Tag Archives: Judeo-Christian scriptures

Canada’s “Indian” problem refuses to go away

In Canada it is no secret that far too many of our Aboriginal reserves—the so-called “First Nations”—which are governed by the Canadian federal government’s Indian Act of 1876, are dysfunctional places governed by a form of Aboriginal communism.

These “Indian” reserves are far too often places suffering a host of epidemics:  substance abuse, sexual abuse, broken families, band-owned decrepit mouldy housing, tainted water, and bleak economies that provide few real, actually productive jobs. As a result of such a severe collection of seemingly intractable social ills, there exists on far too many of these reserves a staggering amount of state-funded welfare dependency and its corresponding emotional despondency.

These First Nations reserves are places where the youth suicide rates are far higher than those found among other Canadian youth.  Far too many Aboriginal people living on such reserves have lost hope and are sunk in the backwaters of depression that are both out of sight and out of mind until some new crisis makes the mainstream evening news.

Under the Indian Act, Canada’s federal government has exclusive authority to enact legislation in relation to “Indians and Lands Reserved for Indians.” While the original Indian Act has been tinkered with many times over the years to remedy a variety of problems, the 21st Century reality continues to be that many Aboriginals still live in an appalling, grinding poverty that touches every aspect of their lives.

Overall, Aboriginal people are dissatisfied with the reality of their “Indian status” existence, and this has recently flared into a series of what are called “Idle No More” protests, blocking some railroad tracks, border crossings, highways, ferry terminals, etc.

Without a doubt the lightening rod of the present Aboriginal protest has been the Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence, who set up her teepee on an island in the Ottawa River in mid-December near the nation’s capital. She’s fasting on fish broth and tea as part of a hunger strike that she proclaims will go on until Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and Queen Elizabeth II’s personal representative to Canada, the Governor General David Johnstone, come to meet her face-to-face and discuss the Aboriginal people’s historic treaty rights, in general, and the government’s failure to solve the problems of Attawapiskat in particular.

No one seriously doubts that our federal government is without some blame for the pathetic state of such Aboriginal reserves like Attawapiskat. BUT the old cliché that it takes two to tango is also without doubt. After all, for a very long time the Canadian government has been spending mountains of dollars trying to remedy some of the worst problems at Aboriginal communities like Attawapiskat. But the miserable status quo of deprivation and poverty, both materially and spiritually, persists. Why? Well, for example, let’s consider what has been going on in Attawapiskat.

To [Chief Therese Spence’s] chagrin, someone leaked an audit on Attawapiskat’s financial records, which reflected badly on her and her co-manager and romantic partner, Clayton Kennedy. It found that tens of millions of dollars can’t be tracked, due to faulty record-keeping. Although more than $100-million was poured into the community [of about 1200 people] over a six-year period, it’s hard to track where it all went because there’s little or no record. Though a lack of records doesn’t necessarily mean fraud, it also can’t be dismissed if the money can’t be traced. If there is no fraud, losing track of money on that scale suggests a worrying degree of sloppiness with tax dollars (Kelly MacFarland, “Theresa Spence’s careful woven cause starts to unravel,” National Post, Jan. 9. 2013).

The reality of the situation is that the present Aboriginal system of governance bears a major share of the blame for the situation on the reserves. Incompetence? Corruption? Selfishness?

A year ago CBC’s investigative reporter Adrienne Arsenault visited Attawapiskat and came away with these conclusions:

  1. The idea that the destitution of far-flung First Nations such as Attawapiskat is a result of Ottawa’s neglect is wrong.
  2. Ms. Arsenault’s reporting suggests that the real problem in Attawapiskat is Ms. Spence’s own incompetent leadership
  3. In economic terms, Attawapiskat exists as a pure sinkhole for resources produced elsewhere.
  4. We are always told that the preservation of reserves is a great way to maintain First Nations culture. But the opposite is true: The best way to destroy a group’s spirit of civic solidarity is to turn the economy into an outsider-funded cargo cult.
  5. Ironically, Ms. Spence is far more popular with naïve, white Naomi Klein types who venerate her from afar as a sort of Gaian [pagan goddess] martyr than with the people who actually have suffered under her incompetence.
  6. We have gotten to the stage in First Nations politics whereby you no longer even have to string a logical sentence together to connect a problem on the ground with Ottawa’s blundering or malfeasance (Cited from Jonathan Kay, “Six lessons from a brilliant, scathing, year-old CBC report on Attawapiskat’s mismanagement,” National Post, Jan. 7, 2013).

The Aboriginal leaders and their peoples who tolerate them must accept a good deal of the responsibility for their own problems. They are leading actors in this tragedy. They are not merely supporting actors or just passive victims of circumstances over which they have no active, decisive role.

If we in Canada are to truly change the situation on these Aboriginal reserves, then they must be transformed into genuine Canadian communities that live by the same rule of law and adopt the same best governance practices that are the standard or ideal of the rest of Canadian society. And this includes the requirement for transparency and appropriate accounting practices in Aboriginal communities.

Also, Aboriginal individuals should be freed to have the same opportunity to own their own homes, land, real estate, and businesses just like the average Canadian.  It should be obvious that the present form of dysfunctional Aboriginal communism, as presently practiced, whereby no band member on a reserve can own his or her home is utter foolishness.

There is a solid moral case from the Judeo-Christian Scriptures for the elimination of the double standard that presently exists between what goes on at Aboriginal reserves and the greater Canadian society. We would do well to heed it!

 You shall have one law for the sojourner and for the native; for I am the Lord your God” Leviticus 24:22 Revised Standard Version.

“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality; and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God gives you, Deuteronomy 16:18-20 Revised Standard Version.

 

Are you missing the lessons taught by the Sandy Hook massacre?

“When there are no words in any dictionary to describe what happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut Friday, when things happen that surely not even the cruelest imagination could comprehend [oh yeah?], it is certainly time to go back to some kind of cultural Square One and reconsider everything to which we have somehow become inured.”

Those are the words of a regular columnist who writes for our local newspaper.  He’s right! But that certainly isn’t going to be what happens, obviously.  Rather it seems American society is going to have another round in the culture wars between Democrats and Republicans over gun control. It is only politically correct to focus on the tools used in the Sandy Hook slaughter and other massacres rather than looking more deeply into why North American society is spawning these young mass murderers. The guns are not creating the mentality and willingness to do such evil. They are just the means.

If the politicians really wanted to help our society become more peaceful they might instead peel off a few layers from our dysfunctional post-modern society in order to get a little closer to our cultural Square One—to discover the truth about why things are going wrong.

For instance why not consider the omnipresent use of violence in its many forms as our “entertainment.” Media producers are practically addicted to featuring conflict and fighting, blood and gore in our movies, TV, video games and in what passes as “sports.”

Or then again, maybe our public guardian angels might find the courage to turn over a few rocks to investigate the scurrying prescription drug bugs who are pushing their wares onto truly astounding numbers of youth and adults in order to “cure” them of mental disorders like depression, hyper-activity, schizophrenia, anxiety, and much more.

These days if our witch doctors can conjure up some term to describe an undesirable mental state, then some big pharma firm will soon have a potent psycho-active drug to sell to cheaply dope up the person with the new label. This makes private and public health care providers happy because it keeps their costs down. But have you ever read the extensive list of nasty, dangerous side-effects of these drugs?  The economic-political commentator Doug Casey makes this observation about the use of these psycho-active drugs among those who have committed mass murder:

I predict that they’ll find that the 20-year-old killer, Lanza, was on Ritalin, Zoloft, Prozac, or some similar psychiatric drug. Most mass murders are proven to have been on these drugs, and the medical records are sealed for many other killers, so we can’t find out (Casey Daily Dispatch, “Doug Casey on the Fiscal Cliff,” Dec. 19, 2012, http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/doug-casey-fiscal-cliff).

But whether we’re talking about the pervasive presence of violence in entertainment, Prozac nation, or the American fetish for guns galore—these are just the outer layers of the onion. They are merely consequences. Side shows. Perhaps contributing causes, but not the deep down rotten root that led to the massacre at Sandy Hook.

But really, for the Western world, where do we find our cultural Square One? The real cause for what’s going wrong in our society? To find out we need to go back to the Bible. In the past a preacher might have said, “Blow off the dust on your Bible.” But, I dare say, that now many people no longer even have a copy of the Bible in their homes and even if they do, they don’t know—or care—what it says.

The Bible is a revelation. Which is to say, it contains divinely revealed knowledge that would otherwise be impossible for us to discover on our own. And this Bible begins with a book of beginnings called Genesis. This is our cultural Square One:

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man [and eventually, his wife, too] whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life [symbolizing spiritually discerned revelation] was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [symbolizing materially discerned understanding]. The Lord God took the man [Adam, that is to say Mr. Dust who was Adam Lanza’s namesake] and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die….” Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17 English Standard Version

The serpent [the Devil] was the shrewdest of all the wild animals [an insult] the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” [Here the Devil uses a classic red herring ploy to deceive.]

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” [This tree meant humanity was taking to itself the prerogative to determine what was “right” and what was “wrong” in their own eyes apart from God and His revelation that was then directly given to them, but which is now preserved for us in the Holy Scriptures.]

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman [Big lies are the easiest ones to swallow. A snake first covers its victim with saliva before swallowing it whole. Neither our bodies nor our souls are immortal. See Ezekiel 18 verses 4, 20, and 27. We are merely physical beings subject to eventual death, cessation of all life unless God should intervene]. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5 New Living Translation

Humanity as whole ever since has built societies based on their own material understanding, determining for themselves what is right or wrong apart from God’s revelation. The only exception being that of a man called Abraham and those relatively few of Abraham’s descendants who were illuminated by the divine revelation given to them. These individuals would become known as the “children of God” who took their inspiration from their Heavenly Father to, firstly, love Him with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and, secondarily, to love their fellow human being, their “neighbours,” as themselves.

A society that forgets to put a love for the God of the Bible in first place among all their priorities will most certainly soon forget to prioritize a genuine love for their human neighbours as well.

Those who take to themselves the right to determine right from wrong in opposition to the revelation of God—they have as their “father” the Devil—the being that first tricked their ancestors into eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good but also of Evil. The result is our present society, which is an inseparable, delusion having aspects that are both evil and good. The Sandy Hook massacre is a prime evil result that comes from one who rejects the divine revelation about loving with all his heart the God who created him. Adam Lanza also forgot if he ever knew that he was made in the Creator’s own image and likeness with a job here on Earth: to love his little and big neighbours as himself.

Those who have eaten the wrong “fruit” just don’t and won’t get it.  They can’t get at the root of what caused the massacre at Sandy Hook and all the other mass murders going on. Jesus of Nazareth put it this way when arguing with those who insisted on rejecting divine revelation:

Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! John 8:43-45 New Living Translation

God gives us all free moral agency. From which Tree in the garden will you eat?

Amanda, Jesus, and the bullies

One week ago an almost 16-year-old Amanda Todd committed suicide in a Vancouver, B.C. suburb and Canada has been talking about it ever since. Amanda killed herself about one month after she had posted a YouTube video detailing the torment she had received online and in person for several years from her adolescent peers.

The B.C. premier, Christie Clark, has spoken out about this. The members of the federal parliament in Ottawa have debated what should be done about bullying on the house floor. The media is full of opinion pieces, reporting, and letters to the editor about the Amanda Todd trajedy.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about this whole incident is the behaviour of far too many people who in the immediate aftermath of her suicide posted vile comments and inappropriate images on the Amanda Todd memorial Facebook page and elsewhere on social media.

How can some contemporary human beings sink so low in pursuit of the perceived gains that come from bullying others? And why didn’t Amanda’s peers step in to help her rather than pile on to hurt her over that last few years?

Social psychologist and assistant professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University Brenda Morrison asserts that the Amanda Todd suicide is just another piece of evidence making the case that Canada has “raised a generation of passive bystanders,” (Misty Harris, “Bullying backlash,” Times Colonist, Oct. 14, 2012).

Professor Mossison’s point is that if Todd’s peers in school—who now mostly say on social media that they “cared about Amanda”—if they really did care, then why didn’t they actually stand up and do something in solidarity to help the poor girl deal with the bullying? The fact is that there is a real culture of fear to be found in far too many of Canada’s schools. It is a fear of peer-to-peer bullying that inflicts its pain in cyberspace and in the real world by both words and deeds.

Far too many students in our schools treat their classmates with nastiness and cruelty. They lack heart. They lack basic spiritual understanding on how to ethically treat other humans. They lack love. If one cares about another person that means standing shoulder to shoulder with the bullied and being willing to be unpopular, too. It means being willing to pay the price to do what’s right in spite of the consequences of being pushed out of a status-craving, extreme peer-oriented, “cool” crowd.

Most of today’s school population rarely attends any sort of Christian church. They won’t even darken the doors of one of those theologically liberal churches that are obsessed with political correctness in their own peculiar striving for worldly popularity. Consequently many of today’s school-aged generation have never heard of, much less internalized, the most important biblical teachings about how you should treat other people. Prior generations knew about what is called the “golden rule.” But there are serious gaps in the spiritual, Christian knowledge of the majority of the adolescents in school these days. So why should we be surprised at the amount of bullying going on? We can hardly expect young people to act like Christians when they aren’t even superficially committed to its values like previous generations of Canadians.

In the wake of the Amanda Todd suicide I read in the newspaper one evolutionary biologist’s opinion piece stating that bullying is in actuality a “normal” human behaviour. It’s “normal” because it increases the bully’s status/dominance within a group. According to this view, people bully because it gets desired results such as more opportunity to access desirable sexual partners in a group by eliminating competition.  Bullying is seen by evolutionary biologists as a means to the “survival of the fittest.”  In its gross form this secular worldview would conclude that Amanda Todd wasn’t adequately fit to bully back in order to secure her ranking within the group. So she was cast out and couldn’t survive on her own. It just makes good evolutionary sense.

The divine narrative revealed through the Judeo-Christian Bible would agree with the biological evolutionists that bullying is indeed “normal” behaviour—but only for carnal, fleshly, sinful human beings. Such people, however “normal” they might be in the opinion of evolutionary biologists, are cut off from the life of God.

Why? Because they are naturally hostile to keeping the Holy Scriptures’ two golden rules. And just what exactly are these golden rules? The most popularly remembered and cited golden rule is the one that Jesus of Nazareth gave during his famed Sermon on the Mount:

 Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12 New Living Translation).

 

When Jesus gave that golden rule teaching it was at the beginning of his ministry. He wanted to give the public an easy to remember sound bite that neatly summarized the essential message about how to get along with other people as taught in much greater detail and length by the 39 books of the Hebrew, Old Covenant Scriptures, which are the foundational teachings of the divine narrative revealed to humanity.

Later, close to the end of his ministry, just before he was murdered by his enemies, Jesus presented a fuller version of the Bible’s executive summary in response to critics who were trying to find something to pick on in what he was teaching. It’s like today’s students turning on a teacher. They simply wanted to put Jesus down and bully him in public in order to build themselves up. They thought they could increase their own status and power within the community by bullying Jesus. But Jesus’ response shut them down because of its elegant simplicity, completeness, and accuracy in what is really important in living life in this world. Here’s the account:

 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments,” (Matthew 22:34-42 New Living Translation).

 Obviously our society does not keep the first so why should our children bother to keep the second? This idea of loving God and loving others is amplified by teachings throughout the Scriptures. But the social elite and gatekeepers of our society don’t want to hear about it. And anyone in the media who wants to present its messages is generally ostracized and pushed out of the inner circles of power. I suppose you could call it bullying.

The writer Allan Bloom in his 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind made this relevant point that applies equally to Canada’s power elite and this present generation of school children and adolescents:

I do not believe that my generation, my cousins…all of whom are M.D.s or PH.D.s have any comparable learning [to that of his grand parents spiritually rich understand of the Bible]. When they [Allan Bloom’s peers] talk about heaven and earth, the relations between men and women, parents and children, the human condition, I hear nothing but clichés, superficialities, the material of satire. I am not saying anything so trite as that life is fuller when people have myths to live by. I mean rather that a life based on the Book is closer to the truth, that it provides the materials for deeper research in and access to the real nature of things. Without the great revelations, epics, and philosophies as part of our natural vision, there is nothing to see out there, and eventually little left inside. The Bible is not the only means to furnish a mind, but without a book of similar gravity, read with the gravity of the potential believer, it will remain unfurnished.

Bullying will stop when we all truly come to believe that God is love and that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

[Comment for those who are interested: the New Testament Greek word for “Law” is Nomos while the Old Testament Hebrew word for “Law” is Torah. Neither Nomos nor Torah refer only to explicit, codified laws, but to ALL of the normal rules and forms people take for granted in day to day activities. The Torah or Nomos is that complete way of life that one lives in covenant with God. The “Law” Jesus was talking about in Matthew 22 is merely the complete divine lifestyle that produces love, peace of mind, and liberty from the consequences of sinful human behaviour. And this “Law” is taught throughout the Bible by explicit statements, case examples, prophetic allegories, and even by poetry.]

America’s Midwest cursed with drought; B.C. overly blessed with water

I recently returned from a visit to my dad who lives in the irrigated farming area of southern Idaho’s Snake River Valley.  After leaving a very green and lush British Columbia, once I drove south into Washington State and then over the pass through the coastal Cascade mountain range immediately east of Seattle, the dominant impression is one of a heat-blasted, parched-brown countryside. As we drove through northeastern Oregon the temperatures soared to 43 degrees Celsius, which translates into 110 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot! I got a good tan without even trying due to the blazing sun.

My son, Jeremiah, who accompanied me to Idaho, then caught a flight to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was volunteering as a youth camp counselor and photographer. While visiting  America’s Midwestern heartland of grain production (more than 75 per cent of the corn and soybeans grow there), my son experienced more roasting temperatures along with high humidity—up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit! Only a snake could like such hellish weather. It was so hot that the teenage campers participating in my son’s “adventure” races were only allowed to walk from hydration station to hydration station lest they suffer heatstroke.

Much of the American heartland is literally baking. The implications of devastating drought in the world’s breadbasket are serious.

“We’re moving from a crisis to a horror story,” said Purdue University agronomist Tony Vyn. “I see an increasing number of fields that will produce zero grain.”

The drought scorching the U.S. Midwest is the worst since 1956, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report posted on its website on Monday. Drought is affecting 55% of the land mass in the lower 48 states (http://business.financialpost.com/2012/07/17/americas-worst-drought-since-56-threatens-world-food-supply/)

Already, prices for corn and soybeans are up more than 50 percent over the last four weeks. The coming food price sticker shock is going to affect all of us. For nations that import large amounts of grain to feed their populations, these higher prices is going to mean a good deal of personal hardship and national political instability.

Is all this heat and blasting mere coincidence? Just part of the normal weather cycle?

Meanwhile, here in British Columbia, our water reservoirs are critically full due to big melting snowpacks in the mountains and torrential rains in June and July. For the first time in 50 years, all of B.C.’s major dams are having to spill water in increasing amounts just to keep the dams from breaking. Dam managers have never seen anything like what’s happening this year at B.C.’s water reservoirs.

How strange. Here in B.C. we have a super-abundance of water, while just south of us the American heartland is bone dry. It sounds like some sort of ironic biblical curse. We have way too much but the Yanks have way too little. All the water that should have gone to America’s grain-growing Midwest has been dumped on us Pacific Canadians. What gives?

Actually, the Bible’s God, whom the Old Covenant scriptures referred to as YHVH (see Exodus 3:14-15, that is to say I am the One who was, is, and will be) and the New Covenant scriptures identified as Jesus Christ (see John 8:58), did promise to mess up the normal weather if those who claim to be His people fail to live according to His revealed way of life and belief. Americans, after all, make their boast even on their money “In God We Trust.” But do they really? Is the Bible’s God sufficiently fed up with North American hypocrisy to take action to punish us? Consider this prophecy:

“But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

“The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.

 And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. The Lord will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed (Deuteronomy 28:15-20, 23-24).

Americans have long proudly exclaimed, “God bless America.” And for the longest time it seemed so. But what happens when a nation’s leaders and its people no longer believe in living so as to receive a blessing but rather stubbornly and rebelliously live in such a way that earns a curse instead? If God can bless can’t He also curse? Is a drought and soaring food prices a blessing or a curse? What do you think?

Eco-terrorist or hero? Did Wiebo Ludwig make the right choice?


How should you save the Earth?

On Earth Day this past Sunday, I decided to do something good for the environment—-and for my family and myself. I took up a large big box retailer’s offer to trade in my rusting, ancient of days, gasoline-powered, emissions-spewing lawn mower for a discount off the price of an environmentally friendly classic 20” push reel mower. So it was “no” to creating weekly a small amount of greenhouse gases and “yes” to another anti-obesity habit, i.e. physical exercise.

Of course, in my neighbour’s eyes, this will just be another confirming proof of my eccentricity. They are certain I’m strange—but harmless. After all, I NEVER spray the lawn with toxic herbicides to get rid of those cheerful, well-established dandelions. And I actually go out and regularly commune with my dandelions in order to pick the leaves to steam up for dinner. I’m sure my neighbours have concluded that I’m fraternizing with the weed enemy. But besides doing a little to save the Earth by this small gesture, it also saves me from paying for a bunch of spinach at the supermarket.

My neighbours just don’t understand what they are missing out on. Being Earth friendly can even help you improve your teenagers work habits. Why my almost 15-year-old was so enthused by the novelty of my new push mower that he even volunteered to cut the grass all by himself. And after the job was finished, he began openly musing about starting up his own entreprenurial business selling a “green” lawn cutting service using my new mower. Ah, what unexpected dividends could arise as a green technology transforms a video game-playing, couch potato into a go-get-her Canadian eco-warrior with biceps.

Yet is such a non-violent, stand-up-for-the-Earth choice (apologies to the occasional slugs and bugs that get cut up) in how one exercises appropriate environmental stewardship a better one than that made by the confrontational, Canadian eco-warrior Wiebo Ludwig, who died this year on April 9? Some people call Ludwig an “eco-terrorist.”

Which is the better, more effective path in the long run: A peaceful approach? Or, a more confrontation, violent approach?

Ludwig honestly earned his “eco-terrorist” reputation by blowing up sour gas wells in northwest Alberta in the late 1990s. He was making a statement to the oil and gas industry and the regulatory governmental agencies that they couldn’t ignore. Of course, they didn’t. So Wiebo eventually ended up in jail. He paid a high personal price to open up the conversation about the steep price that is being paid by aquifers, rural families, and their livestock in order to make possible the wealth and power of Western Canada’s oil and gas companies. Oil and gas development is not a completely win-win proposition for all.

But was Wiebo Ludwig right in the way he confronted the dark side to the oil and gas development of northern B.C. and Alberta?

Wiebo sincerely believed that the sour gas wells were causing his daughter’s miscarriages, as well as, the ill-health and even death of some of the livestock on his farm located near Hythe, Alberta. But because industry and government seemingly turned a deaf ear to Wiebo Ludwigs’s environmental complaints and even denied that there really was a problem to be resolved or mitigated, the man chose to act violently in response to his frustration. The legacy of Wiebo Ludwig is full of controversy and, in some quarters, opprobrium. Did he make the right choice?

Wiebo Ludwig was a complicated man. He had good qualities and bad ones, such as his capacity for anger. The Scriptures warn us about the danger of being an angry person:

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27 New Living Translation).

Wiebo also had a degree in Christian theology and was ordained as a minister for the Dutch Reformed Church. Consequently, he knew the Apostle Paul’s list of obligatory character requirements for the ministry:

An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money. Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely [sound-minded] and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life [self-controlled]. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong (Titus 1:7-9 New Living Translation).

The “sound-mindedness” that the Apostle Paul was requiring meant having an spiritual inner outlook that correctly balanced outward behaviour. While “self-controlled” meant that a minister must master himself from within. But the concluding point in this passage by Paul is that the servant of the Creator must use his talents and the situations that arise in life in the most productive means possible so as to change or persuade those who oppose “wholesome teaching.” One can’t accomplish this change with threats or force.

Wilber Wilberforce struggled within the British parliament for over 30 years in order to extinguish human chattel slavery. By peaceful means he changed a great deal of the social policy of the 19th Century’s superpower, the British Empire. And Wilberforce did it with amazing grace, though for decades he faced seemingly insurmountable roadblocks and reversals.

The Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy, amplified the qualifications of a servant of God, including the importance of a good reputation with non-Church members:

Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap (1 Timothy 3:7 NLT).

Wiebo Ludwig failed in this regard—however accurate his environmental complaint.

In the 21st Century there will be an increasing amount of environmental pollution that will negatively impact areas as small as a single neighbourhood, or as large as an entire geographical region—remember the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico due to BP’s massive oil spill. Environmental disasters will continue to occur because far too many corporate CEOs in their pursuit of profits and bonuses do not practice the golden rule — loving one’s neighbour as oneself So there will always be plenty of work for environmental organizations who protest such abuse of the Earth.

However, for those who would make a profession of Christianity, we must live and act according to the Scriptures when dealing with those who are polluting the environment. Our methodology as individuals should set the right example. With peaceful, persistent persuasion, we must make the changes needed to preserve God’s Creation, this rare blue and green planet that sustains our existence in the midst of the blackness of inhospitable space.
The Christian profession precludes the possibility of any form of political or environmental confrontation that employs some form of violence that might injure others — that is not the Christian way. A good end can never justify a violent means. No matter how egregious the environmental sin, it remains the Creator’s sole personal prerogative—NOT ours—to punish or to exact retribution upon those who are unwittingly or knowingly destroying the Earth (see Revelation 11:18).

Who was the original Christmas grinch?

I challenge you to search the Bible from one end to the other to find a reference to the Christmas celebration or any mention of the early Apostolic church celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25. I’m not talking about the gospel accounts describing the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem during the Fall [late September early October]—as the gospel accounts themselves and known historical facts reveal. I’m talking about scriptural proof that would establish that the early Church of Peter and Paul taught the observance of Christmas in late December or at any other time of the year. In fact it was nearly 300 years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth and his apostles before the Roman Catholic Church invented Christmas. During the period of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Commonweath in both England and the New England colonies, about 1640-1660, the celebration of Christmas was forbidden:

During this brief period, the English Parliament banned the celebration of Christmas entirely, considering it ‘a popish festival with no biblical justification’, and a time of wasteful and immoral behavior.
See http://www.olivercromwell.org/faqs4.htm

The bottom line is that the celebration of Christmas is merely a human tradition having no divine sanction. Its origins rest with the Roman Catholic Church in the mid-300s A.D. Would Jesus himself condemn the Christmas celebration? Consider this comment that he made regarding man-made religious traditions developed, supposedly, for the purpose of honouring God:

These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God (Matthew 15:8-10 New Living Translation).

How ironic. What the Bible does teach about true spiritual holy days and practices in the Law of God, for example in Leviticus 23, people mostly ignore and fail to reflect upon. While what the Scriptures do not teach—or even teach against—that, people do. And, they do such things while justifying themselves by saying they’re honouring God and Jesus. We should rather consider carefully what the Scriptures are actually telling us:

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they [Mary and Joseph] brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel [and now throughout the entire world], and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:22-25 English Standard Version).

Of course, for many people any excuse such as Christmas is a good excuse to go shopping and to have a party. But the fact remains that Jesus and his apostles were the original Christmas grinches! They didn’t keep it. Rather they kept the Holydays found in Leviticus 23. Christmas is nothing but bait and switch humbuggery. The sooner this world learns to discern between true biblical reality and the popular alluring counterfeits such as Christmas masquerading as a Christian festival, the sooner we will experience a global blossoming of genuine peace on this earth. As Jesus taught:

Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away and perish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished. Whoever then breaks or does away with or relaxes one of the least [important] of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven, but he who practices them and teaches others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-20 Amplified Bible).

Ignoring the Big Bad Wolf? Take warning from reliable sources!


This evening I listened to the 6 p.m. news on CBC’s Radio 1 to catch up on the latest. The lead story was about the Executive Director of Scouts Canada resigning after less than a year in her new job. Next, there was a story about women and mammograms, or perhaps more accurately, when women shouldn’t get mammograms, as they have been over prescribed.

And then, there was a report about how the U.S.’s congressional super committee composed of 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats failed to agree on how to begin to cut the U.S.A.’s trillion-dollar budget deficit. Presently, for every dollar the U.S. federal government spends, it must borrow 36 cents. That means 36 percent of its budget must be financed by borrowing the money from the financial markets!

But, is it really news that the political situation in the U.S.A. is deadlocked and the nation divided. Most Americans know something about their unsustainable budget fiasco. They also know they are lacking the sound leadership to do something about their predicament, so their confidence in their elected representatives in Congress is at an all time low.

But it was the last part of this particular CBC news story that caught my attention. To conclude the reporting on the American impasse, the CBC cut away for a comment on the super committee’s failure by Christine Lagarde, who is the head of the International Monetary Fund. She remarked somewhat cryptically that this American bad news is especially ill-timed considering the extremely delicate situation in Europe.

Really, CBC ignored the biggest news story in the world at this moment that should have been last night’s lead. This story is about the unraveling of the European financial system, the Euro, and possibly the European Union itself, and how this is going to profoundly affect the lives of all of us living here in North America and everywhere else in the world.

Do you remember that it was the financial crisis of the 1930s that lead to the rise of the Nazis in Germany, the fascists in Spain and Italy, the militarists in Japan, and the isolationists and appeasers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France? The final outcome of all that economic volatility and bad or inadequate political leadership in the 1930s was the Second World War.

Craig Alexander, who is Senior Vice President & Chief Economist of the TD Bank Group (one of the major Canadian banks), sent out an unusually sober briefing on November 21, 2011, to the bank’s investing clientele, observing:

The European debt crisis is like the Energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going, and going. Financial markets remain gripped by events in Europe; and, this is entirely appropriate. If Europe loses control of the situation the resulting government debt defaults could lead to European bank failures that could, in turn, create a global financial crisis akin – if not worse– to that in late-2008.

There have been several recent key developments. First, major European banks now face the very real possibility of failing in the near future. As Porter Stansberry wrote in the S&A Digest last Friday:

Most of Europe’s major banks are insolvent. But only in the last week have they lost most of their access to additional funding. Their key source of funding has been U.S. money-market funds. But these funds are bailing out of Europe as quickly as they can. The result is a run on Europe’s banks. This crisis is now past the point where the authorities can hope to control the situation. We are now days (not weeks or months) away from the first major bank failures.

The United State’s renowned investment “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffet, while traveling in Japan on November 21, commented about the Euro zone crisis stating:

The system as presently designed has revealed a major flaw. And that flaw won’t be corrected just by words. Europe will either have to come closer together or there will have to be some other rearrangement because this system is not working.

The bottom line for Mr. Buffet is that the survival of the European Union (EU) itself is “in doubt now.” Buffet is following the European situation closely because he has more the U.S.$2 billion invested in Munich Re, a German re-insurance company.

Even that old staid Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, —where I once had a bank account during my 1970s student days in Switzerland—believes that the Euro sovereign debt crisis is now so bad that it will require a dramatic, massive intervention by the European Central Bank to cover the losses:

We seem to have entered the last days of the Euro as we currently know it. That doesn’t make a break-up very likely, but it does mean some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen – probably by mid-January – to prevent the progressive closure of all the Euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied by escalating runs on even the strongest banks.

Something dramatic is going to happen—soon—that is going to reshuffle the world’s geo-political-financial deck of cards in order to save Europe’s house of cards. Some astute financial commentators are expecting that we will see the most massive government intervention in history to the tune of trillions in order to adequately monetize the bad European debt. This is going to mean big time inflation.

As Mr. Alexander wrote in his investment news update:

The recent developments leave the end game for Europe still unclear. A default by Greece is inevitable, but that is old news now. The worry last month was about contagion, and the risks on this front have clearly intensified. European leadership still appears to be lacking. Despite announcements of new plans to address the crisis in mid-July and late-October, implementation of those policies has not occurred. Progress needs to be made urgently…. It seems the final outcome in Europe will be some form of a fiscal union and the launch of Eurobonds—but this will not happen soon. If the political system cannot deliver this end game and conditions start to spiral out of control, the ECB will step in and act as lender of last resort. This would arrest the financial crisis but also create a new set of economic and financial problems. We’ve gone from a world of banks too big to fail, to a world of countries too big to fail. The implication is that three of the top financial themes will be volatility, volatility, and more volatility.

A series of soon-coming events are going to affect your life and my life—and not for the good! Just think. Over the last few weeks the German Chancellor and the French President forced the democratically elected prime ministers of Greece and Italy to step down and to be replaced with unelected European Union bureaucrats, whose self-interest and obligations for their position rest with the EU rather than the people they are now governing.

There’s a lot I could say about how what is presently going on in this world is leading to a dramatic fulfillment of biblical prophecy. How Germany is using and will continue to use its pre-eminent financial position to achieve what it could not gain in Europe by force of arms both 72 and 97 years ago. Wealth is power in 2011. Watch out!

The spiritual bottom line to our current financial crisis, really, is that neither the 99.9% of this world’s elite nor the average person in the street really believes in using the teachings and instructions written in Bible as a basis for organizing our financial and social systems. Why? Because they don’t really believe that the God of the Judeo-Christian scriptures actually exists or that He has the authority to instruct us on what should be done. So, we ignore the cornerstones of the biblical economic system with its periodic secured and unsecured debt forgiveness and mortgage write-downs, real property asset re-allocations (see Deuteronomy 15:1-11 and Leviticus 25:9-18), as well as the responsibility to establish sound money based on a combined gold/silver standard (Ezekiel 45:10-12).

These elements of the divine economy would have prevented the perfect financial storm fueled by debt, fiat paper money, greed, and fraud that is soon to hit this world. We have ignored God at our peril and will pay the consequences. Nevertheless, our merciful God is not out of the picture and He does have a plan to pick up the pieces after humanity will have proven itself incapable of organizing a financial and political system that is just, equitable, fair, and just plain works without regularly throwing the entire world into a state of economic volatility with its recessions/depressions and sometimes war. As the prophet said so long ago:

Remember this, you sinners; consider what I have done. Remember what happened long ago; acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me. From the beginning I predicted the outcome; long ago I foretold what would happen. I said that my plans would never fail, that I would do everything I intended to do (Isaiah 46:8-10 Good News Translation).

This is better news than anything you will hear, see, or read about over the next few years.

An inconvenient truth about the origin of AIDS

Presently making the media rounds, Dr. Jacques Pepin’s newly published book entitled, The Origin of AIDS, tackles the question of how one of the modern world’s deadliest disease plagues took root and spread.

Having already killed approximately 32 million mostly young people with about another 30 million or so currently infected with the eventually fatal HIV virus that causes AIDS—no one seriously questions the importance of understanding how this disease originated. After all, if humanity could avoid spawning similar epidemics in the future, it certainly would spare us untold suffering and sadness. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/health/18aids.html?pagewanted=all

But the problem in identifying the origins of the AIDS epidemic has been that, apparently, whether directly or merely indirectly implicated, it is the medical establishment’s professionals and related healthcare agencies/businesses that are guilty of playing a key role in creating this plague of death!

So you can understand why the medical establishment is more than a little touchy about publicly acknowledging its role in facilitating, presumably unknowingly, such a horrendous disease. Nevertheless, the truth has a way of becoming known despite the usual cover-ups, obfuscations, and denials issued by those who have something to hide.

Dr. Pepin’s book seems to be getting a relatively warm though cautious acceptance by the mainstream media and medical establishment because it only indirectly points the bloody finger of guilt and responsibility at the doctors and their medical bedfellows.

An earlier exposé on the origins of AIDS by a 1999 book called The River: A journey back to the source of HIV and AIDS, which was written by investigative journalist Edward Hooper, was vigorously maligned by the medical establishment because Hooper argued that the HIV virus was inadvertently spread to about one million Africans living in the Congo by an experimental polio vaccine. This vaccine, experimentally developed in the United States in the 1950s by Dr. Hilary Koprowski was said to have been manufactured in what was then the Belgian Congo using as substrates (growing medium) virus-contaminated chimpanzee kidney cells.  See http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/origins-aids/

Well, whether one believes Dr. Jacques Pepin and/or Edward Hooper, it seems highly probable that both an imperfect understanding of medical science and the practice of medicine itself did indeed play key roles in facilitating the AIDS death of millions. To his credit, Dr. Pepin personally admits that he unknowingly helped spread the HIV virus during his time serving in central African field hospitals by administering injections with inadequately sterilized needles.

As the Judeo-Christian Scriptures state: “When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom,” Proverbs 11:2 Holmen Christian Standard Bible.

If you didn’t already realize it, the doctors are not God! They are merely fallible mortals whose pride can lead them to make serious mistakes. You should take responsibility for your own health and seriously question and research any and all procedures, drugs, and vaccines with which the medical establishment might want to treat you.  Seriously consider the risks of that flu shot or whatever other therapy is recommended. Who knows? Maybe by taking a small dose of healthy skepticism you’ll avoid becoming a guinea pig for the medical establishment’s next plague! An ounce of prevention may well be worth much more than the latest medical “cure.”

 

Family, Finance, and the Future

Presently we see the once prosperous Western world of 2011 drowning in red ink. Various European Union countries, and the United States of America are wrestling with the financial issues coming from too much sovereign debt and not enough taxes from their populations to pay for it. The news is full of controversy about the right policies to pursue to deal with this potentially catastrophic problem. As The Economist magazine likes to point out,

“for most of human history economic power has been determined by demography” (A Game of Catch-up, 09/20/2011).

Without the slightest bit of doubt, for developed nations like the United States, the European Union, Japan, and even Canada, financial, red ink problems will get much worse in the years immediately ahead as the Post World War II baby-boom generation shifts from paying taxes to the state and instead starts receiving old-age pension cheques from these same governments.

A similar problem, though with some different twists, will also start to hit China at about the same time due to their “4-2-1” social experiment over the last few decades—otherwise known as the one-child policy.

The practical effect of restricting Chinese families to having just one child means that eventually four elderly grandparents and two retirement-age parents will have to rely financially on the support that can be provided by just one child.

The Chinese government is not stupid. They avoided creating a pension black hole–otherwise known as a taxpayer-funded social security scheme—by requiring Chinese families to continue their age old tradition of looking after each other and providing for their own welfare rather than relying on the government. Consequently, strong traditional family structures are the norm in China, having as its basic characteristic the lifelong marital union between a man and a woman.

But the Western developed nations like the United States and Canada have prized individualism—rugged or otherwise—above all traditional family values. Since the 1970s we, too, like the Chinese have engaged in our own profound social experiment, which is sometime referred to as the sexual revolution. In effect the West’s collective historic societal/ moral perspective morphed from the old-fashioned values encapsulated in the motto “In God We Trust” into the post-modern, non-judgmental anthem “Do Your Own Thing” and its corollary “In Our Governments We Trust to Bail Us Out of Our Folly.”

And what has been the end result of the Western World’s social experiment with family morals and social ethics? How about national bankruptcy! Curiously, the Social Trends Institute, a liberal think-tank based in New York and Barcelona, came to the conclusion that the only way to save the Welfare State model with its generous retirement pensions and its multitude of government-funded programs as embraced by the Western developed world is to return to the traditional family structure that has as its base a married mom and dad with their kids. They’re talking about us going retro. You know, like the 1950s-60s American sit-coms “Leave it to Beaver” or “Father Knows Best.”

Entitled “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend,” the Social Trends Institutes makes these poignant observations:

“The wealth of nations is inextricably associated with the health of families… The global retreat from marriage and from family has depressed economic growth and has deeply hurt two generations of children.”

“Evidence drawn from Europe and North America indicates that children who are raised in an intact married home are more likely to excel in school and be active in the labour force as young adults.”

“An abundant social-science literature, as well as common sense, supports the claim that children are more likely to flourish, and to become productive adults, when they are raised in stable, married-couple households.”

“American children who are raised outside an ‘intact married home’ are two to three times more likely to suffer serious social and psychological problems.”

The report then cites the calculations made by Penn State University sociologist Paul Amato that IF America enjoyed a “My Three Sons” level of family stability then:

1. “The nation would have 750,000 fewer children repeating grades.”
2. “1.2 million fewer school suspensions.”
3. “Approximately 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency”
4. About “600,000 fewer kids receiving therapy”
5. Roughly “70,000 fewer suicide attempts every year.”

Next, “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend” mentions the work by four Swedish researchers who discovered that Swedish children living in single parent homes were 50% more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. And they said:

“It is not just the quantity of children that is in decline. It’s the quality of their lives.”

The Western developed world can’t pay its bills because it has been severely reducing the number of its children! The Social Trends Institutes estimates that the developed world is missing at least 60 million children! (All quotes from Neil Reynolds, “Family breakdown is one cause of our economic woes,” The Globe and Mail, Oct. 3. 2011.)

The loss of 60 million lives is probably a low estimate. For the United States alone, from 1970 to 2007 there were 48,106,910 abortions. According to AbortioninCanada.ca there have been about 3 million abortions in Canada since 1969. In just the USA and Canada that makes for 51 million fewer children.
Of course, you have to compound that figure to estimate the true loss of human capital since an aborted baby will never have any children of its own.

Just think of it, President Obama. If just half of the 48 million aborted American babies had lived, then those people should now be in their prime working years. If they would be paying annual social security and other taxes in an average amount of just $3,000 each that would have meant an extra $72 BILLION into the U.S. Treasury. Also, if those aborted children had lived and had generated just an extra $10,000 per year of productivity to the USA economy it would have added an extra $240 BILLION to the gross domestic product. But if that figure was an extra $40,000 per year that would have added almost $1 Trillion of extra economic activity on a yearly basis.

But no, America embraced the “do your own thing” philosophy and devoured over 48 million of its own young because it was just too inconvenient for its immoral parental refusniks.

Do the math. Why are so many of the nations of the Western developed world now staring bankruptcy in the face? Sure budgetary irresponsibility plays a role. But how much of our problem rightly belongs to our stubborn rebellion against our Creator and His moral logic that governs our Universe, including human affairs?

Our whole world’s economic system is wobbling. The potential for its actual collapse is strong. For two generations we have thought we can do our own thing while we turn our collective backs on God’s morals and ethics. We are now beginning to really pay the price. We have destroyed our future economic prosperity through immoral selfishness, lust, and pride. Even a liberal think-tank can see the facts. We would do well to take seriously this warning from one of God’s prophets and change our ways and turn to the knowledge that the Judeo-Christian scriptures teach about what is right and what is wrong as the basis for our social policies while there is yet time.

The LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns and all who dwell in it languish… My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (Hosea 4:1-3, 6 English Standard Version).

Mining a Reputation


Starting on June 3, 2011, and continuing periodically throughout the summer a group of wealthy individuals hiding behind anonymity and fictitious names with false return addresses began distributing on the Internet site Alfredlittle.com a string of hard-hitting allegations against Silvercorp Metals Inc. alleging various forms of fraud in accounting practices, production statistics, and asset transactions.

Silvercorp is a mostly China-focused precious metals miner whose shares trade on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the symbol SVM. The company is considered so significant by the financial industry that its stock is included in the calculation of several bellweather S&P/TSX indices.


Taking advantage of a generalized public suspicion about the reliability of the financial statements of some Chinese businesses, this group of anonymous accusers, who are part of what Silvercorp’s chairman labels the “short and distort industry,” has been able to successfully effect wild price swings in the stock’s value by spreading allegations that Silvercorp’s chairman, Dr. Rui Feng, vociferously rebuts as lies.

Is this a classic smear campaign orchestrated by a group of false witnesses to make huge profits from engaging in what is known by the financial industry as “short selling”? In Silvercorp’s case these rumors are estimated to have wiped out at least temporarily about $1.5 billion from the company’s total value in stock.


Legitimate short-sellers regularly make bets or speculations on information derived from market research or maybe just following up a hunch with old-fashioned on-site investigation. Bad financial news resulting in under-performing quarterly results will drive down the price of a stock. Short-selling a Company’s stocks in such instances is a fair game and legal in most Western countries. But to deliberately spread false rumors and lies in a campaign to manipulate a stock’s price is, however, explicitly illegal. The British Columbia Securities Commission is looking into the Alfredlittle.com allegations.

“Simon Moore,” who claims to be the managing editor of Alfredlittle.com, in his defense of the authors’ use of anonymity in writing their inflammatory reports, states that the allegations were compiled by Chinese nationals who are “risking their necks” in a nation without our standards of freedom of speech. It is true that China does lack the rule of law according to Western standards.

Yet, It’s amazing how much money could perhaps be made from “bearing false witness against your neighbour.” The anonymous Alfredlittle.com short-selling authors admit to having a motive to benefit financially from what they call “truthful allegations.” Profiting from a string of accusations while hiding behind a shield of anonymity is suspicious. But where does the truth lie in this matter? It’s hard for the stockholders to tell, isn’t it?

Did you know that the Judeo-Christian scriptures talk extensively about this issue? Human nature has not changed over the millennia and getting to the bottom of highly charged accusations was already a major issue 3,400 years ago. Read what Moses wrote in the Law of God:

16 If a malicious witness testifies against someone accusing him of a crime, 17 the two people in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and judges in authority at the time. 18 The judges are to make a careful investigation, and if the witness turns out to be a liar who has falsely accused his brother, 19 you must do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from you. 20 Then everyone else will hear and be afraid, and they will never again do anything evil like this among you (Deuteronomy 19:16-20 Holmen Christian Standard Bible).


From the viewpoint of the Scriptures, anonymous accusations or denunciations of a crime were inadmissible in any legal proceedings against God’s people in ancient Israel. And, the punishment for transgressing the law and accusing someone falsely was to be appropriate to the damage caused by the false accusation. If you were a false witness guilty of accusing someone falsely of a capital crime, punishable by death, then you would receive that just punishment yourself. If you accused someone falsely of a property crime, then you would have to make the appropriate restitution to the victim.

According to Jesus of Nazareth, bearing false witness or lying is such an important issue that from a spiritual perspective it becomes a life or death issue (cf. Matthew 19:17-19). In fact, the fate of “all liars,” of all who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed, was to be tossed into the lake of fire, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:6-8) Eternal death, that’s definitely not worth risking for the sake of making just a few millions dollars through a fraudulent smear campaign.

If you would like to know more about this subject in detail, go to my video on this subject posted online at: http://cogwebcast.com/sermons/video-archives/divine-directives-the-ninth-commandment/