“Never mind the Big Macs. The former Soviet republics are now opening their public school doors to teaching about Christianity” — USA Today, November 10, 1992
“U.S. evangelicals put God back in Russian schools” — Newsweek, January 4, 1993
Several reports from progressive and liberal media, notably from Mother Jones [link] and The Nation [link] have explored the role of the American religious right in helping inspire and even craft repressive new Russian anti-LGBT rights legislation. But the American conservative Protestant antigay vanguard – heavily funded by the National Christian Foundation and The Gathering (see April 30, 2014 TwoCare.org special report, The Gathering: The Religious Right’s Cash Cow) – began its ongoing project of evangelizing and discipling Russian society decades ago.
[image, right: English language copy of Campus Crusade For Christ-produced curriculum, obtained by the author. Edited by Campus Crusade for Christ Vice President Paul Eshleman – who has called separation of church and state “the biggest lie in the whole world”, from 1992-1997 this curriculum was used to evangelize millions of Russian and former Soviet-block public school students, and indoctrinate them in fundamentalist biblical principles.]
One of the little-noticed leaders in the effort to target Russia and the former Soviet block has been the gargantuan Campus Crusade for Christ, a 1/2 billion dollar a year international ministry founded by the late William Rohl Bright – whose 1986 book Kingdoms at War advocated the use of stealth and deception, and promoted organizations working to impose biblical law, including capital punishment for homosexuality, adultery, and witchcraft.
Boasting a presence on over 1,000 campuses across America, Campus Crusade in 2013 hosted a major pan-African evangelical conference, co-led by two Campus Crusade vice presidents, at which top-billed speaker Dr. Seyoum Antonios – who leads an effort to impose in Ethiopia the death penalty for gay sex – vowed to make Africa “a graveyard for homosexuality.”
Campus Crusade for Christ’s leadership and board members have close ties to the heart of The Gathering community and in 1982 helped found the National Christian Foundation – which for over a decade has funded the Protestant evangelical vanguard leading the mounting global war on LGBT rights.
According to research conducted for the Center Against Religious Extremism (CARE) report The Gathering: The Religious Right’s Cash Cow, from 2001-2012 the National Christian Foundation gave over $163,000,000 to Campus Crusade and a handful of other major organizations in the forefront of promoting anti-LGBT hatred both in the United States and internationally. During the same period, according to CARE, the NCF gave over $24,000,000 to “at least ten organizations listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups.”
In 2002 Campus Crusade for Christ helped launch Uganda’s government-backed antigay propaganda campaign, by bringing American evangelist, lawyer, and author of the notorious anti-gay propaganda tract The Pink Swastika Scott Lively — reportedly a personal friend of Campus Crusade founder Dr. Bill Bright and now a defendant in a major human rights lawsuit, for his alleged role in inciting anti-LGBT hatred in Uganda — to visit Uganda to co-lead a March 2002 conference on pornography and obscenity.
Snapshot: The Gathering 1997
Footing the bill was National Christian Foundation and The Gathering-funded Campus Crusade For Christ, which only five years earlier had concluded its epic program to indoctrinate millions of former Soviet-block students and bring them to Jesus:
In 1997 at The Gathering — the premier yearly assembly of the heads of America’s top evangelical Protestant foundations which now give upwards of a billion dollars a year to spread an ideologically charged, anti-gay, free-market, anti-environmentalist version of Jesus and Christianity to America and the world — Campus Crusade For Christ Vice President Paul Eshleman briefed [audio link] The Gathering’s wealthy neo-fundamentalist donors on a project he had just spearheaded:
“Some of you heard, we’ve been working over the last four or five years with a group called The CoMission – 76 organizations banding together to reach into the school teachers – 42,000 school teachers in the former Soviet Union completed a three-day conference where they’ve each learned, each received a Jesus Film to show in their schools, and learned how to teach a course on ‘Christian Ethics and Morality as a Foundation for Society’, over one half of them receiving Christ.”
Eshleman’s presentation at The Gathering 1997 was accompanied by a talk from Hugh Maclellan, head of the Maclellan Foundation, who described having helped shut down a Chattanooga, TN abortion clinic through a prayer warfare campaign that, as Maclellan told The Gathering [audio], had killed the clinic staff and given them cancer.
Another Gathering 1997 talk, author Herbert Schlossberg outlined [audio link] an expansive 7-point plan for combating “organized homosexuality”, with anonymous funding from The Gathering’s donors, for implementing Schlossberg’s plan, arranged by the Maclellan Foundation. Joining Schlossberg at the presentation [see footnote] was ex-gay ministry head Jim Johnson, who told [audio link] The Gathering,
“homosexuality is wrong, unhealthy, should be illegal, and, frankly, is un-American — because of its inherent selfish character and obviously self-destructive tendencies…
…gay politics or, in other words, organized homosexuality is a group manifestation of the homosexual’s pathological need to justify his existence.”
From 1992 to 1997, Campus Crusade For Christ spearheaded a massive evangelizing campaign – disguised as a moral indoctrination program in which, at the 1991 invitation of Russia’s Ministry of Education, an ad-hoc coalition of dozens of American ministries and organizations dubbed The CoMission sent hundreds of American fundamentalist volunteers to train thousands of Russian public school teachers – and also teachers in the former Soviet block countries of Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Byelorussia, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania – on how to teach a course on “Christian morals and ethics” to millions of public school children in the formerly communist countries, using Campus Crusade For Christ’s specially-produced curriculum which included the following teachings:
1. It’s very likely that Jesus was who he claimed to be – the son of God.
2. Christian societies have “far fewer evils” than non-Christian societies.
3. The Bible presents a literally accurate account of history.
4. Bible prophecy has never been proven inaccurate.
But few of CoMission’s volunteers who trained former Soviet teachers on how to teach Campus Crusade’s course had professional experience in the subject of Christian morals and ethics and, in any case, those subjects were clearly subordinate, in Campus Crusade’s curriculum, to the primary objective – convincing students to pledge their fealty to Christ, or at least to the image of Jesus that The CoMission had presented.
In effect, The CoMission’s project was a covert evangelizing project carried out on an unprecedented scale. The target: public school children. Explains one top CoMission leader,
“Children are always the prize in a spiritual battle because if Satan controls how children are taught and trained, he controls their future ideology and the future of their nation.
It was ironic to me that in Russia I was participating in something that never would be possible in the United States.” (Margaret Bridges, CoMission Executive Committee member, as quoted on page 178 of The CoMission: The amazing story of eighty ministry groups working to take the message of Christâs love to the Russian people, Moody Publishers, Chicago, 2004)
As a Campus Crusade-published article details, Bill Bright’s evangelizing in the Soviet block had begun even earlier:
“In 1978, through a joint invitation from government and religious leaders, [Campus Crusade founder and president] Bill Bright visited and spoke in eight cities of the former Soviet Union. In 1986 teams of staff members and volunteers began reaching out to university students and others in the country.”
Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, by 1991 Bright was able to deliver, from a Campus Crusade-built special sound stage in Moscow’s Red Square, an Easter sermon that was broadcast over Soviet National Television. Later that year, an opportunity without precedent opened up. Campus Crusade’s Paul Eshleman describes how it began:
“During the last months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, nationwide premieres of the JESUS Film took place across Russia and Eastern Europe. At a reception after the Moscow premiere, the government’s eduction officials said, ‘You should show this film to our students.’ ” [page 45, The CoMission: The amazing story of eight ministry groups working together to take the message of Christ’s love to the Russian people, Moody Publishers, Chicago, 2004]
Economists and Missionaries to the Rescue
In the early 1990s, under the shock of a draconian privatization plan scripted by American economists, the Russian economy imploded and the Russian social fabric began to unravel. Arriving to rescue Russian society with the moral uplift of biblical fundamentalism was Campus Crusade for Christ.
Following the crackup of the former Soviet Union, free market fundamentalists from the Chicago School of Economics swarmed into Russia to teach former communist leadership how
to manage a capitalist economy. Their lessons, on radical privatization, were as representative of mainstream economic theory as neo-fundamentalist parachurch organizations such as Campus Crusade were representative of mainstream Christianity: not very.
Regardless, advice from the helpful and insistent Chicago School economists led to sweetheart deals in which Russian state assets, that were in a very real sense the collective property of the Russian people, were dumped – for as little as .5% of real value – in auctions to private bidders who then siphoned their profits out of the country.
The already staggering economy collapsed. Russian society began to unravel: unemployment, addiction, divorce, and crime skyrocketed. Packs of homeless children roamed the Moscow streets. Journalist Christ Floyd describes the social carnage of 1990s Russia:
“I lived in Moscow when the Shock Doctrine was reaching its full fury. Murder was rampant: high-flying businessmen were gunned down on the steps of the metro, reporters investigating corruption were blown up in their newspaper offices. Used car salesmen became nation-straddling oligarchs; nuclear engineers and factory managers became drivers and janitors for Western-owned businesses. Ordinary people in threadbare clothes lined the streets and train stations, hawking their few private possessions and family mementos for ever-more worthless rubles. Homeless children — the besprizorniki — roamed the city, in packs or alone, abandoned, dirty, feral, scared. Drunks killed by rotgut turned up in the snow beneath gleaming billboards for Revlon and Marlboro. Casinos proliferated, while local bakeries and health clinics disappeared.”
A study published in the British Medical Journal has even quantified the level of the collateral damage: “an extra 2.5 million to 3 million Russian adults died in middle age in the period 1992-2001 than would have been expected based on 1991 mortality rates.”
But a solution was readily at hand:
In tandem with the Chicago economists, an army of American evangelists had arrived with a vaccine to inoculate Russian society against the gathering economic crash-driven eruption of moral and social anarchy: Protestant fundamentalism, injected into Russian society via a variety of methods — from radio and television broadcasts to American-scripted lessons on the divinity of Jesus and the authority of the Bible, administered through Russian and former Soviet block public schools.
Christian Jihad ?
Leading the campaign to bring this panacea of spiritual uplift to economically stricken, atheistic Russia – to restore its sagging morals, were a number of key American evangelical ministries and organizations whose leadership had, only a few years earlier, signed onto a neo-fundamentalist political initiative called the Coalition on Revival that was (and is) dedicated to imposing biblical law in all spheres of society, within the United States and in every country on Earth.
One former top leader in COR has compared COR to a “Christian Jihad” and the Taliban; in his book Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America (Samizdat Creative, 2012) author Colonel V. Doner, who helped lead COR during the 1980s, notes that the Coalition on Revival was dominated by a phalanx of Christian Reconstructionists headed by the movement’s founder Rousas J. Rushdoony.
COR mapped out how biblical law could be imposed in all spheres of society. The COR document concerning the government sphere declared,
“The Lord God is the universal governor of all nations. Humans are unable to govern justly without Scripture as their governing authority, the Bible is the only standard by which to run a government, there is no absolute separation of church and state.”
According to Doner, COR represents a “Christian neo-fundamentalist flip side of Islamic fundamentalism, preparing a stealth strategy to ensure that all Americans submit to God’s law.” (pp. 20) States Doner,
“Fifty leaders [of COR], including myself signed a ‘blood oath’, a solemn covenant with Almighty God that we were willing to be martyred in order to do God’s will. If you think this sounds a bit like the guys who blew up the Twin Towers, I would have to agree.” (pp. 166)
While Bill Bright was careful to keep his name off COR’s list of signatories, at least three heads of Campus Crusade ministries signed on, and Bright’s book Kingdoms at War, which was co-authored with COR signatory Ron Jenson, promoted the Coalition on Revival as well as the writings of the top Christian Reconstructionists who had dominated COR including R. J. Rushdoony, Gary North, and Gary DeMar.
In turn, dominating the 80-some organizations and ministries that participated in The Commission was a trio of organizations whose leadership had signed onto COR or otherwise had close ties to it: The Navigators, the Association of Christian Schools International, and Campus Crusade.
Like revolutionary jihadists, COR’s leadership – and top Campus Crusade leaders, tend to view the world through the lens of apocalyptic dualism and hold contempt for institutions that make secular pluralist democracy possible, such as the principle of separation of church and state.
In a 1995 interview, Campus Crusade For Christ Vice President Paul Eshleman, who brokered the deal with Russia’s Ministry of Education that made CoMission possible, expressed,
“The biggest lie in the whole world today is the separation of church and state. It is absolutely the most devastating wrong thing ever perpetrated on mankind. The very first thing we ought to do is develop our whole educational system around the Scriptures. It’s the principles for how to live life. If you think you can raise children without Scriptural principles, youâre doing it exactly wrong. Every educational system ought to be shot through with the Scriptures…” — Campus Crusade Vice President Paul Eshleman, as quoted on page 36 of The Quest For Russia’s Soul: Evangelicals and Moral Education in Post-Communist Russia, Baylor University Press, 2002.
In a 1986 book which promoted the top writers and institutions of the overtly theocratic Christian Reconstructionism movement, a book in which he advocated the use of stealth tactics and even “front groups”, Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright described the conjoined spiritual and earthly total war he and his colleagues fought:
“Satan realizes the power of ideas and uses education, the mass media, advertising, and government as some of his tools for conveying his ideas to the masses… We are involved in a war, whether we choose to face it or not… We can choose to ignore the warfare, but in doing so we are subtly supporting Satan. We can choose to support actively Satan’s agenda through the philosophies of humanism. Or, we can choose to be part of God’s kingdom and enlist in His army.” — Campus Crusade For Christ founder Bill Bright, page 51, Kingdoms At War: Tactics for Victory in Nine Spiritual War Zones, Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1986
On pages 28-29 of his book, Bright celebrated the power of small bands of utterly committed revolutionaries, such as Lenin’s Bolsheviks, to take over entire nations (see footnote 2.)
Striking an eerily similar note, in 1989 – only a few years before the launch of The CoMission, longtime head of The Family Douglas Coe – in a speech given at the Colorado Springs Glenn Eyre headquarters of The Navigators that was recorded on video later showcased by NBC, claimed that the actions of Mao’s Red Guards – who during the savage, bloody Cultural Revolution were wiling to chop off the heads of their own parents for the good of the state – were an embodiment of the teachings of Jesus.
Interlaced through Campus Crusade For Christ’s International Curriculum: Christian Ethics and Morality: A Foundation For Society were a number of tropes common among the American politicized religious right, even to this day.
On page 18, we find the claim that “most scholars believe that what led to the decline of the Roman Empire was the loss of moral strength in the latter years of the society”.
That theme is also brought up as a suggested answer to a “typical question” which might be asked by students, “Aren’t people basically good ? Why do we need an outside standard such as Jesus as a model for morality ?” The answer: “when major governments or civilizations of the pasty have collapsed, their ruin has often been caused by inner moral decay rather than conquest from outside.” (page 32)
On page 62, we find the claim that,
“[H]istorical accounts [in the Bible] can be verified through archaeology. Indeed, the Bible has proven to be the best guide to the history of the Middle East… The famous archaeologist, Dr. William F. Albright, wrote, ‘Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history.”
William Albright, who died in 1971, founded what is known as “Biblical Archaeology” – an outmoded school of thought whose claim that the Bible presents a consistently accurate historical account has been undermined by research over the years since Albright’s death.
Pushing the envelope even further, on the same page we find, “[t]he Bible is not only a true account of past events, but it is also a record of predictions, or prophecies, that later came true.”
The bulk of the text has little to do with Christian “morals and ethics” and focuses, instead, on leading students towards acceptance of the divinity of Jesus and the authority of the Bible – a fact that was picked up upon by the January 4, 1993 Newsweek article “Iisus Kristos Loves You: U.S. Evangelicals Put God Back in Russian Schools, in which authors K. L. Woodward and C. O’Brian observed,
“In theory, the visiting Americans are supposed to train Russian teachers in teaching Christian ethics, not doctrine. To the Russians, this means demonstrating how the values Jesus taught, such as forgiveness, can benefit secular society. But in fact, the CoMission’s teaching manuals say very little about the ethics Jesus taught: the Sermon on the Mount, for example, is ignored. Instead the manual’s entire thrust is to lead students step by step toward making a ‘voluntary’ commitment to Jesus as ‘Savior and Lord.’ “
The inherent irony was that The Commission’s ostensible project of teaching “Christian morals and ethics” was in itself deeply, fatally unethical. CoMission’s program – which had gained CoMission entrance into public schools systems across the former Soviet Union – was little more than thin cover for evangelizing, a fact that The CoMission: The amazing story of eighty ministry groups working together to take the message of Christ’s love to the Russian People makes clear.
Russian spiritual fruit, rotting
In the 2004 book, which has chapters contributed by top leaders of The CoMission, Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, Chairman of CoMission’s Executive Committee, describes what he characterized as a “defining moment” at the launch of CoMission, when an unnamed evangelist compared the populations in Russia and the former Soviet Union – that CoMission’s leaders hoped to evangelize and bring to Jesus, to millions of ripe peaches just fallen to the ground, blown by a gust of wind.
Wilkinson recounts stating, “This may be the largest ripe harvest in modern history, just lying on the ground. We must do something. We must go back home and send hundreds–no, thousands–back to pick the ripe fruit before it rots.”
Gay fruit, it might seem – judging from a 2002 report from a Kentucky GLBT-affirming Christian ministry concerning allegedly threatened litigation from Wilkinson’s ministry organization – may not have been considered worthy of that momentous harvest.
The vision of the Russian people, including Russia’s children, as rotting spiritual fruit might have seemed less than fully complimentary.
But by the 1990s another rising paradigm, now come to the fore, expressed the targeting of children, for ideological and religious conversion, in a non-abrasive, technocratic, abstract manner less likely to provoke anger: “The 4/14 Window”.
To be covered in upcoming segments of this ongoing series, the “4/14 window” refers to children between the ages of four and fourteen whom, evangelical researchers have discovered, are the most fruitful candidates to evangelists to target; most conversions to Christianity occur between the ages of four and fourteen.
In the end, the real significance of The Commission lay less in terms of what was officially taught but, instead, in the nature of the ministries and organizations that dominated the effort – which represented one of the most radically retrograde, supremacist tendencies in American evangelicalism – and in the web of relationships that evangelists from those of The Commission were able to develop, ties that have, twenty years later, given evangelists leading the theocratic Coalition on Revival access to Russian President Vladmir Putin’s inner circle.
The CoMission’s ethical duplicity proved its downfall, when the Russian Orthodox Church got its hands on CoMission documents demonstrating The CoMission’s true agenda — setting up its own network of Russian churches.
In The Quest For Russia’s Soul: Evangelicals and Moral Education in Post-Communist Russia (Baylor University Press, 2002), a book researched with support from the Maclellan Foundation, evangelical scholar Perry L. Glanzer – whose guardedly favorable treatment typically elides the political dimensions covered in this Twocare.org report – summarizes the end of The CoMission’s halcyon days, from 1992-1997:
“Russian Orthodox opposition ultimately shattered the CoMission’s fragile agreement with the Russian Ministry of Education. In early 1995, an Orthodox priest in Nizhny Novgorod learned that a CoMission member taught the Christian Ethics and Morality curriculum during regular school hours…
The same priest also obtained documents that outlined the goals of the CoMission as communicated to American audiences. The documents confirmed Orthodox suspicions by setting forth the CoMission’s intent to send 12,000 missionaries to Russia over a five-year period to start Bible studies that would eventually form churches (Ilukhin, 1995). The archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in Nizhny Novgorod sent a photocopy of the materials to V. F. Shumacher, the speaker of the upper house of Parliament, and Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin. They then sent the material to the Minister of Education, Evgenii Tkachenko.” (pp. 175)
The story does not end there, however. The truly spectacular success of CoMission lay in its precedent-shattering example — of how dozens of different evangelical organizations and ministries could work together effectively towards a common goal, a model that has come to fruition now in Africa, as a seemingly endless array of Christian groups work together, in apparent harmony, to incite anti-LGBT hatred and inspire anti-gay laws across an entire continent.
And, to be covered in future installments, is the saga also of how National Christian Foundation and The Gathering-funded groups have in the decade and a half since the end of the CoMission in Russia managed to broker a rapprochement between the Russian Orthodox Church and the American Protestant evangelical right – in the shared cause of attacking LGBT and reproductive rights in Russia.
Footnote: The Gathering 1997
On hand to inform The Gathering 1997 on an effort to transform his local city of Chattanooga, Tennessee was Hugh Maclellan, head of the Maclellan Foundation – one of the key nonprofits behind The Gathering, who described,
“We’ve gone through and done all the evangelical things, and they’re really working well. The pregnancy crisis center is working so well. We got rid of the abortion clinic, by prayer. Everybody in there either died or had cancer. Yeah, and eventually they sold it – to us.”
At a special briefing, author and historian Herbert Schlossberg outlined an ambitious 7-point program to fight “organized homosexuality”, which he characterized as often the result of pedophilia:
“many adult homosexuals will tell you that they entered that style of life because they were abused as children. We want to publicize this so that parents understand the dangers.
We want to defend parent’s rights to teach their values and protect their children from the influence of opposing values. One of the people who is working with us has a very interesting way of putting this, this is a woman in New England, she puts it this way – every parent has the right to know that homosexuality is both preventable and treatable.
In the 1980s video “Idolatry In Modern America” (a copy of the video interview was obtained by this author), in an interview by top Christian Reconstructionist theoretician Gary North, Schlossberg explained how North’s writing had been a key inspiration.
In the video, prolific author North interviews Schlossberg on his 1980s book (a runaway best-seller in certain circles) “Idols For Destruction” – which North, in a review of the book, called a “tour de force” that “is unquestionably the most eloquent presentation of the Christian Reconstructionism movement’s basic objections to humanism”.
In 1998, the libertarian magazine Reason explored the depth of controversy over Christian Reconstructionist ideas even in conservative evangelical circles. In Invitation To a Stoning, author Walter Olson quoted Gary North, on the use of stoning for execution – for offenses such as adultery, teenage rebelliousness, female un-chastity (sex before marriage), idolatry, blasphemy and witchcraft to, of course, homosexuality – as a cost cutting measure that could foster community solidarity:
“[Christian] Reconstructionists provide the most enthusiastic constituency for stoning since the Taliban seized Kabul. “Why stoning?” asks North. “There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost.” Thrift and ubiquity aside, “executions are community projects–not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do `his’ duty, but rather with actual participants.” You might even say that like square dances or quilting bees, they represent the kind of hands-on neighborliness so often missed in this impersonal era. “That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes,” North continues, “indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians.” “
Schlossberg’s many close ties to Christian Reconstructionism included serving as a program director for the unincorporated entity Fieldstead & Company, the funding conduit for Saving and Loan fortune heir Howard Ahmanson, Jr., whose many anti-gay rights projects have included the heavy funding of California’s anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8. Ahmanson also was a top funder and board member, up until 1995, of Christian Reconstructionism’s leading think tank, the Chalcedon Foundation.
Christian Reconstructionism’s radical form of theocratic libertarianism advocates the elimination of most government functions and the imposition of biblical law – including the death penalty for a range of infractions including homosexuality, adultery, blasphemy, witchcraft, and teenage rebelliousness.
[note: the Winter 2006 edition of The Gathering’s quarterly newsletter featured an op-ed, by Christian Reconstructionist pastor Kenneth L. Gentry, who argued for executing especially troublesome children, per scripture from the book of Leviticus]
On hand, at Schossberg’s presentation, was a young Maclellan Foundation program director to collect money that could be laundered through donor-advised funds like the National Christian Foundation – which protect the anonymity of donors – to prevent, as the Maclellan director said, “ACT-UP ending up at the door of your foundation or your house, or – something like that would be everyoneâs worst nightmare.”
Stated the Maclellan program head, “They – the opposite, the opposition, totally – their success depends on recruitment. And they’re doing that in the schools.”
Introducing Schlossberg’s presentation had been ex-gay ministry head Jim Johnson, who told The Gathering,
Our side, the pro-family traditional conservative side, has failed in an attempt to hold at bay the advance of organized homosexuality…
Americans did, at one point, accept – nearly unanimously – the premise, quite literally, interpreted in our laws and culture, that homosexuality is wrong, unhealthy, should be illegal, and, frankly, is un-American — because of its inherent selfish character and obviously self-destructive tendencies.
…gay politics or, in other words, organized homosexuality is a group manifestation of the homosexual’s pathological need to justify his existence. It’s nothing more. The need — they feel guilty about what they do and all the time… all the time and that is why they are into everything and seemingly everywhere, right now – because wherever they turn in our traditional culture they are reminded of their pain of conscience.
On pages 28-29 of the book Kingdoms at War (co-authored with Ron Jenson), Bill Bright and Jenson celebrate the ability of small groups to take over entire nations:
“Vladimir Lenin understood the power of ideas. In 1903, in London, England, a group of several hundred people gathered for a meeting of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. Members of the party took seriously the writing and teaching of Karl Marx who, in the mid-1800s, had penned The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. During the convention, the question was raised concerning who should be considered eligible for membership in the party. Many believed it should be open to all who were willing to join. In the midst of the debate, Lenin jumped to his feet and argued vehemently that the only person worthy of being a Communist was a person who had died to everything else in life in order to dedicate the rest of his life to the cause. In the end, he was joined by a small band of seventeen followers. To them he said, ‘You are men of destiny. You can conquer the world.’
Under Lenin’s leadership, it took that small band of men just fourteen years to complete a revolution that captured all of Russia. At the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, there were only about four thousand members of the Communist Party. Just four thousand men and a powerful idea captured a country which at that time had a population of 150 million people!”