Astonishing Statement from Glen Jenvey

Glen Jenvey

Self-styled anti-terrorism expert and British Obsession pundit Glen Jenvey has just released an extraordinary statement, in which he appears in effect to repudiate the “anti-Jihadi” efforts by which he came to public attention. It is published on Cryptome, and has also been sent to me from his email address.

In particular, Jenvey claims to have provided evidence crucial to the extradition of jailed Muslim extremist Abu Hamza to the USA, but that he now wishes to withdraw his statement and videos because “I wish no part in this show trial on a disabled man”. Further:

I have already witnessed lies being told in a British court in the case of Abu Izzadeen, with police statements going missing and officers lying about receiving evidence.

And I know the full history of secret evidence on Abu Qatada and where it came from and what was said behind closed doors which led to him being placed back in prison.

And in a second piece, published on Analyst Network, he apparently adds that:

I phoned Anjem Choudhary yesterday and he wants me to meet him. I won’t go into the details of what we discussed.

Anjem Choudary is the most notorious Islamic extremist in the UK who’s not behind bars, so this is astonishing.

The background to all this is quite long and complicated, but to cut a long story short, back in January ago the Sun published a front-page splash which claimed that extremist Muslims were using a web forum to plan attacks on British Jews in revenge for Israeli action in Gaza. In particular, the businessman Alan Sugar was named as a target. The source for the story was Glen Jenvey, but Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads found evidence suggestive that Jenvey had made the extremist postings himself under a false Islamic identity. The Sun removed the story (without any public explanation), and articles about the controversy appeared in Private Eye and the Guardian. Jenvey has strongly protested his innocence, and he claims that the Guardian article was written to protect a Guardian columnist.

Three weeks ago Jenvey featured briefly in a Daily Mail article about the recent “anti-extremist” protests in Luton; discussing a group called March for England (which was not responsible for the violence which erupted month), the Mail noted the involvement of virulent anti-Muslim blogger Paul Ray (“Lionheart“) and gave some details about Dave Smeeton, the group’s organiser. The Mail added that

Another link between the men is Glen Jenvey, accused by several newspapers of fabricating stories about Islamic extremism. Jenvey has eight ‘friends’ on his Facebook site; two of them are Ray and Smeeton.

The Mail did not claim that Jenvey was involved with events in Luton, but this was the final straw. Jenvey now writes:

Due to personal unfounded attack’s by the Daily Mail newspaper calling me an unmasked football hooligan and personal attacks on myself and family by bloggers from the far left and supporters of the failing Labour Government, I wish to withdraw my police statement taken by the anti-terrorist squad for the FBI.

The 6-page statement lists a number of video tapes to be used in the extradition case of Abu Hamza and one video links James Ujaama to Abu Hamza. Without these tapes, which kick-started the case in America, it will be hard to present a valid case against Abu Hamza now that I’m withdrawing all evidence due to personal attacks and lies by the Daily Mail…I ask thugs at the Daily Mail to leave my friends and family alone. It made me feel sick the Daily Mail‘s claims that I was a Nazi.

By “bloggers from the far left and supporters of the failing Labour Government”, Jenvey means in particular Tim Ireland. In fact, I haven’t read anything anywhere that either attacks or even mentions members of Jenvey’s family (As a side note, the idea that Tim works on behalf of the Labour Party has been taken from an allegation made against him in comments that have appeared on conservative blogs; Tim has denied it).

Jenvey also claims that

Bloggers have threaten to chop my head off and this came not from Muslims but the far left. I receive phone calls day and night waking me up in my sleep.

Further,

 I believe that Sheikh Abu Hamza and Sheikh Abu Qatada should in good faith both be allowed out of prison on a control order as soon as possible.

All quite remarkable.

C. Peter Wagner on the Japanese Emperor and the Succubus

Bruce Wilson digs out a video of neo-Pentecostal “spiritual warfare” theorist C. Peter Wagner talking about Japan in the early 1990s, and why the Sun Goddess Amaterasu is the “harlot” from the Book of Revelation:

Japan, as a nation, is one of the nations of the world which has consciously, openly, invited national demonization.  And they do this though what’s called the Daijosai ceremony…where when a new Emperor comes in to power…And as a part of this ceremony the Emperor goes to this specially chosen…place…He eats rice that has been planted and harvested and chosen through witchcraft. And at a certain time that night the Sun Goddess visits him in person, and has sexual intercourse with the Emperor…So the emperor becomes one flesh with the sun goddess…There is a certain spiritual phenomenon…that’s called succubus…Since the present emperor slept with the Sun Goddess the stock market in Japan has gone down, never come up since. This has been a disastrous year, the first year the rice harvest failed, the first Japan has ever had to import rice.

Wagner also explains that the previous emperor turned away from this after World War Two, with the result that many people were “saved”, but that he re-established links later on.

This is vintage Wagner: he takes a ritual from another culture and reads into it exactly what he wants to find and seizes opportunistically on current affairs as evidence of spiritual causality. Several obvious questions come to mind: if Hirohito had re-established links with the Sun Goddess, why would Akihito’s 1989 accession have had any particular effect? Why did Japan enjoy increasing growth and prosperity during Hirohito’s final decades? Why has there been no repeat of the one-off 1993 rice harvest failure (which saw a 36% drop in production and was easily explained as due to bad weather)?

And what of the Daijosai ritual itself? It’s very ancient, and much of the symbolism around it is today obscure. Scholar Carmen Blacker explains that:

Wars, rebellions, and impoverishment of the imperial house led to periods, longer or shorter, of dicintinuance. The longest lapse lasted for more than two centuries, from 1466 to 1687, when civil war and its aftermath prevented its performance. During this long gap much of the tradition surrounding the ritual was lost.

One interpretation suggests that it is a rite of passage through which the Emperor is reborn as the child of the Goddess. Part of the ceremony involves a bed-like object, called a shinza. However, the shinza is not touched, the emperor does not lie on it, and its meaning is unknown. Blacker observes:

An intriguing variey of theories have been advanced to account for its presence. It has been seen as a throne, as a marriage bed, a symbol of the Sun Goddess, a resting-place for a visiting god, a refuge where the emperor may receive the soul of his ancestors. (1)

For Wagner, this leaves the way clear to impose a salacious and prurient interpretation based around ritual sex, presumably in order to evoke Western ideas of Satanism.

Wagner’s talk is introduced by Jack Hayford, who heads the famous neo-Penteocostal Church of the Way in Van Nuys, California; somewhat weirdly, Hayford’s intro is accompanied by the kind of muzak you might hear in a corporate training video. Following Wagner, Bruce gives us a couple of clips of Paul McGuire, a Christian Zionist associated with the same church who propounds a crackpot conspiracy theory about occultists cloning a “master race”  and creating body parts for the “super rich” in secret underground laboratories.

(1) See “The Shinza or God-seat in the Daijosai: Throne, Bed or Incubation Couch?” in The Collected Writings of Carmen Blacker (Routledge 2000)

Joseph Farah Urinates On Holocaust Memory: Accuses Obama of Announcing Continuation of Nazi Genocide

OK, it’s an easy target. We all know that Joseph Farah is a man without integrity or decency, a desperate huckster who proclaims to be a Christian while churning out the most egregious lies on his pseudo-news site WorldNetDaily. His crude bias and bad faith are of course long-standing and perennial; but in recent weeks – perhaps in competition with the increasingly hysterical Fox –  his discourse has become so unhinged that WND now more resembles a site like Prison Planet than anything that can be taken with any kind of seriousness.

A few days ago he was pushing the idea that Obama created Swine Flu; but now we’ve reached the very bottom of the barrel, a point so low that only his good friend Michael Savage could possibly compete in the self-degradation that putting your name to such a vile piece of writing must entail.

 Here it is, as Farah ponders a recent speech that Obama made in a former concentration camp:

Farah is a Berkeley Hunt

The speech was delivered at Buchenwald, one of the most notorious concentration camps operated by Nazis, a place where some 56,000 people, mostly Jews, were murdered in what Adolf Hitler hoped would be the “final solution” to the “Jewish problem.”

This is the shockingly unbelievable line that struck my attention – one that was in such poor taste that it couldn’t possibly have survived scrutiny by competent speechwriters and editors unless there was some intention behind it: “We are here today because we know this work is not yet finished.”

Now, don’t tell me I am taking this line out of context. I know I am. I understand the context – that the fight continues against those who deny the Holocaust.

However, Farah has compared that to a quote from the Koran Obama used elsewhere, which he cross-references with an adjacent more militant verse:

In his major address to the Muslim world last week, Obama seemed to be speaking in code – whether he or his speechwriters knew it.

…That is the context of this seemingly innocuous quotation that is actually revered by jihadists worldwide.

So, I ask you, am I really taking Obama’s words at Buchenwald out of context? Or am I the only one seeing them in context?

Farah is suggesting that Obama made a speech at Buchenwald in which he sent out a coded message promising to continue Hitler’s genocide. Make no mistake – his question-marks and “don’t tell me I am taking this line out of context” sentence are no more than vacuous  rhetorical devices which he hopes will deflect criticism for a posture that would make a British tabloid editor choke on his own puke. All they mean is that he’s too cowardly to take full ownership for what he’s saying.

So, Farah is happy to undermine an uncontroversial speech opposing Holocaust denial, a speech presented at a location which for most people represents both a memorial to Holocaust victims and a place for the most serious moral reflection, just to score a point that’s not even cheap. There’s no way he can believe what he’s writing, so he’s simply pumping out inflammatory and tasteless lies in order to whip up paranoia and hate. I’m sure he’d love to be accused of potentially inciting violence, just so he could bleat about how there’s a conspiracy to “silence” him. But just who is he writing this for, besides some lone nutjob with a cabin in the hills, an internet connection, and a collection of guns?

This is not the first time that Farah has used the Holocaust in a way that shows him up as a vulgar clown lacking in any semblance of character – he uses a picture of skeletal Holocaust victims to sell a video attacking Charles Darwin and evolutionary biology. That video was actually condemned by the ADL.

farahliarfp

(Hat tip: Dispatches from the Culture Wars; Right Wing Watch. Image snagged from ConWebWatch)

Two Book Reviews

Somewhat late to the party, I’ve written a review of Jeff Sharlet‘s 2008 book The Family – it can be seen here.

And rather quicker off the mark, I’ve got a review of Kathryn Joyce‘s new book Quiverfull,  here. Kathryn was also recently on TV talking about her book with Laura Flanders – see here.

Michael Savage: “I’m a Great Supporter of Organised Religion”

Michael Savage, speaking on BBC Radio 5 on June 02:

I’ve supported the five major religions for the last fifteen years on the radio. I was talking about the great religions, including Islam, beginning in 1994. I’m a great supporter of organised religion.

Savage, of course, claims that his anti-Islam comments have quoted out of context, and that the recent much-publicised ban on his entry into the UK has put his life in danger. In fact, if I were Savage I’d more worried about an attack of apoplexy finishing me off:

Much of what he spits out in these extracts (compiled by a fan, apparently) has not  featured in the British debate over the ban; his Radio 5 interviewer does not seem to have been aware of these statements. At 3:20 there is a direct exhortation for listeners to approach Muslims in public places in order to express their contempt and hate.

A very good profile on Savage appeared in Salon in 2004. And it should be noted that despite Savage’s free speech posturing, his son – who has appeared on stage with him and shares his views – is currently waving lawyers around in attempt to shut down open discussion of his own activities.

Sunday Times Article on Luton Tensions

The Sunday Times has an article recent events in Luton (blogged by me numerous times),  including the revelation that the town’s Sikh mayor was assaulted in March by a white youth as a protest against Islamic extremism:

Kier [McElroy] ran up to him and fly-kicked him in the back. Councillor Lakhbir Singh, the mayor of Luton, a Sikh by faith, not in fact a Muslim at all, stumbled and fell forward, putting out his hands to stop himself falling. Kier turned around and, before the police could do anything, he ran through them and was away…In the weeks preceding Kier’s arrest, for some unexplained reason, the assault on the mayor was kept a secret and the mayor himself kept under wraps. He would not talk to me for this article, and I only found out about the attack through a contact in the town after Kier had been charged.

There’s also an interview with Sayful Islam, the Muslim extremist whose notorious protest against a military parade in the town spurred McElroy to action. Laughably, we’re told that he claims that

…he knew that people would be upset by the protests and tried to have a low-key presence, out of harm’s way.

We also meet Mikey Birch (probably a pseudonym), the young man who (along with a certain Wayne King) runs United People of Luton:

…Birch said he had no affiliations with a far-right party, but he did say that if the BNP were in charge at the town hall, Luton would not be so biased towards Muslims. “I’m not being racist, but…”, he said, “…I don’t want my kids being Islamified. I don’t want them forcing their religion on us.”

He was concerned about the number of Muslim councillors in Luton, and thought it was wrong that the extremists had been allowed to protest when their own marches were being prevented or curtailed. “Have Al-Muhajiroun or Al-Qaeda infiltrated the council? That’s what people are saying.” It was Birch who told me that people had talked of storming the town hall in protest.

Also making an appearance is, inevitably, Paul Ray:

Among the would-be march organisers was a white man called Paul Ray who didn’t even live in Luton. He runs Lionheart, a blog in which he appears to believe he is re-fighting the medieval crusades, the good Christian against the Muslim hordes. He’s currently bailed on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. A man who had no shame about giving his name and address wrote to the local paper, The Luton News, asking, rhetorically, what he was going to do about Muslims demonstrating and attacking “our troops”. His donation to the BNP, he told readers, was in the post.

This is unfortunately a bit ambiguous. Is the man who wrote to the Luton News Ray or someone else? If it’s someone else, why are the sentences juxtaposed? If is is Ray, why suddenly bring in “A man”? Ray has in the past made a number of comments in support of the BNP (which is why he lost the support of American conservatives last year), but he has also tried to keep a bit of distance from the party.

Ray’s reaction to the Times article is predicably hyperbolic:

Journalist David James Smith is what can only be described as a disgusting and sorry example of a British man…His article stenches of the white Liberal upper class who know absolutely nothing about the reality of life on the streets of Britain where these Islamic ghettos now reside…when the pen is in the hands of these diseased, upper-class Liberals they do not want to know the truth, all they care about is beating lower-class English people up to reinforce their misguided ideal of British society upon their readers…He calls me a ‘white man’ in a derogatory racist term, as if being a ‘white man’ makes me a racist…The whole body of his article is pro Sayful Islam propoganda…You would think they were both friends.

Etc, etc. The reference to the Crusades particularly annoyed him:

As a Christian, I do have history to look back on to understand, relate with, and make sense of what is unfolding around me now in the 21st Century in relation to Islam’s religious Jihad. Islamic terror, hatred and Holy War is nothing new, and if it had not been for the Crusades then the freedom we enjoy in Europe would have gone long ago and we would now be living supressed under sharia law, in an Islamic State… Throughout the article he does not make mention once about Moslems like Sayful Islam being a part of the continuation of 1400 years of Jihad, just that I believe I am re-fighting the Crusades.

Ray has a special fondness for bombastic video montages about Crusaders – he gives us two examples here, sourced from fellow-enthusiasts. There’s a whole belligerent subculture on Youtube devoted to this kind of thing, and he’d probably get on well with Theodore Shoebat. However, Ray’s Christianity is not well-informed – he thinks the phrase “turn the other cheek” refers to those who ignored the injured man in the parable of the Good Samaritan, and he does not attend a place of worship.

This is the second time lately that Ray has been dismayed by press coverage – a couple of weeks ago his ire was directed (“The journalist is a TRAITOR!!!”) at the Daily Mail

The End of the World Explains Tall Buildings

When I was a child, one of those bits of general knowledge that it was felt important for us all to know was this: “The Empire State Building in New York is the tallest building in the world”. It wasn’t – but our schoolbooks were a few years out of date, adults repeated stuff they themselves had learned at school, and general familarity with the true tallest building (the far less interesting North Tower of the World Trade Center) took a while to cross the Atlantic, despite the first remake of King Kong. Either way, though, the fact that the tallest building in the world was in the USA seemed part of the natural order of things.

Now, however, the tallest buildings are in Asia and Middle East, so something must be dreadfully amiss. Over to our favourite Christian apocalypticist, Joel Richardson:

We have all seen pictures of the Burj Dubai in Dubai. Presently it is the world’s tallest building. In the following diagram, the Burj Dubai is the smallest building to the right. Next to it is the proposed Mubarak Tower in Kuwait, the Al Berj Tower in Dubai, and Mile Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves Genesis 11:4

Joel’s commentators warm to the theme:

Man is again attempting to make it self like god…History repeats itself again…YES, Babylon WILL RETURN (or IS RETURNED already?)…

This is a remarkable attitude from citizens of the only country to have put men on the moon, and which continues to lead the way in reaching to the heavens – not anymore through phallus-waving skyscrapers of dubious value, but through scientific space exploration. There’s a reasonable hope that one day engineers will develop the technology to create a “space elevator“, which would facilitate transport into space in a way that is far safer and more environmentally-friendly than the way we do it today; if those who read the Bible superstitiously gain the upper hand, there’s not much chance of it ever being in the USA.

Milingo to Expand Moon’s Influence in Kenya

From the Nairobi Standard:

[A] planned visit to the country by renegade former Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Zambia is set to cause ripples within the local church that is grappling with the problem of priests leaving the church to marry.

Milingo is due in the country later this month to ordain three former priests as bishops of the Married Priests Now, a movement he founded after being excommunicated from the Roman Church in 2006.

A report from the Catholic Information Service for Africa adds:

The Married Priests Now movement, led by Father Daniel Kisomo formerly of the diocese of Machakos told CISA that their prelature is formed according to Canon Law Para 294-297.

“Ours is the Catholic Prelature of St Peter and Paul and we are within the Universal Roman Catholic Church,” said the former priest who is set to be ordained as the group’s first bishop in Kenya.” He, however, did not state the date and venue of the much hyped ordination which he claims will be presided over by excommunicated Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo.

As I’ve blogged previously, Milingo – formerly known for his strong views on demons and exorcism – is now Rev Sun Myung Moon’s creature: he has declared Moon to be the Messiah, and Milingo’s breakaway church in Zambia was established with assistance from Moon’s Universal Peace Federation (an organisation which claims to support interfaith cooperation rather than religious schism).

The UPF has also been active in Kenya; a UPF website tells us that:

The Prime Minister of Kenya, the Hon. Raila Odinga, and his wife Ida Odinga, joined by an international delegation that included seven former heads of state and over 120 members of parliament, spiritual leaders and representatives of civil society, were warmly welcomed by a crowd of over 10,000 enthusiastic Kenyans to the Global Peace Festival (GPF) in Nairobi, Sunday, August 31 [2008]…Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, co-chair of the UPF and founder of the Global Peace Festival Initiative, delivered the GPF keynote address. Dr. Moon, who is the third son of the international spiritual leaders and peacemakers Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, urged Kenyans to take pride in their nation and Africa’s role as the cradle of civilization.

Meanwhile, a Milingo minion in Zambia named Luciano Mbewe has been excommunicated by Roman Catholic Church.

(By the way, my spin-off blog on the Universal Peace Federation is still going, albeit intermittently)

Price of Free Speech in the UK: £50,000

From the Sunday Times:

Global Witness, an environmental and human rights pressure group, faced legal action in London from Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, son of the president of Congo-Brazzaville. The NGO published a report, based on Hong Kong court papers, which suggested Sassou Nguesso had bought more than $100,000 of designer clothes and other luxury goods using a credit card paid for by public funds.

Sassou Nguesso hired Schillings, a London law firm, in an attempt to suppress the report. His application for an injunction did not succeed, but Global Witness has been left with legal costs of £50,000.

That’s one example I hadn’t seen before, but it’s fairly typical of the disgusting situation of libel law in the UK. Politicians are mumbling about reform, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Paranoia and Extremist Violence in the USA

Right-Wing Extremist

Kyle at Right-Wing Watch has an excellent post:

Back in April and May I wrote a whole series of posts about how the Right was systematically trumping-up a controversy over the Department of Homeland Security Report, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” [PDF,]” which eventually led the DHS to pull the report.

Now, in light of the murder of Dr. George Tiller and the recent shooting at the Holocaust Museum, we’re seeing a variety of pieces claiming that these events validate the report’s warnings.  And undoubtedly they do, but the irony here is that this report was never about run-of-the-mill conservatives or right-wing political groups – it was focused on violent, racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-government extremists – but it was the conservatives and right-wing political groups who made it about them…The report was not a warning about mainstream conservative political groups or lawful anti-abortion activists or religious organizations – it was a report about violent, radical extremists.  But it was the Right that intentionally conflated the two and now, in the wake of two high-profile violent acts carried out by right-wing extremists, it is the Right that is insisting that they have nothing in common with such people….

Kyle also draws attention to the above ID Card, available from the Christian fundamentalist Liberty Counsel.

The recent spate of far-right violence also brings to mind Eric Boehlart’s warnings about Fox’s “Militia Media” back in April:

Is there any doubt that Fox News is playing an increasingly erratic and dangerous game by embracing the type of paranoid insurrection rhetoric that people like Pittsburgh cop killer Richard Poplawski are now acting on? By stoking dark fears about the ominous ruins that await an Obama America, by ratcheting up irresponsible back-to-the-wall scenarios, Fox News has waded into a territory that no other national news organization has ever dared to exploit.

The hate seems to be at fever-pitch: Max Blumenthal’s video of well-educated young American Jews in Jerusalem spouting extremely crude racism and opining that Obama should be shot is one particularly shocking piece of evidence.

And as my previous post notes, those who have heavily invested in crank conspiracy theories are now lashing out at everyone else to draw attention away from their own hatemongering. Chip Berlet has characterised very well what in fact is going on:

Apocalyptic aggression is fueled by right-wing pundits who demonize scapegoated groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in their audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.

Of course, far-right conspiracism and hate are not the only corrosive forces working against civil society in the USA – Jeremiah Wright’s anti-Semitism was in evidence just yesterday, and Islamic extremism continues to inspire acts of violence and terror. 9/11 “Truther” nonsense crosses many political shades, stoking irrationality and fatalism wherever it finds a hearing, while the “Jewish lobby” remains an attractive explanation for those too lazy to consider in any detail the complexities of the USA’s relationship with Israel. However, after eight years of insisting that anyone who seriously criticised Bush was unpatriotic (or even anti-God), it seems that some conservatives have painted themselves into a corner: if it’s unpatriotic to criticise lawful authority, then the only thing to do is to borrow from the far-right the idea that institutional authority in the USA is tyrannical and unlawful. That can mean mainstreaming the most paranoid ideas from the far-right, without any regard either for truth or for consequences. Once again, I give you this, from WorldNetDaily:

WND Obama Flu

It’s off the scale.

But some at least are appealing for a more sensible discourse – famously, GOP chair Michael Steele recently attacked Rush Limbaugh as “incendiary” and “ugly”, although he lacked the Kugelsack to stand by his words. Meanwhile, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has broken with some of his “anti-Jihad” fellow travelers over “stories and causes that I think are completely nuts”, and now Shepherd Smith has gone on air at Fox to complain about the extremist emails he receives. Dan Wooding of the Christian ASSIST News Service similarly bemoans the many

…hateful e-mails that are forwarded to me attacking other Christians, the President, and a plethora of other things. Most are Urban Legends that have not been checked, but they still get sent.

Will we see some moderation now that people are getting killed? Or will we simply hear more complaints that joining the dots between paranoia and violence is simply about smearing innocent conservatives?