The letter killeth - Holmes Williams and the CIA

Intelek Int'l By Intelek Int'l, 29th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Politics

In this second instalment of my "conscious coupling" of Barbados' Reverends Holmes Williams and America's William Holmes McGuffey I explore the connections with earthly government that affected their ministries.

How did these unquestionable "servants of the Kingdom of heaven" reconcile their divinely ordained duties with their earthly responsibilities?

The Lord giveth. The Lord taketh away

"Government is like the giant with an uzi. It means so well, but if it gets scared or sad or confused, it can squeeze off 80 rounds without even noticing the bodies falling around it. One single law can put technologies that should have disappeared a generation ago onto eternal life support and close the door on their superior replacements."

The words of Jonathan Bush, cousin of the 43rd president of the United States, George W Bush.

His dismal assessment of government bureaucracy is shared in an article titled Government (Or, How My Cousin the President Nearly Killed My Company).

It is probable that both the recently deceased Barbadian cleric Reverend Holmes Williams and his American "twin", Reverend William Holmes McGuffy had an intimate knowledge of governmental good intentions producing perverse outcomes.

In this second instalment of my "conscious coupling" of these pioneering clerics I explore the connections with earthly government that affected their ministries.

Given my own experience as a target of what I believe to be Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assisted or inspired plots to defame me and disrupt my religion reforming and other socio-politically consequential business activities, I am particularly interested in reverends Williams' and McGuffy's interactions with government organs like the CIA, its historical predecessors and contemporary agencies safeguarding American, British, Canadian, Dutch and other Western nations' security and economic prosperity.

How did Revs Williams and McGuffey, apparently sincere, passionate promoters of the "Kingdom of heaven", reconcile what they understood to be their divinely ordained duties with their earthly civic, law-abiding and other responsibilities?

How did they interact with the "giant with an uzi" that government can be?

In their pursuit of the biblical directive to "render to Caesar" the things that are his, were they ever overwhelmed by the size or prowess of the giant?

Were they prepared to speak truth to power in all instances?

What were their views on the principle of the separation of church and state?

How did they "incarnate" or give pragmatic, earthly expression to that principle?

I have some reason to believe that on more than a few occasions, motivated by a variety of interests - some selfish, others selfless, most probably a combination of such motives - Rev Williams' behaviour (at least) was rather like that of the "scared or sad or confused" giant with an uzi.

And I should note here that the tragic story of reputed "gun-lover" Veronica Rutledge, shot dead by her two year-old son, on Boxing Day, demonstrates that a toddler's curiosity, when combined with a lethal weapon, may be just as deadly as a well meaning legislator's good intentions combined with ignorance and fear.

A baby's curiosity combined with a lethal weapon, may be just as deadly, albeit on a smaller numerical scale, as the dictates of those religious leaders who have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate the potent destructiveness of legalistic faith combined with access to a states law makers.

I note the generous access that the Reverend Jim Jones is believed to have enjoyed first to a number of American politicians and latterly to the Guyanese dictator Forbes Burnham.

Osama Bin Ladin apparently had unfettered access to Afghan governmental ears.
And I believe that the full extent of his access to the ears of some Pakistani political elites is yet to be revealed.

Which Rabbis enjoy the greatest trust and confidence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

How potent is the influence of Pentecostal preacher David Durant (the McGuffy Williams' self-proclaimed son) with Barbadian parliamentarians and other persons officially responsible for Barbados' security and prosperity under the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government?

What, if anything, does the legalizing of gay marriage by British Prime Minister David Cameron and his elephant-eared United States counterpart, president Barack Obama tell us about the theological, sexual, socio-economic or other orientations of the clerics who influence their thinking?

As I make clear below, both Rev Williams, "the McGuffey" and Rev McGuffey (the "Willy"?) were in positions that gave them access to governmental decision makers and making.

They, like Anglican Arch Bishop Justin Welby, the Roman Catholics Pope Francis, Revs Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright (at least for a time) and the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan, had access to and goodwill with the complex of politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, lobbyists and other "ists" that make up the West's law-making machinery.

We might think of government as a giant or a "big baby".

The critical component clearly, is the "liberties" we allow it t take.

Whether it is motivated by curiosity or good intentions, what matters is what we allow it to play with.

Politicians, they playing de mass

"One single law can put technologies that should have disappeared a generation ago onto eternal life support and close the door on their superior replacements," says Bush.

Extraordinarily, it was a seemingly liberal, progressive law that was focused on the use of computers in America's health sector that threatened his internet-based business.

But this is the nature of the written law.

It is fundamentally arbitrary and, despite the best efforts of legal 'draughtsmen', the infrastructure they produce, their laws tends to be proven (at one time or another) inconsistent at best and downright baby-reaching-into-purse-shoots-mom contradictory, at the most tragic.

And this "lethalness of the letter" is shared by the written law in both religious and secular contexts.

It is what the author of the biblical second epistle to the Corinthians had in mind when he wrote "the letter killeth".

As I explain in my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled (TBBTR), while in its literary-historical context, the technical Greek term "te gramma", (translated "the letter") referred to the Jewish scriptures, which Christians call the "Old Testament", the lethalness of the letter applies to both the Old Testament and the so-called New Testament.

Moreover in TBBTR I set out my rigorously researched, scholastically tested, historically-grounded belief that by confusing the written things of the New Testament with the spiritual promptings (not printings) of the New Covenant that both the Old and New Testament mention, Revs William and McGuffey and countless other Christian giants and big babies have perpetrated something comparable to a crime against humanity.

And historically, the possibly well-meaning but ultimately unhelpful, and in some instances, diabolical schemes of these Bible-thumping theological toddlers have been advanced by political parasites, business bullies, academic and other opportunists in the scientific, media and publishing fields whose primary concern has been to safeguard monetary, reputational and other investments in the errant religious clerics' ill-founded, outmoded but government sanctioned "technologies".

Too often, maintaining the status quo has been the clerics and their government, business, academic, political, media and other sponsors' first priority - not the public good or any other good, particularly.

I certainly have wondered, occasionally, what perceived "good" might have motivated Amazon's Jeff Bezos', the Associated Press' Jill Lawless, the BBC's Mike Liggins and other persons to either passively not supported or actively obstructed one or another of my religion or business reforming initiatives or activities.

I wonder what considerations or concerns might have led University of Illinois Press' Lynda Schuh to break off a seemingly very promising business dialogue that she and I had been engaged in about marketing the Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions, which includes an article extract explaining some of my "theology".

What considerations, moreover, and more pertinently, may have motivated prominent Caribbean journalist Ricky Singh, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies' (PAWI) Bishop Gerald (Gerry) Seale and other persons I asked to mediate between Rev Williams and I to decline those peace-making opportunities?

Barbadian-Canadian Mark Beckles, a former member with me at Rev Williams' church, also declined this peace-making opportunity.

The one-time political aspirant who contested a Brampton, Ontario seat in 2007, suggested that I just telephone Rev Williams and speak to him directly.

But as I tried to explain to Beckles, I had already tried to initiate a dialogue and make peace with Rev Williams by direct oral and written means.

I only resorted to seeking his and others', including Rev Durant's, mediation because my direct, face-to-face and other personal efforts to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of differences with Rev Williams had proved futile.

Indeed, as I recall, the last time Rev Williams and I were in the same room together and there was therefore an opportunity for him and I to talk, he had left the room rather hurriedly.

If I recall correctly, that encounter occurred in 2002 in the Peoples Cathedral prayer room.

s I recall, I had not long before returned to Barbados from England, having survived an apparent extraordinary rendition attempt by Special Branch, MI5, the CIA or some other British, American or other intelligence and security force on my liberty.

Some years ago Barbadian calypsonian Stedson Wiltshire, stage name, "Red Plastic Bag" released a song about the machinations of politicians, which he likened to Caribbean Carnival revelry.

"Politicians, dey playin de mass!" goes the choral reprieve.

But as former Barbadian Prime Minister Sir Erskine Sandiford is noted for saying, politics is pervasive.

We are all "political" actors to some degree - even though we may decide not to vote or otherwise engage in politics actively.

I attempted to communicate my awareness of this fact to Barbadian businessman Dick Stoute (of TMR Sales and Service, along with his wife June) not very long ago.

I remain optimistic that Stoute, Sir Kyffin Simpson, Andrew Skeete and other Barbadian, British and Caribbean business people may yet come to appreciate my holistic, business, religion, politics and wider, social cohesion building philosophy.

It's not what you know...or is it?

McGuffey's connections with other politico-religious power brokers like fellow educator Andrew Wylie, a specialist on American Constitution studies and the abolitionist Harriett Beecher Stowe have been documented.

The morality focused McGuffey Readers series of text books for which the American is famous may even have been initiated and underwritten by the Whig Party politician Truman Smith, who had ties to Abraham Lincoln (the reference to "the small Cincinnati publishing firm of Truman and Smith" appears to be a Wikipedia editorial error).

According to Wikipedia McGuffey was recommended for the job of writing the text books by his long-time friend Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Intriguingly, McGuffy shares this involvement in racial politics with Williams, a fact alluded to by Rev Durant (mentioned above) when he spoke at Williams' funeral on December 29.

And Durant, made a senator by the ruling DLP when it began its second term in office on February 21 last year, would have first come to national prominence as a religious advisor to the tragically deceased 6th Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson.

The Suriname-born Durant figured prominently in the "dead-end-drama" of Thompson's protracted demise as a result of pancreatic cancer, in 2010.

But I have written more directly about Reverend Williams' connections to Barbados' political movers, shakers and machinery (or should that be machinations) previously.

I have written especially about his connections to the island's "Father of Independence", the late Errol Barrow, whose seemingly incontestable DLP constituency seat was perhaps "cherry picked" for the ill-fated Thompson, ironically.

There is possibly a lesson there for Prime Ministerial aspirant Mia Mottley and other Barbadian politicians who seem to put more stock on seeming political certainties than is justified either by the everywhere abundant evidence of human fallibility or of our mortality.

And that lesson is underscored by the unexpected, political-bubble-popping, tenure-terminating similarity of Thompson's and Barrow's deaths.

Thompson was only 48 when he died and had been in office for only two years and about 3 months before he was forced to give way to Freundel Stuart,who became acting Prime Minister.

Barrow's death foreshadowed Thompson's eerily as he died only a year after he led the DLP to its first general election victory after a two-term run of power by the rival Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

But we may be in the realm here of cosmic comeuppance or retribution, more so than a governmental giant with an uzi.

We may be looking at a tragic demonstration of the kind of Shebola (Ebola approximating) fundamentalist femme fatale's poetic justice that was possibly the gun-loving mother Rutledge's undoing.

1 Timothy 5:8 (King James Version) tells us "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

The closer religious clerics get to giant-like, uzi carrying centres of secular political power, as Williams and McGuffey clearly did, the more at risk they are of failing this "charity begins at home" test.

And that's because of the extraordinary variability of human organisms and how we interrelate, across all contexts - religious, political, commercial, familial and so on.

The complexity of language, and in the case of English, the semantic, phonetic and overall obesity that is a consequence of its imperial history, and the academic avarice and aloofness that attaches to all status quo serving languages and the education systems and dynamics that preserve its vested interests, merely compound this challenge.

Some years ago, at a meeting of Pentecostal leaders from around the Caribbean (held at my old church, the Peoples Cathedral, in Barbados) an attempt was made to honour the pioneering work of a Canadian missionary who had been a key contributor to their denomination's establishment.

When the aged missionary stood at the pulpit his message was very short and poignant. He said words to this effect:
"This is very thoughtful of you, but it's a dung heap to me because while I was busy planting churches I lost touch with my son and today I don't know where he is."

He left the pulpit in tears.

There are some things that even the most informed government advisors, religious clerics or scientists will never know.

The CIA, MI5, a local police officer, immigration official or other governmental agent or agency might be able to make some problems go away for an academic or cleric who has access to one politician or another's ear and goodwill.

I have good reason to believe that the CIA to "save" two individuals from the just consequences of criminal activity because of their family's connections to Rev Williams and the Peoples Cathedral.

For a preacher or highly favoured academic, like the politically influential professor Sir Hilary Beckles, that kind of power may be very attractive - even seductive.

But as the Bible suggests, while all things are lawful, for Christians, they are not also necessarily expedient.

To be continued...



Barack Obama, Barbados, Bill Clinton, Central Intelligence Agency, Cia, David Cameron, Gay Marriage, George W Bush, Hilary Beckles, Hilary Clinton, Louis Farrakhan, Myles Munroe, Peter Wickham, Richard Browne, Ricky Singh, Sir Cliff Richard, Veronica Rutledge

Meet the author

author avatar Intelek Int'l
"I think therefore I jam"
I'm a holistic communication and education specialist, trading as Intelek International (
I write about spirituality, science, philosophy, politics, love.

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