Have you noticed this persistent and pervasive theme…? I know I sure have. See the more than two dozen examples below. But, recently I started thinking; how does that square with the Bible – or does it even? I have talked many times about what I generally refer to as the Death Cult. This is not a formal organization per se, so much as what is perhaps best embodied in those to whom Jesus referred in John 8, in conjunction with what He said in John 10:10.
You are of [your] father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature,] for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44 [NASB]
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have [it] abundantly.
John 10:10 [NASB]
The Biblical concept of ‘whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,’ issued by Jesus Himself, is expressed in all four Gospels, including; Matthew 10:39; 16:25-26; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 17:33; John 12:25.
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” [emphasis added]
Luke 9:24 [NASB]
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” [emphasis added]
Mark 8:35 [NASB]
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [emphasis added]
Matthew 16:25-26 [NASB]
Considering the juxtaposition, and its profound and sobering consequences, this got me thinking even more. Is this merely a slogan? Are we being duped (by the death cult ideology) into effectively losing our lives in the ostensible effort to ‘save’ them…?
At this point, I can imagine many decrying, “C’mon, Chris. Are you saying every one of the authors of the more than two dozens instances you cite below are all somehow in on some ‘grand conspiracy,’?” Not at all. I don’t believe that at all. But I do believe people can be deceived, and I also believe history proves that there are those work have worked diligently to deceive their fellow man – at times, on a grand scale.
Following are a few examples. Adolf Hitler is credited with coining the term ‘big lie’ in his 1925 book Mein Kampf, regarding the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. Operation Earnest Voice, the US government’s ongoing CENTCOM-based astroturfing campaign is part of a broader state-sponsored Internet propaganda initiative.
The FBI’s COINTELPRO projects targeted American dissident groups using a variety of deception – even engaging in illegal practices. The CIA was once so bombastic concerning its propaganda (deception) efforts that the CIA’s first chief of political warfare, Frank Wisner coined the metaphor of the “Mighty Wurlitzer” to describe their efforts. More recently, Hugh Wilford wrote a book about it, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008). In his NY Times book review, Nathan Glazer wrote:
“Mighty Wurlitzer” was the metaphor Frank Wisner, the first chief of political warfare for the Central Intelligence Agency, used to describe the C.I.A.’s “array of front organizations.” They were, he said, “capable of playing any propaganda tune he desired.”
Many books have been written about societies – like Nazi Germany – which, by all accounts, most people would think would have ‘seen it coming’. The End of America, The Road to Serfdom, It Can’t Happen Here, They Thought They Were Free, The Gulag Archipelago, Ordinary Men, War Against the Weak, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, and Worse Than War are but a few examples.
So, we know as a historical fact that deception is real, exists, and is at times even perpetrated on a grand or ‘colossal’ scale. And we also know that, despite the confirmation bias of our own (socially engineered) American exceptionalism, even our own government has engaged in these practices – at times, even against its own citizens. Referring back to the Bible, considering these words, I guess this comes as no real surprise:
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in [the power of] the evil one. [emphasis added]
1 John 5:19 [NASB]
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. [emphasis added]
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 [NASB]
Edward Bernays was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, and a cultural icon of the twentieth century. The title of his 1995 NY Times obituary read, “Edward Bernays, ‘Father of Public Relations’ And Leader in Opinion Making, Dies at 103”. The “father of public relations” had many notable clients and campaigns. He also wrote several provocative works, including; Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), Propaganda (1928), and The Engineering of Consent (1947). In the opening words of Chapter one of Propaganda, Bernays provides the reader with unsettling insight:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.
Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928) CHAPTER I. ORGANIZING CHAOS
In Chapter three of Propaganda, Bernays coined the term “public relations”:
The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses.
For this reason there is an increasing tendency to concentrate the functions of propaganda in the hands of the propaganda specialist. This specialist is more and more assuming a distinct place and function in our national life.
New activities call for new nomenclature. The propagandist who specializes in interpreting enterprises and ideas to the public, and in interpreting the public to promulgators of new enterprises and ideas, has come to be known by the name of “public relations counsel.”
Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928) CHAPTER III. THE NEW PROPAGANDISTS
In Chapter four of Propaganda, Bernays alluded to the motive behind these efforts:
The systematic study of mass psychology revealed to students the potentialities of invisible government of society by manipulation of the motives which actuate man in the group. So the question naturally arose: If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it?
The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible…
Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928) CHAPTER IV. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Edward Bernays was no stranger to the public service announcement (PSA) – in fact, he practically invented the concept. All of which leads me to wonder; are we witnessing a massive ‘PSA’ campaign, with one of its slogans being ‘the life you save may be your own’? Speaking of the dangers of propaganda and slogans in the hands of authoritarian regimes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer experienced such dangers firsthand. In his posthumously published Letters and Papers from Prison, Bonhoeffer wrote:
Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. … The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings. [emphasis added]
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (1951)
Examples of the COVID-19 related slogan ‘the life you save may be your own’
- March 12, 2020: Fighting the Coronavirus, and Individualism – The Atlantic
…there is an ethos to cling to: If you are privileged enough to skip an event or work from home, you may save a life—even though the life you save may not be your own. It might be the life of your cousin with cancer, or your colleague’s brother, who has diabetes.
- March 15, 2020: COVID-19: The life you save may not be your own – THE DEVIL STRIP
- March 19, 2020 Coronavirus News & Resources | NHNENC
We are reaching out with news you can use about resources available to you during this pandemic. First of all, with the recent Safer At Home Order we urge you to stay home and continue to follow a Social Distancing strategy as a way to save lives as explained in this entertaining Public Service Announcement. The life you save may be your own or your grandparent’s.
- April 27, 2020: Don’t be a DIY doctor | Local Columnists | oleantimesherald.com
Since you may be getting good at some of these DIY opportunities, please don’t think that your abilities can expand to include becoming a DIY doctor. The life you save, may just be your own.
- May 11, 2020: Letter: The life you save may be your own | The Herald-News
- May 13, 2020: For lifeguards during the pandemic, the life they save could be their own – NBC News
- May 17, 2020: Detroit pastors keep the faith after getting coronavirus | Faith | grandhaventribune.com
[Rev. Horace Sheffield III, pastor of of New Destiny Christian Fellowship in Detroit] urged Detroiters to stay indoors.
If you go out and violate social distancing, “you’re playing with death. It’s like a form of Russian roulette in germ and virus form. … Stay home, don’t go out … until this thing has passed because the life you save may be your own and it may be someone you know or someone you love.”
- June 4, 2020: Solidarity Includes Wearing a Mask at Protests | Common Dreams Views
The life you save may not be your own. Those who wear a mask at protests are making clear that they’re willing to undergo some discomfort to protect people they don’t even know.
- June 16, 2020: Crestwood CEO: Masks Help Protect Wearer Against COVID-19; ‘The Life You Save May be Your Own‘ – Huntsville Business Journal
- June 17, 2020: The Life You Save May Not Be Your Own: Loving Our Distant Neighbors in a Time of Pandemic – Reformed Journal
- June 20, 2020: From the editor: Mask up; the life you save may be your own – or a loved one’s
- June 30, 2020: Wear a mask: The life you save may be your own | Lexington Herald Leader
- July 8, 2020: Delta Health Center | COVID-19 Testing In Rosedale and Shelby, MS | Mississippi Delta
FREE DRIVE-THROUGH COVID-19 TESTING. PLEASE HAVE YOUR ID. Bring your insurance card. No insurance = no problem! NO MONEY…NO PROBLEM! NO CO-PAY OR OUT-OF-POCKET COST! NO DOCTOR’S REFERRAL NEEDED!
THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!!!
- July 31, 2020: Letter — No superhero will save us from COVID-19 | Opinion | petoskeynews.com
Superman/Superwoman is not going to save us, only we can save ourselves by our own rightful actions. These super heroes are, of course, fictional, but COVID-19 is not a fantasy. The coronavirus is too horribly real. The only way we are going to get the coronavirus somewhat under control is to become our own superheroes. Listen to doctors and scientists, and wear masks in public. We now know the life you save may be your own.
- August 9, 2020: More county employees test positive for virus – The Brownsville Herald
As of now, area hospitals are stable and the community needs to assist medical and health professionals by doing its part in continuing to shelter-in-place, and avoiding unnecessary travel and congregations, the statement said.
“In this trying time, please remember that the life you save may be your own,” Trevino said in the statement.
- October 9, 2020: Pandemic vs. lockdown: Which is worse? – The Troy Messenger | The Troy Messenger
Statistical lives are when the identity of the persons whose lives may be saved is unknown. Or as Nobel prize winning economist Thomas Schelling wrote, when “The life you save may be your own.” An estimated 90 million Americans are in COVID-19 high risk categories, so the pandemic involves statistical risk.
- October 14, 2020: News – The Pandemic or the Lockdown: Which Has Been Worse? | Heartland Institute
Statistical lives are when the identity of the persons whose lives may be saved is unknown. Or as Nobel prize-winning economist Thomas Schelling wrote, when “The life you save may be your own.” An estimated 90 million Americans are in COVID-19 high-risk categories, so the pandemic involves statistical risk.
[Originally posted on Yellow Hammer]
- November 2, 2020: Michigan passes 200,000 total cases of COVID-19 with more than 6,700 new infections | News | theoaklandpress.com
“Fall and winter holidays will look different this year,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the top medical expert in the MDHHS, in an opinion piece tweeted out by the governor. “But there is no need for despair. We are strong, we are smart, and we care about each other. Make the choice this fall to stop the spread of COVID-19. The life you save may be your own.”
- November 11, 2020: COVID-19: Take it seriously this winter. You could save your life – Public Opinion (Part of the USA TODAY Network)
No excuses, Wear a mask. Wash and sanitize your hands like your life depended on it. Because it does. And stay away from other people. The life you save could well be your own.
- November 17, 2020: Take COVID-19 Seriously: The Life You Save May Be Your Own – Mel’s Musings – Mitchell Now
- November 17, 2020: Commissioners Hear COVID Update, County Judges Addresses Mask Order | Brownwood News
“Wear those masks, it’s a pain, I know, I’m wearing one right now as I’m giving this interview, but the life you save may be your own, it may be your child’s, it may be your parents, it may be your brother and sister, siblings or your neighbor. Just wear the mask, it’s the least we can do to try and curb this spread,” Judge Lilly said.
- November 17, 2020: Nebraska COVID-19 petition: More than 1,700 healthcare workers call for help WOWT 6 NBC News
“The life you save may be your own.”
From surgeons to technicians, nurses to residents, psychiatrists to oncologists, from pediatrics to geriatrics, and many in emergency medicine, more than 1,700 local medical professionals, students, and others working in the local healthcare system are making an appeal to Nebraskans.
- November 17, 2020: UNMC physicians draft letter to fellow Nebraskans; more than 1,700 doctors and nurses sign it KMTV 3 CBS News Now Omaha
We call on Nebraskans to rise up once again to do everything we can for our state’s health and safety. We believe in the people of this state. Your actions can save lives. We need you to wear masks, practice social distancing and limit the size of social gatherings. The life you save may be your own. We need you all to help those health care workers who dedicate their lives to save yours.
- November 17, 2020: 1,700+ Nebraska health care workers signed this letter asking for your help | Nebraska Medicine Omaha, NE
Your frontline health care workers are exhausted. We are scared that the hospitals won’t have the space and people to meet the ever-growing demand. We are seeing many deaths and will continue to see many more. Nebraskans have always been strong and hardworking people who have never failed to help our neighbors in the most challenging times. We call on Nebraskans to rise up once again to do everything we can for our state’s health and safety. We believe in the people of this state. Your actions can save lives. We need you to wear masks, practice social distancing and limit the size of social gatherings. The life you save may be your own. We need you all to help those health care workers who dedicate their lives to save yours.
- November 18, 2020: The COVID long-haulers: When the body gets better, but the brain does not | Column | Tampa Bay Times
So, what should we then do? Fortunately, each of us has the power to protect ourselves from becoming a COVID long-hauler.
The solution is simple, and the song remains the same: Wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands; these measures could prevent up to 90 percent of new infections if universally followed. Vaccines are on the way, but even after they are released, it will be several months until we achieve enough population immunity for us to be confident such precautions are no longer needed. Until then we must use the very effective tools already at hand. The brain you save may be your own.