WE ARE ALL BEING
PLAYED FOR SUCKERS

AUGUST 22, 2000
By: S.R. Shearer

"... in this particular epoch a conjunction of historical circumstances has led to the rise of an elite of power ... the men of the circles composing this elite, severally and collectively, now make such key decisions as are made; and that, given the enlargement and the centralization of the means of power now available, the decisions that they make and fail to make carry more consequences for more people than has ever been the case in the world history of mankind."

Professor C. Wright Mills
Columbia University

INTRODUCTION

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research, a nonpartisan think tank, writes, "When protest becomes effective, governments become REPRESSIVE." Weisbrot was quoting Tom Hayden who first used the phrase to describe his own trial on "conspiracy" charges for organizing protests against the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The government alleged that Hayden's activities - and in fact all the protest activities of the '60s and '70s (including the Civil Rights unrest of that era) were being financed by the "Worldwide Communist Conspiracy" to destabilize the country and frustrate the American effort to aid "the beleaguered democratic government of South Vietnam" in its war against communist North Vietnam and, ipso facto, Red China and the Soviet Union. Problem was, South Vietnam was no democracy, and the great majority of South Vietnamese didn't want to be "saved" by the Americans. Moreover, the Civil Rights unrest and the turmoil against the war in Vietnam were entirely "homegrown" affairs having NOTHING to do with agitators ("agent provocateurs") from outside the United States.

[Note: I speak here as an ex-military intelligence officer (possessing Top Secret, Special Intelligence, Cosmic and "Codeword" clearances) who was attached to the 525th Intelligence Group which was headquartered out of Saigon during the war. As a result, I was intimately involved with U.S. intelligence activities in Southeast Asia and with the vicious and wretched assassination program known as Phoenix (the precursor to today's "death squads"), the ultimate aim of which was to "neutralize" (i.e., slaughter) all those South Vietnamese who were even remotely suspected of being against the war - ultimately over 70,000 South Vietnamese CIVILIANS (please see our article, "The Death Squads: Bringing in the Kingdom of God Through Terror, Torture And Death". It should also be remarked in this connection, that - despite the best efforts of the U.S. intelligence community - no linkage was ever made (financial or otherwise) between the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war protesters on the one hand and the so-called "Worldwide Communist Conspiracy" on the other - and, again, I speak with some considerable (and first-hand) knowledge on this subject - during the early 1970s I was attached to the 515th Counter Intelligence Group charged with trying (among other things) to ferret out such a connection.]

Weisbrot writes,

"The Seattle protests last December knocked the millennium round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations out of commission, AND DEMONSTRATORS HAVE FACED INCREASINGLY HOSTILE GOVERNMENT ACTIONS EVER SINCE. This is especially true for those who have kept to their principles of nonviolence and no destruction of property - which includes almost everyone who showed up in Washington D.C. last April to protest against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, and in Philadelphia recently for the Republican convention (and now the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles)."

THE GOVERNMENT IS BECOMING EVER
MORE HOSTILE TO THE DEMONSTRATORS

And just how hostile and menacing has the government gotten? Pretty threatening! - that's for sure. IN THIS WORLD, ONE DOESN'T THREATEN SUCH ELITE INSTITUTIONS AS THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND THE WORLD BANK WITH IMPUNITY. For example, Jon Sellers, who heads the Berkeley-based Ruckus Society, a group that trains activists in the techniques of nonviolent civil disobedience, was arrested in Philadelphia on a MISDEMEANOR charge and bail was set at one MILLION dollars. ONE MILLION DOLLARS!! - not even murderers have bail set that high. Evidently, insofar as the business elites are concerned, murder is one thing, but threatening their economic agenda is something else entirely. On a scale of one to ten, murder is a one, and threatening globalization is a ten. Weisbrot writes,

"He (i.e., Sellers) was apparently singled out not for any thing he had done in Philadelphia, but for who he is."

Weisbrot continues ominously,

"The use of special punishments on the basis of a person's political identity (in this case, someone who openly opposes the elite's economic globalization policies) certainly contradicts the principle that ... (the United States) is a nation of laws ..."

What all this says is, if you challenge the elite's corporate polices regarding globalization you will be CRUSHED. And the incident with Sellers is not an isolated one - there are many more examples: for instance, during the protests against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C., the police - without benefit of a search warrant or any other legal justification, closed down the meeting ("convergence") center of the organizations that were planning the protests and arrested the 600 protesters that were in the building. The charges? Possession of incendiary devices and material meant to "incite to riot." And exactly what was this material? - one can of paint thinner (the so-called "incendiary device") that the protesters were using to touch up their signs, and puppets that the protesters used in their demonstrations - i.e., turtles, characterizations of various elite personalities, etc. It seems that insofar as the elites are concerned, the right to assemble and demonstrate that the elites recognize for themselves as far as their "bashes" and the Republican and Democratic Parties are concerned does not extend to those who oppose their policies in the streets (i.e., the "rabble").

In Philadelphia police staged a similar, almost certainly illegal raid on a warehouse the protesters were using to make protest props. They "preventively arrested" 70 people. In addition, Washington and Philadelphia police rounded up hundreds of folks on the street, including unlucky tourists, and launched "preemptive strikes" against people who even looked like they might be on their way to the demonstrations.

IT'S NOT THE BROKEN GLASS THAT CONCERNS THE
ELITES; IT'S THE DEMONSTRATIONS THEMSELVES

Now in all of this, it is important to note that - despite the effort of the mainline media to say otherwise - the object of the police's (and, ipso facto, the elite's) wrath were not those who were throwing rocks, breaking windows and causing property damage, but the protests themselves. The corporate elites could care less about broken windows, the occasional burned car, etc. That's not what bothers them. What distresses them are the protests themselves - the fact that these demonstrations are forcing the business elites and what they have been up to over the past twenty or thirty years into the open and, as a result, into the light. Concerning all this, Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, writing in Mother Jones Magazine (April 21, 2000), say:

"The April 16 protests in Washington, DC against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank made history and marked a new phase in the effort to halt and reverse the processes of corporate globalization.

"Citizens in developing countries - from Jordan to Zambia, Indonesia to Venezuela - have long protested against the policies of the IMF and World Bank. ON APRIL 16, FOR THE FIRST TIME, CITIZENS IN THE UNITED STATES CAME OUT IN LARGE NUMBERS TO JOIN THE CALLS FOR A ROLL BACK OF IMF AND WORLD BANK POWERS.

"Tens of thousands of people took to the streets, or joined a ... demonstration on the Ellipse to denounce structural adjustment policies - the deregulatory policy package that the Fund and Bank impose on country after country - for hurting the poor and exacerbating economic inequality.

"The exact impact of the demonstrations will only be apparent in the years to come, but it is already clear that the protests - evidence of the deepening citizen movement against corporate globalization - have had dramatic effect.

"THE US PUBLIC IS (NOW) ... AWARE OF WHAT THE IMF AND WORLD BANK ARE, AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE FOR THE FIRST TIME LEARNED ABOUT THESE INSTITUTIONS AND HOW THEIR POLICIES HURT PEOPLE IN POOR COUNTRIES (to say nothing about the economic damage these same policies are having on ordinary people in the United States) ..."

As Mokhiber and Weissman indicate, demonstrations against the IMF, the WTO and the World Bank are one thing when they are held in the Third World (or even in Europe), but they are quite something else when they are held in the United States. The elites cannot be quite as cavalier with public opinion in this country as they are with public opinion in the Third World. Mokhiber and Weissman continue,

"The growing US public concern with IMF and World Bank policy (generated by all these protests) is crucial because while the Fund and Bank are unaccountable to those people in the Third World they are allegedly trying to help, they are responsive to the United States - the LARGEST shareholder (by far) in both institutions and the dominant influence at the IMF in particular ... The anti-globalization demonstrations in Seattle and DC were remarkable victories for grassroots activism ..." [Note: the mainline media has attempted to report that the protesters are ineffectual because their message has no central theme; THAT'S ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE - there is indeed one CENTRAL theme that permeates all the diverse groups of demonstrators - CORPORATE GREED!!]

Weisbrot agrees. Like Mokhiber and Weissman, he says that what the business elites are really frightened (even neurotic) about is having their greedy and rapacious economic globalization policies dragged out into the streets for everyone to see. He writes,

"It may seem inflated to compare these protests to the much larger demonstrations of the Vietnam era, but the Seattle, D.C., (Philadelphia and Los Angeles) demonstrations were enormously effective. The WTO has yet to recover from the collapse of its millennium round, and last April's protests in Washington gave millions of Americans their first glimpse of the IMF and the World Bank.

"These organizations [i.e., the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO (which despite their internationally sounding names, are really creatures of the United States and America's multinationals)] head up a CREDITORS' CARTEL that controls the major economic decisions for more than 60 countries. THEY ARE THE MOST POWERFUL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE WORLD AND THEY HAVE RELIED ON PUBLIC UNAWARENESS FOR 55 YEARS TO MAINTAIN - AND REGULARLY ABUSE - THEIR POWER."

POLICE BRUTALITY AIMED NOT AT LAWBREAKERS, BUT AT DEMONSTRATORS

No, as Weisbrot, Mokhiber, and Weissman remark, it's not so much the broken glass in Seattle, Washington, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles that the business elites fear, as it is the protests themselves - the fear that what these protests might eventually do is unmask them, and by doing so expose them to the wrath of the mob. As a result, the elites are sparing no effort to marginalize the protests by limiting (and distorting) the coverage the mainline media gives to them and by using EXTREME (and brutal) police measures on the protesters when they do demonstrate. Weisbrot continues:

"This tactic (i.e., ignoring those causing property damage and instead targeting the protests themselves) was made abundantly clear in the way the police conducted themselves. For example, although there were some scuffles between police and a few protesters in Philadelphia, it is important to understand that police abuses (there) were not committed in response to violence or even property damage, but against the protests themselves."

Take what happened in Seattle where the police mostly ignored the window-breakers and let loose their tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets on the thousands of peaceful demonstrators. It's the demonstrators that the police were after, not the lawbreakers. They even raided an otherwise peaceful Seattle residential area (and entered and searched homes without warrants) on the mere suspicion that demonstrators were being housed there (there were none found).

In Los Angeles, officers fired more rubber bullets, "knock down bags," and pepper spray at non-violent protesters during a concert held just outside the convention center by a group called "Rage Against the Machine," a popular rock band. The rock concert was to have been the culmination of a public demonstration billed as "The March of Corporate Shame." What particularly irked the elites insofar as this specific demonstration was concerned was that one of its main themes was Gore's connection to death squad activity in the rain-forests of northern Columbia designed to clear Indians off the U'wa Indian Reserve where Occidental Petroleum wants to drill for Oil.

GORE AND OCCIDENTAL OIL

Gore, it seems, is intimately involved with Occidental Oil - he owns stock currently valued at $500,000 in the company. Occidental has a long-standing and well-deserved reputation for being utterly ruthless in its efforts to get at oil, no matter where it finds it, and no matter what the cost to those who live nearby. Gore's father, the late Sen. Albert Gore, Sr., served on Occidental's board of directors and was chief executive of a subsidiary to Occidental.

The revelation concerning Gore and his connection to Big Business is particularly damaging - it reveals that the claim that Gore (and, ipso facto, the Democrats) is the champion of the "little guy" is a lie. Here is a man who constantly prattles on about the inviolability of the rain-forests, dresses in earthtones and invokes the pious bromides of the new Earth religion. Yet he sits on the board of a company (Occidental Petroleum) that has seized the land of the U'wa and profits from Occidental's expropriation of these lands. Pushed onto a small fraction of their original reservation, and stripped of most of their other ancestral lands by Occidental Oil, the U'wa have caught the attention of the world by threatening to protest this aspect of "globalization" in the only way they can: by committing collective suicide - something that if they don't do themselves, the death squads will soon do for them.

GORE AND COCAINE

Moreover, Gore's connection to Columbia extends well beyond his own selfish pecuniary interests in Occidental Oil to the financial interests of some of his main contributors like Steve Case of AOL-Time-Warner, who also has a big investment in Colombia, and who is one of the biggest friends of Andres Pastrana's murderous regime among top U.S. corporate executives. Gore has long been a key link between U.S. multinationals and the government of Columbia. Indeed, it would not be too much to say that Gore IS the "Colombian Connection" for many of these multinationals - a connection that is slowly dragging the U.S. into a three-way civil war between leftist guerrillas, paramilitary "death squads," and the Colombian government — with all players, including the government, benefiting from the traffic in cocaine. [Note: U.S. involvement in the civil war in Columbia is much greater than most Americans realize and is growing with each passing month. Indeed, in the months and years ahead, it may very well become America's new Vietnam - more about this in upcoming articles.]

Gore's complicity with the trade in Colombian cocaine extends back to 1995 when he appeared at a conference of the Western hemisphere's political leaders, and declared that -

"... the drug traffickers shall not prevail. They will be defeated. We can applaud the work of those like President [Ernesto] Samper and Defense Minister [Fernando] Botero of Colombia, who are standing up to traffickers, often at tremendous personal risk, demonstrating personal courage."

Less than a year later, however, Botero had squealed on Samper, and revealed that this seeming paragon of virtue had been on the take all along. Samper's entire campaign had been planned and financed by the Cali drug cartel from the very beginning — and, what's more, U.S. government officials appear to have been fully cognizant of this fact early on. According to PBS's Charles Krause, they suspected Samper was a front for the drug lords in 1994, when he was inaugurated: yet there was Gore, a year later, holding up Samper as a model to Latin America.

A few months after Gore publicly embraced his friend Samper, Botero gave his damning testimony — corroborated by Samper's campaign manager as well as the campaign treasurer. With DEA agents swarming all over that country, in addition to America's other intelligence capabilities, it is difficult to believe that the Vice President was not at least aware of — if not fully briefed — on the investigation into a man he held up as a paragon before the assembled leaders of the New World.

NOT A DIME'S WORTH OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
THE REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS

These are the things that have led protesters to believe that there is not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans insofar as their complicity in the ruthless process of globalization, and they have been dogging the Gore campaign at every turn, loudly protesting Gore's collusion in the destruction of a people (i.e., the U'was) in order to fatten his own bank account. Not only that, but they are calling attention to the fact that Ray Irani, the Occidental chief executive, made a donation of $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee in the early 90s following a stay in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House.

Protesters have come to believe that to have people like Gore and Bush (who has his own problems with Big Oil in the Middle East) in the Oval Office means ultimately the calculated and very tragic use of American military to enrich U.S. multinationals around the world - especially insofar as "Big Oil" is concerned. As a result, the protesters are seeking to make these connections known to the voting public, connections that the mainline media has carefully concealed from ordinary Americans. By publicizing these connections, THE PROTESTERS ARE SEEKING TO DEMONSTRATE THE FACT THAT INSOFAR AS CORPORATE AMERICA'S ECONOMIC AGENDA IS CONCERNED, BOTH GORE AND BUSH (AND IPSO FACTO, THE REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS) SERVE THE SAME MASTER. This is the common thread holding all the otherwise disparate elements of the demonstrations together - DISGUST AT THE NAKED GREED OF CORPORATE AMERICA AND THE CONCOMITANT BELIEF THAT BOTH THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN "BOUGHT OFF."

IT IS PRECISELY THESE KINDS OF CONNECTIONS THAT THE PROTESTERS ARE MAKING BETWEEN THE ELITES OF BOTH PARTIES AND BIG BUSINESS THAT DISTURB THE ELITES SO MUCH. IF THE PROTESTERS PERSIST IN PUBLICIZING THESE CONNECTIONS, THE GAME THE ELITES ARE UP TO COULD BE SERIOUSLY JEOPARDIZED AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE CONCLUDE THAT DEMOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY IS NOTHING MORE THAN A "RIGGED GAME."

"We're going to beat, beat back, the corporate attack," chanted protesters, some of whom wore pig costumes to symbolize corporate greed. Confronting the police, demonstrators used their own bullhorns to taunt officers and danced in front of them to the beat of a drum. A pungent odor permeated the air from the vinegar demonstrators had poured on their clothes to withstand tear gas. [Note: this reminds us of the word of warning we received from one of our dear subscribers - Cynthia - insofar as Philadelphia was concerned; she wrote, "Sigh, I haven't been able to talk my husband in letting me come (with you to Philadelphia). I was gassed at the WTO demonstrations in Seattle and recently recovered from bronchitis due to that. Let me give you a tip that I didn't know I would need ... buy respirators (even though the police may confiscate them) or use bandannas soaked in white vinegar to try to protect yourselves. If I can come, I'll contact you later. Bless you, Cynthia." Pretty good advice, Cynthia - THANKS.]

At one point, a line of officers charged the demonstrators, knocking people down. Some protesters yelled, "We're nonviolent!" - but it didn't seem to matter. "The police are acting in a very aggressive way," said Medea Benjamin, one of the founding directors of the San Francisco-based activist group Global Exchange. The protesters continued to chant, "Al Gore, stop the drilling, stop the lies."

SETTING THE GROUNDWORK FOR LABELING THE PROTESTERS A "CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY" AND SETTING THEM UP FOR "RICO" AND "THREE STRIKE" FELONY CHARGES

It's taunts like this that are giving the business elites apoplexy and causing them to put pressure on the police to stop the demonstrations AT ALL COSTS and coerce the protesters into submission. But that kind of coercion requires the use of BRUTAL and RUTHLESS (Third World) police tactics, and such tactics can only be justified by painting the protesters in the most unflattering of lights. Only by thoroughly demonizing the protesters can the police justify the use of such tactics, and it was precisely for this reason that Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney has begun describing the protesters as nothing less than a "cadre of criminal conspirators" and the protests as a "criminal conspiracy," a pernicious stratagem by ner-do-well malcontents and depraved anarchists that fully justifies million dollar bails and the use of rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas.

In labeling the protesters "criminal conspirators" and the protests as a "criminal conspiracy," what Timoney is doing is laying the groundwork for the possibility of brutal and even barbarous suppression in the future. Specifically, in calling the protesters "criminal conspirators," Timoney is leaving the demonstrators open to criminal (felony) charges and the application of the RICO laws and the "Three Strike" laws which could take the ringleaders off the streets for good and lock them up for life - a nightmare straight out of the KGB handbook of the old Soviet Union.

THE NEED TO STOP THE PROTESTS BEFORE "BIG LABOR" GETS INVOLVED

Finally there is something else - the growing restiveness of "Big Labor" insofar as all these protests are concerned - especially as they relate to the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. This restiveness has been increasing for years, and the demonstrations are only adding to "Big Labor's" growing misgivings with regard to what the business elites are up to. Should "Big Labor" awake from the stupor it has been in for the past several decades and join the students at the "barricades," it could spell disaster for the corporate elites.

The business elites fairly tremble at the thought of "Big Labor" joining the protesters in the streets. But that may be where all this is heading - and that would represent a "sea-change" in union attitudes towards the elites' globalization policies, a change from "neutrality" towards these institutions to open hostility - the kind of hostility that sends workers to the barricades along side the "rabble." This is what brought down the French aristocracy in 1789 and the German government in 1919.

And just how far as this change in attitude gone? - a long way! For example, two years ago, the AFL-CIO lent its support to the Clinton administration's request for $18 billion in funding for the IMF; so the growing willingness today of "Big Labor" to denounce the IMF and the World Bank represents a big shift, especially in such a short period of time. Mokhiber and Weissman elaborate,

"The second noteworthy outcome from the April 16 protests (in Washington) was the role of US organized labor in the ... demonstration on the Ellipse. The AFL-CIO and a number of major unions, including the Service Employees, the Teamsters, the Steelworkers, the American Federation of Government Employees, the United Electrical Workers, and the textile union UNITE endorsed the demonstration, and many of the unions sent top official to address the rally ...

"The AFL-CIO is also beginning to develop a penetrating critique of the notion of export-led development - one of the core principles of structural adjustment. Instead of joining in a race to the bottom to produce goods using sweatshop labor or lax environmental standards, the AFL-CIO is suggesting, countries should instead concentrate on developing productive capacity to meet local needs."

AIMING AT STOPPING FREE TRADE

What's that? - "Countries should instead concentrate on developing productive capacity to meet local needs?" - WHAT AN EXPLOSIVE IDEA THAT IS!! If that kind of thinking ever took off, the financial bonanza the business elites have been enjoying for the past several decades would come to a screeching halt, and the economic house of cards they have constructed based on an unfettered regime of "free trade" would come crashing down on their heads. Continued elite prosperity (and even their ability to survive) is dependent upon the competence of the business elites to keep on moving their manufacturing capacity out of the United States and Western Europe into the Third World where they can produce products at a fraction of the cost it takes to manufacture the same product in the United States - and then pocketing the difference.

In other words, say a product costs $100.00 to produce in this country of which $50.00 is labor. Add to this another $15.00 to meet requisite environmental and safety standards and another $20.00 in miscellaneous other costs, and investors are left with only $15.00 in profits. But if labor costs can be reduced by 85 percent (from $50.00 to $7.50) and environmental costs can be reduced by a similar amount (from $15.00 to $2.25) - all by moving the manufacture of this product to a Third World sweatshop where "slave labor" conditions prevail and environmental and safety standards are non-existent - then investor profits will more than quadruple - from $15.00 per product to $70.25. That's quite a jump!! THAT IS WHAT "FREE TRADE" IS ALL ABOUT - AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE WTO, THE IMF AND THE WORLD BANK HAVE BEEN SET UP TO FACILITATE.

But all this is dependent on free trade - the ability of the corporate elites to move production overseas and then export the products produced there back to the United States for sale in this country - or does one really think these corporations are interested in selling these products to the people who are producing them? They don't have the money to buy them - not on the wages the corporate elites are paying them. All this requires that goods, services and money are able to move freely back and forth across borders, and - again - that's what the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank are all about.

The World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank are the means through which the corporate elites facilitate all this. Destroy or restrict these institutions, and "free trade" as an economic policy of the elite will collapse overnight. Mokhiber and Weissman write:

"With ... (these) protests shining light on the policies of the IMF, (the WTO), and World Bank, expanding the coalition opposed to ... (these institutions), and revealing that discontent in the developing world with IMF, (WTO), and (World) Bank policies is increasingly matched by similar outrage in the rich nations, the prospect of a successful drive to shrink the authority and power of the IMF, (the WTO), and (the World) Bank is greater than at any time in recent history."

TRANSFORMING THE UNITED STATES INTO ANOTHER GUATAMALA

All this is driving the business elites into a state of deep apprehension and profound anxiety. What to do? ACT TO QUASH THE DEMONSTRATORS BEFORE "BIG LABOR" JOINS THE PROTESTERS AT THE BARRICADES. And how does one do that? - Demonize the demonstrators as a rabble! More repression!! Tightening the screws on the mainline media - and make it toe the corporate line even more than it has in the recent past! Institute million dollar bails for misdemeanors! Bring the RICO and "three Strike" laws to bear against the demonstrators, and put the fear of a life sentence in the protesters! Arrest the demonstrators on trumpet up charges! Police brutality! This is the answer of the elites to the demonstrations! - AND IN FOLLOWING THIS LINE OF REPRESSION, THE ELITES ARE DOING NOTHING MORE THAN IMPORTING INTO THE UNITED STATES MECHANISMS OF CONTROL THAT THEY HAVE BEEN USING FOR YEARS IN THE THIRD WORLD. BY DOING SO, THE ELITES ARE GRADUALLY - AND WITH EACH PASSING MONTH AND EACH PASSING YEAR - TRANSFORMING THE UNITED STATES INTO ANOTHER GUATEMALA.

Indeed, so heavy-handed have the police become since Seattle that many protest organizers have been deeply frightened by their tactics. For example, in Los Angeles, after the ACLU went to court to secure a court order to allow the protesters to demonstrate nearer to the convention center, the police responded by building what amounted to a cage for the protesters to demonstrate in. However, many of the demonstrators refused to march inside the designated "protest pit" because they considered it to be what it in fact was - a cage lined with high metal fences and surrounded by police who - after luring them into the "pit," then used rubber bullets and pepper spray on them - like cattle that had been lured into a box canyon with no way out. Moreover, police helicopters swooped down so low over the protesters that they drowned out their speeches.

Indeed, so far has this kind of intimidation progressed, that Larry Frankel, executive director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says,

"I think there's a considerable danger that there will be further repression of social protest around the country ... What we've seen in all four cities (i.e., Seattle, Washington, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles) is the inability or unwillingness (of the government) to distinguish between those who are actively engaged in criminal activity ... and those who engage in civil disobedience."

AND WHERE IS THE CHURCH IN ALL THIS?

And where is the church in all this? - the same side they are on in the Third World, the same side Wycliffe Bible Translators took in Guatemala, Peru, and Brazil; the same side WYAM has taken in the Philippines, in Indonesia, in Malaysia; the same side the church has always taken up through history! - on the side of the elites; a position which clearly places them on the side of repression and despotism! On the side of million dollar bails! On the side of police brutality!

Of course, the church would deny all this. They would retort that they are on the side of the angels (and, ipso facto, democracy). But look at the facts. Where is the repression coming from? Who's pushing it? The business elites are pushing it!! And who is siding with the business elites? The church is!! [Please see our article, "The Business Right And The Christian Right An Alliance Made In Hell".]

But for the church to side with the elites in all this is not only TOTALLY unscriptural, it's just plain stupid. The church is being played for a sucker; it has totally bought into the corporate game of "divide and conquer." The church simply doesn't get it insofar as the so-called "Culture War" is concerned! The truth is, THE "CULTURE WAR IS NOTHING MORE THAN A DEVICE WHIPPED UP BY THE BUSINESS ELITES TO DIVIDE ITS OPPOSITION. THE REALITY IS, IT'S CORPORATE MONEY THAT IS BEHIND BOTH THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT. You doubt? - well don't take my word for it. Look at the facts!!

Consider what Professor Daniel Brandt discovered when he took a look at the corporate money behind both the Right and the Left almost ten years ago: in a penetrating article, "Multiculturalism and the Ruling Elite" (NameBase NewsLine, No. 3, October-December 1993), Brandt wrote:

"The ruling elite are experts at manipulating their own interests; they know how to divide and conquer, which is why they continue to rule. As inequality becomes increasingly obvious, those who are less equal begin to see society in terms of "us" and "them." The ... (elite) shades this definition by using the mass media to emphasize our (i.e., average people's) differences at every opportunity. Conventional wisdom becomes articulated within narrow parameters, which is another way of saying that the questions offered for public debate (mostly cultural questions) are rigged."

"THE OBJECTIVE IS TO DEFINE "US" AND "THEM" IN WAYS THAT DO NOT THREATEN THE ESTABLISHED ORDER. Today everyone can see that there is more Balkanization on campus, and more racism in society, than there was when affirmative action began over twenty years ago. And for twenty years now one can hardly get through the day without being reminded that race is something that matters, from TV sitcoms all the way down to common application forms (it would have been unthinkable to ask about one's race on an application form in the 1960s). WE ARE NOT FIGHTING THE SYSTEM ANYMORE, WE'RE FIGHTING EACH OTHER." [Please see "Multiculturalism and the Ruling Elite" (NameBase NewsLine, No. 3, October-December 1993).]

This is, of course, exactly what the elites want! In other words, what the elites have done - and what the protesters now recognize they have done - is to play the Left off against the Right on cultural issues by throwing money at each side so as to accentuate the cultural divide between them and to intensify the struggle among the differing groups which while all the time making both sides (i.e., the Left and the Right) toe the corporate line insofar as economic matters are concerned - matters like the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF, which both the Democrats and the Republicans support.

THE CHURCH HAS BOUGHT INTO THE ELITE'S GAME

Unfortunately, the church has bought into this game and is now so completely caught up in it that it fails to recognize what the corporate elites are really up to - making enemies of the very people the church has been charged to reach with the Gospel of Christ. To hear some so-called members of today's Religious Right tell it, abortionists, homosexuals, feminists, etc. are beyond the reach of the Gospel. The only thing left to do with them is to assign them to hell and hurry them on their way. And why do so many Christians hold such a view today? - because that is the picture of their "cultural enemies" the elites have very deliberately and in a very calculated manner been feeding them. [Of course, the corporate elites have been doing the same thing with the Left, feeding them a picture of Christians which paints them as Elmer Gantrys who want nothing more than to take the world back to the Victorian Age, if not the Middle Ages.

There are some of our subscribers, maybe even you, who will, no doubt, have difficulty in believing all this - that the same business elites who so openly are funding their cultural agenda are also pouring money into liberal-left organizations. Well, to be honest, you're not alone. Most defenders on the Political Left would find that difficult to believe too. They also would find it hard to believe that the money that sometimes so mysteriously finds its way into their organizations comes from the same sources that are funding their enemies on the Political Right.

IT'S ELITE MONEY THAT IS BEHIND THE LEFT

Sara Diamond, a far left, anti-Christian zealot, doesn't believe it either. She thinks all elite money flows in one direction - to the right. She the Olin Foundation and Smith-Richardson money behind Dinesh D'Souza and the National Association of Scholars (NAS), two of the most vocal critics of the liberal Left. Diamond points out that the Smith-Richardson Foundation has CIA connections (even though these connections pale in significance alongside the Carnegie - Ford - Rockefeller nexus that supports the Left. [Note: of course, what eludes almost everyone is that while this money (i.e., the Carnegie - Ford - Rockefeller money) flows domestically into liberal left organizations, outside the U.S. it flows heavily into fundamentalist Christian organizations in the Third World - please see our article , "The American Empire: The Corporate/Pentagon/CIA/Missionary Archipelago "); please also see "The American Empire and the U.S. System of Client States".]

Diamond - like so many of her ilk - errs in framing her arguments in terms of "Right" and "Left." This allows the real dynamic to escape her radar. While both the ideological Right and the ideological Left take ideas seriously - too often a characteristic of those who lack REAL power in this world - the corporate elites are not weighed down by such concerns. The fact is, the elites operate at a level which transcends Right and Left - all they care about is money. [Please see Sara Diamond, "The Funding of the NAS." In Patricia Aufderheide, ed., Beyond PC: Toward a Politics of Understanding (Saint Paul MN: Graywolf Press, 1992), pp. 89-96. This essay first appeared in Z Magazine, February 1991.]

THE "BLACK HORSE" OF THE APOCALYPSE

WHAT'S REALLY IN PLAY HERE IS AN ECONOMIC DYNAMIC WHICH THE BUSINESS ELITES HAVE UNLEASHED ON THE WORLD DESIGNED TO ENRICH THEMSELVES WHILE PAUPERIZING THE REST OF MANKIND - WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE "BLACK HORSE" OF THE APOCALYPSE SIGNIFIES: A TERRIBLE PERSONAGE IN WHOSE HAND IS A PAIR OF BALANCES AND AN ENIGMATIC POEM ISSUES FORTH FROM HIS LIPS:

"A measure of wheat for a penny [literally - denarius, a Greek coin which represented a WHOLE DAY’S wages], and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Rev. 6:6)

The meaning of this, according to Dwight Pentecost of Dallas Theological Seminary, is that the circumstances of most men and women as the end approaches will be reduced by the economic machinations of the corporate elites to such an abysmal level that they will have to labor a whole day simply to buy a loaf of bread or three measures of barley. But the second part of the verse ["... and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine ..."] means that the hardship of those days will not extend to the world's globalist elites who have evidently allied themselves with the anti-Christ - only the rich in the ancient world could afford oil and wine. [Please see Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

And it is precisely this process - the one signified by the Black Horse of the Apocalypse - that is currently at work in today's economy, the process of economic globalization which the corporate elites have unleashed on an unsuspecting world designed to move manufacturing facilities out of nations which pay their workers a living wage, maintain adequate labor standards, and are concerned about meaningful ecological principles to those segments of the world where labor is cheapest, work standards are minuscule, and ecological concerns are non-existent. And in order to hide what they are doing, the corporate elites are playing the ideological Left off against the ideological Right, and in doing so creating enough confusion that very few people can see what's really occurring. That's what's really happening, and the "money trail" leaves no doubt as to all this. Facts are facts insofar as this trail is concerned.

ELITE FUNDING OF THE LEFT

No! - it's not just the Right that is receiving elite money, but the Left is also receiving vast amounts of it - and they have been receiving this money for a long time; consider the following examples, some of which extend backwards thirty or forty years:

  • Student leaders James Kunen and Carl Oglesby both report that in the summer of 1968, the organization Business International, which had links to the CIA, sent high-level representatives to meet with the left-radical SDS (Students for a Democratic Society). Business International wanted to help the SDS and other left-wing groups fund demonstrations for the upcoming conventions in Chicago and Miami. SDS refused the offer, still, the offer says a lot about what the business elites were up to. [Please see James Simon Kunen, The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary (New York: Avon Books, 1970); please also see Steve Weissman, Big Brother and the Holding Company (Palo Alto CA: Ramparts Press, 1974).
  • Tom Hayden, one of the "Chicago Seven" has been quoted as saying that while he was protesting against the Vietnam War, he was also cooperating with U.S. intelligence agents. [Please see AP in San Francisco Examiner, June 21, 1986.]
  • The CIA was of course involved with LSD testing, but there is also evidence that it was later involved in the distribution of LSD within the counterculture. [Please see Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain, Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD, and the Sixties Rebellion (New York: Grove Press, 1985).]
  • Hard-line feminist leader Gloria Steinem and the ultra liberal congressman Allard Lowenstein both had major CIA connections. Lowenstein was president of the National Student Association, which was funded by the CIA until exposed by Ramparts magazine in 1967. He and another NSA officer, Sam Brown, were key organizers behind the 1969 Vietnam Moratorium. (In 1977 Brown became the director of ACTION under Jimmy Carter; his activism, which was more intense and more sincere than Clinton's, didn't hurt his later "mainline" career either.) [Please see Kai Bird, The Chairman: John J. McCloy, The Making of the American Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), pp. 483-4, 727; please also see Richard Cummings, The Pied Piper: Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream (New York: Grove Press, 1985).]
  • Symbionese Liberation Army leader Donald DeFreeze appears to have been conditioned in a behavior modification program sponsored by elements of U.S. intelligence. [Please see Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program (New York: William Morrow, 1990), p. 337; please also see our article, "MK-Ultra AndThe Search For The Manchurian Candidate.".]

Does this surprise you? It probably does, but, again, remember what the corporate elites are up to here - playing the Left off against the Right, and by doing so getting them so tied up in the ensuing "Culture War" that neither is able to see what the corporate elites are really up to. By tracking the elite money behind both the Left and the Right, Brandt has been able to demonstrate that the same money that is behind the Right is the same money that is behind the Left. PUT ANOTHER WAY, THE SAME MONEY THAT IS BEHIND THE SO-CALLED "NEW AGE" MOVEMENT, THE MILITANT FEMINISTS, THE GAY AND LESBIAN AGENDA, ETC. IS THE VERY SAME ELITE MONEY THAT'S BEHIND THE CHRISTIAN COALITION, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY COALITION AND A PLETHORA OF OTHER SO-CALLED CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS. Not only that, but most of the "big names" in both the Right AND the Left are receiving money on a PERSONAL basis from the same elite sources.

Christians are playing a very dangerous game indeed when they take money from elite sources. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the same elite money that is funding your activities is essentially the same money that is funding the activities of your enemies, then something is wrong.

THE EFFORT TO BUY THE LEFT OFF

The effort to "buy off" the Left and involve it in a "Culture War" with the Right began in the early 1960s. Initially, the instrument the elite used to funnel money to the Left was the CIA, but when Ramparts blew the whistle on the CIA's domestic cultural activities in 1967, President Johnson appointed a committee consisting of elitists Nicholas Katzenbach (Rhodes scholar and former Ford Foundation fellow), OSS old-boy John Gardner (Carnegie Corporation president, 1955-1965), and CIA director Richard Helms to study the problem.

It was clear to Katzenback et. al. that they could no longer use a government agency like the CIA to buy the Left. They needed a new cover - and they found that cover in the plethora of new elite institutions and foundations that began to surface after the Second World War - growing from about 2,200 in 1955 to more than 18,000 in 1967. It was to these institutions that Katzenbach turned for help in subverting the Ideological Left. In doing so, Katzenbach created a "public-private mechanism" [the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)] which mixed public and private funds - and so much so that by now it has become all but impossible to distinguish among the complicated overlapping networks of CIA funding, NED funding, and funding by foundations such as Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller. The same people are behind all three sources (i.e., the CIA, the NED, and private elite foundations and institutions).

Consider, for example, the way these funding sources - all of them using elite money - have funded the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) which was funded initially by the CIA - and after that was exposed (i.e., that the money behind the CCF was CIA money) - by the Ford Foundation. CCF created magazines, published books, and conducted conferences throughout the world encouraging multicultural and "diversity" programs that are anathema to the Religious Right, but which - at the same time - encouraged "lefties" in Europe to embrace Western capitalism and economic globalism. (Please see Peter Coleman, The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe (New York: Free Press, 1989).

And it wasn't just in Europe that the CIA was running "new Left" programs that were abhorrent to conservative Christians, it was also busy in Africa. In an article entitled "The CIA as an Equal Opportunity Employer" that first appeared in 1969 in Ramparts and was reprinted in the Black Panther newspaper and elsewhere, members from the Africa Research Group presented convincing evidence that "the CIA has promoted black cultural nationalism to reinforce neo-colonialism (i.e., economic globalism) in Africa." In the introduction to their article, the Africa Research Group added that "activists in the black colony within the United States can easily see the relevance to their own situation; in many cases the same techniques and occasionally the same individuals are used to control the political implications of Afro-American culture." [Please see Dan Schechter, Michael Ansara, and David Kolodney, "The CIA as an Equal Opportunity Employer," Ramparts, June 1969, pp. 25-33. Reprinted with an introduction in Ellen Ray, William Schaap, Karl van Meter, and Louis Wolf, eds., Dirty Work 2: The CIA in Africa (Secaucus NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1979).

In other words, elite money - the same elite money that was flowing into "black nationalism" in Africa in order to promote the murderous regimes that had taken hold in Nigeria, the Congo, etc. (regimes which the corporate elites, nonetheless, could count on to promote access by the West's multinationalists to the riches of Africa) - was also flowing into radical black groups in the United States in order to "buy them off" for capitalism and free trade in the same way it was buying off black nationalists in Africa. THE FRUITS OF THIS DECEITFUL AND HIDEOUS "TRADE-OFF" CAN BE SEEN IN THE STRANGE SILENCE OF LEADING BLACK GROUPS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES ON ISSUES LIKE NAFTA, THE WTO, THE WORLD BANK, ETC. - ISSUES THAT ADVERSELY IMPACT THE BLACK COMMUNITY IN THE UNITED STATES FAR MORE THAN THEY DO THE WHITE COMMUNITY.

The truth is, the business elites have bought almost all of the Left's leadership off. Indeed, since 1947, the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations, all in cooperation with the CIA, have been funding liberal-left cultural programs at major U.S. universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Columbia for this EXACT purpose (i.e., "buying off" the Left insofar as the corporate elites economic agenda is concerned). [Please see Sigmund (not Sara) Diamond, Compromised Campus: The Collaboration of Universities with the Intelligence Community, 1945-1955 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 371 pages; please also see David Horowitz, "Sinews of Empire," Ramparts, October 1969, pp. 32-42.]

Take another example: the schizophrenic history of the Ford Foundation insofar as "Right / Left" politics are concerned. The Ford Foundation began supporting feminist groups and women's studies programs in the late '60s and early '70s - just about the same time they were busy training Indonesian elites (using supposedly liberal-left Berkeley professors as instructors) to impose a military dictatorship on Indonesia - a take-over of Indonesia (led by the CIA and supported by Christian missionaries) that led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands. Do the folks at the Ford Foundation suffer from "split personality?" - or were they pushing the same battle (i.e., economic globalization) on another front? It would appear to be the latter. The elite knows exactly what it's doing, and it is remarkably consistent - keeping both the Left and the Right off balance while it pursues its own selfish economic policies, policies which have been having a profound impact not only on the Left, but also on Christian America.

WHAT ALL THIS MEANS IS THAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD THINK ABOUT ALL THIS THE NEXT TIME A SPEAKER FROM THE OLIN FOUNDATION, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION, ETC. AND THE VARIOUS CHRISTIAN GROUPS THAT ELITE MONEY SUPPORTS (i.e., CONCERNED WOMEN OF AMERICA, WYCLIFFE, THE NAVIGATORS, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, ETC.) SHOWS UP AT THEIR CHURCHES OR AT ONE OF THEIR CONFERENCES TO SPEAK.

Put in a way that Christians should be able to understand, they should ask themselves, Who's really responsible for the "Death of Morality" in this country? - the gays and lesbians, the militant feminists, etc., or the globalist elites who have forced mothers into the work place leaving their children to the "tender mercies" of the streets. The fact is, more American women are working just to keep the family going than they are to advance themselves in a career - and the reason for this can be laid directly at the doorstep of the free trade policies the elite has been championing for the past thirty years.

WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THE ALLIANCE
BETWEEN THE ELITE AND THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT?

What, then, does all this say about the alliance that Christians have struck with the corporate elites of the economic right? What it says is, there's something wrong with it!! It doesn't pass the smell test.

If, as the Bible suggests, where money is to be found, Satan is close by (I Tim. 6:10), then what are we as Christians tying ourselves to people who are so in love and involved with it? And it isn't as if it's a deep, dark secret that money corrupts; that it perverts those who become involved with it; that the so-called moneyed elite is a venal and squalid group of individuals - even the world recognizes this fact: it's in our literature, it's in our movies, it's in our culture. Mills writes:

"The American elite is not composed of ... men whose conduct and character constitute models for American imitation and aspiration ... (This) is no set of men with whom members of the mass public can rightfully and gladly identify ...

This, of course, runs counter to what most American Christians have been led to believe - especially the devotees of people like Charles Capps, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and the other purveyors of the "Green Gospel:" that a life of virtue will result in financial success. This brings us at last to the "money trap" of the "end of days."

THE "MONEY TRAP" OF THE "END OF DAYS"

There has been a great deal of dedicated and sacrificial effort made in recent years concerning the insinuation of the "New Age Movement" into Western Christendom. The pioneering work of Constance Cumbey's Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow and her later work A Hidden Deception, remain classics. Also the works of Dave Hunt, Pauline MacPherson, Jewel Van der Merwe, D.R. McConnell and many others have gone a long way in exposing what's going on insofar as all this is concerned. False doctrine posing as Christian doctrine has always been one of the great dangers confronting Christianity, and it is - no doubt - one of the greatest dangers that Christians will have to face in the "End of Days." (2 Cor. 11:4) The peril to Christians of "Another Gospel" and "Another Christ" is something which must be taken very, very seriously in the "End of Days."

There is, however, a second danger which must be confronted - a danger every bit as formidable as that of false doctrine, and a danger which in some respects is more frightful - the danger of money! Money is, after all, the basis of what Rev. 13:16-17 is all about ("And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.) - and the fact that we are evidently dealing with a form of "electronic" money here rather than paper money does not affect the substance of these verses at all. The bait that is built into Rev. 13:16-17 is the enticement of "buying and selling" - and this is, after all, what money is all about.

To be sure, this particular trap (i.e., the "Money Trap") is not something with which too many Christians in Uganda, Zaire, Guatemala, China, Russia, etc. need to be particularly concerned about (at least not on any kind of relative basis), but it is certainly something which Christians in America and in the West in general should be very much concerned with - and it's something most of them would rather not talk about or face up to. Nonetheless, they'd better - or they will "pay the piper" if they don't.

The Bible says:

"...the children of this world (i.e., secularists like Professor Mills) are in their generation wiser than the children of light (i.e., people like Bennie Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and the 'Name-It-And-Claim-It' crowd, as well as the other purveyors of the 'Green Gospel')." (Luke 16:8)

And that certainly is true here. The Bible says:

"Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)

And, as we pointed out earlier, Paul cautioned,

"... they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition." (I Tim. 6:9)

Money - or the lust for it - is as capable of poisoning us as evangelicals as it is capable of poisoning the members of the elite. It's as capable of working its evil on us as on the Fords or the DuPonts.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT
WEALTH (MONEY) AND CHRISTIANITY

From its beginning, Christianity was a movement of the "little people," the "common folk" - the lowly, the meek, the unassuming; people of "no reputation," "no account," and very little money. It was not a movement with which the economic elites of this world wanted to be involved - at least originally. Indeed, the Bible says of the early Christians,

"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

"And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are ..." (I Cor. 1:26-28)

Jesus wasn't born into the moneyed aristocracy - he wasn't a patrician; nor was He even a member of what we today would call the "middle class" (i.e., the bougouise) - He wasn't a merchant, a businessman, or an entrepreneur. He was poor. He was very poor. The Bible says:

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor ..." (II Cor. 8:9)

He was plainly numbered with the publicans - i.e., the "common folk:"

"... and they (i.e., the religious leaders) said of Him, Behold ... a friend of publicans and sinners ..." (Matt. 11:19)

and -

"And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples." (Matt. 9:10)

and

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat ... many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they (i.e., the publicans) followed him. (Mark 2:15)

JESUS WAS A LABORER

Jesus worked with His hands. He was a laborer; a "workingman;" specifically, a carpenter - the kind of person one is more likely to find today in a union hall, at a construction site, or among the Mexican "stoop laborers" of California's Central Valley or in Southern Texas and Arizona than on Wall Street or in the board rooms of General Electric, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, or Ford Motor Company.

The family he was born into was a family of meager and humble means - other than the fact that He was of the lineage of David (a fact which evidently didn't count for much anymore - after all, it was then about one thousand years after the fact). It was also a family of humble origins - and so much so that there was a saying voiced abroad regarding Him which concerned the town He grew up in (i.e., Nazareth): "Can there any good thing come out of it?" (John 1:46) - and it was said in the same way one would say today, "Oh, he's an Okie" or "he's a redneck" or "he's a wetback," or "he comes from the 'projects'." Indeed, so closely were Jesus and His disciples linked to the "cultural backwater" associated with the region around Nazareth that -

"... when they (i.e., the religious leaders of the day) saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, (i.e., that they came from Nazareth) they marveled ..." (Acts 4:13)

JESUS AND MONEY

The truth is, Jesus didn't have much use for money or those who possessed it - and He made this fact very clear in the story of the rich young ruler:

"And, behold, one (a very rich person) came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

"He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

"Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

"The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

"But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, THAT A RICH MAN SHALL HARDLY ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

"And again I say unto you, IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE, THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD." (Matt. 19:16-24)

The fact is, throughout His ministry, Jesus identified Himself with the poor:

"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God." (Luke 6:20)

And He vilified the rich:

"... woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation." (Luke 6:24)

MONEY AS A CORRUPTING INFLUENCE

The Word of God speaks of money as "the mammon of unrighteousness" (Luke 16:9) - something which invariably leads away from God. The Bible says,

"... the love of money is the root of ALL evil ..." (1 Tim. 6:10)

Jesus saw money as standing in opposition to the Kingdom of God; to rely on it was antithetical to that kingdom. He refused to allow His disciples to depend on it:

"Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

"Carry neither purse, nor scrip (i.e., money), nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. (Luke 10:3-4)

To Jesus, it was a corrupting influence which defiled those who touched it, which contaminated those who depended on it, which perverted those who relied on it, and which polluted those who based their calculations and manner of living on it - and He somberly warned His disciples of its allure:

"Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)

And He cautioned them of the outcome the attraction of money can lead to - the failure to recognize that the grave (and ultimately judgment) awaits all of us - even the richest of us (and then what will all that wealth mean?):

"... the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

"And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

"he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

"And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

"But God said unto him, Thou FOOL, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:16-20)

Jesus called those who were blinded by the seductiveness of wealth "fools" - and He didn't use the word "fool" lightly. (Matt. 5:22)

Again, Paul cautioned,

"... they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition." (I Tim. 6:9)

And Peter said of those who desire wealth (i.e., who are covetous),

"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried (about) with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." (2 Pet. 2:17)

THE WORLD

One, might, of course, ask, What is it about money that makes it so evil? Well, it's what makes the "world system of man" go round - a system which derives its force and impetus from greed and selfishness, and one which is, therefore, in utter opposition to God.

And there is something more! Something much more fundamental and somber: and we begin to get an idea of what that is when we study what the Bible means when it uses the word "world." In Scripture, Satan is called the "Prince of this World" (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). What is meant by the term "world?" The word "world" is the translation of the Greek word "kosmos," which means an harmonious order or arrangement, and it is used in three ways in the New Testament:

  1. First, it means the MATERIAL UNIVERSE (Acts 17:14; Matt. 13:35; John 1:10; Mark 16:15).
  2. Second, it means -
    1. THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD as whole (John 1:10; 3:16; 12:19; 17:21);
    2. THE WHOLE RACE OF MAN ALIENATED FROM GOD AND HOSTILE TO THE CAUSE OF CHRIST (Heb. 11:38; John 14:17; 14:27; 15:18); this is but an extension of (a) above and is the meaning we are most concerned with here.
  3. Third, it means the whole circle of WORLDLY goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, which though hollow and fleeting, stir our desires and seduce us from God, so that they are obstacles to the cause of Christ (I John 3:17; Matt. 16:26; I Cor 2:12; 3:19, 7:31; Titus 2:12; II Peter 1:4; 2:20; I John 2:15-17; James 1:27). It is the world of our split level homes, two cars, good careers, good educations, bank accounts, vacations, etc. It is when these pleasures and even so-called necessities of life "possess our hearts" and crowd out our commitment to the Lord and to His people that they have in reality become part of the kosmos.

THE GREAT KOSMOKRATER

Moreover, the word kosmos, taken in conjunction with the three meanings described above, implies that behind all this there is a mind - the Prince of this World - which gives order and arrangement to it all. John says:

"... the whole world (i.e., kosmos) lies in {the power of} the evil one." (I John 5:19).

He is the KOSMOKRATER or world-ruler - a word which, however, appears only once, and is used in the plural of his lieutenants: "the WORLD RULERS OF THIS DARKNESS" (Eph. 6:12).

Politics, education, literature, science, art, law, commerce, music, our homes, careers, etc. - together they constitute the "kosmos." Subtract them, and the world as a coherent system ceases to exist. It is the development of these things that constitutes history. The question is, which direction is history tending? Not toward God, that's for sure!

We repeat, the world is Satan’s great creation, and he has directed all his strength and ingenuity into causing it to flourish. To what end? To capture man’s allegiance and draw man to himself. He has one object - to establish his own dominion in human hearts worldwide! And the bait which Satan uses? - the allure of wealth! Moneymaking!

This, of course, is not what the mandarins of the "American Free Enterprise System" would like you to know, but it's nonetheless the truth. The Bible says:

"The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying…

"Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus [Satan],

"And say unto Tyrus, O thou that are situate (situated) at the entry ["midst" - is the more accurate translation] of the sea, which are a MERCHANT of the people … [the traders of the earth] have made thy beauty perfect.

"Tarshish [the trading nations] … traded in thy fairs.

"Son of man, say unto the Prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God, because thine heart is lifted up and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God IN THE MIDST OF THE SEAS …

"By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic [commerce] thou hast increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

"By the multitudes of thy merchandise they have filled … thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: … Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by … the iniquity of thy traffic [commerce] …" (Ezek. 27:1-3, 12; 28:2, 5,16, 18).

Commerce and Satan are inextricably linked in the Bible. Find one and there you will inevitably find the other.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO US?

What does all this mean to us? - much in every way! There is a great "test" coming to all of us, and it has to do with money; specifically, our love of it. It's one thing to say that we love the Lord more than we love our money, but it's quite another thing to have it worked out in our lives as reality. The Bible says that when Antichrist comes, he -

"... causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Rev. 13:16-17)

In the light of these verses, therefore, we would all do well to examine ourselves insofar as our relationship with money is concerned - and in doing so, if we don't take great care to conduct this examination carefully and honestly, the only person we will be kidding in the long run is ourselves.

Of course, as we said in the Antipas Papers, insofar as God is concerned, it doesn’t really matter what we do. His plans do not exist for our convenience - they will come to pass whether we approve of them or not. In the long run, it only matters to us - AND TIME FOR RECOGNIZING THIS FACT IS RUNNING OUT! To continue to ignore God’s Word with regard to the "end of days" is as stupid as what the Jews did with regard to Hitler on the eve of the Second World War. L.S. Dawidowics, in her authoritative account of the Holocaust, War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, wrote:

"The Jews, whose dazzling success in business blinded them to the encroaching blackness of National Socialism (Nazism), were caught unaware by the onslaught of Hitler. 

Yet Zionism was the very vehicle that God had chosen to fulfill His promise to bring back the Jews from out of the nations to which they had been driven nearly two thousand years before by the Roman general Titus. Zionism was rooted in the Hebrew Bible and was toasted once every year at the Feast of Passover with the words, "Next Year in Jerusalem." But the toast had become a meaningless, empty ritual, and success in the world had blinded the Jews to the words of their own prophets. It was not so much the fact that they had denied their own Jewishness as it was the fact that they wanted to have the best of both worlds - the wealth that their success in Europe had brought them, as well as their own Jewish heritage.

And that's where so many of us, as Christians, are today! We want the best of both worlds - Christ and money. But we can't have both. Jesus said:

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (i.e., money)." (Matt. 6:24)

Jesus continued by saying:

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

"And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

"(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matt. 6:24-34)

We must have a radical change in our attitude toward money or we will never make it through what's to come! No pretending then! Then we shall see if we are able to say with the prophet Habakkuk:

"Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls -

"YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION." (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

God preserve us all from the "Money Trap."

I have been young, and now I have grown old, but I tell you the truth when I say that I have seen more Christians destroyed by money than I have ever seen destroyed by false doctrine. If you hear God calling you, don't sit down and "count the cost." By the time you've finished counting, God will have passed you by.

God bless all of you,
Steve

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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