Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Fallacy of Salvation and Justification by Faith Alone

The Protestant Reformation was a major event that exposed and rejected many errors of the Roman Catholic Church, and restored scripture as the authority of God's Word.  However in the process it adopted an error of doctrine that became a foundation of doctrine for that branch of Christianity: that man is justified and saved by faith alone, and in regards to works man can do nothing.  The Roman Catholic Church has pointed out this error multiple times, but Protestants tend to not listen to the Roman Catholic Church due to their other errors.  However, on this issue the Orthodox Church has pointed out the error of the Protestants as well (see How are we Saved?). This goes to show the teaching began in the 16th century, and was not part of the original Christian faith.

This is an error that many Protestants fail to see, as most who grow up in a religion cannot see the errors of their own religion.  Very few question the religion they grew up with.  When one has accepted a certain false doctrine as true, certain "blinders" go up in the mind so that when a contradictory passage is seen that goes against the doctrine, the passage is ignored, or certain false word definitions are used.

Since personally I was introduced to Christianity through the Protestant faith this is what I was taught, but only when I investigated Christianity in an objective manner was I able to see the error.  Thus I am quite familiar with the arguments on both sides of the fence, and I know how easy it is to use scripture to support the Protestant doctrine.  Within most every religion there are errors, and one can only see them when one decides to rationally investigate them instead of accepting truth on the basis of authority.

So how do Protestant or Reformed churches support their doctrine?  There are several foundational pillars by which salvation or justification by faith alone is taught:

1.  Primacy of the letters of Paul over the gospels of Jesus.
2.  Defining the word faith as "belief" instead of the original meaning, which is "living by the truth."
3.  A misinterpretation of "works of the law" in the letters of Paul.
4.  Man has freedom of thought, but in regards to action has a passive will.

So let us go through each of these pillars of faith one by one.


Protestant ministers and theologians will probably never publicly admit that they consider the letters of Paul as primary for teaching doctrines of faith over that of the gospels, but in practice this is true.  Perhaps 90% of all sermons will be given from the letters of Paul, more rarely the gospels, and for the most part the Old Testament is ignored entirely.  This is because there are large sections of scripture which goes against the doctrine of salvation by faith alone, which is the foundation of Protestant doctrine.

But what did Jesus say on this issue?  The fact of the matter is, Jesus condemned religion of faith alone or one of belief only, and he spoke against it in the harshest of terms.  These are the few passages where we see Jesus actually getting angry with the false religious teachers, and it is one of the reasons why the Jewish Pharisees absolutely hated him.  This is readily apparent in several passages, as follows:
1. Those who break the least of the commandments and so teach others will be LEAST in the kingdom of heaven. But those who DO AND TEACH the commandments, will be GREAT in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:19) 
2. Not everyone who believes and pays lip service will go to heaven, but those who do the will of the Father will go to heaven. Those who hear the Word, and do not do them, are foolish (Matt. 7:21-27). 
3. Jesus condemned the scribes and the Pharisees for teaching the law but not doing it.  Jesus called them blind and foolish, and stated they would not escape the damnation of hell (Matt. 23:3, 19, 23, 33). 
4. Those who believed the Lord and paid Him lip service, but did no act of love in their life, were condemned to hell (Matt. 25:31-46) 
5. Only those who DO THE WILL of his Father does Jesus consider his family or brethren (Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:21). 
6. Jesus condemned the Jews for just paying lip service and following traditions of men, rather than doing God's commandments (Mark 7:6-9) 
7. Jesus asks, "Why do you call me Lord, and do not do the things I say?" (Luke 6:46) 
8. Only those who hear the Word and do it are those who bear fruit (Luke 8:15) 
9. The parable of the Good Samaritan shows doing the will of God has priority over religious belief. The Samaritans have different religious beliefs than the Jews (Luke 10:30-37) 
10. "blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it" (Luke 11:27-28) 
11. Those who heard the teaching, but continued in their sin, could not enter heaven (Luke 13:23-27) 
12. "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15, also 14:21, 15:10)


So given the above passages where Jesus condemns belief alone, how do Protestant ministers and theologians get around it?  They will quote other passages where Jesus talks about faith.  However this is where the biggest misunderstanding of Christianity has come: in the English language, faith has been taken to mean mere belief that something is true, and from that most people think if they merely believe in a certain way they will be saved.  To support this, they will mention such passages as the following:

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16)

However the Greek word can also be translated as having faith, like this:

"Whoever has faith and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not have faith will be condemned." (Mark 16:16)

In other words, mere belief that something is true does not save, but rather living by that truth is what saves.  That this is so, one has to pay attention to the other passages of scripture.  In ancient times, if one believed what someone said was true, but did nothing according to that truth, this meant that one did not really believe it since they did not commit to any action based on that truth.  Thus one cannot simply believe what Jesus said is true, and yet follow an evil life that has nothing to do with what Jesus said.  The problem here is the same Greek word is variously translated as "belief" or "faith."  Because of this, it is a common misconception among many that religion consists of belief alone without regard to one's life, which is not what scripture teaches.

So, how do we know the correct definition?  We simply look at the Hebrew scripture where it is said "the just shall live by faith" (Hab. 2:4) which Paul quotes and makes the foundation of his argument (see Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38).  The Hebrew word for faith is 'emuwnah, which is ultimately derived from "Amen" which means "so be it" or "let it be true."  Truth must be conjoined with good, and that this is so is from the word "just" which can also be translated as "righteous" - which is to do what is good.  So the passage is saying, those who do good will have eternal life by living by the truth.  Action must be guided by truth, and knowing the truth is merely a first step. But according to Jesus, those who know the truth, and do not do according to it, are foolish and will be severely condemned, perhaps more so than those who are in simple ignorance.

It should be noted, that even in the first century there was a strong debate between the apostle Paul and James, the half brother of Jesus, over the matter of what "faith" really meant (see Rom. 4:3, which is countered by James in James 2:23). For an interesting theory that this debate is mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, see Christus Victor, Pauline Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls.  In the New Church, faith and belief is a required first step in spiritual development, but it must be conjoined with a life according to it.  The first act of belief is repentance from sin, that is, reforming one's life.  Although truth or faith is first in time, a life of love is first in end: in the New Church, love is primary, it is a life of love which saves, not mere belief.  To come to a correct understanding one must take all passages of scripture in context.


The next pillar of Protestant doctrine are the many instances in which Paul mentions "works" or "works of the law" in his letters.  The Protestant reformers took this to mean works of charity, or any active form of faith.  However historical research within Protestant theological circles has conclusively shown that this is not correct - see A New Perspective on Paul and the New Church Perspective on Paul.  This has caused some - not all - to reexamine their theology.

The problem here, is that the apostle Paul used the word "works" in three different contexts. Since he uses the same word "works" in different contexts, it has led to endless debates.  In the letters of Paul, the word "works" has the following three different meanings:

1. The word "works" is used to refer to the external Mosaic rituals of the Jewish law, which were abrogated when they were fulfilled by the coming of the Lord. Paul most often refers to the rite of circumcision, animal sacrifices, dietary laws, and Jewish feast days.
2. The word "works" is used for self-meritorious works, or things done for the sake of selfish gain.
3. The word "works" is used for works of charity, acts of love, acts of repentance, or things done out of faith.

So here is the problem: most Protestant theologians may be aware of the first two definitions, but are unaware or ignore the third in their theology.  To cover all of this I will simply enumerate the instances where Paul mentions works (also translated as "deeds") for each of the three definitions:

1. Works are the external rituals of the Mosaic law: Rom. 3:20, 3:27-28, 4:2, 4:6, 9:11, 9:32, 11:6; Gal. 2:16, 3:2, 3:5, 3:10; Eph. 2:9; Heb. 6:1, 9:14
2. Works are self meritorious works, done for sake of self: 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 3:5. 
3. Works are works of charity, or acts of faith, or acts of repentance, or acts of evil, by which all will be judged: Rom. 2:6, 2:15, 13:3, 13:12, 15:18; 1 Cor. 3:13-15, 5:2; 2 Cor. 9:8, 11:15; Gal. 5:19, 6:2-8; Eph. 2:10, 5:11; Col. 1:10, 1:21, 3:17; 1 Thes. 1:3; 2 Thes. 2:17; 1 Tim. 2:10, 3:1; 5:10, 5:25, 6:18; 2 Tim. 2:21, 3:17, 4:14, 4:18; Tit. 1:16, 2:7, 2:14, 3:1, 3:8, 3:14; Heb. 6:10, 10:24, 13:21

Protestants will use verses in context #1 to support their theology, often also thinking that Paul was talking of works in context #3.  It is very subtle.  One can see how Paul switches context, sometimes in one sentence to the next (see especially Eph 2:9-10, Tit. 3:5,8).  This caused utter confusion in the mind of James and other early Christians - even Peter admitted this (see 2 Pet. 3:15-16).  If one is unaware of the context, one can be easily misled by the writings of Paul.  That works of charity are necessary for salvation (context #3) one can also prove by looking up the same word in the gospels.


Obviously Protestants cannot completely ignore context #3 in the writings of Paul.  So how do they get around it, to support the idea that faith is mere belief, and that one is saved by faith alone?  For this, they state each person as to their works really does nothing, but the Holy Spirit given by God does it.  Each person of himself does nothing.  In other words, while we have freedom of thought, we do not have freedom of will.  We have a "passive will."  But this is simply not true, we have freedom in both thought and will.  There is a reason why a body is attached to our brain, and we are not mere statues.  In Protestant theology, good works are seen as mere evidence of the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, but does not play a role in regard to salvation.  It is a mere "byproduct" of passive belief.

This theological theory is not only false, it is logically incoherent.  For scripture teaches we will be judged by out works (see Matt. 16:27, Rom. 2:6, and others).  If we are responsible for what we do, we have freedom in terms of our will.  It is true that only God is good, and all good comes from Him alone.  But our will must submit to God's commandments by obedience and a living active faith.

In New Church theology, each person plays an active role in their spiritual development, in both thought and deed.  This is described as a "covenant" - inasmuch as each person approaches God, God will fill that person with His Holy Spirit.  As God changes us within, He forms within us a new will and understanding to do that which is good according to the truth.  As we do good according to the truth, by faith we should acknowledge that all good and truth comes from God alone.  But it takes our active participation to live a full spiritual life. This active participation in word and deed is what is known as "fruits of the Spirit."  But it takes place in an active will, not a passive one, and the first spiritual act of the will is that of repentance, which is to turn away from evil.  A passive will does not do anything, just as a dead tree cannot bear any fruit.

Good and truth are spiritual in origin, and ultimately originate from the Lord alone.  To be spiritual, one must have spiritual communion with heaven.  At the time of Jesus this spiritual communion was threatened to be cut off by the rise in the power of hell over humanity, thus it was necessary for Jehovah to become incarnate to fight against the hells through his human form.  But this does not remove any responsibility on our part: to be spiritual, to enter into communion with the Lord, one must follow the commandments.


To conclude, I will simply quote from Swedenborg:
"That it may not lie hid from any one how the case is with the salvation of men after their decease, it is to be briefly told. There are many who say that a man is saved by faith, or, in their words, if he only has faith; but for the most part they are those who do not know what faith is. Some think that it is mere thought, some that it is an acknowledgment of something to be believed; some think that it is the whole doctrine of faith, which is to be believed, and others think variously. Thus in the bare conception of what faith is, they wander in error; and so of course, in regard to the means by which a man is saved. But indeed faith is not mere thought, nor is it an acknowledgment of something to be believed, nor a knowledge of all things which belong to the doctrine of faith. By these no one can be saved; for they cannot send a root down deeper than into the thought. Thought saves no one; but it is the life which he procured to himself in the world, by means of the knowledges of faith. This life remains; but all thought which does not comport with his life perishes, even to becoming none at all. Consociations in heaven are according to lives; and by no means according to thoughts which are not of the life. Thoughts which are not of the life are mere pretences, which are altogether rejected.
"In general, life is twofold; on the one hand infernal, on the other heavenly. Infernal life is from all the ends, thoughts, and works which flow from the love of self, consequently from hatred against the neighbor; heavenly life, from all the ends, thoughts, and works which are of love toward the neighbor. The latter is the life to which all things that are called faith have regard, and which is procured by all things of faith. From this it may be evident what faith is, namely, that it is charity; for, to charity all things lead which are called the doctrines of faith; in it they are all contained, and from it they are all derived. The soul, after the life of the body, is such as its love is." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2228.2-3)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The True Origin of the Angels and the Fall of Satan

There is a popular tradition that before the creation of Adam, or at the time of his creation, Satan and a third of the angels rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven.  It is thought by some that this is described in the 12th chapter of the book of Revelation, in which the dragon and his angels are cast out of heaven.  However this interpretation is problematic, as the book of Revelation concerns the final state of the Christian church, not the past.  Many will be surprised to learn that the story of the 'Fall of Satan" or Lucifer does not come from the Bible, but from traditions built over time.  It is nowhere mentioned in scripture.  The closest we get in Jewish tradition is from the apocryphal book of Enoch which was written some time in the 3rd or 2nd century B.C., which discusses a fall of the angels known as "sons of God" in antediluvian times, who mated with women and produced giants (see Gen. 6:1-4).  The book was never made part of scripture, and the notion that angels have actual physical bodies was rejected by Jewish rabbis in the 1st or 2nd century A.D.  This "fall of the angels" is different, as it does not include an individual Devil or Satan and occurred after the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

So where does the story of the fall of Lucifer come from?  One theory is it actually comes from an early church father Origen who lived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D.  From Fallen Angel:
The fall of Lucifer finds its earliest identification with a fallen angel in Origen, based on an interpretation of Isaiah 14:1–17, which describes a king of Babylon as a fallen morning star (in Hebrew, הילל ). When this description was mis-interpreted as regarding an angel, not a human king, the image of the fallen morning star or angel was applied to Satan both in Jewish pseudepigrapha and by early Christian writers, following the transfer of the Lucifer myth to Satan in the pre-Christian century. Origen and other Christian writers linked the fallen morning star of Isaiah 14:12 to Jesus' statement in Luke 10:18, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" and to the mention of a fall of Satan in Revelation 12:8–9. In Latin-speaking Christianity, the Latin word lucifer, employed in the late 4th-century AD Vulgate to translate הילל, gave rise to the name "Lucifer" for the person believed to be referred to in the text. Orthodox Judaism does not believe the name Lucifer is a reference to Satan but rather the text in chapter four indicates that it is a literal taunt against the King of Babylon. 
So from there, the "fall of Lucifer" then enters into Christian tradition, some extending it to a prophecy of the king of Tyre (see Eze. 28:13-14).  However there is a slightly older tradition from the Slavonic book of Enoch, sometimes known as 2 Enoch, which was written in the 1st century A.D.  In it, Enoch is taken up into heaven and God tests the angels by having them bow down before Enoch.  A group of angels, under the leadership of "Satanail" refuse and are then imprisoned until they obey.  Even before this, there is an ancient religious teaching of the Yazidi religion, in which one of the seven primary angels, Melek Taus, refuses to bow down to Adam and for that is rewarded by God.  He is also called "Shaytan," and thus Muslims have confused Melek Taus with Satan.  From there, a similar story found its way into the Quran in Islam, in which it is Satan himself who refuses to bow down to Adam.

So, the tradition has a convoluted history.  Was there any fall of a primary Devil or Satan?  Swedenborg wondered about this, and in the revelations he received from heaven he was told it was not true - all angels and demons originate from the human race:
"In the Christian world it is quite unknown that heaven and hell are from the human race, for it is believed that angels were created from the beginning and of them was formed heaven; and that the devil or satan was an angel of light, but because he became rebellious he was cast down with his crew, and of them was formed hell. Angels wonder exceedingly that there should be such a belief in the Christian world, and still more that nothing at all should be known about heaven, when yet that is the primary thing of doctrine in the Church; and because such ignorance prevails, they rejoice in heart that it has pleased the Lord now to reveal to mankind many things respecting heaven, and also hell, and thereby as far as possible to dispel the darkness which is daily increasing, because the Church has come to its end. They wish for this reason that I should declare from their mouth, that in the whole heaven there is not one angel who was so created from the beginning, nor in hell any devil who was created an angel of light and cast down; but that all, both in heaven and in hell, are from the human race; in heaven those who lived in the world in heavenly love and faith, in hell those who lived in infernal love and faith; and that hell taken as a whole is what is called the devil and satan." (Heaven and Hell, n. 311, see also Origin of the Angels)
So the tradition of the fall of Satan and his angels is just that - a tradition - and it happens to not be true, or at best, a useful metaphor.  Not only that, but there is no such thing as an individual Devil or Satan, but rather these are terms of symbolic personifications of hell in general.  Thus the "fall of Satan" happens when each person of their own free will turns and rebels against God and His commandments.  The serpent in the Garden of Eden is a symbolic representation of how the ancient race of Adam fell, when they were tempted to regard themselves as gods.

After death, each individual is destined to become an angel or demon in heaven and hell, according to their own free will.  At times, angels manifest themselves when we come close to life or death.  Here is a remarkable documentary concerning a group of children who were saved by their guardian angels:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Dream and Parable of the Mustard Seed

Dreams often come to give warnings of the future, and warnings about our health.  In the last month or so I had one dream in which I saw my car, dead stopped in the road where the front tires were turned to the left.  I was looking at the front right tire, and the focus of the attention was on the front axle for the tires which was angled to the left.  It was a definite warning, and as the tire tread was low I had all four tires replaced, hoping to prevent any fulfillment of the dream.

Before this, I had the battery replaced, and little did I know the technician did not wire the car battery properly.  So, despite my precaution, as I was driving the car, the wire to the battery short circuited and melted, and in an instant my car went completely dead while I was on the road.  I could not signal other cars, and the only safe way out was to the left.  I quickly made a hard left - and it was not easy as the power steering had gone out as well.  I was lucky as this was on the side road and not on the freeway.  Just as the dream showed the car in a position of turning left, so I had to make a hard left in order to put the car in relative safety.


As dreams will sometimes contain warnings of the future, dreams will often tell us something about our health, and give very unique information on the problem.  A friend of mine is involved in dream interpretation, and he has relayed to me many instances where dreams give unique health information.  In this particular dream I had this week, I saw a weed in a yard and I decided to yank it out.  I pull it out, but it has a very long root which leads to another weed which is much larger.  I yank that out, and part of the plant comes out with it, and underneath was revealed very yellow mustard seeds, but in the shape of pumpkin seeds.  The weed is in my hand but very much alive, moving around like a vine.  The mustard seed weed then tries to move itself to a woman I know; it was attracted to her.  The thought then came to me, "She needs to eat mustard seeds."

So later, I told her about the dream, and said she should probably eat mustard seeds for any health issues she may have.  She has two in particular:
1.  She is anemic and has trouble breathing at times, and has had an allergic reaction to iron pill supplements, and,
2.  She has a sinus infection; the cold has been going for months despite antibiotics.
I knew nothing about mustard seeds at the time.  Just as in the dream, mustard plants are a prolific weed and it is very hard to eradicate them.  So what about health benefits?  I looked at Mustard Seed Nutrition Facts, and found the following uses of mustard seeds:
  1. The seeds make an excellent remedy for treating congestion of the head or lungs by drawing blood to the lower part of the body; thus relieving.
  2. They are extremely beneficial in curing pneumonia, bronchitis, and other respiratory complaints. By making a poultice of ground mustard and applying directly to the chest and throat, this remedy alleviates all respiratory problems.
  1. Being great sources of power and bioenergy, mustard seeds boost the immune system and fight against anemia. They also help treat medical conditions, such as anxiety, psychological disorders, effects of stress and depression, bronchitis, sexual dysfunctions and symptoms of menopause.
There are other benefits as well, I just mentioned the ones that are relevant.  This goes to not only show that dreams can be useful to one's health, but also that there are many natural healing properties of plants.  While the west has placed emphasis on pharmaceutical drugs, in more ancient cultures this was not the case.  Moreover scripture confirms that for every illness, God has created a plant to cure it.  This is seen in the description of the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation:
Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:2)
While that is the meaning in the literal sense, in the spiritual sense the leaves of the tree are the truths of the New Church; the nations are evils from which we suffer; and for each evil there is a truth to fight against its falsehood to have it removed.  Even in the gospels, there is a connection between one's physical illness and one's spiritual sin.  Science has uncovered some of the truth of this, and has labeled these as "psychosomatic" illnesses - for the mind has power over the body.  As we think, so we are.  This is why the only way to be liberated from sin is through Divine truth.


The mustard seed is mentioned in the gospels in the Parable of the Mustard Seed.  The mustard seed is probably the black mustard seed, which grows to a very large plant in the Middle East.  It is an odd parable which at first does not seem to mean any thing:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is greater than all the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (Matt. 13:31-32)
So, what does this mean?  In a general sense, most can point out that a small amount of faith put into practice will grow into a life of eternity in heaven.  However, what many do not know is that every single word in scripture has spiritual significance.  Biblical literalists completely miss this, and skip over the details thinking they are merely "figures of speech."  As with many other scriptural passages, Swedenborg was given the spiritual meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed in the revelations of the New Church:
"The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; which indeed is less than all seeds, but when it is grown it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the heaven come and make their nests in the branches thereof (Matt. xiii. 31, 32). The grain of mustard seed is the good of man before he becomes spiritual; which is the least of all seeds, because he thinks that he does good from himself. What is from himself is nothing but evil; but, as he is in a state of regeneration, there is something of good, yet the least of all. Afterward as faith is being conjoined to love it becomes greater, and an herb. At last when it is conjoined it becometh a tree; and then the birds of the heavens — which here also are truths, or things of the understanding — make their nests in its branches, which are knowledges." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 55.3-4)
Thus the growth of a tree from a small seed represents the growth and development of each person into a spiritual angelic being.  The seed is the initial truth of faith planted in the mind.  In one's initial state, one thinks that all that one does and thinks is from one's self.  In the revelations of the New Church, it is revealed that what we regard as the "self" or "ego" is nothing but an illusion, and that nothing but evil comes from our own ego.  Rather good and truth come about in us through conjunction with the Lord.  When we start to live by the truth, the seed becomes an herb.  In the next stage, love and truth become inverted where love becomes primary, and truth secondary, and this is represented by a tree bearing fruit.  From love one automatically knows the truth, and this is represented by birds nesting in the branched of the tree.  In the spiritual sense, birds are not birds but rational truths, and one's rational rests upon one's knowledge, represented by the bird's nest.

Thus when the truth is explained to others, each idea of truth becomes a seed planted in the mind, with the potential to grow and change things for the future:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

CIA Mind Control Over American and Foreign Media

There are many Americans who are under the illusion that we have a free press, and that we have freedom of information.  They think this is true because all Americans are taught that Freedom of the Press is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Thus sometimes I cover certain topics, and the argument against it is sometimes, "Surely this will be all over the media."  This is simply not true.  Major media corporations are under the control of large corporations.  Media serves for entertainment, and thus helps in brainwashing people to constantly buy things to support a consumer economy.  Thus materialism is valued over spirituality.  But here is one thing many people do not know: the CIA has well placed assets within major media corporations.

Thus we should be wary in accepting what the government says, or what the media says, as an "absolute source of truth."  This is a logical fallacy: it is called Argument from Authority.  This logical fallacy is not only used by the media as a means of brainwashing, but it is also the means used in religion to keep the minds of the people under control.  It is a method that is as old as Babylon.  It affects the way we think about government, and the way we think about religion.  It effectively places our minds in a prison.

In the 1950s, certain events began taking place and the U.S. government and military wanted to keep them hidden from the public.  This led to the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).  Nominally they are only supposed to act against foreign countries, but that is also simply not true.  In the 1950s, the CIA decided to take control over the media and the free press.  This is known as Operation Mockingbird:
Operation Mockingbird is a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA's views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA.
So how do they do this?  They place key operatives in each media corporation, or simply just bribe journalists.  Does it still happen?  Yes it does.  From German Journalist Blows Whistle On How The CIA Controls The Media:
“I was bribed by billionaires, I was bribed by the Americans to report…not exactly the truth.”

- Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of one of Germany’s main daily publications, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Key people were recruited to work unofficially for the CIA, beginning in the 1950s:
In 1948, Frank Wisner was appointed director of the Office of Special Projects (OSP). Soon afterwards, OSP was renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), which became the CIA's covert action branch. Wisner was told to create an organization that concentrated on "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world". Later that year, Wisner established Mockingbird, a program to influence foreign media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham from The Washington Post to run the project within the industry. According to Deborah Davis in Katharine the Great, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of The New York TimesNewsweekCBS and other communications vehicles."
So how does this affect the way we think?  In many ways.  The media will want to do the following:
1. To trust the financial system without question, and prevent proper oversight of world finance.
2. To increase monetary profits for corporations, and prevent corporate oversight.
3. To support U.S. sponsored wars without question.
4. To create a fear of enemies, such as terrorists, in order to justify wars and implement laws for population control.
5. To have unquestioned support for the State of Israel, and to completely blackout the genocide they commit against native Palestinians.
6. To completely blackout any objective reporting on UFO sightings, and make it an object of ridicule.
7. To create hatred against Islam and Muslims, in order to implement political control over the resources of the Middle East.
The list goes on and on.  It is a documented fact: for important topics we do not have a free press.  The internet has begun to break this control, as well as smaller independent organizations. Note that television has the potential to become a very useful educational tool.  And yet it is filled with absolute junk.  Whether we like it or not, humans are suggestible, and few question what they are told unless they educate themselves.  The methods are simple: control the agenda, control the questions and answers, and when necessary, keep repeating a lie over and over until people believe it.


Spiritual and personal power comes from the power of truth.  In the revelations of the New Church, this is repeated over and over, for there are two aspects of the Divine: Divine love and Divine truth. It is through Divine truth, knowing, learning, and living it, that one's personal faults and sins become exposed. When truth is perverted and mixed with falsehood, this is known as spiritual profanation.  It destroys the power of truth.  When people use the truth for their own selfish purposes, that again becomes a profanation of the truth.

In ancient times, some of these methods of mind control were well known, and became secret arts of the priesthood and false prophets to control and manipulate people.  In the revelations of the New Church, there is something that is a surprise to many: these methods of mind control and propaganda is called witchcraft, enchantments and sorcery.  In the dark ages, and in modern times, the definitions of these words has been perverted to such an extent, that sometimes an actual spiritual gift is labelled as "witchcraft."  But that is not the meaning of the word.  It is a form of perverting the truth.  In the book of Exodus, there is this following commandment:
You shall not permit a sorceress to live (Ex. 22:18).
This is seen by many as primitive and out of date, and was perhaps used in the Dark Ages for witch hunts.  But that is not the meaning of the word.  It is for those who pervert the truth with falsehood, and then teach and manipulate others by perverting the truth.  Swedenborg, who is focused on the spiritual side of things, always relates his statements to the church, but in reality it is applicable to everyday life, even to those outside the church:
"A sorceress" signifies those in whom something of the church is conjoined to the falsities of the evil of self-love; "thou shalt not cause to live" signifies the deprivation of spiritual life. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9187)
Thus in the spiritual church this commandment is no longer a justification for the death penalty, but rather in the spiritual sense it means those who engage in such activities will lose something in their spiritual life.  For spiritual life is dependent on good and truth.  When one perverts the truth towards falsehood, it becomes a justification for evil.  So methods of propaganda and mind control fall under this commandment.  It is a universal spiritual law:
"A sorceress. That this signifies those in whom something of the church is conjoined to the falsities of the evil of self-love, is evident from the signification of sorcery, as the falsities of the evil of self-love conjoined with such things as are of the church. There are two things which make heaven and thus spiritual life with man, truth of faith in the Lord and good of love to Him. And there are two things which make hell and thus spiritual death with man, the falsity of faith and the evil of self-love. The two latter are conjoined in those who are in hell, and make the infernal marriage; but the two former are conjoined in those who are in heaven, and make the heavenly marriage." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9188)
Some may wonder, why are women targeted in this commandment?  In the spiritual sense, women and the female sex represent affections of the will, the emotional side.  Men and the male sex represent the truth, the intellectual side.  Together they make a marriage, for love and truth must be conjoined.  When the truth is perverted, one can engender hatred and fear in the will.  They way "sorcery" works is to repeat a statement over and over and over, until someone takes it to mind and commits to a course of action.  When looked at objectively, it can be completely illogical.  When the truth is perverted, this logical side of things is disabled, and one can get people to do very evil things.  As religion in itself is persuasive, thus religious brainwashing can cause people to commit very stupid terrorist acts.

The other reason why women are targeted in this, is that many women use it to control their husbands when they wish to dominate them.  They will suspend any discussion of what is true and false.  They then engage in repeating the same thing over and over, until consent is obtained and the course of action is committed.  It is something women do not wish men to know about.  It can be used for both good and evil, as wives are needed to moderate the men.

The persuasive power of perverted truth, combined with the desire for power, is what is known as sorcery:
"This conjunction it is which is signified in the internal sense by sorceries. The reason why these falsities are falsities of the evil of self-love, is, that all evil springs principally from that love, and falsity as well as evil, since they cohere together. Thus it is plain that in such persons there is no spiritual life, because it has been destroyed by falsities of evil; and so far as they have conjoined these falsities to truths, so much of spiritual life have they extinguished in themselves; and since instead of being alive they thus have become dead, it is said, Thou shalt not suffer them to live." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9188.2)
The Divine opinion on matters such as propaganda and media control, or using false religion, is not favorable:
"That sorceries or witchcrafts are such falsities, is also plain in Micah: I will cut off the cities of thy land, and will throw down all thy strongholds: I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers (v. 11, 12) — where the cities of the land stand for the false doctrinals of their church, which are called witchcrafts, because they destroy the truths of faith. In Nahum: Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts (iii. 4) — where whoredoms are perversions of truth, and witchcrafts falsities therefrom." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9188.5)
So, from a heavenly perspective, the methods of the media for propaganda and mind control is known as a well favored harlot and whoredoms, which are "sold" to nations.  In the spiritual sense nations are those who are in good, thus the whoredoms in effect pervert even what is good in people, to get them to consent to evil.  Thus we can conclude:
"By sorcerers and enchantments in the Word, where they are mentioned, is signified the art of presenting falsities so that they appear as truths, and of presenting truths so that they appear as falsities, which is especially effected by fallacies." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 7297)
So beware of logical fallacies, such as argument of authority, and appeals to emotion and pride, especially those that engender fear and hatred.  Always check the facts, and ask if something you are told is true.  Avoid generalizations.  Educate yourselves to know the truth, for in truth there is power, and in ignorance there is evil.

Below is an old song, Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles.  If stars are knowledges of truth, and video is media propaganda, then it is quite relevant.  What prompted this blog post is I was talking to a repair man, who is from Palestine and his family is back there.  The State of Israel is committing genocide against them, and this is completely blacked out in American media.  Young people there are dying every day.  There is a motto from the Mossad, By way of deception you shall make war.