We Won’t Get Fooled Again
Stella Morabito recommends a couple of books, to explain mass delusions.
- The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing by Joost A. M. Meerloo
- Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti
Item: When the Occupy Wall Street / 99% movement was getting into high gear, I publicly speculated that the force behind the agitations was George Soros, the man who made $1 billion betting against the British Pound. I searched for the term “George Soros Occupy Wall St”, with no meaningful results. Three days later, “George Soros Funds Groups Behind Occupy Wall St” could be found on some media outlets.
So how do we get so thoroughly fooled, so long and hard? Here’s a clue: We are being manipulated by opinion manufacturing specialists who have an extremely insightful understanding of human foibles. Here’s a diagram that perhaps oversimplifies the issue, but at least it can get us started talking about it:
General Smedley Darlington Butler was a soldier’s soldier, he cleaned up a WW1 army camp in Belgium that was a death trap. (This was when influenza took millions of lives.)
So I ask my old Aunt Mary what she remembers about him. “He’s a bum.” This was when Philadelphia was more corrupt than Chicago, Butler was appointed police commissioner, he was “no good Texas toiler paper (wouldn’t take crap off anyone).”
The mass-brainwashing propaganda machine flooded the press, nationwide (Aunty had never been near Philly) with negative stories.
He was a Friend (a Quaker). When he’d go home & talk with his Dad (a Congressman), it was all “thee” and “thou”. But in khaki, he was one tough s.o.b., “Old Gimlet Eye” was what the men called him.
My old sister Sheila watched President Lyndon Baines Johnson give a speech about The Gulf of Tonkin Incident. She says “he was gripping the pedestal so hard his knuckles were white, I knew he was lying”.
I was made spiritual father, but never allowed to fulfill that role, until now.
I’ve identified the legacy I want to convey, and just now have found the key to delivering it.
This permission has finally been attained because of the fact that the subject is neither on the right not the left, because forces controlling massive blocks of public opinion are above such distinctions.“That’s the age we live in. We don’t want to read anymore, we don’t want to find out why, we just go, are people angry? I want to be angry,” he said. “And it’s a mob mentality that’s not progressive and it’s not conducive to us getting to the truth of anything.”
Comedians Dump Campus Gigs: When Did Colleges Lose Their Sense of Humor?, Matt Donnelly and Kathy Zerbib on August 23, 2015
If The “Conservatives” Had A More Coherent, Political Gangster Force–As They Did in 2000–The Ruling Elite Would Have Supported “Conservatism”.
The legacy consists of two books, the list to be expanded.
The Angel appeared to the children at the Loca do Cabeço, in the fall of 1906. He was “holding a chalice in his hands, with a host above it from which some drops of blood were falling into the Sacred vessel.” The Angel left the chalice and host suspended in the air, and prostrated himself upon the ground with the children and prayed the following prayer with them three times:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.
The Angel then rose, and taking the host he gave it to Lucy, and to Jacinta and Francisco he gave the contents of the chalice, saying as he did so: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God.” Then he prostrated himself once more with the children and repeated the prayer to the Most Holy Trinity three times, then disappeared.
My sweet Lord, look with mercy upon your people and especially upon the mystical body of your Church. Greater glory is given to your name for pardoning a multitude of your creatures than if I alone were pardoned for my great sins against your majesty. It would be no consolation for me to enjoy your life if your holy people stood in death. For I see that sin darkens the life of your bride the Church – my sin and the sins of others.
It is a special grace I ask for, this pardon for the creatures you have made in your image and likeness. When you created man, you were moved by love to make him in your own image. Surely only love could so dignify your creatures. But I know very well that man lost the dignity you gave him; he deserved to lose it, since he had committed sin.
Moved by love and wishing to reconcile the human race to yourself, you gave us your only-begotten Son. He became our mediator and our justice by taking on all our injustice and sin out of obedience to your will, eternal Father, just as you willed that he take on our human nature. What an immeasurably profound love! Your Son went down from the heights of his divinity to the depths of our humanity. Can anyone’s heart remain closed and hardened after this?
We image your divinity, but you image our humanity in that union of the two which you have worked in a man. You have veiled the Godhead in a cloud, in the clay of our humanity. Only your love could so dignify the flesh of Adam. And so by reason of this immeasurable love I beg, with all the strength of my soul, that you freely extend your mercy to all your lowly creatures.
Tips Are Owed, They’re Not a Favor.
“Why Restaurants Are Eliminating Tipping“, proclaims a news article headline. The claims include the ideas, that it promotes bad service, it’s an obsolete concept, and is unnecessary because of the living wage movement.
Restaurant owners are certainly entitled to their point of view, but they are probably poorly served by latching onto “living wage”. But workers have a right to their own direct relationship with customers. Their independent legitimacy as professionals doesn’t have to be dependent upon permission from restaurant owners.
Early twentieth century Britain saw the rise of a national movement, growing out of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (New Things), called distributism. This was based on the idea that gigantic business and gigantic government were colluding to restrict the freedom of the common people. The archtypical common man, Jones, could only have economic security if he owned his own property and, even if he had to work for another, more powerful person, his ultimate goal needed to be, self-employment. (Coincidentally, the age of cottage industries has been criticized for nothing more than inefficiency, which was “relieved” by the rise of centralized factories during the industrial revolution.)
My chief criticism of “living wage” is that it has the potential to intrude a class of regulators into the economic life of professional service workers. Progressives feel that government is intrinsically enlightened, and must regulate small business and, coincidentally, small workers.
Whether or not this plays out in the long run, uncritical calls for “living wage” ignore the fact that the first obstacle is the heightening of a conflict of interests between small business owners and workers.
I religiously practice tipping because I believe that tips are the property of the workers. I’m not doing them a favor, I owe them the tip for work that they perform. If I didn’t pay my fair tip, I would be defrauding workers of their wages, “a crime, the blood of which calls out of the ground for vengeance.”
Workers at L & L Hawaiian Bar-B-Que were somewhat bemused to see me bringing in a small tip without ordering anything. I didn’t have cash during a previous visit, and I was only paying what I owed.
If I can’t afford to tip, I shouldn’t be patronizing a restaurant. I should be going to the store, taking my own food home and preparing it for myself. Visiting a restaurant is a luxury; if it’s one that I can’t afford, I should refrain from it.
I’m committing a travesty against fundamental justice by omitting my tip. But I certainly don’t need Progressives taking away my freedom by raising prices. The principle of justice, which is only giving people what they’re intrinsically due by their inalienable nature, isn’t something that survives governmentalization.
Unbelievers call it reality. Believers call it hell.
Trent Horn of the Catholic Answers group is very respectful to people of all persuasions, so much does he respect them that he credits them with fine intelligence by sometimes challenging their presumptions…always respectfully and with affirmation.
But that leaves me out, because Trent only talks to unbelievers and pro-choicers. They always have a jolly time. The Catholic Answers radio callers (3-5 weekdays Pacific Time) nearly always leave with an affirmed feeling of having been heard and listened to, and sometimes also with a new thought or two. It seems it’s only real, dedicated spoil-sports who leave on a bummer.
You pretty much already know what unbelievers think about the God-free reality zone, which to them is everywhere and all times, all 11 dimensions of the multiverse. What they may not know, though, is what believers believe about it—that God so loves everyone, that if they decide they don’t want his friendship forever, he makes a special reserved place where they don’t suffer eternally with his presence.
Unfortunately this also means that he can’t protect them from the eternal consequences of their actions. This life is a trial run, practice, for what we will become forever as we are born into eternal life. Now, belief in the absolute relativity of evil and good is a completely different thing from unbelief in God. Many fine atheists and agnostics would find nothing objectionable about Egyptian or High Plains Native American belief in a crossroads at the Milky Way where hearts are weighed and those heavy with personal evil against other people sink down into a bottomless pit. Usually its some ancient spirit grandmother or a dog-god who does the weighing.
Believers are free to believe that its our own souls that will reproduce every mote and nuance of our moral lives, in a faithful 4-D touch & smellivision rendering of our personal history; on a last day that is as long as all reality; in which every sentient being, corporeal and incorporeal, humans and disembodied spirits, will fully see how just the Weigher of Hearts was, how unreservedly generous, giving us fully every help we could need and use to do right by others.
Believers have a chief path to that God-free zone: their marriage beds. This should be the gymnasium trampoline in which they exercise their way up to the eternal Olympics of Love in heaven. But if they hold out their hands in STOP!!! to God, he won’t force his way in. Then they are free to enter eternal life permanently in that condition after a lifetime of saying “I DON’T give you all of myself”, including fertility, to their life partners and to the God who wants to afford them the ultimate dignity not even granted to disembodied intelligences, making them co-creators of beings who will never go out of existence.
This is the main route for people who consider themselves believers to enter the God-free zone.
June 5, 2012 by Mark Shea
When I criticize Live Action for lying to Planned Parenthood, I can typically be guaranteed that I will hear that I am
a) secretly supportive of Planned Parenthood because I am criticizing Catholic Folk Heros who have saved more lives with a single video than I have in my whole worthless life
b) I am, as one reader told me, “about one step removed from the Pharisees who were angry at the disciples for plucking the grains of wheat on the Sabbath”.
The notion, of course, is that I am majoring in minors, [getting a PhD in A-B-C,] straining at gnats and swallowing camels, fretting about trivial fibs while children are being slaughtered, etc. The implicit accusation that immediately comes up is that to oppose Live Actions lies for Jesus is to be in the exact same moral category as the kind of moral idiot who would rat out the Jews in the cellar to the Gestapo in order to keep one’s precious morality pure. And besides, the complaint goes, it’s not *really* lying. As my reader said, “Calling every falsehood “lying” is like calling every killing “murder.”
Ahem. Last things first. Let’s stop with the euphemisms and with the attempt to pretend that show up at somebody’s door with a fake name and a fake purpose is anything but lying. Trying to euphemize it by some other name is exactly like trying to euphemize torture as “enhanced interrogation” or abortion as “tissue extraction”. When even the *defenders* of Live Action call it lying (as my friend Peter Kreeft did), it’s lying.
That said, let’s make another distinction: plucking grain and eating it on the Sabbath is not intrinsically evil. Lying is. I’m perfectly aware of what the intention is: stopping abortion. And I applaud the intention. But lying is still lying. Now, I am perfectly aware that lying, while intrinsically immoral, is not always a grave sin. All sorts of things enter in. There are lies that are fibs. There is the matter of freedom and understanding and culpability. I get all that. And I get that the goal is a noble: hasten the day when salt is sowed on the ground where the last Planned Parenthood clinic has been razed and abortion is a thing of the past. I fully support that goal and praise Live Action for desiring to achieve it.
But here’s the problem: All sin consists of the attempt to achieve some good end by disordered means: and attempting to establish truth by lying is profoundly disordered and will only end in mischief and damage to the faith to the prolife cause.
So I think that before the discussion get too abstract it’s important to ask what real good is even being accomplished by Live Action’s lies. People immediately rush to the Nazis at the Door Scenario and fall into the delusion that lives are being saved by Live Action lies to Planned Parenthood employees.
Understand this: not one. single. life has been saved by Live Action’s lies. Not a single abortion has been prevented. All that happened is that PP is temporarily embarrassed and prolifers get a thrill for a day or two.
After that, PP fights back and says “Those videos were edited and LA is lying.” And right there is the problem: because Live Action has openly acknowledged that they *were* lying about their identity and purpose. So Planned Parenthood then appeals to people on the fence about abortion and says, “Why should you trust self-confessed liars?” And their supporters, who might include some future Bernard Nathanson or other troubled conscience, look at the spectacle and join the herd in the comboxes denouncing Christians as liars–a hard point to argue when they are in fact lying. Indeed, while Christians desperately want to tell themselves that Live Action’s “stings” have been devastating to Planned Parenthood, the reality is that flagscows of the Left like the Nation are *exulting* in Live Action’s tactics and celebrating “the genius of Cecile Richards” for taking this gold-engraved opportunity to shout “Look! Christianist liars are persecuting Planned Parenthood!” and driving donations way up.
More than that, though, you have the *deeply* corrupting reality that defenders of Live Action–Christian defenders!–spend massive amounts of energy, not asking “How can we act with integrity?” but “How can we justify lying? How can we figure out some way to tempt a Planned Parenthood clerk to commit a mortal sin?”
Saying “They were going to do it anyway” is morally insane. Saying “We must do evil that good may come of it” is morally insane. Indeed, even arguing that good has come of it is morally insane. Because at the end of the day, all we really have is some video footage which is being argued about by two groups of people who are documentably liars–and in this particular case, only one of those group specifically confessed to lying in order to make the video. People who think this is going to persuade fence sitter or persuade anybody outside the zealously prolife camp have simply lost touch with reality. People who think that a Christian message about the gospel as the Truth can be founded on lies are insane.
And that’s the most insane part of this: in the end, this tactic leaves the Christian community burning itself up in the insane pursuit of justification for lying and tempting people to grave sin that produced not *one* good outcome (unless prolife schadenfreude [Gr harm joy] over a minor PP embarrassment is now Priority One for the prolife movement), while Planned Parenthood is enjoying increased funding from donors by sending out fundraising letters saying, “Christianist Prolifers are Lying about Us”.
This is why I say consequentialism such as Lying for Jesus is a Faustian Bargain. You lose your soul and get *nothing* in return. Sorry, but Augustine, Aquinas and the Catechism are right. Lying is intrinsically immoral and fundamentally corrupting of human relationships. And before you try, yet again, to euphemize these lies as “acting” or “role playing” or “fiction”: no, this is not “acting” or “role playing” or “fiction”. Those speech acts involve the fundamental reality that the the audience is willingly and knowingly suspending disbelief and knows the actors are acting and the writer is telling a tale. This. was. *lying*. Christians are bloody fools to defend it.
And, by the way, they would be fools to defende it even *if* it had worked. But that they are wasting breath defending it when it is not just wrong but destructive of the prolife cause is double folly.
I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of acting in worldly fashion. For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:2-5
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it’s a capital crime, it will get you the death penalty, to convey a death threat that results in a homicide—the civil equivalent of a mortal sin.
- Guy A gets drunk, threatens to kill Guy B;
- Guy C conveys Guy A’s death threat to Guy B;
- Guy A may think better of it after he’s sobered up; the only proportional punishment for his threat, would be to threaten him in return, but not to kill him;
- But still, Guy B takes preemptive action, kills Guy A.
- Guy C, who didn’t have any direct hand in the homicide, is guilty of a captial offense in Massachusetts, he’s subject to the death penalty.
Now change the context, from the temporary mortality of the body, to the permanent, potential mortality of the soul:
What if Dr. Bernard Nathanson had been on the verge of ceasing to perform abortions. I have some new, exciting forum for showing the world what a terrible guy Dr. Bernard is—it’s nothing new, Dr. Nathanson hasn’t changed anything, it’s all about the art of persuasion except, I’m not acting to persuade him, the most important person, the principal in this situation.
So I tempt Dr. Nathanson to perform some abortions, not really to prevent abortion, but to make some abstract point about the terrible abortionists. For a week, Dr. N. refrains from his intended course of repentance, but eventually he stops aborting.
Am I guilty of part of the deaths of the perhaps hundreds of children he aborts during that week?
In Catholic moral theology, I am guilty of mortal sin because another has committed mortal sin at my prompting.
There’s nothing new about Dr. Nathanson’s activities, nor about the fact that everyone knows what’s going on: It’s a baby, smartie. It’s homicide against a pre-born person.
What’s in danger of happening is that we so over-emphasize the art of persuasion (known in the ancient world as rhetoric), that we risk losing our focus on crucial issues in the domain of logic (dialectics).
You can search Google for “selling baby parts” from the first day of this millenium (1/1/200) to the last day of June, 2015, before the recent controversy broke. Google no longer lists the number of hits, but it’s probably in the 100,000s, if not millions. This phenomenon has been known for decades by anyone who cared to be aware of it.
I own the book Beyond Abortion: A Chronicle of Fetal Experimentation by Suzanne M. Rini. It was published in 1993. It didn’t sell very well.
Everyone who would be concerned, already knew this was going on. The big difference is that the young man (whom I know personally, he’s been to my house) found a new forum for presenting the information.
So now we’re in the environment of Rodney King being beaten on camera by rogue cops. Can’t We All Just Get Along? This is a media issue.
The problem with our overemphasis on the rhetorical implications is that we’ve forgotten a fundamental fact: There wouldn’t be aborted babies to be fodder for the body parts market if Catholics and Evangelicals would keep in mind certain facts about contraception:
- The Pill doesn’t prevent abortions, it feeds them. The Alan Guttmacher Institute proved this decades ago. It was enshrined into “law” in 1989 in PPFA v Casey.
- The Pill doesn’t work, it has a “method failure rate” of 9%, one pregnancy every 11 menstrual cycles, belief in its efficacy is one of the chief secular superstitions, it’s the engine of the sexual revolution, (“you say it like it’s a bad thing“), it enabled women to discover they don’t need men hence, it prompted a significant increase in divorce, vastly increasing the misery of already born children.
- Pro-life opinion in the US, now a majority but useless because “pro-life” women are going to go to abortion businesses when they’re under stress, isn’t going to increase, especially, we’re not going to persuade the elites of abortion’s disadvantages, until Evangelicals get on board with the official Catholic Church in pointing up how contraception is wrecking our society.
We have allowed the selling baby parts brouhaha, in the domain of the art of persuasion, to divert us from logically focusing on what needs to be done to discourage abortion.
In the process, we’ve forgotten, if we ever knew, that we don’t make progress by tempting the opposition to show its worst side.
(Manufacturer # 0S03508 )
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F5 to Refresh. (Once a track is started, it won’t stop loading until it is through or the page is refreshed.)
“Envy” is broken up into several tracks.
Queue to: 2 minutes, 25 seconds (Schadenfreude: “harm-joy”)