Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Are the Armed Forces a Religion?

A new religion has emerged in Britain, the Cult of the Soldier. Its mullahs can be found in the media, particularly The Sun newspaper: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1468251.ece . Almost every other headline is about “Our Brave Boys” portraying the members of the armed forces as courageous heroes who are risking their lives for our freedom. Despite The Sun’s indifference to the poverty in this country among the general population (background: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2008/07/hard-work-by-polly-toynbee.html ) as well as the even worse poverty in the Third World, they recently ran a front page article highlighting the squalour in some of Britain’s barracks, with massive headlines and lurid pictures of cockroaches in the mess huts and rats crawling about in the gutters. The Sun is incensed that the nation’s military personnel are forced to live in such conditions. That’s quite right, but why just the military? Nobody should have to live in such conditions. But for The Sun the military are not the same as other people; they are superhuman in every way, Tomorrow People, a superior species. They shrug dismissively at the millions starving in Darfur, but rave in indignation when a trooper in Afghanistan is not issued with a warm winter jacket. Why is it that if a soldier is in the news for a non-military reason then their status as a soldier will be alluded to, even if it is irrelevant to the story? For example: no article or interview about the singer James Blunt has so far failed to address the fact that he used to be an army officer. Why is it that very little journalistic literature about another singer, Marc Almond, refers to his former life as a hospital porter? In the same vein, a man recently rescued a group of pensioners from a burning building in Oxfordshire and every news report about the incident declared the information that he was an army sergeant. But how often do you see the headline: Insurance Broker Chases Off Mugger or Painter and Decorator Saves Child From Flood?

Anyone in the forces, or ex-forces, is constantly and forever marked out as special, a social elite, objects of reverence, envy and worship. I remember during the firemen's strike a few years ago, which the army filled in for, there was a debate in the media about the army's aging “Green Goddess” fire engines, a design that has changed little since the 1930’s, and whether the forces should be allowed to use modern fire appliances. Both myself and all my friends agreed that they should, but I pointed out that the army are not trained to use modern fire-fighting equipment; in fact the Fire Brigade have to train for several months to become proficient enough to use it properly. Who was going to give the army that training? “But, Ben,” said one of my mates, “these are soldiers!” These are soldiers, he thought, superhuman Man-Gods who know everything and can do anything; only we mere mortals need training! I think he had an image in his head of Rambo or one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s characters from an action film! And that reminded me, films like that are part of the instruction into the Cult of the Soldier. The effect all this propaganda has on the soldiers themselves is remarkable. If I’m talking to somebody who is in the forces or used to be, they will find some way to slip it into the conversation within two or three sentences. They then expect me to immediately change the subject and talk about it. I’ve found that some of them can become quite peeved with me when I don’t. Some also find my own feelings about hospital portering strangely offensive (My attitude to my own job is analogous to a soldier’s feelings about the army. This is a deliberate policy of mine. See here for more details: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2007/12/dont-tell-em-were-porters.html ). I was once challenged by a group of uniformed soldiers in a London pub... because I wasn’t looking at them! In social situations, the presence of soldiers arouses envy and insecurity in many of my friends. The government (predictably along with more rapturous Sun headlines) now encourages the forces to wear their uniform off-duty, rubbing civilians’ (and hospital porters’) faces in it even more. I’ve watched my fellow’s angry, jealous scowls when a group of servicemen walk into a pub and all the women flock round them. Most soldiers themselves don’t mind; even if a civilian (or hospital porter) attacks them verbally or physically because that kind of hostility is born out of resentment for that soldier’s social superiority, and they know it! In my experience most soldiers find my own indifference to their status and my own Hospital Porters’ Pride and Dignity far more insulting than any positive enmity. They can’t abide people who are not “squaddie-struck”! When I walked into a pub once with my hospital porters’ T-shirt, Gary (not his real name), a friend of mine who’s in the army but used to be in portering, blushed and said: “Why do you wear that, Ben!?” echoing the attitude of Steve in the Don’t Tell ‘em We’re Porters! article (see link above). A few minutes later he was holding court with a group of people regaling them stories about his adventures in Iraq with the Royal Engineers!

So where does the Cult of the Soldier come from? Is it because of the dangers the forces have to face? A few months ago The Sun published three-issue tirade about how soldiers in Afghanistan were paid less than a traffic warden. But fighting with the army is not the only dangerous job in the world; and, almost unbelievably from the Sun-reading Conformist worldview, it is not even the most dangerous! According to the 2004 Canadian and American Almanac, there are many jobs more dangerous than the forces: deep-sea fishing, demolition, some kinds of mining, working on an oil rig. Since oil was struck in the North Sea 30-or-so years ago several hundred people have been killed in offshore accidents and many more maimed; most famously in the Piper Alpha disaster. Of course several thousand British soldiers have been killed in wars since then too, but how many more people are in the army than work offshore in the North Sea oil fields? Statistically you’re safer patrolling the culverts of Helmand Province than you are tending the wells of Schlumberger. And when will we get a Sun headline about the “Brave Boys of the trawler fleets who risk their lives so we can enjoy fish fingers”? The reason for the Cult of the Soldier is that throughout history the military has been so important to the Elite’s hold on power. Soldiers have to kill people, often innocent bystanders, and risk being killed or disabled themselves. Who will willingly do that? Who, unless they are both indoctrinated to believe that what they do has some noble higher purpose, and given the reward of copious Conformist status? Consider these words from the Fourteen Signs of Fascism: 4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glorified and glamourized. (Source: http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm ) Once soldiers are recruited they are put through the basic training programme, and it is classic and blatant mind-control! It leaves them with a pathological obedience to authority and melts their instinctive will to question and analyze, although there are many admirable exceptions like Ben Griffin and the other War on Terror mutineers. It’s both ironic and sadly predictable that society labels those men “cowards” when by standing up for their principles in the face of violent opposition they’ve shown the ultimate bravery! Government psychologists in military recruitment discovered long ago that challenges to a man’s virility are the path to his will. Hit a man in the balls and you can make him do anything! This is why they used to employ attractive women to hand out the white feathers in the Great War. Truth be told, the Cult of the Soldier is nothing new. It has existed in one form or another since the beginning of history; the modern military obsession in The Sun is merely the most recent form it takes. Who was it who said: “The first causality of war is the truth”? Lies are as essential to war as bullets and bombs. All wars have to be spun and marketed, the true motives of the governments behind them hidden from the participants and only discussed in boardrooms and ministerial offices by people who never have to face enemy fire. A few years ago I defined the rules of war:

Most, if not all wars, have the following elements common:
1. They involve the majority of the people, but the decision to go to war is made by very few, the political elite.

2. With the exception of ancient warrior cultures and medieval knights, the elite who decide on a nation’s policy don't fight the war themselves. There are exceptions, EG Prince Andrew served in the Falklands war (if you can call him "elite"). It’s the common folk who do the fighting; the same folk who in peacetime will be back in the factories making shoes and drawing pins for low wages.
3. The true motive for a nation to go to war is often a different one to the excuse they give to the public through the official media.
4. During wartime, as in peacetime, different nations who claim to be "enemies" will openly vilify and condemn each other in their public broadcasts and official media, but in private they will behave very differently. Researchers who look beneath the surface will find that their own country and the hailed "enemy" often do secret deals, cooperate with each other and even behave as allies. Very often the "enemy" might even be a creation of their own country.

For example: the Falklands War was portrayed by the media in very simple terms as an honourable act of redemption and liberation, when all the instigators of that war had their beady eyes on was the South Atlantic oil fields and nothing else (see here for more details: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2007/10/belgrano-last-shot-of-war.html ). This of course means that the British government would eagerly sell the Falklander people to Argentina without a qualm if the political situation required it!

So should we condemn and deride soldiers? Some commentators, like David Icke and the comedian Bill Hicks, seem to regard them as little more than licensed serial killers, Fred West’s in Uniform. Although it’s true that you can join the army and be glorified as a hero for committing acts that would otherwise get you jailed for life in solitary confinement and reviled as a monster, it’s worth bearing in mind that few soldiers are aware or even willing to contemplate the true reasons for war; most feel that the horrors they unleash are justified by some greater cause. In my view this doesn't excuse them; we are all accountable for our actions, but it makes them as innocent as lambs compared to the political elite who order these atrocities in full knowledge of the true motives behind them. The challenge for military personnel, as it is for everyone, is to educate themselves by turning off the news and reading; to learn what’s really going down! Learn to see how we’re manipulated into holding this globalist New World Order together. Once we have that knowledge we then have to act on it; to do something about it. This means mutiny, and that’s a difficult thing to do because the Conformist Regime has an immune system that attacks renegade cells; and this manifest as the public demonization, white feathers and the branding of “coward!” that we suffer. This is not just the case in the forces; the Conformist Regime treats all rebels just as harshly, although its weapons for those outside the military are more subtle. You don't get imprisoned or shot, but you do get socially imprisoned or shot, and in some ways that's worse.

There’s something else. I’ve recently come to realize an important point; it’s not just soldiers who support and build the Illuminati agenda for the New World Order. Most, if not all of us, in some way contribute to this hideous morass. Soldiers might be the ones who fight in wars, but we all fund those wars by paying tax. How many of us can honestly say that we don’t work in an industry that directly or indirectly benefits the globalist corporations. This revelation came to me a few months ago when I attended the Probe Conference in Lancashire (see here for details: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2008/04/uk-probe-conference-march-08.html ) One of the speakers was Frank Willis. In his youth Frank had been a mercenary employed as a security guard to protect a Colombian drug baron. After his speech I remember thinking to myself: “How could he do that!? How on Earth could a man willingly go and work for a drug baron, an organization that gets rich by selling poisons to people and profits from their misery and death!?” Then it struck me: That’s what I do too!

(Related article: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2009/02/military-do-we-need-it.html)

13 comments:

wise woman said...

Hi Ben
Well spoken.
The 'Cult of the Soldier' - what an excellent way of expressing it. We are taught that soldiers are heroes from day one - with movies, stories, history books, museums & of course Memorials.
What you are never shown is how completely expendable they are & always have been. As you say, look to the decision makers not their 'work-force'

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Exactly. Nobody is immune from accountability for anything they do, but it's one thing to do something terrible while believing the naive myth that it will lead to a better end, but to do something terrible in full knowledge of what it is and the real reasons why is beyond the pale. And it's a powerful myth. Remember those war memorials in Australia you visited? The lie is the engine that fuels war; all else comes from that because to reject the lie means to reject the war.

aferrismoon said...

Perhaps the new messiah Obama will bring more 'Barrack's Humour'.

A fair few join the Forces to get a stable lifestyle, getting away from the - Job, redundancy, dole or shit job cycle. I know a few who just couldn't 'handle' the bullshit of civilain life , e.g. No accountability. At least in the forces one could find some sort of accountability, at least on a daily basis.
Stuck in cities a lot of young men have no outlets for their energy except crim or shit-job. A lot of young men don't want to join the gang-scene but as they come from certain areas and have a low-academic education they often get 'pigeon-holed' and will never 'get out' through gainful employment. They can of course run around an athletic track on a daily basis, or play footy.
Those reporters I don't think are even 'patriotic', they seem to just love writing shit while sitting in their offices laughing at the population - can they really believe they offer society anything.
On the other hand perhaps they do feel some guilt at winding the whole country up while lying through their teeth, and getting paid lots of wonga, coz Ben , sorry mate, but that's what it comes down to, innit, right, I mean u gotta put food on the table, I mean these lads know what they're getting themselves into right, I mean , u do love your country dont ya , dontcha
, we're just doing our bit

I imagine The new ASBO Creed - stop fucking around on our streets, go to someone else's street and fuck around, [ and then we'll like u]

Cheers

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Aferris, Some jobs are more than just a job and people describe them as a way ior flife and the other people who serve there are like family. I'm lucky enough to have a job like that myself, and people I know in the forces say the same thing. I'll never forget the scene in the series "Tour of Duty" where one of the soldiers is about to end his tour in Vietnam and be sent back to "the world" ie the States, but he signs up for another tour because his life fighting in Vietnam is better than that at home! He can't face going back to unemployment, poverty and crime in his old neighbourhood. In America today, with massive unemployment in many areas, young school-leavers are joining the army because that's the oly job available!

panopticon said...

Hi Ben, I've recently discovered your blog through posts you left on the Red Ice forum, and I think you're doing a valuable job here. The "Cult of the Soldier" article is spot on, and I would include it under the umbrella of the whole "Cult of the "Uni-Form", even though I'll accept that the armed forces are the most idealised subsection. The whole push to be uniform, to be standardised, and yet seperate, exclusive form the "herd" is everwhere it seems.People join organisations to put on uniforms to distinguish themselves from the "great unwashed", sort of the line of thinking that says, "I'm not like anyone else, I'm different, I'm special...". The Elite know the human psyche so well. And of course you don't necessarily have to don a specific uniform to join a club, you can have your won "mental" uniform, like the "stars" of the big and small screen. The public are little people to them. Have you read what vacuous professional "liers" like Liz Hurley and Gywneth Paltrow call the public, respectively? Civilians and pedestrians. Says it all, really. I was trying to put my point of view across to a friend on the very likely train of thought behind such off-hand comments, particularly that Paltrow's derogatory term indicates not just that the ordinary person has to actually use their legs to get from place to place from time to time, but that we are labelled pedestrian in thought, in mindset, we lack the right stuff, we are not fully conscious, so to speak. This is only my interpretation, but its obvious these people generally have disdain for the populace.
Anyway, good blog, I'll be back to read again, I'll maybe communicate with you on the Red Ice forum. Obviously, I'm panopticon there too. See ya!

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hi panopticon, thanks for your cemments. Much appreciated.

Putting people in uniforms is a form of dehumanization because it's about painiting over the natural uniqueness of people. No two are alike, even physically identical twins have different inner personalities. The uniforms that people wear make them like robots, and that's what soliders on parade look like to me; all moving together under the drill-master's orders with no differences and individual quirks, no apparent conscious thought behind it. Have you ever read Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"; in it everyone in the world wears a colour-coded uniform to denote their rank in society. And the people are all genetically modified from conception to have different levels of intelligence. I too have noticed the use of loaded words in the media to mould the way the public receive something.

Glad you like my research, mate. See you on the forum.

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