A Pagan's Blog

A Pagan's Blog


Rewriting History and Cultural Destruction

posted by Gus diZerega

It turns out that in 1980, when
Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter for President, Republican leaders worked
behind the back
of the US Government to obstruct negotiations to free American
hostages held in Teheran.  Carter’s failure to achieve release helped propel Reagan into the Presidency –
on the back of apparent Republican treason, it turns out.  This revelation, or rather confirmation of a suspicion common among informed Democrats and liberals at the time, not only sheds genuine light on St. Ronald Reagan, more importantly, it shows the patriotism of the modern right for the lie that it is.  (From a narrowly Pagan perspective, below the fold you will also see how this manipulation has obscured our own roots in American culture.) 


One of the most frustrating
accomplishments that the nihilists of the religious right and their secular
allies have accomplished is to destroy our ability to communicate over public
issues.  They have done so by
claiming ‘values,’ ‘patriotism,’ ‘manliness,’ and ‘strength’ belong only to
them and that words like ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ are somehow un-American. 

They have hidden much of our history from us while elevating the villains and hiding the genuine representatives of America’s values.  There is the wonderful cultural upwelling between the War of 1812 to the Civil War that was the origin of so much that was good that bloomed again in the 60s and 70s.  The first major spiritual movement beyond Christianity, including much that will look familiar, Environmentalism, Feminism, a national anti-war movement that included Abraham Lincoln,and much more.   You can get a glimpse of that period in Sarah Pike’s great New Age and NeoPagan Religions in America. It opened my eyes.

They have taught us the falsehood
that the Civil War was not over slavery – making it incomprehensible.  They have made
entire sections of our history invisible, for example the Southerners who opposed slavery and the hundreds thousands who even fought for the union.  A few of the genuine Southern heroes can be read about here (a good place to start) and here and here and here.  Good has been turned into bad or made invisible, while the morally deficient or depraved defenders of chattel
slavery have been made into heroes

We Pagans should be particularly sensitive to this issue.  No other spiritual tradition has had its true nature so obscured, its true past so distorted, as we have.  And for similar purposes of legitimating domination by the powerful over others.  Much of the knowledge of the West’s Classical Civilization has been lost forever and much that we have now we possess only because it escaped the Church’s attempt at total destruction.  The same is happening to the best of our past, the American revolution and the major principles that animated it.

A decent culture can be slowly
transformed into an evil catastrophe by playing on its weakest links.  For serious students of what threatens
us today, I recommend Claudia Koonz’s fascinating The Nazi Conscience. It explains how decent Germans were slowly transformed into people who, in the
name of moral values, could accept and often endorse the actions of the Third
Reich. 

Liberals and just plain Americans
have treated the spokespeople of the ‘conservative’ movement as if they were
fellow citizens who simply see the world differently.  And this is true for the rank and file, who believe their
leaders to be truthful men and women. 
But the leaders are neither patriotic nor honest, and this information about
what Republicans were and continue to be willing to do to gain power should be
made as public as possible.



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Marlon Hartshorn

posted May 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm


I’ve understood all of this intuitively since I got back into Wicca in 2004. I felt like something was missing, history had been warped, and I am 41 so I remember the Carter/Reagan era and I remember the hostages in Tehran ordeal. I also remember something to do with Grenada hostages & Carter back then. Well, there was a LOT going on politically during that time.
I’ve theorized that we now have a large group of individuals reincarnating again to live out their lives as Pagans the ways we did not get to do historically, because the environment in the USA now is conducive to living in peace (versus say living in a religious-based state/government such as Saudi Arabia where the environment is hostile & violent towards Paganism, to say the least). I think it’s vital that we all study as much history as possible. I’m getting Sarah Pike’s book today. The Texas Board of Education’s recent efforts to insert conservative propaganda into more & more school texts to influence the minds of children is one good example of what we are in for. They should be teaching young minds HOW to think for themselves, not influencing them with the toxic thoughts that brought us to so many of these problems in the first place, the Gulf oil spill for one as a recent example.



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Pitch313

posted May 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm


Way back when, the CIA conducted a series of operations trying to figure out whether LSD and other drugs were going to be useful in interrogation and informant management. The U.S. Public Health Service spent decades observing the progression of untreated syphilis in several hundred American citizens. Many, many political office holders of all parties insistently denounce to us the very things that they compulsively do behind the curtains.
History is probably not qut any of us say–or wish–it was. Learning lots about it is, in my experience, all to the good. Even when we may not enjoy the taste.
As for Paganism and its rise during the 20th Century, I think that we benefit far more from learning the actual events and circumstances rather than repeating the myths and misleading stories. At least in the U.S., the early Neo-Pagan movement began with and took in plenty of elements from the already existing occulture.



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ladyhawke4

posted May 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm


I’ve got a news flash for you guys, you’re among the last to figure this out. A large portion of the rest of the world had this figured out a long time ago. Our government has learned plenty from yours; we’re presently getting the “It’s National Security” stonewall blocking some of that much touted ‘transparency’ we’re supposed to have. Ack!
Through the years, we’ve often wondered from where you get your history; often it’s so different from the stories we get, from what we see; your conclusions are so different.
You’re so sure we’re just like you, just living a few parallels of latitude north of you; well, that and the igloos in which we live.
But we’re not you, we’re not an extension, even. We’re a different mindset; we see through a very different eyes. You ought to try being your neighbor. Give you a whole new perspective.



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Gus diZerega

posted May 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm


I’m not sure what you are getting at



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