September 1, 2020 Category: Religion


{1  Proponents refer to such figures as “captains of industry” and “job creators”. The history of execrable tycoons goes back to the 14th-century Bavarian mogul, Eppelein von Gailingen–about whom legends proliferated for generations after his demise.  Note the tales about the stupendous wealth-accumulation of the House of Rothschild (pioneers of usury, speculation, and war profiteering); or Jakob Fugger of the Lily (client of the House of Habsburg, and of the Vatican).  In Russia, tales of the debauched House of Stroganov proliferate to this day.  Much of it has become the stuff of legend.}

{2  The rubes who fall for this dastardly trick have been variously represented as Faust (German lore), Pan Twardowski (Polish lore), and Macbeth (English literature).  There seems to be a fascination with both guile (on the part of the devious perpetrator) and temptation (on the part of an impetuous victim).  The architecture of diabolical machinations–and the febrile psychology of those who succumb to it–are timeless themes.  Note how valorous Hebrew champion, Samson fell for the machinations of the cunning Philistine seductress, Delilah so as to win her heart.  Temptation has always been man’s weakness-be it for power or for sex.}

{3  A case in which the perpetrators REALLY WERE terrorists was the IRA: Roman Catholic Irishmen fighting against British sovereignty in Ulster.  There have been Chechen terrorists in Russia and Somali warlords wreaking havoc on the African horn, Judean Settlers engaged in an ethnic cleansing campaign in Palestine…and on and on.  I explore the history of Islamic terrorism in my essays on “The History Of Salafism”.  For accounts of terrorism perpetrated by the United States, see–among other material–the works of Noam Chomsky.}

{4  Another articulation of this modus operandi is from Hermann Göring: “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All you need to do is tell them that they are being attacked; then denounce the peace-makers for lack of patriotism and for endangering the homeland.  It works the same in any country.”  Sound familiar?}

{5  Note that a common idiom for this dualistic (“Manichean”) cosmology is LIGHT (equated with good) vs. DARKNESS (equated with evil), as discussed in Endnote *68.  For example, in Zoroastrianism, we have Zurvan (good) vs. Ahriman (evil).  In Manichaean theology, this was couched as the spiritual world (of light) and the material world (of darkness).}

{6  Whenever a regime wants to flout human rights–or even legitimize crimes against humanity–”SECURITY” is invariably the go-to pretext.  “We’re going on the offensive as a defensive measure!”}

{7  The term “eraadat Allah” means god’s will.  The notion that whatever happens happens according to god’s will is captured by the CA term “hukm”, which combines the notion of divinely-ordained provision with the will of the Abrahamic deity.  We are thus obliged to act in accordance with “hukm”.}

{8  The tract reads: “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.  By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” (p. 65).  “[F]or once Destiny had begun its course, the conviction has dawned even on the masses that this time not the fate of Serbia or Austria was involved, but [the matter of] whether the German nation was to be or not to be” (p. 161).  Hitler averred that the “Volk-ish” patriot had “the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of god’s will, and to actually fulfill god’s will, and not let god’s word be desecrated.  For god’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities.  Anyone who destroys his work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, on the divine will” (p. 562).  It is a simple rhetorical gimmick to claim the imprimatur of the Abrahamic deity, as every Abrahamic cause–whether Judaic, Christian, or Islamic–has done since its inception.  Such an assertion can be used to justify even the most blatant war crimes.  For, as Hitler put it: “As a matter of principle, god does not make cowardly nations free,” adding: “Lord, bless our battle!” (p. 622, 633).  The eerie parallels between Nazism and Revisionist Zionism are impossible not to see.  The common thread: “Doing God’s Work” Syndrome, in which the exalted in-group is based on ethnicity.}

{9  “Viet-cong” was a pejorative for the “Viet Minh” (the communist Vietnamese peasantry) concocted by the quasi-fascistic (America-backed) Saigon regime for propagandistic purposes.  It was coined to designate the “National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam” as the TRUE enemy.  In opting to invade the country, the U.S. government adopted the epithet to help cast its military incursion as a noble stand against a nefarious foe–thus forestalling a (chimerical) “communist” hegemony in the region.  (The first domino to fall in what would become global Soviet domination!)  This menacing-sounding slur helped paint THE OTHER as a savage–thereby dehumanizing millions of civilians, and making genocide appear to be a valiant act.}

{10  These dastardly “communists” were waging war against the valiant “Contras” for America-funded death squads–whom Reagan gushingly compared to America’s Founding Fathers.  That the “Contras” were committing FAR MORE “terrorism” than the Sandinistas was conveniently elided in this self-serving narrative.  For a survey of interventions by the U.S. government during the post-War era, see the 2004 edition of William Blum’s “Killing Hope”.}

{11  Note this was a cause based on secular principles, which was pitted against a cause based on religious fundamentalism.  Another stark contrast: Whereas the former was NOT ethno-centric, the latter WAS ethno-centric.}

{12  The plight of Revisionist Zionists for an “Eretz Israel” is entirely illegitimate, as it is based on religious fanaticism and racism.  (It proceeds from fundamentalist Judaism; and its agenda is primarily that of ethnic cleansing.)  Barring (the Salafi) “Hamas”, the Palestinian cause is categorically secular; whereas a “Jewish State” is entirely about theocracy (as well as racial purity).  By stark contrast, the Kurds tend to embrace pluralism.  Moreover, RZ is predicated on the fiction that the Jewish people’s divinely-ordained “homeland” is Canaan.  By stark contrast, the Kurds’ ACTUAL homeland is Kurdistan…going back thousands of years.  This dogma is based on the statement in Genesis 26:4-5 where the Abrahamic deity promises the Hebrews (alt. “Israelites”): “I will give to your descendants all these lands…insofar as you obey me and keeps my charge, my commandments, my rules, and my teachings.”  The Mosaic “covenant” is, of course, a fiction invented by Hebrew scribes during the Exilic Period.}

{13  The U.S. does not engage in terrorism!  Really?  But what of Iran Air 655?  As it turns out, Iran Air 955 was a commercial airliner shot down by the U.S. military in 1988 (thanks to the captain of the U.S.S. Vincennes), killing 290 innocent civilians.  Funny how we rarely hear about that incident.  So it goes with ideologues’ selective obfuscation of history.  For the Cold Warrior, the slaughtering of Iranian civilians could be cavalierly dismissed as collateral damage in a noble war for American supremacy.  This is a version of the “it’s fine when WE do it, but EVIL when anyone else does it” standard (as seen by, say, Revisionist Zionists vis a vis Palestine to the present day).  In February 1982, the U.S. government DE-categorized Iraq’s tyrannical dictator, Saddam Hussein as “terrorist”–rebranding him a vital ally precisely when his terrorist activity was being ramped up.  Meanwhile, what of the countless atrocities committed by the anti-communist death-squads in Latin America?  No problem.  THEY were deemed stalwarts of freedom–in keeping with the prevailing Cold War narrative.  In 1989, we saw the RE-categorization of Panama’s dictator, Manuel Noriega: from CIA asset to “terrorist”.  Also in 1989 was the RE-categorization of Saddam Hussein BACK TO “terrorist”.  It’s as though the “terrorist” / “non-terrorist” labeling scheme were a TOGGLE, conveniently switched back and forth as the need arose (i.e. according to U.S. interests).  Meanwhile, the execrable Wahhabi theocracy, Saudi Arabia, has been deemed a vital ally for the entirety of the post-War era…even as it is one of the chief exporters of militant Salafi ideology.  Go figure.}

{14  Iblis is the recalcitrant angel who refused to bow down to Adam, as instructed by the Abrahamic deity; and was consequently banished from heaven for his impertinence…later harboring resentment…which he subsequently vowed to take out on mankind–out of sheer spite–by sabotaging their piety.  This anecdote was taken not from Canonical Abrahamic lore.  It can be found, rather, in apocryphal Judaic texts like “The Life of Adam & Eve” [Latinized as “Vita Adae et Evae”] and the “Book of Enoch”; and–most tellingly–in the Syriac “Book of the Cave of Treasures” from the 4th century.  This apocryphal account has god instructing Azazel (Iblis) to prostrate to Adam; a request that Azazel rebuffed, as it seemed blasphemous to bow to mere humans.  The authors of the Koran clearly lifted the tale from these antecedent sources.}

{15  This moniker was also used in the “Testament of Solomon”.  “Baal Zebub” references the ancient Canaanite (Hittite / Philistine / Tyrian) as well as Phoenician / Ugaritic deity, “Baal”–a lexeme that can be traced back to antecedent Sumerian / Akkadian theology.  When used in this context, it can be interpreted as “Lord of the Flies”–later rendered in Arabic as “Ba’al Zubaab”.}

{16  Yazidis worship an errant servant of the Abrahamic deity who has since been redeemed (and is therefore NOT evil).  Ergo: A demiurge in the form of a peacock named “Tawuse Melek” (a.k.a. “Melek Taus”).  As with “Iblis” in the Koran, this subversive angel refused to follow a command (to bow to Adam), and was consequently banished for his brazen insubordination.  He now has a bone to pick with his former master…which is precisely why most Muslims consider Yazidis’ reverence for “Tawuse Melek” to be blasphemous.}

{17  Only a psychopath is iniquitous “just for the heck of it”, with no rhyme or reason.  Note that even the most insidious ghouls in folklore typically do what they do because they have an ax to grind.  That is: They have been thwarted, even humiliated, and are now exacting vengeance for the perceived slight.  It is a hunger for retribution–and thus for validation–that drives them.  Even the most terrifying demon is simply seeking a satisfaction that he lacks.  This is why an ultimate nemesis makes no sense; as there is no sensical End Game.  Nefariousness is, at its root, an expression of weakness.  We might ask: Once Sauron (himself neglected by the gods) takes over Middle Earth, THEN WHAT?  What would justify his existence once the shire is a dank and dreary wasteland.  With the corpses of hobbits strewn across the scorched landscape, what remains to be done?  One can only toast with orcs for so long before it starts to become tedious.  It might be noted that Sauron was merely the lieutenant of Morgoth Bauglir (the analogue of Satan), HIMSELF a fallen angel.  For he was originally Melkor of the Valar / Ainur, servants of the one, true god: Eru Iluvatar.}

{18  The ultimate existential nemesis is not always associated with darkness.  In Abrahamic lore, “Asmodai” / “Asmodeus” is not necessarily associated with darkness.  Neither is “Abaddon” (Hebrew) / “Apollyon” (Greek).  Paradoxically, “Heylel” (Hebrew) / “Lucifer” (Latin) means “bringer of light”–a strange idiom for the “big bad”.  Moreover, when evil is personified, it is not even necessarily male.  In Judaic tradition, “Lilith” and “Agrat bat Mahlat” were demon-queens.  In Armenian myth, the goddess “Spandaramet” is ruler of the underworld.}

{19  As if to confuse matters, Saul of Tarsus wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians that Satan could transform himself into “an angel of light”…presumably, to trick us.  Hence the subsequent–seemingly paradoxical–appellation in Vulgar Latin, “Lucifer” (“Bringer / Bearer of Light”).}

{20  The idiom of light not merely as goodness, but as ILLUMINATION, stands to reason.  Indeed, as one becomes wiser, things don’t get darker.  Thus “enlightenment” is generally considered a good thing; while being “in the dark” is generally considered a bad thing.  Hence the common association of a godhead (typically seen as the epitome of wisdom) with the ultimate source of light: the sun.}

{21  The salient dichotomy is alternately cast in terms of enlightenment vs. blindness–as with the Hindu “Vidya” vs. “Avidya” or the Buddhist “bodhi” vs. “moha”.}

{22  This schema invariably leaks into fable.  In Star Wars, the Sith were bourn by the Dark Side of the Force.  In Middle Earth, there was no sunlight washing over Mordor.  Indeed, when a place is dark, it is foreboding…even menacing.  Perpetually overcast, no rainbows grace the bleak environs in which nefarious entities dwell.  The idiom of light AS ILLUMINATION is salient.  When navigating a dystopian wasteland, erudition is as much anathema as pink lemonade.  It is no wonder that no universities are to be found in apocalyptic hell-scapes.}

{23 Mandaean theology is rather confusing; yet it incorporated familiar leitmotifs.  Ptah-El was one of a trinity of demiurges.  The other two were Abathur, who sat in judgment of mortal souls, and Yushamin, a fallen being who–deigning to create a world of his own–was banished by the Lord of Light for his conceit.  Mandaeans considered Abraham and Moses to be false prophets, while fancying “Yahya ibn Zakariyya” (a.k.a. “John the Baptist”) to be the preeminent prophet.  Strangely, they considered “Ruha d-Qudsha” (the “Holy Spirit”) to be evil.}

{24  Though Hinduism did try to combine a god of wisdom and of militarism, with Kartikeya–part philosopher, part warrior.}

{25  Alas, what is one to do when god commands one to commit what is supposed to be considered the highest sin?)  An obvious paradox ensues (leading to what is referred to as the “Euthyphro Dillemma”.  Which is transcendentally prior: god’s dictates or morality?  Does this trump the transgression known as “shirk”?}

{26  Antagonists of the godhead are key elements in any Manichean cosmogony.  It is a motif that dates back to Sumerian mythology from the 3rd millennium B.C.  In ancient Egypt, “Apepi” was the serpent-god (representing darkness) and thus the ultimate nemesis of Amun-Ra (the sun-god).  In the earliest Indo-Eurasian epics, the serpent-demon “Ahi” is the arch-nemesis.  In Guache mythology, “Guayoia” is the nefarious god of the volcano. Etc.}

{27  “Ashmedai” was rendered “Asmodaios” in Koine Greek.  It was later Latinized to “Asmodeus” when the Roman Catholic Church incorporated the “Book of Tobias” into its Old Testament canon at the Council of Carthage c. 397 A.D.}

{28  The warden-of-hell motif takes several forms.  Sometimes, the character is morally NEUTRAL, as with Osiris in Egyptian myth, who judges the souls of the dead in “Duat”.  In the Far East, Yama is the warden (neither good nor evil) of the “narakas”, who determines the fate of souls…thereby facilitating the cycle of “samsara”.  Only in some instances is the god of judgement characterized as wrathful (as with the “dharma-pala”).  In Buddhist cosmology, the warden of hell is “Yama” (alt. “Imra”).  In Taoist cosmology, he is Yen Lo Wang (alt. “Yan Luo”).}

{29  This is typically not used an excuse to shirk personal responsibility.  After all, the point is to resist the lure of Satan–who is, the story goes, striving to sabotage mankind’s moral compass.  Hence the onus is on US even as the saboteur is SATAN.  The problem with this is that it all ends up being an elaborate distraction, as the focus ends up being on thwarting Satan instead of attending to worldly problems (the only REAL problems).  All that is bad is chalked up to Satan’s sway over our souls.  “Satan”, then, is simply a proxy for going against the rules.  This worldview only makes sense insofar as we confuse piety for probity.}

{30  Of course, the term “devil” has taken on somewhat of a colloquial cast.  What in the devil is going on here?  In using such turns of phrase, we have rendered the idea into a banality.  So we are not inclined to read into benign idiomatic expressions like “have a devil of a time”, “give the devil his due”, “the devil’s in the details”, “it’s the devil you know”, “playing devil’s advocate”, “devil take the hindmost”, “devil may care”, and “speak of the devil”.  Suffice to say: If you shoot at the devil, you best not miss.  In navigating the vicissitudes of life, we often find ourselves between the devil and the deep blue sea.}

{31  “Dajjal” means “false”.  The alternate moniker for the anti-Christ is “D’Abbatul Ard”.  This nefarious character is never mentioned explicitly in the Koran.  In the Haddith, he is also said to hail from the Persian city of Isfahan.  There is also foretelling of the coming of the nefarious “Sufyani”: progeny of Sakhr ibn Harb, a contemporary of Mohammed who was leader of the demonized Quraysh tribe.}

{32  This moniker, coined in the 7th century, was likely a variant of the name of the Roman (Byzantine) Emperor of the time, Heraclius, who persecuted the Jews during the first three decades of that century.  The reference appears in the “Seref Zerubbabel”, a work named after the 6th-century B.C. king of Judah (who ruled at the end of the Exilic Period, and purportedly initiated construction of the Second Temple).  In Judaic eschatology, “Olam Ha-Ba” is a resplendently Edenic world, which will be ushered in after the apocalypse.  During this era, the wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie with the goat, in accordance with Isaiah 11:6.}

{33  In some cases, racism is involved in the association of darkness (with respect to skin pigmentation) with depravity.  Notably, Mohammed of Mecca (the prophet of Islam) proposed that Satan resembled a sturdy black man with inflamed eyes…dark, ruddy cheeks…and long, scraggly hair.  According to the biography of Ibn Ishaq, when asked what Satan looked like, the prophet pointed to an Abyssinian slave, Nabtal ibn Al-Harith, and made this declaration.  Mohammed even predicted that it would be a “zanj” (black African) who would eventually destroy the Meccan cube, thereby auguring the End Days.  In couching their prejudice in Abrahamic terms, racists thereafter came to ascribe to sub-Saharan Africans the mark of Cain (alt. the Curse of Ham); whereby dark skin was seen as punishment for their inherently fallen nature.  This view was most infamously propounded by Mormons; and was common amongst white Christians of several denominations. After all, if god had ordained it, then their bigotry against “Kushites” could be rationalized.}

{34  This is not only how geo-political conflict escalates; it’s how most bar-fights begin.  Whether the forces involved are kinetic or psychic, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  There is, then, a positive feedback loop.  Reciprocated enmity invariably benefits right-wing elements on both sides of a geo-political conflict–as such parties, by their very nature, derive power (in the form of clout, as well as a veneer of legitimacy) from this charade of mutual vilification, whereby each justifies the other’s posture…exacerbating the animus.  In other words: Such regimes feed off of the very enmity their ideologies fuel.  Case in point: The Israeli regime vis a vis Hamas.  In both cases, we find an illustration of how hostility in one direction elicits racial animus in the other–creating a vicious cycle.  Tribe-based antagonism–along with the animosity that animates it–is reciprocal.  Tribal demarcation invariably elicits enmity.  “US as opposed to THEM” (conceptual) becomes “US opposed to THEM” (confrontational).  The ensuing conflict bolsters the casus belli of those who’s very raison d’etre is DEFINED BY that conflict.  A downward spiral of recrimination invariably ensues.  The existence of Hamas makes Revisionist Zionism stronger; the existence of Revisionist Zionism makes Hamas stronger.  As the existence of each serves to justify the claims the other makes.  Each camp revels in the other’s existence, as it is galvanized by THE OTHER being understood as an adversary BY ITS VERY NATURE.  Demonization is almost always a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Hence antagonism perpetuates itself.}

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