Sunday, January 1, 2017

Birth of the Alt-Right

(Revised. Originally titled “Southern Agrarians or Southern Perennialists?”)

In 2008 when the following essay was first published there was little interest in the Agrarian notions of radical freedom. Any attempt to put the Southern Agrarians in a larger context was outrageous to the Establishment. The forces of centralization and globalism believed they had discredited and buried any reference to the book, “I'll Take My Stand” and strove to keep it that way.

My essay was an attempt to put the work of the Agrarians in a historical context that could be utilized by contemporary minds in order to connect to the past. Likewise, at the same time only a few people were interested in Perennialists like Julius Evola, Oswald Spengler, or Nicola Berdyaev who were the European counterparts of the Agrarians.

Yet there was in my opinion a direct line in American thought from the Agrarian belief in liberty and self reliance to European philosophy. This linage of ideas came to the New World from several sources. The familiar theories of Locke were augmented by Slavo-Celtic mystics like Jakob Boehme, the German spiritual populism of Philipp Spener, and even the iconoclastic Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf who helped colonize North Carolina. All these influences helped nurture the Agrarians. Their work is one of the founding documents of the contemporary movement known as the Alt-Right.

“Today we stand at the threshold of the unknown. Before us lies a new year, and we are going forward to take possession of it...We cannot see what loss, sorrow, and trials are accomplishing (in us). We need only to trust. The Father comes near to take our hand and lead us on our way today. It will be a good and blessed New Year.”      Count Nicholaus Zinzendorf (1700-1760)


Although I was aware of the Southern Agrarian masterpiece, 
I’ll Take My Stand (LSU Press, Baton Rouge) to my knowledge none of us had read it in the 1980’s when the Institute for Perennial Studies was active. I would not begin a thorough reading of it until several years after the “Herald of Perennialism” and other essays appeared. Perennialist ideas have been around for centuries so it is not a stretch of the imagination that they should surface in several places independent from one another. More than fortuitous I believe these sorts of synchronicities are Providential. Especially in the face of the materialist onslaught.

I’ll Take My Stand is a book comprised of twelve essays written by twelve noted poets and other men of letters and published in 1930. All the authors were Southern scholars many from the so-call “Fugitive Poets” movement. The book and its introduction is a critique of the modern industrial society that surrounded them at the time. It is also a distinct call to action for people outside the South.

That last point is one of the most important aspects of this book. Students of the book like Louis Rubin as well as a gaggle of materialists and other neo-Marxists are quick to dismiss and indeed cover up the fact that this book was a national call to action against the juggernaut of “industrialism”. These critics prefer to pigeonhole this book into a nook called “nostalgia” urging the public to view the book as a sentimental and even racist meandering by authors who represent the ousted “old order”. Not unlike the criticism of people who study the Bible, for instance.

The book is distinctly sectional but the critique of culture resonates with people far from the Confederate South or students of meridiana sententia. The introduction clearly states that the members of this coalition were, “…to be counted as members of a national agrarian movement.” This is not to diminish the importance to the contemporary South but to make it clear that any “…community, section, race, or age” can benefit from the wisdom within the book’s pages.

What appears below is an except of the original “Introduction: A Statement of Principles”. The whole statement can be viewed at: . I encourage everyone to read it and the entire book which is still in print.

Comparing it to other perennialist writings is natural as the Southern Agrarians share in the perennial wisdom. Their use of the term “industrialism” is so closely allied with modernism and materialism as to be interchangeable. The Agrarians disdain for the “Cult of Science” is equal to any critique of positivism and Big Science. They also insist on a relationship between God, Man, and values which is the bedrock of any classic perennialist system. The Christian notion of free will tempered with social order is implicit in these systems. In short, the Southern Agrarians and the views of the perennialist are all but identical an important observation the consequences of which will be explored in the future. -ed-


I’ll Take My Stand

Introduction: A Statement of Principles
…there are many other minority communities opposed to industrialism, and wanting a much simpler economy to live by. The communities and private persons sharing the agrarian tastes are to be found widely within the Union. Proper living is a matter of the intelligence and the will, does not depend on the local climate or geography, and is capable of a definition which is general and not Southern at all. …But their cause is precarious and they must seek alliances with sympathetic communities everywhere. The members of the present group would be happy to be counted as members of a national agrarian movement.

Industrialism is the economic organization of the collective American society. It means the decision of society to invest its economic resources in the applied sciences. But the word science has acquired a certain sanctitude. It is out of order to quarrel with science in the abstract, or even with the applied sciences when their applications are made subject to criticism and intelligence. The capitalization of the applied sciences has now become extravagant and uncritical; it has enslaved our human energies to a degree now clearly felt to be burdensome. The apologists of industrialism do not like to meet this charge directly; so they often take refuge in saying that they are devoted simply to science! …Therefore it is necessary to employ a certain skepticism even at the expense of the Cult of Science, (saying), ‘It is an Americanism’, which looks innocent and disinterested, but really is not either.

The regular act of applied science is to introduce into labor a labor-saving device or a machine. …The philosophy of applied science is generally quite sure that the saving of labor is a pure gain, and that the more of it the better. This is to assume that labor is an evil… The act of labor as one of the happy functions of human life has been in effect abandoned, and is practiced solely for its rewards.

Even the apologists of industrialism have been obliged to admit that some economic evils follow in the wake of the machines. These are such as overproduction, unemployment, and a growing inequality in the distribution of wealth… They expect the evils to disappear when we have bigger and better machines, and more of them… Sometimes they rely on the benevolence of capital, or the militancy of labor, to bring about a fairer division of the spoils: they are …Socialists. And sometimes they expect to find super-engineers, in the shape of Boards of Control, who will adapt production to consumption and regulate prices and guarantee business against fluctuations: they are Sovietists…or Communists-if the term may be used here in the European sense-are the Industrialists themselves. They would have the government set up an economic super-organization, which in turn would become the government…

Religion can hardly expect to flourish in an industrial society… But nature industrialized, transformed into cities and artificial habitations, manufactured into commodities, is no longer nature but a highly simplified picture of nature…The God of nature under these conditions is merely an amiable expression, a superfluity, and the philosophical understanding ordinarily carried in the religious experience is not there for us to have.

Nor do the arts have a proper life under industrialism, with the general decay of sensibility which attends it…If religion and the arts are founded on right relations of man- to-nature; these are (also) founded on right relations of man-to- man.

Apologists of industrialism are even inclined to admit that its actual processes may have upon its victims the spiritual effects just described. But they think that all can be made right by extraordinary educational efforts, by all sorts of cultural institutions and endowments…The young men and women in colleges, for example, if they are already placed in a false way of life, cannot make more than an inconsequential acquaintance with the arts and humanities transmitted to them. Or else the understanding of these arts and humanities will but make them the more wretched in their own destitution.

The tempo of the industrial life is fast, but that is not the worst of it; it is accelerating. The ideal is not merely some set form of industrialism, with so many stable industries, but industrial progress, or an incessant extension of industrialization. It never proposes a specific goal; it initiates the infinite series. All might yet be well…but for this:…somewhere, there will be a stream of further labor-saving devices in all industries, and the cycle will have to be repeated over and over. The result is an increasing disadjustment and instability.

It is an inevitable consequence of industrial progress that production greatly outruns the rate of natural consumption. To overcome the disparity, the producers, disguised as the pure idealists of progress, must coerce and wheedle the public into being loyal and steady consumers, in order to keep the machines running. So the rise of modern advertising…is (one of) the most significant development of our industrialism. Advertising means to persuade the consumers to want exactly what the applied sciences are able to furnish them. …

For, in conclusion, this much is clear: If a community, or a section, or a race, or an age, is groaning under industrialism, and well aware that it is an evil dispensation, it must find the way to throw it off. To think that this cannot be done is pusillanimous. And if the whole community, section, race, or age thinks it cannot be done, then it has simply lost its political genius and doomed itself to impotence.

John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, Frank Lawrence Owsley, John Gould Fletcher, Lyle H. Lanier, Allen Tate, Herman Clarence Nixon, Andrew Nelson Lytle, Robert Penn Warren, John Donald Wade, Henry Blue Kline, and Stark Young.

Winter Solstice 2008; a time of reflection and renewal

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Podesta Unraveled

Level Three                                
The "art" of Marina Abramovic 


As we have already seen Mrs Clinton has come under the sway of the Lilith cult at least since her husband left office but seems to have had a predilection in that direction for many years. Her descent into the Lilith cult may have been only the move of a chameleon who can change colors as conditions demand.

Before the Hebrews identified Lilith there was another powerful female deity that reigned in Sumeria thousands of years ago. Innana was a complex goddess who ruled love while being brutal and deceptive with her lovers. This ancient sadistic spirit could weave love and pain together to get whatever she desired. She had super human powers, was able to mesmerize people, and could change her form when the occasion suited her. It is certainly the prototype for the Hebrew demon Lilith.
A closely related ancient pagan deity is the cult of Aphrodite. Although also known as a love goddess she was born when the god Cronus severed the genitals of Uranus and threw them into the sea. The foam bubbling up from his amputated genitals gave rise to Aphrodite who could be known as the queen of castration.
As these archetypes developed over the centuries they imply to some people a pattern of “acceptable” behavior just by the fact that they have survived from antiquity. In other words as these ideas develop over time they can become legitimized in the minds of people with a weaken sense of ethical grounding. Thus seemingly exotic and socially toxic notions of evil become satisfactory moral standards. Ethically challenged people become trapped in the orbit of these unseen forces which underlay the dark history of a parallel dimension.
Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, perennial Clinton cartel adviser, and Jesuit trained Georgetown University lawyer is John Podesta. He received his undergraduate degree at quirky Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and he is a product of the racist Cook County (Chicago) Democratic Party machine of Mayor Richard Daley. He worked for a plethora of morally deficient leftists before joining the staff of President Clinton in 1993. Since then he has been in bed with the Clintons one way or another to this day.

Undeniably twisted into the fabric of his career is the fascination with the UFO phenomena which he shares with both Hillary and Bill Clinton. This interest has broken through the surface several time in his life and is very much a matter of public record. The interest in UFO's in no way signals there is something wrong with anyone including Mr. Podesta. That is not what makes him suspicious.
One aspect of the UFO phenomena is a interest in bizarre creatures who come to Earth and abduct then torment innocent people. Some are said to steal livestock and perform strange mutilation rituals on them which have followed distinct patterns that have been studied and documented.

Veteran UFO researchers like Linda Moulton Howe and Richard Dolan believe that there may be a connection between the occurrence of UFOs and occult practices. Over the years people who study the phenomena have moved from the extraterrestrial origins discussion to consider a paranormal explanation for UFOs. The door has been opened to consider a connection between sightings and the unseen forces of ancient demonology.
Chasing the elusive wraith of power has lead otherwise intelligent people to do terrible things and ultimately cause their own spiritual destruction. A belief in modern rationalism does not inoculate people from being trapped by ancient evil. When we put the legendary practices of evil such as deception, ritual mutilations, animal sacrifice, and bizarre appearances into a modern context we come very close to the description of perceived UFO activities.
Depending on what poll you look at somewhere between 50% and 75% of the public believe that UFOs exist. It is also more acceptable to say you believe in UFOs than evil demons. Yet the two phenomena are roughly equivalent.  If Mr Podesta says he believes in UFOs  would it not be a better public relations move to say he is an admirer of UFO's rather than a pagan cult?  Put differently, is he using UFOs to cover an evil counterpart.
According to several reports John Podesta (as well as his brother Tony) seems to be a fan of eldritch artwork that features bizarre deformed people. He also appears to favor the distasteful performance “art” of Marina Abramovic who “paints” with body fluids and promote “recipes” using the same offensive ingredients. These are in fact the same sort of practices that have been used by black magic and demon cults for centuries.
In the recent Wiki Leak scandal Podesta engaged in blatantly anti-diversity hate speech maligning Catholics and other Christians. His boss, Mrs Clinton, as well as his staff members were aware of his behavior and refused to bring the matter forward. Presumably because they agree with him.

The hatred of Christians is part of a package evil has spread across the land. The Clinton campaign and their allies have some very suspicious attributes related to their proclivities. It does not take someone with a D-Wave computer to figure out where the strings are going.

Level One: CLICK HERE   

Level Two: CLICK HERE  

μὴ σκοπούντων ἡμῶν τὰ βλεπόμενα ἀλλὰ τὰ μὴ βλεπόμενα τὰ γὰρ βλεπόμενα πρόσκαιρα τὰ δὲ μὴ βλεπόμενα αἰώνια. δεύτερος Κορίνθιανς 4:18

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Children of Asmodeus

Hillary Sigil

Level Two

There is little doubt that Mrs Clinton has been exposed to the cult of Lilith. Within the last couple decades an off shoot of the feminist movement took a turn toward the spiritual dark side through the embrace of Lilith as a symbol of gender independence.
Lilith is a figure often (but not exclusively) associated with Jewish history and is seen in several books of Hebrew mythology and folklore. Although described in various texts such as the Zohar and the Kaballah as an unclean female demon and night goddess she has made her way into Western black magic and monster worshiping cults rehabilitated and marketable. She is portrayed as the first “wife” of Adam who would not observe her “husband's” role in the relationship ordained by God and subsequently leaves Eden and becomes a witch and temptress also finding time to murder children. She takes the guise of screech owls and other fierce night dwelling creatures terrorizing people in lonely and desolate places while causing havoc in relationships with her insatiable quest for power.
Nonetheless, with all this historical baggage she has somehow become an icon of the left wing and otherwise atheist movement of women who espouse gender supremacy. Originating with feminists in the 1970's the new Lilith was supposedly transformed into a symbol for female autonomy, control of one’s own destiny, and celebrated the sexual libertine as a role model.
This was the cleverly devised image promoted by the well funded “Lilith” magazine and other outlets that became very influential in the Democratic Party particularly in New York and Massachusetts, the heart of the American Left. This is also the period when the Clinton's exited the White House under less than ideal circumstances.
Mrs Clinton began building a political campaign for her U S Senate run in New York with base support from the Leftist establishment in New York City and its feminist movement which had been infiltrated by the demon cult of Lilith. This is certainly where Mrs Clinton was first exposed to the Lilith movement as part of the milieu of her benefactors and supporters who had been swept up in the net cast by the operators behind the scenes.

Hillary has become an embodiment of a cult goddess and her followers seem mesmerized by the the incessant pursuit for power. In and of itself this is the trait of black magic which is consumed with the desire for control over others. This is not a new observation. But it is the behavior of Mrs Clinton after her election defeat that puts a spotlight on her worldview.
We saw in the last post about Hillary's use of symbolic garments as a gesture of mocking contempt  for the Christians who overwhelmingly supported her rival Donald Trump. Yet I think she is not finished with the manipulation of others as we witnessed the demonic “resurrection” that she sought through the use of ceremonial priestess vesture attended by her acolytes. Her magical techniques are a page out of satanist Aleister Crowley's life.
In the Talmud Lilith marries Asmodeus the king of demons. In other references Lilith is the female counterpart of Asmodeus, another aspect of this evil sultan. In either case it is clear that there is no singular in the world of devils. They always hunt in packs and one evil being reflects another in the mirror of Hell.

There seems to be an entire horde of dark spirits that follow the Clintons. A murderous, philandering, power obsessed coven which includes Anthony Weiner, George Soros, John Podesta, and a host of others swept up in the web of Lilith. As events unfold more will be revealed about this pernicious global cult.

You can see Level One:   Here

You can see Level Three: Here

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mrs Clinton Wears Purple

The dominate media is having a festival talking about Mrs Clinton and her entourage sporting purple accessory garments to her concession speech after her humiliating defeat to Donald Trump. Speculation is that the purple represents the mixture of “red” states and “blue” states would make the color purple. “Oh so gracious and forward looking”, the media swoons.

I think not. I believe the purple color garment is a projection of the “living in a bubble” delusion that infects Mrs Clinton, her husband, and the company they keep. In her galloping megalomania I think the purple is a symbol of her Christ-like suffering.

Yes as crazed as it might seem there is a  part of her dark unconscious mind that conjures up majestic narratives for her defeat. In this case it is something she has a dim memory about that comes from the Bible that she has found a way to weaponize.

The reference to purple I'm referring to appears in the Gospel of Mark 15:17 “ And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head...” which is explained this way by the Geneva Study Bible, “Christ going about to take away the sins of men...(and) is condemned as one that sought diligently after the kingdom, and mocked with a false show of a kingdom”. Purple being the symbol of royalty and in this case “a kingdom”.

Indeed Mrs Clinton sees herself as a suffering messiah who would be crucified for her desire to save humanity from the evils of Mr Trump and a reactionary movement that seeks to punish her for the good she has done. Wearing purple is a deep symbol of suffering for the good of others from the exalted position of kings. Is it not the aristocrat who suffers to elevate the animal-like poor masses from their ignorance? The burden of the affluent.

Wearing purple is not the insane act of the deranged but a calculated action taken to predicate a resurrection. Mary Shelley character, Dr Frankenstein, cries out over the body of his creation, “It's Alive!”.

You can read Level Two:   Here

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Oliver Stone's "Ukraine on Fire"

Donetsk Tower
Since I first posted this essay about a year ago as "Donetsk Tower" the world including filmaker Oliver Stone has noticed the insane foreign policy regarding Ukraine of Hillary Clinton, President Obama, John McCain and others. I've updated the text to reflect the situation.
 Here's the trailer to the new Oliver Stone movie "Ukraine on Fire", about the conflict:

Ukraine on Fire

The image of the air traffic control tower at Donetsk, Novorossiya is prophetic to me. The international airport that once served the thriving city of Donetsk is now littered with the debris of war and pockmarked with craters from artillery explosions. Artillery fired by clandestine NATO backed troops and others financed by Western oligarchs who hope to benefit by dismembering Ukraine and selling off the assets in the manner of corporate raiders.
  Novorossiya is recently born from the crumbling of modern Europe. Situated between Russia and Ukraine it asserted the right of self determination when the people saw an opportunity to obtain a degree of sovereignty in the face of a threat by powerful foreign forces.
  Although I am interested in the politics of the region and the instability the war on Novorossiya has brought to Europe it is not my only interest. One of the most glaring omissions of the American media is not covering the unbelievable human toll the war has taken. Defying International Law the militias who support the phantom government of Ukraine have subjected the civilian population of Donetsk to near daily bombardment, cutting of water and sanitary services, starvation, and other human rights abuses.
  Any time one comments on an apparent fight between Slavic people it is immediately assumed that you are choosing sides. Such is the burden of history in this region.  But in this case it is not a fight between Slavs rather it a conflict between NATO and the rest of humanity.
  I have never traveled to Donetsk and likely never will. But I can read and watch and listen and from that conjure a picture of a place on the other side of the world. Historically part of Russia but recently a region of Ukraine it is a large successful industrial and mining center that has striven to be more than a factory-town. “The City of Roses” it is often called and has struggled to shake off the geopolitical excesses of the last century. Trashed by both Stalin and Hitler the city has attempted to rebuild its cultural heritage with cathedrals and gardens. But that was before the shells started to fall.
  Yet it is the traffic control tower not the gardens that vexes the eye of this artist and defies conventional description. There are the hackneyed media expressions of carnage, destruction, and “man against man” that are used to described warfare but these phrases have become dismissive with overuse.

Dystopian Vision
  I see something else in this photograph of the airport tower. There are few more accurate symbols of the modern material worldview that express the positivist vision of progress than an airport. The “jet-port” of my boyhood stood out as a triumph of technology that was one of the crowning achievement of post-WWII culture. It implied the limitless horizons of globalism and world peace where everyone was just a brief turbojet engine powered plane ride from everybody else. The airport was the “town square” of the global village.
  The Donetsk Tower is now a creepy monument to the post-modern reality of century 21. A blown up, shot out, smoking hulk of reinforced concrete and steel construction inhabited by vultures. It looks like something from the pen of artist Todd McFarlane in his adventure comics “Spawn”. It is grizzly to look at and gnaws at the unconscious mind like a dream inspired by H P Lovecraft. Count Dracula would not live there but Frankenstein would.
  The good people and aid agencies of the United Kingdom and the USA have not come to comfort the civilians. Rather it is only the Russians and volunteers from tiny country of Slovakia who have offered aid and help in any organized manner. Perhaps only the eastern European mind can ignore the ruins of European society and its polygon implications while retaining enough humanity to feed the victims.
  Efforts to end the war have stumbled along with a Russian brokered treaty known as Minsk II. However this spongy pact leaves the fate of Novorossiya floating in diplomatic limbo and international agreements have not stopped the shelling of Donetsk.
  We live in a world of images. Transported from across the globe we point to pictures of Tiananmen Square with reverence but we snub the Donetsk Tower. It cuts too deeply into the psyche of scientific rationalism. There are too many contradictions oozing from that tower. I think at the root of it we are seeing the rotting of the Comptian paradigm transported from Europe to American and then around the world.
  The Donetsk Tower is a troubling sight to all civilized people. However, it may prove to be a metaphysical beacon for the eastern European soul that is sick of  good intention by the EU and its evil doppelganger NATO; the army without a mission.

You can learn more about the situation in Novorossiya by clicking HERE

David Reif

Friday, May 29, 2015

Roots of Globalism

William Gilpin

We welcome back author and independent scholar from Sweden Theo Berigsen. He has written an essay about the lost historical figure, William Gilpin.  In 1861 President Abraham Lincoln appointed William Gilpin to be territorial governor of Colorado. Thus began the career of a remarkable and controversial thinker who is one of the fathers of globalism. His theories of centralized authority formed part of Lincoln's brain-trust and drove the consolidation of the South and the frontier West into one national unit.

Some writers have accused Gilpin of racism; a Eurocentric white supremacy. However, research shows that he was no more or less a racist that his sponsor Abraham Lincoln and the Northeasten interests that supported Gilpin's career.

Along with his contemporary, Karl Marx, Gilpin is certainly one of the thinkers who facilitated the internationalist concept of global empire ruled by elites. Today Gilpin would be at home with Silicon Valley technocrats, trans-national corporations, and contemporary globalists in the academic world. -ed-



The most famous expression of the heliotropic myth in relation to America was the lines by the British philosopher George Berkeley (written in 1726, but not published until 1752), Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way). Thus an element of civilizational thinking was introduced into the American dream. A German journalist, E.M. Posselt, in 1794 wrote that a new force was rising in the West, and that like an oak on a lonesome mountain, the force would grow and probably in a few generations be the arbiter of world events.

That mythology now became interwoven with Israel (America as Israel of the West). Later Herman Melville (White Jacket) would write:

"Escaped from the house of bondage, Israel of old did not follow after the ways of the Egyptians. To her was given an express dispensation; to her were given new things under the sun. And we Americans are the peculiar, chosen people - the Israel of our time: we bear the ark of the liberties of the world...God has predestined, mankind expects, great things from our race; and great things we feel in our souls."

America was to be a "city on the hill" as expressed in Mathew 5:14 ("A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid"; note also the statement of John Winthrop in 1630 to a small band of pilgrims: "We shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us."). Also the wilderness became the center in which human beings found divine inspiration and rose above themselves.

The belief in the rise of the United States was expressed by the nineteenth century painter Thomas Cole in his five large paintings The Course of Empire although the cyclical depiction of history should be regarded as a warning, not necessarily a description of the United States moving in the direction of destruction and desolation.

In 2003 the United States was celebrating the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the country's territory. Some observers claim that the United States then already became an empire. It directed, however, the American view westward, to the Pacific Ocean not eastward, back to its European roots. This is important to remember, as we move further into the interpretation of the United States as the completion of civilization in the West as expressed by William Gilpin. (This author is avoiding the term empire to describe the United States after 1991 as the term remind of the pejorative "imperialism", lately of Marxist origin. Hegemon seems to be the preferable term)

William Gilpin

Territorial Governor William Gilpin (1813-1894) is widely believed to have been America’s first geopolitician and globalist. This nineteenth century writer, politician, and landowner in the West was also a civilizationalist with the vision that America would link Europe and Asia in ideas and commerce. Spreading the dream of self-government around the world America was the final civilization. Gilpin, to some extent drawing upon Alexander von Humboldt’s multivolume work, Cosmos, identified the “Isothermal Zodiac”.

It was a belt across the globe with a width around the globe of thirty degrees across the Northern Hemisphere. It passed through the oceans at their narrowest, and the continents at their widest points. The “Zodiac” was an “Axis of Intensity”. Within this axis had emerged the greatest cities and the highest civilizations. Gilpin believed that America would extend its democracy, its harmony, and its progress to the rest of the world. (to see Gilpin's Zodiac map-CLICK HERE)

Gilpin was a man of the westward movement of the United States. The West was a glorious place, so believed Gilpin, in which to live. It was only by developing that region that the American nation could fulfill the role given by God. America would link Europe and Asia in ideas and commerce. Thus the dream of self-government would be spread around the world.

Comparative civilizations and geopolitics is to a certain extent linked and Gilpin could be seen both as a comparative civilizationist and geopolitician. He was first described as the latter in an article by Bernard De Voto. 1)

"The great westerner Gilpin was born into a post-Revolutionary home in the East, which was very cultured but his career was in the West. The geopolitician and civilizationist first caught attention with a letter on Oregon written to Senator David Atchison, who included it in a report of the Senate Committee of Post Office and Roads. The Senate was so impressed that it printed the letter in 3,000 extra copies. Gilpin wrote:“Oregon is the maritime wing of the Mississippi Valley upon the Pacific as New England is on the Atlantic”

About the postal routes, he believed it should be extended from California to the Sandwich Islands and China. The mighty agriculture and commerce of the United States would benefit but also over 600 million people of the Pacific would benefit. As a result of the letter American media in 1846 and 1847 often referred too Mississippi and Oregon offering greater riches than those of the Ganges, the Nile and other ancient civilizations. 2)
“The untransacted destiny of the American people ….is to animate the many hundred of its peoples … to set the principle of self-government at work – to agitate these herculean masses -…to set free the enslaved – to regenerate superannuated nations-…to confirm the destiny of the human race-..Divine mission! Immortal mission” 3)

Toward the end of his life Gilpin published The Cosmopolitan Railway, Compacting and Fusing Together all the World’s Continents (1890), in which can be found his “American Economic, Just and Correct Map of the World”. The Isothermal Axis is reproduced on the map with Gilpin’s Cosmopolitan Railway running north of the axis in Eurasia and south of the axis following the west and east coasts of South America. One can start the axis in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia following it via ancient Greece and Rome cross the European continent. Then across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States (the heliotropic movement). This would exclude from the movement Indian, Chinese and Japanese civilizations. The reason would be concerning Japan and China the relative isolation of these civilizations from civilizations “in the West”.

Vaughan Cornish

A British geographer and explorer, Vaughan Cornish, is of interest in relation to Gilpin but his basic views differed somewhat. Still we need to look into the work of Cornish as an outgrowth of Gilpin's ideas.

British geographer and explorer Vaughan Cornish (1862 – 1948), was a contemporary of English geopolitician Sir Halford Mackinder (1861 – 1947). In his writings Cornish often expressed fear that the English dominions across the sea would be overwhelmed by the peoples from the outside. The British political geographer and globalist traveled much in East Asia and expressed admiration for oriental peoples. Through the years both Cornish and Mackinder had to come to terms with the decline of the British Empire.

One of Cornish's favorite ideas was that ‘strategic geography’ was to be made known to every citizen. This was very similar to the view of other globalists: to open the public mind to the geopolitical map. During the First World War there was an opportunity to bring the concept of ‘strategic geography’ to the forefront (see the Geography of Imperial Defense, 1923).

After the War the travels of Cornish were extended: Central America, North America in the west and China as well as Japan in the east. The threat to the British Empire was from non-Europeans in his view. Strategically the submarine and an immense increase in number and efficiency of aircraft would also threaten the future of the sea-lanes. A central theme was demographics and Cornish preferred families with four children to three children in the British homeland and among the settlers in the dominions.

Central to his strategic thinking was Strategic Atlas of the Oceans (1925) which was part of a wider project on choke-points (also invoked in the 1980s by US president Ronald Reagan), naval strength, and British power.

For globalists the Cornish book, The Great Capitals, (1923) is of interest. It covered the civilizations and empires such as the Graeco-Roman, British, and Chinese. They were, he pointed out, all located on roughly the same isotherms. This is the same thinking on the isotherm subject by Cornish as was Gilpin before him. This analysis would include a closer reading of Gilpin’s The Cosmopolitan Railway and Cornish’s The Great Cities. Some of Cornish’ strategic essays are availble in Vaughan Cornish, Geographical Essays (1946).


Focusing on Gilpin and Cornish, now largely forgotten, could help understand the heliotropic myth – the ancient belief that that history is a succession of great civilizations developing, like the movement of the sun, from east to west. In this myth America is the fulfillment of history, the last empire.

In the fifteenth century Columbus discovered the New World. The question in this connection is of course why the European civilization was the only one taking the gamble of traveling vast seas to find new land?

One explanation could be that Europeans rose above the pretension that they lived in the center of the world. The Chinese did not. The Europeans (and Americans) are heirs to the Jewish belief that there is no sacredness in nature and also heirs to classical logic of the Greeks, who were open to the world around them. Geographical factors also contributed. Europe had the Mediterranean Sea, which pointed westward to the great unknown ocean. It was, however, the small island, England, that brought true transfer of influence of Europeans to the West, not Spain or France, although powerful nations in their day. Many European had predicted a transfer of hegemony and influence to America; predictions that have come true.

Gilpin firmly believed in America’s role as the leading civilization of the future. It ought to be, in the humble view of this author, important to further study the heliotropic myth, its origins and possible application in the twenty first century and the globalist who are steering it.


1) Bernard de Voto, Geopolitics with the Dew on It, Harper’s Magazine, CLXXXVIII, (March, 1944), pp. 313 – 323.

2)Norman Graebner, Empire on the Pacific, A Study in American Continental Expansion (1955)

3)U.S. Senate Report No. 306, 29h Congress, 1st Session, 1846.

by Theo Berigsen

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Apocryphon of Robert

A Book Review
Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up: A Skeptical Believer's Guide to the Reality of Christ, Reverend Robert McClelland, Trafford Publishing, 128pp, 2015. Hardbound $20.77 (also available in softbound and e-book)  Book can be purchased HERE

Rev Robert McClelland is a retired Presbyterian minister and although I have never been to his church I met him while my wife and I were exhibiting at an art show in St. Louis, Missouri. McClelland is also an artist who is very accomplished with watercolor. He was exhibiting across from us and in the course of the weekend I struck up a conversation with him and discovered we have some things in common. Most important to him was my interest in theology. On two different occasions I had long conversations with him.
  Here are a couple observation I have about Rev McClelland that will make the discussion of his book more relevant. The first is revealed in the title. “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up...”. This line comes from a TV game show that featured a panel of four celebrities whose object is the correctly identification of a mystery guest. The climax of each episode was when the host would say, “Will the real (fill in a name) please stand up”. The show's hay-day was 1956 to 1968 although it was in sporadic syndication for several more years.
  The reference to the show reveals something about McClelland. It refers to a time when America was at the zenith of its power. A time when the big bright Protestant church on Main Street was the center of public ethics, morality, and political behavior. A mid-century left center Liberalism stood for the reasonable role of big government and was a bulwark against the extremism of national socialism and communism. The Church assumed the role of mediator between God, individuals, and institutions helping steer a middle road course that promoted stability.
  Of course today that world is nearly gone. The Church is still on Main Street but it is now a fortress on the fringes because the town center has moved. Snarling party bosses snap at the faithful driving them this way and then that way as the political and social winds change directions. The clergy struggles to maintain their flock as the hounds of secularism try to drag believers into apathy and scientific atheism. Liberalism has been co-opted by the neo-Marxist Left and old fashion Liberals are caught in a downdraft of situational ethics; the establishment Church wrestling with their own dogma.
  McClelland still has a memory of the past and has seen the changes wash over society while trying to cling to the vision of the shining Church on the town square. But he knows that is no longer a viable model. It is evaporating like spilled gasoline on the driveway.

Art and Remembering

The second thing about the author that helps fill out his background is that he is an artist. His watercolors are executed in an American impressionist style. He says they are just little paintings of landscapes or children. Yet they are more complicated than that. When we examine his choice of subject matter and placement of elements we can see there is a deeper meaning in his representations.   
  Like the post-Reformation Vanitas painters Frans Snyder or Harmen Stennwyck artist Robert McClelland secretes symbolism from his work that is not easily identified by the public except in unconscious cues. The Vanitas artist would include symbolic objects to convey religious messages about the transience of earthly life or other Christian themes. When I asked him about his predilections he would say something like “Well I don't know about that...” then edges the conversation in another direction without issuing a denial.
  This is typical of the Protestant worldview which is uncomfortable with art particularly the unconscious, the symbolic, and the spooky. There is a penchant for avoiding this area of the mind and a wise old pastor knows not to stray outside the boundaries or face scrutiny. However when I brought up the subject he seemed quite delighted at the prospect of someone noticing his clandestine operations.
  He will paint the image of a boy leaning on a fence gazing off in the distance. A vast question hangs over the painting as the boy ponders the barriers put in front of him. In the painting “Evensong” that I have used as an illustration the image has several meanings. Two sheep seem to mill aimlessly around a stone wall, one in light one in shadow. A leafless tree stands on one side of them, light gushing through an opening in the wall on the other side. The background is generic. The old Christian symbol of the Good Shepherd comes to mind. Two sheep being tended by Christ. But here the sheep are alone, Christ the shepherd is missing. The barren tree is the medieval symbol of death and the opening in the wall a symbol of life and resurrection. This landscape puts me in mind of von Ruisdael among others.
  When confronted with my interpretation, McClelland says it is just a landscape of Scotland and then says “Well....” his voice trails off. I told him that I thought his unconscious mind was oozing all over the painting. He wouldn't deny it. This is a key element of his work both in painting and in writing. He is exhibiting the Jungian phenomena of allowing the unconscious mind to enter the dialog he is having with the rest of the world. What I have called an appeal to vestigial reality to manifest from the lyrical mind.

Writing on the Canvas

McClelland's propensity for hidden meaning spills over into his writing. It makes the composition lively and thought provoking. At times he may be giving us conflicting views in order to make a point invoking cognitive dissonance as a tool. There are also genuine sparks of genius mixed in the text.
  The subtitle of the book “A Skeptical Believer's Guide to the Reality of Christ” comes into play in the first part of the book. He tries to put the skeptic and non-believer's opinion superimposed over his own views. This device in some cases seems to be a bit under cooked.
  He writes about the Virgin Birth giving us several questionable historical rumors that seem to disprove it. Then he sums up that the circumstances concerning the birth of Jesus are really irrelevant.  It is the Resurrection that is important. I see his point but think he does not shade in the contrast with enough vigor to make the tension go anywhere.
  The same can be said for his explanation for the conflicting views expressed in the first books of the New Testament. Here he does a better job of being the simultaneous skeptic and believer. Nonetheless, we could get confused when he brings up arcane topics like the interpolation (deliberate changes or distortions) in Mark where an ending to the Gospel is inserted by an unseen hand. When asked about this he explained that he and other scholars believes the Gospel ended with Mark 8 and later an extension was inserted thereby protecting the early disciples from Roman persecution under Emperor Nero. Rev McClelland says, “...their destiny does not lie in Nero's hands but in Christ's hands.” The issue of interpolation is left open. However, his treatment of the departures between the four Gospels and Paul's contribution are generally helpful and less controversial.
  His insights into the interactions of Jesus and his disciples are vivid and useable. Ultimately we have ordinary people like ourselves trying to explain an event that has no precedent in history. The appearance of Christ is a huge flash of light from out of nowhere and mortal men and women are struggling to make sense of it.
  In chapter four McClelland attempts to recast the Old Testament (OT). He uses a number of literary devices in this effort. He continues to imagine that he is putting skepticism and belief into a third party who is the audience for his speculations. Then he overlays the use of a new fable to retell the story of the Old Testament in contemporary terms.
  The new story takes material from the Old Testament and spins a dream-like tale of how God (a vain artist) created the Universe including Mankind and gets it wrong and becomes angry and wrathful then redeemed himself and us through reconciliation. It is an ambitious storyline to say the least.
  The recast of the OT story has an eerie resemblance to the pre-Nicene (early Christian) Valentinus story that is analogous with the OT. In this Christian storyline a self absorbed Sophia believes that her Wisdom alone can create a new world. When Sophia discovers creation is more difficult than she supposes her frustrated anger promotes a disciple, Laldabaoth, to rule over her botched creation. Laldabaoth's inherits Sophia's wrath and confusion (achamoth) which he uses as the Law. Ultimately the Most High God must step in and send a redeemer, Christos, to bring balance back to our world and offer Mankind a way out of Sophia's error.
  Sophia is Wisdom without the compassion and in effect Laldabaoth is the God of the OT. I would not have put McClelland together with the Valentinian story if it were not for on page 35 he references the Gospel of Thomas, another early Christian work associated with the ideas of Valentinus and the so-called Gnostics. While reading the book I wondered if this is another example of McClelland's unconscious mind at work attempting to expand Protestant thinking. After reading the book I asked him about Thomas and he told me, “I studied the (Nag Hammadi) literature at Harvard and teach courses on it. In many ways I am trying in the book to accommodate some of the contributions which the Gnostics have to make to the Church's understanding of the Faith.”
  In chapter five he transitions into the heart of the book that emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit and the celebration of Pentecost. Two elements that are often curbed in Christian thinking. McClelland is really asking some fundamental questions about the future of Christendom. He may be proposing a reorientation of thinking from Faith and Works to Grace and Knowing. Knowledge of the Holy Spirit in our life will lead to a deeper understanding of God's Grace. The rest of Christ's plan will naturally flow from there.

The Open Door

L A Marzulli has said if you take all the mysticism, supernatural, and para-normal out of the Bible you are left with genealogy and a few battle scenes. This is hyperbole but he has a valid point. McClelland's emphasis on the Holy Spirit as the mysticism of direct Knowing may be solid Christian pneumatology but unwanted advice to the Church establishment.
  In the book, A New Model of the Universe, originally published (1917) in Russian by Christian mystic Peter Demianovich Ouspensky, the author writes that artists have a special and valid form of knowing that is distinct from other forms of understanding but just as valid. I think this applies to Rev McClelland. He sketches in some speculative theology here, colors a little doctrinal reform over there, and maybe a few strokes of gnosticism in the background thus turning a simple watercolor landscape into a challenging symbolist painting. This sets his writing apart from the average lighthearted retired pastor book.
  In our search for the “the Real Jesus” McClelland guides us in and out of a dreamscape where Scripture is infused with the Nag Hammadi books and his desire to make it resonate with us on a new level. It has the mysterious feel of a gnostic apocryphon. Sometimes I think he is talking to his peers in the clergy, however, that didn't bother me. All in all it is a worthwhile read.

Illustration above"Evensong", 18" x 24",  watercolor on paper, Robert McClelland. (reproduced with permission)

About the author: Rev. McClelland is an ordained Presbyterian pastor (retired) who is the author of some 20 books. He has studied theology in Chicago, Edinburgh, Harvard, and earned a doctorate at San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife reside in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

D S Reif