Mmmmm..Britain Supports Palestinian Bid for a State?..I wonder why ?


Gilad Atzmon – gilad.co.uk Nov 27, 2012

The Guardian reported today that Britain is prepared to back a key vote recognising Palestinian statehood at the UN but only if Mahmoud Abbas pledges not to pursue Israel for war crimes and to resume peace talks.

“On Monday night, the government signalled it would change track and vote yes if the Palestinians modified their application. Whitehall officials said the Palestinians were now being asked to refrain from applying for membership of the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice, which could both be used to pursue war crimes charges or other legal claims against Israel.”

I wonder why the British government is so keen to save Israeli war criminals? Could it be because 80% of the Conservative MPs are Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI)? I’d also like to know what is it that led the British Government to change its position on the Palestinian bid for statehood. Is it because our Tory politicians are trying to squeeze more money from their paymasters? After all, if Whitehall’s decision is driven by any ethical and humanist concerns, why then are they trying to save Israeli mass-murderers from being schlepped to the International Court of Justice where they belong.

Another possible explanation for the British turnaround is that Israel and its lobby is actually interested in world support of the Palestinian bid for a State. Such a bid, would accomplish the Zionist project by removing once and for all the demographic threat to the Jews-only state posed by millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. A ‘sovereign Palestine’ would ‘liberate’ Israel from the burdens of being an occupier.

I suppose that, following the last Israeli defeat in Gaza, some brain in Whitehall must have cottoned on to the fact that the Jewish State belongs to the past – and doesn’t have much of a future. They’ve probably realised that Britain had better seek some new allies in the Arab world. Still, putting all their money on Abbas might just one more poorly calculated British political decision.

Source:

Recommended Readings:

Palestinian leaders vow to bring any suspects in Yasser Arafat death to justice

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/9706922/Palestinian-leaders-vow-to-bring-any-suspects-in-Yasser-Arafat-death-to-justice.html

–   The Osama bin Laden Myth

By Paul Craig Roberts on November 27, 2012

Paul Craig Roberts – via Info Wars Nov 26, 2012

The interview below with Osama bin Laden was conducted by the Karachi, Pakistan, daily newspaper, Ummat and published on September 28, 2001, 17 days after the alleged, but unsubstantiated, al Qaeda attack of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center twin towers and Pentagon. The interview was sensational. The alleged “mastermind” of 9/11 said that he and al Qaeda had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack. The British Broadcasting Corporation’s World Monitoring Service had the interview translated into English and made public on September 29, 2001.

http://www.infowars.com/the-osama-bin-laden-myth/

S.O.S. News…GREAT NEWS for AUSTRALIA.


www.sosnews.org
“Like Rust We Never Sleep”
AussieWatch
November 27th 2012 | Established 2002 | Subscribing Computers 69,510 +

SOS-NEWS Network Links

o SOS-NEWS Main Site


o AussieWatch our new investigations site


o Newsfront Archive blog


o Original Library

Contact your politicians and voice your opinion at anytime [HERE]

“It’s not that we are inefficent, it’s due to the secrecy of our work we don’t know what we are doing “

Special Issue

Our ancestors must be proud of the parliament we now have in Canberra where once echoed true governments for the people now reduced to a corrupt snake pit of liars, rogues and deceitful treasons greed.

Democracy is but a word when people cannot remove any government or politician working against the will and safety of the people.

The only light seen at the end of the tunnel was a high speed freight train driven by entrenched power crazed political parties on your freedom, however, a candle shone last night for the people of Australia.

Out of pure disgust, Bob Katter formed the Katter Australia Party on a shoestring budget to return politics back to the people. This is reflected in his speech below made to parliament Monday 26th November 2012.

Listen to this again and reflect on our –

PARLIAMENT OF FOOLS

bob katterThis AUDIO presents “Our Parliament of Fools” a magnificent VOCAL HARMONY & NARRATION reflecting Australia under siege from corrupt political parties we dismiss daily. The solution is with you, the people who allow this control to remain…

To play click the link below – to pass around this great audio copy the link then paste to email – to download, right click the link and “save link as” to a folder.

http://sosnews.org/radio12/sosnews-partiament-of-fools.mp3

KATTER’S SPEECH CEMENTS CANBERRA

Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (10:42): In recommending the bill to the House, I have just come back from a tour of the Murray-Darling area. To see what this place has done to the Murray-Darling would make any patriotic Australian blush with embarrassment and shame. It should make every member of this place feel utterly ashamed of themselves. At Mildura, we were told that 85 shops in the town have closed. I drove around the vineyards and the orchards and I felt one in 10 were closed down and was informed that the figure was much closer to one in five. In Griffith, they said 120 shops were closed. I do not know if this is true or not, but these are the things that were being told to me. There most certainly seemed to be many shops closed. In Deniliquin, we were told that there were normally 60 or 70 houses for sale; there are now 155 houses registered for sale.

This place has destroyed the economic base of all inland New South Wales. This place has destroyed the economic base of Northern Victoria and southeastern South Australia. This place has not destroyed Queensland, because Queensland’s Murray-Darling allocation is mostly Cubbie Station. No, this place has kept all the water intact at Cubbie Station and handed

it all over to a foreign corporation, when there were other bidders in Australia. What the government should

have done was to break up Cubbie Station into 10 or 12 civilised sizes where there would be owneroperators instead of fly-ins from the coast. Most of Cubbie Station is done by fly-in work out of Brisbane, in the main. But instead of doing that they sold it as one big heap, and they sold it to a foreign corporation.

The allegations in this case are very interesting because they are similar to the allegations in the case concerning—and it is not sub judice at the present, so I can speak up—the South Johnstone sugar mill, which was sold. Two mills smaller than it had been

sold for over $130 million. We are talking about a mill worth $150 million. It was sold for $2 million because the people that are liquidators are people who are corruptible to a point of being illegal and should be committed to jail. This is happening again, again andagain.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Dr Leigh ): The honourable member for Kennedy is reminded that particular allegations against individuals are best pursued through a substantive motion.

Mr KATTER: I have not made any allegations against any individuals. I have made general remarks concerning liquidators.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am simply reminding the honourable member of the standing orders.

Mr KATTER: I take the Deputy Speaker’s comments. In this case it has been sold to foreigners. In the last five weeks the biggest farm in Australia, Cubbie Station, has been sold to foreigners—the biggest water licence. It has not been bought by the government for environmental flows. It has been sold to foreigners —the biggest water licence. This place sold the biggest fishing licence in Australia. Only through the actions of my colleague from Hobart here beside me, seconding this resolution—on other issues completely, environmental issues—was the decision reversed. But the government had already made the decision to sell.

I came back from Tasmania, where another 20 per cent of their second biggest industry—and it is one of their only two industries—the timber industry, has been chopped away, leaving the economy of Tasmania almost a basket case because of the actions of this government. So they have wrecked an area—not this government, mainly the last government, actually; but this government most certainly have been up to their eyeballs in it—leaving an area stretching throughout all of New South Wales. Two-thirds of New South Wales: gone. Two-thirds of Victoria: gone. One quarter of South Australia: gone, destroyed by government action. And now of the 20 per cent of what is left of poor little Tasmania, half of it has been given to some subcommittee of UNESCO over in New York. All human activity on half of Tasmania is controlled by a UNESCO subcommittee. I know, because north Queensland suffers the same fate, so I speak with authority.

But let me go over it. The biggest farm: sold. The biggest water licence: sold. The biggest fishing licence: sold. The biggest dairying area in Australia: sold. The 10th biggest cattle station in area in Australia: sold. The daddy of them all, the big, grand, colossal Santa Claus of all destructive decisions is the Ord. Here is one of the great achievements of the Australian people to bring irrigation and development into the northwest, the most outback and most unpopulated part of Australia. It is a great dream of all Australians. The second stage could have been put up as 1,000-hectare farms.

The government of Western Australia or the government of Australia could have put up ethanol to give us something that we could grow there—they could have done that. They continually refused. This government is the only governments in the world that does not have biofuels by law in petrol tanks. People die when you have not got oxygenated petrol in their petrol tanks. That is why they put biofuels and ethanol in their petrol tanks. We are the only country on earth not to do that.

The Chinese will not buy ethanol off Australia. Now that they are producing ethanol in Australia, they will buy it from their own operation in Australia. But they were given a huge area—some 20,000 hectares, an area bigger than Cubbie Station. It carries a $600 million subsidy with it. The government will not subsidise Australian farmers; they will not give us a cent. The Liberal Party will not and the Labor Party will not. They will not give Australian farmers a single cent. And yet they will deliver to a foreign corporation a $600 million subsidy. The Ord dam was built by the taxpayers of Australia. The delivery channels, which cost as much as the dam, were built with Australian taxpayers’ money. And yet the government has taken it upon itself to sell them.

If they had given us ethanol and they had given us 15 or 20 1,000 hectare farms you would have been killed in the rush. But the ALP believes in corporate farming, the biggest disaster in agriculture in Australian history. The Liberal Party believes in corporate farming even more. That means that it has to be a corporation; we could not possibly have an owner operator! The only

farms in Australia that operate at a profit are the owneroperator farms. Every corporate farm in this country, to my knowledge, have gone broke, not once but again and again. Collie farm has gone broke six times. The two big mango farms have gone broke four times. Then there is the disaster in grapes and wine. I do not have to tell anyone in this place about Great Southern.

All the cattle stations— (Time expired)

Bill read a first time.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Dr Leigh ): In accordance with standing order 41(c), the second reading will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.

Download this speech [here]

Send it far and wide – send this whole newsletter

HOW WE HAVE GIVEN GOVERNMENT TOTAL CONTROL


Please WATCH IT ALL….Thanks.

Australia protesting dec 1st – 3rd.avi

This power has been handed to politicians by voters of Australia to allow them to become the masters and this video shows how. Will you vote next time to change this and claim your rightful Austalia back ?

 

THE WORLD IS LAUGHING AT AUSTRALIA

Copy & paste the links bellow in your browser….Thanks

http://kzoo.co/VfEZvW

http://vidcall.com/index.php/videos/show/4064

We are the world laughing stock as USA news explains to the world how Australians stand by and let our food security be taken over by carbon trading greed mongers as other nations take over our farms while the Gillard government hide all this from the people.

This video above, must be seen by all Australian to observe how the whole world is laughing at us …

FLORA NEWS

 

Click on the cover page to read the document.

If you believe in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 (as proclaimed) and our standard and way of life since settlement then I seek your support for David.

Sue Maynes of Flora has simplified the issue to assist those that have never read the Constitution.

Your country needs you we need to stand together, so if you can help.

Click on the cover page to read the document.

Iron Dome, Pillar of Cloud, and Netanyahu’s Next War


1, 2, 3, 4, – 6

Hebrew media insists that something went very wrong for Israel in Operation Pillar of Cloud. Most Hebrew analysts are blaming Netanyahu. Most polls show disgust towards the Prime Minister, who is being portrayed as too soft and indecisive. Most articles portray the Iron Dome antimissile system as “Hero of the Hour” while criticizing the Israeli Air Force. The role of Egypt in ending the conflict is overlooked. The recruitment of over 50,000 IDF reservists, who eventually weren’t deployed, is not mentioned anymore. Israel is showing such a strong combination of a bad memory and poor analytic capabilities, than one must ask oneself whether this is an intentional tactic aimed at disguising the actual date of a ground attack on Gaza.

Stalling the IDF

On March 29, 2002, Operation Defensive Shield started with an incursion of the IDF into Ramallah, placing Yasser Arafat under siege in the Mukata, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. The IDF recruited its reservists planning to re-occupy Palestinian cities in the West Bank. Brigade 310 (the Jerusalemite Brigade, number changed to 16 after the operation) was aimed to enter both Ramallah and Bethlehem. The entry to the latter was delayed due to the sensitivity of the Church of the Nativity. It was decided to delay the deployment of the army until a force from the Shaldag Commando (Kingfisher) could block the entrance to the church. For some unclear reason, the commandos didn’t appear, Palestinian forces obtained refuge in the church and the infamous siege began. The IDF is not built to work in such a fashion. Sieges stall the economy supporting it, and drain its limited resources. No operational plans of the IDF, either the ones dealing with invading armies (Metzuda) or the ones dealing with a Palestinian insurrection (Sdeh Kotzim), take long waits into account.

Iron Dome in ActionIron Dome in Action

Iron Dome in ActionIron Dome in Action

By any account, Defensive Shield was a larger operation than Pillar of Cloud. Yet, it was carried out mainly by one large territorial division manned by reservists. That means slightly over 10,000 people. In Operation Pillar of Cloud, Hebrew media reported that over 50,000 reservists were waiting to enter Gaza. This means that the entire reserve forces of the IDF Southern Command had been recruited, and then stalled. Considering that Israel has no sensitivities in Gaza, this is odd. As commented in an earlier article of this series, this was done openly, with pictures of soldiers waiting to enter Gaza flooding the media. The delayed deployment was harmful, yet, Netanyahu didn’t give the order. “Hold me back!” shouted Netanyahu while waiting for the international community to stop the operation. He achieved that, apparently against his own interests.

1, 2, 3, 4, – 6

On several occasions, I commented on Israel’s manipulation of its antimissile systems interception data; this is the result of the systems being aimed for export, mainly to South Korea and Singapore, but also due to the generous American support of the development process. The manipulation is straightforward; the system is deployed exclusively where it has optimal interception conditions. This leads to what in Measurement Theory is known as a bad sampling of the data, which becomes unrepresentative of the overall population of the studied event. I avoided quoting the numbers appearing in the Hebrew media for this reason. With their foiled magic, they claim the interception rate is 90%. Yet, in yesterday’s article (Pillar of Cloud ends Unfinished) I provided the complete data (courtesy of the IDF), showing that 700 missiles out of the 1,000 fired by Hamas hit Israel. This amounts to a 70% failure of Iron Dome.

Iron Dome | Israel Manipulates Statistics

Iron Dome | Israel Manipulates Statistics

 

I can imagine an Israeli general jumping on his chair after reading this and beginning a tirade against me. “Iron Dome was not deployed in the sites that were hit!” He shouts to the silent computer screen. “You are a demagogue,” he continues. Yet, he is wrong. One of the characteristics of antimissile weapons is their being non-symmetric. Building missiles is much cheaper than the antimissile system. A Qassam rocket costs less than $100 while an Iron Dome antimissile is evaluated at $50,000 per unit. Invariably, there would be more missiles than antimissiles. It is an intrinsic characteristic of this type of events and thus must be taken into account in the sampling. Luckily enough, an event including 1,000 missiles can be easily analyzed using the entire event without recurring to statistical sampling techniques. Iron Dome has an operative 70% failure rate. My dear general, Iron Dome is a failure.

Netanyahu’s Next War

Eventually, Operation Pillar of Cloud looks like a distraction event. It allowed Israel to test Iron Dome in real time. The IDF generals can analyze data as well as I can, even if they publish misinformation afterwards. 30% Interception may be good enough to defend Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, especially after most of the Palestinian long-range rocket arsenal was destroyed. The IDF will shoot three or four antimissiles at every rocket aimed at these targets. That was the number the IDF needed to know. The recruitment event was an exercise. The IDF knows now how many of its reservists are ready to appear and fight. This has been a problematic issue since the Yom Kippur War. Unluckily, this data won’t be disclosed.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been Prime Minister for a long time. He was aware that unless he obtained a decisive ground victory over Hamas, he would be perceived as a loser by his fanatic electorate. Hence, Operation Pillar of Cloud cannot be the real event allowing him to win the upcoming elections. Cloud of Pillar was a provocation, aimed at forcing Hamas to attack. Then, Netanyahu will be ready to perform a ground attack in better conditions.

War is still ahead of us…SHALOM.

Obama can no longer afford to give Israel blank checks


File Photo shows US President Barack Obama (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

File Photo shows US President Barack Obama (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The transformation of America away from a white European-dominated society to a multi-ethnic mosaic is ending the United States’ romantic interlude with right-wing “Judeo-Christian” political leadership.

The election of 2012 has proven that America that has backed right-wing dictatorships around the world, as well as the theocratic and woefully undemocratic regime of Israel, is changing its political hue.

The demographic change in the United States will have a severe impact on the domination of Israel’s pressure groups, namely the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) over American foreign policy.

With 70 percent of America’s Jewish population voting for President Obama, there are clear signs that this two percent but important percentage of the voting electorate is no longer swayed by the self-appointed and conservative Republican “Israel above all” leadership of the Jewish pressure groups.

Obama won re-election with 75 percent of the Hispanic vote, including, for the first time for any Democratic candidate, a majority of the Cuban-American vote in Florida. Hispanics disregarded missives from Roman Catholic bishops, who endorsed the Christian “apostate” Mormon Mitt Romney over the pro-abortion Obama, and voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

White Catholics, on the other hand, voted overwhelmingly for Romney, 59 to 40 percent. However, the past political power of white Catholics, largely ethnic Irish, Polish, and Italian blocs in the Northeast and Midwest states, was eclipsed in 2012 by the new power bloc of the Democratic Party: African Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and young, college age whites.

White Protestants broke for Romney, 57 to 42 percent, another indication that the Republican Party has become a minority movement representing the interests of white Christians, mostly in the South, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain states.

The Republican Party has, belatedly, decided that it must reach out to Hispanic voters to ever again stand a chance of winning the White House. The Republicans have trotted out candidates like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

However, Republican logic is flawed if it believes it can win national office merely by having a Spanish surname on their ticket. Hispanic-Americans are rejecting the laissez-faire “vulture capitalism” espoused by the Republican Party.

Hispanics, who are following the news from their friends and relatives in Latin America, are witnessing the success of Latin America’s state-governed economic policies, especially in Venezuela. Fresh from his October 7 victory over the global banker-backed Henrique Capriles Radonski, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has seen a 5.2 economic growth rate for his country.

Brazil’s President Dilma Roussef’s government stimulus program is aimed at achieving a 2-3 percent growth rate for her country in 2013. Overall, Latin America’s economy is expected to grow 3-4 percent in 2012, which is largely due to government-led stimulus programs. Hispanic Americans know from their kinfolk in Latin America the differences between Republican oligarch capitalism and authentic Democratic government-initiated stimuli. Hispanics want no part of the former as shown by the 2012 election.

In the age of Spanish-language satellite television, such news is picked up instantaneously by Hispanic viewers in the United States. When faced with the choice between corporate-dictated government policies and state-directed policies like those in Venezuela, Hispanics, even one-time fiercely conservative Cuban-Americans, see the advantages of government intervention to curtail the excesses of capitalism.

Asian-Americans, once a bedrock of support for the Republicans, voted 73 percent for Obama. Republicans always cited the entrepreneurial nature of Asian-Americans as a natural fit for the Republican Party. However, the modern Republicans, who are retrogressive in their social policies, including policies on education and health care, are at odds with the Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist religious underpinnings of many Asian-Americans, especially those of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Lao heritage.

However, it is with Muslim-Americans that Republicans fared their worst. Turnout among Muslims soared at 95.5 percent of eligible voters. Moreover, 86 percent of Muslims voted for Obama, while only 4.4 percent voted for Benjamin Netanyahu’s “best friend” Romney. The emerging bloc of Muslim-American voters will have an impact on future presidential politics. A taste of things to come was the minor floor fight over the Democratic Party platform at the Charlotte, North Carolina Democratic National Convention.

When it was discovered that the plank on America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was missing from the platform, Democratic Party operatives quickly voted to have it placed in the platform. However, the decision resulted in vocal protests from Arab-American convention delegates, a scene widely reported by the television networks.

As Arab-Americans and Muslim-American flex their political muscle within the Democratic Party, especially those from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and New Hampshire, the agents of Israel, namely AIPAC, the ADL, and the AJC, will find it more difficult to ram through pro-Israeli policy planks. No longer will Democratic presidents like Obama be able to give blank check support to Israel without political ramifications within his or her own party.

WM/HMV

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, D.C.-based investigative journalist, author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs. He is the author of the blog Wayne Madsen Report. In 2002 he suggested to the Guardian newspaper that the United States Navy had aided in an attempted overthrow of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. In 2003 he said that he had uncovered information linking the September 11 attacks to the government of Saudi Arabia as well as to Bush administration. In 2005, he wrote than an unidentified former CIA agent claimed that the USS Cole was actually hit by a Popeye cruise missile launched from an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine. More Press TV articles by Wayne Madsen

SOURCE:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/22/273948/obama-cant-afford-blank-checks-to-israel/

Try Telling That to Hamas


Turkish PM: “Israel is a terrorist state”

Over the years, I had the doubtful joy of speaking with Israeli Zionists belonging to the right and left sides of the political spectrum. Strikingly, the differences between them were not political in nature, but mainly an issue of style. Rightists were acidly sarcastic, while leftists were naively sarcastic. Both abused the Biblical language, while snatching every opportunity to offend others. On November 19, 2012, the Hebrew media provided an awesome example of that while commenting on the barbaric Israeli offensive on Gaza, Operation Pillar of Cloud.

Avner FainguelerntAvner Fainguelernt

Protests in IsraelProtests in Israel

Yedioth Aharonot—the Hebrew largest newspaper—published an op-ed titled like this article “Try Talking to Hamas.” The column was written by Dr. Avner Fainguelernt, an educator and independent filmmaker, who lives in a Gaza vicinity kibbutz. I won’t enter into Israeli social subtleties, but this short biography is enough to identify him as a “smolan,” a “leftist.” Yet, a Labor government was the one to allow the first settlements in the West Bank while a Likud government was the one to diminish discrimination against Mizrahi Jews. Who is right-wing? Who is left-wing? These obsolete political terms are irrelevant. All of them claim to pursue peace while encouraging violence and discrimination. Let me jump to the article’s end, where addressing the Israeli leadership in general, he wrote: “You owe us the preliminary and most basic thing—talking to Hamas—if you wish to gain our trust. You have tried out all the weapons in the world. The only thing you haven’t really tried out is the simple, required dialogue.” Israeli sarcasm is seldom wrote down; however, the author provided a rare opportunity to witness leftist naivety to the extreme.

Gaza City | Operation Pillar of Cloud

Gaza City | Operation Pillar of Cloud

Odd Coincidences

Following is a short table showing the dates of various elections to the Knesset (all except the first one) and military events that occurred just before the elections. During the first times, this looks innocent. The war actions were continuous and to some extent imposed by others. The turning point was probably in 1969, when casual operations drove the politicians’ attention to the fact the military operations can be used to get votes. After the disastrous Yom Kippur War, two small operations improved the self-esteem of the IDF, The 1977 elections were lost by Labor despite the successful Operation Entebbe; this was a delayed result of the 1973 war. Afterwards, it is pure cynicism. Both government and opposition used military operations in order to improve their results. The worst events belong to Begin, who bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor days before the elections and won (though barely so), and to a desperate Peres, who engaged in Operation Grapes of Wrath after Rabin’s assassination; yet he lost after a successful use by Netanyahu of the then frequent bus suicide-bombers against Peres. Operation Cast Lead in 2009 and the ongoing Operation Pillar of Cloud just before the January 2013 elections are superb examples. It seems mini-wars have become a requested prelude to elections in Israel.

Elections Date

Military Operation

July 30, 1951 Retribution Operations against Fedayeen and Operation Ezra and Nehemiah
July 26, 1955 Retribution Operations against Fedayeen
November 3, 1959 Retribution Operations against Fedayeen
August 15, 1961 Retribution Operations against Fedayeen
November 1, 1965 Retribution Operations against Fedayeen
October 28, 1969 Operations Boxer, Bulmus 6, Raviv (the Ten-Hour War) and Escort
December 31, 1973 Yom Kippur War, Operations Doogman 5 and Abirey-Halev
May 17, 1977 Operation Entebbe on previous July
June 30, 1981 Operation Opera against Iraqi nuclear reactor
July 23, 1984 Kav 300 Affair
November 1, 1988 Assassination of Abu Jihad in Tunis
June 23, 1992 Assassination of Hezbollah leader Abbas al-Musawi
May 29, 1996 Operation Grapes of Wrath
May 17, 1999 Barak promised to withdraw Lebanon if elected
January 28, 2003 Operation Defensive Shield
March 28, 2006 Squirms between Hezbollah and the IDF previous to the elections, the Second Lebanese War right after them
February 10, 2009 Operation Cast Lead
January 22, 2013 Operation Pillar of Cloud

Right and Left Right and Left

USA: Dissolving the Union


An indestructible Union, composed of indestructible states?

 

The recently reelected President was laughing hard at his lame aide; the latter didn’t know where to hide the report he had just shown. It summarized the online secession petitions from all American states. Texas led it with over 100,000 thousand signatures; yet, this state has over 25 million inhabitants. Still laughing, the President said “Impossible, the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1869 regarding the secession of Texas that the US is ‘an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible states,'” he lectured among tears of laughter and summarized, “The petition didn’t achieve even 1% of the votes!” The aide left in shame.

Standing next to the President, but invisible to him, was Madame History, Satan’s whore. She also was laughing but for a different reason. Next to the President were reports on the recent election results, the military budget, and the country’s international trade trends. The President was a smart person, yet he was unable to integrate the data. It showed the USA couldn’t survive in its actual form for much longer.

7th Century World Map7th Century World Map

ç

US 2012 Proposed BudgetUS 2012 Proposed Budget

Money, Money, Money

Ignoring the Madame, the President looked at the trading trends report; it wasn’t a disaster. The Congressional Research Service had published “U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts” in September 2011. Oddly enough, it showed that the financial crisis the country had experienced in recent years had delayed the end. The crisis caused U.S. imports to drop faster than U.S. exports, diminishing the deficit. However, that had reversed once the crisis ended in August 2009. The bottom line was a bit worrying, in 2010, the country’s trade deficit in goods reached $645.9 billion on a balance of payments (BoP) basis, more than the $505.9 billion in 2009, but less than the $830.1 billion in 2008. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that, in 2012, the U.S. government will run a budget deficit of $1.1 trillion, or 7.3% of gross domestic product. There was no chance of solving the issue; yet, over the years countries had survived tougher situations. Compare Germany in the aftermath of WWII to its current condition as the European Union’s largest economy. The President took a deep breath; there was no reason for alarm. The Madame laughed harder.

Following a century of a dollar-based world economy, most Americans couldn’t understand the real picture anymore. There is a simple, but excellent, way of describing the problem of the statistics presented by the US Government. Bolivia is a producer of coffee. A pound of average coffee costs around $1 there. In the US, a coffee of similar quality costs around $4. Let’s say that both economies sell just one pound of coffee per year. Measuring the production of each economy in dollars, then the US economy could claim to be four times larger than the Bolivian one. However, measuring by weight, both economies would be the same size. The world’s economy is measured in US dollars and thus it is highly biased toward the American economy, presenting it as much larger than it is. In order to keep this illusion of economic size, a key goal of the US government is to keep its currency as the global monetary measurement unit. However, this won’t last. It makes no sense to calculate the trade between China and India in US dollars; the distortions in such a case are multiple. In the case of Thai products reaching Nepal via India, measuring the events in American dollars is ridiculous. The solution is to adopt a basket of carefully balanced measurement methods; this would probably happen in the next decades. Measuring under a more accurate system, the US would probably rate as the third largest economy in the world. Measuring the EU as one economic unit, then the US would be just fourth. In 2012, the largest Asian economies began trading among themselves in local currencies; the percentage of international trade calculated in dollars will drop sharply in subsequent years.

At first sight, this seems to be of no consequence. Let China buy Russian timber while paying in yuan and rubles. There is no way of blocking that. The point is that in the last century, the USA practically stopped producing goods. Items marked “made in the USA” have become a rarity. That is the reason for the large trade deficit abovementioned. Once the international producers of goods begin trading in foreign currencies, the US government loses its capability to manipulate the cost of the goods it purchases by monetary methods. This means that the price of the goods purchased by the USA will increase in the future; the deficit problem won’t be solved.

US Secession Map 1861

US Secession Map 1861 | US Supreme Court, 1869 “an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible states”

 

“Let’s Nuke Them!”

Calmly, the President dropped the financial reports and looked at the military papers. One of them caught his attention; it was the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Yearbook 2012, which included a list of the world’s top 15 military spenders in 2011. It showed the USA at the top of the list. Not only that, the country spent 41% of the world’s expenses on the military, despite the country having less than 4.5% of the world’s population. The following country on the list, China, had just 8% of the total expense, despite its population being more than four times larger than the American one. This was wildly unbalanced. Could he cut the expense, lower the deficit, and become the Abraham Lincoln of this century?

US Army Ordnance Dept. PosterUS Army Ordnance Dept. Poster

It took him less than a second to dismiss the idea. The little of what was left of American industries was closely related to the military. Even an innocent-looking computer company like Hewlett-Packard was listed as the 20th largest defense contractor of the US government. The company is the creator of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet; a network second in size only to the Internet itself. Cutting the military expenses would cause irreversible damage to the domestic industry. Moreover, like China, the USA was thirsty for raw materials. China was a civilized country; it just kept peacefully buying Australian ores. In contrast, America gained access to cheap raw materials, especially oil, by war. Much of the military industry depended these days on rare earth minerals; recently, the USA had gained access in Afghanistan to one of the largest rare earth deposits on earth. The President couldn’t stop the attack on that country right now. It would hit his country’s military and corporations. Regardless of his wishes, in the coming years, the military will continue to grow, together with the deficit.

“Viva Mexico!”

At this point, the President began thinking badly of his aides. Both economy and military seemed to have joined forces against the USA; yet, they brought him non-operational papers. What was he supposed to do with them? At least he could rejoice in his recent victory. Birth certificate or not, Bibi’s support or not, he had beat them all! He looked briefly at their statistics, smiled smugly, and went out for a coffee. There was nothing to do in the Oval Office.

The Madame stayed behind, still laughing hard. Deeply indoctrinated by American bipartisan politics, the President had entirely missed the point. A paper by the Center for Immigration Studies claimed that in November 2012 Hispanics comprise 17.2% of the total U.S. population, 15% of adults, 11.2% of adult citizens, and 8.9% of actual voters. Moreover, projections show that their relative increase in the population and the number of their voters will continue growing. Yet, both Democrats and Republicans promoted negative policies towards them. Over 70% of them voted for the President because he was the lesser of two evils. Towards the end of 2012, the American army was little more than an army of Mexican mercenaries fighting for their citizenship. By the end of 2006, one of the supplements of The New Mexican, New Mexico’s leading English newspaper, was titled “Reconquista,” (“Reconquest” in Spanish), making allusion to the fact that over 30% of that state’s population is, in fact, Mexican. It won’t take long until this large segment of the population, at least in certain states, drops the bipartisan approach. The parties ignore their needs; once they finish their military and get citizenship, they realize they cannot advance in the anglo-oriented society. It had done them no good. The military and industrial analysis performed above shows the Federal Government will lack the funds to fix the situation, even if it wanted to do so. A social time-bomb is ticking.

The Union is DissolvedThe Union is Dissolved

The President had returned to his sumptuous seat. He disliked people preparing his coffee, they never got it right. He took a sip and relaxed. “Mr. President, Mr. President,” somebody was shouting while running in his direction. It was the annoying aide he had dismissed before. “Mr. President, the court resolution also added that it recognized the possibility of the divisibility ‘through revolution, or through consent of the States,'” the aide said. Obtuse to reality, the President took a second sip and smiled. Madame History’s shadow was cast on him.

Al-Jabari Assassination Opens Israel’s Gate of Hell


“Israeli occupation has opened the doors of hell”-Hamas Representative, Gaza

Almost one day after the assassination by Israel in Gaza of Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari, commander of Hamas’ militant wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, it seems that all has been already said, that all images of the crime have been published, and that Israel is again about to ignore all international condemnations and resolutions that are beginning to flow as a river of fire into the Gates of Hell. Yet, that is only an illusion. In the aftermath, Israel initiated a disinformation campaign that is being greedily accepted by most international media. “Jabari had been responsible in the last decade for all terrorist activities against Israel from Gaza,” the Israeli Shin Beth secret police was quoted by the BBC. Israel counts on the people’s short memory, daring to say a manipulative lie to an international media leader. Reality is different.

Khaled Mashal and Ahmed al-JabariKhaled Mashal and Ahmed al-Jabari

On March 9, 2012, the IDF launched an airstrike in Gaza, killing Zuhir al-Qaisi, also known as Abu Ibrahim, the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, the organization that captured former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit (see Scary Sicarii: Israeli Extrajudicial Executions). He was targeted for the launching of rockets from Gaza by his organization. The Popular Resistance Committees are a coalition of various Palestinian factions in Gaza that oppose the Palestinian Authority’s attitude towards Israel; reports on the Hamas frequent actions against them abound. Hence, Israel lied; al-Jabari couldn’t have been responsible for everything.

No less distressing is the fact that Israel has already announced its next assassination. Again, the BBC was used for the odd task. Israel Katz, Israeli Transport Minister, said them “if the shooting doesn’t stop, Israel will also target Ismail Haniyeh,” the Hamas leader acting as Prime Minister in Gaza. It is easy to dismiss the assassination threat as a little-nothing said during an emotional moment, but this is not the case. A few days ago, in Palestinian-Israeli TV-Duel Leaves No Hope, I analyzed the same threat as said by Knesset Member Yariv Levin, from the Likud party aristocracy. This looks as part of a public campaign preparing the ground for a violent event.

The car drove by Ahmed al-Jabari“Israeli occupation has opened the doors of hell”-Hamas Representative, Gaza | The car drove by Ahmed al-Jabari, November 14, 2012

A recurring error of military leaders is their preparing their armies for their previous war. Yet, the only certainty is that the next war will be different from the last one. Can we find clues regarding Israel plans against Ismail Haniyeh? Targetting the most senior official of an organization is much harder than the typical assassinations conducted by the IDF; firing a missile on them will cause many deaths. Thus, the plan is probably different. On December 27, 2011, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz gave his first major interview since he took office as Chief of Staff of the IDF ten months before. The interview took place as part of the Shirutrom, the IDF’s annual telethon. It was given to Ilana Dayan, a senior Israeli journalist, at Galei Tzahal (“IDF Waves” in Hebrew; it also labeled by its acronym Galatz), the Army Radio. He rejoiced on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009, praising it: “an excellent operation that achieved deterrence for Israel vis-a-vis Hamas.” After this shocking statement, he declared his intentions. He warned that cracks have emerged in that deterrence over time and that a second round of fighting in the Gaza Strip is not a matter of choice for Israel. “Such a round must be initiated by Israel and must be “swift and painful” (see Cast Lead II Announced by Gen. Gantz). The violent aftermath of yesterday’s assassination may soon deteriorate into a repetition of Cast Lead. In such a case, Israel will invade Gaza. This time its main target will be the killing of Ismail Haniyeh.

Focused Foiling

I am not being polite to Israel. They never say “assassination.” Instead, they prefer “sikul memukad,” literally meaning “focused foiling” in English. This is a simplistic doctrine of “disproportionate response,” in which Israel responds wildly to any suspicion of wrongdoing; no proper judicial process is allowed, the victim is not given a fair chance to defend himself. This nearly always leads to the death of innocents, and it invariably aggravates anti-Israeli sentiment. Each time it creates an escalation that is difficult to control and throws the entire country into a dead-end alley. The declarations made after yesterday’s attack are a superb example of this. “Israeli occupation has opened the doors of hell” a Hamas representative said in Gaza to the BBC.

Israeli Assassinations of Hamas Leaders

January 1996, Gaza: Hamas chief bomb maker Yahya Ayyash killed by mobile phone packed with explosives
September 1997, Jordan: Khaled Mashal, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, Mossad failed to assessinate him with poison
July 2002, Gaza: Salah Shehada, leader of Hamas military wing, killed by bomb dropped on his house
March 2004, Gaza: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder of Hamas, killed by missile strike
April 2004, Gaza: Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, co-founder and leader of Hamas, killed in missile strike
January 2009, Gaza: Said Siyam, senior Hamas commander, killed in air strike

Israel often claims that it attempts to create deterrence; in other words, create such a fear among its victims, that they would stop struggling for their rights. Instead, Israel just strengthens the determination of the oppressed to gain freedom. Deterrence and fear are just substitute terms for “terror,” we are speaking here about a terror state. State terrorism is a term that has been used to refer to terrorist acts committed by governmental agents or forces. This involves the use of state resources—like its military—to directly perform acts of terrorism. Professor of Political Science Michael Stohl cites Germany’s bombing of London and the US atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. He argues “the use of terror tactics is common in international relations and the state has been and remains a more likely employer of terrorism within the international system than insurgents.” The concept is also used to describe political repressions by governments against their own civilian population with the purpose of inciting fear. For example, taking and executing civilian hostages and extrajudicial killings during the Communist Red Terror are commonly considered terrorism. The Israeli extrajudicial killings are clearly within this category. Another wrong claim is that the victim was about to commit a crime. Such a claim is void of value in Criminal Law, the law system used by Israel. No civil servant can claim to know the future, and deny liberty—or even kill—on this account.

While preparing this article, I collected a list of published Israeli “focused foiling” assassinations. The list was so long, that the only sensible solution for this article was to bring only the Hamas related events (see box above). Since 2010, the list includes thirteen names (with yesterday’s event, and not counting the foiled assassination of Fereydoon Abbasi in Iran). Israel cannot claim that these are sporadic exceptions. We are witnessing a systematic approach which is the direct historical continuation of the Jewish Sicarii sect from the times of Jesus. They were a splinter group of the Zealots. Under their cloaks they concealed sicae, small daggers, from which they received their name. At assemblies, and pilgrimages to the Temple Mount, they stabbed their enemies: Romans, Herodians, and wealthy Jews supporting Roman rule. In modern times, they would have been called “terrorists.” It is difficult to see how this behavior matches within universally accepted rules of war.

Instead of analyzing the latter, let me end with a more basic principle which is ignored by Israel. Jesus put a lot of emphasis in it, but it appears also in the Old Testament; in English is it called “The Golden Rule.” In Luke 6:31 we read “as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” It defines a principle of reciprocity in human relations. “Love and you will be love,” is a positive rendering of it. Netanyahu and his assassins forget that also the negative version is valid. By assassinating, they have become acceptable victims of the same criminal behavior.

Israel’s Gates of Hell had been opened….SHALOM

Mysteries, Miracles & Parapsychology


By Robert Schoch

Parapsychology is full of anecdotal accounts of strange occurrences, which cause many people to simply shake their heads in disbelief.1 The phenomena of parapsychology grade into the mysteries and miracles that are the boon and bane of much religion. After all, to use a Christian example (and in no way am I making a statement about Christianity per se), not only can Jesus and the saints perform miracles, but so can Satan and his cohorts!

When it comes to the question of whether or not parapsychological phenomena are real, for many people the stakes are high, as the answer has the potential to confirm or deny their worldview. Some are incredulous when it comes to telepathy, even though it has been statistically demonstrated time and again in laboratory settings, whereas the credulity of others stretches much, much further.

In popular culture often the reality, or not, of the paranormal (viewed popularly as “miracles”) is seen as confirming, or refuting, one of the fundamental tenets of many religions, namely life after death. As the late parapsychologist and University of Virginia (Charlottesville) psychiatrist Dr. Ian Stevenson (1918 – 2007) wrote,

Some persons can segregate beliefs about different aspects of non-material existences and events. This would be particularly likely to be true of persons who have made a special study of psychical phenomena…. However, I think that members of the general public do not usually make such a distinction. For most of them, a belief in life after death almost entails a belief in miracles, such as the phenomena described in the Bible, and also a belief in what we call paranormal cognition. Conversely, members of the general public who do not believe in life after death are also likely to be skeptical about all kinds of paranormal phenomena, the recognition of which would imply for them a soul that would survive bodily death.2

The Incredulity Meter

I am absolutely convinced that telepathy is real, even if a somewhat fickle and uncontrollable phenomenon. Given the choice between a telephone and telepathic rapport to communicate an important and specific message, I will use the phone. In my opinion there is nothing miraculous about telepathy, although how it occurs remains a mystery (there is still no generally agreed upon theory as to the mechanism for telepathic transmission).3 I should note, however, that I always attempt to maintain a healthy skepticism about any particular claim of telepathy (it is human nature to be disingenuous, or to fool one’s self), but there are plenty of well-documented cases of telepathy in the literature, and I have had my share personally.

My incredulity meter really begins to perk up when it comes to physical parapsychological phenomena, such as psychokinesis and levitations, materialisations of solid substances out of “thin air,” or the ability to withstand physical trauma, such as walking on hot coals or applying extreme heat or fire directly to the skin without damage. Lacking good, indeed virtually impeccable, documentation for certain extreme feats of this nature, I instinctively dismiss them as nonsense, or at the least remain agnostic.

Of all the cases that register high on my incredulity meter, however, some are classics and though they may boggle the imagination, it is difficult to dismiss them. Here I will focus on particular aspects of two such celebrated examples from the history of parapsychology, one from the seventeenth century and the other from the nineteenth century. They are, in the opinions of some, intimately tied to religious beliefs and the concept of miracles.

The Flying Saint

Saint Joseph of Cupertino (San Giuseppe da Copertino, 1603-1663; born Giuseppe Maria Desa in Cupertino, southeastern Italy) was considered rather dull witted (in modern terms, he may have suffered from learning disabilities), and said to possess a violent temper (a point we will return to). Joseph was extremely pious, however, and became a Franciscan friar. Joseph exhibited various mental psychic phenomena; for instance, it is said he was aware of the thoughts of penitents and knew if they were not fully honest and forthright during confession. Due to his mental deficiencies, he could learn only a small amount of material at a time. When preparing for exams he simply studied one specific topic, and then prayed that that would be the very subject, of all possible subjects, that would be asked of him – and so it was. Was this an example of precognition, or was Joseph telepathically influencing or accessing (perhaps unconsciously) the examiners in terms of the questions they would put to him?

Joseph was also said to have the power to heal the sick. But it was his bodily levitations, his literal flights in the air, that he is most famous for, and which by many are considered to be absolutely mysterious and miraculous, either justifiably earning Joseph the appellation of Saint (he was canonised in 1767), or in the skeptic’s opinion dismissal as either a fraud, or at the least someone who incited hallucinations among those witnessing the supposed levitations. At first glance, St. Joseph’s flights rank high on my incredulity meter.4

Although we are separated from St. Joseph by three and a half centuries, and his time still contained a strong element of superstition and anti-scientific sentiment (after all, the Inquisition was in full swing during Joseph’s lifetime, persecuting Galileo in 1633), it is still difficult to dismiss all of the varied eyewitness accounts of Joseph’s flights. Reportedly the first levitation was in his hometown of Cupertino during an outdoor procession on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Joseph took off, flying over the crowd. After it was over, in embarrassment, he fled to hide in his mother’s house. From then until the end of his life, Joseph experienced uncontrolled fits of bodily levitation. Various minor incidents could potentially initiate a levitation: a casual remark about the wonders of God, or viewing an image of the Virgin Mary, could send Joseph into ecstasy, and then with a loud sob or cry he would fly into the air.

His reported flights were not trivial. On one occasion he flew from the middle of the church to the high altar, a distance of forty feet, and remained there for about fifteen minutes before descending. He once flew over the heads of bystanders to reach a statue of the Immaculate Conception, and then flew back again over their heads once more. Another time he reportedly flew eighty yards, over a pulpit, to a crucifix.5 During another levitation he ended up in a tree, and once he came out of his trance he was unable to get down until a ladder was fetched. On several occasions he carried another person up with him, holding them by the hand or hair.

Although it is “only” eyewitness testimony (but what else can we have from the seventeenth century?), it is incredibly varied and consistent, and Joseph’s levitations were not always viewed positively. Indeed, his superiors often found Joseph to be an embarrassment. His unannounced flights during solemn ceremonies could cause a disruption. Once floating before the altar holding the Holy Sacrament, his sandals fell off. Joseph was at times banned from choir practices, public masses, and even from meals with his fellow friars. Joseph and his “miracles” attracted a huge following, and especially later in his life, the church authorities periodically attempted to place him in seclusion. In my mind, these facts only reinforce that the levitations may well have been genuine. Prominent witnesses to Joseph’s levitations were the High Admiral of Castile, Spanish Ambassador to the Papal Court (his wife fainted at the sight); John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick (who converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism as a result of witnessing Joseph levitate); and Pope Urban VIII (during a papal audience Joseph fell into ecstasy and levitated).

The Inquisition and Poltergeists

What do we make of Joseph’s levitations? Could they have been genuine? They are difficult to explain away as hallucinations on the part of the witnesses. Furthermore, they hardly fit the mold that would be expected of stories tailored to aid in the canonisation of a beloved friar. Due to the publicity he attracted, in 1638 Joseph was investigated by the Inquisition in Naples, but cleared of any wrongdoing. Joseph’s levitations were undisciplined, uncouth (he apparently cried out at the start of each incident), and disrupting to those around him. What is really pertinent in my mind is that Joseph is not the sole example of such levitations, for similar phenomena are reported widely in medieval church accounts, popular folklore, and in ethnographic accounts of “primitive” peoples and their myths.6

Joseph’s levitations strike me as perhaps a form of self-directed “poltergeist” affliction. Derived from the German, meaning a boisterous or noisy ghost, typical poltergeist incidents include strange noises (scratching, raps, knocks, banging) and the movement of objects. In a typical poltergeist case objects inexplicably fall off of shelves or get thrown through the air even when nobody is close enough to reach them, and no physical means are apparent that could have caused the objects to move.

As the physicist and early psychical researcher Sir William Barrett wrote in 1911, “Of the genuineness and inexplicable nature of the phenomena there can be no manner of doubt, in spite of occasional attempts at their fraudulent imitation.”7

It appears that in most cases the affected objects are not being moved by spirits or ghosts, as traditionally believed, but unconsciously via paranormal means by a living person, someone who is typically emotionally or psychologically disturbed, with unresolved repressed feelings of deep guilt or fear, and intense “hysterical” tendencies. The poltergeist instances swirling around such a person are a sort of unconscious acting out and externalisation of the emotions.

Interestingly, very similar types of poltergeist phenomena have been described for thousands of years in different cultures on different continents;8 such facts lend credence to the idea that poltergeist instances are genuine (and I will admit that I have witnessed a mild poltergeist instance first-hand). Modern researchers, such as Dr. William G. Roll,9 have intensively studied various modern poltergeist cases and it is clear that the paranormal movement of material objects against the forces of gravity and inertia is real (that is, objects are levitated) and such movements follow general patterns (as would be expected of a genuine set of phenomena).

I believe that Joseph was a psychologically disturbed, highly conflicted, individual prone to extremes in temperament. This is evidenced by his reported fits of rapture and ecstasy, as well as his occasional violent temper (even the saints can have bad days, I suppose). His own frustration with his apparent learning disabilities and mental limitations probably added to his troubles. Joseph also suffered from cataleptic or epileptic fits, convulsions, and severe attacks of depression (melancholia, as it was called10). Joseph, I suggest, did genuinely levitate. I hypothesise that Joseph was essentially the centre of what we might now refer to as poltergeist activity (or to use the more modern terminology, recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis, RSPK), but in his case the activity (the levitation of objects, or an object) was directed unconsciously toward his own physical body. Joseph basically inflicted the levitations upon himself.

The Levitations of Home

In the nineteenth century the famous Scottish (though raised in America during his childhood) spiritualistic medium Daniel Dunglas Home (1833 – 1886) was known for his bodily levitations, as well as levitations of other objects, in séance settings.11 In one famous instance, Home reportedly went into a trance and was levitated out a window about seventy feet from the ground, observed to be floating in the air outside an adjacent window (seven and a half feet from the first window), and then glided in through the second window feet first.

The well-known English physicist and chemist, Sir William Crookes (1832 – 1919; he was knighted in 1897), a careful laboratory experimentalist (among other things, he was a co-discoverer of the element thallium, invented the Crookes radiometer, and developed Crookes tubes), carried out investigations of D.D. Home and other so-called mediums. Crookes witnessed Home levitate numerous times, as he describes in his own words:

The best cases of Home’s levitation I witnessed were in my own house. On one occasion he went to a clear part of the room, and, after standing quietly for a minute, told us he was rising. I saw him slowly rise up with a continuous gliding movement, and remain about six inches off the ground for several seconds, when he slowly descended. On this occasion no one moved from their places. On another occasion I was invited to come to him, when he rose eighteen inches off the ground, and I passed my hands under his feet, round him, and over his head when he was in the air. On several occasions, Home and the chair on which he was sitting at the table rose off the ground. This was generally done very deliberately, and Home sometimes then tucked up his feet on the seat of the chair and held up his hands in full view of all of us. On such occasions I have gone down and seen and felt all four legs were off the ground at the same time, Home’s feet being on the chair. Less frequently the levitating power extended to those next to him. Once my wife was thus raised off the ground in her chair.12 

All Hallucinations?

The reported incidents of levitation by Home, both of his own body and objects around him, are numerous, reported by many witnesses, and they fall into a larger pattern including not just St. Joseph. As the early psychical researcher and Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang (1844 – 1912) wrote,

…when we find savage ‘birraarks’ in Australia, fakirs in India, saints in mediaeval Europe, a gentleman’s butler in Ireland, boys in Somerset and Midlothian, a young warrior in Zululand, Miss Nancy Wesley at Epworth in 1716, and Mr. Daniel Home in London in 1856-70, all triumphing over the law of gravitation, all floating in the air, how are we to explain the uniformity of stories palpably ridiculous?13

Other than mechanical tricks, such as concealed strings, wires, and rods (which, in my opinion, really strain credulity as an explanation for the best cases of levitation in the likes of Joseph or Home – I hardly think Crookes would have overlooked a mechanical apparatus and they seem out of the question for Joseph), a classic “explanation” for levitations is that of “excited expectation” and “mass hallucination” on the part of the duped observers.

Addressing this theory, Lang received the following information from Mr. Hamilton Aïdé (a member of the nineteenth century London literary scene):

The argument of excited expectation and consequent hallucination does not apply to Mr. Hamilton Aïdé and M. Alphonse Karr… Both were extremely prejudiced against Home, and at Nice went to see, and, if possible, to expose him. Home was a guest at a large villa in Nice, M. Karr and Mr. Aïdé were two of a party in a spacious brilliantly lighted salon, where Home received them. A large heavy table, remote from the group, moved towards them. M. Karr then got under a table which rose in [the] air, and carefully examined the space beneath, while Mr. Aïdé observed it from above. Neither of them could discover any explanation of the phenomenon, and they walked away together, disgusted, disappointed, and reviling Home.14

So, might at least some (if not all) of Home’s levitations have been genuine? Possibly. And possibly they were due to self-inflicted poltergeist-type manifestations. My sense, reading about his life and career, is that Home, like Joseph, suffered from various emotional and psychological issues, and it is documented that he was the focus of classic poltergeist manifestations during his youth. It is often stated that Home was never caught in any fraudulent behaviour. This is true to a point. In fact there were allegations of fraud made against Home, but these were investigated explicitly, and thoroughly, shortly after Home’s death by the meticulous psychical researches W.F. Barrett and F.W.H. Myers, who concluded “…we have found no allegations of fraud [italics in the original] on which we should be justified in laying much stress.”15

Fire Ordeals

Besides his levitations, Home was also well known for his ability to handle hot coals with immunity, and even to be able to transfer this ability to observers around him.16 Home could perform such feats as holding a handkerchief in his hand, and place a hot piece of charcoal on it, taken directly from a burning fire, and yet the handkerchief would not burn. Crookes studied these fire phenomena intensely, even subjecting such a handkerchief to laboratory analyses afterwards to test for fire retardants, but found nothing unusual. Likewise, hot coals applied to St. Joseph’s body had no effect when he was in an ecstatic trance.17 Indeed, incidents of handling hot charcoal, coal, and other hot objects, walking on fire, and other “ordeals by fire” are widely reported in the ethnological literature18 and in that sense are nothing unusual, but are they genuine or simple conjurers tricks?

In 1959 the psychiatrist Berthold Eric Schwarz, M.D., investigated first-hand fire ordeals among members of a fundamentalist Christian sect, known as The Free Pentecostal Holiness Church, found in the rural mountain regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. On numerous occasions Schwarz observed church members place their hands and feet in kerosene flames with immunity.19

In one instance, shortly after washing his hands (thus presumably precluding the possibility that they were coated with a fire retardant or non-conducting substance), an individual smeared fuel oil on his hands and feet, and held them in a flame for over ten seconds, but they did not burn. He poured a pool of oil into his cupped hand and attempted to light it with a torch, but it only flickered and would not burn. As a control, Schwarz reports that both an iron poker and a wooden dowel sprinkled with the fuel oil burst into flames when the torch was brought to them, and Schwarz himself could not keep his own hand closer than three centimetres to the torch flame for more than one or two seconds without pain or being burnt. Other examples of fire handling reported by Schwarz include:

On three occasions, three different women held the blaze [from kerosene or fuel oil torches] to their chests, so that the flames were in intimate contact with their cotton dresses, exposed necks, faces and hair. This lasted for longer than a few seconds. [This is very similar to the immunity to fire that Home was said to be able to impart to handkerchiefs, clothing, and people. – Note by Schoch.] Twice, at separate times, one of the ‘most faithful of the saints’ slowly moved the palmar and lateral aspects of one hand and the fifth finger in the midpoint of an acetylene flame… He did this for more than four seconds, and then repeated the procedure, using the other hand…. Once this saint, when in a relatively calm mood, turned to a coal fire of an hour’s duration, picked up a flaming ‘stone coal’ the size of a hen’s egg and held it in the palms of his hands for 65 seconds while he walked among the congregation. As a control, the author could not touch a piece of burning charcoal for less than one second without developing a painful blister.20

Although he did not observe it directly, Schwarz was told that during winter services the young girls would hug red-hot stovepipes and pass around hot glass lamp chimneys with immunity. The key to these miracles, at least according to his informants, was that one must be in a trance and truly believe that no harm will occur. When not entranced, even members of the sect suffer burns. Schwarz recounts a couple of examples. A male congregant was applying a kerosene torch to his hand with no ill effects, until he noticed that a piece of the wick was breaking off. This caused him to come out of his religious trance and he suffered a burn only in the one spot where the flame had touched his skin post-trance (the areas where the flame was applied to his skin during the trance were not affected). In a similar manner, a female congregant who had often handled hot glass lamp chimneys with immunity developed blistering burns when, one night when the electric power at the church failed, she reflexively grabbed a burning kerosene lantern hanging on a wall. She was not in a trance state at the time and so suffered.21

Something Strange

Are levitations and fire ordeals real? Is there something more to them than simple conjuring and fraud? If so, how do we explain what is happening? Mysteries and miracles? Do such phenomena support certain religious beliefs, or the value of faith? Do we need to extend our common sense concepts of what is possible? I will refrain from making pronouncements but, to quote the title of Professor Archie Roy’s book on the paranormal, I have “A Sense of Something Strange.”22

 

Footnotes

1. Parapsychology is the study of paranormal psychical phenomena such as direct mind-to-mind interactions (telepathy), precognition, and the possibility of mind-over-matter phenomena (also known as psychokinesis). For an introduction to parapsychology, see Robert M. Schoch and Logan Yonavjak, compilers and commentators, The Parapsychology Revolution: A Concise Anthology of Paranormal and Psychical Research, New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008.

2. Ian Stevenson, “Thoughts on the Decline of Major Paranormal Phenomena”, Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 57, part 215, pp. 149-162 (April 1990); quotation from p.155.

3. See discussion of, and evidence for, telepathy in Schoch and Yonavjak, 2008.

4. For information on Joseph’s life and paranormal feats, see Brian Inglis, Natural and Supernatural: A History of the Paranormal from Earliest Times to 1914 (Revised Edition), Dorset: Prism Press, 1992; Andrew Lang, Cock Lane and Common-Sense, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1894; Montague Summers, The History of Witchcraft, New York: The Citadel Press, 1970 (originally published 1956).

5. Lang, 1894, p.104.

6. Lang, 1894; see also, Andrew Lang, The Making of Religion, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1898.

7. William F. Barrett, “Poltergeists: Old and New”, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, vol.15, pp.36-40 (1911); quotation from page 37 and reprinted on page 103 of Schoch and Yonavjak, 2008.

8. Lang, 1894, 1898; Caesar de Vesme, A History of Experimental Spiritualism, Vol. 1, Primitive Man (translated from the French by Stanley de Brath), London: Rider and Co., 1931; Caesar de Vesme, A History of Experimental Spiritualism, Vol. 2, Peoples of Antiquity (translated from the French by Fred Rothwell), London: Rider and Co., 1931.

9. William G. Roll, “Poltergeists, Electromagnetism and Consciousness”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 17, no. 1, pp.75-86 (2003); reprinted in Schoch and Yonavjak, 2008, pp.105-122.

10. Lang, 1894, p.102.

11. For general information on the life and mediumship of D.D. Home, see W.F. Barrett and F.W.H. Myers, “Review of D. D. Home, His Life and Mission, by Madame Dunglas Home”, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, vol.4, pp.101-136 (July 1889); Stephen E. Braude, “The Fear of Psi: It’s the Thought that Counts”, Darklore vol. 2, pp.98-111, 266-267 (Brisbane, Australia: Daily Grail Publishing, 2008); Hereward Carrington, The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism, Fraudulent and Genuine, Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1908; William Crookes, Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism, London: J. Burns, 1874; David Fontana, Is There An Afterlife? A Comprehensive Overview of the Evidence, Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: O Books, 2005 [2007 reprint]; D.D. Home, Incidents in My Life, London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1863.

12. Quoted in Carrington, 1908, p.380.

13. Lang, 1894, pp.99-100.

14. Lang, 1898, pp.362-363.

15. Barrett and Myers, 1889, p.102.

16. Carrington, 1908, pp.399-409.

17. Lang, 1894, p.103.

18. See discussion and references in Carrington, 1908; Berthold Eric Schwarz, Psychic-Nexus: Psychic Phenomena in Psychiatry and Everyday Life, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980.

19. See Schwarz, 1980, chapter 1, “Ordeal by Serpents, Fire and Strychnine: A Study of Some Provocative Psychosomatic Phenomena,” pp.3-24 (originally published in Psychiatric Quarterly, vol.34, pp.405-429 (July 1960).

20. Schwarz, 1980, p.14.

21. Schwarz, 1980, p.15.

22. Archie E. Roy, A Sense of Something Strange: Investigations into the Paranormal, Glasgow: Dog and Bone Press, 1990. Archie Roy, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at Glasgow University and a past president of the Society for Psychical Research, has carried out extensive research on paranormal phenomena; he agrees that there is “something to it” and psychical research deserves to be taken seriously.

ROBERT M. SCHOCH, Ph.D., 

Is renowned for his work on re-dating the Great Sphinx. Based on his geological studies, he determined that the Sphinx’s origins date prior to dynastic times. He has also focused his attention on the Great Pyramid and various other temples and tombs in Egypt, as well as studying similar structures around the world. Dr. Schoch is an author and coauthor of both technical and popular books, including the trilogy with R. A. McNally: Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations (1999), Voyages of the Pyramid Builders: The True Origins of the Pyramids from Lost Egypt to Ancient America (2003), and Pyramid Quest: Secrets of the Great Pyramid and the Dawn of Civilization (2005). Dr. Schoch’s most recent book is The Parapsychology Revolution: A Concise Anthology of Paranormal and Psychical Research (2008, compilation and commentary by Robert M. Schoch and Logan Yonavjak). Website: www.robertschoch.com.