WND Accuses John Hagee of Ripping Off End Times Theory

Blood Moons

From WND:

The blood moons tetrad is a mysterious astronomical occurrence discovered by a Seattle-area pastor who postulated beginning in 2008 that it might portend spiritually significant developments for Israel and the rest of the world because of its appearance on the biblical “feast”days of Passover and Tabernacles.

But, in a new movie called “Four Blood Moons,” San Antonio mega-pastor John Hagee, author of a New York Times bestselling book about the “blood moons phenomenon,” claims he is the discoverer.

…The discovery, however, was made by pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries of Bonney Lake, Washington, seven years ago

“Mark Biltz has given Hagee the benefit of the doubt for too long” said Joseph Farah, chief executive officer of WND.com and WND Books, giving his opinions. “He overlooked a grave slight by Hagee in the way he handled his book – not crediting Biltz as the man who discovered the blood moons phenomenon…. The truth is, Biltz had thoroughly researched and presented the blood moons, and Hagee brought nothing new to the subject – treating it, comparatively, in the most superficial way in his own book… This is one of the definitions of plagiarism – misrepresenting the work of someone else as your own.”

I wrote about Hagee’s book Four Blood Moons in October 2013; I noted that Hagee had jumped on Blitz’s bandwagon and asked why Hagee hadn’t realised the supposed significance of the “blood moons” himself in any of his previous “end times” potboilers, given his supposed expertise. Details of the new film of the same name can be seen here; according to the blurb:

FOUR BLOOD MOONS combines scripture, science, history and big-screen live action spanning centuries, including previous similar lunar occurrences and the earth-shaking changes around them. It also examines our current four blood moon cycle—and its possible meaning for Israel, the Middle East and the world.

An array of historians, religious scholars and commentators appear in FOUR BLOOD MOONS and offer their insight—filmmaker, speaker and author Dinesh D’Souza; radio host and author Dennis Prager; and noted author and historian David Barton to name just a few.

The trailer portrays Columbus in 1492, alongside sentimental reconstructions of the foundation of modern Israel and the Six-Day War; apparently there was a “blood moon” in 1493, which was significant because “Spain’s rulers had expelled all Jews and Columbus had discovered America, an eventual haven for the Jewish people”. In reality, of course, Jews expelled from Spain settled in other parts of Europe and North Africa, but Hagee wants to link the USA and Israel has having some sort of divinely ordained history. The trailer also has shots of scientists in protective clothing, doubtless to play on fears over Ebola: in October, Hagee warned that the disease was God’s judgment on America for Obama’s Israel policies.

At the time when the book appeared, WND was happy to promote it as a way to raise interest in Blitz’s theory, which Blitz was expounding in interviews and sermons. WND then published a book by Blitz in 2014, entitled Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs, for which Farah provided a Foreword.

WND continues:

…Asked if he got any inspiration from Biltz, who had chronicled in detail his findings on the blood moons four years before sharing them with Hagee in 2012, he responded: “If you read my book, it opens when I’m in Washington on a speaking tour for the night to honor Israel. Pastor Biltz is the sponsoring pastor… And he asked me, ‘Have you ever considered the stars as having a spiritual significance?’ And I said, ‘Well, other than what’s written in the word of God, no.’ He said, ‘Well, I think that God is using the stars as recorded in the book of Genesis to communicate with us.’… We then went home and I got on my computer and started looking up blood moons. And I really didn’t find anything until I plugged in the issue of 1948 and blood moons. And there popped up the NASA statement about the blood moons appearing in the history of Israel.”

In a rare acknowledgement of the need for accuracy, WND points out that “there were no blood moons in 1948… The blood moons tetrad confirmed by NASA’s website took place in 1949.” I’ll add that while NASA’s website has statistical data on lunar eclipses, I’m willing to take a bet that there has never been any statement relating to “the history of Israel”.

This year’s lunar eclipses appear to have sparked widespread apocalyptic fervour, despite the fact that their supposed important has to be loosely extrapolated from a Bible verse about supernatural disturbances:

I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

That’s from Joel chapter 3, and it is quoted by Peter in the Book of Acts as an explanation for the events of Pentecost. A tetrad of regular lunar eclipses on Jewish feast days is not discussed anywhere. It should also be noted that the eclipses will not be visible in Israel, although one enthusiast believes that the North Pole is has special spiritual significance; Charisma News reports:

“The concurrence and rarity of this natural event, together with the times in which we live, indicates the finger of God,” said Gidon Ariel, an Israeli Jew and co-founder of Root Source, an online platform where Christians can learn Jewish concepts, ideas and thought, and more deeply understand the roots of their faith.

A total solar eclipse at the North Pole on the first day of spring occurs once every 100,000 years. For it to occur on the first day of the first month of the biblical calendar year is, however, entirely unprecedented since this is only the year 5775 according to Jewish tradition, meaning that there has never been such a solar occurrence in human history.

Root Source founders Bob O’Dell, a devout Christian, and Gidon Ariel, an Orthodox Jew, are both calling all Christians and Jews to join them for two minutes of prayer as a response to the solar eclipse… “I will be praying Isaiah 11:9 for two minutes at the Western Wall in Jerusalem at 12:18 PM local time,” Ariel said.

WND is also promoting another numerological “End Times” theory as complementary; this is Jonathan Cahn’s teaching on the The Mystery of the Shemitah, which strongly infers that the US is headed for disaster in September 2015, as part of a supernatural seven-year cycle:

The first shaking is 9/11. Second shaking is the economic collapse. When does it happen? It happens in 2008… The greatest day happened at the end of September 2008. It was the greatest stock market crash in the history of America.

However, not all conservative Christians are on board, and a site called Berean Call has railed against “fearmongering false prophets”. This prompted a rebuke from Farah:

The criticisms also appear to be a breach of the biblical admonishment in Matthew 18:15-20, Farah said. That scripture says “if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.” In other words, tell him in private, not in front of the whole congregation or, in this case, in front of the world on the Internet.

Unless, of course, your brother is competing against you with a rival End Times book on the same apocalyptic theory.

The South Carolina National Security Action Summit

From the Times and Democrat (South Carolina, emphases added):

Several potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates are expected in West Columbia this Saturday for the “S.C. National Security Action Summit.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who have all been mentioned as potential 2016 presidential candidates, will be in attendance.

…Others to participate in the public forum include Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former commanding general of U.S. Army Special Forces and Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence; Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.

…The summit is hosted by the conservative news website Breitbart News, the Center for Security Policy and High Frontier.

High Frontier has the partial line-up here, and Breitbart has some streams from the event which show that Newt Gingrich also took part; due to transport problems, Jindal sent a video message. I’ve browsed a few of the talks, there were few surprises, with speakers complaining about the Obama administration’s approach to “Global Jihad” and the need for Muslim leaders to speak out. Boykin warned that Obama should not be granted his request for AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) against Islamic State, on the grounds that he doesn’t understand the situation, but he avoided the religious and rhetorical extravagances that have characterised some of his previous attacks on Obama and Islam.

The line-up was a mix of politicians, conservative activists (such Phyllis Schlafly and Anne Corcoran) and individuals with creditable claims to expertise in particular areas. The chair of High Frontier – which describes itself as “the nation’s leading non-government authorities on missile defense issues including missile defense, arms control, nuclear weapons, and strategic systems” – is Henry (Hank) F. Cooper, who has an impressive CV. Here’s an outline bio from the official website of the Missle Defense Agency of the US Department of Defense:

Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
Director, Strategic Defense Initiative Organization
July 10, 1990 – January 20, 1993

Ambassador Henry F. Cooper is [sic] the Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. He was appointed to this position by President Bush on July 10, 1990, and is the first civilian Director.

…In November 1983, Ambassador Cooper was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the Assistant Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In that capacity he was responsible for backstopping all bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union related to strategic and theater nuclear matters and chaired the Assistant Secretary-level interagency group responsible for developing U.S. Space Arms Control policy options.

Cooper’s son Scott Cooper was also included on the line-up, although his claim to expertise is somewhat more of a stretch:

Scott was in the travel industry on 9/11/01, thus experienced first-hand the impact radical Islam has had on our country.  From 2006 – 2010, Scott’s experience in the banking industry, he witnessed heavy middle-eastern influence into our banking system. These two experiences caused him to begin studying the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into our republic.

Other speakers who might be called “high-level” included George H. Baker, who previously “led the Defense Nuclear Agency’s EMP program, directed the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s assessment arm, and served as a member of the Congressional EMP Commission Staff”; Peter Huessy, “former National Defense University Foundation senior defense consultant”; Peter Vincent Pry, “Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards”, who “served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission” (1); and Admiral Ace Lyons, who was formerly “Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Senior U.S. Military Representative to the United Ntions and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.”

However, expertise on Islam was rather more problematic – Gaffney is himself a demagogue who has indulged conspiracy theories about Obama being a secret Muslim, and he was joined by John Guandolo, who I wouldn’t regard as a creditable figure (for reasons discussed here). There was also an obscure retired police officer named David Bores, who “has been diligently educating American’s in multiple venues about the threat of Islamic Law to our Constitutional Republic.”

UPDATE

(1) Pry’s associations look more marginal when examined close up; a 2011 Atlantic article explains:

EMPact America, the group that hosted [a] conference at Niagara Falls, has been on a lobbying blitz in recent weeks to pass the SHIELD Act. The bill, which is backed by the Congressional “EMP Caucus” (yes, such a thing exists) is intended to protect the electrical grid of the continental United States from the effects of an EMP attack. EMPact America even produces a weekly, hour-long radio show devoted entirely to the issue, with recent guests including former CIA Director James Woolsey and Congressman Trent Franks. What sort of response have these warnings gotten so far? In Washington’s nuclear arms control circles, where I’ve spent the past few months working as part of my research on the Iranian nuclear program, they’re not really taken seriously.

 

Yakunin’s Views on Gays Overshadows Conference in Geneva

A rather rambling conference blurb (bear with me) from Russia soft-power outfit the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation:

The contemporary international practice of world order structuring apparently does not correspond to the rational publically acceptable norms required to foster global mega-scale projects. The growing number of public actors, experts and researchers start sharing the view that such requisite ingredients of globalization as “universal human values and rights”, the pre-set standards of tolerance and political correctness (or rather political comfort) are conducive to distortion of factual historical memory and to the entrenchment of a narrow group of beneficiaries of the current transformations. These developments lead to the growing desovereignization of national and international economic and financial processes.

The title of the conference was “European choice: Globalization of Re-Sovereignization”; topics included “Globalization is not only economical process, but the politics aimed at creation of the new world order” and “the historical interaction between the European countries (particularly Switzerland) and Russia is a resource for sustainable cooperation in future”. The event was co-hosted by the Geneva Press Club, whose president, Guy Mettan, is President of the Joint Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-Russia & CIS.

Of course, it’s obvious why Russia’s supporters are sniffing at “pre-set standards of tolerance”, and the media has focused on the host’s inevitable opining on teh gaye; over to Reuters:

Traditional family values need to be supported against activism by the gay minority, and the idea that gays were suppressed in Russia was “a trick”, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“We should not rape nature because of ideological, political or individual preferences,” said Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin, who was hosting a conference in Geneva to promote his foundation, the Endowment for St Andrew the First Called.

Asked if he was afraid of gays or of an open debate about gay marriage, Yakunin drew applause and shouts of “bravo” from the audience with his response.

“Practically, if Reuters, or yourself, will show me the man who gave birth to a child, then the question is obsolete,” he said.

Reuters adds:

A brochure from the conference, on the “sanctity of motherhood”, called for “socially responsible media” to resist attempts to redefine the family, which it said were “an irresponsible manipulation of the most profound parts of the human nature”.

It’s not immediately clear what “the sanctity of motherhood” has to do with “Globalization of Re-Sovereignization” and “sustainable cooperation” between Russia and Switzerland, and I checked to make sure I was reading about the same event. I suspect that “sanctity of motherhood angle” refers to a related programme of that name, which is under the direction of Yakunin’s wife, Natalia Yakunina.

Other participants included Anee-Marie Lizin, Honorary President of the Senate of Belgium, and Walter Schwimmer, Ex-Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Schwimmer is a long-term collaborator with Yakunin, and he Co-Chairs the World Public Forum, which is funded by the St Andrew Foundation.

Yakunin was previously in the news in January, when he attended a Holocaust conference in Prague; the EU Observer said that his presence was “to the great embarrassment of the Czech government”, given his close links with Putin. The Prague Daily Monitor explained that Yakunin was present “at the invitation of the European Jewish Congress”, whose president Moshe Kantor is “a Russian billionaire who reportedly has close links with Putin.” However, the report also noted Yakunin’s links with the Czech Republic’s president, Milos Zeman:

Yakunin is a founder and organiser of the [World Public Forum] Rhodes discussion forum at which President Milos Zeman compared the war in Ukraine to a flu last September.

No, Leonard Nimoy did not See Israel As a Sign of the End Times

From WND:

LEONARD NIMOY’S EPITAPH: ‘ISRAEL IS A MIRACLE’
In failing health, actor narrated movie about Jewish state’s godly link

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes the case for his nation’s security before Congress Tuesday, actor Leonard Nimoy is still speaking about the miracle of Israel in a movie he narrated not long before his death.

The movie, shown on television from coast to coast, is calledThe Miracle of Israel,” and connects the strange and seemingly supernatural events surrounding the Jewish state’s founding and survival over the last 67 years.

…Some say they are proof of prophetic fulfillment that has and will continue to impact the world as it moves toward the Last Days, explain the filmmakers.

The key words here are “actor narrated”; the documentary – which first aired last year – was a gig, like Orson Welles narrating the movie of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth in 1979.

Nimoy expressed his own views on Israel in a fundraising letter for Americans for Peace Now in 2011, in which he argued in favour of a two-state solution:

 I’m a strong supporter of APN and the work it does. It is a leading voice for Americans who support Israel and know that a negotiated peace will ensure Israel’s security, prosperity and continued viability as a Jewish and democratic state.

…In April, a group of 50 prominent Israelis, including the former heads of the Mossad (Israel’s CIA), the Shin Bet (its FBI), and the military, issued a call for two states for two nations. Their plan includes a Palestinian state alongside Israel with agreed-upon land swaps. The Palestinian-populated areas of Jerusalem would become the capital of Palestine; the Jewish-populated areas the capital of Israel.

It’s clear that Nimoy’s approach is secular and pragmatic, and that he does not regard Israeli control of Gaza and the West Bank as necessary or desirable. By contrast, the Miracle of Israel documentary looks forward to the building of a new Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and its line-up of speakers (which includes the sanguinary Walid Shoebat) are supporters of a “Greater Israel” in which Palestinian areas were “restored” to Israel by God in 1967.

The documentary is a product of Jewish Voice Ministries. According to a blurb, the organisation

has been working to reach Jewish people through the broadcast of the television documentary on secular stations. The documentary, narrated by Leonard Nimoy, provides a historical snapshot of the Jewish people, and also includes views on Messianic and Last Days’ prophecy.

The film’s evangelistic purpose is made clearer on the Jewish Voice Ministries webpage at GOD TV:

This program will educate and inspire thousands of Jews and Christians to support Israel during this critical time in history. It will also bring the good news of Yeshua, Jesus to your Jewish family members, friends and neighbors.

National Prayer Breakfast Highlights the Fellowship’s Support for Sudan Regime

From Faith McDonnell, of the Institute of Religion and Democracy:

Sudan’s foreign minister, a hardcore Islamist with a long history of orchestrating mass atrocities and other crimes against humanity, has been invited to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC on Thursday, February 4.

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event hosted by members of the United States Congress and organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation… Sudanese and American activists will gather outside the event’s Washington Hilton location at 9:00 a.m. to protest the inclusion of these representatives of Sudan’s genocidal government as attendees are exiting the hotel.

McDonnell also drew attention to a petition, organised by Mark Hackett of Operation Broken Silence.

The “Fellowship Foundation”, also known as “the Family”, is a discrete religious group that has been been operating in Washington for decades; its activities have been explored and analysed by the award-winning author Jeff Sharlet, in two books (The Family and C Street) and several articles. An extract from his first book posted by NPR is a succinct summary of the group’s perspective:

“We desire to see a leadership led by God,” reads a confidential mission statement. “Leaders of all levels of society who direct projects as they are led by the spirit.” Another principle expanded upon is stealthiness; members are instructed to pursue political jujitsu by making use of secular leaders “in the work of advancing His kingdom,” and to avoid whenever possible the label Christian itself, lest they alert enemies to that advance. Regular prayer groups, or “cells” as they’re often called, have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries.

In a 2010 article for Mother Jones, he explained the group’s international ambitions:

The Family’s goal, according to one internal document, is to create a “hidden structure” of “national and international world leaders bound together relationally by a mutual love for God and the family.”

The Fellowship has been busy in Europe, as I discussed here, and in June it held a Prayer Breakfast in Ukraine. There has also been particular controversy over its influence in Uganda.

But how could an Islamist regime be assimilated into such a vision? The answer is in the Fellowship’s vague theology of “Jesus Plus Nothing”; its “elite fundamentalism” (to use Jeff’s term) is quite distinct from the religious right rhetoric of televangelists and mega-church leaders. Jeff explains how this played out in Sudan, in a 2010 piece for the New Yorker:

In 1997, [Fellowship leader Doug] Coe travelled to Sudan with a former Republican congressman named Mark Siljander, and met with the country’s notorious President, Omar al-Bashir… According to the evangelical magazine World, Siljander may have taken Coe’s Jesus-only, no-questions-asked ecumenism too seriously. Siljander wrote a book called “A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman’s Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide,” in which he asserted that Bashir was “a bad man” in the eyes of the West, but “in the eyes of God, as near as I could understand it, he was just another human being, with frailties and failings like the rest of us.”

Further details appear in Jeff’s book C Street; Siljander and Coe

…told the dictator [al-Bashir] they wanted to be friends. “He’s my prayer partner, by the way,” Siljander boasted on a Trinity Broadcasting Network Christian program. “I love Bashir, his heart was changed, and it sure wasn’t by my good looks. The Holy Spirit came into the conversation we had with the king” – he meant the dictator – “and melted his heart.”

Siljander claims the dictator was so “flabbergasted” by Siljander’s assimilation of Islam into Christianity that… al-Bashir said, “This is revolutionary.”

Siljander famously went too far with this enthusiasm – in 2010 he pleaded guilty to “serving as an unregistered agent in Washington” for a Sudan-based charity that the US government “said had ties to international terrorism”, although since his release from prison he’s argued that he is innocent. Given the presence of regime leaders alongside President Obama at a prestigious religious event in 2015, perhaps he has some grounds for complaining that he was unfairly treated.

Some Notes on Leon Brittan, Geoffrey Dickens, and the Media

From an article by James Gillespie in last week’s Sunday Times:

EVIDENCE has emerged that Leon Brittan, the former home secretary, who died of cancer last week, was unjustly accused of covering up child sex-abuse allegations.

Geoffrey Dickens, the MP who submitted the allegations to Brittan, praised him for “splendid support” and thanked the Home Office for its work in combating paedophilia, the evidence shows.

One [allegation] was from an angry mother complaining that her 16-year-old son had “become homosexual” after taking a job in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace, where homosexuality was “prevalent”. The second was from a civil servant working for what was then Customs and Excise, who pointed out that addresses linked to paedophile material sent from abroad were not routinely passed on to the police.

A second batch of material followed:

According to an internal Home Office inquiry conducted by an investigator from HMRC, “some . . . relate to the cult Children of God”, a religious sect widely accused of abusing children [see footnote below – RB].

The other letters involved matters that had already been dealt with by police or the courts or lacked evidence, such as a letter from a woman complaining about PIE advertising but without any examples.

That was in late 1983 and early 1984; neither man would have imagined that the nature and handling of this material would come under intense scrutiny thirty years later, and then define Brittan’s contribution to public life. TV news reports of Brittain’s death on 21 January led with reference to the “dossier”, while among newspapers and on the internet the majority consensus is that Brittan was a monster who had suppressed Dickens’ information as part of a conspiracy to protect a cabal of VIP orgiastic paedophiles who raped and murdered boys on a regular basis.

In fact, however, there was nothing about a VIP paedophile ring in Dickens’ communications with Brittan, and Dickens never accused Brittan of a cover-up:

On the contrary, on March 31, 1987, Dickens told the Commons: “I should like to place on record my thanks to the Home Office and the departments within the Home Office for following up the many cases that I keep sending to it. I should also like to thank the attorney-general. They have been very helpful and a strength to me in my campaigns.”

Of course, this does not address wider accusations against Brittan; last week’s Daily Star Sunday ran a piece (by Tom Savage) on Brittan’s “catalogue of depravity” (without quote marks), headlining the claim that he had “abused ten-year old boy” (with quote marks). This refers to one of three individuals who claims to have been abused by Brittan. According to the story, which emerged last summer, the victim, who is now living in the USA, has declined to give a formal police statement. However, according David Barrett at the Telegraph:

Police have traced a copy of a statement he gave more than 30 years ago as a child when he was rescued from horrific sexual assault. His version of events is understood to be corroborated by a detective who conducted the official interview with the child at the time.

It not clear here why we here have “is understood to be corroborated”, rather than “has been corroborated”.

Two other alleged victims are a woman named “Jane”, who says she was raped by Brittan in 1967, when she was 19 years old; and “Nick”, on whose sensational testimony the entire stock of credibility of the website Exaro News currently rests. “Nick” claims not just to have been raped by Brittan and other VIPs, but to have witnessed two murders at abuse parties and the killing of a third boy as a “warning”. “Nick” was recently accompanied by Exaro News to make a police statement (in a somewhat unusual arrangement), as a result of which it is now reported that Brittan was facing a “Met probe” at the time of his death.

There are also alleged witnesses: a social worker has said that in 1990 he was shown a photo of Brittan “naked except for a frilly apron and cap”, while “on his lap was a boy of about 12, ­prepubescent, stark naked”; and a retired customs officer claims to have seen “an ex-minister” in an abuse video that was seized at Dover in 1982. It’s difficult to imagine why Brittan would have allowed himself to be shown in such compromising situations, and there remains a frustrating gap between sensational testimony and hard evidence.

But this “catalogue of depravity” raises an obvious question, which Exaro News’ editor, Mark Watts, has addressed on Twitter:

[…] one thing i don’t understand : of all people, why did Geoffrey dickens give his dossier to leon brittan? [Link]

[…] Not sure, but it seems that Geoffrey Dickens was testing Leon Brittan, seeing how he reacts. [Link]

This appears to have been plucked out of thin air, and looks to me to be a clumsy attempt to explain why Exaro‘s narrative doesn’t quite stack up.

Last week’s Sunday Times report is cited today in a column in the same paper by Dominic Lawson, written in defence of Brittan’s memory. Lawson also raises a related subject that Exaro has so far avoided:

Dickens – whom his colleagues politely described as a “maverick” – was in fact one of the promulgators of the great satanic ritual abuse conspiracy: this reached its febrile heights in both Britain and America in the 1980s, dying away only after hundred of people had unjustly had their children snatached aways by social workers infected with this form of hysteria.

I blogged on Dickens and Satanic Ritual Abuse here; the subject inspired Dickens to compile yet another dossier, which – perhaps inevitably – also got lost. In 1990, Dickens wrote the foreword for a book, Dance with the Devil, by a supposed ex-witch turned-Christian named Audrey Harper (ghosted by a journalist, Harry Pugh). Harper told stories of sacrificed babies, boys abused on inverted crucifixes, and rituals of profanation inside churches involving coprophagy and drinking urine in mockery of the Eucharist (“it made me feel sick”, she recalls on page 108). The book claimed that 200,000 people are involved in Satanism in the UK. If Exaro News is so confident of Dickens’ judgement, why haven’t they sought her out for further comment?

It is true that Dickens did correctly name the diplomat Peter Hayman in Parliament as a paedophile involved with child pornography, but it is not the case that Dickens was the one to expose him – the story of how Hayman had left paedophile material on a bus was published by Private Eye in 1980, in an article entitled “The Beast of Berlin”.

Lawson’s article is entitled “These Child Abuse Slurs are just the Angry Left’s Revenge on Thatcher”. This overstates the political dimension, but as I wrote in 2012, following the unravelling of the Lord MacAlpine fiasco, I certainly get the distasteful impression that some people would be bitterly disappointed to discover that particular individuals have not been sexually abusing children. It seems to me to be a form of anti-establishment millennialism: at the moment, there are only signs and hints – but very soon, the powerful will be brought down from their thrones, ruined and disgraced through the discovery that they have been involved in exceptionally foul and self-debasing crimes.

UPDATES

(1) Don Hale and Barbara Castle

Another story about Leon Brittan and a dossier comes from Don Hale, who by his own account is himself part of the wider story. Hale used to be editor of the Bury Messenger, and last summer he claimed (or, as some hacks prefer, “revealed”) that he had been given “an incendiary dossier… by long-serving Labour politician Barbara Castle”:

They included typewritten minutes of meetings that had been held at Westminster in support of the paedophile agenda, along with details of a host of Establishment figures who had apparently pledged support to their cause.

No fewer than 16 MPs were on that list, several of them household names. Also mentioned multiple times was Tory minister Sir Rhodes Boyson, a well-known enthusiast for corporal punishment, and Education Secretary Sir Keith Joseph.

However, before Hale could publish, he was visited by police officers with D-Notice:

‘If you don’t comply with this notice, we will arrest you for perverting the course of justice,’ the detective barked. ‘You will be liable for up to ten years in prison.’

The dossier was confiscated; Castle subsequently told Hale “I thought this might happen”, and she “went to her grave in 2002″ with the dossier’s contents “still secret.”

The story is a strange one, not least because a D-Notice is a request for editors to refrain from publishing information voluntarily, rather than a gagging order. Following Brittan’s death, Hale followed up with a new item for the Daily Mirror:

Former Labour MP Barbara Castle said Leon Brittan was a man that she ‘could not trust,’ and was highly critical of his handling of a dossier said to have contained the names of VIP paedophiles.

She said he was ‘a powerful man with many secrets,’ and claimed many of his colleagues ‘just dare not get the wrong side of him.’

…The former Labour cabinet minister, then known as Baroness Castle of Blackburn, who represented north Manchester as a Euro MP, attacked the credibility of the then Home Secretary, and believed he was the ‘last person you would want to give a file of the nature to for review.’

…She found a raft of confidential sexual abuse papers and claimed, ‘they had Leon Brittan’s fingerprints all over them,’ and believed he was in possession of key facts.

The article is oddly written; for some reason, Hale chose not to make clear that he is the source for the supposed quotes; anyone coming to the story cold would be baffled by the lack of context.

(2) Tony Bushby and the Daily Star Sunday

Further claims appeared in the Daily Star Sunday on 1 February, in an article by Tony Bushby entitled “Teen rent boy VANISHED after spying on VIP paedo ring”:

A newspaper gave the lad a camera after he volunteered to expose the high-class perverts abusing youngsters at sex parties in the early 1980s.

The lad named then-Home Secretary Leon Brittan as an attendee at the parties.

But he disappeared hours after starting his probe – and was never seen again.

The investigation was launched by journalists on a Sunday newspaper after a panicked late-night phone call from a different rent boy, who told reporters he feared for his life because a policeman tasked with protecting him had been ordered to close the case.

According to the story, the rent boy who made the call had previously told journalists at the Sunday Mirror that MPs, including Leon Brittan, had attended sex parties along with VIP foreigners who had “jetted in to an airfield on the outskirts of London – possibly RAF Northolt.” The rent boy had contacted police after “he witnessed something – he wouldn’t say what – that left him fearing for his own and other boys’ safety”.

The rent boy also gave reporters the phone number for the officer who had been told to close the case. One journalist made a call; however:

The reporter said he knew Leon Brittan was involved and asked to meet up – but that terrified the policeman.

“Look please – go away,” he said… “It has been made clear to me my job is on the line, my whole career. Please, leave me alone.”

Some of this previously appeared in a Daily Star Sunday article co-authored by Bushby in late 2012, although with some curious differences; in the earlier version, the the rent boy with the camera who “vanished” does not appear at all, and there’s no claim of direct contact between the rent boy who had spoken with police and journalists. Instead, the source is the police officer, who is presented as providing new quotes and who is “furious” rather than “terrified”:

The furious ex-policeman said: “It wasn’t that we ran out of leads but it reached a point where a warning to stop came.

“It was a case of ‘get rid of everything, never say a word to anyone’. It was made very clear to me that to ­continue asking questions would ­jeopardise my career.”

The new story does not make clear what happened to the rent boy who had been in contact with police, saying only that:

Reporters continued to work on the story, and in the following weeks had infrequent contact with the rent boy who’d originally phoned in.

However, in the 2012 story:

The vulnerable teen who spoke to ­detectives vanished just weeks after blowing the whistle.

Bushby’s new piece also ends with a detail taken from Exaro:

It also emerged Brittan was named as attending parties at Dolphin Square, a central London flats complex where witnesses have told police three boys were murdered.

Exaro’s “Nick” actually claims to have seen two sex murders at Dolphin Square, as well as a third boy being run over by a car in south London as a “warning”. And “Nick” is one person, not “witnesses”.

(3) Clive Harrington

In early February, Exaro introduced a man named Clive Harrington, who says that he was harassed and financially ruined after raising the subject of Leon Brittan with Bernard Weatherill, the Speaker of the House of Commons, at a dinner event in 1989.

According to the story, in the 1980s Harrington was a “paper millionaire” businessman, and was hoping to become a Conservative MP. However, he also had “a good friend who ran four brothels”, and this person told him that Brittan was a paedophile. Harrington says that he repeated his friend’s claim to Weatherill after “too many glasses of wine”:

“I realised immediately that I had, at the very least, breached etiquette. Weatherill ignored what I said, and did not talk to me again. My comment was met with silence.”

Harrington says that he made his money in insurance, but that a few years after speaking to Weatherill he was (in his words) “a tramp”:

Harrington, of Sussex, blames his outburst for a harassment campaign against him.

He was arrested for stealing a car that he had hired… No charges were brought.

Police then questioned him about three insurance policies that he had sold. “I was totally bemused by it all. No charges were ever brought…”

The suspicion destroyed his business and he lost his licence to trade, Harrington said. He went bankrupt…

“I kind of learned the hard way. You do not fight these kinds of people”

Weatherill died in 2007, while the brothel keeper is unnamed. At best, these are claims from one source; yet Exaro treats the anecdote as if it were established truth, with the headline:

Tory hopeful told speaker’s dinner: Leon Brittan is a paedophile
Bernard Weatherill was staggered to hear of child sex abuse by former home secretary

However, the detail that Harrington was made bankrupt is, perhaps for the first time with Exaro, a detail that it ought to be easy to confirm against official records. Bankruptcies in the UK are published in the London Gazette, which can be browsed via its official website.

A search for “Harrington, Clive” and “Clive Harrington” under the “all notices” option brings up just one person: a builder who was declared bankrupt in 1987 and who was involved with some follow-up matters in 1994. A filtered search for “Harrington” + “Clive” from 1989-2015, in case Clive is a legal middle name, brings up one other person in 2005, but again the details do not match the story published by Exaro.

Footnote

The Children of God is an American religious group, today known as the Family International. It believes in free love between members, and this previously included sexual relations with and between children. Dickens’ reference to the group, and to homosexuality at Buckingham Palace, are sloppily conflated in a headline that appeared above a Don Hale story in the Daily Star Sunday in December: “Child sex cult in Buckingham Palace”.

Pennsylvania Christian Right Activist Discusses Ukraine

The Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania) reports on address given by Samuel E. Rohrer, “president of both the American and Pennsylvania Pastors Networks” to members of the Berks County Patriots. Rohrer – a Pennsylvania House of Representatives – discussed his involvement with Ukraine:

Rohrer… spent two day in a hotel in Kiev in June leading a summit aimed at ensuring Christian beliefs and values are paramount in creating a new Ukraine.

The summit was attended by 85 Ukrainian pastors and 15 members of Ukraine’s parliament. The group crafted a list of recommendations that was passed along to the country’s president.

Rohrer and fellow American pastor David Barton, speaking through translators to the Ukrainians, shared lessons of America’s creation as an example of how to create a free nation based on biblical principals [sic].

This received some attention at the time. In June, Glenn Beck announced that Barton had been asked to advise “the main people in the government” in “a former Soviet state”; for some reason, Beck avoided saying which country (and even slipped into the plural), but it was always very likely to be Ukraine.

This was confirmed a few weeks later, when Barton discussed his visit to Ukraine on James Dobson’s radio show. Right Wing Watch noted at the time:

Since returning to America, Barton revealed that he has been contacted by several other members of the Ukrainian government, asking him to return and deliver his presentation to the entire parliament, as well as from government leaders in neighboring nations who want him to come and present his message there as well.

Meanwhile, Rohrer’s APN produced a press release:

Key leaders of the American Pastors Network… recently returned from an International Leadership Summit in Ukraine, working with and encouraging pastors and elected leaders there who are making a concerted effort to embrace American ideas to restore the country.

Earlier this spring, APN was invited to the summit by Presiding Bishop Valery Reshetinsky, who also serves as the Chairman of the Ukrainian Interchurch Council that represents 20 different evangelical denominations. Reshetinsky wrote that pastors and officials attending the summit were “excited about what the American Pastors Network can do to help our government and pastoral leaders at this time of great need in our nation. It is our hope… that Almighty God hears the prayers of His people in Ukraine and around the world and permits us to govern ourselves not in corruption but through biblical principles.”

…Gary Dull of Faith Baptist Church of Altoona, Pa., and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network… also traveled to Ukraine for the summit and said the participation of pastors and political leaders at the summit truly shows their desire to build a nation and a government on biblical principles.

A few further details were provided by Emmanuil, a Ukrainian Christian TV station. Their report names two politicians who were involved: Alexander Bryhynets MP (var. Alexander Briginets) and Pavel Unguryan, who is an enthusiast for TBN. Another local speaker was Borys Oliynyk, a distinguished poet. There was also a TV report, with footage, from CNL News. The PPA placed a video Barton’s presentation on YouTube in September.

Also in September, Charisma had a follow-up:

Earlier this month APN unveiled its special “Ukraine Initiative: Out of the Ashes | Freedom Reborn” website at ukraineinitiative.com, a centralized place for Ukraine updates and ongoing projects. Key to APN’s current efforts is providing humanitarian aid, and APN’s International Projects Coordinator, pastor Dale Armstrong, has traveled to Ukraine numerous times over the past few months. After his time there, APN has committed to meeting some of the most immediate and crucial humanitarian needs, including water-purification tablets, QuikClot Bandages, which help stop bleeding quickly, and individual medical kits for soldiers.

Long-standing US evangelical interest in Ukraine (noted here by Bill Berkowitz) is one reason why US conservatives are currently split over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with some admiring Putin’s family values authoritarianism.

Beck – who is particularly close to Barton – has recently come out swinging against the Putin regime, although with trademark incompetence:

Examples of Putin attempting to appeal to the Orthodox Church: Moscow State University received the largest scientific grant ever, $19 million, to fund a project called Noah’s Ark…

Beck is here referring to an ambitious plan to create a comprehensive DNA depository. As RT reported last month:

“I call the project ‘Noah’s Ark.’ It will involve the creation of a depository – a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves,” MSU rector Viktor Sadivnichy told journalists.

It’s clear that there is no religious element to the project, and that “Noah’s Ark” is simply a bit of shorthand.

Some Links of a Syriza “Adviser”

Radio Free Europe on Greece’s new government:

…recently leaked e-mails are revealing some of the extent and duration of Syriza’s ties with Kremlin-connected Eurasianist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin and Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, who is believed to have bankrolled much of the separatist movement in Ukraine.

…Several dozen of the e-mails reveal conversations between [Georgy] Gavrish [an official in Dugin’s Eurasia movement] and people inside Syriza, says Christo Grozev, a media investor and blogger specializing in information issues in eastern Europe.

…One of the people involved in the exchanges is Nicolas Laos, a Greek intellectual and Syriza adviser with business ties to Russia. He is a partner of the Russian corporate-security firm R-Tekhno.

In one leaked e-mail, Laos writes to Dugin, “I know very well how the enemy works, and, under your patronage, I can strike back effectively and hard.”

I previously blogged on Dugin here, on Malofeev here, and on the leaked emails here. And just a couple of days ago, I looked at Panos Kammenos, who heads Syriza’s right-wing coalition partner and who has been described by the Economist as wanting to be “Russia’s best friend in Greece”.

Of course, it’s impossible to judge how much influence should be read into the word “advisor”, and there’s not much evidence of a political presence. Laos is, however “Founder and President of the Kairological Society– Reality Restructuring Resources”, described as a “philosophical and policy-oriented think-tank, private exclusive membership club and consultancy organization”, and his publications include Kairological Economics: An Anthropocentric and Creative Theory of Political Economy and Management.

Further, he appears in a 2013 LarouchePAC article about a Greek anti-Euro movement (Drachma 5):

The initiator of the movement is Professor of Labor Economics Theodore Katsanevas, who was among the speakers at the Schiller Institute’s international conference, “The Last Chance for Humanity,” held April 13-14 in Frankfurt, Germany.

On May 7, the Greek national daily Hellada published a two-page article reporting on Katsanevas’s presentation to the conference, along with the entire conference resolution, and a photo of the professor in discussion with Lyndon LaRouche. On the second page is a Greek translation of Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s open letter calling on the U.S. Congress to pass HR 129, the bill to revive Glass-Steagall.

The author of the article, Nicolas Laos, has previously interviewed Zepp-LaRouche and former French Presidential candidate and longtime LaRouche ally in France, Jacques Cheminade. The fact that the article was published the day before the launching the new party, and that the author is a member of its organizing committee, indicates that the party is associating itself with the fight for a Glass-Steagall reform, as well as for dismantling the Eurozone.

I noted Kammenos’s links to the LaRouche movement in my previous post.

Like Dugin, Laos is also interested in more esoteric matters; the first result for Laos’s name on Google takes us to the website of White Crane Publishing, and to a page devoted to a book of his with the glorious title The Kairological Qabalah: Rediscovering Western Esotericism within Philosophy, Science and the Revolutionary Secrets of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and the Illuminati. This is the sort of thing that the anti-Putin wing of the American Christian Right will seize on; Cliff Kincaid, for instance, has linked Dugin’s ideas to Aleister Crowley and the occult.

On Twitter, Grozev has also drawn attention to old registration details for a website that Laos used to own in 2009 and 2010. The site described itself as “The Official Website Of The Master-General Of The Masonic Society Of The Illuminati”, and it offered visitors the chance to join the “Societas Masonica Illuminatorum”. Here’s the pitch:

Be part of an Illuminati-Masonic organization that is rich in history and tradition and enjoy human networking. Membership in our Society is not incompatible with membership in other Masonic Bodies, provided our members never compromise our Illuminati principles. However, in the system of our Society’s degrees, one can find, among other things, the highest Masonic knowledge. Thus, our candidates need not be Masons.

Or men, presumably?

Inquirers were directed to a PO Box in Greece, or, alternatively, a business address in Pimlico, of all places. A bio-blurb under all this describes Laos as “the Master-General Ad Vitam (for life) of the Masonic Society of the Illuminati”, as well as the Director of the “Laboratum Literatorum Illuminatorum”. One couldn’t troll David Icke better if one tried.

Also:

For his research work in philosophy, religion and heraldic studies, he has been honoured with the title of Doctor of Divinity from the St Elias School of Orthodox Theology (USA) as well as with the title of Academician from the Norman Academy (Rome) and the International Academy of Saint George (Wyoming, USA). Additionally, he has been awarded with the titles of Knight and Chancellor of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem under the auspices of the United Grand Priories of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, and with other chivalric titles.

I previously looked at the world of “Chivalric Orders” here (and at Freemasonry here); for the most part, such groups are essentially harmless charitable clubs for people who like dressing flamboyantly.

However, although Orthodox Christianity tends to view Freemasonry with hostility, Laos is also the founder of the Sovereign Orthodox Christian Order of Saint Nikolaos of Myra, which takes a Duginist view:

Our chivalric organization is a traditionalist institution. Following the methodology of the Russian geopolitician and philosopher Alexander Dugin, we utilize the postmodernists’ criticism and deconstruction of modernity, but, instead of following the postmodernists to anti-foundationalist arguments, we make a great philosophical shift from post-modernity to pre-modernity, and, therefore, we rediscover pre-modern metaphysics through post-modernity.

The Founding Naval Patron is Captain First Rank (Ret.) Igor Kurdin, of the Russian Navy.

Some Brief Notes on Panos Kammenos

From the Guardian:

Syriza just missed out on the 151 MPs it needed to govern alone after Greece’s election, winning 149 seats with a 36.3% share of the vote. The party has formed a coalition government with Independent Greeks [var. Independent Hellenes – RB], who took 13 seats.

…The two parties have vastly diverging world views, standing well apart on issues such as illegal migration, Greece’s ever-fractious relationship with Nato rival Turkey, gay marriage and the role of the Greek Orthodox church.

Under their leader Panos Kammenos, who defected from the centre-right New Democracy party to form Anel at the height of the crisis in February 2012, the group has proved to be rabidly nationalistic in foreign affairs.

The election result has brought renewed interest in Kammenos, who was embroiled in controversy in December for opining that “Jews, along with Buddhists and Muslims ‘are not taxed’ in Greece”; however, the context seems to have been that he was accusing the Government of taxing the Orthodox Church unfairly, rather than suggesting that Jews have special treatment, or are tax-dodgers.

A few other points of interest:

1. In 2011, Kammenos described himself as an Old Calendrist (“εγώ είμαι παλαιοημερολογίτης”), meaning that he belongs to a minority Orthodox group that rejects the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar. He made the comment during a radio interview as evidence that he does not have links with Ephraim, the controversial Abbot of the Vatopedi monastery of Mount Athos.

2. In 2012, he reportedly visited Mount Athos without obtaining permission first, travelling by private boat. According to the story, he visited the Esphigmenou Monastery, which sits apart from other monasteries on Athos; rebel monks occupy the site in opposition to “closer ties between the Orthodox Church and the Vatican.”

3. The 2012, the Economist described Kammenos as “hoping to replace Abbot Ephraim as Russia’s best friend in Greece.”

4. Kammenos also has links with Lyndon LaRouche; in December 2013 he travelled to Washington, where he “organized on Capitol Hill, alongside LaRouchePAC for the implementation of an international Glass-Steagall”. More recently, he spoke on “Greece and the Silk Road Economic Belt” at a conference organized by the Schiller Institute, which is part of LaRouche’s network. China’s “New Silk Road development program” seems to be of some special interest to LaRouche, and it is referenced in a LaRouchePac petition that accuses the US and Europe of supporting a “Nazi coup” in Ukraine and pursuing “suicidal geopolitical policies of the past which led to the two previous World Wars”.

As I noted a couple of days ago, LaRouchePac boasts that it so far has more than 200 “prominent signers”; Kammenos is among them, along with his “Diplomatic advisor” Lefteris Karayannis.

LaRouche Group Boasts of 200 “Prominent Signers” on Petition

From the website of – cough – Lyndon LaRouche:

As of January 19, 2015, the list of prominent signers to the Schiller Institute’s petition, “Why the US Must Join the BRICS” continues to expand, totaling now over 200, with the newest signers including author, activist and Princeton Professor, Dr. Cornel West and filmmaker Sean Stone from the United States. From Italy, Paolo Grimoldi, member of the Italian Parliament and founder of the Parliamentary group, “Friends of Putin,” [“Amici di Putin“; Grimoldi is with Lega Nord – RB] has added his name to the petition this week, along with a number of other prominent Italian, Swiss and German leaders.

The list includes other prominent politicians, businessman, academics, scientists and artists from 20 countries, who have all publicly endorsed a resolution calling on the U.S. and Europe to collaborate with the “BRICS” nations in the interest of peace and economic development. The resolution, sponsored by the Schiller Institute, was issued in response to the offer of China’s President Xi Jinping for the United States to join China’s New Silk Road development program and abandon the policies of confrontation with particularly Russia and China.

The statement itself then follows, under the headline “The U.S. and Europe Must Have the Courage to Reject Geopolitics and Collaborate with the BRICS”. It has garnered the “prominent” signatures despite the bad faith easily detectable in the headline and increasingly self-evident in the text itself: first, some bland comments about “cooperation” against ISIS, al-Qaeda and ebola; then, support for Russia’s opposition to “a Nazi coup” in Ukraine, and condemnation of  the US and Europe’s current “suicidal geopolitical policies of the past which led to the two previous World Wars”; and after this, some portentous waffle about “Johannes Kepler’s vision of mastery of the laws of the solar system for the benefit of man” and the Treaty of Westphalia.

And that’s before we get onto the document’s discreditable provenance: the Schiller Institute is famously run by LaRouche’s wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and forms part of the wider LaRouche network. LaRouche’s conspiratorial anti-Semitism is notorious, and there’s still the outstanding matter of the mysterious death of Jeremy Duggan in 2003.

The petition was created following Zepp-LaRouche’s participation at “an international conference on the New Silk Road that was held Aug. 25 and 26 at Lanzhou University in Gansu province in northwest China”. Also present was Vladimir Yakunin, a member of Putin’s inner circle who has featured on this blog a number of times, and I speculated at the time that Yakunin may have facilitated her participation: she has spoken at events organized by Yakunin’s World Public Forum, and in 2009 LaRouchePac claimed that Yakunin had endorsed and promoted Lyndon LaRouche’s economic views.

The petition has also been promoted on the World Public Forum website, and its signers include Fred Dallmayr, the WPF’s Сo-Chair.