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Other Kjos Articles:

Harry Potter and The Postmodern Church

Popular Occultism and the Consensus Process

Legalized Mind Control  Part 1

Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets

Part 1
Hegelian Alchemy And Mind Changing Games

Part 2
Pagan Fantasies Join The Digital Explosion

Part 3
The Global Message Behind Mystical Thrills

 

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HOW TO RESIST THE PULL OF THE CROWD
PART 2 OF 2

 

 


By Berit Kjos

April 3, 2005

NewsWithViews.com

"In Brave New World, non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situations."[1] -- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

As pragmatism reigns in churches as well as in culture, it's easy to justify tempting pursuits that titillate our human nature. And as God's people become increasingly relational, tolerant, and responsive to group opinion, few dare speak the truths that would expose today's spreading corruption. How can we resist the overwhelming social pressure to follow the crowd rather than God and His guidelines?

No leadership has given us more alarming pictures of the pressure to conform than last century's totalitarian regimes. May we never forget the cruel torture of those who refused to compromise and join the politically correct crowd. Yet globalist leaders in the USA and UK have used these same mind-bending tactics as stepping stones for today's more sophisticated psycho-social strategies and standards for "mental health."

The dictators in George Orwell's 1984 used fear to force people into conformity. The rulers in Huxley's Brave New World used fun. Huxley's "feelies," euphoric drugs and seductive lures would tear down the old beliefs, knowledge, moral boundaries and logical arguments that the people needed to resist mental surrender to the ruling elite.

Aldous Huxley -- like most utopian socialists in the first half of the 20th century -- believed that mankind would evolve into more noble creatures. But his idealism was shattered by the deliberate brutality of Nazi Germany.

Alarmed by the reality of such human depravity, he wrote a far less popular follow-up: Brave New World Revisited. While it doesn't deny the awesome forces he described in his first book, it now warns of their dangers. Control over the masses was no longer the golden key that would open the door to a utopian world order. To the contrary. Huxley had glimpsed the road to worldwide tyranny. The actual agenda for mind control would devastate the human soul and individual thinking far more effectively than the Nazi machinery or Soviet purges of the past.

Huxley's warnings are well worth reading. They apply to purpose-driven churches as well as to schools, corporations, governments and other systems. Notice the key points in bold letters:

"Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time... in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.

"In their propaganda, today's dictators rely for the most part on repetition, suppression and rationalization---the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the suppression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in the interests of the Party or the State. As the art and science of manipulation come to be better understood, the dictators of the future will doubtlessly learn to combine these techniques with the non-stop distractions....

"Let us see what Hitler thought of the masses he moved.... Their behavior is determined, not by knowledge and reason, but by feelings and unconscious drives. It is in these drives and feelings that 'the roots of their positive as well as their negative attitudes are implanted.' To be successful a propagandist must learn how to manipulate these instincts and emotions. 'The driving force which has brought about the most tremendous revolutions on this earth has ... always [been] a devotion which has inspired them, and often a kind of hysteria [passion] which has urged them into action. Whoever wishes to win over the masses must know the key that will open the door of their hearts.... [pinpointed through polls, surveys, and continual assessments....]

"Assembled in a crowd, people lose their powers of reasoning.... Their suggestibility is increased to the point where they cease to have any judgment or will of their own. They become very excitable.... [H]ow can we preserve the integrity and reassert the value of the human individual?"[1]

Good question! In the last five decades, mind control strategies have become increasingly sophisticated. Hiding their true nature behind organizational labels designed to please targeted groups in every social arena, today's change agents have won world-wide converts to collectivism. Most others have obediently closed their eyes to critics that expose the manipulation behind today's rousing slogans and feel-good encounter groups. Many church leaders seem even more blind to the manipulation than secular leaders.

COZY ENCOUNTER GROUPS

Back in 1998, I saw an article by the Wiccan author, Margot Adler, daughter of famed globalist educator, Mortimer Adler. Her name caught my attention because I had read her book on witchcraft, "Drawing down the Moon," as part of my research for A Twist of Faith. In her article, Ms. Adler describes her experience with small group fellowship back in the sixties. As a Berkeley student during the Free Speech Movement, she had been studying Communism and "wondered if the party could be the vehicle" for her "revolutionary struggles." Within a short period of time, she received two separate invitations to experience warm fellowship over dinner. She accepted both. What impressed her about the two small groups was the friendly atmosphere and the caring environment.

She soon realized that both invitations shared a common purpose: recruitment into the Communist party. Since her mother was a Marxist, Ms. Adler was well aware of the monstrous management system behind the friendly faces in the Communist cell. What surprised her was "the contrast between the totalitarian party structure and the warm, loving people inside" the small group. After the meetings, she wrote her observations. Do they sound familiar?

"The meeting of the Berkeley chapter of the Communist Party took place in the cozy living room of a private home. ... One member was sick. I listened to a discussion of how she was doing, and whether people were going over to see her, to bring her soup and groceries. I was riveted by the sense of caring in the room. I yearned for such a community, and yet I feared it would strangle me.

"At the end of the meeting, there was a section called 'Good and Welfare.' Imagine a self-criticism session, but fuzzy and gentle. People talked of mistakes they had made and sought advice from the group. There were two other invited guests, and when their turn came they both said they had decided to join the party. And then it was my turn.... I suddenly knew that I couldn’t join them. I longed to be part of such a caring community, but I knew I was never going to feel comfortable being told what to do...."[2]

Reviewing her article in the light of 2005 realities, I couldn't help but compare Ms. Adler's observations with the strategic, dialectic groups of our times. No matter what you call them -- small groups, cell groups, dinner groups or teams -- they all follow the standard guidelines for the consensus process: transparency, authenticity, vulnerability, (self-criticism, self-revelation, confession...), interfaith or cross-cultural acceptance, respect or tolerance and group affirmation or celebration. Most of these caring, feel-good fellowship encounters are led by facilitators who are shown how to appeal to the "felt needs" of people hungry for fellowship and unconditional acceptance and affirmation.

As the bonds are made and the friendships established, the group leader can facilitate the kind of "learning" promoted by management gurus Peter Senge and Peter Drucker. The old Soviet "re-learning" and "thought reform" has become standard practice in America! [3]

THE RAGING BATTLE

"This was war!" wrote Edward Hunter in his 1960 book on Brainwashing. "Some called it psychological warfare. A better name would be brain warfare. The only difference was that formerly weapons were aimed principally at bodies, to incapacitate and destroy them, whereas now they were aimed mainly at minds, to subvert and control them. In brain warfare ultimate victory lay in the conquest of attitudes and feelings."[5]

The battle to resist compromise is intensifying. Now as always, our victory depends on the source of our strength and the focus of our minds. If we focus on the distractions all around us, we will only drift like rudderless boats with every shifting wind. Popular culture, tantalizing marketing, and changing philosophies will drive our thoughts and wants. As God's Word tells us, we will be "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting...." [Eph 4:14-15]

But we can't resist unless our convictions are stronger than the pressures to conform and the fear of rejection.

A practical and victorious battle plan is outlined in Ephesians 6:10-18. Not only does it expose the nature of the forces arrayed against us, it also shows us how to win the battle and to stand firm no matter how persuasive, tempting and tenacious our enemy:

"...we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end...." Ephesians 6:10-18

Remember, collectivism, the dialectic process, and postmodern thinking are not new to our times. The dialogue between Eve and the serpent in Genesis 3 illustrates the dialectic process well. Conformity and collectivism has been a ploy of many a ruling tyrant throughout history. And the repeated statement in the book of Judges exposes postmodern values well: "...everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Judges 17:6 [See chart: Consensus Thinking]

1. TRUTH - God's Word, the foundation of our faith

Without an anchor we can't resist flowing with today's rapid current of "continual change." Without a solid foundation, we cannot stand against the rising tide of social corruption and apostasy.

Our anchor and foundation is God's unchanging Word. Our solid Rock is our Lord Himself. The shepherd-king David knew that well: "Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense!" [Psalm 62:1-2] "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion.... He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me." Psalm 27:5-6

Postmodern leaders resist such truth. It doesn't fit the collective thinking of the new managed society. It clashes with the pluralistic vision of unity in diversity: all gods are equally valid. All lead to the same end.

Unlike noble visions and humanist idealism, God's actual Word can't be manipulated by today's clever facilitators. His unchanging truth is poison to the consensus process. Facts and Scriptures spoken through the filter of your Bible-trained conscience and convictions cannot be tolerated at the dialectic table -- nor in today's dumbed-down social groups. As the apostle Paul wrote two millennia ago,

"...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things..." 2 Timothy 4:2-5

So how can we use truth to ward off contemporary myths, lies and distortions? We read, study, memorize and follow God’s Word. It builds an unshakable foundation for our thoughts and values.

As an encouragement to memorize God's Word, read books about persecution in the early church or in more recent Communist and Islamic lands. The faith, steadfastness, endurance and joy of God's persecuted followers help us to see reality from His eternal perspective. Such testimonies remind us that -- in the face of deprivation and cruelties nearly unthinkable in the West -- God's love and hope far outweighs the pain inflicted by a blinded and hostile world! His wonderful promises, hidden in faithful hearts, have brought peace and joy to those who are hated and brutalized "for His name's sake" through the ages.

2. RIGHTEOUSNESS - The goodness of God

We can't resist compromise unless we continually see the difference between the world's most noble views of right and wrong and what's right in God's eyes. Otherwise, it's all too easy to confuse God's mercy and love with today's "positive thoughts" about tolerance, unity and collective values. It's easy to ask, What would Jesus do?, but we miss the answer every time if we follow our own idealistic standards and subjective interpretations of God's mind and movements. The fact that man's collective actions seem to succeed based on human assessments, doesn't mean that "God is moving" in step with our pragmatic visions.

"You thought that I was altogether like you," He reminds us. "But I will rebuke you...." [Psalms 50:21] "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord." [Isaiah 55:8] See Apostasy

Only by His Word and Spirit in us can we see right and wrong from His perspective. For "no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God." [1 Corinthians 2:11] But when we feed on His Word and rely on His Spirit , He sensitizes our conscience to His will and imprints His ways on our hearts: "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Jeremiah 31:33

Those who reject God's Truth and Righteousness have a very different standard for right and wrong. Conformed to cultural values rather than to God's Word, their consciences simply endorse man's corrupted values. Since human nature doesn't change with time, this Old Testament warning is still relevant today:

"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush." Jeremiah 6:15

In fact, the world's ways and God's ways are totally incompatible. That's why God's Word tells us repeatedly to shun the world's counsel even as we demonstrate God's love:

"The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray." Proverbs 12:26

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'

"Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.'" 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

"... in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

"...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned..." 2 Timothy 3:1-14

In other words, don't let the world distract you from God's Word and ways. As followers of Jesus, we are "in the world" as salt and light, but we're not "of the world" as participants in its social and moral consensus. [John 17:11, 14] This division has kindled the world's fury through the ages. That's why Jesus -- knowing His disciples would face its cruel onslaughts -- explained the consequences of such an uncompromising stand:

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.... because they do not know Him who sent Me." John 15:18-21

Persecution seems both remote and unreal to Americans unfamiliar with the torture of God's faithful ones in Communist, Hindu and Islamic countries today. Too distracted to learn history or Biblical prophecy, most of us neither look back to the persecution of the early church nor forward to prepare for the battles ahead. [See Revelation 13 and 17].

Those who have not been desensitized by imagined media violence might shudder at the following list, which shows man's ingenuity in inflicting pain on others. May it impress on our hearts the surpassing value early Christians put on the righteousness of Jesus Christ! Pleasing Him was worth more than life to them! A torturous death was not too high a price for a heavenly eternity with their Lord. They knew the cruel consequences of discipleship, but compromise was not an option!

  • shut up in a sack with snakes and thrown into the seas
  • tied to huge stones and cast into a river
  • hanging on the tree (cross), they were beaten with rods until their bowels gushed out, while vinegar and salt were rubbed into their wounds
  • tied to catapults and so wrenched limb from limb
  • thrown to the beasts; others tied to their horns.
  • Women stripped, enclosed in nets and exposed to the attacks of furious bulls
  • tortured with scrapers, claws and pincers [then] delivered to the mercy of flames
  • broken on the wheel or torn in pieces by wild horses
  • the feet were slowly burned away...
  • scourged to the bone, then placed near a grid-iron that he might witness the roasting of pieces torn from his own body
  • fixing red-hot plates of brass to the most delicate parts of his body... [then] slowly roasted in the iron chair.
  • 'melted lead, hissing and bubbling, was poured' [down their backs]
  • a few.... escaped with the searing out of their eyes, or the tearing off of their legs."[4]

These faithful men and women could have won release by simply recanting their faith or affirming the gods of Rome. But they refused to deny their Lord! To them, the following Scripture was far more than a nice memory verse: "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

By God's wonderful grace, may we, too, demonstrate to a needy world the surpassing values of knowing and following our King -- in His ministry here on earth as well as in His suffering and death!

"I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death...." Philippians 3:7-11

3. PEACE -- God's peace, not the world's illusions

The stronger the spiritual opposition we face in this world, the greater is His grace, and the more we appreciate His wonderful peace. In fact, through the cross we have:

1. Peace with God: "...having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.... And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:1-5

3. The gift of His peace within us: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27-28

4. The protection of His peace: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

5. The "gospel of peace" to share with others: "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Ephesians 6:14-15

6. The victory of His peace: "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33

The world doesn't understand such peace. Instead it relies on fragile illusion and futile visions of a peace that doesn't exist:

".. from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace." Jeremiah 6:13-14

"For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. " 1 Thessalonians 5:3-4

Instead of worldly peace, He warns us that divisions must continue. For there can be no unity between those who walk by His Spirit and those who follow the ways of the world. "Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth?" He asked His disciples. "I tell you, not at all, but rather division." Luke 12:51

Yet, in the midst of this clear separation, His tells us to go into all the world and share the gospel: "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." [John 20:21] He makes us ambassadors for His kingdom, messengers bringing the peace of His reconciliation through the cross -- the only way to peace and unity in this world.

4. FAITH - Confident assurance that God will do all He has promised!

Most people have faith. They may put their confidence in themselves, their intuition or opinions, the group consensus, a popular author, etc. None of those qualify as Biblical faith, but they are timeless alternatives. Such faith may bring self-esteem, the comfort of pleasing illusions, or a sense of superiority. But they all blind people to the reality of God and His eternity.

Only those who trust in God -- and whose faith has been tested in the crucible of suffering -- can truly know the indescribable comfort of His strength, wisdom, hope and peace. "We do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia," wrote Paul. "...we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should ?not trust in ourselves but in God...." 2 Corinthians 1:8

Paul knew God's Word. He memorized and obeyed it. He meditated and staked His life on it. His suffering didn't structure His faith; it affirmed and deepened what he already knew. This is an important point, for the emerging churches of our times tend to encourage a different foundation for faith. Personal experience and imagination, political correctness, group dialogue and facilitated consensus are replacing God's Word as the primary foundation for faith and truth. [See Chart: Basis for Faith]

Many who call themselves Christian don't even know Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures. Instead they have built their beliefs on mystical experience, the sense of a loving presence, a bright light, or a warm feeling. Not only does experience-based faith turn Biblical truth upside down, it opens a person's mind to spiritual counterfeits. At this time in history, we would be wise to remember this warning:

"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." 1 Thessalonians 5:9-12

There's only one fail-proof way to sort through the deceptions: Exercising the kind of faith that truly knows God, trusts His Word and follows His ways!

"...we... ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." Colossians 1:9-12

5. HOPE of SALVATION - now and forever.

"....let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation." ([1 Thessalonians 5:8] These words from the apostle Paul may not mean much to Christians in the West who have built their hope on the prosperity and comforts in this world. But it means everything to those whose treasure is laid up in heaven for all eternity!Remember, the ever-present stars in the sky are hidden by the comfortable light of day, but they shine like jewels in the dark nights of pain and suffering.

While Christians in the "free" West may minimize the wonders and glory of our eternal hope in Christ, Communist leaders know well its threat to totalitarian control. They want the masses to focus all hope on their socialist system -- not on a remote heavenly kingdom.

That's why Biblical teaching on Christ's return was banned from the registered church in China. Chairman Mao saw that his vision of socialist unity, transformative dialectic groups, and nationalistic passion were incompatible with Christian hope, so the latter was forbidden.

This repressive strategy used in China and other Communist countries was described by Edward Hunter in his 1956 book, Brainwashing: The story of the men who defied it:

"The achievement of this submission is the immediate short-range objective of brainwashing. The man does not have to be a true believer so long as he is convinced that he has no alternative to following Red instructions. Hope -- the prospect of any alternative in life, no matter how slim -- must be wiped out of his mind entirely before communism can feel safe with him."[5]

But finite man could never purge this God-given hope from the hearts of the faithful. Like an unquenchable fire, it burned in the minds of His suffering children everywhere. Whether they lived or died, they had God's "hope... as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast." [Hebrews 6:19]

Though countless church leaders in the West are turning from heavenly hope to earthly purposes, God's true hope will never yield to human pressure or to the schemes of Satan! For "in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Footnotes:

1. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited. 36, 41-42, 46
2. California Monthly, February 1998. Margot Adler, a ‘68 graduate from University of CA at Berkeley, was the New York correspondent for National Public Radio.
3. See "Small Groups and the Dialectic Process," "Social Change and Communitarian Systems" and "Molding Human Resources for a Global Workforce"
4. Herbert B. Workman, Persecution in the Early Church (Oxford University Press, 1906).page 120.
5. Edward Hunter, Brainwashing (New York: Pyramid Books, 1956), pages 7 and 184.

 

© 2005 Berit Kjos - All Rights Reserved

 

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Berit Kjos is a widely respected researcher, writer and conference speaker. A frequent guest on national radio and television programs, Kjos has been interviewed on Point of View (Marlin Maddoux), The 700 Club, Bible Answer Man, Beverly LaHaye Live, Crosstalk and Family Radio Network. She has also been a guest on "Talk Back Live" (CNN) and other secular radio and TV networks.  Her last two books are A Twist of Faith and Brave New Schools. Kjos Ministries Web Site: http://www.crossroad.to/index.html


 

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They couldn't have been further from the truth. While those early blooms of occult enticements might have peaked in interest among Christians, the seeds of deception sown during the sixties and seventies had already taken root in well-cultivated soil across America.