the entire thrust and message of this beautiful psalm to something that sounds nothing less than blasphemous. For example . . . he alters the wording to say ‘I have cursed thy rod and staff. They no longer comfort me.’” [This rendition of Psalm 23 is documented in The Submerging Church DVD.]
And in the summer of 2005, Rick Warren attended the Live 8 Concert with Bono where he was made the official pastor at the event. Rick Warren did not issue a warning at the event about Bono, leaving the impression on thousands of young people’s minds that Bono is OK. (from chapter 17, HPC)
Bono Helps Gay’s Win The Day
Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch is one Christian who isn’t standing up for Bono. And he isn’t concerned about issuing a warning either. Muehlenberg came out swinging after Bono threw his support to Bible torturing radical gay activists who were out to legalize same-sex “marriage” in Ireland. Homosexuals were ecstatic to have a rock star behind them in their effort to legalize same-sex “marriage.” Pink News reported:
Irish singer Bono, speaking ahead of the band’s latest world tour, said “Marriage is an idea that transcends religion.”
Bono, who is from a mixed Anglican and Catholic family, told the Irish Times:
“[Marriage] is owned by the people. They can decide. It is not a religious institution.
“As far as I know, Jesus wasn’t a married man and neither are most priests talking about it. It is not a religious idea.
“In my mind, commitment is one of the most impossibly great human traits. It is a hard thing to hold on to, and anything that brings that together is a totally wonderful thing.”
Gay-affirming Bono does not understand the implications of tossing aside God’s plan for marriage—one man one woman for life—so that men can marry men.
Muehlenberg had these harsh words for U2’s front man:
Another clear-cut acid test of Christian commitment has to do with the issue of homosexuality. If you get someone trying to tell you that homosexual marriage is just peachy and Jesus would be fully supportive of it, then you know you’ve got a religious fraud on your hands, and you should give him a very wide berth.
One so-called believer who has worried me greatly for years has in my eyes nailed his coffin completely by his recent support of sodomite marriage. Bono and U2 are going utterly brain-dead in supporting the Irish vote on homosexual marriage.
So if you think Bono is some sort of great Christian, you better think again. This comes from the U2 website:
On Friday Ireland votes in an historic referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage. Here’s what the band say: #voteYes.
“Commitment, love and devotion are some of the most impossibly great human traits. Trying to co-opt the word marriage is like trying to make love or devotion gender- or religion-specific. And that has to stop. Marriage is human-specific: a human commitment, one that transcends religion, transcends politics. It should be encouraged wherever, whenever and between whomever that love, that devotion and that commitment exists. #voteYES”
This has got to be one of the most idiotic things I have read in a long time. We expect atheists and militant homosexual activists to come up with sheer baloney like this, but someone who calls himself a Christian? This man is a fool, in the biblical sense of the word. (Source)
The bottom line is this: A person cannot profess a belief in Jesus Christ and live like the devil. Like so many so-called Christians, Bono takes Christianity cafeteria style – he picks and chooses what pleases him and avoids what doesn’t.
Christianity is serious business, brethren. Jesus requires much of His sheep. “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Do you love Him?
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Do you get your guidance from the Bible?
Bono does but only when it suits his purpose.
The Homosexual Agenda—Berean Research
Does the Bible Really Say We’re Not to Judge—Marsha West
U2’s Bono, Unorthodox Superman—Elliott Nesch
Torture, pain, beheadings, the murder of children…. If God exists and is all good, how could He allow such suffering and evil? This is a common question, and a lament often an impediment to faith. It also was addressed recently on the Savage Nation radio show, where host Michael Savage — exhibiting his versatility and talk virility — will sometimes broach that certain thing we’re supposed to discuss even less than politics. His answer to the question was contained in his newsletter and is:
I actually believe that God has no effect on a moment-by-moment basis or a person-by-person basis.
If I did, then I’d have to stop believing in God.
If I were to believe that God controlled everything on earth, then I’d have to believe that God is evil.
I believe God is not omnipotent. He is omnipresent.
That’s what saved me from atheism.
It certainly is good to have an answer that saves one from atheism, but is the above the answer?
God undoubtedly doesn’t micromanage our lives, controlling matters on a moment-by-moment basis; this reality is called His “permitting will” in theological circles, as opposed to His “ordaining will.” But why is God, as some might say, so “permissive” (He isn’t, really)? There is an answer, but before addressing it let’s examine the matter of God’s omnipotence.
God is known as the “Creator” because the belief is that He created the whole Universe, the heavens and the Earth and all living creatures — out of nothing. He is the first cause. In this case, however, it would seem fanciful to suppose that He could create life but not control that life. After forging the wonders called the Universe and its denizens, controlling man would seem small potatoes.
To suggest otherwise is to say that God is not really “God” — by definition all-powerful and perfect — but a different kind of being entirely. For He then either created something He couldn’t control (which certainly can be a fault of man) or didn’t create it at all. If the latter, though, where does that leave us? We can’t say something else created the Universe, for that entity would then be above what would merely be but a cosmic middleman, and it would be God (the “Immovable Mover,” as Aristotle said). The only other possibility is that we believe in something and call it “God” even though it would just be some spirit being formed as a cosmic accident via some evolutionary process wholly unknown to us. But this would just bring us back to atheism and its inherent relativism and meaninglessness — with the twist that, for sure, we’re not the most powerful cosmic accidents in the Universe.
This is why philosophers have long explained God’s tolerance of evil by way of “free will.” Yes, I know it sounds clichéd now to some, but my explanation won’t be. So why is free will so important that God would allow profound evil in its name?
Imagine you could have a computer chip implanted in your child’s brain that would control his behavior (something perhaps possible in the foreseeable future). No more terrible twos or toddler tantrums, no disobedience, no crying, no frowns, no shirking of responsibility — just a perfectly agreeable Stepford Child. Would you implant away?
This would defeat the purpose of having a child. Sure, we want our kids to mature into moral beings, but that is impossible if you’re merely a controlled being. For being moral involves making moral choices, and this cannot happen if you have no choice. The chipped child would have been dehumanized, reduced to automaton status via the negation of his free will. You might as well just purchase a cute robot and be done with it.
Think about what is being said here, however: You’re willing to tolerate sinful acts in your child — and the possibility of truly horrible behavior — in the name of his being fully human.
God is no different with respect to us, His children. He could completely control us with the snap of divine fingers, but we are then reduced to mere organic robots; we are not then His children, but His things. Note, when it’s said we’re created in God’s image, this does not refer to our physical being but that, like God, we have intellect and free will. Remove either quality and we’re mere animals.
(Speaking of which, it’s hard to imagine even a pet owner chipping his dog; we’d likely feel that this would eliminate his “dogness” and wouldn’t want to use perverted science to accomplish what training should.)
Then there is the matter of love, which is represented in action: Loving attitudes beget loving acts. When someone serves us — whether it’s a spouse bringing home the bacon or serving it, or a child doing chores — we’re by far most pleased if it’s done in a spirit of love because the person wants to make us happy (yes, much to expect in a child!). It doesn’t touch us in the same way if the work is performed out of a mere sense of obligation; worse still is if the person is acting as a slave, compelled to labor against his will. Most of us wouldn’t even want to be served under those circumstances.
God is no different. He wants us to serve Him as a representation of our love (not because He needs our love and service, but because we need to love and serve Him), and trumping our free will would defeat that purpose. It would reduce us to not just slaves, but those organic robots.
Some may now say that this is all well and good, but aren’t there limits to free will’s abuse? When people are being burned alive and children massacred, don’t you draw a line? The answer is that God is far more logical and consistent than we are.
We talk about “freedom of speech” but then set limits on what can be said; we trumpet “freedom of religion” but then draw lines at certain practices (e.g., human sacrifice). I’m not implying that such lines aren’t sometimes necessary, mind you, only pointing out that once they’re drawn, it follows that we aren’t actually allowing true “freedom of religion.” But God means what He says and says what He means. Free will is just that: free will. It’s absolute. Besides, He makes the rules, but their application and enforcement are our business — in this world.
This brings us to the last point: worldliness. Too often we analyze faith-based propositions while coupling them with atheistic corollaries. We may wonder, for example, how a just and loving God could allow the deaths of large numbers of children in free will’s name. But He doesn’t.
He gave the children life, and upon leaving this fold they pass on to eternal life.
I know, this sounds like a handy rationalization to modernistic ears. But we are discussing matters within the context of the Judeo-Christian world view, no? In other words, people could question the data — that God and the afterlife are real, etc. — but that is a different question. The logic when operating within this data set, however, is unassailable. To wit: What is this temporal life as compared to eternity? It’s as a grain of sand in a desert or a drop of water in an ocean. It’s eternity that matters. And if slaughtered children pass on to a far, far better place, God has done them no disservice.
I don’t want to seem unfeeling; I react to worldly horrors much as does everyone else. And it’s understandable: This world is all we know firsthand. The hell we so often create on it we see and hear, as it accosts our senses; we feel it. Heaven is generally just something we try to apprehend intellectually. And the heart has seductions the mind cannot match.
There is something we can do, however. Even if we don’t feel certain truths on an emotional level, we can choose to believe them. That is a proper exercise of free will — one that lends much happiness and meaning to the life God gave us.
What is the goal of the NAR
loons leaders? To transform society into the kingdom of God on earth.
John Burton has written a piece entitled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.” Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton. As it turns out he’s a “prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. According to his blog, John Burton, he “has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. Burton has authored ten books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.”
That Burton was associated with IHOP-KC could only mean that he has served under IHOP’s Pied Piper Mike Bickle. I spent quite a bit of time researching Bickle for a piece I wrote and discovered his strong ties to the NAR or what some refer to as Dominionism. Also identified was his involvement with the Kansas City Prophets (KCP). According toPastor Ken Silva, the KCP:
brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever. These so-called prophets were a group of men that coalesced around a church known as the Kansas City Fellowship, pastored by Mike Bickle, that attracted a following of other likeminded churches in that region. (More on the KCP here)
It gets worse. Mike Bickle believes that God speaks to him in an audible voice. But here’s the kicker. He has visited heaven – twice. On one visit he told false teacher Bob Jones:
I stood in this room and it had…clouds, it was a room only maybe 20 by 20 or 30. It was a little room. It had clouds in the bottom, on the top and the walls…I stood there, I was at the Lord’s left hand, and I stood there, this was not a dream, this was as real as life here…I know it wasn’t a dream or a vision… (There’s more to the story here)
I included Bickle’s background and a snippet of the tall tale he spun on his alleged visit to heaven to highlight the fact that he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
So here’s my question: why is John Burton proud of his association with a false prophet who’s the main man at IHOP-KC? IHOP –KC is viewed by many mainstream scholars as a cult because it is a “false, unorthodox, extremist” sect of Christianity (dictionary.com).
On his blog Burton calls himself a “prophetic messenger and revivalist.” Revival? What revival? There’s no sign of any sort of “revival” in America or any place else (except an occult revival), so the “revival” the so-called prophet refers to is……where?
Before I get to the 5 major changes “Prophet” John B predicts, those of you who are unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of the NAR should know what we’re dealing with. Over the years it has had many handles such as Kingdom Now; Latter Rain; Joel’s Army; Manifest Sons of God – they keep changing the name as if this will allow them to keep their heretical teachings hidden.
What is the goal of the NAR
loons leaders? To transform society into the kingdom of God on earth.
How do they hope to accomplish this lofty goal? By taking control of various aspects of society. (Here’s the plan)
Apologetics Index describes it as a:
Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.
They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (emphasis added )
So, keeping John Burton’s background in mind—especially the part about his affiliation with IHOP-KC– here’s what this so-called prophetic messenger revealed about the future:
I call this the ancient and emerging church. Ancient because it’s rooted in scripture; emerging because the biblical structure has been largely forsaken. What will this ancient and emerging church look like? Here’s just a small peek into a grand shift in the structure of the church:
1. Services will become more like prayer meetings. One of the greatest indictments on the church today is that prayer is not the driving force. Today, people tend to choose churches based on the appeal of the teaching and the worship instead of the fervency of prayer. If the church was a house of teaching, or a house of worship, that would make sense, but it’s not. The church is a house of prayer for all nations. Every person in the church will function as a burning intercessor and the services will be marked by this unified groan of fiery prayer.
2. Personal need will give way to personal mission. Today, churches are often more like organic, socially driven hospitals. People tend to use the church as a way to meet their personal needs instead of serving it as a minister of God. This is going to change. Of course, there will still be personal ministry and true needs will be addressed.
However, instead of the church functioning as a hospital, it will once again function as a mission-driven military. The mission will take precedence. The saints will be equipped for service, not for personal survival. In this ancient and emerging model, their will be MASH units that will take very good care of the wounded with the primary purpose of getting the soldier back into battle. Apostles will again lead with governmental authority and pastors will be seen as the main leader less and less as they focus more on shepherding and less on primary leadership.
3. Teaching will be minimized while instruction is emphasized. Teaching is mostly for personal edification while instruction is mostly for corporate assignments. Today, most churches focus on teaching principles of scripture, providing truths that will help Believers navigate through their lives and giving nuggets of biblical info. While there will still be important Bible teaching, apostolic instruction will emerge as a necessary new ministry.
There is enough Bible teaching online, on CDs, in books and on video to turn every one of us into personal spiritual giants. We need to take it upon ourselves to grow. What is lacking, however, is apostolic leaders, military commanders who give instruction and assignments to a ready army. Teaching is personal growth-based while instruction is a call to corporate action for the sake of mission fulfillment.
An example of apostolic instruction is this: The apostolic leader gives a corporate assignment for everybody in the church to fast for a week and then show up together to prayer walk through the city streets. It’s a corporate call to action versus biblical study. It’s mission focused versus personal growth focused. Personal growth will be largely our responsibility between services so we can be ready to respond to the corporate instruction where we will receive our assignments.
4. We will gather together most days of the week. The 24/7 church will again emerge as the church drives culture instead of reacting to culture. Cares of life will lose their power as we simplify our lives and put corporate prayer and mission ahead of most everything else.
This may be the most challenging change for Christians. Today, Sundays are the days to set aside for corporate worship while we give precedence to our ‘normal lives.’ In The Coming Church, the very reason we live will be to pray on fire together every day, receive apostolic assignments and then move out into our lives as kingdom ambassadors. It wouldn’t be surprising if a tithe of our time is what became the standard. Two to three hours a day, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening, or even in the late night hours, will be given by every believer to praying on site together with others, ministering and giving ourselves to intercession-fueled kingdom ministry. Of course, much of what we have been giving ourselves to will have to be eliminated so we have the time necessary to devote.
5. Worship will be supernaturally driven. There is a new sound coming to worship, and it’s not simply a new style. There is a supernatural, otherworldly groan of intercessory worship that will explode out of the entire body as a new breed of trembling worship leaders lead the way into the shock and awe of the glory of God. We will no longer simply sit in a pew or stand with a raised hand while a familiar worship song is sung.
The prophetic, groaning sounds of Holy Spirit facilitated worship will make it normal to shake and fall to our faces as we cry Holy! The natural, logical sing-a-longs will be no more. We will have a hard time standing as God’s Shekinah and Kabod glory resides in his church. Worship teams will practice less and pray in the Spirit with tears in their eyes more.
Of course, this is an extremely limited glance into the many, many changes that are coming. I wanted to share this to provoke you to preparation. There is much that you and I enjoy in the church, or that is comfortable to us, that we will have to let go. Again, the coming church will be troubling and shocking, but it will result in the power and life that we have been crying out for.
God is about to answer that cry.
This is…..nauseating. My head is spinning. Seems the Church is in for some BIG changes, at least according to “Prophet” John B. Notice that the changes he purports would empower a few and turn the rest of us into mere puppets. Sound familiar? The message he’s sending is that we mustn’t hold to God’s sacred Word as our final authority. No. We must abide in what those who are supposedly hearing from God tell us. I mean, really? Coming from someone with his decidedly unbiblical theology it’s pretty easy to figure out where this rubbish came from.
Hint: The Evil One
We are not to fear evil, brethren. We are not to back away from it. We are not to cower in the corner. We are commanded to:
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Standtherefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel… Ephesians 6:10-19 (emphasis added)
I’ll close with this admonition: Stand against the schemes of the devil!
Dominionism and the Rise of Western Imperialism by Sarah Leslie
Dominionist are on the move…and they mean business by Marsha West
Leftists are upset about what they view as a double standard with respect to the Baltimore/Ferguson affair and the recent Waco gang shootout. They’re right, too — there sure is a double standard.
And, as usual, it’s their own.
Consider, for example, an Associated Press piece by one Jesse J. Holland titled “Differing perceptions of Waco, Baltimore bothering some.” Holland starts out writing that the “prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests — carried out by nonchalant-looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cellphones.” The idea is that while the black thugs in Baltimore and Ferguson received harsh treatment and coverage, the primarily white thugs in Waco were, relatively speaking, handled with kid gloves.
But pardon my tongue, this brings us to another complaint. Holland cites people who say that while Barack Obama and other politicians called the Baltimore miscreants “thugs,” no such descriptive is applied to the white Waco punks. He mentions in particular radio and TV commentator Roland Martin, who tweeted, “So the mainstream media refuses to talk (hashtag)WacoThugs, huh?” And Martin has a point: While the black Baltimore rioters and looters were called thugs, no white Waco rioters and looters were thus characterized. I wonder, why might that be?
Oh, yeah, that’s right: there are no white rioters and looters in Waco.
Minor details such as this seem to escape the notice of two-brain-cell journalists in search of a story, but a prerequisite for having “police in riot gear” is actually having, you know, a riot. The incident in Waco was an unforeseen event, meaning, the cops had no time to don any kind of special gear.
Perhaps they don’t teach proper analogizing in journalism school, but the Waco biker thugs aren’t analogous to the Baltimore rioter thugs; rather, they’re analogous to the person the latter were rioting over: drug dealer Freddie Gray. And no one went out of his way to call Gray a thug.
Martin also lamented that we won’t have a “panel discussion on their [the bikers’] childhood” or on “fatherless homes”; no doubt, as the media will soon drop the story. This is largely because they don’t have a black-on-white racial angle to play up, but also for another reason:
Whites won’t be rallying to the defense of the biker thugs.
Matters are proceeding as they should. The police went to the scene of the crime, fired on the thugs when necessary (perhaps killing some), brought matters to a conclusion and they made arrests — 170 of them. Moreover, all people, including whites, want to see justice done. In fact, no small number of whites would no doubt say that more of the thugs should have been shot.
Oh, as for the adjectives, it’s self-evident that the Waco criminals are thugs. The reason why the point had to be made in Baltimore is that politicians, media propagandists and race-baiting activists had euphemized the rioters as “protesters” who cared about Freddie Gray (whom they would have knifed in a second for 50 bucks) and had legitimate grievances. So even Obama, in a rare and fleeting moment of lucidity, pointed out the obvious: get off it — they’re just thugs.
The irony of the Lamestream Media’s reporting on what’s a flawed conception of a double standard is that it was created by their own exercise of a true double standard. As black pundit Larry Elderreported, police shootings of black suspects are down 75 percent over the last several decades, but you wouldn’t know it from cherry-picked reportage that seems designed to incite racial unrest. Consider the following list of perspective-lending realities the media refuses to cover:
- As Elder also wrote, “In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.”
- Of course, blacks are only 13 percent of the population. So far more significantly and as this recent Washington State University study shows, police are actually more willing to shoot white than black suspects. Why? Because police know that, as Ferguson officer Darren Wilson’s experience illustrates, shooting a black criminal can mean media crucifixion, career destruction, death threats and, basically, the end of your life as you know it.
- Black suspects are as likely to shoot at police as to be shot at.
- Relative to whites, blacks are shot by police at a lower rate than their involvement in crime would suggest. As sociologist and ex-cop Professor Peter Moskos writes, “Adjusted for the homicide rate, whites are 1.7 times more likely than blacks [to] die at the hands of police. Adjusted for the racial disparity at which police are feloniously killed, whites are 1.3 times more likely than blacks to die at the hands of police.”
- According to FBI statistics, 46 percent of those who’ve murdered police officers during the last decade have been black.
- Blacks commit more than half of all murders nationwide. And 93 percent of all black homicide victims are murdered by other blacks.
- Stories of generally “unarmed” white suspects being shot by minority police abound but are never reported nationally. There was 20-year old white man Dillon Taylor, who was shot by a Hispanic cop last year; Iraq military veteran James Whitehead, shot by off-duty black police officer Robert Arnold in Texas in 2011 after a verbal altercation; white teen Gil Collar, shot by a black officer at the University of Alabama in 2012; and 46-year-old white man John Geer, shot with his hands up (according to four police officers on the scene) by a Hispanic cop with “anger issues.”
This isn’t to imply that all the above shootings were unjust, but such a standard is hardly necessary for the media to play the race card when reporting the rare white-on-black shootings. In fact, the media will trumpet the causes of obvious thugs, such as Ferguson’s Michael Brown, Baltimore’s Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin, even in the face of evidence that thugs are precisely what they are.
Speaking of which, what do you think about the coverage of that unarmed 17-year-old shot by that grown man?
No, not cute little Trayvon.
Seventeen-year-old white kid Chris Cervini, shot by black martial artist Roderick Scott in Greece, NY, in 2009. Scott is built like a brick outhouse and admits Cervini never laid a hand on him, but says he thought his life could be in danger. He was acquitted by a mostly white jury, and I don’t question the verdict. But the verdict on the media is clear:
Guilty of using lies that have evoked hatred, fomented racial unrest, sparked riots, caused property destruction and led to innocent people’s deaths.
Guilty of gross malpractice and, by proxy, murder.
Guilty of being destroyers of civilization that have no moral right to exist.
Their precious young minds and our precious young minds…
She was a redheaded rebel, the singer in the family, a trash-talking, tattooed 21-year-old wrapped up in a hip-hop dream of becoming Holland’s Eminem. Then Betsy found Allah. After her sudden conversion to Islam last summer, Betsy began dressing in full Muslim robes. By January, the once-agnostic Dutch woman, raised in a home where the only sign of religion was a dusty Bible on a shelf, began defending homegrown terrorists. … Denis Cuspert, a German hip-hop artist known as Deso Dogg who converted in 2010 and later joined The Islamic State [ISIS], delivers a rap-like chant portraying the path to jihad as a chance for empowerment, spiritual fulfillment, vengeance and adventure. … ‘The door to jihad is standing there waiting for you,’ says a Swedish convert to Islam in a video. ‘It is the fastest way to paradise.’ (1)
Tales told many times in recent years, all over Europe, at times in the United States. Parents and authorities are deeply distressed and perplexed. How can young people raised in the West – the freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled West – join the Islamic State and support the public cutting off of the heads of breathing, living human beings? Each of us in our own way are lost souls searching for answers to the awful mysteries of life. But THIS? What life-quest does The Islamic State satisfy that our beloved West can’t satisfy? ISIS is unique in the world in making US foreign policy look good. The Defense Department and the State Department have special task forces studying the new enemy; the latter regularly puts out videos to counteract the many Islamic State videos.
I hope those researching the question look inwardly as well as at ISIS. How do young people raised in the West – the same West we know and love – coldly machine-gun to death more than a dozen Iraqis, men, women, children, reporters, absolutely in cold blood, in the video made famous by Chelsea Manning; but this of course is nothing compared to Fallujah with its two-headed babies, even three-headed, an eye in the middle of the forehead. The Islamic State has done nothing compared to what the United States did to the people of Fallujah. Can anyone name a horror in all of history more gruesome? Yes, there are some, but not many; and much of Fallujah was personally executed by nice, clean-cut, freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled made-in America young men.
Here’s US Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, in his memoir, April 6, 2004, the time of Fallujah, in video teleconference with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly,” said Powell. “There has to be a total victory somewhere. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” Then Bush spoke: “At the end of this campaign al-Sadr must be gone. At a minimum, he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out. Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. … There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!” (2)
“Years from now when America looks out on a democratic Middle East, growing in freedom and prosperity, Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima” in World War II. – George W. Bush, 2006 (3)
Well, George, it’s either that or Fallujah was one of the key reasons for the rise of ISIS.
My point here is not that United States foreign policy is as barbaric and depraved as The Islamic State. It’s not. Most of the time. I simply hope to make it a bit easier to understand the enemy by seeing ourselves without the stars in our eyes. And I haven’t even mentioned what the United States has led the world in for over a century – torture.
The ever-fascinating and ever-revealing subject of ideology
Jeb Bush has gotten himself into trouble because, like all politicians running for office, he is unable to give simple honest answers to simple straightforward questions, for fear of offending one or another segment of the population. How refreshing it would be to have a politician say only what s/he actually believes, even if it’s as stupid as usual.
The brother of the previous president has been asked repeatedly: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” At first his answer was “yes”, then at times “I don’t know”, even “no” at least once, or he’s refused to answer at all. Clearly he’s been guessing about which reply would win him points with the most people, or which would lose him the least.
This caused a minor uproar, even among conservatives. Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham was moved to make a rare rational remark: “You can’t still think that going into Iraq, now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to. If you do, there has to be something wrong with you.”
Such discussions always leave out a critical point. Why did millions of Americans, and even more millions abroad, march against the war in the fall of 2002 and early 2003, before it began? What did they know that the Bush brothers and countless other politicians didn’t know? It was clear to the protesters that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were habitual liars, that they couldn’t care less about the people of Iraq, that the defenseless people of that ancient civilization were going to be bombed to hell; most of the protesters knew something about the bombings of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan; and they knew about napalm, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, etc. Those who marched knew that the impending war was something a moral person could not support; and that it was totally illegal, a textbook case of a “war of aggression”; one didn’t have to be an expert in international law to know this.
Didn’t the Brothers Bush, Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war in the Senate), et al know about any of these things? Of course they did. They just didn’t care enough; supporting the empire’s domination and expansion was a given, and remains so; no US politician gets very far – certainly not to the White House – questioning the right of American Exceptionalism to impose itself upon humanity (for humanity’s sake of course).
Consider the darlings du jour of the American Left, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They very seldom speak out critically about US foreign policy or even the military budget. The anti-war/anti-imperialist segment of the American left need to put proper pressure on the two senators.
Mr. Sanders should also be asked why he routinely refers to himself as a “democratic socialist”. Why not just “socialist”? It’s likely a legacy of the Cold War. I think that he and other political figures who use the term are, consciously or unconsciously, trying to disassociate themselves from communism, the Soviet Union, Marxism, etc., all those things that are not good for you. (The word “socialist” once connoted furtive men with European accents, sinister facial hair, and bombs.)
It would be delightful to hear Sanders openly declare that he is simply a “socialist”. Socialism can be democratic; indeed, a lot more so than capitalism, particularly concerning the distribution of wealth and all the ramifications of that. Presented here are some relevant thoughts on these issues, from myself and others:
It’s only the socialists who maintain as a bedrock principle: People before Profit, which can serve as a very concise definition of socialism, an ideology anathema to the Right and libertarians, who fervently believe, against all evidence, in the rationality of a free market. I personally favor the idea of a centralized, planned economy. (Oh my God, a damn Commie!) Modern society is much too complex and technical to leave its operation in the hands of libertarians, communitarians, or anarchists seeking to return to a “community” or “village” level.
“Washington has always regarded democratic socialism as a greater challenge than totalitarian Communism, which was easy to vilify and made for a handy enemy. In the 1960s and ’70s, the favored tactic for dealing with the inconvenient popularity of economic nationalism and democratic socialism was to try to equate them with Stalinism, deliberately blurring the clear differences between the world views.” – Naomi Klein
“If it is true, as often said, that most socialist regimes turn out to be dictatorships, that is largely because a dictatorship is much harder to overthrow or subvert than a democracy.” – Jean Bricmont, Belgian author of “Humanitarian Imperialism” (2006)
Without a proclaimed socialist vision, radical change becomes too many different things for too many different individuals and groups.
“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.” – Martin Luther King
The United States is so fearful of the word “socialism” that it changed the “social sciences” to the “behavioral sciences”.
If for no other reason than to save the environment, the world needs to abandon the capitalist system. Every day, in every spot on earth, in a multitude of ways, corporations are faced with a choice: to optimize profits or to do what’s best for the planet.
The great majority of people in any society work for a salary. They don’t need to be motivated by the profit motive. It’s not in anyone’s genes. Virtually everybody, if given the choice, would prefer to work at jobs where the main motivations are to help others, improve the quality of life of society, and provide themselves with meaningful and satisfying work. It’s not natural to be primarily motivated by trying to win or steal “customers” from other people, no holds barred, survival of the fittest or the least honest.
And what about this thing called “democracy”, or “majority rule”? Many millions marched against the invasion of Iraq before it began. I don’t know of a single soul who marched in favor of it, although I’m sure there must have been someone somewhere. That lucky soul was the one they listened to.
Finally, the question being asked of Jeb Bush and others is not the best one. They’re asked: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” A more important question would be: “Knowing what we knew then, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” And the answer should be “no”, because we knew that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction. This is very well documented, from diverse sources, international and Iraqi, including Saddam himself and his chief lieutenants.
The American Mainstream Media – A Classic Tale Of Propaganda
“When an American warplane accidentally struck the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign …”
These words appeared in the Washington Post on April 24, 2015 as part of a story about US drone warfare and how an American drone attack in Pakistan in January had accidentally killed two Western aid workers. The Post felt no need to document the Belgrade incident, or explain it any further. Almost anyone who follows international news halfway seriously knows about this famous “accident” of May 7, 1999. The only problem is that the story is pure propaganda.
Three people inside the Chinese embassy were killed and Washington apologized profusely to Beijing, blaming outdated maps among other problems. However, two well-documented and very convincing reports in The Observer of London in October and November of that year, based on NATO and US military and intelligence sources, revealed that the embassy had been purposely targeted after NATO discovered that it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. The Chinese were doing this after NATO planes had successfully silenced the Yugoslav government’s own transmitters. (5) The story of how the US mainstream media covered up the real story behind the embassy bombing is absolutely embarrassing. (6)
Over and above the military need, there may have been a political purpose served. China, then as now, was clearly the principal barrier to US hegemony in Asia, if not elsewhere. The bombing of the embassy was perhaps Washington’s charming way of telling Beijing that this is only a small sample of what can happen to you if you have any ideas of resisting or competing with the American juggernaut. Since an American bombing campaign over Belgrade was already being carried out, Washington was able to have a much better than usual “plausible denial” for the embassy bombing. The opportunity may have been irresistible to American leaders. The chance might never come again.
All of US/NATO’s other bombing “mistakes” in Yugoslavia were typically followed by their spokesman telling the world: “We regret the loss of life.” These same words were used by the IRA in Northern Ireland on a number of occasions over the years following one of their bombings which appeared to have struck the wrong target. But their actions were invariably called “terrorist”.
Undoubtedly, the US media will be writing of the “accidental” American bombing of the Chinese embassy as long as the empire exists and China does not become a member of NATO.
1) Washington Post, May 7, 2015
2) Ricardo Sanchez, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story (2008), pages 349-350
3) Associated Press, November 11, 2006
4) William Blum, America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy, pp. 61-2
5) The Observer (London), October 17, 1999 (“Nato bombed Chinese deliberately”), and November 28, 1999 (“Truth behind America’s raid on Belgrade”)
6) Extra! Update (magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR], New York), December 1999; appeared first as solitary article October 22, 1999 (“U.S. Media Overlook Expose on Chinese Embassy Bombing”)
Saudi Arabia has been dominating the Middle Eastern news recently. Its bombing of the Shia Houthis in Yemen, supported by Washington, and its ambivalent stand on ISIS, concealed in Washington, should raise questions about the nature and long-term ambitions of the desert kingdom. On those key issues there is an apparent conspiracy of silence in the American mainstream media and the policy-making community.
Saudi Arabia, the most authentically Muslim country in the world, is a polity based on a set of religious, legal, and political assumptions rooted in mainstream Sunni Islam. To understand its pernicious role in the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis, and to grasp the magnitude of its ongoing threat to America’s long-term strategic interests and security, we should start with the early history of that strange and unpleasant place.
MUHAMMAD IBN ABD AL-WAHHAB was born in central Arabia over three centuries ago, but his legacy is alive and well. Wahhab was a zealous Muslim revivalist who lived in the period of the Ottoman Empire’s early decline. He felt that Islam in general, and Arabia in particular, needed to be spiritually and literally re-purified and returned to the true tenets of the faith. Like Islam’s prophet he married a wealthy woman much older than himself, whose inheritance enabled him to engage in theological and political pursuits. His Sharia training, combined with a brief encounter with suffism – which he rejected – produced a powerful mix. From the suffis he took the concept of a fraternal religious order, but rejected initiation rituals and music in any form. He also condemned the decorations of mosques, however non-representational, and sinful frivolities such as smoking tobacco. This Muslim anabaptist rejected veneration of saints and sites and objects connected with them, and gave rise to a movement that sees itself as the guardian of true Islamic values. His ideas were espoused in the Book of Unity which gave rise to the name of the movement, al-Muwahhidun, or Unitarians.
By the middle of the 18th century Wahhab, like Muhammad eleven centuries earlier, found a politically powerful backer for his cause. In 1744 he struck a partnership with Muhammad ibn-Saud, leader of a powerful clan in central Arabia, and moved to his “capital,” the semi-nomadic settlement of ad-Dir’yah (Riyadh). Since that time the fortunes of the Wahhabis and the Ibn Said family have been intertwined. Under ibn-Saud’s successor Abdul-Aziz, the Wahhabis struck out of their desert base at Najd with the fury unseen in a millennium. In what looked for a while like the repetition of Muhammad’s and the Four Caliphs’ phenomenal early success a millennium earlier, they temporarily captured Mecca and Medina, marched into Mesopotamia – forcing the Ottoman governor to negotiate humiliating terms – and invaded Syria.
This was an unacceptable challenge to the Sultan, the heir to the caliphate and “protector of the holy places.” In 1811 he obtained the agreement of Ali Pasha, Egypt’s de facto autonomous ruler following Napoleon’s withdrawal, to launch a campaign against the Wahhabis. After seven years they were routed. Later in the century, however, the sect revived under Faysal to provide the focus of Arab resistance to the Ottoman Empire, which they considered degenerate and corrupt.
In 1902 a daring and bellicose prince of the ibn-Saud family, named after Abdul-Aziz “the warrior,” returned from exile with 40 horsemen and took control of Riyadh. He exploited the terminal weakness of the Ottoman Empire, soon to be embroiled in revolution and beset by external threats to its crumbling empire in the Balkans and Libya. Fired by the spirit of Wahhabism, Abdul Aziz embarked on a campaign to recover control over the whole of Arabia. In 1912 the Wahhabi revival prompted the founding of a religious settlement at Artawiyah, 300 miles north of Riyadh, under the auspices of theIkhwan, the Brotherhood. This was a stern Arabian variety of Plymouth, a Muslim New Jerusalem in which people were dragged from their homes and whipped for failing to attend Friday prayers.
IN THE CHAOTIC YEARS after the demise of the Ottoman Empire the Ikhwan proved to be an able and fanatical fighting force, securing victory for Ibn Saud, their leader and the founder of the present royal dynasty. In 1925 they carried out Ibn Saud’s order that all revered burial sites in Mecca and Medina be destroyed, including the “heavenly orchard” in Medina, where relatives and many early companions of Muhammad were buried. In 1926 they proclaimed Abdul-Aziz the King of Hejaz. Within a decade he had united the rest of Arabia and imposed the Wahhabist view of the world, man, law, and Allah, on most of the peninsula.
It is incorrect to say that the Wahhabi movement is to Islam what Puritanism is to Christianity, however. While Puritans could be regarded as Christianity’s Islamicists sui generis with their desire to turn Christianity into a druly scriptural, literalist theocracy, Wahhabism is unmistakably “mainstream” in its demand for the return to the original glory of the early Islamic Ummah. Their iconoclastic zeal notwithstanding, the Wahhabis were no more extreme or violent than the models for Islam – the “prophet” and his companions – have been in all ages and to this day.
THE HEIRS OF ABDUL WAHHAB are still heading the Saudi religious establishment. They resisted the introduction of “heathen” contraptions such as radio, cars, and television, and relented only when the King promised to use those suspect mediums to promote the faith. They stopped the importation of all alcohol, previously sold to foreigners (1952), and banned women driving motor vehicles (1957). The Kuran and Sunna are formally the country’s constitution and the source of its legal code. The original sources of Islamic orthodoxy – the Kuran and Hadith – provide ample and detailed evidence that Saudi Arabia is as close as we can get to an Islamic state and society. The State Department report on human rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia published 15 years ago offers an accurate glimpse of that vision in action:
Freedom of religion does not exist. Islam is the official religion and all citizens must be Muslims. Neither the Government nor society in general accepts the concepts of separation of religion and state, and such separation does not exist. Under Shari’a conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy. Public apostasy is a crime punishable by death -if the accused does not recant. Islamic religious education is mandatory in public schools at all levels. All children receive religious instruction… Citizens do not have the right to change their government. The Council of Senior Islamic Scholars… reviews the Government’s public policies for compliance with Shari’a. The Government [views] Islamic law as the only necessary guide to protect human rights. There is legal and systemic discrimination based on sex and religion.
Nothing has changed since: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant Islamic regime in the world. While the Saudis continue to build mosques all over the world, tens of thousands of Christians among the millions of foreign workers from Asia, Europe and America must worship in secret, if at all. They are arrested, lashed or deported for public display of their beliefs. The Saudi religious police, known as the Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, continues to routinely intimidate, abuse, and detain citizens and foreigners. In 2002 they pushed girls escaping from burning school buildings back into the inferno and certain death because they did not have their heads properly covered. Its detainees are routinely subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation and torture. Punishments include flogging, amputation, and public execution by beheading, stoning, or firing squad – over 50 were performed so far this year.
Women are second class citizens: according to the CIA world factbook, 82.2% of females are literate, in comparison to 90.8% literacy rates in males. The testimony of one man equals that of two women, and female parties to court proceedings must deputize male relatives to speak on their behalf. Women are not admitted to a hospital for medical treatment (often for wounds resulting from domestic violence) without the consent of a male relative. In public a woman is expected to wear an abaya (a black garment that covers the entire body) and to cover her head and face. Daughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers. Women must demonstrate Sharia-specified grounds for divorce, but men may divorce them without giving any cause. In addition women must not drive cars, must not be driven except by an employee, or husband, or a close relative, and even then must not occupy the front seat. Women may study abroad if accompanied by a spouse or an immediate male relative. Women may own a businesses, but they must deputize a male relative to represent it.
Political detainees commonly are held incommunicado in special prisons during the initial phase of an investigation, which may last weeks or months, without access to lawyers. Defendants usually appear without an attorney before a judge, who determines guilt or innocence in accordance with Shari’a standards. Most trials are closed, and crimes against Muslims receive harsher penalties than those against non-Muslims. A sentence may be changed at any stage of review, except for punishments stipulated by the Koran.
The only expanding industry in Saudi Arabia is that of Islamic obscurantism. Some examples are grotesque: in 1966 the Vice-President of the Islamic University of Medina complained that Copernican theory was being taught at Riyadh University; it has been banned ever since. Three hundred years after the Christian theologians had to concede that the Earth went around the Sun, the geocentric theory was reaffirmed in the centers of Saudi learning. Segregation of the sexes at schools is set at age nine, which is the age for girls to start to wear the veil.
The opinions of the ullema are the only internal check and balance on the ruling family. Five Saudi Islamic universities produce thousands of clerics, many more than will ever be hired to work in the country’s mosques. Thousands end up spreading and promoting Wahhabism abroad. The King of the Saudis remains their Imam. He and the Wahhabi religious establishment see it as their sacred duty and purpose to evangelize the world. The petro-dollar windfall has paid for the construction of some ten thousand mosques and “Islamic centers” in the United States and other parts of the world. All along, needless to say, no churches (let alone synagogues) can be built in Saudi Arabia, and all non-Muslim religious practice is strictly forbidden.
Chuck Pierce claims he’s a “prophet” in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) or what many refer to as Dominionism. Because of Pierce’s elevated status, he recently bestowed a “new mantle for the future” on Glenn Beck, popular TV/radio host, author and speaker. “Prophet” Pierce presented the mantle to Beck at Global Spheres Center in Corinth, Texas as Mrs. Beck looked on.
Beck’s fans often hear him boast that he’s a Christian. But let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Substantiation for this statement, if for no other reason, lies in the fact that he’s a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). When former Mormon Ed Decker of Saints Alive got wind of Beck’s mantle ceremony, he remarked:
For Chuck Pierce to claim that he was instructed of God to lay hands and [bestow] a holy mantle … for a man who claims a false priesthood, who sits under an exalted man-god who lives on a planet near the great star Kolob with his many goddess wives—that claim is of the father of lies, coming from the mouth of a very false prophet.
This is Mormon theology in a nutshell, brethren. And no true Mormon will deny it. (I don’t have the space to address specific concerns on Mormon theology so I’m providing alink for those who wish to learn more.) My point is that by choosing someone who’s not a Christian, Chuck Pierce had to have received his “mantle bestowing instructions” from someone other than God, if he got them at all. In his books, Beck clearly lays out his beliefs. He’s not a cookie cutter Mormon by any stretch. In fact, the beliefs he holds are a blend of Mormonism, New Age, New Thought, and occult! Which begs the question: If Chuck Pierce is a true prophet of God, how could he have missed this?
Before I expand on the mantle presentation and its significance, I must point out that many people believe that the NAR is a theological cult even though its movers and shakers (I mean this quite literally) insist that it’s not.
So, what exactly is a cult? Noted Bible scholar and founder of the Christian Research Institute, Walter Martin, described the cult of liberalism thusly:
It is a cult because it follows every outlined structure of cultism; its own revelations; its own gurus, and its denial–systematically–of all sound systematic Christian theology. It is a cult because it passes its leadership on to the next group that takes over–either modifying, expanding or contracting–the same heresies; dressing them up in different language, and passing them on. It is theologically corrupt because it is bibliologically corrupt; it denies the authority of Scripture, it ruins its own theology. And it ends in immorality; because the only way you could have gotten to this homosexual, morally relativistic garbage–which is today in our denominational structures–is if the leadership of those denominations denied the authority of the Scriptures and Jesus Christ as Lord. (Walter Martin, The Cult of Liberalism, CD Rom, 1985)
Dr. Martin had strong opinions on the cults and the occult. In the above discussion he expressed his concern over liberalism, which had infiltrated the visible Church. Some of the NAR’s teaching fits Dr. Martin’s definition. Besides denying the authority of Scripture and relying on new revelations, NAR promotes Dominionism. Three quick examples: 1) Satan usurped man’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve; 2) The Church is God’s instrument to take dominion back from Satan; 3) Jesus cannot or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s governmental and social institutions. (Source)
Other unbiblical beliefs are:
Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them. (Source)
So now that you understand a bit about the NAR, I’ll move on to the mantle ceremony.
It’s not often we’re given the opportunity to witness a couple of high ranking false prophets, one NAR the other LDS, sharing a stage together …except at the “Reclaim America” events. Because Beck was involved, the ceremony caught the attention of the press and the news quickly spread throughout the blogosphere. Not surprisingly, there were NAR folk who were not happy when they learned that their second in command (for now C. Peter Wagner is the self-professed “Presiding Apostle”) had mantled a Mormon. What’s the significance of receiving a “mantle”?:
Anyone who is deeply involved in the NAR understands what it means when a prophet presents a “mantle” to someone. This practice is an allusion to a story in 1 Kings 19:19, when the prophet Elijah gives to the prophet Elisha his cloak–or “mantle,” as the word is rendered in the King James Version. This biblical story is interpreted by people in the NAR as a symbolic action, showing that the prophet Elijah was naming the prophet Elisha as his prophetic successor.
So when Pierce presented a mantle to Beck, people in the audience–who regard Pierce as a prophet–understood that their prophet was conferring some type of prophetic status on Beck. This should trouble Christians. Why? Because a leading prophet in the NAR is recognizing a member of the Mormon church–a cult of Christianity, which rejects essential doctrines of the Christian faith– as a true messenger of God. A true prophet of God would do no such thing.
Pierce apparently felt the need to offer a further justification for his action. Yesterday he posted a lengthier comment in which he acknowledged that Beck is a Mormon–though he also hinted that Beck may be on the path to becoming fully Christian. (And take notice that he referred to Beck as a specific individual’s “son in the Lord”–language that is typically used by Christians to describe a true Christian believer.) Certainly, many of Pierce’s followers have interpreted Pierce’s action to mean that he recognizes Beck as a fellow Christian. (Source)
First off, when Glenn Beck repents of his sins and puts his faith in the Jesus Christ of the Bible and leaves his church, we’ll know he’s sincere. But at the moment he has placed his faith in the Jesus Mormon founder and “prophet” Joseph Smith dreamed up, the Jesus who, according to Smith’s writings, is the spirit brother of Lucifer.
What’s so amusing about what went on at the Global Spheres Center is that both of these men are false prophets. Since there’s no denying this, we can safely say that neither one of them is saved. All we need do is look at the fruit. Their fruit’s so rotten that Smuckers would reject it.
Who do we have to thank for mainstreaming the NAR? Pro-family leaders! They’ve made a concerted effort to team up with apostates in their all out effort to “save America.” As a result, a whole host of undiscerning Christians, who trust evangelical leaders, think that anyone involved in pro-family causes are true believers. No doubt some of them are. But many are false converts. The Fact is, anyone who buys into NAR’s unscriptural beliefs is extremely weak in discerning truth from fiction.
Unbeknownst to many people in the Church, the religious and/or Christian Right (CR) and other leaders in the evangelical community have joined together with NAR and LDS folks in order to fight the culture war. Ecumenicism, anyone? And until recently very few Christians even realized this was going on. I reported on the CR’s penchant for joining forces with apostates here.
“The NAR is powerful,” says author and speaker John Lanagan, “and thankfully does not rule the entire Body of Christ. But what have NAR leaders brought us? False eschatology, false visions, contemplative prayer (IHOP-KC and Bethel Redding), twisted doctrine, introduction to quantum mysticism (Bill Johnson, Mark Chironna), occult Kabbalah (Pierce), and mantles to nowhere.” (Source)
Lanagan’s reference to “Kabbalah” caught my attention. So I decided to investigate. Although I don’t always agree with The Berean Call, I’m going to include an excerpt from a piece they wrote on Pierce’s infatuation with Kabbalah:
Chuck Pierce, along with his partner, Robert Heidler, teaches much more than keeping the Old Testament feasts. Indeed, they have gone far beyond keeping such celebrations as Passover and have delved into “Christianized” forms of astrology, numerology, etc., and the kabbalah(embraced by celebrities Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, et al.)
An infatuation with mysticism will always take one away from the Scriptures and now takes Pierce and Heidler into Jewishmysticism. For example, consider the following statement from Kabbalah 365, “Daily Fruit from the Tree of Life,” Day 131: “Although the air of the earthly atmosphere is thick in volume and mass, the mystery wisdom of the spirit realm still manages to enter this world because of the birds. For when the birds are in flight, their flapping wings cut through the thickness of the atmosphere, enabling in the moment for the mystery wisdom of the spirit realm to come through to our world.”
On May 2, 2008, Pierce issued what he calls “A Key Prophetic Word!” that parallels the kaballah: “I have come to make room for you to ascend to a new height. Extend your wings. Then extend them again. Stretch them to the left and the right. It is time for you to take flight!” (http://www.glory-of-zion.org/outmail/5-2-08_EuropeTripLetterOnline.htm).
Here’s another example: “I am sorting out those situations that are presently confining you. I am coming in with a sorting instrument to begin to sort that which has kept evil in your midst, working against My best purpose for your life. I will sort out the confusion that is around you. I am sending help now. What you need will be sorted out and your path will be rearranged. I AM coming down and cutting through the atmosphere that has been too thick for your vision to progress” (Ibid.).
That’s another parallel to kabbalah: “Your mind serves as a mail sorting room, where thousands of pieces of mail flow in to be sorted. The items that cannot be ‘sorted’ are swept into a pile, which we call the subconscious. Kabbalah gives you ten slots (Sephiroth) to sort the incoming mind processes in to, and making things manageable!” (http://www.thelivinglightfoundation.com/classesKabbalah.php).
(Links are BC’s — Source)
First of all, doesn’t God tell His people in no uncertain terms to stay away from occult practices? (Leviticus 18:1-5) Jewish mysticism is all about the occult. And besides that, Kabbalah’s considered a cult! Obviously Prophet Pierce is aware of this fact and has chosen to disobey God by immersing himself in occult practices. And the sheep follow the wolf into the woods…
Even though I found nothing to link Glenn Beck to Jewish mysticism, John Lanagan pointed me to a Youtube video produced by discerners over at Psalm 86 that links Mormonism to the Kabbalah. View the video here.
So – if NAR and LDS are truly Christian, as they claim, how can they possibly be involved in Jewish mysticism? Moreover, if NAR and LDS are truly Christian, as they claim, which of them is the real deal? Inquiring minds want to know.
Anyone who wishes to know the truth must go to the scriptures to find it. “The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false teachers,” says Charles Ryrie, “is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing. Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16-17 will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.” (Source)
If a professing Christian holds fast to what the Bible teaches, the conclusion he will come to is that NAR and LDS theology is decidedlyunbiblical. And if their beliefs don’t line up with Scripture (reject what God expressly says in His Word) then it matters not that they’re “good people” or “good deed doers,” or really good looking, in reality they’re the enemy of God. In other words, they’re not with Him, they’re in cahoots with Satan. “Whoever is not with me is against me…” (Matthew 12:30)
There’s a stark divide between historic orthodox Christianity and the New Apostolic Reformation, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kabbalah, Word of Faith,Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hebrew Roots, and a whole host of equally dangerous counterfeits that spread a false gospel that saves no one. (1 Cor. 15:1-6)
I’ll close with a reminder from Peter:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Controversy Stirs as ‘Prophet’ Chuck Pierce Bestows ‘Mantle’ on Mormon Glenn Beck—Christian News Network
What is Kabbalah?—Got Questions
Grave sucking, prayers/baptism of the dead, and Kabbalah—video produced by Psalm 86 lays out “connection of modern heresy to Kabbalah. Via the adoration of the dead from NAR (hyper-charismatics) to Mormons to Catholics. It all stems from Jewish Mysticism thus Kabbalah”
For those who have concerns about the NAR, Diana Lesperance of Narrow Way Apologetics offers her advice:
keep an eye on two organizations: the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, led by “Convening Apostle” John P. Kelly, and its daughter structure, the European Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, led by “convener” Jan-Aage Torp. These two networks are energetically working “to build apostolic government in all cities and regions.” You may be surprised to learn just how extensively apostles in many nations are networking to promote NAR teachings. Here are links to their websites.
On a recent trip to Germany I took a day off to visit Sigmaringen, on the upper Danube some 20 miles north of Lake Constance. This town of ten thousand with a massive castle towering over it – or, more precisely, this castle with a town attached – interested me as the site of a little known, eight-month long melodrama at the end of Second World War.
It was here that Marshal Philippe Pétain, Chef de l’État Français, and several hundred Vichy government officials and prominent German sympathizers and collaborators of different hues, were brought by the Wehrmacht on 8 September 1944, as the Allies advanced across France. The leaders were installed in the castle, other ranks in the town below. They were followed by their wives, hangers-on, and mistresses. By the end of September a veritable French enclave was in place, some two thousand strong, which survived until the long-dreaded arrival of de Gaulle’s First French Army on 24 April 1945.
The initial impression is operetic: pure Leharian pastiche, an unreal world in which France’s prominent collabos are but a parody of their former selves. There is also a more sinister image, however: Sigmaringen as a trap, an open prison in which the principals go on with their performance, but at the same time watch helplessly as the end of the show – and for many the end of their lives – is approaching steadily, relentlessly.
This town and those bizarre eight months are erased from France’s collective memory. They belong to the past which many older Frenchmen would rather forget, while the young neither know that past nor care for it. “Fench Sigmaringen” is relegated to the margins of memory. The Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family are back home. The castle’s magnificent halls and about a tenth of its 300 rooms are open to guided tours, but there are no Petainist mementos of any kind. A richly appointed color book about the castle disposes of the French episode matter-of-factly in a single sentence.
That episode started on the night of 17-18 August 1944, when the Germans evacuated Vichy. The first stop was Belfort, in French Alsace, but after only two weeks the Allies’ rapid advance made the move to Germany necessary. The 88-year-old “Lion of Verdun,” Marshal Pétain, did not want to go. He claimed he’d rather stay on France’s soil and defend his record, come what may; but the Germans decided otherwise. From that moment he declared that he regarded himself as a German prisoner, and cut off all formal contacts with German officials. He communicated with the outside world through Dr. Bernard Ménétrel, his personal physician and confidant, the widely detested “Cerberus of the Seventh Floor.”
Sigmaringen was a far cry from the summer of 1940, when Pétain offered France “the gift of his person” in the aftermath of the military collapse of the French army – and the political and moral collapse of the Third Republic. The old soldier embarked on a “national revolution,” a belated attempt to purge the defeated country not only of its party-political intrigues, leftist radicalism, masonry and corruption, but also – more ambitiously – of the legacy of 1789 and the subsequent “anti-France” (in the memorable phrase of Charles Maurras). He became part-monrach, part-father of the nation. His image was everywhere. Maréchal, nous voilà! became the de facto anthem of the French State (no longer la République). Liberté, égalité, fraternité were replaced by the distinctly anti-Jacobin sloganTravail, Famille, Patrie. Marianne was gone, replaced (informally) by the saintly image of the Maid of Orleans. The countryside was celebrated as the source of national strength, and the Catholic Church was brought back into public life. The ancient Francisca became the official coat of arms.
Pétain’s problem was that the proponents of outright collaboration with Germany had no time for such romantic pursuits. They accused Pétain of attentisme which could deny France her rightful place in the New European Order. They were divided into two camps: the more moderate collaborateurs – embodied in the opportunistic figure of Pierre Laval, who was appointed prime minister in early 1942 – and an array of fanatical collaborationistes, based in Paris, who wanted a clean break with Pétain’s “reactionary paternalism” and an outright alliance with Hitler. With the Wehrmacht occupying France’szone libre in November 1942 they became more powerful. The Germans – ever mistrustful of the French – were nevertheless careful to keep all three groups evenly balanced in an elaborate cadrille, conducted by the Reich’s ambassador in Paris (and self-avowed Francophile) Leo Abetz.
The members of these three factions, Pétainists, collaborateurs and collaborationistes, hated each others’ guts. Suddenly, at Sigmaringen, they found themselves sharing the same quarters and facing a similar, unpleasant future. The maréchal, occupying the palatial seventh floor of the castle, would pretend not to see Laval (the sixth floor occupant) if he passed him in the courtyard on the way to his car which was taking him out of town, every day after lunch, for walks in the countryside.
Those walks were elaborate affairs. Alone among the exiles Pétain had a Citroen and a driver, but he was not allowed far from town. Followed by his Gestapo detail in two black Opels, he would stop 5-6 miles outside Sigmaringen and start a brisk walk through the woods accompanied by one of his military orderlies. The Germans would follow at a respectful distance. After an hour and a half he’d be back, in time to return to the castle for the afternoon radio news.
Laval, “L’Auvergnat,” suddenly forced into inactivity, busied himself preparing his defense for the trial in Paris which he knew awaited him sooner or later. The former Socialist practiced speeches to the imaginary jury in front of his wife Jeanne and a young private secretary. (All his documents and notes were taken away when he was eventually arrested, as he repeatedly complained at the trial.) He had created too many enemies during his long political career, and especially during the 28 months as prime minister at Vichy. Hardly anyone talked to him.
On the third floor are the quarters of the Government Commission, the five-member cabinet in exile formally known as the Commission gouvernementale française pour la défense des intérêts nationaux. It can do little and does even less, but its members are jealous of their theoretical turfs and prerogatives. Like in earlier years back home they continue to denounce their political and personal enemies to the Germans, less to score some points, more out of pure spite.
The Commission’s chairman, the devious Marquis de Brinon, succeeds in having Dr. Ménétrel arrested by the Gestapo in November 1944 on the false accusation of contact with the Allied intelligence services. (Ménétrel survived the war, but was promptly arrested on his return to France in May 1945.) Brinon cracks jokes about Pétain, refers to him as “notre poster girl” (in English). “France is a country of disasters and lunches,” he quips one day after a less than satisfactory meal ofKartofels. “There are no more lunches now, only the disasters remain…”
Joseph Darnand, an ultracollabo, is the Commission’s Secretary of Interior Affairs (“except there’s no interior and no affairs,” Brinon comments). Decorated World War I hero, far right activist in the 1930’s (Action Française, then Croix-de-feu, and a Cagoulard to boot), and an SS Sturmbannführer, in 1942 he founded the volunteer Service d’ordre légionnaire (SOL). It became the dreaded Milice française– directly subordinated to him – in January 1943. He has brought some 10,000 faithful Milice members to the barracks in nearby Ulm, and plans to use them for a last stand. “Brave but obtuse,” according to Brinon.
Marcel Déat, the “minister of labor,” is for some reason the only member of the Commission with the rank of ministre. A Great War veteran and officer of the Légion d’honneur, a socialist until 1933 and a far right activist thereafter, he founded the pro-Nazi Rassemblement national populaire (RNP) in occupied Paris in 1941, and the French Legion of Volunteers (Légion des volontaires français, LVF) a year later. In 1944 it was incorporated into the French SS division Charlemagne.
Journalist Jean Luchaire, commissar for propaganda and information, is more polished than these two gentlemen but ideologically close to them. He starts a local radio station (somewhat ironically called Ici la France!), and a daily newspaper, predictably called La France, which was published until April 1945.
Freiherr Cécil von Renthe-Fink, Ribbentrop‘s envoy to Vichy, was also there, with little to do. The Ambassador is no longer welcome at Pétain’s table. M-me Laval, an open Germanophobe, does not allow him to the sixth floor either. He nevertheless soldiers on, busying himself with the procurement of provisions for the enclave amidst the looming collapse of the Reich.
In the town below there are several well known names from the world of French arts and letters. Actor Robert Le Vigan, openly homosexual and a drug addict, is the chief announcer for Ici la France. Poet Abel Bonnard, with similar proclivities (hence his nickname, “la Gestapette”) and the only member of the Academie to be expelled from its ranks, is a famous wit. On the account of frequent moves, he calls the Germans “notre agence Thomas Cook.” Laval is for him l’Auvergnat de Danube, Pétain “our dethroned monarch.”
Famous writer and virulent antisemite Louis-Ferdinand Céline is also there. After the war he wrote a hallucinatory novel about Sigmaringen, Castle to Castle (D’un château l’autre). Céline’s Sigmaringen is a dramatic stage and a paranoid anteroom for De Gaulle’s épuration légale trials which are already under way. The atmosphere of quiet desperation was briefly interrupted by a week of hope at Christmas 1944, during the initial stage of the German offensive in the Ardennes. Only Pétain maintains calm dignity in his self-imposed isolation, eating well and sleeping soundly. For Céline, Sigmaringen was the perfect backdrop for a romantic German tragedy or a Wagnerian musical drama, with a touch of Hollywood.
Commission officials and their wives eat together in the sumptuous dining hall. The fare is mediocre, even though they have menus based on four ration cards each. The atmosphere is morbid. In the evening they gather at the salon des dammes, not because they cherish each other’s company (quite the contrary) but because it is warm. Their cavernous rooms are not. Déat obsessively plays the lexicon, a version of scrabble, for hours on end. Darnand smokes his pipe in silence and reads papers. The ladies play cards. In the evening they listen to Radio Paris, and the news is grim. On 9 November they learn that journalist and Pétain’s biographer Georges Suarez was executed. On 6 February it was the turn of Robert Brasillach, whose last, sarcastic words were “Long live France, anyway!” (Vive la France, quand meme!) They had no command responsibility and no official functions. If they were shot on the account of their writing, the denizens of the castle could expect no mercy.
And so their lives went on, for eight long months, until a few days before the arrival of de Gaulle’s First Army on 24 April 1945. Only Pétain returns to France voluntarily, where a trial and a death sentence await him, commuted to life in view of his extreme old age and Great War record. Céline, his wife and cat manage to reach Denmark, where he lays low for some years after the war. No such luck for Brinon, who fails to get a Swiss visa and ends up before a firing squad in 1947. Laval managed to reach Spain on the very last German plane out, but Franco – pressured by de Gaulle – sends him back for a quick, brutal trial and execution on 7 October 1945. Darnand is captured in northern Italy in June, tried, and executed three days after Laval. Luchaire is recognized quite by accident in Innsbruck on 18 May 1945 by a French officer who had been a Gestapo agent in Paris until July 1944. “Haven’t you been shot?” asks Luchaire. “No, but you will be!” is the answer. Of the leading castle denizens only Déat and Bonnard, both sentenced to death in absentia, evade the firing squad. The former lived under an assumed name in Italy, the latter under his own in Spain.
Schloss Sigmaringen, like the Alcazar of Toledo, is one of those places which have a physical presence and a metaphysical quality. The French enclave of Sigmaringen was no longer life, not yet death. As such it is an apt metaphor for all of us, here, today.
Today many intellectuals and modern theologians slavishly follow after whatever passes for current trends in scientific and evolutionary theory, thus they believe the Genesis account ex nihilo, the supernatural, the fall, miracles, the Resurrection of Christ, hell, angels, demons and possession are out dated concepts. Despite this, in 1967 Mortimer J. Adler, the guiding genius behind The Encyclopedia Britannica and Great Books of the Western World, predicted that belief in a spiritual reality would not only return but be considered orthodox science. His prediction has come true, for today, Eastern-oriented occult pantheism (evolutionary New Age cosmic humanism (1) and esoteric neo-pagan materialism (evolutionary secular humanism) have nearly merged, making it difficult to distinguish one from the other.
Over the past three hundred years, the Western Christian tradition has slowly but steadily been eclipsed, first by scientific evolutionary materialism, now by Eastern-oriented scientific cosmic humanism which has infused and spiritualized the former, transforming it into an agency for the transmission of the naturalistic structure of the evolving universe of matter and psychic energy and other revelations from fallen angels and evil spirits. This legion of disembodied beings call themselves everything from Transcended Masters to Maitreya, Semjase, the Council of Nine, Space Brothers and ancient Ennead of Egypt together with evil spirits going by such names as god, christ and jesus. All of this has led Martin Lloyd-Jones to declare:
“The modern world, and especially the history of the present century, can only be understood in terms of the unusual activity of the devil and the “principalities and powers” of darkness…In a world of collapsing institutions, moral chaos, and increasing violence, never was it more important to trace the hand of the “prince of the power of the air.” If we cannot discern the chief cause of our ills, how can we hope to cure them?” The Christian Warfare
In the space of a few short decades occult New Age spirituality (2) has made profound inroads. Its upsurge manifests itself in the form of everything from obsession with the paranormal, channeling cults, ghost-hunting, necromancy, light-bearers, spirit guides (3), goddess worship, shamanism, transcendental meditation and visualization (4), ‘new’ contemplative or centering prayer (5), the enneagram (6), labyrinth walking (7), yoga (8), Wicca (9), revitalized Norse paganism, transformational festivals (10), vampires (11), Ouija boards (12), poltergeists (13), the proliferation of ‘new’ religions and Lucifer as the Angel of Light:
“Medium and psychic Sylvia Browne admits there are dark entities that choose from the beginning to be this way, but she denies the devil. According to Browne, God sent Lucifer down to watch over people when God saw they had chosen “the dark side.” According to Browne, “Lucifer is neither dark nor fallen. He wasn’t rejected by God or banished from the light.” (The Dark Side: Beyond Good and Evil, Marcia Montenegro, Christian Answers for the New Age)
The hugely popular “new” contemplative or centering prayer (5) is a hybrid drawn from prayer practices of the Christian contemplative heritage fused with Eastern mysticism. The hybrid version,
“…originated in St Joseph’s Abbey, a Trappist monastery in Spencer, Massachusetts. During the twenty years (1961-1981) when Keating was abbot, St Joseph’s held dialogues with Buddhist and Hindu representatives, and a Zen master gave a week-long retreat to the monks. A former Trappist monk who had become a Transcendental Meditation teacher also gave a session to the monks. ….Centering prayer is essentially a form of self-hypnosis. It makes use of a “mantra,” a word repeated over and over to focus the mind while striving by one’s will to go deep within oneself. The effects are a hypnotic-like state…” (The Danger of Centering Prayer, Rev. John D. Dreher, Catholic Education Resource Center)
In the foreword to Philip St. Romains book, “Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality,” Keating acknowledges that kundalini energy is the focus of the “new” Christian contemplative prayer. He states:
“Since this energy [kundalini] is also at work today in numerous persons who are devoting themselves to contemplative prayer, this book is an important contribution to the renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition. It will be a great consolation to those who have experienced physical symptoms arising from the awakening of kundalini in the course of their spiritual journey … Most spiritual disciplines world-wide insist on some kind of serious discipline before techniques of awakening kundalini are communicated. In Christian tradition … the regular practice of the stages of Christian prayer … contemplation are the essential disciplines…” (Kundalini Energy (Serpent Power) Same as Contemplative Silence, lighthousetrailsresearch)
Psychical researcher J.D. Pearce-Higgins, vice chairman of the Churches Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies (Great Britain) writes of the hazards of Ouija board (11) use and automatic writing:
“These apparently simple methods of attempting contact…are extremely dangerous. (People will become) obsessed or possessed by some…damaging spirit who has got control of them and won’t let go. They are compelled to go on with automatic writing—at all hours of day and night (and) may begin to hear…voices telling them to do stupid and filthy things; they are no longer master in the house of their own minds and souls.” (ibid, pp. 129-130)
From England to Australia and New Zealand, from South America to E. Europe, Canada and the United States, occult spirituality is quickly becoming the West’s dominant orthodoxy, leading America’s mainstream media to report:
“Neopaganism Growing Quickly: Numbers Roughly Double Every 18 Months in United States, Canada, and Europe.” (Denver Post, June 26, 2008; How Evil Works, David Kupelian, p. 115)
“Sorcery Sells, and the Young are Buying” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 10, 2007 (ibid)
“Wicca is Believed to be One of the Fastest-Growing Religions Among High School and College Students” National Public Radio, May 13, 2004 (ibid)
In his book, “America’s Schools: The Battleground for Freedom,” Allen Quist warns:
“New Age religion is now aggressively being taught in our nation’s public schools.” A model curriculum has been developed that “is clearly centered on pantheism.” “Much of what passes for environmental education and multiculturalism is really indoctrination in pantheistic/New Age theology. The ACLU and other similar organizations have no objections to (pantheistic indoctrination). It is only Christianity that these organizations object to.” (p. 51)
Today millions of Westerners are risking everything to seek the occult world and its’ alluring power. In “One or Two?” Dr. Peter Jones, Director of truthXchange and Adjunct Professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California writes that a wide variety of occult spirituality is now available.
There is something for everyone:
“A Course in Miracles, Alchemy, American Indian Quest, Ancient Mythology, Arkashic Record, Aryuvedic Medicine, Astrology, Bahai’i Unity, Buddhism, Buddhist/Christian Dialogue, Chakras, Channeling, Christian Monastic Mysticism, Crystals, Divination, Dream work, Druidism, Eastern Meditation, Eckankar (soul travel), Ecofeminism, Enneagram, EST, Feng Shui, Gnosticism (ancient and modern), Goddess worship, Hare Krishna, Hermeticism, Higher Self, Hinduism, Holism, Human Potential Movement, Hypnosis, I Ching, Iridology, Jungian Transpersonal Psychology, Kabbalah, Karma, Mandalas, Mantras, Mind-altering drugs, Parapsychology, Past Life Regressions, Reiki, Re-incarnation, Religious syncretism, Rolfing, Sacred Technologies, Santeria, Scientology, Shamanism, Sufism, T’ai Chi, Tantrism, Tarot Cards, Teilhardism, Therapeutic Touch, Tikkun, Transcendental Meditation, Ufology, Urantia Book, Visualization, Wicca, Yoga, Zen.” (pp. 40-41)
It is well documented that perversions, murder, possession and other evils, including human sacrifice, occur in Western witchcraft, Satanism and Eastern mysticism (e.g., tantric yoga) as well as pagan and pantheist occult religion in general. In his “Occultism, Witchcraft and Cultural Fashions,” the noted cultural anthropologist Mircea Eliade of the University of Chicago refers to the interconnections between European witchcraft and Hindu Tantric yoga. He argues that “even a rapid perusal of the Hindu and Tibetan documents” reveals the connection:
“As a matter of fact, all the features associated with European witches are—with the exception of Satan and the Sabbath—claimed also by Indo-Tibetan yogis and magicians. They too are supposed to fly through the air, render themselves invisible, kill at a distance, master demons and ghosts, and so on. Moreover, some of(them) boast that they break all the religious taboos and social rules; that they practice human sacrifice, cannibalism, and all manner of orgies, including incestuous intercourse, and that they eat excrement, nauseating animals, and devour human corpses. In other words, they proudly claim all the crimes and horrible ceremonies cited ad nauseum in the western European witch trials.” (Psychic Forces, Chapter 22, “The Occult History of Parapsychology,” Clifford Wilson and John Weldon, pp. 341-49)
The very popular Tantra Kundalini yoga is based on the occultic chakra system which teaches that a universal evolutionary energy (Kundalini Shakti, the Supreme Power; serpent power) coiled at the base of the spine flows through human beings and through all of creation, uniting everything above and everything below, thus acknowledging divinity in all things and all people. Through strenuous yoga and other occult techniques outlined in ancient and modern texts, Kundalini Shakti uncoils and rises through seven “chakras” or power centers within the human body. During so-called kundalini arousal, which may last for months or even years, protracted insanity and/or demonization must be endured. In the words of power yogi Muktananda:
“I was assailed by all sorts of perverse and defiling emotions….my breathing (became) disturbed…my abdomen would swell with air…my mind was sick with fear (my)thoughts became confused, meaningless. My limbs and body got hotter and hotter….Then I felt a searing pain…I wanted to run away, but my legs were locked tight in the lotus posture…..Then…a moonlike sphere…came floating in (it) struck against my eyes and…passed inside me…I was terrified (but) still locked in the lotus posture(with) my head forced down and glued to the ground….I started to make a sound like a camel, which alternated with the roaring of a tiger (I went) completely insane(and jumped and hopped) like a frog (while) my limbs (shook) violently. (Later) I learned that this was a Hatha Yoga process effected by the Goddess Kundalini in order for Her to move up through the spinal column into the sahasrana (upper psychic center.)” (Play of Consciousness, Swami Muktananda, pp. 75-81, 84-85, 88-89)
With continued practice, surrender, and preparation, one day the kundalini current will reach full voltage and there will no longer be ‘anybody home’ but an unholy spirit residing in an empty shell of a body:
“The moment of power transfer had come….Muktananda (adept of Nityananda) was about to make the timeless journey….of the power yogi (the Siddha), but it required the catalytic power of the master guru, Nityananda…who was God to Muktananda, therefore worthy of worship as the supreme Deity. The voyage of consciousness, prized by the ancients, would split Muktananda into fragments…Sometimes (his) body would writhe and twist like a snake’s while a hissing sound would come from inside (him).” Finally it happened—explosion, the point of no return where Muktananda “as an individual would be obliterated. Superconscious states would take control of him, and his consciousness would be kicked out to more and more remote levels.” “In place of the former person was the walking void, the Unself, the hollow shell filled with the soul of the universe…” (Riders of the Cosmic Circuit, Tal Brooke, pp. 36-45)
Like “new” contemplative prayer and other occultisms, yoga does not liberate; it enslaves and binds. It does not enlighten but brings confusion and insanity. It makes people immune to redemption through Christ,
“Yoga does not open the door for the Holy Spirit, but for spiritist spirits.” (Occult ABC: Exposing Occult Practices and Ideologies, Kurt E. Koch, p. 259)
Occult (Demonic) Bondage
According to Dr. Kurt Koch (1913-1987), a noted German theologian and minister with extensive personal experience in counseling and delivering thousands of people held in occult bondage, modern theologians who follow current scientific trends would be shocked by how many of the so-called scientists and intellectuals they slavishly follow have turned to occultism and spiritism (sorcery) and become demonized as a result. Be they scientist or otherwise, all who trespass into Satan’s domain by committing sins of sorcery will be harassed by the powers of darkness, irrespective of whether they take the step consciously or unconsciously. Every sin of sorcery (occultism) cuts a person off from the Holy God and opens the door to demonic bondage. Any person who serves the devil (occult), will receive the devil’s wages (Exod. 7:11-12; Lev. 19: 26, 32; Zech. 12:2; Mal. 3:5; Acts 8:16; Acts 16:16; 1 Sam. 28; 2 Chron. 10:13-14; Isaiah 2:6; 8:19; Jer. 27:9, 10; Gal. 5:20; 2 Tim. 3:8; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15). Thus when a person abandons the Holy Triune God through sins of sorcery, he abandons his inner person (mind, will, conscience) at the same time as seen in relation to psychological disturbances having the following predominant characteristics:
(1) Warped, distorted character: hard-edged egoism; uncongenial, dark nature.
(2) Extreme passions: hard-edged egoism, abnormal sexuality (sodomy, lesbianism, sadomasochism, bestiality, pedophilia, pederasty, zoophiles); violent temper, belligerence; tendencies to addiction; meanness and kleptomania; compulsive lying.
(3) Emotional disturbances; compulsive thoughts of murder and suicide, anxiety states.
(4) Possession with destructive urges, fits of mania; tendency to violent acts and crime
(6) Bigoted attitude against Christ and God; conscious atheism; simulated piety; indifference to God’s word and to prayer; blasphemous thoughts; religious delusions.
The ultimate goal of fallen angels and evil spirits is degradation and desecration of mans’ inner person, the spiritual part of him created in the image of the Holy God. So what are systematically defaced and desecrated are the mind, will, conscience and sense of good and evil.
Demonic Darkness: America’s Invisible Wave of Evil
Carl A. Raschke is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Denver specializing in Continental philosophy and the philosophy and theory of religion. He is also America’s leading authority on subcultures of demonic darkness. In his fully-documented work, “Painted Black” he puts together a terrifying puzzle to reveal the chilling facts and cases behind an invisible wave of evil working through the minds of children and adults and subsequently sweeping over and across our nation outwardly manifest in an alarming epidemic of violence and madness that Western therapeutic science explains away as hallucinations, genetic influences and chemical disturbances. Such a posture, said Raschke, hinges on the most incredible delusion that the “symbol of the Devil does not at all mean what the symbol of the Devil has always meant…” (Painted Black, p.404).
According to Rashcke, demonic bondage does not always manifest itself in a will to do evil:
“Many of today’s young satanists (are characterized) by a metaphysics of exhaustion and despair. A culture of despair becomes ever easier pickings for the…child pornographers (and the) professional (satanic) terrorists themselves. Satanism has already yielded a climate of fear in middle-class quarters where fear had never flourished before.” (p. 406)
A culture of “exhaustion and despair” also welcomes demonized perverse ‘sex-educators’ (14) and professional satanic terrorists like the 9/11 murderers and ISIS.
Where occult bondage manifests itself in a will to do evil it is seen in the recent Dark Knight movie murders (15) and in the following chilling account:
“In a chilling 911 call, Texas teen Jake Evans spent 20 minutes calmly recounting how he shot and killed his mother and sister, calling himself “evil.” (Texas Teen Tells 911 It Was Weird to Kill His Mother and Sister, abcnews, Oct. 5, 2012)
“It’s weird,” an even-voiced Evans told the 911 dispatcher. “I wasn’t even really angry with them. It just kind of happened. I’ve been kind of planning on killing for a while now.” “I’ll never forget this. My sister, she came down the stairs and she was screaming and I was telling her that I’m sorry but to just hold still–that, you know, I was just going to make it go away,” he said. “But she just kept on freaking out, but finally she fell down, and I got her in the head about, probably, three times.” “Just to let you know, I hate the feeling of killing someone. I’m going to be messed up,” he told the operator.” “I’m really worried about nightmares and stuff like that. Are there any type of medications for that and stuff?”
America’s secularized culture is a spiritual vacuum into which innumerable dark psychic forces have flooded. Most of the present destructive generation is sick, lawless, narcissistic, and undisciplined. America, the dying leader of the world, bleeds from thousands of self-inflicted wounds as she marches toward her own destruction to the beat of unseen drummers.
The clearest answer to the evil conditions of our times is found in the Bible. We are living in the Last Days. The final pages of history are now being read. Our time,
“…can only be understood aright in the light of the prophetic word. Satan is mobilizing all his forces for an all-out attack. The demonic world has entered the final lap….To fail, therefore, to take our stand at the foot of the cross, to fail to build our house upon the Rock, is to be swept away by the turmoil of the End-Times. We are living in days of a demonic nature!” (Demonology Past and Present, Kurt E. Koch, p. 37)
- The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes, Adler, p. 294
- The New Age. What is it? Marcia Montenegro, Christian Answers for the New Age
- SPIRIT CONTACT: WHO IS ON THE OTHER SIDE? ibid
- OUT OF YOUR MIND: MEDITATION AND VISUALIZATION, ibid
- Centering Prayer, Matt Slick, CARM; The Danger of Centering Prayer, Rev. John D. Dreher, Catholic Education Resource Center; Contemplating Contemplative Prayer: Is It Really Prayer? Montenegro
- The enneagram gps: gnostic path to self, Montenegro; National Pastor’s Convention Using Occultic Enneagram, lighthousetrailsresearch.com, Dec. 12, 2006
- THE LABYRINTH: A WALK BY FAITH? Montenegro
- Christian yoga: an oxymoron? Marcia Montenegro
- WITCHCRAFT, WICCA AND NEOPAGANISM, ibid
- Transformational Festivals, The Freedom Report
- THE VAMPYRE UNDERGROUND, Montenegro
- THE OUIJA BOARD — JUST A GAME???, ibid
- Poltergeists—An Evaluation of a Demonic Phenomenon, inplainsite.org
- The Little Black Book http://www.article8.net/downloads/LittleBlackBook.pdf
- James Holmes Charged With 24 Counts of Murder in Dark Knight Rises Massacre, usmagazine.com
Eleven years ago I wrote a column for the print edition of Chronicles under this title. Tom Piatak’s grim reminder of the continued destructive presence of this cabal in what passes for the commentariat in today’s America has prompted me to dig into my old files and recap for our readers the historical and ideological roots of neoconservatism. The 2004 diagnosis, reproduced here in an abbreviated form, still stands.
The neoconservatives are often depicted as former Trotskyites who have morphed into a new, closely related life form. It is pointed out that many early neocons—including The Public Interest founder Irving Kristol and coeditor Nathan Glazer, Sidney Hook, and Albert Wohlstetter—belonged to the anti-Stalinist far left in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and that their successors, including Joshua Muravchik and Carl Gershman, came to neoconservatism through the Socialist Party at a time when it was Trotskyite in outlook and politics. As early as 1963 Richard Hofstadter commented on the progression of many ex-Communists from the paranoid left to the paranoid right, clinging all the while to the fundamentally Manichean psychology that underlies both. [Half a century] later the dominant strain of neoconservatism is declared to be a mixture of geopolitical militarism and “inverted socialist internationalism.”
Blanket depictions of neoconservatives as redesigned Trotskyites need to be corrected in favor of a more nuanced analysis. In several important respects the neoconservative world outlook has diverged from the Trotskyite one and acquired some striking similarities with Stalinism and German National Socialism. Today’s neoconservatives share with Stalin and Hitler an ideology of nationalist socialism and internationalist imperialism. The similarities deserve closer scrutiny and may contribute to a better understanding of the most influential group in the U.S. foreign policy-making community.
Certain important differences remain, notably the neoconservatives’ hostility not only to Nazi race-theory but even to the most benign understanding of national or ethnic coherence. On the surface, there are also glaring differences in economics. However, the neoconservative glorification of the free market is mere rhetoric, designed to placate the businessmen who fund them, than reality. In fact, the neoconservatives favor not free enterprise but a kind of state capitalism—within the context of the global apparatus of the World Bank and the IMF—that Hitler would have appreciated.
Some form of gradual but irreversible and desirable withering away of the state is a key tenet of the Trotskyite theoretical outlook. The neoconservatives, by contrast, are statists par excellence. Their core belief—that society can be managed by the state in both its political and economic life—is equally at odds with the traditional conservative outlook and with the non-Stalinist Left. In this important respect the neoconservatives are much closer to Stalinism and National Socialism.
They do not want to abolish the state; they want to control it—especially if the state they control is capable of controlling all others. They are not “patriotic” in any conventional sense of the term and do not identify themselves with the real and historic America but see the United States merely as the host organism for the exercise of their Will to Power. Whereas the American political tradition has been fixated on the dangers of centralized state power, on the desirability of limited government and non-intervention in foreign affairs, the neoconservatives exalt and worship state power, and want America to become a hyper-state in order to be an effective global hegemon. Even when they support local government it is on the grounds that it is more efficient and responsive to the demands of the Empire, not on constitutional grounds.
The neoconservative view of America as a hybrid, “imagined” nation had an ardent supporter eight decades ago: in Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler argued for a new, tightly centralized Germany by invoking the example of the United States and the triumph of the Union over states’ rights. He concluded that “National Socialism, as a matter of principle, must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries.”
Hitler was going to make a new Germany the way he imagined it, or else destroy it. In the same vein the Weekly Standard writers are “patriots” only insofar as the America they imagine is a pliable tool of their global design. Their relentless pursuit of an American Empire overseas is coupled by their deliberate domestic transformation of the United States’ federal government into a Leviathan unbound by constitutional restraints. The lines they inserted into President Bush’s State of the Union address [in January 2004] aptly summarized their Messianic obsessions: the call of history has come to the right country, we exercise power without conquest, and sacrifice for the liberty of strangers, we know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation: “The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.”
Such megalomania is light years away from a patriotic appreciation of one’s nation. A psychotic quest for power and dominance is the driving force, and the “nationalist” discourse its justification. The reality is visible in ultimate distress: Towards the end of the Second World War Josef Goebbels welcomed the Allied bombing for its destruction of the old bourgeois cuckoo-clock and marzipan Germany of the feudal principalities. Driven by the same impulse, Bill Kristol’s “national greatness” psychosis seeks to sweep away the old localized, decentralized America of bingo parlors and little league games.
Most heirs of the Trotskyite Left are internationalists and one-world globalists, whereas all neoconservatives are unabashed imperialists. The former advocate “multilateralism,” in the form of an emerging “international community” controlled by the United Nations or through a gradual transfer of sovereign prerogatives to regional groupings exemplified by the European Union. By contrast the neoconservative urge for uninhibited physical control of other lands and peoples bears resemblance to the New European Order of [the early 1940’s], or to the “Socialist Community” that succeeded it in Eastern Europe. Even when they demand wars to export democracy, the term “democracy” is used as an ideological concept. It does not signify broad participation of informed citizens in the business of governance, but it denotes the desirable social and political content of ostensibly popular decisions . . .
Whereas the Trotskyite Left is predominantly anti-militarist, the neoconservatives are enthusiastically militarist in a manner reminiscent of German and Soviet totalitarianism. Their strategic doctrine, promulgated into official policy [in September 2002], calls for an indefinite and massive military build-up unconnected to any identifiable military threat to the United States. Their scribes demand ‘citizen involvement,’ in effect, militarization of the populace, but the traditional ‘citizen soldier’ concept is reversed . . .
The neoconservative mindset is apocalyptic (which is a Nazi and Stalinist trait), rather than utopian (which characterizes the Trotskyite Left). The replacement of the Soviet threat with the more amorphous “terrorism” reflects the doomsday revolutionary mentality that can never rest. New missions and new wars will have to be engineered, and pretexts manufactured, with the same subtlety that characterized the “attack” on the German radio station at Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939. Even the tools for the enforcement of domestic acquiescence are not dissimilar: the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the Reichstag fire. Echoing the revolutionary dynamism and the historicist Messianism equally common to fascists and communists, Michael Ledeen wrote that “creative destruction” is America’s eternal mission, both at home and abroad, and the reason America’s “enemies” hate it: “They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”
The neoconservatives’ mendacity apparent in the misrepresentation of the Iraqi crisis to the American people recalls the Goebbelsian “hypodermic needle approach” to communication, in which the communicator’s objective was to “inject” his ideas into the minds of the target population . . . [which] is echoed in our time by the Straussian dictum that perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is necessary because they need to be led, and they need to be told what is good for them. On this, at least, Trotsky, Stalin, and Hitler would all agree. (As Hitler had said, “The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble.”) In the Straussian-neoconservative mindset, those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.
That mindset is America’s enemy. It is the greatest threat to the constitutional order, identity, and way of life of the United States, in existence today. Its adherents have only modified the paradigm of dialectical materialism in order to continue pursuing the same eschatological dream, the End of History devoid of God. They are in pursuit of Power for its own sake—thus sinning against God and man—and the end of that insane quest will be the same as the end of the Soviet empire and of the Thousand-Year Reich.
It was supposed to be a phone call for Obama administration ears only. But hear it the radio host did, she says. And what she heard should make your blood run cold — and perhaps your rage hot. Obama’s amnesty plan is to use illegal aliens as “seedlings,” said the federal officials. They will “navigate, not assimilate,” as they “take over the host,” create a “country within a country” and start “pushing the citizens into the shadows.”
Welcome to the “fundamental transformation” of America.
The above was alleged by WCBM radio co-host Sue Payne in an interview with talk giant Mark Levin last Thursday. Payne says that while at an immigration rally, she became privy to three conference calls in which 16 Obama administration officials — including Cecilia Muñoz, director of Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council — discussed plans for what could only be called the final destruction of traditional America and the cementing of leftist hegemony. Muñoz, by the way, is perfectly suited to this task; she was once a senior vice president for the anti-American Hispanic lobbying organization the National Council of La Raza.
Oh, la raza means “the race” (I guess the whole “‘Hispanic’ is an ethnicity” thing doesn’t cut much ice with them).
Payne opened the interview by explaining that what Obama actually did on November 21 — the day he signed his supposed executive amnesty — was create the “Task Force on New Americans” (TFNA) for the purposes of implementing his legalization scheme. And it won’t be applied to just 5 million illegals, but “13 to 15 million to give protection [to] and move…on to citizenship,” reports Payne.
Payne then said that the illegals, labeled “seedlings,” would eventually “take over the host.” She continued, “And the immigrants will come out of the shadows, and what I got from the meetings was that they would be pushing the citizens into the shadows. They would be taking over the country; in fact, one of the members of the task force actually said that we would be developing a country within a country.”
To this nefarious end, the goal of the TFNA is to create a “welcoming feeling” in illegal-seeded localities, which would be redesignated “receiving communities.” They’d subsequently be transformed (fundamentally, I suppose) into what are labeled “emerging immigrant communities” — or as some would say, México Norte.
The officials also said, reports Payne, that for the seedlings to “grow” they needed “fertile soil” (a.k.a. your tax money). The officials stated that the legalized aliens needed to be redesignated as “refugees” and be given cash, medical care, credit cards for purchasing documents and — since many illegals will be older — Social Security so they can “age successfully within their country within a country,” to quote Payne. As she then put it, it’s “as if we were funding our own destruction here.”
Some may point out that Payne has no smoking gun (that we know of) in the form of, let’s say, a recording of the calls. But Levin vetted her and found her credible, calling the scheme “stunning” and reflective of “Mao’s China.” I believe her as well, but it doesn’t even matter. She simply confirms what I’ve been warning of for years and years over and over again: The Left is importing their voters, engaging indemographic warfare and authoring the death of the republic.
Mind you, legal immigration itself is a sufficient vehicle for this. Ever since the Immigration Reform and Nationality Act of 1965, 85 percent of our immigrants have hailed from the Third World and Asia, thus growing leftist constituencies that vote for socialistic Democrats by approximately a four-to-one margin; in contrast and as Pat Buchanan pointed out, “[N]early 90 percent of all Republican votes in presidential elections are provided by Americans of European descent.” This, along with hatred and bigotry, is a major reason why Obama and his ilk want to destroy white America.
But liberals crave immediate gratification, and amnesty greatly accelerates this process. Legalize 15 million socialist voters clamoring for handouts, have them bring in relatives via chain migration — give them Social Security numbers which they can use to vote (as is Obama’s plan) — and tomorrow’s leftist dystopia is today. I predicted this in 2008, by the way, writing:
The coup de grace Obama will use against rightist opposition is mostly embodied in one word: amnesty. This, along with some other measures, will both grow the Hispanic voting block and ingratiate Obama to it. This will enable him to create a powerful coalition of blacks, young voters and Hispanics that, along with the older whites he will be able to retain, will constitute an insurmountable electoral force. And this is why amnesty has long been a dream of the Democrats. Even easier than brainwashing new voters (which the media and academia specialize in) is importing them.
Admittedly, I can be criticized since the above article is titled “How Obama Will Ensure His Victory in 2012.” But titles are hooks as much as anything else. And since I don’t have a crystal ball, just a not yet crystallized brain, I’d never claim to be able to perfectly predict timing. It also turned out that Obama and the 2009 to 2011Democrat House and Senate were preoccupied with instituting ObamaCare, and that the liberal legislators were perhaps too cowardly to face re-election having passed amnesty. Regardless, I have another prediction, one I hope you’ll take seriously:
The chances are slim to nil that Obama’s amnesty will be stopped legislatively.
Obama against John Boehner is the Beltway Brawler vs. the Beltway Bawler. Moreover, I suspect establishment Republicans — who just refused to defund Obama’s scheme — want executive amnesty. Why? Because the issue has been an albatross around their necks. And while they don’t have the guts or desire to really stand against Invasion USA, they also know voting for amnesty would mean electoral disaster. So, let Obama act unilaterally, huff and puff a bit with a wink and a nod while doing nothing of substance, and “Voila!” The issue is off the table with plausible deniability of complicity.
And the courts? They may uphold the recent injunction against Obamnesty, but there’s no saying Obama won’t ignore the courts (he assuredly understands that judicial review is a jurist invention). And, anyway, amnesty was always only a matter of time with today’s cultural trajectory. Yet this cloud does have a silver lining.
The Left was very successful boiling the frog slowly with the legal importation of socialist voters and the gradual transformation of our culture via entertainment, the media and academia. But liberals’ childish haste may have led to a tactical error. By going all in on executive orders and amnesty — by transitioning from evolutionary to revolutionary change and turning the burner up high — the Left risks rousing that frog from his pan. And how should it jump?
Obama said after the November Republican victory that it was his “profound preference and interest to see Congress act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill” (emphasis added), but otherwise he’ll work via executive orders. He also offered the GOP a deal: “You send me a bill that I can sign, and those executive actions go away.”
Translation: My preference is to follow the Constitution.
But my will be done — one way or the other.
How to respond? Question: what do you do when someone says “My preference is to follow the game’s rules, but if I can’t win that way, I’ll have to cheat”? You can:
- Continue losing; be a Charlie Brown sucker who keeps thinking that this time Lucy won’t pull the football away.
- Cheat right back (hard to do without judges in your pocket).
- Stop playing the game.
Now, conservatives, consummate ladies and gentlemen that they are, consistently choose option one. Far be it from them to violate the “law” even when it’s unconstitutional and therefore lawless. But I prefer option three.
This means nullification. Note that the Constitution is the contract Americans have with each other. And what happens when one party subject to a contract continually violates it in order to advantage itself, aided and abetted by corrupt judges?
The contract is rendered null and void.
Remember, cheaters don’t stop cheating until forced to. Governors and their legislatures need to man-up and tell the feds, “You like acting unilaterally and unconstitutionally? Two can play that game.” And this means not just ignoring Obama’s amnesty dictates, but nullifying a multitude of other things as well.
The other option is demographic and cultural genocide and the politics attending that. The Left knows this, too. Obama noted that growing “diversity hinders conservative priorities,” wrote the DC last month. Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) said recently that amnesty “will decide who is in charge of this country for the next 20 or 30 years.” And an ex-advisor to former Prime Minister Tony Blair confessed in 2009 that the goal of the British Labour Party’s massive culture-rending immigration was to “rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”
Do you get it yet?
Defy and Nullify.
The alternative is to walk legally and quietly into that good night, going out not with a bang but a whimper, muttering something about 2016, the Supreme Court and pixie dust.
Back in the day, I was always trying to fly off to report on international combat hot-spots like Iraq and Afghanistan — always hoping that if the American people back home read my horror-stories of war, they too would somehow become war-resisters and that my stories of brutal, grim and unjustified death in far-away places might even help escalate a strong anti-war movement here at home, one that would finally stop the heartless killing of women and children by American tanks, rockets and drones. But now? Now I’m thinking that I should be doing something even more important than traveling to combat zones far away — that I, like some modern-day Jonah, should actually be going down into the belly of the American beast itself instead.
Plus it’s always cheaper to go to North Carolina or Washington DC or St Louis than to go off to Syria, Gaza, Haiti or Ukraine.
The main question that I would be asking in these particular American war zones, however, would be, “What makes America tick?”
What has made us become the most dreaded and hated country in the world — a country that has more weapons and more money to spend on weapons than any other country anywhere, ever? What gives us the right to call ourselves “patriotic” and “brave” and “democratic” when, in reality, it is America that has killed, maimed, tortured and mutilated millions of people all over the world — and trampled any survivors’ chances and their children’s chances of ever ever having a decent life again.
Why do Americans support dictators in Ukraine, Palestine, Honduras, Congo, etc. with such enthusiastic glee? And also why do Americans applaud so loudly when elections here at home are stolen and our infrastructure and school systems die and “Christianity” becomes just another excuse to kill, rape, torture and maim God’s children both at home and abroad?
And what makes Americans bitch and complain so much about what ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria — when what Americans have done there in the past and are doing there right now is so much much much worse? ISIS fanatics behead hundreds of people. American troops level whole cities and leave them contaminated with radioactive detritus that will kill children and other living things there for the next 500 years.
Why are Americans so set against preventing nuclear holocausts both at home and abroad? Why do Americans cheer and get all teary-eyed and proud when our cops turn into robo-cops and spray peaceful protesters with tear gas? And then actually buy tickets to go see women tortured?
“What makes Americans tick?” I need to know what is going on right here in America before I can possibly understand what the freak is going on in all those American-financed war zones throughout the rest of the world.
So here’s my plan. I’m going to go out and see America first. Ukraine and Gaza and Baghdad will just have to wait — while I, like Jonah, go deep into the belly of the American beast instead.
Despite all the nightmares I have seen in the last decades, I continue to be an idealist and to dream of a better world, a world that Buddha, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad would be proud of. Most Americans, however, apparently dream of cruelty, torture, injustice and ruling the world vicariously.
We are the protagonists of our own dreams.
Americans (and all other human beings too for that matter) need to finally learn that it is far better to die with love in our hearts than to live with hatred in our eyes, fear in our guts and evil in our souls.
PS: A Manhattan jury just awarded a $218.5 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority for damages done to Israelis with American citizenship by Palestinian suicide bombers. Do you know what this means? A new precedence has just been set. A new Pandora’s box has just been opened.
From now on, relatives of Americans killed in any foreign country, not just Israel, can also use American courts to get recompense for damages done by acts of “terrorism” on American citizens abroad!
For instance, if any Chilean-Americans were killed in the CIA coup against Allende in Chile, their relatives can now sue Henry Kissinger in American courts — but of course they will have to stand in line behind the relatives of any Cambodian-Americans killed by him.
And what about the bunches and groups of Palestinian-Americans, Yemeni-Americans, Iraqi-Americans, Syrian-Americans, Ukrainian-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, Somali-Americans, Haitian-Americans, etc. who have been killed by American tanks, rockets and drones?
America? You can no longer pretend to not know what you are doing. See ya in court!
Some things not to forget, which the new Greek leaders have not…
American historian D.F. Fleming, writing of the post-World War II period in his eminent history of the Cold War, stated that “Greece was the first of the liberated states to be openly and forcibly compelled to accept the political system of the occupying Great Power. It was Churchill who acted first and Stalin who followed his example, in Bulgaria and then in Rumania, though with less bloodshed.”
The British intervened in Greece while World War II was still raging. His Majesty’s Army waged war against ELAS, the left-wing guerrillas who had played a major role in forcing the Nazi occupiers to flee. Shortly after the war ended, the United States joined the Brits in this great anti-communist crusade, intervening in what was now a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek).
In 1964, the liberal George Papandreou came to power, but in April 1967 a military coup took place, just before elections which appeared certain to bring Papandreou back as prime minister. The coup had been a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, the KYP, the CIA, and the American military stationed in Greece, and was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “communist takeover”. Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine.
George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father, had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.
Andreas Papandreou was arrested at the time of the coup and held in prison for eight months. Shortly after his release, he and his wife Margaret visited the American ambassador, Phillips Talbot, in Athens. Papandreou later related the following:
I asked Talbot whether America could have intervened the night of the coup, to prevent the death of democracy in Greece. He denied that they could have done anything about it. Then Margaret asked a critical question: What if the coup had been a Communist or a Leftist coup? Talbot answered without hesitation. Then, of course, they would have intervened, and they would have crushed the coup.
Another charming chapter in US-Greek relations occurred in 2001, when Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Goliath Lowlife, secretly helped Greece keep billions of dollars of debt off their balance sheet through the use of complex financial instruments like credit default swaps. This allowed Greece to meet the baseline requirements to enter the Eurozone in the first place. But it also helped create a debt bubble that would later explode and bring about the current economic crisis that’s drowning the entire continent. Goldman Sachs, however, using its insider knowledge of its Greek client, protected itself from this debt bubble by betting against Greek bonds, expecting that they would eventually fail.
Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”. The fact that Syriza leaders, for some time, have made no secret of their affinity for Russia is reason enough to seal their fate. They should have known how the Cold War works.
I believe Syriza is sincere, and I’m rooting for them, but they may have overestimated their own strength, while forgetting how the Mafia came to occupy its position; it didn’t derive from a lot of compromise with left-wing upstarts. Greece may have no choice, eventually, but to default on its debts and leave the Eurozone. The hunger and unemployment of the Greek people may leave them no alternative.
The Twilight Zone of the US State Department
“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop … the Twilight Zone.” (American Television series, 1959-1965)
State Department Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015. Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, questioned by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.
Lee: President Maduro [of Venezuela] last night went on the air and said that they had arrested multiple people who were allegedly behind a coup that was backed by the United States. What is your response?
Psaki: These latest accusations, like all previous such accusations, are ludicrous. As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
Lee: Sorry. The US has – whoa, whoa, whoa – the US has a longstanding practice of not promoting – What did you say? How longstanding is that? I would – in particular in South and Latin America, that is not a longstanding practice.
Psaki: Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history –
Lee: Not in this case.
Psaki: – is that we do not support, we have no involvement with, and these are ludicrous accusations.
Lee: In this specific case.
Lee: But if you go back not that long ago, during your lifetime, even – (laughter)
Psaki: The last 21 years. (Laughter.)
Lee: Well done. Touché. But I mean, does “longstanding” mean 10 years in this case? I mean, what is –
Psaki: Matt, my intention was to speak to the specific reports.
Lee: I understand, but you said it’s a longstanding US practice, and I’m not so sure – it depends on what your definition of “longstanding” is.
Psaki: We will – okay.
Lee: Recently in Kyiv, whatever we say about Ukraine, whatever, the change of government at the beginning of last year was unconstitutional, and you supported it. The constitution was –
Psaki: That is also ludicrous, I would say.
Lee: – not observed.
Psaki: That is not accurate, nor is it with the history of the facts that happened at the time.
Lee: The history of the facts. How was it constitutional?
Psaki: Well, I don’t think I need to go through the history here, but since you gave me the opportunity –- as you know, the former leader of Ukraine left of his own accord.
Leaving the Twilight Zone … The former Ukrainian leader ran for his life from those who had staged the coup, including a mob of vicious US-supported neo-Nazis.
If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War. None of the attempts were democratic, constitutional, peaceful, or legal; well, a few were non-violent.
The ideology of the American media is that it believes that it doesn’t have any ideology
So NBC’s evening news anchor, Brian Williams, has been caught telling untruths about various events in recent years. What could be worse for a reporter? How about not knowing what’s going on in the world? In your own country? At your own employer? As a case in point I give you Williams’ rival, Scott Pelley, evening news anchor at CBS.
In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.”
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.”
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein himself told CBS’s Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.”
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world, before the 2003 American invasion, that the WMD were non-existent.
Enter Scott Pelley. In January 2008, as a CBS reporter, Pelley interviewed FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?
For a journalist there might actually be something as bad as not knowing what’s going on in his area of news coverage, even on his own station. After Brian Williams’ fall from grace, his former boss at NBC, Bob Wright, defended Williams by pointing to his favorable coverage of the military, saying: “He has been the strongest supporter of the military of any of the news players. He never comes back with negative stories, he wouldn’t question if we’re spending too much.”
I think it’s safe to say that members of the American mainstream media are not embarrassed by such a “compliment”.
In his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter made the following observation:
Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.
But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all.
It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
Cuba made simple
“The trade embargo can be fully lifted only through legislation – unless Cuba forms a democracy, in which case the president can lift it.”
Aha! So that’s the problem, according to a Washington Post columnist – Cuba is not a democracy! That would explain why the United States does not maintain an embargo against Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt and other distinguished pillars of freedom. The mainstream media routinely refer to Cuba as a dictatorship. Why is it not uncommon even for people on the left to do the same? I think that many of the latter do so in the belief that to say otherwise runs the risk of not being taken seriously, largely a vestige of the Cold War when Communists all over the world were ridiculed for blindly following Moscow’s party line. But what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship?
No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?
Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. (They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries). Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since candidates run as individuals. Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have the Koch Brothers to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; which is why it’s not the case.
Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?
Is Cuba not a democracy because it arrests dissidents? Many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement two years ago more than 7,000 people were arrested, many beaten by police and mistreated while in custody. And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer; virtually without exception, Cuban dissidents have been financed by and aided in other ways by the United States.
Would Washington ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense.
The Ministry of Propaganda has a new Commissar
Last month Andrew Lack became chief executive of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government-supported international news media such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia. In a New York Times interview, Mr. Lack was moved to allow the following to escape his mouth: “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram.”
So … this former president of NBC News conflates Russia Today (RT) with the two most despicable groups of “human beings” on the planet. Do mainstream media executives sometimes wonder why so many of their audience has drifted to alternative media, like, for example, RT?
Those of you who have not yet discovered RT, I suggest you go to RT.com to see whether it’s available in your city. And there are no commercials.
It should be noted that the Times interviewer, Ron Nixon, expressed no surprise at Lack’s remark.
- William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, chapters 3 and 35
- “Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt”, Spiegel Online (Germany), February 8, 2010. Google “Goldman Sachs” Greece for other references.
- U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015
- Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List
- CBS Evening News, August 20, 2002
- ABC Nightline, December 4, 2002
- “60 Minutes II”, February 26, 2003
- Washington Post, March 1, 2003
- “60 Minutes”, January 27, 2008
- Democracy Now!, February 12, 2015, Wright statement made February 10
- Al Kamen, Washington Post, February 18, 2015
- Huffington Post, May 3, 2012
- New York Times, January 21, 2015
A roundtable, held last week at the Institute of African Studies reports that the Nigerian government’s “…campaigns have not addressed their plans for combating the growing insecurity that has left Nigerians living in fear, and paralyzed educational and economic activities in large swaths of Northeastern Nigeria.” A string of terrorist attacks have occurred as Nigeria has struggled to build a functional and coherent response. Fortunately, there is a science-based approach to create societal coherence that can protect Nigeria from both internal and external threats. It is called Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) because it assures invincibility, peace, and even economic progress, to the nation and the military that employ it.
Invincible Defense Technology (IDT), a Proven, State-of-the-Art, Non-violent Military Solution
The IDT approach to defense has its basis in a radically new preventive model that has been thoroughly field-tested in numerous world battlegrounds. This approach results in rapid reduction of individual, societal and national collective stress. Its methods have been proven and adopted as part of the training of America’s future commanders at Norwich University, a nationally respected and oldest military academy in the USA (see also the YouTube video “Meditation Improves Performance at Military University” and the Official Homepage of the US Army). IDT is further validated by 23 peer-reviewed studies carried out in both developed and developing nations. Its coherence-creating effect has also been documented on a global scale in a study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. When large assemblies of civilian IDT experts gathered during the years 1983 – 1985, international conflict decreased 32%, terrorism-related casualties decreased 72%, and overall violence was reduced in nations without intrusion by other governments.
IDT is totally unlike any other defense technology because it does not use violence in an attempt to quell violence. It is a more civilized approach, one especially worthy of nations that abhor violence as a means to power. IDT uniquely goes to the root cause of violence – the built-up stress in the individual and collective consciousness. Scientists have evidence that high levels of collective societal stress are the underlying cause of war, violence, crime and terrorism. When the IDT methodology is applied, stress levels throughout the population are rapidly reduced.
In an environment of lowered stress even staunch adversaries find ways to cooperate and overcome long-standing differences.
IDT Reduces Societal Stress
IDT uniquely neutralizes the underlying power base of contending groups, which is the stress, frustration and civil dissatisfaction prevailing in the general population. By eliminating the root cause of insurgency, violent outbreaks are pre-empted and prevented. IDT is effective because it gets to the heart of the matter. Terrorism often thrives in nations in which decades or even centuries of under-employment, poverty, and hunger have created a huge societal weight of stress, frustration and endemic unhappiness. This inevitably finds expression in acts of terrorism, civil unrest, social violence, and a downward spiral of economic degradation.
A specially trained military unit, an “IDT Prevention Wing of the Military,” uses IDT to reduce stress in the national collective consciousness. IDT could also be introduced into other large groups such as the police forces, or militias. As the stress and frustration ease, the population is more capable of finding orderly and constructive solutions to their problems.
Experience with IDT in other war-torn nations demonstrated increases in economic incentive and growth. Entrepreneurship and individual creativity also increased. With increased civic calm, people’s aspirations are raised and a more productive and balanced society emerges. Such a society abhors violence as a means for change or as an expression of discontent. With this, the ground for terrorism is eliminated. What is more fascinating, this change takes place within a few days or weeks after IDT is introduced. The changes are measurable from such statistics as crime rates, accidents, hospital admissions, infant mortality, etc.
Military personnel in Latin America, Africa and Asia practice group Transcendental Meditation to help protect their nations
Rapid Transformation Through IDT
The daily routine for the IDT military personnel includes the nonreligious practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program along with its advanced form, the TM-Sidhi program. As a societal coherence-creating military unit, they practice these programs twice a day, seven days a week, preferably in a secure location near the targeted population.
Such coherence-creating groups have achieved positive benefits in society, shown statistically, in a short time. Modern statistical methods used in this research show a low probability of any explanation other than a causal influence of the technology. The IDT approach has been used during wartime resulting in the reduction of fighting, a decreased number of deaths and casualties, and an improvement in progress toward resolving the conflict peacefully. The war in Lebanon in 1983 was dramatically impacted in a peaceful way by an IDT Intervention Group. A thoroughly documented study of this phenomenon was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and summaries of follow-up studies were published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personalityand the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
IDT works by utilizing our natural human brain mechanics, the most powerful natural resource possessed by every nation on earth. The beneficial transformational effects of IDT have been statistically proven numerous times to decrease and prevent violence and terrorism, and boost the economy.
IDT defense technology supersedes all other known defense technologies (which are based on electronic, chemical, and/or nuclear forces). These old, fear-based modalities are ultimately self-destructive for any nation, and for the human race as a whole, and must be replaced with IDT. So far, IDT is the only known, proven constructive approach.
The military that deploys this powerful, human-resource-based technology disallows negative trends and prevents enemies from arising, and as a result, it has no enemies. No enemies means no war, terrorism and no insurgency.
The Time for Action is Now
IDT is the twenty-first century’s leading-edge defense system. If Nigeria establishes IDT Prevention Wings of the Military, they will ease high tensions, reverse mistrust, crush hatred, create stability and permanently prevent war and terrorism. Extensive scientific research objectively says, “Yes, the system works.” Why not use it in Nigeria? Time is running out. The best time to act is now, before Nigeria’s perilous situation worsens.
1. Dr. David R. Leffler (Fall 2009). A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising-Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace. Journal of Management & Social Science (JMSS), Vol. 5, No. 2., pp. 153-162. This peer-reviewed journal is published by the Institute of Business & Technology BIZTEK in Pakistan. The abstract was published in Session 6, p. 44 of the proceeding of the “International Sociological Association Research Committee 01 Seoul National University & Korea Military Academy International Conference on Armed Forces & Conflict Resolution in a Globalized World.” July 14 – 17, 2008, Seoul, Korea. The paper was also presented at KIDA, the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses.
2. Col. (Retd) S. P. Bakshi, Gerald Geer, and Dr. David Leffler (Special Issue May, 2013). Defense Personnel Worldwide Find Transcendental Meditation To be an Effective Tool in Combating Stress. Defence and Security Alert. Vol. 4, Issue No. 8, pages 34-39. PDF available online at: http://davidleffler.com/2013/defence-security-alert-magazine
3. Dr. David R. Leffler (2008, February). An Overlooked, Proven Solution to Terrorism. In “55 Trends Now Shaping the Future of Terrorism.” Edited by Dr. Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies: The Proteus Trends Series, Volume 1, Issue 2 (pp. 18, 79, 176, C-13 through C-16). Dr. Leffler served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College where he was published in this US government-sponsored report aimed at governmental and military leaders. Excerpts about Invincible Defense Technology taken from the 254 page report are available online at: http://www.DavidLeffler.com/terrorism-trends.html Note: The entire paper version of the report is available online at:http://www.amazon.com/Trends-Now-Shaping-Future-Terrorism/dp/1441451412
4. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh and Dr. David Leffler (July 2014). Preventing Future Boko Haram Attacks. CBRNE-Terrorism Newsletter (CBRNE is an acronym that stands for “Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive”). PDF available online at:
5. Lieutenant General Jose Villamil (Ret.) with Dr. David Leffler (2003, January 29). Project: Coherence. India Defence Consultants. Available online at:http://www.indiadefence.com/proj_cohere.htm
After Paris, condemnation of religious fanaticism is at its height. I’d guess that even many progressives fantasize about wringing the necks of jihadists, bashing into their heads some thoughts about the intellect, about satire, humor, freedom of speech. We’re talking here, after all, about young men raised in France, not Saudi Arabia.
Where has all this Islamic fundamentalism come from in this modern age? Most of it comes – trained, armed, financed, indoctrinated – from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. During various periods from the 1970s to the present, these four countries had been the most secular, modern, educated, welfare states in the Middle East region. And what had happened to these secular, modern, educated, welfare states?
In the 1980s, the United States overthrew the Afghan government that was progressive, with full rights for women, believe it or not , leading to the creation of the Taliban and their taking power.
In the 2000s, the United States overthrew the Iraqi government, destroying not only the secular state, but the civilized state as well, leaving a failed state.
In 2011, the United States and its NATO military machine overthrew the secular Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi, leaving behind a lawless state and unleashing many hundreds of jihadists and tons of weaponry across the Middle East.
And for the past few years the United States has been engaged in overthrowing the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. This, along with the US occupation of Iraq having triggered widespread Sunni-Shia warfare, led to the creation of The Islamic State with all its beheadings and other charming practices.
However, despite it all, the world was made safe for capitalism, imperialism, anti-communism, oil, Israel, and jihadists. God is Great!
Starting with the Cold War, and with the above interventions building upon that, we have 70 years of American foreign policy, without which – as Russian/American writer Andre Vltchek has observed – “almost all Muslim countries, including Iran, Egypt and Indonesia, would now most likely be socialist, under a group of very moderate and mostly secular leaders”. Even the ultra-oppressive Saudi Arabia – without Washington’s protection – would probably be a very different place.
On January 11, Paris was the site of a March of National Unity in honor of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose journalists had been assassinated by terrorists. The march was rather touching, but it was also an orgy of Western hypocrisy, with the French TV broadcasters and the assembled crowd extolling without end the NATO world’s reverence for journalists and freedom of speech; an ocean of signs declaring Je suis Charlie … Nous Sommes Tous Charlie; and flaunting giant pencils, as if pencils – not bombs, invasions, overthrows, torture, and drone attacks – have been the West’s weapons of choice in the Middle East during the past century.
No reference was made to the fact that the American military, in the course of its wars in recent decades in the Middle East and elsewhere, had been responsible for the deliberate deaths of dozens of journalists. In Iraq, among other incidents, see Wikileaks’ 2007 video of the cold-blooded murder of two Reuters journalists; the 2003 US air-to-surface missile attack on the offices of Al Jazeera in Baghdad that left three journalists dead and four wounded; and the American firing on Baghdad’s Hotel Palestine the same year that killed two foreign cameramen.
Moreover, on October 8, 2001, the second day of the US bombing of Afghanistan, the transmitters for the Taliban government’s Radio Shari were bombed and shortly after this the US bombed some 20 regional radio sites. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the targeting of these facilities, saying: “Naturally, they cannot be considered to be free media outlets. They are mouthpieces of the Taliban and those harboring terrorists.”
And in Yugoslavia, in 1999, during the infamous 78-day bombing of a country which posed no threat at all to the United States or any other country, state-owned Radio Television Serbia (RTS) was targeted because it was broadcasting things which the United States and NATO did not like (like how much horror the bombing was causing). The bombs took the lives of many of the station’s staff, and both legs of one of the survivors, which had to be amputated to free him from the wreckage.
I present here some views on Charlie Hebdo sent to me by a friend in Paris who has long had a close familiarity with the publication and its staff:
“On international politics Charlie Hebdo was neoconservative. It supported every single NATO intervention from Yugoslavia to the present. They were anti-Muslim, anti-Hamas (or any Palestinian organization), anti-Russian, anti-Cuban (with the exception of one cartoonist), anti-Hugo Chávez, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, pro-Pussy Riot, pro-Kiev … Do I need to continue?
“Strangely enough, the magazine was considered to be ‘leftist’. It’s difficult for me to criticize them now because they weren’t ‘bad people’, just a bunch of funny cartoonists, yes, but intellectual freewheelers without any particular agenda and who actually didn’t give a fuck about any form of ‘correctness’ – political, religious, or whatever; just having fun and trying to sell a ‘subversive’ magazine (with the notable exception of the former editor, Philippe Val, who is, I think, a true-blooded neocon).”
Dumb and Dumber
Remember Arseniy Yatsenuk? The Ukrainian whom US State Department officials adopted as one of their own in early 2014 and guided into the position of Prime Minister so he could lead the Ukrainian Forces of Good against Russia in the new Cold War?
In an interview on German television on January 7, 2015 Yatsenuk allowed the following words to cross his lips: “We all remember well the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany. We will not allow that, and nobody has the right to rewrite the results of World War Two”.
The Ukrainian Forces of Good, it should be kept in mind, also include several neo-Nazis in high government positions and many more partaking in the fight against Ukrainian pro-Russians in the south-east of the country. Last June, Yatsenuk referred to these pro-Russians as “sub-humans” , directly equivalent to the Nazi term “untermenschen”.
So the next time you shake your head at some stupid remark made by a member of the US government, try to find some consolation in the thought that high American officials are not necessarily the dumbest, except of course in their choice of who is worthy of being one of the empire’s partners.
The type of rally held in Paris this month to condemn an act of terror by jihadists could as well have been held for the victims of Odessa in Ukraine last May. The same neo-Nazi types referred to above took time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Russians, Communists and Jews, and burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded … Try and find a single American mainstream media entity that has made even a slightly serious attempt to capture the horror. You would have to go to the Russian station in Washington, DC, RT.com, search “Odessa fire” for many stories, images and videos. Also see the Wikipedia entry on the 2 May 2014 Odessa clashes.
If the American people were forced to watch, listen, and read all the stories of neo-Nazi behavior in Ukraine the past few years, I think they – yes, even the American people and their less-than-intellectual Congressional representatives – would start to wonder why their government was so closely allied with such people. The United States may even go to war with Russia on the side of such people.
L’Occident n’est pas Charlie pour Odessa. Il n’y a pas de défilé à Paris pour Odessa.
Some thoughts about this thing called ideology
Norman Finkelstein, the fiery American critic of Israel, was interviewed recently by Paul Jay on The Real News Network. Finkelstein related how he had been a Maoist in his youth and had been devastated by the exposure and downfall of the Gang of Four in 1976 in China. “It came out there was just an awful lot of corruption. The people who we thought were absolutely selfless were very self-absorbed. And it was clear. The overthrow of the Gang of Four had huge popular support.”
Many other Maoists were torn apart by the event. “Everything was overthrown overnight, the whole Maoist system, which we thought [were] new socialist men, they all believed in putting self second, fighting self. And then overnight the whole thing was reversed.”
“You know, many people think it was McCarthy that destroyed the Communist Party,” Finkelstein continued. “That’s absolutely not true. You know, when you were a communist back then, you had the inner strength to withstand McCarthyism, because it was the cause. What destroyed the Communist Party was Khrushchev’s speech,” a reference to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 exposure of the crimes of Joseph Stalin and his dictatorial rule.
Although I was old enough, and interested enough, to be influenced by the Chinese and Russian revolutions, I was not. I remained an admirer of capitalism and a good loyal anti-communist. It was the war in Vietnam that was my Gang of Four and my Nikita Khrushchev. Day after day during 1964 and early 1965 I followed the news carefully, catching up on the day’s statistics of American firepower, bombing sorties, and body counts. I was filled with patriotic pride at our massive power to shape history. Words like those of Winston Churchill, upon America’s entry into the Second World War, came easily to mind again – “England would live; Britain would live; the Commonwealth of Nations would live.” Then, one day – a day like any other day – it suddenly and inexplicably hit me. In those villages with the strange names there were people under those falling bombs, people running in total desperation from that god-awful machine-gun strafing.
This pattern took hold. The news reports would stir in me a self-righteous satisfaction that we were teaching those damn commies that they couldn’t get away with whatever it was they were trying to get away with. The very next moment I would be struck by a wave of repulsion at the horror of it all. Eventually, the repulsion won out over the patriotic pride, never to go back to where I had been; but dooming me to experience the despair of American foreign policy again and again, decade after decade.
The human brain is an amazing organ. It keeps working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks a year, from before you leave the womb, right up until the day you find nationalism. And that day can come very early. Here’s a recent headline from the Washington Post: “In the United States the brainwashing starts in kindergarten.”
Oh, my mistake. It actually said “In N. Korea the brainwashing starts in kindergarten.”
Let Cuba Live! The Devil’s List of what the United States has done to Cuba
On May 31, 1999, a lawsuit for $181 billion in wrongful death, personal injury, and economic damages was filed in a Havana court against the government of the United States. It was subsequently filed with the United Nations. Since that time its fate is somewhat of a mystery.
The lawsuit covered the 40 years since the country’s 1959 revolution and described, in considerable detail taken from personal testimony of victims, US acts of aggression against Cuba; specifying, often by name, date, and particular circumstances, each person known to have been killed or seriously wounded. In all, 3,478 people were killed and an additional 2,099 seriously injured. (These figures do not include the many indirect victims of Washington’s economic pressures and blockade, which caused difficulties in obtaining medicine and food, in addition to creating other hardships.)
The case was, in legal terms, very narrowly drawn. It was for the wrongful death of individuals, on behalf of their survivors, and for personal injuries to those who survived serious wounds, on their own behalf. No unsuccessful American attacks were deemed relevant, and consequently there was no testimony regarding the many hundreds of unsuccessful assassination attempts against Cuban President Fidel Castro and other high officials, or even of bombings in which no one was killed or injured. Damages to crops, livestock, or the Cuban economy in general were also excluded, so there was no testimony about the introduction into the island of swine fever or tobacco mold.
However, those aspects of Washington’s chemical and biological warfare waged against Cuba that involved human victims were described in detail, most significantly the creation of an epidemic of hemorrhagic dengue fever in 1981, during which some 340,000 people were infected and 116,000 hospitalized; this in a country which had never before experienced a single case of the disease. In the end, 158 people, including 101 children, died. That only 158 people died, out of some 116,000 who were hospitalized, was an eloquent testimony to the remarkable Cuban public health sector.
The complaint describes the campaign of air and naval attacks against Cuba that commenced in October 1959, when US president Dwight Eisenhower approved a program that included bombings of sugar mills, the burning of sugar fields, machine-gun attacks on Havana, even on passenger trains.
Another section of the complaint described the armed terrorist groups, los banditos, who ravaged the island for five years, from 1960 to 1965, when the last group was located and defeated. These bands terrorized small farmers, torturing and killing those considered (often erroneously) active supporters of the Revolution; men, women, and children. Several young volunteer literacy-campaign teachers were among the victims of the bandits.
There was also of course the notorious Bay of Pigs invasion, in April 1961. Although the entire incident lasted less than 72 hours, 176 Cubans were killed and 300 more wounded, 50 of them permanently disabled.
The complaint also described the unending campaign of major acts of sabotage and terrorism that included the bombing of ships and planes as well as stores and offices. The most horrific example of sabotage was of course the 1976 bombing of a Cubana airliner off Barbados in which all 73 people on board were killed. There were as well as the murder of Cuban diplomats and officials around the world, including one such murder on the streets of New York City in 1980. This campaign continued to the 1990s, with the murders of Cuban policemen, soldiers, and sailors in 1992 and 1994, and the 1997 hotel bombing campaign, which took the life of a foreigner; the bombing campaign was aimed at discouraging tourism and led to the sending of Cuban intelligence officers to the US in an attempt to put an end to the bombings; from their ranks rose the Cuban Five.
To the above can be added the many acts of financial extortion, violence and sabotage carried out by the United States and its agents in the 16 years since the lawsuit was filed. In sum total, the deep-seated injury and trauma inflicted upon on the Cuban people can be regarded as the island’s own 9-11.
- US Department of the Army, Afghanistan, A Country Study (1986), pp.121, 128, 130, 223, 232
- Counterpunch, January 10, 2015
- Index on Censorship, the UK’s leading organization promoting freedom of expression, October 18, 2001
- The Independent (London), April 24, 1999
- “Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk talking to Pinar Atalay”, Tagesschau (Germany), January 7, 2015 (in Ukrainian with German voice-over)
- CNN, June 15, 2014
- See William Blum, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, chapter 3
- Washington Post, January 17, 2015, page A6
- William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, chapter 30, for a capsule summary of Washington’s chemical and biological warfare against Havana.
- For further information, see William Schaap, Covert Action Quarterly magazine (Washington, DC), Fall/Winter 1999, pp.26-29