Narrative Theology And Post-Modern Cults: Antonio Gramsci

Narrative Theology: Antonio Gramsci, Machiavelli and Hitler taught Emotional Manipulation of Human Material (sheep) but training of the intellectual, dominant few with just one Head Shepherd.

See Dominion Theology

"Liberal literary criticism allows each community the right to re-write Scripture. The canon (not necessarily of biblical texts, but at least in the meanings of those texts) is not closed.

"It is difficult to know whether Fish intended this as a by-product, but the idea of authority resting in the interpretive community gave rise to narrative theology-- a theology which simply affirms a given community's right to come up with its own interpretation, or to "write" its own new biblical text.  Narrative theology gave rise to various narrative communities-- hence, the arrival of liberation and feminist theologies.

"Narrative theology does not recognize any absolute truth or meaning in a text.  Because Buber is the founder, most narrative theology, especially in Jewish circles, is related to Auschwitz."

"And, what is the purpose of reading texts, for narrative theologians? Why, of course, to affirm the self. Hazards in the Mainline.

See Rubel Shelly and John York on Narrative Theology

Antionio Gramsci: Post Modernism Defines Narrative Theology

Machiavelli, Hitler, Jung and Gramsci are quoted with abandon knowing that the "emotional human material" will not know what is going on. Furthermore, by quoting the terms, the agents of changed are seen as superior.

The old order of freedom of religion or the right to choose (the meaning of sectarian) will be eliminated and you must sign up with the New World Order which has a "one fits all" set of doctrines, worship practices, and even controlled personal life. PK's new shepherding movement has been activated into churches already:

"God's raising up a new standard, a new banner, if you will, that's going to radically change the expression, the understanding of Christianity in our generation...God has invited us to have a role in establishing a new order of Christianity...

God is offering to this generation something He has never offered to any other generation...

beware lest old order brethren rob you and steal this hope from you." (Paul Cain, "You Can Become the Word!", 1989, Vineyard Prophetic Conference) (See Experiencing God to become new Christs)

"Bill McCartney, has suggested that PK was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy, that the church had never been united in its history,

but that PK was going to bring it all together for the first time! Do we need a movement to do this when it is the Church that is already commissioned to do this. If one wants to uphold the Church in its commission fine but to say that their movement will be responsible

"It was Paul Cain who was part of the Vineyard movement that some claim is the most anointed prophet in the world today. Cain in turn said William Branham is the greatest prophet that ever lived.

Think about that, this means he is greater than Moses or Jeremiah, Isaiah who wrote about the 2nd coming more than any other prophet .

Greater than even Jesus who also was a prophet. It was Jesus himself who said John the Baptist was the greatest prophet who ever lived.  Matt.11:11-13 "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Greater in position not as a prophet 12"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.13" For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

"I think we're going to have another St. Valentine's Day massacre. I think Almighty God is going to rip open the hearts of our leaders. I think He's going to tear them open. And I THINK HE'S GOING TO PUT THEM BACK TOGETHER AGAIN.

AS ONE. ONE LEADERSHIP. WE'VE GOT TO HAVE ONE LEADERSHIP, ONE LEADERSHIP ONLY" (Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers, Detroit Silver Dome, April 29, 1995). From

The New Wineskin or drunk in the spirit (or exhilarated)

When you are commanded to get on the Post Modern road or get off totally you must understand that will ultimately have no choice when real violence is used against all of those who are not chosen to boost up Jesus so that the "now but not yet Kingdom" can be brought in with a rod of iron.

Don't believe it! These people are cowards or they would teach from the Words of Christ whose religion cannot be outdated by some new scheme which spawned Promise Keepers, Jubilee, the gnostic Zoe Group, The Vineyard and groups preparing little "shamgars" to corral you or kill you.

Notes from: Analysis of Antonio Gramsci's Theory on Social Revolution by Marnid and Jason

Nothing is clearer in history than the adoption by successful rebels of the methods they were accustomed to condemn in the forces they deposed.
--Will and Ariel Durant
The New Order of Preachers: Trained in Psychology

"Manipulation, in the opinion of this writer, is essentially the misapplication of information (lies or omissions)
........... for perpetuating the interests of the agent of change.

Huxley also said and we quote:

Abused as we abuse it at present, dramatic art is in no sense cathartic; it is merely a form of emotional masturbation. It is the rarest thing to find a player who has not had his character affected for the worse by the practice of his profession.

Nobody can make a habit of self-exhibition, nobody can exploit his personality for the sake of exercising a kind of hypnotic power over others, and remain untouched by the process.

Manipulation is wrong on its face and should be replaced by persuasion. The pros and cons of Post Modern, Post Denominational or other New Age Cult thinking can be judged based upon whether the agent of change uses, in Machiavelli's words,

"Prayer which normally does not work or force which always works."

Hitler would use emotional means on the "human material" and extermination on the intellectuals who don't go along with the new Master Race creating a new Fatherland:

"You simply cannot tolerate anyone with the intellect, knowledge and courage to oppose the one-man plan:

Persuasion involves disclosure of the facts to create thoughtful decision-making on the part of the participants.

Awakening people's ability to intellectually make decisions rather than react to emotionalized manipulations is fundamental to positive long lasting change agendas.

Truth will ring in the hearts of most people.

Emotion should follow well-articulated ideas rather than having emotion propelling weakly-contrived thoughts.

In other words, the emotional response of readers should come after the ideas have been thought about and not the other way around. If emotion precedes thinking, bad decisions are made. This explains the ideas of "love is blind" and "blind rage" obvious among those who do not have truth on their side.

This thought can also be viewed in the context of control -vs- empowerment.

Control results from withholding, spinning or manipulating information,
whereas empowerment comes from delivering all information necessary to form an opinion and then providing a specific "action set" for use in making change based on the information.

Realization of the facts should bring forth an emotional response to act in one's own self interest. Persuasion is preferable to manipulation. Change Agents and Reality Creation, Dr. Nick Begich

Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), who devised a new, improved model of Marxist-Leninism.

Antonio Gramsci analyzes the threat of revolution (or lack thereof) due to social, political, and economic forces. Unlike his predecessor, Marx, Gramsci sees these forces acting with equal power; he does not view economic modes of production as a base, or structure, from which all other forces derive as Marx does. In other words,

Post Modern is not a god whose will must roll over all opposition. If, for instance, tomorrow, we decide to imitate the absolute command of Christ that worship be spiritual (mental) rather than legalistic (body-related, sense-related) then our worship is just as modern as tomorrow.

If tomorrow's child insists upon Kool Aide with a little dash of poison, this may be New Age but it is not a spiritual "cure" which adults should administer. And Mother "Jim Jones" does not have to win unless he is able to keep the doors to outside information closed.

Gramsci sees the peak of these battling forces as hegemony--

"...the systematic spread of the world view of the 'ruling class (Kiros 100). This hegemonic struggle consists of critically analyzing the ideas, or ideologies, that constitute the foundations upon which the ruling class structures society.

This is difficult to do, though, because as social educator, the ruling class can mystify reality by shaping citizen's common sense.

Throughout the Bible and modern religion, music has been the most powerful method of mystifying reality so that destructive doctrine can be slipped in while the rational brain is asleep.

When we hear "Postmodern" or "Post Denominational" we know that Antonio Gramsci has leaked out of the Philosopher's "Scripture." Karl Marx saw things in terms of economics and politics.

Gramsci thought in terms of collecting all power centers into a hegemony which is defined as "the systematic spread of the world view of the ruling class."

The Post Denomination is the brain explosion of someone sniffing gas like the Oracles of Delphi or the charismatic, musical women in Corinth.

It says, in effect, that your old denomination is "decadent and deleterious" and, like an old wineskin, must be destroyed. Those who believe that black is white must be smashed into the new wineskin with those who believe that black is red. That is, the Post-Denominational demand is a well-calculated plan to remove any choice from the "congregation" or "audience" and put it in the hands of the pastor who has no Biblical mandate and is riding on the back of widows.

This take over of the world order or religious denomination means analyzing all of the ideas of "pattern" and "paradigm" and then rebuilding a new system to become the ruling class.

This can never happen unless the new "Change Agent Team" (CAT) mystifies their schemes by the use of code words. Joseph Campbell would call them Affect Images. For instance, the New Wineskin calls up dead grape juice which has had its second incarnation in the form of intoxication. Or call it "exhilaration."

How Cults Work

The first tip-off that an agent using Machiavellian or Hitler-like techniques is to deny that you (the Paymaster) have no right to dispute anything that the Hireling has to say. Whatever else is imposed upon a group, when you have a would-be dominant person or team you have a cult.

Cultic Mass Meetings

The disciples control under any system depends totally upon mass meetings. There, the mind was altered by self-promoted leaders who affirmed the new system and involved the herd (Human Material re Hitler) in the affirmation of themselves. In addition, the mass meeting was a threat of violence (literal or emotional) because you dared not "seig heil." Victims claim that it would have been impossible to not smile while Hitler was looking like a clown and acting like Satan. We get the same reports out of Promise Keepers.

Using Gramsci's ideas we describe Post-Modern or Post-Denominational:

"control is the fact that the new theological society exercises the dissemination of influential ideas to the great mass of the population."

Because the total new system rises or falls upon total agreement of the emotional masses to the ideas of the intellectual leaders, only those who will promote some new scheme are invited to keynote. It cannot be, we are sure, that it is because they have anything important to say or are "charismatic" except to those "just looking for love." Therefore, they control the what, who, when, where and the environment of the mind-altering experience.

"Because all of this information is contingent upon a specific ideology, the public receives a socially-constructed common sense or group mind.

"People might have a religious experience with such a higher power, but one thing is discounted: The importance of propositional truth. Or, to put it differently,

postmodern worshipers are like postmodern readers; they are the source of truth, not the discoverers of truth.

If one of the bits of "human material" decides to disseminate some truth totally based upon the Bible, they are divisive, counter-productive and must be eliminated. Those who would try to do it emotionally are no less violent than those who would burn your body in an oven.

Rubel Shelly and John York: Just as identity in Christ is always COMMUNITY identity,

our reading of Scripture becomes a COMMUNITY READING as well.

While we still have access to reading as individuals,

we stop asking, "What does this mean to me?"--as though there is such an isolated meaning. Instead we have a GROUP MENTALITY that asks, "What does this mean to US?"

Mental Disassociation and Communism

The theory of all mass movements such as Communism is based upon dialectics.

"Why dialectics? The use of dialectics is crucial because it allows for analysis of class struggle in a particular historic context. The sociocultural system is intricate, rife with contradictions that create inner tensions and conflicts.

But the social fabric does not disintegrate easily because of the predominance (not dominance) of capitalist hegemony (Bible-based religion) within the interrelated material, social, cultural processes.

"Of the several religious leaders we profile in The Death of Truth,

most explicitly say that personal experience is the key to understanding religion.

Most also call for dissociation as a preface to the religious experience.

(Of course, from the Tower of Babel onward, music and new wine have been the most powerful for the spiritual adulterers to control the minds of the paying audience.)

"Dissociation is the loss of conscious awareness of the real world. Specifically, postmodern religionists call for people

to leave all rational thinking behind before ascending to the godhead.
Thus, they see one thing as the
supreme barrier to deep religion: Reason, and its handmaiden, truth.

However legalistically a Bible-based understanding of music as a way to pollute or prostitute the spiritual process is defended, it is clear that such outrageous, really marked by insanity, schemes could never "fool the fools loving to be fooled" without dissociating the emotions from the will.

"Whether it's Joseph Campbell, John Bradshaw or Fredrick Turner, all agree that

we must first take leave of our senses
before trying to know spiritual things. How similar they are to some calls within the evangelical church!

The Postmodern Method: Religion Jim Leffel and Dennis McCallum, contributors

Cultic Methods of Enforcement

The control which the Change Agents exercise over the new denomination takes place at two levels: Verbal Affirmation and implied threat of violence.

Machiavelli defended in The FAX of Life notes that domination and change comes from either prayer or force: prayer rarely works and force always works. Hitler used the same theme but noted that the emotional masses do not have a need to know, and intellectual leaders who question the dominant leader must be exterminated.

Verbal Affirmation

If the experience works properly you will have an altered mind. This happens largely because the person claims supernatural powers and because he affirms you by saying, "You, you, you, you." For instance, you may enjoy reading a promotional blurb for Joe Beam who, as a Jubilee 98 agent, reviewed his book. Click Here to see that Joe's book is a God-sent substitute for His Inspired Word.

"The literature of the recovery movement teaches that it is inappropriate to question another person's higher power, because recovery is tied to their belief in the power of the God of their understanding.

When you think about it,

Twelve Step spirituality is distinctly postmodern in the way personal interpretation or experience and personal empowerment are substituted for truth about God

This affirmation is pushed by Blackaby/King's Experiencing God where Scripture is ripped apart and people are led to believe that they can be a latter-day Jesus.

Cult-like Threat of Violence:

We have all experienced the zombie-like, knee jerk violence of "groupies" who threaten you with hell by denouncing you as legalistic and judgmental if you dare question the keynote theme being implanted by the Designated Change Agent:

"Not too long ago, intolerance meant rejecting or even persecuting practitioners of other religions. Not any more.

"Now, intolerance means questioning the validity of any aspect of another's religion.

To the majority of Americans below fifty today, questioning the truthfulness of another's religious views is intolerant and morally offensive.

"This prohibition against differing with other's viewpoints is postmodern. The Postmodern Method: Religion Jim Leffel and Dennis McCallum

When cult leaders deny the right to make judgments they are just following Hitler:

The leader can make judgments to exclude those who do not agree with him.

However, the "audience" cannot pass judgment upon his teachings." So the view of tolerance is that preached by Hitler until it was too late.

This is totalitarianism, evil and satanic. Scripture says "test the Scripture." Therefore, to deny one's right to disagree is a positive proof that such people have received their brand in the forehead and have sold out.

The writers note that the public makes the ideology come alive; it becomes lived-experience.

A key to Gramsci's theory is the idea that ideology has a material existence that is, "...embodied in collective and communal modes of living" (Kiros 58). In other words, for Gramsci, ideology is not something that remains in the realm of ideas;

it is part of every-day life.

For example, the ideology that "working hard is the American way" is not just an idea; rather, it is an experience that the public grounds in reality by living it out. An incentive to bring this ideology to life is to work hard to keep one's health insurance. Ideology becomes ingrained experientially through people's daily routines. These routines are shaped by the common sense--a socially-constructed perception of reality.

For instance, if the ruling clergy decides that there is something magical or spiritual about raising holy hands (Jubilee 98) it is not good enough to write a book. Rather, it is important to collectivise and make lifting holy hands a lived-experience.

This is why we saw Mike Cope illustrate raising hands by doing so for the first part of his experience.

Next, it was important to stimulate the audience into action. This was done at two levels:

First, everyone was asked to lift hands as a "first experience." This is a psychologically violent pressure put on everyone to conform. Those who do not are obviously not participants part of the in group.

Secondly, suitable music is played and the audience conditioned to raise hands on the password. As one e-mailer wrote, "It was like Simon says."

Resisting the Post Modern Cult Leaders

Through the false usurpation of authority such as a "minister" reincarnating himself as a "master" is the first step to forming a cult. Next, he excludes any information which might not support his views. Even Biblical studies are divisive and legalistic if they have not been "stamped" with the approval of the destructive usurper.

In time, the coded message is that you have no right to voice any concerns so that you are intimidated with methods just short of physical. Once the 'steam roller" begins to roll the leader assumes that he has received his Christ-like "assignment" from God to make new revelations and lead the church where no church has dared to go.

However, at heart, all totalitarians are emotionally abnormal and will self-destruct:

"Thus far, we might feel that the public is doomed for this seemingly totalitarian rule; however, just as Gramsci states that common sense is the place where the foundation for total domination is laid,

so he insists, "it [common sense] is also the site of resistance and challenge to this ideology" (Kiros 64).

Ideology has the potential to be either stifling or liberating. Gramsci maintains that although ideology often mystifies reality

(i.e., creates a common sense view of the world that does not correspond to reality), it also has the potential to demystify reality.

"This negotiation, or struggle, for control over common sense embodies the hegemonic project for Gramsci. Just as ideology is grounded in reality, so is this struggle; it occurs on a day-to-day basis.

Rubel Shelly laments the resistance to change and appeals to Machiavelli (Hitler's resource) to explain why modern Change Agents should understand how resistance works. However, modern dictators (with none of Christ's Spirit in them) must be warned that:

"The incessant and persistent efforts' which are made to conserve and defend the existing system.

It is necessary for the dominant social force to preserve this weakness" (Kiros 38). Gramsci insists that the nature of these struggles exists along a continuum,

so that dominant rule is not overthrown in one fell swoop.
In fact, "ideological struggle ... is a
process of transformation in which some ...

elements are rearranged and combined in a different way with a new nucleus or central principle" (Kiros 61).

In the Jubilee this is the Core Gospel. The Bible consists of seven facts about Jesus and all of the rest is diverse Apostles producing diverse epistles. For instance, Rubel Shelly in forcefully rearranging the Exodus event into a "pattern for worship and community" as opposed to the general view of as Israel's "Fall from grace" notes that John's Gospel is based on something like narrative theology: John took liberties with the factual account of the Gospels to make his own personal version.

This totalitarian scheme is outlined in Navigating the Winds of Change by Lynn Anderson. The schemes work only because the same Change Agents have lulled the congregation to sleep with their really juvenile human philosophy. You will notice that such teachers really cannot get into the Word perhaps because it is not Post Modern:

"According to Gramsci, dominant hegemonic ideologies influence and motivate people's behavior because individuals are so tied up in their everyday struggle and survival--what Gramsci terms conjuncture--that they cease to think and act critically.

"Individuals are all potentially thinkers and philosophers,

but they lose their ability to determine for themselves because their common sense is socially constructed and shaped by the establishment and its dominant views (Kiros 105).

Of the several religious leaders we profile in The Death of Truth, most explicitly say that personal experience is the key to understanding religion.

Most also call for dissociation as a preface to the religious experience.

Dissociation is the loss of conscious awareness of the real world.

Specifically, postmodern religionists call for people to leave all rational categories behind

before ascending to the godhead. Thus, they see one thing as the supreme barrier to deep religion:

Reason, and its handmaiden, truth.

Whether it's Joseph Campbell, John Bradshaw or Fredrick Turner, all agree that we must first take leave of our senses before trying to know spiritual things. How similar they are to some calls within the evangelical church!

The Postmodern Method: Religion Jim Leffel and Dennis McCallum, contributors

The Bible understands the dissociation and consistently equates music and musical instruments to destructive weapons or methods.

The Ecumenical Principle

First, someone constructs, say Promise Keepers, by "breaking down the walls" and convincing the foolish that all religions are equal.

Then, once they have fooled the fools, if they change their methods from mass meetings to local meetings with the clergy and then inserts its own shepherding agents into all of these now-combined churches, wouldn't you think that breaking down the walls was just the old trick to steal your sheep? All ecumenical movements have this as a goal.

However, Gramsci gives us the hint that even foolish 'shepherds' may arouse themselves from a deep coma when they see the tails of their sheep disappearing over the hill following the pied piper of Post Denominational or Post Modern schemes like Jubilee 99, Willow Creek or Promise Keepers.

If the "Shepherds" cannot be aroused, it is left to the common sense and the resistance to change among the "laity" to keep the wolves away until the "shepherds" can learn to handle a stick:

"Lastly, Gramsci mentions how new ideologies can be constructed through the combination of diverse elements and individuals' ability to think critically and constantly question.

In terms of our example, proposals were made by the Clinton Administration regarding health reform and the possibility of statutory health insurance,

thereby removing this direct connection between employment and health coverage.

Yet we as a nation rejected this proposal that may have marked the emergence of a new ideology.

We in fact reinforced the persistent ideology by maintaining things as they now stand.

We felt that there was not a great enough need for universal access to care, although millions are left without a viable source of health insurance.

We opted to stand by our capitalist ideology and continue to allow our coverage to be mandated by our employment. It has become part of our lived-experience and we have internalized the ideology without even knowing it.

The hegemony has shaped our common sense and we are now bound to abide by it. Through Gramscian analysis of the current health care system in the United States, we can see that the hegemony persists.

The control agents deny everyone the power to resist the "steam roller." However, all important events in History, including the Visit of God to Earth in Jesus, resisted the steam roller.

Because the Scriptures have shaped our views of God and religion for almost 2,000 years, we may still have problems within most groups. Yet, the problems of a democratically - ordered system of freedom of religion are not severe enough that we will follow the socialistic plans to trust our local control of churches to a Dominion Theologian in order to have one Super Bowl Team where all personal views of faith and practice comes out of the coach's new Play Book. And if you don't get with the team than you are warned. How arrogant! How silly! How dangerous to have such people unattended by expert counseling.

Thank God for resistance to Edsels, 8-track tape and polyester leisure suits.

Understand the Guilt Clause For Preserving Truth and Resisting Change

Discuss: Experiencing God - Henry T. Blackaby PK Keynoter
Signs of a Cult
Hitler: Völkish State: Supporters (emotional) and Leaders (Intellectual)
For comparison we note some of Hitler's message about how to organize the "human" material (emotional) to be used by the elite (the rational) with music being important:
Hitler: Völkish State: Supporters (emotional) and Leaders (Intellectual)
Mein Kampf Vol 2, Ch5, Ch8, Ch11
The Machiavelli FAX of Life Resisting Change (From Faith Matters)
---Machiavelli Prince Ch3-Ch6-Ch7
---Mein Kampf Vol 2, Ch5, Ch8, Ch11

Kenneth Sublett

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