I am blessed. Think about it: With all this pervasive surveillance and electronic snooping, I am guaranteed all my prophetic warnings against the US government are surely noticed, archived and waiting for the time when God proves His Word lives in me.
Not that it will do them any good, and I seriously doubt it will make my human existence any better. That was never the objective. The objective is to cling to the truth of God and let it take my human life where it will. I’ll be glad when it’s all over and I get to go Home to Heaven, but until then, this is my mission.
I’m not like the lawyers’ Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas (Westboro). I reject their Western epistemology. Some few things they say are accurate, but not true, and their actions represent nothing in Scripture. They don’t understand the Hebrew point of view, so they don’t understand the Bible. My message is totally different.
Indeed, the sin of the Westboro Phelps crew is the quintessential sin of the West in general, and America in particular. They are an expression of what’s wrong with America, the same fundamental error with a different flavoring, all growing from the same root. America has rejected God’s Word as He gave it, and when they bother referring to it all, they get it desperately wrong because they reject the intellectual foundation God used to build His revelation. The West is burning with hatred for God’s truth.
So today we have sent our hatred abroad in the form of our troops in every sector of planet. Where we do not have them already, we are determined to destroy whatever keeps them out. We are currently sending money and weapons into Syria, stirring up fake Muslims to insane hatred that they would just as gladly bring to our shores. Give them time. Right now, they are ripping up Assad’s government. On my human side, I suspect Assad will fall, but only as a symbol. I seriously doubt the rebels will actually win much, and will eventually lose.
We did not win in Iraq; we simply destroyed what we built and gave the plutocrats another masked opportunity to raid the US economy in the process. We’ve pretty much left it to the residents to fight it out with terribly destroyed infrastructure. This does have something to do with the natural disasters striking the US; God is returning our destruction on our own heads and He’s just getting started.
We didn’t win in Afghanistan. Without our constant presence and occupation, we cannot even pretend to hold any ground there. As soon as we back out the least bit, our presumed enemy will simply recover with a vengeance. We have the money and the training, but they have everything else we lack, which is an awful lot. They have God on their side by default, because we are surely more evil in His sight. Yes, they are far closer to obeying His Laws.
So we won’t be able to accomplish much in Syria beyond an attempt to destroy what little good they have. They’ll reorganize and rebuild despite us, and we won’t be able to prevent it. But when we attack Iran, God will use the occasion to finish us off. This is from God, a prophetic warning: We will lose in battle against Iran. God Himself will fight for their side. He won’t even bother to explain why, because it will be too late.
Our propaganda excuses for all this hate are pretty thin; everyone knows it has to do with a huge move by plutocrats, the shadow government that actually runs things here and in a lot of other countries. That would include Israel. No, Israel does not write US policy, despite how it appears. Our policy is written by the same demons who write theirs, working through the same select group of human agents. These are the folks whom we have all elected to obey simply by refusing to understand things well enough to recognize the evil they have planned. We have closed our eyes and bought the lesser lies because it came wrapped in a promise of material and creature comfort.
We trade holiness and divine guidance for material prosperity, so we shall have neither. We have purchased the spilling of vast oceans of innocent blood and even the destruction of tornadoes are our own fault. But in righteousness we will attempt to reach out in kindness to recover what is left for our own. That’s one of our few virtues. Too bad we can’t treat the rest of the world that way; instead, we send our hatred wrapped up in ever-changing uniforms and weapons systems.
The really cool part is I know for a certainty the US government bureaucrats will read this and analyze it and at least a few folks guilty of keeping this wall of propaganda in place to obscure the truth will have no excuse when God puts His hands of wrath on their lives.
I make no secret of rejecting much of what comes packaged under the label of “Western Christianity.”
Most of the time I confine my blather to fundamentals. I talk about the intellectual frame of reference and historical events that steered the narrative of Church History. For example, most of you are likely aware of how desperately Constantine tried to hijack the Christian religion for his political purposes. For the most part, he succeeded. I’m hardly the only Christian who believes the true gospel message was nearly buried more than once in the past by political exigencies.
It has happened again here in the US. I can’t pinpoint where it started, and there is no one central figure who can carry the blame just yet. We know Constantine hardly labored alone in his demented vision, but it seems he was the pivotal person in his era. We don’t seem to have one right now. Instead, we have a long list of names all entangled in a long list of political agencies and religious denominations. I don’t have room to list them all, but just chasing down the list of folks who took money from Reverend Moon, often through his CIA lieutenants, would be shocking enough. You would be shocked by the people who fawned over him. It’s the same people who are considered the standard bearers in modern evangelical Christianity.
Look folks, even the highly revered Billy Graham was highly compromised, so I am not interested in your defense of those people. Don’t tell me how the millions of people “he brought to Christ” somehow covers his awful sins in the background. The Bible bluntly says those millions of converts, if genuine, would have come to Christ one way or another. God doesn’t need any human agent for His divine work. It’s that old heresy of Synergism, the blasphemous reduction of the divine to something less. God uses whom He likes, but He stoutly asserted He often used the worst. And until you realize Satan still serves His purposes, you’ll never comprehend even what little He has revealed to us.
No, I make no pretense of being better than any of them, but I don’t do what they do. I don’t confuse my God with any political agenda. I’m not going to lay the blame at all one source, because it’s never that simple. Yes, it does involve the heresy that Modern Israel somehow reflects God’s prophetic plans for humanity, but it’s much, much more. I look back with revulsion on that time in my life when I was held captive by that lie. But this issue is not so focused, except when you realize the whole purpose is to destroy the power of the gospel message. The people most loudly claiming His power are those most guilty of perverting it.
And no one has to tell me how this puts me out on the fringe. Yes, I belong to the Lunatic Fringe of Christian faith. I make no effort to temper and spin my message to appeal to any particular audience. Nor do I scream and accuse everyone of knowingly engaging falsehood and serving the Devil. The majority of those in Western Christianity are dupes. I have no idea what to make of folks like Pat Robertson, whether he’s just an idiot they prop up to defame the gospel or whether he actively cooperates, but I do know his Operation Blessing was a CIA front, as was World Vision and a slew of other Christian relief agencies. If you want footnotes, you can find them with any search engine.
It’s hard to gather any kind of resources without some infiltration from evil powers these days. If it’s big enough to be noticed, the spies will own it or destroy it. So I stay small and virtually unknown. God is my publicist and He’s the one who makes my message plausible to whomever pays attention. Don’t put any trust in anything that gets air-time. Don’t trust me just because I’m small. I can offer criteria for rejection only as a counter to their lying promotion. Bigger is not better, nor is smaller. Don’t listen to me; listen to your own soul. I don’t trust myself that much, always failing my own promises.
You have to look inside your own soul and find your own way.
I really do wish I could remember all the details.
At the time I was one of them, and it never occurred to me to wonder if I was being manipulated. They considered me talented enough to have potential in their agenda. I was just a young preacher boy, fresh out of college. It started with my college days, when I was involved in the fundamentalist resurgence in the 1970s. I didn’t know the facts of what had happened before I came along, but this whole thing goes back before my parents were born. Still, during my own lifetime came the changes that the broader audience of sheeple never noticed.
It’s not exactly the same people, but it’s a broad overlap. The names involved in the church and denominational politics of the fight over Bible inerrancy are largely the same people with a very ugly political agenda. Most of them are frankly true believers to this day. That does not absolve them from the lies they promoted, but it does make them fools instead of simply evil. I was captivated by the rhetoric at the time. One of my best friends was an acolyte and drew me into it. Somewhere along the way, I woke up, but I don’t think he did. He stopped responding to my letters, so I’m not sure. Nothing is as simple as it appears, especially when the demons run all through the churches. Those Bible inerrancy people are part of the Necon agenda.
The conspiracy part is the manipulation by Neocons, taking advantage of true believers without telling them the whole cynical story. Leo Strauss openly taught that using people’s religious fervor was a good and valid way to herd them into agendas against their own interests. The inerrancy debates were bundled with the Neocon agenda; it’s all the same people.
It would take several books to address the whole thing, and some have already tried. The thread I’m teasing out today is one representative issue: Muslim terrorism. With all seriousness, I assure you that there would be no such thing were it not for the work of the Necons and Christian fundamentalists. Your American tax dollars and church donations went to fund all the work that created a large Muslim fundamentalist population that didn’t exist beforehand. In other words, these people created the enemy they vilify most. It’s not as the BBC alleges in their brief series exposing how torture turned a true Muslim believer into an activist. No, the CIA and similar agencies were working both sides, trying to stir up the Muslims from inside the religion while oppressing them without mercy from the outside to make them even more reactionary.
Surely you know that nothing unifies true believers like oppression? Even the Bible notices how that works. The difference is the Bible bluntly says activism is not a godly response. Try getting any modern day Fundie to admit that. Their inerrant Bible isn’t allowed to tell them to stay out of politics.
To my everlasting shame, I was an active part of all this up through the early 1990s. At some point, though, the seeds of truth planted by just a select handful of people from my preacherboy days bore fruit. No, it wasn’t the Neo-orthodox or Christian Liberal folks. They are simply the controlled opposition, keeping the battle away from the real objective. The people whose words came back to haunt me time and time again were not in either the Fundie or Liberal camps. Imperfect they were, no doubt, sharing their struggle to find the solid rock of truth on which to stand.
Contrast that to the utter false humility of the demigods of Neocon Christianity. They had poor fools like me believing they were God’s men, like Moses and Joshua. Behind their cloaks of probity, they were more like Balaam, Jannes and Jambres. I was so enthralled by their apparent greatness, so utterly thrilled by their small notes of attention directed my way, I never noticed the utter corruption they hid. As I said, there were plenty of humble true believers near the top. But a few of them betrayed a dark side you couldn’t simply write off as ordinary human frailty. They were hideously corrupt, all about the money and power. When I was permitted to read some of the background documents that revealed the utter cynicism of abusing the trust of the sheeple, I never noticed at the time how abusive it really was.
I don’t have those papers any more, those books and so forth. All I have is the damning memories of having been directly involved in something so dirty. I don’t keep track of them any more, because they don’t really matter. But I assure you some people involved in the leadership of the likes of CUFI know they are lying. Maybe they’ve convinced themselves it’s all necessary in service to God, but they serve the wrong god. So while I don’t name names, it’s not hard for anyone who really intends to walk in truth to figure out what matters most is not the people, but the message.
I’m just a messenger.
They were ready bright and early the next morning to catch the bus down in the village.
There was a simple connection to another line in the south that ran all the way to the head of the kayak run in Houyet. They were hardly alone among the passengers with the same destination, but the morning was still cool and the crowds would not come until later. With the recent rains, the stream was a bit swollen and fast, perfect for this time of year. The only problem was finding the particular vendor who had issued the ticket, as there were several, each with their own color of kayaks. It was easy to find the guys who rented out the red ones and yellow ones, stacked on tall racks all over the place. They eventually found one with blue and white boats that matched the name on the ticket.
Their ticket included the deluxe paddles and a relatively fancy two-seater. Preston knew from experience he had to sit in the rear. They were launched from a rollered track that ran down into the water. It wasn’t all that different from his experience canoeing in the Boy Scouts back in the States. For the first kilometer or so, he talked Angie through keeping the thing aimed down stream and away from obstacles and other kayaks.
They really weren’t that far into the trip when they saw him. There were a handful of serious kayakers who rode their own equipment, and Gary was one of them. They were facing a tight turn to the left and he called to them from the shadows on the right. There was a tiny stream feeding into the main flow, running out from under a small wooden foot bridge up on the bank. Gary had tied up his orange and black boat to a small but solid tree on the bank facing outward. He extended his line for Angie to to tie off on the loop at the bow of their boat. This made for an odd water-borne conference with him facing them both.
“Glad to see you didn’t waste any daylight,” he started off. “Angie, if I really wanted to threaten Preston, what do you think I would do?”
She glance back at Preston behind her and blurted out, “You would attack me.” Preston nodded agreement.
Gary grinned. “You two are an amazing team. Your level of trust is quite rare in this world. Yet people intending evil are forced to use the same means to their ends. They have to rely on people they can trust on some level. Preston, you helped run a business during the worst of the off-shoring days in the US. How did you stay competitive?”
Preston felt he knew where some of this was going. Without hesitation, “Well, fleet maintenance is pretty hard to do offshore, but a couple of companies tried to bring in foreign workers. We beat them on service. Parts are parts and we were all pretty much restricted to using the same basic equipment with so many suppliers closing shop. But the big thing for us was keeping our people happy and motivated to do better work for the money.”
Gary laughed. “Key word there — people instead of personnel. That says it all. It was the same in the Army, wasn’t it?”
Preston shook his head, “It would have been if the system hadn’t promoted bean counters over genuine leaders. I dare say some units I saw, the soldiers might not be too convinced their own superiors weren’t the enemy.”
Gary nodded. “Even bad guys know that. They might be willing to use fear, coercion and slavery, but there have to be a few insiders who run interference for them. A big shot working on his own has to run himself ragged in micromanagement. Smart bosses always find good people and divide up the workload.”
He took a deep breath and waved at some random passing girls hooting at him. “Kids,” he snorted. “You two don’t look too bad in your dark hair. For this mission you aren’t likely to see too many trafficking victims. In a few days there will be what I call a mini-Bilderberg meeting here in Dinant — politicians, business and labor leaders, big investors, and so forth. As you might expect, at least half of them are mere figureheads. We aren’t too concerned with the big shots. We need to know about their lieutenants.”
Gary shifted in his kayak and pulled on the rope a bit. “The paparazzi will be here, too. Did you ever work with them, Preston?”
Preston had, indeed, tried early on to get work with the freelance news photographers, but decided that was the wrong field of operations for him. “That was a cluster,” he snorted.
Gary continued, “In a crowd of photographers at a media event, how many are actually working for their sponsors? Don’t you find some of them always willing to haggle with the competing interests?” Preston nodded as Gary went on. “Yeah, and there’s always a few who actually work for the people they pretend to photograph.” Again Preston nodded.
Gary turned to Angie, “Can you spot a photographer who isn’t really a photographer?”
“I think so,” she said with some curiosity in her eyes.
Gary leaned back a bit in cockpit of his kayak. “Don’t shoot pictures or video of the big shots. Shoot everyone but them. This thing should take a few days, so you’ll get plenty of time to figure out who is always there, who is playing maitre d’ for the people who get in the news. We are about to publish some big scandalous splash to shake things up, and we need to know who’s doing the real dirty work. Nobody else in the association has the time and energy to work this on the ground, nor anywhere near your talents — not to mention the obvious protection of God. You two are walking miracles. Don’t fling a needless challenge in His face, but don’t be afraid to keep His angels busy if that’s what the situation requires. Also, don’t stop anywhere and tie up your boat and leave it today. Someone will trade you for their less deluxe accommodations while your back is turned.”
Without another word, he turned and released the line holding them all in place and slipped past them into the river.
Angie grabbed the line and pulled the slack end into their kayak. They turned and drifted back out into the mainstream. Gary was already a distant speck zipping down the river ahead of them in his custom fitted kayak. They focused on enjoying the scenery. At places the bank rose up steeply to stone cliffs. There were a couple of fancy chateaus right on the water.
Preston remembered a warning he read in one review: Somewhere beyond the half-way point was a dam with a sluice. When riding down the sluice, it was critical to line up straight and off on the right side, and then stay to the right and paddle quickly to avoid getting caught in the folks dawdling at the bottom to watch others. The right side was a little deeper and most of those who hung around drifted toward the left where it was shallow.
They managed to clear the sluice without getting overturned. It had become quite warm and they removed their light jackets. At the end, the worker on the reception dock directed them to reverse the kayak, point the bow back upstream, and then sidle over to the quay. Strong hands helped them climb out and took control of the kayak. All they had to do was walk away.
It was impossible to avoid getting pretty wet during the run downstream, both from splashing by others and by water running off their paddles. But after glancing into the shower facility and seeing it was unisex with both genders running around nude, Preston glanced at Angie. “Not my scene, Babe.”
“Mine neither,” she assured him as they strolled toward the main street. They had already begun to dry and were quite hungry for lunch. Angie suggested they not grab the first one near the kayak endpoint, but walk out toward the gorgeous cathedral on the main road. The tourists were already out in force, and they drifted across the bridge eastward over La Lesse and along the street until they spotted a cafe with signs suggesting it was a baker-butcher shop. It seemed the right place at the right time, so they turned in there and picked out some sandwiches and a pair of what Belgians called “chocobollen” — a flaky light popover filled with a rich pudding-like cream that wasn’t too sweet, then dipped in chocolate icing. The coffee was superb, as it usually was in these parts.
Preston was describing a few volksmarches he had made in the area during his first stay in the Benelux. Dinant had become one of his favorite destinations, especially the Two Forts March that took walkers upriver on one bank to Givet, France, and then back down the other bank. He mentioned there were lots of trails in the area not on the bike maps.
“Show me,” Angie challenged him.
Preston noticed a local news car showed up just in time to video the departure of everyone but the sergeant and his original crew.
He and Angie did their best to hide from the reporters and their camera. The sergeant seemed to understand and allowed them to get back into the van. They sat in the back and watched until another crew came and relieved him to take them back to their campsite. When the other officers appeared to be staying, Angie and Preston moved to the middle seats for the ride back.
The sergeant said, “We saved this group of children for now. Maybe they will do well. But you know the same madmen who wanted their bodies will simply find more.”
Preston and Angie were silent. Eventually Preston asked, “I don’t suppose you know who the customers are.”
The sergeant smirked. “You don’t want to know.”
“I know the Israelis are in on this, with the possible complicity of the CIA and other national spying agencies,” Preston offered.
The sergeant turned to glance at Preston sitting behind him. “You know too much.” He drove in silence a moment. “Okay, so maybe you could guess for yourself, but most of the trade ends up serving in places where NATO, the UN and EU government bodies meet and their branch offices. Most of these kids would end up near The Hague, but working for different pimps scattered around the area. My understanding is the pimps all work together in a loose confederation. This is a very loose but very large organization. You can guess the rest.”
Again, it was anti-climactic.
As they drew in sight of the Albert Heijn shopping center, the sergeant said as if to no one in particular. “You know, Roermond is a rough city. You have friends here, but your enemies are quite dangerous. It’s probably very wise to pack and ride out away from here right away. Catch the train. Maybe ride it north to Venlo and back over to Eindhoven or something.”
The sergeant had avoided the highway, taking the secondary main routes instead. So driving north of the shopping center, he crossed under the autobahn and kept heading in a northerly direction. A bit short of Swalmen he turned and drove back down into Boukoul. He said something about not even trusting his own fellow officers too awfully much, and then pulled up on a side street where a narrow graveled lane dropped south into the woods. “It’s just a short distance from here that way.” He pointed down the bike path.
Angie and Preston already knew it came out just a few meters from where they were staying. They understood. This was the nature of their business.
They had already half packed before leaving, so getting things loaded on the bikes took less than an hour. Using it as a hint, they followed the same route back up into Swalmen. A train heading north came along shortly. At Venlo they had to change trains, but almost at random decided to head off into the German side, ending up with one change in Mönchengladbach. With only a short wait, they caught another train south to Herzogenrath. It was a bit longer there, and the ride into Heerlen was actually shorter than the layover.
Preston stayed awake while Angie dozed, curled up against him. He couldn’t have slept if he wanted. They were back at Heerlen Central shortly before dinner. Exhausted, they eventually fell into bed rather early and slept late.
While Angie went about making breakfast, Preston passed everything on to his boss. Over the next few days, they processed the footage and photos for cataloging. Eventually Gary sent an email.
One real MP, two impostors, working out of Rheindahlen. Cargo picked up at differing beaches in Düsseldorf parks, moved from the barges by skiff as you suggested. Vans decommissioned now. Final destination you were told is confirmed. Now you know why this is so hard.
Angie and Preston went to the Prancratius Church the next morning for Sunday worship.
Mysticism comes naturally for me.
It was no great struggle to adopt the idea that material wealth isn’t that important; most of my life was in poverty. It’s not sour grapes, just a different experience. When you spend so much of your time doing without, you realize what most people consider essential to life, isn’t essential. From there, it’s just a short hop to realizing life itself isn’t that essential. Thus, I say that in Scripture, life or death is just a circumstance.
You’ll notice it hardly affected my education. As with all humans, I have gaps because it’s a simple matter of exposure. At the critical time when I needed it, the school I attended taught phonics. At the critical time I could have learned it, I didn’t get very far with parts of speech. I learned grammar by feel, largely through reading so very many books up through middle adulthood. Somewhere around age 7 I discovered the power of reading as the means to exploring my world. What got me through the rest of my education wasn’t such marvelously precise grammar but a native language talent for which I cannot take credit.
Most of the lower classes understand far better than their superiors would allow. The educated poor are simply incomprehensible to the middlings. What we understand is that we can choose to be whatever comes in the package with middle class status, or remain in poverty and do what we like. Perhaps through exceptional artistry we can bulldoze through the middle class society because we have something they simply must have but cannot produce. It doesn’t happen often. But what shocks most people is the depth to which that different experience can change your perception of things.
Hostility is not at all necessary. Particularly when your poverty and education lead you to mysticism. I’m not hostile to the middle class, though I can regale you for hours with tales of their hostility to me and my kind. I won’t. The point is not what I’ve suffered, but what they suffer. A solid historical study of the rise of the middle class from the ashes of feudalism in Europe is so very informative. The middlings are the ones who burned it down. You discover the hideous materialism of Puritan religion, and how it is directly linked to the Pharisaism Jesus faced. And it’s no mystery where Charismatic name-it-and-claim-it religion comes from. The very assumption of the middle class lifestyle is the utter necessity and primacy of worldly possessions. Mammon is the god of the middle class, inescapably. All their self-professed virtues are deeply stained by it.
The endless pretense of being upper class in wealth without the social and cultural refinements is a huge blind spot. The original burgers at the end of the Middle Ages were desperate for the respect given nobility, and pretense is so very fundamental to their existence. This is easily the single greatest break between myself and the sizable collection of libertarians among the politically active middle class. They consider me a brother in arms so long as I don’t promote freedoms beyond the barricades of their narrow brand of American middle class liberties.
There is nothing sacred about dressing just so and behaving according to their social dictates. Nor is it particularly noble, but you can’t get that past their internal censorship. They see a threat in so very many things the lower classes really do like. The biggest stumbling block is contentious issue of “saving for a rainy day.” In the lower classes, rain or sunshine are mere circumstance, as with death and taxes. It’s simply part of what we face, and getting wet means nothing more than a few extra minutes here and there accommodating what it does to us. Nor is it merely the vagaries of weather, but the broader symbolism that goes with the popular phrase. We aren’t that interested in tomorrow because today wasn’t so wonderful, at least where it concerns material possessions. We are wise enough to recognize tomorrow is ruled by people who won’t let us enjoy life. It takes all we have to make it today, so saving for tomorrow is utterly meaningless.
Instead, if we can’t consume it ourselves — and we’ll try — we give it away to someone else like us who didn’t get their share. We fully expect to work until we die, and die working or begging. Begging is harder work than you imagine, wading through the stiff current of social resistance. Some of us would rather starve. Indeed, we’d rather starve than live in the world of the middle class. There is a lot of work we could do, but won’t because it’s just morally wrong. We see where the whole thing leads to a hideous, empty life of chasing things we don’t miss. Especially when the boss demands we think and say what he believes, in violent assault on our freedom of conscience. Your brand of help is a slavery too degrading to accept.
The American middle class and their virtues are no more representative of Jesus Christ than would be whales in the ocean or birds in the sky. Changing the particular mixture of minor points of virtue doesn’t change the underlying falsehood of things. You don’t like sagging pants and tattoos? Don’t look at us. Turn away; we’ll deal with that. You want to know why the suburban white kids are adopting prison gang habits? Because your social structure has made it impossible for their creativity to rise in any other way. You mean you didn’t realize you were putting such a very high portion of the lower classes in prison for no real harm, such that you have scooped up the whole of our random sprinkling of geniuses, too? Never mind your tastes compared to that of others; the suburbanites ape the prisoners because the prisoners have created a vivid alternative society, and you have forced them to be hostile to yours. That faux prison gang lifestyle is now the future, because you refused to capture the geniuses of tomorrow.
Do you think we look longingly at your fancy cars and houses? Some do, no doubt, but by no means all of us. That we don’t own a suit and tie is not an abomination to God. The only leverage you have for enforcing your dress code is not letting us work for you at your oh-so-important job. Whoop-de-doo. Meanwhile, if we can find a way to get what we really have to have by exercising our free market talents that you don’t understand, we’ll do that.
Sometime back around the middle of the previous century, a businessman with a good heart built a mattress factory in the area where the Ponca Indians lived in Oklahoma. It was the real deal, and he expected to bring prosperity and good paying jobs to them. Lord knows, they needed it. So he hired just about any Ponca who came to work. They worked until the first pay day, then disappeared for awhile. Yes, sometimes they got drunk, but that was merely a symptom of something much more important. The natives weren’t acquisitive. That is a heresy for the middle class. The men did really good quality work and turned out some really fine mattresses at lower wages than most white men would tolerate, but when they had enough for their basic needs of life, they had better things to do. It’s not a failure of work ethic; they did other work that paid little or nothing, but was the work they normally did. It was failure of greed.
You’d be surprised how much Indian blood there is among the poor whites of Oklahoma, including yours truly. Not just shared DNA, but their culture is a pure and easily identified version of what all the lower classes tend to share. We are the superstitious barbarians who find it easier to follow Jesus because we recognize things in His teachings to which you are utterly and adamantly opposed. Yes, there are plenty of predators among, same as with you. Ours share more with the middle class than the rest of us do. They want middle class stuff, but on their own terms. Instead of picking up on what the middle class say they do, the predators copy what the middle class did to them. The willingness to buy influence in politics is a classic symptom of the middle class; it’s how they got their original political leverage against the nobility of the Middle Ages.
Class envy and resentment didn’t originate with us. We learned it from you.
It’s hard to explain, but at the expense of oversimplifying it goes like this: The nobility once had access to wealth as a privilege of their position. They kept the rules and the means to enforce those rules. In the broader sense, the rules included a high degree of intellectual refinement, if unevenly applied. It was wrong for nobles to assume only noble blood could be intelligent, so this blind spot left them open to a subtle attack. They assumed no peasant was smart enough to pull any tricks, but a few ambitious and intelligent peasants took unholy umbrage at the system and vengefully attacked it. Instead of direct force of arms, they conquered the existing ruling class by other means. Still, the fundamental driving force was pure greed, not something easily found among the nobility. The latter weren’t greedy because they already had all the power and wealth, but they were arrogant. The middle class resentment of privilege and wealth, as is so very fundamental to the Puritan doctrine, made noble wealth an insult to God in their minds. Those nasty nobles didn’t “work” for their wealth, so it wasn’t possible for God to want them wealthy. It was some vast conspiracy of the Devil, and the burghers used good old Gramscian economic guerrilla warfare to take it all away. Communism is just as materialist as it’s primary ideological enemy.
The fundamental assumptions of the Enlightenment only half caught on with the burghers. They were somewhat educated, but could not tolerate the freedom of the lower classes. They didn’t depart from the nobles in their arrogance about lesser folk. Virtually the entire gamut of “quality of life” legislation, and almost the entire range of police activity today, is a direct reflection of the middle class spitefulness against other folks. Having worked in law enforcement, I can assure you the vast bulk of “crime fighting” has nothing to do with fighting genuine harm. The entire profession of civil policeman is a creation of the middle class. They enforce laws only the middle class care about. It was the middle class who realized the ability to dominate voting, so they demanded popular vote as the means to ruling society, with certain disenfranchisements, of course. Any other means to organizing government is anathema. Democratic government is holy, and only a child of Satan could wish any other form of government. Lip service to the rights of the minority didn’t last long in history, as we all know.
Aside from the rare reminders such as this one I write this morning, it’s not worth the trouble to explain our alternative viewpoint to the professional libertarians or other branches of middle class political philosophy. It’s all the same to those of us on the bottom, because it’s just an excuse to stomp on us for daring to think differently about every day life. I’m not in love with poverty any more than I care much about prosperity. It’s just a tool for things far more important than fleshly comfort or even this whole existence in the first place. There is no particular virtue in raising the common welfare through material progress. I know; shocking to say it, but there more important things. I won’t name names, but some really big shots have praised some of my other articles on this blog, but they’ll never read this one. If they do, they’ll be blind to how completely it applies to them.
Keep your freakin’ suit and tie and your material prosperity; you simply do not understand.
Modern Western society suffers from a myth regarding individual liberty.
In one of my earliest papers on Hebrew thought, I noted “everyone serves someone.” It was not simply a spiritual statement but a moral principle. That is, in God’s Laws, every human is subject to some human authority on this earth. Most governing authorities are awful, but Christ expects us to be tolerant. Roman civil government was no calk-walk for Christians, but resistance as commonly understood was downright immoral. It still is. The command remains for us to do what’s right even when government is wrong. Perhaps an attempt to flee false justice is okay, but outright violent resistance is forbidden in most cases. I noted long ago you could justify violent resistance to the likes of Child Protective Services, but it might be very bad strategy.
I’ve also warned repeatedly that context is everything, and trying to apply a few choice words as if they were absolutes in all cases is downright evil. I spent a lot of time working in military justice, and it is an abomination to God. That’s because semantic parsing of precise wording in regulations is the law, and the judicial process was mostly a matter of whose parsing is more correct. Of all our allies in this world, the US is regarded as the most egregiously stupid about the precise wording of military regulations, even if it meant mandating things clearly wrong on every level of human understanding. The God of the Bible does not operate that way, and virtually nothing in the Hebrew culture came even close to that hidebound approach so utterly fundamental to military justice.
Part of the reason the military has nit-picking regulations about such silly things as how you will lace your boots is because of the underlying truculence of soldiers determined to fight everything at every opportunity. That truculence arises from the mythology of the free man crashing against an execrable insistence on a molecular level of uniformity.
Western culture is schizophrenic. Virtually the whole thing is composed of mutually antagonistic thrusts. One thing which is both deeply sacred and at the same time so routinely violated is the concept of individual liberty. It’s not a problem with “liberty” as a word, but the underlying pool of meaning. That meaning is a flagrant violation of God’s revelation. One of the three primary temptations in the Garden was the lust to be one’s own god. “Dammit; don’t tell me what to do!” On the one hand, we make a god of absolute liberty, which is a thin mask of damnable lack of accountability and responsibility. Then we pretend we can apply “sensible” limitations based on such things as Zero Aggression or various forms of social accountability. Nice theory, but it is utterly contrary to what God says about human nature.
Western man continues rejecting God’s revelation on the matter because he demands God supply detailed, precisely worded regulations. God says the very demand itself is evil. He says it in the veiled and nuanced way He says almost everything. He demands we submit to His broader personal will before we are permitted to digest the particulars. In other words, He is God, not we. Our natural Western truculence is complete failure before we start. The God who created the Hebrew intellectual culture as the channel for His revelation isn’t going to mold Himself to intellectual demands from another culture. If your approach is particularist and nit-picking, you can do anything you want, but don’t expect God to participate.
Yes, that leaves us all dangling in Fuzzy Logic Land where each of us can come up with a different idea, sometimes even conflicting interpretations, and God still works with us. The measure of holiness is not precision in application or clarity of logic, but ultimate surrender to His personal desires, even if they seem capricious and make no sense at all. The burden is on us to work it out, and the burden includes a grand layer of uncertainty. Deal with it, Creature.
The pool of reflexes we associate with liberty in Western society are mostly wrong. God says we start from the assumption of cooperating until we find, not a justification, but a necessity we do otherwise. Our Western mythology starts from the wrong basis. Everyone submits to someone — that’s a basic truth. The question is not whether but whom. When it comes to the ultimate authority to decide what is in a child’s best interest, would you prefer a secular state claiming a level of control and ownership that makes you a slave? Or would you prefer the mother, with all her flaws, have that ultimate authority? The latter envisions a society where the family household is the center of power over virtually all human activity. The former rips virtually everything from the family’s hands. Hint: The former is an abomination in God’s eyes.
A Hebrew soldier in ancient times would not look for any excuse to lace his boots in defiance of convention. His commanders would not give a rat’s patootie either way, so long as he showed up and did his duty. His commanders would not demand a high-degree of detailed control because they would find the whole thing impossible to lead into battle if they couldn’t rely on a basic level of moral accountability, a sense of duty carried by the individual soldier. And while American military literature does have lots of nice words to say about mature soldiers with a good attitude, the entire system militates against it. From a biblical perspective, an American troop is one of the lowest kinds of slave. He is not a proud warrior but a machine to be driven heedless of any possible interest in his welfare, despite words to the contrary. His “welfare” is measured in terms of monetary investment and maintenance, with a well established expiration and replacement policy.
Let me offer a single item to suggest which system is more noble: Hebrew combat leaders marched into battle at the head of their formations and were the first to strike the enemy. Modern American combat leaders are the last to get involved directly. Hebrew officers earned rank and respect by surviving in battle and doing the most damage to the enemy. I can assure you that modern battle tactics are not a valid excuse for changing the underlying moral imperatives.
Most questions and controversies of our day are answered from this frame of reference.
- Abortion: Would you rather the mother be free to choose or some government bureaucrat who hates God?
- Gay Marriage: Would you rather such questions be settled in a strong family social structure or by some civil government that hates the mere suggestion of such coherence, but prefers you all be isolated and prostrate before bureaucratic dictat?
- Private Weapons: Would you prefer a regime that basically considers all armed persons as competent assets against disorder, or an absolutist state that treats everyone as slaves?
- Pornography: Would you prefer a social structure that protects the vulnerable and only a few rare flakes with full freedom to pursue their limited access to perversion, or the tyranny of someone snooping in your underwear to make sure you don’t show anything to anyone who isn’t duly authorized for state purposes?
You either implement what God had in mind or you surrender to an oppressive system designed by Satan. There are no other options.
Those who find the current regime easy to manipulate in favor of their personal benefit are not good people. That is, the only people happy with what we have today in America are folks who spit in God’s eye. God will not sponsor the sort of craven sheeple who go along to get along and prefer to leverage their feeble morality through the secular state. Those sheeple will not comprehend what is happening to them because they are utterly blind to the moral fabric of the universe. They will sing their happy hymns and dream of a society God will never allow. If you feel a compulsion to activism, at least choose accurately to agitate for what God has said is necessary for improving life on this planet, this fallen plane.
Liberty is always within the context of reality.
Eventually Angie came back to herself and helped him clip the last few items of clothing to the fence.
“Must be powerful stuff in that document,” he said sitting down on the edge of the ground cover.
Angie joined him. She stared down at the ground for a few moments, then turned to face him. Was that just a hint of tears in her eyes? “I thought I had a pretty rough childhood, but right under my nose was something I only suspected back in Haarlem.”
She turned her body around and slid herself partway into the tent, leaving her head and shoulders sticking out, and then lay down on her back. From this position she could easily look up into Preston’s face.
She went on, “In America, you had the Franklin Scandal. Children being prostituted to very powerful people, used sometimes as blackmail, but mostly as some sort of demonic initiation into the power circle. We had the same thing here in Belgium with the Dutroux Affair. There were other cases that got less news coverage, but people who pay attention to such things can always find the stories. Those children were local. Now the big scandal, according to that paper, is children trafficked in from Eastern Europe and Asian countries. While there is large market for them in the general population, many of them are selected for use in the same political stuff as were previously the local children.”
Preston added, “So far as I know, it’s still pretty much local children in the US. Aside from orphans there are a surprising number of people putting their own kids into the business.”
“Yes,” she said. “That was the heart of the Dutroux Affair. Some of the important figures were the parents or other relatives of the girls involved. But Europeans have an oddly different attitude about the whole thing. Aside from a select group of middle class, we don’t panic at the idea. Even I don’t as a former victim. No one I knew in the orphanage system was traumatized by the sex. But we weren’t used that heavily. Kids who are forced to work prostitution are really torn down by it. We see the difference most Americans don’t see. I don’t like our Dutch casual attitude about sex, but I also don’t like the crazy … schizophrenic way Americans handle it.”
Preston nodded in agreement. “I noticed that the first time I was here in Europe. For the most part, Americans are more corrupt but refuse to admit to themselves. So when they’re bad, their hideous and extreme. Meanwhile, everyone tends to think in simplistic absolutes of black and white.”
“Exactly,” Angie said. “I hated the abuse, but it didn’t make me crazy. I’m not bitter. I’m angry with the abusers individually, perhaps, but not the whole world — certainly not the system. This paper points out this whole problem of sexual abuse of children is fully part of a much bigger picture of sexual stupidity in general. Pulling it out of that context destroys the one hope we have for helping the victims. It said this is something found in all cultures, but seems far worse in the West. That we make such a big noise of stopping it in absolute terms reflects the very weakness in our culture that makes it happen so much.”
“So, why do you suppose our boss wanted us to read it?”
She rolled over onto her side to face him, propping her head up on one elbow. “Apparently he is involved in this research, and may even have written the paper. It was presented at a conference for lawyers, though it sounds more like social research. The paper hints he would like to offer a better private setting for victim recovery, but no European government will give any room. He suggests that is primarily because major figures in all government are involved in the trade, benefit from it in one way or another. The paper mentions various scandals where the cases are bungled in such a way neither the perpetrators nor the investigators get into any real trouble.”
Preston asked, “So what does he propose to do about it?”
“Well, you know demand for this trafficking is only going to grow. The ordinary people drawn into this are the ones who get caught and prosecuted. The powerful people will seldom really get prosecuted. So the only way this business shuts down, or even slows, is through independent publication. With the Internet, there are more ways than ever to expose these people. What usually happens at the very least is the victims get to escape as much as they are going to. Whether anyone will demand changes is another matter, but the very best anyone can do really is simply exposing the situation.”
“Hm,” Preston said, looking up into the sky. He glanced back at Angie. “So in essence we are asked to be investigative reporters. We travel around and take pictures and catch these goons at their work. We probably won’t really stop anything, but we can make it more difficult and offer some limited rescue for the victims. Meanwhile, we rely on our guardian angels to keep us out of trouble until it’s our time to go. Does that sound about right?”
She laughed and fell over on her back. Gazing up at him, she said, “I suppose that’s it.”
“Actually, I rather hope it’s not much more than that. I’m really not that interested in physical confrontation. I don’t mind bashing heads when it’s necessary, but it seems to me I’ve never really had to do that much fighting. We killed two thugs with just a can of tire foam. That’s too close for my comfort as it is.”
Angie made an unpleasant face. “Me, too. But I can surely get behind something like this, regardless of the risks. I agree there is little more we can do that would actually help. Making bigger changes would mean more blood than I want to imagine.”
Later that night, as they lay in each other’s arms, Angie asked, “Preston, did you raise children?”
“Yep; sired my share. Started early and got them up and almost out of the house before their mother went crazy on me.”
She sighed. “Okay, because when I was young I had my tubes tied to avoid getting pregnant by those horrible men. I was hardly the only one; it was a common thing. The state recommended it for us and the orphanage could not prevent it, despite their teachings. I thought it was the best thing for me. I would have loved any child, but could not bear the idea of getting pregnant while still just a child myself.”
She was silent for a moment, then added, “I suppose that is why I continued working with children as an adult. Funny, but it looks like I still am working with them, though perhaps indirectly now.”
“If our guessing is correct,” Preston added.
In the Bible, assassination as a tool of politics is not a sin.
It’s hard to say what brings someone into the limelight as a leader. We all recognize charisma when we see it, but efforts to define and quantify it always come up short. We tend to think we know how to create a false charisma effect in politics, but there hasn’t been too many JFKs. Isn’t it odd how his brother Robert seemed to have somewhat less of it, and Teddy almost none of it? Never mind what any of them actually accomplished or whether you like their politics. Reagan had some charisma and Clinton squandered his. If not in marital terms, almost every political figure of any consequence we’ve had in the last century was involved in some kind of secret sin. Charisma can cover a multitude of sins. Obama is an example of working night and day to manufacture charisma artificially. At some point, it comes apart.
Reagan was fluke. He was shot, and there’s nothing at all to indicate it was anything more than a lone nut inspired by a silly movie. The weapon of choice could have been deadly, but not the way Hinckley used it. He really needed a bigger caliber for the job. He was deluded in many ways. Yet, the really memorable assassinations were not the work of lone nuts, despite all the propaganda to the contrary. The difference is the results; the conspiracies came off very effectively.
Rothbard points out how the establishment thugs are never shot. I tend to disagree with the idea that the establishment is center-right. It’s more subtle than that; at least it is now. It’s more like a fascist left. Fascism is built on top of socialism, not capitalism. The Nazi Party was socialist — “National Socialist Party” is the proper English translation. Here in America, peel back the lying rhetoric and you’ll see Big Business has always been socialist because it’s easier to profit from government contracts for mandated social programs than it is to compete in the open market.
The fascist oligarchs are not completely amorphous, but it works out that way in practice. You and I don’t get to see their internal rivalries; what we see are their fingerprints. They only go after those who challenge their power and profit. JFK had some real power with the people; his peccadilloes didn’t get him in trouble. We know he proposed some things that challenged the fascists. His brother supported his policies and met the same end.
Other people had the power, but didn’t quite get the chance to take any office, whether government or otherwise. Thus, MLK was shot, but nobody is threatened by Jesse Jackson — he works with the oligarchs and simply takes his cut as the price for keeping MLK dead, as it were. What you and I may believe is good politics has nothing to do with it. Almost everything that has been a point of major popular contention has been fake, a red herring. It won’t matter what flavor your challenge is; if you threaten the oligarchs, they’ll kill you.
If we really did have lone nuts assassinating people, a lot more big shots would get shot. Think about all the public figures who have been so utterly hostile to the public interest, open dismissive of what so obviously is the will of the people. Nobody has shot many of them because they belong to the oligarchs. Lone nuts are exceedingly rare, and virtually never do anything that changes the political outcome.