Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Descent of the Iron Curtain

On March 5th, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered an address at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The following is an excerpt from that address...

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow."

His speech met with much opposition, even in the West, as people still viewed the Soviets as an ally who had helped to defeat a great enemy in the very recent past - completely unaware that Stalin was every bit as evil and murderous as Hitler. Or, perhaps in the long release of breath after the war's end, they preferred to remain oblivious to it.

Churchill was seen as a troublemaker. All he was doing was acknowledging a great evil for what it was. An Iron Curtain, designed to keep information out and people in, brutally oppressing the poor souls whose only crime was to reside in a land dominated by the communist system of government.

President Roosevelt, to assuage fears concerning Stalin, had stated in 1945...

"Stalin is not that kind of man. . . He doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can, and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace."

He should've listened to Churchill. Stalin was a butcher who wanted nothing more than to fill his own coffers, even if it came at the expense of the blood of not just his enemies, but his own people. Stalin wanted to expand his territory, dominate weaker nations, and tap into their resources, building an empire governed by state control - control which was quite often brutal. Stalin had promised the West that he would allow the occupied nations of eastern Europe the "right to self-determination". History has proven those words empty save for the deceit they contained, as he imposed his own determinations on those nations, by force, behind the shield of the Iron Curtain.

When you get to the bottom line of it all, the worth of the people trapped inside was measured only by what they could produce for the communist system. The fact that attempts to escape often, perhaps even usually, resulted in death prove that point. "You'll produce for us or you'll produce for no one" seems to be the message sent.

Everything on the other side of the Iron Curtain was portrayed as capitalistic evil, the social boogeyman, where very few prospered while the vast majority floundered. In truth, this was a deceptive and diversive tactic to cast the view of a dominated people away from the fact that this was the reality of their OWN situation. Create fear that what was outside was far less pure and far more evil than what was inside, while never letting them see the outside to judge for themselves. Isolation. Control of environment and information. Control of dialog. Communist propaganda. It all adds up to a dysfunctional and abusive control of lives. Meanwhile, along the Iron Curtain, physical barriers were erected, minefields established, electronic fences, much manpower to serve as guards...not to keep people out, but to keep people in.

I'm saddened to say this has been my experience with patriocentricity. Through the patriocentric movement, an Iron Curtain has descended around the borders of entire families. All of these things parallel.

A) Like Stalin, the leaders of the patriocentric movement claim that they don't make personal decisions for those subordinated to them and have only the best and most selfless intentions for invading their lives.
B) Like communism, a person never makes a clean escape from the Iron Curtain of patriarchy. There's always a price to pay for not sharing the family vision. Many of my readers are paying that price as we speak. Many families, regardless of "intentions", will willingly, even if unwittingly, take steps to damage the hearts, minds, and lives of adult children...just to keep them in the system.
C) Like those in communist systems, the only crime committed by the children of patriarchy is being born into a patriocentric home. They have no real choices when the system is functioning ideally.
D) Like communist propaganda, patriocentrics promote distorted worldviews of evil, ungodly society, promote an idea of personal sinfulness, weakness, and probability of personal failure outside the system, promote outside opposition as the enemy, promote inside opposition as outright rebellion or the influence of modern feminism and psychology, if not demonic influence.
E) Like those who were feared to be on the verge of attempting escape from communist systems being sent to re-indoctrination camps, in patriarchal movements and families, high-risk adults are sent to other patriocentrics to "get healthy", get their minds right, "hear from the Lord", and get "fixed".
F) Like those who actually managed to escape the Iron Curtain, those who leave patriarchal homes find themselves socially naive, often having to learn how to live and process the information now at their disposal. Sometimes the culture shock is overwhelming.
G) Like communism, modern Western society is the enemy that patriarchy wages war with and hopes to choke out.

On January 5th, 1968, a reformer named Alexander Dubcek came to power in the nation of Czechoslovakia, a nation which found itself behind the Iron Curtain. Dubcek introduced decentralizations of government and economy, bringing about personal freedoms that hadn't been enjoyed since before the Iron Curtain descended. Freedom of the press, freedom of information, et cetera. This brought about a brief period of social and financial prosperity (relatively speaking) that became known as the Prague Spring. The Prague Spring produced many reknowned cultural and artistic endeavors, including several famous pieces of music, as well as the Milan Kundera novel, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." Many well-known plays have made reference to the Prague Spring. The people didn't entirely leave the ideas of socialism and communism. They attempted to leave Soviet control. Two very different things.

The Soviet communist motherland didn't like this turn of events. At all. This provides a glimpse of the true heart.

In the Spring of 2008, my ex-fiancee, against her father's very adament, threat of estrangement-laden, and abusively expressed wishes, flew across the country alone to spend time with me. It was probably the happiest period of both of our lives. She was introduced to things she'd never experienced, from culture and ideas, to music, to normal, healthy, liberated and guilt-free life. She flourished. She didn't leave Christ. She left patriarchal authority. Two very different things.

The patriarchal fatherland didn't like this turn of events. At all. This provides a glimpse of the true heart.

The Soviets responded to the Prague Spring by implementing action according to the Brezhnev Doctrine...

"When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism, it becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and concern of all socialist countries."

The Soviets, and their puppet government allies in other Eastern bloc nations, sent 200,000 troops and 2,000 tanks into Czechoslovakia - to help them "get healthy", get their minds right, and get "fixed".

My former future father-in-law responded to his daughter's Prague Spring by implementing his own patriarchal version of the Brezhnev Doctrine ("I'm gonna fight this, and I'm not gonna play fair"), and over the following weeks, with increasing frequency, he and his patriarchal allies advanced on her life en masse like a Soviet offensive, cutting her off entirely from opposing influence - until she "got healthy", got her mind right, and got "fixed".

The most troubling thing about the parallels between communism and patriarchy is the utter lack of personal liberty behind the communist Iron Curtain and the sewn up veil of patriocentricity. Here's why it's so troubling...

"...Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

So...What's missing?


  1. Control over another individual is an ugly thing.
    The Bible is clear that the only control we should be excercising is control over ourselves, better known as self-control.

    On a side note. I had a friend who, before he became Christian, he dabbled in witchcraft (this was back in the day before the term 'wiccan' became popular). And one thing he told me. Witchcraft is all about control. If a witch can control you, you become their very best friend. Because that's all they care about.

    Patriarchy talks about rebellion being as the sin of witchcraft. And they have a scripture verse to back it up. What they DON'T realize is that by engaging in control of women and children, THEY engage in a form of witchcraft, unrighteous control over another human being. A control that doesn't belong to them. A control that they have hijacked from another individual and claimed as their own.

    Sorry I can't just say, "Another great post, Lewis." But have to babble on about something or another.

    Just take it as a compliment that what you say inspires me to share a few things I have picked up along the way.

    May God help your fiancee to remember her Prague Spring and inspire her to chase after it in earnest. May she long for it, surprise us all, and figure out a way to get it back.

    I cannot promise a happy ending for you. But I can tell you, I wish with all my heart that you will get it. And that you won't have to wait too terribly long to see it.

    Who sometimes lives in a fantasy world inspired by Disney and other fairytale pushers.

  2. Mara...Please don't apologize. The floor is always open here.

    I like what you said here...a LOT...

    "Patriarchy talks about rebellion being as the sin of witchcraft. And they have a scripture verse to back it up. What they DON'T realize is that by engaging in control of women and children, THEY engage in a form of witchcraft, unrighteous control over another human being. A control that doesn't belong to them. A control that they have hijacked from another individual and claimed as their own."

    I'm sorry to say that where me and my ex-fiancee are concerned, as a couple, there won't be a happy ending. She was steered into another marriage this past March. I nonetheless hope and pray that these patriarchal toxins can someday be cleansed from her system.

    I'm determined to be content with my focus on the Lord, and if my words can help clear the fog around these issues, I consider that my happy ending.

    I very much appreciate the thoughts and prayers.

  3. "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    So...what's missing?"

    I've never seen that before. Never turned that verse around to get the answer to your question. Where there is no liberty, God's Spirit is absent. Wow. It seems so simple but the implications are profound.

    Also...that explains a lot. :P

  4. I think it's telling.

    To be clear, I'm not saying that the people in patriocentric homes are godless, but to be equally clear, I believe the "movement" is.

    Communists make no bones about their exclusion of God. It's literally a system based on no existence of a higher power. Patriarchy might as well be upfront about being based on human power. Same difference, really.

  5. Wow! She flew across the country to see you? That took GUTS. I bet her dad almost had a nervous break down. Hehe. Did she like NC? Was she aware of "things" in the world...or did her family just not engage themselves in the world? Hope that makes sense.

  6. Angie...She loved it here. Took all kinds of pictures of the countryside (spring was in full bloom) and posted them on her myspace page, we had an engagement party for my family and friends to meet was just a beautiful, incredibly happy time for us both. Yeah, her dad blew a gasket. I mean, how dare she be so happy?

    She was aware of things, in a sense, but most aspects of life outside of her family bubble were tainted by her father's definitions and mandates concerning them. I guess it's most accurate to say that she was aware of things, but knew little about things, and most of the little she knew was offbase pretty dramatically. She saw evil where none existed. It's what she knew.

    The thing she knew the absolute least about was how to process and handle her own feelings. She'd been so heavily indoctrinated to believe her own feelings were the gateway to hell that she was scared to death to feel anything beyond "conviction". Lots of guilt. Lots of triggers for her guilt too. I learned to see it happening, and I went out of my way to cut it off. I didn't want her feeling guilty for being happy.

    Once she went back west, one of me on the other side of the continent couldn't fend off the hordes in her own backyard.

  7. Excellent observation about the parallels between patriarchy and communism. I did a similar one between patriarchy and slavery. And there seems to be a pattern here: all the parallels are bad!

  8. Seriously Lewis I am so grateful for your exposition of this topic. I am also so sad that you had to go through what you did to get to this place. Honestly, I am impressed that you are not more angry and bitter! Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom with all of us.
    I really really really really really was caught off guard by your "so... what's missing?" That was so crystal clear. It's like a lightbulb went off and I felt like puking at the same time. Wow.

  9. Very interesting post and so true. I'm sad for your experience and that your ex-fiancee was "guided" into another marriage. You know, it's very possible that you were protected in this situation. Your heart was hurt, but you seem like the kind of guy who would want a relationship not only with your wife, but also with her family. From what I can gather, that would have never happened had you married her. It would have been hard on both of you...really hard. So, I hope and pray you find someone else to share your life with: someone who already shares your freedom, and someone whose family will love and support your and your ministry. Sorry for your loss.

  10. Rachel, about the "what's missing..." same here. I texted it to my friend yesterday and she was like, "I love that guy's blog!" (waves, *hi!*)

  11. Thank you for sharing your conviction and perspective on this... There are many, like myself, who can tell a heart-breaking story about why we are not married or whose pursuit of marriage was a fiery trial, due to the devastating control, guilt-mongering and manipulation from parents and church people under the guise of "God's will." God's will is a Spirit-filled life. Anything else is man's will.

  12. Wow! I read this to my husband. How very, very sad! :-(

  13. Dear Mara who posted last year [and to Lewis]

    Mara said:
    On a side note. I had a friend who, before he became Christian, he dabbled in witchcraft (this was back in the day before the term 'wiccan' became popular). And one thing he told me. Witchcraft is all about control. If a witch can control you, you become their very best friend. Because that's all they care about"

    and i'm trying my best to not scream in outrage.

    first: to a specific extent, "wicca" and "witch" are synonomous, ie a person who practices the religion of Wicca may call him/herself a "witch" which is based on the GAELIC word "wice" which means "wise" and would ACTUALLY translate properly as "priest" or "priestess".

    it has ZERO relation to the "witch" of the Bible, which is a MISTRANSLATION of the HEBREW word that was assummed to be "wice", but was slightly different and meant "poisoner".

    so, to begin with, that verse SHOULD read "Thou shall not suffer a POISONER to live"

    you have insulted just about every member of the Wiccan religion PLUS numerous OTHER religions that ALSO use "witch" or similar words from the root "wice"

    because that's just flat-out effing wrong. it's highly probable that SOME Wiccans and/or SOME witches do indeed have that specific vice - but it's NOT part of the religion, and is NOT a vice that most have - because it goes against the basic tenet of their faith:
    An ye harm none, do what ye will"

    controlling another person *IS* harming them [except in VERY few exceptional cases, such as those so insane they MUST be controlled]

    I am not Wiccan [i'm a different flavor of pagan] nor am i a witch [although many call me that, as it's a sign of respect and denotes the same things as my ACTUAL title, only it's more pronouncable and more recognized - but i neither claim nor reject said title, i don't really care] but MANY of my friends are, and several members of my family [raised in the same "pagan" religion i was] "converted" to the extent that they practice Wicca along with the original.

    that just means that i have a duty to correct ignorance where it may harm those i care for.

    if your friend ran into people who called themselves "witches" and acted thus, they were NOT Wiccan. the word "Wiccan" and the religion PREDATE your friend's probable age [unless he's over a hundred?]. further, you are confusing "popular" with "known outside the narrow circle who practiced the religion" - Wiccans have been Wiccans since Gardiner re-started his version of the Gaelic religion, but it wasn't until the late 60's that anyone at ALL was brave enough to talk about it with outsiders, and it wasn't until the 90's that talking about it, admitting it, wasn't shooting yourself in the foot. all that said - Wicca has been in use and "popular" with those who follow the religion for over a century - and has nothing to do with what Christians call "witches"

    PROBABLY, anyone he ran into was practicing "witchcraft" as viewed by the Christian Church - which, as i said, has almost NOTHING in common with Wicca. neither does the Christian view of a "witch" - to begin with, i've yet to meet a witch who BELIEVED in Satan, let alone "served" him [by making a contract with! wow the weird ideas people have about things...]


  14. [cont]

    Lewis, not too long ago, you told me you didn't really CARE if a person was of any particular religion, so long as they were trying to do good. i truly hope that is the case.

    but either way - Mara has [inadvertantly and i'm pretty sure non-maliciously] done harm.
    her later remarks, about patriarchs "practicing witchcraft" i leave alone, because it's completely obvious that in THAT case, she's sticking to the Christian version thereof, which, as i said, has almost NO resemblence to Wicca or any other religion that uses the title "witch" or "wise one". it's that original "all a "witch" cares about is controlling you" that is so damning [in the literal sense of she is judging and condeming all people who use the title of "witch" as people evil people who care about nothing except controlling others].

    i'm not asking for a retraction or appology - i just A) wish to set the record straight and B) ask that it REMAIN that way. there's is a world of difference between what Christians call "witches" and "witchcraft", and those who follow Wicca and call themselves Wiccan or "witches". not the least of which is that the "Christian witch" is a devout follower of Satan/Lucifer/The Devil, and has some sort of contract with said being in return for which said being grants them powers - while a follower of Wicca does NOT believe in said being, signs no contract with said imaginary being, and recieve nothing in return for said nonexistent contract.
    or the fact that most who follow Wicca are just people, who are trying to the best they can [in all ways] and who work and play and etc just like Christians, and use a different name [or names - God is Infinite, you know - has at LEAST a jillion names] to call upon the Deity. most of the try to "do good", in the specific sense of "good works", because they feel it's their DUTY to help people. but, VERY specifically, they try to NOT "do evil", in the sense that "causing harm" is the one thing they are prohibited - so they try to not hurt people, that's an obvious "harm", yes? but it can [and does!] mean LOTS of things, and the more you think about it, the more it means. i don't lie and tell a friend that s/he looks good in something that they REALLY don't look good in, because it would harm them to be made fun of for it.
    i recycle, in an effort to do "less harm" to the planet [which is a different level of the same commandment]
    i used to mentor teens, and before that, volunteered in a DV shelter - because if i could reduce misery, but didn't, then i helped contribute to that harm.

    and i would NEVER try to "control" a person - that's harm to their SOUL.
    and neither would ANY Wiccan or witch i know.

  15. Lewis, not too long ago, you told me you didn't really CARE if a person was of any particular religion, so long as they were trying to do good. i truly hope that is the case.

    If that's something I said, I misspoke to a degree. While I support the freedom of all to pursue their various religions freely (save for something like radical Islam, or really, radical anything - even Christianity), I hope that all would come to Christ, as I, personally, believe Christ is the only true path to God.

    As far as everyday life, my main concern, with Christians or anyone else, is the way in which we live our lives, whether adding to or subtracting from the lives of others, and I don't look down my nose at people who don't share my faith.

    Hope that makes it a little more clear.

  16. yes, that's clear.

    you'll find [if you want to try] that many who are "pagan" do indeed "accept Christ" - as yet another face of Deity.
    um... best way to explain, i think, it this:
    "God is everywhere, and everything; religion is the pair of glasses we put on to SEE God...
    God is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent - and Omniloving. it doesn't matter WHAT you call God, but THAT you call God"

    so, from my POV, Christians [who are ACTUALLY Christian, as in following the tenets Jesus Christ set forth, which i do follow, and so does every "good" person i know, "good" being the opposite of "evil" in this case] are doing exactly what i am doing - worshipping and loving God in the way that works best and makes the most sense *for them*. and for them, Jesus is The Way.
    and Jesus is indeed a Way, and a primary one - but again, God is all those Omnis - if i happen to "see" God as Goddess, it's STILL Deity [and God is Omnipotent - are you telling me God *couldn't* be female if God wanted to be? not you, you - "generic you"]

    *shrug* but honestly, so long as no one tries to impose their beliefs upon me [including telling me what i am, when that's NOT what i am] and we're working towards the same goals, i'm not going to quibble, either :)

  17. Just bopping in to say, sorry denelian.

    I misspoke. It was in frustration of patriarchs using that rebellion=witchcraft scripture to control and manipulate their wives and daughters.

    Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. No malice intended.

    When I'm thinking clearly and not having a fit over neo-patriachs and the stupid things they say, I do know the difference between what my friend practiced back in the 70s and Wicca today. What he did was closer to satanism than paganism even though he called it Witchcraft back then.

  18. Mara;

    thanks :) as i said, i wasn't really asking for an apology - but one offered so graciously and eloquently cannot be refused :)

    i was pretty sure that was what your friend had stumbled into - and wow, that specific sub-set of a sub-set is pretty horrid, i agree [i do actually know a few people who are still into the "Satanic Witchcraft" - down to believing they're following "Satan" - and they creep me out and i DO NOT like being around them. most pagans don't like them, if for no other reason than they give *US* a bad name, when what they're practicing has NO resemblence to what WE, Wiccan or not, practice. *shudder*]

    and i totally understand that frustration - it's perfectly logical. and it's why i was 99% sure you didn't intend any malice at all :)

    and i DO appreciate you coming to say so! thank you.

    Be Blessed!