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Jesus and Stalin
Entry 1108, on 2009-10-29 at 22:23:57 (Rating 4, Politics)
Recently I have been commenting on how I don't totally discount the idea of conspiracies even though I tend to be very skeptical when they are used to justify a political position such as global warming denial. I mentioned a couple of conspiracies I currently subscribe to, including the religious conspiracy which results in the acceptance of the historicity of Jesus as a fact, but today I have found another, more current one which is a classic!
There is a political/religious organisation in the US called "the Family". Its a conservative, fundamentalist Christian organisation dedicated to using religious ideas to advance a conservative political agenda. There are many very powerful American political figures involved and it has a lot of influence with both parties, although its more strongly aligned to the Republicans, of course.
So these shadowy figures are working in the background influencing American (and international) politics in various nefarious ways. It really does sound like a classic conspiracy theory, doesn't it? Many conspiracy theories posit the existence of organisations like this who are the real power behind the world's governments or who even exist at a level above the recognised centers of power. I'm not saying this organisation is quite that powerful but I am suggesting they do have a lot of influence. If that's a conspiracy theory then I guess I'm a conspiracy theorist!
So what is known about this organisation? I listened to an interview on the subject by an author, Jeff Sharlet, who has recently researched and written a book on the subject and listening to him should lead anyone to a lot of genuine concern. Of course, as I said in my previous blog entry, I think it is important to independently verify the existence and some of the details about this organisation and indeed it all seems true.
The mission statement includes the following: To develop and maintain an informal association of people banded together, to go out as "ambassadors of reconciliation," modeling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others. To work with the leaders of other nations, and as their hearts are touched, the poor, the oppressed, the widows and the youth of their country will be impacted in a positive manner. It is said that youth groups will be developed under the thoughts of Jesus, including loving others as you want to be loved.
But according to a lot of the the evidence I've seen they don't really live up to these lofty ideals. Perhaps the most concerning aspect of their operation is secrecy. They make no attempt to be open and actually adopt secrecy as a fundamental part of how they operate. They make no apology for this and (ironically) don't try to hide secrecy as a major part of how they work. If there morals are so high and purpose so pure I really have to wonder why secrecy is important.
And they have been connected to some very disturbing activities, especially by aiding dictatorial and murderous regimes in countries like Somalia and Indonesia. If these accusations are true - and they certainly seem to be - then they have indirect responsibility for the deaths of millions of innocent people. And why have they connected with these murderers? So that they can use political influence to further their extreme right wing objectives.
Its a classic example of how religions can be warped to mean anything at all. The beliefs of the family are completely contrary to what most people would consider the classic Christian message. It would almost be worth it if Christianity really was true because what these people do has nothing to do with the Christian message and I'm sure God would find a particularly nasty corner of Hell for these totally evil people when they die!
The Family's current leader, Doug Coe, has encouraged commitment to the organisation and to Jesus Christ by comparing it to the blind devotion of followers of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Pol Pot. That seems like a very strange selection of people because in hindsight they didn't really deserve the following they had. I'm not sure what that really tells us about the Family's leadership. Maybe they are so confident in their power that they think they can make outrageous statements like that without fear of condemnation. Maybe they genuinely admire dictatorial regimes, because that's the way most religions work. Or maybe they are just so out on the fringe that they have no handle on reality at all. I suspect its a little bit of all of those.
One aspect of the regimes I listed above is that they all ended relatively quickly because they just weren't viable as a long term political solution. Of course Christianity has done a lot better than that but I think the signs of its imminent demise are there. Already it has become a spent force in Europe and that's gradually happening in the US as well. Its really only in third world countries where the naive inhabitants can be easily exploited that religion is growing. So, like Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Pol Pot, Jesus doesn't really seem to have much of a future. Its rather ironic really!
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