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July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’” ― St. Anthony the Great

“What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.” ― HBO’s Chernobyl 

What is happening to our planet? 

Americans now risk being shamed, attacked, and even murdered for not wearing a mask in public. The “right of the people to peaceably assemble” has basically been abolished (the right of the people to violently assemble, however, is another story). 

Petty bureaucrats delight in creating and enforcing arbitrary rules about everyday life. Attempts to launch an iconoclastic cultural revolution are picking up steam. Kindergarten now takes place over Zoom. Government hotlines have been created for people to report on others playing tennis, going to church, or showing their faces in public.

What can Catholics do in the face of this insanity?

First, we must pray and work on getting our own lives and souls in order. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest form of prayer we have. We must take advantage of the graces offered to us in Holy Communion, especially now that we know how easily we can lose access to the Sacraments. St. Padre Pio said it would be easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Mass. Depriving the faithful of the Eucharist is like depriving us of oxygen. Frankly, I was dismayed over how eagerly bishops banned Masses at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak and how quickly their priests went along with it. One friend recently wished bishops and priests treated sin as seriously as they do the virus (and what we can only assume is fear of lawsuits related to the virus).

The deep feeling of abandonment so many Catholics felt when Masses were banned – not only because of the actions of our bishops but also those of many, many priests – was and still is very real. Some priests didn’t protest when they were banned from giving the Last Rites; others went along with episcopal orders to lock church doors, giving parishioners the clear message that the Church’s mission of giving out soul-saving sacraments was not really an essential service. 

Will we have Christmas Masses in much of the country this year? Flu season and whatever “wave” of coronavirus we’re on then make it seem unlikely. What a wretched thought: no Easter or Christmas Masses in 2020. I hope I am wrong. 

Receive Communion while you can. Try to find a priest who will give you the Sacraments, including the Eucharist. Go to Confession. Pray the rosary.

Read books that share accounts of keeping the faith under oppressive communist governments, like Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s Christus Vincit: Christ's Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age

Mass cult recruitment and reprogramming 

Second, we must understand group psychology and how cults operate. It is impossible to stress enough how important this is.

The Marxist mob feeds on loneliness and uses the universal desire for acceptance to coerce people into proclaiming the dogmas of the revolution, thus signaling that they are “with the program.”

In November 2018, cult expert and former intelligence analyst Stella Morabito wrote at The Federalist, “As a nation, we need to talk openly and clearly about the reality of coercive thought reform. We must understand how easily our minds can be molested when isolated from real conversation and debate. The only people who profit from such conditions are powerful elites in their never-ending quest to control the lives of others.”

“What about the transgender movement? Is that a cult? What about a huge administrative state? Does it operate in a cult-like manner? How about socialism? Does the socialist movement have features of a cult?” (Yes, yes, and yes.)

“The stated beliefs of any of the above groups are irrelevant to the questions above,” she explained. “To figure out whether something is a cult, you must just look at the tactics and methods of those groups, especially their tolerance for different points of view.”

Morabito, who has for years been sounding the alarm about the cult-like nature of political correctness and gender ideology, offered seven notes on how cults operate, based on the book Cults in Our Midst, by Margaret Thaler Singer. She also shared Singer’s list of the “six conditions practiced by cults.”

Morabito summarizes:

  • Cults are defined by their methods and tactics, not their supposed beliefs. Cults and cult-like thinking always proliferate at times of great social upheaval, when people feel displaced.
  • Cults always serve a powerful elite, with recruits manipulated from above to profit those elites, who employ coordinated persuasion programs.
  • Cults always have a hidden agenda that is never exposed when recruiting. They isolate their recruits from other points of view in order to control and manipulate them.
  • Cults control language in order to blunt independent thought. They cultivate dependency, debilitation, deception, dread of separation, and desensitization in people, all of which makes it harder for them to walk away.
  • The main goal of a cult is simply to grow, grow, grow. There is no end in sight in terms of recruitment or fundraising or power.
  • Cults make a point of getting footholds in the institutions of society — including government, media, and education — in order to get mainstream credibility.
  • Cults are very organized in suppressing critics and criticism.

According to Singer, cults:

  1. Keep the person unaware of what is going on and how he or she is being changed a step at a time.
  2. Control the person’s social and/or physical environment; especially control the person’s time.
  3. Systematically create a sense of powerlessness, fear, and dependency in the person.
  4. Suppress old behavior and attitudes by manipulating a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences.
  5. Instill new behavior and attitudes by manipulating a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences that induce group-approved behaviors.
  6. Put forth a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by leadership approval.

Anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see should be able to detect that what Singer and Morabito are talking about is exactly what’s going on today. The “new normal” we are constantly being told to accept is, in reality, a re-programming simulation being carried out in the aftermath of the coronavirus response and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Increasingly, Americans are being forced to isolate themselves. Sometimes this isolation is literally mandated by the state in the name of public health. Other times this isolation is a result of rejecting political correctness. For example, in June, one New York Times columnist urged people to text relatives and loved ones “telling them you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions” (Morabito describes this as “emotional blackmail”).  

Isolate people, break them down, reprogram them. They emerge as compliant, unquestioning bots, aware that no dissent is ever acceptable and that questioning any contradictions is a cardinal sin of the highest degree.    

The simple fact is that this new “religion of wokeness” – being, as it is, an error – is full of contradictions and absurdities. For example, sex discrimination is wrong, it claims. But it also says there are no meaningful distinctions between men and women. Receiving Communion is too dangerous, its proponents argue. But sex with strangers is alright, “if you’re willing to take a risk” (according to this religion’s high priest Dr. Anthony Fauci). Similarly, going to church or protesting the lockdowns (even while wearing a mask) will spread the plague but rioting will not

Essential for this new cult to thrive is that the collective memory of society must be whitewashed and cast out into the abyss. One way this is being accomplished is that Americans are increasingly told they are “white supremacists” for believing that any part of Western Civilization or Christianity should be preserved. It doesn’t matter if one believes black lives matter and wants to avoid spreading disease; what matters is that he goes along with the cult’s prescribed rituals related to these matters. Any deviance from the “party line” is unacceptable.

George Orwell’s 1984 quote about history comes to mind: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

Just what is the antidote to the ongoing mass cult recruitment to the “Church of Woke” and the “Sanitary Dictatorship”? For one, speaking out, which empowers and inspires others to realize they are not alone and can share their same opinions. Building community, which combats loneliness, is also essential. Focusing on building strong, meaningful, and loving connections with family and friends is a must (Morabito has written about this extensively). And recognizing that yes, rejecting the cult recruitment of the mob may get you shunned or “cancelled,” but the consequences of going along with anti-freedom, anti-Christ, Marxist lies are far worse. As the two expressions go, “better to die standing than to live on your knees,” and “better to die with the Sacraments than live without them.”

Don’t be a conformist. Think for yourself. Ask questions, especially when you’re told not to ask questions. 

Finally, take Sohrab Ahmari’s “Courage Pledge.” Ahmari, recognizing that people will continually be “asked to acquiesce to ever more extreme positions, on penalty of their jobs, livelihoods, family relationships and their presence in the digital public square,” crafted the following pledge for all free thinkers:

  • I believe in the inherent dignity of all people.
  • I will not submit to outrage mobs.
  • I will stand for the truth, not your truth or my truth.
  • I will not hang that sign on my office door, make that symbolic gesture and so on if I don’t believe in its message.
  • I will not denounce my friends.
  • I am not ashamed of traditional faith or the American flag.

In other words: I do not consent. I will not comply. I will not submit.

Say those words to yourself over and over, and live by them.

Stephen Kokx contributed to this article.

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As a journalist and editor for LifeSiteNews, Claire Chretien has written more than 1,500 articles about abortion, human dignity, bioethics, the Catholic Church, politics, and related topics. Claire holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama. It was there that she first became involved in pro-life activism.