Not yet the end times? New signs of the times.

Four years ago I was developing the idea – later than some but sooner than many – that in the West we are now living in a propaganda state. The following year I refined my research, in the light of the deceptive messaging impacting my own church, into the Samizdat e-book Seeing through Smoke, and not long afterwards the floodgates of delusion were opened in the form of the COVID lockdown disaster and all that has followed it.

I think the two things that other writers didn’t notice were, firstly, the inkling that apparently disparate issues like political propaganda, scientific corruption, environmentalism and LGBTQ activism are all part of a single phenomenon tied into geopolitics and the “Long March through the Institutions.” Second was my recognition that because of the tools of propaganda and global communications, for the first time in history the conditions are right for the Bible’s predicted “universal final deception,” and that consequently the churches, especially, needed to plan how to react, and indeed to survive.

On the last point I echoed the calls of those like Rod Dreher and my old associate, Cliff Hill, for communities of Christians “seeing the signs” to establish what amounts to an alternative culture, both for survival and mission. At the same time, I recognised that Christians in previous ages had rightly discerned the spirit of antichrist abroad, and taken steps along similar lines to what I envisaged, whilst turning out to be mistaken about the imminence of the end and the appearance of the final antichrist. In other words, I might be right about what is needed, but justifiably wrong about exactly where we are in salvation history.


Well, now a new and very perceptive article (not by a Christian) leads me to modify my “the end is nigh” expectations, and that has implications for what, as it seems to me, is the role of the churches. The article is about how what I have called the “Long March” actually came to dominate the political class in a specific instance, that is in the author’s native France.

He shows the forces that led the French elites to adopt, more or less consciously, what we would call the “progressive agenda” we have come to know and despise, and to bring it more and more to the fore of national life, culminating in Macron’s frankly totalitarian response to COVID and the Yellow Vest Movement, with compulsory vaccination passes and what, at one point in the essay, is called “North Korean levels of press censorship.” The last is scarcely an exaggeration (apart from the existence of a remaining alternative media for those independent enough to search for it), when one considers the almost total Western news blackouts on huge anti-lockdown demonstrations, the truckers protest in Canada, and the Dutch, German and Italian farmers’ protests and other cost of living protests across Europe. Even Soviet Pravda had better coverage than our media, not least state-organs like the BBC.

The author rather cannily describes Macron’s political position as “the extreme centre,” and that oxymoron is an apt description of governments across the West, preaching moderation and democracy, but actually practising major suppression of human rights, manipulation, oligarchy and, in fact, what amounts to utter contempt for “people,” as opposed to professed concern for an abstract concept of “the people.” One can see this dramatically exemplified in the draconian lockdown measures employed, ostensibly, to protect “the vulnerable elderly” during COVID, whilst actual vulnerable elderly people were sent home from hospital to infect others, all of whom were left to die lonely and neglected whilst we in the churches looked on passively and complied with evil.

That the French story can be mirrored by comparable processes across the Collective West should not surprise us when the whole ideology has been institutionalised in trans-national organisations like the UN. Macron himself, like Trudeau, Merkel, Ardern and many others, are all ideological puppets of the WEF Global Leaders programme, or like Britain’s Boris Johnson (and the BBC and GCHQ) of the US Deep State. And so it is really a worldwide problem:

France and its European partners are now more than ever strategically dependent on the United States and what might be called its hubristic “Project for a New American Century 2.0.” Even more so than the original from the 2000s, this new imperialistic adventure sounds like a “Planetary Confederacy of Goodness,” shrouded in empty symbolism and virtue signaling.

One major point in the essay is to explain how the same technocratic globalist viewpoint has spread across all political parties in France (as it has here), effectively disenfranchising the common people he estimates at 60% of the population:

It comes as no surprise that this France, which comprises more than 60 percent of the population, has been completely wiped off the left intelligentsia’s radar. It is simply the logical consequence of the process that has led the modern left, since its conversion to the principles of economic and cultural liberalism, to gradually abandon its original social base in favor of the new, overeducated and hyper-mobile upper-middle classes living in globalized metropolises, who represent only 10 to 20 percent of the population and are structurally protected from liberal globalization’s problems (when they do not benefit directly from it).

Consequently, an old quotation from one of the original founders of the Anarchism creed, whilst it was an extreme position back in the day, now seems a truism, as this small extract shows:

To be governed is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.

And so governments are now working increasingly (and increasingly consciously) against the interest of their people, who are seen only as “deplorable” impediments to the progress of the Utopia:

But as Harold Bernat put it, the Gilets Jaunes, the truckers, and now the farmers have shown that the “ultra-minority” holds its ruling power only by the thin thread of its police and its control over the financial system. The only way for the ruling class to conserve its grip on society is through ever more use of brutal force, censorship, propaganda.

So far, so “end times crisis.” But the author also describes how, more recently, there has been a widespread popular (and populist) reaction to all this, as ordinary people have begun to wake up to how they are being exploited and abused, and their values and livelihoods destroyed, in the name of an alien cult imposed on them from above (but at their expense). If COVID caused “murmurs of discontent,” the desperate consequences of the cack-handed Western responses to the war in Ukraine have brought people across the Western world (and everywhere under its influence) to the point of “mutiny.”

I’ve suggested elsewhere how Vladimir Putin’s Russia has blown a big, perhaps irrecoverable, hole in the globalist project, and indeed that it may well be a deliberate spiritual part of Russian Orthodox thinking to oppose the rise of antichrist in “the Empire of Lies.” Popular rebellion is a part of how that has worked out, entirely because of our governments’ policies. But whilst the potential failure of the Great Reset perhaps suggests that history has more twists and turns to play out before Christ returns than some of us thought, it also signals some new dangers, and indicates a particular role for the Church to take on, if it is to be faithful.

For the Achilles heel of the Anarchistic ideal of abolishing government is that where government collapses, it is invariably replaced by savage struggle, not by mutual cooperation. The Bible, of course, recognises this in its Pauline reminder that all authority is established by God for the control of evildoers. It even shows, historically, how governments can abuse their power and become the worst evildoers of all, yet government is still necessary.

The author of our article recognises this, obliquely, in his observation that the forces of populism, unlike the governments they oppose, lack a unifying ideology. They come from the historic left, right and the apolitical, and whilst there may be a vaguely uniting theme of returning to “the old ways,” including the old religion, lack of a centre risks the kind of disorganised bloodshed that followed the Reformation in Europe. Remember it was partly the violent religious anarchy that led many, during the English Civil War, to believe that the final crisis of history was at hand, so destructive of virtue was the fragmentation.

So it seems to me there is a fair chance that we will see, before too long, a rather chaotic but increasingly violent revolt from below, initially repressed by increasing totalitarian violence from above, until, actually or metaphorically, we see the lynching of elites (and supposed allies of elites) on the lamposts of Paris, and London, and Berlin, and so on. Many current evils would disappear along with the elites, but many new ones would arise.

It is into such a time of utter chaos that a strong, capable-seeming leader could appear, after the manner of Hitler during the 1930s, providing just the uniting ideology around which the shepherdless sheep could unite. Perhaps he might arise in the West and bring us all into a nuclear conflict against Russia and Co, or perhaps he might arise in the new BRICS grouping as an ally of ordinary people here, ushering in a new world order nobody predicted. But in either case, the world would be ripe for deception, and we might yet see the final antichrist arise in our days, if the people do not unite around the true Christ and his gospel.

The threat of an anarchic collapse of Western nations surely changes the role of Christian churches. Under a unipolar totalitarianism, the priority (as per Rod Dreher) might well be to go underground to preserve both the faith and civilised culture. But if the people run wild because they have no shepherd, it might well be the glory of Christianity to proclaim the way of peace very visibly, and provide a spiritual centre to the emerging political process.

This has happened before: there were Christians prominently involved at the collapse of the Soviet Union not that long ago. Perhaps the best example, though, is the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, when it was the leadership of Gregory 1, Bishop of Rome, that not only brought reformation within the church, and mission abroad, but maintained the continuity of civic life and avoided a completely failed state. That was a notable achievement for western Christianity.

That is the kind of role which, it seems to me, we ought to be preparing for. It begins by understanding the nature of the polarisation that is occurring, and showing solidarity with the sufferings of the common people, rather than support for the fashionable causes of the elites. In other words, we must spend more time not only supplying food banks, but critiquing bad economics and foreign policy, and less time recycling plastic straws to save the planet that Jesus has already saved, or agonising over accommodating aberrant minorities as the left activists insist. We must come off the fence on the woke morality that is undeniably anti-biblical, as well as deeply divisive, thus encouraging the natural morality of the people rather than undermining it by critical theory.

We must stop acquiescing in the warmongering propaganda masquerading, for far too long, as “defending Western democracy,” and start openly challenging what the media tells our people (it would help to remind them that even Mark Twain saw that whilst to ignore the news is to be uninformed, to follow it is to be misinformed, which is worse).

At the same time, of course, we must begin to proclaim the gospel of truth and peace as the only valid answer to the world’s evils – as we remind our communities that to follow a crowd in doing evil does not bring a better world, but damnation.

The job entails the bold proclamation that Christianity is, and always has been, true, and that the assumption that it has had its day is, like everything else we are told, mere propaganda. But if the churches are simply bystanders when civilisation collapses, why should they be taken any more seriously than the people now take politicians? They would simply show that they too bought into the myth of the post-Christian world.

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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