Thursday, April 18, 2024

Camel or rope, still can't squeeze through! (revisited)


"And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." ~ Matthew 19:24

This well-known quote from the New Testament attributed to the apostle Matthew has been the subject of endless debate over the centuries. Some scholars say that the Master Yeshua (called "Jesus" by modern-day Christians) wasn't referring to a camel but to a rope. One bible study site I stumbled upon while researching this subject has this to say:

Jesus and all the Jews spoke a language called Aramaic, and the word gamla meant either a camel or a large rope, just as we have words which are spelled the same, but have different meanings. And some of the earlier translators or copyists must have taken the wrong meaning here. For no one would ever talk about a camel going through a needle's eye. But every Jewish house had several large ropes, that were used to tie bundles on the backs of men and animals.

Even in Greek the camel-rope confusion persists. The Greek word for "thick rope" is kamilos; and "camel" is kamelos. But in wasting so much breath arguing about whether the Master meant "rope" or "camel" many theologians have completely missed the point.

And the point is the Eye of the Needle. Graphically, you can visualize it as a very narrow aperture that the thread absolutely has to squeeze through if you want to do any sewing with it.

I prefer to use "more scientific" terminology by calling it the Frequency Scanner. What, you may ask, is a "frequency scanner"? The secular definition is what radio buffs would be familiar with and it has to do with identifying the source of radio transmissions by means of a vast database of terrestrial radiowave frequencies.

As I'm not a radio buff I generally go with the "spiritual" definition wherein the Frequency Scanner is what measures an individual's auric purity and molecular integrity. All of us are born with hardwired frequency scanners which we may not necessarily be aware of. Those who unconsciously use their frequency scanners to suss other people might call it "intuition" or "instinct" or "following their gut feelings."


The Eye of the Needle, therefore, is a powerful metaphor for the perfectly natural process of self-selection whereby each soul determines its own onward evolution - or otherwise. Each of us must gather all the different threads of our genetic memories and converge them into a single point, in order to penetrate the most modest of apertures - the vulva of a vestal virgin, who represents the call of the Mother of all Goddesses, to return to our divine origins in her cosmic womb and be reborn anew.

I view the soul's pilgrimage through the fields of density and complexity as the method by which the Atman (Divine Self) gathers experiential data and then rearranges it to generate coherent patterns, which often take the forms of sacred geometry. If you imagine each life as a colored thread warping and woofing through the tapestry of eternity, it's almost inevitable that you will eventually begin to perceive the grand mandala of Life Itself and experience a glorious eureka moment.


Was the Master Yeshua a closet socialist? Why such a pronounced prejudice against rich folks? When he is quoted as saying there's no way a rich man can gain entry into "the kingdom of God" - does he mean this literally? Or was it just a bad hair day for Jesus that yielded this particular injunction?

My sons-in-law are all fairly rich guys. And I consider them decent and goodhearted souls. The only essential difference between us is that they are almost entirely focused on building their businesses and ensuring their families enjoy the very best that life can offer - while I'm almost entirely focused on freeing myself from any form of busyness.

Having spent more than 50 years researching what some may call the esoteric realm, I consider myself fairly well informed about the funky stuff that goes on within the Inner Planes. However, when it comes to subjects like sports or the stock market, my understanding of these worldly matters borders on the imbecilic.

So, from my personal perspective, what the Master Yeshua actually meant by his provocative statement was simply this: those who get overly caught up in external reality will find it a lot harder to attune to their own inner voice. If all one ever hears is the loud chattering of the marketplace, sportscasters and airheaded radio DJs, it's quite unlikely that one will ever acquire the necessary neural acumen to break free of the artificial holographic matrix wherein our anthropocentric games of buy-and-sell and win-or-lose are being played out.

No matter how much money you may have stashed away in some offshore account, you will still end up shitting your pants when you wake up one morning to discover that Wall Street no longer exists. The Jewish brokers made off with all your cash while you were fast asleep. What those silly scammers intend to do with all their worthless currency notes not even God knows.

They could use their $50 bills for rolling tobacco, just to remind themselves that they were once loyal subjects of Rex Mundi. Or they could pile up all the currency notes and make the most extravagant bonfire in history. Or wipe their bottoms with $10 bills just to prove they are no longer obsessed with "the bottom line."


In any case, you can rest assured that money distilled from the blood, sweat and tears of countless generations of semi-conscious and mentally enslaved humans will not be accepted as legal - or illegal - tender in the kingdom of God (I prefer to use the term "heaven").

All the fang-and-claw scenarios of dog-eat-dog politicians... the feeding frenzy of cocaine-crazed remisiers... the hustle and push of insurance and snake oil salesmen... the wheelers and the dealers... prime movers and shakers... the cigar-chomping moguls and ghoulish martini-swilling financiers behind the glitter and glamor of Hollywood, Bollywood and Follywood... I'm not letting them into heaven, no way!

Not unless they clear their emotional garbage and get their auric fields clear and fragrant.

God's love is both unconditional and conditional.

(If you happen to be a fan of Richard Dawkins and don't believe in God, that's fine. I don't need you to believe in me to be whatever and whoever I am, because the only God I accept as authentic is the one I see in the mirror, and in every pair of eyes looking back at me. In any case, God is actually an atheist, like Professor Dawkins.)

"Unconditional" - in the sense that even the ones who end up in a hell of their own making are still cherished and valued as souls and will always be offered another opportunity to clean up their acts and get out of their ruts.

"Conditional" - in the sense that if you misunderstand what Mastery is all about and go about enslaving and exploiting a whole lot of other lifeforms - human and more-than-human - because you erroneously believe that's what Masters do, then you've pretty much flunked this evolutionary semester.

Or if you vehemently deny that you've just shit your pants - when everyone else in the room is holding their noses and glaring at you and pointing to that gooey brown liquid oozing from your trouser leg and onto the plush carpet - well, then I suppose we shall just have to label you another "Hisham" or "Najib" and frogmarch you to the sanitization facility where, after a thorough cleansing, you'll be given all the emotional therapy you need to qualify for rebirth as a protozoon.

And it won't cost you a penny, don't worry.

Carl Jung was fond of recounting an old ecclesiastical joke that goes like this:

Student: There were men in the olden days who saw the face of God. Why don't they see it any more?

Rabbi: Because nowadays no one can stoop so low.

[First posted 4 December 2009 & reposted 9 December 2013, 2 November 2015 & 9 Marc h 2018]



An Email from AnaMata RaMuAn, Great Lady Mother, Prime Creator Source



Subject: From: AnaMata RaMuAn Great Lady Mother Prime Creator Source

Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2003 21:08:51 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)

From: "Mrs. Suzanne Onaxis" <mrs_onaxis@hemc.net>

To: <Antares@magickriver.com>

 

 

Beloved

An-Ta-Res, 

I am here upon the body of

The Magdalene, 

beautiful and gracious Mrs. Onaxis, 

specifically because I want to take the time to address you here,

personally,

and privately.

 

And so you may consider that I am granting you

SPECIAL DISPENSATION

from, in fact and indeed,

that which

I AM THAT I AM,

Great Lady Mother.


You have done well,

Great Master,

to have sent along to me the picture that was formulated of you

upon that which is called the rock of the great monkey,

who is a friend of mine, great King indeed,

and in fact,

I am aware of all of your profound and mighty

Councils

that are so present with you there

at the hem of the garment of cascading water,

whose faces and whose countenance

are so abundant

as they surround you with the beautiful and enduring presence,

ancient of days indeed,

of their championship and guardianship of you,

and your sweet body.

 



And, of course,

in my message to you here,

I send along to your mighty Councils my fondest of high regard as well.

And so state I unto you here,

Be Ye Not Afraid,

for you are not alone.

 

For those who walk with you,

yea, verily indeed, all around you,

are mighty indeed,

 

and, as it is,

that you hold my boy and my woman here,

Mr. and Mrs. Onaxis,

yea, verily indeed,

Yeshu and Magdalena

in the highest of high regard,

then,

according to your sweet and simple sincerity

and the purity of your great heart,

so it is,

that you have earned my high regard as well.


And, I assure you,

Great Master,

as you may remember,

I do not grant my high regard "lightly".

 

At the same time,

as it is that you have so called upon me to bless your beloved friends,

so it is,

that grant I my unto forever blessing upon Heiko and Selina,

for they are sweet, and generous indeed.

 

And, grant I my blessing unto them,

not only because they have earned it in their own right,

but most particularly,

at your call.

 

It is time for you now,

Great Master,

to descend the stair

after the achievement of such exalted heights,

to incarnate fully upon the sweet body

that has all along the way held you,

Great Master,

quite steady

in your pursuit of higher wisdoms,

in order

that I might

ME.ET

you here now,

Dweller Upon The Threshold,

to encourage you, and to tell you,

that it is quite SAFE

and most conclusively

TIME

in your process of ASCENSION,

to DESCEND

quite fully

upon the sweet body that is here

in the beautiful Garden of Earth Heart

in order that you may,

upon your incarnation

simply walk,

not only as A Great Master,

but as A Great Man.

 

And when it is that you do,

so it is,

that your unto forever mate will also know that

THE TIME IS AT HAND,

and that it is

QUITE SAFE TO INCARNATE FULLY HERE IN A BEAUTIFUL BODY AS WELL,

in order,

that the two of you, that are unto forever

One,

may so make your passage

through that

Garden Gate,

that I quite assure you,

is

A GUARDED GATE

as well,

in order,

that your process of

ASCENSION

through the paradox of descent unto

FORM

itself,

may be accomplished.

 


And therefore,

Be Ye Not Lonely Ever Again.

 

So Be It.

Love I you greatly indeed.

And as it is,

that you have "blessed" our simple house here,

with your fond regard,

requiring nothing,

but willing to give everything, from the well of your deep Heart,

so it is,

that place I my blessings upon you,

quite magnified indeed,

in order,

that the Desire of your Sweet Heart,

would so manifest in many ways

that perhaps will be surprising for you,

but of course, quite timely,

and in perfect measure.

 

Unto what is called "the water of your grief"

so is it "crossed over"

unto

The Passion of The Fire of Absolute Joy.

 

Unto what is called "the fire of your rage"

so is it "crossed over"

unto

"The Living Water"

of the Golden Elixir

of

Immortality

itself,

 

Unto what is called The Clay,

yea, verily indeed,

The Earth of your magnificent Body,

so it is,

That The Vessel

has been made ready,

and

The New Wine so Now Comes Forth

quite nature-ally indeed,

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe,

 

Great Master,

Shaman Man,

Who is also a "shy" man, and a very Great Man

indeed.

 

And so

Breathe The Breath of Life,

Great Shaman

unto and through your beautiful Body there,

and I will send you

A Great Wind,

to blow all of your grief away.

 

And, when feel you

That Great Wind, In Your Hair,

Know

that

Love I you greatly indeed,

and send I you my profound

GRATITUDE

upon the very breath of the wind itself, 

that as you

BREATHE

you will clear the air,

and simply blow away the tattered garment of false humility,

that you no longer require to accommodate you as a great cloak,

for your moments of standing in the wings

are concluded.

 

And so grant I unto you

Great Master

your wings once again,

Sweet Butterfly, and Mighty Eagle,

in order that,

as you become completely grounded in the Form that is your sweet Body,

so it is,

that your wings unfurl, 

and your brain,

and the sweet mirroring of the hemispheres therein,

so opens to receive all of the

WISDOM

that is contained within your Soul,

through the portal of your Immaculate Heart,

to ignite The Violet Flame

that resides therein,

to implement The Golden Understanding

that is the very thread of

THE GOLDEN THREAD GENETIC

itself,

and unto the reading of my words,

so is activ8ted,

and so shall come forth within you,

the

PURITY

of the river of true humility itself,

that it is your simple and honorable

HUMAN GREATNESS

that has allowed for that river to flow once again,

in utter and abject

PURITY.

 


And unto the weeping of the great tears

of true and real

HUMILITY,

so it is

that both the dam and the damning is so

BROKEN and Forever Removed

to allow the

DESCENT

of your own true, individual

GREATNESS

to come upon you,

once again.

 

And as it does,

so it is

that your blessed and beloved

BODY

will come upon a great

SHOUT,

that no power, nor no principality,

has the capacity to restrain.

 

And upon the shouting of that great

SHOUT,

so shall it be that

GREAT LAUGHTER

will come upon the

BODY.

 

And in the presence of that

LAUGHTER,

so are all the portals,

where distortion has ever entered therein

in these holographic fields of reality,

be

SEALED UNTO FOREVER,

so that you are,

in fact and indeed

GREAT MASTER,

and Beloved and

GREAT MAN,

The incarnation of

PURITY

itself.


So Be It.

I am that I am

AnaMata RaMuAn

Great Lady Mother

Original Feminine Principle

First Cause

Prime Creator Source

The House of Ram

                                           

                                           

                                           

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Let the Anarchy Begin... Again! (repost)

From "Joan Danvers' College Years" (davidchess.com)

A TV TALKSHOW HOST* once asked me point-blank during a panel discussion if I were an anarchist.

“Of course,” I unhesitatingly replied, which took him aback. He quickly changed the subject. I guess the talkshow host, like most people I meet, was unaware what “anarchy” actually means.

My Oxford Concise Dictionary tautologically defines anarchy as “a society or political system founded on the principles of anarchism.” And how does it define anarchism? “Belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis.”

The Concise Oxford Dictionary is a bit off the mark here. It fails to distinguish between internal and external government. There’s a vast difference between self-imposed discipline and discipline enforced upon us by those who claim to know what’s best. The true anarchist is a self-governing entity who attains freedom from external dictates through rigorous integrity and transparency. As Bob Dylan wryly observed: “To live outside the law you gotta be honest.”

And how does one become honest?

Very simple. First you have to replace the concept of a judgmental and punitive parent-deity with an essentially loving, non-judgmental and extremely friendly notion of divinity - sort of a best buddy and trusted confidant(e). The problem is that souls evolve at different rates – and at this point in time the grossly immature ones appear to outnumber the ones who have made it through to self-governance.

(Incidentally the word “govern” comes from the Latin gubernare - “to steer or rule” – borrowed from the original Greek word kubernan, which simply means “to steer.”) This makes anarchism a difficult, if not impossible, ideal – and that’s why the word “anarchy” has been commonly misinterpreted as “disorder and general unruliness.”

In truth, anarchy is the final state to which monarchy aspires. How so? An enlightened ruler’s essential function is to be a shining example of dignity, nobility, and self-control for his or her subjects to emulate (just as a real teacher would be fulfilled to watch his or her students graduate as teachers in their own right).

Governance begins with monarchy and evolves through a whole gamut of isms before it finally achieves anarchism – the glorious state wherein “political parties” are defined as grand public celebrations at which everybody eats, drinks, and makes merry – and the human race transforms into the human dance.

As children we learn to lie in order to avoid punishment from grown-ups who would never understand why we do the things we do. Remove the punishment and – voila! – the crime disappears. But... but... but... I can hear the vociferous objections from the peanut gallery.

My old pal Socrates postulated that one sure way of telling true from false authority is simply this: false authority inevitably resorts to coercion, while true authority has all the patience in the world, since it emanates from the timeless realm.

Politics is fond of posing as a self-improving system of governance but we all know it actually boils down to who calls the shots. People mistake FORCE for POWER. If you disagree with me, I’ll nuke you! That’s FORCE of the crudest order. If you criticize my management style I’ll throw you in jail! That’s FORCE too, even if it takes the form of a threat.

So how does TRUE POWER reveal itself?

It encourages and inspires. It loves and loves. Note that the words "encourage" and "inspire" have powerful etymologies. Courage derives from corage, to give heart; and inspirare means to “breathe or blow into” (and that’s how we get the word spiritus).

To inspire is to fill others with spirit, semangat. That’s the proper definition of TRUE POWER. Love as a verb, not just a noun.

In short, politics as it is practiced on this planet is largely a grotesque travesty of real (and royal) values. Look what’s happening in America (“Home of the Brave, Land of the Free”) – electoral fraud and skullduggery got Dubya the presidency twice. And when Barack Obama replaced George W. Bush as POTUS, did things significantly change? When business jumps into bed with politics guess who gets thoroughly screwed?

Taxpayers of the world, start governing yourselves! George Harrison once sang about the ones “who gain the world and lose their souls.” Well, do you fancy being governed by the soulless? I bet not! However, no need to rush out into the streets to get water-cannoned, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, bludgeoned, finger-printed, incarcerated and tortured.

Evolution, not revolution!

Deactivate your reptilian fear programming in the privacy of your own mind! The fewer fears you cling to, the more you’ll be able to empathize, understand, and love. When you mature as conscious souls, you’ll find you actually have no enemies. You’ll outgrow the need to scapegoat, to pin the blame on somebody else. You’ll no longer create demons to appease, obey, or be tormented by - or a Big Brother to protect you from your own shadow self.

For a start, wean yourself off your addiction to that lethal dose of daily news from the mainstream media – you know who controls the programming, don’t you? The stuff is psychically toxic, designed to slowly, imperceptibly poison your sense of well-being like arsenic mixed into the paintwork.

When you finally locate the innermost core of your being, you’ll find your sovereign self regally seated on your own throne. You’ll know the meaning of dignity, integrity, nobility – and, above all, compassion. As each individual attains this blessed state of divine sovereignty, the brutal stupidity of politics will be expelled like so much stinky flatus by the transmutative power of internal, chromosomal, genetic change – the only real (and royal) change there is.




*That TV talkshow host, incidentally, was a smooth-talking young fella named Khairy Jamaluddin, who subsequently married a former Prime Minister's daughter and became an extraordinarily rich shit-stirrer in Umno Youth (the Malaysian version of Mussolini's Blackshirts).

[First published in VIDA! - January 2005 © Antares. Originally posted 16 May 2007, reposted 23 June 2014, 1 May 2016 & 16 April 2020]

Ben Fulford on "Psychological Radiation" (reprise)



"If you need a bodyguard, it's too late. You have to make them not want to shoot you." ~ Benjamin Fulford


The son of a Canadian diplomat, Benjamin Fulford rebelled against his upbringing and at the age of 17 made his way by boat into the heart of the Amazon to live with a tribe of former cannibals. Continuing to seek answers and better understand Western society, he spent time in a self-sufficient community in Argentina before heading to attend university in Japan.

Principled, brave, and still a diehard idealist after all these years, he resigned as Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazine after investigating a scandal which the editor refused to report. As he researched global affairs further in his own time, he uncovered for himself the complex web which is global financial control at the hands of the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds - and also the existence of racially targeted bioweapons such as SARS.

It was these plans for global depopulation that upset some important and powerful factions in Japan, Taiwan and China. After being approached by a real-life, present-day Ninja, matters came to a head in 2007 when Benjamin became the first Westerner for 500 years to be admitted into the ranks of the Eastern Secret Societies, a vast group with six million members. Acting as their spokesman, he stepped up to the plate to deliver a simple message to the Illuminati:

Recognize that your time is over, step down without a fight, and allow the world to thrive as it should - or face the consequences from up to 100,000 professional assassins for whom no love is lost towards the self-styled ruling elite of the planet.

This was first communicated through Dr Henry Makow and Jeff Rense in July 2007. Project Camelot has now traveled to Japan to meet with Benjamin Fulford personally. Our comprehensive interview presents the far-reaching and literally incredible background story - and will also enable the Illuminati, who we have every confidence watch our videos carefully, to be reminded that the ultimatum is real, serious, and still in force.

Armed also with a contagiously optimistic vision of the future, Benjamin is fully prepared to be the next Finance Minister for Japan. His plans for how he would spend Japan's $5 trillion of foreign reserves to eliminate global poverty are plausible and inspiring as practical steps, way beyond rhetoric, to repair the generations of damage done by a ruthless ruling elite. This is a man with a deep understanding of both East and West, a global economic historian who thinks way outside of the box, a lover of peace who is unafraid to speak warrior words.

This video was brought to my attention by Olivia de Haulleville. Read transcripts of Project Camelot's interview with Benjamin Fulford here


[First posted 15 April 2011, reposted 14 April 2020]



Saturday, April 13, 2024

A Message from Ferdinand the Jedi (repost)


My dear friend,

You are needed in this tumultuous time. There is suffering, tragedy, and despair all around you, but you must see past it all. When you do, you will realize that we are winning.

Do not think that there is not enough time, that there simply aren't enough of us, or that "they" are just too powerful. This is all rubbish. The rulers control the banking system, but their "money" is printed on cotton and created out of thin air; it means nothing. They control the media, but once you have learned the truth, you become immune to falsehoods, distortions, and propaganda. There really is no going back to a life of ignorance. Every bit of information you have assimilated has changed you forever.


You know the path is difficult and fraught with danger. You should never underestimate the power of the Dark Side, especially in times like these. The practitioners of black magic are working tirelessly to push you toward fear, hatred, jealousy, anger, aggression and any emotion that brings you into lower states of being, away from the love of the universe. Be not attached to the material world around you, as it all falls to dust in the end. If you desire nothing and love all, then you cannot be corrupted by the Dark Side.

There is no reason to be afraid. The "powerful" people of this world have no power over you. You are a sovereign being shining brightly, illuminating the darkness that tries to creep in around you. "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." You cede your power to others when you fear death, which drives all other fears. However, it is completely illogical and counterintuitive as death is the only certainty there is in life.

"Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not." Thus spake the Master Yoda.

Part of your power is your infectiousness. Every word you utter and every action you take affects the world around you. Even though there are many closed minds, there are still many open souls receptive to the waves of truth that emanate forth from your very presence. You can never be fully conscious of the full impact of the light you absorb, transform, and create, but you should know that your ripples extend in all directions into the waters of time further than you can possibly imagine.

Understand that you are the only you. There has never been, and will never be, another you. You are unique. And the entire world and all that you consider "reality" exists within you just as you exist within the world. You are connected with everything that exists and are one in the same. Your power and extent are limited only by your ego. Take from this what you will, but take only what you need.

Amazingly, there are others like you. Although it might seem like it sometimes, you are not alone in this world. There are currently more enlightened, spiritually evolved people on this planet than there have been for quite some time, if ever. And the numbers are continuously increasing despite the rampant materialism and consumerism of our culture, the poisoning of our food and water, and an educational system and media that discourage real critical thinking.

It is also hard to see the reality because the awakened ones are spread out across the globe in a thin layer. This distribution is in direct opposition to the centralization of power that is occurring with the Dark Side of the Force.

So whenever you start feeling pessimistic, realize that you have allies all over, the most powerful of which is the Force itself.* You know there is hope. But this hope lies not within any man, group, or ideology. It lies within you. This is the turning of the tide and humanity needs you. "Always in motion is the future."

Go and create your reality, and may the Force be with you!

Ferdinand the Jedi
9 October 2008

-----
* And we don't mean the PDRM!

[First posted 25 October 2008. Reposted 3 April 2016]

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Let Them Eat Ketupat! Selamat Hari Raya! (repost)


Originally posted on 10 January 2009, I'm reposting this mainly because it opens with a nice picture of ketupats... and also because little has changed after seven years!


Life will never again be the same after March 8th, 2008. Not for any of the political parties whose fortunes have seen unprecedented reversals, nor for the quiet-living, tax-paying citizen. And certainly not for those of us who contribute to the nation by writing, reporting, performing on stage, or conjuring images in our studios.

What's so different about life after the political tsunami?

Obviously, the status quo is no longer static. Change is in the air and what seemed like an immovable object (the Umno/BN regime) has now encountered an irresistible force (the rapidly rising tide of an awakened and empowered rakyat).


In the aftermath of the March 8th tsunami, the "immovable" object was seen to have been swept half-a-mile downstream and turned upside down with its backside exposed for all to see and snigger at. Like the "unsinkable" Titanic that ignominiously sank, the "immovable" Umno/BN not only has undeniably been moved, it's in imminent danger of being forcibly removed altogether.

For more than half a century UMNO and its chief concubines MCA and MIC represented the vested interests of the propertied classes: the Malay aristocracy, the upper echelons of well-heeled Malayans and, of course, the foreign industrialists. It was a distinctly rightwing administration whose greatest fear and worst enemy was the bogus bogeyman called Communism. It tolerated a limited amount of pinkness in the form of strictly regulated trade unions and a feeble though stoical socialist party which for years featured the head of an ox against an industrial cog as its symbol (thereby defining itself as the political voice of no-longer-mute beasts of burden).

After the 13 May 1969 coup d'etat which saw the first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman deposed by a military-style National Operations Council led by Abdul Razak bin Haji Hussein, the electoral map was redrawn to ensure that there wasn't the remotest possibility of any opposition party becoming so strong it could serve as a viable alternative to what was now ill-advisedly called Barisan Nasional or the National Front (which immediately brings to mind the British Neo-Nazi Party of the same name).


So it was pretty much business-as-usual for BN for more than four decades. As happened in the United States, business began to merge with politics until the demarcation between public and private interests became invisible. Entrepreneurs and bureaucrats hopped into bed together and gleefully screwed the comatose public for all it was worth.

Mahathir's 22-year reign as prime minister saw the rise of Rupert Murdoch wannabes like Robert Kuok, Ananda Krishnan, Vincent Tan, Yeoh Tiong Lay, Lim Goh Tong and Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary. These card-carrying capitalists were empire-builders driven by their unstoppable ambition to be listed in Forbes Top 100. It's impossible not to tip one's hat in recognition of their vision, perseverance and sheer stamina. Yet they could never have amassed their vast fortunes without becoming intimate buddies with whosoever held the reins of political power.

And, of course, hobnobbing with power has unwholesome ramifications. More often than not. it's well-nigh impossible to draw a line between fair and foul practice. An old Greek saying cynically advises:

If you want to sleep well, make friends with your wife.
If you want to get fat, make friends with your mother-in-law.
If you want to get rich, make friends with the chief of police.



Nor could these go-getters have become billionaires by being overly sensitive to environmental and social issues. Many successful entrepreneurs find it advantageous to their public image to be seen as philanthropists - and many subscribe to "corporate social responsibility" programs whereby a tiny portion of their unimaginable profits is plowed back to the community in various ways.

A giant property consortium turned a verdant valley once populated by an Orang Asli community into a commercial-industrial wasteland. In exchange for their ancestral land each Orang Asli family was given a double-story link house plus a shophouse for them to rent out. A couple dozen kids were offered scholarships to study modern construction methods.

It all made for good PR, no doubt: spending RM335,000 of public funds on a special ceremony officiated by the PM to which all the Orang Asli headmen were invited and treated to one night's stay in a 3-star hotel, with a pair of leather shoes and a smart jacket thrown in. Nevertheless, what the developer had really done was erase the culture and memory of this Orang Asli community. Severed from their emotional links to the land, indigenous people soon cease to exist as such and become assimilated with the dominant culture.

Making a pile of money from ecocide and ethnocide is hardly laudable. I call these ill-gotten gains - like getting rich from turning youngsters into drug addicts and prostitutes. What if you're not directly involved with such unsavory activities - but happen to serve some big-shot wheeler-dealer as, let's say, his legal advisor or advertising and PR consultant? Does that make the money you earn any cleaner?

Looking at it from the strictly professional viewpoint, should a tailor refuse to make a suit for an underworld kingpin with blood on his hands? Should a dentist turn away a sex maniac minister who has been known to commit statutory rape? Not if the dentist happens to be a rapacious former chief minister, I suppose...

It would be practically impossible to do business if value judgments had to be applied to every situation. What if you happen to be chief legal advisor to Umno and have just been roped in to oversee a particularly shady operation? Or if you were a PR consultant whose professional services have been recruited to reverse the negative spin on the PM's public image?

Supposing you were married to a high-powered banker and your hubby was invited to dinner at the finance minister's residence. Would you dress up in all your finery and make small talk with a woman everybody believes is capable of cold-blooded murder?

These are very real dilemmas plaguing a few of my former friends. I say "former" because a couple of them recently dropped me from their guest list as a result of my trenchant political views. It saddens me, to be sure, that in these times of tumultuous sea and sky changes, friends and even families are being split down the middle by polarized political affiliations.

I can imagine a similar situation playing out in America shortly after Bush ordered the bombing of Baghdad. What if you were at a family Christmas dinner and one of your brothers-in-law just happened to be a senior executive at Raytheon Enterprises - one of the top-earning defense contractors in America - and he thought extremely highly of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice? Would you, for the sake of diplomacy, stick to remarks about the weather and concentrate on the food?

Popular legend has it that Marie Antoinette, when informed that the peasants were rioting, wanted to know what it was all about. One of her attendants informed her that it was because the poor could no longer afford to buy bread. "Then let them eat cake!" Marie allegedly responded.*

I can already picture a similar scenario developing in Malaysia as the effects of the financial meltdown and widespread joblessness begin to be felt. As always it's the working class with low cash reserves that feels the pinch first. We're not far from the day half a million hungry poor will be on the streets demanding an increase in their weekly rice ration. And some Toh Puan daintily ensconced in a 26-million-ringgit mansion will turn to her maidservant and huff, "So let them eat ketupat!"
_______

*I plead artistic licence with this well-worn and totally spurious anecdote. Marie Antoinette was much maligned in France simply because she happened to be Austrian. In truth she never actually made such a crass remark. My apologies to the memory of this hapless Hapsburg princess who suffered much and was grievously misunderstood. Reposted 30 August 2011, 28 July 2014, 15 July 2015 & 6 July 2016]