social dominators

Religious Authoritarians IV: The Seven Mountains and Spiritual Warfare

“Having observed politics up close and personal for most of my adult lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism may have been the key ingredient in the transformation of the Republican Party. Politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes—at least in the minds of its followers—all three of the GOP’s main tenets: wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war.”

Mike Lofgren, a Republican and former Congressional stafferThe Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted


Frederick Clarkson from the online journal public eye wrote an in-depth study of Christian Recontructionism and its twin: Dominionism in 1994. He concluded that the latter sought to: “… replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of ‘Biblical Law,’ ” where by the adopting tactics of stealth and deception the movement wishes to penetrate:

“… labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools.” According to Clarkson this would make way for a New Order of Christian citizens where: “Women would be generally relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment [to] blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality.”

In other words, the overriding objective is to “Rule the world for God.”

Sound familiar?

It’s just another form of psychopathy seeding and exploiting its potential for a genetic drive anyway it can, which is why according to one Dominionist: “… it is very important that mature Christians have a majority of leadership positions whenever possible, God willing.” [1]

kingdom of Satan

“Seven Mountains of the Christian Industrial Complex – fanaticforjesus.blogspot.co.uk/

The Seven Mountains of Dominionism (7DM) a nested brand within Dominionism pathology

The father of Christian Recontructionism the late R.J. Rushdoony helped establish Dominionism through various individuals in the 1980s and 1990s, most notably through his son-in-law Gary North, Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, Gary Bauer, Herb Titus, the former Dean of Robertson’s Regent University School of Public Policy Charles Colson and a coterie of television and radio evangelists too numerous to mention. Communism and humanism were the evils to be thwarted and there needed to be a new political dispensation formulated if they were to be successful.

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R.J. Rushdoony

From the 1970s onwards fundamentalist, Evangelical and Pentecostal camps jumped aboard the Dominionist train travelling widely across the whole religious ecology of America, picking up tens of thousands of passengers. This was partly due to the colonisation of TV and radio by evangelist preachers, in particular Pat Robertson who, as Katherine Yurica explains: “mobilized the millions of politically indifferent and socially despised Pentecostals and fundamentalists in America and turned them into an angry and potent army of political conquerors.” This resulted in Roman Catholics and Episcopalians joining the ranks in increasing numbers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. [2]  [3]

The politicizing of the fundamentalist cause was a great moral boost for its members who had been shunned by most normal thinking people as several packets short of a biscuit. Robertson gave them teeth and the ability to wield power as never before. As the media began to make inroads into satellite TV and talk show coverage, publishing saw the revival as another lucrative market. By tapping into the already simmering fears of the religious right and giving it a political imperative, End Times Dominionism became like a pyramid scheme where the more you evangelised the more money was made. it meant that every “sin” that was committed was for the greater glory of God and thus permitted. It also meant new Cults of Dominionism were cropping up such as the overtly fascistic Seven Mountains brand mentioned above. It’s allure lay in the fact that it calls out the “evil doers” and Satan’s wiley ways while using exactly the same methods for inculcating its flock and not just using twists on Old Testament theology. It uses real world applications across all domains of society.

By pointing the historical finger at forms of fascism and indicating where they went wrong, 7MD simply replaces the labels with its own lexicon. This overtly religious fascism is far more potent and appealing than any of the corporate and political forms of fascism since it’s perceived Divine imperative transcends any notion of human interference. It is God’s will flowing each and every elected “instrument” which has given himself over to such a power. Dominionism of this kind traverses it ALL with politics at the very centre of religious aspirations.  But such a New World needed an educated (brainwashed) flock so Universities and schools were organised, predicated on Fundamentalist / Dominionist principles in order to furnish a plentiful supply of the blindly faithful. To that end: “Robertson’s Regent University was given a $100 million endowment.” [4]

One of the most popular Evangelists was the late Billy Graham, the respected and world famous preacher, who was immensely influential in mid-town America. He once told an audience on the 700 Club show that: “The time has come when evangelicals are going to have to think about getting organized corporately … I’m for evangelicals running for public office and winning if possible and getting control of the Congress, getting control of the bureaucracy, getting control of the executive branch of government. I think if we leave it to the other side we’re going to be lost. I would like to see every true believer involved in politics in some way shape or form.” [5]

billy_graham

Rev. Billy Graham

Psychopathy is nothing if not adaptable. While criticising your foe you can use tactical and strategic tools to cloak it with religious values.

The modern cult of Religion: nothing like cornering the market …

Since the CIA has traditionally been associated with the religious right it is well within their scope to crank up the fanatical fever with suitable bribes and selective blackmailing. However, if a little more energy is needed to increase the momentum of such movements, such tactics are generally not needed. The decidedly Machiavellian approach of the Dominionists in using every tactic to gain control of the state is sourced from the belief that the spiritual elect are destined to lead since they automatically perceived as perfect in their roles. Whatever evil the Dominionist Christian perpetrates, it is permitted as part of God’s Divine Plan. It is here that the Neo-Conservatives and Straussian philosophy fits neatly into theocratic designs. Though traditionally associated with Zionism, the Neo-Cons and Republican right-wingers have all shapes and sizes catering for RWAs, Double High Social Dominators. As has been mentioned, “The end justifies the means” was an ethos powerful exemplified in the Bush-Cheney administration and represented a serious tearing of the fabric of the American Republic. These tears in the political fabric have allowed new and more dangerous brands of extremism to slink into the mainstream.

The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) the Neo-Conservative think tank was effectively a homage to Machiavelli, a figure whose political stratagems played a decisive role in the invasion of Iraq, the chaos inflicted on Syria, Libya, and now the pressing desire to tackle Iran. The Bush Administration did perhaps more than any other US government to allow the Christian right and Jewish Messianism a firm foothold in the corridors of power.

Neo-Con Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the right-wing think tank the American Enterprise Institute and one for whom the Bush Administration’s Karl Rove consulted on a regular basis, pre-Iraq and post 9/11. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld also found Ledeen’s ideas seductive. But perhaps the real coup arrived when Dominionism hitched a ride on the coat-tails of such people as Paul Wolfowitz who was to become the architect of Neo-Zionist Conservatism or “Zio-Conservatism” which took Dominionism to whole new level.

Ledeen best represents the kind of modern religious crusade mentality that is rationalised and justified through Machiavellian discourse. He even wrote a book about it in 1999 entitled: Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago. In it he states quite happily: “In order to achieve the most noble accomplishments, the leader may have to ‘enter into evil.’ This is the chilling insight that has made Machiavelli so feared, admired, and challenging. It is why we are drawn to him still…” [6]

And by “we” Ledeen means the Neo-Conservatives who have shown that evil is certainly no impediment to desire. Indeed, its very embodiment seems to materialise with remarkable ease, which is why he either doesn’t care or cannot see that evil multiplies exponentially by believing that: “… there are circumstances when only doing evil ensures the victory of a good cause.” It is precisely when good is being transformed into evil that the desired end ‘cause’ can only produce more evil. The ends do not justify the means – the means become the end in itself. But Ledeen is salivating at the prospect when he reveals: “Practicing deceit to fulfil your heart’s desire might be not only legitimate, but delicious![7]

Of course, the hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed families might have a slightly different take on the results of Mr. Leeden’s worldview.

Surprising as it may be, the principles of Machiavelli, Neo-Conservatism and an inversion of Christianity are actually creating a form of existential Satanism. Recall “Do what thou wilt under the Law,” the much quoted maxim from the Book of Thelma an occult treatise on Satanic Law written by Aleister Crowley. This keeps cropping up because it is drawn from exactly the same life philosophy and is merely an occult adjunct to the definition of: “the ends justify the means.”

As we continue, the reader will see how repeated instances of psychopathy will occur again and again under the most seemingly innocuous and unlikely of labels. In this context, journalist Katherine Yurica describes Pat Robertson’s propaganda where his:

“… transcribed television interviews and dialogs give shocking evidence to the legitimization of greed, hatred, violence and cruelty by members of the various fundamentalist branches of the American clergy and by elected officials of the Republican Party, which can be cited as evidence that Dominionism is not a Christian religion – that above everything else, Dominionism is synonymous with Machiavellianism: the ends justify the means. Under Dominionism, true Christianity is a target to destroy, not a goal to achieve.” [8]

Not only that, the populations within such a rise of theocratic power better be sure that they are followers of God because the mix of Neo-Conservative politics, corporatism and now Dominionism is a grave danger when it reaches positions of power.

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Michael A. Leeden

Yurica draws our attention to the Bible and the much perused passage for Dominionists in Romans 13 where she states:

“… it can be read to mean that any lawful government is ordained by God to execute retribution and punishment upon those who challenge (resist or rebel against) unjust policies of a government. When read this way, it takes on a new and sinister meaning. Or, it can be read to mean that once a new government of the United States of America has been established under biblical law – then no citizen will have the right to resist it or rebel against its edicts. In other words, the Declaration of Independence will no longer be applicable to the regency established by the Dominionists.” [9]

Central to Dominionism is the mandate of The Seven Mountains a tool by which Dominionists can exercise complete control over not only politics but every domain of society. Founder Loren Cunningham and his YWAM or “Youth with a Mission” organisation states that: “every culture has seven areas of influence that mould the minds of the culture and shape the culture’s future.” The seven mind molders or mountains are said to be: Government; Economic & Business, Education; Art & Media; Science & Technology; Family and Religious. YWAM has an estimated 20,000 full-time workers in 171 countries, with YWAM Global Leadership Team (GLT) and advisers to the Team 3 leadership of YWAM International. [10]

While the Neo-Conservative think-tankers are happy to let the Dominionist philosophy ride their slipstream, it is tailor-made for the Republican religious right in general, and as of 2010, it seems to have merged quite comfortably into their ranks. Virtually every religious leader in the US has no problem with Seven Mountains theology, despite its theocratic basis. Indeed, one of the many spellbinders of Seven Mountains ideology who’s had particular success is Dr. Lance Wallnau. He has a strong presence on the internet showing his video presentations where he leaps about in front of his white board with magic marker in hand. He even believes that Seven Mountain Dominionism is the answer to the Occupy Wall St. phenomena.

Have a read of this transcript from one of his youtube.com videos and see if you agree:

Most believers on the Earth are more frightened at the prospect of taking on the insurmountable giants represented by the mountains near them in their nations. They’re more intimidated by trying to take possession of what is an opposition that has strength and fortification in the natural, from the IRS, to Hollywood, to whatever. Most believers are afraid, so they create a theology that eliminates the responsibility for having to take territory and rather focuses on just getting people saved so that when Jesus comes back he can repopulate the Earth with people that are followers and let him take over the planet.

There is just a little problem with that: the little problem is Heaven is his throne and the Earth is the footstool of his feet and he was told that he was to sit at the Father’s right hand until God made his enemies a footstool for his feet, which means He doesn’t come back until He’s accomplished the dominion of nations.

The point is this: God wants to have the tabernacle at the top of every one of these spheres. You want to know what the spheres are that shape a nation? This is how you take a nation: you have to get into the family – that is why same-sex marriage such a demonic agenda … because who ever shapes the family mountain shapes the idea of what culture is for a man and wife. You got to get into the education mountain, you know why? Because whoever’s ideology is shaping that little kid when he’s a child, by the time he’s 19, hey for all you know he could become part of the Hitler Youth movement and die for the Fuhrer. Hitler basically knew that if he educated them as kids, he’d have them as sons to go fight for him. Government mountain where your laws get legislated. Media mountain where the truth is debated. And the arts mountain which is where sports and creativity come along, and we’ve got business and finance. Is it possible that there are seven sovereign spheres of authority?

By the way, that’s how you take nations. It’s the only way you take nations. There has never been a nation taken as the result of an evangelism harvest. Shocking but true. Believers don’t know these things, which is why we get in trouble.

You realize that when you have 8 per cent of a population, that’s the key. 8 per cent, that’s all it takes. 8 per cent, according to the Center for Religious and Diplomacy, practice Jihad. 8 per cent, according to the research of James Davidson Hunter, are doing the same sex marriage initiative, You’ve got 80 per cent Jews, Catholics, Protestants, 35 per cent of Evangelicals, even Mormons – you have a very broad constituency of 85-90 per cent of the American population is not for same-sex marriage. How is it that 7 per cent can impose their agenda on the other 90 per cent? It’s not because we don’t have enough converts to an idea – it’s because when Satan is shrewder in his own generation than the Sons of Light, he makes sure that he has his prophets of Baal at the high places. So what you have is a well-positioned 8 per cent whose agenda is working with the will of Principalities and Powers while Christians are in pursuit of the supernatural or glory or prosperity, but they’re missing the apostolic assignment. They’re to take over spheres and administer them for the glory of God.. [11] [Emphasis mine]

For right-wing fundies, it doesn’t occur to them that replacing one trenchant authority with another isn’t the answer either. In fact, what this man is talking about is derived from exactly the same source as fascism from the overtly religious path. The “glory of God” in this context justifies literally anything. Again, it is a familiar pattern which has explained away genocide, atrocity and torture for greater good. And since we are talking about this Divine Glory then then there is no limitation as to what will be acceptable for ushering in such a New World. And what a wonderful tool for Pathocracy to hijack.

As usual, Wallnau can’t (or chooses not to) see past his own love of authority and the desire to please God his Father, that he will do whatever it takes to “conquer nations.” Just like Lt. General Jerry Boykin and his ilk if a professed “Jesus” put a gun in his hands and asked him to use it on his behalf – would he do it? Very possibly but he’d prefer that the gullible Christian hanging on his every NLP-soaked lecture to do it for him.

Transforming culture and enacting “spiritual warfare” is not just forcing what they consider to be love down everyone’s throats it is the overt militarisation and indoctrination of radical conservatism under the guise of religious compassion which if present at all, will take a distant back seat to authoritarianism and very quickly totalitarianism. Democracy is seen as an obstacle to divine intervention and once such people have control of the judiciary, which appears more likely by the day, then there is nothing to stop them instituting selective Biblical laws whereby heresy, so-called “terrorism” homosexuality, and other “un-Christian” practices are worthy of the death penalty. The laws are still there and all it takes is a sufficient “emergency” to reinstate them.  [12]

If a majority of Dominionists find their way into the US government then it spells the definitive end for democracy, civil liberties and any kind of social welfare at all. This – in combination with many other pathocratic wannabees – are currently dictating the political and social mores of contemporary America.

What takes down America will then be the factional squabbling between religious fanatics with their fingers on nuclear buttons, busy trying to save themselves on a rapture train that was never anywhere near the compassionate and loving face of God, but fixed purely on his entropic twin sun, seducing those with a satanic energy which has always offered an easy ride to those who were blind to their own shadows.

 


Notes

[1] ‘Christian Reconstructionism: Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence’ by Frederick Clarkson The Public Eye Magazine, Vol. VIII, Nos. 1 & 2, March/June 1994.
[2] op. cit. Yurica.
[3] ‘Moses Law for Modern Government: The Intellectual and Sociological Originsof the Christian Reconstructionist Movement,’ By J. Ligon Duncan, III . Premise, Vol. II Number 5, May 27, 1995.
[4] op. cit. Yurica
[5] Bare Naked Truth on the Religious Right By Stanley Tallitsch Published by Author House 2005. | ISBN:1-4208-9570-2. (p.110)
[6] Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago. By Michael L. Ledeen. Published by Truman Talley Books, St. Martin’s Griffin, N.Y.1999. (p.91)
[7] Ibid. Ledeen (p.95)
[8] op. cit. Yirica
[9] Ibid.
[10] http://www.ywam.org
[11] ‘Lance Wallnau Lays Out Seven Mountains Dominionism’ YouTube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAP5mQ6Kgtw
[12] This is how Romans 13 reads in the New English Version: “Every person must submit to the supreme authorities. There is no authority but by act of God, and the existing authorities are instituted by him; consequently anyone who rebels against authority is resisting a divine institution, and those who so resist have themselves to thank for the punishment they will receive. For government, a terror to crime, has no terrors for good behaviour. You wish to have no fear of the authorities? Then continue to do right and you will have their approval, for they are God’s agents working for your good. But if you are doing wrong, then you will have cause to fear them; it is not for nothing that they hold the power of the sword, for they are God’s agents of punishment, for retribution on the offender. That is why you are obliged to submit. It is an obligation imposed not merely by fear of retribution but by conscience. That is also why you pay taxes. The authorities are in God’s service and to these duties they devote their energies.”
This section, if taken literally as fundamentalists are apt to do, appears to prohibit any kind of resistance against the policies of a government, including peaceful protests, petitions, and writings. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia appears to endorse that position, for he quoted this same Romans 13 passage in his article, ‘God’s Justice and Ours,’ to prove that Christian doctrine states ‘government – however you want to limit that concept – derives its moral authority from God.’ Government is not only the ‘minister of God’ but it has the authority to ‘execute God’s wrath.’
The power of the sword is surely the power to kill or maim and certainly the power to intimidate. Scalia believes the power of the sword in this passage is “unmistakably a reference to the death penalty.”
At this point, Scalia demonstrates the absolute brilliance of the judicial rule created by Neo-Conservatives that requires a judge to determine the “original intent” of the writers of the Constitution. As Scalia himself describes it, ‘The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead… It means today not what current society… thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.’
When I first read articles by authors who were exposing the Dominionists’ intention to extend the death penalty to cover ‘crimes’ like adultery, rebelliousness, homosexuality, witchcraft or effeminateness, I found the death penalty extension goal to be laughable. It couldn’t be done in America.
I was wrong. I now realize that we are very close to seeing the Dominionists achieve their goal. All they need to do is to appoint a majority of judges who will adhere to the “dead Constitution” construction rule of Scalia (or what Harry Jaffa called ‘the original intent’ construction rule). At the point when the Dominionist’s control the judiciary – that judiciary can roll back America’s body of legal jurisprudence to a century or more ago as Law Professor Patricia J. Williams pointed out.
Scalia spilled the beans in his article, ‘God’s Justice and Ours’ when he explained how he would determine whether the death penalty is constitutional or not. His reasoning goes like this: since the death penalty was ‘clearly permitted when the Eighth Amendment [which prohibits ‘cruel and unusual punishments’] was adopted,’ and at that time the death penalty was applied for all felonies – including, for example, the felony of horse-thieving, ‘so it is clearly permitted today.’
All a willing Dominionist Republican controlled congress need do to extend the death penalty to those people who practice witchcraft, adultery, homosexuality, heresy, etcetera, is to find those particular death penalty laws existing as of November 3, 1791, and re-instate them. No revolution is required. That’s why the battle over Bush’s judicial appointments is so crucial to the future of the America we know and love. And that’s why the clock is running out on freedom loving Americans.
Scalia himself appears to be a Dominionist, for he believes that Romans 13 represents the correct view – that government authority is derived from God and not from the people; he asserts his view was the consensus of Western thought until recent times. Like Pat Robertson, he laments that the biblical perspective was upset by “the emergence of democracy.” – Katherine Yurica: ‘The Dominionism Apostasy: The Despoiling of America by Christianity turned Evil’ The Yurica Report Wed, 11 Feb 2004.
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Religious Authoritarianism III: Dominionism and the Second Coming

“When Jesus Comes Back, He’ll Be Carrying An AR-15 Assault Rifle.”

– Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin


Data from 2005 showed that over 33 per cent of religious adherents of the world are practicing Christians, followed by Islam at 20 per cent and Hinduism at 13 per cent. That’s a sizable chunk of the planet’s population. Roughly 4.5 million Americans consider themselves Christian and within those mostly law-abiding and benevolent citizens there lies a growing problem. [1]

2012 saw a veritable hysteria of Christian fundamentalists, Jewish Messianics, and Islamists busy gnashing their teeth, wagging fingers and generally frothing at the mouth from various pulpits and podiums that we were all hopelessly lost in decadence and destined for a fiery descent into their respective cultural hells. Now that 2012 has come and gone it seems the anticipation on the part of the religious right has ascended to stratospheric levels. Ordinarily, we can switch channels, avoid barmy internet forums and simply walk on by as the righteous attempt to save our souls with yet another gaudy pamphlet proclaiming a Second Coming.

But there’s a hitch.

Contemporary politics is presently infested with right-wing religious authoritarians (RWAs) determined to save themselves by arranging our collective entry into a large global conflagration. They are also busying themselves with fermenting as much carnage as possible in order to make sure that Christ returns for the Big Judgement. The “End Times” and rapture fever have become entrenched in the United States and they mean to do everything in their power to drag their Christ back from whatever mythical or spiritual reality he has been hiding.

That means creating the potential for World War III in line with biblical prophecy.

It seems the Christian duty has become a little different to Christ’s message of love and compassion. Rather, they have interpreted scripture to not only believe in the objective reality of these End Times of tribulation but to actively have a hand in creating it. And if that isn’t doing the “devil’s work” then I don’t know what is.

GodGun

© unknown

Fundamentalism or the Christian brand of Religious fanaticism made its presence known in the 19 Century and quickly combined with Millennialism and End Times prophecy to create a formidable belief system whereby fear and authority can exert significant control over the mass mind. Charismatic spellbinders usually take on the task of corralling individuals and playing the father figure to those in need of “punishment” and rigorous discipline to ensure the obedient sit at God’s side. If you think it sounds sado-masochistic then you’d be right: the role of domination and submission is rather similar. The Evangelical priests on TV and Church are roaring at his flock about how terminally wicked they are while the flock in return offers up pots of money in the acceptance of the spiritual “bribe” so that they can to continue to cleanse the world of sin and thus make room for more souls. This is probably why so many priests and preachers – especially on the right wing Republican side – have been caught with their pants down, in the most literal sense.

There are several groupings clamouring to be heard as the true word of God. British Dispensationalism was one of the most influential in its sales pitch of judgement day and “End Times” rhetoric. Revelation was revealed in stages or “Dispensations” each of which characterised a period of tribulation and all-round mayhem for those who had strayed from the path of righteousness. Which meant that anything that was not in the Bible was the Devil’s work and those not part of the in-crowd of believers were automatically Satan’s groupies. According to the Book of Revelations the final battle of Armageddon would see the return of Christ descending gently to earth surrounded by a host of angels, bent on saving dutiful Christians and ready to preside over a New Spiritual Order. This could only take place when humanity had been suitably culled so that only the righteous are left to experience the waiting Eden of milk and honey.

Underpinning these visions was the doctrine of inerrancy on the part of the Bible which, as it was the word of God, was therefore beyond error. The fact that human beings were fallible and remain so didn’t seem to feature. As we have discussed, reason plays no part at all in fundamentalism only insofar it can be useful in reaffirming belief and the avoidance of uncomfortable facts. Rather like Zionism which uses the meme of anti-Semitism to avoid criticism, so too the fundamentalists see the Bible as synonymous with God and thus beyond critical analysis or reproach. Thus an empty mind instead of an open mind is mandatory. Similarly, the Catholic Church and the Vatican acting as the All-Seeing Eye of redemption offers its own brand of millennialism, dispensing Papal edicts and declarations as a download from God and therefore beyond contention. Those who do not agree with the magisterium are condemned to a fiery hell by God’s unending compassion.[2]

By the start of the twentieth Century these beliefs had evolved into a broader synthesis of dogma which meant that all the Biblical accounts, the Virgin Birth; feeding of the five thousand, the creation of the earth in Genesis, the bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ etc., were not allegorical or elaborate teaching myths – they were literal truths. The development of what came to be known as Creationism in the 1920s was in direct response to the wildly popular theories of Darwinism which caused a major revival in evangelical preaching and “reaching out” to save souls from Satan’s encroachment.

The End Times (or the Eschaton) describes a period of conflict and global war leading to a redemptive transformation (usually for a select group) which is prophesied in most major religions. For Jews, the End times or “End of Days” refers to a Messianic Age, where the exiled Jewish diaspora will be gathered in to the promised land of Israel to reclaim their spiritual birth right. Under the coming of the Mashiach, olam haba, a resurrection of the Tsadikim or “righteousness” will take place.  Christianity’s take is much the same, with added ingredients of the Anti-Christ emerging just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and his gathering in the righteous faithful during the Great Tribulation. [3] Islamist belief concurs and describes its own version of a “Christ” or the al-Mahdi who will preside over the Day of Judgement or Yawm al-Qiyāmah; to vanquish the Masih ad-Dajjall (Anti-Christ) and send the faithful into paradise.

Christian fundamentalism, along with ultra-orthodox Judaism, is in danger of comprehensively wresting control of the United States military and political processes. Christian Reconstructionism advocates a Calvinist, right-wing, capitalist belief, laden with theocratic overtones. This movement has helped to introduce the concept of “Dominionism” which demands activism within civic society but most importantly, the domination of the political process as mandated by God. it is a belief that characterises Protestant Christian Evangelicals and Right-wing Fundamentalists in the United States and is best summarised by a passage from the Bible, Genesis 1:26:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (King James Version). And further: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” (New International Version).

While most of us would interpret this to mean that Christians can choose to live as benign helpers and caretakers of the animal kingdom as well as humanity, the authoritarian personality will read this to mean that they should dominate and control secular institutions in order to suitably prepare the ground for Christ’s return – getting a huge kick out of it in the process. [4]

nuclear_explosions_mushroom_cloud

The Dominionist’s Version of Peace on Earth

While Dominionists all believe that straying from the literal word of the Bible has meant the rise of immorality and sin best expressed by liberalism of any kind, the real threat within dominionism comes from the hardliners and Social Dominators (psychopaths) who see theocracy as the only way forward. And that means authoritarianism leading to totalitarianism under the name of God which just about characterises every genocide, atrocity and military conquest of the last two thousand years. But because authoritarians have no capacity to understand the relevance of history these basic flaws in their theocratic wet dreams are quickly brushed under the carpet of the sub-conscious. What remains is the constant anticipation of a black and white, dangerously simplistic framework of good and evil. Again, Bush’s “If you’re not with us you’re with the terrorists” drivel was particularly delicious for the Dominionists. Hence, when you read Dominionist literature one may understand why Social Dominators are immediately attracted to the concept as it resonates with their perception of reality, whether they are in the military, preaching from a pulpit or strutting around Congress: the theme of domination – to carve out their own spiritual dominion – is at the core of their actions.

Dominionism easily aligns with the beliefs of Social Darwinism (eugenics) which is why it is so useful to the Conservative Establishment. Such beliefs indicates the amount of inversion which has occurred within fundamentalist Christianity and how it veers towards the ultimate and tragic irony of being more akin to Satanism than any compassionate and inclusive doctrine. That has to be the greatest irony to beat them all, yet it is precisely this kind of deception that the Bible warns about, where the “very elect” will be deceived.

Journalist Katherine Yurica describes it in much the same way. Like the old Levitical priests of Babylon, the Dominionists assign great importance to wealth and power as a sign of God’s blessing.

She notes:

“… out of the masses of people and the multitude of nations – wealth, in and of itself, is thought to indicate God’s approval on men and nations whereas poverty and sickness reflect God’s disapproval. The roots of the idea come from a natural twist of an Old Testament passage, … Essentially there were two elements necessary to establish Dominionism among Christians who previously believed helping the poor was a mandate of Christianity.

First, Old Testament law had to be accepted as an essential part of a Christian’s theology.

Secondly, the Christian had to undergo a second conversion-like experience that went beyond being born again and demanded not only a commitment to reestablishing the Old Testament legal structure but required the implementation of that law in the nations of the world (including the U.S.) based upon a different understanding of the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20).[50] Under this concept Dominionists are to go into all the world to take dominion and ‘make disciples’ teaching the disciples to ‘observe all’ that Jesus ‘commanded.’ All nations under Dominionist’s teaching are to convert to biblical laws, which are ranked superior to secular laws that were not God given or God directed and are found wanting. The Christian therefore must be willing to overthrow all laws that are secular. In other words, a measure of one’s spirituality rested upon the individual’s willingness to accept the concept of taking dominion over not only the people of America, but taking dominion over the people of the entire world.” [5]

And this leads to yet another reprise for Pathocracy where the religious “elect” preside over mere mortals inadequate to the task of transposing God’s Kingdom on earth. As Yurica reminds us: “A Christian who raises his voice against the ‘elect’ could be labeled a ‘false prophet or a dreamer of dreams,’ and therefore, according to the Deuteronomic law ‘shall be put to death.’ ”

This belief in a sort of Divine blessing to wipe out undesirables is the stuff of authoritarian ecstasy and the basis upon which many serious abuses of power are now taking place in the United States. And if you happen to be in the US military then be prepared to be inaugurated into a New Christian Crusade against America’s enemies, which of course, means all Muslims, which are all te’rusts and heathens, so too anyone who claims otherwise …

Former Air Force Judge Advocate General Mikey Weinstein believes there is a Fundamentalist Christian tsunami sweeping through the US military.  He is the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organisation set up to offer support for victims of fundamentalist Christians within the military, seeking to defend against their influence in the Federal Courts and the news media. According to Weinstein, there are four main types of fundamentalist Christians currently making a bad situation much worse:

“The first is virulent anti-Semitism and virulent Islamaphobia. Then you’ve got virulent misogyny, the belief that women should be consigned to preparing food, selecting food, serving food, cleaning up after a meals, spreading their legs, getting pregnant. That’s pretty much it. Then there’s this virulent homophobia. And then, last is a great desire to subordinate what they view as flawed man’s law to this pristine, weaponized gospel of Jesus Christ that they propagate.” [6]

The West’s Middle Eastern Gladio creation that is ISIS has served to stimulate the resurgence of fundamentalism still further. One such example from many jumping on the New Crusade came from U.S. Air Force Colonel Mark H. Slocum, the Commander of Seymour Johnson AFB’s 4th Fighter Wing, who, according to Weinstein, was: “… busy marshaling his officers, enlisted troops and AF civilians stationed at the North Carolina F-15 fighter base to fight the good fight … against ISIS, under the banner of his “Lord’s” heaven.” Soldiers were either none too pleased or whipped up into a bloodlust to rival ISIS itself. If you care to visit Weinstein website you will find many other examples.

In the same vain you have influential individuals like Former Lt. General Boykin who shouldn’t be let anywhere near a blunt object let alone a whole army. A passionate advocate of Dominionism, he advocated a “weaponised gospel of Jesus Christ” with a decidedly aggressive form of attack to be levelled against the non-Christian world with the Second Coming of Jesus delivering the seal of approval for such blood-letting. Such thinking is essentially a form of religious fascism and its taking the Us military by storm.

boykin

Christian Dominionist and former Lt. General Boykin: Dominionist General Preaches: “Weaponized Gospel of Jesus Christ”  A classic Double High or just your garden variety Religious Authoritarian? (wikipedia, public domain)

James D. Parco PhD. writing for Center for Inquiry (CFI) Office of Public Inquiry Washington D.C., wrote a 2013 paper titled:  ‘For God and Country’ introducing some disturbing conclusions regarding the Christian Evangelisation of the U.S. military.

These key findings included:

  • Institutional support for fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity in the military has spread and entrenched since September 11, 2001, beginning in haste during the Bush administration and remaining unchallenged by the Obama administration.

  • Many of the military’s civilian overseers, along with many in the military’s commissioned leadership—to include flag officers, speaking on duty and in uniform—have repeatedly couched the American military’s civic and global role, and American military operations themselves, in the language of Christian religious crusades.

  • Through explicit leadership messaging, senior officers have created cultures and atmospheres of religious sectarianism in their commands and institutions, including the various service academies, even instructing subordinates to partake in actions for the express purpose of Christian evangelizing and proselytizing.

  • Officers who raise concerns about fundamentalist Christian proselytizing … when not ignored completely—have facedreassignment and other punitive actions.

  • Air Force training programs for Nuclear Missile Launch Officers featured Christian ethical justifications for the use of nuclear weapons and quotes from historical figures lauding morality guided specifically by the Bible.

  • To gauge the mental health of Soldiers, the U.S. Army developed and has relied upon a “Spiritual Fitness” evaluation system that leans heavily on theistic religious concepts, and marks as “spiritually” deficient any non-religious or religiously unorthodox Soldier who answers honestly.

  • Fundamentalist evangelical Christian organizations are given preferential access to numerous military installations, including the Pentagon and the various service academies, and have had their activities sanctioned and even promoted—in uniform and on duty—by religiously aligned military leadership.

  • Fundamentalist evangelical Christian organizations have attempted to use the deployed U.S. military as international missionaries, providing units in Afghanistan with Bibles printed in the native Pashto and Dari languages, the distribution of which is in direct violation of standing general orders.

If that doesn’t send chills down the spine I don’t know what would.  In the next post we will dig a little deeper behind the attraction to so many to Fundamentalism and why it has risen to the top of the present American brand of ponerology.

 


Notes

[1] World Religious Adherents data 2005, http://www.wikipedia.com
[2] p.328; Faith, Religion & Theology: A Contemporary Introduction By Brennan Hill, Paul F. Knitter, William Madges. Published by Twenty-Third Publications, 1997. “Catholic fundamentalists, like Protestant fundamentalists, stress the need for an absolute external authority to guid the thinking and decision making of the individual. They do so because of the sinfulness of the human person. Left to his or her own devices, the individual, they feel, will generally make bad judgements. Consequently, individual freedom must be directed by the right authority. In the case of Catholic fundamentlaism, this means literal adherance fully to past tradition, or who have difficulty assenting to every official statement of the hierarchial magisterium, are judged harshly. Such sinners, say fundamentalists, are condemned by God.”
[3] “The Great Tribulation (Greek: θλιψις μεγαλη, thlipsis megalē) refers to tumultuous events that are described during the ‘signs of the times’, first mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet discourse. The Great Tribulation is also referenced in the Book of Revelation.” (Wikipedia)
[4] For more information on Dominionism and its relationship to Christian Reconstructivism please read the excellent Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right By Sara Diamond. Published by Black Rose Books, 1993 | ISBN-10: 0921689640.

[5] ‘The Dominionism Apostasy: The Despoiling of America by Christianity turned Evil’ By Katherine Yurica, The Yurica Report, 11 Feb 2004.

[6] “The Weaponized Gospel of Jesus Christ”: Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on fascists in the US military, By Nick Holt, January 18, 2010. |http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/press-releases/2010/tgr_weaponized.html

Religious Authoritarians II: The Dominators

“I’m a fundamentalist in the true sense. That is to say, I follow the fundamentals of religion … But for over 1,400 years people have been interpreting and re-interpreting the religion to suit their own purpose! … These [extremist and terrorist acts] are not Islamic fundamentals any more than the Christians who burned people at the stake are fundamentalist. They are actually deviating from the teachings of the religion.”

― Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia 1981 – 2003


At this stage you will not be surprised to learn that religious fundamentalists of various denominations sink into authoritarianism like one would a hot bath.

Fundamentalism arose out of 19th century protestant evangelism in the United Kingdom and the United States. It militantly supports the literal interpretation of the Bible as “the Word of God” – thanks in part to the presence of Billy Graham in the 1960s – seeks to evangelise or “spread the word” to as many folks as possible in order to save their souls from hell-fire. Belief in the “End times” and the Second Coming of Christ is also very much part of the vision through which, due to their adherence to Bible rules, they will achieve salvation and be saved, looking on and nodding sagely as the rest of us slowly turn on the devil’s spit for all eternity. Which is why they true believers often see the protection of the environment, human rights issues and anything remotely humane as an irritating irrelevance when they believe the end of the world is nigh. What is much more worrying is the fact that many fundamentalists see a big chunk of their Christian duty is facilitate this apocalyptic conflagration as best they can. This of course, means that the Second Coming of Christ will arrive and therefore their promised salvation.

That is analogous to camping outside a high street store all night in order to get the best sale items and when the doors open they will drop kick babies and trample over their own grandmothers to obtain what they consider to be their spiritual goodies.  The glaring irony that these beliefs are the antithesis of Christian values doesn’t seem to occur to them because unfortunately for them – and it appears, everyone else – authoritarian followers tend to lack even a modicum of self-awareness and perspicacity which makes them easy prey for any spellbinding psychopath on a mission from “heaven.”

cross2© infrakshun

Presently, Christian fundamentalists permeate both the US Congress and the US military rising in numbers annually. In America, the religious right was largely responsible for supporting the likes of George W. Bush and his apparent Christian crusade and all that followed. [1] They are also to be found supporting such luminaries of compassion and sound judgement as Sarah Palin, the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist; (investigated for corruption) Senate Minority Whip Mitch McConnell; Senate Republican and presidential candidate Rick Santorum; former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and not forgetting former US House of Representatives member and former House Majority leader Tom DeLay before he was removed on money laundering charges and subsequently sentenced to three years in jail.

Nothing describes quite as well the spiritual and social exploitation at which the fundamentalist mind-set seems to excel and has turned the freedom and liberty of the US into the “American Psycho” we are familiar with today. According to Bob Altemeyer’s survey results based on key questions, fundamentalists and evangelicals are essentially cut from the same rag: “… most evangelicals are fundamentalists according to our measure, and most Christian fundamentalists are evangelicals. Whether you are talking about Evangelicals or talking about Christian Fundamentalists, you are largely talking about the same people.” [2]  And the highest scores on the authoritarian scale repeatedly come from Conservative, Protestant, Christian Fundamentalists.

Indeed, everything mentioned about Right-Wing authoritarian personalities can be applied to Christian Fundamentalists.

Fundamentalism first or authoritarianism?

Chicken and Egg?

Altemeyer explains:

The evidence indicates authoritarianism is more basic. The RWA scale correlates better than the Religious Fundamentalism scale does with acceptance of government injustices, hostility toward homosexuals, willingness to persecute whomever the government targets, and most other things. …. So the problem’s not so much that some people are fundamentalists, but that fundamentalists so definitely tend to be authoritarian followers. But as I just said, religious fundamentalism does promote authoritarianism in some ways. And you can certainly see the influence of right-wing authoritarianism in many things that religious fundamentalists do. [3]

In Altemeyer’s surveys and scales Christian Fundies show what amounts to religious brain-washing when young and a constant religious presence in their lives. By emphasising this affiliation and distinction in religious terms:

“… you instantly create the category of people who are not that, who are different. You’re laying down an in-group versus out-group distinction. Even if you never say a nasty word about other religions, the enormous human tendency to think in ethnocentric terms will create a preference for ‘people like me.’” This plants the seeds of prejudice and bigotry with the fundies employing self-righteous indignation when called on it. However, “…fundamentalists still hold more racial prejudices than most people – a fact known to social scientists for over fifty years.” [4]

Interestingly, the professor also found a high sprinkling of authoritarian types attracted to feminism which should come as no surprise after our brief foray into that realm and the high incidence of narcissism within the movement itself.  The instances of authoritarianism was still far lower than religiously inclined RWAs however, who regularly and persistently trounce all other authoritarianism categories for sheer aggression, zealotry and dogmatism. [5]

Tom-DeLay

The Disgraced (but God-fearing) Tom DeLay who was brought up on corruption charges whilst an avowed authoritarian Christian

As with the basic authoritarian mind, fundies are not noted for their intellectual prowess.

Altemeyer’s research confirms the findings from Mark Noll, an evangelical history professor at Wheaton College, who wrote The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, where he states in a somewhat exasperated tone: “In the United States … it is simply impossible to be, with integrity, both evangelical and intellectual.” And further: “Modern American evangelicals have failed notably in sustaining serious intellectual life.” [6] This is best represented by the refusal to question belief and the rejection of evolution – despite its fundamental flaws – in favour of creationism or “intelligent design” with periodically successful attempts to place the teaching and Bible dogma in the school curricula in America. This equates to “selective ignorance” and is always present when spending vast amounts of energy shoring up fear-based beliefs and the accompanying inability to think critically about anything.

When the mind is compartmentalised is very difficult to follow open-minded and creative discussions because for the RWA fundamentalist, everything must be obsessively scanned for psychological “malware” and suitably virus-checked for information that doesn’t conform to the already prescribed categories that rigidly define his mind. As Altemeyer observes: “They’re not really interested in coming to grips with what’s actually in the Bible so much as mounting a defence of what they want to believe about the Bible – come Hell or Noah’s high water.” [7]

Many fundies haven’t even read the good book like many of us heathens:

“Since fundamentalists insist the Bible is the revealed word of God and without error, you would think they’d have read it. But you’d often be wrong. I gave a listing of the sixty-six books in the King James Bible to a large sample of parents and asked them, ‘How many of these have you read, from beginning to end? (Example, if you have read parts of the Book of Genesis, but not all of it that does not count.) Nineteen per cent of the Christian High fundamentalists said they had never read any of the books from beginning to end …” [8]

Considering their wish to be seen as following God and Jesus while feeling obliged to expend enormous amount of time and energy proselytizing (its larger reflection present in the 21st century crusades gripping much of the Middle East) it is more than disturbing that even the Bible itself becomes irrelevant to the maintenance of belief.

To compensate for what might be misconstrued by the rest of us as abject hypocrisy, double standards and aggressive, vindictive behaviour, a flicker of guilt may surface in moments of weakness and it is this that constitutes a conscience for an RWA fundie. This would be put down to Satan’s influence (which is anything that sits outside the demarcation line of Fundamentalist belief) and suitably purged from awareness by asking God for forgiveness. This is drawn from the related get-out clause of the Roman Catholic ritual of having your sins absolved by the local priest and confession box, always on hand with three “Hail Mary’s” to relinquish all and every responsibility for your actions.

The late Jerry Falwell

The late TV Evangelist Jerry Falwell not one to mince his words in condemning virtually anyone who isn’t like him.

Yet while doing their level best to make the rest of us miserable, fundamentalists claim exquisite joy and contentment from having a “personal relationship” with God and his only son Jesus as their saviour who bestows an exclusive love upon them as a result of their diligent efforts to keep Satan at bay. Provided they continue to do so, they will be offered a place in heaven brimming over with eternal happiness. Which begs the question why it is that their own children leave this particular belief system in droves?

Perhaps because the only thing that Fundamentalism ultimately creates is chaos under cover of short-term gain.

Fundamentalist thinking is both ontologically and epistemologically absolutist and therefore bereft of any real imagination. An inability to be creative and open to other alternative modalities is a defining quality. Openness, curiosity and a non-judgmental attitude about life are components of creativity. The act of imagination must also relate to empathy and tolerance, neither of which authoritarian fundamentalists possess in any great measure. Those who embrace narcissistic and psychopathological attributes for domination naturally repulse those who do not. The latter demographic often suffers a breakdown due to their core nature being forced to embody what is essentially alien behaviour and against the individual’s conscience. What started off as an escape from trauma and life’s hardships rapidly becomes crystallized into negative traits seen as not only normal but superior.

Finally, from authoritarian followers, (High and Low types) and authoritarian Fundamentalists, we come to “social dominators”. These are the individuals who repeatedly attain high scores on all of the authoritarian scales with a clear penchant for power. Reading through Altemeyer’s research data it is clear that at minimum, he is talking about pathological narcissists reaching up toward psychopathy..

Social dominators (SDs) are inclined to be:

pat-robertson-dno1967b-flickr-5407293368_7442d5da0c

Media mogul and Evangelist Pat Robertson whose Christian values regularly include pouring scorn on all and everyone who thinks differently to him (and God).

…. intimidating, ruthless, and vengeful. They scorn such noble acts as helping others, and being kind, charitable, and forgiving. Instead they would rather be feared than loved, and be viewed as mean, pitiless, and vengeful. They love power, including the power to hurt in their drive to the top. Authoritarian followers do not feel this way because they seldom have such a drive to start with. But social dominators do not. Oh sure, they want their followers to be super loyal to the group they lead. But they themselves are not really in it so much for the group or its cause, but more for themselves. It’s all about them, not about a higher purpose. If trouble arises, don’t be surprised if they start playing “Every man for himself” and even sell out the group to save their own skin. [9]

Social dominators are your average wannabe-dictators in waiting. Unlike authoritarian fundies for whom empathy is residual at best, the social dominator’s empathy levels are non-existent, where manipulation, deceit, prejudice, hostility, one-upmanship and the “thrill of the chase” are all normal modes of behaviour. They revel in the law of the jungle and enthusiastically embrace it. Anything goes with the SD if it gets them to where they want to be, which is usually in positions of power. Indeed, for the SD – power is the overriding goal.

The real fireworks start when authoritarian followers, leaders, social dominators and what Altemeyer calls “Double Highs” (DHs) – a combination of high authoritarian personality types and social dominator psychological traits – meet for a barn-dance and begin to formulate plans for a New World Order of their own. These are broad personality types which typically make up the ponerological categories of “humanoids” such as narcissists (and its sub-variants) psychopaths (asthenic, skirtoidal) and characteropaths.

Many variants exist between low-scoring RWA, high-scoring RWA and SD types. For example, the professor found that: “persons who scored highly on the social dominance test were seldom High RWAs, and High RWAs were almost never social dominators.” DHs accrue the high scores for prejudice and domination from the SD and high RWAs and plummet to new depths. As the tests investigated both scales of submissive and dominating tendencies regarding authority one may question how could the DHs score highly on both?

The professor accounts for this seeming contradiction in this way:

Simply put, they are “religious” social dominators. They usually had much more religious upbringings than social dominators typically had, or they may have “got religion” as adults. As a group their fervor does not quite reach the levels found among ordinary right-wing authoritarians. But they go to church much more than most people in my samples do. Ditto for being religious fundamentalists. Ditto for being religiously ethnocentric. They thus respond to the religious content on the RWA scale, which ordinary social dominators do not, and that helps make them Double Highs. But how are they going to answer the Exploitive-MAD scale? It would seem difficult for a religious person who goes to church fairly regularly to rack up a high score on this measure, wouldn’t it? Indeed, ordinary high RWAs score rather low on this test. But not the Double Highs, who score way way up there when it comes to exploitation, manipulation, and so on. […]  They’ve usually combined the worst aspects of being a social dominator with the worst aspects of being a high RWA. Thus we saw that when it comes to prejudice, they pack an extra load of hostility toward their many targets. And they’re just as power hungry as the rest of the social dominators are, rather than being uninterested in personal power as ordinary RWAs are. But when they land in between ordinary dominators and ordinary high RWAs, they usually land closer to the worse outcome. [10]

What Bob Altemeyer found towards the conclusion of his studies is that the DH’s during George Bush’s reign scored highly in the US legislator of the 1990s. The statistical probability and consequent actions have since confirmed that DHs, using an authoritarian religious platform, have taken over not only the legislator, but the Republican party, the US military. and to a lesser extent the Democrats.

In what he calls the “Global Change Game” where students were set geo-political problems to solve, unmitigated nuclear disaster was the inevitable result when DHs were given the reins of power. What this means in the real world is that an American theocracy is in danger of becoming a reality a scenario that these simulations predicted with alarming accuracy based on detailed psychological tests over thirty years. What is more, the professor found that overtly “Nazi” sentiments, while laughed at in the 1990s by most people, are embraced by authoritarian personalities, though under cover of more modern ideological labels and rationalisations.

“The End justifies the means” is the maxim that becomes more and more applicable to today’s International politics dominated by the authoritarian-religious mind-set. If Altemeyer is right when he concludes that: “… the vast majority of us have had practically no training in our lifetimes in openly defying authority,” [11] it merely confirms Andrew Lobaczewski’s studies and explains why so many of us are continually duped by psychopaths in power.

It paints a bleak picture when covert or overt authoritarianism begins to increasingly interfere in our lives, not for reasons of belief, but at its primal core, for reasons of psychological domination by a minority. That is the hardest one to swallow for most people, yet it remains the most viable conclusion. As the great anarchist pioneer Peter Kropotkin stated quite simply: “Where there is authority, there is no freedom.” Mix that with religion and allow it to simmer and you have a recipe for doors wide open for immovable totalitarianism, as much of history has shown us.

Authoritarianism is the channel by which a gradual decay to take place on the inside of institutions and governments while the outside appears structurally sound, where original values and ethics appear to operate. It is the personality framework by which a slow but sure process of ponerogenesis can be allowed to come to fruition. Keeping in mind the propensity for authoritarian followers’ submission to leaders, whatever their pathological make-up, as well as the blindness to social dominators’ preference for amoral activities, what does this mean for the inner workings of the American government and its federal agencies? How is this religious fundamentalism reflected in foreign policy?

We’ll try to answer that question in the next post.

 


Notes

[1] ‘Fundamentalist bigotry reigns at US Air Force Academy’ By Patrick Martin, World Socialist Website http://www.wsws.org, 30 April 2005.
[2] Ibid. (p.76)
[3] Ibid. (p.34)
[4] op. cit. Altemeyer (p.111)
[5] Ibid. (p.112)
[6] The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A. Knoll, Published by B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., pages ix, 3.1994.Ibid.
[7] op. cit. Altemeyer (p.112)
[8] op. cit. Altemeyer (p.136)
[9] Ibid.   (pp.165-166)
[10] Ibid. (p.161)
[11] Ibid. (pp.179-180)

Religious Authoritarians I

By M.K. Styllinski

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

Sinclair Lewis


Guns, movies, fast-food, cheerleaders, the Super-Bowl, Disney and democracy might be some of things that first come to mind when you think of America. Religion and conservatism may be other keywords. What about fascism and authoritarianism? How many of us would think that the last four descriptors are gateways into perhaps the most important socio-cultural and geo-political shifts taking place in the US in its relatively short history? Well, you’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice the huge shifts in American society away from principles of a Republic let alone a perceived democracy. The evolution (or devolution) of the United States has drastic implications for every one of us, regardless of our geographical locations.

Some would think fascism – or Eternal Fascism as Umberto Eco preferred to call it – has long since been left for the historians to ponder and for us to thank our lucky stars that we are no longer part of the original rip-tide. Some would say that this perception has largely been buried in the emotional refuse tips of our tragic past. The problem is, past events are never really buried or forgotten. “Past is prologue.” We either learn to recognise the shoots of extremism or we choose to ignore them once again. By doing the latter we ensure that the old dark ways that led to the manifestations of our collective imbalance are unearthed, brushed off and given a fresh new lick of paint from the propaganda can. We ensure that they return stronger than ever with the power of technological advances gained from the innovations of war and the ever booming arms trade.

The result of the Second World War was over 65 million dead and millions more wounded; children orphaned; families broken up and generations left to cope with undiagnosed and endemic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The irony is, after such intense suffering, and with the healing balm of time attending to these wounds, the immediacy of the slaughter no longer shocks us. The Brave New World of an emerging Technocracy has dulled our critical faculties and heightened the need to escape; to forget the reasons why such evil manifested and why the Hysteriodal Cycle is coursing up through the our collective roots once again.

Much has been written on the possibility that The United States of America has succumbed to an irreversible form of fascism. It is an emotive word. We think of jackboots, Hitler’s speeches at Nuremberg, the concentration camps and the infamous swastika flag. Theories as to why such extremism has nestled its way into seemingly democratic structures have been thrashed out, discussed and debated; seemingly watertight beliefs and academic comfort zones have been erected to ensure such a mind-set could never return. Yet, it is surely evident that the desire to control and subdue sentient life by a trenchant minority could never have died. Indeed, there was no “return” to Nazism as it never went away, it merely adapted and clothed itself in new labels and ideological forms taking advantage of already established pathological channels laid down decades before.

Many of the architects of the Bush administration bulldozed their way to power on the platform of Project for the New American Century a Neo-Conservative blueprint for distinctly American-Zionist control. [1] The 9/11 attacks fit snugly into their overall game-plan for perpetual war, with the “war on terror” acting as a pretext for the needed climate of fear. But Neo-Conservatism was merely one strain in the ponerogenesis of the US socio-economic model that has proved convenient. While Neo-Con hawks were used to push through the Invasion of Iraq, religious authoritarianism has simply jumped onto to the next available grouping in government. So grave is the pathological dominance in the US administration it matters little who holds the reins of power. Be it Republican or Democrat, the American political system is broken and it is beyond repair. Perhaps it was always designed to fail.

george_w_bushObama12Marketing puppets has never been easier

Of course, the Neo-Conservatives are only one facet of an socio-political canker which gives rise to progressively extreme forms of social domination. Think tanks, occult groupings and various forms of social engineering sourced from a Conservative, Liberal and Zionist Establishment are all seeking to wage war on the normal man and woman, albeit  employing differing geo-political strategies. What they all have in common is psychopaths in power attempting to extract piecemeal, the soul of normal humanity – the recurrent psychophagic stratagem.

The roots of American fascism and their manifestations are complex but they follow recognisable patterns of emergence. The time-honoured practice of pathogenic infection demands a suitable platform of social unrest on which to ferment its ideas and mimic the original good intentions of its targeted host. Elaborate theories and seminal justifications are clothed with corporate suits and dignified by official titles and boardroom meetings. It takes time, effort and persistence; it requires the creation of conditions through which the spark of justification can be lit amid a tinderbox of future possibilities. The United States of America has now carved out such a role for itself.

It would be foolish to think that George W. Bush had the mental wherewithal to actually embody the presidential traits that we wistfully longed for. It is even more foolish to think that after such a caricature,  the “Hope and Change” marketing of Obamamania and its Nuremberg rallies of wilful blindness could ever deliver the goods. For many at the time there was a sense that maybe … just maybe he could light the blue touch paper that could lead to an illumination rather than a decimation of inner values. But it was not to be. True to wishful thinking and hi-tec propaganda a sizable proportion of the American electorate even now, still believe that Obama will eventually turn the country around. A tall order for any politician but an impossible for one who hasn’t keep any of his many promises  and even worse, has extended the Bush Reich legacy in ways undreamt of. Obama, like Bush, serves corporate interests and corporatism is inextricably bound to the erosion of civil liberties and the dominance of cartel capitalism.

Psychologists from National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, came to some unexpected conclusions – at least for the Neo-Conservative congressman and officials –  with their extensive research paper titled: “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition.” The report, which cost $1.2m in public funds, found that “conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in ‘fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity’.” The authors stated that many proponents of conservatism from the past and present all: “preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality” The document linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the right-wing talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, as all suffering from the same “affliction.” Bush Jr. himself was cited as a textbook case in which his moral certainty, dislike of nuance: “… can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic clichés and stereotypes.” [2]

Similarly, there is the threat of what has been called inverted totalitarianism where the likes of Obama supporters and so-called “progressive” liberals of the left can unwittingly contribute to the formation of a “soft” dictatorship due to a highly subjective and juvenile rendering of reality. This is a wide open door to psychopathy and their toxic influences. It doesn’t matter if you are pushing a socialist dream or a conservative ideal or even a mixture of the two, both visions have been and will be used to supply the psychophagic supply for social dominance. Indeed, the discourse of disbelief serves to speed their manifestation. It is no coincidence that religious fanaticism underlies most of the current lines of high-level psychopathy in the country. It has encompassed a history of fear and social control over which the State and Church have presided. Keep in mind the nature of political ponerology as we look at authoritarianism, and those predisposed to follow it. In the next few posts we will look at some of the effects of this authoritarianism in the context of religion and conservative politics.

In 2006, Professor Bob Altemeyer, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, published an online e-book entitled: The Authoritarians containing some of his thirty-year research into authoritarianism, its leaders and those personalities likely to end up as followers. His findings provided valuable information as to why it was that historically our collective beliefs – and usually our religious ones – led to such catastrophic consequences.

Altemeyer used an array of carefully designed surveys and role-playing methodologies to obtain some rich data on the nature of the authoritarian and social dominator qualities from thousands of university students and their various personality profiles. His research provides another window into normal folks alongside the minds of the psychopath, characteropath, narcissist and most importantly those that are predisposed to comply with authoritarian influence (which means a large percentage of us!) A brief detour into his findings will provide a platform for furthering understanding of social psychopathy and the descriptions of organised social abuse within the establishment that follows.

ALTEMEYER

Bob Altemeyer

What is authoritarianism? According to the Encyclopaedia-Britannica/Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “of, relating to, or favouring blind submission to authority.” It is also historically associated with “relating to, or favouring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people [i.e.] an authoritarian regime.”

So, how is it that authoritarianism manages to gain any kind of foothold in the mass populace? That’s where the authoritarian followers come in, sweeping the leaders to power on a tide of rhetoric, wishful thinking, religious dogmatism and blind faith. They willingly submit to anything that acts like an overarching, parental figurehead that tells them what to do, whether it is through governments or from the pages of the Bible, though neither are mutually exclusive as we’ve discovered.

Altemeyer places the right-wing authoritarian personality at two levels: high and low. Both have the following traits with the Highs manifesting as the more extreme version: 1) a high degree of submission to the established, legitimate authorities in their society; 2) high levels of aggression in the name of their authorities; and 3) a high level of conventionalism. He stresses that these are personality traits and not necessarily indicative of political preference which means he uses “right-wing” to encompass both left and right expressions of that personality, but there is a much higher incidence of authoritarianism in religiously-inclined Republicans.

What makes these personalities so amenable to psychopaths and other social dominators who insinuate themselves into power is the naive ease to which they submit to their “parent / teacher” figures. They joyfully believe in their own exceptionalism and project onto their leaders similar rarefied qualities which they consider to be above the law. From this alone, you can already see the seeds of tyranny forming while right-wing authoritarians (RWAs) happily skip through the daisies, convinced they are on the side of God. In the short-term, authoritarian leaders need these followers to attain power as they are a vital stage in the potential for a Pathocracy to take over normal development of civilisations. These individuals are the crucial enablers without which many psychopathic leaders would not be able to reach the dizzy heights of power they so desperately covet.

Ideas of democracy are extremely plastic in the authoritarian follower’s mind, so that that they can be stretched out of all recognition if need be. As long as their beliefs and ideas are confirmed through Mummy and Daddy RWAs then all is well. Consequently, when folks with basic modes of critical thinking become alarmed by American citizens being assassinated without trial; unlawful wire-tapping; mass surveillance and embracing torture, authoritarian followers will continue munching their grass without batting an eye-lid. When the fourth and fifth amendments; the Bill of Rights; as well as habeas corpus, one of the oldest rights in Western law are routinely ignored; when an array of black operations, dirty tricks and Congressional corruption that would make any Catholic banker blush are routinely taking place, RWA followers would continue grazing, a few would twitch their tails, but overall, they’d remain unmoved.

From this data and more, Altemeyer confirms his own thoughts that the US is currently being ravaged by “… a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.” The present day Empire of US-UK-Israeli interests can be understood as another way to describe ponerological dynamics in more simplistic but useful terms.

If RWAs are the proto-typical sheep, what happened to their thinking processes? Illogical thinking dominates and this is never good for getting on in life. It is dangerous because “… it shows that if authoritarian followers like the conclusion, the logic involved is pretty irrelevant.”

Altemeyer discovered further:

“The reasoning should justify the conclusion, but for a lot of high RWAs, the conclusion validates the reasoning. Such is the basis of many a prejudice, and many a Big Lie that comes to be accepted. Now one can easily overstate this finding. A lot of people have trouble with syllogistic reasoning, and high RWAs are only slightly more likely to make such mistakes than low RWAs are. But in general high RWAs seem to have more trouble than most people do realizing that a conclusion is false.” [3]

According Altemeyer’s extensive data, RWAs also scored highly on the practicing of double standards, hypocrisy, lying to themselves and running away from unpleasant truths about their carefully crafted self-image. Their self-awareness is residual which logically reflects their awareness of others and adds to the understanding about geo-political policy today, not least certain education curricula.

The other important trait that came up again and again was a “profound ethnocentrism” best personified with George W. Bush’s chilling statement: “If you’re not with us you’re with the terrorists.” It’s about the in-crowd and belonging; adhering to illusions of specialness and ideas of being the “chosen Ones,” which is why Zio-Conservatism makes such classic authoritarian belief partners. This is like a security system which prevents critical thinking and self-knowledge bringing together those that think alike, thus maintaining the illusion that not only does the world operate exclusively within such a reality it is the mission to extend that shared belief so that more and more people are contained within it.

Loyalty is a cardinal principle and the beliefs are fundamentally based on fear, lies and subjective interpretation so that the integrity of the belief structure is inherently weak long-term. Hence, more and more authoritarian methods are needed to prop it up in the face of encroaching objective evidence. But the unrivalled dogmatism will ensure that they and the group to which they are attached are always right. To question themselves is never an interesting or even necessary proposition. This loyalty and wilful blindess leads to gullibility and monumental gaps in the awareness of RWAs which means that once authoritarian followers are sufficiently mobilised they would find it easy to embrace a dictator.

RWAs are aggressive and bully their beliefs to the top. Very useful for psychopaths who want to outsource their nature and seed it in others for particular designs. The aggression is not the kind that looks for a fair fight but the kind that personifies “Might is Right” behind a big gun or a water cannon and a raft of riot police you can command and employ. As long as the RWA follower can get away with it and avoid responsibility for his actions then all is well. It is cowardly aggression behind closed doors and from the flick of fountain pen or keyboard stroke where tracks can be covered if necessary by shifting the blame to an unsuspecting minion. This bolsters his sense of superiority while pleasing daddy psychopath who will drop all kinds of tailored favours from above.

Conventionalism (often read as dull) is another defining characteristic of RWAs which means they lack the facility for imagination and abstract thought. To put it kindly, their feet are very much on the ground pointing in the direction of the known and familiar, shoe-shined and ready for inspection. But it doesn’t stop there. As a high percentage of RWAs are religious and fundamentalist this means that their beliefs do not just determine their life direction and perception of morals but the desire that those beliefs should be foisted on others, as a matter of course. When you have around 46 per cent of American adults believing that the earth is 10,000 years old thanks to Creationist views then this is enough to cause alarm concerning the sheer stupidity alone. Mixed in with authoritarianism – it’s a recipe for a horror flick. .” [4]

For RWAs, the fabric of their reality would be rent asunder of you not only had the temerity to question their beliefs but backed it up with deductive logic and concrete facts. In the authoritarian mind, that cannot be allowed to happen as behind the edifice and hot air there is a very fragile ego and if threatened by objective reality then all hell is let loose. Therefore, the “I am right you are wrong” mentality dominates even if the facts are as obvious as “the Earth is not flat,” the RWAs will insist that it is. And while such buffering can be understood in the kindergarten or playground in high level politics it becomes more than terrifying when applied to Middle Eastern politics. As Altemeyer mentions: “If their authorities endorse hostility, you can bet most authoritarian followers will be combative. A lot of high RWAs apparently do not think that the peacemakers will be blessed.”

And the results we can see before us.

Extend this principle into law and justice and Altemeyer found that while strongly endorsing capital punishment they would send anyone to jail regardless of race, sexuality or gender. Differences in degree such as rape as oppose to jay-walking – all received much longer sentences from high RWAs while going easy on the authorities if accused of any corruption, undue force, infringement of human rights etc. The benefits of capital punishment in the RWAs mind equate with the almost British Victorian ideas of family values where some fathers were expected to teach their sons the value of discipline and order by giving them a good leathering with the cane or belt and a good slap for the women should they step out of their designated role. That’ll knock some sense into them! Never did me any harm when my parents use to kick me down the stairs every morning before breakfast … Along those lines …

Pink Floyd - The Wall

Promotional poster detail from Gerald Scarfe’s artwork for Pink Floyd: The Wall (1980)

As RWAs are commonly religious, as they see it: placing the fear of God into criminals whom they consider to be way down the ladder of purity is the obvious choice. Since they believe they are currently poised, angel-like, on the highest rungs of the evolutionary ladder it is their duty to self-righteously view the hoi-polloi of ordinary people and manage their destiny for them. And if you don’t do as you’re told…Authoritarian followers have a nasty retributive streak that delights in the misery of those who have received their – as they see it – divinely administered comeuppance. Those that stray off the track of righteous get all they deserve. Compassion is a footnote in the high RWAs psyche (if it exists at all) and is habitually overridden by deep-seated anger and resentment which also means that if an outlet for that inner angst presents itself – they’ll take it. If persecution and torture for the Homeland is decreed normal – no problem. Rigging up electrodes on little grey-haired Auntie May who is thought to be harbouring Al-Qaeda agents under her “welcome” mat – I’m your man! Sign on the dotted line – no questions asked? Just how the RWAs like it. And Daddy dictator will love me. The authoritarian personality is Freud’s dream come true.

When the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld Reich decided to do just that and torture largely innocent Iraqis and those incarcerated in Guantánamo Bay under Obama’s “hope and change” rhetoric, many authoritarian personalities both in the UK and the US were clapping delightedly. When anger and chosen ignorance are present then substantial quantities of innate fear will be flowing through the RWA personality perceiving more of a threat in a situation of potential conflict than there may be in reality. This is what happened in 1987 when Bob Altemeyer and his colleague Gerry Sande had five-man teams of male introductory psychology students role-play NATO in an “international simulation” involving (they thought) another team of students playing as the Warsaw Pact.

Here’s what happened:

Some of the NATO teams were composed entirely of low RWA students, and other NATO teams were stocked entirely with highs. (We experimenters secretly played the Warsaw Pact.) The simulation began with a couple of ambiguous moves by the Warsaw Pact, such as holding military exercises earlier than anticipated, and withdrawing divisions to rear areas (possibly for rest, or –as Dr. Strangelove might argue–possibly for redeployment for an attack).

The NATO teams could respond with nonthreatening or threatening moves of varying magnitudes. But if they made threats, the Warsaw pact responded with twice as much threat in return, and the NATO team would reap what it had sown as an escalation of aggressive moves would likely result.

The low RWA teams did not interpret the ambiguous moves at the beginning of the game as serious threats and thus seldom made threatening moves. The high RWAs on the other hand usually reacted to the opening Warsaw Pact moves aggressively, and sowed a whirlwind. Over the course of the simulation, the high RWA teams made ten times as much threat as the low teams did, and usually brought the world to the brink of nuclear war...” [5] [Emphasis mine]

Furthermore, in other scenarios the overwhelming comeback from RWAs was the philosophy of “Care about Your Own; We Are NOT All in This Together.” As a result, Global Change Games that simulated geo-political challenges dominated by authoritarians typically ended in world-wide disasters.

So, what are the roots of authoritarianism in the context Altemeyer’s findings?

He prefers “Bandura’s Social Learning Theory of Aggression” which is admittedly a large step up from Freud but fails to explain the whole picture, ponerology being the missing element. However, Albert Bandura of Stanford University and the SLTA theory posits the idea that there must be a burning anger present and a sub-strata of fear. For that anger to be released certain inhibitions and restraints must be overcome so that a volcanic eruption can flow. These stages are termed “The instigator” – the individual and his brand of fear and anger waiting to be tapped and “The Releaser” –the mode that allows it all to happen; a designated “holier than thou” moral cause that would release their hostility on the world while lying to themselves concerning the reasons for the perceived moral justification.

From a ponerological perspective this anger and fear is carefully directed along pre-designed psychic and material channels facilitating maximum efficiency for psychopaths’ goals. In other words, instinct and emotion is used exclusively to further an increase and maximisation of an already present pathology.

Why did it stay wired at the child stage of authority pleasing?

Although Altemeyer leans towards experience and environmental factors he also highlights the fact that studies have confirmed a genetic component. Usually, as with most things in life, it is probably a mix of both.

Further research offering a more general confirmation of the above findings was offered on September 8th 2013, when online culture magazine grist.com ran an article by Chris Mooney entitled: ‘Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math.’ A study undertaken by Professor Dan Kahan of Yale University found that people’s ability to correctly solve a mathematics question was intimately connected to political persuasion. In summary, erroneous data was given to groups about skin cream efficacy and were also given difficult maths problem to solve. Here, the results were good. When exactly the same data was given alongside a topic of gun control, the answers changed dramatically indicating that the political beliefs were influencing their mathematics solutions to an extreme degree.

In a nutshell: respondents’ political belief distorted the ability to give correct answers if it wasn’t to their liking with the result that objective reality was discarded in favour of their chosen political preference.

This indicates that those of a more intuitive nature aren’t the only ones prone to be led by more subjective notions of reality. Even numerate people have massive blind-spots when it comes to taking on board views which run counter to their own. Whether left-leaning or conservative, persons with a logical/mathematical intelligence will subconsciously subvert the process from which the correct result can be achieved, attempting to fit the round peg of a solution into the square hole of their beliefs. This goes some way in explaining why it is that you can present evidence as plain as day that left-right politics is a charade and the political system is irrevocably broken – belief and comfort zone will trump all, even for seemingly intelligent people. It gives a reason why all manner of rational and IQ-busting academics choose not to make the leap to the obvious when presented with a mountain of facts and empirical data. No amount of reasoning will do it without some form of external shock. Even then it may make no difference for some.

This has enormous implications regarding the evidence of Official Culture and rogue elements in governments and intelligence actively working against their populations. Recognition of such a reality sets up a cognitive dissonance that is both painful as well as befuddling, symptoms commonly exhibited by authoritarian followers.

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N.B. let’s not forget that authoritarianism rises in the left wing camp just as much as the right. From the election of Donald Trump we have a shocking wave of left-liberal authoritarianism in the guise of “Social Justice Warriors” snowflake millennial, radical feminism and the Neo-Marxist  invasion of Universities.

See:  Where Do SJWs Come From?

See:  Trump Hysteria, Left Hypocrisy and the Four Drivers of the Deep-State / Overworld Part I

 


Notes

[1] Project for the New American Century (PNAC) at http://www.newamericancentury.org was an American think tank based in Washington, D.C. that lasted from 1997 to 2006. It was co-founded as a non-profit educational organization by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. Members included right wing, neo-conservative politicians and intellectuals. The series of documents that comprise the ideological vision of neo-conservatism is wholly concerned with establishing a global American Empire with access to the resources of other countries and the implementation of pre-emptive war partnered with the necessary “evil” of perpetual war. The famous of these is “‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century’ written by Richard B. Cheney. The PNAC is literally an “organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership” or as a continuation of the ancient phrase which George Bush Sr. noted in 1992 speech: A New World Order.” Needless, to say this New World Order is based around occult principles of establishing  “Order out of Chaos” which neo-conservatists happily seek to carry out regardless of their awareness on this point. | PNAC’s second incarnation goes by the name of The Foreign Policy Initiative which holds to exactly the same ideology.
[2] ‘Study of Bush’s psyche touches a nerve’ by Julian Borger, The Guardian, August 13, 2003.
[3] The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer Associate Professor Department of Psychology University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Canada.
[4] Online PDF version at: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/op. cit.
[5] ‘In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins Highly religious Americans most likely to believe in creationism’ By Frank Newport, http://www.gallup.com