Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/tbrnew5/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

TBR News August 23, 2019

Aug 23 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. August 23, 2019:

“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for August 23:”Here is a translation of a comment by the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal that discusses inadequacies of man and his reactions:

  • ‘Men wish to be great and see that they are small.
  • Men wish to be happy and see that they are miserable.
  • Men wish to be perfect and see that they are full of imperfections.
  • Men wish to be the object of the love and esteem of others and see that their shortcomings merit only their dislike and contempt.

This situation in which he finds himself produces in him the most unjust and criminal passions imaginable, for a man conceives a deadly hatred against that truth which blames him and convinces him of his faults.

He would like to crush it, and, unable to do this, he destroys it the best he can, and in his consciousness, and that of others.

He takes every precaution to hide his shortcomings both from others and himself, and cannot bear to have them pointed out or observed.  Pensées 743

I know of one very prominent person that this observation fits like a glove.

 

The Table of Contents

  • Why is Donald Trump ignoring Germany? – DW
  • US military in Germany: What you need to know- DW
  • The Myth of American Military Dominance
  • China puts $75bn of retaliatory tariffs on US goods –Reuters
  • Sorry, Mr Trump – Greenland’s no go. But can I interest you in this other little island? – The Guardian
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • Was Jesus Gay? An Historical Journey

Why is Donald Trump ignoring Germany?    

With Trump due to attend the G-7 in France and later visit Poland, many are wondering why a stopover with Angela Merkel in Berlin isn’t on the list. Experts say the cold shoulder move is part of a wider strategy.

August 22, 2019

by Rebecca Staudenmaier

DW

US President Donald Trump is about to return to Europe. He sets off on Friday for the G-7 summit in France and is back again at the end of August for a trip to Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II.

Although he’ll be right next door, Trump has made no moves to visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel either on this trip or in the foreseeable future.

In over two years as president, Trump has only met Merkel in Germany once — at the 2017 G-20 summit in Hamburg — and never as her guest in Berlin.

What’s at issue?

The list is long. From Germany’s defense spending, its stance on Iran, its support of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia, and Merkel’s resistance to banning China from major infrastructure projects — there are many issues that the two countries don’t see eye-to-eye on.

Besides the political tensions, Trump and Merkel aren’t known for having particularly good chemistry when they do meet in person. At the D-Day commemorations this summer, Trump did not even offer Merkel a handshake.

The snub to Germany and Trump’s cancellation of a planned trip to Denmark in September over their refusal to sell him Greenland are typical of his “transactional leadership style,” Josef Braml, a US expert for the German Council on Foreign Relations, told DW.

“He sees himself as a boss, articulates clear goals and demands and rewards or punishes subordinates with advantages or disadvantages if they fail to meet his requirements,” Braml said.

“This is why Germany and Denmark are being punished with neglect. Poland, on the other hand, has been able to curry favor with the US president with material concessions for the time being,” he added.

Poland has ‘more influence’ than Germany

While Berlin’s sway in Washington has weakened, Warsaw has seen its trans-Atlantic profile significantly boosted since Trump took office.

“Poland has a greater influence than Germany. I would describe Poland as currently the second-most important partner [for the US] after Britain,” Nile Gardiner of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation told German public broadcaster ARD.

Braml, who also runs the analysis blog “USA Experte,” warned that Poland and others should be wary of their newly strengthened diplomatic ties.

“Trump’s current ‘friends’ in eastern Europe should not be fooled. Sooner or later it will be necessary for US geo-strategists to seek to reconcile interests with Russia in order to curb China’s extensive activities,” he told DW.

‘An attempt to divide the EU’

Treating Europe’s economic powerhouse like a flyover country while giving special attention to countries that have clashed with Brussels likely serves a larger strategic purpose — widening divisions within the European Union.

“Trump’s travel itinerary in Europe is an obvious attempt to divide the EU. His administration has already made that quite clear. That’s what they believe. They are opponents of multilateralism,” Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the US-based Peterson Institute for International Economics told ARD

Peter Beyer, the German government’s trans-Atlantic coordinator, told the Südwest Presse newspaper that although maintaining good ties with the US remains a high priority, Washington’s standpoint on the EU threatens the fragile unity of the bloc.

Trump has repeatedly supported Brexit hard-liner and current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, recently threatened that the US could pull its troops from Germany, moving them instead to Poland.

“His government has tried from the beginning to drive a wedge between EU member states,” Beyer said. “We should take that seriously.”

 

 

US military in Germany: What you need to know

A decision to move US troops out of Germany would mark a major change in the defense relationship between the two countries and reshape the basis of American military presence in Europe since WWII.

August 20, 2019

by Ben Knight

DW

The Federal Republic of Germany has been a vital part of United States defense strategy in Europe ever since the end of World War II, when US forces were part of a 10-year Allied occupation of the country. Though troop numbers have fallen drastically since those days, the US military still maintains a major presence and over the intervening decades, US military communities have formed around a handful of German towns.

Germany’s strategic importance for the US is reflected by the location of US European Command (EUCOM) headquarters in the southewestern city of Stuttgart, from which it serves as the coordinating structure for all American military forces across 51 primarily European countries.

The mission of EUCOM is to protect and defend the US by deterring conflict, supporting partnerships such as NATO, and countering transnational threats. At its command are the US Army Europe, the US Air Forces in Europe, and the US Marine Corps Forces Europe, all of which have installations in Germany.

In fact, Germany hosts the largest portion of US troops in Europe — roughly 38,600, though the numbers vary as troops are regularly rotated to other countries. This is also more military personnel than the US keeps in any other country except Japan.

However, the numbers have fallen in recent years. German government figures show that between 2006 and 2018, the number of US troops stationed in Germany more than halved, from 72,400 to 33,250, as the US military responded to a shifting and increasingly complex global security situation.

Marines, soldiers and airmen

Germany is home to five of the seven US Army garrisons in Europe (the other two are in Belgium and Italy), and the US Army Europe is headquartered at the garrison in Wiesbaden, a city close to Frankfurt in central western Germany.

Figures provided to DW by the US military show that these five garrisons, each consisting of various installations at different locations, currently comprise around 29,000 military personnel. This number includes the US Marine Corps Forces of Europe and Africa, which are headquartered in Böblingen, southwestern Germany, as part of the US Army Garrison Stuttgart.

In addition, roughly 9,600 US Air Force personnel are spread across various locations in Germany, including the two US Air Force bases of Ramstein and Spangdahlem.

US military in Germany: More than troops

Because US military installations also employ American civilians, and servicemen and women can sometimes bring their families with them overseas, sizable civilian communities can form around bases. In fact, some US bases in Germany, such as the one near Ramstein, are small towns in themselves. They include not only barracks, airfields, exercise terrain, and material depots, but also their own American shopping malls, schools, postal services, and police force. Sometimes the only legal tender is the US dollar.

Meanwhile, the US Army Bavaria Garrison, headquartered at Grafenwoehr, near Bavaria’s Czech border, is the largest overseas US Army base in the world, both in population and acreage, covering over 97,000 acres (390 square kilometers).

Bases also often employ significant numbers of local nationals and serve as an economic boost for the surrounding German communities, whose businesses provide goods and services. Past installation closures, such as the army garrison at Bamberg in 2014, took a toll on the local economy, and many Germans living near active US military installations have expressed opposition to potential troop reductions.

But the extent of US military presence in Germany is not limited to personnel: The US also keeps planes at other non-US air force bases in Germany. Additionally, thanks to NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangement, an estimated 20 nuclear weapons are believed to be kept at Germany’s Büchel Air Base in western Germany — something which has attracted much criticism from Germans.

Another contentious arrangement is the fact that the Ramstein Air Base is used as a control center for drone strikes in Yemen and elsewhere.

Allied postwar occupation and its legacy

The US military presence in Germany is a legacy of the post-WWII Allied occupation, which lasted from 1945 to 1955. During this time, millions of US, British, French and Soviet troops were stationed in Germany.

The northeastern part of the country, which officially became East Germany in October 1949, fell under Soviet control.

In West Germany, the occupation was regulated by the Occupation Statute, signed in April 1949, when the country was founded. The statute allowed France, the UK and the US to keep occupational forces in the country and maintain complete control over West Germany’s disarmament and demilitarization.

When the military occupation of West Germany officially ended, the country regained control of its own defense policy. However, the Occupation Statute was succeeded by another agreement with its NATO partners. This deal, known as the Convention on the Presence of Foreign Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany, was signed in 1954 by West Germany. It allowed eight NATO members, including the US, to have a permanent military presence in Germany. The treaty still regulates the terms and conditions of the NATO troops stationed in Germany today.

The number of US military personnel has been declining ever since the end of the Cold War in 1990, when, according to the German government, there were an estimated 400,000 foreign troops stationed on German soil. Roughly half of these were US military personnel, but they were gradually withdrawn as tensions with what was left of the Soviet Union eased, and conflicts elsewhere, such as the first Gulf War in Iraq, drew more US military away.

 

The Myth of American Military Dominance

August 15, 2019

by Justin Lynch

It is now popular to talk about grand strategy. A variety of media outlets regularly publish articles about it. Think tank panels and papers frequently address it. People even talk about it on television. Loren DeJonge Schulman memorably said that it has become cool to talk about grand strategy at parties and happy hours over $8 PBR. As conversations about America’s strategic choices become more frequent, and hopefully start to have more of an impact, practitioners and academics alike need to begin to question the assumptions they make about the tools at America’s disposal.

One commonly made assumption is that the United States has for decades enjoyed conventional military dominance, the ability to defeat any other actor in a conventional fight. The assumption of historic military dominance, often understood as fact, is almost entirely unsupported by meaningful evidence. While the U.S. military is unquestionably powerful, dominance cannot be measured by defense spending or even training. Dominance can only be measured through performance, and the United States’ history does not support a narrative of conventional military dominance. Because American conventional military dominance is an assumption rather than a fact, strategists need to question its validity and its importance for policy and strategy. If the common narrative proves to be unsupported, it will change America’s strategic variables.

Military Dominance: A Bipartisan Position

Confidence in the U.S. military’s dominance has persisted for decades across a variety of fields, creating what Joseph Nye has referred to as the “golden glow of the past” in discussions of foreign policy. President Barack Obama, in a speech to U.S. Naval Academy graduates, promised to “maintain America’s military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has even seen.” President George W. Bush announced in his 2002 National Security Strategy that “Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.” President Bill Clinton said in a 1994 speech, “Today our Armed Forces are clearly and without dispute the best trained, the best equipped, the best prepared, and the best motivated military on the face of the Earth.”

Similar declarations have come from foreign policy intellectuals. Writing for the Center for New American Security in June of 2019, Chris Dougherty noted that for “generations of Americans accustomed to U.S. military superiority,” the idea that the United States might be defeated in battle has become “preposterous.” Dan Drezner remarked in 2013 that the “U.S. military hegemony has been a concrete fact of life in world politics.”

Understandably, this discussion seems to have influenced how the American public sees its military as well. Gallup polling shows that over the past three decades a majority of Americans believed that the United States is the world’s preeminent military. Every one of the abovementioned experts and leaders spoke in good faith, but from a shared assumption about the character of global military power. This belief, founded in an underexamined narrative, is worthy of further scrutiny.

The False Narrative of Military Dominance

Most Americans learn a history of U.S. military dominance. Narratives of triumph in two world wars, a one-sided fight in the first Gulf War, and rapid invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan all support the belief that through most of the 20th century and no small amount of what we have seen thus far from the 21st, the United States has been the inevitable victor when its enemies are brave enough, or perhaps foolish enough, to meet it on the field of conventional warfare. On closer examination, however, history provides little obvious support for a narrative of American military dominance.

The United States played a valuable role in World War I and World War II, but was not the primary combatant in either conflict.  Americans fought hard, sacrificed, and made a key difference in both wars, but did so as part of large alliances that included other powerful states, not as a military titan crushing its enemies. During the World War I, the U.S. military tipped the balance of power against Germany, but did not dominate, or have the military or industrial power to dominate the Western Front. Instead, the French, British, and Russian militaries each bore a heavier burden. World War II arguably made a much greater impression on the American narrative, whether measured through recent remembrance on the anniversary of D-Day or the number of Call of Duty games the war is featured in. However, the narrative of American efforts during the “good war” often leaves out the efforts of other nations. During World War II, the United States played a major role in North Africa, Italy, France, and the Pacific, but the Soviet Union destroyed the largest portion of the Nazi military and defeated the Army of Manchuria, Japan’s strongest ground force.

The 1950s through the 1970s are less commonly portrayed as a period of military dominance, but still affect how Americans see their military. The Korean War is rarely mentioned. When it is, stories of Chinese human-wave tactics control the narrative rather than depictions of a stalemate against an adversary with occasional small numerical advantages at the theater level. The United States’ struggle to accomplish its objectives in Vietnam is typically described as a dark point in an otherwise bright history. Instead of a reminder of the limits of American military power, Vietnam is often part of a parallel narrative about the hazards and frustrations of fighting unconventional forces. Instead of challenging American conventional dominance, that narrative is used as a demonstration that the American military has so much conventional power that its enemies may choose to avoid it on the field and fight as insurgents.

Defense planners during the 1970s believed that even the combination of America’s powerful nuclear arsenal and conventional military power was unprepared to face increasingly capable Soviet forces. The planners believed Soviet armor could quickly penetrate NATO lines and destroy its tactical nuclear weapons, “and prevent NATO from mounting a nuclear defense entirely.” The resulting technological, doctrinal, and operational reforms, labeled the second offset, created the military that fought in the first Gulf War.

The first Gulf War mostly reversed whatever doubts the Korean and Vietnam Wars created. The United States and its allies outperformed expectations in Kuwait and Iraq. Instead of taking the projected  10-20,000 casualties, the United States and its allies steamrolled the Iraqi military. At the time, the victory seemed to prove both the value of post-Vietnam reforms and emerging information technology capabilities. President George H.W. Bush captured the spirit of the hour when he announced the United States had finally beaten Vietnam.

Unfortunately, the first Gulf War was not a strong indicator of American military power compared to other major powers. The conflict was heavily balanced towards the United States and its allies. The Iraqi military fought mostly in open terrain where the American military could use its technology far more effectively than in cities or forests. The United States led a massive coalition against a much smaller Iraqi military, which was in relatively poor shape from a long war with Iran that had exhausted their military rather than forging a battle-hardened force. Saddam’s purges of his officer corps also degraded his army’s effectiveness. On top of these issues, the Iraqi military was not committed to defending their occupation of Kuwait, an action some Iraqi soldiers found immoral. With all of those factors weighed, it would have been surprising if the United States and its allies had not quickly driven the Iraqis from Kuwait. However, military and political leaders often portray the conflict as an indicator of a revolution in military affairs and a new era of American military dominance.

The same factors were in play during the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003. While both campaigns were impressive victories in many ways, they were fought against small, poor states, and are better indicators of the fate of small, poor states that fight against large, wealthy states than indicators of American military prowess.

The United States has not fought many well-trained or well-resourced militaries since the end of World War II. The United States has fought against North Korea, China, North Vietnam, Libya, Iran, Panama, Iraq, groups in the Balkans, the Taliban, the Islamic State, and many insurgent groups. The only well-trained enemies were the Vietnamese, North Koreans, and arguably the Iraqis. During these conflicts, the United States has performed well against much weaker forces, but has a mixed record against even moderately strong adversaries.

In Search of Evidence of American Military Dominance

There are other arguments one can use to claim the United States can dominate adversaries in conventional military conflict. The first and most often referenced reason Americans are confident in their military is defense spending. The United States spent $596 billion on defense annually in 2016, $19 billion more than the $567 billion spent by the seven next most prolific countries. Few people, when asked directly, would argue that better funding ensures military victory. Despite this, the American military’s budget still serves as a source of reassurance to both policymakers and the American people, who somewhat justifiably assume that higher defense spending leads to more effective military forces.

Unfortunately, defense spending does not directly correlate with military effectiveness. Stephen Biddle notes that tactical proficiency is significantly more important than, and not directly related to, defense spending. Operational and strategic proficiency are even more important than tactical proficiency, and even less directly correlated to defense spending. It is also difficult to compare American military spending to other states, as the United States spends a disproportionate amount on personnel costs.

Another, and perhaps better-founded, reason for American confidence is the military’s tough, realistic training. Most of the United States’ potential adversaries do not have training centers and exercises that are as rigorous as the combat training centers, Red Flag, or several of the United States’ large-scale naval exercises. Units depart combat training center rotations more confident and prepared for deployments than when they arrived. Post-Gulf War studies say, “The results of this research, and other research as well, indicate that the realism and intensity of [combat training center] training appears to have prepared soldiers well for the ‘real thing.’” Despite their benefits, even demanding exercises are not a sure recipe for success. To take advantage of the benefits of training, militaries have to predict what combat will look like in the future — a notoriously difficult and unreliable task. Training value can only be truly measured by combat effectiveness, and combat effectiveness in future battles can’t be measured ahead of time.

This is not to say the U.S. military isn’t powerful. Large, well-equipped forces with the ability to project force globally provide a type of power that few states can rival. History, however, provides no evidence that American military power translates into genuine dominance of adversaries, leaving the comparison of conventional military power uncertain. It would be an exaggeration to say that Americans tend to enter wars as part of massive coalitions fighting against weak or exhausted enemies, then remember themselves as world champions of warfare. But it might not be as much of an exaggeration as most Americans would like to admit.

The Effect of Overconfidence

The above arguments do not lead to the conclusion that the United States is weak. Likewise, they do not mean the United States is unprepared for the next war. Military strength is relative, and America’s likely adversaries are no more invincible juggernauts than the United States. Similarly, they do not reduce the substantial skill, sacrifice, and professionalism shown by the American military. Instead, an examination of history shows that Americans should acknowledge that the United States has entered conflicts with its ability to defeat its enemy uncertain, and will do so again. This should cause policymakers to ask three questions as they consider future policies:

Is the concept of military dominance still meaningful in the nuclear age?

In some ways, military dominance is still a valuable concept in the nuclear age. The United States and other countries have and will continue to fight nonnuclear states in limited wars. Within this context, dominance is still a meaningful, if somewhat unrealistic, concept. In other ways, nuclear weapons grossly undermine the concept of military dominance. If the United States cannot guarantee even military victory against adversaries that might use nuclear weapons against American forces and cities, then it cannot claim dominance.

If potential adversaries do not believe in American military superiority, what are the likely results of the United States acting as though it can win any conventional fight?

Much of American foreign policy during and since the Cold War has been based on concepts related to deterrence and coercion. While the Obama administration moved away from basing its policy on credibility, the idea still influences American foreign policy. If the U.S. military has less credibility in foreign capitals than Washington believes, its policies may have foundations built upon sand.

If the United States fails to intimidate adversaries with the threat of conventional force, is its population willing to commit the time, money, and lives needed to engage a near-peer or peer adversary?

The United States has an unquestionably powerful military. There is a vast gap, however, between powerful and dominant. As discussions of dominance, loss of dominance, and grand strategy increase, it is essential that we consider on which side of this gap the United States has historically fallen. The military’s budget and training cannot guarantee dominance, and American history does not provide any evidence that it ever existed. If policymakers and the American people want to conduct foreign policy with an accurate assessment of the risks they take, they need to question the assumptions and reasoning that led to their estimation of the United States’ abilities.

Grand strategy questions how the United States will use its economic, diplomatic, and military tools to protect the national interest in the coming century. If those conversations are to be of value, we must question not just the future of American military dominance, but its past as well.

 

 

 

China puts $75bn of retaliatory tariffs on US goods

Move puts additional 5% and 10% on imports in latest tit-for-tat between top two economies

August 23, 2019

Reuters

China has unveiled retaliatory tariffs against about $75bn (£60bn) worth of US goods, putting up to 10% on top of existing rates in the latest tit-for-tat in the dispute between the world’s top two economies.

The salvo from China on Friday comes after the US unveiled tariffs on an additional $300bn of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, scheduled to go into effect in two stages on 1 September and 15 December.

China’s commerce ministry said in a statement it would impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5,078 items from the US, including agricultural products such as soya beans, and crude oil and light aircraft. It also reinstated tariffs on cars and car parts originating in the US.

“China’s decision to implement additional tariffs was forced by the USs unilateralism and protectionism,” the ministry said.

US equity index futures fell on the news of the tariffs, pointing to opening losses on Wall Street.

The White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox Business News that trade negotiations with China would still go on behind closed doors. The US trade representative’s office had no immediate comment on China’s tariffs announcement.

 

Sorry, Mr Trump – Greenland’s no go. But can I interest you in this other little island?

It’s called the United Kingdom. It’s in a bit of a state, but it’s a great opportunity for the right buyer

August 23, 2019

by Jack Bernhardt

The Guardian

People say that news these days is unexpected and baffling, but really could there be a more predictably 2019 story than “Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland”? It has all the boring trappings of a typical Trump story – gobsmacking ignorance, casual racism, colonialist attitudes towards the treatment of indigenous people, a cold-hearted, transactional view of human life, and ending with him calling a woman in power “nasty”. If the news were a binge-worthy drama, this would be a mid-series episode that The AV Club would rate C-: “a worryingly formulaic outing that makes you fear the writers have run out of ideas.”

The whole idea was a nonstarter anyway – Greenland is a proud, independent region. What kind of self-respecting island nation would willingly accept being purchased by the United States? If Trump wants to buy somewhere, he needs to find somewhere that’s been entirely stripped of pride, dignity and joy to the extent that it is now completely incapable of self-governance. A country so humiliated and degraded that it would happily grovel at the feet of an expansionist empire if it just promised the slightest iota of stability.

So why doesn’t Trump sack off Greenland and snap up the United Kingdom!

Location

Now, I understand you were initially looking to purchase somewhere in the Arctic Circle area, maybe Canada adjacent, and that Britain is a bit more of a commute than you were hoping for. But just think: every time you fly over to Britain, you’re burning more fossil fuels and melting a bit more arctic ice – and if you can’t buy Greenland, you might as well drown it. What Britain lacks in rich untapped natural resources, it more than makes up for in four-lane roundabouts and Westfield shopping centres. A lot of first-time buyers overlook Britain because it’s small, wet and currently going through a nationwide nervous breakdown, the scars of which may never fully heal. But hey, that just means it’s a bargain! What you really have to keep in mind is that we are truly, truly desperate. Don’t like the location? No problem! We’ll set up a bunch of heavy-duty outboard motors along the entire east coast of England, from Sunderland to Ipswich, and propel the entire island across the Atlantic Ocean. Sure, we’ll have to barrel through Ireland to get to you, but we’re almost positive they won’t mind. Don’t give them more than a second’s thought – we haven’t.

Lodgers

There are a few lodgers on the island at the moment, sure – 67,011,618, to be exact. Now, many pseudofascist demagogues looking to buy an island nation get a little nervous when they hear that figure. But don’t worry – they are surprisingly easy to distract. Sure, they may occasionally get a little worked up over the UK’s frequent human rights abuses, the total collapse of government in their country or the upcoming climate catastrophe, but they’re like magpies – just dangle something shiny in front of them and it should be fine. Earlier this year they totally forgot about Boris Johnson’s links to far-right figures such as Steve Bannon after being distracted with a story about how he likes to paint wine-boxes to look like buses, like some kind of alcoholic TFL conductor. Last month they were all upset about the prospect of no deal, but then that bizarre Cats trailer came out and that’s all they’ve talked about since. Seriously, any old nonsense works: get Arron Banks to verbally abuse a 16-year-old girl, have someone mention 30-50 wild hogs in their back garden, maybe even start a crazy rumour that the president of the United States wants to buy Greenland – they’ll lap it all up.

Current Condition

I’ll be honest with you: it’s a bit of a fixer-upper, this one. A couple of centuries ago the previous owners did a little extension into the north of the property, but to be frank that’s looking like it’ll collapse at any moment. The south-east of the property is really well-furnished – too well-furnished, really: all the floors are solid gold, all the counter tops are marble, and instead of loo roll, they use wafer-thin slices of foie gras and compacted caviar. It wouldn’t be a problem if the rest of the property wasn’t falling apart. But don’t worry – the current owners have a plan to fix this – they’re building a new high-speed stairlift to make it easier to get to the nice bit of the property even quicker, so that’s something.

Relationship with the Neighbours

We don’t want to talk about it.

The Hard Sell

Look, I can see you’re not exactly sold, so I can do you a deal – put in an offer, and we’ll throw in Jersey and Gibraltar for free. Think about that for a second – you’d have your own army of monkeys to do your bidding. Yes sir, you could definitely train one to attack Rosie O’Donnell.

Yes, of course, take your time obviously, but just to let you know, we have had a couple of other offers coming in as well – a lovely Saudi crown prince was sniffing around Kensington for a while, and Vladimir Putin was considering purchasing it so he could turn Cornwall into a reserve to hunt the deadliest game (man) …

Look, between you and me, the current owner really wants to shift it – they’re looking to flog it off and then move to somewhere sunny without a tax code or an extradition treaty, so they will consider any offer. Seriously. Any offer.

Season 8 of The Apprentice US on DVD and a bucket of chlorinated chicken? Sold.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

August 23, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

Conversation No. 26

Date: Wednesday, July 24,1996

Commenced: 10:45 AM CST

Concluded: 11:10 AM CST

RTC: I found a very interesting report in the files when I was looking for something else. I misfiled it some time ago. Anyway, Gregory, I thought I would send it to you but I must say that it is highly sensitive and if you publish anything on or about it, you might have very serious problems.

GD: More CIA assassinations?

RTC: No, actually, this has nothing to do with the CIA. We know about the subject but it isn’t really in our field and we want nothing to do with it. This is about…I think we have talked about the subject before. Vanishing people, flying saucers and so on.

GD: I believe so. Do go on.

RTC: Well, you’ll have the report next week, or whenever Greg   gets to the local post office…I mean it runs to about a hundred or more pages. Otherwise, I could stick it into an envelope and leave it for the local route man. And there it is. Absolutely pure science fiction but in this case, or rather these cases, science facts. I may have told you about one of our top people who just  vanished while walking down his driveway? Well, there is a lot more. We may have talked about the Roswell business and we can get back to that later but the most interesting item in the file is about the woman who was jaywalking in New York and was hit by some minority trying to escape from the police. Terrible impact and knocked her up onto the sidewalk. Right next to a hospital so she was rushed there but died there at once or more likely was killed by the impact. So, when they did an autopsy on her, they were lucky because they got right on to her, or whatever it was, and that was good because about two hours later, after the body cooled off, it turned to a sort of jelly. But, this is the fascinating part. It looked like a woman from the outside but once they cut into her, it wasn’t a woman.

GD: It was a transvestite?

RTC: No, it wasn’t human. The insides were all different. None of the staff had ever seen anything like it before so they photographed the body and took out what they hoped might be some kind of organs. Didn’t do any good because, like the body, the pieces all turned to jelly in the jars. But there are the affidavits and the photographs plus the police report of the accident and the emergency room people. Not human. What it was, no one knows, not to this day. Fortunately for everyone, one of the doctors was an Air Force reserve officer and he made a call. There was a descent on the hospital and everyone was grilled and terrified. One set of the pictures was saved by accident and we got it. And next week, you can have it, if the USPS doesn’t deliver it to Gambon in error. We had no idea what the whole thing was about but we talked with the Air Force people and they know all about such things. They did their Bluebook project on saucers. They do know, Gregory, but we never will.

GD: Why not?

RTC: You ask a question like that? Orson Wells’ program? Why the issue is national panic, that’s why not. Harry Truman could see this and the Roswell business and other things were all shut up and the press fed with reams of fake sightings and they got their in-house historians to write satires on the little green men. And even now, they encourage the nut fringe to publish silly crap and engage in hair pulling contests, just to keep the public looking at other things. Panic, Gregory. Tens of thousands of people vanish each year without any trace. We got the transistor from the Roswell wreck and the Air Force says at least 5% of all flying saucer sightings are real. And the non-humans walking around. My God, can you imagine the resurrection of the Salem witch trials is the air-brained public ever got it into their fuzzy heads that there were aliens running around the streets? And I don’t mean Guatemalan housemaids or Mexican gardeners either. No, royal panic. The public would demand answers and no one in authority can give them.

GD: Oh, they can just make something reasonable up and get it on the front page of the New York Times and then it’s all quiet on the western front.

RTC: Yes, that’s the usual drill but that might apply to sightings of strange celestial crockery but the thought that something sitting next to you on the bus might be something sinister from another galaxy would cause a royal uproar. No one here wants to deal with such things so they are best forgotten or better still, never talked about in the first place.

GD: I remember uncovering a story in July of ’76 about the Legionnaire’s Disease in Philly. I don’t know who was behind it but it was no accident. I got ABC interested in it and they did one, and only one, story on the air and then were shut up from way on high.

RTC: That was a little mistake from the Ft. Detrick people. The perp was terminated.

GD: So were some old geeks.

RTC: Collateral damage. Yes, I know about that and I laugh every time they mention in the media that it broke out again. Keeps the ball rolling. But the visiting aliens are another matter.

GD: Oh, I understand that. The public would run around like drunken chickens and every nut in the country would be jabbering about his own nut version and of course people would point out homeless eccentrics or, more likely, unwanted neighbors or personal enemies and the public would lynch them.

RTC: That’s the problem.

GD: Is there a solution?

RTC: As I understand it, a number of our agencies have been very quietly working on this visitation business for some time. The problem is that we can’t just send out flyers to hospitals or morgues without it getting out but I would be obvious that if they found something similar, the local press would be alerted and the story might, just possibly might, get out. Ah well, I have mixed emotions about sending this to you and you do assure me you won’t copy any of this or write about it?

GD: Are you joking, Robert? My God, the flying saucer nuts are almost as bad as the Kennedy assassination lunatics. If I published anything that one of them didn’t dream up in some psych ward when the meds ran out, they would gang up on me, screeching like Irish banshees. I’ve been thinking about doing something on the Kennedy business…..

RTC: But after I am no longer around. We agreed on this…

GD: Of course. No, I anticipate the screeching and clawing if I do. And if I ever hinted that there are non-humans among us and, better still, if I could even come close to proving it, my God, not only would the Air Force strafe my house at night but an army of the Undead conspiracy nutties would camp on my lawn and shit all over the grass. But is it interesting all in all. I mean, who, or what, are these things? Are they just doing on the ground recon? Are they going to run one of their people for high office? Are they collecting toads to experiment on? Colonists?

RTC: We could go on for days but in the end, I doubt if we’ll ever know.

GD: I suppose if someone at a Burger King saw an old woman’s three foot long black tongue shoot out of her mouth and snatch a Whopper off of a tray we might have problems.

RTC: There would be a descent of the sanitizing people and a few obits in the local paper. The old lady with the frog tongue would be long gone and so would any witnesses, believe me.

GD: This is a weird conversation Robert, believe me..

RTC: Well, you can see why things like this never get any meaningful press, can’t you. If some farmer started talking about some giant frog eating his horses, everyone would laugh at the really funny AP article on page thirty and that would be the end of it.

GD: Probably would be.  But what do your people think about all of this?

RTC: That there are aliens among us and that flying saucers are about 98% real. And we know that people vanish from the sight of man but then why frighten ourselves unnecessarily, Gregory?

GD: Yes, we can go the beach and watch all the legions of fatties waddling around the sand, crushing small children and blocking out the sun for thousands of others.

RTC: Gregory, I thank God I am not fat or I might find you offensive.

GD: So many others do, Robert. How did they know the thing was a woman?

RTC: It had no cock and a pair of tits.

GD: To the point. Sounds like people I know. Turns to jelly, does it? Why back to  the subject of fatties at the beach, so many people turn to jelly after twenty five. If we could harvest the fat, flense them at it were, we could make up for any international oil shortfall. And if Malthus was right, and I know he was, when the great hunger comes, why this country will have whole ciities full of the hefties they can harvest. I saw a woman the other day and I swear, one of her mostrrous thighs could feed a family of five for a month. For a month, Robert. With a decent sauce, of course. Why the Filipinos eat monkeys but I think that’s more like cannibalism than anything else.

RTC: Your unkindness knows no borders. But to return to reality, Gregory, you understand the dynamics here, don’t you?

GD: More or less. A friend of mine, an anchor person for a television station in San Francisco told me once that if they knew to the hour when a major earthquake would strike Los Angeles, and it will, the state would quietly evacuate people they considered important and wait for the rest to happen. Not cruelty but pragmatism. There would be a huge panic, suicides, looting, rapes, arson and other manifestations of human vileness and the death tolls from these would far transcend those from a major quake. No, I understand the concept. ‘Where every prospect pleases and only man is vile.’

RTC: Have you ever considered going into the ministry, Gregory?

GD: The Ministry of Defense?

RTC: No, that’s not what I had in mind.

GD: I can put my shirt on backward and collect for the poor. Since I’m poor, it wouldn’t bother me at all.

(Concluded at 11:10 AM CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Mary Helen Sears

Mary Helen Sears is a Michigan-based wingnut and, at least formerly, vice-chair of the Republican Party for the 1st congressional district of Michigan. In 2014 she was also (unsuccessfully) a candidate for being Michigan’s representative on the Republican National Committee. At that point, she fought bitterly against a Republican “expanding the tent”-strategy and sought instead to purge the party of Satanic influences, pointing out for instance that the theory of evolution is incompatible with the Constitution: After all, the Constitution says that “All men are CREATED equal” (yes, she capitalized “created” – she doesn’t care so much about the equal part), and you will “certainly not find that in Darwin’s view of the world, which is being taught to our gullible children. His view gave rise to Hitler’s Third Reich, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia.” It did not, but at this point we have already left the realm of truth, reason or accuracy far, far behind.

Perhaps more importantly, the GOP should not be open to homosexuals or homosexuality, for marriage “is a reflection of God and his Church. The promise that when this horror show we call life is over [Sears is apparently working hard to make that description accurate], we will once again be reunited with the God of this Universe. The joining of two men or two women is a perversion of this Covenant and a direct affront to God. Satan uses homosexuality to attack the living space of the Holy Spirit, which is the body of the person.” We need to accept God’s word on the matter, and Sears does not hesitate to remind us that people who engage in homosexuality “shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” At the very least, the GOP should not welcome them in their party: “How then can we as Christians stay in a party that adopts Homosexuality into the fabric of the tent. I say we cannot. Homosexuals make up less than one percent of the total population. They must prey on our children to increase their numbers. Why then, would we, as a party, entertain this perversion? We as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent.” She also referred to college professors as communists indoctrinating young naive students in public schools.

Diagnosis: Deluded, hateful and evil. We keep being drawn to thinking that this kind of person would immediately be recognized as unsuited for any position of power or influence, but are, as usual, disappointed.

 James Redfield

James Redfield is the author of the novel The Celestine Prophecy, which has come to be viewed as something of a spiritual guide for the New Age by a substantial group of very silly people (“This book is very simply about how we get and use energy. When we get enough energy, in the right ways, we can ‘raise our vibration.’ With a higher vibration we are better able to tap into our psychic and intuitive skills, and thus are better able to discover and live our true purpose in life,” says one reader who, we suspect, wouldn’t be able to define “energy” (or “vibration”) if her or his life depended on it. Redfield himself treats his novel very much that way, too, in addition to using it as the basis for a very material industry that includes newsletters (The Celestine Journal: Exploring Spiritual Transformation), sequels (The Tenth Insight, which “will take you through portals into other dimensions,” The Secret of Shambhala; In Search of the Eleventh Insightand The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision), audio tapes and CDs. There are hints of L. Ron Hubbard. This is a cult.

Most of the teachings gleaned from his writings consist of vague gesturing about (never-defined) energies and vibrations, and, in particular, on how to increase your energy level in order to vibrate harder, because that is apparently good for you. However, for some reasons these energies and vibrations mean that for “half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual. If you find yourself reading this book, then perhaps you already sense what is happening, already feel it inside.” Like most millenialist prophecies, we are always already on the verge, it seems. And how should you prepare for this consciousness? You should, according to Redfield, avoid the negative (you can tell good from bad people by their eyes), quell your doubts, follow your intuitions, adopt a teleological worldview, tap into collective consciousness and evolve. Apparently it is no coincidence that coincidences are happening more and more frequently at present, as Redfield sees it, though there are of course really none. Good lord.

In fairness, there are some more concrete events described in the novel, too (concerning mysterious insight into vibrations set down by Mayans in the 6thcentury in Aramaic(!)), but those are fictional, and Redfield’s followers should take them seriously but not literally (perhaps you should vibrate at the frequency of their post-truth truthiness?). The novel also reminds you about the restlessness of contemporary life and focus on material goods – a deeply profound revelation, isn’t it? – and advices readers to care about auras instead.

In any case, the book is supposed to convey nine “deep” insights, primarily about subtle energies (previously undetected by science, but which forms the basis of all things – how does he know about them? The insights of the Arameic-speaking Mayans that he invented, of course; silly you) that you can freely tap into by mystical experiences (unless blocked by childhood traumas, which can make you a psychic vampire) and which, if everybody does, will allow us to vibrate ourselves off the planet, which is apparently good. The sequels promise three more “insights”. Redfield has also written God and the Evolving Universe: The Next Step in Personal Evolution, with Sylvia Timbers and Michael Murphy.

The effectiveness of his message rests not on the contents but on its championship of solipsism and self-centered, self-serving egotheistic subjectivism (with a dash of victim blaming): truth is whatever you make it, follow yourself, evolve your spirituality, don’t care about reality. Subjective validation and communal reinforcement are everything you need. “Post-truth” is the currently popular word for it, we think.

Diagnosis: Redfield seems, at least superficially, to be a true believer, so we will assume he is. It doesn’t make him significantly less disgusting. And to his fans (and fans of similar tripe):you are the reason for fake news, post-truth nonsense, conspiracy theories and inauthentic living (yes: go read some Sartre instead, though we suspect you are too dimwitted to get anything out of it).

 

Was Jesus Gay? An Historical Journey

August 23, 2019

by Charles Croyden, DD

The Gospel of John makes references to the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 20), In the text, this beloved disciple is present at the crucifixion of Jesus, with Jesus’ mother, Mary.

It has traditionally been assumed that the disciple whom Jesus loved is a self-reference by the author of the Gospel, traditionally regarded as John the Apostle.

Aelred of Rievaulx, in his work Spiritual Friendship, referred to the relationship of Jesus and John as a “marriage” and held it out as an example sanctioning friendships between clerics. It has been claimed that it was held by Francesco Calcagno, who was investigated on that account by the Venetian Inquisition in 1550.

James I of England may have been relying on a pre-existing tradition when he defended his relationship with the young Duke of Buckingham: “I wish to speak in my own behalf and not to have it thought to be a defect, for Jesus Christ did the same, and therefore I cannot be blamed. Christ had his son John, and I have my George.”

In the Gospel of John, the disciple John frequently refers to himself in the third person as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’.” One might argue that Jesus loved all of his followers in a non-sexual way. Thus to identify Jesus’ love for John in a special way might indicate a sexual relationship. The disciple was “the” beloved. He was in a class by himself.  During the Last Supper before Jesus’ execution, the author(s) of the Gospel of John describes how the “beloved” disciple laid himself on Jesus’ inner tunic — his undergarment. See John 13:25 and 21:20. Robert Goss, assistant professor of comparative religion at Webster University in St. Louis, LA, noted that Jesus and the beloved disciple: “… eat together, side by side. What’s being portrayed here is a pederastic relationship between an older man and a younger man. A Greek reader would understand.”

The late Morton Smith, of Columbia University reported in 1958 that he had found a fragment of a manuscript which at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem. It contained the full text of Mark, chapter 10. Apparently the version that is in the Christian Scriptures is an edited version of the original. Additional verses allegedly formed part of the full version of Mark, and were inserted after verse 34. It discusses how a young man, naked but for a linen covering, expressed his love for Jesus and stayed with him at his place all night. Mark 7:14-16 shows that Jesus approves of homosexual acts. The critical phrase reads: “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him…” Jesus gave great emphasis to this teaching, directing it to everyone.

Mark 7:14-16 shows that Jesus approves of homosexual acts. The critical phrase reads: “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him…” Jesus gave great emphasis to this teaching, directing it to everyone.

Mark 14:51-52 describes the incident when Jesus was arrested by the religious police. It describes how one of Jesus’ followers was scantily dressed. The King James Version says he had a linen cloth cast on his naked body; the size and location of the cloth is not defined. The New International Version says that he was “wearing nothing but a linen garment.”  When the police tried to seize him, they were able to grab only his cloth; the man ran away naked. Reverend Peter Murphy wrote: “We don’t know from the sources what really was going on, but we do know that something was very peculiar between Jesus and young men.” (Emphasis in the original.)

Michael Kelly wrote of Jesus’ attitude towards a same-sex couple as described in  Matthew 8:5-13: and Luke 7:2: “One day a Roman Centurion asked him to heal his dying servant. Scholars of both Scripture and Ancient History tell us that Roman Centurions, who were not permitted to marry while in service, regularly chose a favorite male slave to be their personal assistant and sexual servant. Such liaisons were common in the Greco-Roman world and it was not unusual for them to deepen into loving partnerships….Jesus offered to go to the servant, but the centurion asked him simply to speak a word of healing, since he was not worthy to welcome this itinerant Jewish teacher under his roof. Jesus responded by healing the servant and proclaiming that even in Israel he had never found faith like this! So, in the one Gospel story where Jesus encountered people sharing what we would call a ‘gay relationship,’ we see him simply concerned about — and deeply moved by — their faith and love.” Kelly implies that Jesus’ sensitivity towards the gay couple might have arisen from his own bisexual or homosexual orientation

Some commentators argue from silence. They note that there is no passage in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that directly describes anything about Jesus’ sexuality. There are many direct and indirect references to Jesus’ sensuality. He was accused of being a “drunkard and a glutton” and of partying with “prostitutes and sinners.” He apparently enjoyed a tender foot massage from a woman. Yet, neither Jesus’ sexuality nor his celibacy is mentioned. Yet, sex is referred to, elsewhere in the Bible, quite often. One might argue that the books in the Christian Scriptures might have once described Jesus’ sexual relationships, but that these passages have been vigorously censored by the later church because they were unconventional.

Other commentators have noted that Jesus is silent towards homosexuality in the Gospels. Yet, Paul’s opinions and those of many other authors in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) are clearly stated. They conclude that Jesus might have been gay.

In the Renaissance period (14th—16th centuries), a man was accused and tried in Venice (c.1550) for heresies, one of which was his claim that John was Christ’s catamite (cinedo di Cristo), an idea that apparently had a certain following in Italy at the time.

In England, Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) authored the famous homoerotic play Edward II (1591).    Then after his death, Richard Baines in a libel case claimed that Marlowe had professed that “St. John the Evangelist was bedfellow to Christ and leaned alwaies in his bosome, that he used him as the sinners of Sodome.”

Another playwright Thomas Kyd said that “He [Marlowe] would report St. John to be our Saviour Christ’s Alexis,” referring to the love which the Greek shepherd Corydon felt for the fair youth Alexis as described in Virgil’s Eclogues 2 and about which Marlowe had written in his poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.”

Later, the philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) devoted himself to trying to decriminalize homosexual relations in Britain, where hangings for this had increased.

In an only-partially published manuscript titled ‘Not Paul but Jesus,’ Bentham mentions the special fondness which Jesus had for John, and asked, “Could John have meant to imply that he and Jesus were lovers?”

Then he added, “[G]ood taste and . . . prudence would require us to turn aside” from such a “topic of extreme delicacy,” although at the same time a regard for human happiness, truth and justice still “compel” this author “to go over it

Modern scholars who believe that Jesus and his Beloved Disciple shared a homosexual relationship include:  Hugh Montefiore (1969), Robert Williams (1992), Sjef van Tilborg (1993), John McNeill (1995), Rollan McCleary (2003), Robert E. Goss (2006), and James Neill (2009).

The United Reformed Church of Christ of Great Britain in its document Toward a Christian Understanding of Sexuality (1984) wrote that Jesus “may have . . .  been homosexuality inclined.”

Psychoanalyst Richard C. Friedman (1988) viewed Jesus and his beloved disciple as having a homosexual marriage.

Rosemary Ruether (1978) and Nancy Wilson (1995) held that Jesus was bisexual.    Going further in the other direction, Morton Smith (1973) suggested that as part of a secret baptismal ritual Jesus may have had physical union with more than one of his disciples.―although this view is based on a later ‘heretical’ text.

Theodore Jennings (2003) believes definitely that Jesus and John “were lovers,” although he notes that the Bible tells us nothing more about how Jesus and his Beloved shared their love beyond the physical intimacy described at the Last Supper.

.Jesus was not a Nazerene but an Alexandrian Jew. His family moved to Judea when Jesus and his two brothers were very young. Jesus’ elder brother was a member of the agricultural Essene cult and Jesus joined this group.

During the Procuratorship of Antonius Felix (52 to 58 CE) Jesus amassed a mob of about 30,000 Palestinian Jewish dissidents, planning to attack Jerusalem and drive out the Roman garrison. One of Jesus’s Essene associates, a man named Judas, informed Felix of the impending raid and it was stopped by Roman troops with a heavy loss of life for the rebels. Many were taken prisoner, tried and crucified for rebellion against the Roman government but the period records show, very clearly, that the leader, Jesus from Alexandria, escaped and vanished into the desert.

Jesus was an Essene, and Christianity as we know it today evolved from this sect of Judaism, with which it shared many ideas and symbols

The Essenes, a Judean cult were an agricultural community that had a communistic approach to their life style. There was a common purse and shared wealth and much, if not most, of the first expressed Christian dogma came directly from the Essenes. Unfortunately, like the Spartans and Zulus who were essentially a military community cult, the agricultural Essenes were male-oriented and homosexual in nature. The Essenes were outlawed by the Romans, and many members were subsequently crucified in a general crackdown under Titus, not because of their sexual practices but because of their political opposition to Roman rule. The small remnants of the Essenes retreated to the Dead Sea area and eventually died out.

The Essenes are discussed in detail by Josephus and Philo. Scholars believe that the community at Qumran that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls were Essenes, that Jesus was an Essene, and Christianity as we know it today evolved from this sect of Judaism, with which it shared many ideas and symbols The Essenes are best known today as the inhabitants from Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were located by Bedouins first in 1947.  It is now known that they were closely affiliated with the Hasidim, a sectarian group that included the disciples of Hillel and Menahem the Essene who left for Damascus in 20 BCE.

The Essenes are discussed in detail by Josephus and Philo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No responses yet

Leave a Reply