This is the first in a short series of occasional articles outside our usual range of local issues.
We're indebted to the Lytham St Annes Express and the 'Lancashire Secular Humanists' for prompting us to action on this topic.
To make it easy to identify this and subsequent articles in the series, we'll mark them with a '##' in the
Navigation Menu, so readers can follow - or avoid - them according to preference.
We've looked at things outside our local area before of course, usually on important national issues - like the financial crisis that engulfed those who believed a credit based lifestyle was a sustainable one.
That crisis isn't over, but a sticking plaster has been put over the gaping financial wound, and we're being encouraged to believe that life is getting back to 'normal.' That's at least until the real day of financial reckoning arrives.
The financial fat lady is a long way from singing - at least for those with ears to listen, and eyes to see.
The economic crisis we have experienced / are experiencing, is bad. Very bad. But there is another, equally important crisis that is festering in the Western world, just as the credit bubble was festering for years.
Whilst the credit crisis was built on the back illusory growth produced by quiet bouts of Government money-printing inflation, the crisis we're about to focus on has nothing to do with money.
It is all to do with power, and corruption and people.
We're aware that what we're going to say in this series will upset quite a few folk. It will run counter to lots of currently accepted principles and thinking.
That said, our aim is not to upset or incite. It is to stimulate readers to think and see things from a different perspective - and, in our view, to warn a society that seems to be sleepwalking into what we see as a disastrous, groomed and
pre-manipulative state, before it is absolutely too late to do anything about it.
The wrong side is winning the argument at present, and those of us who lay claim to ownership of an alternative vision need to make our case with force.
So what credentials do we have to make such a claim?
Well, counterbalance doesn't have the benefit of a classical, (or even, come to that, a good) education. Our experience came via the School of Hard Knocks and the University of Life. Domestic circumstances meant we needed to support ourselves
with gainful employment (and thus help support the family of which we were a younger member) quite early in our life. So we didn't 'do' the studies of philosophy, sociology, and other academic topics that might have better equipped us to deal
with some of the more abstract concepts we experienced in later life, and are grappling with now.
That's not a complaint. In some ways, an early introduction to the need to fight for your existence is a great teacher. Whilst painful in the learning, it (eventually) produces an independent mind and spirit, and a fearlessness in making your case
vigorously once you have tested any new concept against the ideas held in your 'ideas pool' - that is the beliefs, attitudes and values that define you as a person.
When, as in our case, this experience is coupled with a loving but firmly Victorian-based moral code that is itself rooted in the values of the established national church, it also gives you a strong sense of right and wrong; the strength to challenge
what you believe to be wrong; and, indeed, the duty to do so whenever you experience it.
This doesn't make our view right of course. But it does provide a perspective that readers might want to weigh in the balance of their own ideas pool.
Those who don't want to test potentially uncomfortable views are, of course, free to leave. (And welcome to come back to our more local features without the ### mark in the navigation menu whenever they wish).
For a year or two now, we have
felt a growing, and deep concern for the future of western society.
Our concern first began many years ago, and emanated from several (at the time, apparently unconnected) threads. But in the last decade, these threads have begun to weave themselves together into a tapestry which, for us at least, is
crystallising their underlying concepts.
Let us explain.
So far as our own direct experience is concerned, probably the first indication of something being 'wrong' came in our teenage years in the early 1960s when the Government of the day made it a legal requirement to wear a crash helmet when
riding a motor-cycle.
We could see the sense in using one of course, and were already doing so voluntarily, but we couldn't understand the basis of a law that made it *compulsory* to 'protect' you from yourself.
In these circumstances, the only person to suffer in the event of a mishap was you.
So it seemed to us that if, as an individual, you wanted to bear the risk of dying, or being maimed as a result of choosing not to wear a crash helmet, and to enjoy the wind blowing through your hair on a sunny day, that was a matter for you - not the
law - to decide.
Failure to wear one yourself could not put others at risk. (An argument that was just about able to be made for the compulsory wearing of seat belts some years later when it was argued that those strapped in had a better capacity to control the
vehicle). With crash helmets, it was only the rider that bore the risk.
At the time, we remember weighing the argument about society having to bear the cost of potentially additional medical treatment for injured non-wearers, and the potential costs of society having to contribute to funding the future living costs of
those with residual disabilities.
But we dismissed those arguments as fallacious - as least as long as society still allowed people to play vigorous physical sports in which serious, and in some cases fatal, injury was commonplace - such as horse (and most other forms of) racing,
rugby and football, and skiing and so on. No, we concluded. Numerically there was probably a greater chance of injury, and a much greater medical costs arising from other life-based activities. So we concluded the medical / social benefits cost of not
wearing a crash helmet didn't hold water.
At the time, we simply dismissed the 'crash helmet' legislation as a stupid piece of logic and, perhaps because it had little personal impact, we didn't do anything. It had registered in our 'ideas pool' but it lay dormant there.
Was a fairly obvious follow-on. The 1974 introduction of the 'Health Safety and Welfare at Work Act.'
This had the same sort of overtones in many ways. Especially when it became clear quite quickly that what might be acceptable in a personal domestic situation would not (illogically) be acceptable in a work one. So every house that kept bleach under
the sink was able to continue to do so, but in a work environment, such a dangerous chemical became subject to controls and locks and keys and eventually a specified regime within the subsequent 'Control of Substances Hazardous to Health'
At the ludicrous end of this scale, skilled manual workers were asked to sign papers saying they had been shown how to use a hammer or a spade.
Again we were being protected from ourselves by legislation. We're sure readers will be able to think of other examples of such laws, the essence of which is to remove personal responsibility and accountability from individuals, and replace it with a
'Code of Practice' or 'Policy' or 'Guidance' that must be followed.
Like all of this creeping removal of personal responsibility, it's perfectly possible to claim it has at least *some* justification - for example, that unscrupulous employers would no longer be able to bully workers into
performing dangerous practices.
But the underlying process here is the same one that seeks to convince you that snow is black. Everyone knows that's not true, but you set out to explain that it is not absolutely white because of atmospheric impurities, and it is, in fact, slightly
grey. Then you announce a new study finding it is actually a deeper shade of grey than at first thought, and you continue this process over time, with the colour going deeper and deeper grey, you will find that eventually some people can be made to
think of it as dark grey. They are then used to ridicule those who disagree and say it isn't. All that work over all those years shows that it *IS* black. Maybe it's a light *shade* of black, but black it is. Eventually, people exposed to a process
such as this can be conditioned to regard it as at least very dark grey, if not black.
Is probably when things started to go badly haywire.
The introduction of legislation that gave employees protection from being dismissed marked another step in the 'you are not responsible for yourself - we will look after you' mould that was being created for society to slip ever so gently
We say it is no business of Government to interfere in the contractual relationship that exists between an employer and an employee, even if they do try to claim that providing benefits to those who are unemployed gives them the right to have a such
The underlying concept here begins the process that turns business (and the work it offers) into a non-Governmental branch of social services. It fosters and grooms employees toward a state of dependency, not self reliance.
It got worse of course, when the Government went that step further and introduced an overt system of mind control.
They brought in laws defining certain matters that employers were not even allowed to consider or take into account when choosing which people to hire, or promote or dismiss.
Those laws have recently been extended to define which groups of persons may or may not be refused the supply of goods and services.
It is clearly no business of Government to set out what matters any person or business might wish to take into account when making its decisions, but that's exactly what Government did. The actual offence here is in thinking the wrong thoughts when
considering employees, not in the actions that flow from them.
Human rights. Quite possibly the worst (or second cleverest, depending on where you stand) set of laws ever to be made.
And before all of the bleeding heart (Small 'L' for one of our lady readers :-) liberals start to howl with anguish, let them just consider that the selfish 'me-centric' approach of 'Human Rights' has an equal and opposite set of community
The present system says you have a right not to be killed. But there is an equal and corresponding responsibility not to kill - on the other side of that same coin.
Both seek to achieve the same result, (the protection of life), but the former begins from a personal (and thus selfish), individual perspective, where the focus is on individual need. This is, in itself, destructive to the spirit of community. The
latter (which, notably, has been tried and tested in many communities for thousands of years as a Commandment "Thou shalt not kill") comes from the community-building angle of making the individuals responsible for ensuring the welfare of
others, not seeking to draw benefit to themselves.
The whole of the present 'Human Rights' approach to life is destructively, dangerously, and in our view, deliberately, 'me-centric'. It aims to put the self above others, to the detriment of society and nation.
The principle of human rights - as opposed to human responsibilities - seeks to completely reverse Kennedy's appeal to his fellow Americans: "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." It encourages
personal selfishness and deprecates duty.
Was an amazing series of four television programmes under the "Century of Self" banner transmitted by C4.
They showed how, using Freud's early research in psychology, his nephew Edward Bernays saw an opportunity to use the unconscious desires of humans to manipulate the masses. He believed that by fulfilling their unconscious desires, he could change a
potentially unruly population into a controlled, docile one.
He effectively invented the 'public relations' industry and used it to turn the population of the United States into the original 'consumers'. His notable first coup (on behalf of Philip Morris cigarettes) was in persuading women to
smoke, and at the same time almost doubling Morris' turnover (and more than doubling their profit). By clever manipulation of, and via, the media, he reversed a taboo and almost overnight erased the stigma of women smoking.
Before Bernays, people only bought goods according to their needs. It was practically unheard of to buy something for any other reason. Bernays made it acceptable - indeed 'necessary' - to make a purchase based only on desire. He ushered in
'built in obsolescence' and the throwaway society that has been so destructive for the planet's resources.
Before long, the whole of industry was at his feet. Advertising had become the manipulation of subconscious desire, and it paid off, both for Bernays, and for the companies that hired him. Creating a gluttonous, consumer-based society had paid off
Then Government turned its attention to his methods. They saw how easily opinion could be formed and moved, and politicians started to use those same methods. The four programme series of Century of Self chronicles all of this and more.
Was an item of unexpected holiday reading. Peter Hitchens' book 'The Abolition of Britain' found us by accident, but it became impossible to put down. It cogently described in detail, using official reports and figures, how the destruction of
great British institutions was being deliberately and silently effected.
Like Jeremiah of old, Hitchens is a modern prophet whose words are wise, but rarely heeded.
Was, without doubt, the cleverest and most subtle of all the destructive forces to be unleashed on society in recent years. It is the so called 'Political correctness'
A popular definition for PC behaviour is that which seeks to avoid people being offended, particularly in the matters of gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, handicap, and age-related contexts. Readers will see an immediate connection between
this and the earlier issues set out in employment legislation.
We suspect its modern incarnation arises chiefly from the 1990 Western Humanities Conference in Berkeley, California which took as its subject 'Political Correctness and Cultural Studies.'
This conference examined how pressure to conform to PC ideas was affecting scholarship. But the basic roots of PC were in 1960's radicalism, (although as we shall see in future articles, even then it had long been conceived as a mechanism to
PC's true basis, and the cause it seeks to attack, is that Western society has for centuries been dominated by (usually white) males in a patriarchal society supported by great institutions such as the Church, the Monarchy and so on. PC sees this as
being wrong. Well look at this in another article.
Was very unusual.
After (belatedly) reading Huxley's 'Brave New World', we were amazed - probably more than anything else we have ever read - by his prediction as far back as 1936 - that future western society would be based on three things:
- Passive obedience
- Material consumption
- Mindless promiscuity
We were absolutely stunned that someone could so accurately predict the future from that long ago.
What we did not know at the time of our own reading, was that Huxley had an association with others that were actively planning (and are succeeding) to bring about that future.
Came from a friend of a friend who recently introduced us to something called the 'Frankfurt School', which is less a building and more a school of thought, and which seems to be the underlying cause of much of the threat that exists to a
society we believe in and value.
We intend to focus on this quite a bit in future articles.
There are many other pieces of jigsaw that fall into place within and around the threads we have listed above, (and we intend to explore them in the future) but Thread 10, and the spark that has caused us to actually do something at this
time, was, of all things, an article in the Lytham St Annes Express of 1st April 2010.
Under the 'In My View' Column banner, it was headed "Are you a potholer or are you a fishup" and it was written by, (or at least attributed to) one, Ian Abbott, Chair of Lancashire Secular Humanists.
This article made us really angry, and we haven't calmed down since reading it.
But surprisingly, we haven't managed to find anyone else who even read it, let alone understood the nasty, insidious, and dangerous implications of it.
We insert at this point, some clarification.
counterbalance isn't a religious website, and we're generally not active in our support for the church and its activities. We're not hostile either, simply ambivalent. But we do have a strong belief that the institution of the church, as with the
institution of the monarchy and our other great institutions such as marriage are, and should remain, a founding cornerstone of our society.
Readers will also know counterbalance is a true and great believer in free speech.
We absolutely subscribe to view generally attributed to Voltaire's biographer: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
However, that doesn't mean we're not able, or prepared, to argue against something which we believe to be wrong. And we believe the view expressed in that feature by Ian Abbot is as nasty a piece of writing as we have seen. It is inspired by the
values that trace their way back through most of the threads we have listed above.
We find it amusingly ironic that the Humanists' article has inspired us to start this series of articles to expose the growing cancer that is eating the heart out of western society.
This one LSA Express article is, of course, in itself, relatively insignificant, but the wider implications it introduces are very dangerous.
So what did the Express article say? What is it that has got us so worked up?
Well, on the face of it, the article is a childish piece - perhaps in a similar, but much less able way, that George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' was a 'childish' story. You can (and should) read the Express article for yourself. If you haven't kept your
own copy from last week, you can read it by following
When you have read it, and wondered what on earth it is on about, you should re-read it
But this time, instead of the word 'potholer'; read in its place the word Christian, or churchgoer, or worshiper. And where you see the word 'fishup'; read in its place, the word Bishop.
What you will then see is a disgraceful, immature, slimy, subliminal attack on the church.
You will read arguments deliberately designed to appeal to the baser levels of human consciousness by these 'Humanists' who aim to weaken support for the institution of the church, and you will realise that, like so much other doublespeak, the name -
'humanists' - means they are anything but friends of society. They are bent on the destruction of the great institutions upon which the foundations of society rest
The arguments they advanced in the Express article are these:
The established Church of England ought not to have 26 Bishops in the House of Lords (The Lords Spiritual). The rationale for this is that hardly anyone goes to church anymore. No one can be bothered to get out of bed to do so, and anyway, everyone
else thinks churchgoers and Bishops are pointless and silly.
The also argue that Government should not allow faith schools to be built with public funds, that it is wrong for Church schools to be funded and maintained by anyone other than churches, and that churches ought not to be able to require parents to
demonstrate a belief in the church in order for their children to attend such schools.
The nasty diatribe goes on to imply the quite ridiculous tenet that Bishops believe worship is really a 'manly' pastime, not really for women, and certainly not for anyone who might be gay.
This kind of subliminal smearing and gross distortion is nothing more than the stock-in-trade of the agenda set out by the exponents of the Frankfurt School.
It then goes on to complain that even though no-one else in the country is allowed to discriminate over who they employ on the basis of the applicant's gender or sexual orientation, no Bishop is going to promote a mere woman to a position of high
authority within the Church, or employ someone who is gay in any capacity whatsoever.
This is self evident balderdash. And it is no accident that it is published in the week leading to the main religious event in the Church's calendar.
This desecration of our British institutions such as the Church of England rightly brings ridicule upon the bile that is being pumped out by this sick, suppurating sore on the arse of society that the 'Lancashire Secular Humanists' aim to become.
In a counter-balance to this evil attack by the Humanists, we suggest you consider the words of the Cannon Chancellor of St Pauls in his Easter message. We were heartened by seeing them.
He makes the case that today's political scene lacks the moral values that have underpinned our society for centuries.
He claims modern politicians are terrified by any whiff of religion, and they cite multiculturalism as an alibi to avoid the risk of alienating those with different religious traditions.
This state of affairs is, of course, largely due to the sub-conscious mass-manipulation of the human psyche by those who subscribe to the beliefs of the Frankfurt School and the Humanist agenda.
He describes the "miserable defensiveness of modern political life" and says it is no surprise that people are frustrated that politics has lost its way.
He notes that those on the left assert that schools having Christian values at their core are prejudiced against the children of other faiths - but this is not an argument used by those who profess other faiths.
The people who are calling for the abolition of Christian values from schools are not members of other faiths. They are politically motivated secularists using diversity as an excuse to pursue their real agenda - which is to drive faith from the
public arena - and thus weaken the bonds and values of our society.
Defending Christian values in education is not about brainwashing children, it is about recognising that much of our morality as a society is rooted in the Christian faith. This, of course is partly why Church schools are so popular, even with parents
who are not regular churchgoers.
It's also why members of other faith communities would prefer to send their children to a faith school of a different faith to their own, rather than send them to a secular school where faith plays no part in the core values.
Ever since these islands became Christian about 2,000 years ago, the Christian story has been at the centre of our moral, spiritual and public life.
We are who we are as a people, and we are what we stand for, *because* of our Christian faith, and the institutions in the churches throughout the land.
These are the values that Humanists would destroy.
As the Cannon said "politicians who use multiculturalism as a pretext for dumping this history are guilty of a dangerous cultural vandalism"
Religion, and the institution of the church, offers our political life something it can never generate on its own.
Politicians may pass laws, and make policy, but fundamentally, this is not how the world changes.
Change happens in the hearts and minds of people.
Change is not the announcement of a new strategy, or another press release. It is a shifting of belief in the hearts and minds of people.
The hearts and minds of the Burmese people are not changed when their leader is held in military house arrest, or by any amount of laws made by the administration. The Tibetan people likewise.
This is why it is so important for counterbalance (and others to whom we are indebted for information), to take apart and expose the insidious poison dispensed by 'The Secular Humanists' and their ilk.
But even more important is the exposure of those with real ability - those whose ideas give succour and confidence to such miserable little tin-pot, one-man-band outfits as the 'Lancashire Humanists'.
Politics that does not root itself in the moral values of the Church is nothing more than a way of refereeing human selfishness.
But sadly, that is the fate that awaits society if we allow politics to continue on its present path.
As we said earlier. The wrong side is winning the argument at present. And those of us who lay claim to an alternative vision must make our case with force.
We intend to.
7 April 2010