Moses was a Liar: 3 EXODUS 4: True evil unmasked.

Posted: October 21, 2011 in SciFi

 And on the first day,

there was light as it is written

and spoken from heathen mouth;

 and in the night we were blinded but

 by the grace of the Red Angel we were redeemed.

Through sorcery and magic

the past became the present and

 the future became the past

the stench of guilt

lay its heavy cloak upon us

and we were struck by hammer blows

of belief most foul.

We knew not whence to flee

when out of the mists rode a giant who

 bade us follow or be lost forever

And thus it came about

 

During the whole of their first day of sunlight, the villagers of Red Valley, watched in wonder as the sun rose to its zenith; then slowly sank to the west as the Red Priestess had predicted. The fiery sunset over the mountains to the west of KRAT silenced the watchers once again. As the sun touched the horizon it seemed to melt into the earth in a molten mound to shrink into mere drops before being swallowed up by the dusk of nightfall.

Silently they returned to their lean-tos to prepare their first meal of the day. Everything lay as it had been left in their panic during the night when the drum had bundled them out of their warm beds. One by one the stars started to flicker again, lighting the skies with their magic. It looked like a giant hand setting flame to tiny candles until the darkened sky seemed to pulse and quiver.

Soon a villager from Caesarea called out to all to look to the east as a white light seemed to appear over the horizon, majestically different; cold to their eyes, yet startlingly bright. Again they all shouted as they rushed to hear what the Red Priestess had to say about this, a new body in the sky.

Gathered in the amphitheatre, she explained the wonders of the night sky again but with more emphasis this time on the earth’s lunar satellite as it rose in the full glory of a full moon.

However as she spoke, a dark cloud seemed to impinge upon the light from the moon. As the cloud covered the moon, it became a pitch dark night again.

“Have we been blinded?” someone asked in a hushed voice, voicing the question on everyone’s mind as their eyes tried to adapt to the dark after the bright light of the full moon.

“No it is but a cloud and will pass soon…watch,” Rachel instructed.

“Tomorrow will be the second day of the prophecy. Tonight you must rest for you will need strength.”

Many of the villagers remained on the hillock to watch the stars and the passage of the moon across the new skies. To them this was a miracle. What had become of the gods of the clouds? Where will their rain and indeed the birds now come from? How will they know when the gods are angry or playful?

The next morning dawned as spectacularly as the previous day. It was the second day of the predictions of the High Priest. He had been watching the unfolding of his premonitions with as much wonder as the rest of them. He did not understand how it came about that he could predict some things and others not; or how it came about at all that he had this so-called gift. When his mother realised that he had ‘vision’ as she called it, she helped him to develop it by giving him games to play as a child. Some of these games entailed trying to guess what she held in her hands behind her back; she taught him to meditate and by centering himself, she got him to sense rather than ‘see’. This indeed became one of his favourite past-times and he became very adept at meditation, being able to reduce his body rhythms and enter into a trance whenever he wished to do so. This gave him clarity of mind and an incredible ability to focus.

Towards midday a dark cloud started gathering to the north of KRAT. It was shaped like a giant hand with its fingers outstretched toward KRAT. None of the villagers really took note of it until it started to grow swiftly and seemed to twist and turn in upon itself. Alive and evil it grew to enormous proportions within the space of a very short time and sped towards Red Valley. As it approached, the audience on KRAT, now watching spellbound, noticed a large funnel descending to the ground. It twisted and spun with a roar they could hear from a long distance away. Never having seen a tornado before, the villagers on KRAT watched in horror as it directed itself to the Bracken Lake and seemed to suck the salty water directly into the clouds only to dump thousands of tons of brine and mud on their plantations two hundred metres away. The tornado continued on its destructive path and after just by-passing New London on its left, seemed to follow the River Esme towards KRAT.

Panic started to grow among the villagers as they saw and heard what the terrible wind was doing. This was surely a sign that the cloud gods were angry and demonstrated their terrible power by destroying their fields. As it approached the slopes of KRAT, the plateau seemed to deflect its path causing the tornado to veer to the left towards the City of the Jesuits. It struck the village with its full force. Pandemonium erupted on KRAT as horrified Jesuit spectators watched their homes being destroyed like houses of straw; in the village itself the villagers were running helter-skelter to avoid flying debris and to protect their families. Overhead the tornado seemed to hesitate, satiated by its spoils in the village. The clouds curled upon themselves; the green tinge in the inner core darkened, lightened. Clearly the gods of the clouds had come back with a vengeance and had wreaked their revenge on the Jesuits. Revenge for what? Many of the Jesuits fell to their knees and implored their God Jehovah, through His Son, Jesus Christ to have mercy on them and their families.

The tornado then as if in answer, relenting, seemed to shrink as it moved away from the now wrecked village, out towards the red plains and the Temple of the High Priests in the distance, where it disappeared leaving only torrential rains behind as the clouds spread over the whole of the valley.

The villagers on KRAT were screaming and shouting at each other to get down to their families. New Londoners and Caesareans alike sped down the precipitous goat’s path together with the Jesuits towards the village to help. The Vicar General and his fellow priests followed in haste down the slopes.

Everyone stopped in horror as they entered the village and saw the destruction the tornado had wreaked. Many homes were flattened; the streets were littered with rocks, solid wooden beams and uprooted trees had been snapped like thin sticks; bodies could be seen lying around and a wailing could be heard as lost children, who had escaped the storm, looked for parents and parents looked for children and family members.

Survivors rushed up to the Vicar General shouting and screaming: “What have you done to us?”

“Where have you been?”

“What’s going on?”

“Our village has been destroyed!”

As they shouted at the priest, they suddenly noticed that the Red Priestess had followed the Vicar General. She was accompanied by the High Priest and all the acolytes. The crowd shrank back in horror and amazement. This was their doing; everything had gone wrong since she had called for the gathering on KRAT. She was the witch and she must now bear the consequences of the tragedy which had befallen them.

The Vicar General was quick to see the opportunity given him as if in answer to his prayers. Shouting to his villagers and pointing at the priestess: “It was of her doing! She called the gods of the clouds! She’s the one who sent them away, banished the clouds and called on the heavenly bodies. She is Satan incarnate. Arrest her! Arrest all of them, the tainted children as well!”

The Jesuit crowd hesitated while the New Londoners and Caesareans who were standing near the priestess gathered around her. Karl was carrying his weapons; he moved closer to Rachel.

The Vicar General was screaming in fury; it seemed that his face would explode with anger. His followers and especially those who had witnessed the drama on KRAT were confused. Their fear of her powers as well as their new respect for her somehow seemed to hold them back despite the Vicar General’s orders. Then there were the predictions; was this her doing or was she warning them? The uncertainty made them all hesitate.

Father Timothy stepped forward and holding up his hands in the air, tried to placate the crowds. A sullen silence settled over the angry, frightened Jesuits. Someone was going to pay for this wanton destruction. The Vicar General turned in amazement as he watched Br Timothy address the crowd. This was unbelievable! He would pay dearly for his insubordination. Clearly the witch had turned him against his superior.

“Brothers and sisters, our hearts cry for our loved ones and for our village. God has seen fit to visit us with His wrath. We understand your anger and desire for vengeance, but it is written that vengeance is not ours but of the Lord our God, Jehovah. It is our calling to behave in a Christ-like manner and not to wish harm upon others. We have learned and we are still learning, so I beseech you to consider your actions and whatever you decide, let it be God’s will and not of man’s vengeance.”

The Jesuits were confused. Br Timothy had never addressed them in this manner. What had taken place on KRAT? It was the role of the Vicar General to take the lead, but this leadership seemed to have shifted to the shoulders of the younger man. The Vicar General leaped forward, pushing the younger priest out of the way: “Brothers and sisters. Listen not to Br Timothy. He has been bewitched by the witch and her consorts. He speaks without knowing what it is he is saying. He speaketh not in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am the sole representative of God. You the citizens of our City, have chosen me at the general convocation and you have mandated me.”

Somebody from the crowd yelled: “We want revenge for what has happened to our loved ones and to our village. We do not want political speeches from you or Br Timothy. Give us the witch!” The crowd started to surge forward.

“Yes, brothers and sisters I support your need for revenge…”

At this moment Karl leaped forward, shouting in his deep voice: “Fools and laggards. You are the cowards and speakers of treason as has been predicted by the High Priest. You wish to destroy that which is good and uphold all that is evil. It was said that you shall be struck down by the wrath of light; that you shall be banished into the night. Upon you rests the weight of your passions; passions which have no mind; you have the choice to grow or to wither like a beanstalk in the drought; you can brandish your weapons to seek revenge but the blood you spill shall cost you dear.”

He emphasised his words by slapping his massive club into his large hand. The Caesareans gathered round him in support.

The Vicar General was about to shout to his followers when the Red Priestess walked forward, causing the crowd to shrink back again to avoid contact with her. She stepped to the Vicar General and slapped him so hard that the sound of it reverberated through the ruins of the village.

A low moan seemed to shudder through the crowd. Nothing like this had ever happened. She had struck the Holy Lord’s Apostle! Surely Jehovah’s wrath will now be visited upon her.

The Red Priestess turned to the crowd and in her penetrating but calm voice said to them: “I am deeply saddened that your village has been selected by the destructive and terrible wind. What has happened to your village and to your loved ones is not of our doing. You have all seen the opening of the skies which we have been expecting for many years, yes even before you were born. These winds and destructive storms have nothing to do with the wrath of a god of Satan or of any spirit. It is a weather system which you need to understand. Mystics such as Father Joshua here use these incidents to frighten you in order that you comply with his wishes and the wishes of his god which he conveniently interprets for you.”

‘Witch, sorcerer! Speak not to us to so deafen our ears,” a man in the crowd shouted again.

The Red Priestess beckoned to all to be calm, and raising her voice said: “Let me also open up to you the darkest history that this valley and indeed this village, has hidden from all of you. If you seek revenge then that revenge shall be visited upon you tenfold.”

She dug into her red robes and pulled out a shiny object, the like of which they had never seen. The angry mob shrank back at the sight of the unfamiliar object.

“What I have here in my hand is called a camera. It is able to record pictures of anything you wish to record. It is of the Ancient world and I brought it with me when my metal bird that flies high in the sky, crashed eighty years ago on the plateau of KRAT.”

The audience gaped at her and at the strange object. The camera which was ‘state of the art’ 8 decades ago, was still fully functional, with its M-13 and very thin lithium-ion polymer batteries which had been developed by materials-scientists specialising in nano-fabrication in 2009. These high-tech marvels of engineering functioned organically through the use of viruses which aligned themselves into electrodes and cathodes and although the world had not been there to applaud its brilliant success, Rachel had put the camera to good use since their arrival on KRAT. With the ten 120 gigabyte memory discs her father had bought for her, she had been able to record a great amount of what was going on. She had even used it to interview survivors in the early days after the disaster.

The history of the Airbus disaster had been passed from generation to generation orally and except for the New Jesuit Testament, which reflected the Jesuit perspective of their history in the valley, no written account of the disaster had been recorded. This version of their collective history did not reflect the technology of the Ancient World but rendered their coming to the Red Valley as an act of God. The camera was as much magic to them as the incantations of Merlin were to the legendary knights of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Rachel continued: “This camera is powered by the light of the sun which you for the first time witnessed rising yesterday and this morning. Yes, even the clouds could not hold back the magic rays of the sun. With it I recorded, as a child in Red Valley, things which I found to be of interest, to record our history in pictures that move.”

Again the crowd gasped and whispered to each other. They moved even further back from the witch.

“With this camera, I will show you what your grandmother looked like, Benedict,” she said turning to where the leader of the Caesareans was standing.

“..and yours, Karl,” she added looking at his perplexed and shocked face.

“I will also show you what the father of this man you call the Vicar General, perpetrated on the kindest and most wonderful woman who was my teacher; this man, whom you worship as saint and saviour of the Jesuits in this valley,” she said pointing to the Vicar General.

The Red Priestess called on all to follow her to the Jesuit Church which had survived the tornado. The crowd, forgetting their howls for revenge, jostled to get inside and swept before them the Vicar General and the Inner Circle. New Londoners and Caesareans alike were fascinated with the prospect of being shown something of the Ancients.

Inside the dark church, Rachel paused to set up her small camera which acted as a projector when the viewer was set to project, aiming it at the wall behind the pulpit and below the crucifix.

The wall started to glow for a minute and much to everyone’s amazement, pictures started to emerge with faces of persons unknown to them which laughed into the audience. This was magic of the most powerful kind as the crowd shrank back; some of the weaker souls ran from the building only to stop and crawl back as their curiosity got the better of them.

Rachel pointed to an image on the wall: “Benedict, this was your grandmother, her name was Zyndile. She was a Zulu princess. She was my best friend and taught me about medicines. She married this man, called Tom. They had had three children before she died during the birth of their youngest son who was your father. She was also the one you Caesareans call Zyndileka, Spirit of Kindness and Protector against evil.”

There was a shocked silence as they looked at the black woman with the fine features on the wall in front of them. It was the first time for them to see a black face. The Caesareans were dumbstruck. Their spirit had a face and above all she seemed very human.

Benedict could not believe what he was seeing. The tears coursed down his face as he watched the spirits and ghosts from the past. He knew from the stories from his parents, that what the woman was saying was indeed true.

The Red Priestess flipped through the pictures on her camera, pictures which had kept her sane in her self-imposed exile in her cave over the years; pictures which had also helped her maintain her resolve to exact justice when the occasion presented itself. This occasion had now arrived.

“Ahmed, this was your grandmother, her name was Shenaaz and here is your grandfather, Gary on the day they wed. This was my own father who predicted the disaster which hit the world on that fateful day when we flew from the City of London. Here he is standing with my mother, June and my sister, Elizabeth. I was but 12 years old when we left London.” The spellbound audience could hear the break in her throat. She was human after all, many of them thought.

“Karl, this was your grandmother and my greatest teacher and mentor. Her name was Christine and she was married to your grandfather after whom you are named. He was a great hunter just as you are.”

Karl watched the pictures of his grandmother in amazement. She was a pretty woman who seemed to be smiling all the time. She waved at the camera and Karl unwittingly waved back at her much to everyone’s amusement. Laughter rippled through the church.

Rachel stopped the camera and fiddled with it for a while.

Behind her the Vicar General rushed to grab the demon’s camera from her, but Karl stopped him with a swipe of his massive arm bowling him over flat on his back. He glowered at the fallen man who crawled away into the crowd.

The picture on the wall lit up again. This time the audience was able to recognise the area where the video had been taken. It was in Red Valley, but a very different and barren valley. The Great Divide could be seen in the far distance but it was the activities in the forefront on which they now focused.

It was a scene close to a much smaller and newer New London but New London nonetheless. They could see a crowd gathered around a large stake which was planted in the ground. Tied to the stake shaped in the form of a cross, they could make out the figure of a woman. The stake was planted in the ground and the woman’s figure was suspended above the ground in a grotesque imitation of the crucifixion the Jesuits worshipped.

She was naked.

The audience in the church shrieked in horror as a man clothed in the garb of a priest came into view. He was accompanied by a large group of men who formed a ring around the priest to protect him. He walked up to the stake and now for the first time they could see that firewood had been packed around the stake. The priest was shouting something at the woman while she just looked at him with a look of pity. As the camera zoomed in to her face they could see that it was the face of Karl’s grandmother, the once smiling and happy face of Christine. She said something to the priest whereupon he threw his hands up in the air and sinking to his knees, grabbed a flaming torch with which he lit the firewood. The flames quickly spread and as they grew they could see the woman screaming in pain as her skin started to blacken and peel off from her raw flesh. While this happened, the priest could be seen to dance around the fire waving his arms in the air and screaming something to all around. At this point the picture started shaking, loosing focus and blurring as the scene shifted to a small group of people who were surrounded by more men wielding sticks and clubs. They seemed to be captives who were forced to watch the burning of the woman. Some of them were but mere children. In the group, an older man was kneeling; his face was contorted in anguish; his hands were raised to the heavens. Behind him stood a young girl. Her head was held by a man behind her, forcing her face towards the flames. Her eyes were tightly shut but her mouth was wide open as silent screams seemed to rent the very church in which the audience watched in horror.

A roar escaped Karl’s throat as he witnessed his grandmother’s brutalisation and recognising his mother as the young girl screaming, he leaped forward to stop the tormentor; scrabbling at the stone wall of the church as the camera turned and zoomed in toward the mysterious priest who had lit the fire. The face of a clearly demented man came into focus: “This was Father Ridgeway. He was a priest of the Catholic Church and founder of the Order of Jesus of Red Valley. You Jesuits pray through him as Saint John.” Turning to the Vicar General, the Red Priestess said: “That was your father, Vicar General. He was the murderer of one of the greatest persons I ever knew.” Pointing behind and above her to the wooden figure with the arrow through the throat, which was suspended from the wall of the church she added:  “There he is! Your icon, St John 1”.

Everyone in the church turned to the priest. The scenes they had just witnessed seemed to be totally unreal to them. The priest was deathly white. There were faces he had recognised, ghosts from the past, demons of the soul.

“No, No, No, it is impossible. Priests swear an oath of celibacy, how could he be my father? Donald James was my father,” he cried in terror, conveniently ignoring the infinitely more serious accusation of murder.

The priestess switched the camera to another visual.

It showed a peaceful scene. In the distance two figures were walking hand in hand. The female figure turned and waved at the camera. She was clearly pregnant. The male figure was wearing the garb of a priest. His face could be seen clearly; it was the same man although he was smiling and considerably younger than the face they had seen earlier. The camera then showed the two walking to a hut and crawling inside closing the skin which covered the entrance; closed the world outside.

“It would seem that not only was your father a murderer, but he broke his oath of celibacy as well, Vicar General. The pregnant woman was your mother. She was indeed Suzette as you pointed out to all on KRAT. The child she was carrying as you see here was indeed you. She was a professor at a university, a learned person, but your father was the priest, Father Ridgeway. He sinned in the eyes of his church and asked Donald James to become your foster father even before you were born so that he may escape the wrath of the church and of God. Little did he know that his church did not exist any longer; I think he was terrified that his god had also deserted him.”

Karl turned from the wall where he was watching the scenes and stalked to the Vicar General who shrank back from the hunter.

“Priest, you of the Holy Order of the Jesuits; you who dare preach to all who would listen, and to those who won’t of your holy office and your communication with your god; you who dared to call to account the Red Priestess for her evils and her sorcery; you will now be held to account for the deeds of your father against my grandmother, my mother and my grandfather.” As he was about to strike the priest with his massive club, Rachel stopped him.

“No Karl. I have carried this anger and pain in me for many years; I have watched this man being accepted into the priesthood as a young boy by the very man who was also his father and who had murdered my mentor; I witnessed the burning of your grandmother but I was spared the horror of doing so under captivity as I had left the village very early to swim in Lake Bracken as was my habit. When I returned I realised that something was wrong so I hid myself after fetching my camera. Thus I witnessed the hideous sacrifice of the woman I loved as much as my own mother. Karl, your grandfather was forced to watch; he was unable to scream except in his heart which died that very day. He loved Christine most dearly. Her terrible death at the hands of this priest’s murdering father caused him to have a massive stroke and to die two days later. No Karl, I have listened to his preaching and to his threats of dire consequences to his followers; I have witnessed his so-called justice as meted out to those who dared cross him or his order. Indeed, he inherited his father’s intolerance of those who oppose him. Should you strike him now in anger and revenge, you will diminish your standing and descend to his level; you will allow him to escape the true wrath of his own kind; it is too merciful. You are a leader, you must now lead.”

Karl looked at the woman in amazement. He only understood instant and swift revenge. That was the way of the Caesareans. To lead was to exact justice. To exact justice was to restore that which was wrong. The priest must pay for the injustice, an injustice too terrible to contemplate, and injustice to him and to his ancestors. They must be avenged.

“Why did he do it? How did it come about?” he asked softly to hide his anger and his hurt.

“The Jesuits of the time under leadership of Father John Ridgeway armed themselves and attacked the small village of New London. They herded all the people like so many domestic buffalo into a corner and then built the cross as a stake in the centre of the village of New London. They then grabbed Christine and tied her to the cross and stripped all her clothes from her poor body. Her daughter Isabel, who was your mother, was thirteen years old when this happened. She was forced to witness her mother’s cruel death. The priest then called on Christine to repent before God or suffer his holy wrath. She refused and her final words which I’ll never ever forget were: “I forgive you John, in the name of your God”. This drove the man crazy and that is when he lit the fire and burned her to death while we watched. As she burned he screamed that he was ridding the valley of Satan’s followers; that we’ll all be saved because of his actions. He blamed the destruction of the Ancient world as it was and all the suffering the survivors of the metal bird had endured, on her.  He had lost his mind and could see no good in Christine. He also carried in him a heavy burden of guilt; guilt in betraying his oath to his god; guilt for what had befallen one of our youngest, a girl called Amanda whose destruction he had also caused; guilt for what had happened to the world. He thought that he would be forgiven for what he had done to her and to all others. He was sick and did not know the difference between right and wrong any longer. Like all mystics he blamed everything on others and in this instance on Christine. Like all mystics he believed that the end justified the means.”

“But how did he escape the justice of the village; what about my grandfather, where was he?”

“Your grandfather witnessed it all as I said. We were helpless and the actions of the Jesuits when they attacked us would have been the beginning of a bloody warfare which would have destroyed all of us had it not been for the intervention and actions of Beowulf.”

The audience was spellbound. The legends, secrets and history of the valley and its villages was not unknown to them but they had no positive evidence of what had happened so many years ago. In the Jesuit village, the actions of St John were considered to be inspired by Jehovah. His ultimate death merely served to make him a martyr in their eyes. The legend of Beowulf was almost mystical insofar as nobody alive with the exception of the Red Priestess and possibly a couple of the second generation inhabitants had actually seen him.

“What did Beowulf do? Where was he when this happened?” someone asked.

The Red Priestess turned again to her camera, and after some minutes the picture on the wall focused on a handsome young man. He was built like a giant; his hair was blond and his body rippled with muscles. He was clearly a man of legend. Beowulf.

“Beowulf had left on a hunting expedition with Gary, your grandfather Ahmed,” the priestess said looking at Ahmed. “They were expected to be away for thirty days so didn’t witness the horrible scenes you have just seen. The Jesuits departed after Christine’s death and we buried her in the village. Two days later Karl died and he was buried alongside Christine. Fifteen days later Beowulf and Gary returned to find Karl dead and Christine murdered. Isabel had been adopted by Zyndile and Tom in Caesarea where she stayed and eventually married. That is where she met your father, Karl and where you were born much later. She never really recovered from the trauma and married a man who was very narrow minded and kept her away from me as he believed that I was a witch. He may have feared that she may suffer a similar fate to that of her mother so he thought it wise to keep you away from me.”

“Beowulf and Gary were terribly shocked and saddened and sought instant vengeance much like you just did as well. Our village elders tried to talk them out of it but they disappeared one night. Five days later we heard what had happened. The two of them stalked the Jesuit village and entered without anyone seeing them. They entered the church where they found the priest praying in front of the altar. They captured him and tied him to the image of Christ above the altar and Beowulf then executed him with an arrow in his throat. There they left his body hanging. They then took Suzette, Joshua’s mother and Donald James from their home and tied them back to back naked. Gary wrote a sign which said: “God’s whore” and fixed this to her naked breasts. They then drove the two poor people through the streets of the Jesuit’s village shouting that if any of them ever set foot again near Caesarea or New London they would suffer the same fate as the priest. They then left and returned home. We were never ever bothered again.”

“I was a widow at that time and could not cope with the stresses of Christine’s or for that matter Karl’s deaths. I left New London and made my home in a cave where I still live.” She told them nothing of her child who was reared by Esme and Oscar at her request. She often visited Michael but had realised that he was best left to the kind and generous attentions of her friends.

This was history which had come alive in the most dramatic and horrible fashion. The guilt of the valley lay upon them all. The Vicar General was quiet as were all the Jesuits. The sins of their collective fathers weighed on them. They did not know how to deal with this.

Karl was the first to respond. He looked at the crowd and said totally naturally as if it was his place to do so, an unfamiliar place: “We have heard and we have seen sights such as our eyes were never intended for. I do not understand what it is I need to say or to do. But I know this; we will deal with these issues at a time suitable for all. Right now we have the villagers who have been hit by the storm to consider. I ask of all of you, New Londoners and Caesareans alike, are you willing to help the Jesuits?”

He looked at all congregated inside and outside the small church. Inside him a tumult of feelings raged. It was not his nature to forgive but he now knew that it was his calling to lead. The rage in him gave him the energy, drive and will to do so but he knew that the rage would burn in him for a long time.

The New Londoners turned and walked away. The hurt now rekindled, flamed up once again. Christine was a New Londoner. She was their founding mother and now the hurt was too much to bear. The Caesareans milled around. They were not fond of the Jesuits’ arrogance and what they had just witnessed stressed the differences between them.

Just then a child entered the church. She had been injured by the tornado and was bleeding profusely from a gash in her head. She seemed to be dazed and confused and was looking for her parents. Somebody stooped to comfort her as her parents rushed up to her, relieved that she was safe.

Karl called out to the receding backs of the New Londoners.

“I have seen a terrible injustice and injury done to my ancestors. We have heard what the Red Priestess had said. As villagers of Red Valley, we all have a collective responsibility to right the wrongs of the past. I ask all of you here, let not history repeat itself; look around you, look at the bleeding child and consider that it may have been your child. Let’s all work together this night to help those affected by the ill wind. Walk away and know this; the Promised Land will not be ours to see.”

The Red Priestess looked at Karl in wonder. His strength of character seemed to have created an aura of power that now enveloped him. Even her son, the High Priest was surprised. He had been watching his mother’s performance with great admiration and even love. Now Karl had emerged as a true leader; nobody in the building missed the significance of this. He seemed to be in total control and no-one, not even the Vicar General thought to challenge him.

It was still only day two of the prophecy of the High Priest.

Villagers who had been injured by the tornado were taken to the church where Rachel and a few helpers tended to their injuries, while a team of men picked up those who had been killed and transported their bodies to a villager’s home where the priests had an opportunity to perform the necessary last rites. The fatalities were thirteen of whom ten were women and three children. Most of the adult men had watched the disaster from KRAT.

Night caught up with the rescuers and aid workers and before they knew it, it was dark. Many of the villagers returned to KRAT where they had left their possessions and much of their food in their hurry to get down to the ruined village after the tornado had struck. They would return the next day to help the Jesuits to rebuild their homes.

As it was now late and already dark, the majority decided to stay on the plateau. The mysticism and their fear of the mountain top had disappeared as often happens when familiarity with something or someone increases.

Sitting next to their fires, the remaining villagers reflected on the days’ happenings. So much had happened during this, their second day of the prophecy. A new leader had emerged as the Red Priestess had foretold; the City of the Jesuits had been all but destroyed by a tornado and the Red Priestess had unveiled a magical instrument which not only showed the past in pictures but it gave them pictures of their ancestors; it had also shown them evil most foul caused by fanaticism and religious zealousness. There were many questions in everyone’s minds and few answers.

This day would be remembered for a long time by the villagers who for the first time started to come to terms with the possibility that they would be the new pilgrims seeking a new land, a promised land away from this accursed valley. Their world had changed very rapidly. They had much to consider.

 

Rachel was deadly tired. She lay on her bed of reeds; almost too tired to think of the day’s happenings. She had always wondered how it would all end; the uncertainty of it and the weight and even the conscience of the valley had rested on her for so many decades; now it was expected of her to lead and advise the villagers. She couldn’t even confide fully in her son as he was not equipped for this type of role. He was a mystic and had the gift to foresee the future; she didn’t want to contaminate that with political issues and intrigue. He would play an important role during the exodus of the villagers and assist Karl and the council which she would help to set up before their departure. The young girls still had a lot to learn and memorise. This would now be her main task till the end. She was tired to her very core; the moment of revenge, whilst long awaited did not hold the sweetness she had expected.

The third day dawned without a cloud in the sky. Again many of the villagers watched the sunrise. It would continue to fascinate them for many years.

By this time everybody had become aware of the prophecies and in the villages as well as on KRAT, the heightened expectations for the next disaster had created a mood of determination, as well as considerable trepidation, to get things which needed doing, done without delay. There was little doubt that the prophecy would be fulfilled; nobody however knew how this would manifest itself.

They didn’t have long to wait.

As the sun rose to reach its zenith in the now clear sky, a pale light started to cover the valley. Everyone stopped what they were doing, including the priests who had remained behind in the village. They all looked skyward, shielding their eyes with their hands. Slowly but surely, the sun was being swallowed up by a large dark object.

The light of the sun diminished rapidly until it became almost dark.

A wailing erupted from the villagers as they watched their new light source being devoured. Many of them cast themselves down on the hard ground again beseeching the gods to have mercy upon them.

At this juncture the Red Priestess who had been standing on the hillock watching the eclipse of the sun by the moon passing in front of it, started to call in a loud voice to the sun to bless them with its light. She knew very well that the eclipse was only temporary but nobody else knew this.

In the minds of the onlookers, she created the perception that she could control the elements in the sky as well.

She was indeed a god to the villagers who witnessed this including the New Londoners who were struck silent by the spectacle. The Jesuits crossed themselves to ward off all evil.

 

Soon the shadow passed over the sun and the light quickly increased to its normal level. The villagers looked at the phenomenon with amazement and incredulity on their upheld faces. As one body they all turned to the Red Priestess who was standing on the hilltop, resplendent in her red robes with arms outstretched to the skies, and they sang her praises. The young girls with their red hair like halos around their heads had surrounded her and they all sang with the villagers. It was her moment of triumph.

The legend of the Red Angel and her Angels of Light had been created.

Karl, who was watching the eclipse and how the Red Priestess had stage-managed the whole incident, had learned that nothing where the priestess was concerned, was as it seemed. He wondered how she had managed to control the sun. The bulk of the moon which had caused the eclipse was virtually invisible in the direct rays of the sun.

He now walked to where she had disappeared below the crest of the hillock and came upon them all sitting in a small circle with Rachel in their midst.

They were all holding hands. Rachel watched Karl approach and held out her hand for him to join them. He entered the circle and sat down on the ground.

“What just happened?” he asked.

Laughing at his puzzled look, she explained what an eclipse was and how many different types of eclipses one gets. She used rocks to illustrate the effect of the earth’s shadow, the relative size of the moon and sun and how this event would occur many times in the future again.

“Karl, girls did you notice how I used the eclipse to create the impression that I was controlling the moon’s attack on the sun?” she asked them.

“We couldn’t have missed that performance,” Karl responded somewhat sarcastically.

“The real message to you is that, that is how mystics use everyday occurrences and incidents to create false realities. Through these false realities they are able to manipulate and influence people to listen to them and follow them. The ancient world was full of mystics who did this very successfully. In this way, they could control the minds of people and also their very actions. Many religions and religious leaders as well as the political leaders of their countries used these methods. Political leaders, kings and presidents were mostly guilty of these activities; they were often dishonest and lied to their followers.”

“But were they not caught out by their lies?” one of the older girls asked.

“Sometimes they were, but more often they used force or false information to keep their lies hidden. During a terrible and vicious war in the mid 20th century, the leader of the German people, a man called Adolph Hitler, convinced his followers that the Jewish people were a curse on the earth and had to be eradicated. He created falsities to scare his people that an evil existed and that the state should take every step possible to protect their homeland. This gave him the power to invade other countries and eventually to kill over 6 million Jewish people. The same tactics were used some 60 years later by the American government to pass laws which limited individual freedoms in the name of the so-called war against people they thought were a threat to their nation. They thus created an illusion that the country was in danger of imminent attack. Using this they mobilised their armed forces and attacked countries which had nothing to do with the supposed threat. There was also another man called Artuković who in a country called Croatia was found guilty by the authorities of the mass murder of Serbs, Jews, gypsies and other minorities. He had studied at a Franciscan Monastry which was part of the Catholic Church much like the Jesuits here. This all happened during the Second World War. When he fled after the war, he was assisted by Franscican monks to flee. Many other war criminals were helped by the so-called Vatican Ratlines to escape justice and they fled to other countries. It was well established that the Vatican actively sheltered and assisted war criminals.”

“Why would a church do this?” one girl asked. “I thought they were against such things.”

“The ends justified the means in their minds. The destruction of the Jews, Muslims and other ‘enemy’ religions was seen to be justified by people such as a Fransiscan priest called Draganović. Of course the Catholic Church denied that these priests had official approval to do these things, but the evidence seemed to show otherwise.”

“Yes, but how was it possible that one man such as this Hitler you speak of could wield such power and get away with murder?” Karl asked.

“If you have sufficient power such as a large and terrible weapon or a massive army you can get away with much, Karl. The Jesuit priest, who killed your grandmother, did it in the name of his god and while the power he used was purely physical, he justified his actions insofar as he was ridding the valley of a devil. He was able to justify his actions to his followers so much so that they revered and beatified him. They were convinced that he had acted in Jehovah’s name and in the name of Jesus Christ and while his death followed rapidly, this merely served to strengthen the legend and led to his becoming a martyr. Many such sins have been committed in the name of some god or deity. Politicians and leaders use lies and back up these lies with force. One of the biggest lies the churches of the ancient world got away with was to say that if you truly repent or say that you are sorry, you will be forgiven your sins. Even now the Vicar General hears people’s confessions and then forgives them their sins. That gives anyone an excuse to commit a crime or any heinous deeds and then ask for forgiveness. It also places the religious leaders in a particularly powerful position insofar that they and only they, have the power to forgive you your sins. According to them no sin was too great in the eyes of Jesus Christ who died for all humanities’ sins. Of course, according to these churches, sinners must truly repent but nobody has been able to determine whether they mean it or not, so it ultimately becomes nonsense. You can imagine the extent to which this placed local priests in positions of ultimate trust and therefore power in the eyes of their communities.”

Looking at the girls very seriously, she added: “You must remember that the ends never ever justify the means.”

“I don’t understand,” one of the girls said looking quite puzzled.

“Let me give you an example. A leader decides that it would be a good thing if all his followers believe that he is God. He dresses himself in beautiful clothes and builds himself a beautiful castle to live in but the people still don’t think he’s a god. So now he calls them all together and from each family takes the youngest child and has his soldiers kill them with their swords. When he now asks whether they believe he’s a god; out of fear, they all shout his praises; they will even kneel before him and seek his blessings. He has achieved his end. A man called Joseph Stalin, who was the leader of the Russian people, killed many millions of his own people; he murdered his opponents such as the generals of his own army; he did all this because he believed it was in the interest of his country and wanted to build a strong Russia. Did the end justify the means or to ask it in a different manner, did the purposes these leaders sought to achieve, justify the killing of the children, the generals and citizens?”

“No, it didn’t. They were just murderers,” the girl replied.

“Yes, and if the end is used to justify the means, it will always be abused by the mystics. This is how Hitler justified his eradication of what he called the ‘Jewish problem’. That is also how the so-called St John of the Jesuits justified his actions to serve an end he believed was his god’s calling. Many world leaders use this argument to convince their followers that what they are doing will benefit them in the long term. It will always be immoral and unjust, regardless of the so-called ‘good’ they wish to create for the ‘people’.”

“But Rachel, aren’t you yourself justifying the means to suit your own ends to initiate the exodus from Red valley?” Karl asked.

“Ha! The hunter has been reborn. What you ask Karl is whether there is a contradiction in what I’m preaching and what I practice.”

“Yes, if you wish to put it that way.”

“Good. Whenever an apparent contradiction seems to exist, you must examine the facts and indeed the premises of the argument.”

“What does that mean?” one of the girls asked.

“I explained to you that the ends never, ever justify the means. What that means is that a situation where some stated goal can be used to justify immoral methods to achieve that goal may never be allowed to occur. However when the methods or means are sensible, logical and totally moral, the objection falls away. The morality of such actions cannot be based on whether the goal itself is desirable; each and every action or method must be moral in its own right and be judged independently of the end result. So to answer your question Karl, I’ve never used immoral means such as dishonesty, force, violence or corruption to promote the exodus. I accept that I’ve manipulated the villagers but the final decision to join or not to join the exodus rests in the hands of each person. Similarly the decision to be the leader of the exodus is yours alone. I merely convinced you that you are a leader and helped to equip you for the task.”

“So, if I understand what you’re saying,” Karl responded, “if those murderers you spoke of earlier wanted to unite their countries this was good?”

“Yes, but?”

“…but the methods they used were in themselves evil, and can never be justified because the country’s ‘good’ required it.”

“Exactly! You have learned a great deal, Karl.”

“Does the Jesuit god exist?” another young girl from the Jesuit village asked.

“All gods are created by man. They only exist in the minds and thoughts of man. Throughout the history of man there have been thousands of god-variations. The god-concept is used to deceive people for example into sacrificing their hard earned produce; it is also used to produce guilt in people and to convince them that they are unworthy. When a person believes he or she is worthless, he is normally willing to hand over or to sacrifice what he has produced to the god or his representative, who is normally some type of priest, for use by the church in any manner it chooses. This gives people a sense of belonging and acceptance; of course this also strengthens the position the churches have in their communities. The proceeds of these tithes, as they were sometimes called, were also sometimes used to wage war against others, especially if such others didn’t believe in the same god. What I’m saying to you, is that gods are man’s creation and only exist in the minds of people. This has been done over and over in the mists of times gone by. A prophet called Muhammad instructed the people of his land that only one god named Al-Llah who was their high god, should be worshipped from among many including even female gods. According to legend, Al-Llah had revealed himself to Muhammad in much the same manner that Yahweh revealed himself to Abraham and Moses in the Jewish history. Of course, it was according to the all these prophets’ telling of the revelations that these religions developed.”

“But then what is the alternative? Isn’t it true that if you do not believe in a god you are doomed to burn in hell or that your soul will be cast out into the wilderness for ever?” the same young girl wanted to know.

“My dear, you ask very good questions and I am very happy that you, a Jesuit by birth, have been reborn to ask questions instead of merely swallowing everything your elders including myself have told you,” Rachel said with a wry smile. “The alternative to a god? The only alternative is you and only you. You are the sole architect of your destiny; what you do today will determine your reward or punishment tomorrow. Sleep today and tomorrow you will go hungry; work today and tomorrow you will be able to feed yourself; think today and tomorrow you will create value. Do not wait for outside help or blame anyone except yourself. Believe in yourself; equip yourself to meet the challenges to survive but also to grow. Man was not created by some mystical being; man became powerful because he was resourceful and was able to change things to suit his own needs. He is the only being with the capacity to think and is aware that he thinks. That is why he is able to dam up water to have water when the rivers are low; no mere animal is able to do that; that is why he plants vegetables and keeps animals for his food; that is why he is able to cloth himself with skins he took from the backs of the animals he has hunted and killed. That is why he is able to produce beautiful music, paintings and write poems. That is why man who has a mind which developed over millions of years and who is ultimately conscious of his being, is able to be unbelievably good and unbelievably evil.  Man can also become too greedy and take more than he needs.  He may then disturb the balance between nature and himself and so should always look at nature’s needs as well; if he were to take all the eggs from the nests of the birds when they migrate and leave nothing to hatch, will there be birds tomorrow?” she asked them.

Everyone including Karl shook their heads. As a hunter he knew this to be true. When he hunted he never purposely killed a mother buck or a young animal. When he gathered eggs, he always took only a few eggs from each nest, leaving behind sufficient for the parents to hatch and maintain the breeding cycle. Nobody had taught him this; it was just the way it is done. He also always left a piece of the bees nest for the honey bird as it is said that the bird shall lead you into the lair of a lion if you don’t.

“The moral justification for man to look at nature’s needs has nothing to do however with being altruistic about it, in other words to do good to others; it is his way of protecting and increasing the value of nature’s bounty for his own good and the good of his family; that’s his first and most important priority. If he makes mistakes and destroys such natural value, it will eventually lead to his own destruction as well.”

“But what about Satan? The Vicar General always says Satan will devour our souls and cast us into the flames of Hell if we did not do his bidding,” the young acolyte asked again, emboldened by Rachel’s encouragement.

“If you believe in the god of the Jesuit Bible, you are expected to believe in Satan as well. This also applies to Al-Llah’s religion where Shaitan is seen to be the devil. It is supposed to be good versus evil; dark against light. This is as ancient as man’s ability to think. Have you never wondered why the Vicar General always says “God or Jehovah Almighty” and then warns you against the powers of Satan? If Jehovah is so almighty, why does Satan exist? Some believe that Satan was a perfect angel who fell from God’s grace and then became the personification of all that’s evil. If this is so, how come God allowed him to fall from grace and why is Satan allowed to perpetuate his evil work? Why does Jehovah not merely destroy him with a blink of his almighty eyelash? It is often told in the Bible of the Jesuits, how God spoke with Satan and even played games with him when he accepted a wager with Satan that he, Satan could get the mythical Job who was his servant, to curse Yahweh. So God kills Job’s family, torments him with diseases, poverty and ridicule. Job curses the day he was born and argues with God and even says some nasty things about him, but he doesn’t curse God. Like a child is rewarded for good behaviour Job is rewarded with a new, even better, family. The fact that the family who was killed suffered because of God’s games with Satan, doesn’t seem to bother people. To me this is an indication of a cruel and sadistic God who finds pleasure in torturing his faithful instead of standing by them and protecting them from evil. Of course, the blindly faithful will argue that that is God’s way of testing his subjects; it is his way to create undying faith and loyalty. I say to you, that the very notion that a god needs to be cruel and vindictive to create support is immoral and false. In any case, why should a god want to test his subjects? If he is so almighty, surely he would know whether his subjects are faithful or not. It is no different from a dictator who abuses his power and tortures and kills his subjects to keep them loyal. I fear that these issues are but the machinations of man as underlying all man’s jealousies, man’s fears, man’s ambitions, man’s cruelty and yes man’s kindnesses, which find expression in his religions. Using a deity is merely the front that is used.”

“No child, Satan, Shaitan, Beezlebub and other evil beings are as much the creation of man as the gods are. So too is the notion that heaven as well as hell exist. These are mere promises and threats made to manipulate people. Those are the ways of the mystics. The New Londoners talk about a rationalist approach to life and don’t believe in gods and spirits and things like that.”

“Think about it in this way. Man is the only being on earth that is able to make choices. To survive is not a question of praying to some deity and all will be well. Man has the choice and he makes his choices based on his knowledge and ability to distinguish bad choices from good. Experience will teach him quite quickly when he makes bad choices and hopefully this will help him to survive. You must remember that to think is in itself a matter of choice; people who choose not to think and react on base instinct, function at the sub-human level. Man’s ability to survive is a function of his capacity to think. He is not fleet like an antelope to run away from danger, nor is he strong like a lion to overpower his prey. It is only by using his ability to think that has made man the most powerful being ever on the earth. Any strategy which seeks to destroy man’s capacity to think is immoral and evil just as anybody who preaches that the pursuit of happiness is wasteful; that death will be the only release from man’s sins, is denying man’s right to think and to make conscious choices in his own interest. The truly evil person is one who promotes the notion that man should not think, only believe; shouldn’t ask questions, only have faith.”

“The New Londoners’ approach to rationality is that you can think and therefore are able to choose; the Jesuits’ approach is that your choices are pre-destined and decided by Jehovah, while the Caesareans believe that all beings and things have a life of their own and are able to make decisions but that their destinies are also pre-ordained. Naturally a rolling stone is unable to stop its flight down a mountain and a tree is not able to decide not to eat and drink. It is therefore now your choice to either believe in your own ability and indeed your right to think and to survive by the value you are able to create, or leave it to some external force or deity to decide that for you.”

Rachel rose from her rock seat: “It’s getting late. We need to pack up and leave for our homes.”

The sun was setting to the west and when the small group descended from the hillock and the lecture by Rachel, the plateau was deserted as all the villagers had returned to their homes. They had much to do; the Jesuits to rebuild their village; the New Londoners to ponder the miracles and technology they had witnessed; and the Caesareans to prepare for a large sacrificial ceremony to the cloud gods and the god of light.

The preparations for the exodus from the valley had begun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s