22 September 2011


I. If that title was a mouthful then let's begin with a comparably luscious sequence: "A sophisticated rhetorician intoxicated with the exuberance of your own verbosity". That quote was from the opening line in the video two posts back, a song from the popular Hindi film Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). It originates from Benjamin Disraeli's characterization of William Gladstone, but also applies - I submit - to the attendees at the Second Global Conference on World's Religions after September 11, held on September 7 in the formerly Catholic province called Quebec.
II. Oh ye people of the world, oh ye denizens of the universe and beings from parallel dimensions... Hip hip hooray! For they have come and they have seen and they have spoken. The jet setting glitterati, from far and wide they did travel, representing the summa of worldviews from time immemorial. Hurrah!, I cheer. And what, pray tell, were they resolved to effectuate? What magnificent scheme did they propose to break those shackles that bind humanity to a state of utter misery? Our redemption is at hand, oh little ones. Be joyful and do not weep, for this gallery of gas bags has...
Resolved that the religions of the world should come together to formulate a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions, which would embody their vision of human flourishing, and which would supplement the UN Declaration.[1]
Here we go again... I know this post comes late after the fact. As most of you know, I'm not a reactive, daily, quick fix blogger - though wish I could be sometimes. More so, my preference is to ruminate for some time afterward, monitor other reactions, then do the nitty gritty of analyzing, summarizing and opining. I also have the habit of writing long and condensed posts. Insufferable to many, I know. Extraneous matters also play a role in the delays. 

III. So, then, let's check out the stars of the show. Keynote speaker at the extravaganza was one Tenzin Gyatso, otherwise known as the fourteenth reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. That's right, reincarnation, as in the pagan concept of the eternal recurrence, infinite time, matter and motion. The D-Man heads up a long-running atheist philosophical movement called Buddhism. It's really Hindu heresy gone nihilistic, but don't tell anyone I said that. You might have heard Richard Gere speak about it on occasion. He's a celebrity, so he knows what he's talking about. Though what's not often talked about is that Tenzin is a self-declared Marxist. That's right, Marxist, as in dialectical materialism and atheism. I can see the atheism thing. After all, he is a Buddhist. The materialism, however, seems inconsistent with the anti-material aspects implicit to all Eastern philosophy. Last June when speechifying to a group of university students he said: "I consider myself a Marxist... But not a Leninist".[2] It created a hullaballoo in the media, though one wonders why. Short memory that it has, the MSM seems to have forgotten what Tenzin wrote in TIME magazine over a decade ago:
I went to China in 1954-55 that I actually studied Marxist ideology and learned the history of the Chinese revolution... I was so attracted to Marxism, I even expressed my wish to become a Communist Party member... Marxism talked about an equal and just distribution of wealth. I was very much in favor of this... Marxism talked about self-reliance, without depending on a creator or a God. That was very attractive... I still think that if a genuine communist movement had come to Tibet, there would have been much benefit to the people. Instead, the Chinese communists... were not implementing true Marxist policy... the Chinese communists carried out aggression and suppression in Tibet.[3]
So there you have it. The standard mantra of the academe: Marxism didn't fail as an ideology. Rather, Communism ruined everything. Theory overrides, and any theoretically-inspired action in the economic, social and cultural spheres bear no relation to their antecedent. Words have no relation to deeds, the mind has no relation to objective reality. Thank you, Herr Faust. Thank you, Herr Kant. And did you know that Tenzin thanked the Chinese government for introducing economic freedom in Tibet? He did. Fantastical is it that anyone would be thankful to a country that forced him into exile for five decades, especially considering that the still oppressive government representatives of that same country are responsible for genocide in his homeland. Hey, whatever turns your crank or - in Tenzin's case - whatever spins his Dharmachakra. 

IV. In tow with Tenzin was a former student, Robert Thurman, father of actress Uma Thurman and, incidentally, friend of Richard Gere. Thurman, now a professor at Columbia University, was listed by TIME magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans of 1997. Becoming disillusioned with life in the Sixties, he divorced his wife and fled to the East for some time, notably to India. He eventually converted to Buddhism, becoming a monk. The vow of celibacy was conveniently dropped when the next wife came along. There is a marked anti-American sentiment in some of his commentary as countered with a romanticization of Tibet. Funny that he is able to articulate this position from the safety and comfort of his homebase in the free, democratic United States (except until 2008, when the Americans put a narcissist into the White House). In his 1974 Massey Lectures, the literary critic George Steiner summarized the transformation that occurred for Thurman and his ilk:
The flower children wend their way to Katmandu. The scalped, saffron-robed votaries of Hare Krishna bounce down Piccadilly jingling their tambourines. The matron and the entrepreneur contemplate their delique-scent physique in the mournful stretch of the Yoga class. The joss stick softly burns under the mandala poster, the Tibetan peace sign, the prayer rug in the bed-sitter in Santa Monica or Hammersmith... a thousand students crowd to the Maharishi’s sandalled feet. We meditate; we meditate transcendentally; we seek Nirvana in suburban trances. Teenage butterballs descend upon us via Air India, proclaim themselves to be the Way and the Light, offer ineffable clichés on the healing powers of Love, and scatter petals... [This] implicit idealization of values eccentric [is]... contrary to the Western tradition. Passivity against will; a theosophy of stasis or eternal return against a theodicy of historical progress; the focused monotony, even emptiness, of meditation and of meditative trance as opposed to logical, analytic reflection; asceticism against prodigality of person and expression; contemplation versus action; a polymorphic eroticism, at once sensual… as against acquisitive, yet also sacrificial, sexuality... these are the terms of the dialectic.[4]
Thurman's works generally appeal to the non-religious from the upper middle class, celebrities, environmentalists, West Coast liberals, aging baby boomers who use Viagra and people who watch HBO. 

V. Next up is Deepak Chopra. When translated into English, his name means "charlatan who bamboozles Anglo-Saxon soccer moms". The Deepster has been around for quite some time peddling his denatured Hinduism, and making big bucks to boot. Books, videos, audio CDs, the lecture circuit, you name it. No need to purchase though. It's pedestrian to get a notion of his worldview just by scanning book titles: Creating Affluence: Wealth Consciousness in the Field of All Possibilities (i.e. Hindu version of "health and wealth" Christianity), The Conscious Universe (i.e. panpsychism), The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life (i.e. gnosticism), Escaping the Prison of the Intellect (i.e. irrationalism), The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness (i.e. Tony Robbins New Delhi style), Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles (i.e. self-divination). Dapper, suave, well-spoken, he comes off as a legitimate, even profound thinker. There's a lot of stuff on the internet exposing Chopra's innumerable logical fallacies. Typing "Deepak Chopra charlatan" in any search engine is a good way to start your own investigation. For Hinduism in the raw, Swami Dayananda Saraswati was also to speak at the gathering. Though his biography seems to have been removed from the conference website. He is seen as a kind of messianic guru, as shown in this video. 

VI. Then there's Tariq Ramadan the world famous public intellectual. There's a large amount of evidence out there pointing to his connections with Islamic extremism. Note well that his grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood. He's quite the sly fellow in that he tailors his writings/talks, depending on the ideology of the group involved. And this tailoring specifically relates to his view of Mohammedism, of which there should be (he says) various kinds, e.g. "Western Islam" and so forth. Relatedly, there are shades of Gramsci's Trojan Horse methodology in Ramadan's idea of how Islam should be propagated around the globe. That is, "the interpenetrative criterion of molecular changes which in fact progressively modify the pre-existing composition of forces, and hence become the matrix of new changes".[5] Gramsci wrote that with Marxism in mind and, if one cares to review Ramadan's oeuvre, it wouldn't be a stretch to say he hopes the same for Islam. This smoke and mirrors routine has duped a fair number of people on the Left. Indeed, he's been called "the Muslim Martin Luther" by Salon magazine.[6] Although it downplays the controversy associated with Ramadan, still the New York Times admits that he has an "identity issue".[7] But the various identities of Ramadan were not lost to Tarek Fatah of the Canadian Muslim Congress. Not always correct but nevertheless reasonable at times, he spoke out when the Ramadan controversy erupted just prior to the conference. Making reference to another of the conference's resolutions, stating that "violating the sanctity of scripture of any religion, amounts to violating the sanctity of the scriptures of all religions"[8], Fatah responded thusly:
This is a sugar-coated attempt by Islamists to co-opt other religious leaders being asked to come here in good faith. This is another way of saying you can't criticize religion and that's a catastrophe. It's a very sad day when the Dalai Lama is co-opted into signing this. He's been duped or he's very naive.[9]
Well, Mr. Fatah, the D-Man was not duped nor is he naive. He knows very well what he's doing. Yes, the resolution is a way of saying you cannot criticize religion, but that's been the Left's stance for decades, particularly since when Trudeau and company plagued Canada with multiculturalist policies in the early 1970s. The exception to criticism is, of course, Christianity. Today, the criticism has morphed into harassment and intimidation approaching persecution. Two examples: sodomite infiltration into the Catholic school system and so-called Human Rights tribunals. 

VII. For the "Christian" contingent at the conference we had none other than our old friend Gregory Baum. This theological criminal has been at it for decades, most notably since his influential involvement with the issuance of the Winnipeg Statement (1968) when still a priest. Since that time he has written and lectured voluminously, promoting everything from women's ordination to liberation theology. Like Duracell batteries, Greg keeps on going and going and going. Sayeth Monsignor Vincent Foy: "Gregory Baum was a catalyst of dissent in Canada and elsewhere... [he] has done more to help destroy the Church in Canada than any other person".[10] Greg is also like a jack-in-the-box, popping up suddenly into the spotlight upon the eventuation of whatever cause célèbre, like the conference discussed herein. Recall that earlier this year he was a main signatory for the protest letter issued by Development and Peace as against the rejection of Fr. Luis Arriaga to speak at one of their events. Fr. Arriaga, an Armani suit-wearing Jesuit, is affiliated with the Mexican pro-abortion group PRODH. Like City TV, Greg is eeeevvvvrywhere... even at Novalis, Canada's heresy-disseminating "Catholic" publisher. Among the books it publishes is his fawning The Theology of Tariq Ramadan. You see, it appears that Greg has got a crush on Tariq. And the fact that Tariq Ramadan is a superstar to both the Left and Muslims illustrates that (unexpected) surreal alliance, between the de-Christianized liberal-relativist class and the backward theocratic worldview of radical Islamism, including the so-called "moderate" version (TH2 has a long article in draft form on Baum to be posted in future, though it requires more work). 

VIII. Now let's break it down: The speakers included a Marxist Buddhist (Gyatso), a hippy Buddhist (Thurman), a secularized Hindu gnostic (Chopra), a Hindu spiritual teacher (Saraswati), a stealth Islamic Jihadist (Ramadan) and a Marxist-inspired excommunicated priest (Baum). Jewish philosopher Steven Katz was also a speaker, though I don't much about him to comment adequately. So here we have the major religions supposedly represented. But do you notice the discrepancy? No speaker was there representing orthodox Christianity. Well, obviously. Why ruin the show? There's one fallacy of post-Vatican II ecumenism for you. Speaking of ecumenism, know that the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism was a "partner" of the conference. CCE is arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. No surprise there. How ya doin boys? I seeeeeee yoooouuuu. 

IX. The "Universal Declaration" has all kinds of goodies to bore you into a coma. You can read it here. There's nothing new in it that the international elite haven't already advocated in the past two decades or so. Every so often these grandiose globalist glitterati get together to tell us what they know about the world. But it's the same thing over and over and again and again. For example, there was "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic", brainchild of the now fossilizing heretic Hans Küng. It was presented in 1993 at the Parliament of the World's Religions. The goal was "to move the different faiths to reach a fundamental consensus on binding values, a moral foundation for a new global order".[11] There is also Mikhail Gorbachev's "State of the World Forum". One forum in 1995 was called "Toward a New Civilization: Launching a Global Initiative". In attendance were media mogul Ted Turner, atheist astronomer Carl Sagan, ex-priest/Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Jane Goodall of monkey worship fame. An "Earth Charter" was instituted, giving "a new ethical and legal basis and a new code of conduct for all nations".[12] "Universal Declaration", "fundamental consensus on binding values", "code of conduct for all nations" - it's all the same: dogmatic global secular humanism, regardless if the word "God" is invoked or not.  

X. Such charters or resolutions or declarations or whatever are reiterations of utopianism whose spirit is not that dissimilar from the Enlightenment philosophes. Now the endeavour to reach this idealistic state of affairs requires a unifying factor, something that will bring the world's peoples together, some all-encompassing philosophy, some worldview. To date no one culture, no one nation or empire, no one race, no one ethnicity, no proposed "system of the world", not the wonders of science, have been successful at this. If any of these gained prominence in the past, conditions were shortlasting, achieved only through power and might. What is actually needed to unify is that transcendent X, something singular and really transcendent, not a false transcendence that is actually a blissful "this world" immanence, of which the "Universal Declaration" is an epitome (see my post here for further commentary on this subject). Yet no matter how hard they try, no matter what these self-proclaimed "legatees of the religious heritage of humanity" say, they still have not a universal principle, so to speak, objective, absolute and really transcendent upon which to make an ultimate reference. This is one reason why the conference's Second Resolution reads: "violating the sanctity of scripture of any religion, amounts to violating the sanctity of the scriptures of all religions". Not only is this statement the rotten fruit of multiculturalism, it is expressive of a counterfeit attempt at unification of the world's religions. Specifically, it is code for Relativism. No one philosophy or worldview, no one religion can be true, they self-righteously declare... as a truth! Is not truth singular? Laughable is this persistent violation of the principle of non-contradiction. 

XI. Solely excluded from all these "delusions of grandeur" or "visions of splendor" (take your pick) is the Catholic Church. The reason is self-evident. Said Belloc: "She is unique and at issue with the world".[13] Despite Greg Baum the heretic, why was there not present an orthodox Catholic at the conference? Was it not due to the universal disdain for the universalizer that is Rome? Thus the Enlightenment-inspired broadside fired by T.H. Huxley: "Our great antagonist, the Roman Catholic Church, the one spiritual organization which is able to resist, and must as a matter of life and death resist, the progress of... civilization".[14] Correct on the "antagonist" aspect, incorrect on the resistance to progress. The preservation of cultural treasures (e.g. by the Medieval abbeys during the barbarian invasions), the experimental method in science, the concept of the distinction between Church and State (cf. Matthew 22:21), aiding the poor, hospitals, universities, classical music, the full realization of selflessness and freewill - where the hell did Huxley think these originated? From the metahistorical catastrophe inaugurated by Luther? Just like Huxley, the speakers at the Second Global Conference on World's Religions are adversarial to the Catholic Church, knowingly or not, innocently so or not. And this whole idea or spirit of a "Universal Declaration" in regard to the world's religions is nothing but a pale immanentized imitation of what has always been existent and workable within realm of the Catholic Church. Whatever one may think of Hans Urs von Balthasar's works, he was nevertheless prescient when he wrote: "The world-wide unity of religions is being hammered out on the anvil of Catholicism".[15] 


1. "Resolutions" for the 2nd Conference on the World's Religions, September 7, 2011. 

2. Cf. T. Namgyal, "Dalai Lama: 'I Am a Marxist, But Not a Leninist'", Religion Dispatches, June 8, 2011. 

3. The Dalai Lama, "Long Trek to Exile for Tibet's Apostle", TIME, September 27, 1999. 

4. G. Steiner, Nostalgia for the Absolute (Toronto: CBC Enterprises, 1983), pp. 44-45. Originally published in 1974. 

5. A. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, ed./trans. Q. Hoare and G.N. Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971), p. 109. Sidebar: there are reports that Gramsci had a deathbed conversion to Catholicism. 

6. See P. Donnelly, "Tariq Ramadan: The Muslim Martin Luther?", Salon, February 15, 2002.

7. I. Buruma, "Tariq Ramadan Has an Identity Issue", New York Times Magazine, February 4, 2007. 

8. Second Resolution. See note 1. 

9. Quoted in K. Seidman, "Conference on religions sparks split before it starts", Montreal Gazette, September 6, 2011. 

10. Cf. V. Foy, "Tragedy at Winnipeg", Challenge, vol. 14, 1988. 

11. See Declaration Toward a Global Ethic, Parliament of the World's Religions, Chicago, USA, September 4, 1993, 15 pp. 

12. See M.J. Anderson, "Dissidents in the Global Village", Crisis, May 1997, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 26-28, 32-33. 

13. H. Belloc, Survivals and New Arrivals, The Old and New Enemies of the Catholic Church (Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1992), p. 93. Originally published in 1929. 

14. Quoted in F.J. Sheen, Philosophy of Religion, The Impact of Modern Knowledge on Religion (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts Incorporated, 1948), p. 63. 

15. H.U. von Balthasar, "Anthropology and Religion" In: ed. A.R. Caponigri, Modern Catholic Thinkers: An Anthology (New York: Harper & Row Publishers Incorporated, 1960), p. 22.



Bob said...

Thank you, TH2!  I will spend some time rereading this.

Chris (Left-footer blogspot) said...

A tour de force! Linked, tweeted, and howled with laughter over.

Briiliant! God bless!

Lois said...

"Speaking of ecumenism, know that the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism was a "partner" of the conference. CCE is arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops."

A very good reason to NOT put that extra envelope in the collection this week. (Needs of the Church in Canada)

TH2 said...

Thanks guys.

TH2 said...

You are correct, m'lady... you aaaarrrrrrrrrreeee correct.

Stuart @ eChurch Blog said...

I just hopped over from Left-Footer's blog.

This piece is absolutely masterful, brilliant, what an eye opener.

Now a follower of your blog.

TH2 said...

Cheers, Stuart.

Brigid Elson said...

Your best blog so far.

TH2 said...

Merci beaucoup ;)

Patrick Button said...

Great post!  Eastern philosophies are relativistic by nature so it seems strange to include them in the development of an absolute moral statement.

TH2 said...

Believers in Eastern philosophy, from the Buddhist to the latest Oprahesque New age self-help guru, see what they advocate as "normal" - inwardism, negative attribution to material world, subjectivism, etc. When the self is the centre of "all that is", then everything is relative.

Anita Moore said...

Next up is Deepak Chopra. When translated into English, his name means "charlatan who bamboozles Anglo-Saxon soccer moms".That one made me laugh out loud.It's amazing the contortions and acrobatics people will put themselves through in order to avoid Catholicism.  And that one Way that people will not try is precisely the one that works.

TH2 said...

On the outside, I laugh whenever I come across the name Deepak Chopra. But on the inside, I weep.

Marco Mastromonaco said...

Hunter,..these guys are sounding the death rattle!,..Don't despair,..had lunch with a solid Bishop, and let me tell ya that the future 'Catholic' participation in these events will be ahemm,..limited!  God Bless!

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