Predicting World War III

A friend in Europe reminded me that on 24 March 2011 a group of “well-known Russian astrologers, shamans and parapsychologists gathered to discuss forecasts for the near and distant future.” Since almost nothing of importance in Russia occurs without the state or the FSB having a “finger in the pie” (so to speak) it is worth taking notice of Russian predictions – whatever the source. Readers are directed to the 2011 article titled Third World War to Begin during Winter Games in 2014. A wise man once said, “Never make predictions, especially about the future.” Indeed, the article contains predictions that obviously did not come true. Anyone who monitors major predictions about the future will find a very poor track record in 99 out of 100 cases. What is most curious, however, is that “participants” of the aforementioned 2011 meeting offered up a date for the beginning of World War III that already has some of us jittery.

According to the article war supposedly begins in March 2014, during or shortly after the Olympic Games in Sochi. Since there have been bombings in Russia, and since Russia has threatened to take unspecified actions against Saudi Arabia if terrorists bomb the Sochi games, there may be reason to worry. We know that supposed Islamist terror bombings in Russia have, in the past, been carried out by the FSB along with other “false flag” operations. We know that Saudi Arabia is the key to the West’s oil lifeline. Is Russia setting up a pretext for war?

In the case of the assembled astrologers and parapsychologists in Russia, how did they arrive at the March 2014 date for the start of World War III? The best predictions are often made by those who have sources on “the inside.” If an astrologer is trying to boost himself, wouldn’t it be prudent to have friends in the special services or General Staff? After all, such predictions would greatly strengthen the livelihood of any self-respecting astrologer or parapsychologist. Therefore we may ask if the Russian astrologers are merely reflecting an open secret within Russia’s ruling circles. As it happens, an answer to this question is ready at hand. I received a note from a practicing non-Russian astrologer about the March 2014 time frame for World War III. Apparently, in the lore of astrology, 2014 looks rather frightening. In the previous version of this present article I had mistakenly assumed the aforementioned astrologer was concerned about events in March, and I took that to mean there was nothing else behind the Russian astrological predictions except astrology. Silly me. The story is even more interesting insofar as there are no (I am told) astrologically justified reasons for the Russian astrological prediction. found nothing especially frightening about March 2014. And this leaves me wondering out loud: why were the Russian astrologers, who regularly serve the Russian General Staff and KGB, registering concerns for March 2014? Again, we may be looking at something that has more to do with inside knowledge of intentions which, in trying to look credible, must reflect what superiors already believe is set to happen. This is significant, and perhaps other experts can contact me and weigh in on the matter. It is not a question here of believing in astrology, by the way. It is a question of why Russian astrologers and shamans would underscore the Winter Olympics and March of 2014 as the beginning of World War III.

So when is the next world war going to start?

Let us turn to someone who made 148 falsifiable predictions in his 1984 book and got roughly 94 percent of them right. I am referring to KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn. His predictions were based on strategic insight, years of study, and personal knowledge. In a 1978 memorandum to the CIA Golitsyn warned that America and NATO were in grave danger because the Soviet Union had adopted a long range strategy that the West knew nothing about. According to Golitsyn, “… a trap is being laid by the Communist policymakers which will be exploited when the USSR carries out a deceptive liberalization of its regime….” Written in 1978, more than a decade before the revolutions that swept through Eastern Europe, Golitsyn’s warning was scoffed at. “With few exceptions,” the editors of Golitsyn’s 1984 book affirmed, “those Western officials who were aware of the views expressed in the manuscript [of Golitsyn], especially on the Sino-Soviet split, rejected them. In fact, over the years it became increasingly clear to the author that there was no reasonable hope of his analysis of communist affairs being seriously considered in Western official circles.”

While Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers, the White House and intelligence community weren’t touching Golitsyn with a ten foot pole. In fact, the poor man was defamed in publication after publication. The accuracy of his predictions was vociferously denied. And here we are, twenty years after the liberalization of the Soviet Bloc, with a KGB officer nominally in charge of Russia. If anyone cares to notice, the liberalization was false indeed if only because Russia has not been liberalized. Even the former satellite countries exist in a curious state between liberalization and ongoing control by hidden communist “structures.” What did this liberalization accomplish in the end? If anyone cares to notice, NATO has been gradually disarming while President Barack Obama is working to shrink the U.S. nuclear arsenal to a fraction of its current size. And why is this important? In a 1973 memorandum to the CIA Golitsyn wrote: “One can also expect a concealed Communist offensive through their agents of influence … in order further to undermine the establishment, especially the Pentagon, the so-called ‘military-industrial complex’ and the American Special Services; and further to reduce the authority of the President in the military field and to reduce expenditure on defense….” The further weakening of the United States, wrote Golitsyn, will lead to Communist Bloc military “superiority over the West through secret Sino-Soviet cooperation….”

The result of such superiority is not hard to guess. According to Golitsyn’s 1973 memorandum, “The Soviet and Chinese rocket strike units and strategic bombers will make a surprise raid on Pearl Harbor lines on the main government and military headquarters of the leading Western countries and on their missile sites. The main idea will be to knock out the primary Western sources of retaliation and to paralyze, at least for a short period, their physical ability to take a decision on retaliation.” Golitsyn further wrote: “Although, of course, this vision of a surprise attack on the West is … speculation, it is [my] belief that it is definitely in the realm of possibility, given that it has been the subject of study by the KGB, and should in any case be prepared for….”

There are a number of factors that must be clarified before we continue our analysis of when World War III is likely to begin. First, we must reckon with the diversionary role played by Arab terrorism in advance of a nuclear attack on the United States. A pre-war diversionary phase, known within Soviet military circles as “Grey Terror,” was outlined by GRU defector Viktor Suvorov in Spetsnaz: The Inside Story of the Soviet Special Forces. On page 196 of the book, Suvorov defined Grey Terror as “a series of large and small [terrorist] operations the purpose of which is, before actual military operations begin, to weaken the enemy’s morale, create an atmosphere of suspicion, fear and uncertainty, and divert attention of the enemy’s armies and police forces to a huge number of different targets.” Suvorov further stated that Grey Terror is a kind of terror that is carried out “in the name of already existing extremist groups not connected in any way with the Soviet Union, or in the name of fictitious organizations.”

If alarm bells are not ringing in your head at this point in our discourse, then you haven’t been reading with sufficient attention. For here we have a GRU defector describing a diversionary strategy that precedes World War III. The book in which this description takes place was written 13 years before the spectacular terrorist attack of 9/11, which KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko hinted was a KGB operation. (Before his poisoning with polonium-210, Litvinenko also said that leading figures in al Qaeda were KGB agents – including Ayman al-Zawahri, the current chief of al Qaeda.) It is almost certainly not a coincidence that al Qaeda’s operations against the United States closely resemble Grey Terror. If we consider the Soviet role in creating and supporting international terrorism during the past half century, and the testimony of communist bloc defectors like Ion Pacepa, the purpose of the terror edifice comes sharply into focus.

In essence, if we are reading the situation correctly, the first act of war has already happened. It was accomplished through a covert mechanism so that the victim of the attack could not properly identify the true source of the attack. The question of when all-out war begins, however, is still not answered. In November 1999, while conversing with GRU defector Stanislav Lunev, I admitted to being puzzled by the exact mechanism of a Soviet surprise nuclear strike. How would they pull it off? Lunev said, “If you ever hear that Arab terrorists have attacked an American city with nuclear weapons, don’t believe it.” I asked Lunev why I should disbelieve such a thing. He replied: “Because it will be my people. It will be Spetsnaz.” I asked him what would happen after such a nuclear attack. He said that a period of weeks or months would elapse. “Then the rockets from Russia will arrive.” This last statement puzzled me a great deal at the time, but does not puzzle me today.

The United States government has sometimes (if not often) been manipulated by Russian agents of influence. Diana West has written a bestselling book to remind us of this fact. Time is always required for such agents to guide a nation’s policies toward national disadvantage. This would also be true for a country suffering a diversionary nuclear terror attack. Considering how easily we have been manipulated in the past, consider what a diversionary nuclear strike could accomplish if the right people were in the White House?

This leads me to consider another communist bloc defector. His name was Jan Sejna, and in 1982 he wrote the following words about Russia’s long-range strategy:

Soviet ambitions towards the United States were aimed at the extinction of Capitalism and the ‘socialization’ of America…. The main strategic goals on the road to their fulfillment were: the withdrawal of the U.S.A. from Europe and Asia; the removal of Latin America from the United States’ sphere of influence and its incorporation into the Socialist bloc; the destruction of United States influence in the developing world; the reduction of American military power to a state of inferiority; the advent to power in Washington of a transitional liberal and progressive government; and the collapse of the American economy.

Before a missile can be launched the U.S. political system will be infiltrated (see the work of Trevor Loudon) and the U.S. economy will be sabotaged (see the work of Kevin Freeman). We can also see there is no reason to attack the United States with nuclear weapons until most or all of these goals have been reached. For once these goals are accomplished the United States will be “ready for the oven.” In essence, the country will be disarmed and isolated. It will only be a matter of time before the country wakes up and attempts to change course. This is when Russia’s nuclear weapons prove useful. That is when you should expect a war to start.

All of this does not render an exact date. Instead, it gives us markers on the road ahead. Through these markers we can track our progress. We can see where we are, and where we can expect to be as events unfold. The strange thing, of course, is that Socialist bloc defectors have been describing our future for decades. The reason they were able to do this is simple. Strategy works when there is no counter-strategy. The Great Game follows a pattern set by the side that holds the initiative. In the West our leaders have denied there is an enemy or an opposing strategy. They are readily diverted into the dead end policies of the present day.  The question that now cries out the for clarification has to do with domestic U.S. politics.

Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.

Originally published on January 4, 2014, at

Corrections have been added in red after February 8, 2014.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

The Key to True Secession with Dr. Edwin Vieira


Alex Jones interviews constitutional scholar and IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow Dr. Edwin Vieira on the topic of secession. Watch the video of the interview below.


From Greatest Generation to Porn Generation

I This is our legacy to our children? A “porn generation”? I was talking with a sweet young 14-year-old girl the other day. She was depressed. “All the boys I’ve been friends with at school, really friends with, they’re now acting so inappropriately.”

No, she wasn’t hurt by anyone. But, she says, “I have to slap them and it’s really upsetting. I know they’re watching pornography,” she adds. “That’s where they get all that stuff from. And it hurts, also because they are ruining their own lives.” She chokes back the tears.

Don’t expect Dr. Phil or any other television maven to reveal pornography for what it is—a major erototoxic virus infecting most exposed. The virus was released into society December 1953 when Hugh Hefner used it to emasculate Joe College. Rendered impotent without fantasy sex, millions of men over time—crossing every political, racial, religious, educational and socioeconomic boundaries—lost the virility and virtue needed to protect their wives and children from the current porn deluge. And when men are emasculated, popping Viagra while lusting after tragic centerfold paper and celluloid and computer dollies, women turn away from home and embrace “work” that may be empty but is reliable.

Benjamin Shapiro, a strapping young 21-year-old author, columnist, survivor of UCLA and current Harvard Law sSchool warrior, has written the book for parents and youths—Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (published by Regnery, a Human Events sister company). Shapiro’s Judeo-Christian advocacy is sane, compassionate, documented and easy to take, although he has drawn the wrath of many suffering the pains of amorality.

Shapiro tells “the baby boomers and liberals who make up the current leadership in this country”that they need to take esponsibility for “what they’ve done to American society.”

Shapiro observes that if children infected with venereal disease from oral sodomy “at age 12” are not seen as “a broken nation,” we “aren’t looking hard enough.” The baby boomers and “grownup flower children” became the mass media and education authorities who have corrupted society, writes Shapiro.

Of course, I find this young man especially wise in his awareness of the role of Alfred Kinsey in normalizing the porn generation. Describing Kinsey’s impact he says, “Kinsey claimed that Americans were secret perverts and sex maniacs.” By lying about our parents and grandparents, Kinsey invalidated morality as a “social ideal.” Then, using the old bait and switch trick, says Shapiro, Kinsey pulls out the tattered “hypocrisy” charge.

“The only way to alleviate guilt became abdication of moral sexual standards,” he says. “And when the chief goal is erasing guilt, even for immoral actions, all that remains is narcissism.”

Shapiro argues, with strong support, that discarding traditional morality gave our children over to social liberals, who control our culture through music, film, television and other mass media so that the normal is now considered deviant. He says the effects upon his generation are“disastrous.”

I do not think Shapiro exaggerates. “Like it or not, the porn generation is the future of this country,” says Shapiro. Think of that and consider what decisions will be made by future judges, juries, legislators, prosecutors and Presidents who are pornography addicts.

It is not a good era for parents to rear their young. They try to restrict the erotically laced videos, rap, adverts and Internet porn. Now they are faced with Rainbow Party, a Simon Pulse book (a division of Simon & Schuster) by Paul Ruditis that has little girls pick out different lipstick colors to practice for some boy-girl oral sex orgies. The “me generation” led to “Gen X” that logically has produced the X-Rated Porn Generation.

Shapiro’s writing is crisp and right on target. And take a deep breath folks, because the young man is pointing his finger at most of adult society, for children now are paying with their lives for the adult selfishness and abandonment of strong moral standards.

Most parents are not nearly “in the know” enough about the problems their children face in trying to survive their toxic porn environment. Shapiro’s is a critical wake-up call for parents and it is a book that can give them the knowledge necessary to begin to turn around the amorality that is destroying their children.

“I am a member of a lost generation,” Shapiro writes. “Never in our country’s history has a generation been so empowered, so wealthy, so privileged-and yet so empty.”

Shapiro is a great spokesman for youth and for this nation. Pornography will grow in violence and degradation. Its causal role in child sexual abuse, incest and rape is real and all too well documented. It is increasingly taking the littlest ones, the most innocent.

Pornography will not go away unless we treat it like an environmental toxin. Pornography was never about sex. It was always about emasculating men and neuro-chemically linking sexual lust with shame, fear, violence and degradation.

6Dr. Judith Reisman is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Study of Social Trends, Human Rights, and Media Forensics.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published on National Review on June 27, 2005. You can buy Dr. Reisman’s book Sexual Sabotage on her website.

A Dangerous Alliance: Iran and Venezuela

Read below a 2011 brifieng of The Inter-American Institute on a dangerous alliance between Venezuela and Iran.

The Destructive Fruits of Sexual Politics

It may be no accident that Dale McAlpine, the Christian arrested for street preaching in England, was nabbed for his views on homosexuality. As Melanie Phillips points out in the Daily Mail, the preponderance of cases in what she calls Britain’s “attempt to stamp out Christianity” involve homosexuality.

This is also true in the U.S. and elsewhere as Christians find their beliefs proscribed once they criticize homosexuality. “This is in contrast to other contentious issues such as abortion, where the law specifically provides exemptions for conscience,” Phillips writes.

Clichés about “inequality,” “discrimination” and other agitprop jargon borrowed largely from the American civil-rights era disguise a much deeper development. The sexualization of politics (and the politicization of sex) is the most important – and least scrutinized – political development since the 1960s. In 40 years, the political Left has transformed itself from a socialistic campaign against property and enterprise into a sexual attack on the family, marriage and masculinity.

The sexual agenda is more than a simple request for “equality” (for feminists) or to be left alone (for homosexuals). It is an ideology with no precise limits demanding an open-ended sexual “liberation” that quickly expands into demands to exercise government power over others. As Burke observed, “Liberty, when men act in bodies, is power.”

Because this power covers what was once considered private life, the potential for intrusion is also unlimited. The words “power” or “empowerment” are now ubiquitous in feminist and gay literature, describing a control over other people’s private lives as well as public policy. Voices of restraint like gay campaigner Peter Tatchell, who criticized McAlpine’s arrest, do not change the larger reality.

Like other ideologies only more so, the danger may be seen in the absence of dissent. More than any other, sexual politics neuters, literally emasculates, its opposition. Feminist and gay politics contain a hostility toward heterosexual masculinity that is increasingly shared by the mainstream culture.

But no free society can exist without masculinity. Masculine strength is the only counterweight to the power of the state.

A free society needs people who are required to show courage, risk their lives and sacrifice them if necessary for our security and freedom – not just people who will do so, but people who must, as a matter of obligation. It requires people who cannot evade responsibility and danger by claiming weakness or sensitivity, who cannot run away, cry or claim special exemptions from the responsibilities of citizenship or the rules of constitutional government based on whatever they find “deeply offensive.”

And it needs such people apart from state functionaries. Otherwise the state will wield a monopoly of these functions, which makes it total.

Men (and really men alone) are required to risk their lives for our security and freedom. Women and homosexuals may well exhibit these qualities, but women are not required to do so, and homosexuals have opted out of the requirement. The only way these groups can be “empowered” is with the backing of – rather than as an alternative to – the government machinery.

The Daily Mail recounts that McAlpine was arrested because the policeman himself claimed to be deeply offended by McAlpine’s views, apparently expressed to him alone. “I am a homosexual, I find that offensive and I’m also the liaison officer for the bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual community,” Officer Sam Adams apparently told McAlpine before arresting him. I find many opinions offensive, but I cannot handcuff and incarcerate the people who express them.

Do homosexuals now have their own police that protect only them? Does a “bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual” police force arrest only heterosexuals? Not the equal protection of the laws but the subjective feelings of the policeperson – and of the special interests on whose behalf alone he was apparently exercising his official function – determined that McAlpine would be arrested. A free society cannot exist where the police serve special interests and where no distinction is recognized between hurt feelings and crime.

The sexual agenda is the most extreme in our culture today. Here in the U.S., the Employment Nondiscrimination bill will force employers to hire not simply homosexuals who keep their private lives to themselves (and who therefore need no special provision) but cross-dressers who exhibit themselves publicly.

Homosexuality is only part of a larger politics of sex that already exercises highly authoritarian powers, and Christians are not the only ones to run afoul of it. Heterosexual fathers, who embody the hated “patriarchy,” are subject now to a panoply of summary punishments, including incarceration without trial, simply for being fathers. This is exercised mostly through the divorce machinery, but it is spilling over to target both fathers and mothers in intact families.

In “The Prison and the Gallows,” feminist scholar Marie Gottschalk has shown with forthright honesty how the rapid rise in incarceration since the 1970s results directly from the sexual agenda. The U.S. and Britain are the epicenter of the new sexual politics. It is our task to bring it under control.

The alternative is to continue mouthing platitudes, in which case we will be dismissed as a chorus of scolds and moralizers—and yes, bigots. And we will lose.

Stephen BaskervilleStephen Baskerville is IAI’s Senior Fellow in Political Science and Human Rights. He is Associate Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College and Research Fellow at the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society and at the Independent Institute.

This article was originally published at on July 22, 2004.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

Pauperization by the Courts

Karl Marx once taught that capitalism would inevitably collapse because of widespread pauperization, a process by which increasing numbers of people would be left without subsistence by a ruthless market system. But Marx was mistaken. Capitalism has not resulted in progressive pauperization. It is government interference with the private sphere that results in pauperization. And there is no better example than the ruthless tyranny of our divorce courts.

More than any other factor, poverty is a function of the single parent household. Centers of sociological research, such as the University of Washington West Coast Poverty Center say that changes “in the structure of families over the past 40 years has likely contributed to higher poverty rates.” It seems that poverty is on the rise primarily because the two-parent household is in decline, and we shouldn’t be surprised to find that the state is implicated in this decline.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2009), the median income of two-parent families was $71,830 while the median income of male single-parent-families was $48,084 and female single-parent-families was $32,597. Since the family may be considered the most basic economic unit, and once was the center of economic activity in an era characterized by family-owned farms and businesses, then we might ask what has caused the erosion of the family. We might also ask about the prospects of further erosion and its implications for economic freedom as well as national prosperity; for as the United States has suffered an erosion of family, it has also suffered an unremarked economic and sociological demoralization – especially as the state has aggressively stepped in to “rescue” a growing number of single mothers.

To clarify the issue, I interviewed Professor Stephen Baskerville, author of a remarkable book titled Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family. According to Baskerville, today’s pauperization is not simply a case of impoverished mothers with children. Fathers are also being impoverished by the divorce system. “To the question of why so many ejected fathers are unemployed or penurious, this is not difficult to answer once one understands how the courts operate,” says Baskerville. “Once the children are separated from their fathers, neither the courts nor the bureaucracy have much incentive to ensure his continued solvency – indeed, a solvent father is a threat – so they can happily reduce him to penury. After all, a fresh supply of fathers is constantly being brought into the system.”

I asked Baskerville whether the issue wasn’t about deadbeat dads who refuse to support their children. Baskerville replied: “The stereotype of the deadbeat dad is almost entirely feminist propaganda. Most of these fathers have not abandoned their children. They have had their children stolen from them by the family courts.” Baskerville paints a picture of judicial and legal corruption where, typically, the father is ordered out of the home and becomes homeless. If the father refuses to spend large amounts of money on an expensive lawyer he is penalized with unreasonably high child support payments. It is a case of plunder, only it occurs under the color of law.

“A father can be ordered by a court to pay 70 percent, 80 percent or 90 percent … of his income in child support,” noted Baskerville. And if these fathers fall into debt and cannot pay, they are summarily jailed. “We have cases of fathers being jailed for up to ten years without trial,” said Baskerville. “And there is almost never a jury trial in cases of child support. The application of the law varies by jurisdiction…. What is especially dangerous about child support is not that the fathers have to pay astounding amounts…. It is effectively bribing the mother to divorce. What she gets out of this is tax free income. She gets a windfall, a tax-free windfall. In other words, you can raise your children as you choose and get paid for it.”

The breakdown of the family is thereby encouraged by a system that rewards one party and plunders another, bringing a great deal of business to lawyers. “It’s a massive problem,” says Baskerville, “involving 24 to 25 million children. And it is not surprising that the vast majority of divorces are filed by women. The usual reason is that the woman says she doesn’t feel loved.” What follows is something called “unilateral divorce.” Under this system marriage is not an enforceable contract even though the United States Constitution says that states cannot pass laws that abrogate the enforcement of contracts. The legal, sociological and economic implications are staggering. Marriage is now a contract that can be broken by either party on a whim, and the faithful party is subject to financial loss at the hands of the party that breaks the contract, with the help of lawyers and judges.

Is not contract law the basis of our economy? As the family unit is an economic unit, we cannot understate the opportunities for “legalized” robbery this presents. “They have opened the floodgates of plunder,” says Baskerville. “The woman has been empowered in alliance with the state … and the father is alone on the other side…. And yes, it does happen that a man who knows how to play the system can plunder the woman as well.” Thus marriage now comes to resemble game theory’s famous “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” in which the first party to break faith is the winner.

According to Baskerville there is a movement afoot that encourages women to accuse their husbands of domestic violence, even if none is taking place, and such accusations are part of a formula – taken as a means to an end. In these matters there is little to be said for due process. In practical terms it doesn’t exist. “Any man who marries is vulnerable to this action,” says Baskerville. And then the courts themselves are arbitrary: “Courts also do not hesitate to summon fathers so often that they lose their jobs and then jail them for being unemployed. It is not unusual for a father to be summoned to court hundreds of times.”

Under this system all wives are effectively married to the state, and all children are wards of the state even as every man is merely a guest in his own home – subject to immediate eviction at any time without due process of law. “The most direct threat to the family today is the divorce courts,” says Baskerville. They encourage divorce, which is overwhelmingly initiated by women, and “it is a formula for huge earnings for lawyers.” Furthermore, he says, nobody is fighting for fathers’ rights because “people don’t want to acknowledge something so big and evil is going on.”

In closing, Baskerville wants us to be honest. “If we truly believe our present divorce policy is appropriate, we should at least have the honesty to tell young people up front that marriage provides them with no protection against government seizure of their children and everything else they have. Let us inform them at the time of their marriage that even if they remain faithful to their vows, they can lose their children, their home, their savings and future earnings, their freedom, and even their lives.”

Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.

This article was originally published on Financial Sense on October 22, 2012. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

A Note on Leo Strauss

Having seen Samuel Goldman’s thoughtful response to Kenneth McIntyre’s sizzling review of my book, I think that I might introduce myself as the author of the still rarely read volume that Professor McIntyre discusses in his essay. By now I am used to the admission that most critics of the review use to introduce their reactions: “I have not looked at Gottfried’s work but am responding to McIntyre’s remarks about Strauss.” Allow me to note that it might be a good idea if these commentators looked at my book, however steeply priced it may be. That would certainly help improve my sagging sales but even more importantly would throw light on what is being argued in my work about Strauss, his hermeneutics, and his academic and political following.

I fully agree with Samuel Goldman on two points. He is correct in his conclusion that Strauss’s greatest contribution to scholarship may be his early (German) writings, more specifically his work on the relation between politics and religion in Spinoza. Moreover, I would add to this early achievement Strauss’s brilliant remarks on Carl Schmitt’s 1932 edition of Begriff des Politischen, which may have been the young Strauss’s most insightful work.

I also think Goldman is correct to assign more significance to Strauss as a scholar than my reviewer suggests. In my book I underline the extent of Strauss’s linguistic training and his prodigious reading in political thought. Although I share McIntyre’s skepticism about Strauss’s way of reading texts and although I find Strauss’s interpretive quirks magnified in his disciples, I would not deny that there is immense erudition in everything he wrote. His disciples impress me far less than the master, as Goldman would learn from reading my book. Finally I don’t think Goldman, who has written splendidly on classical conservatism, would dispute my conclusion and that of Kenneth McIntyre that neither Strauss nor his leading followers would qualify as “conservatives.” One can describe them more properly as Cold War liberals or fervent “liberal democrats,” to use their own phrase. Nor does the intensity of their desire to protect Israel from its enemies or their eagerness to spread America’s democratic creed if necessary by force add up to what Goldman, McIntyre, and I would consider to be true conservatism.

There are a few mistakes in Goldman’s otherwise informative response to McIntyre. Contrary to what Goldman states, Cambridge professor Quentin Skinner did not share Strauss’s views about reading texts, as McIntyre documents in a relevant essay in the Journal of the Philosophy of History (2010). Skinner was appalled by how little historical sense Strauss and his disciples displayed in their hermeneutic work, and he mocked the kind of “Einfluss studies” in which Straussians assumed that certain thinkers were decisively influenced by other ones although they could not prove the connections drawn. In my book I cite the preposterous attempt by Walter Berns to attribute the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Virginia to the influence exercised by Hobbes on early American political thought. Because of Berns’s Straussian reading of the U.S. as a secular democracy, he failed to notice that Baptists had taken the lead in the disestablishment of the Anglicans in Virginia, for theological reasons that Berns would have no interest in exploring.

I am also far less impressed than Goldman by the extent of Strauss’s illustrious German connections. In my book I show that Strauss had few such admirers in his youth, and even his vaunted relation to Hans-Georg Gadamer, who was born a few miles apart from him in Brunswick, was far more tenuous than Straussians have been willing to recognize. Strauss came to America as a virtually unknown researcher, and it was entirely in the U.S. that he established himself as a political as well as academic presence. Most of his bridge-building with European intellectual luminaries came toward the end of his life, and Strauss had no serious influence on Hans Blumenberg or Gadamer, at least none that I can detect. And though he attended the lectures of Heidegger as an obscure student without any professional prospects, I can’t find evidence of a personal relation between the two men. Sholem and Löwith were long-term acquaintances, going back to Strauss’s youth.

Pace Goldman, there are indeed signs of Strauss’s liberal democratic boosterism in his writings. His Walgreen Lectures, published as Natural Right and History (1951), and his published attack on the American Political Association in the 1960s for its insufficient enthusiasm for the democratic West during the Cold War, abound in praise of American liberal democracy. And similar ideological remarks came up in Strauss’s lectures, conversation, and correspondence. One has to doubt that his students’ obsession with the universal applicability of the American liberal-democratic model did not come from an idolized teacher whose legacy they claimed to be carrying forward. In my book I try to show that his disciples picked Strauss at least partly because of ideological and ethnic considerations.

Goldman is right that Strauss was not the only reader of political texts who focused on esotericism or who was aware of the operation of censorship in the past as a factor contributing to “hidden writing.” But what distinguishes the Straussian approach are two characteristics: the far-fetched, numerologically arcane character of the reading and the tendency of the Straussian interpreter to discover his own contemporary views reflected in the thinker whose secret thoughts are supposedly being uncovered. A critic of this hermeneutic, David Gordon, has asked: “Are all producers of secret writings, as Straussians would have us believe, secularists and liberals? Aren’t any of them Christian dissenters, that is, Catholics in Protestant lands or Protestants in Catholic countries expressing what are at bottom Christian thoughts?” In an attempt at humor in my book, I notice that a Straussian reading of secret writing indicates the author in question was a Jewish agnostic living in New York or Chicago in the late 20th century.

Finally I must challenge Goldman’s statements about how the Straussians have made their concept of esotericism generally acceptable “because Strauss and the Straussians have defended so vigorously and for so long.” My book argues exactly the opposite, that Straussians have formed a self-insulated cult that avoids serious combat with incisive critics. It has survived because of networking and because it has been able to use neoconservative publications to advance a particular hermeneutics as well as Straussian politics. McIntyre is spot on when he cites multiple scholars in political theory, including Skinner and J.G.A. Pocock, who find Straussian hermeneutics to be risible. Until I began my research, I assumed that the only methodological critics whom the Straussians scorned were Old Right intellectuals like me. As it turned out, they have avoided dealing with the same type of criticism when it comes from widely respected, mainstream academics. I wrote my book because I hoped to force Straussians out of their comfort zone, but considering the silence my work has met, outside of a few tolerant journals and websites, my strategy has clearly not worked.

Paul_GottfriedDr. Paul Gottfried is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Western Civilization and the History of Ideas.

This article was oiginally published at on May 22, 2012.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

Your Family and Media’s Sexual Terrorism

The recent shooting massacres in Colorado and Wisconsin have again focused attention on the hundreds of thousands of studies on the links between violence in the media to acts of violence in society. The results have overwhelmingly showed that violence in media does influence people’s attitudes and behavior, even more so if it’s children and adolescents exposed to heavy violence in media.

Even so, this posits another question: Can the same thing be said for sexuality in movies?

Sexuality outside of marriage is not only common in America, but is celebrated and encouraged among society’s youth. This has caused increases in pornography, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion and high divorce rates that are actively hurting families. Is this a result of media indoctrination? Does the sexuality in movies really have that much to do with the increase in sexual behavior in adolescents?

Some studies in the past have strongly suggested that, yes, sexuality in the media does shape hearts, minds and behaviors. Dartmouth College recently conducted a large survey to examine the influence of movie sexual exposure, or MSE, on youths before the age of 16 and how it affects them in adulthood. The college started by researching the amount of sexuality that popular movies contain. The study revealed that 84 percent of movies released between 1950 and 2006 had some form of sexual content.

“A content analysis revealed that 70% of the sexual acts depicted in movies released from 1983 to 2003 occurred between newly acquainted partners, 98% included no reference to contraception and 89% resulted in no consequences,” the study said (Gunasekera, Chapman, & Campbell, 2005).

The study continued, “Adolescents who watch popular movies, therefore, are exposed to a great deal of sex, most of which is portrayed in an unrealistic and/or risk-promoting manner.”

Armed with this information, the Dartmouth researchers surveyed more than 6,000 adolescents from 2007 to 2012. The research team asked youth between the ages of 10 and 14 which movies from a random list of 50 they had seen. Approximately five to seven years later, the same individuals were asked at what age they became sexually active and how many partners they had. After calculating the amount of sexual content in the top 684 movies, they had some results.

The survey results, as predicted, showed that higher MSE before the age of 16 resulted in a “higher number of lifetime sexual partners and more casual sex” (e.g., Brown et al., 2006). Evidence also suggests that sexual behavior among adolescents is influenced more by movies over other forms of media (television, music videos, etc.). The study also revealed that males with MSE are more susceptible than females to risky sexual behavior. Many participants even admitted to copying love scenes depicted in movies in real life (The Telegraph, July 8, 2012).

All of this stems from a Hollywood view of love and sex that is both unrealistic and unbiblical. The risky sexual behavior in movies is mostly shown without consequences, but in reality, sexual irresponsibility leads to STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Most adolescents don’t consider the real consequences because they only see what movies tell them.

So what do researchers suggest as a solution? In their conclusion, they said, “Our results suggest that restricting adolescents’ MSE would delay their sexual debut and also reduce their engagement in risky sexual behaviors later in life. This strategy could attenuate the direct influence of media on adolescents’ sexual behavior by limiting the acquisition of risky sexual scripts and/or reducing their likelihood activation” (Wright, 2011).

The study’s conclusion continues:

“One promising approach would involve incorporating media literacy training into sexual education. A recent intervention showed that a peer-led sexual-media-literacy curriculum increased ninth-grade students’ self-efficacy in resisting peer pressure with regard to sexual behavior, reduced their perception of normative prevalence of sexual activity during adolescence, and improved their attitudes toward abstinence” (Pinkleton, Austin, Cohen, Chen, & Fitzgerald, 2008).

These two steps are what Movieguide has been promoting for years.

The first step is teaching media literacy and media wisdom to children. Having media literacy and media wisdom means that we analyze, interpret, build discernment and create. Analysis is understanding and comprehending the medium of film making and storytelling. If we understand how Hollywood communicates its message, it will help us interpret what that message is. Interpreting is many times the hardest part because it requires that we understand the definitions of a biblical worldview versus a non-biblical or humanist worldview, and then discover what is the movie or television program’s attitude toward those worldviews. Finally, media wisdom requires teaching children how to discern good from evil. If children aren’t taught from a young age how to discern between good and evil by their parents and other role models, they will likely learn and repeat the lies from the media and the world around them.

The second step is to teach children to create. Being made in God’s image, we are called to create things that reflect all glory to God. Now, not everyone is called to be a filmmaker or a writer, but everyone uses his or her creative imagination to some degree. Creativity helps children analyze and interpret the media because it helps them understand communication through art. These tools will not only help children discern the media but also discern the world around them. For more information on media literacy and media wisdom, you can read Movieguide founder and publisher Dr. Ted Baehr’s and legendary entertainer Pat Boone’s book, “The Culture-Wise Family,” and Dr. Baehr’s book, “The Media-Wise Family.”

The third and final step to protecting your family from the influence of the media is avoiding movies that have explicit violent or sexual content. We see enough sin and immorality in the world, so there’s absolutely no need for it to be brought into the family living room. Movies should be wholesome and uplifting, but many times they are filled with sexuality, violence, offensive language and anti-Christian values.

Movieguide is here to help you and your family make good decisions about movies, television and multimedia. For the latest movie reviews, and to separate the wheat from the chaff, please consult our website.

Movieguide is the best tool families have in protecting themselves from the media terrorism of graphic content running rampant in the entertainment industry.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

– Romans 12:2


Dr. Ted Baehr is the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, and a well-known movie critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He also is the author of several books, including “The Culture-Wise Family” with legendary entertainer Pat Boone, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Study of Culture, Media, and Mass Entertainment at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought. For more information, please call 800-899-6684 or go to the MOVIEGUIDE website.

This article was originally published on WorldNetDaily on August 12, 2012. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.