Review: Principalities and Powers (Montgomery)

Montgomery, John Warwick.

This is the best mature Evangelical treatment on the subject. Conservative evangelicalism faces a schizophrenia on this topic. On one hand, they know that the demonic and occultic exist because the Bible says so and modern experience is becoming almost overwhelming. On the other hand, they tend to write this off as charismatic kookiness and with the view that spiritual gifts have ceased today, they really don’t know what to make of this indisputable phenomenon.

Principalities And Powers; The World Of The Occult by John Warwick Montgomery

Montgomery approaches with a relatively open mind. He resists the urge to write off all of the paranormal as demonic. He introduces a key distinction: we must separate the fact from the interpretation of that fact. He also points out where individuals find themselves with ESP-like abilities in situations that are neither angelic nor demonic.

He does move his analysis into the occult, however. He gives a brilliant summary of the history of occultism and Cabalism. He has a fascinating analysis of how to interpret “ghosts” (for lack of a better word). All the while he remains faithful to biblical revelation on the afterlife.

He ends with a humorous, if quite interesting, fictional short story of a liberal minister who becomes convinced of the demonic.

Review: The Great Inception (Satan’s Psyops)

This book surprised me.  I wondered how sophisticated it would be.  It impressed.  I do feel like some arguments could have been expanded, but overall Gilbert made a reasonably strong case, one that I find convincing.  Please check out his website here.

and here: http://www.derekpgilbert.com/the-great-inception/

The reader is encourage to consult Serro’s work as well.

The argument: Yahweh’s war against the Watchers takes place on a set of mountains, beginning in Eden.

inception

Following Heiser he suggests that the serpent in Genesis 3 was actually a serpentine being (following the fluidity of nachash) rather than Sneaky Snake.

  • He says Nachash can also mean “one who practices divination” (Gilbert 9).  I don’t disagree, but he doesn’t cite any lexical sources.
  • But if Lucifer is an angel, and angels do have a shining appearance, then it might work.

Who was “Satan?”  He never appears by that name early on.  But if we take Isaiah 14 and Ezek. 28 as referring to the garden, then we can infer:

  • He was an anointed cherub
  • He walked on stones of fire

Hermon

Nephilim

It means giants (33). We need to get clear on something: the Nephilim are the descendants (or some of them, anyway) from the intermarriages.  They are not the sires.  Gilbert argues, and I think he is correct, that the Watchers, or other ביני ילוהימ, mated with humans and produced Nephilim.

  1. How likely is it that all the Sethite men were good and all the Cainanite women were bad?
  2. Does this mean that Caininite women never married Sethite men?
  3. Why would this union produce Nephilim, understood by Jews and Christians to be giants?
  4. Why would this union lead to wickedness so great that God destroys the planet?
  5. Every other use of bene elohim means divine beings (34).

Objection: But angels can’t reproduce!

But I answer: That was not the presumption of the men of Sodom. I suppose we can advance the argument.  Who said the Watchers or the ביני ילוהימ were angels in the sense you are thinking of?  I simply deny that premise.

Babel

Gilbert advances the argument that Babel wasn’t Babylon (as Babylon wouldn’t have existed then). Nor was God freaked out that somebody would have built a really big Ziggurat.  What is neat is comparing this with other ANE legends (Satan’s psyops).  Nimrod  was lord of the abzu, the abyss.  The tower of Bab-el would have been built on the abzu (59).  And Bab-el meant gate of the god(s).  So the gate of the gods would have been built on the abyss.

Gilbert asks the question that bourgeois commentators do not:  could Nimrod have succeeded?  It was serious enough that Yahweh personally intervened.

The gods of the nations

This is where it gets neat.  We are familiar with the story that the people spread out.  Part of the punishment was that the people (70 nations) were given to the lordship of the bene elohim-ביני ילוהימ (also 70).

God writes (Dt. 32),

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,

   when he divided mankind,

he fixed the borders[a] of the peoples

   according to the number of the sons of God (bene elohim; ביני ילוהימ).

It makes no sense whatsoever to say that God fixed the numbers according to the nation of Israel, which didn’t yet exist.  Yet, if we read this as “sons of God,” assuming they are beings which have some kind of hypostatic existence, then other passages in Deuteronomy start to make sense:

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace (Dt. 4)

Why would God alot other nations to do idolatry?  It’s not so much that he wanted them to do that, but that he gave them over to the gods of those nations.

But would Yahweh allot nations to evil beings?  Well, yes.  Think of it as the Romans 1 moment of the Old Testament.  And it is no more “mean” of God to do this than to give people up to sinful passions.

It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, 26 and went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them (Dt 29).

In short, these are territorial spirits.  And this makes sense of obscure passages in Daniel, where Daniel learns of the war between the princes of Persia, Greece, and Michael.

Sinai

Who was Ba’al Zephon (Ex. 14:3)? Zaphon was the name of Ba’al’s mountain in Egypt.

At Mt. Sinai Yahweh demands that 70 elders approach with Moses and Aaron.  Gilbert concludes, noting the parallels between the 70 elders and the 70 bene elohim, “A day is coming when my (Yahweh’s) people will again take their place in the divine council” (96).

The Typhon Connection

Set was often equated with Ba’al, but he was also identified with Typhon (99).  And when you transpose this onto the Crowley-Lovecraft mythos, you see that the Great Old Ones are prominent, and they could be the bene elohim.

Zaphon

Tie-in with other gods

Gilbert connects the dots between pagan mythologies and biblical demonology, and the list is quite startling:

“Reseph” in the bible is mentioned as plague, and for the Amorites he was a god who spread both healing and disease with his arrows (115). In Babylon he was called Nergal, and by the time Greece emerged as a power, he was depicted as an archer and god of medicine and healing.  His name, obviously, was Apollo.  And he has a role to play in Eschatology (Rev. 9:1-11).  He is Lord of the Abyss.

And when we tie all this together, we see Reseph (similar root structure to seraph, burning one) = Nergal, Lord of the Underworld = Apollo, demon of the Abyss.

Other patterns:

Zeus = Ba’al (lightning, storm connection)

Venus = Aphrodite = Astarte = Ishtar

Who are the Rephaim (Dt. 2:2-5; 8b-12; 18-23).

They are connected with Og and Sihon, giants whom Moses deliberately targeted (they weren’t on the planned invasion route). Hesiod and Enoch (1 Enoch 15:8-12) connect the meropes anthropoi with the Nephilim, children of the Fallen Watchers (157).  Upon their death they would have become spirits/demons, the Council of the Didanu.

Carmel

Angels fought against Jabin (Judg. 5:19-22).

Onto Mt. Carmel:

If our earlier reading is correct, and Yahweh did indeed divide the people into 70 nations (with 70 gods; Dt 32:8-9, using the ESV).  If this reading is wrong, then Paul was wrong to warn against elemental spirits, thrones, demons, principalities.

Amorite spiritual context: the Rephaim/Nephilim, children of Titans, represented forbidden knowledge (sorcery, necromancy, etc. 197).

Zion

Jesus’s transfiguration took place near Mt Hermon.  There were other watchers besides the disciples.  He was sending a message (208-209).  This was the realm of Pan (Paneas = Caesarea Phillipi).  Pan is a goat demon alluded to in the Old Testament (Lev. 17:1-7, which is the same word used in Isaiah 13:19-21).  Azazel in Leviticus 16:6-12 is also connected with goats.

Pan is also related to Aegipan, sometimes connected with the Constellation Capricorn

In his response to the Pharisees Christ links Satan with Ba’al, the storm God.  This means Satan is also linked with Zeus, Thor, and Perrun.

Satan = Ba’al = Zeus = Thor = Perrun.

I’m not quite ready to make that connection, but it is worth considering.

Recap

200 supernatural beings (Watchers, from the book of Enoch) established a rebellion on Mt Hermon.  Their breeding with women in Genesis 6 produced the Nephilim.  They also taught forbidden knowledge.  In response God chained them in darkness (Jude, 2 Peter).

Gilbert brings home Dr Heiser’s arguments and they are strongly worth considering.  If we don’t take the supernatural seriously, we have a flattened ontology and are incapable of dealing with both the bible and the hard facts of reality.

Key resources:

Annus, Amar. 1999. “Are there Greek Rephaim? On the Etymology of Greek Meropes and Titanes.” Ugarit-Forschungen 31:13-30.

–. 2010. “On the Origin of Watchers: A comparative study of the antediluvian wisdom in Mesopotamian and Jewish Traditions.” Journal for the Study of Pseudipigrapha 19 (4): 277-320.

Toon, K. van der. “Nimrod Before and After the bible.” Harvard Theological Review 83: 1-29.

Surveying the Conspiracy Blogs

Not all of them are kooky tin foil hats, and after the Wikileaks revelations in 2016, it’s hard to see where they were wrong in the main.  Still, while they are almost always more accurate than CNN, not all conspiracy websites are equal.  I’ve been going through this since 2008, so here is my take.  I am not saying I agree with all of them.

Also the funniest scene in the whole movie

Joseph Farrell.  People laugh at Farrell, but I always tell them (a) he is a D.Phil from Oxford and (b) his conclusions are always judicious and balanced.  And while he does play the Nazi card heavily, he doesn’t see Nazis as the root (and explanation) of every evil event in the world.  His writing style combines analytic precision with profound depth.

Jim Marrs.  I never bought into the Annuki or Reptilians creating us, but Marrs’s stuff on more recent events is pretty good. I definitely recommend his Rise of the Fourth Reich. And he is one of the most natural speakers I’ve ever listened to.

Henry Makow. I came across his blog in 2008.  He does a pretty good job in connecting the dots, though he tends to see the Jews behind everything. He has a brilliant expose of Jeff Rense. I don’t agree with his claim that Putin is working with the New World Order.

Cathy O’Brien.  I’m not sure about her specific claims, but her narrative of CIA mind-control is accurate.

Jay’s Analysis.  Jay is a friend of mine.  I’ve been impressed with how he has come along recently.

Vigilant Citizen.  Some of the early stuff was pretty good, but they have a tendency to see MK-Ultra behind everything.  I also suspect they plagiarized from Jay Dyer.

Hollywood Subliminals. Mostly good.  I think they stretch a lot of images to show the Eye of Horus, but their other stuff is often informative.

Review: Trance-formation

Cathy O’Brien has the unfortunate (though not the most unfortunate thing to ever happen to her) of not being believed by even the conspiracy theory community.  I’m more sympathetic to her story than most, but I will push back on some facts.

Here is the “tl;dr” version.  She was sexually abused by her father from the earliest age and then prostituted out to various high-ranking officials.  During that time the CIA used their MK-Ultra tactics on her.  The mind-control programmed her brain to deliver messages, etc in the guise of sexual favors to diplomats, presidents, and the like.

While the above is evil and satanic, there is nothing of disbelief.  Of course the CIA does stuff like that.  I think what gets most people is when she starts naming names.  Here are the villains, and after each name I will say how believable it is:

  • Ronald Reagan.  I’m not sure on this one.  On one hand, his wife consorted with witches, and O’Brien admits Reagan never personally harmed her and that Reagan himself was outranked by Deep State agents Cheney and George H.W. Bush.
  • Cheney and Bush Sr.  Easily believable.  Only the most Boomercon Neocon thinks Cheney is a good guy.
  • Country Music stars. Undecided.  According to her Merle Haggard was a CIA informant.  Perhaps, but I don’t think he was sober enough to be reliable.  While I have doubts about the actual singers, the country music industry does provide a pipeline of CIA/cocaine activity.   Nashville is a powerful hub.

A Caution

This book is only for the most mature reader, and even then one needs to guard himself with prayer and probably fasting.  I knew going in how evil the CIA is, and I knew what MK-ULTRA involved, but even then I wasn’t prepared.

Now for some basic notes on the book:

Mind-control practices within the occult groups (according to survivors adjudged credible and law enforcement officials) have been accredited with bridging the gap between applied science and Shamanism” (Philips and O’Brien 4).

Some of these were close to home for me.

O’Brien: “Cox demanded I become a Mormon in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This was to “prove” that Satan was everywhere-particularly in the Monroe, Louisiana Mormon church where he led occult ritual” (104)

That’s about 8 minutes from my house.  Another one was where he serial-killer/Satanist Handler lived in Chatham, LA, where a lot of witchcraft activity happens in those swamps (that’s about 25 minutes from my house; that claim is more or less accurate, though the occult activity moved about 60 miles northeast from Chatham since then).

O’Brien mentions that she was forced to participate in the Bohemian Grove.  She doesn’t make as much of it as Alex Jones does.  It happened.  Happens.

Factual Inaccuracies

The only factual problem I had was her claim that La. Senator Bennett Johnson told her he was their on the “Philadelphia Experiment” in 1943.  While I certainly believe the Philadelphia Experiment is real, I don’t think Johnson was there.  Johnson was born in 1932.  This would have made him 11 years old. Unlikely he would be privy to a top-secret project.

Unless he actually went back in time in the experiment, but that raises time-travel paradoxes I don’t want to get into.

Responding to the critics

Critics of the book list several counter-factual problems with O’Brien’s account.  We’ll see which ones hold water:

  1. Why didn’t the government sue them for libel?  My guess is that the Govt probably didn’t need to.  The real evidence was destroyed.  Further, you don’t want this to go to court.  While the govt would win (because the system is rigged), people will start asking questions.
  2. Why didn’t the CIA kill them?  This is a good objection.  As documented the CIA certainly tried.  I suppose by the mid-1990s with Libya, Serbia, and Iraq happening, the CIA had bigger fish to fry.  We had to transport cocaine and jihadis to Bosnia.
  3. Do you have any proof about Reagan et al?  This is the kicker.  The charges against Bush and Cheney are believable, if not common sense.  Reagan is a bit different. I’m undecided.

Yet I wonder….

Numerous children go missing every year in Washington DC.  Some of this is simply human evil.  Yet why is it higher in the Washington DC area?

Everyone wants to quote Ephesians 6 about the nature of our spiritual warfare.  And then they get nervous when I point out the dark patterns in American politicsAnd then they get nervous when I point out the dark patterns in American politics.

Further Research:

Origins and techniques of Monarch Mind Control.

The first famous Mind Control Slave.

 

Review: Unholy Spirits

Interesting historical review of 20th century occultism practiced by the secular establishment. I knew that the CIA and KGB conducted paranormal tests on their victims. North provides a bit more documentation than do others.  The running thesis is that occultism is simply the latest stage of humanism:  it is the promise that men shall be as gods.  North explains that many of these New Age techniques seek to do an end-run around man as created being.  For the godly man, time is not evil.  It is limited and under the curse, but it also provides the conditions for planning for the future and building wealth.

Image result

Societies that reject this worldview cannot progress. North writes: “It is a fact that only by means of Western science has a centuries-long period of constant improvement of skills, equipment, and treatment been maintained. Scientific progress, which was originally grounded on the Christian ideas of providence, progress, and the subduing of the earth to the glory of a pre-eminently rational and personal God, was exponentially increased by the social and intellectual aftermath of the Reformation.  The idea that men can increase their control over nature by an ever-increasing division of labor, including intellectual labor, is at the heart of Western progress (247).

Conclusion: By personalizing the techniques of healing, primitive societies have in principle abandoned the idea of medical, economic, or any other kind of progress through more impersonal organizations of human talent (248).

Much of the book is dated but the general idea is sound.  In fact, it’s a very well-written book.  It narrates and evaluates “testimonies” (giving the book an anecdotal feel at times).  We end with this urgent call:

“The fact that Western man counts the cost accurately, i.e., can calculate the weight of each burden, enables him to reduce the burden through effective planning, discipline, and above all, capital formation. The socialist or communist, who affirms the religion of the occult – that the limits of scarcity are not natural, but are man-created – is less rational, cannot calculate economically, and threatens economic productivity whenever he takes over the reigns of political power (348)

Did 2 of my PB comments get deleted?

I started a thread on Jack Chick at Puritanboard. Yes, I know he is off-base and I don’t take him seriously.  I intended several things to happen from that thread, one of which was to highlight Jesuitism and Conspiracy Theories.   When I got back from church, the thread was closed.   Not only were some of my comments missing, but those referencing Alvierdo were also missing.

As I tried to make clear–but that comment is now missing–I don’t really care whether Alvierdo was a CIA spy or not.   The other information about the Jesuits–claims that Turretin and Hodge were not afraid to advance–is public knowledge.  I did some research on Alvierdo and noted that two of his biggest detractors were Rome (no surprise) and Christianity Today (probably no surprise).

Olav II: Our Template in the War Against Paganism

A few years ago I came across the life and story of Saint-King Olav II of Norway.  His life gripped me in many ways, for many of my intellectual struggles and concerns about my own life and where I am looking into how to express one’s Christianity coincided around St Olav’s life (and legacy).    Several points about Olav before I elaborate on his and our war against paganism:

  1. He demonstrates that many Northern European countries, even until the time of the Schism, held to a form of Christianity that shared similarities with both Romanism and Eastern Orthodoxy, yet were markedly different from both.
  2. Even though they were Orthodox, they were distinctively Western cultures and countries.
  3. Thus, Germanic and Scandinavian Orthodoxy was a specifically incarnational Orthodoxy, an Orthodoxy that took root in society’s most basic levels.
  4. Thus, those of us from Northern European stock have precedents, sometimes unknown to us, in Western Orthodoxy.  This is not to say that Western Orthodoxy is the ideal.  In many ways it is lacking.  However, we in the West are Reforming Catholics, and we draw from the heritage available to us.
Olav died in battle defending Christian Norway against those who would return it to Paganism.  While America is not Christian (and even by the most vague standards, it’s debatable if she ever were), America, too, faces an onslaught of paganism.    And perhaps even more than Olav’s Norway, this paganism has governmental and institutional authority.
“God is not separate from the Earth,”
Which means “God = Earth = Earth is God.”
Lest I am misunderstanding him, the pagan groups responded,
“We are Neo-Pagans — implying an eclectic reconstruction of ancient Nature religions, and combining archetypes of many cultures with other mystic and spiritual disciplines — and our beliefs and values are no different from those you describe as your own. Your book, Earth in Balance, is heralded by our People as a manifesto for all we hold dear…Know that there are half million NeoPagans out here who support you, and who voted for you, and who will rally to the aid of your policies for the salvation of the Earth and the reunification of the Great Family”

This was spoken almost fifteen years ago.  No doubt the impetus is stronger.  Let’s ponder St Olav’s last words before leaving,
“Fram, Fram, Kristmen, Korsmen, Kongsmen.”  Forward, Forward, Christ-Men, Cross-Men, King’s-Men

May we, too, have a similar end.

St Olav II: A Template for our War Against Paganism

Last year I came across the life and story of Saint-King Olav II of Norway.  His life gripped me in many ways, for many of my intellectual struggles and concerns about my own life and where I am looking into Orthodoxy coincided around St Olav’s life (and legacy).    Several points about Olav before I elaborate on his and our war against paganism:

  1. He demonstrates that many Northern European countries, even until the time of the Schism, were quite Orthodox.
  2. Even though they were Orthodox, they were distinctively Western cultures and countries.
  3. Thus, Germanic and Scandinavian Orthodoxy was a specifically incarnational Orthodoxy, an Orthodoxy that took root in society’s most basic levels.
  4. Thus, those of us from Northern European stock have precedents, sometimes unknown to us, in Western Orthodoxy.
Olav died in battle defending Christian Norway against those who would return it to Paganism.  While America is not Christian (and even by the most vague standards, it’s debatable if she ever were), America, too, faces an onslaught of paganism.    And perhaps even more than Olav’s Norway, this paganism has governmental and institutional authority.
“God is not separate from the Earth,”
Which means “God = Earth = Earth is God.”
Lest I am misunderstanding him, the pagan groups responded,
“We are Neo-Pagans — implying an eclectic reconstruction of ancient Nature religions, and combining archetypes of many cultures with other mystic and spiritual disciplines — and our beliefs and values are no different from those you describe as your own. Your book, Earth in Balance, is heralded by our People as a manifesto for all we hold dear…Know that there are half million NeoPagans out here who support you, and who voted for you, and who will rally to the aid of your policies for the salvation of the Earth and the reunification of the Great Family”

This was spoken almost fifteen years ago.  No doubt the impetus is stronger.  Let’s ponder St Olav’s last words before leaving,
“Fram, Fram, Kristmen, Korsmen, Kongsmen.”  Forward, Forward, Christ-Men, Cross-Men, King’s-Men
May we, too, have a similar end.