Friday, November 20, 2015

PCG Compared with the 14 Points of Fascism

Back in 2003 Dr. Lawrence Britt examined various fascist regimes (Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Spain under Franco and Indonesia under Suharto) and concluded that there were fourteen points of fascism common among those regimes. (Linking is not an endorsement about everything on that web page.)

No doubt there is a wide range of views regarding authoritarianism of a right wing variety but for now let us use these fourteen points to discuss PCG.

It should be mentioned that Dr. Britt is talking about nation states. PCG is not a nation state, but a religious organization. So some of the points mentioned here (taxes, military funding, etc.) do not perfectly apply to PCG on that account. But disturbingly the attitudes behind the actions described in the fourteen points of fascism seem to well describe PCG to a frightening degree.

Let us take a look.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
It is not possible for me to verify if PCG uses nationalist symbols and songs the way Dr. Britt describes here. However PCG is certainly quite nationalistic and exploit nationalist feelings among their readers in their politically focused writings. In the context of PCG it is certainly true that the PCG 1% quite often appeal to nationalism. The attitude behind such actions seems to well describe PCG.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. 
PCG's leaders have indeed showed disdain for human rights. This may be seen in the following example.

In 2009 the late Ron Fraser complained about how the parents of a British soldier who died during a training exercise. Instead of sympathizing with the parents in this severe and terrible distress Fraser chose to vilify those unfortunate parents and even insinuate they were traitors.

Disgustingly Fraser even "wonders" if Nazi tyranny extending into Britain would have been such a bad thing.
A recent decision by a British court will have Britain’s enemies all over the planet in stitches of laughter. In May, the court upheld a case brought against the Ministry of Defense by the parents of a British soldier who died of heatstroke on the battlefield.

Thus, the nation once renowned for the code of honor within its regimental tradition and the lion-like bravery of its fighting forces in battle is reduced to the image of a silly dove ....

One has to wonder if such a judicial attitude had prevailed during World War II—in which British soldiery often entered battle grossly underequipped—whether the rule of the tyrant who could have overwhelmed Britain would have produced results any worse than the present tyranny of the feminist, homophile, politically correct thinking that dominates the British judiciary. ...

Had the parents of just one airman who fought in the Battle of Britain—who was deprived of adequate rest and the basic comforts of life, often in freezing conditions, fighting to save his nation from the Nazi aggressor while squeezed into the tiny cockpit of his Spitfire—even considered bringing such a charge against the Ministry of Defense back then, they would have been laughed to scorn and called traitors to boot! (Ron Fraser, 'Human Rights' in Warfare?, August 2009.)
Since Fraser seems to "wonder" if the extension of Nazi tyranny into Britain would have been so bad let us remember what happened in the Nazi occupied British Channel Islands.
A small number of foreign and British Jews lived on the Channel Islands during the [Nazi] occupation. Most of the Channel Island's Jews evacuated in June 1940, but officials did not permit foreign Jews to leave for Britain. Three Jewish women of German and Polish nationality, Therese Steiner, Auguste Spitz, and Marianne Grünfeld, had fled Central Europe to Guernsey in the 1930s but had been unable to leave Guernsey as part of the evacuation in 1940 because they were excluded by UK law. They were deported to France in April 1942 to be later shipped to Auschwitz where they died. (Wikipedia.)
What a terrible thing Fraser should say to idly "wonder" if Nazi tyranny over Britain would have been so bad. It is so shameful and abhorrent. How dare Ron Fraser should say such a shameful words.

So, getting back to the main topic, we see that the point mentioned above, the disdain of human rights, is true of PCG.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. 
PCG often vilify and fear mongers about many types of peoples. Germans, Catholics, African Americans, Muslims, Palestinians, Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Japanese even to this day, immigrants from Latin America, feminists, homosexuals, transgenders, etc. PCG even teaches that African Americans are fated to launch a wave of riots against the white majority. This supposedly future event PCG emotively calls a "race war". This point appears to be true of PCG.
4. Supremacy of the Military Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. 
Now PCG does not control government funding. However it is true that PCG tends to talk about crises involving other countries far away from the United States a lot. It is true that PCG sometimes talk as though they want the United States to go to war. Ironically PCG members are taught not to serve in the armed forces. Domestic priorities are neglected in that manner by PCG. The attitude behind this point of fascism seems to describe PCG to some degree.
5. Rampant Sexism The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution. 
It is true that PCG presents itself as the guardian of family. PCG belittles unapproved initiative by female PCG members by accusing such women of running "upside-down families". Joel Hilliker write that the type of idealized families he promotes are now "so rare". This denigration of the vast majority of heterosexual relationships is a license for PCG's 1% to order their followers how to structure their family lives. This point is true of PCG.

Both abortion and homosexuality are condemned as sinful by PCG's leaders.

The point above seems to well describe PCG.
6. Controlled Mass Media Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common. 
PCG does not control the media. But they have a media outlet with which they present their narrow views and messages to the world. Relative to PCG members this point can apply to PCG.  
7. Obsession with National Security Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. 
Is this why PCG constantly talk about national security issue? They are using such talk to keep PCG members motivated to remain under PCG's authority? This point seems to be true of PCG.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions. 
PCG's leadership indeed use religion to demand members pay three tithes to them. This point applies to PCG. But it must be mentioned that any opposition to such a system on religious grounds would no doubt be opposed by such an authoritarian system. So one could say that a fascist regime co-ops religion by promoting collaborators and suppressing those religious groups that would oppose the fascist regime.
9. Corporate Power is Protected The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. 
As a religious organization PCG is no position to legally protect corporate elites. But even here the attitude behind this point of fascism seems to apply to PCG as may be seen in a previous post discussing a 2005 article by Joel Hilliker
Hilliker even seems to think that "cursing the rich business leaders" some of whom helped plunge America into the global financial crisis in 2007-8 is wrong.
Cursing the leaders, speaking ill of the government, even cursing the rich business leaders—these are hallmarks of American democracy. Any mistake the president or other public official makes, the press attacks with piranha-like ferocity. The lead-up to elections are particularly brutal, as people on all sides smear candidates and candidates smear one another.
Is democracy really more godly than a monarchy?
In recent years so many Americans have badly suffered because of decisions made by some of these "rich business leaders". It is morally astounding how Hilliker chooses to sympathize with "the rich business leaders", some of whom have had such a terrible effect upon so many Americans including, no doubt, PCG members. (Source.)
So we see that even this point above, protecting corporate power, appears to apply to PCG.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed. 
PCG have also condemns workers' unions. HWA did the same as well. This point applies to PCG.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked. 
This is true for PCG. Universities are often condemned by PCG, and the other COGs as well, because they teach things contrary to Armstrongite dogma. Also PCG have their own unaccredited College so they are motivated to get their members to go to their college and not any other.

Also PCG constantly vilify and denigrate various works of art they deplore. Often they say that those works of art contradict PCG's dogmas about how the world should be structured.

This point applies to PCG.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations. 
Since PCG has no police force this does not strictly apply to PCG. But they are quite fixated on issues of crime and punishment. The attitude described seems to well describe PCG's attitude.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. 
Rampant cronyism? It is hard to verify such assertions without being inside PCG.
14. Fraudulent Elections Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
In PCG there is no election. Rather it is insisted that (PCG's) God instituted one man rule for the church and that Gerald Flurry is that one man. It is insisted that one must follow this one man to follow God.

It is quite disturbing how so many of these fourteen points of fascism seem to accurately describe PCG. It appears that PCG share attitudes and traits common to various fascist regimes.

Personally I doubt I will call PCG fascist in the future because I feel the possibility of misunderstanding is too great if one used that word to describe PCG consistently. But it is worth looking at a list like this to find another way to view matters regarding PCG.

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