Monday, October 31, 2011

Real Christianity is not mere Anti-Judaism

I hold the following to be a self-evident truth:

ANY religion which, for its own fundamental self-identity,
depends upon the villainizing of another prior religion,
is an utterly artificial and false religion.

I give the following three obvious, artificial, and ultimately harmful examples as proof of this statement:

(1) The Recent 'Witchcraft'/Wicca Pagan Revival.
(1800-2000 A.D.)

Here, (a) there was another early Persecution by Christians of Pagan religions during the Byzantine Empire (330-1200 A.D.). (b) This was followed by a Crusade against the East, and (c) finally a large-scale Inquisition against heresy and 'witchcraft', including pogroms, and culminating in torture and execution.

This was finally quite clearly seen as a fundamental failure and injustice, brought on by ignorance, superstition, deep-rooted corruption, and abuse of power. As a result, we had a necessary religious Reformation, and the birth of modern democracy and science, with a corrective separation of Church and State.

Unfortunately, as a backlash and reaction to such extreme injustices and moral failure, we also had a resurgence of alternative superstitions. What had been mostly fictional nonsense about 'witches' and 'secret pagan rites', concocted by authorities from absurd 'confessions' in order to secure convictions and confiscate property, was given undeserved credibility and authenticity, and was believed by the gullible to have religious value.

As a result, a "Revival' of Witchcraft and 'Wicca' lore and superstition was born, which however was for the most part entirely unauthentic, and based on fiction and imagination, in part driven by profiteering from the ignorance of the gullible. A whole 'religion' was formed based on a kind of "Anti-Christianity", in which Christianity was villainized and whereby a 'Wicca culture' was created which defined itself more by being 'anti-Christian' than by being authentically Pagan.

(2) The Islamic 'Religion' (620-2000 A.D.)

Again, a 'religion' based largely upon plagarism of Judaism and other Middle-Eastern beliefs and tribal practices, was created in order to secure a power-base for a military-style ideological dictatorship with an entrenched hereditary "theocracy" whose rule was based upon a fixed set of legal practices and judicial guidelines.

The fact that the political motivation for "Islam" comes largely from the persecution and violence against another neighboring religion (Judaism) is a sure sign of a basic artificiality and an unsustainable approach to religion.

If Islam were authentic it would not need a perpetual caricature of an 'evil villain-race' or tribe to battle against, especially when that group is an obvious religious minority and of little significance to most of the world.

(3) European "Christianity" (1200-2000 A.D.)

Again we have a supposed 'religion' defining itself by the imagined or perceived necessity of a 'common enemy', "the Jews", a supposed conspiracy of 'anti-Christs' perpetually at war with the 'Church', the "true Israel" of faith.

All of this posturing is specifically framed in order to appropriate the supposed 'promises' to Israel given by the God of the Bible. The new Church substitutes itself for the "Israel" of old, indiscriminately and ahistorically applying all statements, claims, prophecies, promises, and covenants to itself, regardless of historical truth or circumstances behind the original documents.

Such an artificial version of 'Christianity' perpetuates a caste-system in which groups of ethnic and religious people (i.e., historical descendants and/or converts to another religion, Judaism) are assigned a second-class status based on a Spiritual and moral ranking, under the rubric "the Jews".

This status is maintained in order to define a form of 'Christianity' which can claim a superior religious and Spiritual status over and against its own Spiritual heritage and roots.

Unfortunately, this ideology works out in practical terms as very real and unjust persecution of an ethnic group, with economic and judicial hardships imposed, even to the point of a historical genocidal Holocaust.

In fact however, this artifical version of 'Christianity' is fundamentally flawed on two blatant points, both involving historical fact:

(a) The bulk of O.T. description, prophecy, promise and covenant was historically given to Israelites (i.e., "the Jews"), not the modern 'Church'. This is a simple historical fact, beyond dispute, if the O.T. documents are properly recognized as accurate, authoritative historical documents.

(b) The bulk of modern "Jews" do not at all conform to the simplistic, false caricature projected upon them by this artificial and historically false version of 'Christianity'.

Most modern "Jews" are not religious
, and those who practice their religion do not base it upon an active persecution of those styling themselves "Christians". Although Judaism itself is a religion which has changed and evolved, and is now based on practices developed in a post-Christian world, it is still an older religion, and does not define itself in terms of another religion, especially as a religion which is "against Christianity". This is nonsense.

Most modern "Jews" intermarry with other religious and ethnic groups, and although they maintain a strong sense of identity and community, they are not a xenophobic or racist organization. As a result of obvioius historical persecution, the Jewish community does not actively proselytize or seek converts, but neither does it turn them away. Nor do most Jews single out Christianity as an 'enemy', or seek to divert or corrupt Christians and turn them into Jews.

What we see in all three historical examples above, is an artificial and even pathetic attempt by religious groups to make themselves distinct from others, largely at the expense of some minority of a usually already historically marginalized class.

What all three examples also have in common, is not just the targeting of "others" generally, but the active and conscious selection of a specific group to put down and persecute in order to build up themselves.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How young girls are lured into prostitution (3)

How Old are Prostitution Rings that infiltrate the Christian Churches,
and disguise themselves as "Christian" groups?

Incredibly, this technique was used by a powerful group in the early 300's!

I quote here from the introduction to The Text of the Apostolos in Epiphanius of Salamis. (c.330 A.D.) , by Carroll D. Osburn, p. 3 (SBL, 2004):

"During these years in Egypt, Epiphanius' Nicene orientation was challenged by ideas that he viewed later as "poisonous snakes". One important threat came from a sexually oriented group that he later termed "Gnostics" [13]. In his response to this threat, Epiphanius demonstrated the zeal for unmasking error that became characteristic of his later life [14].
'With impudent boldness moreover, they tried to seduce me themselves...I was pitied and rescued by my groaning to God.... Now the women who taught this trivial myth were very lovely to look at, but in their wicked minds they had all the devil's ugliness. ... I lost no time reporting them to the bishops there, and finding out which ones were hidden in the Church. They were expelled from the city, about 80 of them.'
Athanasius returned to Egypt after the Council of Nicea and had a good reception in pro-Nicene monastic circles that were loyal to himself and Alexander, his anti-Arian predecessor. In this pro-Nicene monastic environment, Epiphanius' anti-Arian views were strengthened."
13. See Pourkier, L'heresiologie chez Epiphane de Salamine, 30-32; and Bentley Layton, "The Riddle of th Thunder", in Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity (ed. C. Hedrick and R. Hodgson; Peabody, Mass.: Hendricson, 1986), 52.

14. Epihanius, Panarion Haereses 26.17.4-9.

(- Osburn, The Text...p. 3 fwd)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How young girls are lured into prostitution (2)

In this second post, I'm examining the mechanics of how cult leaders and brainwashing experts program and control their naive victims.


In particular, I'd like to focus on the technique the predator has used in the first (previous) Example.

Just look at some of the power-techniques: There are so many, and together they are almost overwhelming to a young mind. Every objection and question has already been answered and removed:

(1) The use of flattery, through identification of the whoring acts with Jesus, 'Godly action' and therefore the whole enterprise being justified:
"you're like the Lord..." (p. 2) "If they fall in love with you first before they find out its the Lord...", the girl is "irresistable", (p. 3)

Well, its not "the Lord", but rather a naive teen being used to lure suckers into a prostitution/exploitation ring. She is only 'irresistable' to a fool who can't keep his sexual organ in his pants.

(2) Substitution of Meaning: "in love with you" (p. 3) (as opposed to what is really going on, i.e., sexual stimulation, infatuation, lust, and enticement to sex.)

(3) Use of 'religious' language ("thy", "thee", "thou", vocative address to "God") (p.3 etc.) "these three become one" (p. 5) to give bogus authority and religiosity to the lies.

(4) Encouragement of magical thinking and fantasizing to help remove natural fear of wrongdoing and to help rationalize away sin:
"In the early morning hours came the following prophecy: ..." (p. 2) What is described is however, not prophecy at all, but fantasizing. The kind of 'hearing voices' etc. that Pentecostals regularly engage in, which again grants false legitimacy to the speech.

(5) Affirmation of 'Empowerment' fantasy, in which it is pretended that the exploited teen girl is really "in control" and has secret knowledge of the situation, making her believe she is superior to the other exploited victim. "but they don't know it!" (p.2)

(6) Suggestion of alternate interpretations of emotional experience. Romanticizing, portraying the girl as a 'hero'... "unashamed", "brazen" (p. 4)

(7) Inclusive language, suggesting participation in 'will of God' etc. "we don't want to lose - not one, Lord!" Obvious attempted grouping with God and His will.

(8) Appeal to Ego, and self-image, esteem-building speech: "you've got something they've been searching for all their lives" (p 2) "each of them seek after her, dream of her, drink of her!" (p 4)

(9) Description of act as heroic, charitable, self-less, honorable: "unselfish love" (p.2) , "thy love and mercy" (p. 3) "through thy death to thyself" (p.4)

(10) Description of misgivings as a sin: "You must not let self and pride enter in" (p 2)

(11) Encouragement to abandon misgivings or inhibitions, and especially to ignore good advice from the men being lured: "so interested in them that you don't care what they think about you." (p. 2) she is "to use anything she has..." (p.4) "yield thyself!" (p. 6)

(12) Comparison to and Equated with Apostles - "I will make you fishers of men" (p. 8).

(13) Promise of Divine Protection: "but he cannot consume thee" (p. 5) "they shall not hurt thee", "I shall save thy soul from destruction" (p.6) "Thou shalt escape, I promise thee!" (p. 7)

(14) Demand for Complete Devotion: "Would you do anything for Jesus?" (p. 8)

(15) Claim of Complete Power: "Only I, the fisherman can remove the hook", "Neither shall he remove it forever!" (p. 5) "I shall catch them all!" (p.7)

(16) Equating trickery and prostitution with the Cross of Christ: "to suffer the crucifixion of the hook"

(17) Making trickery and whoring a universally acceptable action: "May God help us all to be flirty little fishes for Jesus", "be sure you use the right bait for the right fish!" (p. 8)

(18) Assigning God's Authority to Leader: "David is My Master Fisherman" (p. 7) "David your father" (p. 2)

(19) Speaking in the Name of God: "the words that I have given to David your father", (p. 2) "I shall open his jaws" (p. 5)

(20) Switching in and out of God's voice and the Leader's voice: "not one, Lord!", (p.3) "anything she has, O God..." "My kiss of life" (p.4) "My love" "the hook of My Spirit" (p. 5)

(21) Switching grammatical 'person' of leader's voice: "David will never leave thee" [David speaking!] (p. 7) This adds to the blurring and confusion of God with Leader.

(22) Application of 'guilt' to possible shortcomings: "Are you skillfully, patiently fishing for men?" (p.8)

(23) Repeated request to carry out task: "are you willing?" (p. 8 etc. repeatedly)

(24) Granting Superpowers to Requested Action: "a lost soul that we don't want to lose" (p. 3) "to catch men for God", "to kiss many with My kiss of Life", "Thou shalt bring life to many" (p.4) "he is safely within My net" (p.5) "catch many for My kingdom" (p. 6)

(25) Divine Promises: "I shall give thee light" (p. 6)

(26) Heartbreak as a Consequence Disallowed: "Why shedest thou these tears before Me?" (p.7)

(27) Absurd Promises: "The bait and the fish become one flesh, both on the hook of My Spirit" (p. 5) Here the whoring is given Divine sanction, marriage status, and an eternal value by the leader encouraging the whoring.

Its surprising just how many different techniques and angles have been worked into this short but powerfully contrived brainwashing pamphlet.

One of the main reasons that so many pastors are uncomfortable with a careful examination of the methods of cults, is that many Christian churches, organizations, and groups also use the same fraudulent methods.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How young girls are lured into prostitution

Young people today are brainwashed and exploited to such a degree that their programmed core values are so distant from those of their own parents as to make them complete strangers.   It is a dangerous development has created a toxic environment for both children and parents.

One of the ways this is achieved is through a constant substitution of meaning for common words.  It results in statements and sentences that sound the same, but have entirely different meanings between generations.

A powerful case of word-meaning substitution is the word "love".  From the early Reformation until the 1930's, the word "love" had a predominantly Christian meaning, elevating it spiritually, and encompassing in it Christian concepts of charity, generosity, compassion, and self-sacrifice

These built-in ideals contributed to everyone's world-view in powerful ways that influenced how people connected to community, how they held themselves responsible for the poor, the misfortunate, the sick and elderly, and how they understood their roles in marriage and parenting.   The Christian ethos and values permeated society so deeply that children easily assimilated commitment to honoring parents, and even basic manners.

Now such ideas are all but eroded, and even unknown to those growing up in a culture saturated by sex and consumption, selfishness and greed, glamour and fashion.   "love" is virtually equated to sexual gratification.  and Christian "love" appears to young people as a strange and irrelevant philosophy.

The methods of those who exploit children and profit from them have become so powerful and sophisticated, that parents are virtually unarmed and helpless to protect their children from the onslaught.

In such an emergency-situation, it is important to examine how the methods were developed, by studying simpler and earlier cases. 

One such case is the "children of God" cult in the USA.   In this cult, which posed falsely as a "Christian" group, young girls were lured away from parents, taught to exploit their own sexuality to bring in more cult-members (males) who would be in turn exploited in other ways, such as being tricked or blackmailed out of money.

Why were young girls so easy to exploit?  How did this group use Christian symbols and words, and subtly alter their meanings to overwhelm those young minds?

A careful examination of the type of teaching and propaganda that the "Children of God" used, and how it has been improved and polished by later groups is very instructive, both as to how they did it and how it can be combated.

The following images and text have been taken from a Swiss group which further exploited the original work of the "Children of God" cult. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hard look at Acts (5) Chronology of Paul

While conservative Christian scholars have relied heavily on the book of Acts in the reconstruction of Paul's journeys, other academics have rejected the historicity/reliability of Acts, and preferred to rely upon Paul's letters alone.   The problem with the second approach is that there is very little in Paul's letters to establish dates with, or even to put them in order.

A Chronology based on Acts

A basic modern approach using Acts is given by Gerd Luedemann in "A Chronology of Paul", Colloquy on NT Studies, Ed. Bruce Corley, SBTS (Mercer U., 1983) p. 289 fwd.
'The Conventional View:

'The conventional view...may be broadly described as ...ingenious combination of ...Acts with info in [Paul's] letters.  ...One proceeds on the basis of the sole absolute datum ...the Gallio inscription.  Since Gallio held office in A.D. 51-52, Acts 18:12 is taken as a sure indication that Paul stood trial before Gallio in this year.  Further confirmation is then derived from 18:2, which mentions the arrival of Priscilla and Aquilla from Rome after the expulsion of the Jews (the year is assumed, on the basis of Orosius, to be A.D. 49).  Since these two dates confirm one another, it is held that Luke's report of Paul's 1st Cor. Mission in Acts 18 is historically accurate.  With the date of the mission on European soil relatively set, other dates are reckoned both before and after this period.  
After the stay in Corinth Paul traveled to Ephesus, then on to Palestine, and then back to Ephesus (Acts 18:18ff.).  There Paul wrote the Corinthian letters and later traveled back to Jerusalem (by way of Macedonia) to deliver the [money] collection.  In Jerusalem, Paul was arrested and was eventually taken to rome to meet his death as a martyr. 
Before the stay in Corinth, Paul had worked as a missionary in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Athens (and agreement of 1st Thess. with Acts 17ff.).  Prior to this mission, Paul had traveled as a delegate of the Antioch congregation, to Jerusalem for the conference (Acts 15:2ff.).  One determines this date of the conference, 14 - 17 years after Paul's conversion, on the basis of Gal 1ff.  Confirmation of this view is then found in the reference to the ensuing conflict between Paul and Barnabas in both Acts and Gal. 2:13
For 11 - 14 years prior to the Jerusalem conference, Paul had worked, as a missionary of the Antioch congregation, in Syria and Cilicia (a combin. of Gal 1:21 and Acts 13ff.). 
I wish to emphasize at this point that if this veiw were correct, then all of Paul's letters would have been composed within about 5 years of one another.  They would all have been written by a man who had already been a Christian for about 19 years and who was a veteran missionary.  Accordingly, one should expect the letters to be quite homogeneous; little room would be left for any theory regarding a development in Paul's thought reflected in the letters.  The historian's exposition could rather proceed from the old theological principle, "scriptura ipsius interpres" (i.e., "Scripture is [self]-explanatory")
 Luedemann goes on in his article to develop a "non-conventional view" (i.e., a chronology that rejects the historicity and usefulness of Acts.  But that does not concern us here.  We remain grateful for Luedemann's concise description of the 'conventional view'.