Comment: We have decided to re-run this article published April of last year. For some curious reason, searching for it on google gives no returns even when specific phrases from the text are used in quotes for the search. We suspect that this particular piece is being suppressed stringently for some reason and hope that as many of you as possible will share it around, cross-post it, link to it, and otherwise make the information contained herein widely available in spite of google.
|©Signs of the Times|
My last contribution to the Blogosphere must have been pretty scary. Geeze! You shoulda seen my mail! People going bananas and writing "what to do? what to do!?"
Well, this one's not going to be any better. But let me say in advance that today's particular collection of items will lead us to a certain point of hope which I wish to elucidate at the end.
It is 7.17 am, Eastern Standard Time, on the thirtieth of June [some year in the not-too-distant future]. Suddenly the power fails.In short, the Hammer of God struck.
The basement centre of the Defense Communication Operations Unit adjoining the White House is plunged into darkness, and only the distant rumble of early morning traffic reminds the duty officer that another day has already begun. There have been power failures before, however, and there is no hint of impending crisis
Almost immediately, an automatic switch brings in the emergency supply. But now the duty officer observes that something is wrong. Telephone links to the outside world have gone. These include the open links, via commercial cables, to NORAD's bunker a thousand feet under Cheyenne Peak in Colorado, and to the Offutt command post near Omaha
Within seconds it is ascertained that neither the President nor Vice-President, both of whom are out of town, can be contacted: radio communications are blacked out, on all frequencies. Further, because of the telephone failure, none of the Presidential stand-ins scattered around town and country can be expected to call in to give their exact locations, as they would normally if there were a recognized national emergency. However, the Secretary of Defense, third in the chain of command, is at breakfast somewhere in the White House
It has taken 45 seconds to confirm the general breakdown of communications; it takes another 45 seconds to locate the Secretary of Defense and inform him of the problem; and it is another 90 seconds before the Secretary finds himself in the cramped underground Situation Room along with his advisors. He is aware that the travel time of a missile from a hostile submarine off the Atlantic coast to Washington is just over fifteen minutes; three of these minutes have gone
Emergency procedures for transferring authority are now in hand and the Secretary of Defense becomes in effect the new President. The 'gold codes', which would enable him to initiate a nuclear response, are placed before him. The black SIOP books with their theoretical scenarios are produced. The 'Mystic' and 'Nationwide' communication systems are successfully activated utilizing deeply buried, protected cables. He now has control of the National Command Authority, the channel of communication for execution of a nuclear strike; and another two minutes have gone
The underground cables to Cheyenne, Offutt and other SAC bases are now open with secure links to the radar lines covering the northern approaches. None of them - Dew Line, the 55th Parallel or Pine Tree - is functioning properly, however; their screens are strongly upset with many spurious signals: there seem to be huge scattering modes in the ionosphere.
Satellite communication with military forces abroad is impaired. No information is coming in from the big synchronous DSP satellites over South America, the central Pacific or the Indian Ocean; nothing is arriving from the relay stations near Aurora in Colorado or Pine Gap in Australia. And the 'hot line' is dead. On the other hand in the minutes before the confusion they had reported no anomalous infrared emissions and hence no evidence of heat from the exhausts of rising missiles. At the moment all that can be said is that there is a very unusual atmospheric disturbance, that telephone lines are dead and that there are widespread power failures. The disturbed atmosphere might just be some strange effect due to sunspots or the like, but the telephone and power failures are ominous. On such a scale, the only plausible explanation is an electromagnetic pulse caused by nuclear fireballs
Eight minutes into the emergency - if it is an emergency - the Secretary issues a number of precautionary orders. His deputy is ordered upstairs to await the arrival of a helicopter from Quantico Marine Corps base about 30 miles away. This will transport the deputy to the waiting 'Nightwatch', a Boeing 747 which functions as an airborne command post. Another helicopter is dispatched to retrieve the President. A 'flash alert' is sent to Hawaii, to get a second command post aloft, but the message goes unacknowledged. SAC missile silos and bomber bases are put on full alert
Nine minutes on, information begins to flood in from sensors and antennae in orbit, at sea and scattered round the Earth. Much of it is reassuring: there are no patterns of activity on land, sea or air consistent with hostile intentions, no evacuations of barracks or the like are in progress.
But now something deeply disturbing is coming in from one of the DSP satellites. A television screen shows a brilliant patch over south-east Nevada, bright enough to saturate the lead sulphide cells in the satellite. Intense heat is radiating from an area of about ten thousand square kilometres. Distant ground sensors are reporting large tremors emanating from the same area - unnecessarily, as the Situation Room has begun to sway and vibrate, and loud rumblings are coming up from deep under the ground.
Then, from Offutt, comes devastating news. Air Force pilots are reporting a huge explosion in the desert area close to Boulder City. The city itself has gone, reduced to rubble. Las Vegas and other towns within 100 miles are enveloped in huge firestorms. The Hoover Dam has disintegrated. A column of dust and rubble has been sucked up to great altitude and a mushroom cloud is spreading outwards. Huge amounts of smoke are blanketing the state of Arizona and spreading into New Mexico and Mexico itself. The Secretary and his advisors can see it all on their television screens
The Secretary now has a maximum of five minutes in which to discuss and evaluate the information, make any decisions and implement them.
He is informed that the damage corresponds to explosions amounting to at least twenty megatons, and must have been caused by more than one bomb. The possibility of accidental detonations is quickly ruled out, because of its technical improbability and the magnitude of the explosion. Further, he is told that both ground and air bursts must have been involved to disrupt both cable and ionospheric communications. The conclusion seems unavoidable that for some reason the Soviets have targeted bombs on to American territory having somehow circumvented military radars. perhaps armed satellites with low radar cross-section have suddenly been diverted downwards; or perhaps submarine-launched cruise missiles have been fired; or perhaps bombs had already been smuggled into the area.
But why? The desert is a bizarre choice of target, Boulder, Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam of low strategic value. No sense can be made of the attack.
Perhaps, it is suggested, they were chosen because they have little value. The attack may be a prelude to some major military adventure and may be a warning, a "keep out' notice pitched at a level low enough that the risks of 'nuclear response are not justified and yet high enough to demonstrate deadly earnest. Or, the impacts may be intended to disrupt radar and communications for reasons which can only be guessed at
Whatever the merits of such speculations, the Secretary cannot responsibly rule out the possibility that further bombs may follow, completely jamming command and control over nuclear weapons, or even that Washington is an imminent target whose destruction might for example be awaiting only the positioning of armed satellites, already in orbit, over the city, or the arrival of cruise missiles.
Twelve minutes into the emergency, the Secretary's deputy is still on the White House lawn waiting for a helicopter, there is no communication with the President and the only information still coming in confirms that towns over several thousand square miles have been destroyed in nuclear blasts. He has no time left and must come to an immediate decision
He could initiate the dreaded 'Major Attack Option'. This is quickly ruled out because it is beyond reason, leading only to mutual annihilation. He could choose to do nothing. But it is pointed out that in the present situation paralysis could also lead to holocaust. Whether the National Command Authority is 'decapitated' in the next few minutes depends on whether further missiles are about to land. If they are, then all control over the counter-strike force may be lost and, with bombs falling on the USA, a full-scale attack on the Soviet Union will, following standing instructions, be unleashed by individual submarine commanders, and by the one-star generals aboard their Cover All airborne command posts. It is therefore vital to forestall any further nuclear attacks by calling the bluff, that is by retaliating at a similar level. All the options are dangerous. The least dangerous is an immediate 'controlled response'
The discussions are interrupted by confused reports of a storm of missiles, a cataract of fire pouring in over the states of the western seaboard and Canada. But the reports go unconfirmed; again, communications are failing over the whole of the United States
It is 7.30 am, Eastern Standard Time, on the thirtieth of June. In the revamped over-the-horizon radar base near Gomel in ByeloRussia officers are horrified to see, through the confusion of the still disturbed ionosphere, a dozen missile tracks appearing on their screens. Peacekeepers are rising over the plains of Kansas..
Even as they look, however, another unheralded missile is encountering the atmosphere high over the Bernese Oberland. Coming in at sixty thousand miles an hour, a hundred kilometres above Interlaken, the missile is gathering around itself a narrow skin of compressed air whose temperature surges up to about half a million degrees. Waves ripple within the hot air-turned-plasma; atoms, scattering off the waves, reach huge speeds, collide violently, and are stripped to their nuclei; electrons, torn from the atoms, accelerate violently and radiate fiercely at all wavelengths. For the most part this fierce emission is invisible, hard ultraviolet light or soft X-rays, and the atmosphere absorbs these at altitude, 50 to 90 kilometres up.
Only a tiny fraction of the radiation reaches the ground as visible light. Even so, Europe is lit up as if with a flashbulb: survivors from Ireland to Austria and from Denmark to Italy later describe 'a bluish white light, too bright for the naked eye', or 'a fire brighter than the Sun', or 'a thunderbolt ... blinding in its intensity'.
Approaching from the south east, the missile passes on a long, shallow trajectory, throwing moving shadows over the Jungfrau, Berne and Basle. It crosses the sky in a few seconds, leaving a wake of hot, luminous debris and air surrounded by a rapidly expanding red trail. Ten seconds after its first encounter with the atmosphere, the missile has penetrated the ionosphere, passed through the stratosphere and is moving rapidly into the lower atmosphere
Here at an altitude between 10 and 15 kilometres, the missile hits significantly denser air and suddenly disintegrates. It never reaches the ground therefore and instead unloads its stored-up power, 200 megatons of impact energy, into the air over Louvain, a medium-sized town in central Belgium. The missile vaporizes in a third of a second. It is now, momentarily, an incandescent cylinder a few kilometres long and a few hundred metres across. The temperature within the cylinder is over100,000 C. The pressure for an instant reaches some tens of thousands of tons per square inch; the missile blows up into a ball of fire radiating X-rays of huge intensity. These are absorbed within a few metres by the surrounding air; but, in doing so, the envelope of atmospheric gas acquires their energy. Simultaneously, hot, compressed material is thrusting rapidly outwards from the point of disintegration and snowploughing the air ahead of it. A blast wave develops; 'the fireball expands. From the first trace of incandescent tail high over Interlaken, to the beginnings of the fireball over Louvain, less than eleven seconds have elapsed.
When the fireball has reached about four miles in diameter the shock wave breaks away and races ahead of it. The corresponding blast brings a wind speed of over a thousand miles an hour. Survival at this distance is impossible; Louvain, directly under the fireball, disappears in less than a second. The fireball meanwhile inflates and soars rapidly upwards for several kilometres until, in the stratosphere, it flattens out and takes the classical mushroom shape. The cloud is seen from Copenhagen to Florence, from Edinburgh to Budapest. And over the whole of Europe, the ground shakes and buildings sway dangerously. Trains are derailed in southern England and beneath the Channel. The mushroom cloud is quickly broken up by jet streams at about 60 kilometres altitude and is subsequently dispersed around the globe
Within 25 kilometres of Louvain, all buildings are reduced to rubble. A few girder bridges survive due to accidental cancellation of pressure waves from above and below. The shock wave reaches Brussels to the west and Liege to the east. The buildings within these cities collapse, domino-like, as the wave sweeps through; and all traces of roads are immediately erased by rubble.
Beyond 25 kilometres, some structures survive, although few houses remain intact. Throughout Antwerp, for example, about 50 kilometres from ground zero, roofs are stripped bare of tiles and window frames and doors are blown in. Beyond this the damage becomes lighter: about 100 kilometres to the north, the blast, sweeping through Eindhoven, blows tiles off roofs and shatters windows
People out of doors and 25 kilometres from Louvain are hurled about to metres and are usually killed. Flying glass, though, is the greatest hazard. Shopping precincts and office complexes within 50 kilometres find themselves swept without warning by lethal blizzards of flying glass. Indeed, shards of glass account for most of the loss of life in these areas. Even 100 kilometres from the epicentre of the explosion, the blast is still strong enough to flatten forests
Nuclear reactors within reach of the ground tremors and air waves are damaged, their coolant pipes snapped and containment vessels cracked. Some begin the process of meltdown. Already, swathes of radioactive debris are pouring into the atmosphere, mingling with the dense chemical smog, drifting into Germany, and destined for Poland and Scandinavia
Immense destruction is caused by fire as well as blast. Serious flash burns from the thermal pulse of the fireball are sustained over an area of several thousand square kilometres, and virtually all exposed individuals within about 50 kilometres of ground zero receive third degree burns (charred skin) requiring labour-intensive hospital treatment, but in the hours and days following the impact it is impossible for medical services from outside to reach, let alone cope with, the seriously burned, and many of the injured die untreated from shock within twelve hours
The intense heat from the rising fireball sets off fires at a range of 70 kilometres or more. Fanned by the updraft of air sucked in behind the rising ball, these merge into a mass fire, a single all-consuming conflagration. Such fire services as have survived are immobilized in a sea of debris, deprived of water and overwhelmed by the extent of the raging fire.
The Sun eventually sets, but Europe is already dark, only the light from raging fires penetrates the smoke
Sixteen hours after the event the Sun rises again, but it shines down only on a dense, choking smog created by blazing cities and petrochemical complexes. Aerial survey is impossible. Within a circle of radius 50 kilometres, the dead greatly outnumber the living. Even without the mass fire which is still blazing, penetration of the area is impossible as roads are strewn by debris and wrecked vehicles. It will be several days before the fires burn themselves out and the smog disperses enough to reveal the flattened cities and towns, villages and farms. Belgium, it will turn out, has been obliterated. And several weeks would need to pass before French, German and Dutch forces have the capacity to clear the roads, shelter the living and bury the dead. Belgium, however, will wait in vain ...
For the Earth has encountered a cosmic swarm.
Twelve hours later, the death-dealing fusillade is peppering the other side of the globe. Indeed, the bombardment continues for nearly a night and day, the planet rotating all the while, first presenting one face, then the other, until eventually it emerges on the far side of the swarm.
Compared with the fireball over Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War, that over Boulder was a thousand times greater whilst that over Louvain was ten times bigger again, but they are just two of the several hundred pieces of grape-shot that meet the Earth, and they are trivial compared with the larger pieces of ordnance in train. These rarer missiles are each capable of unloading as much energy as would be unleashed in a major nuclear war, and in their case the atmosphere provides relatively little protection. Thus unlike their smaller counterparts, these larger bodies get through to the surface of the Earth, an ocean impact generating a tsunami, a land impact generating a small crater.
There is another difference: each huge fireball is now too energetic to be properly contained by the atmosphere. As before, it ascends, laden with dust, but now it breaks through generating a vacuum in its wake which is filled by a vast stream of air. Thus, on the ground, once the initial blast has swept past, there is a counter flowing hurricane, itself sweeping up dust thrown up by the impact, and blowing it upwards after the rapidly receding fireball. Within minutes the fireball has reached an altitude of several hundred kilometres, in the high stratosphere. Here it stabilizes, and the dust begins to spill outwards over the top of the atmosphere
Closer to the ground, the intense heat of impact from one large fireball has generated hundreds of fires over an area about the size of France. Essentially everything combustible along the line of sight of the rising fireball has caught fire. Loss of life over this area, already massive from the prompt effects of blast and heat, becomes almost complete when these fires merge into a single, all-consuming conflagration. About fifty million tons of smoke pour upwards, in dense plumes rising 10 kilometres into the atmosphere
Within a few days, the wildfires are almost global in extent. Tens of millions of tons of fine dust lofted into the stratosphere, and a comparable amount of smoke in the lower atmosphere, have spread over the northern hemisphere and are beginning to cross into the southern one. At ground level, sunlight is blocked from reaching the ground, and all activity takes place in a black, choking smog. There is no question of mounting any rescue operation to save the devastated areas: the damage is so widespread that communications around the globe have now effectively ceased to exist; individual regions are virtually isolated; devastated populations are thrown back on their own resources; dozens of cities are reduced to smouldering rubble; river pollution is rife; and forests throughout the world are ablaze. Life as we know it is drawing to a close
The cosmic encounter is over. Our planet has finally emerged from the swarm. Both continue, of course, along their predestined paths, the swarm merely a few missiles less, the Earth now charred and encased in a lingering veil of dust and smoke. With the destruction of cities and urban areas, the infrastructure of civilization has already gone; with the loss of sunlight, continental land temperatures have already plummeted to those of a Siberian winter; thick ice covers rivers and lakes; storms of unprecedented intensity rage along the continental margins; with animal and plant life devastated, farming and agriculture have already collapsed. Soon, the disrupted weather patterns will cause the continental land masses to be blanketed in a thick covering of snow
After several months, the Sun begins to be seen through a hazy sky. When, eventually, the dust clears, the land masses of the northern hemisphere are covered in a snowfield which, reflecting sunlight back into space, has become permanent. The snowfield is added to each year, centimetres at a time. A thousand years on, North America and Europe are covered in ice sheets half a mile thick and the ocean level has dropped by about fifty metres. The Earth is locked into a new ice age. Mankind has survived, but the human population has crashed and society has dissolved into hungry marauding bands. A new ecological balance is being worked out on the blasted landscape: indeed the struggle for survival has only just begun... [The Cosmic Winter, Victor Clube and Bill Napier]
Victor Clube and Bill Napier are not members of some whacked out "Doomsday Cult" as I have been accused of being after first presenting the idea that the Earth is facing a date with a swarm of cometary bodies over 13 years ago. At the time the book quoted above was written, Clube was Senior Research Fellow in Astrophysics at the University of Oxford and had also been Acting Director of the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. Napier was an astronomer at the Royal Observatory. They were cited by Firestone et al, whose scientific work on the Holocene Extinction suggests that the planet encountered a massive "swarm" of cometary bodies that nearly destroyed every living thing on Earth about 12000 years ago. As Firestone et al wrote:
Until recently, the astronomical mainstream was highly critical of Clube and Napier's giant comet hypothesis. However, the crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter in 1994 has led to a change in attitudes. The comet, watched by the world's observatories, was seen split into 20 pieces and slam into different parts of the planet over a period of several days. A similar impact on Earth, it hardly needs saying, would have been devastating.The question is, of course, whether or not such a future is really lining up for the human race. As I mentioned in my previous article, we have been keeping track of these things and, it doesn't look good.
Admittedly, almost nothing can be done about such a scenario. It is the fate of ALL species to become extinct and certainly, the other human-like species have already done so. Mankind is not the be-all and end-all of Earthly existence, though he might like to think so. And, considering the behavior of our leaders - those we allow to lead us - throughout history, and particularly over the past 100 years or so, culminating in the obscenity of George W. Bush and his cronies, it might be better if at least one sub-set of the human species did become extinct: psychopaths and other pathological deviants.
Clube and Napier tell us that an asteroid in a Taurid orbit, carrying 100,000 megatons of impact energy, coming out of the night sky, would be visible in binoculars for only about six hours before impact. By the time you could see it with the naked eye, you would have only half an hour. But, if adequate preparations had been made, that would be enough time - for many.
Considering the seriousness of the threat against the survival of humanity, as more and more scientists are beginning to agree, and noting the billions of dollars spent in the War on Terror and "Homeland Security" Bird flu and AIDS, which are, most definitely, lesser hazards, you would think that rational human beings who actually CARE about humanity, about the future of our children and their children, would begin to focus on what is truly important. However, I would like to point out that almost no money is being spent on sending up satellites to monitor what is "out there;" it is all being spent on killing people down here.
Discovering and tracking what is "out there" is certainly technically feasible. Diverting a small asteroid is technically feasible. It would also be helpful for money to be spent on unbiased scientific study of what has actually happened to the Earth in the past, an attempt made to discover the risks and conditions and effects, and to analyze these so that proper preparations can be made for maximum survival of those elements of our civilization that are most conducive to bringing needed knowledge and insight to future inhabitants of our planet.
But the main problem at the moment is the lack of awareness of the real problem. It's all smoke and mirrors and "Global Warming" and "terrorists" out there. After all, there's no real money to be made by arms industry if there isn't somebody to kill or populations to oppress. There is considerable political capital invested in maintaining the status quo and this is what induces the establishment - even the scientific establishment - to continue to cover up what is really going on out there. They have a deep investment in making people believe that the cosmos is non-violent and our Earth is sailing along safely even if human beings, themselves, do nothing but find bigger and better and more effective ways of killing each other. For them, as Clube and Napier point out, Temporal Power takes precedence over the fate of the human race.
The Thought Police have done their job well. Now, in addition to the late Osama and Saddam, we have Global warming to keep us busy and get humanity accustomed to total oppression.
Let's take a look at how this actually works.
One of the SOTT editors, Henry, regularly attends meetings of a sort of "social activism" group in a nearby town. This little group is mostly into social issues, and they often schedule films to be shown to the attendees that are about things like unfair taxation, justice in the workplace, and so on. You know, your basic do-gooder types who claim to care about people and want to do something positive. But, apparently, there is a limit to those they care about and want to do good for; it doesn't extend to future generations that might survive a global cataclysm.
The other night, the film that was on the agenda of the meeting was Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." (Naturally, it was dubbed in French.) After the film was over, Henry reports that everyone was all worked up and saying "what to do? what to do?" and the discussion began. After a period of time listening to the blame game (humanity getting the brunt of it, mostly Western industrialism (which we all can agree is a problem, but that's not the point here)) , Henry managed to get a word in and pointed out that it wasn't just the Earth that was warming up. He informed the gathering of about 150 people that several other planets in the Solar System were also experiencing Global Warming and, as far as he knew, there were no industrial civilizations on any of them.
The moderator of the discussion was a bit taken aback, but apparently recovered quickly and said something like, "Oh, yes, we know that SOME Global Warming can be due to the activity of the Sun, but that's only a small percentage, blah blah blah... we need to focus on what we can fix now blah blah."
Apparently, in the "Inconvenient Truth" film, there is some mention of the Thermohaline Current and how it was affected by Global Warming 12,000 years or so ago and that this was due to abundant ice melt of the glaciers in Canada. Henry says (I haven't seen the film) that this is said as though it just started heating up for no reason and melting, and that was that. Of course, as we know very well, all of those events occurred because of cometary or meteor impacts as demonstrated conclusively by Firestone et al, and reported in my previous article.
So, Henry brings the attention of the crowd to this matter that was mentioned in the film, and points out that the apparently gradual "Global Warming" of that time was followed by meteor or cometary impacts which then brought on a sudden ice age.
The moderator said: "So?"
Henry then asked if anyone in the room was aware of the news reports that a jetliner had just narrowly missed being hit by a meteorite, and had anybody been noticing the unbelievable increase in the numbers of cosmic bodies entering the Earth's atmosphere, some of them even causing significant damage?
Missing the entire point, the moderator cut him off and again, said the equivalent of "so? There's nothing we can do about that... but there IS something we can do about THIS, i.e. "human caused global warming."
Can we say "Ostrich with head in sand"?
It's actually kind of synchronous that I had just written about this very attitude.
Humanity is facing a global cataclysm of Atlantean proportions in the near future from which very little of our modern world will emerge intact - if anything at all....That is exactly how most people have been programmed to think. They are so concerned with what affects them now that they don't even perceive how their altruistic impulses have been trapped, twisted, and diverted from what really matters: the FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN! However, there were several people who wanted to know more. Henry pointed out to them that the whole hullabaloo about Global Warming is designed to distract from the real issues. If all the attention that is being put on Human Caused Global Warming was being put on our governments to get rid of psychopaths and install systems that were actually democratic, manned by psychologically healthy people who worked for the PEOPLE, the possibilities of getting through whatever may be heading our way would be greatly enhanced for many people, and most particularly for humanity at large. And this is where we come to those people who feel a sort of responsibility to the future of humanity and to our children, and it is those people we are speaking to.
Sure, I know that a lot of people - if you brought it to their attention - would just shrug and say "Well, there's nothing I can do about it, so just let me live my life as I see fit until it happens and when it does, I'll be happy that I did what I wanted."
It is possible that the PTB ARE thinking about their future and the future of humanity in terms of them surviving and coming out on top and making slaves of anyone else who might happen to have survived, and for some reason, that idea really irks me. If someone I loved were to survive some terrible cataclysm on earth, I certainly wouldn't want them to survive only to be made into a slave. (If you want a good idea of what such a life might be like, just read The Thrall's Tale!) If you can consider your children and your children's children living such a life and it doesn't bother you, then you obviously aren't SOTT reader material, so move along and go back to sleep! (And if you believe in reincarnation and want to be born into such a world, go ahead and ignore what I'm saying here!)
But I digress. Getting back to the emails I received about the last article, all the people asking "what to do?"
What do I tell them? It's simple: Knowledge Protects. The more knowledge you have, the more protection you can activate in your life in every sphere of your life.
The main preparation that people need is a good education about human psychology; and here I don't mean what passes for psychology today, (which, like everything else, has been co-opted by pathological deviants), but accurate knowledge of individuals and larger social systems. Why? Because it is in this kind of knowledge that we have our first layer of protection. If we really know about lies and liars and evil and deception, we are less likely to be fooled by Wolves in Sheep's Clothing. They cannot penetrate and subvert our action groups; they cannot penetrate and subvert all the fields of government and education and religion and so on, which is how they have taken control of our world and why it is in the condition it is in. Because human beings do not have this knowledge, they are at the mercy of The Cult of the Plausible Lie.
Now, we have a real problem here and we don't have a lot of time to solve it, either. The main thing that is standing between humanity and the solution is a bunch of psychological deviants: Pathocrats who, as Clube and Napier said above, care more about Power than the human race. It would take an entire generation to undo the damage they have done to the minds of ordinary people, to straighten out the mess that passes for logic in this world. Sure, we need to round up the most virulent of the deviants and exclude them from society and we need to undertake some serious scientific studies about them so that if there are ways to prevent their emergence in society, we can implement those safeguards. But right now, the first problem we need to solve seems to me to be to really help people to understand that the house is on fire and we gotta go outside and form a bucket-brigade, like NOW. More than that, we have do this against the manipulations of the lunatics who have nailed the doors shut because they can't see the fire, can't feel the fire, and even if they did, they don't care. If they see one of us trying to open the doors, they will hit us over the head and keep talking hypnotically to everyone else telling them that "don't listen to that crazy person who's trying to open the door! There's no fire! And if there was, WE would take care of you! After all, we only have your best interests at heart!"
How to demonstrate to the average person that our world is run by pathological deviants?
Two years ago, we attended a luncheon and planning meeting at my daughter's school. The meeting was to discuss a series of special events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the College. The school began as a Catholic institution, but in 1905, when France passed legislation that separated Church and State, the school had to make some adjustments in order to receive government funding. And so, though it is nominally a Catholic school, it must follow the national educational guidelines which include tolerance for all faiths.
So, even though the school is secular, one of the attendees of this luncheon was an Abbe from Toulouse who belongs to the order that founded the school and which still keeps ties with it, though not religious ones. He has a Ph.D. in Medieval history. The headmistress of the school has degrees in history, and her former teacher and mentor was also present, being invited to give special lectures on Egypt as part of the 150th Anniversary programs. We were there because my husband had been invited to give a scientific lecture.
So, there we were at the dinner table with all the teachers and administrators of this small, private, French college - some 20 people - and the issue of America and George Bush came up. I noticed that the subject was being handled carefully out of consideration for me, the only American at the table. The Abbe, however, was not so concerned with my finer sensibilities and pronounced, with a snort, that the Neocon administration was exactly like the Inquisition!
I'm sure he was deliberately trying to goad me, but he was surprised when I agreed with him and even mentioned that I had written exactly that myself.
The subject of the Inquisition and its characteristics and how we can use historical models to spot what is going on and what is likely to come so we can teach others is what I really want to talk about here. Sure, we can study the history of the planet and figure out that comets, meteors and asteroids are bad news on a regular cycle, but it's a little trickier to do the same thing with society - human issues. But human issues are very important here for a very good reason: the Human Cycle seems to Mirror the Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes. It is altogether possible that if we could ameliorate the evils of this Earth, man's inhumanity to man, a different outcome could manifest. No, I'm not so dumb as to think that we could "create our own reality" and not experience any catastrophe at all, but remember, a disaster is only a disaster when you are not adequately prepared for it. So, being prepared for whatever may come is always a good idea. And nearly without exception, every Cosmic Catastrophe that I have been able to track has been associated with great human evil running amok on the planet at the time. There is definitely a statistical connection.
With comprehensive psychological knowledge, we can analyze history with a different eye, see how the dynamics operated, and extract principles that can be applied anywhere, anytime. And the time for applying the principles extracted from a study of the Inquisition is now.
Unfortunately, trying to use historical examples or psychology or anything else as "evidence" to explain what is going on in our world today is about as problematical as it is for psychical researchers who spend their lives trying to prove one tiny little paranormal event occurred - to get that hard, rock-solid, indisputable proof that no one can reject. Our world is so corrupted by the deviants that people actually believe that black is white, white is black, good is evil and evil is good: witness George Bush bringing democracy to the Iraqis by force!
Just this morning I read a news item that nearly made me drop my teeth in amazement that people can say and do what they say and do and be so totally unaware of what they are saying and doing and its implications: that their minds have been totally corrupted by pathological material. Keeping in mind the idea that one can study history and extract principles and make predictions, read the following article:
Passengers May Be Sued in Imams' Removal
Six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall after being accused of suspicious behavior are suing the airline and threatening to sue the passengers who complained - a move some fear could discourage travelers from speaking up when they see something unusual.Did you get the connection to the Inquisition in the above article?
The civil rights lawsuit, filed earlier this month, has so alarmed some lawyers that they are offering to defend the unnamed "John Doe" passengers listed as "possible defendants" free of charge. They say it is vital that the flying public be able to report suspicious behavior without fear of being dragged into court.
"When you drive up the road towards the airport, there's a big road sign that says, 'Report suspicious behavior,'" said Gerry Nolting, a Minneapolis lawyer. "There's no disclaimer that adds, 'But beware if you do that, you might get sued.'"
The six imams were taken off a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight on Nov. 20 while returning home from a conference of Islamic clerics in Minneapolis.
Other passengers had gotten nervous when the men were seen praying and chanting in Arabic as they waited to board. Some passengers also said that the men spoke of Saddam Hussein and cursed the United States; that they requested seat belt extenders with heavy buckles and stowed them under their seats; that they were moving about and conferring with each other during boarding; and that they sat separately in seats scattered through the cabin.
The plane was cleared for a security sweep, nothing was found, and the jet took off without the imams.
The Muslim clerics say they were humiliated, and are seeking unspecified damages from the airline, the Minneapolis airport and, potentially, the John Does.
Omar Mohammedi, the New York City attorney for the imams, said the intent is not to go after passengers who raise valid concerns about security. But he suggested some passengers may have acted in bad faith out of prejudice.
"As an attorney, I have seen a lot of abuse by the general public when it comes to members of the community creating stories that do not exist," Mohammedi said.
He denied the imams were talking about Saddam, and said that their seats were assigned and that they requested extenders because their seat belts didn't fit.
Some fear such lawsuits could weaken what has become the first line of defense against terrorism since Sept. 11 - an alert public. At airports and train and subway stations around the country, travelers are routinely warned to watch for unattended bags and suspicious activity and to notify authorities.
Ellen Howe, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees security at all U.S. airports, would not comment specifically on the imams' lawsuit. But she said the TSA counts on passengers to help the agency do its job.
"'See something, say something' is certainly a common mantra in this day and age," Howe said. "We would always remind passengers to be both vigilant and thoughtful."
In reaction to the imams' lawsuit, Congress has taken steps to legally protect passengers who report suspicious activity. Earlier this week, the House approved an amendment to a rail transportation security bill that would make passengers immune from such lawsuits, unless they say something they know is false.
Mohammedi said he has not yet identified any of the complaining passengers. An airport police report listed a passenger and two US Airways employees as complaining about the imams. All three had their names blacked out before the lawsuit was filed by invoking a Minnesota law that allows it, airport spokesman Pat Hogan said.
Nolting said he has been contacted by several potential John Does.
Passenger Pat Snelson, who lives in a Twin Cities suburb, said he and his wife were not among those who reported suspicious behavior. But he said his wife noticed the men praying, and he saw them moving around the cabin while others were boarding.
"These guys were up to no good," Snelson said. "We think the airport people did a real good job in taking care of it."
Bomb-sniffing dogs examined the men and their baggage. FBI agents and other federal law enforcement officers questioned the men for several hours before releasing them.
Billie Vincent, a former director of security for the Federal Aviation Administration, said he is troubled by the mere attempt to identify the passengers who raised concerns.
Airline passengers "are your eyes and your ears," said Vincent, who now owns an aviation security company. "If attorneys can get those names and sue them, you put a chilling effect on the whole system."
Not everyone would, of course.
I admit that reading it almost rendered me speechless, but my mind was sure going! I thought "Whoah! It just staggers the mind to read something like that in the daily news, published as though such attitudes and events were the most normal thing on Earth!" Sure, a thousand FACTS and all the knowledge I have in my head of psychology and history and so on went racing through my mind, but how in the Hell am I supposed to convey all that all in one neat package when it has taken me years to acquire it? How can I show you, the reader, how the above article is as grave a warning signal about our future as the jetliner that was barely missed by a meteorite the other day?
But I am going to try. It's Story Time, boys and girls.
This may seem a bit long, but believe me, it's worth it! You will acquire YEARS of hard-won knowledge in whatever time it takes you to read the following selections from my memory and databanks.
In this year, on the Sunday before the Feast of St. John the Baptist, after sunset when the moon had first become visible a marvellous phenomenon was witnessed by some five or more men who were sitting there facing the moon. Now there was a bright new moon, and as usual in that phase it's horns were tilted toward the east; and suddenly the upper horn split in two. From the midpoint of the division a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals, and sparks. Meanwhile the body of the moon which was below writhed, as it were, in anxiety, and to put it in the words of those who reported it to me and saw it with their own eyes, the moon throbbed like a wounded snake. Afterwards it resumed its proper state. This phenomenon was repeated a dozen times or more, the flame assuming various twisting shapes at random and then returning to normal. Then after these transformations the moon from horn to horn, that is along its whole length, took on a blackish appearance. The present writer was given this report by men who saw it with their own eyes, and are prepared to stake their honour on an oath that they have made no addition or falsification in the above narrative. [Report of the medieval monk Gervase of Canterbury, AD 1178 cited by Clube and Napier in The Cosmic Winter]Clube and Napier suggest that what was seen was the impacting of one or more asteroids on the surface of the Moon, 800 years ago similar to what happened on Jupiter back in 1994. Two and a half centuries lay between the Gervase chronicle and the onset of the Black Death in Europe in 1348. More than that, this was preceded by an acute crisis in human affairs. One chronicler reported that the cause of the plague was that there was a "vast rain of fire" between "Cathay and Persia. The fire burned up mountains and plains and whoever beheld it died within a half a day.
Not long after, the Arctic polar cap extended changing the rainfall patterns which led to devastating famines. In England and Scotland there were abandoned villages and farms, soaring wheat prices and declining population from starvation and disease. The chronicles of monasteries in Poland and Russia speak of cannibalism, so many corpses that they were buried together in overflowing common graves, and mass migrations to the West.
There are a number of such fluctuations to be found in the historical record, and there is good evidence that these climatic stresses are connected not only with famine but also with times of great social unrest, wars, revolution and mass migrations. [Clube and Napier, p.274]Let us now look at what else was going on between the asteroid/meteorite impacts on the Moon and the coming of the Black Death, all of which preceded the Maunder Minimum - a mini-ice age.
"Kill them all, god will know his own."
A chronicler reported that Arnold Amaury, the monk who led the Albigensian Crusade, uttered this catchphrase outside the city of Beziers on July 22, 1209. His crusaders had asked him how to tell the Catholic believers from the Cathar Heretics.
Arnold's instructions were followed, and the entire population of Beziers - some 20,000 men, women and children - were indiscriminately murdered.
No one really knows if Arnold really said what was reported, but what is known is that such an ideology was the essence of the crusade against the Cathars, and such ideology has arisen among human beings again and again throughout history, even to the present day in the halls of government of the United States. The consequences are always and ever the same - something that the current administration does not seem to realize - proving the saying that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
There are many parallels between those times and the present that might serve us well to examine.
On the 10th of March 1208, Pope Innocent III issued a summons to all Christian nations to take up arms against fellow Christians. He declared that the destruction of these heretics was not only justified, but that it was a dire necessity because the heretics who inhabited an ostensibly Christian land were "worse than the very Saracens." This appeal came four years after a Crusader army had captured and pillaged Constantinople, still another Christian land, though one which claimed to be the true seat of original Christianity. The Eastern church considered the church at Rome to be an upstart, a Frankish invention of Northern Germanic invaders that had nothing at all to do with the Christianity of the historical Jesus.
The new enemy of the church at Rome was one of the greatest princes in Christendom, Count Raymond VI of Toulouse. Raymond was a feudal sovereign whose authority extended over a very large section of what is now known as France, but was then known as Languedoc.
Raymond's crime was that he ruled a country where the authority of the church was in decline, and he wasn't doing anything about it.
The declared aim of the crusade was to overthrow a prince of unquestioned legitimacy, who was more inclined to support his people than the church. The church in Rome saw that its continued existence in the Midi of France depended upon putting the country under the control of an alien, external government that would crush rebellion and would not rebel against the church itself.
In short, the Church's aims were Imperialistic. Imperialism is always a bad sign. The chief characteristic of pathological deviants, psychopaths in particular, is that they always want to pull the "big con," to take what belongs to others, has been rightfully earned or worked for by others, and do it without working themselves, by psychologically and emotionally manipulating others to get it for them.
The Cathars were pacifists who embraced tolerance in a period when tolerance was not what the church needed in its overweening ambition to rule the Western World. The heresy grew during a period of change and experimentation and expansion of horizons. Crusaders to the Holy Land had returned bringing new ideas, understandings that life could be organized differently and that those who lived or worshiped differently were human beings too - and interesting and valuable to an eclectic society at that. The spread of such ideas led to extreme dissatisfaction with the Medieval Catholic Church which was erected on a foundation of large corporate monasteries and churches lording it over huddled masses of cold and hungry peasants and even aristocrats desirous of making it to heaven. The Catholic Church was basically a large corporation selling salvation and everybody else was supposed to be cogs in the wheel of this great mechanical "control of salvation" organization.
Catharism began to thrive in those areas that were growing democratic: merchant cities of Italy, and trading centers of Champagne and the Rhineland, and independent cities of the Languedoc in France. Catharism was ideally suited to the tolerant, protective feudalism of Languedoc, and for that reason, it had to be destroyed.
In the north, women were excluded from inheritance, and everything went to the eldest son. Younger sons and daughters who were unable to marry heiresses or heirs, were grist for the Catholic monastic factories, a system designed to incrementally increase the power of the Church. In the Languedoc, women had rights, could inherit and manage their own properties, and fiefs were divided among children. This naturally led to a more democratic spread of property, and prevented enormous power from being gathered into the hands of any one person or group of persons. It also, in a way, weakened the Languedoc because no one person or small group of persons could mobilize all the men of a region to go to war for personal ambition or greed. This is always and ever the weakness of a real democracy.
It was in the Occitan language that troubadour poetry flowered. In the fertile lands of Languedoc, love of a spiritual kind was revealed. Troubadours sang of courtly love, games of deferred pleasure, exalted sublimation of physical desires to spiritual goals, and even, in some cases, what seemed to be adulterous fulfillment. The ethos of amorous longing, of exalted spiritual women revealed the different mold of the Languedoc mind.
At the same time, beyond the Loire and the Rhine, the northern nobles were singing about swords dripping with blood, and viscera being scattered and exulted over, all the while masking this barbarity in a strange mix of rapacious piety rather like the present day Christians who back George Bush.
The towns of the Languedoc were governed by consuls and Roman law formed the basis of all local legislation. The consuls were elected from among the city nobility and bourgeoisie, and the burgher was the knight's equal. The Count of Toulouse lacked any legal authority in his own city, and was only obeyed so long as he respected and upheld the local common law. Every burgher had the right to buy, sell, or engage in barter without paying any duties or taxes on such transactions. There were no restrictions placed upon marriages and resident aliens enjoyed full citizens' rights regardless of their nationality or creed. Such free towns were the centers of the country's social life and the election of a consul was a great public event with processions, pomp and circumstance.
The Rhone and Garonne rivers carried merchandise and raw materials through the land, and Marseilles, Toulouse, Avignon and Narbonne were major seaports. There was a relaxation of the traditions of caste, and Jews and Arabs mixed freely in the melting pot towns of Languedoc. The spirit of independence from princely power was strong in the Midi.
Being predominantly commercial cities, the towns of the Languedoc were quite opulent and modern compared with the cities of the North such as Paris, Troyes or Rouen. The cities of the south had universities that taught medicine, philosophy, mathematics, astrology, and more. The works of the Arab philosophers were censored in Paris, but available in Toulouse. Arab doctors and merchants came to Languedoc, and the "infidel" was not regarded as a "natural enemy." Jews were fully integrated into public life and were held in high regard by the general populace. In some towns, Jews were consuls or magistrates.
One thing is certain, life in the Languedoc was more secular than anywhere else, and as a result, life in general flourished to a higher degree than in those places under the jackboot of religious intolerance. The cities of the Languedoc were centers of culture and great industry and prestige.
Poetry, literature, and music also flourished and became a part of daily life as much for the bourgeoisie and the common man as for the nobility. The Poetry of the Languedoc is not only the most ancient in European history, but also the most sublime in terms of inspiration. It seems that the Occitan language was the tongue par excellence of literature. Even today, no one can think of the South of France without recalling the troubadours. The phenomenon of an aristocracy passionately devoted to spiritually inspirational poetry, that dedicated their lives to living out the ideals of that age and milieu, is unmatched by any other group or period of history. The prosaic northerners might have thought the Southerners had gone off their rockers, but then the northern nobility's highest ambition was to help their king put on his underwear.
The nobility of the Languedoc had a different idea of honor than sacrificing his life for his king, or tying his shoes. In spite of the opulence of their surroundings, the southern aristocrat had a certain disdain for the material things of life, combined with a high regard and even exaltation of personal virtues that was possessed of a great and noble WILL. The adoration of the Lady was a declaration of free will; a proof that, even though one is giving, and giving all, it is being given to a private deity of one's own free choice.
It is very likely that the Lady of the Languedoc was merely a symbol of something much deeper and was directly related to the knowledge that was held by the Cathar perfecti. One thing for certain is this: the nobility of the Languedoc were not only permitting heresy, but were its most famous and dedicated supporters and defenders.
Although mystery surrounds the origin of Catharism, recent research indicates that it was connected to the Gnosticism of the Bogomils of the Byzantine Empire. This tradition may relate directly to the Esoteric Christian tradition revealed by Georges Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, and Boris Mouravieff, and may actually be a conduit of legitimate transmission of the original teachings of the man around whom the Jesus myth was formed. It is suggested that he was only another in a long line of followers of this ancient tradition that was also present in the Megalithic societies.
The fact is, the so-called Cathar Heresy was really a rival religion that was rapidly gaining ground in Europe, and it claimed to be the original Christianity. These believers were not dissidents; they were fully conscious of belonging to a faith that was more ancient than the Church at Rome itself.
Some modern historians have theorized that Catharism was not a heresy due to the simple fact that it was a completely different religion that had nothing at all in common with Christianity as we know it.
The so-called Cathar heresy was predicated upon the question of Good and Evil. The irreducible bone of contention between the Cathars and the Catholic Church was the role and power of Evil in the life of human beings.
For the Cathars, the god of Judaism, was an evil Archon of Darkness. They rejected entirely the Old Testament as being the work of this evil god. The Cathars considered worldly authority, based on so-called Divine Sanction such as the Church claimed, to be a fraud.
The Cathar God was a god of light who ruled invisible consciousness and did not meddle in human affairs. The God of the Cathars simply didn't care if you got into bed before getting married, associated with or intermarried with Jews or Arabs, black or white, and whether or not you were a woman or a man. For the Cathars, it was material life, pursuit of material things, money, power and possessions, that was the hallmark of Idolatry.
The Cathars believed that it was a free choice for every person as to whether or not they wanted to renounce the materialistic life for a life of self-denial so as to purify oneself of material desires and thus "ascend" to a different world - an Edenic like state of purity. The only "hell" the Cathars admitted was that if a person did not choose to purify themselves, they would reincarnate over and over again until their material desires and passions were burned away in the sufferings of material life. In short, to be damned was to live again and again in this vale of tears we call Earthly life.
Good grief! What kind of religion doesn't try to control people with fears of hellfire and damnation?
Such Gnostic Dualism isn't new; it is a notion that has been shared by other creeds throughout history. For the Cathars, however, the unique crossroads of choice lay within each and every human being. It was in the human consciousness that the divine spark was found - the "Kingdom of Heaven within" - and this spark was a remnant of an earlier, angelic state of existence that had the potential to be redeemed. It was there, in everyone, waiting to be set free from the cycle of reincarnation.
Now, what was so evil about this?
It should be obvious. If such ideas were true, the sacraments of the Catholic Church were null and void, and the Church itself was a fraud, a cruel hoax played by those who were only seeking power (what a concept!). If such ideas were true, the status of human beings could never be looked at the same way again. If everybody believed, as the Cathars did, that a king in one life could be a serving wench in the next, a Jew in one life could be an Arab in the next, and that women could be highly evolved spiritual beings - even leaders - it put a whole different spin on how humans ought to behave toward one another.
One of the more serious charges against the Cathars was their repugnance against swearing oaths. It's hard to understand this now, but it can be compared to the idea that a modern earthly contract has no binding power when issues of morality and ethics come into the picture. The swearing of oaths, especially oaths of fealty, was the contractual underpinning of a feudal society. It gave a "sacred weight" to the controllers of the hierarchy, the Catholic Church. If an individual broke an oath, he could be condemned by the authority of the Church to Hell. Kingdoms, estates, bonds of service, all were created, transferred, and maintained by the mediation of the Church. You could say that "swearing oaths" was medieval Corporatism.
The Cathars believed that linking the activities of business and government to the Divine was an exercise in Wishful Thinking if not out and out blasphemy. From their point of view, god was detached from such things and any idea that he was either interested, or cared about the business and government doings of human beings was a fanciful house of cards. For anyone to claim that they had the power to control human dealings by threatening the wrath of God just on their say-so was hubris in the extreme.
Catharism taught that man and woman were one. A human being was reincarnated over and over again - as peasant, king, boy, girl, master, servant - but what really mattered was one's divine, immaterial, androgynous - or rather, sexless - spiritual self. That did irreparable damage to the Catholic church's teachings about the sinful state of women, the exclusion of women from inheritance, the "fall of man" via the temptation of Eve, and so on.
In short, Catharism was one of the greatest threats to the Powers That Be that has ever existed - then and since. The church, and kings and rulers who relied on the Church to control people and to give weight to their contracts, could not allow such a heresy to spread. Spurred on by the Catholic Church in its unholy alliance with power-seeking aristocrats, the might of Feudal Europe fell upon Languedoc in a righteous fury. In a certain sense, you could say that it was a war between spiritual freedom and spiritual corporatism. Western Civilization had reached a crossroad similar to the crossroad that the Cathars taught existed within the hearts of individual humans: a return to consciousness of Angelic realms, or a new cycle of repeating again and again the pain and suffering of existence in this vale of tears we call Earth.
Historian R. I. Moore has noted that the years around 1200 were a turning point that led to the "formation of a persecuting society". Choices were made then that are still reverberating in human society.
And it is clear what choice was made then.
We are facing a similar choice today.
When the Corporatist Church and Nobility went after the Democratic Cathars, the people of the Languedoc did not go down without a fight. But, as it is in all times, those who fight for the rights of free will for all are hindered by their very humanity; they are unable to achieve the single-minded rapacity that denies humanity to others so as to be able to mercilessly destroy them. (This, of course, is where accurate psychological knowledge would come in very handy. One cannot treat a genetic psychological deviant as a human with a soul, but one should, of course, treat them with the consideration that one gives to a rare species of animal.)
Pope Innocent III needed an explosive incident that would fire the public imagination and justify a declaration of war. The Pope had no army, and crusades were, essentially, volunteer operations. The Pope couldn't force anyone to fight, and so the idea was to persuade the landed nobles with their retinues of soldiers to agree to join in. This incident was provided by the murder of Peter of Castelnau which was blamed on Count Raymond. There are very good grounds, according to the historical experts, to think that Raymond had nothing to do with the murder of the Papal Legate, that it was s set-up just like the alleged "Muslim extremist" attack on the World Trade Center in our own times has been used to launch a war against Islam.
A propaganda campaign was launched. Papal emissaries, carrying Peter's bloodstained habit from place to place, expiated on the tragedy of a country abandoned to the ravages of heresy. This was the equivalent of showing the falling of the Twin Towers on television over and over again accompanied by inflammatory rhetoric against Islam. Just as we see in the present day - and so it has been throughout history - fantastic slanders were created and spread about the Cathars as they were about the Jews and later the Templars and now the Muslims. They were said to consume the ashes of dead babies and to indulge in incestuous orgies. The Cathars were accused of homosexuality and sodomy. The heretics were said to desecrate communion chalices and to declaim blasphemies against the saints, declaring they were all damned. You might call it Medieval Psy-ops and COINTELPRO.
The propaganda efforts were so successful that volunteers to "kill 'em all" streamed in from all quarters. Not only knights with no lands, and hopes of acquiring a fief of their own, but also peasants and burghers.
Crusades in general had long formed a part of the social structure of the Western European aristocracy. It was a way to grab land and plunder. The thing that made Crusades so popular was the approval of the Church. Those who went to war "for the Church," were convinced that, by practicing a profession - that of warrior and murderer - that, under different circumstances would contribute nothing to their salvation, they were not only serving God, but were saving their own souls. Crusaders enjoyed indulgences, privileges, and could win forgiveness for the most heinous sins while grabbing property, plunder, fame and fortune.
What a deal! Sounds like the Christian backed Bushies and Halliburton in Iraq.
Another lure to the Crusades was that it was a handy way of getting out of debt. A Crusader's goods and property were sacrosanct for the whole period of his absence, and his creditors could touch nothing no matter how much he might owe them.
Sounds like the deals offered to the Bush cronies who stand behind him, eh? Too bad he isn't as generous to the average foot soldier.
The faith of the Crusaders who could exterminate fellow human beings for the Glory of God may seem contemptible to us now, but is what America is doing in Iraq any different? It seems that, to such minds, ordinary human morality cannot be considered when God's interests are at stake. Never mind that "god's interests" are surprisingly blood-thirsty and similar to the interests of whoever happens to be in power. Thus it is when a religion is based on a construct of human imagination.
Catholic Faith among the masses in the Middle Ages was deep, sincere, and violent in its attachment to external manifestations. It was a period of "mundane religions," since the urge to perceive God as more or less human and concrete with a special interest in his chosen human beings was a vigorous movement. When the Church had outlawed the sublime mysticism of the ancient Celts (which was surprisingly similar to the beliefs of the Cathars, by the way), they also took over the related myths and legends, transforming them into Saints and stories of martyrdom for Christianity rather than the other way around which it actually was, in many cases.
The world of the Medieval Christian was filled with the lives of Saints and readings from sacred books which took the place of theatre, cinema, magazines, and what we would call best sellers. Literature that was NOT religious in character, was almost unknown, and generally reserved for the pleasure of a small elite. The creative energy of the entire society was wholly focused on religious life. The frantic urge to incarnate the Divine, to make it concrete, suggests a very deep materialism; a high regard for the values of the physical world mixed with contempt for human life. Those who were listeners to the words of the envoys of the popes undoubtedly thought that a mutilated crucifix was more distressing than a mutilated human body.
And so, a heresy that was opposed to the massive Corporate constructions of faith - cathedrals, churches, monasteries, and royal power granted by that faith - was opposed most strenuously by those who clung most frantically to their religious customs as though they were a national heritage.
In short, the papal emissaries had little trouble working up the anger and indignation of large audiences, and the Cathars became "God's Enemies."
The war against the Cathars, then, was a war that symbolized a particular view of God and the Universe that was held by those whose motives of sentiment and passion were peculiarly brutal and Corporatist.
Throughout the merciless Crusade against the Cathars, it seems that it became more and more clear that the presence of heretics in Languedoc was merely an excuse. The real aim of the Church, the French Crown, the Crusaders, was genocide and grabbing of plunder via the destruction of the entire country and its aristocracy. The destruction of Catharism was only achieved by the obliteration of everything that made up the living traditions of the Languedoc.
The story of the crusade against the Cathars is a terrible story of the triumph of the Evil Archon of Darkness over the Light of the Spirit and Freedom. We have lived, ever since, in that persecuting society that was formed by Western Christendom at that time.
The creation of the Inquisition.
Many people think of the Inquisition as something that was started to eliminate witches and Devil worship, and the word conjures images of the rack and iron maidens and all kinds of bizarre and twisted torture equipment. Sure, torture was a big part of the Inquisition, but not as much as some people might think.
You have to remember that the Inquisition began during a period of history when human life was treated so casually by some that cutting off noses or ears or hands, or gouging out eyes was not unheard of as a legal punishment.
After years of brutal massacres, of destruction of the land, of some of the most horrible events ever to bear witness of man's inhumanity to man, Pope Gregory IX decided that it was only results that counted. He intended to wipe Catharism from the face of the earth. He must have sat up at night to create the bizarre system that was put into place to deal with heresy.
First, he created special papal legates who were granted wide powers of prosecution similar to what we have today in the Homeland Security nonsense, and sent them out all over Europe. The men chosen for this task were clearly psychopaths, and their mission was to spread terror all over Europe.
Gregory staffed the episcopal palaces of the South of France with psychopathic bishops who offered a cash bounty to anyone who betrayed a heretic. The inducements to betray one's neighbor were surely tempting in the best of times. But in a time when starvation and destruction was everywhere after more than 20 years of the rampaging of the Crusading armies, it was well-nigh impossible to resist. The terms were that the property confiscated from the heretic was divided between the informer, the church and the crown. Naturally, in a land that was financially devastated, where people were displaced and starving after years of being battered by this same church and crown, there were a lot of individuals offering up their neighbors for blood money.
Robert le Bourgre, which means "the bugger", suggesting the contempt in which he was held by the people, terrorized formerly peaceful northern France. Another legate, Conrad of Marburg found unsuspected heretics everywhere in the Rhineland. Thousands were sent to the stake, often on the same day that they were accused. Again, sure sounds like Bush and his private torture chamber at Guantanamo.
Conrad rode about on his mule with two assistants, bringing terror to every village and town they approached. Apparently, even the regular clergy saw through this nonsense and finally decided to do something about it. On July 30, 1233, a Franciscan friar, driven to act in the name of justice, intercepted Conrad and murdered him.
And that was the living end for the Pope. He was NOT amused and he was not going to be denied his Imperialist ambitions. He turned to the Dominicans.
In the spring of 1233, papal inquisitors were appointed in Toulouse, Albi, and Carcassonne. These inquisitors were succeeded in an unbroken line for 600 years. Thousands of people were summoned to testify before inquisitors. The questions were repetitive, designed to plant doubt in the mind of the person being interrogated as to what, exactly, the inquisitor knew, and who had told him.
Hmmm... Sounds like "Total Information Awareness," doesn't it?
A person suspected of Cathar sympathies was not always informed of the charges hanging over his head; if apprised of the danger, he had no right to know who his accusers were; and if he dared to seek legal help, his lawyer could be charged with abetting heresy.
Sounding more and more like George and his War on Terrorism and Gitmo and all the new laws passed by the Bush gang since 911, particularly the military tribunals act: the New Inquisition!
Whatever the verdict of the inquisitor - who was prosecutor, judge and jury - no appeal was allowed. Anyone could be held indefinitely in prison for further questioning without cause of explanation.
Yes. Enemy Combatants, no doubt.
The inquisition destroyed the bonds of trust that hold societies together. Informing on one's neighbor became not only a duty, but a necessary survival strategy.
And so it is becoming in America today as a result of the terror tactics of a gang of psychological deviants.
For 100 years, the inquisition was a fact on the ground of life in the Languedoc. The arrival of an inquisitor in a town was the occasion for demeaning displays of moral collapse just as the arrival of AIPAC is the occasion for legislators and journalists to take off their shirts and display the wide yellow streaks down their backs.
In theory, of course, no one could be punished if no one talked because the inquisitor could not act without a writ of denunciation, but in practice, no community possessed the cohesion needed to combat the power of a secret tribunal. And that is the problem that the masses of humanity face today. Because pathological deviants exist among us, and we do not have the accurate psychological knowledge to identify them and weed them out, we are constantly at risk of being betrayed by adherents of The Cult of the Plausible Lie that lurk in our society just waiting to turn US in.
They don't even have to be genetic deviants to be dangerous. In America today, the masses have been thoroughly conditioned by watching "reality TV" and "Survivor," and they know the rules of the psychopath and live by them: Do unto others before they do unto you. And so it was in the Languedoc, the historical model for what is happening in the United States today, and for what happened in Germany under Hitler. But, we'll get to that.
Upon his arrival in a town, the inquisitor consulted with the local clergy. All males over the age of 14, and females over the age of 12, were required to make a profession of faith in the Catholic church. Those who didn't were the first to be questioned.
Then, the inquisitor would give a speech in which he invited the people to spend some days thinking very, very hard about their activities past, present and future, and to come forward in the following week to give confidential depositions. After a seven day grace period, those who had not denounced themselves would be issued a summons. The punishments ranged from loss of property to loss of life. As you might guess, everyone was outdoing themselves in an effort to denounce themselves and each other.
Aside from the capital crime of being a Cathar, punishable offenses included sheltering a Cathar, or even failing to report any instance of heresy.
The real proof of genuine piety toward the Catholic Church was defined as the number of people the sinner was willing to betray!
It only took ten years for the Inquisition, the work of a few psychopathic fanatics, to become a proficient bureaucracy that lasted for 600 years. It employed hundreds of individuals who interrogated thousands of people with such monotonous regularity that a regular "glossary" was established for the "workers". Armed with a list of proposed offenses to be considered "heretical" or "supporting heretics," which included just knowing that a heretic had crossed one's property and failing to report it, the Inquisition proceeded to intimidate the population of Europe on a scale that was impossible to imagine. The sheer numbers of people called to testify, and re-called to testify again and again, was staggering.
In a strange twist of historical irony, the Cathars - who believed that the material world was evil and irrelevant - inspired the codification of the Police State - the Ultimate Material Theology.
A cross-referenced compendium of the confessions extracted from tens of thousands of people was compiled, creating a map of the mental landscape of the Languedoc. The more than 5 thousand transcripts of interrogations that survive represent only a small fraction of the work of the Inquisition.
Inquisitors manuals were created to serve as guides for the growing number of Papal courts in Europe. These manuals reminded the inquisitors that they were in the business of saving souls, but I think that the distinction was lost on those whose lives were lost or ruined by the judgments of the Inquisition.
Languedoc was, essentially, the laboratory for repression.
The reputation of the Inquisition was enhanced by the talented Inquisitor of Toulouse, Bernard Gui, who was the villain in Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose." The Inquisitors persuaded a handful of captured Cathars to convert and sell their testimony. Sicard de Lunel of Albi gave the friars an exhaustive list of Cathar sympathizers, even fingering his own parents. Anyone who had ever helped him in his life as a Cathar, whether they had just given him a bed for the night, a bit of food, or even a jar of honey, were hauled in to be punished - just on his word. He and several others like him were lodged thereafter in a castle outside of Toulouse in the medieval version of the "witness protection program." Sicard was well paid for his perfidy and lived to a ripe old age.
The use of torture was delicately referred to as "putting the question." In the Languedoc, successive waves of highly trained inquisitors, aided by informers and torturers, fired by the totalitarian creed of the Catholic church, with detailed manuals and expanding registers of "intelligence," slowly but surely ground Catharism into oblivion. Thousands of dramas of conscience ended in the dungeons or in fires quenched with blood. By the end of the century, only the truly heroic dared to say that this world was evil...
It was not a legal system; it was a system designed to create fear. And so is the War on Terror in America today which was born in the demented minds of priests who "saved souls" by killing people.
Now, let's turn to our second example: Nazi Germany.
The story of the rise of Adolf Hitler is the single most important story of the 20th century. With this event, in less than a single lifetime, one of the most civilized countries in Europe was reduced to moral, physical, and cultural ruin. The rest of the world was nearly gobbled into this black hole of evil.
In 1951, almost half of the citizens of Germany who responded to a public opinion poll, said that the period between 1933 and 1939 was the time during which things in Germany were better than they had ever been during any other period in history. [Herbert, Ulrich, quoted in Life in the Third Reich]For the large part of the German population, the image of Nazism was that of reduction of unemployment, economic boom, tranquility and order and NOT terror and mass murder. Those crimes were being committed by their government against "someone else" and most definitely were hidden or justified by propaganda.
At the end of WW II, over 65 million human beings were dead and almost one third of the Earth was uninhabitable.
How can it be that half the people of a country that was almost totally destroyed in a war, STILL perceive all the events leading up to that war as "the best there ever was?" How did they perceive - IF they perceived it at all - the deaths of 65 million other human beings? How did they justify the fact that their own culture was essentially gone forever?
Many observers of the Nazi takeover in 1933, and the Nazis themselves, emphasized the "peaceful" and "democratic" nature of the "German Revolution." In 1933, Germany did not crumble, there was no civil war, the army did not intervene, the trains ran on time, and there was no large scale violence accompanying Hitler's takeover. It was only after the Nazis were finally able to gain control of all the ministries and police headquarters throughout Germany that the campaign of terror began. Americans ought to sit up and take notice of this fact.
The fact is, long before Germany was officially declared to be a "one party state," open political activity directed against the Nazis had come to a screeching halt. (For more details on how political suppression was achieved in Germany, read The Mystic vs. Hitler.)
The term "Liberal" could be used to describe both the Leftists and the Communists of Germany who were the targets of the Nazis. The Leftists of Germany were known as "Social Democrats." These were largely trade unions, worker's organizations and so on who supported the Social Democratic Party or the Communist Party. There was "back door" encouragement by the Nazi government for the violence against the "Left." The police, having been subjected to endless propaganda, saw the communists and labor unions as "evil." Anxious to make a good impression on their new masters, to be promoted, and most certainly, to not end up in a detention camp themselves, were easily manipulated to act against their fellow citizens in hundreds of illegal ways. The courts, similarly "pressured," acted in favor of the government's wishes and "law and order" became "what the Nazis wanted, the Nazis got." The same rules obtained for the majority of newspapers. The left-wing press was suppressed, and by the time of the elections in Germany, the Left had been driven from public view.
Leading members of the left-wing parties were arrested as the various police forces and Nazi formations began to coordinate their activities. After the election, the Nazis turned their attention to rooting out and destroying the supporters of the now underground Left and Liberal parties. The once impressive supports of German Social Democracy, which had withstood Bismarck's attacks for fifty years, were destroyed piecemeal.
The campaign against the Left and Liberals was all the more effective because of its ambiguous nature. There was no single, decisive confrontation. It was carried out both within and outside of the existing legal structure just as we see happening in the US today. The Leftists and Liberals essentially faced what were apparently "spontaneous" attacks from "marauding bands" of Nazis just as marauding bands of Bushistas roam the Internet and the streets of the US. These types of attack are quite effective because, essentially, the power of the State stands behind them.
[Egotistic thought-terrorization is accomplished by the society itself and its processes of conversive thinking. This obviates the need for censorship of the press, theater, or broadcasting, as a pathologically hypersensitive censor lives within the citizens themselves. [Andrew Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology] ]Analysts suggest today that even if the Left and the Communists had been united, they would not have prevailed because once the Nazis and their conservatives controlled the State organs of power, as do Bush and his gang at present, the police and the army were used effectively to eliminate opposition.
If the history of the Nazi seizure of power teaches us anything, it is that there is little the Liberals can do to stop a powerful Right Wing movement that has mass support - or has created the illusion of mass support - allies in powerful places (such as the media), and control of the repression apparatus of the State.
Of course, the Left Liberals were not the only targets of the Nazis: there were the Jews as today there are the Muslims. It should be clear, however, that the assault of Germany's Jews took second place behind the attacks on the Left.
The Third Reich was only able to establish and maintain itself by being in a perpetual state of emergency. And mostly, they targeted "Liberals." It seems that a liberal then and now is anyone who values human life even if that human is different. So, when you start flaming Liberals, Communists and the "Left," the only conclusion that can be drawn is that you are a Fascist - a Nazi. (But again note that pathological deviants can infiltrate and subvert any group or movement, so what calls itself "Left" or "Liberal," may be just a name and the original ideology has been completely twisted and perverted.)
Nazi activism, like today's neo-conservatism, was predominantly a male preserve that praised "male" virtues of toughness and "standing one's ground". The Nazis were able to channel the violent behavior of young men into domestic politics. The young man, out to prove his virility, found nirvana in radical nationalism. This tells us that Nazi behavior, far from being defiant or the "personal frustrations" of individuals of naturally violent natures, was actually founded upon mainstream social values. Think of how Bush came to power on the platform of "moral values".
One of the things that enabled the Nazi takeover was massive unemployment, as we have seen in the US in recent years. The actual figures for unemployment became so frightening that the government actually stopped counting and reporting them a couple of years ago. Certainly, the situation in Germany was catastrophic and a consequence of a long string of factors stemming from WW I and conditions during the Wiemar Republic. What is important is that in both cases, there was a process of hysterization of society. In the U.S., that hysterization has included such things as VietNam, the Assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, Watergate, Monicagate, Hostage crises, and other psychological traumas. It might even be proposed that the alleged "alien abduction" phenomenon could be a product of deliberate and programmed hysterization of society.
In Germany, the combination of massive unemployment, the breakdown of traditions, and a culture which embraced violent, aggressive values, lifted the Nazi movement - in very short order - to the top of the heap. Again, we note the conditions of hysterization which psychologist, Andrew Lobaczewski discusses in Political Ponerology.
It is important to note that Hitler was NOT given the "keys to the kingdom" by violence. Hitler had seen the folly of openly confronting law and order in 1923. The Nazis were thus committed to gaining power by "legal means," even if those means only appeared to be legal. In the same way has Bush gained power by pretending to do it "legally," from the stolen election of 2000 to the "fixed" election of 2004.
The Nazis promised a radical change back toward traditional values which appealed to both the rough lower class and the worried middle class. The SA appealed to young men who needed to prove their manliness and who could not do so otherwise - they couldn't even get a job. The Nazis provided a hierarchical structure that was "safe" and handed out attractive uniforms to those who felt their lives had no meaning or direction.
Utilizing propaganda to create a "straw man" in Marxism and Communism, the Nazis vowed to restore law and order that had been disrupted by the eeeevil Commies. This posture of using violence in defense of order is one of the central paradoxes of the Nazi movement. It was the "attraction" of this ideology that enabled the Nazis to attract massive support and to consolidate power rapidly. The same tactic has been used by the Ziocons.
Indeed, the politics of violence played a key role in the rise of the Nazis, but they knew that this was a dangerous serpent to nurture to one's bosom. Once the dictatorship was established, those who assisted in the consolidation of power were ruthlessly purged.
The Nazis were successful in convincing people that they could provide increased employment and reduce poverty. They gained popularity through the introduction of the Arbeitsdienst (Labor Service), and by establishing separate organizations for women and children. The "Strength Through Joy" program which provided cheap, packaged holidays was a big attraction.
For almost a decade after 1933, Hitler enjoyed remarkable popularity among the majority of German people. Hitler's own character - bizarre in some instances, mediocre and unpleasant in others - does little to explain his magnetism and popular appeal. The same can be said for George Bush in the present time. About half the US population sees him as the "village idiot," and the other half sees him as a "heroic leader" in a time of great crisis.
But what is important to us here is the Gestapo and how it operated. For this segment, I am going to quote directly from Chapter 2 of The Nazis: A Warning From History by Laurence Rees. This book was written as a companion to a BBC Series about the Nazis that I highly recommend that everyone watch at the soonest possible opportunity. It is full of rare, original film footage that will open your eyes to what happened in Germany in a way that nothing else will. (U.S. version of the DVD HERE.)
Chaos and Consent - The Nazi Rule In Germany
[...]In those first months of power the chaotic terror was directed mainly at the Nazis' former political opponents. Josef Felder was an SPD member of the Reichstag who was picked up by the Nazis and taken to the newly established concentration camp at Dachau, outside Munich.Remember this:
He was thrown into a cell and chained to an iron ring, and his Nazi jailers removed the straw palliasse which was lying on the concrete floor, saying: 'You won't be needing this because you'll only be leaving here as a corpse.' The abuse continued as the guard took a rope and demonstrated the best way Felder could use it to hang himself. Felder told him, 'I have a family. I'm not going to do that. You'll have to do it yourselves!' He was eventually released after more than eighteen months in Dachau, having contracted a lung disease.
The pragmatists among the Nazis' political opponents either escaped Germany or tried to conform to the wishes of the new regime; only the exceptional, like Alois Pfaller, tried to resist. In 1934 he tried to restart his old Communist youth group. It was a heroic act but, against a ruthless regime that singled out Communists as a particular enemy, failure was inevitable.
Pfaller was betrayed by a double agent - a woman who worked for both the Communist Party and the Gestapo. He was arrested, taken to a police station and brutally interrogated; his nose was broken and he was beaten unconscious with leather belts: 'And when I came to again, they did it a second time, again unconscious, the fourth time, again unconscious, then they stopped because I hadn't said anything.'
Now the interrogation tactics changed. One man sat at a typewriter to take down Pfaller's 'confession', while the other smashed his fist into Pfaller's face every time he failed to answer a question. The interrogation grew worse after the violent policeman sprained his right hand and began using his left. Now he hit Pfaller on the side of the head and split his ear-drum. 'Then I heard an incredible racket,' says Pfaller. 'It was a roaring, as if your head was on the sea-bed, an incredible roaring.'
Pfaller resolved to kill the man who was beating him, even though it would also mean his own certain death. He had learnt judo when he was young and he intended to stretch out and stick his fingers into his interrogator's eyes. But just as he decided on this course of action, he hemorrhaged. The interrogation stopped and Pfaller was given a bucket and cloth and ordered to clean his own blood off the floor. Then he was taken to a cell for the night and subsequently transferred to a concentration camp. He was not released until 1945. [...]
Most Germans did not confront the regime. More common was the experience of Manfred Freiherr von Schröder, a banker's son from Hamburg, who welcomed the new regime and joined the Nazi Party in 1933. He thought himself an idealist and believed that 1933 was the beginning of a wonderful new period for Germany:
'Everything was in order again, and clean. There was a feeling of national liberation, a new start.'Like most Germans, von Schröder knew that Socialists and Communists were imprisoned in concentration camps, but he dismisses this as unimportant in the context of history:
'You have never had anything of this kind since Cromwell in England. Closest is the French Revolution, isn't it? To be a French nobleman in the Bastille was not so agreeable, was it? So people said, "Well, this is a revolution; it is an astonishing, peaceful revolution but it is a revolution." There were the concentration camps, but everybody said at that time, "Oh, the English invented them in South Africa with the Boers."'...It should be remembered that the camps which sprang up in 1933 were, for all their horror, not identical to the extermination camps of the Holocaust which were to emerge during the war. If you were imprisoned in Dachau during the early 1930s, it was probable that you would be released after a brutal stay of about a year. (Alois Pfaller's experience is unusual for a political opponent arrested in 1934, in that he had to endure eleven years in a concentration camp.) On release, former inmates were compelled to sign a paper agreeing never to talk about the experience, on pain of immediate re-entry to the camp.
Thus it was possible for Germans to believe, if they wanted to, that concentration camps were 'merely' places designed to shock opponents of the regime into conforming. Since the terror was mostly confined to the Nazis' political opponents, or to Jews, the majority of Germans could watch what Göring called the 'settling of scores' with equanimity, if not pleasure. [...]
Egotistic thought-terrorization is accomplished by the society itself and its processes of conversive thinking. This obviates the need for censorship of the press, theater, or broadcasting, as a pathologically hypersensitive censor lives within the citizens themselves. [Andrew Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology]At this point, we come to some descriptions of Hitler that remind us disturbingly of George Bush:
Fritz Wiedemann, one of Hitler's adjutants, wrote that Hitler 'disliked the study of documents. I have sometimes secured decisions from him, even ones about important matters, without his ever asking to see the relevant files. He took the view that many things sorted themselves out on their own if one did not interfere.' The result was, in the words of Otto Dietrich, Hitler's press chief, that 'in the twelve years of his rule in Germany Hitler produced the biggest confusion in government that has ever existed in a civilized state.'I actually think that George Bush is going to beat this record; he's done it in less than eight years. But then, there has been a lot of scientific thought that went into the hysterization process prior to the take-over, and we should expect that this "science" is well thought out.
Nor does Hitler's daily routine at this time sound like that of a political workaholic. Fritz Wiedemann wrote, 'Hitler would appear shortly before lunch, read through the press cuttings prepared by Reich press chief Dietrich, and then go into lunch. When Hitler stayed at the Obersalzberg [the mountain in southern Bavaria on whose slopes Hitler built his house - the Berghof], it was even worse. There he never left his room before 2.00 p.m. Then he went to lunch. He spent most afternoons taking a walk; in the evening straight after dinner, there were films.'That does sound a lot like George Bush and his endless vacations on his ranch, not to mention the well-known fact that he doesn't like to read and he is proud of his non-intellectual state of being, doesn't it?
Albert Speer, the architect who was to become the Nazi armaments minister, tells how, when Hitler was staying in Munich, there would be only 'an hour or two' a day available for conferences: 'Most of his time he spent marching about building sites, relaxing in studios, cafés and restaurants, or hurling long monologues at his associates, who were already amply familiar with the un-changing themes and painfully tried to conceal their boredom.' The fact that Hitler 'squandered' his working time was anathema to Speer, a man who threw himself into his work. 'When,' Speer often asked himself, 'did he really work?' The conclusion was inescapable: 'In the eyes of the people Hitler was the leader who watched over the nation day and night. This was hardly so.'No, such a regime only begins with oppressing SOME of the population. And those who do not see this at the beginning generally are doomed to suffer by it.
Hitler was not a dictator like Stalin who sent countless letters and orders interfering with policy, yet he exercised as much or more ultimate authority over the state and was at least as secure as a dictator. How was this possible?
How could a modern state function with a leader who spent a great deal of time in his bedroom or in a café?
One answer has been provided by Professor Ian Kershaw in a careful study of a seemingly unimportant speech given by Werner Willikens, State Secretary in the Ministry of Food, on 21 February 1934. Willikens said:
'Everyone who has the opportunity to observe it knows that the Führer can hardly dictate from above everything he intends to realize sooner or later. On the contrary, up till now everyone with a post in the new Germany has worked best when he has, so to speak, worked towards the Führer-in fact it is the duty of everybody to try to work towards the Führer along the lines he would wish. Anyone who makes mistakes will notice it soon enough. But anyone who really works towards the Führer along his lines and towards his goal will certainly both now and in the future one day have the finest reward in the form of the sudden legal confirmation of his work."'Working towards the Führer' suggests a strange kind of political structure. Not one in which those in power issue orders but one in which those at the lower end of the hierarchy initiate policies themselves within what they take to be the spirit of the regime and carry on implementing them until corrected. Perhaps the nearest example we have in British history occurred when Henry II is supposed to have said, 'Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?' and the barons rushed to Canterbury to murder Thomas à Becket. No direct order was given, but the courtiers sensed what would please their liege lord.
Professor Kershaw believes that the practice of 'working towards the Führer' is a key insight into understanding how the Nazi state functioned, not just in the 1930s, but also during the war, and is particularly relevant when examining the provenance of many of the administrative decisions taken in the occupied territories. It gives the lie to the excuse offered by some Nazis that they were just 'acting under orders'. Often, in fact, they were creating their own orders within the spirit of what they believed was required of them. Nor does the idea of 'working towards the Führer' excuse Hitler from blame. The reason Nazi functionaries acted as they did was because they were trying to make an informed judgment about what Hitler wanted of them and, more often than not, the substance of their actions was retrospectively legitimized. The system could not have functioned without Hitler or without those subordinates who initiated what they believed were desired policies.
'Working towards the Führer' can be used to explain the decision-making process in many of those areas of domestic policy that Hitler, through temperament, neglected. Most political parties, for example, have a carefully conceived economic policy at the core of their manifesto. The Nazis did not. Indeed, one academic joked to me that the question, 'What was Hitler's economic policy?' was easy to answer -'He hadn't got one.' Perhaps that is unfair in one respect, for despite a lack of policy, Hitler always had economic aims. He promised to rid Germany of unemployment, and, less publicly trumpeted but, in his eyes, more important, to bring about rearmament. Initially he had only one idea how to achieve this and that was to ask Hjalmar Schacht, a former president of the Reichsbank and a brilliant economist, to 'sort it out'. Apart from rearmament and strengthening the army, Hitler had little detailed interest in domestic policies.
Surprisingly, for those who believe that a successful economy has to be guided by a political leader, in the short term Hitler's delegation of the economy to Schacht seemed to work. Schacht pursued a policy of reflation financed on credit, and alongside this implemented a work-creation programme based on compulsory work service for the unemployed. [...]
Knowing as we do the unique horrors perpetrated by this regime, people who claim to have been happier under Nazi rule than they are today are, at best, likely to attract ridicule. But it is vital that [such people] speak out, for without their testimony an easier, less troublesome view of Nazism might prevail - that the regime oppressed the German population from the very beginning.
Academic research shows that [the average German] is not unusual in his/her rosy view of the regime during this period. Over 40 per cent of Germans questioned in a research project after the war said they remembered the 1930s as 'good times'. As this survey was conducted in 1951, when the Germans knew the full reality of the wartime extermination camps, it is a telling statistic.But, in fact, she did. Just as everyone who does not stand up against the Fascism galloping across the planet today is just as guilty of murder as the one who commits the act.
Unexpected as it may be to discover that many Germans were content during the 1930s, this news is as nothing compared to recent revelations about the infamous Nazi secret police - the Gestapo.
In popular myth the Gestapo have a secure and terrifying role as the all-powerful, all-seeing instrument of terror that oppressed an unwilling population. But this is far from the truth.
To uncover the real story you have to travel to the town of Würzburg in southwest Germany. Würzburg is a German town much like any other, except for one special attribute: it is one of only three towns in Europe where Gestapo records were not destroyed by the Nazis at the end of the war. Resting in the Würzburg archive are around 18,000 Gestapo files, which exist more by luck than design; the Gestapo were in the process of burning them as the American troops arrived. They had begun to burn them alphabetically, so there are relatively few A-D files left; otherwise the files are complete.
Professor Robert Gellately of Ontario was the first person to uncover the secrets of the files. As he started work on them, an old German man saw what he was studying and said to him, 'Perhaps you'd like to interview me, because I lived here during that time and I know a lot about it.' Professor Gellately talked to him over a cup of coffee and asked him how many Gestapo officials there had been in this part of Germany. 'They were everywhere,' the old man replied, confirming the conventional view of the Gestapo.'
Yet after studying the files, Professor Gellately discovered that the Gestapo simply couldn't have been 'everywhere'.
Würzburg lies in the administrative area of Lower Franconia, a district covering around a million people. For that whole area there were precisely twenty-eight Gestapo officials. Twenty-two were allocated to Würzburg, and almost half of those were involved only in administrative work.
The idea that the Gestapo itself was constantly spying on the population is demonstrably a myth.
So how was it possible that so few people exercised such control?
The simple answer is because the Gestapo received enormous help from ordinary Germans. Like all modern policing systems, the Gestapo was only as good or bad as the cooperation it received - and the files reveal that it received a high level of cooperation, making it a very good secret police force indeed.
Only around 10 per cent of political crimes committed between 1933 and 1945 were actually discovered by the Gestapo; another 10 per cent of cases were passed on to the Gestapo by the regular police or the Nazi Party. This means that around 80 per cent of all political crime was discovered by ordinary citizens who turned the information over to the police or the Gestapo. The files also show that most of this unpaid cooperation came from people who were not members of the Nazi Party - they were 'ordinary' citizens.
Yet there was never a duty to denounce or inform. The mass of files in the Würzburg archive came into being because some non-party member voluntarily denounced a fellow German. Far from being a proactive organization that resolutely sought out its political enemies itself, the Gestapo's main job was sorting out the voluntary denunciations it received.
The files teem with stories that do not reflect well on the motives of those who did the denouncing. One file tells of a Jewish wine-dealer from Würzburg who was having an affair with a non-Jewish woman who had been a widow since 1928. He had been staying overnight with her since 1930 and they had declared their intention of getting married. The file demonstrates how Hitler's becoming Chancellor coincided with the widow's neighbours starting to voice objections to the presence of the Jewish man and confronting him on the communal stairs. As a result, he stopped staying overnight with the widow, but continued to help her out financially and to eat with her.
Then, a 56-year-old woman who lived in the same house sent a denunciation to the Gestapo. Her main complaint was that she objected to the widow having a relationship with a Jew, although it was not then an offence. From correspondence between the party and the police it becomes clear that she and a male neighbour pressurized the party into taking action. The local Nazi Party then put pressure on the SS, who, in August 1933, marched the Jewish man to the police station with a placard around his neck. The placard, with its despicable message painted in blood red, is still carefully preserved in the file. In neatly stencilled letters it reads, 'This is a Jewish male, Mr Müller. I have been living in sin with a German woman.' Herr Müller was then kept in jail for several weeks before leaving Germany altogether in 1934. He had broken no German law.
Denunciations became a way in which Germans could make their voices heard in a system that had turned away from democracy; you see somebody who should be in the army but is not - you denounce them; you hear somebody tell a joke about Hitler - you denounce them as well. Denunciations could also be used for personal gain; you want the flat an old Jewish lady lives in - you denounce her; your neighbours irritate you - you denounce them too.
During his many months of research in the Würzburg archive Professor Gellately struggled hard to find a 'hero' - someone who had stood up to the regime, an antidote, if you like, to the bleak aspect that the study of the Gestapo files casts on human nature. He believed he had found just such a person in Ilse Sonja Totzke, who went to Würzburg as a music student in the 1930s.
Her Gestapo file reveals that she became an object of suspicion for those around her.
The first person to denounce her was a distant relative, who said that she was inclined to be too friendly to Jews and that she knew too much about things that should be of no concern to women, such as military matters. This relative said that he felt driven to tell the Gestapo this because he was a reserve officer (though there was nothing in being a reserve officer that required him to do so).
Totzke was put under general surveillance by the Gestapo, but this surveillance took a strange form: it consisted of the Gestapo asking her neighbours to keep an eye on her.
There follows in the file a mass of contradictory evidence supplied by her neighbours. Sometimes Totzke gave the 'Hitler greeting' (Heil Hitler) and sometimes she didn't, but overall she made it clear that she was not going to avoid socializing with Jews (something which at this point was not a crime). One anonymous denouncer even hinted that Totzke might be a lesbian ('Miss Totzke doesn't seem to have normal predispositions'). But there is no concrete evidence that she had committed any offence.
Nonetheless, it was enough for the Gestapo to bring her in for questioning. The account of her interrogation in the file shows that she was bluntly warned about her attitude, but the Gestapo clearly didn't think she was a spy, or guilty of any of the outlandish accusations made against her. She was simply unconventional. The denunciations, however, kept coming in, and eventually the file landed on the desk of one of the most bloodthirsty Gestapo officials in Würzburg - Gormosky of Branch 2B, which dealt with Jews.
On 28 October 1941 Totzke was summoned for an interrogation. The Gestapo kept an immaculate record of what was said. Totzke acknowledged that, 'If I have anything to do with Jews any more, I know that I can reckon on a concentration camp.'
But despite this, she still kept up her friendship with Jews and was ordered once more to report to the Gestapo. She took flight with a friend and tried to cross the border into Switzerland, but the Swiss customs officials turned her over to the German authorities. In the course of a long interrogation conducted in southwest Germany, she said:
'I, for one, find the Nuremberg Laws and Nazi anti-Semitism to be totally unacceptable. I find it intolerable that such a country as Germany exists and I do not want to live here any longer.'Eventually, after another lengthy interrogation in Würzburg, Totzke was sent to the women's concentration camp at Ravensbrück, from which we have no reason to believe she ever returned. Her courage cost her her life.
We decided to follow up Professor Gellately's research with this file by trying to find living witnesses to Totzke's denunciation. Eventually we traced Maria Kraus, who had lived with her parents less than a hundred metres from Totzke. At the time we interviewed her, she was 76 years old and no different in appearance from any of the respectable elderly ladies one sees on the streets of Würzburg, itself a solid, respectable town.
But lying in Totzke's Gestapo file there is a denunciation signed by a 20-year-old Maria Kraus on 29 July 1940. The statement begins: 'Maria Theresia Kraus, born 19.5.20, appeared in the morning at the Secret State Police.'
During our own interview with her we read her the statement, which includes the section:
'Ilse Sonja Totzke is a resident next door to us in a garden cottage. I noticed the above-named because she is of Jewish appearance.. . I should like to mention that Miss Totzke never responds to the German greeting [Hell Hitler]. I gathered from what she was saying that her attitude was anti-German. On the contrary she always favoured France and the Jews. Among other things, she told me that the German Army was not as well equipped as the French... Now and then a woman of about 36 years old comes and she is of Jewish appearance ... To my mind, Miss Totzke is behaving suspiciously. I thought she might be engaged in some kind of activity which is harmful to the German Reich.'The signature 'Resi Kraus' is under the statement. We asked Frau Kraus if it was her signature. She agreed that it was but said that she did not understand how the document could exist. She denies having given the statement and has no recollection of ever visiting the Gestapo. 'I do not know,' she told us. 'The address is correct. My signature is correct. But where it comes from I do not know.'
Whether Resi Kraus's amnesia was genuine or merely diplomatic is impossible to say. Of course, it is scarcely in anyone's interests today to confess to having denounced one's neighbour to the Gestapo. In a telling remark at the end of our brief interview with her she said: 'I was talking to a friend of mine and she said "Good God! To think that they rake it all up again fifty years later"...I mean I did not kill anyone. I did not murder anyone.'
Egotistic thought-terrorization is accomplished by the society itself and its processes of conversive thinking. This obviates the need for censorship of the press, theater, or broadcasting, as a pathologically hypersensitive censor lives within the citizens themselves. [Andrew Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology]Let's keep in mind that the entire German people were held responsible for the acts of the Nazis. This, of course, begs the question as to why it is now considered morally reprehensible for the Jews to be held responsible for the actions of the Zionist government against the Palestinians. I don't agree with either because it is clear that those people who lack adequate psychological knowledge become the victims of psychopaths everywhere, whether Jew, Arab, Gentile or Hottentot.
I still have the image in my mind of Frau Kraus as we left her, after the interview, standing in the cobbled town square of Würzburg; a profoundly unexceptional figure and thus a deeply troubling one. If you want to believe there is a difference in kind between those who may have aided the Nazi regime and those who definitely did not, then a meeting with Frau Kraus is a shocking one, for in all respects, other than the denunciation signed with her name that lies in the Gestapo file, she appears an ordinary, decent woman - someone who kindly enquired how old my children were and where we planned to go for our holidays. [The Nazis: A Warning From History]And so it is.
Now, I want to come back to one particular paragraph quoted in Passengers May Be Sued in Imams' Removal:
The civil rights lawsuit, filed earlier this month, has so alarmed some lawyers that they are offering to defend the unnamed "John Doe" passengers listed as "possible defendants" free of charge. They say it is vital that the flying public be able to report suspicious behavior without fear of being dragged into court.Let's think about that in light of the recent Prosecutors Purge scandal where it is becoming more evident every day that Bush and the Ziocons made a decision to get rid of any attorney's that were not supportive of the Bush program. Back in Hitler's day it was called 'Working towards the Führer'. Different words, same meaning.
Firing a bunch of Prosecutors that do not "toe the party line" is a sure way to put a chilling effect on the whole system. And certainly, exhibits of torture photos are a sure way to make the public afraid and willing to be "see things the right way" and turn in people for no reason other than not being like them.
And then, of course, there was the trial of attorney Lynne Stewart. She was convicted of "violating special administrative prison rules and of providing material support to terrorists." Remember the Rules of the Inquisition?
A person suspected of Cathar sympathies was not always informed of the charges hanging over his head; if apprised of the danger, he had no right to know who his accusers were; and if he dared to seek legal help, his lawyer could be charged with abetting heresy.Jennifer Van Bergen wrote about Lynne Stewart in CounterPunch:
Whatever the verdict of the inquisitor - who was prosecutor, judge and jury - no appeal was allowed. Anyone could be held indefinitely in prison for further questioning without cause of explanation.
Only a few weeks ago, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Barkow told the jury in his closing statement that Lynne Stewart "thought she could blow off the rules that apply to everyone else because she's a lawyer, and she's above the law. She said, 'I think my client is more important than the law. My cause is more important that the risk to lives of innocent people.'Jennifer Van Bergen must not know her medieval history very well or she would recognize exactly what is happening in America today. Just as the Inquisition was declared to be a War for Salvation of Souls, but in reality, was a war for Control, so is the United States "War on Terror" in reality a Terrorist War Against Freedom.
This is a complete distortion of the woman I have come to know. [...]
Lynne Stewart never ever thought she could blow off the rules that apply to everyone else. She never thought she was above the law. She never supported or endorsed terrorism. Nor did she ever intend to provide material support to terrorists.
The words she spoke to her client were meant for her client alone and the one who has violated rights here is the Department of Justice. They violated something so sacred that it can hardly be spoken without somehow losing the value of it: they violated the attorney/client privilege.
The DOJ violated this privilege by listening in on her conversations with her client, which they then took out of context and tried to make into a monstrous thing.
But is anyone prosecuting them for this violation? No.
The DOJ has violated something more, as well. They have violated the right of an accused to have zealous counsel represent them. This right is so fundamental that our Framers put it in the Bill of Rights: the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
The DOJ has violated the last vestige of democracy: the judiciary, by using this system to destroy one of the watchdogs of liberty, our criminal defense lawyers. Without criminal defense lawyers, who will protect us from government incursions of our rights?
Now, the idea of a convicted terrorist having any sort of privilege is perhaps unfathomable to a jury. But that privilege is considered sacrosanct and we all have it, we all may call upon the attorney/client privilege because without it, we have no defense attorneys, we have no defense, and we have no witnesses to government abuse of our rights.
Lynne continued to believe in her client's innocence, and to declare that evidence against him was fabricated by our government in order to secure his conviction.
Has this fact come out anywhere? Has any newspaper revealed that the client Stewart represented was convicted on fabricated evidence? Have any of them investigated the charge? Has the Department of Justice investigated it?
No? Why not?
Well, as far as I know, Lynne never brought this charge out to the press during her trial. But it was certainly known to the DOJ. And if it is true that her client was convicted on fabricated evidence, what does it mean that she is now convicted because of her representation of him? [...]
This day, while I do not want to believe that the prosecutors themselves maliciously prosecuted Stewart, the best I can believe is that they have blinded themselves with their own zeal. But I have seen prosecutors and government officials declare what they should have known were untruths about the law, what I knew were untruths and if they didn't know they were untruths, they could only have been ignorant of the law.
This day the Justice Department has done a great injustice, not just to Lynne Stewart, but to our entire system of justice, to our country, and to our democracy.
Which brings us back to our consideration of the Imams' case against the denunciations by ordinary U.S. citizens who just think they are "being good":
The inquisition destroyed the bonds of trust that hold societies together. Informing on one's neighbor became not only a duty, but a necessary survival strategy.And so it was in Nazi Germany and is becoming the norm in America today. Remember:
Egotistic thought-terrorization is accomplished by the society itself and its processes of conversive thinking. This obviates the need for censorship of the press, theater, or broadcasting, as a pathologically hypersensitive censor lives within the citizens themselves. [Andrew Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology]What has happened in the conviction of Lynne Stewart is that, just as was done during the Inquisition and in Nazi Germany, a clear message has been sent to those who might try to stand up for the freedom of the individual and that message is: If you defend the right of the individual against the predations of the State, YOU are going to be destroyed. And so, there will be no more defense of anyone's rights.
This is not a legal system, it is a system designed to create fear, to destroy social bonds, and to put absolute power into the hands of a few, immoral elitists.
Martin Niemöller, a German Protestant pastor learned this lesson the hard way.
Niemöller was a commander of a German U-boat in World War I. A seminal incident in his moral outlook, as he related in many public speeches later in his life, occurred when he commanded his submarine crew not to rescue the sailors of a boat he torpedoed, but let them drown instead.
In 1931 Niemöller became a pastor in a wealthy Berlin suburb. As a German nationalist he initially supported Hitler, but as the Nazis began to interfere in church affairs, he moved into opposition.
In 1937 he was arrested because of his outspoken sermons, and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In 1941 he was moved to Dachau, where he stayed until the end of the war.
Shortly after the end of the war Niemöller became convinced that the German people had a collective responsibility for the Nazi atrocities. In October 1945 Niemöller was the prime mover behind the German Protestant Church's "Confession of Guilt".
It was clearly in this Oct/Nov 1945 context that Niemöller's most quoted saying began to evolve. This early statement implies that he may have thought first of the Communists, then the disabled, then Jews, and finally countries conquered by Germany.
In a 6 January 1946 speech, Niemöller said:
We preferred to keep silent. We are certainly not without guilt/fault, and I ask myself again and again, what would have happened, if in the year 1933 or 1934 - there must have been a possibility - 14,000 Protestant pastors and all Protestant communities in Germany had defended the truth until their deaths? If we had said back then, it is not right when Hermann Göring simply puts 100,000 Communists in the concentration camps, in order to let them die, I can imagine that perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 Protestant Christians would have had their heads cut off, but I can also imagine that we would have rescued 30-40,000 million people, because that is what it is costing us now.In 1947 his reputation was challenged because he devoted substantial energy to protecting Nazi war criminals from the death penalty, and because of some pro-German things he had said in his own defense while on trial by the Nazis in 1937. However, during the 1950s and 1960s he refused to join in the dominant anti-communist sentiment in the West, which earned him the respect of the left again. His uncompromising stance allowed him to remain a figurehead of the German peace movement into the 1980s.
Niemöller's famous quote generally runs as follows:
First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing.Many people use this quotation in various ways. Some of them even alter it to suit their purpose. When Time magazine used the quotation, they moved the Jews to the first place and dropped both the communists and the social democrats. American Vice-President Al Gore likes to quote the lines, but drops the trade unionists for good measure. Gore and Time also added Roman Catholics, who weren't on Niemöller's list at all. In the heavily Catholic city of Boston, Catholics were added to the quotation inscribed on its Holocaust memorial. The US Holocaust Museum drops the Communists but not the Social Democrats; other versions have added homosexuals.
Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing.
Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist.
And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little.
Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.'
'The Nazis did not come first for the Jews," Peter Novick tells us in his book, The Holocaust in American Life, "First they came for the Communists" - a circumstance acknowledged by Niemöller. The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC is just another place where "Communists" is omitted from Niemöller's homily. [Some interesting background on Niemöller can be found here]
Do you get it?
The gestapo and the Inquisition had no power without normal humans turning against each other because they believed the lies of psychopaths.
And so it is in America today: Categories of heretics have been established, and soon, it will become possible to hold the hammer of the New Inquisition over the heads of everyone.
And, when that day arrives, God's Hammer will fall.
Because based on OTHER observations in our world, the crisis in Human Affairs is only a reflection of the "Heat" in our Solar System...
But didn't I say I was going to end with a bit of hope?
Have I convinced you that we are living in a time to rival the period in which the Inquisition took over most of Europe and drove it to despair? That we are living in a time to rival the Nazi takeover of Germany?
Well, surely, by now, you know what that hope is, don't you?
If, as I wrote above, the crisis in Human Affairs is a reflection of the "Heat" in our Solar System, just as there was obviously increasing heat in the solar system accompanying other periods of human crisis, and prior to other Cosmic Catastrophes, then the only hope is to wake up as many other people as possible with the hope of ameliorating the OUTCOME of any future disasters by being prepared. Only when a sufficient number of people are awake will they be able to awaken those around them. And then, and only then, will it be possible to form a united movement to simply remove all support from the psychopaths that have taken over our world and to begin to plan for the future of our children - not the offspring of psychopaths.
That is why they lie and deceive us; that is why they work so hard and spend so much money denying humanity the knowledge it needs. Because if people were awake, if people understood what kinds of creatures they really are, that they really are not human, then they would have no more support. And that is how the do what they do: because human beings support and help them to get into and stay in power by believing their lies.
If every soldier on the battlefield simply laid down his gun and refused to fight anymore, if every worker who is employed by the government system to keep the "chain of command" running, simply refused to participate in the madness anymore, and did so with the support of the rest of the people, en masse, the nightmare would be one big step toward being over.
Then, and only then, could we rationally and systematically begin to prepare our Planet Home for the Coming Storm. And even if all of us cannot survive - we can ensure that some of our children will, and they will survive without being reduced to howling savages, forced to eat their own kind in order to stay alive on a freezing planet with red skies, while the icy wind moans...