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Bending truth in the name of truth

October 21, 2013

Here’s yet another conservative meme I see constantly:

http://www.snopes.com/history/document/communistrules.asp

Language about getting the young “interested in sex” and focusing their attention on “sexy books” and fretting about the “registration of all firearms” sounds out of place for 1919, and not surprisingly, nobody has ever managed to turn up the mysterious issue of Examiner-Enterprise that supposedly printed this list.
When columnist Bob Greene checked out this piece with Russian specialists at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in the mid-1980s, they said the list was “a total fraud,” “an obvious fabrication,” and “an implausible concoction of *American fears and phobias*.”

When Montana senator Lee Metcalf looked into the issue back then, he checked with the FBI, CIA, and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee; he found that “exhaustive research” had proved the rules to be “completely spurious,” and he declared that “the extreme right also follows rules, one of which is to make maximum use of false, misleading and fear-inspiring quotations.”

The earliest known publication of these rules dates from February 1946, and it’s significant to note that publication coincided with events such as Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech, in which he issued a warning to citizens of the United States that “Communist parties constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization.” The timing suggests it’s far more likely this list was compiled by Americans in 1946 than by Russians in 1919.

Even though the Soviet Union has long since ceased to be, and the number of Communist countries remaining in the world can be counted on the fingers of one hand, the “Communist Rules for Revolution” are still anachronistically cited as evidence that America is experiencing moral and political decay fostered by outside forces. As folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand wrote of this piece back in 1986:
The rules have to do with dividing people into hostile groups, encouraging government extravagance, and fomenting “unnecessary” strikes in vital industries. What we have lost, the list suggests, is a world without dissent, budget deficits, inflation and labor unrest.

I just can’t remember any such Golden Age.

Some old commentary on a forum on this:
http://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=26264

No [Lenin] didn’t [say this]. The quotation was fabricated by Christian conspiracy theorists who are very concerned with ‘family values’ in attempt to prove that the degeneracy of modern popular culture is the result of ongoing communist infiltration etc. etc.

Yeah, I’d have to agree that this sounds like “christian” propaganda to me. You can usually tell who’s pushing the bull____ by it’s smell.

Oh, and the other way to guess that this is bull____ is that sex is a normal part of russian culture (it lacking the puritanical influence Americans live with as a result of our history) and that most Russian young people in Lenin’s time couldn’t read. “Sexy books” are a kind of bs way to get young people interested in sex if they’re illiterate. And, by the way, aren’t young people NATURALLY interested in sex? This is clever propaganda as it allows the church to claim that a young person’s natural feelings are part of a communist plot- therefore they can make their own, unnatural plot (to suppress sexuality) seem like It is natural– which it’s not.

Hold on, those are the words of Lenin and can be found in his writings on the destruction of family values among the working class by the dictatorship of the bourgeois class. He was describing how the bourgeoisie undermine the workers so that they will become docile and fodder in accepting the need to sell their labor ability to the capitalists. It is astounding how well his words fit the actual state of affairs of workers in the current bourgeois societies of our time.

Okay, but I do remember reading it very much out of context, then, in an article written by a Christian conspiracy theorist.

It wouldn’t surprise me, also I am familiar with Nazis who used it as a “battle plan” in their Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment. They tried to make it a two-edged sword to use against the communists. It also shows that Lenin hit the nail on the head in writing this in a letter to his wife (don’t quote me on this as it is as memory serves) who was very interested in the education of the Youth in order to farther the cause of communism. It also demonstrates that the Nazis were on the extreme right and actually supported the bourgeoise, although the Nazis called themselves National Socialists.

That the religionist lackeys of the bourgeoisie also would use it out of context does not surprise me either.

It definitely works for yankees, because, like most people, yankees believe what they want to believe. Us yankees are worse than most people in that respect, as American Exceptionalism, the idea of America as the Christ-nation, is rampant, which leads to a very narrow mindset.

Of course, it reflects the belief in one’s group as having the monopoly on that ever so familiar mix of Biblical and American values: “honesty, sobriety, self-restraint, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness”. Why would Lenin or anyone else attack those when they believe they possess these character traits as well? It’s like the cartoon portrayal of supervillains, who are so evil they actually own their evil and openly boast of it, as much as the “good” take pride in being “good”. (I think of Him and Mojo Jojo in the Powerpuff Girls fighting over who is more evil as to claim parental custody of the Rowdyruff Boys, who were created to do evil. Also, Mojo fighting for the title of “most evil in the universe” against an invading robot, only to unwittingly end up as the greatest hero of the world for finally defeating him —in order to be the most evil!
In real life, everyone doing evil turns it around so that they are the good guys, and the victims of the true evil, their opponents! Exactly what people who put out memes like this are doing!)

So this PRIDE, of trying to boast of one’s character, against opponents, leads them to fabricate total lies. (Another one was that Proctor & Gamble was going to add a Satanic symbol to its product labels in 2000). And they don’t see how this actually makes them look to the world. Their “testimony”! But in that case, the people in “the world” are so deceived, they are the ones “calling evil good, and good evil”, anyway, no matter what the self-professed “children of light” may do!

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From → Politics

9 Comments
  1. I thought I had added this before, but here it is again in the news feed:

    Misleading Anti-Obamacare Ad Explored
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/01/anti-obamacare-ad_n_5072275.html

  2. Here’s a good way of illustrating the bending of truth (in the form of “victim rhetoric”, which conservatives condemn when others do it):
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/how-to-determine-if-your-religious-liberty-is-being-threatened-in-10-questions_b_1845413.html

    • Here’s an even better illustration of this point:

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/so-listen-its-not-religious-discrimination-just-because-you-cant-discriminate

      “I can’t help but think how self centered we’re going to look when we get to heaven and go through the awkward introductions in the persecuted section:

      “Hi, my name is Peter. They crucified me on a cross upside down.”
      “Hi, my name is Stephen. They smashed my head in with rocks.”
      “Hi, my name is Polycarp. They tried to burn me at the stake but I didn’t catch on fire so they stabbed me to death”.
      “Hi, my name is William Tyndale. They chocked me to death at the stake and then burned by body.”
      “Hi, my name is Michael Brown. They told me that if I wanted my business to be able to accept government funds that I couldn’t fire people simply because of their sexual orientation.”

      “You see? It doesn’t actually line up with the experiences of the Christians who have come before us– Christians who actually were bullied and persecuted.
      Let’s be honest: I think we’re going to look a little silly in eternity if we keep up this persecution and “I’m being bullied” stuff. For those of us poised to lead the next generation of Jesus followers into a better cultural expression of Christianity, one of the first things we need to do is to stop pretending we’re victims. It’s not attractive. It’s not helping. It’s not even true.
      One doesn’t become the victim of bullying when they’re told that they can’t make others the victim of bullying. That doesn’t even make sense.”

  3. In conjunction with the above, Billy Graham, at 95, is speaking out again, and while he was earlier noted (even cited in Horton’s Beyond Culture Wars) for turning away from the politicized “America”-oriented “gospel” of Falwell and others in the past, it looks like Obama has pushed him back towards this:

    BILLY GRAHAM: Obama’s “Hope and Change” Was a Lie to Kill Liberty
    http://conservativetribune.com/graham-stands-for-truth

    “Americans have always fought for freedom. This is why America was founded: to worship the one true God openly with no fear of tyranny. Our early fathers led our nation according to Biblical principles.”

    “Hope and change has become a cliché in our nation and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed.
    Our country is turning away from what has made it so great, but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly is to know that God knows our every thought; He knows our hearts need transformation,” said Graham.

    That of course is not telling the whole story regarding America’s founding, and how “freedom” was actually practiced, and how it actually became “great” (i.e. powerful).
    So Graham has gone right back into the whole sugarcoated, “everyone else is at fault for all of our sins” view of “America as covenant nation”.

    The article author adds:

    “Liberals have essentially attempted to replace God with the State. Rather than trusting in Him and looking to Him for guidance, we’re supposed to look to almighty government to take care of our needs. The State has attempted to be ‘all-knowing’ by watching our every move, as only God can.”

    Of course, under this view, if the “state” promoted conservative Christianity, they wouldn’t see a problem with it “knowing our every move”, for it would then be seen as representing God. But now that it has turned more toward helping the downtrodden and powerless (and disenfranchised groups, particlularly now, the gay community), only now has it “turned away from God”. (Again, we see the ignorance of the “authoritarian-libertarian” scale independent of “left-right”. The Right becomes just as authoritarian when they gain the power).

    And they then go into the standard futurist reading of prophecy, and coupling the call for “transformation” (standard “behavioral” interpretation) on this, even though the state watching over us should be irrelevant if the Christian hope is to be raptured away soon.

    This shows why the common “changed life” concept becomes dangerous, because you can presuppose a particular group of people “followed God”, but then all of their actions become justified, because “their natures were changed, so if they did it, it must have been right”. It then becomes impossible to judge their “fruits”. What happens is a focus on what’s held up as their “good” works as exemplifying their “good fruit”, leading to “their good outweighs their bad”.

    (Another thought I just had in this vein, regarding the ongoing complaining about taxes, is “Who’s inscription” is on the taxed money? Conservative Christians thus don’t equate the faces on our money with Caesar; to them, they must be more comparable to Israel’s David, Samuel or even Moses).

    This is just the cry of a Church struggling to stay “relevant” in a world turning away from its control. The answer is for them to re-learn what the true Gospel really is (Matt.9:13), instead of focusing so much on what others believe and do (which again, betrays the same authoritarian streak they condemn in the Left).

    Here’s a relevant article:

    Americans Less Satisfied With Freedom
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/172019/americans-less-satisfied-freedom.aspx

    • Billy Graham is really disappointing me these days:

      http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/michael-w-chapman/rev-billy-graham-america-just-wicked-sodom-and-gomorrah-ever-were

      http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/michael-w-chapman/billy-graham-our-lawless-and-wicked-age-weve-taught-philosophy-devil-do

      He has really fallen back into the “good old days of America’s righteousness” rhetoric. (I had always gotten the sense that he had moved away from, that, especially to become an influence on his grandson, who’s emphasizing a stronger doctrine of Grace now).

      The irony is that he is criticizing “behaviorism”, yet that is precisely what he is teaching! Things were better “when the Bible is read regularly in the home, grace is said at the table and family prayers take place daily”; and now is bad, because people believe “do as you please”, and “Most trouble with teenagers comes from children reared in homes where prayer is neglected, the Bible is never opened and church attendance is spasmodic.”

      This ignores all of the sin that occurred in the past (when all this stuff was supposedly done more), but was simply justified with proof-texts, and that even the morality and child behavior was a shallow “front”, but behind the scenes, people were always just as sinful as ever. “Christ gives the moral stability, understanding, wisdom and patience needed to rear children.” This, pretty much following the standard “Christian victory over bad habits and attitudes” teaching, would imply that only Christians have ever raised children right (just like “you can’t overcome these problems without the power of Christ”, or at least “I don’t know how they do it”).

      “The problems of the world will never be settled unless our national leaders go to God in prayer,” he said. “If only they would discover the power and wisdom that there is in reliance upon God, we could soon see the solution to the grave problems that face the world!”

      It thus implies works-righteousness, that the purpose of prayer and Bible reading is to “save” a nation. In the Old Testament (under the Law), nations were punished for their sins, but through the “chosen” nation, it was shown that no nation (even with God’s direct guidance) could satisfy the righteous demands of the Law. “No, NOT ONE” (Romans 3:9, 10ff)
      Of course, that’s where attributing it to Christ comes in: “Christ gives…” this special “power” needed to be morally better than “the world”.
      (And what ends up happening, is people then believe that they, their church, party, ancestors/forefathers, etc. are virtually blameless, in EVERYTHING they did. After all; they were “changed”, “regenerated”. If you think they did wrong; YOU are the one indoctrinated with today’s’ “godless” world view. Try debating some of these people online!)

      Again, as Horton (Beyond Culture Wars) points out (p.114)

      “But we have confused the Law and the Gospel in our day, just as the Galatians had done, and the medieval church had done. The Law is only there for our own good, our own happiness and fulfillment anyway, right? [i.e the pragmatic approach of much of this teaching!] Of course, we do not use the term “law”, but choose rather words like ‘principles; ‘steps’, and ‘formulas’. We would know better than to say ‘We are saved by our obedience to the Law’, but we find it more difficult to detect that ‘We will achieve victory by following these principles or steps’ is a new way of saying just that.”

      You can see this, in that prayer, the Bible and church attendance become means to “solve 90 percent of the problems you have with your children” and turning to Jesus Christ will give them “true joy and happiness” instead of “the temporary intoxications of today’s sinful culture”. He “can give you the greatest happiness, the greatest adventure and the greatest thrills you have ever known”.

      Of course, this omits all the “problems”, they interpret as the “difficulties”, “trials”, etc. of the Christian life (including the actual “growth process” where we actually “overcome” all these sins), and even the difficulties and uncertainties of “faith”, and that even these “thrills” and such are “by faith, not feelings” (i.e. you don’t really feel them; they are generated by the thankfulness that God has saved you. And of course, the “better life” that accompanies the better behavior).

      One irony, is that Graham has been long criticized by even more fundamentalistic Christians, when he moved toward New-evangelicalism way back in the 50’s (and this focus on “happiness and thrills”, though they teach essentially the same things in different language), and that by now he has softened on even the key doctrine of Hell.
      This is what they will claim really sent us toward Sodom (as if man and even nations are saved by fear-driven works); even blaming preachers like Graham for it!
      Just sad; and so confident in their moralism, they don’t realize the message this sends to this world they are trying to reach for Christ.

  4. Here’s a good one I’ve always noted:
    God will judge America over abortion and gay marrigae but not other evils

    One person in the discussion mentioned all the other evils of other nations: “America doesn’t own the rights to worldly atrocities. China aborts to control their population. Serbia traffics children for sex. Britain, Portugal and Spain stole land as well. So yes, America will be judged,….along side with everyone else”.

    Either way, it’s a purely egocentric view of God. Our nation is the “chosen” one (the only one He works with that closely), and the commandments we believe are important are the ones He judges over, so we (and our fathers) are the good guys, and he’s going to punish the bad guys.

    In actuality, the “holy nation” that would replace Israel is a spiritual one, not another physical one. Ironically, many of the people who think America is chosen also still maintain the current physical nation of Israel as still being chosen as well; hence them urging us to get in God’s good graces by supporting this other nation politically no matter what.
    The entire Gospel then becomes God’s exaltation of certain nations over others; (the first nation unconditionally; the second one by their good works; a total reversal of the order of the Gospel plan), and that’s why those other sins mentioned in the meme were [traditionally] not only not seen as evil to begin with, but rather seen as part of God’s “blessing” to the nation, though many won’t be able to admit it this way.

    Someone then mentioned that they had someone tell him that the Native Americans deserved the treatment because God gave us this land like in the times of Joshua.
    I too had Christians (who often complained of a “race card” being played on them) claim both the Africans and Indians “abdicated the rights to their land [and freedom]” by their pagan worship.

    They just emulate everything in the OT all over again, and Christ hardly figures in it at all. It seems all He did was lift the sceptre from the physical Israelites or tack the Anglos onto the Abrahamic covenant. This then becomes the basis of presupposing that whatever they did that we think is sinful was right, because hey, God told the Israelites to do it, plus now, the other things Christ brought us is “the Spirit”, and where Israel failed at the Law, America’s founders and conservative Christians today, now with our ‘spirit-changed lives’, are now fulfilling (they kept telling me about all the great works America has done, and that I should be thankful, even though they were the ones incessantly complaining about the nation; but only for those two sins they focus on, in addition to other liberal policies).

    Also, going right along with this, another good meme somene else posted in the same group; which is what it all comes down to:

    Don't judge someone because they sin differently than you do

  5. So now, it comes down to editing a clip to sound like what you want it to, to demonize the other side:

    Fox Affiliate Edits Protest Chant to Sound Like ‘Kill a Cop’
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/fox-affiliate-edits-protest-chant-to-sound-like-kill-a-cop

    Local News: Protesters Didn’t Actually Chant ‘Kill A Cop.’ Sorry For The ‘Misunderstanding’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/23/baltimore-news-kill-a-cop_n_6372468.html

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