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Wednesday 26 October 2011

False Flags and Fantasies

Few things in the recorded history of ‘world events’ are ever as simple as they first appear and, when it comes to wars and the lust for power, things become very murky indeed. The relatively recent term ‘false flag’ refers to events wherein an atrocity or other emotive event is committed by one group of people (often against their own people) disguised as enemies in order – quite often - to provoke their own people to rise up in indignation or even go to war. The term comes from the naval practice of flying an enemy’s flag rather than one’s own while engaging in ‘dastardly deeds’.

As Bonfire Night draws nigh, the shops are already beginning to sell fireworks to celebrate the 5th November, the date on which in 1605 the Catholic plot to blow up the king and the Houses of Parliament was foiled. 400 years later, there are several unanswered questions relating to this alleged plot (who wrote to Monteagle to inform him of the conspiracy? What was the fiercely anti-Catholic Cecil’s role in this? Why did the first search of the cellars overlook the barrels of gunpowder etc. etc.?) Some historians suggest that the whole thing was a deliberate ploy by Cecil, who, with Monteagle as his spy, engineered the whole event in order to provoke anti-Catholic feeling which would then facilitate a purge of the Catholics. Insufficient information is available to know whether or not this is so, but it would make a lot of sense in the light of the murky dealings which continue in politics to this day. Monteagle, however, did, I believe, do rather well out of the whole affair and if it were a false flag event, it was very successful since we even celebrate it today!

I believe that the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was another false flag event. He was, of course, murdered by Gavrilo Princip, but who set that young lad up? Who provided him and his equally bungling co-conspirators (no different from Guy Fawkes’ co-conspirators) with weapons and the perfect place to stand to fire his gun? Who gained from his murder? Well...the answer to that is quite obvious – the ministers who feared his accession and the bankers who loaned huge sums of money to governments to stage a war and then charged exorbitant interest on their loans. And for this so many millions of people died!

What goes on behind the scenes is so appalling that the majority of us cannot believe it to be true. It is written off as ‘conspiracy theory’ or wacky delusional people seeking some explanation for the atrocities that are so often committed in our name but even a cursory glance into the pages of history shows that very few wars have been fought for a genuine reason; very few – if any! - persecutions have had any genuine benefits for anyone other than the few who love to control and to satisfy their own lust for power. Nowadays, when everything is so much more politically correct, we don’t persecute others or wage wars to promote our own interests....no, we do it now to protect innocent people in foreign lands (as long as those lands have oil and gold).

Friday 21 October 2011

The Downfall of Tyrants

The downfall and death of tyrants is a very murky subject and one which leaves me wondering why anyone with even the slightest knowledge of history, psychology or spirituality could ever want power. There are, however, two factors which seem worth mentioning. Firstly, the effect on the tyrant, and secondly the bizarre behaviour (not to mention hypocrisy) of those who seem to gloat in the death of any other human being.
Shakespeare captured it all so perfectly in ‘Macbeth’ wherein the eponymous hero descends into a mental abyss which eventually drives him into delusional insanity, despair and ultimately a very unhappy death.

William the Conqueror – not a likeable man by any means but one who was filled with an overriding personal ambition and who is best remembered for his success at the Battle of Hastings – was eventually killed from an abdominal wound and his naked corpse was deserted by his former ‘friends’ and left lying alone for a whole day and worse was to come:

An interesting post

Ivan the Terrible, saw his country spiral into chaos and lived in terror before he suffered a stroke and died. According to Trotsky, (who was killed after being hit on the head with an ice-pick!) death for Lenin was “a deliverance from physical and moral suffering.” I have been told by various people that Lenin’s brain rather resembled a walnut, so destroyed was it by syphilis (which, at that time, was known to cause insanity). Stalin, having lived in fear of so many of his enemies, suffered a stroke and was left to die untended in his own excrement. Hitler, in despair, killed himself. It is impossible not to think that if someone is so filled with darkness, they are bound to meet a terrible end, not only physically but - far more horrifically - morally/psychologically/spiritually – basically an end in complete despair and terror, which is surely even worse than any physical suffering. It is, perhaps, significant that Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and King Louis XVI of France, both of whom were later quite irrationally branded as tyrants, met their end with great dignity and, in spite of the tragedy, appeared to be at peace within themselves.

In recent time we have been presented with horrific images of the downfall of tyrants and, while on the one hand, it is to be expected that tyrants meet such unhappy ends, on the other it seems more than a little odd to me that nowadays they are always found hiding in holes and are then butchered in self-righteous mania. Gadaafi had indeed committed appalling crimes, as had Saddam Hussein but to see graphic images of any man – whatever his crimes – being killed in such circumstances is, to my mind, beneath the dignity of humanity. Nor can these relatively recent images be overlooked:

In his satirical novel, Joseph Andrews, Henry Fielding described the difference between vanity and hypocrisy. Vanity, he said, is a person doing good in order to be seen and praised. Hypocrisy is a person doing evil disguised as good. One minute the world rulers are befriending this man. The next we hear that his crimes have been going on for 40 years. Then why were people shaking him by the hand so recently? If I recall correctly, the West was funding the Taliban when the Russians were involved in Afghanistan...but then the Taliban were our enemy. Saddam Hussein was also funded by the West during the Iran-Iraq War....And of course, to go back a little further, Churchill, who spoke so dramatically of the ‘Iron Curtain’ was a one-time ‘friend’ of Stalin...

When I see one man crawling out from a hole, looking like a terrified rat, and then being killed by those he has harmed, I find it shocking. When I see another man allegedly being found in some remote compound and then being dropped from a ship before anyone can see him, I find it a little stage-managed. When I see a third person appearing in a blood-soaked shirt, begging for mercy and being killed, I find it repulsive. It is even more repulsive when, in the same news report, there is a mention that happily Libya’s oil-production is now returning to normal.

Well....whatever really goes on behind the scenes, I cannot think of a worse end than that of a tyrant, whether he be one who is blatantly a criminal, or one who manipulates from behind the scenes = the 'dark forces' that Queen Elizabeth once spoke of...

Sunday 16 October 2011

Bismarck and Karma

While researching – for a new novel based on the life of Moretta of Prussia – I have been quite fascinated by the relationship between Bismarck and the German Emperor’s family and cannot help thinking of the irony of his ultimate downfall. The ‘Iron Chancellor’ is credited with having

successfully brought about German Unification (though the part played by Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia – later Frederick III – was deliberately written out of the history of this) and he had undoubtedly a great deal of political nous and foresight (he predicted with uncanny accuracy that the First World War would occur twenty years after his fall from power and also said it would spring from some minor event in the Balkans). His methods, however, were utterly ruthless and while, on the one hand, he is seen as a great statesman who did a great deal of good for the people, on the other he sometimes seems to be a megalomaniac who would use any underhand means to dispose of his enemies. He deliberately incited various ethnic groups in Austria-Hungary to cause trouble for their Emperor; he deceitfully provoked the Franco-Prussian War, he suppressed any group which he perceived to be a threat to his plans (Catholics and socialists were his main target), and he often used invented scandals to destroy his political opponents.

“I wonder why he does not say straight out,” wrote the then Crown Princess Victoria, “ ‘as long as I live both Constitution and Crown are suspended’ because that is the exact state of the matter. No doubt his is patriotic and sincere and thinks it for the good of Germany. He thinks that a great central power is necessary and that one will must decide and that state be everything and do everything like one vast set of machinery – say the ‘Inflexible’ for instance where the captain works everything alone and directs the ship by electricity etc. So Prince Bismarck wishes, with the press of a little finger, to direct the whole....”

It is unsurprising that the Crown Princess (later Empress Frederick) was so opposed to the Chancellor. Not only were his policies totally contrary to her own more liberal views, and not only had he purposely side-lined her husband, but he had deliberately denigrated the Crown Princess herself, inventing scurrilous stories to destroy her reputation and, perhaps most cruelly of all, had played a major part in turning her eldest son – Wilhelm – against her.

To Bismarck it seems that Wilhelm was something of a puppet. Having flattered him as he was growing up and filled his head with a sense of his own importance, he (Bismarck) almost seemed to believe that he would always be able to manipulate his protégé. The fatal illness and untimely death of Wilhelm’s father must have appeared as a miracle for the elderly statesman who, even as Frederick was dying, was encouraging Wilhelm to step into his shoes as Emperor. In 1888, Wilhelm became Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Chancellor surely expected to be able to manipulate him as he had manipulated his grandfather. He was in for a rude awakening as the arrogance which he himself had fostered in the prince, was to turn against him as though like Dr. Frankenstein he had created a monster which he could not control.

I do not for a moment, however, think Wilhelm was a monster. In the days after his father’s death, he behaved appallingly – surrounding and ransacking the palace where his mother was grieving, in search of private papers; he then basically threw her out of the palace until, for a while, she and her younger daughters had no idea where they would live; he changed the name of the palace to obliterate his father’s memory and in his first speech made strong references to his grandfather but none whatsoever to his father. But Wilhelm’s relationship with his mother was extremely complicated. Bismarck had truly turned him against her and yet, on some level, as a chid and beyond he had adored her (even writing her disturbing letters which sound almost like love letters, and which she felt it prudent to ignore) and I cannot help wonder whether what happened next had something to do with his getting revenge on the man who had treated her so badly.

Far from being a puppet, Wilhelm had strong views of his own and – surprisingly, perhaps, to those who see him a a ‘warlord’ – one of his main concerns at the beginning of his reign, was the welfare of workers. Bismarck, in his determination to crush all opposition,planned to employ a strategy that he had employed before to good effect – he wished to provoke the socialists into an armed uprising so that the police/armed forces could be called in to crush them completely. Wilhelm, who was far more sympathetic to the workers’ demands, was appalled when he discovered this plan and absolutely refused to turn his troops on his own people. Eventually he left the Chancellor no option but to resign. His unceremonious departure must, on some level, have given Wilhelm the sense of having repaid him for his treatment of his parents. The most ironic part of all – true Karma! – came when Bismarck approached Wilhelm’s mother, whom he had treated so badly for so long, and, in desperation, asked her to speak on his behalf to her son. Empress Frederick – without any bitterness (she actually wrote that she felt sorry for Bismarck) – replied in all honesty that she had no influence whatsoever over Wilhelm since Bismarck himself had deliberately destroyed the bond between them.

Karma indeed.....

Thursday 6 October 2011

Not Born to Rule?

Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that the majority of the monarchs who reigned during the First World War had come to the throne either by ‘chance’ or rather sooner than expected? Most of them were not born as heirs, and those who had been prepared from childhood to rule, succeeded following the premature deaths of their fathers.

In Britain, George V had not expected to be king but the untimely death of

his elder brother, Albert Victor, led to his eventual accession. In Austria-Hungary, the aged Franz Josef only became Emperor when his uncle was forced to abdicate during the many upheavals of 1848. When Franz Josef died in the middle of the wa

r, the crown passed to Karl, who would not have become emperor were it not for the suicide (murder?) of Franz Josef’s son, Rudolf, and the murder of Karl’s uncle, Franz Ferdinand. In Belgium, the deaths of his cousin, Leopold, and his elder brother, Baudouin led to King Albert’s accession; while in Italy, King Victor Emmanuel succeeded his assassinated father. Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II might have known from their earliest years that one day they would become emperors, but neither expected their fathers to die so soon. Wilhelm’s father reigned only for three months, while Nicholas’s father died rather suddenly at the age of only 49. The kings of Roumania and Bulgaria and were foreign ‘imports’ who were somewhat unexpectedly offered the thrones; while in Greece, King George I was a Danish prince whose murder led to the accession of son, Constantine; and shortly before the outbreak of war the war, the Serbian King Peter handed over authority to his son, Alexander, who acted as his regent.

Perhaps all of this has no real meaning but it does strike me as rather strange....

(For more about the royalties in the First World War, please visit the site: Shattered Crowns