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.
I don’t spend nearly as much time in the Manosphere these days.
It’s not that I’ve changed my mind; I’ve gotten tired of the splash over from non-essentials. My interest in Game in the first place was getting at the facts of human behavior. Some of it I knew instinctively because I’ve been studying God’s Laws for a long time. I recognized the truth in Game discussions because they accorded with what I already knew intellectually. As more people got involved, we got better and better descriptions of human behavior. That part hasn’t changed. I’m not tired of Game; I’m tired of those who talk about it because most of them are full of crap.
For awhile, I echoed the things I found that were consistent with my experience, and frankly admitted to taking a different tack on some things. I still insist that it works best in the tribal social structure, but we don’t have that much these days. Thus, some of the gamer assertions are strictly cultural. I’ve tried to note those things, but one issue in particular has become very annoying, to the point I simply don’t bother reading much in the Manosphere any more.
I think of it as a part of the little boy syndrome. Too many gamers never grew up, nor is it likely they ever will. They have this self-reinforcing immaturity. That’s obvious in the case of PUAs, but it’s not so obvious to Western Christians when another Western Christian asserts something they all assume is manly from the start. It’s this constant nagging they have about, “Don’t date fat chicks!” What they seem to want is a tomboy with boobs, in the sense of someone with a figure about like a boy, just a tiny bit of padding in the bottom, but otherwise built like a skinny guy.
Yes, I can understand taste. I can even agree some gals look pretty good that way, but it’s because that’s how they are put together. Pressuring them all to look that way is just stupid. Not ignorant; stupid. That’s because some gals look fine with more meat on their bones, and some look pretty good even chubby. The problem is most gamers have no idea that their tastes are most completely steered by mass media. They’ve surrendered completely, and Christians are some of the worst. They don’t understand it has zero utility, and guarantees a majority of really fine, godly women are excluded because God didn’t build very many women like that. All they know is the Victoria’s Secret models and cheerleaders.
The whole point is: Taste is not a guide to God’s blessings. Only a fool believes his preferences have anything to do with it. Only a complete ass demands God provide his whims. This becomes such a major emphasis they’ll compromise all kinds of other things to get what perfect piece of flesh.
Let’s pretend for a moment God decides it is time for my beloved to go Home. If I felt Him telling me to go it alone, I probably would, much to my emotional disappointment. But barring such a move of the Spirit, I would surely look for a successor to her. The primary qualification is being willing and able to keep up with me in my ministry calling. If she’s not driven to be a part of that, she has no business hanging around me in the first place. That will already eliminate a lot of gals. Whether she’s thin or chunky or anything in between is simply not a consideration, and it’s frankly immoral when a man makes it a major issue. That is, it’s immoral in the sense of God’s Laws, which defines morality. Demanding something on a perverted worldly standard is not the way to obedience.
Chances are, precious few American women would have even the least bit of interest, much less the other qualifications I’d need to see for being a successor. I wouldn’t be looking for arm candy. If that’s important to you, don’t expect me to take you seriously. You might know Game, but you don’t know my God.
Ladies, your greatest problem in godly husband hunting is their silly conditioning, whether White Knight or reactionary, against your silly feminist conditioning. Game has nothing to do with what you are, what you look like, or what you think you want. Game is about finding someone God can use in making your life holy and faithful to Him. That narrows it down to such a tiny pool of candidates, we don’t have room for stupidity. Now that the Manosphere is big enough to have a mainstream, it’s not worth pursuing any more.
The Manosphere has gotten pretty stupid lately.
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.
Mysticism offers a very powerful weapon against evil.
Yes, I do blather on at length about mysticism and clinging to the realm above. I also blather a lot about the Laws of God having tremendous power on this realm below. We do the latter to draw attention to the former.
My mysticism says one of the greatest threats is the concerted effort to divide us. That is, to keep us stirred up and fighting over the things we can’t let go. Don’t you see? Activism is the Devil’s ploy to keep you focused on the wrong things.
Example: I preach homosexual relations are a sin. Bible says so. But that cannot justify any sort of activism harassing gays. They are still people, some of whom claim to follow their own calling with God. Am I so perfectly clean I have to hammer them on something like that? What do they have to compromise to accept me? So if they ask, I’ll tell them where I stand. Until then, we each do what we know best from God’s hand and mind our own business. If they can handle that, so can I.
Looking for a fight is not God’s way. That’s what serves the Devil’s purposes. It’s the Devil who wants us all stirred up and fighting each other. That keeps us focused on things God won’t bless. I have no earthly authority from God to compel any man’s thoughts or behaviors. No man on this earth has any authority to demand I conform to things God says are wrong for me. That leaves an awful lot of room to cooperate.
And if you choke on this, it’s not my problem.
“Could I persuade you to come back up to my classroom? It’s vacant now and I’d feel much more comfortable discussing things there than I would here.”
Preston smiled while his muscles whimpered. Once inside the classroom, still relatively dark, the man closed and locked the door. Preston realized there was no light shining under the door from the sunlit hallway.
Mr. Venkman asked, “What have we got, Preston?”
Preston slipped his laptop from the backpack and placed it on the large desk there. Opening the lid, he brought the system to life. Digging into his pocket, he produced the camera chip and inserted it into the slot. As expected, Mr. Venkman wanted to see his altered version twice, then the raw version. He also asked to see the screen capture followed by the composite Preston had made from the video.
He shook his head and smiled. “Preston, you and Anja are in serious trouble.” He took a step back and held up his right hand in a gesture meant to forestall arguments. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m really very glad you two chose to bring this to me first, regardless of your reasons, and so soon after the fact. But I’m sure you realize none of this is can be made simple.”
Preston had heard this lecture before, in different terms. “Mr. Venkman, I decided long ago there were no real good guys, no right or wrong sides, just some that can hinder or help what I consider most important. I admit I know precious little of these things, but I do know what my conscience demands.”
The old man smiled broadly. “We are all bad guys to somebody. Even under the same government there are competing agencies and genuine bloodshed between them. I won’t bother to explain my position. It won’t mean anything to you and certainly won’t help you any. However, I do hope to keep you and Anja alive and able to pursue your personal quests in life.”
He crossed his left arm over his chest and grabbed the right elbow. His right hand held his chin for a moment, then he gestured slightly at the face on the screen. “Our man is Israeli, but not Mossad. Some other agency that does some of the same work. I’ll thank you for a copy of that raw video with the GPS data, because we can get someone out there today to find the body. That should prove quite interesting. Meanwhile, you need to disappear for awhile, because in order to use this evidence at all, a copy will eventually make its way to this man’s friends.”
He folded his hands, raising his index fingers together to his nose for a moment. Then he dropped his hands and gestured to the two of them. “For the next few days, probably weeks, you must not allow anyone or anything to separate you two physically. Sleep together, shower together, even go to the toilet together. Pretend you are handcuffed. I cannot emphasize that enough.”
He walked around his desk, reached into a side drawer and handed Preston a jump drive, brand new in the package. “Copy those files onto this.” While Preston busied himself with that, Mr. Venkman went on. “I suggest you remove your excess hair, Preston. Shave your head and most of your beard.” Preston glanced up with a grin, then at Angie. Mr. Venkman didn’t notice but was digging in another drawer. He produced a packet of blank index cards. Pulling one out, he replaced the pack. Then he pushed some papers aside exposing a glass sheet atop the wooden surface. With the other hand he reached inside his desk and pulled out a sharp lead pencil.
As he put his laptop away, Preston noticed the man printed carefully in all caps, barely pressing down with the pencil so as to leave the faintest writing. He passed it to Angie. “Go to the address at the top there; be very careful about that. Show them this card and speak in your best German, asking for a tour of the apple cider plant. Within in an hour from that, you should be safer than you’ve been since shooting this video. You’ll go on a nice honeymoon and forget the rest of the world for awhile.”
Someone knocked on the door. “Forget nothing I’ve said,” Mr. Venkman said with all seriousness, and then smiled and acted like they had been discussing old times. He moved toward the door while shaking their hands using both of his in a warm clasp. He started speaking in Dutch, basically thanking them for coming and wishing them well.
Outside on the street again, they stopped at a drug store and Preston grabbed a razor, hair scissors and some baby oil, among other things. He asked, “Where to next?”
“Rotterdam,” she answered with a far away look in her eyes.
Preston thought it was almost fun having Angie jammed in the tiny train toilet with him. He sat on the toilet and slid back against the wall, taking his shirt off. She was quite helpful though, clipping him clean with the scissors and making sure the hair fell onto the tracks through the opening of the toilet between his knees. Then she wet the remaining stubble from a water bottle before he applied the baby oil and began shaving his face. The cheap razor just barely managed to keep a cutting edge until his head was smooth.
They cleaned up the mess, then he showed her his passport while he struggled back into his shirt. “So that’s what you were laughing about,” she said. He now looked like his old passport photo, having grown all that hair and whiskers during the test voyage on Harry’s sloop.
She hugged and kissed him before they exited the confined space. “I like this look,” she affirmed.
Where could they go?
One of the few night trains slowed, and then stopped just a few minutes after they climbed the platform. The cars were nearly empty. Yet because of the bicycle, they took jump seats on the foyer where two train cars were joined together. They readied their rail passes but the conductor never came. That happened often enough not to worry them.
Preston really wanted to gather a few personal items from where he was staying, but decided not to risk it. Angie seemed totally unconcerned about any property she might have accumulated anywhere. She convinced Preston they could rest for at least a few hours. By then they could come up with a better plan. They switched trains a couple of times, then she signaled it was time to get off when the train stopped in a quiet neighborhood. He must have dozed because he had no idea where they were. She led him off and along some very quiet broad streets, until he realized they were headed toward Duinrell again.
They bypassed the park and eventually ended up out in the wooded dunes area. It was obvious she knew exactly where to go, turning down trails he hardly saw in the darkness. She dismounted her bicycle and turned up a draw between two large dunes. Just beyond the saddle there was a rather flat spot obviously well used for camping. She walked across this and up the far side of the bowl. A few meters farther was a blind of trees where she simply plowed through the underbrush. On the other side was a tiny open space in the trees, which had suffered little from human traffic recently. She leaned her bike against the trees and walked to a sandy hump on one side. Digging in with her hands, she pulled out a plastic trash bag. She opened the collar holding it closed and pulled out a neatly folded tarp. She spread this on the ground and invited Preston to lay down on it and roll himself up on the edge.
He scarcely remembered anything until he realized the sun was well up in the eastern sky. That’s when he discovered Angie’s red curls were on his shoulder, his arm wrapped around her. She was on her side with her free arm laying across his stomach.
“Well, ain’t this cozy,” he murmured. She stirred to life. Looking up into his eyes, she planted a quick kiss on his cheek, and then rolled away and began putting her shoes on. He realized his were off, and began poking around for them. They were under his backpack, somewhere down at his feet. As he began to put them on, he was about to say something else but she spoke up.
“I know who can help us,” she said with all the assurance she could muster. She went on in a quieter tone. “We had a man volunteer to teach for the Catholic school where I worked a few years ago. He had retired from some foreign service job. The students used to joke he was a Russian spy, but he seemed to know an awful lot about the various clandestine services of different countries.”
She pulled up the tarp and Preston helped her shake off the sand and fold it back neatly. As she took the last fold from him and he help open the bag, she added one more thought. “He said in the most solemn way possible that if I ever really needed help with something too big for me to handle, I should contact him. The school is not that far from here.”
“Can we talk about breakfast on the way? I still have my American appetite for a farmer’s breakfast and all this activity is making me even hungrier than normal.” Preston was still pretty stiff but starting to warm up the joints with a little stretching.
“Well, Den Haag Centraal has several real restaurants nearby,” she offered. “That’s on the way to the school.” Still dragging her bicycle, she led him to a small station where they boarded. It was a short ride with several stops, but the central station in The Hague was massive. Angie made a quick phone call from one of the public phones at the station, then came out with a smile. He chose Granny’s Cafe because it was close and had food already waiting. Once full, he was ready to sleep again, but knew his aching joints would get no rest today.
Angie paused a moment, and then locked her bicycle in the caged storage area near most train stations. She tied a brightly colored piece of cloth on the front wheel and mumbled something in Dutch about someone else coming to find it. They boarded a bus heading south. Preston couldn’t keep track of the municipal names as the bus wound it’s way along. Angie woke him a bit later and almost dragged him off the bus. He stumbled along beside her as they walked a few blocks and turned in at a metal gate. It was an older building, but for the time being, clearly used as a school. She led Preston up some steps, through ancient double doors and half-way down a long corridor to an open doorway.
She left him standing in the hallway waiting while she went through the social rituals of greeting, chatting a bit, then asking about something. The receptionist consulted a paper chart in front of her, then gave a quick answer of two short sentences. There was more socializing and she handed the receptionist her bicycle key. The woman paused a bit, then said “okay” and took the key. Returning to him in the hallway, she led him down the hall farther, and then up some stairs to the floor above. About three doors down she paused and looked through a tiny window in the door into a darkened room with flickering lights. Preston gathered it was a video presentation. Someone inside must have seen her, because Angie simply stepped back and waited.
An older fellow, very obviously a sophisticated gentlemen, opened the door just a few inches and whispered something to her. There was some quick back and forth even Preston couldn’t hear. He handed her a door key, smiled and turned back into the room, closing the door softly behind him. Angie grabbed his hand and dragged him back down the stairs and down two floors to the basement. It was much quieter here, none of the background hubbub typical of schools. On the left side were two swinging doors, followed by three sets of double doors, all closed. Preston guessed that was the kitchen and dining area. On the other side of the hall were two storerooms and a large wooden door. Using the key, Angie opened this, glanced inside, and then pulled Preston behind her before closing the door. He surmised it was a teachers’ lounge.
He sighed, took one of the more heavily padded chairs along one wall. Angie sat next to him and took his hand. He was almost asleep when the old gentleman joined them. The man spoke in precise British English, “Don’t get up, at least not yet.” Apparently he had more than one key, but Angie handed back to him the one she had. He accepted it without a word, then turned to Preston.
They shook hands; “My name is Hendrik Venkman.”
Her name was Anja.
Preston reflected a moment. “That’s rather like Angie in America.”
“Yes,” she agreed. “You can call me Angie; I like that.” Angie it was.
By the time they arrived back in Gouda, he realized she had to be around thirty years old. Her story was pretty simple, in that she grew up in a Catholic orphanage somewhere close to Delft and never knew her parents. She managed to graduate just about the time the orphanage closed and found various jobs with an inter-denominational Christian missionary society. She played whatever volunteer sports were available.
“I was sexually abused along with all the other girls, but far less often because I was never as cute as the others. I was considered too boyish.” She was also exposed to numerous different languages and spoke a few with enough fluency to pretend it was her native tongue. He noticed her English had a hint of proper British enunciation, but not too strong. As she continued chatting with him, it faded noticeably into a standard American sound.
The night air was still warm as they entered Gouda and made their way to the old market plaza. Preston pulled a small gadget from his pocket and was delighted to see several unsecured wifi signals were still available. The only lighting was the minimal security lamps here and there. He sat down in the shadows; Angie huddled next to him as he opened his laptop. He transferred the memory chip from the camera to the laptop and copied the video first.
After running through it couple of times, Preston zoomed in the middle frames of it to see the action with as much clarity as possible. He used editing software to bring the ambient light level up just a bit more. This he saved as a second video file. Then he copied out several frames showing the man’s face as he walked back toward the wheelhouse after dumping the bag.
He explained to Angie, “First, we take advantage of the face recognition software on a couple of major social websites.” Sure enough, the site searching algorithms found a few matches, but only as a secondary person unnamed in the pictures.
“So it means he has a social life of sorts, but avoids being identified the way most people do.” Angie seemed rather surprised how easy it all was.
He turned to her and warned, “This next part is rather risky. I have access to a commercial vendor site that happens to have a development contract with several national and international law enforcement agencies. One of my friends works there and lets me use his login. It checks images on file with the likes of Interpol and the FBI to see if there’s a match. The problem is, if I get a hit, someone in those agencies is going to know about it. They might not have any idea who, simply because I’m using a public wifi connection, but they are going to know where it was and when. I would go through Tor, but the site doesn’t allow connections from there.”
As he logged in, he added, “Depending on what I find, I’ll probably try to send a copy of the video to whichever agency seems most interested in him.”
It took quite a while, but as long as the site seemed to be working and didn’t come up empty, he waited. He was about to give up, though, when suddenly a black and white mugshot popped up on the screen. It was the same guy a good bit younger. All the data boxes below it were blank, except for the Interpol case number.
“Why is there no data?” Angie asked.
Preston’s face went pale as the meaning dawned on him. He pressed the button combination for a screen grab, saved it to the camera chip and closed his laptop. He paused a moment and extracted the camera memory chip, stuffing it securely in his pants pocked. Then he thrust his laptop back into the knapsack. Jumping to his feet, he began walking immediately off toward the north. It took only a few moments for Angie to catch up on her bicycle. He cautioned her to silence with his finger and very nearly jogged along the narrow side streets. In the shadow of some trees a couple hundred meters from the train station, he stopped long enough to explain in a loud whisper.
“Our boy was arrested at least once in the past; that was a mugshot. However, something on the level of a government agency covered for him. That would mean CIA, MI6 or perhaps Mossad. What we witnessed was not likely a common criminal act, but some kind of espionage. While I don’t specifically know what they can do, nor how quickly, it is guaranteed to be very unpleasant if they ever find out about us and what we know.”
He paused a moment while she absorbed that. Then he went on, “As quickly as I can I am going to disappear. I’m going to get as far from here as I can, and I suggest you do the same. Pretend you were never here, that you never met me. And for God’s sake, make sure there aren’t any more tags following us around. Pull the battery from your cellphone. Go somewhere safe and wait at least 24 hours before turning it back on.”
She remembered the little tag and tossed it into bushes.
He turned to go in the direction of the open train platform. There were night trains at odd intervals in this part of the country. She caught up with him again. Keeping her voice in the same loud whisper he used, she pleaded with him. “Take me with you! I know this area better than you; I know places to hide.”
He barely turned his head as he walked a blistering pace along a narrow street. “Are you ready to give up your whole life and marry me? Can you team up with me as if the only thing that matters is whatever crazy shit I think sounds like fun tonight or tomorrow? Are you ready to watch me die under torture and not say anything? Because I assure you right now, I’m not all that interested in living a long and healthy life of peace and security. I’m a complete madman. I have an important mission in life and this business just threw me a curve ball. I’m going to face it but I have no illusion about saving the world. I’ll stumble along trying to estimate what makes the most sense according to what I believe.”
He paused and caught his breath. “Not much in this world really matters to me. Are you ready to sign onto that mission, sight unseen?”
He barely closed his lips before she said, “Yes! Of course I am. Do you think it’s been a nice life for me up to now? Until an hour ago I had no idea, but this is exactly what I’ve been training for my whole life. If I get killed chasing you around the world, that would be a lot more meaningful than what I’ve been doing so far.”
He grinned and turned to face her. “You’re my kind of gal. You may regret this just a few hours from now, but I’m willing to let you come along if you can keep up.”
With that, he pushed off in a renewed attack on the distance to the train platform.
It took a long time to get here.
I have peace in my soul. Stuff doesn’t rattle me nearly so easy as in the past. I have an answer for just about everything you throw at me, especially if I understand the context well enough. That is, I have an answer that fits my needs. I’m not a guru, just somebody way down the road calling out to others: You can find a path to the truth.
There is no sharp line of departure, just points along the way where something inside you clicks and you know it’s not the same. You realize you are in control of things that really matter and you just don’t care about things that don’t matter.
If you are born and raised in America — it applies perhaps to a lesser degree in the rest of Western Civilization — you have a long way to go. Everything in your world fights the truth. Instead, it substitutes something cheaper and calls it “truth”. You may come to terms with the tension and decide you can handle it, but something inside of you knows it’s not right. It’s not a matter of hitting the psychic bottom, though that helps motivate you to start the journey. That’s not enough by itself. Some part of you has to recognize there are simply too many lies and you will need help from someone who doesn’t live by those lies.
Let me clarify something that seems to have confused long-term readers: The Ancient Near Eastern way is not the only way. Rather, it is the clearest manifestation of the way men operate when the Spirit leads. Nor do we need all the particulars of the Law Covenants to grasp the heart of the Blood Covenant. So far, nothing has offered a better manifestation of the Law of Love and Spirit than Moses and Noah. Nothing in human experience as a whole, since the Fall, has come so close to the truth as the Hebrew people during the Conquest and shortly thereafter. The generation that grew up in the wasteland, for all their flaws, once free of the old slave generation’s influence, was the pinnacle of morality. Their intellectual assumptions about reality was the closest man has gotten.
It’s very hard to teach that ancient understanding. Most Western brains are so utterly pickled in the Post-Enlightenment rationalism, they simply cannot find the mechanism to consider the ANE approach to reality. It’s so alien, there is no means to process what comes into their sensory organs. There’s no neural pathways for it, no structure, none of the prerequisite matrix of mental organization. Even when I manage to explain it clinically and factually in terms they understand, it still becomes a disassociated concept they cannot integrate into their soul.
I could go on for pages and pages about the factors leading into this. Fortunately, intellectual shock and awe is not the sum of things. Even with all the proper intellectual background, there are a surprisingly large number of people who simply prefer some version of Western Civilization over the truth. The deciding factor that bypasses the necessity of convincing someone is the power of the Spirit. That’s part of what the Cross did. Instead of requiring mankind to first adopt the Hebrew way and the Law of Moses so they could be ready to receive the truth, Jesus said He would bring His own Spirit to bear on the process of changing people.
So we have this unspeakable power of change sweeping the whole world. It remains incomprehensible; God does what He does to breathe life into dead spirits and people suddenly to turn to Christ as soon as they hear about Him.
And the promptly fall into the cesspool of Western Christianity.
Everything the Apostles taught about conforming your human life to the implications of spiritual birth has been perverted. In that sense, the Judaizers won the intellectual battle. They managed to bring the churches under the Pharisaical model of thinking. Today’s Western Christianity is precisely what the Judaizers hoped to accomplish. Paul and his peers taught the discernment of the Law of Moses that made it possible to filter through the ancient Hebrew ways to find what was applicable to walking in Christ. The mind of Christ was the filter, and it bore only a thin superficial resemblance to the Judaism of that day. But the Judaizers were less about the particulars of the Talmudic Law and more about the intellectual approach they adopted from the Hellenists. They were selling a rationalist reinterpretation of Moses that had excluded the revelation in Christ.
In terms of my mission calling, my greatest enemies are within Western Christianity. No one threatens and hinders my ministry half so much as my fellow Christians. No one has done more to destroy my efforts than preachers — those who make their living professing Christ. From where I stand, Christians are the greatest threat to the gospel message. I can’t point to any one figure the way the Old Testament points to Balaam, but someone has set loose a perverting influence that has captured the entire camp of Christianity. Christians don’t even recognize how deeply compromised they are.
At least, that’s my story. I’m not alone, but those who have heard the same calling are so bruised and battered that we all tend to hide away. It’s hard to find each other because we haven’t been allowed to develop a common canon of terminology and expression. In a sense, that’s all good, but it does hinder us from finding each other easily. We are so busy trying to draw distinctions from the vast core of false belief that we are scattered around the periphery, far away from each other. Still, I’ve encountered a few here and there and we recognize each other. We are isolated from each other by the interference of the Church, which has so compromised with the world that it uses the levers of human government to oppress us and keep us in hiding.
Something in my spirit claims a hope that this system will break down before my eyes, before I die. Somehow, we who know this Harlot Church riding the Beast — both will sicken and die. Those of us who want no part of that evil will have an opportunity to reclaim our stolen heritage. I’m guessing that opportunity will be brief. We have to make the most of it, and that’s what I’m trying to teach here.
We are the Tribulation Church, and we have already come very far on our journey, with a long way yet to go.
Perhaps you are aware of the recent incident where hackers obtained the credit reports of some big names. Much entertainment; they even got His Majesty Bill Gates. Part of this is connected to revenge for the treatment of the Occupy protesters. I suppose there is some sense of getting even here, since it’s celebrities none of us would ever likely meet in real life, and whose lives intrude pointlessly on our news media all the time. You can’t escape them.
Unfortunately, at about the same time, some very carefully targeted fraud sprang to life. For example, that old scam phone call with people claiming to be with Microsoft and talking you through examinations of your computer to show you serious problems they can help you fix. They try to get you to download and install something that gives them control of your computer. It seems the most recent round of this foolishness is aimed precisely at seniors. Not just sort-of-old like me, but 70+ — those most likely to be uninformed confused enough to believe this scam. It was previously randomly aimed at all ages.
Meanwhile the same victims are hammered with fake spam bounces because someone is spoofing their email address. Again, older folks who usually don’t have a clue about such things. I understand there is also some texting scams on the same victims, faking their phone number on spam texts. At least one older lady I know has been hit with all three attacks. She’s not stupid; she resisted the phone call, but was shocked when her relatives started getting texting spam from her number. She doesn’t have texting on her landline phone.
While I don’t know if this stuff is connected, the timing is truly suspicious. It would seem someone is siphoning off the non-famous credit information and abusing those who are old with good credit ratings. This is not a “hooray for our side” moment.
Oh, and one other tidbit: The federal government is now allowing every clandestine intelligence agency total free access to your banking and credit information. The crooks in Washington will always outdo the amateurs.
Technology is our friend and the Internet is a marvelous place to spread the gospel. God is keeping an eye on the whole thing.
Every year, for as long as I can remember, someone really intelligent has predicted robots would put people out of work. Whether it would result in good or bad changes isn’t important, because it ain’t happening. The resources for that sort of development don’t exist. Instead, the resources have always been invested in the godlike weapons systems.
In one episode of the Star Trek original series, we were permitted to see an accidental encounter with a mirror universe. There, the doppelganger Captain Kirk possesses a device — the Tantalus Field — that can make anyone anywhere disappear with total impunity. This is the dream of any tyrant. While there will always be some research toward making life better, the serious money goes into anything that brings us closer to a real Tantalus Field. Perhaps you remember the old space based weapons research called Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), often ridiculed as “Star Wars.”
Trained assassins are still too expensive and too human; even the best snipers can make mistakes. Helicopters with very long range cameras and integrated guns brought us closer — still very expensive with a human crew. The recent advent of drones with missiles brings us much closer to impersonal warfare at a far cheaper price. Still, the precision is lacking. It also requires a human hand, but that may not be for long. Very soon you can buy a rifle scope that obviates the training and skill of real snipers. The scope calculates for the weapon, round and powder charge, wind, temperature, etc., and grants anyone with reasonably still hands deadly accuracy out to 1200 meters. Oh, and once the trigger is pulled, the weapon doesn’t fire until the reticle lines up with the ideal trajectory. Mounting them on an even smaller and cheaper drone would be a snap.
We are closer now than ever. At the same time, there is a lot of semi-secret research into robotics as the means to enhance human combatants (robotic exoskeletons) and even to replace them. Thus, the Clone Wars are not so far-fetched, but hardly so easily defeated as depicted in the movies. The real thing won’t be so comical. While energy weapons and defense fields are still a ways off, battle competence with still deadly projectile weapons would be easy to produce in robots. The current difficulty is mobility and range still carry huge energy requirements. Give it time; the investments in mobile power systems research are massive.
Meanwhile, improvements in armored vehicles are progressing rapidly. Nothing is perfect; they don’t want you talking about how, for example, MRAP trucks can still be rather easily rolled onto their sides and those run-flat tires still burn if you set them alight. Those are some obscenely expensive trucks. The all-too-advanced technology of manned fighter and bomber aircraft warns us of the limits. The two best hopes in US military industries are both plagued with major difficulties and astronomical prices that tend to make drones look really attractive.
The one place where government remains weakest is networking technology. For every highly publicized foreign attack on US computers, there was at least two of three attacks by the US first on theirs. Meanwhile, there are more Bradley Mannings than anyone wants to admit. While it’s possible things like Wikileaks is all a big propaganda ploy, seriously damaging releases of government and corporate secrets is likely proof our national Cyber Warfare defenses are pitiful. It’s been that way for a long time, with no serious improvements in sight. The vast ocean of bureaucratic incompetents guarantee the majority of the government networks will always be vulnerable. Large government bureaucracies tend to draw the least professional, bottom-of-the-barrel employees who will tolerate the hideous dehumanizing working atmosphere. The average teenager knows more about computer security than the average government employee.
When you read the crazy ideas Congressmen and other officials dream up to control the Internet, you realize just how bad it is. Most of what they demand is simply not possible, even in a mirror universe.
We face a genuine growing threat to life and limb from all governments, our own in particular. The increasing restrictions on our human behavior have already raised many challenges to daily life itself, not to mention walking in genuine Christian faith.
Brothers and sisters, let me encourage you to consider what it really takes to remain free to serve the Lord. I’ve tried often to show people the future is the Network Civilization, the place where you and I can carry the gospel message as virtual missionaries. We can’t use the methods of Apostle Paul and his associates, but if we become as comfortable with the virtual world as he was the Roman Empire, we stand a good chance of getting the message even farther across humanity. Don’t get the idea God will only bless door knockers and street preachers. Those things may have their place, but God also blesses idiots like me who struggle to focus on how things work in the virtual world of the Internet.
If you sense a call to examine this, realize the need to learn more than the average computer user. You need to be well above the level of the average bureaucrat, as computer savvy as you can possibly be. Right now, it’s wide open to exploitation. This is our time.