"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell
[Much of the material for this article was taken from Nat Hentoff's syndicated column of Wednesday, January 16, 2002 which appeared in the Village Voice in New York City]
Nat Henthoff of the Village Voice has been tracking the effect of the USA Patriot Act on civil liberties in the United States, and has been utterly dismayed by what he has found, i.e., that it has been having a very profound and chilling impact on the free exercise of civil liberties in the country. [Please see our recent article on the repercussions of the USA Patriot Act on the exercise of civil rights in the United States.] According to Hentoff, there is a plethora of examples throughout the country to this effect. Hentoff cites a number of them in a column entitled "Making a List of Dissenters." Hentoff says that these particular examples were supplied to him by a friend over at the Christian Science Monitor, Kris Axtman.
The first example concerns the story of Donna Huanca, the docent of Houston's well-known Art Car Museum. Hentoff says that Huanca told Axtman of a visit by FBI agents and the Secret Service to the museum in connection with a "tip" they had received that the museum was showing an exhibit of past "U.S. covert operations and government secrets." Huanca was enraged, and asked her FBI visitors, "What was anti-American about free speech" (even if that "free speech" was perceived by some to be "anti-government")? Or what was "anti-American" about dissenting from the covert activities of the government (such as Reagan's war on the Contras, or America's present war against the FARC in Columbia)? Or is that no longer permissible in the United States? She didn't receive a reply - which, according to Huanca, conveyed the thought to her that: "No, it's no longer permissible."
Huanca reports that the federal agents who conducted the investigation of the museum were very diligent in their probe. She says, "... the G-men puzzled over each art installation, sneering and saying things like, 'What's that supposed to mean'?" - again, as if there had been some hidden anti-American code in the museum's art.
Then there is the case of 61-year-old retired phone company worker Barry Reingold of San Francisco who also had reason to ask the same question (i.e., "What is anti-American about free speech?") when two FBI agents announced themselves on the intercom at his residence. Hentoff reports that the agents told Reingold that a fellow weight-lifter at his gym had called the FBI to report that Reingold was a "disloyal American." What?
It seems that while at the gym, a discussion that Reingold was involved in turned to the subject of bin Laden and what a horrible murderer he was. Reingold had said, "Yeah, he's horrible, but Bush has nothing to be proud of either. He is a servant of the big oil companies, and his only interest in the Middle East is oil." The conversation was overheard by a fellow weight-lifter and reported to the FBI.
Hentoff relates yet another incident from Axtman's report: in North Carolina two Secret Service agents and a Raleigh police officer questioned A.J. Brown, a student at Durham Technical Community College, for forty minutes in her doorway. She didn't let them into her apartment because they did not have a search warrant. But from the doorway, these specialists in "un-American activities" could see a poster of George W. Bush holding a noose. It read, "We hang on your every word." The poster was critical of Bush's unwavering support of the death penalty while he was governor of Texas.
Barry Steinhardt, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington D.C., reacting to all this, says, "It's a very frightening trend: that people who are doing nothing more than expressing the very freedoms that we are supposed to be fighting to preserve, find themselves with the FBI at their door."
And more than all that, What did any of these intrusions by the FBI into the private lives of these citizens have to do with fighting terrorism - especially foreign terrorism? Nothing, of course. It's harassment, plain and simple - the government hassling citizens who dare to express opinions that differ from the "official (or 'approved') government line." But be clear here, as haphazard as this harassment might appear at first blush, it's not without a purpose; there is nothing random or casual about it; it's full of meaning! Specifically, it is meant to INTIMIDATE and COWER people, especially the "throw-away" portion of the U.S. population (i.e., those who have been marginalized by the elite's economic and social policies), thereby reducing them to a state of passivity insofar as the elite's "New World Order System" is concerned.
That's what all this is about! - AND NOTHING ACCOMPLISHES THIS MORE COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY THAN FOR PEOPLE TO RECEIVE A KNOCK ON THE DOOR FROM THE FBI AND / OR THE SECRET SERVICE. Shades of the Gestapo and Nazi Germany! This kind of intimidation will certainly put a damper on dissent, that's for sure! - unless one actually believes that there are real, live Islamic fundamentalists lurking in the hallways of the Durham Technical Community College; or swimming laps at the gym Barry Reingold frequents in San Francisco; or hiding among the displays of art at Donna Huanca's Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas.
And when it comes to a knock on one's door in the middle of the night from the FBI - word gets around fast, that's for sure! Say something a little bit "off color" with regard to America's ruling elites, and YOU too can expect a knock on YOUR door. Again, that's what it's all about!
Hentoff says that what Mr. Ashcroft and his minions at the Justice Department are really up to is reintroducing the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO operation that, from 1957 to 1971, monitored a wide range of RELIGIOUS and political antiwar and civil rights organizations, helped to spread "disinformation" about them, infiltrated them, and even "manufactured" false evidence in CRIMINAL cases against them and used it to falsely imprison many of their leaders. In 1975, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities (i.e., the so-called "Church Committee") denounced COINTELPRO's violations of First Amendment rights. And - in an unheard of "turn of events" insofar as CIA truthtelling is concerned - the CIA Chief at the time, Ambassador Colby, in what appears to have been a paroxysm of genuine (though belated) conscience, actually cooperated with the Church Committee in uncovering the "secrets of the lodge" and unveiling what the CIA had been really up to during the Civil Rights Crusade and anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s and early 1970s.
Operatives at the CIA never forgave Colby for cooperating with the Church Committee, and there is evidence that Colby was assassinated by "hit men" from the agency some several years ago as a result: Colby, a world-class swimmer, was said to have drowned in a strange, "freak" accident near his home while canoeing alone on the Chesapeake Bay. His canoe was found floating upside down not more than 25 feet from the shore; his body was nowhere to be found.
Several days later, however, Colby's body mysteriously showed up in the reeds about 50 feet from where the canoe had been found - though the area had been scoured (and "dragged") over and over again when the canoe had originally been discovered. Moreover - and much more mysteriously - forensic evidence indicated that the time of Colby's actual death did not correspond to when the canoe had been found, suggesting that Colby had at first been spirited away, later killed, and his body dumped back in the Chesapeake a few days later.
To say the least, this "heated things up;" the death had all the hallmarks of a CIA hit. But just as it all began to get "interesting," the feds co-opted the case from the local police. The local police were then unceremoniously told to "back off," "shut-up," and "mind their own business." In the end, the incident was quietly "covered up" and "forgotten." Interestingly, it was later learned that Colby was planning to give additional evidence to a number of new Congressional hearings regarding the CIA's illegal and corrupt activities.
What happened to Colby was what COINTELPRO operations were all about; this is precisely what COINTELPRO operatives did for a living: they "specialized" in handling "sensitive" political problems (defined in the broadest sense of that word as "persons"): people like the Berenger brothers, Dr. Spock, Martin Luther King, RFK, etc. - people who "rocked the boat" a little bit too much insofar as the elites were concerned. And this is the "evil genie" that Ashcroft and his Christian dominionist minions at the Justice Department want to "let loose" on the American public once again. God help us all.
Now it might fairly be asked, how does all this impact us? What does it mean to us on a personal basis? - particularly insofar as our Christianity is concerned. Much in every way! - at least for those who have determined NOT to participate in the unholy alliance the church has made with the state (and most particularly, with the United States and the Bush Administration). It means this: Life is soon going to become very, very difficult for you, and you will begin to find out exactly what the Lord meant when He said:
"... take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the ... (religious meeting halls) ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them." (Mark 13:9) [Again, please see our article on this subject, "George Bush, the Promise Keepers, and the Principles of Messianic Leadership."]
You ask, How is it that the church is going to get involved here? Aren't we just talking about political persecution? No! - not anymore! Or are you really that blind to what's happening? Is it really that difficult to see what's been occurring insofar as the Christian Right and the Republican Party is concerned? - that a union between the Republican Party and the Christian Right is being effectuated; and that it has been all but consummated. I must tell you, if you don't see it, it's because you have chosen not to see it, so that in you the words of Jesus are fulfilled that say:
"... By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive ..." (Matt. 13:14)
But it certainly would be easy enough for you to see if you really wanted to - to test this proposition out for yourself (i.e., that the evangelical church and the state have all but signed a formal alliance between themselves), provided, of course, you have the courage to do it! If you belong to an evangelical church today, try going into one of your church meetings and declare loudly and forcefully that you are opposed to what the Christian Right is doing insofar as its efforts to "take the country back for Christ and the church" are concerned. Try saying you are opposed to all the flag waving that is going on, especially insofar as it is connected to the church. Try saying that you believe that what the United States is up to in the world at large is wrong. [Please see our article, "The American Empire And The U.S. System Of Client States."] Try saying that you believe that what D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, James Robison, Jack Hayford, James Dobson, etc. are saying about the necessity of Christians being involved in the political process is wrong. Try saying any of these things, and see how far you get. Then tell me that you don't believe that the church is up to its neck in an apostate union of church and state.
Now, of course, it's not our purpose to offend or belittle anyone here, but the fact is, for someone to say that he doesn't believe that such is the case is to reveal himself as an ignoramus or an unrepentant Pollyanna! [Again, we urge you to read (or re-read) our article, "George Bush, the Promise Keepers, and the Principles of Messianic Leadership;" in addition, we urge you to read "Welcome To The New National Security State," and our basic document on this subject, "Political Christianity;" please also read chapter 7 of the Antipas Papers, "The First Half Of The Seventieth Week: The Seven Seals."]
The very real fact of the matter is, the prime constituency for George Bush and his elite cohorts is the Religious Right, and as the "War on Terrorism" develops, and the population is radicalized and sent off in a patriotic frenzy, the Religious Right will demand "it's due." They too will want a housecleaning of their enemies (just as the economic and political elites have demanded that their enemies - i.e., the labor unions, the socialists, the environmentalists, etc. - be purged from the "body politic").
And what does the Religious Right think is due it? - that all those who have opposed them over the years - i.e., the hated "secular-humanists," the gays and the lesbians, the feminists, the abortionists, the "Hollywood community," etc. be purged from the country's political structures. Isn't that what Gary Potter, President for Catholics for Christian Political Action, means when he says:
"When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more abortion on demand, and no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism (i.e., multiculturalism) will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil." ?
Of course it is! And - more ominously for Christians (at least for real Christians) - not only does the Religious Right aim at cleansing the so-called "lefties" from the country's political (and religious) institutions, but also ALL THOSE IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY WHOM THEY THINK ARE TRAITORS TO THEIR CAUSE IN THEIR STRUGGLE AGAINST THE LIBERAL LEFT - and guess who that will be? Those Christians who dare to speak out against their NEW INQUISITION! Those Christians who stand against their attempt to unite the church to this present evil world! Those Christians who say the United States has nothing to do with God, and everything to do with the Devil! - in other words, all those Christians who take the Bible seriously when it says:
"... whosoever ... will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)
But to believe such a thing (i.e., that "... whosoever ... will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God"), and to take the Bible seriously when it warns us away from any political involvement with the world, is tantamount to saying that "the emperor has no clothes" insofar as American Christianity is concerned; and that's not something the leadership of today's American church is going to suffer lightly - especially from people it considers to be "of no account." There will be "hell to pay" for those who dare to defy today's apostate church on this matter, and it is for this exact reason that Jesus said:
"... take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the ... (churches) ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them." (Mark 13:9)
And why He said:
"Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death." (Mark 13:12)
And why He warned us that in the days to come -
"... a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (Matt. 10:36)
Listen, brothers and sisters, true Christianity is NOT a popular thing - especially to those who are "religious" (as opposed to "spiritual") among us. It was, after all, the "established religious community" of Christ's day that persecuted and finally killed Him. Remember what Jesus said:
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because YE ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU OUT OF THE WORLD, therefore the world hateth you.
"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." (John 15:18-20)
Again, it's important that we take heed to this matter; this is not something that should occupy our minds simply on an academic level. Soon - very soon - we will all come face to face with its reality: The truth is, with every passing week and month, the country (and the world) moves ever closer to the installation of a "CHRISTIAN-TERRORIST-STATE" - all in the name of Christ! [Again, we urge you to read (or re-read) our article on this matter, "Welcome To The New National Security State."]
The hatred of Christians (so-called) who are pushing for the creation of such a state towards those Christians who oppose its implementation knows no boundary. These are people who "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel;" who move heaven and earth to establish their own individual "righteousness," but who can nonetheless participate in the business and social corruption of the world without ever bating an eye. These are people like Clifford Baxter who can work for a firm like Enron and turn a blind eye to what the company is really up to; people who can -
"devour widows' houses (and people's livelihoods), and for a pretense make a long prayer ..." (Matt. 23:14)
They are the same people who ranted against Christ in His day, the "religious" enemies of Christ of whom Jesus said:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin (in other words, they go about "establishing" their own righteousness"), and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith (but who think nothing of participating in the wicked activities of today's world): these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
"Ye BLIND guides, which STRAIN AT A GNAT AND SWALLOW A CAMEL.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of EXTORTION and EXCESS.
"Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! for ye are like unto WHITED SEPULCHERS (graves), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of DEAD MEN'S BONES, and of all UNCLEANNESS.
"Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of HYPOCRISY and INIQUITY.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,
"And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that YE ARE THE CHILDREN OF THEM WHICH KILLED THE PROPHETS.
"Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
"Ye SERPENTS, ye GENERATION OF VIPERS, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
"Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
"That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (Matt. 23:23-35)
Pretty heavy stuff. But the real fact is, there is not much good the Lord has to say about these kinds of people - i.e., the John Ashcrofts and the Clarence Thomases of this world together with their "Promise Keeper" and Opus Dei allies - people who:
"... shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matt. 23:13)
People who -
"...compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Matt. 23:15) [Kind of like what the wife and son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia did when they converted Clarence Thomas to Catholicism and conscripted him into the secrets of Opus Dei.]
These are people like Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, Jack Hayford, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, etc. who - with their corporate allies at Citicorp, Bank of America, Archer Daniels Midland, Morgan Stanley, Cargill, Enron (which, by the way, was a hotbed of "Christian-dominionist-types"), etc. - will not allow you to escape if you dare to defy what they are really up to, and speak out against what they are ostensibly doing in the name of the "Prince of Peace." No! - the "surveillance state these people are creating in furtherance of their Christian dominionist dreams will NOT be something from which you will be able to escape - at least not if you adhere faithfully to your Christianity, and don't disgrace yourself by running away and hiding somewhere. The Bible says:
"Ye are the light of the world ...
"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (Matt. 5:14-15)
We are the light of the world, and - as a result - God has not called us to hide in times of trouble. It's PRECISELY then that we must stand up and be counted - especially when evil and duplicitous men, in the name of Christ, have hijacked Christianity for their own immoral, selfish purposes and, as a result, made a mockery of our precious faith.
In such circumstances, we MUST protest! We MUST stand up and say, "NO!" - and if that's the case, how will we be able to escape the fury of the coming "CHRISTIAN-TERRORIST-STATE?" Very obviously, we won't - especially in light of what modern technology can do. The very real fact of the matter is, the computer world we now live in all but precludes that possibility. Defy the government (and, ipso facto, its Religious Right allies) and you will be caught.
And they really do mean to catch you if you decide to speak out! That's exactly what a series of meetings that took place in January of this year (and which was sponsored by a group of government bureaucrats with the innocuous-sounding name of "The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators") was all about - i.e., laying the groundwork for constructing the requisite "surveillance mechanisms" that would be necessary to the smooth functioning of such a state. Ashcroft has turned to this little-known group to accomplish in secret (and "under the table") what he knows would be very difficult to accomplish out in the open: the creation of an Orwellian surveillance state - something that the eschatology of the denomination he purports to be a part of (i.e., the Assemblies of God) has historically claimed would be a "marker" of the "Coming Man of Sin." (II Thessalonians 2:3) It's a testimony to how far removed both Ashcroft and the denomination he represents have drifted from their "roots." Very obviously, Ashcroft and the Assemblies of God no longer embrace the pre-millennialism of their forefathers, but the dominionism of today's worldly (and very apostate) Christianity.
Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, reports that this obscure little group has been charged by Ashcroft with the responsibility for creating a de facto national identification card based on one's driver's license. In other words, in the next few years our driver's licenses - while retaining much of their current "look" and their identification with state government - will be transformed into something much more than a state driver's license: a NATIONAL I.D. card - a kind of "human license plate" to "TRACK and RESTRICT the movements of ordinary citizens in the United States" (Turley's words). It will be a card the government can quickly integrate into already existing governmental and business computer systems to become "the required form of identification" for activities ranging from driving to voting to banking, etc. Sadly, most people will be hardly aware of what's happened. Turley warns,
"... governmental power operates like gas in a closed space. As a confined space is increased, both gas and government will expand to fill the available space."
This is "Big Brother" writ large - and it is here to stay! And, again, to a very large extent we have Christians to thank for it. Well did Jesus say of them (i.e., Ashcroft and his lackey followers),
"... they are blind leaders of the blind ..." (Matt. 15:14)
AND SO WE ARE LEFT WITH THE INCREDIBLE FOLLY OF BEHOLDING CHRISTIANS PARTICIPATING (AND EVEN TAKING THE LEAD) IN BUILDING THE VERY TRAP THAT THEY WILL SOMEDAY FALL PREY TO; in weaving the very spider's web that will eventually be used by Satan to catch them.
"So are the paths of all that forget God ...
"Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web." (Job 8:13-14)
The way to hell is paved with good intentions! - and more murder and slaughter have been carried out in the name of God than we as Christians might care to admit. As we have said before, maybe theres a good reason why secularists and unbelievers are afraid of Christians; maybe thats why they refuse to be drawn to Christ - they cant hear His gentle voice calling them over the din and slaughter and mayhem we have created. The Bible says,
"... the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles ... because of you" (Rom. 2:24)
And it is true! God's name is reviled by the unbelievers because of the wicked and perverse testimony of the church today - of people like Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, C. Peter Wagner, Jack Hayford, Robert Stearns, Mike Bickle, Reuven Doron, Che Ahn, Frank Hammond, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jim Goll, John Paul Jackson, James Ryle, Frank Damazio, Ed Silvoso, Carlos Annacondia, Barbara Wentroble, ad infinitum.
All this to say, there is no escape here. If you stand against what is happening to the church; if you protest the growing union of church and state in this country; if you turn to the "lefties" of this world and tell them that what passes for Christianity in this life is NOT real Christianity, the religious leaders of today will "deliver you up." You will not escape, and it is for this reason that Jesus said:
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
"For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matt. 10:19-20)
What a promise! I hope and pray that God will raise up many of you to speak out against what's happening. People everywhere are waiting to hear - maybe not the ones in your churches, and maybe not those who call themselves "Christian" - but they are there, waiting to hear from YOU. Do what Christ did. He started in the synagogues. Not many listened to Him at the time; they even tried to throw him off a cliff (Luke 4:28-30). But He kept at it, and in doing so He raised up quite a din by His preaching, and people were drawn to Him because of that, and some began listening. That's what will happen to YOU. Start preaching where you are at; copy this material and pass it out! in your church (even though you think no one is reading it), in your community. As you do, YOU too will cause a din. And they will threaten to throw YOU off a cliff too. But nothing can happen to you unless God permits it. You are in the hands of God, and eventually you will find people who will listen.
There is no easy way in this matter. There was no easy way for Christ, and there will be no easy way for you either. As Jesus said,
"The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." (John 15:20)
God bless you all,