A Reckoning of Conscience
By Wayne Saalman
[Photo by Kayle Kaupanger]
THE ROOT CAUSE OF ALMOST ALL conspiracy theories in the West these days, many historians contend, goes back at least as far as the split between the Pagan, Hebrew, Christian and Muslim faiths in earlier epochs. As these historians have pointed out, once the Christians splintered away from their Hebrew origins (after the Hebrews themselves had splintered away from their Egyptian oppressors), animosity quickly developed, while the Romans, who had the greatest army in the world at the time and worshipped their own Pagan gods, came to dominate both of these religious groups and in quite violent terms. It was not until the 600s that the Muslim faith entered powerfully into the shifting religious and political spectrum with further violence and upheaval.
If we take the entry of Jesus onto the scene as our starting point, we have three of the four major faiths at the time coming into conflict with each other. We know that the Hebrew leaders were not pleased with Jesus and the dissent he brought about in the political and social arena of the day. The Romans crucified him for his outspoken political activism, which was antithetical to the State, and the Hebrew Pharisees did not object, which speaks volumes.
Then in the year 325, Emperor Constantine altered history forever by becoming a Christian himself, while remaining, it must be noted, Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun-god of the Pagan faith. Roman Christianity subsequently grew by way of an authoritarian campaign and the sword. In time, as the historic record amply testifies, the Roman Empire floundered. As a result, it cleverly recreated itself in another form of colossal might: the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope, in effect, became the new emperor.
And rule he did… Not always lovingly. In fact, there were popes that sometimes ruled quite abysmally. Witness the violence of the crusades (at least one of which resulted in the genocide of a French sect known as the Cathars). Witness the “Holy” Inquisition (which was at least as deranged and torturous as the Nazis at their worst). Witness the witch hunts in which thousands of women were burned at the stake or suffered other unspeakable outrages on the flimsiest of charges. Above all, witness the ever bellicose threat of eternal suffering in Hell issued by bullying priests (and later protestant clerics) located all around the world.
What many historians see as quite possibly the ultimate catalyst of conspiracy in the late Middle Ages was the rise of a Jewish cabal which either plotted to take over Europe or were plotted against by some secret group to make it appear as if they were plotting to take over Europe and, therefore, needed to be eliminated.
What came to light was a document which purportedly detailed in shocking depth how this cabal was going to take over Western civilization and rule forever and anon. The document was entitled, “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”. This work, which may or may not have been a fabrication, set the Christian world abuzz and ramped up resentment toward the Jews like nothing before it.
One might well wonder if this was the very source material which so alarmed Hitler in the 1930s and catalyzed his determination to wipe out the Jewish presence in Germany as he rose ever higher into power.
Of course, speculate is all we can do, but this possibility is neither a small, nor an insignificant, one. It could very well be what set Hitler’s brain ablaze.
In his well-researched book, Rule By Secrecy, author Jim Marrs writes that the Protocols presented a “list of procedures for world domination.” He then went on to say, “This document may have wreaked more havoc than almost any other piece of literature in recent history.”
It is an established fact that Hitler viewed his “mission” as one, not just of political importance, but even more-so of religious importance. Marrs writes, “This Nazi cult grew from a variety of organizations, theologies and beliefs present in Germany at the end of World War I — all stemming from the mysteries of older groups such as the Bavarian Illuminati, Germanenorden, Freemasonry and the Teutonic Knights.”
Hitler himself once stated that, “Anyone who interprets National Socialism merely as a political movement knows almost nothing about it. It is more than religious; it is the determination to create a new man.”
This “new man” in Hitler’s view would enjoy “occult” powers, as well as unprecedented political clout, which is why the occult so enthralled him.
We all know what subsequently transpired. World War II cost humanity something on the order of 75 million lives lost, as well as the immeasurable damage and destruction to countless cities, villages and rural lands all across Europe. Hitler and his Nazis perpetrated carnage on an industrial scale never before seen on this earth of ours and let us hope that we never experience the likes of it again.
So we must take care to steer well clear of persons and subversive groups who have a propensity for violence and a philosophy of self-righteousness stemming from the belief that there is a mission which must be mounted against certain perceived “enemies”. These persons and groups are “mad” in more ways than one. Sadly, their lives are consumed by the darkest of energies, including hatred, prejudice, maliciousness, jealousy, envy, bias, bigotry and the distorted notion of supremacy over all others.
This is dangerous thinking founded on the lowest of emotional realities and the root cause of endless strife, not only for others, but for ourselves if we choose to indulge these dark qualities. A fleeting experience is one thing, of course, while growing obsessed with such thinking is quite another. One must be careful not to become so intoxicated by the adrenal rush that goes with political extremism, whether of the left or the right, that one grows spellbound and unable to take an objective viewpoint any longer.
In fact, conspiratorial thinking does little but bring about anger within us as we become convinced that others are out to destroy us. This is, in a word, paranoia. To indulge our worst nightmares is to plant the darkest of karmic seeds imaginable, which can ruin a life, for such thinking hardens the heart and causes one to cease seeing the good in the world any longer.
This is why treading the broad, middle way is best for everyone. It keeps the peace and provides the greatest good for the greatest number. Above all, it allows for compromise and compromise is really the only fair way to go in this world.
The violent insurrection in Washington in January 2021 was a touchstone event for all of us. It forced a reckoning of conscience. It forced us to either love our neighbor as ourselves or not. It forced us to get past all of our prejudices and remember that America — and democracy itself — stands for liberty, justice and equality for all, not just for those who agree with our particular political, religious and social views.
Diversity is a beautiful thing. So is loving one’s neighbor as oneself.