The Star Chamber (the Fourteenth Chapter)

Hola, maestro. Today I’m finally going to complete my story about the end of my military service and travails with women. You’ll finally know why I have PTSD. I think this mail will be long. I have to tell you about my experiences with a female lieutenant of my unit, about a star chamber of female officers, about a conspiracy of psychologists, and, in addition, about another lovely experience with the Fire Girl.
After completing my espionage course, I moved from the Fort Huachuca in Arizona to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. In a previous e-mail I told you about the hospital there, which had a lot of suicides and corrupt psych evaluations.

When I first arrived, I felt exhausted. I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t sleep well. I began to experience emotional instability. My unit was a battalion of the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade. Yes, women could serve on these teams. There were only three male officers in my battalion. The other two were a captain and a lieutenant, both married. The remainder of the battalion’s 12 officers were women, including the commander, Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Ellis; the executive officer, a major; and the operations officer, also a major.

I must say Deborah Ellis was the most pathetic leader I’ve ever seen in my military career. I think she heard me say some negative comment her in the office, or maybe someone told her something about my opinion of her. She showed hatred for me pretty much right off the bat, though I assure you that her animosity toward me had noting to do with why I held a low opinion of her leadership skills, which I held pretty much immediately upon meeting her. I was not alone. However, the process of my personal collapse meant that I was probably a bit more open and genuine than others.

I was having difficulties keeping it together that I didn’t quite know about at the time. Sometimes I was frustrated and became more and more frank. I became more honest and direct than was advantageous. The military officer is usually a politically astute sycophant who only serves his own ass. I’ve already said as much in another mail. So it should have been obvious I wasn’t going to last long in the culture of army officers.

I never said anything directly to the commander that was negative, so I can only guess where her hatred of me came from. In any event, I didn’t like her, and the bitch was trying to slaughter me. Don’t forget, maestro, if you have an employee who has just returned from war, who has lost his wife, and who, in addition to having been abused by psychologists, has been betrayed by his cousins, among whom was the most beloved woman of his life, if a wretch like that has said something bad about you, then you must slit his throat mercilessly.

At first things weren’t so bad. Thanks to the psychologists, the time I studied Russian in California was quite a shock therapy. Divorce in Arizona wasn’t a picnic, but I still had the attitude of starting over. I believed that in time I could return to myself and that the exhaustion would dissipate little by little.

But two things happened. First, the California file appeared in Washington with my psych evaluation. This shouldn’t have happened, but it did. It was just an evaluation, no diagnosis, no prognosis. But humans are the way they are, and when the officers of my new unit read that I was a diabolical monster who hated women, trouble started. Don’t forget that the entire leadership of the battalion was made up of women.

Fate had reserved for me that the S1 (battalion admin officer) became my great pain in the ass. She was young. She was 22 or 23, I don’t remember. She wasn’t attractive, and although she was kind to me initially, I later knew she was evil. Our battalion was her first post. She had a lieutenant friend who was much like her, the chemical warfare officer, or ChemO for short. She was also young and ugly. They were both single and the only two people with whom I was allowed to have any kind of friendly interaction.

Look, maestro, in short, officers are forbidden to have friends. Junior officers, lieutenants and captains, may not associate with field-grade officers (majors and colonels). Nor can they have personal relationships with any other member of the Army in their rating chain. So even if you are a captain who works for another captain or another captain works for you, if you sign their evaluation or they sign yours, you can’t be friends. Generally officers avoid associating with anyone in their section to avoid appearances of favoritism. And finally, officers of any kind can’t associate with enlisted soldiers of any kind. Then of course married officers are going to want to spend time with their families. Remember, the only other two male officers at the headquarters were married. So this little S1, a lieutenant (another junior officer), who managed another section, the administration section (not in my rating chain), was just about the only human being among the 500 people in the battalion who I was allowed to associate with.

But the devil insists that I do not mix words with anyone. Like I said, I know things. The devil wants everyone to be busy, distracted and ignorant. Jonathan Bailey is a problem for that plan. So he took this chance to destroy me. I was mentally burdened by the stress of war, divorce and everything that happened with California psychologists.

So I decided to call the administrative lieutenant after work. I was lonely. At the time I had no idea who she was. She had been kind to me, but once, during an officer’s workout. But later, I made a comment about God, and she looked at me with disgust. She said, “Are you religious?”. I said I was, then she frowned and left.

I didn’t have my current perspective back then, maestro. Not everything was black and white. Not everything had to do with the war between God and Satan. Today, if anyone hates me because I serve God, I understand that it is because they serve Satan. I avoid such people and that’s it. At least now I recognize that they are enemies. Or I admit they won’t be my best friends. But, in those days, I interpreted that she did not like religious people. I thought that after meeting me, she would realize that I was not like typical religious people.

However, I also did not consider that the administrative officer would have my military file and would be the person in the unit most likely to know about my bad experience with “the mental health guardians” in California. As I told you before, at first the lieutenant was kind, I don’t think she knew anything then. But then things started to get really weird.

As a result of my problems in California and the bleak situation in the unit, I went to the operations officer (one of the two majors in the battalion and my direct superior) to ask if it would be okay for a section captain, like me, to talk to a lieutenant in another section for personal purposes. Her reaction was weird. She couldn’t give me an answer. It wasn’t forbidden, but something motivated her to ask me, “Why would you want to do that?” I assured her I had no romantic interest in her. Since the operations officer was a woman, I didn’t want to tell her that I thought the lieutenant was a ugly and not attractive to me in any way. But yes, maestro, something was going on, because the operations officer could not behave in a “normal” way. She could not give me a simple answer. Since the military is a lawless culture based solely on policies and whims of generals, she likely had no idea if I was allowed to associate with that lieutenant. However, it was also likely that the group of female officers had been gossiping about my file and were already treating me like some kind of stalker. Because that’s how women roll.

Anyway, I decided to call the lieutenant. It was a nightmare. She immediately told me that he did not want to have personal conversations with me. Immediately. Like: “Hello.” “Sir! I do not want to have interpersonal interaction with you!” I’m serious. That’s how it went. I asked her why, and I also wanted to know if she knew the policy on personal interaction. She didn’t answer me. Instead, she became more and more frustrated. She insisted I not talk to her. For my part, I didn’t know if she didn’t want to talk to me because I was a dangerous monster to women, or because she thought she couldn’t talk to captains. Nor could I rule out that the concept of talking to a religious person was disgusting to her. She wouldn’t didn’t tell me anything.

It’s not easy, maestro, to convince a woman to give information. Pretty soon she was almost yelling at me, “Stop it! You don’t understand! I don’t want you to talk to me!” At that point my own sense of professionalism was starting to kick in, and I was tempted to say, “hey there, lieutenant, it that how you talk to captains?” But this was supposed to be a social call. And this was too weird for me. So I said, “Okay. You told me not to talk to you. I guess the only thing I can do now is go to the major and explain to her how crazy this unit it is. Thanks. Bye.”

The next morning I went to the operations officer to tell her about the strange encounter. Upon arriving at her office, the nightmare continued. It seemed to have been a mortal sin to have spoken to the lieutenant. Nobody told me it was forbidden for a captain to talk to a lieutenant. It had indeed been a crime to talk to her, apparently. This would have been nice to know beforehand. I still had no idea why, though. I can only assume that it was because I’m a monstrous pervert because of some assumption related to the California evaluation. Everything about this was so amazing to me.

The major had been informed, but not by me, and she ordered me not to speak to the lieutenant anymore, because it had made her feel “uncomfortable.” Yes, maestro, in this unit of piece of shit empowered women, when someone says someone else has made them feel “uncomfortable,” the command issues an order not to speak to them again. Everything else comes second. Can you imagine? No one could tell me I had violated any policy because there was no violation. The situation was ridiculous. It was a surreal and terrible dream.

I remember when I was a maintenance lieutenant in an artillery battalion in Oklahoma, the executive officer, a major, had a meeting with us every Monday. He was constantly screaming at us all the time. It was a psychedelic and miserable experience. Had I known that I merely had to say that the major was making me “uncomfortable,” and I would have saved myself quite a bit of grief. Of course, I don’t have a vagina. So maybe it wouldn’t have worked.

Can you imagine being a captain in a unit where it’s forbidden to talk to lieutenants because you make them feel uncomfortable? And all because you decided to attempt a friendly conversation with someone after work? You didn’t say anything rude or inappropriate, but just looking for a friend was enough to arouse suspicion that you weren’t trustworthy.

After my conversation with the major, no one wanted to talk to me. I mean no one. I was an outcast; an outlaw. I’m not lying, maestro. I was in a unit of rabid liberated women who had a psychological evaluation of my person that described me as an abomination. My stress level was through the sky. I remember very well how my nerves snapped one time while I was having a conversation with the major. I don’t mean that figuratively. I actually heard a popping sound from the depths of my central nervous system. From that moment on, I was never the same. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I specifically lost my ability to think when trying to deal with matters of the Army or women. Come to think of it, maestro, I would often I got lost when I drove around the base to do work for the unit. I guess it was a way of alleviating stress, like a lizard evading off an eagle by remaining completely motionless, or an ostrich who thinks he’s avoiding danger when he sticks his head in the sand. It definitely didn’t work. I was unable to do my damned job.

I know you don’t like it when I use the same words many times. But there is one that I keep saying over and over because it fits so well: nightmare. One that you can’t wake up from. Totally surreal. Like a bad horror movie.

I tried to get help from the psychologists in Washington. Originally not as therapy, but to help me with the evaluation from the clinic at the DLI. However, the clinic at DLI was subordinate to the hospital in Washington, and it would turn out the same son of a bitch was ruining me in Washington and at DLI: Lieutenant Colonel William Keppler. If you remember, the hospital in Washington had a lot of problems with the government because they wouldn’t diagnose anyone with PTSD. Obviously, the military hospital was not a good source of relief. In fact, my psychiatrist, this William Keppler (a pig who only appeared to be human), was the reason Army ultimately abolished its entire forensic psychiatry program. My other psychiatrist, Dr. Juliana Ellis-Billingly, resigned her post when she was the subject of several investigations by Congress and the Army for her mistreatment of soldiers. Colonel Keppler only ended up being transferred to another post at another hospital. Like a pedophile priest who just gets transferred from one diocese to another. Of course, how could it be otherwise? And of course these guys received their fates after they ruined my life.

All the psychologists and psychiatrists insisted that none of them ever did anything wrong. Apart from me being a monster, I had no problems. Outside of that detail, everything was fine with me. I just had an adjustment disorder that wouldn’t go away. Much later, I would discover that everything was all a plot by Colonel John Caravalho, the head of the behavioral health department at the hospital in Washington. He was forcing psychiatrists and psychologists to protect themselves from military and congressional investigations, and I was a big problem for him.

Another psychologist I consulted to compare the evaluations I had received was Dr. Thomas Danner. The guy was demon, no more, no less. I know because during my interview with him he expressed quite clearly that my religious faith was a sign of mental defect. In his evaluation, he recommended that I should not have a security clearance, which means that my clearances to keep confidential information should be removed. Again, my career was over. Along with my marriage. And the rest of my dignity.

However, do not think that his opinion was based on anything rational. Don’t think he said something like: “The captain shouldn’t have a security clearance because he can’t concentrate and gets lost when he drives on the base.” No way! Because that would mean that they would have to admit that I had mental problems, and they would have to separate me from service with benefits. No, maestro, not at all. He said that, apparently, after 15 years of service, after my combat experience and my divorce, the reason I shouldn’t have a clearance was because I didn’t have enough empathy to keep government secrets. They needed a description consistent with Dr. Heather Klempp’s.

He also said that I saw things too black and white. If the bastard saw me today, he’d realize that I now see life infinitely more in black and white. After all my experiences with demons, it’s clear that this type of thinking got more intense after Thomas Danner. However, it is precisely because of this type of thinking that I am accurately able to diagnose Dr. Thomas Danner as being the force of evil that he really is.

Anyway maestro. I never had a problem maintaining secret information. In fact, during my second Iraq tour I was commended for it, setting up burn operations to dispose of secret information that my predecessors on the MiTTs had been leaving around for years. But, apparently, removing my security clearance was for the good doctor Danner the solution to all my problems. Don’t forget I was a military intelligence officer, so not having a security clearance meant the end of my military career. So, after the year in Iraq with bombs and bullets, the divorce, and being treated by female officers as a clear and present danger, my cousins betraying me, the U.S. military now treated me as a traitor, all because of the evaluation of a psychologist who believed that having religious faith was the same as having a mental illness.

In this situation of complete despair I wrote another e-mail to the Fire Girl. It was a big mistake. I didn’t get an answer. I just wrote that I needed to talk to her. After a few days I received news from psychologists. Apparently, a female Army soldier who lived in England, where Fire Girl lived at the time with her English engineer husband, had written to the security department to report that a friend of hers, my cousin, was receiving unwanted messages from me. Everything pointed to the fact that the Fire Girl still didn’t want to know anything about me, that she had a friend in the Army, and that the two of them had decided to notify tell the Army that I was harassing my cousin the Fire Girl.

I had to explain everything about my relationship with my cousin. One of them asked me, “After all this, why did you decide to send her an e-mail?”

My response was, “I never would have believed she could do something like this to me.”

Now I will quickly say that talking to psychologists and security clearance investigators about how you love your cousin above all people on earth, partly because you banged her when you were a teenager, is not exactly comfortable. However, having done this, I’ve gained the skill of being able to be open about anything with anyone. This is also beneficial because I am not able to be blackmailed. If some Chinese handler came to me and told me that they would pay all my debts if I gave them classified information, and they would tell my bosses I used to screw my cousin if I did not give them sensitive information, I could very easily tell them to go to hell and go straight to my command and tell them, “a Chinese FIS came to me and told me they would tell you guys I used to bang my cousin if I didn’t give them state secrets.”

I want you to understand something, maestro. I have been forgiven by God. I have never been forgiven by you or anyone else. I do not owe you or anyone else anything at all. And I do not care what you or anyone else think about me. I am therefore unable to be coerced by shame or blackmail. And precisely because I am able to tell anyone absolutely anything at all, this very quality ensures that I can keep absolutely any secret that anyone ever tells me.

My career so my career was over, although no one had a solution for me. The answer was to just exist in limbo forever, it seems. Eventually I stopped going to work. I just stayed home, sleeping and playing video games. Nobody wanted to do anything about it. The situation continued for months.

In the end, the solution came: a court-martial. I hadn’t been to work for a while. In the military, “absent without leave” is a crime. To prevent the inconvenience of soldiers who want to avoid war, failure to go to work is punishable by 10 years in prison. Of course, this has never happened. When a soldier does not go to work, if he has not disappeared completely, he has the option of receiving punishment in lieu of court-martial.

This happened to me. They offered me such a punishment, but I turned it down because it was obvious that I couldn’t function at work. After the demon Thomas Danner destroyed my career, I went to several private psychologists that I paid for with my own money. Remember the difference between a personal psychologist and an institutional psychologist that I told you about. All of them, without exception, gave me trauma diagnoses. The private psychiatrist also gave me a cocktail of pills to take. If he hadn’t done this, I would have killed myself. I would have been another statistic from the illustrious Madigan Army Medical Center hospital. My depression was just that strong.

In fact, I did try to kill myself at one point. I got drunk intending to shoot myself with my shotgun. But it didn’t work, I was so drunk I couldn’t operate the firearm.

The situation seemed to be an attack as diabolical as it was perfect. Especially the matter of the lieutenant and my cousin at the same time! What was the probability that my cousin decided to get rid of me this way, at the same time that the lieutenant accused me of being a threat to women? Was it a coincidence? Everyone accused me of being public enemy number one of all women everywhere, but neither Sherlock Holmes nor James Bond could have found, anywhere, the slightest trace of inappropriate or hostile sexual behavior towards any woman at any time. How could it have been a mere coincidence?

For them, the solution was to send me to jail because I couldn’t function at work. Only an artist of evil could come up with such a plot. I hired a lawyer. I didn’t have the money to pay him by the hour. I could only pay him a flat fee to defend me in a court-martial. If I had paid him by the hour, he would have done a lot to charge me by the second to rack of as many hours as possible. But since I paid him $ 20,000 for everything, he did the bare minimum necessary to get his money. It was all I had left after the divorce. But it was enough to negotiate my resignation in the army. After 20 years, I left the service with absolutely nothing. They gave me punishment in lieu of court martial, took two thousand dollars from my salary and gave me a general discharge, which meant that I was kicked out without a pension. Generally, soldiers who have no problems problems during their service get an honorable discharge. Rapists and murderers receive dishonorable discharge, which almost certainly amounts to a prison sentence. According to the army, I should be more than satisfied with the agreement. Of a general discharge and a small fine.

When I lost my job, I had an eight-day supply of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytics, and I had no money or salary to buy any more. My mom picked me up to take me to Oklahoma to live for a year in a spare closet at her farmhouse. After fighting alone for five years against the government, I finally received my honorable discharge, disabled veteran status and a medical retirement. Many other adventures happened along the way to get my shameful exit turned into an appropriate and honorable one, but right now I don’t have time to describe everything that happened with that. For the moment I just want to finish this series of e-mails that describe my last days in the army and my tragic history with women.

Later I hope to show you in detail how Satan used the van Ouwerkerks against me. Everything in my life is set up to look like I have a history of bothering women who don’t want to talk to me. According to me, sending them messages shouldn’t be the apocalypse, but for them it’s a violation of decency. I haven’t tried to communicate with Noah van Ouwerkerk for ages. I literally haven’t tried to communicate with Harold for years. But he thinks forever after I harass him and his precious daughter.

This has been my luck, maestro. Satan knew exactly which buttons to push to cause me to have a mental breakdown. I also want you to understand that the Noah incident was not my first encounter with the hysteria and madness of mankind. The latest news of today, COVID-19, Donald Trump, all the shit that’s … it’s not the first time I’ve seen humans behave like hysterical pawns of the demons who own them.


  1. I know this. I know the psychic crack when everything finally falls apart. The military wasn’t the prime causal factor, but the events in which the crack occurred were military, and catalyst. I get the morass of being passed around in lieu of diagnosis. This is powerful stuff. And I know the demons.

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. This chapter is the final bit about a bad past with women. I hope that at this point the reader gets the idea that I might have a few complexes that cause me to react badly to the van Ouwerkerks. From there chapter 15 goes toward the abandonment of organized religion. Then back to the drugs. But I need to get chapter 6 translated so the reader will have a complete story up through the first meth binge. Chapter 7 is a beast that probably needs to be rewritten, and may never be included altogether. So once I get chapter 6 done I will have more or less a complete book up through chapter 16.

      Sorry to hear that you’ve had such similar experiences. I hope you’ve been able to get through a lot of yours. My book describes a certain fall of mine, particularly a fall away from the Christian church, but when you continue to the end (still in unedited Spanish, but will get translated soon), you’ll see that overall the mess brought me closer to God. Am I weaker or stronger from it? I really can’t say. I think this next little while is going to be a big determinant of how I see what happened. I am kind of at a point where in order to go forward I can’t do it alone with the entire world against me all the time. God is going to have to help out or not. He is going to have to inspire some people or not. When that happens I will come up with a better understanding not only of what happened here in the past, but also my way ahead.

      I hope your tragedies have lead you to at least as good or to a better place. I’m not settled in any way. But there is a lot of material here. I hope you are settled, or at least that you too have material.

      1. I appreciate that you’ve made these translations. My Spanish is seldom, and wading through your untranslated versions is quite challenging (I’d rather wait for your edited versions than Google Translate).
        I think I can see some of the complexities in your relating to the Ouwerkerks equation. It inspires me to think a bit more deeply on my own ingredients and flavors as they’ve affected some relationships.
        I am slowly learning to turn from the regrets in my similar experiences. If I were to write a book , which is unlikely, it could easily be a resonance of what you’ve done here, that would contain a counter-theme of falling into the church as its progressed.
        You ask questions and make observations that I have, or wish to, in my own story. It’s quite uncanny how I stumbled upon your tale at this point in my life. As a synthesist, nothing happens to me without being incorporated into the current. Roger Scruton, Carl Trueman, The Art of the Fugue and even the Three Forms of Unity inevitably acquire a scent of Jonathan Bailey, and vice versa. I’m not sure if your work helps in my struggles, but it has an audible voice.
        That, I believe, I appreciate most.

      2. Well, you should write some prose, as you have the vocabulary for it. You said you didn’t want to write your story. Not sure why. This thing I have here on my site is a draft. I am not sure what the final form of it will be once publishers start to look at it. One thing is for sure, some people are mad about my frankness. I am not sure if the final form will contain everything I have here.

        It is nice to see that this exercise has been inspiring to someone. I am sure others are tearing their hair out.

        Are you talking about synthesism in terms of the monergist/synergist debate? I haven’t read any of the authors you mentioned. Or are you talking about the synchronicity movement from the Jungians?

        Back to my story, from Chapter 18 or 19 it begins to take a noticeably different track. And it ends on a curveball cliffhanger. The story is about finding a direction. All you’re reading so far is the mess that ultimately forms into a direction. So I guess I need to prioritize getting it into English.

        As for the Christian church, the things I am writing about are unique to me. And it involves a lot of human behavior and how groups operate in the world. It actually doesn’t say that much about divine truth. It presumes a lot of elements of divine truth as far as I understood it at the time of writing, but it assumes the reader will bring his own bag of wisdom to the story. It’s not a sermon. It definitely isn’t a tired story of a dude telling God to screw himself. It does have a lot of elements of the things you can learn by being destroyed by godlessness.

        But back to you, you can always put some prose blogs up about this and that, using different levels of obfuscation and fiction, and then tie things together as your literary impulses coalesce into a greater whole over time. Truth is the greatest inspiration of a good story, but everything doesn’t have to look completely true all at once.

      3. I’ve done a very little prose in the past, and I’m willing to consider doing so. Rationale for “not writing my story” as a whole is simply my assessment that it doesn’t have the exotic flavor, unless I embellished with fiction, that would make for a worthy tale.
        Regarding synthesist, a word I made up before I discovered the Jungian synchronicity idea, which I would not discard as invalid, the definition is inspired by Douglas Adams as presented in his Dirk Gently novels . Simply that seemingly unrelated events or ideas inevitably coalesce. I’m not a formally- (or well-) trained philosopher, therefore do not usually know what I’m talking about in this arena, so maybe a word exists that better describes my method and system.
        I don’t gather any “preaching” from your discussion of the church or theological considerations. I enjoy the frank interaction you have with both, and am intrigued to see what seems to be a path that is directly opposite to my own. It’s just interesting and thought provoking.
        Honestly, I’ve read most of the work you’ve done out of order, and it’s fun piecing it together, causing me to think, I think, about the whole more than I would to read it in correct order and context.

      4. By the way, what do you mean about my path being the opposite of yours?

        You know, the fact that you made up your own vocabulary, synthesism, for what others call synchronicity, means that you’re seeing something that others see. Which means it’s there. So I want you to be aware that these things that are out there, that most people don’t look for, they can be seen different ways. That was the point of my fourth chapter, the fairy tale about the Prince and the One. When you see these things, you’re not going to have much help interpreting them. Because other people out there who see them don’t have anyone to help them either. But people are writing books about them, giving their best guess. So be careful that you don’t just run with the first interpretation that comes to mind. You can go so far the wrong way that it will become impossible to change your mind. That’s what happened with Satan, and that’s why he won’t ever stop. He has been at it for thousands of years now, and nothing he could ever possibly experience will ever be able to convince him that he misunderstood what he has seen. That’s why they’ll throw him into the abyss for a thousand years and then let him out, and he will go straight back to doing what he always has. It reached his essence, and the only way to change him would be for him not to see what he saw and not to have thought about it what he thought about it. And that is impossible for him if he is going to retain his memories and be who he is.

        But anyway, why do you say you are on the opposite path to me? I am curious.

  2. I will have to take some time and read more intentionally on synchronicity. New thoughts are not exactly everyday happenstance, and I don’t believe I’m likely to be One Of Those who comes up with incredible new things, either by my “synthesism” or the concept itself. The product of this synthesis doesn’t seem to jive with my superficial understanding of synchronicity in that I don’t make coincidental connections from seemingly random coincidence. The synchrony of events is different. I don’t get “signs” or “visions”, rather, separate events in symphony (or synchrony) flavor each other and I find that is my path to synthesis (bringing conceptual into actual). Not sure if that’s even making sense, but I’ve made a few decades of breathing the stuff. Maybe I can attempt to write it out more fully, then compare to Señor Jung’s version. I haven’t made this process my business model, or made any concerted effort to improve upon it – it is just a phenomena I have observed and appreciate.

    Opposite path: I find it interesting that, in your trials, you turned away, or were turned away from the church (or organized religion in general, I think you’ve mentioned a few times). In mine, I have been drawn in to the extent that the church is life and breath more than anything else.

    1. Ah, okay. Your synthesis isn’t synchronicity. If you’re curious about synchronicity, I recommend the book by Kirby Surprise. Synchronicity is apophenia that isn’t a delusion. Your synthesis may be some form of Hegel’s dialectic that you’ve come up with on your own. No idea, really. You should write about it.

      If by church you mean what is described in John 3:8, I can get behind you. If you’re talking about that garbage on TV and that shack on the corner where people go to lose their money, yeah, I’m done with it. Judaism is only partially an organized religion. It’s more a sum of thought and practice of a people. It includes the New Testament in my opinion. I participate in organized religion within Judaism, but more only as a statement of my place with the people.

  3. I did note a hint of Hegel in my little system. Bears more attention. Thanks for the recommendation on Synchronicity.

    By The Church, I mean that which is distilled in the Epistles. That TV and the random, franchised-or-not, shack on the corner wherein there is no claim based on historical Christianity, are distasteful, at best. I speak of the confessional heritage of the Reformation, Augustinian and Calvinist, that has a tiny footprint nowadays.

    1. I was reformed Anglican for years. They have interesting things to say about divine sovereignty. But that’s doctrine. The rest of it wasn’t enough to keep me. Any culture whose leaders wear pretty clothes is a breeding ground for narcissists.

      There is a reason that Reformers have the most advanced doctrine but are dying faster than the rest. It’s not about doctrine.

      When assessing religious culture, you have two choices. Only two. Idiots or assholes. The Pentecostals are idiots. The Reformers are assholes. Notice “thought-provoking doctrine” is not on the list. Human beings are not smart enough to figure it out with their brains. If they were, it would have been spelled out in scripture. Not to say that humans are so stupid. It’s just that the truth is too big. And those who do have it figured out have not changed themselves or the world.

      This isn’t to say you shouldn’t seek out others of faith and spirituality. But you shouldn’t put any hope in religious culture.

      1. I appreciate your position. I held it. I am convinced there is a third choice, most complicated but still valid. Those who are convinced of the doctrines to the extent that they believe in and wish to live by them, and of those, the ones who gather together in like mind. Never perfect because the other two are ubiquitous.

      2. I made some edits to my comment. I do not discourage gathering together in spiritual community. Only having hope in religious culture. And for me that has lead me to disavow any religious identity. If you want to be in a religious community, go ahead. The real question is what to tell people seeking spirituality. I tell them to go to church, synagogue, etc. But not to put their heart into the group. People who do that lose their heart when the group gets investigated for raping little boys. And the people who would never go to any group because of all the leaders investigated for raping little boys need to have a path too. I tell people about churches because I don’t have the time to take everyone under my wing. Everyone needs to shepherd themselves to a degree. Or be shepherded directly by God, ideally.

      3. Church by Foucault, all is manipulation. Or church of the patristic, which is the ordinary means of salvation. That’s very generally where I find the line. The concept of Church as mother, Cyprian, is what sold me. I’d be a Romanist, if it weren’t for a deep distaste for sacerdotalism.

      4. I’m so far from all that I don’t even know what to say about it anymore. You’re a Reformer who goes to church. I am fine by that. Church discussions don’t hold anything for me anymore. Chief Rabbinate discussions are pretty much all political. I talk about the validity of the Oral Torah with people, but I am kind of settled on that as well. It’s really not terribly interesting to me anymore.

        By the way, I did go ahead and put chapter 7 on my website. I rewrote it. It’s twice the beast it was in Spanish. I don’t know what I am going to do with it. There is no way any publisher can let something like that survive. But, anyway, I do at least have a complete story for the first part of my book now. If you have any ideas about how to make it less painful to read, let me know. Thanks. ברוך השם.

    1. Cool. I read it. I know what you’re on about. It warrants a complete comment. I’ll comment at length later. Not sure if on your site or mine. It’s your post but we’ve got a body of comments here that make something of a conversation. But I’m wiped out for tonight.

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