The Snow White Clause

By Christopher Zoukis The color of a person’s skin is of no consequence whatsoever.  This is a prime verity.  So why – throughout history -have so many people made an issue of it?  Well, let’s see: To me, it is fascinating that there is no universal definition of what is meant by whiteness, being white, […]

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Race and Racism

By Christopher Zoukis

It was Solomon, the favorite son of King David and heir to the throne of Israel, who wrote, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”  And the idea that the white race is superior to the so-called colored races is no exception.  It’s been around a long, long time.  To demonstrate this fact, it is necessary to take a quick look at the idea of ‘race’ and the general history of ‘racism.’  King Solomon / Image courtesy en.wikipedia.org

Race, which is defined as “any of the major biological divisions of mankind, distinguished by color and texture of hair, color of skin and eyes, stature, bodily proportions, etc.:  many ethnologists now consider that there are only three primary divisions, the Caucasian (loosely, white race), Negroid (loosely, black race), and Mongoloid (loosely, yellow race), each with various subdivisions:  the term has acquired so many unscientific connotations that in this sense it is often replaced in scientific usage by ethnic stock or group.”

White was first used in the racial sense, as an adjective, in the year 1604.  Whoever it was that used it, did it like this:  “of those races (chiefly European or of European Extraction) characterized by light complexion.”  Certainly it was used prior to that, but this is the first recorded usage.  And it is assumed that this usage was quite common at that time, which shows how long ‘racism’ has been around.

William Perry, in 1676, distinguished between blacks and whites, calling blacks a totally different and separate species.  Blacks differed from Europeans not only in skin color “but also in natural manners and in the internal qualities of their minds.”  No one challenged Perry’s conclusions.  In fact, Europeans agreed.  There was nothing startling about these remarks.  It was common knowledge.  In other words, bigotry and hatred were prevalent. 

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Cult of Personality

By Christopher Zoukis

By the 1950s, Swift was delivering his ideology by means of daily radio broadcasts.  A dynamic and charismatic speaker, Swift’s message appealed to more and more people, slowly spreading across the country, appealing primarily to malcontents, those disaffected by their lot in the social and financial pecking-order of life.  These converts felt success and happiness were being taken from them by a vast conspiracy, which was composed of the government and its life-sucking taxes; the Jews, who were perceived as controlling the government; and the ‘mud people,’ who stole the jobs rightfully belonging to white people.  Righteous anger at what was happening was the common denominator among Swift’s adherents.  Richard Butler / Photo courtesy www.topsecretwriters.com

Somewhere in there, Swift hooked up with Colonel William Potter Gale, who organized anti-tax and paramilitary groups in the United States, including the California Rangers and the Posse Comitatus.  Colonel Gale introduced Swift to Richard Girnt Butler, who later founded the Aryan Nations.  Butler was an ardent white supremacist, who had never really considered the advantages of combining his racist philosophy with religion.  But he was willing to listen.  Once he heard the verbal pyrotechnics of Swift’s message, Butler saw the light.  Race and religion were the way to go.  For religion added a spiritual urgency to the hate of racism.  The result was an unprompted and spontaneous fanaticism – the army of God’s chosen people.

With Swift at the helm, aided by Butler and Colonel Gale, Christian Identity continued to grow, slowly but surely.  Then things started to fall apart for two reasons.  First, Wesley Swift died in 1970.  It quickly became apparent that Christian Identity was as much a cult of personality as it was a religion.  The movement was only as strong as its honcho.  Butler assumed control, but didn’t have the force of personality or flair of Swift.  Membership began to sag as members looked for someone to prop them up. 

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Church of Jesus Christ-Christian

By Christopher Zoukis

The next person to ride the British-Israelite wave was John Wilson.  In 1840, Wilson published his book Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin, which was well-received and went through four subsequent printings. 

John Taylor caught the wave in 1859, when he published The Great Pyramid, Why Was It Built and Who Built It?  Taylor maintained that the Israelites had built the Pyramid of Cheops.  His argument rested upon the fact that British feet and inches formed the basis of the pyramid’s construction. 

By 1871, the waves of British-Israelism were getting larger and coming more frequently.  For that was the year Edward Hine, who was a banker made a big splash with the publication of his book The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, which became a bestseller, selling 250,000 copies.  Later, in 1884, Hine boarded a ship bound for America, where he intended to spread the gospel of British-Israelism.  And he did.  While traveling around, Hine advanced the notion of Americans being the lost tribe of Manasseh.  A few years later, a man named Howard Rand, who hailed from Massachusetts, borrowed Hine’s gospel as his own.  Only Rand made one significant change.  He supplemented Hine’s gospel with the centuries-old disease called anti-semitism.  For Rand believed the Jews were responsible for the ills of the world.  Rand called his gospel “Christian Identity.”

The wave of British-Israelism crested in 1946.  That was the year that Wesley Swift started his own church in Lancaster, California.  Baptizing his church with the peculiar name of the Church of Jesus Christ-Christian, he rapidly established sister-churches in San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside, Hollywood and San Diego.   Image courtesy covenantpeoplesministry.org

Swift, the only child of a prominent Methodist preacher, was born in New Jersey in 1913.  God called him to preach while he was a teenager.  By the time he was 18 years old, Wesley was a licensed preacher in the Methodist Church. 

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The Phineas Priesthood

By Christopher Zoukis

Within the context of the Bible, the story of Phineas is minor and unremarkable.  Yet this relatively obscure event would later be shanghaied, distorted, and adopted by members of the church of Christian Identity to promote their own supremacist agenda, which revolved around race religion.   The church of Christian Identity put forth Phineas as the template for their concept of “solitary warriors,” thus fomenting violence and terrorism.  Thus, the next step in understanding the Phineas Priesthood involves an examination of Christian Identity.  Image courtesy amazon.com

The term ‘Christian Identity’ comes from the following doctrinal statement:  “We believe the Bible identifies the Anglo-Saxon people with the Old Testament nation of Israel.”  The statement, of course, is wrong.  It reflects a misinterpretation of what happened to the Lost Tribes of Israel after their dispersion.

The Bible records – and historical evidence corroborates – that around 721 B.C. the Northern Tribes of Israel also known collectively as Samaria, were conquered by Assyria and carried away into captivity.  This was Assyria’s way of punishing Samaria for failing to pay tribute (taxes). 

What happened to these ‘lost tribes’ has always been a controversial topic among Biblical scholars, amateur theologians and Christians.  

According to some, the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel migrated to Great Britain, where they gave origin to the Anglo-Saxon or Caucasian race, which is also referred to as Aryan.  The term given to this erroneous interpretation is British-Israelism.

The first person to really buy into the idea was John Sadler, who was a member of the British Parliament.  He published a book called Rights of the Kingdom in 1649.  In his book, Sadler put forth his belief that Europeans, Anglo-Saxons, Germans and Slavs were the descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel.  Since this was the period of British Imperialism, when the British Empire had hegemony over much of the world, Sadler’s claim wasn’t astounding.  Most of England held the position they were not only racially superior to the rest of the world, but they were also “God’s chose people.”  Indeed, circumstances served to prove the point.

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James von Brunn Goes Off the Deep End

By Christopher Zoukis

The lunch hour was almost over.  It was hot and humid.  People walked back to their places of work, eager to get out of the heat and into air-conditioned buildings.  Eighty-eight year old James Wenneker von Brunn steered his car into a parking place near the 14th Street entrance of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.  It was June 10, 2009.  James von Brunn / Image courtesy sezginalay.myblog.it

Von Brunn double-parked his car.  It didn’t matter, because he knew he wouldn’t be coming back.  The car would be towed.  Then it would sit in some impound yard, waiting to be claimed.  It would never be claimed.

The old man got out of the car and walked toward the building.  He carried something long and slender in his right hand.

Seeing the elderly gentleman approaching the entrance, Stephen Tyron Johns politely opened the door and held it.  Johns was a museum security guard.  His job was to protect the premises and all those in it.  Johns liked his job and he liked people, so he instinctively held the door open.

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The Heresy of Christian Identity

By Christopher Zoukis

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 50 new right-wing militia groups have been formed in the U.S. in the last two years.  More than a few of them are located in Alaskan cities.  For example, the Second Amendment Task Force in Fairbanks boasts 7000 members.  All of who carry guns and rifles on Saturdays and Sundays, when they’re not at work.  These groups post speeches and combat exercise videos on YouTube.  The speeches promote fear and spread extremist propaganda, while the combat exercise videos advance violence as an alternative.  Most of these groups claim to be Christians.  And many of them subscribe to the beliefs of Christian Identity.  Image courtesy www.kingidentity.com

The April 2009 murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh was perpetrated by a white supremacist, whose personal belief system was based on the doctrinal tenets of Christian Identity.  The cop-killer was afraid he was going to lose his right to “keep and bear arms.”  And Political Research Associates – a Massachusetts think tank – states that right-wing extremists are responsible for nine murders since the election of President Obama.

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Bolero

By Christopher Zoukis

Maurice Ravel, the gifted composer, pianist and trendsetter, was sui generis:  a remarkable genius of refined sensibilities.  Roger Nichols, the author of a wonderful new biography of Ravel, employs the word pudeur to describe the composer.  It’s a French word.  Pudeur is a noun that is defined as a “sense of modesty, decency, propriety; a sense of shame, especially in sexual matters.”  Nichols follows the example of his subject, producing a graceful biography of supreme refinement.  Image courtesy genedelisa.com

Born in 1875 at St. Jean de Luz, Ravel grew up in the Basque country of France.  His mother, uneducated like many women of the day, came from a family of Basque fish-vendors, while his father was an educated man – an engineer – who, through being at the right place at the right time in history, became successful and wealthy. 

From the outset there was no question what direction Ravel’s career path would take.  He was a child prodigy, displaying prodigious musical ability at a very young age.  Thus he attended the Conservatoire in Paris, where white-haired Gabriel Faure was his teacher.  Faure wrote what were called ‘miniatures.’  And his status was built on the foundation of chamber music, song settings of symbolist poems, and short compositions for solo piano.  Faure’s musical goal was to “shrink the units of which music was constructed and to aim for an effect on the listener’s feelings that would be more direct, more immediate, and above all more momentary.”  The elderly man’s musical philosophy rubbed off on the young Ravel.

Nichols points out that genius, as a phenomenon, has a lot to do with exceptional energy, focused, analytical, imaginative energy yoked to original thought.  This amazing energy was the source of Ravel’s genius. 

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Clive Christian’s No. 1 Perfume

By Christopher Zoukis

Perfume has been around a long time.  The oldest written record of perfume comes from Assyro-Babylonian texts of around 1800 BC.  The perfume was called qanu tabu.  Canaanite texts from Ugarit, circa 1400 BC, speak of a perfume designated smn mr – a liquid myrrh.  The Egyptian queen Hatshepsut had ‘white’ trees brought to Egypt around 1490 BC.  From these ‘white’ trees, her perfumers made frankincense, which was the “perfume that deifies.”  To the ancient Egyptians, perfume was the medium for wafting the soul to heaven and for putting demons and evil spirits to flight.  Image courtesy www.nathanbranch.com

In the 1880s, Crown Perfumery produced a delightful fragrance distinguished by the image of Queen Victoria’s crown on the bottle.  The crown was meant to convey British superiority. 

Perfume fit for a queen is still around.  Clive Christian has resurrected the concept of ‘divine essence.’  Just in case you don’t know who he is, Clive Christian is a British designer whose claim to fame resides in his designer kitchens and his perfume – called simply No. 1 – which is the world’s most expensive perfume.  According to British tabloids, Christian is a fan of the hit television show The Office, to which he is so devoted that he owns an exact replica of the green fisherman sweater from The Office episode ‘The Boat,’ where Andy buys a sweater from a red head on a boat. 

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ASSORTATIVE MATING: Is there such a thing as a soul-mate or is that just a marketing ploy?

By Christopher Zoukis

No image captures our attention quite like the human face — its ability to communicate is unparalleled.  All of mankind believes they are ‘face readers,’ too.  Phi, or the golden section, would appear to be the universal standard of beauty (whether we like it, or not).  Phi is 1 to 1.618.  Shan Baker, the president of the AAFPRS (American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) puts it this way:  “While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, there’s a real mathematical equation for measuring a person’s attractiveness.  In fact, the skeletal proportions are the true determining factors.”  According to the AAFPRS the perfect face looks like this:  high cheekbones and a clear complexion are givens, but the well-proportioned face also divides into equal thirds when lines are drawn through the forehead hairline, the brow, the base of the nose and the edge of the chin.  For women, short, delicate jaws, fine chins and graceful noses, along with prominent eyes, full lips and visible cheekbones.  For men:  broad foreheads, deep-set eyes, imposing brows, and strong jaws make up the most desirable male.  Photo courtesy www.remybumppofieldguide.org

And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the concept of ‘assortative mating,’ i.e., the attraction to others who are like oneself.  “Wanna’ go for a ride?!”  Well, here we go:  most couples, husbands and wives, tend to be similar.  They come from similar religious backgrounds, from similar ethnic backgrounds, have similar levels of innate intelligence, and many similar personality traits, including moral codes.  From whence comes this congruity?

Well, Aristophanes, the comic satirist, presented a unique take on the concept.  It goes like this:  the god, Apollo, divided man into two parts, each part desiring its other half; and once they came together, throwing their arms about each other, they entwined in mutual embraces, longing to once again become one.  Eventually, they were on the verge of dying from hunger and self-neglect, because they did not like to do anything apart from each other.  But when one of them died and the other survived, the survivor sought another mate, man or woman as we call them, and grabbed hold of that. 

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