Spiritual Freedom in the West: Are We Drifting Into a Culture of Suppression?

suppressed

David Gardner, The Conscious Reporter

Increasingly in the West practitioners of alternative spirituality are subjected to discrimination and censorship. It’s sobering to look at the possible outcomes of living in a society where spiritual freedoms are heavily restricted. This article looks at the Chinese government’s oppression of spirituality as an example, to illustrate why we should not take our spiritual rights and freedoms for granted.

There is a dark agenda currently threatening spiritual freedom throughout the world, and it seems to be progressing at an alarming rate.

As recently exposed here on The Conscious Reporter:

In the mainstream media alternative spirituality is frequently illegitimately portrayed with a negative bias as our greatest fears are turned against us in order to manipulate our view of alternative spirituality as a whole.

Despite this, there are many people who feel that standing up for our right to access and practice the spirituality of our choosing is either not necessary or the wrong thing to do. It seems we have been convinced that to resist a problem means perpetuating it, and that external censorship is okay as we will simply evolve spiritually in order to circumvent it.

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A painted stone at Wenzhou’s “Anti-cult Theme Park” tells visitors to “Worship science”

The reality, though, is that it takes sustained effort in order to evolve spiritually, and if we do not have access to the tools and techniques required for internal transformation, there is no way we will evolve spiritually as a matter of course.

If we don’t stand up for our rights and for spirituality now, is there the possibility that we could lose the opportunity completely?

A closer look at the state regulation of spirituality in China, and the links and parallels to policies in Western countries,  paints a sobering picture of how things could end up if we take our spiritual freedom in the West for granted.

When State-sanctioned religion is the only type allowed

Living in the West it can be hard to imagine that people are routinely incarcerated, tortured and even murdered for their spiritual beliefs, and yet this is happening all around the world right now. In some countries religion is oppressed completely in favour of an atheistic state, and in others a State religion is propagated while other beliefs are persecuted.

One country with strong limitations on spiritual expression is China, whose government see spiritual minorities with the ability to mobilise their devotees in direct action (most recently in peaceful protests) as a threat to state control. This fear may stem from a history of “religious and spiritual uprisings that had catastrophic effects on the country.” Source

Often initially supported by the regime, groups which come to be seen as threatening are persecuted and regulated through law enforcement, media propaganda and a network of anti-cult associations.

There are over 1.3 billion people in China but only five religions approved by the Chinese government:

  • Buddhism
  • Taoism
  • Islam
  • Catholicism
  • Protestantism

However religious experience is not free from bias – all forms of religion are expected to be “patriotic government associations”.

In Tibetan Buddhism the Panchen Lama (second highest ranking Buddhist next to the Dalai Lama) was taken into “protective custody” by the Chinese Government at age six when he was named, and replaced by a Chinese-endorsed Panchen Lama.

For Chinese Christians there are two options: attend a government-approved church, where clergymen are trained in state-sponsored seminaries, or attend illegal underground churches which are often subject to crackdowns and persecution.

Those who find themselves the subject of persecution, may not find much support from their countrymen. Recently when a Chinese blogger took to social media about his Christian pastor friend being repeatedly arrested he found that many people supported the persecution, with one commenter even remarking, “The cops have done a beautiful job!”.

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The Chinese government employs an army of internet trolls to propagate and defend the party line Source

Whether this sentiment is genuine or not is hard to tell. The Chinese government employs millions of professional trolls to back government propaganda known as the 50 cent brigade (because they are paid 50 Chinese cents for each comment made on youtube, forums and blogs around the world that distorts or deflects opinion towards government propaganda).

The mainstream media in China is also a tool of governmental control and oppression of religious minorities.

Recently when a 28-year-old woman was tragically beaten to death in a McDonald’s restaurant, state TV blamed the act on members of an “evil cult”.

A few days later the government published its list of 20 active “cults.” From then on, events unfolded with a ruthless and familiar logic: Every TV channel and newspaper issued warnings about the dangers of “evil cults.” Community organizations, village authorities and schools got in on the act.The anti-cult campaign extended to more mainstream religious practices. The People’s Daily website and the Global Times, a government newspaper, opened a barrage of attacks on China’s underground Christian churches. An article in the Global Times said “underground churches and evil cults are spreading like mushrooms … the problem is very urgent.” source

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The destruction of Sanjiang church in Wenzhou Source

What does a crackdown on underground churches look like? In Wenzhou – known colloquially as the “Jerusalem of the East” for its concentration of churches – religious buildings are being destroyed supposedly because they exceed building standards. But practitioners feel this is a smokescreen for religious oppression, pointing as an example to the world trade tower in the same city that exceeds standards by 29,000 square metres but was able to retroactively be approved.

Other Christians are fearful of speaking openly about this:

“You must be careful whom you talk to,” cautioned two women from a Beijing-based religious publication in town to investigate the demolition. “There could be government spies among the people here.” source

Incidentally it appears that the use of spies by anti-cult establishments in the western world is also a regular occurrence.

China’s anti-cult movement

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A section of a mural from Wenzhou’s “Anti-cult Theme Park” depicting why and how so-called “cults” should be resisted – with deadly force? Source

Wenzhou is also the home of China’s first “Anti-cult Theme Park” (franchises coming soon to a city near you?).

Don’t expect rides and fairy floss – this a place of “exercise and indoctrination”, complete with a sign telling visitors to “worship science” and quotes such as “Cults are religious poison, they are the pollution of human society.” There is also a hand-painted mural explaining why “cults” should be resisted and how to go about it.

But state indoctrination does not stop there. In fact the Chinese government even has it’s own anti-cult office, the “Office of the State Council to Prevent and Handle Cult Issues”. The purpose of this office is a mystery to many, although they influence policy and strategy in both state and party spheres and are “believed to be in charge of developing targeted strategies for the party and government on preventing and dealing with incidents stemming from cult activities, including controlling education and issuing propaganda aimed at deterring and “reforming” [spiritual] enthusiasts”. source

There are also a myriad of anti-cult associations smattered throughout all levels of Chinese society. And it seems they’ve been hard at work.

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Anti-cult themed Opera in Huagu Source

Take for instance this Anti-cult themed Opera in Huagu found on a Chinese tourist website and organised by the Hunan Anti-Cult Association. The write-up says:

Cults are like poisonous weeds do harm to the society. It blows one’s money, and worse, ruins families. In order to raise people’s awareness and enrich their spiritual life as well, modern Huagu Opera Awakening organized by Hunan Anti-Cult Association was staged in Taoyuan County Theatre on Sept.17thwhich received high appreciation.The opera reveals the danger of cults through a typical case, assembling moving plots and skillful actors, and overall it represents local culture, meanwhile shows a strong impact of alarming people against cults. [emphasis added]

An exhibition marking the banning of Falun Gong titled “Oppose Evil Cults, Uphold Culture”, was visited by over 200,000 people in 10 days. The exhibition detailed gruesome images of Falun Gong practitioners and comparison of Falun Gong to Nazi Germany and carried a simple message: “Healthy, intelligent people who begin practicing Falun Gong go crazy and hurt themselves and their families.” Source

Visitors to the exhibit had the following to say:

“A very convincing and effective anti-cult show.” — Han Juyin from Chongqing.”I will bring the materials back home to enrich the contents of the anti-cult bulletin on our campus.” — Visitor Zhu Xiaoping from the No. 5 Middle School in Xiangfan, Hubei Province.”Falun Gong is not only the enemy of the Chinese people, but also a common enemy of those who love world peace and respect knowledge and science. It deserves vigilance and lashes from all righteous people,” wrote visitor Qiao Chunhong. Source

But a New York-based spokeswoman for Falun Gong said, “It’s all lies. It’s all propaganda. The reality is that this (Chinese government) is a totalitarian regime relentlessly persecuting millions of its own people.”

This point of view appears to be backed up by the initial response to the banning of Falun Gong, when the Chinese government began to see their growing number of practitioners as a threat to state control:

Falun Gong was outlawed as a threat to public safety. Tens of thousands of members were arrested and sent to labour camps without trial, and many were tortured. The Department of Propaganda launched an immediate media assault on Falun Gong. In the first month after the ban The People’s Daily ran over ten articles a day denouncing Falun Gong, and several TV stations ran marathons of special features 24 hours a day for days on end (Kutulowski, 2004; Yu, 2004). Newspapers, magazines and broadcasting stations published lurid stories of members dying from suicide, and cutting open their stomach to find their inner falun. The blood and guts footage was especially compelling because criminal acts and suicides are usually underreported in China. Source

But in the Western World, we live in a free society… right?

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Is this the general consensus towards alternative spirituality? Source

If you think that such a mentality toward spirituality would never make its way into the “free” western world it might be worth thinking again.

In the West, it is not uncommon for commercial web filters to target and block “alternative spirituality”, and even filter this material in the same “adult” category as subjects like drugs, gambling, weapons and pornography. Web filters are widely used in public schools and libraries in the USA where alternative beliefs are often blocked in a discriminatory way, while only a narrow list of religious beliefs can be accessed. In Australia, the Queensland State Government currently blocks Alternative Spirituality/Belief throughout its public schools using the Blue Coat web filter.

In the UK, web filters used on mobile phone networks and public WiFi providers have been found to block alternative beliefs.  Disturbingly, when David Cameron proposed placing network-level web filters on fixed-line ISPs in the UK to “protect the children” he praised TalkTalk which was using a filtering system controlled by Huawei, a company with close ties to the Chinese government, whose own web filtering system blocks among other things“superstitious” material and anything related to Falun Gong.

At an “anti-cult” conference in Australia a senator who has used parliamentary privilege to attack a new religious movement also spoke of his plans to raise the idea of “incorporating cult education into the new national curriculum“.

The Chinese Government itself uses examples from the Western anti-cult movement to support their own campaigns of spiritual oppression, and have hosted prominent Western anti-cult campaigners in China to speak in support of their cause.

Will enough people stand up for spirituality before it’s too late?

While Western governments are obviously not persecuting spiritual minorities to the same extent as governments like China, there are disturbing signs that we could be heading in that direction.

The question is, will enough people stand up for spirituality before it’s too late? Or through apathy will we risk a future similar to those experienced by spiritual seekers and aspirants in countries where spiritual freedom is heavily restricted?

About the Author

David has a deep interest in spiritual development, but has discovered there are many forces in the world working to keep people asleep. His recent interest has been researching the psychological tactics and techniques used to limit people’s spiritual potential, writing about his discoveries here at The Conscious Reporter. twitter.com/wakeupbefreenow

**Please visit ConsciousReporter.com where this article was originally published.**
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Corporations Masquerading as Government in Australia and World Wide

By Andy Whiteley

Co-Founder of Wake Up World

The Great Seal of the United Kingdom

The Great Seal of the United Kingdom, atop the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900

The Great Seal of Australia, a trademark registered with United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Vs.

Which represents real (de jure) government in Australia?

Which is seen on “government” literature ?

Would you be surprised to find a company with the same name as your country registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington DC? Well, guess what?! Among those listed as corporate entities by the United States SEC are Israel, Turkey, Italy, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, The Philippines, South Korea, JapanJamaica, South Africa, Canada, Australia… and my personal favourite (and I quote) “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp.

Interesting! So what could all this mean? For the purpose of this article we will follow the example of Australia.

Australia…. the lucky country?

  • SEC Entity Name: COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
  • SEC Central Index Key (CIK): 0000805157
  • SEC Standard Industrial Code (SIC): 8880 (UNKNOWN)
  • SEC Business Address: 1601 MASSACHUSETTS AVE NW WASHINGTON DC 20036
  • Fiscal Year End: 0630

Well, that certainly raises some questions!

Why is a company called ‘COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA’ registered in Washington DC? What reason could there be for a country to be registered as a company?

By definition, aren’t corporate and government entities mutually exclusive? And doesn’t government regulate companies?

Why would Australia be registered with the SEC in the United States? And why would it provide a ‘Prospectus’ and annual ‘Economic and Fiscal Outlook’ documents to the SEC? And be subject to SEC regulation?

Why is the Great Seal of Australia a trademark registered with United States Patent and Trademark Office?

Could the ‘Australian Government’ be a corporate entity masquerading as real government, for profit, and not for the purpose of governance? Does the ‘Australian Government’ truly represent “the people” and not shareholders in another country?

Why do today’s government departments have corporate mission statements like “we provide services on BEHALF of government” and “our CLIENTS include government…”?

What happened to “we ARE government”?? Does this suggest they are NOT true government, but a company masquerading as government?

If a company registered in Washington DC is falsely claiming government status in Australia, what happened to the real (de jure) government with a similar name? And when?

And are the laws in Australia therefore just rules for employees and contractors of the corporation?

Interesting. Let’s look a little closer…

Perhaps it is a requirement that the Commonwealth of Australia registers as a company entity in order to trade with the United States of America. Are all the other countries who trade with the United States also registered on the American SEC? Is ‘the United States of America’ also registered with ASIC, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission? And is Australia similarly registered with the corresponding trade regulators in other countries?

The answer appears to be NO.

International trade implies mutual agreement; reciprocity; a common method of exchange. But the reality is that the ‘COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA’ is registered as a corporate entity with the United States SEC, but not the other way around. There appear to be no comparable corporate entities registered in other countries with which Australia trades. And nations ranking among the United States’ biggest trading partners do NOT have corporate avatars registered with the American SEC. Perhaps registration in Washington DC is for the purpose of trading Government Bonds. Interesting…

… But this strange corporate entity is only half the story. Before government bonds can even exist, surely there must first be a legitimate government.

Government and the role of Governor-General in Australia

In Australia, the Governor-General is the representative of the Monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) and the Administrator of Government. Given that the Governor-General administers government in Australia, government can only exist in Australia with a valid Governor-General. The Governor-General is reliant upon the existence of the ‘Office of Governor-General’, which was originally constituted by the late Queen Victoria in Letters Patent dated 29th October 1900, passed under the Monarch’s seal – the Great Seal Of The United Kingdom (view Letters Patent 1900).

The power and authority to revoke, alter or amend those Letters Patent was reserved by the late Queen Victoria to her heirs and successors. Given those Letters Patent were issued under the ‘Great Seal of the United Kingdom’, surely any revocation, alteration or amendment must be issued by an heir and successor under the same Seal.

So what’s the problem?

In 1984, Letters Patent supposedly revoked the original Letters Patent of 1900 and provided new provisions for the Office of Governor-General (view Letters Patent 1984). This happened under the ‘Great Seal of Australia’, which we already know is a corporate trademark registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office in the U.S. (view registration)

Surely such an attempt at revocation cannot therefore be lawful? And if not, what Office is the Governor-General in Australia presently occupying? Is the person we call “Governor-General” truly a representative of an “heir and successor” to the late Queen Victoria?

The answer appears to be NO.

Given that the Governor-General appoints Ministers, Judges, Commissioners and Justices of the Peace, and ascribes Royal Assent as the Monarch’s representative in Australia – using the Monarch’s Seal – in the absence of a valid Governor-General, are there any legitimate government offices in Australia?

Again… the answer appears to be NO.

So let’s test the theory…

A case study

Wake Up World friend and colleague Scott Bartle documented his recent dealings with ‘Australian Customs & Border Protection Service’ in his self-funded documentary “What The FUQ? – Frequently Unanswered Questions of the Australian Government”.

This simple, concise and sometimes hilarious case-study follows Scott’s ongoing interactions with a supposed “government” entity that simply does not behave as a genuine government agency should.

And all he did was ask them to demonstrate their validity!

Documentary Trailer – What The FUQ Trailer (2:47 mins)

To view this documentary in full, Click here. I highly recommended it.

So… IS the “Australian Government” the same government the original Office of Governor-General was intended to Administer?

It’s a question that officials at all levels of “Australian Government” have seem unwilling or unable to answer. Some readers may think I’m a crack-pot for even asking the question. “Break out the tin-foil hats!” they’ll cry! But please… Before you form an opinion or post a comment on this article, ask the Australian Government the same question yourself:

Can you please demonstrate that today’s Office of Governor-General is the same Office that was constituted by the late Queen Victoria in Letters Patent of 1900?

It is your right, after all. And there are certainly some details that don’t add up. But it gets better….

That’s odd, they certainly don’t ACT like a true government.

At first “Government” may just ignore you. But since anyone claiming government status has a responsibility to prove it, their silence is very indicative, don’t you think? So push your Government a little further, and see what happens when you really start to question who’s who. Taxes & fines are suddenly waived, and miraculously, licenses & permits are no longer required! And it doesn’t stop there.

Does this sound like the behaviour of legitimate government? NO, it does not. If challenged, does a legitimate government not simply demonstrate its validity and continue to act within its lawful authority? Or does legitimate government exempt that person’s responsibilities and wave them through the gates, quickly, quietly and with a minimum of fuss? “Nothing to see here!”

Is this situation unique to Australia?

Let’s find out!

To our friends and readers from the Commonwealth of Australia, we recommend you contact your local Members and Senators and ask them one simple question:

Can you please demonstrate that today’s Office of Governor-General is the same Office that was constituted by the late Queen Victoria in Letters Patent of 1900?

To our friends and readers outside Australia, we recommend you identify the documents that established the original offices of government in your country, then ask one simple question of your government representatives:

Can you please demonstrate that today’s government is the same one as established at the inception of this country?

Demonstrating its own legitimacy is a very simple thing that every government agency should be able to do. And in a true democracy, silence is an unacceptable response of government to questions of its very legitimacy. But today the “Australian Government” appears unwilling or unable to prove its legitimacy.

Is yours?

It only takes a few minutes to write to your local member’s office. Please come back to Wake Up World and tell our readers how your enquiry was met. Silence? Jargon? Or a simple demonstration of your government’s legitimacy?

We’d love to hear your stories, so please leave a comment or send us an email

So what the FUQ do we do next?

Written enquiries made to Ministers and Government agencies, to the Office of the Prime Minister and to the Office of Governor General remain unanswered. So in the absence of a response from Government, Wake Up World supports respectfully escalating this matter to the current Monarch, ‘Her Majesty’, The Queen.

Surely ‘Her Majesty’ must know the answer; why a corporation in the United States bears the name ‘COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA’; why in 1984 her authority to amend the provisions for the Office of Governor-General was granted on a company letterhead; why those claiming to represent true government in Australia have been unable to prove that status; and why some, when challenged, may suddenly overlook one’s obligations and run silently in the other direction.

SIGN THE PETITION

     …and ask ‘Her Majesty’ for the truth.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

     …we all have a right to know.

HOLD YOUR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE

     …it is just one simple question.

In a true democracy, silence is an unacceptable answer of government to questions of its legitimacy.

About the Author

Andy Whiteley is co-founder of Wake Up World.

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