"Solarized in the sunrise, soul arise in the sun rays"



 

 

Top row: 'Christ Blessing Little Children' (1839) by Charles Lock Eastlake (1793 - 1865). Fearful of being sued by the respective owners of the various images used on the Second Coming artwork, Squire made alterations to each of them, using a Photoshop facility in Manchester. In an Addicted To Noise interview, Squire states that he was originally going to entitle the album, 'Just the Two of Us', and that the cover art was going to feature a painting of Mary and the infant Jesus. When asked in the same interview if there was any significance in the number '3' on the front cover of Second Coming (second row, left), he states that he does 'feel an affinity with the number' (For more on Trinitarianism, click here).
Second row (right): The 2009 John Squire artwork, 'Suspended By The Feet And Beaten With Hammers' (oil on canvas, 24" x 34") takes its name from an illustration of torture of the Christian martyrs.
Third row: A. Martyr suspended by the feet, and his head at the same time pounded with hammers. B. Martyr suspended by the hands, which are tied behind his back, heavy weights being fastened to his feet and round his neck. Source: Gallonio, the Rev. Father: 'Tortures and Torments of the Christian Martyrs' (1903). The early Christian period before Constantine the Great was the 'classic' age of martyrdom. Click here and here to view photos of band members in the early '80s, dressed as Roman senators at the Berlin Club, Manchester ! Cressa and Ian Brown are second and third from left respectively in the first photo; John Squire and Ian Brown (with his back to the camera) can be seen in the second photo.
Bottom row: Ben Youssef Madrasa, an Islamic college in Marrakech, Morocco. The eight-pointed star has straddled symbolism and religion for centuries; rooted in early astronomy it has represented the eight paths in Buddhism, the eight immortals in Chinese tradition as well as having symbolic pertinence in Babylonian Star Cults and signifying both god and star for the Ancient Sumerians. For Squire, it was use of the eight-pointed star in traditional Islamic designs which held most appeal. Typically, though not entirely, Islamic art has focused on the depiction of patterns and Arabic calligraphy, rather than on figures, because it is feared by many Muslims that the depiction of the human form is idolatry and thereby a sin against Allah, forbidden in the Quran. The works Squire has created echo this historical pattern making and ornamentation, to represent those celebrities and infamous personalities whose narratives have been published so often as to immortalise the individuals themselves. Squire explains: "I applied this concept to the gods chosen by modern Western culture; those whose stories have been told and retold and whose images have been mass produced to such an extent that they are granted a kind of immortality."

 

Left: The Church is not some clandestine first century aberration. The Church has eternally existed in the bosom of the Father, and was being prepared for in the mind of God from the foundation of the world (Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...). At Pentecost, the union between Christ's Spirit and His Mystical Body, the Church, was fully manifest. Its bud was from the seed of Abraham and, like a flower opening up, the Church continues to move through time to its fulfilment. The First Letter of Timothy (3: 15) clearly states that the Church is "the pillar and foundation of the truth." Ian Brown's obstreperous "[The Church won't] show me God" attitude is like Jerry Maguire does Spirituality. Here is a screengrab of a webpage illustrating the corrosive influence of Ian's hare-brained philosophizing. This deluded weathervane Christian seeks to distort Church teaching in order to bring it into line with the ideological positions dominant in the secular world. In essence, 2,000 years of sacred Church history and tradition are up for grabs, and should be moulded to accommodate Ian's mangled personalised vision on a whim. You might as well give Stevie Wonder a telescope, for this is the same Ian Brown who is in denial of both the Crucifixion and Resurrection, who seeks to bring Christ down to the point where He stands shoulder to shoulder with a sports personality, who believes that Jesus was "basically just an angry guy", and who - when asked by Tim Jonze in 2005 if taking Peyote put him closer to God, responded - "Yeah, I suppose so. It's like the Ready Brek advert. You get this red glow around you. It feels like God's just come and give you a big squeeze." The Methodist minister wants a revisioning of Christ on the basis of this ? Don't think so, pal. The capricious underpinning of this mindset is that, rather than man conforming to the truths of religion, man ultimately gets to decide theological truths, and reasons backwards irrationally from his desired conclusions. The truth is that not only are dogmas infallibly articulated expressions of immutable truth, but the understanding of them is immutable as well. For a Modernist, dogma is not a truth revealed by God and defined by the Church; it is a truth revealed within man, and sanctioned by the Church. The Catholic Church stands in the way of their world view, refusing to entertain a subordination of the Christian faith to the prevailing cultural mores, and from this impasse, sprouts rebellion against 'organised religion'. Eternal law is the product of divine wisdom. Despite the machinations of those who chip away at the moral edifice of the Church, the truth is firm for all time. Morality is not situational. The Catholic Church explains that man does not decide theological truths; rather, man arrives at already existing, objectively absolute moral truths. Jesus Christ is Truth; to compromise Truth is to compromise Christ. Most rejection of Catholic teaching is reflexive. Protestants don't believe what the Church teaches simply because the Church teaches it. In the New Testament, God reveals Father, Son and Holy Spirit to us. For the false religionists, Christ in his coming reveals man to himself. When catechesis is emulsified with the culture so as to be palatable to the faithful, you have worship of man - not of God. Our Lord left us a Church, not a book, and thus I would be very careful indeed about tailoring that Church to placate the opinion of the day. The post-Vatican II catechetical train wreck and trivialization of the Mass stands as testament to that. An equivocal supper serving as a quasi-protestant social justice gathering, this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving is a work of human hands, stripped of the propitiatory. By its very nature, truth is narrow and exclusive, and in some ways, restrictive. Catholicism is an exclusive relationship with a Church and no other. Never use the state as a metric for ethics. Legal does not equal moral; illegal does not equal immoral. We do not get our religious instruction strictly from men. God's revealed truth is incarnational. Truth is not reached by consensus or public opinion (Matthew 16: 14). The Catholic Church possesses the fullness of divine truth and proclaims the fullness of the faith. Think of this in terms of 2 + 2 = 4. If some fringe crackpot comes along and claims that 2 + 2 = 104, grumbling that the Church is a roadblock to him reaching his spiritual destination, the error lies with that crackpot. Tough bananas. The Mystical Body of Christ can teach no error because She is uniquely guided by the Holy Spirit, which preserves Her in the truth. The Church does not entertain error by, for example, reaching a 'compromise' that 2 + 2 = 54. In the theoretical implications from such a move, the crackpot, you may rejoice, is 50 closer to the truth. Critically, however, those who split from the Church will have moved 50 away from perfection. By what divine right, henceforth, do those who split, proclaim that 2 + 2 = 4 ? A man cannot be the slave of two masters at once. Protestantism halfway is Protestantism all the way. Your faith is only opinion, your hope is only desire, your charity is only philanthropy. Every sort of thing must necessarily revert to its original for its classification. "We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong. In these current fashions it is not really a question of the religion allowing us liberty; but (at the best) of the liberty of allowing us a religion. These people merely take the modern mood, with much in it that is amiable and much that is anarchical and much that is merely dull and obvious, and then require any creed to be cut down to fit that mood. But the mood would exist even without the creed. They say they want a religion to be practical, when they would be practical without any religion. They say they want a religion acceptable to science, when they would accept the science even if they did not accept the religion. They say they want a religion like this because they are like this already. They say they want it, when they mean that they could do without it." (G.K. Chesterton). The rule of faith is tradition. Those who break away desire, not to change the heart to subject it to the faith, but to change the faith to subject it to a hardened heart. Jesus Christ always and everywhere preached the unadulterated truth in love. The immutable doctrines of the Holy Catholic Faith are timeless decrees that invite man into communion with Jesus Christ who is true God. Our Blessed Lord commanded the Apostles to teach (didasko) - not to dialogue. A prophet speaks the truth to power, even at the cost of his own life. A weakling embraces error for human respect. The function of the Church is not to placate, or conform to the world. She is the prophetic voice in the drama of salvation history. The mission of the Church is to convict the world, and to bring the truth to the world. Dialogue is a secular progressive buzzword that is designed to elicit 'compromise' and benign toleration. In matters of truth, there can be no compromise as truth does not exist on a sliding scale. The Catholic Church is the custodian of the truth; that truth is unchangeable and eternal. Move away from truth and that new marker will become the new 'truth', ripe for secular progressives to compromise further. It is a never-ending assault on truth, constantly reframing the last concession as the starting point to attack from, because evil admits of no boundaries. One grand indulgence for libertinism, the private judgment of Protestantism is forerunner to the relativistic conscience of Modernism. Worship without Sacrifice, the existentialist interpretation of Protestantism is born from individualism, where a moral philosophy must be acceptable to the individual, and not where the individual must be challenged by a moral philosophy. All kerygma and no kerusso, the Protestant appeal is personal, rather than intellectual and spiritual. The faith is not to be used as window dressing. It doesn't matter if people like you; what matters is that they accept the truth. It is the nature of truth to be known. And the truth when properly preached has an appeal of its own far beyond any passing appeal of the preacher. The mission of the Church is to renew the world. Accommodate the world in any departure from the faith, and you lose your touchstone to holiness. When delivering His Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus did not tweak His teaching to provide a palatable solution for the people of Capernaum. The only rockstar that the Church should be aligning itself with is Peter, the original rockstar. Evidently, Ian is expecting a 'Ta-da ! Here's God' from the Church; well, this ain't no Dynamo magic show. About Jesus Christ, people have to make a choice. Who do you say that Christ is ? That is the question, from Matthew, Chapter 16. The whole world, the whole universe, all time and space, everything, revolves around that question. If you are looking for a God of the Ready Brek variety, one who manifests in Wembley stadium, or if Paul Daniels' successor is your spiritual beacon, then the Catholic Church most certainly will not show you God. When you humbly beg light from heaven and arrive at the answer of Simon Peter (Matthew 16: 16), then the Church will show you God. Peter is the echo of what has been revealed to him by the Father (Matthew 16: 17). The Catholic Church is rooted in history. Only the Catholic (and Eastern Orthodox) Church has a living link with history that goes back to Roman times - and then, through Judaism, back to the beginning of human history. The pope's authority transcends all political, economic, and cultural pressures, intellectual trends, moral dilemmas and subjective social opinions. There is simply no other authority system in the world that is universal in such an expansive and objective way. Every ecclesial structure other than the Catholic Church is limited, either by its historical foundations or by its cultural and national identity. For example, the Eastern Orthodox find it very difficult to transcend their national identity, while the churches of the Reformed tradition struggle to transcend the particular cultural issues that surround their foundation. The national, cultural, and chronological identities of other ecclesial bodies limit their ability to speak with a universal voice. When they drift from their foundations - as Mr Faulkner is proffering here - they usually find themselves at sea amidst the fashions and trends of the present day, losing their distinctive identities in the process. In April 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger cast his eye over this social and cultural milieu: "How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true." Protestantism fails completely because it denies a final, authoritative authority outside itself, and that only resides in the Catholic Church established on Blessed Peter. Members of breakaway 'churches' are accountable only to themselves and the cultural dictates surrounding them; they cannot be held personally accountable. A universal authority system transcends both chronological and geographical limitations. The Protestant Revolt tilled the ground for the fomentation of theological dissent and division, where man surreptitiously sets Christ in conflict with facets of the Catholic Church. See, for example, Ian Brown creating competition between God and the Vatican in the November 2007 Q Magazine extract, and cleaving God and the priesthood in The Independent extract from October 2011. The Analysis section of this website illustrates how Ian Brown and Ras Kass hone this technique on a temporal level. A white knighting Ian Brown pits the Catholic Church in competition with the feminine and as an adversary of justice; Ras Kass portrays the occupier of the seat of Peter as an enemy of the black man. Desacralisation of the Church and hankering to turn it into an NGO often go hand in hand. Another tactic, and this, too, stems from the Protestant Revolt, is to subversively usurp Catholic terms in order to diminish the unique role of the Roman Catholic Church. Christ struck history with such impact that He split it in two. What many of the current generation seem hell-bent on doing is hit a reset button on time, such that it reads A.Me. instead of A.D. (and there is only ever gonna be one winner there). In the above Guardian extract from September 2007, Ian Brown clearly feels that the first two thousand years of Christianity have basically been a warm-up (Has the Holy Spirit really been asleep for two millennia ?), ripe for himself and a select few musician chums to jettison, and thereby spearhead a more 'modern' Christianity (note: whenever someone bends your ear on the need to modernise Christianity, run for the hills). This, from a man who lambasts Bono for "hijacking" a G8 Summit demo with a pop concert. Rather than fretting about an 'inward-looking church', we must mould the 'today' in which we live to the measure of Christianity. Nor need Mr Faulkner concern himself with the church being 'mission-focussed' and 'mission-minded'. The true church is missionary by her very nature. You're not a religion, you're a man-made creed.
Right: "Muslim or not" is indeed a very pertinent question that could be formed from this extract of a fawning Guardian feature, written by Michael Odell in September 2007. If Ian's conversion to Islam was simply to "wind up the screws" and guarantee chicken curry on a Friday evening, as he clearly admits here, is he Muslim ? If he is not, why is he imploring people to convert to Islam, in conversation with Tim Jonze in 2005 ? One more convenient soapbox from which to attack the Roman Catholic Church ? Muslim or not ? Perhaps before providing Ian the platform from which to launch an uncontested assault on the Catholic Church, Michael Odell should have found out the answer to that question. If the response turned out to be in the affirmative, could Ian then explain how sending JCBs into the Vatican fits into his Islamic philosophy, specifically, that peddled out to Jonze in 2005 ? Christians have not been "led astray", as Ian claims; Islam, rather, has been led astray by the Nestorian heresy. Islam is a Christian heresy posing as a post-Christian religion. Islam arose in a time and place shot through with Christological heresies. All of the early Christological heresies (Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, etc.) came 'out of the East'. All of them, at their root, involve Gnostic principles. Islam is a syncretistic mix of paganism, Judaism, naturalism and Catholicism. It is a monstrous mutation of the Christian faith. Ian's reference point from the Quran here regarding those "led astray" is most probably Surah 1: 6 - 7. The Koran claims that Jesus was not crucified, but was raised bodily to heaven by Allah (Surah 4: 157 - 159). Dr. Nabeel Qureshi outlines the flawed implications of such an assertion: "If Allah decided to save Jesus from the cross by raising him up, and he didn't tell anyone - no one else knew - everyone else thought Jesus was killed on the cross, and then thought that they saw him risen from the dead. Then is not Allah single-handedly responsible for making people think Jesus rose from the dead ? He didn't die on the cross, but Allah didn't let anyone know that. If Allah raised Jesus to save him from the cross and made everyone else think Jesus did die on the cross, then Allah is single-handedly responsible for the creation of Christianity - the one religion which caused more people to commit 'shirk' than any other religion in the world. Can we say that Allah is condemning billions of people to hell just so he could save his prophet Jesus ? That's not fair, that's not just. But that's the dilemma we have. But let's say it's not Allah's fault, let's say it's Jesus' fault. Let's say Allah picked Jesus, says "You're going to be a good Messiah, you're going to reveal a wonderful message that everyone's going to listen to", but Jesus doesn't do a good job of it. He's incompetent. He doesn't let everyone know "Hey, I'm just a prophet, I'm not a God. I'm not going to die on this cross, I'm not going to rise from the dead". He forgets to tell people that. Then we end up with a similar case. If the Muslim version is true, you are left with one of two things: either you have a God, an Allah, who picked a wrong Messiah, or you have a Messiah who was totally incompetent. Christianity should not have started by Allah's hand." Put simply, if the original form of Christianity was something like Islam, how does it vanish from the earth without a trace ? Robert Spencer probes these flaws further in a talk given at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in July 2012. "According to Islamic tradition, Jesus: (1) is the 'word of God' (even though the phrase is downgraded) (2) is born of a virgin (3) is 'like Adam' (which is obviously a trace of the Christian understanding of Jesus as the New Adam) (4) will return at the end of the world (5) is sinless. How on earth could it be that Jesus enjoys all these singular privileges, and Muhammad does not, and yet Muhammad is the greatest prophet ? Well, obviously it can be, in historical terms, because Islam is a false religion that was constructed out of material that is largely Christian, and also Jewish to some degree." Increasingly, we are witnessing the violent unravelling of the Left. The neo-Bolshevist agenda is not always couched in progressivist terms. We learn in a November 2007 Manchester Confidential article that this Odell piece dutifully held back from printing the most virulent of Ian's anti-Christian bile. Bubbling as if he has just pulled off some major coup, the singer disclosed to John Robb, "I wasn't sure if it was going to be a stitch up. They said let's do this with your solutions to world problems. I smelt a stitch up but when it came to it they saw me right. They did me a favour because they didn't print everything I said. I was on about razing churches to the ground, and all that." Mr Faulkner might, therefore, wish to have a fire engine on standby when he does servilely make way for Brown (If I may tweak the Emil Brunner quote that you are setting your stall by, your 'church' will no longer exist since it will be burning !). Ain't it a shame Melody Maker weren't as obsequious in 1998 ? Both equally inimical to freedom, the unholy alliance between aggressive secularism and Islamic fundamentalism is a match made in the bowels of hell (and the British Broadcasting Caliphate are more than leading the charge on this front). Why is insult and gross distortion of the Roman Catholic faith fair game here ? Would Ian Brown / Michael Odell / The Guardian be as eager to put their name or seal of approval on sending bulldozers into Mecca ? One would imagine not. The singer is a fitting poster boy for a secular-driven media dominated by conformist groupthink, whose aim is the systematic societal erosion of Catholic values, doctrines and dogmas. That this joker Odell hails Sinead O'Connor as "old campaigner" (with a "specialist knowledge of religious affairs") tells you all you need to know about the agenda here. Anti-Catholicism has always been the pornography of sanctimonious secularists. You will notice that nowhere in Ian Brown's flagrant dissection of religion do you find the slightest trace of intentional offence or irreverence towards Islam. Those who breathe a word against Islam, we are led to believe, are only doing it "for the fame". You will not hear the singer reduce Muhammad to making an arbitrary guest appearance at Wembley, addressed on the level of a heavyweight boxer or reggae artist, or subjected to perverted sexual ruminations. No, these heinous insults are reserved exclusively for Jesus Christ and that body to whom He gave the keys to the kingdom, the Catholic Church. Quelle surprise. For a man who claims to be Muslim, and is insistent that within Islam is to be found eternal truth, Ian Brown doesn't half glom on to Catholic teaching. As I have highlighted here, in relation to Ian's "We all get on" saccharine societal simplification from May 2010, the reach of 'toleration' seemingly does not extend to the Roman Catholic faith. It does appear that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice. Truth comes by conflict. Heaven itself announces the conflict almost immediately after Our Lord is born: peace to people of good will. The world today rejects the Church because it has already rejected Christ. Christ and His Church are a "sign of contradiction" (†) (see Luke 2: 34 and Acts 28: 22). Contradiction comes from the Latin contra ("against") and dicere ("to speak"). Catholicism by its very nature is offensive in what it professes to the world, but it is divinely instituted. It is offensive to a world which rejects the truth. Our Lord said to the apostles, "He that is not against you, is for you" (Mark 9: 39), but of Himself, He said, "He that is not with me, is against me" (Matthew 12: 30). At Capernaum, an elite divided among themselves would now unite against Him. Jesus is the Messiah who will draw a line in the sand of Israel, causing the nation to divide itself by taking a stand for or against Him. Those who reject Him stand self-condemned, convicted in the blindness of their own hearts, while those who embrace Him will be blessed. Grace opens the lens of the soul. In this light, Archbishop Fulton Sheen called Jesus "the Divine Disturber", and Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman called the conscience "the aboriginal Vicar of Christ". Fisher of men and fissure of men. So deeply embedded is the vitriol towards the Body of Christ in the public consciousness, that modern society seems conditioned to believe every ridiculous calumny against the Catholic Church; it is not as accepting, however, when these mistruths are hurled elsewhere, as Ian Brown discovered to his cost in conversation with Melody Maker in April 1998. As a side note, the composition of the sentence, "for threatening to cut an air stewardesses [sic] hands of [sic] with plastic cutlery after she offered him duty-free in a dismissive manner", particularly that which I have underlined, is the stuff of fanboy journalism. Ian threatened the air stewardess that he would chop her hands off, a telling choice of verb for several reasons (see later in this essay). You don't chop with cutlery, let alone plastic cutlery. More to the point, you don't chop human flesh with cutlery, let alone plastic cutlery. Not even Ian is brazen enough to make such a spurious link between the threat and any plastic cutlery at hand. James Wilkinson trots out this very same claim in a gushing Time Out feature from 23rd September 2009. According to this kiss-arse, "working-class warrior" Ian Brown "did a four-month stretch in prison for allegedly threatening to cut off an air stewardess's hands with a plastic knife (Brown still denies the threat)." Brown wasn't even in prison for four months and secondly, he doesn't deny the threat. Returning to the featured Faulkner piece, If Ian is Muslim - as he claims to be - then why is he loitering around outside the Church demanding to see God ? Besides, I thought you had God on-call on the Peyote. Are you running low on supplies ? If serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose this day whom you will serve. A further glaring discrepancy is that Islamic theology concludes that God did not, and does not, reveal Himself at all - only His law and/or His will. The will of God, Islam preaches, is God in percipi - the nature of God in so far as one can know anything about Him. Thus, any Muslim banging their fist on the table, demanding to see God, needs to retake Islam 101. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship - and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. If you are putting on a Christian hat for this particular interview, then any Christian worth his salt would not be demanding an appointment to see God, but rather, humbly implore in prayer that God may open his eyes. In The Conversion of Saint Augustine by Fra Angelico, Augustine begins to see God with greatest clarity only when his earthly vision is obscured. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. The root of all sins lies in man's heart. The true examination of conscience is an excavation of the heart. "The eye is clear when the heart is clear, for the roots of the eye are in the heart." (Romano Guardini, The Lord). The organ for seeing God is the heart. You don't seem to be looking for God, you seem to be in search of a mirror. A flagrant 'I went Muslim to get one over the screws' mentality can also be found in a Guardian puff piece penned by Lindsay Baker from February 2002, which reads: When it came to Ramadan, and he failed to fast, the prison officers challenged him over his faith. "I told them, 'That's between me and Allah." There, in a nutshell ("That's between me and [insert divinity of the day here]"), is the quintessential fall-back mode of the 'spiritual quest' crowd, and an explanatory factor for Ian's enmity toward the Roman Catholic Church.

G.K. Chesterton, when asked why he converted to Catholicism, offered the very concise and honest response, "To have my sins forgiven". Scan that collection of Ian Brown quotes above and you will not find one mention or acknowledgement of the concept of personal sin. Spirit(uality) ? Double figures. When Ian's mind is trained on the Roman Catholic Church, note the speed with which he suddenly has recourse to that three letter word.

This essay provides an overview of The Stone Roses' interest in the Bible, and their discussion of religion in interviews. Ian Brown's sister bought him the Koran in 1990, and traces of this book are evident in the singer's solo material. For example, at the beginning of Ian Brown's performance of Golden Gaze on TFI Friday (May 2000), he can be heard shouting "Muhammad" numerous times. The final Stone Roses statement, issued by Ian on 29th October 1996, announcing the dissolution of the band, ends with the Muslim greeting of peace ('Peace be upon you' / 'As-Salamu Alaykum'):

Given the frequency of the word 'spirit' in the above extracts, 'She' (in a spiritual context) throughout the band's songs, and a 'Da Vinci Code' religious template, this essay proposes that there is a Gnostic thread running through their body of work. Spirit is the life force endowed with intellect and free will. In humans, it finds its expression through the body. Soul gives force, spirit crowns soul with intellect and free will. That this is joined to matter is what makes us human. Without the body, the soul is in an unnatural state. The fluctuating nature of spirit in the above Ian Brown extracts sees its determination guided by what side of bed he happened to get out of that morning.

Just as God laid the foundations for the Messiah through the prophecies of Scripture, and fulfilled them in Jesus Christ, so Satan has prepared the world through the ancient mystery religions for the coming of Antichrist. The nest of the Antichrist, Gnosticism is the perennial heresy that continually follows Christianity, seeking to subvert and invert essential beliefs of the orthodox Christian faith (reaching an apotheosis with Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass of 1913: "There is no part of me that is not of the gods !"). Blending Christianity and Eastern mysticism (theosophy, look for the divine within), the Gnostic machinates to blur the lines between Christianity and Gnosticism through assimilation, essentially cooking up a 'Christianized' form of Gnosticism ("Every city, every country, every sunrise / Give us our daily bread..."). Gnosticism is presented as true Christianity, reserved only for the intellectually gifted and spiritually elect. In this scheme of things, Jesus is little more than a spiritual puppet for the purpose of leading a few back to the higher realms from which were their true origins. Christianity becomes whatever the individual desires, based on subjectivity and ideology, rather than objectivity and theology. The apostles themselves had to contend with a form of Gnosticism (Col 2: 8, 18; 1 Jn 4: 1 - 3; Rv 2: 6, 15; 1 Tm 1: 3 - 4). The Apostle Paul warns, "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge [gnosis], which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith." (1 Tm 6: 20 - 21). Gnosis can also be located in the all-seeing eye of Freemasonry. Despite its influence, Gnosticism is a difficult movement to define with precision, given its esoteric, decentralized and eclectic nature. "In its most elemental form," explains James A. Herrick, "gnosticism is the systematic spiritual effort to escape the confines of history and physical embodiment through secret knowledge (gnosis) and technique (magic). Gnostics seek to rise above the crowd of ordinary mortals who lack the will to break the chains of time and earthly existence." (The Making of the New Spirituality, p. 179). Rising above it all: transcending time and the physical. In the gnostic view of salvation, the soul escapes the prison of the body, and thus there is no hope for a bodily resurrection, much less any hope for a new creation. That is not the Christian hope. The true Christian hope is both the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body, a restoration of all creation (Gk apokatastasis; cf. Acts 3: 21). We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Hegelian and Marxist philosophy turns upside down the traditional axiom according to which agere sequitur credere. The essence of Modernism is "We don't really believe what we believe." They affirm what they deny while denying what they affirm. If you do not live what you believe, you will end up believing what you live. On a somewhat esoteric trip, a comment made by Ian Brown in conversation with Dave Haslam in January 2000 (Manchester magazine 'City Life') rather exemplifies the defects in his spiritual approach: "I do believe in all things we don't understand." On a theological level, it is of paramount importance to understand all things that you believe, rather than believe in all things you don't understand. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer. Superstition ain't the way. As Catholics, we believe in the Maker of all things visible and invisible. Our Lord instructed us to know the truth, and the truth will set you free. You cannot love what you do not know. Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. In the words of Saint Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe." The essence of the Christian life, Saint Anselm of Canterbury writes, is "faith seeking understanding" (fides quaerens intellectum). I am the way and the truth and the life. If Peyote coats the wings by which you attempt an ascent to the contemplation of truth, then you will plummet to the earth faster than Icarus on a scorching hot summer's day. Among the most common words you will hear Ian Brown use, stumbling in the dark, in search of his own brand of Christianity, are 'feel' and 'feeling' (see also Noel Gallagher's depraved conversation with Gay Byrne here). When Saint John writes that "God is love", he is not describing a 'feeling'; he is describing the eternal relationship in the Blessed Trinity. Father John Hardon writes that Heaven is possessing God as He loves Himself. In the Blessed Sacrament, we become channels whereby the Holy Trinity communicates with itself.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life." (Jn 3: 16). Evangelium in nuce, the whole doctrine of salvation is contained therein: the divine paternity, the redemptive Incarnation, the role of faith, the drama of reprobation and the prospect of eternal happiness. Emotionalism, how you 'feel' about the faith, has nothing to do with the authenticity of the true religion. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. A feelings-centred focus becomes a very subjective way to measure the truth. From a base of subjectivity-centered sentimentalism, people now 'think' with their feelings and no longer their intellects; this opens the door for all manner of evil, because all evil has to do is to appeal to the capriciousness of human feelings to win the day. Those who remain in their stubbornness of heart or willful ignorance stand in rejection of truth, and crave a green light to the heretical state of heart. Who does not see that knowledge precedes faith ? Nobody believes unless he knows what to believe. (Saint Augustine). In the Dialogue, God the Father says to Catherine of Siena: "Do you know daughter, who you are and who I am ? If you know these two things you have beatitude in your grasp. You are she who is not, I AM HE WHO IS." If you study artworks of the Annunciation throughout the centuries, in most of them, you will see Mary reading the Scriptures. Mary offers her Fiat because Mary knows God. My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. Knowledge leads to joy, but emotion leads to heresy. Note how, after presenting his own garbled and twisted construct of Christianity in the Channel 4 interview from 2005, Ian "can relate to" how Jesus feels. Those who sidestep the Church and set their stall out to form a 'personal relationship with Christ' will - rather than becoming more like Jesus - invariably shape Jesus to become more like them. Noel Gallagher attempts to fashion Jesus into a rockstar; for Ian Brown, Christ fits the bill of a communist. What you have here is a narcissistic inversion of the Imago Dei, an anthropomorphism of God designed solely for the service of the self. As Pope John Paul II wrote in Fides et Ratio, "Faith without reason withers into myth or superstition. Deprived of reason, faith is left with only feelings and experience. It loses its universality." Being subjected to Ian Brown's musing on the thoughts and feelings of Christ is as stomach-churning as listening to Nancy Pelosi's diabolical attempt in 2008 at explicating the teachings of Saint Augustine (or, as she would call him, Senator Augustine). In his exhortation to jump aboard the Peace Train, note how Ian immediately goes on the defensive, when asked by Tim Jonze to articulate what he has learned from the Koran: "The Koran doesn't preach violence to Jews and Christians...". Islam is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates violence against unbelievers, and mandates that Muslims must wage war in order to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order over the world. First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday. First we kill the Jews, then we come for the Christians. Open the Koran on any random page and you will find some denunciation of the 'unbelievers'. The only problem with fundamental Islam are the fundamentals of Islam. Unlike Jewish law which pertains only to Jews, and Canon law which pertains only to Christians, Islamic law asserts its authority over non-Muslims. The Koran is unique, among the world's great religious texts, in mandating warfare against those unbelievers and their subjugation under the rule of Islamic law. Are the pages of Chapter 9 in Ian's copy of the Quran stuck together perchance ? Regarding pagans, the Quran instructs, "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful." (Surah 9: 5). Regarding violence to Jews and Christians, the Quran instructs, "Fight against those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe in neither God nor the last day, who do not forbid what God and his messenger have forbidden, and who do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9: 29). The Quran also has stern words for Muslims who would be slow and reluctant to attack unbelievers: "Believers, why is it that when you are told: 'March in the cause of God,' you linger slothfully in the land ? Are you content with this life in preference to the life to come ? . . . If you do not go to war, he [God] will punish you sternly, and will replace you by other men." (Surah 9: 38 - 39). And, of course, there is the promise of reward in the afterlife for waging jihad in this one: "Believers ! Shall I point out to you a profitable course that will save you from a woeful scourge ? Have faith in God and his messenger, and fight for God's cause with your wealth and with your persons. . . . He will forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens watered by running streams; he will lodge you in pleasant mansions in the gardens of Eden. This is the supreme triumph." (Surah 61: 10 - 12). Not much 'reading between the lines' required there. Islam is the only major religion with a developed doctrine of deception, called taqiyya; much like Communism, the lie is sacred. The violence in the Old and New Testament is descriptive; the violence in the Quran is for all time and it is prescriptive. Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman. In one hadith Muhammad boasted, "I have been made victorious through terror." The 'Allah' of the Quran (aka the figment of the false prophet Muhammad's demon infested imagination) is not 'Love'; far from it, he is an arbitrary tyrant and serial fomenter of unrest. In the end he is supremely powerful, but has no need to abide by his own justice. The Muslim Allah is not bound by his word; it is not a God that can enter into a covenant. And The Word Was God... The crucial difference is that for Christianity, as expressed through the categories of Greek language and Hellenistic philosophy, God is His own Word, which is Reason (Logos), Who is His co-essential Son and eternally One with Him from before the ages, whereas Allah's word is the eternal Quran, which has no obvious or necessary relationship to reason, and which he could nonetheless repudiate at any time if he so chose. Put more dramatically, Christians believe that God gave His own Reason for our sakes that we might become like Him, while Muslims believe that they ought to obey and submit to the will of Allah even if he were to command them to do the most unreasonable things.

I have two questions regarding Ian's reading of Islam in conversation with Tim Jonze: firstly, Ian is not a little backward in harping on about those up-to-no-good Catholics and their hootin' tootin' Crusadin', in the process skewing history to suit his agenda. Is Ian trying to deny that Islamic law was spread by the sword in its own history ? The Catholics were not fighting their reflection in these Crusades. Tracing Islam back to its roots, by Robert Spencer's count, Muhammad himself engaged in 78 battles, of which just one (the Battle of the Trench) was defensive. Contrary to popular belief, the Crusades were not a campaign to spread faith by the sword, but a defence of Catholics and their holy places against Muslim aggression, as well as an answer to a desperate plea from the Orthodox Church. Pepper Illegal Attacks with as many mentions of the word crusade as you like Ian, but this eleventh century response to Muslim conquests and the 2003 invasion of Iraq are as different as chalk and cheese (Ian clearly has a dog in this fight; likewise, astronauts are christened the "new conquistadors"). The alliance against Christianity between the hard left and Islamic supremacism is a prime example of 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'. The abominable Stephen Fry clinging dearly to his beloved copy of the Quran (V for Vendetta) can also be filed here. In the Bible, Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I will repay. In the Quran, Muslims are the executors of the will of Allah, the enforcer of his wrath on earth. The Crusades were not some sort of proto-imperialist, racist exercise by pestilential Westerners, as many would have you believe. Creating a false moral equivalence, the cultural relativists on the Left and apologists for radical Islam like to blame the Crusades for almost everything. The Muslim extremists are only responding to the deeds of Christian extremists, the argument goes. The claim that the Crusades are the starting point of Islamic Jihad deceptively equates the Christian beliefs driving the Crusades with the Islamic beliefs driving Jihad. Islamic Jihad was not triggered by the Crusades; it preceded them. The motivation of the crusaders was to free Christians; the purpose of Islamic jihad was (and is) to enslave the kafir. The Crusades were defensive, lasted 300 years, and the last one was over 800 years ago. Jihad is offensive, has lasted 1,400 years, and is still active to this day. Go figure.

Secondly, this insipid 'open-arms welcome' ("We must show them [Jews and Christians] nothing but love and they must come to us") comes from the very same man who shouts from the rooftops that he wants to send JCBs into the very heart of Catholicism - that's not very welcoming now, is it ? I'm telling you now, that sort of shit won't fly. Anyone spinning this line about Islam needs to go read chapter 1 (Time for an "Ecumenical Jihad" ?) of the aforecited Robert Spencer book chop-chop (or spend a few hours here). Ian's alleged threat to air stewardess Christine Cooper aboard British Airways in 1998 - that he would "chop her hands off" - has close association with a hardline interpretation of one major religion; I'll give you a clue - it ain't Catholicism.

 

Another jackass proposal from Ian's manifesto in conversation with Michael Odell in 2007 is "Taliban Patrols Of UK High Streets". This hankering for thugocracy is insulting on so many levels, but let's home in on the Taliban's brutal repression of women. "To PHR's knowledge, no other regime in the world has methodically and violently forced half of its population into virtual house arrest, prohibiting them on pain of physical punishment." (Physicians for Human Rights, 1998). These photos are caught from a video film by RAWA on 26th August 2001, in Kabul, using a hidden camera. It shows two Taliban from department of Amr-bil-Maroof (Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Taliban religious police) beating a woman because she has dared to remove her burqa in public. The Left is all about control and will invariably align with the totalitarian ideology of the day. This is a religion of subservience and institutionalized oppression; much like Communism, the law is brute force. Polygamy, beatings, honor killings, genital mutilation. Yes, women have had a rough deal in history, haven't they Ian ?

Recommended viewing:
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre press conference (1989)
Robert Spencer: The Crusades, Fact & Fiction
Ann Barnhardt presentation on Islam (2011)

Let me get this straight, you're a self-proclaimed Muslim (Tim Jonze, 2005) who claims that the Bible is the greatest book you've ever read (Top Of The Pops, 2005) ? Riiiiiight. The Quran calls to Muslims to fight against the "People of the Book" (primarily Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians) until they "pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued" (9: 29) - i.e., until they submit to Muslim hegemony. Should Ian continue to extol the virtues of "the Book", he may end up in the unique position of paying himself the jizya ! You ain't no Muslim, bruv. Islam rejects Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, and is at war with His Church. As long as Ian maintains this flirtation with Taliban practice, and shouts his mouth off about razing churches and driving JCBs into the Vatican, I will continue to take his hippie-dippie peace and love reading of Islam with a mountain of salt. With every totalitarian regime comes mutilation and confiscation of reality, history and culture. In the Michael Odell article, note how Ian acts as both arsonist and firefighter, tagging his approval of the Taliban with a couple of personal circumstance stories about gambling and alcohol: "I've got a friend who went on the internet gambling and he lost his house. His kids went to bed - and by morning he'd lost the house on online poker." Yeah, and Hitler did sterling work getting the trains running on time. When the FUN stops, chop ? I'll see your Jihad and raise you one Crusade. The tactic of bemoaning the 'immoral West' (a kind of 'Britney Spears is responsible for Islamic Jihad' springboard) is a staple of Jihadist discourse, which can be traced back to the Crusades. The inability of Ian Brown's friend to control his online gambling impulses is not sufficient grounds for giving the green light to the institution and enforcement of Sharia law. Aside from the strict regulation of gambling authorities, I would suggest that the most effective preventative measure necessary to avoid losing your house on online poker is to... not bet your house on online poker. Have a bang on that. Stupidity has a price and it always gets paid.

The answer to 1984 is not Sharia law. The answer to 1984 is not 1776. The answer to 1984 is AD 33. The strategy here is to find the personalized victim card and then play to the emotions. The overblown victim narrative only goes so far however, and Ian overplays his hand in the John Robb biography by going so far as to suggest that "[the West was built on] stripping young boys." (John Robb, The Stone Roses And The Resurrection of British Pop: The Reunion Edition, p. 465). "In our society liquor companies run the world - they ruin lives and make high streets no-go areas on a Saturday night." You keep playing with fire by championing the Taliban and you'll soon know what a no-go area really is.

Note the language used by Ian in describing his switch to Islam; he "went [my emphasis] Muslim". The use of the verb went is jarringly slack, given the context of the topic under discussion. Rather, you convert to a religion. The Latin root word vert means 'turn', and thus, convert means to 'thoroughly turn'. A modern-day Esau, the only thing turning here was Ian's bonce at the first whiff of chicken curry. The word Religion is formed from Re, a prefix meaning 'return', and ligare meaning 'to bind' ["Unbind him, let him go free." (John 11: 44). Christ, by giving these orders to His apostles, shows that it belongs to His ministers to loose and absolve sinners, when they are moved to repentance, though it is God Himself that forgives their sins; and they by His authority only]. The Catholic walk is not just a game of dice. In his treatise, 'On the True Religion', Augustine writes: "Religion binds us [religat] to the one Almighty God." 'Went' is a word I would use to describe travel, be it to your local Tesco store, or Marbella. The Q Magazine (March 1995) and Guardian (February 2002) extracts above point to Ian having an indifferentist mindset, a belief that no one religion is right and that all paths lead essentially to God. In this self-absorbed exercise in pseudo-mystical navel-gazing, emphasis is placed on the 'spirit' and 'spirituality' in a belief system which has no philosophical grounding. Do not confuse innate spirituality with a deep religiosity. Being spiritual but not religious is like playing tennis without a net. Ian talks about The Feeding of the Five Thousand in terms of an "energy" and "feeling". Remember that Peter says in his letter (1 Peter 3: 15) to always be prepared to give a reason for your hope; not a 'feeling', as Ian Brown is intimating, but a reason. On the Road to Emmaus with the two disciples, the first appeal that Christ makes for faith is to the intellect. Ian disregards the body, instead claiming that "your spirit carries your body", and believes in an enigmatic "higher force". This train of thought, believing oneself to be on some indefinable "spiritual quest", has close association with the New Age movement. New Age is old Gnosticism, appropriating Christian terminology and symbols, but placing them in an alien religious context that guts the essential teachings of Christ. New Age ultimately seeks to obscure intellect by distorting history and denying reality, precisely because it has no rooting itself in either. This is why, in Ian's world, you have Constantine portrayed as a fourth century Paul McKenna and the emperor's mother making an historical leap of Bill & Ted proportions. Dingbat conspiratorial links are forged between Constantine and the Roman Catholic Church at every turn in the mind of the singer, propped up by various delusional claims that Catholics are working from a "tampered" Bible. I imagine that, were I to call into action any selection of Rudyard Kipling's six honest serving-men to prompt elaboration on this claim of a "tampered" Bible, prevarication would be the order of the day from Ian Brown. The Gospels were written not to make Christians but to edify Christians already made. The Church was catholic on the day of Pentecost and will always be so until the day of the Parousia. People will often use the pretense of a fallen Church to justify a sinful lifestyle that they don't want to give up. "The Bible has been tampered with", viewed through a Screwtapian lens, translates as 'I am uncomfortable with specific passages of the Bible and therefore wilfully choose to ignore their implications'. The crucifixion is the salvific nucleus of Sacred Scripture. Ian Brown is in denial of this event. Ian Brown thinks that a fourth century AD Roman emperor brainwashed first century AD Christians. Ian Brown has lost the plot.

Matter matters. Humans are intellect and free will, and these qualities are joined to flesh, to matter. That is what makes us human. We are, above all creatures, the only creature that is both soul and body. We are the highest of bodily creation and the lowest of spiritual creation. As such, we are this unique blend, and what the New Age movement does is take half of that component - the flesh - and say it is unimportant. All that matters, they argue, is the spiritual side of the human, and in that spiritual side - which is your intellect and free will - you are told that your free will is corrupted. Thus, we can see how a human being is dismantled by New Age thinking. Half of you does not matter; of the remaining half, your free will is corrupted and what is proposed to your intellect is nonsense. The intellect is not to be messed with, as it is one of the two spiritual faculties by which we come to know God. Anything we do that violates the intellect diminishes our capacity to connect with the Divine. The 1969 single by The 5th Dimension, 'Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In' (from the musical, 'Hair'), is the most fervent cultural distillation of the New Age movement. The New Age movement in the 1960s - looking to the reverse procession of the zodiac signs - believed the time to be at the cusp of the Age of Pisces, hence the 'dawning of the Age of Aquarius'. People who subscribe to this believe that the earth passes through each one of these zodiac signs appromately every 2,200 years. From this comes the belief that we have passed into the New Age (of Aquarius), in which love, light, and humanity are ushered in. It is not surprising that the New Age movement rose to eminence in the drug culture of the 1960s, because you would need to be high to swallow this baloney. This cyclical projection can be contrasted with its more pessimistic sibling from the same year, 'In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)', by Zager & Evans. Speaking to a Stone Roses fanzine in August 1989, Ian Brown claims that "Your spirit carries your body. Your spirit is you...". Try going 12 rounds with Mike Tyson and see how far your spirit carries your body then. Spirit is the centre of a being where the intellect and free will reside. We are not spirit, we are an embodied soul; angels are pure spirit, and we are no angels. For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself descent from Abraham. Only in the flesh, not in the bare spirit, can destiny and history come into being.

On this theme of New Age spirituality, I recall Squire in one interview making reference to The Celestine Prophecy, a 1993 novel by James Redfield. Another New Age strand is identifiable, in a January 2000 'City Life' interview with Ian Brown. Describing Ian's character, Dave Haslam suggests that the singer is "a bit of a mystic" (that's a bit optimistic; is he a mystic, I wonder, on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but not on the remaining days of the week ?). Ian Brown's mysticism is the type that starts in mist, is centred in I, and ends in schism. Padre Pio was a mystic. Ian Brown is not a mystic (though a levitation party piece is perhaps what passes these days as mysticism). A brief overview of the life of Padre Pio finds the following exceptional charisms: bleeding stigmata, bilocation, levitation, prophecy, healing, the gift of tongues, and the ability to discern the exact state of conscience of those who sought his counsel even for the first time. Colin O'Toole fiddling around with video editing software to give the impression that Ian Brown is levitating at the hands of some wazzock doesn't quite cut the mustard, I must say. This essay on The Fisherman examined the influence of two Breezeblock selections in forming some of Ian Brown's wayward historical claims. Track 7 from that 1998 session, 'Fourth Quarter (Free Throws)' by KRS-One, supports the thesis of the current essay, of evident New Age leanings in Brown's solo work:

It is important to have a firm understanding of what Jesus meant when He spoke about the age. Many theologians and saints in the church have identified three ages to humanity: The Age of the Father (Old Testament), The Age of the Son (New Testament), The Age of the Holy Spirit (Church). We are in the 'last days' now, but not in the sense of the astrological hokum churned out here by KRS-One. It has been the 'last days' since the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles in the Upper Room at Pentecost. The Spirit is poured out. He has spoken through the Prophets. For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost. There are no more 'ages' to come, only the consummation of the ages and the life of the world to come. God has revealed Himself in the form of Father (and Spouse) to Israel, God has revealed Himself in the form of Son, and now we are in the Age of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus, in Matthew's Gospel (12: 31 - 32), says: "And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." There are no more new truths to be revealed. The deposit of faith is sealed. The canon of scripture is closed. The Trinity has worked through human history. After God placed cherubim in the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life, we never hear mention of this tree again until the last pages of Sacred Scripture (Apoc. 22). Genesis and Revelation meet at the Tree of Life, the crucified Christ. The cross is the tree of life and Christ is the fruit which we can now eat freely. As the Crucifixion comes into focus, the sword guarding the way to the tree of life is finally put down (Matthew 26: 52). It is finished. Only three times in Sacred Scripture does the Almighty utter these words of fulfilment. The first time He said this was when He had completed His work at the dawn of Creation. The third time we hear this is in the Apocalypse Of Saint John. All of Creation is gathered before the Throne of Judgment, and once Judgment has been pronounced, eternity dawns. Between the beginning and end of Creation, hanging between time and eternity, arms outstretched, pointing to the dawn and the dusk, Christ draws all things to Himself. All Creation will be recapitulated in Christ. It is finished. The work of the beginning of Creation and the work of the end, all done outside of time, is now finished in time. The meaning of history comes down to 33 years. The significance of those 33 years can be condensed into 3 years. The focus of those 3 years narrows to 3 days. The summit of those 3 days are 3 hours upon the cross. Finally, we can see that the hinge on which history turns can be identified in just 3 words: It is finished.

Doctrine forms the intellect, morals form the will. Devoid of doctrine or moral compass, Ian Brown's mantra - spirituality is good, religion is bad - is the road to spiritual narcissism and divinization of self. James A. Herrick, in The Making of the New Spirituality, writes about how the New Religious Synthesis (his term for New Age movements and related belief systems) does away with history in order to open the way "to universal religious insights." Religious belief is detached from historical events and the focus, inevitably, becomes inward. In this context, the gate is opened to:

Timothy Leary was on such a plane, believing himself to be Crowley Reborn, with a mission "to complete the work Crowley began, preparing humanity for cosmic consciousness." (R. A. Wilson, Cosmic Trigger New Falcon Publications, 1977, p. 116).

Herrick, further pondering the tension between those who believe in a personal God and Jesus Christ, and those who espouse an impersonal oneness and the need to achieve a higher form of "consciousness", writes of this spirituality of self-obsession:

Man's mind displaces God as the creative intelligence of the world. In essence, there is no god but man. A murder of the God who is in command of natural law leaves a universal brotherhood of man as the great architect destined to shape the world. According to vital immanence, religion arises purely from within man himself, deriving all its credibility and force from man's own personal experience as its source. Religion essentially arises from an inner sentiment in the heart of man, and this sentiment is not only where the modernists locate faith, it is also where they locate revelation itself. Further, this is also the origin of the divine reality itself, God, for God is the object and the giver of revelation; the revelation of God consists in that religious sentiment, God revealing and God revealed. Thus, in a sense, man himself turns out to be the creator of religion, of religious truth, of God Himself, rather than being the receiver of it all. Evolution is the religion of the beast, spawning a New Age of Man: the perfection of man without grace. Behold the Man ! According to the modernists, there are no fixed natures; everything is in a continual process of evolution. All creatures are destined to reach God in an eternal consummation, with evolutionary forces ferrying everyone along to godhood. Man began as a lower form of life, and eventually reached the level of a conscious being. This evolutionary process will continue until man finally becomes conscious that he himself is God. In this construct, Jesus is not God who became man through the Incarnation, in order to satisfy the justice of God and thereby redeem man from sin, but simply a man who became 'aware' that he was God. That is, the divinity of Jesus was his own 'consciousness' of it. Both evolver and evolved, God is subject to evolution; Christ Himself is evolving from the Alpha to the Omega Point. The modernist posits Christ as fulcrum of a universal maturation toward some nebulous transcendent fullness, an Omega Point in the evolution of all things. Since the modernists believe that revelation and consciousness are synonymous, and since they believe man's consciousness is in a constant state of evolution, it follows that revelation itself will advance through the course of time, in correspondence with the ever-evolving consciousness of man. While agnosticism is the negative half of the philosophical basis of modernism, vital immanence is its positive side; for whereas agnosticism tells us how religion does not arise, vital immanence tells us how it does. Agnosticism tells us that man cannot discover God; vital immanence tells us that, in a sense, man creates God. Agnosticism denies external revelation; vital immanence claims that revelation is completely internal. This globalised immanentising of human transcendence is contrary to reason and to Catholic teaching, which insists that man must seek God, even if with God's supernatural help. God has created man in order that man might find Him and worship Him; man does not create God according to his own subjective experience and liquid necessities. God is prior to man, not the other way around. Modernism inverts that order, turning religion into an anthropocentric experiment, and thus jettisoning the heretofore theocentric orientation in traditional Church Magisterium. A coalescence of anti-Catholic forces, Modernism is more than a heresy. Heresy denies one or more dogmas of the Catholic Faith. Modernism undermines all dogma by denying the immutable nature of truth itself.

Where did we come from and who is our Maker ? Christ is the visible image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. Man is the spit and image of his heavenly Father. We are the dust, He is the living water, and we are clay in His hands. In a symphonic parallel of Genesis creation, John's gospel overture is a meditation on the eternal mind of God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us in the sanctification of time. Son of God and Son of Mary, He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the source and summit of all Creation. The same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus Christ was in the mind of God from the beginning. Christ is the blueprint of all Creation, and there is no evolution in Him. Perfect God and Perfect Man. From one Word proceed all things, and all things tell of Him. Society belongs to Jesus Christ, our sovereign King. It is His, St. Cyril of Alexandria explains, not "by violence" but "His by essence and nature." God is not immanent to His creation. He exceeds His creation. He is transcendent to His creation, for thy magnificence is elevated above the heavens. Heaven and earth are full of His glory, but God is not heaven and earth; God is Lord of heaven and earth. Through Him all things were made. The glory of God is the perfection of the creature. Creation does not capture the Creator. A window cannot hold the sunlight that shines through it. The New Age movement, when boiled down to its essence, seeks to institute a New World Religion by synthesizing and syncretizing everything into one pot. The Great Invocation belongs to all humanity. This hotbed of New Age occult serves the assemblance of a united nations of religions, when all religions dissolve into one world religion. And the deity worshipped by the secular high priests of that religion will be humanity. Evil has no allegiance except to itself: "Thou who art I, beyond all I am" (Aleister Crowley, the grandfather of modern Satanism). For behold, here is Bohemia's shrine. The most infamous conspiracy is in progress against the Church. An October Revolution introduced under the guise of pacifism and universal brotherhood by enemies covered in scarlet. Some of you will think I'm talking about Communism. Well, what I'm talking about is much bigger than Communism. We see the awakening of a mysterious force to attack mystery with mystery. A religion to destroy religions. The emergence from the catacombs of a subversive Church of Darkness, instituting a virtual enthronement of man in place of Christ the King. They have uncrowned Him. Man is his own master and so is born a messianism of the latter days. How this new Aeon of Horus will develop, how the Child will grow up, these are for man to determine. From an evolutionary perspective, a general convergence of religions upon another Christ; a doppelgänger 'Cosmic Christ', a universal Christ who fundamentally satisfies them all. To be a member of this cosmic body, no creed is necessary. Nature, not grace is the soviet church credo, for this conciliar perestroika is the advent of another social order. A true communion of the unholy in a consecration of ecumenism when humanitarianism puts on the dress of liturgy and sacrifice. Pay homage to sympathy ! An abomination of desolation in the holy place. E pluribus unum. A totalization, a universal gathering into one Being. A diabolical disorientation when the Church will be in eclipse. Her foes have become the head. As goes the Church, so goes the world. In this Conciliar Creed of the Church of Man, the dogma of 'No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church' becomes 'No Salvation Outside the Cosmos'. In this initiation, human and solar, Man, the master of the cosmos, must dominate himself. Out of the darkness, into the light: From the summoning of chaos comes the spectre of a New World Order. Ordo ab Chao. A French Revolution in the Church facilitated by servants in the Revolutionary World Government. An orchestrated linguistic revolt against the Eternal Word of God, when princes betray their king in a ceremony of ecclesial surrender. Patience is the virtue of revolution. This undertaking is not the work of a day, or of a month, or of a year. The end times counterchurch of Freemasonry has long desired a Pope of the Novus Ordo. In this new order of the ages, Antichrist will assume the role of Messias; his prophet will act the part of Pope. A religion of naturalism, Freemasonry has as its supreme object of hatred, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Through the door of Christian humanism, the smoke of Freemasonry has entered the Sanctuary of the Church. In The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, Manly P. Hall explains that Masonic humanist doctrine goes back to Ancient Egypt: Man is a god in the making, and as in the mystic myths of Egypt, on the potter's wheel, he is being moulded. Ecclesiastical Masonry is the cult of man, and enshrined in the Synagogue of Satan is a new Jerusalem of a new order. A new world prayer after the advent of Maitreya, where the Joy of Brotherhood manifests through all men. All men become brothers and close the holy circle tighter. Hail fellowship's eternal flame upon the altar of Bohemia. A rehearsed attack on Catholic doctrine and practice, this new religion - a revolution in tiara and cope - is an essential part of the new global order. Presgaging this totalitarian world empire is a levelling process, ploughing under, into the great landfill of history, all dogmatic beliefs in supernatural truths. A devastation of the Lord's vineyard, the oligarchical collectivism of the New World Order is designed to reduce mankind to an amorphous mass of humanity, a world slave state which is to be governed like cattle by the Antichrist. The sheep will search for their shepherds in vain, and Judas goats will lead the way. Only a remnant of the Catholic Church stands as the last barrier against the terminal civilizational apostasy for which the powers that be have been labouring for nigh on three hundred years. When the Son of man cometh, shall He find, think you, faith on earth ?

Open your eyes / Hopin' you rise...
Top: "Rise with the sunrise...". Note how the lengthened 'L' in the Solarized album title artwork gives a reading of Sol-arized. That this 'L' is set against a dark background also creates the impression of a door being opened, showing an exposure to light (solar eyes). The aforementioned spiritually toxic KRS-One track, from start to finish, is riddled with error, such as the fabricated notion that the twelve disciples and four gospels signify the months and seasons of a year respectively. The [crown of] twelve stars in the Book of the Apocalypse are symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel; these also point to the twelve apostles, the representatives of the new Israel. There was no Bible for the first 400 years of Christianity, and so the notion that the four gospel writers were on some collective astrological trip doesn't even reach takeoff velocity. All sorts of manipulation can be made with the number four. Four Teletubbies look to a baby sun in the sky for guidance - were the gospel writers a precursor of the coming age of Tinky Winky and friends two millennia later ? Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the four canonical gospels, not Antonio Vivaldi. The title 'son of God', frequent in the Old Testament, pertains not to the "Sun up in the sky", but rather, to the Davidic kingdom. The New Testament opens, not by chance, with Matthew's Gospel. The Church positioned it thus because its opening 17 verses, the genealogy of Christ, are the bridge from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The kings of the Davidic line were like sons of God, because as the Davidic kingdom was coming to its perfection, the king was the Son of God. The Son is the visible image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation (John 14: 9; Col 1: 15). The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God's Son, is the Spirit of sonship. God eternally begets the Son, and the Son eternally reflects the Father. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. It is the Spirit that is poured out on the Church. The Catholic Church is the Davidic kingdom redeemed, restored, and transformed. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased and It is my delight to strive with the sons of men. Note the word inherit in Matthew 25: 34. Who inherits ? Sons inherit. No one comes to the Father except through me. The only way for us to get to the Father is to be adopted sons of God. "When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." (Galatians 4: 4 - 5). Our Father who art in heaven has prepared our inheritance; He has made us His children and heirs of His kingdom through His only begotten Son. You gleamed, sweet gift-bestowing Mother, with the light of the sun. In the Book of the Apocalypse, Mary was both clothed with the sun and clothed with the Son; thus, I would concur that there is a relationship, a mirror with nature, between the Son of God and the sun in the sky (which rises in the East), but most certainly not the one purported here by KRS-One. Jesus is the sun and Our Lady is the moon reflecting His light. The Tridentine Mass is celebrated ad orientem (Latin for 'to the east'), whence the dawn from on high will break upon us. In the eastward orientation of a priest celebrating Mass, the Church has always had the profound sense that Our Lord will return from the East. This is why, in ancient graveyards, Christians were buried with their feet facing east, so that when the Lord returns, they will arise from the grave and face the risen sun, the Son of God. Let the watchman count on daybreak and Israel on the Lord. Look not to the seasons, but rather, to the four winds of Irenaeus, to appreciate how life was breathed in to the Gospel. The gospels stand as the central core of the Bible; they are the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies and the foundation of the New Testament Church. The planets today bear the names of the gods of the ancient pagan world, which was dominated by astrological belief; so prevalent was star worship, that you will find numerous outright condemnations against it in the Old Testament. In the New Testament age, astrologers taught that all things were in the grip of Fate, which could assign one destiny to one man and an entirely different destiny to another. Fate was considered extremely powerful and sometimes was even said to rule the gods. What destiny Fate would assign to a man could be determined by reading the stars, a belief which had imbued the whole culture. Those wishing to strip Christianity of its divinity - such as KRS-One here - suggest that Christianity originally held many occultic beliefs, such as astrology. The presence of the zodiac on the floor of early churches, or telescopic traces on its roof, are not proof of pagan practice within its doors. These are the vaults of heaven, a window on the eternal, lifting eyes, minds and souls to God. The early Christians, like the early Jews, were vehemently opposed to astrology, even attributing it to demonic origin. The Church Fathers, from the first century onwards, imposed very strong sanctions against astrology, so as to protect their flocks. In A.D. 120, the noted mathematician Aquila Ponticus was excommunicated from the Church at Rome for astrological heresies. Tatian the Syrian writes in the second century, "Such are the demons; these are they who laid down the doctrine of Fate. Their fundamental principle was the placing of animals in the heavens [as constellations] ... these they dignified with celestial honor, in order that they might themselves be thought to remain in heaven and, by placing the constellations there, might make to appear rational the irrational course of life on earth. Thus the high-spirited and he who is crushed with toil, the temperate and the intemperate, the indigent and the wealthy, are what they are simply from the controllers of their nativity. For the delineation of the zodiacal circle is the work of the 'gods' ... But we are superior to Fate, and instead of wandering demons, we have learned to know one Lord, who wanders not." (Address to the Greeks 8 [A.D. 170]). Tertullian writes in the third century, "One proposition I lay down: that those angels, the deserters of God [demons] ... were likewise the discoverers of this curious art [astrology], on that account also condemned by God." (Idolatry 9 [A.D. 211]). Hippolytus writes in A.D. 228, "But what similarity is there of these [constellations] with the likeness of animals, or what community of nature are regards conduct and energy, that one should allege that a person born in Leo should be irascible [like a lion] and that one born in Virgo moderate [like a virgin] or one born in Cancer wicked [like a crab] ?" (Refutation of All Heresies 4:37 [A.D. 228]). Augustine writes in A.D. 416, "To whom then must we make an answer first - to the heretics or to the astrologers ? For both come from the serpent, and desire to corrupt the Church's virginity of heart, which she holds in undefiled faith." (Augustine, Homilies on John 8:10 [A.D. 416]). The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone." (CCC 2116). In Christianity, the star (of Bethlehem) heralds something great that is to come and the sign with which we align is that of the cross. In the words of Galileo, "The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go." Catholicism is not some updated form of paganistic Sun worship. The Gospel of Luke is written with historical precision and a grounding in the real, in which you will find the names of governors, places and times. I can show you the trophies of the apostles. The historical narrative of Jesus Christ happens in time, with names set in stone, at a concrete point in history. So much so, that you can set your watch by it. In actual fact, the world does just that.
Second row: A view of the sealed Eastern Gate (Golden Gate) in Jerusalem. The Eastern Gate is the oldest of the city gates, and is located along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He rode into the city through the Eastern Gate, showing that He is the Messiah.
Third & fourth rows: "I need the resistance held by your astrological sign...". In the Dolphins Were Monkeys video from February 2000, Ian Brown and his wife, Fabiola Quiroz Brown, a Mexican model, each have the Pisces astrological sign on their wrist. Ian, a Pisces, was born on 20th February 1963, and therefore swims "with the fishes". The astrological signs of Ian and Fabiola 'meet' during the video, at which point we are shown an overhead view of the two figures on a constellation. The four elements of astrology - Fire, Air, Earth, Water - each manifest in three modalities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. As each modality comprehends four signs, these are also known as Quadruplicities: Cardinal: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn / Fixed: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius / Mutable: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces. At the end of the video, Ian drowns and his body is brought from the pool. A teardrop from Fabiola falls on his Pisces sign and he regains life, with the Pisces sign mutating into a cross (each modality forms a cross when drawn across the zodiac). Taking this to denote Fabiola's character as a water-bearer (Aquarius, fixed modality, resistance to change), Ian needs the resistance held by her astrological sign. Other figures in the video have numerical insignia on their body; one female character tracked down by Fabiola has 996915 on her leg, the central numbers of which (69) denote Cancer. The element (Water) and modality (Mutable) of Pisces embody the song's theme, a mutation from land to water by monkeys. Neptune is the associated celestial body (Ruler) of Pisces. From an overall perspective, the New Age transition - from the astrological age of Pisces ("I swim with the fishes") to that of Aquarius ("You come from the sea") - is personified here. And through your zodiac sign, I'll see you in my wishing well.

Books of the Old Testament

Genesis

Where Angels Play follows a Garden of Eden narrative. Straight To The Man brings the setting of 'Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed' (Genesis 19: 1 - 29) into a modern context.

Exodus

"I read The Bible whenever it takes me. I read Exodus a lot during the Gulf War, when we were recording in Wales. It hit home cos here was this rich family who was bringing the biggest army in the world to kill poor people. We couldn't do anything to stop it."
(Ian Brown speaking to Melody Maker, 13th May 1995)

Ian's alignment of the second Iraq War with the Crusades (see earlier in this essay) is balderdash. The association made here between the first Iraq War and the Book of Exodus is also product of a skewed reading of biblical text.

A Stone Roses b-side, Moses, is named after the central figure of Exodus. When asked by Ian Watson of Melody Maker in 1998 who he would cite as a hero, Ian Brown replied, "Moses. Follow the path of Moses and you won't go wrong. Don't follow Noel Coward."

Laugh Now contains a delusional interpretation of Manna from heaven.

The Eighth Commandment is recited verbatim for the final verse of Free My Way.

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Josue

Judges

Ruth

I Kings (I Samuel)

II Kings (II Samuel)

III Kings

IV Kings

I Paralipomena

II Paralipomena

I Esdras (Ezra)

II Esdras (Nehemiah)

Tobias

Judith

Esther

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs

Wisdom

Ecclesiasticus

Isaias

Illegal Attacks recites Isaiah 3: 15 almost verbatim.

Jeremias

Lamentations

Baruch

Ezechiel

Daniel

Osee

The opening line of For The Glory is lifted from Hosea 8: 7.

Joel

Amos

Abdias

Jonas

Micheas

Nahum

Habacuc

Sophonias

Aggaeus

Zacharias

Malachias

I Machabees

II Machabees


Books of the New Testament

Matthew

Ian Brown's Crowning Of The Poor is a warped interpretation of the Beatitudes.

Mark

Luke

This chapter informs the content of Fall.

John

The Ian Brown solo track, The Feeding Of The 5000 is based on (John 6: 1 - 15).

The second verse of Straight To The Man takes from (John 7: 53 - 8: 11). The passage describes a confrontation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees over whether a woman, caught in an act of adultery, ought to be stoned. Jesus shames the crowd into dispersing, and averts the execution.

A lyric from Ian Brown's Can't See Me is formed from (John 10: 14).

The chorus lyric of I Am The Resurrection is formed from 'Jesus Comforts the Sisters'.

A lyric from Something's Burning lifts directly from 'The Vine and the Branches'.

The Acts

Romans

I Corinthians

II Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

I Thessalonians

II Thessalonians

I Timothy

II Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

James

I Peter

II Peter

I John

II John

III John

Jude

Apocalypse

The apocalyptic landscape of the cacophonous Begging You, and the title of the band's second LP, have their source here.

The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666, the number by which Satan is commonly associated.


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