September 29, 2008

Revelation Re-visit - A New Study

The following paper presents an analysis of two key chapters (13 and 17) in the Bible's Book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible, and perhaps the most abused sacred literature due to its vivid but confusing mosaic of imagery that can be so easily misinterpreted to suit a variety of ends. My approach starts with a reading of the text, with informative comments juxtaposed, and then proceeds to a unique attempt at ‘unforced deduction,’ where the text explains itself... using interpretive keys supplied within the text, in the light of recent historical events. Whether you are a ‘Christian’ of some stripe, an adherent of another faith, or a non-believer, I invite you to see how the Bible explains and validates itself... if only we allow it.
Important notes to keep in mind: 1) Revelation is a symbolic book, the record of John's visions; all numbers and images must be considered as symbolic, not literal. 2) the major images (see 1st comment) are defined within the text-- we don't have to impose supposed meanings.

Revelation 13
Text (from NASB)
Comments

1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
Beast = ‘nation,’ country, empire
Dragon = Satan (the Devil)
Sea = populous area; the ‘old world’
Horns = rulers
Heads = kingdoms, nations
Diadems = sign of authority, rulership
Blasphemous - indicates un-Godly
2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. Leopard = Greece
Bear = Medo-Persia
Lion = Babylon
Throne = dominance
This beast is a composite of several empires, & operates with satanic power.
3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 1 of the 7 nations is apparently destroyed but later is restored, to the amazement of the world.
4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" ‘Everyone’ worships Satan, perhaps not even aware, since it is done as patriotism.

The ‘empire’ has absolute military power.
5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. The empire’s rulers/spokespersons speak with worldly arrogance;
This entity is virtually unopposed for ’42’ symbolic months = 1260 days = 3 ½ years. Pos. 1260 years; or an indeterminately long, symbolic period.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Blasphemy=disrespect for God, sacred things.
Tabernacle=the ‘church’, ‘saints’, who are, spiritually, residents of heaven.
7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. The empire oppresses the believers; some give up their faith. It has global power in a secular sense.
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Everyone on earth will give homage to the empire except for the steadfast believers in Jesus, who refuse.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. Listen up-- even ‘one ear’ will suffice!
10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints. ‘Looks like there’s no escaping destiny... and fate.
The faithful must hold on thru all this persecution.

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.
Another prominent nation arises; this time from a less populous region.
It looks innocent, but ‘carries a big stick.’
12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. This nation has similar satanic power to the 1st one, and is contemporary with the restored nation. It forces every one to pay homage to the 1st nation that was revived.
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. This nation can bring down fire-power with ‘shock & awe’, and on the ‘world stage’ .
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. This nation deceives everyone with its impressive ‘magic.’

It prevails on the world to make an ‘image’ (?) in honor of the 1st nation.
15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Somehow, the 2nd nation injects ‘life’ into the image; this image has ‘speech’ and can impose death on those who refuse to worship it (follow its dictates).
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead ‘He’ (the nation, presumably) forces everyone to accept a symbolic ‘mark’ on the hand or forehead, indicative of slavery to the system.
Hand or forehead may imply either implicit/ practical, or else conscious assent.
17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Only those having the ‘mark’ are allowed to ‘buy or sell.’ [Unclear if literal or not.]
The mark relates to the name of this nation, or to the ‘number of its name.’
Commerce may imply expression of ideas,especially of truth.
18 Here is wisdom: Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred & sixty-six. With divine enlightenment, one can determine this nation… its ‘no.’ is ‘that of a man,’ and = 666. Could it be a nation named after a man? A nation with divine aspirations but doomed never to attain them?


Revelation 17

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, bowl = symbolic container of penalties
harlot = apostate church
judgment = fate, punishment
waters = people, populations
‘Seems to be a church that
includes many people.
2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality." Earthly rulers are ‘in bed’ with this church, and many people are caught up in her scandalous values and behavior.
3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. Wilderness = unpopulated area
Woman = church
Scarlet beast = bloody/infamous nation
7 heads & 10 horns - recalls the beast of Rev. 13 (& Daniel 7).
4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, Purple & scarlet - priestly garb (‘Papal’)
gold etc = valuables; great wealth
gold cup - looks good on outside, but full of filthy realities… religious hypocrisy!
5 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Mystery = occultism
Babylon = Sumer; birthplace of false religion and abhorrent, occult practices. Mother of harlots = origin of all false religions with ungodly practices.
6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. A church steeped in the deaths of many true believers in Christ.
The Roman (Catholic) Church’s history fits this image, but likely is not the only one.
7 And the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. (We hope to get some heaven-sent illumination here!) If the beast is the ‘old world,’ then the woman seems to be the Roman church (later, RC church).
8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. The nation existed before the time of this vision; but at that time did not exist. It will rise up once again, and is destined for destruction. It rises from the ‘abyss of time’ or of history… or of dispersion.
Those living when this nation is restored will be amazed to see this restoration.
9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, Mountains = thrones; governments(?)
7 = completeness
A church that presides over ‘7’ symbolic mounts; a universal church (RC).
10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. Kings = kingdoms, ‘countries’
5 were gone at the time of the vision;
1 was in existence in ~ 90 AD; (Rome);
1 hadn’t appeared yet, at that time.
(5 + 1 + 1 = 7)
11 "The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. The kingdom that had gone in 90AD but will return was one of the 7 kingdoms, and will become an ‘8th’ nation when it is restored. Ie. it is the one that hadn’t yet appeared (above) but is somehow ‘new.
12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. Horns = ‘kings’ or rulers.
These kingdoms didn’t exist in John’s day, but will be in power when the ‘scarlet beast’ makes its final moves in the last moments of history.
13 "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. These end-times rulers give their allegiance to the nation being ridden by the apostate church.

14 "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful."
The end-times rulers make war on Jesus (his church?) but will be defeated.
15 And he said to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. Waters = crowds of people (as above) in a multicultural setting-- likely Europe.
16 "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. The rulers and the restored nation will turn on the false religion and destroy it.
17 "For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. Despite their plots, the rulers are being directed by God to do His will. They give their authority to the restored nation, but only until God’s will is done.
18 "The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth." Woman = ‘city’; human construction
Great city = (probably) a nation, country
Seems to be one nation that has hegemony over all earthly rulers.
Analysis

After going thru this dissection of the text, letting scripture define its own terms as much as possible, and always bearing in mind that Revelation is a symbolic book, there are a number of reasonable inferences that emerge. Re-capping:

  1. The text refers to a nation that had disappeared at the time of John’s writing, yet would reappear later in history;
  2. when this nation reappears it will cause many to be amazed;
  3. this nation is associated with the name of a man; and perhaps aspires to attain godly heights… their way.
  4. this nation was among a group of 7 that existed in a then-populous region-- i.e. the Middle East-- before it was extinguished;
  5. when it reappears, it will be in some ‘new’ form (different from the 1st appearance);
  6. this nation is associated with a false religion somehow;
  7. there is another nation that appears later, that will be closely allied with the restored nation-- it wasn’t one of the original 7; but when it arises in an unpopulated area, it will enforce homage to the old/restored nation;
  8. this ‘new nation’ will first appear benign (lamb-like), but will issue draconian edicts that will cause all other nations to ‘fall into line’ with it;
  9. the new nation is being directed by a false, apostate religion;
  10. there seems to be a blurring between the woman as a church and as a ‘city,’ but in any case, there is a highly urbanized nation that exercises hegemony over all other nations;
  11. a set of ‘ten’ symbolic kingdoms arise in the end-times and they give their ‘power and authority’ to the restored kingdom for a short time (17:12-13).

When you look at the facts laid out like this, while there may still be some fuzzy details, nonetheless, some conclusions jump out as inescapable!

As soon as you mention ‘restored nation’ the obvious candidate that leaps out is ‘Israel’. Its name comes directly from ‘a man,’ their patriarch Jacob who was renamed Israel. Ancient Israel was one of a group of seven prominent nations in the Middle East that includes Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Greece, Babylonia, and Rome. With their rejection of the Messiah, Israel’s treasured, cultural religion, Judaism, is become an antichristian blasphemy. In any case, as a nation, Israel has always aspired to ‘help’ God do things their way. From the taking of the Promised Land, to the Pharisaical plot to eliminate Jesus, the children of Israel preferred their deeds to acceptance of God’s grace. The dramatic restoration of the Jewish homeland of Israel in the land of Palestine in 1948 was indeed seen as amazing, if not miraculous, by the on-looking world. While many assumed that it must be due to God’s intervention, there are others who have investigated the creation of the modern state of Israel, and find that it was rather due to conniving plans dating back to the late 19th century and revamped following the First World War. It was not God’s hand that was involved, but that of the Dragon, motivating Zionist agents behind the scenes of diplomacy. The Bible had this insight long before any modern pundit could possibly discern the covert machinations that culminated in a restored Jewish state. However, this resuscitated nation is a pretender! Altho populated by Jews (encompassing Benjamites and Levites), they call themselves Israel, in pretense of representing the original, full 12 tribes of Jacob. And whereas ancient Israel, the state, occasionally worshipped the true God, the new nation follows a worldly, ultra-nationalist, anti-religion that could be simply labeled as Zionism. Thus, ‘Israel’ has reappeared, in a new, ersatz format.

Now, the second prominent nation, the later one which is not of the original seven, and which originates in a less populous region, seems to reach its zenith near the culmination of apocalyptic events. Again, on the evidence, there’s one nation that immediately springs to mind-- the USA. Obviously, it didn’t exist at the time of John. And when it did appear, it arose in the ‘new world’, far from the populations of the old world. With its declaration of the rights and freedoms of individuals, particularly in regard to religious worship, the USA indeed looked lamb-like, and the two horns could symbolize the separation of church and state. Lately, there is no doubt about the dragon-like voice with which the US government has been throwing its weight around the world over the last 60 years or more. All nations of the world are compelled to heed the voice of the US government, whether they like it or not. In the vivid imagery of Revelation, this beast calls down fire from heaven, and deceives the Earth with the ‘signs’ he has the power to perform in front of the world. This made little sense-- until September 11, 2001, that is; now it reads as prescient indeed!

The lobbying of the ‘religious right’ has become increasingly influential since the Reagan presidency of the 1980s-- some call it a profane, false religion ‘directing’ affairs in D.C. At least, that is the cursory analysis of ‘the harlot riding the beast.’ However, one could argue that the religious right is still, nominally, Christian, and not necessarily what the prophecy points to. Geo-political events since ‘9-11-2001’ have uncovered a more covert connection between an abominable religion and the US administration. Summarizing a vast amount of evidence, let me state simply that there are undeniable indications that the cabinet in Washington is dominated by Zionist interests. One can think of Zionism as Judaism gone mad, or more properly, as a geo-political conspiracy (for the ‘New World Order’) whose luminaries seem to come largely from the ranks of Jews. In any case, there is a groundswell of evidence that the individuals who populate the US administration are linked to a panoply of occult practices and symbolism that can be traced back to ancient Babylon. These politicians congregate at the ‘Bohemian Grove’ (California) annually to indulge in bizarre, satanic rituals. That is their abominable, antichristian religion. It is well known that G.W. Bush is also a member of the Yale U. secret society called the ‘Skull and Bones.’ Many high-placed officials in Washington are associated with various occult/demonic societies, as a little Internet research will attest. One could argue that this ‘mystery cult’ of the elite could also represent the prostitute of the prophecy.

You can see that the other implication of this Zionist link to Washington is political. With increasing boldness, the Israeli government in Jerusalem exerts influence over the USA to do its dirty work in the Middle East. For decades the US delegation has used its veto in the Security Council of the United Nations to prevent censure of Israel. Lately, US foreign policy seems to be dictated by Israel. The First and Second Gulf Wars make little sense except when analyzed in the light of Israel using US military power to subdue its enemies in the Middle East theatre. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, deliberately destroying civilian infrastructure and killing non-combatants, the US waited until it was too late before expressing some measure of reservation over the Israeli depredations. While Israel and the USA make an uproar about supposed nuclear ambitions by Iran, they simply ignore the open secret that Israel already possesses nuclear weapons, and has the means to deploy them. Any nation fingered by Washington must jump and salute; however, Israel gets a free pass. In other words, the ‘second beast’-- the USA-- causes the rest of the world to worship the first beast-- Israel. The trend is so marked that we can see that it’s an emergent reality of the ‘New World Order.’

As many commentators have speculated, the 10 horns of 17:12 probably refer to the leaders of the European Union, who have had reservations about Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians, yet in the end, support the US-British backing of Israel. Once EU membership exceeded ten nations, some pundits abandoned this view; but they fail to note that ‘ten’ is simply a symbolic count for an inclusive set. And in any case, only ten or less countries have significant influence on EU foreign affairs. This view also is in accord with Daniel’s vision of the statue in chapter 2, where the feet and toes (of iron mixed with clay) have long been identified as the ‘revived Roman Empire’ embodied in the modern EU, with its strained mix of strong and feeble economies.

The one piece of the puzzle that escapes me at present is the question of the ‘image of the beast.’ While the other pieces fall into place fairly neatly, this one is far from obvious, at least at this time. I expect that it will become apparent as events unfold, but for the time being, the image is an open question. The NIV translates the passage as: “an image in honor of the beast.” The NASB and the KJV translation is: “an image to the beast.” In the Amplified Bible, the passage reads: “a statue (an image) in the likeness of the beast.” So, we have the later nation commanding the inhabitants of the earth to ‘make an image’ that represents the first (restored) nation in some manner.

One thing is certain, tho; and that is that by means of so-called ‘anti-hate’ laws, it is becoming almost impossible for anyone to question Israeli policies and actions. Many commentators have taken the picture of ‘buying and selling’ quite literally, and have weaved some rather bizarre scenarios based on that view (e.g. micro-chips, bar-codes in people’s flesh). On the contrary, I expect that the figure is meant to be symbolic… but, of what? Perhaps Proverbs 23:23 gives a clue: “Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.” Increasingly, no one in Western societies can dare openly criticize Israel without unleashing severe censure. It doesn’t take much imagination to foresee a time when any expression of reservation about Israel will result in prison or even death. And yet, how can we ‘get understanding’ if any criticism of Israel is crushed by so-called ‘anti-hate laws?’ Zechariah 11:4-6 is another passage that puts buying and selling in the context of duplicitous and predatory exploitation of one class by another, and God’s judgement on them. So, Rev 13:17 may be alluding to the fact that no one can speak truth about Israel and religion, but only mouth what the state permits.

My guess is that the construction of the image hasn’t yet happened, and when it does, we will be close to the end of the game. I predict that when the USA proposes some kind of ‘solution’ to the Middle East crisis that involves enforced homage to something that stands for (symbolizes, represents) the state of Israel, then we will recognize the fulfillment of this graphic prophecy. I expect that whatever it is, it will be a surprise to all, yet clear to those who remember scripture. The other factor is the ultimate uncovering of the false, apostate, mystic religion that masquerades as Christianity (or Judeo-Christianity) and that exercises covert control over the nations. It has long been realized that the Vatican, seat of RC authority, is full of mystic symbolism, derived from Egyptian and Babylonian sources. And since ‘Mystery Babylon’ is the ‘mother of ALL harlots,’ then all the Christian denominations are implicated, not just Roman Catholicism. Similarly, modern Judaism is seen as being heavily influenced by Kabbalah, a mystic school whose Jewish adepts say dates back to the time of ancient Babylon. (Some investigators claim various connections between the Vatican and Zionists, but those theories are rather speculative at this time.)

Finally, I should anticipate one observation that some readers who are versed in history may raise. The predictive imagery of widespread, bloody persecution of true believers by an apostate church prevailing upon government to do its bidding, may ring familiar. Yes, it happened during the Dark Ages, when the official, Rome-based Church persecuted ‘heretics’ of all kinds, especially those who revered the Bible. However, it is possible for prophecy to have a primary fulfillment, and a later reprise, according to some scholars. Thus, the persecution of the first millennium could be repeated in its characteristics in this third millennium, with different actors but the same plot... and a much shorter time frame.

What I hope this analysis demonstrates is that without imposing a lot of exogenous, novel, dogmatic interpretations on the text, and allowing the scriptures to illuminate themselves, a sensible picture readily emerges… and, without the need of a Ph.D. in something or other to do so. And another important thing is that the Bible is not a book of science-fiction or technological predictions. The abstract scenes in Revelation are sketches of geo-political and geo-religious currents, not of helicopters, atomic weapons, and so on (as sensationally claimed by some American Evangelicals). And note that the whole panorama would not be comprehensible until the time when it is needed.

Conclusions

We have to note that the text had to be written in such a way that an accurate prophecy can be presented without being so obvious that unscrupulous forces could suppress or alter it. And yet, the clues are skillfully encoded so that someone who has a reasonable understanding of history, and allows the scripture to explain itself, can gain a fairly clear grasp of who the actors are, and what they are doing. Still, the picture only clarifies after the fact; i.e. after the forecast events actually begin or unfold. In this process, it is astonishing to see how a book written millennia ago in a far-off land contains a description of the geo-political and religious situation that has unfolded over the last, mere half-century or so... within the lifetime of many who read this article. Friends, you can’t make this stuff up-- no human mind could produce the bizarre vision-clips of Revelation, and use them to accurately predict world political events 2,000 years in the future!

Clearly, the prophecies are designed to demonstrate and reveal that God is real and supreme, and that we can’t determine what will happen next-- it is entirely in His hands. Our job is just to trust and believe. I pray that sincere atheists will read this essay and have their eyes opened to the beauty of God’s scriptures. Remember, the Bible has been in a more or less final, ‘canonical’ state for many centuries. The prophecies survived intact to this day for the very purpose of demonstrating the genius behind them. No human could have achieved such a feat-- that’s why this book is truly a Revelation!

September 25, 2008

How Many Lessons Will It Take?

  • First, there was the event so iconic it is simply referred to by its code number, 9-11. The greatest 'sound and light' spectacle since the official opening of the pyramids of Giza (okay, I'm guessing a bit).
  • Next, there was the lead-up and consequent invasion of Iraq, all predicated on an elaborate web of 'intelligence,' innuendo, and salesmanship worthy of the slickest time-share promoter you ever met.
  • After that, there was the tragedy of hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans, wherein the world watched in disbelief as the citizens of a major city in the wealthiest country on Earth waited in vain for a rescue effort that was strangely unable to activate.
  • As I write this, we now have the financial melt-down on Wall street, with the foxes having consumed all the chickens in the hen-house, now wanting quick passage of legislation that will provide them with public money to buy more chickens for their ongoing money-sucking orgy.

What is my point, you ask? No doubt the more perceptive readers have sensed that maybe there's a pattern here... but what is it? The lesson I'm getting at is this: the public has had at least four (there are more, but these are the ones nobody could be ignorant of) colossal experiences that clearly revealed that events shaping our world are NOT simply the result of random chance or 'stochastic processes' as the statisticians might say. No, far from it! Every example cited here, from our recent, collective awareness, demonstrates the presence of behind-the-scenes manipulation by hidden agents. The majority of the public was so shocked by 9-11 that they were relieved to accept the nonsensical explanations that the government/media complex was so ready to supply. That shock was a paramount part of the conspiracy, essential in any kind of mind-conditioning, be it on individuals or whole societies. So, we can extend some sympathy for the innocent public, especially since it was the opening gambit.

The next big play, the convoluted arguments that resulted in a reluctant UN decision to sanction a cobbled-together, show-time 'coalition' of arm-twisted US allies to invade a sovereign nation, Iraq, to look for supposed 'weapons of mass destruction' that, in any case, could never have been used against the USA homeland, if they ever existed. Again, the public-- if only in America-- was ready to buy it, having been relentlessly whipped by the media into a frenzy to go and 'kick some butt' somewhere in the world, particularly somewhere Arabs lived. And amazingly, enough naive young men volunteered to enlist for service, that a sizable invasion force has been maintained in both Iraq and Afghanistan without resort to a 'draft.'

While the American public was programmed to seek revenge 'over there,' they were once again blindsided by the onslaught of a natural disaster that struck the culturally rich city of New Orleans. If there were any lingering doubts about the fact, obvious to a growing segment of society, that this White House was populated by black operatives, then Katrina should have blown them away. The same government that was incapable of sending a single jet fighter to intercept any one of four threatening airliners, over the period of an hour and a half, over the busiest population corridor in America... was now incapable of sending rescue forces, already mobilized and ready, into a disaster zone, even four or five days after the storm had passed! And there was more chicanery than that, which even the mainstream media inadvertently allowed to be published, at least one time before ditching the stories to the news abyss. Did it not strike viewers as 'odd' that the levee that 'failed' and flooded vast areas of the city was not built along the seacoast, but by an inland lake? And that it failed the day after the hurricane had passed? And that there were reports of 'explosions' heard near the place where the levee collapsed? Well, there were even news stories of a fire-fight between police and 'military forces' in the vicinity of the levee... (until the media 'disappeared' that story, too). What would a reasonable person make of all those bits of evidence? If he or she is an average American, the answer is, apparently, 'nothing.'

Late September of 2008 brings us this '9-11/Katrina' in the financial sphere, with multi-billion dollar banks and other corporations collapsing like the Twin Towers, having been demolished by the deliberately unbridled greed of the financial elite. Why weren't these institutions adequately regulated? Because they are the ones who pay off the politicians who are responsible for creating the regulatory regime in which their benefactors operate. It's simple greed-onomics, readers. And now the ones who were (supposedly) responsible for this mess are demonstrating their unmitigated gall by going back to the politicians and telling them 'give us more public money to throw at this problem, and we think, maybe, it will go away... just trust us.' And what they don't say is that they don't care if the 'plan' (to dignify their reckless gamble) succeeds or not, because by the time the whole house of cards lands in a heap of dust (again, like the Trade Center) these guys will be gone, taking their billions of taxpayers' 'bailout' with them.

You might argue that, in each instance, people believed what seemed credible at the time. Perhaps. But in each case, the truth was screaming in the background facts, and percolated to the surface in a short span of time. We've gone around the mulberry bush several times; there are no longer viable excuses for believing the spokesmen of the DC/NY axis. As the old saw goes, 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice (or three or four or more times) and it's shame on me!'

But, of course, dear readers, this is all sheer conspiracy theory, just the speculation of a bunch of crazies-- nothing to worry about. No, don't lose any sleep over the incontrovertible evidence that your world is a total illusion, and is about to unravel before your innocent eyes. It's too hard to believe, so the solution is simple-- don't believe it. Turn off the news, turn up your iPod, and drop out into the comforting world of consensus reality.

Bible Under Attack-- from both Sides!

"...more than 60% of the nation's 60 million evangelicals believe that the Bible is literally true, every last word of it, and more than a third believe the end of the world will occur in their lifetime."

The above quote from a recent web article encapsulates the crux of a dilemma affecting both Christians and non-Christians in today's world. While 36 million evangelical church-goers in America reportedly believe that the Bible is literally true, the huge problem-- one that is largely unknown-- is that their understanding of the scriptures is almost completely wrong! It would be one thing (and even beneficial) if they believed the Bible was true, and correctly understood what it contained. It becomes a horror-show when they believe in biblical truth, but pervert the words into grotesque distortions to justify the evil lusts of their souls. That's the dilemma I refer to.

Hence, the attacks are coming from two sides: 1) the 'outside'-- those who do not recognize the authority of scripture as the revelation of God, and 2) the 'inside'-- those who pay lip service to the authenticity of the Bible, but warp its meaning in service to their preconceived, earthly desires.

The antipathy of non-religious people towards the Bible is understandable. Like extremists in the other, scripture-based faiths (Judaism and Islam), Christian fanatics have all too often extracted selected phrases from their book and weaved them into a weapon for attacking this or that group they happen to hate at the time. In this way, the fanatics have provided the skeptics and atheists with exactly the ammunition they need to denounce belief in the Bible. Not only do the zealots bring disrepute onto the whole of Christendom, but by proclaiming their false beliefs, they create quite false impressions in the minds of the non-religious about what the scriptures actually teach (since the majority of scoffers are not likely to read it for themselves to verify). Even for those non-believers who have taken the time to read the Bible (or portions), it is very easy for them to obtain a faulty understanding of just what this book really teaches us, due to the torrent of nonsense billowing from the false prophets.

As I have explained elsewhere, the deep significance of the Bible cannot be found by a cursory reading. This is because, in my analysis, the scriptures have been inspired by God in both details and structure, to be purposely opaque to the profane reader, especially as regards prophecy. As Jesus himself told his disciples, 'I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.' In other words-- and this is important-- prophecy is often given in a way that cannot be discerned until the event has come to pass. Instead, today's fast-talking religious salesmen tell their flocks that the Bible predicts this event and that one, when, in truth, they have no real idea what the words really mean. Many Bible teachings are divinely dispersed in the skein of scriptures precisely to prevent their conscious distortion by evil-minded men for self-seeking purposes. Does that mean that no-one can interpret the Bible? No! Any prayerful or sincere seeker of biblical truth can discover it, with the help of the Holy Spirit. The trouble is, so few people are willing to put in the time to let the scriptures enlighten our mind.

Of course, when one refers to evangelicals or fundamentalists, it is clear that they did not all arrive at a distorted view of Bible teachings by applying themselves to diligent study of the scriptures they claim to esteem. Far from it. The vast majority of bench-warmers in any Christian church simply sit there and listen to the snake-oil salesmen up on the platform, with a microphone in one hand and a Bible waved in the other. These preachers, too often, employ every technique of persuasive demagoguery and psychological manipulation to instill church doctrine in their innocent listeners. It is quite astounding, seen in the light of history. For long centuries during the Dark Ages, the Christian Church (which was the Roman Church) jealously restricted access to the Bible, keeping it away from the laity, and directing the clergy in what must be taught from it. Many true believers were persecuted or executed because they read 'underground' copies of scripture. Once the invention of the printing press came along, playing the role of the Internet in today's society, and 'vernacular' translations of the Bible became widely available, the religious controllers had to adopt a new plan. Taking advantage of the Bible's very expansiveness, its span of time, thought, and themes, they convinced the laity, the ordinary church member, that they couldn't fully understand the scriptures without the guidance only they could provide. This is why exclusivity became so important to all the splinter churches spawned in the wake of the Reformation. They each want their members to be convinced that only they have the truth, and everyone else is a heretic. To the unchurched mind, this kind of indoctrination sounds ludicrous in the modern, Western world, yet it is a reality that is becoming all too threatening, as (for example) the candidates for president of the USA must now demonstrate their fealty to a so-called Christian assembly in order to appeal to the burgeoning 'Christian Right.'

What is the agenda for these fundamentalist churches, anyhow? It appears to be bound in a curious, theological word, 'eschatology,' meaning the study of 'end times.' That's right, the churches are jockeying for position to be in the forefront when Jesus returns. Maybe some proponents honestly believe that they are somehow 'helping God' by forcefully creating the conditions they think are specified in the Bible as if they were prerequisites for divine action. This kind of thinking in itself is bizarre and non-scriptural, yet it doesn't stop the promoters from raising their shrill and dire warnings. Why? Because it brings in lots of money from their terrified sheep, that's why. Using current events, which their lobbying helps create, they paint frightful pictures of events to come for which only they are capable of warning their followers about, and how to deal with. That emphasis on eschatology is the main reason for the unholy and uneasy alliance between the evangelicals and the Zionists, and the constant lobbying these church spokesmen conduct inside the offices of the White House for support for Israel and its ambitions in the Middle East. Each side is using the other for its own ends, but that doesn't stop them from wreaking havoc.

How, you may be asking, am I so sure that the fundamentalists are wrong in their Bible interpretations? Well, for some of you, it doesn't matter what they believe about that book, because it is a hoary, fairy tale in any case. But bear with me a while, because it's possible it may be more than myth; the skeptics are merely surmising out of disbelief, mainly. Let us assume that the Bible does contain truths, but is being abused by extremist factions for ulterior motives. In fact, even if the Bible proves to be 'wrong,' (which I don't believe), the point is that the fundamentalists are still not correctly understanding what it contains!

There are several reasons why I am convinced that the self-proclaimed fundamentalists are promoting doctrines that are seriously in error. Consider the following:

  • 1) When presenting their arguments, they begin with flawed 'hermeneutics;' that is, their analytical paradigms are unsound to begin with, therefore their conclusions are necessarily highly suspect. E.g. they observe current events in, particularly, the Middle East, and starting with a pre-conceived notion of what's 'supposed' to happen, they then impose an interpretation on ancient prophecies.
  • 2) The purpose (spirit) behind their arguments is not in keeping with Godly principles in the first place. That is, they are trying to achieve worldly, political, secular, tainted objectives, and using scripture as a justification. Scripture was never intended to be used as a rationale for human actions, especially to justify questionable ends.
  • 3) Their arguments are founded on modern, non-traditional understandings that are not in harmony with time-tested interpretations of scripture. E.g. the foundation of the Rapture theory lies in the Scofield Reference Bible (of 1909), that reflects one unorthodox view of eschatology, called dispensational premillennialism. (I won't get into that theory here.)
  • 4) Their exegesis (scriptural analysis) is clearly wrong when they abandon the explanations supplied within the pages of the Bible in order to allow another interpretation that better suits their desired agenda. E.g. Hal Lindsey's famous book of the 1970s, The Late, Great Planet Earth, made all kinds of unequivocal predictions that were supposed to take place within a few years. Even allowing him 25 years of history, none of his scenarios transpired the way he described. Another clear example: the evangelical zealots are always talking about 'the Antichrist,' as if it's a specific, unique individual to appear in only these end times... when the Bible speaks of many antichrists, and moreover, indicates that the 'beasts' of eschatology are not individuals, but rather 'kingdoms,' or as we call them today, nations.
  • 5) Their exegesis depends on collecting a few, isolated texts and juxtaposing them into a m┼Żlange that allows them to reach (stretch for) certain desired conclusions. E.g. the doctrine of the 'secret rapture' appears nowhere in the Bible, but it is 'proved' on the basis of a couple of unrelated verses taken out of context and forced to agreement.
  • 6) Some of the more egregious misunderstandings of the Bible (such as the nature of the true Israel) can be deconstructed in a few minutes of honest, disinterested Bible study, where the words of Jesus himself often contradict today's populist teachings. E.g. Jesus stated he is the 'way, the truth, and the life;' yet Hagee and others present a new 'truth' that, while Christians need Christ, the Jews will be saved in another manner!
  • 7) Their most basic understanding of the essential mission and accomplishments of Jesus is, itself, flawed. This error needs a lengthy explanation, but in order to be brief here, I can state that most organized churches do not understand the difference between the 'Old Testament' and the New, and how the covenant instituted by Jesus supercedes the covenant mediated by Moses. If they can't get the fundamentals right, how can they claim to be fundamentalist?

Each of the above points could be elaborated on in separate essays, but the salient point for the reader to obtain is that the rabid, war-mongering religionists who label themselves Christians (or more often as hyphenated Christians) bear little resemblance to true followers of the Prince of Peace. And, they certainly are not basing their doctrines and actions on sound Biblical understanding. So, my message to both non-religious and religious readers is this: don't react to the evangelical/fundamentalist adherents of 'churchianity,' who follow politically-motivated masters, as if they were representative of genuine believers in Christ and the Bible. The phonies have hijacked the name of Christ, but have gutted the principles he stands for, and invented a new message that replaces the gospel with a legalistic, bellicose, convoluted recipe for global, social chaos. If there were a core of authentic believers still alive and active in the USA today, the country would not find itself in the mess it is in. Because so many Christians prefer to sit in a pew and allow themselves to be mesmerized by their clergy, they are willingly ignorant pawns of unscrupulous men who will eventually lead them to destruction.

September 22, 2008

Who's the real Paranoiac?

Certain cogent commentaries by 'expert psychologists' on the supposed 'modern phenomenon' of conspiracy theories state authoritatively that the theories are devised in an attempt by those of low 'chaos tolerance' to impose order and meaning on events that, otherwise, appear chaotic and senseless. In other words, so-called conspiracy theorists are of somewhat shaky mental health, and have a need to invent explanations that provide the security they seek. Curiously, the mainstream media were fond of using the word 'senseless' over and over in their rehearsed analyses of the events surrounding the attacks of 9-11. It was as if they were using neuro-linguistic programming to insert the suggestion to the masses that the ostensible attackers had acted out of irrational motives. This view, of course, fueled the always latent paranoia of the great American majority, making them all the more amenable to extreme, bellicose solutions presented by Bush and co. The problem with this proposition by the psych-experts, though, is that, once you really think about it, it is completely reverse to the truth!

It is those who desire to retain a patina of order and meaning on the world who struggle most vehemently to defend the official explanations and the orthodox views... the consensus reality. They are ones upset by intimations that their cherished, carefully-crafted world view may be flawed; that the true outlook may include 'conspiratorial elements.' It's those who are prepared to listen to alternative, minority views, and who are prepared to participate in open, unbiased, unprejudiced investigations who are of healthy mindset... not the panicky defenders of the status quo, terrified that their tidy paradigm might be faulty, might be out of synch with reality. Bear this firmly in mind when confronting the staunch attackers of unorthodox approaches to the 9-11 mythos; they are the ones who should be (and usually are) on the defensive. When presented with any of the myriad of compounding inconsistencies and incongruities surrounding 9-11, they have to finally confess a belief in overwhelming coincidence. You could call them 'coincidence theorists,' in fact.

In the case of an extreme event, like the September 11, 2001, attacks, people are essentially stunned for a period of time, regardless of whether they were directly involved or merely watched events on television. The masterminds behind such assaults are fully aware of the psychology of mass delusion, and it is obvious in the 9-11 situation that the planners were extraordinarily well prepared. They took full advantage of the 'window of shock' to set the stage, insinuate the background, create common knowledge, and produce the reality they desired. I believe that there are legions of people within the USA who witnessed the television coverage that day, and then watched and listened to the stream of talking heads trotted out by the big networks... and are still in a daze because they know that things simply cannot have happened as the government and its shills tell us. These are people like airline pilots, policemen, firemen, structural engineers, construction foremen, security officers, and so on-- people who have some personal knowledge or experience in matters that touch on the events of that day. They know all too well that the official story is transparently riddled with inconsistencies and nonsensical explanations. Yet they see this constant flow of so-called experts who spout prepared accounts of how the events must have unfolded, because, after all, we all saw what happened, didn't we? And there is a big hole at 'ground zero,' isn't there?

Yes; we saw something happen, very quickly, before our unprepared eyes. So, the question is, what really happened, and how? This is where the divergence in opinion occurs. According to the establishment and its media barkers, it's all pretty simple: a group of Islamic, maniac terrorists, who are disgruntled at the West for its individual freedoms, attacked the symbols of America's strength-- the financial trade center and the military's core, the Pentagon. They struck a symbolic blow, but the West will strike back and repay them a hundred-fold. Just give our governments the 'tools' they need-- huge military budgets, increased powers to abrogate the constitution, and they'll take care of that nasty terrorism problem. Tragically, it appears that a majority (maybe just barely, tho) fell into the fear trap, and went along with the prescribed program. After a time, however, many people started to ask questions, and as they did, well, wonder of wonders, more questions arose from the vacuous answers supplied by TPTB.

Right after the dust started settling on Manhattan Island, a few curious and insightful persons saw some inconsistencies, things that didn't make sense in light of the official explanations. Some of them probably, quite innocently, expected that they were helping the investigation into this 'crime of the new century.' They were the ones who were most puzzled and distressed by the rebuff their 'help,' received from those who were supposed to be charged with getting to the bottom of the crime. But others of the skeptics realized immediately the 'end game' unfolding before a startled world, and understood that they had no choice but to avoid the mainstream media and employ the power of the Internet to get their message out to whoever would listen. At first, the 'MSM' just ignored these pesky 'kooks.' But as their questioning went from general issues to specific and technical details, and the public showed a little interest, the media machine cranked up its volume and counter-attacked. One of their most effective weapons in the battle for minds was the devaluing of the word conspiracy. By repeating the phrase 'conspiracy theory,' and always in a context of ridicule and condemnation, they have, in a few short years, perverted a legitimate phrase into a negative epithet. It is now sufficient for the defenders of orthodoxy, God, and the Queen, to speak that magic, neuro-linguistic incantation to defuse an attempt by the 9-11 alternative analysts to present anything that may cast doubt on their dogma. If medieval history is any indication, the next step will be to set up 'boards of enquiry' (read inquisition) to interview people who get too outspoken in challenging the doctrinal position of the US administration.

You may think I'm joking, just exaggerating; but I'm not (I wish it were a joke). Remember, the sick minds running this show authorized the use of torture on detainees... and there was hardly a murmur of protest from the rank and file of Americans. If there were nay-sayers, the media ignored them, and presto-- they didn't exist, for all intents. I raise the issue because you must know that torture was an important instrument of official policy during the Inquisitions, and fully approved by the Church. In those days, they (TPTB) were hunting for heretics, and if someone, anyone, accused you of heresy, then by God, you were a heretic, unless by some miracle you could convince them otherwise. Today, if the 'security cops' find any kind of 'link' to terrorism (such as an Arab-sounding name) then you could find yourself detained, with the prospect of being 'rendered' to some country known for its miserable record on human rights. So, no, it's no joke; we're looking at a 'modern Inquisition' in our day.

A cornerstone of mass propaganda and 'public delusion,' is the endemic use of deception. Those who would rule over us for their own ends depend on a constant flow of lies to mask their true intentions. To convince whole populations to accept their lies requires the complicity of the mainstream media, who are key to mass hypnotism. While Edward Bernays laid the groundwork, in the 1920s, for the methods of mass manipulation thru propaganda, it was Marshall McLuhan who studied the hypnogogic effect of television on viewers. With the concentration of media ownership into fewer corporate hands, and those hands belonging to the ranks of the bankster elite, it has become easy for the US (and other national) governments to get their lies before the citizens, and to get them out powerfully and often. Thus, the pieces have come together to create the perfect storm of mass delusion. For the creators of the illusions, there is just one big fly in the ointment-- the Internet. This is the last source of independent news and commentary, and is perhaps the last hope for those who oppose the Matrix. What prevents the masters from taking absolute control of even this medium is the fact that the very fecundity of the 'Net has resulted in a profusion, call it a babble, of voices, some of them reasonable, and many of them less so. Hence, the various opponents of the status quo have to try to get their message thru a barrage of extraneous hype and noise and hope that a critical mass of viewers, scattered far and wide, will eventually see their view and adopt it. It's like an electronic, underground, resistance movement fighting a huge army occupying the cultural landscape.

The point in all the above is to demonstrate that those who believe in conspiracy, especially in connection with terrorism, are by no means deserving of scornful epithets, and condescending glances. Nor are they wild-eyed nuts who develop conspiracy theories in a desperate bid to find rational explanations for the traumas of modern life. It is instead, those who reject and contest the conspiracy evidence who are most frantic to retain the veneer of normalcy to their world view. It is the supporters of orthodoxy who are fearful that their world may be crumbling around them, and will defend whatever the voice of authority speaks because it provides the comfort of reassurance. We who have seen that the 'emperor has no clothes,' have to remember that those who cling to the official mythos are acting out of self-preservation instincts, and for the most part, are afraid that if the crazies are correct, then it's too horrible to contemplate. Everything they have been raised to hold dear will be open to doubt and possible destruction. For most people, that is too much to admit; they would rather retreat into denial, and take their chances. What odds do you want to give them? Your answer may identify who is the real paranoiac of the 21st century.

September 3, 2008

Dare to Use the C-word?

To those of us who have been able to forego a convenient retreat into denial and have faced the unpleasant (dare I say, terrifying) prospect that the world is not as 'they' want us to believe, it is increasingly clear how 'the powers that be' are manipulating our perceptions of reality. Once TPTB gained control over all the major media (TV, newspapers, talk radio, and news magazines) their hubris waxed great, and they embarked on more ambitious projects. After all, using the premier example of the power of politically-channelled propaganda-- Germany of the 1930s-- they have every reason to be confident in their ability to shape reality to their whims. Disdaining small stuff, they decided to inaugurate the 21st Century, the 3rd Millennium, with a bang. In fact, with four bangs, so to speak, bringing down the lofty twin towers of the World Trade Center, plus the adjacent 'Building 7,' and breaching the wall of the famous Pentagon in DC. The whole exercise was a gigantic magic trick, as per a David Copperfield performance, contingent on media manipulation of coverage of the events, from start to finish. But wait! That's just a conspiracy theory, you protest (maybe complete with grimaces and dismissive hand waving).

By invoking the magic incantation 'conspiracy theory,' you expect to achieve a number of goals. Those two words are now imbued with the power to 'explain' anything that doesn't have a rational explanation. They are assumed to have the power to instantly cut off any further meaningful attempt to discuss an unpleasant possibility, namely that our governments deliberately misled the public on the events of '9-11.' Those words thus restore our orderly world, the one our parents innocently prepared us for, and we can sleep at night. (In fact, we can continue to 'sleep' during the day, too.) That re-valuation of the phrase was apparently part of the elaborate planning that preceded the mega-ritual sacrifice. For, as soon as some people-- predictably-- saw the events unfold on their television sets and heard the explanations of the authorities, they started asking discomfiting questions. Yet before the arguments of the skeptics could be given any semblance of a fair hearing (as if it's unreasonable to question any official statements on any subject) the media pundits immediately derided them with the disdainful phrase of 'conspiracy theorists.' Regardless of the credentials of the skeptic (such as Professor Steven Jones, the physicist from Brigham Young U... before his untimely retirement), the media branded them as 'conspiracy nuts,' who 'obviously' didn't know what they were talking about. Look; even if you are a firm adherent of the government explanations, this unwillingness to seriously consider alternative views should make you a bit suspicious that something is not quite right here.

So successful have the media attack dogs been, that even seven years later, the '911 skeptics' have been unable to gain sufficient traction in the public forums to force proper investigations into the tragedy. Moreover, they've been so successful that their magic mantra is used by the common man or woman in the street to shut down any pesky acquaintance who might have the audacity to openly question the official story. It is astounding to see how virulently the defenders of the official line avoid having to confront a simple, albeit shocking, conclusion-- that our governments are evil. This summer, I had occasion to subtly broach the subject with a new acquaintance who is well educated, and earns his living in the financial industry. His reaction was revelatory. His first, immediate line of defence was (you guessed it) to invoke the magic formula, and thus, score a knockout blow that would terminate the discussion. Regardless, I forged on, presenting some of the most elementary incongruities in the incredible official story. However, his mind was made up, and refused to entertain any alternate hypotheses. Our dialogue was interrupted before I could push it into full cognitive dissonance; but it was clear that his mind would just not 'go there.' It is very sad to consider that educated, responsible citizens cannot bring their imagination to bear on a situation of such gravity, for fear of upsetting their comfortable and comforting world of illusion.

I can't say I'm surprised that so many people are so enthralled by the 'Matrix,' that they cannot imagine a different world. In fact, I'm rather surprised that, despite the endemic, persuasive conditioning we receive from cradle to grave, so many people DID see the event as a magic trick, and began asking questions and seeking rational answers. They were numerous enough, that TPTB had to resort to the next tactic in nullifying the resistance-- by sowing seeds of dissention among the ranks of the '911 questioners,' and countering with a massive program of disinformation. And just to show the power of mind conditioning and preparation, the media were (and are) able to employ previously inculcated prejudices into the battle to discredit any and all questioners of the official propaganda. One of the clever but obvious tactics was to introduce some 'extremist' elements into the movement. You know, the ones who not only saw the 'control aircraft' above NY that day (highly probable), but also noticed UFOs overhead. Of course, the media have been ballyhooing the UFO phenomenon for decades, so it was trivially easy to tar those 911 skeptics with a 'looney brush.' Not unexpectedly, another tactic that was turned against the challengers was the 'anti-Semitic' charge, especially effective lately, since the flowering of 'anti-hate laws.' Because there are very strong links to Israel, Mossad, and Zionists in the fateful lead-up and events of September 11, 2001. Therefore, as soon as these links are disclosed, the revealers can be readily shut down with excited charges of 'anti-Semitism' (which is a classic, manufactured epithet, itself).

So there we are: we began the brave, new Millennium with a stupendous magic ritual, involving the mass hypnosis of the population of the civilized world, and it's been downhill ever since. In the immediate wake of 9-11, the US government conjured up the evil image of a mysterious entity called 'al-Qaida,' led by a strange 'Arab multi-millionaire' by the name of Osama bin Laden... who was once an erstwhile 'asset' of the CIA in the Middle East 'theatre.' All worthy of a good, Hollywood, 'summer blockbuster.' The tragedy was immediately pinned on bin Laden, his whereabouts traced to Afghanistan, and the present ongoing campaign in that poor, but key country for pipeline routes, is the lasting legacy of that sleight of hand. You don't believe me? Then tell me where OBL is now. (See, he is of no real interest to Bushco once the occupation was justified). But it gets better: then our leaders of Western Civilization assure the world that Iraq must be invaded to rid this 'rogue state' of 'weapons of mass destruction,' and incidentally, to depose Saddam Hussein and install a leader more pliant to American interests. Another televised magic performance, this time by Colin Powell, is invoked to befuddle the UN Security Council into acquiescing to American demands for military action. The resulting destruction of Iraq was, in fact, recognized by a great majority now as a colossal con-job, largely intended to secure the oil riches of Iraq for Western corporations. This was one trick that backfired so badly that everyone could see it for the scam it was. Yet, it hardly seemed to make any impression on the instigators. Sure, they lost a few political appointees, lost credibility in the rest of the world; but in America, the majority were still amenable to blatant manipulation of the emotional buttons of patriotism and fear. This Iraq mess seems to be an instance of selective acknowledgement of reality. The conclusion that the case for invasion was based on lies is inescapable; but, regardless, it's a done deal, and now the Americans are stuck in their quagmire. While Americans think that Bush has been corralled, his White House is, amazingly, beating the war drums for an attack on Iran. He and his cabal need to be impeached, prosecuted and jailed; but such is the power of the Matrix, that he continues to govern as if fully vindicated and supported.

All the groundwork of previous decades have found culmination in this new century; we now live in Orwell's world, a world in which mendacity rules, deception is the standard operating procedure of governments, whether elected or otherwise. The Western media are the organs of the Ministry of Truth; the president of the USA is 'Big Brother,' and the US-UK-Israel axis is Oceania. Unfortunately, most of the rest of us are all 'Winstons' and 'Julias,' before those characters realized that they lived in a world of lies. My big concern is that the only way the power of the Matrix will be broken will be when there is blood running in the streets. That is, when TPTB decide that the time is right for the final solution to be enacted. They will follow their familiar formula, the tried and tested 'problem-reaction-solution,' and since the stakes have been ratcheting upward over the years, everything will be on a grand scale. Instead of a spectacular but limited 'attack' on one or two symbolic targets, there may be a limited but horrific war. It might involve Iran, or more likely now, Russia, and perhaps China, being implicated in a nuclear strike against the USA and/or Israel, with consequent counter-strikes. The whole world will be terrorized by the images and the fallout, and then TPTB will unveil their one-world government solution. Most people, those who've never really thought about it beyond the sage commentaries of the talking heads, will welcome the proposal. Their relief will quickly turn to renewed terror when they realize that the 'new world order' entails a small elite group ruling ruthlessly over the masses, who will have exchanged their human rights for security that soon is revealed as virtual slavery.

Oh, I forgot-- this is all 'conspiracy theory,' so not to worry. Go back to sleep; those two words have just explained everything and normalized a bizarre world. Yes, if only it were that simple. Life will just go on as it always has. Well, gasoline may be more expensive than ever before; food prices are starting to escalate for various reasons; the weather is kind of strange and gets stranger every year; earthquakes seem to be getting more frequent and stronger, as are hurricanes; and there are rumors of wars in far off places we've never heard of. But, not to worry. Our media reporters assure us that everything is under control, and besides, it's time for American Idol, isn't it?