Pathetic! Russian parliamentarian tells US think tank how to overthrow Putin, practically begs for money

Russia

Eric Draitser, Land Destroyer

The event, “Russia’s Opposition in a Time of War and Crisis,” featured prominent Russian liberal opposition parliamentarian (member of the Russian Duma) Ilya Ponomarev, a noted critic of Russian President Putin, providing a detailed presentation regarding the current political climate in Russia, and the potential for the ousting or overthrow of the Russian government. Yes, you heard that right. A Russian elected official came to the United States to give a talk about how best to effect regime change in his own country.

At this point, the question is not so much whether what Ponomarev did was improper. The much more pressing issue is whether or not, by making this presentation in Washington precisely at the moment of heightened tensions between the US and Russia, Ponomarev has committed treason. While this may seem a rather extreme characterization, it is in fact quite appropriate.

Continue reading here.

Bizarro World

At our house, the most interesting conversations take place around the breakfast table before we begin our day’s work. The topics range from weird animal behavior to politics and everything in between. (Hmmm… in fact, “weird animal behavior” and “politics” may have more in common than one initially suspects!) Well, anyway, this morning the conversation led to an observation by one of the family members that everything is like I described in one of the chapters of The Wave some 16 years ago, that we can look out the window and see cars passing, birds hopping around, people going about their business as though everything was still the same, but it isn’t; and knowing that it isn’t the same can have a profound, visceral effect on a person.

In The Wave, I was addressing the issue of becoming aware, via collecting evidence and connecting dots, that our reality may be/must be embedded in some bizarre ‘hyperdimensional reality’, and that we live our lives similar to the example given by Plato in his story of The Cave. Reading about such things as Platonic realms of ideas is an interesting intellectual exercise, but for me, and many others, it is a visceral experience. Anyway, the passage in question goes as follows:

“For many centuries, millennia even, simplistic religions and social dynamics were dominant over most of the world. This was possible because even when there was an intrusion by one of these hyperdimensional beings into our reality, when they did drop in for dinner, so to speak, it was easy to conceal because of the lack of communication between tribes and peoples.

When we sit in our comfortable homes and look at our reality, including that which is outside our windows, we see a stable front. Cars pass on the street, taking people to and from their homes in their varied daily activities; the sun shines; children pass by, talking and laughing. Everyone is involved in their life in an immediate and identified way, believing that this life they are involved in is what is.

But, once in a while, something bizarre happens to someone and they struggle to deal with this anomaly in the space-time continuum. Usually, it is sufficiently minor that they can dampen it and forget about it, which they must, because it is too aberrant in the normal accepted course of events. It must be shoved under the rug.

Once in awhile, bigger things happen in the reality – evidence of the hyperdimensional control system intrudes, or the screen breaks down in some way – and it becomes news and gets reported. Charles Fort spent many years collecting these types of things from the newspapers and magazines all over the world.

When this happens, the accepted belief system hurries to damp down the item so that everyone can go along in their respective and collective illusions. Since the events are localized, it is easy to cover it up. And, in the past, this was a lot easier than it is today.

When you read the collected information of Charles Fort, you see that the alien reality that is so widely reported today was just as active then as it is now. In fact, you see that it may even be somewhat cyclical. Just as we have cycles of food production, planting, growing and harvesting, so may hyperdimensional beings harvest us according to some “seasonal” rule.

In any event, before people began to become literate it was a lot easier to keep the lid on the matter. Then, books, papers and magazines were published and distributed. Travel became easier and information from around the world about these odd intrusions into our reality could be collected, giving an overall pattern that something was not right.

Before Charles Fort, there were a few people who already smelled a rat, but Mr. Fort kindly shoved it right under our noses and the reaction has been quite interesting. The cover-up machine went into full operation through the most effective vectors of mainstream science and religion.

But, the rat had been smelled and some people couldn’t just shove it back under the rug. The stench kept wafting in the open window. And so, certain people began to start searching for the source of this stinky rat. They began to gather knowledge and information.

We can even note how the cover-up machine began to do this damage control. When you study the history of social and religious movement and change, you can see the control system morphing with every discovery or realization made by human beings. As they outgrew the old religions, the simplistic explanations, new religions were put in place. At exactly the right time – the period of scientific expansion and growing knowledge of the nature of reality that brought the old religious views into serious question – the whole spiritualist movement began, leading to channeled information that was designed to patch up the holes in the control net. Newer and more elaborate explanations of the higher realms came into our reality. With each new question, the control system had a new answer to help everybody calm down, relax, and stop asking questions.

At the present time, this is even more amazingly evident. A few years ago, when we first began sharing the Cassiopaean information, many of the issues we dealt with were not even addressed by these other sources. But, with everything we release, the other side brings some new candidate forward with new explanations to patch the holes we are tearing in the fabric of their reality.”[Source]

Later on, after 9-11, as I was continuing the series of writings under the title “Adventures With Cassiopaea” (all has now been combined as volumes of The Wave in book format), I wrote in much the same context:

“As most of us realize, the status quo of the planet was ‘abridged’ in a big way on September 11, 2001. It was a watershed event and our lives will never be the same again. National Guard units patrol airport terminals and our nation’s Capitol, the Senate office building is closed because of the threat of anthrax. Barricades block streets leading to the White House. The FBI is detaining hundreds of suspects, the recently passed “Patriot Bill” (H.R. 3108) suspends important provisions of the Bill of Rights, the Office of Homeland Security has been established, and the The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act will soon become the law of the land. Most people accept what is happening because they’ve been told we must change our way of life and accept more government surveillance to preserve our liberty. Nothing could be further from the truth. The new measures are designed to restrict our freedom, undermine our Constitution, and usher in the New World Order.” [Source]

Obviously, I was still living in the USA at the time. As I’ve recounted elsewhere, for a variety of reasons, the main one being that we could see the handwriting on the wall about the USA, and France showing itself to be disinclined to bow to the demands of the Empire of Evil, refusing to participate in the illegal, pre-emptive war on Afghanistan and Iraq (I won’t even go into all of why that was dumb and dumber), we packed up and moved to France, lock, stock and barrel. I learned fairly quickly that “freedom of speech” has a very different definition than it did in the USA, but since I could still write about weird animal behavior and politics and everything in between, the small print wasn’t a problem.

Now, let me change tack here.

Bizarro World

I grew up with Superman comics. Burton L. Mack points out that our secular mythologies, such as comic book heroes, tend to “draw their power from their uncanny similarity to features of the biblical epic,” such as the model of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, “coming into a world unable to solve its problems” and serving as a sort of itinerant wonder-worker.1 Apparently, Superman, was created by two Jewish teenagers at a time when Jews desperately needed a heroic figure, and he displays all the characteristics of a messiah or redeemer. Kal-El, Superman’s true name, calls to mind Emmanu-El, “God with us,” and it translates in Hebrew to something like “All that is God.”

What is interesting to me here, however, is ‘Bizarro World’, which was introduced into the DC Comics Universe back in the 60s. Bizarro World was also known as ‘Htrae’, or ‘Earth’ spelled backward. It was a cube-shaped planet that was home to Bizarro and his merry men, all of whom were Bizarro versions of Superman and his entourage. In Bizarro world, society is ruled by the Bizarro Code that says: “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” In one episode a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling Bizarro bonds: “Guaranteed to lose money for you”. Later, the mayor appoints Bizarro No. 1 to investigate a crime, “Because you are stupider than the entire Bizarro police force put together”. This is intended and taken as a great compliment. [see: Wikipedia] Thus, Bizarro world came to represent a place or events that were weirdly inverted or opposite of expectations.

Doublethink, Doublespeak, Doubletalk

Obviously, if people who are not ‘Bizarro’ wake up and find themselves in Bizarro World, or denizens of Bizarro World have landed on earth and taken over, it might require some adjustment for many people. Of course, we notice that a great number of people do not require adjustment to whatever the authorities proclaim or do. That is pretty well explained by psychologist, Bob Altemeyer’s work on the Authoritarian Personality. On his website, Altemeyer explains what his work is about:

“It’s about what’s happened to the American government lately. It’s about the disastrous decisions that government has made. It’s about the corruption that rotted the Congress. It’s about how traditional conservatism has nearly been destroyed by authoritarianism. It’s about how the “Religious Right” teamed up with amoral authoritarian leaders to push its un-democratic agenda onto the country. …

For example, take the following statement: “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within.” Sounds like something Hitler would say, right? Want to guess how many politicians, how many lawmakers in the United States agreed with it? Want to guess what they had in common?

Or how about a government program that persecutes political parties, or minorities, or journalists the authorities do not like, by putting them in jail, even torturing and killing them. Nobody would approve of that, right? Guess again.

Don’t think for a minute this doesn’t concern you personally. Let me ask you, as we’re passing the time here, how many ordinary people do you think an evil authority would have to order to kill you before he found someone who would, unjustly, out of sheer obedience, just because the authority said to? What sort of person is most likely to follow such an order? What kind of official is most likely to give that order, if it suited his purposes? Look at what experiments tell us, as I did. …

The studies explain so much about these people. Yes, the research shows they are very aggressive, but why are they so hostile? Yes, experiments show they are almost totally uninfluenced by reasoning and evidence, but why are they so dogmatic? Yes, studies show the Religious Right has more than its fair share of hypocrites, from top to bottom; but why are they two-faced, and how come one face never notices the other? Yes, their leaders can give the flimsiest of excuses and even outright lies about things they’ve done wrong, but why do the rank and file believe them? What happens when authoritarian followers find the authoritarian leaders they crave and start marching together?2

The problem of Authoritarian Followers who are often basically decent people, leads us to the issue of Doublethink. George Orwell coined the word doublethink in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.3 In the novel, the origin of doublethink within the typical citizen is unclear, though Altemeyer’s work goes a long way toward explaining it; Orwell explicitly shows people learning doublethink and newspeak due to peer pressure and a desire to “fit in”, or gain status within the Party – to be seen as a loyal Party Member.

“Doublethink is the act of ordinary people simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. The paradox is expressed most succinctly in the novel in the three Party slogans: ‘War is Peace’, ‘Freedom is Slavery’, and ‘Ignorance is Strength’. The term is widely used to describe a capacity to engage in one line of thought in one situation (at work, in a certain group, in business, etc.) and another line in another situation (at home, in another group, in private life), without necessarily sensing any conflict between the two.” 4

Somewhat related but almost the opposite is cognitive dissonance, where contradictory beliefs cause conflict in one’s mind. Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance – thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction. It seems to me that those people (and there are a lot of them, possibly 45% of any given population) who do not suffer from Cognitive Dissonance when they wake up and find that they are living in Bizarro World, lack something though I won’t speculate on that here.

Doublethink leads us to ‘Doublespeak’ which does not actually appear in Orwell’s book though he did talk about it in his essays “Politics and the English Language“, where he says “unscrupulous politicians, advertisers, religionists, and other doublespeakers of whatever stripe continue to abuse language for manipulative purposes”. 5

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness… the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms”. 6

“Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs, “servicing the target” for bombing[Pentagon Is Given an Award, but It’s No Prize”. The New York Times. November 24, 1991.]), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning (for example, naming a state of war “peace”). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.” 7

Edward S. Herman, political economist and media analyst, describes in his book, Beyond Hypocrisy the principal characteristics of doublespeak:

“What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.” 8

According to William Lutz: “Only by teaching respect and love for the language can teachers of English instill in students the sense of outrage they should experience when they encounter doublespeak. …Students must first learn to use the language effectively, to understand its beauty and power…only by using language well will we come to appreciate the perversion inherent in doublespeak.” 9

“The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Committee on Public Doublespeak was formed in 1971, in the midst of the Watergate scandal, at a point when there was widespread skepticism about the degree of truth which characterized relationships between the public and the worlds of politics, the military, and business. NCTE passed two resolutions. One called for the Council to find means to study dishonest and inhumane uses of language and literature by advertisers, to bring offenses to public attention, and to propose classroom techniques for preparing children to cope with commercial propaganda. The other called for the Council to find means to study the relations of language to public policy, to keep track of, publicize, and combat semantic distortion by public officials, candidates for office, political commentators, and all those who transmit through the mass media. Bringing the charges of the two resolutions to life was accomplished by forming NCTE’s Committee on Public Doublespeak, a body which has acquitted itself with notable achievements since its inception.” 10

Charles Weingartner, one of the founding members of the NCTE committee on Public Doublespeak wrote: “people do not know enough about the subject (the reality) to recognize that the language being used conceals, distorts, misleads”… Another expert writes: “Teachers of English should teach our students that words are not things, but verbal tokens or signs of things that should finally be carried back to the things that they stand for to be verified. Students should be taught a healthy skepticism about the potential abuse of language but duly warned about the dangers of an unhealthy cynicism.” 11

Lutz is one of the main contributors to the committee as well as promoting the term “doublespeak” to a mass audience so as to inform them of the deceptive qualities that doublespeak contains. He writes:

“There is more to being an effective consumer of language than just expressing dismay at dangling modifiers, faulty subject and verb agreement, or questionable usage. All who use language should be concerned whether statements and facts agree, whether language is, in Orwell’s words ‘largely the defense of the indefensible’ and whether language ‘is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.'” 12

Lutz further states:

“language isn’t the invention of human beings to lie, deceive, mislead, and manipulate” and the “purpose of language is to communicate the truth and to facilitate social groups getting together”. Thus, according to Lutz, doublespeak is a form of language that defeats the purpose of inventing language because doublespeak does not communicate the truth but seeks to do the opposite and the doublespeak committee is tasked with correcting this problem that doublespeak has created in the world of language.”

Terrence P. Moran of the NCTE has compared the use of doublespeak in the mass media to laboratory experiments conducted on rats, where a batch of rats were deprived of food, before one half was fed sugar and water and the other half a saccharine solution. Both groups exhibited behavior indicating that their hunger was satisfied, but rats in the second group (which were fed saccharine solution) died from malnutrition. Moran highlights the structural nature of doublespeak, and notes that social institutions such as the mass media adopt an active, top-down approach in managing opinion. Therefore, Moran parallels doublespeak to producing an illusionary effect;

“This experiment suggests certain analogies between the environments created for rats by the scientists and the environments created for us humans by language and the various mass media of communication. Like the saccharine environment, an environment created or infiltrated by doublespeak provides the appearance of nourishment and the promise of survival, but the appearance is illusionary and the promise false.” 13

Doubletalk and Psychopathology

In his seminal work, Political Ponerology,14 psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski discusses the issue of what he terms “Doubletalk” at various points in his text. The first mention of the term comes in the section on Ideology where he notes that a group – any group and that includes national governments, international organizations, religions, etc – that has been infiltrated by pathological individuals, begins by gradually adapting the primary ideology and goals from the original formative ones, to what usually are completely opposite purposes. In other words, it can be a transformation of Earth to ‘Htrea’ – Bizarro World. This process leads to a sort of layering, or schizophrenia of ideology. The outer layer, or circle, still adheres to the original content that was advertised at the beginning as the group’s purposes; this layer is aimed at the lower-echelon members and the public. But within the inner circles, the core of the group, it is completely understood that the words have different meanings; that identical names signify different content. Lobaczewski notes that this very duality of language is a symptom of the transformation of the group into a Bizarro World. Lobaczewski notes:

“Doubletalk is only one of many symptoms. Others are the specific facility for producing new names which have suggestive effects and are accepted virtually uncritically…” [p. 191]

He then notes that there are certain characteristics that are additional symptoms of the pathological nature of such a group:

“We must thus point out the paramoralistic character and paranoidal qualities frequently contained within these names. The action of paralogisms and paramoralisms in this deformed ideology… Anything which threatens pathocratic rule becomes deeply immoral.” [p. 191]

At this point, Lobaczewski makes a very useful suggestion regarding how to cope with this need to become fluent in the language of Doublespeak/Doubletalk for our own protection:

“We thus have the right to invent appropriate names which would indicate the nature of the phenomena as accurately as possible, in keeping with our recognition and respect for the laws of the scientific methodology and semantics. Such accurate terms also serve to protect our minds from the suggestive effects of those other names and paralogisms, including the pathological material the latter contain.” [p.191]

And further on, he makes a slightly humorous analogy that perfectly describes Bizarro World and makes still another suggestion:

“As adduced above, the anomaly distinguished as essential psychopathy inspires the overall phenomenon in a well-developed pathocracy and betrays biological analogies to the well known phenomenon called Daltonism, color-blindness or near-blindness as regard to red and green. For the purpose of an intellectual exercise, let us thus imagine that Daltonists have managed to take over power in some country and have forbidden the citizens from distinguishing these colors, thus eliminating the distinction between green (unripe) and ripe tomatoes. Special vegetable patch inspectors armed with pistols and pickets would patrol the areas to make sure the citizens picked not only the ripe tomatoes. Such inspectors could not, of course, be totally color-blind themselves (otherwise they could not exercise this extremely important function), They could not suffer more than near-blindness as regards these colors. However, they would have to belong to the clan of people made nervous by any discussion about colors.

With such authorities around, the citizens might even be willing to eat a green tomato and affirm quite convincingly that it was ripe. But once the severe inspectors left for some other garden far away enough, there would be the shower of comments it does not behoove me to adduce in a scientific work. The citizens would then pick nicely vine-ripened tomatoes, make a salad with cream, and add a few drops of rum for flavor.

May I suggest that all normal people whom fate has forced to live under pathocratic rule make the serving of a salad according to the above recipe into a symbolic custom. Any guest recognizing the symbol by its color and aroma will refrain from making any comments. Such a custom might hasten the reinstallation of a normal man’s system.” [pp.217-218]

This article is just such a “salad.”

I leave you with that thought.

1 Burton L. Mack, Who Wrote the New Testament? The Making of the Christian Myth (New York: Harper San Francisco, 1995) p. 304.
2 http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey
3 Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London]
4 McArthur, Tom, ed. (1992). The Oxford Companion to the English Language, Oxford University Press. p. 321
5 Kehl, D.G.; Livingston, Howard (July 1999). Doublespeak Detection for the English Classroom. The English Journal 88 (6): 78. JSTOR 822191
6 Orwell, George (1949). 1984. New York:Signet Books. p. 163
7 Wikipedia
8 Herman 1992. p. 3.
9 Lutz, William (March 1988). Fourteen Years of Doublespeak. The English Journal 77 (3). JSTOR 818411]
10 http://www.ncte.org/volunteer/groups/publiclangcom/doublespeakaward
11 ibid Kehl, D.G
12 A new look at ‘doublespeak. Advertising Age. November 6, 1989.
13 Moran, Terrence (Oct 1975). Public Doublespeak; 1984 and Beyond. College English 37 (2): 224
14 Andrew Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology, Red Pill Press (September 20, 2012)

The Mystic vs. Hitler, or Fritz Gerlich’s Spectacles

© KJJ Visual

I’ve often wanted to get my hands on the German newspapers of the time before and immediately after Hitler came to power so as to try to understand what was really going on in Germany at that moment. I wondered if we could draw any lessons from it for our present time. I’ve asked many people if they have ever seen any such articles reproduced anywhere, or have they heard of them, and I’ve always drawn a blank on that question. After all, if we suppose that our present time has any similarity to the Third Reich of Hitler, it would be nice to have some concrete material that was written in real time, at the time, on which to base comparisons. As it happens, a guy named Ron Rosenbaum was curious about it too but for a different reason. He interviewed a Holocaust survivor who mentioned an article that he remembered from the time, and Rosenbaum went looking for it. He found a lot more than he bargained for. He found Fritz Gerlich and the Munich Post. Rosenbaum calls Fritz and his ilk the “First Explainers.”

The heroic anti-Hitler Munich journalists who, from 1920 to 1933 (when many were jailed or murdered) bravely went about the daily task of attempting to tell the world about the strange figure who had arisen from the Munich streets to become leader of a movement that would seize power and inscribe a new chapter in the history of evil. My fascination with these largely forgotten figures, the reporters who were the first to investigate the political and personal life, the criminality and scandals of Hitler and “the Hitler party,” as they astutely called it, began to grow as I first began to pick up echoes and traces of their struggle with Hitler, buried in the footnotes of postwar historians…

My fascination deepened when I came upon a nearly complete collection of flaking and yellowing, seven-decades-old back issues of the anti-Hitler Munich Post, moldering away in the basement of Munich’s Monacensia library archives. They’ve since been transferred to microfilm, but there was something about communing with the actual crumbling copies of the newspaper Hitler’s party called “the Poison Kitchen,” issues in which Hitler was a living figure stalking the pages, that served to give me a painfully immediate intimation of the maddeningly unbearable Cassandra-like frustration the Munich Post journalists must have felt. They were the first to sense the dimensions of Hitler’s potential for evil – and to see the way the world ignored the desperate warnings in their work.

Fritz Gerlich

Fritz Gerlich (© Bavarian State Archive)

As a journalist, I felt simultaneously a growing awe at what they’d accomplished, how much they’d exposed, and how completely they’d been forgotten. Theirs was the first sustained attempt to fathom the depths of the Hitler phenomenon as it began to unfold….

The vision of the First Explainers was the vision of the men and women who were critical witnesses to the now-lost spectacle of Hitler becoming Hitler. In addition to the courageous reporters and editors of the Munich Post, there were others such as Rudolf Olden, Konrad Heiden, Walter Schaber… and Fritz Gerlich. The iconoclastic editor of a conservative anti-Marxist, anti-Nazi opposition paper called Der Gerade Weg (The Right Way, or Straight Path), celebrated as a journalistic nemesis of Hitler in his time, largely forgotten now.

Gerlich was murdered in Dachau for attempting to print a damaging expose of Hitler five weeks after the Nazis had seized power and crushed the rest of the opposition press. A fascinating figure, Gerlich, a scathing Swiftian satirical scourge of Hitler, he possessed an uncanny insight into the racial dynamics of Hitler’s pathology. A skeptical historical scholar, Gerlich nonetheless came to believe in the prophetic powers of a controversial, probably fraudulent, Bavarian stigmatic and found in her a source of the faith that led him to gamble his life on a last-ditch effort to bring Hitler down with his pen and printing press. With and expose to end all exposes of Hitler, he hoped: one final story that would shock the public and cause President Paul von Hindenburg to depose the newly installed Chancellor Hitler before it was too late. It was a desperate gamble that failed.

On March 9, 1933, storm troopers burst into Gerlich’s newspaper office, ripped his last story from the presses, beat him senseless, and dragged him off to Dachau, where he was murdered on the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934. The nature of the expose he’d been about to publish – some said it concerned the circumstances of the death of Hitler’s half-niece Geli Raubal in his apartment, others said it concerned the truth about the February 1933 Reichstag fire or foreign funding of the Nazis – has been effectively lost to history; it is one of the evidentiary trails I’ve pursued to the bitter end. …

I managed to track down in Munich one of Gerlich’s last living colleagues, Dr. Johannes Steiner, a retired publisher in his nineties who had been a partner in Gerlich’s doomed anti-Hitler attack sheet, Der Gerade Weg. Dr. Steiner’s memory of that awful time, particularly the last days of Gerlich, when they were all on the run, was fragmentary. But there was one moment, one memory he’d preserved with frightening clarity for six decades: a memory of the Gestapo and Fritz Gerlich’s spectacles. Gerlich’s steel-rimmed glasses had become a kind of signature image for the combative newspaperman among those who knew him in Munich, an emblem almost of his steely determination and clarity of vision. But after a year in Dachau, after the Gestapo had dragged him out of his cell and shot him in the head on the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler’s thugs chose a cruel and chilling way to notify Gerlich’s wife. Dr. Steiner recalled: “They sent to his widow, Sophie, Gerlich’s spectacles, all spattered with blood.” [Ron Rosenbaum, Explaining Hitler]

Rosenbaum sees the cruel gesture as, perhaps, an acknowledgment by Hitler’s thugs that Gerlich had seen too much and knew too much, “a token of how much his vision was feared and hated by the Hitler inner circle, for having seen through them.”

Now, did you notice anything particularly interesting in the above, brief account of the who, what, when, and where of Fritz Gerlich? It probably slipped right by, but it was this: “A skeptical historical scholar, Gerlich nonetheless came to believe in the prophetic powers of a controversial, probably fraudulent, Bavarian stigmatic and found in her a source of the faith that led him to gamble his life on a last-ditch effort to bring Hitler down with his pen and printing press.” What is Rosenbaum talking about? A “Bavarian stigmatic”?

Well, before we get to that, let’s talk about Fritz Gerlich and “The Trial of Hitler’s Nose.” In July of 1932, an extraordinary photocomposite image of Hitler appeared on the front page of one of Munich’s leading newspapers. I tried, without success, to obtain an image of this issue – but a reader found it:

The photo shows Hitler in top hat and tails, arm in arm with a black bride in a wedding scene and the headline read: “Does Hitler Have Mongolian Blood?” It seems that caricatures of Hitler had appeared in many of the opposition papers and on posters for years, but most of these tended to focus on the mustache and forelock or facial exaggeration. This image struck much closer to home and certainly was Gerlich’s death warrant. To publish an attack as vicious as this one, an attack that was more far reaching and deeply wounding in the body of the text than even the sensational photo and headline would indicate, was an act of great personal courage by a desperate and doomed prophet. In his hitpiece, Gerlich proposes that the reader apply the “racial science” of one of Hitler’s favorite racial theorists, Dr. Hans Gunther – who had prescribed the precise shape and dimension of each and every head and facial feature of “the Nordic type” – to Hitler’s own head and face, especially to his nose. With accompanying photographs, Gerlich proceeds to demonstrate that Hitler was not, in fact, Aryan, but was, rather, of the Mongolian type. Gerlich went further in writing a “brilliant critique which resulted in the devastating conclusion that Hitler – by his own lights – not only lacked Aryan physiognomy, he lacked an Aryan soul.” Rosenbaum writes:

[It gave] great satisfaction that at least here, one anti-Hitler journalist had gone all out, had gone for the jugular, had given vent to the anger and contempt that all felt before they were all silenced. I suspect this no-holds-barred fatal recklessness has something to do with my own fascination with Gerlich. It’s surprising to discover, when you look at the literature on Hitler and the Nazi leadership before and after the war, inside and outside Germany, how little outright, heartfelt hatred and loathing is expressed in print. The tone and tendency of prewar explainers was to condescend to Hitler, to treat him as a phenomenon beneath contempt, much less serious consideration. Rather than urge the necessity of combating Hitler, prewar explainers acted as if he could be wished away with words, belittled into oblivion. They diminished him to the point where he was not even a worthy target for antagonism.

Postwar literature tends to diminish Hitler in a different way; knowing well what he wrought, the tendency is to argue it wasn’t really him, it was the deeper and more profound forces behind and beneath him, the wave on which he rode…. The rare exception to it like Gerlich throws the absence of passion elsewhere into stark relief. …The reckless yet exquisitely well-honed hatred beneath the surface of Gerlich’s satire …was more than a howl, it was a razor-edged analytic tool that cut to the heart of Hitler’s pathology before anyone else did, before it was too late – if anyone had listened. [Ron Rosenbaum, Explaining Hitler]

So, Ron Rosenbaum has found a heroic standard bearer in the life and work of Fritz Gerlich; but he has a problem. He says that Gerlich was “driven by his obsession with Hitler from the rational to the irrational…” Why does he see the man who performed such acts of journalistic resistance against Hitler – acts that he admires so much, even right to the end, as “irrational”? It’s the problem of the “Bavarian Stigmatic” which I’m getting to; be patient.

Fritz Gerlich was born Protestant and received a doctorate in history at university in Munich. By 1923, he was a respected and influential figure in the nationalist movement and was, therefore, an early supporter of Hitler. However, in the spring of 1923, he received a visitor in his apartment, that rising star of the right-wing nationalist forces, Adolf Hitler himself. No one knows what happened at that meeting, but it seems that something said then, connected with things Hitler did later, turned Gerlich into an implacable foe. Apparently, Gerlich had seen something, the “two faces of Adolf Hitler.”

Gerlich formed a close-knit group of colleagues who all worked first at the Munchener Neueste Nachrichten, and then later, with Gerlich on his own spinoff anti-Hitler paper, Der Gerade Weg. For ten years, from 1923 until 1933, this group was the most outspoken center of anti-Hitler journalism among conservatives in Germany. The Gerlich group members who escaped arrest in the raid on the paper in March of 1933 went on to become the nucleus of the anti-Hitler movement that culminated in Claus von Stauffenberg’s failed assassination attempt on Hitler in July of 1944. As you might guess, at that point, they were executed.

We go to Rosenbaum now to learn about Gerlich and Neumann:

Therese Neumann

Therese Neumann (1898-1962) Mystic, Stigmatist

But something strange happened to Gerlich and this little group in the late twenties: They forged a highly improbably alliance, one that became a source of the faith that fueled their courageous anti-Hitler campaign. Gerlich and his friends became deeply involved with a holy stigmatic – a highly controversial, probably fraudulent, yet widely worshiped Bavarian woman: Therese Neumann. It still seems remarkable to me that a skeptical, Protestant, rationalist historian such as Gerlich, the no-nonsense newspaper editor with the gimlet eye behind the steel-rimmed glasses, would be taken in by this primitive, bedridden, Catholic mystic whose own church was skeptical…

One of [Therese’s] visitors – an aristocratic Catholic conservative, Count Erwin von Aretin, who survived to become Gerlich’s postwar biographer – became a believer…. Finally, after repeated urgings from his colleagues, the skeptical Protestant Gerlich decided to pay a visit to the stigmatic. To the surprise of just about everyone, he came back deeply impressed. More than that, he returned repeatedly, found himself drawn deeper and deeper into the peasant girl’s circle, would transcribe her visionary utterances, and translate them into warnings and prophecies about the growing crisis in Germany. … Dr. Johannes Steiner, Gerlich’s colleague, portrays Gerlich first going to Konnersreuth “determined to unmask every fraud he encountered… If there were any to be found.” [Ron Rosenbaum, Explaining Hitler]

Yes indeedy, Rosenbaum’s hero was hooked up with a real live “channeler.” And Rosenbaum, the rationalist, simply can’t bear it. He goes on for some paragraphs assuring us that Therese Neumann was a fraud, a charlatan, and undoubtedly it was something wrong with Gerlich’s mind that led him into this nonsense, never mind that he continued to do excellent work, and was, in fact, among the bravest of those journalists that stood against Hitler. More than this, it seems that the channeler was literally the inspiration for much of Gerlich’s work, and Rosenbaum turns impressive cerebral cartwheels trying to talk his way around that! Now, how can that be? Rosenbaum can hardly stomach it.

As it happens, it seems that Therese Neumann was NOT a fraud:

Wonder or fake-investigations in the case of the stigmatisation of Therese Neumann von Konnersreuth.
Rolf B, Bayer B, Anslinger K.
Institute of Legal Medicine, Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universitat, Frauenlobstr. 7 a, 80337, Munich, Germany, Burkhard.Rolf@med.uni-muenchen.de.

We investigated two compresses used by Therese Neumann (T.N.), a woman who lived from 1898 until 1962 in Konnersreuth, Germany. The compresses were soaked with blood during the appearance of stigmata on T.N.’s body on a Friday. T.N. became very popular among the faithful in Germany at this time. The question was whether this blood was from T.N. herself or from a family relative or an animal. The comparison of the HV1 and HV2 mtDNA sequence obtained from the compresses with the sequences from a reference sample from a maternally related niece of T.N. revealed an identity. Furthermore, we obtained a short tandem repeat (STR) profile from the bloodstains that were identical with the STR profile from a gummed envelope. The envelope contained a letter written by T.N. in the 1930s. Therefore, our investigations gave no indication for any manipulation.

What is certainly true is that Therese Neumann, a channeler, was the inspiration behind one of the bravest journalists in Germany during the times in which Hitler rose to power. Even after Gerlich’s murder in Dachau, the circle around Therese Neumann continued their participation in the morally significant resistance to Hitler. It was the mystical source of Gerlich’s strength that infused his incisive, surgical dissection of Hitler’s mentality. And it is this legacy he has left behind for all of us. Throughout history, extending back and back before any written records, people obtained much strength from mystical sources. Such sources came under attack with the rise of the materialism. The connection between an emotional knowledge of the world and an intellectual knowledge of the world was snapped. We live under the horrific conditions that are the result of this break. A large part of mankind is now slave to his intellect. The apprehending of the world via the emotions, the intuition, inspiration, which I suggest are the basis for mystical experiences and genuine channeling go outside of the hierarchical structures the rational mind has built to imprison us, be it materialistic science on the one hand or the need to communicate with the divine via priests and other representatives on the other hand. The direct connection with the divine was killed; it had to be killed.

Dr. Steiner recalled: “They sent to his widow, Sophie, Gerlich’s spectacles, all spattered with blood.”

We live – and may die – with this legacy.

Je suis Charlie: Or, “I’m a racist pervert too!”

Greenwald absolutely nails it. Good job, Glenn! The hypocrisy is just astounding, and points to a very ugly underbelly beneath all this talk of ‘freedom of speech’. The intent is not freedom, it is demonization.

charlie hebdo

Central to free speech activism has always been the distinction between defending the right to disseminate Idea X and agreeing with Idea X, one which only the most simple-minded among us are incapable of comprehending. One defends the right to express repellent ideas while being able to condemn the idea itself. There is no remote contradiction in that: the ACLU vigorously defends the right of neo-Nazis to march through a community filled with Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois, but does not join the march; they instead vocally condemn the targeted ideas as grotesque while defending the right to express them.

But this week’s defense of free speech rights was so spirited that it gave rise to a brand new principle: to defend free speech, one not only defends the right to disseminate the speech, but embraces the content of the speech itself. Numerous writers thus demanded: to show “solidarity” with the murdered cartoonists, one should not merely condemn the attacks and defend the right of the cartoonists to publish, but should publish and even celebrate those cartoons. “The best response to Charlie Hebdo attack,” announced Slate’s editor Jacob Weisberg, “is to escalate blasphemous satire.”

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Insanity! UK govt wants nurseries to report potential terrorist toddlers

Outrageous! Sowing the seeds of mistrust, division, alienation is just what the Prevent strategy is designed to do. These nurseries are being used to instill fear in toddlers and potentially program them into becoming informants under the guise of protecting them. Don’t buy it folks.

“It is unworkable. I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staff] are expected to do,” David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, told the Telegraph.

“Are they supposed to report some toddler who comes in praising a preacher deemed to be extreme? I don’t think so. It is heavy-handed,” he added.

“Turning our teachers and childminders into an army of involuntary spies will not stop the terrorist threat,” Isabella Sankey, the policy director at human rights body Liberty, told the Telegraph.It will sow seeds of mistrust, division and alienation from an early age.”

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Review: Bart D. Ehrman’s “Did Jesus Exist?”

Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, by Bart D. Ehrman

http://www.logosapologia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Ehrman-Did-Jesus-exist.jpgI’ve been a fan of Ehrman’s for some time now; I have all his books, and some I have bought extra copies to give as gifts. I even recommended him highly to an online forum I participate in which gets about 3 million page views per month. Shortly after this glowing recommendation of Ehrman, his book Did Jesus Exist arrived and I began to read. Imagine my shock – turning into horror – as I read a respected New Testament scholar writing polemic like a middle school brat.

My image of Ehrman was forever shattered. I thought he really was that guy who was just after the truth, the guy who was so hurt by the unfairness of life on earth that he just couldn’t stick with a god who didn’t handle things better; the guy who questioned his own good luck being able to eat barbecued steak and drink fancy wines, and collect his nice paycheck which paid for his lovely lifestyle, his trips to conferences and seminars underwritten by generous academic funding (I know the life, I’m married to an academic, now professor emeritus), while so many people on the planet go to bed hungry or go to sleep on the floor because they have no bed; anyway, yeah, that guy who demonstrated such refined and elevated sensibilities with a lot of this sort of discourse sprinkled in amongst his previous books. The first thing that popped into my mind as I was reading, aghast, was that this guy was definitely showing so serious a lack of class I finally understood why he repeatedly and lovingly describes his engagement with steaks and wine and living the elegant life of an academic: that’s the only thing that matters to him.

The Truth obviously doesn’t matter to Ehrman either. After I moved past that embarrassing concentrated polemic against some very fine researchers (I love Robert Price, Richard Carrier and Earl Doherty), things only got worse. I suppose that if Ehrman had anything intelligent or erudite to say, it might have salvaged the book even though I would never again view him as a nice – or even ethical – individual. But that didn’t happen. The errors, fallacies, failure of logic, and outright WRONG statements just piled higher and higher. I admit, I ALMOST threw the book in the trash when I read that astonishing claim that the Romans didn’t keep records, but I stayed my hand so that I could keep marking up the copy with references to clear refutations of the nonsense he was spouting.

I’m serious: there were HUNDREDS of errors! What was so shocking to me was to realize that this man had no classical training, or what is known as erudition, AT ALL! There I was, recovering from a broken hip, lying on the chaise longue with the tea tray on one side and five stacks of books on the other, most of which I had read during my convalescence. Some of these books I was re-reading, like Thucydides, Tacitus, Sallust, the Plinys, Cato the Elder, Cicero, Dio Cassius, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Josephus, Philo, etc. It just seemed like a broken hip was a good reason to do that. But additionally, I had also just completed Syme’s magisterial two volume commentary on Tacitus, following on his seminal The Roman Revolution and Burkert’s excellent survey of Orphism. The point is, I know a bit about classical Greece and Rome and when I read the astonishingly twisted or downright false claims Ehrman made in respect of historical facts OUTSIDE of Christianity, my heart fell into my stomach and I realized that I would have to re-think everything I had ever thought about Ehrman and his vaunted “expert status.”

This book, Did Jesus Exist, is so bad, so misleading, so “not even wrong”, as Pauli would have said, that I have to sadly say that its only usefulness is as an example of, as Richard Carrier says, “How Not to Defend the Historicity of Jesus”; barring that, if an ice age comes, I’ll use it to start fires.

Speaking of Carrier et al, I highly recommend the book Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth which addresses in detail (with proper scholarly references and citations), many of the horrifying failures of logic and erudition exhibited by Ehrman. A few other excellent books that anyone interested in these topics should have in the stack beside their chaise longue would be Price’s The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, The Amazing Colossal Apostle, F. C. Baur’s two volume Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, books by Richard Carrier and Earl Doherty, and another great find my husband made for me while searching for books to feed my voracious convalescent appetite for reading: James Tabor’s Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity. The list could go on, but you can check bibliographies and footnotes for further reading.

Finally, coming back to my amazement at the incredible shrinking brain of Bart D. Ehrman, I would like to think that the nice guy I saw through his works actually exists and that what we are seeing here is some other problem, perhaps neurological. My neighbor started talking this same way some years back and within two years, she was dead. The doctor who did the autopsy said that her brain had literally melted in her skull. The reason I mention this is because maybe what is revealed here is something like early onset Alzheimer’s? Maybe Bart didn’t lie deliberately. Maybe he isn’t acting like a complete nincompoop on purpose? Maybe he is ill and doesn’t yet know it? After all, scientific studies have been done that show that the incompetent lack the insight to perceive their own incompetence; it’s called the “Dunning-Kruger Effect”. Maybe we are looking at something like that? Bart’s mental competence has deteriorated and part of that deterioration includes an inability to even realize how bad his thinking actually is? If anyone who knows him reads this, I urge you to encourage Bart to make an appointment with a good neurologist.

Well, it’s either that or the career path he has followed, that of a glorified copy-editor of a narrow selection of ancient texts, has so limited his intellectual horizons that he is suffering from a hardening of the categories. It’s sad, but people like this should not be in a position of influence, and most definitely should not be teaching young people anything; he’s a bad example as an academic and a human being as far as I can see from his Did Jesus Exist. Cataclysmic awfulness all the way around.

Large asteroids to flyby Earth in January through March. Should we worry?

Definitely a heads-up situation: According to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program, there will be 43 asteroids flying close to Earth in January and 25 in February. In March, the number further drops to 15.

© NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCAL/MPS/DLR/IDA

Meet Alexei Navalny: The U.S. State Department’s inside man for ‘regime change’ in Russia

The western media is now carrying the story of a protest on the streets of Manezh Square in Moscow which occurred on Tuesday, December 30th. At the center of the rally was Alexei Navalny, self-proclaimed “anti-corruption” blogger and head of the largest opposition movement of the leadership of Vladimir Putin and his administration in Russia. Navalny was just convicted of defrauding a cosmetics company of about $440,000 and given a suspended sentence of 3 1/2 years. Relating to the same case, his brother, Oleg, will be sent to prison for the same period of time. In 2013, Alexei Navalny was also tried and convicted of embezzling over $500,000 from the state-owned timber company Kirovles, where Navalny worked as a volunteer in 2009.

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Preliminary report on the crash of flight MH17 full of holes, just like the plane

The idea that the US government (or some section thereof) would stage a well-planned and equally well covered-up provocation as part of an information war against an enemy should surprise no one.

Preliminary report on the crash of flight MH17 full of holes, just like the plane

Western mainstream media whores are already jumping all over a single sentence in the Preliminary report [on the] Crash involving Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 flight MH17, that reads:

Damage observed on the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft appears to indicate that there were impacts from a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft.

According to paragons of bullshit like the BBC, this “pretty much rules out anything else other than a [BUK] missile”.

What the BBC and just about every other mouthpiece of Western anti-Russian propaganda are studiously ignoring is the evidence provided by Russia, which was corroborated by eyewitnesses, that fighter jets were in close approach to MH17 when it went down. And in case everyone forgot, high caliber bullets are also “high-energy objects”.

With any crime, the context in which it occurs is all important. The crash of MH17 and the death of all 298 people on board occurred in the context of a major ongoing propaganda war against Russia by Western governments that was launched in the aftermath of a US-sponsored coup in Ukraine bringing an anti-Russian government to power. This provoked Russia to facilitate the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation and support the armed separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine. In short, the downing of MH17 occurred in the context of a major ‘world war’ between Russia and Western powers.

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