The Foreign Secretary, Mr Jack Straw, was mocked in
the Commons for his claim that the EU Constitution, “significantly strengthens
the powers of national parliaments,” and that it, “does not give any new powers
to the EU”.
The Government white paper, A Constitutional Treaty
for the EU, appeared at 9.30
am on September 9, giving MPs
a mere two hours to digest its complexities before the debate in the Commons.
The Foreign Secretary reminded the House
that the Inter-Governmental Conference on the Constitution of the EU would
commence in Rome on 4 October.
The accession of ten new Member States will create a union of 25 States with
more than 450 million people in one unified market. The Foreign Secretary
argued that it would give Britain greater trading opportunities and more jobs, that it would improve
cross-border policing and security measures and would lessen the chances of
war. The problem was how such a vast body could function effectively.
He claimed that the proposed EU Constitution, “will
deliver a more efficient European Union”. He insisted that Britain’s interests had been largely met, that, “it
significantly strengthens the powers of national parliament,” and that it,
“does not give any new powers to the EU”.
Laughed to scorn
The lie was given to these claims by Mr
Michael Ancram (Devizes). He laughed to scorn the Prime Minister’s statement,
echoed by Mr Straw, that the proposed reforms, “do not alter the fundamental
constitutional relationship between Member States and the Union”. He asked who the Government
thought they were kidding. No one in Europe believed that.
The treaty was “a step change along the route to full
political union,” and the Government was trying to hide its true intentions.
He said that contrary to Mr Straw’s professed belief in nation states, what was
emerging was, “a political entity with all the key elements of a state”.
Mr Ancram said that the European leaders believed that
the text was unlikely to be changed. The Government’s ‘red lines’ that it
would not cross had been downgraded to matters on which it would ‘insist’.
‘Insisting’ would be meaningless unless they used their veto, which Mr Ancram
predicted that they would not. Anyway most of what the Government was
insisting on had been pretty well conceded already. The Foreign Minister,
“should insist on removing the explicit primacy of EU law” if the Government
was sincere, he would also insist on striking out the European diplomatic
service and a series of other proposals that would lead to a European State. He said it was “not so much a White
Paper as a white flag”. He complained that the White Paper was originally
billed as a bold negotiating stance but, “Instead we find a timid attempt to
soften us up for eventual acceptance of the draft text more or less as it
stands”. Mr Ancram pressed for a referendum.
Mr Heathcoat-Amory noted that the Government had
tabled over 200 amendments to the draft constitution and only got 11. He said,
“Will the government drop this absurd strategy of fastening-on a handful of red
line issues on which they think they can claim victory, ignoring all other
objections that they made in the Convention and which they are now carefully
In the course of the debate, one MP after another
pressed for a referendum. Mr Straw argued that the UK
held referendums only when creating or joining a new institution, not on
reforming an existing one. This did not satisfy his critics who believed the
country was indeed joining a new institution, namely an undemocratic European Superstate.
“According to the
Government, direct taxation is a so-called ‘red line’ issue over which it is
simply not prepared to surrender … The reality is that the line has already
been breached: the European Court of Justice and the European Commission are
already winning skirmish after skirmish in this allegedly sacrosanct area of
national sovereignty.” Christopher Arkell writing in eurofacts.
prosecuted to silence criticism of Islam
Two Christian pastors, one a fugitive
from Pakistan’s notorious
blasphemy laws, have been taken to court in Australia after making critical statements about Islam.
The well-funded Islamic Council of Victoria has laid a
complaint of religious vilification against Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot under
the Victoria Racial and Religious Vilification Act. The case is due to be
heard in mid-October 2003.
The case will set an important precedent in Australia. Many evangelical Christians fear that the case is
being used to stifle all criticism of Islam, in effect bringing in a
pseudo-blasphemy law to protect Islam. Similar legislation against religious
‘hate speech’ is currently before parliament in both New Zealand and the UK.
The irony of Daniel Scot
The charge against Scot is ironic. He is
a Pakistani Christian, one of the first victims of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. Scot had been warned that a charge
would be brought against him unless he converted to Islam. He refused and
explained that his salvation could come only from Jesus Christ. Daniel was
forced to flee to Australia
with his family. Seventeen years later, Scot again finds himself accused of a
similar crime in Australia and
he faces this accusation from three white Australian converts to Islam who,
unannounced, attended the March 2002 seminar (intended for the religious
instruction of Christians only – and as such should fall outside the remit of
On complaint is that Pastor Daniel Scot
mentioned in a seminar that Muslim fundamentalists have the responsibility to
“kill” apostates from Islam. This is cited as unlawful vilification of Muslim
believers, despite the fact that the death penalty for apostates from Islam is
an extremely well documented part of Islamic law (shari’a) and is well
attested by Muslim sources. Nevertheless it seems that merely drawing
attention to this problem may be considered vilification of Islam. In future
converts to Christianity may have to suffer in silence and those who seek to
draw attention to their plight may face prosecution for offending Muslim
‘Slay the Pagans’
However next time Qur’anic verses such as
the famous sword verse, “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight
them and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them and beleaguer
them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem,” are quoted in a mosque,
there may be anonymous Pagans in the audience who take offence and bring a case
against them for ‘unlawful vilification’. (Barnabas Fund)
Slovakia education bill favours Vatican
The government of Slovakia has proposed a pact with the Vatican whereby religious education would
be introduced in state schools starting in the earliest years.
This is part of a larger package of agreements with
the Vatican. Critics accuse the agreement of giving
undue preference to Roman Catholic teaching in school. The measure is widely
seen as consolidating the enormous influence of the church in a country, where
60 per cent of the population are Roman Catholic.
The government has already signed an agreement with
the Vatican providing for “freedom of conscience” in Slovakia. This gives doctors the right to refuse on religious
grounds to conduct abortions, gives judges the right to refuse on similar
grounds to grant divorces, teachers the right to refuse to conduct classes in
contradiction to their beliefs and employees the right to refuse to work on
forget the EU Commission still meets in secret’ – Dr Ian Paisley MP MEP
Speaking at Westminster in July on the issue of the proposed European Constitution, and
arguing for a referendum, Dr Ian Paisley said, “Europe claims supreme and total power over us all, and it will give us the
handout that it wants to give”.
He continued, “Mr Prodi will decide what
we do. That is the real issue before us. Fewer decisions of any significance
will be determined at national level if the new Convention takes over.
Parliament will increasingly become a talking shop, rubber-stamping decisions
already taken in Brussels.
There is no effective way of controlling what the EU does in our name. The
Convention proposes no effective, EU-wide democratic method of allowing the
people to choose what policies they want. Indeed, power will be centralised
within the Commission, which, we should not forget, still meets in secret.”
He added, “This is no substitute for the
democratic system that has been built up over centuries in our nation and
elsewhere. The real power of the EU is the Commission, which we do not
elect and whose members we cannot remove. This power will increase greatly
if the constitutional convention’s proposals go unchallenged.
“The EU itself is not a democracy, even if
its member states are. It has always been a bureaucratic organisation, albeit
with the ornaments of democracy. Instead of dealing with its democratic
shortfall, this Constitution is strengthening that shortfall and the democratic
Governments are being pressed not to prolong the
Inter-governmental Conference on the EU Constitution but to close it in
December 2003. All 25 Member States will then sign it on Schuman Day (9 May 2004).
EU ‘Admits Protestants and Roman
Catholics but excludes Orthodox and Muslims’
In a statement, the WCC warned against the emergence
of new divisions in Europe based on fault lines between eastern and
western Christian cultures, and between Christianity and Islam.
Peter Weiderud, director of the WCC’s Commission of
the Churches on International Affairs, said that when the EU agreed last year
on enlargement almost all predominantly Roman Catholic and Protestant applicant
countries were accepted, but mainly Orthodox and Muslim nations, with the
exception of Cyprus, were told they must wait.
The Spiritual Time Machine Part 1:
THE HOLD OF EVERY FOUL SPIRIT
By Dr Clive Gillis
BCN readers cannot be expected to be familiar with
the Fortean Times.
Charles Fort was a solitary man obsessed with the
supernatural. He was convinced that paranormal phenomena exist which science
ignores. Fort died in 1932 but his ideas have revived with the New Age
movement. The December 2002 issue of The Fortean Times carried a
digitised, full colour image of John Paul II gripping what appeared to be a
photographic image of Christ. It was of the bearded, agonised, upturned-eyes
type so common in Roman Catholic art. The Pope is busy applying a lighted
match to one corner and watching it burn with some satisfaction. The headline
runs: “The Jesus Photo – The Time Travelling Exorcist and the Evidence the Vatican Tried to Suppress”.
It will probably come as no surprise to our readers
to learn that Roman priests practice spiritualism. But that this most
preposterous tale of a Jesus photograph should provoke such paranoia in the Vatican would be laughable if it were not true. Rome is once again shown to be “the hold of every foul
spirit”, including that of the psychic diviner. And of course the Jesuits are
involved. This is in the best traditions of the part-scientific, part-mystic
Collegio Romano, the Jesuit university of the counter reformation, situated in
It is essential that this story of modern, potty
priests does not just tickle our ears. We must see behind it an evil reality
that goes back through papal Rome to pagan Rome and then on down through the metals of Nebuchadnezzar’s image to
ancient Babylon. It brings the witchcraft of Babylon into the 21st century. Roman priests
are in effect mediums and little different from those who tried to interpret
the king’s dream long ago.
2003 seems to be another busy year on the conference
circuit for plump, bald, bespectacled, French Jesuit priest, Fr Francois
Brune. By the 9th of February he had already spoken upon the
Mysticism of the Orient in Paris, and again at the Festival of the
Frontiers of Science at Cavaillon. He had also addressed the Mystics of the
Beyond at Kayersberg on the subject of The Beyond – about which Brune is
an expert. The rest of the year is equally full of lectures on the same theme
all over France.
Fr Brune is also a best selling author in the field
of Spiritualism, with many of his earlier offerings being reprinted. Morts
Nous Parlent (‘The dead speak to us’), A l’ecoute de L`audela (‘Listening
to the beyond’) and Christ and Karma, are sufficient to indicate where
he, or rather the spirits he communicates with, are coming from. What makes
Brune so dangerous is his pseudo scientific approach which enables him to
appeal to a wide audience. Further, with the bastions of the Protestant faith
broken down by ecumenism, this menace could now easily spread. Brune has also
produced a scientific-looking Encyclopaedia of Extraordinary Phenomena
which gives a cloak of respectability to his views.
Up until now, Spiritualism has been pretty well
excluded from non-charismatic Protestantism. Christ so clearly vetoes such
communication with the spirit world in the parable of the rich man of Lazarus
that this truth is easily taught by faithful ministers. The first major
Spiritualist, the Swede Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1722), was adamant that his
movement must remain within the churches. So was the Rev John Clowes, Vicar of
St John’s Manchester, who was himself a medium. He
translated Swedenborg into English and was an early promoter of spiritualism in
the Church of England. However, despite Satan’s intentions, spiritualism
inevitably became a separate movement, while the true Christians stood firm.
Popular Spiritualism arose from the activity of the
Fox sisters in a cottage in the little village of Hydesville near New York on 31st
March 1848. Awakened by
the “raps of Hydesville” they found themselves able to communicate with a
murdered peddler whose body had been disposed of in their cellar. Again this
movement mushroomed, but it was quite distinct from Protestant Christianity.
Interestingly, as more glamorous mediums superseded the backwoods Fox sisters,
one sister sought solace in alcohol and the other in Roman Catholicism, both
dying in obscurity. The movement gained its pseudo scientific input from one
Andrew Jackson Davis from near New
York. He used and then
eclipsed these wretched ladies.
The New Vatican mystery
As a change from materialisations and ectoplasms on
the French circuit, multilingual Fr Brune went to Italy at the end of April to speak on a rather different subject, Il
mistero del cronovisore – The mystery of the chronovisor. Jesuit
Fr Brune might well have an interest in talking about this subject, but the Vatican certainly does not. His books on Spiritualism are
constantly reprinted, yet almost from the moment he published his Le Nouveau
Mystere du Vatican (The New Vatican Mystery) in May 2002, which deals with
the chronovisor, the book became unobtainable.
The French, like the Italians, love Vatican sleaze.
But nevertheless the Amazon France website says that the stock of this book has
dried up and it is not available, but advises to check the web page regularly.
The present writer has now checked for a year and at the time of writing there
is still no change. Further, Michel Albin, the publisher, has ignored all
enquiries. One is left wondering whether the Vatican has intervened to stifle Brune’s revelations and perhaps even bought
up the stock, as they have done on so many occasions in the past.
So what does Fr Brune know that the Vatican wishes to suppress? Brune’s story began when he
was a young newly graduated Jesuit. He was visiting one of Rome’s fabulous holdings in the Venice Lagoon, San
Giorgio Maggiore. The basilica as seen by tourists is just the church front
for a huge monastery with grounds. Here Jesuit Brune met and struck up a
lasting acquaintance with a Benedictine monk, Fr Pellegrino Maria Ernetti.
Ernetti was a scientific mystic with a professorship in early Gregorian chant
at the Venice Conservatorio. Ernetti also had to his credit a degree in
quantum physics and a book Satan’s Catechism containing the accumulated
wisdom of his time as Italy’s top exorcist. These two intellectual
psychics hit it off at once.
Brune says they met “seemingly completely be
accident” waiting for the vaporetto or water taxi on the quay outside
the convent basilica. Brune fell into conversation with Ernetti and the
conversation turned to modern theological rationalism. Ernetti invited Brune
to his room in the convent to see how a mysterious machine would reduce “fine
talkers to silence”. So Brune found himself in Ernetti’s small monastic cell,
holding a bizarre conversation with his new mentor.
Ernetti said that it all began in the physics lab of
the Roman Catholic university in Milan. He was
working on the sound of Gregorian chant with one Father Agostino Gemelli, then
President of the Pontifical Scientific Academy in Rome. Gemelli had for many years indulged in a stress-relieving habit of
calling upon his deceased father during complex procedures. On the 15th September 1952 the two monks were experiencing a faulty
connection problem with a tape recorder. Gemelli as usual looked up and
appealed to his dead father. Horror-struck, Gemelli heard his father’s voice,
which recorded itself, saying, “Of course I shall help you. I am always with
Is it the
The monks would have been wise to have accepted
their first conjecture which was, “Is it the devil?” and to have recalled Dives
and Lazarus in Scripture. As it was, Ernetti in particular, who moved back to Venice the following year, was convinced he could expand
the concept. He assumed that the sounds and even the sights of all history are
somewhere in the ether, and he set about building a machine he called a chronovisor
to detect and record them. Brune asked “Do you mean you can see back into
whatever time you wish?” Ernetti replied, “Yes! We can see into any time and
place with perfect clarity.”
Ernetti had been working hard at his invention for
some ten years before he met Brune. He claimed to have a scoop. He had been
able to visualise a performance of a work Thyestes by a playwright
Quintus Ennius back in the Rome of BC 169. More to the point, Ernetti
took down the Latin prose of as much as he heard and saw. This was noteworthy
because Thyestes never survived the dark ages and is lost. Where the
monk Ernetti differed from the Jesuit Brune, was that the monk was captivated
with his obscure Latin fragment and quite unaware of the propaganda value of
one of his other visualisations, that is, witnessing afresh at Golgatha the
scene of Christ’s crucifixion. He had even been able to use the Chronovisor to
take a picture of Christ’s suffering face – The Jesus Photo.
14 January 1956
Europe was in uproar in 1962 with the staging of Ralph Hochhuth’s drama The
Representative which was the first major expose of the Silence of Pius XII
over the genocide of the Jews. Rome’s Jesuits
needed a diversion and this was ideal. Brune pressed Ernetti on the filming of
Christ’s passion. Ernetti was hesitant. “At first we tried to recapture the
images of the day of Christ’s crucifixion. We had a problem … Crucifixions
were commonplace … the Chronovisor had not been able to narrow in”.
Eventually, with the aid of assistants, Ernetti located the Last Supper, and
then, tenacious as a limpet, relentlessly followed events forward. “On January 14th 1956 … We saw everything … The agony in the
garden, the betrayal of Judas … the trial …. Calvary.” After a silence Brune asked, “What about the Resurrection? Did you
witness that as well?” “Yes!” replied Ernetti-but it is difficult to
Readers are probably wondering, just as Brune did
then, “Where is the Chronovisor now?” Not surprisingly Ernetti replied, “We
dis-assembled it. It is hidden in a safe place.” With bridling Jesuit
ambition Brune retorted, “Why hide such a discovery? One that could turn the
world topsy-turvy. One that could restore faith to a world where it is eroding
away little by little every year.” But Ernetti said that with the machine,
“There can be no more secrets … it would strike fear into the hearts of certain
groups of people … the door would be wide open for the most fearsome
dictatorship the world has ever seen”.
The Vatican seems to be trying to cover this matter
up rather than deny it as nonsense. Vatican City is
the logical hiding place for the Chronovisor. Ernetti died in 1994 having said
nothing more about it for the last 20 years of his life. Peter Krassa,
researched Ernetti’s life, published in German in 1997, and then in America in 2000. The American editors were passed a
deathbed confession of Ernetti acknowledging fraud, and expert analysis of the Thyestes
fragment by Dr Katherine Owen Eldred of Princeton university has revealed features not typical of Latin of the time.
But in his unobtainable Nouveau Mystere Brune tries to expose the
confession itself as a fraud, and some of his points are valid. Could the
confession be a Vatican plant, by a superstitious hierarchy
still worried that the machine might actually do what it claims?
Fr Gemelli had certainly played the recording of his
dead father to Pius XII in the Vatican. The enthusiastic pope, denying
Scripture declared, “Dear Fr Gemelli, … The existence of this voice is strictly
a scientific fact, and has nothing whatsoever to do with spiritism. The
recorder is totally objective. It receives and records only sound waves from
wherever they come. This experiment may perhaps become the cornerstone for a
building for scientific studies which will strengthen peoples faith in a
Ernetti told Brune at their meeting in his cell
concerning the viewing of Christ on the cross, “We filmed it … We later showed
the film to … Pius XII. Other people were present at the showing, including
the President of the Republic, the Minister of Public Instruction and members
of the Pontifical academy.”
It seems that a vigorous interest in Spiritualism
continues in Rome despite her denials.