Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Monday, January 16, 2017

To Rule with Blood and Horror: Shouldn't We Be Paying More Attention?

This morning I awoke with a chilling dream. I was a technical advisor helping in the deployment of a bomb. I was on the airplane carrying the first bomb as it flew over Hiroshima (or at least as it was being prepared--details were murky). As I contemplated what was about to happen, I revolted and wondered why we must slay civilians, tens of thousands of them. If a show of force was needed, why not drop it on small island or in the ocean somewhere? And as I awoke, I recalled that Japan had already tendered an offer to surrender several days before the bomb was unnecessarily dropped (IMHO). This was, in my view, not an act of necessity, unless the necessity that really counts is ruling with blood and horror.

Yes, of course, I'm aware of the arguments that this was a humanitarian slaying because even more would have died if we didn't massacre civilians. Great horror always requires stout defenses to get people past the moral revulsion to what the military establishment needs to have done to advance their business model. Whether it's bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan, giving guns to drug gangs in Mexico (via the "Fast and Furious" program), burning German cities to the ground, dropping napalm on children in Vietnam, or provoking war with foreign powers such as Russia or China, those who have no loathing of bloodshed always have strong reasons and media lackeys who tells us we be patriotic and ramp up the horror for the good of humanity, or at least to create more jobs by helping the oil industry (one of the ugliest and final excuses used for the Persian Gulf War).

Latter-day Saints would do well to ponder the teachings of the LDS Temple on Satan's business model and modus operandi for success on earth. He boldly declares that he will buy up and control military forces to rule with blood and horror. That should be chilling, especially when combined with the powerful teachings of the Book of Mormon about the role of secret combinations in bringing down nations into bloody disasters as power-hungry maniacs usurp ever greater power and launch ever growing cycles of war and bloodshed. Those images are intended to reveal something about our day, and it's time we start paying attention.

My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown greatly in the past couple of years as I dig into various aspects of this genuinely ancient document. Not only is it an authentically ancient document, but it is a genuinely prophetic document, and the power of its prophetic guidance is especially strong when we review its teachings on the goals, agenda, and operations of corrupt leaders and secret combinations, where we are given a prophetic lens to international events in our days (particularly in a few gems in the Book of Ether). We Latter-day Saints tend to ignore all that, but that Book of Mormon, like the Temple, is more relevant and needed than ever. May we pay attention.

Many voters have sensed that something is wrong in this nation. Some wondered how one leader could get a Nobel Peace Prize and then be at war every day non-stop for 8 years, dropping bombs ceaselessly in undeclared wars against powers that have not invaded us. Now the people have voted for what they thought was change, putting in a bold new hero who would "drain the swamp" and cast out the forces of evil from the Establishment and make America great again. Perhaps even be fiscally responsible! Then came the announcement that a representative from Goldman Sachs would reign over the US Treasury, keeping the banksters firmly in control. Our foreign policy will be run by a former Exxon leader. They are already stirring up animosities with China and telling that nation what to do with its borders and lands. Outrageous military spending will continue or be increased. The swamp is hardly being drained, just stirred and refreshed and definitely, absolutely, fed very, very well.

The new leader will take on the problem of burgeoning debt by, uh, spending one trillion dollars right away while lowering taxes, perhaps finding a way to outpace his predecessor who doubled 200 years of accumulated national debt in just 8 years. Faster debt creation can only increase the pain of the pending disaster. But the swamp will thrive. The Gaddiantons and their military-industrial complex will do well. Their stocks are up. Their power will be firm. There will be blood and horror. And not just in 3rd-world lands. Not to mention the dangers of economic disaster as debt becomes unsustainable and a credit collapse shocks the economy, with many painful consequences in the streets and homes of once wealthy lands.

So what is a Latter-day Saint to do? I think we must begin by taking what we have been given very seriously. More thoughts next time.


32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazingly clear synopsis of the stains of our generations blood and sins. And Satan said he would do all those things with the emnity the father put between the Savior and himself. Pathalogical Altruism at the core.

Anonymous said...

The people of the United States need to be humbled through the collapse of their great and spacious building.

Anti-Americans smugly agreeing with that sentiment will be surprised to see their own nations fall even greater as their economies are built upon the US as a foundation.


The problem is almost none of us is ready or equipped to deal with complete collapse. And if it will collapse it's not clear what we should do now.

1.Keep growing and spending until it does?
2. Stop immediately with major cuts and precipitate the collapse?
3.Prepare what little we can while it it grows worse around us?

On a mass scale, the last answer will cause the second answer. And the first answer is the only thing that enables people paying attention to work on the third answer.

If placed in office with these three choices, all of which lead to collapse, the best choice is keep heading down this road and hope people prepare, while doing your best to do so as well without eroding confidence in the future.

C T said...

The US national debt problem mirrors what many individuals and households do. Far from having an eternal perspective, many don't even have a 15- or 30-year perspective.

EditorJack said...

Excellent insights. You might be interested in the section called "Satan's Reign of Terror" in the book Understanding Temple Symbols:

https://deseretbook.com/p/understanding-temple-symbols?variant_id=145581-hardcover

Mormography said...

Yes, Japan did offer conditional surrender before the first bomb and then again after the first bomb was dropped. Not until the second bomb did Japan agree to unconditional surrender, validating arguments that a demonstration of force may not result in the unconditional surrender required for reconstruction. To Japan’s surprise it did not receive the same blood and horror it wreaked on territories it occupied, but a kindness in the form of reconstruction.

The bombs were dropped to remove divinity from the institution of the emperor. Similar to the time US Forces threatened Utah until the Mormons denounced core principles of their religion.

JR said...

Trump is better than all the other candidates combined.

The Democrats are out right hRd core Totalitarian Communists and the Republicans are one step behind the Democrats.

The

Jeff Lindsay said...

Mormography, it's important to understand that the terrible decision to demand unconditional surrender greatly prolonged the war and cost many American and Japanese lives. Excellent overview is "The Hiroshima Myth" by John V. Denson at the Mises Institute. The idea that this slaughter of civilians (Truman claimed that the Hiroshima bombing tried to avoid civilian casualties by focusing on a military site!) saved lives and was needed is one of the worst examples of fake new ever.

Another carefully considered work is Doug Long, "HIROSHIMA: WAS IT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY?" at Spectacle.org.

These are painful to read if you've been raised with the constantly disseminated myth that these massacres were humanitarian acts that somehow made America great. I hope we don't make America great again that way!

Jeff Lindsay said...

Sorry, I meant to say "fake news" not "fake new" in my comment at 5:10 PM above.

EditorJack said...

I'm not in a position to judge the accuracy of the articles you referenced, but my father was part of the U.S. army in occupied Japan. If the bomb had not been dropped, he would have been one of the soldiers storming the beaches. As terrible as the bombing was, he always thought it was necessary. I'm not sure this is something that we who were not there can easily judge.

Mormography said...

What a powerful magical crystal ball you have. It can replay scenarios with variables adjusted to mythical portions.

We obviously have a disconnect. I think everyone agrees the demand for “ unconditional surrender greatly prolonged the war and cost many American and Japanese lives.” How easy it would have been to ignore the lessons from WWI and accept Japan’s conditions as soon as possible. How selfless it was of that American generation to sacrifice extra to make Japan greater.

I have two distinct elderly friends who happen to be devout Mormons. One in his late 90’s fought the Japanese in intense WWII fighting. Another was a little girl during the Japanese occupation of Pacific islands. It is fantastically incongruent to hear sweet, elderly, Mormon people use the shortened version of Japanese without the slightest qualm. A modern day peccadillo I give them a pass on when they describe real blood and horror, not the mythical fairy dust clouding your crystal ball.

Mormography said...

Mormanity - A friend just pointed out to me, that your perspective is much more aligned with the Jehovah Witnesses than the Mormons. She also believes your critical eye has turned into self-hate.

EditorJack said...

Jeff Lindsay wrote: "Another carefully considered work is Doug Long, "HIROSHIMA: WAS IT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY?" at Spectacle.org."

Jeff, I don't think that article quite says what you think it says. That doesn't mean that Satan isn't ruling with blood and horror, however.

Darren said...

Jeff;

A little nit-picking to your very Libertarian view of the world.

1) "or at least to create more jobs by helping the oil industry (one of the ugliest and final excuses used for the Persian Gulf War)" - We did not invade Kuwait to rule them nor to keep the oil industry going. We invaded Kuwait to expel a foreign invader who did go in to rule them with "blood and horror". The reasons Iraq was in Kuwait and the United States was in Kuwait rest on two very different ends of the reason spectrum. Granted that the oil industry meant that our own national interest would be affected by Iraq's invasion and control of Kuwait but the overall presence of the United States in the Middle Eastern region of the world, namely along the shipping lanes of Africa ensure *millions* are free and making lots of money via keeping the markets open and running. This in an of itself runs contrary to "ruling" over these very same peoples.

2) "Whether it's bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan" - Good grief Jeff. The united States NEVER decided to bomb a wedding party for the sake of bombing. Far from it. It decided to strike terrorists where they are believed to be. It is the terrorists who have decided to blend among civilian populations. *THESE* are the Gadianton Robbers, especially when we take the Book of Mormon at its word. The united States did not bomb wedding parties to rule and reign over anyone but to free people who do rule them "with blood and horror".

3) "Great horror always requires stout defenses to get people past the moral revulsion to what the military establishment needs to have done to advance their business model." - What are you talking about??? We are being controlled by the military establishment? We are killing others because the military wants its money? The same President you fault for bombing civilians via drone strikes has also defunded the military dramatically. What's the connection?

4) "burning German cities to the ground" - My grandfather was a rear gunner for one of the WWII American bombers whose mission was to drop bombs on Germany. I could not be prouder of my grandfather. I've no doubt *millions* of souls happily greeted him on the other side of the veil as their liberator or as one who liberated their ancestors.

Now, what of Iraq? How has pulling out to "not rule over them" worked out? What's ISIS doing but ruling over them "with blood and horror"? Who are on the side of Gadianton and who is on the side of Moronihah?

Jeff Lindsay said...

Editor Jack said, "my father was part of the U.S. army in occupied Japan. If the bomb had not been dropped, he would have been one of the soldiers storming the beaches." First, thanks for your input and many thanks to your father for his service. I feel grateful to our vets, my father included who fought in the rigged no-win Korean war, who put their lives on the line for their country, even when the leaders at the top are putting them into unnecessary danger or fighting deliberately no-win wars or pursuing policies that should make us mourn. The lucky ones who survive often come home battered, some shattered, and then face neglect and sometimes hostility for their service. More respect and care are needed.

But as for your father, the key issue was not the August 1945 question of "Do we drop the bomb and win now or send our troops on the beaches of Japan?" but a question that was raised multiple times much earlier that year: "Do we accept Japan's offer for surrender, conditioned upon keeping their sacred and ancient office of Emperor in place, or do we keep all of fighting?" Your father and thousands of other soldiers and hundreds of thousands of civilians could have been much safer if we had accepted Japan's offer of surrender. By insisting on the vague and frightening label of "unconditional" surrender, without explaining that we would not harm the Emperor, we virtually ensured that the Japanese would have no choice but unconditional resistance, for the sacred office and person of the Emperor in their culture was the one thing that cold not be sacrificed. The final stages of that bloody and monstrous war were unnecessary. Completely unnecessary. Unless your business model is to reign with blood and horror on this earth. Our history books will continue to praise the Establishment men, FDR and Truman, who gave us that horror. It's time to look past the myth.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Darren, revulsion at the mass slaughter of human beings, however much the Establishment tells us that it is needed to bring peace, is not a "political" trait. It is not a Libertarian quirk. It is not an extremist position. It should be a basic moral and spiritual issue that cuts across faiths and politics.

You expressed your opinion that Obama has "defunded the military dramatically." We've had that opinion from many Republicans, Romney included, always without giving actual spending numbers and related statistics. This, however, is a myth. You don't drop bombs all over the world nearly every day for 8 years without a hefty budget. You don't send troops to the borders of Russia and China, as if seeking to provoke war, without a lot of expensive muscle being involved. In fact, military spending has grown dramatically under Obama. Details, numbers, and analysis - not just opinions - are given in many places, including this: Ryan McMaken's article, "No, the Military Has Not Withered Away Under Obama" at Mises.org.

Perhaps you don't feel or see the intrusion of the military-industrial complex in your life, that you don't notice the power of the Fed in reducing the value of your savings by manipulating interest rates to near 0, that you don't notice Homeland Security, TSA, the NSA, the Googleplex, the vast domestic spying apparatus reading your emails and examining your bank account and your surfing habits, etc. But there is a remarkable concentration of power in the hands of the federal government these days, and sometime, in some way, you'll feel the pain. That pain may start with the next credit default crisis that will be upon us soon. Whatever your political views, this is a good time to prepare for pain and make sure you have a heft food storage, some cash on hand, etc.

Jeff Lindsay said...

But again, the soldiers aren't the ones to blame for the trouble, with rare exceptions. Soldiers need to obey orders. My father did. Yours did. They did as their nation required and perhaps showed great valor and courage. But it is fair for us to ask if those making the decisions at the top are acting properly and truly for the defense of the nation. We would do well to heed Eisenhower's warning against the power of the military-industrial complex, which was relatively a midget in his day compared to ours.

Darren said...

Jeff;

"Darren, revulsion at the mass slaughter of human beings, however much the Establishment tells us that it is needed to bring peace, is not a "political" trait. It is not a Libertarian quirk. It is not an extremist position. It should be a basic moral and spiritual issue that cuts across faiths and politics. "

With all due respect, I am repulsed by the mass slaughtering of peopke *which is why* I support much of the war against radical Islam. I support bombing weddings if that is where terrorists choose to hide out or to gather. Same goes fir hospitals, schools, masques and I would hold the exact same standard if it were LDS temple, the most holiest place on earth. The difference between the way you and I see things is not the morality of killing but who should be killed, when, where, and why. You seem to hold the view that foreign intervention is inherently wrong and you seem to think we are under the deception of a military business machine. While libertarianism may noot dictate your view, your view falls very much in line with libertarianism. Describing you as "Libertarian" is a matter of observation, not an attempt to attack your politics or to declare your view of the world is oredicated upon what libertarians say, though I would think that you should offer the same coutesy to the leaders of our military which do a tremendous job and often at great price to keep you and I and millions around the world safe from those who truly do seek to rule with "blood and horror".

As for military spending, yes, the Obama administration has reduced spending overall and it has had a dramatic impact. We don't need drones in the air but ships on the seas and the latter cost way more than the former. I'll take a look at the article from Mises but regardless of actual soending numbers, fighting a friendly war as has Obama has only strengthened ISIS which have brutally tortured many people in the world. They are the true servants of Satan as per the LDS temple doctrine of reigning "with blood and horror".

There is no idsagree ent between you and me regarding the overreaching power of the federal government but to say that the United States is serving Satan as what is taught in an LDS temple session us grossly appalling.

Darren said...

"We would do well to heed Eisenhower's warning against the power of the military-industrial complex, which was relatively a midget in his day compared to ours."

First, Eisenhower didn't have ISIS to deal with. Second, this is very different than your original post. Do you want ot question how much power the federal ogvernment has versus should have or condemn the United States of America as a tool for Satan for killing people in a fight against blood thirsty islamists and Middle Eastern dictators?

Darren said...

Jeff;

That article from Mises was good. After reading it I briefly looked into sequestration budget cuts for defense soeanding and it see ed to collaborate the article. Good point. I'll retract my Obama cutting the military budget comment though I hold to him not using military spendong efficiently. He did not spend it in areas which needed it.

Anonymous said...

I think your dream was brought on by your anxiety over the impending inauguration. And, perhaps, that same anxiety has caused you to forget that there are things worth fighting for, though we'd rather not no matter how virtuous the reason may be for doing so. Also, I think, perhaps, it may have sullied your view of how to view history, so to speak. History is, indeed, a foreign country -- so foreign, sometimes, that it is otherworldly.

Just my two cents worth of condescension.

Jack

Morgan Deane said...

Hey Jeff. I really enjoy your site and all the work you've done. I hope I can offer this without offending as that's not my intention. Its late and I took some medication that is making me dizzy so I'll have to be brief as well. To put it shortly, I disagree sharply with your analysis and don't think you have all of the information available. I could get more into it at a later time perhaps.

You are missing a key point that fatally undermines the idea that Japan would have surrendered earlier if only they were offered it. Even after the bombs were dropped and the emperor was ready to announce the Japanese surrender,the military led a coup against the government to prevent the formal declaration of it. This was actually a common occurrence before World War II with the many targeted assassinations by the military against politicians that didn't support policies favorable to the generals. (Your source, Doug Long, mentioned how one of the doves was wounded in a 1936 coup.) It strains credulity to believe that the military would have allowed a surrender before the bombs were dropped, when senior military leaders occupied the palace of the emperor after they were dropped. If the allies responded to tentative peace feelers from the Japanese doves the peace would not have withstood the revulsion and opposition from the military as the post Hiroshima coup indicated. As Doug Long said, it was only with the dropping of the bomb that the doves were emboldened enough to convince the emperor and (just barely) overcome the opposition of the military.

In short, the idea that Japan was ready to surrender if only American political leaders and generals were wise enough to offer something palatable is directly contradicted by the coup. Thanks.

Jeff Lindsay said...

That is an interesting preemptive strike argument. So if my enemy offers to surrender, should I accept and give them a chance to comply or guess that their hawks might stage a successful coup and use that to justify slaughtering of two entire cities?

Jeff Lindsay said...

But yes, the hawks were powerful and did attempt coups.

Mormography said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cherry_Blossoms_at_Night

Anonymous said...

"Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans."

We didn't start it, but we sure as hell ended it.

Zera BP said...

Hey Jeff just letting you know you are not alone in your views on these events and in my view one of the only sane voices on these matters.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Thanks, Zera BP. I understand that it can be painful for people who pride themselves on being American, as I do, to learn that some things they were told were great achievements may have been acts of brutal cruelty. The most dangerous fake news can be the official news that comes from once-trusted sources. But I think the Book of Mormon gives us a lens to appreciate the corruption that can occur in government and the caution we need to apply to what popular leaders and their supporters tell us.

Everything Before Us said...

I don't have an opinion about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, although I did serve a mission in Japan and met an elderly Japanese man who said the USA did the right thing because the Japanese believed their Emperor to be a God and thus would've followed him to whatever destruction was in store.

But I do admire your courage to speak out on this matter, and to attempt to educate others about the truth behind the popular history. In a way, you are doing exactly what exMormons do when they try to blow the whistle about the reality behind the fanciful stories we all learned growing up in church.

Former Mormons are often frustrated when they see fully-believing Saints exercise their very obvious and keen sense of critical analysis in all other spheres of their lives except for when it comes to the church.

There is so much less at stake personally when we are confronted with unpleasant information about our nation's history, especially for Latter-day Saints who are convinced the United States is going to be collapsing in the near future anyway. But Latter-day Saints are also convinced that their prophets will never lead them astray. Thus, the amount of cognitive dissonance they are willing to endure is considerable higher when it comes to the church.

The same courageous bone in your body that has allowed you to really learn the history of the dropping of the bombs in WWII - you can tap into that bone as well and really confront the true history of the LDS church. As you said yourself, "The most dangerous fake news can be the official news that comes from once-trusted sources."

Mormography said...

Everything Before Us - Well done. -Mormography

Morgan Deane said...

Hey, sorry for the late response. Its true as a general rule we should accept peace whenever we can. But in this case we have the cool ability to look back and see how that peace would have turned out. Since there was a military coup that almost overturned the peace after the bombs were dropped, its a pretty easy case to make that peace would have been unlikely (more like impossible) before they were dropped. Attacking the US for not accepting those peace feelers is misguided because we have clear evidence there no serious chance of peace before that. In fact, the generals would have seen American willingness to change the terms as a sign of weakness and emboldened them even further.

As a general rule its great to consider every option that leads to peace. But just because a few ministers were suggesting peace doesn't mean at all that it was likely because we have direct evidence to the contrary. Thanks for the great posts. Keep it up.

GaelicVigil said...

What about Captain Moroni and his slaughter of the Lamanites, as well as politicians in his own government. He built walls all around Nephite lands, only allowing Lamanite refugees if they promised to give up their weapons of war.

The BoM tells us that if all men had been like Moroni, hell would be shaken.

What about Mormon who led his men through battle after battle for his people?

Aren't we taught that the BoM was written for our day? Perhaps this is the model we should be following...

I won't even bring up the Old Testament where God commanded Joshua to slaughter cities, down to the last animal.

Jeff, if I may say, your ideas expressed in this post, are fundamentally anti-Mormon.

Mormography said...

Good one. It appears Mormanity has little support on this one, a sign he has been in China too long.