How evil entered
[adapted from Tower of Light]
How did we get to the place where are now?
How did evil enter the modern period?
Look back to how the "rationalism" during the Godless French Revolution turned into a run of inventions during the 18th century and then the eruption of the Roaring Twenties when mankind set upon a path of entertainment -- and lasciviousness -- that included radio, cinema, vaudeville, and soon television. There was the phonograph and the onset of "blues" that would evolve among other genres into rock-and-roll, which in many ways served as a metaphor for the time and a doorway through which spiritual forces entered. I remember a priest telling me about a missionary who went into the bush country of Africa with his family and upset the natives when a daughter began to play rock songs on a cassette player. The natives raced over saying that the beat was meant to conjure spirits.
There was Elvis. There were the Beatles. There were the Rolling Stones. Were they evil? Like most, they were a mix. Like us all, they were influenced by both sides. There were classics like Yesterday and Let It Be at the same time as songs like Helter Skelter and in the case of the Stones an album called Their Satanic Majesties Request.
Musicians often exhibited the extremes of the times and in addition to the drugs, in addition to the rebellion, there was occultism. The girlfriend of one famous guitarist had pieces of human bones in a witchcraft kit and spent time with him in a notorious cottage at Loch Ness that had been owned by Aleister Crowley. One song connected with this musician was Stairway to Heaven. Many musicians who exploded onto the scene during the Sixties claimed to have been inspired by a Thirties bluesman named Robert Johnson who, legend had it, once walked to the intersection of two highways in Mississippi as part a ritual and sold his soul in return for musical genius, henceforth a tremendous guitarist who wrote songs such as Hell Hound On My Trail.
I couldn't vouch for such legends but there was certainly a throb to music that sent questionable pulses. "We will get stoned and worship Satan," sang a popular singer who later killed himself, dying young as so many musicians died young. There were groups like Black Sabbath, which even recorded a song called "Mr. Crowley" (whose face was among those on the famous Sergeant Pepper album). There was Jim Morrison, who felt he was possessed. The same was claimed by Jimi Hendrix. Rock would turn into heavy metal or punk which would turn to "goth."It was the road to Columbine.
Peculiar it is how major developments in music and other aspects of our culture occurred in years like 1966 and 1969, which were precisely when the Church of Satan was formed and then the first Satanic "bible" published.
There was a spirit afoot, and the pulse of sex that had started with the swiveling hips of the 1950s and arrival of the bikini as a testimony to visual lust soon washed over society like a tsunami.
The sexy beach calendars turned into Playboy which turned into full nudity which turned into movies that involved not just nakedness as had never been presented before the public but soon simulated and then hard-core sexual acts in movies like Deep Throat and on live stages in Manhattan. Lovelace or loveless? There was the pill and adultery, which became a psychodrama. There was also the blurring of genders, the normalization of homosexuality, and the words condoning it were coming not just off bathroom stalls, not just from pornographers, but from the psychologists who were the new priests and whose couches had replaced the confessional (which were now broom closets).
This all came at the same time that drugs entered first as marijuana and hash before graduating quickly to mescaline and LSD along with speed, cocaine, and heroin. The rap kids were now the crack pack. If dark spirits could enter during music, they could enter in a special way when one was in an altered frame of mind, and so here was another reflection back on the pharmakeia of old witches (who often drugged those they sought to control), and this joined the dark pulse of music, which often mimicked the rhythms of sex. The drumbeats, the chants, the occult, the pharmakeia, the illicit sex (which in satanic circles was conducted on an altar): it was like the devil had orchestrated a ritual so massive that no one could see it, culminating in abortion, which was the sacrifice of innocents.
Movies seemed as if warnings. There was The Omen. There was The Exorcist. There was the violence. Could anyone forget A Clockwork Orange, and was it not being transmitted into the collective psyche as violence took a course previously unimagined?
There was a fantastic eruption of theft, robbery, assault, rape, and homicide conjoined with nefarious crime sprees by villains like "Son of Sam."
It sounded overly "negative" and yet the truth set us free and when we saw evil and avoided it we transcended it.
With Christ, we were more powerful. It was not something that had to bring us down. It was something that had to be faced.
Evil wanted to be ignored, but the truth was that as love was replaced by lust, so too did materialism creep in, so too was there greed, so too did business become an exercise in cold impersonal calculation.
There was a violation of the natural order -- through sex, through drugs, through materialism -- and nature was letting us know this in its constant commotion -- the run of disasters of which destruction of the World Trade Center was but a "high-point" event.
Although the effect was out of proportion to actual office space, the two largest structures in America's largest city, the buildings that represented its global centrality --that stood for its material predominance, for global commerce, that were capitalistic idols par excellence -- were gone in a matter of minutes. Americans were forced to watch this disaster over and again, the smoke, the fire, the liquefaction. It scared people. For a while, it spurred church attendance. There were astonishing stories. I spoke to the wife of one victim, Tom Burnett, who died in that plane over Pennsylvania, and she told me her husband had been receiving an inkling of his death for a long while, sensed he was going to die, and even felt it had something to do with the White House.
There was a strong spiritual component to September 11 and along with the positive aspects, with the heroism, was also a warning.
Although less than 3,000 had died at the Trade Center (a fraction of those succumbing to quakes and cyclones), it had a traumatic effect -- leaving a startled sensation of vulnerability.
The storms, the quakes, the hurricanes that had been building for ten years and that seemed oddly to converge with September 11 continued into the new millennium as scientists, politicians, and businessmen ignored any suggestion that what was transpiring might be peculiar. To do so would have invited a self-examination, and nothing was more politically incorrect than chastisement. Yet it was true. We had strayed in ways we did not know. We had been blinded, the prophecy was saying.
Didn't anyone see the obvious indicators that diseases like AIDS --spawned mainly, as it was, by drugs or illicit sex --was trying to tell us something? There were the Sixties and Seventies, the Eighties, with a phenomenal focus on money, the "Me Generation," the Nineties, and now they were talking about human cloning. In the farthest reaches of witchcraft was the manufacture of zombies. Now we were going to accomplish that not through magick, not out of a caldron, but through science. It was all the rage. Which country would be the first?
Oh, the alchemy! There were laboratories producing series of embryonic stem cells in the U.S., Great Britain, Sweden, Spain, and Israel. Others existed in places one did not expect: South Korea, Singapore, Iran, and India. Would it be China? Or perhaps secretly in the U.S.? President George Bush had announced a policy to ban funding for cloning but which allowed limited research with embryonic stem cells -- unborn babies -- and on the front page of The New York Times the morning of 9/11 --that very morning, as the main story, not far from Ground Zero -- was a headline that read: "Scientists Urge Bigger Supply Of Stem Cells," with subtitle that said, "Report Backs Cloning to Create New Lines."
As many had feared, with the door to embryo stem cells cracked open by a decision to allow limited research, scientists were now going to barge right through -- demanding that manufacture of more embryos -- cloning -- be allowed in the name of "medicine."
It was the main headline on that fateful Tuesday, as it was too in USA Today, which was a few short miles from the Pentagon.
Scientists in the U.S., Italy, and other countries were working feverishly to create the first cloned human, or at least embryos that could be used as a source of stem cells, and now they had all the more momentum.
"Apart from the fact that they are morally unacceptable, since they separate procreation from the fully human context of the conjugal act, these techniques have a high rate of failure: not just failure in relation to fertilization but with regard to the subsequent development of the embryo, which is exposed to the risk of death, generally within a very short space of time," John Paul II had said on March 25, 1995 -- feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel informed the Blessed Mother that she had conceived, that there was an embryo forming in her womb, a baby Whom she should call Jesus. "Furthermore, the number of embryos produced is often greater than that needed for implantation in the woman's womb, and these so-called 'spare embryos' are then destroyed or used for research which, under the pretext of scientific or medical progress, in fact reduces human life to the level of simple 'biological material' to be freely disposed of."
[resources: Tower of Light]