Monday, July 15, 2013
President Asking Employees To Spy On One Another -- Reminds Me Of...
The "Cold War" is most often dated from 1947 to 1991.
You may recall that Gerald Ford, in 1976, infamously said in his debate with Jimmy Carter, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe."
That stunned me when I heard him make that statement.
I can tell you from personal experience there was domination by the Soviets. It was very, very chilly in Poland in 1974.
The Soviet Union had put its evil heel on Poland, and Poland was in the throws of trying to survive---literally survive as a result. They would eventually break the bondage of socialist communism about ten years before "that wall" came down and Ronald Reagan would break the back of the "Evil Empire."
My time in Poland came back to my memory with vivid resolution when I read an article published by McClatchy a few days ago. They are reporting that the President is calling on people to spy on their co-workers and report any unusual activity.
McClatchy News Service, a worldwide news service, is reporting that "In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavior profiling techniques."
Research and those advising the administration say these techniques are not scientifically proven to work, and likely won't work, but the administration is moving the program ahead in spite of the warnings.
The Obama administration has launched an unprecedented government-wide crackdown following his most recent humiliating experience with Eric Snowden.
He is ordering millions of employees to watch each other for "high risk persons or behavior."
The President calls the program "Inside Threat Program."
While a form of the program was launched in 2011, he is now quietly but aggressively expanding it. Under the present evolution of this scheme, certain managers of special inside threat observance will have "regular, timely, and if possible, electronic access [to] employees personnel, payroll, disciplinary and personal contact files."
The US Government is one of the world's largest employers with nearly 5 million employees and contractors.
5 million people watching each other, while making a top wage---sometimes an excessive wage.
We can only imagine how this will negatively impact productivity in the government---a system that is already broken.
Most all of us want to be safe. We want our homeland to be as secure as possible. In fact, that is the primary reason government was formed in the first place---to protect our God given rights and freedoms.
Although we want our government to be prudent and pro-active in regard to homeland security, we also want them to be wise. And to keep in mind how this Republic was designed to function.
We the people.
When I read about this expansion of people spying on each other in a government led effort, I had to remember the time I spent in Poland in 1974.
Traveling and ministering with a small group of local pastors and Christian leaders, I talked with Christians across the country and preached in several of their churches. As we traveled within the country, these brothers led and counseled me through the murky, muddy waters of communistic socialism and its devastating effects on a culture.
Poland was a social and economic disaster in the mid seventies. The Soviet domination had nearly crushed the life out of the nation. People had no money and food was rationed. The perfect storm for those who seek to dominate a people---any people.
It was there, and then, that I learned where big government domination will take a society.
The Christians were particularly hard hit because in addition to the general financial and social collapse the people were suffering under, the government did not look kindly on the Christians. Particularly those who did not cooperate and would preach and teach the whole Bible, rather than selected, acceptable portions of it.
My friends had warned me that from time to time we would do things that didn't seem to make sense logistically. They were right.
In Poland at that time there were 2 kinds of Christian churches. The registered. And the unregistered.
The registered churches were approved by the government and appeared to function much like our own church in North Hollywood. The reason, however, that the registered churches were "registered" or approved was because they had quietly made agreements with the government. Among those agreements was a promise to report any unusual behavior or activities that would be disruptive to the government and the well being of the greater population. Or any conversation or activities that were dissenting of government authority. Promises were made not to preach or teach certain passages of Scripture, etc.
The unregistered churches refused to make an agreement with the government and constantly lived under persecution and harassment. I came to know pastors who had scars across their backs from the beatings they had received from officers as they were being taken to jail for simply preaching the whole gospel.
I was traveling with and involved exclusively with the non-registered churches and their pastors.
Some of the non-registered church services were publicly held, while some were privately held, outside the reach and knowledge of the government.
In the first service I preached in Warsaw, there were about 8 to 900 people in attendance. I noticed 3 men sitting on the front row to my left. They looked out of place. After the service I asked my friends about the men and they told me they were representatives of the government and were recording my sermon. They told me the men were particularly interested in me because I was from a church in Hollywood. They also told me not to be overly concerned when I would see these men show up elsewhere in that they had been assigned to me.
A couple of days later I noticed the men about a half block away from me while I was walking on a street in Krakow. And again in a small cafe.
On my last day in Krakow, I was told I would be speaking at a "secret" meeting. Secret meetings were not announced, except by word of mouth. I was told that often people would pray and God would speak to them in their heart and direct them to the location of these services.
As we pulled up to an old abandoned warehouse in Krakow, the oldest city in Poland, I felt I was in the middle ages. There were a few cars in the area, but mostly abandoned buildings. No electricity in any of them.
As we started up the stairs to a large second floor room, I began to realize that there were more than a few people in the building. As we entered the room, I was told there were more than 2000 people and I should not expect the government supervisors. And I should preach a long, not short sermon. I did.
As I see our government continues on the path of encroachment and undermining of our God given freedoms and liberties, I remember Poland and I remember Romania and other parts of the world where I have personally seen how repressive government, left unchecked, can destroy lives and personal freedoms.
I have also seen how it can silence Christians, and cause leaders to compromise.
Poland is free now, but it is a long way back to freedom and prosperity.
I visited a Blueberry farm Saturday to pick up a couple of boxes of Blueberries. In talking with the owner, I learned he and his family are from Romania. The topic of freedom came up in our conversation. He expressed concerns about the direction our country is going.
I'll be talking about that on my radio program today.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.