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Appendix 172: Spiritual Armor (2012)

New World Religion
Articles & Interviews

Part VIII: Cult Connections

February 19, 2024

Personal Introduction (Dr. Eric Karlstrom, Dec. 2012)

I have just completed the research and writing of Part VI: Mind Control: History and Applications.  This segment of my investigations into the New World Religion has been the most tedious, slow, and difficult for me by far.  The reason, of course, is that the nature of the highly secret mind control research and experimentation in this and other countries is distasteful and odious in the extreme.  Nonetheless, because of the heroic efforts of many courageous, independent researchers, much of this story (but I’m sure not all) is “out there” and can be discovered by anyone with enough intellectual, spiritual, and intestinal fortitude.   What’s more, as this paper will indicate, an understanding of this topic helps explain many other historical events that otherwise would remain mysteries.

After I completed the first three parts of this paper in the fall of 2011, I posted them on my websites ( and and sent Xeroxed copies to a small group of people that I thought might be interested.  One long-time friend read the document and then sent me, in return, a box of CDs of 10 talks by Franciscan (Catholic) Priest Richard Rohr entitled “New Great Themes of Scripture.”  Obviously, my friend thought I needed some “spiritual armor” to help protect me through this journey into the “dark side” of human nature.  He chose his gift well.  I have listened to Rohr’s talks (from 1999) three times now, gaining fresh, valuable insights each time through.  In the hope of offering some form of spiritual armor to others as well then, I summarize 14 of Rohr’s insights that I think bear upon the often very dark realities of mind control (Appendix 1).

Fr. Rohr observes:

  1. The world is always more terrible and wonderful (simultaneously) than we can imagine.  We need to try to “bear the mystery” by holding the tension of these opposites within ourselves, as Christ did.
  2.  The goal of Christians is divination- to find who we are in God in and who God is in us.
  3. Because God is always present, we can always meet God in the “eternal now.”  Thus, “beloved time” is a constant; the constant of eternity.
  4. God leads us into the dilemma of history.  We meet God in the actual, the real, and what is really happening.
  5. Through the Cross (i.e., the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ), God reveals to us that there is nothing we can do or that can happen in the world that is so terrible that He cannot transform it.   (Please hold this thought as you read this section).
  6. You become the God you worship.  Those who worship the violent, wrathful, judgmental God of the Old Testament are more likely to resonate with and to participate in the “ignorant killing” that has gone on throughout history.  Indeed most of this “ignorant killing” has been justified as “sacred violence,” “sacrilized violence,” or “redemptive violence.”  In contrast, those who worship the loving, merciful and forgiving God who so clearly manifest in the Christian scriptures (New Testament) have a template for bringing peace into the world through following Christ’s example and by living simply and nonviolently as He did.
  7. The teaching of the Catholic Church is that there are essentially three kinds of evil in the world.  These include evil of a) the world system, i.e., human institutional structures, b) the “flesh,” meaning sins of the ego such as pride, anger, greed, etc., and c) a spirit of “evil for evil’s sake” that transcends human groups and societies and pervades all of history.   Westerners identify this spirit as the devil, Satan, or Lucifer.  Buddhists call it “Mara.”  All cultures from all historical periods recognize this spirit of evil that transcends human structures.  (Therefore, as Charles Baudelaire stated, “the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.”)
  8. Of course, the message of the New Testament is that Christ has already defeated the devil.  (“Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”)   In fact, all the Bible leads up to and culminates in this revelation of the totally non-violent, safe, and loving character of God.
  9. Thus, Christians should have an attitude of confidence and gratitude.
  10. A key message of the Bible is that “spiritual power” trumps “dominative” or “political power” in the long run. “Spiritual power” is based on who we really are- God in us and we in God.   “Political power,” by contrast, is attained by ambition and maintained by control. It is the most efficient way to “rearrange the furniture” and thus, is often used, even in churches.  But because “political power” tries to change the system by imposing changes from the “top down” or the “outside-in,” it’s effects are short-lived.  And there can be no true triumph by force.  The dominated ones become the next dominators.
  11. This is the “paradox of power” that the Bible so profoundly teaches.  In fact, the very name of the “Holy Spirit” is power.   So power, per se, is not bad.  In fact, as an elderly friend of mine put it recently, “In the end, God holds all the cards.”
  12. The genius of the Bible is that the truth is understood and revealed by “outsiders;” the poor, the victim, the vulnerable.  Indeed, only when an individual has been rejected by the system, can he or she really understand how the system really works.
  13. The Bible is the most dangerous book you can give to ego-centric, power-hungry people, that is, people who use it to lift themselves up instead of letting go of themselves.  Indeed, monotheistic peoples can be among the world’s most judgmental, intolerant and imperialistic people.  This is the “dark side of monotheism.”
  14. Evil must be opposed and stopped.  However, there is always the danger that by hating evil, one can become the very evil that one hates. Therefore, Rohr encourages us to understand that the “opponent” is not so much evil as a symbol of a greater evil of which he or she is also a victim.  The Cross, then, calls each of to bear the burden of human evil, in which we all participate, wittingly or unwittingly, and of which we are all victims.

I hope these insights will help arm us with the courage, conviction, and confidence we need to face some rather unpleasant realities in our world.

But failure to confront these realities could be the more dangerous and irresponsible course.  For as Edmund Burke stated:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Words of Comfort and Perspective

Had Dante understood the implications of mind control, he might have modified his Divine Comedy to include a “10th circle of Hell.”   Because this subject is so evil and loathsome, I would like to begin by sharing with the reader some spiritual perspectives that have helped me to deal with it.  Thus, here I summarize some highlights from Franciscan priest Fr. Richard Rohr’s (1999) “New Great Themes from Scripture” lecture series.

In my personal spiritual journey, I have investigated various traditional religions and concluded that, for me at least, Christianity and Buddhism represent the pinnacle of western and eastern religious traditions.  There are, however, profound differences between these traditions.  Whereas Buddhists tend to view “reality” as an “illusion” to be transcended via meditation, Christians tend to believe that “matter matters” (to borrow the words of a Carmelite Catholic monk in Crestone) and therefore must be engaged.   Because I share the view that “matter matters,” then, I offer these insights of Fr. Rohr as an antidote to the grim “reality” of mind control:

  1. Reality or “the actual” leads us into God.  This is where we meet God.  And God leads us right back into the dilemma of history.
  2. Reality is always more wonderful and more terrible than we can deal with.   We have to bear the mystery and try to hold together the tension of these opposites.  Or as Carmelite priest, Fr. William McNamara, said (and I paraphrase):  “We need to simultaneously try to comprehend the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the brokenness of the world.”

3) There is no such thing as triumph by force.  Dominated ones become the dominators.

4) Political or dominative power is attained by ambition and maintained by control because historically, this has been the most efficient method.

5) Spiritual power is influenced by what we are.   We need to learn to surrender and trust in God and who we are in God.

6) There is great freedom when we trust God enough that we don’t have to fix or explain everything by ourselves.  (Nonetheless, we still try, don’t we?)

7) The goal of the “journey” is divination; to find God in me and me in God; to embody God in the world is to find who we are ontologically.

8)   “Beloved time’ is a constant of eternity.  All else passes away.  But time always gives the eternal now and God is present in the now.

9) A key message of the Bible is that only the outsider, the down trodden, the victim can really understand “the system.”  For this reason, we need to heed the many, many victims of mind control now coming forward with their personal stories.

10) Throughout history, most violence has been justified by leaders as ‘sacred violence’ or ‘sacrilized violence’.  This is the myth of redemptive violence.  Of course, any kind of violence leads to more violence.

11) A common attribute of those overcome by evil is that they suffer no self-doubt; they are always sure they are right.

12) In the Bible, God is telling us that he doesn’t let evil happen except to the degree he can transform it.  The message of the cross is that there is nothing God cannot transform.

13) The Catholic Church recognizes three sources of evil:  a) The “world system,” 2) the flesh/ego (including pride, anger, greed, etc.), and 3) the devil, the spirit of evil for evil’s sake.  This third evil is larger than “the system.”

14) Christians believe that evil must be opposed and stopped.

15)  (This will become relevant below):  Ages 3 to 4 are the “magical years” in the development of a person.  At this tender age, the brain has not yet had a chance to develop the left hemisphere and the concept of linear time.

16) The “Garden” is the symbol of “unitive consciousness.”  (God is in us and we are in God.  God is in human history and we have our history in God.)

17) This world could easily be destroyed by greed and violence.  Therefore, Jesus taught that we should live simply and nonviolently.

18) The Bible is the most dangerous book you can give to ego-centric, power-hungry people.  This is because they use it to lift themselves up instead of letting go of themselves.

19) In the lowest possible level of religion, sin has to do with loyalty to one’s group or tribe.  Thus, instead of reading the Bible as “my story” or “the story,” these people often read the Bible as “our story.”

20) Monotheistic peoples can be most judgmental, intolerant, and imperialistic people in history.  This is the dark side of monotheism.

21) In a sense, we become the God we worship.  If we worship the Old Testament God of vengeance, wrath, and redemptive violence, we tend to become those things.  If we worship the New Testament God of love, mercy, and forgiveness, we tend to become that.

(ETK speaking again).  Thus, the spiritual journey absolutely requires that human beings have free will.  This is the Creator’s gift to us.   The loss of free will through mind control, then, could well result first, in our losing our basic humanity, and second, in our losing our potential to become sons and daughters of God in this life and the next.  We would be simply reduced to slaves and robots of more powerful individuals.  Both the controllers and the controllers would be damned to hell in this life and the next.  (At least that’s how I see it after a lifetime of searching.  Because the reader has free will, he/she may choose to agree or disagree with this assessment).  In any case, because the stakes are so high, we now must come to grips with the technologies and implications of mind control.

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