Article 43

 

Spiritual Diversions

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Jesus, Endless War, and the Rise of American Fascism

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Everyone knows the ploy by now: Anyone who runs for President must equate God and nationalism. If you leave the God part out, you are branded as not being a patriot.
- Are You Running With Me Jesus

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.
- William Faulkner

By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.
- Adolf Hitler

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Jesus, Endless War, and the Rise of American Fascism

The Democratic Party is hoping to thwart an election rout by running against the expected Supreme Court decision on abortion. This is depressingly all that is left of its political capital.

By Chris Hedges
The Chris Hedges Report
May 8, 2022

The Democratic Party which had 50 years to writeRoe v Wade into law with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in full control of the White House and Congress at the inception of their presidencies - is banking its electoral strategy around the expected Supreme Court decision to lift the judicial prohibition on the ability of states to enact laws restricting or banning abortions. 

I doubt it will work.

The Democratic Party’s hypocrisy and duplicity is the fertilizer for Christian fascism. Its exclusive focus on the culture wars and identity politics at the expense of economic, political, and social justice fueled a right-wing backlash and stoked the bigotry, racism, and sexism it sought to curtail. Its opting for image over substance, including its repeated failure to secure the right to abortion, left the Democrats distrusted and reviled.

The Biden administration invited Amazon Labor Union president Christian Smalls and union workers from Starbucks and other organizations to the White House at the same time it re-awarded a $10 billion contract to the union-busting Amazon and the National Security Agency (NSA) for cloud computing. The NSA contract is one of 26 federal cloud computing contracts Amazon has with the U.S. Army and Air Force, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior, and the Census Bureau. Withholding the federal contracts until Amazon permitted free and open union organizing would be a powerful stand on behalf of workers, still waiting for the $15 minimum wage Joe Biden promised as a candidate. But behind the walls of the Democratic Party’s Potemkin village stands the billionaire class. Democrats have failed to address the structural injustices that turned America into an oligarchic state, where the obscenely rich squabble like children in a sandbox over multibillion-dollar toys. The longer this game of political theater continues, the worse things will get.

The Christian fascists have coalesced in cult-like fashion around Donald Trump. They are bankrolled by the most retrograde forces of capitalism. The capitalists permit the stupidities of the Christian fascists and their self-destructive social and cultural wars. In exchange, the billionaire class gets corporate monopolies, union busting, privatized state, and municipal services, including public education, revoked government regulations, especially environmental regulation, and can engage in a virtual tax boycott.

The war industry loves the Christian fascists who turn every conflict from Iraq to Ukraine into a holy crusade to crush LATEST ITERATION OF SATAN. The Christian fascists believe military power, and the “manly” virtues that come with it, are blessed by God, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. No military budget is too big. No war waged by America is evil.

These Christian fascists make up perhaps 30 percent of the electorate, roughly equivalent to the percentage of Americans who believe abortion is murder. They are organized, committed to a vision, however perverse, and awash in money. John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, mediocre jurists and Federalist Society ideologues who carry the banner of Christian fascism, control the Supreme Court.

Establishment Republicans and Democrats, like George Armstrong Custer on Last Stand Hill, have circled the wagons around the Democratic Party in a desperate bid to prevent Trump, or a Trump mini-me, from returning to the White House. They, and their allies in Silicon Valley, are using algorithms and overt de-platforming to CENSOR critics from the left and the right, foolishly turning figures like Trump, Alex Jones, and Marjorie Taylor Greene into martyrs. This is not a battle over democracy, but the spoils of power waged by billionaires against billionaires. No one intends to dismantle the corporate state.

The ruling class in both parties told LIES ABOUT NAFTA, trade deals, reforming welfare, abolishing financial regulations, austerity, the Iraq war, and neoliberalism that did far more damage to the American public than any lie told by Trump. The reptilian slime oozes out of every pore of these politicians, from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to Biden, who backed the 1976 HYDE AMENDMENT banning federal funding of abortions and in 1982 voted to support a constitutional amendment that would allow states to overturn Roe v Wade. Their hypocrisy is not lost on the public, even with their armies of consultants, pollsters, courtiers in the press, public relations teams and advertising agencies.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is clueless and unhinged. She claims Hillary Clinton was involved in a child mutilation and a pedophilia ring and several high-profile school shootings were staged. But weaponized, like Trump, she is a political cruise missile aimed straight at the heart of the discredited centers of traditional power.

Hate is the fuel of American politics. No one votes for who they want. They vote against those they hate. Black and brown marginal communities have suffered worse assaults than the white working class, but they have been defanged politically with militarized police that function as internal armies of occupation. The erosion of due process, the worlds largest prison system and the stripping away of all rights, including often voting rights because of felony convictions, as well as a loss of access to most social services and jobs, reduced them to a subsistence level on the lowest rung of AmericaҒs caste system. They are also the primary targets of Republican-sponsored voter suppression and redistricting.

The glue holding this Christianized fascism together is not prayer, although we will get a lot of that, but war. War is the raison d’tre of all systems of totalitarianism. War justifies a constant search for internal enemies. It is used to revoke basic civil liberties and impose censorship. War demonizes those in the Middle East, Russia, or China, who are blamed for the economic and social debacles that inevitably get worse. War diverts the rage engendered by a dysfunctional state towards immigrants, people of color, feminists, liberals, artists, anyone who does not identify as a heterosexual, the press, antifa, Jews, Muslims, Russians, or Asians. Take your pick. It is a bigots smorgasbord. Every item on the menu is fair game.

I spent two years with the Christian right reporting and researching my book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. These Christian fascists have never hidden their agenda or their desire to create a “Christian” nation, any more than Adolf Hitler hid his demented vision for Germany in Mein Kampf. They prey, like all fascists, on the despair of their followers. They paint gruesome portraits of the end times when the longed-for obliteration of non-believers presages the glorious return of Jesus Christ. The battle at Armageddon, they believe, will be launched from the Antichrist’s worldwide headquarters in Babylon once the Jews again have control of Israel. The closer we get to Armageddon, the giddier they become.

These people believe this stuff, as they believe in QAnon or the election fraud that supposedly put Biden in office. They are convinced that a demonic, secular-humanist ideology propagated by the media, the United Nations, elite universities, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, the Trilateral Commission along with the US State Department and major foundations are seeking to destroy them.

Violence is embraced as a cleansing agent, a key component of any fascist movement. The Christian fascists do not fear nuclear war. They welcome it. The insane provocations of Russia by the Biden administration, including the decision to provide $33 billion in assistance to Ukraine, target ten Russian generals for assassination and pass on to Ukraine the intelligence to sink the Moskva, the guided missile cruiser that was the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, supercharges the ideology of the Christian right. The marriage of the war industry, determined to make war forever, with the Christian fascists yearning for the apocalypse is terrifying.  Biden is sleepwalking us into a war with Russia and perhaps China. The Christian fascists will accelerate the bloodlust.

The political deformities we have SPAWNED are not unique. They are the product of a society and government that no longer functions on behalf of the citizenry, one that has been seized by a tiny cabal, in our case corporate, to serve its exclusive interests. The airy promises politicians make, including the announcement by candidate Barack Obama that the first thing he would do in office was sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which during his eight years as president he never got around to doing, are worthless. The scheduled vote next week in the Senate on a bill asserting that abortions are legal in the United States, which is expected to be blocked by the Republicans use of the filibuster, a Senate procedural rule that requires 60 votes to advance most legislation in the 100-member chamber, is another empty gesture.

We saw the consequences of this dysfunction in Weimar Germany and Yugoslavia, a conflict I covered for The New York Times. Political stagnation and economic misery breeds rage, despair, and cynicism. It gives rise to demagogues, charlatans, and con artists. Hatred drives political discourse. Violence is the primary form of communication. Vengeance is the highest good. War is the chief occupation of the state. It is the vulnerable and weak who pay.

The Chris Hedges Report is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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Posted by Elvis on 05/14/22 •
Section Revelations • Section Spiritual Diversions
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Friday, May 13, 2022

Religious Diversions Part 15 - Homeschooling

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[P]ublic education is under siege to an almost unprecedented degree. Both political parties have implemented reforms that teach for the test, weaken unions, deskill teachers, and wage a frontal assault on the imagination of students through disciplinary measures that amount to pedagogies of repression.

it is a willful practice and goal used to actively depoliticize people and make them complicit with the political and economic forces that impose misery and suffering upon their lives. At the same time, illiteracy bonds people: It offers the pretense of a community bound by a willful denial of facts and its celebration of ignorance.

Illiteracy is no longer restricted to populations immersed in poverty with little access to quality education; nor does it only suggest the lack of proficient skills enabling people to read and write with a degree of understanding and fluency. More profoundly, illiteracy is also about refusing to act from a position of thoughtfulness, informed judgment, and critical agency.
- Land of the Walking Dead, 2017

In the strict father family, father knows best… Through physical discipline they are supposed to become disciplined, internally strong, and able to prosper in the external world. What if they don’t prosper? That means they are not disciplined, and therefore cannot be moral, and so deserve their poverty. This reasoning shows up in conservative politics in which the poor are seen as lazy and undeserving, and the rich as deserving their wealth.
- Republican Redux 17

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
- 2 Timothy 4:3 - 4:4

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How Evangelicals Use Education to Totalize

By R.L. Stollar
May 7, 2022

The following is the text of the speech I gave at the Conference on Religious Trauma on April 30, 2022.

I’d like to begin by thanking Janice for inviting me to speak here and I’d like to thank my fellow panelists as well as Caleb for moderating. Religious trauma is such an important topic and childhood education is a key vehicle for passing that trauma on from generation to generation.

I will speak to you today about homeschooling, specifically evangelical homeschooling. I will speak about homeschooling because homeschooled children and alumni are intimately familiar with religious trauma. This is because the vast majority of homeschoolers are evangelical Christians. Consequently, many homeschooled children have experienced corporal punishment, threats of eternal hellfire, educational neglect, molestation and rape, and other human rights abusesall in the name of glorifying the evangelical god.

In fact, due to the intentionally deregulated state of homeschool laws in the United States, homeschool parents have nearly absolute power over what they can do to and teach their children. Homeschooling has thus become a tool for what psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton has called “totalism.” Totalism is the end goal of authoritarian and totalitarian movements and organizations: it is the total control of human action and belief.  By enabling homeschoolers to use homeschooling totalistically, deregulated homeschooling has created the perfect storm for abuse and neglect to thrive in homeschooling communities.

To understand how this became the case, a short history lesson is in order.

From the very beginning of the modern homeschooling movement, paths diverged. In the 1960s and 1970s, John Holt - a liberal and early advocate for “children’s rights"began calling for the liberation of children from institutional, especially public, schools. His books How Children Fail and How Children Learn provoked controversy for their criticisms of compulsory education for children. Holt advocated for an “Underground Railroad” that would help children leave institutional schools and pursue their own interests.

At the same time that Holt was imagining a child-centric form of homeschooling, R.J. Rushdoony was similarly calling for the removal of children from public schools. Rushdoony called them “government schools.” But Rushdoony had a very different vision of education than Holt. Rushdoony saw education as a tool of dominion, as a way to re-Christianize the United States. Known as the father of Christian Reconstructionism, Rushdoony advocated for the destruction of democracy and replacing it with a theocracy based on his understanding of Mosaic law. According to Rushdoony, government should never be in the education business. That business belongs solely to parents. For Rushdoony, then, homeschooling was parent-centric. It was a way to shore up parental rights, not children’s rights.

While homeschooling began with diverse founders, it was ultimately Rushdoony’s vision that dominated. White evangelicals were desperate in the 1980s for a way to teach their children in the ways they wanted: free from secular and non-white influences. Thus they flooded the homeschooling movement. By the mid-1980s, white evangelicals had solidly commandeered the movement, becoming the most dominant group to choose homeschooling. This transformed the movement from a revolt against the institutionalization of schooling into a project to build a parallel, Christian society.

By 1990, 85-90% of homeschoolers were conservative Christians. When Salon reported on homeschooling in 2000, all four pillars of homeschooling listed (Michael Farris, Sue Welch, Brian Ray, and Gregg Harris) were evangelicals. And probably most importantly, the most powerful homeschool lobbying organization, HSLDA, was run (and continues to be run) exclusively by white evangelical men.

Founded in 1983, HSLDA has fought for decades to promote what HSLDA attorney Michael Donnelly refers to as a “minimalistic regulatory approach” to homeschooling in the United States. In short, HSLDA believes homeschooling should be entirely free of any government oversight. This parental rights absolutism is a fundamental conviction that has roots in Rushdoony’s worldview of Christian Reconstructionism, a worldview shared by HSLDA founder Michael Farris (now President of the designated hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF).

HSLDA’s efforts have been extraordinarily successful. There is no federal oversight of homeschooling whatsoever. Homeschooling is regulated only on the state level, and most states have either minimal or no oversight over homeschooling. An analysis of state homeschool laws by ProPublica in 2015 found fewer than half require any kind of evaluation or testing of “homeschooled children” and just ten require parents to “have a high school degree.” Only two states prohibit convicted child abusers like child molesters from homeschooling. There are no states that require homeschooled children to have regular contact with mandatory reporters. When states do have minimal oversight, most of the time the oversight has few to no enforcement mechanisms.

This lack of oversight has essentially created a loophole for child abusers: child abusers can remove their children from public school during open child abuse or neglect investigations and thereby eliminate the chance that their children will ever be in contact with mandatory reporters again. Because homeschooling has become the perfect way to isolate and hide an abused or neglected child from those who could help the child, it has become a breeding ground for crimes against children.

Since 1986, there have been at least 172 child abuse and neglect fatalities in homeschooling settingssuggesting homeschooled children have a greater risk of dying from child abuse than other children. A 2014 survey of 3,702 homeschool alumni also found that around half (51%) experienced childhood abuse and a further 26% reported knowing another homeschooled child who was abused. And a survey of extreme cases of child torture conducted by pediatrician Barbara Knox in 2014 found ԗ47% [of the tortured children] who had been enrolled in school were removed under the auspice of homeschooling.ӑ ҔHomeschooling, Knox observed, Ӕappears to have been designed to further isolate the child.

As the first few generations of homeschooled children have come of age, we have begun to hear and see the results of deregulated homeschoolingӔor as HSLDAs Donnelly calls it, a גminimalistic regulatory approach to homeschooling. Starting in the early 2010s, homeschooled children, by then adults, began calling for reform based on their experiences of abuse and neglect.

As someone homeschooled kindergarten through high school graduation by evangelical parents, I am intimately familiar with this history. I lived it. I am also very familiar with the growing movement of homeschool alumni who are speaking out about their experiences and demanding communal and legal reforms to protect future generations of children. I helped found several national nonprofit organizations to fight for the rights of homeschooled children. And what I see as the common thread between all the stories of abuse and neglect in homeschooling is the issue of totalism.

Totalism is a concept first developed by psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton in his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. Totalism is related to totalitarianism, and signifies a psychological form of totalitarianism - the totalitarian monitoring and control of another individuals behaviors and thoughts. Lifton uses the term to describe the attributes of ideological movements and organizations that aim for total control over people’s behaviors and thoughts. While these movements and organizations may vary in design and goals, they follow common patterns and cause predicable types of psychological damage to those within them.

Evangelical Christians - as well as other extremist groups - are drawn to homeschooling because it gives them either absolute or nearly absolute power over their children. They would describe this power as “freedom” and indeed, to some extent that is true. Marginalized groups like Black families are also attracted to homeschooling because it does give them freedom to teach things public schools cannot or will not teach, such as Black and Native American history. But that freedom is a double-edged sword. By giving absolute power to parents, homeschooling can be used to control children as much as it is used to free children. And evangelical Christians are interested in control.

Evangelical Christians are interested in creating a parallel society. They are interested in creating safe spaces, essentially, where their children will never encounter people or ideas that contradict their teachings until those children are properly equipped to defend those teachings and not stray from them despite any evidence that they are wrong. This is why evangelical Christians invest significantly in fields of study like apologetics and worldview studies. There are books and homeschool curricula and summer camps and college programs all dedicated to keeping children and young adults from straying from white evangelical Christian values - usually defined as white supremacy, Christian Nationalism, capitalism, and the supremacy of heterosexual marriage and sexuality.

By giving evangelical Christians absolute power over their children, homeschooling enables and empowers these parents to create these parallel societies in the most efficient and effective manner. Homeschooling parents literally control every aspect of their childrens lives, for better or for worse. For evangelical parents, this means they can ensure their children never leave their safe spaces until the parents feel confident the children are adequately totalized. Should children ever become rebellious or ask too many questions, it’s off to worldview camp or a troubled teen program for them.

I regularly hear from fellow homeschool alumni that they literally never encountered someone who was not a white evangelical until they were well into adulthood. That is how successfully white evangelicals have mastered totalism. With the existence of many white evangelical colleges and graduate schools, this parallel society has the potential to cocoon a person from birth until their mid-20s, even their 30s.

But cocoon is the wrong word. This parallel society isnt something that protects children from the elements and predators until the children become exactly who they want to be. This parallel society constricts. That is, it slowly but surely constricts children into the model of what white evangelicals are supposed to be: Christian Nationalists, fervent capitalists, and in no way queer.

I know I donҒt have to explain to you that constricting children for the sake of religious beliefs causes trauma. You all know that constricting children into what adults want and need is the best way to traumatize a child for life. Add religion on top of that and you get the circumstances that make conferences on religious trauma an increasingly common phenomenon.

But let me take this a step further and suggest that when you intentionally inflict religious trauma on children it is child abuse. And thats what evangelicals are doing here: they are intentionally using totalistic education and all its related tools to traumatize children in the directions they believe children should grow and mature. You donҒt want unbelievers, so you threaten eternal hellfire. You dont want talking back, so you beat your children. You donҒt want independent thinking, so you break childrens wills. And you definitely donҒt want your children to realize how isolated and abnormal their childhoods are, so you homeschool and your children only interact with others who live through and accept similar traumas.

Intentionally inflicting religious trauma on children is what Janet Heimlich and the Child-Friendly Faith Project call “religious child maltreatment.” It is real and it is pervasive in homeschooling circles and, make no mistake, it is devastating. Furthermore, theres no excuse for it. Religion doesn’t have to hurt children. You always have a choice whether to use religion to liberate children or to radicalize and traumatize them.

I know it is common these days for evangelicals and other conservatives to carelessly throw around the word “grooming,” and as a child abuse survivor myself and someone with a Masters in Child Protection, this infuriates me. The carelessness is bad in itself. But the worst part is knowing that the whole point of “evangelicals’ parallel society is to break their childrens’ wills, to disempower them, to make them like clayҒmoldable and pliant to adults wishes. And I cannot think of a better way to prepare a child for future abuse and trauma than that.

By stripping children of their wills, by supplanting their children’s unique and diverse identities with the identity demanded by white evangelical leaders and other power holders, evangelicalism is teachingand homeschooling is enabling and empowering it - that children have no rights to themselves. That they are not their own. That they owe their bodies, minds, and souls to those more powerful than them.

As a child protection professional, it doesn’t evade me that these messages are textbook definitions of either grooming or outright emotional or religious abuse. Yet these messages are also central aspects of many religious teachings, especially when it comes to evangelicalism. There are many beliefs inherent to evangelicalism that require adults to intentionally inflict religious trauma on children. That’s more than a red flag. Its a sign that the foundation of evangelicalism is compromised and corrupted.

And unless we take a serious look at how evangelicals and other religious extremists take advantage of childhood education - including homeschooling, private schools, and public charter schools - as a primary vehicle for inflicting religious child maltreatment, we will be powerless to stop it. The lack of any meaningful oversight over childhood education when it is draped in religion cannot be sustained except by the blood and tears of more children.

This is why it is so important to include and listen to the voices of those who experienced and survived and are now speaking up about the real-life impacts of education that’s all about what adults want children to be, rather than education that’s motivated to find out who children really are, and what they want to learn. So I am grateful for being included here; I am grateful for the voices of fellow homeschool alumni here as well like Jerusha and Luna. I hope you hear in our stories not just our own pain, but our hope that we can do better for future generations of children.

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Posted by Elvis on 05/13/22 •
Section Dying America • Section Spiritual Diversions
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Friday, April 29, 2022

Fact and Fiction

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Revelation Of The Method

By Dustin Booadbery
The Cogent
April 27, 2022

CIA Director, William Casey is REFUTED TO HAVE SAID to Ronald Reagan “We’ll know our disinformation is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

Fast forward thirty years, and there’s no piece of fiction the masses will not swallow.

From Woke to COVID to the war in Ukraine, people no longer make their own ideological pilgrimages to the truth - the truth is served oven-ready by their political betters.

Nowadays, there’s little distinction between the two hemispheres: reality and illusion. It’s not so much that people have been robbed of their ability to decipher between these two, it’s that facts have been reoriented into fiction and fiction into facts.  It’s a degradation of epistemology so momentous, that people dont even know that they don’t know that they don’t know what’s happening, to quote one former anarchist.

In the grand scheme of things, humanity has perjured themselves and life as we know it has morphed into a sort of science-fiction, soap-opera WITH FEW COMMON ANCESTORS TO REALITY. Even right-thinking folks require the equivalent of a cerebral chainsaw to hollow out the slew of implausible narratives into something remotely resembling reality. It goes beyond fiction to predictive programming. THEY’RE NOT JUST DECEIVING YOU, THEY’RE SHOWING YOU THAT THEY’RE DECEIVING YOU.

What is neither here nor there to the deceived is the track record of their deceivers. Before the ink dried on the newsprint proclaiming the crisis in-waiting, the falsifications of COVID were buried under the falsehoods of war, Zelensky’s standing ovation at Westminster knocked Pfizer’s OFIZER’S DATA RELEASE off the rostrum and those formerly joined at the hip to COVID got hitched to their Ukrainian brides.

This entire fiasco holds water because what people think they know for sure, that just ain’t so, is a consensus.  A preponderance of fabrications, falsehoods and false prophets governs the spiritual milieu. People worship the prosaic and glorify artifice. Our moral choices are guided by platitude and not virtue, anecdote and not evidence.

To complicate matters, what was formerly held sacred has become profane and what was formerly profane has become sacred, to quote Robert Sepehr.

There’s a war raging, alright, but you will find its theatre of operations inside the human psyche. It is a war on consciousness, an atrophy of culture and its stark consequences is the spiritual malaise of humanity.

Freemasons, for one, understood that information was power. Concealing beyond the prying eyes of the lower orders, the ESOTERIC MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE.

Then as now, its not enough for THESE PEOPLE to hold a monopoly over knowledge, they must DEPRIVE EVERYONE ELSE of its illumination, or go one further and spread ignorance. It goes beyond censoring counterarguments to fomenting falsehoods, It’s not so much societal breakdown but self-immolation. People are being misinformed and stupefied and sent out as agents of disinformation to further deconstruct what’s left of an already deconstructed reality.

To make matters worse, precisely zero lessons have been learned these past two years. People flounder from one crisis to the next. Walk aimlessly from quarantine camp to air-raid shelter into whichever direction their political higher-ups point them, to deride whoever is nominated as the scourge of society, de jour. The great national pastime is to gather at the pillories and hurl cabbages at anti-vaxxers, Russians, (insert your antihero here).

The Infowar

If all this sounds remarkably like an info-war, then it probably is.

The battle for hearts and minds has moved online. Our divine spark of life is being overhauled to data. Something of divine proportions compels us to the internet, to data our daily bread (and circuses), our digital avatars living richer, more meaningful lives than their truant owners.

What ceases to be worth the candle is the epistemology of our data.

It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on - a card carrying member of the great awakening, or useful idiot on the lockdown left, you’re still part of the same problem. You have been taken hostage by a series of narratives laid on with a shovel by the predator class and designed for the sole purpose of keeping you rapt and not informed, sedentary and not spirited. In the world of algorithms everyone is created equal, and data is just data, there’s no morality to it.

These events play out as a nail-biting whodunnit, but the reality is, they’re not supposed to be solved. There’s no answers nor restitution, its your attention and not your belief systems which is being harvested.

What these hellhounds want is for you to pick your side, choose your battle, but make sure your battle-lines are social media, and that you’re not throwing Molotov Cocktails at the Tower of Babel.

Everyone has a dog in the fight.  PARTICULARLY, those baying for the blood of the UNVACCINTED or calling for violence against RUSSIANS, who do so, according to Voltaire, because those WHO CAN MAKE YOU BELIEVE IN ABSURDITIES, can make you commit atrocities.

If a persons psyche is under siege and they don’t designate an enemy to scapegoat, they might get wise to whos really attacking them, and that simply wouldn’t do.

In this theatre of the absurd people acclimatise to fiction because its easier than confronting uncomfortable truths. But under these fertile conditions any version of reality, no matter how precarious, will wash. That’s where the Great Reset enters the fray.

Once you desecrate a persons moralistic and cultural maps of the world, their place in it becomes increasingly untenable. People lose touch with reality and what it means to be human. The ensuing crisis of identity leaves them susceptible to hostile takeover.  Amongst other things that could possibly go wrong is the eventual MICROCHIPPING the THE POPULATION and BRAIN MACHINE INTERFACES.

Predictive Programming

But there are even stranger things brewing.  Predictive Programming is the theory of a hidden hand operating the levers of reality. A sort of reality adjustment bureau obfuscating real world events through film, literature and media manipulation. The fundamental principle here is psychological conditioning that reduces peoples’ resistance to the acceptance of planned future events and encourages them to swap concrete reality structures for static constructs, until eventually, our inherited world view is replaced by mythos and archetypes.

That we are living through the objectification of the predator class is no moot point. That’s their messiah complex imprinted onto the collective consciousness and PROJECTED BACK ONTO THE REAL WORLD. By their own volition, the masses are breathing life into these grotesque queries and blotting the social fabric.

Revelation of the Method

But it runs even deeper than predictive programming. Some call this REVELATION OF THE METHOD.

According to MICHAEL HOFFMAN:first they suppress the counterargument, and WHEN THE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME arrives, they REVEAL ASPECTS of whats really happened, but in a LIMITED HANGOUT sort of way.

We were told the vaccines were harmless, until Pfizer DATABASED their own SAFETY CLAIMS, but not before the entire world had been vaccinated. Lockdown Apologists across the corporate media are now almost unanimous that lockdowns do more harm than good. This is no arbitrary volte-face, but rather a carefully planned sequence of disclosures when the time is ripe.

Michael Hoffman suggests that the ruling elite are giving notice of their supremacy. Declaring themselves virtuoso criminal masterminds, who are above the law and beyond reproach. But most of all, they are telling you, in no uncertain terms, that you are without recourse, these events are beyond your control, as is your own destiny for that matter. Eventually a sense of apathy and abulia engulfs humanity, demoralising us to the point of conceding defeat to a system we are powerless to change.

Not that you would ever have restitution. THE HOUSE IS NOT DESIGNED TO DO ITS OWN HOUSEKEEPING. Buried deep within their rule of law, is a hidden constitution that states: nothing happens without your consent. In this version of contract law, once the truth is hidden in plain sight, you have agreed to it. There exists someplace an unsigned contract with your unsworn oath on it.

In the end, we’re all victims of the same masterstroke, whether keyboard evangelist or state-apologist, everyone is being royally screwed, and its not so much that they’re laughing at you, its that your’re laughing at yourself.

About the author

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Related: Fascism Thrives On Misinformation

Posted by Elvis on 04/29/22 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America • Section Spiritual Diversions
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Fascism Thrives on Misinformation

image: truth doesnt mind  being questioned

Fascism happens when a society falls into sudden, fresh poverty. In particular, when it holds debts it can’t repay - and the result is widespread economic stagnation. A feeling of discontentment and hopelessness become pervasive. SOCIAL BONDS FRAY. Trust collapses. A society is hanging together by a thread. Elites, whose status and prestige will be lost if they admit they’ve mismanaged society, don’t - and so the VICIOUS CYCLE OF POVERTY AND DESPAIR SIMPLY THUNDERS ON.

Soon enough, in the vacuum, DEMAGOGUE ARISES, who blames the economic woes of the true and the pure on those it’s easiest to scapegoat. Long-hated, powerless minorities. “We will be Great Again!,” he cries. “All you must do is annihilate the subhumans.” His flock - long ignored and derided by elites as the cause of their own problems, now have someone else to blame, to demonize. Those who they’ve hated for generations, usually, anyways. Bang! The fascist spark is lit. The rest is history.
- Fascist Implosion

To convert feeling-based MISINFORMATION into reliable information, one must think consciously about whether the information was derived from reliable processes.
- How Feelings Can Deliver Misinformation

In the end, this bullying will be used by social media platforms, which are integrated into the state security and surveillance organs, not to promote, as its supporters argue, civility, but ruthlessly silence dissidents, intellectuals, artists and independent journalism.  Once you control what people say you control what they think.

They silence, with the enthusiastic assistance of the digital platforms in Silicon Valley, those who are crushed and deformed by systems of oppression and those who lack their finely developed politesse and deference to linguistic fashion. They are the useful idiots of corporate power and the emerging police state. Cancel culture is not the road to reform. It is the road to tyranny.
- Democracy Hollowed Out Part 41 - Misinformation

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Democracy requires real information that fascism rejects.

By Tyler Woods
Psychology Today
January 21, 2022

Fascism Thrives on Misinformation

Fascists use misinformation about history, identity, leaders, conspiracies, and destiny to gain and retain power.

Democracy requires replacing misinformation by real information by using critical thinking, motivational interviewing, and political action.

DEMOCRACY DEPENDS ON REAL INFORMATION that people need to make good decisions about their governments and society. For example, voting for political candidates requires evaluating their claims about how they will deal with economic problems, where evaluation requires information about both the candidates and the economy. Fascism opposes democracy in demanding autocratic government by charismatic leaders assisted by violence. Fascists use misinformation about history, identity, leaders, conspiracies, and destiny to gain and retain power. Replacing misinformation with real information is therefore crucial for retaining democracy and fighting fascism.

Real Information Differs from Misinformation

Real information is true, accurate, and valuable, whereas MISINFORMATION is false, inaccurate, and misleading. Information results from four general processes: acquisition from the world, inference that extends knowledge beyond the world to identify causal relations, memory that stores and retrieves information, and spread of information among people.

When these processes are done well, the result is real information that represents facts about the world, derived by reliable acquisition methods such as perception, systematic observations, and controlled experiments. Evidence so acquired can be extended by inference methods such as careful causal reasoning that identifies the best explanation of observed correlations. Real information can be retained by reliable storage and retrieval, and spread by careful communications practices in which people evaluate the credibility of messages before sending them to others and evaluate messages sent by others before believing them. Unfortunately, misinformation abounds because these practices are violated.

Fascism Exploits Misinformation

Fascism relies on five kinds of misinformation to ensure that people are well-controlled, rather than acting democratically in their own interests.

Mythic past. Leaders such as Mussolini and Hitler talked of a made-up time when their nations were great in ways that they pretend to recover.

Glorious leader. The autocrat deserves control because of the infallible ability to always make good decisions.

National and racial superiority. Nationalism is justified because foreigners, minorities, and immigrants are inherently inferior to the predominant national or racial identity.

Dangerous threats. Violent actions are required to protect the nation from contrived conspiracies.

Inevitable destiny. The nation, under its autocratic leader, is guaranteed to have a magnificent future.

These convictions are made up for political purposes and have no evidence acquired from interactions with the world by perception, systematic observation, or controlled experiments. Evaluations and inferences are based only on autocrats goals rather than on acquired evidence.

Misinformation spreads because politicians exploit peoples’ susceptibility to MOTIVATED INFERENCE and thought-distorting EMOTIONS such as fear, anger, and hatred. Early twentieth-century fascists could only spread misinformation slowly, through print, radio, movies, and rallies, but today misinformation is rapidly and effectively transmitted by social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, whose algorithms value emotional engagement and advertising revenue over truth and democracy.

Defending Democracy

How can democracy resist the threats posed by fascist uses of misinformation? The most promising strategies are MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING, and political action. Critical thinking is a two-step process of error detection followed by remedial reasoning. Error detection draws on psychological research on inferential biases and philosophical work on fallacies to identify mistakes made in support of misinformation. For example, myths about a splendid history, eminent leader, or guaranteed destiny can be identified as based on motivated inference that supports personal goals rather than on objective evidence. Claims about national and racial superiority can be marked as faulty causal inferences. Incendiary claims about threats from internal and foreign conspiracies can be assessed as based on fear rather than evidence.

Once thinking errors are detected, remedial reasoning can use reliable forms of evidence collection and inference to supplant misinformation. Sound historical research can debunk claims about a mythic past and undermine clams of inevitable destiny. Careful causal reasoning can replace unsubstantiated claims about national and racial superiority with evidence-based assessments. Judicious applications of inference to the best explanation of good evidence can revise assessments of autocratic infallibility and conspiracy dangers. Hence the one-two punch of error detection plus remedial reasoning can help to transform misinformation into real information.

Unfortunately, critical thinking is not always effective in changing peoples minds, which are as much driven by emotional values as they are by perception and cognition. A second strategy is MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING, which uses empathy and support rather than critical thinking. It could be used against fascism through the following subtle interventions.

Understanding people’s political concerns by asking them open-ended questions and empathizing with their fears and insecurities.

Being affirmative, reflective, and non-judgmental about their concerns.

Identifying discrepancies between peoples current and desired behaviors, such as treating people equally rather than with nationalist or racist prejudice.

Summarizing the issues and informing people while respecting their autonomy.

Whether motivational interviewing could be used to draw people away from fascist-supporting misinformation remains to be empirically determined. But studies should be done to determine whether it can work in combination with critical thinking or independently to help people adhere to democratic values in the face of fascist threats.

The third strategy is that of political action to change society in ways that retard the spread of misinformation. The USA and other countries are currently reviewing legislation to make social media responsible for ensuring that accuracy is more important than inflammability in how information is transmitted. Another democracy-supporting political action is to use legislative and judicial means to support fair voting rules, for example blocking laws that make it hard for some groups of people to vote or that dilute their voting power by gerrymandering electoral districts. Fair voting procedures are essential for ensuring that people have the opportunity to choose representatives based on real information. I hope that a combination of critical thinking, motivational interviewing, and political action can defend democracy against fascist uses of misinformation.

References

Albright, M. (2018). Fascism: A warning. New York: HarperCollins.

Eatwell, R. (2003). Fascism: A history. London: Pimlico.

Stanley, J. (2020). How fascism works: The politics of us and them. New York: Random House.

SOURCE

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Conservatism, Racism, and Fascism Confused
Lets learn the characteristics of fascism.

By Darcia F. Narvaez
Psychology Today
June 7, 2020

Conservatism used to mean the conserving of traditions within a particular community. It emphasized maintaining the long-tested practices of a community. But today’s conservatism is a type of market liberalism. ELSEWHERE I discuss how the term “conservatism” has morphed into a misleading use.

With some in the REPUBLICAN PARTY EMBRACING WHITE NATIONALISTS, elements of fascism have come to the fore. We can see more clearly, too, with the pandemic how President Trump has been displaying them all.

Jason Stanley, in his book, HOW FASCISM WORKS: THE POLITICS OF US AND THEM, describes fascism’s characteristics and what fascist politicians do. He provides extensive examples from world history and national history, showing how a fascist strain has always existed in the USA but arguing that it is especially visible with Trump.

Here are some common features of fascism and some ways they appear in the current political environment.

Create a mythic (ideal) past.

Consider Make America Great Again,” which FOR SOME may effectively mean “white people in charge.” In this view, President Obama could be construed as a violation of fascist beliefs about white dominance.

Rewritereality with propaganda.

Perhaps the first instance of reality distortion for President Trump related to the SIZE OF HIS INAUGURATION CROWD. Trump touts his ADMINISTRATION AS ACCOMPLISHING A GREAT RESPONSE to COVID-19, though the evidence suggests otherwise.

Take an anti-intellectual stance.

Fascist politics work to undermine trust in expertise, education, and language. Only experts or education systems that support the dominant group (usually white males) are acceptable."Whenever fascism threatens, its representatives and facilitators denounce university and schools as sources of ‘Marxist indoctrination,’ the classic bogeyman of fascist politics. Typically used without any connection to Marx or Marxism, the expression is employed in fascist politics as a way to malign equality.” (Stanley, 2018, p. 43)

Rush Limbaugh routinely denounces government, academia, science, and journalism. PRESIDENT TRUMP’S MUZZLING AND FIRNG OF HEALTH EXPERTS is one recent example of the anti-intellectual orientation.

Create a state of unreality where “conspiracy theories and fake news replace reasoned debate” (p. xvii).

Eliminating experts allows the fascist to create a new state of facts, to replace reasoned argument with fears and passions. Phrases like “Lock her up” and “Build the wall” help do that. Innuendo and slander, like birtherism, are not to be taken as facts but as ways to taint the opposition. NEWS THAT TRUMP DOES NOT LIKE (doesn’t put him in a favorable light) he calls “fake.” As Hannah Arendt (1973) noted in THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM, repetition of a coherent narrative convinces those who are guided by imagination, not facts.

Naturalize group differences, establishing a hierarchy of valuing one group over another.

Democracy cannot flourish on a foundation of inequality, not just because of resentment it foments but because it:

“poses a mortal danger to the shared reality required for a healthy liberal democracy. Those who benefit from inequalities are often burdened by certain illusions that prevent them from recognizing the contingency of their privilege. Then inequalities grow particularly stark, these illusions tend to metastasize. What dictator, king or emperor has not suspected that he was chosen by the gods for his role? What colonial power has not entertained delusions of its ethnic superiority, or the superiority of its religion, culture, and way of life, superiority that supposedly justifies its imperial expansions and conquests? In the antebellum American South, whites believed that slavery was a great gift to those who were enslaved.” (Stanley, 2018, p. 76)

Stoke feelings of victimhood in the dominant group.

Reactions to BLACK LIVES MATTER, like “All Lives Matter,” can tap into the feeling that blacks are trying to have more privileges than whites, even though the goal of the BLM movement is equality. Losing a position of superiority, privilege, and dominance, as whites (especially elite whites) have had from the beginning of the nation, can be painful and made to feel like oppression. Thus, SHITE NATIONALISTS find more racism against whites than against blacks.

Fascist politics covers up structural inequality by attempting to invert, misrepresent, and subvert the long hard effort to address it.” (Stanley, 2018, p. 99)

Suggest men are threatened by gender equality.

Among other groups, Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) cast males as victims. Many non-elite white males donӒt have the power of white male elites but thought they would eventually get it by working hard. Instead, they see women and non-white males getting elite positions, which may then feel unjust. THE PRESIDENT CALLS POWERFUL WOMEN DOGS AND SLANDERS THEM in other ways.

Discuss cities as sources of corrupting culture.

Large cities are framed cities as the source of dangerous elements. TRUMP HAS PAINTED AN EXGGERATED PICTURE of danger and desolation in cities.

Emphasize work versus laziness.

In fascist thought, minorities are lazy, whether immigrants, blacks, Jews, or others, and these are seen as people are the poor sucking up the nations resources. Labor unions are targets of fascists for several reasons: they bring together people from different backgrounds, violating the purity of ‘us-versus-them’ ideology, and fascism thrives under vast inequality, which unions threaten. The idea that life is a competition for power undergirds fascism and applies to group competition. Your group can compete but not necessarily succeed or even survive.

The Psychology of Fascist Tendencies

From a psychological perspective, impulses toward fascism rely on our mammalian emotion systems geared for survival - fear, anger, panic (Panksepp, 1998). We are pushed to downshift to a mindset of self-protection. We can “see red” (MacLean, 1990). We can shift into a flow of aggressive speech or action, even moving into mob action, which has been termed a “superorganism” (Bloom, 1995; Cory, 2002). But deep down the cause may be insecurity.

“The pull of fascist politics is powerful. It simplifies human existence, gives us an object, a “them” whose supposed laziness highlights our own virtue and discipline, encourages us to identify with a forceful leader who helps us make sense of the world, whose bluntness regarding the “undeserving” people in the world is refreshing Fascist politics preys on the human frailty that makes our own suffering seem bearable if we know that those we look down upon are being made to suffer more.Ŕ (Stanley, 2018, p. 183)

“Fascist politics lures its audiences with the temptation of freedom from democratic norms while masking the fact that the alternative proposed is not a form of freedom that can sustain a stable nation state and can scarcely guarantee liberty.” (Stanley, 2018, p. 191)

When we are in a self-protective mindset, our perception narrows. We get closed-minded. We see danger all around and look for ways to alleviate our panic. We externalize, acting aggressively, or internalize, withdrawing into frozen depression.

With refugee migrations around the world, fascism is easily triggered by politicians and media. But we have another choice. We can be empathic toward those who are suffering. We can expand our understanding of usӔ to include all of humanity. We can refuse to be bewitched by fascist mythsӔ so we can engage with one another, understanding that we are all flawed, partial in our perceptions and experience, and that “none of us are demons.” (Stanley, 2018, p. 193)

References

Arendt, H. (1973). The origins of totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich.

Bloom, H. (1995). The Lucifer principle. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

Cory, Jr., G.A. (2002). Reappraising MacLean’s triune brain concept. In G.A. Cory, Jr., & R. Gardner, Jr. (Eds.), The evolutionary neuroethology of Paul MacLean: Convergences and frontiers (pp. 9-30). Westport, CT: Praeger.

About the Author

Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

SOURCE

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Fact and Fiction

Posted by Elvis on 04/29/22 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Spiritual Diversions
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Sunday, March 20, 2022

Psychogenic Death

image: wish i were dead

I’ve THOUGHT about and WRITTEN about SUICIDE so many times, that it’s HARD TO DECIDE if I’m a whiner like teenagers that slit their wrists for attention, or deserve a medal for fighting the urge to kill myself year after year.
- Lost All Hope, 2018

LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT is a terrible TRAUMA. Especially when you’re a single middle-class-turned-poor American fearing a retirement of hunger and homelessness.  When it lingers for years - and the universe DOESN’T OPEN A DOOR to help yourself out - all the self help tricks to try to get your head on strait - fail. Even hope turns to resentment after a while.  Your friends give up on you.  That’s my experience anyway.  And now I’m pretty old - maybe too old to work.  Despondency crushed my spirit, I lost the will to live years ago, and came close to suicide.  If we can will ourselves to death, I’d have been gone long ago.

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You can die simply by giving up the will to live, suggests new research
The five stages of psychogenic death aka, “give-up-itis.”

By Paul Ratner
Big Think
October 2, 2018

Can you die simply by giving up the will to live? Yes, concludes a new study, led by Dr. John Leach from the University of Portsmouth in the UK.

The first-of-its-kind study looked at the phenomenon of “give-up-itis” a word used for what is medically known as “psychogenic death.”

How is this possible? The research says “give-up-itis” can be catalyzed by a trauma that seems inescapable, with death appearing as a rational and inevitable thing to do. Without an interference, death can happen in as little as three days after the initial withdrawal from life.

What’s important to note about this condition is that it’s not the same as suicide.

“Psychogenic death is real,” said Dr. Leach. It isn’t suicide, it isn’t linked to depression, but the act of giving up on life and dying usually within days, is a very real condition often linked to severe trauma.”

The doctor thinks give-up-itis could be caused by a change in the anterior cingulate circuit - a frontal-subcortical circuit of the brain, which controls motivation and the person’s goal-oriented behavior.

Severe trauma might trigger some people’s anterior cingulate circuit to malfunction, explained Dr. Leach. “Motivation is essential for coping with life and if that fails, apathy is almost inevitable.”

But death does not have to be inevitable even if you fall victim to “give-up-itis.” Different INTERVENTIONS LIKE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY that can give the person some sense of regaining choice and control can break the terrible cycle by releasing dopamine.

Dr. Leach identified five stages of progressing psychological decline leading to death.

1. Social withdrawal - this usually follows a psychological trauma and can be considered a way of coping, according to Dr. Leach. This very passive state is marked by withdrawal from social interaction, emotionlessness, indifference, and self-absorption. Former POWs are often in this state right after being captured.

2. Apathy a person in this state exhibits serious melancholy and LACK OF ENERGY, as if they no longer wish to preserve themselves. This goes along with not putting forth efforts towards much of anything, especially bathing.

3. Aboulia - this is when a person not only severely lacks motivation, but also has almost no emotional response to the point of no wanting to speak. The sufferer becomes extremely withdrawn into themselves and has no desire or ability to help themselves or others.

Dr. Leach described aboulia as if having “an empty mind” or a consciousness devoid of content. THE MIND ESSENTIALLY GOES ON STANDBY.

4. Psychic akinesia - this state is reached when a person is conscious but is in such profound apathy that even extreme pain like from getting hit will prompt no response. A person in psychic akinesia would not only not bathe but often just lie in their own waste, found the researchers.

5. Psychogenic death - this final stage involves the person’s complete giving up and subsequent disintegration. Dr.Leach said that someone who reached this stage might be lying in their own excreta and nothing - no warning, no beating, no pleading can make them want to live.

Prisoners in concentration camps were known to reach this last stage when they’d take out a hidden cigarette to smoke. As cigarettes were extremely valuable and could be traded for things like food, a person smoking one was regarded as having truly given up. Their death would usually follow within several days.

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Posted by Elvis on 03/20/22 •
Section Spiritual Diversions • Section Personal
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Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. - Flavia Weedn

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