Questions and Answers - EC384

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Questions and Answers
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 76
Length: 0:58:25
TapeCode: ec384
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 384, April the second, 1997.

This evening Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin, Mark Rushdoony and I will discuss question, first, a question from Beverly Schmidt in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. Beverly and her husband are the publishers, among other things, of the G. A. Henty books. She asks, “What were the good aspects and bad aspects of the imperialist age? Can it be compared to what is going on today? Nothing on this subject except from the left, what is the Christian perspective?”

Well, first of all, we have to see that imperialism is nothing new. The problem today is that it is usually discussed in terms of what has happened since the French Revolution, basically. But when you go into antiquity, the Assyrians had an empire, a very evil one. Egypt had an empire. Babylon. And one realm after another, including Persia. Of course, Alexander the Great in the intertestemental period and then Rome. China very early became an empire. It still is. The people in south China, in Canton province, speak a different language, Cantonese, than those in the Beijing area which is Mandarin. Then the people of the southwest area are Moslems, Turkic in origin many of them. And they hate Beijing and all that China stands for. It is an empire.

Now, empires have been good and bad. Some have been both. The Greeks with their city states did go into an empire. They established colonies in Asia Minor. Alexander the Great, a Macedonian established a vast empire reaching into India and north Africa which divided into four parts after his death. [00:03:03]

Well, there were things good and bad that developed...[edit]

Well, there were things good and bad that developed out of the Roman Empire. Very clearly they prepared the way for the expansion of Christianity in that the first area of expansion was within the empire. Then after the fall of the empire, the Church was in a better position to go into areas beyond the frontiers of the old Roman Empire. They had begun it before, but they were ready to expand even more.

Throughout the centuries, there have been empires that we no longer think of as empires. For example, Great Britain was created as an empire. The Welsh were not English. The Scots were not English. And the people of Cornwall, of course, were Celts also and those of Ireland. So we have to say we have to be more objective when we deal with the subject. France, for example, an empire. The Bretons still don’t like being a part of it. Spain, just to become the Spain we know was an imperial power which conquered other areas, some Basque, some Celtic, Galatia and many of the people still maintain a somewhat resentful attitude towards being called Spaniards.

If you were from Barcelona you are proud of your heritage which you regard as far superior to the Castilian. The France... in France the rulers of Paris conquered the whole of what is France and, of course, included some that were very different like the Celts of Breton. But also groups that spoke another type of romance language. And originally as recently as the 1700s if you were 25 miles outside of Paris you could no be understood speaking Parisian French. [00:06:16]

Well, of course, what the critics of imperialism have...[edit]

Well, of course, what the critics of imperialism have in mind is the vast expansion of the British Empires in Africa and Asia and elsewhere in the last century and up through World War I. Again, it is hard to generalize. There were aspects, for example, of the British Empire’s work that was hardly commendable. The opium wars they conducted in China to force opium on the Chinese Empire were clearly evil as was their seizure of Hong Kong. Their war against South Africa and the Boer republics was evil, a brutal war.

On the other hand, in other areas, for whatever reason, they brought a great deal of advancement. One reason why they could conquer, say, in Africa and elsewhere as well, but especially in Africa, was because of superior weapons. They had available advanced guns whereas at best the African peoples had old fashioned muskets and mostly spears and arrows. And they were just no competition for the Europeans.

Well, the African areas had been an area of slave trade. Most of the world’s slave traffic has bee conducted over the centuries by Moslems. Beginning from the time shortly after Mohammed the slave trade out of Africa has been phenomenal. Most of the slaves moving eastward all over Asia and into the East Indies, so that blaming the western powers for the slave trade is nonsense. They could not have landed in Africa if the Arabs and the black rulers had not wanted them to buy slaves. [00:09:09]

When they did take over they ended the salve trade...[edit]

When they did take over they ended the salve trade and they proceeded to try to end cannibalism. They did a great deal to carry modern medicine into Africa and increase the population substantially with what they did. They also brought in education. A very high percentage of the leadership of the various African countries gained their schooling in French and English universities, a few in American.

Well, they advanced Africa phenomenally by means of colonialism. This is an important fact. Whether they intended it or not, good consequences did proceed from colonialism. There were bad ones as well in some areas, but the main enemy originally of colonialism in Africa was Islam, because we were bringing about reforms there that they wanted no part of. And one of the great campaigns of the last century under Victoria was against the Mahdi, the Islamic savior who arose and was responsible for a tremendous overthrow for a time of British power and for the death of General Gordon. It was not an unqualified good or bad story. It has to be examined piecemeal. Some of the colonial powers were of varying character. For example, someone from Africa, this was in the 30s, told me that the saying in Africa is: We can milk the English with one hand. With the French it takes two hands.

So they were quite adept at exploiting the imperial powers. There were differing reactions among the natives of the various areas. The English were most generous in helping all the natives that wanted an education and wanted to get ahead. They sent them in great numbers to English universities, but they would not treat them as equals. And the natives resented it. The French were far more ready to be agreeable there and the Portuguese even more so. But rightly or wrongly, the Portuguese administration was regarded as more corrupt and hated by some of the blacks. [00:12:37]

Christians, Catholic and Protestant, did a great deal...[edit]

Christians, Catholic and Protestant, did a great deal of work in evangelization, in education and in medicine throughout Africa. The same was true in the Far East. And India, for example, is a unity today because of the English. So, too, Pakistan. They spoke multiple languages. Now they speak English in both areas. They got this from their conquerors. The same is true in other lands. People were united by the colonial powers and greatly advanced in all that they were able to achieve. At the same time, true, there were evils that were perpetrated.

Well, that is enough for me now. Douglas?

[Murray] Well, history doesn’t tell us very much about who are the people that press the buttons to cause these imperialist adventures by various countries, whether it was British, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German. All of... all of the European countries had their periods when they were involved in imperialist adventures. Apparently whoever got going first, I guess it was the Portuguese with their explorations around Africa around the horn of Africa and up the eastern side saw great potential for enhancing the economies of their particular country. And since they couldn’t easily expand by taking adjacent territory, for instance, Portugal going to war with Spain, it was much easier for them to just find another land somewhere that... where there was little or no military expertise. And with their superior weapons they could subjugate very easily.

It seems that in virtually every case military subjugation was the first step to the economic thrust that was made into the country. Most of the... in the case of the British the mercantile aspect where they wanted raw materials from foreign countries or their colonies which they could take back and manufacture into goods that they could sell back into the colonies and figured they had a ... a closed loop situation going that would create a lot of jobs for the people at home. [00:15:41]

We seem to have created a new kind of imperialism which...[edit]

We seem to have created a new kind of imperialism which is a reverse situation. We are giving up our jobs in this country to create jobs in other countries and we have like an economic imperialism where we are going into foreign countries and we have dressed it up with new names such as global ... one of the favorite terms of our government officials is global competitiveness when, in fact, we are becoming less competitive because we ... we no longer manufacture anything. How can you compete when you no longer make ... make the goods?

So instead of using the... the ... the military thrust first into foreign countries, we seem to be practicing an economic imperialism. So I don't think a great deal has changed.

[M. Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] The result is... is that we are just doing it a different way and we are... we are calling it by different names.

I think the.... the measure is whether or not the person in the other country can afford to buy what he makes. If the person in the ... in the colony, whether it is a military colony or an economic colony, they simply in most cases have been allowed to keep their own nation... national entity, their own government. We... we simply manufacture goods there at the lowest possible cost and sell them for the highest possible price on the world market which is great for the companies involved, but it is creating enormous dislocations both in this country and the people in these other countries are not deriving all that much benefit.

India is doing better. They have a rising middle class of technocrats and people there are able to afford some of the creature comforts that we take for granted, but I don’t think the people in China, for instance, are making the shoes that we wear, Nike and all these various companies that manufacture sport shoes and over there that... that they can manufacture for about 50 cents of labor and sell in this country for over 100 dollars a pair. That is pretty good profit margin. And we don’t manufacture shoes anymore in the United States. So the benefits of imperialism seem to have become reversed. We are... we are no longer deriving any benefit from it at all. [00:18:26]

[Sandlin] So you support greater tariffs or trade barriers...[edit]

[Sandlin] So you support greater tariffs or trade barriers to... to address this problem?

[Murray] Well, every time that has been tried, it, you know, it... it creates hard feelings and people want to go to war over it. You know, then... then the military aspect comes into being. We haven’t really quite found the right mix yet to keep from getting our nose bloody. But the question is, you know, are we going to get our nose bloody externally with somebody getting mad at us because we erect trade barriers or are we going to get our nose bloody internally because people in this country are tired of being... having to pay the freight, but not getting any of the benefits? So there is a question for the future about how these two methods of imperialism are going to come out.

[Sandlin] Well, I would mention we have imperialism to thank for the roots of our own country. I mean, after all, England was establishing colonies here and even the, you know, the trading companies in Massachusetts that came over were here to...

[Murray] Sure.

[Sandlin] ... at England’s behest. So as a... as a Calvinist, I tend to support a ... a very decentralized form of government, not large empires. Though, as Rush said, they have certainly have in some degree been beneficial. And although I appreciate the United States and ... and love the country, I think we have to recognize the Bible supports a sort of Christian internationalism. I mean, we have a greater camaraderie with our brothers and sisters in the Sudan that are suffering than with pagan Darwinists in this country and the greater responsibility to them. So I think we have to balance those two. But we have to be patriots and ... and we love the country that God has placed us in, but we have a higher cause and... and salute a higher flag and that is the Christian flag and... and the Word of God. So I think we bear those things in mind. We can retain a balance on ... on this issue.

[M. Rushdoony] Well, a couple of benefits of imperialism ... one notable benefit was that some very evil religious practices were stopped, because of the horror when... when faced with western powers. When Spain went to the Aztecs they said that the blood sacrifices on these beautiful pyramids that... that anthropologists rave about in Central America, that is going to stop. And that stopped immediately. Well, that was a result of imperialism. They were imposing their own morality on that culture and anthropologists still haven’t forgiven them for interrupting that.

[Sandlin] The political correctness people have a tough time answering that argument. That is exactly right.

[M. Rushdoony] In India the burning of wives...

[Sandlin] Sure.

[M. Rushdoony] ... was largely halted by the British. So there are some very evil thing that have gone on in different parts of the world such as cannibalism that the western powers came in and said, “Hey, we are going to make an effort to put a stop to this as soon as possible.” And in some cases they only way to put a stop to that is by force.”

[Murray] Binding the women’s feet in China.

[M. Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...was another. [00:21:40]

[M. Rushdoony] Good... good, another good example. And when you use some... like something like that that is so horrific you could say either we could go into it with a modern... the modern Humanist who goes, let’s start educating these people and maybe in a generation or two we will see some results of our education. Well, their idea was: If it is bad, let’s just say it is going to stop. And a lot of evil practices stopped because of imperialism.

Services. There is a lot of country today where the train system basically, you know, the transportation system still goes back to the imperialistic era that ended, you know, with about World War II.

And if imperialism.... a lot of people when they think of imperialism, they think of just the economic imperialism, but when you think about a developed country meeting a totally undeveloped country in the last century what kind of relationship would naturally develop? One, either a welfare. Say, well, we are here to build you up. Here we are here to build you up and create you as an equal.

[Murray] We are here to help you.

[M. Rushdoony] And they will do business with you. Or what you have to offer us. Do you have minerals? Do you have resources? Do you have? What do you have? It is a natural relationship.

Sometimes that was... that relationship was probably abused, but to a large extent that was... that was beneficial to the development of that country and the country wouldn’t have developed to the extent it has now.

But a lot of times, also, when we look at imperialism... think of imperialism we think of trying to control other peoples, ok, for our own benefit and... and make them as we want them so we have the best, the relationship we want with that country. We are still doing that. We are still doing that.

In fact, in fact, a lot of those borders that were artificially created by imperialism, we are still saying, “Those borders will stand.”

[Murray] Even though they don’t work. We have got...

[Sandlin] No.

[Murray] ... a multi... multi ethnic...

[Sandlin] Yes.

[Murray] ... multi tribal strife, particularly in African countries where they arbitrarily... and in the Middle East where they arbitrarily placed...

[M. Rushdoony] Imperialist, colonialism created the problem and we decry imperialists, colonialism, but we are still perpetuating those... those things, those problems.

[Murray] Yeah, but those... those decisions were all made on the basis of greed. Every single one of them. They were all made on the basis of man’s greed. [00:24:19]

[Sandlin] The late Gulf War is an example...[edit]

[Sandlin] The late Gulf War is an example. I mean, it wasn’t nearly as much the tyranny going on as it was the oil that we wanted to protect.

[Murray] Sure.

[Sandlin] And so...

[Rushdoony] Well...

[Murray] Copper in the Central Africa and oil in the Middle East.

[Rushdoony] In this century since World War I nothing has been said one of the most brutal empires in all of history, the Soviet Union.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Rushdoony] It was an empire and it was totally brutal. I think you have to go back to the last century to find anything that is even halfway as bad and that would be Leopold of Belgium, his personal ownership of the Congo. And it was a brutal empire. It was the media of the day that blew it ... blew it... drew attention to it and blew it apart.

Well, we have a new imperialist power now, the UN. I don’t now how many places, perhaps sixty or more that there are UN troops now. Why? Who appointed them to be the world’s peace keeper? It is a self appointment. And from being a place to meet and to discuss things it is now becoming a super nation. So where are the criticisms of UN imperialism? The Birchers will criticize it, but not your liberals.

[Murray] Well, it is a natural development because the United States is broke and no longer able to be the world’s policeman. So they are anticipating that the United States, since the United States is going broke and the people don’t want taxes raised anymore, they don’t want them as high as they are now that they would be more than willing to let the UN take over as the world’s policemen.

[Sandlin] They have messianic designs, of course.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Sandlin] That is the problem. I think if there is any... Oh, go ahead, Rush.

[Rushdoony] Go ahead, no.

[Sandlin] I think if there is any imperialism that we should support today, I wrote down in my notes here Mark was talking about the benefits of national imperialism. I think we need to support what Chalcedon supports, Christian imperialism which is the dominion commission and the preaching of the gospel and bringing people under the authority of the Word of God. That ultimately will solve the problems that national imperialism would never solve. [00:27:06]

[Murray] You know, I often think of what a great job...[edit]

[Murray] You know, I often think of what a great job was done in Africa after the European powers pulled out and they sent all of the young African leaders to the Sorbonne in Paris to learn the most virulent form of Marxism and they went back to their countries and became the most ruthless murderers in the history.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] Some of the most ruthless murderers in the history of the world and decimated their own populations.

[Sandlin] And some of that is still going on.

[Murray] Yeah, Cambodia and Uganda. Idi Amin and all these swell fellows who ...

[Rushdoony] Nigeria.

[Murray] Yeah, Nigeria got the only swell people who got this European education and went back and became monsters.

[Sandlin] That is right. That is...

[Rushdoony] Well, Imperialism is not something that can be described as good or bad. There has been a great deal pro and con and will continue to be, because I don’t think we are done with imperialism yet.

We see some ironic things in the course of imperialism’s history. At the time we took the Philippines from Spain there was a strong independence movement among the Philippines. And one of the great leaders of the independence movement there was Jose Rosal and it was with bitterness that they saw the substitution of American rule of Spanish rule. But they came to like it. In fact, after World War II there was some bitterness on the part of the Philippines because we did not make them another American state. And a very, very large and substantial number of people in the Philippines wanted that. And they felt that it was, perhaps, racism that led to their being set free instead of made into a state.

It is interesting that that was not the first time that issue came up. After the Mexican War we could have taken all of Mexico. There were many in Mexico who would have welcomed it. They were tired of the tyrants who were ruling them. But there were too many people who were afraid that it would be a bad mix to have the Mexicans and the Americans in one country. [00:30:00]

Well, whether they like it or not they are getting...[edit]

Well, whether they like it or not they are getting it right now. So it is a mixed district. I hope what we have said is helpful.

We are going to turn our attention now to another subject which is of interest to a number of you, the cults. I think what has sparked this interest is the fact that very recently a number of people in the San Diego area dwelling in a mansion committed suicide, all members of the same group, heaven’s gate, expecting that a rocket following the, what is it {?} rocket or comet would carry them to another realm.

Now in recent years there have been a number of cults with a pseudo scientific basis, very much given to the type of star wars thinking. And it is not a surprising thing that Star Wars and other like films have had a sensational success. Anything dealing with this sort of thing is very popular. As a matter of fact, some kind of space people, television program was the favorite of the San Diego group.

Now, what is the origin of this sort of thing? Well, with the Renaissance you began to get utopian thinking of ideal colonies, of separating from the world into an ideal group. This was not to be together as, say, Christians, because Christians did tend to congregate and it was a premise for generations that they were to ... when they made a move, locate a church of a like faith and live within distance of it.

This was different. This was to come together because there was another world that was more important. And the world around them was going to go to hell and they alone were going to be in touch with the real world.

We have had prominent people in Hollywood as members of a number of cults, some of whom profess to have communications with the departed. One of the interesting aspects of this history is a man, perhaps one of you have heard of him, Charles Fort, F O R T. [00:33:23]

Well, Charles Fort was an interesting man whose dates...[edit]

Well, Charles Fort was an interesting man whose dates go back into the last century, latter part of it and maybe to the early years of this. I don’t know. He was not a Christian. He was a radical cynic. And he was especially cynical where science was concerned. He felt that the great superstition that was being developed in the modern world was science. He didn’t deny that there could be some good in it as no doubt there was in Christianity and other things that had preceded it, but the superstition of the modern age was now science.

So he collected and published several very thick books of extensively reported and often vouched for episodes all connected with a scientific world album, very, very heavily associated with space travel.

Now he also was concerned with things that scientists at that time couldn’t explain, raining fishes, for example. And now we know that fish can be sucked up by winds and carried many, many miles and then it will rain fish or frogs or whatever else they suck up. But he collected stories of flying airships. In his time there were dirigibles, not airplanes, but dirigibles. And so people when they had these host nations, individual or mass and had these space visitors come and talk to them and tell them all kinds of marvelous things, it was not a plane or a flying saucer. It was a dirigible.

Well, he had volume after volume of reports of this sort and all kinds of other things which indicated that these had their inspiration in science and people were having this type of occultist or some odd occultist thinking in terms of contemporary science. [00:36:22]

Charles Fort was not popular with the people of his...[edit]

Charles Fort was not popular with the people of his day, especially the scientists. For one thing he ridiculed at great length their ability to compute accurately the distance of various stars from the earth. And he thought a great deal of science was a lot of pomposity and because people were impressed there was no modesty in their invention of stories. So he hit them with all these tales and irked people.

Well, it is interesting that for a long time and possibly still there was a Fortian Society that published a journal collecting all these stories, not commenting on them, just saying, “This is what has been reported. Now how do you account for this?”

And there were some tolerably prominent people connected with the Fortian Society. So cults of this sort have been with us over the centuries. We have had them in paganism. We have had them in Christianity as people imagined that they had seen angels or great things were told them or that the skies in the forms of clouds formed words.

There is a famous story about the southern boy or young man, not very bright, who went to the Baptist deacons and said he had had a vision when he was out in the cotton field. He saw clouds form the letters PC which meant preach Christ. And so he was there for them to vindicate his vision and ordain him and send him forth to preach Christ.

Well, the board was embarrassed. He was a good young man, but he was not very bright. And to ordain somebody who was none to bright, well, it just didn't seem right to them. And finally one of them came up with the idea, the answer. So they went out and told the young man, “Young man, we don’t doubt what you saw. But you misread it. It didn’t mean preach Christ. It meant pick cotton.” [00:39:28]

Well, people are already always ready to have visions...[edit]

Well, people are already always ready to have visions, not only some of our people in Hollywood who are so well versed on things in the other world, but also apparently highly intelligent people. If you don’t have strong faith, you are very vulnerable to almost any kind of cult. And over the years I have seen more than one very, very intelligent person get sucked up in these cults. The fact that impresses me powerfully in all of this is what I learned from reading a few books on hypnotism. If you have a strong faith, you cannot be hypnotized. It is not a question of education. It is a question of faith. You can be highly educated and be extremely vulnerable to hypnosis or mass hysteria.

And I remember a very prominent professor at Berkeley, very much to the left, but a good man. I liked him. He had a sense of humor about himself {?}, not very honest, but a likeable man. And in the second half of the 30s he took a sabbatical and, among other things, went to Germany and when he came back he told some of us of his experience at a Hitler rally. He said, “It was hypnotic. The setting, the march of the troops, the excitement of the crowd and then Hitler speaking.” This man understood German fluently. And he said before long he was caught up in the excitement and he said, “I screamed myself hoarse shouting. ‘Heil, Hitler.’” And he said, “It wasn’t until after... after it was over on my way to the hotel I realized what I had been doing.” So he said, “I have felt a little meek about my condemnation of the German peoples.” [00:42:19]

Well, if you don’t have a strong faith, you are vulnerable...[edit]

Well, if you don’t have a strong faith, you are vulnerable as were these people in what is it? Rancho Santa Fe, an area of multi millionaires.

[Murray] Well, I think there is not an isolated situation. There are probably thousands of cults in the United States.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Or small groups like this. I think you can almost assume that. They all seem to have the ones... the cults that have come to national prominence seem to have some common denominators. First of all, the ... there is a charismatic leader who has a hypnotic effect on the people that come under his influence. He demands that they give him everything, all of their property and money and so forth. And ... and they... and winds up with tragic consequences. A lot of people die. You know, we tend to ... people tend to perhaps minimize the importance of this and we have got night television comics making light of it, but for the parents of those people, you have to feel a little concerned because, you know, they have had the worst of all tragedies of losing a child, even the... though they are in their 20s and 30s. And that is a pretty hard blow. And they don’t know why. Most of them don’t know why and they spend the rest of their lives trying to figure it out. But if they did not give their kids a strong faith, if they don’t figure out that that is what the cause was, they will ... they will never known. They will always, you know, blame the cult leader or they will blame society. They will blame somebody, but they will... they will never understand that the reason that their kid was unable to withstand the... the seductiveness of the cult was because they were rudderless. They had no ... no guiding... guiding principles. They all have the common denominator is that while they tend to use the Bible, particularly Revelation which is strong medicine for anybody, they are all running from Christianity. [00:45:08]

[Sandlin] That is right...[edit]

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] ...blindly running from Christianity. And, you know, the other thing is that what do these people do for anybody? You know, Christians are generally about the ... the job of trying to do something for somebody else rather than even, rather than either enriching themselves or wanting power over other people, whereas the common denominator of these cults is they want power over people. And the ultimate power is to tell them to kill themselves and have them do it.

So it is ... it is... it is a really... it is a terrible thing. I mean, we can joke about the space ship and all that, you know, whatever... whatever apparent mental instability the leader may have had, but he was very effective. He was very seductive and, you know, he was ever bit as ... as charismatic and seductive as Hitler or Lenin or, you know, any leader in history that you want to name that got large numbers of people to follow him blindly to the point of killing themselves, in order to prove their fidelity, if you will, to the cult leader. And the only antidote is for that ... and it is a madness. You know, that you can’t call it anything else. It is just... it is just people have driven themselves mad with this seduction, with this fantasy. You know, they created all of these fantasies about, you know, as they drew from pop culture, the Star Trek, Star Wars trilogy, all of these things. They were people who were living in a fantasy world. You know, you weave in a little Revelation and the rest of it and, you know, this guy has got a saleable product and these people bought it right to the hilt.

[Sandlin] Well, the Church must bear the onus for a lot of this, the professed Christian Church, first, because there is not a stress on strong biblical theological preaching and because of that there is a strong existential strain. We come to church to feel good, to get the godly goose pimples and the warm fuzzies. Well, when these cults come along and offer better feelings, then they just run right along. That is true not only in the liberal churches, but also, perhaps especially these days in the so-called evangelical churches. Come and we will meet your needs. We will make you feel good. Well, there is no strong theological base there. [00:48:15]

And, second, there is not a great stress on historic...[edit]

And, second, there is not a great stress on historic biblical orthodoxy. And, of course, the cults can afford to stress historic Christian faith because they are wanting to sort of reinvent the religion. And I am not talking about dipping over into Roman Catholicism. Most listening to these tapes are not Roman Catholic and I am not being anti Roman here. I am simply saying you don’t have to be a Roman Catholic to have a strong appreciation for those that have gone before us in God’s providential dealings in the Church.

But the modern Church today, for the most part, really lacks that. And so people are, as Douglas said, just rudderless, just rudderless and will ... any sort of little religious duck that comes by and quacks, they will follow along and it is largely the ... the error of the Church for not standing forthrightly A) with strong, firm, biblical, theological, doctrinal preaching and also for not stressing Christian, historical Christian orthodoxy in the creeds and... and confessions of the Church and interpreting them properly as they should.

So these things are tragedies, but the... to a large extent the Church itself and the country is to blame.

[M. Rushdoony] Well, this... the reaction of the media and the comments of a lot of people are very different this time than Jonestown some years ago. Jonestown they were very quick to jump on Christianity. Yeah, he was some kind of a minister. Therefore this is some kind of a Christian group. You have got to be careful of these church groups. Now this group was so obviously new age and rather chic and kind of cutting edge in this ... this, you know, the popularity of, you know space ships and aliens and so forth. They have a little trouble. But they haven’t really criticized them. And some of these interviews with former members it was almost, you know, they didn't say this is kind of nutty, isn’t it? They... they ... they talked to them like this is a rationale thing.

[Sandlin] Yeah, exactly. This is very normal.

[M. Rushdoony] And... and what would the other teachings of your... you know, what did you... you believe about this space ship?

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] And… because it is... the beliefs of this group are actually very acceptable today.

[Sandlin] That is a very good point.

[M. Rushdoony] What started out as a cult of, you know, UFOs and curiosity and people say, well, do they exist? Don’t they exist? I think they must exist. Suddenly people are willing to give their lives for this. And judging from a ... a lot of comments made by people who look into cults, he said there are hundreds of these groups in every major city in the country that have these far out beliefs of... of various kinds. [00:51:00]

But something that characterized this group and why...[edit]

But something that characterized this group and why even now the media is saying they are giving them some legitimacy. They... they are saying, you know, why would they kill themselves? That is the big question. Why would they kill themselves? Not was...

[Sandlin] But the problem wasn’t their {?}

[M. Rushdoony] This is nonsense. This is insane.

[Sandlin] Yeah. That is right. They don't say it is nonsense. It is just... it was nonsense for the {?}.

[M. Rushdoony] Yeah, because we weren’t...

[Sandlin] The beliefs weren’t. Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] You didn’t go into any search for spirituality day is considered to be valid.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] Spiritually it is ... is self determined. You go through your own spiritual evolution. If these people happen to go off on this tangent, they dress neatly. They were polite to their neighbors. And...

[Sandlin] They were outwardly goofy.

[M. Rushdoony] they were intelligent.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] Therefore, there was really no problem with them. So what was it that caused them to kill themselves? It was what they believed, for crying out loud.

[Sandlin] I want to quickly read the current issue of U. S. News and World Report which is certainly not a right wing magazine. But it says here in... “According to American Book Seller’s Association, the sale of new age books jumped from 5.6 million copies in 1992 to 5.7 million in 1995, close to two billion dollars according to Forbes magazine. It has been each year in the United States on aroma therapists, channelers, macrobiotic food vendors and other aids to spiritual and physical well being. And in a 1994 Roper poll 45 percent of those who responded agreed that meditation had given them, quote, ‘A strong sense of being in the presence of something sacred,’” close quote.

So this idea... this is, as Mark said, is becoming very pervasive. And so no wonder that that the press is saying, well, they didn’t have whacky believes. Anything ... anything like this is ok. It is just they shouldn’t have taken it to the extreme of killing themselves.

[M. Rushdoony] Not even... there aren’t really even necessarily denouncing them.

[Sandlin] No. They are not...

[M. Rushdoony] Because... why would they?

[Sandlin] {?} What is the rationale for this? Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] Why would you {?}

[multiple voices]

[M. Rushdoony] Yes, how did this... how did... what was their thinking that caused them to go to this extreme?

[Murray] Well, bear in mind we live in a country where the Supreme Court says that worshipping the devil is ok. Witchcraft is ok. Santa Rita is ok. You know, we have total religious freedom in this country, which is not necessarily good.

[Sandlin] Of course, no.

You know, I think of some of you have read, you know, C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. Kind of brilliant statement in there about the materialist... materialist magician, a remarkable statement about rationalism and how that rationalism only takes us so far. Scientism, you know, and that sort of thing. And then eventually these rationalists begin to develop an irrational faith which is, of course, anti religion. And that is what we are talking about, rival religions here. Rationalism is a dead end road and so people leave and do your rationalism and then this sort of thing that we are talking about tonight. It is a substitute for Christianity, a demonic substitute for Christianity. [00:54:01]

[M. Rushdoony] And it is interesting. These people thought they were so cutting edge. What they were really doing is they were following one person, one guru who just kind of... you know, they kind of piggy back on his general ideas because they were fascinated with UFOs, but basically they were under control of this one individual who for some reason decided I am getting old, whatever reason. Let’s finish it with a bang. And let’s kill ourselves. [00:54:26]

[Sandlin] There is some evidence that he had a ...[edit]

[Sandlin] There is some evidence that he had a ... he had a disease and so he may have been a little less altruistic.

[M. Rushdoony] Or he didn’t know where ... where to go with his... you know, the space ship is not coming to us. We are going to have to go to it, type of... Put the passports in the pocket...

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] It is the same thing with Jim Jones. Jim Jones, the gig was up. People were starting to leave.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] There was dissatisfaction. So...

[Rushdoony] He was new age, but it was not publicized.

[Sandlin] Yeah.

[M. Rushdoony] But his idea was I am losing control. I still have control over them let’s... let’s... let’s do this. The ultimate control of one individual.

But the point here is everybody has a faith.

[Sandlin] Absolutely.

[M. Rushdoony] These people acted in terms of their faith.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] Everybody has a faith. Now sometimes there are... if we act our faith we are not entirely consistent with our faith. Sometimes our... our ... what we do in terms of faith is... is... is inconsistent. But everybody has faith and they put faith in something and that shouldn’t surprise us.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[M. Rushdoony] And if it is not going to be Christian, it is going to be something else and we shouldn’t be surprised that there are people who are willing to give their life for what they believe.

[Murray] Well, they... you have to say that there is a spiritual yearning in people. You know, who are casting about looking for some kind of faith. And anything will do. Where is the Church?

[Sandlin] Well, there is a real dualism, too. As Rush indicated, I think, a couple of weeks ago when we were talking. They were wanting to escape. There is this talk. Oh, the world is getting so bad, you know. And now we can... what is it? The body is... it is very Greek. What is it that the leader Doe say it? The body is... is the container, very dualistic idea. And we are going to escape from this container.

Unfortunately, a lot of the modern Church thinks in much the same lines, too. But it was not a dominionist sort of fait at all. I was a very escapist sort of faith and that is the ultimate escapism is... is death.

[Murray] You could almost write a book, I guess, on cults and entitle it the many faces of the devil.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] They all have a common denominators and the all have the same result.

[Rushdoony] The cults used to be heretical biblical thinking. Now they are new age oriented. We still have some of the older cults around, aging, but it is the new age cults that are now capturing the minds of people. [00:57:14]

[Murray] Well, how much more of a warning do people...[edit]

[Murray] Well, how much more of a warning do people need? Jesus said, “All them that hate me love death.”

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] And it happens 100 percent of the time.

[Sandlin] That is right.

[Murray] Not 99 percent of the time, 100 percent of the time.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is just about up. We are grateful to those of you who sent in the questions that we have been discussing in these two tapes. We welcome the questions. While we can’t promise that we can discuss all of them, because we may not know enough to do so, but do send them along. We are grateful to you for your comments and your helping us to make the Easy Chair tapes more relevant and more interesting. Thank you and good night.