Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts

Monday, August 7, 2017

BREAKING NEWS RELEASE New Covenant calls Christians out from fallen churches, proclaims “spiritual and political separation” from global corporatocracy

The Covenant of Free Congregational Christians
(The Covenanters) 
“Here We Stand” revives the spirit and aims of the Radical Reformation
Boston, Edinburgh – (Common Law News Service, 6/8/2017)



At special ceremonies today in Scotland and America, a new movement known as The Covenanters released a “spiritual battle cry” that summons all people to leave the Church of Rome and other “fallen churches”, and gather in separate spiritual and civil communities.

Entitled Here We Stand – Summoning God’s People in a Time of Judgement, the founding declaration of the Covenanters was issued on the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation’s birth “to halt the spiritual absorption of free Christians into the demonic church of Rome”. 
Here We Stand was read aloud at the historic sites where Scottish Covenanters and American Puritans declared a similar independence from Rome and the world during the 17th century.
According to Covenanter convener John Burke, who read the declaration outside the Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh where the 1638 Covenant was signed,
“We are the spiritual and lineal descendants of the Puritans who forged the American Republic and the Scottish Covenanters who broke free from papal and episcopal tyranny. We recognize that today, not only our faith but the survival and freedom of all people face extinction at the hands of a global, anti-Christ corporate culture spawned from Rome. We reject the genocidal one world-ism of that culture. We will obey God rather than the murderous laws of such man made tyranny, by establishing our own Covenant and society of free born men and women under God’s own common law.”
Similar ceremonies were held by other groups of Covenanters in Boston and at sites in Ireland, Canada and England. The Covenanters will be launching public actions, reclamations and witnesses commencing in September.

A copy of Here We Stand you can download at the following link https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pO45CTWPzWMIIzb3O2HVyW5YTI6EuTfLbp1L0lu-EHM/edit?usp=sharing. It will be issued in hard copy versions this coming week through amazon.com

For more information write to congregationalcovenant@gmail.com, see www.itccs.org and listen to Radio Free Kanata on Sundays at 6 pm eastern time on www.bbsradio.com/radiofreekanata .

Monday, July 31, 2017

Table Talk. A Series of Reflections by Kevin Annett based on Covenanter Principles




Table Talk No. 1

In the Beginning is Division or Why doesn't anyone like me anymore?

Ezekiel 21:1-5, 24-27, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Gospel: Luke 12: 49-53


When I was fourteen, I belonged to a gang of hooligans, by Canadian standards at least. The six of us pubescent boys used to do the usual Friday night mayhem in our stuffy west side Vancouver neighbourhood: overturning garbage cans, yelling at passing cars and banging on unpopular teachers' doors at midnight and taking off in laughter before they could appear. In our unbridled defiance, we six malcontents were inseparable, and it seemed at the time, bosom buddies.

That is until I expressed a political opinion.

It was the era of Vietnam and Richard Nixon, and the Big Dick had just ramped up another round of saturation bombing on the nation of peasants who would soon defeat him. And so one night our mini-mob was hanging out in somebody's basement when the radio announced another B 52 strike on the suburbs of Hanoi. Disgusted, I loudly remarked,

"Somebody should whack that jerk, Nixon! He's a mass murderer!"

I was dumbfounded by the reaction of my fellow hoodlums, who I expected would agree with me. Instead, the pack of them turned and regarded me like I was a foreign intruder. And despite their erstwhile familiarity with dear Old Kev they all began to edge away from me uncomfortably. Our separation grew even though nothing was ever said. And later that same week my gang ditched me for good.

It's odd how over the subsequent years I kept encountering that same previously-convivial band of brothers, and with the same consequence as the first time: the moment I spoke from my own particularity, the pleasant faces and open doors would all suddenly close. The jellified mass of people seems allergic to difference or division.

Maybe that's why so many of the same people get so offended by Jesus, who seemed to go out of his way to cause upset. And by Jesus, I don't mean the mythic cult saviour who we are told will fix all our ailments with the right prayers and payments.

I refer instead to the unruly vagabond whose real nature pops up now and then even in the pages of scripture: the die-hard rebel who was out to overturn the world, and who announced one day to his own startled friends, "I have come not to bring peace to the earth but a sword. I have come to set the world on fire and turn a father against his son. Where once there were five in one house there shall be three against two."

Wow! Hardly a "Prince of Peace", and how very unlike your average moribund clergy person who drops the guy's name every Sunday without ever knowing him.

The fascinating thing about those words from Jesus, that comes from the twelfth chapter of Luke's gospel, is how literally violent they are. Jesus' word for "sword" is indeed the Greek word "gladius", which was the lethal hand sword used by Roman infantrymen to thrust into and disembowel an enemy. The same word is used by Paul in his epistles to describe the word "truth": like a blade that cuts apart and separates the right from the wrong. Both Jesus and Paul were being offensive for they were indeed on the offensive against institutionalized evil.

Anyone who ever attempts anything new employs such a weapon. By their stand the innovator is forcing everyone to make a choice, creating a ripple of disruption and decision that is never welcomed by the lazy crowd. Such innovators are usually turned upon by the very people who a moment before were their bosom friends, lovers, even family.

We've all experienced this. We've all gone through rejection, brutality and smears simply for saying what we think and being who we are. But that crucifixion is really nothing less than a birth process: a ripping open of the old arrangements to bring something better and truer into an old, corrupt world.

We read that the universe itself began with a cataclysmic separation, a division of light from darkness. The birth of any baby is the same violent act of separation; life is impossible without it. Such change and conflict are indeed the only constants in our cosmos and in ourselves, and they certainly characterize any act of beauty, courage or integrity. "Come out from among them and be separate" admonishes Paul of Tarsus to the little group of early Jesus-followers in Asia Minor. "For what has the light in common with the darkness?"
Paul was a realist. He knew that love and justice were only empty words until the moment they were put into practice in a way that cleaved apart the new from the old. Or as the anti-slavery leader John Brown declared when he went beyond verbally condemning human bondage and took up arms to defeat it, "Without a final break from the past there can be no future. Without the spilling of the blood of the slave master the slave will never be free."

Well, the American Civil war vindicated John Brown and proved him right. The stronger the chains of oppression, the mightier must be the blow that breaks them. Whoever wants freedom without the cost required for it is an idle dreamer. But those who find themselves unable to live under those chains any longer must contend with the hatred and rejection of everyone they once knew and loved. And whoever dares to step out from under those chains and tries to shatter their hold over others will eventually be granted a one-way ticket to Calvary. For as Jesus forewarned, "If it happened to me, it will happen to anyone who follows me."

So what is so bad about division and conflict? Why do people fear it so? Is it the threat of violence that it brings, or of the disruption to the routines that so run our lives and that we equate with security? Or is the multitude simply cowardly?

Maybe at a deeper level, we all fear the raised hand of the parent who we might offend or the other guardians of public order who drum into our minds the unchanging creed that stability, law and order and unanimity is what God and civilization require. In fact, the biggest chain is the one wrapped around our own minds by a society that requires our orderly cooperation in our own slavery so that we can be milked dry by the few who rule us.

As a child sensitive to all the suffering and wrong in the world, I always liked hearing stories of the Bible because they were filled with glorious battles and conflict and upsets. The idea that Jesus was ever a namby pamby pacifist never made sense to me. For I always related at a visceral level to Jesus because he never flinched from doing what had to be done to uphold the honour and truth of God, and the dignity of the lowest of people – even if that meant bringing down the entire world on his own head.

Jesus was loved at a distance. He was not the kind of man that people liked for very long, for to a man and woman, everyone abandoned him when the boot came down. But that was his triumph, not his defeat, and it's why we still remember him. And the same victory is ours when he does as he did.

When I was fourteen, I mourned losing my friends in our little gang and our joyous Friday night camaraderie-together. But the death of that life was the gateway to something better: the establishment of my own identity and purpose in a jellified world that tries to soak up the best in us. So stand fast, my fellow lights. Come out from the rest and be separate from them. Take up the sword and cut down all that is wrong. You have a world to win back.

Table Talk No. 2

What is this Thing called The Jubilee? Or, Doing More than Proclaiming

Leviticus 25:1-5, 23-24, 35-43 , Revelation 21:1-4 , Gospel: Luke 4:14-21

I was four years old when I first helped myself to the bread out of the baker's truck. My mother, always hawk-eyed when it came to yours truly, spotted my deed and confronted me as I calmly sat munching my prize on the sidewalk near our home.

"I was hungwee" I replied when Mom asked me why I'd taken the bread. I didn't understand why something so obviously needed an explanation. Nor did I savvy her attempt to explain the concept of money to me.

My mother perhaps blamed this early formative moment for my later predilection to give away anything in our house that wasn't nailed down to people who needed them more than we did. Cutlery, food, toys, even Mom's favourite fondue set ended up in the hands of the local needy folks. Mom started locking up everything. And just imagine: back then I hadn't even started reading the Bible.

My egalitarian streak only intensified when I had scripture revealed to me in Sunday school. There it was, in black and white: God gave creation to all of us. No mention of cash or debt consolidation loans in Eden. And even better, not much later in the Biblical timeline, the wandering Chosen Ones were told by Jehovah that every fifty years they were to pull a Kevin Annett and give away what they had to the needy. Land was to be returned to their original owners, all debts cancelled and all the prisoners set free.

God called it the Jubilee Year.

Well, like all good ideas it was never put into practice. Instead, the tribal Hebrews demanded a King for themselves and war chariots and other weapons of mass destruction to smash those no good Canaanites into dust.

And guess what? For some reason, the new big shot kingly rulers conveniently forgot about the egalitarian Jubilee Laws given to them by the even Bigger Guy. Gee, now I wonder why?

But don't despair, O struggling masses. A little while later in a one camel dump called Nazareth along came a local yokel named Yeshua ben Yusuf who had the cheekiness to stand up uninvited in the local Synagogue one morning. Yeshua announced that sorry folks, but I'm here to bring in the Jubilee. Not in fifty years, but now. Right here.

So say farewell to debts and prisons and land grabs and rich and poor, Jesus announced. That's all gone. We're living under a new regime now that's called the Kingdom of Heaven; or actually, in his Aramaic tongue, "the realm of eternity".

And with that, according to the Bible, his neighbours tried to lynch him. But that had to wait a few more years to finally succeed. Meanwhile, Yeshua aka Jesus went about the land trying to show folks the Jubilee that was suddenly present in the world. And when he went further and tried getting rid of the biggest barrier to God's revolution – the money-soaked and militarized Temple in Jerusalem – well, you know what happened next – and ever since then, whenever other poor people have tried reclaiming the world for themselves.

Thinking back on my young self-eating freely and unafraid from the earth's bounty and sharing what I had with others, I am struck by how inborn is the Jubilee spirit within all of us. We are naturally inclined to use the abundance that is given to us by God and share what there is according to what others need. The world was made that way – placed in common without barriers - and society would operate the same way if it reflected the mind of God. But since it doesn't, and is divided and torn by the Satanic attributes of property, greed and class divisions, the Jubilee Reminder steps forward to get us all back on track.

Once upon a time, humanity moved according to the earth's rhythms. We understood innately that our society like nature has to rest and lie fallow every few years if it is to replenish. Inequality and oppression have to step back and allow natural justice to take hold again. The Jubilee laws are there to wipe the slate clean so that humanity can recover itself. But we have fallen from that awareness, and nothing in our society, it seems, can be overturned or renewed anymore. And so a blast of change must first clear away all the old barriers.

That is indeed the very meaning of the word "Jubilee": it comes from the Hebrew term "Yobel", which means "a trumpet blast" – the kind that announces the dawn of a new age. In the Old Testament book of Leviticus the people are instructed to "hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty in the land to all the inhabitants, it shall be a Jubilee unto you" (Lev. 25:10) This very saying is inscribed on the American Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and serves as the basis of a true Republic under God: the fact that heaven ordains and trumpets justice and equality for all people every fifty years.

Thomas Jefferson went further than this when he declared that to survive, America needed a revolution every twenty-five years, in each new generation of its citizens. The Republic had to renew itself constantly. The divine plan is for all people to return to a level and equal footing with one another routinely. But of course every ruling elite desires and works for the opposite, and considers God's equality "subversive".

Nevertheless, the truth is proclaimed, but it must move from thin words to thick action if it is to be real. If Jesus' presence among us means anything it is to embody the Jubilee Laws through a new visible arrangement: a new covenant that Christianity has wrongly reduced to a religious ritual rather than elevate to a social reality.

Jesus literally did set the captives free, return land to landless peasants and cancel the debts of those who joined his movement. Like any guerrilla leader, he established a liberated zone and thereby overturned the status quo. That's why he was judicially murdered, and not because he declared himself to be a divine being. Crucifixion was reserved for political insurrectionists, not religious heretics.

Today, we find the same drama play itself out whenever we try to make Christ's way a reality in our world. The Jubilee vision is a keg of dynamite being deliberately contained by religion. But I know from having tried to make it a working reality that when we unleash that dynamite and actually sit the poor alongside the rich and abolish the differences between them, the full weight of oppression descends on us just like it did on Jesus.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, said Thomas Paine. But in the Jubilee vision we are assured that injustice is a human creation, not a divine one; and that human society, like nature, must recover its vitality and equality if it is to reflect the mind of heaven and endure. That was the essence of Jesus' life and mission.

The Jubilee Laws are as necessary, as revolutionary, and as much of a threat to the status quo today as they were 2000 years ago: especially to bankers, Bishops and heads of state. And so the vision and the purpose remains and begins with something as simple as sharing out the world's bread with those who have none. For that is our challenge, today and tomorrow: Will we do more than proclaiming liberty, but enact it among ourselves as the equal and free born men and women that we are?

Table Talk No. 3

Those who know, do; those who don't, teach: Living the Higher Law

Jeremiah 31:31-34, John 15:12-19

It was an unexpected revelation like all of them are, and it happened in a dirt-covered shack on the Mexican-Guatemalan border. For there, among a tribe of starving families and for the only time in my life, I met a people who lived in the heart and mind of God.

The fact that they were Mayan Indians on the run from napalm and death squads did not account for the special light that shone from them. Whatever it is that allows a people to retain their own soul and capacity to do right must have predated their sufferings. Their power felt very old. And with the sagacity of an ancient forest, that strength spoke to me in a twofold way: in a meal and a speech by one of the Mayan elders.

But first, we were fed, as is their custom, and given the best food in their destitute refugee camp: tortillas, beans and a small pile of scrambled eggs from the few chickens they still had left. We, the rich North Americanos, were to take the food that should have gone to the sickly children who peered in at us with guileless and curious eyes. A hundred of these children were dying every month from starvation and dysentery, but we were given the best food in the camp, that should have gone to them. We saw ourselves for who we were, and it shattered us. And thus were our lives overturned in an instant, laying us bare for what came next.

He was a thin and ageing man, a former peasant who served as a temporary leader of the 2,500 people in the camp. He never said his name, which seemed unimportant, nor did he have a word in his Quiche Indian language for "leader" or "spokesman", for they had no social hierarchy. Instead, they had only each other.

"Our best people are always the poorest ones among us because they spend their days serving others. No elder is above the people. The ones who carry a title and who think only of themselves have all gone away. We know that if we do not serve each other until our last breath we will have no future as a people."

One of my pale colleagues, a young seminarian who had turned up her nose at the sacred meal we had been offered, asked the man whether he was afraid of another attack by the Guatemalan army across the river. The question seemed to confuse him but through the translator, he finally answered,
"The soldiers cannot harm us because they can only hurt our bodies. Our enemy is Zibal-ba, the creator and destroyer who seeks out human hearts to eat. He tests each one of us to see who can be eaten and who stands in the presence of Hunab Ku, the Only Source, whose heart is our heart and who cannot be destroyed."

My colleague didn't seem satisfied, and she went away proverbially empty. But as for me, basking in the pure and undivided devotion of a poor man to his people and his gods, it felt like I had finally come home.

"For see, the days are coming when I will make a new law with my people. I will put my law into their hearts so that each of them will know me inwardly. And they will no longer teach one another, saying Know the Lord God; for they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. And they will be my own people and I will be their one God."

The prophet Jeremiah who passed on this message might have been sitting with us that day in the Nueva Esperanza refugee camp, inscribing the words of God spoken from the mouth of a poor Quiche peasant. For the same news was present: the divine truth is made flesh now and needs no mediator or interpreter. It has expressed itself in these people, who do not teach or learn God's law, for they are that law. They are the Kingdom of Heaven, spread out on the earth as those like Jesus, serving with an absolute devotion to each other.

The Quiche Mayans were indeed not simply followers but intimate friends of God. As Jesus himself put it to his inner circle,

"My only command is that you love each other, for greater love has no one than to give himself for his friends. And I call you my friends now for you are servants no longer. For a servant does not know his master, but as my friends, you know all that I have been given by my father. For you are chosen to go out in the world and bring forth much fruit."

I returned to Canada a week after the Mayan man spoke, and it felt like I had left my home to return to the land of the dead and the dying. For nowhere in the thirty years since my encounter with the Quiche have I met another genuine people in God, a whole community stripped of everything and yet bursting with love and service. I have not met people who would willingly die for each other, except among the Quiche. For the pale ghost people whom I have tried to serve with some of the Quiche's own spirit are consumed with words and teachings and instructions to others that come from nothing and return to nothing.

If there is one continual theme in the Bible it is that of the holy remnant: the ones who have been set apart to reflect God's law and purpose in the midst of a fallen human social order. Indeed, Christ and his few followers were one such remnant. According to Jesus' own words, he came not to redeem all of humanity – as the church teaches – but rather to call out and separate the chosen remnant from a condemned mankind. The revolutionary Biblical act has always been to refine that remnant and allow it to be a counter-pole away from the Satanic world spirit and its principalities and powers.

Whenever we encounter such a remnant in the world, few of us are capable of recognizing them for who they are, unless we are a part of that same fragment of heaven, however unconsciously. Some hidden seed in our true heart then responds, knowing itself to be an orphan in the world, and seeking its home in the heart and mind of God, as a salmon seeks its spawning ground.

Indeed, our estrangement from the world is the first spiritual step towards entering a new Kingdom of Heaven - or in Jesus' words in Aramaic, "the realm of eternity".

I had such an encounter thirty years ago in a desolate corner of the world, among a people called out from the world's corruption. Something of the Quiche has always remained in me, prompting my own good seed to grow and pull me increasingly out of this world and its unchanging and irredeemable death and corruption.

The Bible calls such a step the new Covenant, whose law and authority supersedes all human laws, governments and religions. The question for those of us who have had our inner eyes opened to this Covenant is whether we shall live under its new jurisdiction or languish as prisoners under human law. Our answer is a deeply spiritual and personal one, but it is also just as deeply political. And it can only be demonstrated in practice, as my Quiche friends showed me one day in April of 1987, at the end of one world and the beginning of another.

Table Talk No. 4

Re-Possessed and Unimpressed: Why can't we defeat Evil?

Matthew 12:43-45

I nicknamed him Dirty Harry. About once a month the guy would show up at my church office door after a Sunday service, and with the same refrain implore me for help.

"I've fallen again" he'd stammer, avoiding my eyes. "I went back to the hookers and the body rub parlours. I need another cleansing."

I humoured the poor guy for awhile like I used to do for my youngest daughter Elinor whenever her hyperactive infant imagination sensed various monsters in her bedroom closet. "Go on, get out of there you bad monsters!"I'd command the entities, and little Elinor would feel better. Worse the luck, the same couldn't be achieved for Dirty Harry. None of my verbal entreaties seemed to work for him. He laboured with an existential quandary that no-one could solve for him: namely, the apparent invincibility of evil in his life.

Now I won't insult your intelligence or Harry's by psychoanalysing his particular condition, or his all-too-human habit of returning like clockwork to consume his own vomit. Who of us, after all, hasn't been there? What interests me isn't Harry's habitual behaviour but the seemingly unbreakable hold that corruption and destruction had over him. In his words, "It's like something's feeding off my own shame and disgust at myself".

That "something" is perhaps more visible in its bigger manifestation, in whole nations and systems of power. Mankind's merciless and ruthless war against itself has carried on over our millennia of "civilization", undeterred by social reforms, legal restraints or any so-called moral advancement. In the words of Jesus' parable, as soon as one evil spirit is driven out of us, seven more return to take its place.

There are too many examples of this from history to enumerate. As individuals and a group, human beings seem to be a natural incubating medium for violence, oppression and strife, even though we the possessed tend to deny our own condition. But the proof is no further away than a simple body count, and what you see in the mirror if you genuinely look.

It took me a long time to see past the images. After decades of resisting war, genocide, institutionalized violence and crime, and finding that none of it was ever altered one bit, it became obvious to me that human history is a single stuck note, playing itself over and over. Put another way, we are like a recurring, neurotic thought in a single, deranged mind.

Naturally, since a cell in diseased body can't act on its own, the individual neurons in a group mind aren't capable of splitting from the arrangement and thinking on their own, let alone imagining anything outside the neurosis. And yet, strangely, some of us seem to be capable of cogitating outside that mind, now and then, even when what we envision on our own doesn't alter the facts of death and destruction around us. In that way, we are just like Jesus.

If you believe the Bible, that odd fellow from Nazareth always acted first and spoke second. He expelled evil spirits from people and then explained why, even though nobody ever really understood him, starting with his closest friends. And Jesus found that none of his efforts really made that much difference. The world carried on just as corrupt and violent as before, and eventually reached out and squashed him when he struck too close to its power.

Fortunately, like the best of us, Jesus left behind him a different way of thinking. He stood outside the group mind and upset its neurosis by generating a different energy in the world. And within that new energy people found that they could actually be different. They may not have overcome the world's evil but within their own "Christ circles" they found that they could negate its power over them, for a time.

But even that brief little counter-cultural current was eventually squashed and absorbed by something called Christianity and its Romanized "church" that came to embody all of the world's corruption, violence and lies.

In short, one evil spirit was driven out, only to be replaced by seven new ones.

So what sense are we to make of this eternal merry-go-round? Is there any hope for us? No, says Jesus; not for this generation. But eventually, it will be set right, by some power other than ourselves. For now, Jesus advises, hold on to your own light and don't be corrupted by the world, and do the right thing all the time.

Now that attitude smells a lot like the Greek philosophers known as the Cynics, who said that living virtuously was the best that anyone can aspire to in a world irredeemably corrupt and corrupting. And Jesus, who lived in an area dominated by Greek culture and language, may easily have been influenced by the Cynics. After all, the group mind called human history keeps voicing the same ideas garbed in different words. And its continual refrain, when it comes to dealing with the world's evil, is that it won't be the well-adjusted individual brain cells that will overcome such darkness, but some other force that comes from within and without a handful of us.

Lazy thinkers like to wrap that other force in ambiguity by calling it God. But that power is actually closer to us than we realize, once we start thinking consciously outside the group mind and our habitual patterns of thought. Jesus recognized that when he said that "The Kingdom of Heaven ("realm of eternity") is within you"; "within", in the Greek translation, meaning also "among" and "around". In short, it's everywhere.

So at the end of the day, Dirty Harry – like anyone seeking truth through religion – was looking in all the wrong places for deliverance from his own shadow. The way out is as close to him as the shadow itself, in the simple recognition that evil isn't our enemy, but our teacher, once we discover and stand in that "realm of eternity" that is at our true centre.

From that position, all things are possible for us, and that power spreads out from us like a constantly expanding ripple of energy.

We won't defeat evil, but we may learn to ignore it!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Puppet native politicians shut down play on Vancouver Island genocide. Producers vow to continue

Joan Morris, survivor of sterilisations and medical experiments at the United
Church’s Nanaimo Indian Hospital, 2012

Duncan, British Columbia

The first attempt to stage a play about medical experimentation on aboriginal children by Canadian church and state has been derailed by two state-funded native politicians with a long history of complicity in genocide.

This past week, “Chiefs” William Seymour and Joe Thorne of the Cowichan Tribal Council instructed local aboriginal people not to participate in or attend casting sessions for the play “Doppelganger” after receiving copies of the script. Thorne also began a smear and disinformation campaign against the play and its author, Kevin Annett, that made many of the actors drop away from production. “Doppelganger” was scheduled to play at the Duncan Showroom from September 22-25, 2017.

Both Seymour and Thorne come from families that colluded with the very experiments, tortures and murder of native children depicted in “Doppelganger”. During the 1940′s and 1950′s, Chief Fred Thorne, Joe Thorne’s father, was paid by the Canadian government to track down and return runaway children to the infamous Kuper Island Catholic residential school where many of them died. The Seymours also transported children from their own villages to Kuper Island and helped destroy indigenous elders and customs among t heir tribe in return for being appointed leaders of the state-run Cowichan Tribal Council.

“History has repeated itself” remarked Doppelganger author Kevin Annett today.

“Once again the colluding aboriginal leaders have suppressed the truth of crimes against their own people. That’s some of what my play reveals as it examines the government mind control experiments at the Nanaimo Indian Hospital and the actions of the protagonist, a United Church doctor named Oliver Pierpoint who is on trial for atrocities against children. Pierpoint is actually an aboriginal who was a victim at the hospital and took on the identity of his torturers, just like Willie Seymour and Joe Thorne have done.”

Neither Annett nor his co-producers are discouraged by this setback. They are already arranging new readings of “Doppelganger” among actors in Vancouver and Toronto, and plan to stage the play in New York and European cities during the fall and spring.

“We owe this to the thousands of children who never returned from secret experimentation centers across Canada” remarks Annett.
To participate in the production of “Doppelganger” contact the producers at thecommonland@gmail.com and listen this Sunday to Radio Free Kanata at 3 pm Pacific on www.bbsradio.com/radiofreekanata. And see this background link:http://kevinannett.com/2012/11/15/whats-buried-next-door-to-vancouver-island-university/

Friday, June 16, 2017

People Who I Plan to Take Down, thanks to Justin Trudeau: Another Ringside Report from the Great White North

by Kevin "The Champ" Annett





When I learned the other day that it's no longer a crime in Canada to publicly criticise Christianity or to hold a duel, my first assumption was that now the atheists and the church goers will finally get to fight it out with pistols at twenty yards. Why else would a Parliament as sober as Canada's enact such an eclectic mix of legal reforms: of dispensing with the medieval crime of Blasphemous Libel while allowing again the medieval practice of Trial by Combat?
But then suddenly I recognised the hand of divine providence in this typically mixed-up Canadian law: namely, that I'd finally get to legally execute the United Church Moderator.
Now hear me out: I have nothing personally against Jordan Cantwell, the present Moderator. I don't even know the guy, besides the fact that he was a shoe-in to the position thanks to the male gender of those he sleeps with. But if we're ever going to put such a messed-up institution and mindset out of its misery, hell, shouldn't we start at the top? And it's not like I don't have just cause.
So I'll be the first to admit that I've been practising my Muhammad Ali impersonations in front of the mirror in recent days since it's just me now in the ring against Jordan Cantwell: armed and dangerous, squaring off against each other at fifty paces.
Because face it, people! The guy is nothin', and he's just plain ugly. Man, he's so ugly the sweat drips backwards from his face so it doesn't have to go there. I'm gonna wup his ass even without any bullets. Man, when I get through with Jordy he ain't gonna be able to Moderate a phone booth! I've wupped Popes! Some mealy-mouthed nobody from the flatlands ain't nuthin' compared to the Champ!
Mind you, I doubt that the little bastard will accept my challenge. When it comes to United Church bureaucrats, shit boy! I can carve a better human out of a banana! So in the name of justice for all those mangled little kids, I ain't gonna confine my challenge to some watery know-nuthin' like Jordan Cantwell, who shits himself when he hears the words "Kevin Annett". I'm out for bigger game! I'm on the prowl for any church big shot who'll have it out with me, 'cause man, they got nuthin' now! Those church boys can't put me away anymore for calling them out on their crap! The law's on my side now! Blaspheme my ass, dick weeds!
I'm talking to you, Fred Hiltz! That's right, you muthafucka! Don't try hiding behind that funny hat and all-white-boy Anglican smirk! I know what you done. Maybe you can wallop a mess of little brown kids and shove 'em in the ground but you dealin' with the Champ now! And I know why they call you the Primate, you little shit! 'Cause you ain't nuthin' but a big stupid ape in a fancy dress! So choose your weapon, muthafucka! And meet me at high noon some Sunday outside your fancy Toronto temple! I'll be waitin'! And let's not forget the Papists.
Shit, I already took down their champ, so they is nuthin'. They're too busy shreddin' documents and hidin' all their kiddy fuckas to put up any fight! Hell, I won't even need to draw a bead and shoot on them jokers. They is already skedaddlin' with all their loot for the Cayman Islands and Abu Dabhi, man! The papacy's as big a fake as Sonny Liston was when I dropped him in five!
So what's the Champ to do? I hear voices from ringside yellin', "Give 'em the knockout blow, Champ! Land 'em one right in their gut and put 'em down for the count!" I got the bead on them, that's the truth. But takin' them down ain't even fun now 'cause they're not even puttin' up a fight anymore. They ain't even buryin' their own dead but are hightailin' it out of sight before you all wake up and deal with 'em yourselves. Just like George Forman in our Jungle Rumble, man, those churches can run but they can't hide! They're the real blasphemy, children, and they knows it!
Maybe the government knows it, too, which is why they is makin' it easier for us to challenge them fake churches to a standoff now that they don't have Big Brother holdin' their coat for 'em while they take down innocent little kids. All of them is scared now, people, so why the hell are we still so scared of them? Like my good buddy Dalton Trumbo wrote when they were tryin' to take him out for good, during his own blacklisting years:
“Put the guns into our hands and we will use them. Give us the slogans and we will turn them into reality. Sing the battle hymns and we will take them up where you left off. Not one, not ten, not ten thousand, not a million, not a hundred millions but a billion of us, all the people of the world, we will have the slogans and we will have the hymns and we will have the guns and we will use them and we will live. Make no mistake of it we will live this time. We will be alive and we will walk and eat and sing and laugh and love and bear our children in tranquility and security, in decency and in peace. You plan the wars but we will aim the guns, and this time we will know which way to aim them."

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Forgiveness Fallacy: Standing by our Painful Truth





by Kevin D. Annett

Whenever my abusive boyfriend wanted to make up with me, he’d tell me he was sorry for beating me up, and naturally, I’d forgive him. That was just a green light for him to start beating me up all over again. - Carol M., Vancouver, February 2010
By refusing to forgive, I give up my illusions. - Alice Miller, Breaking Down the Wall of Silence
While Harry Wilson lived he was homeless, starving, plagued by alcoholism and drug addiction, and regularly beaten and robbed on Vancouver’s meanest streets. Yet neither that suffering nor his childhood rape and torture by a clergyman with an electric cattle prod, caused him to collapse, as had most of his fellow alumni from the death camps called Indian Residential Schools. Most of these others never found their voice, but Harry did: and when he spoke of his life, he often ended by saying the same thing:
“I’ll never forgive those bastards for what they did to me.”
Harry Wilson proved to me something I have observed over many years as a street counsellor and practising clergyman: that the people who endure torture with a semblance of self-respect are those who have never forgiven what was done to them, especially as a child. I’ve recently begun to ask counsellors and other “helping” professionals why they believe that a traumatised man or woman must forgive their abuser if they are to become well. I have yet to receive a clear or logical answer. Rather, it is simply a self-evident and unquestioned assumption of these “experts” that forgiveness is indispensable to recovery from any form of torture or abuse. In reality, when we look beneath this surface conjecture, we find that the exact opposite is true: namely, that the most basic requirement of commencing recovery from any pain or trauma is to never surrender the capacity to remember and name the wrong and the wrongdoer, but rather to be able to freely speak about it and express our natural outrage at what has happened to us. And yet precisely such a surrender and self-silencing is required for survivors to undertake the gesture of “forgiving”, which in practice means to inwardly resign oneself to having been tortured at the hands of another who has invariably escaped justice or accountability for his crime.
According to the dominant religious, medical and psychological paradigm in our culture, “forgiving” a tormenter is inexplicably framed as a medicinal stage towards recovery and yet must involve a unilateral, non-reciprocal act on the part of the victim that does not require the victimizer to change. “Forgiveness” is seen as a simple end in itself that will somehow magically bring about “healing”, rather than in reality being the start of a long, painful process of change that prevents the abuse from re-occurring. The fact that, under this dominant model, the abuse can continue, and is actually encouraged to continue, doesn’t seem to count for as much as the need for supplication and self-abasement by the one who has been abused. In short, modern “therapists” seem intent on subjecting victims of trauma to precisely what is needed to sustain them in a state of unalleviated humiliation and non-recovery. Anger and the refusal to let go of our violation is seen by such therapists as a hindrance to “moving on” as if not accommodating to one’s wronged condition is the source of one’s problem. “Forgive and forget, and you will be better” is the unchallengeable secular creed of counselling psychology. The onus, in other words, is placed upon the victim, and not the victimizer, to change.
Why is this?
It is alarming to the extent that so-called “helping” professionals base their methods not upon provable truths but on this partisan bias towards the abuser. To do so is to operate from an underlying and very destructive assumption that there is something wrong and unhealthy about challenging or confronting one’s abusers. In this approach, there seems to be endless room for “reconciliation” and “forgiveness” by the victim, but just so much time and space allowed for the naming of the full and terrible truth: as if the sheep cannot be “reconciled” with the wolf except by agreeing to be eaten over and over again. More people than I care to remember have told me how their counsellors have told them that healing is only possible by moving beyond their past, “having closure”, and learning to live with the injustices and betrayals done to them. Remarkably, a victim of violence is thereby being asked to repress the memory of the crime and disassociate their life from its consequences: precisely what one should not do if one is to come to grips with a traumatic experience, and not be legally and morally complicit in aiding the concealment of a crime. Torture and rape victims are told over and over by modern “therapy” that they are somehow damaged or belittling themselves by not forgiving and forgetting those who harmed them. And so “closure” means, in practice, closing off forever one’s memories, legitimate anger, and the capacity to secure justice and personal vindication.It is pretty clear whose interests such a self-destructive approach actually serves. In the case of aboriginal survivors of Christian genocide, such a charade of “healing” is an obvious political manoeuvre by the government and church-paid therapists to sideline and prevent lawsuits and protests by the survivors. But the argument is the same, whether for Aboriginal or non-native refugees from childhood rape and torture: the abuser is not responsible for changing, and must ultimately be appeased and placated by being forgiven by his victims. The fact that this attitude is so universal, and that the capacity to “forgive” their torturers is held up as some sort of qualifying morality test for victims, suggests that it arises from something more intrinsic and basic in our culture. I suggest that this something is the collective, fearful memory of parental retaliation: a fear that gives rise to our entire structure of personal and societal morality in European Christian culture which is based on a dominator, “winner and loser” model of social relationships. In a nutshell, Christian morality states that goodness consists of respecting and obeying constituted authority and one’s elders, especially the ultimate parental authority: God. By definition, one cannot be wronged or abused by those in such authority because they are superior to us, and thus, are incapable of being in error in relation to us or guilty of a crime. Or in the words of medieval inquisitors, "Holy Mother Church is never in error; only the heretic is."
This explains, in part, why no prominent politician, church leader or another father-figure ever goes to jail or is even held accountable for the crimes and murders committed by their institution, when the law clearly requires that they be. For the terrorising of the innocent by the mighty is in practice not only legitimate but a functionally necessary part of any hierarchical social order. The template of such elite-worshiping morality, of course, is the Biblical message that a “rebellious” humanity and all of the creation is being punished by an all-wise father-figure “God” because his instructions were disobeyed by our original ancestors, Adam and Eve. Yet the same punishing deity offers us a way back into his graces if we will return to our original unthinking state of obedience through our blind faith in his son Jesus Christ – and in those who claim to “represent” him. If we reject this one-time offer, however, we are damned for eternity as amoral and evil people.
In this Christian paradigm, we are all inherently lost and sick souls, but we can become “moral” and well again through obedience to those powerful and dominating figures who know better than we do, whether they are familial, religious or political leaders. In short, morality and well-being mean unflagging obedience and conformity to the very power that harms and endangers us. To kiss the hand that strikes you makes no sense, at the best of times. But the absolute mandate to do precisely that pervades all of our clinical and therapeutic thinking and social practice, however subtly it is disguised or elaborately it is rationalised. And so it is hardly surprising that the pressure to conform to the unchallengeable interests of authority figures conditions virtually every aspect of our lives, from religion to political activism to social and family relationships.
By this scheme, humanity is divided into the dominators and the subjugated. In our western religious-philosophical tradition, one cannot envision anything – and in fact, nothing is allowed to operate in any substantial way – outside the bipolar dynamic between the Dominator (abuser-winner) and the accommodated (the abused-loser) personalities.Even for those unfamiliar with this prevailing paradigm of Euro-Christian culture, it remains their firm belief that they must personally forgive a wrong done to us if they are to avoid a crippling resentment and thirst for revenge. This attitude is especially prevalent in not only Christian circles but in allegedly “secular” treatment centres, where it’s routinely espoused that “I must forgive not for the sake of another, but for my own sake.” And after all, Jesus himself explicitly seems to condone an absolute forgiving of all those who harm us.
In reality, the word “forgiveness” in the New Testament, the Greek word aphiemi, is not an absolute moral term but is akin to the Biblical Hebrew word for “repentance”, shuba, which means to turn around and walk in a completely different direction. Jesus was saying, simply, to not be like the person who has harmed us, but instead to be different. This is a radically dissimilar thing than saying be reconciled with one who has harmed you. Indeed, it actually means the opposite: to leave and be separated from such a person.
Further, even on the level of the moralistic claim that forgiving those who trespass against us bestows a sort of psychic and personal cleansing, the empirical evidence does not bear this out. To try to forgive one’s abuser is to deny our most basic common sense and our capacity to freely express our feelings and defend ourselves from further attacks. Unilateral “forgiveness” is not only unhealthy and suicidal but fosters the illusion that a wrong is somehow wiped clean by killing in oneself the desire to protect our dignity and seek restitution for our pain. Not only is this not true, but it requires that the victim feels ashamed of harbouring a natural and just desire for accountability.

That is, it’s clear that when we forgive one who has abused and wronged us, we must not only repress our natural feelings but deny what we know is true for the sake of a supposed settlement with an abuser who usually shows little or no remorse for his action. In practice, such a resolution is rarely achieved, and yet the desperate “forgiver” is not permitted to recognise this but is invariably blamed for not finding a settlement with his adversary. For only the abused, and not the abuser, must change. As a result of such masochistic assumptions, the victim becomes entrenched in an even deeper denial about his own condition, like any battered child who keeps proclaiming, “I’ve told my abusive father I love him! Why does he keep beating me?” In this manner, the cycle of abuse and torture continues.
To accept on blind faith the efficacy and “healing power” of unilateral forgiveness is simply another form of repression and denial of one’s actual condition. By repressing one’s own truth for the sake of a phony unanimity with an abuser, the abused person must immerse himself in a permanently dissociated mental state to convince himself that his act of “forgiveness” has both redeemed his abuse and reformed his abuser – neither of which is true. For modern “therapists” to help engender such a neurotic and fragmented psyche in those who have survived abuse and torture is not only sadistic and untherapeutic but actually continues that affliction under another name. And yet, aided and abetted by such a fraudulent model of “therapy”, this destructive pathology is imposed most strongly on those people who have suffered most severely at the hands of others.
I witnessed this in 2010, when a strange and sad gathering of aboriginal people assembled on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to unilaterally offer to the government of Canada a so-called “Forgiveness Charter” in the name, absurdly, of everyone who ever attended an Indian residential school, the dead as well as the living. The event was sponsored, predictably, by the very churches that ran the death camps called “schools”, acting through various puppet aboriginal politicians and preachers. But the rally was filled with hundreds of everyday survivors of rape and torture in these institutions: people who sincerely believed that their unilateral “forgiving” of the government would make everything better. The very fact that this forgiveness was directed not to those who are actually responsible for the residential schools atrocities – the Catholic and Protestant churches themselves – but to the more distantly guilty government of Canada, spoke volumes of the deceitful and obscuring purpose of the event. Nor did the enormous pretence and travesty of publicly absolving murderers for a crime on behalf of the silent and slaughtered victims who have no say in the matter seemed not to have occurred to anyone at the rally, or to the slavish national media that widely and uncritically reported the charade.
Nevertheless, what I described earlier as the innate dread of parental retaliation that so molds our society’s notion of well being and morality was displayed everywhere at the Forgiveness Charter Rally. Each aboriginal speaker implored his fellow survivors of Christian terror to believe that much harder in Christianity, to love those who had harmed them, and to completely absolve both church and state for all the wrongs they had committed against native people: even the massacre of children.
The fear in the speakers’ eyes and voices was palpable that day, as was their pitiful hope that their torturers would approve of their words, and stop their reign of terror against them. I have seen the same look in every battered woman who is convinced that just a bit more love from her will still the blows of her husband. The hopes of the eternal victim, robbed of their own voice and the capacity to confront and then depart from their abuser, are always the same – and are never realised.

An Alternative

What would a genuine recovery, geared to the needs of the victims themselves, look like? I have given such recovery the name “Aletheia Therapy”, from the Greek word for Truth. Aletheia means, literally, that which is not concealed but is seen and expressed as it really is. Such genuineness is at the core of all life and recovery but is accessible only through complete self-honesty and remembrance in a climate free of intimidation and domination. Rather than the Christian paradigm that sees humanity as inherently debased and flawed, and in need of continual correction by a wiser external authority, Aletheia Therapy arises from the Natural Law axiom that every man and woman is born as a complete, sufficient and self-governing being who holds within themselves the key to what is necessary for their own health and recovery. Since the truth is indeed within us, it is only by remembering who we are and what we have experienced in its totality that we can find ourselves and our wholeness again.
This approach is radically in line with the teachings of Jesus, and ironically, radically counterposed to the heritage of institutional Christianity and western patriarchy, and its authoritarian insistence that we respect and reconcile with our abuser-dominater.
In short, we begin by ignoring such a “forgiveness imperative” in dealing with our own pain and trauma and begin instead from the first and fundamental necessity of knowing our own truth by always retaining our capacity to speak freely for ourselves about who and what has caused our affliction. Doing so, we can avoid the self-defeating pitfalls of silencing ourselves and burying our feelings for the sake of our abusers.
By not worrying about forgiveness, we free ourselves from any illusion about our actual condition, and we retain our capacity to speak freely about what we feel and know is true. Time and again I have observed in trauma healing circles that only when victims have reached such a stage of inner freedom can genuine recovery from self-isolating destructiveness begin. In the words of Alice Miller, "To live with one’s own truth is to be at home with oneself. That is the opposite of isolation."
My fondest and most inspiring memory of such actual recovery occurred not in a healing circle at all, but at a public protest inside the sanctuary of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in downtown Vancouver just before Easter in 2007. Aboriginal survivors of torture in Catholic residential schools held aloft their banners and signs and spoke to the congregation of the crimes committed against them by their church, and in the process bust apart their own fears. The same men and women who could not enter a Catholic church or see a crucifix without becoming nauseous because of the awful memories of their torture as children strode bravely and calmly amidst the pews that day and handed leaflets to the dumbstruck crowd.
Remarkably, these survivors faced down the threats of policemen and priests that day, and stated their case to them without a trace of fear; and then they peacefully left the building to the sound of their own drum beats, laughter, cheers and joyful triumph. Outside, as we all hugged and congratulated one another, a permanent cloud of despair seemed to lift from the native men and women gathered there, and during the following week, several of them actually stopped drinking and doing drugs, for the first time in many years. Time and again these people would remark, "I really showed them this time" or "I'm not afraid of them anymore".What had caused this incredible change that day was summed up by one of the victors, a native man named William Combes, when he said later on my radio program, I thought I was going to crap out and let you all down, but then I saw you outside the church and it gave me the courage to walk up those steps with you. Then inside the church, you all kept me safe. Just doing the right thing with everybody made me feel safe. Just speaking the truth to those bastards and facing down the priests, then I didn’t fear them. I didn’t give a shit anymore what they could do to me. I was angrier at what they’d done to all my little friends at residential school. I felt like a man for the first time ever.
On that glorious day, William and the others reminded me that when the battered victims finally speak and act in their own name without thought of their abuser is when the true process of recovery begins: not just for victims but for all of us, by making justice an actuality. And such justice, and the equality it breeds, always precedes any possibility of the kind of mutual forgiveness that abolishes all distinctions of winners and losers. Standing by our own painful truth is as necessary as standing by one another – and as dangerous to a society like ours which is based on domination and torture. In times like these, just naming what we feel and know to be true is a subversive act, and will become more difficult to do in the face of ever-growing oppression by the few who rule by psychically dominating a crippled and traumatised majority.
It is perhaps for this reason that, among establishment educators, counselors and “helping professionals” whose devotion to the political status quo is as solid as their own dogma, encouraging such inner freedom and the owning of one’s own truth among the abused and victimized is seen as rank heresy and, in the words of one psychologist, “can be dangerously provocative.” So be it. Our aim, after all, is to turn the world upside down. For once we unite and confront those who are the cause of our torment, there begins to grow something even greater than healing, or forgiveness, and that is transformation, both of ourselves and a hierarchical and oppressive society that requires that we remain dissociated and brutalised people.
On one of the last times I ever saw William Combes, he handed me a scrap of paper with a brief poem he'd found that summed up his triumph. It read,

I looked for healing, but healing escaped me. I sought after God, and I searched for love, but neither could I see. I found myself, and I discovered all three.