Special Report: “You’re Free To Think What We Let You”

Special Report: “You’re Free To Think What We Let You”
Vol: 76 Issue: 19 Saturday, January 19, 2008

In Canada, saying or publishing material that offends somebody — and it doesn’t matter if the statement is true, can land a person in front of one of the many provincial or federal human ‘rights’ commissions where the only rights that count are those of the easily offended.

The hot water is especially deep if one offends Islam — which is almost impossible to avoid if one is going acknowledge its existence. Apparently, the only thing you can safely say about Islam is that it is a religion.

If you call it a peaceful religion, you offend the word ‘peace’. If you call it a noble religion, you offend nobility. If you tell the truth, you offend Islam.

You remember when the Danes had the temerity to publish the dozen or so cartoons depicting Mohammed? The Danish daily that published the cartoons admitted it did so as a test of freedom of expression.

It turned out that in Denmark, freedom of expression is only viable if you are a Muslim who has no qualms about destroying the property of others.

The Danish government came down on the newspaper, its editors went into hiding, and the cartoonists received death threats by the trainload.

The backlash was so severe that many North American news outlets refused to show the reason for the uprising — and if they did dare to republish the cartoons, they pixelated them.

One of the few newspapers in North America who dared to republish the cartoons as they appeared was a Canadian newspaper; “The Western Standard” which was published (at the time) by Ezra Levant.

It is important to remember the cartoons broke no laws. Indeed, compared to typical cartoons depicting Christians and Jews, they were pretty benign.

But when the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (yes, there is such a thing) complained, Alberta’s Human Rights Commission agreed to hear the case.

In other words, although Levant broke no laws, his freedom of speech is conditional.

Canadians are only free to say something unless it offends someone else. Of course, ‘conditional freedom’ is not freedom at all.

The kind of freedom of speech allowed by Canada’s Human Rights Council is the same kind of freedom enjoyed under the Nazis or the Soviets — “You are free to say anything we let you. “

A few years back, a pastor was hauled in front of Alberta’s Human Rights Court for putting up billboards citing Leviticus 18:22. The billboards didn’t actually display the verse — just its citation: Leviticus 18:22.

To be offended, you’d first have to look it up: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

Two gay guys went to the trouble to look it up, decided that God’s Word offended them, and they took their troubles to the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

The pastor was fined for his perfidious billboard ‘message’ (the ‘message’ being limited to the fact that there is a verse located between Leviticus 18:21 and 18:23 — as I said, you had to look it up for more information) and he had to pay reparations to the gay guys whose noses were out of joint.

Plus, he was ordered to a re-education camp to be rehabilitated. (It isn’t called ‘re-education camps’ in Canada — that might offend Nazis — so they call it ‘sensitivity training’)

Last month, the Canadian magazine, Maclean’s (sort of a “US News and World Report” for Canadians) published an excerpt from Mark Steyn’s new book, “America Alone.”

Steyn does not say nice things about Islam, but he doesn’t say anything libelous or illegal. The book hasn’t been banned in Canada, and anyone is free to pick up a copy.

But four law students, backed, of course, by the Canadian Islamic Congress, filed suit with; a) the federal Human Rights Commission; b) the BC Human Rights Commission and, c) the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

It would appear that “human rights” are different in all these jurisdictions — otherwise, there would be no need for all these jurisdictions.

The federal and BC courts both agreed to hear the case, meaning that Mark Steyn will have to stand before these commissions and defend himself, somehow. Or Maclean’s will. Somebody will have to pay for offending Islam!

Two things are worth noting. The first thing is that the complainant does NOT have to pay legal fees, or prove any violation of the law.

The second point is two-fold. If you are hauled before one of these courts, your legal expenses are your own. There are no applicable laws you can turn to, since ‘offense’ is in the ear of the beholder.

That may explain why no accused has ever been found ‘not guilty’ in a Canadian human rights court.

After all, the standard is giving offense and by definition, if the court takes the case, you’ve given offense. Ipso facto, you are guilty. And since there are no applicable laws broken, (other than those guaranteeing freedom of speech) defense is a waste of time and money.

What do you say in your own defense? “I didn’t mean to offend this jerk?” Ooops! Now you’re facing new charges.

Right now, as I type this, I do so from the safety of the United States of America, ensuring that it is published on a server located in the United States of America.

(We’re in Batavia, NY for the weekend for a speaking engagement)

Freedom isn’t free. It never has been. But to appreciate its value, first you have to lose it. And by then, its too late to get it back.

Just ask a Canadian with an non-government approved opinion. If you can find one who’ll dare to share it with you.

Chariots of the Gods?

Chariots of the Gods?
Vol: 76 Issue: 18 Friday, January 18, 2008

There exists a more-or-less universal human memory of strange, god-like creatures, such as the centaurs and minotaurs and giants in the mythical past.

The centaur was half-man and half-horse and in Greek mythology, was the offspring of the god Apollo and Stilbe, daughter of the river-god Peneus.

In addition to centaurs, the ancient Greeks also worshipped Harpys, Mermaids, Satyrs, etc,. all of which were depicted as half-human, half-animal hybrids.

The centaur, Chiron, was celebrated among the Greeks for his master of music, medicine and archery. Hercules, Achilles and Jason, all heroes of Greek mythology, were said to have been educated by Chiron.

The Romans had similar gods, goddesses and hybrids in their own mythology, as did a number of other ancient pagan religions.

Virtually all the ancient mythologies agree that the pantheon of gods interacted directly with mortals, bestowing special powers and skills to those mortals that they took a fancy to.

There is an old saying to the effect that, ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’. That is to say, the ancient mythologies arose from something — they simply didn’t just appear in the imagination of the ancients — especially since the same myths exist, with slight variations, in cultures separated by both oceans and centuries.

The Mayans worshipped Kukulcan, a winged god depicted as a serpent with feathers. The Mayans erected as his monument a pyramid, called the Pyramid of the Sun, which still exists in Teotihuacan.

Mayan mythology has a story of extraterrestrial gods who came to earth and made man in their own image. When they first created man, the story goes, he was perfect, living as long as the gods and having all of their abilities.

Fearing their ‘creation’, the gods destroyed them. In the next evolution, a lower form of entity was created, ‘human’, as he exists today.

The Mayan Kukulcan was worshipped as the deity responsible for the arts of civilization, including codes of law, agriculture, fishing and medicine.

Kukulcan was also known to the Aztecs of Peru as Quetzalcoatl, meaning, ‘feathered snake’. The worship of Quetzalcoatl sometimes included human sacrifices, and they believed that the surest way to enter heaven was to commit suicide.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Assessment:

Atheists love to point at man’s mythological past, make comparisons to Bible stories about creation and the fall of man, and conclude that the Bible is just another effort by the ancients to use mythology to explain our origins.

While most of the ancient legends contain common threads — the belief in a world-wide Flood, the concept of heaven as a dwelling place for the gods, divine messengers, etc., — their deities are uniquely evil, their doctrines bloodthirsty, their gods and goddesses responsible for imparting secret knowledge to a select few humans.

They argue that the God of the Bible is nothing more than a religious system that borrowed its theology from mythology. Christians would (accurately) argue that the reverse is true.

Still, there are those universal memories of hybrid demi-gods — they had to have come from somewhere. And it is obvious that the pagans didn’t borrow their theology from the Bible.

But when one compares the mythology of the ancients to the explanation afforded by the Book of Enoch, one comes up with another possible explanation for the ‘mighty men of old, the men of renown’ who taught the ancients astrology, mathematics, construction, but who were also bloodthirsty predators who practiced the doctrines of demons.

I am not saying that the Book of Enoch has not been corrupted over the millennia, but what I am saying is that there must be some explanation for the advanced knowledge exhibited by the Great Pyramid, or the Mayan temples, or the shared memory of mythical hybrid creatures.

One can argue all day about whether God exists, or whether the ancients had actually encountered space aliens, or whatever explanation one wants to dream up, but there is only one explanation that fits the known and the unknown together with Scripture.

“That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Genesis 6:2)

Their offspring, according to Enoch, were the Nephilim, angelic hybrids giants who possessed the ancient knowledge of their fathers. According to Enoch, they “sinned against birds and beasts and reptiles and fish”; they taught charms and enchantments, root-cuttings, astrology, metallurgy, weapons, etc.

The Bible tells us of the giants in the earth then, — “and also after that.” The Book of Enoch tells us the angels (the Watchers) were confined after their sin, to be released after “seventy generations” — which brings the clock forward to approximately 7000 years from Adam.

The Apostle Jude confirms Enoch’s book as containing ‘prophecy’ and the Apostle John confirms their release (Revelation 9:2) and their identities (Revelation 9:11) during the Tribulation Period.

Ezekiel described the’ four living creatures’ (angels) he saw in great detail:

“The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. . . . As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.” (Ezekiel 1:13,18)

Read Ezekiel Chapter one in its entirety. Compare it to the descriptions in the accounts of modern UFO sightings and draw your own conclusions.

It its own way, the Book of Enoch confirms the Bible and offers a credible explanation for the gods and goddesses of history, the origin of the lost wisdom of the ancients, and helps explain Joshua’s references to the ‘gods which were before the Flood’ — without contradicting the Big Picture as presented by Scripture.

That doesn’t make Enoch a lost book of the Bible or a source of absolute doctrinal truth. There is no way of knowing how much of it was corrupted from the original, although Jude does say that there WAS an original.

As I’ve said a couple of times already, there are certain things that you just can’t ignore. You can try to explain them away, but there they are, just the same.

Ancient mythology, the pyramids, this generation’s fascination with UFO’s — and the thousands of documented ‘sightings’ and photos — they are real enough.

The hidden knowledge of the ancients is also real enough. The Great Pyramid, Stonehenge, the Mayan calendar, the Mayan temples and pyramids — they all attest to hidden knowledge for which there is no other explanation that fits the requirements of Scripture, logic, history and common sense.

According to Enoch, the ancients worshipped fallen angels and their offspring, the Nephilim. According to Genesis, there were giants in the earth then, — and also, ‘after that.’

And according to John, those angels will be released for a little season during the Tribulation.

Finally, according to Jesus Christ, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.”

How does God describe the ‘days of Noah’?

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)

The Watchers

The Watchers
Vol: 76 Issue: 17 Thursday, January 17, 2008

There are certain, undeniable realities in this world that exist, no matter how hard we try to explain them away, and as soon as we think we’ve got it figured out, something comes along that causes you to start all over again.

The Great Pyramid is one of those undeniable realities. It displays a level of scientific sophistication that defies conventional explanation.

In 1978, a “Great Pyramid Feasibility Study” related to the quarrying and transportation of stone was conducted by Merel Booker of the Indiana Limestone Institute of America.

Made up of 33 quarries state-wide, the Institute is considered by many architects to be one of the world s leading authorities on limestone. Using modern equipment, the study concludes:

Utilizing the entire Indiana Limestone industry s facilities as they now stand [for 33 quarries], and figuring on tripling present average production, it would take approximately 27 years to quarry, fabricate and ship the total requirements.

Booker also points out “the time study assumes sufficient quantities of railroad cars would be available without delay or downtime during this 27 year period and does not factor in the increasing costs of completing the work.”

Five thousand years ago, while the Great Pyramid, with all its advanced astronomical, geographic and mathematical complexities was being constructed, secular history says the Sumerians were just beginning to invent the first written language.

The bow and arrow was a relatively recent invention.

Hebrew slaves wouldn’t learn the art of manufacturing mud bricks by stomping mud together with straw for another nine hundred years.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was yet millennia in the future.

Who told the Pharaoh’s builders that Giza was in the exact center of the earth, that the north and south poles were slightly flattened, and the earth tilts 23.5 degrees on its axis?

Assessment:

First, we need to differentiate between the Book of Enoch (or Enoch i) and the “Secrets of Enoch” (Enoch ii).

What makes up the Book of Enoch (i) are divided as “The Apocalypse of Weeks,” fragments of the “Book of Noah”; “The Dream Visions”; the Book of Heavenly Luminaries”; and the “Simultudes”.

The first two books are believed to be the oldest, dating to the pre-Maccabean Period (prior to 300 BC); the latest, “the Simultudes” to somewhere in the first century before Christ.

The author of the first two ‘books’ of Enoch, based on references within the text, was likely a Jew who lived in the land of Dan in northern Israel.

Whether he actually authored the book, or simply transcribed what had been oral tradition passed down from father to son from the time of Noah, has not been established.

Nothing is known of the authors of the three later texts.

What is known IS that at least part of the Book of Enoch was in wide circulation throughout the Jewish community of pre-Christian Palestine for at least three centuries before the birth of Christ.

Anything about its pedigree beyond that is at best, an educated guess. So let’s look to some of Enoch’s contents as they relate to the topic at hand.

Enoch Chapter Six begins with the Genesis narrative:

“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.'”

Enoch then names the leading angels in the conspiracy.

“And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.”

Enoch’s narrative continues;

“And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men.”

“And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.”

Enoch goes on to say that these fallen angels taught pre-diluvian man forbidden secrets; Azazel taught metallurgy and weaponry; invented cosmetics, “and there arose much godlessness and they committed fornication and they were led astray and became corrupt in all their ways.”

Semjaza taught enchantments and root-cuttings (magic arts, drugs); Baraqijal taught astrology; Kokabel, the constellations; Ezeqeel, the knowledge of the clouds; Araqiel, the signs of the earth; Shamsiel the signs of the sun; and Sariel, the course of the moon.

Enoch calls these angels, (the ones Jude described as having “Left their first estate”) the “Watchers.”

Later in the book, Enoch says these angels were bound by God and cast then into the bowels of the earth for ‘seventy generations’ until the Judgment. (Revelation 9:2-11)

(Interestingly, if one pegs a generation at seventy years, as does Psalms 90:10, seventy generations (4900 years) from the Flood 2000-2350 BC) works out to between 6900 and 7200 years — or approximately this generation.)

Enoch’s narrative reads as does the Genesis story. And while it adds considerable detail not contained in Genesis, it offers no contradictions. Wherever the two stories touch, the details are the same.

Angels intermarried with the daughters of men, they practiced only evil continually, and their offspring were ‘men of renown,’ according to Scripture and according to Enoch. The Bible says they were giants; so does Enoch.

Enoch says these angels taught the forbidden knowledge to their ‘wives’ and offspring. History is replete with the record of giants.

(The surviving drawings of the Egyptian kings of the era of the Great Pyramids universally depict the pharaohs as being at least twice the height of their subjects.)

Joshua, who was already bedeviled by the memories ‘of the gods before the Flood’ got into hot water with God for disobeying His command to wipe out the inhabitants of Canaan, (whom the spies informed him were all giants).

It appears that history and theology and logic and common sense all come together on the 30th Parallel, where the 12 foot-tall Pharoh Narmer proclaimed himself the ‘son of Ra’ and ordered the construction of the Great Pyramid as his monument.

Narmer knew the distance from the earth to the sun in miles and constructed one of the most mathematically precise structures ever built by man in all his history.

Two thousand years later, his people were living in mud huts that they built all by themselves.

Tomorrow, we’ll take up the issue of the ancient gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus and see where that leads us.

Enoch, Enoch. . . Who’s There?

Enoch, Enoch. . . Who’s There?
Vol: 76 Issue: 16 Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Enoch, Enoch. . . Who’s There?

What is startling about the Book of Enoch is the amount of Messianic prophecy it contains.

We know from the Dead Sea Scrolls, from contemporary documentary evidence, and from the Epistle of Jude that the Book of Enoch was widely known and accepted by Jewish authorities long before the birth of Christ.

The Book of Enoch is classified as “Jewish pseudo-biographical literature” meaning, ancient biographical literature that is attributed to someone else, but whose actual author is unknown.

By itself, that doesn’t make it a forgery. Jeremiah didn’t write the book that bears his name. It was written by a scribe named Baruch.

Nobody is certain who the actual author of the Book of Hebrews is, whether it was Paul, someone writing at his direction, or another, unnamed Apostle.

It is highly unlikely that the Book of Enoch was actually penned by the literal Enoch, seventh from Adam, great-grandfather of Noah. But not impossible.

The Church fathers, including Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Lactantius, and others borrowed an opinion out of the book of Enoch in discussions regarding Genesis 6:2.

Tertullian, in several places, speaks of the Book of Enoch with great reverence, arguing his belief that it actually WAS written by Enoch, 7th from Adam, and preserved by Noah during the Flood.

The problem with the Book of Enoch, more than anything else, is its guilt by association. Enoch has been adopted into Islamic tradition as an Islamic prophet.

Interestingly, Enoch’s Islamic name means ‘instructor’ or, ‘initiate’ and Islamic tradition credits Enoch with the invention of astrology, astronomy, the written word and arithmetic.

(We’ll discuss this association between Enoch and ‘knowledge’ as we progress in our study, but it is worth keeping that fact in mind as we go along.)

Enoch was also recently adopted by the Mormons as a prophet, the ‘founder of Zion’ worker of miracles, etc., etc., until the mere mention of ‘Enoch’ makes some Christians running screaming from the room shouting ‘heresy’.

Enoch also plays a major role in Freemasonry and other occultic secret societies, especially those heavily involved in astrology or the zodiac.

But behind all the cults and occults and secret societies and New Age groups that have claimed Enoch as their inspiration, there is also the historical fact that the Book of Enoch was quoted directly in Jude 14-15:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Compare Jude 14-15 to the Book of Enoch (correction *)1:9:

Behold, He comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against Him.”

Assessment:

I don’t want to be misunderstood as attempting to rehabilitate the Book of Enoch or legitimizing the Book of Enoch beyond what it deserves.

It is worthy of discussion as a book of history, at the very least. It is at least twenty-three hundred years old, and it could possibly be much older.

Let’s look at it a different way. . .

I have a book in my library called “The Bible as History.” What its author attempted to do was take the Bible as it is and present it into an historical narrative. The end result was a sweeping historical overview of the history of mankind, but devoid of any theological or spiritual truths.

The book is accurate, as history, and would be useful to historians seeking historical information about the period and location, but it wouldn’t be much use in leading someone down Roman’s Road.

It isn’t something a theologian would study as part of an effort to learn what God wants us to know — but that doesn’t mean that it is worthless or unreliable.

But if somebody were to take “The Bible As History” as Divinely inspired and then use it as their religious text, it WOULD be worthless, unreliable, and downright dangerous. So it is important to view the Book of Enoch in a similar fashion.

The Book of Enoch is not part of the Bible, is not without error, and is not the final authority on matters of theology — but that doesn’t automatically make it worthless.

Flavius Josephus’ “War of the Jews” is not without error, neither is it Divinely-inspired, but there is still much it can teach us.

The Book of Enoch claims to have been written by Enoch, the son of Jared, of the seventh generation from Adam. Here’s what we know — and what we don’t know.

We know that the Book of Enoch was highly regarded among the Jews at the time of Christ. We know that Jude quoted from it; and we know the Essenes thought enough of it to hide it along with the rest of the treasures of the Temple in the caves at Qumron.

We know that in Joshua’s time, there was still a collective memory of life before the Flood. And we know that Tertullian, who lived a lot closer in terms of time to the events it describes that we do, believed the Enoch was preserved by Noah and was passed down through the generations since.

We know that it has been used as a launch point for innumerable cults who claim to have found in it a ‘hidden knowledge’.

We don’t know who wrote it, or how much of it was added along the way, or if it were an oral tradition at some point committed to paper.

We don’t know anything about the copy process, if it were held to the same standard of copying as were the Books of the Torah, and because we don’t know, we can’t trust it as Scripture.

And because we don’t trust it as Scripture, it is no more or less reliable than some of the historical accounts of Josephus or Pliny or Tacitus or Herodotus.

With that in mind, let me finish my disclaimer thusly:

By definition, some of the Book of Enoch must be true, or it wouldn’t have occupied the place of honor that it did among the religious Jews of the time.

But we don’t know what is absolute truth and what contains elements of truth. So we shall approach the study from that perspective, and rely on the Bible to illuminate the difference.

It is important to keep all this in mind. In our study, we are not seeking hidden knowledge, or the secrets of Enoch, or any such balderdash as that.

Where Enoch conflicts with Scripture, Scripture is the final authority, not the other way around. Where Enoch adds information not revealed by Scripture, we’ll apply logic and common sense against what the Scriptures DO reveal.

Our purpose is more historical than spiritual, but our approach is that the spiritual is as real as the secular, and is part of our overall history.

There are many questions left unanswered about the time before the Flood, and over the course of our study, we’ll examine some of them, including, but not limited to, the following:

1) Why do all ancient civilizations have similar memories?

2) What does ‘perfect in his generations’ mean?

3) Who were the giants before the Flood — and ‘also after that’?

4) Where did the ancients get their knowledge?

5) Who built the pyramids?

One question we will NOT tackle is whether or not the Book of Enoch should be part of the canon of Scripture. That question was settled centuries ago, and I claim neither the knowledge nor the desire to reopen it.

So, having said all that, we’ll begin our study tomorrow with a discussion about “The Watchers.”

Note for Subscribers:

Thank you all for your patience while we go through our transition. It has, so far, gone very, very well, praise the Lord. There have been a few hiccups, and no doubt there will be more as we progress, but so far, so good.

Please pray for us — there is still much to do — and pray especially hard for Frank — he is the one who is carrying the heaviest load.

But things will only get better from here. May our God bless us all, as we continue in our service to Him — until He comes.

Maranatha!

* incorrectly cited in original OL as Enoch 2:1

The Mighty Men of Renown

The Mighty Men of Renown
Vol: 76 Issue: 15 Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The base of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt was, according to most estimates, built sometime between 2589 and 2566 BC.

According to the great Bible chronologists of history, like H. H. Halley (Halley’s Bible Handbook) Archbishop Ussher (Ussher’s Chronology) and Clarence Larkin, that means that the Great Pyramid was built about two hundred years BEFORE the Flood.

(The Flood occurred somewhere between 2348 and 2004 BC. BC time counts backwards towards zero).

According to Clarence Larkin, the Great Pyramid covers roughly thirteen acres, but that is the only ‘rough’ measurement one can apply to it.

Other than that, it was constructed with a level of precision that is beyond the capabilities of even modern construction technology.

Using the standard Hebrew cubit of measurement, (25.025 inches) the length of each side is 365.2422 cubits. That is the exact number of days in a year, (including the fraction that results in one leap year in four)

The slope of the sides is angled in such a way as to meet at the apex at exactly 232.52 cubits. Clarence Larkin calculated that twice the length of any side at the base, divided by the height, equals pii (3.14159) which multiplied by the diameter of a circle gives its circumference.

The angle of the slope is 10 to 9 (it rises 9 feet in altitude for every 10 feet of linear distance). The altitude of the Great Pyramid, multiplied by ten to the power of nine, equals 91,840,000 miles — the exact distance to the sun.

(Note these are all measured in modern inches, feet, yards and miles, yet they work out perfectly).

In addition, the builders recognized the fact that there are some fifty seconds difference between the sidereal and equinotictial sides of a ‘star year’ — and those calculations are included in the Pyramid’s design.

The base is horizontal and flat to within 15 mm. The sides of the square are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points to within 3 minutes of arc and is based — not on magnetic north — but true north.

It contains enough stone to build a stone wall, six feet high, that would stretch from New York to Los Angeles.

Finally, the Great Pyramid stands at the exact center of the world’s land mass. It stands exactly where longitude 30 degrees and latitude 30 degrees intersect.

It is halfway between the west coast of Mexico and the east coast of China, and halfway between the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and the north cape of Norway.

So, who built the Great Pyramid?

Assessment:

Secular history says the ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramid. (Ask any Egyptian standing in front of his ancestral mud hut and he’ll tell you his ancestors did.)

But who told the builders the world was round? The Great Pyramid reveals that its builders not only knew the world was round, but that it is slightly flattened at the poles, causing a degree of latitude to lengthen at the top and bottom of the planet.

It reveals that its builders knew the earth rotated on an axis, that it tilts 23.5 degrees to the eclyptic, and that this tilt causes the seasons.

Moreover, on two faces of pyramid are ‘star shafts’ each facing specific stars; to ‘the sides of the north’, Beta Ursa Minor and Alpha Draconis. To the south, Sirius and Zita Orionis.

It is not speculation to say that Post-Diluvian society remembered its pre-Flood past.

Joshua alluded to the gods from ‘the other side of the flood’ on several occasions.

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood,and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. “

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 23:14,15)

The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about the time before the flood, but it does make allusions to demi-god-like figures who lived at that time.

Genesis 6:2 tells us of the ‘sons of God’ who intermarried with ‘the daughters of men’. That these ‘sons of God’ were angels is obvious to anyone who examines the phrase honestly.

Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7 all make reference to the ‘sons of God’ and in context in each instance, Job was referring to angels. Job 1:6 and 2:1 include Satan among the angelic ‘sons of God’; Job 38:7 refers to the angelic hosts.

Genesis 6:2 is referring to an actual event; Genesis 6:4 is referring to literal offspring:

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

These offspring were called ‘giants’ and ‘mighty men’ — and note also that this angelic interbreeding was not limited to the time before the Flood. Moses said there were giants in the earth then, “and also after that.”

The Book of Enoch was not included among the canon of Scripture, and because of that, it is often derided as a counterfeit, or conversely, incorrectly elevated to the status of a ‘Lost Gospel’.

It is neither. The Books of the Scripture were included because they were adjudged to be both Divinely inspired and the infallible Word of God.

That does not not necessarily mean that Enoch was a false prophet, or that the Book of Enoch was a counterfeit. The Apostle Jude was the half-brother of Jesus. In his epistle, Jude quotes the Book of Enoch directly and calls it ‘prophecy’.

That does not prove the entire Book of Enoch was inspired. But a book that contains the Word of God doesn’t necessarily have to BE the word of God.

(This briefing contains the Word of God — Joshua and Genesis are both quoted here — but the Omega Letter makes no claim to being the Divinely-Inspired Word of God.)

According to both the Book of Enoch and the Epistle of Jude, the angels who ‘left their first estate’ (Jude 1:6) and are now confined to Tartarus until being released (Revelation 9:1) are the same angels of Genesis 6:2.

Their offspring were the Nephilim, half-human, half-angelic hybrid creatures that both Enoch and Genesis identify as being special — mighty men, Moses says, who, according to Enoch, possessed a hidden knowledge of the stars.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to take a side trip through the Book of Enoch and see more we can learn about the Nephilim.

Don’t panic — we’re not going to join a cult, become astrologers, or rewrite the canon of Scripture to include the Book of Enoch.

But we are going to look at what Enoch has to say, weigh it against both Bible doctrine and secular history, and see what conclusions we end up with at the end.

Proverbs 25:2 teaches: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”

Somebody built the Pyramid at Cheops. And also, what did Moses mean by ‘after that’?

It should be an interesting study.

Situation Report: Transition Day

Situation Report: Transition Day
Vol: 76 Issue: 14 Monday, January 14, 2008

Today is the Omega Letter’s first day at its new server. So there are bound to be a few bugs yet to be stepped on. I don’t understand all of the technical stuff completely, but I’ll try and explain what I can.

In the first place, Frank Spaniak is now both officially and functionally the Omega Letter’s full-time webmaster (although Frank prefers the term ‘webservant’).

Mike is no longer involved in the OL’s web administration, so please direct your inquiries to Frank at webmaster@omegaletter.com.

OL Web Servant Frank Spaniak

”We’re on a mission from God”

In addition, when a web domain is transferred to a new server, it can take a couple of days for the new address to ‘propagate’ across the internet.

During that time, depending on where you are located, you might not be immediately redirected to the new site.

If that happens, hold down your ‘shift’ key and hit ‘refresh’. If that doesn’t help, then the new pointer might not have been fully circulated yet. There’s not much we can do to speed up the propagation process.

There may also be a few bumps and glitches with the email at first. That is normal and Frank is working his heart out trying to fix them as quickly as they appear. We beg your indulgence while we work through them.

If you experience any problems, please email Frank and let him know. We’ll get it all sorted out soon.

The website won’t look much different to you at first; the biggest and most difficult job was moving it to our new digs.

This is a much more complicated process than a non-technical person can grasp — there are all kinds of lists, databases, interconnected relationships between files, not to mention the thousands of interdependencies that only a web guy can see.

Frank began working on and preparing for the transition way before Christmas. He worked all the way through his Christmas holidays without a break.

We’ve been in more or less constant communication since, and it is worth noting that no matter what time of the day or night that I’ve been online, Frank has been right there.

Proverbs 12:24 teaches, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”

Frank is living proof of that Scriptural truth. He has been diligent well above and beyond the call of duty, and somehow in the process, he’s whipped the website into submission. And now, he rules our website.

On a personal note, I consider Frank to be a blessing from God. When first I learned that the OL was to be without adult supervision, I don’t mind admitting I was in something of a state of panic.

As most of you know, the OL’s paid membership is small — too small to be able to pay a webmaster the kind of money he could earn elsewhere. The OL is a full-time job, but, for an IT guy, at best, it pays only a part-time salary.

So, over the past few years, Mike had built up a web hosting company on the side to make up the difference.

Evidently, the demands of Mike’s hosting business had begun to exceed the amount of time a website as complex and interactive as the Omega Letter required.

And the Omega Letter’s traffic was putting a strain on the rest of Mike’s hosting resources.

Adding to the strain were plans for a much-needed upgrade. I’ve been trying to push through an upgrade to try and simplify site navigation and make it a bit easier to read.

We had planned a meeting in early December to go over the details, but we couldn’t overcome the circular issues of economics. To increase our subscriber base, we needed to make improvements. To pay for improvements, we needed more subscribers.

So the decision was made to move the Omega Letter to a different server and find a different web mastering solution.

Although there are plenty of commercial web hosting solutions out there, the Omega Letter isn’t just a website — it’s a fellowship.

Web tech guys tend to see a website in terms of database relationships, but the Omega Letter’s most important elements are the human relationships.

I ran into that problem right away.

For that reason, when I realized just how difficult a position we were in without a webmaster, especially given the fact that the transition also involved looking for a new server home, I took it to the Lord and left it in His capable Hands.

It would have been all but impossible to find a web guy off the street that could understand that relationship comes first. Frank came from within our fellowship, to serve our fellowship, out of his love for our fellowship.

I can’t even tell you how it all came about. One minute, I was up the proverbial creek without a paddle, and the next second, Frank showed up in a motorboat.

Frank brings fresh eyes to a project that has sorely needed a new perspective, a new look and some new features.

Among them will be my new blog, which will be in addition to the regular OL features, forums and daily briefing.

From my personal blog, you’ll be able to keep up with all that is going on behind the scenes as it happens, both out there in the the world, and within our fellowship.

(I am VERY excited about this project, one I’ve had on a back burner for a couple of years now).

Frank is exploring a new and improved chat program — several packages under consideration also have video/voice features. And we will be moving ahead full steam redesigning both the website’s look and functionality.

We’re also planning to reintroduce some of our previous features, like the member’s polls, increasing member input and involvement, and adding some new touches to some of the existing features — but we’ll consult with you at every step along the way.

The transition, so far, has been both incredibly stressful and surprisingly expensive. (Just the new email server software, by itself, cost more than $1200.00.)

Please continue to support us with your prayers — (and, as the past couple of weeks have made painfully obvious) — also with your finances, as the Holy Spirit leads you and God gives you the increase.

But especially with your prayers.

Please take a second to thank our ministry’s Founder, the Lord Jesus Christ, for His protection and provision as we continue in our service to Him and to the Kingdom.

This is, and always will be, YOUR Omega Letter. Our pledge to you is to always remain, your humble servants in the Lord.

Jack Kinsella – Editor and Publisher

Gayle Kinsella – Admin and Member Administration

Frank Spaniak – Web Servant (and Everything Else)

Maranatha!

Special Report: “The Prize”

Special Report: “The Prize”
Vol: 76 Issue: 12 Saturday, January 12, 2008

When somebody dies, it is always an occasion for grief, even among Christians.

I know, I know. When a Christian dies, he goes home to be with the Lord, it is cause for celebration, his suffering is past, and all that.

But I’ve been a Christian for more than half my life, and in that time, many of my loved ones have gone home to be with the Lord.

I have to admit that I grieved their loss, in each and every case. For some whom I particularly loved, that grief is only diminished, but not gone, even after many years.

Paul was writing of physical death when he penned;

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (2nd Thessalonians 4:13)

Does that mean I am ignorant? Or faithless? I don’t think so. I believe in the certainty of salvation, the literal existence of a loving God and the literal existence of a place called “Heaven.”

My grief isn’t for the person who has gone to be with the Lord. My grief is for my own loss.

Knowing I will see my loved one in the ‘sweet by and by’ is a source of immense comfort, but it isn’t the same as seeing them now.

You don’t fully appreciate the measure of comfort offered by the certain knowledge salvation until someone you love dies without that hope. When that hope is absent, the grief is magnified beyond measure.

Your personal loss is now inconsequential to the complete and permanent loss of the hopeless. Your grief isn’t for yourself, it is truly and tragically for that lost one.

Your loss is over, his is just beginning.

We’ve discussed at length in previous briefings what kind of eternity is in store for those who enter eternity without Christ.

Let’s take a brief look at what the Bible tells us awaits the saved Christian on the other side.

Is Heaven a Real Place?

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

This is a proof text for the Rapture; Jesus promises that He will come again and receive us personally unto Himself.

That isn’t the 2nd Coming, where He comes astride a white horse, with ten thousands of His saints, wielding a sword and exacting judgment on a rebellious earth.

The purpose of this secret ‘coming’ is to take the Church, the Bride of Christ, to the honeymoon mansion prepared for us.

But note that also that He is speaking of a real place. Heaven is His Father’s house; within which are contained ancillary houses, (mansions) and “if it were not so, I would have told you,” Jesus promises.

Elsewhere, Jesus teaches: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew 6:19-20)

That could only apply to an actual, literal, real physical place.

What Does Heaven Look Like?

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1st Corinthians 2:9)

Since the Bible says it is beyond our capacity to imagine, those images we are shown are simply that — images.

John describes it in Revelation 21 and 22, streets of gold, inlaid with precious gems, but I like the picture in Revelation 22:1 of a “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,” with the Tree of Life growing on its banks, “and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations . . . and there shall be no more curse.”

Heaven is a place of indescribable beauty, but it appeals to me as a place of perfect peace.

Do The Saved Go To Heaven Immediately?

Emphatically, yes. 2nd Corinthians 5:8 says: “to be absent from the body,” [is] “to be present with the Lord.”

Paul wrote to the Philippians: For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” (1:23)

Man is not ‘a body’, but rather, man has a body. My body is not me, it is my possession. These are my arms, my legs, my eyes, and my hands.

This is also my keyboard, my monitor and my computer. They are in both cases, my possessions, they are not me.

When I leave this body behind, I leave behind a possession, but that part that is ‘me’ is the eternal part, that which was created in the Image of God.

But From Body to Disembodied?

There is considerable Scriptural support for the conclusion that we already have some kind of temporary, physical body awaiting us in Heaven — even before the resurrection of the dead in Christ at the Rapture.

Paul writes to the Corinthians;

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens . . . .

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: . . .

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:1,6,8)

Paul reveals here that when our bodies die (and are dissolved) there awaits us a “new building of God.”

Since our resurrection bodies are our actual physical earthly remains, reformed in the image of Christ’s Resurrected Body, the ‘building of God not made with hands’ that awaits us in Heaven cannot be one and the same.

Further, Luke 16 teaches that Lazarus had a finger to dip in cool water, that the rich man had a body to be tortured by the flame, and that the rich man recognized the forms of both Abraham and Lazarus.

Chronologically, this all took place prior to the death and Resurrection of Christ.

But they had bodies of some description, notwithstanding.

If Heaven is a Real, Physical Place, Where is It?

We tend to think of Heaven as ‘up’ and hell as ‘down’ — but the earth is round.

If, when I die, I go ‘up’ to Heaven, does that mean that a guy in China who dies at that same moment goes ‘down’?

The idea of Heaven being ‘up’ is derived from the points on a compass. Straight up is ‘north’.

Christians often refer to the passing of a loved one into Heaven as a ‘promotion.’ Many obituaries announce one’s ‘promotion to Glory’ rather than a death announcement.

The Psalmist reveals: “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.” (75:6)

Isaiah recorded the indictment of Lucifer as follows: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” (Isaiah 14:13)

Heaven, therefore, is a fixed location in ‘the sides of the north’ from our universe, orienting due north from our North Pole and somewhere north of the highest star.

Will We Know Each Other?

Undoubtedly. Jesus told the Pharisees; “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” (Luke 13:28)

Clearly, if they can see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets, they will also recognize them for who they are. Otherwise, why the weeping and gnashing of teeth?

At the Mount of Transfiguration, both Moses and Elijah were there. Moses and Elijah had never met. (But not only did they know each other, note that they still had the same names.)

The rich man recognized Abraham. Ok, but that’s Abraham! (He also recognized Lazarus)

Paul writes: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1st Corinthians 13:12)

The Apostle Paul expected to be known when he entered Heaven. So do I.

Assessment:

Heaven is a real, literal, physical place that will we will inhabit with real, heavenly, physical (but temporary) bodies that we begin to inhabit at the moment our physical bodies are ‘dissolved’ (die).

According to the Bible, we will know and be known by our loved ones who have preceded us in death.

Although the literal, physical Heaven is beyond our capacity to imagine, we are assured by our Maker that it will exceed our most optimistic hopes (He should know), that it will be a place of eternal peace, and that our existence there will be one of unimaginable joy.

The curse will be lifted, man will no longer exist by the ‘sweat of his brow’ there will be no more sickness, no more death, and all our ‘tears will be wiped away.’

We began this morning talking about grief and loss. We went on to examine Paul’s admonition that ‘we sorrow not, even as others who have no hope’ — yet we know that we do sorrow at the death of a loved one, blessed assurance notwithstanding.

But Paul began by saying, “I don’t want you to be ignorant.”

We can’t imagine Heaven, but we can be certain that it exists, and that every single Christian who ever lived and died is still alive and well and physically in the presence of God and all their loved ones.

And we can be equally certain that they will still be there, waiting, when we get there.

If Heaven is such a great place, why is it that we can’t really imagine it? Think that through. God put us on this earth with a mission.

It is our job to spread the message of Heaven and the path that leads to it. We are given to know just enough to fulfill that message.

There is an old saying to the effect that “everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.” It’s only true because we really can’t imagine the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.

That’s how good it is. And how important the message we carry is. So important that God can’t trust us with too much information about the Prize that awaits us at the end of the race.

Because if we really knew what awaits us, there’d be nobody left down here willing to wait and carry the message to the next runner.

For now, we’ll just have to take His Word for it. On faith.

Maranatha!

Unchurched America

Unchurched America
Vol: 76 Issue: 11 Friday, January 11, 2008

According to USAToday, a new survey of U.S. adults who don’t go to church, even on holidays, showed that 72% of the unchurched in America agree that, “God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists.”

But the same percentage also agree with the statement, “The Church is full of hypocrites.” LifeWay Research, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, based in Nashville, conducted the survey of 1,402 “unchurched” adults last spring and summer.

For the purposes of the survey, ‘unchurched’ is defined as people who have not attended services at a church, synagogue or mosque at any time in the past six months.

The survey also discovered that one in five Americans say that they never go to church — the highest percentage ever recorded by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. (In 2004, the percentage was 17%)

The survey, it should be noted, does not differentiate between Christians and Deists, that is to say, the criteria was simply a belief in a monotheistic Supreme Being.

For example, among the participants, only 52% agreed with the statement that “Jesus died and came back to life.”

And 61% say the God of the Bible is “no different from the gods or spiritual beings depicted by world religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc..

Given that Buddhism doesn’t have a god of any description and that Hinduism has literally millions of ’em, it is safe to assume that only a tiny minority of the ‘unchurched’ in this survey are actually born-again Christians.

The USAToday article also included its own reader’s poll:

“There exists only one God, the God described in the Bible.” Strongly agree: 51%. Strongly disagree: 37%.

“I think Christianity today is more about organized religion than loving God and people.” Strongly agree: 55% Strongly disagree: 18%

And finally, “Christians get on my nerves.” Strongly agree: 39% Strongly disagree: 25%

Indeed, according to LifeWay Research director Ed Stetzer;

“Non-churchgoers lean to a generic god that fits into every imaginable religious system, even when (systems) contradict one another.”

“If you went back 100 years in North America, there would have been a consensus that God is the God in the Bible. We can’t assume this any longer.”

What this means, according to Stetzer, is, “We no longer have a home-field advantage as Christians in this culture.”

What it underscores is the apostatic state of mainstream Christian religion in America.

Assessment:

This is a lot to take in — especially since the OL is specifically designed to meet the needs of unchurched Christians.

For that reason, I suspect that these survey results don’t come as a complete surprise to at least some of our fellowship — but it is somewhat disturbing to see it laid out in print.

There are probably as many reasons for the ‘unchurched’ as there are unchurched Christians.

More than a few of us might find some level of agreement with the statement that “Christians get on my nerves,” although most of us probably never put it in those terms, not even to ourselves.

Not ALL Christians, of course. Just the ones who get on our nerves.

(If you are among those who strongly disagree with that statement, you probably don’t watch a lot of Christian TV.)

I also suspect that some unchurched Christians don’t go to church because it makes them feel worse than staying home does.

You spend your whole week working on your relationship with the Lord, only to go to church on Sunday and find out [again] that you’re not doing it right.

You learn all about what not to do, but precious little about what you should be doing.

Or you discover that salvation is a free gift of grace through faith, but now that you are saved, you are suddenly expected to start earning it.

For a free gift, it seems to have a lot of strings attached.

You have to dress a certain way, you have to act a certain way, you have to behave a certain way, and if you don’t pass muster, well-meaning Christians suggest that maybe you aren’t really saved after all.

Then there is the issue of guilt. Although God has delivered everybody else at church from their bad habits, yours still stubbornly stick with you. What’s your problem?

Instead of spending an hour in uplifting fellowship with other Christians, you’re focused on making sure that nobody sees the nicotine stains on your fingers.

(And prepared, in case somebody asks, to make excuses.)

All the rest of the time, you are confident in your relationship with the Lord. Except on Sunday.

The purpose of the Biblical church model is to encourage believers in their walk of faith and empower them to carry the message to the lost.

The fact that there are so many unchurched is evidence that element is missing from most mainstream church organizations — not that fewer people believe in God.

Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research, noted that 78% of the unchurched in the survey would “be willing to listen” to someone tell “what he or she believed about Christianity.”

And 89% say they have at least one close friend who is a Christian.

“What surprised me is the openness of the hard-core unchurched to the message of God and Christianity just not as expressed in church,” director Ed Stetzer says.

“It’s a personal thing, not an institutional thing. It’s a matter of starting conversations.”

(Like being prepared with the answer to the question, “What’s this world coming to?”)

I believe that the decline of the American church as an institution doesn’t necessarily translate into the demise of American Christianity.

It is instead a mile-marker along the way to its ultimate fulfillment — with the return of its Founder on the last day.

The Apostle Paul writes, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:3)

There is a progression here. First comes the falling away, and then, the revelation of the man of sin. The ‘falling away’ here comes from the Greek apostasia from which we get our word ‘apostasy.’

Apostasy means a “desertion of or a departure from one s faith.” The ‘unchurched’, according to this survey, haven’t fallen away from their faith — its more the other way around.

As McConnell noted, 78% of the unchurched are hungry for the Word, but they don’t believe that is what they get from attending church. So they don’t go.

The majority believes in God, but they don’t know Christ. (But the survey says that they’d like to.)

That brings things full circle from the 1st century church, (consisting of those ‘called out’ from the organized religion of the day and into faith in Christ alone,) to the last generation church — also ‘called out’ from the organized religion of the day and into faith in Christ alone.

The torch has been passed from organized religion back into the hands of the church of called out ones. There has never been an opportunity for one-on-one Christian evangelism like there is today.

The fields are truly white with the harvest, as the Lord said they would be. I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating.

Every person you meet has an eternal destiny. Either they will spend eternity in the presence of Christ, in eternal peace and joy, or they will spend an eternity apart from Christ, alone and nameless, sharing the in the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Where they spend eternity may depend on you.

The Omega Letter exists for the purpose of ministering to the called-out ones of the last days, to equip them and prepare them for their individual battles against the prince and power of the air.

I earnestly solicit your prayers that we will be successful in our mission in the coming year. And together, may we bring many souls to Christ, in the time remaining before He comes.

Maranatha!

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four
Vol: 76 Issue: 10 Thursday, January 10, 2008

In that seminal year of 1948, the year that Israel declared independence, the year the UN GATT Treaty created a global economy, the year the Benelux Treaty set the EU in motion, George Orwell made literary history with his novel, “1984.”

Orwell’s novel revolved around Winston Smith, an intellectual employed by the Ministry of Truth in a totalitarian dictatorship on the fictional country of Oceania.

Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” was an instrument of propaganda charged with rewriting history to support Oceania’s dictator, “Big Brother.”

Orwell’s novel gave society the phrase “Doublespeak” as exemplified in Big Brother’s Three Slogans; “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; and, Ignorance is Strength.”

(Orwell actually coined the words “doublethink’ and ‘newspeak’ — words that, once released from the world of fiction, entered reality as ‘doublespeak’).

The novel’s impact also introduced the adjective, “Orwellian” into the English language as a modifier for the word, ‘propaganda’ and “Orwellian Doublespeak” became part of America’s political lexicon.

An example of Orwellian Doublespeak as it would apply to modern politics is found in the mantra of the American Left; “We Support the Troops, But Oppose the War.”

What made Orwell’s book so fascinating was the premise that the citizens of Oceania fully understood and accepted the concepts of doublethink and newspeak for what they were; lies that became truth based on who was speaking them.

Throughout the novel, Oceania is at war with one of the other two existing superpowers, Eastasia and Eurasia.

At one point, Oceania switches alliances without notice, as a public speaker changes the names of the enemy and ally mid-sentence.

In 1948, Orwell’s novel was a disturbing work of fiction. By 1984, it had earned a reputation as a ‘cautionary tale’.

In 2008, we still don’t have a Big Brother. But ‘doublethink’ and ‘newspeak’ are not just part of our lexicon in 2008.

They are part of our daily information processing apparatus.

Assessment:

Advertising is a prime example of ‘doublespeak’ in action. George Orwell comes to mind every time a drug commercial airs that promises to cure some minor condition.

Provided, of course, that you aren’t worried about blurred vision, heart palpitations, anal leakage, male pattern baldness, uneven tire wear, sudden heart attack, uncontrolled bleeding or perhaps, death.

(Or that unmentionable (but evidently not) condition that, if it lasts more than four hours, requires emergency medical treatment.)

People are driving their doctors crazy asking them if some drug represented by old people wearing body suits while surrounded by long, flowing blue curtains, or standing alone on top of a mountain, or, even more baffling, wearing outfits that make them look like a suicide cult about to jump into an angry, rocky surf, is “right for them”.

Another, and much more relevant example is in American politics. The politicians provide the doublespeak and the electorate willingly learns newthink.

But in 2008, we call doublespeak ‘spin’ and the newthink emerges as a consequence of failing to wait until the spin cycle stops before attempting to interpret it all.

Hillary Clinton’s ‘spontaneous show of emotion’ the other day is widely credited with her victory in the New Hampshire primaries, for example.

It dominated the news. “Hillary Shows Emotion” was the headline of the day.

It made news because Hillary famously hides any emotion (except anger) — and has never welled up in public, or even discussed welling up in public, and there she was, in an ‘unguarded moment’ on the campaign trail, showing herself to be human.

What made less news was the fact that Hillary gave an interview to Access Hollywood defending her ‘spontaneous emotional moment’ the day before it happened!

See Brit Hume’s “Grapevine”

So, if she won New Hampshire based on a contrived emotional event, as is the widely-accepted conventional wisdom, why doesn’t anybody care?

Fox News called the pre-sob interview about the post-sob moment an ‘interesting coincidence.’ (I call it an Orwellian moment).

There was another Orwellian moment in Jerusalem yesterday when President Bush announced his intention to push a Mideast treaty between Israel and the Palestinians even as he admitted that the Palestinian side has not met a single one of its prior obligations under the ‘Road Map’!

While standing side-by-side with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Bush acknowledged that Hamas was dedicated to Israel’s destruction, that Hamas was in control of Gaza, and that Hamas was elected in a democratic election.

The next day, while standing beside Mahmoud Abbas, who has no control over Gaza, no control over Hamas, has made no effort to disarm Hamas, as Palestinian rockets still rain down on Israel Bush called on Israel to fulfill it’s obligations under the Road Map, suggesting that tactic might “encourage the Palestinians to do the same.”

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, quickly dismissed Bush and Abbas’ hopeful comments.

“This meeting was for public relations only, it was an empty meeting without results, only more dreams and waste of time,” the Hamas spokesman said.

“The meeting focused on the so-called security topics which mean to act against the interests of the Palestinian majority and the resistance.”

Bush also openly admitted that he doesn’t know whether Abbas’ government can resolve the Palestinian division before the end of the year.

But that minor detail was swept under the rug in his next breath, in which he promised the Palestinians a state by year’s end, anyway.

In Orwell’s world in 1984, truth was whatever Big Brother and the Thought Police said it was.

In the real world in 2008, truth seems to be whatever people prefer to hear, facts notwithstanding.

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

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. ” (Luke 21:28)

“Cry Me a River”

“Cry Me a River”
Vol: 76 Issue: 9 Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Well, you’ll get to read today’s column tomorrow. Something unexpected came up last night that I just can’t pass by without commenting on.

Former president Bill Clinton shed a tear last night on-camera and on-cue when New Hampshire’s primary was unexpectedly called for Hillary, despite predictions of a Clinton rout by Barack Obama.

Hillary’s unexpected turnaround came, according to Hillary’s own pollsters, after she teared up during a women’s luncheon.

A 64 year-old photographer named Marianne Young asked this penetrating question of the candidate;

“How do you do it?” following up with the even more penetrating and relevant question; “Who does your hair?”

Without explaining whether her answer was in response to her perseverance or her hairdressing secrets, Hilary’s eyes welled up with tears, the room grew ghostly silent, and she replied:

“I just don’t want to see us fall backward as a nation,” she said (without explaining what that meant.

Back to what?

Bush in ’88? Clinton in ’92-96? Bush 2000? 2004?

“It’s about our country. It’s about our kids’ future. It’s about all of us together. Some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some difficult odds.”

As it turned out, it didn’t matter whether her answer was in relationship to what she does, or who does her ‘doo.

It turned out that tears work in New Hampshire. Hillary shed a tear and it pushed her over the top, beating Obama by a three-point margin.

Perhaps to jinx the next contest in their favor, Bill immediately sought out the nearest camera after Hillary’s victory and cried all over it.

If it works again in South Carolina, I predict an onion shortage will occur in each city along the Democrat campaign trail.

Let me go even further. If it works, I also predict that every future appearance by either Clinton or their top advisors will be punctuated by a dramatic grab for a Kleenex.

(I have a personal fantasy in which Clinton attack dog James Carville goes on national TV and has a total emotional breakdown, complete with great, wracking sobs.)

But for now, it is still an experimental tactic. Ann Lewis, former Bill Clinton official (played by Kathy Bates in “Primary Colors”) was asked by reporters if the tears helped. “I know it did,” she said, “But I can’t prove it.”

(She can’t prove it yet. There are still forty-eight more primaries to go. But by November, I anticipate a run on raincoats.)

In her victory speech, Clinton hinted that we may see more of her ‘vulnerable’ side; “Over the last week, I listened to you, and in the process I found my own voice.”

So I guess we’d better get used to it. We’re going to be hearing it for some time to come.

Assessment:

As I said, I had a different column planned for today, because I really didn’t expect Hillary to win in New Hampshire. Frankly, I was afraid that Barack Obama would blow Hillary’s campaign out of the water.

I say ‘afraid’ because Obama might actually be able to win in the general election — and comparatively, Obama makes Hillary look like a conservative.

Not that I’d prefer Hillary to Obama as president. Just that I’d prefer Hillary to Obama as a candidate — even if it means enduring ten months of Hillary commercials and victory speeches.

Since 2000, the Democrats have run on a single campaign issue, which could be summarized as follows:

“Vote for me! I’m not George Bush!” When pressed for more substance, there is mumbling about “getting our troops out of Iraq” or “restoring our economy” or the tried and true mantra; “fight ________ (fill in your favorite liberal Marxist slogan here.)

Yesterday, while preparing for a KKMS radio interview, I stumbled across the following passage in the Book of Isaiah:

“The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.” (Isaiah 32:5-7)

(‘churl‘ — old Anglo-Saxon for ‘a person of low class’ or ‘appealing to the lower classes’)

With the war in Iraq turning in America’s favor, the economy stubbornly refusing to tank, and most sensible Americans preferring to apply the word ‘fight’ to the Islamist enemy, there’s really not been much to talk about in terms of policy.

Just the typical ‘rich vs poor, us against them, I’m-more-pro-abortion-than-you are’ liberal double-speak — or what Isaiah characterized as ‘wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speak right.”

(It’s like Isaiah was reporting on the ’08 primary season for Fox.)

Anyway, now Hillary has found her voice. Soon John Edwards will be bawling, and I even anticipate Barack Obama will discover he has tear ducts.

By mid-month, Edwards will have found a way to work the slogan, “Crying for America” into his campaign and the top three will start fighting about whose tears are genuine and whose aren’t.

As I said, I much prefer Hillary as the nominee. The campaign commercials will be lots more entertaining, given that Hillary has adopted new Democratic mantra of “change.” For the past twenty years — the whole lifetime of first-time voters — there has been either a Clinton or a Bush in the White House.

The spectacle of Hillary Clinton running on a platform of bringing change to Washington is simply too delicious for words. “I am an agent of change, I embody change. I think having the first woman president is a huge change.”

Having a woman president would be a huge change.

But an even huger change would be having a president not named “Clinton” or “Bush” — and ten more months of the Never-Ending Billary Cry Me a River Tour just might spur on the actual change that America so desperately needs.

If you are a liberal, then Hillary’s victory over Obama in New Hampshire is bad news. But if you are not, then Hillary’s victory is terrific news — it all but guarantees a Democratic defeat in November.

Unless Bill and Hillary somehow manage to cry their way all the way back into the White House.

My advice? Buy stock in Kleenex. You can always dump the stock if Hillary loses in November. But if she wins . . .?

Either way, it’s a sure thing.