December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas?

Every year Christmas time seems to get a little more unreal.
At first I thought it was just that I was getting more cynical with age; but being aware this year, I'm sure it's really getting more bizarre... (and, okay, I'm also more cynical, too). It hit me particularly when my wife and I were in the unusual situation of sitting in a Spanish-language church for a Navidad service. Besides several Spanish versions of popular Christmas hymns, the young music group suddenly put Jingle Bells on the overhead projector, with English words. Somehow, seeing the words 'writ large' as it were, made me very conscious of how crazy they must seem to those in the congregation who understood English. What could they make of 'bells on bob-tails?' In the midst of all the religious hymns in Spanish, what was the relevance of sleigh-bells on horses? Yet there is something quite illustrative about the contradictions.

From that service, I came away hyper-sensitive to all the craziness of this season. As I listened to the old, hackneyed tunes on the radio, the weirdness factor kept growing. Every singer established enough to be called an ‘artist' has to release a Christmas album sooner or later to cement their position in the commercial music scene. So we get all those old, familiar tunes 'covered' by every artist, and each has to add his/her distinctive embellishments, with more or less success-- you are the judge. Once a year, for maybe ten days or so, we get to hear all those old saws, by a platoon of artists, and just as they almost take over our feverish minds, they mercifully disappear for another eleven and a half months.

It's those songs that set the mood for the season, and if anyone stops to ponder them, all kinds of unsettling questions arise to sour that mood. We get so comfortable with the songs that the obvious questions don't occur to us. But if you had to explain the Christmas memes to a complete outsider-- the classic anthropologist from Mars-- you'd start to see what I mean. Like, he/she might well ask 'what does an impossible reindeer with luminescent nose have to do with the birth of the Son of God? Or a zombie snowman? And all those other secular favorites, ranging from rock rhythms to almost anything? Of course, they are all examples of the de-religifying of Christmas, if I may coin a word. Over the decades, the feast has, in the pop media, lost almost all of its original religious significance, and has morphed into a kind of winter saturnalia, a warm, family get-together time that appeals to almost all 'communities' regardless of religious outlook. Even the formulized greeting ‘Merry Christmas’ begs questioning. Why should it be merry... which connotes triviality, at best? (The French ‘Joyeaux Noel’ makes more sense for a Christian).

To the beleaguered Christians, this secularization of Christmas is much lamented. But it may actually be a blessing in disguise. Rather than asking the rhetorical 'Who took Christ out of Christmas?' Christians would do better to ask the question posed by an Internet writer who pondered 'Who put Christ into the Solstice?' Yes, that makes more sense. After all, there is nothing in scripture to indicate when Jesus was born. Nor is there the slightest hint that his believers ought to celebrate his birthday. For those who dare investigate, it seems that Constantine, the Roman emperor credited with making Christianity the official faith of Rome, decided his decision would enjoy much better chances of success if he eased his subjects into the transition from paganism. So, he made Sunday the official day of religious observance, and... he transformed the old feast of the winter solstice-- the day of shortest sunlight and longest darkness. Under Constantine's plan, the 're-birth of the sun' became celebrated as the birth of the Son, and pagan symbols like evergreen trees and yule logs were adopted into the new scheme of things. Eventually, 'Father Christmas' came along in Europe, and morphed into the stereotyped, rotund Santa Claus that infests every shopping mall in America every December. The once hallowed, holy day has become the premier holiday of the modern calendar, accompanied by its commercial companion, 'boxing day.' While the religious aspect is now trivial, the holiday has become so vital to retailers that many could not survive without the buying frenzy of Christmas.

On the flip side, the expectations surrounding Christmas are so onerous that many innocent 'consumers' suffer great stress at this time of year as they try to find the right gifts for people who don't really need more stuff; and as they try to find the money to pay for all the futile presents. I've heard it claimed that the death rate from suicide and other causes peaks over the Christmas/New Year season. What seemed a good idea 17 centuries ago, in a more religious era has turned out quite differently in today's society.

Perhaps the ultimate irony lies in the efforts of some progressive reformers to enforce a non-religious Christmas, one with no hymns, no nativity scene, no mention of Christ, and no church affiliation at all. To bolster their efforts, they've tried to add Hanukah and Kwanza, and heaven knows what, to the 'generic season' while denaturing Christmas into a Santa-Claus fest. Which takes us to the wacky concoction of incongruous themes that have grated on my nerves with increasing urgency over the decades.

As I stated, all these contradictions could have a beneficial outcome if they roused Christians to really think about their faith, and its sources, and to realize that they must stop depending on institutions and start developing a personal understanding of scripture and the gospel. Is this likely to occur? No; more likely, the contradictions will increase. Maybe all mention of Jesus will be removed, and tho the day may still be called Christmas, it will be completely non-religious, maybe even irreligious. No matter; I have long ago stopped taking it seriously.

December 8, 2009

SS Titanic - 1912... 2012

The sinking of the ocean liner The Titanic has become folkloric, and as I've written before, iconic, since it resonates with so many facets of human behavior. It's for that reason that I'm fascinated by the story-- a true story, well documented, and illustrative of human foible. What more could one want of a tale?

Like all events that have morphed into tradition, it's all too easy to miss the penetrating insights it offers as we simply gloss over it as the entertainment it has now become. Bearing that in mind, let's have another, measured look at the story and see if there are angles previously overlooked.

The Titanic represented the height of technological prowess in 1912. It had a double steel hull, it had steam turbines for propulsion, and electric generators for light, and even the latest communication device, called wireless telegraphy. It was outfitted lavishly, with a grand ball-room, dining rooms, and comfortable cabins (for the first and second class passengers, at least). To preside over its maiden voyage, the White Star line chose Captain Edward J. Smith, who was considered an accomplished sea captain. Given the caliber of the celebrity passengers aboard SS Titanic on this inaugural crossing-- men such as JJ Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim-- Smith must have been selected to meet their expectations. Yet the tragic sinking of this ship must be placed directly on the shoulders of this one man.

On the star-lit evening of April 14, 1912, the Titanic was slicing thru the north Atlantic waters at close to full speed. Inside, passengers were enjoying live music in the ball-room, and fine foods served on fine tables by attentive staff. Then, the watchman on duty reported to the bridge-- an iceberg had been spotted a few miles distant. The bridge officers reported the information to the captain, and the speed was reduced slightly, but still maintained at over 20 knots. You don't have to be a physicist to grasp that a large, massive steel vessel, moving at around 25 mph, has a great deal of momentum, and does not easily change direction. If it should strike another massive object at that speed, there will be 'unintended consequences.' When you are driving a vehicle on the highway and it starts to snow, you know you have to slow down to maintain control. But Captain Smith simply carried on as if it was 'clear sailing.'

What was he thinking? It's not obvious. He must have known the dangers of steaming at high speed in the North Atlantic during ice-flow season. He would have had some notion of the dire consequences of a collision. Even if he was utterly confident that the ship was 'unsinkable,' as the designers claimed, he would still have known that hitting a fair-sized hunk of ice would create 'inconvenience' at the least, such as having to proceed at much reduced speed or possibly stopping to wait for assistance. Yet Smith seemed oblivious to the risk, and ignored the warning of his look-out. Crazy behavior in retrospect. Crazy decision even at the time. Why did he do so?

The answer to the big 'why' seems to lie somewhere in the human psyche. Smith exhibited the hubris that the Greeks wrote about, a kind of arrogant contempt for displays that other humans could view as weakness. Was he so enamored of the extravagant claims of the technologists of his day, that he was ready to bet the safety of his ship on it? What was Captain Smith thinking, anyway? It makes no sense.

The whole sorry tale fascinates me because it encapsulates in cameo all the elements that one can apply to our modern age and its challenges. To cite some of the parallels, I offer the following broad strokes for the reader's meditation.

Humanity is sailing thru the cosmic seas of space on the good ship Earth on a starry night. Aboard are a handful of ultra-rich, celebrity passengers, traveling first class, and enjoying nothing but the best. In the ballroom, comfortable, middle-class passengers dance to the music and imbibe fine wines. In the lower decks, there are multitudes of poor passengers, poverty-stricken, who can only dream of having the necessities of life. Our 'watchmen' have been warning us for a long time of dangers looming dead ahead but at an unknown distance. On the bridge of spaceship Earth there is an assortment of crazed, self-seeking, madmen, seemingly bent on destruction. None of the higher-ranking officers wants to slacken the pace of life, or to evaluate the warnings coming from the look-outs. Reckless abandon seems to be the hallmark of the day, as politicians bicker and ignore the crises of climate change, global inequalities, pollution, corruption, drug-weapon-and-human trafficking, and so on. Those few who know about the dangers that lie ahead prefer to keep the masses in blissful ignorance of them; and the latter are quite happy to carry on in their willful lack of awareness. The iceberg was not some sinister, devised calamity; it was simply a normally occurring artifact, existing in accordance with the natural laws. Could an analogous, natural, cosmic event collide with the destiny of Earth in the near future?

You, dear reader, can connect the dots, and notice how the situation of the Titanic in the cold, dark Atlantic Ocean in 1912 reflects the larger reality of planet Earth in (dare I say it?)... 2012.

November 13, 2009

Fort Hood-wink?

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretations.

Here we go again-- another mass murder committed by lone gunmen against 'innocent people.' ('Again,' referring to Columbine, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma federal building, etc.). The media seem to love these incidents, and respond almost as by formula: horrified headlines, then hand-wringing questions of Why? and Why us? Then they bring in the talking heads to explain the gory details of what happened, and more experts to opine on the 'why' questions. And then they dig out (and dare we suggest, fabricate or embellish) stories on the 'heroes.' Yes, America loves its heroes, and there are always heroes to be discovered in every human tragedy-- the teacher who made a brave choice that saved some students; the policeman who ignored danger to 'take down' the attacker; you've read all about them, or watched their stirring bio-sketches on all the major TV channels. You have to feel sorry for these people who were 'just doing their job,' then thrust into the media glare as sacrificial heroes to parade for their 15 minutes before an America reeling in shock and grasping for comfort. That's a key part of the formula you have to comprehend: implant the dominant themes in the public consciousness while it is malleable and highly suggestible from the psychological imbalance generated by trauma.

Unfortunately, the media's well-honed formula does not include any really useful, insightful analysis that would provide long-term benefits for society. Those benefits would include preventing incidents of 'unexpected, murderous rage' from happening again, by healing the disaffected individuals before they explode. Instead, the focus immediately goes to 'increasing security' to prevent the next murderers from completing their rampages. In other words, the solution is always sought in band-aids, never in going to the root of the issue, which would entail too serious introspection on the part of society. The public has been conditioned to be incapable of dealing with nuanced analysis. The emphasis on increased security is no accident; it is a deliberate move by those in authority to grab powers that were previously restrained by the laws of the land.

Take the latest example, the Islamic psychiatrist working at Ft. Hood. At first glance (even second) it appears like a straightforward case of another 'wacko who snapped,' and took out his rage against those close at hand. Indeed, the same news agencies carried another story of a shooting in Florida that followed this classic formula. But-- for the patient news watcher who didn't jump to the pre-programmed conclusions desired by the mainstream media, the picture soon started to resemble the now-familiar news-management that surrounded the 9-11 and other major 'attack' stories. What do I mean? It's the rapid accumulation of 'facts' or speculated facts that just don't make sense. That phase is quickly followed by the mysterious disappearance of certain of those factoids into the black hole of journalism, never to be seen again... at least not in the mainstream media. The first stories from Ft. Hood explicitly mentioned at least 'three gunmen,' one of them shot and presumed dead (at the time), and two others still either at large or being detained. Since Hasan was shot and hospitalized, who are these other two persons? Why were they taken into custody? And what is being done with them? Then we hear that in the midst of a military base, Hasan, with no combat experience, was able to shoot 42 people, killing 12 of them, using one or more hand-guns! We are told that he got off some amazing number of gun-shots before being finally brought down by bullets fired by (what's this?) a civilian police-woman. Later, we learn that Hasan just happened to be a graduate of Virginia Tech-- yes, that V-Tech. The one where the Korean student 'snapped' and killed 32 people on a psychotic rampage in 2007. Hmmm.

Of course, there's more. How about the 'interesting link' that has been reported in the 'MSM' between Hasan and the 911 terror plot? It's a tenuous link at best; but it doesn't even have to be true. It just has to be alleged, and the effect is the same. Similarly, early, repeated allegations that he had applied to avoid deployment to the combat zone are now found not to be substantiated. On his behavior that day, a witness at the convenience store Hasan frequented stated that he appeared completely normal. Then he 'snaps' and fires at innocent by-standers. Folks, that smells of classic post-hypnotic suggestion, or programmed response. It will be very fascinating to see if Hasan somehow survives the wounds and is able to testify... or whether he 'succumbs to his injuries' and we never hear what he might have said.

Even accepting the chaotic mainstream narrative at face value, there are troubling issues. Since the shooter had an Arabic name, the press took the easy route and jumped on his distress at being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq where US troops are fighting Arab/Muslim 'insurgents.' Now, I don't doubt that Major Hasan was indeed distressed at being sent to assist the army to fight against people who share his culture &/or beliefs. What the media fail to deal with is the big question of whether this anguish hits on a valid irregularity of US foreign affairs. Why, in fact, is the US military in Afghanistan? What is the latest pretext for sending the troops to that far-off country that, by no stretch of imagination, poses any threat to the US? Why are Afghan and now Pakistani civilians being killed regularly by 'NATO' forces in the pursuit of the once-friend-now-enemy Taleban, and the CIA-invented 'Al-Queda?' Is the US presence based on the same kind of fabricated lies that were invoked to justify their invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq... and to subsequently destroy the country in the interests of subduing the resistance?

These are the kinds of questions that must have echoed in the mind of Hasan while he conducted his duties on a Texas military base-- and that could have driven him over the edge if he was notified of deployment overseas. Of course, these are precisely the kind of questions that the media avoid like the simple truth. As good servants of the ruling elite, the media know better than to dig for real answers. So it was with the Columbine incident. The media obsessed about superficial matters, but few, if any, dared to question a society that revels in violence as entertainment, beamed to us 24/7 by eager, profit-driven media corporations. That could have been... 'er, embarrassing, shall we say. No, the media have become hostile to any implied criticism of the mind- and soul-numbing pop culture they so flagrantly flaunt and promote. Instead, the media have become the shapers of public perception, the ultimate propaganda machine as envisioned by Edward Bernays, the 20th century 'god-father' of modern 'public relations' and advertising. The truth is that we are living in the Matrix that defines our consensus reality. It is not a physical matrix of hardware pods, but a more subtle, virtual matrix of media-generated illusion. And it is just as vicious and subversive and totalitarian as anything imagined by Orwell, Huxley, or the Wachowski brothers. The Ft. Hood incident bears all the hallmarks of another, false-flag diversion; one that comes along just when Obama had to consider whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. Now-- if only Hasan had been of Iranian descent... Oh well, you can’t make every detail perfect when staging a phony disaster for political purposes. Stay tuned; and stay alert!

November 7, 2009

Dogmatic Certitude

How many of you readers have found yourselves among a group of people who 'belong' to some religion or another, and just observed and listened to their chatter? If the people are true believers-- of whatever they call their faith-- they will exhibit certain traits that are held in common by all such cults, whether big or small. That uniformity in behavior, and often structure, can be puzzling to the objective and unfamiliar observer.

Probably the most striking characteristic that true believers manifest is that they are completely comfortable with the certainty that their religion has all the answers.
It doesn't matter what question of existence that you place before them; they unhesitatingly respond with the 'correct and only correct answer.' They alone, of all schools of thought, have the answer; all other responses are, therefore, incorrect or lacking in some way. After one has been thru this kind of situation a few times with different religious groups-- including some that appear completely different-- one can find it almost hilarious. At least it demonstrates some deeper truth about human nature and the perversity of human belief.

To give an example of what I'm talking about, let me state that I was raised as a Roman Catholic, getting the full treatment of catechism classes, the sacraments, priestly sermons, Latin masses, and so on. In those days, the RC Church had all the answers; they were found in the Church literature, or were handed down to the laity from the big guy, the Pope, via his hierarchy of clergy. Somehow (God be praised) I escaped the clutches of this General Motors of the religious world. However, I was still a prisoner of the notion of 'church,' and ended up in the camp of the Seventh Day Adventist organization. Now, here's a group that sets itself as a kind of religious insurgency against the RC Church, and has all the scriptures to back them up. Well, guess what? After almost ten years as a member of this group, I found that they are really much closer in general morphology to their designated adversary than they'd ever want to admit! Yes, it's true. Take away the ceremonial paraphernalia of the Catholics, and there are remarkable similarities in the attitudes of the clergy and of the parishioners... 'er, members.

By the grace of God, again I broke free of the benign shackles of Adventism. This time, tho, I was older and wiser; and twice-burned, I was not about to make the same mistake again. It finally dawned on me that a relationship with the Supreme Creator has nothing to do with huddling around with people who have developed a common dogma concerning the supposed nature of this unknowable Being. Far from it; these organizations inevitably become convenient vessels of the great enemy of souls, Satan, in his relentless and venomous campaign to destroy humanity. That, alas, is a consequence of fallen human nature. So I finally took responsibility for my own religious outlook, my own beliefs, and my own relationship with God. And, curiously, I found the answers and guidelines necessary in the same scriptures as do those big, organized things called churches.

But the phenomenon of 'religious isomorphism' is not restricted to Christianity. No, not at all. Over the years of open-minded pursuit of faith, I have fellowshipped with groups of various religious persuasions, including Moslems, Bahai's, and Hindus. Sure enough; each group is totally convinced that their system has all the answers. Some of them are fairly pushy in explaining their elaborate beliefs on all aspects of human existence-- from the creation of the universe, to the nature and fate of mankind, and everything in between... they all have all the answers. Of course, there's one small problem that the outsider like myself immediately realizes-- these groups often differ vastly in the details of the answers that they supply, yet they are all convinced that they alone are correct!

Well, 'duh!' They just can't all be correct. You can point this unsettling fact out to the adherents of any one of the myriad of sects... and it will have no effect on their thinking. No, they remain resolute in their certitude. God is clearly a Catholic for the Catholics, a Muslim for the Muslims, a million manifestations for the Hindus, Jehovah for the Witnesses, and so it goes. Once someone makes that commitment to a creed, he or she is highly reluctant to exercise any kind of free thinking-- what would their religious peers think? What about all the time and sacrifices they made to obtain this ‘final truth?’ They cannot even seem to exercise any imagination! They have to inhabit a fully determined world, where their group has all the answers, and no further thinking is necessary. Can thinking be so painful? Is life without all the answers so unbearable?

It stuck me that religions must attract the kind of personality that cannot cope with shades of gray, with uncertainty, with any doubts about the nature of existence and the universe. By the way; I hope the perceptive and unbiased reader can notice clearly that in this regard, even atheists who vigorously defend evolution and attack God, are themselves behaving exactly like the religious zealots I have described above! They are just as certain that they have all the answers-- at least the answers they need-- as the annoying religionists. I say to all these insecure personalities, 'What's so hard about admitting that there are many things about the cosmos that we just don't understand, and perhaps will never understand?' So what? We don't have to have 'all the answers' in order to live fulfilling lives, to make scientific progress. Why does every intentional group have to insist that they are 'right' and everyone else 'wrong?'

Well, I'm quite sure that each one of the religious sects can supply me with definitive answers to my rhetorical questions... But curse them all; I don't want their pre-packaged, black-and-white, rote responses! Probably each group has a little truth; but none has a patent on truth. And none is willing to admit it. Sadly, the whole world suffers because of their refusal to admit incomplete truth, and because of such restrictive views of reality. With their monocular outlook on world events, each group is doomed to miss things that other groups could teach them. The whole race is the poorer for this problem of the dogged certitude of human belief.

September 14, 2009

Eight Years of Deception

It hit me recently-- a little flash of insight so obvious yet hidden in plain sight. With my ears, I was hearing another vacuous radio interview on the 8th anniversary of ‘9-11,’ whether the world is ‘safer’ now than before that date. My eyes were glancing over a screen full of ads for books on the 9-11 conspiracy, and the NWO, and so on. And it struck me that here we are, eight years later, with eight years of almost unrelenting evidence of global manipulation of our world, probably thousands of books and articles about the true, evil conspiracy that brought down 9-11, and yet the mainstream media still prattle on about the consequences of 9-11 as if it’s all widely accepted that the official story is unassailable, and we have only to discuss whether subsequent decisions were useful or not. It’s totally bizarre, is my immediate reaction.

When, one fine but too late day, the majority of the Western populace finally wakes up and realizes that they’ve been played for suckers, they will have to look back at the years following 9-11 and acknowledge that the facts-- not just ‘clues’-- were all around them for the whole period, glaring us all in the face. And too many chose to turn away and ignore them because they made us feel uneasy. Well by then, we’ll be a lot more than uneasy; but too bad-- ‘ve are too soon old, und too late schmart!’

Aye, that’s the irony of the illusion we are presently immersed in. The ‘truth is out there,’ all around us, but it’s just far more convenient to give it a pass. For the conspirators, the accumulating evidence of their crime is a bit of a nuisance... but only that. They are becoming quite content at mouthing the now familiar rebuttals to the facts, confident that their reality is going to prevail because it’s the more soothing. Meanwhile, they feel free to proceed with their plans using the same rationales as always, knowing that the sheeple have short memories and long tolerance for official abuse.

On the eve of the anniversary date, I watched a TV documentary produced by the BBC directed squarely at the mounting concern over ‘WTC 7’ as ‘smoking gun’ proof of insider involvement in the 9-11 attack. It was, on the surface, a bold move to address some of the most egregious discrepancies between the official story and the critics. However, as it unfolded, I could see the deft touch of ‘spin’ being administered by masters of the craft. They interviewed the prominent conspiracy theorists to present the most common ideas about the event; and then they presented their experts who gave their story supporting the incredible official line. In the end, the viewer was left with a dilemma of whom to believe: the devil they know-- their politicians and media spokespersons, or else the upstart, and upsetting critics whom they don’t know. The program made a point of presenting an outright lie as a casual but pivotal assertion by one of the official spokesmen who stated that there was no ‘wider context’ within which the ‘WTC-7 conspiracy theorists’ made their unconventional claims. That comment, quickly glossed over, was flabbergasting in its flagrant disregard for eight years of ever-broadening evidence surrounding the whole event! That one brief comment, very deliberately inserted in the middle of the broadcast, was clearly intended to discredit everything that the critics had to say about the collapse of the three towers.

That deliberate bit of disinformation also demonstrated to anyone paying attention that the BBC is undeniably an accessory to the 9-11 cover-up. Yet you have to almost admire their sheer chutzpah. Imagine; they tackle the thorny issue of WTC-7 head on... and guess what, gentle viewers-- it’s really nothing to worry about; the government was right all along; you can go back to sleep. That’s one of the main lines of attack by the disinformants for 9-11. They appear to address the critiques directly; but using television’s ‘power of persuasion,’ well-honed over decades of advertising and news-shaping, they instead create additional strength for their lies in the minds of viewers. It’s a clever tactic; but one that will, in the long run, back-fire on them. One thing the cabal can’t understand is that one day the truth will finally emerge. That is just the way the universe works. You can create all kinds of elaborate lies-- many civilizations over the millennia have fabricated them-- but in the end, these structures collapse just like the World Trade Center towers. They collapse because they are built on phony foundations, and constructed of fake materials, and held together with a web of falsehood. Such a structure cannot survive for any extended length of time; it must crumple under its own weight of deception.

For interested readers, here's another hard-hitting article that considers the present state of affairs at this momentous time in history:

August 26, 2009

Loud Cry to Modern Christians!

This is a message from a modern-day prophet, an Isaiah or Jeremiah for the times. It is not a message to tickle your ears. You will not sit there with a warm glow of satisfaction as you read. It is a wake-up call, a winnowing stick that will determine whether your faith is a solid kernel... or a thin husk of chaff that can be blown about by the winds of deception.

What are my credentials, you ask, in this age of expert-worship. What credentials did Isaiah or Jeremiah have? Jesus was a carpenter’s son and presumed apprentice; what qualifications did he have to lecture the people of his day? What enduring spiritual insight has been uttered by the mouths of the credentialed professionals, that you should seek them to soothe your itching spirit? If you are truly a Christian, the Holy Spirit should be getting your attention, and should guide your outlook, and provide you with sufficient ‘gifts’ to at least recognize truth when it hits you in the ego.
The Spirit of the Lord speaks thus to His followers in the rich, ‘Western’ lands of plenty:
if you are still under the delusion that the USA is other than a land completely and utterly under the domination of satanic forces, then you haven’t done your homework, Christian! You just haven’t been paying any attention over the last decade as events have unfolded on the world scene. You have spurned the spiritual gift of discernment, thinking it too strenuous, and turned such weighty matters over to your eager-to-please pastors. You’ve been content to sit in your pew for that pathetic hour on Sunday when you are a credentialed Christian, and listen to your hired, professional shepherd tell you what to believe about the faith and current events.

When you appear before your Lord and Judge on that Day, you will try to use the excuse that “they told us we were blessed among the nations for our Christian heritage”? Will you whine that “they said our prosperity was a sign that God was blessing us for going to church and donating to its upkeep”? Didn’t Jesus soundly chastise the Pharisees for that same smug attitude? “We are Abraham’s children, so God must be pleased with us.” Didn’t the prophets of yore raise a loud cry against their ‘blessed,’ complacent compatriots who exploited the masses while claiming the benefits of being an Israelite? Your riches are no sign of spiritual health, Christian! Far from it. If you still sit there passively or actively supporting the depredations of your government, smugly assured that it is carrying out God’s work, you are in a most sad spiritual condition. If you believe that Israel is a land blessed by God and destined to rule over the nations, regardless of the methods it employs and its treatment of its neighbors, then you are living the New Testament with a stony, Old Testament mind-set.

Mind-set is a modern word for what the Bible calls your ‘heart.’ The biblical writers were not referring to the physical organ when they talked about the heart; it’s the term used for the beliefs of your soul, your inner convictions... or lack thereof. The Christian mind-set in modern America is that of an adolescent-- ‘gimme everything I want because I deserve it.’ That’s the gospel of divine entitlement that is so prevalent in America over the last half century, and that is so eagerly lapped up by the masses of pew-warmers. While Americans have bloated their bodies on over-abundant junk food, they have likewise dulled their souls with the pop dogma of Christian prosperity. The USA must be blessed because of its surfeit of material wealth, so the logic goes. It’s so easy for the purveyors of such mind-mush to push this nonsense because their flocks are dull of mind, happy to abdicate the responsibility of discernment to ‘credentialed experts’ who make them feel so good about their wretched excess of wealth in a world where two-thirds of humanity live in pitiful poverty.

Yes, it’s so pleasant to listen to those sermons that quote scripture here and there, and supply all the Christian rationale for sitting contentedly in the land of plenty while the majority of humanity barely survives. In fact, the experts are not content with simply justifying the gross inequalities of the modern world; no, they go on to blame the victims for their poverty, their lack of initiative, their inability to hoist themselves up by the boot-straps (never mind that they can’t even afford boots-- that’s their problem). How many Christians in the US have joined the righteous battle against the ‘evil’ of universal medical care? How dare those ‘communists’ try to extend health care to the undeserving poor! Any attempt at a slightly more equitable distribution of wealth in the land of plenty is met with a storm of indignation, largely from the Republican ‘right,’ the haven of indignant Christians of various stripes, united in their fear of losing their privileges.

While Christians (some at least) rail against the false doctrine of Evolution, they have unconsciously bought into the allied, subtle dogma of economic Darwinism, or social ‘survival of the fittest.’ That cunning view has insinuated itself into the mass mind-set, and envelops a host of social evils with an air of listless inevitability. Thus, the poor get what they deserve; and presumably, so too, the rich. Hence, no need to exercise moral imperatives to address such inequalities-- they are unavoidable consequences of human, Darwinian behavior. How convenient... especially for the rich class! In this manner, the modern Christian is a dupe, speaking against anti-Christian teaching on one hand, while unwittingly accepting and promoting it on the other.

Again, in the realm of core faith, the American Christian has blindly accepted the precepts of the Old Testament while pretending to live under the New Covenant of Christ. It doesn’t occur to them that they are living a contradiction! After all, they reason, the pastors would have told them. As Hosea lamented in his day, My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge. What do I mean? Let me spell it out. The Old Covenant (or Testament) was given to a specific group of people at a time when they needed it. The Old Covenant, given thru Moses to the people of Israel, out in the Sinai wilderness, some 3,300 years ago, was like a ready-made constitution. They needed it to endure as a viable nation after leaving the ancient culture of Egypt. Over time, the Israelites corrupted their covenant, and their society broke down into the many ills decried by their God-sent prophets. The primary alarm of those prophets was the spiritual exploitation by the priests and scholars over the laity, the unschooled populace. Abusing their office, those shepherds led their flocks into spiritual destruction (and often physical destruction, as well). The same tragedy is unfolding in our midst, and this messenger condemns it!

After twelve centuries of corruption of the ‘Laws of Moses,’ God sent His Anointed One (for that is what Messiah means) to His people, Israel. By then, there remained only one remnant of Israel, the tribe known as Jews. Jesus was born a Jew, and delivered a radically new message to the Jews and to the surrounding peoples. In place of the rigid ‘Law of Moses’ with its legalistic, flinty, unbending outlook on morality, Jesus proclaimed a gospel of Love. It starts with the crazy belief that God, rather than seeking to destroy you, really loves you! Yes, God wants people to live a decent, upright, and fulfilling life... and to inherit everlasting life in the beyond. It was a radical message that upset the socio-political-religious order of his day... and continues today to fly in the face of human logic in all aspects of society. The organized Christian Church, within two centuries of Jesus, and to this very day, has not been able to accept his gospel. Instead, using human cunning, the powers that run the Christian churches have invented a hybrid gospel, one that has mesmerized almost everyone. The false, hybridized gospel proclaims the New Covenant message that God is Love, and we are saved by His grace obtained thru Christ’s ministry... and then it adds the proviso that we must thereafter live under the Ten Commandments-- which are the heart of the Old Covenant! The problem seems to be that the hierarchy cannot accept that ordinary believers could allow their mind-set, their heart, to be conditioned and directed by God’s Holy Spirit. So, in their zeal to impose external constraints (‘binding guidelines’) on their flocks, they graft Moses’ Laws onto Jesus’ gospel. Voila-- modern Christianity-- neither New nor Old, neither hot nor cold, but pitifully lukewarm (as per Rev. 3).

American Christians are particularly vulnerable to deception and manipulation. Since most believers are very comfortable by world standards, they have little to motivate them to study the deeper, spiritual meaning of life. (‘Life is good; why bother to ponder?’) All Americans have been purposely conditioned over many decades to put their trust in experts who know better than them. In the religious sphere, the same logic holds sway: don’t study the Bible because it’s too complicated; only trained pastors understand it. Thirdly, despite the promises of the technologists that life would become lazy with futuristic inventions, modern life is, instead, kept at a mad rat-race pace, so that working people have little energy or inclination to devote time to spiritual enquiry. These factors have made it easy for unscrupulous leaders to bamboozle their congregation into believing all kinds of errant articles that would be exposed with some focused Bible study.

Yet some of the worst offences of Christians are among the most obvious contradictions of the true faith of their founder. While Christians believe they are covered by God’s grace, they apparently do not believe that grace should extend to anyone else (ie. to non-Christians, or even, incredibly, to non-Americans!). Thus, they bask in assurance of the good life, here and hereafter, while supporting a government that kills women and children in other, (mostly Arab) countries around the world. Some such Christians, demonstrating the extent of their glorious ignorance, would argue with me that no, their government only kills ‘bad guys,’ and the death of innocent civilians is purely accidental (‘collateral damage;’ tut, tut). That childish response is hardly worth the effort to rebut since it merely indicates the degree of worldly brainwashing of the one who utters it. Just as comfortable Christians can’t be bothered to investigate scripture, neither can they be bothered to determine the truth behind the ‘news’ fed to them like daily pabulum by their major media outlets, the servants of the masters in Washington.

It’s hard for onlookers, whether people of faith or atheists, to comprehend ‘Christians’ who seem to honestly believe that all those fingered by their government as terrorists must be guilty and ergo, deserve whatever punishment meted out. Those ‘loving Christians’ who support the wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan, and covert wars all over the globe, are a menacing mystery to a puzzled world of non-Christians everywhere. Even those with the vaguest notion of Jesus understand that he stood for ‘love thy neighbor,’ and some even know that he said ‘love thy enemies.’ But the armchair ‘Christians’ of modern America have complacently accepted the ersatz, bellicose beliefs palmed off as Christian by the crafty, religious shysters of our day. Instead of social justice and equity, Christians are tilting their rhetorical lances at the windmills of homosexuality and abortion. Sure, these may be behaviors anathema to Christian teaching; but in the big scheme of life, when the streets of poor nations are running with the blood of the innocent, Christians ought to be mature enough to know where the priorities are. Instead, Christians in America prefer to wrap themselves in the star-spangled (and blood-spattered) banner rather than the pure, white robe of Jesus.

You eat up all the nonsense about ‘spreading democracy’ with military might, and strive vehemently against phony, concocted ‘communism,’ and cower at the Oz-like specter of ‘global terrorism,’ of which your government is a major dealer. But you go to church, and call yourselves Christian! You bring only shame on his name! Christians must yearn for the gift of spiritual discernment, and learn to exercise it in every walk of life. If they are so easily deceived by their own shepherds, they will be easily devoured by the great Adversary, the Devil, who pretends to bring light... but it’s the headlight of an approaching locomotive. They must learn to hear the true shepherd’s voice-- not the dulcet demagoguery of those who make empty and hypocritical promises.

Like the hypocrites, I could have littered this diatribe with Bible verses. But this message is based on the most elemental tenets of the faith of Jesus! You don’t need a Ph.D. or doctorate in Theology to use the common sense God endowed all humans with. You don’t need a penetrating insight into scripture’s nuances to grasp what the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart. All you need is the basic Christian faith that rests in the giver of that faith, the ‘true light that gives light to every man’ (Jn 1:9). There is no excuse, Christian! You must wake up now to seek that true light... before you stand before Him, and have no defense but to point your fingers at the false prophets who sold you what your ears were too eager to hear. (2 Tim 3; 4).

© J. Krzyzewski, Aug. 2009

August 5, 2009

Stages of Grief Presage Disaster?

As I observed the present state of the world and the ever-increasing craziness, and read some related commentary, the question came to me-- could the whole race be exhibiting the classic emotions associated with grieving?
It may sound bizarre, but some researchers believe that the world’s population is aware, at a level of ‘universal consciousness,’ of the spiritual sickness in society, and of the unavoidable doom toward which the global populace is hurtling (in terms of e.g. pollution, climate chaos, plagues, famine, etc.). In unconscious response, many individuals are going thru the various emotions of the grief cycle, and there’s an eruption of persons acting out these feelings in an extreme manner... as almost any news-cast will attest.

Let’s consider the typical stages in the grieving process and a few examples of how people are expressing them verbally.

1. Denial:
Example - "Everything’s fine; the world is just going as it always has." "There’s nothing happening that can’t be completely explained by science." “We’ve always had disasters-- we’re just better at recording them now.”

2. Anger:
Example - "Why are you dwelling on the negative? It's not helpful!" "How can this outrageous nonsense be true?" "Why don’t they do something?" “It’s the lunatic fringe always stirring things up, looking for conspiracies!”

3. Bargaining:
Example - "I just want to live a full life; I don’t care about politics." "I'll keep doing my own thing until I can’t ignore it any longer." “I’ll give up living here and move elsewhere if it gives me some extra time.” “If things were so bad, they would tell us about it.”

4. Depression:
Example - "I'm so scared to look at the facts, it freaks me out." "We’re all going to die some day, so what's the point?" "All is lost, there’s no future; why go on?" “The government is too big and powerful; we’re doomed.”

5. Acceptance:
Example - "It's going to be glorious, once we get thru this." "We can't fight it, but we can prepare for it." “The world is going to be renewed-- after the crisis is over.” “The Bible tells us who wins in the end, so keep the faith.” "We can handle it with God’s help."

Counsellors tell us that most persons go through these five general stages or emotions when experiencing grief over a significant loss. Altho the stages are listed in the order commonly observed, people may switch from one emotion to another at any time during the grieving process, and even feel several at once. As my examples demonstrate, we can easily find people experiencing any of the states in connection with a postulated grieving over impending racial doom.

It’s no secret that we are seeing unprecedented levels of depression and the use of prescribed anti-depressant products and of mind-numbing, illicit substances. We are also witnessing widespread anger expressed as anything from ‘road rage,’ to horrific mass murders. Moreover, it is very common for the perpetrators of these outbursts of violence to kill themselves as the culmination of their murderous frenzies, making futile the frantic calls of the frightened conservatives for capital punishment for murder.

Most significantly, the vast majority of people are in deep denial, clinging desperately-- often angrily-- to the illusion of normalcy. A few of these realize that the normal world is a fantasy, but they can’t accept this reality, so they resort to a kind of bargaining-- ‘Maybe nothing will happen for many years, so I’ll ignore the prospect of doom and enjoy life.’ Perhaps this subliminal foreboding explains the popularity of ‘extreme sports’ among the younger generation-- they have reasoned (unconsciously) that they might as well go for broke, since there may not be a world to retire into. Occasional stories from the scientific community that life on Earth could be annihilated by a collision with an asteroid or comet do nothing to assuage the fears of an already edgy modern society.

A very few have reached acceptance of the reality that the time to ‘pay the piper’ is finally at hand, and the world is about to encounter its greatest crisis of the age. As someone enquired on another website ( ‘Should we be preparing for the worst?’ I think everyone should be preparing for ‘the worst.’ But-- by preparing, I don’t mean stockpiling food, water, weapons, or whatever, and heading for the hills. What I recommend is to deal with the grief! First, you have to get out of denial, and start to face the reality that the worst forecasts may be optimistic, and as the Bible warns: When men are proclaiming ‘peace and security, sudden destruction befalls them.’ Move yourself thru the feelings of anger, and depression; push beyond the bargaining, and get on to the serenity of acceptance. In the face of the kind of crisis to confront this generation in the near future, this is the only preparation a wise person can make. Turn to God; be open to His Spirit; and learn to trust in Jesus and his words.

July 2, 2009

Spiritual Gifts- Use Them or Lose Them?

"Pray and give yourself anew to the Lord and His work. Then look around at what others are doing in your church and ask if you can join in. ... Your church needs you.
For a healthier church, exercise your spiritual gifts." [RBC ministries]

The above advice was recently presented in a 'thought for the day' by a popular Christian organization. The author obviously assumed first, that any Christian reading it would be a member of a church, and secondly, that 'your church' will be happy to have you exercise your spiritual gifts in their environs. Yes, it all sounds perfectly reasonable, and quite normal assumptions by most readers. Well, the surprising news for all those gullible readers is 'It ain't necessarily so!'

Take the first assumption-- that all Christians 'belong' to a church. Not! The current generation of Christians no longer simply takes it from tradition that they must belong to a recognizable church to be saved... not at all. Why should some self-generated body of people decide that they are authorized franchisees for God? Why should any believer have to subscribe to some man-made corporation to appropriate the blessings of the Creator? Why do we need professional clergy to spoon-feed religious truth to us? These are all burning questions that stick in the spiritual craw of a growing number of modern believers, and so far, there is little evidence that the mainstream churches, and also splinter groups, have any idea of how to respond.

Looking at the second assumption, we find that it is equally glib. Accepting for the moment, that one is a member of a duly constituted church, it is my experience that there is no guarantee whatsoever that either the pastor or other members will be pleased to have you 'exercise your spiritual gifts' in their midst. Far from it. Oh sure, if you are willing to just do whatever the pastor or church board wants you to do, then they'll be happier than clams. But that is hardly using your God-given gifts, is it? If your 'gift' happens to be something like spiritual discernment, or understanding the signs of the times, (perhaps fancy terms for 'BS-detecting') then you stand a high chance of being rebuffed by your church. You will be accused of being a disturber of the sheep, of not being a team player, and in the extreme, of being a pawn of Satan. If you are in a conservative church, they will ensure that you don't exercise those gifts for long, and if you don't submit to suggestions, they will impose sanctions of some kind, restricting your ability to exercise those gifts or influence anyone else in the company. If you are seen as persisting, you will end up disfellowshipped.

In a 'progressive church,' a person who upsets the doctrinal or spiritual apple-cart in some way will probably undergo more subtle, marginalizing treatment. You will be re-assigned to more suitable roles, like baby-sitting the toddlers, or making coffee for visitors, but not leading a Sunday school class, certainly. Faithful church apparatchiks will keep a wary eye and ear on your verbal or written comments, to provide early intervention in sticking to the doctrinal line. In such an environment, only the most docile continue to put in an appearance on a regular basis.

Those with an aptitude for finding discrepancies in matters of official dogma, or of voicing alternative interpretations of scripture, will eventually find themselves on the margins of their church. There's little point in fighting the system to try to convince the powers that be within the organization to change their views. Organizations do not change their official articles of faith easily, if at all. And individuals do not take kindly to suggestions that their cherished views are in need of adjustment, or that their organization needs reform. The leaders may make all the positive statements possible about encouraging diversity and promoting renewal, and so on; but, mark my words, it is pure hog-wash! Such progressives may actually believe what they are saying... at the moment. But, upon sober reflection-- and serious reprimand by the rest of the establishment-- they will find a convenient way to let hierarchical nature take its course and extirpate any and all attempts at genuine reformation. It's not a problem with churches-- it's a universal problem with all human structures.

So, in conclusion, I have to temper the enthusiastic and well-meaning advice of the writer for the electronic ministry. Within a church structure, you will be welcome to work to advance the goals of the management board-- in fact, they'll love you for it. But, dear Christian, harbor no illusions about exercising your spiritual gifts if they involve any call to seriously change the basic outlook of the organization. For that kind of exercise, you will most likely have to leave the company and operate independently. Don't lament; that's just the way things work in the realm of 'sinful flesh.'

June 5, 2009

Musings on Warnings

A recent posting on probably the best ‘open’ forum on the Net had some heartfelt comments encouraging readers to pay heed to the contemporary warning signs (unspecified) and stated: “If you wait to hear it on the news, it will be too late!”
Most people do not heed warnings until it is absolutely clear they are applicable!
There are warnings (stark ones, too) printed on the packages for cigarettes; yet most smokers continue to smoke. That’s understandable, since habitual users become addicted and cannot easily stop. What’s more puzzling is that the warnings fail to deter many new, young consumers from starting the habit. Similarly, we have warning messages to wear the seat-belt when traveling in a car; to slow down when driving in inclement weather; to pull over and stop when using a phone in a vehicle. There are warnings posted at unsupervised beaches and other public places considered dangerous, yet some people simply ignore them and do their own thing. We’ve had warnings for years that our rivers, lakes, and now, even oceans are being polluted to levels that are toxic for both aquatic animals and humans. We’ve known for years that air pollution caused by vehicle and industrial emissions are causing a great number of premature deaths and medical problems, yet take only half-hearted measures in response. And so it goes.

It seems to be a hard-wired feature of the human psyche that, for a majority of people, warnings are only taken seriously when the situation is already dire.
What does it take for warnings to be heeded by the majority? It’s not impossible to reverse the proportions of those who pay attention to warnings versus those who don’t. Usually, it begins with recognition by credible sources-- e.g. a professional researcher, an academic institution, etc. Once someone regarded as believable has acknowledged a danger, the next step is usually interest by the news media. Some media agency gets wind of the ‘story,’ considers it news-worthy, and presents it. If the story ‘develops legs,’ has staying power-- not easy in today’s hyper-active world-- then it gets the attention of the public, and from there, the interest of the politicians. At that stage, we know that the apprehended risk is being taken seriously-- but there are no guarantees that anything substantial will be done. If the politicians perceive some political benefit from pursuing the issue, they will engage the process of drafting legislation, sending it to committees, and eventually introducing it for a vote. All of which takes time; time in which the situation usually gets worse, and possibly bad enough that the legislated measures are now quite inadequate. This is the normal cycle by which most societies deal with an apprehended problem or hazard.

When the normal process is inverted, there is reason for suspicion. When the politicians tell the public that there’s some problem so dire that it requires immediate legislation to address, then something is awry, I’d say. In the aftermath of ‘9-11,’ governments in the primarily English-speaking countries all introduced laws addressed at ‘fighting terrorism,’ while having the real effect of restricting, and even removing, personal liberties acquired with much bloodshed over many centuries. And the same thing is happening in the economic sphere: using the threat of bankruptcy of king-pin businesses (like GM and Chrysler) the workers are being forced to give up benefits gained over decades of hard-fought bargaining. When the politicians discover a ‘danger’ that needs immediate action, you can bet that something’s afoot; they are moving us toward some desired objective. This inverted process, then, is itself, a warning sign to those who know how to read the signs.

That probably is the key to the effectiveness of warnings: they are heeded by those who are knowledgeable in interpreting the signals. Jesus chided his listeners: “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matt 16:3). I suppose there are always a number of ‘filters’ on our interpretation of what our senses relay to our brains. We have a huge tendency to want things to be stable, and warnings are always about things that have the potential to unsettle our routine. We also want to believe that those who are in authority have our best interests at heart, and will provide warnings when necessary, and conversely, we are safe if they haven’t warned us. In an earlier essay, I wrote about the human aversion for bad news, and the lengths we go to avoid facing it. All these factors explain why the worst job in the world is to be a prophet, a look-out with a warning message.

From our distant past, such individuals have had a tough career. From merely being ignored or rejected, to ridicule and derision, to persecution and even murder, such were the fates of those with an unwanted warning message. Today, there are two looming disasters careening towards human society on this planet, like a runaway freight train rushing at a level crossing being approached by a speeding tractor-trailer. The truck is being driven by madmen on the road to their New World Order. The train is a cosmic catastrophe on a date with destiny; that destiny being the end of the present age of human existence. To those of us who have removed the main filters, those dominant themes are obvious. Our deeper implanted filters may prevent us, however, from seeing the details of the dangers before us, and also prevent us from agreeing with others who have their own, partial view.

That fragmented description of the approaching crises again takes away from the impact of the warnings. The public, seeing discord over the details of the warnings, clings to the most attractive conclusion-- that therefore, there is no danger-- rather than focusing on the broad lines of concurrence. Thus, the ‘job’ is always easier for the negative forces to advance their cause, confident in the inertia of human nature taking necessary action when, instead, avoidance is still an available option. Perhaps the best that a prophet can expect to achieve is to present the warning in the hope that the hearers will remember it when the signs are so obvious as to be unavoidable. At least then, listeners may not be completely taken by surprise. As Jesus said, "From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe...” (Jn 13:19).

To those who have eyes to see, the signs are all around in our modern, secular society. The warnings are printed right on the greenback, the US dollar bill, for all to see! You know about the pyramid capped with the ‘eye of Horus,’ the inscription ‘novus ordo seclorum,’ the number 13 embedded in numerous images, and so on. Curiously, other warnings are presented for all to see in popular movies (and many pop songs) that are used as covert vehicles for serious advisory messages. The messages are right in our faces, yet they are hidden because they are put forth as fiction-- hence, it is easy to dismiss them as entertainment. You think it is for mere amusement that movies on ‘2012’ are being released three years before the fated date?

Probably the most convincing argument the prophet of today’s signs can give to the skeptics who cannot stretch their pre-programmed imaginations around the idea of a global conspiracy is to simply ask the scoffer this simple question: if it’s really just a crazy theory, then why do they persecute those who proclaim the warnings? A crazy idea can be dismissed as such, but a theory that gets too close to the truth provokes a nasty response. Alex Jones, to take one example, has regularly been harassed and obstructed by authorities when covering the big, ‘secret conferences.’ David Icke has been denied the use of pre-booked halls on speaking engagements. British MP and critic of Western policy towards Palestine, George Galloway, has been barred from entering Canada. Jeff Rense’s website comes under periodic attack, and his character under constant attack from someone, somewhere. Those who know what’s going on, and speak up about it, are inevitably persecuted. Some, like William Cooper, end up killed by the establishment. If it’s all a load of nonsense, you’ve got to ask yourself why do ‘they’ care? The very fact that the hidden manipulators go after these individuals (through their hired proxies, of course) demonstrates conclusively that there’s fire under the smokescreens, there’s substance to the allegations!

Finally, it’s obvious that no warning is going to have any benefit if no-one knows about it. That is the biggest obstacle now facing today’s prophets-- getting their message out to the masses. You’d think in an age of global, instant communication that it would be easy to inform the public; but of course, that is completely contrary to the reality. It is harder than ever for one person to get a message to a wide audience when every message is a mere droplet in a tidal wave of ‘information’ that sweeps over the world, daily. Compounding that already daunting obstacle is the problem that the hidden puppeteers don’t want ‘unapproved’ warnings to reach the populace; and those people control the major media conglomerates. (A warning is unapproved if it does not emanate from one of their designated sources, and moves their agenda forward-- e.g. 'climate change'). Thus, the powers behind the scenes are the gate-keepers of information, keeping the world ignorant of the most important knowledge, and flooding our minds with an overwhelming tide of tera-bytes of mostly worthless data.

If a meaningful warning is to have any chance at wide dispersal these days, it would likely have to take place on the worldwide web, using a site like YouTube, Twitter, or MySpace. We’ve had examples like the demonstrations that were organized in Moldova, in early 2009, by activists using the Web. Then there was the ‘much-ado’ case of singer Susan Boyle and her flash of fame that was fanned by the video clips posted from her TV appearance. The potential is there for a message from an obscure source to ‘go viral’ on the Net, and thereby-- for the immediate future-- get around the mainstream media gate-keepers to reach a global audience. But it’s still a long-shot, and usually dependent on the ‘MSM’ to some degree (e.g. Ms. Boyle appearing on a major, national talent show). Even on the ‘un-policed’ web, any story with information ‘they’ don’t want us to know comes quickly under attack by ‘dis-information’ agents who attempt to trash it before the message gains any traction. And with web-sites now numbering in the multi millions, it is no easy feat for any single item of information to be anything greater than a fleeting, local point of interest in a galaxy of starry lights.

The bottom line for prophets and their warnings is this: we can expect that no significant warning message will be given widespread attention (let alone credence) until such time as the warned event is already well underway. ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the day when the Son of Man returns’ (Matt 24:37, Lk 17:26). Even in the last moments before the great Deluge, the masses of people were carrying on life as if all were ‘normal’ and would always be normal. The warnings of Noah were ignored or ridiculed... until it was too late. Yet Jesus assures us that history will repeat. There is nothing much we can do to change the human heart. “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy" (Rev 22:11).

May 23, 2009

The Prodigal Son - A Fresh Look

If there's one parable of Jesus that gets a lot of retelling by preachers, it has to be the story of the 'prodigal son.' It has been analyzed and interpreted through the ages, and books have been written based on it. Yet, there always seems to be something new and fresh to learn from the tale. Here is still another look at this story--one with perhaps a genuinely new lesson to absorb.

The word 'prodigal' has the meaning of 'wasteful,' 'reckless,' and other rather pejorative terms.
Jesus crafted this amazingly multi-layered lesson masterfully, as the ultimate illustrated guide to salvation.
It is obviously an allegory for the story of God's dealings with mankind. The 'father' represents God. He's a kindly, tolerant, long-suffering, generous person, who allows his son to go his own way, but then waits patiently, longingly, even expectantly, for him to return home. The elder son is a typical 'first-born'--responsible, obedient, and maybe too ready to resent. He has 'high standards' of behavior, and expects it of others. On the outside, he's your average Christian, you could say.

The famous prodigal is adventurous, and curious; he wants to 'experience life.' Perhaps he represents Adam and Eve, wanting to fly on his own, without Dad around to supervise. But he is no less loved of the father. Even when he demands his inheritance before the usual obituary, his father takes no offense, and hands over the portion to his inexperienced hands. Number two son goes out, and sure enough, he blows his fortune and falls on hard times. He's the kind Christians want to 'convert.'

That's a lot like most of us. We want to get away from the restrictions of external authority and live life freely, able to do what we want. We squander the blessings of health and youth that were our inheritance, and sometime in middle age, we come to our senses. So too, the prodigal comes to his senses, and realizes he's got to go back to the ancestral home. But he also realizes he's 'blown it,' and feels pretty guilty and ashamed. He figures he'll earn his way back to his father's good books by working as a servant. It sounds quite sensible to most human listeners: acknowledge your failure and go to work to pay your way, earn your keep, merit a place in the father's house. Doesn't that have an intuitive appeal to our sense of self-worth, our sense of pride and right behavior? Of course-that's what we humans would expect!

But, is that what the father wants? Not at all! First of all, he ignores the smell--the shame and guilt--of the prodigal, and runs (not walks, not waits with hands on hips). The father runs to the returning child, and before the kid can blurt out his rehearsed confession, he hugs him close, with tears in his eyes. God wants nothing to do with a 'works' repentance; He just wants us to return in love, and be part of his family again. Then the older son gets indignant about the treatment his brother is getting, reminding Dad about how well he's performed over the years. The father gently reminds him that everything in the estate belongs equally to him; there was never any question of judging his achievements.

You can see that in Jesus' own sketch of salvation, there is no mention of 'standards,' of measuring one's behavior either before or after 'conversion,' by means of external criteria, i.e. by reference to laws. The father is a figure of grace personified. All he wants is for his children to turn to him, and love him in return for the never-turning love he bears them. He doesn't want servants; he wants family. Jesus told his disciples that servants don't know the master's affairs; but he told his followers everything he knew, and called them 'friends.'

My conclusion is that this key parable, illustrative of God's plan of salvation, shows clearly that in the New Covenant, the everlasting covenant, there is no reference to, no need for, the Ten Commandment Law. The only law Jesus was interested in was the Golden Rule: love one another as you love yourself. And importantly, this is not the only place where he makes this idea clear. In another classic, eschatological parable of 'The Sheep and the Goats,' Jesus again separates those two classes of people without reference to the commandments, but simply on the basis of what we call 'charity,' or love. It's another lesson to glean from the well-studied parables; something very provocative to think about.

The High-jacking of Christianity

Mention the topic of the Christian Church among a random group today, and you will likely get a cluster of comments that portray the Church as a conservative institution, a virtual anachronism in a modern, 'progressive' world. In fact, it is surprising to see the contempt many 'outsiders' express when talking about the Christian Church. Indeed, there are many good reasons for those impressions to prevail, since they were developed over the past several decades, even centuries. Spokesmen (and they're mostly males) for Christianity in the USA have aligned themselves firmly on the far right of the political spectrum, and have even made forays into the worldly realm of politics. (While the religious scene in Canada is quite different from that in the US, Canadians are subject to heavy influence via the TV broadcasts and media stories coming from the south. By such cultural osmosis, the popular impression of 'Christianity' is much the same there as in the USA.)

And so, it has come about that in America, Christianity is virtually synonymous with the 'religious right.' Most observers probably assume that this is quite natural, that it has always been thus, that all Christians are rampant red-necks. But, is that correct?
Have Christians always been conservatives? And is that how it's supposed to be? Not at all, is my response! Quite the contrary, in fact. The primordial Christian Church, as it arose in Jerusalem from the first Pentecost after Jesus' death, was far from conservative. It was a very outward-looking, radical organization, attracting those who were not satisfied with the ages-old traditions of a dead expression of religion. Only people of courage dared to join this new sect, and they endured much hardship for the right to be followers of Christ.

Yes, they were radicals when seen in the light of their Jewish background. In proclaiming the gospel of Christ, they were overturning all the sacred cows of the traditional, Old Testament or Mosaic faith. If you doubt this, just read Acts, especially chapter 15, where the disciples decide what to require of gentile converts. Rather than dump the whole Law of Moses on these new believers, they simply required abstinence from food offered to idols, and from sexual immorality. That's it; period! Even today, most pastors of any given denomination would cringe to deliver that message to their flocks. They'd be appalled with any suggestion against the thought that there's got to be a whole bunch of rules added to the membership certificate to keep these innocent believers from going 'hog wild' in their freedom in Christ. When you contrast the early church with the hide-bound society from which it emerged, you start to get a feeling for how radical it was.

Somewhere along its track of history, though, the mainstream Christian Church (make that 'Churches,' following the Reformation) lost the radical flavor that characterized the beginning. They got high-jacked by conservative thinking men whose primary interest was in preserving the status quo. It's too hazy and protracted a process to try to pin an exact moment on when the Church swung 'right,' but it probably started after the time of persecution by the Romans. After Constantine made Christianity the national religion, the Church could relax. Without the threat of external persecution, membership became a lot more attractive to a much wider population. With the blessing of the emperor, it was a smart political move to adopt this new religion... even if one wasn't fully 'heart-converted.' Under these two factors, the inevitable happened. The Church came to adopt the hierarchical, paternalistic, bureaucratic structure characteristic of the Roman government and most human, secular organizations. Once that happened, it was not long before the bureaucrats behaved as all such officials behave. They adopted the mindset that the prime objective was to preserve the existing organization at all costs. In other words, the Church fell into the hands of conservatives. In the main thrust of its history, it has never recovered from this phase.

So today, we have arrived at the point where some Christians think that going radical means accepting the profligate ways of secular society, embracing all manner of 'progressive' ideas, until the essence of their faith is dispersed into a faint hint of vague theism. Meanwhile, the mainstream, monolithic Churches are largely populated by adherents with little Biblical knowledge, led by company men, working towards retirement on company pensions. Not much room there for radical Christianity of the first Century type. In the USA, canny 'evangelists' with a flair for theatrics have found their niche. In a country hungry for some true substance, for spiritual nourishment, these men know how to use the media, especially TV, to advance their right-wing, fear-based agenda. In a country of unparalleled wealth, there's much to conserve, and these leaders know their audience and its insecurities. Not content with getting rich, they want to gain control of the levers of power, occupy political offices in order to extend their legalistic mania over the whole population of the US.

The Christian churches themselves have long forgotten what the radical, early church looked like... and worse, they don't want to remember. They've set up a pseudo-church system that seems to work well for their purposes. Many dubious practices have been embedded as part of the machine; for eg. "we need more money to '----------' (you fill in the blanks, and oh yes, send them a cheque.) The idea that the church itself needs to be 'born again' (to use the now-tired and tarnished phrase) doesn't seem to be part of any prominent leader's agenda. But that's what's necessary. If the Christian church is to have any relevance in the modern world, any appeal to a desperate world, any credibility, it must be wrested from the sleazy hands of the conservatives who now control it, and reclaimed by souls who are radical for Christ!

As Jesus said, "Let the dead bury their dead!" The prescription above may sound altogether too drastic, but if you read the gospels with a 'free mind' rather than one conditioned by years of the traditional blandishments, you will see just how radical Jesus was, and why he was so hated by the establishment. He associated with all the 'wrong' people-- tax collectors (considered traitors by Jews), uneducated workers, foreigners, and women including prostitutes. He exposed the hypocrisy of the ultra-legalistic Pharisees, and even had the gall to attack the abomination that they had made of the Temple of God. He broke their laws, and talked about setting people free... yet he made no effort whatever to speak against the Roman occupiers. Instead of preaching 'fire and brimstone' sermons about God's wrath and severe judgement, Jesus assured people of God's love and His mercy. So you should understand, that Jesus was no conservative, fearful defender of 'traditional values.' Far from it! He was a force for change, a force majeur sweeping through the stale, decrepit, rigid structure that was contemporary Israel. His message was radical. It's no wonder that he had to be eliminated by the conservative forces of the status quo. What is a wonder is how the movement he founded has fallen in the hands of opportunists and aparachiks who want nothing to do with institutional repentance and rebirth.

For those with the spiritual eyes to see behind the human dynamics, one can see how Satan infiltrated the organized church and immediately began leading it astray. God countered with successive reformations to ensure the survival of the essential message ensconced in the scriptures so that any sincere seeker can find the Way, the Truth, and the Life, in spite of the fog of confusion and error dispersed by most churches thru their spokesmen and literature. But it takes a bit of effort, not just occupying a pew on a periodic basis. Jesus said "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened; ask, and it shall be given." So, dear reader, don't be satisfied to listen to sermons, but open your Bible, ask for guidance, and seek the truth.

May 22, 2009

Final Stand for Truth

"Truth exists. Only falsehood must be fabricated."
It's a curious thing-- for me, at least-- that when I started writing about the idea of truth, I got rather negative reactions from various people. This reaction puzzled me at first, but as time went on, I came to realize that that's what truth does-- it creates controversy. And that's a story in itself... an important one.
Consider the name I chose for my web-blog (Truthquest): it seems to elicit annoyance or sarcasm from people who may be acquaintances or strangers. Why? Well, many persons are of the conviction that there's no such thing as truth, or that it's completely relative or personal, or that it's just an abstraction with no reality. These views all strike me as incredibly naive and lacking substance. It is baffling to me to have to defend the notion of something as obvious as truth. But then, I exist in a kind of transcendent sphere, where ideals and ethical concepts have genuine reality.

The controversy over something as fundamental to our lives as truth underscores for me the crux of the looming crisis poised to strike humanity and our tenure on Earth. Along with very many traditions and predictions, I also believe that mankind is very close to the cataclysmic end of this age that will be the most tumultuous crisis in our history. However, while the coming crisis will be characterized by physical upheavals of the planet, and social and political upheavals of unparalleled ferocity, I think the underlying conflict will be the final, colossal struggle between truth and untruth.

If anything is the endemic trait of our zeitgeist, it is capsulized in one word-- deception. Maybe I'm just too hyper-sensitive to 'BS,' but to me it's the grating tenor of the times that almost everything that reaches my consciousness from 'official sources' of any kind-- be they government, corporate, religious, academic-- has the stench of self-serving deceit about it. If it's not outright lies, it is usually a noxious mix of lies and selected truth. It's everywhere; all pervasive; in every aspect of our daily lives. And the worst thing is that most people either don't even notice it... or are so inured to 'relative truth' that they accept it as normal. The current generation have grown up in an 'age of persuasion,' with ‘commercial messages' bombarding us incessantly in every corner of urban life, so that distortion and hyperbole are taken as commonplace, and an inevitable part of modern existence.

You've got to understand that this inoculation to distorted reality, packaged as advertising and promotion for every kind of cause (good or otherwise), is a purposeful strategy, one designed to devalue truth in the mind of humankind. And it has succeeded quite well. In place of truth, we have pluralism-- in a global bazaar of cultures and ideologies, your 'truths' (ie. cuisine, music, political system, religion, etc.) are no better nor less valuable than mine. Everybody's truth is equally worthy-- so say the proponents of pluralism... as long as it suits their purposes.

Why do people get so offended by mention of truth, though? It would seem innocuous enough; but no, the reaction can be quite visceral. One reason may be because many skeptics associate truth with religion; and of course, religion is a big no-no with the chic, educated, liberal-minded middle-class. There is some justification for their wariness, because if you do an Internet search on the words 'truth quest,' you will certainly turn up many sites related to churches and religion. However, why should that link to Christianity (in particular) stir such animosity? Could it be due to disgust that anyone in today's pluralistic world would dare to pretend that they possess 'the truth?' The problem is that in rejecting the idea that any creed could corner the market on truth, these opponents then throw out the notion that there is such a thing as truth, altogether. It's a fool's line of reasoning that disempowers its supporter, while playing right into the hands of those hidden powers who want to strip humanity of any hope in a transcendent order of reality above the mundane. Brilliant, on the part of the forces of darkness; and ultimately deadly for the innocent who fall into the trap. As for me, I don’t profess to possess ‘the whole truth.’ What I do know is that I am on a quest for truth; and that is more than most can say.

Note that incomplete truth is not necessarily evil, but can be hazardous. After all, in this world we will not achieve 100% absolute truth in most areas, although it is possible in a limited sense, as in some branches of mathematics, or some purely observational matters (e.g. Is it raining here or not? What color is the object? etc.). We can and do function on incomplete knowledge, because it's all we have, generally. We have to recognize, tho, when we are operating on incomplete information, otherwise we run a real risk of making mistakes when our decisions are taken on the premise that we have full knowledge. For example, an airline pilot once discovered the truth that his aircraft's fuel tanks were empty while he'd been flying under the assumption they held ample fuel. In fact, the tanks had been refueled, but the ground techs were reading the gauges in metric units and assuming they displayed 'imperial' units (ie. liters for gallons). This is a good illustration of where partial truth can get us when we fail to grasp it for what it is.

What the nay-sayers apparently are so inclined against is the intimation that there must exist 'ultimate truth.' They can concede that there exists 'relative truth,' or 'constrained truth' in the laws that govern the physical universe... but they vehemently resist any attempt to extend the phenomenon to its logical conclusion-- that there must, perforce, exist ultimate truth. What are they afraid of? It's not obvious, but appears to be the tacit assumption in this logic that recognizing Ultimate Truth is tantamount to believing in God... and that, of course, is another materialist no-no. No, we must never return to the 'primitive dogma' of believing in God, lest we... what? What would believing in God do to mankind that isn't already being done, this time in the name of godless, unfettered, capitalistic avarice? Can't people wake up and see that what was once done under the guise of religion hasn't stopped; it is now being done in the name of 'democratic capitalism?' In times past, nations were conquered, peoples were murdered and 'ethnically cleansed' in the interests of saving them from heathenism and Christianizing them. Today, nations are conquered, and peoples murdered and ethnically cleansed in the interests of big business seeking new sources of petroleum. And the atheists smugly support commercial interests over religious... because they can't even see a religion if it wears a worldly disguise! And make no mistake; you may think that, oh no, you are a socialist; you don't support big corporations and their predatory practices. Well, how do you think the capitalists justify their predatory exploitation, if not by reference to your patron saint, Charles Darwin, and his godless theory of evolution? For in the purely material, humanist paradise, there is no ethic except the ethic of evolution, which is based on mere survival. In other words, might makes right in the mechanistic universe of Darwin's theory.

A world without ultimate truth is a world without God. And such a society is a hopeless, Orwellian nightmare, not worth living, neither for the trampled masses nor for their soulless overlords. The only way to survive in such a world is to shut one's eyes to the reality of its bleakness, and live life in a constant frenzy of activity, pretending that everything is fine and dandy. That is how the 20th century was lived by a growing majority in the Western nations. While we were madly accumulating material goods, and scrambling for success, we didn't have time to think about the omnipresent question of truth. The hidden manipulators used this materialistic smokescreen to advance many of their objectives, all the while completely unnoticed by a populace drunk on the perverted, fermented fruits of science and technology, the neo-religions of the modern age. Among those objectives were the following:

- ridicule and devaluation of Christianity, making Christians look antiquated and irrelevant to the contemporary world;
- deadening of belief in a 'higher power,' a divine designer, a cosmic creator;
- belief in the triumph of materialistic science to describe reality and explain existence;
- acceptance of ultimate relativism-- since all views are valid, virtually anything goes;
- breakdown of public morality-- we make our own rules, and they are constrained only by 'common consensus;'
- disintegration of the family unit-- since all 'sexual expression' is valid, marriage is outdated, and a family is whatever you want it to be, including homosexual 'parents;'
- breakdown of social cohesion-- under Darwinian morality, it's everyone for himself, and let nature prevail with the weak; capitalism isn't sentimental, we are told;
- Hollywood and the mainstream media now define reality for the masses, and they assure us that we don't know anything-- we must be told by experts, whom they supply.

All of these goals have been largely achieved, and they have succeeded by means of deception. The proponents behind these aims have been using lies, half-truths, and psychological manipulation for over a century to mold society in the desired direction. Their most important weapon is artful lying, which is telling untruths using carefully chosen vocabulary, so that an unpalatable statement can be stick-handled past the normal mental defense mechanisms. It's brilliant, in a way; and yet it has been a favorite ploy since the invention of speech. The difference today is that we now have individuals who specialize in the art of selling lies. They are called 'public relations' specialists, and have attained indispensable status for corporations and governments around the world. Sure, you sigh, you know that; and therefore, you are on guard for such games. If so, you are truly rare, because we are all being constantly set up to fall into these word traps, without being aware of it. Yes, we all figured out pretty fast what they mean by 'collateral damage,' and a few other notable examples. But, have you stopped to consider the pedigree of such words as 'homophobic,' and 'anti-semitism,' for example? You won't find them in an older Oxford dictionary because they were coined in more recent times for very specific, political purposes. By having the media use these terms repeatedly over years, the listeners eventually assimilate not only the word, but the concept behind the word, so that it becomes part of one's background, presumptive knowledge. From the repeated context clues, one comes to 'understand' that it is unacceptable to be called either homophobic or anti-semitic; therefore, one must avoid speaking or behaving in a way that might provoke such labels from others. The original and ostensible intent of these words may have been quite legitimate-- we should, indeed, refrain from attacking people because of their differences from the mainstream. Where this 'political correctness' has led, however, is to a state wherein it is impossible to criticize any aspect of, in these examples, homosexuality or Jews, because these terms have been enshrined into 'anti-hate laws,' and protect these groups from basic freedom of speech.

The mind-conditioning that has been implemented in the Western world over the past century is astounding, and space prevents me from analyzing it further, here. (The reader can find voluminous studies to corroborate my assertions). My point is that 'untruth' (which includes all that does not aim to be 'congruent with demonstrable fact') is now endemic in our society; so much so, that we are no longer even aware of the appalling extent to which this is true. In place of truth, we now have corporate 'brands,' icons and symbols, and national myths. By the time one reaches adulthood, he or she has understood and assimilated the notion that image is everything; that illusion is more powerful than reality. Thus, when someone complains that a certain advertisement is false, or a product isn't as described, or a political party reneged on a promise, etc., the response is that you should understand that you're buying a fantasy, you're electing a perception, you can't expect correspondence with facts or statements. In other words, deceit is a 'legitimate' part of modern life... it has been normalized, just as has various sexual perversions.

The problem is that you simply cannot run a world for any length of time on rampant and institutionalized deceit. That paradigm was tried in the last century in the late, great Soviet Union, and we saw where that experiment ended. More perceptive readers may argue that 'our' society, too, has lied to itself for centuries, and I agree, but also point out that in bygone years, there was enough freedom of speech, and persons of conscience in influential positions that there were restraints on the spread of deceit. In the 21st century, those checks are being rapidly hog-tied and neutralized by the introduction of draconian limits to freedoms once taken for granted, particularly in the USA. Those retractions of hard-won civil rights are almost always based on fears whipped up on events contrived for that purpose. To quote Goethe: 'There are none so enslaved as those who believe they are free when they are not.' From a 'spiritual' perspective (however you want to interpret that notion) this age is characterized by a definitive, titanic struggle between truth and untruth, between The Truth and Deception. The battle lines are being strongly delineated so that everyone who bothers to consider it can become aware of the division. And everyone should be conscious of the split between truth and deception because we will all have to make a final choice, choosing which side we want to follow... to the end.

My purpose in this essay is to pull together the not-obviously-related strands of thought from numerous other essays into a synthesis that portrays the essence of the final battle for planet Earth. Okay, it sounds grandiose, but many commentators are seeing the same thing-- or at least parts of it. I'm trying to put all the pieces on one puzzle board. We are witnessing before our eyes the following currents:

- clear movements towards a one-world 'system' as the inevitable outcome of...
regional, political integration (eg. EU, NAFTA, ASEAN); global trade agreements (WTO); an ever-expanding NATO; reaction to exogenous threats like 'climate change,' terrorism, pandemic, etc.

- attacks on traditional stabilizing institutions such as the family, religion, common mores, all resulting in a disintegration of the social fabric (via alienation, substance abuse, mental health issues, job mobility, etc.) which engenders a state of constant disequilibrium and stress among all citizens;

- attacks and restrictions on civil liberties and free speech under the guise of 'protection of minority rights,' or 'security from terrorism;'

- the calculated transfer of the wealth of the middle classes to the banker elite, under the pretext of bailouts of sinking institutions and stimulating a moribund economy;

- the mysterious appearance or resurgence of viral diseases thought to be conquered a generation ago, among both animal populations and the human populace;

- ever-greater use of deception by governments and corporations to achieve desired aims, and in particular, the use of 'agents provocateurs' to create ersatz terrorist plots, either apprehended or accomplished.

All of these phenomena exist by design, not by mere chance, and their end goal is global domination by a small clique over the masses. Let me state this bluntly: if you can't see these 'big picture' signs of the times, you are in sad shape, and will be completely overwhelmed when the pretences are all dropped, and 'their dream' becomes our nightmare. These major indicators are all out in the open, and if you can't see the connections among them, you have been taken in by the master con-job of the satanic forces behind them.

Another open secret is that the evil cabal is obviously waging a titanic war against two groups of people in particular. Those are specifically, Christians and Muslims. The strategies employed are different. Since Christians are mainly found in the 'Western' nations, they are already in the 'belly of the beast,' exposed to all the egregious degeneration of the modern, atheist, materialist society, and very largely absorbed into that system, often quite cluelessly. Thru the use of the media and the Hollywood propaganda machine, the influence of the Christian faith has been largely neutralized. In fact, a significant sect, recently branded as 'Christian-Zionists' or 'Judeo-Christians,' has proven to be quite useful to the shadow governors, by their zealous support of any who pretend to agree with their aberrant theology and their bellicose leanings.

As for Islam, the crypto-rulers have waged all-out, shock-and-awe warfare against them, deploying all the latest expensive, grisly gadgets of destruction against poorly equipped militias, often composed of warriors who were once under the employ of Uncle Sam's covert agencies abroad. The Muslims (mostly Arabs and mostly civilians) have been subject to merciless carnage-- despite all shedding of 'crocodile tears' by Western leaders. The wars have been based on pure lies, the pretexts fabricated on 'false-flag' operations and blatant poppycock (ie. lies) about spreading democracy and freedom.

Why have the hidden 'powers that be' selected Christianity and Islam as the special objects of their wrath? The reason is simple; so simple that most 'modern' readers will reject it out of hand (ie. without serious reflection). It's because both religions are monotheistic, believing in a supreme creator who rules over the universe and will, one day, call all humanity into account. All other religions (the pagans) can be distilled into the essential belief that man is 'god,' and therefore, he can 'call his own shots.' The conspirators must defeat all belief in ultimate truth, the supreme God, because that belief will resist their real, so far unannounced agenda, which is to present their own leader as the deity, the one who functions as 'chief god,' and as the legitimate ruler of the planet. He will be portrayed as a unifier, bringing squabbling humanity into one, harmonious race, paying homage to his benevolent dictatorship. It will be Orwell's world, with a bizarre, religious twist-- 'Big Brother' will be presented as our god, and our total worship will be demanded. Yes, this will be the Antichrist, the antithesis of Christ Jesus. And his modus operandi is untruth, the antithesis of truth.

While Judaism also professes belief in one God, it appears that the PTB are not too concerned with this faith. I can only speculate on why they devote scant enmity toward Judaism, and one might suppose that it's due to the relatively small number of seriously religious Jews (compared to two billion or so nominal Christians, and another billion Muslims, worldwide). More than that, the Jews are, significantly, still awaiting the arrival of their Messiah. That belief could be quite effectively exploited by the Satanists when they reveal their hero as the 'promised one' of various traditions. In fact, the obsession that the hidden powers have towards Israel gives extra credence to the theory that they intend to install their antichrist in Jerusalem, claiming it to be the seat of their new world government.

The liberal atheists may read this article and say 'This is outrageous speculation.' Their powers of discernment are so deadened by those who put them exactly in that condition, that they can't see the menace that is lurking everywhere in this modern world that they think is marvelous because it has 'freed us from the chains of religion!' And, see-- the humanist/atheists STILL DON'T GET IT! They still think I'm trying to defend religion and sell it thru some covert, philosophical semantics. I'M NOT! The truth is that I don't believe in religion as a pre-packaged paradigm for viewing the world. What I've been trying to tell all of you in reader-land, both believers in God, and atheists, alike, is that ALL systems of viewing the universe, whether packaged as creeds or as any other paradigm, are de-facto 'religions.' How could 'science' have assured us for years that there was no link between tobacco and a panoply of diseases? Or that all kinds of chemical products are perfectly safe for human consumption, when people are dying daily from exposure to them? Ah, you retort, 'It's not the fault of science, but of the people who practice science under false motives.' No kidding? Isn't that exactly what has happened with religion over the centuries? Jesus and other spiritual leaders NEVER advocated violence in any form (indeed, Jesus stated that hatred was akin to murder); yet misguided followers have resorted to violence down thru the ages. ALL belief systems are interpreted by their believers to accommodate self-serving ends. You've got to understand that simple 'truth' if you ever want to understand reality!

So my advice to believers and atheists is to wake up, recognize that pure science and pure religion both purport to explain reality, define truth, but by different methods. Taken to the ultimate, they overlap. They should cooperate, not compete. Instead, they are engaged in a historic struggle because they are both errant, human ideologies run by human masters for purposes of enslaving the minds of their adherents. In fact, they can be seen as yet another prong of the ‘thesis-vs-antithesis’ paradigm so frequently used by the hidden manipulators. Their coming Antichrist will be offered as the solution to this Hegelian dialectic.

Numerous astute observers of the times have noticed many of the things I've described in this paper; few of them want to assemble all the pieces presented here. Especially, many would object to the final religious angle I ascribe to the anticipated ruling cabal. It seems crazy, and presently, there doesn't appear to be a lot of evidence of a 'spiritual angle' to the push towards world governance. That opacity is because many viewers do not comprehend the spirit behind those who frequent the gatherings of the elite movers and shakers at such enclaves as ‘Bohemian Grove,’ where they engage in ‘weird’ practices that can only be viewed as satanic. Freemasonry, one of the ‘fronts’ of the puppeteers, is, in its upper echelons (‘degrees’) based loosely on Gnosticism, and is definitely ‘religious’ in its cosmic outlook. To those who are dubious about the demonic nature of the evil conspirators, I say that their homage to Satan explains how they have been able to sustain their cover up and their momentum over the centuries. Without supernatural assistance, any purely human conspiracy inevitably collapses due to in-fighting, traitors, spies, exhaustion, mistakes, and so on. But the Illuminati (the general term covering all the many tentacles of this monster) have been able to survive and thrive long enough to achieve their critical objectives (back in the late 19th century), and then build on those to attain the position they presently occupy.

By seizing control of the Western world’s banking system, the cabal wields enormous power over the lives of the majority of the global population. We are seeing the early signs of that power in the current ‘economic crisis.’ Then, by gaining effective control over the communications media, the Illuminati have been able to filter and distort the information that reaches the masses, and equally important, have used the media to corrupt and disintegrate society. To those still under the spell of their cradle-to-grave propaganda, these revelations sound incredible. Yet even a little time spent investigating these claims will unveil cracks in the foundations of the illusion. But all of this-- the allegations, the denials, the doubts-- are all part of the cosmic drama that is unfolding before our contemporary eyes. It is the last battle on planet Earth, the battle for truth. As the expression goes, the truth shall prevail... but not before a period of unparalleled havoc, and it must be stated, bloodshed. To the skeptics, hold your derision for a while; keep your senses attuned to the times and their signs. And pledge allegiance only to the quest for Truth.