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Students of Bible Prophecy tell us that a day will come when those who are not part of the "beast system" will be unable to "buy or sell". There will be a future trade embargo against believers; their economic life will be crushed out of them.
There is a lot of conjecture on the part of such students of Bible Prophecy as to "the mark of the beast": perhaps it will be a digital implant, or a bar code, or some such technical innovation. These students teach that this " beast system" may be manifest in the coming European Union of which a disintegrated United Kingdom will be only a region, a servile economic outpost of a great Central European confederacy, or in some wider global tyranny. These are outline points. Anyone familiar with these prophetic viewpoints will understand that this is merely an overview of what is widely taught in Christian circles, especially in the United States of America, which by reason of geographical isolation and historical circumstance has remained remote from the earlier conflicts of the Reformation era in Europe, and has only the vaguest of understandings as to what actually divides Protestants and Roman Catholics, as demonstrated by the many famous evangelical and fundamentalist Americans who unwisely signed the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document, thus compromising the gospel of Christ (see R C Sproul, By Faith Alone, Hodder Christian Paperbacks, 1996). Such teaching holds that some future superhuman being or potentate will arise known as "the Antichrist". What is sad is that those who promote these ideas are so superficial in their treatment of the key word or concept "Antichrist". They fail to explain that in the original text the word "Antichrist" does not mean "against Christ", for the use of the prefix "anti-" to mean "against" is actually a relatively modem sense. The prefix "anti-" originally meant "rivaling", "simulating", passing into the sense of "counterfeit, false", in other words, taking attention away from Christ (see the Oxford English Dictionary, page 514).
From this we can see that the "Antichrist" is not outside the Christian Church and attacking it; the Antichrist is not a super-Jew, a super-Communist, or a super~Moslem, but a super- Christian who takes devotion and awe away from our precious Savior, who even takes salvation, if it were possible, away from Christ and adorns himself with honor and glory and power - even the power over heaven and hell. It is those who will not accept or bow down before this false claimant, this false Christ, who will not be able to "buy or sell". They will be robbed off their livelihood; their prosperity will cease; they will have no future under this "beast system". Destitute, they will have to flee. What if I were to tell you that this is happening to Christian people right now, right under our very noses, unknown because the Christians who can "neither buy nor sell" live in a region of the world which is in media quarantine. These Christians are caged up, and the only media voices which go into and out of the cage are those which report or transmit a message acceptable to the rulers of the darkness in high places. If we could find such a Christian community who can "neither buy nor sell" right now, would this give a clue as to who the beast is, what the mark of the beast is, and who the Antichrist is? I reckon that it would; but, reader, you are free to make up your own mind! What will follow is closely cross-referenced; everything written can be double-checked against the listed sources.
Let us begin this study by setting it within the proper context:, terror, lawlessness and intimidation!
Ulster Protestants (the Scots-Irish as they are known in the United States) are being boycotted. Northern Ireland's news media is full of reports!
Since July of this year (1996), a new horror is being inflicted on the war weary Ulster Protestants: boycotting. Protestant businessmen find that they can "neither buy nor sell". Having endured nearly thirty years of terrorism from the mainly Roman Catholic Provisional IRA aimed at forcing Ulster's Protestants into a united Ireland where their religion, culture, language, history, traditions and sense of place - in fact, everything that makes them a distinct people -will be suppressed and extinguished, the Ulster Protestants have to face a new threat: boycotting! The use of the strategy of boycotting against vulnerable and isolated Protestant communities in Ulster opens up a new front for pan-nationalism, which it will seek to exploit to the full. By pan-nationalism is meant that combination, confederacy, or understanding - sometimes secret, sometimes partially open, as in the Hume-Adams escapade - which binds all Irish nationalists together in pursuit of a common destination, though by different routes. Characteristic of Irish pan-nationalism is its ability to cloak aggression with grievance, its moral ambivalence towards the use of violence, its willingness to profit politically from terrorist excess, and its brilliant exploitation of propaganda to outflank and denigrate the target population: the Ulster Protestants. The strategy of boycotting is not only of political interest because of the insight it affords us into Ulster's warring tribes, but it is, more importantly, of deep prophetic significance, as the following investigation will conclude. In recent years, John Hume MP, leader of the mainly Roman Catholic SDLP, advocated that Northern Ireland's Unionist population had to be shown that they were "on their own, without political friends or allies", "isolated". John Hume, who has played a key role in developing the tactic of the "peace process" in Northern Ireland, had previously urged that Ulster's British and Protestant population must be placed in a political situation in which they were forced to realize that they were friendless. Ulster's Unionists had to learn they had no option other than to bend under the coercion being applied to them by the Pan-Nationalist Front, the United States government, and an amoral
British administration which endorses a "process" which will result in Northern Ireland's absorption by the Republic of Ireland. In retrospect, it is evident that John Hume was advocating that the whole Protestant population in Northern Ireland is boycotted: forced to give in through the pressure of "isolation". In practical terms, the international media follow John Hume's strategy, but in spirit there is little difference between the SDLP leader's policy of isolation and rural Roman Catholic communities refusing to "buy or sell", to trade in the shops of Protestant neighbors. Boycotting is silent ethnic cleansing
In 1981, Edith Elliott and others took the British and Irish governments to the European Court in respect of the murders along the border with the Republic of Ireland. The evidence collated in support of that case provided the first indication that there was a pattern to the murder of Protestants along the border, but time would elapse before that pattern could be seen for what in reality it was: ethnic cleansing. Time after time the IRA murdered Protestants by bullet or booby trap bomb with the aim of driving them from the homes in which they have lived for generations - now boycotting is having an even more devastating effect.
Under the banner headline "Boycott, a bid at Ethnic Cleansing", Belfast's morning paper, the News Letter (13th September 1996), quoted one victim, a Protestant. Richard Reid said: "For years they (Provisional IRA) have tried with the bullet and the bomb to get rid of the Protestant people of Pomeroy, now they have a different method - the boycott. Close down our businesses and push us from the area!" They have even smashed up a memorial to our murdered community members. It all adds up to no Prods (Protestants) here." In the same detailed report, Fr. McGirr, the local Roman Catholic priest, is reported as stating, in regard to his decision to withdraw his custom from a Protestant oil supplier, that he was under no duress and that he would not speak out against the boycott. Meanwhile, the local Presbyterian minister, Rev. William Bingham, commented: "This boycott is a clearly orchestrated campaign by Irish republicans. Twenty-five years of violence didn't force Protestants out of this area, so now they are trying a new way. They have stopped shooting us and are trying to get rid of us by more subtle and very sinister methods. I urge everyone to pray for those business people who find themselves in this terrible situation. They have families to support and they need our prayers." Ian Starrett, a reporter with the News Letter, gave a detailed account of a press release from over thirty Presbyterian congregations in Londonderry (from which the founding fathers of all the various styles of Presbyterian Church in the United States sailed in the early 17th century); Strabane (where the man who printed the American Declaration of Independence was born - isn't it ironic that US President Bill Clinton endorses the ethnic cleansing and boycotting of the very people who helped make America great, the Scots-Irish!); and the Donegal area. The press release of the thirty congregations is noteworthy for its understatement, betraying the uncertainty of people who cannot come to terms with their predicament: The attack on several churches in the North West during this summer (1996) caused great concern to our Presbytery of Derry and Strabane and the people whom we pastor. Not that attacks on our church properties, or that of other denominations, is something new, but that it seems to be part of something much wider and more sinister. Concern is being felt at grass-roots level. The boycotting, wrecking and burning of Protestant businesses in the wider area of the North West causes deep concern (sic). Previously, The Times of London, Monday 5th August 1996, under the headline "Sectarian boycotts hit businesses across Ulster", reported that letters had been sent to Protestant businesses in Castlederg, where many Protestants had previously been murdered by the Provisional IRA. The letters were so sinister, threatening and full of innuendo that the Times commented: "Most Protestants in Castlederg refuse to speak about the boycott for fear". In the Belfast News Letter's "Morning View" editorial of 3rd September, we read: "The extent to which the nationalist community is being influenced and manipulated by sinister elements is evident in the organized boycott of Protestant shops and establishments in border areas (border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland)". The same editorial is scathing about the man sponsored by United States President Bill Clinton, Sinn Fein/IRA leader Gerry Adams.
What a sham this insidious campaign makes of the honeyed words of Gerry Adams. It seems the only agreement Sinn Fein wants is one in which Protestants abandon their own history, culture and traditions. A sad future beckons if the odious manipulators who are behind these nefarious campaigns are ever allowed to assume positions of power. Apparently the leader writer of the News Letter perceives Gerry Adams to be an "odious manipulator", but is the American public, or British public opinion, even remotely aware of the Roman Catholic community's persecution of Ulster's Protestant population?
Meanwhile the Belfast Telegraph 10th August 1996 quoted the Church of Ireland (Anglican or Episcopalian) Rector, Rev. Quill of Castlederg, reacting to the fact that anonymous letters of intimidation had been sent to eight Protestant businesses, observed that: "The IRA mounted a vicious campaign of murder and attempted murder in this area, killing so many, but we did not retaliate or boycott our neighbors". Meanwhile, in another classic example of ethnic cleansing in Ulster, within the jurisdiction of Britain's "Mother of Parliaments", Protestants are fleeing the village of Bellaghy, following threats from the Roman Catholic community. As one local Protestant resident described events, "Unfortunately the intimidation has been going on for a very long time. The perpetrators seem to be treated by the authorities as if they were decent, stable citizens of the community". Another News Letter editorial reviewing similar reports and events put matters succinctly: "The spread of ethnic cleansing to another part of Ulster does not
help". On the same page of the 13th August edition of the paper, a perceptive letter writer headlined all these events as a further "move in game to push Ulster folk off their island". By 18th September, a Protestant business group was suggesting a three-point plan to aid Protestants, now into their tenth week of victimization by boycott, Encourage Roman Catholic clergy to take a lead in ending the boycott of Protestant shops; ? Consider compensation payments for victims of boycotts; ? Urge a more pro-active response from community relation's bodies. This three-point plan indicates how serious the situation is for a "people under siege" in an island where "Protestantism is not wanted", as another News Letter editorial expressed it. Support for this analysis is to be found in a letter published in the Belfast Telegraph's "Writeback" column. The correspondent, J L Patterson of Richmond, Canada, was a past victim of ethnic cleansing and wrote: "As a victim of boycotting of Protestant businesses in County Donegal (in the Republic of Ireland) in the early seventies, requests for help from the local politicians, from the officials of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, were all denied".
The bias and bigotry and organized boycott forced the closure of a long established business. There were no newspaper reports and the politicians remained silent. When we attempted to exercise our civil rights we were denied any legal recourse. In Dr Noel Browne's words, "The Republic of Ireland is a state where no Protestant need apply." The writer to the Belfast Telegraph's letter column concluded: "The bullet and the bombs have failed in Northern Ireland. The success of sectarian intimidation and the ethnic cleansing policy of successive Dublin governments have proved how successful this has been in the Republic, it is now time to extend it to Northern Ireland".
Boycotting is ethnic cleansing.
It is terrorism without the sound of exploding bombs, or bullet riddled corpses. What CNN doesn't show, the American people, the world doesn't know, The persecution of Ulster's Protestants is the subject of a national cover-up. Boycotting is not new: boycotting has a long history. Captain Charles Boycott, an ex-army officer, was the agent for Lord Erne in County Mayo. He had already evicted three families, when in September 1880 he got ready to evict a further eleven families who had asked to have their rents reduced. The local people took matters into their own hands and persuaded the domestic servants and farm workers to refuse their services. Soon afterwards, as one newspaper reported, "nearly all the shopkeepers of
Ballinrobe, which was the nearest village, would have nothing to do with Captain Boycott". Although attempts to ease Boycott's predicament were made, including bringing in laborers from Ulster, Lord Erne, the landlord, eventually agreed to reduce the rents by ten per cent. The Irish peasantry and their Land League backers had made their point. Charles Stewart Parnell has been accused of being the author and instigator of Captain Boycott's troubles because, before a large crowd at Ennis, County Clare, on 19th September 1880, Parnell had urged: "When a man takes a farm from which another has been evicted, you must show him on the roadside where you meet him, you must show him in the streets of the town, you must show him at the shop counter, you must show him in the fair and in the market-place, and even in the House of Worship, by leaving him severely alone, by putting him into a moral Coventry, by isolating him from the rest of his kind as if he was a leper of old - you must show him your detestation of the crime he has committed".
The Land War, as it is termed, raged on.
One writer described the state of rural Ireland: "It rained evictions, it rained outrages. Cattle were houghed and maimed; tenants who paid unjust rents, or took farms from which others were evicted, were dragged from their beds, assaulted. Graves were dug before the doors of evicting landlords, murder was committed. A reign of terror was in truth commenced". What is to be noted is that Charles Stewart Parnell keenly understood the exquisite relationship between apparently democratic Irish nationalist politics and the undercurrent of murderous agrarian unrest, for he had explained in New York in January 1880, nine months before the boycotting campaign started: A true revolutionary movement in Ireland should, in my opinion, partake of both a constitutional and an illegal character. It should be both an open and a secret organization, using the constitution for its own purposes, but also taking advantage of its secret ombination. Boycotting was therefore a vitally important weapon in the armory of Irish nationalism. It had a part to play in the Land War; and it fulfilled the revolutionary agenda. Those who were vulnerable and isolated had no answer to it. As Professor J C Beckett noted in Modern Ireland (Faber) pp. 389-390: "This demonstration of power (boycotting) was very alarming to the authorities". Cowper, the Lord Lieutenant, and Foster, the Chief Secretary, insisted that though in public the leaders of the Land League "always advocated peaceful methods, their influence really depended upon the threat of violence".
It can be seen therefore that boycotting in nineteenth century Ireland was part of a revolutionary struggle in which a parliamentary faction always talked peace and advocated peaceful methods while secretly allied to fanatical agrarian elements who enforced boycotts by the most cruel and outrageous of methods.
A 17th century letter shows how the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland controlled the peasantry through fear of "boycott" A reference to what is now known as boycotting, but which was a much more ancient form of social control, is found in a letter from the Protestant Bishop of Ferns. The letter is referred to in Reid's nineteenth century volumes A History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The particular letter was written in 1612. "As for the poorer sort, some of them have not only discovered unto me privately
their dislike of Popery and the mass, in regard they understand not what is said or done therein, but also groaned under the many priests in respect of double tithes and offerings, the one paid by them unto us, and the other unto them. Being then demanded of me why they did not forsake the mass and come to church, their answer hath been, (which I know to be true in some), and if they should be of our religion, no Popish merchant would employ them being sailors, no Popish landlord would let them any lands being husbandmen, nor set them houses in tenantry being artificers; and therefore, they must either starve or do as they do". This 17th century source indicates that boycotting was well established in Ireland long before Parnell's land war campaign in the nineteenth century.
Ordinary Roman Catholic people were gripped by fear. Undoubtedly many Roman Catholics who now avoid shopping on Protestant premises fear the power of the priests and the thuggery of the Provisional IRA, who mete out their barbarous punishment beatings to those who do not conform to the secret code of Irish Pan-Nationalism. Boycotting foreshadowed the arrival of William Prince of Orange at Torbay, 5th November 1688.
P. W. Thompson, in his remarkable book Britain in Prophecy and History, written between the Wars, noted how the boycott of Dutch people encouraged support for the cause of William and Mary in 1688. That military support, as the historical record shows, would later prove decisive. "With amazing indiscretion, Louis seized upon this crucial moment to force two quarrels upon his friends of Amsterdam, the first concerning religion, the second concerning herrings. Many of the citizens had settled in France for
purposes of trade, their Calvinistic type of Protestantism being winked at. Urged on, one supposes by the Jesuits, Louis suddenly and treacherously imprisoned these persons, and placed an embargo on the importation of those pickled herrings which they had entered his dominions to sell. In their erstwhile friend the King of France the burghers of Amsterdam suddenly recognized the Man of Sin, who persecuted the saints, and forbad the privileges of the fishmonger to all who failed to show the mark of the Beast on their
foreheads". This continental aspect to the unknown history of the boycott illustrates a larger truth in that events in Ulster tie in much more closely than is generally realized with the development of the European superstate. It may be said that in Ulster British people lose both lives and livelihoods as a consequence of the government's policies of duplicity and appeasement, whereas in England British fishermen and the owners of small businesses merely lose their livelihoods. The manipulation of the media, the phony and carefully choreographed "political" events, the disregard for truth and the erosion of democratic rights
are shared features common to both the sell-out of Ulster and the entrapment of Britain in a European superstate. It may reasonably be pointed out that there are anti-British undercurrents in the Republic of Ireland's approach to EU issues.
Boycotting played a strategic role in driving Protestants out of the South of Ireland: "in a hundred year period three out of four Protestants left Southern Ireland."
In the light of all the foregoing evidence, and in view of the catalogue of victimization, abuse and harassment recorded in the appendices to this analysis, it seems almost superfluous to examine the damage inflicted on Southern Irish Protestants in the early years of this century. Nevertheless, reference must be made to discriminatory and persecuting techniques applied by the Free State and later the Republic of Ireland, as it became known, against those of its citizens who failed to conform or were out of step with the new state's Roman Catholic ethos.
It is important to realise, to have it acknowledged, that despite "honeyed words" Protestants are suffering now within Northern Ireland while it is still theoretically part of the United Kingdom, will fare even worse in some all-Ireland structure. The message is stark: Protestants are not wanted in Ireland - though a 3.5% Protestant minority is useful for "show" purposes. There have been recent attempts to gloss over the decline of Protestants in Southern Ireland and produce cosmetic explanations sanitized of terms such as "discrimination", "burned-out" or the more emotive "ethnic cleansing". Such attempts should be treated with great caution as apologists for Irish nationalism are not averse to creating black holes in the historical record when necessary. A careful examination of the record and eyewitness accounts of what happened
eighty or so years ago is chilling, but is it also prophetic, giving insight into the future reserved for Ulster's Protestants? When recently the Public Record Office in Belfast's Balmoral Avenue opened secret papers for the 1920s for inspection, they contained numerous reports of Protestants, even professional people like doctors and solicitors, moving into Northern Ireland having been boycotted out of the Irish Free State. Thus
history repeats itself as Ireland's Roman Catholics attempt to rid Ireland of "heretics". A few extracts from a public lecture delivered by Dr Noel Browne at Queen's University will suffice to substantiate this section of the argument. "Far from creating in his part of the island a genuinely fair and just pluralist society, in which members of minority religions could rear their families, walk the streets in dignity, and in the words of the Proclamation, "enjoy freedom of religious expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of information, equal rights, and equal opportunities", deValera gave Rome a free hand under a crude, unfeeling system of "separate development" and religious "apartheid" which would ensure that the Irish republic would become a Catholic state for a Catholic people". Over a period of years, the slow inexorable inevitable consequence of this policy was the systematic progressive depopulation of the new Irish State of its Protestant people. Justifying the sacking of a properly appointed librarian in Mayo, because, though highly qualified, she was a Protestant, de deValera argued in June 1930: "I say the people of Mayo in a county where I think 98% of the population is Catholic are justified in insisting on a Catholic librarian". He went on to widen the issue indeed, and asserted: "A Protestant doctor ought not to be appointed as a dispensary doctor in a mainly Catholic area". Black South Africa comes to mind, does it not? There being virtually no significant non-Catholic areas, the consequence of this policy, nationally, was obvious. In effect Protestants need not apply signs went up all over the Republic. Incidentally, it is interesting to note the make-up of the Mayo Library
Committee. It consisted of a Catholic bishop, five Catholic priests, a Christian Brother, a Protestant rector and four laymen. The voting, ten to two "for" sacking the Protestant. Now at the conclusion of the tragic fiasco of our own seventy-five years of "freedom" in the South, we have created a manifestly unjust ineptly run society, in which just under 20% of our people are constantly unemployed. One in three of our people, men, women and children live at or below the poverty line. With no work, in their thousands our unwanted young men and women must emigrate. The Nazis boycotted Jewish shops as part of their accelerating campaign of anti-Semitism. Provisional IRA/Sinn Fein share more than twelve major characteristics
with Hitler's Nazis. A comparison of the revolutionary techniques adopted by the Nazi Party and by IRA/Sinn Fein shows an amazing degree of congruence. Propaganda, political thuggery, talking peace while using violence and force, concealing an essentially anti-democratic bid for power behind a smokescreen of democratic and reasonable sounding hype, are all obvious shared characteristics; playing on the gullibility and willingness to appease of the English is another. For example, here is one analysis of Hitler which could be applied to Gerry Adams. In fact to prove this point I have transposed the name Hitler with that of Adams. "The danger of Adams was his seductive modernity. His propaganda could present a totalitarian message with the flair of democratic persuasion". Most sinister, though, are the occult forces of lying and lawlessness, those evil spirits driving IRA fanaticism. In the television documentary, "Hitler - the Fatal Attraction". Dr Christopher Andrew explored the impact on Hitler of his early years singing in the choir of the Benedictine monastery school and church at Lambach, in Austria. The documentary pointed out that the "swastika", infamous symbol of Nazism, was integral to the interior decoration of this fine example of baroque architecture. No wonder Hitler adopted a symbol which had been ever before his eyes as a choirboy.
Another television documentary on Nazism, from which the first quotation in this section is drawn, confirmed the impact of Roman Catholicism on the youthful Hitler by quoting the same statement that Dr Christopher Andrew had identified as important: "I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn
splendor of the many brilliant church festivals". This remarkable statement by the man later to become the Fürer of Nazi Germany resonates with sounds from the Apocalypse, which speaks of those "inhibitors of the earth made drunk with the wine of her fornication". It is noteworthy because this theme is taken up in one of the concluding sections of this essay. In this program, "Seduction of a Nation", the psycho-analyst and therapist, Professor Hehn Stierlin, commented that: "These early experiences as a choirboy exposed Hitler to Roman Catholic ritual which had a very powerful impact upon him. Hitler later took over elements which were incorporated into his own home-spun new religion in which he offered himself as a new messiah. The Germans embraced this dubious salvation". In Landau Prison, following his Munich Putsch, Hitler was assisted by the Jesuit Father Staempfle to write his political testament, Mein Kampf. When I read that Hitler had been aided by a Roman Catholic priest in writing his political master plan, I reacted with some incredulity, but a colleague with access to the libraries of Oxford was able to confirm the sources quoted on page 133 of All Roads Lead to Rome by Michael de Semlyn. Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA acts in concert with the other parties to the pan-nationalist front or axis, suggesting a striking parallel with the relationship between the Nazis and the Catholic Centre Party in Germany prior to the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 (see "Provisional Sinn Fein's Revolutionary Strategy", Wake Up magazine, March/April 1996).
Could it be that the high number of characteristics shared by Nazism and the Provisional IRA are not accidents of history? Could both powerful terror cohorts have access to the same revolutionary textbook or manual? From March 1933, Nazi pressure on Germany's Jewish population began to increase.
It was in March of that year that Hitler ordered the Nazi Brownshirts (S.A.) to stand outside Jewish shops to turn away customers. This economic victimization was but the prelude to the fiercest of persecution. The boycotting of the Jews in Germany was an initial step towards the Final Solution. The Provisional IRA also seeks a Final Solution to the Protestant problem. This Nazi persecution of the Jews raises a fundamental problem. There is a sense in which Roman Catholicism was and is Christianity as far as Jewish people are concerned. Given the Jews' abhorrence of idolatry, the fact that what Jews perceived to be an idolatrous religion, Roman Catholicism, is to their minds synonymous with Christianity means that one of the greatest obstacles to the conversion of the Jews is in reality Popery. The Pope of Rome stands in front of Christ, blotting Him out in Jewish eyes. Germans who ignored the boycott of Jewish premises were singled out for intimidation by Brownshirt thugs. Under cover of the spurious "peace process" the military structures of Sinn Fein/IRA remain intact and the horrendous list of punishment beatings ensures that few Roman Catholics will challenge the calls from their priests made in chapels in mid-Ulster to boycott Protestants named by these priests as targets and victims. Michael J F McCarthy, who was himself an eye witness to the methods of the Parnellite Land League in late nineteenth century Ireland was highly skeptical about the manner in which the Roman Catholic hierarchy disassociated themselves from the cruelties of the land war at that time. McCarthy commented: "It may be said that the Church hierarchy condemned the Fenians, but it must be remembered that the censure was merely official and the priests had brothers and cousins amongst the rebels". We might ask, what has changed? Evidence linking the Sinn Fein IRA Boycotting and street confrontation tactics to those of the ANC in South Africa. A colleague, writing about South Africa, has noted the tactical similarity between the revolutionary strategies of Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA and the ANC. As this extract makes clear, consumer boycotts were an unsuccessful strategy adopted to force further change in South Africa: The ANC and South African Communist Party in the latter stages of the de Klerk Government employed the tactic of a consumer boycott. This boycott was aimed specifically at right wing Afrikaners who had business concerns in the East Rand area. The idea was to try and get Afrikaners to modify their stance in opposition to the multi-party talks by hurting their pocket books.
At the time the CODESA talks were going on in Kempton Park near Johannesburg. CODESA stands for Convention on a Democratic South Africa. The boycott did have an effect although it did not achieve its objective to get Afrikaners to the table, as CODESA collapsed because it was unrepresentative. It could also be pointed out that Dr Gatsha Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) organized a series of marches at this time comprising thousands of Zulus in traditional clothing and carrying traditional weapons (spears, shields and knobkerries - a sort of club-type instrument). The ANC/SACP tactic was to confront these marches, which inevitably led to street violence, with the Security Forces being dragged in. There were calls from Mandela, Slovo, and Rainaphosa at the time for the IFP marches to be banned. The Minister of Law and Order, Adrian Vlok, responded by banning the carrying of traditional weapons, but not the marches themselves. There are distinct parallels between the tactics of the ANC/SACP and Sinn Fein/IRA in respect of these two issues. Other contemporary examples of boycotting.
Charles Mazena, once a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church in America, testified that when he accepted Christ as Savior and resigned the office of Bishop, "I lost all my property. My home was looted, and I was stripped of all my possessions. I was unjustly persecuted to the bitter end!"
Joseph Lulich, who also abandoned the Roman Catholic Church, having found Christ, wrote: "I had to flee from my superiors, relatives and friends. Having been excommunicated by the Roman Church, I had no dignity and work; and every door was closed to me. But I praise God that the peace I had in my soul was so great that I overcame that stage in my life without fear". A compelling example of what can happen to those who resign the Roman Catholic priesthood and become Christians is provided by Charles Berry. These are his own words: "To decide to leave (the Church of Rome and the priesthood) means to be cut off from most, if not all, of those who have loved, honored and respected us, and more importantly, those whom we have loved and served. Every priest must know several companions who have attempted the break and were forced, for one reason or another, to return. I did. They told me how they returned, not out of love for the Church, but among other reasons, so they could get "three square meals a day and a decent burial." "I carefully planned my break. Later, after several months working at Convair Astronautics I was informed that they had a staff position for me with the parent company of General Dynamics. Several weeks were involved in conferences and briefings. Naturally, I had to give a detailed account of my life, education and professional work, as well as references. All this I spelled out in great detail, omitting only the fact that I had been a Roman priest. Suddenly, just a day or two before I was to begin my new work, I received a telegram canceling all arrangements! Later I received a letter from Roman Catholic Church authorities warning me never again to try to obtain recommendations from church-controlled sources, because they would always deny they ever knew me".
Dario A Santamaria tells of how his acceptance of Christ and rejection of the Roman Catholic priesthood led to his being threatened with imprisonment and he had to flee Colombia. Antoine Bailly, a French Roman Catholic priest who became a Christian, had a similar experience to Dario's: Antoine had to flee France. This is what Antoine wrote: "About 8 years ago someone entered into our parish who had moved to Toulouse. He was a young man who was completely devoted to proclaiming Jesus Christ.
Through contact with him I began to see, in spite of my diligence and devotion, that I was busy building the congregation of Christ with straw. I was working on a strong facade, a pretty forefront, but inside this Church there was scarcely anybody who had converted to Christ, and who knows God's call. I noticed that I myself was not devoted to God's kingdom, but my own kingdom. For my own kingdom and for the glory of the hierarchy, the Roman Catholic authorities". "This discovery broke me to pieces. The building of my life tumbled down. I had worked for twenty years for something that seemed to me meaningless. That was for me the starting point of my conversion. From that time, I went on to preach about the necessity of conversion to Jesus Christ. "It is not sufficient to be baptized to be saved, but you must convert and ersonally trust in Christ." But that met an enormous resistance. They complained about me to the Bishop, who, in order to maintain the peace in the parish, demanded that I should resign. It would be better if I would leave the country altogether!" We find contemporary examples of boycotting from France, in Europe, to the United States and Colombia. The Roman Catholic Church is terrified of a breakout of real Christian confession and zeal among Ulster's backslidden Protestant population, among people who are presently gripped by slothfulness, sectarian murder and hatred, selfishness, self-righteousness, judgmentalism, hopelessness, despair and a giant holding so many souls in chains: deep, deep unbelief. Pray that God will raise up prophets to speak to the dry bones of Ulster Protestantism! To tell a despised and rejected people that God really loves them - God really does!
All these witnesses give their testimonies in a book entitled Far From Rome, Near to God. The testimonies of 50 converted Catholic priests, available from "Take Heed Ministries", The Breda Conversion Centre, Glencregagh Road, Belfast 6.
Boycotting is at variance with human rights.
Article I of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states: Genocide, whether committed in time of peace or time of war, is crime under international law. What, though, is genocide? 11. Acts committed with an intent to "destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group"; and it consists of, among other cruelties, "killing members of the group, causing
serious bodily or mental harm: deliberately inflicting on the group conditions calculated to bring about its physical destruction". It is our contention, supported by both historical and empirical evidence, that there are two nations on the island of Ireland, a minority British and Protestant nation, and a majority Roman Catholic and Irish Gaelic nation. Dr Heslinga, in his seminal work The Irish Border as a Cultural Divide, states on page 155: "James's Plantation of Ulster made a permanent change in the face of Ireland in the sense that it moved a whole new population - can I say a whole new nation - into part of Ireland."
Irish nationalists, on the other hand, hold that all of the peoples on the island are Irish, and those who deny their Irishness are deviants bought off by the British (sic) or colonists who have no right (sic) to be in Ireland in the first place. Such deviants and colonists are to be driven out. Boycotting is one means of driving deviants and colonists out of Ireland. As the Provisional IRA expresses it, "Brits out!" As the British state is secretly engaged in ceding Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, Britain "tolerates" the humiliations inflicted on Ulster's diminishing Protestant population as part of the price of an overall strategy which uses "all the violence" to promote "peaceful change", i.e. Irish unification by stealth.The Ulster Protestants are the victims of Provisional IRA terrorism and of an "elaborate strategy" to enforce their assimilation into an Irish nationalist culture. There is an almost total media black-out in respect of this example of anachronistic racism within Western Europe. This issue has never been debated in the British House of Commons or the European Parliament. At this moment huge sums of money are flowing into Irish republican and nationalist areas to the almost complete exclusion and disadvantage of the people who are being assaulted. Given the silence of the Government of the Republic of Ireland in respect of the physical "ethnic cleansing" of Protestants by IRA terror, and now the silent ethnic cleansing of Protestants by boycotting, it is obvious that though the government of the Republic covets Northern Ireland, it does not regard the whole population of Northern Ireland equally as potential future citizens, but adopts a discriminatory prejudiced and sectarian approach to the population in Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland supports the interests of Roman Catholic and nationalist people but turns a blind eye or ignores the sufferings of those who refuse to embrace an Irish nationalist ideology. The human rights aspect of the predicament of the Ulster Protestants was raised three years ago in the Manifesto of the Ulster Homeland Movement, from which this quotation is drawn: "The necessity for such a human rights movement arises from and is a response to an evident and sustained pattern of ethnic cleansing of the British and Protestant people in the City of Londonderry, South and East Tyrone, Fermanagh and South Armagh, within Northern Ireland, while Northern Ireland remains the ultimate responsibility of Her Majesty's Government. The failure of the British Government to protect the lives of ordinary people from the depredations of the Provisional IRA, which was originally set in being by "eminent and respectable persons" in the Irish Republic, the Constitution of which lays claim to Northern Ireland, must be viewed as one of the great political scandals' of the late twentieth century". "Furthermore, that these calamitous and barbaric events could take place within the jurisdiction and oversight of Her Majesty's Government raises the most profound questions about the nature of British parliamentary democracy, of a bipartisan approach which has robbed ordinary electors of the protection which Parliament is said to afford the British citizen, and of a deep cynicism, and a secretiveness at the heart of political affairs which is inherently dishonest about the intention of state policy".
It is self-evident that boycotting is a human rights issue.
1. See the application of Edith Elliott and others (number 9348/81 and 9360/81) to the European Commission on Human Rights. These appeals, though a decade old, contain un-controvertible documentary and statistical evidence of the strategic pattern of murders along the frontier of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. See also the BBC Northern Ireland "Spotlight" program, "The Killing Fields". Again, despite appeals, this program was not networked nationally. This situation has further deteriorated since 1981.
2. Clifford, B., Parliamentary Despotism: John Hume's Aspiration (Belfast: Athol Books, 1986).
3. The failure of Great Britain to govern Northern Ireland properly and to deal effectively with terrorism is a deliberate failure and is one of the great scandals of modem times." Newsletter, 6 December 1991.
4. The Scott inquiry into the Churchill-Matrix affair throws a spotlight onto Britain's secretive bureaucracy and its power over government policy. See also Cosgrave, P., The Lives of Enoch Powell. The voices of the boycott victims.
A recently formed organization called "Business and Professional People for the Union" has produced a report on the boycotting of businesses in Northern Ireland from July to September 1996 (inclusive). This report sets out a number of significant features, from which the following extracts are selected:
1. There was evidence, in some cases, that the boycotts were organized. A letter was sent to about 8 traders in a town in which the writer expressed disquiet at the incidents arising out of the Drumcree confrontation and declared his intention to withdraw his custom from, and "strongly advocate that my fellow Catholics in the community boycott", shops or businesses owned by those whom he considered were involved or condoned what the author describes in emotive language as "intimidation and horrific acts of violence against innocent
Catholics, anti-Catholic thuggery", etc. The majority of the recipients of this letter are not members of any of the Loyal Orders and had absolutely no connection with any protests. Their only "crime" is to live and conduct business in areas with large nationalist populations.
2. There is evidence that some boycotts were planned prior to the Drumcree confrontation. One of the traders was told that his name had been mentioned as a likely victim of a boycott on the 9th July, i.e. 2 days before the Drumcree situation came to a head.
3. Few of the traders chiefly affected by the boycotts were involved in roadblocks or any other action associated with Drumcree, in fact only a small number are members of the Orange Order. The conclusion is therefore that the organizers of the boycotts were either poorly informed, which, being local people in a small community, seems highly unlikely, or the boycotts are not a spontaneous reaction but are aimed at the wider unionist community and are sectarian in nature.
4. The businessmen are fearful of going public about their predicament because it may make their situation worse and exacerbate the damage already done to community relations. They make the valid point that the number of murders of their community by the IRA/Sinn Fein and the destruction of property over a period of 27 years has not led them to striking back against the nationalist population whereas the Drumcree incidents are being used as a pretext by the nationalists to undermine their livelihoods and to drive them out of business, and ultimately out of the area altogether. Rev. Ian Paisley, Member of Parliament for a constituency where the boycotting is taking place called for "an unambiguous statement from the Roman Catholic Church and the SDLP on this new IRA strategy of intimidation against Protestants" (Belfast Telegraph 27th September 1996). In the News Letter of the same date, Ian Paisley made an important point: "Even Protestants are being intimidated because they feel they're being marked for going into shops". In the same edition of the Northern Ireland paper, Alan Field, a spokesman for a pro-Union pressure group stated that "many businesses had seen their profits plummet by 60-70% in the past 12 weeks". Mr Field called for a financial rescue package. Two cases of intimidation that came to light involved Roman Catholics who continued to shop in Protestant establishments. In the first case, a woman bought a shirt from a Protestant business, and when this became known, three Roman Catholic women beat her up. In another case, the Roman Catholic neighbor spent a few pounds on groceries in a Protestant store, but on her return home from her shopping trip she received a threatening telephone call. As in Nazi Germany, her every move had been monitored!
A discussion between two Protestant victims of the boycott from different areas in the west of Ulster highlighted the crucial issues.One victim, who had survived two shootings at the hands of the IRA, remarked: "Protestants are supporting me very well, but the fact is that 70% of my trade is with Roman Catholic people; we've got to wean Roman Catholics back from Sinn Fein". The other victim responded by saying: "The Roman Catholics know exactly what they are doing; this is a softening-up process to weaken Protestant communities while the IRA recruit and rearm for the next onslaught - the Roman Catholics are not going to come back, you know! Those who believe different are under a great delusion". Immediate help would be forthcoming if the British Government acknowledged that boycotting is a form of terrorism, which is self-evident. Then victims would be entitled to compensation, like others who have suffered as a result of IRA lawlessness.
One cause of extreme sadness among many ordinary Protestants arises from the failure of their own ministers of religion to speak up on their behalf Of course, there are exceptions, but in general Protestant ministers keep a low profile or actually distort reality. These Protestant ministers attempt to prop up the myth of good community relations in a region of western Europe which is deeply polarized and close to further serious violence as embattled Protestants continue to lose ground to aggressive Pan-Nationalist Roman Catholics. Another victim of boycotting explained why Protestant clergymen, even those thought to
be evangelical, say so little about the day to day religious persecution of their own people. "These ministers know that if they speak out, they are not going to get on well in the future. For many Protestant ministers, theirs is no longer a vocation, it's just a job - there's too much personal risk in rocking the ecumenical boat, even for so-called evangelicals" This frustrated Protestant, whose small business lost £4,000 in the first month, spoke of Protestant school children spat upon by Roman Catholics on their way to and from school near Bellaghy, of Protestants moving out, and of these boycotts being organized in rural Roman Catholic parochial halls, the locality of which he went on to identify. This victim spoke of a Sinn Fein leaflet which had circulated in the Armagh area, which specifically named Protestant premises which were to be boycotted. Then in confirmation of all that had gone before, the victim produced a sinister hand-bill which had been circulated to both the few Protestants and the very many Roman Catholics in the town of Coalisland. The leaflet carried no signature and claimed that thirty Orangemen and a small band consisting of some elderly musicians and young children had "intimidated" the people of Coalisland, 97.5% of whom are Roman Catholics. This specious document, full of half-truths and innuendo, bore all the characteristics of Provisional Sinn Fein, and set the scene for the vicious intimidation of Protestants and Orangemen which took place on the Twelfth of July. After the police were forced to intervene to rescue the Protestants, and the local Church of Ireland minister was bombarded with abuse and humiliated in the street in broad daylight by a republican mob, Rev. Tomey said, "Today Coalisland has ceased to exist for the Protestant people!" It was a telling remark. Another eyewitness described the gutted ruins of Christ Church, Church of Ireland Church, Londonderry. The eyewitness said that the burned out shell of the church had such slogans daubed upon it as "boycott" and "get out of Derry". Needless to say, the local Church of Ireland minister, maintaining the lie of "good community relations" in Ulster, asserted that the attack on the Protestant church was not "sectarian!" Yet another message on the smoldering ruins of his church was stark: "Prods out".
One anonymous writer to the letters columns of the Belfast Telegraph had asked, a fortnight earlier (13th September): "Following attacks on Protestant homes, churches, halls and businesses, not to mention the organized campaign against Protestant shops and parades, I would like to ask Irish nationalists where do Protestants and loyalists fit in the New Ireland? The laughable peace process was meant to bring new enlightened thinking from all sides, but the Catholic nationalist community has turned on the sectarian heat". The Daily Telegraph carried a detailed report of the harassment and persecution of Protestant families in the village of Pomeroy in the paper on November 14, 1996. The eight-column account by the "Ireland correspondent", Toby Hamden, gave a graphic account of violence, ostracism and intimidation directed against the few ordinary Protestant villagers. Once again the courageous and outspoken Presbyterian minister, Rev. Bingham, gave an eyewitness account of the sufferings of the Protestant minority in the village. He declared: "This is Sinn Fein's long war strategy. It's another way of putting the screw on Protestants. People were told by hardline republicans not to go to Protestant shops" Meanwhile, boycott victim Stephen Boyd, whose brother, a fridge repair man, was shot dead by the IRA in 1993, said he had suffered a 25 per cent drop in trade. Catholic women whom he had known all his life would no longer come into his general store. Opposite the Roman Catholic chapel in the village of Pomeroy the walls are daubed with slogans which read: Disband the RUC, IRA All the Way, and "Brits" (sic) out, the Brits in this case being people who think of themselves as British and Protestant - Ulster's loyalists in other words. Mr Ramsay, whose home heating oil delivery lorry had been doused with petrol and set alight to prevent him from trading, said: "Things are as bad as ever. Sinn Fein IRA won't be happy until the last Protestant has been driven out of Pomeroy". It will take a little longer, but any reasonable analysis must surely conclude, to paraphrase boycott victim Mr Ramsay, that "Sinn Fein IRA won't be happy until the last Protestant has been driven out of Ulster". Strife over Orange parades is a case in point. The real objection is to the very presence of the Protestant people of Ulster on the island.
The policy of appeasement followed by successive British governments means that the British State actually serves as an agent of ethnic cleansing in Northern Ireland. The theory has been that if constitutional nationalists are given enough political rewards they can be detached from the Provisional Sinn Fein storm troopers. This theory is flawed. Only when Provisional Sinn fierier are defeated, whether morally or militarily, will there be any prospect of the Unionist majority in Ulster reaching some measure of agreement with the Roman Catholic minority. As Sinn fierier are winning the war, such a prospect is most unlikely. A simple matter of historical transposition suggests that conditions described in Ulster resemble those in Weimar Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. In a sense the boycott victims share an identical psychological response to that evidenced by the Jews in Nazi Europe: a fear of speaking out in case that made things worse, and a hope that things might improve or get better, all bound up with an unwillingness to confront the reality of human evil and wickedness. I have received other reports of obscene and horrific forms of harassment visited upon ordinary Protestant working people in recent weeks, but as I cannot corroborate them fully, such reports have been omitted. Evidently the rising tide of persecution and aggression against Ulster Protestants is not yet in full spate! By contrast, the Protestant population is deeply divided, inarticulate, lacking spokesmen and leadership. Is it that the judgment of God is upon them? Who will sing a sad song for this Ulster Protestant martyr?
On the 17th of September 1996, in the picturesque seaside village of Glenarm in County Antrim, Mr Ken Auld took his life into his hands. Mr Auld confronted three Roman Catholics as they ripped down the Union Jack from a flagpole. Mr Auld, like many of us, believed that we have a human right to be British and Protestant on the island of Ireland. He may not have expressed his sense of identity in quite those terms, but his Roman Catholic neighbors did not appreciate the Union flag: they preferred to desecrate it. When Mr Auld expressed his objections to this attack upon his sense of identity, his right to be what he knew himself to be, he was abused. No, it was more than abuse. His Roman Catholic neighbors drove a screwdriver into the 47 year old's head! Days later, in hospital, he would die of that horrendous wound. You didn't see or hear of this tragic assault on television. No cameras whirred while a priest intoned a homily. The murder of an innocent man was of no propaganda advantage, because Mr Auld was not a Roman Catholic or an Irish nationalist. He was therefore of no media interest: he was a non-person like a Jew in Poland in 1942. Instead Mr Auld was carried with quiet dignity to the grave.Who will speak up for Mr Auld? Who will speak up for the boycott victims? Who will speak up for a little nation called Ulster?
Who will write a sad song in memory of a man who actually believed that the Union flag is worth dying for? Is it possible to explain why Ireland's Roman Catholics are driven to expel their Protestant neighbors from the island?
Bosers Anderup, writing in the Socialist Register in 1981, observed this phenomenon: "It is the extravagant claim of Irish Catholics to the whole island which is divisive". As "Prods Out" slogans are painted on the walls of Protestant churches or on the thoroughfare in the village of Bellaghy, we must ask what lies behind the Roman Catholic rejection of neighborliness and the adoption of exclusivity? It is obvious that not all Roman Catholics harbor such extreme intentions towards Protestants and Protestantism, though in the towns and villages where boycotting is at its most intense it may not be so obvious! Yet even moderate Roman Catholics see no moral problem in striking up an alliance (the Pan-Nationalist Front) with the most murderous and cunning of the Irish Republicans. Further, in the event of action by the British Security Forces, even the most moderate of Irish Roman Catholic politicians and spokespersons are impelled to speak up on behalf of "unarmed men, innocent victims, good family men", and other euphemisms for lawless terrorists shot dead in dangerous circumstances, while overseeing large arms and explosive caches. When we delve into the past we discover that the theme and objective of expelling Protestants from Ireland recurs again and again within the internal or unspoken mythologies of Irish Roman Catholicism. The following quotations are drawn from the late 18th and early 19th centuries respectively. In their turn, Rockites began to bum Protestant Churches and Ribbonmen encouraged each other by talking of the day when Protestantism in Ireland would be overthrown - Unionists and Nationalists 1800 - 1886 (a contemporary school text book by Longmans). "There have been for centuries, probably since the Reformation itself, certain opinions floating among the lower classes in Ireland, all tending to prepare them for some great change in their favor, arising from the discomfiture of heresy, the overthrow of their enemies, and the exaltation of themselves and their religion". [William Carleton, Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry (ed. D J O'Donoghue) Vol. IV "Tubber Derg; or, The Red Well" (London: J M Dent & Co., 1896), p.31. The following quotation is much more recent; it is an extract from the Irish Times of 30 June 1955. "Three hundred years of history should have shown them the futility of attempting to build a Protestant island in a Catholic sea". Today the underlying theme of "Planters go home", found amongst graffiti in Belfast, is expressed in bitter invective and slogans scrawled throughout Ulster. It is a chilling reminder of the claim made in the Provisional An Phoblacht (28 November 1975), which predicted that Ulster would be "ethnically cleansed" of Protestants by the year 2,000. This drive to expel Protestants is the antithesis of good community relations. It is amazing that neighbors who in a rational, an objective sense, have a human right to be British and Protestant in Ireland, and in reality represents a coherent minority society or "nation" on the island are denied those rights through such flagrant victimization. Are the Irish Republicans and their fellow Roman Catholic allies intoxicated with false doctrine and an erroneous or fabricated mythology which overawes reality through the power of propaganda and lawless violence?
Yet perhaps the key is to be found in a piece of writing which takes us back to the Reformation era, and which has been recorded (inter alia) for us in a little book entitled The Trial of antichrist, first published in 1806 although the writer is quoting from the 1844 Third Edition. A well authenticated letter of May 1538 was found in possession of Thade O'Brien, a Franciscan Friar, jailed in Dublin Castle. It had been written to O'Neill by the Bishop of Metz with the approval of Pope Paul 3. This letter is also reported independently, though there is no way of knowing if the poet had read "The Trial of Antichrist", in Rev. Robert Young's collection of ballads printed in the mid-19th century. The footnote in the book of ballads is an abbreviated version of the same document: My Son O'Neill - Thou and thy fathers were ever faithful to the mother Church of Rome. His holiness Paul, the present Pope, and his council of holy fathers, have lately found an Irish prophecy of one St Lazerianus, an Irish Archbishop of Cashel. It saith, that "the Church of Rome shall surely fall when the Catholic faith is overthrown in Ireland." The letter then exhorts O'Neil for his own protection to suppress heresy and oppose the enemies of His Holiness. The letter continues: "The Council of Cardinals have therefore thought it necessary to animate the people of the holy island in this pious cause". The Trial of Antichrist quotes as the source for this curious letter Leland Vol. 11. 1721. It is painfully evident that at times the Roman Catholic rural campaign against Ulster Protestants has taken on all the aspects of a religious crusade. And the boycott in particular applies financial thumbscrews to ordinary Protestant businesses having first borne false witness against the victims with all kinds of black propaganda, evil speaking and mendacity, so as to leave them isolated and vulnerable.
It has to be said that it is difficult to know how much weight can be placed on this source. The writer had in the past heard mention of the prophecy that when Catholicism fell in Ireland it would fall world-wide, but the written source must be treated with caution. The fact that the letter is also referred to, as an extensive footnote in Young's Ballads must on balance give it added credence. There is also linguistic evidence derived from examining Irish Gaelic language forms in which the word "Protestant" lacks a theological meaning or significance and is invariably rendered in senses, which imply a foreigner or outsider. This
is a technical point, which would require further study and elaboration beyond the scope of this present essay. In a sense the boycotting of Protestants in Ulster is nothing new. It is a more public manifestation of a type of unspoken warfare, which has come down to us from the more distant past. It could be said that Irish Roman Catholicism, even if it does not always acknowledge the intention or admit to the reality as experienced in Castlederg, Benburb, Dungiven, Lisnaskea or Warrenpoint a generation ago, boycotts Protestantism. This is an analysis that gives a whole new twist to the issues of "integrated education" (which the writer supports) or media bias against Protestants and their culture. One side of the story rarely gets told, and that is even allowing for the fact that some Protestant organizations in Ulster often fail to answer the telephone or put up spokespersons to articulate their position.
It is time for Ireland's Roman Catholic and nationalist people to give some things back Today we all understand that the secret of a happy life is balance. St Paul referred to it as "moderation" (Phil. 4:5). If we smoke we will in all probability fall ill and perhaps die. If we drink and drive we will in all probability cause an accident and possible fatalities. If we spend to excess on alcohol we may destroy not only our marriage but family life. Balance, moderation and stability: these are the qualities that point to happiness. So too in regard to communities. Northern Ireland is such a community. Through the power of propaganda and the propaganda of violence, social and political life has been thrown out of balance. It is the opinion of the majority of people, the Protestants, that things have gone too far: "enough is enough", they say.
Protestants discern in the responses of the British State duplicity and deception. It can hardly be an accident that in each set piece encounter between London and Dublin it is the Unionists who have lost ground. Under this process of constitutional erosion, many ordinary Protestants fear there will soon be no ground left. Hibernicization of our culture, hibernicization of the RUC, joint this and joint that: soon the Britishness of Ulster will be history, overborne by revolutionary violence and appeasement. Boycotting and the larger issue of ethnic cleansing are part and parcel of the same war of attrition; the ground is being cut from under the British and Protestant population in Ulster. "Enough is enough". What is interesting is that Protestants encounter not neighborliness, not acceptance, but rejection: "Prods out." In order to restore balance and order, to invest "neighborliness" with value and reality, the time has come for the Roman Catholic and nationalist people to give some things back. A start could be made by restoring to the Protestant victims of the boycott their good name, and their freedom to trade. But is this abuse really religious persecution? At regular intervals throughout the civil unrest in Ulster, Protestant spokesmen, Orange leaders, or ministers of religion, conducting yet another funeral of a murder victim called upon the Roman Catholic hierarchy to excommunicate the IRA. Such calls went unheeded. Preaching at the funeral of Provisional IRA murder victim, Albert Beacom, a Church of Ireland clergyman said this, and his words stand as representative of widespread Protestant opinion: "Who are these Republican terrorists? They are men who speak idealistically of a new, united Ireland. Roman Catholic people, I ask you to stop and think; I ask you to contrast their heartless and wicked actions with their fine sounding words. Their works are satanic and their legacy is terror and sorrow. What they do is often condemned by you, but if they are killed through their involvement in violence, we see them buried as heroes and treated like martyrs". The funeral sermon concluded with an appeal, which went unanswered, to the Roman Catholic bishops to xcommunicate the Provisional IRA. It can be argued, therefore, that had the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland heeded such appeals from the victims of terror, and excommunicated the IRA, then it could not be asserted that the sufferings of the Protestants were a form of religious persecution (see the writings of life-sentence ex-IRA man Sean Callaghan, or Conor Cruise O'Brien etc.) As the Roman Catholic hierarchy failed to excommunicate the IRA and as numerous documents establish a clear connection between Roman Catholic priests and the Provisional IRA, then it is reasonable to advance the view that Protestants suffer religious, that is Roman Catholic, victimization. A further reason for asserting that the abuse, boycotting and murder of Ulster's Protestants is in reality religious persecution, turns on the political and constitutional gains which self-proclaimed moderate and constitutional Irish nationalists have made at the expense of the Protestant victims of Provisional IRA terror.
I may be wrong, but it appears to me that there is a moral problem inherent in a situation where violence is condemned in the strongest terms, and yet those who condemn the violence have no hesitation in profiting by it. Anyone with access to a modern history of Northern Ireland, for example Keesing's Contemporary Archives, will observe the strongest possible correlation between Provisional IRA lawlessness and British government concessions. Yet the beneficiaries of these concessions are never the IRA themselves - that
would be to reward terrorism. The gains are made by the Dublin Government and the "constitutional nationalists": the Roman Catholic populace in general. If you are a devout Roman Catholic and condemn the violent deeds of your co-religionists in the IRA, surely for that condemnation to ring true rather than
ring hollow, you cannot be seen in any way, direct or indirect, to be favored or advantaged by the violence which you condemn. Maybe I am in error here. Perhaps my understanding of moral theology is shallow. Or is it that the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland have failed the Roman Catholic people as much as they have failed the Protestant neighbors of the Roman Catholics on this island? Boycotting substantiates these arguments. Previously it could be said that IRA atrocities were the work of misguided Roman Catholic fanatics "representing no one but themselves", even though the reader will reflect that the whole Roman Catholic and nationalist population invariably profited from "concessions" made by British governments. This is especially true of the government of one of Europe's most Roman Catholic nations, the Republic of Ireland, which now has a powerful, totally malign and anti-Protestant influence over how Ulster is to be governed. This position was won for the Irish Republic by the bombs, bullets and thuggery of the IRA. After British acts of appeasement, both governments would solemnly assure the watching world that "reconciliation" and "peace" would soon be evident, but Roman Catholic nationalists have interpreted Britain's policy of appeasement as signifying "indifference" and "lack of will". Not unnaturally, pressure on Ulster's Protestants has increased. Such pressures are now openly sectarian and involve whole sections of the Roman Catholic community acting as one, to drive Protestants out. It is also to be observed that while spokesmen from the Church of Rome have vociferously condemned Provisional IRA outrages, they see no inconsistency in supporting, and more, actively encouraging, moderate nationalists to seek political and constitutional profit from the violence they condemn. In this way, Irish republican terrorism and self-styled constitutional nationalism work like pincers or claws with a cutting edge and a gripping edge, while the victims, the British and Protestant nation in the north-east corner of
the island suffer reverse. The boycotting of Ulster's Protestant businessmen reveals the Roman Catholic Church's persecuting spirit and confirms the analysis of the Rev John McDonald, of Mr A. J. Ferris, of F Turgenot and others. In his book Romanism Analyzed, published by the Scottish Reformation Society in 1888, the Rev. John McDonald poses and then answers the following question: "What forms does Rome's persecuting spirit take in Protestant countries?" Another form of persecution is boycotting, which though modem in name is not modem in origin in the Romish Church. It was devised by the Third Council of
Lateran in 1179, and sanctioned by Pope Alexander III; the terms of the canon were: "We prohibit all men, under pain of anathema, from admitting them (heretics) into their houses, or allowing them to subsist on their lands, or giving them any assistance, or even transacting any business, as buying or selling with them". (page 364) The reader will be struck by the similarity between the text of the canon quoted by Rev. McDonald above and the experience of Bishop Ferns in 1612 quoted earlier in this essay. A. J. Ferris, in Part 11 of his book The Book of Revelation, a simple explanation and survey published in 1940 and drawing heavily on the earlier work by E B Elliot, Horae Apocalyptae notes the following: Verse 17 (of Chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation) tells us that none might buy or sell save that he has the mark of the beast, that is unless he obeyed the rites and ceremonies of the church with its Latin prayers etc. This prophecy is a direct reference to the well known practice of the Church of Rome called EXCOMMUNICATION, the result of which in the economic sphere was like the modern boycott. (page 3 1) This review of present attitudes is, I believe, correct. Unfortunately, Reformed leaders are reluctant to inquire too deeply into the sufferings of ordinary Protestants in Northern Ireland right now. Such persecution does not appear before our eyes because "the rulers of the darkness of this world" control what we imagine we are "free" to view on the television screen. In the late twentieth century if the event is not on the screen, the event may as well not be happening. Reality is edited out, truth is distorted. Who does not worship the "image of the beast"? Does the Roman Catholic boycott of Protestant shops and businesses in Benburb, Castlederg, Dungannon, Dungiven, Pomeroy, Portglenone and Lisnaskea, and other forms of abuse and victimization, help us to understand what "the image of the beast" is? By a remarkable providence a book, newly published in the United States and entitled Graven Bread, comes to our aid by answering the question, what is the "image of the beast". Written by Timothy F. Kauffman, the full title of this vital study reads: "Graven Bread, The Papacy, the Apparitions of Mary and the Worship of the Bread of the Altar".
I burst into tears when I read on the inside page: "This is dedicated to Jesus Christ: my Lord, my God, my Master, my Savior. He rescued me". Oh, that our Roman Catholic friends and neighbors, acquaintances, workmates, and those Roman Catholics too who persecute us in Ulster, might really know that Jesus Christ rescues us. I do - that's why I wept. Timothy Kauffman gives his personal testimony as to his salvation in another book, Quite Contrary, produced by the same publisher. Kauffman explains his Roman Catholic background and devotion to the apparitions of Mary, The blurb on the back cover says this "is the story of a man who was lost in Marian devotion and then set free by the power of God's Word". Kauffman gives his personal testimony of salvation on pages 132 and 133, and it is wonderful.
It is, though, his commentary in Graven Bread, that is most disturbing, because his analysis reinforces all that we have read already - because, once again, our author refers us to the loss of the "right to engage in business and financial transactions" as a technique used by devout Roman Catholics to exercise control and enforce Catholicity: In Revelation 13 through 20, God reveals to us that the antichrist will require people to accept a mark on the forehead and on the hand, and will force people to worship an image of their own making. It is evident that in some respects Mr Kauffman has arrived at similar conclusions to myself. that to assume that "the image of the beast" may refer to some bizarre future piece of technology is suspect, indeed unsatisfactory. Mr Kauffman is more to the point than I was at the commencement of this essay: Our attention, therefore, should not be focused on our technology, but rather on what God reveals to us in His Word about a mark on the forehead and the hand. Kauffman then develops a very compelling argument which all Protestants should read and think through, and in particular: It should not surprise us then that the image the Papacy has erected with the assistance of the apparitions of Mary is not just bread, but communion bread which originates in the Passover ritual - bread which the Papacy has told us is really worthy of worship. Pope after Pope has affirmed the need to worship the Eucharist, and during the Inquisitions, failure to obey resulted in financial isolation, torture, and death for a great number of true Christians. "The free and commanded use of the scriptures - the inculcation of the doctrines of grace and of the efficacy of the sacrifice and intercession of Christ, without any allusion to the mass, to ransubstantiation, purgatory, human merit or prayers for the dead - the diversity in the forms of celebrating divine worship - the rejection of the papal supremacy - the marriage of the clergy -the scriptural character of the early bishops, each having charge of only one parish, and being laborers "in word and doctrine" the presbyterial order of the Culdees and their singular piety and zeal all these important points of doctrine and discipline were maintained and practiced in the ancient Irish church".
It is often forgotten that this Christ-centred church was the first Christian witness in Ireland. With the Plantation comes another special manifestation of God's Sovereign favor. Descriptions of the early days of the Plantation have an all too familiar ring to those of us who mourn over Ulster's contemporary downgrade:
On all hands atheism increased and disregard of God, iniquity abounded with contention, fighting, murder, adultery, etc., as among people who, as they had nothing within them to overawe them, so their ministers' example was worse than nothing; for, "from the prophets of Israel profaneness went forth to the whole land." Yet God was pleased to send to Ulster seven ministers of exemplary characters, spirituality and evangelical zeal, with the consequence that: The revival of religion which occurred at this period, has been repeatedly referred to, as one of those sudden and extensive manifestations of the power of divine grace upon a careless people, with which the church has been occasionally favored. Rarely has the church of Christ in any land experienced so sensible an increase, in so limited a period.
Robert Fleming, in his Fulfillment of Scripture observed: "I shall here instance the great and solemn work of God which was in the church of Ireland some years before the fall of prelacy, about the year 1628, and some years thereafter, which, as many grave and solid Christians were yet alive can witness, who were there present, was a bright and hot sun-blink of the Gospel; yea, may with sobriety be said to have been one of the largest manifestations of the Spirit, and of the most solemn times of downpouring thereof, that almost since the days of the Apostles hath been seen. There were other revivals in equally troubled times. In the years immediately following the 1798 rebellion, a band of faithful itinerant Methodist preachers, roclaiming the Gospel to Irish people in their own tongue, enjoyed great blessing and success". If we take some of the testimonies recorded in their letters and journals for the summer of 1801, we find:
"Thence the preachers went to Ballyhaise, where they met many of the poor "sheep without a shepherd" who felt that these men had more love in their hearts for them than all the clergy in the country. The Roman Catholics were alarmed, especially while they declared that neither salt nor water, nor oil, nor beads, would ever save them; nothing but the Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth". The missionaries told the Roman Catholics that neither their Church nor their priests, nor masses, nor purgatory could save them. Nothing but faith in the atoning blood of Christ (Heb. ix:22) could justify them. "Nothing will do now but hurling the artillery of heaven against the strongholds of Babylon. Nothing else will shake Rome's foundations, and destroy her hellebore errors". Oh, such an in gathering of souls! The Spirit of the Lord had descended in an abundant manner. The shout of the king was heard in our camp, and the voice of new-born souls was sweet". The Catholics cried aloud; "Have we believed the doctrine of devils, and renounced the Gospel of God for the commandments of men?"
The History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Vol. I, James Seaton Reid (Edinburgh) p.2, pp.93-127.
The Apostle of Kerry - The Life of the Rev. Charles Graham, Rev. W. Graham Campbell (Dublin, 1868), p.124-131.
The Irish Border as a Cultural Divide, Prof. M. W. Heslinga (Assen, The Netherlands, 1979), p.120.
Loyalist paramilitaries, that "amalgam of thieves", mere tools of British Intelligence, cannot save Protestant Ulster. Political parties riddled with back-biting, petty jealousies, inflated egos and self-interest cannot save Protestant Ulster. Protestant church leaders, who shamefacedly look in the opposite direction rather than suffer reproach with their own congregations, have nothing to offer the ordinary, persecuted, boycotted grass-roots folk who are convinced that they have a God-given right - the liberty, the freedom - to be what they know themselves to be. British governments caught up in the European Union, bullied by Irish Republican terrorists and a pro united Ireland American State Department, have nothing to offer other than discreet capitulation. Yet amazingly, what is happening in Northern Ireland today is described for us in the last book of the Bible, God's Word, the Book of Revelation of St John the Divine, Chapter 13 and verse 17, where those who do not have "the mark of the Beast" cannot "buy or sell" - the victims of boycotting. A number of prophetic commentaries have been shown to agree that "boycotting" accurately describes the predicament of those referred to in this scripture passage. Therefore we can say with certainty and courage, standing on the Word of God, that God our loving heavenly Father sees us in our distress.
The question therefore is, will God in His grace and mercy deliver us from those great and imminent dangers by which we are now encompassed? The answer was given to Orangemen as they met in prayer for Ulster in Albertbridge Orange Hall on Saturday afternoon, 28th September 1996 - Ulster Day: "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (11 hron. 7:14). And what of those who persecute? What of Roman Catholic people caught up and swept along in a zeal to rid Ireland of its Protestant population? Friends, time is short; God's judgments are sure; the lives of Roman Catholic priests and bishops warn of the delusions of a system the fruits of which are depravity, lies, false witness, hypocrisy, cruelty, viciousness, hatred and murder. Do you want civil war in Ulster? Then you may have it; but if you want peace, then embrace our lovely Savior, Jesus Christ. Let the call go forth: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4).
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