VIP Trust

One Person, no matter who he or she is, is a very small part of a population. Why are some individuals given so much artificially created importance? It’s not artificial, you may say. People need leaders, and it’s perfectly natural that the leader of a large group will be very important to the welfare of the group and will bear a disproportionate share of the burden for maintaining that welfare. In at least one sense it certainly is natural.

The way humans treat their leaders–and the way some of them become leaders–is at heart pretty much the same as the hierarchical social structures of, say, baboons or chimpanzees. Males fight one another with the hope of becoming “alpha male;” those who don’t win are subservient to him, and females are subservient to all of them, with finer degrees of hierarchy of their own. The differences between how baboons do it and how we do it are more in details than in the essence.

That’s not surprising. All of us–baboons, chimps, humans–are primates, with common evolutionary roots both biologically and culturally. Our social systems look like modified versions of theirs because they are modified versions of theirs. And it works pretty well, for baboon troops. Their hierarchies, for all the conflicts they entail, probably do serve the group’s long-term welfare by preventing more extensive conflicts that would likely arise if nobody were imposing some order, and presenting a united front to external threats.

Dr. Stanley Schmidt, Editorial: “VIPs”; Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2012.

In one fell swoop, Dr. Stanley Schmidt just described the sociological world of Herbert Armstrong in the Worldwide Church of God: A strongly hierarchical structure with him at the top over a group of primates, acting every bit like baboons.

Generally speaking, as civilization matures, the evolution is toward the individual having freedoms in a venue where it is recognized that, for the most part, there is an equality among the people and there isn’t one particular super human to become the supreme autocratic leader. This assumes that each member of the citizenry take ownership to maintain order and act responsibly. It would appear that autocracies based in a stong hierarchical structure are regressions negating our social evolution, obliterating the hope of pursuing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by the singular individual.

It has become painfully obvious that Herbert Armstrong imposed order to present a united front to external and internal threats: It is obvious, because with his death, the conflicts have increased 700 fold and are certainly doing nothing to serve the group’s long term welfare. Even though Herbert Armstrong was one small fat short man, he rallied others to him as the “alpha male” to gain control of the group.

During his time, Roderick Meredith, Gerald Flurry, David Pack, Dennis Luker, Ronald Weinland, were all the losers and became subservient to him, with the females subservient to all of them, with finer degrees of hierarchy of their own. No real intelligence was needed: It’s pretty much social genetics, making the victims mere pawns in the evolutionary scheme of things, in yet another minor league cult. And yes, there are many more groups and larger groups of “baboons”, but what has happened in Armstrongism is instructive in the understanding of how locked into a system primates can be. In reality, Herbert Armstrong had absolutely no worth as either a person, an apostle or a false prophet, but he was in charge, and darn it all, we were going to believe and follow him, no matter what, without much thought put into it, following, as it were, our animal passions.

Dr. Schmidt continues:

Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

People need leaders, you may say again, and I must agree at least in part: Some people need leaders most of the time, and perhaps most do under some circumstances. We’re sometimes told that people tend to be either leaders or followers, and in my experience many do tend to lean more toward one or the other–the in the complex hierarchies of our present societies, many people play both roles in different subgroups. And I don’t buy the idea that everybody has a natural preference for one or the other. Personally I don’t like to do any more of either than necessary. I prefer to work as independently as possible as much of the time as possible, and it’s how I usually work best.

Now, in the realm of religion, particularly Christianity, one would think that there would be more individuality: According to Scripture, when Christ died, the veil to the Holy of Holies was ripped down the middle, and symbolically, was a metaphor that the people no longer needed the High Priest as the leader to go directly to God the Father. One would think. It was to be a new world with the Old Covenant done away and a New Covenant written, so that there was no more hierarchy to get to God. The good news of the gospel is that your sins separating you from your God were covered and you had redemption. This was now a higher plane above, not just above the primates, but mankind itself. Old habits die hard. And there are a lot of successful con men out there, ready and able to recapture people as livestock to live off of them, promoting the very vision of the 1972 Princeton Prison Experiment, replete with the Warden Superintendant, guards and prisoners, reducing the supposedly spiritual plane back to the animal level: Herbert Armstrong invoked in us a regression to the primal.

Dr. Schmidt adds:

It’s also prudent for a large organization to have mechanisms built into it to ensure that its smooth functioning is not too dependent on which individual is currently doing whatever executive duties need to be done. That’s where most of them fall down. It’s nice to have a competent, well-liked and respected leader in those cases where you need a leader at all. If you’re lucky enought to have one, it’s naturally a sad thing to lose him or her–just as it’s a sad thing to lose any competent, well-liked and respected person. If that loss is a violent one, the perpetrator is a crimnal and needs to be dealt with as such. But it’s not the end of the world, whether violent or not, and reacting to it as if it were is likely to do far more harm than good. Wouldn’t it be better to have a social structure strong and resilient enough to deal appropriately and propotionately with both the loss and the crime, and meanwhile make the necessary adjustment to go on with the rest of its business in a reasonably normal fashion?

In the case of cults, no. Cults are cults because they focus on one man (or woman or a small cadre of “leaders”) to excess. It’s best to let them die. Now it should not have escaped any of you what the lesson here is: While it is true that Herbert Armstrong was a “success” in the sense that he got all he wanted out of life, he was a failure in providing a lasting legacy because people were entirely focused on him. In the aftermath of his death, there has been a vacuum left. Those familiar with science knows the old adage that nature abhors a vacuum.

Unfortunately, the “alpha males” rushing in to fill the void, simply can’t fill it. Armstrongism is a spectacular failure with sociopathic nutjobs popping up nearly weekly like mushrooms on the lawn after a rainy day. The final words of Dr. Schmidt in his editorial should give us all pause, even if taken out of context:

And if that happens, our reaction to any problem with it is likely to be as extreme and destructive as with any of its human predecessors.

So those now involved with Armstrongism — particularly now that we have the robust example of Ronald Weinland, the prophet that failed — have a clear choice: Make your own choices and be responsible for them or pursue social evolutionary regression to follow the baboon alpha male leader.

13 Replies to “VIP Trust”

  1. “Now, in the realm of religion, particularly Christianity, one would think that there would be more individuality”

    No, not so. Individuality is not to be separate from the collective. In order to keep the “unit” functioning and moving it takes the machine of fear and the process of collective thought. Disagree with one segment of church society and Pandora’s box has been opened. The digression has a price attached to it.

    The members of the collective: For them to leave is to admit failure. Leaving is a process of thought that consists of adding up the costs. Costs like the reality or possibilities of cult correctness and the prospect of life without a support system. Newly found courage will propel the member (or members) forward out of the grasp of its inevitable social decline and degeneration.

    When cults die out, it is because the people figure out the scam and start to leave, or chose to follow the leader towards an Armageddon that ends it all.

    As to Weinland I cannot say. What will he say or do to his members when the date of Christ’s coming turn out to be a failure? Maybe we should look to the past for answers. WWHD? (What Would Herbie Do?)

  2. Herbert Armstrong was such a primal narcissist that he acted out the role of Moses: He seemed to believe that he was the Law Giver and that all of his followers — like the Israelites of old — were all incapable of his level of “understanding”. He had to teach them as if none of them had the Holy Spirit and he was the only one who did.

    If the followers really did have the Holy Spirit, they didn’t need Herbert Armstrong to teach them one thing or lead them. If they didn’t, then the whole question was moot: A true lose-lose situation.

    So you have a totally immature man with poor behavioral controls having little more than an eighth grade education, totally ignorant of science or scientific methods, caught up in fantasy delusions, establishing himself as an expert while, in fact, he was a kook.

    The truth is, the bulk of his followers were better than he was — better educated, more mentally sound and many of them even having a better religious education than he. He ruined them.

    Today, there is absolutely no contest. With access to the Internet and thousands of tools, most of us can advance way beyond the Armstrongist hireling without breaking a sweat or breathing hard.

    There is no particular reason to consider Herbert Armstrong or any of his hirelings to be anywhere near the top of the “monkey tree” as they clamor to be the top banana. They are, every one of them, fools, believing in alternative world history which has never happened and preaching false prophecies which will never happen.

    This is a major fail and sometimes it makes even baboon societies look advanced.

  3. Since I was a rebel from youth, and probably the majority of COG’ers were either rebels or the whole damn thing didnt make sense to them, my own experience was to get really excited when HWA declared and demonstrated the flaws of all the other religions. Cool! I knew there was something wrong, and I could step out and thumb my nose at them!

    Heav4en and hell as christianity taught it was bullshit. Even if you failed, there was the secnd resurrectin, so, really, no pressure.

    Douglas makes a point I have bee n hamering at for some time:

    “If the followers really did have the Holy Spirit, they didn’t need Herbert Armstrong to teach them one thing or lead them. If they didn’t, then the whole question was moot: A true lose-lose situation.”

    That really is a very important point. If the natural mind is enmity against God, thren one needs the Holy Spirit to help him/her determine truth. But is s/he DID have the Holy Spirit, there was no need for Herbie(or any other leader, for that matter).

    Assuming that baptism leads one into a n understanding of the truth through the Holy Spirit, then one would know, upon baptism, whether r not s/he was following that spirit. BUT what abut all those false baptisms? If the baptised believer saw through them, what proof could s/he offer that they were indeed false, since others would not be baptised into the “true” baptism?

    This boils down to a dilemma: even assuming that HWA’s folks DID have the true baptism, there was no way of proving it! And if you couldn’t prove it, you had t assume that HWA(or your other personal leader)DID have the truth, and following him/her would keep you on the right path.

    IOW, baptism really means nothing at all, since there is no way of proving it as truth to the unbaptized, and the baptized can’t even prove it among themselves.

    So how would they know its true? Logic, reason, and proof, but if they COULD use logic, reason, and proof, they would know WITHOUT the Holy Spirit which one was true!

    Herbie’s logic was so simple; if all the others were wrong, and there had to be one, then Herbie MUST be the one, since he had shown us that all the others were wrong. A leap of faith, but it seemed logical. This is precisely the question asked me by the JWs a while back: If all the things they said were true, and IF no other chruch taught this, THEN, there had to be one organized church of the true God, and the JWs must be it.

    Every religion uses a variation of that to some degree. Since I have shown you all the others are wrong, and there must be one, then I must be that one!

    It never occurs to us that IF there is a God, then “He” might choose by a method that would appear random to us, and would not be dependent on our reasoning(Isaiah 55:8, 1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

    Once we accept the flawed cnclusin aove, however, the religion will fall right back into the evolutionary patterns of behavior that Douglas describes, which are nothing more than genetically developed patterns of both species and cultural survival.

  4. Schmidt may ultimately be only half way describing the nature of the beast, to evolve toward dictatorship of one zealous god or king of the “world” I agree he’s got that, be he only eludes to the opposite side of the coin, and the reasons it has never fully manifest.

    Armstrongites never baptized me, and I never joined in the church, I never went to the feast of tabernacles. It was my birth marker, a built in tendancy to doubt everything in the world, particularily in my teen years that kept me out of that dreaded discipline . It’s the scientific method. It prepaired me for a the huge, Armstrong attack that woul again smote me a decade later. Those days I can say are the worst I have ever had stretching over five decades… bar none.

    Notice I was smote even though I did not “trust” them, and was seriously affected by this cult?

  5. Schmidt may ultimately be only half way describing the nature of the beast

    Dr. Stanley Schmidt was making an entirely different point entirely, but his initial observations of why many organizations are the way they are was useful for our purposes here and here is another part of the editorial which may clarify his purpose for you:

    Another development, also technology based, that may point in a useful direction for improving our social systems and large-scale decision-making, is the new ability for large-scale, high-speed computers to rapidly analyze huge quantities of data and extrapolate them to thier likely consequences. In ther past, one of our excuses for having a Very Importaqnt Person at the head of policy-making bodies was that we needed somebody with highly developed human judgment to look at the oceans of information describing a multitude of interacting systems and decide what would be appropriate reactions to them passed the point where any individual could actually understand all those systems well enough to make reliable judgments about what detailed actions would be best for the big picture. Presidents and kings depend heavily on advisors who, they hope, have a molre in-depth knowledge of one subset of the interacting systems.

    But there are now several “big Data” projects underway that attempt to use powerful computing tools to look in detail at both the big picture and the fine details in far more depth than any individual, even with other individual advisors, could ever hope to do. Such tools can predict the likely outcomes of various courses of action with much higher levels of confidence than any unaided human could do. Human judgment (and argument) is still likely to be needed, of course, to decide which of several outcomes is desirable. Computers may be able to tell us the most likely way to achieve each, but humans are unlikely to agree immediately on which one the should try to achieve. For that, leadership may sdtill be needed–but more and more of that decision-making may be done by “open-source” methods. And in time, if people see the computer predictions succeed often enough, they may come to rely on them more and more.

    See, now, and especially in light of Ralph’s keen observations above, society has advanced far beyond the Nineteeth Century leadership thinking of Herbert Armstrong. He proved himself to have absolutely terrible judgment. If you don’t believe that, just look at the psychopath he chose to succeed him.

    Herbert Armstrong’s “argument”, if that’s what you want to call it, is that a leader with the Holy Spirit is better than a leader without it, particularly if you have the one, the only truth. There are several great flaws showing up here: Just because you can prove that pretty much every body else is wrong (I can do that too), does not mean that you are right. The likelyhood is that you are wrong in some other way and blindsided by your own reasoning. Again, I think Ralph has explained that very well. Herbert Armstrong was wrong and he proved others wrong. That did not make him right at all, just a weird kook is all. He also assumed that he had the Holy Spirit because he was different. This particular logic bomb becomes glaring when you consider that a person with psychoaffective disorder is also very different, but not in a good way as far as reasoning and ideas are concerned. Crazy kooks like Herbert Armstrong always make their reasoning seem so reasonable until you take their major premise and dismantle / obliterate it.

    We’ve done that by terminating all possible support for British Israelism, which he used as THE key to prophecy and which led to his being an absolute false prophet. Today, in the light of the speed and depth of the Internet as an information tool, Herbert Armstrong looks weak and pathetic to say the least.

    As for moving on into the technological world described by Dr. Stanley Schmidt from the above quote, it should be clear that Herbert Armstrong and all of his hireling follow-ons simply could not even begin to exercise good judgment even with any consultants / advisors. For one thing, they don’t seem to ever listen to anybody, let alone anyone who can prove that the very core of what they believe is wrong. Without fixing that problem, there is not a shred of hope that any of the cult groups within Armstrongism can ever get any better than they are today. This is just yet another aspect of entropy, this time, mental entropy: The ACoGs have lapsed into a sort of senile dementia Altzheimer’s which renders their mental capacities at best in the range of morons. They mistakenly believe that their judgments are good and that people should listen to them because they have the Holy Spirit. Again, as Ralph says, they simply don’t have any proof that they do and they certainly, in their constant warring state with one another, do not exhibit any signs of the fruit of the spirit.

    So now that we are approaching the time that computer processing is reaching the level of human reasoning and judgment, how long will it be before the computing power passes us by and relegates leadership to the dust bin? Certainly a very interesting question is, that if computational resources surpass the human realm, could the fruit of quantum hueristic computing be indistinguishable from the fruit of the spirit?

    The question is simply to cast light (and aspersions) on the claims that ACoG leaders should be where they are because of the Holy Spirit and the choice of God Himself, when, in fact, it is the sorting out of the alpha male in a primitive primate society.

  6. Bob Dixon writes:
    “Schmidt may ultimately be only half way describing the nature of the beast, to evolve toward dictatorship of one zealous god or king of the “world” I agree he’s got that, be he only eludes to the opposite side of the coin, and the reasons it has never fully manifest.”

    It is interesting that the Tower of Babel demonstrates the tendency of humans to seek unity toward one goal, yet they never really comprehend the dangers attending that effort, such as the destruction of their surrounding environment as they borrow more and more energy, creating chaos in thos surrounding environbments. That is an aspect of entropy. You cannot orga nize in one area without increasi ngly borrowing energy from related areas, resulting in chaos in those areas.

    The older thery of class struggle, befre Marx re-defined it, was basically simple. One culture conquered another culture, and absorbed its people. This conquered people, however, would affect the dominant culture with its own cultural information, and the dominant culture had to absorb it. The more cultures conquered, the more the dominant culture had to absorb its members, thus creating a larger diversity of alternatives. The chaos created by the organizing system is internalized. The system, therefore, creates the seeds of its own destruction.

    You have a parallel to this in biological systems. The organism seeks to mai ntain its integrity, and therefore avoids change, since the genes depend on control of their environment to replicate themselves over generations. If the organism is not “informed” by the “capture” of necessary information, it dies. This process occurs via viruses. The virus, equipped with DNA, is injected into the cell, which then ruptures, creating a chaos at the cellular level, which grows until it threatenss the integrity of the organism. The organism, like the dominant culture, will seek to destroy its parasitic invader. The invader, like the virus, has captured enough of the basic replicative machinery that it can spread and infect all related cells(or people) with the same basic replicative information. Even if destroyed, the virus(or rebel) has served the purpose of informing others with alternatives.

    In biological systems, intelligence is enhanced in this fashion, since the organism has enlarged its database of defenses for future references, and the culture, if it survives, has enlarged its database of defenses as well. From cells to cultures, the same general process occurs.

    With the COGs, you have the struggle between those who tryu to maintain integriy in the face of change, ignoring necessary adaptive processes to change, and those who become a kind of cultural “virus” acting as individuals, informing others of the flaws in the overal structure of the organism. This knowledge, presented by the emergent individuals, becomes a kind of DNA for future reference if necessary. The system cannot enlarge without absorbing the growing complexity of its various parts. HWA became more and more resistant to this very necessity, and the system collapsed.

  7. Douglas again presents an interesting statement:

    “The ACoGs have lapsed into a sort of senile dementia Altzheimer’s which renders their mental capacities at best in the range of morons. They mistakenly believe that their judgments are good and that people should listen to them because they have the Holy Spirit. Again, as Ralph says, they simply don’t have any proof that they do and they certainly, in their constant warring state with one another, do not exhibit any signs of the fruit of the spirit.”

    Constant warring. That seems to be an evolutionary process, as wars lead to tighter control and organization within cultures, and the technologies that will allow one side to defeat the other. As Slater points out in “EarthWalk”:

    “Historians have long observed that war is the prime progenitor of technological development. From the materialization of aneed to coerce, what else can come but discord and destruction?”

    When threatened with perceived destruction, an organism or a culture goes into a deeper reflection and study of the components that make it what it is. IOW, self awareness. It then seeks to preserve this self identity by striking at those things which threaten that self integrity.The more intense the battle, the more the individual is forced to define him/her self as an individual AND as part of the group s/he chooses. To aid this, the religion, culture, or organism, will go trough a prcess of “cleansing”.

    This occurs in organisms when attacked by a virus. Te organism will employ vomiting, diaharrhea, sneezing, a host of tactics that seek to rid itself of the offender, including fever to simply burn up the internal infection. The need to repel the invader, however serves the invader’s purpose by allowing it to spread through the very tactics the organism uses. The very attempt at cleansing will often result in the spread of the disease.

    We have seen cultures historically do this, with the usual cleansing of Jews in various cultures, as well as the Salem witch trials, and any situatin in which there are perceived invaders.

    Jesus pointed out in Matthew 24 that “ye shall hear of wars a nd rumors of wars” and that “these things must come to pass”. That suggests a necessary unfolding of a process of evolution.

    One of the more interestig definitions of war is given by Marshall McLuhan in “Understanding Media”:

    “Previous wars can now be regarded as the processin g of difficult and resistant materials by the latest technology, the speedy dumping of industrial products on an enemy market to the point of social saturation. War, in fact, can be seen as a process of achieving equilibrium among unequal technologies”.

    Seen in the above fashion, Jesus’ statements that wars and rumors of wars must come to pass has a very different meaning. We can not escape our own evolutionary process. We are part of a process that we do not understand, and there is little we can do to change what is “hardwired” into our systems, which Paul also mentions in Romans 7, where he discusses the futility of trying to alter his behavior since “I do not understand my own actions(verse 15)”. It follows, therefore, that we discover the applications of “sin” by experience and knowledge, and learn to avoid certain behaviors. “It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin….”

    The concept that “sin worketh death”, is comparable to the idea that a virus “worketh death”, and we are forced to adapt by identifying the virus, attaching antibiodies, and eliminating its destructive effects.
    The greater the complexity and variety of those attacks, the more our adaptive response is ehnanced, and therefore the greater intelligence we develop. All a prcess of war. If our ability to resist change becomes greater than our adaptive capacity, we die as individuals and as a species or civilization(overspecialization).

  8. All good points, Ralph.

    Nevertheless, I can see nothing good coming out of Armstrongism even if there were to be introspection: It is an evolutionary dead end from overspecialization.

    Overspecialization made unnecessary by virtue of the fact that it is fatally flawed at its very core conception. No amount of “borrowing” energy from somewhere else will save it from the ultimate entropy.

    Even the wars in which it is engaged does nothing to strengthen it. The only thing that happens is that those who engage in it either die off or leave the battle field. No territory is won, no progress is made. All that is left is devastation with the top brass changing armies occasionally in order to get better rank, more pay and better retirement. As Silenced observed, we seem to moving rapidly to the day the average of the Armstrongist congregations is 80+: No real new blood and the people are tired of fighting an endless war with no prospects of peace and without any real concept of why the subcults are warring with one another.

    Armstrongism: A diseased organism which does not seem to have much hope of recovery — and let’s hope not: We’ve had enough of the disease long enough.

    May it never adapt.

  9. Adaptation is already occurring at an individual level, which is really what is importa nt at this time. A person leaves a mass movement and he swallows the movement. Instead of being a cog, the individual becomes the entire meaning of the process. Ernest Martin got me fired up back in the 70s when he wrote about the concept of “grapevine government”; “I am the vine, you are the branches…”

    The concept, as Martin presented was not one of hierarchy, but of each individual directly connected, with no need of a leader to tell him/her what is right. In the days of the internet, we see this analogy more apparently. Not only is Armstrongism dead, but the entire class of hierarchical systems of religion is dying. What once served as a collective labor pool for a cog-in-the-machine system is now becoming a more individualized system to serve an information-based society. That’s what terrorism is all about. As the technology empowers individuals, the individuals become more resistant to all collectivist efforts.

  10. Doug and Ralph, both interesting with a bounty of valid points by both. Got me thinking. Schmidt’s further statements provided by Doug, demonstrates that stark reality is NOW. Google does it when they state they can predict your actions with better than 90% reliability, and mass movements by 98%.

    Ralph applies this to the humanities, and I can’t agree more. Humanity as with all living things, adapts to it’s current situation.

    The Armstrong era is forever over, dead and gone, thru the empowerment of individuals armed with knowledge. Equal to and most probable is the WOG history from the past, destroyed the future, and destroyed them. Evil eats evil.

  11. Armstrongism as a virus infecting a small percentage of the population serves a useful purpose in the evolution of society: It serves to strengthen society by inoculating society against similar infections.

    If we had not had Herbert Armstrong, we would be poorer for it, because we know better how narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths work. If he had not been around, we would not have the breadth and depth of knowledge we now have. In fact, as a public figure, Herbert Armstrong is better documented than most other public figures. We get to see how a know-nothing vaults on to the public scene, builds an empire. We also get to see those involved with him and what happens to the empire when he exits the scene. It is a venue rich with meaning which can be mined endlessly.

    Moreover, once you know the trick, all subsequent “viruses” become only a weaker varient, prone to inoculation against and a further education into abnormal psychology and defective organizations. We can also interpolate the information with other examples of abherrant behavior within other groups to provide a laboratory in which to extract further analysis.

    Roger Penrose posited in his book, “The Emperor’s New Mind”, the idea that the human brain is transcendant because it can use a tap into the quantum universe beyond the linear thinking of lesser minds. Many mathematicians, physicists and others of scientific disciplines seem to experience reasoning at a higher plane where they “tap into the Universe” for greater understanding of our world. Some might think of this as the “Spiritual plane” but it seems to be available to others who might not be considered “spiritual”.

    As long as those stuck in the mentality of Armstrongism do not work to expand their awareness through introspection and acceptance of (indeed seeking) correction and truth, not to prove they are right, but, as true science does, follow the objective information where it takes them without predjudice, they will be forever stuck in the mud.

  12. Douglas and Bob, YES! As I was writing about Paul in Romans 7, I made that ‘discovery” as I actually wrote the response, summed up by Douglas:

    “Armstrongism as a virus infecting a small percentage of the population serves a useful purpose in the evolution of society: It serves to strengthen society by inoculating society against similar infections.”

    Yes! Romans 7:7 “…I had not known lust, except the law said ‘Thou shalt not covet'”.

    A reflection principle. We look at all the ways the one law affects our lives, and we “innoculate” ourselves against it. This is just what an organism does when a virus invades. Its first response: IDENTIFICATION. Know your enemy.

    “…when the commandment came, sin revived, and i died”. The knowledge of error creates a “death” of old ways of thinking, ujust as the identification of a virus creatges new patterns of reproduction and replication at the cellular level, creating new behavior patterns. We “vaccinate” ourselves, and then apply that very knwledge to keep us out of such behavior in the future.

    The problem is, we cannot know all these things in advance, and it is not the tendency of collectivist mentality to tell us so.

    “For to will is present within me, but how to perform that which is good I know not”. Or as the RSV says “I don’t understand my own actions”.

    To go back to that same level now is like a dog returning to its vomit.

    As Douglas Hofstadter explained in ‘Godel, Escher, Bach”, our conscious mind is like the software of a computer. But the software cannot alter the hardware because the sftware is dependent on the function of the hardware in all its complex levels. “How to perform that which is good, I find not”.

    A more recent paper by Marvin Minsky ans Seymour Papert on computers, artificial intelligence and the brain, points out that the “hardware” of the brain, its observable physical functions, is so complex that the conscious min d cannot even begin to organize and plan process by which its functions can be controlled. Basically the same thing Paul said.

    As a consequence, you learn, through life, to apply each principle, each “virus” or ‘sin”, how to identify, isolate and vaccinate yourself against it.

    While the mind may serve the “law of God” or morality, ther is no process by which we may alter our behavirs simply by the creation of laws. Laws merely make us aware, they do not alter our behavir or our personal needs. You cannot externalize laws in the form of government or religion and create a better world. Human nature remains the same. It was created that way, in order to survive.

    Bob writes:
    “Google does it when they state they can predict your actions with better than 90% reliability, and mass movements by 98%.

    Ralph applies this to the humanities, and I can’t agree more. Humanity as with all living things, adapts to it’s current situation.”

    That is the aim of collectivist mentalities, to organize and predict statistical behavior, “greatest good for the greeatest number” and if you don’t “get with the program”, you lose out, or “fall between the cracks”.

    Teen-agers commit suicide in increasing numbers due to isolation or loneliness or bullying, even in an educational system that prmote standardization, equality, and tolerance, or what author Alvin Toffler calls “covert curricula”, stand in line, wait your turn, raise your hand, share with others, which is manifest in most modern christianity, the “sheep” of Christ. Turn the other cheek, give kindness fr evil, etc., but the same system promotes war on other cultures and teaches its young soldiers to chant that “napalm sticks to little children, all the children of the world”. Peace, tolerance, love, as long as others believe and serve the same monetary God of mammon as we do.

    Fred Foldvary, an economist friend of mine, once pointed out that we should think of “currency” as a “current”, an ele ctri c current that instantly moves and alters functrions and behaviors, and we must consta ntly adapt to it. The cog-in-the-machine currency of the present banking system is based on whistles, bells, and pulleys, of the 19th century. Religion itself operated by the same principles; mass movements, mass media, all operating collectively to create aa society in which all must yield to the group. Tose days are gone, and people like HWA and even Billy Graham have innoculated us against their ignorance. The Pope seesm to have some free market anarchists like Lew Rockwell, but even their apologetics will not save the Pope from the same downfall as all ther such systems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.