Thursday, September 17, 2009
It’s a most unholy marriage. The union of church and state on the European continent—the combination of spiritual influence and unifying power with military muscle and civil discipline—has been history’s most lethal.
Six resurrections of the “Holy” Roman Empire have come and gone through the ages. The Bible prophesies that a seventh is upon us.
Looking at present conditions in the historic seat of “holy” imperial power, many would scoff at the idea. Not only is modern Europe politically fractious, but it also seems incurably secular. The idea that it could give rise to another kingdom intoxicated by religion may seem, to some, highly unlikely.
But there is one powerful man who clearly will not accept that.
His name is Pope Benedict xvi. His 4½-year papacy has provided ample evidence of his zeal to reassert Roman Catholic relevance in the 21st century.
Inside the church, he continues his decades-long campaign to expel liberals and stack the deck with conservatives. In Europe, he is working to reestablish a Catholic continent. Among non-Catholic Christians, he seeks to draw worshippers under papal authority. In the world, he is leveling a strong attack against secularism and godlessness. And to Islam, he has unmistakably shown a resistance, a toughness, that promises to grow stronger.
What Pope Benedict has done, in fact, is position the Roman Catholic Church to fulfill its prophesied role in coming European and world events.
After assuming office, Pope Benedict xvi began placing his hand-picked conservative troops in the top spots within the Catholic Curia (governing body). He eliminated two senior positions and chose a notoriously shy, controllable man for his old job, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He switched out the cardinal in charge of Vatican relations with the developing world, replaced the Vatican’s longstanding press officer with a Jesuit priest, and shuffled the Vatican City governate and foreign-policy offices. He replaced the Vatican secretary of state with his trusted former deputy in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a man who would help him clean house at the Curia and catholicize the masses.
“I, bishop of Rome and pastor of the universal church … send to you, age-old Europe, a cry full of love,” the pope said July 24, 2005, quoting his predecessor, John Paul ii. “Return to yourself. Be yourself. Discover your origins. Revive your roots. Revive those authentic values that made your history glorious and your presence beneficial among the other continents.”
In March 2006, Pope Benedict xvi chose to drop “patriarch of the West” from his list of official titles. Why? The Eastern Orthodox synod said the move implied that the Catholic Church still sought “universal jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome over the entire church.” The pope retains the titles “vicar of Christ” and “supreme pontiff of the universal church.” He cast off the title “patriarch of the West” not because it gave him too much jurisdiction, but not enough.
Striking Out, Causes Offenses
By May 2006, after settling into his office, Ratzinger took the opportunity to lash out against European secularism—and Islam—in his book Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam. In it, Benedict wrote that the only solution to Europe’s paralysis and the “advance of Islam” is Roman Catholicism.
In September that year, Pope Benedict traveled home to Bavaria for a six-day visit. There he discussed injecting “Christianity” (read Catholicism) into the European Constitution, and talked with German President Horst Kohler about the dangers of Islamic penetration into German society. But his most famous speech was a lecture at the University of Regensburg, where he quoted Catholic Byzantine Emperor Manuel ii Paleologus: “Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” Benedict was drawing his line in the sand.
The pope also visited the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, where 1.5 million victims, mostly Jews, died during World War ii. In his carefully selected words, the self-styled “son of Germany” failed to even mention anti-Semitism or Nazis or Jews. A German pope. Speaking at Auschwitz.
On Feb. 19, 2007, the Vatican summoned Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and a contingent of senior Italian government officials. The topic: homosexual couples. On the 23rd, Catholic World News reported, “New Italian government would not require allies to support civil-union bill.” The article showed that Prodi had caved on the issue in order to gather enough support to return to office. The Vatican had shown Prodi, and the world, who rules Italy. The incident echoed of the Vatican’s past as Europe’s kingmaker, the unifying political power that forged the Holy Roman Empire.
Soon after, Benedict extended his reach into Italian politics issuing his command to faithful followers: Vote Catholic. He told Italian politicians March 13 they must not vote for laws that went against the church’s “non-negotiable values.”
Around the same time, the Times of London reported, “Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the pope are to be published this year. The proposals have been agreed by senior bishops of both churches. In a 42-page statement prepared by an international commission of both churches, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are urged to explore how they might reunite under the pope” (Feb. 19, 2007).
March 24 that year was the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the agreement that led to establishing the European Union. Benedict took the occasion to warn that Europe is sliding into “apostasy.” He demanded that EU leaders recognize that they had failed to embrace their spiritual and cultural heritage, and expressed dismay that the Rome Declaration made no mention of the influence of “Christianity,” meaning Catholicism.
Agitating the Masses
In mid-May, the pope traveled to Brazil to open an assembly of the Latin American bishops’ conference—not by invitation, but by personal choice. There he challenged the bishops to galvanize a continent-wide crusade against competing non-Catholic religions (“sects,” he called them), such as North-American evangelicals. Latino bishops jumped on board, and began lobbying national governments for legislation to ban and obstruct non-Catholics’ operation in Latin America. The visit illuminated Benedict’s aims to re-energize Catholicism not only in Europe, but around the whole globe.
Later that month, Pope Benedict prodded Catholics: It’s time to evangelize. He spoke of the “urgent need to relaunch missionary activity to meet the many grave challenges of our time.” He also called missionary work “the church’s primary service to humanity today.” The message was clear: The church’s most important job is to convert the world.
To that end, the pope resurrected the Tridentine Mass, a Latin-language ceremony codified in 1570. In the 1960s, the church restricted the use of the ultra-conservative Tridentine prayer book, which is peppered with references that make Jews and non-Catholics bristle (asking God to “lift the veil from [their] eyes,” and that Jews “be delivered from their darkness” and converted to Catholicism). The more inclusive, modern mass the church adopted in its place was scorned by hard-core Catholics, one of whom was a younger Joseph Ratzinger. In July, Pope Benedict reversed that restriction, reconnecting the church to its medieval past. German rabbi Walter Homolka said, “This kind of signal has an extremely provocative effect on anti-Semitic groups. The Catholic Church does not have its anti-Semitic tendencies under control.”
That same month, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith restated the doctrines of “Dominus Iesus,” a document Cardinal Ratzinger had signed in 2000 to proclaim that non-Catholics were “gravely deficient” and that Protestant churches are “not churches in the proper sense.” The restatement added that Orthodox churches suffer from a “wound” because they do not accept the pope’s authority, a wound “still more profound” in Protestants. The document, approved by Pope Benedict, said that denominations outside Roman Catholicism are defective or not full churches. “Despite the fact that this teaching has created no little distress … it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of ‘church’ could possibly be attributed to them,” it said.
Remarkably, this sequence of provocative moves seems to have helped rather than hurt the pope’s popularity. It’s been said that crowds came to see Pope John Paul ii, but they come to hear Benedict xvi. Over his pontificate, Benedict has consistently attracted larger audiences to witness his weekly homilies in St. Peter’s Square than did his predecessor.
“A New Generation of Christians”
In a homily in September 2007, the pope made it clear that Sunday worship is a “necessity” for all. “Without the Lord’s day we cannot live!” he declared. “Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul!” It was a strong call for Christians to revive Sunday-keeping as an all-important religious practice. The underlying message: Your life depends on worshipping on Sunday.
The Vatican went back to king-breaking in January 2008, when it forced Prodi to resign, bringing down the government of Italy. Prodi lost a vote of confidence in the Senate after the Catholic leader of Italy’s Udeur Christian Democrat Party withdrew the party’s support from the coalition government, taking away Prodi’s majority in the Senate. According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, this was directly the work of the Vatican. “Prodi’s government dared to challenge the ecclesiastical hierarchy for the second time and this time it has had its hands burned,” it wrote.
In March, the Vatican again meddled in national politics, launching a large campaign against Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, another supporter of homosexual “marriage,” abortion and easier divorce. The Vatican’s political campaign cut Zapatero’s lead drastically and nearly won the election single-handedly.
In April, Benedict came to America, inspiring a press frenzy reminiscent of John Paul ii’s funeral. In a society where God and the Bible are often ridiculed, the secular news media’s fawning praise for the pope was astounding. Tens of thousands filled stadiums and lined streets to hear or glimpse the white-clad “holy father.” While in America, the pope addressed the grotesque record of homosexual pedophilia in the priesthood of what he called “the church in America”—by blaming much of the scandalous behavior on America’s broken society. He accepted no responsibility for cleaning up the problem.
In September 2008, Pope Benedict spoke out to defend World War ii Pope Pius xii. Benedict praised him for being “courageous” in trying to save Jews: “Wherever possible he spared no effort in intervening in their favor either directly or through instructions given to other individuals or to institutions of the Catholic Church.” The historical record shows that this is pure fiction: Pius conspicuously ignored the Holocaust and failed to come to the Jews’ aid. Yet Benedict wants to make him a saint.
Benedict xvi again pushed in early September for “the birth of a new generation of Christians involved in society and politics.” He challenged Catholics who, “as far as the formation [of] new generations involved in society and politics is concerned, seem to be falling asleep.” That same month, the pope traveled to France, where he convinced President Nicolas Sarkozy that the country needs to rethink and redraw its church-state relations. The two leaders laid the groundwork for what could be the biggest change in France since the French Revolution—a move from a firmly secular society to one that accepts, as the pope said, “the irreplaceable role of religion.”
In November, it emerged that the Catholic Church wants Sunday observance enshrined in EU law. Specifically, the Vatican wanted a clause inserted in the Working Time Directive that would force every citizen in the European Union to rest on Sunday. Some members of the European Parliament tabled an amendment saying the minimum rest period “shall in principle include Sunday.” The Brussels-based Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community said the directive should state “the minimal weekly rest must include Sunday.”
In January of this year, the pope again hurled a challenge at the Jews. The Vatican has been demanding the handover of six sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel. Catholic media reports indicated that these negotiations were nearly finished, and idf Army Radio said President Shimon Peres was pressuring Interior Minister Eli Yishai to cave in to the Vatican. It said he may find a way to sign away the sites without Yishai’s approval if necessary. Biblical prophecy shows that soon, the Vatican will gain control over the territory it seeks within Israel.
Also in January, Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, a fellow arch-conservative who rejects the modern Vatican ii changes and is a Holocaust-denier. The move attracted an outcry from Jews and from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who openly criticized the pope for his decision. We watch to see whether her outspokenness adversely affects her political career.
As the world economy came apart at the seams like a cheaply sewn liturgical vestment, the pope descended from on high to suggest his own solution: “a true world political authority.” On July 7, the pontiff released a 144-page encyclical, “Charity in Truth,” which took a swipe at the U.S.-style capitalism that many blame for the financial crisis. He called for regulation with “real teeth,” administered by a global political authority. Biblical prophecy shows this is exactly what will happen: That authority will be European, and the Vatican will have control.
The record is impressive: Pope Benedict xvi has been active, determined and aggressive in asserting Roman Catholic authority and positioning the church to play a larger role in the time ahead. He even seems to view his actions in their historical context—facilitating yet another revival of that ancient church-state union.
Looking to Benedict
In April 2008, during a regular weekly address in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict made a telling statement about European unity. He said that his namesake, St. Benedict, “exercised a fundamental influence on the development of European civilization and culture.” The pope praised St. Benedict for helping the Continent emerge from the “dark night of history” that followed the fall of the Roman Empire.
This pope identifies strongly with his namesake, whose monastic system galvanized Europe during Justinian’s revival of the Roman Empire. Clearly, he is trying to spark a similar revival today.
By alluding to the period between the fall of the Roman Empire in a.d. 476 and its revival under Justinian in a.d. 554 as the “dark night of history,” Benedict seems to be implying that modern Europe has endured a similar “dark night” from which it is now emerging under his influence.
The pope also said St. Benedict had sparked “a new cultural unity based on Christian faith” within Europe—which united an otherwise fractious European populace into a mighty empire. Ever since, the “cultural unity” created by Roman Catholicism has helped Europe to unify time and time again as the Holy Roman Empire.
The pope is working to sway Europe to embrace the religion of Rome today—to once again serve as the cultural glue enabling the restoration of that empire.
The Bible informs us that he is destined to succeed. It will happen just as Herbert W. Armstrong, based on the Bible’s prophecies, repeatedly said it would. “I have been proclaiming and writing, ever since 1935, that the final one of the seven eras of the Holy Roman Empire is coming in our generation—a ‘United States of Europe,’ combining 10 nations or groups of nations in Europe—with a union of church and state!” he wrote in the January 1979 edition of the Plain Truth. “The nations of Europe have been striving to become reunited. They desire a common currency, a single combined military force, a single united government. They have made a start in the Common Market. They are now working toward a common currency. Yet, on a purely political basis, they have been totally unable to unite.
“In only one way can this resurrected Holy Roman Empire be brought to fruition—by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, uniting church and state once again, with the Vatican astride and ruling (Revelation 17:1-5).”
The European Union is now the greatest united trading entity in the world. It is aggressively developing a combined military force. With its constitution nearing ratification, it could soon weld together politically as one supra-European continental government. Yet it still lacks that key element: the ability to totally unite. As Mr. Armstrong wrote in the Aug. 28, 1978, Good News magazine, European leaders “well know there is but one possibility of union in Europe—and that is through the Vatican. … [T]his political union will put the Catholic Church right back in the saddle as it was from 554 to 1814—with the power of police and military to enforce its decrees!”
Today we see Pope Benedict working feverishly to enable that spiritual “vital lifeblood” of European unity. The resulting wave of evangelism will sweep the Continent into Rome’s arms in a bonding of church and state.
It is all now so close to coming to pass. We are witnessing the beginning of the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. •
Sunday, September 13, 2009
[CORRECTION: A reference in this article to a document by President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill to “destroy German militarism and Nazism” said it was signed after the Allies defeated Germany in World War ii. In fact, they signed that document in February 1945 at the Yalta Conference. The error has been corrected.]
As I write this article, Germany is just weeks from electing a new chancellor. That election and events to unfold from it are going to bring devastating consequences to this world. A dangerous political structure has been built in the European Union, and it’s about to get a lot worse. History thunders its strongest warning ever! It’s time that people understood that history.
But there is a lot more than history involved in understanding European politics.
What is happening in the European superstate is a mystery to most of the world. But that mystery is beginning to be removed.
Bernard Connolly wrote a bombshell book in 1995 titled The Rotten Heart of Europe. For years he served at the heart of the Exchange Rate Mechanism for the European Union. He headed the commission unit responsible for monitoring and servicing the system. He labels the European superstate as rotten. Since he had a vital job on the inside, his comments deserve our attention.
The Spirit of Charlemagne
“It is the battle for control of the European superstate,” Mr. Connolly wrote, “in which French technocrats confront German federalists, both sides claiming to fight under the banner of Charlemagne. The ‘collateral damage’ from this battle lies mainly in the future, but it could be ghastly” (emphasis mine throughout).
“It could be ghastly.” That is an understatement!
Who will get control of this great superstate? And just how ghastly is it going to be? The battle can be narrowed down to two nations—France and Germany. Do knowledgeable people really doubt who has already won this battle? The nation that controls the money will reign supreme. Of course, that has already proven to be Germany.
“Across the Rhine, successive German governments have, in their pursuit of a ‘European’ cloak for German ambitions, been prepared to accept an apparent cession of national monetary authority—as long as the new European monetary authority looks, sounds, smells and acts exactly as the German monetary authority now does” (ibid.).
The EU system has already been called a Trojan horse. Mr. Connolly says it is a “cloak for German ambitions.”
Just what are those ambitions? And why should every person on Earth be deeply concerned?
Otto von Habsburg was one of the key figures in creating the European Union. He had this to say about that union: “The [European] Community is living largely by the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire, though the great majority of the people who live by it don’t know by what heritage they live.”
Twenty-seven countries are members of the EU today. Most of them don’t know that they are “living largely by the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire.” It is a mystery to them.
According to Bible prophecy, the number of member nations or groups of nations will be reduced to 10 rulers. There are simply too many nations in the EU now for the Union to be ruled in the spirit of Charlemagne. Only after it has been severely reduced in member countries can the Holy Roman Empire function as it has in its extremely bloody past.
Mr. Habsburg also said, “We possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations of Europe equally; this is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne.”
Just what is “the tradition of Charlemagne”? It is far from what most people think it is—even Europeans!
Charles the Great
The Franks were the first barbaric tribe to embrace Catholicism, but it was for political gain, not religious reasons. Mostly of Germanic origin, the Franks used the Catholic Church to support their expansionist policies, while the church relied on Frankish rulers for protection. It was a union based on politics alone.
The Frankish kingdom reached the pinnacle of its power during the rule of Charlemagne (Charles the Great). Before Charlemagne’s emergence as world ruler, the political scene in Europe was greatly divided. Germany was sliced into many different tribes. Much of Italy was occupied by the Lombards. Byzantium was recognized as the successor to the eastern region of the old Roman Empire. Charlemagne, in conjunction with the papal throne, eventually changed all that—but not without much bloodshed.
Historians call his rule the First Reich—even though Charlemagne was the second ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Adolf Hitler’s rule became known as the Third Reich.
Charlemagne felt it his duty to defend the church. In 774, at the request of Pope Leo iii, he entered northern Italy and conquered the Lombard kingdom, uniting Italy for the first time in centuries. In 799, he again came to the aid of the pope, who was assaulted, brutally beaten, and thrown into prison by a band of conspirators. With the military backing of Charles and his Frankish troops, the pope was exonerated of all wrongdoing and reinstated to his ecclesiastic office.
The following year, in Rome, while Charlemagne was kneeling in prayer during a Christmas celebration inside old St. Peter’s Church, the pope placed a crown upon his head, pronouncing him “the 73rd emperor of the fourth world empire.”
At this point, we should note that throughout the Middle Ages, many scholars, theologians, even popes, knew the Roman Empire was the fourth world-ruling kingdom. Many of them even identified this fourth kingdom with the one Daniel spoke of in his prophecy (see Daniel 2:37-43). That’s why Europeans and Catholics kept trying to revive the empire! The Bible said there would only be four such empires. However, the fourth empire would have 10 resurrections, according to Bible prophecy. The last seven of those resurrections would be called Holy Roman Empires, because they were ruled by church and state.
As king of the Franks, Charlemagne was able to subjugate every single German tribe but one: the Saxons. The Saxons clung to their own faith and refused, even on pain of death, to submit to Roman Catholicism. Charlemagne determined to force his brand of Christianity on them with the sword. For years the Saxons obstinately resisted. At one point, out of sheer frustration, Charlemagne executed 4,500 Saxon prisoners. This barbarous act angered the Saxons even more.
It took 30 years for Charles to completely extinguish the “Saxon” problem, but not before multiple thousands had been executed for their religious beliefs. After more than 18 conquests against the Saxons, Charles finally prevailed. In the end, Saxons either subjected themselves to the rule of Charles, or their defiance ended in death.
The Holy Roman Empire has never been democratic. It could never be. Even Pope Pius xii said the church had twin enemies: the democracies and communism. He was pope at the peak of Communist power.
As emperor of the “Holy” Roman Empire, Charles felt it his duty to spread the Christian faith using whatever means necessary. The New Encyclopedia Britannica says, “The violent methods by which this missionary task was carried out had been unknown to the earlier Middle Ages, and the sanguinary [bloody] punishment meted out to those who broke canon law or continued to engage in pagan practices called forth criticism in Charles’ own circle” (“Charlemagne, Emperor”).
The violence Charlemagne used to enforce the Catholic religion on his subjects was simply unknown in earlier empires! He forced his brand of Christianity on everyone. His empire may have had distinct ties to the ancient Romans, but it was certainly not “holy”—even if there was a great church guiding it.
And yet, for centuries to come, the aim of succeeding emperors was to restore the traditions of Charlemagne in their quest to revive the Roman Empire!
Even today, Germany and a great church are working to restore the tradition of Charlemagne. They have almost completed the structure. Still, it is a mystery to most of the world’s inhabitants.
Let the world beware! That power structure is ready to burst on the world scene—again!
Charlemagne’s bloody conquests were the worst ever in the history of the previous empires. The conquests of the next Holy Roman Empire are going to be the worst suffering ever inflicted on human beings in the history of man! (Matthew 24:21-22; Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 30:1-10).
It will all be done in the spirit of Charlemagne. Most people won’t awaken out of their stupor until it’s too late!
Charlemagne’s empire, one of the greatest ever to rule in Europe, did not even outlive his son and successor. After it dissolved, the peoples on the western side of his empire eventually became known as French. The German-speaking peoples between the Rhine and the Slavs in the east developed into Germany. The fact that he ruled over both peoples is why some dispute the national heritage of Charlemagne.
Hitler and the Crown Jewels
Look again at what Otto von Habsburg said about the crown jewels: “We possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations of Europe equally; this is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne.”
Adolf Hitler was the leader of the sixth Holy Roman Empire. He knew all about the crown of Charlemagne and the crown jewels.
Much of the world looks upon the Jews as God’s chosen people. In Vienna, Hitler came to believe that God had replaced the Jews with the Germans and the Holy Roman Empire. He believed the Germans were God’s chosen people. This is why the crown jewels of that empire meant so much to him.
In 1938, at a rally in Nuremberg, “Hitler had brought from Vienna, after 140 years, the insignia of the First Reich [Charlemagne]—the imperial crown, the orb of empire, the scepter and the imperial sword. At the presentation of these symbols of imperialism he solemnly vowed that they would remain in Nuremberg forever” (John Toland, Adolf Hitler).
That was a strong statement. He “solemnly vowed” that the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire were to “remain in Nuremberg forever.” This is like a death-defying commitment to the Holy Roman Empire and his god! He made a vow forever!
Hitler ruled the Third Reich. He knew the crown jewels would be a powerful symbol of Charlemagne’s First Reich.
Hitler came in the tradition of Charlemagne! He, like Charlemagne, savagely and brutally destroyed people as no empire before him!
The next leader of the Holy Roman Empire is going to commit the most monstrous crimes ever against humanity. It’s all going to be done in the tradition of Charlemagne! It’s time for this world to wake up to what is happening in Europe!
Many scoffed at what Margaret Thatcher said in 1995: “You have not anchored Germany to Europe; you have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work.”
Mrs. Thatcher knew it would have a bad ending. She knew it “could be ghastly,” as Bernard Connolly said. It will be ghastlier than you can even imagine!
We have forgotten our own recent history. Hitler started World War ii. About 50 million people were killed.
At the conclusion of the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt signed a document to prevent Germany from ever coming in the tradition of Charlemagne again. They said, “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world.”
Germany started both world wars. It has a history of starting wars. Churchill and Roosevelt understood Germany’s history of warfare. But America and Britain have forgotten that history today. That lapse of memory will be the costliest ever for both nations. (Request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)
Germany is about to start World War iii—according to your Bible. It will be the deadliest war ever on Earth. Thankfully, the seventh and last head of the Holy Roman Empire will usher in the coming of the Messiah. No nation will ever again be ruled in the tradition of Charlemagne. •
Monday, September 07, 2009
“Fraud rolls across American history like waves move onto a beach” (Bob Jensen, History of Fraud in America).
Some years ago at a symposium at Oxford University, I listened to Sir Alfred Sherman, one-time adviser to Lady Thatcher, describe America as a deeply corrupt nation. At the time, I wondered how this very British gentleman, a brilliant thinker on the state of the world, could justify that statement. After all, it was well known that fraud and under-the-table payoffs were endemic to certain Asian countries. It was simply the way that one did business there. That was taken as a given. But America? The “city on the hill”? The bastion of Judeo-Christianity, this exemplar of free democracy and free enterprise, “deeply corrupted”? Surely Sir Alfred should have chosen his words more carefully!
Well, a decade or so later, Sir Alfred’s words are ringing in my ears.
It seems that each week, sometimes even day by day in any given week, the Wall Street Journal publicizes yet another case of corporate, financial or government fraud in America.
In July, Economist.com ran a headline, “A Tangled Web,” with the quip, “A huge corruption investigation leads to a string of arrests in New Jersey.” Following an intensive 10-year investigation, the fbi and irs unveiled a huge money-laundering operation that extended from the streets of New Jersey and New York across the Atlantic into the Middle East. The great surprise to those uninitiated in the ways of 21st-century America was the societal ranking of those involved (July 24):
A mayor, a rabbi and an organ trafficker sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But the mayors of the New Jersey cities of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, a council president, two state assemblymen, numerous other public officials and political operatives, and five rabbis are not laughing. They are among 44 people charged in criminal complaints filed on Thursday, July 23. The arrests were part of a 10-year federal investigation of both public corruption and an international money-laundering conspiracy. And, indeed, some organ selling.
The problem is, this one example is but the tip of an iceberg below which floats a huge, very deeply entrenched perverse way of life that has become endemic to American society. It’s a disease, peculiarly American in its depth and the scope of its penetration from the mansions of Beverly Hills, to the trailer parks and ultimately the cardboard boxes and filthy dens of the street people of inner cities.
To be sure, in the English-speaking world, graft, fraud and corruption is not restricted to America only. Publicized recently in the United Kingdom was the revelation of that nation’s most senior public servants’ exposure in fraudulent use of public monies through false and extraneous expense claims. What is different in America is the sheer size, scope and depth of the problem, which has now reached epidemic proportions. It’s just part of the whole system, politically, economically, commercially, industrially, in health and education and the arts; no segment of American society remains untouched by this deep-seated sickness.
Most educated people are aware of the famously corrupt Democrats of Tammany Hall. But that is part of pre-fdr, New Deal, early 20th-century American history. What Sir Alfred Sherman was commenting on was the sheer unstoppable depth of fraud and corruption in American society. Corruption of a type that had become so deeply entrenched within America, nationally, by the closing years of the 20th century that it has since led to a literal explosion of a whole string of record-breaking cases of corporate fraud.
The intriguing aspect of this is that the whole unsavory mess triggered by the subprime loans and financial derivatives fiascoes of the past two years occurred on the beat of the new generation of mbas that had flooded into business, commerce and banking, not to mention Wall Street, over the past decade or so.
What was the moral compass of this great pool of bright young things, and, in particular, their mentors of a generation or two earlier?
Well, if you know your 20th-century history, the majority of the oldest of their teachers graduated from the years of a Woodstock, godless evolutionary Marxist-Leninist liberal-socialist thinking, Dr. Spock-style child-rearing, peacenik antiwar street-rebelling, civil-rights-asserting, law-breaking, gender-bending “no-absolutes” amoral pseudo-philosophizing, bearded, pot-smoking academia possessing little or no moral backbone.
Little wonder that the most recent products of that academic sausage machine has turned out the least moral generation of businessmen, bankers, financiers and assorted snake-oil merchants within both commerce and government in recent Anglo-Saxon history.
It’s simply a case of cause and effect. The numerous failed and fraudulent financiers, brokers, bankers and merchants of the day are but the products of their education.
In 1929, stock-selling scandals on Wall Street led to the Crash of 1929. In the 1930s, the U.S. government enacted new securities laws and brought into being the Securities and Exchange Commission (sec) to oversee them so as to prevent the exploitation of the public by securities fraud.
The problem was that when an amoral generation both entered business and penetrated the Securities and Exchange Commission, it gained “a solid failing grade in terms of its oversight of stock exchanges and related market institutions. The sec simply looked aside when it came to an ever increasing flood of Wall Street frauds of the 1980s and 1990s” (Jensen, op. cit.).
Jensen points out that “The high-water mark of frauds came in the 1990s when the media finally got wind of ‘infectious greed’ in investment banking, stock trading, bond rating, mutual fund, and other industries rooted on Wall Street” (ibid.).
Bob Jensen points to the condemning case made by Frank Partnoy in his book FIASCO: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader, in which Partnoy “shows how corporations gradually increased financial risk and lost control of an overly complex structured financing deals that obscured the losses and disguised frauds [and] pushed corporate officers and their boards into successive and ingenious deceptions. Major corporations such as Enron, Global Crossing, and WorldCom entered into enormous illegal corporate finance and accounting” (ibid.).
Perhaps most frightening of all to the American public are the more recent revelations of the fraud and corruption that is exhibited in the backgrounds of many an appointee to influential office in the team assembled to govern the country following America’s last presidential election.
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin has published a masterful expose of the “Culture of Corruption” rife in Washington in her explosive best-selling book by that name. She claims that corruption in government stretches across “wealthy power brokers … ethically challenged, bailout-bungling money men,” to “crime-coddling lawyers.” Malkin renders a case-by-case liturgy of lying, deceit, deep-seated corruption and fraud in the backgrounds of many who now hold senior office within the upper echelons of this government that boggles the mind.
America is sick at its heart.
Terminal moral disease eats at its vitals from the very top of its government machine to the common drug pushers on its decaying city streets. This is a nation for whom the writing is on the wall. Akin to the ancient kingdom of King Nebuchadnezzar, America is “weighed in the balances and … found wanting” (Daniel 5:27).
Just as the great Creator powerfully corrected the haughty king of Babylon, so Bible prophecy declares, the Anglo-Saxon nations, led by example by the Babylon of America, are destined to be profoundly corrected for their fraudulent, corrupting ways.
The time for the Anglo-Saxons to give account for their deeply entrenched sins is so close at hand. And the means of that correction, to be rendered by Almighty God, is going to be a great SHOCK to the self-indulgent, hedonistic American and British peoples, for, believe it or not, it will be delivered to them by a third round of warfare instigated by the very same nation that triggered the last two world wars!
To the uneducated in biblical revelation, this sounds completely off the planet. Yet it is as sure as tomorrow’s sunrise.
You need to educate yourself in the reasons why the once greatest single nation on Earth has sunk to the level of the most fraudulent and corrupt. It is becoming an extremely urgent need for as many people as possible to be warned of the consequences of this Anglo-Saxon slide into the pit of moral depravity, deep-seated fraud and endemic corruption.
Read and study our booklet Lamentations: The Point of No Return. If ever there was a book written for our time today, it is this book. You need to at least be acquainted with its message, even if you do not agree with it at this moment. For the chances are, you will recall and agree with its message when the prophecies that it contains are fulfilled, most dramatically, in the very near future! •
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