Read Hanne's The Herland Report.
At the height of the British Empire, with its unparalleled wealth and international influence, the founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, wrote "In Darkest England and the Way Out" (1890). At this time, the interiors of Africa were being penetrated by Western explorers, among them Henry Morton Stanley, who had just returned from the Congo and Eastern Africa. He wrote vividly about "the darkest Africa," the almost impenetrable tropical forests, ruthless cannibals, fierce rivers and Arabs who were leading the slave trade, transporting slaves from the interior and onto the coasts. Stanley explained how many Africans lived in utter poverty, eating snakes, ants and mice, and England was thrilled about the exotic stories from faraway lands.
Not unlike today. Billions of U.S. dollars flow from the West to wage war among other peoples in the geopolitical quest for total world dominion. As we send weapons and watch Ukrainian and Russian young men get killed by the hundred thousands in the current Ukraine war, we are openly vocal about being glad it is not our own sons that perish.
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But is our culture not dying? We live "in the grips of mass formation – a dangerous, collective type of hypnosis – as we bear witness to loneliness, free-floating anxiety, and fear giving way to censorship, loss of privacy and surrendered freedoms," to quote professor of clinical psychology, Mattias Desmet in his book "The Psychology of Totalitarianism." He points out that the totalitarian hypnosis currently gripping the West follows along the lines of the French Revolution's Jacobins to the Nazis and Stalinist repression in the Soviet Union. Isolation is used to demoralize the population and gain control, persuading citizens to act against their own interests, with destructive results – as the billionaire class steadily wields more power unto their own hands. Vice, poverty, crime, hatred between ethnic groups, drug epidemics, existential emptiness, destroyed families, a culture of suicide, hedonism and an almost complete lack of virtues now characterize our nations.
In the U.K., William Booth was hated by the establishment, vilified in the media, scorned and harassed as he reminded the prideful British elite of the degradation of the poor in their own country. He attacked the English ruling classes with a scathing demand for social and spiritual reforms. To mitigate the miseries of the lower classes by "soup, soap and salvation" became his goal, as they were "wandering hunger-stricken through the streets droning out their melancholy, toiling like galley slaves for a bare subsistence." The voiceless, unwanted and wretched crowds who were without access the media megaphones and modern propaganda structures became the objects of Booth's love. He wanted, above all, to help "the outcast classes, the multitudes who struggle and sink in the open-mouthed abyss" in the darkness of the West. General Booth made it his life's work to give heavenly hopes and earthly gladness to the tens of thousands whom he saw "come out of the depths of destitution, vice and crime, to become happy and honest citizens and true sons and servants of God."
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These quotes are all taken from his groundbreaking book, "In Darkest England and the Way Out," that offended the mainstream British by shedding light on the ongoing horrors in their own backyard.
Again, not unlike today. Why are our current rulers so preoccupied with world dominion when they cannot even take care of their own citizens? Today, around 40 million Americans live in poverty, according to U.S. Census Bureau 2021. Almost 30 million live on Social Security benefits. There has been no real improvement for many years, and we've seen increasing income inequality. Around 40% among middle-class Americans face poverty in retirement, debt crippling the whole nation.
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The immense amounts of illegal immigrants form yet another class of extremely low-paid workers or no-pay beggars. And the richest 1% has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined.
Booth lamented: "Alas, what multitudes there are around us everywhere … their vicious habits and destitute circumstances make it certain that without some kind of extraordinary help, they must hunger and sin, and sin and hunger, until having filled up the measures of their miseries, the gaunt fingers of death will close upon them and terminate their wretchedness. To many the world is all slum, with the Workhouse as an intermediate purgatory before the grave." Booth became the leader of one of the largest popular Christian movements of the 19th century and one of the highly respected founding fathers of the British welfare state.
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