Friday, April 30, 2010

My Near Death Experience in 1978

In 1978, when I was 25, I had a small stroke followed by a Near Death Experience. Though Dr. Raymond Moody's book had come out 3 years before, I had never set eyes on it, and had never heard about Near Death Experiences.

My experience was as follows.

I was soundly, pleasantly asleep, and having a very nice dream.

Suddenly, the dream began to turn very dark and horrible. In short order, I awakened from my dream in a kind of in-between place -- next to my body in the bunk, but at the same time in a dark tunnel.

I was aware that I was dead. I think that I was naked, where I stood, but that was completely irrelevant to me (which is why I say, "I THINK that I was naked...").

The tunnel was dark, very comfortable, and about 200 feet wide -- 100 feet in all directions. The sides, though apparent, were indefinite. It tilted up at about a 45 degree angle. The only thing bad about the place was the sound. It was filled with the noise of music played by what I describe as a "schizophrenic orchestra."

I had a quality which I might describe as "extreme there-ness." The tunnel and my presence there was more "real" than life here, on Earth. I can't remember that sensation, now. I only know that I always said this, and so should continue to say this.

As I realized that the tunnel went "up," I began to physically float up the tunnel, "eyeballs first."

As I flew up the tunnel, faster and faster, I was utterly calm. In the distance, about 2 miles ahead, I saw a brilliant light, and I stared at it intensely. When I was a few hundred feet away from the light, I began to slow down, and I saw that the light was a doorway, about 3 x 7 feet, such as one might find on a house. I thought to myself, "What???!!! What is a doorway shaped like that doing here in the afterlife?"

As I slowed almost to a stop, anxious to get a good look at what lay beyond the door, poof, my memory of the experience simply disappears.

The memory begins again when I am still inside the tunnel, but, while still at the top, moved over into the "down lane," slowly moving feet first toward the bottom. I remember feeling that I had just been "told things," I think by a monk-like guy, and his words had made me viciously angry in a good way, a determined way. I was repeating to myself, again and again and again and again, "I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO DO! I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO DO!" It was clear to me that I was like this because of what I had just been told -- the portion of the memory wiped-out.

I am certain that that memory was intentionally wiped-out. I was not allowed to know the future.

As I began accelerating down the tunnel, feet first, faster and faster, screaming to myself, "I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO DO! I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO DO!," I realized that I was closing-in on my dead body. At the bottom, z-z-z-z-ip-p-p-p, I zip into my body.

The "landing" into my dead body jolted me awake, in my bed. I immediately knew that something terrible had happened in my brain. I TRIED to say, with words in my mind, "What is the matter with my head?????" but my mind generated words something like this: "Ter-mat deah ym thaw si the tiw" -- the words hopelessly and efficiently jumbled-up.

The effect of this jumbling shocked and amused me, as I sat up in bed in the dark. For the pleasure of enjoying the phenomenon, I tried other sentences, but out-loud, while my brothers slept. My tongue jumbled words just as efficiently, and I remember wanting to laugh. But then it dawned on me that I had been struck dumb, probably by a stroke, and that if I didn't get better I was going to be a lot of trouble to other people.

Then I realized, with wonder, that I was thinking without words -- efficiently "apprehending" concepts, now that my mind had been freed of the burden of language, without nouns, pronouns, verbs and adverbs and such.

When I got over my joy and amazement, I laid back down in bed, apprehending to myself that my mind might be better in the morning.

The following morning -- I believe that it was a Saturday -- as I awakened I could immediately tell that I was still "struck dumb." I felt a deep sense of shame. (A psychiatrist in one of my cases later told me that shame is commonly a symptom of stroke.) I went downstairs and my father asked me if I wanted bacon and eggs. I grumbled, "Humph!" to my father, since if I said anything it would have come out absurdly jumbled! He assumed that I was in a bad mood, and just fixed me the eggs.

Instead of being in a bad mood, I was apprehending to myself (without words), "How can I get out of here and up to a doctor without my parents knowing?"

Just then, my younger brother Brian injured himself, and my parents rushed him to the hospital.

I ran upstairs, showered, dressed, and took the Route 59 trackless trolley up Castor Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia to Dr. McLaughlin's office. On the trolley, I felt a slight shift in my mind in the speech area. I tried to say "thank you" to the trolley driver as I left the trolley, but it came-out sounding like "f--k oo"! The trolley driver looked very puzzled. Lo and behold, Dr. McLaughlin was in. I still couldn't talk, but I could write. I explained in writing what happened. He drove me to Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia where they gave me a physical and some tests, and they agreed that I had had a small stroke.

They prescribed some drugs for me, but no one -- neither Dr. McLaughlin nor Nazareth Hospital -- billed me.

I avoided talking to anyone for two weeks! By the end of that time, my speech was perfect, again.

But I never forgot the experience.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Bible Readings for Mass on Sunday, 05/02/2010

Because the Bible is inspired, we should not listen to the readings as "true," but rather as "shockingly true."

But viewing them as "shockingly true history" is to misunderstand them. For example, in Acts 22, Paul is speaking to the Jews of Jerusalem in Hebrew. He tells them,
6 "On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.
7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
8 I replied, 'Who are you, sir?' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.'
9 My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me." Acts 22:6-9.
Okay, if this is "shockingly true history," then Paul absolutely, positively said exactly these things to the Jews in Jerusalem.

Re-read the line in red. The ones with Paul on the journey to Damascus "did not hear the voice." Simple enough.

Okay, now turn to Acts 9:7: 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one. Acts 9:7.

There it is -- in Acts 9:7, inspired Luke's "shockingly true history" of Paul's conversion squarely contradicts inspired Luke's "shockingly true history" of Paul's words in Jerusalem at Acts 22:6-9. But wasn't Paul, himself, inspired as he spoke in Jerusalem?

If Paul was inspired, he was not being inspired to get his facts straight, so that he erred, right?

Or, inspiration sometimes inspires lying.

But that would contradict other verses...
1 Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth,
2 in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began... Titus 1:1-2.
Or, perhaps inspiration tolerates historical error.

I believe that it does -- frequently.

Very frequently.

In any event, throw out any preconceived notion that the Bible is "shockingly true history," but retain your belief that the Bible is "shockingly true religious teaching." It is.

Let us now discuss the readings for this coming Sunday...

Reading 1

Acts 14:21-27

After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news

to that city

The names "Paul and Barnabas" do not appear in the original text. The lectionary writers inserted the names to inform listeners that Paul and Barnabas are the ones being discussed.

and made a considerable number of disciples,

they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.

They strengthened the spirits of the disciples

and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,

“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships

to enter the kingdom of God.”

These words of Paul and Barnabas contrast rather sharply with Christ's words, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." Matthew 11:30. Perhaps Christ Himself would resolve the contrasting concepts by saying, "The grace of the Spirit will will make the many hardships an easy yoke and a light burden."

They appointed elders for them in each church

An exercise of the Sacrament of Orders.

and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord

in whom they had put their faith.

Prayer and fasting aren't just "unimportant holy stuff." Pray regularly, and fast sternly, and all of your problems will evaporate! Try it!

Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.

After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.

From there they sailed to Antioch,

where they had been commended to the grace of God

for the work they had now accomplished.

This is a reference to Acts 13:1-3, where the actual words of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, are actually quoted -- "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

And when they arrived, they called the church together

and reported what God had done with them

and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

"Door" is a Biblical type, or symbol, symbolizing "Christ." See Index Verse, John 10:9: "I am the door." They reported how God brought the people to Christ.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

Many view the Psalm at Mass as a "breather," as an "interlude," as "pious, sing-songy nonsense." That is a thorough misconstruing. The Psalms are part of the Bible. They come FROM the Book of Psalms which is a separate book IN the Bible. They are no less inspired than the words of Jesus Christ Himself in the Gospels.

R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.


R. Alleluia.

The LORD is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and of great kindness.

The LORD is good to all

and compassionate toward all his works.

Think: How does this relate to the reading we just looked at? Answer: God, in His mercy, spreads the Church among His people.

R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.


R. Alleluia.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,

and let your faithful ones bless you.

It took me some time to learn to pray. I have stopped incessant begging, begging, begging, and now I preoccupy my prayers with praising God, with thanking Him, and only asking for things one (1) time.

Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom

and speak of your might.

It's interesting that in our society those who bring up God make others uncomfortable.

R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.


R. Alleluia.

Let them make known your might to the children of Adam,

and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,

and your dominion endures through all generations.

R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.


R. Alleluia.

Reading 2

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.

The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,

and the sea was no more.

The "sea" is a Bible type or symbol symbolizing

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,

coming down out of heaven from God,

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

In the Old and New Testaments, God's people, the Church, are viewed in the feminine, as Christ's "bride."

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.

He will dwell with them and they will be his people

and God himself will always be with them as their God.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes,

and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,

for the old order has passed away.”

The One who sat on the throne said,

“Behold, I make all things new.”

The nature of the Beatific Vision is much debated. 1 John 3:2 bluntly declares, "for we shall see him as he is." But if we attribute "shockingly true meaning" to this, that implies that we shall have "the mind of God" in us, which would violate sovereignty. So, it is probably intended to mean, "We shall see him MORE like he is."


31 When Judas had left, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32 (If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.
33 My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, 'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you.
34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Why did the Church leave out a small portion of Verse 33? Well, here is Verse 33 with the left-out portion...

33 My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, 'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you.

The verse contains one of Jesus' uses of of the term, "the Jews." John's gospel uses the term like that -- as though Jesus and his listeners weren't Jewish and Jesus were anti-Semitic -- dozens of times. In fact, what was probably going on is that John meant "Judaeans," meaning, "The core crowd of our people living mostly in and around Jerusalem who are simply unable to apprehend that Jesus is the Messiah." It probably wasn't meant to imply "Jews as opposed to Gentiles." But to our modern eyes and ears, especially after centuries of anti-Semitism crowned by the brutal murder of 6,000,000 Jews in the Holocaust, the term can be very disconcerting and distracting.

So, to avoid ruining the reading, they left it out.

Okay, back to the reading...

31 When Judas had left, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32 (If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.
33 My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, 'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you.
What the heck is Jesus referring to, here?

I think this: Because Judas was on his way from the Last Supper to betray Jesus, Jesus was saying, "Okay, guys, it's death time!" How could Jesus' death "glorify" God? Many Catholics and Protestants really have no idea. Here is the answer.

God is "extremely" everything that He is. He is "extremely loving," "extremely sovereign," and "extremely just." That's about the best way to think about God.

Extremely loving God, overflowing with love, decided to create beings to love and be loved by Him. That required that we have free wills, like God, because love isn't love unless it is freely entered into.

But "extremely sovereign" God's immense sovereignty requires that we be less than God -- otherwise He begins to violate sovereignty by creating "excessively-God-like" beings. So, we are significantly less than God -- in fact, helpless unless He helps us, and utterly dependent on Him.

Because we are less than God, without more we are just "sin machines." In our helpless, needful state, we are ongoingly tempted to rebel by not having ultimate faith in God's love by designing our own cures for our insecurity -- by breaking the rules and sinning.

Without more, we will always sin, in response to our state. Eve's sin is a hypothetical showing how we would handle every single moral question in this state.

The cure is grace.

But grace is a "stairway to Heaven." A free ticket to shaking hands with God.

God's extreme justice responds to the concept of free grace in this fashion -- "Whoa!!! Hold up!!! There are no freebees in life -- no pennies from Heaven!!! No 'something for nothing'!!! No way, no how!!! Forget it!!! SOMEONE has got to pay the price exacted by God's Own extreme justice for this grace!!!"

So, God's Own "God-ness," His Own being, requires a severe payment for grace.

God the Son, in response, raises His hand, and says, "I will!!! I volunteer to pay the terrifying price exacted by Our Own justice for this grace, so that these humans We love so much can have the internal power to rise above their sin-seeking nature and seek to shake hands with Us, instead."

God the Father, in response, says, "Beloved Son, Whom I love above all, I lovingly accept Your gift of love, and lovingly offer You up to suffer horribly and die to pay the price exacted by Our Own justice for these humans We love."

So, Christ's extraordinary sacrifice paid the necessary price for the final ingedient we need -- grace -- to shake God's hand, in love. By volunteering to do this, He made His Father extremely happy and proud, and so "glorified" the Father and the Son -- the Father, for giving up His only beloved Son to syffering and death, and the Son, for paying the terrifying price...

34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Be "extremely loving," like God.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Warning to Every Man


A client needed my help in criminal court. Her son had come at her with a butcher knife. She grabbed a steak knife from her place-setting and got lucky, bloodying his arm and deterring his attack.

But, the great rule of law enforcement and criminal court is, "Bleeders always win." Police, prosecutors and judges would deny that, but by-and-large it is simply true. If you are the one who bled, you are much more comfortably poised to succeed in court. The reasons why this is true are twofold: Laziness and embarrassment, the two great forces running the system. Police, prosecutors and judges see a bleeder and they think, "Hmmm, there is one who is obviously eligible to be labeled 'victim.'" Once they do that, the work ends. Once they do that, the press can't run an embarrassing article asking why the system sided with the non-bleeder.

Some criminals are aware of this, and so if arrest is inevitable they carefully bloody themselves with an injury before police arrive.

In any event, because my client, the true victim, got lucky in her effort to deter the attack, while she suffered no injury, she was arrested, while the son, the attacker, was interviewed as a victim.

So, my client was in a difficult position.

As I waited for the prosecutor to arrive for trial, I planned my discussion with the prosecutor in this tricky case. On the case list I saw that the prosecutor was a young lady I had not worked with for about three years. When she walked into the courtroom, I immediately saw that beautiful Dana suddenly had quite a substantial belly.

"DANA!," I exclaimed, putting out my hand, "HOW ARE YOU DOING?" And the next five words slipped-out of my mouth, before I could stop myself...


Dana's answer: "What due date?"


Monday, April 26, 2010

The $435 Billion Fish That Got Away


I swear on a stack of Bibles that the following story is absolutely true.

Derivatives -- the things that nearly broke the back of our economy a few years ago -- were not a regulated thing during the first few years of their existence, in the early 1980s. And no one, outside a select few in the financial sector, had the vaguest idea of what they were. I first bumped into them shortly after they were thought of, in an amazing way.

I was a member of the Burlington County, New Jersey, Bar Association. A gay guy in Absecon, Atlantic County, New Jersey called the Burlington County Bar Association to ask for a referral of a lawyer who handled estates. My name was the next on the list for a referral. So, I got the referral, just by random motion. I made an appointment to meet the gay guy at his apartment in Absecon, because that is where the paperwork could be found.

When I went to the apartment, I saw that it was a walk-down, into a below-the-water-table musty, dirty basement apartment. The gay guy explained that the apartment was that of his boyfriend. "I'm sorry about the dirt and the roaches," he said, "But my boyfriend, while he was a very good guy, was distracted by his hard work. As he laid in his bed, dying of AIDS a few weeks ago, he told me that in the papers on the kitchen table there was something very, very, very valuable."

He ushered me into the kitchen, and there, on the kitchen table, was a mound of papers, completely disorganized, about 3 feet high. A roach "parachuted" from the ceiling of the kitchen to the pile. I said, "Do you have a Will?"

And he said, "Yes, and I am the Executor."

I said, "Okay, then, let's you and I take the Will to the Atlantic County Surrogate in Mays Landing and commence the probate process. Tomorrow, meet me here and we'll sort out these papers, on the kitchen floor."

We got the Will admitted to probate and acquired what are called "Letters Testamentary" authorizing the decedent's boyfriend to be an Executor.

The next day I returned to the apartment in dungarees, tee-shirt and sneakers with about twenty paper shopping bags, for sorting.

I spent 8 full hours sorting.

The paperwork I was looking at was astonishing -- just beyond belief, like that scene in "The Count of Monte Cristo" when the main character opens the enormous treasure chest in the cave. I reported, "The major debit in the pile of papers that was on the kitchen table is an unpaid $16,000 telephone bill. Most of the calls on the phone bill are to bankers in Japan.

"The major credit in the pile of papers -- in other words, the major Estate asset -- is something that challenges the wildest imagination in the history of the world.

"Your boyfriend, from his kitchen wall phone in his dirty little walk-down in Absecon, New Jersey, managed to sell to Japanese bankers 435 BILLION dollars worth of something called 'derivatives.' His commission for doing so was one-twentieth of one percent. That doesn't sound like much, does it?

"But one-twentieth of one percent of $435 billion is $217,500,000.

"Here is my offer to you: I will try to save that asset for the Estate if you sign an agreement paying me one-third of what I recover."

The gay guy, the Executor and only heir, agreed.

So, assuming that I succeeded, my fee was to have been $72,500,000.

I started-out by calling the IRS, the State Department, the Commerce Department, the Comptroller of Currency, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the FBI and the CIA. I asked, "Do you regulate, or care about, such a transaction?" All of them -- believe me, ALL of them -- denied any interest in controlling a $435,000,000,000 transaction.

I asked them, "How is that possible? I'm about to engage in ONE transaction, equal to the volume (in 1983) of the entire American economy in one day!"

No one cared!

So, for $2,000, I hired a man in Alabama who was a derivatives "expert" to guide me, and I hired a Japanese translator from the Japanese embassy and called Japan and, through the translator, invited a dozen representatives of Japanese banks to a closing on $435 BILLION worth of these things called "derivatives," with an Estate Executor representing the Decedent.

I did not know it, then, but my translator had no idea what an "Estate Executor" or "Decedent" were. She translated badly.

I went to New York. We met in a conference room (with my Alabama advisor) in a New York hotel with the representatives of the Japanese banks, all of whom clearly knew each other.

The fish was on the hook.

I gave an opening speech from a podium, introducing myself. I explained that since Mr. X, the Decedent, had died, the bankers would be dealing with the Executor, his heir, through me.

The Japanese looked puzzled at the translation. A few of them raised their hands, and spoke in Japanese to the translator, and the translator, red-faced, said, "They want to know if the Decedent is dead." Puzzled, I said, "Of course! That's why he is called 'a decedent.' Didn't you explain that to them when we invited them to New York?"

The girl from the embassy translating for me just turned red.

I thought, "Ah, damn!"

The Japanese bankers began acting angry and a few of them threw their papers to the floor.


She spoke very fast Japanese to the bankers, but they did not care. They packed-up and stomped out, taking my $72,500,000 with them!

I tried, in vain, to call them back to New York the following week.

It didn't matter. They were simply too upset to listen to me, and so my $72,500,000 attorney fee became a $2,000 loss!


The Croucher at the Door: A Form of Demonized Tulpa in the Bible


When we were kids, at least two of us -- I and my older sister -- were annoyed by the croucher-at-the-door phenomenon. As I grew up, I thought it was a mere optical illusion -- a trick my mind was playing on my not-yet-fully-matured brain. Something appeared on television, or my older sister read a story -- I forget which -- identifying the phenomenon as an occultic idea and phenomenon. I remember my sister expressing amazement at this, and saying that she had been bothered by the sensation for years. It did indeed turn out to be a demonic infestation -- an objectively real thing -- in my parents' home. By praying, I was able to dispose of it.

The problem manifested in this fashion. When I would walk into one doorway of a room with two doorways, out of the corner of my eye I would catch something about two feet tall bolting out the other doorway. Sometimes, when I was in a room with only one doorway, when I glanced up I would have the sensation of the same thing bolting out the door to keep me from clearly seeing it.

I disposed of the thing by prayer before I fully understood it. It is one of the demons mentioned in the Bible -- in Genesis 4, the story of Cain and Abel...
4 ...The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
5 but on Cain and his offering he did not. Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.
6 So the LORD said to Cain: "Why are you so resentful and crestfallen?
7 If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master." Genesis 4:4b-7.
The Hebrew reads "l·phthch chtath rbtz" or, literally, "at [the] door sin [is a] croucher." "Croucher," rendered "rbtz," here, "robes" in Strong's and "rabisu," in ancient Akkadian, from which the term was derived, was a demon found crouching down, lying in wait at doorways.

In Bible typology, "door" and "gate" symbolize "Christ." In Genesis 4:7, God would be telling Cain that is a "croucher at the door" to symbolically suggest that sin is keeping mankind away from Christ. Much of everything in demonology (and in the demonology of UFOs and the Abduction Phenomenon, by the way) satirizes Biblical teaching. So, perhaps Satan positions those demons who are able to establish a home on Earth in people's residences at doorways to satirize Genesis 4:7.

The idea is that when occultic human focus or the focus of sin creates an evil-tainted tulpa easily occupied by a demon, among other things Satan assigns the occupying demon to the job of being a door-lurking rabisu-type familiar, making gentle fun of Genesis 4:7. I believe that we kids accidentally generated the rabisu tulpa in our parents' by playing with the Ouija board our parents gave us as a toy when we were young.

I have long suspected that the grotesques on Notre Dame...

...were actually a medieval conception of rabisus.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Did a Christian Mystic Try to Contact Me from the Past?


In the early 1990s, I came across a relatively obscure book called "The Spear of Destiny," focusing somewhat upon the subject of the Spear of Longinus, recently discussed, but also on the life and work Christian mystic Rudolph Steiner.
Knowledgeable Christian folks reading this will nastily dispute my characterization of Steiner as a Christian mystic. "He was a member of pre-Nazi Madame Blavatsky's Theosophy crowd, for heaven's sake! And then he invented his own deeply bizarre brand of Theosophy, called 'Anthroposophy.'"

Both things are true -- he was a devotee of Madame Blavatsky's occultist crowd, but he left it behind as absurd. In his study of inner moral development in part by transcendental meditation, Steiner ended-up making a great circle back to Christianity. While he was far short of becoming a sin-confessing, Communion-receiving Catholic, he embraced Christianity as ultimately true in his mystical approach to salvation.

The Nazis feared Steiner, and declared him one of Nazism's chief enemies! This is probably because Steiner exhibited true clairvoyance as a consequence of his successful transcendental meditation. Even before Hitler had emerged into the public eye in the early 1920s, Steiner was issuing press releases warning of the rise of the Nazis and Hitler. At one point a sniper dispatched by Hitler narrowly missed killing Steiner. At another point the Nazis burnt down Steiner's school in Christian mysticism called the Goetheanum.

Among other things, Steiner preached that on the path to moral mastery and bravery, one had to confront a kind of frightening spiritual double barring the way to enlightenment, called Doppelganger.

Steiner drew a picture of a man climbing the mountain of wisdom -- Steiner? Goethe? -- confronting his own frightening Doppelganger, which Steiner wanted to be a stained-glass window in his school of Christian mysticism, the Goetheanum.
About 6 years after I first saw a copy of "The Spear of Destiny," by Trevor Ravenscroft, which includer Steiner's Doppelganger picture, one of my sons was deeply taken at age 9 with drawing what I used to refer to as "sharp-edged beasts," and drew this...

He had never seen my copy of "The Spear of Destiny." Astonished at its similarity to Steiner's sketch, I inscribed my son's name and the date he had drawn his picture at the bottom, and saved it.

About 9 years later, a neighbor's daughter, who I had come to love as my own daughter, also became enthralled at about 7 years of age with generating drawings of "sharped-edged beasts," and she showed this drawing to me...

The production was rougher, due to her tender years, but in some ways the drawing is more like Steiner's. The man is enveloped in a kind of electrical field, like Steiner's man, and the Doppelganger has a horn! I carefully dated that picture, also, wrote the little girl's name on it, and saved it.

When I saw these astonishing pictures, I wondered to myself, "Did Steiner cause this? Did he impact the minds of these children, from the past, to make these drawings, knowing that I would recognize them?

Why would Christian mystic Steiner want to draw the attention of the likes of me?

Maybe because I am the only human being on Earth to connect Steiner's bust of the demon Ahriman...

...with this guy...


Who Was the Pied Piper?

Last night my wife and I attended a children's performance of Pied Piper in Collingswood, New Jersey. It was well done by the kids.

The performance gives rise to an interesting question. Just as many of the old English nursery rhymes, and playing cards, have significant historical events and persons underlying them, I wondered if the same is true respecting the Pied Piper.

Most of us know the Grimm's Fairy Tale version of the story. The town of Hamelin, Germany, is heavily infested with rats. The Pied Piper appears and offers to eliminate the rats for 1,000 gold pieces. The deperater Mayor agrees. The Pied Piper then plays a tune on his flute which induces every single rat to follow him to the river, where the rats all drown. When the Pied Piper comes to collect his pay, the Mayor and townspeople decline to pay the Piper (thus the figure of speech) and drive him away. The Piper then plays another tune tune on his flute which induces all but a few of the children of Hamelin to follow him out of town, to a mountain where they disappeared.

There are various theories vying for acceptance as the explanation for the origin of the story. The soundest theory -- the one which seems to have the most support -- is that in the 13th century, primogeniture -- the right of the eldest son to inherit a lord's feudal holdings -- was widely accepted in Western Europe. In prior centuries, the Crusades had provided opportunity for the disinherited younger children to find noble employment. However, beginning with the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 A.D., the Crusades began to be less and less popular among the Christians of Europe, until the Ninth and last Crusade, which ended in failure in 1271 A.D.

As a consequence, Europe once again began to be flooded with disinherited lesser nobility.

As this was occurring, the Mongol hordes of Asia began attacking and utterly devastating Europe to the east and south, mostly in the Balkans, but also farther north. Their advances were merciless and utterly scoured sections of Eastern Europe of liofe and property.

In response, the bishops and political leaders of Western Europe sent out recruiters, inviting the disinherited gentry -- including the "children" of Hamelin, actually disinherited younger nobility -- to travel east to the devastated lands to settle, carrying with them their German family names, their Catholic religion, and their Western European cultures. And so there arose, in Eastern Europe, in the later half of the 13th century, from the Balkans northward to the Baltic coast, a large number of fortified German towns whose populace had the same surnames as those of the section of the German states which included the kingdom in which we find the town of Hamelin.

The Pied Piper would have been the recruiter visiting Hamelin, seducing large numbersd of the town's primogeniture-disinherited young adults to embark on an eastern settlement effort. It may be that a story that a "Decan Lude" possessed a 1384 book recording the event may be a displaced reference to the recruiter, himself, a "Deacon Ludwig" dispatched by the local bishop.

There are several "cultural fossils" pointing to an historical reality underlying the story.

The oldest appears to have been a now-lost stained glass window in the Catholic church in Hamelin referred to as "Marktkirche," or "Market Church." There, around 1300, church authorities installed a wonderful, colorful window commemorating the loss of the children, looking something like this...

Then, in 1384, a chronicler recorded in the town chronicles, "It is ten years since our children left."

A 15th century work, called the Lueneberg Manuscript, records,

In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul on 26 June130 children born in Hamelin were seducedBy a piper, dressed in all kinds of colours,and lost at the place of execution near the koppen.

In Hamelin there is the "Rat-Catcher's House," so-called because of the plque commemorating the event reading,

In the year 1284 on John and Paul's Day, the 26 of June -- 130 children born in Hamelin were seducedBy a piper, dressed in all kinds of colors,and lost at the place of execution near the koppen
(probably a hill).

Supposedly, that street to the right of the building, called Bungelosenstrasse, meaning "Drumless Street," or "Street without Music," is one where law has long prohibited the playing of music there, presumably to preserve the sanctity of the site.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Spear of Longinus

Supposedly, Gaius Cassius was a Roman Centurion stationed in Jerusalem during the life of Jesus. He developed partially-blinding cataracts, with the consequence that Pontius Pilate relieved him of normal duties and assigned him to the task of spying, viewed as a kind of "desk duty."

Simply because Jesus attracted crowds, Gaius, nicknamed "Longinus," began to follow and spy on Jesus, and make reports on him.

Longinus quickly came to respect, and ultimately to love, Jesus. His reports on Jesus were favorable. Pilate was disturbed by the attitude of Longinus toward this "rabble-rouser."

When the day came when Pilate surrendered to political pressure and ordered the execution of Jesus, he decided to test Longinus' loyalty, by placing him in charge of the death march and crucifixion.

Trapped by duty, Longinus did what he could to ease Jesus' execution. He ordered Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for part of the way of the cross. At the Place of the Skull, after Longinus suffered terribly as he watched Jesus get nailed to His cross, something else happened.

When soldiers were sent from Jerusalem with ladders and hammers, Longinus immediately understood precisely what was occurring.
When people were crucified by the Romans, one of the causes of death was suffocation. The weight of the body hanging by the arms from the cross caused the lungs to be squeezed. Crucifixion victims would therefore try to stand on the cross, to relieve the pressure on the lungs, to enable them to breathe. Crucifixion victims would rise, breathe, sink, suffocate, rise, breathe, sink, suffocate, up and down, ep and down, sometimes for days, until their legs gave out, and they they suffocated. The Romans would sometimes shorten the executions by breaking the legs of the crucified, to make it impossible for them to stand, bringing about immediate suffocation.
But, here the hammers and ladders were being brought to the crosses way too early. While spying on Jesus, Longinus had become very familiar with the prophecies in Judaism about a Messiah to come -- among other things that not a bone in his body would be broken. Longinus was certain that someone was anxious to put an immediate end to speculation that Jesus was this "Messiah" by breaking his bones in the guise of hastening Jesus' death by breaking His legs. People would say, "He can't have been the Messiah -- See? Bones were broken!"

This idea filled Longinus with rage. He thought something like, "What???!!! What???!!! Hasn't this perfectly innocent man been abused enough???!!! Now they are going to beat his legs with hammers just to prove that he is not this 'Messiah'!!! I can't stand it!!!"

As the men began their work with the two thieves, to hide their special interest in breaking Christ's legs, Longinus saw to his surprise that Christ was dead already. Yet, he saw the men moving to break Christ's legs, anyway. "They are going to abuse the man's corpse for their stupid political reasons!!!"

Overcome with anger and zeal, Longinus jumped on his horse, spurred the horse over to a soldier holding a spear, seized the spear, spurred his horse over to Christ's cross, and rammed the spear into Christ's side, yelling something like the ancient Latin version of, "There!!! See, you morons???!!! He's already dead!!! No need to break his legs!!!"

And that is why John's gospel says that instead of having His legs broken, Christ was stabbed in the side!!! It was an act of love!!!

When the tip of Longinus' spear pierced Christ's side, the accumulation of lymph and blood filling Christ's lungs, generated by the siezing caused by His savage scourging hours earlier, exploded outward and flooded down the spear and down Longinus' arm, and splashed into his eyes.

His cataracts fell off.

Suddenly, his vision was perfect.

To this day, the head of the spear piercing Christ's side can be found in a museum, the Hofburg, in Austria.

And in Densus, Romania, we have an ancient Christian mausoleum converted into a church. The mausoleum's Latin inscription reveals that the one buried inside is the Roman centurion Longinus.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

GGGGGGGG GF Garrett Van Swearingen, Part II

There are portraits of Garrett Van Swearingen and of Barbara DeBarrette Swearingen, available online and picture here. Since Barbara DeBarette died when she was 34, probably in childbirth, then both Garrett and Barbara were 34 years of age of younger in those portraits.

Garrett looks a li-i-i-i-ittle bit older than 34 in his portrait.

But Barbara's portrait is another story. Let me be PERFECTLY frank: She look's like somebody's aging mother, in the portrait!

What happened to them, after their 1659 marriage in Fort Casimir, is probably the best explanation.

Perhaps because the French and Indian War was raging around them, the Dutch were extremely sensitive to the need toi treat the Algonquians tribes around them with carefully-administered justice.

So, on March 1, 1660, Garrett Van Swearingen was appointed to very carefully judge a case involving the murder of an Indian, probably by a Dutchman.

At around the same time, something else was happening in New Amstel which might or might not have been connected to the case of the dead Algonquian.

Very early in 1660, a Dutchman named Jan Gerritsen van Marcken traveled from Stuyvesant's New Amsterdam to collect a debt from one of the people living in or around New Amstel.

With the approval of d’Hinoyossa, President of New Amstel, Garrett Van Swearingen, as "Schout," or Sheriff, of New Amstel, arrested van Marcken, and charged him with an impressive list of criminal violations. Van Marcken was convicted of "just about everything in the book."

On June 7, 1660, Stuyvesant, the overall Governor, reversed the judgment, and ordered Garrett Van Swearingen to pay costs of suit and damages for False Arrest!

A chronicler of the era tells us....

"On August 30, 1660 Garrit van Sweringen and his wife sailed for Amsterdam without obtaining a passport from Stuyvesant. He took with him 31 skins, which he declared, and another 100 skins that he did not declare. He had bribed the supercargo of the ship. In Amsterdam he used the extra 100 skins to bribe the Directors of the West Indies Company."

Lo and behold, "On December 24, 1660, the directors of the Dutch West Indies Company sent Stuyvesant a letter chastising him for overruling Garrit van Sweringen’s case against Jan Gerritsen van Marcken, saying it was politically unwise for him to interfere with the affairs of the City of Amsterdam’s colony at New Amstel."

Was it just a case of "bribery"?

The French and Indian War was a political powder keg. The English, who hated the Dutch, would have loved a pretext for turning the Algonquians upon the Dutch, to accomplish their murder for them.

In light of such considerations, the words to Stuyvesant -- that "it was politically unwise for him to interfere with the affairs of the City of Amsterdam’s colony at New Amstel" -- have a special significance.

The lives of every citizen of New Amstel may have been "in the sling."

I think that, under the circumstances, we should judge Garrett Van Swearingen with special charity, here.

One genealogist says that Garrett and Barbara's first child, Elizabeth, was born to them in 1661. If she was, she was either born in Holland or on board the ship ‘Purmerlander Kerck’ which sailed for America in November, 1661, arriving on February 3, 1662.

While Barbara was pregnant with their second child Zacharia, or shortly after Zachariah's birth, in 1662, something terrible happened. Garrett Van Swearingen murdered a Dutch soldier.

"On the evening of June 20, 1662 three of Stuyvesant’s soldiers were in New Amstel enjoying drinks at Fop Johnson Outhout’s Inn. They went out for a stroll and were having a great time singing. Their path took them near Garrit van Sweringen’s home. He took exception to their singing and after a few shouts fired on the soldiers. His shot killed Hermen Hendricksen van Deventer.

"Stuyvesant’s South River (the Delaware River) deputy, Willem Beeckman, was furious and collected affidavits and interrogatories from witnesses that he forwarded to Stuyvesant. The affidavits and interrogatories were taken in the home of Johan Andersson Stalcop. Perhaps it was considered as the nearest neutral site.

"The Governor of the Colony of the City, d’Hinoyossa, did nothing about it other than temporarily suspending van Sweringen as schout. Stuyvesant felt helpless to do anything about it. He wrote to Amsterdam that he thought the burgomasters of the City of Amsterdam should hear the case.

"Van Sweringen was never tried. Instead his superiors in Amsterdam decided the killing had been done in 'self-defense.' The soldiers were completely unarmed. Garrit van Sweringen was officially pardoned."

On May 1, 1663, Garrett Van Swearingen was reinstated as Fort Sheriff.

In 1664, the world turned upside-down for the Dutch and for Garrett and Barbara Van Swearingen and their family. Relationships with the local Indians finally exploded, and Van Swearingen was dispatched to patrol the vicinity and kill Indians. One chronicler wrote, "He had fought the Mohegan Indians in the forest beyond Beverwych, driving the war bands before him, consuming their villages until the savages begged for mercy. His days went by with battle and nights with watchfullness. Van Sweringen and his company came down from the hills through the forest of Beverwych, to find the city of New Amsterdam had been taken by the English."

Thje English, it turned out, had invested New Amstel and simply stolen it from the Dutch while Van Swearingen was off fighting Indians in the French and Indian War. Here is the Chronicler's full account, including Lord Baltimore's miraculous offer to Garrett and his wife and children...

"Colonel Nicols of England, sent by His Majesty, Charles II, and his deputy Sir Robert Carr were to take over the Dutch colony at New Amstel

"Van Sweringen said wearily, 'Without a blow they took Amsterdam, as if there were no one near.' Then drawing his sword from the scabbard, he kissed its long, straight, splendid blade, and, with sudden of anguish, broke it across his knee, and standing as high as he could in his stirrups he threw the pieces over the wall into the dusty meadow grass. 'Farewell good blade, forever more!, he said, 'forged in honor, honorably brave, shall never be drawn in dishonor. Thou wast wrought to strike for the Netherlands, and thou mayst not strike for the Netherlands. Thy steel was for the Netherlands, my hands are for van Sweringen.' Then he stretched his hands out before him, saying in a piteous, chocking voice, "They are all that is left, I am ruined!' For at first he was thinking of himself, but now he thought of his wife and daughter. He rode through the gate to the house where his wife and daughter were staying, he went quickly. His wife was sitting at the window. 'Barbarah,' he said, 'I am ruined!' and there he stopped, he was chocking. She looked up quietly, 'Yes Garrett,' she said, 'I heard of it. They can not say that I married thee for thy money anymore,' and with that she laughed very softly. Garrett said , 'I have not a guilder to my name, I am brought to beggary.' Barbarah said, 'I am just as rich as thee, dear heart, as ever I was. To be ruined without fault is no disgrace.' She said, 'it matters not to me for I gave up home and everything to go with thee.' His wife was sitting on one side, Elizabeth, his daughter, on the other, sitting upon a foot stool and leaning against his knee. 'Father,' said Elizabeth, 'We don't mind it terrible for us. We shall take a little house, and mother shall do the weaving, and I shall do darning and spin, oh how I can spin, and I shall gather wild hops for the brew, and nuts and berries in the woods. We woman will cook, and thee shall work by the day, and we shall save stuiner by stuirer untill the stockings are full again.'

"About this time there was knock at the door, it was Lord Calvert. Needless to say Garrett van was in no mood for English humor, which he misunderstood. The governor actually came to offer Garrett a position of sheriff in Maryland. 'There are pretty posies hanging their heads in rows for the lass to come and pick. Carr is a dirty scoundrel, I have just told him so to his thieving face.' said Master Calvert. 'Let me make good the wrongs he has done. Then ye shall need no more to curse the English for a pack of thieves and perjurers. Come down to Maryland, van Sweringen, you and all that be yours. Man it will be a happy day! Mistress van Sweringen,' he said, with a laugh and half a choke, 'Prevail with me against this dear, honest fool of thine. He is the most obstinate , argumentative person that I ever stood against. Lord Bal timore had told him you can take up 1,000 acres, at twenty shelling a year. Ye may believe as you please and say what you will, so you be Christian and speak no treasons, and if you will teach us to keep our own lawns as you have kept of the Dutch, you will confer a precious favor on the next Lord Baltimore.' As his long speech ended, he silently bowed, and stood there quietly. Meinheir van Sweringen got up from his seat turning said simply, 'My friend, my good and true friend, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have put a new light in the world for me.'

"Van Swearingen later testified, ‘Sir Robert Carr did often protest to me, that he did not come as an enemy, but as a friend; demanding, only in friendship, what was the King's own, in that country. There was taken from the City and the inhabitants thereabout, to the value, so near as I can now remember, of four thousand pound sterling, likewise arms, powder and shot in great quantity. Four and twenty guns were, the greatest part, transported to New York.

"The Dutch soldiers were taken prisoners, and given to the merchantmen that were there, in recompense of their services; and into Virginia, they were transported to be sold, as was credibly reported by Sir Robert Carr's officers, and other persons there living in the town.

"All sorts of tools for handicraftsman, and all plough gear, and other things to cultivate the ground, which were in great quantity; besides the estate of Governor Debouissa and myself; except some household stuff and a negro I got away; and some other movables, Sir Robert Carr did permit me to sell.'"

And so, in 1664, our GGGGGGGG GP Garrett Van Swearingen and and Barbara DeBarette Swearingen and their children and Barbara's father and brother moved to St. Mary's County, in southern Maryland, and began a new life there.

Who can blame Barbara DeBarrette for looking 20 to 30 years older than her husband?

More to come.

GGGGGGGG GF Garrett Van Swearingen

Great great great great great great great great ("G8") grandfather Garrett Van Swearingen, a Dutchman, really is one of our more intriguing ancestors.

He is our mother Eleanore Anne Eitelman's (and therefore Uncle Eddie's and Uncle Mike's)...

father Edward Decatur Eitelman's
mother May Katherine Pitman's
father Decatur Pitman's
mother Eleanore Amanda William's
father Congressman Jared William's
mother Anne Swearingen's
father John Swearingen's
father Thomas Swearingen's


Garrett was born to David Janse Swieringh and Hester Jacobs in Beemsterdam, Holland on February 4, 1636. (A few sources say "Reemstwerdam," but this is almost certainly a typo copied from one fastidious chronicle writer by another. Beemster is a section of Noord Holland County. "Beemsterdam" or "Beemsterwaal" refers to the section of Beemster closer to the inland sea, next to the dike. It is possible that "Reemstwerdam" is a reference to "Amsterdam" a short distance to the south, but I find no geographical precedent for the "ee" instead of "a" between the "r" and the "m" of "Ramsterdam.")

In the 1500s, the Netherlands, especially the Holland counties on the west, were a hotbed of economic and religious and political rebellion. The Holland counties became the most densely-urbanized section of all of Europe in the 1500s, and generally well-to-do. However, as the nation-state concept gained preeminence in the thinking of the people, increasing awareness of the idea of Separation of Church and State, as it did in Germany, and as the Princes of the Church in Europe wenched and taxed their way to disgust and infamy, the people of Holland started getting "itchy." After Holy Roman Emperor Charles V began to back-off Inquisition-style repression and executions in the Netherlands -- and there were a lot of executions in the Netherlands -- and began to grow lax in tax collections, his son Phillip II, inheriting the Netherlands as his share of the Holy Roman Empire, tightened the Catholic noose while reaching into purses with renewed vigor.

This made the Netherlanders, both those known to be sympathetic to Herr Luther and those who remained loyal to the Church, crazy people. The Protestant AND Catholic nobles asked for relief, and Margaret of Perma, Regent in Phillip's absence, was very intimidated by the unanimity of the support for relief, and, being small-minded, responded in exactly the wrong way, at a pivotal moment in history: She called the nobles "gueux," "beggars," and kicked them out of the room!

And thus began the Eighty Years War, one of the Reformation Wars which devastated Europe, in 1568.

Street gatherings led to armed mobs led to an attack on the walled town of Veurne. Called to respond, the militias -- the "Dutch National Guard" -- declined to repress the attack. Regent Margaret made late concessions to try to quell resistance. But she was closing the barn door after the animals escaped. Resistance continued. A noble loyal to Phillip led an army against the disorganized Calvanist rebels, crushed the revolt, and executed all of the leaders.

Phillip, alarmed at all of this, sent the Duke of Alba and a large army of Italian mercenaries to Holland. Alba proceeded like a political moron. He arrested 9,000 Hollanders, Catholic and Protestant, and executed 1,000 of them, and drove the rest into exile, seizing their property.

"Sea Beggars" -- Calvanist pirates authorized by Letters of Marque from William of Orange as Count of Holland, with a name snidely referring to Regent Margaret's unkind words dismissing the nobles of Holland -- preyed on Holy Roman Empire trade.

William of Orange invaded the Netherlands at the head of an army of 30,000 Germans, mostly Protestant. but he began to run out of money, and therefore began to lose his ability to feed his soldiers, who began to melt away.

But Islam, of all things, came to the rescue. Phillip was too distracted by the ferocious war with Turkish Islam at the Battle of Lepanto to oppose even William's weakened army.

And then the Duke of Alba was doubly stupid. He frightened even his most ultra-loyal ultra-Catholic supporters in the Netherlands with his brutal tax collections, and destroyed all local support.

The Dutch, Catholic and Protestant, suddenly wanted independence.

William of Orange proved himself even more harebrained than Alba, when he joined an invasion of the Netherlands, to promote respect for unity and public order in France!

At the same time, as all pirates do, William's Sea Beggars got out of hand, and began to prey upon 100% Catholic-but-neutral Hanseatic League ships, profitable to all.

Two negatives multiplied-out to a positive, here, though. Alba withdrew his Catholic army from a port named Brill to oppose Orange. The Calvanist pirates of William, having disgusted Queen Elizabeth by their profit-threatening anti-Hanseatic activity, were met with fierce opposition at sea. They took refuge at Brill. The pro-rebel militia in Flushing seized their port and invited the Sea Beggars there, too. William sought the support of these two ports and the surrounding provinces, and got it. Suddenly, he had his own united Catholic/Protestant rebel kingdom!

For the next 60 years, the battle went back-and-forth, back-and-forth. In all of the chaos, by 1635 the relatively-religiously-neutral Dutch had generated a stable, habitable republic which saw its way to entering into a Treaty of Alliance with Catholic France to divide-up the Spanish Netherlands, generating more warfare.

During this time, the Dutch East India Company and Dutch West India Company began to become extremely prosperous, generating a navy larger than that of any other in the world.

William of Orange's rebellious little state had become a world power.

This was the context of Garrett Van Swearingen's birth. At least one of his parents -- we can't tell which -- had him baptized Roman Catholic, and he remained Catholic to the end of his days. His Catholic faith, which he tended to "wear on his sleeve," makes his biography all the more notable, in several ways. We will see that, despite his Catholicism, he was at all points implicitly trusted by the Dutch West India Company. Despite his Catholicism, he will win a fierce political battle over the fate of a murderous debt collector visiting a colony for which Van Swearingen was sheriff and a judge. Despite his Catholicism, Van Swearingen will literally get away with murder, himself. Finally, despite his Catholicism, the English, in an attack upon Swearingen's little American colony, let him live, and probably because of his Catholicism Lord Baltimore gave Van Swearingen a wonderful tract of land in Maryland.

One biographer credits Garrett Van Swearingen with being well-educated, based on his knowledge of French, German and English. One gets the sense, in viewing his life panoramically, that he was indeed deeply intelligent. But in fact his knowledge of the three languages may simply be the result of his roots and exposure to cosmopolitan Holland.

Probably after several years' exposure to the shipping industry in Holland as a teenager, in December, 1656, at age 20, Garrett Van Swearingen secured employment as "super cargo" -- superintendent of cargo -- on board the Dutch West India Company's "Prince Maurice." His subsequent actions, bold, tending to take control in a responsible fashion, ratify the wisdom of his appointment, and verify a supposition that even at age 20 Garrett Van Swearingen had considerable experience even at age 20.

West India Company archives related the following...

"Sailed from Amsterdam December 21, 1656, left Texel December 25, 1656, arrived at Long Island March 8, 1657; wrecked.

"Jacob Alrichs, director
Alexander D'Hinoyossa, Lieutenant
Evert Pietersen, comforter of the sick
Gerrit van Schweringen, Supercargo
Jan Barents, chief boatswain
Jan Gerritsen, sailor
Joost Theunissen, sailor
129 persons including Colonists, free mechanics, soldiers and attendants.

"J. Alrich reports: 'We proceeded with them on the proposed voyage, and after some storm and other obstacles, reached the vicinity of the Manhattans. ...[T]hrough ignorance of the skipper and pilot who were never on this coast, having neared the shore in the evening, [the Prince Maurice, on March 8, 1657] immediately grounded, and so shoved, which continued afterwards harder and harder, that we were not for a moment, sure of our lives, and seeing no escape in the morning, we unanimously resolved to save ourslves on a broken coast, which we, some days later, understood to be Long Island. An agreement was made with the skipper of the Beaver to charter the passengers to the Colony on the South River. The Beaver set sail from New Amsterdam on April 16 to the South River, arriving at New Amstel, April 25th, with about 125 persons for the Colonie from the ship Prince Maurice, including 50 persons who arrived on other ships. Thirty-eight soldiers, with the Captain and Lieutenant, marched over land because there was no room in the Beaver to allow of their coming by water. The ship experiencing contrary wind, the soldiers, on that account, started somewhat later from the Manhattans, and therefore arrived at the fort six days later."

Other details which have come down to us are that Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant, hearing from some Indians that a vessel had run aground on some rocks just outside Fire Island Inlet, sent a small boat to investigate; that Garrett Van Swearingen was carried by that boat to Peter Stuyvesant and introduced to him, and that Peter Stuyvesant, after receiving a full report from Van Swearingen, released him to allow Van Swearingen to hire a somewhat smaller boat, the "Beaver," to ferry "Prince Maurice" passengers and crew ashore and off-load the valuable cargo.

New Amstel, their ultimate destination, was Fort Casimir, now Newcastle, Delaware on the South River, now Delaware River.

Fort Casimir was no impregnable fortress. A sketch and a model illustrating that it was little more than a small walled compound containing the fort's residential headquarters make it clear that it was a place Dutch colonists would only retreat to in the event of an emergency...

On April 25, 1657, Garrett Van Swearingen, his superiors, the colonists and the soldiers demanded surrender of Fort Casimir by the occupying Swedes. The Swedes duly surrendered the fort, without violence, perhaps because the Dutch comprised a vastly superior force. The Dutch renamed the fort New Amstel.

Garrett Van Swearingen rose up steadily through the ranks, from Clerk in the Fort Store, to Chief Commissary, to Second Councilor, to First Councilor (Executive Officer), to Captain -- the military commander-in-chief -- and "Schout" or Sheriff, and judge

In January, 1659 (the most-commonly-cited date), GGGGGGGG GF Garrett Van Swearingen, at 23 years of age, married GGGGGGGG GM Barbara DeBarette, also 23 years of age, daughter of GGGGGGGGG GF Isaack DeBarette, probably a wool merchant from Valenciennes, Nord Pas de Calais, France, who brought Barbara and her brother Peter to Fort Casimir, perhaps at Garrett Van Swearingen's invitation.

In December, 1659, Garrett Van Swearingen reported by letter to a sponsor in the Dutch West India Company...

'New Amstel, December 8, 1659


'With due respect and reverence, have I hereby taken the liberty to greet you, though bound in duty of gratitude, to devote to you all the days of my life. ...I cannot neglect, hereby to communicate my promotion. About a year and a half, after my departure from Patria (my native country), with your Honor's faborable recommendation, I have been appointed Sheriff here subject to the approbation of the Honorables the Principals. Previously, I have taken care of the store as clerk; and after J. Rynevelt's death, as Commissary, from which I have not requested to be discharged, as I have, though unworthy, been recently made Second Councilor, with Sir Alexander Hinojossa, First Councilor, and Captain of the military here, who intends to go over in the Spring, to represent this miserable place.

'If things become worse, I, individually, am ruined, for I have received here, some goods from my brothers, all of which I have laid out in a house, horses and mules, which cost me full, four to six thousand guilders, Holland currency.

'Besides that, I am also married. ...

'Herewith I commend your Honor to the mercy and protection of the Most High God, and remain.

'Your obedient, humble servant,

'G. Van Sweringen'

More to come.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Current Earthquakes and the Iceland Volcano -- Evidence of a Geological Tipping Point?

In Haiti, Chile, Baja, Sumatra -- 4 Big Earthquakes , at, I suggested that global warming might be the cause of the series of earthquakes afflicting various nations this year so far.

Now we have to add to that list last week's 6.9 magnitude Tibetan earthquake, and Iceland's volcano!

Six (6) huge geological events in just a few months!

Suggestion: Is it possible that just as there are "tipping points" in the environment -- where, when some of the ice starts melting, ALL of the ice starts melting, for example -- there might be "tipping points" in the geology of the Earth?

In other words, if the glacier-to-Equator flow of water from global warming reaches a rate of "X tons per minute," the braking upon Earth's rotation generated by the redistribution of tonnage to the Equator might be a tipping point where we see a constant stream of earthquakes and volcanoes, worldwide, due to the innate mechanical limits of crustal integrity and viscosity of the underlying magma.

If this is so, are we accelerating the emergence of the super-volcano in Yellowstone?

I'd be interested in what the Yellowstone tiltmeters have to tell us, these days.

Mysterious Globular Clusters

Globular clusters -- huge, ball-shaped clusters of stars -- are some of the most beautiful objects in the astronomers' telescopes.

There are about 200 of them positioned around the core of our galaxy.

But, after that, they don't make much sense.

Astronomers maintain that our galaxy is a gravitational thing -- that the gravity generated by the whole of the galaxy upon the stars within it keeps the stars in place, here, where our galaxy is, in space.

Yet, astronomers say that the evidence within the globular clusters is that the stars they are by-and-large made-of are very, very, old, suggesting that the clusters have an age of around 12 billion years. If they are that old and have been hanging around our galaxy for that long a time, why haven't they been pulled into the galaxy? Why hasn't gravity pulled each cluster and the galaxy together?

And if each globular cluster is itself a gravitational object, why hasn't gravity caused each globular cluster to collapse in upon itself, at the point of its own core?

Our astronomers answer, "Orbiting. Within each globular cluster, the stars orbit around a common center, perhaps around a black hole. And each globular cluster, as a unit, doesn't fall into the core of our galaxy, because each orbits around the core of our galaxy, in-and-out of the plate of our galaxy."

But each of those answers generates questions of its own.

If each globular cluster is orbiting the center of our galaxy, how come the globulat clusters are each so wonderfully organized? They are balls of stars, for heaven's sake. If one spiral galaxy passes through another, mutual gravitational attraction causes them to self-destruct. It's a mess!

Globular clusters in cluster/spiral galaxy collisions are subject to the exact same gravitational forces. If each globular cluster splashes through the galactic plate about once every 125 million years -- that's about 100 "splashes" altogether since each cluster came into existence -- shouldn't each cluster give some evidence of this, in the telescope -- at least a few of them should have been visibly elongated by the encounter!

But, no, there are no misshapen globular clusters -- not even among the ones a short distance from the galactic plate.

And if each globular cluster does not collapse in upon itself, because each cluster's stars are all orbiting around each cluster's own core, then why haven't the clusters each formed itself into a mini-spiral galaxy. Billions of years of close passes between member stars within each cluster quickly "shakes out" any wonderful ball shape and organizes the batch of stars into a happy spiral shape, reflecting the plane accidentally having the "predominating" mass, rotating around the core.

Yet there is not any organization of the internal motion at all!

Each cluster is perfect!

And, if any of the clusters have a black hole at its core, then shouldn't there be reports of high-speed stars visibly orbiting the black hole core at fantastic rates of speed.

When astronomers aimed their telescopes at the incipient black hole at our galaxy's center, they were astonished when they realized that they could actually see stars in the act of orbiting at absurdly high rates of speed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Continuation of Incomplete Analysis of Gay Scout or Gay Priest Issue = "Lying"

This post here is a continuation of the discussion in the “Incomplete Analysis” section.

I also used to think that the problem was that bishops just didn't want to deal with the problem because it is too emotionally wrenching.

But at this point it's not that simple.

Even after the lawsuits began to turn into a flood in the early 1980s, and the word spread among the bishops that THE basis of liability in the lawsuits was bishops shifting priest-wolves around to new, unwary flocks, THE BISHOPS CONTINUED SHIFTING PRIEST-WOLVES AROUND TO NEW, UNWARY FLOCKS.

MOST of the priests were being shifted MULTIPLE times. When the priest-shifting bishops look at the files following the priests being shifted, they know what the score is.

So, think: What is the difference between, on the one hand...

(a) a bishop shifting a priest, being followed by sexual predator accusations, to his third parish, with no warning to the new flock, aware that lawsuits are being filed, at that moment, to make money from the bishops decisions like that which abet other priests' sex acts;

...and, on the other hand...

(b) a bishop AGREEING WITH the predator priest, by a wink, to shift the predator priest to another location, SO THAT the predator priest will have access to a new group of innocents from which to solicit sex paid for with Church funds.

The difference is the space between these two lines...


...because in the first case there is no wink.

Stand back and look at the Church, panoramically.

Several years ago, to "come to grips with the problem," the Church paid for the John Jay Study.

What did the Study do? Look at available data, and use various investigative measures and statistical means to estimate the true dimensions of the problem?


It counted beans.

The John Jay Study counted only:

(1) cases in which there had been an admission by the priest;

(2) cases in which there had been a criminal conviction of the non-admitting priest; and

(3) cases in which money was paid-out by the Church.

By doing this, the study found a little over 10,000 victims.

Yet, investigation after investigation by police and reporters have found that in the vast majority of cases, BISHOPS FAILED TO REPORT PARENTS' CLAIMS TO AUTHORITIES.

There are CLEARLY several tens of thousands of such instances generated by the mass production efforts of notoriously promiscuous priests. (Believe this, Tom: As I pointed out in a previous article here, the evidence is enormous that male homosexuals are innately promiscuous.)

The unreported cases were not studied at all. The bishops did not go to the John Jay people and say, "Listen, we are actually aware of about 3 times as many accusations as there are confirmed cases."

In effect, our current pope is accused of LYING about such cases.

Compare this NYT article...

...with this admission by the Judicial Vicar of the Munich Diocese...


In effect his defense, today, is, "I got behind the wheel of the car, but I did not touch the steering wheel, and I was not even AWARE OF the steering wheel -- so don't accuse me of driving the car into that crowd."

In effect, you are looking at no change.

In effect, after DECADES of lawsuits, the same attitudes seem to be prevailing.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not ready to quit the Church.

I love the Church.

But that's the point: I love the Church.



Don't be discouraged. Pray. God always answers prayers.

But remember: Our nasty public criticism of such behavior may be part of the answer to our own prayers.