As Australia burns, what might we learn, individually and collectively?
I think there is a lesson about poetic justice here: a lesson about cosmologically fair outcomes, as I indicated in a January 3rd tweet thread.
Responding to a reflection about Australia’s unprecedented, deadly bush fires by Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, on the BBC Radio 4 program Thought for the Day, I published the arguably incendiary idea that those lightning generating fires might be a form of divine retribution for Australia’s political gaslighting immigration policies.
And I must point out here that since I started writing this article on January 16th, under the title “Melbourne burning”, my understanding of the word gaslighting has deepened and evolved considerably.
I started out with a superficial, rather misleading sense of that word, thinking that it denoted a blatant, obvious mode of political incitement and instigation — the kind of verbal behavior that has made United States president Donald Trump infamous.
I now have a deeper and still deepening, time and space filling grasp of its more accurate use as a synonym for subtle “brain washing” and other covert forms of psychological warfare: the kind of mental undermining that I have been addressing in a number of initiatives, including previous installments in this Technologies of Trust series of events and articles.
I am now more inclined to associate “gaslighting” with the indirect, chthonic gender, racial and religious micro aggression employed consciously or unconsciously by University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, media baron Rupert Murdoch, British economist Ruth Lea and others who have been waging psychological warfare on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.
And readers should note that consistent with my generally cautious New Covenant nous (“nous” is pronounced like “mouse”) informed, conscientious approach to questions of divine judgement, I published this potentially divisive, possibly deeply hurtful suggestion of a link between those fires that have claimed at least 29 lives and the New Zealand mosques attack in the form of a question.
And that is because I had no desire to contribute to the self-destructive, political gaslighting or flame throwing that I was challenging in the tweet thread I posted at 9:20 the morning of January 3rd.
Like conciliatory approaches I have been making since 2017 to my apparently atheistic, lewd, bestiality-humor-backfiring branded local MP Clive Lewis, in an effort to peacefully resolve past differences, my tweet thread was an invitation to prof Siddiqui and others of all faiths and none to have a dialogue with me.
Like the “Spirited Sport” football match I organized between Norfolk-based Roman Catholic Christians and Muslims in 2007, it was intended to initiate an open-ended dialogue: a constructive conversation about the metaphysical reality in which we all live and move and have our being, as offspring of Divine Essence (Acts 17:28).
I remain firmly convinced that Judaism, Christianity and Islam have more in common than differences, both positively and negatively, as “religions of the book”.
Having thus transcended the terrors of that text trapped and trapping, familial faith-based love triangle, by untangling the reality of the unwritten New Covenant from its written representations, I would have to be out of my mind to let my mind be ensnared again, as it was between 1982 and 1987, by any other “bookish theoric”, reality reducing secular or religious divisions.
So however strongly I was and remain convinced that those deadly wild fires entail a cosmological or karmic response to the murderous, Aryan supremacist excesses of the self-described Australian “ethno-nationalist” (Nazi) mass murderer, as the second tweet in that January 3rd thread suggests, I am mindful that my compatriot Rev Dr Sonia Hinds, English cleric Rev Laura Fawcett and other theists might have another take on the matter.
Even as I noted the bush fires focused New South Wales roots of that heart-hardened, brain dead, morally muddled, self proclaimed Christian “knight”, I was mindful that physicists professor Brian Cox, Jim Al-Khalili and other science preaching souls might not accept that detail as evidence of a cosmic correlation between the fires and tragic mass murders perpetrated by that miscreant Australian: they might reject the poetic justice rounding or reconciliation of Australia’s immigration policy accounts that I offer in my Siddiqui-triggered-thread.
(And in noting that Australian misanthrope’s murderously muddled, tragically twisted incarnation of the notion of chivalry, I am urging persons reading this article to view president Trump’s efforts to reach out to Roman Catholic knights similarly.
More on that, and particularly on how Trump’s Catholic agenda may be being facilitated by his “rabble rousing” Roman Catholic adviser Kellyanne Conway in the next TOT article.)
I am mindful, even now, that “gay gospel” preaching Sir Elton John and his primacy of heterosexual reproduction challenging complementary Christian counterpoint, president Trump, who challenges the primacy of natural reproduction on other fronts, might not find my arguments compelling.
And I respect their right to disagree with me, even as I hope they would respect my right to disagree with them.
Unlike political gaslighting Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, who came under fire in February 2011 for spouting anti-Islamic, pyrrotechnic Pentecostal rhetoric, I try to apply the New Covenant (NC) principle of transcending religious and other ideological “denominations” or labels in all of my public interventions.
On Twitter, as in other settings, I often publish the views I hold most firmly as questions because I know only too well the paradoxical impotence and power of written words in private and public contexts — as I explain at length in my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled.
Like Marshall McLuhan I deeply appreciate the fact that the messenger is the message.
And like Vilém Flusser I am very wary of the “textolatry” that apparently polluted the mind of the Australian who killed unarmed men, women and children at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
I abhor the abuse of literacy by gender, race and religious racketeers, like the English nationalist who brutally butchered Lewis’ Labor Party colleague Jo Cox MP : males and females, misogynists and misandrists who seek to etch their names on history by creating and exploiting a “hostile environment”.
I know that written words can ignite and give deadly “life” to mind darkening, gaslighting lies, whether those lies are perpetrated consciously or unconsciously.
A petition I have created calling on Pope Francis to make a definitive statement on the crucial difference between the unwritten NC and the written New Testament (NT) reflects my deep appreciation of how much the confusion of the unwritten, conscience based NC with its written, linguistically limited and deep, empathetic learning limiting NT representation has blighted the evolution of Christianity for the past 1900 years, approximately.
I know how easily ALL words, but especially written words, can be twisted and manipulated to serve the short-sighted, unethical aims of conscious or unconscious gender, race and religious racketeers, plagiarists and other vampirish identity privateers and thieves.
Still, I might have used the word “gaslighting” in my January 3rd tweet thread if it was more than just a buzzword I had heard, by then.
I might have used it if it were as deeply seeded and securely seated in my heart and head as it now is.
As I recall, I first became aware of the word “gaslighting” when I heard it used in one or more news items about the toxic climate being generated by Britain’s inflammatory Brexit politics.
I therefore associated it with the fiery rhetoric and anxious atmosphere that was being generated by the hybrid, artificially inseminated or “plagiarized”, screaming baby of David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Cherie Blair, Diane Abbott and other conscious and unconscious Cerberus (“hound of Hades”) channeling surrogates on either side of England’s core Leave/Remain EU referendum narrative.
I was not aware of the word’s rich roots in the truth twisting psychological abuse depicted in the 1938 play Gas Light by Patrick Hamilton.
I was not aware of how much the conduct of Jack Manningham, the fictional villainous husband in that play, has in common with Morrison’s and other Australian politicians’ word-based, legalistic psychological manipulations.
Indeed, Morrison only came to my attention last year when Australian media houses reported on his surprise victory in that country’s general election.
I had no idea that in 2013 when Morrison was appointed Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in then prime minister Tony Abbott’s Government he was responsible for implementing Operation Sovereign Borders — an Australian incarnation of excessively ideological, infernal ideas about our human capacity, individually or collectively, to subjugate nature to our gender, racial and religious appetites and ambitions.
I recall being naively pleased, or at least innocently intrigued, to learn that like me, Morrison can be described as a Pentecostal Christian.
It was only as research for this article led me to study him more deeply that I got a sense of how much Morrison, (like Trump, Johnson or, albeit, less likely, Barack Obama or Oprah Winfrey) could be viewed as a political incarnation of the gas light dimming, treacherous, treasure seeking marital manipulator and murderer Manningham.
Only after I learned that it was the morally muddled, Islamaphobic Christian Morrison who piloted Australia’s arrogant, anti-Christ evoking “sovereign” borders initiative did I begin to sense the extent to which his consciously or unconsciously “petty pope” or pirate “king of kings” conduct shares a bloodtype-like moral kinship with the character Manningham’s malicious manipulation of the gas lighting in the home that he shared with his wife, Bella, in foggy London.
And by January 19th I was able to discern an ethically genetic correspondence between Morrison’s political capital motivated attacks on Islam and Manningham’s dimming of the gas light, then insisting that its flame was constant, to confuse his wife and make her question the reliability of her memory and sense of perception.
It was that Sunday afternoon, if I remember correctly, that I noticed that the playwright Hamilton’s creation of the fictitious “gas light” scenario provides an excellent framework in which to discuss the mind bending, human intelligence scandalizing notion of a harmonious relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility for our actions — especially as this relates to our interactions with the “natural environment”.
It dawned on me that like the unconscious, subterranean hypocrisy of some deeply pious people, who have been duped, as I was, by Christendom’s almost 2000 years deep confusion of the unwritten NC and the written NT, Manningham’s lying, psychologically abusive behavior was to some degree “involuntary”.
And so too was the “insane” Morrison’s.
It occurred to me that as Hamilton’s play is constructed, the dimming of the gas light in the house that Jack and Bella Manningham share is out of his control, being — at least in the first instance — the undesired, or at least unforeseen, unplanned consequence of his nefarious gas light dimming activity in the home of an elderly female neighbor that he had killed.
By Monday, January 20th, 2020, I could see with 20/20 clarity, that like Christianity and Islam, the two homes are fundamentally connected.
And home was the central theme of Siddiqui’s thoughts, coincidentally.
And on Tuesday, January 21st, at approximately 03:21, it dawned on me, that I had been led — by God, the cosmos, the Fates; call it what you will — to see that Hamilton’s play, was first and foremost about the ecology of light and darkness in the operation of male-female interdependence.
Thanks to the light being shed by Hamilton’s approximately 82 year-old play, the significance of the fiery-tongued-Pentecostals-allied Morrison’s education in “economic geography”, his background in tourism marketing, first in New Zealand, then in Australia, and other evidentiary details supporting the prophetic analysis I am presenting here is becoming increasingly clear to me.
And in due course I will be employing that play and its literary Caribbean cognate “Wide Sargaso Sea”, a novel by Jane Rhys, to analyse other “fires” raging in the British Commonwealth.
I will only note here that similarities between the stubborn, “stoical” contempt that Conway, attorney general William Barr and other legally trained Trump officials have shown for the Hatch Act of 1939 (which states that federal government employees must not advocate their political beliefs while representing a public office) and the perverse notion of chivalry that led an Australian to perpetrate mass murderer at two mosques in New Zealand are not accidental.
That Trump praising, monstrously misguided Australian Islamaphobe’s pernicious, pyrotechnic notion of chivalry is powered by the same desensitization to the teachings of Joshua (Jesus) of Nazareth that led the first century heretic Marcion to gaslight other Christians through pilpul manipulations of written records of Joshua’s teachings.
Intriguingly, Marcion was branded a heretic by the African “Church Father” Tertullian and other leaders of first and second century Christendom who nonetheless adopted and consolidated elements of his written communication based pilpul strategy when they confused the unwritten NC phenomenon that Joshua apparently saw himself as inaugurating with the 27 documents we know as the NT.
A forerunner of the ideologically liberal, entrepreneurially pragmatic Australian-American publisher Murdoch in many respects, it was the “schismatic” Tertullian who first labelled those 27 documents (the Gospel of Matthew through to the cryptic “Book of Revelation”) the “New Testament”, as I report in my book The Bible: Beauty And Terror Reconciled.
And the monstrous, psychological warfare being waged by Murdoch and other monopolistic mass media publishers against the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, and against their infant son Archie, indirectly, in the name of some ill-defined, obscure notion of stoicism also springs from a place of moral confusion about the the medium of divine movement and rule in earthly affairs, clearly.
I draw readers’ attention to psychologist Bryant Welch’s claim in his 2008 book State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind, about the prevalence of gaslighting in American politics, beginning in the age of modern communication.
To say gaslighting was started by the Bushes, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Fox News, or any other extant group is not simply wrong, it also misses an important point. Gaslighting comes directly from blending modern communications, marketing, and advertising techniques with long-standing methods of propaganda. They were simply waiting to be discovered by those with sufficient ambition and psychological makeup to use them.
I am arguing for a rather more radical, historically far reaching “back cataloguing” (or “backburning”?) of what Welch might mean by “long-standing methods of propaganda”.
I am calling attention to the at least 1900 years worth of NC displacement by the NT.
I am urging readers to reflect on the build-up of biblical “branches and dead trees on the ground” that I believe has been fueling fires of one kind or another, with or without the conscious or unconscious complicity of technology disrupting, temperamental “tongues of fire” flame throwers like Trump, Murdoch (who was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II in January 1998, 3 months before the announcement of his separation from his second wife, Anna, a Roman Catholic, incidentally), his presidential predecessor Obama, current Australia PM Morrison or any other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist or any other hot wind wielder of earthly authority.
I am saying that the Australian bush fires should probably be examined scientifically as a metaphysical manifestation of Murdoch’s, Morrison’s, the mosque attacker’s and other Australians’ New Covenant knowledge deficient, moral anchor abandoning or abandoned burning ambitions.