Sunday, October 31, 2021

Where would the Devil hide that no one would think to look? A church

A little while back I published a bit about an old line church, which an old friend of mine attends. The first topic she raised was the newish pastor, an evangelist, talked a lot in his sermons about Jesus, as if the congregation never heard of Jesus. My friend then shared an email the pastor had sent to the congregation explaining why the church baptizes children. I told the parishioner how I felt she might do a personal intervention: stop attending church services, keep attending the Sunday school class she enjoys, and make waves in the Sunday school class. She decided to keep attending church services, and the pastor urged the congregation give more money to this well-endowed church. I reiterated the intervention I had told  her to try. I told her a malevolent entity had possessed the pastor and it was contagious and was infiltrating the entire congregation. I told her she did not speak out about the pastor asking for more money for the rich church. I asked her what Jesus in the Gospels would have done, had he been there? I told her of several disturbing ways the malevolent entity had attacked me. I didn't have a sense she accepted anything I told her. 

The attacks continued, even as I wondered out loud this morning to a friend, whether I should attend a service in that church today, sit in the back, say nothing, then leave? My friend hears ongoing in his sleep and when he is awake from angels whose names are found in the Bible. I asked him to write a report of his and my conversation this morning. Here is what he later emailed me:

Dream: A line of children were lined up at deep spot in a river and crazed Preacher was ranting and dunking each child an inordinately long time. Long enough to nearly drown them, maybe a little less. The children came up with almost corpse like eyes, no color at the iris except a ring of strangely glowing blue. Of course, that was allegory, or parable, relating to the drive in Christendom to baptize children and bind them to the religion and its churches.

You and I were discussing churches and you said you wondered if you should go sit quietly in the back of your friend's church today? I heard a rather distinct answer, "Why should this church be any different than the others?"

You then said that was your thought exactly: Why would it be any different than any other church? You said it was a long time since you'd been in any church that was not filled with a feeling of evil. I stated to you that caused the following statement when you finished any church- the voice of Michael saying, "It is their chosen temple, let them fix their chosen temple."

Sloan, you had two different interactions with the church that caused this dialogue. The first was around the issue of child baptisms and the trauma they cause children. Indeed you pointed out that you found, having attended a number of churches, a horrific experience for a child to have to sit through. My feeling was the same- I can actually remember going to church with my mother's father and he went to a Baptist Church. Sunday School and then the sermons were so bad, I asked to leave. I could not stay. I bolted. My other grandfather attended church and I asked to go with him, he told me it was not a place for children and that I needed to be older and be able to think for myself before I sure go to a church. We discussed the overall frightening experience of baptism and how in churches it was a hollow symbolic act that could cause a child a lot of trauma. Moreover you and I discussed a child  baptism rant sent out by the pastor of the church that began all this discussion. Many of his scriptural citations had nothing to do with supporting his argument. There was a lot of Preacher Hocus Pocus that bordered on sounding like Charles Manson had been the author, but that is only my interpretation.

The other incident with the church that began this "lovely"(reader: lovely is dripping with sarcasm) examination of churches had to do with money and churches. Sloan, you recounted to me how the individual who attended this church said that it was financially well endowed as it was. The individual, to the best of my understanding also said that a number of financially well off people attended there. Despite it being a financially flush, the pastor dedicated a sermon or a large portion of a sermon to saying that people should give more to the church. The individual and friends claimed to have been horrified at this demonstration of avarice by the preacher but they stayed silent and did nothing. Neither you nor I thought very much of this, in fact both of us agreed that not standing up for the church was a serious lapse in judgement and a parishioner's duty to that church. It would seem that the preacher forgot the part of the scripture where Jesus turned over the table of the money lenders.

I remember asking my paternal grandfather why he only attended church sporadically. He asked me if I believed that God made the Heavens and the Earth. I said yes. He told me that all of creation was thus a church and he didn't need to be in a building to be in church- we were always in church and God didn't just watch us on Sunday 10am-1pm; God was aware of us all the time. Moreover, Grandpa said that you could not behave as a shit, con, swindle, rob, and abuse people the rest of the week and get a free pass by entering a building on Sunday 10am-1pm and then participating in a scolding and social hour. That is what molded a lot of my views.

I do not believe attending formal church IS AUTOMATICALLY going to make you a better person. In fact, it may make you a worse person- but it is not a get out of jail free for all the things a person does while not in church. There maybe some Church that is a building that will make you a better person, but I sure haven't found it yet. Not by a long shot. The only church I'm aware that will make you a better person is to try to experience all of creation and endure a baptism like Christ spoke of, and it isn't a social club, it is a Baptism of Fire where you must face your behavior, be held accountable, and deal with the karma.

Friday, October 29, 2021

What if Joe Biden and Elizabeth Cheney form an alliance to save America?


American Historian Heather Cox Richardson's poignant letter about the 1929 Stock Market crash, followed by my comments and another reader's comment to me and my reply to that reader:

October 28, 2021

In 1929, October 28 was a Monday, the opening night for New York’s Metropolitan Opera. 

Four thousand glittering attendees thronged to the elegant building on foot or in one of a thousand limousines to see Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, the melodramatic story of an innocent French girl seduced by wealth, whose reluctance to leave her riches for true love leads to her arrest, deportation to the wilds of America, and tragic death. Flash bulbs blinded the crowd, gathered to see famous faces and expensive gowns, as photographers recorded the arrivals of the era’s social celebrities. 

No one toasting the beginning of the opera season that night knew they were toasting the end of an era.

At ten o’clock the next morning, when the opening gong sounded in the great hall of the New York Stock Exchange, men began to unload their stocks. So fast did trading go that by the end of the day, the ticker recording transactions ran two and a half hours late. When the final tally could be read, it showed that an extraordinary 16,410,030 shares had traded hands, and the market had lost $14 billion. The market had been uneasy for weeks before the twenty-ninth, but Black Tuesday began a slide that seemingly would not end. By mid-November, the industrial average was half of what it had been in September. The economic boom that had fueled the Roaring Twenties was over.

Once the bottom fell out of the stock market, the economy ground down. Manufacturing output dropped to levels lower than those of 1913. The production of pig iron fell to what it had been in the 1890s. Foreign trade dropped by $7 billion, down to just $3 billion. The price of wheat fell from $1.05 a bushel to 39 cents; corn dropped from 81 to 33 cents; cotton fell from 17 to 6 cents a pound. Prices dropped so low that selling crops meant taking a loss, so struggling farmers simply let them rot in the fields. By 1932, over one million people in New York City were unemployed. By 1933, the number of unemployed across the nation rose to 13 million people—one out of every four American workers. Unable to afford rent or pay mortgages, people lived in shelters made of packing boxes.

No one knew how to combat the Great Depression, but wealthy Americans were sure they knew what had caused it. The problem, they said, was that poor Americans refused to work hard enough and were draining the economy. They must be forced to take less. “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate,” Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon told President Herbert Hoover. “It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people.” 

Slash government spending, agreed the Chicago Tribune: lay off teachers and government workers, and demand that those who remain accept lower wages. Richard Whitney, a former president of the Stock Exchange, told the Senate that the only way to restart the economy was to cut government salaries and veterans’ benefits (although he told them that his own salary—which at sixty thousand dollars was six times higher than theirs—was “very little” and couldn’t be reduced).

President Hoover knew little about finances, let alone how to fix an economic crisis of global proportions. He tried to reverse the economic slide by cutting taxes and reassuring Americans that “the fundamental business of the country, that is, production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis.” But taxes were already so low that most folks would see only a few extra dollars a year from the cuts, and the fundamental business of the country was not, in fact, sound. When suffering Americans begged for public works programs to provide jobs, Hoover insisted that such programs were a “soak the rich” program that would “enslave” taxpayers, and called instead for private charity.

By the time Hoover’s first term limped to a close, Americans were ready to try a new approach to economic recovery. They refused to reelect Hoover and turned instead to New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who promised to use the federal government to provide jobs and a safety net to enable Americans to weather hard times. He promised a “New Deal” for the American people.

FDR’s New Deal employed more than 8.5 million people, built more than 650,000 miles of highways, built or repaired more than 120,000 bridges, and put up more than 125,000 public buildings. It provided a social safety net for ordinary Americans, providing unemployment and disability insurance, as well as aid to widows, orphans, and the elderly. It supported labor and regulated business, banking, and the stock market. It invested in infrastructure, rebuilding roads and bridges, providing electricity to rural areas, and building schools, post offices, airports, and hospitals around the country. When World War II broke out, the new system enabled the United States to defend democracy successfully against fascists.

The new system undercut fascism at home, too, where its adherents had been growing strong, and reminded Americans that when the government supported ordinary people, they could build a strong new future.

Sloan Bashinsky

I'm an Independent. The truly odd, rhymes with bizarre, thing about the folks who damn the Democrats as socialists, even communists, hell-bent to destroy America, is they pretend to ignore that America is a corporate, for the rich socialist state, which would not survive without the workers they don't want to have a living wage, decent health care, and enough money left over to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

The 1929 stock market crash was a screaming wake up call from heaven and earth that the very rich were not to be trusted with the welfare of everyone else, and yet look at how many Americans today, who are not very rich, nor even rich at all, have turned their lives and souls over to Donald Trump and what the Republican Party has become.

Last night, a mid-fifties woman friend, who views herself as a moderate Democrat, spoke well of Elizabeth Cheney. My friend said the Republicans could win back the White House by running Cheney. I said, I doubt the Republicans will take that leap. My friend said the radical left Democrats are way out of bounds and are causing a great deal of trouble for America, as well. I said I agreed.

My friend said Joe Biden is not doing very well, I said I agreed. She said she wondered if Biden will run for reelection? I said he's still in his first year, but I think he's too old to run for reelection, and too bad the Democrats didn't run him in 2016, instead of Hillary Clinton. I said I figured Obama and the Democrats had made a deal with Hillary, and Biden went along with it.

I said there is more in play than is being talked about. Malevolent supernatural forces have infiltrated both sides, but the Republican side is far more dangerous at this time, moving toward what happened in Nazi Germany. I suggested a book she might read about that: THE SPEAR OF DESTINY, by Trevor Ravenscroft. The book explains how Hitler became infected and enhanced, and the infection spread into his top aides and enhanced them, and they were aware of it. The infection spread into the general German population, who were not aware of it. The same is happening in Donald Trump, his top people and the rest of that side of the political aisle in America.

Biden is doing a better job than the vast majority of people could do given the problems he faces, starting with a knife edge majority in the Senate, and Manchin and Sinema making it even harder, and an incredibly slim majority in the House. From my reading, he has been working incredibly hard at meeting with everyone involved, and making incredibly tough political decisions. Anyone who thinks he's doing a lousy job isn't paying attention to the details. None of the other candidates could have done the job he's doing.

Biden inherited a huge mess on both sides of the aisle, and it looks to me he is trying very hard and means well, and I hope he makes good progresses. I wonder how it might go if Biden and Elizabeth Cheney officially joined forces and declared there is for more at stake than the Democrat and Republican Parties, and they will do their best to forge a new America?

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Christ baptism would exorcize Christendom nicely

I paid Facebook to publish in America yesterday's on baptizing children ...  Some comments, so far:

Baptisms of children are tantamount to cult tactics. This is a violation of the child’s right to determine her future free of ill founded “baptisms” which are brainwashings by the root of many evils, fundamentalist religions worshiping sky Gods and magical thinking. Let the child mature to make logical decisions based on a developed intellect, not Taliban like impositions by “elders” who are oftentimes misplaced.

Nothing wrong with that comment. Sounds straightforward and honest.

Catholic here - we baptize our children at or around 3 weeks old, why? Because we're ensuring that should anything happen that could cause the child's death, his/her soul will still go to heaven, they can chose later in their life if they don't want to be catholic

Do you really think of my beautiful, innocent 7-week-old baby boy, who died of sudden infant death syndrome in 1967, that his soul did not return to God because we had not had him baptized? If so, I would love to be there when you cross over and see that explained to you by Jesus 😀

In order to return to god, there has to be proof of a god in the first place. If you say Jesus is god, where is proof of that?

I'm telling u how it was explained to me by my mother..


Jamie, I do not say Jesus is God. God is God, all else flows from that, even the Devil. If you lived in my skin just one day, you would know for Eternity that God exists, and much more than that which science does not recognize but religions speak of but do not really know. 

Be real. We never know what’s really in the heart of an individual no matter the age. Do not refuse God for them. If they feel they have excepted the Lord then by all means let them be baptized. But not by u.

For sure, it's up to each person to accept God, or not, regardless of what religion they belong or don't belong to, but what does that have to do with ministers and parents having children baptized whether the children want to be baptized or not? Whether the children know yet or not what the Baptism of Jesus Christ actually is, which is far different from what John the Baptist was doing.

Let them decide when they are of age don't force it on them it works better that way.

Yes, but try to convince die-hard baptizers of that.

Brainwashed right away fuck that

That's how cults operate. Their thinking and behavior is that of addicts, and they are addicts, but they don't see it that way. I told my friend that it will take something like Paul's experience on the road to Damascus, when he was Saul of Tarsus, and what happened to Saul after that, which turned him into Paul, to get her pastor's attention. I could have added, and it will take something like that to get her and the entire congregation's attention. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation - Freedom From Religion Foundation

Children don't get to choose freedom from what their parents force onto them. By the time children are old enough to choose, are they so brainwashed they can't really choose? God is so much bigger than Christianity that it cannot be measured. Likewise, Jesus reported in the Gospels. 
Belief isn't a choice. Belief is what you are convinced of and you can be convinced for good or bad reasons. Religious brainwashing is when you accept indoctrination as normal belief that can never be questioned.

Yes, that is the way cults operate, blind devotion, adherence. Any belief has same effect, even though it is not derived from brainwashing. Although, there is so much brainwashing going on that it's not just in religion. 
I once believed God, Jesus, Angels, the Devil, Demon's existed, but I was not much into going to church. In my 45th year (I'm 79 now), I started having experiences that ended my belief and changed me to knowing all of that exists. And that is still unfolding today. Yet, there is no way I can prove any of it, but I have met and gotten to know a few people who have had similar experiences. We do not attend church, but we feel we always are in church. We see religion very differently from how we once viewed it. God is so much bigger than Christianity that it cannot be measured. Likewise, Jesus reported in the Gospels. We wish everyone got to experience what we experience. It would be a very different species, humanity. But that doesn't seem to be in the cards, and we engage what is put in front of us as we were trained and are directed and redirected by something a great deal bigger, smarter and wiser than us. 
God looks into people's hearts and minds, and observes what people do and don't do. It doesn't matter if a person is Christian, or Jew, or Muslim, or Buddhist, or New Age, or agnostic, or atheist. Jesus in the Gospels was God's messenger in that time, and even today. Had been other messengers, and there came later messengers. If Christianity got to experience the Christ baptism en masse, things would be very different.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

on baptizing children ...


A friend asked me what I thought about this below from her pastor:

Be Very Sure, No Change Is Random 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By this point, some of you are probably wondering, "Is this new guy going to change everything? Doesn't he know our history? Doesn't he appreciate our traditions?" Well, "No, yes, and yes."
But the truth is, those are reasonable questions. There have been a few changes made to "the way we've always done things." And I'm sure that over time there will be other changes as well. But be very sure, no change is random. It is always important to consider why we are doing something and to ask if the way in which we do it is consistent with why we do it. The method needs to match the message. How we do something in worship, or anywhere else in the church, should reinforce rather than contradict the message of what we are doing. The baptism this past Sunday is a prime example. 
When we bring a child forward for baptism, it is only because God has promised to be God not just to us but also to our children (Gen 17:7) and because the promise of salvation in Jesus Christ is for us and for our children (Acts 2:39). Trusting in God’s promises, we bring forward our children from within the community of faith to be baptized and claimed as part of the next generation of the family of the Triune God. During baptism, the congregation claims the baptized children as its own as it takes vows to help nurture them in the Christian faith by teaching them through word and example what it means to be a part of this family as it welcomes them into the life of Jesus. 
So rather than having the parents and child come from outside of the worshiping community, receive the baptism, and then be sent back outside the worshiping community that has just claimed the child as one of its own, we had the entire family take part in worship, step forward from within the community to present their child, and then be received back once again into the worshiping community, which better reflects what we say and believe about baptism. 
Everything we do in worship proclaims something about our theology. We need to make sure we are proclaiming and enacting a message that is faithful and consistent with what we believe. And so there may be other changes that take place along the way. After all, Jesus is at work in our midst, always calling all of us to the new thing that he is doing among us. I hope that we can all give each other some grace and be open to the Holy Spirit's work in and through IPC in the days and years ahead.
I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!
In Christ, 

My reply to my friend:

My thoughts on the baptism email ...

The Genesis quote was a covenant God made with Abraham, which had nothing to do with baptism, and the Acts quote is Peter telling Jews to accept the Christ baptism, which John the Baptist and Jesus said in the Gospels is in fire and spirit.

Small children are not ready to be in a church service, their minds are not yet developed enough, and unless they are infants and are unaware of what is being said, making them sit through a church service is child abuse. I learned that from being made by my mother to sit through church services when I was 10. 

If the child is an infant and starts crying during a church service - wonder why? - the mother stays in the nave with the screaming child, or she muzzles the rightfully-screaming child, or leaves with the child and delivers the rest of the congregation and the minister from the noise?

Jesus never baptized a child in the Gospels, and John the Baptist didn't baptize children. Did Paul? Peter? Any of the other disciples? 

I suppose a covenant between parents and a congregation and God to raise their child in a church is very good for churches' continued existence. Likewise, a similar covenant by parents to raise their children in Christianity. But then, did Jesus build even one church out of wood, stone and mortar? I don't recall reading in the Bible that he ever did. He was always in church.

Now if child baptism is a covenant to raise children in the ways of Jesus, then that is an excellent covenant. But to raise a child to believe all he/she had to do to gain eternal life, as opposed to dying and burning forever in hell, is to accept Jesus as Lord and savior and God's only begotten son, who was crucified, dead and buried, and rose again on the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES ... Well, I don't recall Jesus ever said that in the Gospels about being saved by him.

Being baptized by Jesus is a real ordeal, as his disciples learned; as Paul, who was not a disciple, learned; as other people learned. Heck, those people, like, say, Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi, were roasted alive, like Jesus' disciples and Paul were roasted alive. Roasted many times, actually, by something over which they had no control.

I wonder if your minister talks about that kind of baptism on Sunday, or at any time with his congregants? I wonder if he himself ever got roasted in that way? I wonder, because I think if he had gotten roasted in that way, he would be an entirely different person than the pastor who wrote that letter to his congregants.

At some point in time, children in Christian families need to be prepared for what walking with Jesus, thus being saved by him, actually is. For that to happen, children's parents and ministers need to have experienced it themselves. Did Jesus not say in the Gospels, the way is difficult and the gate to life is narrow and few enter therein? Many are called, but few are chosen?

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Truth has many ways of coming back and biting Social in the ass - take Mexico and America

Lead into American historian Heather Richardson Cox letter:

October 21, 2021

Last night, the “Trump Media and Technology Group” (TMTG) issued a press release announcing the creation of a “rival to the liberal media consortium” which would “fight back against the “Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America.” The new social media site was called “Truth Social,” and his team advertised it as the first piece of a media empire that would take its place beside the leaders in the field. Rather than a “tweet,” a statement on the new site would be a “truth,” and the terms of service prohibited criticism of the former president.

Click this link to see the full letter:

Mostly, truth and Donald Trump are mutually exclusive, and "Truth Social", which does not permit criticism of Truth Social or Trump, is hilarious and as Big Brother as it gets.

However, from Heather's letter:

"So, for example, we recently saw the story that in the midst of the early days of the pandemic, Trump adviser Stephen Miller went around then–defense secretary Mark Esper to try to send 250,000 troops to seal the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Aside from anything else, this would have dramatically weakened the U.S. around the world.

"But it was at least not as immediately damaging as the suggestion of then-president Trump, who wanted to launch military attacks on Mexican drug cartels within Mexico, an idea that he backed away from only when advisers noted that this would be seen as a U.S. attack on Mexico, which is our largest trading partner."

Bill Clinton and Al Gore promoted NAFTA, while Ross Perot was flat against it, because it would move a lot of American industry to Mexico where labor was much cheaper, and Americans would lose jobs, and that's what NAFTA did.

After Trump was elected, he adjusted NAFTA more in America's favor, but still it allows large American companies to harvest cheap labor in Mexico (and Canada) and make huge profits that do not get taxed like profits made in America.

Mexico being a major trading partner of America, for example, needs to be tempered with that reality.

Likewise, that reality needs to be tempered with the reality of Mexican drug cartels being awful for America.

Likewise, those two realities need to be tempered with the reality that immigration from Mexico is actually an invasion.

So, why not use the American military, instead of spending billion$$$ on a wall, to stop the invasion? Why not use the American military at the southern border, instead of where it never should have gone in the first place? Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.? Did Americans learn nothing from the Vietnam war?

Why not use the American military to swoop in on Mexican drug cartels under the excuse the Mexican government has not the resources nor perhaps even the will do do it. Isn't that why America invaded Afghanistan, which harbored Osama bin Laden?

President Trump and now President Biden allow the American military to make drone strikes overseas. But it is not okay drone strike Mexican drug cartels, which are poisoning America with their products? Are the cartels not terrorists?

Or, Congress legalizes and taxes manufacture, distribution and sale of street drugs, like it does booze and tobacco, and domestic American companies legally put the Mexican drug cartels out of business.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Truth ain't particularly social if it's truth

About a week ago, I republished Spiritual Alchemy has been really hard work for me and some people I know in a Reddit spiritual alchemy forum, and this happened:

User avatar
level 3


•Posted byu/Puzzleheaded_Drop_81

1 day ago

Spiritual Alchemy has been really hard work for me and some people I know

General ✨

Sorry, this post has been removed by the moderators of r/spirituality.

Moderators remove posts from feeds for a variety of reasons, including keeping communities safe, civil, and true to their purpose.

I then was unable to post anything new at other Reddit places.

I read online last night that President Trump's heralded "Truth Social" counter to his being banned from Twitter and Facebook was hacked before it was launched and "Truth Social" does not permit criticism of "Truth Social" and President Trump.

Oct. 21, 2021, 2:02 PM CDT

By Allan Smith
Former President Donald Trump pitched his new social media platform, Truth Social, as a haven for free speech and a counterweight to the big tech giants that have in recent years put a greater emphasis on moderating content users post to their sites.

But as the platform's terms of service agreement makes clear, not all speech will be permitted. Specifically, users are prohibited from speaking ill of the platform itself or its leadership.

Announced Wednesday, Truth Social will be part of the Trump Media & Technology Group, which also plans to launch a subscription video service for what it called "non-woke" programming. The company said it plans to begin a beta launch next month with a nationwide rollout early next year. 

Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday that the new site will be "a platform for everyone to express their feelings." 

But as stated in the agreement users must submit to when creating a profile, Truth Social says users cannot "disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site." There are also clauses stating that users cannot "harass, annoy, intimidate, or threaten any of our employees or agents engaged in providing any portion of the Site to you" and that Truth Social reserves "the right to remove, reclaim, or change a username you select if we determine, in our sole discretion, that such username is inappropriate, obscene, or otherwise objectionable." 

On Apple's App Store, where Truth Social is available for preorder, the platform is pitched as encouraging "an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology," and states that varying political viewpoints are "welcome." 

Nicholas Weaver, a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, told NBC News moderation decisions will greatly influence what kind of platform Truth Social becomes.

"If you don't moderate heavily, you will end up with 8chan and a festering fever swamp of crap, and if you do, what is the advantage over Twitter?" he said. 
Banned from platforms such as Twitter and Facebook following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Trump has for months been rumored to be seeking the creation of his own platform to rebuild his social media presence. He has also sued Facebook, Twitter and Google to try and force them to reinstate him and some of his supporters.

Just hours after Wednesday's announcement, Twitter users hacked into what they believed to be a beta version of the social platform, creating mock accounts for Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. Pranksters additionally posted a photo of a defecating pig on the fake Trump page. That website,, went offline soon after. It was not immediately clear whether that site is connected to Truth Social, and a representative for the social media platform did not respond to questions from NBC News.

"Letting it open was exactly asking for pig manure," Weaver said. 
On its App Store preview, the program looks virtually identical to Twitter. Messages on the site are called "Truths," which look similar to tweets and can be reposted by other users, much like a retweet. The site's code shows it utilizing a mostly unmodified version of Mastodon, an open-source software that allows for people to run a self-made social platform. 
Trump's foray into the social media world comes as conservatives in recent years have sought to launch their own social media and video platforms to counteract as a response to the moderation they face on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube., Gab, Parler and GETTR are just some of the websites that have become a haven in some conservative circles.

GETTR, run by former Trump spokesman Jason Miller, had sought to bring Trump on board to bolster its standing on the right. 

"Congratulations to President Trump for re-entering the social media fray! Now Facebook and Twitter will lose even more market share," Miller said in a statement. "President Trump has always been a great deal-maker, but we just couldn’t come to terms on a deal."

On waking this morning, I saw something published by The Guardian, which I'm sure won't be discussed in the Holocaust never happened forums. Apologies for some of the text formatting, best I could do with copy and paste.

‘Never sold a painting in his life – but died worth $100m’: the incredible story of Boris Lurie

The difficult, devastating work of the Holocaust survivor turned painter is being celebrated at a new exhibition at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage

Roll Call in Concentration Camp by Boris Lurie. Some of the paintings evoke a true dread.
Roll Call in Concentration Camp by Boris Lurie. Some of the paintings in the exhibition evoke a true dread. Photograph: Courtesy of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation

  • "He never sold a painting in his life, lived in hovels, yet died worth about $100m,” says Anthony Williams, chairman of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation, at a press preview for Boris Lurie: Nothing to Do but Try. “He was,” he later says with a sigh, “a complicated man.”

The paradox of Boris Lurie’s living conditions is just one contour in the tragic and fascinating life of this painter, illustrator, sculptor, diarist, co-founder of the No!art movement, and concentration camp survivor, whose work is on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in lower Manhattan.

The exhibition is the first contemporary art show in the museum’s 24-year history. The beauty and horror found in the nearly 100 pieces, most of which were created at a furious pace in 1946, and have since been called Lurie’s “War Series”, find an appropriate setting beside the museum’s core collection of Holocaust testimony and Judaica, a memorial garden designed by Andy Goldsworthy, and the home of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the longest continuously producing Yiddish theater company in the world, and longest continuously producing theater company of any language in the United States.

“This is a different kind of testimony,” Museum president Jack Kliger says, of the oftentimes nightmarish and disturbing images on display.

Lurie was born in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, in 1924, but his family relocated to Riga in Latvia when he was two. The Nazis occupied the city when he was 16 and, after a short time in the Riga ghetto, the people closest to him– his mother, grandmother, sister, and girlfriend – were among the 25,000 people murdered in the Rumbula forest.

Untitled, a Lurie self-portrait.
Untitled, a Lurie self-portrait. Photograph: Courtesy of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation

Young Boris and his father were forced to work as slave laborers in factories (including for Lenta, making luxury goods for the Nazis), sent to the Salaspils concentration camp near Riga, then, via a treacherous boat ride, to Stutthof outside Danzig, and finally the Magdeburg satellite camp at Buchenwald. Here they worked as laborers until the camps were liberated. After the war Boris worked in the United States Counter Intelligence Corps, then emigrated to New York City.

He immediately threw himself into his work, even though he had almost no formal artistic training. The central section of Nothing to Do but Try – a phrase found in the artist’s memoir concerning his own autodidactism – includes a series of hastily drawn sketches torn from notebooks, many of which, curator Sara Softness says, were kept private for most of his life. The breadth of the assembled miscellany even includes writing on “a napkin stained with soy sauce”.

The images are flashes of remembrance from his late adolescence interrupted by Nazi atrocities: buildings ablaze, armed troops, forced transit. One finds recurring themes, like elongated arms (which can suggest a Hitler salute, but also a loved one reaching out to make contact), faceless men with an X scratched on their backs, and eerie, disquieting trees with knotty branches that look ready to pluck someone off the ground.

The paintings from this period evoke a true dread. Roll Call in Concentration Camp, with its dark swirling sky and hell-like rust-color ground, features a line-up of tormented souls, their faces distorted beyond human recognition. (One gazing directly at the viewer almost looks like the classic Max Schreck Nosferatu.)

Portrait of My Mother Before Shooting
Lurie’s Portrait of my Mother Before Shooting. Photograph: Courtesy of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation

Similarly striking – as if the title weren’t enough – is Portrait of My Mother Before Shooting, rendered in a beige monotone, just vague enough to be out of reach. Memorabilia in the exhibit suggests that she worked hardest to keep the family together despite all odds, and even held a dinner party the night before the Lurie women were killed. Next to the painting Untitled (37 Ludzas Street), the family’s last home (and close to that of his girlfriend), there is the added comment that for the rest of Lurie’s life he “always hated banquets”.

Some of the work that followed War Series in this exhibit includes a mesmerizing untitled painting from 1970 that works in dialogue with the portrait of his mother. Accented with light blue, the human face is blurry and distorted, alien and skeletal, likely signifying the dimming memory of an adult clinging to the last recollection of a loved one taken from him while still young.

There are also large photographs from when Lurie visited Riga in 1975, and visited the site of the Rumbula massacre. The images are a little off-kilter, supposedly due to his hands shaking as he walked through the ghostly area. The most recent work in the show is called Ax Series, a collection of wooden stumps and old tools, likely a reflection of the work he and his father did to survive in the Nazi camps.

Somewhat glossed over in this exhibit is Lurie’s work with the No!art group, a radical and confrontational movement that began in 1959. Its exhibitions had memorable titles like The Doom Show and The Vulgar Show. As Anthony Williams of the Lurie Art Foundation boasted to me, there was some difficulty getting Lurie’s Shit Sculpture through customs to a recent show in Berlin.

Liberation of Magdeburg
Lurie’s Liberation of Magdeburg. Photograph: Courtesy of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation

Where Lurie fits in the 20th century art scene is still something that is being defined with the aid of the Foundation, which was created in 2009, one year after the artist’s death. Though he lived in squalor – his ratty East Village studio is described as “my New York surrogate Riga ghetto” – Lurie was, in fact, extremely wealthy at the end of his life. At first this was due to some investments in New York real estate. “He had a piece of the Ansonia,” Williams says, referring to the gorgeous apartment complex on the Upper West Side which, for a time, housed the legendary Continental Baths in its basement. Later he got involved in penny stocks, focusing on mobile technology in third world markets. This proved incredibly successful, hence the great fortune at the time of his death.

Not once during his career did he sell “a substantial” piece of art, and he even dissuaded buyers when a deal would come close to closing, according to Williams. He slept in the day and worked at night, and some of his friends wondered if he was trying, in a way, to recreate how he lived at Buchenwald.

“This exhibition,” curator Sara Softness says, “really considers his devastating emotional life and how he exited in the world – all inescapably informed by his trauma.”

  • Boris Lurie: Nothing To Do But Try is on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust through 29 April 2022