"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Entries in Propaganda (98)


A Documentary on Crimea

While I doubt too many will actually watch a two hour documentary in Russian with English subtitles about Crimea becoming a part of the Russian Federation, it is an interesting propaganda piece well worth the investment if one is interested in the Ukrainian situation. My own personal view is that one needs to watch all different kinds of information and viewpoints. No doubt the information here is shaded toward a "proper" view of the rejoining of Crimea with Russia, as Western news programs wish their viewers to also have a "proper" view.  

Note that the 97% vote in favor of Crimea joining is exaggerated, not through electoral fraud, but by a boycott of the election by some ethnic minorities--the Tatars in particular. This leads to the emphasis in the documentary of certain Tatars that supported the fight against the reestablishment of Ukrainian authority over Crimea. It is clear that the vast majority of Crimean citizens are totally in favor of being Russians, in fact they would say they always were.  

When I hear the US State Department comment that Crimea should be returned to Ukrainian sovereignty, I have to smile. It ain't going to happen. If you do decide to watch the documentary, that much will be clear. 

Of particular interest to me was the participation of the Cossacks in the Crimean situation, and the direct involvement of the Russian equivalent of the Hell's Angels--the Night Wolves

But in any event, here is the documentary.



Crimea: The Way Home - EN Subtitles - Full Documentary from on Vimeo.



How Information Is Controlled

"Perhaps, when a nation’s press is like this, controlled by oligarchs, the political drift towards and into fascism is inevitable. A ‘democratic’ fascism results if the public are deceived by an oligarchy. Racist fascism becomes then the way to build a passionate reactive compliance among the public, so they’re devoted to destroying what the oligarchs want them to fight and kill, thus to grab for the oligarchs land and resources the oligarchs want to conquer. Such a reactive passion among the public produces for oligarchs cheap soldiers. It cuts oligarchs’ costs, and thereby increases oligarchs’ profits. The idea that the press is merely a passive component in the body-politic is false; maybe it’s actually an oligarchic fraud. But, in any case, a press like this doesn’t merely result from racist fascism; it produces racist fascism. And maybe that explains what is happening in our time. Maybe that’s it. Maybe this press doesn’t merely result from fascism; maybe it causes fascism. Maybe that’s why Hitler posthumously is winning the ideological war he waged against America’s President in his time, FDR. Maybe that’s how fascism is taking over America, at last." 

Note the date of this quote is Nov 2014. I ran across this quote when I read an article that one of the suspects in the downing of MH17, Ukraine,  wrote the official report that blamed the separatists. I found this difficult to believe. However a quick Google search gave strong indication that this was the case. At least they controlled it. And I ran across this quote. 

I still think that the separatists shot down the plane using captured Ukrainian missiles thinking it was one of the bombers attacking civilians. It was at least criminal neglect by Ukraine to route the plane through a war zone. In addition the Ukrainian government has in the past shot down a civilian airliner by accident, as has Russia, as has the US. 

The main point of this blog post is not the airline tragedy. Instead I hope you will focus on the control of the world media by, as the quote puts it, the oligarchs. The "powers that be" control the standard news outlets. You can be assured that if you see something on the news--you are meant to see it. Yes, there are right- and left-wing media sources. But they are wings of the same airplane. 

A good example is pharmaceutical ads I used to see on Faux News when I had cable. These companies are advertising relatively rare medical problems. It cannot really be designed to increase sales. Although with the horrendous markup for these drugs, it might make more economic sense than I am implying.  But the main reason for the ads is to prevent the News from talking about the price that these companies are charging wealthier countries in Western Europe. This is the true market price, and it is much lower than what US medical consumers are charged. As the old saying goes,"He who pays the piper, decides the tune." 

While the alternative media world is better, the obvious ideological blinders make that source also suspect. Not to mention the weirdness of such sources. Actually I will mention it--no matter what you've read on some alternate news source, Michelle Obama is not a man. 

On a recent trip I listened to some talk radio. It has declined dramatically in quality in my old stomping grounds in the Ozarks. One recent guest on talk radio I heard was promoting her book, How to Talk to Aliens. I quickly returned to my iPod music. 

If you do decide to watch traditional media or alternative media, remember that you are being played. I find myself reading less and less of both. I would rather watch old Charlie Chan movies on YouTube. 


Century of the Self, Part 4

I would say that this series has done a good job of pointing out the problems with our modern mass market society. But the solution it offers is totalitarian in nature—salvation by politics. There is a yearning for completeness that the producers think can be provided through society. It can't. 

Last week I wrote about a Jesus-shaped whole in us that needs to be filled, and fill it we will with sex, drugs—even with Rock ‘n’ Roll. The producers of this series, as people of the left, might try to fill it with society. There is an element of society in our individual Jesus-shaped holes. The assembling together of believers is a good thing. But it has a downside.

We risk confusing the shape of the Jesus-sized hole and trying to make it a church-sized hole. 

 The corporations want you. Government wants you. Society wants you. Even the church wants you. And God wants you too. But what he wants from you is different from what society wants. Jesus said this at the end of the parable of the unjust servant in Luke 16 (from The Message paraphrase version): 

 No worker can serve two bosses: 

      He'll either hate the first and love the second 

   Or adore the first and despise the second. 

      You can't serve both God and the Bank.

 14-18When the Pharisees, a money-obsessed bunch, heard him say these things, they rolled their eyes, dismissing him as hopelessly out of touch. So Jesus spoke to them: "You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what's behind the appearance. 

    What society sees and calls monumental, 

      God sees through and calls monstrous.

While the point of this is that you cannot serve money and God, what are corporations, governments, society, and yes, most churches, really after? You know the answer. 

You cannot serve Babylon the Great and God. You must choose. Maybe the toughest part of leaving Babylon for a Christain is to understand that most churches are a part of the system we must leave. They too use these techniques in order to make you a slave. I quoted the Phillips translation last time saying, “Do not let this world squeeze you into its mold.” Do not let your church do this either. 

I hope this series has helped you understand the process by which Babylon wants to choose for you. I hope you choose wisely. Choosing to choose, and not drifting with the crowd—what a concept! 

If you want to catch up on the series here are some links to the videos I embed here in the blog.

Part I 

Part II

Part III

and here is part 4.


Century of the Self Part 3: A Jesus Shaped Hole

Part three of the Century of the Self  BBC series discusses the various human attempts to understand and remove our cultural programming and replace it with something new. These attempts failed. Often all they succeeded in removing was the conscience. 

There is a Jesus-shaped hole in our lives. Even Christians have this hole. Hopefully they have filled it properly. It is a life-long process. Jesus talked about demons and the care needed after their casting out as something worse might replace it. Part III highlights this issue by showing what happens when one tries to fill a God shaped hole with something else. Matthew 12 (The Message) tells us:

43-45"When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn't find anyone, it says, 'I'll go back to my old haunt.' On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he'd never gotten cleaned up in the first place. "That's what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren't hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in." 

You do not accomplish much if you take out Babylon from your life and then allow it to reenter by inventing a Babylon of your own choosing. Vacuums will be filled. This part of the documentary tells of the human attempts to replace the vacuum of our lives without God. (Warning: Some of these attempts involve images of naked people.) 

There was a book I read decades ago that I should have paid more attention to. Not necessarily the book itself, as it was somewhat unhelpful. But the title said it all—More of Jesus, Less of Me

God does not see us as we are, he sees us as He will make us. There are parts of us that do not fit the Potter's vision of us. Isaiah 29 talks about our desire to be self-designed, as this episode of the documentary focused on. 

15-16Doom to you! You pretend to have the inside track. 

   You shut God out and work behind the scenes,

Plotting the future as if you knew everything, 

   acting mysterious, never showing your hand.

You have everything backward! 

   You treat the potter as a lump of clay.

Does a book say to its author, 

   "He didn't write a word of me"?

Does a meal say to the woman who cooked it, 

   "She had nothing to do with this"?

Imagine that you are a feeling lump of clay. It would be painfully to have your parts molded. A Christian wants to be the kind of pot God envisions for them, but there is pain involved. 

Part of this process is to "leave" Babylon the Great. But we are happy there, and we do not want to leave, like Lot's wife. Revelation 18 tell us. 

Do You See The "Handwriting On The Wall?"Get out, my people, as fast as you can, 

      so you don't get mixed up in her sins, 

      so you don't get caught in her doom. 

   Her sins stink to high Heaven; 

      God has remembered every evil she's done. 

   Give her back what she's given, 

      double what she's doubled in her works, 

      double the recipe in the cup she mixed; 

   Bring her flaunting and wild ways 

      to torment and tears. 

   Because she gloated, "I'm queen over all, 

      and no widow, never a tear on my face," 

   In one day, disasters will crush her— 

      death, heartbreak, and famine— 

   Then she'll be burned by fire, because God, 

      the Strong God who judges her, 

      has had enough.

Lot's wife did not want to leave, and suffered the consequences. If you stay in Babylon, you will suffer the consequences. If one is not careful as one leaves, what fills up the recently-vacated space will be just as bad as what has been removed. 

Those of my religious tradition every year have a period where leaven is removed from the diet as outlined in Leviticus 23. The analogy is that just as one removes leaven one should remove sin.

This is a good analogy, a Biblical analogy, but the analogy is not enough. 1 Corinthians 5 tell us this: 

6-8Your flip and callous arrogance in these things bothers me. You pass it off as a small thing, but it's anything but that. Yeast, too, is a "small thing," but it works its way through a whole batch of bread dough pretty fast. So get rid of this "yeast." Our true identity is flat and plain, not puffed up with the wrong kind of ingredient. The Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has already been sacrificed for the Passover meal, and we are the Unraised Bread part of the Feast. So let's live out our part in the Feast, not as raised bread swollen with the yeast of evil, but as flat bread—simple, genuine, unpretentious.

We have to let God makes us into the kind of pot He sees us as. The imperfections have to go. We need to be filled with something new. We cannot just put out the old. We need something new. 

1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I also like what the Phillips translation says. "Do not let this world squeeze you into its mold." This world wants you as a part of its consuming, angry, but docile masses—not as an individual "pot," but as a part of a whole morass of the system. The system wants you as a slave. God wants you as a child. We have to live in the Babylonish system, but we do not have to be of that system. 

This is why I think this whole series is important as it shows what soceity is doing to keep each of us in bondage. 

God has a better plan. As the apostle Paul says we do not see exactly what this means, we see it darkly in furtive glimpses. We know that God will make us into the image of His Son—gods and goddesses of His devising.  

I felt I needed a longer introduction to part three as I disagree with attempts to fill the Jesus-shaped hole with something besides Jesus. Part three of the documentary can stand alone, but it will make a lot more sense if you watch part I and part II.

Part III here



Century of the Self, Part II

Watching this part of the documentary reminded me of Revelation 17-18. In particular this from chapter 18:11:

"The traders will cry and carry on because the bottom dropped out of business, no more market for their goods: gold, silver, precious gems, pearls; fabrics of fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet; perfumed wood and vessels of ivory, precious woods, bronze, iron, and marble; cinnamon and spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine and oil, flour and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots. And slaves—their terrible traffic in human lives. Everything you've lived for, gone!  All delicate and delectable luxury, lost! Not a scrap, not a thread to be found!" The traders who made millions off her kept their distance for fear of getting burned, and cried and carried on all the more: Doom, doom, the great city doomed! Dressed in the latest fashions, adorned with the finest jewels,in one hour such wealth wiped out!

I would say that this series has done a good job of pointing out the problems with our modern mass-market society. I think Revelation is also critiquing this. But the solution the series offers is totalitarian in nature. There is a yearning for completeness that the producers think can be provided through society. It can't.

There is that Jesus-shaped hole in us that needs to be filled, and fill it we will with sex, drugs—even with Rock ‘n’ Roll. I might try to fill this hole with an iPad if I am not careful. The producers of this series, as people of the left, might try to fill it with society. There is an element of society in our individual Jesus-shaped holes. The assembling together of believers is a good thing—but church has a downside.

We risk confusing the shape of the Jesus-shaped hole and trying to make it a church- or religion-shaped hole. 

The corporations want you. Government wants you. Society wants you. Even the church wants you. But God wants you too. Matthew 6 (NIV) tells us:

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

This was the only scripture my agnostic father knew. "A man cannot serve two masters." My father related it to the real estate industry, but here I am using it to point out that you cannot serve Babylon the Great and God. What are corporations, governments, society, and yes, most churches, really after? You know the answer. You must choose, for by being unaware you choose Babylon by default. 

I hope this series is helping you understand the process by which Babylon wants to choose for you. I hope you decide to choose for yourself , and choose wisely. 

I recommend that if you are going to watch the series you begin with part I. 

Here is part II.