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Faith and Freedom Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile Russia's War by Richard Overy Body of Secrets by James Bamford Anglesey - a guide to ancient monuments
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Faith & Freedom by Jimmy Carter
-
The Christian Challenge For The World

 

Earlier this year when I read The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong I was opened to idea of Mythos and Logos, or later referred to Logos and Eros in Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile by Margaret Starbird. This idea allows you to see that there are two sides to how the world works, or how we perceive the world - with the left side of the brain and the right - some might say with our heart and our head, or even either from a scientific rational standpoint or a religious one.

This mix is evident in how nations operate, often trying to separate religion and politics, albeit on the surface. In Carter's introduction he states that in this book he "will deliberately mix religion and politics" for he is a devout evangelical Christian, as well as a political figure. His "religious beliefs have been inextricably entwined with the political principles [he has] adopted."
 

Faith and Freedom

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Revealingly he tells us that "Regardless of the costs, some leaders are openly striving to create a dominant American empire throughout the world." (p.4-5). This topic was much of the basis of The Family by Jeff Sharlet which I also read this year and talked about in the World section of this website.

Notes:

p.8 "Nowadays, the Washington scene is completely different, with almost every issue decided on a strictly partisan basis. Probing public debate on key legislative decisions is almost a thing of the past. Basic agreements are made between lobbyists and legislative leaders, often within closed party caucuses where rigid discipline is paramount. Even personal courtesies, which had been especially cherished in the U.S. Senate, are no longer considered to be sacrosanct. This deterioration in harmony, cooperation, and collegiality in the Congress is, at least in part, a result of the rise of fundamentalist tendencies and their religious and political impact."

p.19 "The term 'evangelical' is often misused or distorted... consider [this meaning] to be adequate: 'belonging to or designating Christian churches that emphasize the teachings and authority of the scriptures, especially of the New Testament, in opposition to the institutional authority of the church itself, and that stress as paramount the tenet that salvation is achieved by personal conversion to faith in the atonement of Christ.'"

p.87 "Despite the fact that Jesus Christ was the greatest liberator of women, some male leaders of the Christian faith have continued the unwarranted practice of sexual discrimination, derogating women and depriving them of their equal rights to serve God. This same insistence on the submission of wives to husbands and the branding of women as inferior has also been adopted in some Islamic nations. It is inevitable that this sustained religious subjugation has been a major influence in depriving women of basic rights within the worldwide secular community."

"Most Bible scholars acknowledge that the Holy Scriptures were written when male dominance prevailed in every aspect of life. When Jesus began his remarkable ministry, the treatment of women throughout the Roman Empire and the Holy Land was reminiscent of what we have observed recently under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Even in matters of marriage and divorce, women were considered to be chattel, who were not to contradict decisions made by their fathers or husbands. Even widows of prominent and respected men had few legal rights. Men could possess multiple women (King Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred concubines), but adulterous behaviour by a woman could be punished by stoning to death."

p.147 "If Saddam Hussein had actually possessed a large nuclear, biological, or chemical arsenal, then the American invasion would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties, many of them U.S. troops. There is no evidence that British or American leaders really expected or prepared for this eventuality."

 

Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile

Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile by Margaret Starbird

In this book the author is convinced that what the world is lacking is the famine. She outlines her evidence for Magdalene's story having been suppressed and removed from the Gospels, almost completely.

Further to this, she mentions the war in Afghanistan following 9/11 and I find it interesting that one of the 'selling points' for going to war these days, with non-Christian nations, is to free/liberate the women, yet the art of going to war is masculine.

I have written a little more about this in the World section.buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Russia's War by Richard Overy

 

After reading about eavesdropping on the Soviet's during World War 2 in Body of Secrets by James Bamford (see below), I was keen to read something more about Russia during the war and I came across Russia's War by Richard Overy.

Notes:

p.84 "This was a war to the death between two different world systems, not simply a struggle for power and territory." This is something that was echoed in The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong (see below).
 

Russia's War by Richard Overy

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p.88 "During the war an estimated 500,000 Soviet citizens died from German bomb attacks, more than ten times the number who died in the London Blitz.

Chapter five was about Partisans which reminded me of a television episode of Ray Mears.

p.215 "The distinction between the 'we' and 'I' was symptomatic of a deeper social outlook in Russian life, where collectivism was preferred to individualism." I think this is somewhat true of the British during the war - they 'pulled together'. Whereas these days people seem to strive to be individuals which can make them appear somewhat selfish.

p.250 "Stalin told the Yugoslav Communist, Milovan Djilas, 'This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise... Britain and the US did not want countries liberated in Europe to become Communist. They wished them to remain as far as possible within the Western camp and the world market." This attitude is apparent in the war with Afghanistan and previously Iraq and is clear throughout The Family by Jeff Sharlet (see below). The American's act, or try to imply that they are at war to liberate foreign people from their oppressors, but really it's about having everyone within their own system, their belief system for one. There seems to be little appreciation or even an understanding of these people's existing system - they're seen as backward just as Overy stated early on about how the Russians are/were perceived.

p.251 "The meeting between the two men [Churchill and Stalin]... found two of Europe's great powers doing what they had done for centuries: disposing of the future of the lesser powers with scant regard for any principal but their own interest."

If you are interested in reading about World War II then I highly recommend reading this book as it not only gives you an insight into the war, but it gives a deeper one from Russia's perspective which is missed out on if you were a school student in the UK or likely the US too.

 

Body of Secrets by James Bamford

Body of Secrets by James Bamford
 - How America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ eavesdrop on the world

This is the sequal to Puzzle Palace which I read in 2007.

Notes:

p.70-71 "But Lemnitzer and the Chiefs knew that armed invasion of a neighbouring country would be condemned both domestically and internationally as the American equivalent of the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Thus the Joint Chiefs developed an enormously secret plan to trick the American public - and the rest of the world - into believing that Cuba had instead launched an attack against the U.S. It would be the ultimate Wag the Dog war." This all sounds very familiar!

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Brian's Little Library

 

Anglesey by M. J. Yates and David Longley
 - A Guide to the Ancient Monuments on the Isle of Anglesey

 

Notes:

p.3 "Separated from the rest of Wales by the Menai Strait, Anglesey enjoyed easy contact with more distant regions across the Irish Sea. This is reflected in the early settlement of the island and in the many field monuments [there are 23 in the care of Cadw] that punctuate the landscape today."

p.4 and p.10 "...broad-leaved, deciduous trees, such as oak and elm, covered all but the rockiest and wettest parts of the island... The first settlers on [the island] may have arrived some time around 8000 B.C... By around 4000 B.C. techniques of farming... were gradually being adopted in Britain..."... "[and by] around A.D. 60, [the] centuries of woodland clearance had opened extensive tracts of countryside."
 

Anglesey - a guide to the ancient monuments

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p.5-6 "Megalithic tombs have been studied extensively and many have been excavated. Nevertheless the majority of those on Anglesey do not fall readily into the classifications identified elsewhere and remain somewhat enigmatic."

There are links to both Ireland and Brittany.

p.9 "Compared with the Neolithic, and indeed with Bronze Age monuments elsewhere, the funerary monuments of [the Earlier Bronze Age, about 2500-1500 B.C.] on Anglesey are not spectacular." A similar observation can be made of the pyramids of Egypt which actually saw the more spectacular constructions, such as The Great Pyramid, taking place early on in the history and then seemingly copied or imitated later on so a lower standard. The Sphinx was constructed very early on.

p.10 "[The] function of [the standing stones], like that of the stone circles, is uncertain, but alignment with astronomic features suggests they could have played a part in the prediction and celebration of astral events."

p.12 "Anglesey enters the light of history in the most dramatic way. In A.D. 43, 40,000 legionary soldiers and auxiliary troops of the Roman Emperor Claudius crossed the channel from Gaul and began the military conquest of southern Britain. By the year A.D. 60 the governor, Suetonius Paulinus, had reached the banks of the Menai Strait. He was not unopposed, as the Roman author, Tacitus later records: 'Ranks of warriors lined the Anglesey shore, urged on by their women, shrieking like furies, dressed in burial black, while Druids, with arms outstretched to heaven, cursed the invaders.' Tacitus, Annals, xiv, 30... [however] the revolt of Boudicca in the same year drew Suetonius back south..."

There is more on the attack of Anglesey, why and Cuetonius' return to take on Boudicca here: http://cillpiorra.homestead.com/Boudicca.html

"The status of the Druids was considerable. They seem to have been priests and men of learning, but they were also statesmen who adcised kings and could arbitrate in regional disputes. They were theologians with a hint of the shaman and the guardians of ritual. Moreover, they presided over sacrifices from which the future was divined, and sometimes the sacrifices were human."

"Following the invasion of Anglesey, Suetonius' troops cut down the 'sacred groves of the people, wherein lay their altars, red with the blood of sacrifice'. Such vivid images encouraged antiquarian scholars, such as Henry Rowlands, to speculate on possible Druidic associations with Anglesey monuments of much greater antiquity."

p.19 "The age of Princes and the Later Middle ages (about A.D. 1100-1600)... The earliest surviving stone churches on Anglesey date from this period..."

 

The Family by Jeff Sharlet
 - The secret fundamentalism at the heard of American power

 

After reading The Hiram Key Revisited by Christopher Knight and Alan Butler which talks about the Star Families I was keen to read more about this so this is why I am reading this book.

Notes:

p.1-2 The Family is all about "Spiritual War... [it] is a story about two great spheres of beliefs, religion and politics, and the ways in which they are bound together by the mythologies of America. America - not the legal entity of the United States but the idea with which Europe clothed a continent that it believed naked and wild... [The Family is] a seventy-year-old self-described "invisible" network of followers of Christ in government, business, and the military..."
 

The Family

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Karen Armstrong in The Battle for God introduced me to the idea that religion and politics, mythos and logos are separate, like trying to explain a religious belief with scientific analysis. However it is becoming clear to me that in certain circles there are those that feel the need to mix the two, and that some sort of power, a leading or controlling one, benefits from doing so.

p.7-8 There are groups of people in this world, The Family is one, that feel they are "chosen by God to direct the affairs of the [world]." The author states The Family is interested in directing the affairs of the nation that is America, but I believe each group such as, and in particular, The Family ultimately wants to dictate the affairs of the world. Americas place in Iraq and Afghanistan is evidence of this. "Elite fundamentalism sees its mission as the manipulation of politics in the rest of the world."

"Making a spectacle of faith [provides] a foundation for power." This is in opposition to "those who imagine religion to be a personal, private affair."

p.29 "The C Street House is registered as a church, which allows it to avoid taxes... there is a TV the size of a small movie screen, usually tuned to sports, and a prayer calendar in the kitchen that tells residents which 'demonic strongholds,' such as Buddhism or Hinduism, they are to wage spiritual warfare against each day." The members use the power of prayer/intention to wage their war. It also interests me how (the aggression of?) sport is used to influence their state of mind to that of attack.

Part the way through and I'm confused by an apparent Christian battle against materialism, yet the western world seems to be all for materialism. A desire towards materialism is what is instilled in the population, and is used to fuel the economy which in turn is what the powers-that-be want. But aren't these powers that be, particularly in the US, Christian?

p.122-3 "In 1932, Abram took as a Bible student Henry Ford. By then, the automaker was a wizened old leather drop of a man, wary of controversy. He had been the American publisher of the notoriously fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic fantasia... Abram was drawn like a moth to the great man's wealth - to the possibility that Ford might put his tremendous worldly resources behind a campaign for government by God."

p.125 "Who is this God that guides a nation? This God guides a minority, the leaders of a nation, the key figures behind the scenes."

p.156 "...Abram's inner circle included the president of the National Association of Manufacturers [invited] to share concerns with brothers-in-Christ in spiritual, not material terms."

The author references a brochure: "'The Bible,' declares the brochure, 'contations inexhaustible resources for the businessman fighting the economic battle in a two-fisted business world,' like a vein of coal or a pool of oil 'deposited' by God, awaiting refinement into a spiritual offensive against 'materialism'."

p.172 Von der Ropp referred to those distracted by 'social problems' as 'the Stirred'. "A geologist by training he preached that 'too much science' would lead to 'intellectual shallowness,' a foreshadowing of the claims of today's fundamentalism, intellectually critical and anti-intellectual at the same time. He taught that the poo, with their demands for government services - which he understood as a failure to trust that God would provide* - were 'the adversaries of the church.'" Personally I think you can compare this to just making an effort and not just expecting government services to provide for you.

p.178 "Freedom in their interpretation is the ideal for which we shall fight and die but the reality is nothing else but a beautiful word for services for Western powers... The word freedom is not taken seriously anymore." - Manfred Zapp.

p.180 "...the Americans learned from the Germans, who understood that mythology makes of the past a parable, smooth and enigmatic, best understood by those who ask no questions."

p.184 "The criminal is the product of spiritual starvation." - Hoover

p.218 "The American ideology was as amorphous as its empire, defined not by borders but by influence, invisible threads, transcendent alliances... Jesus must rule every nation through the vessel of American power."

p.219 The American empire, a new Holy Roman Empire, recast in the terms of the twentieth century as an empire of influence, not territory.

Think of America, not as a physical place with borders, but as a concept, one that is inflicted on the whole world. Perhaps Jerusalem is also a concept and not just a physical place. And also think of Jesus as a concept and not just a person.

p.234 "Prison Fellowship works on a one-by-one model, transforming [prisoners] into an atomized class of isolated individuals, praying to be 'broken' by God, to be 'used' by His Son, to be 'nothing' before the Holy Ghost." To me it feels like prisoners are targeted like this because they are more malleable, but the same is planned for the rest of us, just using more subtle tactics.

p.249 "Elgin Groseclose, the American economist who'd helped the Shah run Iran in the 1940s, worried that Muslims who saw through the facade of the 'brotherhood of man' would ask, 'Down what road am I being taken?' And, perhaps, decide to take Americans for a ride instead. 'This has been one of the aspects of the ... movement that has long troubled me," concluded Groseclose. 'Where does politics end and religion begin?'"... "Poor Groseclose. He could not grasp power. Suharto got it. 'We are sharing the deepest experiences of our lives together," Clif Robinson wrote of his brother the dictator. 'It was at this point when I was with President Suharto of Indonesia that he said, 'In this way we are converted, we convert ourselves - no one converts us!'"

p.269 "...Opus Dei, an ultra-orthodox order that, like the Family, specializes in cultivating the rich and the powerful..."

p.272 "The theology... It doesn't conquer; it 'infects.'... it doesn't confront ideas, it coexists with them, its cells multiplying by absorbing enemies rather than destroying them." Similar in some ways, I think, to how the Romans were. But if your ideals don't work with their's then that's when it kicks off.

p.273 "...the tradition of 'Burkean conservatism,' after the eighteenth-century reactionary philosopher's belief that change should be slow and come without the sort of 'social leveling' that offends class hierachy. Elite rules because they rule; tradition is its own justification, a tautology of power neither left nor right..."

p.275-6 "...the Jesus preached by the Family is ideology personified. For all of the Family's talk of Jesus as a person, he remains oddly abstract in the teachings they derive from him..."

p.307 "As it had been to Abram, it was important to [Pastor] Ted not to confuse America with Jesus, so instead of declaring the U.S. holier than other nations, he blended Jesus' teachings with American political aims and then convinced himself that the hybrid was objective truth, much like what Abram had once called the universal inevitable, much like Sam Brownback's conviction that free trade is foretold in the Bible. The process of economic globalization, Ted believed, is a vehicle for the spread of Christ's power."

Brian's Little Library

 

A Scientist Looks at Buddhism by Mansel Davies

 

I recently read Sects, 'Cults' & Alternative Religions (see below) and while it looked at Buddhism. However, Davies' book is more about Theravada Buddhism, which he doesn't class as a religion - there is no deity, you don't worship a Buddha, you are the Buddha. One interesting aspect of this particular strain of Buddhism is that it does not 'accept' the existence of the soul or afterlife, whereas SCAAR I think looks at Buddhism as a whole which does believe in such things.

I think Davies, as a scientist gives himself an easy task as Therevida Buddhism can be accepted with a rational mind because it seems to discard aspects of religions that can't be proven. It is a way of life.
 

A Scientist Looks at Buddhism

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Theravada Buddhism also places itself in a kind of gray area. In Karen Armstrong's The Battle for God (see below) it again separated religion from science with the concept of Logos (the rational mind) and Mythos.

It seems to me that the early history of Buddhism/the life of Gotama is similar to that of the Bible/the life of Jesus. Parts of the Bible are very hard to digest, they don't seem to make any sense, like the author is just rambling on and even contradicting himself.

One of the reasons for this, in particular regarding the life of Jesus in the New Testament, is that his teachings were not literal but verbal, and made to groups or crowds people/followers. Like that of the Buddhist Gotama, there are patterns of repetition that are tedious to read but would have been an effective means of memorisation when transmitted verbally.

In both cases these speeches or sermons weren't written down straight away, but maybe some three centuries later, so what comes to us in the written form is not an eye-witness account.

p.19 "The Gandhari test is dated, by general impression, to the first or second centuries A.D., i.e., some six centuries after Gotoma's death.

There are also interesting parallels between the original character that was Jesus and Gotama - both, in some circles, became/have become transcendental or magical characters, rather than just teachers.

p.20 "Where these latter differ is principally in the appearance of large elements of the supernatural. These decorative items, stimulating though they may be to the imagination and so to artistic creativity, do not support authenticity."

p.34 "Already a century and a half after Gotama's death a significant group of disciples argued that the simple account, of a predominantly factual character, was an inadequate presentation of the wondrous and, as it seemed to them, miraculous life and achievements of Gotama."

Fanciful accounts of such characters are not necessarily false: "At best they can be regarded as specific symbols of virtues to be attained and of achievements to be copied."

"It's an obvious feature of mental behaviour that the symbols and fancies of one's early years can retain a significance long after they cease to have any reality. Father Christmas is the best-known example." We are brainwashed when we are young, what we want from life and how we should behave is dictated to us.

p.97 "When one sees how the world, from the level of personal relations to that of intercontinental rivalries, is beset with confrontations and hostilities, it is in no way relevant to suggest that ignorance is a major root of conflict. One of the functions of academic history is to explain how pas conflicts arose because of contradictory views. Often those views were not only equally cogent but also equally reasonable to each of the two opposing sides, but generally ill-understood by the other."

p.115 "The Theravada sources of Buddhism make clear the Tathagata's view that the self is, at best, a convenient fiction and of significance only at a conventional level of day-to-day identity. Equally clearly, the same sources dismiss the existence of the soul."

 

Cloud Road by John Harrison
 - A Journey Through the Inca Heartland

 

Green was the Earth on the Seventh Day by Thor HeyerdahlI sort of hoped this book would be like Green was the Earth on the Seventh Day by Thor Heyerdahl as it was only the second book of this type - a journey into a different world and a different way of life, and I thoroughly enjoyed Heyerdahl's which I read in 2010. In fairness it wasn't far off. Harrison takes the reader on the journey with him, along the old Inca highway, meeting the people along the way, the poverty and the history. There is humour too - it catches you unawares and you have to re-read the paragraph to take it in, especially when he buys a mischevious donkey Dapple.

Notes:

p.29 "...destined by nature to be a home of plenty and comfort, but converted by man into a haunt of sloth, filth, idleness, poverty, vice and ignorance."
 

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p.33 "Fiction stalks reality, subverting, drawing you in."

p.49 "...my insane theory that Spartan living would cure my back was paying off... Walking, even up mountains, was healthier than sitting staring at a computer screen or ploughing through three-inch histories."

p.96 "The driver... picked up two young evangelicals in suits just the colour brown that psychologists say signals dishonesty. They sported tin badges saying 'If you want to know the meaning of real happiness, just ask.' I decided to stay miserable."

p.122 "The line between the irrigated green and the dust of the desert was so abrupt that one end of a donkey could chew the crop while the other fertilised desert."

"If it rains here, you don't shelter, you stand outside and enjoy it."

The Conquest of ParadiseThe author points out that "On Columbus's second voyage, in 1943, he brought from the Canary Islands the plant that would enrich a few and impoverish and enslave many: sugar cane."

p.358 "Culture doesn't fit comfortably any more, the world has changed too much, too fast, so you either have to work out your own culture, your own values, or else you're doomed to get everything from television." - Peter Frost speaking the the author.

p.369 "If you can find three connections between things, you are probably on the right track."

www.cloudroad.co.uk

 

The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart
 - Use your thoughts to change the world

 

From the outset it looked a bit like The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

Notes:

p.10 "...the most essential ingredient in creating our universe is he consciousness that observes it."

This book goes into such topics as dreams which I have talked about here.

p.89 I found the topic of 'Tonglen' interesting because I've found that trying to help people can have a negative effect on myself read here.
 

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The book is largely about how to help people using your mind - giving out good intentions. The body (not just the brain) communicates these intentions as electro-magnetic waves. Interestingly increased solar activity, such as sun spots/solar flares which reach the earth and are known to disrupt satelites and earth-based electronic equipment will inevitably have an effect on the human brain (some dispute this as the effects are going to be subtle in most cases), but McTaggart documents correlations between experiments and 'magnetically stormy days' and indeed, "people with weaker constitutions [such as mental health patients] are at the mercy of the Sun's restless activity." (p.146). It seems to me that while it is known/believed that the Moon can have such effects, seemingly based on gravitational energy, if it is the Sun's electromagnetic energy that has these effects, then in actual fact, it is the Moon's effect on the Earth's magnetic field when the Sun is on the opposite side of us that plays a/the part.

 

The Hiram Key Revisited by Christopher Knight and Alan Butler
 - Freemasonry: A plan for new world order

 

I read the original back in 2003.

The Star Families and their plans for a New World Order. Are they not too dissimilar to David Icke's Illuminati (see Children of the Matrix) and in reference to the Catholic Church in the final chapter it seems to be along the lines of Opus Dei (see Their Kingdom Come by Robert Hutchinson).

I found the whole book to be a fascinating take on world history although in the final chapter the authors seemed to be clutching at straws when they perhaps didn't need to, I also found their closing views on what the intentions of the Star Families are to be a little naive - they assume that their guiding hand will benefit us all.

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The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong
 - Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

 

My first impression, from reading the introduction, was that this book was clearly written from a western and what I feel like is an ignorant perspective. It begins by talking about fundamentalism and while "It is only a small minority of fundamentalists who commit [the] acts of terror... even the most peaceful and law-abiding are perplexing, because they seem so adamantly opposed to many of the most positive values of modern society." It's only from our modern western perspective that our society operates in a positive way and any others are simply wrong or backward.

"It was assumed that as human beings became more rational, they either would have no further need for religion..." and fundamentalism occurs because religions are fighting back against 'modernity' to bring it back "out of its marginal position and back to center stage." But the author talks about fundamentalism as something that should be 'dealt with'. From the author's Western perspective the Western viewpoint is the right one "Western civilisation has changed the world. Nothing- including religion-can ever be the same again." Again, the so-called fundamentalists would disagree, else why 'fight' a fight they can't win?
 

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However, at the same time I do accept that the so called fundamentalists do also need to see the world through the eyes of others. "They may reject the scientific rationalism of the West, but they cannot escape it". I believe the world can be experienced from the two perspectives - it's the same world, just experienced differently, like as particles or waves, or as the author puts it mythos and logos "Both were essential; they were regarded as complementary ways of arriving at truth" If they were essential then, why are they not essential now? Is it healthy to view the world only from the one perspective?

There have been times when the world's perspective shifted. The author talks about the Axel Age, and we look back to these times that are remembered through myths, and we can no longer understand them, we fail to understand the world through that view point. There was also a shift in the middle ages, when our modern age began, it was forced upon us, the view point of the past was outlawed, witches and templars burnt at the stake. We accept this was wrong, but the path it set us on is undeniable.

The author believes that mythos and logos should not be confused, the two perspectives have different jobs to do, such as when "Crusaders started making a mythical or mystical vision the basis of their policies, they were usually defeated and committed terrible atrocities." I was quite taken aback by this last statement, and to my horror the author, in the references was referring to her own previous work - Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World 3-75, 147-274.

The author states that our society is based no longer "on an agricultural surplus but on a technology that enables us to reproduce [our] resources indefinitely." To me this is a false belief, a blindness that leads us on a path to ruin. But the author claims "people are finding that in their dramatically transformed circumstances, the old forms of faith no longer work for them." Maybe it's more that people are lead to think that way - science can or will one day explain everything so there is no need for God - the spiritual is separate from the physical or even nonexistent, and those that see the world from a spiritual perspective are delusional... or simply a fundamentalist. We in the West "began to think that logos was the only means to truth and began to discount mythos as false and superstitious. It is also true that the new world they were creating contradicted the dynamic of the old mythical spirituality." I often question if this change in perspective has been planned or dictated to us, if back in our past when things began to change that there was some underlying plan to change the way the world perceives, to guide us away from the spiritual, to portray is as bad, evil and wrong.

 

The Templar Revelation by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince
 - Secret guardians of the true identity of Christ

 

p.57 "We tend to remember the absurd, and furthermore, illogicalities that are deliberately presented as scrupulously argued facts have a curiously powerful effect on our unconscious minds. After all, it is this part of ourselves that creates our dreams, which operate with their own kind of paradox and non-logic. And it is the unconscious mind that has been 'hooked', will continue to work even on the most subliminal message for years, extracting every last bit of symbolic meaning from a tiny scrap of apparent gobbledygook." To me it seems like our brains are designed to question reality - if something doesn't quite fit, whether it be through a myth, conspiracy theory or a lie told to us, it is often very obvious to us, but this can also be in such a subtle way, and so we question why the image painted for us doesn't fit and the curiosity niggles away at us pulling all the bits of information together to try and create some logic in what can at times seem like random noise. I also agree that the same is the case for dreams as there is 'always' something not quite right about them, and it's these curiosities that make them memorable - if this weren't the case, surely we'd hardly remember our dreams.

p.109 "...a culture that encourages the pursuit of knowledge tends to tolerate radical new thought."

p.168 "An ancient wood [near to Rosslyn Chapel] was planted in the shape of the Templar cross." This is interesting because from the A55 in North Wales I have seen such a forest.

p.218 "Hermes Trismegistus... in the Corpus Hermeticum [said]: 'If you hate your body, my child, you cannot love yourself.'" I never realised such a concept was so old.

p.254 I found it interesting to read that there are megalithic monuments in the area surrounding Rennes-les-Bains.

p.262 Regarding the sealed vault at Notre-Dame de Marceille mentioned: www.philipcoppens.com/secretvault_art1.html

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p.313 "In fact, the word heresy originally just meant choice."

p.350 "The Roman writer Tacitus (in his Annals, c115 CE) records the growth of Christianity - which he calls a 'dangerous superstition' - in both Jerusalem and Rome, and refers in passing to the execution of its founder, but gives no details and refers to him simply by the title 'Christ'." Quoted in Ayerst and Fisher, pp2-3.

p.449 "Even though the Gospels are effectively pro-Jesus propaganda, the picture that they paint of the man and his teachings is inconsistent and elusive."

p.450 "...theology was invented to cope with... contradictions [in the Bible]."

p.478 "for while sexism is not exclusively a Western phenomenon, its direct manifestations in the West owe much to the Church's teachings about the place of women."

The final chapter goes on a bit of an attack against the pope, although the authors do seem to take pity on the mislead/misunderstanding Christians of today. The authors say how, what they have discovered - who Jesus really was, an Egyptian, not a Jew, and how Mary Magdelane and John the Baptist were actually key players, if not the key players - when this knowledge is let loose on the world by those in the know (the Priory of Sion, the modern day Templars) it will change everything. I think they fail to realise that the knowledge is being revealed to the world already, they themselves are playing a part in the rolling of that ball. You can't just read someone the last chapter of their book for example, and expect them to comprehend what it really means, you need the underlying knowledge revealed by the rest of the book (and other books) for it to really shake the foundations of what you believe.

So like how UFO stories and films such as Independence Day drip-feed us, and prepare us for when the time comes that we meet beings from another world, books such as this and The Da Vinci Code drip feed us and prepare us for a time when the Truth is revealed to all. That time will not come as a shock - the time will only come when we are ready.

 

Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions by David V. Barrett
 - A World Survey and Sourcebook

 

p.24 "Hindus believe in reincarnation, the idea that after death the soul is reborn into another body. The quality of the next life you live depends on what you do and what you learn in your current life. This is the basic idea of karma, which is central to the present-day, Eastern-inspired, Esoteric and Neo-Pagan religious movements.

"By practicing morality and meditation and gaining wisdom, Buddhists aim to escape from the cycle of reincarnation and attain nirvana (literally 'no-being'), the ultimate, peaceful, transformed consciousness... Buddhism lays great stress on an individual's own self-improvement and salvation, though this can be attained only by living a strict monastic life."
 

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p.28 "Historically, most Muslims were actually more tolerant of other religions than were Christians... The Crusades, being both territorial and religious military campaigns, created a tension and distrust between Muslims and Christians the repercussions of which are still with us today."

p.29 "In the Middle Ages Sufis and Cabbalists exchanged knowledge freely. The Knights Templar had links with Sufis, and it can be argued that Sufi symbolism influenced early Freemasonry."

p.47 "Clement of Alexandria (late second century AD) believed that although Jesus ate and drank like a man, he didn't actually need to for bodily sustenance." like vampires!?

"[Origen believed] the basic message of salvations through faith was fine for the uneducated, but for the more intellectual and spiritual, salvation came through contemplation."

p.50 [The beliefs of the Cathars] came from Manicheans Gnosticism, and sprang up in southern France - the Languedoc - in the late eleventh century. They believed that spirit is good and matter is evil... [They had] their own distinctive theology and their lack of respect for priestly authority, were a threat to the Church."

p.87 "For the origins of prophecy, [Charles Taze] Russell [(1852-1916)] looked not just to the Bible but also to the measurements of the Great Pyramid at Giza, although these were altered in different editions of Studios in the Scriptures to reflect the changes in emphasis from 1874 to 1914 [of the return of Christ]. In the 1901 edition of Volume 3, the length of the entrance passage is given as 3,416 inches, 'symbolising 3,416 years from the above date, BC 1542. This calculation shows 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble.' In the 1923 edition of the same volume the length of the passage is given as 3,457 inches, and 1874 is changed to 1915."

Back in 2003 I read the 1977 edition of The Great Pyramid Decoded by Peter Lemesurier, and in 2005 I bought the 1999 edition. In them Lemesuier, from what I can make of the lists of measurements, came to the year 1914.

p.106-7 I found it interesting to learn about "Unifocationist couples" who are, in The Unification Church (Moonies) are matched by the founder Sun Myung Moon and that "It seems to work... the divorce rate among members of the Church is only 3-5 per cent, way below that of the rest of Western society, where marriages are usually based on the often ephemeral emotion of falling in love."

p.118 "One of the reasons that Christianity took root throughout Europe during the Dark Ages was its habit of taking over local Pagan festivals and sacred sites, adapting the customs of the winter solstice into Christmas, and of the spring festival into Easter, and building churches over ancient wells and springs."

p.133 "The reason mankind is in such a mess is that 'each one of us trying to be a Lord of the Material World, breeds conflict and hypocrisy..."

p.135 On Elan Vital (Devine Light Mission) "That which we seek is already within us. The process of reaching it is one of learning to experience what is already there. It is one the individual has to perform for him- or herself..."

p.152 Regarding the School of Economic Science "Vegetarianism is encouraged on health grounds: a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy spirit. The Shankaracharya's teaching is, 'They should eat that which does not produce clouds of heaviness in the mind or body, and they should only eat as much as the body requires' This is part of the teaching known in the School as Measure. The same applies to sleep: students are encouraged to get up when they first naturally wake up, rather than drowsing in bed, which is not considered to be healthy. 'Measure simply means knowing when to stop. The idea is that you stop eating before your stomach fills up; that you stop working before the body is exhausted... The idea of measure is to learn to take on some degree of self-discipline so that the body
and mind do not get over-used, and so that you can come to rest in the innermost part of your being, which is known as the Self or Absolute."

p.158 "Buddhism teaches that if you want to change your life, it is no use blaming your circumstances. On the contrary, you must change that aspect of yourself which has given rise to the circumstances in which you find yourself. When you change, your environment will automatically change with you."

p.163 "Perhaps Esoteric magic tends to be more cerebral and Neo-Pagan magic more emotional... [both] more a reworking of the inner person than the outer world."

p.168 "Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!"

p.172 "Krishnamurti... insisted that Truth could not be apprehended through any religion or organisation; it must always be an individual, personal discovery through complete self-knowledge."

p.177 On the topic of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky "The two main states of consciousness are to be either awale or asleep, though most people, Gurdjieff said, more or less sleepwalk their way through their waking life. He put forward two other states of being: self-consciousness and objective consciousness... [he] points out that most of us are not really in touch with ourselves, with the entirety of our inner being... life passes us by, and we are mere observers of it... [some] are confined to a script, having grown into roles imposed on [them] by upbringing and strengthened by unthinking habit."

p.179 On the topic of Subud "You must become your own self and you must develop your inner self if you want to find the way to God. You must not follow or imitate anyone else..."

p.181 "Gnosticism generally teaches the contrast between the spiritual world (good) and the material world (evil)."

I found it intriguing (from a conspiracy theorist's point of view!) that the only mention on the Illuminati was in the brief section on the Rosicrucians (p.181), stating there are "clear links" between them - and yet "Illuminati" is not in the index.

p.185 "The practical work of Builders of the Adytum, which includes study, meditation, imagery and ritual, initiates a series of subtle but important changes in your inner world, not the least of which is an expansion of your conscious awareness. Even a slight increase in this area has a remarkable effect on your mental/emotional capacities. Your intelligence increases and you become more aware of your motivations. You become more observant, which improves your memory. Your ability to anticipate future effects of present causes is enhanced, improving your discrimination in making choices. Objectivity is increased, aiding the ability to think more logically and clearly, which increases control over your environment and helps you define your goals..."

p.189 I found it interesting that the Servants of the Light encourage its members to become familiar with "any mythical knowledge [because] it will not be wasted. The ability to cross-index the legends and god forms can be of immense value in understanding of the ancient past... [they] believe sincerely, that the ancient traditions hold a timeless key which may be applied to modern life and its problems."

p.205 "In Genesis the word Elohim is translated as 'God', but in Hebrew it is actually a plural noun; according to Rael (a French journalist who used to go by the name Claude Vorilhon) it means 'those who come from the sky'."

Last year I read The Only Planet of Choice Compiled by Phyllis V. Schlemmer & Palden Jenkins - Essential Briefings from Deep Space, and in hindsight it seems clear to me that the authors are/were part of what the author of this book terms as a 'flying saucer cults'.

p.209 "The word 'Pagan' originally meant 'country dweller'. The sophisticated cosmopolitan, educated Romans applied the term to anyone (usually on the fringes of the Empire) who held to strange, primitive beliefs - the uneducated barbarians. Stripping off the pejorative overtones, 'Pagan' simply means someone who follows the old native religion of their land, rather than imported religion."

p.212 On the topic of Wicca "Dr Margaret Murray argued persuasively in The Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921) and The God of the Witches (1931) that the medieval witches didn't worship the Devil, but were followers of an old, pre-Christian Pagan religion... Murray has been criticized on many academic grounds." I read The Splendour that was Egypt by Margaret A. Murray in 2006.

p.235 "'The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once' - Samuel Smiles

The power of positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale 1952.

p.236 "A man can make millions by telling other people how they might make millions."

p.237 On the topic of Neuro-Linguistic Programming "It is about creativity, learning and change, and how you construct your reality. Put simply, the world we each live in is not the real world. It is a model of the world. A model that we each create unconsciously and live in as though it were the real world. Most human problems derive from the models in our heads rather than from the world as it really is. As you develop your practical understanding of how these inner models work, so you can learn to change unhelpful habits, thoughts, feelings and beliefs for more useful ones."

p.239 On the topic of Insight "...we have experiences that cause us to limit our expression in the world and to close down on our natural loving, spontaneity and creativity. These experiences can begin at birth and usually take place in childhood, where the patterns are laid down for later behaviour. And example of the kind of experience would be a small child being scolded for being noisy when it was simply expressing joy... So, rather than just being our natural unique selves, we develop fears and anxieties about life."

p.240 "We are all a mixture of the person we really are, the person we fear we are and the person we pretend to be, say Insight"

p.244 The Emin believe "That there is life after death and that this must be planned for and worked for individually... To be resistant to the lowering of standards... To be constructive in the keeping of good order and stability..."

p.255 "A fundamental precept of Scientology is: 'Be very, very certain you never go past a word you do not fully understand.'"

lol @ p.256 on the topic of Scientology "The knowledge revealed at that level is so explosive, it must be kept secret. Anyone coming across it without the years of careful (and very expensive) training through all the preceding levels would be seriously damaged, and might even die from the knowledge - it is apparently 'rigged to kill' them. Even Hubbard himself nearly died learning of it."

p.285 On the topic of Fundamentailsts "Sex on television is a clear sign of the evil days in which we live and must be fought against."

p.286 "...priestly celibacy has no biblical basis."

 

The Templars by Michael Haag
 - History and Myth: From Solomon's Temple to the Freemasons

 

I found this book to be an interesting read. It did a good job of painting away the Hollywood-fed impression I had of the Templars - you learn that they weren't just a single group of twelve knights - they may well have begun that way - but their order spanned centuries and developed from 'bodyguards' to the pilgrims, to leaders of vast armies defending empires and their religion. They were early bankers and built many castles (I found it fun to google these as I read).

Here are my notes:

p.22 "Long before there was a Temple [on Temple Mount], and before Jerusalem, there was the Ophel hill. Tombs dating to 3200 BC have been found [there]... To the west the land of Canaan fell away to the Mediterranean costal plain, an avenue of trade... By [the nineteenth 
century BC] the Egyptians knew of its existence."

p.23 "...in about 1200 BC, Jerusalem was in the hands of the Jebusites... the Israelites [who came from Mesopotamia], whose tribes soon encircled [them]."

p.30 "In Islam Solomon is also the paragon of wisdom...he is also accounted wise for his knowledge of the unseen... he is portrayed in the Koran as being in communion with the natural world and speaks 'the language of the birds'..." but he also converted the Queen of Sheeba from paganism, teaching "her the difference between illusion and the One Reality as expressed in the shahadah".
 

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p.35 & p.38 pictures are the same, except the first one is labelled as a "carving depicting the Ark of Covenant" and the second one a "drawing on a fragment of glass... [showing] the pillars of Jachin and Boaz... on either side of the Temple of Solomon" To me they both show the Temple of Solomon but in the second example the Ark of Covenant is within the Temple and the first one has no pillars of Jachin and Boaz:

Click for a bigger pic  Click for a bigger pic

p.39 "At first the presence of God was symbolised by the Ark, which was kept in the Temple's innermost and holiest recess, but by the time the Assyrians destroyed the First Temple in 586 BC the Ark had disappeared, therefore the Second Temple, begun in 520 BC and later vastly enlarged by Herod, was entirely empty. Instead it had become the house of a completely spiritualised deity, a God beyond all form and description, a place where God's presence was perceived and acknowledged only through the utterance of his name."

Since the birth of Christ this has changed. Now places of worship contain an idol once more - that body nailed to a cross - something physical to worship. Therefore religion has become materialistic not spiritual - God is pushed to the sidelines in favour of worshipping something we can perceive.

p.43 "...the truth about women in pagan societies was that their worth was judged almost exclusively on their success as sexual and reproductive beings, whereas Christianity, once it had been legitimised by Constantine, was liberating women in numerous ways..." I have quoted this passage in my piece Missing from our World is the Feminine.

p.56 "The holiness of Jerusalem derives from its association with the Old Testament prophets whom Mohammed also made the prophets of Islam, and from Jesus whom Mohammed also regarded as a prophet but not the son of God."

p.92 "One wo was an alien has become a native, he who was an immigrant is now a resident."

p.102 "Foul language and displays of anger were forbidden, as were reminiscences about past sexual conquests."

p.103 Killing (homicide), bad. Killing of evil (malicide), good.

"...the Templars also had the advantage and the duty to search for the deeper truth, the inner spiritual meaning of the holy places."

p.147 "The Cathars [meaning 'pure' and also known as the Manicheans] were dualists in that they believed in a good and an evil principle, the former the creator of the invisible and spiritual universe, the latter the creator of our material world."

p.150 I'm not sure what the author was alluding to here but it raised some interesting questions for me: "...among the Muslims the Sunnis and numerous heterodox groups that had evolved out of Shiism, among these the Qarmatian, Alawi, Druze and Ismaili movements, which were not only movements of belief but also initiatory secret societies with political aims tending towards the apocalyptic." Interesting for me because it makes me wonder about possibility of an underlying Masonic theme in western politics, and if this might explain the apocalyptic 'themes' to apparent times of crisis.

p.154 "[The Templars] understood that whatever religion the Assassins professed, it would be no more than an outer garment, just as Islam had been an outer garment as the Assassins saw this world as mere illusion, and despite any conversion to Christianity their inner and secret beliefs would remain."

p.160-1 The author talks about how "there are twenty-five steps or more leading down into a great pool... [this] cavern beneath the Dome of the Rock, according to some Jewish traditions [sic] was where the Ark of Covenant stood." Some conspiracy theories regarding the Ark claim it to be some sort of nuclear device or weapon, so if this were to be true, the pool in the area where it was kept may have been required to keep such a device cool! Sarcasm not necessarily intended!

p.164 "These Templars live under a strict religious rule, obeying humbly, having no private property, eating sparingly, dressing meanly, and dwelling in tents."

p.248 "The achievements of Vasco da Gama, who found the first sea route round Africa to India in 1498, of Ferdinand Magellan, who in 1519 initiated the first voyage round the world, and of Christopher Columbus, who discovered America in 1492, were all the fruits of Prince Henry the Navigator's lifelong endeavour as Grand Master of what had been the Templars."

p.258 "The most remarkable work at Solomon's Temple had been done by Hiram Abiff [whom the freemasons were particularly impressed by], the casting of the enormous basin known as the Sea of Bronze and of the huge bronze pillars known as Jachin and Boaz."

p.261 "Newton was convinced that Solomon was the greatest philosopher of all time, and he also believed that he owed his own breakthrough formulation of the law of gravity to his close reading of those portions of the Bible, 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, which give in great detail the measurements of Solomon's Temple."

p.264 Mentions the seven-branched candelabra.

p.270 "...'alternative histories' such as The Hiram Key (written by two Freemasons)"

p.293 "Though secular scholars may debate the exact position of Solomon's Temple and its plan, many Jews have no doubt that the rock formed the base of the Holy of Holies and was the spot where the Ark of the Covenant stood."

p.321 "The effigies of the Templar knights are set into the stone floor of the circular Temple Church in London... They are all portrayed in their early thirties, the age at which Jesus died and at which, it is said, the dead will rise on his return.

"The effigies are not memorials of what has long since been and gone they speak of what is yet to come. The Templars wore white robes with red crosses, and in the Book of Revelation 7:14 the martyrs of Christ, clad in white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb, are those who will be called to life at the 'first resurrection'. For a millennium they will reign with Christ, and at its end Satan will lead all the nations of the earth against ' the beloved city' (Revelation 20:9) - Jerusalem, site of the final battle."

p.336 "[The Templar's] rule warned: 'The company of woman is a dangerous thing.'"

p.337 On [Kate Mosse's] website www.mosselabyrinth.co.uk ...she speculates that the Knights Templar may have been the 'fair-headed people using the power of the covenant' who, in Ethiopian tradition, raised the massive obelisk at Axum. While many rumours and legends link the Templars to Ethiopia (usually in connection with the Ark of the Covenant), the obelisk is 1600-1700 years old. So not historical nor a coincidence."

  

  

 

Their Kingdom Come by Robert Hutchinson
 - Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei, the book the Catholic Church won't want you to read!

 

p.17 "...[Members of Opus Dei] adhere to the word of the Scriptures and of their Founder with the same unbending orthodoxy that Islamic fundamentalists reserve for
the Koran."

p.53 "obedience, celibacy and poverty (complete absence of personal possessions)."

p.80 "Opus Dei [has] a sort of divine license that, in the view of its members, permits it to function in a sphere beyond the laws of man... it was truly God's creation"
 

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p.109 I know it's a serious topic but I found this line a little amusing to read! "They had little to eat; lunch and supper (no breakfast) usually consisted of stale carob beans, mixed with 'proteins', which meant the insects that came with the beans."

p.123 "...you and I must think of souls when we see people" - Escriva, founder of Opus Dei.

p.142 "To attain its goals in the most effective manner, the Institute as such must live an occult existence..." It all sounds a bit Masonic to me.

p.157 "In post-war Rome, residence permits were no easy to obtain... [and] Opus Dei never had enough... The Father realised that Maria del Carmen's sparkling, slate-green eyes rendered her almost irresistible to young Italian police officers and made her responsible for obtaining and renewing residence permits."

p.166 "...largely thanks to Opus Dei, by the early 1970s Spain had become part of the modern European economy. [But] with wealth came corruption."

p.174 "What have you got against the Opus? Because while they work you just fuck about."

p.179 "...Opus Dei members believe strongly that God spoke to Moses... but that money speaks to the world."

p.180 "The most fruitful field for generating odorless capital is international trade. Hidden profits can be easily created through the transfer of goods and services between countries with different fiscal and legal systems."

Now page 203 mentions Alain de Villegas who "had studied engineering at Louvain. He was an ecologist, antinuclear to the core, and believed in flying saucers." An interesting chap then, so I did some googling. The first result was the "Great Oil Sniffer Hoax" on Wikipedia. And then it got more interesting for me because the opening paragraph, talking about how the hoax involved Elf, states "[t]he company spent millions of dollars to develop a new gravity wave-based oil detection system". They are my italics because I'm sure I've come across gravity wave detection in relation to searching the Great Pyramid (and others, and maybe the Sphinx) in order to locate voids and possible hidden chambers (I may be wrong on this as the only reference I can find is "an ultra-sensitive radiation detector" to detect voids.

"In physics, a gravitational wave is a fluctuation in the curvature of spacetime which propagates as a wave, traveling outward from the source." - Wikipedia.

But anyway, in this case the gravity wave detector was supposed to be used to detect oil, but apparently this isn't possible, hence the hoax, because "gravity waves are generated by moving masses, and would be completely useless for detecting a mass of oil [or hollows in the pyramids], sitting still. Moreover gravity is the weakest force, and the size of the moving masses is also important: current detection attempts rely on enormous astronomical events. You can read more about my interests in Pyramids here.

p.208 But it ends well (sarcasm intended) for Villegas, once his as his partner's fraud was uncovered "...donated $52,000 to build a Catholic workshop for Indians in the Choco region of north Colombia."

p.210 "A stiftung [*giggles at tongue*!] (foundation) is a form of corporate trust developed by the Swiss [makers of cheese and rolls!] and often used for intricate financial dealings. Anstalt [sounds like salt!] (establishment) is a Liechtenstein specialty [Ooo!], modeled on an Austrian forerunner, the Privatanstalt [Mmm more salt!]." That all sounds very tasty!

p.214 "we take money from unholy souls to finance holy works" ...or wars. That sounds like many governments to me.

p.218 "If not disturbed be the fact that an Opus Dei numerary [Professor Seamus Timoney - tinkerer of advanced weapons systems], supposedly dedicated to achieving Christian perfection, spent his spare time designing armoured personnel carriers and other military machines, then one will not be bothered by the fact that numerary Michael Adams supported the throwing of bombs by IRA terrorists."

p.231 "Felzmann believes that people who live inside Opus Dei for any period become conditioned by 'mortification of intellect' that they become emotionally dependent and totally bind themselves over to the organization." To those on the outside, such as myself, this reads like brainwashing to some extent.

I found the last few "examinations of conscience" as part of the Plan of Life on page 238 to be interesting, if one removes the God connotation and just aims to better one's self (which is what I personally try and do):

  • Do I try to live order in my work so as to make it more effective?

  • Do I do my work when I ought (today, now), or do I deceive myself by leaving it for later, which is the same as not doing it at all?

  • Do I allow myself to become dominated by gloominess, without realizing that it is an ally of the enemy?

  • Do I always work with happiness?

p.272 On the topic of poverty, Gutierrez wrote "...poverty means lack of food and housing, the inability to attend properly to health and education needs, exploitation of workers, permanent unemployment, lack of respect for human dignity, and unjust limitations placed on personal freedom in the areas of self-expression, politics and religion. Poverty is a situation that destroys people, families, and individuals... Misery and oppression lead to a cruel, inhuman death..."

p.278 "...Capitalism remained preferable to Marxism, and Liberation Theology was the invention of Lucifer..."

p.304 "...few bankers or economists foresaw the consequences of the December 1973 decision by the Islamic oil producing states to quadruple the world price of oil... later described as the most destructive economic event since the Second World War... The rise of Islam in the West can be seen to have commenced from this date."

p.415 "Novices are taught that Opus Dei is God's perfect instrument, sinless and incapable of error, and that they have been called to execute God's Plan and protect the Church."

p.423 "...sign language of the Mafia and Italian Freemasonry. Stones in a dead man's pockets is a warning to others that stolen money produces a barren return. A brick in the crotch is the reward for unfaithfulness."

p.442-3 "a parallel exists between the present situation in the Occident and the fall of the Roman Empire, whose citizens were unaware of their own decadence."

Wikipedia Niccolo Machiavelli

p.459 "All that the Pope and his men in the media want is social lawlessness resulting in economic collapse in Muslim countries"

p.463 "Damage to the Gulf's eco-system caused by 700 burning oil wells and 11 million barrels of crude floated onto the waters of the Gulf... In terms of man-made disasters, nothing quite like it had been experienced before. But the local press made no mention of Sudan's ecological time bomb."p.464 "The non-Muslims [in Saudi Arabia] are not permitted to practice their religion. There are no churches in Saudi Arabia. Churches are forbidden. In Rome, however, the Saudis financed the construction of one of the largest, most opulent mosques outside the Muslim world. No bibles are permitted in the land of the Prophet either, nor Christmas cards or rosaries, and obviously priests and clergymen are persona non grata. Saudi Arabia has never been visited by a pope. It is one of the few countries where the greatest pilgrim of the century, John Paul, has not knelt to kiss the soil. Nor would he ever be invited to do so."

p.467 "[Both Opus Dei and Islam's revival] were intent on detaching the wisdom of science from the values of a secularized society in order to promote a social system that was submissive to the one true God."

p.469 "Religious freedom comes to mean freedom to impose on all citizens the 'true religion'."

p.479 "Instead of constructively working towards an acceptable [world population] stabilization programme, the Opus Dei-inspired Vatican strategy was negatively geared to do maximum harm [as is illustrated by its stance on matters of abortion]."

p.481 In talking about European immigration and how the "traditional European population is ageing, while at the immigrants are young and proliferating... more motivated [and] spiritually disciplined and determined..." the author quotes with how "Cardinal Carles drew a parallel between the present situation in Europe and the fall of the Roman empire... the three Christian values of work, liberty and love have been debased." While I don't agree with this statement, I find the comparison with the Roman empire to be interesting nonetheless.

p.505-6 four-day meeting hosted by Dr Hassan al-Turabi's Popular Arab and Islamic Conference.

The author ends with comparisons between Opus Dei and the 'arrogant' Templars.

 

Because some of my reviews on books have increasingly included vast notes and quotations, I would like to point out that I do recognise that these books are protected by the Copyright act. I put my views online to share with other internet browsers in the hope that little snippets of information may be useful and my views interesting. I have always included links to the online retailer Amazon and encourage anyone that finds any title particularly interesting (thanks to what I have to say) to either buy a copy or borrow one from their local library.

 

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