Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Catholic Church Priest Abuse Cult-Like Cover-Up

There's an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that the priest sex abuse scandal is much bigger than being reported in the mainstream media, and scattered historical reports, often in low profile history books, indicates that it goes back centuries. There's also much better research about the cause of it and how early child abuse is often used to teach blind obedience and it also teaches children that they should deal with their problems and administer "justice" with violence.

Edit 02/23/2019: The Pope has recently accused his critics of being “the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil,” if they condemn the Church “without love,” yet they continue to stonewall and cover up only taking steps in the right direction when pressured to do so by those he refers to as "friends, cousins and relatives of the devil.” This is incredibly hypocritical especially since he still doesn't speak out against child rearing tactics that lead to escalating violence, as I posted below. Some of the local churches are quietly rejecting corporal punishment in schools, because of consultations with academic researchers on the damage it does, but not based on leadership from the Vatican.

The Vatican has an incredibly long history of fighting all reforms tooth and nail until they have no choice then claiming they took the leadership, themselves as part of "God's will." This behavior is typical of cults far more concerned with controlling the followers than with teaching higher morals.

For what it's worth, I have agreed with the Church on some occasions, including when they spoke out about climate change and social justice, although it is often a reversal on their past practices which they don't acknowledge. When Trump smeared them for the wrong reasons when he called him out on his wall or Climate changed they didn't refer to him as a friend of the devil.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's actually him that's a friend of the devil; however, if his God exists, chose him to deliver his messages, and doesn't have an ulterior motive, I can't help but wonder why he wouldn't have spoken out about the sex abuse scandal hundreds of years ago and corrected it, along with speaking out against Crusades and Inquisitions.

Pope Francis decries critics of church as 'friends of the devil' 02/20/2019 “One cannot live a whole life accusing, accusing, accusing, the church,” he said. People who did, he said, were “the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil”.

With Pope Championing Environment and Scientists Supporting Capitalism Who’s Right? When?

I've pointed out in past articles that the nineteen states that still allow corporal punishment in schools have higher murder rates, with six to eight of them routinely making it into the top ten, only one of them making it to the bottom ten and most of the remaining are in the top half. The average murder rates for the nineteen states that still allow it in 2015-6 was 5.98 per hundred thousand; the average murder rate in states that don't allow it in schools is only 4.54 during the same two years. Comparing it to Europe, which has much lower murder rates, is even clearer. None of the European countries allow corporal punishment in schools; fifteen European countries have a rate below one, a fraction of the USA rate; and twelve of those also ban corporal punishment in the home. However, in fairness they also provide better education and child care so that is part of the reason for their lower rates as well.

However, even though statistics often shows clear correlations between violence and risk factors, some of which might be contributing causes of violence, it isn't always the strongest research to explain why it leads to escalating violence, or how it can be used to indoctrinate children to blindly obey orders without developing critical thinking skills. The research that does show this, takes more time to read, and may also explain why the Catholic Church is digging in their heals with almost complete denial, and why many followers accept this. It may also explain why a growing number of people are standing up to them after centuries of cover-ups.

On of the good researchers is Philip J. Greven author of "Spare the Child," who focuses primarily on protestants, however many of the same principles apply to Catholics as well. He writes, "The authoritarian Christian family is dependent upon coercion and pain to obtain obedience to authority within and beyond the family, in the church, the community, and the polity. Modern forms of Christian fundamentalism share the same obsessions with obedience to authority characteristic of earlier modes of evangelical Protestantism, and the same authoritarian streak evident among seventeenth and eighteenth century Anglo-American evangelicals is discernable today, for precisely the same reasons: the coercion of children through painful punishments in order to teach obedience to divine parental authority. Fear and suffering still shape the characters of children whose obedience is obtained involuntarily by physical punishments."

In addition to obtaining blind obedience to authority, corporal punishment may also be used to intimidate the victims into not speaking out against their abusers, especially when that is an authority figure, and in many cases the community has been more inclined to believe the priest than the victim, or even when they might have been willing to believe the victim they might not have realized that, and they might have remained silent out of shame, which may also be more likely when corporal punishment is used against children to intimidate and shame them.

One thing that few are even considering in the traditional media, is the possibly that the priests might have been victims themselves of of sexual abuse, which may have been where they learned to be so abusive and consider it acceptable. In his books including "Constantine's Sword" James Carroll explained some of the intimidation that he went through as when he went to Seminary School, including efforts to censor him, although he didn't write about extreme abuse of the kind that has been exposed during recent scandals, or at least not happening to him, although he's also written many columns on the subject. In my previous article Did Padre Pio Or Other Alleged Mystics Have "Revelations" from "God?" I reviewed how Padre Pio was taught blind obedience from the beginning when he went into the seminary in an extremely abusive manner by Padre Tommaso, who taught him to self-flagellate on demand for arbitrary reasons, to show that he was loyal to the Church and that his faith was strong. This is the most extreme abuse that Padre Pio had to go through without complain but there was much more.

Bernard Ruffin, the author of his biography, claims Padre Tommaso was extreme even for his time, which would have been just over a hundred years ago, however there's no guarantee that a lot of this abuse isn't still going on since it is almost always done in secrecy, and most of these stories have only been told in low profile records. However reviewing scattered historical records indicates that using corporal punishment was far worse throughout most of history, including when Saint Augustine wrote, "Though I was only a small child, there was a great feeling when I pleaded with you that I might not be caned at school. And when you did not hear me, which was so as ‘not to give me to foolishness’ (Ps 21:3), adult people, including even my parents, who wished no evil to come upon me, used to laugh at my stripes, which were at that time a great and painful evil to me." Most accounts of Saint Augustine indicate that he opposed the use of corporal punishment on children most, if not all the time.

According to Augustine, Luther and Solomon: Providing Pastoral Guidance to Parents On the Corporal Punishment of Children "Augustine believed the corporal punishment he received in school was not only ineffective, it actually inhibited his learning." This is just one of many exapmles where adults found amusement by the abuse that tehy used on thier own children, and for hundreds of years it was much worse than it is in recent history. If you look into the history of some of the worst mass murderers, including Charles Manson, Gary Ridgeway, etc. they went through worse abuse in their early childhood long before they became violent criminals.

Even the Catholic Church has improved on this subject, but unfortunately it isn't being led by the top. According to "Pope Francis says it is OK to smack children if their ‘dignity is maintained’" 02/05/2015 Francis spoke about a father who said, "I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them;” and he responded by saying, “How beautiful. He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.”

Most, if not all the improvements in reducing the use of Corporal Punishment seems to have come reluctantly from pressure at the grassroots, often with the help of good researchers showing how it leads to escalating violence, and almost certainly contributes to the abuse of children by priests. One of the most outspoken critics of corporal punishment for a long time was Alice miller, who wrote extensively about how it is related to sexual abuse in numerous books including her most famous book, "For Your Own Good" (Complete copy available on line) and a follow up in 2001, Alice Miller "The Truth Will Set You Free" (Chapters 3 and 5), where she reposts a letter from Olivier Maurel, author of "Spanking Questions and answers about disciplinary violence" (Online copy) and another expert on the subject, asking Pope John Paul II to speak out against corporal punishment and advise Catholics against it, reversing Biblical justifications for it's use.

Unfortunately neither Olivier Maurel or Alice Miller received a constructive reply from the Vatican or any of the Cardinals or other Church officials they attempted to contact. However, this doesn't mean that all religious leaders support the use of corporal punishment, although most of them seem to. In addition to Saint Augustine expressing concerns about the use of corporal punishment, Martin Luther also had his concerns saying, "For what a person enforces by means of a rod will come to no good end. At best the children will remain good only as long as the rod is on their backs." Gordon Hinkley, former leader of the Mormon Church spoke out against it, claiming that his Church always opposed it, although, as far as I can tell he was the first one to openly speak out against it.

James Garbarino is one of the few academic child psychologists that also take a strong position supporting religion and claims that being part of a religious community can be an important part of raising children. And he's opposed child abuse consistently in his books, although most of them don't put much emphasis on corporal punishment; however when starting this article I wrote to ask him about it and he responded "Thanks for writing. I have made statements in public opposing using physical violence against children (I prefer to say that rather than use the term "corporal punishment"). I think the research linking hitting children to problems later is clear. Count me in the 'no' column. Best regards, Jim Garbarino"

While searching for additional information from him on this subject I found this contribution to a book edited by Murray Straus, who is a strong and credible opponent of corporal punishment:

Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective edited by Michael Donnelly, Murray Straus; Chapter by James Garbarino

Consider the case of child abuse. We need to look at the community that establishes laws and policies about child abuse as well as at the families that offer a powerful definition of reality for the next generation. We should look also at the culture that defines physical force as an appropriate form of discipline in early childhood. (p.8)

We have found this in our study of the impact of community violence on Palestinian children; the effects of exposure are mediated by the nature of discipline within the home, with those exposed to more punishing styles more adversely affected by violence outside the home. (p.11)

But we do have an inkling that exposing a child to corporal punishment creates a negative emotional experience of the family regardless of the overt cognitive definition offered by the child. That is, hitting children creates negative feelings despite the fact that the child may come to rationalize the hitting as “normal,” “necessary,” and “for the child’s own good.” In the extreme case of physical child abuse, research shows that cognitive interventions which assist the child in exploring the meaning of hitting can bring about a realignment of belief in which the negative feelings aroused are now matched by an appropriate cognitive evaluation (Herzberger 1986) – that is, that hitting children is wrong, that it leads to adverse developmental outcomes, and that the responsibility lies with the parent, not the child.

…. This implies that interventions to reduce corporal punishment in one setting (for example, school) may not endure if efforts are not made to create support for those interventions in other systems into which the individual may enter (for example, family). Gaining the power to affect these other systems in a coordinated way is a matter of public policy, a matter for exosystems. (P.14-5) (Additional excepts available if you check Google Books searching one of these excerpts)

Addressing the "matter for exosystems" seems to involve reducing violence and abuse of children where ever they are, including in schools, churches and at home; which James Garbarino also addresses in more details in several of his books including "Lost Boys," "And Words Can Hurt Forever," and "See Jane Hit." One of his recommendation includes advising teachers to check the back ground of children with problems at school and seek to solve this through "non-punitive measures" that often involve educating parents about child rearing tactics, when possible to avoid resorting to the criminal justice system except in the case of the worst child abuse problems; and a home visitor program which he recommends being offered to at risk mothers when they give birth. I first heard of these in the nineties from a Boston Globe article that said that Hawaii, the first state to use it, had great success with it and studies showed that it saved costs from the criminal justice system after reviewing the results of those that took advantage of it compared to those that didn't have it available. By the time James Garbarino wrote about it in a book a few years later there were more studies from other states adding to this research showing that it was very successful.

Unfortunately the media virtually never reports on this, with the exception of a few newspaper articles spread out over decades, that often get little attention and they're routinely reported on very limited amounts of research. Get tough on crime policies are pushed by politicians all the time and when they do report an enormous amount of crime and murder shows they routinely act as if the only solution to the problem is to promote "justice" after the fact by threatening those that are guilty with punishment as a deterrent. When ever someone speaks about an abusive childhood on shows like Nancy Grace of Ashleigh Banfield, someone screams "that's no excuse," as if the only reason to discuss this is to reduce jail time for the suspect. These shows never try to explain that if more people understood the causes of escalating violence and how to prevent them that they could do more to prevent victims from being attacked or killed in the first place, instead of punishing the perpetrator after the fact.

Understanding that violence needs to be reduced in "exosystems," as James Garbarino put's it might help explain the opposition to a lot of resistance to banning corporal punishment including in New Orleans where according to St. Augustine High School corporal punishment debate is about more than the paddle 03/06/2011 Archbishop Gregory Aymond spoke out against the use of corporal punishment, and along with the Josephite trustees in Baltimore decided to ban the use of corporal punishment in schools and faced a lot of objections from the parents and local teachers. At one point "Aymond apologized for any unintended suggestion that St. Augustine's discipline had anything to do with crime," however this might not have been true; and, although I wasn't there for the entire debate which was finished before I heard about it, I suspect that some additional background about research could have helped explain the situation. In addition to the opposition to banning corporal punishment in this New Orleans school, while searching the subject on the internet for this article I also came across similar arguments in Baltimore and Atlanta. All three of these big cities have exceptionally high murder rates; and New Orleans is the highest in Louisiana, which has the highest murder rates of all fifty states.

Why was the support for corporal punishment so strong in these areas where they have among the highest violence rates in the country?

One of the sources that James Garbarino cites in his books is Fox Butterfield's "All God's Children," which traces the Bosket Family back to before the civil war. Butterfield isn't a psychologist, but he reports on how corporal punishment was taught to African American's by slave owners before the civil war and it was passed down from generation to generation, along with a long history of violence that took place as adults as well, and when there isn't intervention at an early age, as there wasn't with Willie Bosket or his father they're more likely to resort to violence, which is how they were educated through violent upbringing, and as James Gabarino said he prefers to refer to it as child abuse not corporal punishment.

During the debate in New Orleans Rev. John Raphael asked "Why do African-American families have to beg permission from folks in another culture to raise their kids in the Judeo-Christian tradition that has sustained our culture for so many generations?" Which is regrettable, Butterfield's book demonstrates that the child rearing techniques that he was defending were taught to them through violence from their white slave owners and passed down from generation to generation; which means that although he's not aware of the history behind it, he's defending authoritarian teaching methods that were forced on his ancestors from "folks in another culture," although they're not the same folks or from the same culture, and the history of this was forgotten by the majority of those involved in this debate.

James Garbarino also reported on how the culture of using “physical assault as discipline” in the following article, where he mentions Donald Trump's suggestion that they send in the feds, and a police officer's view that they could solve the problem by shooting the gang members as they arrest them, like they do in El Salvador, which has much more violence, before offering far more rational solutions:

Gun Violence in Chicago by James Garbarino 06/01/2017

..... After we brought him in to be booked, I asked the officers what would happen to him: “He'll probably be back out on the street in a few hours,” one said. I asked him what it would take to make a difference in this kind of street crime and the violent gangs that flourished in such an environment. He made a gun gesture with his hand and responded, “If we could shoot them as we caught them.” ....

Zagar's work indicates that much of what needs to be done to “fix” the situation in Chicago (and elsewhere) is “simply” a matter of applying programmatic resources (such as jobs, anger management, and mentoring) on a larger scale. This approach would eliminate many of the murders that arise from teenagers and men who are loaded up with risk factors, and do not have a positive role in the society, do not have sufficient “emotional intelligence” to demonstrate good “executive function,” and do not have prosocial relationships that push them in the direction of nonviolent behavior when faced with altercations and negative peer influence. What more needs doing? I would point to three other major items on the violence prevention agenda in Chicago.

First, there is the matter of identifying early the individuals who are abused and developmentally vulnerable, and are thus on the fast track to become part of the 15% who seek out violence as a way to manifest and express their demons. While treatment for psychopaths has generally proved futile, a new intensive approach labeled “Compression Therapy” has shown some promising results with juveniles headed down the path to psychopathy. It requires 3 to 4 hours per day of one-on-one attention over a period of at least 6 months, but given the costs of not preventing them from going down this path, it is likely to prove cost effective. My own research has focused on individuals who committed murders as teenagers and were clearly in a sociopathic state then, who have, 20 years later, shown themselves to be rehabilitated and transformed to the point where they are capable of living as “solid citizens” outside prison (as reported in my forthcoming book Miller's Children: Why Giving Teenage Killers a Second Change Matters for All of Us—University of California Press, in press for 2018). .....

The legacy of slavery has effects that extend widely and deeply, including the fact that African Americans are twice as likely as other groups to endorse and use “physical assault as discipline” (a term I much prefer to the euphemism of “corporal punishment,” which only serves to obfuscate). This means that African Americans in Chicago (and elsewhere) are exposed disproportionately to this socialization technique that increases the risk of future violence. This is added into the developmental mix of other risk factors for African American youth at a higher rather than for other groups. Low income African Americans have a murder rate eight times the national average—a phenomenon that, I believe, is a function of the interaction of the Southern Culture of Honor (the historical geographic origins of most African Americans) and persistent economic inadequacy (related to chronic discrimination coupled with lack of educational and vocational success).

All these affect African Americans generally, but are particularly problematic in Chicago. Chicago is America's most racially segregated city (more than Philadelphia and New York, for example). What is more, from 1990 to 2012, white incomes in Chicago increased by 33% while black incomes decreased by 4%. Also, a bit more than half of census tracts with a majority black population in Chicago have more than 30% of families living in poverty, while only 2% of predominantly white census tracts have such a high percentage of families in poverty. Most demographic factors relevant to violence show a similar pattern. I once interviewed an African American teenage killer who told me, “It wasn't until I was 14 that I ever met anyone who had a father living in the home.” This is crucial, because a boy who has developed a chronic pattern of bad behavior, acting out, aggression, and violating the rights of others who lives in one of these neighborhoods is four times more likely to engage in violent delinquency at age 17 years than a similar boy who lives in a “good” neighborhood.

Chicago is perhaps the most American city, and as such, it is a perfect laboratory to understand, prevent, and treat violence in all its many forms with all its many causal chains. This is not a simplistic matter as Trump would have us believe. It is not a matter of “sending in the Feds,” unless those Feds come with jobs, anger management, and mentoring, as well as enhanced assessment and intervention with troubled, untreated traumatized children who are on track to become violent teenagers and young adults. Complete article

The fact that a police officer even considered that they could solve the problem “If we could shoot them as we caught them,” might also raise doubts about how they train police, which is often in the same authoritarian manner. David Couper, former police chief or Madison Wisconsin has reported on how they often use hazing to teach police to obey order the same way they do in the military, which is an extension of authoritarian upbringing that often starts with corporal punishment in the home, and only teaches to escalations violence. I went into David Couper's criticism of authoritarian training of police more in "Editor's Blog: To The Protesters & Haters" and Police, which was a response to a former police officer that was in total denial about problems facing the poor, who are often treated as if they're guilty until proven innocent, Like Garbarino, he also supports modern Christianity and tolerance. This authoritarian police training doesn't prevent causes of violence by repairing the social and educational structure as Professor Garbarino recommends. Other solutions like reversing the outsourcing that has been going on for decades so that troubled children have reasonable economic opportunities would also help.

Part of the reason why most people were unfamiliar with this history, and the most effective research about reducing violence, is that the majority of the public often doesn't read a lot of non-fiction, and gets an enormous amount of information they use to make their decisions from the traditional media and political establishment which almost never discusses the best research. Demagogues like Donald Trump and Nancy Grace get an enormous amount of media coverage, while more credible researchers like Garbarino, Straus, Miller or Dorothy Otnow Lewis are almost never reported in the traditional media. These expert's recommendation, that instead of resuming corporal punishment in schools they end it in the homes and teach different methods of child rearing, would be far more effective. Once they start using it in the home they teach children to respond to violent discipline tactics, so it might seem to be more effective; however if they never use violent disciplinary tactics in the first place then not only are the new problems they encountered after banning it in St. Augustine's less likely but all other violence would also be less likely. Once again, I haven't reviewed the full history of St. Augustine high school, but there's an enormous amount of research indicating that overall there's much less violence in areas that use different child rearing methods, and changing the methods in one setting while still allowing abusive methods in another isn't going to solve the whole problem.

The mainstream media has also been slow to report on more historical reports of child abuse or other scandals by many priests, which have been going back decades if not centuries, including numerous reports in "Padre Pio: The True Story" by Bernard Ruffin who writes about many accusation against Archbishop Pasquale Gagliardi and several other priests or bishops. David Kertzer author of "The Pope and Mussolini" also reports about several additional incidents, including Cardinal Caccia Dominioni who had "the honor of placing the papal tiara on Pacelli’s head" when he was elected Pope and became Pius XII.

Caccia Dominioni was implicated in sexual numerous scandals including, as Kertzer writes "While riding on a bus in Rome the previous August, a policeman had found his attention drawn to the cartons of foreign cigarettes that a young messenger boy was carrying. Suspicious, he discovered that they lacked the required Italian tax stamp. When he asked the lad where he had gotten the contraband cigarettes, the boy replied that someone high up in the Vatican had given them to him. Pressed further, the boy identified Cardinal Caccia. When the police phoned the cardinal to check the boy’s story, he confirmed the account and asked that the boy be left alone. 'As Caccia Dominioni enjoys the reputation of pederasty,' the police informant concluded, 'they are saying that the reason for the offer of these cigarettes was easily explained.'”

There's also plenty of evidence to indicate that early child abuse through authoritarian upbringing also contributes to many other types of violence including domestic violence, murder, religious persecution, often based on superstitions, and even war including World War II, among many others. Philip Greven has reported on how corporal punishment leads to increased amount of paranoia and a willingness to believe many of the most absurd lies, especially when they come from leaders or are supported by large crowds; and David Kertzer, in his Book, "The Popes Against the Jews," among other historical records have reported how the Catholic Church has demonized the Jewish community with false accusations of "Ritual murder," or Blood libel.

When we hear about Ritual Murder or Blood Libel, and look at the evidence many of us find it hard to believe that our ancestors could have believed any claims so absurd; however when you take a close look at the history of demagogues from the Catholic Church repeating these stories over and over again, and how it's also reported in Catholic Newspapers, over and over again, it start's to make sense. This makes even more sense when people understand how children that are raised in authoritarian manners by emotional parents that often teach them to obey under the threat of corporal punishment that is often accompanied by yelling and screaming that begins before a child learns how to develop critical thinking skills, it makes even more sense.

There is good research from the most credible academics about the causes of escalating violence which also contributes to priests becoming pedophiles and the ability of the Church to get away with it for so long and cover it up. This research also explains why so many people would still think of the Church as a moral authority when they have an incredibly long history of covering these sex abuses and many other atrocities up, including torture during the Inquisitions, the Crusades, support of a long list of tyrants throughout history; and for a long time the Church has opposed the democratic process and modern education tactics that teach children to think for themselves.

Unfortunately the best research showing the most effective solutions to these problems gets minimal amount of coverage in the traditional media, which only provides coverage for researchers like James Garbarino or Barbara Coloroso on relatively limited basis while giving demagogues enormous amounts of obsession coverage, which is part of the reason they often nominate two incredibly unpopular candidates that don't discuss the best interests of the majority like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Alice Miller, and many other academics, perhaps including Philip Greven, believe that the reason that the Pope doesn't take a strong stand on opposing child abuse or corporal punishment is because this is a method used to indoctrinate children to adopt the religious beliefs of their parents without question as part of a system that is more concerned with controlling children than with educating them or looking out for their best interests. Although some of the quotes or historical reports from Saint Augustine or Martin Luther imply they have doubts about the use of corporal punishment, there are conflicting reports on this; and Alice Miller and others have also pointed out that, at times, they have recommended it, and she believes that it has consistently had bad results, as additional modern research has confirmed. She believes that without abusive upbringing they wouldn't be able to pass their religious beliefs down from one generation to another.

David Couper and James Garbarino have both expressed support for moderate religion, and presumably disagree with part of this if not all of it, and both support less authoritarian training of children and police, which implies that it's unlikely that religious beliefs would end quickly if child abuse is eliminated.

Previously I reported on how there's also much more violence, on average in areas that have Megachurches nearby than there is in areas that are only served by small churches, or where people are less religious; part of the reason for this is probably because the small pastors are more likely to interact with their parishioners, and listen to their needs, while large megachurches with Pastors making millions of dollars, protected by bodyguards keeping them away from troubled parishioners and living in expensive mansions are less likely to learn from the community to better serve their needs, and more likely to spend money on monumental Church decorations that have little or no practical purposes, although they look beautiful. I know that in my area, which doesn't have many megachurches, some of the churches that do serve the needs of the public best are small churches; and the response to Hurricane Harvey and other stories about megachurches indicates they may not be serving their community as well.

Some of the most extreme stories about the end of days or talk about how “witchcraft’s trying to take this country over, which is still going on in Alabama where Pastor John Kilpatrick is asking his flock to pray for Trump to make him strong enough to stop it, that are increasingly popular with the Trump administration, are almost certainly more likely to be believed by people with an emotional attachment to their religion that are unwilling to believe evidence proving that a lot of these claims are clearly false. Those that do believe the prophecies about tragedies often peruse a course of action that actually brings about disasters, which might be similar to the ones being predicted, when good research could show them how to avoid it.

Also, if there's an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that abused children are much more likely to become child abusers as adults then there's a good chance that these priests that have been accused of abusing children were also abused as children themselves; if so, then research should be done to find out so they can better understand how to prevent it. I don't say this to come up with excuses for the priests, although it might be considered mitigating circumstances to some people; but to better understand the causes of how violence escalates so it can be prevented.

Even without additional research, which we'll always need, we have enough to know that educational programs to improve child care and education everywhere, not just in wealthy neighborhoods, will be far more effective at reducing violence than prisons and courts after the education system fails. For example, the home visitor programs to help and advise at risk parents so they don't repeat the same mistakes in child rearing as their parents, that James Garbarino recommends, have proven to be very effective at reducing violence, which is the most important thing; and they've also proven to save an enormous amount of money in court and prison costs; yet the politicians routinely push "get tough on crime" policies that only "Get tough" crimes of working class people not white collar crimes that increase poverty and other problems even though they don't work and they cut funds for programs that do work.

If more people were educated about this politicians that do this would have a much tougher time getting elected and crime would be solved more effectively, and in some parts of the country this is already happening.

The average murder rates for the nineteen states that still allow it in 2015-6 was 5.98 per hundred thousand; the average murder rate in states that don't allow it in schools is only 4.54 during the same two years. These averages were based on FBI crime rates 2015/2016 includes population estimates The nineteen states states that still allow it includes NC, SC, Ga., Fla., Al, Mi, La., Ak., Tn., Ky, Mo, Ind., Tx, Ok, Ks, Co, Wy, Ariz, and Id. the estimated population for these nineteen states combined in 2015 was 133,322,590; in 2016 134,800,581; total number of murders in 2015 was 7,589; 2016: 8450; the rest of the country including the District of Columbia, but not territories like Puerto Rico had an estimated population of 2015: 187,574,028; 2016: 188,326,932; murders: 2015: 8,294 2016: 8,790. The average murder rate in states without corporal punishment in 2015 was 4.42, in 2016 it was 4.67; the average rate for those with corporal punishment in 2015 was 5.69; in 2016 6.27.

These statistics may actually underestimate the increase potential for violence in states that use corporal punishment more. One of the only contributing causes that might be almost as important as early child abuse is probably abandoned inner cities where they don't have a functioning economic or educational system. These cities have much higher murder rates, often at least twice the national average, and sometimes as much as four to eight times the national average. If anything they're almost certainly more common in the states without corporal punishment. Also, a couple of the states that do still allow corporal punishment in schools hardly ever use it in practice, and are the only ones that ever come close to the bottom ten. The ones that use it more often are the ones that are in the top ten. There are, of course, additional contributing factors which could go in either direction; but when the difference between murder rates is about 30%, this is a stronger correlation than most statistical studies, indicating more importance.

When it comes to the Catholic Church, though, this correlation might not actually be as strong as it is with Protestants, since they're more common in the North East, where there are lower murder rates. However, child rearing tactics are much slower to change in the most religious communities, including those preparing for the priesthood, as Philip Greven has shown, and Bernard Ruffin has demonstrated that it also applied to Catholic education of their monks as well early in the twentieth century, and it's unlikely that it has completely changed.

For additional sources see the following:

The 51 Countries That Have Banned Corporal Punishment - UN Tribune 11/21/2016

Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate

Alice Miller "The Truth Will Set You Free"

David Kertzer "The Pope and Mussolini"

Wikipedia: Catholic Church sexual abuse cases

Cliff's Notes: St. Augustine's Confessions

Augustine, Luther and Solomon: Providing Pastoral Guidance to Parents On the Corporal Punishment of Children Though I was only a small child, there was a great feeling when I pleaded with you that I might not be caned at school. And when you did not hear me, which was so as ‘not to give me to foolishness’ (Ps 21:3), adult people, including even my parents, who wished no evil to come upon me, used to laugh at my stripes, which were at that time a great and painful evil to me.12 .....

Augustine believed the corporal punishment he received in school was not only ineffective, it actually inhibited his learning. For Augustine, “free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion.”16 He notes that in his infancy he did not know Latin but “learnt it with no fear or pain at all, from my nurses caressing me, from people laughing over jokes, and from those who played games and were enjoying them.”17 In contrast, teachers taught foreign languages by inflicting “fearful and cruel punishments” that Augustine believed kept him from learning “any of the words.”18

"For what a person enforces by means of a rod will come to no good end. At best the children will remain good only as long as the rod is on their backs." Martin Luther

St. Augustine High School corporal punishment debate is about more than the paddle 03/06/2011

Pope Francis says it is OK to smack children if their ‘dignity is maintained’ 02/05/2015

Atlanta Church Embroiled in Corporal Punishment Controversy 04/30/2001 Summerville says there have been three state Supreme Courts that have ruled one instance of bruising during spanking is not child abuse, in and of itself. "But if you know that each time you are spanking the child, you are bruising the child, then you are intending to bruise and that is illegal. If you are not intending to bruise the child and the spanking is reasonable, but a bruise does occur, that is not abuse."

Religious Attitudes on Corporal Punishment by Rita Swan

Pope Francis' remarks on spanking challenged by child abuse experts 02/07/2015 A group of child abuse experts summoned by Pope Francis to help tackle priestly abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has criticized remarks made by the pope himself in which he suggested that it was permissible for parents to spank their wayward children.

Catholic Bishops: Discipline and punishment are not the same

Vatican: Pope Francis on spanking 02/07/2015

Report details sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania's Catholic Church 08/15/2018

Former Catholic Priest Says Pennsylvania Bishop Ignored His Reports Of Abuse 08/16/2018

Lies and cover-ups: Catholic church in Pa. had 'playbook' to keep priest abuse secret 08/16/2018

'Go home, be a good priest': How 25 bishops in Pa. Catholic dioceses responded to sex abuse 08/17/2018

Va. Megachurch Youth Pastor Will Only Serve 8 Months For Sexually Abusing Teen 02/23/2018

Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting. 09/17/2014 So I wasn’t surprised to read that some kids who are regularly spanked experience a surge of oxytocin when they sense danger.

Priest accused of molesting teens, stealing from Oak Cliff's St. Cecilia parish in Dallas Tx. has gone missing 08/20/2018

Priest Abuse Victims Blast Pope: Vatican ‘Should be Target’ of Sex Abuse Summit, Not Leading It 10/08/2017

Deafening silence from Pope Francis amid scathing report of sexual abuse by Catholic priests 08/16/2018

Gutenberg The Confessions of Saint Augustine, by Saint Augustine

WATCH: Alabama pastor speaks in tongues demanding prayers for Trump because ‘witchcraft’s trying to take this country over’ 08/22/2018

How a boy becomes a killer 12/19/2012

Vatican Official Accuses Pope Francis of Sex Abuse Cover Up, Calls for His Resignation 08/27/2018 Archbishop ViganĂ² then said in his written statement that Pope Francis “continued to cover” for McCarrick and not only did he “not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him” but also made McCarrick “his trusted counselor.”

Beating Children With State Support by Hal Smith 03/20/2007 According to Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, “the LDS church has consistently discouraged this approach to child rearing.” President Hinckley: “called physical abuse of children unnecessary, unjustified and indefensible.” He said: “I have never accepted the principle of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child.’ I am persuaded that violent fathers produce violent sons. Children don’t need beating. They need love and encouragement.”

Does lack of education increase violent crime? Religion?

A Brief History of the Mormon Church

Monday, August 20, 2018

Mainstream Media Aiding And Abetting Ecocide In Progress

I don't know if you've heard but there's a rumor going around that weather is getting more extreme.

You might not have known this if you rely on the traditional media; and you might not know much about how closely it's related to Climate Change unless you check with alternative media outlets, including the following articles which reports on how rarely they mention Climate Change when reporting on extreme weather:

Major broadcast TV networks mentioned climate change just once during two weeks of heat-wave coverage 07/12/2018

ABC, CBS, and NBC aired 127 segments on the recent heat wave and only one noted that climate change is a driver of extreme heat Throughout the recent record-breaking heat wave that affected millions across the United States, major broadcast TV networks overwhelmingly failed to report on the links between climate change and extreme heat. Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed the heat wave, but only one segment, on CBS This Morning, mentioned climate change.

The recent heat wave was record-breaking and deadly

From the last week of June into the second week of July, an intense heat wave moved across the U.S., going from the eastern and central parts of the country to the West Coast. A large area of high atmospheric pressure helped to create a massive and powerful heat dome, which migrated from New England to southern California. The heat wave brought record-breaking temperatures -- during its first week, 227 U.S. records were broken for highest temperature for particular days, and during the second week, at least six locations in southern California alone saw record-breaking highs. The heat wave killed at least five people in the U.S. and up to 70 people in Quebec, Canada.

Climate change is exacerbating both the frequency and intensity of heat waves

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that human-induced climate change is exacerbating both the frequency and intensity of heat waves. Heat domes like the one that caused this recent heat wave are becoming more intense and more common, scientists have found. UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain, who has studied extreme weather patterns in California, said recent heat in California was unusual. “The overall trend over decades to more intense and more frequent heat waves is definitely a signal of global warming,” he told The New York Times. And according to Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for Weather Underground, this recent heat wave was “the kind of thing you expect to see on a warming planet,” making it “easier to set a heat record.” Complete article

Until I saw a couple of these articles on alternative media outlets I didn't pay attention, but once I did I noticed very few references to Climate Change during the coverage of these fires, and some of the few that I did see came at times that few would be watching or were spun in a manner that might distract from the issue instead of educating the public in the most effective way possible.

One of the most blatant examples was on the first Saturday of August. the fourth, earlier this month, when CNN ran a segment that lasted at least a couple minutes, which is longer than most of their segments, except for when they're covering the obsession du jour, before six O'clock in the morning. Not only was this segment one of the few times they associated extreme weather with Climate Change, but they spent a fair amount of time criticizing the general public for not being familiar with it, as if it's entirely their fault, without discussing how few times they remind the public about Climate Change during these storms or heat waves. They certainly didn't mention this study exposing how rarely they mention Climate Change when discussing extreme weather, nor did they discuss the enormous volume of propaganda ads they sell to energy companies.

A few days later both MSNBC and CNN did another short segment connecting Climate Change with the weather, the one on MSNBC was also before six in the morning when feew people were watching and it was very brief, the one on CNN was only slightly longer featuring Peter Gleick talking to John Berman. Unfortunately they didn't provide much longer coverage on this segment, and instead of spending more time explaining the science to the public they spent a portion of this quoting Donald Trump and explaining how ignorant he was about the subject. This might give some people the impression that the Democrats are better informed, or that they might support better science; however, people more familiar with alternative media outlets often find that the Democrats often support the oil companies agenda as well.

It wasn't long after the BP disaster that Barack Obama began restoring oil companies rights to drill off-shore; and after promising to stand up to the Keystone Pipeline during the campaign he indicated he might support it once in office and only reversed himself again when there were massive protests. Also, before the BP disaster, they cut corners to save money and increase profits, which is why it happened in the first place. ExxonMobil acted in a similar manner after the Exxon Valdiz spill as described in "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power" by Steve Coll, and other sources, mostly that don't get nearly as much of an audience as the traditional media, which is controlled by six oligarchs.

After both disasters the oil companies spent a fortune on propaganda ads telling us how they were improving safety and making amends; however, what is often reported only at a much lower profile in articles, than the ads that are repeated over and over again, the oil companies are also spending an enormous amount of money on legal expenses to minimize the damage they have to pay to those hurt by the disasters.

When the mainstream media does report on the fact that none of the BP oil executives went to jail it is in brief articles that aren't featured in a high profile manner, and they rarely mention at the same time that, while none of the BP executives went to jail for their activities that killed eleven workers and did much more damage to the environment, over a hundred people that committed fraud against BP went to jail at tax payer expense.

This isn't limited to people committing fraud; it's routine for police to arrest large numbers of environmental protesters, at tax payer expense without addressing any of their concerns or adequately reporting on it in the oligarchy media.

The Republican's don't even do a good job pretending they care about protecting the environment, except perhaps, when it's the environment where rich people live, including when Rex Tillerson sued to prevent fracking near his horse ranch, while supporting it everywhere else, when he cam make massive profits by polluting other people's land. But if the Democrats do a better job pretending to protect the environment, they're counting on the public forgetting their track record and not looking to close, especially when it comes to the Summer's Memo, written by Lawrence Summers before he became a major adviser or Cabinet member for both the Clinton and Obama administration.

Most people that rely on traditional media probably forgot about this memo, assuming they ever heard of it at all, but people more familiar with alternative media aren't as likely to forget the Summers' Memo at Whirled Bank 12/12/1991 where he says, "The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that. ..... I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted. ..... The concern over ..... prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer"

The clear implication is that he thinks that corporations should be allowed to profit by polluting those with the least amount of political power; this was an internal memo which wasn't supposed to be leaked to the public for obvious reasons.

However when the Clinton Administration indicated they wanted him to join their Cabinet anyway they attempted to turn it into a joke according to US Senate hearing for Summers' nomination to Secretary of the Treasury in 1993 PDF which begins when Senators Max Baucus, Bill Bradley, and Representative Joseph Kennedy II talk about how great and admirable Lawrence Summers, is before bringing the Memo up and giving him a chance to respond and he said, “When I make a mistake, I make a big one.” Mayor La Guardia said, “You don’t make many, but when you make one, it’s a beauty.” as if this was just a joke. Then Summers said “No sane person favors dumping toxic waste near where anybody lives or thinks that places could be better off with more toxic waste.” Economists that believe rich people should be allowed to profit by polluting the poor are welcome in both political parties, while those that disagree are routinely considered "radicals" or even "terrorists!"

On at least one other occasion either he, or one of his allies said the purpose of that memo was to stir up debate and prevent this from happening, which might sound very good if they actually followed up on it; however he didn't have a track record, either before writing this memo, or after saying that he didn't mean it, of fighting to prevent exporting pollution or speaking out against it, instead his track record and the track record of the entire political establishment is of doing the opposite, unless there's an enormous amount of pressure from the grassroots to protect the environment.

This track record continued when Obama promised to stand up to the Keystone Pipeline during his campaign and made other promises to protect the environment but once in office he indicated that he was ready to cave on many issues, partly with the support of Lawrence Summers who advised his administration on numerous occasions, and only took some steps to stop the Keystone pipeline after massive protests, but still allowed the return of off shore drilling after the BP disaster, and even tried to help correct Carl-Henric Svanberg's comments, when he accidentally said what he believed about the "small people," saying that he didn't mean that anymore than summers meant that he wanted to pollute "Less Developed Countries," however his actions fighting to avoid any accountability and resume business as usual so they can increase profits, clearly indicates he only pretended to care about "small people," just like Obama who usually does a better job pretending.

Flip-flopping is an art form that they teach each other while rising in politics and they've developed a pattern that can be recognized if people look close enough; while Obama was Senator they were giving him an enormous amount of positive media coverage that enabled him to become a front runner beating Hillary in 2008; and now they're doing similar things with Elizabeth Warren. But those that watch close enough might catch a few slips like, as I reported in several previous articles including Elizabeth Warren is a charismatic propagandist not the Messiah! and Elizabeth Warren Makes Me Scream! when she explained, in "The Two Income Trap," how Hillary Clinton stood up against "that awful bill" as first lady, but then after collecting an enormous amount of campaign money from the banks voted for the same one as Senator.

When it helped her get elected to the Senate the media reported on it, but when Hillary was running for president the mainstream media remained silent about it and in her second book "A Fighting Chance" she mentions how Hillary stood up to the banks as first lady but omits the part where she caved after taking donations from the banks. Elizabeth Warren does the same things with Lawrence Summers when she writes about how she was warned no to criticize insiders in "A Fighting Chance" and uses this for brownie points to improve her political career, but then later in a lower profile article, Elizabeth Warren Was Mostly Absent In The Left's Fight Against Larry Summers 09/17/2013, while most reports were giving her credit for standing up to Summers she says Summers is, "a brilliant economist who has made terrific contributions to the field of economics. I have no doubt that he's going to continue to do that in the future."

This article points out that she supported Janet Yellin over Lawrence Summers, however it fails to mention that both Yellin and Summers opposed Glass-Steagall, which Warren supposedly supports. This is another common practice to speak loudly in favor of something that has little chance of passing to get political credit then quietly support the other politicians that are ensuring that it doesn't pass so that Elizabeth Warren can have it both ways. There was a similar incident where the media gave her a lot of credit for fighting against pollution causing Climate Change but this was a t a time when other politicians were taking the lead with some legislation while she was quiet on that as well.

This is an art form to deceive the vast majority of the public, so that the oligarchy can have their way at the expense of the vast majority of the public even when it comes to the destruction of the environment that will be devastating for everyone, eventually even the insiders!

When it comes to spending enormous amounts of money that oil companies make on deceptive or misleading ads the entire political and media establishment clearly indicates they consider this free speech; however the same standards don't apply to environmentalists, even though they can't use money they make by polluiting the environment to pay for their propaganda and can't buy nearly as much advertising time, assuming they're allowed to buy any at all as the environmental group that attempted to buy time during the 2012 State of the Union Speech found out when Exxon filed a lawsuit to prevent if from airing.

Technically it might be inaccurate to say that Exxon "Hates your children," perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Exxon loves profit more than they care about you children and are willing to sacrifice them to increase their profits; the way they phrase it on their web site is "Exxon must hate your children because their business model depends on drilling for more and more of the fuels that cause climate disruption, even though fossil fuel companies have already discovered significantly more oil, gas and coal than scientists say we can safely burn. They are creating climate chaos every day — and they’re getting rich doing it." And they also say, "Does Exxon actually hate your Children, America, and the World? No one knows, but its record and actions, and those of its fossil fuel industry colleagues, credibly indicate a disregard for our nation and its future. The ad produced by Environmental Action, The Other 98% and Oil Change International is obvious satire, but with a serious message that is protected by the First Amendment."

However this is mild compared to the deceptions made by oil companies profiting off the destruction of the environment, and it's closer to the truth than their lies! Chevron also came up with their own campaign which got much more air time than the satirical responses, which were only shown to people that knew where to look for them on alternative media outlets since the corporate media sells propaganda to maximize profits, not on the free market, only accepting ads that increase profits while consulting with lawyers, lobbyists, politicians and public relations people to justify their censorship, which a large percentage of the public is unaware of!

Claims about an environmental Apocalypse, are no longer fringe conspiracies, assuming they ever were; it's now reality for many people already and this is expanding, and will eventually cause destruction even in the back yards of wealthy oil executives and economists, that have indicated they don't care about the vast majority of the public as long as they can increase profits for themselves, regardless of what it does to the rest of the world. Even the traditional media is reporting on a growing amount of this damage, although they still report on a large portion of it as isolated incidents without explaining just how extensive it is, and they're obsessively distracting the public with fringe Russia Conspiracy theories that ignore the fact that the reason Trump was able to win the election is that they helped rig the nomination for someone the public hated and the only alternative they enabled the public to hear from was Trump with his absurd rhetoric that some thought was the lesser evil.

Bill McKibben has repeatedly pointed out that the real "radicals" aren't the environmentalists that are trying to prevent the destruction of our planet, despite all the propaganda portraying them that way, but the oil companies, economists, politicians and public relations people that are trying to convince the public that they have to choose between a strong economy and protecting the environment. They've made it clear that they care far more about a growing GDP that doesn't improve the quality of life for the majority of the public that are seeing their income slowly go down, when adjusted for inflation, while health care is eroding and environmental destruction is growing, especially in the areas getting hit the hardest by forest fires, red tide, along with many other pollution problems, or extreme flooding.

They don't seem to understand that the reason they don't have an economy on Mars or Venus is that the atmosphere doesn't support life and if we keep conducting business as usual it's a matter of time before our atmosphere steadily loses the capacity to support life or maintain an economic system, or that it devolves into a state of war as we fight over water. If things go according the the implied plan of the oligarchs they'll be the last to be destroyed, but even they'll start dying off eventually if they continue with their "radical" and insane fiscal ideology!

The following are some related sources and additional information, which seems like a long list; however this is only a small fraction of the environmental news showing how much damage is being done especially to poor areas while the rich make massive profits:

Exxon’s Pro-Fracking CEO Is Suing to Stop Fracking Near His Mansion 02/25/2014

'Hothouse Earth' Co-Author Says 'People Will Look Back on 2018 as the Year When Climate Reality Hit' 08/17/2018

Obama biggest recipient of BP cash 05/05/2010 https://twitter.com/TravisRuger/status/1031724780104364032

County’s Major Air Polluters Concentrated in Low-Income, Minority Neighborhoods 08/16/2018 Birmingham Alabama

What Are Potential Pollution Sources In Jefferson County? 08/16/2018 Birmingham Alabama

Extreme heat, heavy rains may become more severe as weather patterns slow: study 08/20/2018

Wikipedia: List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century

Does Exxon actually hate your Children, America, and the World?

Why are conservatives so radical about the climate? 10/06/2010

Bill McKibben on tar sands, Obama, geoengineering and population growth 10/06/2011

Think 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Were Hot? New Study Warns Next Five Years Won't Be Any Better 08/14/2018

'Repugnant and Dangerous': Ignoring Role of Climate Crisis, Trump Offers Buffoonery on California Wildfires 08/06/2018

The Media’s Failure to Connect the Dots on Climate Change 07/25/2018

Premature Birth Rates Drop in California After Coal and Oil Plants Shut Down 05/22/2018

Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says 07/10/2017

What Does Environmental Racism Look Like? Come to Braddock, PA 08/03/2018

This technology could fundamentally change our relationship to electricity 06/05/2018

America's Toxic Prisons: The Environmental Injustices of Mass Incarceration 06/13/2017

Revealed: Environmental Activist Berta Caceres' Suspected Killers Received U.S. Military Training 03/03/2017

BP Loses Australian Bid to Trademark Green 06/20/2007

BP chief apologizes for "small people" remark 06/16/2010

Trump's 'ridiculous' tweet about California wildfires 08/08/2018 minimal comments by Peter Gleick

Peter Gleick on CNN Trancripts 08/08/2018

Chevron's $80 million ad campaign gets flushed 10/19/2010

Chevron thinks we're stupid 2010

Learn The Reasons Forest Fires are Increasing in Frequency and Intensity

PUC warns extreme weather may be new norm in Pennsylvania, PPL storm outages in 2017 tie record 08/16/2018

Big New Challenge for Insurers: Extreme Weather 08/12/2018

Greenpeace: Exxon’s Climate Denial History: A Timeline

Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago 10/26/2015

Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years 10/26/2015 A new investigation shows the oil company understood the science before it became a public issue and spent millions to promote misinformation

Exxon-Mobil is abusing the first amendment 06/24/2016

Lying Ads That Bug the Fuck Out of Me 04/11/2012

Wikipedia: ExxonMobil climate change controversy

BP is just the tip of the iceberg

More than 100 jailed for fake BP oil spill claims 01/15/2017

3 BP executives indicted over Gulf oil spill 11/15/2012

Manslaughter charges dropped against two BP employees in Deepwater spill 12/03/2015

No prison terms for Gulf spill as final defendant gets probation 04/06/2015

The following are some leading environmental news outlets that do a far better job reporting on the subject than traditional media:

Environmental News Network

Science Daily

Top 30 Environmental News Sources

Climate Progress/ Think Progress


11 Top News Sites for Out-of-This-World Environmental Coverage 10/20/2016

Earth Times

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Is Trump A Massive CIA PsyOp?

The official version of truth is now as insane if not more insane than many of the conspiracy theories they attempt to ridicule!

Hitler famously spoke about what he called "The Big Lie," and has been credited with using this as a propaganda tactic to convince people that it was other people involved in a "Big Lie" that made no sense. However it was a very effective propaganda tactic and it has been used many times since then to distract people from the truth, and now Donald Trump's claim that "What you're seeing isn't happening," almost seems to be true, or at least partly; however his lies are as bad if not worse than the spin routinely given by the mainstream media.

As insane as it sounds, three years ago when Donald Trump declared himself as a candidate for president, no one thought he had a chance, especially when he opened his campaign by saying, Mexico's "sending people that have a lot of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." 06/16/2015

The people that thought his campaign couldn't possibly win should have been right; and since then things keep getting even more insane than conspiracy theories that might speculate about the possibility that we really are living "The Big Lie," right now and this is a massive cover up for an absurd agenda of some sort.

I try to be a rational skeptic; but not only is the official version of truth more insane than what they tell us are fringe conspiracy theories, but it's full of what they tell us are rational conspiracy theories, even though they make less sense than the ones they tell us are fringe conspiracy theories!

There's no longer any doubt about whether or not there are plenty of conspiracies going on; the only question is which ones are the truth, or at lest closer to the truth!

Unlike a lot of the other critics of the Russia conspiracy theories, I don't completely rule out the possibility that there might be something to it; however, they routinely ignore the fact that the media only gives coverage to a small percentage of the candidates that run for office and that they're almost always the ones that collect an enormous amount of campaign money from major corporations, including media companies, and they refuse to cover progressive candidates, although plenty of candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama pretend to be progressive for the duration of the campaign, until they get in office routinely demonstrating they represent their campaign donors after all, and that promises about not hiring lobbyists or putting on a "pair of comfortable shoes" to walk picket lines are quickly forgotten, once in office.

As Caitlin Johnstone says, "There's good conspiracy theory and there's bad conspiracy theory," presumably meaning that the good conspiracy theories do a better job checking the facts and try to come up with a theory that explains them; and she does a far better job that QAnon and the fringe right wing conspiracy theorists along with Russia conspiracy theorists, as far as she goes, in the following article which speculates about QAnon being a CIA PsyOp:

Anyone Promoting Regime Change In Iran Is An Evil Piece Of Shit 06/22/2018

I have been saying all year that the 8chan phenomenon known as “QAnon” is bogus, and as time has gone on the evidence has become overwhelming that it is an establishment psyop designed to herd the populist right into accepting the narratives and agendas of the establishment orthodoxy. Whether they’re claiming that every capitulation the Trump administration makes to longstanding neoconservative agendas is actually brilliant 4-D chess strategy, or saying that Julian Assange isn’t really trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy, QAnon enthusiasts are constantly regurgitating talking points which just so happen to fit in very conveniently with the interests of America’s defense and intelligence agencies.

A recent “Q drop” (a fancy name for an anonymous user posting text onto a popular internet troll message board with zero accountability) makes this more abundantly clear than ever, with text reading as follows:

Free Iran!!!
Regime change.
People have the power.
We stand with you.

Once you’re cheering for a longtime neoconservative agenda to be accomplished in one of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” countries, you are cheering for the establishment. Or, to put it more clearly to Q followers, you are cheering for the deep state. Complete article

Her argument is basically a "Cui Bono," or who benefits argument, and pointing out that the argument for regime change is the opposite of what Trump promised, some of the time, during the campaign. This seems to lead her to the conclusion that QAnon might be a front for the CIA, which makes sense as far as it goes. The same argument could be made for Donald Trump, Alex Jones, Breitbart, and many other alternative or fringe conspiracy theorists that promote the CIA's agenda, depending on what that agenda is, which may not be as clear as many people think.

However, something about the CIA's alleged agenda doesn't make sense.

Are they suicidal? Are the genocidal, even if it means eventually destroying themselves, after war and environmental destruction escalates beyond control? Because that's the direction our society is going with the enormous amount of environmental destruction and "wars and rumors of wars," which could inevitably escalate out of control, especially since the government and corporations are acting in such an insane manner, which they must know is leading to escalating disasters.

The "Cui Bono" argument might help determine what they're trying to accomplish if people were able to put together enough puzzle pieces, although it's hard to tell what they're involved in or not.

If you Google "Donald Trump Apocalypse" you'll get well over ten million hits, although few of them present a credible comparison, often treating it like a bad joke; however, even though many of the threats of major wars fall apart almost as fast as they raise them, like his clownish fire and fury threat against North Korea that seemed like a little kid taking a temper tantrum, turned into a clownish peace agreement that is as flawed as the Apocalypse threats.

The Trump Presidency has looked more like a reality TV show since it began, and the simple truth of the matter is, that not only does the traditional media and political establishment know how to do a better job rigging elections and making it appear as if it's a democratic process, but Donald Trump himself knows how to a better job behaving like a traditional politician, and not to long ago, during the 2000 election he did just that!

There's no shortage of racist comments by Trump over the last eight to ten years, starting when he became a leading conspiracy theorist pushing the birth certificate conspiracy theory; but before that he claimed that he didn't want to have anything to do with David Duke and called him “a bigot, a racist, a problem.” He also indicated he was concerned about the Reform Party's "fringe element" including "Elvis look-alikes, resplendent in various campaign buttons and anxious to give me a pamphlet explaining the Swiss-Zionist conspiracy to control America." Trump was never a great or credible candidate, and he did have ties to white supremacist dating back to his fathers march with the KKK and his advertisement calling for the death penalty, but he demonstrated that he knew how to do a much better job pretending to be moderate on social issues.

Not only does his behavior make no sense whatsoever but neither does the entire Democratic establishment and Hillary Clinton's, which is part of what enabled him to win. Clinton was a truly horrendous candidate, and there was good reason to believe this in 2014 before she even began her campaign, yet the entire establishment stepped aside and helped rig the nomination for her, except for a couple low profile candidates that only ran token campaigns that few remember and Bernie Sanders. The fact that both nominees to the two major parties, and perhaps many of the other Republican candidates before the primaries, were under investigation and had incredibly low approval ratings according to all the polls at the time should raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the election process, including the media coverage and whether any of them were even trying to do a reasonably good job.

Perhaps the only reason they don't for many people is because the media establishment keeps throwing one insane obsession du jour like the latest with Omarosa Manigault, who isn't even pretending not to be a reality TV star.

Omarosa is only one of many celebrities and pundits that look like they're putting on an incredibly bad act for a reality TV show, including a shocking number of minorities claiming to support Trump including some like Paris Dennard, Kanye West, Darrell Scott, Mark Burns and women, including Amy Kremer as well that do an incredibly bad job justifying their support for him, mainly because there can be no reasonable justification. And, add to that, all the GOP politicians that demonized him during the primaries, then almost overnight turned into fanatical defenders, also putting on an incredibly bad act. How can this pathetic clown get so many people to make total fools out of themselves to come to his defense, while he's behaving like a complete idiot and playing chicken with the survival of the country?

But what could be so important that the entire political and media establishment would go into this insane charade, assuming that's what they're doing? If it's not what they're doing, how can they be so insane not to realize that, even if many of the insane obsession du jours are harmless distractions, there are real threats to our security, including epidemic levels of environmental destruction that's already hitting many of the poorest people in the planet, especially those in third world countries, but including many in the South or in the West that are being slammed with enormous amounts of damage from escalating disasters, including fires, floods, earthquakes and more which are also supposedly predicted in the Bible like the "wars and rumors of wars?"

And how can they get so many members of the general public to go along with this incredibly pathetic charade?

As insane as it may seem to some people I'm not ruling out the possibility that Caitlin Johnstone might have been somewhat close when she tweeted If you really want to understand how the pyramids were built you have got to watch Ancient Aliens. 02/06/2018, although is she was there are an enormous number of details that need to be filled in and she followed up eight hours later saying that she was "Joking," which some people might have guessed when looking at the context. However, she doesn't even try to explain how the pyramids were built, and neither do many if any people from the mainstream media or academic world. On the few occasions when they do they either do experiments that fail to come close to explaining it, or they provide incredibly bad spin to distract people from this major unsolved mystery.

Most people almost certainly don't see the potential connection; however, if there has been an unknown advanced intelligence impacting society since the megaliths were moved thousands of years ago, and they also influenced many religions, including some that have been related to megaliths often worshiped by many followers, then it implies that this unknown advanced intelligence has some interest in our society and may occasionally intervene depending one what that interest is. If so there's a possibility that current events could be related. As I explained in Researching Poor, Slaves, Prisoners, To Benefit Ruling Class With Alien Technology? and other previous articles, Philip Corso claimed that he shared technology obtained from retrieved space crafts with multinational corporations starting in the late forties and early fifties, and continuing indefinitely, presumably after he left the military. If there's something to this and if Climate Change is caused by human behavior then as I explained in Hurricane Apocalypse Coming With or Without Fringe Conspiracy Theory weather control research including cloud seeding, which the government admits they've tried, even if it's not successful, might be part of this research.

If this is partly true then it's virtually guaranteed that this technology has been used to develop an enormous amount of computer advancements, space exploration technology, genetically modified organisms, health care research, including pharmaceuticals, and many other things; and it's also virtually guaranteed that the CIA is involved in it, which might help explain why some of their absurd activities have been done in secret.

If, in the other hand, it's not true, then there has to be another explanation why there are so many military people coming forward over the decades claiming to disclose information about UFOs and their experiences with them, and there have to be other explanations for how the ancient megaliths were moved, and to the mysteries surrounding mystics etc. If this is the case then it still involves a bizarre conspiracy theory, although it won't involve alien technology or explain how scientific advances have advanced so fast, especially while the political establishment has been getting more insane.

Since there's no explanation for any of this, that I know of, except to ridicule people that don't go along with the official version of the truth, or the same irrational beliefs that many so-called mainstream religions adopt, as far-fetched as my theory seems, it may be more viable than the official explanation, although there are still a lot of details that need to be filled in or corrected, which would be easier if there was peer review by people that are actually trying to solve the mysteries, instead of reinforcing flawed beliefs.

If this is part of the truth then this must involve a massive conspiracy with an enormous number of people that know something about it, although most of them won't know more than what those calling the shots feel they need to know if they can prevent them from learning otherwise. However they might need to give them incentives to ensure that they don't tell the public about it. Part of the way they can discourage undesirable disclosures might be threats, which could include ridicule and destruction of peoples reputation or money if they cooperate and are involved in the development of this technology.

They might keep people from making disclosures by arguing that it's in the best interest of society to allow them to use the vast majority of the public for research purposes to develop it to improve life in the future. However, this won't hold up as long as they keep behaving in an insane manner unless they indoctrinate people to blindly accept irrational justifications for that. It will be more difficult to understand how they might be able to indoctrinate well educated people involved in this research to go along with it than it is to understand how they indoctrinate Trump supporters, who're clearly very emotionally insecure and susceptible to irrational conspiracy theories; however if the narrative is controlled from the beginning, that might explain part of it, and understanding the simple indoctrination tactics might help understanding more complicated tactics.

One recent study reported in A Neuroscientist Explains How Trump Supporters Are Easily Hoodwinked Because of This One Psychological Problem 07/23/2018 shows some of the symptoms of why Trump supporters can be "Hoodwinked," and it may be reasonably good as far as it goes; however not only doesn't explain most of the early indoctrination tactics, but it misrepresents how academics research psychology by focusing it on one narrow study, as if that might explain the whole thing. Anyone familiar with academic research should know that the people that work on this don't settle for just one study and cross-check their work with many other studies that they're familiar with, although what the present to the majority of the public is usually very limited and misleading.

This could be partially justified by claiming that the majority of the public isn't prepared to understand more complicated research; however, even though this is partly true a major reason for this is that the mainstream media only gives them garbage and never tries to explain it to them in a more rational manner so they can understand it.

One of the most important methods to indoctrinate followers to blindly believe what they're told by their leaders as I explained in Dobson’s Indoctrination Machine is to teach them to go along with the program anbd trust authority figures from when they were young children through authoritarian ways including using corporal punishment and emotional control of children that is now often considered child abuse, but used to be routine, which might explain why most of Trump's supporters are older and were raised when this method was much more common. It also explains why in the Democratic Party Hillary Clinton's supporters were also older than Bernie Sanders supporters. Younger people raised in less authoritarian ways develop much better critical thinking skills, and are less likely to fall for the lies of either Trump or Clinton, or accept the choice between the lesser of two evils. People raised in authoritarian ways are much more likely to feel stronger about their beliefs which were often dictated to them from a young age, even when they don't do much research or know much about the subject which might explain the “Dunning-Kruger effect,” cited by the author of the "Easily Hoodwinked" study.

The CIA has been studying psychological manipulation tactics for decades as I explained in Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment and Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize, although they often don't admit that this research is backed by them; however some of it has been exposed through declassified documents including MKULTRA and many other research projects. To the best of my knowledge they still haven't fully admitted that they were involved in the Obedience to Authority experiments or Zimbardo's Prison experiments; however as these two articles explain Professor Alfred McCoy has exposed how the Office of Naval Research supported the grants for the Obedience experiments and Zimbardo admitted himself that they directly financed his research. McCoy makes a good argument claiming that Stanley Milgram and his Professor Irving Janis were both working for the CIA; he doesn't include Philip Zimbardo, who's still alive, but if you substitute him for Milgram and Janis the case is actually much stronger.

Janis was well known for his research into "Groupthink" which was related to the research done by Milgram and Zimbardo, and would have a major impact on studying how to manipulate crowds through demagogues like QAnon, Alex Jones, Breitbart, Steve Bannon or Donald Trump. This research has been shared with the rest of the academic world as well, although they may have at least tried to keep some of it secret, and this includes psychological manip[ulation that was disclosed being used by the Hillary Clinton campaign with the DNC and Podesta leaks and a lot of it has been reported over the decades, including how Stephanopoulos and Carville team came up with the rapid response research project that elected Clinton in 1992. As I explained in Frank Luntz confesses to sabotaging democratic process for clients he also wrote about his tactics to manipulate the public, although he spun it to make lame claims that he was looking out for their best interests; ironically many people from the Democratic Party recognized how he was manipulating the Republican followers, but the Republicans fell for it even though he admitted it, with some spin in his book; and the Democrats can't seem to see that their political leaders are using the same tactics with slight variations to adapt to different voters. There should be little or no doubt that many of these so called focus groups are as much, if not much more about learning about their beliefs so they can study which manipulation tactics are most effective.

An enormous amount of these conspiracy theories seem insane to any rational person; however, the entire political establishment is trying to convince us that Russia is involved in psychological manipulation that would have to be much more sophisticated, since they would have to overcome all the activity of the mainstream media and both major political parties that are working to ensure that the vast majority of the public never even hears about rational progressive ideas. Some of the best research about how early child abuse can be used to indoctrinate children to believe what they're told is totally absent from the mainstream media as well; and they don't explain how these same indoctrination methods also lead to escalating violence later in life, and that the states that use corporal punishment the most are also the ones with the highest murder rates and providing the most support for wars based on lies.

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If these same states aren't falling for the Russia Conspiracy Theories, as well it's only because they're falling for other demagogues like Donald Trump and Alex Jones. When it comes to unsolved mysteries like how the ancient megaliths were moved and in some cases, mystics like Joseph Smith, Helena Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Scientology, even though Ancient Aliens makes an enormous amount of blunders they do a much better job covering it than the mainstream media since they don't ignore it completely. As I explained in past articles, they make so many blunders that I can't believe they're trying to fix their own mistakes; and this pattern can also be recognized in the traditional political establishment.

Once you understand the research done by Frank Luntz, Carville, Stephanopoulos, and other political manipulators it should be clear that they know how to prepare their candidates to manipulate the public better than they often do yet even though everything is staged they continue making enormous blunders; and there's no doubt that if they wanted to avoid electing Trump they could have simply declined to give him so much coverage or share their research with him. It's looking increasing like they must have rigged the election for him all along; but even if this isn't the case they have to know that there are more important things than obsessing with reality stars that are bickering back and forth over meaningless things is insane while the environmental damage caused by Climate Change is only being reported properly in the alternative media, while the mainstream media only gives it a token about of coverage!

Is the entire political establishment so insane that they don't realize that if this environmental damage isn't reversed, or if one of the wars based on lies they start gets out of control then it will destroy themselves as well?

There's little doubt they don't care about the vast majority of the public especially those in the third world; but some of them must realize this will catch up to them and they must have some plan to avoid it, or at least they must think they do!

No doubt that if this theory is close to the truth, it still needs some additional details to be worked out. Previously, I began with theories based on accurate information that conclusively proved that a small fraction of the public controls the media coverage and uses this control to ensure that only candidates they approve of can get name recognition needed to get elected effectively limiting our choices to those supported by the oligarchy, then in Yes Virginia There Is A Trump And Clinton Conspiracy but could it be related to a far-fetched Apocalypse Prophecy or a weak copy of it? I went one step further, after this and speculated about Hillary Clinton being "The Whore of Babylon" demonstrating that after others came up with this theory which should have fallen apart, it may have only gotten stronger as she became the Secretary of State and began displaying more of the characteristics of "The Whore of Babylon." Then after this was first posted, instead of seeing this conspiracy theory fall apart, as it should have in a rational world, the political establishment kept getting more insane, if anything making this absurd theory more viable.

Edit 08/16/2018: Since I posted the first article about a possible Apocalypse conspiracy theory and noticed that instead of falling apart I began making predictions that Trump might be removed from office before finishing his first term partially based on Apocalypse 19:20 "But the beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had worked miracles on the beast's behalf and ..... These two were hurled alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur." However, the strongest evidence to indicate that he might be impeached or removed from office, isn't based on the Bible, it's based on the insane behavior of his administration providing grounds for impeachment, in more ways than one.

Ironically, the first signs setting the stage for impeachment happened no later than Spring of 2016 when it was clear that they were rigging the primaries for two incredibly corrupt candidates with massive political organizations pushing both of them, while refusing to cover honest candidates fairly. When establishment so-called Sanders supporters started campaigning for Hillary before the primaries were even over that was a major sign that something was wrong, possibly adding to other evidence of a massive charade.

His recent revocation of John Brennan's security clearances for political reasons only adds to the evidence that this is part of a massive charade, especially to people familiar with the way espionage agents operate. James Clapper, who is also threatened with the revocation of his clearance, and has been caught lying to the public, admitted previously that he wasn't using his clearance anyway, since the Trump presidency simply didn't call him in for briefings. Then after this revocation, he tried to portray John Brennan as an Icon that is beyond reproach, using this as part of a propaganda effort to silence him, without mentioning the obvious fact that the media did far more to manipulate the election by only covering corrupt candidates than Russia ever could.

Standard operating procedure is to allow them to keep their clearance after leaving office, but if they're not consulted by current officials it's meaningless, and they know it. Trump could have quietly ordered them to stop consulting with those out of favor as past presidents have, but turned it into a massive propaganda scandal that would obviously backfire. Even Trump must have known this would backfire, assuming he actually wanted to; if he was so stupid that he didn't know this, then there's no way he could have scammed the entire political establishment, unless they were helping him carry out the scam!

If this isn't a pathetic charade for a bizarre Ancient Alien conspiracy that might involve advanced technology and research on Climate Change then it's a pathetic charade for another reason!

Edit 08/17/2018: The increasing obsession coverage with the revocation of security clearances, when espionage insiders have to know that it's only symbolic continues to add to evidence that this is a massive charade as well as many other obsession du jours. Trump appears to be playing right into the hands of the espionage organization, and if the larger conspiracy about alien technology isn't true this is still being used to glorify those that have been using a culture of deception to maintain pa permanent state of war. However, as insane as the alien technology conspiracy combined with a phony Apocalyptic fulfillment of prophecy is close to the truth they might eventually remove Trump from office, when and only when it suits the purposes of the Oligarchy. It looks like there's a good possibility that they'll ignore an enormous number of legitimate reasons to remove him and use absurd scams as part of a charade to do it; either way unless it's done under the control of the grassroots, which doesn't seem likely now, then it will just transfer power to the rest of the Oligarchy, while they take credit for removing this scam artist to glorify themselves, without exposing their own involvement.

Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President 08/16/2018

John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash 08/16/2018

Clapper: Ex-intel chiefs 'oppressed' for criticizing Trump 08/15/2018

Edit 08/30/2018: A recent report, Infowars host alleges that Hurricane Lane, which is threatening Hawaii, has been split in two by an energy beam shot from Antarctica, possibly by John Kerry 08/24/2018, has obviously turned into a laughing stock ridiculing the subject and lead hundreds of people to treat it like a joke. This is so absurd no one could possibly believe it's serious; however if Climate Change is influenced by man then there should be no doubt that there's some degree of research to find out more about it. There's no doubt that they can't come close to this insane satire; but by treating it with ridicule they distract the public from considering a more rational explanation for why the government is covering up research and pushing activities that are destroying the environment.

As I reported in previous articles, they have done some experimenting to influence the environment with cloud seeding and other attempts, although most reports indicate their success is limited, they might be more extensive than some suspect, even if it's not close to Science fiction version, but this could be manipulation to distract people from checking the facts.

Trump's insane rhetoric about a Space Force, only adds to the insanity; any rational person should realize that if we can't learn how to avoid destroying our own planet through environmental destruction that we won't be able to protect it by expanding the battle field to space. Any plans to create a Space Force are even more insane than some of you might think this conspiracy theory is!

The following are some additional related articles or sources:

'What you're seeing isn't happening', Trump tells veterans' convention in meandering rant against 'fake news' 07/25/2018

The 8 Kinds of Black Donald Trump Supporters 08/03/2018

17 Black Celebrities And Influencers Who Still Support Donald Trump 10/04/2016

The Donald, David Duke and Il ​Duce Donald Trump denounced the former Ku Klux Klan leader before he refused to denounce him. 02/28/2016

Trump’s David Duke Amnesia 03/01/2016

Who Has Profited From Your Beliefs? 08/09/2018

In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship 08/06/2018

For some of my past articles on the subject see the following:

Top Twelve UFO sightings: based on best evidence or potential significance

UFO Hypothesis with rational use of Occam's Razor

Did Padre Pio Or Other Alleged Mystics Have "Revelations" from "God?"

Phony Apocalyptic Judgement Day May Be Here!

Prophets and Mystics

Hurricane Apocalypse Coming With or Without Fringe Conspiracy Theory

Looming North Korea Nuclear Apocalypse Result of Incompetence? Or Staged?

107 Wonders of the Ancient World

Is “Prism” news? or is it ECHELON?

A Brief History of the Mormon Church

Why so few arrests for Crop Circles makers? Is there microwave evidence?

"God's Not Dead" But Is He Nice?

Multinationals Are Using Public For Research On Massive Scale

Yes Virginia There Is A Trump And Clinton Conspiracy but could it be related to a far-fetched Apocalypse Prophecy or a weak copy of it?

Wanted unsuspecting research subjects

Is Stanton Friedman working for the CIA to refute reverse engineering claims?

Deadly Monopolies and Medical Slavery?

Deadly Monopolies With Alien Technology?

UFO Hypothesis Far More Credible Than Catholic Claim of A "Miracle Of The Sun"

Could Steve Bannon Be Providing Propaganda To Enable Climate Change Research Project?

Which version of the "Deep State" is the real thing?

Zimbardo's Hero Or Indoctrination Project?

We Must Become The Media And The Scientists!

Helena Blavatsky Ancient Aliens Connection?

Scientology connection to the CIA? Ancient Aliens? Other mystics including Helena Blavatsky?