“Let us labour
therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same
example of unbelief.”
Enter Into That Rest
Question: "How can we enter into God’s rest?"
Answer: The concept of entering into God’s rest comes from Hebrews 3—4. What is this “rest” the Hebrew writer is talking about? How do we enter it? And how do we fail to enter it? The writer to the Hebrews begins his discussion of God’s rest in chapter 3, where he references the Israelites wandering in the desert. In giving them the land of Canaan, God had promised them that He would go before them and defeat all their enemies in order that they could live securely (Deuteronomy 12:9–10). All that was required of them was to fully trust in Him and His promises. However, they refused to obey Him. Instead, they murmured against Him, even yearning to go back to their bondage under the Egyptians (Exodus 16:3; 17:1–7; Numbers 20:3–13).
The particular “rest” referred to here was that of the land of Canaan. Into that rest God solemnly said the Israelites who disobeyed Him would never enter (Hebrews 3:11). They had been rebellious. All the means of reclaiming them had failed. God had warned and entreated them; He had caused His mercies to pass before them, and had visited them with judgments in vain; and He now declares that for all their rebellion they should be excluded from the Promised Land (Hebrews 3:16–19). But, eventually, the next generation did place their faith in God and, by following the leadership of Joshua, they, some forty years later, entered into God’s rest, the land of Canaan (Joshua 3:14–17).
Using the Israelites as an example of those who were not resting in God’s promises, the writer of Hebrews goes on in chapter 4 to make the application personal, both to the Hebrew Christians and to us: “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). The promise that still stands is the promise of salvation through God’s provision—Jesus Christ. He alone can provide the eternal rest of salvation through His blood shed on the cross for the remission of sins. God’s rest, then, is in the spiritual realm, the rest of salvation. Faith, the author goes on to assert, is the key to entering God’s rest. The Hebrews had had the gospel preached to them, just as the Israelites knew the truth about God, but the messages were of “no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith” (Hebrews 4:2). Some had heard the good news of Christ, but they rejected it for lack of faith.
Hebrews 4:10–13 explains the nature of this faith. The kind of faith that enables us to enter into God’s rest is a faith that first demands that we rest from relying on our own works. Then the writer seemingly contradicts himself by telling us to make every effort: “For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:10–11). What this apparent paradox means is that such biblical faith involves our submissiveness to God, and our efforts in that area.
Though we desist in our self-efforts to earn salvation and the promised eternal rest, we also “make every effort to enter that rest” by choosing to depend solely on God, to trust Him implicitly, to yield totally to the promises of God through the free grace of His salvation. Why? So “that no one will fall by following their [the Israelites’] example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:11). We either trust ourselves to save ourselves, or we trust God to do that for us through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. By failing to trust God fully in His promises, we become disobedient and fail to enter the rest that is eternal life, just as the children of Israel became disobedient when they failed to enter the Promised Land.
So how do we stop trusting ourselves? How do we place our full trust in God and His promises? We enter into God’s rest by first understanding our total inability to enter God’s rest on our own. Next, we enter God’s rest by our total faith in the sacrifice of Christ and complete obedience to God and His will. “And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18–19). Unlike the Israelites whose unbelief prevented them from entering the Promised Land, we are to enter God’s rest by faith in Him, faith which is a gift from Him by grace (Ephesians 2:8–9).
We published “Lingering Idolatry in the Temple of God” in June 2015. We wanted to republish it again to bring out a point that we did not bring out at that time.
Lingering Idolatry in the Temple of God
by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D, September 1, 2000 Edited by David Sielaff, March 2007 The Sanctuary of God contained idolatrous images that God commanded to be included in the Tabernacle! This preliminary statement may surprise some people who study and love the biblical revelation because of its widespread condemnation of idolatry and its outward teaching of God’s adamant strictures against depicting Him in any physical fashion (that is, by making idols, images, statues, pictures, icons, etc.). So stringent is the biblical theme of avoiding idolatry (or, idolatrous ways) that the Israelites were ordered even in the Ten Commandments NOT to make similitudes of ANYTHING in the heavens, of ANYTHING in the earth or of ANYTHING under the earth (that is, of ANYTHING within the seas and oceans) and they were ordered NOT to devote those images to any religious activity in any ritualistic manner. Though we read throughout the Bible that God loathes idolatry in any form, still the introductory statement of this research article is absolutely true. God actually commanded the Israelites to accept idolatrous rituals in the time of Moses that led the Israelites directly into the practice of idolatry (at least that is how Israel interpreted those commands of God). What we all need to learn is the fact that there is always a particular right manner in which to interpret or to understand a command of God, and the manner should never be twisted to produce opposite effects that will evoke diametrically opposed views as coming from God. This teaching that I am referring to is in the Bible but many people have passed right over some of its most important doctrinal statements regarding God’s commandments. This is usually because of preconceived (and often erroneous) ideas on what they think the Scriptures teach (or what they think the Scriptures ought to teach). But strange as it may seem, even God Himself, through the words of one of His most powerful prophets in the Old Testament, made the judgmental appraisal that the Israelites were commanded by Him to perform certain rites and to involve certain images that caused them to commit idolatry. And, even God admitted that those commands of His were NOT GOOD. Furthermore, the prophet who stated these things was backed up by another who even named the images that the Israelites were commanded by God to recognize. Amazingly, those images that became idolatrous were ordered by God to be located within the very Temple of God. That command of God concerning the introduction of those images into the Tabernacle and later Temple remained in force for almost a thousand years. And, interestingly enough, even the first martyr of the Christian Ekklesia (who was Stephen the Deacon) referred to this early period of time when the Israelites were practicing a form of idolatry that involved certain spiritual beings that God had commanded to be used in His worship in the Sanctuaries (Acts 7:41–43). The fact is, the Israelites were so endued with the practice of idolatry when they came out of Egypt that they were not prepared (or spiritually ready) to adopt more mature and advanced teaching in which idolatry became a prime transgression. Only later, in the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel do we find God finally having such
images banished from the Temple. It was then that Jeremiah and Ezekiel got rid of much of the idolatry that stemmed from initiating the earlier commands of God as they related to the Tabernacle in the wilderness and finally in the Temple at Jerusalem. But in the early age of Israel being a nation (at the time of their Exodus from Egypt), the conduct of the Israelites showed they were so prone to accept idolatrous principles that even God felt He had to give them some idolatrous teachings in order for them to comprehend what little spiritual truths the Israelites had mustered while in Egypt. God, in a sense, went to the “bottom of the barrel” and gave the Israelites some commands that finally resulted in them accepting a vast amount of idolatry into their mainstream teachings involving the Tabernacle (and later, the Temple). Or, as the Holy Scriptures relate it, we find God commanding Israel to accept doctrines and to perform religious rituals that were NOT GOOD for the Israelites to practice at the time. Yes, even God Himself recognized that some of those commands that He gave to the Israelites were NOT GOOD — they turned out to be commands that led Israel into full- scale idolatry. That is precisely what the Scriptures teach us, if one will read the Word of God at its face value and try not to interpret away what the plain words state. Most people, however, are not aware of these commands of God that are recorded in the Bible because most (it seems) read right over them quickly without pausing to ask why in the world were they first given by God Himself. The Strange Commands of God that Led to the Practice of Idolatry Although God in the Ten Commandments utterly condemned any form of idolatry and He placed His proscription against the practice in those early constitutional commands, God still taught the Israelites to perform commands that were NOT GOOD for them. These commands concerned the introduction of Cherubimic images in their worship within the Tabernacle (the portable Temple). God even allowed it to happen again in the time of Solomon where images of Cherubim and twelve bulls were outwardly displayed in the Temple (1 Kings 6:24–29; 2 Chronicles 4:15). Indeed, God even approved of this image display that Solomon continued when he built the Temple in Jerusalem. This was a violation of the strict wording of the Second Command. Did you read me correctly? I stated that God not only allowed a certain amount of violation of the Ten Commandments in the Tabernacle and later Temple, but God even commanded that those Cherubimic and bovine images be introduced even though His commands finally led Israel into idolatrous practices that were contrary to the plain statements of the Ten Commandments! Now WHY would God “command” these things is the knowledge we should seek in order to understand these things. The real truth of the matter is that anything can be made to say what a person wishes the “truth” to say, and usually it can occur quite easily. A rational person might argue that a mere image of itself does not mean that the person uses it in an idolatrous fashion. Yes, but still it often takes an image to show outright idolatry in action. So, images need not of themselves be idolatrous, the temptations are strong to make them such by most human beings who come in contact with them (especially if the images are God ordained). Those commands of God to build images within the Temple are an action that should not be taken by us in a frivolous manner (or an oversight on God’s part). God’s commands should always be taken seriously and they should not be jettisoned into
oblivion as a mere sideline issue and without any significance for us as is often done by some theologians, preachers, and priests. These commands of God also should not be explained away as irrelevant (as do many modern exegetes who do not understand why God did what He did). The foolish attempts to get rid of or minimize these explicit commands of God should never be looked upon as simple allowances by God to accommodate the weak character traits of the early Israelites at the time of the Exodus or in the period of Solomon.
As a matter of fact, it was the prophet Ezekiel that God inspired to record His final displeasure at having had commanded the early Israelites under Moses to observe and to recognize images in the Temple that led them into abject idolatry (and even to the practice of evil idolatrous worship) and these idolatrous results were witnessed within the precincts of the Tabernacle that God commanded in the wilderness.
That is right, dear folks, God Himself commanded (this means, God actively ordered the Israelites in the wilderness at the start of the Exodus period) to make images that proved to be idolatrous and to place them within the Holy Sanctuary. Now is the time to read those commands in this research paper. I deliberately took considerable introductory space in order to show the seriousness of those “bad commands of God.” That is what Ezekiel said under inspiration that God introduced commands that were not good once the Israelites showed very early in the Exodus period that they were not willing to practice all of the “good commands of God.”
Note carefully these negative commands of God in Ezekiel’s prophecy that the Israelites were expected to obey. Indeed, what do some of you think about the majestic ARK of the Covenant? Is it a piece of architectural junk from the Age of Idolatry, or is it to you the resplendent symbol of the holy presence of God himself within His divine Glory? You may come to a strong opinion about this before you finish this article. Let us now read the biblical texts on these important and significant matters. The Prophet Ezekiel stated:
“I lifted up my hand unto them [warned them] also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths [these were “good” commands], and their eyes were after [they pined away for] their fathers’ idols. Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were NOT GOOD, and judgments whereby they should not live.”
That is, God gave them commands which resulted in them NOT living in a righteous and proper manner: “And I polluted them in their own gifts [in their sacrificial gifts that they gave to God], in that they caused to pass through the fire all that open the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:26
In the plainest of language, we read in Ezekiel that God gave them commandments that were not good and that those negative commands led the Israelites [through their ignorance and natural fleshly inclinations] into presenting paganized sacrifices in the Temple and even to the practice of killing one or more of their children as a human sacrifice (usually the sacrifice of the firstborn was the normal heathen method). Yes,
the commands that God gave them led them in the final outcome to commit human sacrificing of children — “they caused to pass through the fire all that opens the womb”). Some humanitarian parents, according to Maimonides, the great Jewish authority in the time of the Crusades, did not kill their children at all, though they “pretended” to. They seemed to have the idea that this pretended sacrifice of the firstborn son in some way reflected what God would do in the world when the Messianic period would come at the End of the Age. The pretence was to wrap the child and bundle it carefully (so that not even a spark of actual fire would hit the child’s skin). This, according to Maimonides was the final ritual. In some cases, the old practice of the Amorites persisted. Of course, God did not intend that introducing those images into the Tabernacle rituals would lead to infant sacrifice. But they did! Give an inch, and the people take a mile. This type of accumulation of pagan teachings is by the attrition method — a little at a time.
“And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
Jeremiah 32:35 “For when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons to pass through the
fire, you pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord YHWH, I will not be enquired of by you.”
Ezekiel 20:31 “That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their
idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.”
What we read in Ezekiel chapter 20 is the appraisal of God Himself (stated through His prophet) that His initial commands in some contexts proved in later times to be “commands that were not good.” The outcome was very bad indeed. But what were those commands that God at first gave to the Israelites that turned out to be so very bad for them? Before I answer that question precisely, we should be aware of what God did not mean. It is plain that God did not mean in Ezekiel chapter 20 that He simply ALLOWED the Israelites to continue in their heathen ways.
This is what God did with the early Gentiles according to Paul. He “... gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another. ... and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God GAVE THEM OVER to a reprobate mind”
Romans 1:26, 28
God ALLOWED the Gentiles to do wrong WITHOUT THE PERMISSION of God. But in the section of Ezekiel chapter 20, the texts state in the clearest of Hebrew (and also in the clearest of English translation) that GOD COMMANDED (not simply “ALLOWED”) the Israelites in the wilderness to practice the commands of God that led them finally into idolatry.
These odious and bad commands given by God to the Israelites (remember, it was God who said they were NOT GOOD) were given in the precise manner (and with the same wording in the Hebrew — even the vowel points are identical) in which He “gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them” (Ezekiel 20:11). These commands that were NOT GOOD were also written in the Scriptures (with the exact Hebrew words and even the same vowel points) as when God gave Israel His positive commands that they should keep His sabbaths. Notice how this is the case in the same chapter in the Book of Ezekiel. “Moreover also [God said], I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign, between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord YHWH ...”
These were positive commands that God gave to those Israelites. In the same manner (and with the same wording in the Hebrew) God gave the Israelites commandments that WERE NOT GOOD (Ezekiel 20:25). God does not say the commands turned out to be bad ones in the end. He stated dogmatically that some of His early commandments to the Israelites were simply NOT GOOD to begin with. True, they turned out to be worse than God intended (indeed, they turned out to be far worse). The reason this occurred is because of the nascent proclivity for the early Israelites to rebel against the basic commands of God that He intended for their good. It seemed to be in their very nature to want to be idolaters. Recall that when Moses was on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments and some subsidiary laws, the Israelites clamored for Aaron to make them a molten calf as an image of their “God” who brought them out of Egypt, and Aaron went along with the endeavor (Exodus chapter 32). Moses was infuriated at their example of patent idolatry and the Israelites were punished for this error. This, however, did not stop their inclinations to sway toward image-making and the production of human artifacts to “aid them” in their worship. So ingrained were their emotions to gravitate toward idolatrous ways that God finally gave them commandments that were NOT GOOD that led them into further debauchery with those images. God’s Bad Commands What was it that God commanded that turned out to be very bad commands to the Israelites? The context of Ezekiel (along with the teachings and example of Jeremiah and the prophet Amos) showed that it was God’s command to place images within the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle (and later to allow — or command — Solomon to do the same thing). What is remarkable in all of this is the fact that those commands of God to make images of Cherubim and place them in the Tabernacle were given to the Israelites in spite of the Second Command of the Ten Commandments which stated: “You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing
that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
The rest of the Second Command states that Israelites should not bow before such images or idols nor to serve them. But when the Israelites in the wilderness blatantly refused to keep the commands concerning the sabbaths and other statutes and judgments, and that they continued in their idolatrous practices of their own accord, He then “gave them statutes that were NOT good, and judgments whereby they should NOT live” (Ezekiel 20:25).
God gave these later commands even though He had just deposited the Ten Commandments into their hands that proscribed such idolatrous acts. But, and in accord with God’s threat as we read in Ezekiel, God commanded exactly five chapters and sixteen verses after giving the Second Command of the Ten Commandments: “You shall make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shall you make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat [what later became known as the Ark of the Covenant]. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy [covering] seat shall you make the cherubim on the two ends thereof. And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy [the covering] seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy [covering] seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.”
Later God commanded Moses to make even more images of cherubim and to place them on the veil in the Temple (Exodus 26:31) and on the curtains (Exodus 36:8). These images were forbidden by the Second Command of the Ten Commandments. These commands God later said were “NOT GOOD” (Ezekiel 20:25).
But there is even more. About 39 years after God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to present to Israel as His law, God then commanded Moses to make a brazen image of a snake (which is also a clear violation of the Second Command of the Ten Commandments). It should be understood that if God wishes to change (or even to violate) a former command that He made (even if it were one of the Ten Commandments) God has the power and authority to do such actions. After all, it was He who gave the laws in the first place, and He has the right and the prerogative of changing or eliminating such laws at any time He chooses. So God Himself in the year 39 of the Exodus gave a command that was contrary to the Second Command of the Ten Commandments. He ordered Moses to make an image of a poisonous snake and to hang that snake/image onto a pole that the Israelites could look toward for a physical remedy in the wake of being bitten by poisonous snakes (Numbers 21:6–8). Let us understand once more that God can change any law He wishes and at any time He chooses. He has done so in the past and He can do it in the future. If God wishes to introduce idolatry into the Tabernacle (His divine Temple) even though it is a violation of the Second Commandment, God can do as He jolly well pleases. This is a principle that must always be understood and recognized by God’s own children and His people. God is in charge, not us! So, near the end of the 40 years of wilderness journeys by the Israelites, God decided
to adopt some idolatrous ways to teach the immature Israelites what calamitous consequences would develop by their insistence on having images of Cherubim in the Temple and also having an idolatrous brazen snake on a pole. And true to form, the Cherubim and the snake/image later became so idolatrous to the Israelites, that in the time of Hezekiah the snake/image had to be destroyed because of the rampant idolatry that it provoked (2 Kings 18:4). But that did not end the matter. We find that the Israelites also began to worship those two cherubim that God had placed in the Holy of Holies associated with the Ark of the Covenant. Even in the wilderness the Israelites had commenced their worship and adoration of those two Cherubim (and others that were depicted on the veils and curtains within the Tabernacle and the Temple that Solomon built). Do these words not smack of a clear violation of the Second Command (of the highly prestigious “Ten Commmandments”)? It seems they languish the very spirit and the meaning behind the Second Command.
What is important to realize is the fact that these commandments of God ordered that the Israelites make the images of the Cherubim and also the image of the snake on a pole (which we find in our modern caduceus symbol which identifies the medical profession).
Yes, this was the case in the time of Moses. In doing this, one might think that IT WAS NOT ALWAYS INEVITABLE THAT IDOLATRY WOULD EMERGE. Yes, but it almost always did! But what happened to the Israelites in their appreciation of these images of the Cherubim associated with the Ark of the Covenant? They soon (even while they were still in the wilderness) began to worship those statues and images. This infuriated Jeremiah at a later time as well as Ezekiel. So, when the Temple was just on the verge of being destroyed by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah decided to get rid of the Ark of the Covenant and the worship of it by the Israelites. He felt the best thing to do was to bury it and then to tell the Israelites to forget it and its place of burial. Jeremiah knew the evil that those images in the Temple caused.
Jeremiah (who was a priest), with the confirmation of Ezekiel took the Ark of the Covenant with its idolatrous depiction of Cherubim out of the Holy of Holies and (according to the Book of Second Maccabees) deposited them in a cave on the east side of Jordan (opposite Jericho) near the area where Moses was buried. Notice the reference in this historical work that was written about a hundred years before the birth of Christ:
“One finds in the records that Jeremiah the prophet ordered those who were being deported to take some of the fire [from the altar of the Temple], as has been told, and that the prophet after giving them the law instructed those who were being deported not to forget the commandments of the Lord, nor to be led astray in their thoughts upon seeing the gold and silver statues and their adornment.” There were images and idols in the Temple and some God had commanded to be there. [Continuing on:] “And with other similar words he [Jeremiah] exhorted them that the law should not depart from their hearts. It was also in the writing that the prophet, having received an oracle, ordered that the tent and the ark [of the covenant with the two
cherubs] should follow with him, and that he went out to the mountain where Moses had gone up and had seen the inheritance of God. And Jeremiah came and found a cave, and he brought there the tent and the ark [with the two cherubs] and the altar of incense, and he sealed up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up to mark the way, but could not find it. When Jeremiah learned of it, he rebuked them and declared: ‘The place shall be unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows his mercy. And then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord and the cloud will appear, as they were shown in the case of Moses, and as Solomon asked that the place should be specially consecrated.’
It was also made clear that being possessed of wisdom Solomon offered sacrifice for the dedication and completion of the temple. Just as Moses prayed to the Lord, and fire came down from heaven and devoured the sacrifices, so also Solomon prayed, and the fire came down and consumed the whole burnt offerings.”
2 Maccabees 2:1–7 RSV
So exasperated was Jeremiah about the penchant of the Israelites (both those of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah) to turn physical things that God ordained even in the Temple into idolatrous artifacts that Jeremiah prophesied that in the future NO TEMPLE OF GOD would ever have an Ark of the Covenant again (with its permitted image of two Cherubim brazenly depicted). That is the main reason that Jeremiah took the Tent that housed the Ark and the Ark of the Covenant itself (with its two Cherubim) out of the Temple to hide them so that they would not be found to be placed in any Temple after the Babylonian Captivity was over. Note what Jeremiah the Prophet predicted would occur (and his prophecy was uttered under the inspiration of God Almighty).
“Turn, O backsliding children, says YHWH; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when you be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says YHWH,
they shall say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of YHWH: neither shall it [the ark] come to mind: neither shall they remember it [the ark]; neither shall they visit it [the ark];
neither shall that be done any more” [allowing images of Cherubs for an Ark of the Covenant].’ At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of YHWH; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of YHWH, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.”
[ NOTE: the Book of Jeremiah is inspired Scripture, the Book of Second Maccabees is
not. While Second Maccabees contains very accurate historical accounts, its accuracy cannot be extended to either its conclusions or its prophecies. DWS ] The Two Cherubim with the Ark of the Covenant Had Personal Names We now come to an interesting fact that many of you may never have seen before. Do you realize that the two Cherubs that made up the one image in the Holy of Holies had personal names and that the Israelites called them by those individual names? That is right. Those names are revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Recall that Jeremiah (according to the historical account from Second Maccabees) said that he took the Tent (or Tabernacle) that housed the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. 1 This separate “Tabernacle” is mentioned in First Kings 1:39. This was a small Tent that became associated always with the Ark of the Covenant. This is the Tent that Jeremiah took along with the Ark to bury across the Jordan River east of Jericho. 2 These factors concerning the small Tent that accompanied the Ark of the Covenant becomes a major key in identifying the names of the two heavenly Cherubim that the two images (soldered together as one image) depicted on earth. That key comes from Amos chapter 5. Notice this scriptural indication.
“Have you offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O House of Israel? But you have borne the Tabernacle [the special Tent] of your Moloch and Chiun your images [there were two images], the star of your Elohim [the Star — a single “star” of your “gods”], which you made to yourselves.”
What kind of a Tent (or Tabernacle) contained two images that were indeed a single “Star” (an image molded together into one image of two heavenly beings)? This was the special Tent that was erected over the Ark of the Covenant that contained the two Cherubim that faced one another with their wings outstretched toward each other over the Mercy [Covering] Seat that contained the sacred items within the Ark of the Covenant. In the plainest of language, we have the two Cherubim named by the Israelites. One of them was Moloch (which is the Hebrew word for “King” or “King Star” which was the name given to the planet Jupiter). The other was Chiun (which was another name for the planet Saturn, the furthest planet observable by the naked eye in our solar system).
Now note this. When the two Cherubim were first constructed at the beginning of the forty years wandering of the Israelite Exodus period, Moses was told to have the two Cherubs facing one another. This represented Jupiter (a closer planet to earth) facing Saturn (the furthest visible planet from earth) in a conjunction with each other in the sky. Now Jupiter takes about 12 years to traverse the path of the Sun (which means to orbit the Sun) while Saturn takes about 30 years to do the same thing. If the two planets are shown in conjunction with one another (that is, as the Cherubim were shown in the Tabernacle and Temple) facing one another, it will take just over 20 years for the two planets to be exactly in the same position of the sky together and in conjunction again.
It is interesting that the great Massing of the Planets in Taurus (the Bull) that happened on May 5/6 of this year (2000 A.D.), and which I mentioned last year in a Prophetic Report, was also a time when Moloch (Jupiter) and Chiun (Saturn) once again “faced each other” as they did in the time that Moses ordered the Ark of the
Covenant to be placed in the Holy of Holies at the beginning of the Exodus. At that time in May of this year , Jupiter and Saturn (as seen from earth) were about 2 degrees from each other, and both (of course) were in Taurus (the Bull) and very near “facing each other” after an absence of just over 20 years. But precisely on May 27, 2000, the two planets came to an exact “facing.” They “faced each other in a marvelous conjunction” (only about one degree latitude separated them). As just mentioned, this would have been how the two planets were situated when Moses had the Ark of the Covenant constructed. Then they had 2 times 20 years (or 40 years) for the period of the Exodus that Amos 5:25 mentioned. There was then to be a period of 480 years (1 Kings 6:1) for the start of Solomon building the Temple in Jerusalem (that is 24 times 20 years — a significant biblical number). The next time in our modern period that Jupiter and Saturn (or Moloch and Chiun) “face each other” will be on December 21, 2020 when they appear at the very beginning of the sign Aquarius (not Taurus). So, in just over 20 years we find that Jupiter (Moloch) and Saturn (Chiun) “face each other” again to become like a “Single Star.” 3 The early Israelites noticed this remarkable astronomical phenomenon of these two planets and they gave religious value to it. Indeed, they began to worship the two Cherubim (named Moloch and Chiun that symbolized Jupiter and Saturn) and they fell into an idolatrous worship of those two Cherubs (and their images in the Holy of Holies) for the whole period of the forty years wandering in the wilderness. They were even continuing the practice (and even with worse consequences) in the time of the prophet Amos (Amos 5:25–26). 4 Stephen even referred to the same practice in his discourse before the Sanhedrin in the year following Christ’s crucifixion: “Yea, you took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which you made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.” Acts 7:43 Note that Stephen then called Saturn by the name “Remphan” which is a Greek translation of the earlier Semitic term “Chiun.” Those images of Cherubs did great harm in Israel. There are people today who are still enamored with this Ark of the Covenant (and its two Cherubs named Moloch and Chiun). Without doubt, if the Ark could be once again discovered, they would readily place the two Cherubs right back in any newly built Temple in Jerusalem. The human tendency is strong to do it. The fact is, however, Jeremiah saw the idolatry that had developed over the two Cherubs so he (under inspiration of God, in my view) took the special Tent of the Cherubs as well as the two images of the Cherubs molded into one image and hid it away. Then he wrote Jeremiah 3:14–18 that the true people of God would no longer require the Tent or the Ark of the Covenant in which to worship God. And there was another reason why Jeremiah took those two images out of the Holy of Holies. That is because ONE OF THOSE VERY CHERUBS became a sinner of the first magnitude. That one Cherub had done such evil in heaven that he had been thrown out of his exalted position next to the throne of God and was in the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel considered by God as an evil being — a Cherub that had gone
wrong. Which of the two Cherubs was the one who went wrong? The prophet Ezekiel tells us. One of the Cherubs Depicted on the Ark of the Covenant Had Fallen From Grace Notice what Ezekiel had to say about one of the Cherubs who had formerly been a righteous spirit being of very high rank in the heavenly hierarchy of divine beings associated with the very Throne of God Himself. This particular Cherub had become rebellious and as a result God had rejected him. Which Cherub was it?
“Moreover the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king [Moloch or Melek] of Tyrus, and say unto him, ‘Thus says the Lord YHWH;
you [Moloch] seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of Elohim; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created.
You are the anointed [Messianic] cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of Elohim; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire [to mimic this, the
Israelites caused their firstborn to “pass through the fire” 5].
You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God [Moloch would be jettisoned from God’s Holy Temple in heaven and on earth]: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire [where the children sacrificed to Moloch were placed].
Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness [Moloch was a bright planet in the heavens at times]: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.
You have defiled your sanctuaries [both in Jerusalem and in Tyre] by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your traffick;
therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of you, it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you [like the firstborn children of Israelites were burnt to ashes in sacrifice]. All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.’”
There you have it! It was Moloch (represented by the planet Jupiter) that was the sinning Cherub. The other Cherub was named Chiun (represented by the planet Saturn with the Sabbath being his day of consecration for worshipping him). But the Sabbath was made by God for His people to rest, and it was not made for Chiun (Saturn). The early Israelites took the command of God to make the images of the Cherubim and place them in the Holy of Holies as an example given by God to
worship those Cherubim (named Moloch and Chiun). This was one of the commands that God gave to the Israelites in the time of Moses that WAS NOT GOOD for the Israelites because it led them into idolatry (Ezekiel 20:25–26). It would do the same today.
But with Ezekiel condemning the practice of having the Ark of the Covenant (and its two Cherubs named Moloch and Chiun) in an idolatrous form of worship, and with Jeremiah even hiding the Ark of the Covenant with its special Tent east of Jericho and across the Jordan River, that put an end to such false worship in the Temple built by Zerubbabel.
In the Temple of Herod (which was in existence in the time of Jesus), there was no Ark of the Covenant displayed in physical form in the Holy of Holies. Though the actual Ark of the Covenant is still in heaven (Revelation 11:19), it was not looked on as proper by God-fearing people to have the Ark again placed in a Temple at Jerusalem since we find Jeremiah and Ezekiel objecting to its placement in the Temple.
At our end of the age, however, we are told in the Book of Revelation that there will once more be an image of a wild beast (remember that the Cherubs are shown as having four faces: one of a man, an eagle, a bull and a lion — which equals a “wild beast”). This image of the wild beast (probably in the form of Moloch the King) will again be placed in a Temple in Jerusalem as described in Revelation chapter 11. This “Image of the Beast” (or, it means that one or both of the Cherubim will be replaced in a new Temple — remember that there were two images of the Cherubs but they were molded together to form one image) will be again placed in a new Temple in Jerusalem (Revelation 13:11–18). There will also be a “Mark of the Beast” associated with this new Ark of the Covenant. So, the rebellion to God of replacing the Ark happens at the End Time.
Questions to ask: Will this new Ark of the Covenant (which will be the Image of the Beast mentioned in the Book of Revelation) be the one that Jeremiah buried east of Jericho and across the Jordan River? That is possible. As far as Jeremiah is concerned, he stated that the ideal Temple in the future would NEVER AGAIN have an Ark of the Covenant in it (Jeremiah 3:16). This is the position that I personally take. In fact, God was honest in His statement in Ezekiel that His commands “were not good.”
If anyone wants to replace the Ark of the Covenant back into a renewed Temple, what he or she will be doing is placing the Image of the Beast mentioned in Revelation 13 back into the Holy of Holies. While God did allow that to happen in the time of Moses — though remember that God said that command to put those images in the Temple, contrary to the Second Command of the Ten Commandments — it was one of those commands that Ezekiel 20:25–26 said God gave that “were not good.” It led them directly (and quickly) right into idolatry of the most serious kind. I am certain that if the Ark of the Covenant were once again found (or even a new one made by the Temple authorities), it would lead the people back into the kind of idolatry that the early Israelites engaged in, and what the Book of Revelation states this evil world will adopt when the Beast and the False Prophet are on earth. Ever since I discovered that the Image of the Beast was indeed the reintroduction of the Ark of the Covenant into an End Time Temple (I came to this conclusion well over twenty years ago), I have turned away all my emotional connection with a physical Temple in Jerusalem (or even with a physical Jerusalem) and I now have more important things to be concerned about. True, I plan to give more information on the Temple site as it becomes available, but I have written my book (and with the other articles on our Internet Web Page), I believe I have done my duty to God and to my readers in this matter for the present. As for me, I have no need for any Ark of the Covenant in my worship. I have only one mediator between the Father and me and that person is Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:4– 6). As for Temples that are made by the hands of human beings, I have the express teaching of the Holy Spirit that came from the mouth of Stephen. Stephen boldly told the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem (and quoting teachings directly from the Old Testament): “the Most High dwells not in Temples made with hands [human hands]” (Acts 7:48). I have not the slightest need for a physical Temple (with its Moloch or Chiun — the two Cherubs that Moses placed in the Tabernacle). All I need (and I already have Him) is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Indeed, when one reflects upon the teaching of the Second Commandment of the Ten Commandments (and applies what the words state explicitly and without preconceived notions), it could be argued that even the building of a Temple is prohibited in the strict sense of the word. This is because the Temple represents an image or similitude of the House of God in which God resides in heaven. Do we not read in the Second Commandment that Israelites should not make an image of ANYTHING in heaven (or in earth or under the earth, Exodus 20:4)? That is right! Even the building of a physical Temple on earth is getting close to breaking the Second Commandment. Of course, it must be realized that God did in fact order Moses to construct the Tabernacle and later God told David to have the Temple built by Solomon. Yes, indeed, but still we are later told that God does NOT dwell in Temples made with human hands in an actual sense (Acts 7:48). Whatever the case, we Christians do not need a physical Temple in any manner whatever. Ernest L. Martin, 2000 Edited by David Sielaff, March 2007 1 The Holy of Holies was a small tent that covered the two Cherubs and the Ark. It is not to be confused with the large Tent (or Tabernacle) that made up the whole of the portable Temple in the time of Moses and lasted until the time Solomon took the Ark of the Covenant into his Temple building in Jerusalem. ELM 2 The Tent and Ark never went to Ethiopia as some people have imagined, nor were they buried in the bowels of the Temple precincts in Jerusalem as some later Jews speculated. ELM 3 Whether these indications can be used in a prophetic sense is another question altogether and it takes too long for me to discuss this possibility in this Prophetic Report of my Temple Update. I plan to write a book on the Chronology of the Bible as it relates to prophetic events for the future when I can spare the time. ELM Dr. Martin was not able to write that book on chronology before he died in January 2002. DWS 4 While other translations vary, the King James Version translation is shown to be correct according to the citation of Amos 5:25–26 in Acts 7:43 by the evangelist Stephen. DWS 5 See Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:1; 2 Kings 16:3, 17:17, 21:6, 23:10; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Jeremiah 32:35; and Ezekiel 16:21, 20:26, 31; 23:37. All were done to Moloch or Moloch by a different name. DWS
We have found it interesting that God had to give the Israelites: “commandments that were not good, and ordinances in which they should not live”. The Israelites were so steeped in idolatry that even God could not get them to forsake idolatrous worship practices. He had to give them something they could focus their eyes and minds on.
There are parts of two particular paragraphs that we wanted to highlight. Before we do this, however, we want to clarify that this is not a time prediction or prophecy on our part, but a supposition, something just to think about.
The following are the parts of the two paragraphs we wanted to focus on:
“The next time in our modern period that Jupiter and Saturn (or Moloch and Chiun) “face each other” will be on December 21, 2020 when they appear at the very beginning of the sign Aquarius (not Taurus). So, in just over 20 years we find that Jupiter (Moloch) and Saturn (Chiun) “face each other” again to become like a “Single Star.” 3
The early Israelites noticed this remarkable astronomical phenomenon of these two planets and they gave religious value to it. Indeed, they began to worship the two Cherubim (named Moloch and Chiun that symbolized Jupiter and Saturn) and they fell into an idolatrous worship of those two Cherubs (and their images in the Holy of Holies) for the whole period of the forty years wandering in the wilderness.”
We know from Genesis 1:14 that one of the purposes God set lights in the firmament was for signs.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, to divide between day and night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years.”
One well known story in the Bible is of course the “Wise Men” following a sign in the heavens to locate the promised Messiah, Jesus the savior of the world.
Astrological signs, as you may be aware, are also extremely important to occultists and they plan many events in accordance with these occurrences. In fact it has been said by some that many occultists are more aware of the signs of the times than many Christians.
So could the fact that the next time Jupiter and Saturn will face each other on December 21, 2020, the winter solstice, be of significance to occultists? We think it could.
“The winter solstice (or hibernal solstice), also known as midwinter, is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.” Wikipedia
We have run several articles over the past couple of years where leading, Jewish, rabbis have said unreservedly that their messiah is here, and was revealed to them in 2012 and will be revealed to the world in 2017.
Since we have not seen, that we are aware of, that a Holy Covenant has been confirmed, it would not seem the last seven years has begun. Though at the rate things are going right now, with wars in the middle-east, the coming economic collapse, the replacement of cash with digital currency, etc. etc. etc. it could happen really soon and it could happen quickly.
If the Jewish messiah is alive now and soon to show himself to the world this would be very significant.
We, as Christians, know he will eventually become the antichrist proclaiming he is God. And isn't it odd that the Israelites of old came to worship Lucifer in the form of the Cherubim on the Ark?
“I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” John 5:43
Is it possible that December 21, 2020 the day Jupiter and Saturn face each other, “the longest night of the year” the winter solstice be the day “that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God”?
“A maverick researcher claims that the Temple actually lay below the Temple Mount plaza of today, and that the Western Wall is part of a Temple of Jupiter later built by Hadrian. Archaeologists vigorously dispute his findings. He thinks he's found a solution to the contested claims to the Temple Mount. But could anyone do that?
Tuvia Sagiv didn't set out to show that the Western Wall was not really the outer wall of the Second Temple. He had no intention, when he began poring through books and building architectural computer models a decade ago, of trying to prove that the huge stones caressed daily by yeshivah students were actually the wall of the temple of Jupiter built by the 2nd-century emperor Hadrian, celebrating Roman victory over Judaism.
Sagiv's conclusion: The Western Wall is actually one side of the plaza Hadrian built, both larger and higher than the square where the Temple stood. At the top stood the temple of Jupiter that most scholars believe Hadrian built. Sagiv says that in the style of the day there would have been a rectangular building, a polygonal one and, in the open area between, a statue of the emperor on horseback, saluting his god. Deep within were the ruins of the Jewish temple. The fifth-century Bible commentary by Church Father Jerome, he says, places the statue directly above the site of the Holy of Holies: the emperor declaring his victory over the God of the Jews.
The succession of deities didn't stop there. The Arabs, Sagiv asserts, built Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock on the ruins of the pagan sanctuary -- believing it the "Temple of Solomon." He produces a floor plan of the Muslim shrines and anoth-er, on a transparency, of the second-third century temple to Jupiter at Baalbek, in today's Lebanon. Drawn to the same scale, it shows a rectangular hall and a hexagon. Sagiv puts one plan on top of the other: They line up, proving, he believes, that they come from the same period. "That's coincidence?" he says quietly. "It's like it's the same architect." I can hear the joy, as if the boy dissecting the clock has just reached the shimmering mainspring.” Excerpted from:
What If This Isn't the Western Wall?
by GERSHOM GORENBERG
Fonte: The Jerusalem Report, November 23, 1998 • Vol. IX, No.15
If this is correct, and again we want to emphasize we are not predicting this but speculating, that would mean the Holy Covenant would have to be confirmed some time in 2017, about the second week of July if we did our math correctly.
Not long to wait to find out!
So we pray you have a very Happy New Year, close to the Lord and His Word and continuing to look for the signs.
Robert for People of the Keys
THE DANGERS OF CERN: ARE THEY FOR REAL?
by Woodward on December 29, 2016
ITS TIME TO BE SCARED WHEN THE SCIENTISTS ARE
It is not easy to find articles when you do a Google search on CERN without being inundated with mountains of data on why CERN (aka LHC for Large Hadron Collider) is a danger to humanity. Surprisingly, the alleged threats aren’t necessarily set forth by concerned citizens, advanced laymen, or conspiracy theorists. In many cases, the scientists themselves raise questions about whether what is going on outside Geneva is really such a smart idea.
CERN has a great cover story. According to its mission statement, its scientists conduct high-powered experiments colliding ions and protons achieving energy levels between 14 TeV and 1.5 PeV (TeV equals teraelectron volts, 10 to the 12th power, PeV stands for Petaelectron volts — literally 1.15 times a quadrillion volts, being mindful that a billion is 1,000,000,000 (10 to the 9th power) and a quadrillion is a mere 1,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 15th power). The numbers are scary in their own right. But according to CERN, such powerful collisions are necessary to disclose the stuff that of which our universe is made. This work, according to the PR department (and as far as what most of the practitioners there know), is all about searching for tiny particles, quanta, that can tell us how the universe originated. The Higgs-Boson particle, popularly known as the “God particle” purports to be the mighty mite that gives mass to all other particles in the universe. No doubt this cover story is true — AS FAR AS IT GOES. Unfortunately for humanity, the hidden agenda of the masters behind the curtains amounts to the ultimate threat to humanity. For not only might human beings be killed through “natural” effects of CERN, the entire planet might be destroyed by being turned into a neutron star!
Unfortunately for humanity, the hidden agenda of the masters behind the curtains amounts to the ultimate threat to humanity. For not only might human beings be killed through “natural” effects of CERN, the entire planet might be destroyed by being turned into a neutron star!
The eminent physicist, Dr. Stephen Hawking has warned us that this machine could create such things as microscopic black holes. Additionally, in disrupting the metastable vacuum of the universe  which envelops the Earth, “disruptions” can come at us at the speed of light: “This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming”. Hawking envisions a vacuum bubble moving at near the speed of light which would consume everything – the Earth and perhaps the entire Cosmos!
Two other scientists, physicists Michael Turner and Frank Wilczekway, way back in 1982 advanced the argument that “Without warning, a bubble of true vacuum could nucleate somewhere in the universe and move outwards at the speed of light, and before we realized what swept by us, our protons would decay away.” (from Nature, 1982)
Anthony Patch and I (along with co-authors Josh Peck and Gonzo Shimura) lay out the preamble (for this series of dire threats to our planet) in our best-selling book, Revising Reality: A Biblical Look into the Cosmos, Volume 1. The essence of our argument is this: To understand this hidden agenda, we have to dig into the occult background of the “powers that be”; in particular those that “be” at CERN:
The return to this Golden Age of Kronos comprises the occulted mission of the highest, most exalted level of adherents. Kronos refers to Saturn as it provided the human inhabitants of Earth their only means to determine time itself. Saturn – Kronos – was the perfect sun. According to its devotees, this mythos constitutes the ultimate truth about our Cosmos. In their view, our Earth and its place in the Solar System as we know it today, demonstrates how far away our planet and our race has slipped from the lofty civilization and cosmic structure of the previous eon (aeon). With the exception of but a few traces in ancient literature, there exists no memory of just how advanced this civilization was. Although there are those who write about it with enthusiasm and sophistication (such as Joseph P. Farrell, Michael Cremo, David H. Childress, and a few others generally relegated to “fringe” science or “forbidden” history), the technologies employed during this time have been all but lost to humankind.
Indeed, the nature of this supposed past has been kept away from the commoners comprising the 99%. The “keepers of this forbidden history”, the 1%, are elites whose links to this halcyon time of yesteryear are but indiscernible whispers. Nevertheless, the implications resound loudly promising a strange, foreboding, and a most profane future predictably full of horrors, unbeknownst to its advocates but predictable to those tethered to the Bible. Characteristic of the science pursued in the name of returning to the Golden Age not only includes research at the CERN colossus but laboratory investigations into genetic manipulation of human, animal and plant genetics around the globe. As in the days of Noah, so it is again today. Abominations abound. Chimeras become commonplace. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein foreshadows the evil from humankind’s overreaching that “this way comes”. 
And of course, while we might doubt that the Golden Age ever really existed, what researchers such as yours truly have concluded, is that those with too much money and time on their hands (remember idle hands are the devil’s plaything), have decided that the Golden Age not only existed in the not-too-distant past, it should be what we seek in the near-term, even if it means we have to kill 90% of the world’s population in the process.
WEAPONS OF WAR?
Joseph P. Farrell, the author mentioned above, postulates that what is going on behind closed doors (and 300 meters below ground) amounts to a reinvention of the sinister Škodawerks at Pilsen (Czech Republic) run by SS Nazi General, Hans Kammler, made infamous by the mythos of the Nazi Bell and the murder of perhaps 20,000 Jewish concentration camp internees. This is also where former NASA heroes (and German SS officers) Arthur Rudolph built rockets and Werner von Braum was also known to “hang out”. Farrell doesn’t identify exactly what manner of weapon CERN scientists are engineering at CERN. But he notes that the size and scale of the effort easily exceed The Manhattan Project (the U.S. War Department’s project to build the nuclear bomb during World War II). Therefore, he finds it only logical to conclude that whenever that kind of money and manpower is put behind the plow, the power behind it all can only be the Military-Industrial Complex.
Given that Farrell talks in his books about cosmic wars and torsion fields that can bend space-time (his research behind the Nazi Bell and what could be called “modern-day alchemy”), his supposition deserves consideration. Notwithstanding the fact that it is, in fact, Germany who is, more than anyone else (except maybe the U.S.), the main benefactor of the effort. Like many experts in the secular world, the European Union seems ready to fail as a grand experiment of “globalists” who sought to unite the world by first uniting “natural unions” around the globe. Once this happens, Germany seems the most likely leader to once again lead Europe (by hook or by crook!)
Farrell believes that there are actually three major power structures in the world today: (1) The U.S., the supposed only true World Power which polices the world today, however legitimately, in the name of democracy; (2) The Shadow Government, which is composed of mostly public officials in the “West” — both political leaders as well as lifetime bureaucrats — operating in clandestine fashion to usher in the New World Order (aka one world government); and (3) a filthy rich, deeply occulted fascist elite which survived World War II, a Nazi cabal he calls the Third Way, that holds the reins on a secret space program, exotic space weapons, and interplanetary space machines. (Speculation about what’s up in Antarctica — all the rage at this time as I write at the end of 2016 — usually includes provision for the involvement of this cabal as well).
TERRAFORMING THE WORLD WITHOUT REGARD FOR TECTONIC REPERCUSSIONS
CERN is generally connected to earthquakes. The fact that the electromagnetic force surrounding CERN is 15,000 times more powerful (proportionally) than the rest of the planet’s magnetosphere is no small physics fact. That’s why Farrell asserts that something really sinister is going on in Geneva and that whatever it is, it does not bode well for the rest of us.
In Revising Reality, Anthony Patch and I pointed out that no matter which “elite” empowers the work at CERN, it links to the stated objective published in granite at the Georgia Guidestones. It constitutes a sinister purpose that involves:
…“terraforming” the earth – remaking the planet into a home for a new species of human beings, made in the image of Lucifer, the “anointed Cherub that covereth”. (Ezekiel 28:14) It would literally be a “world of their own making” with a “transhuman race” whose total population would be carefully controlled to a “much more manageable number” of 500,000,000 (500 million) neo-human beings – meaning that by implication seven billion humans of today must be terminated by plague or other mass extinction events.
[Later in the following chapter, Patch] will go deeper into the massive murder planned by the “powers that be” … the manner and mechanisms by which Earth now undergoes terraforming on a planet-wide scale … and how particle accelerators such as CERN play a major role in reshaping the earth, its oceans, and its tectonic behaviors.
Patch asserts on the many interviews he does on the Internet today (a hot ticket as a guest to be sure), that deep level earthquakes are occurring and these are likely linked to CERN. This is particularly so for the “antipode” reactions, that is, tectonic movements on the opposite side of the planet from CERN namely directed right at earthquake-prone New Zealand.
JUST HOW STRANGE ARE THE STRANGELETS?
When particle accelerators collide hadrons at greater than 10 TeV, they create the world’s most explosive substance known to humanity, the strangelet. Strangelets are (non-intuitively) stable particles. As such they attract to themselves non-stable material… which happens to be all the matter we have residing with us around us and under us in this revolving sphere we call earth. We should also make note that strangelets also cannot be contained. They sink right through the floor at CERN (or at any other particle accelerator that creates them) and head straight to the core of the earth where they are trapped due to electromagnetic forces of our planet. As we point out in Revising Reality:
Because strange matter starts off stable but ordinary matter does not, the two are destined for what could become a fatal attraction. In other words: strangelets attract ordinary matter to themselves. Once these particles come to life… once they are produced (which is what happens during particle collisions of protons and/or ions of lead as “manufactured” at the LHC), since strangelets aren’t neutral – i.e., they aren’t unattractive (like their historically politically neutral hosts, the Swiss – figuratively speaking of course), they plummet to the core of our planet. Upon arrival there, they come to rest due to the balancing effect at the earth’s core, i.e., being at the center of our planet’s electromagnetic field. But they aren’t really resting once they journey to the center of the Earth.
Indeed, once they are parked there, all is not as right in our world’s innermost “chamber” as we might assume. Many suggest the effects of strangelets are actually felt by our planet. The surrounding ordinary matter itself (which makes up our Earth of course) being unstable in its charged state, is drawn toward the stable strangelets. These potentially detrimental “lures” manifest themselves back near the surface of the planet in the form of tectonic movements and volcanic activities along Earth’s crustal plates. This sounds really dangerous. But hold your breath because it gets worse.
Depending upon the quantities of strangelets produced, within anywhere from as short a time as 10 years to ten times that many years (that’s 100 years once you do the math), the earth may be converted to a neutron star composed entirely of this densely compacted quark-gluon condensate. I can promise you that this would not be a conversion we would want to witness firsthand. 
No wonder that CERN features Shiva, the God of Destruction, in their courtyard. And chose to position the LHC on top of the ancient Roman Temple of Apollyon, aka Abaddon, home to “The Scorpion King”; hence, we speculate (with considered data to support it) that it is, in fact, the doorway to the Abyss of Revelation 9:11, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”
JUST HOW BLATANT IS THE OCCULT AGENDA AT CERN?
CERN DOESN’T HIDE THE FACE THAT THOSE IN CHARGE SEEK TO OPEN PORTALS TO ANOTHER UNIVERSE. Exactly what comes through the portal isn’t known and doesn’t seem to bother them one bit.
Exactly what comes through the portal isn’t known to them according to their public statements. Nor does the thought that something harmful to humanity might squeeze through the portal and into our domain. This possible evil doesn’t seem to bother them one bit.
Quoting Patch from Revising Reality:
Today, as proclaimed by CERN’s own press releases and statements, its leading researchers and scientists are seeking to open gateways to other dimensions… portals to other worlds. CERN’s Director for Research and Scientific Computing briefed reporters stating: “Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it.” To quote other leading scientists at CERN: “…the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) the titanic machine may possibly create or discover previously unimagined scientific phenomena, or ‘unknown unknowns’ – for instance ‘an extra dimension’”. 
Once again, we see the reckless nature of Science write large. “If we can do it, we must do it.” But there is much more to the quest than just curiosity or the impulse of discovery.
We believe that the ultimate danger is the link between CERN and the occult intentions held by its founders in the 1950s and its proponents alive and guiding its work today. The bizarre rituals at both CERN and the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel reveal just how pagan and nefarious the intentions of this scientific priesthood actually is. Our research uncovers what real danger lurks at CERN and how it could make its presence felt, quite literally, in the days just ahead:
One such aspect of this forbidden practice was the worship of the Black Sun, as Saturn was known to its adepts. This Black Sun motif became an important part of Heinrich Himmler’s SS  and remains a mosaic on Germany’s Wewelsburg Castle floor in its north tower, and which may even today, serve as a location for Satanic rituals. This worship carried with it the supernatural power to manipulate the Cosmos.
Passed down through the ages, this knowledge became entrusted to secret societies whose sole purpose was realizing a modern version of the Tower of Babel. One such society is Fraternitus Saturni (The Brotherhood of Saturn), Germany’s most secret and impactful secret society. Today that tower has been built once again, a mechanism that can work wonders in connecting humankind to the gods, and whose self-admitted goal is to open portals to allow such lesser deities once again to transit to and from the Earth (and perhaps, to reshape and reform our planet [to our detriment]).
We know this modern Tower of Babel as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), stretched across the French and Swiss border at Geneva, more commonly referred to as CERN.
The deep underbelly (pun intended) of doom looms large in Switzerland, funded in no small part by the ultimate Shadow Government, reappearing in our day to take yet another run at total world domination under the banner of fascism. If Farrell is right, this “quantum fascism” has occult German roots and therefore constitutes the revealing of the Fourth Reich. That can’t be good.
 “In general a false or metastable vacuum is a local, but not global minimum of a potential. This means that a different configuration of a system, let’s boldly say the Universe, would correspond to a smaller energy level. One of the principles of physics is that a system always tries to be in the configuration/state of the smallest possible energy.” From Philipp Grothaus. See https://www.quora.com/What-are-metastability-and-false-vacuums-especially-those-of-the-universe-In-mostly-simple-words-please.
 The “time keeping” can be inferred, but it is complex and won’t be taken up here.
 The quest to discover the secrets of this time long since passed, constitutes a major theme of the authors identified, and sometimes contains outrageous speculation that while entertaining and engaging, asks readers to suspend their disbelief to the extreme.
 Patch, Peck, Shimura, Woodward, Revising Reality, Volume 1, Oklahoma City: Faith Happens Books, (2016), p. 132.
 Ibid., p. 133.
 Are strangelets dangerous? To review why CERN believes they are not, this article addresses the fears asserted by Hawking and other scientists. See http://press.cern/backgrounders/safety-lhc. Is this propaganda or truth? It is the case of taking one expert’s opinion over another’s. CERN certainly wants to convey it is safe. Others express strong doubts. Be mindful that CERN denied they would ever create strangelets. And they did create strangelets. Now they are creating massive amounts of strangelets. And they don’t know what they don’t know.
 “The term Black Sun may originate with the mystical “Central Sun” in Helena Blavatsky’s Theosophy. This invisible or burnt out Sun (Karl Maria Wiligut’s Santur in Nazi mysticism) symbolizes an opposing force or pole. Emil Rüdiger, of Rudolf John Gorslebens Edda-Gesellschaft (Edda Society), claimed that a fight between the new and the old Suns was decided 330,000 years ago (Karl Maria Wiligut dates this 280,000 years ago), and that Santur had been the source of power of the Hyperboreans.”
 Friend Russ Dizdar shared with Woodward his experience of seeing maidens in ceremonial attire come through the basement area at Wewelsburg Castle (where the symbol as shown on the opposite page lay) when he was conducting spiritual warfare there (coming against demons) he believes still inhabit the castle.
 According to Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D., whose book, Fire & Ice: The History, Structure, and Rituals of Germany’s Most Influential Modern Magical Order: The Brotherhood of Saturn. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications (1994).
 Patch et al, op. cit. p.144.
 Ibid., p. 145.
Putin: The ‘New World Order’ Is Normalizing Pedophilia In The West
Posted on December 27, 2016 by Baxter Dmitry
Vladimir Putin has used his annual Christmas press conference to accuse Western liberal elites of abandoning the traditional values that made their countries great. Instead of building a future based on solid Christian values, Western elites have created a culture of “excessive, exaggerated political correctness” that is so destructive it will lead to the downfall of Western civilization if it is not arrested.
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In a nearly four-hour question and answer session, the Russian president held forth on the state of his country and the world, saying that there is an international push for a New World Order that will “remove national sovereignty” and “destroy identity and of God-created diversity.”
To reach this goal, Putin states that Western elites have begun rejecting the roots that their society was built on.
“Many Western states have taken the way where they deny or reject their own roots, including their Christian roots which form the basis of Western civilization. In these countries, the moral basis and any traditional identity are being denied – national, religious, cultural and even gender identities are being denied or relativized.”
“In these countries, the moral basis and any traditional identity are being denied – national, religious, cultural and even gender identities are being denied or relativized. There, politics treats a family with many children as equal to a homosexual partnership (juridically).
The excesses and exaggerations of political correctness in these countries indeed leads to serious consideration for the legitimization of parties that promote the propaganda of pedophilia.
“The people in many European states are actually ashamed of their religious affiliations and are indeed frightened to speak about them.”
Putin says that the situation has become so extreme in Western culture, that people are now taught that “Faith in God is equal to faith in Satan”. To say otherwise would be to risk being politically incorrect — the great crime of our age.
“Christian holidays and celebrations are abolished or ‘neutrally’ renamed, as if one were ashamed of those Christian holidays. With this method one hides away the deeper moral values of these celebrations.
“And these countries try to force this model onto other countries, globally. I am deeply convnced that this is a direct way to the degradation and primitivization of culture. This leads to deeper demographic and moral crisis in the West. What can be a better evidence for the moral crisis of a human society (in the West) than the loss of its reproductive function?“
Western countries cannot survive reproductively
“Today nearly all ‘developed’ Western countries cannot survive reproductively, not even with the help of migrants.
Without the moral values that are rooted in Christianity and other world religions, without rules and moral values which have formed and been developed over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity.”
Putin was unapologetic about Russia’s determination to defend Western values.
“And we think it is right and natural to defend and preserve these moral (Christian) values.”
The attempt to create a one world government
Putin also warned that there is an attempt to create a one world government that would do away with sovereign states — an outcome that would lead to the “surrender of one’s own identity” and the loss of “God-created diversity”.
“At the same time as this process at a national level in the West, we observe on an international level the attempts to create a unipolar, unified model of the world, to relativize and remove institutions of international right and national sovereignty.
“In such a unified, unipolar world there is no place for sovereign states. Such a world needs merely vassals.
“From a historical perspective, such a unipolar world would mean the surrender of one’s own identity and of God-created diversity.”
International Business Times
Christians In Europe: Norway Divorces Protestant Church As Muslims Blamed For 'Parallel Societies'
BY CRISTINA SILVA @CRISTYMSILVA ON 12/28/16 AT 8:47 AM
Norway is asking for a divorce from its biggest, most important church. The Church of Norway and the Norwegian government will formally become separated on Jan. 1 after nearly 500 years.
Norway seeks to formalize a separation of church and state ordered by parliament eight years ago. Under the new law, Norway's 1,250 priests and bishops will no longer serve as government officials appointed by the king. That means the Church of Norway will become an independent business, and it's a big deal in a nation that has been grappling with an influx of Muslims and how to ensure other religions have equal protection.
“We are facing the biggest organizational change of the church since the Reformation,” Jens-Petter Johnsen, the head of the Church’s National Council, said. “The changes will create a clear separation between church and state.”
The bill that passed parliament nearly a decade ago overhauled Norway's Constitution by erasing the phrase, "The Evangelical-Lutheran religion will remain the state’s public religion.” Instead, lawmakers came up with this language: "The Church of Norway, an Evangelical-Lutheran Church, will remain Norway's national church and will be supported as such by the state."
But for proponents of separating church and state, that's not enough of a distinction.
“As long as the Constitution says that the Church of Norway is Norway's national church, and that it should be supported by the state, we still have a state church,” said Kristin Mile, secretary general of the Norwegian Humanist Association, according to local media reports.
Mille and others want to continue to fight for a full separation between the Church of Norway and the government.
“Apparently the time is not yet ripe. The major political parties seem to have enormous majority anxiety in regard to this issue. But I cannot imagine that the current solution will survive 20 years,” she said.
Norway has become less of a conservative Christian nation in recent years. The Open People’s Church (Åpen Folkekirke) won a huge victory last year that saw LGBT people given the right to marry within the church. And membership in religious communities outside the Church of Norway has grown by 11 percent in recent years.
Roughly 80 percent of Norway identifies as Protestant Christian, but only a small number of people attend church services. But Norway's religious beliefs could be changing.
The head of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) told a Swedish security conference in January that a wave of Muslim migrants in Europe could see "a growth of parallel societies, radicalization and extremist environments."
“A strong increase in immigration, particularly from Muslim countries, can cause other long-term challenges. When a large number of asylum seekers come to a local community, it can have unfortunate consequences,” Marie Benedicte Bjørnland said at the time.
Meanwhile, Norway’s integration minister, Sylvi Listhaug, from the anti-immigrant Progress Party, caused an uproar in October when she suggested Muslim migrants learn how to eat pork and drink alcohol.
"You must abide by the values, laws and regulations that are in Norway when you come here," she said at the time.
2-state solution 'only way' for lasting peace between Israelis, Palestinians - Kerry
Published time: 28 Dec, 2016 16:21
Edited time: 28 Dec, 2016 19:46
Secretary of State John Kerry laid out the US proposal for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, less than a month before the Trump administration takes office and at a low point in US-Israeli relations.
Kerry’s speech is widely seen as an attempt to set the Obama administration’s Middle East policy in stone before the January 20 changeover. President-elect Donald Trump has been vocally supportive of Israel and vowed a change of policy after his inauguration.
“The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” Kerry said, adding that it was also the only way to ensure Israel’s future as both a Jewish and democratic state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Washington of conspiring against his country by not blocking the Egyptian resolution condemning Israeli settlements at the UN Security Council last week. The State Department has dismissed the accusation as “just not true.”
“The US did in fact vote in accordance with our values,” Kerry said, explaining the abstention. “No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s.”
The secretary of state also pointed out the amount of military aid Israel has received from the US, from military intelligence to the Iron Dome missile defense program.
“More than half of our entire global foreign military financing goes to Israel,” Kerry said.
The two-state solution is in danger despite popular support. “Polls of Israelis and Palestinians show there is still strong support for a two-state solution in theory. They just don’t believe it can happen,” Kerry said.
As the principal threat to the two-state solution, Kerry cited the proliferation of settler outposts, illegal not only under the Oslo Accords but also under Israel’s own laws, often located on private Palestinian land, and strategically located in places designed to make a separate Palestinian state impossible.
"If there is only one state, you’d have millions of Palestinians permanently living in segregated enclaves," Kerry said. “If Israel goes down the one-state path, it will never have true peace with the rest of the Arab world.”
Yet since the 2011 US veto of a UN resolution with similar wording as the one recently passed, “over 30,000 settlement units advanced through some stage of the planning process.” A veto on Resolution 2334 would have meant US approval for this process, Kerry said.
While the US was putting pressure on the Palestinian Authority to condemn terrorism and violence, Netanyahu’s cabinet appears to have embarked on a “Greater Israel” agenda, legalizing a hundred settler outposts in the West Bank and moving in 100,000 more settlers since 2009, according to the US secretary of state.
“We cannot impose the peace,” Kerry noted, but “if we’re serious about the two-state solution, it’s time to start implementing that now.”
“The core issues can be resolved, if there is leadership on both sides committed to finding a solution,” he added.
As a road map towards a two-state solution, Kerry offered six principles.
Secure and recognized international borders between Israel and a viable, contiguous Palestine, based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed equivalent land swaps.
“Two states for two people, Jewish and Arab, with full equal rights for all citizens,” where each can achieve their national aspirations.
A just, agreed, fair and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, including compensation and acknowledgment of suffering, as well as international assistance in finding permanent homes. The solution would need to be consistent with two states and “cannot affect the nature of Israel.”
Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with access to holy sites for all, acknowledging the sentiment that the city should not be divided again.
Ending the occupation while satisfying Israel’s security needs while ending the occupation. Israeli security must be guaranteed, but Palestinians need to be able to live in freedom and dignity in a sovereign state, even without a military of their own.
End the conflict between Israel and neighboring Arab states, enabling the creation of an “absolutely groundbreaking” security structure in the region.
“Common interest in countering Iran’s destabilizing activities” could be the basis of this new relationship between Israel on one side, and Jordan, Egypt, and the Gulf Arab states on the other, Kerry suggested earlier in the speech.
“There really is no other viable alternative,” he concluded.President-elect Trump apparently believes otherwise. Earlier on Wednesday, he tweeted “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”
Israel curbs working ties with nations that voted for UN resolution
By Elise Labott, Oren Liebermann and Theodore Schleifer, CNN
Updated 0640 GMT (1440 HKT) December 27, 2016
(CNN)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his nation's Foreign Ministry to temporarily limit all working ties with the embassies of the 12 UN Security Council members who voted in favor of Friday's resolution on West Bank settlements and who have diplomatic relations with Israel, two senior Israeli officials tell CNN.
The officials said that business with the embassies of those countries – Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand -- will be suspended, the officials said.
Netanyahu will not meet with the foreign ministers of those countries and their ambassadors will not be received at Israel's Foreign Ministry, the officials added.
In addition, travel by Israeli ministers to those countries will also be limited, the officials said, noting that Israeli ambassadors in the countries will still be able to continue working with the governments of their host nations.
The move came after ten ambassadors were summoned, under orders by Netanyahu, to the Foreign Ministry for a personal rebuke over the vote. Israel was furious at the passage of Security Council resolution 2334, which says its settlements in the West Bank "had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security." The United States, a Security Council member, abstained on the resolution.
More than anything else, the diplomatic move to suspend embassy ties is a statement meant to express Netanyahu's anger at the countries that voted for the resolution. It is unlikely to have any practical effect on either Israel or the other countries, as it does not affect trade, security coordination, or other aspects of the relations.
But as a statement, it is significant, and it is a continuation of Netanyahu's diplomatic actions against countries that voted for the resolution.
Notably, it does not affect diplomatic relations with the United States, which has been the focus of much of Netanyahu's anger. Netanyahu summoned the US ambassador and launched a scathing attack Sunday on the Obama administration.
Late Monday afternoon Israel's ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, explained his country's diplomatic moves to CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead."
"Israel's not going to be kicked in the teeth and not just respond to this," Dermer said. "We can't just meet with visiting dignitaries as if nothing has happened. This is a serious effort against Israel."
Dermer said Friday's UN Security Council vote harmed long-term prospects for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
"The one negotiating chip that we have at the peace table is that territory. If the UN Security Council says that territory actually belongs to the Palestinians -- which it does not and which we reject -- that's going to make achieving peace actually much harder."
Benjamin Netanyahu 'warned UN settlement vote a declaration of war'
Israel is not abiding by Friday's resolution
December 28, 2016
Benjamin Netanyahu has called the UN resolution a 'shameful ambush' Getty
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told New Zealand's foreign minister that his country's sponsoring of the UN anti-settlement resolution was a "declaration of war".
Mr Netanyahu has also lashed out at President Barack Obama after Friday's Security Council vote, on which the United States' abstention marked a break with tradition, and called the action a "shameful ambush".
The Security Council voted to condemn settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation of international law" and demanded Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory”, pointing out that the international community views any Israeli construction over the agreed 1967 Green Line as illegal.
According to Haaretz, in a personal phone call Mr Netanyahu told New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully: "This is a scandalous decision. I'm asking that you not support it and not promote it.
"If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. It will rupture the relations and there will be consequences."
Mr McCully reportedly refused to back down and said the resolution was consistent with New Zealand policy.
Israel has recalled its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal, and cancelled aid to the latter country.
The resolution was put forward by New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela, taking place just a day after Egypt withdrew it following significant pressure from both Israel and President-elect Donald Trump.
Mr Netanyahu has said Israel will not abide by the ruling.
He added: "At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory’."
Defending New Zealand’s vote on Saturday, Mr McCully said: "We have been very open about our view that the [UN Security Council] should be doing more to support the Middle East peace process and the position we adopted today is totally in line with our long established policy on the Palestinian question.
"The vote… should not come as a surprise to anyone and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with all parties on this issue."
The vote was welcomed by Palestinian representatives. A spokesperson from Palestinan Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' office called it a "big blow to Israeli policy, a unanimous international condemnation of settlements, and a strong support for the two-state solution".
Settlement building – which has accelerated year-on-year under current right-wing Prime Minister Netanyahu – is viewed as one of the major stumbling blocks to a lasting peace deal.
The Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee is expected to approve permits to build 618 new homes in Jewish neighbourhoods across the Green Line today - and at the same time US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to lay out his vision for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The speech, less than a month before President Barack Obama leaves office, is likely to be the administration's last word on a decades-old dispute that Mr Kerry had hoped to resolve during his four years as America's top diplomat.
It could also be seen in Israel as another parting shot at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had an especially acrimonious relationship with Mr Obama since they both took office in 2009.
A State Department official said: "We believe that with the two-state solution in peril, it is important to share the deeper understanding we have developed of both sides' bottom lines during intensive consultations in recent years."
Syria ceasefire deal reached between regime and rebels, Russia says
By Angela Dewan and Onur Cakir, CNN
Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT) December 29, 2016
Istanbul (CNN)The Syrian government and opposition rebels have agreed to terms for a ceasefire in the country's long-running civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday.
Evacuated residents of Syria's Shia villages tell of pain and abandonment
According to Russian state media TASS, Putin said the two sides had also agreed to enter peace talks to end the conflict that has raged for nearly six years.
The general command of Syria's military and the Armed Forces said their operations would come to a complete halt beginning early Friday at midnight (5 pm ET Thursday), state-run news agency SANA reported.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that Russia and Turkey would be guarantors to the agreement.
Groups considered as terrorist organizations by the UN Security Council, such as ISIS, would be excluded from the agreement, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Putin announced the deal at a meeting with Russian foreign and defense ministers."Reports have just arrived that several hours ago there was a development that we all have looked and worked for for so long," he said.
Three documents had been signed, he said: the ceasefire agreement, a package of measures to oversee the ceasefire and a declaration of readiness to enter into peace talks.
Putin said the "agreements reached are very fragile" and that they demanded "special attention and patience."
A successful nationwide ceasefire hinges on many fighting factions laying down arms -- groups from Iraq, Iran and Lebanon are also fighting alongside the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Putin's announcement comes after several attempts at ceasefires by the international community crumbled.
It also follows several ceasefire agreements brokered by Turkey and Russia in the city of Aleppo this month. Most were broken, but a final one held and allowed the evacuations of tens of thousands of rebels and civilians from the city's east, which had been under the control of rebel groups for more than four years.
The Syrian regime then gained full control of Aleppo, a major turning point that has limited the opposition's military and political options.
Turkey and Russia have differed, however, in their stance on Assad -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month that Turkish forces entered Syria to help end Assad's rule. Russia is Assad's most powerful ally and has propped up his regime since September 2015 with airstrikes.
Putin said Russia would begin scaling back its military presence in Syria, though it would continue to support the "legitimate Syrian government in its struggle with terrorism."
Turkey and Russia appear to be sidelining the United States, which has led an international coalition to fight ISIS in Syria and has vehemently opposed any attempt to keep Assad in power.
Russia has long accused the US of arming what it considers terrorist organizations, while Turkey has made similar claims in recent days.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hope Thursday that US President-elect Donald Trump would support Russia's direction on Syria's crisis settlement, Russian state media reported.
An estimated 400,000 people have been killed in Syria's brutal conflict -- a civil war that has drawn in several world powers.
Meanwhile, the US mission in Syria said Thursday that ISIS gang leader Abu Jandal al-Kuwaiti had been killed in a coalition airstrike on Monday.
He was involved in the use of suicide vehicles, improvised explosive devices and chemical weapons against the Syrian Democratic Forces, the mission said in a statement.
He was a member of the militant group's war committee and was involved in ISIS' recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra, the statement said.
Putin's Hit Teams Of "Chechen Killers" Head For Syria
by Tyler Durden
Dec 27, 2016 1:51 PM
Having recently won the crucial battle for Aleppo, which has changed the layout of the ongoing Syrian proxy war between the Assad regime (with the Kremlin's backing), and "rebel" forces including various Al-Qaeda elements (supported by the US-led alliance), hardly content with this crucial victory Russian president Vladimir Putin is only just getting started, and as the Daily Beast confirms reports that had previously circulated in the Russian press, dozens of highly trained "Chechen killer" Russian special military units in red berets are being transported to Syria. Their mission there is largely a mystery.
Chechnya, a North Caucasus republic that fought and lost two separatist wars against Russia in 1994-1996 and 1999-2006, is sending hundreds of its highly trained soldiers to the Middle East to fight against Islamist groups, including the Islamic State, where many soldiers and some leaders are Chechen, too. Various Russian reports mention from 3,500 to 5,000 Chechens enlisted with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.
Why the dispatch? Because, as the Beast writes, "it is one thing to tell the world that Russian President Vladimir Putin brought peace to Aleppo in Syria, and a completely different story to maintain control over pro-Moscow regions on the ground. The Kremlin is strengthening its aviation and land troop bases in Latakia. The Russian military, meanwhile, sees an advantage in Syria, a chance for officers to “get under fire,” to grow more experienced."
The effort is relatively new: Chechen commanders have been recruiting soldiers for the “Syrian” special units for several months, Novaya Gazeta, the Russian independent newspaper, reported on Tuesday.
“This year ends in the best way for Moscow, beyond its wildest dreams,” Sergei Markov, a Russian official and adviser to the government, told The Daily Beast. “President Putin has won his battles on many fields, including Syria’s Aleppo, America and the EU. More and more people agree that he is right, that Russia’s power and rightness is growing,” said Markov. “The agenda for Chechens is secret but most probably they will be participating in combat against ISIS in Raqqa [the ISIS capital] in the north of Syria.”
The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov spent a lot of effort building special units, widely known as “death squads,” of men fearless, merciless, experienced in warfare in the streets and in the mountains.
As the Beast adds, in a video report by a local Chechen TV channel Kadyrov personally reviewed his soldiers. Kadyrov told me back in 2014 it was “a matter of honor” to bring Chechens back home from ISIS. He said that he personally traveled to Syria to consult with Bashar Assad’s military and help Chechen relatives find their daughters and sons in Syria.
That means that alongside various Iranian special forces fighting quietly alongside the Russian, and of course, Syrian government troops, the next line of special forces escalation will be arrival of hundreds of Chechens to keep any ISIS guerilla operations at bay.
Carnegie Moscow Center has argued that the issue of Chechens in ISIS is a crucial test for Kadyrov’s power: Islamists have already promised to support a revolution in Chechnya and even offered a $25 million reward for the heads of Kadyrov and his associates.
Ultimately, It seems that at the end of 2016, Putin’s Russia is in a hurry to fight and keep its ground on many fronts. Inspired by success in Syria, Putin reportedly plans support a strong Libyan military leader, Khalifa Haftar (who once was reputedly in bed with the American CIA). Ukraine continues to blame Russia for attacking its military. And another hacker scandal erupted in the past week: this time the Ukrainian military claimed that its soldiers’ cell phones were hacked by a Moscow group.
'It would be worse than a nuclear bomb': Allied troops and ISIS battle for collapsing Mosul Dam that would send 45-foot tidal wave hundreds of miles and kill 1.5MILLION people if it breaches
The Mosul Dam is holding back a massive 11trillion litres of water from the city
The dam was built on an unstable foundation that continuously erodes
Weakened when ISIS seized it briefly in 2014 prompting maintenance lapse
Fears collapse cold unleash 45ft waves devastating Mosul and flooding Baghdad
By GARETH DAVIES FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 17:53, 27 December 2016 | UPDATED: 22:22, 27 December 2016
Allied troops and ISIS are set to battle for a collapsing dam that would spew nearly 600 times the water of the River Thames onto Mosul if it breaches.
Engineers from an Italian company have been tasked with fixing the Mosul Dam's foundations to stop more than 11 trillion litres of water (11.11billion cubic metres) from flooding Mosul.
Experts are warning their work could be in vain, and should the catastrophe happen, it is estimated 1.5million people could be killed by the floods in an impact described as 'worse than a nuclear bomb'.
Waves of up to 45ft would be unleashed if the dam breaks, and the equivalent to 4.4million Olympic size swimming pools would flood the surrounding areas amid a constant threat from Islamic State terrorists fleeing the Iraqi city.
An aerial shot of the Mosul Dam showing the 11billion litres of water it is holding at bay
Experts have stated that waves of up to 45ft would be unleashed if the dam breaks
Engineers from Italian firm TREVI have 18 months to solidify the dam, which is located 60km north of Mosul.
But professor of water resources and environmental engineering at Lulea University in Sweden has said the structure is doomed regardless of who has control of it.
'No matter how much grouting and maintenance the company will do, it may expand the life span of the dam, but it is just going to delay the disaster. 'It is just a matter of time. It will be worse than throwing a nuclear bomb on Iraq,' he told Al Jazeera.
Turkeys has 'evidence' of US supporting Daesh in Syria: Erdogan
Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:50PM
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has “confirmed evidence” that the US-led coalition is supporting Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria.
"What were the coalition forces saying in the beginning? They were saying: 'We will fight against the terrorist organization Daesh until the end.' In fact, they were accusing us of supporting Daesh. Now they've all disappeared. On the contrary, they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Units), PYD (Democratic Union Party). It's very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos," said Erdogan during a Tuesday press conference.
The US and some of its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have on multiple occasions been accused of arming and funding militant groups fighting the Syrian government for nearly six years.
Ankara deems the PYD as a branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been engaged in an armed insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and designated as a terrorist group by the US.
Turkey has vowed to press ahead with its hunt for Kurdish militants in both Iraq and Syria.
Erdogan’s announcement came just one day after former US Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein accused Washington of backing terrorist groups when it serves its interests.
The Turkish president also stressed that the US had failed to keep its promise of air support in Ankara’s operations to liberate the Syrian city of al-Bab from Daesh.
"Even though the US-led coalition has failed to keep its promises [pledging air support] in our operation to liberate al-Bab, we will rid the city of Daesh terrorists, no matter what," he said.
Turkey is in the middle of a military operation to capture al-Bab from Daesh. Ankara, which started its incursion into Syria in August, claims that it is only supporting the militants in northern Syria in the drive against Daesh. However, reports over the past days have suggested that Turkish troops have been directly involved in the battle in al-Bab.
The ongoing assault in al-Bab has inflicted significant casualties on civilians. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that around 90 civilians, including 21 children, had lost their lives in a matter of 24 hours as Turkey intensified its airstrikes on the town.
Erdogan remarks ‘ludicrous’
Following Erdogan’s claims, US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said that it was "ludicrous" to even suggest that the US-led coalition is backing terrorist groups in Syria.
"I mean it's ludicrous to be honest. No basis for truth as you can all imagine. You know, I don't think anyone can look at our actions on the ground leading the coalition in northern Syria, in Iraq, and say anything other than that we're 100 percent behind the defeat, destruction of Daesh," he said.
He added that the US is working constructively with Turkey to defeat the terrorists and is constantly in contact with Ankara over how to do so.
"We support their efforts. We have supported their efforts along the border to clear it of Daesh. You know we're in dialogue with them about possible next steps we can take in terms of al-Bab. I mean we don't, certainly don't want to see them, you know, enter into al-Bab without sufficient support, but again you know these are discussions we have on a daily basis with the Turks," he added.
Toner noted that the US is, however, mindful of the tensions that exist between Turkish-supported forces and the YPG and other forces that Washington supports in the area. “That's the reason why we're working closely, having these discussions and trying to coordinate with them," he said.
The Big Theme for 2017: Global Cash Bans
The big theme for 2017 will be Cash… not a pro-deflationary “time to own cash” theme… but a “let’s ban it as quickly as possible” theme.
1) Former Secretary of the Treasury, Larry Summers, called for the US to do away with the $100 bill.
2) Former Chief Economist for the IMF, Ken Rogoff, published his book The Curse of Cash.
3) The New York Times and Financial Times publicly endorse a ban on cash.
4) Fed Chair Janet Yellen, during a Q&A session said cash is “not a convenient store of value.”
Of course the above items are simply propaganda and words. But 2016 also featured major actions as far as the War on Cash is concerned…
The 7th largest country in the world by GDP (India) banned physical cash in denominations that comprise over 80% of all outstanding bills.
The move was a political disaster… temporarily, but no one was forced out of office and the legislation remains in place.
The message here: you can get away with this kind of thing… even in a country in which physical cash is STILL the dominant form of currency.
Venezuela has since followed suit, banning any bill that is worth more than 3 cents. There as well, the policy was met with political outrage… but the ruling part/people remain in power and no one was forced out of office over the matter.
Put simply, 2016 was the year in which the 7th and 33rd largest nations by GDP went effectively cashless… and no one lost their jobs over it.
You can imagine the glee the elites felt witnessing this… particularly in countries in which 50%+ of transactions no longer involve physical cash (60%+ in most developed nations).
After all, the only thing these people do worry about is losing their jobs. Provided no one is kicked out of office as a consequence, any policy, no matter how terrible, is considered viable to this crowd.
Which is why 2017 will shape up to be the year of the Global Cash Bans.
Numerous developed nations (France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) have already banned cash for certain transactions. Next year (2017) is the year we expect to start seeing policy pushes for complete bans on cash.
Europe Proposes Confiscating Gold, Cash, Bitcoin, And Prepaid Cards To Fight “Terrorist Financing”
DECEMBER 27, 2016
By Claire Bernish
Following exceedingly unpopular moves by China and India, the European Commission has now proposed to tighten controls on cash and precious metals — going so far as to allow confiscations of gold and assets — of anyone even believed to be associated with terrorism or terrorists.
These confiscations and strictures around personal wealth would be part of the European Union’s “action plan against terrorist financing,” proposed following the terrorist attacks on Paris in November 2015 — except the impetus to apply the measures came when a truck plowed through a bustling Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, killing 12 people and injuring scores more.
It appears the Commission surreptitiously proposed tighter controls on cash and precious metals after the market attack but in just before the holidays — possibly to avoid an acrimonious backlash.
Under the new proposals, customs officials in European Union states can step up checks on cash and prepaid payment cards sent by post or in freight shipments.
But travelers to Europe won’t avoid the clamp down, as the report continues:
Authorities will also be able to seize cash or precious metals carried by suspect individuals entering the EU.
People carrying more than 10,000 euros [slightly over $10,450] in cash already have to declare this at customs when entering the EU. The new rules would allow authorities to seize money below that threshold ‘where there are suspicions of criminal activity,’ the EU executive commission said in a note.
Officials from the European Union claimed terrorists executed recent attacks with small budgets sometimes financed by ‘criminal organizations’ located elsewhere — thus the perfect justification to restrict cash and precious metals presented itself with the attack in Berlin.
According to Reuters, the European Commission is debating whether to implement an EU-specific “terrorist finance tracking programme” to mirror one already in place between the EU and the United States, which, Reuters notes, “has long been opposed by EU lawmakers and privacy campaigners because it allows widespread checks on consumers’ bank transfers.”
Interesting, the U.S. Department of Treasury — upon implementation of the American terrorist financial tracking plan — wrote what seems, in retrospect, as if it were trying to convince itself of the plan’s merit, stating:
This is exactly the kind of program that Americans want and expect from their government to prevent further terrorist attacks.
But the Commission didn’t stop there.
Also proposed are common rules among the 28 member nations to freeze “terrorists’ financial resources” — and confiscating the financial assets of anyone even thought to be associated with criminals.
But the European Commission’s plans get even darker from there, because — despite the ostensible targeting of terrorists and criminals — its proposals leave innocent citizens at risk of being unjustly accused and losing significant personal wealth.
To wit, anyone who wishes to make a payment of €150.00 [$156.85] or more using a prepaid card will be forced to show identification in order to complete the transaction.
Reuters explains the plans complement previous proposals following the Paris attacks seeking “to tighten controls on virtual currencies such as bitcoin, and prepaid cards, which French authorities said were used to fund the bombings.”
Another proposal proffered in this putative fight against terrorism criminalizes money laundering for the first time — particularly in regard to virtual currency — and the EU will study whether bitcoin should be more strictly regulated.
Note the undertones in these proposals say nothing of first identifying individual criminals or terrorist cells, and proceeding to address only their finances — rather, the proposals cover everyone, all citizens — intimating the true targets are the assets of ordinary Europeans, whether intentionally or as a casualty of the repressive measures.
“There are clear signs that in a very convoluted way, possession of gold for investment purposes will be made illegal,” Zero Hedge warned. “Expect capital controls to follow.”
While any one of this group of proposals would make advocates of personal liberty cringe, every one of the 28 member nations has backed the plan — it now awaits approval from the European Parliament.
“In the future, all EU member states will recognize the seizure of terrorists’ assets or the freezing of accounts in every EU country,” asserted EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, according to Deutsche-Welle.
Accounts will be frozen within 48 hours of notice being given, Jourova explained, adding, “Loopholes must be closed.”
Overbearing and unusually restrictive, it hasn’t been made clear by any officials whether the proposed measures would be effective at shutting down terrorist networks — or even preventing a single attack.
Yet gold, precious metals, cash, bitcoin, prepaid cards over basically $150, and bank accounts, particularly if you are unusually wealthy, could now be seized by the State at a moment’s notice and without warning — if the government has so much as an inkling you’re up to no good.
Indian government now confiscating private jewelry, gold during home raids
Thursday, December 22, 2016 by: JD Heyes
(NaturalNews) If you’re an Indian citizen, it is best not to try to hoard gold, jewelry and other valuables, as the government will swoop in and seize it.
As noted by Mish Talk, global financial repression is beginning to accelerate, and it is being led by the Asian giant, India. The government recently declared large denomination bills to be illegal to hold, and now it is targeting privately-held gold.
But the government is not simply targeting gold bars and/or bullion; authorities are raiding homes and are even taking possession of jewelry, with no questions asked or answered.
Here’s some background on what’s taking place:
The global elite has determined that the surest way to control the masses is through control over their personal finances. If the masses can horde cash and valuables, then they can’t be bullied or controlled by the globalist elite. So in order to accomplish this, physical currently will have to be made illegal to possess or otherwise taken away from the masses and out of circulation completely.
The next step forward by the globalists to control personal assets
Mish Talk shares another piece of important background information. It essentially notes that there is “cash chaos” in India, where 86 percent of the money in circulation has been withdrawn. On Nov. 8, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stunned the nation when he announced that 500-rupee ($7.30) and 1,000-rupee notes, which are about 85 percent of the money supply, would no longer be legal tender, effective immediately. “As one might imagine, chaos ensued,” the site noted. “And it continues.”
Modi’s decision sparked outrage and angst, especially among the pundit class. Writing in Bloomberg View, columnist Mihir Sharma lamented the currency-pulling, noting that while the country’s gross domestic product grew at a mighty 7.3 percent, that wouldn’t translate into improved economic conditions for most Indians.
What’s more, he noted that Modi could not backtrack on his decision to demonetize nearly all privately-held cash, because it remains politically popular.
The government sold the demonetization policy as the best way to essentially attack the rich (sound familiar?), and to use it as a “’surgical strike on black money’—the illicit piles of cash many rich Indians have accumulated out of sight of the taxman,” Sharma wrote.
But it has become clear since then the policy is anything but surgical. Rather, it appears to be just another step forward by the globalists to control personal assets, which can, of course, be instantly taken via electronic theft by government agencies if/when it becomes necessary.
FEDS TO COUNTER 'FAKE NEWS' WITH STUNNING PROPAGANDA PLAN
New center gets money, authority to decide what's truth, what's not
Published: December 26, 2016
Barack Obama has signed into law a bill authorizing some $611 billion in funding for the U.S. military for 2017, but hidden inside the massive governmental document is a provision that is alarming free-speech and limited-government advocates: authorization and funding for a new center to decide what is truth.
The newly approved Center for Information Analysis and Response, or as it’s been dubbed, the “Ministry of Truth,” is being given power to not only make those determinations, but also do what’s needed to influence the American public to believe it.
“Here are a few highlights,” wrote a a blogger who focuses on government indoctrination through its Common Core education mandates, at What is Common Core:
“The new center will ‘counter propaganda and disinformation’ as defined by the center. … The new center will use ‘covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations. … The new center has 10 million dollars to pay select members of academia and journalism to ‘proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies,’ and ‘to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation’ – as defined by the center.”
In fact, the law calls for the center to “provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions.”
Aaron Kesel wrote at We Are Change that, in layman’s terms, “the act will allow the government to crack down with impunity against any media outlet it deems ‘propaganda.’ The next piece of the legislation will provide substantial amounts of money to fund ‘counter propaganda,’ to make sure the government’s approved stories drown out alternative media and journalists who question the status quo.”
He continued, “Welcome to 1984.”
At the Zerohedge website, Tyler Durden wrote about Obama’s announcement regarding the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.
Obama blamed the GOP for Guantanamo’s continued operations, and he criticized Congress for failing to reduce wasteful spending.
“But … the biggest news is what was buried deep inside the provisions,” he wrote. “As we reported in early June, ‘a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth had been quietly introduced in Congress.'”
It was from several members of Congress, including Sen. Rob Portman, who cited the concern that there was “no single U.S. governmental agency or department charged with the national level development, integration and synchronization of whole-of-government strategies to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.”
Reported ZeroHedge, “Long before the ‘fake news’ meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to ‘establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,’ which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and – in true dystopic manner – ‘develop and disseminate’ ‘fact-based narratives‘ to counter … propaganda.”
It continued, “In short, long before ‘fake news’ became a major media topic, the U.S. government was already planning its legally backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label ‘fake news,'” the site reported.
“Fake news” flashed across America only late this year as a new description of information that failed to follow the talking points of liberals who were fighting mightily to support now-twice-failed Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
It was applied by various officials to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of emails containing national secrets and such.
The sponsors of the plan claim it will “improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation from our enemies by establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government.”
It will provide grants to “NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts” to influence thought.
“And so, with the likes of WaPo having already primed the general public to equate ‘Russian Propaganda’ with ‘fake news’ (despite admitting after the fact their own report was essentially ‘fake’), while the U.S. media has indoctrinated the public to assume that any information which is not in compliance with the official government narrative, or dares to criticize the establishment, is also ‘fake news’ and thus falls under the ‘Russian propaganda’ umbrella, the scene is now set for the U.S. government to legally crack down on every media outlet that the government deems to be ‘foreign propaganda,'” ZeroHedge warned.
At the Federal Papers blog, Kimberly Morin raised some of the obvious questions.
“Who is going to inoculate Americans against the propaganda from the U.S. government? Not only will this increase the size of government, again, but who exactly will be the people deciding what is propaganda and what is disinformation? The very same people in the federal government who push their own propaganda and disinformation onto the unknowing masses? All one has to do is look to the mainstream media to see massive propaganda and disinformation but, of course, the only people who grasp this are those who bother to do any research. The government is fully behind THIS type of propaganda and disinformation; it’s right up their alley.”
Obama boasted of the law’s provisions for pay and benefits for members of the military, and the creation of options for countering cyber-attacks, but didn’t discuss the propaganda arm of the federal government being created.
At the FreeThoughtProject blog, Annise Smith noted, “For all intents and purposes, the NDAA’s single phrase, ‘dissemination of fact-based narratives,’ summons a near specter to newspeak, the propagandic and revisionist language created by the Ingsox government’s Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s now eerily portentous 1984.
“Innumerable tongue-in-cheek references to that dystopian classic have been made in recent times, but the new law seemingly cements the parallels – naming the modern iteration of the Ministry of Truth an even creepier, Global Engagement Center.”
At the Federalist Papers, the worries continued, “With all the cries about ‘Fake News’ during the last election cycle, it’s interesting that this bill gets signed now, as Obama is about to leave office. The Obama administration is one of the biggest perpetrators of disinformation in United States history, along with the Democrat Party of course and their minions in left wing organizations like the Center for American Progress.
“This seems like yet another slippery slope (aren’t most federal government laws?) that will be used against the American people rather than to actually do any good for them.
“The ‘deciders’ of what is propaganda and disinformation will most likely be the very same people who push their own version of it.”
Berlin plans ‘center of defense against fake news’ ahead of elections – report
Published time: 24 Dec, 2016 03:05
Edited time: 24 Dec, 2016 05:04
The German government is seeking to create a center of defense against disinformation ahead of next year’s elections, in the wake of ongoing “fake news” and "Russian hackers" hysteria generated during the election cycle in the United States.
The Federal Press Office in the Chancellery, which has a staff of over 500 professionals, will take the leading role in establishing the fake news defense center, Der Spiegel reported quoting a note from an anonymous Interior Ministry staff member.
According to the Interior Ministry plan, the center will focus on offering “intensification of political education work” with groups susceptible to “fake news” – namely “Russian-Germans” as well as “Turkish-speaking people.”
The creation of the center “should be negotiated very quickly,” the magazine said quoting the note, which also urged that political parties establish ground rules for the 2017 election campaigns. According to report, the Interior Ministry also urged politicians not to use social bots and disinformation techniques during the election cycle.
Earlier, German lawmakers called on new laws and tougher new measures against social media platforms which disseminate fake news. Justice Minister Heiko Maas called on the government to set “legal consequences” for internet giants.
“We expect clear improvements in Facebook's removal practice. The standard must be German law,” Maas told Suddeutsche Zeitung.
Social Democratic Party parliamentary chairman Thomas Oppermann called for social media outlets to be prosecuted for their role in validating fake news.
“If, after the relevant checks, Facebook does not immediately, within 24 hours, delete the offending post then [it] must reckon with severe penalties of up to 500,000 euros,” Oppermann told Der Spiegel.
Others like Patrick Sensburg (Christian Democrat), in an interview with Deutsche Welle on Tuesday, argued that the government should be “ratcheting up the statutory offenses” against fake news producers and “take action against the people who run these websites.”
Besides being worried about the potential spread of fake news ahead of elections, Berlin, for a number of months, has also voiced concern about the potential involvement of “Russian hackers” in the electoral process.
Anti-Russian hysteria erupted last summer when US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton alleged that Moscow had engaged in hacking to damage her bid for the White House. While offering no proof, the Democrats accused the Kremlin of hacking into their computer networks and publishing sensitive information via WikiLeaks in order to swing the vote in favor of Clinton’s GOP rival Donald Trump.
Russia, in turn, has repeatedly denied the accusations, stressing that it has no interest in influencing the US election or any other country’s political choices. Trump and WikiLeaks have also denied the accusations.
Following the US election race, Berlin went on to accuse Russia of being involved in a number of hacking attacks, including on Deutsche Telecom and parliament. In the latest set of accusations, which saw the files of over 900,000 Deutsche Telecom customers compromised in late November, Merkel suggested that “such cyberattacks, or hybrid conflicts as they are known in Russian doctrine, are now part of daily life and we must learn to cope with them.”
The Federal Office for Information Security for its part revealed that the attack was executed with the help of the so-called Mirai worm, which was allegedly developed by Russian hacking group Sofacy. According to reports the malware was well known to the German security services as the one used in an attack on the German parliament back in 2015.
On Sunday Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper published an article that quoted a high-ranking anonymous security official who claimed that it was “highly plausible” that Russian hackers were behind a German parliamentary hack in 2015.
Yet, according to a Spiegel report published earlier this month, Russian hackers were not the source of the recent WikiLeaks release of 2,420 secret files on German-US intelligence cooperation and a parliamentary inquiry.
“Contrary to various media reports, there is absolutely no indication that the documents were stolen during a cyberattack on the Bundestag in the year 2015,” Der Spiegel wrote, citing its own source.
The Murder of Rasputin, 100 Years Later
How does the killing of the so-called Mad Monk fit into the larger picture of the Russian Revolution?
By Carolyn Harris
DECEMBER 27, 2016
“The holy man is he who takes your soul and will and makes them his. When you choose your holy man, you surrender your will. You give it to him in utter submission, in full renunciation.” – Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
The murder of Rasputin, Russia’s infamous “Mad Monk,” is the fodder for a great historical tale that blends fact and legend. But the death of the controversial holy man and faith healer had a combustible effect on the tense state of affairs in pre-revolution Russia. Rasputin was killed on December 30, 1916 (December 17 in the Russian calendar in use at the time), in the basement of the Moika Palace, the Saint Petersburg residence of Prince Felix Yussupov, the richest man in Russia and the husband of the Czar’s only niece, Irina. His battered body was discovered in the Neva River a few days later.
In the decade prior, Rasputin had risen rapidly through Russian society, starting as an obscure Siberian peasant-turned-wandering-holy-man and then becoming one of the most prominent figures in the Czar’s inner circle. Born in 1869 in the village of Pokrovskoye, on the Tura river that flows eastward from the Ural Mountains, where Europe meets Asia in Siberia. He seemed destined for an ordinary life, despite a few conflicts in his youth with local authorities for unruly behavior. He married a local woman, Praskovya Dubrovina, became the father of three surviving children, Maria, Dmitri and Varvara, and worked on his family’s farm.
Rasputin’s life changed in 1892, when he spent months at a monastery, putting him on the path to international renown. Despite his later nickname, “The Mad Monk,” Rasputin never took Holy Orders. Men in Rasputin’s position usually gave up their past lives and relationships but Rasputin continued to see his family – his daughters later lived with him in Saint Petersburg – and support his wife financially.
His religious fervor, combined with an appealing personal charisma, brought Rasputin to the attention of some Russian Orthodox clergymen and then senior members of the Imperial family, who then introduced him to Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra.
Nicholas wrote to one of his ministers in October 1906, “A few days ago I received a peasant from the Tobolsk district, Grigori Rasputin, who brought me an icon of St. Simon Verkhoturie. He made a remarkably strong impression both on Her Majesty and on myself, so that instead of five minutes our conversation went on for more than an hour.”
The Imperial couple had consulted unconventional spiritual advisors in the past, but Rasputin filled this role by his ability to read their inner hopes and tell them what they wanted to hear. He encouraged Nicholas to have more confidence in his role as czar, and Alexandra found that his counsel soothed her anxieties. By the First World War, Rasputin was also providing political advice and making recommendations for ministerial appointments, much to the dismay of the Russian elite.
Rasputin cemented his relationship with the czar and czarina when he supposedly helped alleviate their only son Alexei’s hemophilia. Rasputin’s alleged healing powers continue to be debated today. The Czar’s sister, Grand Duchess Olga, wrote that she observed Rasputin healing Alexei by kneeling at the foot of his bed and praying; the calming atmosphere that he created in the palace may have assisted with the recovery. Alexandra’s lady-in-waiting, Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden, thought that Rasputin employed peasant folk medicine used in Siberian villages to treat internal bleeding in horses.
Historians continue to debate Rasputin’s impact on Alexei’s health. In his 2016 book, Rasputin: Faith, Power and the Twilight of the Romanovs, Douglas Smith observes, “Rasputin’s assurances calmed the anxious, fretful mother and filled her with unshakeable confidence, and she, in turn, transferred this confidence to her ailing son, literally willing him back to health.” In addition to increasing confidence in recovery, a key variable may have been Rasputin’s insistence that doctors keep away from Alexei. Medical knowledge was still sparse, even though drugs like aspirin were available for treatment. Unfortunately for Alexei, aspirin, considered a cure-all remedy, had the then-unknown side effect of thinning the blood, which would have exacerbated hemophilia symptoms. French historian Hélène Carrère d'Encausse argued that when Rasputin insisted that remedies prescribed by the doctors be thrown in the fire, the discarded medicine likely would have included aspirin. Rasputin’s insistence that the doctors leave him alone would have improved his condition and appeared to create a miraculous improvement in his symptoms.
Rasputin presented himself in the Imperial Court as holy man, despite no formal affiliation with the Russian Orthodox Church, and spoke as a self-appointed representative of the peasantry, but his behavior away from court offered a different portrait. His drunkenness and affairs with women of all social backgrounds, from street prostitutes to society ladies, scandalized the public. Rasputin appeared to bask in his fame, showing off shirts embroidered for him by the Empress and inviting her friends and servants to his home in Prokovskoye. (Rasputin’s wife appeared untroubled by his infidelities, commenting “He has enough for all.”)
The press, unshackled thanks to rights granted to them by Nicholas II in 1905, spread lurid tales about Rasputin both within Russia and abroad. Rumors about Rasputin’s influence over the Czarist regime spread throughout Europe. Petitioners, believing that Rasputin lived with the Imperial family, mailed their requests to “Rasputin, Czar’s palace, Saint Petersburg.”
Soldiers on World War I’s Eastern front spoke of Rasputin having an intimate affair with Alexandra, passing it off as common knowledge without evidence. As the war progressed, outlandish stories expanded to include Rasputin’s supposed treason with the German enemy, including a fantastical tale that he sought to undermine the war effort by starting a cholera epidemic in Saint Petersburg with “poisoned apples imported from Canada.” What the public thought they knew about Rasputin had a greater impact than his actual views and activities, fueling demands that he be removed from his position of influence by any means necessary.
Until he murdered Rasputin, Felix Yussupov lived a comparatively aimless life of privilege. One of Nicholas II’s daughters, also named Grand Duchess Olga, worked as a nurse during the war and criticized Yussupov’s refusal to enlist, writing to her father, “Felix is a 'downright civilian,' dressed all in brown…virtually doing nothing; an utterly unpleasant impression he makes – a man idling in such times.” Plotting Rasputin’s murder gave Yussupov the opportunity to reinvent himself as a patriot and man of action, determined to protect the throne from a malign influence.
For Yussupov and his co-conspirators, the removal of Rasputin could give Nicholas II one last chance of restoring the reputation and prestige of the monarchy. With Rasputin gone, the czar would be more open to the advice of his extended family, the nobility and the Duma and less dependent on Alexandra. There was hope that he would return from military headquarters and once again govern from Saint Petersburg.
The most well-known account of Rasputin’s murder was the one that Yussupov wrote in his memoirs, published in 1928. Yussupov claimed to have invited Rasputin to his palace to meet his wife Irina (who was in fact away at the time) and then served him a platter of cakes and numerous glasses of wine laced with potassium cyanide. To Yussupov’s astonishment, Rasputin appeared to be unaffected by the poison. A desperate Yussupov borrowed the revolver of the Grand Duke Dmitri, the czar’s cousin, and shot Rasputin multiple times, but was still unable to kill him. According to the memoir, “This devil who was dying of poison, who had a bullet in his heart, must have been raised from the dead by the powers of evil. There was something appalling and monstrous in his diabolical refusal to die.” There was reputedly water in his lungs when his remains were discovered, indicating that he had finally died by drowning.
Yussupov’s account of Rasputin’s murder entered popular culture. The lurid scene was dramatized in numerous films about Rasputin and the Romanovs and even made it into a 1970s disco hit by Boney M., which included the lyrics “They put some poison into his wine…He drank it all and said, ‘I feel fine.’”
Rasputin’s actual murder was probably far less dramatic. His daughter Maria, who fled Russia after the Revolution and became a circus lion tamer billed as "the daughter of the famous mad monk whose feats in Russia astonished the world," wrote her own book in 1929 that condemned Yussupov’s actions and questioned the veracity of his account. She wrote that her father did not like sweets and never would have eaten a platter of cakes. The autopsy reports do not mention poison or drowning but instead conclude that he was shot in the head at close range. Yussupov transformed the murder into an epic struggle of good versus evil to sell books and bolster his own reputation.
The responses from the public were mixed, reflecting Rasputin’s checkered reputation. The elite, from whence Yussupov and his co-conspirators came, rejoiced and applauded the killers when they appeared in public. The peasantry mourned Rasputin as one of their own, seeing the murder as one more example of the nobility controlling the Czar; when a peasant rose to a position of influence with the Czar, he was murdered by wealthy men.
To the dismay of Yussupov and his co-conspirators, Rasputin’s murder did not lead to a radical change in Nicholas and Alexandra’s polities. To the emergent Bolsheviks, Rasputin symbolized the corruption at the heart of the Imperial court, and his murder was seen, rather accurately, as an attempt by the nobility to hold onto power at the continued expense of the proletariat. To them, Rasputin represented the broader problems with czarism. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Provisional Government leader Alexander Kerensky went so far as to say, "Without Rasputin there would have been no Lenin."
The serious health consequences of putting your laptop on your lap
Sunday, December 18, 2016 by: Amy Goodrich
(NaturalNews) Laptops are overtaking desktops for personal use. One of the main reasons why a laptop seems to be the preferred device these days is its ability to be used virtually anywhere, including your bed, couch or a bench in the park.
However, if you like to use your laptop while you’re sitting on the sofa, enjoying the outdoors or waiting for a plane, you’d be wise never to rest it directly on your lap. In spite of what its name might suggest, research has shown that your lap is, paradoxically, not the ideal place for a laptop.
Toasted skin syndrome
People who spend vast amounts of time reading, studying or playing games on a laptop resting on their lap could develop “toasted skin syndrome.” A medical report has found that placing devices like laptops next to the skin for extended periods of time can lead to an unusual-looking mottled skin condition or rash caused by long-term heat exposure.
This condition, also known as “erythema ab igne,” develops over time and depends on how much the laptop is used on the lap and how hot it gets. While the syndrome is generally harmless and resolves itself when further exposure is prevented, it can cause permanent skin coloration. According to Swiss researchers, Drs. Andreas Arnold and Peter Itin from University Hospital Basel, the syndrome may also cause skin damage that leads to skin cancer in very rare occasions.
“There is a risk of skin cancer that can occur from erythema ab igne but it’s very uncommon,” said Dr. Neil J. Korman, a dermatologist and director of the Clinical Trials Unit at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. “It’s more of a theoretical risk,” he added.
Male fertility issues
Male infertility is perhaps the most serious risk associated with laptops. According to researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the scrotum is very fragile and adapted to keep sperm at a relative temperature.
However, setting a laptop on your lap may increase the temperature of the scrotum upwards of 35 degrees above the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees, which negatively impacts sperm production and may even cause infertility.
According to dermatologist Anthony J. Mancini, prolonged skin inflammation can potentially increase the chances of squamous cell skin cancer, which tends to be more aggressive than the more common form of skin cancer.
Furthermore, electromagnetic fields produced by laptops can possibly induce currents within the body at unsafe levels. For one study, published in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, researchers from the University of Siena, Italy, evaluated five commonly used brands of laptops.
They found that the electromagnetic field (EMF) values were within the safety guidelines created by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. However, they noted that the radiation values became alarmingly high when the laptop was used close to the body, which could potentially induce tumor development. Furthermore, the researchers pointed out that the EMF values were considerably higher than the values recommended by two recent guidelines for magnetic field emissions from computer monitors.
After studying the effects of electromagnetic fields from laptop use, the Italian researchers concluded that laptop companies should change the name of the product to prevent improper use and protect users’ health.
Luckily, most of these issues can be prevented; keeping your laptop off your lap is a good start.
next week...keep on believing.
I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto
those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”