The battle for the hearts, minds, and soul of humanity is now intensifying. In this conflict there is a sort of fog brought about by disinformation: it’s hard to tell fact from fiction, or recognize fact in a spinned narrative The battle of dark and light is primarily a battle of information. But the picture is now clarifying. 

On planet earth today there is a gigantic competition between two competing societal systems.

The first involves a technocratic, totalitarian, rigid control system where a few at the top are able to control the masses via sophisticated surveillance technology. The second system features the rule of law, constitutional democracy, and attention to individual liberties and human rights.

The first system is simple. A few at the top control everything and own everything, no questions asked. The second system is messy and complicated because it values competing points of view, and different approaches.

Both systems are flawed, but the first system is materialistic, and does not recognize God or a human being’s inherent connection to the Creator. Indeed, authoritarian systems simply dispose of such unnecessary attributes of civilized societies. In these rigidly organized, centralized systems, human beings are just meat bodies and are treated as data streams.

You might say, “The choice is obvious isn’t it?”

For most people, yes. But the present battle of light and dark involves information, stealth, and subtle but pervasive narratives that push people away from the light.

The goal of authoritarian systems is to weaken the institutions of  democratic states so that its citizens willingly (or at least not unwillingly) acquiesce to a top-down, hierarchical system. If you care to investigate you can ask those who lived under the communist party of the old Soviet Union, or anyone from mainland China, about what it’s like to live under a dictatorial system. (Of course, military dictatorships that aren’t communist are also in the authoritarian category. But these right-wing systems have mostly all failed and faded from the family of nations.) The CCP in China, with its Belt and Road initiative, is actively competing to have its dictatorial system imposed on the peoples of the world. General Secretary Xi Jinping has stated that the CCP’s totalitarian system is superior to the democracies, and should be embraced by all nations. Agents of the authoritarian system are operating in the US today as rioting, looting, and domestic sabotage fill the news.

The test run for a planetary technocratic/authoritarian materialist dictatorship is the Communist Party in China. US technology companies have essentially built the infrastructure used by the CCP to control a nation of 1.4 billion people. Our capital markets have funded and continue to nourish it.  This system relies on algorithms, AI, and ubiquitous surveillance provided by a network of electronic devices and coordinated by a technocracy dedicated to monitoring and directing the lives of citizens from their birth to their death.

This idea originated at DARPA, and was called Project Lifelog.

Such systems can access all texts, messages, phone calls, and even collect data from the home via smart appliances and electronic devices such as refrigerators,  TVs, and Alexa-like personal assistants that monitor and send personal data to a central source. 

Here is a precis of the Lifelog Project from Wired. This article was published in February 2004:

THE PENTAGON CANCELED its so-called LifeLog project, an ambitious effort to build a database tracking a person's entire existence.

Run by Darpa, the Defense Department's research arm, LifeLog aimed to gather in a single place just about everything an individual says, sees or does: the phone calls made, the TV shows watched, the magazines read, the plane tickets bought, the e-mail sent and received. Out of this seemingly endless ocean of information, computer scientists would plot distinctive routes in the data, mapping relationships, memories, events and experiences.

LifeLog's backers said the all-encompassing diary could have turned into a near-perfect digital memory, giving its users computerized assistants with an almost flawless recall of what they had done in the past. But civil libertarians immediately pounced on the project when it debuted last spring, arguing that LifeLog could become the ultimate tool for profiling potential enemies of the state.

Researchers close to the project say they're not sure why it was dropped late last month. Darpa hasn't provided an explanation for LifeLog's quiet cancellation. "A change in priorities" is the only rationale agency spokeswoman Jan Walker gave to Wired News.”

“Pentagon Kills Lifelog Project,” https://www.wired.com/2004/02/pentagon-kills-lifelog-project/

A “change in priorities.” We know what that was all about now. On the very same day that Lifelog was cancelled in February 2004, Facebook was created. Facebook was the beginning of the social media revolution, whose purpose is to collect massive amounts of data by willing public users of platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. It was the precursor to establishing a  technocratic/authoritarian surveillance state with worldwide influence over populations.

Although it was possible to build out this technology in the US, it was not possible to fully test its capabilities in a constitutional society that is governed by the rule of law and that guarantees individual liberties. A “test run” was necessary. For that, a rigid, authoritarian society was needed. What better place than China, with 1.4 billion people controlled by a few dozen families in the communist party, who rule a massive and compliant population with an iron fist?

In 1979, China was granted Most Favored Nation trade status. In December 2001, China was admitted into the World Trade Organization and the family of civilized nations. At that time, China’s GDP was around $1.3 trillion. In 2019, China’s GDP was $13.4 trillion. How did this rapid progress occur?

Supply chains were transferred from Western democracies and placed in China, where low wages were a priority for multinationals and Wall Street hedge fund managers interested only in bigger profit margins. Beginning with the George W. Bush administration and continuing for eight years under President Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” (led by Joe Biden), tens of thousands  of high-value-added manufacturing jobs were transferred from the US to the CCP controlled Chinese economy.

Everyone in the globalist community was making money. Wall Street was happy. Multinationals were happy. The Globalist/technocrat dream of a single source for the world’s manufacturing had largely been established in a country favorable to dictatorial control, where protest and resistance was impossible. Now, wages could be controlled worldwide for the manufacture of consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and even military hardware. In labor negotiations, big corporations simply threatened (and did) move production out of the US, laying off high-skilled (and highly paid) workers, thus keeping wages low. The corporatist/globalist model also called for unlimited migration into the Western constitutional democracies, ensuring that wages remained low, and keeping the poor in these countries scrabbling for what low-wage jobs existed after manufacturing was moved out of the country. Essentially, the US became a service economy.

The fix was in.

Corporate/globalist Democrats and Republicans cooperated in a rigged system where they made money investing in low-wage countries. Insider contacts granted contracts to favored multinationals, who remained silent about concentration camps for minorities and political suppression. The corporatists (the donor class) contributed to the campaigns of politicians who supported the system. Gradually, a permanent political class was formed, loyal to corporate donors. A permanent administrative state also developed that kept the globalist/multinational/profit-at-any-cost system in place, bolstering authoritarian regimes and their leaders (especially the CCP). The military-industrial-complex also benefitted, and were able to arrange regime-change wars in the Middle East, and “color” revolutions in Eastern Europe to overthrow even democratically elected leaders that didn’t follow the corporatist/globalist program. Regime-change wars and color revolutions helped to keep control systems in place until the authoritarian/technocratic system could be rolled out everywhere.

Now, the same tactics employed against foreign governments the globalists and the war-mongers didn’t like are being applied against the U.S. government.

In order to impose the authoritarian system, democracies must be destroyed wherever they are in the world. This is one reason the CCP has sent troops to the northern border of India,  the world’s greatest democracy. This is why a regime-change operation has been implemented in the US. TRUMP is standing in the way, for he is an anti-globalist. The corporatists/globalists control the media, and so TRUMP is pilloried every day as a moron and a racist.

Establishing the authoritarian system is why the unlimited migration movement was begun years ago to overwhelm the European democracies in Europe, and why the caravan movement was begun to overwhelm the southern border of the US. Before COVID-19, the southern border of the US was essentially controlled by the drug cartels in northern Mexico. It’s why ANTIFA has very been active in the streets of North America and in Europe. The goal is simply to eliminate the competition, and establish the authoritarian system. And why not? It’s a simp[le system. everyone understands it. The elites have power, the rest of us are wage slaves. This is how the corporatists/globalists think.

Why do this? It’s not a conspiracy theory! The authoritarian system cannot survive in a system that allows the free exchange of ideas and information. Authoritarian systems must build gulags and “re-education” camps, and maintain massive surveillance of the population. Democracies don't allow this. Therefore, democracies must be eliminated. They are an impediment to the establishment of the centralized control/surveillance state.

The Defund the Police movement is right out of the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazi) playbook, where Hermann Goring replaced trained police officers in German cities with his Nazi brownshirts, who intimidated voters and created chaos in German society during Hitler’s rise to power. https://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/triumph/tr-gestapo.htm

As Jiang Zemin once said, ‘In order to maintain the socialist state, we must purify the internet.’ Of course: the free exchange of information is verboten in an authoritarian control state. The authoritarian system is neither “right” nor “left.” This is a false dichotomy. It is tyrannical. The true dichotomy, and the focus of the battle by every player who understands the Game, is tyranny vs. freedom. Who wins the contest will be decided by each individual on the planet.

Amazingly, U.S. Big Tech firms helped the CCP establish the CCP’s digital firewall, and assisted in the creation of the algorithm’s, and AI, used in the CCP’s Sesame Credit population control program. Microsoft even boasted that it has created a special version of Windows 10 for the communists in China.

Microsoft has built a new version of Windows 10 specifically for the Chinese government. The company announced the new version of the operating system at an event in Shanghai, but hasn’t shared many specific details about how the software has been modified. Microsoft has been known to be working on a Chinese government edition of Windows 10 for some time. It developed the software in partnership with the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, through a joint venture called CMIT.

With the strong support of CETC and Microsoft, CMIT, our joint venture, has now developed a version of Windows 10 for China government customers,” said Terry Myerson, the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group. “This monumental moment was only possible through our partnership and support of the Chinese government.”

This version of Windows 10 lets the government use its own encryption on computers and remove certain features it doesn't like, such as OneDrive, according to Bloomberg.”

“Microsoft creates mysterious new version of Windows 10 for Chinese government,” Aatif Sulleyman, 23 May 2017, https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/microsoft-windows-10-china-government-edition-cmit-new-version-kylin-online-security-nsa-a7751401.html

Congratulations Microsoft! You are now an official fellow-traveler and running dog of the communist party in China. Microsoft has chosen the authoritarian system because it can make lots of money from it.

Note: The surveillance systems designed by U.S. technocrats, that have been deployed to China, eerily resemble DARPA’s Project Lifelog.

From the South Asian ANI news service:

Chinese President Xi Jinping is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tighten his government's totalitarian control and is exporting the technology to other countries across the world, according to a report.

Xi wants to build an all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog algorithms that could identify potential dissenters in real-time. While China has already installed hundreds of millions of cameras in place, the Chinese government hopes to soon achieve the full video coverage of key public areas, writes Ross Andersen, a deputy editor of The Atlantic.

“Every person who enters a public space in the future can be instantly identified by AI, matching them with their personal data, including their every text communication, and their body's one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources -- travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases -- to predict political resistance before it happens," Andersen added.

Source: “Xi Jinping using AI to tighten grip on China: Report,”
https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/xi-jinping-using-ai-to-tighten-grip-on-china-report20200903152831/

The Political Landscape

In the US today there are 4 political parties, not two. The first two are the corporate/globalist Republicans, and the corporate/globalist Democrats. Practically, these two parties are actually one “good old boy” party, as the corporatists cooperate with each other. The third party is the populist progressives (formerly led by Bernie Sanders but now led by the new People’s Party), and the fourth is the populist nationalists, which have been dominated by TRUMP. The corporatist/globalists are united against TRUMP and the populist-nationalists, as well as the populist-progressive movement.

The populists on both left and right are natural allies, if they would only see it. The real battle is between two systems: the corporate/globalists support the authoritarian one, the populists support the democratic one. The populists on both left and right are natural allies, if they would only see it. The argument that “left-wingers” or “right-wingers” are out on the streets rioting is specious. All of these groups are backed by the corporatist/globalist/technocrats, who want to implement the authoritarian system planet-wide. The Bolsheviks, the Nazis, and the CCP were all created and funded by the corporatist/globalists.

Which system will humanity choose?

There’s only one problem when making this choice: you only get to vote for the authoritarian system once. Then you become a slave like the hard working people in China under the authoritarian dictatorship of the CCP.

Gene Sharp is the author of From Dictatorship to Democracy. Sharp founded the academic field of nonviolent resistance. His books and his list of 198 methods of nonviolent action have been circulated by democracy groups in many of the world’s most repressive states.

His basic theory is that power comes from the people and from institutions such as the police, army, media, business and religious groups that support a government; when the people and institutions of a country remove their support for a dictatorial government—without using violence—the dictatorship will fall. From Burma to Serbia, from the former Soviet states to the countries of the Arab Spring, that simple but powerful message has shaken countless authoritarian regimes, whose public denunciations have only fueled interest in Gene’s work. Although he spent his career studying in Norway, and at Oxford and Harvard, he refused to play the conventional academic game, and concentrated instead on researching and writing about nonviolent struggle as a credible, practical means of defending freedom, a technique composed of social, psychological and economic weapons that should be practiced and refined just as military warfare had been.” (italics mine).

Source: Politico, “Gene Sharp: The Academic Who Wrote the Playbook for Nonviolent Revolution,” Ruardih Arrow, December 30, 2018.

Gene Sharp’s strategy for defending democracy, or overthrowing a dictatorship, has modernly been turned on its head. Now, Sharp’s theories are being used to overthrow democratically elected governments, as in the 2014 Maidan revolution in the Ukraine. According to Wikipedia, “the Ukrainian Revolution of 2014 took place in Ukraine in February 2014, when a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters in the capital, Kyiv, culminated in the ousting of the elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and the overthrow of the Ukrainian Government.”

The italicized statement above is the basis for latter day “color revolutions,” where established governments – whether legitimate or illegitimate, whether a dictatorship or a democracy – can be toppled by eroding support for the institutions that support it.

Mao Tse-tung, in his “Little Red Book” (a compendium of his writings) called this the “democratic revolution.”

In order to establish a communist state, socialism must first be established. A socialist state, in Marxist-Leninist-Maoist doctrine, is one where the “proletariat” – a nonsense word that essentially means the people who are running the revolution – own all the means of production and thus control the land, the factories, the schools, the banks...everything.

But before the socialist state can be established within a democracy, the institutions of democracy must first be eroded. This is what Mao called the “democratic revolution.” This is the stage America has been in for the past 30 years at least, as our basic institutions – Congress, the police, education, religion, “politicians,” democracy, the press, and free speech – have all been morphed (by design) into something that has been determined to be evil and repressive. Defund the Police, for example, is simply a color revolution tactic designed to implement Mao’s democratic revolution in the US.

If enough of the supports to democracy can be destroyed, even a legitimate democratic state like the US can be toppled.  

Two of the tools of Mao’s “democratic revolution” are Critical Race Theory and Critical Social Justice Theory, which trash ALL aspects of a liberal democratic state in preparation for a revolution that will establish the socialist state, led by a handful of Robespierres.

These Robespierres are in the streets now, burning, looting, and rioting. In the US today, Mao’s democratic revolution has succeeded. Over the past 30 years, the institutions of democracy have been hollowed out. Cynicism of democracy and its institutions is at an all-time high, as indicated by the appallingly low popularity of Congress, the people’s representatives.

During a color revolution, massive protests are used to de-legitimize a government, whether that government is a democracy or a dictatorship. Gene Sharp’s program calls for non-violent protests, but the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists have used the violent tactics of Antifaschistiche Aktion, a communist group founded in  Germany almost a century ago, and whose modern movement is called Antifa. Radical elements of the legitimate Black Lives Matter movement have joined ANTIFA and have participated in America’s street riots.

Mainly these people are outsiders, who drive in to a city and foment violence and discord. It’s all part of the color revolution playbook, which is now being implemented against the U.S. government.

The final piece of the color revolution puzzle is the contested election. De-legitimizing elections is one of the most important steps in taking down a democratically elected government. In the US, this element is being advanced by those who want to abolish the Electoral College, which was originally devised by the founders to ensure that elections were not decided by mob rule or a repressive majority. By ensuring that each state has the ability to determine their own choice for the chief executive, the rights of minority views are not overrun by the majority.

This, of course, isn’t what color revolutionaries want.

After the violent protests and the contested elections – in which voters are bullied to vote for a certain party as in Nazi Germany, and/or election fraud is perpetrated in which dead people vote, people vote more than once, or massive ballot harvesting is undertaken – chaos is established. Chaos is the preferred societal condition for all revolutionaries.

Once the people lose confidence in the integrity of their elections, and understand that their vote is meaningless, a socialist state can be established. From there it is a small step toward a full totalitarian dictatorship a la the Communist Party of China, or Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge revolution that established the murderous Cambodian communist regime.

The color revolution in the US is right on schedule, brought to you by the globalist/corporatist/technocratic state and their running dogs in the mass media.

The only counter to a color revolution in a democracy is to get out and vote, report election fraud to your local election authorities, and/or become an election official and monitor the integrity of your local electoral process.

Guo Wengui (Miles Guo) has been working tirelessly to take down the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a powerful force within the Dark Army in this epic battle between dark and light on the planet. Of course our own Big Tech companies, the Wall Street crowd, and our multinationals have been in bed with the CCP, relocating industries to CCP controlled factories where workers are being paid slave wages. But at the head of this dragon is the CCP.

Communism cannot survive without gulags, concentration camps, and the total suppression of liberty and the inherent connection to God that is within every human being. Communism is a remnant of the 20th century that was not handled during that century of war and genocide.

Our own tech companies in the US have built the digital firewall around the Chinese people, helping to suppress them. Western capital markets in New York, the City of London and by extension in Hong Kong have provided the lifeblood that has allowed the CCP to thrive, even as political and religious dissidents such as Tibetan Buddhists, the Uighur Muslim minority, Falun Gong (an indigenous Chinese spiritual movement), Christians, and anyone who dares to speak out have been persecuted.

But that is over now.

The CCP, like the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazi Party) in Germany, and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, is a materialistic, totalitarian dictatorship that suppresses freedom and liberty, and denies the inherent connection to the Creator of every human being. All freedom loving people everywhere in the world reject totalitarianism and hatred, no matter where its ugly head appears.

Guo Wengui, today, published a new song called "Take Down the CCP." Here, the battle of dark and light -- just as in the 1980s with the old communist party in the Soviet Union -- has reached a higher level of a cultural war. But this cultural war is a struggle the Dark Army cannot win, for it does not have a high enough consciousness to effectively respond. As we have seen in the streets of New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, DC, Kenosha, and Rochester (and coming to a city near you) the response of low consciousness is always hatred and violence. These are the weapons of the dark army. The purpose is to instill fear in order to control behavior.

That will no longer work. People all over the world are waking up. Indeed, as I remarked in a previous post, the entire world is experiencing a shift in consciousness. The old system, rigged to protect criminal behavior, is imploding. In a sense, we have to thank the Dark Army for their actions, for they are helping humanity understand where we are at as a planetary consciousness.

It isn't pretty.

The ultimate exposure will come, as I have said over and over, when the worldwide human trafficking networks are exposed. That is down the road a bit because humanity is not yet ready to confront this. Nevertheless, the elimination of the CCP will be a big step on the road to the light. I would like to reprint a portion of an article by Bai Ye, on Guo Wengui's G news website.

According to the article, "Mr Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Guo, [is] a wealthy billionaire Chinese dissident exiled in the United States who launched the whistleblower movement in 2017 against the CCP by exposing the truth about the evil nature of the CCP."

In China, the CCP is the law, the CCP is above the law, the CCP’s law is a joke

Yes, in addition to money, the law is the CCP’s most handy resource.  But the Chinese law is only the party’s law of the CCP, and the law of a handful ruling families. All the judicial courts are strictly controlled and run by the CCP. The CCP makes and executes the law in China in order, not to empower the 1.4 billion Chinese people for ensuring justice and fairness through an independent judicial system, but instead to strengthen the CCP’s autocratic rule and maintain a tight grip on power by crushing down and punishing anyone who dares to express any disagreement with or be critical of the CCP.  Professor Xu Zhangrun(许章润)of Tsinghua University’s Law School was detained by police and fired by the university recently as a punishment for sharing his criticism of the CCP in his blog. The worldwide condemned “Hong Kong’s national security law” is another typical and the latest example. Since the implementation of this law, how many people have been arrested in Hong Kong?

It can be said that the CCP’s law is only a tool for enslaving and punishing disobedient slaves. If you want to get justice from the CCP’s law, you are already on the road to prison. On July 9, 2015 a nationwide crackdown on Chinese lawyers and human rights activists, over 200 people were arrested, with some of whom being jailed for several years without a tria. It is known as the “709 Crackdown” case, which is the most powerful proof that the CCP’s law is a joke. 

CCP’s persecution against Mr Guo extends punishment to his family, relatives and employees

The confiscation of the privately owned residential properties of Mr Guo’s relatives and employees this time fully demonstrates that the CCP’s persecution directly against Mr Guo has failed, and the CCP has extended the punishment to his family, relatives and employees in an attempt to force Mr Guo to shut up and submit. 

People in civilized countries certainly cannot imagine that in the 21st century today, in China, there is still persecution against an individual with punishment being extended to one’s innocent family members, relatives and even employees. But this is not unfamiliar to the Chinese under the iron fist rule of the CCP. This is why many overseas Chinese, despite having been living abroad for decades, still unconsciously self-censor all messages posted on any social media platform, dare not say anything critical of the CCP. If someone says something that upsets the CCP, the person will soon receive advice or even pleading from his/her relatives in China: “You can enjoy a good life abroad, please don’t touch politics, don’t get us into trouble, we are after all still living in China”.

The CCP’s persecution of Mr Guo’s family members and employees began when he left China in 2015. Since he launched the whistleblower movement and appeared on social media in 2017, CCP’s persecution has intensified relentlessly. For a long period, his elderly parents in China received persistent intimidations and hassles from the authorities. His parents got so anxious, worried and even furious for the mis-treatment of their son and the whole family that eventually led to his mother’s death last year. She did not even see her son before her death. Similarly his father got very ill and was bed ridden, but the poor old man in his dying years was still constantly intimidated by the CCP police. His elder brother was in and out of a police detention center for many times, and his sister-in-law suffered from depression as a result.  She cried many times and begged him to shut up. Hundreds of his employees have been kept in prison for no reason and suffered intolerable humiliation.

Mr Guo said that one does not bring money and wealth at birth, and cannot take them with you after death. Even if the CCP takes Pangu and Yuda (裕达) away completely from Mr Guo, can they be brought into the CCP’s coffin?  If CCP carries on confiscating and seizing other people’s houses and locked them up, would people really have to live in the streets?  The world is so big that anyone can easily be accommodated anywhere, but the world is so big that it really cannot tolerate the destruction of the CCP’s evil spirits and demons!  The noose has already been strangled on the CCP’s neck, and the more CCP struggles, the quicker it will hasten to its death! 

Knowing that the real estates of Mr Guo’s family and employees had been confiscated, countless comrades and sympathizers of the whistleblower movement in China took the initiative to contact Mr Guo straight away, offering their support, willing to help the victims.  Heaven will help the victims and those who are with the just cause. Conscience and humanity cannot be eliminated. CCP’s cruelty and shamelessness will only unite the 1.4 billion Chinese people even more!

https://gnews.org/340979/

Here is Mr. Guo's new song, "Take Down the CCP." According to Mr Guo, "With a laugh, Rap, a talented young Hollywood singer joined. Hollywood destroys communism!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-baX2JDfGI

Many people in the US are still sleeping, unaware of the great Battle of Dark and Light. Just as during WW 2 when some American news outlets published Nazi propaganda, some of our own "news" outlets have taken money from the CCP and promoted the "party line." Heroes like Guo Wengui are on the frontlines, fighting for the inherent dignity of the Chinese people and the entire human race.

Why did you come to earth?

This question will make no sense to materialists, who do not believe in the basic divinity of the human being and that a human being has a soul that incarnates in the physical world. Materialists do not believe (or have rejected) the idea that there is a Higher Power that guides everything in the universe. The Spiritual Family of humanity exists as a consciousness separate from the human body. The human Spiritual Family exists outside the physical universe, and is a  piece of God. Materialists simply don’t (or have rejected) this understanding.

But acceptance of this basic, core truth is essential to move beyond the childish immaturity of the materialist theory of existence.  For materialism leads to dictatorship, to suppression of freedom and liberty, and above all, to the ruthless suppression of every human being’s inherent connection to the Creator. This is why materialist States always use gulags, concentration camps, secret police, surveillance, and set family members against family members, and racial groups and cultures against each other. The tools of the materialist are violence and intimidation.

Call it communism or fascism, it is all the same. Materialist States are totalitarian and tyrannical, unable to accept diversity of opinion; insisting that all obey the “party line.” Materialist States always try to create a hive mind where everyone must think and act the same way. Those who won’t go along are ruthlessly criticized and oppressed.

Materialists  are fighting a losing battle against the fundamental truth of the universe: All human beings are divine souls that have incarnated on the earth to fulfill a specific soul mission. The purpose of your life is to discover that mission.  You are part of an ancient Spiritual Family that has come to earth to participate in an experiment in free will that, if successful, will help to raise the consciousness of the entire galaxy.

So, why have you come? To discover and fulfill your soul mission.

Oh, there are enjoyments and pleasures along the way. But persons who lose themselves in these pleasures without looking deeper will eventually feel discontented, regardless of how much material wealth or admiration from others they experience. You don’t get to take those banners and certificates on your wall back Home. After your life is completed there will be one primary question you will be asked when you return to the Spiritual Family: “Did you complete your mission?”

It’s not possible to lie about this, for when you return Home your thoughts merge with the others, and all is known.

If your answer is “No,” then you come back to try again. The purpose of the human Spiritual Family is to lift humanity, in cooperation with Gaia, to an Ascended state. Without Gaia’s cooperation, humanity will fail. Without humanity’s ascension, Gaia’s mission is not yet complete.

So ask yourself, “Why did I come?”

The answer to that, if you are listening, may surprise and startle you. But it will also bring excitement, passion, and great joy.

What's happened so far:

The brilliant cosmologist and holographer Dr. Jack Martins discovered a way to create a spherical hologram. These holograms are so lifelike and vivid that those who see them cannot distinguish the hologram from actual reality.

The Holographic Principle states that all of our three-dimensional reality can be described on the two-dimensional boundary of a sphere. Jack's holograms and papers proved that reality itself may simply be a holographic projection, that the light recorded by our telescopes comes not from faraway stars, but a holographic illusion. Jack proposed that the universe wasn't 13.5 billion light years in diameter, but only 4.618 light years, and that the rest of the galaxy (and the universe) was just an illusion. This holographic boundary was called the Martins Sphere. A probe was sent out by the military to the barrier. It disappeared. A second probe was sent; it too disappeared. Finally, a manned mission was sent, led by Captain Katrina Antropov and a crew of scientists. The excerpt begins as the ship, affectionately named the Cheesy Poof 2 by its crew, approaches the theoretical end of the universe:

Excerpt:

T’Munga Watanabe snorted in disgust. All looked normal through the clear composite material of the control room windows. Instruments indicated their position as almost 0.253 light years past the Alpha Centauri system relative to Sol. The ship inched along now, very close to the so‑called Martins Sphere barrier. There were no anomalies.

The Cheesy Poof 2 was shaped like an elongated cylinder and had three sections. The forward compartment contained the command chair occupied by the captain. The engineering and navigation sections were along one wall, and the scientific stations along the other wall. Katrina Antropov insisted that their view of space be unhindered as they approached the barrier, so all of the transparencies were open.

The second section contained cramped living quarters for each crew member and an exercise room. Gravity was maintained at earth normal but inactive muscles soon atrophied. Regs required each crew member to spend one hour in each 24 hour ‘day’ working out. This directive was ruthlessly enforced by the captain.

The back of the ship held the cargo bay.

“This is ridiculous,” T’Munga Watanabe said, “but I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

Rad Greenberg resisted the temptation to run through the same arguments again with his rival and colleague. “We’ll see.”

“Fifteen minutes till impact,” Katrina announced. She gazed at a small holovid which showed the calculated view of Real Space, a tiny bubble 4.618 light years in radius from Sol.

T'Munga looked up, irritated. “Impact? With what?”

“Don’t start,” Greenberg said.  Watanabe fired up to respond.

“Calm down mates,” Clarke said. His words calmed the tall, muscular Japanese–American with the afro. T'Munga did not respond to Rad's taunt.

Katrina Antropov sat in the captain’s chair in front of the control console.  “Sixty seconds,” she intoned. Was there something out there? A shimmering of some kind, indicating the mythical holographic boundary and the end of Real Space? Katrina looked once more, seeing nothing unusual. T'Munga was right! But then she remembered what had happened to Cheesy‑Poof 1 and its predecessor. They were now approaching the exact same coordinates where the probes had disappeared.

“Full stop,” she ordered.

The ship now stood in space approximately ten miles in front of the supposed barrier and as motionless as possible relative to it. The coordinates of the earlier probe’s disappearance had been calculated as closely as possible but allowances must be made for error.

"Karl, launch the first probe."

One of the small rocket probes, filled with instrumentation, proceeded slowly out of the ship’s side.

As the probe moved forward Antropov moved the ship, always keeping at least 1,000 feet of distance between it and the probe. After fifteen minutes Watanabe began to laugh mockingly. “Look at us. We’re like a bunch of scared school kids afraid of the dark.” Rad Greenberg was irritated but the excitement he felt was beginning to turn sour within him. He began to feel that he had been wrong all along.

Nigel moved next to T'Munga and laughed with him. Soon the crew was laughing and releasing the tension that was within each of them.

No one noticed that the little probe had disappeared.

Antropov looked up and shrieked involuntarily. "T'Munga,  full stop." She was disgusted with herself. At the very moment when she should have been paying close attention she had allowed herself to lapse into laziness. It was an unconscionable dereliction of duty and she would mention it in her captain’s log.

“Karl, where is that probe?” Katrina said.

Svenson scrambled to his station. “It’s gone!”

“What do you mean it’s gone?” T'Munga stepped to the little man's console and took a look for himself. “Shit on a stick.”

Behind him Rad Greenberg smiled smugly.

"One precious probe wasted because of my carelessness," Katrina muttered. There were now five left in the cargo bay. The probe had sent back its telemetry to the ship's data banks but there was simply no substitute for human observation. “Launch another probe Karl,” she commanded.

The probe began moving slowly forward. This time all hands kept their eyes peeled. T'Munga walked forward, just behind the captain’s chair, and stood staring. After two minutes of tension everyone relaxed. Nothing was happening. Then the little probe gradually disappeared. First its nose vanished. Then, like James Earl Jones exiting the Field of Dreams, it was no more.

T'Munga stared in disbelief. Nigel and Karl, supposedly manning the data input stations, stood with mouths agape. Katrina slammed her palms down on the navigation console.

“Report!” she barked, a little too loudly.

Svenson glanced at the readouts in disbelief. He said nothing.

“Karl!” Katrina said. “Report!”

Svenson recovered. “Captain! I said nothing because there is nothing to report.”

T'Munga strode across the cabin and looked at the display. “I don’t believe it. Captain, the probe sent back … absolutely nothing. All instruments read null.”

“Null? Explain.” Antropov was a non‑scientist dealing with academic types. She sometimes found their behavior incomprehensible. One thing she was sure of. The biggest space mission in earth’s history would not be a failure. Not under her command.

T'Munga turned and faced Katrina. “Our instruments have shown that the … holographic barrier, or whatever it is, is precisely 103.67 feet in front of us. Beyond that, instrumentation detects ... not nothing, but an utter absence of anything.”

“That’s correct captain,” Svenson affirmed. “It seems that what’s out there is not out there at all. I mean it’s not an emptiness but a complete nothingness. No space, no time, an utter lack of anything.”

“Null space,” T'Munga explained.

“So what does it mean?” Katrina asked.

“It means,” Rad blurted, “that the universe as we know it is just an illusion.”

From The End of the Universe

A Short Story

Once upon a time a man and a woman fell in love. We’ll call them Bob and Judy. Ten years into their marriage they had a nice house, and three daughters. Gradually, Judy began to lose interest in her husband, although she still loved him. She began to have feelings for women. Over the next three years, Judy’s feelings for women became so strong that she could no longer tolerate living with her husband. She wasn’t interested in men anymore.

This led to a divorce which was as amicable as possible, although Bob felt bewildered and angry. The former husband and wife shared custody of the children.

Judy found a girlfriend. They both lived in Becca’s house and shared the mortgage payment. The husband never remarried because he still loved his wife, but that was over now. The three daughters were shuttled between the two parents. The older daughter began to have feelings for girls, just like her mother.

Judy felt bad about the divorce because Bob didn’t want it and the family would be disrupted, but she felt great about her relationship with her girlfriend. She thought the children were doing pretty well.

Bob, on the other hand, began to feel more and more bitter.

“I can’t help how I feel,” Judy told him one day when she came over to their old house to pick up the children. “It’s better this way. You wouldn’t want to live with someone you don’t love.”

“I still love you.”

“I love you too, but not in the way you want.”

The conversation went round and round like it usually did. Bob complained that a person doesn’t suddenly switch genders, and Judy asserted that yes, it happens, and that they were a perfect example.

“Find another woman to love,” Judy said. “There’s plenty of fish in the sea.”

“I only want one fish,” Bob replied.

Judy was getting fed up, which she usually did when talking to Bob. She felt bad about their breakup, but Bob couldn’t seem to let her go. Every time she went over to pick up the kids he took her on an emotional rollercoaster. “I’ve moved on Bob. You should too.”

Judy took her daughters back to her house. Her oldest, Mandy, was fascinated by the relationship between the two women. Moira, the middle child, was disgusted by the relationship and wanted mom and dad to get back together. Mary, the youngest, didn’t care whether mom was gay or not. She just wanted to stay in one place and not get shifted around every month to a different place.

 “It’s stupid,” Mary said after they got home and sat around the kitchen table. “Mandy can live here with you and Becca. Why can’t me and Moira stay with dad?”

“Because the terms of the divorce stipulate that both of us get to have all three of you,” Judy said. “That’s one thing your father and I both agree on. We love you so much we want all three of you, not just one or two.”

At that moment Becca walked in the door. “Hi kids! How are you?”

Mandy replied cheerfully. “Hi Becca! Did you get that new position?”

“Don’t know yet; it’s my first interview.”

Mary was bored and began to yawn. Moira folded her arms and looked stubborn and angry.

Becca looked at Judy. Moira had been more and more resistant to them lately. “Let’s have this out once and for all.”

Judy got out a batch of cookies and passed them around the table.

“I don’t want to stay here anymore,” Moira, who was 15, said. “I’m not comfortable listening to you two having sex. Our bedroom is right next to yours. It’s disgusting.”

Becca looked at Judy, alarmed. “I’m sorry Moira. I didn’t realize we were making so much noise.”

“Well, you are. I’m not gay and I will never be gay. If you and Becca want to go at it, do it somewhere else.”

This angered Mandy, who was 16. “I think it’s wonderful. Being gay is a part of society. More and more people are doing it. Get used to it.”

“What do you think Mary?” Judy asked.

Mary, who was 14, said, “I couldn’t care less whether you two want to fuck men or women, but I think your obsession with gender and sex is ridiculous. You make a big deal out of being gay, as if it made you special people or something. You’re not any more special than anyone else. You’re just two women who like to fuck each other. Get over yourselves.”

Moira cheered this silently.

Judy sighed. She recognized the opinions of Bob in this statement. He was getting more and more bitter and she couldn’t understand it. Moreover, Mary was beginning to swear just like her father.

“Keep quiet Mary,” Mandy said. “You’re rude and insulting, just like dad.”

This fired up Mary, who had quite a temper when roused. “At least dad kept his marriage vow! He isn’t immature, starting a family and then abandoning everyone.”

Mandy snorted. “Start thinking for yourself! That’s right out of dad’s mouth.”

Mary stiffened. “And it happens to be my opinion. You’re a hypocrite, accusing me of being like dad. Aren’t you just a mouthpiece for mom and Becca here? When did you suddenly become gay?”

Mandy rose from the table. “I’ll slap you bitch, if you say that again.”

“Enough!” Moira said. “I think we can all see this isn’t working any more. You and dad work something out. This is the last month I stay in this house. I’ll not come over here unless I choose to.”

“And I won’t go back over to dad’s,” Mandy said. “He’s a whiner and a bigot.”

“What’s your position Mary?” Becca asked, trying to calm emotions.

“I don’t mind the arrangements. I like to see both of you. But if I’m going to stay here I want that spare bed in the basement.”

Judy winced. “All right. I’ll talk to Bob before our next scheduled move.”

Judy went over to see Bob the next day after work and explained the situation. Nothing got resolved, except they agreed that Bob should have all three kids over for a day and a night on the first of next month.

“I want to talk to them without you around,” Bob said.

Judy sighed. “Mandy says she doesn’t want to come over here anymore.”

Bob shrugged. “It’s only for one day.”

Judy was resigned. “OK, but she might not be in a good mood.”

“I’ll risk it. Just get her over here.”

Life went on. At the beginning of the month Judy took Mandy, Moira, and Mary to see Bob. Mandy complained the entire way.

“Oh shut up Mandy,” Moira said. “You only have to stay for one night.”

“It’ll be one night too many.”

When they arrived at Bob’s, he was standing outside the door. Moira ran out of the car and threw herself into her father’s arms. Mandy looked disgusted and Mary shook her head. She just wanted this resolved for all time. Or until she was old enough to get a place of her own.

That night Bob ordered pizza (Mandy’s favorite food) and the four sat around the kitchen table, eating.

Bob turned to Mandy. “What makes women suddenly stop liking men?”

“You’re asking me?” Mandy said. “I’m only 16.”

“And you used to read teen mags and like boys,” Moira said to her. “So it’s a good question. I want to know too.”

All eyes were on Mandy now. “I don’t know...I like girls better than boys now I guess.”

“But what caused you to change your mind?” Bob asked. He always spoke to his children as if they were adults. That’s the one thing Mandy liked about dad.

“It’s not a mental thing. You don’t turn it on and off. It’s emotional. I can’t explain it.”

“Dad’s still trying to figure out why mom left him for a woman,” Moira said.

“Yeah, but mainly it’s that when Judy left it broke up our family,” Bob said. “I thought I was marrying a responsible adult. I could understand it if she didn’t love me anymore. But I know she does. How do you decide you can’t stand men after thirteen years of marriage? We had three children together! I always treated her with respect.”

Mandy frowned. This was true; dad didn’t cheat even though toward the end they argued constantly. “People change.”

“Not like that,” Bob said. “When you’re 16 you have questions about your sexuality. That’s normal, Mandy. Not when you’re 40.”

“Mom told me once it came on gradually,” Mary said. “She got more interested in women and less interested in men. Then she just couldn’t have sex with you anymore.”

“It’s not about sex for me, Mary. Well, maybe a little,” he admitted. “After your mom left I was with other women during the months you kids weren’t here.”

This was news to Mandy. “I thought you were just whiny, dad. You mean you’ve seen other women?”

“Occasionally, but it wasn’t satisfying. Sex without love is sterile. I’m a one-woman man, Mandy, to my detriment. That’s why I’m asking you. Is sex so important that it causes love to die, and break up a family?”

“I guess it is,” Moira said. “For some people.” She looked accusingly at Mandy.

“Don’t blame me!”

“I’ll ask mom when I see her,” Mary said.

“What will we do about you, Mandy?” Bob asked. “If you don’t want to stay here you don’t have to.”

“I thought you said you loved us so much you wanted all three of us.”

“I do, but I’m not a damn dictator.”

“I’d prefer to stay with mom and Becca,” Mandy said.

Moira and Mary decided to stay with their father.

“Dad, you have to let go of mom,” Mandy said. “It’s over, you know it’s over.”

“Fuck.” Bob shook his head sadly, a look of resignation on his face. “I suppose you’re right Mandy.”

“You can love more than one person,” she said.

Bob was startled by this peroration. “Can you?”

“Sure!” Mandy liked it that dad didn’t say, ‘How could a 16-year-old kid know that?’ “It happens a lot.”

Mary wanted to say, ‘in movies and novels,’ but she didn’t. For once she agreed with her older sister on something. “Maybe Mandy’s right dad.”

Both girls saw their father pondering this. Moira and Mary nodded to Mandy with a look that said, ‘good job.’  Mandy was inordinately pleased with this approval from her normally idiotic sisters. She felt like a successful marriage counselor.

Mary was still troubled by the question of love and sex. Did mom really leave dad just because of sexual attraction? She kept telling them she still loved dad, so it must be that. She went to sleep that night determined to ask mom in the morning.

After the kids were in bed Bob called Judy. “Come over and get Mandy in the morning,” he said. “She’s going back to you.”

When Judy came over on Monday morning before work Mary confronted her mom. “Is sex so important that it causes love to die?”

Judy was nonplussed. “Honey, it’s six thirty in the morning. I’m not ready for that question now.”

Mary was adamant. “All right, I’m coming with Mandy. When you come home after work you’d better have an answer for me.”

Judy looked accusingly at Bob. “This is your doing.”

Moira stamped her foot. “It isn’t, mom. I’m with Mary. If you still love dad, then the only reason you’re apart is because of sex.”

Judy smiled wearily. “It’s a lot more complicated than that dear.”

“OK,” Mary said. “We’ll all come home today with you. Moira and I will stay home after school. We’ll talk during dinner.”

Mary nodded to Moira. Mandy sighed. “All right.”

Bob was about to object that it was his turn to have the kids, but he could see the flame in Mary’s eyes. His youngest daughter was a powerful personality. She would be a CEO or a commander in the military. There was no arguing with her. “OK,” he grumbled.

“Stop whining dad,” Mandy said.

Judy looked at her phone. She had to be at work by 7 so the kids had to ride the bus to school. “I just have time to take you three to the stop if we leave now. I don’t want to be late for work.”

All three daughters trooped out of the house. Bob felt that a part of him left with his wife and daughters. His eyes began to tear up. Maybe Mandy is right, he thought. Maybe I am a whiner.

Judy worked as an office manager in a local construction firm. During the day she wondered what she would tell Mary tonight. She knew her daughter wouldn’t let her slide. Was sex really that important to her? Was that really why she left Bob? Is sex more important than love? Did she really love Becca? One thing was for sure: Bob liked sex and she didn’t want that with him anymore. It was probably as simple as that.

When Judy got home from work all three girls were at the kitchen table. Today was leftovers day. Judy and Mandy microwaved their food, Moira and Mary dished up the remnants of a Caesar’s salad.

When everyone was seated, Judy decided to jump right in. “I left Bob because your father wanted sex a lot. I didn’t want his hands on me anymore. Did that kill my love for him? Probably.”

Mandy nodded her agreement. Moira and Mary pondered this. “I can see that,” Moira said. “But do you really love Becca?”

Judy thanked God Becca wasn’t here. After several moments she said, “I’m a lot more comfortable living with Becca than your father, even if...there isn’t a strong love. I like Becca a lot and she likes me. We’re happy. That’s all you can ask from life.”

Mary seemed satisfied with this answer and Judy breathed a sigh of relief. If Mary got stubborn she could cause a lot of tension.

“But what if you change your mind again?” Moira asked. “You seemed happy to marry dad and screw him for ten years. You had three children. You were almost 40 when you made the switch. So what if it happens again?”

Mary was amazed that her sister had asked the tough question. Usually it was her who had to do it. Even Mandy seemed interested in the question.

Judy was startled; she didn’t have a ready answer. She thought out loud. “I started to change about seven years into the marriage, after you all had been born. It was a feeling, a sexual reorientation I guess. I didn’t ask for it, it just happened.”

“You never had those feelings before you married dad?” Mandy asked.

“No, I don’t think so. I just...followed convention. I just skated along. I never looked at myself until I was committed to a marriage that was supposed to last my entire life.”

Judy realized that was she said was true. Marrying Bob must have made her feel trapped somehow. She had always thought that marriage was what you were supposed to do. “I wanted to have children,” she said. “Please don’t think that any of you were ‘accidental.’ I was overjoyed to give birth and to have daughters. Bob wanted sons, but...I always wanted daughters.”

 Again Judy had a realization. “I never asked myself why I didn’t want sons. Perhaps that feeling was something I never looked at. If we had had sons, maybe the marriage wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.”

The girls were conflicted about this, especially Mary.

“So then I wouldn’t have been born.”

“Oh sweetheart, don’t feel like that. I think God blessed us with daughters. It was supposed to happen.”

Mandy was fascinated. She didn’t worry about not being born because she was the first. “So mom, having daughters made you feel more comfortable. You were surrounded by females and were able to stay in the marriage.”

Judy brightened. The girls could see that their mom wasn’t giving rehearsed answers. She was having realizations.

“When did you start feeling...gay?” Mary asked.

Judy frowned. “Well, it was about two years after you had all been born. Bob wanted to try for a son, but I knew I was done. That was the beginning of my...change.”

Moira was confused. “I don’t get it.”

Mandy was curious. “You’ve never had any attraction to the same sex, Moira?”

“Never. I like boys. I don’t get the whole gender thing and why people are so obsessed with it. I don’t get the trans thing either, it makes no sense to me. Why is this such a big problem in society now? Dad says it was never a big deal when he was growing up.”

“How about you, Mary?” Judy asked.

“I think the whole subject is incredibly boring. Who cares if you like girls or boys? Do your thing, but please shut up about it.”

“Do Becca and I talk about sex and gender that much?” Judy asked.

“More than I want to hear,” Mary said. “Like I said, it’s boring to me.”

“I like it,” Mandy said, giving Mary a pointed look.

Mary rolled her eyes and Moira laughed.

“OK, so what are we going to do?” Judy asked.

“I don’t want to go back to dad’s,” Mandy said. “I’ll stay here.”

“I’ll stay with dad,” Moira said.

“I’ll go back and forth,” Mary said, “as long as I can have the basement.”

Judy sighed. “I suspected it would come to this eventually when you three grew up. I’ll talk to Bob tonight. Since it’s his turn, I’ll drive Moira and Mary over there tomorrow before school.”

The girls were happy with this arrangement and went up to their rooms, but Judy felt uncomfortable with Moira’s question. What would happen if she fell out of the relationship with Becca? Would that spark another gender identity change, or would she just find another woman? Judy felt very nervous about this. She didn’t know why it happened the first time; what if it happened again?

Just then Becca walked in. “Hi sweetie!” she said to Judy, and gave her a kiss. Judy felt good about this, but was still troubled. “Becca,” she said, “do people change gender identities after they’ve already made the switch?”

Becca saw Judy’s troubled face and smiled. “No, I don’t think so. I mean, it could happen. In my experience, once you settle in to a gender identity you almost always stay there. Especially as you grow older. It feels more and more comfortable.”

Judy was happy to hear this. Becca was a psychologist and saw a lot of patients. After she and Becca made love that night though, Judy lay there thinking after Becca went to sleep. What if she was an outlier? She wouldn’t want to break up their family again. And she didn’t want to hurt Becca. She asked herself whether their relationship was fully satisfying. Was she settling with Becca, just as she had settled with Bob? Judy spent a troubled night trying to sort out her feelings. She didn’t get to sleep until past four.

The next morning a tired Judy drove Moira and Mary to Bob’s. He would take them to school this month.

Becca had been cheerful and didn’t seem to have a care in the world. She was looking forward to making love again that night. Judy knew other women who were in love with each other. Or at least they said they were. She also knew a few couples who pretended to be happy, but were questioning their relationship. But that happened to everyone.

As she went through the motions at work, answering phones and dealing with walk-ins, she wondered why she was having these feelings. She wondered what good it did to be introspective. Some people (like Becca) said it was a sign of high self-awareness. She wasn’t so sure. For her it meant struggling with feelings she’d rather not have. She was not only questioning herself, but Becca too! Maybe she needed to go into therapy. She’d talk to Becca about that tonight.

When Becca got home she wanted to go out to dinner. “Let’s go to Seva. I don’t feel like eating in.”

“OK.”

Becca was cheerful throughout the meal but she saw that Judy wasn’t into it.  “Did I say something?”

“No, not at all. I just wonder should I go into therapy.”

Becca was stunned. “Aren’t you happy?”

“Yes, but I’m worried it won’t last. I don’t want to fall out of love with you and go back to being the old Judy.”

Becca’s expression turned serious. “I see. I can give you the name of a good therapist I know. She’s dealt with these issues before.”

Judy could see that Becca was hurt. “I’m sorry Becca. It’s not you, it’s me.”

“I don’t want to lose you Judy. I’m really happy for the first time in years.”

This made Judy feel that she hadto be as cheerful and committed as Becca. But she didn’t feel that way. They finished eating and drove home. Both women felt that there was now a barrier between them. Judy felt guilty because she caused it.

When Bob drove Mary to Judy’s home at the end of the month, Judy saw that Mary was very cheerful. This made her feel inadequate somehow, for she and Becca and Mandy had been feeling down. “How’s it going Mary?”

“Great, mom. Dad took us both to the carnival two weekends ago. Last week we saw this really cool movie about fungus.”

Judy had heard about this film but had never seen it. Maybe she and Becca and Mandy could go; it might help them both get over their rough patch. “How are you and Moira getting along?”

“Fab mom. Dad hasn’t been whining much about you this month. I think our little talk a few weeks ago helped him let go of you a little more. He seems happier.”

For some reason Judy felt a pang of jealousy, and some irritation. Bob had always been good with the kids even though he swore a lot. Was he a better father than she was a mother? Oh my God, she thought. I’m going to call Becca’s therapist.

“Are you OK mom?”

Usually she would just say, “Oh yes I’m fine,” but today she didn’t want to. “I’m having a bit of a rough time, Mary.” She smiled wanly. “Hopefully I won’t whine too much.”

This made Mary laugh, and Judy’s depression lifted. You see, she told herself, I can still make people happy. “I need to get over myself.”

Her youngest smiled. “That’s a good idea mom. I think dad is finally starting to lighten up a little. It’s more fun over there now.”

Judy wondered how much fun it would be for Mary this month.

One day at work a customer came in, inquiring about a kitchen remodel. “Hi, I’m Judy Moreno. We’ve got several brochures we can look at.” Judy showed the brochures to the woman, who looked to be around 40, and wrote down the details of the job. “We can send an estimator to your house anytime you’d like,” Judy said.

“That would be great. I’m anxious to get going.”

Everything was arranged and the office was empty. The two women began to talk.

“Are you related to Bob Moreno, the school principal at Midland East?”

“Why yes! We used to be married.”

The woman smiled. “It didn’t work out for me either. But I did get some money from the bastard.”

Both women laughed. Judy was curious. “I don’t want to pry, but have you been out with Bob?”

“Not so you’d notice... Oh I get it. You’re that Judy.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Judy had to be polite but she was angry.

“I’m sorry. I guess I’m the one who’s prying. It’s just that Bob talks about you a lot. I think he still loves you.”

Judy didn’t think this degree of intimacy was appropriate in a construction office. “So you know my story.”

The woman nodded. "I'm Stephanie Burrows, by the way."

“Do you have children, Stephanie?” Judy asked.

“Two boys, 16 and 14.”

“I have three girls, 16, 15, and 14. Bob and I share them.” She looked carefully at the woman. “Don’t worry, Bob and I are over with.”

The woman brightened. “Thank you Judy! I don’t want to cause problems between you and your family.”

“Do you like Bob?”

“Yes I do. He’s steady, good looking, and he’s great at his job. I work at the high school too.”

This bothered Judy a little. She had never followed Bob’s work that closely. With three kids of her own and a job that could be hectic, she didn’t have time to worry about the children of other people or Bob’s work with them. She wondered how Bob had felt after coming home each day to a house full of girls after dealing with high school students all day. She knew Bob was a hands-on guy at the high school. “I’m sorry, I’m daydreaming. We’re all set for the estimate? The date and time is OK? The name of our estimator is Raheem Hassan. He’s the best in the business.”

“Perfect.” The woman walked out, Judy noticed, with an energetic bounce to her step. She could tell the woman was excited about her husband...no, her ex-husband. Why should that concern her? She was happy with Becca. As the company phone rang she wondered how much interest Bob had in Stephanie Burrows.

Moira was excited when dad brought Stephanie home. Mary was curious. Would she stay the night?

After the introductions, Bob smiled. Bob had lived with females for fifteen years; he knew his girls were wondering about the sleeping arrangement. “Don’t worry girls, we’re not fooling around here tonight. I wanted you to meet Stephanie, maybe talk a little.”

Moira inspected dad’s new girlfriend carefully. She felt somewhat protective of him. Stephanie was dressed casually but neatly in a nice blouse and slacks. She wore earrings but no other jewelry.

“Do I pass inspection?” Stephanie asked, smiling.

“So far,” Moira said.

“But the jury is still out.”

“That’s right,” Mary said.

“Your father and I are going to see a movie and have something to eat,” Stephanie said. “I’ll make sure to bring him home before midnight.”

Mary giggled but Moira nodded seriously. “That’s good.”

Stephanie smiled again. “You’ll be waiting up for us.”

Moira relaxed enough for a little smile. She liked that Stephanie wasn’t nervous or serious around her and her sister. “I will!” she said cheerfully.

Stephanie turned to Bob. “You’ve got great kids. My boys don’t care what I do as long as I let them stay out half the night.”

“You have boys?” Mary asked.

“Jim and Brad. Sixteen and 15. Both of them are sports crazy.”

Moira and Mary were interested. “Are they jocks?” Moira asked.

Stephanie laughed. “Well, Jim plays football and Brad is a hockey player. Both of them like physical contact.”

“Physical contact!” Mary said, wondering whether they were goofy looking or handsome. Dad glanced at her with a knowing look. Slightly embarrassed, Mary said, “They’re not nerds anyway, right?”

“Oh definitely not that.”

“Bring them over sometime,” Moira suggested.

Bob wasn’t comfortable with the direction of the conversation. “Maybe when you two are a little older.”

Moira and Mary looked at each other, rolling their eyes. “Dad is protective,” Moira said.

Stephanie’s eyes began to water.

“Sorry if I said anything bad,” Moira said.

“Oh no my dear. It’s just...my ex-husband wasn’t close to my boys. It was part of the reason we divorced. I’m just a little envious that you three are so tight-knit.”

Moira laughed. “Wait until you see Mandy!”

Mary joined in the laughter. “Mom and Mandy are gay.”

“It was the reason mom divorced dad,” Moira added.

Stephanie looked a bit startled.

“Yeah, so our family isn’t the Waltons or anything,” Mary said.

“What movie are you seeing and where are you going to dinner?” Moira asked.

Stephanie smiled again, looking at Bob. “We’re going to the State to see a documentary about education in Europe. We haven’t decided where we’re eating.”

“Somewhere intimate,” Moira suggested. “White tablecloths, subdued lighting, candles on the table.”

Bob looked nonplussed. “Uh, well, maybe on a later date.”

Moira recognized that dad was thinking about mom again. She kicked herself for wrecking the mood when everything was going well. She saw how Stephanie didn’t pursue the topic and changed the subject. She liked that. The woman was sensitive to dad’s feelings.

Mary looked at her sister and they both nodded. “OK, you can go now,” Mary said.

Bob laughed, breaking the tension. “Thanks girls! We’ll see you before midnight.”

Three weeks later Stephanie brought her two sons over to meet Bob. Both boys didn’t want to be there until they saw Moira walk into the living room. Mary heard talking and came down the stairs from her upstairs bedroom and into the living room. She could feel the tension as she walked into the room. “Who are these two guys?” she asked Stephanie.

Bob started to laugh. It was just like Mary to plow through social awkwardness by saying something blunt.

Stephanie did the introductions. “Mary, Moira, this is Jim, my oldest, and Brad. Brad, Jim, that’s Moira standing in front of Mary.”

Mary could see that both boys were gaga over her sister. “You should have told me your boyfriend had a daughter,” Brad said. He was staring at Moira with frank admiration.

Jim looked bored. “OK, we’ve met them mom. Can we leave now?”

Mary laughed. “It’s just what I was thinking.”

This was said with such an air of sarcasm and humor that Jim turned his head toward Mary. He studied her. In Jim’s experience, this usually resulted in the girl flinching or being embarrassed. Mary stood there calmly, returning his gaze. Jim was impressed. “How old are you Mary?”

“Fourteen. Going on 15,” she added.

“That’s how it usually works, kid.”

“I’m not a kid!”

Bob saw that Jim had gotten to her.

“You’re only 16,” Mary said deprecatingly to Jim. She thought of a Sherlock Holmes episode she had seen with dad. “Hardly an age to inspire confidence.”

Bob watched as Jim’s face first registered bewilderment, then shock. Then he broke out in laughter. “Touche Mary!” he said with real admiration. “Well said!” Jim was now looking her over as boys will do to a girl they are checking out. 

Mary’s face reddened just a bit. Bob could tell she was nervous. Had his youngest finally met her match? But she was way too young for Jim. Or anyone else. “Enough of this.” He tried to tone down his feelings. “Maybe when you’re both a little older.”

Moira was amazed at her little sister, and a little jealous that the older boy had singled Mary out instead of her.

Brad saw this and said, “Don’t mind these children, Moira. Are you at Midland East Junior?”

Moira smiled shyly. “I am. How come I’ve never seen you before? We’re the same age.”

Brad ignored this. “You want to come to my game tomorrow night? I’m on the hockey team.”

“Midland East Junior doesn’t have a hockey team.”

“I play on the high school team,” Brad said. “Center.”

Moira’s eyes widened. “You must be good.”

Brad puffed himself up. “I’m real good. Got a special exemption to play on the high school team. Coach says I have elite speed.” Brad was in full brag mode now, and Moira giggled. He was trying to impress her. “You can impress me more by scoring a goal,” she said.

Brad stood up straighter. “I’ll do it! For you.”

Stephanie thought this little tableau had gone far enough. She made a chopping motion with her arm, a signal for her son to stifle it. She looked at Bob. “I’m driving him to the game tomorrow night. Do you want me to pick up Moira?”

Moira was thrilled. Stephanie was stepping up for her! Moira thought that dad could do a lot worse.

“Uh...”

“Please dad!” Moira said. “Stephanie will be there to look after me.” She turned her head and looked at her father pleadingly.

“Oh all right.” He was a softie when it came to his kids. He didn’t want to deny them anything. But Moira was only 15...

Stephanie saw his hesitation. “Don’t worry Bob. I’ll bring them home before midnight.”

This caused general laughter. Even Mary joined in. 

“Do you play sports?” Jim asked Mary. “I’ll come to one of your games.”

Mary was stupefied by this offer, and immensely flattered by the attention from the older boy. She didn’t know what to say.

“That’s OK kid,” Jim said. “Your dad is right. You’re too young.”

For the second time Mary reacted angrily. “I am not!”

Jim gave a knowing glance to Bob. “Sorry. She’s just a kid but there’s something about her I like.”

Bob smiled. Stephanie had raised her boys the right way.

Mary was very pleased by Jim’s remark. “I don’t play sports but I’d like to come to one of your games. You play football?”

“Quarterback.”

Mary didn’t really like football but she was fascinated by Jim. She vowed to herself to study up on the game.

“OK, we’re done here,” Stephanie said, standing up from the sofa. “Time to go.”

As Stephanie, Jim, and Brad walked out the door Jim turned around. “Spring practice is here at the high school, next Tuesday.” The door shut.

Bob looked at his two daughters. “Did something just happen here? I don’t understand.”

Moira giggled. “I think Brad likes me.”

Mary looked slightly awed. “Wow, an older boy thinks I’m cool.”

Moira snorted. “He called you a kid three times. You are a kid.”

“You’re just jealous he likes me and not you.”

Moira smiled smugly. “Brad is my age. You’re too young for Jim. He’s in high school and probably has girls falling all over him.

Mary was much struck by this, in a bad way.

“Imagine!” Moira said, looking pointedly at Mary. “Quarterback of the high school team! Going out with the prettiest girls in school, and sleeping with some of them.”

Bob exploded. “Enough of that Moira!”

Moira ignored his anger. “We’re young women now dad. We’re interested in boys. Better get used to it.”

“Goddammit, if one of those assholes put their hands on you I’ll...”

Both girls began laughing. “Typical father,” Moira said to Mary. “Thinks we shouldn’t have sex until we’re 20.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Bob asked innocently.

Moira knew dad was trying to protect them. She threw herself into her father’s arms. “You’re a good dad,” she said. “I love you a lot.”

Bob’s eyes teared up. “I can’t tell you how much I love you, Moira and Mary. I just don’t want anything bad to happen to either of you.”

Mary spoke airily. “Don’t worry dad,” she said suggestively. “Stephanie can take care of us.”

Now what did that mean, Bob wondered after the girls had gone to their rooms.

Just before bed Mary studied herself in the mirror, thinking of Jim. Moira was a bitch; she wasn’t a kid anymore. She turned one way and the other, admiring herself. She was filling out quite nicely.

Judy came home from work a week later, tired. It had been a long day answering phones. She’d had to deal with an angry customer who thought his estimate was too high, and blamed it on her.  Men were beasts, every one of them. She went into the liquor cabinet and poured some bourbon into a glass. At that moment she heard the school bus grind to a halt in front of the stop at the corner. She drank the liquor and put the glass into the sink.

A couple minutes later Mandy walked into the kitchen. She could smell alcohol. “Hi mom. Is something wrong?”

“No, just a long day. A screaming jerk thought that I was personally responsible for a quote he didn’t like.”

“How come it’s always the men who are assholes?” Mandy asked.

Judy pounded the countertop with her fist in agreement. “It’s true, isn’t it?”

Mandy was thinking of her father. “I think it is. Women are sensitive and are more loving. When a woman goes bad it’s usually because of a man.”

Judy stared at her daughter. That was exactly right! She wondered what a society run by women would be like. Probably a much better one.

Tomorrow was the first of the month and Bob would drive Mary over for her monthly stay. Just then Judy’s phone rang.

“Mom?”

“Hi Mary, what’s up?”

“Uh...I don’t think I’m coming over tomorrow. Jim is coming over for dinner.”

“Who’s Jim?”

“He’s Stephanie’s son. He likes me.”

Judy groaned. “How old is he?”

“Sixteen.”

Judy hit the roof. “That’s Bob all over! That boy, whoever he is, is too old for you!”

“Calm down mom. Dad will be here the whole time, and Stephanie too.”

“Oh, it’s Stephanie now is it?”

Mary got angry. “What do you care? You like women. You had your chance with dad.”

“I don’t want my 14-year-old daughter going out with a guy in high school.” 

“I’m not going out with him, mom. He’s coming over for dinner. We’re going to talk.”

Judy realized she was getting mad at Mary, but it was Bob’s fault. “I’m sorry honey. I’ll talk with your father. And that Stephanie bitch.”

“She’s not a bitch. You have Becca and Mandy, dad has me and Moira. That’s how it worked out. Three and three.”

Judy realized her daughter was right. “What’s Moira doing?”

“She went to one of Brad’s hockey games last week. Said he skated like the wind. I think she likes him.”

Judy sighed. “I suppose Brad is Stephanie’s other son?”

“That’s right. He’s 15, she’s 15. Ask Mandy about it. We tell her everything.”

 Judy felt alarmed. “Why don’t you tell me?”

“Because you’re too busy with work and Becca.”

And her therapist, Becca thought.

“Love you mom!” The phone went dead.

At dinner Judy asked Mandy about her sisters. “What’s going on over there?”

Judy could see that Becca was interested.

“Oh, it’s just really boring boy-girl stuff. Moira likes Brad, Mary likes Jim. Both of them are jocks.”

Becca looked at Judy and they both laughed. “Same sex relationships are less complicated aren’t they?” Becca remarked.

Judy’s eyes widened. “They are! I’ve been worrying about us, Becca. But compared to Bob and me it’s nothing.”

Becca was delighted to hear this. She quoted one of the Sherlock Holmes episodes with Jeremy Brett that she and Judy liked to watch. “I am relieved to hear it, Ms. Williams.”

Judy smiled. She had changed her credit cards and her driver’s license and passport to her old name after the divorce. She looked over at Mandy. “How’s your love life?”

Mandy flushed. Sometimes mom (and Becca) could be too intrusive. “I don’t know...I kind of like this girl in my algebra class, but I don’t know how to approach her.”

“Very carefully,” Becca said.

Mandy perked up. Becca was a psychologist and knew about these things.

“Girls your age are still making up their minds,” Becca said.

Judy got up to go to the bathroom.

“But what do I say?”

“Just engage in casual conversation. Bring up the subject of boys and see what she says.”

“What do I do after?”

Becca smiled knowingly. “Don’t do anything more than that at first. See how the land lies. Then back off, talk about normal stuff.” Becca winked at her, and Mandy understood.

“You’re telling me how you did it with Judy.”

“You’re smart Mandy. I can give you a bit of free counseling.”

“I’d like that.”

Judy came back into the kitchen. She saw that her daughter and Becca had reached some kind of understanding. “What have you two been talking about?”

Becca winked. “Girl stuff.”

Judy was a little irritated and felt that lately she’d been left out of her daughters’ lives. First Moira and Mary with those two dolts of Stephanie’s, and now Mandy with Becca.

Becca smiled. “No worries, dear. Mandy and I love you very much.”

This made Judy feel better, but she still worried that she was putting up barriers to others. Work had been a bit rough lately, and her family was, even if unintentionally, shutting her out.

“Get over yourself mom,” Mandy said lightly.

This made Judy laugh and her inner tension went away.

Two weeks later Bob had Becca, Mandy, and Judy over for dinner. He cooked it himself.

“My, my, what’s this?” Judy said as she walked in and saw the table leaf had been put in, a fancy tablecloth on, and places settings for seven. “Did you ever cook for us once when we were married?”

Judy was waiting for Bob to blow up as he usually did when she criticized him, but Bob just smiled. “Never. But I’m turning over a new leaf.”

Judy and Mandy exchanged glances. This was certainly new behavior from Bob! Judy looked to see Stephanie’s reaction, but the woman’s face revealed nothing. “I’ll check on the roast,” Stephanie said, walking into the kitchen.

Judy couldn’t resist. “I get it – Stephanie cooked and is giving you the credit.”

She could tell she’d hit home with that one, but her ex stifled his irritation. “Nope. I did most of it.”

They sat down to dinner. Judy saw how Moira and Mary joked with Bob, and how he smiled at Stephanie. There was an easiness in their bantering and their interaction with each other. Judy, to her surprise, was pleased.  Maybe those sessions with Becca’s therapist were helping.

“Where are Brad and Jim?” Judy asked Stephanie. She almost said, ‘those two dolts of yours,’ but caught herself just in time.

“Brad’s at hockey practice. Jim is studying for a math test.”

Judy looked at Moira and Mary during this exchange. Moira smiled like a girl who had found someone suitable. Mary didn’t display any emotion when Jim’s name was mentioned. Thank God for that! She didn’t want that kid messing with her daughter...but she didn’t have much control over Mary’s life anymore. Mary was living full-time with her father now.

“How are you and Becca doing?” Bob asked her.

Judy was startled. When had he ever cared about her and Becca? “We’re doing fine. So is Mandy,” she said suggestively.

Bob turned to his daughter. Mandy didn’t know whether to tell him about her developing relationship with Sandy, but the vibes around the table were good. Thank God the two dolts...sons...weren’t here! Hesitantly at first, then with more confidence, Mandy explained how Becca had coached her how to approach Sandy, who had been very receptive. Judy saw Bob frowning when Mandy described her feelings for Sandy and how they were reciprocated. But he didn’t curse or say anything stupid. Judy looked at Stephanie. The woman seemed mildly amused, as if for her being gay was something for crazy people, but Stephanie said nothing. Judy was immensely proud as Mandy finished her story. The girl had confronted her family of straights and handled herself well.

“Are you happy Mandy?” Bob asked.

“Yes, very.”

Bob shook his head in amazement. “OK then, I’m happy for you. I don’t get it, but I want the best for you.”

“Are you happy Judy?” Bob asked his ex.

Judy realized that she was. “I am!” Becca smiled brilliantly at Judy.

“Then I’m happy for you too. And you, Becca.”

 Judy saw Becca’s eyes tear up. “Thank you Bob,” Becca said. “I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”

“I’ve been...insensitive at times, I’m sorry. Stephanie straightened me out.”

Judy was confused. “What would she know about it? She’s straight like you.”

“You’d be surprised, Judy. Tell them Steph.”

It turned out that Stephanie was a counselor at the high school. Not a trained psychologist like Becca, but she frequently had to deal with gender issues in her work.

Becca and Judy were surprised. They exchanged glances. “You learn something new every day,” Judy said. She felt a little guilty that she had never talked with Stephanie about her career, but she was learning in her therapy sessions how useless it was to beat herself up. As she looked around the table and saw how well Bob, Moira, and Mary were getting along, she felt much better about her husband and her two daughters. She was learning to let go of her irritation at Bob. It seemed that Bob was learning to let go of her as well. Maybe the two things were connected.

Bob looked at Moira and Mary. “Happiness is most important I think.”

“Are you happy Bob?” Judy asked.

“I am.” He looked lovingly at Moira and Mary, and exchanged smiles with Stephanie. “I’ve learned that happiness and love are quiet, not boisterous. It’s a feeling of serenity; a feeling that everything is right.” Bob looked at his ex. “You were right. I was a whiner about you!” This was said so cheerfully that it made everyone smile.

Mandy, Judy, and Becca exchanged smiles. Stephanie looked over at Bob and they both smiled. Moira reached across the table and grabbed her sister Mandy’s hand. Mary took the other hand.

“Good going, Mandy,” Moira said.

“Best of luck always,” Mary said.

Mandy was never so happy in all her life than at this moment. She tried a joke. “And I hope you two will be happy with those two dolts of yours.”

Judy and Becca were shocked at Mandy’s bluntness. But after a moment, Moira and Mary began to laugh.

“They are dolts,” Mary said. “They’re boys.” This brought on laughter from the entire table. Even Stephanie joined in.

“I learned how to do that from you Mary,” Mandy said, squeezing both her sisters’ hands. “It’s OK to express yourself.”

Bob smiled as he saw his women engaged with each other, and happy. It hadn’t worked out with Judy, but maybe he’d have better luck on the second try. They were off to a pretty good start. 

THE END

According to History.net, the civil war between the Republican Party (abolitionist states) and the Democrat Party (slave owning states) killed between 640,000 and 700,000 Americans. https://www.historynet.com/civil-war-casualties

The population of the country at that time, according to the 1860 census, was 31,443,322. That is an enormous figure, and dwarfs casualties during WW 2 as a percentage of the population. According to the World Atlas, this figure was 419, 440 from a population of 140 million.

https://www.multpl.com/united-states-population/table/by-year

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/wwii-casualties-by-country.html

So the Civil War was a big, big deal.

Interestingly, the events surrounding the election of 1864 – when Democratic Party candidate George McLellan faced off against the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln – are repeating themselves here in 2020.

Opposing Lincoln were antiwar Democrat Party forces embedded in the northern states, who were called Copperheads. The Copperheads wanted President Lincoln defeated so they could make an immediate compromise with the Confederate rebel leaders and end the abolition movement to free black slaves. The Copperheads were also called Peace Democrats, and many of them were simply anti-war, people who were opposed to the modernization of society represented by the Republicans, and who were essentially agrarians.

According to Wikipedia,

During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the Copperheads nominally favored the Union and strongly opposed the war, for which they blamed abolitionists and they demanded immediate peace and resisted draft laws. They wanted President Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans ousted from power, seeing the President as a tyrant destroying American republican values with despotic and arbitrary actions [sound familiar?].

Some Copperheads tried to persuade Union soldiers to desert. They talked of helping Confederate prisoners of war seize their camps and escape. They sometimes met with Confederate agents and took money. The Confederacy encouraged their activities whenever possible.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copperhead_(politics)

In 1864, hatred of Lincoln was even more intense than the hatred of TRUMP. According to Wikipedia, quoting Mark Wahlgren Summers,

Copperhead newspapers were remarkable for their angry rhetoric. Wisconsin newspaper editor Marcus M. Pomeroy of the La Crosse Democrat referred to Lincoln as "Fungus from the corrupt womb of bigotry and fanaticism" and a "worse tyrant and more inhuman butcher than has existed since the days of Nero [...] The man who votes for Lincoln now is a traitor and murderer [...] And if he is elected to misgovern for another four years, we trust some bold hand will pierce his heart with dagger point for the public good.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copperhead_(politics)

Sound familiar?

TRUMP haters have compared him to Hitler, just as writers in 1864 compared Lincoln to Nero, who, interestingly, was accused of playing his fiddle while Rome burned. Sound familiar? If you’ve seen footage of the riots in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York, you can see American cities burning.

This dude drove down Manhattan streets in New York the other day, showing what has happened:

I personally don’t care what happens to stores owned by big multinational corporations, but if those were MY stores I’d be pretty pissed.

Mail-in Voting in 1864  

But what is really interesting is that during the 1864 election mail-in balloting played a prominent role!

A fascinating Washington Post article (reprinted in Chron, so you don’t have to pay to read it) tells us what happened back then. A mail-in voting scam was perpetrated to shift votes to McLellan. According to the Post,

Traveling to Baltimore in the fall of 1864, Orville Wood had no way of knowing he would soon uncover the most elaborate election conspiracy in America's brief history.

Wood was a merchant from Clinton County in the most northeastern corner of New York. As a supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, he was tasked with visiting troops from his hometown to ‘look after the local ticket.’

New York legislators had only established the state's mail-in voting system in April with the intent of ensuring the suffrage of White troops battling the Confederate Army.

Troops from New York were allowed to authorize individuals back home to cast a vote on their behalf. Along with their mail-in ballots, troops would assign their power of attorney on slips that required four signatures: the voter's, the person authorized as a recipient, a witness to the signed affidavit and a fellow officer. These documents would be sealed in an envelope and shipped back home to be counted in the final vote. This was the process that Orville Wood intended to uphold, he would testify in court later. He quickly found out what a challenge that would be.

Wood arrived at Fort McHenry in Baltimore to visit with the 91st New York Regiment. There, an Army captain suggested that there had been some "checker playing" when it came to the gathering of soldiers' mail-in ballots. These suspicions of fraud were echoed when Wood visited wounded men at the Newton University Hospital. The rumors of wrongdoing led Wood to the office of Moses Ferry in Baltimore.

Ferry had been selected by New York Gov. Horatio Seymour to help oversee the voting process for New York's enlisted men. Seymour had vetoed the initial bill to establish mail-in voting and would go on to run against Ulysses S. Grant in the 1868 presidential election.

Wood masked his suspicions as he entered Ferry's office, portraying himself as a strong supporter of Lincoln's opponent, George McClellan. This was enough to gain Ferry's trust, he testified later.

Ferry told Wood that the votes from New York's 91st Regiment had already been tallied: 400 for McClellan and 11 for Lincoln.

Wood returned to the office later and, following Ferry's instructions, began forging signatures of the 16th New York Cavalry. Meanwhile, a clerk sat across the room signing ballots from the roster of names Wood had brought with him from home. Wood asked to personally deliver these fraudulent ballots, but Ferry said they would have to receive final approval from his colleague in Washington - Edward Donahue Jr.

Donahue soon arrived in Baltimore and met with Wood. It was revealed during this conversation that around 20 co-conspirators were already at work in D.C. to aid in the plot to deliver votes to McClellan. The following day Wood watched as Donahue and his crew formed a sort of assembly line, passing blank papers along to one another to be signed with the names of active enlisted men, wounded and dead soldiers, and officers who never existed.

“[...]Also discovered in Ferry's office was a list of around 400 names belonging to sick and wounded soldiers under treatment at a nearby hospital. In reference to the roster, Ferry joked, ‘Dead or alive, they all had cast a good vote.’

Ferry, Donahue, and their fellow conspirators found humor in their work. One accomplice mocked the outcry he expected from abolitionist newspapers following the corruption of the election. The men bragged about their past successes in fixing local elections back home.

Together, the men had shipped crates of fraudulent votes back to New York. But their scheme was over. Wood reported the operation to authorities. Ferry's office was searched, and on the morning of Oct. 27, 1864 - less than two weeks before the election - he and Donahue stood trial before a military commission.

Ferry offered a full confession that same day, even offering up the names of others involved in the scheme. Donahue proved more of a challenge.

Following the first day of the trial, a reporter for the New York Times wrote, ‘The honest electors of the state of New York have escaped an extensive and fearful fraud, a fraud in keeping with the proclivities of the party in whose behalf it was initiated, but one that, if unexposed might have subverted the honest will of the people and left the state and the nation at the mercy of those who would make peace with rebellion and fellowship with traitors.’

[...] In the months following Lincoln's victory – he won 221 electoral votes to McClellan's 21 – anti-abolitionist newspapers attacked his legitimacy, calling the trial another aspect of a conspiracy conducted by the president to ensure his reelection.”

Dustin Waters, "Mail-in ballots were part of a plot to deny Lincoln reelection in 1864,", The Washington Post, reprinted in Chron.com at https://www.chron.com/news/article/Mail-in-ballots-were-part-of-a-plot-to-deny-15507606.php
Published 4:02 pm CDT, Saturday, August 22, 2020

Wow. The more things change, the more they stay the same! Perhaps this is one of the reasons TRUMP is so against mail-in voting, even though it happened 150 years ago. I think we’re in a lot better shape than we were back then, even with the USPS’s inefficiency, but we’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a wild ride to November 3rd, and even beyond, because there’s likely to be lawsuits challenging the vote counts in many states, especially if the election is close.

Interestingly on February 17, 2020, the U.S. Postal Service filed a patent application for a secure blockchain voting system! The patent application was published on August 13, 2020. It says,

A voting system can use the security of blockchain and the mail to provide a reliable voting system. A registered voter receives a computer readable code in the mail and confirms identity and confirms correct ballot information in an election. The system separates voter identification and votes to ensure vote anonymity, and stores votes on a distributed ledger in a blockchain.”

http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=20200258338.PGNR.&OS=&RS=

Is the Post Office a Hopeless Mess?

Politico, no friend to TRUMP, posted an excellent article on the Post Office on August 20, 2020, “Five Myths about the Postal Crisis.” Among other things it says,

Congressional Democrats may well force a vote this weekend to give the Postal Service between $10 billion and $25 billion. They tried to do this in early March, as well, claiming that the agency was going to go broke due to a plunge in mail volume caused by COVID-19.

For his part, Trump last week said Democrats “want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.” And Trump said he wouldn’t let the USPS have the money.

Both sides are talking nonsense.

The Postal Service is cash flush. It has $13 billion in its Treasury account, more than it has had in years. The flood of parcels into the Post Office during COVID-19 has lifted the USPS’ third-quarter revenues higher than last year by $550 million. The CARES Act, signed by Trump in late March, also gave the agency an additional $10 billon borrowing line from the Treasury.”

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/20/5-myths-about-the-postal-crisis-399584

Perhaps we’re in better shape than we thought with mail-in balloting.

This is a rather provocative title for what I want to say, which is very simple. Before you arrive on earth you are with the human family in your spiritual Home. You spend some time on earth with the mission to accomplish something in life. Your task in life is to discover that mission and to meet the people you need to meet in order to accomplish it. When you “die” you return Home and look over what you did, and take a break. Then, if you haven’t completed your spiritual mission, you come back and try again.

A lot of people worry about what’s going to happen to them after they “die.”

This is pointless, for you cannot spend an indefinite amount of time in the world. Your body is only a temporary vehicle to allow you to operate in the physical. It is your destiny to return Home. Really, you don’t have any choice in the matter! You return Home to perfect harmony and love. It’s inevitable. It’s the way the “System” works, if you will.

So, no worries. As I used to say on the Interview With Spirit show, “All endings are happy endings.” Doesn’t matter how much you fucked up. Doesn’t matter if you were a mass murderer or a saint. What happens on earth stays on earth.

“You’re crazy,” you say. “If it doesn’t matter whether you’re a mass murderer or a saint, what’s the point of living?”

Well, it feels a lot better, and you’re a lot happier, if you live a life true to yourself – you don’t have to be a saint – than if you’re a killer. Killers are not happy campers and live miserable lives. It makes you feel good to help people and you feel bad when you hurt people.

What complicates life is the sad, silly, materialist idea that you only go around once. This idea, if you buy into it, causes an enormous amount of tension within you, and most people don’t even know it. Seriously, if you truly believe that you only go around once, then you are living with the idea that your consciousness, your awareness, could be snuffed out at any time. This idea is enough to drive you crazy, if you believe it.

The Test

This world is a test; a test of free will. When you set up a test you limit the activity of the participants; you set up a gameboard with certain rules, and then you see what happens. The parameters of the test are known and prescribed. What happens to the players in the test stays within the environment of the test. Otherwise there would be a lot of cheating! If one of the players knew what the test was all about while they played the game, they would have a serious advantage, like the time traveler who goes back in time to bet on a stock market he or she already knows what happens to. It would be a rigged game and the players wouldn’t really be operating with free will. So, everything that happens to the players has to stay within the boundaries of the test. This is called karma. From lifetime to lifetime you pick up the karma from what you did before, and try to carry on. If you were a mass murderer, you’re probably going to have a much harder time in life than if you were a saint. Karma insures that the players are responsible, lifetime to lifetime, for what they did in the game. But during the break, everybody gets to go back Home and get refreshed. It’s like going to the fridge during a football game to get some food and a beer. Sometimes you just have to relieve the tension. That’s what dying is all about. A break from the tension of the world.  

The test of the incarnated soul is that way, but with a very subtle twist.

Inside human biology is a spiritual portal, or gateway, to our spiritual Home. If you’re bright enough, you can discover this while you’re still in the physical.

The test allows you to void your karma by contacting your spiritual Home. In other words, it allows you to “cheat.” But in order to cheat you have to increase your self awareness. The mass murderer isn’t going to find this connection, obviously, for the vibration of the killer is too far removed from the love of God, and the vibration of our ancestral spiritual Home.

But the ordinary person can do this. It’s got nothing to do with how much money you make, or how many certificates you have on your wall. You can “cheat” and get some of the confidence, and information, that comes to you when you are fully returned to your spiritual Home.

So relax. There’s nothing to worry about.

No matter how bad you fuck up, you return to a really, really good place where you find out what the Game, and the world, is all about, and your place in it. It’s like recalling something forgotten, but vital. “Oh yeah, I remember now” is what happens after the body dies. When you are back Home, the world looks like a very exciting, and very easy, place to test your skills. You have all the confidence in the world, and come back eagerly to play the Game again.  

In this battle between dark and light, places where spirituality is practiced are nodes of light. These places are churches and other venues where the Creator is talked about and where people try to find the God within. They are the most important areas on the planet because they hold the light against a huge effort by scientific materialists/technocrats/BigTech to create a hive-mind state where people aren’t allowed to think for themselves.

If you were able to step back from your body and perceive with the senses of Spirit, you’d see pockets of darkness and light on the planet. The largest pockets of darkness are created by totalitarian dictatorships (state actors) like the CCP and the junta in Iran, our own CIA who have been running drugs into our cities for decades, Marxist-Leninist groups like Antifa, and the child trafficking networks that exist in every city in our country.

Individuals who hold the light of compassion and tolerance in their daily lives also create individual little pockets of light.

But the most important actors are groups, for groups of people who think alike create a Group Mind. Those who attend church, for example, are powerful group minds for the light, for the focus is on God. Even if a lot of this focus on God is diluted by religious dogma, the underlying intent is still in the light. You can see how the pandemic has resulted in the banning of churchgoers and other groups focused on spirituality. Without these Group Minds operating in the light, the darkness has an easier time to spread its hatred and intolerance.

Politics is just a sideshow, for most of our political discussion is tainted by hatred and black-white thinking. Fortunately an effective Group Mind can’t be formed when people are yelling and screaming at each other.

A Group Mind is effective because it creates a powerful vibration aligned toward an objective. A group where all think alike is a powerful force in the mental environment. It has the ability to bend, or entrain, individual minds toward it. An example of a Group Mind is the mainstream media, which have the same talking points and narratives even from network to network. This exerts a very, very powerful entrainment to a chosen narrative.

If you’ve ever been part of a meeting or discussion where several people are all of like mind and who speak forcefully on a subject, you know what I mean. You find yourself agreeing with them, and it’s the most natural thing in the world. Your thoughts are naturally attracted to a powerful vibration emanating from the group mind in the mental environment.

The mental environment is pervasive. Like the air, it’s everywhere and affects everyone.

Unfortunately, until recently, the existence of the mental environment was unrecognized by the masses. I wrote a book about this called The Vibrational Universe, and a flash movie of the same name on YouTube.

However, in today’s raging political debate, people are beginning to see the power of information, and narratives based around selected information.  People are beginning to see the power of narratives, which are the creations of Group Minds.

The mental environment is like the ether, a hypothetical substance that exists within the fabric of spacetime and which carries information all over the universe. The mental environment is composed of thought. It is invisible, yet has a powerful effect on the human mind.

In the past, people dismissed the power of the mental environment. “Thoughts are nothing; they are ephemeral. You put your thought against my baseball bat and let’s see who wins.” Now, the power of information to persuade is being recognized, which is leading to a recognition of the mental environment and its importance. That’s because the battle between dark and light is essentially an information war based in competing thoughts.

Eighty years after World War 2, the planet is again aligning into an Alliance of Liberty vs what I call the Alliance of Control. But this time the battle is not kinetic; it’s informational. Data, narratives, and discernment are the keys to this war on the mental plane.

The Alliance of Liberty is composed of the US, Canada, Mexico, the European democracies, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.  The Alliance of Control is centered within the Communist Party of China and its allies in Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. Russia, who threw off the yoke of communism in 1991, is a neutral player (as are many other nations who are waiting to see who will win).

In this battle for the hearts, minds, and souls of humanity, the Creator has provided us all with free will. If there is such a thing as a cosmic brotherhood of the light, no physical intervention is permitted. We have to make up our own minds.

When a planetary society is weak and divided, it is easy to manipulate, just as a company with a weak balance sheet can be taken over by acquisitive predators. The Creator allows this, for if a society cannot gain the intelligence to recognize the power of thought in the mental environment, it is not intelligent or united enough to stand on its own two feet and be successful on its evolutionary path.  

High technology is utterly irrelevant in the success/fail equation of evolution. Technology is used by the Alliance of Control to... control people who aren’t bright enough to embrace unity, cooperation, harmony, and integrity. These are all qualities of the light. AI and comprehensive surveillance systems are the tools of the technocrat, who desire a soulless, atheistic society where human beings are apps. This is the vision of scientific materialism.

If a society is smart enough to embrace its divine component – built in to human biology – it will find itself on the Creator’s guided path to beauty, prosperity, and unity with all life in the world. 

We have to be bright enough to use our free will and connect to it.  This is the importance our divinity. Spirituality and religion are vehicles to that divine connection. The connection is built-in to human biology, which is why biological evolution is so important. Scientific materialism tries to pollute this evolution with Transhumanism and other technologies that alter the biology of the human being with electronics, nanotech adapted to human biology, artificial intelligence, etc.

The dark tries to squash the yearning of the human being toward the light. Political parties and their insane hatred toward each other are used as tools by the Alliance of Control to accomplish their goal of dominance through divisiveness. The Alliance of Control is mired in low consciousness. Their methods are effective, but predictable. Their methods are effective because all humans and groups can utilize the power of the mental environment. All that is required to form a powerful thought entrainment vehicle is a group focused on a common objective.

Both light and dark have an equal ability to use the power of thought. The dark uses deception and lies. The light, if it is bright enough, uses the truth of its connection to the divine. If it’s not so bright it engages in fights and arguments with the dark, which is exactly what the dark wants. Using the tactics of the dark to fight the dark leads to what Walt Kelley once said:  “We have met the enemy and he is us.” You become what you fight, which is obvious to everyone now.

Nodes of Light must be nurtured. This means that churches and other places of spirituality are vitally important. I’m not religious myself, but churches and other spiritual congregations are being shut down during the pandemic. People are forbidden to assemble and talk about God. Therefore, these nodes of light, which create powerful Group Minds, are no longer spreading their light.

This is an effective tactic of the dark side.

Erich Fromm, in his seminal book Escape From Freedom, shows us how easy it is for propagandists with narratives to change thinking on a mass scale. Hitler, an effective public speaker, did it in Nazi Germany. Apparently, people are willing to give up their liberty and their freedom if a powerful enough Group Mind is formed. Thought (and thus behavior) is entrained to the new narrative, even if it is to the disadvantage of the people embracing it. This is the power of the Group Mind.

Even if we can’t meet in large groups anymore, it’s important to keep the nodes of light in action. It doesn’t matter if we physically go somewhere to conduct our meetings, for Group Minds can easily be formed online.

Let’s keep the Nodes of Light in operation during this crazy time where our lives are being turned upside down. At the very least doing so will be an outlet, a break, from the stupidity of the present situation.

Religions all have creation stories. An all-powerful God creates the world in seven days; or creates the heavens and the earth and the universe by some mysterious process that human beings cannot and will not ever understand.

The desire for an all-powerful anthropomorphic God is reflected in comic book stories of superheroes like Superman; humans who have evolved in some mysterious way to have “superpowers” which they exercise to help good fight evil. Movies are made glorifying superheroes. The focus of these videos is: we all want to be like them.

Joseph Campbell has written about what he calls “the hero’s journey.” Campbell says,

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, 1949, , p. 23

According to some screenwriters, all successful stories or movies will incorporate the struggle to become a hero and overcome obstacles in order to save the planet, or the galaxy, or even the universe. Many of us strive (at least in our fantasies) to be the one who saves the world.

Every human being is a physical incarnation of the Creator, but the Creator is not an evolved human with superpowers. Neither does the Creator have a gender. The Creator is an Unseen spiritual force that quietly but ubiquitously permeates the universe, the fabric of space, and human biology. The goal of the Creator is universal harmony and cooperation. This omnipresent force is everywhere and operates to increase knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. The Creator is not an entity; it is an unseen presence.

Superheroes and humans with superpowers come about, I think, because it’s too hard to understand and connect with the Unseen, even though it exists as a divine component within every human being. It’s much easier to think about humans somehow becoming enhanced by a genetic, scientific, or “supernatural” accident.

Human Evolution is Spiritual Not Scientific

The Creator does not promote creation stories, for the universe(s) have always been and always will be. If there is a beginning and an end, the beginning is so far into the past that it is not worth thinking about. The end, if there is such a thing, is so far into the future that contemplation of it is pointless. A billion earths will evolve and turn to dust before time runs out.

The Creator does not have an agenda, or a narrative.  During the brief periods when I have been able to access what I think is the Creator, I feel a sense of power, of deep serenity, a feeling of connection with everything and a feeling that everything is perfect.

The point is that human evolution, in its highest sense, is spiritual; not scientific or technological or supernatural. The goal of human evolution is not a race of humans with superpowers. In novels and movies, superheroes usually become endowed with their powers from scientific advancement, or scientific experiments that go awry and create human mutations. These scientifically advanced humans have physical powers, but they are not advanced spiritually. Their goal is usually to smash other humans who are the “bad guys.” Smashing bad guys – whether we do it on planet earth or in spaceships – is a natural outcome of a low human consciousness rooted in scientific materialism.

The Star Wars franchise of movies shows the ultimate evolution of scientific materialism – high technology with low consciousness. People fly around in spaceships that go faster than light to fight wars against other dudes and dudettes. We’re comfortable with this idea of human evolution because the superhero-superpower-hero’s journey paradigm fits nicely within a human nature that believes progress is born from conflict and war. In that sense it is just another expression of the status quo that human nature is fixed at a low level of awareness. But human society can no longer afford the status quo – we have to advance in consciousness before we kill ourselves and destroy the planet’s biological and natural resources. Therefore, humanity can no longer afford the childish “hero” paradigm.

Dystopian movies rooted in the current paradigm of scientific materialism depict technological societies that are rigidly controlled by hierarchical organizations where individual liberty is not only discouraged, but is a danger to a hive-mind mentality. By hive-mind mentality I mean a society where all think alike in the name of cooperation. Dystopian novels and vids accurately predict societies where individual self-determinism is only valued when it furthers the goals of the masters who run the show.

We are seeing the beginnings of such a technocratic society on earth today. The Peoples Republic of China is a sort of “test run” to see whether the human race will submit to such a top-down totalitarian society. In the US, Big Tech controls social media and censors anything that doesn’t suit the one-size-fits-all hive mind vision of Silicon Valley. Big Tech in the West wrote and installed the “sesame credit” social reward and punishment system run by the CCP. Look to the PRC to see the future earth desired by the technocrats.

Today, scientific materialists are trying to create a rigid surveillance state where all humans will be tagged, monitored, and directed along lines that are “best for society” (best for the technocratic controllers).

Materialism and Spirituality

Materialism is the greatest barrier to achieving full human potential. The Creator allows this, apparently, to remind humans where we shouldn’t go. But we live on a planet of free choice. All individuals are free to choose whether they want a soulless technocratic state, or a vibrant state that emphasizes cooperation and harmony. Individual decisions always result in a collective reality that will manifest as our future reality.

The technocratic state IS a state where all cooperate. But it’s a forced cooperation; a  cooperation that comes at the expense of liberty and freedom. We can do a lot better than that!

True harmony and cooperation exists at a higher level of consciousness where all see the benefit of working together, and where human potential can be fulfilled. A debased form of cooperation exists in a technocratic/surveillance state where people are just apps, and their comms and activities are monitored 24 hours a day by AI systems under the direction of a few controllers. In the PRC, for example, the total population is 1.4 billion. The number of CCP members is approximately 90 million. But the country is actually run by a few dozen families, and the really important people number a few hundred.

Does this mean we should become Luddites and all go back to the farm? Rousseau called the idyllic state of humanity a “state of nature,” but we’ve gone too far down the road of technology to turn back now. However, in order to evolve to our highest potential, we need to reject dead-end philosophies like Transhumanism and other forms of scientific materialism. It also means we must look beyond mythologies like the hero’s journey, where human beings are constantly striving for the “good” in order to defeat the “bad.” This distinction might have served us in a world where human beings were in a state of very low consciousness, but it is superannuated in a world that is awakening.

High consciousness can’t survive in a society dominated by technology. A technocracy must have compliance as its foremost social imperative. In such a society, human rights come from the State and not from the Creator. Human beings are reduced to pieces of hamburger who merely react to stimuli. In order to create the techno-state, nuanced thought must be discouraged: only two choices can be presented, between “the good” and “the bad.” (Ultimately, even the distinction between two choices is blurred, so that there are no distinctions whatsoever, and people lose the ability to think independently. Only the directives from the State are valid. This is what George Orwell was trying to tell us.)

The entire concept of bad and good (two choices only) is much too simplistic to deal with our complex world of information, with its impossibly wide spectrum of data.

One must be able to see clearly, through the  fog of confusion. In order to do that you have to know yourself, and your connection to the Creator. Databases can provide us with information, but the Creator provides us with wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to make wise choices. Data informs us, but wisdom guides us.

The technocratic state operates under the military dictum, “Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do and die.” Not a pleasant prospect if you ask me! Unquestioned obedience to authority is the hallmark of low consciousness. Fortunately, we can all choose differently.

“Bad” and “good” is a dichotomy that assumes people are naturally on opposite sides and must inevitably fight each other for supremacy (which is why, apparently, heroes and heroines need “superpowers.” In comic books, even the bad guys have superpowers).

Our myths and legends tell of gods fighting gods, and “good” angels like Michael battling “bad” angels like Lucifer in heaven. This is comic book spirituality. We need a more mature spirituality for a more mature world that is undergoing an Awakening.

Organized Religion

Many on the spiritual path have turned away from organized religion, understanding that all religions are based on the fundamental of spirituality – the divine connection inside every human being. However, one of the benefits of organized religion is its structure, which prevents followers from embracing nutty ideas like the Creator is an entity with ultimate superpowers who will come down from the skies and save humanity; or, embracing dead-end materialist philosophies like Transhumanism (the subject of my latest novel) or communism, an outdated, failed philosophy from the 19th century that inevitably results in suppression and dictatorship. At best, religion is at least a small step on the road to higher consciousness, at worst it promotes a set of ethics that are greater than the marketplace can dictate, and what mundane life itself stimulates in people.

Although organized religion seems to many of us on the spiritual path as less and less important, it is a hell of a lot better than the Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought that is being embraced by a very loud minority. Communism is a remnant of the dark age called the 20th century with its world wars, regional wars, and genocidal civil wars. Organized religion, even with its dogma, has faith-based scripture based on the recognition that humans are divine, and that human rights come not from the State – the basic tenet of communism and all totalitarian/technocratic societies – but from the Creator.

With our current civil unrest (which some say is a modern-day civil war) the Creator is allowing us to see what happens when people turn away from the divine connection to the Creator that resides within our biology. The Creator is allowing us to inspect adolescent belief systems like the hero’s journey, and the simplistic good-bad dichotomy of totalitarian thinking.

Conclusion

Do we want to continue to fight each other  in a continuous, never-ending battle between “good” and “evil” – some call it “endless war” – with its emphasis on heroes and heroines who battle and kill “bad guys”?  Will we accept the senseless dictats of totalitarian dictators in a technocratic state where everyone bends the knee to an all-powerful authority?

When will the human race tire of such self-defeating and self-immolating philosophies?

My opinion is: sooner than you think. Humanity is waking up. In a short time, I believe that the human race will set its feet firmly upon the path of cooperation in a higher consciousness. We just have to get through some messes first.