Mr. Jones’ Bitter Harvest; Hollywood Discovers the Holodomor

Hollywood’s bent towards Communism from its very inception forward has given us, through the decades, film after film expressing anti-Nazi themes. And who could ever protest exposing Nazi evils? However, even in the last decade Hollywood continues to pour forth films marching the Nazi’s before us with one of the most recent ones being “Jojo Rabbit.” I’d wager to bet that every reader can rip off the top of their heads at least five films where the Nazis were villains.

Not only have there been the ubiquitous “we hate Nazis” films but there have also been the “those poor Communists” films. Films like, “Trumbo,” and “The Majestic,” work to the end of making the audience feel sorry for the Marxists. It is twisted history at its finest. This is not even to mention the rabidly pro-communist films that Hollywood spit out during WW II. Films like “Mission to Moscow,” and “The North Star,” “The Battle for Russia,” and many more were all films that were Soviet propaganda made by Americans to the end of having Americans sympathize with the blood thirsty Communists. Can you, dear Reader, rip off the top of your heads at least 5 films where the Communists were villains?

The reason this phenomenon remains the case is that Hollywood remains largely pro-Marxist in its sympathies. Books like, “An Empire of their Own,” demonstrate this reality. We can only conclude that the same Hollywood tribe who made their sufferings in the holocaust well known worked overtime making sure that the sufferings of others in the Ukrainian Christian holdomor were muted.

However, recently, there seems to have developed a disturbance in Hollywood’s dark side of the force. In the last 3 years a couple films have been released that not only indicts the monstrous regime that was the USSR, but also pictures those sympathetic to Communism in an unflattering light.

In 2017 the film “Bitter Harvest” was released. Though it will never be considered an “A-list” film, it remains a quality release. The story centers on a young Ukrainian couple who are star struck with each other from the tenderest of ages. Eventually they marry, but hardship drives them apart. The film tells their story of childhood in grain rich Ukraine, of their coming of age in Bolshevik occupied Ukraine, of their separation because of the heavy hand of the Bolsheviks in Ukraine, and of their reunion, all as seasoned with Yuri and Natalka’s other family and friends surrounding them as those supporting roles fill out the characters of Yuri and Natalka as well as their relationship. All of this romantic drama as set in the larger context of the 1932 Soviet occupation of Ukraine and the subsequent Ukrainian Holodomor.

At this point it would be tempting to rush ahead with the film story, but I’m not sure the average reader even knows what this thing called the holodomor is. Hollywood as taught you relentlessly what the “Holocaust” was with films like “Schindler’s List,” “The Pianist,” and “Inglorious Bastards,” but it has been largely silent on the Holodomor.

The Holodomor was the political starvation of the Christian Ukrainian people starting in 1929 as ordered by Soviet Premier, Joseph Stalin and as carried out by his Jewish Bolsheviks which resulted in the cruel death by starvation of the Ukrainian people in the vicinity of 15 million of people. This number dwarfs the number of losses in the Hollywood approved “Holocaust,” and yet you, dear reader, likely know very little to nothing about it. For people interested in reading about this politically incorrect attempt at genocide one should read Robert Conquest’s “Harvest of Sorrow.”

“Bitter Harvest” thus is set in this context. As such, in telling Yuir and Natalka’s story the film gives us a glimpse of the horrors of the holodomor. In the film we are introduced to the Bolshevik Commissars in Yuir and Natalka’s village who treated Ukrainian life then the way that unborn babies are treated today. These Bolsheviks oppressed, persecuted and murdered the Ukrainian people as they fulfilled Stalin’s orders by seizing the grain leaving the Ukrainian people starving. As such the film “Bitter Harvest” exposes the wickedness that exceeded the “Holocaust” by a qauntam factor.

In the course of “Bitter Harvest,” the curtain is pulled back just a little on the evils of Communism. We see the reality of prisons for those Ukrainian Nationalists who wouldn’t bend to Stalin. We see daily mass executions in Soviet prisons. We witness the casual cruelty of Communist true believers. We see the local Communist Commissar use the promise of food to seduce and attempt to rape the starving Natalka. We see the censoring of art and pressing in of thought control. (What today we call “political correctness.”) We see the futile attempt of the Ukrainians to rise against their Communist Masters. Finally, “Bitter Harvest,” reveals what Communism best produces, and that is people seeking to flee to freedom.

As I said, it is not an “A” list film but it is a quality film worthy of viewing if only because it begins to pull back the curtain on the holodomor for American grazers who learn their history through film. For whatever it is worth, you should give “Bitter Harvest” a view.

In a film released in 2019 that is an “A” list film that also deals with the holodomor is “Mr. Jones.” As much as I rejoiced over “Bitter Harvest” I exulted in the release of “Mr. Jones,” if only because more light was being cast upon the holodomor.

“Mr Jones,” tells the story of the young educated Englishman, Gareth Jones, who had both the courage to find out for himself the truth about the ongoing holodomor by visiting the Ukraine himself, and then by withstanding the onslaught on his character because he violated the politically correct narrative of his time as supported by journalist and political elites.

I stumbled across and first learned of Jones about 15 years ago upon reading S. J. Taylor’s “Stalin’s Apologist.” This book is a biography on Walter Duranty, who serves as the devotee to the lie in the film “Mr. Jones” to Gareth Jones advocacy of the truth. In brief Duranty and Jones are foils to one another in the film. This contest between Duranty and Jones thus frames the film as the theme of the film is truth vs. lies. Early in the film, Jones is discussing “truth” with the leading female (Vanessa Kirby) of the film and Jones insists that he is looking for the truth regarding the Ukraine. Kirby character Ada Brooks responds by asking “whose truth?,” and then only a little later in the face of Jones’ protestations about true truth, responds by chiding Jones that his view on truth is “a little naive isn’t it?” The theme of the film is then anchored at the end of the film as Ada phones and leaves a message for Jones saying, “tell Gareth he was right about truth.” Between those two conversations we see Gareth Jones, in the film, as against all odds, being a champion of truth. He champions truth before his employer MP David Lloyd George and his staff, he champions truth with his foil Walter Duranty, he champions truth in his bylines that are printed in the London Times. “Mr Jones” portrays Gareth Jones as a early incarnation of Solzhenitsyn’s maxim, “Live not by lies.”

The truth of the holodomor in the Ukraine pursued by Stalin was being suppressed everywhere in the West since, like Hollywood in the introductory paragraphs of this column, Journalist and Newspapers were being run largely by those with a political and kinship interest to keep the holodomor buried. Not only was the story buried by journalists but chaps like Walter Duranty (London’s “Man in Moscow”) also wrote complete fabrications and lies about the genocide that was the holodomor. Duranty was so good at his circumlocutions and prevarications that he was awarded a 1932 Pulitzer prize in Journalism for his lies touching the Ukraine. This is what Jones (and Malcolm Muggeridge) were facing in writing in contradiction of Duranty’s Pulitzer. Duranty’s writing was so distorted that Muggeridge later spoke of him as “the greatest liar I ever knew.” One can easily see how Duranty proves the excellent foil for a film that emphasizes that true truth exists. Keep in mind here that Duranty’s correspondent releases from Moscow to the New York Times at this time shaped American policy causing many to conclude that Duranty’s lies led to the US, under FDR, to diplomatically recognize the Soviet Union. Yet the film “Mr. Jones” leads the viewer to conclude, despite the whole web of lies spun by Duranty, the New York Times, and Sydney and Beatrice Webb, Gareth Jones’ “One word of truth outweighed the world.” It really is inspirational.

In the context of this war between the lie and the truth we are given insight of the holodomor in “Mr. Jones.” The film doesn’t go all in on showing the barbarity and cruelty of the holdomor. It instead takes a more subtle approach to exposing the sadness. It shows people dumpster diving for Jones’ orange peel that he casually tosses away into a coal container. It shows children hauntingly singing a child’s song about Stalin playing a tune on a fiddle leading to the death of the Ukraine by the seizure of their grain. Stalin’s tune led to madness of Fathers and Mothers having to watch their children die. Stalin’s tune led to hunger and cold. The film shows the death squad out collecting bodies tossing a wailing orphan on top of the dead bodies knowing that the orphan himself isn’t long for the world since his mother was one of the dead collected. The film subtly reveals to the viewer cannibalism. The film demonstrates Jones himself seeking to eat bark in order to survive.

Throughout all this the cruelty of Stalin and the Bolshevik Commissars is put on display. Yet, as I said earlier all this is done with comparative subtlety. One feels the impact of the starvation but isn’t overwhelmed by it. (Showing the reality would turn the film into a horror film.)

The technique of the Director is to film in somber colors to communicate the colorlessness of life in communism. The lighting is dimmed so that one feels, as they view the movie, that they are in some sort of place where the illicit is occurring.

Interestingly and cleverly enough food is a sub-theme of the film. Conversations over meals serve as both contradiction to the famine occurring in Ukraine and as irony that the Soviet apparatchiks are feasting while others are eating straw soup and are cannibalizing. The West also comes in for some derision here as a couple of scenes, once Jones returns home, shows the abundance of food in the West.

One final wildcard weaves its way through the film and that is the presence of George Orwell as working on his “Animal Farm.” Orwell becomes the final judge over the contest of truth vs. lie, of Jones vs. Duranty. Orwell is a man who desires to believe in all that the Bolshevik Revolution stood for in the minds of the Utopians yet still connected enough to reality to be able to believe that it might well all be a lie. In the end Jones convinces Orwell that “Stalin is not the man you believe him to be.” It is clear that Orwell is convinced by Jones and yet is deeply saddened that he has been convinced. “Animal Farm” in this film is the result of Orwell’s sad convincing.

“Mr. Jones” ends with displaying to the viewer the price that Jones had to pay for telling the truth. Perhaps the films most disappointing moment is when Jones is vindicated. I would say that is the most disappointing moment of the film because it simply is the case that those carrying the truth are not typically often vindicated in their lifetime. I am convinced that most often they are not.

See the film … if you enjoy a film with plot and character development you won’t be disappointed.

From the Mailbag; Pastor Can You Provide A R2K for Dummies?

Thank you Colin for the question. I think I can do that. In examining R2K (Radical Two Kingdom “theology”) we must understand that what drives it first and foremost. The answer to that is its eschatology.

1.) R2K is a eschatology (doctrine of the end expected) of defeat. Their eschatological model teaches that Christianity can not to be triumphant in this world beyond the Church (grace) realm. Indeed, defeat is hard baked into their eschatological model inasmuch as their eschatology doesn’t even allow Christianity to contend in the common realm against the various other gods and religions. If Christianity can’t even contend anyplace but the Church then obviously defeat is the eschatological consequence.

2.) When we consider the ecclesiology (doctrine of the Church) of R2K it is absolutely essential to keep in mind that for R2K “the Church,” and “the Kingdom of God” are exactly synonymous. The Church and the Church alone is where one finds the Kingdom of God. Now one could fix this as the Roman Catholics do by bringing in everything from the common realm into the Church in order to make it ‘Holy’ but R2K doesn’t make that move. Instead R2K does just the opposite of Rome and keeps everything else outside the Church restricting the Kingdom to being the Church and the Church alone. Everything outside the Church (Kingdom) is called “common.” So, this means

1.) family
2.) civilization
3.) culture
4.) education
5.) law
6.) arts
7.) science
8.) civil-social (Government)

each and all are not in any way related to the Kingdom of God but are to be considered “common.”

Now, R2K makes a smooth seldom noticed move here. What I have just described is almost the position of the Anabaptist. The difference is that the Anabaptist insisted that all these were “worldly” except as they existed inside the Anabaptist community of faith. So, the only difference between the Anabaptist and R2K here is that while the Anabaptist called these Institutions “worldly,” R2K calls them “common.” One wonders if there is some linguistic legerdemain going on here? Is the R2K word “common” just a fig leaf covering their Anabaptist “worldly?”

3.) Also touching ecclesiology R2K is adamant about the “Spirituality of the Church.” Now when this doctrine was used by Reformed types like the covenanters the purpose was to keep the snout of the Magistrate out of controlling the Church. R2K has flipped that so that the purpose of the Spirituality of the Church is to keep the Church’s snout out of influencing the Magistrate.

The spirituality of the Church teaches that given the unique calling and teleos of the Church under the mediatorial Kingship of Christ the church is limited in its authority to handling the keys of the Kingdom and is tasked differently than the State. The Church is tasked with the ministry of grace while the State is tasked with the ministry of justice. This is interpreted by R2K as a cone of silence upon the Church as Institution when it comes to speaking to Caesar. There is truth in this but the way R2K handles the “Spirituality of the Church” does not allow for the nuancing necessary when the State begins to speak authoritatively via legislation in a manner contrary to God’s speaking in Inscripturated Revelation. In my estimation we need to return to a doctrine of the “Spirituality of the Church” that is a tool to keep the State from seeking to usurp the unique authority of the Church.

The impact of this doctrine of the spirituality of the Church the way that R2K handles it means that you will seldom if ever hear a R2K minister speak to social issues like Marxism, Abortion, Just War, Sodomy, redistribution of wealth plans, etc. For R2K society could be burning down around us and the pulpit would be silent about the Lordship of Jesus Christ on these issues.

4.) R2K calls it “the hyphenated life.” A less diplomatic way to put it would be R2K is characterized by a Gnostic type dualism. Because R2K divides all of life between the church realm (upper story) and common realm (lower story) the consequence is that there are dualisms everywhere in R2K.

For example, in R2K there are two authorities. There is the authority of God’s Word for the Church realm and then there is the authority of Natural Law for the common realm. God rules explicitly by His Word in the realm of grace but does not rule explicitly in the common realm but rather rules by Natural law. As such the Clergy should keep only to the Church realm issues not preaching or teaching on issues taking place in the common realm.

For example, while the Church might forbid homosexuality in the Church, outside the Church, Church members could freely state that they could affirm domestic partnerships as a way of protecting people’s legal and economic security.

For example, in the Church Christ is Lord but outside the Church in the common realm Caesar is Lord. Here is a quote from a R2K devotee that demonstrates this dualism,

“Nero did not violate God’s law if he executed Christians who obeyed God rather than man. If Paul continued to preach after the emperor said he may not, then Nero was doing what God ordained government to do.” ~ D.G. Hart

The Gnostic part of the dualism is seen in the denial by R2K that anything in this life (family, culture, civilization, etc.) follows us into the Kingdom of God. Also, inasmuch as nothing but the Church (grace) realm can be Christian there seems to be a despising of the corporeal by R2K theology. The Creational realm is not renewed but is destroyed. This is Gnostic.

5.) The soteriology (doctrine of salvation) of R2K is hyper individual to the point of being atomistic. We might say that for all practical purposes it is Baptistic. Individuals get saved but the whole idea of covenantal categories that include children in salvation is negated by R2K’s insistence that the family can not be Christian. Also R2K’s denial that family follows into the New Jerusalem is a denial of covenantal categories. Next, in terms of soteriology, while Reformed theology has typically taught that God’s salvation is cosmic so that as salvation comes to peoples and nations so it comes to their Institutions, cultures, and civilizations. R2K denies all of this insisting that salvation is only personal, individual, and private.

There is more that could be said Colin but if you look for these five categories when you listen to or read Reformed ministers you can begin to get a sense when you are cheek by jowl with a heterodox R2K “theologian” or “minister.”

In the end R2K is a “theology” that is contrary to the Three Forms of Unity and if the R2K lads had integrity they would step forward and ask for exceptions to the Heidelberg catechism on this score. The Heidelberg Catehcism explicitly teaches that Christ is,

“our eternal King,7
who governs us by his Word and Spirit,
and who defends and preserves us
in the redemption obtained for us.”

But R2K teaches that Christ does not govern us by His Word and Spirit in the common realm but rather in the common realm we are governed by Natural Law.

Those who are R2K are outside their confessional vows and should step forward to take exceptions.

Where Oh Where Has Our Reformed Christianity Gone? Oh Where Oh Where Can It Be?

Modern, wimpy, soft-spoken Reformed pastors will keep talking about ‘loving your neighbor’ and pretending that the government isn’t already commanding us to sin.

They don’t care about the old people dying of isolation, the mental anguish families are going through being separated from their loved ones, or little babies like this one who now is without a mother if it survives at all. They don’t care about people who have lost their family businesses — forever. They have NEVER cared to talk about the debt-based economy that’s precipitously close to collapsing on many millions of Christian families. They’re not talking about government indoctrination centers turning our kids into communists who are burning our cities every night.

No. They’ll preach five more sermons on Grace, wear their pleated khakis, grow a beard and pretend to deserve the respect that Reformed Pastors of old could command.

The modern church is anathema. Ichabod.

Mrs. Emily Forte

I think it is well past time that we admit that the “Conservative” Reformed Church in America is a bust. We needs admit that the Reformed Clergy in America bears as much relation to John Calvin, John Knox, and Huldrych Zwingli as our modern soy boy males bear relation to Charles Martel, John Sobieski, or Godfrey of Bouillon.

Part of where that lack shows itself is in the pulpit. As Emily rightly points out the prototypical contemporary conservative Reformed clergy sermons have become reductionistic and irrelevant. We have reduced Jesus to the chorus of a Beatles song. We talk about a Jesus disconnected to the living of the people God has given us to serve and then we justify that disconnection by reciting the bald and explicit teaching by our wise-men in our Seminaries that God doesn’t speak an inscripturated Revelational Word about the public lives of God’s people. Our Clergy are insensate and can provide no direction to God’s people on the issues of our times — such as the ongoing attempted genocide of the White Christian people — because the modern conservative Clergy have been taught to believe that our physical corporeal lives don’t really matter because the realities those lives occupy are realities that won’t cross over to the New Jerusalem anyway. Christian families don’t exist now and won’t exist in the new Jerusalem we are told by Reformed Ph.d.’s. Christian civilization doesn’t exist now, can’t exist, never has existed, and won’t exist in the New Jerusalem we are told by the chaps with terminal degrees teaching your next Pastor right now. The same goes for any idea of Christian culture. You’re next Pastor is being trained right now that the idea of Christian culture is a myth… and that in “Conservative Seminaries” across the nation. Is it any wonder then that your minister knows nothing about how debt based economies are a violation of the 8th commandment? Is it any wonder that your Pastor Lovejoy thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to put his own children (as well as yours) in Government indoctrination centers to be catechized into a false faith? Our clergy are stupid and they have been trained to think that God loves stupid.

And all this above… and all that Emily rightly noted is dismissed by our enemy Seminary wisemen by saying, “Well, your people can get instruction on those issues outside the Church by competing worldview Christian sources and organizations. We (the Church) have to spend our time with more important things like the Gospel.” In this one clever move the Gospel has been divorced from Christianity. The Clergy want to be Gospel oriented, and Gospel Intentional (all the rage buzz-phrases today) but they want that as it is divorced from Christianity as the total Weltanschauung. Now these types will immediately protest that they don’t believe in Weltanschauung (World and life view) but all that tells me is that their Weltanschauung doesn’t allow them to believe in muscular and totalistic Christianity. They want the Pietistic Christianity where one gets saved, becomes an ever increasingly nicer person who fits into the expectations of their cultural surroundings with a pinch of abstract Jesus perfuming all they do.

These types have won the day in the modern “conservative” “Reformed” “Church.” They have done so because there is just a smattering of truth to what they say. That truth is found in the reality that too often it really is the case that the Reformed Church has indeed concentrated on a kind of therapeutic deistic morality disconnected from the living and resurrected Jesus Christ. We have not connected our morality enough to the office of Jesus Christ as our “eternal King who governs us by His Word and Spirit.” When we speak of properly disobeying Tyrants we should connect it with Christ’s office of our great High King. When we speak of not sending God’s covenant seed to be Humanist and Statist schools we should connect that statement that Christ, as our Great High Priest, was put to death for such sins and that as God’s Holy and Elect we should not want to sin by putting the children of God in the schools of Canaan. We need to do a better job in connecting the totality of Christianity with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King. By doing so we reveal that it is the Reductionistic Gospelers who have perverted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not those of us who want all of Christianity and not this Gnostic dualistic Christianity that is now offered up so routinely in our Reformed R2K Churches.

Those who desire a “Gospel-centered” Church to the neglect of a Christian Church are those who desire the seed of Christianity but insist they have no interest in bark, flower, leaf, fruit or branch, twig, stem, and shoot of Christianity. They desire a message that,

1.) God is big and Holy
2.) Man is small and sinful
3.) Christ provides a way for sinful man to come to a Holy God

And that is where they want to stop. Oh, they may include some instruction on how to be a “nice” person but they refuse to describe what the Christian life looks like in the public square. They refuse to talk about Christian culture or civilization. (Remember, those things are not possible). Where they are consistent they would refuse to bring to heel any civil Magistrate for any action except possibly the forbidding of worship. For these types Christianity is all purr and no bite.

Our enemy “Gospel-Centered” Christianity responds by insisting that “we can’t allow Biblical Christianity into the pulpit. After all, no minister can be so trained as to be an expert in all these varying fields. Pastors need to become experts in the Gospel and leave the other issues to the experts in their respective fields. We don’t want Lawyers or Teachers or Anthropologists trying to be experts in the Gospel and so we shouldn’t try to be experts in those fields.” Never mind that this attitude belies the reality that all truth is organic and inter-related so that a firm understanding on Biblical Christianity does indeed give one the ability to speak to the theology driving all these different fields. As a minister, I don’t need a degree in Cultural Anthropology to identify the evolutionary presuppositions that are driving Cultural Anthropology. As a minister, I don’t need a degree in Sociology to know that Emile Durkheim was selling a Sociology that allowed for sociological and cultural relativism. As a minister I don’t need a degree in Keynesian Economics to know that debt based economies violate the Eight commandment. I don’t need a degree in history (though I have one) to be able to warn God’s people against post-modern historians who insist that objective truth doesn’t exist. I don’t need a degree in Philosophy (though I have one) to identify that the Cartesian “cogito” foundationalism is an anti-Christ epistemology. I don’t need a degree in Political Science (though I have one) to tell God’s people not to vote for politicians who embrace a political theory that presupposes that God does not exist (Marxism). The excuse that ministers can’t be expert enough to speak to different fields God’s “Thus sayeth the Lord” is errant and filthy thinking. It can be done.

So, we have to admit that this “Reformed Christianity” is a different Reformed Christianity than that which Emily is expecting. This “Gospel Centered Christianity” is not the Christianity of our Reformed forefathers who put the fear of God in Kings and Queens who ruled in defiance of the God of the Bible. This “Gospel-Oriented” Christianity is not the Christianity of Jenny Geddes though I’d love to join Jenny in throwing a few stools at its representatives on a Sunday Morning. This Klinean Calvinism is for eunuchs, cowards, and the milquetoast. If this was the type of Calvinism that had been born at Geneva the whole world would have either been conquered by Servetus or been reconquered by the counter-Reformation of the Roman Catholics.

Happy 100th Birthday To Indiana Wesleyan University (aka — Marion College) Part II William’s Hall

Now before we start this entry it needs to be remembered that I have already admitted that I was not the model student while at Marion College. Nothing written hereafter can be understood apart from that stipulation. Indeed, I was not only not the model student, I probably had no business being in college at 18 years of age. At 18 I was ready for college the way that a eunuch is ready for his honeymoon night. As such my recollections are colored by that given. At 18 I was the kind of student who envied John “Bluto” Blutarsky (he of Animal House fame) for his study habits and academic diligence.

Of course when you arrived on campus one was immediately assigned a room-mate at Williams Hall. Dear sweet Williams Hall. It has now been retired and torn down but when I attended it was my residence for approximately 2 years during my 4.5 years of existence at Marion College. Williams Hall in 1977 – 1979 was one large building filled with competing male testosterone. Indeed, the African Serengeti had nothing on Williams Hall in terms of exotic male animal life. The third floor, (where I roomed) being the farthest point away from the Zookeepers apartment on the first floor, was where the wildest of the wildlife inhabited. There was even a rumor at one time that Marlin Perkins was going to film an episode of his famous “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” at Williams Hall.

“Note the Marion College male in his own habitat. Elusive, untamed, designing.”

My roommate my first year could not have been more polar opposite than me and to this day some 43 years later I genuinely feel sorry that Tim had to have me as a roommate for a semester. Tim was a quality upperclassman music major who had everything going for him except his roommate. Whatever genius in the Administration who put us together had been watching to many episodes of “The Odd Couple.” I played the role of Oscar; A slovenly, recently paroled 18 year old who was convinced that “Life was a highway, I want to ride it all night long,” and Tim played the role of Felix; A fastidious, well bred, serious student. It just wasn’t possible that it would work out. Tim, rightly, dumped me in the Second semester moving in with the Resident Assistant next door. Consequently, I was the only guy on the third floor with a room all to myself. Slovenliness does have its perks after all.

Third floor on Williams Hall started every morning with one of the Baseball players (Randy — The Resident Assistant’s Bunky) routinely taking his baseball bat to varied and sundry doors on the floor so as to provide the courtesy of being a kind of “Babe Ruth” alarm clock for the inhabitants. 0730 would roll around and the mighty Babe was making a racket as against those metal doors that would have awaken the very dead. This was Randy’s shtick and boy howdy did he enjoy it. By the end of the year sundry doors on the third floor were left with sundry quarter size dents in those doors.

Understanding that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and having a baseball bat of my own, I decided to try my hand at Randy’s routine but alas I was no match for the great Babe Ruth and so gave it up after only a couple times in the batting cage. Now an odd thing happened on the way to the ballpark in regards to all this. At years end, the powers that be came in and examined the doors on the third floor — doubtless having heard the rumor that Babe Ruth had stalked the third floor of Williams Hall — and somehow, quite without interviewing me or asking any questions, I was the one who was billed for the various dented doors. Here Randy was the master and I the apprentice, who had only tried my hands a couple times at “good-morning door bashing,” and I had to cough up several hundred dollars to replace doors that were never replaced the whole four years I attended Marion College. Life can be funny that way.

William’s Hall. It was not unusual to find the guys on the second floor shooting bottle rockets out of their windows aiming for people as they sauntered to class. There is nothing like a bottle rocket whizzing past your ears to get the proper amount of adrenaline running for your 1pm exam.

William’s Hall. More than once I had to navigate the third floor with a compass because the smoke from the Doobies was so thick I couldn’t see. It was in Williams Hall I learned what the smell of Marijuana smelled like. Eventually, I became so skilled that I could even distinguish the various types of weed being smoked. Maui Gold was my favorite. (And No gang… it wasn’t me blowing smoke rings.)

William’s Hall. Where they had to lift the curfew because they finally realized that they could not out maneuver all the schemes the chaps could come up with for beating the curfew. I saw guys on the 2nd floor lowering down belts and rope to their friends at 0200 so that they could pull their buddies up so as to crawl through the windows.

William’s Hall. Where one morning we exited the foyer to go to class only to find a sub-compact car sitting squarely in the foyer as if it were a display vehicle at a Car dealership. I always did wonder how they got that car in there.

William’s Hall. Where the chief of the Marion Fire Department awakened the whole dorm one morning at 0300 in order to say in a not kindly voice, “I don’t care if your the damn Governor’s son, I’m going to nail your ass to the wall when I find out who placed smoke bombs in the Girls dorm and set them off.” What the Chief didn’t know is that there was a chap on the third floor who shared the then current Indiana’s Governor’s last name. Upon the Chiefs declaration cries of “Bowen you’re in trouble,” began to cascade through the throng of gathered students. The Chief briefly believed he had found the guilty party only to find out later that our own John Bowen was not related to the Governor nor related to the smoke bombs. (Actually they were smudge pots… but the Chief was in no mood to be corrected at 0300.) And “no” I had nothing to do with the smudge pots that found the Shatford Hall girls having to exit their dorm at 0200 in the morning and stand around outside in their evening clothes until the “all clear” sign was given by the Marion Fire Department.) I will say this though; to this day I’ve never seen so many Fire Engines gathered at one locale at the same time. At first glance, given the Fire Engines already present and the ones continuing to roll in, I thought the campus was burning down.

William’s Hall. Where the 2nd floor TV room was cleared so a good old fashion boxing match could take place between a 25 year old Englishmen student named Bernie vs. some 18 year old idiot who had never before worn a pair of boxing gloves in his life. It went three, three minute rounds with the 18 year old idiot leaving a significant black and blue eye on Bernie while himself walking away without a glove being laid on him.

William’s Hall. Though never intended to be a co-ed dorm could fool people from time to time.

And, these are only some of the milder accounts of my William’s Hall memories.

Now some will deny these things happened, but I was there and I’m here to tell you that these things and more happened and they should be remembered and noted for a milestone 100 year anniversary.

So, Happy Anniversary Indiana Wesleyan University and thanks for allowing me to add my memories to your fine shiny commemorative catalog you sent me.

Next entry: Meet the Profs.

A Biblical View of Conspiracy

In the last two or three weeks I’ve read several online articles from Evangelicals (whatever that is) basically condemning the idea of thinking about historical and current events through the prism of conspiracy. The accusation is brought in some of these condemning articles that people embrace conspiracy because they want to feel superior because they think they know the inside truth and others do not. Other accusations against conspiracy minded people include that such people are just paranoid, that they are distrustful, and that they are a little bit loony (tin foil hats).

Of course the only other option to a conspiracy view of events is what we might call the coincidence view of events. This view, quite without saying it explicitly, follows Henry Ford’s view that “history is just one damn thing after another.” The coincidence view of history sees historical events as spontaneous and ungoverned by any human mind.

Here we find a chief difference between the coincidental view of historical events and the conspiracy view of historical events. In the coincidental view of historical events God is sovereign and directs history but that quite apart from any human agency planning also via man’s secondary freedom. On the other hand in the conspiracy view of history God is still held as sovereign directing the affairs of mankind but He often does so via the agency of fallen men using their secondary freedom to try and thwart God’s intent for mankind. We see this clearly in Scripture in the account of Joseph where his wicked brothers conspired to be done with Joseph, all the while filling out God’s purposes,

Genesis 50:20 As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this— to preserve the lives of many people.

We see this clearly in Scripture in the account of the Lord Jesus Christ where his wicked brothers conspired to be done with Jesus, all the while filling out God’s purposes,

Acts 2:23 He (Jesus) was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, and you, by the hands of the lawless, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.

In both cases we see that conspiracy was God’s means to accomplish God’s ends. God, being sovereign, used the agency of conspiring wicked men to achieve His ends despite the stated goals of the wicked in their conspiring. Neither the case of Joseph, nor the case of Jesus happened apart from conspiracy.

We find in Acts 23 an explicit reference to men conspiring,

12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 

Conspiracies exist and the more wicked an age one lives in the more one is going to routinely see wicked men conspiring together to make something happen to an end that is illegal, unjust, and immoral. It is the way wicked men roll. Wicked men do not act out in the open in order to advance their skulduggery. Men love darkness because their deeds are evil and so they conspire. This is what the Psalmist declared in Psalm 2,

Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

When we get outside of Scripture we find good history books confirming this reality. For example whether you consider the work of Nesta Webster on the French Revolution or Anthony Sutton on the Russian Revolution, or M. Stanton Evans on the Maoist Revolution one thing that becomes instantly clear is that mega historical events do not happen apart from Conspiracy. This is not a matter of tin foil hat stuff. It is a matter of historical record. Read Webster. Read Sutton. Read Evans. If you want to read more of a macro approach to the Conspiratorial reality of Revolution read Billington’s “Fire in the Minds of Men.” It’s all there. Major Historical events do not happen apart from successful conspiracy happening.

Contra Rushdoony (who was resolute in dismissing conspiracy) to recognize the hands of Conspiracy behind Revolution is not to deny the Sovereignty of God. The conspirators are conspiring under God’s Sovereignty. God is not absent in ruling over their wickedness for His own ends. To recognize conspiracy does not necessarily move one into the camp of, “Man makes history while God just watches.” To recognize conspiracy is to be a student of God’s history and that by rejecting the court historians who craft history so as to leave God completely out of consideration.

Allow me to submit that if we are to be “the Sons of Issachar who know the times and what should be done,” we have to be conspiracy theorists about events around us. This is especially true when living in the age, such as we are, of the falling and rising of Imperial standards.

So, I’m a proud member of the “Conspiracy club.” I mean as we have seen Jesus would not have gone to the Cross except for God’s sovereignty over the conspiratorial plotting that manipulated Jesus to be put on the Cross. Everything about the Cross of Christ, according to the Gospel record, was moved by conspiracy — the shadowy working of unseen forces moving behind the scenes to bring about an end that is other than the reasons that are publicly being given for that end.

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

They “plotted to take his life.” Plotted is a synonym for “conspired.” They gathered as an illegal force to make something happen that was contrary to God’s law.

Now, lets consider the dangers of conspiracy thinking when it comes to historical events.

First, let us admit that conspiracy thinking can slip into “tin foil hat” theories. This is why we must seek to be skeptics in our examination of history. We must not give to quick of a credence to every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike. It only makes both us and the very real reality of conspiracy easily dismissed.

Second, if we are too preoccupied with conspiracy theory we are apt to forget that God is ruling through it all. If we forget that we become idolaters believing that the conspiracies of men are stronger than God’s laughter.

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

We must, at the same time, both seek to be God’s agents against wickedness while at the same time not forgetting that whatever ongoing wickedness we are considering God remains so sovereign that he laughs at those who conspire against Him. People may well be intending their actions for our hurt but God will use it for our good and so we should laugh with God. If we don’t realize God is sovereign we are likely to be consumed with our studies and so crash into despair.

The third danger here is that we may well forget to spend our energy doing the things God has called us to. Like Gollum we can so much time looking into secrets that we forget to look up at the sun. We can spend so much time seeking to uncover what is unjust that we forget to be busy about doing what is just.

A fourth danger is that we as Christ’s body can become divided over our differing conclusions on these conspiratorial matters. As such when we discuss these matters we must be generous with one another when our conclusions differ and we must be ready to learn from one another.

But what of the dangers of not thinking conspiratorially?

1.) If we don’t think conspiratorially we place ourselves firmly in the hands of the enemy camp. If we believe every narrative that we are told by the conspirators, often via their media outlets, we are in essence denying God’s providence, which repeatedly unfolds in the context of conspiracy, and we do so in favor of the lying conspirators.

For example, the Gospels are the red pill exposing the conspiracy of those who killed Christ. If we are not ready to believe the red pilling gospels then all we have left is to follow the narrative of Christ’s conspiring enemies.

It is the same in other historical events. It is either search out God’s providence or it is to believe the conspiring enemy.

2.) If we don’t think conspiratorially then our embrace of the doctrine of total depravity can easily become an abstraction.

Christians who refuse to even consider to look at historical events as conspiracy driven make me wonder if they really believe in Total Depravity.

Of course, you remember that the Biblical doctrine of Total depravity teaches that Fallen man can only sin all the time. All he can do is sin. Because he has a sin nature all that proceeds forth from him are sinful actions. Scripture repeatedly teaches this,

Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way

Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

And as Reformed people we memorize this and we put it into our catechisms but when we deny conspiracy we seem to contradict ourselves. When we deny conspiracy it seems as if we are saying to ourselves, “men could never be that wicked.” And yet that is exactly what total depravity teaches in terms of its implication. Man is that wicked. If man was wicked enough to conspire so as to hoist the innocent and perfect lamb of God on a Cross man is wicked enough to conspire to any end you can imagine.

Conspire to run world-wide pedophilia rings? Absolutely

Conspire to run a global psy-ops pandemic program so as to condition people around the world? Absolutely

Conspire to kill off billions of people in order to save the planet? Absolutely

|Conspire to seek via tran-humanism to meld humans and machines? Absolutely

Conspire to poison our food supply? Absolutely

Conspiring to needle us up with genetic material from aborted fetuses? Absolutely

Conspire to mainstream sodomy and Trans-genderism as consistent with God’s Word? Absolutely

To deny all this and other conspiring as a possibility strikes me as being a working out denial of total depravity. Man is born wicked and without checks on that wickedness man will conspire to do wickedness beyond what many of us refuse to consider as possible.

We live in a wicked wicked world and we have to put off our blinders of what magnificently rich and wicked men can conspire in order to follow their God…Lucifer.

If we are to be a people who take seriously the idea of the man’s total depravity then it strikes me that we need to consider the very real possibility that men conspire to these very wicked ends.


Having examined all this in my way of thinking there is no ability to be a wise Christian apart from engaging in and looking for the conspiracies around us. We are told in Eph. 5:11 that we are tasked with exposing unfruitful works of darkness.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

One of the chief unfruitful works of darkness that needs exposed in wicked conspiracy.

It is as simple as this… if you don’t believe in conspiracies, then historically speaking at least, you are going against the grain of what we see in Scripture and history.