Our State of Emergency

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In a national emergency, such as war, disease or natural disaster, the executive branch of government  may temporarily suspend civil liberties to ensure the public safety. During such periods, the executive branch governs by decree but their decrees are not law and are reviewable by the courts. It is only the enabling legislation which should be considered as law. For example, the Emergency Powers Act 1920 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which allowed the Sovereign power, in certain circumstances, to declare a state of emergency by proclamation. The Act does not give the State a license to drive a coach and horses through the national constitution. A government, may not, for example, declare a state of emergency for reasons which are trivial or nonsensical, effectively imposing  a dictatorship by the back door.

Both the declaration of a state of emergency and subsequent decrees are reviewable by the courts. It must first be demonstrated that a genuine emergency exists. Secondly, it must be shown that the decrees ameliorate that emergency. Courts do not censor voices of dissent, as is common in politics or the media; but rather, hear arguments strictly on their merits with no weight assigned to denunciation or ad hominem attacks.

The Wednesbury principle, based on a UK Court of Appeal decision in 1948, allows for judicial review of administrative action, applying a “reasonableness test” to the decisions of authorities exercising power conferred by an Act of Parliament. Decrees, prohibitions, or mandates which defy logic, or which violate generally accepted moral standards, may be struck down.

The concept of “natural law” requires that law must have a foundation in morality to be deemed legitimate. Otherwise, it’s only force — the orders of the mafia boss shouting, Fetch me a beer. Under natural law, we are under no obligation to obey an immoral law or even to consider it as law at all.

By contrast, the philosophy of “legal positivism” conceives of law as the “command of the sovereign”, issuing orders backed by threats. There is a disturbing tendency to regard orders backed by threats as legitimate law, as though authority is beyond scrutiny, to be obeyed without question.

These two competing concepts define the issue — what is law? Is it morality or is it force?  The answer is found through observation of how the law operates, not what we think it ought to be, or how we wish it would be; but what is it?  

An example will serve to illustrate.

In Nazi Germany, a statute made it illegal and punishable by death, to make insulting remarks about Hitler. This was used by some Germans to dispose of unwanted spouses by reporting them to the police. After the war, informants were prosecuted, even though under Nazi law, the defendants were solid citizens performing their civic duty by snitching on offenders. In one such case, the German Court of Appeal found a woman guilty of the offence of deprivation of liberty, because — quoting from the judgment — the statutes were “contrary to the sound conscience and sense of justice of all decent human beings.” In other words, Nazi law was not law because it lacked any character as law being devoid of moral legitimacy.

The positivists objected. Hitler was sovereign and law is, “the command of the sovereign”. They also objected to the Nuremberg trials which followed because, in their view, there was no “sovereign”. Neither is international law considered law, and constitutional law is nothing more than “positive morality” (a morality which is posited or put forward).

In answering the question, clearly morality is embedded in our concept of law because in practice it is observable in the operation of the courts. The Nuremberg trials proceeded, despite the objections of the positivists, and offenders were hanged, including Nazi doctors who imposed medical experiments on people without their informed consent. The trials gave rise to Nuremberg 2, an international agreement upholding that same principle of informed consent, and this has been accepted in all civilized nations to this day.

It would take something truly extraordinary to require an abandonment of that principle. Many professionals have lost their jobs because of “mandates”, and many have succumbed to pressure in order to keep their jobs. But consent to an experimental gene therapy, pushed by companies with a history of criminal behaviour, through media outlets which they control, requires an absence of pressure; because, in law, consent given under duress is not consent.

Does a disease which has a mortality rate of less than 1% and for which the average age of death is 82 justify locking down whole populations and crashing the global economy? The lockdown response amounts to a quarantine of entire healthy populations. An alternative approach would be to quarantine only the sick and most vulnerable.

If someone in power confines you to your own home, under normal circumstances that would amount to the crime of “false imprisonment” and the persons responsible could be held liable without clear and convincing evidence that this was necessary to address an alleged emergency. It’s interesting to me that what some call “the law” may in fact be a crime, as the Nazi informer cases illustrate.

For those worried about the disease, the answer for them is clear — get the injection(s). You are now safe and protected, 92% was the claim. Those who do not take the injection(s) have voluntarily undertaken the risk and that is their business and no one else’s. The assertion that the “protected” need protection form the “unprotected” is that very kind of reasoning which the Wednesbury principle addresses — a proposition so unreasonable “that no sensible person who had applied his mind to it could have arrived at it”.

These and other related questions will now be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The victims, on behalf of whom the complaint was filed, are “the peoples of the United Kingdom.” One of the seven applicants is Dr. Michael Yeadon, a former vice president and chief scientist of allergy and respiratory research at Pfizer.

One man who understood the concept of “natural law” was Sir Thomas More, the King’s Chancellor during the reign of King  Henry VIII. A man called Ritchie Rich was about to denounce Sir Thomas. Friends and family pleaded with Sir Thomas to have him arrested, something he had within his power. But Sir Thomas refused because Rich had broken no law, although he was about to — the crime of perjury. Sir Thomas was a moral man and for him the law was rooted in morality and conscience, and this, he believed, was our only defense against tyranny. In Robert Bolt’s play, “A Man for All Seasons”, Sir Thomas rebukes his friend Roper for urging him to “cut a great road through the law to get at the devil — and when the last law was down and the devil turns round on you where will you stand, Roper, the laws all being flat”.

Do we now cut a great road through the law to get at the devil, the devil being a global sickness. In the words of Sir Thomas, “I would give the devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake”.

(C) Adrian Charles Smith 2022

My Interview with Cyd Ropp, PhD

We discuss fundamentalism as a fractal pattern permeating our institutions.

Dr. Cyd Ropp, PhD, is an author, speaker, and a Gnostic sage of the first order. She holds degrees in Psychology, Education, Counseling and a PhD in Classical Rhetoric (the study of ancient manuscripts). Her papers, published in both academic and popular journals, have won many awards, and she taught at  university for six years before launching her own career as a writer and podcaster. Her vision of  individual units of consciousness nested in in a sea of universal consciousness is one which I share, and her commentary on fractal patterns caught my eye because I too use fractal imagery in my writing. I highly recommend Cyd’s books and podcasts.

Audio courtesy Cyd Ropp

Cyd’s two insightful blogs can be found through the below links:

https://asimpleexplanation.blogspot.com

https://newgnosticgospel.blogspot.com

Cyd’s wonderful books can be purchased through either Lulu.com, or Amazon:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bluebirdbooks

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Cyd+Ropp&ref=nb_sb_noss

My Interview with Steve Seven

“Defeating the Archons”

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I have the pleasure of being  joined in the Zoom Room by New Testament scholar Steve Seven. Steve is a prolific author, a psychotherapist, a mythologist and an expert on the psychology of both Freud and Jung. You can find out more about Steve at  https://spiritualinstinctpress.com/.

In both Part 1 and Part 2 we discuss “Defeating the Archons”.

In Part 1 we define terms. Who (what) are the archons, the Elohim, demons and daemons, gods and angels.  How does archontic influence play itself out in the physical realm? We discuss possible solutions, such as “parallel structures” and community-based governance operating within and alongside the empire of the archons.

In Part 2 we discuss deception programs, the importance of multiple sources of information, the quest for autonomy, the importance of inner work as an indirect strategy influencing the outer world.

Part 1

Part 2

(C) Adrian Charles Smith 2021

Hermes: Guardian of Natural Law

Lady Justice, or Themis (Shutterstock)

The founders of the American republic, and their forebearers across the sea, were influenced by gnostic/hermetic philosophy when they created their systems of government. For them, constitutional law, English common law, and ancient tradition served as a defense against the abuse of power by government.  

Gnostics had a similar mistrust of Church authority and ecclesiastical decree. The hermeticists placed a high value on individual expression and personal freedom, with government as guarantor of both public and private rights.  Individual gnostic opinions varied, but they were united by a philosophical approach which fostered tolerance, freedom of expression, and creativity. Church authorities sought to limit that expression by imposing a single unifying narrative.

Because divinity was seen as a light emanating from within, the “divine right of kings” shining from above was rendered obsolete.  Without popular consent and participation, government is fire, “a dangerous servant and a fearful master” (as George Washington is reputed to have said).  Government is force, not reason, and the coercive power of the state can be deployed at any time to deprive citizens of their freedom, and hence the need for safeguards – a system of checks and balances.

From earliest times, the jury system was designed to place the fate of an accused in the hands of his peers, and not some tyrant. The ancient writ of habeas corpus (let us have the body) meant no one should disappear without a trace. If arrested, the accused must be brought before a judge and not simply vanish.

Article 9 of the English Bill of Rights 1688 ensures that no one could be arrested and charged with sedition for words uttered in Parliament.

That the Freedom of Speech and Debates or Proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any Court or Place out of Parliament.

This system was based on a balance and separation of powers. No single organ or branch of government (legislature, judiciary, executive) should be allowed to dominate the others.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

Legal philosophy asks the central question, what is law? There are two schools of thought.

One school, called legal “positivism” says it is “the command of the sovereign,” the so-called “command theory.” It is called legal “positivism” not because its adherents are positive; in fact, they are quite miserable. Positive, in this context, means, that which is posited or put forward by some authoritative body.

The second school, the one I favour, says law is morality.  This is often called natural law or the principles of natural justice. That’s not to say all laws are moral, far from it; but for law to be considered law (conceptually), there must be some minimum moral content to distinguish it from the orders of the mafia boss. The most important moral principles embedded in this concept of law are strict impartiality and equal treatment before the law.  When these things are absent, a judge might wear the robes of his office, but he has become a mere puppet, a politized surrogate for party or ideology.

In 1770, a lawyer named John Adams risked his career successfully defending British troops charged with murder after Bostonians were killed during a riot, the so called “Boston massacre.”  John Adams was an American patriot, and the colony was on the brink of rebellion. Nevertheless, he looked beyond the mob outrage, setting aside his own internal leanings and examined the facts on their merits, without reference to popular opinion or political partisanship. That’s impartiality; without it, we have no law, only force. John Adams was a signatory to the Declaration of Independence and went on to become America’s second president.  

“Lady Justice” (Themis, Titaness of divine law and justice) is seen wearing a blindfold while holding a beam balance with a sword in her hand. The blindfold is a symbol of impartiality. She is an allegorical personification of the moral force in the judicial system.

An example will serve to illustrate legal positivism and natural law. I refer to the so-called “Nazi informer cases.” In Nazi Germany, the quickest way to get rid of an unwanted spouse was to report them to the police for saying hateful things about Hitler.  That was enough to make that person disappear forever. No trial, no evidence, no right to a hearing, no habeas corpus, no innocent until proven guilty; but a conviction and death sentence based solely on the testimony of the complainant. I will return to this concept shortly.  Post-war authorities sought to prosecute the informants because their actions and intent were the moral equivalent of murder. The positivists objected. Law is the “command of the sovereign.” Hitler was sovereign and the complainants were the ultimate solid citizens, faithful servants of the state.

The law functions as a dynamic tension between these two opposing views, but natural law is the gift of Hermes and we take it for granted at our peril. “Lady Justice” is the female side of this duality, and legal positivism the male.  The reality of law, in practise, is an integration, the latter providing certainty, the former seeking justice in individual cases.

Today there is an increasingly widespread acceptance of unrepresentative, unaccountable, supranational governance and a corresponding relaxation of that ancient call for eternal vigilance; but such vigilance is needed now, more than ever.

Trojan Horse (Shutterstock)

Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of a military industrial complex acquiring unwarranted influence.  He was referring to corporate interests seeking to replace representative government as the dominant institutions in society. This condition is now well advanced. It is common to speak of corporate rule or corporatism.

Joel Bakan, Professor of Law at Queen’s University, gives a detailed account of this in his book The Corporation (see my Recommended list). Professor Bakan interviewed Canadian psychologist Robert D. Hare, who developed the now famous Hare Test of psychopathy used by mental health professionals to diagnose psychopathy. In the interview, Robert Hare diagnoses the corporation as a psychopathic entity; not employees of the corporation, but the corporation itself which, in law, is a separate legal person.

The diagnosis might help to explain why we are relaxing our much-needed vigilance. The psychopath is a master of deception. They know how to put themselves in a good light. They often rise to the top and may be seen as solid citizens or pillars of the community. This accords with descriptions of the archons (rulers) in The Secret Gospel of John – “And their triumph is in deception (apaton), leading astray, for their own structure is without divinity.”

 A handful of corporations control the major media which allows them to steer narratives to their advantage. Corporations seek to undermine the sovereignty of the nation state and associated constitutions, destroy culture, concepts of natural law, or anything else which stands in the way of absolute power. To this end they will use Trojan horse concepts, speak in terms of “sustainable development” or “equity, diversity and inclusion” which in the hands of normal people would be worthy objectives.

The Trojan horse stands outside the city gates a god-like marvel which offers protection and favour. The Trojans see no threat; the Greeks have fled. They invite it in, not knowing what lies within the belly of the beast. Who would not want to grant dictatorial powers to pious benefactors promising a utopian future – if you really believe it?  (Link to “mask of piety”)

I have written extensively about the erosion of natural law principles, but I give one more example here, one which is highly representative of a much larger trend.

Harry Miller is visited by the police, which is surprising in Britain, since recent public notices had requested that crimes like burglaries and break-ins should be reported online, owing to staff shortages. (About one third of such crimes are not investigated at all.) Harry, a retired police officer himself, wants to know the reason for this unanticipated personal attention. Harry had been engaged in an online Twitter debate over the Gender Recognition Act and someone was offended.  One of the officers tells Harry, “We are here to check your thinking.” Harry asks, “Since when has Orwell’s 1984 become an operating manual for the police force?” The officers do not know who Orwell was, neither do they understand the concept of a “thought crime.”  Harry wants to know why they refer to the complainant as “victim”? Of course that’s because his status as victim has been pre-determined in advance — no evidence needed, no trial, no innocent until proven guilty, no due process. As with the Nazi informer cases, it’s simply enough to complain. They assure Harry that his offence is not a crime, but rather a “hate incident.”

Afterward, Harry had to move heaven and earth to get a copy of the police report, but was surprised, when it arrived, to read at the top of the page, CRIME REPORT. This is the document which would show up in a background check making it impossible to get a job or a position of responsibility. Harry sued in the High Court and won. The judge compared the actions of the police to the Gestapo or the Stasi, inimical to the common law. That was good news for Harry personally, but it was raised at the trial and upheld that the police had behaved properly in accordance with the instructions of the College of Policing. Those instructions were not challenged at Harry’s trial, so thousands of people, who lack Harry’s resources to bring a High Court action, continue to be treated this way. It is now possible in Britain to be convicted of a crime, some carrying a prison sentence, based solely on the testimony of the complainant. This abuse of power has strong institutional support.

When the Titanic struck that iceberg in the cold North Atlantic sea, everything seemed OK at first, apart from a sight vibration, but the view from the promenade deck was different from the view in the engine room.  The Harry Miller case, and others like it, take us down to the engine room, beneath the surface of apparent normalcy.

Every civilization or culture, except a dying one, honours its ancestors and its traditions. Perhaps the strange death of western civilization is not a natural process but rather a controlled demolition.

“Thomas More: …And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you–where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast–and if you cut them down…d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”
― Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons

Offense is in the eye of the “controller” (The Times, London)

Adrian Charles Smith (c) 2021

No Country for Old White Men

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Image: New York Times

Why are there no women running for president? The Democratic Party’s leadership race is down to two, decidedly old, white men, one of whom has trouble completing a sentence. The sitting President of the United States is yet another old white man. The media is all  abuzz  with this question.  Hilary Clinton wants to know why? House democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi wants to know why? Nancy Pelosi implies, if the Republicans ran a woman, she’d vote for her.

Well, Democratic Party establishment, I’ve found someone for you. She’s young, not white, articulate and definitely a woman. On top of that she’s a war veteran, having served as a medic in Iraq. Guess what? She’s running for president and in the Democratic Party leadership debates, she embarrassed all her rivals (watch the video).  So what’s the problem? Why can’t a woman like this be the next president? Answer, she wants to stop all theses costly and destructive regime change wars and bring the troops home. She also wants to defuse the new cold war and spend the money instead on education, healthcare and other priorities. This has the military industrial complex and its media stooges in a fury. Let’s talk about something else, they say – why there’s no women, not enough gender neutrality, anything; just don’t mess with our wars!

Since the debates, Tulsi has been mercilessly and thoroughly demonized in the media and by the Democratic Party establishment. She’s a Russian agent, apparently, and an Assad apologist. More recently, she has been rendered invisible. So that’s why there isn’t a woman, Hilary and Nancy.

What do Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump have in common? Not much, but one thing they share – wanting to end regime change wars and defuse the new cold war. At least Donald Trump ran for president on that ticket.  Both Tulsi and Donald were speaking outside the “republicrat” mainstream narrative, the corporate-controlled narrative. Interestingly, Donald Trump was also labelled a Russian agent and an Assad apologist. A costly and futile two-year investigation found no evidence for this (The Meuller Report) but there it was, every day for two years, in the media spotlight, Donald Trump the Russian agent.

On the night of the debates there was unprecedented public interest in Tulsi’s campaign. She was the most Googled candidate of them all. As the online hits soared, Google, with no explanation, shut down her account. This action deprived her campaign of vital ad revenue.   As a so-called “private” corporation, they are allowed to do this.  In fact, Google executives have been caught boasting of how they can influence the results of an election.

I’m going to propose something radical. It doesn’t matter whether the president is a man or a woman, black or white, someone with a pleasing personality or an abrasive one. What matters is their policies and more importantly, their ability and willingness to implement those policies.

The fact that Donald Trump, an old white man, and Tulsi Gabbard, a young, female person of colour are subject to exactly the same treatment by the establishment media, ought to have us asking a few questions and thinking outside the box.

 

 

(C) Adrian Charles Smith 2020

Brexit – The Quest for Autonomy

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Image source: National Post

I wanted to write something about Brexit while it’s still timely. The topic has temporarily dropped from the radar but will soon return with a vengeance as the UK approaches a new “cliff edge” in about a year. At the end of this period, a transitional arrangement will end; and if no trade deal has been reached by then, the UK will leave the EU on World Trade Organization terms.  We are often warned the UK must not leave without “a deal,” but this is misleading because WTO terms would represent a perfectly acceptable arrangement.

Brexit is an acronym which stands for Britain’s exit from the European Union. The controversy has given rise to a flurry of such acronyms – Frexit, France’s exit ; Dexit, Germany’s exit; and my personal favorite Czech Out, the exit of the Czech Republic. The EU has a mechanism, called Article 50, which theoretically allows member states to leave; but  like the Hotel California – you can check out; but you must never leave (unless prepared for the clean break). British Prime Minister Theresa May waisted three years negotiating a terrible deal which was worse than membership. It was repeatedly rejected by Parliament despite numerous attempts to ram it through (the rejections were about the only thing Parliament could agree on). May’s spider’s-web agreement spawned yet another acronym, BRINO – Brexit in name only.

The UK has been roughly divided into two camps, consisting of Leavers and Remainers, the latter often referred to as Remoaners, because they only accept democratic outcomes they agree with. They’re also internationalists, claiming the nation state is obsolete and ought to be replaced by a world government run by really smart people who know what’s best (a dictatorship). The first step towards globalization is regionalization and the continent of Europe is a “blueprint” for successive phases.

Needless to say, I am a Leaver (as the title of this blog site would suggest). In another sense I am also a Remainer; supporting a  close trading arrangement and other forms of co-operation which do not compromise national and individual  sovereignty. Indeed, from the beginning, that was always the stated intention of the EU. The idea of a super state was a hidden agenda, waiting to emerge full blown once decades of anti-nation state propaganda had reached fruition. The EU was originally sold to the public as a peace project, an alternative to two world wars. If that’s so, then why the push for a single European military with headquarters on the continent? This planning is now at a very advanced stage.  Apparently, they are  still planning for war but on a much larger scale.  Nationalism is racism, they say, but people who love their own families can live side by side with other families without becoming the Hatfields and the McCoys. It happens all the time – in the real world. Canada has a free trade agreement with the United States and Mexico but no assembly outside Canada has power to legislate for Canadians and we are not subject to the rulings of any foreign court. There were many wars on this continent once, but this is unthinkable now, without the need for political unification. In Europe, the once  hidden imperative for ever closer political union is now explicit and Brexit represents a dagger at the heart of it. If Britain were to remain in the EU, it would have less autonomy than a single state within the United States. There’s a government document in the National Archives which says so.

There are many reasons to be Euroskeptic, but of particular interest to me is the damage done to the UK constitution occasioned by many years of EU membership. This damage has accelerated since the 2016 referendum owing to desperate attempts by well-placed Remainers to subvert the results of the referendum.  This is no small matter. The UK constitution has evolved over the centuries as a defense against tyranny. To allow that constitution to be compromised  in favour of  anti-democratic institutions in Brussels is to put at risk all the protections we take for granted.

First, I will explain some key features of the UK constitution then proceed to describe how EU membership has damaged it, possibly beyond repair.

The central pillar of the UK constitution is the legal sovereignty of Parliament. Parliament may legislate on any subject matter and having legislated, no court or other body may challenge the validity of that legislation. Furthermore, a  unique aspect of the U.K constitution is that of the  convention. Convention  gives the UK model it’s unwritten characteristics. An unwritten constitution works fine until a convention is violated. For example, no law can take effect without royal assent; but by convention, the Queen does not act alone, relying on the advice of her ministers. What happens if she withholds the royal assent, which she is legally entitled to do? The answer – constitutional chaos. To be clear, the Queen has not done this, but other conventions have been broken in desperate attempts by Remain MP’s and a biased Speaker to stop Brexit. The closest thing the UK has to a written constitution is the Bill of Rights 1688. Article 9 of the Act says the freedom of speech and debates and proceedings in Parliament may not be challenged or impeached in any court or place out of Parliament. This clause was inserted because the King would often use the courts to override proceedings in Parliament. This use of the courts to interfere in “proceedings in Parliament” re-emerged during the Brexit battle.   The constitutional battles of the 17th century resulted in a clear delineation of responsibility – a separation and balance of powers. Tyranny occurs when one branch or arm of governance seeks to override another. Since then, the courts have always refused to get involved in political matters. The rule is, Parliament creates laws, the courts enforce them. Until now, the UK courts have been renowned for impartiality. I cannot think of a single example until now when the courts have broken with this convention. Another aspect of the UK constitution is the concept of the royal prerogative. Certain matters are for the executive branch alone and the courts may not interfere except to determine the existence and scope of a prerogative power. Two common prerogatives are the command and disposition of the armed forces and the negotiation of international treaties. Negotiations with Brussels over Brexit is in the latter category.

UK parliament
UK Parliament

The UK joined the European Union, or The European  Economic Community as it was then called, in 1973. The Union was “sold” to the public by Ted Heath’s conservative government as a trading relationship. I lived in the UK at that time and I remember it well. In those days, the Labour Party (the socialists) opposed the UK’s application for membership based on the issue of national sovereignty, the same reason I oppose it today. How times have changed! Today it’s the conservatives leading the Leave campaign. Now it’s Labour (although divided) trying to keep us there. Back in the day, Labour’s eloquent spokesman, Anthony Wedgewood Benn, repeatedly warned of the hidden agenda. That was when the Labour Party actually represented working people rather than an effete establishment as it does today. Here’s what he had to say:

Britain’s continuing membership of the Community would mean the end of Britain as a completely self-governing nation and the end of our democratically elected Parliament as the supreme law-making body in the United Kingdom.

Here’s what he said after the passage in Parliament of the European Communities Act 1972 (providing the legal basis for the UK to join the EEC):

It was a coup d’état by a political class who did not believe in popular sovereignty.

The 1972 Act gives legal authority for EU law to have effect as national law in the UK. The 1972 Act also gives EU law supremacy over UK national law. Where the interpretation of EU law is in doubt, the 1972 Act requires UK courts to refer judgment to the European Court of Justice. All primary legislation enacted by the UK Parliament has effect subject to the requirements of EU law. This means that the courts are obliged to strike down legislation which is inconsistent with EU law.  The European Court of Justice (to which the UK is now subject) has since ruled that EU law prevails even over the national constitutions of member states. As always, the devil is in the details.

This is a clear violation of the legal sovereignty of Parliament principle, the very foundation of the UK constitution. It is also a clear violation of the long-standing convention that UK courts do not interfere with Parliament.

An example will serve to illustrate. I refer to the The Factortame case of 1991, which concerned the practice whereby Spanish fishing companies registered their vessels as British and then bought up British fishing licences, allowing them to share UK quotas even though they sailed from and landed their catches in Spanish ports. Parliament passed the Merchant Shipping Act to protect UK quotas. To qualify for British quotas, ships had to be owned and crewed in Britain. A group of Spanish-owned fishing companies headed by Factortame Ltd. brought a legal action claiming, “national discrimination.” The European Court of Justice upheld their claim and the UK ‘s highest court had no choice but to strike down the Act.  Factortame is a clear example of the impotence of Parliament occasioned by EU membership. To add insult to injury the British government had to pay 100 million pounds in compensation to the Spanish companies for the 18 months they had been deprived of fishing rights.

After all my painful experiences with religious and secular fundamentalism, I’ve become deeply suspicious of people with hidden agendas, disguising their true intentions behind a mask of moral and intellectual superiority; especially when I suspect their real motivation is power. Every now and again, they step out from behind the curtain and reveal themselves. Here’s what political economist and diplomat Jean Monnet  (one of the original founding fathers of the EU project, (called “The Father of Europe”) had to say:

Europe’s nations should be guided towards the super state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.

Well, he very nearly got us there. Then came Brexit.

The progression from trade arrangement to super state  was recognized in the 2016  Referendum Bill, read in Parliament by then foreign secretary, Philip Hammond (remember that name). He begins, the EU had “changed almost beyond recognition” from what the British had endorsed in the confirmatory referendum in 1975.

He ended: “Whether you favour Britain being in or out, we surely should all be able to agree on the simple principle that the decision over our membership should be taken by the British people. Not by Whitehall bureaucrats; certainly not by Brussels Eurocrats; not even by government ministers or parliamentarians in this chamber. The decision must be for the common sense of the British people . . . For too long, powers have been handed to Brussels over their heads. For too long, their voice on Europe has not been heard. This bill puts that right. It delivers the simple in/out referendum that we promised, and I commend it to the House.”

MPs endorsed his call by the massive margin of 544 votes to 53. Not a single Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat MP voted against it (the 53 “no’s” consisted of Scottish National Party MPs). In the most spectacular and emphatic fashion, Parliament had ceded its authority to the public, directly.

That was all well and good when the political establishment were confident that the British people would swallow the Kool Aid. Once the unexpected happened, and the Leavers won the referendum, that same Philip Hammond, who once  lauded the common sense of the British people, he abruptly turned on them, together with 21 Tory rebels,and set upon sabotaging the democratic result.  Phillip Hammond and others were all elected on a clear platform of “no deal is better than a bad deal.” By defying the government and refusing to allow a “no deal exit,”  they were also defying the very people who elected them. Today the legal supremacy of Parliament really means the legal supremacy of the voting public.   Suddenly, the people had no common sense, they did not understand what they were voting for. The simple in or out choice would not suffice after all. It needed to be hedged about by endless reams of qualification calculated to neuter the result.

By denying their own government a working majority, the rebels had also engineered a “hung Parliament.”  Parliament then  passed a law requiring Boris Johnson to seek an extension rather than leave on schedule (on a date already enshrined in law). Boris sought to prorogue (adjourn) Parliament for a period deemed longer than normal. Rather than seek a remedy internal to Parliament itself, the Remainers took him to court. This marked a return to the constitutional battles of the 17th century.  The High Court gave an impeccably correct decision in line with  precedence. It was a political question and not one for the courts. It could be resolved in Parliament by a vote of no confidence or an election. The Remainers lacked the nerve for either alternative, anything but face the verdict of the electorate. Instead they appealed to the Supreme Court, a relatively new court set up by arch Remainer Tony Blair. This is the moment the constitution shattered. The Supreme Court held that the PM’s decision was “unlawful.” This was more of a  political decision than a neutral and impartial one based on precedence. There was a fear that the extra time involved in prorogation would prevent Parliament from extending the deadline thus triggering a “no deal” outcome. The clear rule has always been, the courts do not interfere in political matters. In the end it mattered little how long Parliament was prorogued but the decision has created a constitutional crisis.

The will of the people cannot be suppressed forever, and to drive that point home even more forcefully a subsequent election (on a platform mandating a clean Brexit) returned Boris Johnson with a thumping majority; and as for those 21 Tory rebels, every last one of them failed to be re-elected after being expelled from the party. The way is now clear for a true Brexit, but have those passionate Remainers given up? Not a chance. Their patriotic zeal for a new European super state is undiminished, even as the EU fails miserably on every front. It remains to be seen how much influence the new aristocracy will bring to bear on subsequent developments.

The EU is not a democracy, far from it. Eu law originates as Commission proposals and is enacted by a Council of Ministers. There is a European Parliament but it’s mostly a debating chamber. It‘s role is consultative but real power resides with unelected appointees who receive their instructions from corporate lobbyists, a more direct form of corporate rule. The nation state is regarded by the multinationals as a big nuisance, an obstacle to the free movement of labour, capital, goods and services.  Free movement of people provides cheap labour for big business as well as the nannies, gardeners and servants needed to serve  affluent Londoners. Remainers can barely conceal their contempt for democracy, as do their ideological soulmates in Brussels. The aristocracy of old had a similar contempt for the masses.

Britain has the second largest economy in the EU and the largest military. It is the second largest contributor to the EU budget. Its economy continues to thrive despite all the predictions of “catastrophe” from the Remain camp. Leavers call this “project fear.” “Project fear” is nothing new. When the UK refused to adopt the Euro currency in 1992, there were similar predictions of catastrophe, none of which materialized. The UK imports vast quantities of manufactured goods from the continent, more than it exports which means a free trade agreement will benefit Europe more than the UK. The UK is in a strong negotiating position. Having a close relationship with Europe, trading or otherwise, is a great idea . Political union is unnecessary to achieve these ends.

(C) Adrian Charles Smith 2020

dover cliffs
photo: Plastee/Shutterstock

Rick Gervais, a right-winger? Hardly.

British comedian Ricky Gervais caused a stir at the recent Golden Globe awards ceremony, calling out “woke” corporations and the  “woke” celebrities who work for them. Here’s some of what he had to say:

“Apple roared into the TV game ‘The Morning Show,’ a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing — made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. You say you’re woke, but the companies you work for, I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you? So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right? You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God, and fuck off.”

The Apple CEO was there, drinking it all in; and check out the expression on Tom Hanks’ face. Priceless!  There was some nervous laughter punctuated by gasps of disbelief and Tom Hank’s facial contortions lasted throughout the evening. Too woke to joke!

hanks cant handle it
Hanks’ discomfit

Ricky was instantly labelled a right winger by the corporate-owned media, but it’s a lie. He publicly supported the left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (the communist) in the UK general election. Ricky is also an avowed atheist who hates religion, especially the “woke” kind. He’s a real progressive, just not a fake one (see Mask of Piety).

Tom’s face brings back a lot of memories. I would see that a lot during my last days in the Church.

(c) Adrian Charles Smith 2020

My Book Begins with a Troubling Realization…

matrix
warner bros

Reality might not be what we think it is. What we have come to regard as objectively real might be instead a carefully-constructed false narrative to pull the wool over our eyes. A whole universe of credible alternatives never see the light of day. Our imagination  has been  narrowed, our field of vision confined to a small box  resembling a prison – a prison for the mind. This realization is by no means confined to a religious context but is much more widespread than generally understood. In fact fundamentalism can take over an entire civilization, as outlined in the chapters on postmodernism.  The carefully-constructed false narratives fall apart over time, which leaves us wondering, have we built our house on sinking sand rather than solid rock? We thought we understood the world but the real truth is far different. In the movie The Matrix, the main character Neo, is horrified to discover that his every day world is nothing more than an illusion, a sophisticated mirage. The horrifying truth is that he has lived, since birth, in an incubator where an attached cord siphons off his vital life force energy. The cord is a feeding tube for an alien race of overlords.  They have reduced the human race to an energy source, a collection of living batteries. Immersed in the fantasy of the Matrix, he is unaware of their presence and therefore incapable of escape. The false narratives have a similar effect as the fictional Matrix. If we allow them to continue unchallenged, we can literally fall asleep in delusion. The only answer is to free our minds, to pursue autonomy as though it were the Holy Grail.

I have attempted to distill the essence of fundamentalism, identifying its common features regardless of the external appearances which vary considerably.

Here I summarize some of those common features which are discussed at greater length in the book.

Utopian Vision

If you really believe in utopia, no price is too high and no sacrifice too great to bring it about. The end justifies the means, opening a Pandora’s box of depravity. Like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, famine, pestilence and death ride with them. as illustrated by the Holy Crusades, the Bolshevik Revolution and the Reign of Terror – murder and mayhem, then utopia. But utopia never comes.

The Parasites

These are the ones who benefit from the false narrative.  There’s always a parasite disguised as a benefactor. The old adage applies – follow the money; but their real goal is power, perhaps religious, perhaps political.  Their real motives and objectives remain hidden and often, their very existence.

Demonization of the Opposition

Challenges to the prevailing narrative are not met with argument and reason but rather denunciation and labeling.  This is a form of indirect censorship, not as obvious as book burning to be sure but highly effective. Nothing succeeds quite so well as the smear. The strategy also serves to isolate the believers because they are afraid to listen to or associate with heretics.  Such a reaction is a sure sign you are on the right track. Perhaps they are afraid. Perhaps our liberation is closer than we think. Perhaps we need only snap our fingers to awaken from the trance.  Once we awaken it’s all over for the parasites. Once you realize you’re in a cult you’re already free.

The Mask of Piety

The parasites always manage to occupy the moral high-ground.  This has been true since the Pharisees and no doubt longer than that. Outwardly, they appear righteous but inwardly they are full of corruption. They like to make public displays of piety which in modern times has been called “virtue signalling.” Beneath the veneer of moral and intellectual superiority there exists a barely concealed contempt for the vulgar masses.

Hypocrisy

Invariably, the evidence mounts that the parasites do not practise what they preach, yet the true believers remain unwavering in their loyalty.  This represents, I believe, a kind of wilful ignorance.  The desire to believe is so strong that even when the hypocrisy becomes truly staggering, continuation of the status quo is preferred to the discomfort of uncertainty.

Arrogance

All fundamentalists have a certain contempt for unbelievers. This can range from mild condescension as in “let’s reach out to save the poor lost souls” or all the way to mass murder, as in, “let’s get rid of this evil  in the world.”  The Crusaders had this in mind as did Stalin and Hitler.

This arrogance has an addictive quality because it gives the true believer a false sense of empowerment.  The addict is attempting to relieve his suffering which in this case is a sense of disempowerment.   The fundamentalist is part of a special people, an elect. The elect know “the truth”, others do not.  There is a feel-good factor here but because every drug starts to wear off,  more is needed to have the same effect.  Every addict is blind to his addiction so if it isn’t working, his answer is – “double down.”  If the addict were not blind he would reach the obvious conclusion: the ideology isn’t working anymore because there’s something wrong with it.

Shadow Projection

Psychologist Carl Jung and others have long argued that we all have a shadow side, those attributes which we would prefer to keep secret. The dividing line between good and evil runs through the centre of each individual soul. But for the fundamentalist, the dividing line exists at the boundaries of his ideology.  All virtue is ascribed to those who belong to the inner circle and all evil to those who do not.

Shadow denial leads to shadow projection. Those attributes which we reject within ourselves are projected onto others, the non-believer or the heretic. The deeper the denial the more fanatical the projection.  The true believer starts to resemble the very thing he hates. Those who profess tolerance are plagued by intolerance.  Those who profess virtue are a veritable grab-bag of sin.  This can reach hysterical proportions as it did during the Salem witch trials where innocent women were hanged. To see a modern day example of this hysteria and mob mentality see the video What’s Happening at Yale?  

Every human being has a shadow and so does every ideology, a combination of both positive and negative attributes. The shadow loses its sting once recognized and integrated into wholeness. The concept of integration is the vital antidote to fundamentalism. Integration at the individual level yields an integration of various competing ideologies. Every ideology has something to contribute. It ossifies if mistaken for the whole truth.

Adrian Charles Smith, December 2019

A Prison For The Mind

What does it mean to be a fundamentalist? What are its common characteristics and defining features? Can we escape the prison of ideological commitment, the straightjacket of conformity and groupthink?

Answers are needed to avoid the endgame of fundamentalism – totalitarian control.  

Adrian Charles Smith entered adulthood as a minister in a fundamentalist Christian sect, a loyal follower of a man he now calls the Wizard. But as with the Wizard of Oz, all was revealed to be a sham and his questioning of authority led to excommunication and life in the secular world.  Yet, once away from  the church, he observed fundamentalism in unexpected places – in the corporate world, in science and economics, in political ideologies, New Age movements and in postmodern philosophy. Different contexts, yes, but the same underlying phenomenon, the same adherence to ‘one truth’.  

In these adventurous essays, Smith, with equal amounts of erudition, humour and insight, examines why we are drawn to these fundamentalist approaches. His search ranges from the caves of Nag Hammadi to the hallways of Ivy League universities, from communist Romania to Sedona Arizona. He discovers his potential for unconscious relapse to one all-knowing ‘Wizard’ but eventually realizes that fundamentalists live in isolated camps, the truly free have genuine community, and unity in the midst of disagreement is possible.

This is a book about fundamentalism in all its pervasive, insidious manifestations.

Available through Amazon: USA, or Canada