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L'Ordre

L'Ordre

These are the voyages of critique and influence

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Où serait le mérite, si les héros n’avaient jamais peur?

Where would be the merit if heroes were never afraid?

Alphonse Daudet


It has occurred to me that I am too partisan on this blog, and a good old vitriolic blog shouldn’t take sides with any political faction. The aim is to superlatively influence, and the ball and chain of party affiliation reduces that influence on parts of the online demographic.

Search Beyond Traction digital art 1 small

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As such, I am no longer going to support anyone in particular via this blog, and I will solely use this space now to criticize or mock people and raise questions like a good blogger. That is, unless special circumstances force me to revert it back to a more partisan role. The previous post I made here, “”Islamic State” is too good for its own Prophet?” is a new model post for me here at the L’Ordre blog, and future posts I make will follow a similar objective. They will analyze and criticize foreign governments and groups (from my perspective in the UK), something I have so far been quite good at.

I will also cease writing my own op-eds around the web, and instead comment on other writers’ op-eds and reviews with this blog. My promised review of No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald will proceed still. Book reviews are things done in the spirit of commenting upon others’ views, as I am now re-purposing this influential blog to achieve.

Two things have provoked me to make this post. One is that I now work at a UK government department, and HM Civil Service requires its employees to be politically nonpartisan. The second is the movement of transhumanism into a political form. The result of the transition of transhumanism into the domain of political party politics is that it no longer enjoys its status as purely speculative technological, medical and artistic subject area anymore. The legal restrictions that apply against being a member of a political organization while engaged in charity, governmental, health and other important work will now apply against transhumanists, severely limiting their ability to allow transhumanism to influence their work and statements (at least in the UK context). Transhumanism has gambled everything on acquiring political power to implement its ideas, making it inappropriate for professed members of the party to try to obtain influence via other (potentially more effective) means.

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The majority of my writing has never been political, religious or controversial in any sense, and is actually fantasy fiction. I have far too many working ideas for fiction at the moment to possibly know where to begin, but you can expect new such works to appear in future. A glimpse into a sample of one work in development now can be found at Maquis Books by the working title “UNKNOWN HORIZON”.

My Search Beyond Series, which first appealed itself to its audience by pretending to be Star Trek fanfiction at the website Ad Astra, was always actually an original creation by me. I have always been dissatisfied with Star Trek‘s light-hearted approach to space exploration and its attempts to appeal to children, and I truly find the premise of Star Trek to be absurd. True space exploration should be filled with horror that makes Ridley Scott’s Alien look like a picnic. The videogames of the Dead Space series, although punctuated with occasional Star Trek cliches, are possibly the greatest immersive sci-fi horror experience I have ever had. I will admit they have become such a great influence on me that I often pictured the Ishimura‘s corridors as I try to sculpt the image of the spaceship Traction at the center of these palpitating space stories.

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Certainly, the Search Beyond stories are not Star Trek fanfiction, but are complete with their own technology, physics and creatures that you will never encounter anywhere else, and some thoroughly nightmarish science fiction horror plots that would have been simply too extreme for Star Trek or Dr Who.


By Harry J. Bentham

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“Islamic State” is too good for its own Prophet?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c’est qu’il cache un puits quelque part.

What makes the desert beautiful is that it hides, somewhere, a well.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry


The so-called “Islamic State” infesting Syria and Iraq, is on a crusade against Islam’s Prophet. It sees his work as incomplete and unjust, so the “Islamic State” must do what Mohammed failed to do: destroy the ancient cities he ignored.

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Carvings in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, allegedly demolished by the so-called Islamic State

Followers of the Islamic State are proud of their conquest of swathes of Syria and Iraq, and indeed there is some tactical merit in what they have managed to accomplish with such scant military equipment. It is a military case study that will be remembered alongside the famed blitzes in Europe that shocked the world press in 1939 and 1940, leading to gross exaggerations. At that time in Europe, a seemingly surrounded and hopeless Germany with a few ill-equipped horse-drawn armies quickly devastated and humiliated the great victors of World War 1 in mere months. They paraded unremarkable tanks through Paris, seemingly reversing the dishonor that Germans had felt in the aftermath of the unavailing and pointless World War 1.

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Sunnis have been plagued by feelings of similar dishonor to the Germans of post-1918, as a result of the crushing injustices seemingly imposed on them by the armies of the United States in countries like Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Many, particularly in the male and youth demographic, regard the so-called Islamic State in much the way Germans saw the Nazi Party: knights in shining armor, saviors coming to deliver them on a trail of military glory that will make them the terror of the world and teach the whole world a lesson not to mistreat their people again.

The comparison to Nazi Germany is quite sound in that, although at first the militants appeared to relieve a sense of dishonor, they started a series of events that would bring not only unprecedented dishonor and disgrace but total defeat for them. The Islamic State has invited the wrath of the entire world, and has no hope of survival but complete destruction. When its organization has been dismantled and its cowardly leaders hunted down and dragged through the dirt in the street like criminals, the people who supported this organization will bring nothing but disgrace to their names and suffer a new pain and humiliation beyond anything they had tried to relieve by supporting this group. The fanatics who clung to the Islamic State will pay like the Nazis, by losing not only their honor but their lives.

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There is also more flatteringly, if you will forgive me, a comparison to be made between the so-called Islamic State and the original followers of the Prophet Mohammed, who also were confronted with heavily armed enemies and unjust regimes, and defeated in them in what was perceived as a righteous military campaign. However, that is where the comparison ends. Followers of the Islamic State represent themselves as being truthful to the vision of Islam’s great Prophet, and even helping to complete his work by destroying idols and restoring a righteous form of rule. They accomplish none of these things. The Prophet Mohammed completed his work, and his story is a sufficiently triumphant one already. It does not need to be completed by masked criminals parading around with knives and slaughtering unarmed hostages. Now we see people trying to complete what they see as Mohammed’s unfinished work, these would-be prophets who now presume to act in Mohammed’s name by calling themselves the Islamic State.

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Al-Baghdadi, a better prophet?

The belief of Islamic State fighters, although they will never admit it, is that they dislike their own Prophet Mohammed and consider him to be an infidel. The Prophet Mohammed, whom even non-Muslims cherish as one of the greatest warrior-saints in all history, is an insufficiently pure role model for the Islamic State’s revisionist purposes. The Islamic State needs its so-called “Caliph Ibrahim”, the criminal fugitive Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to be their prophet instead, along with Osama bin Laden and other modern terrorists who cowered and plotted atrocities rather than preaching the good governance and peace-making that defined the successes of the Prophet Mohammed and subsequent Islamic rulers. The so-called Muslims who use their time to assault their own community and heritage, and incite sectarianism among their people, are admitted enemies of the reconciliation and unification that Mohammed brought to the regions over which he ruled.

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The regions occupied by the alleged Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are not new to Islam, nor were they unknown to the Prophet Mohammed himself, who surely knew of them even if he did not visit them. It would have been remarkable for Mohammed to have not known about the remnants of ancient Pagan cities within these lands long-controlled by Muslims such as Syria. For centuries, Muslims tolerated profane (even obscene) stone carvings in Egypt until Englishmen arrived and – their Victorian sensibilities being offended – chiseled them away. Yet, for all their offensiveness to Islamic custom, Mohammed and his immediate successors who conquered these regions actually left these markings alone. Despite ruling over North Africa and Mesopotamia for centuries, alleged Muslims have only now decided to go to great lengths to destroy what they reject as offensive Pagan idols. Why?

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By what authority does the Islamic State presume to know better than Mohammed or his immediate successors? By what authority does the Islamic State presume to know better than God, or the natural forces that will inevitably erode and bury all these idols of a long-forgotten past? There is no particular urgency for Muslims to destroy old Pagan cities and idols now, although one could argue that modern explosives make the task somewhat easier. For all the Islamic State knows, Mohammed didn’t pursue the destruction of these Pagan sites and idols in his lifetime because he didn’t care, just as successive Muslim conquerors and followers didn’t care.

What can be understood from the actions of the Islamic State is that they cannot be regarded as the same people who have hitherto been known to the world as the Muslims. The people who follow the commands of the Islamic State are following another religion entirely from the historic Islam. It is a religion based upon the passions, whims and ignorance of modern warlords waving guns and bombs around, who know little about practicing Islam and far more about celebrating their own deeds and pretending to know better than their own Prophet. In some sense, the destruction of Pagan sites by the Islamic State is itself a form of Pagan idolatry, a profane attempt to draw attention to themselves and appear to be superior to others, endowed with special powers for some profane physical deed, and superior even to the apparently incomplete Prophet whose work they are attempting to revise. These sites, after all, had not been sites of religious devotion for centuries until the “Islamic State” arrived to strut around them. In essence, primitive worship had been dead a long, long time at these sites until the latest thugs and idiots announced themselves and began a new self-indulgent display of attention-seeking, this time by assaulting lifeless monuments.

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Easter Island Heads, also known as Moai

What next? Will these pious men go to the Moai of Easter Island, to educate the world in the dangers of obsessing over lifeless monuments and self-indulgent beliefs, by a further demonstration of their own such stupidity?

If the rule of Mohammed and his immediate successors, and indeed centuries of Islamic thought and practice, was insufficiently pure for the Islamic State, what would Mohammed say about the Islamic State? If the great Muslim conqueror Saladin was an infidel for his lack of interest in defacing statues and destroying historic sites in Syria as the Islamic State does, what would he say about the Islamic State? Supporters of the Islamic State should re-evaluate themselves in comparison with other great figures in Islamic history, most of all their own Prophet. How could they be remembered as anything but arrogant, destructive and misguided in contrast with greater men?

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The Islamic State’s followers claim to idolize the Prophet Mohammed. They are lucky he isn’t alive to say what he would think of them. To the man who actually brought Islam to the world, the so-called Islamic State would appear filthy and deserve nothing but contempt. For the “Islamic State” to presume that Mohammed’s work was incomplete, and parade itself around and claim to finish his work, as if they are truer Muslims than their own Prophet, is the gravest possible offense that can be perpetrated against the memory of Islam’s founder.

If the Heaven promised to Muslims is real, it may have little room for me, but it would have even less room for the liars who strutted around modern Iraq and Syria claiming to know better than their own Prophet or the centuries of Islamic jurisprudence that followed from that rule. If followers of the Islamic State believe in a hell, they should spend their last earthly hours atoning for their crimes and thinking about their fate before they choose to die like flies.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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Was Edward Snowden betrayed by the Guardian?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Je prononce à regret cette fatale vérité

It is with regret that I pronounce a fatal truth

Maximilien Robespierre


The Snowden Files (Luke Harding) and No Place to Hide (Glen Greenwald), two leading books on a single subject: Edward Snowden.

Of course, the difference between these two books is that one was written by Glen Greenwald, who is a close confidant of Edward Snowden, and the other was written by a Guardian journalist, Harding, who, apart from working for that publication, had nothing else to do with Snowden. Harding’s book first caught my attention due to it being a significant inspiration for a movie called Snowden, a thriller quite likely to be produced by Oliver Stone. I am quite eager to see Stone’s take on the Snowden drama, and can only hope that it is more accurate than the book it took inspiration from.

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I had suspicions about Harding’s book from the beginning as I studied its arguments, although I tried my best to remain open to Harding’s account and perhaps discover some of the gems of rhetoric and insightful arguments he may have offered. What I found was disappointing, as I expressed in my review at The clubof.info Blog.

Since then, I stumbled upon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s review of the same book by Luke Harding. He’s beat me to it. However, Assange made an even more relevant point than anything I mentioned in my review, which focused mainly on Harding’s obsession with Vladimir Putin rather than questioning the merits of his Snowden account itself. The Guardian has not behaved as bravely as Harding claims it to have behaved. While Harding spends time in his book attacking Assange, an exiled and persecuted dissident who sacrificed his freedom of movement to expose the secret misdeeds of governments, the Guardian caved in to pressure and consented to censorship. In doing so, it damaged its credibility to talk about the entire controversy surrounding Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations. In essence, the Guardian has betrayed Snowden: something Assange emphatically demonstrates in his review. I myself am critical of the Guardian, although my criticisms focus more on how the publication has since shifted to become more of a cheerleader for the United States and its hostile arrogant foreign policy since the American regime’s incessant pressure for global censorship resulted in the Guardian having to destroy its hard drives. The Guardian‘s Ukraine coverage has also been dreadful and has amounted to cheering on neo-Nazis tearing the country apart and demonizing one side in a civil war.

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Unfortunately for Harding, my final review of The Snowden Files is negative, and concurs with the review offered by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. I intend to submit my review of The Snowden Files to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, although I am happy for it to stay exclusively available through The clubof.info Blog where it currently resides. Do not think all my writing is negative in orientation. I am very optimistic about the future. The world is undergoing an explosion of change that often results in ugly behavior by the world’s dominant government in Washington, but I believe the tides of liberty are destined to prevail.

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That is the argument of my 2013 Catalyst book of techno-liberation, and the arguments I pronounce in that book are still at the heart of everything I write. Expect more.


By Harry J. Bentham

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The amphitheater of national politics belies hegemony

posted by Harry J. Bentham

On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry


Even as the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program take place, threats are still issued by American leaders against Iran. Britain, of course, would be expected to stand by these threats and tag along in any such hypothetical war.

Legally, these threats of war against Iran are a form of aggression even without the US acting on them. The threat of force against a country is prohibited by the United Nations Charter. Unfortunately, US and UK policy towards geopolitical rival powers is often marred by arrogance. We deal with regimes as if our own are flawless, when in fact our political systems and societies are in a state of crisis.

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Politicians and journalists talk of “authoritarian” regimes as being paranoid and repressive when our own governments are far more so, exposed by Edward Snowden’s disclosures. As I discovered in my review of The Snowden Files (2014) at The clubof.info Blog, “The Snowden Files and a chopping block”, the media likes to pick on foreign governments and portray them as tyrannical, in spite of all the evidence of our own governments being tyrannical. In The Snowden Files, Luke Harding made an amazing rhetorical display, using the mere similarity of Russian surveillance to US surveillance to boost his case against Vladimir Putin while ignoring the fact that it is the US regime that is supposed to be on trial in his book. Even when the US government is committing the most crimes, anti-Russian journalists prefer to focus on Russia’s mere similarity to the US as the basis for discrediting Russia’s regime and ignoring the faults of America’s regime.

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My conclusion is rather different from Harding. In my view, US foreign policy was already losing all credibility due to the illegitimate war on terror, torture and US-led regime changes around the world. The 2013 discovery that the US has the most excessive machinery of repression and monitoring directed against its own people of all regimes in the world showed that the real picture was even worse. I feel that there is a grave injustice at the heart of US society. The images of torture of foreigners in American military-controlled prisons, and the images of protesters being arrested and beaten by police, are not unrelated disparate incidents but the changing face of the American regime from a flawed democracy to something much uglier. The American people are aware that their government is increasingly militarizing the streets and turning its weapons against them, hence the increased appetite for violent protest. While the US government condemns regimes it accuses of shooting their own people, its armed police regularly fire at unarmed Americans.

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The ageing and deterioration of democracy in Britain also cannot be understood without acknowledging the politics of the US. If we are simply an extension of the US superpower, culturally and socially, then the authoritarian policies afflicting our country are ultimately the result of a trend that began in the US. By extension, political change in Britain must begin in the United States. The United States is today’s Rome, the hub of the governing elite of the world. No challenge can really be made against global politics unless it takes place first in the United States. It is for this reason that British people should be more interested in the outcomes of US politics than the amphitheater of their own national politics.

This general election we just had in the UK is of little meaning, really, and is simply a coronation of vassals who are part of the American-led policy elite of today’s cultural and economic empire.

I may be due to publish a new op-ed with Press TV, and will tweet a link to it once it is up. Follow my Twitter feed to catch it.


By Harry J. Bentham

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Previous Posts

These are the voyages of critique and influence
Où serait le mérite, si les héros n’avaient jamais peur? Where would be the merit if heroes were never afraid? Alphonse Daudet It has occurred to me that I am too partisan on this blog, and a good old vitriolic blog shouldn't ...

posted 11:00:23pm May. 16, 2015 | read full post »

"Islamic State" is too good for its own Prophet?
Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c'est qu'il cache un puits quelque part. What makes the desert beautiful is that it hides, somewhere, a well. Antoine de Saint Exupéry The so-called "Islamic State" infesting Syria and ...

posted 11:00:27pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Was Edward Snowden betrayed by the Guardian?
Je prononce à regret cette fatale vérité It is with regret that I pronounce a fatal truth Maximilien Robespierre The Snowden Files (Luke Harding) and No Place to Hide (Glen Greenwald), two leading books on a single subject: Edward ...

posted 11:00:31pm May. 09, 2015 | read full post »

The amphitheater of national politics belies hegemony
On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint Exupéry Even as the negotiations over Iran's ...

posted 11:00:37pm May. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Predictions on an Ed Miliband government
Il me paraît que tout acte porte en lui-même sa justification. It seems to me that every act carries within itself its justification. André Breton The most likely "alternative" to the current Cameron government is an Ed Miliband ...

posted 11:00:09pm May. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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