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The Great Leaders...

First Family Politics: Neil Bush's Ex-wife Says Bush Name Means Power, Connections, and Deep Loyalties
ABC News
Oct. 1, 2004

President George W. Bush's younger brother, Neil Bush, 49, has put himself and his prominent family into an unflattering election year spotlight.

In a revealing videotaped divorce proceeding obtained by 20/20, Neil disclosed numerous business deals that gave him generous financial benefits for minimal effort. Also detailed were the startling sexual liaisons he had while on business trips in Asia.

In the March 3, 2003, deposition, Neil testified to earning $60,000 a year to be co-chairman of Crest Investment Company for, on average, three or four hours a week of work.

When asked the specifics of his position with the Houston-based company, Neil said he was responsible for "answering phone calls when Jamal Daniel, the other co-chairman, when he called and asked for advice."

Daniel, a Syrian-born businessman based in Houston, is also an advisory board member of New Bridge Strategies, LLC, a company "created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq," according to its Web site.

New Bridge, based in Houston, lists as the principals of the company a group of well-connected businessmen with serious political weight. There are former members of both Bush administrations, the powerful lobbyists Ed Rogers and Lanny Griffith, and John Howland, also a principal of the Crest Investment Company.

Rogers and Griffith told ABC News they were unaware of any connection the company might have to Neil Bush. And as the violence was escalating this March in Iraq, while Daniel was helping to arrange for clients lucrative contracts in Iraq, he also hosted a lavish second wedding at his Houston mansion for his longtime friend and now business associate Neil Bush, who was marrying for the second time.

Daniel declined to comment for this story.

"I think it shames the Bushes and I think it shames Americans that it doesn't shame the Bushes," said Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist and author of The American Dynasty, a critical look about the Bush family.

Observers of the Bush family say Neil has always chosen his friends carefully.

"The history of Neil is essentially a quarter century of moving and shaking and connecting and collecting," Phillips said.

Described as a Dom Perignon affair, the wedding was attended by family patriarch and former President George H.W. Bush, as well as prominent guests from the Middle East and China.

"And there were also very lavish gifts," said Mimi Swartz, executive editor of Texas Monthly. "I think the couple got matching Bulgari watches, I think someone else gave them an SUV."

What's in a Name

Neil Bush's business travails first surfaced in the late 1980s, when he found himself in the unwelcome spotlight as a director on the board of the failed Silverado Banking Savings and Loan Association in Denver. It was a failure that cost taxpayers $1.3 billion, and though Neil denied any wrongdoing in a scandal that unfolded during the 1992 election, it cost his family as well.

"I remember having one chair in the whole living room," said Sharon Bush. "It was a tough time. We had to move and sell the house."

But when Sharon and Neil Bush resettled in Houston, where his parents live, Sharon says there was no shortage of profitable offers and deals through family connections.

"I think Neil is sort of a good time Charlie," said Phillips. "He's somebody who wants to make money on the family connections. I imagine he feels bad occasionally when something goes really wrong. But since he can't do too much else, he keeps doing it."

For example, in the deposition Neil said he was brought in to advise the board of a Chinese semiconductor company despite possessing no knowledge about semiconductors.

Neil Bush declined repeated requests to comment for this story. His lawyer said Neil has never been asked to contact a relative about a governmental matter nor would he do so.

"He's obviously not the world's greatest administrator or strategist but it doesn't matter if your name is Bush and your brother is president and your father is former president," Phillips said. "You can make a lot of arrangements and that's what he does."

And the indiscretions of Neil Bush do not end with his business practices. In the same videotaped deposition, he admits to having sex with women who simply showed up at his hotel room door during business trips to Thailand and Hong Kong.

"Mr. Bush, you have to admit that it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," said Sharon's attorney, Marshall Davis Brown.

"It was very unusual," responded Bush. And he testified it happened on more than one occasion. All the while, his wife of 23 years, Sharon, sat stunned across the table.

"He was so charming and he had always told me he loved me, so I was very shocked," the now ex-wife of Neil Bush said.

"I think it's outrageous that his parents did not at some point say to him, Neil, you're embarrassing your parents," said Phillips. "You're embarrassing your whole family. This is not what a son of the president of the United States does. This is not what the brother of the president of the United States does."

Family Ties

Today, Sharon Bush is not only divorced from Neil, she told 20/20, but completely cut out of the larger Bush clan, what she calls the Bush corporation.

It is a tight-knit family that sticks together financially, socially, and of course, politically.

"Well, you know, we all work together to support George and get him elected. And my father-in-law, to get him elected. It's a family affair. You work hard," Sharon Bush recalled.

Sharon and Neil Bush were married in 1980, when his father was running for vice president, and the couple was once the toast of Houston.

"Promixity to Neil meant proximity to his father, proximity to his brother," said Texas Monthly's Swartz.

Sharon was active in charity work, and busy raising her three teenage children — Lauren, a model who can be seen in the pages of top fashion magazines such as Vogue and W, Ashley, and son Pierce.

But Sharon knew from the beginning, indeed on her wedding day, that politics came first.

While in her wedding dress, she said she was asked by her new mother-in-law to step out of certain family photos. Barbara wanted only her sons to be photographed with her, Sharon said.

And now, after Neil's recent wedding to Maria Andrew, a woman who volunteered in his mother Barbara's office, Swartz said friends of the Bush family began a whispering campaign against Sharon.

Among the rumors was "that she was unstable," said Swartz. "And I want be very careful to say that her friends did not say that, her close friends would stick up for her but the Bush surrogates, I think did an excellent job of blackening her reputation."

Sharon Bush's marriage had come to an end two days after her 50th birthday, when she says Neil sent her an e-mail from Dubai.

The e-mail read, "Sharon, we've both been unhappy. We're almost out of money and I've lost my patience for being compared to my brothers."

Given that only two days prior, Sharon said Neil had given her a ring and said he loved her, she was in a daze over the news. In attempting to reach out to her in-laws, Sharon said she received a baffling response.

"I just really basically was turned off, turned away," Sharon said, though she recounted a conversation with her mother-in-law, Barbara. "I said I think Neil is having a mid-life crisis. You know, I'm worried about his business and maybe stress was leading to this e-mail. And she basically said, you talk to your mother and Neilsy will talk to me. And Neilsy will never abandon his children. And that was it."

Sharon Bush said her divorce settlement only allowed for four years of alimony at $2,500 a month, and further contends that she will soon have to sell the family home in Houston. Meanwhile, Neil and his new wife are building a multi- million dollar house next door to his parents.

"They were my family for almost a quarter-century," Sharon said of the Bushes. "I believed in families, and I believed in the family values. And I thought they did, too. So, I thought I would get help from them."

But Swartz, a veteran of the Houston social scene, thought otherwise.

"It's very much like the presidency of George W.," she said. "I think you're either with them, or you're not, and if you're not with them, you are on that ice floe for the rest of your life."

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The Subjects...

The Echo Boomers
CBS News
Oct. 3, 2004

(CBS) If you've ever wondered why corporate America, Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the media all seem obsessed with the youth culture, the answer is simple.

The largest generation of young people since the 1960s is beginning to come of age. It's called "echo boomers" because they're the genetic offspring and demographic echo of their parents, the baby boomers.

Born between 1982 and 1995, there are nearly 80 million of them, and they're already having a huge impact on entire segments of the economy. And as the population ages, they will be become the next dominant generation of Americans.

Who are they? What do they want? As Correspondent Steve Kroft reports, you'll be surprised. The oldest are barely out of college, and the youngest are still in grade school.

And whether you call them "echo boomers," "Generation Y" or "millenials," they already make up nearly one-third of the U.S. population, and already spend $170 billion a year of their own and their parents' money.

Almost none of it is spent on boring things like mortgages and medication. And the world is falling all over itself trying sell them things.

What brands do they love? Sony, Patagonia, Gap, Gillette, Aveda.

Only a small percentage are eligible to vote, yet they are already one of the must studied generations in history - by sociologists, demographers, and marketing consultants like Jane Buckingham of the Intelligence Group. [...]

Echo boomers are a reflection of the sweeping changes in American life over the past 20 years. They are the first to grow up with computers at home, in a 500- channel TV universe. They are multi-taskers with cell phones, music downloads, and Instant Messaging on the Internet. They are totally plugged- in citizens of a worldwide community. [...]

From when they were toddlers, they have been belted into car seats, and driven off to some form of organized group activity. After graduating from "Gymboree" and "Mommy and Me," they have been shuttled to play dates and soccer practice, with barely a day off, by parents who've felt their kids needed structure, and a sense of mission.

Dr. Mel Levine, a professor at the University of North Carolina, is one of the best-known pediatricians in the country. He says it's had as much to do with shaping this generation as technology.

"They have been heavily programmed. The kids who have had soccer Monday, Kung Fu Tuesday, religious classes Wednesday, clarinet lessons Thursday. Whose whole lives have really been based on what some adult tells them to do," says Levine.

"This is a generation that has long aimed to please. They've wanted to please their parents, their friends, their teachers, their college admissions officers."

It's a generation in which rules seem to have replaced rebellion, convention is winning out over individualism, and values are very traditional. [...]

Historian Neil Howe, along with co-author William Strauss, has made a career studying different generations. Howe says all the research on echo boomers always reflects the same thing: They are much different than their self- absorbed, egocentric baby boomer parents.

"Nothing could be more anti-boom than being a good team player, right? Fitting in. Worrying less about leadership than follower-ship," says Howe. "If you go into a public school today, teamwork is stressed everywhere. Team teaching, team grading, collaborative sports, community service, service learning, student juries. I mean, the list goes on and on." [...]

"When you ask kids, 'What do you most hope to achieve there?' Where they used to say, 'I wanna be No. 1. I wanna be the best.' Increasingly they're saying, 'I wanna be an effective member of the team. I wanna do everything that's required of me,'" says Howe.

And you can already see some results. Violent crime among teenagers is down 60 to 70 percent. The use of tobacco and alcohol are at all-time lows. So is teen pregnancy. Five out of 10 echo boomers say they trust the government, and virtually all of them trust mom and dad.

Through sheer numbers, they're beginning to change society. They have affected school construction, college enrollments, product development, and media content. And according to Buckingham, they are changing the way things are sold, from clothing to cars, because mass marketing doesn't always reach them.

"They're not watching the traditional networks as much because they have so many choices. They're playing on the Internet. They're playing videogames," says Buckingham. "They're out and about shopping a lot. So, the traditional 30-second commercial isn't always working the way it was."

They are the most sophisticated generation ever when it comes to media. They create their own Web sites, make their own CDs and DVDs, and are cynical of packaged messages. They take their cues from each other. A well-placed product on one of their pop idols, like Paris Hilton or Ashton Kutcher, can launch a brand of $40 T-shirts and trucker hats. But they also shop at vintage clothing shops. [...]

"One of the things with this generation is word of mouth. Buzz is more important today than it's ever been," says Buckingham. "And that can get started on the Internet. That can get started just through friends. And it's very hard for a marketer to tap into that unless it's really a product that they like." [...]

"They are more protected," says Howe. "They regard themselves as collectively special, because of the time in which they were raised." [...]

Echo boomers are the most watched-over generation in history. Most have never ridden a bike without a helmet, ridden in a car without a seat belt, or eaten in a cafeteria that serves peanut butter.

"Sometimes, they don't know what to do if they're just left outside and you say, 'Well, just do something by yourself for a while,'" says Howe. "They'll look around stunned, you know, 'What are we supposed to do now?'"

They're hovered over by what college administrators call "helicopter parents." Protected and polished, they are trophy children in every sense of the word.

"Everyone is above average in our generation," says Summers.

"Everybody gets a trophy at the end of the year. It's something you're used to," adds Gissing. "And you have the rows of trophies lined up on your windowsill, or whatever."

"Parents feel as if they're holding onto a piece of Baccarat crystal or something that could somehow shatter at any point," says Levine. "And so parents really have a sense their kids are fragile. And parents therefore are protecting them, inflating their egos. Massaging them, fighting their battles for them."

Levine, who is considered one of the foremost authorities in the country on how children learn, is now researching a book on young people entering their 20s.

He is concerned that groupthink is stifling initiative.

And because they have always been rewarded for participation, not achievement, they don't have a strong sense what they are good at and what they're not.

For instance, when a young person shows up for work at his or her first job, what do they expect and what are they finding?

"They expect to be immediate heroes and heroines. They expect a lot of feedback on a daily basis. They expect grade inflation, they expect to be told what a wonderful job they're doing," says Levine.

"[They expect] that they're gonna be allowed to rise to the top quickly. That they're gonna get all the credit they need for everything they do. And boy, are they naive. Totally naive, in terms of what's really gonna happen."

Levine says that is not the only part of their cultural conditioning that's going to require an adjustment in the workplace.

"I talked to the CEO of a major corporation recently and I said, 'What characterizes your youngest employees nowadays?'" says Levine. "And he said, 'There's one major thing.' He said, 'They can't think long-range. Everything has to be immediate, like a video game. And they have a lot of trouble sort of doing things in a stepwise fashion, delaying gratification. Really reflecting as they go along.' I think that's new."

Levine calls the phenomenon visual motor ecstasy, where any cultural accoutrement that doesn't produce instant satisfaction is boring. As echo boomers grow up, they'll have to learn that life is not just a series of headlines and highlight reels.

But this may be something that, for now, echo boomers can deal with. "What would you call your generation?" Buckingham asked Scott, one of her focus group participants.

"Perfect," he says, laughing.

Comment: Now THAT'S scary. It sounds like a generation of OPs. But then, they also sound like the perfect cannon fodder, and perhaps that is the intent?

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The Empire...

Eternal Darkness of the American Mind
Manuel Valenzuelas

Our government is as much a terrorist as those in Beslam, Bali, New York and Madrid. It is time we stop thinking ourselves the enlightened culture we are not. It is time to stop a hypocrisy that seems to validate the atrocities we commit while castigating those made against us.

10/02/04 "ICH" -- The prevalent and continued decline of the Empire's mind can be attributed to the evolving degeneration of American capitalism, through the inherent evils it espouses, its subjugation and control of human nature, and its consequences on a society entangled and indeed dependent on the very mechanisms of exploitation of self, addiction to materialism and the pandemic of greed. This latest stage of capitalism, the most sinister to arise from the realm of human conscious, has replaced once nobler, controllable, equal and just instruments. It is simply the erosion of capitalism, after having flourishing in previous stages of development, into a phase that has mutated beyond the control of humans and into a realm of damaging and malevolent repression and exploitation.

Thriving off of human nature, feeding and growing from its ability to dominate our animal instincts, our wants, needs and desires, capitalism as we know it today has become an unrelenting disease, jumping from host to host, contaminating a society that, more and more, lives in utter disconnect from a greater world community and that allows itself to be manipulated, dumbed down and owned by elite capitalists whose control over our lives grows more discernible every day. It is capitalism on steroids, a bulging muscled beast that has succeeded in mutating American society, transforming our culture to one whose assembly lines of human procreation manufacture millions of consumers, producers, worker bees, soldier ants and growing generations of unthinking automatons.

American capitalism in the first decade of the 21st century is the inevitable result of an economic form of governance whose stages have, over the last two centuries, and with exponentially-increasing dominance, power and control over our society, created a vicious cycle of evolving degeneration that today runs amok, destroying the environment and planet, human health and intelligence, individual thought and free-thinking minds, democracy and a once grand societal experiment of equality, justice and freedom. It is American capitalism, then, that now lives off of human exploitation and ignorance, breathing in and usurping our energy, exhaling poisons that blacken our eyes and minds while enveloping the Empire's horizons with a darkness that infects us with its various forms of disease that are making our society, culture and way of life the nightmares of yesterday's slaves and the controlled programs hardwired into tomorrow's automatons.

The Light that brings forth Darkness

The darkness that has encircled the Empire and its people has over the last fifty years grown thanks to the continued evolution of the television monitor and the ever-expanding media tentacles of the corporate world. The TV has become the single biggest tool for the corporate beast, having morphed in the last few decades into the apparatus by which consumerism, materialism, belief in fantasy, mental manipulation, love of the almighty dollar and the virus of greed are extracted and exploited from the masses, thus enriching the corporate beast with both the treasure and the controlled, easily manipulated mind of the American populace.

As the popularity of the television media has grown over the years and with Americans watching more and more hours of the instruments of fantasy, propaganda and brainwashing fostered by the corporate Leviathan, the collective American mind has dissipated in power and intellect, over the last few decades degenerating and becoming instead a sponge readily accepting and believing anything and everything implanted into it by the monitor ­ the axis by which everything in our home revolves around ­ that now serves as its brain.

The television, that glowing light now reigning as the center of our homes, robbing us of analytical minds and healthy bodies, that invention celebrated and adored, has become the single biggest weapon the corporate capitalists have to dominate, control and program us. It lies as the great culprit in the continued regression of the American mind and erosion of intellect, the further dominance by corporations of our daily lives, the decay and festering ignorance of our youth, the indifference to world affairs and apathy to the plight of the peoples of the globe, the unconcern towards government politics, accountability and transparency, the growth of our world renowned amnesia and short-attention spans, and the increased conditioning of and appetite for violence, death and destruction.

From birth it becomes our adopted parent, our consumerist advisor and materialist shaman, guiding us with its hypnotic light through the dense fog of capitalistic indoctrination. Training us from birth how to become good parasitic consumers, bombarding our still undeveloped brains with fantasy and psychological manipulation, illuminating our virgin minds with a rapid influx of images that no incipient human mind has ever been subjected with, the television begins to distort our concept of reality, marketing fantasy and fiction, promoting and distorting human needs and wants, rewiring our fragile mind to suit the needs of the corporation and the government it owns. Almost from birth the programming making us obedient consumers trapped between the fantasy we see and the reality we experience distorts the life we live, forever to psychologically confuse the mammalian brain inside our skulls.

Indifferent to suffering, displaced from reality and sequestered from the constructs of human behavior, the innocent mind is, through television, manipulated to seek what it can never attain. The perfection of fiction, the happiness of fantasy, the allure of what will never be and the mesmerizing glow of a world beyond what humanity could ever become is nonetheless absorbed into our conscious understanding and subconscious being, haunting us seemingly from cradle to grave. Throughout our lives the belief that what we see on the screen is reachable invariably results in a reality altogether different. We entrap ourselves in a vicious cycle of a lifetime of production and consumption, as if buying and producing enough goods and services will lead to the perfection we have been conditioned to believe can be attained.

What follows over the course of one's life, naturally, is a perceived belief in failure that the perfection we desperately seek to emulate and the fictions ingrained in our minds escaped us, thereby blaming ourselves or our loved ones for the unclimbable mountaintop whose passage no human could ever reach. The subsequent unhappiness that follows, of never reaching the beauty, wealth, happiness and perfection of the fictionally created characters we become enamored with, combine with other factors prevalent in our capitalist society to depress our emotions and feelings about ourselves and the life we lead. Even the accumulation of money, material goods and modifications of our physical selves fail to transport us into the fantasy world that invades our living rooms on a nightly basis.

In many ways, the Molotov cocktail of capitalistic unhappiness has led to the enormous growth in, demand of and addiction to pharmaceutical mind altering and hallucinatory drugs so prevalent in society today that act as conduits of escapism from the unhappy lives we portend to lead. It is these drugs, now pervasive in American society yet nonexistent for centuries and millennia before that have arisen along with the degrading stages of capitalism we now find ourselves immersed in. It is the television, along with the other tentacles of modern day capitalism, that is causing an eroded conscious of human psychology through the indoctrination of the human brain, from the time of birth, of seeking the perfection that in the human condition does not and cannot possibly exist but that thrives in the realm of television, movies and video games.

Seeking meaning and happiness through the possession of material goods and wealth, becoming insecure of our bodies and beauty by the incessant bombardment of human perfection and kneeling down to pray to the Almighty Dollar in front of its altar called the television, Americans are finding that the goals espoused by the corporate Leviathan are unattainable. When compared to the perfection we have seen on the monitor from our early age, the life we lead is boring, unexciting and imperfect. The real world thus cannot compete with the vision the corporate capitalists have marketed for us in order to manipulate buying patterns, control behaviors and expand profits margins.

The cause for concern among Americans is the effect capitalism and its tentacles, including the pervasive disease of television, is having on our psychology. The rise in pharmaceutical drugs designed for the human brain and our psychological behaviors should act as the canary sent down the mine shaft. More and more, America is a nation of pill poppers unhappy and depressed, preferring the escape of hallucination and the zombie-like behavior of anti- depressants to the realities facing us today. With 11 million children on anti- depressants and many more adults dependent on drugs, questions must begin to be raised as to the causes of such utter degeneration, the likes of which no society has ever experienced. This is but one more symptom of a disease the corrosive tumor of capitalism has engendered onto a society that offers so much wealth, freedom and materialistic bliss yet lacks enduring waves of human happiness or enlightenment.

Corporate owned television produces mind-numbing, ignorance-laden, thought- controlling, escapism-filled, fantasy-saturated and propaganda-laced programming designed for one simple reason: to hook us like fish out of water so that we are subjected to a barrage of advertisements that, it is hoped, inspire us to spend our hard earned wages on the products that best manipulate our human needs, wants, emotions and passions. Fiction-filled shows, laced in the aura of televised perfection and beauty, endeavor our minds to seek what cannot in reality exist. They are created so that addicted we become to the characters and story lines, thus becoming loyal viewers and possible prey. These programs are formulated to attract whichever demographic and target market a corporation wants as loyal consumers. The advertisements and products designed for this particular target are then plastered throughout the enormous window of opportunity, blitzkrieging our eyes and minds with a volley of images that attack our psychology, emotions, animalistic behaviors and human passions.

Methodically the attack starts in our youth as the marketing vipers seek to incarcerate us into their vast array of products from as early an age as possible. They know that once they succeed in squeezing into their grip a young child the strong possibility exists that a loyal and conditioned customer they will have for an entire lifetime. It is the undeveloped, susceptible, easily manipulated and conditioned mind, devoid of analytical thinking and human experience that the corporate marketers drool over. It is their Holy Grail, a virgin mind easily exploited and programmed, naïve to humanity and ignorant of experiences, slowly but surely becoming the mental and physical slave to those whose incessant brainwashing fills the airwaves. In the most pure and innocent among us the corporate sharks enjoy their greatest meals.

Copied from organized religion, which for centuries has perfected the formula for conditioning and brainwashing children into controlled and subservient followers of archaic myths and primitive fables, the systemic usurpation of innocent minds guarantees loyalty, lifetime consumers, unthinking individuals, psychologically fragile drones and easily controlled beings. With the twist of a marketing campaign, corporations can dictate tastes, trends, consumption patterns and the direction a society or a target market takes. Through the television, we thus become putty in the hands of those who are experts at exploiting our senses, feelings, emotions and passions.

Manipulating our minds and rewiring our thoughts, the television, nothing more than the mechanism by which the corporate world controls and dominates us, has transformed human thinking and behavior like no other instrument in our history. Our minds are being bombarded with image after image, fantasy after fantasy and manipulative emotion after manipulative emotion. Our still primitive brains have never evolved to this reality, and the damage can be seen in the rise of attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, lack of discipline and loss of intellectual capacity in children. It can be seen in a society that has not been able to adapt and handle the blitzkrieg we see on our monitors on a daily basis and that cannot escape the conditioning and brainwashing the corporate world and our government so readily apply into our minds. The proof is all-encompassing, surrounding us like a thick fog, doing tremendous damage to the still undeveloped brains of youth, shackling and controlling almost every activity we do as adults, and haunting our daily life until death finally opens the gates of escape.

The Bubble of Ignorance

From the cradle to the grave, the television works its corporate magic, helping make America the most consumerist, materialistic, gluttonous and wasteful society to ever grace the green lands of Earth. We gorge on food, we waste like no other, consume as if our life depended on it and pollute with devastating effect. Like a plague of locusts we are devouring the natural resources of the planet, indifferent to the plight of the oceans, the forests and the other 6 billion people we share this small planet with. Our thirst for oil can only be met through war, destruction and death, our appetite for cheap products and labor enslaves billions of humans worldwide and the need to quench our addiction to material wealth is rapidly hemorrhaging an Earth ready to purge us from its surface.

We are four percent of the world's population yet contribute 25 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. We are four percent of 6.2 billion humans yet indifferent we remain to the damage our greed unleashes onto humanity. Global warming is now the greatest threat facing mankind, yet we ignore its truths and our complicity. Our greed and voracious appetite to consume blinds us to the rape of ecosystems, the extinction of cultures, the devastation of nations and the ever-growing despair among the billions of humans not lucky to live inside the belly of the beast.

We are 290 million people, most of whom believe the lands and inhabitants of this Earth have been placed by the Almighty in their rightful position as exploitable property and servants of America, the only nation allowed to dictate its commands on all others, even when tens of millions of us have not a clue or a remote idea that an outside world of peoples and nations exists outside our borders. Even as the globe becomes a giant village, where the actions of one affect all others and the collective destiny of humanity depends on the unity of the entire spectrum of world citizens we seem to care not a trickle what occurs outside our borders nor understand the complexities of human interaction.

Through the catastrophe we have created in Iraq our ignorance and lack of knowledge can be witnessed. In our failure to learn alien cultures, religions, beliefs and societies, by failing to understand peoples beyond our shores and remaining oblivious to the hatred our policies have created our lives have been made less safe, not more, condemning us to a fear that has augmented our already paranoid schizophrenia even more. The colossal mistakes in Iraq, Vietnam, the continued support of Israeli dehumanization of the Palestinians and our continued shunning of the global community are testament to the decline of world knowledge and the exponentially-growing ignorance that only serves to endanger our lives and further alienate the billions who once admired what America once stood for.

Cocooned and protected by a bubble that insulates us from the truths and realities affecting billions living at the edge of starvation, suffering, indigence and under constant threats of disease and death, we rejoice in our own arrogance and perceived omnipotence. Unfeeling and apathetic humans we have become to a planet and its inhabitants that more and more depend on the interconnectedness of man and synergy of nations to survive from the disaster humankind always seems to unearth. Yet instead of embracing the rest of humanity we isolate ourselves from it, hiding behind our wealth, our gluttony, our arrogance, our perceived aura of superiority and our incredible and ever- growing ignorance both of ourselves and the rest of humanity.

The Black Hole of American Education

In a nation of vast wealth, tremendous resources and great diversity one would expect ignorance to be extinct, intelligence to be all-encompassing and world and human knowledge to be absolute. Instead, in America we find the opposite to be true. Our educational system, reeling from under-funding, incompetence and a crater-like hole of indifference, resembles the quality of learning one would expect in an under-developed nation in Africa, where per capita investment in education is worth $8 dollars per year. The education system has failed miserably in the last few decades to instill the knowledge in our children necessary to foster free-thinking and analytical minds capable of being privy to the past history and present course of human existence.

Today, education to the vast majority of Americans is a fiasco. Instead of liberating minds it is enslaving children, programming our young to always stay in between the lines, becoming obedient drones whose independent thoughts are superceded by the corporate and state dictates. Textbooks and curricula distort American history, brainwashing our future to a revisionist past that fails to convey the state terrorism, genocide, ethnic cleansing, enslavement, incessant war and crimes against humanity it took to secure the home of the free and the land of the brave. The whitewashing of our past crimes, and what it took to achieve our present wealth, has been erased from memory, instead giving way to the fictional romance and revisionist nostalgia of how the United States became the Empire it is today.

By failing to teach history, with its plethora of lessons and truisms for understanding who and what we are, our government is making sure that it is repeated, once again to condemn entire generations for the mistakes they will commit. For those who have no concept of humanity nor its easily decipherable nuances and behaviors that manifest themselves through the eons of human existence will only repeat the errors of times past that perpetually linger in the human condition.

By preaching and indoctrinating that our nation can do no wrong, that it epitomizes the enlightenment of human thought, that we stand on the moral high ground of human affairs and that our government seeks only the protection of freedom, liberty and democracy is to do our progeny a great disservice, for to live in delusion and fiction only assures that all that is purged from history's texts will resurface. The naïve assumption and distorted belief in our grandeur and altruism, simply because the state makes it so, robs us of understanding of why today the world hates America.

Instead of thinking on our own, demanding answers, seeking accountability and questioning authority we acquiesce to the terrorism the state spawns around the globe, its grip and control over our lives, and the crimes against humanity committed in our name. But because we have been trained to believe in the sanctity and perceived goodness of the state, where it has our best interests at heart, where it never lies and is incapable of the worst horrors of human evil, we fail to halt the handful of miscreants that power has endowed with our collective destiny.

The economic genocide labeled ‘sanctions' imposed on Iraq in the 1990's that exterminated up to a million and a half human beings, 2/3 of them children, is a perfect example of the wickedness our government is capable of unleashing thanks to our silent passivity. The murder of three million Vietnamese by bombings, chemical poison and endemic disease and indigence brought on by American devastation is another poignant example.

The so called ‘war on terror', and our indisputable belief in its valid implementation by the state, allows us to see the blind faith we place in a government that has mutated into a tool for the corporate Leviathan and the military-industrial complex. Never do we question or seek the truth to what might very well be a fiction that only serves to enrich wicked capitalists through the implementation of fear to control the populace and the introduction of perpetual war for perpetual profit.

The fictional war on terror is designed to breed insecurity and fear so that assembly lines continue spitting out profit and the corporatist ideology of total power and control arises. Enemies are thus manufactured, much like those Communist Reds we were once conditioned to hate and fear, thereby planting paranoia and schizophrenia onto a populace that blindly wraps itself around the flag every time our elected leaders press the buttons of psychological manipulation. It is because of our inability to stand up and question the state that this ‘war on terror' charade will continue to haunt our waking conscious and devastate our exponentially-growing fragile psyches.

It is our government that is perpetuating the vicious cycle of violence and whose actions will result in real terror being imported to our cities and streets. It is our government that, through our inability to question authority, will assure that perpetual conflict never ceases and terror remains planted firmly in our minds. The eternal darkness of the American mind is therefore helping to cement fear, insecurity and psychological stresses on our present population and future progeny.

American education has and continues to create unthinking automatons trained to follow the decrees of the state and the mandates of authority. Trained to never think for themselves, children are today prepared for standardized tests while being denied important liberal arts subject matter that instill analytical thinking, creativity and inquisitive thought. Thanks to the evisceration of educational funding and the appointment of George Bush to the White House, however, millions of children are today being programmed like robots, robbing them of intellect, knowledge and the power of liberation that education engenders. This is not by coincidence, as the corporate owners of government have succeeded in creating a populace whose only function is to become the slave labor of the capitalist elite.

Millions of children, many bursting with incredible talent and ability, are being deprived of opportunity, instead destined to remain fragmented in their allotted caste, becoming the work force of the corporatist few, content to sacrifice the keys to mobility for the comfort of exploitation. With minds that do not think or question, the few controlling the reigns of our society are free to implement the tools to further empower themselves at the expense and degradation of the masses. It is when the people are ignorant to what is being done to them that the powerful have succeeded in spawning the eternal darkness of the American mind. This is our reality today.

As American as Apple Pie

Conditioned through shows, movies and all-too real video games to violence, war, death and destruction, our minds easily accept the horrors of war and human evil unleashed by the state. War and violence has become as American as apple pie, resurfacing every decade to grease up the assembly line of death and the conveyor belts of human destruction. We have become rapacious animals addicted to bombs, bullets, explosions and guns, seeing in ourselves a Rambo society needy of enemies and battles. We are a war culture, carefully cultivated by the state and the corporate world, breast-fed the sanitized and whitewashed parameters of violence. In our minds, death and destruction are but special effects, the enemy a necessary entity providing the blood and guts that grace our monitors and screens.

To us, war remains a PG-13 or R rated Hollywood produced movie or show, full of pyrotechnics and special effects, heroes and enemies, good guys and bad dudes. Yet our love for war and violence is based on the fictions and creations of Hollywood, offering us only a detached semblance of reality. This, in turn, becomes our perception of real war, death and destruction, a completely distorted view of a reality that hundreds of millions worldwide have experienced.

In America, war is a video game, a Hollywood action movie where blood and guts are spilled and the hero, usually the US, is always declared the winner. The enemy, nowadays Arab bogeymen, are ingrained into our minds as the propaganda used to condition us to the war on terror is inculcated into society. In truth, the horror of war and violence, excluding 9/11, is as alien to our lands and cities as the sheer misery befalling billions of humans living outside our shores. It is because our nation has been safe for so long that we fail to understand violence and hinder war. Europe, after centuries of war, finally understands that war and violence are not a solution to anything human or a means to a viable end.

Our answer to trouble is always in the form of a smart bomb or a guided missile or through the barrel of a gun. Yet it is brains, not brawn, that makes humans out of animals. It is our humanity, not our weaponry, that brings about solutions. It is intelligence and knowledge, not ignorance and arrogance, that creates friends and brings forth adoration. Force can never foster emulation; occupation can never win hearts and minds; guns can never birth democracy; state terrorism can never defeat the hatred and thirst for vengeance it unearths. Five beheadings of Americans can never become more barbaric than the aerial bombing of cities, where hundreds of innocents are dismembered, maimed, killed and yes, even beheaded. We do not possess the monopoly on the moral high ground, and if a few beheadings are barbaric and medieval, then what are we to call the terrorism raining down from the sky above that exterminates and maims men, women and children?

Our government is as much a terrorist as those in Beslam, Bali, New York and Madrid. It is time we stop thinking ourselves the enlightened culture we are not. It is time to stop a hypocrisy that seems to validate the atrocities we commit while castigating those made against us. Up to 30,000 Iraqis have died from our candy-like cluster bombs, guided missiles, rampaging soldiers and hollow-tipped bullets. In our name the government falsely imprisoned thousands, raped hundreds and tortured untold numbers of innocents. In our name tens of thousands have been injured and millions now suffer the effects of our occupation. Let's stop the bull manure. Our silence makes us all complicit in the state sponsored terrorism the Bush administration and the US military have exported into Iraq. Iraqi lives are not worth less than American ones simply because they are Arab or possess darker skin or believe in a different religion. They are human, like you and me, breathing air and bleeding red, burying loved ones and living under constant fear, so stop the hypocrisy.

American society must escape the chains of bondage our minds are presently trapped in. The dungeon that is our conditioned psychology must be burned to the ground if we are to exorcise the brainwashed demons that linger in our beliefs and society. We must do this to free the young from the darkness encircling them. They are our future, and our hopes, and must not be made to suffer the pandemic presently strangulating our society. Let us not condemn another generation of Americans to the virus destroying free thought. If we do they will be made to suffer from a perpetual fear and an incessant insecurity, forever fighting, killing and dying as cannon fodder for the corporate wars for profit and power. If we fail them they will grow up lacking the freedoms and rights we once took for granted.

Into the tunnel of the surreal

American society at the beginning of the 21st century is undergoing a monumental transformation into dimensions bordering on the surreal. As capitalism exerts tremendous pressure on parents to become machine-like, efficient-seeking, Puritanical work ethic slaves of the corporate Leviathan the television has become parent, teacher, role model and best friend to America's youth.

It is manipulating, conditioning, brainwashing and programming their minds, creating obedient drones and unthinking sloths. Attention spans are being made extinct, collective amnesia is all-encompassing and anti-depressants are replacing candy as our children's yummy treats. Relevant news and valuable knowledge are considered boring, not fast-paced or hip enough in a society born with a remote control in hand. Reading, the great empowerer of minds, has been all but abandoned by our young generations, replaced by the video game and the television. If books bring knowledge, which enables power, then television creates ignorance, which fosters mental indigence. Parents have stopped teaching, rearing, raising, disciplining and loving. Children have stopped learning the concepts of human interaction; they are losing all semblances of empathy, discipline and knowledge. The corporation now owns our youth's future; the state now engineers their minds.

Capitalism has eroded happiness while birthing depression. It has programmed us for its wars and crimes, making us subservient and acquiescent beings. Like a marionette it controls us, pulling all the strings to get its desired results. Into the tunnel of the surreal our society finds itself, trapped in darkness, shackled to murky walls of shame, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel yet unable to move an inch away from the corrosive grip the latter stages of capitalism have on us.

In time this economic form of governance will implode upon itself. The wickedness of its existence and the demons of human nature it resurrects make this truism an inevitability. The exploitation, subjugation, and greed it fosters will one day soon force it to collapse under its own weight. Too many people are made to suffer; too much inequality and injustice roams the planet. The symptoms of its disease are presently wreaking havoc on American society. The signs are visible to anyone who can see how fast the degeneration of America has taken place, coinciding with the enormous rise of crony capitalism that has created unsustainable levels of consumerism, materialism, waste, unhappiness, corruption and greed.

The implosion of what today we call capitalism might take ten years before it commences, perhaps fifty, yet in human history this is but a hiccup of time, a mere nanosecond in the vast history of Earth. The love of the almighty dollar and her sister greed will be the downfall of the capitalist elite and the sinister form of governance that continues to devastate American society, our Earth, its lands, air, water and inhabitants. The eternal darkness of the American mind is but one more sign of an inevitability that is beginning to creep over the horizon.

In time, it will be the masses who will one day awake, once more ready, willing and able to experience a human renaissance, standing up in the face of everything malevolent that has taken place, demanding change and an evolved form of economic governance based upon the principles of equality, justice, morality and worldwide humanity. The vicious circle of capitalism, where only the few benefit and the many are in essence enslaved cannot sustain its circular motion for very much longer. The weight of its own crimes and the decline of its historical path are cracking its foundations.

Soon, the eternal darkness of the American mind will dissipate, allowing us the freedom to once more gaze upon the horizon where we can see the magnificent sunrise that has for too long been denied but that will finally rise to show us the path to a better day.

Manuel Valenzuela is social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst, Internet columnist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel to be published in mid October of 2004 by Authorhouse.com. A collection of essays, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and Humanity, will be published in early 2005. His articles appear regularly in alternative news websites including informationclearinghouse.info. His unique style and powerful writing is read internationally and seeks to expose truths and realities confronting humanity today. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at manuel@valenzuelas.net. A collection of many of his essays and articles can be found here: Articles by Manuel Valenzuela, 2004

Copyright: Manuel Valenzuelas. <manuel@valenzuelas.net>

Comment: The reader may wish to have a look at Laura's commentary on The Beast and His Empire from which the following is extracted:

Revelation 13, the chapter which describes the "Beast" begins:

"I stood on the sandy beach, I saw a beast coming up out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads. On his horns he had ten royal crowns and blasphemous titles on his heads."

This first sentence tells us of a landing on a foreign shore; the beast is to be found at a distance from the area of the previous chapter which describes the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, and its persecutions of True Christianity. To understand what John means by sea, we can look at chapter 16, verse 8:

"The waters that you observed are races and multitudes..."

Examining all other references to beasts in the Bible, it is immediately apparent that, other than references to actual animals, this designation belongs to world empires.

Daniel's prophecies foreshadowed Revelation, and Daniel was told by an angel that a beast symbolized an empire. There is some interchangeability between "king" and "empire," just as there is interchangeability between "city" and "nation". This is also traditional since any king is considered diplomatically to be his country. I think that we can safely assume that John is not referring to a fantastic animal, so the only other supported interpretation we can give to this beast is that it is an empire.

John is most specific in describing the numbers of heads and horns and the placing of the crowns on the horns and not the heads! So, we must think this is to be of some import in describing the nature of this empire. Daniel, Chapter 7, describes his fourth beast as having ten horns and, it has been determined that Daniel's fourth beast was the Roman Empire. The beast in Chapter 12 of Revelation can also be identified, by its role, as the Roman Empire. The comparison can then be made that the crowns, in the case of the descriptions of the beast representing the Roman Empire, are upon the heads and not on the horns.

The number "7" is a sacred number indicating perfection or completion. It was used very often in a symbolic manner for the "whole" of a thing. Thus, seven heads would indicate an autonomous nation -- not under the rule of any other empire. The placement of the crowns on the horns rather than on the heads indicates that this is not a totalitarian, monarchical or dictatorial regime. The horns symbolize strength and the assembly of the people, for the horn was used to call the people to pray and to hear the words of the prophets. We can see that on this beast they represent the strength of an empire in the diversity of its people.

Ten is symbolic of testing, an earthly foreshadowing of divine principle: "For since the law has merely a rude outline of the good things to come, instead of fully expressing those things, it can never perfect..."(Hebrews 10:1) So, we can conclude that the ten horns represents the assembling of a large number of people who express an almost divine concept in government -- since the rulership of the empire, symbolized by the crowns, is placed on the horns and not on the heads -- government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The heads, on the other hand, the decision making part of the beast, the administrative or titular head of an empire, are represented as having blasphemous titles on their foreheads. The definition of blasphemy is "profane usage of God's name". Profane simply means that which is not connected with religion. The blasphemous titles on the heads inform us that the government of this nation will use the name of God and purported spiritual principles to induce people to submit to its controls and its policies.

"And the beast that I saw resembled a leopard, his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth was like that of a lion."

Here we find that this new empire has many of the characteristics of former world empires as described by Daniel. The multiplicity of types also indicates the greater supremacy of this world empire. Possessing the military might of the Media-Persian empire as exemplified by the bear; the speed and cunning of Alexander's empire, the leopard. That the mouth is described as being like a lion denotes loud and boastful speech as well -- self-aggrandizement and self- indulgence, and another meaning, as we shall see.

"And to him the dragon gave his might and power and his throne and great dominion."

The dragon is, classically, and in scripture, Satan. This sentence denotes the emerging character of this beast as well as establishes its position in the world. John says that the dragon gives his throne to the beast. This means that this empire becomes the number one nation on the earth in all things material: industry, commerce, political influence, economic living standards, arts, science, technology, material goods of all sorts and fleshly pleasures; all things pertaining to the "things of the world." That is not to say that any of these things are evil in themselves -- it is the attitude and ideal which is important.

John has informed us that the social structure of this end-time empire is controlled by a pervading principle of life that is antithetical to spirituality. The Dragon exalts this empire far above all the other societies of the world in all the things which pertain to materiality. This society is one which has set itself up as arbiter of what is right and wrong as well as being excessively preoccupied with physical appearance and material wealth and goods.

"And one of his heads seemed to have a deadly wound. But his death stroke was healed, and the whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration."

This verse tells us that one branch, or department of the administrative body suffers an attack. This attack is clarified in verse 14 which describes the wound as being inflicted by a sword -- a military action. Note that the verse says "seems" to have a deadly wound. This tells us that this event leads many to think that it is a death stroke and will finish the beast. Yet, the empire/beast recovers quickly and goes on to lead, and be adored by, an admiring world.

"They fell down and did homage to the dragon, because he had bestowed on the beast all his dominion and authority; they also praised and worshipped the beast, exclaiming, Who is a match for the beast, and who can make war against him?"

To do homage means to serve or venerate, and this verse tells us that the benefits of Satan, materiality, as promulgated by the beast, become the standard of the other societies of the world. In addition, this verse identifies the ascendancy of materialism as occurring through military actions.

"And the beast was given the power of speech, uttering boastful and blasphemous words, and he was given freedom to exert his authority and to exercise his will during forty-two months."

Jesus has been described as "slaying nations" with the "breath of his mouth." We now have a clue as to the meaning of this remark.

Here we have the beast making war. "Speaking," in this context, clearly means war. And, having the mouth of a lion, we can be sure that this "speech" will be proud, haughty, and declaiming noble ideals. But, that this war/speech is blasphemous tells us that there is something hidden here that we must find, and we will a bit further on. The authority during 42 months is identified in verses three and four as military. Thus, claiming to act in the will or name of God, this nation will lead the peoples of the earth in a war for 42 months. [Keep this 42 months in mind.]

"He was further permitted to wage war on God's holy people and to overcome them. And power was given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation."

This verse describes the extension of authority after the military action has ceased. Once again this nation is described as having the top position, and to a greater extent than before, in all material aspects. The results of the military action have served to place the beast in a position to "wage war against God's holy people."

Contrary to popular theological opinion, I do not see these "Holy People" as members of any given religion, "born again" or otherwise.

"God's people" must be understood to be those who manifest spiritual values over and above materialism.

The use of the word "overcome" in this context, informs us that an actual military action is not involved -- rather that the beast uses some means of inducement to cause innocent and unsuspecting individuals to fall into the ways of materialism. This is a war of forces - - materialism versus spirituality -- a severe attack on spirituality, leading many astray. It also indicates that those who place spiritual values above material considerations will have a difficult time dealing with life in general due to the fact that only those who know how to "play the game" will be able to maneuver well in the society of the Beast.

"And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, every one whose name has not been recorded from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world."

This verse tells us that this empire will be victorious in propagating materialism over vast areas of the globe and that the ideals of Service to Self and reliance on human materialistic knowledge and capabilities will come to be seen as the prevailing aspirations of the world. This does not mean that the entire world will attain these ideals, but that the economic, industrial, artistic, scientific achievements and living standards of this empire will be admired and emulated -- idolized, in fact.

"Whoever leads into captivity will himself go into captivity; if anyone slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Herein is the patience and the faith and fidelity of the saints."

This caveat is inserted at this point as a foreshadowing of the fate of the Beast. The beast is warned that nations invoke karma also!

"Then I saw another beast rising up out of the land; he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke like a dragon. He exerts all the power and right of control of the former beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell upon it to exalt and deify the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed, and worship him. He performs great signs -- startling miracles -- even making fire fall from the sky to the earth in men's sight. And because of the signs which he is allowed to perform in the presence of the first beast, he deceives those who inhabit the earth, commanding them to erect an image in the likeness of the beast which was wounded by the sword and still lived."

This second beast, must, once again, be an empire. However, it differs from the first beast in several ways which John describes in great detail. The first detail is the number of horns. Two is a number which has several meanings. First, it represents a minority, for two is the smallest number by which testimony may be accepted. Also, we may look to Genesis for some esoteric clarification:

"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters; and let it separate the waters below from the waters above .. and there was evening and morning, a second day." (Genesis 1:6,8, excerpts)

Here we see that the number two is related to a separating element which divides waters below from waters above. Throughout the Bible, water represents spirit and humanity.

In applying this principle to two horns, we see that the horns represent a powerful minority which acts in such a way as to separate mankind from his own spiritual heritage. This action comes about through things which ap pear harmless -- "appeared as a lamb" -- but are in actuality, propagating lies -- "speaks as a dragon"-- lies and corruption. And, once again, speech refers to force, or violence so we may assume that this second beast h as some relationship to making war or using force to dominate.

"He asserts all power and right of control of the former beast in his presence;"

tells us that this powerful minority acts through and is supported by, the established empire of the first beast -- an empire within an empire. A minority which takes control by force and deception.

"Causes the earth and those who dwell upon it to exalt and deify the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed, and worship him"

This indicates that this second beast was behind the initiation of the military action described as a deadly wound and that this event was planned to bring the first beast into position to establish military supremacy and commercial world domination. This establishment of military supremacy is emphasized in the lines:

"He performs great signs -- startling miracles -- even making fire fall from the sky to the earth in mens' sight"

This describes the use of atomic weapons in this military action which lasts 42 months. This display of power is so awesome to the peoples of the world that they submit to the political and commercial domination of the first beast.

"And because of the signs which he is allowed to perform in the presence of the first beast, he deceives those who inhabit the earth, commanding them to erect an image in the likeness of the beast which was wounded by the sword and still lived."

The "image" of the beast has caused many a theologian to lose sleep. Understood in the context of this passage, we can perceive that this refers to the establishment of the principles of worldliness and materialism throughout the world.

What is the image of the beast? Military might, speed and cunning, exalted position in worldly possessions and technology -- as described by John.

That this ideal is extended around the earth through the lies, deception and force of the second beast, subverting other cultural ideals to materialism and using other nations politically, is what is being expressed by this verse -- and that it is the end result of the war in which the beast was wounded.

At the present moment in time, there is a lot more data upon which to evaluate the identity of the Second Beast - the minority that controls the world. In order to better understand this, let's take a quick look at a series of clues that will lead us, inevitably, to the correct understanding of this entity of Revelation:

Kevin MacDonald writes in The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements:

Jews have indeed made positive contributions to Western culture in the last 200 years. But whatever one might think are the unique and irreplaceable Jewish contributions to the post-Enlightenment world, it is naïve to sup pose they were intended for the purpose of benefiting humanity solely or even primarily.

I would like to point out that the list of Jewish scientific achievements from the quote above include atomic bombs and Game Theory. Jewish led Science has indeed exploded - no pun intended - and it has brought mankind to the edge of self-destruction. Advances in mathematical, physical and computer sciences have brought about "applied game theory", where "wars" are called "games", and to "win the game" is to kill as many people as possi ble with as little cost as possible. It does seem that the description of the Second Beast above is being filled out. But let's look further:

In general, positive impacts of Jews have been quantitative rather than qualitative. They have accelerated some developments, for example in finance and some areas of science, rather than made them possible.

On the other hand, I am persuaded that Jews have also had some important negative influences.

I am morally certain that Jewish involvement in the radical left in the early to middle part of the last century was a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for many of the horrific events in the Soviet Union and elsew here. (About this, of course, one can disagree. I am simply saying that I find the evidence compelling.)

But the main point is that I came to see Jewish groups as [...] powerful facilitators of the enormous changes that have been unleashed in this country [...]

There need to be legitimate ways of talking about people who oppose policies recommended by the various Jewish establishments without simply being tarred as "anti-Semites". [...]

As I write this (November, 2001), we are bogged down in a war with no realizable endgame largely because of influence of the Jewish community over one area of our foreign policy and because of how effectively any mention of the role of Israel in creating friction between the U.S. and the Arab world—indeed the entire Muslim world—is muzzled simply by the cry of anti-Semitism.

And at home we have entered into an incalculably dangerous experiment in creating a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society in which the intellectual elite has developed the idea that the formerly dominant European majority has a moral obligation to allow itself to be eclipsed demographically and culturally [...]

A major theme of the CofC is that Jewish scientists with a strong Jewish identity have seen their work as advancing Jewish interests.

It is always amazing to me that media figures like the Kristols and Podhoretzes and foreign policy experts like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle do not feel an obligation to precede their remarks on issues affected by the ir solicitude for Israel by saying, "you should be wary of what I say because I have a vested ethnic interest in advancing the interests of Israel."

But the same thing goes for vast areas of anthropology (the Boasian school and racial differences research), history (e.g., obviously apologetic accounts of the history and causes of anti-Semitism or the role of Jews in t he establishment of Bolshevism), psychology (the Frankfurt School, psychoanalysis), and contemporary issues (immigration, church-state relations).

The point of CofC that really galls people is the idea that we should simply acknowledge this bias in (some) Jewish researchers as we do in others.

There are a great many books on how Darwin and Galton were influenced by the general atmosphere of Victorian England, but writing of a Jewish bias immediately results in charges of "anti-Semitism." [...]

The rise of Jewish power and the disestablishment of the specifically European nature of the U.S. are the real topics of CofC. The war to disestablish the specifically European nature of the U.S. was fought on several fro nts. The main thrusts of Jewish activism against European ethnic and cultural hegemony have focused on three critical power centers in the United States: The academic world of information in the social sciences and humani ties, the political world where public policy on immigration and other ethnic issues is decided, and the mass media where "ways of seeing" are presented to the public. [...]

Things are very different now. Since the 1960s a hostile, adversary elite has emerged to dominate intellectual and political debate. It is an elite that almost instinctively loathes the traditional institutions of Europea n-American culture: its religion, its customs, its manners, and its sexual attitudes. In the words of one commentator, "today's elite loathes the nation it rules" (Gerlernter 1997). [...]

This "hostile elite" is fundamentally a Jewish-dominated elite whose origins and main lines of influence are described in CofC. The emergence of this hostile elite is an aspect of ethnic competition between Jews and non-J ews and its effect will be a long-term decline in the hegemony of European peoples in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. [...]

The fact that the Jewish intellectuals and political operatives described in CofC did not lose their national/ethnic loyalties shows that there was no general trend to de-ethnicization. The broad trends toward de-ethniciz ation somehow occurred among the Europeans but spared the Jews who by all accounts continue to strongly support their ethnic homeland, Israel, and continue to have a strong sense of peoplehood—propped up now by high-profi le programs encouraging Jews to marry other Jews. [...]

How to account for the acceptance of Jews and Judaism by the WASP establishment after W.W.II? Cuddihy's (1978) book, No Offense: Civil Religion and Protestant Taste, focuses on the elevation of Judaism to the status of on e of the "big three" U.S. religions, to the point that a rabbi officiates at the presidential inauguration even though Jews constitute approximately 2­3% of the population. [...]

The Jews' posturing as a religion left them open to large-scale defection via intermarriage to the extent that they took seriously the idea that Judaism was akin to Protestantism, and to some extent this did occur. But re cently, Jews have been mending the fences. There is an upsurge in more traditional forms of Judaism and an open rejection of intermarriage even among the most liberal wings of Judaism. Recent guidelines for Reform Judaism emphasize traditional practices of conversion, such as circumcision, that are likely to minimize converts, and proselytism is explicitly rejected. [...]

Judaism became unconditionally accepted as a modern religion even while retaining a commitment to its ethnic core. It conformed outwardly to the religious norms of the U.S., but it also continued to energetically pursue i ts ethnic interests, especially with regard to issues where there is a substantial consensus among Jews: support for Israel and the welfare of other foreign Jewries, immigration and refugee policy, church-state separation , abortion rights, and civil liberties (Goldberg 1996, 5). What is remarkable is that a wealthy, powerful, and highly talented ethnic group was able to pursue its interests without those interests ever being the subject o f open political discussion by mainstream political figures, for at least the last 60 years. [...]

For example, during the immigration debates of the 1940s­1960s Jews were described by themselves and others as "people of the Jewish faith."

They were simply another religion in an officially pluralistic religious society, and part of Jewish posturing was a claim to a unique universalistic moral-religious vision that could only be achieved by enacting legislat ion that in fact furthered their particularist ethnic aims.

The universalistic moral-religious vision promoted by Jewish activists really amounted to taking the Protestants at their own word—by insisting that every last shred of ethnic identity among Protestants be given up while Jews were implicitly allowed to keep theirs if they only promised to behave civilly. [...]

[In] Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999), Shahak and Mezvinsky argue that present-day fundamentalists attempt to recreate the life of Jewish communities before the Enlightenment (i.e., prior to about 1750). During this period the great majority of Jews believed in Cabbala—Jewish mysticism. Influential Jewish scholars like Gershom Scholem ignored the obvious racialist, exclusivist material in the Cabbala by using word s like "men", "human beings", and "cosmic" to suggest the Cabbala has a universalist message.

The actual text says salvation is only for Jews, while non-Jews have "Satanic souls" (p. 58).

The ethnocentrism apparent in such statements was not only the norm in traditional Jewish society. It remains a powerful current of contemporary Jewish fundamentalism, with important implications for Israeli politics. For example, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, describing the difference between Jews and non-Jews:

We do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather we have a case of ...a totally different species.... The body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world [...]

The difference of the inner quality [of the body] [...] is so great that the bodies would be considered as completely different species.

This is the reason why the Talmud states that there is an halachic difference in attitude about the bodies of non-Jews [as opposed to the bodies of Jews] ‘their bodies are in vain'.[...]

An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness. (In Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999, 59 ­60)

This claim of Jewish uniqueness echoes Holocaust activist Elie Wiesel's (1985, 153) claim that "everything about us is different." Jews are "ontologically" exceptional.

The Gush Emunim and other Jewish fundamentalist sects described by Shahak and Mezvinsky are thus part of a long mainstream Jewish tradition that considers Jews and non-Jews as completely different species, with Jews absol utely superior to non-Jews and subject to a radically different moral code. Moral universalism is thus antithetical to the Jewish tradition. [...]

Within Israel, these Jewish fundamentalist groups are not tiny fringe groups, mere relics of traditional Jewish culture. They are widely respected by the Israeli public and by many Jews in the Diaspora. They have a great deal of influence on the government, especially the Likud governments and the recent government of national unity headed by Ariel Sharon. The members of Gush Emunim constitute a significant percentage of the elite units o f the Israeli army, and, as expected on the hypothesis that they are extremely ethnocentric, they are much more willing to treat the Palestinians in a savage and brutal manner than are other Israeli soldiers. [...]

Given that ethnocentrism continues to pervade all segments of the Jewish community, the advocacy of the de-ethnicization of Europeans... is best seen as a strategic move against peoples regarded as historical enemies. [.. .]

This suggests the fascinating possibility that the key for a group intending to turn Europeans against themselves is to trigger their strong tendency toward altruistic punishment by convincing them of the evil of their ow n people.

Because Europeans are individualists at heart, they readily rise up in moral anger against their own people...[...]

Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, [via the Holocaust] any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. Rather than see other Europeans as part of an encompa ssing ethnic and tribal community, fellow Europeans were seen as morally blameworthy and the appropriate target of altruistic punishment. [...]

CofC calls attention to a long list of ... double standards, especially with regard to the policies pursued by Israel versus the policies Jewish organizations have pursued in the U.S.

Jewish advocates addressing Western audiences have promoted policies that satisfy Jewish (particularist) interests in terms of the morally universalist language that is a central feature of Western moral and intellectual discourse. [...]

Jewish organizations played a decisive role in opposing the idea that the United States ought to be a European nation. Nevertheless, these organizations have been strong supporters of Israel as a nation of the Jewish peop le.

Consider, for example, a press release of May 28, 1999 by the ADL:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today lauded the passage of sweeping changes in Germany's immigration law, saying the easing of the nation's once rigorous naturalization requirements "will provide a climate for diver sity and acceptance. It is encouraging to see pluralism taking root in a society that, despite its strong democracy, had for decades maintained an unyielding policy of citizenship by blood or descent only," said Abraham H . Foxman, ADL National Director. "The easing of immigration requirements is especially significant in light of Germany's history of the Holocaust and persecution of Jews and other minority groups. The new law will provide a climate for diversity and acceptance in a nation with an onerous legacy of xenophobia, where the concept of ‘us versus them' will be replaced by a principle of citizenship for all."

There is no mention of analogous laws in place in Israel restricting immigration to Jews and the long-standing policy of rejecting the possibility of repatriation for Palestinian refugees wishing to return to Israel or th e occupied territories. The prospective change in the "us versus them" attitude alleged to be characteristic of Germany is applauded, while the "us versus them" attitude characteristic of Israel and Jewish culture through out history is unmentioned.

Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Interior ruled that new immigrants who have converted to Judaism will no longer be able to bring non-Jewish family members into the country. [...] Nevertheless, Jewish organizations conti nue to be strong proponents of multi-ethnic immigration to the United States.

This pervasive double standard was noticed by writer Vincent Sheean in his observations of Zionists in Palestine in 1930: "how idealism goes hand in hand with the most terrific cynicism; . . . how they are Fascists in the ir own affairs, with regard to Palestine, and internationalists in everything else." [...]

The best strategy for a collectivist group like the Jews for destroying Europeans therefore is to convince the Europeans of their own moral bankruptcy.

A major theme of CofC is that this is exactly what Jewish intellectual movements have done.

They have presented Judaism as morally superior to European civilization and European civilization as morally bankrupt and the proper target of altruistic punishment. The consequence is that once Europeans are convinced o f their own moral depravity, they will destroy their own people in a fit of altruistic punishment.

The general dismantling of the culture of the West and eventually its demise as anything resembling an ethnic entity will occur as a result of a moral onslaught triggering a paroxysm of altruistic punishment. And thus the intense effort among Jewish intellectuals to continue the ideology of the moral superiority of Judaism and its role as undeserving historical victim while at the same time continuing the onslaught on the moral legitimacy of the West.

The Judaization of the West is nowhere more obvious than in the veneration of the Holocaust as the central moral icon of the entire civilization. These developments constitute a profound transformation from the tradition of critical and scientific individualism that had formed the Western tradition since the Enlightenment. More importantly, because of the deep-seated Jewish hostility toward traditional Western culture, the Judaization of the West means that the peoples who created the culture and traditions of the West have been made to feel deeply ashamed of their own history-surely the prelude to their demise as a culture and as a people.

The present Judaized cultural imperium in the West is maintained by a pervasive thought control propagated by the mass media and extending to self-censorship by academics, politicians, and others well aware of the dire pe rsonal and professional consequences of crossing the boundaries of acceptable thought and speech about Jews and Jewish issues. It is maintained by zealously promulgated, self-serving, and essentially false theories of the nature and history of Judaism and the nature and causes of anti-Semitism. [...]

None of this should be surprising. Jewish populations have always had enormous effects on the societies where they reside because of two qualities that are central to Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy: High intelli gence (including the usefulness of intelligence in attaining wealth) and the ability to cooperate in highly organized, cohesive groups (MacDonald 1994). This has led repeatedly to Jews becoming an elite and powerful group in societies where they reside in sufficient numbers-as much in the 20th-century United States and the Soviet Union as in 15th-century Spain or Alexandria in the ancient world. History often repeats itself after all.

Indeed, recent data indicate that Jewish per capita income in the United States is almost double that of non-Jews, a bigger difference than the black-white income gap.

Although Jews make up less than 3 percent of the population, they constitute more than a quarter of the people on the Forbes magazine list of the richest four hundred Americans.

A remarkable 87 percent of college-age Jews are currently enrolled in institutions of higher education, as compared with 40 percent for the population as a whole (Thernstrom & Thernstrom 1997). Jews are indeed an elite gr oup in American society. [...]

By all accounts, ethnic Jews have a powerful influence in the American media—far larger than any other identifiable group. The extent of Jewish ownership and influence on the popular media in the United States is remarkab le given the relatively small proportion of the population that is Jewish. [...]

At the present time, "ways of seeing" that are presented to the public include - to a greater and greater extent - the Internet. The largest media company in the world was recently formed by the merger of America On Line and Time Warner. Gerald M. Levin, formerly the head of Time Warner, is the Chief Executive Officer of the new corporation. AOL-Time Warner has holdings in television (e.g., Home Box Office, CNN, Turner Broadcasting), musi c (Warner Music), movies (Warner Brothers Studio, Castle Rock Entertainment, and New Line Cinema), and publishing (Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune).

The second largest media company is the Walt Disney Company, headed by Michael Eisner. Disney has holdings in movies (Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, under Walt Disney Studios, includes Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Caravan Pictures, Miramax Films); television (Capital Cities/ABC [owner of the ABC television network], Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television, Buena Vista Television, ESPN, Lifetime, A&E Television networks) and cable networks with more than 100 million subscribers; radio (ABC Radio Network with over 3,400 affiliates and ownership of 26 stations in major cities); publishing (seven daily newspapers, F airchild Publications [Women's Wear Daily], and the Diversified Publishing Group).

The third largest media company is Viacom, Inc., headed by Sumner Redstone, who is also Jewish. Viacom has holdings in movies (Paramount Pictures); broadcasting (the CBS TV network; MTV [a particular focus of criticism by cultural conservatives], VH-1, Nickelodeon, Showtime, the National Network, Black Entertainment Television, 13 television stations; programming for the three television networks); publishing (Simon & Schuster, Scribner, The Free Press, and Pocket Books), video rentals (Blockbuster); it is also involved in satellite broadcasting, theme parks, and video games.

In the world of print media, the Newhouse media empire owns 26 daily newspapers, including several large and important ones, such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Newark Star-Ledger, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune; Newhouse Broadcasting, consisting of 12 television broadcasting stations and 87 cable-TV systems, including some of the country's largest cable networks; the Sunday supplement Parade, with a circulation of more than 22 mi llion copies per week; some two dozen major magazines, including the New Yorker, Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Bride's, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Self, House & Garden, and all the other magazines of the wholly o wned Conde Nast group.

The newsmagazine, U.S. News & World Report, with a weekly circulation of 2.3 million, is owned and published by Mortimer B. Zuckerman. Zuckerman also owns New York's tabloid newspaper, the Daily News, the sixth-largest pa per in the country, and is the former owner of the Atlantic Monthly. Zuckerman is a Jewish ethnic activist. Recently he was named head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella or ganization for major Jewish organizations in the U.S.30 Zuckerman's column in U.S. News and World Report regularly defends Israel and has helped to rejuvenate the America-Israeli Friendship League, of which he is presiden t.

The Wall Street Journal is the largest-circulation daily newspaper in the U.S. It is owned by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., a New York corporation that also publishes 24 other daily newspapers and the weekly financial paper Barron's. The chairman and CEO of Dow Jones is Peter R. Kann. Kann also holds the posts of chairman and publisher of the Wall Street Journal. The Sulzberger family owns the New York Times Co., which owns 33 other newspape rs, including the Boston Globe. It also owns twelve magazines (including McCall's and Family Circle, each with a circulation of more than 5 million), seven radio and TV broadcasting stations; a cable-TV system; and three book publishing companies. The New York Times News Service transmits news stories, features, and photographs from the New York Times by wire to 506 other newspapers, news agencies, and magazines.

Even granting the exceptions, it is clear that Jews enjoy a very powerful position in U.S. media, a position that is far more powerful than any other racial/ethnic group. The phenomenal concentration of media power in Jew ish hands becomes all the more extraordinary when one notes that Jews constitute approximately 2.5% of the U.S. population. If the Jewish percentage of the American media elite is estimated at 59% (Lichter et al. 1983, 55 )-probably an underestimate at the present time, the degree of disproportionate representation may be calculated as greater than 2000%. The likelihood that such an extraordinary disparity could arise by chance is virtuall y nil. [The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements]

Now that we have a rather good idea of the identity of the Second Beast, let's continue with the prophetic exegesis of Revelation just to see what it says about the plans and intentions of the Beast Empire and it's Controllers:

"And he was permitted to impart the breath of life into the beast's image so that the image of the beast could actually talk, and to cause to be put to death those who would not bow down and worship the image of the beast. Also, he compels all, both small and great, both rich and the poor, both free and slave, to be marked with an inscription on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp, the name of the beast or the number of his name."

The dreaded "Mark of the Beast." The horror of totalitarian world government -- tattoos, laser marks, implanted computer tapes -- a host of interpretations! Yet, we cannot look upon this lightly for it contains the implications of the most horrific prophetic curse ever delivered in the pages of scripture!

Before delving into the "Mark", let's look at the first portions of this section. The "breath of life" imparted to the image, or ideals of the beast, coupled with "speech" and "putting to death", express a repetition of the coupling of blasphemous speech and military action in the earlier verses. Thus we see that the beast will initiate "war" (active, cold, or covert) with those nations which do not adhere to its image, or domination in military and commercial respects. This is further amplified by the implications of buying and selling -- join the beast or die!

[W]hat John means by the use of the word "mark" or "stamp," is an ideological affiliation! A spiritual position! An attitude of mind, heart and action! Nothing more -- nothing less! What is more, we come to a most interesting description of those who are MARKED BY THE BEAST on the forehead and hands:

"Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord -- the only Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with your entire being, and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you this day, shall be in your own mind and heart; you shall whet and sharpen them, so as to make them penetrate and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes, And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

We should note, however, that John divides the Mark of the beast into two categories: those who bear the "stamp" -- the name of the beast or those who bear the number of his name. And here we come to the final solution: the identity of the beast. For it is clear that the geographical area of this beast/empire is under sentence of doom as well as those who are marked by the esoteric significance of the number of the beast who are located elsewhere, geographically.

"Here is discernment -- a call for the wisdom; let anyone who has intelligence (penetration, insight) enough, CALCULATE the number of the beast; for it is a human number, the number of a certain man; his number is 666."

1. CALCULATE -- a mathematical operation.

2. Calculate what? -- The number of the beast.

3. Calculate how? --

a. it is a human number;

b. the number of a certain man.

4. The unfinished numerical form of the name of the beast, the numbers which will give the mathematical result identical with the name number of the beast, thereby affirming identity, is 666.

In order to understand what is meant here, we have to consider the mind-set and world-view of the individual who wrote the book of Revelation. He was undoubtely familiar with the ancient Wisdom Literature which included many occult and esoteric teachings, one of which is a system of numerology. In the ancient tradition, a name number is very significant. The ancients understood, as physicists do today, that numbers represent the closest we can ever come to writing and understanding the laws of the universe. In the past, a man's name number was so important that his name was often changed, signifying some important accomplishment or change of life, thereby changing the numerical value as well as the intrinsic meaning.

Clue 3a is clarified by 3b which indicates that we are not to interpret the former in literal terms -- the number of humanity being 6, according to ancient wisdom literature numerology; but that we are to deal with a specific name just as if we were determining the name number of a certain, (any given) man. In presenting these clues, John is telling us that we are to use numerology to find the name number of the beast just as if it were a man. We may make this determination by matching our result with the result of the numerological application to the number 666. This will affirm our identification of the last great world empire --the Beast.

The symbology of these numbers is important in another way. The result of the rules of numerology applied to the number 666 is 9: 6 6 6=18; 1 8=9. Nine is not only the name number of the beast, it is the product of 3 squared, or divine completion. We can also see in these numbers man's attempt to usurp the position of God -- 6 repeated 3 times -- or the number of man arranged as the divine trinity. Symbolically nine signifies finality, completion, fulfillment. There are the nine beatitudes, nine gifts of the spirit, nine fruits of the spirit, and the words of Christ at the ninth hour: "It is finished!"

For the moment, we may also observe that 9 is an inverted 6 and, expressing the idea of the law of God - the Triad - being co-opted by Usurpation and inverted to negative purposes.

When we consider the ACTION of the Triad God on the Triple sixes that equal nine, or what we might think of as the MULTIPLYING effect of Cosmic Law -- or 3 x 666 -- we get a most interesting product: 1998.

The Mark of the Beast - the imposition of totalitarian controls has been traditionally related to the so-called End of the World based on a passage from the book of Matthew:

24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains [...]

24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

This passage about the "abomination of desolation" seems to relate directly to the Mark of the Beast - both of them big "End Times" signs. So what, exactly, does Daniel say about this "abomination?"

"Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one that spoke, For how long is the vision concerning the continual offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot? And he said to him and to me, For two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed and restored."

In 70 A.D. the Jewish temple was polluted and then destroyed. This was an archetype of what was to come. In the present time, the Temple is the body of mankind (naos vs. hieron) -- even the body of an individual. Our spiritual frequencies are being polluted by materialistic capitalist attitudes promulgated and propagated by the Beast. As noted above, this mind-set is the key to the "Mark of the Beast."

Dividing 2300 by 365, we obtain the figure 6.3 years from the date of the "abomination." and, if that is the case, and the ending or beginning is 1998, then we try subtracting 6.3 years from 1998 and we end up with 1991. If we add 6.3 years to 1998, we end up with 2004.

1998 was the most violent year in the history of weather and ended as the hottest year ever recorded. Also, a minor recession occurred in 1991 concurrent with the Persian Gulf conflict begun by George Bush Senior. At the present moment, we have a renewal of the Middle Eastern Conflict by George Bush Junior, and we get the uneasy feeling that something was begun by George Bush Senior that will be "completed" this year.

On the other hand, if we consider the Abomination of Desolation to have initiated on September 11, 2001, and we use literal days instead of trying to interpret in years, we would then expect to see the "cleansing of the temple of humanity" to be slated for January of 2008.

The prophecies of Revelation state that the two beasts will be cast into the lake of fire along with the false prophet. That would suggest that the geographical area of the Beast Empire, and those who are doomed throughout the globe for their lack of spiritual "clothing," may have some problems, to say the least.

Now, you ask, Who -- or What -- is the Beast? Which world empire fits the descriptions of Revelation 13?

Which world empire began on a foreign shore, formed of many races and tongues; (primarily people from the area of the old Roman Empire -- the "Little Horn" of Daniel, which made war with three of the ten divisions of the Roman Empire: England, France and Spain)?

Which nation on the earth rapidly became the richest and most powerful empire on earth, blasphemously using the name of God as its motto?

Which nation suffered a military attack - Pearl Harbor - which seemed to be devastating, but was, in fact, a political manipulation designed to engender popular support for a war of greed -- a wound which healed so quickly that one can't help but wonder if all preparations were made in advance?

And, considering repeating archetypes, dare we suggest that we ought to compare the World Trade Center attack with the attack on Pearl Harbor? Or was the 9-11 attack merely the coming to power of the Second Beast we have described above?

Which nation rose up after such an attack (Pearl Harbor) and went on to lead an adoring world in a global war, winning on two fronts simultaneously? A war which involved this empire on one of the fronts for a period of EXACTLY 42 months?

And which nation, in response to an obviously manipulated attack on the World Trade Center has risen up to appoint itself the leader in a "War on Terrorism?"

Which empire developed and used "fire falling from the sky in the sight of men" -- atomic weapons -- to awe and intimidate the peoples of the world - and did so via the offices of a group of elite controllers of the world, a second beast that appeared as a lamb and spoke as a dragon?

The fact is, however, one cannot attach definite dates to propecies because of the fluid nature of reality. Nevertheless, as we have noted, certain forces that are aware of definite cycles, might utilize those cycles to make prophecies that are assured of "coming true" in order to enhance their own position. They can also make prophecies and then ensure that they "happen" by manipulation of realities. Again, this is for the purpose of servicing their own position.

Getting back to the identity of The Beast: Which nation used the blasphemous power of Atomic weapons on a people already defeated, the Japanese, after having deliberately drawn them into war?

Which nation, after this war, established, and still maintains, military presence and industrial outposts over all the globe and has made the world its marketplace -- a financial bonanza -- propagating materialism as though it were manna from heaven or the word of God in order to satiate its voracious appetite for money and power?

What nation on the earth is ruled from behind the political stage by the industrial-military complex -- a group so powerful they can politically (or literally) assassinate public and private figures with impunity; a group of wealthy elitists who know no bounds to their greed; a group which foments social unrest, political strife, unstable economies, wars and revolutions; a group which stimulates technology and promulgates materialism, to keep their pockets full and the strings of power in their hands?

What nation on earth has been manipulated by the electronic media -- under the control of the motivation masters hired by the industrial-military complex (the false prophets of materialism and technology) -- so that they have lost sight of the spirit and meaning of those ideals which gave birth to their empire?

What nation's name number is NINE?

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Small earthquake recorded at Mount Hood
By Typh Tucker
The Associated Press
Monday, October 04, 2004

PORTLAND — A small earthquake rumbled beneath Mount Hood today but it wasn't related to Mount St. Helens' venting of steam and ash, according to scientists.

"All these volcanoes have a common tectonic setting," said Willie Scott, geologist with the United States Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory, in Vancouver, Wash. "But each system operates quite independently on their own plumbing system and own magma systems."

Preliminary data at the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network at the University of Washington in Seattle showed that the earthquake was about 2.7 in magnitude, said lab technician John Patrick.

Scott said it was just a coincidence that a quake shook Mount Hood as Mount St. Helens was belching steam and ash.

When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, a swarm of earthquakes shook Mount Hood. But the two events likely had different causes, say scientists.

Comment: Note the word "likely"...

Volcanic activity usually doesn't cause earthquakes in other locations, said Carolyn Driedger, a geologist with the Cascade Observatory.

The quake on Mount Hood this morning was likely tectonic, she said, a result of rocks breaking up due to geologic plates sliding under North America.

Volcanic quakes, on the other hand, are caused by magma rising, or groundwater getting heated, Driedger said.

Small quakes shake Mount Hood each year, said John Ewert, geologist and vulcanologist also at the Cascades Volcano Observatory.

More active is a bulge south of the Three Sisters mountains in Central Oregon. A five-inch bulge has been monitored there since the 1990s.

Magma is occurring at a deep level in that system, said Scott, causing visible changes in topography over a large area.

He said scientists are keeping close tabs on the bulge but haven't had any indication there will be an eruption there any time soon.

Comment: In other words, scientists don't actually know that the earthquakes at Mount Hood and the bulge south of the Three Sisters mountains aren't related to the activity at Mount St. Helens...

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Big cloud rises from Mount St. Helens
CBC Online
Mon, 04 Oct 2004 22:04:36 EDT

MOUNT ST. HELENS, WASH. - Mount St. Helens emitted a large plume of steam on Monday, with fears of an eruption rising as scientists estimated the width of the volcano's crater had expanded by 15 to 30 metres.

Several quakes with a magnitude of 3 also shook the mountain in Washington state.

Willy Scott of the U.S Geological Survey estimated that the massive cloud had risen to more than 3,000 metres above the mountain at 12:50 EDT.

He said Mount St. Helens "could go into more substantial events at any moment."

Scientists have estimated that there is a 70 per cent chance of the volcano erupting.

Mount St. Helens is a stratovolcano; a tall, conical mountain volcano composed of hardened lava and volcanic ash.

It is part of the Cascade Range of mountains that runs along the west coast of North America from B.C. to northern California.

In 1792, British Royal Navy Commander George Vancouver (namesake of Vancouver, B.C.) named the volcano after British diplomat Alleyne Fitzherbert, Baron St. Helens.

Before that, it was known as Louwala-Clough, meaning "smoking or fire mountain" in the language of the Klickitat tribe.

"Basically what you are seeing is melting of ice from the [mountain's] glacier," Scott said. He added the volcano's moving magma had either got to the surface or was very close to it.

The eruption might last for about 20 minutes, the scientist said, although the cloud appeared to continue to billow strongly for some time longer.

Scientists said any ashes contained within the cloud were likely not toxic. They had warned Saturday that Mount St. Helens could erupt at any time, following days of tremors and associated activity.

It raised fears of another catastrophic event on the scale of May 1980, when an eruption tore off the top of the mountain, killing 57 people.

Officials on Saturday declared a level 3 alert, the highest possible level, and most people within a 13-km perimeter around the volcano were evacuated.

As well, commercial aircraft have been told not to fly within 250 kilometres of the mountain.

However, scores of people have flocked to the area to photograph the dramatic sights, and media crews are regularly flying over the volcano.

Comment: Take a look at the following map from the USGS web site:

Note the proximity of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, and the Three Sisters mountains. Also note the rather interestingly-named Newberry Caldera and Crater Lake further south... But don't worry! None of the recent activity is related in any way - please go back to sleep, and feel free to fly over the area and take videos...

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