How Average Humans Can Be Conditioned To Carry Out Acts Of Mass Political Violence
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 05:22:16 PM EST
The following is a short compendium of research into methods and processes by which human instinctual inhibitions can be bypassed or dampened such that average human beings can be socially conditioned to carry out acts of genocide and mass violence against fellow members of their own species, even against their neighbors.

The subject material is not pleasant, but those concerned with the question of how it is that genocides and mass violence can occur will want to confront this body of research, knowledge of which has the potential to avert future tragedies.

I've extracted the following writing and references from a post I made at Talk To Action, June 4, 2006 entitled Enough hate speech to stun an ox, to serve as a reference for upcoming posts on this forum but I do not intent to suggest that such material relates specifically to the Christian and religious right ; this research does not concern any one identifiable human group of any sort but applies, rather, to the shared nature and behavioral potential of all humans.

(3 comments, 1817 words in story)
Mainstream Baptists Encouraged to Boycott Left Behind Video Game
Mainstream Baptist printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 04:28:38 PM EST
Mainstream Baptists are being encouraged to join Crosswalk America's boycott of the Left Behind:  Eternal Forces video game.

Winning the game requires players to either convert or kill any character in the game that does not convert to fundamentalist Christianity.  Advocates of church-state separation as well as Catholics, Jews, gays and Muslims are targeted for extermination.

Sunday morning at 11:00 CST Dr. Bruce Prescott I will interview Jonathan Hutson on the "Religious Talk" radio program.  Jonathan Hutson first discovered the violent, sub-Christian nature of the Left Behind video game last May and exposed it in a series of blogs on the Talk to Action website.  His expose led Rick Warren to disassociate himself from the project and two staff members to resign from his organization.

A podcast of the radio interview will be posted to the Mainstream Baptist podcast archive Sunday afternoon.

(235 words in story)
Statement of Frederick Clarkson and Bruce Wilson, Co-Founders, Talk2Action.org
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 12:07:10 PM EST
This statement was distributed at today's press conference by Christian groups calling for the recall of the video game, Left Behind:  Eternal Forces.  -- FC

Last May, our colleague Jonathan Hutson posted a groundbreaking and shocking analysis of the then, forthcoming video game, Left Behind:  Eternal Forces. In the game, he reported, players control an end-times Christian militia that roams the streets of New York City, seeking to convert or kill New Yorkers. He also reported that the game indoctrinates children and young adults into an ideology of religious warfare, which may be expected in their lifetime.

We believe that the manufacturers should withdraw the game and apologize to their fellow Americans for the spreading, however unintentionally, of a base and dangerous brand of religious bigotry.

(1042 words in story)
Groups Join to Condemn Left Behind: Eternal Forces
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 10:32:13 AM EST
On Tuesday, November 28th, CrossWalk America in conjunction with the Christian Alliance for Progress (CAP) and other groups including Talk2Action will hold a press conference to condemn the Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game "that explicitly encourages 'Left Behind Christian Converts' to convert or kill a host of people deemed unfit for the Kingdom of God."

According to the press release:

"In the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces would be rapture survivors are issued high tech military weaponry and instructed to engage the infidel in New York City. The mission? Convert or kill anyone not adhering to a Fundamentalist view of Christianity. This could include Catholics, Jews, Gays, Muslims and anyone who advocates the separation of Church and State, whether they are Christian or non-Christian."

Sign an online petition here.

Talk2Action was in the forefront of exposing this game, and we encourage our readers to spread the word about this press conference. Links to Talk2Action posts on this topic follow below:

(369 words in story)
Christian Groups Oppose Religious Warfare Indoctrination Vid for Kids
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 10:27:42 AM EST
At a press conference today in Phoenix, Arizona, a coalition of Christian groups will call for the recall of the hate-based video game Left Behind:  Eternal Forces.  Talk to Action will contribute a statement for the event.  Talk to Action's Jonathan Hutson's ground-breaking series remains the definitive critique of the game. Chip Berlet's series on  Tim LaHaye, the author fo the series of novels on which the game is based, explains the games' underlying hate-based ideology.

CrossWalk America, the Beatitudes Society, Christian Alliance for Progress and The Center for Progressive Christianity will also urge consumers to boycott the video game, which is being released "just in time for the holidays," according to the manufacturer.  The press release is reproduced in its entirety on the flip.

(1 comment, 639 words in story)
Toronto Star Pans Left Behind: Eternal Forces
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:44:55 PM EST
Here at Talk to Action we observed from early on that the new video game Left Behind:  Eternal Forces is premised, among other things, on the idea of converting or killing present day New Yorkers; and that the game serves to indoctrinate children in an ideology of religious warfare.  We have noted that other reviwers see it this way too.  Most recently, a reviewer at the Toronto Star newspaper joins us in recognizing the essential character of the game.  
(1 comment, 340 words in story)
An Apology to Left Behind Games
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Nov 11, 2006 at 03:42:25 PM EST
We recently received a "legal notice" from Troy Lyndon, the president of Left Behind Games. This is the company that is releasing the video game Left Behind:  Eternal Forces this week.  He threatened legal action unless  Talk to Action remove the screenshots that writers here have used to illustrate their posts about the game, and apologize for violating their copyright  We agreed to do so, even though we feel that the uses of the screenshots are well within the legal doctrine of "fair use," and note that they are also being used to illustrate many other stories and reviews of the game.  

Lyndon was also upset that red coloring was added to some of the shots to indicate blood in the battle scenes depicted in the game. Lyndon correctly points out that the game itself studiously avoids blood and guts.  

I am a believer in copyright, even in an age of far greater flexibility with regard to copyright, especially since the advent of the blogosphere.  My own belief is that bloggers are sometimes  insufficiently respectful of the copyrights of others. But they are not the only ones.

I believe that even when the law is generous, that the principle of copyright is important, and that if an author, a copyright holder objects to a use, that holds great weight with me, and it is in that spirit that I am honored to apologize on behalf of Talk to Action, and to welcome Left Behind Games, a relatively new company, to the ranks of those with a keen sense of intellectual property in an age when corporations and others are quick to appropriate the work of others for uses of their own.

(3 comments)
Religious Warfare Vid for Kids: In Stores in Time for Christmas
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 06:04:25 AM EST
The countdown to the launch of Left Behind:  Eternal Forces into minds of evangelical youth to prepare them for the coming religious war, is now underway.

While many will no doubt play the new video game, like any other game, others in the game's target market will unwittingly  experience an indoctrination in the idea that the failure to convert the targets of religious prostylitization justifies killing them.

Nevertheless, the game's release is tied to the Christmas shopping season, suggesting that the evangelical Christian commercial marketplace is being harnessed to drive a dangerous form of Christian supremacism: Dangerous to religious minorities, as well as members of incorrect sects. Arguably, it  undermines and prepares for aggression against constitutional democracy itself, and foundational ideas of religious equality under the law.

(8 comments, 980 words in story)
Teaching Christian Children Religious Warfare
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 07:50:06 PM EST
A few months ago, Jonathan Hutson broke a series of stories at Talk to Action about a ruthless indoctrination video game masquerading as entertainment for children. Left Behind:  Eternal Forces, based on Tim LaHaye's best selling series of novels, is set in contemporary New York City where the citizens, "left behind" after all of the good Christians have been pulled up into heaven in an event called the rapture, are to be converted or killed by a roving Christian militia battling the United Nation peace keeping force, headed by the Anti-Christ.

The game, which is scheduled to come out next month - just in time for the Christmas shopping season, is the subject of an article by Michelle Goldberg, in the current issue of New York magazine. Goldberg advances the story with new information about the developers of the game: the key people are Jewish converts to conservative Christianity. (One clarified that he is not converted, but "completed." This is a notion of Messianic Jews, who consider themsevles "completed" because they have accepted Jesus the Messiah.)

The release, of what some now consider to be orientation software for the Christian militias of a coming religious war in America, coincidentally comes just as a film is coming out that documents the indoctrination of young evangelical children in a fierce ideology of religious warfare and what they call God's Army. Their pastor compares her efforts to Islamic Madrassa schools in Pakistan. The film is called Jesus Camp.

(1 comment, 1446 words in story)
Talk To Action Included In College Curriculum
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 12:03:30 PM EST
Talk To Action author Jonathan Hutson's The Purpose Driven Life Takers series has become part of the required reading in a course taught at The College Of New Jersey called "Video Games: Issues and Influences"

Excerpt from part one of Hutson's multi-part series:

Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.

The game, slated for release by October 2006 in advance of the Christmas shopping rush, has been previewed at video game exhibitions, and reviewed by major newspapers and magazines. But until now, no fan or critic has pointed out the controversial game's connection to Mr. Warren or his dominionist agenda.


(2 comments)
The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Eight - The Age Old Conspiracy
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:33:59 PM EST
Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates (author info) Left Behind
The Rev. Tim LaHaye knows that the country is being subverted by the forces of Satan, and he knows who is behind the conspiracy. In his 1998 book, Rapture (Under Attack), LaHaye writes, "For twenty years my wife and I have worked tirelessly to halt the effects of this conspiracy on the church, our government, media, and the public schools; so obviously I am not hostile to the conspiracy theory" (p. 138).
(3 comments, 1383 words in story)
Bible Publisher Tyndale House Faces Boycott Over Anti-Christian Game
jhutson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 09:54:04 PM EST
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
It is unprecedented for conservative and progressive Christians alike to close ranks in condemning a Bible publisher. It is unheard of for Christians to call for a boycott of a Bible publisher for licensing a real-time strategy videogame that caricaturizes Christianity as a crusade, puts modern military weapons in the hands of children, sends them on a mission to convert or kill infidels, and even lets children role play commanding the armies of the AntiChrist, unleashing demons that feast on Christians.

"Does it sound like fun, or does it sound like the way homicidal Muslims think?" asks Marvin Olasky, editor of the conservative Christian World Magazine in a blog post dated August 21, 2006, and titled Convert Them Or Kill Them? That's Not Christianity. His piece links to a recent Washington Post article, "Fire and Brimstone, Guns and Ammo." But the Post and World Magazine have barely touched the hem of the garment, in terms of understanding and exposing the game for what is truly is. Yet word is getting out, and a boycott is picking up steam.

It is unprecedented, and to date unheralded by the mainstream media. But it is happening. It is sparking, sputtering, glowing and growing like a prairie fire. There is a growing movement among conservative and progressive Christians alike to boycott Tyndale House, the Christian publishing house that publishes the Living Bible and Tim LaHaye's Left Behind novels and also licenses the controversial videogame Left Behind: Eternal Forces, along with any chain stores or megachurches that plan to distribute the game.

(4 comments, 685 words in story)
The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Seven - Humanists Attack the Family
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 10:58:22 AM EST
Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates (author info)
Left Behind Tim LaHaye is a Christian family counselor, rooted in apocalyptic evangelicalism. In 1975 LaHaye wrote Revelation: Illustrated and Made Plain, followed in 1978 by, The Unhappy Gays: What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality. These two themes converge into an elaborate conspiracy theory about secular humanism in his series of books on The Battle for the Mind (1980), The Battle for the Family (1982), and The Battle for the Public Shools (1983)

In 1972 Tim and Beverly LaHaye launched a national series of workshops called the Family Life Seminars, which is what first gained the LaHaye’s national attention, at least in evangelical circles.

(6 comments, 1783 words in story)
The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Six - The Council for National Policy
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Jul 31, 2006 at 09:43:53 AM EST
Senior Analyst,
Political Research Associates
(author info)

Left BehindTo understand how "Tim LaHaye helped engineer today's Religious Right," it is important to track his role in speciifc New Right institutions. (IFAS 1999). We have traced how Tim LaHaye helped make televangelist Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority a powerful force for recruiting voters to the Republican Party. But LaHaye's role in creating and leading the Council for National Policy(CNP) is less well known. According to Skipp Porteous, "The CNP is a networking vehicle for right-wing leadership. CNP meetings enable members to become acquainted with one another, speak freely, and to plan short and long-term strategies"

The CNP was founded in 1981 with Tim LaHaye as the first president and his allies in the New Right salon that created the Moral Majority in 1979--Billings, McAteer, Falwell, Weyrich, Phillips, and Viguerie--joined this new group. The Council brings together “a broad array of top right-wing evangelicals, secular activists, government officials, retired military and intelligence officers, journalists, academicians, and business leaders,” writes Matthew N. Lyons (1998). CNP membership is by invitation only, and pricey since “several thousand dollars a year” are expected as dues.

(2 comments, 2673 words in story)
The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Five - The Secular Humanist Web
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:42:01 AM EST
Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates (author info)
Left Behind The publisher's blurb for Tim LaHaye's 1980 book, The Battle for the Mind: A Subtle Warfare, gushes that it is a “shocking, detailed exposé of the humanist onslaught, as well as a positive, practical handbook for waging war against this subtle infiltration.” So LaHaye has been preparing for this "war" for over 25 years. No surprise to find this frame of an apocalyptic battle between good and evil in the Left Behind book series and video game.

LaHaye believes that "Secular Humanism" is a religion that has subverted America in defiance of God's will.

(15 comments, 1654 words in story)


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