"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead"
(Isaiah 26:19).
Awake And Sing

***

HEAVENLY BODIES.

You can't possibly appreciate heaven and what it will be like unless you know what you're going to be like. So I think that is one of the most important subjects we have to deal with, is to reveal your Heavenly self to you, and to try to help you understand and show you what you're going to be like.

What will I be like? What will you be like? What will we be like in heaven? Well, first of all, we're going to get those Heavenly bodies first thing when the Resurrection and the Rapture come.

Your Heavenly body is going to be an awful lot like it is now, only better. And if you enjoy its pleasures now, think how marvellous they're going to be when your body is supernatural, really super, with more power and more beauty and more grace and greater thrills and more marvellous exciting experiences and love than ever.--All the pleasures of this life and Heaven too, and their continuation on the other side. Heaven is just like an amplification or magnification of all the thrills and joys and pleasures of this life.

Since man and woman were God's crowning creations, they certainly were intended to be His most beautiful creations, most wonderful, exciting, thrilling and grandest creations of all.

If Earthly man and woman are considered beautiful and wonderful even in this life, think how much more so in the next.

The detailed specific descriptions of God's Word could hardly be any more beautiful and thrilling and exciting.

There are several--several descriptions of our Heavenly bodies right here in the Bible.

In 1 Corinthians the 15th chapter is one of the most wonderful discussions of the body of the future, your heavenly body. Beginning with the 19th verse the Apostle Paul says: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." Since Jesus is risen, that's a promise that you're going to be able to rise too. In fact, along with Him there arose all of the Old Testament Saints who came out of the graves and appeared to many in Jerusalem at that very time. They were a part of that first resurrection, the firstfruits along with Jesus. (Mt.27:52,53)

Verse 21: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead"--By Jesus. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." First they were Christ's, the firstfruits of that first resurrection, Christ and the Old Testament Saints, and then all of us who are saved at the time of Christ's Second Coming, so-called. And then we believe, of course, there's going to be another Resurrection or Rapture of the Millennial Saints at the end of the Millennium as well, more Saints to enjoy Heaven with us.

So there are going to be a lot of resurrection bodies around, those heavenly bodies of yours, because Jesus rose from the dead and conquered the grave for all of us. "Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Now skipping down to the 35th verse:

"But some man will say, how are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain." He's saying that your new Heavenly body is going to be so much more wonderful than your present heavy suffering physical body, it'll be like the difference between the grain of wheat and the full-grown full-blown stock and head that comes from one grain, or the flower that comes from one tiny seed. That's how much better your new Heavenly body's going to be. "But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body." Each one of us will have our own bodies. It will be like the one which is buried, if we die before He comes, but it will be so much more wonderful it will be like the difference between the seed and the flower.

Verse 39: "All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds." There are all kinds of different bodies. As there are all kinds of different physical bodies, "there are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial." There are Heavenly bodies and Earthly bodies. "But the glory of the celestial"--the Heavenly--"is one, and the glory of the terrestrial"--the Earthly body--"is another." In other words, he's saying, as "there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, and one star differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead:"

There will be many many different heavenly bodies of different kinds, different people, different personalities, and of different glories, shining glories like the stars of heaven. Some shall shine as the stars. But "those that shall win many to righteousness shall shine like the stars." (Da.12:2,3)

He says, the body we now have is "sown in corruption, but it's raised in incorruption." (1Co.15:42) This Earthly fleshly body can be buried and decay. It can grow old and die and be buried, decay and go back to the dust from which it came. "But it is raised in incorruption." When it's raised again it will not corrupt any more. It will be Heavenly and immortal and impossible to rot any more like our present flesh. "It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory." Today, although there have been great honourable burials and funerals, it's still, in a sense, a dishonour to have to die and be buried, this flesh to go back to the dust from which it came. It's a bit humiliating and humbling to realise that that's all we are is dust except for the spirit. But then "it is raised in glory". The glory of the spirit and a new resurrection spiritual body.

"It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." Compared to what we're going to be then, we're weak now. These bodies are very weak compared to the powerful supernatural powers we're going to have in our new powerful supernatural body. "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual" or a supernatural body. "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body." In a sense, you have both of them right now. Your spiritual body is inhabiting your natural body at the present.

"As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Even as we have looked on Earth, we will resemble that same image in Heaven. We will bear the same looks and general appearance--here called image--as we have here on Earth, but much more glorious. So much more glorious that it's almost like the difference between the flower and the seed. Even as the Lord Himself said in the beginning of the Creation, "Let us make man in Our Own Image." (Ge.1:26) So man today, men and women, look like God, or at least look like Jesus, who has a spiritual human body already resurrected from the dead.

But first of all, 51st verse: "Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep"--we're not all going to die first--"but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the Last Trump: For the Trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Why is he talking about all this business about dying and being resurrected and heavenly bodies? There's a reason for it. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

Well, what are you going to be like? In Philippians the 3rd Chapter He says, "For our conversation is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself."

What are you going to be like?--You're going to be like Jesus. What's your body going to be like? It's going to be like Jesus' resurrected glorious body. "According to the working"--or the power--"whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself"--including death. He's got that power to make your body become like His glorious body. By comparison with which, this body of the flesh is even called a vile body. It's hard to live with sometimes, sometimes it stinks, it's hungry, it's tired, it's heavy, it's sick, it's painful, it suffers, it groans, waiting to be delivered. That deliverance is coming when it will be changed to a marvellous glorified body like the Body of Jesus Himself.

Another good scripture to show you're going to be like Jesus is in 1 John 3rd chapter "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."--Daughters too. "Therefore the World knoweth us not, because it knew Him not."

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God." We're already sons and daughters of God, we're already His spiritually, we already have glorified glorious spirits within. "And it doth not yet appear what we shall be"--we don't know exactly what we're going to look like--"but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."

We're going to be like Jesus. We're going to look like Jesus did when He rose from the dead. We're going to look like Jesus when He descends from on high in glory in the clouds of Heaven to come catch up His Bride in the Rapture. He's going to come down in glory and we're going to be glorified and rise in glorious resurrected Heavenly raptured bodies just like His when He comes. "For we shall see Him as He is."

We're going to see Jesus and he's going to see us and we're going to look alike. That doesn't mean we're all going to look just exactly like Jesus or each other, but it means we're going to have the same kind of bodies, the same kind of body that He has now and has had ever since His resurrection, the one in which He went to Heaven in and came back and visited in and still has today. We'll see him as He is and He'll see us as we are. "We shall know even as also we are known". (1Cor.13:12)

(We will have) a Heavenly body that'll never corrupt any more, never hunger or thirst or get tired any more or suffer pain or death any more.

All of the pleasures of this present physical life can be continued into the next life as well, since we will have a body which is similar to our physical body, but so much more glorious and wonderful and supernatural that it's even called spiritual, but can actually materialise and eat and drink and be merry, have fun, sex, love and all of the present pleasures of this life extended into the next in an immortal incorruptible all-powerful body that can enjoy them even more there than we do here, and forever without ever suffering pain or sickness or weariness or death, just be absolutely marvellously Heavenly forever.

In our Bible prophecy series we've already dealt with the wonderful rapture, the Coming of the Lord, how "the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel." The Trump of God shall sound and all those which are asleep in Jesus--in other words, those who have died and gone on to be with the Lord--are going to be resurrected first. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1Thes.4:14-17)

That's when we're all going to get our Resurrection Immortal Glorious Heavenly Bodies, is in the Resurrection which comes at the time of Jesus' Second Coming, the Rapture of the Saints.--All the rest of us, that is, that haven't already been resurrected.

In these verses here that I read you and others that we're going to be like Him, see Him as He is, we're going to be like He is, then what was Jesus like when He rose from the dead? Well, first of all, He didn't have to roll away that stone to get out of that tomb, He was able to walk right through the stone or the walls of the cave. Our Heavenly bodies will be able to dematerialise, pass from dimension to dimension, walk right through walls and locked doors as He did, appear and disappear at will, and travel with the speed of thought. Our Heavenly bodies are going to be marvellous supernatural miraculous bodies with far greater powers than we now have.

So what happened when Jesus first rose from the dead? He didn't roll away the stone to get out of the grave, the earthquake and the angel rolled away the stone so they could get in and see that He was gone. Jesus was already standing out in the Garden waiting for Mary, who came very early in the morning.--One of His dearest loves, Mary Magdalene, an ex-harlot, an ex-favourite courtesan of Jerusalem, courting and consorting with some of the principal leaders of Jerusalem, both Roman and Jewish. She had quite a reputation, quite a clientele.

Mary Magdalene tarried in the garden, weeping that she had missed him and missed his body, when all of a sudden there he stood beside her, near her, and said to her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" And she, thinking He was the gardener, said, "For they have taken away My Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." And suddenly He revealed Himself, "Mary, it is I."

He told her to go tell His disciples that He was living again and He would meet them in Galilee later when He got back.

So what was Jesus like in his new heavenly body? He appeared to them many times during those 40 days after His resurrection--40 days from His resurrection to His ascension, 10 days before the Day of Pentecost. Acts 1:3: "To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion"--after His passionate loving death for you and me--"by many infallible proofs, being seen of them 40 days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." And in another place it tells approximately how many people saw Him during that time—over 500 altogether. (1Cor.15:5-8)

Acts 1:4: "And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father"--the Holy Spirit--"which, saith He, ye have heard of Me."

Acts 1:8: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me." "And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven." He's going to come back again the same way. So then they returned to Jerusalem from Mount Olivet, from which He ascended to Heaven.

He met them several times after his resurrection. He once walked right through a locked door into their secret meeting room, and He allowed Doubting Thomas to touch His wounds in His hands and His side to prove that it was He, the same body, only glorified, resurrected, now supernatural, but still bearing the same scars. (Jn.20:26,27)

What else was Jesus like when he was in his resurrection body? Well, one time He sat down with them and He ate and He drank with them. And He said, "Touch Me, feel Me. I'm not just a ghost, I'm not just a disembodied spirit, I'm real." He said, "For a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have." (Lk.24:39) Ghosts can in some way materialise in such a way that you know it and feel it, but they don't have the same kind of flesh and bones now we will have. They have a very spiritual body that is much more spiritual now than it's going to be when they get their resurrected bodies.

Jesus still looked like himself, still felt like himself, could still eat, drink, even cook and love and be loved, and yet dematerialise, disappear, be transported elsewhere where He could materialise and reappear, quickly, even perhaps at the speed of thought. On the other hand, on some occasions He could hide His identity and disguise His appearance so that they wouldn't recognise Him until He wanted them to.

Jesus was still human and still had a body of flesh and bone--he says so. Flesh and bone. You notice He doesn't say blood, because "the life of the flesh is in the blood." (Lev.17:11) So it's no longer a carnal body that can corrupt. Corruption comes through blood and the carnal nature of our present physical bodies that are from the dust. But we are going to have a new kind of a spiritual resurrection marvellous eternal glorified body, and yet it's going to be material enough and natural enough and recognisable enough and seeable, feelable, enjoyable enough to actually be constructed as we now are of flesh and bones, but eternal flesh and bones, incorruptible, immortal flesh and bones.--Flesh and bones. Think of it. And that kind of marvellous glorified Heavenly flesh is going to be able to enjoy all the pleasures that our flesh now enjoys here and now.

If you want to know what you're going to be like in Heaven, what your Heavenly body's going to be like, it's going to be like you are now, only much more Heavenly, much more miraculous, supernatural, incorruptible, immortal, eternal, beautiful, wonderful, thrilling and glorious. I just can't use enough words to describe it. Even the Scripture lacks for sufficient words to completely describe the marvellous Heavenly body that you're going to have.

Think of what you're going to be like when you have your completely Heavenly body that can do all the things you can do now and more, including flying and floating and appearing and disappearing and walking through walls and locked doors and having marvellous supernatural miraculous powers of defense and judgement upon your enemies, protection for your friends, and to be able to help the poor humans that are still living on Earth during the Millennium to learn more about the Lord and love Him and serve Him even as you do.

You're going to be like the angels of God, God's word says, only even more powerful because you're going to judge angels. (Mt.22:30; 1Co.6:3)
And that's what you're going to be like.

David Berg 1983

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BREAKINGISRAELNEWS

Mystic Rabbi Ben Artzi: “Very Soon Messiah Will Be Revealed to Everyone”

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz
November 9, 2017

Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek shall come to His Temple suddenly. As for the angel of the covenant that you desire, he is already coming.” Malachi 3:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, a well-known mystic rabbi with a large following, has made several predictions about the Messiah. (Courtesy/Breaking Israel News)
Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, a well-known Israeli mystic leader, made a remarkable statement last Sunday predicting that the identity of the Messiah would be revealed in the very near future, even giving specific details on how the revelation would occur.

“Messiah is at work right now,” Rabbi Ben Artzi said in a sermon. “Jews, be happy! Very soon, the Messiah will be revealed to everyone!”

The rabbi went into detail, explaining how this would come about.

“The Holy One, Blessed be He, will come to the rabbis in a dream with a vision and inform them of whom He has chosen for the King Messiah,” predicted Rabbi Ben Artzi. “The Creator will write to them exactly, whom He has chosen as King Messiah.”

This singular revelation was accompanied by details.

“There will be a yellow card and holy letters inscribed on a parchment like a Torah scroll, where they will be told in Aramaic who is King Messiah,” the rabbi continued. Aramaic is no longer spoken, but it is the language of the Talmud (oral law). “Then, they will have no choice and they will recognize the King Messiah.

“From above they will be told, ‘The choice is in your hands. Either you reveal him or the Creator of the world will cause you great trouble and will not let go until you reveal this and tell it to the people of Israel’,” Rabbi Ben Artzi said. “Then they will follow the instructions laid out in the dream and acknowledge who the Messiah King is.”

The rabbi even described the inscription that will be revealed to the rabbis in their vision of the the parchment.

“I, the Lord, command you to say and to show who is the King Messiah, the man of God chosen by Him.”

Rabbi Ben Artzi explained why God has chosen this specific time to reveal the Messiah.

“The Creator can no longer wait while watching the suffering of the Jews in Israel and abroad,” Rabb Ben Artzi said. “Their suffering is especially difficult since Israel is the Chosen People, chosen by the Holy One, blessed be He.”

The rabbi did not discount the non-Jews from this soon-to-be-revealed process. In an exclusive response to Breaking Israel News, Rabbi Ben Artzi explained the role of Christians in the messianic age.

“In the beginning of Christianity, there was a schism, and there were Jews among them,” the rabbi explained. “But some Jews continued in the path of Christianity. Therefore, there are among them today those that have the spark of Judaism in their soul and in their spirit. That is why they have an affinity for Judaism and a love of the Jews that is awakening as the Messiah approaches.”

Rabbi Ben Artzi had a dire warning for Jews who live outside of Israel, telling them that since the Messiah is about to be revealed, now is the time to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel).

“God has given man free choice so that he will willingly connect to God, and to the Land of Israel,” Rabbi Ben Artzi told Breaking Israel News. “If they truly believe in God, they will come of their own free will.”

Rabbi Ben Artzi emphasized that the timeliness of the Messiah has been made clear by current events in order to bring Jews back to Israel.

“There are great signs showing that it is time to return: growing anti-Semitism, signs in nature, global political conflicts,” the Kabbalist leader said. However, he added, “Throughout all of this, the land of Israel is conspicuously protected. Anyone who looks at the signs will understand and come to Israel immediately.”

(We all know who this is!)

***

CBN

Survey: 1 in 5 US Jewish Millennials Believe Jesus Is Son of God

John Waage

11-01-2017

In a culture of changing spiritual beliefs, a surprising number of young American Jews – more than one in five – said they believe Jesus is the Son of God.

A Barna Group survey of Jewish millennials (born between 1984 and 1999) recently released found that 21 percent believe Jesus was "God in human form who lived among people in the first century" and 28 percent "see him as a rabbi or spiritual leader, but not God." Forty-two percent said they celebrate Christmas.

A majority of those surveyed believe one can be a part of other faiths and still be Jewish, and one-third of Jewish millennials feel "God desires a personal relationship with us."

The survey was commissioned by the evangelistic group Jews for Jesus, but the Barna Group, noted for a number of in-depth surveys on American religious belief, claims it is "solely responsible for data collection, analysis and writing of the report."

According to the report titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America, the group is much more likely to consider themselves as "spiritual" and have more interest in faith and spirituality than other generations.

Some of the results surprised Ari Kelman, who was interviewed for the report and teaches Jewish studies at Stanford University.

Kelman was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying, "These don't look like Jews I recognize." He added, "I was not willing to just write them off entirely. Maybe these are Jews we've never seen before. We know religion is changing, we know parameters of identity are changing, so why would we expect different generations to look exactly the same?"

Kelman admitted he was somewhat uncomfortable about a study commissioned by Jews for Jesus, but acknowledged the credentials of the Barna Group.

"They were good social scientists with skin in the game, he said. "Most people who fund research on American Jews also come with an agenda, and I've been in this world long enough to know that the people who fund that research don't interfere. They don't cook the books."

Susan Perlman, director of communications for Jews for Jesus, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) the survey was "very hopeful, from our perspective."

"This was a generation that was spiritual, that is willing to engage in the subject of whether or not Jesus might be the Messiah. All we can ask for is an open mind to engage with the Bible, engage with the culture and look at the possibilities," Perlman said.

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FAITHWIRE

A Greater Threat Than Islam’: Theologian Reveals Biggest Threat to Christianity in the Modern Era

November 1, 2017

What’s the biggest threat to Christianity? According to some theologians, it appears to come from inside Christendom itself.

Speaking during a Tuesday night panel discussion about the Reformation that was hosted by Ligonier Ministries, at least one theologian cited the Christian church “in this century” as the faith’s biggest impediment.

“That’s a greater threat than Islam. Christendom. A far greater threat to Christianity than Islam is,” Sinclair Ferguson, a teaching fellow with Ligonier Ministries and a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, said. “Islam can never destroy the gospel, but Christendom can easily destroy the gospel and is destroying the gospel.”

And he wasn’t done there, according to The Christian Post.

“The Church is the greatest threat to real Christianity in the world,” he said. “God help us.”

An similar response came from Stephen J. Nichols, president of Reformation Bible College and a staffer with Ligonier Ministries, who said that the church as an institution is posing quite a conundrum.

“Especially with the Church in America, we have far too casual a view of God and that might be right at the center of some of our theological malaise,” Nichols said.

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RT

John Kerry condemns Israel, hails ‘extraordinary’ restraint of Palestinians

8 November 2017

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2017. Ruben Sprich / Reuters

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has launched an unprecedented attack on the Israeli government, blaming them for the stalemate in securing a peace deal between Israel and Palestine while praising the latter's commitment to non-violence.

"Kerry’s comments came to light after recordings, reportedly made at a recent conference in Dubai, were obtained by Israel’s Channel 10 and broadcast on Tuesday.

The former presidential hopeful said that: “The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to non-violence. And in fact when the intifada (in 2015) took place they delivered non-violence – in the West Bank.”

However, Kerry said this was “overlooked by the general population because it’s not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet, in the current Israeli government, has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state.”

He then went on to describe a number of steps taken to safeguard Israel's security, including having Israeli troops stationed at an airport in neighboring Jordan. “King Abdullah of Jordan accepted the idea of having Israeli troops at an airport in Jordan,” he said.

“We even have pre-deployment of weapons in the West Bank in the event there was an existential threat to Israel that they would have to respond to.”

“This would have been the most secure border in the world, with an agreement on a rapid response so if the Palestinian’s didn’t respond within three minutes or five minutes to an intrusion on the border, Israel had a right to respond,” he added.

America’s former top diplomat predicted that if the situation doesn’t change the Palestinians could return to violence as a means of securing a future state.

“If you see 40,000 kids marching up to the wall every day with signs saying ‘give us our rights,’ I mean I don’t think Palestine is going to be immune forever to the civil rights movements that have swept other nations in the world and somehow Israel is ignoring this. That’s not leadership,” Kerry said.

“If you don’t have leaders who want to make peace, if the equation doesn’t change, I’ll be amazed if within the next 10 years if we don’t see some young [Palestinian] leader come along who says we have tried non-violence for the last 30 years and look, it hasn’t gotten us anything."

During his time as secretary of state, Kerry led a major round of peace talks between both parties. These, however, collapsed in 2014 with the Palestinians blaming, in part, the construction of Israeli settlements on Arab land.

Just before he left his post, Kerry gave a speech in which he criticized Israel over its settlements policies, saying they jeopardize any future peace deal and the possibility of a two-state solution.

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NEON NETTLE

Top Catholic Church Official Says God Told Him to Expose 'Evil' Pope Francis Claims God appeared in a vision to warn him about the 'false prophet'
By: Jay Greenberg 3rd

November 2017

Father Thomas Weinandy says God told him to warn people about 'evil' Pope Francis

One of the highest-ranking officials in the Catholic Church has claimed that God came to him in a vision and told him to warn Christians that Pope Francis is "evil" and a "false prophet.

"Father Thomas Weinandy, was formerly the doctrine chief of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) but was sacked after he published a letter attempting to expose Pope Francis, saying that a "clear sign" from God convinced him he had an "apostolic mandate" to write it.

The letter revealed that Pope Francis's papacy is marked by "chronic confusion," the diminishment of doctrine, and a "culture of fear" that is being used to usher in an "evil New World Order agenda.

"Weinandy said that God told him that Francis, real name Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is using his power and influence to steer his flock away from traditional Christian values and towards "Satanic politics."

LSN reports: After making this letter public, the USCCB asked Weinandy to resign as a consultant to them, and he did.

The USCCB president then issued a statement on “dialogue” in which he pledged the U.S. bishops’ “loyalty” to Pope Francis.

Weinandy told The Catholic Thing’s Robert Royal that he was thinking about writing the letter while in Rome last May.

He had been “praying about the present state of the Church and the anxieties I had about the present Pontificate.”

“I was beseeching Jesus and Mary, St. Peter and all of the saintly popes who are buried there to do something to rectify the confusion and turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused,” Weinandy recalled.

He was “pondering” whether to “write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety,” but wasn’t sure if he should.He uncharacteristically couldn’t sleep during one of his last nights in Rome, and sometime after 1:15 a.m., prayed to God:

“If you want me to write something, you have to give me a clear sign. This is what the sign must be. Tomorrow morning I am going to Saint Mary Major’s to pray and then I am going to Saint John Lateran. After that I am coming back to Saint Peter’s to have lunch with a seminary friend of mine. During that interval, I must meet someone that I know but have not seen in a very long time and would never expect to see in Rome at this time. That person cannot be from the United States, Canada or Great Britain. Moreover, that person has to say to me in the course of our conversation, ‘Keep up the good writing.'”

After Weinandy had eaten lunch with his seminary friend, “what I had asked the Lord the following night was no longer in the forefront of my mind.

”Then, an archbishop Weinandy hadn’t seen in over 20 years appeared.

The archbishop, not American, Canadian, or British, “I would never have expected to see him in Rome or anywhere else, other than in his own archdiocese,” according to Weinandy.The archbishop “said to my friend that we had met a long time ago and that he had, at that time, just finished reading my book on the immutability of God and the Incarnation.”

Then, “he told my friend that it was an excellent book, that it helped him sort out the issue, and that my friend should read the book. Then he turned to me and said: ‘Keep up the good writing.’”

At that moment, “there was no longer any doubt in my mind that Jesus wanted me to write something,” Weinandy said

He thought it was particularly significant that the “sign” from God was through an archbishop: “I considered it an apostolic mandate.”

Weinandy gave his “significant thought” and attempted “many drafts.”“I decided to write Pope Francis directly about my concerns,” he said. “

However, I always intended to make it public since I felt many of my concerns were the same concerns that others had, especially among the laity, and so I publicly wanted to give voice to their concerns as well.”

***

Natural Blaze

New Vaccines Will Permanently Alter Your DNA

By Jon Rappoport

November 5, 2017

A news story tend to move in waves. It appears, retreats, and then appears in an altered form—replete with lies, cover stories, and embedded confusion. That’s why I’m keeping this story alive in its stark essence—

The reference is the New York Times, 3/15/15, “Protection Without a Vaccine.” It describes the frontier of research. Here are key quotes that illustrate the use of synthetic genes to “protect against disease,” while changing the genetic makeup of humans. This is not science fiction:

“By delivering synthetic genes into the muscles of the [experimental] monkeys, the scientists are essentially re-engineering the animals to resist disease.”

“’The sky’s the limit,’ said Michael Farzan, an immunologist at Scripps and lead author of the new study.”

“The first human trial based on this strategy — called immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or I.G.T. — is underway, and several new ones are planned.” [That was nearly two years ago.]

“I.G.T. is altogether different from traditional vaccination. It is instead a form of gene therapy. Scientists isolate the genes that produce powerful antibodies against certain diseases and then synthesize artificial versions. The genes are placed into viruses and injected into human tissue, usually muscle.”

Here is the punchline: “The viruses invade human cells with their DNA payloads, and the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA. If all goes well, the new genes instruct the cells to begin manufacturing powerful antibodies.”

Read that again: “the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA.”

Alteration of the human genetic makeup.

Not just a “visit.” Permanent residence. And once a person’s DNA is changed, doesn’t it follow that he/she will pass on that change to the next generation of children, and so on, down the line?

The Times article taps Dr. David Baltimore for an opinion:

“Still, Dr. Baltimore says that he envisions that some people might be leery of a vaccination strategy that means altering their own DNA, even if it prevents a potentially fatal disease.”

Yes, some people might be leery. If they have two or three working brain cells.

This is genetic roulette with a loaded gun.

And the further implications are clear. Vaccines can be used as a cover for the injections of any and all genes, whose actual purpose is re-engineering humans.

The emergence of this Frankenstein technology is paralleled by a shrill push to mandate vaccines, across the board, for both children and adults. The pressure and propaganda are planet-wide.

If you’re going to alter humans, for example, to make many of them more docile and weak, and some of them stronger, in order to restructure society, you want everyone under the umbrella. No exceptions. No exemptions.

The freedom and the right to refuse vaccines has always been vital. It is more vital than ever now.

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

Image Credit: NatureOfHealing.org

***

AP

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish government is encouraging citizens to go forth and multiply like rabbits.

The health ministry of Poland, which has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe, has put out a short video praising rabbits for producing many offspring.

The YouTube video shows rabbits munching on lettuce and carrots while a rabbit “narrator” reveals the secret of their big families — exercise, a healthy diet and little stress. The brief appearance of a human couple enjoying a romantic picnic hints that a little romance might help, and a wine glass turned upside down suggested an anti-alcohol message.

Viewers are told: “If you ever want to be a parent, follow the example of rabbits.”

It is the latest step by the conservative government in this mostly Catholic country of 38 million to reverse a shrinking population. European Union figures show that Poland’s birth rate was 1.32 children per woman in 2015. Only Portugal had a lower fertility rate, though the figures in Spain and Greece were almost as low as Poland.

The Health Ministry said in a statement to The Associated Press that it was trying to encourage Poles in their reproductive years — between the ages of 18 and 45 — to adopt a healthy lifestyle that would improve their reproductive health.

It also said it was seeking to raise public awareness of the issue in a way that “did not offend anyone and was not vulgar.”

***

Zero Hedge

The Real “New World Order” Is Coming To Life

Posted with permission and written by Rory Hall, The Daily Coin

If you want to see what is going to change the lives of your children and grandchildren, look no further than the map published below. This is WHERE the future will be, regardless of the naysayers. The Belt and Road Initiative is going to transform the world and, once this project is 25-30% complete – within the next 5-7 years – the impact will be felt globally.

Natural resources will be funneled into the Eastern countries, or they will simply never leave from the country they mined or extracted. Global employees will disappear from Western market places as their services will be needed in the East and so it will go right down the line. Buckle up kids, as we are going to be faced with a very bumpy ride unless the criminal scum holding onto yesterday suddenly have their “come to Jesus” moment and realize they are outside looking in.

As reported by ZeroHedge:

Dear Mustafa,

I arrived in Karachi at 5.30am this morning on the direct PIA flight from Heathrow. The city of 26 million people had not yet woken up and I made it to the Sind Club in under 20 minutes. But as I write this now I can hear the horn-filled throb of city life on all four sides of the Club walls; this city pulsates with growth.

If you (look) on the map I attach here you will see one of the main reasons – the Chinese Economic Corridors – otherwise know as ‘One Belt…One Road’. Pakistan lies directly on one of these routes, but look at this map carefully as it will change our world and world order, wherever we live.

Let's look at some facts on ‘One Belt…One Road’:

  • It connects 65 countries and 4.4 billion people.

  • In 2016 Chinese companies signed 8,158 contracts in 61 countries worth $150b.

  • In 2016 China’s trade with the One Belt…One Road countries reached $953b.

Over the next 10 years, China will spend $2 trillion on ‘One Belt…One Road’ infrastructure, and, more amazingly, they are not asking the investee countries and corporates to pay it back; 80% of the money spent will be a perpetual bond, with only the interest needed to be paid. The principal is never returned.

What is also very clear from the map is that China has no interest in controlling the seas. In fact they have taken a conscious decision to bypass the seas, to bypass the 7th, 8th and 9th US fleets that currently ring the Eurasian landmass. The US navy can sail the oceans to their heart’s content, the action is now on land. And to that end the first test train from China arrived directly in London in July this year; it took 20 days less than by sea. This is all pretty revolutionary stuff.

China is attempting ‘the project of the century.’

And as I am served a cool lemonade at the Club, a final remnant of the British empire, it is another empire – the American empire – that may be taking its last few sips of leadership.

See you in London next week.

Chris

No since in acting like this is not happening or that China is going to run out funds or somehow not be able to complete this project – you would be 100% wrong in that assessment. The Belt and Road Initiative is going to place China back at the head of the global economy; exactly where she was until the West all but destroyed the nation with the opium wars beginning in the early part of the 1800’s. China, up until that time, was the world's only super-power and the worlds largest economy. China occupied these positions before these positions were measured/known – she just was and the world knew it. The day for her to reclaim the throne is coming - what it will mean for the rest of the world, at this time, is unknown

(We'll see. The western elite are not going to go down with out a fight.)

CNN

A resignation, detentions and missiles: 24 hours that shook the Middle East

By Tamara Qiblawi, CNN

Updated 1905 GMT (0305 HKT) November 5, 2017

(CNN)When 32-year-old Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman rose to power two years ago, many predicted that change was afoot. The events of November 4 have shown that change would not just be swift, but also seismic, extending unremittingly beyond the kingdom's boundaries.

A 24-hour sequence of political bombshells began on Saturday afternoon, when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, blindsiding his country's political establishment. Hours later, Saudi Arabia's official news agency reported that the country's military had intercepted a Yemen-borne ballistic missile over Riyadh. Even as images of the blast were flashing on TV sets around the region, similarly dramatic news began to trickle in: Some of Saudi Arabia's most high-profile princes and businessmen were being sacked and detained in an anti-corruption drive led by bin Salman.

The events serve as an opening salvo for a new period in the region's crisis-ridden history, analysts say. They represent an escalation in a yearslong proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, threatening to activate new fronts in the region, with the Saudi show of force beginning with a sweeping consolidation of power from within.

On Friday, ISIS' last strongholds in Iraq and Syria fell. It marked a major milestone in a fight that saw archrivals converge on the extremist group until its so-called caliphate was on its last legs. On Saturday, regional powerhouses appear to have trained their sights on one another.

"I think the end of ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, does not really mean the end of geostrategic struggles," London School of Economics Professor Fawaz Gerges told CNN's George Howell.

"On the contrary, the dismantling of the so-called caliphate will basically intensify the geostrategic struggles between the pro-Iranian camp led by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and its allies in the region, including the United States."

Related Article: Lebanon's Prime Minister resigns, plunging nation into new political crisis

On Friday evening, Lebanon's Saad Hariri was summoned to the Saudi capital. It was his second visit to the country in a week. Hariri is a dual Saudi-Lebanese citizen and the regional powerhouse is widely seen as his political patron.

Just a week before, it appeared the Prime Minister had averted a major crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. He had met with the Crown Prince and outspoken Saudi Minister Thamer al-Sabhan, appeasing their fears about the Iran-backed Hezbollah, which has members in his Cabinet.

"A long and fruitful meeting with my brother Prime Minister Saad Hariri. We've agreed on many issues that concern the good people of Lebanon. God willing, the best is yet to come," Sabhan wrote in a tweet.

The meeting came on the heels of a series of tweets in which Sabhan chastised the Lebanese government for its inclusion of Hezbollah. Hariri appeared to have defused tensions with his visit.

Lebanese MP Yassin Jaber, a member of a pro-Hezbollah parliamentary bloc, told CNN that he met with Hariri just as he returned from Saudi Arabia, and described the premier as cheery and in a "joking" mood.

But when Hariri returned to Saudi Arabia the second time, it was an altogether different matter.

It would be the first time a Lebanese premier submitted his resignation from outside the country. Multiple local media reported that nearly all Hariri's closest aides were caught unawares.

"Over the past decades, Hezbollah has unfortunately managed to impose a fait accompli in Lebanon by the force of its weapons, which it alleges is a resistance weapon," Hariri said in his resignation speech.

"I want to tell Iran and its followers that they are losing their interferences in the Arab nation affairs. Our nation will rise just as it did before and the hands that want to harm it will be cut," he said in remarks apparently aimed at Hezbollah, which he shared a coalition government with.

Hariri's resignation spells the collapse of a 30-member government of national unity that saw Saudi-backed Hariri fill the post of prime minister, and Hezbollah-backed Michel Aoun occupy the presidency. That government, analysts say, was one of the byproducts of the Obama administration's landmark Iran nuclear deal.

"With this arrangement, we saw some sort of appeasement where we saw mutual steps from the US and Iran in improving relations and lowering tensions in various areas," said Riad Kahwaji, director of Institute for Near East and Gulf Military.

The period marked a brief time of stability, in which Lebanon seemed to have steered clear of regional fault-lines.

"With (Hariri's) resignation yesterday, this arrangement has come to an end and we are back to an escalation between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the Lebanese front. Lebanon is back in the arena of the showdown between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

"Everyone in Lebanon is holding tight and worried ... we're seeing now that we may again be engulfed in conflict," said Jaber.

Riyadh intercepts ballistic missiles

Hariri's resignation triggered a crescendo of war drums. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the remarks were a "wake-up call" to "take action" against Iran. Saudi Minister Sabhan promptly tweeted: "The hands of treachery and aggression must be cut off," echoing Hariri's threats against Hezbollah.

Just hours later, Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a ballistic missile targeting King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital. Saudi forces intercepted the missile over northeast Riyadh, the Saudi Ministry of Defense said, but the Houthis hailed it as a "success" that "shook the Saudi capital."

The attack was conducted using a Yemeni-made, long-range missile called the Burqan 2H, the rebels said. The missile launch was the first time the heart of the Saudi capital has been attacked.

The Saudi-led coalition accused a regional state of providing material support to the Houthi rebels, saying the firing of a ballistic missile at Riyadh "threatens the security of the Kingdom and regional and international security," according to a statement carried by Saudi state-TV al-Ekbariya.

The coalition didn't name the country. Saudi Arabia has been fighting a proxy war in Yemen against Iran, which it accuses of arming the Houthi rebels.

Analysts dubbed this a "major escalation" in the Yemeni war.

"This is a major escalation and will have tremendous implications on the situation in Yemen itself, because Saudi Arabia now feels extremely the urge to retaliate against the Houthi movement that controls the government in Sanaa," said Gerges.

Gerges added that combined with the political rupture in Lebanon, the ballistic missile attack spells an outbreak of tensions "throughout the region."

Saudi Arabia wages war within and without

Related Article: Saudi anti-corruption sweep leads to high-profile arrests

Saudi Arabia was still putting out the fires caused by the missile attack when state TV announced the onset of an anti-corruption crackdown led by the crown prince. Over 17 princes and top officials were arrested on graft charges, according to a list obtained by CNN and cited by a senior royal court official.

The list includes billionaire business magnate Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, which holds stakes in global companies such as Citigroup, Twitter, Apple and News Corp.

The list also includes formal head of the royal court Khaled Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi media mogul Waleed Al-Ibrahim and Prince Turki Bin Nasser.

"Some of the wealthiest figures in the Arab world are in apprehension today," said military analyst Riad Kahwaji.

"This is unprecedented. We're seeing it for the first time and it's definitely causing shockwaves across the region."

Reportedly, the detainees are being held at the lavish Ritz-Carlton hotel. "I think there's a lovely irony in that many of these corrupt deals happened at the Ritz-Carlton and now these guys are locked up there," said historian Robert Lacey, who wrote two books about the kingdom.

"In historic terms, what we've seen in the last few months is nothing short of revolutionary," said Lacey. "I've been waiting for 40 years for these things to happen, and they happened in four months."

Mohammed bin Salman's campaign of "two fronts," as analysts have dubbed it, is being met by cheers and apprehension. But there is near consensus that these are uncharted waters, and the results will be dramatic.

CNN's Becky Anderson, Chandrika Narayan and Sarah El Sirgany in Riyadh contributed to this report.

Zero Hedge

Pepe Escobar: The Inside Story Of The Saudi Night Of The Long Knives

Princes, ministers and a billionaire are 'imprisoned' in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while the Saudi Arabian Army is said to be in an uproar..

by Tyler Durden

November 7, 2017

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times

The House of Saud’s King Salman devises a high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman.

Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private jets are grounded. The high-profile accused lot is “jailed” at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.

War breaks out within the House of Saud, as Asia Times had anticipated back in July. Rumors have been swirling for months about a coup against MBS in the making. Instead, what just happened is yet another MBS pre-emptive coup.

A top Middle East business/investment source who has been doing deals for decades with the opaque House of Saud offers much-needed perspective:

This is more serious than it appears. The arrest of the two sons of previous King Abdullah, Princes Miteb and Turki, was a fatal mistake. This now endangers the King himself. It was only the regard for the King that protected MBS. There are many left in the army against MBS and they are enraged at the arrest of their commanders.”

To say the Saudi Arabian Army is in uproar is an understatement.

He’d have to arrest the whole army before he could feel secure.”

Prince Miteb until recently was a serious contender to the Saudi throne. But the highest profile among the detainees belongs to billionaire Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal, owner of Kingdom Holdings, major shareholder in Twitter, CitiBank, Four Seasons, Lyft and, until recently, Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp.

Al-Waleed’s arrest ties up with a key angle; total information control. There’s no freedom of information in Saudi Arabia. MBS already controls all the internal media (as well as the appointment of governorships). But then there’s Saudi media at large. MBS aims to “hold the keys to all the large media empires and relocate them to Saudi Arabia.”

So how did we get here?

The secrets behind the purge

The story starts with secret deliberations in 2014 about a possible “removal” of then King Abdullah. But “the dissolution of the royal family would lead to the breaking apart of tribal loyalties and the country splitting into three parts. It would be more difficult to secure the oil, and the broken institutions whatever they were should be maintained to avoid chaos.”

Instead, a decision was reached to get rid of Prince Bandar bin Sultan – then actively coddling Salafi-jihadis in Syria – and replace the control of the security apparatus with Mohammed bin Nayef.

The succession of Abdullah proceeded smoothly. Power was shared between three main clans: King Salman (and his beloved son Prince Mohammed); the son of Prince Nayef (the other Prince Mohammed), and finally the son of the dead king (Prince Miteb, commander of the National Guard). In practice, Salman let MBS run the show.

And, in practice, blunders also followed. The House of Saud lost its lethal regime-change drive in Syria and is bogged down in an unwinnable war on Yemen, which on top of it prevents MBS from exploiting the Empty Quarter – the desert straddling both nations.

The Saudi Treasury was forced to borrow on the international markets. Austerity ruled – with news of MBS buying a yacht for almost half a billion dollars while lazing about the Cote d’Azur not going down particularly well. Hardcore political repression is epitomized by the decapitation of Shi’ite leader Sheikh Al-Nimr. Not only the Shi’ites in the Eastern province are rebelling but also Sunni provinces in the west.

As the regime’s popularity radically tumbled down, MBS came up with Vision 2030. Theoretically, it was shift away from oil; selling off part of Aramco; and an attempt to bring in new industries. Cooling off dissatisfaction was covered by royal payoffs to key princes to stay loyal and retroactive payments on back wages to the unruly masses.

Yet Vision 2030 cannot possibly work when the majority of productive jobs in Saudi Arabia are held by expats. Bringing in new jobs raises the question of where are the new (skilled) workers to come from.

Throughout these developments, aversion to MBS never ceased to grow; “There are three major royal family groups aligning against the present rulers: the family of former King Abdullah, the family of former King Fahd, and the family of former Crown Prince Nayef.”

Nayef – who replaced Bandar – is close to Washington and extremely popular in Langley due to his counter-terrorism activities. His arrest earlier this year angered the CIA and quite a few factions of the House of Saud – as it was interpreted as MBS forcing his hand in the power struggle.

According to the source, “he might have gotten away with the arrest of CIA favorite Mohammed bin Nayef if he smoothed it over but MBS has now crossed the Rubicon though he is no Caesar. The CIA regards him as totally worthless.”

Some sort of stability could eventually be found in a return to the previous power sharing between the Sudairis (without MBS) and the Chamars (the tribe of deceased King Abdullah). After the death of King Salman, the source would see it as “MBS isolated from power, which would be entrusted to the other Prince Mohammed (the son of Nayef). And Prince Miteb would conserve his position.”

MBS acted exactly to prevent this outcome. The source, though, is adamant; “There will be regime change in the near future,and the only reason that it has not happened already is because the old King is liked among his family. It is possible that there may be a struggle emanating from the military as during the days of King Farouk, and we may have a ruler arise that is not friendly to the United States.”

Moderate’ Salafi-jihadis, anyone?

Before the purge, the House of Saud’s incessant spin centered on a $500 billion zone straddling Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, on the Red Sea coast, a sort of Dubai replica to be theoretically completed by 2025, powered by wind and solar energy, and financed by its sovereign wealth fund and proceeds from the Aramco IPO.

In parallel, MBS pulled another rabbit from his hat swearing the future of Saudi Arabia is a matter of “simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions.”

In a nutshell: a state that happens to be the private property of a royal family inimical to all principles of freedom of expression and religion, as well as the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadism simply cannot metastasize into a “moderate” state just because MBS says so.

Meanwhile, a pile-up of purges, coups and countercoups shall be the norm.

***

arab news

Saudi Arabia calls on citizens to leave Lebanon immediately

NAJIA HOUSSARY & SIRAJ WAHAB

10 November 2017

BEIRUT/JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday urged its citizens to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible."

An official source at the Saudi Ministry of Foriegn Affairs was quoted by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as calling on Saudis not to travel to Lebanon.

"Due to the situation in the Republic of Lebanon, the Kingdom asks its nationals visiting or residing in Lebanon to leave as soon as possible, and advises its citizens not to travel to Lebanon from any other international destinations," the official source said.

Minutes later, Kuwait's Foreign Ministry also ordered its nationals to leave Lebanon immediately, according to a statement carried by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The Saudi and Kuwaiti positions come six days after the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri. He announced his resignation from Riyadh on Saturday.

Al-Hariri accused Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, of “controlling the Lebanese state,” and pointed out that he sensed that something was being plotted covertly to target his life.

Bahrain already asked its citizens on Sunday to avoid travelling to Lebanon and advised those already in the country to leave immediately for their safety.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Thursday accused Hezbollah of "hijacking the system" and putting "roadblocks in front of Al-Hariri" at every opportunity.

In an interview to CNBC's Hadley Gamble, he said: "Hezbollah put roadblocks in front of every initiative that Prime Minister Hariri tried to implement. Hezbollah has pretty much hijacked the Lebanese system. It has been the instrument that Iran used to dominate Lebanon, the instrument that Iran used to interfere with Syria, with Hamas, and with the Houthis. We see Hezbollah’s mischief all over the region. Hezbollah has been responsible for smuggling weapons into Bahrain. Hezbollah is involved in criminal activity, such as drug dealing and money laundering."

He urged the international community to take a firm stand against Hezbollah.

"We are saying that the world has to make sure that we designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. There can be no difference between a political wing and a militant wing. The world needs to take action in terms of curtailing Hezbollah's activities, and the world needs to push back against Hezbollah wherever they operate. We cannot allow Lebanon to be a platform from which harm comes to Saudi Arabia."

Al-Jubeir described the Lebanese people as innocent.

"The Lebanese people have been dominated by Hezbollah and we need to find a way to help the Lebanese people come out from under the thumb of Hezbollah," he said. "We cannot allow Lebanon to be a base from which attacks against Saudi Arabia can take place and we are urging the Lebanese government in particular to take firm and resolute action against Hezbollah."

On possible Saudi measures against Hezbollah, he said: "We are looking at various options and in consultations with our friends and allies around the world to see what is the most effective way of dealing with the menace called Hezbollah."

He said there was no difference in the positions of Saudi Arabia and the US vis-a-vis Hezbollah.

"The US wants the Lebanese government to be strong and independent; so do we. The US wants to curtail Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon; so do we. The US wants to push back hard against Hezbollah, its terrorist activities, and its criminal activities, and so do we. So I don’t see a difference between the positions of our two governments," he said.

In Beirut, for the third consecutive day, Lebanese President Michel Aoun carried on consultations with Lebanese leaders.

Aoun's press office said: “The president is still adhering to his position, announced on Saturday, stating that he will wait for Al-Hariri’s return to discuss with him the reasons behind his resignation in order to take the proper actions.

“Our main concern should be the preservation of national unity. The measures taken to maintain security and financial stability are still effective and have so far achieved their objectives.”

The head of the Maronite Catholic church, Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai, visited Aoun at the Presidential Palace on Thursday evening. A source at the Patriarchate’s headquarters said: “The patriarch’s visit to Saudi Arabia is still on as scheduled, at the beginning of next week.”

The Future Movement Bloc and Political Bureau held a joint meeting, headed by former Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, at the residence of Prime Minister Al-Hariri in Beirut. In the statement that was delivered at the end of the meeting, Siniora said: “The Future Movement trusts and fully supports Saad Al-Hariri and his leadership. The movement will support and abide by any decision taken by Al-Hariri under any circumstances.”

The Future Movement said: “The return of Al-Hariri, head of the Future Movement, is a necessity to restore the internal and external balance of powers in Lebanon and respect Lebanese legitimacy represented by the constitution and the Taif Agreement. Al-Hariri’s return is also imperative to preserve Arab and international legitimacy.”

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, representing the Lebanese president, said: “We have already said, and we will keep on saying, that we paid a high price so that we would get a president and a premier who represent us; we chose them and we are the ones to decide if they should be removed from their posts or not.”

In Riyadh, Al-Hariri met the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, Al-Hariri's office said in a statement.

Al-Hariri also met diplomats from the EU, Britain and the US in the past two days.

***

Zero Hedge

As Israel And Saudi Arabia Target Lebanon, What Are Hezbollah's Military Capabilities (Excerpted from a much longer article. Ed)

by Tyler Durden

Nov 9, 2017 9:13 AM

As we explained in part I, On The Verge Of Catastrophe: Saudi Arabia Says Lebanon Declared War, the anti-Iran and anti-Shia alliance of convenience between the Saudis and Israelis appears to have placed Lebanon in the cross hairs of yet another looming Israeli-Hezbollah war. This will begin as economic war, but could soon become actual war. This comes, perhaps not coincidentally, at the very moment ISIS is on the verge of complete annihilation (partly at the hands of Hezbollah), and as both Israel and Saudi Arabia have of late increasingly declared "red lines" concerning perceived Iranian influence across the region as well as broad Hezbollah acceptance and popularity within Lebanon.

What has both Israel and the Saudis worried is the fact that the Syrian war has possibly strengthened Hezbollah, not weakened it - and this as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned home by his Saudi paymasters, precipitating last weekend's internal Saudi regime crackdown and ensuing chaos. Indeed as we reported, there is also now smoking gun internal evidence that Israel is quietly formalizing its unusual alliance with Saudi Arabia toward the goal of extinguishing Hezbollah from Lebanon and the region. But what is Hezbollah's current military strength and how difficult would it be for external attackers to extricate the group from Lebanese government and society?

Below is an extensive and rare in-depth analysis of Hezbollah's current military capabilities and role in Lebanese society courtesy of analysts at SouthFront.

An Assessment Of Hezbollah's Military Capabilities And Its Role In Lebanese Society

*****

In the next war Israel will face a unified front of Syrian forces, Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last month.

Lieberman made this claim during a celebratory event marking the Jewish festival of Sukkot at a military headquarters building in Tel Aviv. The minister added that the “Lebanese army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network.”

“Even if the next campaign develops, and it does not matter where it develops, in the north or the south, it will immediately become a battle on two fronts,” Lieberman said. “We are supposed to prepare for every possible scenario, and the new reality also prepares new challenges for us. If we once talked about the Lebanese sector, then there is no longer such a sector, there is a northern sector in every development.”

The defense minister further warned, “Whoever wants peace must prepare for war, and I hope that our enemies on the other side will think carefully about every step taken against the State of Israel, so that we will not have to demonstrate the full strength and capabilities of the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces].”

Hezbollah's Ideology and Relation to the Lebanese Government

Hezbollah’s mission and foundation can be summarized according to three principles: first, Islam is declared an ideological, doctrinal, and practical basis for the organization’s functions; second, its main aim is the struggle against Israeli occupation of Lebanon and Palestine and against Zionist domination; third, it recognizes the Iranian Shia thesis concerning the necessity of 'Vilayat-e-Fakih'. This Shia doctrine asserts that during the era of the "12th Great Reappearance of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi," the leadership over the Shia is transferred to high-ranking Shia clerics.

Hezbollah, as an organization, has a structure based on certain ideological principles and exists within the framework of the Lebanese state, but which has no actual influence on the movement’s activities. The party is led by the Shura Council consisting of 7 members (six spiritual leaders—ulemas—and one secular leader). The members are elected by the Central Council (Al-Majlis al-Markazis), consisting of the 200 most authoritative members of the movement. Shura Council elections consist of three phases. The first is the candidate selection (usually 70-80), both clerics and secular individuals who satisfy the criteria set by the top leaders. Those who pass this stage have the right to participate in the second stage. In other words, they become candidates for the Shura Council. As a rule, 10-15 people make it to the second round. The final phase consists of the direct election of the 7 Shura Council members.

Council decisions are final and religiously binding for all party members. They are adopted either unanimously or by the majority of votes. If there is a deadlock or a split within Shura Council, issues are decided by the party leader, whose decisions are final and obligatory on all administrative institutions, and cannot be challenged. This is how the principle of Vilayat-e-Fakih is observed and splits within the ruling elite are averted.

The actual operations of the party are conducted by the administrative executive apparatus, known as Shura Tanfiz. It consists of five councils:

  • Executive Council (oversight over political and organizational matters, including social, cultural, and educational activities);

  • Politburo (addresses intra-movement matters);

  • Parliamentary Council (concerns itself with Hezbollah activities in the Lebanese legislature);

  • Judicial Council (issues religious resolutions and carries out arbitration on matters of disagreement, relying on Islamic law); and

  • Jihad Council (directs the movement, including oversight, recruitment, training, equipment, security).

Each council is usually headed by a Shura Council member. The movement General Secretary is Hassan Nasrallah, who is also the supreme commander of its armed formations. Leadership also includes his deputy, a spiritual leader who is also the supreme judge, some Lebanese legislators, the military formation commander for Southern Lebanon, and regional leaders of the organization. The Executive Council has various departments responsible for specific areas of activity: welfare, healthcare, information, press, finance, external communications, coordination.

Hezbollah's Military Capabilities

Assessments of Hezbollah’s armed strength vary. Iran’s FARS news agency data from October 2016 put Hezbollah’s armed strength at no less than 65,000 troops, including reserves. Of them, 21,000 are professional soldiers with constant training. According to the 2017 Military Balance, currently 5-8 thousand Hezbollah troops are fighting in Syria.

  • Bekaa Valley: the regional commander’s responsibilities include control over arms shipments from Iran through Syria for the “Sheikh Abdallah” military camp that’s under joint command by the Hezbollah and the Syrian army. According to various sources, this region’s forces consist of at least 7 infantry battalions with 252 people each. Three of them are motorized.

  • South Beirut: according to various sources, this region includes at least two battalions of 252 troops, one of them motorized.

  • South Lebanon: after the Taif treaty of 1989, Hezbollah formations were reorganized and placed under a unified command. The current commander is responsible for Hezbollah military and Special Security formations and may also command Lebanese Army units in South Lebanon. This region includes at least 7 battalions of 252 troops each, five of them motorized.

Moreover, one should note the nontrivial fact of the existence of a full-scale, by Iranian, NATO, and Russian measures, tank regiment. In November 2016, near the city of al-Quiseir (Homs province, Syria), there was an inspection of Hezbollah equipment. The various photos from the inspection showed T-55, T-62, and some T-72 tanks, some 2S1 Gvozdika howitzers, BMP-1, and -2, M113 APCs with 14.5mm machine-guns, ZSU-57-2 SPAA. Most of this equipment apparently came from SAA arsenals and was obtained from the Lebanese Army and possibly Iran.

Hezbollah tanks photographed in Syria in November 2016. Image source: South Front

Being a full-fledged political and military organization, Hezbollah understands that it is surrounded by enemies such as Israel and radical Sunni Islamists. Therefore having a tank regiment with experienced crews is of vital importance, as the unit represents a serious force by the standards of Lebanon and the adjacent countries. The prolonged civil war in Lebanon, the permanent stand-off with Israel, and now also the struggle against Sunni Islamists - in other words, the constant balancing on the edge between war and peace - makes the movement flexible in its command arrangements and able to quickly and appropriately react to emerging problems.

One can also draw the conclusion that the paramilitary wing of the Hezbollah, in spite of external attributes of a partisan movement, which it was 20-30 years ago, is gradually becoming a full-fledged army with a training establishment, a command structure, and a logistical segment.

Each Hezbollah brigade in south Lebanon has a sector in northern Israel that it is supposed to occupy. Combat and special training in each brigade take into account local geography. One should also note that border terrain is fortified: there is a large-scale network of tunnels, bunkers, minefields. Using the tunnels, Hezbollah can concentrate large number of troops on the needed attack sector without being spotted and attacked from the air.

Experience Gained in Syria

Hezbollah leadership reviewed its concept of operations after the start of the Syria war. Before the war, the emphasis was placed on defensive ops in built-up areas with small units to inflict maximum troop and equipment losses on the IDF while simultaneously shelling Israel using large numbers of short- and medium-range rockets.

In Syria, Hezbollah realized that it had to wage offensive ops in cities. Therefore it reconsidered its training system, increased its rocket arsenal, and provided more heavy weapons and recon systems.

The first operation where Hezbollah took offensive using large units was the battle for el-Quseyr in May-June 2013. Some 1200-1700 best-trained Hezbollah troops took part in the battle. They were divided into 17 detachments, with later division into teams of 3-5 troops. Prior to the attack, the command performed recon of the city and its approaches, then divided the city into 16 sectors, one for each detachment. Each region had its codename. During the battle, this allowed for command of forces using open channels of communication without the enemy being able to take any countermeasures. Hezbollah command undertook the direction of SAA tank and artillery units near the city.

Considering that the city was in the Islamist hands for over a year and was well-fortified, the ratio of losses was nevertheless 5:1 in favor of Hezbollah. The battle showed that with proper organization, a fortified city can be effectively attacked by a small force.

As far as the military direction of Hezbollah units in Syria by Iran is concerned, it seems probable that Iran directs Hezbollah units down to battalion level (sometimes down to company) using IRGC specialists from the al-Quds Force. It can’t be ruled out that IRGC specialists coordinate Hezbollah and local self-defense forces like the Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq. Units smaller than a battalion don’t warrant the provision of specialists. There is a need for a large number of trained cadres able to command and provide assistance. One of the factors influencing cooperation in this instance is the language barrier—Arabic in Lebanon, versus Farsi in Iran.

Hezbollah became one of the factors which allowed to turn around the war in Syria, since its troops were able to fight in cities. The SAA, in 2011-12 was organized along 1970-80 lines to fight combined arms battles mainly against Israel. New realities have shown that this army was unable to fight as small units in the cities. Moreover, the SAA has not fought for a long time. Its last significant operations took place in 1982. Therefore it had no commanders with urban warfare experience. Hezbollah, on the other hand, has constantly fought Israel since the moment of its creation. Generations of commanders have honed their skills in the years of clashes and battles with the IDF, causing it serious losses during the 2006 war. Israel was forced to retreat from south Lebanon, and Hezbollah’s reputation has risen to unprecedented heights.

Israel’s military command is worried about Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, since its paramilitary wing will now be able to wage offensive ops using heavy weapons and a huge number of short-, medium-, and long-range rockets.

The fact that Hezbollah has become akin to a regular army is confirmed by IDF’s rethinking of its approach to the fight against it. First, IDF is preparing for fighting big formations, up to a brigade, whose task will be invading Israel and capturing villages or military bases. Second, it is paying special attention to combating tunnels, including technical and psychological preparation of its troops to fight in tunnels.

EXPRESS

TIDE TURNING? Slap in face for Juncker as Austria appoints anti-EU Foreign Minister

AUSTRIA has sent a powerful political message to the EU by appointing an anti-European candidate as foreign minister.

By LEIGH BOOBYER

November 7, 2017

Norbert Hofer, who has repeatedly attacked the EU over immigration, economic and security policies, will become the most important representative of the EU-critical Freedom Party (FPÖ) and take over the EU and world affairs agendas for Austria.

Sebastian Kurz, leader of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), is holding coalition talks with the FPÖ to form a new government by Christmas.

Mr Hofer is considered a vehement critic of the notion of an superstate, and is cautious of Eurocrats.

FPÖ politicians have ultimately demanded Mr Kurz appoint a finance minister or a foreign minister of the far-right party or else they will force coalition talks to collapse.

Populist Mr Hofer is smooth performer in front of the cameras and has been instrumental in helping the FPÖ shed some of the harsher aspects of its image.

He has previously said that carrying guns is a “natural consequence” of immigration.

Hofer’s appointment is a clear slap in the face for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker who has expressed wishes to isolate and use sanctions against any far-right or populist governments swept to power or presidential office on the wave of popular anger against migration.

He has made clear that Mr Hofer would have been frozen out of EU decision-making when he stood to be President of Austria in 2016.

Mr Juncker said at the time: “There is no debate or dialogue with the far-right.”

Mr Hofer could use his position as foreign minister to influence other EU states to oppose Mr Juncker’s plans to impose a single tax system, one finance president and an EU army.

Mr Kurz should form his new government by Christmas and will become the youngest head of government in Europe.

He campaigned on a platform that combined a hard line on immigration similar to the FPÖ with traditional conservative principles like slimming down the state and cutting taxes.

ENENEWS

Fukushima should be ranked LEVEL 10 nuclear disaster (INES scale only goes up to 7) — Plant Worker: We caused the “worst kind” of accident

November 7, 2017

Excerpts from Risk Analysis Vol. 37, No. 1, 2017

  • Of Disasters and Dragon Kings: A Statistical Analysis of Nuclear Power Incidents and Accidents

  • [T]he cost of the two largest events, Chernobyl and Fukushima (March 2011), is equal to nearly five times the sum of the 173 other events. We also document a significant runaway disaster regime in both radiation release and cost data, which we associate with the “dragon-king” phenomenon… we find that the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) is inconsistent in terms of both cost and radiation released. To be consistent with cost data, the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters would need to have between an INES level of 10 and 11, rather than the maximum of 7…

  • [T]he upper category (7) clearly contains events too large to be consistent with the linear relationship. For instance, the largest events (Fukushima and Chernobyl) would need to have an INES score of 10.6 to coincide with the fitted line…

  • RUNAWAY DISASTERS AS “DRAGON-KING” OUTLIERS — In a complex system with safety features/ barriers, once an event surpasses a threshold, it can become uncontrollable, and develop into a “runaway disaster”—causing disproportionately more damage than other events…

  • [F]or the costs to be consistent with the INES scores, the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters would need to be between an INES level of 10 and 11, rather than the maximum level of 7…

Japan Times, Sep 2, 2017: “Whether you take the viewpoint of a Tepco employee or a local resident, the outcome was far from satisfactory,” [former Fukushima Daiichi worker Ryuta Idogawa] says. “As a plant operator we caused a huge accident — the worst kind. Technicians train over and over, and are charged with ensuring this kind of thing doesn’t happen. That the accident did happen makes us the lowest of the low. From the viewpoint of a resident, the disaster meant they couldn’t go home. That we destroyed entire communities was bad enough. However, they were our communities as well.”

HAL Turner Radio Show

U.S. National News

Legal Experts "Have never seen anything like this before, ever" -- 294 MORE SEALED INDICTMENTS NATIONWIDE ! ! ! ! Elite / Pedophiles / Politicians Going Down !

294 more sealed indictments have been filed in Federal Courts around the US.

Sealed indictments are rare. It's rare to have more than 1 or 2 in a month in any given district. There are literally hundreds now, all over the US.

Speaking to a lawyer friend of mine. He said 1-3 sealed indictments in a month in any one district wouldn't cause to many eyebrows to be raised. 4-5 is high, 6 is almost unheard of.

Between the 294 Indictments now located across the country PLUS the 81 in Washington, DC and in Eastern Virginia, that's almost 400 Sealed Indictments. The lawyer told me this number is "off the charts . . . .no one has seen anything like this."

This is not dis-info, it is fact. Sealed indictments are verifiable public record. We don't know whats in them yet, but you can see they are there and it's sure as heck not normal, it's unprecedented. There has never been this many at once . . . ever.

I'm just connecting the dots. Pedophile cases in the news every single day for the last 3 weeks? We've gone years without hearing about any pedophile stuff, but now in the last 3 weeks it's case, after case, after case, after case of some pervert, from Hollywood to DC.

Uranium One with all the Bribery, Kickbacks, Extortion and Money Laundering.

The fake Trump "Dossier" where Clinton and the DNC laundered money through the Perkins Coie Law Firm to hide the expenditures from campaign finance disclosure laws.

All of the locations given are the home bases of the previous administrations back to Bush.

Trump could be doing 9/11 and Pedogate, Uranium One, the Classified Hillary email scandal, pay to play, rigging the Democratic Primary Election, illegally spying on his campaign. ... all of it known and unknown.

What if these indictments are the U.S. (Trump) version of the Saudi Arabia counter coup?
The crown prince just had many in his own royal family arrested for corruption.
What if these indictments are the same type of mass sweep of corrupt individuals?

I think that when these Sealed Indictments are made public, it will shake the corridors of power in this country right to the very core. I think the Halls of Power -- "The Elite" -- are being brought down.

Time will tell.

Bloombert

Bitcoin Is the ‘Very Definition’ of a Bubble, Credit Suisse CEO Says

By Jan-Henrik Foerster

Updated on November 2, 2017

The speculation around bitcoin is the “very definition of a bubble,” Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam said as the currency exceeded $7,000 for the first time.

“From what we can identify, the only reason today to buy or sell bitcoin is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble,” he said at a news conference in Zurich Thursday. He added that in the history of finance, such speculation has “rarely led to a happy end.”

The digital currency got new impetus this week after CME Group Inc., the world’s largest exchange owner, said it plans to introduce bitcoin futures by the end of the year, citing pent-up demand from clients. That pushes bitcoin closer to the mainstream by making it easier to trade Bitcoin Is the ‘Very Definition’ of a Bubble, Credit Suisse CEO Says

Other bankers are also sounding warnings about the currency. JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin “a fraud” that will eventually blow up. UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber said last month that bitcoin has no “intrinsic value” because it’s not secured by underlying assets.

Bankers also are steering clear of bitcoin for fear that criminals could use its anonymity to hide their activities, Thiam said.

“Most banks in the current state of regulation have little or no appetite to get involved in a currency which has such anti-money laundering challenges,” he said.

While bitcoin remains a no-go with the industry, banks are racing to develop blockchain, the technology underpinning the currency. Thiam said blockchain may have many applications in banking. Credit Suisse is among more than 100 banks are working within the R3, a consortium created to find ways to use blockchain as to track money transfers and other transactions.

MailOnline

Homelessness on the West Coast laid bare: Bleak pictures give a snapshot into the 168,000 people forced to live on the streets due to high cost of living, rock-bottom vacancy rates and a roaring economy

  • Official counts taken earlier this year in California, Oregon and Washington show 168,000 homeless people in the three states, according to an AP tally of every jurisdiction in those states that reports homeless numbers to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • During the same period, the number of unsheltered people in the three states - defined as someone sleeping outside, in a bus or train station, abandoned building or vehicle - has climbed 18 percent to 105,000

  • Since 2015, at least 10 cities or municipal regions in California, Oregon and Washington - and Honolulu, as well - have declared states of emergency due to the rise of homelessness

  • A new study funded by the real estate information firm Zillow and conducted by the University of Washington found a strong link between rising housing prices and rising homelessness numbers

  • Nationally, homelessness has been trending down, partly because governments and nonprofit groups have gotten better at moving people into housing

  • That's true in many West Coast cities, too, but the flow the other direction is even faster. And on the West Coast, shelter systems are smaller

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

PUBLISHED: 05:04, 6 November 2017 | UPDATED: 21:48, 6 November 2017

photos

MailOnline

The calm before the storm: Jaw-dropping photos of supercells show nature's beauty before rain, hail, and lightning strike down on the land below

  • Images from across the United States show supercell storms engulfing miles of width and height in the sky

  • The supercell storms can last up to ten hours and leave millions of dollars worth of destruction in their wake

  • The storms, which feature thunder, lighting and even massive hailstones, rip through landscapes like bombs

  • Photographer Roger Mill, of Bennett, Colorado, has been chasing supercell storms for more than 30 years

By Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline

PUBLISHED: 14:35, 8 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:41, 8 November 2017

photos

Smithsonian.com

The True History of the Orient Express

Spies used it as a secret weapon. A president tumbled from it. Hitler wanted it destroyed. Just what made this train so intriguing?

By David Zax

MARCH 1, 2007 | UPDATED: NOVEMBER 7, 2017

To most people the Orient Express is more an idea than a tangible entity. We are most familiar

with its life in fiction and cinema: Hercule Poirot solved his most famous case on it, Alfred Hitchock’s lady vanished from it and James Bond rode it from Istanbul to London.

Now, the latest iteration of the legendary train is chugging back to the big screen as director Kenneth Branagh tries his hand at remaking Agatha Christie’s classic murder-mystery tale.

But what was the real Orient Express like, how did it first attain its aura of mystery and intrigue and what was the famous train’s ultimate fate?
A Continental Vision

In 1865, a prominent Belgian banker’s son named Georges Nagelmackers first envisioned “a train that would span a continent, running on a continuous ribbon of metal for more than 1,500 miles,” as E. H. Cookridge writes in Orient Express: The Life and Times of the World’s Most Famous Train. During a trip to America, Nagelmackers witnessed the many innovations in railway travel there—chief among them George Pullman’s unprecedented, luxurious “sleeper cars”—and he returned determined to realize his vision.

In 1883, after a number of false starts, financial troubles and difficulties negotiating with various national railway companies, Nagelmackers’s Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (wagons-lits being French for “sleeper cars”) established a route from Paris to Istanbul, then called Constantinople. The newspapers dubbed it the “Orient Express”—though Istanbul was as far toward the “Orient” as this train would ever travel—and Nagelmackers embraced the name.

On October 4, the Orient Express set out on its first formal journey, with many journalists aboard to publicly marvel at the train’s luxury and beauty. (Nagelmackers, a clever showman, even arranged to have shoddy, decaying old Pullman cars stand in contrast on the tracks adjacent to the Express as it left Paris’s Gare de Strasbourg.) Aboard the train, the delighted passengers felt as though they’d entered one of Europe’s finest hotels; they marveled at the intricate wooden paneling, deluxe leather armchairs, silk sheets and wool blankets for the beds. The journey from Paris to Istanbul lasted a little over 80 hours.

The King of Trains

Some kings traveling onboard the train infamously exhibited very odd behavior. Ferdinand of Bulgaria, scared to death of assassins, was observed locking himself in the bathroom. Belgium’s King Leopold II rode the train to Istanbul after making elaborate arrangements to infiltrate a Turkish man’s harem. The king of Bulgaria, an amateur engineer, insisted that he be allowed to drive the train through his country, which he did at perilous speeds. Czar Nicholas II demanded that special cars be built for his visit to France, and some decades later the French President Paul Deschanel clumsily tumbled from one of these cars in the dead of night, an event that prompted such ridicule that he eventually resigned.

In its heyday, the train duly earned another nickname: “Spies’ Express.” Continent-hopping secret agents loved the train, writes Cookridge, since it simply “made their jobs so much easier and their travels much more comfortable.” One of the most remarkable of these agents was an Englishman named Robert Baden-Powell, who posed as a lepidopterist collecting samples in the Balkans. His intricate sketches of the forms and colors of butterfly wings were actually coded representations of the fortifications he spotted along the Dalmatian Coast, which served as great aids to the British and Italian navies during World War I.

Though the two World Wars severely limited Orient Express service, a single car played a fascinating symbolic role in both. On November 11, 1918, German officers signed a surrender document in an Allied commander’s Wagons-Lits car, which he used as a mobile conference room. The French proudly exhibited the car in Paris until June 1940, when Hitler ordered that it be hauled to the precise spot where the Germans had been forced to surrender 22 years before; there he dictated the terms of French surrender. Four years later, when Hitler’s loss seemed imminent, he ordered that the car be blown up, lest it “become a trophy of the Allies once more.”

A True Original

What remains of the Orient Express? The pedigree of the train became rather complicated in later years, as Nagelmackers’s original line spawned similar ones following slightly different routes, and as other providers began to use the phrase “Orient Express” for promotional purposes. The Direct Orient Express, the Simplon Orient Express (the train Poirot rode), the Nostalgic Orient Express and many others have existed over the years. One descendant of the original Orient Express became rather shabby, crowded and cheap—a disillusioned journalist called it a “roving tenement.” Today’s Venice-Simplon Orient Express aims for the opulence of the original, and for the right price, a person can still go for a ride in its restored original Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lit cars.

But attempts to maintain the old glamour of the Orient Express have largely fallen into self-parody—promoters of the line have encouraged patrons to dress in 1920s garb, and even once staged a murder mystery game during a journey. Writing in 1976 for the Los Angeles Times, one reporter meets a tired and cranky contessa who says, on the trip’s last leg, “If there are going to be any murders on this train, it will be the Turk that wakes me up at 5 a.m.”

Modern versions of the Orient Express are a far cry from the original that Cookridge lovingly and nostalgically portrays: “Kings and crooks, millionaires and refugees, big-game hunters and smugglers, prima donnas and courtesans traveled on it; tycoons and financiers clinched their deals across its sumptuous dining tables; diplomats, spies, and revolutionaries on board the train moved secretively to their moments of history.” The era of such intrigue and excitement aboard the Orient Express is over. But in a world that becomes more connected every day—and one in which there is no shortage of luxury travel—much of Nagelmackers’s vision lives on.

The Orient Express became the train of choice for Europe’s wealthy and high-born, a rolling symbol of the economic disparities of its age. “Peasants in half-a-dozen countries would pause in their work in the fields and gape at the glittering cars and the supercilious faces behind the windows,” writes Cookridge. It came to be called “the King of Trains and the Train of Kings.”

***

Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: in my flesh shall I see God.”
(Job 19:25-26)

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