The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Reactionary Tory Principles and the Present Day “Right”: Part One

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that in an isolated system, the universe as a whole being the largest example of such a system, the level of entropy will increase over time. While this is technically a statement about energy moving from an ordered and usable state to one that is disordered and unusable, the popular understanding of the Law as saying that everything eventually breaks down is not wrong. Translated into poetry, William Butler Yeats’ lines “Things fall apart/the centre cannot hold/mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” (1) is a decent approximation.

That this Law is valid when applied to history ought, with certain qualifications, to be considered a fundamental reactionary principle. By history, of course, I mean the history of human civilizations, and one qualification is that the Law must be applied in a particular rather than a general sense. Speaking of any given civilization, the creative energy that was put into building it eventually runs out and the civilization enters into a period of decline. Those who are familiar with Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West will recognize in his theory of the life-cycle of civilizations – although he called them cultures – what the history of human civilization in general looks like when the Law of entropy is applied to each civilization in particular. The other qualification, is that, as with any other application of this Law including its original usage in physics, it is a property of fallen Creation which in no way binds the Creator. The decline of a civilization can be and often has been retarded and even turned around by a religious revival. This is why there is no essential conflict between the reactionary’s anti-Whig understanding of history as moving in a downward direction towards decadence, decline, doom, and destruction and his call to “turn back the clock.” Whether the reactionary recognizes it or not, the latter is really a call for religious revival, a call to turn back to God.

The opposite of this reactionary principle is the idea that the history of human civilization, apart from any divine input, is an exception to the Second Law and is constantly moving towards a higher order, greater freedom, and maximal human potential. This is the idea of progress to which all forms of modern thought subscribe in one form or another. The nineteenth century Whig interpretation of history which treated all of past history as one long preparation for liberal democracy was one well known version of the idea of progress. The neoconservative Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man was an updated edition of this version. As Eric Voegelin (The New Science of Politics, 1952) and George Grant (Philosophy in the Mass Age, 1959) observed this idea was produced by inappropriately transferring to the history of human civilization the attributes of God’s redemptive history which transcends the history of human civilization and culminates in the Kingdom of God. The result of this transferal is the substitution of the Kingdom of Man for the Kingdom of God and Grant, who pointed this out in his first major book, devoted the writing side of his career to contemplating the consequences of this substitution in the modern, technological, age.

A quick glance at the mainstream “right” today will tell you that it has entirely abandoned the reactionary principle in favour of some form of the idea of progress. In Manitoba our most recent provincial election just took place a day prior to the request for the dissolution of Parliament launching the next Dominion election. Provincially, the status quo was more or less maintained, with the majority of seats held by Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives. Note the adjective in the party’s title. During the campaign Pallister’s PCs – the initials are even more appalling than the adjective by itself – used “Moving Manitoba Forward”, previously used by the socialists, as their slogan and ran ads urging voters not to let Wab Kinew’s New Democrats turn back the clock. In this context, of course, turning the clock back does not mean a religious revival, a recovery of worthy elements of the ancient and Christian traditions that were lost or damaged in the transition to modernity, or anything else a reactionary would mean by the phrase but rather a return to the policies of the previous Greg Selinger government – huge deficits, high taxes, long emergency room wait times, and general mismanagement of the public health care system. It speaks volumes of the mainstream “right” in this province, however, that it would rely so heavily on the language of progress to sell its platform to the public.

There is also a growing right outside of the mainstream. If we compare it to the mainstream right on an issue by issue basis we find that overall it is much to be preferred to the mainstream right. In Canada today any stronger position against abortion than “I am personally against it, but I believe it is a woman’s right to choose” has been almost completely pushed into the non-mainstream right. Any position on immigration stronger than “we need secure borders and to enforce our border laws” such as the suggestion that legal levels of immigration are way too high was pushed out of the mainstream right in all Western countries decades ago. To say that selection of immigrants is the prerogative of the country admitting the immigrants and that Western countries need more prudence in exercising that prerogative because not all cultures are equally compatible with our own, although common sense and until about sixty years ago non-controversial, is now regarded by the entire left and the mainstream right as beyond the pale. Speaking these truths about immigration has become the signature issue of most of the various forms of the non-mainstream right.

This “right” too, however, seems incapable of speaking its truths in any language other than that of the left. Take the movement behind Brexit in the United Kingdom, the Make America Great Again movement that put Donald Trump into the presidency of the United States, and the movement represented by Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party here in Canada. All three of these movements are populist. Populism is a style of politics in a democratic state that involves appealing directly to “the people” and vilifying the governing elites. A populist conceives of the policies he promotes in terms of “the will of the people” and prefers direct democracy over representative democracy. Each of these aspects of populism is an obvious characteristic of each of the three movements that I have specified – even though, ironically, it is due to representative democracy having been given the upper hand over direct democracy in the constitution of the American Republic that Donald Trump is now their president.

Indeed, the association between the non-mainstream right and populism is such that many people today think of populism as being naturally and inherently right-wing. It is not. Populism’s natural home is on the left. The idea of “the will of the people” is the very fiction upon which the left was historically based. It is what Jean-Jacques Rousseau called la volonté générale and was incorporated by the French Revolutionaries into the sixth Article of their Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Indeed, the very concept of “the people” is a fiction, for it has no consistent meaning. When a republican speaks of “the people” he means all citizens of the republic, governor and governed alike. A populist, by “the people”, excludes the elite. A lot of leftists use “the people” to mean “the poor” and exclude “the rich”. Hitler, by “the people” meant German-speaking Aryans. “The people” can mean whatever the person invoking the name of “the people” wants it to mean and therefore it means nothing at all. It is an expression, like so many others in the leftist lexicon, which is defined not by its designation of a corresponding reality, but by its usefulness as a tool for justifying violence and seizing and exercising power.

By contrast, kings and queens do not traditionally speak of “the people” but rather “my people” or “our people.” This wording is clear and definite – it means the monarch’s subjects – and expresses the traditional relationship between sovereign and subject in which feudal allegiance and familial ties are connected, kings and queens being both the liege-lords of their realms and the fathers and mothers of their large extended family of subjects. A true man of the right, a reactionary, is always a royalist.

To our list of reactionary principles we can add that pure democracy is the worst form of government, and that direct democracy as opposed to representative democracy, is the worst form of democracy. These principles are the opposite of all modern thinking, which is what makes them reactionary, but they are demonstrable.

Imagine a group of twenty people. One of them, Bob, puts forward to the rest of the group, the proposition that another of their members, Joe, should be beaten, tortured, mutilated, and killed for their amusement. The proposition is debated and they decide to settle it by taking a vote. Fifteen vote in favour, five against. The outcome is rather rough on poor Joe, but it was a democratic decision, fair and square, majority rules.

While that example is rather absurd and extreme, it illustrates what is wrong with the popular modern thought that democracy is the ideal form of government. If, however, you were to make one slight adjustment to the illustration and have Bob put forward the proposition that since Joe, who is quite wealthy, has so much property, and the rest of them, who are rather poor, have so little, it is only fair that they confiscate Joe’s wealth and distribute it equally among themselves, you would no longer have a situation that would be highly unlikely to arise in real life but a small-scale depiction of what is called economic democracy or socialism.

This problem with democracy has been recognized since it was first invented by the Greeks in ancient Athens and is one of the reasons why Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle condemned democracy as the worst form of government. Alexis de Tocqueville described the problem as “the tyranny of the majority.” Modern thinkers believed that the solution to the problem was to combine democracy with liberalism – the idea that government is itself subject to the law and that the law must recognize the natural, inalienable, rights of the individual. When men like John Locke and John Stuart Mill first proposed this doctrine they saw it as a restraint on the power of government to oppress. Today, centuries later, we are surrounded by an abundance of examples of how the doctrine of liberalism can be the basis and justification of state oppression. To give but one, we are now living in a day when someone can get in trouble with the law for using the pronoun “he” to refer to someone born with a penis on the grounds that it violates the individual’s inalienable “right” to choose his/her/its/whatever own gender.

What is also apparent in our day and age is that while “the tyranny of the majority” is a problem unique to democracy, the tyranny of the minority over the majority is just as much an element of democracy as of an outright oligarchy. Interestingly, the best example of this is the very issue which the non-mainstream right insists on framing in leftist, populist, terms. The populist, nationalist, “right” is not wrong in saying that Western countries have had too much of the wrong kind of immigration and placing the blame for this on “the elites.” What they don’t seem to grasp is that the guilty elites are democratic elites qua democratic elites.

Every organized society will always have an elite. There will always be a minority in any society that steers and directs it. This is what Robert Michels called “the iron law of oligarchy” (Political Parties, 1911) and it is true of all forms of society, no matter how democratic they might be in theory, and it does not make a difference if the democracy is direct or representative. In a true direct democracy, where every single question of public policy would be decided by a popular referendum, the ability to persuade the majority to vote its way most of the time, would be in the hands of a minority, and they would be the elite. The elite that actually wields power is not necessarily the same as those nominally in charge. Thus in a representative democracy the elite may be those who have gotten themselves elected into public office or it may be a hidden minority who have the ability to control elected officials. The nature of the society has as much of an effect on the nature of the elite as the nature of the elite has on the nature of the society.

Bertolt Brecht’s poem The Solution (1959) was intended as a criticism of the Communist government of East Germany’s suppression of the uprising of 1953. The poem’s ironic conclusion “Would it not in that case be simpler/for the government/To dissolve the people/and elect another” has frequently been borrowed as a critical description of the motives behind Western governments’ liberal mass immigration policies. The criticism is apt, but my point is that it is only a democratic society that provides its elites with an incentive for trying to “dissolve the people/and elect another”. An oft-heard argument for democracy is that it allows us to periodically “throw the rascals out.” One can see the appeal in this but the flipside is that it gives the political class a motive to “do unto them, before they do unto you.”

It is hardly a coincidence that radical, demographic transformation producing, mass immigration was introduced throughout the West in the 1960s – only a decade and a half after the end of the war in which the United States had emerged as the predominant power in the West. The United States, which had been led into the First World War by a President who wanted to “make the world safe for democracy” and who therefore insisted on driving the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns from their thrones paving the way for the rise of Hitler, was able after the Second World War to introduce radical democratic changes throughout the West whether by forced re-education in the former Axis countries, the bribery of the Marshall Plan re-building assistance among the European Allies, or the dependence of both upon the American nuclear arsenal as a deterrent against the threat of Soviet invasion. The Americanization of the West led almost immediately to the spread of liberal mass immigration. Here in Canada, Tom Kent, an important Liberal Party strategist in the days of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau and one of the men who spearheaded the radical changes to our immigration policy in the late 1960s, as much as admitted to the Brechtian motive of maintaining the Liberal hold on power by dissolving the old electorate when he said that it was done to break up “Tory Toronto.”

If the radical immigration the West has been suffering from for decades is due to what Christopher Lasch called “The Revolt of the Elites” and that revolt in turn is the result of the triumphant ascendancy of American-style liberal democracy in the post-World War II Western world (2) then the insistence of the non-mainstream right on using the left-wing language of populism, democracy and “the will of the people” to combat this kind of immigration seems like a major strategic error.

I must point out, before concluding this essay, that the preceding strong criticism of democracy is not a criticism of the institution of parliament. As noted above, the true reactionary right is royalist, but no king or queen has ever governed without a council of advisors, and the institution of parliament has been a part of royal government in Christendom for over a thousand years. Parliament as an institution is democratic, but not completely democratic, and its virtue, historically, was that it incorporated a form of representative democracy into royal government in a way that strengthened the latter while diluting the many negative aspects of the former. While this virtue has been greatly lessened by the triumph of Whiggism the problem is with the Whig principle not with the institution. The Whig principle is that parliament is the democratic safeguard against royal tyranny. The Tory principle – the reactionary principle - is the exact opposite of this – that in parliament royal authority is the safeguard against democratic tyranny. The Tory principle is the true one.

In Part Two, I shall, Deus Vult, consider the reactionary principle that religion is the foundation of civilization in opposition to the liberal idea that the secular retreat from religion is the foundation of civilization and we shall weigh the mainstream, neoconservative, right in the balance of this principle and find it wanting.


(1) From The Second Coming (1919).
(2) Lasch would presumably disagree strongly with my explanation. The full title of his final, posthumously published, book was The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy (1996).

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Blow It Out Your Ear, Bernie!

It would almost seem as if Bernie Farber is trying to set a world record. That would be the world record for the number of unrelated news stories in which someone who is neither a celebrity nor a world leader appears within a short period of time. In the last half of August he appeared in connection with three stories of which I am aware. Perhaps there are others that I have not seen. He appeared on television and was quoted in the newspapers in connection with the story about a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves who was accused of recruiting for a supposed neo-Nazi organization. He was also quoted in reference to the sentencing of Dr. James Sears who had been found guilty of the promotion of hatred in his satirical Your Ward News. I am sure that few of you will be surprised to learn that rather than lamenting and decrying this latest blow to freedom of thought and expression, as any decent Canadian would, Farber expressed an attitude that struck me as being smug, self-satisfied, cocky, hubristic, and downright arrogant.

The third story is the one that really takes the cake. Grant Hunter is a member of Alberta’s provincial Legislative Assembly and a minister in the province’s government. He holds the portfolio for red tape reduction. I have not checked, but I suspect that Alberta is the only province in the Dominion with such a ministry. Since red tape is generated by bureaucracy, expanding the bureaucracy for the purpose of reducing it seems slightly counterproductive to me, but apparently Mr. Hunter is of another opinion. He has come under criticism for a tweet that said the following:

Wernher von Braun said, “To conquer the universe you’d have to solve two problems: gravity and red tape.” We’ve made it clear that we are committed to reducing red tape in Alberta. Lots more to come.

It is not the part of the tweet in which he toots his own ministry’s horn for which he has been criticized, but for the opening quotation. He removed the tweet after a bunch of triggered snowflakes jumped down his throat. A more appropriate response would have been to tell them to stuff it.

The objection to the quotation is based not upon what it says but upon who said it. Wernher von Braun was a German aerospace engineer – in layman’s terms that means rocket scientist. He turned twenty-one shortly after Adolf Hitler became Germany’s Chancellor in 1933 and in 1937, like any other German in those days who valued his professional career – the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the industrialist Oskar Schindler are other famous examples that come to mind - he joined the Nazi Party. He served the Third Reich in his professional capacity as one of the leading scientists in their rocket development program, and yes, the rockets were designed for military purposes rather than space exploration. Then, following the Reich’s defeat in 1945, he and several others who had worked under him were drafted by the United States government to serve their military in basically the same capacity. It was undoubtedly von Braun who was foremost in legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s mind when he made fun of the American government’s recruitment of scientists, engineers, and other technical experts from Nazi Germany in his hilarious 1964 dark comedy Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. However, von Braun served the United States much longer than he served the Third Reich and was essentially the architect of the American space program.

Unlike Bernie Farber, Wernher von Braun was a brilliant scientist who achieved great things, and until very recently the idea that he was tainted with the crimes of the government he worked for at the beginning of his career and that quoting him is some sort of grave moral offense would not have been taken seriously and anyone silly enough to propose it would have found himself laughed to scorn. Sadly, those days are behind us and so we find CBC News reporting on Hunter’s tweet, the silly backlash, and its removal, and sure enough, there is Bernie waiting and ready to toss his two cents in:

“It was an unnecessary quote," said Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
"He's at best a controversial figure. He is for sure a Nazi and … it was silly to quote a man like him. Politicians have to know better," Farber said. "I just think it shows his [Hunter's] thoughtlessness."

Farber, whose organization monitors hate groups, said he doesn't think people's concerns about the quote's use are being overblown. It would have been easy to quote a Canadian economist or another figure on the topic of red tape, he said.
"I just think [Hunter] should acknowledge he should have made a better choice in terms of who to quote and apologize," Farber said. "That's always the way forward out of things like this to acknowledge your mistake and move forward."


Not a single one of these statements is accurate. Von Braun, at his best, was a genius, a pioneer in the field of rocket science, whose work laid the foundation of space exploration and gave subsequent generations a new heroic role model to add to policeman, soldier, and fireman – the astronaut. As for his being a Nazi, it would seem that English verb tenses are not Farber’s strong suit. The present tense is hardly appropriate for someone who has been dead for forty-two years and whose membership in the Nazi Party ended thirty-two years prior to his death. Perhaps Farber holds to a rather twisted version of Calvinism and believes “once a Nazi, always a Nazi.” It was not silly to quote von Braun, what is silly is Farber’s attitude about all of this. There is no indication here of any “thoughtlessness” on Hunter’s part, and there is absolutely no need for him to apologize. Indeed, there is a need for him, Hunter that is, not to apologize, because he is the victim of a form of bullying, and the true way forward in this situation is to refuse to apologize to people who do not deserve an apology and to tell them to take their manufactured offense and blow it out their ears.

If anyone should be apologizing over a quotation it ought to be the news media apologizing to the Canadian public for inflicting so many Bernie Farber quotes on us. By uncritically accepting him as the expert on hate and hate groups that he has appointed himself to be, much as the American media used to do with Morris Dees and his Southern Poverty Law Center [sic] before that organization's reputation finally collapsed under allegations of hypocrisy, shady fundraising, serial defamation, and the like, they have lent him a credibility that in my opinion he does not deserve. Incidentally – or perhaps not, I’ll let readers judge for themselves – when Farber and Evan Balgord founded the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, of which Farber is chairman, last year it was with a start-up grant from the SPLC, and the organization, in a letter to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security that was signed by Farber and Balgord, along with two of its board members, said of itself “The organization is modeled after, and supported by, the esteemed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the United States.”

I first remember hearing the name Bernie Farber around the turn of the millennium. At the time the Liberal Party, headed by Jean Chretien, had been governing the Dominion since 1993 and their Immigration ministers had been trying to strip several elderly men of their citizenship and deport them. These were men of German and Ukrainian ethnicity, who had fled to Canada as refugees following the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War. They had been teenagers during the war and had been forced by the Nazis to serve the German forces in various auxiliary capacities, usually as interpreters but in some cases also as guards. On February 2, 1997, CBS aired an episode of 60 Minutes in which the main segment was entitled “Canada’s Dark Secret.” In this segment Mike Wallace interviewed a private investigator named Steven Rambam who claimed that Canada was a haven for Nazi war criminals. The Liberal government, in response, was trying to project an image of clamping down on Nazi war criminals and since there were no Adolf Eichmanns or Klaus Barbies at hand to prosecute they decided to pick on these men instead. Cheering them on at every turn was the Canadian Jewish Congress, which had hired Rambam and for which Bernie Farber worked as Executive Director for the Ontario Region and National Director of Community Relations. Later Farber was promoted to Chief Executive of the entire organization before it was taken over by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy which soon after renamed itself the Centre for Jewish and Israel Affairs and dissolved the CJC. Farber had also been interviewed by Mike Wallace in the aforementioned 60 Minutes segment and in the controversy surrounding the attempted deportations was frequently quoted as supporting the government’s actions.

Peter Worthington, the late, great, founding editor of the Toronto Sun, went to bat for the elderly Ukrainians who were being so unjustly railroaded. He was particularly incensed over the cases of Wasyl Odynsky and Helmut Oberlander. Odynsky had been forced by the SS, during the German occupation of the Ukraine, to serve as a concentration camp guard. The Nazis told him they would kill him if he refused and would kill his family if he ran away. Oberlander, a Ukrainian of German ancestry, was forced by the Nazis to serve as a translator and supply guard for the Einsatzgruppe. Neither man served the Nazis voluntarily, nor was either of them an active participant in the war crimes of the Schutzstaffel. As Worthington put it in his column for April 29, 2001:

Men like Odynsky and Oberlander were victims, too - first of Sovietism which seized their country, then of the Nazis and now of a misguided quest for justice without discretion.

That column, entitled “Ukrainian Teens Were Nazi Victims” was written as a rebuttal of one by Bernie Farber that had appeared the previous day, itself in response to an earlier column by Worthington on the subject. Farber took the position that these men deserved to be deported, because even though they may not have tortured and murdered anyone themselves, their labour as translators and guards – forced labour, remember – enabled those who did commit these crimes. This is a particularly disgusting form of the fallacy of guilt by association and Worthington, quoting from Farber’s column, rightly, in my opinion, said “In my view, that statement by Farber is so wrong, mistaken and out of line, that it inadvertently demeans the Holocaust.”

This would not be the last time Worthington and Farber would lock horns on this subject and while Worthington always got the better of Farber the latter never retreated one iota from his position. In 2012, when Stephen Harper’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney stripped Oberlander of his citizenship – one of many reasons why I have nothing but contempt for the present premier of Alberta – Farber told the Globe and Mail “It matters not if he was a translator or a cook – they were all part of the pirate ship and they helped oil the wheels of genocide.” Earlier this year, when the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the 95 year old Oberlander’s motion to have the fourth (!) revocation of his citizenship overturned, Farber was again all over the news gloating and saying that he hoped the Liberal government would quickly deport him.

My point, if it is not obvious, is that someone who cannot tell the difference between the Nazi thugs who tortured and murdered civilians and kids who were forced by these same thugs to do their bidding, should not be taken seriously when he poses as an expert on Nazis and Nazism. Someone who for over twenty years acts as the head of the cheerleading squad while governments, Liberal and Conservative alike, try repeatedly to denaturalize and deport an elderly man, who has been a law-abiding subject of Her Majesty for his entire adult life, because the unit that he had been forced to serve by the invaders of his country of birth when he was still a teenager were responsible for war crimes, caring neither about the aforementioned difference nor the trauma being inflicted upon this man’s family, has absolutely no business whatsoever lecturing the rest of us about “hate.” When he throws a silly conniption about a government minister quoting the leading American aerospace engineer we should pay him no heed.

Good luck with the Nobel Prize, Bernie, but you can take your silly posturing and blow it out your ear!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

History Repeating Itself

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” said the early twentieth century Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana. There is a popular aphorism that says “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” While the meaning of the high-brow remark is not exactly the same as that of the low-brow saying the two are complementary and both happen to apply to what I am about to discuss.

The Winnipeg Free Press, which some people still think is a real newspaper for some reason, made the same story its front page headline every day from Monday to Friday last week. While the story was presented under the guise of investigative journalism it seems to me that agitprop would be a better term for it. It is all about how a local member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves has been purportedly recruiting for some neo-Nazi organization called “the Base.” I won’t bore you with the details as I doubt whether a word of them ought to be believed by anyone who isn’t a gullible fool.

Why the extreme skepticism, you may ask?

Speaking for myself, the fact that it was the Winnipeg Free Press that was doing the “reporting” is more than sufficient grounds for skepticism. In my opinion that rag is little more than a Liberal Party disinformation sheet and has been ever since the days – 1901 to 1944 – when it was edited by John Wesley Dafoe. This particular story, however, would have been ringing alarm bells even if a newspaper with an as-of-yet unimpeached record for journalistic integrity could be found somewhere on the planet and had been the one to break the story. Allow me to explain why.

How many of you remember the Heritage Front?

I suspect that name will be familiar to most Canadians who were old enough and attentive enough to have been following the news in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There is a good chance they will also remember the organization’s front man, Wolfgang Droege, a man who was depicted as being pretty much the in-flesh personification of all the images and associations that the words “neo-Nazi” are intended to conjure up. Droege and the Heritage Front received an awful lot of airtime on the news, back then, because the media was trying to scare us into thinking that there was an imminent danger of a Fourth Reich being erected on Canadian soil.

How many of you who remember the Heritage Front also remember the name Grant Bristow?

Here I suspect the number will be far fewer, although he too was in the media spotlight for a brief period of time. Bristow was the man behind Droege – the co-founder, organizer, and security chief of the organization. He was also an undercover agent of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Services or CSIS which, ever since it took over the role from the RCMP in 1984, has aspired to perform for Her Majesty’s government in Ottawa the same services which both MI6 and MI5 perform for Her Majesty’s government in London. Bristow’s activities in the Heritage Front and his involvement with CSIS were both exposed by the Toronto Sun in 1994.

So why was a government spook one of the top officers of what was believed to be a neo-Nazi organization?

The facts can be interpreted one of two ways. The first explanation is that CSIS had infiltrated a burgeoning neo-Nazi movement in order to gather informative and/or neutralize any potential threat that it posed. The second explanation is that Bristow’s mission was to create a realistic looking neo-Nazi menace to frighten the public.

Before you discard the second explanation as a paranoid conspiracy theory, consider the previous neo-Nazi scare that had taken place in the 1960s.

In 1965 a man named John Beattie founded something called the Canadian Nazi Party, and the alarmist wing of the liberal media had a field day. For the next couple of years they kept the spotlight on this tiny group, reporting its every action, and blowing everything way out of proportion like a bunch of Chicken Littles trumpeting the imminent fall of the sky. The progressives demanded that the government step in and do something before this group, whose miniscule rallies they had magnified to the scale of those Hitler held at Nuremberg, took over Canada and imposed its agenda of racial purification on the country. This blitzkrieg of media disinformation culminated in the October 1966 issue of MacLean’s magazine. The cover story was an insider’s report on Beattie’s party by a man named John Garrity. The following is from his first paragraph:

I was more successful than I expected. I became a trusted officer of the party—its local Heinrich Himmler—though I've managed to avoid being linked with the nationwide publicity that has made the name of John Beattie, the unemployed clerk who is the party's leader, familiar to most Canadians.


Garrity’s story was eerily similar to Bristow’s. Each man befriended a would-be Führer, infiltrated his inner circle, and became the behind-the-scenes Himmler to his Hitler. In both cases the liberal media took a tiny molehill and blew it up into a huge mountain, but apart from the efforts of the moles, Garrity and Bristow, it is unlikely that there would have been even a molehill – just a couple of random, lone-wolf, racist fanatics.

There was one notable difference in the two cases. Whereas Bristow was working for the government, Garrity was employed by a private organization, the Canadian Jewish Congress. Not that there were not also government infiltrators. This was two decades before CSIS was formed but the RCMP, arguably a much more competent agency, was handling this sort of thing back then, and it is unthinkable that they would not have also had a mole or two. Given the infinitesimal size of the group, it seems to have resembled nothing so much as the World Council of Anarchists in The Man Who Was Thursday, G. K. Chesterton’s novel in which a Scotland Yard detective infiltrates the anarchist movement and is elected to said Council only to discover that every other member is also an undercover policeman.

At any rate, while the Canadian Jewish Congress was a private organization, it was working very closely with the Liberal Party, which was the governing party in the Dominion at the time, as, unfortunately, it is now. In the same year that Beattie founded the Canadian Nazi Party – indeed, the same month – Prime Minister Lester Pearson appointed a Special Committee to study “hate propaganda” and report back to the Minister of Justice with recommendations as to potential legislation. The Canadian Jewish Congress had been petitioning Parliament to pass such legislation for years prior to this. Maxwell Cohen of McGill University was named chairman and among its seven members were a vice-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the then executive editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, and a far left journalist and law professor from Quebec whom Pearson was about to bring onto the front stage of Canadian federal politics. This was not an objective committee that would look into the question of whether or not there should be legislation against hate propaganda, it was a very left-leaning committee that would start from the conclusion that there ought to be legislation against hate propaganda and devise reasonable sounding arguments that the Minister of Justice could use to sell the idea to Parliament.

Do I really need to point out how having an organization called the Canadian Nazi Party all over the news would facilitate that process?

The reasons why the Canadian Jewish Congress wanted hate speech laws passed don’t really need to be explained as they are fairly obvious. The reasons why the Liberal Party leadership was set on passing such laws do require an explanation. Freedom of thought and freedom of speech were, after all, supposed to be among the basic pillars of classical liberal political philosophy. Most people would probably acknowledge that there are reasonable limitations on even these basic freedoms but hate speech laws are not among them. Laws against the incitement of violence and other criminal behaviour were already on the books and were sufficient to cover the incitement of racially motivated violence and crime. Hate speech laws were not necessary, therefore, to deal with such incitement, and would only serve the purpose of suppressing the expressions of thoughts which certain people did not want expressed.

The Liberal Party, historically, was the party that wanted to move Canada away from her British roots and connections into a closer relationship with the United States – or, as the old Tories such as George Grant and Donald Creighton liked to put it, to sell us out to the Americans. This was bad enough, but at the time of which we are speaking, the leadership of the party had fallen into the hands of ideologues of the totalitarian far Left. Lester Pearson, according to the highly credible testimony that Elizabeth Bentley gave to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security in 1951, had been an aware and willing participant in the Soviet spy ring she operated while he served in the Canadian embassy in Washington D. C. during the war. If he kept his far left ties hidden, the so-called “three wise men” that he brought into the Liberal Party for the 1965 election, the aforementioned Pierre Trudeau, Gérard Pelletier and Jean Marchand wore theirs on their sleeves. Under Pearson’s patronage they rapidly rose in the ranks of the Liberal Party and Trudeau was, from his entrance into federal politics, groomed by Pearson to be his hand-picked successor as Party leader and Prime Minister.

The free expression of ideas, which had been so important to classical liberals like J. S. Mill, was of no value or consequence to this kind of leftist, except insomuch as it pertained to the expression of their own ideas. Communists, whenever and wherever they seized control of a state, used its power to brutally suppress all dissent to their new order. In the 1960s, the hard Left was itself undergoing an internal transformation as it shifted its focus from economic class to race, sex, etc. and so “hate speech” laws were particularly appealing to them. So was the idea of dangling a perpetual Nazi threat before the public. What better way to distract people from the perpetual menace of the many-headed hydra that had sprung from the seed planted by Cromwell’s Puritans, grown into Jacobinism, evolved into Bolshevism, and which was rapidly spreading throughout the globe, than by keeping them fixated on the threat of a rival totalitarianism which resembled Communism in almost every way, but which had died, at least insofar as being a real threat to civilization goes, with its Führer in 1945.

The same issue of MacLean’s that featured Garrity’s story also contained an article by Blair Fraser entitled “Hate”, which told about the Cohen Committee, its report which had been submitted to the Minister of Justice in November of 1965 and brought before Parliament early the following year, and Pearson’s promise at a press conference that hate speech legislation was on its way. The article was filled with specious arguments designed to allay the Canadian public’s fears that such legislation would be a threat to freedom of speech. Fraser was wrong in his prediction that such laws would be passed by the following year but he was only off by three years. Pierre Trudeau succeeded Lester Pearson as Liberal leader and Prime Minister in 1969 and the following year acted on his own recommendations as a member of the Cohen Committee and introduced the legislation that added Sections 318 to 320 to the Criminal Code.

Let us recap: the leadership of the Liberal Party was determined to pass “hate speech” laws, it appointed a Special Committee to come up with a report to persuade Parliament to approve such laws, while selling the Canadian public on these laws was left to the media, which for the most part serves as a propaganda arm of the Liberal Party. Conveniently, the jobs of both the Special Committee and the media were made easier by the appearance on the scene of the Canadian Nazi Party, whose leader was propped up behind the scenes by a private investigator working for the Canadian Jewish Congress, which had long wanted hate speech legislation and was working closely with the Liberal Party towards achieving that end. It is difficult, for anyone capable of adding two and two together and coming up with four, to avoid the conclusion that the Nazi scare of the 1960s was a fake scare, created to make hate propaganda legislation an easy sell.

The uncanny resemblance of Bristow’s story to Garrity’s strongly suggests that the second Nazi scare was a fake scare too. The motive is not as obvious as with the first scare but consider the following facts. During Pierre Trudeau’s long premiership, the Liberal Party had shifted government policy drastically to the left on immigration, abortion, homosexuality, preferential treatment for victims of “discrimination” in employment, and a myriad of other social, cultural, and moral issues. The Grits had never had to take these policies to the polls because the New Democrats were even further to the left and the Progressive Conservatives, under Robert Stanfield, Joe Clark, and Brian Mulroney were completely dominated by the wets and easily intimidated by accusations of racial, religious, sexual, and cultural bigotry. Then, in 1987, the protest movement that had been growing in the West in response to the Liberals’ heavy-handed imposition of their leftist agenda, the non-opposition to that agenda provided by the Progressive Conservatives, and Ottawa’s arrogance in general, formed the populist Reform Party of Canada. For a time, at least, the Reform Party was willing to take relatively right-of-centre positions on some of these issues, and that frightened both the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. The Liberals were terrified of having to take their radical agenda to the polls and find out what Canadians actually thought of it. The Progressive Conservatives were – with good cause, as events proved – afraid that their voting base would defect to the Reform Party. (1) The Heritage Front was formed in 1989 and the liberal media immediately tried to tie it to the Reform Party. The plot of Liberal Party strategist and anti-racist activist Warren Kinsella’s 1997 Web of Hate: Inside Canada’s Far Right Network revolves around such supposed connections.

The question, then, of who exactly CSIS was serving, when its agent Grant Bristow helped found the Heritage Front, is rather moot. The Progressive Conservatives, who were in power in Parliament at the time, had a motive for creating a new fake Nazi threat. The Liberal Party which had created CSIS – the Act forming the new intelligence agency passed Parliament one week before Pierre Trudeau stepped down as Prime Minister – and to which civil servants have an obnoxious tendency to be loyal regardless of who the governing party in Parliament happens to be, also had a motive. Both parties had the same motive – to smear the right-populist Reform Party by association. If I had to bet on who was ultimately responsible, however, my money would be on the Liberals.

Under its present leadership the Liberal Party is the furthest to the left it has ever been. It is in power in Parliament at the moment, but the next Dominion election is in October and the wave of popularity that swept this government into office four years ago has been ebbing fast, due to its own overweening arrogance, gross incompetence, and a huge scandal in which it’s unethical and perhaps criminal behaviour has been exposed. It has resorted to accusing the leadership of the Conservative Party of links to “white supremacy” and “white nationalism.” It has also expressed its desire to bring back something similar to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act which was repealed by Parliament six years ago. Section 13 defined it as an act of discrimination to communicate via telephone or internet anything “likely” to expose someone to “hatred or contempt” on the grounds of membership in a group protected against discrimination. Worded that broadly, it covered virtually any negative criticism of such groups, and unlike the hate speech provision of the Criminal Code, did not come with a presumption of innocence for the accused or the right to any sort of real defense. It was a terrible law, far more in keeping with the totalitarian mindset of actual National Socialism than with the principles of justice and freedom enshrined in our traditional Common Law. Earlier this year, the government instructed the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to conduct a study of the dissemination of hate on the internet – in other words, to come up with arguments for bringing back Section 13, or even something worse, if that is conceivable.

Now, a newspaper that served the Liberal Party faithfully for over a century, just happens to have discovered a neo-Nazi organization that nobody has heard of before but which is supposed to have embedded itself in the Canadian Armed Forces. Yeah right. Sometime, probably years down the road, it will be revealed that this “Base” is as much a phony set-up as the Canadian Nazi Party and the Heritage Front were – mark my words.

If we fail to remember the past and allow ourselves to be fooled by this nonsense for yet a third time, then shame, shame, triple shame on us.

(1) I was one of the defectors. I eventually grew disgusted with the Reform Party and allowed my membership to lapse – on the verge of its final merger with what was left of the Progressive Conservative Party. This disgust had nothing to do with the Reform Party’s right-of-centre positions, real or imagined, which if anything I would have preferred more of, but with its hostility to our Loyalist heritage which it illogically blamed for the country’s slide into far-leftism, its indifference to the monarchy, and its barely concealed, anti-patriotic, preference for the constitution, institutions, and traditions of the United States over our own.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Gnostics, Puritans, and the Left

Professor Bruce Charlton, whose writings I very much value and respect, took exception the other day to the meme that identifies the Left with Puritanism. Here is his opening paragraph:

I think it was perhaps Mencius Moldbug who originated the stupid idea - which I have seen repeated in hundreds of different versions - that the current, mainstream, politically correct Left are puritans.

This meme, it would appear to me, is an extreme oversimplification of a concept that can be found in Eric Voegelin’s The New Science of Politics: An Introduction, which was first published by the University of Chicago Press in 1952. I note, in passing, that this was twenty-one years prior to the birth of the man who writes under the nom de plume Mencius Moldbug.

In the fourth chapter of The New Science of Politics, Voegelin traced the origins of the secular millennialism of modern mass political movements, i.e., the idea of ushering in a new Golden Age, back to an earlier revival of millennialist eschatology in the teachings of the twelfth century Italian theologian and monk, Joachim of Flora. He set this departure from Augustinianism in the context of a revival of Gnosticism, the largest family of heresies against which the orthodox contended in the early centuries of Christianity. Gnosticism was so named because it maintained that those initiated into its mysteries comprised a spiritual elite who possessed gnosis – detailed special knowledge about matters that are not spelled out in the Scriptures and orthodox Christian tradition. Since this “knowledge” often contradicted orthodox doctrine, Gnosticism was rejected as heresy by the orthodox. In the following chapter, Voegelin examined Puritanism as both an example case of revived Gnosticism and as the first revolutionary modern mass movement.

A very abridged version of Voegelin’s thesis is that sixteenth-seventeenth century Puritanism and twentieth century mass movements such as liberalism and Communism are all modern versions of the ancient heresy of Gnosticism. The meme that Professor Charlton dislikes so much seems to be this same thesis simplified further and to the point of extreme inaccuracy.

The question then becomes one of whether this thesis is right or wrong. Professor Charlton goes on to say:

Of course there is a grain of truth, else the idea would have gone nowhere. The grain is that New Left is a descendant of the New England Puritans who emigrated from (mostly) East Anglia, became the Boston Brahmins, founded Harvard etc.

And this class, via various mutations including the Transcendentalists and their circle of radicals Unitarians, abolitionists, feminists etc) evolved into the post Civil War US ruling class; who were the fount of post-middle-1960s New Leftism.


This is true, but there is one glaring omission. For there to be a New Left there had to have first been an Old Left. When we bring that Old Left into the equation we find that there is a lot more than just a “grain” of truth to the identification of Puritanism with the Left. There is a sentence in Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand’s Memoirs From Beyond the Grave that expresses this perfectly. Here it is in the recent English translation by Alex Andriesse of the first twelve books of the Memoirs, published last year by the New York Review of Books:

“The Jacobins were plagiarists; they even plagiarized the sacrifice of Louis XVI from the execution of Charles I” (p. 363 in the edition mentioned, this is found in the second paragraph of the fourth chapter of Book Nine).

The French Revolution was the well-spring of the Old Left. The revolutionary socialist movements of the nineteenth century all looked back to the French Revolution as their inspiration, the Communist League for which Karl Marx wrote his notorious manifesto began as a splinter group of the Jacobin Club that had perpetrated the French Revolution, and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917, which introduced the plague of Communism to the world and became the pattern for all subsequent Communist revolutions, was itself patterned on the French Revolution. The French Revolution, in turn, was, as Chateaubriand said, an imitation of the Puritan rebellion against Charles I in the previous century.

The Puritan rebellion against King Charles inspired the Jacobin revolution against King Louis XVI, which in turn inspired all subsequent revolutions. This makes Puritanism the prototype of the revolutionary Left, just as Cromwell’s tyranny was the prototype of the French Reign of Terror and the Soviet and other Communist totalitarian regimes. While it was Puritan actions that the Jacobins and later leftists were imitating, theology similar to that of the Puritans also played a role in the French Revolution, if not as large of a one as in the rebellion in England. William Palmer observed that Jansenism, a heretical movement within the Roman Catholic Church that had a similar predestinarian theology to Calvinism, had become so strong in pre-Revolutionary eighteenth century France, that it was able to resist Rome’s attempts to suppress it, and, indeed, that it had successfully used the French Parliament to thwart the king’s efforts to uphold orthodoxy. (A Treatise on the Church of Christ, Vol I, London, J. G. & F. Rivington, 1838, pp. 324-328) Granted, this happened in the reign of Louis XV fifty years prior to the Revolution but Puritan efforts to turn the English Parliament against their king had also begun long before the accession of Charles I. It is also worth noting that Jean-Paul Marat, the Jacobin pamphleteer whose bloodthirsty words incited the September Massacres, the mass murder of prisoners in which the non-juring Roman Catholic priests were especially targeted and which can be regarded as either the precursor to or the first stage of the Reign of Terror, was raised in a family that had a very similar theology to that of the Puritans. His mother was a Huguenot and his father was a convert to Calvinism.

Not only is it an indisputable historical fact that Puritanism was the root of the tree of leftism, from which the trunk of Jacobinism sprung, which in turn produced the branches of socialism, Communism, etc. it is also true that political correctness, the element of the New Left that is most often said to be Puritanical, is derived from a Bolshevik practice with a Jacobin antecedent based upon a Puritan precedent. Political correctness as we know it today began on Western academic campuses in the 1960s and spread from there throughout the rest of Western culture. It began as the insistence upon the use of racially sensitive language but quickly expanded to include demands for language that is sensitive in other areas as well. There were, of course, a host of other demands which accompanied these, but the defining essence of political correctness is the insistence upon the use of language that has been stripped of anything that might be perceived as offensive on racial, sexual, etc. grounds. In this the New Left was, consciously, I would argue, imitating the Soviet phenomenon that was the basis of the "Newspeak" depicted in George Orwell's 1984. The Jacobin antecedent of Bolshevik Newspeak, can be seen in the date of the Great Reaction when the Reign of Terror ended and its architect Robespierre was condemned to die by his own guillotine. This date on our calendar is the 27th of July but we remember it historically as the Ninth of Thermidor. Why? Because the Jacobins imposed a completely new calendar upon France, in which years were counted from the deposing of King Louis XVI, and consisted of twelve months which, since they also started from that date did not correspond to the ones on our calendar and were given funny sounding names like Messidor, Thermidor, and Fructidor. The Puritan precedent for this was their insistence on referring to the days of the week as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. rather than by their usual names, which the Puritans objected to on the grounds of their pagan origins. Orthodox Christians can understand and to varying degrees sympathize with the Puritans' reasons for doing this - less so, with their abolition of Christian holy days - but this was the seed from which the Jacobin calendar which grew into Bolshevik Newspeak and has gone to seed in the New Left's political correctness sprang.

Now let us consider what Professor Charlton finds specifically objectionable in the “Left are Puritans” meme. Here is his explanation:

OK. But to call the New Left puritans is something only a non-Christian could do, for at least two very obvious reasons.

1. A puritan is very religiously Christian, and believes that this should permeate every aspect of social and personal life.

2. A puritan advocates that sex be confined to (a single, permanent) marriage. In other words, a puritan rejects the entirety of the post-sixties sexual revolution.

Since Leftists are not Christian, and since they are (in theory and in practice) sexual revolutionaries; the idea that Leftists are puritans is wrong.


The first thing to be observed in response to this is that the meme which equates leftism with Puritanism is clearly not meant to be understood as saying that Leftists are like Puritans in every detail. Nobody is suggesting that today’s politically correct, woke, social justice warriors walk around in seventeenth century costume with flat topped hats, ruffed doublets, and buckle shoes, speaking Shakespearean English. It is rather a lazy, shorthand, way of saying “the present day left resembles its ideological ancestor Puritanism in such and such specific characteristics.” All that is being asserted is that in some aspect(s) of today's Left, traits of its distant Puritan ancestors have reasserted themselves in an identifiable manner. This cannot be negated merely by pointing out other areas in which the New Left and Puritanism do not resemble each other or even are the exact opposite of each other.

It could be argued that the differences so outweigh the similarities as to make any focus on the latter unwarranted. This could lead to an interesting discussion on essence and distinction. If the things Professor Charlton states here about the Puritans are of the essence of Puritanism, its sine qua non, without which there can be no Puritanism, as the Professor seems to think, this would, of course, be a strong argument in his favour. I would point out, however, that neither of these things is distinctive of Puritanism. Both could also be said, with equal truth, about orthodox Anglicans and Roman Catholics who were the Puritans' opponents in the conflicts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The meme that compares Leftism to Puritanism must be based upon something that is distinctive to Puritanism as opposed to Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism otherwise it would make no sense and indeed would likely never have existed – a meme would have compared Leftists to Christians in general instead. Can something that is not distinctive of Puritanism be said to be essential to it>

It seems to me that Professor Charlton is operating under a fundamental misunderstanding of Puritanism's reputation. When the present day Left with its political correctness and its zeal for banning such things as guns, single-use plastics, furs and fox-hunting, soft drinks, etc. is described as being Puritanical the comparison is based upon the Puritans' legendary reputation for being dour, gloomy, repressive, Mrs. Grundy-type busybodies, with sticks stuck permanently up their backsides, perpetually nagging and harassing people with a never-ending list of does and don'ts and basically sucking all the happiness out of life like joy-killing vampires. It would appear from Professor Charlton's arguments that he is under the impression that this reputation arose out of their sexual ethics. It is, perhaps, inevitable that this impression would arise and become the natural assumption in our post-Sexual Revolution permissive age but it is without historical basis. The ethic that says that sex, meaning sexual intercourse, should be confined to a single, permanent, marriage was not distinctive of Puritanism but was held and taught by orthodox Anglicans and Roman Catholics as well. Indeed, as C. S. Lewis pointed out, on this matter “the Old Religion was the more austere.” It cannot, therefore, be the source of the Puritans’ reputation.

The Puritans earned their reputation, not by being sticklers for the basic rules of Christian ethics, but for adding and multiplying other rules, ones which often pertained to small, petty, matters, and which had no basis in the Holy Scriptures and were mostly foreign to the Christian tradition. Take their extremely rigid approach to Sunday keeping for example. Christians, since Apostolic times, have met on Sunday, the first day of the week, in commemoration of the Resurrection, for prayer, teaching, and the Eucharist. This tradition is based upon the precedent set by the practice of the Apostolic Church as recorded in the Book of Acts rather than by Scriptural ordinance in the way keeping the Sabbath, Saturday, had been enjoined upon Israel in the Old Testament. This is in keeping with the doctrine of Christian liberty on such matters that was determined at the Jerusalem Council and emphasized by St. Paul throughout his epistles. Early in Christian history it became common to speak of Sunday as the “Christian Sabbath” and to apply the concept of a “day of rest” to it, but orthodox Christianity wanted to avoid repeating the mistake of the Pharisees, the post-Maccabean Revolt sect within the laity of Second Temple Judaism that tried to promote holiness in national Israel by creating a hedge of auxiliary commandments around the Torah which they interpreted so rigidly that they condemned our Lord for performing healing miracles on the Sabbath. The Puritans, however, went much further than the Pharisees for while the Pharisees’ extra rules were at least extrapolated from the actual prohibition in the Fourth Commandment – “thou shalt do no work” - the Puritans’ rules for Sunday were based on the non-Scriptural “thou shalt have no fun.” They forbade all recreational activities on Sundays and wanted the law to enforce this ban. How can this be an example of believing that Christianity “should permeate every aspect of social and personal life” when it is difficult if not impossible to conceive of an attitude further removed from the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles regarding the Sabbath than this?

In this one example we have seen how the Puritans a) imposed a new prohibition that did not belong to ancient Christian tradition and had no basis in Scripture which it completely contradicted in spirit, b) specifically targeted people’s engaging in harmless recreational activities and enjoying themselves, and c) demanded that their new rule be backed by the power of the state. That is the Puritans’ bad reputation in a nutshell. Sexual ethics had nothing to do with it.

Nor was this the only example of this sort of thing. For those who still think it a stretch to compare the politically correct New Left to the Puritans let us not forget that it was Cromwell’s Puritans who launched the original War on Christmas – and on Easter and every other Christian high holy day as well. It is difficult to reconcile a ban on the holy days which make each year a commemorative and celebratory journey through the events of Christ’s earthly ministry from His Incarnation through His Ascension with a desire for Christianity to “permeate every aspect of social and personal life.” Richard Hooker, who thoroughly refuted the shallow theological justification they gave for taking this position decades before they were in a position to enforce it saw their true motives as being economical – less holy days meant more days to make money – although one cannot help but notice that the holy days the Puritans especially objected to were the seasons of celebration that bring joy and mirth into people’s lives.

Nowhere in the world, outside of England during the brief period of Cromwell’s dictatorship, was Puritanism’s influence greater than in colonial English-speaking North America, especially New England, and that influence has been lasting. From the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, itinerant preachers travelled across North America holding special revival services. The preaching in these services was evangelistic and revivalistic, meaning that it called upon unbelievers to become Christians and upon lukewarm or backslidden Christians to repent and practice their faith more seriously and more fervently. Such preaching was also very moralistic and the revivalists in their sermons targeted a long list of sins that one would have a difficult time identifying as such from the Scriptures – playing card games, smoking tobacco, dancing, attending theatrical plays, etc. While other movements, such as the Wesleyan holiness movement, contributed to all of this, its Puritan roots can hardly be denied. Puritan preachers played a leading role in the first wave of revivalism, the Great Awakening, and the non-conformist and dissenting sects that the Puritans had founded were the primary denominations, other than the Methodists, involved in the revivals. The preaching against dancing and the theatre certainly goes back to the Puritans – who infamously shut down London’s theatres, including William Shakespeare’s old Globe Theatre, in 1642 – and while the same cannot be said for every one of these extra-Scriptural “sins,” the general idea behind them all, that something that brings earthly pleasure to people should be suspected of being sinful and probably outright banned, is clearly derived from the same assumptions that led to the original Puritan ban on Sunday recreational activities which, as King James and King Charles both noted in their royal proclamations opposing such bans, amounted to complete bans on recreational activities for the majority of the people.

The revivalist movement often combined its moralism with support for social reform causes that would have been considered progressive in their own day. There is one example of this that is particularly interesting in light of what we are discussing. In the nineteenth century, revivalists became the driving force behind the mislabelled Temperance Movement – mislabelled because “temperance” is the name for the virtue of self-control and implies moderation – by preaching that all consumption of alcoholic beverages in inherently sinful. This is the traditional view of Islam not of Christianity. Indeed, not only does this create a new “sin” not identified as such in the Scriptures it flatly contradicts the Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, including the teachings, commandments, and example of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. The original Puritans had not gone this far – to quote C. S. Lewis “they were not teetotallers; bishops, not beer, were their special aversion” - but there is obviously a reason why within Christendom this movement only ever caught on among the non-conformist sects of North America. After a century of activism, the Temperance Movement succeeded in getting Prohibition – a ban on the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol - passed in both the United States and the Dominion of Canada. As an experiment in moral and social engineering it was a notorious failure.

The Temperance Movement was inseparably intertwined with the suffragette movement, the first wave of feminism that was lobbying to extend the voting franchise to women, and both movements achieved their goals almost simultaneously. The victory of the suffragettes proved more lasting than that of the Temperance Movement and it laid the foundation for the second wave of feminism a few decades and another World War later. The second wave of feminism was as intertwined with the Sexual Revolution as the first wave was with the Temperance Movement. Had Puritanism not laid the foundation for the kind of revivalism that spawned the Temperance Movement, the suffragette movement would never have had the latter to join forces with and may have been less successful in its own goal, and thus failed to pave the way for second wave feminism and the Sexual Revolution.

I have belaboured this point long enough. The people who once locked a man in the stocks for kissing his own wife on his own threshold when he returned from a long sea voyage on Sunday earned their well-deserved reputation for being legalistic killjoys and the fact that they claimed religious motives for doing so in no way invalidates a comparison with the secular ban-happy left-wing control freaks of our own day. Especially when we remember that these schismatic enthusiasts, who objected to the liturgical affirmation of the Nicene Creed but demanded that clergy be made to subscribe to every iota of Theodore Beza’s interpretation of Calvin’s Institutes, who started with a Korah-like rebellion against the Apostolic ministry of the Church and ended by stretching forth their hand against God’s anointed king and shedding his blood, were the original inspiration for the Jacobins and Bolsheviks.

Perhaps we should dust off our copies of Eric Voegelin and give him another read. Anyone who has studied early Church history knows that some of the Gnostics were ascetics who preached and practiced a very austere morality whereas others were hedonistic libertines. These opposite extremes in ethics and behaviour were both derived from the same heretical starting point. It is not so surprising, if Puritanism is revived form of Gnosticism, that it would evolve into a movement with both a permissive and a censorious streak. I will close with C. S. Lewis’ amusing description of progressives who combine both of these traits from a book that came out the same year as The New Science of Politics. In the very first paragraph of the The Voyage of the Dawn Treader we are introduced to Eustace Scrubb and his parents. The latter, whom Eustace addresses by their first names presumably at their own encouragement and whom we find out in the next book in the series send their son to an extremely progressive school called Experiment House that is co-educational, discourages reading the Bible, and is not in any way conducive to any real learning, are the progressives in view:

They were very up-to-date and advanced people. They were vegetarians, non-smokers and teetotallers and wore a special kind of underclothes. In their house there was very little furniture and very few clothes on the beds and the windows were always open.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bring Back Bron!

There has been an awful lot of finger pointing going on in the aftermath of the unfortunate incident in Texas a couple of weekends ago. The question “who is to blame” has been on everyone’s minds. Nobody is much interested in the obvious answer, i.e., that the shooter himself is to blame, as that answer, however truthful, is lame and boring. So the blame has been shifted onto virtually everybody else. I use the qualifier “virtually” because I have yet to hear anyone blame country and western singer/songwriter and NASCAR speed demon Marty Robbins for the shooting. Yet the case against him is as sound and logical as the case which progressives, liberals, and other left-wing kooks and weirdos have been pressing against Donald the Orange.

The song that established Robbins’ country and western career and won him his first Grammy award was “El Paso”, written and recorded for his 1959 album “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.” The song is a first person narrative in which the character of the narrator sings about falling in love with a Mexican girl named Feleena, a singer at Rosa’s Cantina in the “west Texas town of El Paso.” When another cowboy comes to town and he sees the two of them together in the saloon he jealously challenges the newcomer to a duel and shoots him dead. He steals a horse and flees to New Mexico, but is unable to resist the urge to see Feleena again. On his return he encounters several mounted cowboys who are out looking for him and runs the gauntlet to get into town, being severely wounded in the process. He makes it to the backdoor of Rosa’s, only to be shot down, and dies in Feleena’s arms moments later.

Here we find the inspiration for the unhappy turn of events that has been all over the news as of late. Clearly, Whatever-the-heck-his-name-is, was listening to this song one day and the idea popped into his head “Hey, this song is saying that in El Paso, the thing to do when you are mad is to go around shooting people” and the massacre ensued.

What’s that you say? “Preposterous!” “Absurd!” “Nonsense!”

Of course it is. No more so, however, than the ridiculous claim that Donald the Orange’s supposedly “racist” rhetoric is to blame.

The accusations against the American president utilize the same sort of illogic that progressives here in Canada, as well as in the UK and Europe, have used for decades to justify laws against so-called “hate speech.” According to their way of thinking, hate speech, which does not mean expressions of literal hatred such as “I hate you” so much as statements which reflect negatively on an identifiable group of people leads to violent actions and so should be treated as a violent act itself and prohibited and punished by law. This sort of thinking is very similar to the basic concept that underlies the practice of magic, the non-sleight-of-hand-type of magic that is, - the idea that you can produce effects in the physical world simply by uttering the right word or combination of words. A lot of progressive thinking is like this. Note how they seem to believe that governments have the ability to alter reality by passing laws and that an individual is whatever sex or made-up gender he, she, it or whatever declares himself, herself, itself, or whatever to be. Given the way the left-wing mind seems to operate, perhaps, if you ever find yourself in the situation of being afflicted with unrequited love for a person of the progressive persuasion you should follow the advice of David Seville’s shaman and try uttering the words or syllables or whatever they are: “oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang” – it might actually work.

It is at times like this that we really feel the loss of the late, great Auberon Waugh, who knew no equal – with the exception of Michael Wharton aka Peter Simple – in his ability to poke fun at this sort of thing. Mercifully, an article he wrote many years ago can be applied to the situation at hand. It appeared first in the July 10th, 1976 issue of The Spectator and was later included in the anthology Brideshead Benighted, published by Little, Brown and Company in 1986, where it can be found on pages 153 to 156. The title is “Che Guevara in the West Midlands.”

In the article, Waugh begins by talking about an interview, which had just been published, with John Tyndall, the leader of the National Front, and goes on to discuss Robert Relf, whose difficulties with the Race Relations Board were highly-publicized at the time and who is the “Che Guevara” alluded to in the title. “I don’t know why it is that race relations should attract so much foolishness and pomposity on both sides of the fence”, Waugh began one paragraph and in the next added “For myself, I see nothing to choose between the National Front and the Race Relations Board. Both are a collection of bores and busybodies and both are harmful to the extent they are taken seriously.” In his concluding paragraph he wrote that “I feel certain that the only thing which gives the National Front glamour or popular appeal at the present time is the attempt by foolish, well-meaning people to suppress its views and treat its language as unfit for publication” and of the Race Relations Board “The kindest and wisest thing to do is to laugh at them.”

This, for those who have forgotten, which is probably most people since there is so much of the opposite floating around these days, is what sanity looks like. The part of the article that is most relevant and which is what brought it to mind is the following excerpt:

They [the National Front] may well be a nasty, boring and humourless collection of fanatics, but I have never seen that there was anything more wicked about race hatred than there is about class hatred or religious hatred or the peculiarly intense and inexplicable hatred which my dear wife feels for Jimmy Connors, the tennis player. They are all part of the rich panorama of life. If I forbade my wife to express her true feelings for Jimmy Connors, I have no doubt they would fester inside her, creating little black eddies of resentment and paranoia which would eventually burst out in some hideous drama on the Centre Court at Wimbledon when Connors would expire, coughing blood, in front of the television cameras, with a lady’s parasol sticking between his ribs; public subscriptions would create a Jimmy Connors Memorial Trust and we would be stuck with a hideous modern statue of the young man somewhere on those green and pleasant lawns. So, wisely, I let her have her say.

The insight this shows is truly profound. The verbal expression of hatred is not the cause of violence but a safety vent that helps prevent it. I am persuaded that Waugh was on to something here and that if civilization ends up being consumed in a race war it will be progressive anti-racists who demand that the law be used to force those they disagree with to shut up who will be to blame for it.

In addition to saying that the current American president’s rhetoric inspired the El Paso shooter, progressives also maintain that he has been promoting “white nationalism.” “White nationalism” is an expression which has been used to mean anything from white people engaging in the kind of racial identity politics that the progressive Left promotes for every other race to the violent ideology of National Socialism but it is the latter end of that spectrum that progressives have in mind when they make this accusation against Trump. They are as wrong in the one accusation as they are in the other and for the same reason. Their own promotion of identity politics for all other groups together with their vilification of whites as a race makes white identity politics legitimate as a defensive, response. Their denial of that legitimacy, is what creates the risk of white racial identity politics turning radical, revolutionary, and violent. Someone like Trump, who provides a voice within the system whereby whites can air their legitimate racial grievances, is the best safeguard against that outcome. Only a total moron could fail to realize that.

Of course progressives are wrong about this just as they are wrong about everything else that has to do with race. Eleven years ago Barack Obama ran on a platform that basically amounted to “vote for me because I am black, you have to vote for me because I am black, oh, and by the way, did I mention that I am black.” This proved to be a winning strategy and American voters responded by electing their first president chosen on the basis of the colour of his skin. When this happened, progressives hilariously declared that his election signified that the United States had entered into a post-racial era. In reality, it was Obama, not Trump, who ushered in a new era of highly racialized politics. Progressives are pointing to El Paso and Christchurch as proof that a wave of white supremacist terrorism is upon us when in reality these incidents completely disprove their argument. Since every time a white person anywhere in the world commits a violent act which can possibly be attributed to racial motives the media makes it the top story for weeks if not months on end we can be certain that we have heard of every such incident that has ever occurred and they are a miniscule fraction of a fraction of the violent incidents that occur on a daily basis. Neither the Christchurch nor the El Paso killer was part of any organized movement. Both incidents were carried out by deranged loners and in both cases in order to create the narrative spin they desired the liberal media had to cherrypick the killer’s manifesto. By contrast, the anti-racist terrorism that the liberal media and progressive political leaders refuse to condemn even while they demand that all right-of-centre political leaders disavow and condemn white advocacy whether violent or not is systematic, organized and widespread.

Yes, this sort of insanity is crying out for the return of Auberon Waugh to once again satirize the unsatirizable. While raising him from the dead is beyond my abilities, Naim Attallah of Quartet Books has done the next best thing by publishing a new anthology of his writings entitled A Scribbler in Soho. For any sane person looking to lighten his spirits in these dark and gloomy days I highly recommend it.

Be careful, however, about the messages you soak in while listening to 1950’s era country and western music. I would hate to hear that any of you had shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Bishop Bartholomew B. Battybabbler and his Big Bad Bash

The Right Reverend Bartholomew B. Battybabbler had been very self-satisfied on the day he was consecrated bishop of the Diocese of Neo-Soho. Ever since he graduated seminary with his Doctor of Untraditional Ministry Backed by Advancements in Sacred Science degree, he had been looking forward to the day when he would finally be in a position to enact all the exciting new ideas that had been implanted in his brain. As, upon his enthronement, he took his episcopal vows with fingers firmly crossed behind his back, Barty, as he insisted that everyone, whether friend, family or foe, call him, thought back upon his seminary career and remembered his professors with fondness and gratitude.

Barty recalled how naïve he had been during his undergraduate days before he entered the Wellhausen-Schleiermacher Seminary of Theology. At the time he still held to a literal understanding of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds that he had been taught as a child and to an outmoded view of morality based on the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. When, towards the completion of his BA, he had settled upon the ministry as his vocation, he at first considered enrolling in the traditionalist Seminary of Hooker-Andrewes-Laud. Then he met Lucy. (1)

He was sitting in the university library, filling out his application to HAL, when a man who had been sitting at the next table came up to him. He had a pony tail and a goatee and was fashionably and immaculately dressed and groomed, although he wore his hat tilted very low so as to cover up his entire forehead. He introduced himself as Lucy. Barty wondered at the name, but out of politeness neither laughed nor asked questions.

“I see you are filling out a seminary application” Lucy observed. “Is it your wish to become a clergyman?”

Again, politeness prevented Barty from saying “no, I am entering seminary in order to become a travelling vacuum cleaner salesman” so he simply said “yes”.

“I commend you. It is a career that will enable you to do a lot of good – as long as you don’t become one of those reactionary, fascist, type priests who do nothing but perpetuate those old superstitions and myths that are holding the world back from achieving progress.”

Barty was not sure what exactly Lucy was talking about but it didn’t sound good so he said “No, I don’t want to be anything like that.”

“I didn’t think so. In which case, have you considered Wellhausen-Schleiermacher? They are a very progressive theological institution. All of the best sort of right-thinking priests come from there.”

Lucy pulled a brochure out of his jacket and gave it to Barty.

Barty took and read the brochure, threw away his application to HAL, and entered Wellhausen-Schleiermacher instead. He would be forever grateful to Lucy for his guidance. His professors had taught him that it was rank superstition to believe the Creeds literally, that the Bible should be valued as a literary work rather than an authoritative text, that the stories it contains of supernatural intervention by God in the affairs of people must be regarded as belonging to the same genre in which Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm wrote, that enlightened and advanced ethics had moved far beyond the Ten Commandments or even the Sermon on the Mount, and that the real essence of the Christian message was the revolutionary social change that would bring about the radically egalitarian society that Jesus meant by the “Kingdom of God.” To promote that change, Barty had been taught, was the Church’s true mission, from which it had long been sidetracked by all this talk about the Trinity, Original Sin, Redemption, the Final Judgment, Heaven, and Hell, and it was the job of progressive young clergymen like himself to finally get the Church back on track.

Enthroned as Bishop of Neo-Soho, Barty proceeded to do just that. In his visitations to the parishes of his diocese he preached sermons that promoted social justice, wealth redistribution, and environmental awareness and condemned the sins of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Above all else he condemned fundamentalism, by which he meant all traditional, orthodox, theology, mentioning it negatively in every sermon, even if it had no apparent bearing on his main topic.

He encouraged his clergy, who had quickly gotten the picture that liberals would receive the full support of their new bishop whereas traditionalists would be ostracized and shunned, to discontinue traditional catechism and Sunday School and to hold sensitivity training workshops instead.

Barty knew, however, that to make his mark for the cause of progress, he would have do much more than this for any other liberal bishop would have done the same in his place. So he began a series of his own innovations, determined that the Diocese of Neo-Soho would be the most forward-thinking, progressive, denomination in the entire Church.

First, he set out to eliminate agism in the ordination of clergy. Taking Isaiah 11:6, “and a little child shall lead them”, as his motto, he declared that he would accept candidates for ordination without any artificial and discriminatory limitations based on age. So it came about that when the rectorship of the parish Church of SS. Peter, Paul, and Mary opened up he ordained and installed Tommy the Toddler as the new incumbent.

“This is the wave of the future”, an extremely proud Barty told reporters at the press conference after the ordination. The following Sunday, the new rector preached his first sermon with the title “You’re a Doody Head.” When his parish broke out laughing shortly after the title was announced, he sat down in his pulpit and began to wail, after which he took his toys and went home to his mommy. One of the reporters who had been at the press conference was in attendance and tried to contact Barty but was told that no further comment was available at this time.

Barty’s next ordination was of Melinda Meangirl, the queen bee of the most exclusive high school in the city. Barty was particularly pleased with this ordination because he felt it was a blow that struck against both agism and sexism. He held off on holding a press conference after appointing her to her first parish, however, and this proved to be a prudent move for, although Melinda’s social organizing skills were a boon for the first few months, rumors began to filter back to Barty that she had established a clique in the parish, with rather strict appearance based criteria for inclusion, and that those who didn’t make the cut were being branded as losers. Then, when the time came to renew the parish directory, she had the bright idea of creating a slam book and while Barty praised this as innovative, it proved extremely divisive.

Having eliminated agism, Barty next set out to combat discrimination in the administration of Holy Matrimony. “It is unacceptable”, he told his clergy, “that in this advanced day and age, the Church is still violating the principles of fairness, equality, and social justice by reserving Holy Matrimony to human beings. If we continue to practice this sin of speciesism we are no better than Donald the Orange.”

Donald the Orange, since his rise to power, had become as much the focus of Barty’s rage as fundamentalism.

To set an example for his clergy, Barty held a wedding ceremony at his Cathedral in which he married a bull terrier to a shih tzu. Throughout the ritual the sound of barely suppressed laughter could be heard arising from the congregation as the inevitable joke about the progeny of such a match made the rounds. As a precedent-setter, however, it appeared to be successful, for Barty started receiving calls from people asking him to marry their own pets. Then the zoo summoned him and asked him to marry their lions and tigers and bears. “Oh my” was Barty’s response. Soon, people stopped calling in advance and just showed up at the Cathedral with their pets. There were cats and rats and elephants and, sure as you are born, well, okay, there were no real unicorns, although someone did try to make a couple by gluing horns to the heads of his ponies.

As elated as Barty was to see his exciting vision become reality it could not escape his notice for long that church attendance and revenues were dwindling. It was apparent that unless there was a turnaround soon the diocese would be in severe financial difficulties. Barty couldn’t understand it. With all of his fresh new ideas every pew in every parish in the diocese ought to be packed and overflowing every Sunday. Instead they seemed to be leaving in droves. Even when he introduced his third major innovation, “hash hosts”, that is to say, communion wafers containing a strong dosage of tetrahydrocannabinol which was now legal thanks to Captain Airhead, for whom Barty thanked his higher power every day, this only slowed the exodus rather than halting it altogether.

“The Diocese of Paleo-Middlesex does not seem to have this problem”, Barty noted with some bitterness, for the bishop of Paleo-Middlesex, the Right Reverend John Keble Waterland, was a traditionalist, the kind whom Barty always called a “fundamentalist”, and whom he suspected of having a less than completely negative opinion of Donald the Orange.

“Their church attendance and donations are both way up and they will be ending the year in the black. This year I had to advise all of my clergy to cut three quarters of the funding to their music programs. Waterland had enough funds at his disposal to commission Danny Elfman, the Chuck Norris of composers, to write a brand new Mass setting which will be premiering at their Cathedral this fall. How do those reactionaries do it? What is their secret?”

Barty was turning green with envy.

Nevertheless, he still had an ace up his sleeve to play, when it came to balancing the diocesan books. Every summer he hosted a fundraiser party on board his yacht on Lake Wootiewappy. This year he would crank it up a notch and throw the biggest, most fabulous, party of all time. His friend Saucy Sam of Saucy Sam’s Salad Bar and All You Can Eat Barbeque Buffet had agreed to donate the catering and all of his friends in the local arts, music, and theatre community had agreed to contribute their talent to what promised to be a very entertaining program. Everybody who was wealthy and important in his diocese had received an invitation and they had all RSVP’d. Bishop Waterland had also been sent an invitation and lo and behold he was the first to show up.

“Thanks for the invite, Barty. It looks like you have a great evening planned for us.”

“Thanks, John.”

“Do you think you will raise enough to get your diocese out of the red?”

“I hope so. We had to make some pretty painful cuts this year.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. It is always difficult to know what to let go, when you are in strap, financially. What did you decide upon, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“Well, we had to cut our music programs down to a quarter of what they were.”

“Oh, oh!”

“Why are you giving me that look?”

“Are you sure that was a wise thing to do?”

“We had to cut something. Why not music?”

“I take it you haven’t been following the latest research in behavioural genetics.”

“No, and I am rather surprised that you have.”
“Then you haven’t heard about the Kappa Rho Alpha Zeta Upsilon chromosome?”

“Um, no. I’ve heard of the X and Y chromosomes.”

“Those are the chromosomes that determine sex.”

“What is this crazy chromosome that you are talking about and what on earth does it have to do with my music program.”

“There is a genetic component to our talents, abilities, and behavioural dispositions. Not that these are entirely genetically, determined, mind you, but genes play a role. Scientists have isolated the genes that predispose someone to become a church musician, especially an organist and choir director. These are located on the Kappa Rho Alpha Zeta Upsilon chromosome.”

“Fascinating, but I still don’t see what the problem is.”

“Well, the genes that predispose someone towards piracy are located on the same chromosome.”

“What?”

“It would appear that the church musician genes are the stronger of the two sets on the chrosome. What this means is that an individual with the Kappa Rho Alpha Zeta Upsilon chromosome will be most strongly inclined to become a church musician, but if that opportunity is taken away from him, he will be inclined to fall back upon piracy as his second choice.”

“That has got to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.”

“I’ll send you a copy of the scientific journal in which the research was published. It is quite fascinating. At any rate, you can see why I bring it up. Drastic cuts to your music program will mean a lot of church organists will either be let go or forced to moonlight in order to survive. Piracy will be the first thing that pops into their head.”

At this point, other guests started to arrive and Barty turned to greet them. He thought it over and chuckled over it a little latter.

“I hadn’t realized how much stress Waterland must be under. He must be on the verge of snapping, buying in to silly theories like that.”

Much later that evening, after everyone was well fed, the first half of the entertainment program was over and they had entered into an intermission. During the break everyone came up to Barty to congratulate him on the success of his event. While this was going on a loud boom was heard.

“What was that?” several people asked.

“Do you have fireworks planned for us, Barty?” asked the dean of his Cathedral.

“No”, answered Barty. “At least I don’t think so.”

All of a sudden a second boom could be heard. This time something came flying towards the yacht and smashed into the deck making a big hole.

“That was a cannon ball!”

Everybody on board the yacht turned in the direction from which the ball had come. There they could see another boat approaching. It was armed with cannons and was flying a flag, a black flag with a grinning skull and crossbones.

“That’s the Jolly Roger! We’re under attack by pirates!”

The pirate ship pulled up next to Barty’s yacht, and every organist and choir director in his diocese began to board the yacht. Some swung over on ropes. Others came across on planks they placed down from deck to deck. On the yacht, some of them went from guest to guest, demanding that they hand over their wallets and jewelry at cutlass-point, others cornered Saucy Sam and absconded with all of his delicious food. Needless to say, the yacht’s ample supply of liquor was taken, the rum going first.

“Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you, Barty!” the Right Reverend Waterland said to his host as the cathedral’s own organist put a pistol to his head and ordered him to hand over his episcopal ring and all other valuables.

“Oh shut up” said Barty.

Once they had stripped the yacht of everything worth taking, the organist pirates ordered everybody to the far side of the deck, and made them walk the plank. Barty was the last to go.

As he walked the plank and plunged into the water, Barty was extremely thankful that Lake Wootiewappy is no more than five feet deep at its deepest.

(1) Lucy first appears in Lucy's Day In Court.