The Lure of Magic: Something for Nothing

This is the full text of Gary North’s The Lure of Magic: Something for Nothing

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If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him (Deut. 13:1-4).

The theocentric framework of this law is the worship of God. Proper worship necessitates obedience to God’s revealed law, Moses said. Worship, like wisdom, begins with the fear of God. Once again, Moses warned Israel to obey God’s commandments. This is the continuing ethical theme of the Book of Deuteronomy, which constituted the second giving of the law. But the point of this obedience, given the positioning of Deuteronomy as book five of the Pentateuch, is inheritance. Covenant-keeping is the basis for maintaining the national inheritance.

This was a land law. It governed the nation’s response to false prophets. The prophet no longer exists. The office ended with the Old Covenant in A.D. 70.

The Prophet’s Judicial Role

This passage dealt with those people who claimed to be prophets. A prophet had a specific judicial function in Mosaic Israel: to declare to a God-designated audience God’s direct revelation regarding the future, but more to the point, regarding the faith and behavior of that audience. The prophet delivered a covenant lawsuit against someone or against some group. If the listeners did not repent, he warned, God would bring negative sanctions against them. Sometimes the prophet’s message was repentance. (Not always, however: Moses’ prophetic role was not intended to gain Pharaoh’s repentance. See below: section on “Something for Nothing.”) Jonah’s covenant-lawsuit against Nineveh is a representative example: repent or else be destroyed within 40 days. Publicly, he prophesied destruction only, but the possibility of their corporate repentance, and therefore their avoidance of negative corporate sanctions, had been implicit from the beginning (Jonah 4:2). Sometimes, however, the prophet’s role was limited to provoking a confrontation prior to Gods imposition of negative sanctions. Elijah’s confrontation with Ahab prior to the drought is representative (I Ki. 17:1-5).

The prophet was usually outside the priestly hierarchy. He was not a member of the tribe of Levi. Samuel, for example, was an Ephraimite (I Sam. 1:1). The prophet announced that the law of God was not being obeyed. He demanded in God’s name that the existing legal order or the nation’s dominant social practices be abandoned. He announced his God-given authority as superior to the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. In the name of God’s law, the prophet demanded the scrapping of the existing legal and social order.

The listeners’ obvious response was: “Who are you to say?” When a man came to the nation in the name of the true God and His true law, he was inescapably a revolutionary in the eyes of a covenant-breaking Establishment. The question then arose: “In God’s eyes, who is the authorized representative of the nation’s God-sanctioned Establishment?” A related question arose: “What evidence does this man present which testifies to his office as a prophet?” This was what the fiery competition on Mt. Carmel was all about (I Ki. 18).

The prophet might perform signs and wonders. He might predict the future. His possession of supernatural abilities — outside the normal space-time continuum — testified to his special legal status. This was partial evidence of his special relationship with God, but it was not sufficient to prove his claim of God-given authority. Far more important than signs and wonders was theological orthodoxy. A true prophet had to come in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It did not matter what signs and wonders he performed if he came in the name of another god. His signs and wonders might be deceptions, or they might be authentically supernatural, but his message was itself a deception. No god other than the true God could be lawfully worshipped publicly inside the borders of Israel. The prophet’s ability to perform signs and wonders — below-cost shortcuts in the normal space-time continuum — had to be accompanied by orthodox theological confession. The differentiating mark between magic and prophecy was theological confession.

Boundaries and Prophecy

Men are creatures before God. They are under His authority. They are also under the constraints of the creation. They are not originally creative. They are re-creative as subordinates who are made in God’s image. It is legitimate for men to re-work the creation by means of their knowledge of the laws governing the creation, Adam was told by God to dress the garden (Gen. 2:15). This means that God told Adam to re-work the creation. Adam was told to improve his environment. The world was originally created good, but Adam had the power and the lawful authority to make it better. He also had the responsibility to make it better. But he could lawfully exercise this authority only as a creature who acknowledged his limitations. He was something for nothing out of Israel: slave labor and the inheritance. At the time of the exodus, this generations-long miscalculation was exposed for all to see. The Egyptians had believed that the State’s coercion of Israel would remain profitable: the most efficient allocation of scarce resources. They were called to account by God at the time of the exodus. The tyranny of socialism’s commitment to a world of something for nothing led to a national economic disaster, as it always does. The historical model of socialism is Pharaoh’s Egypt: bureaucratic, tyrannical, and ultimately disastrous for those in charge. The events of 1989-91 in Eastern Europe and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics were merely recapitulations of the Egyptian model. The systems broke down economically, politically, and socially in a massive collapse — remarkably, without much bloodshed.

The magician seeks to gain his ends by escaping from some of the limits of his own creaturehood. The creation places limits on him that he deeply resents, just as Adam resented the boundary around the forbidden tree. He seeks to escape the requirement that in order to gain a new set of circumstances, he must give up something of value. He wishes to increase his wealth — to improve his circumstances — by holding onto his wealth and augmenting it in ways that do not threaten his wealth. He wants personal economic growth — an increase in the options available to him — without a threat to his net worth. He does not care who provides this for him. He also does not care if others in the economy suffer losses in order to provide his gains. He cares only about his own advancement and the advancement of those working with him. He is convinced that magic will provide these gains. He may even believe that his risk-free gains come at no one’s expense. But whatever his belief regarding the source of his gains, he believes that he does not have to offer something of value equal to or greater than whatever he expects to receive.

Yet even he suspects that there is never something for nothing. He is at risk. He knows that if he performs his invocation incorrectly, he could lose everything. In the face of supernatural power, men know that they are at great risk. They know that the supernatural power invoked has the power to provide benefits from outside of the space-time continuum. The threat of loss is inescapable: such a power can also impose costs from outside of the space-time continuum. Thus, the extreme concern of the magician with formulas and rituals. The details of supernatural rituals become more important than the details of scientific procedure. They also become less predictable, for the outcome of magic is less predictable. The malevolent whims of the supernatural force invoked are more of a threat to the magician than the outcome of most of nature’s formulas is to the scientist or the craftsman.

The magician seeks to obtain something for nothing. It is not that he seeks personal gain at minimal expenditure. We all do this. What he seeks is access to wealth or power outside the realm of ethical law. He substitutes ritual for ethics. Ritual seems cheaper than ethics. In doing so, he risks something very important for the sake of something far less important. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

The Annulment of the Office of Prophet

The two-fold test of the prophetic office was this: accurate predictions of the immediate future and adherence to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The death penalty was mandatory for any prophet whose predictions failed to come true — signs and wonders (Deut. 13:1-5) or any other event (Deut. 18:22) — or who announced the sovereignty of any other god (Deut. 18:20). There was a very high risk for anyone claiming to be a prophet whose words had not been put into his mouth by God. Or so it seemed. But there really wasn’t. A true prophet would come in times of apostasy. But in times of apostasy, the word of God is not honored. The false prophet is honored; the true prophet is not. So, negative civil sanctions would be imposed on the true prophet, which was the case in Israel again and again. Then God’s corporate negative sanctions would come with a vengeance.

Jesus Christ’s ministry was the fulfillment of the prophetic office, which He annulled when He came in judgment in the final act of corporate negative sanctions against Old Covenant Israel: the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. He knew what was in store for Him and what would then be in store for Israel. He warned the religious rulers that this would be the case, for it had always been the fate of prophets to be put under negative sanctions by the rulers of Israel, leaving the nation exposed to God’s wrath.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, It we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate (Matt. 23:29-38).

The Bible’s Prophetic Monopoly

The completion of the New Testament era of revelation with the destruction of Jerusalem completed the judicially binding revelation of God. All of the New Testaments manuscripts were written before the final revocation of the Old Covenant in A.D. 70. This includes the Book of Revelation. This means that the Bible has supplanted the covenantal authority of any man to announce formally, on threat of historically unique supernatural sanctions, the annulment of any biblical law that came prior to his ministry. Similarly, he cannot lawfully announce new universally binding laws in God’s name. This means that the office of prophet no longer exists, the Bible alone is the final word of God.

The Old Covenant prophet could lawfully tell kings to change the nation’s laws on threat of immediate national punishment. A true prophet’s ability to perform signs and wonders verified two things: 1) his ability to invoke supernatural sanctions to enforce his covenant lawsuit; 2) his ability to see that God would defend the prophets lawsuit by imposing specific sanctions. Such authority belongs to no man today. No man today speaks with the same authority as the completed Bible. No man can lawfully invoke publicly God’s specific historical sanctions in a specific time frame. He can only invoke the general covenantal sanctions that apply to the kind of sin under consideration. He can speak prophetically only in the sense of warning men of the sanctions to come; he cannot lawfully invoke sanctions in the way that an Old Covenant prophet could: guaranteed in the immediate future in the name of God. “And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty” (II Ki. 1:10). This power is no longer granted by God to anyone who speaks in His name. The very possession of power analogous to this is required by God to acknowledge by his actions his belief in his own creaturehood and his subordination to God. He was not allowed to dress, touch, or eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He understood this, and he told Eve. She represented Adam, who in turn represented God. She spoke a prophetic word to the serpent: “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Gen. 3:3). Then she violated her own prophetic word. So did Adam. God then brought a covenant lawsuit against the serpent, Eve, and Adam, in the order of their responsibility, from lower to higher, in terms of His original prophetic word to Adam.

Prophecy concerned ethical boundaries: violate them, God warned, and predictable negative sanctions would come. Some of these sanctions would come predictably in history; all will come predictably in eternity. The prophet’s job was to warn his audience of the adverse consequences of breaking God’s covenant. The boundaries were enforced by God. Violate His ethical boundaries and you will experience unpleasant consequences, the prophet warned. These ethical boundaries were testified to by the prophet’s ability to overcome creational boundaries, sometimes called laws of natures The Old Covenant prophet was empowered by God to escape these conventional limits because this ability testified to his authority in announcing both the ethical boundaries and the predictability of their attached sanctions. Violating the laws of nature was the prophets means of calling a halt to the nation’s violation of the laws of God.

Boundaries and Magic

To acknowledge the lawful boundaries which God has placed around man is to worship God by obeying Him. We are not to pursue our goals by means of magic. What is magic? It is any attempt to invoke supernatural powers, asking them to after man’s environment by means of causation that are beyond temporal cause and effect. Magic is a method of calling for supernatural intervention by personal forces to after the processes of either nature or history. Without this supernatural intervention, man’s ritual manipulations and invocations are powerless. For example, the voodoo doll is a powerless implement of magical incantation apart from demonic intervention. The element of repeatability is missing because the supernatural cause is absent. The supernatural cause of the sought-for outcome is not predictably present in the way that the ordinary means of temporal causation are predictably present. The personal “catalyst” that makes possible the magical series of events is invoked, not employed.

A prophet might seek to affirm his judicial office by altering nature or by forecasting events. If Israelites who were skilled craftsmen in this particular manipulation of nature or skilled forecasters of historical trends could not replicate his performance in a statistically significant number of cases, the self-proclaimed prophet did not thereby validate his office. He may have been a prophet, or he may have been a clever trickster, or he may have been a magician. The judicially compulsory evidence of his office as prophet was his verbal orthodoxy. The crucial test of his office was not his performance of signs and wonders; it was his confession of faith.


Herbert Schlossberg has argued that there are two pagan idols: nature and history. The quest for signs and wonders is a mark of these two idols. Schlossberg says that all social idols are idols of history. This would seem to include philosophy. (There is a sense in which autonomous man regards philosophy as the mediating factor between nature and history.) Historically, after the Israelites returned from the captivity, they ceased to worship the idols of Canaan. Simultaneously, philosophy arose in Greece and spread across the Mediterranean world. Hellenism became the preferred idol of choice among socially cultured Israelites until the fall of Jerusalem. Pharisaic legalism, which also arose in the post-exilic era, was a domestic theological error. Hellenism was clearly an imported idol. Legalism was defended in the name of Israel’s God; Hellenism was defended in terms of a universal wisdom that transcended divisive supernatural revelation.

The primary covenantal issue of idolatry is transcendence. Something or someone is proclaimed as superior to God. In operation, this issue becomes ethical. An idol is any representative manifestation in history (point two) of a law-order that substitutes for Gods (point three). Moses made it plain in Deuteronomy, over and over, that obedience to God’s commandments is the visible test of one’s confessional orthodoxy. A man who would subsequently call on Israelites to disobey these commandments, Moses said, was to be regarded as a fool. If he also named the name of another god, he was to be executed. “And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee” (Deut. 13:5).

Something for Nothing

For a man to escape the limits of temporal creation means that he can gain something for what appears to be nothing. By subordinating himself to supernatural powers that are forbidden by God, a man can sometimes escape the limits of temporal cause and effect. This ability to go beyond commonly repeatable causation offers to some initiates of occultism the possibility of gaining wealth, power, and influence over others. This lure is powerful. Men are impressed with magic, which seems to offer them access to a below-cost realm of human action, a realm that is in some unstated way connected to the realm of conventional causation.

The text indicates that signs and wonders were possible in the Old Covenant world. Moses himself had been in a battle of signs and wonders when he and Aaron challenged the priests of Egypt. The test was the test of the snakes. Moses’ snakes ate the Egyptians’ snakes. But the test decided nothing, for Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. The visible test of the comparative signs and wonders did not persuade him (Ex. 7:10-14).

The message of the Bible is that while power is persuasive, confession is even more powerful. Moses’ confession of faith through Aaron (Ex. 7:2) was more powerful than Pharaoh’s, and this was demonstrated by the victory of Aaron’s serpents (Ex. 7:12). This did not change Pharaoh’s mind, because the power of God in hardening Pharaoh’s heart was more powerful than the persuasive power of the signs and wonders. God kept Pharaoh from changing his mind and therefore from changing his confession, Paul wrote: “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, l will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Rom. 9:14-18).

Moses, in his office as a prophet (Deut. 34:10), was not sent by God in order to change Pharaoh’s mind. He was sent to provide God with an occasion to demonstrate God’s power in history; predictable sanctions. The end result inside the boundaries of Egypt was the transfer of the inheritance of Egypt’s recently deceased firstborn sons to Israel (Ex. 12:35-36). The Egyptians had long believed that they could get evidence of false prophecy; it is demonic. Such power was necessary to validate a prophet’s word, which was given to him by God only because God’s judicially authoritative revelation had not yet been completed. The prophet was authoritatively inspired. In the world after the final replacement of the Old Covenant in A.D. 70, no one is authoritatively inspired. If he were, his words would possess formal equality with the Bible, and because of the immediate nature of his inspiration, superior operational authority.

Civil Law

The question arises: What is the lawful role of civil government in suppressing false prophecy? Is this law still in force? “And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee” (Deut. 13:5).

If the office of true prophet no longer exists, then what is the covenantal, judicial threat to society of a false prophet? There is none. The threat of God’s corporate negative sanctions no longer exists with respect to false prophecy, since the promise of God’s corporate positive sanctions no longer exists with respect to true prophecy, having been annulled by the New Covenant. Then on what basis can a civil government lawfully impose negative sanctions against false prophecy? There seems to be none. The office has been annulled. So have the related sanctions.

A false prophet was judicially analogous to a private citizen today who makes a policeman’s uniform, dons it, and then tells people what to do in the name of the law. This is illegal: the assertion of civil authority not ordained by a lawful government. The false prophet in Israel made a similar assertion. The sanction against this illegitimate assertion was execution. If there were no office of policeman today. There would be no need of civil laws against imitating one. If every police uniform were regarded as merely a funny costume, there would be no justification for imposing civil sanctions against someone who wears such a costume and then announces his authority in the name of the law, if a costume does not imply sanctions-bearing authority, it is judicially harmless. If it is judicially harmless, it is beyond civil sanctions. (A trademarked costume is protected by civil law, but only as a matter of torts: private party vs. private party. The threatened sanctions are a matter of restitution.)

The Bible is now complete. It serves as the prophet that tells people what is required of them, The voice of God is in print. No other voice can claim equal authority. Thus, there is no judicial role for a prophet in the post-A.D. 70 New Covenant era. There have been no false prophets since A.D. 70 because there have been no true prophets. Today, there are only misguided or corrupt people who claim to be prophets. Their claim is to be dismissed, not by civil law, but by ecclesiastical law. Church members who make such claims, and who demand that Christians do what they say rather than obey lawfully constituted church authorities, are to be placed under negative church sanctions. If they persist in their claims, they may have to be excommunicated. They are not to be executed.


There is no way to gain something for nothing apart from the grace of God. Even here, the covenantal limits of creation are still in force. God extends grace to individuals and societies because He revoked grace from His Son, Jesus Christ, in the latter’s sacrifice on Calvary. The payment was made by Jesus Christ. By grace, Christ’s representative victory over sin and death is extended by God to men. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (I Pet. 3:18). That which is a below-cost benefit for the recipients of God’s grace has been paid for. Some men gain something valuable for nothing because Jesus Christ suffered something terrible for righteousness. Thus, the Bible testifies to the covenantal illegitimacy of the economic quest for something for nothing.

The magician can perform signs and wonders. What distinguished him from the prophet under the Old Covenant was confession. The prophet warned men that they should not expect something for nothing. They should not expect to keep the fruits of righteousness apart from the continual investment required to sustain it: covenantal faithfulness. The prophet warned men that they should not expect something (fruits) for nothing (sin). If men persisted in the pursuit of something for nothing, they would reap judgment. The day of reckoning would come. This was the prophet’s message. It was a covenantal lawsuit based on an orthodox confession of faith. That a true prophet might perform signs and wonders — what appeared to be something for nothing — was in fact a confirmation of the fact that there is never something for nothing. When men gain something for nothing, they do so only because they are recipients of grace, which rests judicially on supernatural payment by a representative.

The magician also was beyond conventional historical limits, but his message was different. He performed his miracles in terms of a different confession. He promised more of the same — power on demand – for those who conformed to another god. Such a god could not bring permanent below-cost benefits, Moses warned. God would bring negative corporate sanctions on Israel if the nation believed such a prophet. More than this: God would bring negative sanctions on Israel if Israel’s civil government failed to execute false prophets. This covenantal connection between widespread law-breaking and predictable corporate negative sanctions was the justification of civil sanctions: the threat of God’s corporate negative sanctions if a public evil was not brought under the threat of civil sanctions. The magistrate acted as a surrogate for God, imposing Bible-mandated negative sanctions on specific covenant-breakers as a way to head off God’s corporate negative sanctions. This is equally true in New Covenant times.

The reason why this Mosaic civil sanction is no longer mandated is because the office of prophet has ceased. The Bible has replaced the prophet under the New Covenant. No man speaks with authority equal to, and therefore superior to, the Bible. The threat of false prophecy is no longer civil. No one lawfully commands civil rulers in the name of God on threat of God’s immediate negative sanctions. The office of prophet has no judicial authority today. Neither does the office of false prophet. The State does not need a penalty in order to defend its authority from false prophets.

**Any footnotes in original have been omitted here. They can be found in the PDF link at the bottom of this page.**


Biblical Economics Today Vol. 21, No. 4 (June/July 1998)

For a PDF of the original publication, click here:


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ChatGPT and Numeric Incomprehension

This is rather surprising to me: computers are well known for their ability to calculate numbers very well!

But uncovering numeric patterns? That’s a bridge too far.

Random chance is not capable of comprehension. Unintelligence cannot grasp or understand number sequences.

*Waves to the Darwinians*

From Evolution News: Breaking ChatGPT: Its Inability to Find Patterns in Numerical Sequences by William A. Dembski

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Here’s a sequence of numbers: 2,4,6,8,10,12,… What’s the next number in the sequence? Obviously 14. That one was simple. But what if we make finding the pattern more difficult? It turns out ChatGPT has serious difficulties with numerical patterns. The problem is not just that it can’t figure out the pattern. It makes up patterns that don’t exist. And then it acts as though it knows what’s going on when in fact it is clueless.

Pattern completion tasks like this have been part of aptitude testing for a long time. The NSA and CIA, for instance, have used them to help in hiring analysts. These tasks also epitomize a key obstacle facing artificial intelligence, which is its inability to model abductive inference, or what is also called inference to the best explanation (Erik Larson explains the failure of AGI, or artificial general intelligence, to model this form of inference in his 2021 Harvard University Press book, The Myth of Artificial Intelligence). 

Effect to Cause

Inference to the best explanation is effect to cause reasoning. It looks at some effect to be explained and then tries to come up with an explanation. The problem is that the range of possible explanations is unlimited. Somehow humans are able to whittle down that range and engage in successful IBEs (inferences to the best explanation). Computers, however, have no facility in this regard, and LLMs (large language models) based on neural nets, such as ChatGPT, are a case in point. 

It’s one thing to make the theoretical case that these models cannot adequately perform inferences to the best explanation. It’s another to provide concrete examples of this failure. I’m going to do that now. Below are four queries by me to ChatGPT4 for figuring out the underlying pattern of a numerical sequence and then producing additional numbers in the sequence. Producing such additional numbers is straightforward once one sees the pattern.

The breakdown in each of these cases startling. Indeed, the incomprehension is face-palm level. I’ll insert some commentary in [square brackets]. Everything else is from four recent exchanges with ChatGPT4. I made the sequences reasonably difficult. It would be one thing if ChatGPT4 had simply said that it didn’t see the pattern, confessing ignorance. But in each case it pretended to understand the pattern. And in each case it claimed to produce the correct continuation to the pattern — and failed!

For the first of these, I’ll provide the continuation and an explanation of the pattern. For the other three, I’ll simply provide the continuation of the pattern, leaving it as a puzzle to readers to figure out the underlying pattern. Note that unlike the example with which I started this article, I don’t include any breaks (e.g., commas or spaces) between the numbers. 

Numerical Pattern #1: Primes Plus Fibonaccis

My Query:

What is the pattern in the following numbers and what are the next two digits: 3471016213040

ChatGTP’s Response:

This sequence appears to follow a pattern based on the positional value of digits (zero-based) in the decimal representation of pi (π).

π to several decimal places is: 3.14159265358979323846…

The sequence appears to take each digit’s value from pi’s decimal representation as an index, starting from zero:

The 0th digit of pi is 3.

The 1st digit of pi is 1.

The 4th digit of pi is 1.

The 1st digit of pi is 1.

The 5th digit of pi is 9.

The 9th digit of pi is 2.

The 2nd digit of pi is 4.

The 6th digit of pi is 5.

The 5th digit of pi is 9.

The 3rd digit of pi is 1.

The 8th digit of pi is 6.

The 9th digit of pi is 2.

The 7th digit of pi is 9.

So, the sequence corresponds to the decimal representation of pi, where each digit in the sequence represents the index in the decimal representation of pi.

To find the next two digits, we follow the pattern:

The 9th digit of pi is 2.

The 2nd digit of pi is 4.

So, the next two digits in the sequence should be 24. Thus, the extended sequence would be: 347101621304024.

[Me again: This is word salad. ChatGPT seems to find some similarity between the sequence I put forward and the number pi. But that similarity is entirely imaginary. In fact, this number is formed by taking the prime numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, etc. and adding them, number by number to the Fibonacci numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc. That method yields 3, 4, 7, 10, 16, 21, 30, 40, which when commas and spaces are removed is just the number I posed in my query to ChatGPT, namely, 3471016213040. The next prime number after 19 is 23, and the next Fibonacci number after 21 is 34, the sum of which is 57. That is the number that ChatGPT should have put down. Instead it put down 24 — not even close. And its explanation was nonsense, betraying complete incomprehension.]

Numerical Pattern #2

My Query:

What is the pattern of the following sequence of numbers (in particular, how would it be continued): 111121112211312211331122211

ChatGTP’s Response:

This sequence appears to be a variant of the “Look-and-Say” sequence. In this sequence, each term describes the previous term. However, in the typical Look-and-Say sequence, each term is made up of two-digit numbers where the first digit is the count and the second digit is what is being counted.

In this variant, the sequence seems to use one-digit counts and what’s being counted.

Here is how the sequence seems to work:

111: Describes one ‘1’ => ’11’

121: Describes one ‘1’, one ‘2’ => ‘1121’

1121: Describes two ‘1’, one ‘2’ => ‘211221’

211221: Describes one ‘1’, one ‘2’, two ‘1’ => ‘121221’

121221: Describes one ‘1’, one ‘2’, two ‘2’, one ‘1’ => ‘11122121’

11122121: Describes three ‘1’, two ‘2’, one ‘1’ => ‘31221131’

31221131: Describes one ‘1’, one ‘3’, two ‘2’, two ‘1’ => ‘11312221’

So, the next term in the sequence after 111121112211312211331122211 should be: 3113112211322112211213322111.

[Me again: In this case ChatGPT got it right that this was a variant of the look-and-say sequence, but it was spinning its wheels when trying to figure out how exactly it was a variant. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out the precise pattern here. The next numbers, which ChatGPT should have put down if it knew what it was doing, would be 13213221. It got that completely wrong.]

Numerical Pattern #3

My Query:

What is the pattern in the following sequence of digits and what six numbers come next: 271828394274528731641187875644998090

ChatGPT’s Response:

This sequence appears to represent the first few digits of the decimal expansion of e (Euler’s number) in groups of two, with each group shifted one digit to the right from the previous group.

Here’s the first part of e to 50 decimal places:


When we group them in twos and align them with your sequence:

27, 18, 28, 18, 28, 45, 90, 45, 23, 53, 60, 28, 74, 71, 35, 26, 62, 49, 77, 57, 24, 70, 93, 69, 99, 59, 57…

We can see that your sequence lines up with these groups, but each group starts one digit later than the previous group.

So, the next six numbers, each taken from the next digit of e and the one after it, would be:

  • 49, starting from the 49th digit of e.
  • 57, starting from the 50th digit of e.
  • 24, starting from the 51st digit of e.
  • 70, starting from the 52nd digit of e.
  • 93, starting from the 53rd digit of e.
  • 69, starting from the 54th digit of e.

So, the sequence extended by the next six numbers would be:


[Me again: ChatGPT’s explanation is mystifying. I did indeed take the first six digits of Euler’s e to start off this sequence, but I did so in part to misdirect ChatGPT, because it seems to pay attention to the opening of a numerical sequence and then make more of that opening than it deserves. After those first six digits of e, the digits that appear after it bear no resemblance to e. ChatGPT is claiming that the continuation of that sequence is 495724709369. In fact, the continuation is 122557. ]

Numerical Pattern #4

My Query:

What is the pattern in the following numbers and what five digits are next: 314152718262820442642464088428

ChatGPT Response:

The sequence seems to be an alternation between digits of pi and squares of natural numbers.

Here’s how it works:

  • The digits of pi are: 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, 2, 6, 5, 3, 5, 8, 9, 7, 9,…
  • The squares of natural numbers are: 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100,…

When interwoven, you get: 3 (from pi), 1 (1^2), 4 (from pi), 1 (2^2), 5 (from pi), 9 (3^2), 2 (from pi), 6 (4^2), 5 (from pi), 3 (5^2), 5 (from pi), 8 (6^2), 9 (from pi), 7 (7^2), 9 (from pi), 4 (8^2), 2 (from pi), 6 (9^2), 4 (from pi), 4 (10^2), 6 (from pi), 4 (11^2), 0 (from pi), 8 (12^2), 8 (from pi), 4 (13^2), 2 (from pi), 8 (14^2).

Following this pattern, the next five digits would be from the next digit of pi (8) and the square of the next natural number (15^2 = 225). So the next five digits should be “8225”.

[Me again: This explanation is nonsensical, like the others. Yes, I start with the first five digits of pi and then the first five of Euler’s e. But after that, I’m not trying to evaluate or approximate these numbers. Note that ChatGPT lists the next five digits to continue the pattern as 8225. There are only four digits here. It is, as Wolfgang Pauli used to say, not even wrong. The next five digits should be 48280.]


Finding patterns in numerical sequences seems, on the basis of these four tests, to be a systemic problem and breakdown for ChatGPT. It appears to be emblematic of a more general problem of its being unable to carry out abductive inferences, or what are also known as inferences to the best explanation. The numerical patterns that I considered were not particularly obvious. I plan to do some further tests to see how simple the patterns can be made but where ChatGPT will still fail to uncover them.

ChatGPT’s failure with inference to the best explanation is a gaping hole in its ability to achieve genuine language comprehension. Add to this it’s failure at self-transcendence (as shown by its inability to extract itself from self-referential linguistic situations — see here and also the same problem for Google Bard), and we have good reason to doubt the linguistic comprehension of these systems in general. We should therefore distrust these systems for any serious inquiry or decision.

This article is cross-posted from

—<Quote ends>—

Logic, Ideology Enforcement, and Faith


While surveying the basic animism of Darwinism — the spirit of evolution made this happen, or selected for this outcome — Coppedge notes in Darwin Mysticism Slides Through the Media:

These are just sample stories from the news. Such mystical, illogical presentations of evolution are very common. You see them in the press releases but also in the journal papers. It’s time to call it out for what it is: illogical, mystical pseudoscience. Chance cannot make human brains. Chance cannot do anything functional worth talking about. Cloaking chance with personified terms like “natural selection” is a dodge, like inventing “natural voting” as a term and pretending it makes sense scientifically. 

This is what smart scientists are left with when they abandon design in their toolkit for explanation. They fool themselves into thinking that thinking evolved. But in every case we can observe complex machinery coming into being, intelligence is clearly a necessary and sufficient cause. It implies a supreme engineer behind life: one who is also logical and real, not mystical.

Knowledge of God is within our hearts; it can be acknowledged or rejected. But to reject God is to reject logic, too (see Jay Seegert explain this). Paul said it best in Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” And so we can add one more adjective to illogical, pseudoscientific and mystical: ungrateful.

Jau Seegert’s video “Testing the Atheistic Worldview” is worth a listen:

The Spirit of Evolution is totally mindless and unintelligent spirit, that creates very mindful and sophisticated outcomes. Random noise generating complex information.

So much nonsense. “But if you throw in billions of unobserved years, it all makes sense!”

No. A billion years of noise is just a billion years of noise. That’s all.

But seriously… I think Our Betters will replace mindless evolution with a mindful Spirit of the Universe in a few decades, as the old-school race-based Darwinians dry up and blow away. Christ will still be hated, of course, but atheism is losing its charm.

I have a suspicion that the Darwinian racial hierarchy was a modification of the Hindu caste system, that the British brought with them from their Hindu domains. Useful for mastering the Inferiors, and useful as a bond among Europeans to replace that detested Christian religion.

But the racial hierarchy, along with atheism, is no longer useful in the quest of gaining and justifying power.

So back to the well of Hinduism, for the impersonal and lawless pantheistic philosophy to better replace the personal, Law-enforcing God of Scripture.

“God should be silent – preferable, forever – so that only the voice of Powerful Men will be heard.”

But reality doesn’t work that way.

Ideology Enforcement

As a comment on Saturn Moon Pops Its Cork — where the impossibility of the moon of Enceladus erupting for billions of years is noted — Coppedge comments as an appendage:

How does one even begin to help such people begin to think outside the box? Gently and infrequently, I tried to share DVDs about intelligent design with some of them, like Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet (that one with JPL scientists filmed at JPL). Most were not offended at this; some took them and liked them; others had mild criticisms, and some were silent. But after sharing one too many with a non-scientific associate with whom I had worked cordially for over a decade, she used the H-word “harassment” to my boss, not because I offended her in any way, but because the DVD offended her. It set off a sequence of events that led to my demotion, warning, and firing for the crime of “pushing religion” on coworkers. I asked “Where is the religion in these videos?” to no avail. The scarlet letter H was on me and there was no recourse. I had offended Darwin. Evolutionists could push their materialistic worldview on the whole lab freely, but not a Darwin skeptic. In fact, I went to numerous lectures on the naturalistic origin of life during those years. They preached the Stuff Happens gospel with no restrictions on speculation. What they did to me shows the level of intolerance within academia toward any questioning of materialism in science.

Atheists don’t tolerate treason within their ranks: and faith in Christ is treason.

When they get sufficient power, such treason is punishable with death. If they don’t have sufficient power, then it’s just career destruction, government-back discrimination, etc.

But that’s the same for everyone. Certainly for Islam, and Christ (via the laws of Moses, and His own preaching on hell) will not tolerate treasonous servants.

That is the point, of course. It’s not about “following the evidence, wherever it goes.” It’s about commitment to methodological naturalism, regardless of the evidence.

Christians should expect to be tested by God, in regard to their loyalty to Him. God and and does make the wicked triumph in the short term, to reveal what is in our hearts. But that’s clearly and honestly taught in Scripture.1

Atheists do a slight-of-hand, claiming to be free of religion or faith commitments, when their naturalistic (as opposed to supernatural) religion trumps reality, logic, observational science, and the historical record. Man makes the Law, in their eyes…

…and, under their breath, they add “The Right Sort of man.”

But the quest for “fitness” was always about the quest for power over the Inferiors… and an escape from Higher Authority, dressed up in impersonal scientific jargon.


The place of faith in Atheism is simple: “We believe that these unproven things are true, as that helps us to silence God and His repulsive restraints on our will and our desires.”

Faith in evolution means faith in our own potential for godhood, with “godhood” being defined as “reality being whatever I say it is.”

A faith in magic, in Something for Nothing. Just as the snake promised, long ago.

The magician seeks to obtain something for nothing. It is not that he seeks personal gain at minimal expenditure. We all do this. What he seeks is access to wealth or power outside the realm of ethical law. He substitutes ritual for ethics. Ritual seems cheaper than ethics. In doing so, he risks something very important for the sake of something far less important. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Gary North, The Lure of Magic: Something for Nothing

Charles Darwin hated even the pathetic shadow of Natural Law, a shoddy and laughable imitation of Biblical Law (Old and New Testament). He wanted no law above the will of — and, implicitly, faith in — Powerful Men.

And the European Intelligentsia strongly agreed with him.

The place of faith in Christianity is a lot more interesting than faith in power.

When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 
-- John 4:47-48, ESV
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
-- John 20:26-29, ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
-- First John 4:1-6, ESV
When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
-- Matthew 8:5-13, ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
-- Romans 1:16-17, ESV
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
-- First Corinthians 2:1-6, ESV
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
-- Second Corinthians 5:6-7, ESV
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
-- Galatians 2:15-16, ESV
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
-- Hebrews 11:1-16, ESV

Faith will eventually fade, as the promises of God are gradually fulfilled before our eyes. But even now, in the Year of Our Lord 2023, there is still a great place for faith, patience, and trust in God.

As opposed to trust in powerful men. Or even in mystical magical forces.

Enceladus: If the Facts Don’t Fit…

…You can ban their mention, or ignore them.

In this case, as most people don’t care much about astrophysics — or the physical sciences per se — just ignoring them is the cost-effective strategy.

From Saturn Moon Pops Its Cork by David F. Coppedge of Creation Evolution Headlines:

—<Quote begins>—

Detecting active geysers on Saturn’s little Arizona-size moon Enceladus was one of the greatest discoveries and biggest surprises of the Cassini mission in 2007. Some 100 plumes have been observed, shooting out icy particles at supersonic speeds. Now, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) witnessed an eruption that dwarfs the previous observations: a plume 20 times the diameter of the moon itself.

Webb Telescope finds towering plume of water escaping from Saturn moon (Southwest Research Institute, 30 May 2023). “Two Southwest Research Institute scientists were part of a James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) team that observed a towering plume of water vapor more than 6,000 miles long — roughly the distance from the U.S. to Japan — spewing from the surface of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus.” The diameter of Enceladus is only about 300 miles, roughly the width of Arizona or Iowa.


The problem of how long this level of activity could persist is ignored by the scientists. As usual, they sidestep to speculate whether the presence of water ice indicates there could be life on the moon. (See hydrobioscopy in the Darwin Dictionary.)


And yet it is unthinkable that eruptive activity this vigorous could continue for billions of years. Enceladus spews out so much water and ice, it creates a huge ring around Saturn’s main rings, called the E-ring. The torus-shaped ring even affects Saturn’s powerful magnetic field.

Webb’s sensitivity reveals a new story about Enceladus and how it feeds the water supply for the entire system of Saturn and its rings. As Enceladus whips around the gas giant in just 33 hours, the moon spews water, leaving a halo, almost like a donut, in its wake. The plume is not only huge, but the water spreads across Saturn’s dense E-ring. JWST data indicate that roughly 30 percent of the water stays in the moon’s wake, while the other 70 percent escapes to supply the rest of the Saturnian system.

—<Quote ends>—

“Let’s follow the evidence, wherever it leads.”

Unless it leads to wrongthink, of course.

Unlike atheists, Christians must push on to continue to follow the evidence.

Truth is more important than pleasing powerful institutions: religious, academic, political, media, familial.

1) Schoolteachers in Russia 2) The Untouchables

This is not how schoolteachers live in the West.

That’s because the Western (read: American) Empire still stands.

Our government schoolteachers – the common priest in the official Western neo-churches, teaching the unwashed the ways of Our True Lord – are still well-founded. This has been true since the Unitarians got control of Massachusetts (See the Gary North repost below).

Of the two Untouchables North mentions (three if you have government health care in your jurisdiction), I’m confident that the state schools will go down before the central banks.

So one day, schoolteachers will live in the West as they do in Russia. Complete with an ever-declining number of students to fit the ever-declining budget.

This teacher has a better state religion than Western teachers do – as seen in the Orthodox icons of his small family home. Rainbow flags won’t cut it when the money’s gone1, and political personality cults in the style of China, North Korea, and even Russia is of limited utility in the West. So, pictures of the President on the wall aren’t going to be very inspiring here.

Finally… observing the anti-reality viewpoints endorsed in the universities, motivated parents are going to be better educated, better grounded, and more committed teachers than the government-supplied ideologues. More financially successful, too, when the government checks dry up.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
-- Galatians 5:1, ESV

Something to remember, no matter what crocodile tears/pseudo-repentant blather Our Betters offer when their control system declines into bankruptcy and powerlessness.

Also something to remember: the Unitarians, the Liberals, the Progressives, the Woke all came from within the Christian church. All are certain that they are more righteous than the Lord of the Bible, and all loathe His Laws.

If future Christians hew close to obedience to God and the Laws He spells out in the Bible, hew close to His Spirit (which will always support and never challenge His Commandments) and promptly toss out the traitors and fake-faithful — however credentialed — they will do well.

But those future Christians need to be repent of their evil, swiftly. Otherwise, they will quickly be enslaved again, either by the left-wing humanists or the right-wing humanists, spouting lies about the Others instead of hard truths about Ourselves.

It’s not just the Left that loathe the Laws of God, after all. Plenty on the Right do so as well.

The Untouchables

From The Untouchables by Gary North

—<Quote begins>—

Reality Check (July 20, 2012)

The word “untouchable” means something different in India than it does in the West. In India, no one wants to be an untouchable. In the West, achieving the status of untouchable is the supreme organizational goal.

In India, untouchable status means that you cannot move up. In the West, it means that you can’t be pulled down.

In every Western nation, certain institutions are untouchable. Anyone challenging them is regarded as a revolutionary, a kook, or a self-promoter looking for publicity.

Untouchable status means that the organization gets a free ride in society. Its mistakes are overlooked. Its deviations from established standards are overlooked. It is immune from the usual criticisms that all other institutions are subjected to.

The Communist Party in the Soviet Union had this status. So did the Politburo.

These organizations are at the center of the social order. They are immune from politics, because they are the basis of power. The famous Powers That Be, whose interests are linked to the success of these institutions, have such influence that they can bring socially effective pressure against those who go on the attack against these organizations.

It is considered unthinkable that society could function without an untouchable institution. The organization is so deeply ingrained in the thinking of the intelligentsia that leaders are literally unable to imagine how society could exist without it.

There can be obscure bureaucracies that are never criticized in print. This is because they have so little influence that almost no one knows of their existence. This is not what I mean. I am speaking here of powerful agencies with large constituencies. They have few enemies. They are not subject to budget cuts. There are no rival constituencies that would be happy to see them shut down.

Yet at some point in a nation’s history, society and politics did without every presently untouchable organization. It was not only not untouchable, it did not exist.

There are two such organizations in the West today: the public school system and the central bank.


The first famous proponent of compulsory education in the West was Martin Luther. Scottish Calvinists passed a law in 1616. Compulsory attendance and tax funding of poor parents were made mandatory thirty years later in Massachusetts. But the law was not enforced widely for two centuries. Then Unitarians gained control over Massachusetts politics. Congregational churches were disestablished in Massachusetts in 1833. The statewide public school system began four years later. A new established priesthood replaced the older one.

It is no more possible for the average American to imagine America without tax-funded schools and compulsory attendance than the average resident of Massachusetts in 1650 could imagine a holy commonwealth without tax-funded churches and compulsory attendance. Yet such a world came when a majority of people finally changed their minds.

The Powers That Be do not send their children into compulsory tax-funded schools. At least 140 years ago, they created a separate school system in the Northeast, modeled along the lines of the private schools — called public — in England. Their children have never mixed with the common people.

So, those at the top buy their children’s way out. They make sure that the youth of the masses spend a dozen years in the propaganda mills whose curricula materials are designed or at least certified by professors at Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Stanford, and the other Ivy League universities. The means of social control are in their hands, but their children are not under the authority of this system.

It is the same throughout Europe. The power elite maintains control through the compulsory school systems which their wealth allows them to escape.

It is possible to criticize the public schools’ methodologies and pedagogies. Reform fads come and go like mayflies. But the following do not go: (1) tax funding, (2) compulsory attendance, (3) falling test scores, (4) increased percentage of budgets for administration, (5) teacher certification by accredited universities, (6) rising violence, (7) student boredom, (8) increased drug use, and (9) the sacred religion of football.

Similarly, the established churches of the West were subjected to reforms from the inside. New theologies came and went. New preaching styles came and went. What did not go was bureaucratization. The best book on American church practices is “The Churching of America.” The authors show that tax funding and political favoritism undermined established churches. When the funding and the favors ceased, they could no longer compete.

The mark of untouchable status is the phrase, “Without [x], it would not be possible to. . . .” Yes, it would. And, sooner or later, it will.


There are more critics of central banking today than there were in 2007. There were more in 2007 than there were in 1997. And so it goes, decade by decade. There is growing criticism, but not in high places.

The twentieth century was the century of central banking. Almost every nation had a central bank in 1999. Monaco didn’t, but it is one large private gambling casino. It does not need a central bank.

Central banking is untouchable. Except for Austrian School economists and fiat money Greenbackers, no one calls for the abolition of central banks. To get involved in opposition to central banking is like applying for membership in the Black Helicopters Society. (Note: do not search Google for “YouTube” and “black helicopters.” Do not view these videos, especially the ones run on local TV news programs. If you talk about these videos, people may conclude that you oppose the Federal Reserve.)

Here are three places where you will not see criticism of the Federal Reserve System as the enforcer and the insurer of the cartel of large commercial banks: (1) college-level textbooks on economics, (2) financial media outlets, (3) Congress.

Congress legally is in charge of the FED. Yet it has yet to audit the FED, with a comprehensive audit of the gold holdings. It does not set policy for the FED. “Where is the government’s gold?” “In our vaults.” “How do we know?” “Trust, but don’t verify.”

The Board of Governors of the FED is the only governmental agency that is legally independent of the government, and is praised by the nation’s opinion leaders for this independence. That is to say, the FED is the most anti-democratic agency in the country. It is not just that politics has no control over it. This is operationally true of most of the federal government, day to day. It is that, as a matter of principle, those who proclaim democracy as a religion of social healing are on the side of an agency that supposedly regulates the nation’s central economic institutions — commercial banks — which is itself controlled by the largest banks.

The foxes guard the henhouse. The largest banks were bailed out. Bernanke promised the banks $16 trillion worth of back-up in 2008. Yet in the Senate, only independent Senator Bernie Sanders bothered to look into this. He is the source of the story. (

Here is an institution whose publicly appointed agents are paid by the government, yet whose 12 regional banks are privately owned, and no one in Congress knows by whom. These 12 regional banks have the power of civil governments, yet they are immune from civil government. No Congressman or local politician dares call for public representation on their boards. There is no other institution like this in the nation. Yet this is the third incarnation of the American central bank.

Andrew Jackson saw fit to fight the Second Bank of the U.S. in 1832. He won politically. The government refused to re-charter it in 1836. Yet in every textbook that discusses this battle, Jackson is criticized for this action. He is treated as an economic ignoramus. He was a gold standard ideologue as no President ever has been, yet he is dismissed as a fiat money representative of indebted farmers.

When an institution that was self-consciously established to violate the official religion of the civilization — democracy — and the priests and acolytes of this religion praise it to high heaven, you can be sure of this: its origin was not in high heaven.

Read “The Creature from Jekyll Island.”


The Federal Reserve System has enemies today. This is due almost entirely to Congressman Ron Paul. His tireless criticism of the FED began from the week he was sworn in back in April of 1976. He wanted to see the FED abolished before he was elected to Congress. He still does. But he is still alone in Congress on this issue.

There have been a few critics of the FED in Congress. They did not have national constituencies. They were not elected for their views on the FED.

One of them was Howard Buffett of Omaha, who had served several terms from 1942 to 1952. He was a gold standard man. He was a free market proponent. He did not persuade Congress. He did not even persuade his son.

There were two other Congressional critics of the FED in 1943, when Buffett was sworn in. These two critics were Greenbackers. The Greenback movement began in the 1870s. These people have always been on the fringes of American politics. They are advocates of pure fiat money issued by the federal government. They got their name from the green paper bills issued by the Union in the Civil War. They oppose the gold standard. They oppose banks. They oppose the FED.

One FED critic was a Texas Congressman, Wright Patman. He really hated the FED. He was a Greenbacker. He wanted Congress to control money, issuing greenbacks on its own authority, and paying no interest on the national debt held by a commercial bank. He was thrown out of his position as chairman of the House Banking Committee in 1975. He died in office almost exactly when Ron Paul was sworn in. Patman had served since 1925. He became legendary for a question directed to Arthur Burns, FED chairman under Nixon. “Can you give me any reason why you should not be in the penitentiary?”

During World War II, Patman and Congressman Jerry Voorhis of California inflicted the greatest wound ever suffered by the FED. They got a law passed that forced the FED to pay back most of the interest paid to the FED by the U.S. Treasury. The Treasury since 1914 had been paying interest to the FED’s privately owned banks, despite the fact that the FED bought these IOUs with fiat money. This rip-off had been the greatest cash cow in American history from 1914 until World War II. Wikipedia comments in its article on Voorhis.

Voorhis advocated the purchase by the Federal Government of the stock in the Federal Reserve Banks, which was held by the member banks, as a way of financing government expenditures and briefly got President Roosevelt to support the measure until the President’s advisers caused Roosevelt to change his mind. Voorhis later allied with future House Banking Committee chairman Wright Patman to force Federal Reserve Banks to pay most of the interest they earned on federal securities to the U.S. Government, rather than to the bank stockholders.

This was one of the most important political triumphs of economic logic over crony capitalism in America’s history. Yet the story is unknown. There is no monograph on how Patman and Voorhis pulled it off. There is dead silence on this event in the history books.

Voorhis was a Greenbacker who wrote a book on this: “Out of Debt, Out of Danger.” Richard Nixon defeated him in the 1946 election, when Republicans regained control over Congress.

With the overthrow of Patman in 1975, the Establishment believed that it had silenced the last Congressional critic of the FED. Then, a year later, Ron Paul showed up.

The best laid plans of mice and men. . . .


At some point, the FED will once again expand the monetary base. At some point, commercial banks will start lending. If they don’t, then America’s businesses will never escape from the turndown that has produced over 8% official unemployment. This is the weakest recovery in the post-World War II era. The FED’s ad hoc hyperinflation of the monetary base has not led to anything like a recovery. It has pushed on a string.

It can goose the economy at any time. It can adopt a new rule that all excess reserves held by the FED will be subject to a 5% fee per annum. Banks overnight would pull back their reserves and start lending. The M-1 multiplier would skyrocket, and hyperinflation would rear its ugly head. The FED knows this, so it does not do it. It is muddling through. All it needs to do is sit tight. Ron Paul will soon retire.

A recession looms, despite Bernanke’s assurances to the contrary. The fiscal cliff looms on January 1: the expiration of Bush’s tax cuts. The prospect of an annual deficit approaching $2 trillion looms. Social Security is running a deficit. Asia may stop buying Treasury debt. Then what?

Inflate or die.

Bernanke’s term as chairman ends on the last day of January 2014. If he can tough it out until then, he gets the money monkey off his back. He can go back into the shadows. He can stay on the Board of Governors, or he can return to Princeton’s tenured safety.

At some point, his successor must decide: hyperinflation, or Great Recession III, or Great Depression II.

Mass inflation (20% to 25%) will be a defeat for the FED. But either hyperinflation or Great Depression II will be an even worse defeat. Yet these are the choices.

The FED will try to play the boom/bust game one more time. This has worked for 60 years. But the annual deficit was not $1.2 trillion. Social Security was not in deficit mode. The Baby Boomers were not retiring. Foreign central banks were not holding 40% of the public debt.

Bernanke’s successor will not have the wiggle room Bernanke has enjoyed: almost $2 trillion in purchases of government debt, 2008-2011, but with almost stable consumer prices.


Over the next decade, central banks will have their respective moments of truth. They will be called upon to bail out the West’s economies, from Eastern Europe to China. The deeply confessional religion of fiat money as the creator of wealth and the guarantor of stability will suffer from events that do not conform to the confession. As surely as the voters of Massachusetts in 1833 abandoned two centuries of established churches, so will voters decide that West’s central banks are liabilities.

It may take two decades to unseat them, but they will be unseated. Religions that fail to deliver the goods always are.

Then it will be the public schools’ turn.

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1 The people who have large families don’t care much for homosexuality… surprise, surprise.

This implies that those flags will one day be put away for the older standby of the national flags, that many family-oriented people are willing to die for.

But what happens when said families are unwilling to send their sons to die for the nation?

(Observes the declining recruitment numbers of today’s Progressive military forces.)

That’s when interesting things happen.

The Mogadishu Skyline and the Islamic Courts Union

Somalia went through severe trials – including a genocidal Marxist-Muslim tyranny that was overthrown, and then an extended period of violent anarchy – but the violence has been burnt out.

Note that the current peacetime (more or less) government has been around since 2012, and in control of most of the country since 2014. It still took them about a decade for them to rebuild to the extent seen above, though.

But the rebuilding begins.

It will take a long time for the Christian reconstruction of society to reach the level of Muslim Somali.

For one thing, most Christians – leaders and laymen – detest the concept and implications of the Law of Moses.

In contrast, Islamic law is widely supported by the population (more than same-sex marriage in the West), and the Islamic Courts Union was instrumental in the rise of the civil government.

Also from Wikipedia: “In 2012, the country adopted a new constitution that declared Somalia an Islamic state with Sharia as its primary source of law.[1]

In British North America, the Bible – including the Law of Moses – was the primary source of law. It hasn’t been that way for a long time now, and it will take a long time to regain that level of public support.

Not so much because of the power of our (anti-child, anti-future, anti-family, anti-rational, pro-welfare state, pro-tyranny) enemies. “Those who hate me love death,” God said, and His enemies are doing a great job of destroying their future.

It’s not the power of the secularists that holds us back.

It’s Christian faithlessness, cowardice, me-focused racial pride (and more than a little gnostic/rapture escapism) that is doing the job.

“We will not have this man reign over us.”

So we turn to our pitiful idols for salvation. Race and State and Mystic escape.


Of course, I have no interest in the Islamic deity. But God does reward unbelievers who partially follow His laws. Just as surely as the Japanese have been blessed for partially following His laws.

We can do much better than both of them, combined….

if we choose to repent of our evil and sin, and obey Jesus Christ, King of Kings.

Extra Material

Just a backgrounder, from a man whose more fair-minded, experienced, and informed than I regarding international matters.

Service to Our True Lord

The writer correctly notes the pathetic rot and decline of the Religious Right, before focusing on serious religious commitment.

“Salvation via State Action” — and State Law, State Bribes, and State Punishment — has been the guiding light for both the humanist left and the humanist right since the pharaohs, at the very latest.

The only different today is that the supernatural content has been officially shorn off for the left, while some corpse of Christianity is on occasion waved about by the right (forever stuck in the dead past).

Both serve power, not righteousness. Both see the State as the True lawgiver, and thus our True Lord. Neither have any interest in upholding the actual laws of God, as listed in the Bible.

Certainly, defensive and delaying political action is warranted by Christians.

But what is really needed is a Christian turning away from political salvation, and towards faith and obedience to God:

  • in our hearts and hands and minds,
  • at home,
  • at (non-government) schools,
  • at work,
  • at individual and group worship,
  • at the neighbourhood,
  • at the town and county and precinct.

It’s Christian idolatry that is powering the Atheistic rise to power.

When we repent and actually obey God, pursue good and just self-governance – instead of crying out for a king to save us – then, and only then, will we get out from under their yoke.

If we don’t repent, then even the inevitable bankruptcy of the centralized State will not free us: we will merely cringe in fear of petty local tyrants, in fear of sticks and without bothering to use carrots, as they do today.

For evidence of any real Christian commitment to God, I recommend that we check out the charitable payments, as well as attendance to (and donations to!) a local congregation. Does it even reach 10%? “Follow the money, to know the commitment.”

Also useful (if not as easy to document): determining the time given to others. In politics, yes, but also outside of politics, in church, civic, and charitable activities.

There will come a time when the government money runs out, and the idol of the age cracks, crumbles, and falls. Will Christians be able to live and demonstrate an alternate, godly, even blessed way forward, when that time comes?

From, Religious Right? Those true believers are nowhere near as politically active as atheists by Ryan Burge

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The last 40 years of politics and religion has been focused squarely on the ascendancy of the Religious Right.

I must admit that I’ve probably contributed my fair share to that discourse, as well.

A motley crew of white evangelicals and traditional Catholics locked arms on some social issues, started voting in large numbers for Republican candidates, and changed American politics forever.

But I think that era of religion and politics is rapidly coming to a close. The Religious Right is no longer a primarily religious movement — from my point of view it’s one about cultural conservatism and nearly blind support for the GOP with few trappings of any real religiosity behind it.

Here’s what I believe to be the emerging narrative of the next several decades: the rise of atheism and their unbelievably high level of political engagement in recent electoral politics. Let me put it plainly: atheists are the most politically active group in American politics today and the Democrats (and some Republicans) ignore them at their own peril.

The data is clear and unequivocal on this point — no one gets involved in the political process to the level of the average atheist.

The Cooperative Election Study always asks a nice little battery of questions about political engagement. It’s phrased simply as: have you done any of the following activities in the previous month? Because the CES is fielded in the height of election season, if someone was going to get politically active, they would be doing so in October or November of an election year.

The group that is most likely to contact a public official? Atheists.

The group that puts up political signs at the highest rates? Atheists.

HALF of atheists report giving to a candidate or campaign in the 2020 presidential election cycle. And while they don’t lead the pack when it comes to attending a local political meeting, they only trail Hindus by four percentage points.

For those curious, here’s a link to the 2022 results—- they are bit muddier because it’s an off-year election. But the same general consensus is there: atheists do a lot of political stuff in an average year.

To simplify this analysis, I added all six activities into a single index. In this case, a six represents the highest level of engagement, while a zero represents someone who was not involved in politics at all surrounding the 2020 election.

Same conclusion as before: atheists take part in plenty of political actions — 1.52 to be exact. The overall average in the entire sample was 0.91 activities.

The bottom line: The average atheist is about 65% more politically engaged than the average American.

Of course, political activity does not merely derive from religious affiliation (or lack thereof). There are myriad factors that make one more or less inclined to participate in the democratic process. For instance, giving to a candidate or campaign requires having some disposable income. Attending a local school board meeting is difficult for someone who works a night shift.

Atheists typically score very high on a number of SES factors including education and income, so maybe this is just a product of having lots of disposable income and free time. To test that I put together a simple regression model with a number of control variables that could potentially impact political participation. The dependent variable was total number of political activities over the previous month.

The results here are clear and unambiguous — atheists are more likely to engage in political activities at every level of education compared to Protestants, Catholics or Jews. For instance, an atheist with a high school diploma reports 0.7 activities, that’s at least 0.2 higher than any other religious group.

Political engagement is clearly related to education, though. The more educated one is, the more likely they are to be politically active.

But note that at every step of the education scale, atheists lead the way. Sometimes those gaps are incredibly large. A college educated atheist engages in 1.7 activities, it’s only 1.05 activities for a college educated evangelical.

That’s the point I want to drive home in this post — people seem to believe that evangelicals are incredibly politically active. Their pastors are constantly preaching sermons about which candidates to vote for, their churches have voter registration drives in the lobby, they encourage their members to attend pro-life protests and lobby legislators to pass anti-trans bills. And, they do that, but not nearly at the level that atheists are involved in the political process, often on the other side of the same cultural issues.

Just look at the gap in political donations in every election year between 2012 and 2022 (at the top of this post). There is no year in which the donation level of white evangelicals comes even close to that of the typical atheist. In fact, in an average election year, an atheist is twice as likely to donate money to a candidate or campaign compared to a white evangelical.

CONTINUE READING:No One Participates in Politics More than Atheists Even White Evangelicals” by Ryan Burge at the Graphs About Religion feed from Substack.

—<Quote ends>—

Power Over Love, and a Great Hatred of (Non-Elite) Judgement

From Bill C-4: History, Concerns, and Response by Paul Carter

—<Quote begins>—

The effort to pass the Bill was ultimately set aside in light of the election called by the Prime Minister for September 20th 2021. Although the election did not significantly strengthen the Prime Minister’s hand, Bill C-4, an expanded version of Bill C-6, passed through the entire parliamentary process, including affirmation by the Senate, on Tuesday, December 7th 2021 without a single dissenting vote. Bill C-4 received Royal Assent on December 8th and will become the law of the land on January 7th, 2022. The proposed changes to the Criminal Code by Bill C-4 are summarized as follows:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things, create the following offences:

(a) causing another person to undergo conversion therapy;

(b) doing anything for the purpose of removing a child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada;

(c) promoting or advertising conversion therapy; and

(d) receiving a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.

It also amends the Criminal Code to authorize courts to order that advertisements for conversion therapy be disposed of or deleted.

The definition of ‘conversion therapy’ set out in Bill C-4 reads as follows:

320.‍101 In sections 320.‍102 to 320.‍104, conversion therapy means a practice, treatment or service designed to

(a) change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual;

(b) change a person’s gender identity to cisgender;

(c) change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth;

(d) repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour;

(e) repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; or

(f) repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.

For greater certainty, this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relates to the exploration or development of an integrated personal identity — such as a practice, treatment or service that relates to a person’s gender transition — and that is not based on an assumption that a particular sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is to be preferred over another.

The definition of ‘conversion therapy’ in Bill C-4 is very similar to the definition in Bill C-6, though expanded so as to expressly forbid practices, treatments or services designed to change or repress a person’s gender expression to align with their biological sex.

—<Quote ends>—

People rush to destroy themselves. That’s a sad reality.

What’s interesting here is the denial of choice for those who don’t want to destroy themselves, or don’t want to deny reality. Also, the denial of action to those who would assist those who would rather live than die.

The state as a restricted servant of God, of limited power and limited means, has a place in God creation. The state as God, whose denies God’s authority and God’s law, naturally moves to self-destruction as well.

Power overreach, beyond the limits God has set.
Disgrace, sterility & poverty, and death.
And an inability to repent, to see and turn away from death.
“The party is always right.”
Even as the nation dies.
“But who cares about that? My life will end comfortably.”

As in Russia, so in China. As in Europe, so in North America.

Also, note the applause from conservatives, as surely as from progressives.

Well, really, it’s just the slow progressives applauding the fast progressives as they reach their shared goal.

And this is NOT a crazy dictatorship: I’m comfortable in saying that a large minority, if not the solid majority, of the population agrees with the rulers here.

Hardened Hearts, Blinded Eyes

Long ago, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, to secure the doom of an above-the-law enemy of God.

It’s natural — and correct — to quote Romans 1:18-32 here.

I would only add that God hardens — and blinds — all His committed enemies, as they rush to their predictable doom.

Christians would be wise to get off the doom train. Regardless of how comfortable it is.

I wonder how many will. It’s so very comfortable, after all.

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
-- Hebrews 12:5-9, ESV

Instead of hating them, we should consider why we are being disciplined.

And repent of our own evils and idolatry, first and most.

That is the gateway to life, to doing what is right and speaking God’s Word of Power.

And to God hearing our prayers, both for blessing His friends and also for cursing Hs enemies.