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The Voice of Tolemac

                             

Signs and wonders will be seen – You know my tears – This is the hour – No man shall stop my plan – Trust me!

Follow the hand of God – I will reach for you – Take my hand – Walk with me – Praise the Lord!

You have been called – You are my witness – The Rapture is coming – I am the Light – Expect me!

This is the time of teaching – There shall be a Crusade – Prepare for me – I have risen – Embrace me!

A new day is coming – I am building a Temple – My Church is being restored – Read the signs – Stand!

Allan, Oracle of Tolemac, May 26, 2017, 3:39 am

The Oracle of Tolemac

The Last Days of Tolemac” is a book about prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:

  • What is about to happen to our planet
  • Why these events are happening at this time
  • What places on earth will be affected
  • What the new world will be like
  • What we can do to prepare

As the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” where there will be no more suffering and no more pain. However all of us are faced with a choice. Do we wish to inherit the new world that is coming? Or will we fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival? What we need to do to survive is explained in the pages of this book.

Allan, Oracle of Tolemac, May 25, 2017, 9:13 pm

Kindle Books

For the information of readers, The Last Days of Tolemac is now available on Kindle Books as a Digital Download, as well as Allan’s major work entitled The Cosmic Web.

The Cosmic Web deals with the mysteries of life, and shows how we all have within us hidden powers that will transform our lives in the coming age. Many of the stories that appear on this Blog, as well as articles on esoteric aspects of life, have been taken from this book. And as usual with Kindle books, if you click on the cover of either book, you can read part of the contents for free.

Both books can be accessed here

Allan, Uncategorized, May 24, 2017, 7:32 am

Articles

For the benefit of readers who might be looking for information on specific subjects related to prophecy, the following articles have been included here for easy reference. They can be found in “Articles” listed under the heading “Categories” in the column on the right, or by clicking here:

  • The Apocalypse Unveiled
  • The Rapture Revealed
  • The Lost Years of Jesus
  • The New Golden Age
  • The Last Pope
  • The Death of the Pope
  • The Doomsday Prophecies
  • The Kachina Prophecies of the Hopi
  • Rebuilding the Temple of Solomon
  • What is “Wormwood” in the Book of Revelation?
  • What is “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation?
  • Why America is not Mentioned in “End Time” Prophecy

Allan, Articles, May 22, 2017, 9:09 pm

An Inconvenient Truth – Part Three

Notice to Readers 

The following post contains videos of whistleblowers who reveal classified information. While watching these videos my computer was subjected to a massive hack attack.

Those who watch these videos should proceed with caution. For those who prefer not to take the risk, a short summary of each of these videos is provided in the text.


A Presidential Warning

In January 1961, three days before the end of his term in office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell address to the nation. In it he included the following words:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist”.

As he was the first person to use the phrase “military-industrial complex” in a public speech, few people had any idea what he was talking about, especially when he warned that “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power” not only existed, but would continue to be a threat.

But even if they did, they could probably never have imagined how this military-industrial complex would one day come to dominate every aspect of American society. Sadly, Eisenhower’s warning has fallen on deaf ears, for the very disaster that he warned the nation about has now come to pass.

A Strange Phenomenon

Some twenty years ago, a few observant citizens around the United States began to notice an unusual phenomenon. They noticed that as planes flew overhead, some of them left cloudy trails behind them, while others did not. And some of these cloudy trails often hung around for hours.

Condensation Trails ?

Curious as to what the source of this phenomenon might happen to be, they approached the authorities. They were assured that this was nothing to worry about, because they were simply condensation trails which persisted in the sky as a result of fortuitous atmospheric weather conditions.

In fact these condensations trails, or contrails as they are usually called, are formed whenever water vapour condenses and freezes around small particles that are emitted from aircraft engine exhaust. They typically form when planes fly at high altitudes in sub-freezing temperatures.

According to Wikipedia, “depending on the temperature and humidity at the altitude these contrails form, they may be visible for only a few seconds or minutes, or may persist for hours and spread to be several miles wide, eventually resembling natural cirrus or altocumulous clouds”. 

And according to the authorities, the reason why these contrails seemed to be seen more often was easy to explain. More contrails were being seen, they said, because more planes were flying in the sky. And this continues to be the explanation that is offered to the public to this day.

My Personal Odyssey

I first began to notice these vapour trails in the sky about twenty years ago while I was taking my customary walks along the beach. Ever since I was young I have been in the habit of watching planes as they travelled across the sky. But there was something about these trails that was distinctly odd.

I was well aware of the existence of condensation trails forming behind aircraft travelling at high altitudes. But this is not a common feature in Vancouver where I live, because most planes operating around the airport fly at lower altitudes, as they are either taking off or landing.

But some of the planes left trails that did not dissipate after a few minutes as they normally would if they were simple condensation trails. Instead, they began to change shape almost immediately after they were formed, and then later spread out until they covered the sky.

Each individual trail would begin to break up into a sequence of separate tendrils, rather like the teeth of a comb. These tendrils would then steadily grow into separate patches of white cloud. It was these patches that would then expand until they filled the sky with a thin film of cloud.

I soon noticed that whenever one of these planes flew overhead leaving their distinctive trails behind them, that the sky would soon become overcast, filled with a thin veil of white cloud in a Cirrus type formation. But that in itself was not the most mysterious part of this phenomenon.

As I watched the planes that were laying down these trails, I saw that they would fly backwards and forwards along the same flight path. This made it obvious that they were not normal passenger planes, as FAA regulations forbid them from changing their prescribed routes in this way.

But what was even stranger was the fact that these planes had the ability to turn their exhaust trails on and off. So what would happen would be that a plane would lay down a certain length of trail, and then turn around and leave a similar trail parallel to it on the return journey.

It was clear to me that these parallel trails were being laid down in a precise pattern designed to take advantage of the offshore winds, so that these cloud formations would then blow inland and cover the whole of what is known as the “Lower Mainland” area of Vancouver.

I noticed that on summer days whenever the sky was clear, these planes would start spraying their mysterious trails as early as eight o’clock in the morning, and would then continue throughout the day until well past eight o’clock in the evening.

I also became aware of another odd phenomenon, this time associated with human behaviour. Whenever I pointed out these trails to strangers and asked them what they thought they were, they expressed no interest in them. They merely shrugged and carried on walking.

Meeting with the Media

After pestering my friends with questions about these trails which they could not answer, one of them suggested that I contact the Press about them. I did so, and made arrangements to meet with the Managing Editor of Vancouver’s largest newspaper at a local hotel.

At our meeting I explained what I had seen, and supported this with numerous documents and photographs. I pointed out that these trails hardly needed any documentation, because anyone could see them for themselves merely by going outside and looking up at the sky.

To my dismay, the Managing Editor responded by saying: “I do not believe in conspiracies”, and abruptly terminated our meeting. I subsequently learned that I was not alone, and that this was the standard response given by all authorities when confronted with questions about this subject.

To me this defied all logical reasoning. Here was a phenomenon that was clearly visible to anyone who cared to look. Yet even though local authorities must have been aware that something unusual was happening in Canadian skies, no one was prepared to talk about it.

It was as if the veil of cloud that filled the skies above Vancouver was being matched by a similar veil of secrecy by those responsible for protecting the environment. Even local weather forecasters ignored the presence of these clouds, dismissing them as normal features of the weather.

Digging Deeper

As I began to delve into this subject further, I discovered that one of the first people to undertake a serious investigation into these unusual trails was a fellow Canadian who lived not far from Vancouver. He was the award-winning environmental journalist William Thomas.

William Thomas

In January 1999, Thomas was asked by the Environment News Service to investigate these mysterious trails that were appearing in the sky. He did so, and subsequently issued a report entitled “Mystery Contrails may be Modifying Weather”.

This report gained immediate prominence, especially after he appeared as a guest on the popular late-night radio talk show hosted by Art Bell. Listeners from all over the United States called in to corroborate his findings, and he soon attracted a large following.

Thomas was also the first person to refer to these trails as “Chemical Trails”, later shortened to “Chemtrails”. He then went on to publish two books on the subject. The first was entitled Probing the Chemtrails Conundrum, which was followed by Chemtrails Confirmed.

Despite the success of both of these publications and the popularity of the subject with the general public, the reaction of the authorities was always the same. They dismissed his research as baseless, while his ideas of weather modification were greeted with ridicule and scorn.

To this day the word “chemtrails” has become inextricably linked with conspiracy, and anyone who tries to discuss this subject seriously in an open forum is treated as being of unsound mind. If anyone doubts this, I suggest they try raising this subject at their next dinner party!

Anyway, I was undeterred by this public opprobrium. In fact I have learned over the years that if you want to find out the truth about anything in life, it is a good idea to focus first on anything that is rejected by the authorities. And the more strident the criticism, the more likely it is to bear fruit.

I wanted to know what these trails were made of. I found out that over the years many people had taken samples of soil and water from heavily sprayed areas and sent them to reputable laboratories for analysis. The results of these tests have revealed some highly disturbing results.

Independent testing has confirmed that chemtrails contain a dangerous and extremely poisonous mix of chemicals that includes: barium, nano-aluminum-coated fibreglass (known as CHAFF), radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, ethylene dibromide and polymer fibres.

It is hardly surprising therefore that concerned citizens throughout the United States have come together to voice their outrage at what they see as a threat to their health and to the environment. A recent meeting in Shasta County in California is a case in point, as shown below. (Note: This video is safe to watch)

Once it became obvious that a cocktail of dangerous chemicals was being systematically sprayed all over the country on a regular basis, concerned citizens began asking the obvious question: Who is doing this and why? The trouble was that those who should have had an answer, had no answer.

When approached, the authorities simply dismissed the whole topic of chemtrails as a conspiracy hoax that had been foisted upon a gullible public. The situation has been neatly summarised by Richard Leviton in his book Welcome to Your Designer Planet!  In it he writes:

“We see these anomalous jet vapor trails increasingly overhead with no explanation. Hardly any media attention is given to them, yet often 50-75 trails are laid across the sky in an area in a single day, and this goes on, reportedly, all around the world, and it has been increasing since about the year 2000”.

“It is surprising how many otherwise intelligent people are hoodwinked into assuming the bizarre expanding chemtrails are normal jet exhaust from heavy air traffic. They are dispensed by jets clearly flying much higher than commercial traffic, presumably at 40,000+ feet, probably higher”.

Leviton writes about the standard response given by the authorities when asked about this phenomenon. “To start with, the U.S. Air Force refuses to discuss chemtrails as they brand this notion a hoax and they do not discuss hoaxes”.

And this is where the warning given by President Eisenhower in his farewell address, quoted earlier, assumes a grim reality, not just for the United States but for the whole of humanity. For as Richard goes on to point out:

“When you look up at what used to be a clear blue sky and see obnoxious criss-crosses of white feathery artificial substances and numerous parallel tracks of straight white lines, you know that not only is something being done to you but it’s done with contempt and a kind of black magic-flavored glee”.

We are reminded again of Eisenhower’s words when he warned: “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist”. The threat which this poses for humanity has been exposed by Leviton when he writes:

They’re not even bothering to veil their activities or hide behind facades and lies. They’re doing it and they refuse to discuss it; our public reaction is utterly irrelevant to them”.

When Eisenhower warned the country about this threat of “misplaced power”, he called it the Military-Industrial Complex. And that is exactly what it is. It is a combination of military power and industrial might that is shrouded in secrecy beyond the reach of any governmental agency.

It is worth noting here that when Edward Snowden revealed his trove of classified information about how the Central Intelligence Agency was spying on Americans, he was not an employee of the CIA. He actually worked for one of its contractors by the name of Booz Allen Hamilton.

So classified programmes conducted by the military frequently use private contractors, where all employees are bound by the highest levels of secrecy. But despite this tight control, whistle-blowers like Snowden do occasionally slip between the cracks. Another of these is Kristen Meghan.

So here we have the testimony of a person who worked for the U.S. Air Force for nine years as a specialist in Bio-engineering, whose job it was to review the use of all chemicals to ensure that they posed no threat to people or the environment, and that they met EPA standards.

And when she discovered orders for large quantities of hazardous chemicals, and then found that samples of air, soil and water taken from surrounding areas in Oklahoma, Georgia and Chicago showed unusually high levels of these same chemicals, she was “demonised” by fellow staff.

And when she persisted in raising questions about the use and purpose of these chemicals, she was told that she would be locked up in a mental institution and that her daughter would be taken away from her. It would be easy to dismiss her testimony if she was alone in what she said.

But she is not.

Disturbing stories continue to emerge from sources within the U.S. Air Force which corroborate her claims. Kristen said that pilots involved in spraying these chemicals were too scared to come forward and tell the world what they know. The following video would seem to bear this out.

It is clear from the third-hand information provided in the video above, that the U.S. Air Force pilot quoted here has gone to great lengths to ensure that his testimony could not be traced back to him, and that he felt that his career and possibly even his life would be in peril if it was.

He claims that he was employed as an aerosol (chemtrail) dispersal pilot engaged in a global geo-engineering programme operating under a classified top-secret code-name. It was his job, he said, to fly designated patterns within a 250 mile zone that alternated between day and night flights.

He said that pilots were rotated constantly, and seldom stayed in one place for more than 18 months. This was done to prevent “loose lips” and to preserve strict security. He said he was warned that harsh disciplinary action would be taken against him if he ever talked about what he did.

He said that pilots were told that the reason for the aerosol dispersal programme was to create an atmospheric shield designed to protect the United States from fearsome aerial weapons that could be used by hostile nations, although he said he thought that this was just a cover story.

He then referred to something that goes to the very heart of the strategy that was devised many years ago by the Military-Industrial Complex. It is the strategy of “compartmentalisation”. Over the years this has proved to be highly successful in preventing leaks in classified operations.

Under this strategy, all secret military projects operate on a “need to know” basis. What this means is that people who are assigned to a particular area or department are never told what other departments are doing. So only the most senior people are permitted to know what is really going on.

So a person working within a particular aspect of a secret project is forbidden to talk about what they do with anyone else, and they are never told what others involved in that project are doing. And anyone who breaks that rule of secrecy quickly attracts the attention of military security.

And as the following video indicates, anyone who tries to reveal classified information to the press or to the general public invites retribution by any or all of the forces available to the Federal government. And for those whose breach of security is deemed extreme, the penalty is death.

The compelling saga described in the video above should shock any American who still believes that they live in a free country ruled by the Articles of the Constitution, and governed by elected officials who carry out their duties within the constraints set out in that Constitution.

For in this video Kevin Shipp relates his experiences while working for the Central Intelligence Agency as an Anti-terrorism Specialist. When he joined the CIA he was required to sign an oath that he would protect the country from any and all threats, both foreign and domestic.

He then goes on to describe his dismay at finding out that people within the Agency were doing illegal and unconstitutional things. But as he points out, most people who work at the Agency simply turn a blind eye to these things, knowing that their careers are at stake if they try to protest.

He goes on to claim that a secret government exists that is operating outside of the constraints of the Constitution that is beyond the reach of the U.S. Congress. He calls this secret government the Shadow Government, the Hidden Government or by the popular term of “Deep State”.

He believes that America is currently being ruled by subversion, force and fear, and that covert (secret) programmes exist in almost all of the government agencies, including the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

As he explains, these agencies require all of those people engaged in classified black budget projects to sign binding secrecy agreements (non-disclosure agreements) as a condition of employment, and that it is these agreements which serve as the ultimate tool in maintaining secrecy.

People who sign these agreements actually sign away their rights under the American Constitution, and those who challenge these agreements can be terminated and put into prison. They can also be denied their pension benefits, and have interest rates on loans raised to penal levels.

Shipp also revealed a little known fact about the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, which was designed to protect those who disclosed information from retaliatory Government action, and that is those who have signed non-disclosure agreements are specifically excluded from the Act.

Shipp also had some deeply disturbing things to say on the subject of chemtrails. He said that the Secret Government had been spraying the skies above North America since 1997 with a cocktail of toxic substances, and that this was routinely denied by military and government officials.

He pointed out that by cooperating in secret with jet fuel manufacturers, the government had kept the knowledge about this aerosol dispersal programme completely under wraps for over twenty years, and had ignored the threat that it poses to the public and to the environment.

It was the actually the presence of these chemicals that poisoned his family and caused him to leave the Agency. The story of his personal struggle to reveal the truth of what was really going on in the CIA was finally published under the title From the Company of Shadows.

The Great Enigma

So here we have an enigma with profound implications for the future of humanity.

On the one hand we have the Paris Accord, where 195 countries have accepted the scientific verdict that global warming is the result of human beings burning fossil fuels, and have committed themselves to a campaign of reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

And on the other hand we have a global programme conducted by the military that has been going on for more than twenty years, of aircraft spraying toxic chemicals in the atmosphere and thereby increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

How can we possibly explain these two diametrically opposing campaigns?

One possible answer presents itself. And that is that the true cause of global warming is not the result of what human beings are doing on the planet, but is rather the result of what is happening to the entire solar system as it travels through space.

In the book The Last Days of Tolemac, when asked about the causes of climate change upon the earth, the Oracle replied:

“The most significant change that has taken place in the weather of your planet has been the phenomenon called global warming. While this phenomenon is real, its true causes are little understood by your scientists. Most of them are convinced that this is a phenomenon that is limited to the earth, and that because of this human behaviour must be to blame. 

“These scientists believe that global warming can be reversed if only humanity can be persuaded to reduce their use of such things as fossil fuels before it is too late. While anything that your scientists can do to improve the atmosphere on earth is desirable, it is already too late to reverse these changes.  

“That is because the problem of global warming does not have its origin on the earth. It will be clear to those scientists who care to look, that the heating of the earth is the localized effect of an increase in energy that is affecting the entire solar system.

“Not only are higher temperatures being recorded on the earth, but on other planets as well. Even the sun itself is undergoing a profound change.

“The reason why the sun and the planets are undergoing these changes together, is because the area of space through which the entire solar system is now travelling has much higher levels of cosmic radiation than was the case during the Piscean age”.  

As we will see in the next instalment, there is evidence that the Military-Industrial Complex certainly believes this to be the case, and that the true purpose of their global aerosol dispersal programme is to shield the earth from the increased cosmic radiation impacting the earth from space.

Allan, An Inconvenient Truth, May 21, 2017, 12:17 pm

An Inconvenient Truth – Part Two

Based on the evidence presented in Part One of this post, it should be clear to anyone who is prepared to analyse the data that the earth’s climate is changing. And it is not just changing in some parts of the world, but in ALL parts of the world. And not just on land, but in the sea as well.

Not only are extreme weather events being reported from all over the planet, but they are happening more and more often, and in more and more extreme forms. Statistical weather reports continue to break new historical records year after year.

So the inevitable question that follows is – what on earth is happening? What is the cause of all these extreme weather events? And why do they seem to be getting worse with every passing year? To pursue the answers to these questions, we need to go back to beginning of the 21st century.

The year 2000 witnessed the closest presidential election in United States history. The Republican candidate for president was George W. Bush, governor of Texas and the eldest son of the 41st President George H.W. Bush. The Democratic candidate was Al Gore.

Al Gore had served as Vice-President under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001. At the end of Clinton’s second term in office, Gore was chosen as the Democratic nominee for the 2000 presidential election. It was a moment that was to define the rest of his life.

For instead of being elected as America’s 43rd president, Al Gore lost the election by a mere 537 votes, even though he polled more votes overall that George Bush. In fact it took a highly controversial 5 to 4 decision by the Supreme Court Justices to decide the presidency in Bush’s favour.

Although he could easily have been devastated by this narrow loss and chosen to leave public life altogether, Gore decided to throw his energies into something that had occupied his attention for the previous quarter of a century.

During his time in political office, Al Gore had always been interested in environmental affairs. In 1994, he launched GLOBE (the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program), which became a world-wide science and education program focusing on the environment.

He also strongly supported and help to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol. This was an international treaty that was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997, and which entered into force on 16 February, 2005. This became the forerunner to the current Paris Accord on climate change.

So when Al Gore left office in 2001, he decided to devote his time to making people aware of how the decisions that they made were affecting the world’s climate. He did this by means of an illustrated slide show aimed at alerting the public to the “planetary emergency” due to global warming.

The Movie that Changed the World

It so happened that one of the people who happened to see this slide show was the American environmental activist Laurie David. Laurie was so impressed with Gore’s presentation, that she helped to persuade documentary  film director Davis Guggenheim to adapt it into a film.

The film was made and released under the title An Inconvenient Truth.

It opened in New York City and Los Angeles on May 24, 2006, and proved to be an immediate success, winning Oscars in 2006 for Best Documentary Feature as well as Best Original Song for Melissa Etheridge’s song “I Need to Wake Up“. It has so far grossed over $50 million in the U.S. and abroad.

Throughout the film, Gore discussed the views of various scientists about the causes of global warming. He also emphasized his view that the real challenge facing humanity was not so much the phenomenon itself, as it was a moral issue confronting every individual on the planet.

In fact he concluded the film with the following words:

“Each one of us is a cause of global warming, but each one of us can make choices to change that with the things we buy, the electricity we use, the cars we drive; we can make choices to bring our individual carbon emissions to zero.

“The solutions are in our hands, we just have to have the determination to make it happen. We have everything that we need to reduce carbon emissions, everything but political will. But in America, the will to act is a renewable resource”.

But although individual decisions could make a difference in the outcome, Gore claimed that unless people across the globe recognized the nature of the problem and changed their behaviour, the impact of global warming on the planet could be catastrophic.

The film included a variety of segments that graphically illustrated both the extent of the problems that existed, as well as the likely consequences if timely action was not taken. For example, it discussed the possibility of the collapse of a major ice sheet in Greenland or West Antarctica.

Not only would such a collapse raise global sea levels by up to twenty feet, but this would also inevitably flood low-lying coastal areas around the world, which could lead to political upheavals as millions of people were driven out of their homes by the rising sea water.

The critical issue facing the earth, Gore explained, was the amount of human-generated greenhouse gases. To emphasize this fact, he pointed to the fact that ice-cores drawn from the Antarctic showed Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels were higher than at any time in the past 650,000 years.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the film An Inconvenient Truth focused the attention of the public on the problem of global warming to an extent that had never been done before. It also galvanized nations around the world to redouble their efforts to counter this problem.

In that sense, Al Gore may be said to have had as signal an influence on the environmental movement as the American marine biologist Rachel Carson in the early 1960’s with the publication of her book Silent Spring. For his contribution Gore was selected as joint-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

But perhaps his biggest contribution has been his insistence that because it is our own behaviour that is to blame for global warming, it will not get better until we change the way we live our lives. And this is the position that has increasingly been adopted by the scientific community.

Types of Greenhouse Gases

In 2013, an Assessment Report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded by saying:

“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”, and that “the largest human influence has been emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide”.

The greenhouse gases that the scientists refer to above fall into four major categories. They are:

1)  Water Vapour (H2O)
2)  Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
3)  Methane (CH4)
4)  Ozone (O3)

Water Vapour

It is worth noting here that although the public perception is that it is the burning of fossil fuels that is the major cause of global warming, in actual fact water vapour accounts for as much as two-thirds of the greenhouse gases present in the earth’s atmosphere.

However, water vapour is considered to be the major contributor to the greenhouse effect because, although it has a short atmospheric lifetime, it is the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere that determines the amount of evaporation and precipitation.

What this means in practice is that the warmer the temperature, the more water vapour can be stored in the clouds. And the more water vapour there is in the clouds, the greater amount of precipitation subsequently falls to the earth.

Carbon Dioxide

As pointed out above, although Carbon Dioxide emissions are considered to be the primary cause of global warming, they only make up about a quarter of the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere at any one time.

It should be noted here that Carbon Dioxide is part of the natural cycle of life. After all, we breathe in Oxygen and we breathe out Carbon Dioxide. Fortunately this is reversed with plant life, which breathe in Carbon Dioxide and breathe out Oxygen.

However, human beings also do things like manufacture products, drive cars, fly planes and so on. And in providing the energy to do these things, they burn fossil fuels such as coal (43% of total emissions), oil (34%) and gas (18%).

Scientists now report that atmospheric concentrations of Carbon Dioxide have increased by more than 40% since pre-industrial times. What this means is that levels have gone from 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) in the 18th century, to over 400 ppmv today.

Methane

The amount of Methane in the earth’s atmosphere ranges from 4% to 9%. It is formed by both human and natural activities. For example, natural wetlands, agricultural activities, and the extraction of fossil fuels from the ground all emit Methane.

Scientists have noted that the amount of Methane in the earth’s atmosphere is greater now than at any time in the past 800,000 years, and that these concentrations have increased sharply during the course of the 20th century.

Ozone

The amount of Ozone in the earth’s atmosphere ranges from 3% to 7%. Although Ozone only has a short atmospheric lifetime, it is considered to be a potent greenhouse gas. This is because in addition to trapping heat, it is a pollutant that can cause health problems in people and damage to crops.

The Causes of Climate Change

As climatologists have pointed out, the temperature on the surface of the earth depends on a balance between the amount of energy entering the earth’s atmospheric system, and the amount of energy that is reflected back into space.

When incoming energy from the sun is absorbed by the earth, it warms up. When the sun’s energy is reflected back into space, it cools down. However it is important to note here the crucial role played by the atmospheric envelope that surrounds the earth.

If our atmosphere didn’t exist, we would experience a range of temperatures like a desert or the surface of the moon. The days would burn with heat, while the nights would freeze with cold. Without our atmosphere to protect us, the average temperature on the earth would be well below freezing.

The fact that life exists at all upon the earth depends upon a variety of factors that up until now have been successful in maintaining a balance from being too cold or too hot. But the geological history of the earth shows us that this balance is delicate, and can easily be disturbed.

So for example, we know from the fossil record that there have been times in earth’s history when changes in climate, such as during past ice-ages, led to the demise of many different species, and that climate change can dramatically reduce the chances of survival of those species that cannot adapt.

There are many factors, both natural and human, that can cause changes in the earth’s energy balance. The most significant of these are:

• Variations in the amount of energy emitted by the sun
• Changes in the reflectivity (Albedo) of the earth’s atmosphere and surface
• Changes in the amount of heat trapped in the earth’s atmosphere

Once it became apparent that the world was steadily getting hotter, scientists looked for something that would account for this phenomenon. And not surprisingly, they first suspected that this might be due to an increase in energy emanating from the sun.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a blind alley. For although scientists have a variety of satellites which can accurately measure changes in the energy output of the sun, they have not found a correlation between the sun’s output and the increasing temperatures upon the earth.

In fact they have now completely ruled out the sun as being the major cause of climate change. That is because the amount of energy the earth receives from the sun has not increased over the last seven decades or so. If anything, records show that there has been a slight downward trend.

So they turned their attention to the earth’s Albedo. The Albedo (the Latin word for “whiteness”) of the earth is a measure of the amount of solar energy that is reflected off the earth’s surface back into space. The higher the Albedo, the more sunlight that is bounced off the earth back into space.

Reflectivity can be illustrated by the different ways people who live in hot places use to keep themselves cool. Buildings that are painted white reflect heat, while those that are black retain heat. Lightly coloured clothing helps keep people cool in summer, while dark colours make them feel hotter.

But here again the scientists were confounded. That is because while there have been definite changes in the reflectivity index for certain areas of the earth, such as the melting ice-caps at the poles, this change in Albedo is not great enough to account for the rising temperatures of the earth.

So scientists were forced to look elsewhere for an explanation. They have now done so, and the theory that they have come up with is one that has now been accepted by most of the countries of the world. It is the theory known as the “Greenhouse Effect”.

The Greenhouse Theory

Most people are familiar with the concept of a greenhouse. Usually made of glass or some other transparent material, a greenhouse is an enclosed structure that allows sunlight in, but does not allow the infrared rays to escape, thus causing the temperature inside the interior space to rise.

In a similar fashion, say the scientists, greenhouse gases generated on or inside the earth rise up in the atmosphere where they become trapped, thus creating a sort of umbrella-like effect which causes the temperature underneath this umbrella to rise, just like it does inside a greenhouse.

So according to this theory, the “Greenhouse Effect” is the process by which the absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in a planet’s atmosphere, causes the temperature on the surface of the planet to increase, as shown in the following diagram.

Credit Wikipedia

Since the time of the Industrial Revolution, which began around the year 1760, human activity has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Based on data taken from ice cores, the concentrations of Methane have increased by 36%, and Carbon Dioxide by 148%.

It has been estimated that burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) has accounted for three-quarters of the increase in Carbon Dioxide over the last twenty years, with the other quarter being the result of changes in land use, particularly deforestation.

And as reported by the WMO (World Meteorological Association) in 2016, monthly global concentrations of Carbon Dioxide recorded by NASA have now exceeded 400 ppm (parts per million) for the first time in millions of years, and fully half of this is trapped in the atmosphere.

In December 2015, all of this led representatives of 195 countries to conclude an agreement within the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, to set targets for controlling the emissions of greenhouse gases. Because this was signed in Paris, it has become known as the Paris Accord.

The Paris Accord

In terms of this agreement, each country that was a signatory was required to set a “Nationally Determined Contribution” towards reaching the goal of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions around the world. This agreement went into effect on 4 November, 2016.

Unfortunately, there was one glaring exception. One country in particular has so far failed to ratify this agreement. That country is the United States, which is by far the greatest contributor to the problem, and accounts for a full quarter of all the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

One of the biggest sceptics that greenhouse gases are the cause of climate change is Donald Trump. During his campaign for the presidency, he called climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese, and vowed that if he was elected President he would undo Obama’s climate action plan.

Since that time, Trump has said that he will definitely pull out of the Paris Accord, or that he might do this, or that he is still thinking about it, or that he might go along with some parts of it. But if his words have been confusing, his actions have left little doubt about what he really thinks.

In his Earth Day statement in April, Donald Trump failed to make any mention of the threat of climate change. In fact he issued an Executive Order seeking to suspend, rescind or review various Obama-era rules in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels.

Not only has Trump promised to bring back jobs in the coal industry, but he has recently approved oil drilling in the Arctic, despite the hazards which this would pose for the environment. Even his choice for head of the Environmental Protection Agency seemed to make no sense.

For in choosing Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, he picked a man who had sued that very agency 14 times while he was attorney general of the state of Oklahoma, arguing that it should be left to the industries themselves to decide what actions should best serve the needs of the environment.

The Inconvenient Truth

There are two things that should be obvious to everyone living on the planet today. The first is that the climate of the earth is changing, and the second is that more and more extreme weather events are happening around the world, and that they seem to be happening more and more often.

There is also almost unanimous agreement among those countries that have ratified the Paris Accord, that climate change and global warming are twin effects of a common cause, and that this cause is the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases as a result of humans burning fossil fuels.

But although scientists are undoubtedly correct in their belief that greenhouse gases produced by humanity are indeed polluting the atmosphere and contributing to the greenhouse effect, they may also be victims of an inconvenient truth.

The suspicion is beginning to grow, even amongst those who were formerly staunch supporters of the greenhouse theory, that the generally accepted explanation of global warming provided by scientists may be nothing more than a cover story designed to disguise a deeper and darker truth.

They base their suspicions on evidence indicating that the U.S. military has been actively engaged in a clandestine campaign for more than a quarter of a century, in which they have released into the atmosphere toxins that are far more dangerous than any greenhouse gases.

And because they have continued to deny both the existence of such a campaign, as well as their involvement in it, this suggests that they are hiding the truth from us, and that the earth may well be facing a threat far greater than anything that we have previously been told.

For as we shall see from the following instalment, it is beginning to look as if the dangers facing humanity at this time are not so much the result of what we are doing ON the earth, but rather what is happening TO the earth, emanating from sources beyond the solar system.

Allan, An Inconvenient Truth, May 6, 2017, 12:40 pm

An Inconvenient Truth – Part One

Some seven years ago I referred to the words of the renowned Kenyan paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, a man who has devoted his life to the study of ancient fossils. Leakey had this to say about the environmental crisis facing the world at that time:

“If you look at the fossil record, the thing that strikes you is that extinction is the most common phenomena. Extinction is always driven by environmental change, and environmental change is always driven by climate change.”

He said that the key challenge of our times was not whether the cheetah or the elephant would survive, but whether the human race itself would survive. He based his remarks on a report issued in 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This report indicated that the previous year (2006) had seen the warmest spring in the United States since record keeping began in 1895. It went on to warn that our planet was approaching a critical tipping point because of climate change and other factors.

The report noted that the average U.S. temperature between March and May of 2006 was 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the long term average for the whole of the twentieth century.

What this meant, the report added, was that if these trends continued, then by the year 2070, the average temperature on the earth would be higher than it had been at any time since the human species evolved.

Now that seven years have elapsed since that report was published, it is important to know whether these trends have in fact continued. A detailed report issued recently by the World Meteorological Organization provides us with an answer.

The WMO (World Meteorological Organization) is the official voice of the United Nations on matters relating to Weather, Climate and Water, and its annual report highlights topics like temperatures, oceans, ice and snow cover, as well as what it calls “high-impact” events.

The WMO provisional report, published on November 14, 2016, begins with the following stark assessment:

“It is very likely that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, with global temperatures even higher than the record-breaking temperatures in 2015. Preliminary data shows that 2016’s global temperatures are approximately 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels…”

As the report goes on to explain:

“Global temperatures for January to September 2016 have been about 0.88° Celsius (1.58°F) above the average (14°C) for the 1961-1990 reference period, which is used by WMO as a baseline.

“Temperatures spiked in the early months of the year because of the powerful El Niño event of 2015-16. Preliminary data for October indicate that they are at a sufficiently high level for 2016 to remain on track for the title of hottest year on record. This would mean that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century (1998 was the other one)”.

This spike in global temperatures around the world is graphically displayed in shades of red in the following diagram issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

What this diagram shows, and what the WMO report goes on to describe, is that over the course of the last year, climate changes around the planet have reached alarming levels in the oceans, the polar regions, and in the atmosphere itself.

The key changes in climate can be summarised as follows:

• 2016 was the warmest year on record – 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period
• Average global surface temperatures of the sea reached record heights in 2016
• Average global sea levels rose to new heights in 2016
• Average global sea ice shrunk more than four million square kilometres below average in 2016
• Average global ocean heat was the second highest on record leading to extensive coral bleaching in tropical waters
• Average annual global carbon dioxide concentrations reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time

Commenting on this report, Secretary-General of the WMO Petteri Taalas warned that the above changes were leading to significant increases in events like “once in generation” heat-waves and floods, as well as more damaging storm surges associated with tropical cyclones.

In particular, the report highlighted the following “high-impact” weather-related events that occurred during 2016:

• The most significant of these, in terms of casualties, was Hurricane “Matthew”, which struck the island of Haiti in October, 2016. In addition, it went on to cause significant damage in Cuba and the Bahamas, as well as major flooding in South Carolina.
• Typhoon “Lionrock” caused destructive flooding and heavy casualties in North Korea.
• Of the 78 tropical cyclones that occurred in 2016, cyclone “Winston” proved to be the most severe ever to hit the island of Fiji.
• Summer floods in the Yangtze basin in China killed 310 people and caused damage in excess of US$14 billion.
• Flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka left over 200 people dead or missing, and displaced several hundred thousand more.
• Above average seasonal rainfall in the Sahel region of Africa led to significant flooding in the Niger river basin.

The report went on to highlight numerous areas around the planet that experienced major heat-waves during 2016. In particular, it mentioned:

• The year began with an extreme heat-wave in Southern Africa, which added to the ongoing drought in the region. Many stations set all-time records, including 42.7ºC at Pretoria and 38.9ºC at Johannesburg.
• Other areas that set all-time records in 2016 were 44.6ºC  in Thailand, 51.0ºC in India, 54.0ºC in Kuwait, 53.9ºC in Basra in Iraq, and 53.0ºC at Delhoran in Iran.

The most damaging wildfire in Canadian history occurred in May 2016, in the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta. The fire ultimately burned an area of about 590,000 hectares. It led to the mandatory evacuation of over 100,000 residents of the city and surrounding areas.

This fire also destroyed 2,400 buildings valued at US$3 billion in insured losses, as well as several billion more in associated losses, making it the third-largest recorded environmental disaster requiring evacuation.

It is clear from the foregoing that the fear expressed by Richard Leakey about the danger to humanity posed by climate change has increased over the past seven years, and that the world is now stumbling towards a disaster that threatens to decimate the population of the planet.

Already, the global population has reached seven and a half billion people. These are people who need to be fed, housed, educated and employed if peaceful progress is to continue, and our thin veneer of civilisation is to be maintained. But all of this is dependent on the weather.

Yet the world continues to get hotter year by year. And more and more countries are being assailed by more and more extreme climatic events, as can be seen from a brief summary of what has already occurred in the first four months of 2017.

The intense phenomenon in the central Pacific Ocean known as El Niño, that led to the five-year drought that ravaged the entire state of California, has dissipated, only to be replaced by a series of onshore storms that have flooded coastal communities throughout North and South America.

And the fire in Fort McMurray in May 2016 that led to the mandatory evacuation of 100,000 citizens, proved to be a mere forerunner to the calamitous events in February 2017, which led to the overnight evacuation of almost 200,000 people in northern California.

Oroville Dam before the storms of 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These events centred around Oroville Dam, located 75 miles north of the state capital of Sacramento. This dam is the tallest dam in the United States, rising 770 feet high. Prior to the onslaught of winter storms in 2017, the dam had been reduced to a trickle of water that could no longer supply the needs of the surrounding areas.

What happened was that over a period of several weeks, a series of winter storms caused the Oroville Dam to overflow for the first time in its fifty year history. In fact, on February 12, 2017, the reservoir was calculated to be at 151 percent capacity.

Fearful that that the dam’s emergency spillway could fail, and cause an onrush of water that would engulf entire communities situated below the dam, Governor Jerry Brown ordered the immediate evacuation of 188,000 residents in all of the nearby towns.

The fear was that the 30-foot-high concrete barrier at the top of the spillway would collapse, causing billions of gallons of water to swamp the Feather River below, flooding dozens of towns between Oroville and Sacramento and causing unparalleled property damage.

Oroville Dam after the storms

Mercifully, the torrential rains eased and the concrete barrier held, allowing residents to return to their homes that they had been forced to abandon in haste forty-eight hours earlier. The great California drought was finally broken, but at the risk of an even greater environmental disaster.

Meanwhile, wave after wave of storms have continued to lash the entire west coast of North America as far north as Alaska. While in Vancouver, Canada, the city had fifty-one days of rain during one two-month period, and spring flowers only blossomed in the middle of April, the latest in recent history.

And in Washington State, the city of Seattle received more rain in four months than their average precipitation for an entire year. And still the rain keeps coming, and shows little sign of stopping, as a seemingly never ending series of cold fronts continue to drench the region.

Snow levels near Truckee, Nevada

Further south, the precipitation at higher elevations has come in the form of record levels of snow. The Sierra Nevada mountains in California have experienced more snow over the last winter that in the four previous years combined, and snowdrifts have been found to exceed 22 feet in depth.

And although this might seem to offer a welcome relief from previous years of scorching drought, if the summer should happen to bring with it a sudden thaw, then vast areas might be devastated by the ensuing floods. But these conditions have not been limited to North America alone.

In South America, similar falls of torrential rain have led to widespread flooding and damage due to landslides, as entire hillsides have collapsed under the weight of the moisture, threatening the lives of those citizens living in low-lying areas.

Recent flooding in Peru

For example in Peru in early March, overflowing rivers driven by relentless El Niño rains drowned 67 people, damaged 115,000 homes, collapsed 117 bridges and paralyzed countless roadways, to say nothing of the thousands more who were displaced from their inundated homes.

Even in the capital city of Lima, located in a desert region where it almost never rains, Police had to rescue hundreds of residents from flooded areas of the city, while in nearby Huachipa more than 65,000 people were unable to go to work or return to their homes.

In the neighbouring country of Columbia, an avalanche of mud and water from three overflowing rivers swept through the town of Mocoa while people slept, killing more than 190 residents and injuring many hundreds of others.

Extreme flooding continues to occur in other parts of the eastern United States and Canada, as well as parts of Europe, Israel, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. And then there is the phenomenon of global warming, which continues to gather pace with every succeeding year.

In April 2017, scientists conducting an aircraft survey of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia returned with sobering news. They reported that warm waters had severely bleached large swathes of coral reefs for the second year in a row.

In 2016, two-thirds of the coral in the northern sector of the reef died as a result of unusually warm waters. As Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre at James Cook University in Queensland reported at the time: “I showed the results of aerial surveys to my students, and then we wept”.

Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

It now appears that about 1,500 kilometres of the reef have experienced severe bleaching over the last two years. In fact temperatures in the waters surrounding the reef have been so abnormally high, that if they continue scientists fear that the survival of the entire reef may be threatened.

Then on the other side of the world, scientists have discovered two more examples of changes that can be directly linked to climate change. The first was discovered in the Petermann Glacier in Northwest Greenland, and the second in the massive Kaskawulsh Glacier in the Yukon in Canada.

In the course of a series of low level flights over Greenland as part of a research campaign conducted by NASA, scientists were disturbed to find a newly-formed crack in the Petermann Glacier. This new crack indicated the potential for a large iceberg to break off the glacier.

And although large icebergs had broken off this glacier previously in 2010 and again in 2012, researcher Joe MacGregor said that another rift occurring so soon after two other major calving events “would be extremely unusual if not unprecedented”.

Another discovery that happened by chance, occurred when a group of scientists returned to the Slims river region in the Kluane National Park in the Yukon, to study changes in the flow of the river. What they found turned out to be unparalleled in the history of glacier research.

As Dan Shugar, a geoscientist at the University of Washington in Tacoma, reported in a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience: “This was the first event we could find where river piracy occurred right under our noses and due to contemporary climate change.”

What Shugar and his colleagues found was that a river that they had observed during their previous visit to the region, had mysteriously gone missing. As Jim Best, professor of geology and geography at the University of Illinois reported:

“Where there had been blue, shimmering shallow water, it was now exposed sediment, and it had dried out. The afternoon wind in that area was picking up that sediment and dust and was creating a huge dust storm.”  

To their amazement the group discovered that the melt-water of a glacier that had previously flowed into the Slims river, had now carved a new 30-metre canyon through the glacier towards a lower elevation. And in the process of doing this, it had completely changed the flow of the river.

So whereas the melt-water from the glacier had previously flowed north into the Slims river and then the Bering Sea, a series of collapsed ice blocks had changed its path so that it now flowed south down the Kaskawulsh Valley toward the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean.

Although this phenomenon of stream capture, or “river piracy”, is usually caused by a dramatic tectonic event such as an earthquake, landslide or glacial dam collapse, in this case it was clearly seen to be the result of climate change. As Dan Shugar concluded:

“Climate change is happening, is affecting us and it’s not just about far-off islands in the South Pacific. It’s not just about sea-level rise for them. The effects can be very rapid and can be somewhat unanticipated. Climate change may bring new changes that we’re not even really thinking about”.

Shugar is just one of an international body of scientists warning us that it is not just our way of life that is being threatened by global warming and its effects upon our climate, but our very existence itself.

In short, as Richard Leakey observed in his quotation at the beginning of this post, if the fossil record of past ages of the earth is any guide, the earth may soon be facing an extinction level event.

Allan, An Inconvenient Truth, April 23, 2017, 12:16 pm

Hail to the Chief – Part Two

This is Mark Stevens, welcome back to the Podcast. I am talking today with Allan Colston.  He is the author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac“.

Mark:  So to continue our discussion Allan, what sort of changes do you think Trump will make when he becomes President?

Well Mark, we certainly won’t have to wait long to find out. All indications are that as soon as the inauguration ceremony is over Trump will dash back to the Oval Office where a series of bills will be waiting for him to sign. First among them will be the repeal of all of Obama’s previous executive orders.

In fact the guiding principle throughout his time in office will be to obliterate Obama’s legacy. So whatever Obama was in favour of, Trump will be against – everything from the repeal of Obamacare, the revival of the coal industry, drilling for oil in the Arctic and withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change.

One of the first obvious signs of change under the new administration will be his dealings with the Press.

It was evident from his campaign that Trump has no interest in developing a relationship with the Press, and certainly not a Press that is likely to challenge his opinions or question the validity of his actions. He is not about to subject himself to penetrating interrogations.

Also, for the past fifty years or more, the President has always been accompanied by a covey of press men and women who have witnessed everything that has happened around him, and then used their positions of proximity as platforms from which to broadcast their opinions to the world.

Expect all that to change under President Trump. For starters, there will be no more news conferences by Trump in the West Wing of the White House, nor will a phalanx of press personnel accompany him on his journeys aboard Air Force One, either on his local or his foreign trips.

When Donald Trump wishes to communicate with the American people, he will use his favoured form of communication which is Twitter, as well as staged announcements uploaded to YouTube. The only TV interviews he is likely to grant will be with the sycophantic cable network Fox News.

And whenever he feels the need for a captive audience to boost his morale and convey his self-congratulatory messages, he will arrange public rallies in staunchly Republican states where he can be surrounded by adoring audiences.

Now Mark, these changes may not seem like a big deal to many, but they go to the very heart of the American democratic system. For without the free flow of information between the public and the White House, there can be no check on the activities and intentions of the President. But it gets worse.

Mark:  What do you mean by that Allan?

Well Mark, during the election campaign Donald Trump not only stopped giving press conferences, but he actually banned certain newsmen and women from attending his rallies. And the main targets of his wrath naturally, were his most vocal critics.

Two newspapers in particular were the focus of his scorn. They were The New York Times and The Washington Post. This is hardly surprising, since people in these two cities simply do not like the man. Only 10% of New Yorkers voted for Trump, and only 6% of voters in Washington D.C.

But Trump has made it clear via various threats throughout his campaign that if he were to be elected President, that he would change the laws regarding libel so that people like himself who did not like what they read in print could sue these organizations in court.

This would be nothing less than a frontal attack on the first Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was adopted in 1791, and which reads as follows:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

And Trump has indicated that he also plans to challenge another fundamental right that is guaranteed by the first Amendment, and that is the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

On the day of his inauguration, Trump is likely to face one of the greatest peacetime demonstrations in American history, as opponents from every part of the country gather in front of the Capitol Building to voice their disapproval of his new administration.

But as Trump explained in an interview to The New York Times in May of last year, “I am not running to be everyone’s favourite President”. In that interview he said that while he might face “significant and incessant protests”, they would not deter him from his goal of making “big changes“.

It is clear that those who wish to challenge Trump, either through the Media or through the Courts, will face a daunting task to preserve their constitutional rights. And once these pillars of democracy begin to crack, then the entire edifice will begin to crumble. America will be on the path to tyranny.

Mark:  So what do you think Trump will do with protestors?

Well this really is the key to the conundrum as to what sort of leader Trump will turn out to be. Will he be responsive to the opinions of his critics and tailor his policies accordingly, or will he ride roughshod over all those who are opposed to them?

As was made plain in the First Amendment I just quoted, the Founding Fathers realised that a free press was not only vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy, but that the right of freedom of speech was a necessary safety valve to express the will of the people.

Again, we need to emphasize the fact that Trump was not elected by a majority of voters. Although he ended up with some 66 million votes, 177 million registered voters either voted against him or chose not to vote at all. That means that three-quarters of the American people do not approve of him or his policies.

My guess is that he is not about to be intimidated by protestors no matter how many there are. And it is obvious from the people he has chosen to form his new cabinet that these are strongmen who will follow orders, and use whatever powers of government that are available to them to get their way.

During his campaign Trump insisted that he would be the champion of law and order, and his followers clearly understood the message that he intended to convey. He would be the one to lay down the law, and order all those who disagreed with him to obey or face the consequences.

So recent movements like the “Black Lives Matter” campaign to protest Police violence directed against the Black community will find little sympathy from the new administration. They will likely find that Black lives no longer matter, along with those of Native Indians, Mexicans, Migrants and Muslims.

As an example of this Trump will likely override the recent decision by President Obama to reroute the Dakota Access pipeline as a result of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, if for no other reason that because Obama was for it, then he will be against it.

Remember the leopard and his spots. And then there is the matter of the Supreme Court.

Mark:  How do you think will that enter into the equation?

Well Mark, as you know, the Supreme Court has a vacancy on the bench as a result of the death of Justice Scalia almost a year ago. But the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings for his replacement, claiming that this was a matter for the incoming President to decide.

At the time that Scalia was on the bench, the nine members were generally split five to four in favour of the Republicans. But if Obama had chosen a Democratic-leaning justice to replace him, as he was constitutionally entitled to do, then this would have swayed the balance in favour of the Democrats.

But now that Trump gets to decide who the replacement will be, you can bet that he will nominate someone who can be counted on to uphold Republican principles, on everything from abortion to planned parenthood, gay marriage and others. Even the landmark case of Roe versus Wade will be subject to review.

All that would be necessary to start this process would be for a Republican state to pass a law opposing the current law. An appeal would necessarily follow, and it would then be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether this new law should stand, or be overridden by the existing law.

So the protections afforded by the Roe versus Wade decision, in granting abortions nation-wide up to the third trimester, will almost certainly be challenged by states dominated by the so-called Christian Right. And it will be up to the new Supreme Court to adjudicate on these challenges.

And the same goes for all the gay rights that have been approved under President Obama. Same-sex marriages that are now legal under Federal law could well be reversed as a result of similar challenges. And the result may be that these revert to a state by state basis.

So gay people who are now legally married under the law may then find that in certain states their marriage certificates are annulled, and that if they want to retain their marital status they will have to be remarried in a state where same-sex marriages are still permitted.

The same thing could occur with all the other LGBT rights that are currently protected by the law, especially if the Supreme Court should happen to rule against them under appeal. So there could be tough times ahead for the gay community throughout the nation.

In fact there seems every likelihood that Donald Trump will prove to be the most divisive President in American history. The entire country could easily become polarised into opposing factions that openly despise one another, pitting Republican and Democratic states into conflict with one another.

So heavily Democratic states like California and New York could then be in the forefront of resistance to Trump’s policies, particularly in the areas of health, environment and immigration, leading to a situation where they will simply refuse to co-operate with the Federal government on certain issues.

Mark:  Well Allan, if that is your assessment of the situation inside America, then what do you think is going to happen outside of America, especially in its dealings with other countries?

Well Mark, that is something that I will be focusing on a lot over the coming months, because the encroaching darkness that I spoke about at the beginning of this Podcast is steadily stealing across Europe and the Middle East, just as much as it is in America.

But to answer your question, in the interview that I referred to earlier between Donald Trump and Patrick Healy of The New York Times in May of last year, Trump had already made up his mind on what he would do first if he was elected President. This is what Healy reported at that time:

“On his first day in office, he said, he would meet with Homeland Security officials, generals, and others — he did not mention diplomats — to take steps to seal the southern border and assign more security agents along it.”

And there is little doubt that his first priority will be sealing the border so that no undesirables can enter the country. Of course his first target will be Mexico, especially since he has promised to build a wall separating the two countries. But I don’t think it will stop there.

I think that the Department of Homeland Security will be tasked with setting up a system for screening all people entering the United States. This will entail some sort of vetting system in advance, which for Mexicans, Muslims and other targeted groups will, in Trump’s own words, require “extreme vetting”.

But this won’t just be limited to people crossing into the United States from Mexico. One of the biggest shocks to the part of the world where I live is that it will apply equally to Canadians as well. In fact I foresee massive disruptions at all border crossings when these restrictions are put into place.

And of course, if Trump can put the boot into anything that Obama has achieved, then that will be fine as well. So expect the recent entente established between Cuba and the United States to come to an end, with possible new punitive measures to be adopted against them.

Mark:  Donald Trump has spent a lot of his time talking about trade. What do you think he is going to do about that?

Well there is no doubt that trade is going to be the number one issue involving the new administration, especially as Trump has devoted so much  time to this topic during his campaign. And to understand why, it is worth noting how he thinks about world trade.

Being a businessman, he is of course aware of two things. One is that businesses need to buy things. And the second is that many of the things that businesses buy are not made in the United States. They come from other countries.

Of course, economically speaking, there is a sound reason why they do this. Countries trade with one another because it allows them to buy things from those countries who make what they need cheaper than they can. That way they can pass on these savings to their own citizens.

But the catch, from Donald’s point of view, is that large international companies that make things have been allowed to move their factories to other countries where the cost of labour is the cheapest. And since wages generally form the greatest part of the cost of any product, it is profitable for them to do so.

But in the process of transferring their factories away from those cities in which they were initially established, these companies have left their former employees without jobs, and this has led to a serious decline in many industries, as well as leaving many cities in financial crisis.

So as he toured the country, particularly in the so-called “rust belt” states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania, he was confronted by hundreds of thousands of unhappy people who had become unemployed as a result of factories that had closed and moved to other countries.

So it is easy to see why the solution proposed by Trump appealed to so many voters, when he said that he would impose severe sanctions on those offending companies and countries, and especially since he went on to promise that he would bring these jobs back to the United States.

Of course that may have sounded wonderful during the campaign. The problem was that Donald Trump had never really studied the complexities of modern international trade, and what was worse, was ignorant of the consequences of the type of actions that he was proposing.

Mark:  So what sort of consequences are we talking about?

Students of international economic history, just like physics, learn one thing Mark, and they learn it well. And that is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So countries that impose sanctions on imports from other countries, inevitably invite counter-measures by those countries.

And these counter-measures don’t just damage the countries directly involved. They also affect the climate under which international trade is conducted, especially in the interconnected world in which we live today. So actions can easily lead to dangerous and unwanted consequences.

Look before you leap.

So for example, Trump has indicated that he intends to impose excise tariffs on products imported into the United States from those countries which he considers responsible for the problem of unemployment. And the countries he has targeted are China, Mexico and Canada.

The rationale behind his plan is simple. By making the products imported from these countries more expensive, he hopes that Americans will decide to buy less of them and spend their money on products made in the United States instead. But this could easily backfire on America.

For if Trump does decide to go ahead with the strategy that he has outlined in his campaign, America could well find itself embroiled in a trade war with three different countries by the end of January. And if that happens, then there is no telling what the final outcome might be.

As I said earlier, countries that find themselves subject to trade barriers inevitably set up counter-measures of their own. And it was precisely because of such protectionist policies by countries in the 1930’s that led to the Great Depression. But Trump is clearly undeterred by the lessons of history.

Besides, what characterizes Trump as Trump is his trademark obsession with “winning”. In any situation where he feels that his own, or by extension American interests are threatened, he will not rest until he has established his own superiority. Or in other words, until his opponent learns to “respect him”.

And this is no doubt how he intends to conduct all future trade negotiations. He will not be concerned about finding a Win-Win solution that works for both parties, but rather an outcome in which he (or America) is clearly recognized to be the winner, while the other country is seen to be the loser.

But because he is not a student of history, he is content to blithely dismiss the lessons of the past and say, as he did recently to reporters, “the economy will do just fine”. I can almost hear the Founding Fathers looking down on him from above and saying:

“Nice going Donald. You start a trade war with your neighbours and a country that is a source of stability and is not a military threat, and you choose to align yourself with someone who is your enemy and who poses a direct threat to your entire way of life”.

Mark:  I guess that you are referring here to Trump’s fascination with Russia.

Right on Mark. There is something very strange about the whole romance that has been going on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. And the latest revelations about how the Kremlin has interfered in the recent U.S. election have merely added to this mystery.

Putin clearly wanted Trump to win, and we can now see why. But because Trump has so far refused to release his income tax returns, we have no idea what his business interests in Russia may be, or to what extent, if at all, his business may be indebted to any Russian banks.

In any event, we are unlikely to find answers to these questions once he becomes President. But the key point about all this Mark, is that right from the beginning of his campaign Trump was saying things like “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were friends with Russia”?

What made this such a weird statement was that, as Trump should have been aware, America WAS friends with Russia not that long ago. In fact Russia was part of the G8 group of leading industrial nations up until two years ago, when Russia’s membership was suspended.

And the reason why was because Russia broke international law by invading Crimea and annexing it as part of Russia. And as a consequence of this illegal act, the other members threw them out of the G8, and imposed a series of economic sanctions which are still in place today.

So the idea that America should somehow feel the need to “make friends” with Russia defies all international opinion. But Trump has continued to extol the virtues of Vladimir Putin, and says he looks forward to “doing a deal” with him once he takes office.

The very idea of Trump being in cahoots with Putin should fill every American with alarm, for Putin has shown by his actions in the Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere that he is certainly no friend of the West. In fact he is doing everything he can to create chaos wherever he can.

Furthermore, the evidence of Russian tampering in the last U.S. election should make it clear that Putin’s underlying goal is to foment distrust in democratic institutions around the world, and to destabilize the West in any way that he can.

But clearly that doesn’t seem to bother Trump, since he continues to reject any idea that Russia is to blame for any of the revelations of interference that have emerged over the last few months. And the reason he does so seems to rest on a bizarre strategy that Trump appears to be pursuing.

Having already decided in his mind that China is the biggest threat that America faces, both economically and militarily, he seems to feel that if he can curry favour with Putin, that that will be able to drive a wedge between the alliance of Russia and China.

But the price that he might end up paying for such a risky strategy could be devastating, because Putin might end up by convincing Trump to allow him to retake control of the rest of the Ukraine, as well as the Russian-speaking Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

And what would Trump ask for in return? Probably the assurance that Russia would take care of the ISIS problem for him. That would then allow Russia to gain control of the whole of the Middle East, in collaboration with their client states of Turkey and Iran, which is exactly what the Bible predicted would happen.

Mark:  Very interesting Allan. And that brings us back to what we discussed at the beginning of this Podcast, which is how do you think that the Trump presidency fits in with Bible prophecy?

Well Mark, based on my own interpretation of end-time events, I think that  Donald Trump is very likely to be the last President of the United States, and that his actions will be the direct cause of the destruction of America and the beginning of the period which the Bible calls the Great Tribulation.

The test will be whether Trump follows through with his promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from its present location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And although Congress passed a bill permitting such a move in 1995, subsequent administrations have chosen not to do this for fear of antagonizing Arabic and Muslim opinion.

If he does so, I have no doubt that this would lead to a firestorm of opposition throughout the Arab and Islamic world that would be directed at Israel and America. And that could in turn lead to a unified movement determined to wipe out the nation of Israel once and for all.

And although Donald Trump has assured the Israeli people that he would be their “staunchest ally ever”, if their country ever did find itself faced by a coalition of armies as the prophet Ezekiel predicted, Trump might decide that it would be in America’s interest to abandon them in their hour of need, and leave Israel to its fate.

So what this means Mark, is that we could very well be living in the days leading up to the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, and the final seven years that will mark the end of this cycle of civilization – the age that the Bible predicts will end with the battle of Armageddon.

The Middle East is the place to watch Mark. As I have written in my book, the Middle East is the place that will provide the spark that will light the fires of tribulation. So now we wait. We wait for the signs in the heavens and the arrival of the red star of the Hopi Indians – the star they call the “destroyer”.

Well Allan this has certainly been a revealing look at what is happening in the world today, and especially in America. And as you say, I guess all we can do now is wait and see how it all turns out.

You have been listening to Allan Colston, author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac” Do join us for our next Podcast, which will be another in the series titled “Signs of the Times”.

Allan, Signs of the Times, January 6, 2017, 2:09 pm

Hail to the Chief – Part One

My name is Mark Stevens, standing in today for Scott who is on vacation. I am talking with Allan Colston.  He is the author of the book The Last Days of Tolemac.   

Welcome Allan to this Podcast. As this is the first time we have spoken together, perhaps you could start off by telling me a little bit about your book.

Certainly Mark, it is a pleasure to chat with you. The Last Days of Tolemac is a book about prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:

• What is about to happen to our planet
• Why these events are happening at this time
• What places on earth will be affected
• What the new world will be like
• What we can do to prepare

Mark:  So tell me Allan, what do you think is about to happen to our planet?

Well Mark, as the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” as described in the Book of Revelation, in which there will be no more suffering and no more pain.

However, as The Bible points out, this transformation will be preceded by a series of events that will plunge the world into chaos and destruction. And as a result of these coming calamities, each one of us is faced with a critical choice.

We have to decide whether we want to be a part of the new world that is coming, by embracing the spiritual challenges that lie ahead, or whether we are content to ignore the signs and join the majority of the population that will fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival?

So the purpose of my Podcasts with Scott up until this time Mark, has been to bring listeners up to date with those events that are happening in the world today which, in my view, suggest that we are now living the “End Times” as described by Jesus and other Biblical prophets.

Mark:  So Allan, what sort of events are you referring to?

Well Mark, in my last Podcast with Scott that was titled “The Age of Tyrants”, I talked about the fact that the world has experienced more tyrannical rulers over the last hundred years, than at any other period in the history of the earth. I also went on to say:

“We seem to be living in an age of tyrants, where an encroaching darkness is stealing across the planet, slowly swallowing up all the countries of the world, and enslaving good men and women everywhere as it does so”.

As I mentioned, democracies around the world are in peril, as we see more and more countries falling under the sway of authoritarian rulers. Now when we talk about tyrants, we need to recognise that there is a key difference between authoritarian rulers and tyrants.

Authoritarian rulers dominate the affairs of a nation by controlling what their citizens are allowed to say and do. But what turns these rulers into tyrants, is not the fact that they are authoritarian in their style of government, but how they treat those people who are opposed to them.

Tyrants are not constrained by laws. They use their power cruelly and unjustly. In short, they kill their enemies, as we can see in countries like Russia, Iran and North Korea. And just lately we have two more countries to add to that list. They are Turkey and the Philippines.

And in fact, I ended my last Podcast with the following words.

“And this brings us to the United States, where the coming election is probably one of the most important in their history. Voters are faced with a choice between two starkly contrasting candidates. On the one hand there is Hillary Clinton, who is regarded as a threat and distrusted by many.

And then there is the phenomenon of Donald Trump, who claims to represent the best interests of all Americans, but then goes on to brand Mexicans, Muslims and migrants as the enemy, and who appears to display all the qualities that are the hallmark of a classic despot.

So the world waits to see what they will decide. Will voters preserve the principles that have made the United States the bastion of democracy for the last two hundred years or more, or will they vote for their fears and allow their country to descend into tyranny, just as Plato so long ago predicted?”

Mark:  Well Allan, as we all know by now, the Americans voted for Donald Trump.

Well not exactly Mark. Although he will be the new President, in terms of the number of votes cast, Trump actually ended up in third place. One of the most significant factors in the outcome of the election was that about 45% of the electorate, or 108 million people, chose not to vote at all.

And of those who did decide to vote, roughly three million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than voted for Donald Trump. Hence his third place finish. In any other country where democratic elections are held, Clinton would have been declared an easy winner.

But America is not like any other country. Its electoral system is unique. In fact America is not even a democracy. It is a Republic bound by a Constitution, which is why every new President is required to pledge upon the Bible that he or she will uphold the Constitution.

Under this Constitution, voters don’t vote for the candidate of their choice. Instead, they vote for members of the Electoral College. There are a total of 538 Electoral College members who are allocated on a state by state basis according to the population of that state.

And this is where the Founding Fathers of Confederation proved to be undone by their own cunning. For, as Donald Trump emphasized again and again throughout his campaign, the American electoral system was rigged. Yet the irony of it all was that the outcome turned out to be rigged in his favour.

Mark:  Why do you say that Allan?

Well Mark, the fundamental inequity of the American voting system is that the candidate who wins the majority of votes in any one state, is allocated ALL the Electoral College votes for that state, no matter how close the final margin between the candidates may happen to be.

So what actually happened in this election was that Donald Trump managed to beat Hillary Clinton by a tiny margin in four key states. These were the states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. As a result, he was allocated ALL 64 of the Electoral College votes in those states.

So what that all boiled down to in practice, was that 525,000 votes in those four states accounted for 64 out of the 270 Electoral College votes that Trump needed to win the Presidency. So 12% of his final Electoral College tally came from just 0.04% of the people who turned out to vote.

And if that isn’t rigging the system Mark, then I don’t know what is. And because of this we have to ask, was this just luck, or was it perhaps a matter of fate? And could this result play a part in determining the future destiny of America, and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy?

Anyway, since the election, political pundits of every persuasion have had a field day trying to explain what went wrong, and why and how Clinton managed to lose an election in which she had seemed to be heading for a landslide victory just two weeks before.

But what almost all of these commentators have failed to point out, is that Hillary lost the election because of a monumental lack of judgment on her part. And it was this error in judgement that ultimately cost her the election. So she had no one to blame but herself.

Mark:  So what sort of error in judgment did she make?

Well Mark, it all began in 1996 when Hillary employed a 19 year old Muslim lady fresh out of George Washington University named Huma Abedin. Over the years Huma assumed a number of different positions, ranging from senior advisor to deputy chief of staff when Hillary was Secretary of State.

Hillary even introduced Huma to her future husband, and in 2010 ex-President Bill Clinton officiated at their wedding. The unfortunate part for Hillary was that Huma’s husband, a Congressman from New York by the name of Anthony Wiener, turned out to be a sleazy character who fell afoul of the law.

Wiener resigned from Congress in 2011 as a result of a sexting scandal in which he admitted sending sexually explicit photographs of himself to a series of women via his Twitter account. And although Huma Abedin separated from her husband, she never actually divorced him.

As you can imagine, the salacious details of this case, involving a nine-time Congressman, were splashed across the nation causing considerable embarrassment to the Clinton campaign, especially when the New York Post reported just before the election that Wiener had sexted another woman while lying in bed with his young son.

So when Director James Comey announced that the FBI had found a laptop belonging to Wiener that contained a trove of emails between Hillary and Huma, the impact that it had on the country was electric. In fact I well remember my own reaction at the time. “Oh Hillary, how could you have been so dumb!”

After all, you could perhaps forgive her for using a private server to conduct Government business, especially since the FBI could find no evidence of an actual crime. But it is another thing entirely to share emails involving matters of state with a defrocked politician who had admitted to deviant sexual behaviour.

From that moment on Hillary began hemorrhaging support and her campaign was doomed. And interestingly enough, the segment of the voting public that deserted her in those final days were white college-educated women – the very ones who were most horrified by what had transpired.

In retrospect it may have been fortunate for the country that Clinton lost, for had she won, she would have had to deal with a hostile Republican Congress that would have blocked everything that she tried to do, and would most likely have led to four more years of complete gridlock in Washington.

Mark:  So what do you think will happen now under President Trump?

Well Mark, the first thing that everyone will discover is that Donald Trump is not Barack Obama. That may seem like a trite thing to say, but what people in America and all around the world need to realise is that everything that they have become used to over the last eight years will change from January 20th onwards.

Donald Trump is not only different from Barack Obama, but he is totally opposed to everything that Obama has achieved in his eight years in the White House. And Trump will devote his efforts to ensuring that nothing of Obama’s legacy remains intact at the end of his time in office.

So whereas Obama is a globalist, an environmentalist, a supporter of free trade, a protector of civil rights, the rights of women and the rights of the LGBTQ community, as well as being a staunch defender of the poor, Donald Trump is none of these things. And it all began in his early childhood.

Young Donald was a problem child. At least he proved to be more than his parents could handle in his early years. He had a short attention span coupled with a violent temper and an over abundance of energy. So they despatched him off to the New York Military Academy in the hope that they would be able to channel his energy in a positive direction.

I suppose that that should be a lesson to parents everywhere about the dangers of sending children off to military school. Anyway, the young Trump learned two things while he was there. The first was that “might is right”, and the second was that it was the job of the military to “By God get things done”.

So it is no surprise that when it came time for him to set about choosing the key people to fill his Cabinet, he would turn to the military to fill his most important positions. Only this time he would be the one giving the orders, and it would be their job to do whatever it takes to “get things done”.

And then there’s another thing that the public need to know about Donald Trump Mark, and that is that a leopard never changes its spots.

Mark:  OK Allan you’ve got me there. What do you mean by that?

Well Mark, one of the things that has confounded the American public during the election campaign, was that Trump was notorious for saying one thing one day and then reversing himself a few days later. So you never knew what he really stood for, or whether he had any basic principles at all.

But there is one way that you can see into the true character of a person that does not rely on speech and that cannot be disguised. And that is a person’s handwriting. And although most people have never seen Donald Trump’s writing, we do have a record of his signature.

Back in May of last year The Telegraph newspaper in England ran an article about the signatures of famous people, and what they indicated about their characters. One of the people whose signatures they analysed was Donald Trump.

Here’s what Elaine Quigley, a noted British graphology expert and handwriting analyst, had to say about it.

“Trump’s signature is, of course, his face to the world, so he wants to be dominant, hard, aggressive and to keep people at arm’s length, so he can do everything his way. I have always said that his signature is like barbed wire with blood on it. It is aggressive, it is bloodthirsty and there is absolutely no sense of inspiration in it.

She went on to add: “Trump’s signature betrays his lack of creativity, and even though he is not uneducated, we can see that he is self-absorbed. Look at the angles, look how sharp it is. Anyone who gets near Trump will get hurt.”

Now Mark, I can’t show you what she was referring to, but it is sufficiently revealing to make it worth inserting in my Blog summary of this Podcast. And what makes this especially disturbing, is that this is her assessment of the man who is about to become the leader of the Free World.

And there is another thing that can shine a light onto his personality and his dealings with other people. It is the story told by Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire English businessman who founded the Virgin Group which controls more than 400 companies. Did you ever hear about it?

Mark:  No Allan, I can’t say that I did.

Well according to the story which appears on his website, during one of his business visits to the United States, he was invited by Donald Trump to a one-on-one lunch meeting with him at his apartment in Manhattan. Here’s what Branson had to say about that meeting:

“Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan. We had not met before and I accepted. Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.

“He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre. I told him I didn’t think it was the best way of spending his life. I said it was going to eat him up, and do more damage to him than them. There must be more constructive ways to spend the rest of your life. (Hopefully my advice didn’t lead to him running for President!)”

And what this story tells us Mark is that Donald Trump is a person who not only holds a grudge, but is prepared to wreak vengeance on those who displease him “even if he has to spend the rest of his life doing so”. I mention this because there is the small matter of Hillary Clinton.

During one of the election debates, Trump interrupted Clinton to say that if he succeeded in becoming President, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her crimes. And of course we all recall the enduring chants of his supporters to “lock her up, lock her up”.

Since the election, Trump has said little about whether he is prepared to follow through with his threat, leading many to surmise that his comments were merely campaign rhetoric. But I am not so sure. In fact I think he may be just biding his time until he becomes President.

In fact it would not surprise me if Trump is waiting to see if President Obama is going to be far-sighted enough to issue an official pardon to Hillary Clinton for any crimes that she may have committed during her time in office, before he steps down.

And if he does not, then my hunch is that Trump will find some pretext to revisit his earlier threat. And this would be very easy to arrange. All he would need to do is to arrange one of his victory stops in a Republican state and then ask the crowd “What do you think I should do about Hillary?”

And then when the crowd responds with their usual cry of “Lock her up”, it would be easy for him to say, “You know that I am a very forgiving person. I don’t hold grudges. But when you say you want me to lock her up, what can I do? My hands are tied. I have no choice but let the law take its course.”

And if he did go ahead and appoint a special prosecutor, I have no doubt that the person he chose would be able to come up with sufficient incriminating evidence to convict her of a crime. And if found guilty, that she would end up behind bars.

The leopard never changes its spots.

Mark:  So are you saying that Donald Trump may turn out to be a tyrant?

Well Mark we don’t know yet. We will have to wait and see. But we do know that he sees nothing wrong with torturing anyone that he deems to be an enemy of the state, for he has already gone on record to say that he approves of “water-boarding or worse” as a means of extracting information.

But what we can say is that he will prove to be an authoritarian leader who will be prepared to do whatever it takes to get his own way, especially as there appears to be no countervailing power in Congress that is likely to prevent him from doing exactly as he wishes.

And it seems clear to me that because there has never been anyone quite like Trump in the history of the United States, it would not be a stretch to suggest that what will happen under his leadership is likely to be totally different from anything that has happened in the past.

America has elected a former reality TV personality known as “the Donald” to be their new leader. And based on his actions up to this point, it seems more and more likely that he intends to rule the country like another Don – Don Corleone of the Godfather. In other words, he intends to be “The Boss”.

After all, his entire career has been built upon his projected image of being a tough guy who wins by getting what he wants. And those are the very qualities that characterise people that he claims to admire the most – people like Putin and Saddam Hussein, and even Kim Jong-un.

One of the boasts that Trump likes to make is that he has never actually finished reading a book in his life. If this is true, then I think it is a pity, because if he had he would have found out that most books finish with the words “The End”.

And for a man who will shortly have the keys to the nuclear codes and the power to destroy the world, I would have thought that that would have been enough to give him, as well as the American people and the rest of the world, cause for pause.

Some people have asked me if I think that Donald Trump will turn out to be the long-awaited Anti-Christ. I tell them no I don’t. But I do think that he will serve up a very good first course.

Mark:  Thanks Allan. We need to take a break. When we come back we will continue our discussion with Allan Colston, author of the book The Last Days of Tolemac.

To be continued in Part Two

Allan, AUDIO, Signs of the Times, December 29, 2016, 10:48 pm

Plato’s Cave – Part Two

The Bible records the occasion when Nicodemus, who was described as being both a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night saying that he knew that he was a teacher sent by God, because no one could perform the miracles that he did unless God was inside him. Jesus replied:

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Nicodemus responded in amazement: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born”?  (John 3: 4-5)

It was obvious from his answer that although Nicodemus was well versed in all aspects of the Jewish religion, he clearly had no idea what Jesus was talking about when he said that a man needed to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God.

And in the two thousand years that have passed since Jesus died upon the cross, Christians are still mired in ignorance. To this day there is hardly a Christian believer alive who understands what it means to be born again, or how to attain the Kingdom of God while still retaining a human body.

The Kingdom of God

The idea that one needed to die in order to gain admission to the Kingdom of God was central to the message that Jesus preached throughout his ministry. It was also a theme that he returned to again and again, as we can see from the following quotations:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it”.   (Luke 9: 23-24)

“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”  (Mark 8: 34-35)

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

“He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it”.  (Matthew 10: 37-39)

It is important to note here that Jesus spoke these words to his followers and disciples long before his own death upon the cross. And it gives new meaning to the reason for his death, which was to show that it is necessary to sacrifice one’s life in this world in order to gain eternal life.

But what did Jesus mean when he said that we have to be born again? And what was he referring to when he said that a man must be prepared to “deny himself and take up his cross daily”? After all, it is one thing to take up your cross, but quite another to “do it every day”!

René Descartes

In a strange way, we may gain an insight into this mystery by studying the words of the 17th century French philosopher René Descartes.

Descartes has been called the father of modern western philosophy, largely because of his most famous work titled Principles of Philosophy, which was  published in Latin in the year 1644. It was in this work that he wrote the words for which he is best remembered to this day.

The words were “Cogito ergo sum”, meaning “I think, therefore I am”. Now Descartes  was not using the words “I am” in the way that Jesus used them. In fact they referred to the very thing that Jesus said needed to die before a man could gain access to the Kingdom of God.

As explained in Part One, Jesus not only referred to himself as the I AM, but he taught that this I AM sensation that we all experience inside of ourselves was not only the pathway to God, it WAS GOD. For, as he explained to his disciple Thomas:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me”.  (John 14: 6)

So what Jesus was saying to Thomas was that the I AM was the way, the I AM was the truth, and the I AM was the life. And since Jesus referred to himself as the I AM, it followed that no one could reach the Kingdom of God “but by me”, or in other words through the I AM.

But to return to René Descartes, the “I am” that he was referring to was the idea that his independent existence as a man was attributed primarily to his ability to think. And this ability to think also enabled him to interact with the world around him by means of his senses.

Now all  of us think, and like Descartes, we use this facility both to confirm our existence as an individual, and to function in the world. And it is this ability to think that enables us to organize our lives, as well as deal with the problems of the present and make plans for the future.

And then there are our emotions and our desires. Our lives are motivated by a host of different desires. And whenever we are successful in attaining our desires, or are thwarted in these endeavours, we respond by means of a variety of emotions that further impact upon our lives.

But the people that surround us in our lives are not real. They are illusions. In fact they are nothing more than a series of images appearing in consciousness, just like movie actors on a screen. And we have become trapped inside our personalities, just like the prisoners inside Plato’s Cave.

The fundamental problem of all human life is that we have become imprisoned by our individual personalities, because we have chosen to identify that sense of being inside of ourselves with our bodies and the events that are going on in the world around us.

And the secret to escaping from the prison that we have built around us, lies in a re-evaluation of the word “identify”. For it is this act of “identifying” with what we see and sense around us that binds us to these things, and traps us in those “identities” that we imagine ourselves to be.

In other words, it is because I identify myself with my physical body that I become trapped in this three-dimensional world of space and time, where I have to experience the opposites of pain and sorrow, happiness and joy, success and failure, and ultimately old age and death.

And the way to escape this world of opposites is simple. I just need to swop the old idea of René Descartes (I think, therefore I am), with a new idea: “I don’t think, therefore I AM”. In other words, if thinking leads to the creation of the individual personality, then not thinking leads to the Divine.

Taken at face value, such mundane advice seems ridiculous. After all, if I stopped thinking, then how could I possibly live my life? How could I perform my job, feed my family, or do anything worthwhile in the world? And the answer that Jesus gives us is: “If you surrender to God, He will provide every need”.

As we have seen above, the basic message of Jesus is that it is only by dying that we can enter the Kingdom of God. We don’t have to acquire anything new. We simply have to give up the false idea that we exist as a person. That is what he meant by “losing your life” in order to find it.

Escaping the Cave

So if we want to escape from Plato’s Cave, we have to unshackle ourselves from the chains that have bound us up until now, and make our way out of the cave. If we want to escape from our illusory body which was born and is doomed to die, then we have to give up our identification with it.

So Jesus calls on each one of us to make a choice. We have to decide whether we want to live an ordinary life, by doing all those things that people normally do, or voluntarily decide to “take up our cross” and turn away from life in the world. There is no middle way.

And this is where those who call themselves Christians fail. Not only do they not realise that the death of the personality is the pathway to eternal life, but they cling to their precious individuality with every sinew of their being. The very idea of “taking up their cross daily” fills them with horror.

For we are now living in an age of the glorification of the individual, in which people everywhere try to express their personalities in ever more exotic ways, and all the while striving to be the best. But this was not the message of the Saviour, and those who follow this path are doomed to die.

You cannot try to lead a successful life in the world and at the same time pursue the path of Truth, just as you cannot remain in the cave and try to leave it at the same time. For as Jesus explained to all those gathered around him on the occasion of his famous sermon on the mount:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”.  (Matthew 6: 24)

Furthermore, anyone who strives to attain the Kingdom of God has to sever his links with his family and friends. Obviously, if your goal is to “deny yourself”, you can no longer retain those relationships that bind you to the personality that is destined to “die upon the cross”. For as Jesus said:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”.  (Matthew 10: 37)

And when Jesus was told on one occasion that his mother and brothers had arrived and wished to speak to him, he replied:

“Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?”  (Matthew 12: 48)

In other words, if your intention is to rid yourself of your chains and leave the cave, then you can no longer hold on to those things that draw you back into the cave. And for those people who shrink from making such a sacrifice, Jesus beckons to them with a message from the beyond.

“Fear not, O ye children of little faith, for I lead you forth into a new world of experience that is more glorious than anything that you can imagine, where you are no longer bound by the limitations of your human body, and are freed forever from the pangs of suffering and death.”

The lilies of the field

So to return to the question that we posed earlier. If we are prepared to give up everything in order to follow Christ, then how can we fulfil our duties in this world, and how can we provide for those who depend on us for food and shelter? And for all those in doubt, Jesus has a reassuring answer.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

 “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

 “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

” But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  (Matthew 6: 25-34)

Jesus urges us to seek the Kingdom of God “first”, before we attend to any other duty or responsibility in life. So the crucial challenge then becomes: how do we go about doing this? How do we go about “taking up our cross daily and denying ourselves”?

All the ancient Mystery Schools, as well as all the major religions of the world, agree that there are only two ways that one can do this. Either one has to surrender to God and let Him take charge of their life, or one has to investigate the source of the I AM that lives inside each one of us.

Jesus offered his followers both of these options to follow him. They could choose either to “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”, or they could follow the advice of the 46th Psalm and “Be still and know that I AM God”.

Since it is the “mind” that is the primary barrier that stands between normal human consciousness and the Kingdom of God, the sole object of these two methods is to overcome the mind. And it is the process of doing this that steadily dissolves the human personality until only God remains.

The path of surrender

On the face of it, the path of surrender is supremely easy. All one has to do is to let go – and let God. The human mind merely has to step aside and allow the Divine spirit within to take over and make all the decisions that we, as individual personalities, would normally make. As Jesus says:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.   (Matthew 11: 28-30)

By surrendering to God, we release the burden of our lives, as well as the responsibility for fulfilling our duties to our families and all those around us. We already have the assurance from Jesus in the previous quotation that all of our worldly needs like food, clothing and shelter will be met.

In addition, we no longer need to concern ourselves about whether our lives have meaning, and whether our efforts will be crowned with success. Once we have made the decision to surrender our lives to God, the results of what we do or do not do in life need no longer concern us.

We can simply live our lives according to a new maxim, “Let what comes come, and let what goes go”. For if we have truly handed over the control of our lives to God, then everything that happens in our lives can only come from God. But of course, the difficulty is in trying to do this every day.

It is the challenge of beating back the doubts and fears generated by our minds that requires us to “deny ourselves and take up our cross daily”. But in meeting this challenge, we are fortified by faith, and the conviction that we will, in time, be united with God.

We also need to remind ourselves of the words that Jesus spoke in his hour of need: “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”. (Luke 22: 42)  But if there is anything that needs to be done at any moment of our life, we need to do it to the best of our ability, and to dedicate our actions to God.

The path of enquiry

The path of enquiry is equally simple in theory, but is perhaps even harder to achieve in practice than the path of surrender described above. All one has to do is to follow the guidance of the 10th verse of Psalm 46 in the Bible. “Be still, and know that I am God”.

Again, this is one of those aphorisms that slides easily off the tongue, but can seem impossibly difficult to do once we decide to put it into practice. That is because the process of “knowing God” involves overcoming the mind, which as we have seen, is the main barrier between God and man.

The requirement of “being still” is common to all the mystical traditions of the world. It involves meditation, contemplation and single-pointedness of mind. And this is only achieved after endless hours of practice, requiring limitless patience and extraordinary determination.

The process goes like this. First of all, you have to be still. You have to calm the mind, much like the ripples on the lake that break up the image of the sun in the example quoted earlier. Then you have to focus on the source of the I AM feeling that exists inside of you.

With practice, this source will be found to emanate from a point inside the chest just to the right of the breast-bone. It is the place we instinctively point to when we refer to ourselves. This is why the Bible says: “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left”.  (Ecclesiastes 10: 2)

If you continue to focus the mind on this source of the I AM, you will find that over time you will be drawn deeper and deeper into this source. And as you do this, you will begin to experience an inner peace that will transfuse your entire being. And the more you do it, the more you will WANT to do it.

Finally, there comes that moment when the I AM reveals itself in all of its glory, resplendent as the Divine Creator and sustainer of all living things, as well as of the entire universe. And at that moment you will realise that you are not only aware of God, but that you are ONE WITH GOD.

So the process  of enquiry unfolds in the following way. Be still. Be still and focus on the source of the “I AM” sense within. Be still and discover that this “I AM” sense IS God. Be still and know that I am the “I AM” – which is God. The human journey is complete.

In the ancient Hindu Vedas, the I AM is said to emerge from the heart-centre on the right side of the chest at a point that they call the Sphurana. This is described as being a “knot-hole”, which in normal human consciousness always remains tightly shut.

This “knot-hole” can be likened to the shutter of a camera which normally remains closed. It is only when it is opened that the darkness disappears as light floods into the camera, revealing the glory of what had previously been hidden.

And this is what happens after prolonged meditation. This knot-hole, or shutter, begins to open, at first momentarily, but then for longer periods. It is only when this hole opens permanently that full enlightenment is gained. When that happens, the person becomes free, even though they still retain a human body.

The peak experience

These precursors of enlightenment can also sometimes happen unexpectedly, and many people have reported having experienced them. The American psychologist Abraham Maslow even coined a term for these experiences. He called them “peak experiences”.

In describing these experiences, Maslow wrote that they were “rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.”

Some of the best descriptions of these peak experiences have come from poets, particularly English poets belonging to what became known as the Romantic Movement that began at the end of in the 18th century. The following lines from Percy Shelley’s Ode to Liberty are an example:

“Within a cavern of man’s trackless spirit
Is throned an Image, so intensely fair
That the adventurous thoughts that wander near it
Worship, and as they kneel, tremble and wear
The splendour of its presence, and the light
Penetrates their dreamlike frame
Till they become charged with the strength of flame”.

My own peak experience happened when I was 31 years old. I was living in India at the time, and was visiting a friend in the town of Varkala in Kerala, not far from the southern tip of India. As I sat down one morning, idly gazing into the water of a small pond that was part of his estate, IT happened.

Although the experience itself only lasted for perhaps a few seconds, its effect on the mind was electric! But because the I AM exists beyond the mind, the mind itself is incapable of describing it. Nevertheless, the experience left a residue that has been imprinted on my mind ever since.

I was left with a sense of sheer exhilaration. I knew without a shadow of doubt that I had experienced a state of freedom that lay beyond the mind. It was a state of bliss that defied description. I was not only free from the limits of space and time, but I understood at that moment exactly how the entire universe worked.

I understood also what the ancient Sages of India had said about life. They described it by the Sanskrit term Lila, which represented a form of cosmic dance, in which every part of the created universe had meaning, and that meaning was to reflect the joy of the creator.

The best description that I have heard of that state is the one that has been recorded in the Vedas.  They called it Sat-Chit-Ananda, which can be translated as Being-Consciousness-Bliss. And that was my experience. I was not only aware, but I was conscious of being aware, and I was immersed in total Bliss.

So the ultimate goal of all life is not to save the world, or live a more fulfilling life, or gain more wealth, or explore space, or overcome adversity or physical disability. The highest goal that you can achieve in life is to stop dreaming and WAKE UP from the dream that is your day-to-day reality.

Only then will you escape the confines of Plato’s Cave.

Only then will you be freed from this illusory world of shape and form.
Only then will you find the peace that passes all understanding.
Only then will you feel the bliss that can never be described in words.
Only then will you know the Truth that has been hidden from you up until that moment…….

That you not only ARE free, but that you have ALWAYS BEEN FREE.

Allan, Plato's Cave, November 6, 2016, 1:55 pm