Religious scholars urge Israeli Knesset not to ratify repressive religious law

Below I have reproduced an open letter sent to the members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, by members of CESNUR (English: Center for Studies on New Religions, Italian: Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni), imploring them not to pass a seemingly repressive law.

The law is intended to restrict the operations of groups defined as “cults”.

However, according to CESNUR, it is based on “faulty notions of ‘cult’ and ‘brainwashing,'” which were “discredited long ago among scholars”.

The CESNUR letter, signed by CESNUR founder-director Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and attorney and religious scholars from Europe, the Americas and Australia, says the proposed law “would introduce the possibility of declaring the members of new religious movements mentally incompetent, thus opening the way to the practice of deprogramming, which most courts around the world have declared illegal and criminal.”

CESNUR was established in 1988 by a group of religious scholars from universities in Europe and the Americas, working in the field of new religious movements. It defines itself as being independent of any religious group, church, denomination or association. It has evolved into a network of scholars and organizations who study the field.

 

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Photograph of Knesset copied from CESNUR website.


Dear Sirs:

We are scholars who have devoted a substantial part of our career to the study of new religious movements, sometimes referred to as “cults” in the media. Indeed, one of the most studied topics in our field is the so called “cult wars” of the late 20th century in the United States and Europe, when a societal reaction developed against the success in the West of new religious movements, either imported from Asia or domestic ones. Parents and the media did not understand why youths might be willing to sacrifice their careers in order to spend their lives in an exotic religious organization. A handful of psychologists imported from Cold War American propaganda against Communism the notion of “brainwashing,” arguing that these youths did not join the groups voluntarily but were manipulated by sinister “gurus” using mysterious mind control techniques. These therapists and their supporters labeled the groups allegedly using “brainwashing” as “cults.” Lawsuits were instituted against “cults” for the assumed use of “brainwashing” and anti-cult statutes were proposed in several U.S. states.

Sociologists and other social scientists reacted against the “brainwashing” theories, claiming that they were not part of accepted science and were used as a simple tool to deny religious liberty to unpopular groups labeled as “cults.” The argument, they claimed, was circular: we know that certain groups are “cults” because they use “brainwashing,” and we know that they use “brainwashing” because, rather than persuading young people to embrace “reasonable” spiritual teachings, they spread bizarre forms of belief, i.e. they are “cults.” Anti-cult activists and therapists countered that public opinion and governments should not believe academic social scientists, who were often “cult apologists” or “hired guns” for the “cults,” but instead give credence to the “victims” accounts. The latter were the disgruntled ex-members who had left the “cults,” either spontaneously or after the forcible intervention – called “deprogramming” – of self-styled “counselors,” who kidnapped the “cultists,” kept them confined, and submitted them to various forms of psychological and often physical violence.

In the end a massive number of studies proved that “cults” accused of using the so called “brainwashing” techniques obtained a very low percentage of conversions, proving that these techniques, if they existed at all, were not very successful. Scholars also explained why “apostates,” i.e. ex-members who left a group and had a score to settle, were not the most reliable witnesses about what happened in their former organizations. They added that only a few ex-members became militant “apostates,” i.e. active opponents of the groups they had left. Most ex-members quietly pursued other interests and when they were interviewed, remembered their past experience with no particular ill feelings. However, since only apostates contacted the media, their point of view came to be wrongly regarded as representative of the average ex-members, while in fact it reflected the views of a minority only. It should be added that the word “apostate” is used by sociologists as a technical term and does not imply any derogatory judgement.

In 1990 in the case U.S. v. Fishman, a federal court in California concluded that “brainwashing” was not a scientific concept and that testimony about “cults” based on the brainwashing theory was not admissible in American courts of law. Fishman was the beginning of the end for the American anti-cult movement’s social relevance, and proposals for anti-cult or anti-brainwashing statutes were quietly dropped by their proponents. Deprogramming was considered illegal in most court cases, and some deprogrammers went to jail. Nevertheless, “brainwashing” theories and anti-cultism remained popular in other countries, although similar academic criticism prevented anti-cult laws from being passed in most countries of the world. One exception was the French About-Picard law of 2001, but once it was passed, it was rarely applied.

Viewed from abroad, what is going on in Israel appears as a curious remake of the “cult wars” that we witnessed decades ago in the United States and Europe. As it happened during the “cult wars” a small number of apostates, who were not typical of the majority of members who left the new religious movements harboring no particular grievance against them, were promoted by the moral entrepreneurs of the anti-cult movement. They were mistaken for typical ex-members and received a disproportionate attention by certain media.

Esteemed members of the Knesset:

You have now in front of you a law proposal based on the faulty notions of “cult” and “brainwashing,” discredited long ago among scholars, which would introduce the possibility of declaring the members of new religious movements mentally incompetent, thus opening the way to the practice of deprogramming, which most courts around the world have declared illegal and criminal.

Those who support the law rely on the experiences of a few disgruntled ex-members. In some cases, less than ten ex-members are regarded as the only reliable sources about groups including thousands of followers. This approach is not part of social science, nor is it part of common sense. Militant anti-cultists have a very limited and partial experience of the groups they criticize based on the anecdotical stories of a few former members, unlike professional scholars who use broader quantitative and qualitative methods and whose works, before being published, are thoroughly reviewed by their peers.

In the few countries where they have been passed, laws based on theories such as “brainwashing” have been used to discriminate against minority groups whose ideas are regarded as unpopular or marginal. Under the guise of punishing deeds rather than creeds, in fact, it is precisely creeds that are judged and punished. We certainly do not deny that some new religious movements commit crimes or harm their followers. They should be investigated and prosecuted according to the general laws. Special laws that make “being a cult” a crime, or that punish the imaginary wrongdoing of “brainwashing” are tools aimed at denying basic religious freedoms to groups that have committed no real crimes.

We respectfully urge you not to pass the proposed law,

Yours faithfully

Massimo Introvigne
Professor of Sociology of Religions
Pontifical Salesian University, Torino, Italy
Managing Director, CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), Torino, Italy

Milda Alisauskiene
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania

Phillip Arnold
The Reunion Institute, Houston, Texas

Torang Asadi
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

David V Barrett
Author, The New Believers, London

David G. Bromley
Professor, Religious Studies and Sociology
Director, World Religions and Spirituality Project
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia

George D. Chryssides
Honorary Research Fellow in Religious Studies, York St John University, UK
Formerly Head of Religious Studies, University of Wolverhampton, UK

Carole M. Cusack
Professor of Religious Studies
The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

Régis Dericquebourg
Groupe de Sociologie des Religions et de la laïcité
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France

Bernard Doherty
School of Theology
Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia

David Frankfurter
Professor of Religion
Boston University

Liselotte Frisk
Professor in Religious Studies
Dalarna University, Sweden

Ann Gleig
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Editor, Religious Studies Review
University of Central Florida, Orlando

John R. Hall
Research Professor
University of California – Davis

Jean-Pierre Laurant
Groupe Société, Religions, Laïcité
École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, France

Scott Lowe
Professor Emeritus, Philosophy and Religious Studies
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Philip Lucas
Professor of Religious Studies
Stetson University, DeLand, Florida

J. Gordon Melton
Distinguished Professor of American Religious History
Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Timothy Miller
Professor of Religious Studies
University of Kansas

Rebecca Moore
Reviews Editor
Nova Religio

Alex Norman
Division of Social Sciences
University of California – Davis

Susan Jean Palmer
Professor of Religious Studies
Dawson College, Montréal, Québec

James T. Richardson
Foundation Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies
Director, Judicial Studies Program
University of Nevada, Reno

Bernadette Rigal-Cellard
Professor of North American Literature and Civilization
Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux 3, France

Jean E. Rosenfeld
Retired scholar
Formerly with University of California – Riverside

Richard C. Salter
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York

Rodney Stark
Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences
Baylor University, Waco, Texas

James D. Tabor
Department of Religious Studies
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Catherine Wessinger
Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J., Professor of the History of Religions
Loyola University New Orleans

Donald A. Westbrook
Professor (Hoogleraar)
Faculty for the Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism (FVG), Antwerp, Belgium
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Church History
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena

Stuart A. Wright
Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Social Work & Criminal Justice
Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas

PierLuigi Zoccatelli
Deputy Director
CESNUR, Torino, Italy

 

 

Hilary’s Clinterests, Owen Arthurs’ houracle & Mia Mottley’s mythology (Mouth of the Beast – part 2)

 

Hilary Clinton, Mia Motley, Owen Arthur - composite image
Hilary Clinton, Mia Motley, Owen Arthur – composite image

 

Background

Given the obscurity of the Book of Revelation, the complexity of United States-Barbados-British relations, the minefield that intersects at gender, race and religious politics and other themes that I am pursuing simultaneously in this series of articles I think it is vital that I offer the following background and statement of Clinterests.

My unshakeable conviction that Barbados’ Honorary Consul to India, Dr Philomena Mohini Harris, University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor professor Sir Hilary Beckles, former prime minister Owen Arthur, current Opposition, Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley and other crucially still alive Barbadians, are at the centre of life and death situations that require urgent, meticulously managed attention, also mandates that I communicate as forthrightly and forcefully as possible.

I am also mindful of what I consider former PM Arthur’s finest hour, possibly, when in 2005 he announced he would not be accepting a $33,000+ pay increase to which a public service pay review had deemed him entitled.

My awareness of how I may benefit personally from what I share here sparks a similar ambivalence.

But I break that tension and rise above that “awkward moment”, to use Arthur’s words, because I am motivated by a profound politics engaging and transcending duty of care to alert Barbadian, American, British, Indian, Nigerian and other citizens to the self-destructive, Talibank thinking that, like billionaire beast Donald Trump, confuses bullying cowardice with courage and equates glory-grabbing with the greatness that can only come from doing good.

This, incidentally, is also Hilary Clinton’s main challenge – as her male machismo mimicking, media courting, fictitious Bosnia bullets ducking ‘awkward moment’ of the 2008 presidential contest exposed.

Herein lies the tragedy of the Trump spectacle: his obvious oblivion to the fact that his campaign is a study in Al Queda approximating ‘Al Koh’l-ism’ (Read about the roots of alcohol in Arabian vanity here).

True greatness will not always be appreciated or celebrated, even when it is understood.

And greatness shouldn’t always be celebrated, because at our greatest we are still fallible.

This is why I have not given up on Clinton, a Christ-bride, church-like figure: a virtual “woman clothed with the sun”, whose fallibility is apt to be exposed in her most public moments.

It is why I maintain a fundamental goodwill toward Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley, though I remain critical of her ‘down low’ demagoguery and am not likely to ever support her prime ministerial ambitions.

My views on Clinton, Arthur, Mottley, Mohini and others reflects my acceptance of the complementarity between the divine and the human that fundamentalist evangelical atheists, with the best will in the world, will never be able to grasp.

And what hope have any of us of competently engaging with the divine ‘sense of humour’ that would bring together a tale of ‘three Hilarys’ (Clinton of the US, Beckles of Barbados and Benn of England) if we cannot navigate the alternating light and darkness behind all reality?

What hope have any of us of recognizing and realizing the vital cosmic relief that we need to survive the bestial, brutish routine of our daily communicating if we have no sense of the universe’s comic timing?

Wake up!

On Thursday, 29 November, 2007 at 13:00 hours local Caribbean time an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 shook Barbadians’ excessive self-reliance.

I was driving my ‘half-sister’ Yvette’s car along Howell’s Cross Road at the time and had just come adjacent to the Barbados Community College when I felt the effects of the road shifting under it.

I brought the car to a halt and then watched as utility poles lining that road swayed.

But another seven or eight years would pass before I realized the significance of where I was on that eve of Barbados’ 21st Independence Day celebrations.

I certainly had no inkling of the shadowy, shockingly superficial yet deeply destabilizing, Iago-like role played in my business affairs by poet-educator Esther Phillips, a former BCC lecturer.

It would be longer still before I sensed the numinous or symbolic significance of my relationship with the owner of the car I was driving: the sister who was ‘adopted’ by my father, as Nero had been by Claudius, and who has habitually been informing our other siblings and I that while she may have received the least formal education, she is the most intelligent “of all of mummy’s children”.

However, less than two months after that Barbados earthquake, on Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, at 00:56, I experienced the Lincolnshire earthquake while sitting in my home in Norfolk, a neighbouring English county.

Having been a student of the oracular and the obscure for several years by the time I experienced those ‘twin’ earthquakes, I was deeply affected by the experience.

So by the time Barbados was shaken by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, I was well placed to anticipate what would follow in England: the magnitude 4:1 earthquake that struck in the Bristol Channel two days later, on Thursday, February 20.

Since then I have been chronicling increasing, uncharacteristic seismic activity in and around Barbados with varying degrees of anxiety, optimism and fascination.

I have also been ‘mapping the coordinates’ of psycho-socially ground-shaking events within ‘Revelatory triangles’, typically linking Barbados, the UK and North America (including Canada) but also Barbados, the UK and India-Pakistan, the cite of Dr Mohini’s roots.

These biblical Book of Revelation-like events include:

  • the tragic killing of Jamaican Khalil Campbell by Barbadian Rodney Beckles, son of current University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, on 4 January, 2007
  • the subsequent staging of the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean between 13 March and 28 April that same year
  • the shocking and controversial death during that World Cup of the Pakistani team’s coach, South African Bob Woolmer, in Jamaica on 18 March
  • The death some months later, on 15 October of key Barbadian cricket administrator and CWC 2007 organizer Stephen Alleyne
  • the election of beast-like orator Barack Obama as Americas first black president in 2008,
  • the Campus Trendz inferno that ended the lives of five young women and one female toddler on 4 September 2010,
  • the untimely death on 23 October 2010 of Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson, a close business and political associate of professor Beckles’.
  • The ‘Malcolm in the middle’ medical-juridical media convergence event of 2 April, 2013, in which two doctors, one medical (like Dr Mohini), the other academic-juridical, but both named Malcolm Grant, were prominently featured on the same day, in two superficially unrelated news reports originating in Britain and Barbados.
  • The deaths of the babies or small children of three leaders: Barbadian Rastafarian elder Iral Talma (in 2001 or 2002), the afore mentioned PM Arthur (in May 2007) and his British counterpart David Cameron (2009).

 

My study of the timing and related characteristics of these and other events has convinced me of the validity of the view of the world in which I and other oracles ‘live and move and have our being’, in line with the biblical teaching of Acts 17:28.

Pearl Bayliss-Woods of Elim Pentecostal church in Norfolk was healed of multiple sclerosis in 1998 and can attest to the reality of divine intervention.

As can my friend “K” (previously identified as ‘Steven’, if I recall correctly), a penitent homosexual healed of full-blown AIDS while on his deathbed in Barbados.

I believe that Pearl and K would affirm the perilous state of the human condition, and especially the threats to our children, born and unborn, that is encapsulated in the message of Revelation.

Standing with Karl Jung, albeit with qualifications, as I consider his alleged beast-like sexual over-familiarity with at least one female child reprehensible, I affirm and echo his concern that:

“Modern man does not understand how much his ‘rationalism’ (which has destroyed his capacity to respond to numinous symbols and ideas) has put him at the mercy of the psychic ‘underworld’. He has freed himself from ‘superstition’ (or so he believes), but in the process he has lost his spiritual values to a positively dangerous degree. His moral and spiritual tradition has disintegrated, and he is now paying the price for this break-up in worldwide disorientation and dissociation.”

Like Pearl of divine providence, and K, an oracle for those who have ears to hear, Jung’s life and work, like my own, attests to the divine-human concursus that transcends race, religion, gender, language and similar temporal-spatial classifications.

It attests to the access we can all enjoy to the mustard seed science that moves the earth.

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………….

 

When former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur speaks, I’m inclined to listen.

After all, it took exceptional survival skills for that former big beast of Caribbean and international politics to survive the minefield of Barbados’ fundamentally incestuous, cruelly colour-coded and otherwise complicated political landscape and firmament.

And as Barbados’ longest serving PM to-date, the former Barbados Labour Party leader Arthur didn’t just survive our island’s rough and tumble, Russia-entangled, American-stranglehold-mangled, declining-British-imperial-ties-testing political furnace: he excelled in it.

With a rhetorical subtlety and inclusive, soft power appeal that aligns him more closely with Clinton than Trump, arguably, Arthur rose above Barbados’ legacy of gender, racial and religious disunity and divisiveness as he preached a gospel of socio-political inclusion and cohesiveness.

As biographer James Manheim notes, Arthur was quoted in Current Leaders of Nations as saying “No country can ever truly develop unless it finds the means of engrossing everyone in the task of nation building, whatever their class, creed, colour or political persuasion.”

Like the apostolic church builder, the ‘Man from St Peter’ stood like a Colossus, bestriding the geopsychic landscape of Barbados’ dependent, independent and interdependent history.

Visibly and invisibly building on foundations laid for him by his prime ministerial predecessors Errol Barrow, Tom Adams, Bernard St John and, especially Erskine Sandiford, in whose political demise he played a key role, ironically, ‘King Arthur’ consolidated the multi-jewelled crown of their collective achievements: Barbados’, internationally admired and emulated “social partnership”.

As the literacy-limited, charisma-curbed educator Sandiford floundered under the weight of ideological and personal conflicts that emerged after he controversially assumed the leadership of the Democratic Labour Party, then Opposition leader Arthur seized the initiative, virtually hijacking the Sandiford crystallized social compact, the first ever tried and tested labour and capital reconciling national development preserving and perpetuating pact in the world, reputedly.

And for 14 years that shrewd beast Arthur, Barbados’ longest serving PM to date flourished.

Until his crown was lifted by another political big beast: a tough-talking-Trump-like, political stage monopolizing “woman clothed with the sun” (Revelation 12:1); his BLP party colleague Mia Mottley.

Aided and abetted by the truth subverting hubris of professor Sir Hilary Beckles, David Comissiong and other reverse racists (dubbed Negrocrats by Arthur), the connivance of Clinterest motivated male and female fundamentalist feminists, a number of religion manipulating opportunists and other dragon-driven allies in the Barbadian, Caribbean and international communities, Mottley undermined Arthur, amplifying his shortcomings and understating the good he had achieved.

Something I am sure many a good husband will understand: even giving our best may not be enough.

This is not to say that Arthur was blameless in his own eventual defeat.

As I have been careful to point out in the first article in this series, we are all fallible, being fallen Adam and Eve’s seed.

And this idea of ‘the fall’ is clearly as prominent a theme in the Apocalypse (Revelation) John received on the isle of Patmos as it is in the Genesis account of humanity’s creation and evolution.

So too is the principle of male-female interdependence that I have until now been dancing around.

But those familiar with my Woman-I-Zen project, in which the speech impaired Norfolk mystic and ‘oracle’ Janice Gurney is prominent will have some idea of the centrality of this theme in my life and work. As I argue in my 2005 essay Fundamentalist Feminism, a healthy recognition of male-female complementarity and interdependence is the indispensable prerequisite of all sound, sustainable social partnership: the indispensable basis of coherent, cohesive social interaction.

I also revisited this theme indirectly in a brief Twitter exchange about gay parenting and adoption issues with BBC broadcaster Kenan Malik, a non-identical thought twin of Sanders’ adviser Richard Sugarman, ostensibly.

That was on 21 July 2015.

I had not yet heard of Sanders, so far as I am aware.

And until 18 February, 2016, at approximately 20:00, I had not known of his child adopting background, as I had not yet read his Wikipedia page.

 

To be continued…

References

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Caribbean-cannot-waste-its-democracy—Owen-Arthur_19219233
https://labour.gov.bb/social-partnership
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sugarman
http://www.foreign.gov.bb/articles.cfm?articletype=2&start=4&year=2008
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adair_Turner,_Baron_Turner_of_Ecchinswell
http://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/stephen-alleyne-1-696016
http://www.anguillanews.com/enews/index.php/permalink/3624.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenan_Malik

Donald Trump, Nero and ‘the Beast’ of revelation (Mouth of the beast – part 1)

 

“The conventional wisdom holds that Donald Trump is playing into the hands of ISIS. His call for ‘a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ — a temporary measure, he says, ‘until we can figure out what the hell is going on’ — has served only to divide America, offend and inflame Muslims worldwide, and quite possibly drive deeper into alienation the small minority of disaffected Muslims who are teetering on radicalism’s edge.”

This is how American journalist and former Mitt Romney adviser Gabriel Schoenfeld describes the impact of the obscene, incendiary rhetoric of Republican Party presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

I go further: I think the self-lionizing Trump’s opportunistic rhetoric twins him with the archetypal, apocalyptic “Beast” described in the Bible, especially in the Book of Revelation, chapter 13.

And reading the first part of verse 5 of chapter 13, which as translated by The Message version of the Bible reads “The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous,” I think the ‘lion mouthed’ Trump fits the biblical Beast’s description particularly accurately.

Donald Trump - Wikipedia Commons

Coincidentally, or, if my atheistic adversaries will permit me, providentially, The Message: The Bible In Contemporary Language (to use its full title) was published by another more subtly brash American, Eugene H Peterson.

And while not as patently publicity crazed or self-promoting as “the Donald”, in Peterson, a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, one can detect a germ of the beastly arrogance and conceit that can afflict and ruin us all.

Unsurprisingly, that proud human corruptibility or fallibility is particularly borne out in Peterson’s ambition to ‘popularize’ the Bible’s message, which seems to have been motivated fundamentally by his failure to fully appreciate the lethalness of “written things”: the relative futility of literacy.

“The letter killeth”, we are warned in 2 Corinthians 3:6.

In his failure to grasp the fossilizing, fragmenting effect that written words have on human intelligence, there is a trace of the ecclesiastical vanity that disposes all Christians, and especially pastors and other church office holders to Beast-like blasphemy.

Like the anti-Christian Roman emperor Nero, of the first century AD, we become deluded by our own visibility and volubility.

The deceptive, black and white “bigness” of ideas reduced to writing feeds our predisposition to moral obesity.

As Trump’s, Louis Farrakhan’s and others’ pre-emptive violence applauding and justifying rhetoric demonstrates, it predisposes us to the fatty philosophizing or thick thinking that encourages a resort to brute force.

Like cholesterol, ‘clogging’ and corrupting the internal (conscience) and external (societal) communication pathways that ensure the consistency of thought, word and deed, that I like to call the continuum of character, a preoccupation with written things can frustrate our best intentions.

Poison mushrooming “Food of the gods” indeed!

Atomic heir of Adamic fear, truly.
Note that Suetonius Paulinus, one of Nero’s generals implicated both Nero and his mother Agrippina in the murder of the emperor Claudius, his adopted father.

Agrippina is believed to have fed Claudius poison mushrooms.

Suetonius claimed that Nero cruelly ridiculed the dead Claudius by labeling mushrooms the ‘food of the gods’ in his use of that Greek saying.

 

A low, mean wall

I expect that my comparison of the obnoxious, proudly materialistic billionaire Trump and the unquestionably devout, spiritual-humility-advocating Peterson will offend that patently pious, undoubtedly well meaning man and his many admirers profoundly.

That is not my intention.

But I must assert that while I too am an admirer of Peterson, his pastoral achievements do not blind me to his fallible humanity any more than The Donald’s material wealth blinds me to his spiritual poverty.

Tapisserie de l'Apocalypse in Angers, France). A medieval tapestry, this detail of which shows John, the Dragon, and the Beast of the Sea.
Tapisserie de l’Apocalypse in Angers, France). A medieval tapestry, this detail of which shows John, the Dragon, and the Beast of the Sea.

I am no more enamored of Peterson’s gifts, I hope, than I am of my own still blossoming prophetic potential and abilities.

How could I be proud of any talent I possess when I know how easily I fail?

It would be lunacy to insist on others’ admiration or adoration stubbornly when I know how easily my own beast can seize control of or override and subvert my good sense and sensitivity – not least when a she-beast is in my presence!

And yet, in spite of my fallibility, it turns out that my twinning of Trump and Peterson and the comparison of that pair here with Nero Caesar (the Zero Caesar?) is even more apropos than I imagined when I set about it on Monday, February 8, 2016, buttressed as I was by my recent discussion with Barbadian historian Karl Watson and others discussing the wall of 98% literacy that confines Barbadians’ psycho-social liberty.

Last year it had occurred to me that the real estate magnate Trump’s wall-building proposal stood to benefit him financially, more than anyone else.

But it was only today (February 9) as I researched Nero, who according to his contemporary Apollonius of Tyana was called “that beast” by some critics and who preterist interpreters identify as the “first beast” mentioned in the Book of Revelation that I learned of Nero’s Trump-like “low and mean wall”.

It was only as I learned of that wall which Nero had constructed as a rather moronic Neronic  tribute to the deceased Claudius that I gained a fuller appreciation of the prophetic trajectory that my thinking about Trump is on.

Note that in the universalist context that I am constructing here, Claudius is not just an archetype or symbol of America’s Founding Fathers.

The betrayal Claudius suffered (or justice meted out to him, depending on your perspective ) at Agrippina and Nero’s hands could just as easily be applied to Errol Barrow, Barbados’ ‘Father of Independence’, Winston Churchill or the peace advocate Hilary Benn.

My prior linking of Trump and Hilary Clinton with the race-racketeering ideological excesses of Barbados’ Adolf Hitler-approximating current Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart and his Joseph Goebbels reverse-racist-ideology propaganda peddling proxy, Sir Hilary Beckles, therefore take on a deeper spiritual and practical significance than even I had imagined.

While I had intuitively linked the phenomenon of biogenetic coding with that of written codes years ago (as a certain American aide to the Ethiopian Royal Family living in the US may recall) only today is it becoming clear to me just how the racial colour coding that blights Indian society, for example, may be related not only metaphorically but also metabolically to our ‘consumption’ of written codes.

More on that later, when I cast Hilary Clinton in the role or mystic mould of “the Beast” and the role of “a woman clothed with the sun” (Revelation 12:1), simultaneously .

I will also be addressing Bernie Sanders’ beastly propensities, especially the meaty ‘materialist dialectical’ analysis that is the basis of his appeal to many young people at the University of Illinois and other American, British, Canadian, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian and other universities.

Less enthusiastically (with deep regret, actually), but as a matter of necessity, I will be ‘rosecuting’ the case of Dr Philomena Mohini Harris, Barbados’ Honorary Consul to India.

Note: You can hear Peterson explaining his rationale for creating The Message Bible here: http://www.calvin.edu/january/2006/media/A13617Peterson.mp3

References

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-ol-donald-trump-rhetoric-helping-isis-20151217-story.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beast_(Revelation)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero

https://www.facebook.com/