Canadian Missionaries in Africa and the NGO Model

Source: Canadian Missionaries in Africa and the NGO Model
By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | April 24, 2017

For more than a century Canadians have gone abroad to do “good” in poorer parts of the world. Whether they spurred positive change or simply became foreign agents should be of interest to international non-governmental organizations.

Last week the Globe and Mail reported on the Canadians Christians who set off to proselytize in China in 1891. Focused on their medical achievements, the laudatory story hinted at a darker side of their work. It quoted a missionary who was “critical of the lifestyle most of the missionaries led, with their large houses, many servants and imported comforts which contrasted with the far lower standard of living of their Chinese fellow Christians.”

Of more consequence than their opulence, Canadian missionaries aggressively supported colonial officials, as I discovered researching Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation. By the end of the colonial period 2,500 Canadian missionaries were proselytizing in Africa and Canadian churches raised large sums to support mission stations across the continent.

Four Québec Jesuit fathers left for the Zambesi Mission in southern Africa in 1883. Alphonse Daignault rose through the ranks of the Catholic male congregation to become Prefect Apostolic of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). Then Superior of the Jesuits’ Zambezi Mission, Daignault backed the British South Africa Company’s invasion of Mashonaland (Zimbabwe) in 1890. With their evangelizing shunned by the Ndebele people, the Jesuits and other foreign missionaries supported the “destruction of [the] Ndebele system.”

Granted a charter from London in 1889, Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company offered white men in Kimberley, South Africa, 3,000 acres of land and mining rights if they joined the Company’s fight to conquer part of today’s Zimbabwe. Daignault offered the invading force chaplaincy services, mobile ambulances and nurses. The British South Africa Company paid the Jesuit nurses’ costs and compensated Daignault’s mission with conquered territory, including a major piece of land on the outskirts of today’s Harare. In A History of Christian Missions in Zimbabwe C. J. M. Zvobgo writes that the Harare “farm which consisted of 12,000 acres, beautifully surrounded by hills, was given to the Jesuits by the BSA Company in recognition of FR Alphonse Daignault’s service to the [Company’s] sick.”

The Québec Jesuit leader worked with Rhodes and British officials for years. He also supported the colonial authorities’ efforts to drive Africans from their traditional economies into wage work. Reflecting the settler community’s attitude in 1897, Daignault told the deputy administrator of the city of Bulawayo in 1897 that the “natives of this country… are but grown-up children” prone to “idleness”. “Men in authority who have the true interests of the natives at heart ought to treat the natives not only as children but are also to do all they can to make them acquire habits of work. As this cannot be obtained by mere moral persuasion, authority must necessarily be used.”

To the north, dozens of Canadian missionaries helped the colonial authority penetrate Ugandan societies in the early 1900s. The preeminent figure was John Forbes who was a bishop and coadjutor vicar apostolic, making him second in charge of over 30 mission posts in Uganda. A 1929 biography of the founder of the White Father in Canada describes his “good relations” with British colonial authorities and the “important services Forbes rendered the authorities of the Protectorate.”

In 1918 Forbes participated in a major conference in the colony, organized by Governor Robert Coryndon in the hopes of spurring indigenous wage work. The Vaudreuil, Québec, native wrote home that “it’s a big question. The European planters in our area, who cultivate coffee, cotton and rubber need workers for their exploitation. But the workforce is rare. Our Negroes are happy to eat bananas and with a few bits of cotton or bark for clothes, are not excited to put themselves at the service of the planters and work all day for a meager salary.” British officials subsidized the White Fathers schools as part of a bid to expand the indigenous workforce.

During World War I, Canadian White Fathers Ernest Paradis and Wilfred Sarrazin helped Brigadier General Edward Northey conquer German East Africa. Serving as civilian transport officers, Paradis and Sarrazin focused on organizing African carriers, who were generally press ganged into service. Paradis became Senior Transport Officer for all British forces east of Nyasaland and North of Zambesi in today’s Malawi and Zimbabwe.

By volunteering to join the war, the White Fathers sought “respectability … in the eyes of planters and government officials.” Afterwards, Paradis used his heightened status to gain the colonial administration’s support for the White Fathers’ educational work.

Paradis evangelised in Malawi for several decades. He led the White Fathers campaign to supress “the Nyau”, a religious belief among the Chewa and Nyanja people that included elaborate dances. In May 1929 Paradis wrote an East Africa article titled “Devil Dancers of Terror” that claimed Nyau dances were seditious.

Another Canadian missionary engaged in the White Fathers’ efforts to outlaw Nyau customs in Nyasaland. Father Superior David Roy called on colonial officials to criminalize their dances and in 1928 Christians in the Likuni district, which he oversaw, killed two Nyau.

Thomas Buchanan Reginald Westgate was a Canadian missionary who joined the Church Missionary Society in German East Africa in 1902. With the support of the Ontario branch of the Church Mission Society, Westgate remained in Tanzania for over a decade. The Watford, Ontario, born missionary translated parts of the Old Testament into Cigogo, the language spoken by the Gogo nation in the central region of the colony.

Westgate worked with the colonial administration. His son, Wilfrid Westgate, authored a book about his father’s life titled T. B. R. Westgate: A Canadian Missionary on Three Continents. In the biography, Westgate writes: “Governor [Heinrich] Schnee looked upon the mission as an asset to this part of the German colonial empire.” German soldiers protected the Canadian’s mission post when the population rose up in 1905 against the colonial authority. Dissent was sparked by measures to force Africans to grow cotton for export, and an uprising known as the Maji Maji rebellion swept across the vast colony. It lasted two years. During the rebellion, Westgate coordinated with German Captain von Hirsch. Westgate’s wife, Rita, later wrote, “at times we feared the Germans could not suppress the rising.” The Germans succeeded, however, and the Westgate’s fears did not come to pass. In The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective, Isabel Hull writes that 15 Europeans and 389 allied African soldiers were killed by the rebels. By contrast, writes Hull, whole areas of the colony were depopulated with 200,000 to 300,000 Tanzanians killed between 1905 and 1907.

Another Ontario native by the name of Marion Wittich (later Marion Keller) felt called to missionary work while working as an Anglican schoolteacher in Parry Sound, Ontario. She set off with her husband to proselytize in Tanzania in 1913. Her husband died in Tanzania and several years later she remarried a man by the name of Otto Keller, a German born US émigré, who the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada sponsored to set up a mission station in western Kenya. In 1914 Otto Keller claimed that “here [Africa] we see the power of the devil in an astonishing form, almost beyond belief. The noise of drunken men and women, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh come to our ears. All seemingly bound and determined to fulfill the cup of their iniquity.” By the time Marion Keller died in 1942, the socially conservative Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada had over 200 branch churches in Kenya.

An official history of the Canadian church attacked the anti-colonial movement in Kenya as “a resurgence of primitive animism.” Published in 1958, What God Hath Wrought: A History of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada notes: “Unfortunately, sinister forces were bidding high for the souls of Kenya’s millions. In the 1950s there was to be a resurgence of primitive heathenism which had as its aim the expulsion of the white man from Kenya and the extinction of everything Christian in their land. This was the Mau Mau uprising.” In putting down the uprising the British killed tens of thousands.

In 1893 Torontonians Walter Gowans and Rowland Victor Bingham founded what later became the largest interdenominational Protestant mission on the continent: the Sudan Interior Mission (Though SIM initially focused on modern- day Nigeria, at the time “Sudan” generally referred to the area south of the Sahara and North of the equator from the east to west coast of the continent.) Head of SIM for four decades, Bingham described “facing millions of people in the darkness of their heathenism” and “seeing the people in all their savagery and sin.”

In the 1950s SIM described growing Nigerian nationalism as “dark and threatening”. Adeleye Liagbemi writes that “the nationalist upsurge of the post Second World War era engendered a new spirit of independence and experimentation; positive, forward-looking, purposeful and militant. The situation sent chills down the spines of some Christian missionary organizations in the country — including the S.I.M.” In response SIM ramped up its literature output, deciding to “take the offensive out of Satan’s hands”, which it felt had “been winning the war of words among the new literates” of Africa.

Official Canada generally supported these Christian activists. Missionary leaders were well-regarded and received sympathetic media coverage. Leading business people financed mission work and Ottawa sometimes looked to missionaries for advice.

Most of the Canadians who proselytized in Africa were “good Christians” who saw themselves as helping to “civilize the dark continent”. While formal colonialism is over and paternalism has been tempered, Canadians supportive of international NGOs should reflect on missionary history.

Yves Engler is the author of A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

The American left and the reality of 911: Beyond their wildest dreams

Source: The American left and the reality of 911: Beyond their wildest dreams

The American left and the reality of 911: Beyond their wildest dreams
end .entry-author
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by Graeme MacQueen, from sott.net

Noam Chomsky: Bastion of the intellectual left in the US – and hopelessly ignorant of 911
On November 23, 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Fidel Castro gave a talk on Cuban radio and television.[1] He pulled together, as well as he could in the amount of time available to him, the evidence he had gathered from news media and other sources, and he reflected on this evidence.
The questions he posed were well chosen: they could serve as a template for those confronting complex acts of political violence. Were there contradictions and absurdities in the story being promoted in the U.S. media? Who benefitted from the assassination? Were intelligence agencies claiming to know more than they could legitimately know? Was there evidence of foreknowledge of the murder? What was the main ideological clash in powerful U.S. circles and how did Kennedy fit in? Was there a faction that had the capacity and willingness to carry out such an act? And so on.
But beneath the questions lay a central, unspoken fact: Castro was able to imagine—as a real possibility and not as mere fantasy—that the story being promoted by the U.S. government and media was radically false. He was able to conceive of the possibility that the killing had not been carried out by a lone gunman on the left sympathetic to Cuba and the Soviet Union, but by powerful, ultra-right forces, including forces internal to the state, in the United States. Because his conceptual framework did not exclude this hypothesis he was able to examine the evidence that favored it. He was able to recognize the links between those wishing to overthrow the Cuban government and take more aggressive action toward the Soviet Union and those wishing to get Kennedy out of the way.
In the immediate wake of the assassination, and after the Warren Commission’s report appeared in 1964, few among the elite left leadership in the U.S. shared Castro’s imagination. Vincent Salandria, one of key researchers and dissidents, said:
“I have experienced from the beginning that the left was most unreceptive to my conception of the assassination.”[2]

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad challenged the official narrative at the “9/11 Revisited: Seeking the Truth” conference in Kuala Lumpur in 2012.
I.F. Stone, a pillar of the American left leadership, praised the Warren Commission and consigned critics who accused the Commission of a cover-up to “the booby hatch.”[3] The contrast with Castro is sharp. Speaking well before the Warren Commission’s emergence, Castro mocked the narrative it would later endorse. Several other prominent left intellectuals agreed with I. F. Stone, and declined to criticize the Warren Commission’s report.[4]
Noam Chomsky, resisting serious efforts to get him to look at the evidence, said at various times that he knew little about the affair, had little interest in it, did not regard it as important, and found the idea of a “high-level conspiracy with policy significance” to be “implausible to a quite extraordinary degree.”[5] He would later say almost exactly the same thing about the 9/11 attacks, finding the thesis that the U.S. administration was involved in the crime “close to inconceivable,”[6] and expressing his disinterest in the entire issue.
Not everyone on the American left accepted the FBI and Warren Commission reports uncritically. Dave Dellinger and Staughton Lynd, for example, encouraged dissident researchers.[7] In fact, several of the leading dissident investigators, such as Vincent Salandria, Mark Lane and Sylvia Meagher, were themselves, at least by today’s standards, on the left of the political spectrum. But they were not among the elite left leadership in the country and they were, to a great extent, unsupported by that leadership during the most crucial period.
Chomsky’s use of the terms “implausible” and “inconceivable” has stimulated me to write the present article. I have no new evidence to bring to the debate, which is decades old now, as to how his mind and the other great minds of the U.S. left leadership could have failed to see what was obvious to so many. My approach will assume the good faith of these left leaders and will take as its point of departure Chomsky’s own words. I will explore the suggestion that these intellectuals were not able to conceive, were not able to imagine, that these attacks were operations engineered by intelligence agencies and the political right in the U.S.
Why would Castro have had less difficulty than the U.S. left leadership imagining that the assassination of Kennedy had been carried out by and for the American ultra-right and the intelligence community?
What we imagine to be true in the present will surely be influenced by what we have intimately experienced in the past. Castro’s imagination of what U.S. imperial powers might do was shaped by what he had witnessed them actually do, or attempt to do, to him and his country.
Castro referred in his November 23 talk not only to the economic warfare against Cuba, but to the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis. But, of course, the CIA’s Operation Mongoose had been active in the interim between these two latter events, and he was familiar with its main lines. Perhaps he was not familiar with all its components. As far as I am aware, he did not know on November 23, 1963 of the 1962 Operation Northwoods plan, endorsed by the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to create a pretext for an invasion of Cuba through a multi-faceted false flag operation that included terrorist attacks in Miami and Washington, to be falsely blamed on Cuba.[8] Had he been familiar with this scheme he might have cited it on November 23 to bolster his case.

Castro: questioned JFK and 9/11.
Castro was certainly familiar with many plans and attempts to assassinate him, which were eventually confirmed to the U.S. public by the Church Committee’s report, “Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders.”[9]But, to the best of my knowledge, he was not aware when he gave his November 23 talk of an assassination-planning meeting that had taken place the previous day. On November 22, the day Kennedy was killed, while Castro was meeting with an intermediary who conveyed Kennedy’s hope that Cuba and the United States would soon be able to work out a mode of peaceful coexistence,[10] members of the CIA were meeting with a Cuban to plot Castro’s death. The would-be assassin was not only given poison to use in an assassination attempt; he was also promised support by the CIA for a shooting, such as was taking place at that very time in Dallas. He was assured that “CIA would give him everything he needed (telescopic sight, silencer, all the money he wanted).”[11]
The Church committee used the term “ironic” to refer to the fact that the shooting of John Kennedy took place on the very day a Kennedy-Castro peace initiative was being countered by a CIA plan to kill Castro.[12] Why was there no discussion of the significance of the fact that the same people who were working for the overthrow of the Cuban government considered Kennedy and his peace initiatives serious obstacles to their plans?
Castro noted in his November 23 talk that Latin American rightwing forces might have been involved in the Kennedy killing. These forces, he said, had not only openly denounced Kennedy for his accommodation with Cuba but were pushing for an invasion of Cuba while simultaneously threatening a military coup in Brazil to prevent another Cuba. Castro could not know at the time what we now know, namely that the threatened coup in Brazil would indeed take place soon—on April 1, 1964. It would lead to a wave of authoritarianism and torture that would spread throughout Latin America.
If, therefore, we try to make the case that Castro’s critique of the mainstream account of Kennedy’s assassination was the result of paranoia, denial, and a delusional tendency to see conspiracies everywhere, we will have a hard row to hoe. Almost all the operations he mentioned in his talk, and several operations he did not mention, did involve conspiracies. Cuba was at the center of a set of actual and interconnected conspiracies.
I am not suggesting that because Castro imagined a particular scenario—ultra-right forces killing John Kennedy—it must have been true. That is not the point. The point is that only when our imagination embraces a hypothesis as possible will we seriously study that hypothesis and put it to the test.
The evidence accumulated over many years has shown, in my view, that Castro’s view of who killed John Kennedy was correct. In fact, I think the evidence presented by the first wave of researchers fifty years ago settled the matter.[13] However, it is not my intention to try to prove this in the present article. My topic is the left imagination.
The silencing, by an elite American left, of both dissident researchers and those who have been targets of Western imperial power has reached an unprecedented level in the interpretation of the events of September 11, 2001. The inability of the Western left leadership to imagine that these events were fraudulent—that they involved, as Fidel Castro put it in 1963, people “playing a very strange role in a very strange play”—has blocked understanding not of only of 9/11 but of actual, existing imperialism and its formation and deformation of world politics.
9/11 AND STATE OFFICIALS FACING IMPERIAL POWER
Talk about blaming the victim. Three days after 9/11 the eminent economist Celso Furtado suggested in one of Brazil’s most influential newspapers that there were two explanations for the attack. One possibility, Furtado implied, was that this savage assault on America was the work of foreign terrorists, as the Americans suspected. But a more plausible explanation, he asserted, was that this disaster was a provocation carried out by the American far right to justify a takeover. He compared the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon to the burning of the Reichstag in 1933 and the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany.[14]

Celso Furtado compared the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon to the burning of the Reichstag.
Kenneth Maxwell wrote this paragraph in 2002. At the time he was the Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. The paragraph is from an article written for the Council entitled, “Anti-Americanism in Brazil.” In writing his article Maxwell clearly felt no need to give evidence or argument as he dismissed Furtado. He must have felt his readers would agree that the absurdity of Furtado’s remarks was self-evident. Furtado’s claim would be off their radar, beyond their imagination.
Certainly, Furtado’s imagination had a wider scope than Maxwell’s. Could his personal experience have had something to do with this? Furtado was more than an “eminent economist;” he was an extremely distinguished intellectual who had held the position of Minister of Planning in the Goulart government when it was overthrown in the April 1, 1964 coup in Brazil. Furtado said in a 2003 interview:
The United States was afraid of the direction we had been taking; this phase ended and we entered—as someone put it—the peace of the cemeteries, it was the era of the dictatorship. Thirty years went by without real thinking, without being able to participate in movements, with the most provocative and courageous young people being hunted down.[15]
Did Celso Furtado have a wild imagination when he implied there was U.S. support for the coup? Not at all. The coup was not only hoped for, but prepared for and offered support at the highest level in the U.S. [16]
Furtado has not been the only sceptical voice on the Latin American left. On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, himself a major target of U.S. imperial force, entered the public debate. The Associated Press reported on September 12, 2006:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday that it’s plausible that the U.S. government was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Chavez did not specifically accuse the U.S. government of having a hand in the Sept. 11 attacks, but rather suggested that theories of U.S. involvement bear examination.
The Venezuelan leader, an outspoken critic of U.S. President George W. Bush, was reacting to a television report investigating a theory the Twin Towers were brought down with explosives after hijacked airplanes crashed into them in 2001.
“The hypothesis is not absurd … that those towers could have been dynamited,” Chavez said in a speech to supporters. “A building never collapses like that, unless it’s with an implosion.”
“The hypothesis that is gaining strength … is that it was the same U.S. imperial power that planned and carried out this terrible terrorist attack or act against its own people and against citizens of all over the world,” Chavez said. “Why? To justify the aggressions that immediately were unleashed on Afghanistan, on Iraq.”[17]
Actually, scepticism in Venezuela about the 9/11 attacks was not new. In March of 2006, for example, well known survivor and eyewitness of the September 11, 2001 attacks, William Rodriguez, had spent time with high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including Chavez, and had given talks on television and in universities in that country.[18]

Chavez: “Those towers could have been dynamited.”
The culmination of this Venezuelan scepticism was a statement in a legislative resolution of the country’s National Assembly. The resolution, apparently passed unanimously in the fall of 2006, referred to the 9/11 attacks as “self-inflicted.”[19]
In a sneering attack on the Chavez government in the Miami Herald, journalist Phil Gunson felt no need to support, with evidence or reason, his claim that Chavez was merely engaging in “anti-imperialist rhetoric.”[20] Presumably he knew the imaginations of Floridians could be trusted to block out the possibility that the insane rhetoric about 9/11 might have some truth to it.
One year later, on the sixth anniversary of the attacks, Fidel Castro, at that point ill and retired from government but still keeping up with political events, made his own conclusions known. “That painful incident,” he said, “occurred six years ago today.”
“Today,” he said, “we know that the public was deliberately misinformed.” Castro listed several anomalies and omissions in the official reports. For example, he said: “The calculations with respect to the steel structures, plane impacts, the black boxes recovered and what they revealed do not coincide with the opinions of mathematicians, seismologists…demolition experts and others.”
Referring to the attacks generally, and the attack on the Pentagon specifically, Castro said: “We were deceived, as were the rest of the planet’s inhabitants.”[21]
This was a poignant admission by the man who had grasped the falsity of the Lee Harvey Oswald story one day after Kennedy’s assassination.
Reporting on Castro’s remarks in the Guardian, journalist Mark Tran said: “Fidel Castro today joined the band of September 11 conspiracy theorists by accusing the US of spreading disinformation about the attacks that took place six years ago.”[22]
Tran seems to have worried that the dismissive “conspiracy theorist” term might not put an end to the matter for readers of the Guardian, so he added two brief factual claims, one having to do with DNA evidence at the Pentagon and one having to do with a 2007 video allegedly showing Bin Laden giving an address.
The contempt for Castro’s intelligence, however, was breathtaking. Tran implied that his “facts,” which could have been found in about fifteen minutes on the Internet and which were subsequently questioned even by typically uncritical mainstream journalists, were beyond the research capabilities of the former President of Cuba.[23]
Indeed, much of the Western left leadership and associated media not only trusted the FBI[24] while ignoring Furtado, Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly and Fidel Castro; they also, through silence and ridicule, worked to prevent serious public discussion of the 9/11 controversy.
Among the U.S. left media that kept the silence, partially or wholly, are:
• Monthly Review
• Common Dreams
• Huffington Post
• Counterpunch
• The Nation
• The Real News
• Democracy Now!
• Z Magazine
• The Progressive
• Mother Jones
• Alternet.org
• MoveOn.org
In the end, the most dramatic public challenge to the official account of 9/11 by a state leader did not come from the left. It came from a conservative leader who was, however, a target of U.S. imperial power. Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2010, President Ahmadinejad of Iran outlined three possible hypotheses for the 9/11 attacks.[25] The first was the U.S. government’s hypothesis — “a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security, carried out the attack.”
The second was the hypothesis that “some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.” The third was a somewhat weaker version of the second, namely that the assault “was carried out by a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation.”
Ahmadinejad implied, though he did not definitively claim, that he favoured the second hypothesis. He went on to suggest that even if waging war were an appropriate response to a terrorist attack—he did not think it was—a thorough and independent investigation should have preceded the assaults on Afghanistan and Iraq in which hundreds of thousands of people died.
He ended his discussion of 9/11 with a proposal that the UN set up an independent fact-finding group to look into the 9/11 events.
In reporting on this event, The New York Times noted that Ahmadinejad’s comments “prompted at least 33 delegations to walk out, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, all 27 members of the European Union and the union’s representative.”[26]

Ahmadinejad proposed that the UN investigate 9/11
The Times’ report was given to remarks that sidestepped the Iranian president’s assertions. Ahmadinejad’s remarks were made to endear himself to the world’s Muslim community, and especially to the Arab world. Ahmadinejad was playing the politician in Iran, where he had to contend with conservatives trying to “outflank him.” Ahmadinejad wanted to keep himself “at the center of global attention while deflecting attention away from his dismal domestic record.” Ahmadinejad “obviously delights in being provocative” and “seemed to go out of his way to sabotage any comments he made previously this week about Iran’s readiness for dialogue with the United States.”
The possibility that Ahmadinejad might have been sincere, or that there may have been an evidential basis for his views, was not mentioned.
Meanwhile, the reported response to Ahmadinejad’s talk by the United States Mission to the United Nations was harsh:
Rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people, Mr. Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable.
Where were these anti-Semitic slurs? In his talk the Iranian President condemned Israeli actions against Palestinians and included as one of the possible motives of a 9/11 inside job the saving of “the Zionist regime” by U.S. government insiders. But how is either of these an anti-Semitic slur? He said nothing in his speech, hateful or otherwise, about Jews. He did not identify Zionism, as an ideology or historical movement, with Jews as a collectivity. He did not identify the state of Israel with Jews as a collectivity. He did not say “the Jews” carried out the 9/11 attacks.
And what did the U.S. Mission mean when it said that Ahmadinejad did not represent the views of Iranians? His views on 9/11 were probably much closer to the views of Iranians than were the views of the U.S. Mission. As will be explained later, the great majority of the world’s Muslims reject the official account of 9/11.
In his address to the General Assembly the following year, Ahmadinejad briefly revisited this issue, saying that, after his 2010 proposal of an investigation into 9/11, Iran was put “under pressure and threat by the government of the United States.” Moreover, he said, instead of supporting a fact-finding team, the U.S. killed the alleged perpetrator of the attacks (Osama bin Laden) without bringing him to trial.[27]
In 2012 another leader in the Muslim world made his position on 9/11 known. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had been Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and was still in 2012 a significant power in his country and a major figure in the global south. By then he had spent considerable time discussing 9/11 with several well-known members of the U.S. movement of dissent (including William Rodriguez and David Ray Griffin)[28] and had indicated that he questioned the official account. But on November 19, 2012 he left no doubt about his position. In a 20-minute public address introducing a day-long international conference on 9/11 in Kuala Lumpur, he noted:
The official explanation for the destruction of the Twin Towers is still about an attack by suicidal Muslim extremists, but even among Americans this explanation is beginning to wear thin and to be questioned. In fact, certain American groups have thoroughly analyzed various aspects of the attack and destruction of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon building, and the reported crash in Pennsylvania. And their investigations reveal many aspects of the attack which cannot be explained by attributing them to attacks by terrorists—Muslims or non-Muslims.
He went on to give details of the official narrative that he found especially unconvincing, and he concluded that the 9/11 attack:
…has divided the world into Muslim and non-Muslim and sowed the seeds of suspicion and hatred between them. It has undermined the security of nations everywhere, forcing them to spend trillions of dollars on security measures…Truly, 9/11 is the worst manmade disaster for the world since the end of the two world wars. For that reason alone it is important that we seek the truth because when truth is revealed then we can really prepare to protect and secure ourselves.[29]
There is no need to quote Western media coverage of Mahathir’s remarks because, as far as I can tell, there was none—an outcome Mahathir had predicted in his talk.
Now, of course, it is possible that these current and former state officials had not seriously studied 9/11 and were simply intoxicated by anti-imperial fervour. But the evidence suggests otherwise. Those who visited Venezuela well before the public pronouncements in that country in September of 2006 noted that officials had collected books and other materials on the subject of 9/11.[30] And Malaysia’s Mahathir had been meeting people to discuss the issue for years. There is no reason to doubt what he said in his 2012 talk: “I have thought a lot about 9/11.” The dismissal of these leaders by the Western left is puzzling, to say the least.
Educator Paulo Freire, himself a victim of the 1964 coup in Brazil, pointed out years ago that when members of an oppressor class join oppressed people in their struggle for justice they may, despite the best of intentions, bring prejudices with them, “which include a lack of confidence in the people’s ability to think… and to know.”[31] Is it possible that the left leadership in the U.S. has fallen into this trap?
The dismissal of 9/11 sceptics has been carried out through a silence punctuated by occasional outbursts. The late Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch was given to outbursts. Not content to speak of the “fundamental idiocy of the 9/11 conspiracists” and to tie them to the decline of the American left, Cockburn even took the opportunity to go beyond 9/11 and pledge allegiance once more, as he had in previous years, to the Warren Commission’s Lee Harvey Oswald hypothesis[32]—a hypothesis that had, in my opinion, been shown to be absurd half a century ago.
In a January 2017 article entitled, “American Psychosis,” Chris Hedges continued the anti-dissent campaign. Crying out that, “We feel trapped in a hall of mirrors,” Hedges announced that:
The lies fly out of the White House like flocks of pigeons: Donald Trump’s election victory was a landslide. He had the largest inauguration crowds in American history… We don’t know “who really knocked down” the World Trade Center. Torture works. Mexico will pay for the wall. Conspiracy theories are fact. Scientific facts are conspiracies.[33]
The hall of mirrors is real enough but Hedges’ rant offers no escape. As far as I can discover, Hedges has made no serious study of what happened at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and has, therefore, no idea who knocked down the buildings.[34] Moreover, he appears never to have seriously thought about what a “conspiracy theory” is and what he is denouncing when he denounces such theories. Does he really mean to suggest that the American ruling class, in pursuing its interests, never conspires?
And thus the U.S. left leadership sits in the left chamber of the hall of mirrors, complaining about conspiracy theories while closing its eyes to actual conspiracies crucial to contemporary imperialism.
9/11 AND PUBLIC OPINION
If state leaders familiar with Western imperial power have questioned the official narrative of the September 11, 2001 attacks, what about “the people” beloved of the left?
Actually, sorting out what portion of the world’s population qualifies, according to ideological criteria, as “the people” is a difficult task—an almost metaphysical exercise. So let us ask an easier question: what, according to surveys undertaken, appears to be the level of belief and unbelief in the world with respect to the 9/11 narrative?
There have been many polls. Comparing and compiling the results is very difficult since the same questions are seldom asked, in precisely the same words, in different polls. It is, however, possible to set forth grounded estimates.
In 2008, WorldPublicOpinion.org polled over 16,000 people in 17 countries. Of the total population of 2.5 billion people represented in the survey, only 39% said they thought that Al-Qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks.[35]
The belief that Al-Qaeda carried out the attacks is, I suggest, an essential component of belief in the official narrative of 9/11. If only 39% is willing to name Al-Qaeda as responsible, then a maximum of 39% can be counted as believers of the official narrative.
This WorldPublicOpinion.org poll is, for the most part, supported by other polls, suggesting that the U.S. official narrative is, globally, a minority view. If these figures are correct, of the current world population of 7.5 billion, roughly 2.9 billion people affirm the official view of 9/11 and 4.6 billion do not affirm it.
Now, of the 61% who do not affirm the official view of 9/11, a large percentage says it does not know who carried out the attacks (by implication, it does not know what the goals of the attackers were, and so on). But the number of those who think the U.S. government was behind the attacks is by no means trivial. The figure appears to be about 14% of the world’s population.[36] If this is correct, roughly 1 billion people think the U.S. government was behind the attacks. Of course, this figure includes children. But even when we exclude everyone under 18 years of age we have 700 million adults in the world who think the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks.
It is not clear if the Guardian’s “band of September 11 conspiracy theorists,” which Castro was said to have joined, consists of this 700 million people or if it consists of the entire group of 4.6 billion non-believers. Either way, we are talking about a pretty large “band.”
Do these poll results prove that the official narrative is false? No. Do they prove that blaming elements of the U.S. government is correct? No. But these figures suggest two things. First, the official story, despite its widespread dissemination, has failed to capture the imaginations of the majority of people on the planet. Second, the minds of 700 million adults have no trouble embracing the possibility that elements of the U.S. government were behind the attacks.
What can be said about the views of that segment of the world population that is most clearly targeted by Western imperialism today?
The so-called Global War on Terror, announced shortly after the 9/11 events, has mainly targeted countries with Muslim majorities.
The 2008 WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of people in 17 countries included five countries with majority Muslim populations. Of the total Muslim population represented in the survey (399.6 million people in 2008), only 21.2% assigned guilt to Al-Qaeda.[37]
In 2011 the Pew Research Group surveyed eight Muslim populations. Of the total Muslim population represented (588.2 million in 2011), only 17% assigned guilt to Arabs.[38]
The evidence suggests that scepticism toward the official account among Muslims has been growing. In December of 2016 a published poll of British Muslims indicated that only 4% of those polled believed that “Al-Qaeda/Muslim terrorists” were responsible for 9/11, whereas 31% held the American government responsible.[39] This is remarkable given the unvarying, repetitive telling of the official story by British mainstream media and political parties.
Are British Muslims wallowing in feelings of victimhood, which have made them prey to extremists peddling “conspiracy theories?” As a matter of fact, the British think tank that sponsored the 2016 poll has drawn this conclusion. But the think tank in question, Policy Exchange, has a special relationship to the UK’s Conservative Party and appears to have carried out the poll precisely in order to put British Muslims under increased scrutiny and suspicion.[40]
Cannot the left, in its interpretation of the views of this targeted population, do better?
Most peculiar and disturbing is the tendency of left activists and leaders to join with state intelligence agencies in using the term “conspiracy theory” to dismiss those who raise questions about official state narratives.
There seems to be little awareness among these left critics of the history of the term.[41] They seem not to realize that they are employing a propaganda expression, the function of which is to discourage people from looking beneath the surface of political events, especially political events in which elements of their own government might have played a hidden and unsavory role.
In the case of the 9/11 attacks it is important to remember, when the “conspiracy theory” accusation is made, that the lone wolf alternative, which was available for the John Kennedy assassination, is not available here. Everyone agrees that the attack was the result of multiple persons planning in secret to commit a crime. That is, the attack was the result of a conspiracy. The question is not, Was there a conspiracy? The question is, Who were the conspirators? Defamation cannot answer this question.
CONCLUSION
Suppose our imaginations can embrace the possibility that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by elements in the U.S. government. In that case what do we do next? There is no mystery. Once the imagination stops filtering out a hypothesis and allows it into the realm of the possible, it can be put to the test. Evidence and reason must now do the job.[42] Imagination cannot settle the question of truth or falsity any more than ideology, morality, or “common sense.”
I am not concerned in this article to demonstrate the truth of the “inside job” hypothesis of the 9/11 attacks. Ten years of research have led me to conclude that it is correct, but in the present paper I am concerned only with the preliminary, but vital, issue of imagination. Those who cannot imagine this hypothesis to be true will leave it unexamined, and, in the worst of worlds, will contribute to the silencing of dissenters. The left, in this case, will betray the best of its tradition and abandon both the targets of imperial oppression and their spokespeople.
Fidel Castro sounded the warning in his November 23, 1963 speech:
Intellectuals and lovers of peace should understand the danger that maneuvers of this kind could mean to world peace, and what a conspiracy of this type, what a Machiavellian policy of this nature, could lead to.
(*l would like to thank Ed Curtin for his inspiration and advice.—GM)
NOTES:
[1] MARTIN SCHOTZ, HISTORY WILL NOT ABSOLVE US: ORWELLIAN CONTROL, PUBLIC DENIAL, AND THE MURDER OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY (BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS: KURTZ, ULMER & DELUCIA, 1996), APPENDIX II.
[2] MICHAEL MORRISSEY, CORRESPONDENCE WITH VINCENT SALANDRIA 1993-2000 (MICHAEL D. MORRISSEY, 2007), 436.
[3] SCHOTZ, HISTORY WILL NOT ABSOLVE US: ORWELLIAN CONTROL, PUBLIC DENIAL, AND THE MURDER OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY, 241.
[4] SCHOTZ, HISTORY WILL NOT ABSOLVE US: ORWELLIAN CONTROL, PUBLIC DENIAL, AND THE MURDER OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY, 14FF., APPENDICES VII AND VIII.
[5] MORRISSEY, CORRESPONDENCE WITH VINCENT SALANDRIA 1993-2000 (CHOMSKY’S POSITION IS A CONTINUING THEME IN THE BOOK); SCHOTZ, HISTORY WILL NOT ABSOLVE US: ORWELLIAN CONTROL, PUBLIC DENIAL, AND THE MURDER OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY, APPENDIX VIII; BARRIE ZWICKER, TOWERS OF DECEPTION: THE MEDIA COVER-UP OF 9/11 (CANADA: NEW SOCIETY PUBLISHERS, 2006), CHAP. 5, P. 206.
[6] ZWICKER, TOWERS OF DECEPTION: THE MEDIA COVER-UP OF 9/11, 208 AND THROUGHOUT CHAPTER 5.
[7] MORRISSEY, CORRESPONDENCE WITH VINCENT SALANDRIA 1993-2000, 421.
[8] “ANNEX TO APPENDIX TO ENCLOSURE A: PRETEXTS TO JUSTIFY US MILITARY INTERVENTION IN CUBA (OPERATION NORTHWOODS, PP. 137 FF.),” 1962, HTTP://WWW.MARYFERRELL.ORG/MFFWEB/ARCHIVE/VIEWER/SHOWDOC.DO?DOCID=1244&RELPAGEID=137.
[9] “INTERIM REPORT: ALLEGED ASSASSINATION PLOTS INVOLVING FOREIGN LEADERS,” CHURCH COMMITTEE REPORTS (ASSASSINATION ARCHIVES AND RESEARCH CENTER, 1975), HTTP://WWW.AARCLIBRARY.ORG/PUBLIB/CHURCH/REPORTS/CONTENTS.HTM.
[10] MARK LANE, LAST WORD: MY INDICTMENT OF THE CIA IN THE MURDER OF JFK (SKYHORSE PUBLISHING, 2012), 275.
[11] “INTERIM REPORT: ALLEGED ASSASSINATION PLOTS INVOLVING FOREIGN LEADERS.”
[12] IBID.
[13] EXAMPLES OF FIRST WAVE RESEARCHERS ARE SALANDRIA, LANE, MEAGHER, AND WEISBERG. SEVERAL IMPORTANT EARLY ARTICLES BY SALANDRIA ARE FOUND IN SCHOTZ, HISTORY WILL NOT ABSOLVE US: ORWELLIAN CONTROL, PUBLIC DENIAL, AND THE MURDER OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY, WHILE MARK LANE’S FIRST BOOK WAS RUSH TO JUDGMENT (NEW YORK, N.Y.: THUNDER’S MOUTH PRESS, 1992; ORIGINALLY 1966). SYLVIA MEAGHER’S EARLY BOOK WAS ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT: THE WARREN COMMISSION, THE AUTHORITIES & THE REPORT (NEW YORK, N.Y.: VINTAGE BOOKS, 1976; ORIGINALLY 1967), AND HAROLD WEISBERG’S FIRST MAJOR WORK WAS WHITEWASH: THE REPORT ON THE WARREN REPORT (SKYHORSE PUBLISHING, 1965).
[14] KENNETH MAXWELL, “ANTI-AMERICANISM IN BRAZIL,” COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, 2002.
[15] “DEVELOPING BRAZIL TODAY: AN INTERVIEW WITH CELSO FURTADO – ‘START WITH THE SOCIAL, NOT THE ECONOMIC’,” NACLA REPORT ON THE AMERICAS 36, NO. 5 (2003).
[16] “BRAZIL MARKS 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF MILITARY COUP: DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS SHED LIGHT ON U.S. ROLE” (THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVES, THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, MARCH 2004).
[17] “CHAVEZ SAYS U.S. MAY HAVE ORCHESTRATED 9/11: ‘THOSE TOWERS COULD HAVE BEEN DYNAMITED,’ SAYS VENEZUELA’S PRESIDENT,” ASSOCIATED PRESS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2006.
[18] “VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT TO LAUNCH INTERNATIONAL 9/11 INVESTIGATION: TRUTH CRUSADERS WALTER AND RODRIGUEZ TO APPEAR ON HUGO CHAVEZ’S WEEKLY TV BROADCAST,” PAUL JOSEPH WATSON & ALEX JONES/PRISON PLANET.COM, MARCH 31, 2006.
[19] FOR THIS INFORMATION I HAVE DEPENDED ON PHIL GUNSON, “CHÁVEZ ATTACKS BUSH AS ‘GENOCIDAL’ LEADER,” MIAMI HERALD, NOVEMBER 9, 2006.
[20] IBID.
[21] “THE EMPIRE AND ITS LIES: REFLECTIONS BY THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF,” SEPTEMBER 11, 2007, DISCURSOS E INTERVENCIONES DEL COMMANDANTE EN JEFE FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, PRESIDENTE DEL CONSEJO. DE ESTADO DE LA REPUBLICA DE CUBA.
[22] MARK TRAN, “CASTRO SAYS US LIED ABOUT 9/11 ATTACKS,” GUARDIAN, SEPTEMBER 12, 2007.
[23] SUE REID, “HAS OSAMA BIN LADEN BEEN DEAD FOR SEVEN YEARS – AND ARE THE U.S. AND BRITAIN COVERING IT UP TO CONTINUE WAR ON TERROR?” THE MAIL, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009.
[24] THE FBI WAS OFFICIALLY IN CHARGE OF THE INVESTIGATION OF THE CRIMES OF 9/11, AND THE BUREAU BEARS ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE OFFICIAL NARRATIVE OF 9/11, WHICH WAS ADOPTED UNCRITICALLY BY OTHER STATE AGENCIES AND COMMISSIONS.
[25] MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, “ADDRESS BY H.E. DR. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRESIDENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN, BEFORE THE 65TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY” (UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK, N.Y., SEPTEMBER 23, 2010).
[26] NEIL MACFARQUHAR, “IRAN LEADER SAYS U.S. PLANNED 9/11 ATTACKS,” THE NEW YORK TIMES, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010.
[27] DANIEL TOVROV, “AHMADINEJAD UNITED NATIONS SPEECH: FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT,” INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES, SEPTEMBER 22, 2011.
[28] RICHARD ROEPKE, “LAST MAN OUT ON 9/11 MAKES SHOCKING DISCLOSURES,” COTO REPORT, AUGUST 10, 2011, HTTPS://COTO2.WORDPRESS.COM/2011/08/10/LAST-MAN-OUT-ON-911-MAKES-SHOCKING-DISCLOSURES/. THE INFORMATION ABOUT DAVID RAY GRIFFIN’S 30-60 MINUTE DISCUSSION WITH MAHATHIR IS FROM MY PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH DR. GRIFFIN.
[29] DR. MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, PRESIDENT OF THE PERDANA GLOBAL PEACE FOUNDATION AND FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA, OPENS THE “9/11 REVISITED: SEEKING THE TRUTH” CONFERENCE IN KUALA LUMPUR ON NOVEMBER 19, 2012. HTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=8HZDGAVIIYI.
[30] ROEPKE, “LAST MAN OUT ON 9/11 MAKES SHOCKING DISCLOSURES.”
[31] PAULO FREIRE, PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSED, TRANSLATED BY MYRA BERGMAN RAMOS (NEW YORK, N.Y.: SEABURY PRESS, 1970), 46.
[32] ALEXANDER COCKBURN, “THE 9/11 CONSPIRACISTS AND THE DECLINE OF THE ANMERICAN LEFT,” COUNTERPUNCH, NOVEMBER 28, 2006. FOR A CRITIQUE OF COCKBURN SEE MICHAEL KEEFER, “INTO THE RING WITH COUNTERPUNCH ON 9/11: HOW ALEXANDER COCKBURN, OTHERWISE SO BRIGHT, BLANKS OUT ON 9/11 EVIDENCE,” 911REVIEW.COM, DECEMBER 4, 2006.
[33] CHRIS HEDGES, “AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS,” TRUTHDIG, JANUARY 29, 2017.
[34] THOSE INTERESTED IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE BUILDINGS MAY CONSULT THE WEBSITE OF ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS FOR 9/11 TRUTH. AND SEE TED WALTER, BEYOND MISINFORMATION: WHAT SCIENCE SAYS ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF WORLD TRADE CENTER BUILDINGS 1, 2, AND 7 (BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA: ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS FOR 9/11 TRUTH, INC., 2015); AND STEVEN JONES ET AL., “15 YEARS LATER: ON THE PHYSICS OF HIGH-RISE BUILDING COLLAPSES,” EUROPHYSICS NEWS 47, NO. 4 (2016): 21 – 26
[35] “INTERNATIONAL POLL: NO CONSENSUS ON WHO WAS BEHIND 9/11” (WORLDPUBLICOPINION.ORG, SEPTEMBER 10, 2008), HTTPS://MAJORITYRIGHTS.COM/UPLOADS/WHO-DID-911-POLL.PDF.
[36] IBID.; “WHY THE 9/11 CONSPIRACIES HAVE CHANGED,” BBC NEWS MAGAZINE, AUGUST 29, 2011.
[37] “INTERNATIONAL POLL: NO CONSENSUS ON WHO WAS BEHIND 9/11.” THE FIGURES I GIVE HAVE BEEN ARRIVED AT BY USING DATA FROM THE POLL IN COMBINATION WITH COUNTRY POPULATION DATA FOR 2008 FROM THE POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU.
[38] “MUSLIM-WESTERN TENSIONS PERSIST: COMMON CONCERNS ABOUT ISLAMIC EXTREMISM” (PEW RESEARCH CENTER, JULY 21, 2011), HTTP://WWW.PEWGLOBAL.ORG/2011/07/21/MUSLIM-WESTERN-TENSIONS-PERSIST/4/. THE FIGURES I GIVE HAVE BEEN ARRIVED AT BY USING DATA FROM THE POLL IN COMBINATION WITH COUNTRY POPULATION DATA FOR 2011 FROM THE POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU.
[39] “UNSETTLED BELONGING: A SURVEY OF BRITAIN’S MUSLIM COMMUNITIES.” (LONDON: POLICY EXCHANGE, DECEMBER 2, 2016); “‘WHAT MUSLIMS WANT:’ A SURVEY OF BRITISH MUSLIMS BY ICM ON BEHALF OF POLICY EXCHANGE.” (LONDON: POLICY EXCHANGE, DECEMBER 2, 2016).
[40] GRAEME MACQUEEN, “9/11 TRUTH: BRITISH MUSLIMS OVERWHELMINGLY REJECT THE OFFICIAL 9/11 STORY,” GLOBAL RESEARCH, DECEMBER 29, 2016.
[41] LANCE DEHAVEN-SMITH, CONSPIRACY THEORY IN AMERICA (AUSTIN, TEXAS: UNIV. OF TEXAS PRESS, 2013).
[42] CIVIL SOCIETY RESEARCHERS HAVE, OF COURSE, ALREADY BEGUN THE JOB. GOOD BOOKS TO BEGIN WITH ARE: DAVID GRIFFIN, THE NEW PEARL HARBOR: DISTURBING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND 9/11, SECOND EDITION (NORTHAMPTON, MASS.: INTERLINK PUBLISHING, 2004); DAVID GRIFFIN, THE NEW PEARL HARBOR REVISITED: 9/11, THE COVER-UP, AND THE EXPOSÉ (NORTHAMPTON, MASS.: INTERLINK PUBLISHING, 2008); JAMES GOURLEY, ED., THE 9/11 TORONTO REPORT: INTERNATIONAL HEARINGS ON THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 (INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR 9/11 STUDIES, 2012). ADDITIONAL SOURCES INCLUDE THE WEBSITES OF CONSENSUS 9/11 AND THE JOURNAL OF 9/11 STUDIES.
Dr. Graeme MacQueen is the former Director of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University in Canada. He was an organizer of the Toronto Hearings on 9/11, is a member of the Consensus 9/11 Panel, and is a former co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies.

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The World Faces a Historic Opportunity to Ban Nuclear Weapons

The World Faces a Historic Opportunity to Ban Nuclear WeaponsBy Beatrice Fihn, Martin Butcher, and Rasha Abdul Rahim | Inter Press Service | March 24, 2017Nuclear weapons are once again high on the international agenda, and experts note that the risk of a nuclear detonation is the highest since the Cold War.As global tensions, uncertainty and risks of conflict rise amongst nuclear-armed states, nuclear weapons are treated as sabres to rattle, further heightening the risks of intentional or inadvertent use.Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Both in terms of the scale of the immediate devastation they cause and the threat of a uniquely persistent, pervasive and genetically damaging radioactive fallout, they would cause unacceptable harm to civilians.But while the nuclear-armed states are implementing policies based on unpredictability, nationalism and weakening of international institutions, the majority of the world’s states are preparing to finally outlaw nuclear weapons.Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Hiroshima, described the nuclear bombing as blinding the whole city with its flash, being flattened by a hurricane-like blast, and burned in the 4,000-degree Celsius heat. She said a bright summer morning turned to a dark twilight in seconds with smoke and dust rising from the mushroom cloud, and the dead and injured covering the ground, begging desperately for water, and receiving no medical care at all. The spreading firestorm and the foul stench of burnt flesh filled the air.A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill millions of people and cause catastrophic and long-term damage to the environment. The use of tens or hundreds of nuclear bombs would be cataclysmic, severely disrupting the global climate and causing widespread famine.Strikes of this kind would invariably violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law, yet, these weapons are still not explicitly and universally prohibited under international law. Nine states are known to possess them and many more continue to rely on them through military alliances.The alarming evidence presented by physicians, physicists, climate scientists, human rights organisations, humanitarian agencies, and survivors of nuclear weapons attacks have been successful in changing the discourse, and opened space for greater engagement from civil society, international organisations, and states.Because the humanitarian and environmental consequences of using nuclear weapons would be global and catastrophic, eliminating such dangers is the responsibility of all governments in accordance with their obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law.The world is now facing a historic opportunity to prohibit nuclear weapons.In October last year, a majority of the world’s states at the United Nations General Assembly agreed to start negotiations of a new legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, in line with other treaties that prohibit chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions.As we’ve seen with these weapons, an international prohibition has created a strong norm against their use and speed up their elimination.The negotiations will start at the United Nations in New York on 27-31 March, and continue on 15 June-7 July, with the aim of concluding a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.Amnesty International, Oxfam and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) believe that it is time to negotiate a treaty that would prohibit the use, possession, production and transfer of nuclear weapons, given their indiscriminate nature. No state, including permanent members of the UN Security Council, should possess nuclear weapons.This is the moment to stand up for international law, multilateralism and international institutions. All governments should seize this opportunity and participate actively in the negotiations of a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons in 2017.

Source: The World Faces a Historic Opportunity to Ban Nuclear Weapons

Snow, Death, and the Bewildered Herd

Snow, Death, and the Bewildered Herd
by Edward Curtin, from Global Research
Few people at this hour – and I refer to the time before the breaking out of this most grim war, which is coming to birth so strangely, as if it did not want to be born – few, I say, these days still enjoy that tranquility which permits one to choose the truth, to abstract one in reflection. Almost all the world is in tumult, is beside itself, and when man is beside himself he loses his most essential attribute: the possibility of meditating, or withdrawing into himself to come to terms with himself and define what it is he believes and what it is that he does not believe; what he truly esteems and what he truly detests. Being beside himself bemuses him, blinds him, forces him to act mechanically in a frenetic somnambulism.”
Ortega Y Gasset – The Self and the Other

As I write these words, the house is being buried in a snowstorm. Heavy flakes fall slowly and silently as a contemplative peace muffles the frenetic agitation and speed of a world gone mad. A beautiful gift like this has no price, though there are those who would like to set one, as they do on everything. In my mind’s eye I see Boris Pasternak’s Yurii Zhivago, sitting in the penumbra of an oil lamp in the snowy night stillness of Varykino, scratching out his poems in a state of inspired possession. Outside the wolves howl. Inside the bedroom, his doomed lover, Lara, and her daughter sleep peacefully. The wolves are always howling.

Then my mind’s lamp flickers, and Ignacio Silone’s rebel character, Pietro Spina (from the novel Bread and Wine) appears. He is deep into heavy snow as he flees the Italian fascists by hiking into the mountains. There, too, howl the wolves, the omnipresent wolves, as the solitary rebel – the man who said “No” – slowly trudges in a meditative silence, disguised as a priest.

Images like these, apparitions of literary characters who never existed outside the imagination, might at first seem eccentric. But they appear to me because they are, like the silent snow that falls outside, evocative reminders of our need to stop the howling media streams long enough to set our minds on essential truths, to think and meditate on our fates – the fate of the earth and our individual fates. To resist the forces of death we need to concentrate, and that requires slow silence in solitude. That is why the world’s archetypal arch-enemy, Mr. Death himself, aka Satan, aka Screwtape, advises his disciple Wormwood in C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters to befuddle people against the aberration of logic by keeping them distracted with contradictory, non-stop news reports. He tells him that:

Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it ‘real life’ and don’t let him ask what he means by ‘real.’”

It is a commonplace to say that we are being buried in continuous and never-ending information. Yet it is true. We are being snowed by this torrent of indigestible “news,” and it’s not new, just vastly increased in the last twenty-five years or so.

Writing fifty-eight years ago, C. Wright Mills argued:

It is not only information they need – in the Age of Fact, information often dominates their attention and overwhelms their capacities to assimilate it….What they need…is a quality of mind that will help them to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and of what may be happening within themselves….what may be called the sociological imagination.

Today, as we speed down the information superhighway, Mills’s words are truer than ever. But how to develop an imagination suffused with reason to arrive at lucid summations? Is it possible now that “the information bomb” (attributed to Einstein) has fallen?
Albert Camus
Albert Camus once said that “at any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.” While that is still true today, I would add that the feeling of an agitated and distracted bewilderment is everywhere to be seen as multitudes scan their idiot boxes for the latest revelations. Beeping and peeping, they momentarily quell their nervous anxieties by being informed and simulating proximity through the ether. Permanently busy in their mediated “reality,” they watch as streaming data are instantly succeeded by streaming data in acts of digital dementia. For Camus the absurd was a starting point for a freer world of rebellion. For Walter Lippman, the influential journalist and adviser to presidents and potentates, “the bewildered herd” – his name for regular people, the 99 % – was a beginning and a wished for end. His elites, the 1 %, would bewilder the herd in order to control them. His wish has come true.

A surfeit of information, fundamental to modern propaganda, prevents people from forming considered judgments. It paralyzes them. Jacques Ellul writes in Propaganda:

Continuous propaganda exceeds the individual’s capacity for attention or adaptations. This trait of continuity explains why propaganda can indulge in sudden twists and turns. It is always surprising that the content of propaganda can be so inconsistent that it can approve today what it condemned yesterday.

Coherence and unity in claims aren’t necessary; contradictions work just as well. And the more the better: more contradictions, more consistency, more complementarity – just make it more. The system demands more. The informed citizen craves more; craves it faster and faster as the data become dada, an absurdist joke on logical thinking.

Wherever you go in the United States these days, you sense a generalized panic and an inability to slow down and focus. Depression, anxiety, hopelessness fill the air. Most people sense that something is seriously wrong, but don’t know exactly what. So they rage and rant and scurry along in a frenzy. It seems so huge, so everything, so indescribable. Minds like pointilliste canvases with thousands of data dots and no connections.

In the mid-1990s, when the electronic world of computers and the internet were being shoved down our throats by a consortium of national security state and computer company operatives (gladly swallowed then by many and now resulting in today’s total surveillance state), I became a member of The Lead Pencil Club foundered by Bill Henderson (The Pushcart Press) in honor of Thoreau’s father’s pencil factory and meant as a whimsical protest: “a pothole on the information superhighway.” There were perhaps 37 1/3 members worldwide, no membership roll, and no dues – just a commitment to use pencils to write and think slowly.

“Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?” Thoreau asked. “We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.”

So I am writing these words with a pencil, an object, to paraphrase Walter Benjamin, which haunts our present electronic world by being a ruin of the past. It is not a question of nostalgia, for we are not returning to our lost homes, despite a repressed urge for simpler times. But the pencil is an object that stands as a warning of the technological hubris that has pushed our home on earth to the brink of nuclear extinction and made mush of people’s minds in grasping the reasons why.

I think of John Berger, the great writer on art and life, as I write, erase, cross out, rewrite – roll the words over and look at them, consider them. Berger who wrote: “Writing is an off-shoot of something deeper”; that “most mainstream political discourse today is composed of words that, separated from any creature of language, are inert….dead ‘word-mongering’ [that] wipes out memory and breeds a ruthless complacency.”

The pencil is not a fetish; it is a reminder to make haste slowly, to hear and feel my thinking on the paper, to honor the sacredness of what Berger calls the “confabulation” between words and their meaning. I smell the pencil’s wood, the tree of life, its slow ascent, rooted in the earth, the earth our home, our beginning and our end.

Imagining our ends, while always hard, has become much harder in modern times in western industrialized nations, especially the United States that reigns death down on the rest of the world while pretending it is immortal and immune from the nuclear weapons it brandishes. Yet the need to do so has become more important. When in 1939 Ortega y Gasset warned in the epigraph of a most grim war coming to birth so strangely, as people acted “mechanically in a frenetic somnambulism,” he was writing before nuclear weapons, the ultimate technology.

If today we cannot imagine our individual deaths, how can we imagine the death of the earth? In a 1944 newspaper column George Orwell made an astute observation: “I would say that the decay of the belief in personal immortality has been as important as the rise of machine civilization.” He connected this growing disbelief to the modern cult of power worship. “I do not want the belief in life after death to return,” he added, “and in any case it is not likely to return. What I do point out is that its disappearance has left a big hole, and that we ought to take notice of that fact.”

I think that one reason we have not taken notice of this fact of the presence of a huge absence (not to say whether this disbelief is “true”) is the internet of speed, celebrated and foreseen by the grandmaster of electronic wizardry and obscurantic celebrator of retribalized man, Marshall McLuhan, who called the electronic media our gods whom we must serve and who argued that the extensions of human faculties through media would bring about abstract persons who would wear their brains outside their skulls and who would need an external conscience. Shall we say robots on fast forward?

Once the human body is reduced to a machine and human intercourse accepted as a “mediated reality” through so-called smart devices, we know – or should – that we are in big trouble. John Ralston Saul, a keen observer of the way we live now, mimics George Carlin by saying, “If Marx were functioning today, he would have been hard put to avoid saying that imaginary sex is the opiate of the people.”

Saul is also one of the few thinkers to follow-up on Orwell’s point.

“Inexplicable violence is almost always the sign of deep fears being released and there can be no deeper fear than mortality unchained. With the disappearance of faith and the evaporation of all magic from the image, man’s fear of mortality has been freed to roam in a manner not seen for two millennia.”

Blind reason, amoral and in the service of expertise and power, has replaced a holistic approach to understanding that includes at its heart art, language, “spirit, appetite, faith and emotion, but also intuition, will and, most important, experience.” People, he argues, run around today in an inner panic as if they are searching for a lost forgotten truth.

Zygmunt Bauman, the brilliant sociological thinker, is another observer who has noticed the big hole that is staring us in the face. “The devaluation of immortality,” he writes, “cannot but augur a cultural upheaval, arguably the most decisive turning point in human cultural history.” He too connects our refusal in the west to contemplate this fact to the constant busyness and perpetual rushed sense of emergency engendered by the electronic media with its streaming information. To this end he quotes Nicole Aubert:

Permanent busyness, with one emergency following another, gives the security of a full life or a ‘successful career’, sole proofs of self-assertion in a world from which all references to the ‘beyond’ are absent, and where existence, with its finitude, is the only certainty…When they take action people think short-term – of things to be done immediately or in the very near future…All too often, action is only an escape from the self, a remedy from the anguish.

McLuhan’s abstract persons, who rush through the grey magic of electronic lives where flesh and blood don’t exist, not only drown in excessive data that they can’t understand, but drift through a world of ghostly images where “selves” with nothing at the core flit to and fro. Style, no substance. Perspective, no person. Life, having passed from humans to things and the images of things, reduced and reified. Nothing is clear, the images come and go, fact and fiction blend, myth and history coalesce, time and space collapse in a collage of confusion, surfaces appear as depths, the person becomes a perspective, a perspective becomes a mirror, a mirror reflects an image, and the individual is left dazed and lost, wondering what world he is in and what personality he should don. In McLuhan’s electronic paradise that is ours, people don’t live or die, people just float through the ether and pass away, as do the victims of America’s non-stop wars of aggression simply evaporate as statistics that float down the stream, while the delusional believe the world will bloodlessly evaporate in a nuclear war that they can’t imagine coming and won’t see gone. Who in this flow can hear the words of Federico Garcia Lorca: “Beneath all the totals, a river of warm blood/A river that goes singing/past the bedrooms…”?

If you shower the public with the thousands of items that occur in the course of a day or a week, the average person, even if he tries hard, will simply retain thousands of items which mean nothing to him. He would need a remarkable memory to tie some event to another that happened three weeks or three months ago….To obtain a rounded picture one would have to do research, but the average person has neither the desire or time for it. As a result, he finds himself in a kind of kaleidoscope in which thousands of unconnected images follow each other rapidly….To the average man who tries to keep informed, a world emerges that is astonishingly incoherent, absurd, and irrational, which changes rapidly and constantly for reasons he cannot understand.

Jaques Ellul wrote that in 1965. Lucid summations are surely needed now.

Here’s one from Roberto Calasso from The Forty-Nine Steps: “The new society is an agnostic theocracy based on nihilism.”

Anyone who sits silently and does a modicum of research while honestly contemplating the current world situation will have no trouble in noticing that there is one country in the world – the U.S.A. – that has used nuclear weapons, is modernizing its vast obscene arsenal, and has announced that it will use it as a first strike weapon. A quick glance at a map will reveal the positioning of U.S. NATO troops and weapons right up to Russia’s borders and the aggressive movement of U.S. forces close to China. Hiroshima and Nagasaki make no difference.
Hiroshima in the wake of the Bomb
The fate of the earth makes no difference. Nothing makes a difference. Obama started this aggressiveness, but will this change under Trump? That’s very unlikely. We are talking about puppets for the potentates. It’s easy to note that the U.S. has 1,000,000 troops stationed in 175 countries because they advertise that during college basketball games, and of course you know of all the countries upon which the U.S. is raining down death and destruction in the name of peace and freedom. That’s all you need to know. Meditate on that and that hole that has opened up in western culture, and perhaps in your heart.

“If you are acquainted with the principle,” wrote Thoreau, “what do you care for myriad instances and applications?” Simplify, simplify, simplify.

But you may prefer complexity, following the stream.

The snow is still falling, night has descended, and the roads are impassable. The beautiful snow has stopped us in our tracks. Tomorrow we can resume our frantic movements, but for now we must simply stay put and wonder.

Eugene Ionesco, known for his absurdist plays, including Rhinoceros, puts it thus:

In all the cities of the world, it is the same. The universal and modern man is the man in a rush (i.e. a rhinoceros), a man who has no time, who is a prisoner of necessity, who cannot understand that a thing might be without usefulness; nor does he understand that, at bottom, it is the useful that may be a useless and back-breaking burden. If one does not understand the usefulness of the useless and the uselessness of the useful, one cannot understand art. And a country where art is not understood is a country of slaves and robots.

Ionesco emphasized the literal insanity of everyday life, comparing people to rhinoceroses that think and act with a herd mentality because they are afraid of the solitude and slowness necessary for lucid thought. They rush at everything with their horns. Behind this lies the fear of freedom, whose inner core is the fear of death. Doing nothing means being nothing, so being busy means being someone. And today being busy means being “plugged into the stream” of information meant to confound, which it does.

I return to the artist Pasternak, since the snowy night can’t keep me away. Or has he returned to me? I hear Yurii Zhivago’s uncle Nikolai speaking:

Only individuals seek the truth, and they shun those whose sole concern is not the truth. How many things in the world deserve our loyalty? Very few indeed. I think one should be loyal to immortality, which is another word for life, a stronger word for it …What you don’t understand is that it is possible to be an atheist, it is possible to not know whether God exists, or why, and yet believe that man does not live in a state of nature but in history…Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why they write symphonies. Now, you can’t advance in this direction without a certain faith. You can’t make such discoveries without spiritual equipment. And the basic elements of this equipment are in the Gospels. What are they? To begin with, love of one’s neighbor, which is the supreme form of vital energy. Once it fills the heart of man it has to overflow and spend itself. And then the two basic ideals of modern man – without them he is unthinkable – the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrifice. Mind you, all of this is still extraordinarily new….Man does not die in a ditch like a dog – but at home in history, while the work toward the conquest of death is in full swing; he dies sharing in this work. Ouf! I got quite worked up, didn’t I? But I might as well be talking to a blank wall.

I look outside and see the snow has stopped. It is time to sleep. Early tomorrow the plows will grind up the roads and the rush will ensue. Usefulness will flow.

But for now the night is beautiful and slow. A work of art.

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/

What is sex for?

What Is Sex For?

Posted on Mar 24, 2017

By Robert Jensen

Amsterdam’s red-light district, famous for its brothels and other sex businesses. (Gina Collecchia / CC 2.0)

The following excerpt is from “The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men” (Spinifex Press) and is reprinted with permission of the publisher.

[In this book] I argue that it’s impossible to imagine any society achieving a meaningful level of justice if people from one sex/gender class could be routinely bought and sold for sexual services by people from another sex/gender class. If one class of people are defined as “available to be bought and sold for sexual services,” is there any way that class of people won’t be assigned subordinate status to the dominant class that does the buying? Is justice possible when the most intimate spaces of the bodies of people in one group can be purchased by people in another group?

The same idea, stated differently: If we lived in an egalitarian society with sex/gender justice, would the idea of buying and selling people for sexual services likely emerge at all? If we lived in a society that put the dignity of all people at the center of its mission, would anyone imagine “sex work”?

The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men Purchase in the Truthdig Bazaar

I am confident in making the claims that (1) women are fully human and that the sexual-exploitation industries are inconsistent with human dignity, and (2) however complicated women’s options are in patriarchy, we should focus first on men’s decisions to participate in the buying and selling of women for sex.

But on the more complex question of “what is sex for?” I am more hesitant to make definitive claims. I believe that in a healthy society, sex should not be reduced to reproduction or pleasure-acquisition. But sex can, and does, play a variety of roles in our lives, which can change within one’s own lifetime and vary between individuals and cultures. Any answer will be specific to time and place. When we are young, for example, sex might be primarily a way for us to explore ourselves as we develop emotionally. As mature adults, sex might be primarily a way to establish stable bonds with a partner.

At this point in history, in contemporary U.S. culture, I worry about how much of life has become commodified and mass-mediated — about contemporary capitalism’s obsession with pulling every aspect of human life into the market, and advanced-technology’s colonization of our experiences through screens. Combining those concerns with a critique of patriarchy, I return to the power of sexuality to help us connect in meaningful ways to another person — sexuality as a form of communication, part of the ongoing quest to touch and be touched, to be truly alive. James Baldwin got to the heart of this:

I think the inability to love is the central problem, because the inability masks a certain terror, and that terror is the terror of being touched. And, if you can’t be touched, you can’t be changed. And, if you can’t be changed, you can’t be alive.

To assert that sexuality is centrally about love is not to limit our sexual connections to some notion of divinely sanctioned heterosexual marriage or Hollywood-defined romance. Suggesting that the central role of sexual connection in human society has something to do with love is to open up our exploration, to get over the terror of being touched.

Though love defies easy definition, it’s easy to identify the sexual-exploitation industries’ answer to “what’s love got to do with it?”: Nothing.

More than two decades ago, when I first started thinking about this question, I kept coming back to the phrase to describe an argument that is intense but which doesn’t really advance our understanding — we say that such a debate ‘produced more heat than light’. Much of the talk about sexuality in contemporary culture is in terms of heat: Is the sex you are having hot?

What if our discussions about sexual activity — our embodied connections to another person — were less about heat and more about light? What if instead of desperately seeking hot sex, we searched for a way to produce light when we touch? What if such touch were about finding a way to create light between people so that we could see ourselves and each other better? If the goal is knowing ourselves and each other like that, then what we need is not really heat but light to illuminate the path. How do we touch and talk to each other to shine that light?

Though there is no sexual instruction manual to tell us how to generate that light, I do not hesitate to suggest that the sexual-exploitation industries leave us in the dark.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Never Surrender, Not Even to Love

by Kathleen Stilwell
Born Outside the Box blog
March 15, 2017

More and more these days, videos and articles about how Satanists rule the world are showing up in alternative media news feed.

The veil is lifting, revealing who we’ve allowed ourselves to become and who we’ve allowed to rule over us. Incredible levels of deception and cruelty within our co-created reality are being exposed.

Great and courageous work is being done to shine a light on this suffocating, parasitic, even cannibalistic control system. Many, heroically, have given their lives to wake us up to the understanding that we have all been had big time.

The speakers and writers that I feature on this blog are are all contributing their talents and energy — many in the face of death threats — to this great work.

This hijack was so clever and complete that it got us on just about all levels of being, with the exception of our core divinity which it simply can’t access.

The whole kit and caboodle that we call reality is a control system. It’s one big cult, divided up into mini cults of government, religion, science, psychologies, philosophies, “non-religious” spirituality, and so on — using tools of language, symbols, mathematics, ceremony, dance, music, art…

satanic control.jpg

Recently, as I saw a rant by one earnest Christian about Satanists, I was reminded that the problem is not that darkness exists or that light exists, but the problem is how we position ourselves in relationship to what has been and what can be created.

None of this exists without our cooperation. The light or the dark. We’ve forgotten we are creators. We aren’t trapped in this reality, we are co-creating it.

The dynamics that hold any matrix, pyramid, or boxed system together are force and surrender. As we’ve come to understand, force can come in the form of trickery, rather than overt takeover. But the willingness to be taken over has to be there for the manipulator to grab hold.

This entire Matrix is held together by the one thing the invaders can count on right now: human surrender.

There’s a lot of hocus pocus involved to make it feel very entrenched and very real. But we’ve always had the power to create something else.

The malfunction here is the strange tendency we humans have to give up everything rooted in the true to just go along for a ride. And, whoever “they” are, they’ve taken us on one hell of a ride because we let them.

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The solution to our dilemma is not in ridding the planet of all Satanists, reptilians, or dark sorcerers.

We need first to look at what the real problem is before a solution is found. The real issue here is that we like being governed.

The problem isn’t in identifying which part of the light spectrum, or which dimension, the controllers show up from. Although it is relevant to research and understand these things.

The deepest problem is in waking ourselves up to how much we like to be controlled and how we’ve offered ourselves up for experimentation and manipulation.

We’ve collectively bought into the lie that we are weak and need rescue from an outside power greater than ourselves.

We believe we need to be saved. And, thus we have new presidents, new gurus, new therapists showing up all the time to save our collective asses.

When we send out the signal, “help me. I’m afraid and need to be rescued”, we can be sure that all sorts of carrion will show up, along with angelic beings of light and other do-gooders. And most of us have played both roles over and over — the helpless one and the rescuer.

Anyone who is actually spiritually more awake and stronger than we are will show us how to heal ourselves. They will show the way, but will never let us latch onto them permanently. They will know this is the death of us if they allow it to happen.

love9

Elders will show us how to stand up for ourselves and by ourselves. They understand we might need help along the way, but they will never, ever ask or subtly hint that we should follow them forever.

As a child, we will naturally follow and simultaneously rebel, testing our wings until we can leave the nest unattended. It’s the rebellion part that is essential to strength-building, and every good parent or elder knows this.

That doesn’t mean we have to walk this earth solo. We need one another. We feel lonely without fellow beings to connect with. We learn from each other. We find joy and comfort in companionship.

But companionship and community aren’t co-dependence. Each member of a family or tribe needs to be strongly rooted as a sovereign being before real supportive community can manifest.

The Red Flags of Love

Many who are horrified by the Satanists and the horrific abuse that is being uncovered would, nonetheless, be happy to be ruled by “benevolent” ETs or Jesus (or other great teachers). This is a major red flag.

I cringe every time I read something about the liberation of the planet coming from forces of light. Masses of people are organizing as “ground crews” for these great liberators who are coming from other dimensions or galaxies or inner earth or wherever.

aliens.jpg

Get ready to be important, these recruits are being told. Red flag.

Get ready to follow. Red flag.

Get ready to assist the light, making you a “good” person, a “chosen” one. Red flag.

Find your place (be a placeholder), whether it be leader or order follower (both key positions in any pyramid or matrix). Be submissive and your position in the Matrix will make you “feel” strong and important. Put on your divine feminine warrior outfit and lord over/rescue the minions with love and light. Red flags waving all over this stuff.

Religious teachings everywhere advise followers to surrender to whatever deity they worship. Some deities claim to represent the Light, others the Dark.

All deities require one thing: surrender and/or adoration. Some of these deities, apparently, are about to reappear in the flesh any day now. If followers are lucky, they’ll be able to touch the hem of the deity’s garment. Red flags on steroids.

gods

Weak-kneed submissiveness is what got us into this vibrational prison in the first place.

We need to get off our knees and recognize anything that looks like, smells like, sounds like or tastes like a request to contort ourselves to fit someone else’s dream — and, especially if we’re told this is the “loving” thing to do.

The Great Untwisting

This is not only a time of the great unveiling, it is the time of the great untwisting. And the twisting is all about Love.

Anything or anyone true never requires surrender, and that includes parents, teachers, spouses, children, bosses, governments, religions, healers, love, light, darkness.

The new age is filled with messages of surrender. Surrendering to goddess energies is big these days. If it’s feminine, it must be love, right?

Our popular music drips with the longing for, and finding, someone to overtake us with love. Our music reminds us we are lost and urges us to find someone to latch onto, someone to “love”, someone to save us from ourselves.

We know we need one another. In fact, most of us can’t bear the idea of being forever alone. Therefore, it’s no wonder this sea of symbiotic relationship is beyond confusing until we start to understand where it all went haywire.

love4

Interdependence — healthy, dynamic mutual cooperation — is what we really seek. But before we link arms with others, we need to stand up in our own power as best we can.

And if the one holding our hand says “follow me, trust me, don’t question anything”, or “hold me up, I need you, I can’t stand on my own” then we must have the courage to let go.

We are all strong if we choose to be. But this takes work. Individually. If we aren’t willing to do the work, then we can stay on our knees. Nobody can do our work for us. That’s just the way it is.

Real liberation will come when we choose to be true, when we teach our children, our friends, our neighbors, our lovers, our spouses, our parents to listen within to the source of who they are.

If we are asking someone to follow us, to obey us, to never question us, we are part of the problem. If we are asking someone to let us follow them, we are bigger part of the problem — because more of us want to follow than to lead.

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When Love calls to us, it does not require surrender.

Love calls us to stand up in the full power of who we have always been. If we are weak and clinging, love sends us away to gain strength. Love trusts that we can find that strength.

Love calls us to awaken to our sovereignty. It calls us to be true.

Love is never insecure in it’s position.

If it requires appeasement, worship, supplication, compliance, or any other manipulative energy connection, then it isn’t Love.

If it belittles (makes another little), it isn’t Love.

Love is not surrounded by veils that need to be lifted, nor does it have occult paths which must be traveled until we find it.

Love never requires us to test for worthiness before it will give us the time of day.

Love never requires that we follow or that we believe anything.

Love always welcomes questions, examination and challenge.

Love is who we are innately and who we are to fully become once again.

Love says: “Do you hear what I am saying? You are sovereign. Stand up.”

Love says: “Ask me anything. Anything. Doubt me. Test the waters. Jump in. Jump out. I will never be offended by what you ask unless you ask to follow me.”

Love says: “Never surrender. Cooperate, listen, play, engage, co-create, dream, romance…but never surrender who you are.”

Love says: “Be as me. I am who you really are. Together we are free.”