President in Exile of Poland Dies in Colchester

Sombre news from the website of the Order of St. Stanislas:

Count Juliusz Nowina Sokolnicki,  President of Poland in Exile, 8th Grand Master of the Order of St Stanislas passed away at 0300 GMT today [17 August].

I blogged on the Count back in January, when I wrote an entry on various “Chivalric Orders”. He had been a member of the UK-based Polish Government in Exile (PGIE), of which he created a rival faction in 1971 that never recognised the post-Communist regimes in Poland. A 1996 essay by a certain Mark Harrison gives some interesting purported background, including a statement supposedly made by the official PGIE in 1987:

A certain Juliusz Sokolnicki declared himself President of the Republic of Poland and has been active for more than 10 years in the Polish exile community. He nominated prime ministers, generals (even on Field Marshal of a non-existent army), ambassadors and consuls. He confers awards and bestows decorations. In 1984 he created the Order of St Stanislas, the recipients of which have to pay sums varying from $100 to $1,000 according to the class of the order. Awarding orders is, therefore, a source of Mr Sokolnicki’s income…The activities and titles of this usurper would seem to be taken out of a burlesque or an operetta and would be highly amusing if they were not so harmful. Some foreigners have no understanding of the activities of the Polish emigrés led by their legal President and Government in Exile and accept Mr Sokolnicki’s fictitious nominations and awards. Apparantly some even support him financially. Unfortunately there are some Poles, although not many, who are eager to receive distinctions from him.

Poles in Poland should also be warned against the pernicious activities of this usurper. By his “decree” of 5 March 1985 he announced the formation of a “Special Penal Tribunal” in Warsaw with jurisdiction over the whole country. Its aim is to pass judgement on “political crimes perpetrated by the Communists and their collaborators, for physical and mental cruelty against citizens, and for betrayal of national interests”. These crimes will carry the eath penalty and there will be no right of appeal. A “special underground operative unit” will be entrusted with execution of sentences.

We have no intention of defending the Communist rulers of Poland but the formation of such a “tribunal” is against all principles of law and order and must be condemned as a provocative diversion.

A second essay, by Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, adds further claims:

In 2001 the Order of St. Stanislas was featured on a Canadian (CBC TV) investigative journalism show. Part of the exposé dealt with the Order’s offer of membership to the expansionist Russian war-hawk Vladimir Zhirinovsky (a rather bizarre offer for an allegedly patriotic Polish group).

Sokolnicki lives modestly in Colchester, Essex…In addition to describing himself as former President of the Polish Republic, and Grand Master of Saint Stanislas, he also claims other dubious “honours.” Sokolnicki claims to have given the grand collar of his Order to the late Pope – a letter from the retired Bishop of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg diocese dated 4 April 1995 confirmed that he was given several gifts to pass on to His Holiness on the occasion of his 1991 Polish visit, including a “Diploma and Insignia of the Order of St Stanislas”. The Bishop states that he “gave all those gifts to the Vatican delegation … some were taken to Rome some were left in Koszalin. The grand collar of the Order was left in Koszalin and it is in diocesan collection of Holy Father visit souvenirs”. Saint Stanislas also has branches across the world and, for some reason, appears to be particularly active in New Zealand…

In New Zealand, the Order is represented by a veteran of the Rhodesian Light Infantry. The “Order of St. Stanislas” appears to appeal to anti-Communist types; perhaps its most famous member was Gen William Westmoreland, the US war commander in Vietnam who became notorious for his dismissal of civilian casualties on the grounds that “death is not a big deal” in the “Orient”.

Meanwhile, a third piece, by “Dr. Pangloss”, informs us that:

There is also a whimsical side to the count as evidenced by his close collaboration with Mr. George King, aka “His Serene Highness Prince Doctor George King de Santorini, Count of Florina, Prince and Grand Master of the Mystic Order of St. Peter”…and president of the “Aetherius Society”, which maintains extra-planetary contacts with the inhabitants of the planet Saturn!

Apparently, there was a schism in 2004, which led to the head of the Ukrainian branch, Pavlo V’yalov, forming a rival organisation of the same name.

Meet Ron McRae, the Birther Bishop

Also: Church teaches that “mixing of races” is forbidden by Bible as “fornication”

WorldNetDaily attempts to resurrect the “Obama’s Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya” story:

Although no other evidence has surfaced placing Barack Obama’s mother in Kenya at the time of the president’s birth, a taped telephone conversation in which his Kenyan step-grandmother purportedly claims he was born in the coastal city of Mombasa has become an Internet hit since its submission as evidence in a lawsuit challenging the president’s eligibility.

…The Oct. 16, 2008, telephone interview was conducted by American Christian minister Ron McRae, who describes himself in his affidavit as an overseer of the Anabaptist Churches in North America and a “Presiding Elder on the African Presbytery.”

A second affidavit was sworn by Kenyan Anabaptist minister Rev. Kweli Shuhubia, a pseudonym chosen to protect his safety.

The claim is that Sarah Obama admitted that she was present at the birth in Kenya, but that her translators and others with her quickly scrambled to change her answer. Further,

Shuhubia also testified in his affidavit that Sarah Obama “never changed her reply” that she was present in person when Senator Obama was born in Kenya.

He further testified that he traveled to Mombasa, Kenya, where he interviewed personnel at Coast Provincial Hospital.

“I then had meetings with the Provincial Civil Registrar,” he swore. “I learned there were records of Ann Dunham giving birth to Barack Hussein Obama, III, in Mombasa, Kenya, on Aug. 4, 1961.

“I spoke directly with an Official, the Principal Registrar, who openly confirmed the birthing records of Senator Barack H. Obama Jr. and his mother were present, however the file on Barack H. Obama Jr.’s birth in Kenya is top secret,” he stated.

Ron McRae is a founder of the “Street Preachers’ Fellowship“; another SPF member is Rueben Israel, who also runs the “Official Steet Preachers” – this latter group held a protest outside a mosque in Tampa in February  and has personally rebuked me as a “beer-guzzling liberal”. McRae was previously in the news propounding the view that the Flight 93 memorial was a secret message of support for terrorism; the Tribune-Democrat reported in 2005:

The Rev. Ron McRae, self-proclaimed bishop of Bible Anabaptist Church near Jerome, brought the controversy to the forefront a day after the design was unveiled last week in Washington.

McRae said Street Preachers Fellowship, based in Lancaster, is preparing to file for an injunction to stop the design.

“I’m not the only one in America that sees that,” he said. “Americans are fed up with terrorism, and we’re not stupid. We’re not all politically correct in trying to appease our enemies.”

A hostile profile in the Post-Gazette adds that:

McRae is a self-proclaimed Anabaptist bishop and, as such, has felt it his calling to disrupt the lives of gays, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses and whatever other among the citizenry he considers the future entree at the Almighty’s celestial barbecue come Judgment Day. He has been found with a sign and Bible and loud denunciations at such venues as the convention of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the annual Rosary Rally in Johnstown. A former police officer from Houston, Texas, his earlier career gave him a keen eye for the line between protected dissent and prosecutable harassment. Thus, in his subsequent life as an evangelistic nuisance, he has always been able to win civil liberties cases against the police when they get fed up enough to cart him off to the hoosegow.

His church has a website here; it includes a long account of how McRae and some other preachers visited Africa and how, as a result “the Anabaptists Churches of Africa were officially established in December of 2007”, with no fewer than four “National Bishops” for DRC, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya; the Kenyan bishop is a certain “Bishop Constant Makoka”. Further,

The Presbytery along with Bishop McRae are already working with  preachers in the Ivory Coasts, Nigeria and Ethiopia, with Brother Kweli Shuhubia from Kenya having just returned from a preaching tour in the Sudan.

Judging from the captions under the accompanying photographs, just about every child McRae’s team met was “an orphan”, and we’re told that he was the first white man seen by some of the natives he encountered. There’s also a toe-curling discussion of the significance of the early Christian teacher “Simeon that was called Niger”, who appears in Acts 13:1:

One of the Apostle Paul’s ordaining elders was black. They called him “Niger” (Acts 13:1), from which comes the words Nigerian, Niger, Negro, Neger and the infamous American word “nigger”. The word simply means “black”. It wasn’t the preacher’s name. His name was Simeon, but he was called “Niger”. They called him that. His Christian brothers called him that. God called him that (vs. 1), and wrote it down in the everlasting word of God. The word means “black”, like in the Latin “Niger” (pronounced “Neger” with a short e sound) and Spanish “negro”. In America the blacks and the whites use such terminology to divide. In the Bible and in the church of the Living God they used it to unite as one body in Christ Jesus. The church at Antioch had no racial prejudices, nor ecclesiastical boundaries though they maintained habitational boundaries (Acts 17:16), and adhered to the Biblical prohibition against mixing of the races, since the Bible calls such sin “fornication” (see Revelation 2:14/ c.f. Numbers 25:1/ 31:16).

The verses cited against “mixing of the races” in fact refer to stories in which foreign women led astray Israelite men into “idolatory”; the issue is not one of “race” but of religious purity. It is difficult to judge how far McRae pushes this doctrine of racial separation, although the church website also carries some articles which are password-protected for “members only”. The teaching does not appear in the extensive Articles of Faith section. It may or may not be a factor in his hatred for Obama, which is expounded on here at interminable length:

 …in these last days, Government now forces upon us an unbearable injustice, and trampling of the Constitution of the United States, in thinking to force the people to accept a foreigner as the President of this Republic, ignoring the single most important qualification for the highest office in our land, that such a one, not just gain such “power by the consent of the governed”, but that he be naturally born amongst us as one of us. There has never been an alternative option to replace “a natural born citizen” as the President of these United States. The Constitution knows no such option. Howbeit, the Federal Courts have repeatedly refused the people’s right to challenge such unprecedented trampling and violation of what the Constitution clearly says, and to date refuses to require such an Imposter to prove his “natural born” citizenship…Yet in these last days, where Tyrants’ minds have “devised liberal things”, and uttered so much error before the Creator of all men, that the liberal, vile cacophony resounds throughout the land to drown out doubtful voices, whose only authority rests in the Document now being trampled under foot of Tyrants with the innocent blood of their citizens dripping from their hands…

McRae also has some recently-formed churches in Burma and Pakistan, and his evangelism has in the past brought him to the UK. Bedford comes off badly:

It was abundantly clear that the citizens of Bedford had not changed, but rather grew worse than they were when John Bunyan preached here 400 years ago. Less than 50 tracts were accepted among over 15,000 Bedford villagers walking past, and it was seen in the countenances of their faces why Bunyan called this place, “The City of Destruction”.