|Returning to Eden by Daniel Pouzzner|
Lovelock is, nonetheless, emphatically not of one mind with the fundamentalistic Greens. In the 2000 interview, he said “I find that side of the green movement that considers everything chemical as harmful, produced by a nasty organisation thinking only of its profits and never of the good of people or humankind, as rather absurd.” and “Fifty years ahead when the problems of the greenhouse effect really hit us hard, somebody is going to point a finger back at the greens and say, if we had nuclear power we wouldn't be in this mess now and whose fault was it? It was theirs.” In 2004 he made a point of declaring that “Only nuclear power can now halt global warming.” Even while describing environmentalism as a replacement for religion, Lovelock doesn't seem to fully appreciate that the Green movement actually is a religion, not a practical sort of humanitarian enterprise he could understand and support.
|Laurance Spelman Rockefeller|
In philanthropy, as in business, Laurance Rockefeller wanted to plant seed money where it would have the greatest effect. He knew that the catalytic influence of hundreds of thousands of dollars strategically placed at the right moment could have the impact of hundreds of millions that came too soon or too late. [...]
[...] The environmental debate would become, by the 1980s, intense, acutely difficult, and deeply confusing. It was apparent to all that environmentalism was different from conservation, that it required more education, more planning, and therefore more interference with traditional lifestyles than conservationists would tolerate.
Yet, environmentalists also tended toward the anthropocentric. An ecosystem might be seen as an innocent product of the interconnectedness of all organisms. But to speak of a “healthy ecosystem” or of the “stability” of an ecosystem meant one ascribed goals--of health, or balance, or even biodiversity--to nature. If nature is innocent it is also random. Science was, conservationists argued, value-free or at least value-neutral. The very notion of an ecosystem suggested a systematic evolution of interdependent organisms rather than the random application of natural selection. Critics argued by the 1990s that this assumption would lead to biocentrism: the idea that all organisms have equal value. But to whom and for what. How could this be so if one believed in traditional Christianity? How is it possible to argue that the Bill of Rights, created by human beings, did not appropriately accord special rights to people as opposed to insects? What would the basis for civil government be in the future if biocentrism were carried to its logical conclusions?
Laurance Rockefeller was a conservationist like his father for much of his life. By the late 1960s he moved closer to an environmentalist position.
In a blurb on the book, the National Park Service says “Perhaps most significantly, Rockefeller served under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy as chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission [(]ORRRC), brilliantly orchestrating an assessment of the recreation and conservation needs and wants of the American people and the policies and programs required to meet those needs. The reports issued by the Commission represent a groundbreaking achievement that laid the framework for nearly all significant environmental legislation of the following three decades.”
Environmentalism — the idea that human prosperity and growth is to be trumped by the integrity of non-human ecology and its continuation undisturbed by human influence — is an eminently comfortable ideological companion of utopian socialism. Most obviously, environmentalism aims to preserve natural ecologies that we are to believe are idyllic, on which the Eden vision is deeply predicated. But environmentalism also inherently deprives the industrious of economic opportunities (reduces the attractiveness of industry and its psychological and moral cohorts), and inherently crowds people together in concentrated, rigidly bounded areas. Both of these effects favor the proliferation of socialism, particularly as discussed above in the Herding People chapter.
Michael W. Fox, former vice president of the Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States, exemplifies the junction of the two movements, delivering a panoply of preposterous premises. In Returning to Eden: Animal Rights and Human Responsibility (Krieger, 1986), he declares “The life of an ant and the life of my child should be granted equal consideration.” In an interview in 1990, he declared simply that “There are no clear distinctions between us and animals.” In a similar vein, John Muir, co-founder of the Sierra Club, declared “I have precious little sympathy for the selfish propriety of civilized man, and if a war of races should occur between the wild beasts and Lord Man, I would be tempted to sympathize with the bears.”
Canadian Paul Watson's view is similar to Fox's and Muir's. Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is a current (2003-2006) member of the Sierra Club's board of directors, and is a cofounder of Greenpeace. He is a pioneer of “tree-spiking”, a tactic popular with “Earth First!” whereby loggers are thwarted in their attempts to harvest timber. In In Defense of Tree-Spiking, a 1990 article in the Earth First! Journal, he says, “As for myself, I do not believe in loggers, I believe in trees. I do not believe in fishermen, I believe in fish. I do not believe in miners, I believe in the rocks beneath my feet. I do not believe in pie in the sky spirituality, I believe in rainbows, rivers, mountains, and moss. I do not believe in environmentalists, I believe in the environment. I am a proud traitor to my species in alliance with my mother the Earth in opposition to those who would destroy her, those parasites who believe the Earth is here to serve human interests.”
“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” was founded in 1980, along the lines of Watson's, Fox's, and Muir's philosophy. Its founders, Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco, cite as their formative inspiration, Peter Singer's Animal Liberation (Avon Books, 1975). PETA's motto is “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.”.
He considers human euthanasia (including infanticide) to be morally imperative in various situations he chooses (motivated by the Benthamic calculus). He says non-human animals have the same moral rights and significance as humans, dismissing the division as a cultural fiction. In 2001, in an essay titled “Heavy Petting” on the pretentious erotica website nerve.com, Singer attempted to demarginalize sexual relations between humans and animals, hypothesizing that much of the opposition to it is due to the human sense of separateness from the rest of nature. He concluded that the recognition that we are not so different (at least from higher primates) “does imply that it [human-animal sexual relations] ceases to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings”. He says humans have a moral obligation to donate to the indigent any wealth they amass in excess of that needed for a comfortable but modest lifestyle free of luxuries — “The formula is simple: whatever money you're spending on luxuries, not necessities, should be given away.” Singer's rationale for this fanatical egalitarianism is so infantile that it is trivially demolished by scholarship published decades earlier by other socialists (e.g. Hardin's 1968 analysis of the “tragedy of the commons”, discussed above in the Herding People chapter, particularly regarding rejection of the Benthamic calculus and consideration of the psychological cost of shame campaigns). Singer maintains that humans have a genetic predisposition for “an impartial concern for all of our fellow humans, or, better still, for all sentient beings”, a tendency which he says society must encourage, while discouraging self-interested behavior. This is strikingly reminiscent of Barbara Marx Hubbard's doctrine of egalitarian cooperative “conscious evolution” (see below, in the Occult Edenism chapter).
In Animal Liberation, Singer dismissed the idea that animals benefit from farming for slaughter and consumption by carnivorous humans. Entertainingly, Singer has now revised his view, and considers it possibly good to eat animals that are raised and slaughtered humanely (because they may be a net positive in his species-neutral Benthamic calculus). PETA, of course, has not and cannot get caught up with him on this point. PETA is and always has been something of a self-parody. It may well have been started as a practical joke, but its mission is taken earnestly by most of its million or so members and hundred or so employees. In one campaign, PETA bought billboard space for “Got Beer?” parodies of the milk industry's “Got Milk?” campaign, claiming beer (a vegetable product) is healthier than milk (an animal product). In another campaign, “Holocaust on Your Plate”, they likened farm animal treatment to the treatment of the victims of the Holocaust by the German National Socialists (this so belittles the Holocaust that it amounts to Holocaust denial). In 2003, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk sent a protest to Yasser Arafat (calling him “Your Excellency”) when a terrorist donkey (err..) was killed by the bomb it was carrying, and deliberately omitted any protest of the attempted mass murder of Israelis. He ended his protest letter “If you have the opportunity, will you please add to your burdens my request that you appeal to all those who listen to you to leave the animals out of this conflict?” (language that, clearly, implies he considers the terrorist campaign to be legitimate). He later shamelessly defended his implicit endorsement saying (to a Washington Post reporter) “It is not my business to inject myself into human wars.”. Kerry Dougherty, writing in Jewish World Review, notes “In January 2003 — the month in which the donkey died — 21 Israelis and eight foreign nationals were killed by terrorists in Israel, and 127 others were injured.”
PETA evoke an obviously Edenic motif with their “Lettuce Ladies” vegetarian campaign, in which models appear wearing what appear to be lettuce leaves. They are currently promoting the April 2005 “New England Metal and Hardcore Festival” with an announcement reading “All right kids, it's time to limber up and get ready for the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival! We're offering free tickets to those who are young, healthy, alert, and agile.” (Do they also insist that one be blond and blue-eyed?) PETA in fact has a well-established pattern of using the shiny-sexy-happy-people motif (and eroticism) to promote their ideology. “PETA Announces the Sexiest Vegetarians Alive!” currently features on their web home page (the winners, one male and one female, are both pale eyed young white people, though they are actually brunettes). Many prominent celebrities associate themselves with PETA, including Pamela Anderson, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Dick Gregory, Bill Maher, Paul McCartney, Grant Morrison, Alicia Silverstone, Charlize Theron, and the Dalai Lama (spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism).
PETA donates money to Earth First!, Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and other environmentalist terrorist organizations and militants, and publishes material sympathetic to or instructive in environmentalist terrorism (e.g., Animal Liberation Front: the Army of the Kind and Activism and the Law). PETA's “vegan campaign director”, Bruce Friedrich, told the Animal Rights 2001 convention in Virginia that “It would be great if all the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories and the banks who fund them exploded tomorrow.” Michael Rodman, Greenpeace's current head of human resources, was previously HR honcho for PETA. PETA cofounder Alex Pacheco started his activist career in Watson's Sea Shepherd organization, and is rumored to be a honcho in the Animal Liberation Front. In 1989, Pacheco declared “Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are acceptable crimes when used for the animal cause.” Many people at PETA are emeriti of the Humane Society of the United States, and the two groups enjoy warm relations. There are similarly warm relations between PETA and the Sierra Club. PETA's top 20 donors are all foundations, among which are the Park Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Their top donor is Animal Charities of America, which promotes “Humane training of animals as helpmates”, remarkable for its use of the biblical term used for Eve in Genesis (and used nowhere else in the Bible, and of course, not at all in modern speech). Animal Charities of America is one in a constellation of about a dozen charities associated with management umbrella Maguire/Maguire, and its finances are very opaque. The charities under Maguire/Maguire's umbrella participate in the “Combined Federal Campaign” (CFC) administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a program facilitating charitable giving by federal employees, and Maguire/Maguire's charities receive roughly 20% of the proceeds. In September 2004 the office accused the charities of “a lack of responsible governance and a serious breach that could threaten public confidence in the federation, its members, and the CFC”. Well, this is all rather inside baseball, but it gives a taste of the networking and shennanigans behind the scenes.
In A Fierce Green Fire: The American Environmental Movement (Hill and Wang, 1993), former New York Times reporter Philip Shabecoff explains the environmentalist view of the New World: “[A]n unspoiled land of great beauty and wonder began to change when Europeans came here five hundred years ago[...] [I]ts resources were squandered [...] large areas were sullied, disfigured, and degraded, and [...] our negligent use of the Promethean forces of science and technology has brought us to the verge of disaster.” (I must interject that there is nothing Promethean about science and technology. No god handed it to us, fait accompli. Through industrious toiling, we discovered and invented it ourselves.) In Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (Plume, 1992), former Vice President Al Gore (with former EPA administrator Carol Browner) writes:
I have come to believe that we must take bold and unequivocal action: we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization. Whether we realize it or not, we are now engaged in an epic battle to right the balance of our earth, and the tide of this battle will turn only when the majority of people in the world become sufficiently aroused by a shared sense of urgent danger to join an all-out effort.
Adopting a central organizing principle — one agreed to voluntarily — means embarking on an all-out effort to use every policy and program, every law and institution, every treaty and alliance, every tactic and strategy, every plan and course of action — to use, in short, every means to halt the destruction of the environment and to preserve and nurture our ecological system. Minor shifts in policy, moderate improvement in laws and regulations, rhetoric offered in lieu of genuine change—these are all forms of appeasement, designed to satisfy the public's desire to believe that sacrifice, struggle and a wrenching transformation of society will not be necessary.
Curiously, here we have an example of the return of overtly revolutionary rhetoric to contemporary mainstream socialism. Elsewhere in the book, Gore writes “The Pacific yew can be cut down and processed to produce a potent chemical, taxol, which offers some promise curing certain forms of lung, breast, and ovarian cancer in patients who would otherwise quickly die. It seems an easy choice —
|Charles Manson — quite the mensch|
The natural consequence of all this eager but delusional demotion of humanity, is murder and mayhem by environmentalists, or attraction to environmentalism by those prone to murder and mayhem, amply exampled by Charles Manson and his cult, by Earth First!, by the German national socialists (c.f. How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich), etc. Manson disciple Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme declared “I have no respect for people who don't have respect for what gives them life. And that's earth. You know, earth first. That's Manson's first woman.” Sandy Good, another Manson disciple, said in a 1988 interview, “Lynette pointed a gun, a loaded gun, at the president, but she failed to put a bullet in the chamber. She could've if she wanted to, but she didn't. She could have killed the president, but she chose not to. At the same time, I had 3000 letters to the heads of corporations and industries throughout the United States and some in Europe that are destroying the air, the water, the land, the wildlife. They weren't personal threats. They were simply saying what would happen if they continued to destroy what keeps people, what sustains life.” Charles Manson himself wears a swastika tatoo on his forehead, and it's fairly clear that's enough to take the measure of the man.
The militant Islamist vegan Taliyah (“Hardline”) movement, headquartered in Cincinnati Ohio, explicitly envisions a future earthly Eden. Taliyah founder Sean “Shahid Ali” Muttaqi, in “Forward to Eden: the straight path towards the messianic era”, writes: “If we want to move forward towards the Messianic Era, we must restore the primordial faith that is Pure Islam and act as a single body to rid the world of injustice, and oppression. Only when this happens will the spiritual / archetypal reality that is represented by the Mahdi manifest in the terrestrial plane in it's [sic] full potential. And only then will we be able to move forward to Eden, to the Messianic Era.” Muttaqi has also been frontman for “Vegan Reich” (later called “Vegan Jihad”), a band in the hardcore/straightedge category. Through Taliya, Muttaqi promotes causes and events in the radical green and black terrorist movements, e.g. “Total Liberation Fest 2004” (featuring Earth First!, Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front, Animal Defense League, MOVE, Black Panther Party, Black Liberation Army, and a band calling itself “Tears of Gaia”, among many others).
|Returning to Eden|
Table of Contents
|1. Preface and Overview|
2. Ancient Roots
3. Biblical Chapter and Verse
4. The Eden Motif
5. Cargo Cultism
6. Herding People, Culling the Herd
8. Keeping Eden Green
9. Progenitors of Edenism
10. Occult Edenism