THE RIGHT CAN DO BETTER THAN ROMNEY

snippet:—

Like a character actor playing the president in a superhero movie — or, less charitably, like a creature genetically engineered and grown in a vat for the sole purpose of securing the nation’s highest office….

Gene Healy: The Right can do better than Romney
The Washington DC Examiner Tue, 11 Aug 2009 03:31 AM PDT
In recent months, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has hit the speaking circuit like a man who is determined to be president and knows he needs to get an early start.

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We democrats and some independents aren’t buying anything fom you today.

cashpile.jpg

We aren’t going to feed the monster anymore. We are going into a new year with a new plan. STOP BUYING STUFF. We have what we need. And, if there is some non-essential that we need, we will support the Good Will and Salvation Army, or local hospital thrift. We will get lucky and find a oversized Tye Dye Frog for $1.00. We will be at peace.

We have enough video games, movies, CD’s. We have enough clothes. We really don’t need another new car. We don’t need any vintage linens. We don’t need a new set of golf clubs. No new computer. We don’t need 698 football channels. We don’t need another lovely candle with stones on a plate. We don’t need a whiter pair of sneakers. We defin don’t need Nike. We don’t need to spend $500 on Valentines Day. W can make Valentines Day an example, and express LOVE OF COUNTRY as a couple instead. If that doesn’t set well with your wife- don’t worry. She’ll get over it soon enough. Put your money is a little jar, or give it away. It’s illegal to burn it, so I won’t advocate that. 

Today, Democrats, Independents, and smart republicans are taking back their power. We are not spending needlessly. We are joining together to make REAL change. We know it will take awhile. But, we are the brave and the strong. Eventually- we win. We win through tough perseverence. No matter how very badly we want that silk scarf with the little Buddhas on it, we will say NO !!!! You will not own me little buddhas !!!! I am free of scarves !!!

Each day that passes, it gets easier. The sale catalogues no longer tickle our dark places. We can fight off our Shopping Whore. We see how sadly gross it is to have been so needy of the next emotional fix for all that ails us. We realize what has gone on here, and our responsibility in it. We stop drinking Coke and all there other products. We don’t do Disney anymore. We have seen enough.  We are waking and we are taking our souls back. We like the local water park and it’s nice and close to home so we aren’t guzzling gasoline.

We are not going to align with Greed and Hate any longer by supporting it with our money. We aren’t spending our money in the stock market on companies who do harm. We know our 401Ks and if they aren’t in line with a better world – no thanks. We are TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. We aren’t going to blame you anymore for our plight.

We are detaching. We are paying off all of our credit cards instead of buying new stuff. We are getting out of debt now. We know it’s going to get uglier as more and more people catch on, over time, and companies begin to lay us off. We are prepared for this battle. We know this is the only way out. MONEY.

A MUST SEE ON BLACKWATER !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJUEULWEP9c&feature=related

PARENTS IN MARYLAND FACE JAIL FOR NOT VACCINATING THEIR KIDS !!!!

 No Law Says Parents Have To Get Their Children

Vaccinated

THIS IS ALSO A MAJOR STORY ON CNN THIS MORNING AS MARYLAND PARENTS ARE JAILED FOR NOT ALLOWING THEIR CHILDREN TO BE VACCINATED.
Government and media propaganda hoax continues as parents in Maryland hoodwinked and threatened into believing it is the law to vaccinate kids, error-strewn Fox news report relays disinformation

Paul Joseph Watson & Steve Watson
Prison Planet
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

News networks and state authorities are once again engaging in mass public deception by claiming that vaccines for children are mandated by law and that parents will go to jail if kids do not take their shots. In reality, there is no law that says you have to vaccinate your children and waiver forms for personal or religious exemptions are freely available.

A situation in Prince George’s County, MD. has attracted media attention and once again provided the platform for a propaganda push that falsely implies it is the law for children to be vaccinated with mass produced big pharma shots that are often not stringently tested and have been linked with dangerous side-effects.

More than 2300 children in Prince George’s County have been expelled from school for up to a month and a half because they have not received their shots for chicken pox and hepatitis B. This Saturday the parents of more than 1600 children have been ordered to attend Circuit court, where medical officials will be on standby to forcibly inject their children in a scenario befitting of a science fiction horror movie.

PLEASE PASS THIS EMAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

School officials have said the parents will receive a verbal reprimand from the judge and be ordered to have their children immunized in the courthouse. The students would then be allowed to return to school. Parents who refuse to comply will get fines and could be jailed for ten days.

(Article continues below)

“If the child is not here Saturday, then we will move on with the process, meaning that the PPWs and the counselors will put together the packet to take before the state’s attorney’s office, asking, requesting that criminal charges be implemented,” Dr. Betty Despenza-Green, the chief of student services, said from the courthouse Tuesday.

“We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way, but it’s going to have to get done. I’m willing to move forward with legal action.” said State Attorney Glenn Ivey.

Letters ordering the parents to show up at Prince George’s Circuit Court for a court hearing and a free vaccine have been issued with the warning “unexcused absences by your child may subject you to a criminal charge.”

Watch a Fox News report:

This report is completely riddled with errors and distortions from beginning to end.

The Fox reporter states “A new law was passed last year requiring children from 5th through to 10th grade to have the vaccine”. This is completely untrue. The vaccine has been mandated by the state but there is no law in the U.S. that requires mandatory vaccinations of any kind. The report mentions the waiver forms only after claiming that it is the law. How can there be a waiver form that allows someone to break a law?

This is why the parents who do not comply will be charged not under vaccination laws (because there aren’t any) but under truancy, neglect or child in need of supervision laws, which state that the parent is culpable after 30 days of a child’s unexplained absence from school.

The school itself triggered the truancy violation by unfairly kicking the kids out of school, and failing to inform parents about vaccine waiver forms.

The news report quotes befuddled members of the public, who claim that kids not getting vaccinations endangers those that have had them. How on earth can that be the case if the vaccination is supposed to provide immunity against the disease? In reality, the vaccinated kids are more dangerous to others, considering the plethora of cases where vaccines have induced debilitating side-effects as levels of autism soar to unprecedented levels.

There is no law in America, aside from those applying to medical workers, that says you or your child has to take any vaccine whatsoever, no matter what any executive order, requirement, mandate or policy dictates, there is no situation where you can go to prison for refusing a government vaccine under the U.S. constitution and the law of the land.

As in the case of all other vaccines, executive orders and court mandates merely state that the vaccine is “recommended,” yet the mass media drumbeat constantly conditions people to believe that if they don’t take their shots they will be kicked out of school, arrested and thrown in jail. This trick will continue to hoodwink Americans into taking all manner of dangerous and untested vaccines, the number of which rises every year, until they realize that there is no law that forces them to take any vaccine.

Here is an example of a vaccine waiver form, this particular one is for Maryland, the state in question in this case, proving that enforced vaccination is not the law and that personal and religious objections are applicable.

http://www.unhinderedliving.com/statevaccexemp.html – Here you can find vaccine exemption forms online by state or country.

The good news is that concerned parents across the U.S. are leading a nationwide revolt against unnecessary, untested and dangerous vaccines as CDC records show a growing amount of religious exemptions on vaccine forms.

Earlier this year we reported on the furor surrounding the HPV vaccine, which experts have slammed as untested and has continues to be linked to dangerous side-effects. A media propaganda campaign along with an executive order issued by Texas governor Rick Perry has had parents in Texas and other areas of the country fooled into believing the vaccine is now the law and young girls must take it. Merck Pharmaceuticals are capitalizing on this fraud by making obscene profits from a crony deal with Governor Rick Perry, while children are put at risk.

Vaccines and drugs that are not stringently tested and are instead foisted upon populations for the purposes of making obscene profits have a clear history of deadly consequences.

Consider the case of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, who deliberately dumped a vaccine that was known to be contaminated with AIDS virus on the European and Latin American market after it killed people in America. Thousands died from an action that the U.S. government allowed to happen through the FDA.

Peruse the plethora of examples where vaccines containing mercury, live HIV virus, live cancer and other horrors have wrought misery after victims were bullied into taking them by government mandates that they were deluded into thinking was the law.

The history alone, a legacy that led former director of the National Institute of Health Dr. James R. Shannon to state, “The only safe vaccine is one that is never used,” implores us to stand up and expose this hoax and ensure that similar executive orders and mandates are not passed elsewhere in the country as a result of cynical greed driven lobbying and corporate crony payoffs.

More parents across the country should rally to denounce this development, which sets the pretext for the state to dictate the health of their children, as well as moving us closer to legislation which would allow Americans to be forcibly vaccinated at gunpoint against their will during a time of manufactured crisis, such as in the case of a human to human bird flu pandemic.

Freemasons ruling the world?

 

 

Home

Articles

Freemasons

Its Roots & Links to the Occult

by a concerned Christian researcher who prefers to remain anonymous

 

See also How mysticism & the occult are changing the Church

Trouble in Narnia: The Occult Side of C.S. Lewis

Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War

 

 

Emphasis added in bold letters

 


Freemasonry is not Christianity, nor a substitute for it. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches fundamental religious truth.” (Albert G. Mackey, “Encyclopedia of Freemasonry,” page 162)
 

Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 104)

“Drop the theological barnacles [timeless Biblical truths] from the religion of Jesus, as taught by Him, and by the Essenes and Gnostics of the first centuries, and it becomes Masonry, Masonry in its purity, derived as it is from the old Hebrew Kaballa as a part of the great universal religion of the remotest antiquity.” (J. D. Buck, “Mystic Masonry,” page 119)


On the surface, Freemasonry looks wholesome. There is fellowship, loyalty, and the support of good causes such as burn units in hospitals. The masonic motto is “Making good men better”.

Few men understand what they are getting into when they become Masons. Most Masons join because they trust friends, family members, or church members who invite them. Others join for business connections or political votes. Some men join because of masonic charities. Most men who join have no idea that, during their initiation, they will be required to make solemn blood oaths.

American Freemasonry includes local Lodges, Scottish Rite Temples, York Rite, and the Shriners. Prince Hall is a masonic order for black men.

The Eastern Star is an auxiliary organization for wives and adult daughters of Masons. There are also masonic organizations for children — DeMolay (for boys), Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow Girls. These are known as “adoptive” masonry, which means that wives, sisters, daughters and sons of Masons are spiritually adopted into the masonic order. As a result, they are under the spiritual authority of Freemasonry. (William Schnoebelen, Masonry: Beyond the Light, page 104)

MASONS ARE DECEIVED

For the vast majority of Masons, Freemasonry is a lifelong succession of deceptions. Most Lodge leaders do not realize that they are deceiving their members. For the most part, they are simply reciting the same things they have heard and said, over and over, assuming that they are right and good. However, the Princes and Adepts of Freemasonry deliberately deceive the Masons under them.
(See Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me…Questions People Ask About Freemasonry — and the Answers,” pages 123-133.)

Masons take blood oaths, but are told that they are only symbolic. They participate in rituals that they don’t understand, assuming that they must be alright because their masonic friends have done it.

This paper contains quotations which would shock most Masons because they have never read what the highest Masons say about Freemasonry. Masonry is a system that confuses, deceives and controls men, getting them to do things that they would not do if they understood them.

The highest-level Masons (Princes and Adepts) deliberately deceive the Masons under them. For example, Albert Pike was one of the highest authorities in American Masonry. He was Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry from 1859 to 1891. He was also Grand Commander of the Thirty-Third Degree, as well as a Prince Adept. His book “Morals and Dogma” is given to men when they reach the 32nd degree. The following quotations from Pike’s “Morals and Dogma” show that Masons of the highest level deliberately deceive the Masons below them.

“Part of the symbols are displayed there to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 819)

“There must always be a commonplace interpretation for the mass of initiates, of the symbols that are eloquent to the Adepts.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 819) [The “Adept” are Thirty-Third Degree and above.]

Even a Thirty-Second Degree Mason will have limited understanding unless he studies the Secret Doctrine and the writings of the Princes and Adepts of Masonry. It is difficult for a man to turn away from Freemasonry because of the many blood oaths which he has made in order to obtain his degrees. Furthermore, he has invested a lot of time, effort and money into Masonry, and many of his friendships and business connections are with fellow Masons.

Freemasonry is a religion. Masons meet in temples, such as the Scottish Rite Temple. They have an altar and there is a “holy book” on it. They have prayers, deacons, and religious titles for their leaders, such as High Priest and Worshipful Master. They say that they bring men from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. In some Masonic degrees, they even serve communion. Although Freemasonry is a religion, most Masons deny it. They use double talk and say “We are an order of religious men, but not a religion.” Most of them are quite sincere about this. (Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” pages 81-82)

Most Masons sincerely (but wrongly) believe that Freemasonry is not a religion. How can they be so wrong when they are so sincere? Tom McKenney says, “…they were told upon entering the Lodge that, whatever their religion, Masonry would not conflict with or contradict it. They believed this because sincere men told them so. Those sincere men who told them so believed it because an earlier generation of sincere men had told them the very same thing. And so, this deception, which originated as a lie in Masonry’s dark beginnings, is perpetuated generation after generation.” (Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” page 82)

MASONRY CLAIMS TO BE SUPERIOR TO CHRISTIANITY

Not only is Freemasonry a religion, its highest authorities claim that it is superior to Christianity. Freemasonry is considered to be the highest and purest form of religion:

“Freemasonry is not Christianity, nor a substitute for it. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches fundamental religious truth. (Albert G. Mackey, “Encyclopedia of Freemasonry,” page 162)

Christianity is even considered to be Freemasonry which has become encrusted with inflexible Biblical doctrines or “theological barnacles”.

“Drop the theological barnacles from the religion of Jesus, as taught by Him, and by the Essenes and Gnostics of the first centuries, and it becomes Masonry, Masonry in its purity, derived as it is from the old Hebrew Kaballa as a part of the great universal religion of the remotest antiquity.” (J. D. Buck, “Mystic Masonry,” page 119)

To better understand Mr. Buck’s statement, it is necessary to understand what the Kaballa is. (Kaballa can also be spelled Kaballah, Kabala or Cabala.) Webster’s dictionary defines it as:

“1. A kind or system of occult theosophy or mystial interpretation of the Scriptures among Jewish rabbis and certain medieval Christians. 2. Secret or esoteric doctrine or science, in general; occultism; mystic art; mystery.” (“Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,” Fifth Edition, 1947)

The following definitions give clarity to the above definition of the Kaballa:

“Occult. Of, pertaining to, concerned with, or designating alchemy, magic, astrology and other arts and practices involving use of divination, incantation, magical formulae, etc.” (“Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,” Fifth Edition, 1947)

“Occultism. Occult theory or practice; belief in hidden or mysterious powers and the possibility of human control of them.” (“Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, 1947)

Albert Pike also stresses the fundamental importance of the Kaballa to Freemasonry:

“All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kaballah and return to it; everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the Illuminati, Jacob Boeheme, Swedenborg, Saint Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all Masonic associations owe to it their Secrets and their Symbols.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 744)

MASONRY IS ANTI-CHRISTIAN

Considering Freemasonry’s roots in the Kaballa, it is not surprising that it opposes Christianity. The writings of Masonry’s highest authorities clearly show that it actually is antagonistic to Christianity, to the point that Masons are not supposed to mention the name of Jesus in the Lodge.

“A Christian Mason is not permitted to introduce his own peculiar opinions with regards to Christ’s mediatorial office into the lodge.” (Albert G. Mackey, “Lexicon of Freemasonry,” page 404)

“Whether you swear or take God’s name in vain don’t matter so much. Of course the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as you know, don’t amount to anything, but Mah-hah-bone–O, horror! You must never, on any account, speak that awful name aloud. That would be a most heinous crime–unmasonic–unpardonable.” (Edmond Ronayne, “Masonic Handbook,” page 184)

James Shaw, a former Thirty-Third Degree Mason, was appointed Chaplain in the Scottish Rite. Since at that time he didn’t know how to pray, he got a book of John Wesley’s prayers and read one, ending “in Christ’s name”. For that he was sharply rebuked by his Commander and reported to the Secretary of the Scottish Rite, who told him that he was never to end a prayer “in Jesus’ name” or “in Christ’s name.” (Tom McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” page 72)

MASONRY CLAIMS TO PROVIDE SALVATION WITHOUT JESUS

The following quotation shows that Freemasonry promises “assurance of a future life” apart from Jesus. Most people familiar with salvation would take this to be a promise of salvation. However, eternity in hell is a form of “future life.” Everybody has a future life. The question is, will they spend it in Heaven or in hell?

“The symbolism of the Master’s Degree, as we have it now, is necessarily restricted to the First Temple and to the present life; although it reaches a climax in the assurance of a future life all without the aid of the Bible, God, Jesus Christ or the church.” (John A. Hertel Company, “The Masonic Bible,’ pages 10-11)

MASONS WORSHIP PAGAN GODS

When Masons first join a lodge, they worship G.A.O.T.U, which they are told is the god of their own religion. When they have progressed, they are told that G.A.O.T.U. stands for the Grand Architect of the Universe. Then they search for the true name of God, which they are told was lost. In the process, they are taught that the God of the Bible is the same as the old pagan gods:

“The masonic doctrine of the unity of God teaches that: (1) The names of the different nature gods (Brahma, Baal, Om, On, Dagon, Osiris, Allah, Molech, and Shango), along with Jehovah, all denote the generative (reproductive) principle in nature. (2) All religions are essentially the same in their ideas of the divine. (3) It is for this express purpose that the simple Mason is instructed to look upon every man’s religion as his own.” (C. F. McQuaig and James D. Shaw, “The Masonic Report,” page 8)

In the Royal Arch Degree (13th degree), the Mason is given a three-syllable name for God. Each syllable stands for a different god. The first stands for Jehovah, the God of the Bible. The second stands for Baal. The third stands for a Chaldean (Babylonian) god. This name signifies that the God of the Bible and Baal are one and the same, being different facets of the same god. (See page 97 of Martin L. Wagner’s “Interpretation of Freemasonry” and pages 8-9 of “The Masonic Report” by C. F. McQuaig and James D. Shaw).

According to the Bible, pagan gods are really demons. The conflict between Elijah and the prophets of Baal demonstrates that Baal worship and worship of the God of the Bible are incompatible
. (See 1 Kings, chapter 18) Christians are warned that they cannot worship both the God of the Bible and pagan gods.

“What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:19-21)

The Royal Arch Degree shows that Masons are really Baal worshipers. Most Masons do it without realizing it by participating in rituals that they really don’t understand. However, a few top-level Masons (those in highest authority) know exactly what they are doing.

In Old Testament times, the Canaanites worshipped Baal by having men have sexual intercourse with temple prostitutes (both male and female, including children), and by burning babies alive. Other pagan gods were worshipped in similar ways. In some countries, this kind of pagan worship continues to this day. For example, according to eye-witness accounts, children in India are still being drowned in the Ganges River as sacrifices to pagan gods. In this century, Amy Carmichael and her coworkers rescued children from temple prostitution in India.

Most Masons don’t understand that they are really worshipping demons when they worship pagan gods. They also have little or no knowledge of the atrocities that men have committed in pagan worship.

MASONIC INITIATION

Before being initiated, candidates for membership do not know that any oath will be involved, much less the bloody nature of the oath. They take the oath a few words at a time, repeating the words as the Worshipful Master says them. Before they start saying the oath, they are assured that nothing they are going to say will in any way conflict with their religion.

At the time that he is led in the oath, the candidate is disoriented, blindfolded, half naked, confused, afraid, and humiliated. He has been stripped of all his clothes and his wedding ring, and has put on something similar to pajamas, with one leg rolled up and the shirt half off his torso. He has been blindfolded with a hood, and had a rope put around his neck. He has been led around during the initiation ritual like a blind dog on a leash. He has no idea who is watching him or how many men there are. He has been told that he is in darkness and must depend on Masonry to give him light.

After having been pressured into taking an oath that he never expected to take — and which he only partly understood because he was disoriented and only heard a few words at a time — the initiate is given a written copy of the oath. He is required to memorize it word for word. This is similar to being pressured into signing a blank check, and later finding out what it is going to cost you.

All of this is a powerful means of subjugation and mind control. It can bind men to the Lodge and its authority both mentally and spiritually. (See Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” pages 66-69 and 124).

MASONIC OATHS

The first degree, or Entered Apprentice, swears, with his hand on the sacred book of his religion (the Bible, Koran, etc.). His oath states various obligations, and concludes:

“I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without the least equivocation, mental reservation, or self evasion of mind in me whatever; binding myself under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low watermark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours; so help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.” (Captain Morgan, “Freemasonry Exposed,” pages 21-22.)

Penalties for violating oaths of the next two degrees include having his heart ripped out, and being cut in two and disembowelled. A Christian Mason makes these vows with his hand on the Bible, asking God to keep him steadfast in performing it.

Once a man becomes a Master Mason, he is eligible to join the Scottish Rite or the York Rite. Scottish Rite Masonry has twenty-nine more degrees and York Rite has ten more degrees. Each of these degrees includes initiation, with a blood oath. A Thirty-Second Degree Mason is a man who reached the Third Degree (Master Mason) in his local Lodge, and then went through twenty-nine more degrees in the Scottish Rite.

Thirty-Second Degree Masons are eligible to join the Shriners (an American order of Freemasonry). Initiation into the Shriners includes a taking blood oath and swearing allegiance to Allah. (Allah is not another name for the God of the Bible. It is the name of another god, a pagan god.) (C. F. McQuaig and James D. Shaw, “The Masonic Report,” page 72)

Membership in the Thirty-Third Degree is by invitation only. Initiation includes drinking wine out of a human skull and taking a solemn oath that their primary allegiance is to the Thirty-Third Degree Masons. (Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, “The Deadly Deception,” page 104)

MASONIC SECRETS

Masons spend their lives carefully guarding secrets — initiation rituals, secret words, “obligations” (oaths), “signs” (special body language), and secret distress signals (the Grand Hailing Sign, and the question: “Is there no help for the widow’s son?”) They take blood oaths, promising to allow themselves to be killed if they betray any of these secrets. However, most of these secrets have been matters of public record for over a century.

In 1826, Captain William Morgan (a Mason of the Royal Arch Degree) renounced Freemasonry. He then wrote “Freemasonry Exposed”, a book revealing masonic oaths and secrets. He and his publisher were kidnapped by Masons. Captain Morgan was murdered, but his publisher escaped and told people about the murder. As a result of Captain Morgan’s Murder, thousands of Masons became disillusioned and renounced Freemasonry. Some of them testified in court, thus revealing more masonic secrets. These written court records have been available to the public since 1826. (See the section of this paper on “Masonic Morals” for further information regarding Captain Morgan’s murder.)

In 1869, Evangelist Charles Finney (a former Mason) published a book further exposing Freemasonry. In this book (which was published 130 years ago), Rev. Finney discusses eight books which had already been published by former Masons. One of them was a comprehensive book written by a committee of sixteen former Masons, which gives the signs, tokens, grips, sacred words, passwords, oaths, and hieroglyphics of forty-eight degrees of Freemasonry. It also has diagrams of lodges and drawings representing signs and ceremonies. Another book covers sixty-two degrees of Freemasonry. In addition to the Blue Lodge degrees (which go through Master Mason) and the Scottish Rite and York Rite degrees, a number of European degrees are also described in these books. (Charles G. Finney, “The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry,” pages 174-176) Since then, other former Masons have written books exposing Freemasonry.

In 1988, Jim Shaw (a former Thirty-Third Degree Mason) wrote about his personal experience in “The Deadly Deception,” a book which he co-authored with Tom McKenney. This autobiography shows the human, experiential side of Freemasonry through the Thirty-Third Degree, in addition to giving secrets, oaths, and rituals. It shows love for the men, while exposing the system.

In 1991, William Schnoebelen wrote “Masonry: Beyond the Light,” which describes his personal experience in an “esoteric” degree which is even higher than the Thirty-Third Degree. (This degree is so secret that most Masons have never heard of it.)

MASONIC MORALS

Master Masons promise not to cheat, defraud, or do violence to a Master Mason. They promise not to commit adultery with the wife of a Master Mason or seduce his sister, daughter, or other female relative. These promises only apply to fellow Master Masons. They do not protect non-Masons, Entered Apprentices, or Fellow Crafts and their families.

Masons are required to tell lies and even perjure themselves to protect other Masons. They are also required to obey even orders which they know to be immoral:

“You must conceal all the crimes of your brother Masons, except murder and treason, and these only at your own option, and should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason be always sure to shield him. Prevaricate [falsify], don’t tell the whole truth in his case, keep his secrets, forget the most important points. It may be perjury to do this, it is true, but you’re keeping your obligations, and remember if you live up to your obligation strictly, you’ll be free from sin.” (Edmond Ronayne, “Masonic Handbook,” page 183)

“Right or wrong his very existence as a Mason hangs upon obedience to the powers immediately set above him. The one unpardonable crime in a Mason is contumacy [insubordination] or disobedience.” (Robert Morris, “Webb’s Monitor of Freemasonry,” page 169)

According to masonic oaths, Masons are to be killed if they reveal masonic secrets. In 1826, Captain William Morgan, a high-degree Mason, made masonic secrets public in his book “Freemasonry Exposed.” According to the “Masonic Handbook,” he was murdered for it.

“When a brother reveals any of our great secrets; whenever, for instance, he tells anything about Boaz, or Tubalcain, or Jachin, or that awful Mah-hah-bone, or even whenever a minister prays in the name of Christ in any of our assemblies, you must always hold yourself in readiness, if called upon, to cut his throat from ear to ear, pull out his tongue by the roots, and bury his body at the bottom of some lake or pond. Of course, all this must be done in secret, as it was in the case of that notorious man Morgan, for both law and civilization are opposed to such barbarous crimes, but then, you know you must live up to your obligation, and so long as you have sworn to do it, by being very strict and obedient in the matter, you’ll be free from sin.” (Edmond Ronayne, “Masonic Handbook,” page 74)

The murder of Captain Morgan — and the kidnapping and attempted murder of his publisher, David Miller — are described in detail (with extensive quotations from original sources) in the Introduction to the 1998 reprint of “The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry” by Charles G. Finney (pages xxi through xxxviii). (This book was first published in 1869. In 1998 it was reprinted with a Foreword by Ed Decker and an Introduction and Epilog by John Daniel). Pages 6-10 give the death-bed confession of one of Captain Morgan’s murderers.

Masons still murder people. In the Foreword to “The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry,” Ed Decker tells how he survived attempted murder by Masons (pages i to iii).

MASONRY’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE MAFIA AND THE KU KLUX KLAN

Giuseppe Mazzini, a Thirty-Third Degree Mason, founded a group of revolutionaries called Young Italy. Their goal was to free Italy from the control of monarchy and the Pope. They succeeded, and Mazzini is honored as a patriot in Italy. However, in the process, the Mafia was born. The Young Italy revolutionaries needed money, and they:

“…supported themselves by robbing banks, looting or burning businesses if protection money was not paid, and kidnapping for ransom. Throughout Italy the word spread that “Mazzini autorizza furti, incendi e attentati,” meaning, ‘Mazzini authorizes theft, arson, and kidnapping.’ This phrase was shortened to the acronym, M.A.F.I.A. Organized crime was born.” (John Daniel, “Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. I., pages 330-331)

Albert Pike was Grand Commander the Thirty-Third Degree, as well as Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He was also a Confederate general. Pike was influenced by Mazzini. Both were military men who were good at fomenting rebellion. (William Schnoebelen, “Masonry,” pages 191-192.)

When the Confederacy surrendered to the Union forces, Albert Pike was determined to start another Civil War so that South could win. He founded the Ku Klux Klan, which instigated riots throughout the South in an attempt to disrupt reconstruction and incite a second Civil War. Pike gave Klansman Jesse James the assignment of robbing Northern banks in order to get money to fund this war. It is estimated that Jesse James and other Klansmen buried seven billion dollars in gold all over the western states.
(“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 3, pages 76-77)

“Pike the old Confederate general, was a wily strategist who knew that if he could leave behind a secret terrorist society in the south to fight against freedom for black people as a rear guard action, the south’s defeat might not be in vain.” (“Masonry,” page 192)

Two books from the turn of the twentieth century document Pike’s direct involvement in founding the Klan: “Ku Klux Klan: Its’ Origin, Growth and Disbandment” (1905) by J. C. Lester and D. L. Wilson; and “Authentic History: Ku Klux Klan 1865-1877″ (1924) by Susan Lawrence Davis.” (“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 3, page 76)

In considering this, we should remember that Mazzini and Pike probably saw what they did as doing “whatever it takes” to accomplish goals that were important to them. This is a practical application of the philosophy that “the end justifies the means”. Mazzini successfully used guerilla warfare and civil disruption to instigate a civil war in Italy, in order to win freedom from control by the monarchy and the papacy. Pike attempted to do a similar kind of thing in the South, in order to win freedom from control by the North, but he failed.

MASONRY’S INFLUENCE ON AMERICA

The majority of Supreme Court justices were Masons from 1941 to 1971. During this time, prayer and Bible reading were prohibited in schools, and pornography was redefined to allow things that had previously been considered indecent.

Sixteen presidents were Masons. Many judges and politicians are Masons. In 1950, one out of every twelve American men was a Mason, but membership has been decreasing since then.

MASONRY’S INFLUENCE ON THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

According to a tract produced by Concerned Southern Baptists in 1994, twenty-six percent of Southern Baptist men are Masons, and the percentage is even higher among leadership. Masons are also common in other denominations. For example, Dr. C. F. McQuaig, an Assemblies of God pastor, had so many Masons in his congregation that he did extensive research and wrote “The Masonic Report.”

FREEMASONRY AND CULTS

Joseph Smith founded the Mormon church, which is also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Smith and his followers were Masons. Mormon priests go through the rituals of the first three degrees of Masonry. Mormon sources claim that Masons murdered Joseph Smith. As a result, Mormons aren’t allowed to join masonic lodges, even though their origin is masonic.
(“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 1, pages 41-42)

Masons founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Scientology. Mary Baker Eddie, the founder of Christian Science, was strongly influenced by Freemasonry. Madame Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, was a Mason. (Some European lodges have admitted women.) Theosophy is foundational to much of the New Age movement. (“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 1, pages 42 and 649-650).

In 1951, a Mason named Gerald B. Gardner introduced Wicca to mainstream society. Gardner was the first fully public witch of modern times. He made witchcraft more socially acceptable by changing its name to Wicca and calling it an ancient religion. There is evidence that Gardner’s witchcraft texts were his personal creation rather than being documents handed down from ancient tradition. This would make Wicca a modern Masonic invention rather than the resurrection of an ancient pagan religion. (For a discussion of this, see “Goddess Unmasked” by Philip G. Davis, pages 327-343.)

PRIMARY LOYALTY

When Jim Shaw became a Thirty-Third Degree Mason, all of the candidates swore that their allegiance to Freemasonry took priority over all other commitments. Among those present at this initiation were some highly influential men.

“We then swore true allegiance to the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree, above all other allegiances, and swore never to recognize any other brother as being a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry unless he also recognizes the supreme authority of ‘this Supreme Council.’ . . . There were some extremely prominent men there that day, including a Scandinavian King, two former presidents of the United States, an internationally prominent evangelist, two other internationally prominent clergymen, and a very high official of the federal government, the one who actually presented me with the certificate of the 33rd Degree.” (Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, “The Deadly Deception,” pages 104-105)

The initiation consisted of two parts. The first involved things that were acted out. One of the candidates went through that, representing the entire group. The second part of the ritual was taking the oath. All of the men formally made the oath, which was sealed by drinking wine out of a human skull.

“One of the Conductors then handed the ‘candidate’ [the man who represented all of the candidates] a human skull, upside down, with wine in it.

“With all of us candidates repeating after him, he sealed the oath, ‘May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me, as the Hemlock juice drunk by Socrates, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same’ (the oath).

“He then drank the wine. A skeleton (one of the brothers dressed like one — he looked very convincing) then stepped out of the shadows and threw his arms around the ‘candidate.’ Then he (and we) continued the sealing of the obligation by saying, ‘And may these cold arms forever encircle me should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same.'” (Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, “The Deadly Deception,” pages 104-105)

CAN CHRISTIANS BE MASONS?

Because some Christians are Masons, many people sincerely believe that Freemasonry is compatible with Christianity. Unfortunately, just being sincere does not protect Christian Masons from having their Christian faith and fervor become weakened by Freemasonry. Christians who become Masons are under two opposing spiritual influences — Jesus Christ and paganism. The Bible calls this being double minded. The Apostle Paul said:

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

FREEMASONS CURSE THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES

Freemasonry is actually a pagan religion, the worship of pagan gods. It is idolatry. In the Commandment dealing with idolatry, God says:

“…you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” (Exodus 20:5)

BOOKS CITED

Books by masonic authors are available at lodge libraries and masonic distributors. Most of them are only sold to Masons. However, they can sometimes be found at used book stores and yard sales. Albert Pike’s “Morals and Dogma” is difficult to obtain. All quotations from books by masonic authors can be found in “The Masonic Report,” which is described in the Bibliography.

The books in the Bibliography are all written by Christians. With the exception of Tom McKenney, the authors are former Masons who renounced Freemasonry. The first two books are available at Amazon.com and regular bookstores. Information for ordering the other three books is given in the Bibliography.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“The Deadly Deception” by Jim Shaw and Tom McKenny
(1988, Huntington House, Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana). This book describes Jim Shaw’s experience as a Thirty-Third Degree Mason, his discovery of Jesus Christ, and his deliverance from Freemasonry.

“Please Tell Me…Questions People Ask About Freemasonry — and the Answers,” by Tom C. McKenney (1994, Huntington House Publishers, Lafayette, Louisiana). After Deadly Deception was published, Tom McKenny was invited to answer questions on several hundred talk shows. This book answers the most frequently asked questions about Freemasonry. It is compassionately written and avoids gory details. If you are only going to get one book about Freemasonry, this is a good one to get. It is easy to read, covers the questions that people ask in real life, and doesn’t go into a lot of gory details.

“The Masonic Report: New Revised Pastor’s Edition” by C. F. McQuaig, with James D. Shaw (1976, Answer Books and Tapes, P.O. Box 1316, Norcross, GA 30091-1316) (Shaw was a former Thirty-Third Degree Mason; McQuaig was a former Thirty-Second Degree Mason.) This book includes many quotations from high-ranking masonic authorities, books that would be difficult for non-Masons to obtain.

“The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry” by Rev. Charles G. Finney. This book was first published in 1869. In 1998 it was reprinted with a Foreword by Ed Decker, an Introduction and Epilog by John Daniel, and an Appendix by four pastors. (Jon Kregel Inc. dba JKI Publishing, P.O. Box 131480, Tyler, Texas 75713; Phone: 800-333-5344.)

“Scarlet and the Beast”
by John Daniel (2nd edition, 1995) is a comprehensive, three-volume work totalling over 1,400 pages. It is extensively documented. (The first volume contains 84 pages of Notes, a 13-page Bibliography, an Index, and 11 Appendixes.) This trilogy shows the influence of Freemasonry on world history. It also contains the author’s perspective on some end-time prophecies. (Whatever you may think of the author’s eschatology, his historical research and documentation are impressive.) Volume 1 shows Freemasonry’s influence on American and world history. Volume 2 studies the occult history of Freemasonry. Volume 3 further elaborates on some topics which were covered in Volume 1, including Freemasonry’s influence on international finance, drugs, the American Civil War, and assassinations. Individual volumes and the three-volume set can be ordered from JKI Publishing, P.O. Box 131480, Tyler, Texas 75713 (Phone: 800-333-5344).


See also How mysticism & the occult are changing the Church

Trouble in Narnia: The Occult Side of C.S. Lewis

Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War

Emerging ‘Christianity’ — Part 2: From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival 


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HOLISTIC SCHOOLING

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Some Thoughts on Holistic Curriculum

Published in Encounter, Vol. 19, No. 3, Fall, 2006.

It was originally presented at the VIIth International Conference on the New Paradigms, Guadalajara, Mexico, in November, 1999.

The emergence of a postmodern civilization, with its many unsolved economic, technological, moral, and ecological problems, is a global phenomenon. The degradation of the earth affects us all. The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of transnational corporations and their elite managers affects us all. Our amazing new powers to manipulate information, communication, consciousness, and the genetic structure of life ultimately touches every one of us, often in deeply troubling ways. As Jeremy Rifkin (1987) warned several years ago, this new global civilization threatens to fundamentally alter the relationship between the human being and the world. Everything that exists, everything our lives depend upon — food, water, land, knowledge, language, time, health, and consciousness itself — everything is being turned into a commodity. Someone — more likely, some vast impersonal corporation — owns everything we need and will sell it to us to make a profit. Everything is measured, packaged, or redesigned to make it more attractive or convenient. This new culture is now spreading around the planet; it is rapidly becoming a vast global monoculture.

Throughout human history, most people have earned their livelihood by engaging in physical labor, doing tangible work that produced whatever food, clothing, shelter, and security they could obtain. People’s lives were regulated by the physical and biological environment: the climate, the terrain, the length of the day and season, the availability of resources. Their lives were given meaning by these tangible and vital connections to the world. By contrast, in this emerging postmodern society, millions of people sit for most of the day — and often during the night — gazing at computer screens and tapping on little buttons. By manipulating artificial electronic images, in complete isolation from the real physical and biological world, vast amounts of wealth are moved from region to region, from one nation to another, affecting the lives of millions and millions of other human beings and the habitats of thousands of plant and animal species. A growing number of people now have tremendous power, amplified by sophisticated technologies, to manipulate, control, alter, and seriously damage the biosphere. But because they are disconnected from the natural world and local communities and the primary sources of their food and wellbeing, they do not seem to have the ethical or spiritual sensitivity to use this power wisely, sparingly, or for the good of the whole.

We have reached a point in history where it is possible to alleviate the grosser forms of suffering. This is wonderful! It is a great achievement of the human mind and spirit. But now we need to ask why these new powers are not being used on behalf of all humanity and to preserve the sanctity of life on earth, but primarily to help those who are already excessively wealthy and powerful become obscenely wealthy and powerful. The arrival of this brave new world, this “new world order,” compels us to make a fundamental moral decision: Shall we continue to celebrate, indeed worship, the utilitarian, manipulative style of thinking that made global industrialization possible? Does it still serve us well? Or has it outlived its usefulness? Is it possible that it might be a tremendously destructive mistake to continue to treat the world entirely as a resource, as fuel for the omnivorous economic machine we have built? Is it possible that we must now tame and humanize the machine before we destroy the earth and ourselves with it?

Holism is a response to this possibility. Holistic thought is an attempt to reclaim the sense of connection to the world that utilitarian manipulation and advanced technology have steadily eroded and now, by the dawn of the twenty-first century, nearly wiped out. Holistic thinkers believe that essentially, by nature, the human being requires a sense of connection to the world. Our experience needs to be meaningful to us or else our lives are unfulfilling, no matter how comfortable we make them through material wealth or political and economic power. To the extent that people simply seek to enjoy whatever comforts and luxuries they can gather, even if they have gained them at the expense of other people and other living beings, then to that degree they are so much less human and act like merely clever animals. Every religious tradition, every mythology, many ethical systems, and much of our great dramatic literature, condemn this way of living as morally inadequate, psychologically deficient, or explicitly subhuman. Human life is fulfilling and meaningful only when we experience ourselves as being connected to the world — connected to the land, to a cultural heritage, to a living, striving community, to archetypal spirits and images, to the Cosmos as a whole.

The danger of our time is that in our cultural worship and personal pursuit of comfort, security, wealth, and power, we have become disconnected from these sources of meaning. By learning how to control virtually every aspect of the world, we no longer know how to dwell in its mystery. We seek to alter, improve, or commodify everything, and therefore we cannot see the world’s intrinsic beauty, discern its inherent patterns, or hear its spiritual secrets. Meaning is no longer found through the soul by dwelling in the world with reverence, but imposed by the calculating mind, which assigns everything a value or a utilitarian purpose.

All of the leading holistic thinkers identify the crisis of our time as an epistemological crisis. We are not arguing against technology as such, or against capitalism in itself. We are saying that underneath our political, social, and economic arrangements, the way modern culture defines and understands reality itself is faulty, and this flawed way of knowing gives rise to distorted, we might even say cancerous, forms of technology and economic organization. Educational philosopher Douglas Sloan (1983, 24) refers to this as a “technicist” way of knowing. David Orr (1994, 33), one of the leading theorists of environmental education, attacks what he calls “technological fundamentalism.” Other holistic writers commonly identify “reductionist” or “mechanistic” ways of thinking and knowing as the primary problem of our civilization. All these terms point to the utilitarian, manipulative, objectivist, and overly rational ways of treating the earth and the life that inhabits it. So long as a culture sees only economic value in the world and pursues material abundance and comfort with no sense of restraint or regulation, that culture will be blind to the more genuine sources of meaning that connect the human soul to the Cosmos. David Orr (1993, 33) identifies just what is missing in our distorted world view. “We need decent communities,” he says, and

good work to do, loving relationships, stable families, the knowledge necessary to restore what we have damaged, and ways to transcend our inherent self-centeredness. Our needs, in short, are those of the spirit; yet, our imagination and creativity are overwhelmingly aimed at things that as often as not degrade spirit and nature.

This is to say that our considerable powers of intellect have served primarily to disconnect us from the world. Modern systems of education have fed these powers well, training young people how to gain knowledge over the world, knowledge at the expense of feeling, information without wisdom, facts without moral discernment. In the United States in recent years, technocrats in state after state have successfully forced educators to focus more and more narrowly on what they call “standards” — arbitrary packages of intellectual content that have little to do with deep understanding of the world but which give the technocrats useful data for evaluating and sorting students objectively. The increasing standardization of learning prepares young people to act aggressively, cleverly, and resourcefully in the job market and the competitive corporate world. It contributes little or nothing to decent communities, loving relationships, or ways to transcend self-centeredness. Holistic education is essentially concerned with these basic sources of meaning, and seeks above all to reconnect each person to the contexts within which meaning arises: the physical world, the biosphere, the family, the local community rooted in a history and a place, the culture with its many layers of meaning — artistic, religious, linguistic, archetypal — and the Cosmos itself.

How does holistic education connect people to the world? What is a holistic “curriculum”? Let me be very clear about this: There is no single method or technique for practicing holistic education. There is no “curriculum,” as modern educators use the term, that best represents a holistic worldview. To understand the meaning of holistic education, we need to recognize two principles: First, an education that connects the person to the world must start with the person — not some abstract image of the human being, but with the unique, living, breathing boy or girl, young man or woman (or mature person, for that matter) who is in the teacher’s presence. Each person is a dynamic constellation of experiences, feelings, ideas, dreams, fears, and hopes; each person reflects what Asian traditions call karma — a meaningful pattern of influences, actions, and thoughts that shape one’s possibilities if not one’s destiny. And as all holistic educators have emphasized, each growing child unfolds this cluster of possibilities through distinct phases of development, and at each stage the child needs the right kind of support, the right kind of environment, in order to move securely to the next. Maria Montessori (1963, 69-70) said it simply, “Follow the child!” Following the child is the true beginning of holistic education. An education that starts with standards, with government mandates, with a selection of great books, with lesson plans — in short, with a predetermined “curriculum” — is not holistic, for it loses the living reality of the growing, learning, seeking human being.

The second principle of holistic education is this: We must respond to the learner with an open, inquisitive mind and a loving heart, and a sensitive understanding of the world he or she is growing into. Now, this is indeed the hard part! A holistic teacher cannot be a technician, administering a series of workbook exercises or performing a script he or she learned in a teacher training program. A holistic teacher is acutely sensitive to the student’s needs and, at the same time, acutely aware of the challenges and possibilities the world offers this person at this moment and in this place. How does the teacher act on this awareness? Again, there is no simple answer. We must constantly recognize the dialectic, the tension, between liberation and accommodation. In holistic education we want to free every individual to find his or her own destiny, to think and feel and do whatever he or she finds most meaningful and fulfilling; yet at the same time, we bring to our students the awareness that the world makes its own demands, and that for many complicated reasons of psychology, ecology, culture, history, politics, and many other factors, no one is totally free to follow one’s impulses and desires. Meaning arises from the reflective engagement between person and world, and the holistic educator’s job is to facilitate this meeting, to help it become more reflective, to help it touch deeper parts of the learner’s soul. The growing individual takes the world into his or her experience, incorporates it, assimilates it, responds to it. This is what I mean by connection. The student comes to feel that he or she belongs in the world, and shapes his or her purposes accordingly, in relationship to it, in dialogue with it.

Holistic education does not simply instruct young people about what is true and what is false, what is correct and what is mistaken; holistic education enables the learner to inquire “What does this mean?” How is this experience, or this fact, or this advertising message related to other things I know? If I act on my understanding, how will that affect other people, or the habitat of other living beings?” Holistic education teaches young people how to care about the world, because we care about the world, and we care about our students. Nel Noddings (1992, 36), one of our wisest educational theorists, has written that “kids learn in communion. They listen to people ho matter to them and to whom they matter. . . .Caring relations can prepare children for an initial receptivity to all sorts of experiences and subject matters.” To learn in communion means to experience connection. Other people matter; their lives mean something to the learner. The natural world matters. Cultural heritage, social responsibility, and ethics matter. A person educated in this way would not take actions that violate the integrity, rights or feelings of those who contribute so essentially to one’s own identity.

Over the years I have studied many forms of alternative education, from Montessori and Waldorf pedagogy to free schools and homeschooling, from progressive education to critical theory. There are significant philosophical differences between them, but the most critical difference, I believe, is in how they define the relationship between freedom and structure. Some radical educators, such as A. S. Neill and John Holt, have told us that learning ought to take place in an entirely free manner. No one should tell another person what or how or when he or she should learn. Every child should be free to play, to explore, to experiment, to ask questions. Education springs organically from a child’s interests and natural curiosity; there is no need for artificial structure. On the other hand, other educational pioneers, such as Montessori and Steiner, insisted that the growing child needs a particular environment, carefully planned and aesthetically designed, in order to activate and support the potentials latent at each stage of development. On the surface, these views seem to cancel each other out: Either we give children maximum freedom or we don’t. Either we let them explore the world freely, or we tell them what they need to learn. In my view, however, holistic education transcends this dilemma, by finding value in both points of view. The two fundamental principles of holistic education work together in dynamic balance:We start with the child, not abstractly but in reality — with the living child. But then we respond to the child, guided by a sensitive awareness of the world. The issue is no longer freedom against structure, but freedom in a dialectic relationship with structure, or the individual person in meaningful dialogue with the school, or with society. The student is not constrained by alien forces, but gladly participates in a structured world to which he or she feels connected.

In this sense, a holistic “curriculum” is not a pre-established plan that the teacher brings to the classroom. Curriculum emerges from the interactions between teacher, student, and world. This idea — emergent curriculum — is one of the revolutionary concepts to come out of the progressive education movement. John Dewey (1964) wrote a century ago about the organic relationship between child and curriculum, and although he is not widely regarded as a founder of “holistic” education, no one has written more wisely about this relationship. As the child grows out into the world, his or her experience grows deeper; connections are made and become more meaningful. Education starts with this process of growth; it respects the quality of this experience, and it facilitates these meaningful connections. A holistic curriculum is a growing-young-person-in-relationship-with-the-world. The curriculum is not outside the student, but the student does not completely determine the content of the educational process either.

You might wonder, isn’t there anything that a holistic educator would want to make sure to include in the child’s learning experience? Even if we confidently assume, based on experience, that in the course of a student’s meaningful discoveries he or she will adequately learn the so-called basic academic skills — writing, reading, and arithmetic — there are surely other skills or values that we believe to be important. David Orr, for example, has written eloquently about the desperate need for ecological literacy — an understanding of our interdependence with all living beings and the earth as a whole. In recent years, many holistic educators have embraced the notion of emotional literacy, as proposed by psychologist Daniel Goleman (1994) and others, meaning a person’s ability to recognize and manage one’s own inner life and behavior in constructive ways, and to solve conflicts peacefully. We also talk a great deal about social responsibility, and want our students to think critically about social, political, and economic problems, as Paulo Freire urged so passionately. But, are all these educational goals best considered as aspects of a “curriculum”? Should they be fashioned into “units” or lesson plans (let alone “standards”) and presented to students as subject matter? I want to say no. I want to see them as reflections of our moral sensitivity as educators, rather than as static bodies of intellectual content. We bring ecological literacy, or emotional literacy, or social responsibility to our students through our own presence to them, our own way of being with them. If we are deeply concerned about the ecological crisis because we care about life on this planet, this concern and this caring will enter the educational dialogue with our students. Asking a school, or the local board of education, or the state government, to add our favorite causes to the curriculum will not result in meaningful, transformative learning for students if the teachers who administer this curriculum do not themselves care about these things.

Similarly, young people learn Shakespeare from teachers who are passionate about Shakespeare, and they learn chemistry from teachers who love science. It is not the curriculum that teaches them, it is the living reality of their teachers. This is just what Nel Noddings meant by saying that “caring relations” prepare students for academic receptivity. In holistic education, academics are secondary to human relationship. Curriculum is secondary to connection, or direct experience rooted in caring.

We should look closely as several words that holistic educators often use to point toward wholeness and connection. These words are soul, spirit, and Cosmos. I have always insisted that holistic education is distinguished from other progressive or alternative pedagogies by its spiritual orientation, but it is never easy to explain what this means. When we say that the human being has a soul, we are suggesting that some vital creative force animates the personality. The sophisticated sciences of biochemistry, neurology, and even genetics cannot explain this force: When they try to contain it within the boundaries of their disciplines they are committing reductionism. Instead, to recognize the wholeness of the human being requires us to acknowledge that our minds, our feelings, our ambitions, our ideals all express some living force that dwells mysteriously within the core of our being. We cannot locate it physically; it is a nonmaterial reality, an invisible reality. Science, at least, conventional science, doesn’t know how to approach it. But poets and mystics do. Like them, holistic educators treat the soul with reverence. In many contexts, the word “spirit” means something supernatural, something so foreign to our understanding that we make up an imaginary world to give it a home. But for holistic thinkers, having a spiritual perspective does not mean voyaging to supernatural realms or maintaining a blind faith in religious imagery. Spirituality can take religious forms, of course, and many people, including many holistic educators, have found inspiration in these forms. But just as the experience of inspiration is not the form, the experience of spirituality is not the same as religion and can exist independently of it. As I understand it, spirituality is a living awareness of the wholeness that pervades the universe. It is the realization that our lives mean more than material wealth or cultural achievements can provide; our lives have a place, a purpose in the great unfolding story of Creation, even if this story is so vast and so mysterious that we can only glimpse it briefly through religious practices or fleeting moments of insight.

Finally, when I use the word “cosmos,” the root of the word cosmology, I am trying to suggest that the universe is not merely a vast collection of stars and galaxies that we can study through telescopes, but an interconnected whole that encompasses everything that exists and everything that can exist. Cosmology is an attempt to understand this wholeness, to provide an intellectual framework for the intuitive knowledge that everything we know is connected to everything else we know. Beyond these few words — soul, spirit, cosmos, and wholeness — I am speechless. The Tao which can be named is not the eternal Tao. It is a mystery. Let’s leave it at that, and hold it in reverence.

So now I hope it is clear why I think it is futile to design a holistic curriculum. If the goal of holistic education is connection, then we are ultimately dealing with the soul, with spiritual experience, and with the unfathomable meaning of the Cosmos. We are trying to help our young people find a place deep within themselves that resonates with the mystery of Creation. And it is only when we, as educators, look deeply within ourselves and strive to embody wholeness in our own lives, that we will inspire our students to do the same. Our lives make up the curriculum. Let us work on ourselves, and our lesson plans will take care of themselves.

Holistic education, then, is a pedagogical revolution. It boldly challenges many of the assumptions we hold about teaching and learning, about the school, about the role of the educator, about the need for tight management and standards. Holistic education seeks to liberate students from the authoritarian system of behavior management that in the modern world we have come to call “education.” But ultimately holistic education is far more than radical pedagogy: It is an epistemological revolution as well. It demands that we take a hard look at the foundations of the emerging global capitalist culture — the “technological fundamentalism,” the worship of money, the assumption that the world is merely made of lifeless matter that is ours to manipulate and consume. This new paradigm, this new epistemology we call holism, challenges our addiction to violence, exploitation, and greed. When we embrace wholeness, when we recognize that the Cosmos is the ultimate source of meaning in our lives, then we will design not only educational institutions, but social, political, and economic institutions, dedicated to the nourishment and fulfillment of all human beings and the preservation of the ecosphere. To establish this profound connection to the world is to experience an incorruptible reverence for life.

References
Dewey, John. 1964. The Child and the Curriculum. In John Dewey on Education: Selected Writings, edited by Reginald D. Archambault. New York: Random House. (Originally published in 1902).

Goleman, Daniel. 1994. Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam.

Orr, David. 1994. Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Montessori, Maria. 1963. The Secret of Childhood. Calcutta: Orient Longmans.

Noddings, Nel. 1992. The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Sloan, Douglas. 1983. Insight-imagination: The Emancipation of Thought and the Modern World. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Rifkin, Jeremy. 1987. Time Wars. New York: Holt.

OUR CHRISTIAN ARMY

 

Building God’s (Christian) Army

 

By Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor
Posted on October 19, 2007, Printed on October 19, 2007
http://www.alternet.org/story/65597/

At Speicher base in Iraq, U.S. Army Spec. Jeremy Hall got permission from a chaplain in August to post fliers announcing a meeting for atheists and other nonbelievers. When the group gathered, Specialist Hall alleges, his Army major supervisor disrupted the meeting and threatened to retaliate against him, including blocking his reenlistment in the Army.

Months earlier, Hall charges, he had been publicly berated by a staff sergeant for not agreeing to join in a Thanksgiving Day prayer.

On Sept. 17, the soldier and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed suit against Army Maj. Freddy Welborn and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, charging violations of Hall’s constitutional rights, including being forced to submit to a religious test to qualify as a soldier.

The MRFF plans more lawsuits in coming weeks, says Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who founded the military watchdog group in 2005. The aim is “to show there is a pattern and practice of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religious beliefs within the Department of Defense.”

For Mr. Weinstein — a former Air Force judge advocate and assistant counsel in the Reagan White House — more is involved than isolated cases of discrimination. He charges that several incidents in recent years — and more than 5,000 complaints his group has received from active-duty and retired military personnel — point to a growing willingness inside the military to support a particular brand of Christianity and to permit improper evangelizing in the ranks. More than 95 percent of those complaints come from other Christians, he says.

Others agree on the need for the watchdog group, but question the conspiratorial view and some of its tactics. They say dealing with religious issues is a complex matter, and the military is trying to address them appropriately.

At the Defense Department, spokeswoman Cynthia Smith says the DOD doesn’t comment on litigation, but “places a high value on the rights of members of the Armed Forces to observe the tenets of their respective religions.”

Since the Revolutionary War, the armed services have tried to ensure that soldiers can practice their faiths, and that chaplains serve not only those of their own sect but all who may need pastoral care. The services have also sought to adhere to the First Amendment prohibition of any government “establishment of religion.”

In the 1990s, for instance, the Air Force’s Little Blue Book of core values highlighted religious tolerance, emphasizing that military professionals “must not take it upon themselves to change or coercively influence the religious views of subordinates.”

Weinstein insists, however, that there are improper actions at high levels that not only infringe on soldiers’ rights but, at a very dangerous time, also send the wrong message to people in the Middle East that those in the US military see themselves engaged in Christian warfare.

For example, he says, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who gave speeches at churches while in uniform that disparaged Islam and defined the war on terror in fundamentalist, “end times” terms, was not fired but promoted. (Speaking of a Muslim warlord he had pursued, Lt. Gen. Boykin said, “I knew my God was a real God and his was an idol.” And our enemies “will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.”)

“There’s an eschatologically obsessed version of Christianity that … is trying to make American foreign and domestic policy conterminous with their biblical worldview,” Weinstein charges. And “there’s improper pressure within the military command structure to make members join them.”

The most serious allegations from the field cannot be corroborated for this article. A few will be raised in the lawsuits, but some incidents have been documented.

Perhaps the most visible situation — and the one that set Weinstein off on his mission — involved the evangelizing of cadets on the part of some faculty and staff at the Air Force Academy (AFA) in Colorado Springs, Colo., which came to light in 2004. Congress held hearings, DOD conducted an investigation, and the head of the academy acknowledged significant problems. Weinstein’s cadet son experienced the pressures as a Jew.

Col. David Antoon (ret.), another alumnus of the AFA and now a 747 commercial pilot, says his heart was broken when he took his son, Ryan, to an orientation at the academy in the spring of 2004. An overt evangelistic approach during part of the orientation so upset them, he says, that they decided his son would reject the treasured appointment and instead go to Ohio State University.

“My son had dreamed of doing what I had done, but it was no longer the institution I went to,” Colonel Antoon says, his voice cracking with emotion.

The Air Force set about reaffirming basic principles in religion guidelines, as a basis for widespread training, but a pushback by Evangelicals later led to Congress setting them aside until hearings could be held. The hearings have not taken place.

In 2006, MRFF learned of a video produced by Christian Embassy, a group that conducts Bible studies at the Pentagon and seeks to evangelize within the armed services. Aimed at fundraising for the group, the video was improperly taped in the Pentagon and involved endorsements by Army and Air Force generals in uniform.

MRFF’s public alert spurred a DOD investigation. In a report critical of the senior officers, the Inspector General said they gave the appearance of speaking for the military. One general defended his role by saying “Christian Embassy had become a quasi-federal entity.”

The report noted that Maj. Gen. Paul Sutton participated while he served as chief of the US Office of Defense Cooperation in Turkey, a largely Muslim nation whose military takes pride in protecting the country’s secular status. After a Turkish newspaper wrote about the video as promoting a “fundamentalist sect,” General Sutton was called in and questioned by members of the Turkish General Staff.

“They had to give him a lesson in the separation of church and state,” Weinstein says. “Imagine the propaganda bonanza! And how this upset Muslims.”

The DOD report on the video recommended “appropriate corrective action” be taken against the officers. According to Army spokesman Paul Boyce, “The Army has not yet completed any planned actions associated with the Christian Embassy review.”

MRFF claims a victory in the case of the evangelical group Operation Stand Up. Earlier this year, OSU was preparing to send “freedom packages” to soldiers in Iraq as part of an Army program. Along with socks and snacks, the packages included proselytizing materials in English and Arabic, and the apocalyptic video game, “Left Behind: Eternal Forces.” In it, Christians carry on warfare against people of other faiths.

After the plans were made public, the Pentagon announced in August that the materials would not be mailed. OSU did not respond to a request for comment.

Weinstein — an intense, voluble attorney who prizes blunt, no-holds-barred language — has struck more than one nerve with his bird-dogging. He says numerous threats have been made on his life. Last week, the front window of his house was shot out for the second time. After the lawsuit was filed, talk of “fragging” (killing) Specialist Hall surfaced on some military blogs. The Army is investigating.

Others sympathetic to Weinstein’s concerns say some tactics undermine his efforts, and they question aims.

“He’s uncovered some very disturbing stuff that shouldn’t be going on in the armed forces,” says Marc Stern, a religious liberty expert at American Jewish Congress. “But it’s important that you not go too far.” Mr. Stern disagrees, for instance, with Weinstein’s stance on the Air Force guidelines, such as preventing military supervisors from ever speaking of religion to people under their command.

“He did a disservice to his and our cause by taking a position beyond what the law requires, and in fact may intrude on people’s rights,” Stern adds.

Several conservative Christian ministries publicly proclaim an evangelistic aim “to transform the nations of the world through the militaries of the world,” and they are active at US military installations in many countries. (See www.militaryministry.org or militarymissionsnetwork.org.)

MRFF sees that as a harbinger of a volunteer military falling under the sway of increasing numbers of Christian soldiers. Others see a military leadership, with the exception of a few generals here or there, well aware of its constitutional responsibilities, but challenged by the demands of training on these issues in a military of millions. A group such as MRFF can provide a crucial service, they say, if it is willing to work with the military.

Right now, Weinstein is counting on a set of lawsuits to bring serious issues to the fore. The question is whether those suits will go beyond individual cases of discrimination to prove an unconstitutional pattern within the armed forces.

Jane Lampman is a staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor.

© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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