A Note From The Preacher:

 

The following article is a hard hitting, frank expose’ of what happens to a society, our society, when the Bible, God’s Word, is not preached from the pulpits of our land without fear or favor.  God’s men, called and set apart by God to … Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins (Isaiah 58:1) have instead, turned our nation’s pulpits into stages for entertainers, charlatans, and a social gospel that is pulling our society and our country into hell!  Lazy preachers getting their sermonettes from sermon books instead of getting God’s message from God and His Book have, and are, producing a corrupted generation that is without the foundation to distinguish right from wrong.  This is the kind of society that elects leaders who publicly, with a straight face, question the meaning of the word “is,” and that, seemingly, without adversely affecting their conscience in the slightest.  Our society, our world needs to hear thus saith the Lord!  We must hear the pulpits cry out, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: …Hosea 4:6.

 

David Kupelian has done in the following article what men of God should have been doing, and must do before the sword comes on our land. My gratitude goes out to Mr. Kupelian for this fine article and for his permission to post it on our website.  It is not for the children to read, but the children’s parents should! – R.S.Brewer, Pastor

 

 

 

THE MARKETING OF EVIL PART 1
Selling sex and corruption
to your kids



Posted: January 15, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: This is the first part of a groundbreaking, two-part series on today's youth culture, by WND Vice President and Managing Editor David Kupelian. It is a frank and in-depth exploration of an often-shocking subject, and may not be suitable reading for children. Parental discretion is advised.

© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

"A Scout is trustworthy … loyal … helpful … friendly … courteous … kind …"

I'm watching my 12-year-old son Joshua and two dozen other Boy Scouts together recite the Scout Law at their weekly troop meeting. It's a refreshingly hopeful and manly vignette in an era of wall-to-wall teen confusion.

As I stand in rapt attention -- my eyes exploring the boys' uniforms, searching out all the badges, patches, insignias and other colorful signs of their allegiance to Scouting's high ideals -- my mind wanders back a few years to a time when my son wanted to wear a different "uniform."

Our family had traveled to Cape May, New Jersey, to vacation on a warm Atlantic beach with close relatives we hadn't seen in a long time. Joshua hit it off great with his cousin Mark, several years his senior. A fun-loving and thoroughly decent kid, Mark didn't have a mean bone in his body. One little thing, though. Mark wore a choker around his neck. Of course, Joshua had always regarded necklaces, bracelets, earrings and the like as strictly girls' stuff, and wouldn't dream of donning such gear himself and "looking like a girl" (or a "weirdo").

You guessed it. By the end of one week, Joshua told me he really wanted to get a choker, like his cousin's. He just … felt like wearing one, that's all. No big deal, Dad.

I took him for a walk out on the jetty where we could be alone. Before long, I discovered that not only had my son developed this powerful desire to wear a piece of punk jewelry around his neck -- something he had formerly despised -- but he was also noticeably hostile toward me for some strange reason, even though he admitted I had done nothing to offend him. As we talked, it dawned on me what was going on. Obviously he wanted to be like his older cousin, who he looked up to and had bonded with – hence the desire to wear a dumb-looking neck choker. But me? I now stood there providing an uncomfortable contrast, seeing as I represented his state of mind before he was captivated by this alien desire. I was a threat to his new allegiance, so he was rejecting me along with his own previous viewpoint.

As it turned out, I didn't need to say too much: "Joshua, why are you mad at me? Is it because I don't think that deep down you really want to wear a necklace? Tell me something. What would you have thought if, two weeks ago, before we came to Cape May, I had asked you if you would like to wear a clunky wooden necklace. Would you have wanted to?'"

"No way," he replied without hesitation. The trance was broken. Realization set in. He cried briefly, gave me a hug, and assured me manfully he did not want to look like a girl and wear a necklace. When we went into the little gift shop on that beach, he even pointed out the choker he had wanted, displayed there in the showcase, and let me know once again that he wasn't interested. So that was the end of it. But it sure as heck illustrated to me just how sensitive children are to peer pressure.

'Gangsta generation'

If Joshua felt the invisible pull to conform to his cousin's fashion preferences, what was influencing his cousin? Indeed, what is exerting this irresistible pressure to conform (by "rebelling") on most of today's youth?

Just as the military and private schools and Boy Scouts have uniforms, so does the youth culture: baggy pants, backward hats, chokers and other jewelry, body piercings, tattoos and the like. But if uniforms symbolize values and allegiance, a loyalty to a higher (or lower) order, then in this case it's an allegiance to an increasingly defiant musical, social, sexual and cultural world, a mysterious (to parents) realm that seems magically to be drawing millions of children into it.

For three years, journalist Patricia Hersch journeyed into this exotic subculture. She observed, listened to, questioned, bonded with, and won the trust of eight teens in the typical American town of Reston, Va., ultimately producing her acclaimed portrait, "A Tribe Apart: A journey into the heart of American adolescence." The landscape she describes, as ubiquitous across America's fruited plain as McDonalds, is troubling indeed:

It's hip-hop in suburbia, the culture of rap. Everywhere students wear baseball caps turned backwards or pulled down over their eyes, oversize T-shirts, ridiculously baggy jeans or shorts with dropped crotches that hang to mid-shin, and waists that sag to reveal the tops of brightly colored boxers. Expensive name-brand high-tops complete the outfit. Variations on the theme are hooded sweatshirts, with the hood worn during school, and "do rags," bandannas tied on the head, a style copied from street gangs. Just as ubiquitous are the free-flying swear words, sound bursts landing kamikaze-style, just out of reach of hall guards and teacher monitors. …

In the latest exasperating challenge to adult society, black rage is in as a cultural style for white middle-class kids. As in the sixties, when the sons and daughters of the middle class tossed out their tweed jackets and ladylike sheath dresses for the generational uniform of Levi's and work shirts and peacoats in their celebration of blue collar workers, "the Real Americans," so today's adolescents have co-opted inner-city black street-style as the authentic way to be. To act black, as the kids define it, is to be strong, confrontational, a little scary.

… "We are living in the gangsta generation," one white high school senior wearing his Malcolm X baseball cap turned backwards explains. "It is all about getting it. I look at what these cool dudes do and how it affects other people. These people are doing more than any faggoty white kid who plays basketball and gets accepted at Duke and has been rich his whole life and maybe gets drunk on the weekend. These kids put their ass on the line every day."

Hersch describes how hip-hop – a multimillion-dollar music industry filled with "the powerful political and sexual images of rap" – has captivated a generation with the drama of the ghetto and its daily struggle for survival:

Hip-hop's in-your-face attitude looks strong and free to kids who feel constrained by expectations of the mundane middle-class world they have grown up in. Rappers have become the most popular attractions on MTV. In an interview on his album "Home Invasion," rapper Ice T refers to the "cultural invasion" that is occurring while unknowing adults sit around with their racist attitudes and their kids sit quietly in their bedrooms, his words pouring into their brains through their headphones: "Once I get 'em under my f—kin' spell / They may start giving you f—kin' hell," he raps. "Start changin' the way they walk, they talk, they act / Now whose fault is that?" The rap world of "hos and pimps, bitches, muthaf—kers, homeys and police" is an attractive diversion from the "ordinary" sphere of dental braces, college boards, and dating. The ghetto – experienced second-hand in movies and music and on the evening news, viewed from the comfort of nice suburban family rooms – holds enormous drama and appeal for young people.

So, is that it? Is today's bizarre youth subculture just the latest "costume" for adolescent rebellion, like the long hair of the 1960s and other, if less conspicuous, rebellious phases of previous generations of youngsters? Is adult concern over today's youth culture just the perennial hand-wringing of parents needlessly worried about their growing offspring's experiments with independence? Or is something else, something far more sinister at work?

'Merchants of Cool'

"They want to be cool. They are impressionable, and they have the cash. They are corporate America's $150 billion dream."

That's the opening statement in PBS's stunning 2001 Frontline documentary, "Merchants of Cool," narrated by Douglas Rushkoff. What emerges in the following 60 minutes is a scandalous portrait of how major corporations – Viacom, Disney, AOL/Time Warner and others -- study America's children like laboratory rats, in order to sell them billions of dollars in merchandise by tempting, degrading and corrupting them.

Think that's a bit of an overstatement?

It's an understatement.

"When you've got a few gigantic transnational corporations, each one loaded down with debt, competing madly for as much shelf space and brain space as they can take," says NYU Communications Professor Mark Crispin-Miller, "they're going to do whatever they think works the fastest and with the most people, which means that they will drag standards down."

Let's see how far down.

"It's a blizzard of brands, all competing for the same kids," explains Rushkoff in "Merchants of Cool." "To win teens' loyalty, marketers believe, they have to speak their language the best. So they study them carefully, as an anthropologist would an exotic native culture."

"Today," he discloses, "five enormous companies are responsible for selling nearly all of youth culture. These are the true merchants of cool: Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, Universal Vivendi, and AOL/Time Warner."

The documentary shows how big corporations literally send "spies" to infiltrate young people's social settings to gather intelligence on what they can induce these children to buy next.

"The entertainment companies, which are a handful of massive conglomerates that own four of the five music companies that sell 90 percent of the music in the United States -- those same companies also own all the film studios, all the major TV networks, all the TV stations pretty much in the 10 largest markets," University of Illinois Communications Professor Robert McChesney reveals in the documentary. "They own all or part of every single commercial cable channel.

"They look at the teen market as part of this massive empire that they're colonizing. You should look at it like the British Empire or the French Empire in the 19th century. Teens are like Africa. You know, that's this range that they're going to take over, and their weaponry are films, music, books, CDs, Internet access, clothing, amusement parks, sports teams. That's all this weaponry they have to make money off of this market."

MTV

What about the cable channel that positions itself as champion of today's teens and pre-teens – champions of their music, their rebellious free spirit, and their genuine, if ever-changing, notions of what is "cool"? Whatever else MTV might be, at least it's interested in kids, right? Sure, just like the lion is interested in the gazelle.

"Everything on MTV is a commercial," explains McChesney. "That's all that MTV is. Sometimes it's an explicit advertisement paid for by a company to sell a product. Sometimes it's going to be a video for a music company there to sell music. Sometimes it's going to be the set that's filled with trendy clothes and stuff there to sell a look that will include products on that set. Sometimes it will be a show about an upcoming movie paid for by the studio, though you don't know it, to hype a movie that's coming out from Hollywood. But everything's an infomercial. There is no non-commercial part of MTV."

Rushkoff illustrates how the machine works by using the example of Sprite. What was once a struggling, second-string soft-drink company pulled off a brilliant marketing coup by underwriting major hip-hop music events and positioning itself as the cool soft drink for the vast MTV-generation market. Connecting the dots between Sprite, MTV, rap musicians and other cross-promotion participants, Rushkoff lays out the behind-the-scenes game plan: "Sprite rents out the Roseland Ballroom and pays kids 50 bucks a pop to fill it up and look cool. The rap artists who perform for this paid audience get a plug on MTV's show, 'Direct Effects,' for which Sprite is a sponsor. MTV gobbles up the cheap programming, promoting the music of the record companies who advertise on their channel. Everybody's happy."

So what, you say? What's wrong with that? Aren't MTV and rappers and clothing companies and others just giving kids what they want?

That's what they say. But it's not what they do.

In reality, the companies are creating new and lower and more shocking – that's your key-word, shocking – marketing campaigns, disguised as genuine, authentic expressions of youthful searching for identity and belonging, for the sole purpose of profiting financially from America's children.

They hold focus groups, and they send out "culture spies" (which they call "correspondents") to pretend to befriend and care about teens, so they can study them – what they like, don't like, what's in, what's out, what's cool and what's no longer cool. They engage in "buzz marketing" (where undercover agents disguised as "one of the crowd" talk up a new product). They hire shills to interact with young people in Internet chat rooms, and "street snitches" (a roving group loudly talking up a band or other product in public to raise interest). They bring the entire machinery of modern market research and consumer psychology to bear on studying this gold mine of a market – to anticipate the next, and always weirder and more shocking, incarnation of "cool."

This would be bad enough -- if corporate America were just following and marketing the basest instincts of confused, unsupervised teenagers. But they are not following, they are leading -- downward.

Exhibits A and B: the "mook" and the "midriff," two creations of this corporate youth-marketing consortium.

The "mook" is a marketing caricature of the wild, uninhibited, outrageous and amoral male sex-maniac.

"Take Howard Stern," says Rushkoff, "perhaps the original and still king of all mooks. Look how Viacom leverages him across their properties. He is syndicated on 50 of Viacom's Infinity radio stations. His weekly TV show is broadcast on Viacom's CBS. His number one best-selling autobiography was published by Viacom's Simon and Shuster, then released as a major motion picture by Viacom's Paramount Pictures, grossing $40 million domestically and millions more on videos sold at Viacom's Blockbuster video."

He adds: "There is no mook in nature. He is a creation designed to capitalize on the testosterone-driven madness of adolescence. He grabs them below the belt and then reaches for their wallets."

A great deal of MTV's programming features and markets to the "mook" in America's boys. For instance, a major venue of the mook is professional wrestling – the most-watched type of television among adolescent boys in America today.

OK, what about the "midriff"?

Girls, says Rushkoff, "get dragged down there right along with boys. The media machine has spit out a second caricature. … The midriff is no more true to life than the mook. If he is arrested in adolescence, she is prematurely adult. If he doesn't care what people think of him, she is consumed by appearances. If his thing is crudeness, hers is sex. The midriff is really just a collection of the same old sexual cliches, but repackaged as a new kind of female empowerment. 'I am midriff, hear me roar. I am a sexual object, but I'm proud of it.'"

And what is the purpose of these debauched role models for America's future, fashioned out of market research compiled by "culture spies" hired by corporations to predict what the likely next step down -- the next shock wave disguised as authentic "cool" – will be for the MTV generation?

Why, to sell kids more stuff, of course.

"When corporate revenues depend on being ahead of the curve, you have to listen, you have to know exactly what they want and exactly what they're thinking so that you can give them what you want them to have," explains NYU's Crispin-Miller. However, he adds, "the MTV machine doesn't listen to the young so it can make the young happier. … The MTV machine tunes in so it can figure out how to pitch what Viacom has to sell."

And how do they manage to bond kids -- imprint them -- with the next round of musical, clothing, and lifestyle choices they should be buying into?

"Kids are invited to participate in sexual contests on stage or are followed by MTV cameras through their week of debauchery," says Rushkoff. "Sure, some kids have always acted wild, but never have these antics been so celebrated on TV. So of course kids take it as a cue, like here on the strip in Panama Beach, Florida, where high schoolers carry on in public as if they were on some MTV sound stage. Who is mirroring whom? Real life and TV life have begun to blur. Is the media really reflecting the world of kids, or is it the other way around? The answer is increasingly hard to make out."

Then the really devilish part of the marketers' modus operandi comes into view, as host Rushkoff relives his own epiphany:

I'll never forget the moment that 13-year-old Barbara and her friends spotted our crew during a party between their auditions. They appeared to be dancing for us, for our camera, as if to sell back to us, the media, what we had sold to them.

And that's when it hit me: It's a giant feedback loop. The media watches kids and then sells them an image of themselves. Then kids watch those images and aspire to be that mook or midriff in the TV set. And the media is there watching them do that in order to craft new images for them, and so on.

"Is there any way to escape the feedback loop?" Rushkoff asks. Only in the kids' minds, he reveals, noting that "cool"-seeking youths continually reach downward to a new, raunchier, more outrageous expression -- something, anything, as long as it hasn't been exploited and ripped off by the corporate world.

That said, Rushkoff rolls tape of a large, demonic-looking group of teens, faces painted, chanting and screaming obscenities in downtown Detroit on Halloween night, and explains:

A few thousand mostly white young men have gathered to hear a concert by their favorite hometown band, Insane Clown Posse. ICP helped found a musical genre called rap metal or rage rock, which has created a stir across the country for its shock lyrics and ridicule of women and gays. … Rock music has always channeled rebellion, but where it used to be directed against parents, teachers or the government, today it is directed against slick commercialism itself, against MTV. These fans feel loyalty to this band and this music because they experience it as their own. It hasn't been processed by corporations, digested into popular culture and sold back to them at the mall.

A member of Insane Clown Posse explains the group's attraction: "Everybody that likes our music feels a super connection. That's why all those juggaloes here, they feel so connected to it because it's -- it's exclusively theirs. See, when something's on the radio, it's for everybody, you know what I mean? It's everybody's song. 'Oh, this is my song.' That ain't your song. It's on the radio. It's everybody's song. But to listen to ICP, you feel like you're the only one that knows about it."

"These are the extremes," intones Rushkoff, "to which teens are willing to go to ensure the authenticity of their own scene. It's the front line of teen cultural resistance: Become so crude, so intolerable, and break so many rules that you become indigestible." (To complete the mood, in the background Insane Clown Posse is rapping "Bitch, you's a ho. And ho, you's a bitch. Come on!" and other uplifting lyrics.)

Then comes the betrayal: "Merchants of Cool" shows how Insane Clown Posse and other "authentic" groups – untouched by commercialism – are ultimately bought off by the marketing "machine," packaged and sold back to the youth market. Of course, when the shock value wears off, and the mantle of "cool" – untouched and uncorrupted by corporate America – moves downward to the next, even more outrageous level of depravity – MTV, Viacom, and the other corporate giants will be there to package it and sell it, once again, to our children.

Oh, but don't bother trying to tell your kids about this fiendish game. You see, says Crispin-Miller, "it's part of the official rock video world view, it's part of the official advertising world view, that your parents are creeps, teachers are nerds and idiots, authority figures are laughable, nobody can really understand kids except the corporate sponsor."

OK, so is that it? America's teens are in the grip of a malignant marketing campaign by big, greedy, uncaring corporations? – and hopefully the kids will grow out of it and become normal sometime? End of story?

Not quite. To be sure, millions of youths are in the grip of something destructive, but the corporate aspect is just the visible part. Behind both the corporate manipulators and the youths caught in their selfish and shameful influence lurks another, much more formidable and all-pervasive "marketing campaign" – a malevolent dimension that has no one's best interests at heart, and which is programmed to devour all in its path, from the highest to the lowest.

That "something," which we shall unmask tomorrow in Part 2, is literally intent on degrading this generation so totally that little hope would be left for the next generations of Americans.

Part 2

Conclusion. Fasten your seat belts for a guided tour of the psychological and spiritual devastation being wrought in today's youth. Find out what's really driving it – and how your children can escape its corrupting influence.

Why today's youth culture
has gone insane



Posted: January 16, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: This is the second and final part of a groundbreaking report on today's youth culture by WND Vice President and Managing Editor David Kupelian. Part 1 exposes the cynical and soulless marketing of corruption to the "MTV generation" by Viacom, Disney, AOL/Time Warner and other companies. Part 2 takes readers on a guided tour of the psychological and even spiritual devastation being wrought in today's youth, and points to the way out. Parts of the following are shocking, and may not be suitable reading for children. Parental discretion is advised.

© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

Remember in the classic, biblical epic films of the 1950s, how Sodom and Gomorrah were portrayed? Drunken men with multiple piercings and bright red robes, with one loose woman under each arm, cavorting in orgiastic revelry against a background of annoying, mosquito-like music? Maybe a bone through the nose as well? Hollywood took pains to depict these lost souls in the most debauched and irredeemable manner – to justify their subsequent destruction with fire and brimstone as punishment for their great sinfulness.

Guess what? Those Hollywood depictions don't even begin to capture the shocking reality of what is going on right here in America's culture today – I mean, they're not even close.

First of all, there's sex. Very simply, there seem to be neither boundaries nor taboos any more when it comes to sex. Anything goes – from heterosexual to homosexual to bi-, trans-, poly-, and you-don't-want-to-know sexual experiences. Sex has become a ubiquitous, cheap, meaningless quest for ever-greater thrills. As Dr. Laura Schlessinger quipped, the guy no longer has to lie to the gal, pretend he likes her or take her out to dinner to get sex – he just has to show up.

Moreover, with the evolution of online pornography, every type of sexual experience has literally been shoved under the noses of millions of Americans against their will, who find their e-mail in-boxes filled with hard-core sexual images. As a result, a recent urgent plea from well-known evangelist Chuck Swindoll lamented that one out of two American churchgoers today is caught up with Internet pornography.

What about body piercing? It has progressed from traditional earrings for females, to earrings for males (eager to display their "feminine side" which the '60 cultural revolution sold them), to multiple piercings for both males and females in literally every part of the body – the tongue, nose, eyebrow, lip, cheek, navel, breasts, genitals – again, things you don't really want to know.

It's the same progression to extremes with tattooing. But why stop with "conventional" piercing and tattooing? Ritual scarification and 3D-art implants are big. So are genital beading, stretching and cutting, transdermal implants, scrotal implants, tooth art and facial sculpture.

How about tongue splitting? How about branding? How about amputations? That's right – amputations. Some people find these activities a real "turn-on."

There are no bounds – no lower limits. Whatever you can imagine, even for a second in the darkest recesses of your mind, know that someone somewhere is actually doing it, praising it, and drawing others into it via the Internet.

Strangest of all is the fact that any behavior, any belief – no matter how obviously insane – is rationalized so it sounds reasonable, even spiritual. Satanism itself, and especially its variant, the worship of Lucifer (literally, "Angel of Light") can be made to sound almost enlightened – of course, only in a perverse way. But if you were sufficiently confused, rebellious and full of rage – if you had been set up by cruelty or hypocrisy (or both) to rebel against everything "good" – the forbidden starts to be mysteriously attractive.

Let's pick just one of these bizarre behaviors. How about … hanging by your skin from hooks? It's called "suspension." In literally any other context, this would be considered a gruesome torture. But to many people who frequent "suspension parties," it's a spiritual experience. Consider carefully what "Body Modification Ezine" (www.bmezine.com) – the Web's premiere site for body modification – says about "suspension":

What is suspension?

The act of suspension is hanging the human body from (or partially from) hooks pierced through the flesh in various places around the body.

Why would someone want to do a suspension?

There are many different reasons to suspend, from pure adrenaline or endorphin rush, to conquering one's fears, to trying to reach a new level of spiritual consciousness and everything in between. In general, people suspend to attain some sort of "experience."

Some people are seeking the opportunity to discover a deeper sense of themselves and to challenge pre-determined belief systems which may not be true. Some are seeking a rite of passage or a spiritual encounter to let go of the fear of not being whole or complete inside their body.

Others are looking for control over their body, or seek to prove to themselves that they are more than their bodies, or are not their bodies at all. Others simply seek to explore the unknown.

Many people believe that learning how one lives inside one's body and seeing how that body adapts to stress – and passes through it – allows one to surrender to life and explore new realms of possibility.

Gosh – "control over their body," "discover a deeper sense of themselves," "conquering ones fears," "trying to reach a new level spiritual consciousness." What could be wrong with that?

Or, how about tongue splitting – literally making yourself look like a human lizard – how could that be a positive, spiritual experience?

"The tongue," explains the BME website, "is one of the most immense nervous structures in your body. We have incredibly fine control over it and we receive massive feedback from it. When you dramatically alter its structure and free yourself of the physical boundaries your biology imposes, in some people it triggers a larger freeing on a spiritual level."

Here's one more experience I'll bet you didn't realize was so uplifting – getting AIDS.

Oh, you haven't heard about "bug-chasing"? Rolling Stone did a big expose on this new underground movement last February. Very simply, "bug-chasers" are people for whom getting infected with the AIDS virus is the ultimate sexual experience. You heard it right: The main focus of their lives is to actively seek out sexual encounters that will infect them with HIV.

Reporter Gregory A. Freeman explained the phenomenon, focusing initially on a "bug-chaser" named Carlos:

Carlos is part of an intricate underground world that has sprouted, driven almost completely by the Internet, in which men who want to be infected with HIV get together with those who are willing to infect them. The men who want the virus are called "bug chasers," and the men who freely give the virus to them are called "gift givers." While the rest of the world fights the AIDS epidemic and most people fear HIV infection, this subculture celebrates the virus and eroticizes it.

HIV-infected semen is treated like liquid gold. Carlos has been chasing the bug for more than a year in a topsy-turvy world in which every convention about HIV is turned upside down. The virus isn't horrible and fearsome, it's beautiful and sexy – and delivered in the way that is most likely to result in infection. In this world, the men with HIV are the most desired, and the bug chasers will do anything to get the virus – to "get knocked up," to be "bred" or "initiated into the brotherhood."

And what, exactly, motivates Carlos and his bug-chasing colleagues?

"For Carlos, bug chasing is mostly about the excitement of doing something that everyone else sees as crazy and wrong. Keeping this part of his life secret is part of the turn-on for Carlos, which is not his real name. That forbidden aspect makes HIV infection incredibly exciting for him, so much so that he now seeks out sex exclusively with HIV-positive men. 'This is something that no one knows about me,' Carlos says. 'It's mine. It's my dirty little secret.'"

Deliberately infecting themselves, explains Freeman, "is the ultimate taboo, the most extreme sex act left on the planet, and that has a strong erotic appeal for some men who have tried everything else."

No question about it: The forbidden is very attractive. As pop star Britney Spears admitted in a recent interview: "When someone tells me not to do something, I do it, that's just my rebellious nature." Similarly, Carlos's thrill at having a "dirty little secret" is a very common theme sounded by people explaining why they had some hidden body part pierced.

Why are so many attracted to the forbidden? Why is it so exciting?

In love with death

In the West, we marvel at the death-oriented Muslim jihad subculture, which in some areas, particularly among the Palestinians, has become the dominant culture, a culture of death. We shake our heads sadly as we contemplate children growing up desiring, above all else, shahada – literally, martyrdom – which to them means blowing themselves up while killing as many Jews as possible, and thinking they're going to heaven.

These young people, caught up in the rage-fueled Islamist marketing campaign of global jihad, can look you right in the eye and express with great passion their conviction that committing mass murder is the mystical doorway to eternal life. Yet, in much the same way, "bug-chasing" men who seek AIDS, people suspending themselves from the ceiling by meat-hooks, those who literally slice their own tongues in two – and even, albeit on a much more subtle level, "regular" people obsessed with the thought of getting their next piercing or tattoo – feel as though they too are moving, not toward death, but toward life and greater spirituality, a more unique and authentic sense of self. Somehow the ritual of pain and mutilation, and in extreme cases, death, drives out their awareness of inner conflict, and replaces it with an illusion of freedom and selfhood.

Here's how psychotherapist Steven Levenkron, bestselling author and one of the nation's foremost experts on anorexia and other emotional-based illnesses, explains it in his landmark book, "Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation": "The self-mutilator is someone who has found that physical pain can be a cure for emotional pain."

After years of counseling patients, mostly young women, who purposely cut their bodies with razors and knives to obtain relief from emotional conflict, Levenkron concludes:

Self-mutilators have many different reasons for their actions and are tormented by a spectrum of different feelings. Yet I consistently encounter two characteristics in all self-mutilators:

1. A feeling of mental disintegration, of inability to think. 2. A rage that can't be expressed, or even consciously perceived, toward a powerful figure (or figures) in their life, usually a parent.

For the self-mutilator, the experience of one or both of these feelings is unbearable and must therefore be "drowned out," as they report, by some immediate method. Physical pain and the sight of oneself bleeding become solutions because of their ability to overpower the strength of those feelings.

Usually, the first incident begins with strong feelings of anger, anxiety, or panic. If the feeling is not too intense, throwing an object, or breaking or knocking something over, may settle the person down. It's when the person becomes so overwhelmed that none of these "remedies" help that we may see them plunge a fist into a wall or through a window, bang their head against a wall, or finally take a weapon to use against themselves.

Someone who stumbles upon self-injury in this manner and discovers that it relieves one of the painful states listed above will be inclined to use this discovery again in the future. The individual who needs this kind of solution is a person who cannot redress the grievances she has with others, who is afraid to argue, to articulate what she is so angry about. The self-mutilator is ashamed of the mental pain that she experiences and has no language with which to describe it to others.

However they came to it, the self-mutilator is someone who has found that physical pain can be a cure for emotional pain. … When a person attacks his or her own body with an instrument that will wound the skin, and often worse, it means that the person feels helpless to use any other means to manage the mental anguish and chaos that is borne out of unmanageable feelings. …

Although Levenkron is describing a psychiatric syndrome afflicting young girls who ritualistically cut themselves to relieve inner pain, much of the same dynamic is at work to some degree in multitudes of people today finding solace and identity in pain and disfigurement. For example, here's how one young lady explained her decision to have her tongue pierced, writing on the BME website:

I love piercings and wanted to do it but the guy that I'm interested in disapproved of it. So, I was reluctant to do the piercing seeing as I didn't want to start a relationship and having a piercing in an area that would affect our physical activities. Anyway, it turns out the bastard slept with my best friend the other night and I knew a new piercing had to take place. Weird, but getting a new piercing helps me to focus all my mental pain and then release it with the physical and also it leaves a nice looking piece of jewelry as well!

In other words, her anger is extinguished, at least temporarily, by piercing her own body.

Piercing the veil

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." – Ephesians 6:12

Earlier in this exploration of youth culture we "pierced" the corporate veil, discovering the shameful marketing reality behind today's youth culture. Let's go the rest of the way now, and pierce the spiritual veil.

History is full of times and places when something – call it a spirit if you wish – sweeps over a particular society. This something is drawn, as into a vacuum, into societies that have lost their way, and have harkened to the voice of deceitful leaders and philosophies. During the mid-20th century, a malevolent spirit swept over Germany, leading to unspeakable crimes being perpetrated against millions of Jews and other "undesirables" in the name of progress. In the late '70s, the demonic spirit of Marxist "cleansing" swept through Cambodia like a raging wildfire, resulting in the brutal deaths of perhaps 2 million. And today, we see the worldwide spread of a maniacal jihad suicide cult that is attracting literally millions of Muslims.

But this phenomenon is evident not only in genocidal frenzies. The counterculture "revolution" of the 1960s was, to many, a spiritual phenomenon, with profound reverberations still in today's world. Likewise, the New Age movement, the preoccupation with "channeling" and UFOs, and other similar movements have an uncanny spiritual, religious dimension that can't be ignored.

True, mass conformity even to bizarre beliefs and practices can be explained somewhat by the sheer power of peer pressure, but there is more to it. It's more akin to mass-hypnosis, where large numbers of people simultaneously adopt the same bizarre mindset, beliefs and practices. Such instances of spiritual "possession" of a society, of a people made ripe for such a downward transformation by their sins and rebellion against God, are evident throughout history.

Well now, is it just my imagination, or is there something about today's celebratory piercing and tattooing of the body, and the free sex that permeates this culture, that literally evokes the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah? It's as though the rebellious spirit of reprobate, pagan civilizations of the past was being tapped into (dare I say "channeled"?) by today's pop culture.

"Oh come on," you might say, dismissively. "They're just adorning the human body to make it more beautiful and unique. Let them have their fun. Who are they hurting?" Such mellifluous excuses spring up in our minds quite easily, as most certainly they did also in the time of Sodom, Gomorrah and other perverse societies.

The fact is, what has risen "out of the pit" in today's world bears a striking resemblance to the ageless spirit of defiant paganism, a spirit now inhabiting millions of people "freed" by trauma (drugs, illicit sex, bodily mutilation, etc.) from the pain of their own conscience – which is to say, freed from God and the divine law written deep down in every person's heart. Why? Same reason as always: so they can be their own gods and make up their own rules.

Of course, in a very real sense they are also victims – they've been set up for all this. For not only has today's popular culture – from its astonishing gender confusion to its perverse and powerful musical expression – become toxic virtually without precedent in modern history, but also, most parents have not protected their own kids from it.

In past eras, if parents were very imperfect or even corrupt, their children still had a reasonable chance of "growing up straight," since the rest of society still more or less reflected Judeo-Christian values. The youngster could bond to a teacher, minister, mentor or organization that could provide some healthy direction and stability.

But today, because of the near-ubiquitous corruption "out there," if parents fail to properly guide and protect their children, the kids get swallowed whole by the child-molesting monster we call culture.

What do I mean? Just this: Your being any way other than genuinely virtuous – not perfect, mind you, but honestly and diligently seeking do the right thing at all times – will drive your children crazy. Here's how the craziness unfolds: Children deserve and desperately need firmness, patience, fairness, limits, kindness, insight and a good, non-hypocritical example. In other words, they need genuine parental love and guidance. If they don’t get this, they will resent you. Even if you can't see it, even if they can't see it and deny it, they will resent you for failing to give them real love.

And that resentment – which becomes suppressed rage – is a destructive, unpredictable, radioactive foreign element in their makeup, which transmutes into every manner of problem, complex and evil imaginable. It makes children feel compelled to rebel against you, and against all authority, out of revenge for your having failed them. And it makes everything forbidden – from sex, to drugs, to tongue studs, to things worse – seem attractive, a road to personal freedom. Rationalizations and philosophies that once they would have laughed at as ridiculous, now make sense to them. Practices they would have shunned in more innocent times, they now not only embrace, but celebrate. All of this occurs below the level of consciousness.

Today's youth rebellion is not only against failing parents, but against the entire adult society – against the children of the 1960s cultural revolution who grew up to become their parents. Unfortunately, many of us never shook off the transforming effects of that national trauma, which birthed the "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll" youth counterculture, the leftist hate-America movement, the women's liberation movement and overriding all, of course, the sexual revolution.

So we grew up to elect one of our own – a traumatized, amoral sociopath of a baby-boomer named Bill Clinton. (His wife and partner-in-crime, Hillary, is the most popular Democrat in American public life today, and has a good shot at being president one day.) If you don't think Bill Clinton's escapades with Monica – covered by the media like the Super Bowl – had everything to do with the explosion of middle-school sexual adventures across America, then open your eyes. We, the parents of this generation, along with the degrading entertainment media, the biased news media, the lying politicians, the brainwashing government school system and the rest of society's once-great institutions whose degradation we have tolerated, are responsible.

No wonder our children are rebelling. And today's insane Sodom-and-Gomorrah culture, which we have allowed and in many ways created, stands waiting in the wings to welcome them with open arms.

The way out

Today's culture is so poisonous that your only hope is to literally create (or plug into) another culture entirely – a subculture. Just as today's homosexual culture, for example, used to be a miserable subculture lurking in public toilets and seedy clubs, and has today become the sophisticated culture of the "beautiful people" and Hollywood, so must your true American culture – if it's ever to come back – start off as a subculture.

The best solution I know of for accomplishing this is to homeschool your children, and network with other like-minded parents in your area. Trust me, it's already been done, you're not reinventing the wheel. Sports, music, drama, Scouts, 4-H, whatever extracurricular activities you want, are all available to the homeschooler. You can literally pick and choose the "culture" in which your children grow up, and can actively participate in its creation. I believe homeschooling today represents the single most important and promising avenue for the true rebirth of American Judeo-Christian culture. In families where children are raised with real understanding and insight, and protected from the insanity of the popular culture until they're big enough and strong enough in their convictions to go out in the world and kick butt in the name of righteousness – the real America is now being reborn. May it grow.

What if your children are already caught up in the youth subculture? Is it too late?

No it's not. But it may be a difficult and long road back. It's a lot easier to be corrupted than to become uncorrupted. Just know this: There is something almost magically liberating about confession. For a parent to honestly confess his or her mistakes, regrets, failings, selfishness and blindness to their errant offspring is a spiritual experience for both. Of course, when a youngster has been "converted" to new loyalties and beliefs, maintained by unconscious rage and rebellion (and perhaps the desire for revenge), he may or may not right away want to come back over to your side. But by being truly repentant over your own culpability in their problem, and confessing this openly and genuinely – and from now on being the kind of person you always should have been – you are giving them the best chance possible to forgive you and find redemption themselves.

Even if they don't come around, or if it takes a long time, your honest self-examination and confession as a parent will free you from your own guilts and past sins. Beyond this, we need to have faith that, with God, all things are possible.

Following higher law

"A Scout is trustworthy … loyal … helpful … friendly … courteous … kind … obedient … cheerful … thrifty … brave … clean … and reverent."

As I stand there at my 12-year-old son's Boy Scout meeting (See opening of Part 1), listening to these boys recite the Scout Law, I know what I'm looking at. These kids – young men, really – their afterburners roaring on a fabulous fuel-mixture of youthful energy, playfulness, intelligence, testosterone and dedication to higher things, are literally the future of America. I am grateful that at least a few institutions in today's world still exert a positive influence on children. I marvel at the powerful pull the Scout ethic has on them. It binds their lower impulses, hems them in, and appeals to the "better angels" of their nature.

Now they're reciting the Scout Oath: "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country, and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

Or course – the Scouts, as well as other good institutions like our churches, and even marriage itself – are torn at mercilessly from the outside by heartless activists. And they are torn at from within – by the occasional rotten "Scout leader" whose ultimate aim is to molest children. And yes, even within Scouts, the kids bring a bit of that crazy culture in with them. Yet the Scout oath and law, the adult leaders, the time-tested-and-proven program, and the positive peer pressure – all of these beckon the boys to embrace a higher calling.

May we all do likewise. If we do, we can redeem our wretched culture – one child, one family at a time. And those little swatches of the real American culture, the bits of heaven-on-earth residing in this home and that home and this church and that Scout troop will one day, please God, join together to form the fabric of a reborn American culture of virtue. Each of us must take that lonely, high road. Otherwise, the marketers of evil will lead us all down to ever darker and lower levels of hell on earth.

 

 

 

Back