By Mr. Curmudgeon:
They called themselves the Hydra Club, a group of underpaid writers whose literary genre earned them no more than a penny a word. Their passion was writing science fiction.
In the documentary film “Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth,” the sci-fi author recalls that “the Hydra Club was a writer’s drinking and schmoozing society. They would get together once a week, or once every two weeks … and they would just talk …”
He remembers one meeting in the early 1950s with writers Lester Sprague de Camp and L. Ron Hubbard in attendance. “Ron was complaining that he was breaking his ass writing … there was no annuity, no insurance, no nothing and you can’t keep it up forever … and Ron said, ‘There’s got to be a better way to make money.’ So, Lester says, ‘Start a religion.’”
Ellison said fellow party-goers contributed tenants for the new religion that Hubbard took to heart. That, Ellison insists, led Hubbard to write his best-selling book “Dianetics.” Thus was born the cult of Scientology.
Recently, NBC aired a segment on its magazine show “Rock Center” concerning the harassment of former Scientology members by cult believers who fear they threaten the sci-fi-inspired religion’s public image.
In a video provided by former Scientologist Marty Rathbun, cult members gather on his front porch to call him out. The group went so far as to wear t-shirts emblazoned with Rathbun’s image.
Former Scientology spokesman Mark Rinder told NBC, “Part of that environment is keeping track of how people think … it’s a crime to … think bad thoughts about what’s going on and people will turn you in. Even your spouse will turn you in or your children will turn you in and then you’ll be in trouble,” said Rinder.
This got me thinking.
Most religions simply ignore or ostracize apostates. For others, like Islam, apostasy is met with threats of violence or death. The cult of Progressivism uses political correctness and the power and influence of news and entertainment outlets to stem the growth of those holding “bad thoughts” considered corrosive to the cult’s hold on America’s popular culture – of which politics is a part. This bizarre and unnatural cult says all practices separate from its orthodoxy are “outside the mainstream.”
Like the Scientologists who gathered on Marty Rathbun’s front porch, Progressive cultists stood in the front row of a recent Romney/Ryan rally in Iowa. “Stop the war against the common good,” shouted one cultist, while another rushed the stage – and into the open arms of police. “It’s funny,” said Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, “because Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another, and peaceful of one another and listen to one another. These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin.”
What, you ask, caused the cultist’s passions to flare?
“Ryan is a polarizing figure in Washington,” noted the Christian Science Monitor, “where he has led his party’s push to cut domestic spending, lower taxes and scale back the size of the federal government as chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.”
Ryan knows the federal budget inside and out. He also knows that its dangerous, upward trajectory threatens to mire the nation in perpetual debt, joblessness and poverty. Progressive cultists, on the other hand, view these dire prospects as a “common good.”
You see, Ryan is just one of a growing number of Americans who realize that deference to the Progressive cult’s god – government – is killing our nation, and with it the hopes of future generations to live free and prosperous lives.
However, breathe deep and you can smell the fear emanating from the cultist camp. And fearful cultists have a nasty habit of voicing what they only express among the faithful or in secret councils.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” said President Obama (current cult leader-in-chief), “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Cult members in the mainstream media insisted Obama’s remarks were “taken out of context.” They explained that what the president really meant to say was that successful business persons owed their good fortune to a benevolent god – government; in particular teachers, the transmitters of Progressive cult fantasies, and the steel and asphalt alters to their deity’s great glory – roads and bridges. However, the cultists never adequately explained why everyone who has had the benefit of a government education or has crossed a bridge or traveled a highway isn’t also rich.
That’s because individual success derives from individual effort and individual insight. Expressions of individualism are, by definition, personal and outside the group. That’s why Progressive cultists insist that a society which treasures individualism (what the Founder’s called individual liberty) is hateful and contrary to the “common good.”
America is languishing in the mire of Progressivism’s 100-year grip – from Rough-Rider Teddy Roosevelt to community-organizer Barack Obama. The Square Deal, the New Deal, the Great Society and Hope and Change programs are converging to form an explosive concoction capable of destroying the very nation that withstood British Red Coats, Nazi Storm Troopers and the Japanese Imperial Fleet.
There is a counter to the Progressive cult if we only look to our history.
He was only 28-years-old when he gave this speech: “Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor,” said Abraham Lincoln in his great Lyceum speech given in 1838.
Lincoln spoke of an American civic religion based on laws that limited the power of government and protected the individual against the passions of the mob (political cults).
Lincoln believed a love of individual liberty, and respect for the laws defending it, should be “… written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.”
Lincoln understood that freedom was uncommon in our dark world and should be cherished and protected. He led the nation through a bloody civil war that reconciled the Declaration’s “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal” with the Constitution by expunging the evil of slavery from the fading parchment. Standing before the graves at Gettysburg, he called this reconciliation “a new birth of freedom.”
“Government of the people, by the people and for the people” suggests that free individuals control their government and not the other way around. But in the eyes of Progressive cultists, “We the People” are a faceless, indistinguishable, “common-good” monolith that must sacrifice, not to liberty, but to the faceless, indistinguishable monolithic god of Progressivism – government.
“Leukemia is evidently psychosomatic in origin and at least eight cases of leukemia had been treated successfully by Dianetics after medicine had traditionally given up,” wrote Scientology cult leader L. Ron Hubbard in 1952, “The source of leukemia has been reported to be an engram containing the phrase ‘It turns my blood to water.’”
Extraordinary claims are the hallmark of cultists: “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody”; “The private sector is doing fine”; and “We tried our [economic] plan – and it worked.”
It’s a Progressive engram containing the phrase “hope and change.”