Look at the image above. Isn’t it beautiful? It could be a work of art. But it isn’t. It is a magnification of a single Zika virus cell that can damage and destroy human life in the womb.
America is dying from an invisible virus that cannot be seen in any microscope but has taken complete control of our land. This virus has spread through the entire Western World. So often it appears to be beautiful, even desirable, but it is deadly and there is no stopping it.
A number of years ago, I read an essay by the writer J. R. Nyquist. He begins with these words: “There is an intriguing Chapter in Wilhelm Roepke’s 1948 book, The Moral Foundations of Civil Society, in which he writes about those nineteenth century thinkers who anticipated the crisis of the twentieth century. According to Roepke, ‘It appears that in all great crises of world history most people utterly deceive themselves as to where they stand, just as if Providence had drawn a veil over the impending disaster.’ Though a society inwardly crumbles, an ‘optimistic self-deception’ prevails — attended by ‘that astounding superficiality of diagnosis with which so many of us have judged the state of the world’ in the past. How slowly we grasp the meaning of facts. How tenaciously we struggle against a ‘disagreeable awakening.’ How unready we are to admit that we have built our society upon an avalanche.”
There is another name for this. It’s called the Normalcy Bias.
It is a powerful belief that causes people to underestimate both the likelihood of a disaster and its possible effects. In spite of all evidence, they cling tenaciously to the false idea that things will always function the way they normally have. Consequently, when disaster strikes, the impact is far worse because there has been no preparation.
In my opinion, there is strong evidence that American civilization as previous generations have known it has come to an end. The values and myths that we shared in that era no longer bind us. That isn’t to say that there aren’t groups and individuals who still hold such values, but collectively the glue has disintegrated. What joins us now are comfort, entertainment, anger and fear.
We are in a great and ultimate transition. In this transition the individual no longer matters. Families, clans, communities as they were known in the past have been ground to powder. The word that some scholars use is atomization. We see it in the false sense of community, which is really isolation, that has been created by social media. But in this atomization a disturbing collectivization is taking place. What is being created is a kind of “hive” mentality where everyone is isolated but, at the same time, thinking the same thoughts and under the same influences. You can see it in any public place, people seated alone or with others, but with everyone staring in silence at their cell phones. In America, two great, swarming hives have been created with smaller hives clustered in them. These vile hives oppose each other in ever-growing rage. With greater and greater frequency, bloody violence erupts out of one hive or another.
How have we gotten to this terrible place and where is it all going?
In order to answer the first part of that question you need to meet a man. His name was Edward Bernays. Probably most have never heard that name, but Edward Bernays has had the deepest possible influence on all of our lives. In profound ways, he established the foundations of the dark world in which we live.
Born in Europe in 1891, he was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who was the father of psychoanalysis. Edward Bernays’ family came to America when he was a child. As a young man during WWI, he was a press agent who worked for the government of Woodrow Wilson. At the end of the war, Bernays traveled with Wilson to Paris for the signing of the infamous Treaty of Versailles.
In Paris he saw the power of war-time propaganda to sway the minds of whole populations. He saw how irrational slogans tapped into irrational desires. “The war to end all wars.” “Woodrow Wilson, the great peacemaker.” Bernays asked himself whether this power might not be channeled to control populations in peacetime to promote other agendas.
Sigmund Freud’s work was just beginning to be known in the U.S. It was Freud’s idea that in every one of us there is a subconscious mind filled with a mass of primitive urges, desires and irrational emotions. This meshed with Bernays’ wartime experience. He wondered whether it might not be possible to harness and direct all of those urges and desires to make money for business. Bernays set up a little office in Manhattan, but he faced a dilemma. How should he describe what he did? The word “propaganda” was viewed negatively, so he coined a new term, “public relations”.
One of his first clients was the American Tobacco Company.
In the early 1920’s cigarette manufacturers had a problem. It was considered taboo for women to smoke. The president of the company came to Bernays and said, “We’re losing half our market. Can you help us change that?” The company gave Bernays a lot of money to come up with a plan to make it acceptable for women to smoke. He went to a leading psychoanalyst in New York named A. A. Brill. (Freud was in France and not easily reachable.) Bernays asked Brill, “How can Freudian psychology help us here?” It was the day of the suffragette movement. Women’s liberation was picking up speed.
Brill said, “Well, here is the problem of all women. They lack penises and because of this they envy men. If you can convince women that smoking cigarettes will be like giving them a penis you can’t lose.” So here is what Bernays did. Every year there was a big Easter parade in Manhattan. Bernays gathered a group of young, fashionable debutantes. He asked them to hide cigarettes and matches in their clothing. As they marched in the parade, at a certain moment he would give them a signal. They were to stop, take out the cigarettes and smoke them. Of course, he had a group of photographers and reporters waiting. His plan worked exactly as he had intended. The debutantes lighted up and the story flashed across the country. Bernays called cigarettes “torches of freedom.” By smoking them, women were standing for freedom just like the new Statue of Liberty. From that moment across the U.S., cigarettes became acceptable for women. This is the core of Bernays’ philosophy, sell enslavement as freedom.
A number of years ago, there was a commercial on the Super Bowl with the faces of men and a voice that listed all the humiliating things that men do to please women? What was the suggestion? “After all your slavery, you deserve to do something for yourself. Express your freedom and masculinity. ” How should they do it? Buy a new, fast muscle car. The legacy of Edward Bernays.
That legacy has been monumental with the deepest possible impact on American culture at every level. It was Edward Bernays who created and promoted the idea that products weren’t just objects to be used. They were symbols of how you want others to see you. A car wasn’t just to get you across town. It was an expression of the Self. Clothes weren’t just to keep you warm and cover the body. They tell people who you really are inside. Bernays sent celebrities around the country to instruct the public in how to think about clothes. He told us that our lives were empty, then convinced us that we would feel better about ourselves if we bought a particular product or service.
American business flocked to this perverse genius. The president of Lehman Brothers is quoted as saying that the masses needed to be taught to make decisions not on the basis of need, but desire. They had to be made to want the new even before the old was consumed. The desires of Self, carefully programmed in, must overshadow all else.
You will not be surprised to learn that Bernays was deeply involved with Hollywood. He was the first to put stars under P.R. contracts and have them sell products created by companies also under contract to him. He was the first to do product placement in film. For premiers he would drape stars with clothes from his manufacturers. He was the first to hire psychologists to do studies that said products were good for us. Then he would claim that the studies were independent. He was the first to use focus groups and on and on.
Not to be left behind, politicians of every stripe rushed to use Bernays’ techniques. Dr. Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister for the Third Reich, studied Bernays’ work and spoke of his great respect for what he had done. The Third Reich was built on one principle, tell a big enough lie and everyone will believe it. Bernays worked for U.S. Presidents and political parties applying his principles to the selling of candidates. And the lies just kept growing.
The strategies of Edward Bernays were successful beyond his wildest dreams.
He became a wealthy and powerful man. Though he is almost unknown today, he transformed America and America has transformed the world. No longer are people valued in this country because we are citizens. We are valued because we are consumers. Having money and spending it in carefully guided ways is all that matters. The current President, who is the ultimate product of Bernays’ style of lying psychological machinery, has trumpeted that since “consumers have lots of money, everything is fine.” If you want to learn more about all of this I recommend watching the excellent BBC documentary, Century of the Self. It is available on line.
What was Edward Bernays’ darkest and most evil accomplishment? He collectivized and promoted the Worship of Self. Because of mass media and the Internet, that worship has been institutionalized in a way never before seen in recorded history. Bernays’ propaganda has been so effective that we think Self Worship is normal. We are like addicts who don’t understand the difference between what we really need and what we have been taught to need. Our inability to satisfy all the needs and lusts that have been programmed into us is the source of all addiction. Bernays is the father of the puerile “influencers” who guide the choices of millions today. We are a nation of sheep slavishly following the most evil wolf shepherds to our own destruction.
The Worship of Self is the disease that is destroying America.
Did Edward Bernays create the Worship of Self? Of course not. That started in the Garden of Eden when two people believed the lie that if they disobeyed God they could be gods themselves. What do gods receive? Anything they want. And what do they desire most? Worship. In our day, that is defined as “celebrity”. It was at that moment in the Garden of Eden that we humans became divided within ourselves. In my opinion, it was at that moment when the so-called subconscious appeared with all of it surging emptiness and hunger, a lost and powerful force within us that is so susceptible to outside control.
Bernays simply tapped into all of this. He taught us that if something makes us feel good or fulfilled for a MOMENT then it must be right. But ONLY for a moment, because we must constantly desire something new and something more. We have been programmed to endlessly live by the Law of Diminishing Returns. To get the same satisfaction, we must have more. Bernays taught American business and politics how to use the idol of Self to control us. He taught greedy, evil people how to dangle glittering promises in front of us that cannot be fulfilled, but that we accept as true in our hungry desperation. When they prove to be lies, we grope for more lies to replace them.
This Worship of Self, this deification of our desires, has transformed every aspect of life in America.
It condemns us to a devastating, lifelong childishness. It keeps us from wanting to commit to marriage because we’re afraid we won’t be fulfilled by just one person. Then, it destroys marriages after the vows are spoken because Hollywood has told us to worship the feeling of “Being in Love.” It gives us an insatiable desire to be entertained. It makes us feel that others should supply all of our needs. When we don’t get what we want we become destructive. It enslaves us in financial debt because we must constantly pour products into the God-sized holes in our souls. Because that is what we are trying to fill, the infinite hole that is left when a loving God has been rejected.
As tragic as all of this is, for me there is an even deeper level of tragedy. The Worship of Self has invaded and destroyed the witness of the Christian church in America that should be speaking truth to power and culture. Edward Bernays is the spiritual father of the “Prosperity Gospel”, of our love of spiritual wolves who tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. In our churches, we are convinced that the spiritualized Worship of Self is actually the worship of God.
We rush from church to church seeking something new to fill the holes in our souls. We think that the pleasant shot of endorphins oozing through our brains from an emotional experience given to us by wolves and worship “machinery” is worshiping God. We think our lives must be right otherwise we wouldn’t have such warm, even ecstatic feelings. We want more and more of them. When we have drained the emotional machinery in one church our Worship of Self drives us to another. And wolves dressed like sheep await.
The Worship of Self corrupts our pastors and spiritual leaders, turning them into wolves who live to be stroked and rewarded and think that because thousands of self-worshipping people crowd around them that God must be blessing and must condone anything they choose to do or say. The last thing they choose to do is tell us the truth about our desperate spiritual condition. You don’t get rich with a mega-church and million selling books doing that.
The sadly laughable reality is that these churches and pastors don’t understand that they are the spawn of Hollywood and Edward Bernays. Because Hollywood understood “feel good” to sell products long before our pounding endorphin-fueled “worship” machinery appeared with all of its smoke and mirrors.
The Worship of Self keeps us from following Jesus as true disciples, while making us think that we are spiritual and mature. It blinds us to powerful forces of evil that have moved into leadership on every level of the church and nation.
Ultimately, the Worship of Self generates fear and anger which false “pastors”, business executives and politicians use to build their power. The Worship of Self has taught us to fear losing our comforts and security. We have been taught to believe that this kind fear is an expression of Patriotism. We have fallen so low that we are willing to passionately support the most evil people if they promise to give us what we have been taught to believe we must have.
All of this had its foundation in the hellish machinery of control brought into the world by Edward Bernays.
So, what about the future? Where is all of this heading?
Before he came to power, Adolph Hitler wrote these words: “Anyone who interprets National Socialism merely as a political movement knows almost nothing about it. It is more than religion; it is the determination to create a new man.” For Hitler that new man was a totally unified “Aryan” race that would rule the world under his leadership.
For years I studied Germany and the rise of the Third Reich because I view it as both paradigmatic and predictive of what is to come. Hitler worked hard to collectivize his people, which meant giving them one mind and heart under the “fatherhood” of his leadership. All they had to do was place their faith in him and their problems would be solved. Like a father he would take care of his children. Many German Christians accepted Hitler as their Father. Of course, he failed as all Wolf Kings do and took them into hell, but the Satanic process continues, constantly morphing into new, virulent forms.
The Worship of Self under the leadership of great Wolf Kings who head governments and parties, is at the heart of every political movement today. Every. Single. One. As disparate as they appear and in such opposition to each other, ultimately they are working together to create a new world consciousness. As a Christian I believe that consciousness is being shaped and controlled by an invisible hierarchy of great evil in preparation for the last great confrontation with God led by the ultimate Wolf King. Shockingly, God is going to help that process along.
Read these mysterious words written by St. Paul, found in the New Testament 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians 2:1-12:
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
St. Paul is saying that an overwhelming Delusion is coming. It will be associated with the rise of a Wolf King such as we have never seen – a man who will have all power to create amazing signs and lying wonders that will appear to prove that everything he says is irrefutably true. This will cause a great falling away of many people who claim to be Christians from famous pastors down to the lowliest parishioners. The first rumblings of that falling away have begun, with former “Christian” leaders renouncing their faith and many following them. But all of this is minimal compared to what is coming.
Adolph Hitler and Nazism did not appear out of nowhere.
The spiritual seedbed for their stupendous growth was created by storytellers. The major storytellers that gave dark life to the soul of National Socialism were the alchemist Goethe, the composer Wagner who dramatized dark myths and ancient writers of Norse mythology. Of course, there were many other influences including Madame Blavatsky and her eastern mystical Theosophy, Nietzsche and his Will to Power, the so-called higher criticism of German theologians who destroyed the authority of the Bible and even the caste system of India. In this moral vacuum of national fear, pride and selfishness the stories that the Nazis told grew and prevailed. The echo of what happened then is ringing around us.
Edward Bernays learned how to tell stories in a new way and his form of storytelling now rules the world. Who are the storytellers controlling the world today? The stories of Hollywood and its daughter industries breathe ever greater darkness into the world soul. World leaders and politicians are telling you stories based on fear and anger. The ones who tell the most powerful stories that appeal to national selfishness are prevailing.
In response to this, what kind of stories is the Christian church speaking into our world? For generations, we have been talking to ourselves, telling weak, pitiful stories that make us feel good. What stories are we telling the world at this moment? Those that have been fed to us by the great political and media wolves that we have chosen as leaders. What a tragedy because we possess the Greatest Story Ever Told about God’s Love.
The message of Jesus Christ stands in direct opposition to the message of Edward Bernays and all those who have come after him.
Bernays and his ilk call for the Worship of Self. But what did Jesus call for? These are His words, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
What does it mean to “deny” yourself? First, it means humbling yourself before God, repenting of your sins and giving up your right to be your own little god. You give up control of your life to Him, wanting His will more than you want your own, asking Him to guide your choices in life. Second, you consciously choose to be His servant rather than serving yourself. He leads and empowers us to serve others in His Name and that can take many forms. It means that you measure all the desires that have been programmed into you by our evil culture, all the “tastes” that have been fed into you, against God’s Word in the Bible. Then you take up your cross. Every person who follows Jesus has one. It may be the rejection of friends and the people you love. It may be physical difficulty or something else. Whatever it is, Jesus gives the strength to carry it and leads us on. Clearly, this is the exact opposite of the Worship of Self and it is the only way to be free from the tyranny of that worship.
What is the great tragedy of America?
The Worship of Self always leads to tyranny and enslavement. That is true both individually and collectively as a nation. That is the future of this land that I truly love and has given me so much. The nature of that tyranny has yet to unfold. But one thing is certain, it will be welcomed by millions in their blindness because they will passionately believe it is the answer to all their problems. They will think they are choosing safety and protection, but they will be choosing the opposite. The worship of self ultimately leads to the end justifying any means necessary to satisfy our desires.
Those Christians who see what is happening are called to live and speak the Truth no matter what it costs. We are called to prepare the way for the King. The message must be clear. Repent from your sins for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The King is coming. He is the righteous judge of every person who has ever lived. We are to speak that message to a world, including to a church, that is locked in Self Worship, arrogance, self-pity, anger, bitterness, addictions, broken hearts, broken relationships and broken lives. We cannot do that when we are just as enslaved as everyone else.
Central to this, if we are followers of Jesus we must focus on a different citizenship in a different Kingdom because the one we are living in today is fading away. Above all else, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. If our first love is centered in this world, if we think God must save America in order to fulfill His purposes, our faith is going to be deeply shaken. Prepare for dark days to come. I don’t mean becoming a “prepper”, storing food, etc. I mean daily prayer and serious personal Bible study. Know God’s Word. Stop listening and believing the enslaving voices and stories of our culture.
If you have made it this far and you are not a believer in Jesus, thank you for your patience. I strongly urge you to end your enslavement to the Worship of Self. You do this by confessing your sins and asking to be set free, by believing in Jesus and the sacrifice He made on the Cross to save your life forever. Place your life in His hands. It is the only way of peace and safety in the days that are to come.
If I can be of help to you please contact me by email. email@example.com