Home » Edge of Apocalypse » EoA: Part Three Begins

EoA: Part Three Begins

Edge of Apocalypse: page 183 (Part Three Quotes Page)

*blows lots of dust off Edge of Apocalypse*

*coughing fit*

Hello, everyone! Welcome back and we’ll have a nice easy reintroduction to the work of LaHaye and Parshall.

Part Two was on Page 139, and now we’re on 183. That’s 44 pages, exclusive of the first page. Pretty small for a plot arc, if you ask me.

As with Part Two, we have a selection of quotes, which are carefully chosen to be slanted to the target group – that is, right-wing RTCs who believe in LaHaye’s basic message of imminent Rapture and the End Times to follow. Now, in between the time I stopped posting here and then later dropped off Slacktivist for a while, there was an announcement by a man named Harold Camping about a possible end-of-the-world scenario on May 21 2011. One thing I would be curious to know is if this event and the non-disaster that followed has had any impact on Tim LaHaye’s following, especially given that Camping is also, apparently, a PMD and believed in the Rapture.

Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure–one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

David Rockefeller, Memoirs (also attributed to President Woodrow Wilson, 1918)

So first out of the gate, we have those sinister words internationalist and one-world, which are dog-whistle words to that camp in the USA which assiduously (even vehemently, to lessen my understatement) embraces a nativist and fundamentally insular outlook on the world beyond the US’s borders, and their political kissing cousins, the RTCs, to whom those words do not just spell an end to American (exceptionalist) sovereignty, but also the beginning of the rise of the AntiChrist.

I find it curious that Rockefeller was chosen, given that a similar-pronunciation name, Stonagal, was given to an international financier in Left Behind, and who has given financial and other backing to the AntiChrist, Nicolae Carpathia. Fred Clark and others have remarked on the influences to LaHaye’s thinking, one of which has been the “big bad Jewish financiers” theme of fringe conspiracy-theorist groups. Reconciling this with his strong desire for Israel to help fulfill the End Times predictions, LaHaye changed all his fictional financiers to WASPs, or in the case of men like Ceasar Demas, garden-variety Europeans. Score one weak point for avoiding anti-Semitic stereotypes, I suppose.

Additionally, I note that conflicting versions of this quote appear. In my copy, it states Woodrow Wilson made it. However, a Google search and a check on the printed version in the bookstore shows that it is David Rockefeller from whom the quote originates.

I suspect an editor did a last-minute check of the galleys and fixed this, or Parshall may have corrected it himself.

That said, there are good reasons to oppose the kind of internationalism wealthy people want, because the version they would have would not improve the lot of the common person to the degree they could possibly avoid that state of affairs. A simple example is that the work week hasn’t been any shorter than 40 hours for over 50 years now; one would almost suspect that having too much leisure time might give working people time to ask themselves what they want out of life instead of frantically pounding the treadmill of working to beat the band.

The next quote is this:

To stabilize and regulate a truly global economy, we need some global system of political decision making. In short, we need a global society to support our global economy.

George Soros, socialist billionaire

I find the very idea of George Soros being called a “socialist” to be utterly ludicrous and without foundation. This man has made billions of dollars making use of floating exchange rates, at times ostentatiously working against the interests of nations by targetting their currencies and forcing the hands of their central banks.

Now he’s written books saying how sorry he is about it and gosh golly gee, we need to change things. Excuse me while I roll my eyes a bit. Even people like Warren Buffett have more credibility in my eyes than Soros does.

But viewing his quote through a PMD lens shows us that again, the placement of this quote is to activate the dog-whistle – the “dangerous” notion that US sovereignty must erode away and be replaced by a global (read: one-world) government. Instead of viewing this as a natural state of growth of harmony among the human race, PMDs are to view this as something that is to be resisted at all costs, for… dun-dun-dun, it brings on The AntiChrist!

Let’s round things out with the last quote:

If we can learn from our experience of turning unity of purpose into unity of action, we can together seize this moment of change in our world to create a truly global society.

Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister

Well, HDU Gordon Brown!

This is basically another hit-the-dog-whistle quote, reminding us that all these eeeeevil foreign people are supposedly cooperating with some wealthy Americans to… horror of horrors, try to strengthen world unity instead of inciting world divisiveness! Please, I roll my eyes a lot now thank you, LaHaye and Parshall.

It’s really kind of sad that LaHaye and Parshall basically want to teach their readers that they should be afraid of a world government. Not because of legitimate criticism of imposition of the government from above instead of an organic evolution from below, or because the process should be slowly and carefully considered, but because it fulfills a Checklist of Doom. The Checklist of Doom, which is not even doctrinally accepted among all Christians, or even supported by all members of all non-Christian religions, tells LaHaye and his followers that they must be hunkered down in their metaphorical turtle shells, suspicious and fearful of any change, be it as simple as the ascension of a biracial man to the Presidential Office, or as world-changing as the elevation of the United Nations to a true international governing body.

They are so suspicious and fearful that they ascribe powers to these people and groups that they simply don’t have. They honestly believe the United Nations is a powerful and dangerous incipient world government. They honestly believe Barack Obama was elected only to Take Things From The Deserving People.

And the sad thing is, these ideas, as erroneous as they are, have been amplified by the Religious Right’s effective reach into Republican halls of power and been translated into political grandstanding of the likes of Jesse Helms’s misuse of his power to unilaterally play games with the US’s dues owing to the UN, or more recently, Republican naysaying over any meaningful health insurance reform without watering it down so much and delaying the implementation schedule that by the time Obama leaves office it may yet be totally rescinded.

Even more recently, the brinkmanship over the national debt borrowing threshold (“debt ceiling”) has been motivated by the magic words “cut spending” (which really means stop spending money on them and spend more on us), which has taken on an almost mystical, magical quality. And we know from Fred Clark’s analysis that aspects of LaHaye’s thinking and that which he has absorbed from RTC circles is the idea of treating prayer as magic. Say the incantation, and by the mere act of doing so, the result will be as desired.

I have called this book a kind of look into a political bizarro world that has taken on the appearance of reality, and I think this latest selection of quotes reinforces that statement. Stay tuned for Chapter Thirty-Three. 🙂

A note: Part One is “Under the Nuclear Shadow”; Part Two is “When the Lion Tells the Story” and Part Three is “The Global Tower of Babel”. The first is self-explanatory but the latter two are clearly ‘coded’ for Biblical references I may not fully grasp. I do know that the Tower of Babel has the significance that it represents God purposely destroying cooperation among peoples by creating different languages so they could not communicate.

I would appreciate commenters shedding their own light on the above section names.


9 thoughts on “EoA: Part Three Begins

  1. The “lion tells a story” thing rang a bell for me, and was confirmed by good ole Google. There’s an African proverb that says, “Until the lion has his own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story.”

    It’s here at African Proverb of the Month.

    So I guess poor JJ is the hunted lion?

    • *gigglesnorts* Yes, he’s so poor and put-upon that he has a huge mansion in Colorado with his private jet and all, too.

      Kind of impressed that Parshall knows such proverbs. I can’t see LaHaye knowing anything but good ol’ American sayings.

  2. Yay!

    My understanding is that Camping and the LaHaye-pretrib groups consider each other mutually heretical – they even trotted out LaHaye to comment on Camping. The majority version of the Rapture, after all, comes with no warning at all and could happen at any moment: Matt25:13, Mark13:32, Luke12:46, etc.

    (“It does not pay a prophet to be too specific.”)

    I think a lot of the distrust of an international financial system – per se, rather than anything specific about the implementation of it that we have – comes back to anti-semitism. Those People seem to be in favour of it, so we should be agin’ it…

    (Please note that the huge productivity gains promised from computers have largely been used to pay lots of money to the people at the top – and to keep people, particularly managers, in “full employment” when the jobs for them really don’t exist any more. I suspect that what we really need at this point is a “nobody starves” safety net, with no qualifications at all – everybody gets basic shelter and food, and it’s entirely expected that one will be unemployed for years at a time. But it’ll take a lot of societal manipulation to get there.)

    Gordon Brown was and is a liar, a cheat and a bully. But none of that would matter to an RTC.

    I suspect that the significance to an RTC of the Tower of Babel is not so much “God will capriciously smash stuff” – he already knows that, after all – as “big aspirational projects are Bad”.

    • I suspect that the significance to an RTC of the Tower of Babel is not so much “God will capriciously smash stuff” – he already knows that, after all – as “big aspirational projects are Bad”.

      *smacks forehead*

      So THAT’S why Bruce Barnes and Tsion Ben-Judah are so gosh-darned uninspirationally useless for all the books try to build them up as these great teachers and cautioners against Tribulation.

  3. Hi everyone. I only found this blog during the hiatus, glad to see it’s back now. From what I saw, this book attempts to be more realistic and is therefor more sickening than even Left Behind. Rather than a nebulous Imaginary Liberal plot by everyone who isn’t an RTC, this book seems to refer to the guilty Democrats by name and rank. I fully support you ripping it a new one.

    Also, this probably was all mentioned before at some point, but I would like to spew a bit of bile on that Return To Sender system. As stated in the few comments I read, it would be completely useless against Balistic missiles which are by far the greatest threat, and the only one to which conventional anti-air weapons have no response, so the product is rather useless. The idea of using a laser to read of the electronic settings of laser-based chips seems physically impossible because there’s no way to see a laser beam from the side, even if you shine at it with another laser, and in either case it requires the nosecone of the missile to be transparant (if the laser burns a hole in the nosecone, it would then burn through the electronics behind it). The idea of reversing the path requires that the missle constantly sends signals of what it’s original destination was, and that the missile actually has enough fuel to make the trip to the target twice. If it was at all possible to reprogram a missile mid-flight, it would be far easier to set its current position as the target. Which sounds like a much better strategic option too. The missiles in Part 1 were shot from a ship, but others may be shot from a city. It’s not like the US has a shortage of nukes of its own, so if the president decides a retaliation is in order, he doesn’t need to bounce back their own missile. I bet the president would prefer that the strategic decisions are not made for him by an overzealous defense system. And lastly, why exactly is it so bad if other countries get their hands on this system? Is it because our heroes are afraid they’ll adapt their missiles so they are immune? They must realize that even if they hide the details of the system, the method by which it works will leak out soon enough. It doesn’t take a genius to figuer out balistic missiles can’t fly backward, so the weakness will be exploited soon anyway. Or are they worried the system might interfere with the God-given right of the United States to nuke any country it wants at any time, in which case wow! Actually, if two countries have the system, would the nukes be bounced back and forth like a tennis match untill the fuel runs out?

    By the way, we have a Bijstand (roughly translates as assistance) in the Netherlands, which is basically what Firedrake wants. But sadly, we elected our own right wing government, supported by Geert Wilders who is like Sara Palin with the Christianity replaced by more anti-muslim rethoric, so they’re in the process of piling more demands of people needing it on top of it. Can’t have them motivated not to work, now can we?

  4. Instead of viewing this as a natural state of growth of harmony among the human race, PMDs are to view this as something that is to be resisted at all costs, for… dun-dun-dun, it brings on The AntiChrist!

    But, I thought they NEED the AntiChrist here, so that Real Christ can show up as prophecied? Or am I putting more thought into this than they have?

    • It seems to me that without a bogeyman to wave in front of people, PMD hucksters like LaHaye would find their propaganda a harder “sell” than it is now. One really has to admire the artfully impenetrable nature of their myth-structure: on the one hand, if Antichrist comes, they win. On the other hand, they get a good game out of trying to actively impede that occurrence even if it might be at humanity’s expense.

  5. Having just discovered this fine series (of commentary, not the dreck that forms its subject matter), I figure my first comment might as well directly engage an hypocrisy that never fails to stagger me. For all the trumpeting of LaHaye’s “expertise” in “Biblical prophecy” that both the man himself and his marketing machine love to do, it’s stunning how little attention they pay to the words of Micah and Isaiah: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Is. 2:4, Mic. 4:3).

    But only evil liberals want peace and tolerance (which word alone seems to fill LaHaye and Parshall with outright disgust); RTCs recognize these as infallible harbingers of the Antichrist. Only evil liberals would listen to actual, you know, *prophets* when trying to interpret prophecy; RTCs know that anything that smacks of logic and reason is a Communist plot.

  6. Hello! I’ve wandered over from mostly lurking on Heathen Critique to do an archive binge!

    Most everyone else in the comments hit the issues I was thinking about, but I find the “Global Tower of Babel” to be an amusing almost-admission from a “Biblical literalist”. The implication seeming to be that the tower described in the myth did not in fact come from every culture on earth, everywhere. This one, though, totally for reals, guys.

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