Christianity’s Criminal History, 86

Saint John the Evangelist, a painting by the Italian Baroque painter Domenichino. The problem with the splendid Christian art is that the painters have Nordicized the Semites of the 1st century. Had photography existed in the 1st century of our era, the Aryans would never have projected their beautiful physiques on the ugly rabble of Palestine.

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Neither the Gospel of Matthew, nor the Gospel of John, nor John’s Book of Revelation come from the apostles to whom the Church attributes them

Due to the great importance of the ‘apostolic tradition’, the Catholic Church published all the Gospels as books of the apostles or their disciples, which justified their prestige. But there is no proof that Mark and Luke, whose names appear in the New Testament, are disciples of the apostles; that Mark is identical to the companion of Peter, or that Luke was Paul’s companion. The four Gospels were transmitted anonymously.

The first ecclesiastical testimony in favour of ‘Mark’, the oldest of the evangelists, comes from Bishop Papias of Hierapolis, in the middle of the 2nd century. But today there are many researchers who criticise the testimony of Papias; call him ‘historically worthless’ (Marxsen), and even admit that Mark ‘has never heard and accompanied the Lord’.

The apostle Matthew, a disciple of Jesus, is not the author of the Gospel of Saint Matthew which appeared between the 70s and 90s, as is generally assumed. We ignore how he got the reputation of being an evangelist. It is evident that the first testimony comes from the historian of the Church, Eusebius, who in turn accepted the claim of Bishop Papias: about whom he writes that ‘intellectually, he should have been quite limited’. The title ‘Gospel of Matthew’ comes from a later period: we find it for the first time with Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian. Both died at the beginning of the 3rd century. If the apostle Matthew, contemporary of Jesus and witness of his works, had written the Gospel that is attributed to him, would he have had to borrow so heavily from Mark? Was he so forgetful? Did he have so little inspiration?

All critical biblical research considers that there is no reason why the name of the apostle Matthew should appear on the Gospel, since it was not written in Hebrew, as the tradition of the ancient Church affirms, but in Greek. No one is known to have seen the Aramaic original, nor is anyone known to have translated it into Greek; nor in the manuscripts or citations is the slightest remnant of an original Aramaic text preserved. Wolfgang Speyer rightly includes the Gospel of Matthew among ‘fakes under the mask of religious revelations’. K. Stendhal ventures that it is not even the work of a single person but of a ‘school’. According to an almost unanimous opinion of all the non-Catholic researchers of the Bible, that gospel is not based on eyewitnesses.

The most recent Catholic theologians often painfully turn on these facts. ‘In case our Greek version of the Gospel of Matthew had been preceded by an original version in Aramaic…’ writes K. H. Sohelkle. Of course, ‘in case’, says Hebbel with irony, is the most Germanic of the expressions’.

‘An original Aramaic Matthew must have been written several decades before the Greek Matthew’. Not even they themselves believe this. Lichtenberg was not the first to know but was the first to say it accurately: ‘It is clear that the Christian religion is supported more by those people who earn their bread with it than by those who are convinced of its truth’.

It is interesting that the first three Gospels were not published as apostolic, the same as the Acts of the Apostles, whose author we also ignore. The only thing we know is that he who wrote these Acts of the Apostles simply puts on the lips of his ‘heroes’ the most appropriate phrases: something common in old historiography. But these inventions not only constitute a third part of the Acts of the Apostles but are also their most important theological content and, what is particularly remarkable, the writing of this author represents more than a quarter of the entire New Testament. It is generally supposed that the author of the Gospel of Luke is identical to the travelling companion and ‘beloved physician’ of the apostle Paul. But neither the Gospel of Luke nor the Acts of the Apostles are very Pauline. Researchers do not believe today that either of these two works was written by a disciple of Paul.

The Acts of the Apostles and the three Gospels were not signed with the true name or even with pseudonyms: they were anonymous works like many other proto-Christian works, such as the Epistle to the Hebrews of the New Testament. No author of the canonical Gospels cites his name, not once does he mention a guarantor, as the later Christian treatises so often do. It was the Church the first to attribute all these anonymous writings to certain apostles and their disciples. However, such attributions are ‘hoaxes’, they are a ‘literary deception’ (Heinrici). Arnold Meyer notes that ‘with certainty only the letters of the apostle Paul are authentic, who was not an immediate disciple of Jesus’. But it is well known that not all those epistles that appear under his name come from Paul.

 
John

Since the end of the 2nd century, from Irenaeus, although at first not without controversy, the Church attributes without reason the fourth Gospel to the apostle John: something that all critical researchers have questioned for more than two hundred years. There are many weighty reasons for raising questions.

Although the author of this fourth Gospel, who curiously does not mention any author, affirms having leaned on the chest of Jesus and being a reliable witness, he assures and repeats emphatically that his ‘testimony is true’, that ‘he has seen’ and that he ‘knows’ he is telling the truth so that we ‘may believe’. But this Gospel did not appear until about the year 100, while the Apostle John had been killed long ago, towards the year 44 or, probably, in 62.

The Father of the Church, Irenaeus, who was the first to affirm the authorship of the apostle John, has intentionally confused him with a priest, John of Ephesus. And the author of the second and third epistles of John, which are also attributed to the apostle John, calls himself at the beginning, ‘the presbyter’ (a similar confusion also occurred between the apostle Philip and the ‘deacon’ Philip). Even Pope Damasus I, in his canonical index (382), does not attribute two of John’s epistles to the apostle John, but to ‘another John, the presbyter’. Also, even the Father of the Church Jerome denied that these second and third epistles belonged to the apostle. The arguments against the authorship of the apostle John as ‘the Evangelist’ are so numerous and convincing that even Catholic theologians are starting to manifest, little by little, their doubts.

The same could be said about the Book of Revelation of John, whose author is repeatedly called John both at the beginning and at the end of the book, who also appears as a servant of God and brother of Christians, but not as an apostle. The book was written, according to the doctrine of the ancient Church, by the son of Zebedee, the apostle John, since an ‘apostolic’ tradition was needed to guarantee the canonical prestige of the book. But it did not last long given that the Book of Revelation, which appeared in the last place of the New Testament, was rejected by the end of the 2nd century by the critics of the Bible who otherwise did not deny any dogma.

Pope Dionysius of Alexandria (died 264-265), a disciple of Origen and nicknamed ‘the Great’, categorically denied that John was the author of the Apocalypse. Pope Dionysius points out that primitive Christians have already ‘denied and completely rejected’ the ‘Revelation of John’.

They challenged each and every one of the chapters and declared that the work lacked meaning and uniqueness and that the title was false. They affirmed, in particular, that it did not come from John and that they were not revelations since they were surrounded by a multitude of incomprehensible things. The author of this work was not one of the apostles, no saint and no member of the Church, but Cerinthus, who wanted to give a credible name for his forgery and also for the sect of his own name.

The theologian and Protestant bishop Eduard Lohse comments: ‘Dionysius of Alexandria has very accurately observed that the Revelation of John and the Fourth Gospel are so far apart in form and content that they cannot be attributed to the same author’. The question remains whether the author of the Book of Revelation wanted to suggest, by his name John, to be considered a disciple and apostle of Jesus. He does not say that explicitly: it was done by the Church to confer apostolic authority and canonical prestige on his text. And so falsifications started: the falsifications of the Church.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 82

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 
The ‘Holy Scriptures’ are piled up

No evangelist intended to write a kind of revelation document, a canonical book. No one felt inspired, neither did Paul, and in fact none of the authors of the New Testament. Only the Book of Revelation: the one that, with difficulty, became part of the Bible pretends that God dictated the text to the author. But in 140 Bishop Papias did not consider the Gospels as ‘Holy Scriptures’ and gave preference to oral tradition. Even St. Justin, the greatest apologist of the 2nd century, sees in the Gospels—which he hardly quotes while he never ceases to mention the Old Testament—only ‘curiosities’.

The first to speak about an inspiration of the New Testament, which designates the Gospels and the epistles of Paul as ‘holy word of God’, was the bishop Theophilus of Antioch at the end of the 2nd century: a special luminary of the Church. On the other hand, in spite of the sanctity and divinity that he presupposes about the Gospels, he wrote a piece of apologetics about the ‘harmony of the Gospels’, as they were evidently a little too inharmonious.

Until the second half of the 2nd century the authority of the Gospels was not gradually accepted yet. Still, by the end of that same century the Gospel of Luke was accepted with reluctance; and that of John with was accepted with a remarkable resistance. Is it not odd that proto-Christianity did not speak of the gospels in the plural but in singular, the Gospel? In any case, throughout the 2nd century a fixed canon ‘of the Gospels did not yet exist and most of them were really considered a problem’ (Schneemelcher). This is clearly demonstrated by two famous initiatives of that time which tried to solve the problem of the plurality of Gospels with a reduction.

In the first place, there is the widespread Marcion Bible. This ‘heretic’, an important figure in the history of the Church, compiled the first New Testament in Sacred Scripture, and was the founder of the criticism of its texts, written shortly after the year 140. With it Marcion completely distanced himself from the bloodthirsty Old Testament, and only accepted the Gospel of Luke (without the totally legendary story of childhood) and the epistles of Paul; although, significantly, the latter without the forged pastoral letters and the epistle to the Hebrews, also manipulated. Moreover, Marcion deprived the remaining epistles of the ‘Judaistic’ additions, and his action was the decisive motive for the Catholic Church to initiate a compilation of the canon; thus beginning to constitute itself as a Church.

The second initiative, to a certain extent comparable, was the Diatessaron of Tatian. This disciple of St. Justin in Rome solved the problem of the plurality of the Gospels in a different way, although also reducing them. He wrote (as Theophilus) a ‘harmony of the Gospels’, adding freely in the chronological framework of the fourth Gospel the three synoptic accounts, as well as all kinds of ‘apocryphal’ stories. It had great success and the Syrian Church used it as Sacred Scripture until the 5th century. The Christians of the 1st century and to a large extent also those of the next century did not, therefore, possess any New Testament. As normative texts they used, until the beginning of the 2nd century, the epistles of Paul; but the Gospels were still not cited as ‘Scripture’ in religious services until the middle of that century.

The true Sacred Scripture of those early Christians was the sacred book of the Jews. Still in the year 160, St. Justin, in the broadest Christian treatise up to that date, almost exclusively referred to the Old Testament. The name of the New Testament (in Greek he kaine diatheke, ‘the new covenant’, translated for the first time by Tertullian as Novum Testamentum) appears in the year 192. However, at this time the limits of this New Testament were not yet well established and the Christians were discussing this throughout the 3rd and part of the 4th century, rejecting the compilations that others recognised as genuine. ‘Everywhere there are contrasts and contradictions’, writes the theologian Carl Schneider. ‘Some say: “what is read in all the churches” is valid. Others maintain: “what comes from the apostles” and third parties distinguish between sympathetic and non-sympathetic doctrinal content’.

Although around 200 there is in the Church, as Sacred Scripture, a New Testament next to the Old—being the central core the previous New Testament of the ‘heretic’ Marcion, the Gospels and the epistles of Paul—, there were still under discussion the Acts of the Apostles, the Book of Revelation and the ‘Catholic Epistles’. In the New Testament of St. Irenaeus, the most important theologian of the 2nd century, the book Shepherd of Hermas also appears which today does not belong to the New Testament; but the Epistle to the Hebrews, which does belong in today’s collection, is missing.

The religious writer Clemente of Alexandria (died about 215), included in several martyrologies among the saints of December 4, barely knows a collection of books of the New Testament moderately delimited. But even the Roman Church itself does not include around the year 200, in the New Testament, the epistle to the Hebrews; nor the first and second epistles of Peter, nor the epistle of James and the third of John. And the oscillations in the evaluation of the different writings are, as shown by the papyri found with the texts of the New Testament, still very large during the 3rd century.

(Papyrus Bodmer VIII, at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, showing 1 and 2 Peter.)

Even in the 4th century, Bishop Eusebius, historian of the Church, includes among the writings that are the subject of discussion the epistles of James, of Judas, the second epistle of Peter and the so-called second and third epistles of John. Among the apocryphal writings, Eusebius accepts, ‘if you will’, the Revelation of John. (And almost towards the end of the 7th century, in 692, the Quinisext Council, approved in the Greek Church canons, appear compilations with and without John’s Book of Revelation.) For the North African Church, around the year 360, the epistle to the Hebrews, the epistles of James and Judas do not belong to the Sacred Scriptures; and according to other traditions, neither belonged the second of Peter and the second and third of John.

On the other hand, prominent Fathers of the Church included in their New Testament a whole series of Gospels, Acts of the Apostles and Epistles that the Church would later condemn as apocryphal but in the East, until the 4th century, they enjoyed great appreciation and were even considered as Sacred Scripture, among others, Shepherd of Hermas, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Didache, etc. And even in the 5th century it is possible to find in a codex some ‘apocryphal’ texts, that is, ‘false’ together with the ‘genuine’ ones.

The so-called Catholic epistles needed the most time to enter the New Testament as the group of the seven epistles. The Father of the Church St. Athanasius, the ‘father of scientific theology’ was the first one to determine its extension (whom the investigators also blame for the falsification of documents, collecting the 27 known writings, among them the 21 epistles). St. Athanasius lied without the slightest hesitation when affirming that the apostles and teachers of the apostolic era had already established the canon. Under the influence of Augustine, the West followed the resolution of Athanasius and consequently delimited, almost about the beginnings of the 5th century, the Catholic canon of the New Testament in the synods of Rome in 382, Hippo Regius in 393 and Carthage in 397 and 419.

The canon of the New Testament, used in Latin as a synonym for ‘Bible’, was created by imitating the sacred book of the Jews. The word canon, which in the New Testament appears only in four places, received in the Church the meaning of ‘norm, the scale of valuation’. It was considered canonical what was recognised as part of this norm, and after the definitive closure of the whole New Testament work, the word ‘canonical’ meant as much as divine, infallible. The opposite meaning was received by the word ‘apocryphal’.

The canon of the Catholic Church had general validity until the Reformation. Luther then discussed the canonicity of the second epistle of Peter (‘which sometimes detracts a little from the apostolic spirit’), the letter of James (‘a little straw epistle’, ‘directed against St. Paul’), the epistle to the Hebrews (‘perhaps a mixture of wood, straw and hay’) as well as the Book of Revelation (neither ‘apostolic nor prophetic’; ‘my spirit cannot be satisfied with the book’) and he admitted only what ‘Christ impelled’.

On the contrary, the Council of Trent, through the decree of April 8, 1546, clung to all the writings of the Catholic canon, since God was its auctor (author). In fact, the real auctor was the development and the election through the centuries of these writings along with the false affirmation of their apostolic origin.

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Apocalypse for whites • XXVI

by Evropa Soberana

Chapter 3

When Yahweh your Lord brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you other peoples… when Yahweh has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must crush and destroy them totally; make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy… This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred images, cut down their sacred forests and burn their idols. For you are a people holy to Yahweh your Lord (Deuteronomy, 7: 1-7).

Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?… but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, He has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong (I Corinthians, 20, 27).

 
Christianity and the fall of the Empire

On the basis of what happened during this bloody history, there is a laborious process of adulteration, falsification and distortion of religious teachings: firstly, many centuries before Jesus at the hands of Jewish prophets, judges and rabbis; and then at the hands of the apostles and fathers of the Church (St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Augustine, etc.), usually of the same ethnic group. There existed an ethnic base of those conflicts, which we have already discussed in the previous chapters.

The Eastern Mediterranean (Asia Minor, the Aegean, Carthage, Egypt, Phoenicia, Israel, Judea, Babylon, Syria, Jordan, etc.) was formerly a fermenting melting pot for all the good and bad products of the Ancient World: the confluence of all slaves, the downtrodden and banished; criminals, trampled peoples and pariahs of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Hittite Empire and the Persian Empire. That melting pot, so full of different characters, was present in the foundations and the origins of Judaism. Its vapours also intoxicated many decadent Greeks of Athens, Corinth and other Hellenic states centuries before the Christian era.

When Alexander the Great conquered the Macedonian Empire, which extended from Greece to the confines of Afghanistan and from the Caucasus to Egypt, the entire area of the Persian Empire, the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa received a strong Greek influence: an influence that would be felt on Asia Minor, Syria (including Judea), and especially Egypt with the city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander in 331 BCE.

This inaugurated a stage of Macedonian hegemony called Hellenistic, to differentiate it from the classical Hellenic (Dorians, Ionians, Corinthians). Alexander fostered knowledge and science throughout his empire, sponsoring the various schools of wisdom; and after his death his Macedonian successors continued the same policy. Many centuries later, in the lower Roman Empire, after a terrible degeneration we could distinguish in the heart of Hellenism two currents:

(a) A traditional elitist character, based in the Egyptian, Hellenistic and Alexandrian schools, which advocated science and spiritual knowledge, and where the arts and sciences flourished to a point never seen before; with the city of Alexandria being the greatest exponent.

Such was the importance and ‘multiculturalism’ of Alexandria—included the abundance of Jews who never ceased to agitate against paganism—as the world’s largest city before Rome, that it has been called ‘the New York of ancient times’. The Library of Alexandria, domain of the high castes and vetoed to the plebe, was a hive of wise Egyptians, Persians, Chaldeans, Hindus and Greeks; as well as scientists, architects, engineers, mathematicians and astronomers from all over the world. The Library stood proud of having accumulated much of the knowledge of the Ancient World.

(b) Another countercultural and more popular current: liberal, sophist and cynical (more freely established in Asia Minor and Syria), had distorted and mixed ancient cults. It was directed to the slave masses of the Eastern Mediterranean: preaching for the first time notions such as ‘free democracy for all’, ‘free equality for all’ and ‘free rights for all’. This was characterised by a well-intentioned but ultimately fateful multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism that enchanted the minds of many educated slaves; by the exportation of Greek worldview and culture to non-Greek peoples, and by the importation of Jewish culture to non-Jewish peoples.

This last current was the Hellenistic background that, disfigured, united with Judaism and the decomposing Babylonian matter, formed Christianity: which, let us not forget, was originally preached exclusively in the Greek language to masses of serfs, the poor and commoners in the unhealthy neighbourhoods of the cities of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The first Christians were exclusively Jewish blood communities, converted into cosmopolitans with their enforced diaspora and Hellenistic contacts. To a certain extent, these ‘Jews from the ghetto’—of which Saint Paul is the most representative example—were despised by the most orthodox Jewish circles.

The Seven Churches mentioned by John of Patmos in the New Testament (Book of Revelation, 1:11): Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum,
Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. As can be seen,
all of them located in Asia Minor.[1]

This geographic core is to Christianity what Bavaria is to Nazism: the centre in which the new creed ferments and its expansion is invigorated. This area, so strongly Hellenized, densely populated and the seat of a true ethnic chaos, is where the apostles, in Greek language, were inflated to preach; and here also took place important Christian theological councils (such as Nicaea, Chalcedon or Ancyra).

Christianity, which to expand itself took the advantage offered by the dispersion of Semitic slaves throughout the Roman Empire, represents an Asian ebb spilled all over Europe.
 
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[1] Editor’s Note: It is very significant that the last word that the Christian Bible confers to an author is the word of John of Patmos. Most likely, the author of the Book of Revelation was Jewish, as his hatred of Rome seems absolute (which he calls ‘Babylon’). The Bible ends with the dream of this John of Patmos about a New Jerusalem just in those days when the Romans had destroyed Old Jerusalem to build, on its ruins, Aelia Capitolina.

Kriminalgeschichte, 19

Editor’s note: Modern scholarship differs from the traditional view that the Book of Revelation was penned by John the Apostle. Taking into account the author’s infinite hatred of the Romans precisely in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (‘lake of fire’, etc.), my educated guess is that ‘John of Patmos’ probably had Jewish ancestry.
 

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Below, abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
Anti-pagan hate in the New Testament

Paul’s preaching against the pagans was far more moderate than against ‘heretics’ and Jews. Often, he tries to counter them, and manifestations of clear preference in favour of ‘idolaters’ are not uncommon. Just as he wanted to be an ‘apostle of the Gentiles’, and says that they will participate in the ‘inheritance’ and promise them ‘salvation’, he also adhered to pagan authority, which he says ‘comes from God’ and represents ‘the order of God’ and ‘not from one who girds the sword’. A sword that, incidentally, finally fell on him, and that counting that, in addition, he had been flogged in three occasions despite his citizenship, and imprisoned seven times.

Paul did not see anything good in the pagans, but he thinks that they ‘proceed in their conduct according to the vanity of their thoughts’, ‘their understanding is darkened and filled with shadows’, have ‘foolish’ heart, are ‘full of envy’ with ‘homicides, quarrelsome, fraudulent and evil men, gossipers’, and ‘they did not fail to see that those who do such things are worthy of death.’

All this, according to Paul (and in this he completely agreed with the Jewish tradition so hated by him), was a consequence of the worship of idols, which could only result in greed and immorality; to these ‘servants of the idols’ he often names them with the highwaymen. Moreover, he calls them infamous, enemies of God, arrogant, haughty, inventors of vices, and warns about their festivities; prohibits participation in their worship, their sacramental banquets, ‘diabolical communion’, ‘diabolical table’, ‘cup of the devil’. These are strong words. And their philosophers? ‘Those who thought themselves wiser have ended up as fools’.

We can go back even further, however, because the New Testament already burns in flames of hatred against the Gentiles. In his first letter, Peter does not hesitate to consider as the same the heathen lifestyle and ‘the lusts, greed, drunkenness and abominable idolatries’.

In the Book of Revelation of John, Babylon (symbolic name of Rome and the Roman Empire) is ‘dwelling with demons’, ‘the den of all unclean spirits’; the ‘servants of the idols’. It is placed next to the murderers, together with ‘the wicked and evildoers and assassins’, the ‘dishonest and sorcerers… and deceivers, their lot will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone’ because paganism, ‘the beast’, must be ‘Satan’s dwellings’, where ‘Satan has his seat’.

That is why the Christian must rule the pagans ‘with a rod of iron, and they will be shredded like vessels of potter’. All the authors of the first epoch, even the most liberal as emphasized by E.C. Dewik, assume ‘such enmity without palliatives’.

Criminals with Badges

by William Pierce

wlp_bas_relief 
Today I want to share with you my very deep concern, my worry about the crime problem in America. I don’t mean the sort of crime we hear about and see every night on the television news: the drive-by shootings by drug gangs, and the muggings and robberies, and the rapes and the burglaries, and the murder of some tourist who made the mistake of stopping her car in the wrong neighborhood. All of that is just part of the price we pay for multiculturalism. It comes with the diversity we’re told we’re so lucky to have.

No, that crime problem is bad enough, but it’s a different crime problem and a different type of criminal I want to talk about today, a much more dangerous type of criminal.

I’m sure that everyone listening today has heard about what happened in Waco, Texas, earlier this year when the government wiped out a bunch of religious cultists. Let me just briefly review the facts of that matter. A group of 140 or so people—men, women, and children—were living a few miles outside Waco in a little community they called Mount Carmel. They were members of a church which had split off from the Seventh Day Adventists back in the 1930s. They called themselves Branch Davidians. The church group had been at Mount Carmel for more than 30 years, on land they owned and in buildings they had built with their own hands. Occasionally they had internal squabbles, but they never caused any trouble for their neighbors. They believed in keeping to themselves.

Sophisticated people might sneer at the beliefs of the Branch Davidians, but their ideas really were no stranger or more irrational than those of many other churches, including some quite large ones, which base their beliefs on literal interpretations of the Bible. The Davidians put an especially heavy emphasis on the Book of Revelation and believed that the collapse of civilization was at hand. They believed that they should separate themselves from society and prepare for Judgment Day. For this reason they had stocked up on food, fuel, and other necessities—including, apparently, a few guns.

Now, there’s no law against stocking up on guns, even if you take the Bible seriously. But the government is pretty nervous these days about anyone who isn’t Politically Correct having the means to protect himself. And certainly the Branch Davidians were a Politically Incorrect group. For one thing they believed in spanking their children when they needed discipline. The government calls that “child abuse.” They also believed in permitting their girls to marry as young as 13 years old, and they let the leader of their church have more than one wife. So when a disgruntled former member told the government that the leader of the group, David Koresh, was a dangerous man and that he had a lot of guns, the government sent an undercover agent, a spy, in to check it out. Apparently the spy found nothing illegal going on at Mount Carmel. At least, if he did, the government hasn’t said what it was. But he did find out enough to lead one of the government’s secret-police agencies, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, to decide to raid the place.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms—ATF for short—is basically a bunch of tax-enforcement cops. Their original job was to make sure that the government got its tax on every bottle of booze and every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States. That accounts for the alcohol and tobacco part of their name. Back in the days of Prohibition and widespread moonshine making they stayed pretty busy, breaking up unlicensed stills and raiding illegal nightclubs. Some of the people they raided used to fight back with tommy guns, and so eventually the ATF also got the job of making sure that anyone who bought a tommy gun paid the required tax on it and filled out all the government forms. These days that’s most of the ATF’s work: checking to make sure that whenever firearms are bought or sold all of the required forms are filled out.

When you give people work like that to do, it’s no wonder that they eventually turn mean. The ATF has the reputation of being the most vicious bunch of armed thugs on the Federal payroll. There have been several efforts in recent years to get rid of them, to phase them out, to cut off their budget. They’ve survived because they’re the darlings of the gun-control nuts in the media. They’ve allied themselves with the people who believe that no one should have the right to self-defense, that all privately owned firearms should be confiscated by the government. The gun-control nuts love the ATF because it locks up gun owners who didn’t fill out all the forms.

It not only locks them up, it terrorizes them: it stages spectacular raids, often inviting the news media to come along and film the ransacking of their homes and the seizing of their guns. The ATF craves publicity, because it’s trying to convince the public that the ATF’s raids are protecting everyone from dangerous people who have guns. So the ATF looks for photo opportunities, for the chance to stage media events.

There’s no better target for one of the ATF’s photo opportunities than a cult. The ATF usually doesn’t raid people in the mainstream. It picks people or groups who aren’t likely to have powerful friends. It picks on people who seem a little strange or different, people who aren’t likely to get much sympathy from the general public. And once a group has been labeled a “cult” it’s not likely to get much public sympathy. To ordinary people cults seem sinister, unnatural, dangerous. And certainly the Branch Davidians had many of the characteristics of a cult. So the ATF decided to raid them. There was no proof that the Davidians had done anything illegal, of course. But they did have guns, and they were a cult. So a raid was organized: a big one, with plenty of newspaper reporters and camera crews from the television networks.

Early on the morning of February 28 this year, a Sunday, the ATF launched its raid, sending a hundred heavily armed agents up ladders and onto the roofs of Mount Carmel’s buildings, with the television reporters recording everything. Then the shooting started. The ATF says the Branch Davidians fired first. The surviving Davidians say the ATF fired first. It’s difficult at this time to know which side is telling the truth. We do know, however, that when the ATF stormed their homes, the people in Mount Carmel called the police for help. They dialed 911, and as with all 911 calls it was recorded. On the recording the group’s leader, David Koresh, can be heard frantically asking the police to send help. “There are armed men outside, and they’re shooting at us!” he cried excitedly into the telephone. And Koresh and his people did shoot back at the armed men swarming over their homes. They shot back and killed four of the attackers and wounded more than a dozen others, forcing the ATF to retreat.

The folks in the Clinton administration back in Washington weren’t happy to hear that. People aren’t supposed to fight back when the secret police attack them. So Clinton sent in the FBI, and the FBI brought along its elite Hostage Rescue Team, although it’s not clear who were the hostages to be rescued.

A long standoff began. The ATF and the FBI were outside with their tanks and machine guns and helicopter gun ships. Inside were David Koresh and his wives and children and the other members of his church, along with the bodies of six church members killed by the ATF during its initial attack. In a recorded telephone conversation between Koresh and an ATF agent during this period, Koresh asks why the ATF hadn’t just given him a telephone call and told him they wanted to check his guns or perhaps stopped him when he was out jogging and asked him about it. He said, quote, “It would have been better if you just called me up or talked to me. Then you could have come in and done your work.” End quote. Koresh also spoke with his attorney by telephone during the standoff, and that conversation also was recorded. Koresh explained why his church members had shot back at the ATF agents during the February 28 raid. He said, quote: “I don’t care who they are. Nobody is going to come to my home, with my babies around, shaking guns around, without getting a gun back in their face. That’s just the American way.” End quote.

Yes, that is the American way, or it used to be, when America was still healthy. Bill and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t understand that, of course. Certainly Attorney General Janet Reno and the people in the ATF and the FBI wouldn’t understand it either. Nor would all of the gun-control nuts in the media who think the ATF is just wonderful.

After what had happened Koresh and his followers didn’t think the ATF people were so wonderful, however, and they weren’t inclined to surrender to them, although Koresh did let the church members who wanted to leave go out, and more than 20 children went out with them. But the rest—more than a hundred—stayed with Koresh and prayed and read their Bibles.

And eventually the secret police got tired of waiting, and so on April 19 they got the OK from the Clinton administration in Washington to move against Mount Carmel with tanks, to knock holes in the buildings with the tanks and pump in gas. And so that’s what the ATF and the FBI and the so-called Hostage Rescue Team did.

During the siege the electricity had been turned off to Mount Carmel, and so the church members had begun using kerosene lanterns for light indoors. And when the ATF had shot out the glass in their windows, they had piled up bales of hay against the windows to keep the cold wind out. When the tanks smashed holes in their walls, a lantern was knocked over and set the hay afire. It was a windy day, and the fire spread quickly. Before it was over 99 church members were dead—or a hundred, if we count one fetus which burned to death with its pregnant mother.

Mountcarmelfire-04-19-93The ATF and the FBI immediately put the blame on the church members. “It was mass suicide,” the ATF and the FBI said. “They set the fire themselves.” And the Clinton administration people in Washington echoed: “Yes, yes, it was mass suicide! They set the fire themselves.”

But unfortunately for the ATF and the FBI and the Clinton administration, there were a few survivors, a few church members who managed to escape the flames, and they explained what had happened inside. They explained about the hay and the kerosene lanterns, and they explained that there never was any intention to commit suicide. They explained that when one of the government’s tanks started the blaze, it spread so rapidly that most of the church members were trapped.

One more fact: after the fire had burned itself out and all the charred corpses had been hauled away, the ATF began sifting through the ruins looking for all those illegal weapons it had talked about during the siege. It had claimed, after the failure of its initial assault in February, that the church members had had the ATF “outgunned.” The church members in Mount Carmel had been shooting back with .50 caliber machine guns, the ATF claimed. After the fire the ATF began releasing more stories to the news media about all the dangerous weapons it anticipated recovering from the ruins. It hinted about hand grenades, bombs, rockets and other weapons. But it never did recover anything of the sort, because there was nothing of the sort. The ATF had been practicing what the government calls “damage control”: lying to protect its image, lying to make the Davidians look dangerous and criminal, lying to justify the killing of a hundred or so innocent people.

So today David Koresh and his church members are dead, Mount Carmel has been wiped off the map, and the Clinton administration people in Washington are going about their business as usual. The FBI and the ATF are still carrying guns and looking for new photo opportunities. The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, which on April 19 murdered more people in one day than it has rescued in its entire existence is still in business, still drawing paychecks and presumably looking for more people to practice its rescue skills on.

That’s the crime problem in America I’m worried about. I’m worried when the government commits mass murder and gets away with it and doesn’t even seem to be ashamed of itself.

Now, I know that the Clinton administration and the FBI and the ATF and the so-called Hostage Rescue Team say it wasn’t murder at all. They say they didn’t intend to kill all of those people, especially not the women and the children, that it was just an unfortunate accident and let’s stop talking about it and get onto some other subject, like the economy.

An accident! Suppose there’s a church down the street whose beliefs I find offensive and I hear rumors that they’re using the wrong kind of Bible, and besides that some members of the church are said to carry guns. So I take a bunch of heavily armed men and march into that church and demand that they all come out with their hands up. It’s not my intention to kill anyone, just give them a good scare and check out what kind of Bible they’re using. But the people in the church panic, shooting starts, and when it’s all over a hundred people are dead. What does that make me?

A mass murderer, that’s what. And what does that make Bill Clinton and Janet Reno and their secret police bosses? Mass murderers, that’s what. There was absolutely no excuse for the ATF to attack David Koresh and his church in the first place. Absolutely no excuse, even if they hadn’t filled out all the ATF forms for whatever guns they had. For the ATF it was just a publicity stunt. The ATF thought it could get away with it, because it’s been allowed to get away with similar publicity stunts in the past. And when the publicity stunt backfired and people were killed the ATF was guilty of murder, regardless of what its intentions were. No government should tolerate that sort of criminal irresponsibility. A government that does tolerate it is itself criminally irresponsible and deserves to be overthrown by its citizens.

Do my words sound too strong? Do I sound like some sort of extremist? Do you understand what has happened? A hundred people, mostly women and children, who never bothered their neighbors have been murdered by the government. A church, which may have been a little bit nutty, but which had just as much right to practice its religion as any other church in this country, has been wiped out. The government did it. And the government isn’t even apologetic about it. That scares me. I don’t think such a government should be tolerated. I’d rather take my chances with Black street gangs any time than with such a government.

Another thing that scares me is the lack of concern on the part of most Americans. I realize, of course, that Americans see nearly everything that happens through the lens of the controlled mass media, and throughout the entire affair in Waco the television networks were practically a cheering section for the ATF. Every time the ATF or the FBI came out with a new lie about the Davidians or what had happened, the news media repeated it as if it were fact.

If the news media had immediately publicized the recorded telephone conversations with Koresh—his 911 call to the police in which he asked for help and reported that armed men were shooting at his church—if they had publicized his comment to the ATF agent after the February 28 attack, when he said “It would have been better if you’d just called me up or talked to me. Then you could have come in and done your work.” Or his comment to his lawyer that when people came charging into his home waving guns around his babies, they were going to have guns shoved right back into their faces, because that’s the American way—if the news media had publicized these recorded telephone conversations with Koresh when they happened, instead of holding them back until after the April 19 massacre, then the American public certainly would have had quite a different attitude toward the whole affair.

I remember how my own attitude changed as new information became available. When I first saw the story on television on February 28, I took for granted what the news reporter said: the ATF had tried to serve a search warrant on a bunch of heavily armed religious cultists, and the cultists had opened fire on them with .50 caliber machine guns. And then the case was made by the reporters that the cultists were crazy—their leader, we were told, believes he is Jesus Christ. What I learned from the television news that first day almost made me sympathize with the ATF.

It wasn’t until later that the news began slipping out to indicate there was another side to the story. Koresh didn’t really believe he was Jesus. The ATF hadn’t simply walked up and knocked on the front door of the church to deliver their warrant; they had staged a full-scale military assault for the benefit of the news media. They had climbed onto the roof and thrown concussion grenades in through the windows instead of knocking on the front door. And then there were hints that, well, maybe the ATF agents were the also the ones who began shooting first.

And the more I learned the more I wondered: just what had the Branch Davidians done to warrant this sort of military assault on their church? What kind of dangerous terrorists were they? I learned that the local people in Waco didn’t consider them to be terrorists at all, just quiet, polite people who mostly kept to themselves.

After the big fire on April 19, I accepted at first the government’s word—backed up by the news media, of course—that the Davidians had set the fire themselves and committed mass suicide. Only later did I hear the survivors deny this and explain what had happened when the government’s tanks began smashing in the walls of their church and knocked over a kerosene lantern onto a bale of hay.

And I kept waiting to hear about all the dangerous weapons—.50 caliber machine guns, rockets, and so on—that the government would discover in the ruins of the church. And then I learned that there were no weapons. And finally I heard the recordings of telephone conversations with Koresh.

So now I’ve been waiting for more than two months for the rest of America to begin to feel the sense of outrage against the government that I felt when I understood what had happened at Waco. And indeed a few people are outraged. A few people are saying, hey, Bill Clinton, we’re not going to forget about this! We’re angry that our government would do something like this. We want the people responsible put on trial for murder.

A few people are expressing the same concern about government criminality that I feel. But not enough. And that’s really too bad. Because when the government is allowed to get away with a crime as monstrous as the slaughter of the Branch Davidians, it will commit more crimes in the future. Other people will be slaughtered. Probably at first people who, like the Branch Davidians, are Politically Incorrect. With that sort of government in power, though, no one should feel safe, whether he’s Politically Correct or not.

—December, 1993