Simon Zelotes and Helena Salome were one of the most fervidly ambitious partners of their time. Simon Zelotes wanted to be High Priest in a liberated Israel and Helena-Salome wanted to be High Priestess although officially there wasn’t such an office.
To make a reality of their ends – or near enough – the couple needed to tactfully get rid of people who stood in the way and to cultivate strategic alliances with men of clout. Their main stumbling block had been John the Baptist, who they had already taken care of. The allies of overarching influence were Jesus, the Davidic messiah, and Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee.
Since the death of John the Baptist, Simon Zelotes had become the Father/Pope of the Essene community, which almost certainly guaranteed him the national high priesthood in a liberated Israel. Helena-Salome was the female head of the order of Asher. As an ecclesiastical minister, her Essene title was that of cardinal/archbishop owing in the main to her wisdom and scintillating education. This was Grade 3, the fourth from the top, after Simon Zelotes, Judas Iscariot, and Jesus. Her two adopted sons, James Niceta and John Aquila, were part of the 12-man inner circle of Jesus, which guaranteed them plum positions in the Cabinet of an independent Israel.
But Helena was not content with all that. She wanted more. She wanted to be the Queen Mother in a self-governing Israel and there was only one way to attain to that – by getting her daughter hitched to the Davidic King, Jesus. The ideal spouse for a Davidic King was a fellow Jew and somebody from a royal line, preferably the Hasmonean line. To a Gentile Helena, however, who was a Canaanite from Syro-Phoenicia, this was not a handicap considering that in Jesus’s own geneology could be found Gentile women.
For example, Tamah, the mother of all the Kings of Judah, was a Canaanite like her; Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, was a Moabite. As if that was not odd enough, Rahab, the great-great grandmother of King David, was a prostitute and Bathsheba, David’s Queen, was an adulterer. In fact, Jesus for one was a cosmopolitan person who did not see himself as the future King of Israel as such but as the future King of Kings – emperor of the world. So to marry a Gentile would not be a big deal for him.
There was an even stronger case for her daughter Mary to marry Jesus. Her father was a god, that is, an Anunnaki, and so she was even more royal than the purest Jewish woman alive at the time. So with all these aces up her sleeve, Helena decided to pitch her daughter directly to Jesus. She could not do this through his mother Mary because Mary probably already had somebody else in mind who like her was a Jew and was of noble lineage.
HELENA’S OVERTURE TO JESUS
The series of incidents in which Helena-Salome propositions her daughter to Jesus and succeeds is cryptically told in the stories of the healing/raising of Jairus’s daughter (MATTHEW 9:18-26/MARK 5:35-43/LUKE 8:40-56); the encounter with the Syro-Phoenician Woman (MATTHEW 15:21-29/MARK 7:24-30); and the healing of the Menstruous Woman (MATTHEW 9:20-21/MARK5:25-32/LUKE 8:40-56).
The Matthew version in regard to the healing of the Jairus daughter reads as follows:
21 “And Jesus having come forth from there, withdrew to the parts of Tyre and Sidon,
22 and lo, a woman, a Canaanite, from those borders having come forth, did call to him, saying, "Deal kindly with me, Sir, Son of David; my daughter is miserably demonized."
23 And he did not answer her a word; and his disciples having come to him, were asking him, saying, "Let her away, because she cries after us;" 24and he answering said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 And having come, she was bowing to him, saying, "Sir, help me;"
26 and he answering said, "It is not good to take the children's bread, and to cast to the little dogs
27 And she said, "Yes, sir, for even the dogs do eat of the crumbs that are falling from their lords" table;"
28 then answering, Jesus said to her, "O woman, great [is] your faith, let it be to you as you will;" and her daughter was healed from that hour.
29 And Jesus having passed from there, came near unto the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up to the mountain, he was sitting there,
39 And having let away the multitudes, he went into the boat, and did come to the borders of Magadan.”
The story concerns a unnamed woman and her unnamed daughter. The woman has three characteristics. First, she is a Gentile, a Canaanite. In the other gospels, she is described as a Greek (to underline her great learning) and a Syro-Phoenician woman. In the story, Jesus refers to her as a “dog”.
This was a metaphor for Gentiles, just as sheep was a metaphor for Jews. Second, Jesus encountered her in Tyre and Sidon. Again this emphasised her place of origin, in modern-day Lebanon. The incident did not take place in Lebanon but in the Judean wilderness at Ain Feshka. Tyre and Sidon were interchangeable code names for Ain Feshka in the Essene lexicon.
Third, her daughter was “miserably demonised”. This had nothing to do with her being possessed of evil spirits. It simply meant that she was under the tutelage of the Seven Essene Zealots who were headed by Judas Iscariot, who as the seniormost of the seven was referred to as Demon No. 7.
Thus what Helena was saying to Jesus was that her daughter could not be released from the Judas convent unless he (Jesus) agreed to take her hand in marriage. Jesus did equivocate though, aware of the implications of a Davidic Messiah marrying a Gentile (that explains why his disciples had made it very difficult for her to see Jesus) but Helena was so convincing he finally capitulated: she was not regarded as a goddess incarnate just for the fun of it.
It is telling that at the conclusion of the story, Jesus heads for Magadan. Magadan was one of the Essene code names for Mazin in the Qumran precincts. It was where the women’s order of Dan, the order to which Mary Magdalene belonged, where housed. The encrypted meaning here is that Jesus proceeded there to officially propose to Mary Magdalene.
The story of the Syro-Phoenician woman is also related in the Clementine literature, where Helena-Salome is addressed by her much more ambitious name of Justa, meaning “royal heiress” or “future Queen”.
JESUS ACCEPTS PROPOSITION
The healing of the woman with an issue of blood is related in all the three synoptic gospels, which points to it’s being a pivotal event. Once again, the story is not exactly the way it appears at surface. It was a high-stakes one, with Jesus as the party it impacted the most.
In a nutshell, it concerns a woman who had had an abnormal menstrual order for twelve years, during which the menses never lapsed. But when she sought Jesus and touched the helm of his garment, she was instantly healed. Sadly for my brothers and sisters in Christ, the woman had no such affliction and there was therefore no miracle about her story. The underlying story according to the pesher, plus some diaphanous extra-biblical facts, is as follows:
The woman in question was Helena-Salome. The surface, 12-year menstrual disorder had to do with the fact that for 12 years now, she had never copulated with any man. If you recall, she had been impregnated at the Temple of Artemis whilst a Vestal Virgin by a “god” and had thereafter sworn never to indulge in sexual relations ever again even if she legally got married. Not having had known a man for 12 years was tantamount to having a disorder that forbade such activity – an indefinite issue of menstruum.
There was yet another aspect to the blood symbolism. As the woman head of the Essenes’ order of Asher, Helena’s title initially was that of Sarah-Salome, which was equivalent to a lay priestess. In effecting this role, she performed communal prayers only during a new moon – when the moon’s dark face was facing the Earth and so was not seen (Helena’s other name was Lunar, meaning “moon”). This was equated to shedding blood once every month, like a normal menstrual period.
In due course, Helena was promoted to a Martha, which conferred on her full priestly status as opposed to a lay priestess. As a Martha, she was under obligation to perform sacrifices of prayer every day, suggesting the image of a woman with a menstrual disorder.
When the Essenes read the gospel accounts in the first century, they knew exactly who the woman was in the story because they were familiar with the coded language. They also knew what the story really was about. The blood symbolism and the 12 years was to identify her.
Her “healing” by Jesus was simply a coded way of saying Jesus had elevated her from the Gentile she was to a honorary Jew, what Paul described as “being grafted onto the nation of Israel”. She was thus now officially eligible to be her mother-in-law.
Such a conversion ritual, however, was supposed to be done by John the Baptist, who was the priestly messiah (this event happened in August AD 29, before the arrest of the Baptist), and not by the Davidic messiah. That Jesus thought it incumbent upon himself to perform the ritual demonstrates how at odds the two messiahs were with each other at the time.
THE CLEMENTINE TESTAMENT
Helena-Salome’s successful pitching of her daughter Mary Magdalene to Jesus is corroborated in the Clementine literature. This is what the Clementine Homilies say on this and other related subjects:
“She (Helena), therefore, having taken up a manner of life according to the law, was, with the daughter (Mary Magdalene) who had been healed, driven out from her home by her husband (Syro the Jairus) whose sentiments were opposed to ours (Helena was a Temple Virgin for Artemis, who was tricked into having sex with a man disguised as a god and let go by the priest).
But she, being faithful to her engagements, and being in affluent circumstances (supported by Julia the Elder), remained a widow herself (abstaining from sex), but gave her daughter (Mary Magdalene) in marriage to a certain man who was attached to the true faith (Jesus!), and who was poor (member of the Essenes who referred to themselves as the Poor).
And, abstaining from marriage for the sake of her daughter, she bought two boys (James Niceta and John Aquila) and educated them, and had them in place of sons. And they being educated from their boyhood with Simon Magus (Simon Zelotes, their godfather as well as putative stepfather), having had learned all things concerning him. For such was their friendship, that they were associated with him in all things in which he wished to unite with them.”
Exactly how did Jesus and Mary Magdalene come to get married? You don’t have to look elsewhere folks: it’s all in the Bible in plain daylight. In case you have been unable to unravel it, we undertake to do it for you in the next installment.
Intelligence and Security Service Act, which is a law that establishes the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DIS), provides for establishment of a Parliamentary Committee. Recently, the President announced nine names of Members of Parliament he had appointed to the Committee.
This announcement was preceded by a meeting the President held with the Speaker and the Leader of Opposition. Following the announcement of Committee MPs by the President, the opposition, through its leader, made it clear that it will not participate in the Committee unless certain conditions that would ensure effective oversight are met. The opposition acted on the non-participation threat through resignation of its three MPs from the Committee.
The Act at Section 38 provides for the establishment of the Committee to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Directorate. The law provides that the Parliamentary Committee shall have the same powers and privileges set out under the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act.
On composition, the Committee shall consist of nine members who shall not be members of Cabinet and its quorum shall be five members. The MPs in the Committee elect a chairperson from among their number at their first meeting.
The Members of the Committee are appointed by the President after consultation with the Speaker of the National Assembly and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. It is the provision of the law that the Committee, relative to its size, reflect the numerical strengths of the political parties represented in the National Assembly.
The Act provides that that a member of the Committee holds office for the duration of the Parliament in which he or she is appointed. The Committee is mandated to make an annual report on the discharge of their functions to the President and may at any time report to him or her on any matter relating to the discharge of those functions.
The Minister responsible for intelligence and security is obliged to lay before the National Assembly a copy of each annual report made by the Committee together with a statement as to whether any matter has been excluded from that copy in pursuance of the provision of the Act.
If it appears to the Minister, after consultation with the Parliamentary Committee, that the publication of any matter in a report would be prejudicial to the continued discharge of the functions of the Directorate, the Minister may exclude that matter from the copy of the report as laid before the National Assembly.
So, what are the specific demands of the Opposition and why are they not participating in the Committee? What should happen as a way forward? The Opposition demanded that there be a forensic audit of the Directorate. The DIS has never been audited since it was set up in 2008, more than a decade ago.
The institution has been a law unto itself for a longtime, feared by all oversight bodies. The Auditor General, who had no security of tenure, could not audit the DIS. The Directorate’s personnel, especially at a high level, have been implicated in corruption. Some of its operatives are in courts of law defending corruption charges preferred against them. Some of the corruption cases which appeared in the media have not made it to the courts.
The DIS has been accused of non-accountability and unethical practices as well as of being a burden on the fiscus. So, the Opposition demanded, from the President, a forensic audit for the purpose of cleaning up the DIS. They demand a start from a clean slate.
The second demand by the Opposition is that the law be reviewed to ensure greater accountability of the DIS to Parliament. What are some of the issues that the opposition think should be reviewed? The contention is that the executive cannot appoint a Committee of Parliament to scrutinize an executive institution.
Already, it is argued, Parliament is less independent and it is dominated by the executive. It is contended that the Committee should be established by the Standing Orders and be appointed by a Select Committee of Parliament. There is also an argument that the Committee should report to Parliament and not to the President and that the Minister should not have any role in the Committee.
Democratic and Parliamentary oversight of the intelligence is relatively a new phenomenon across the World. Even developed democracies are still grappling with some of these issues. However, there are acceptable standards or what might be called international best practices which have evolved over the past two or so decades.
In the UK for instance, MPs of the Intelligence and Security Committee are appointed by the Houses of Parliament, having been nominated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. This is a good balancing exercise of involvement of both the executive and the legislature. Consultation is taken for granted in Botswana context in the sense that it has been reduced to just informing the Leader of Opposition without much regard to his or her ideas; they are never taken seriously.
Furthermore, the current Committee in the UK has four Members of the ruling party and five MPs from the opposition. It is a fairly balanced Committee in terms of Parliamentary representation. However, as said above, the President of Botswana appointed six ruling party MPs and three from the opposition.
The imbalance is preposterous and more pronounced with clear intentions of getting the executive way through the ruling party representatives in the Committee. The intention to avoid scrutiny is clear from the numbers of the ruling party MPs in the Committee.
There is also an international standard of removing sensitive parts which may harm national security from the report before it is tabled in the legislature. The previous and current reluctance of the executive arms to open up on Defence and Security matters emanate from this very reason of preserving and protecting national security.
But national security should be balanced with public interest and other democratic principles. The decision to expunge certain information which may be prejudicial to national security should not be an arbitrary and exclusive decision of the executive but a collective decision of a well fairly balanced Committee in consultation with the Speaker and the minister responsible.
There is no doubt that the DIS has been a rogue institution. The reluctance by the President to commit to democratic-parliamentary oversight reforms presupposes a lack of commitment to democratization. The President has no interest in seeing a reformed DIS with effective oversight of the agency.
He is insincere. This is because the President loathes the idea losing an iota of power and sharing it with any other democratic institution. He sees the agency as his power lever to sustain his stay in the high office. He thought he could sanitize himself with an ineffective DIS Committee that would dance to his tune.
The non-participation of the opposition MPs renders the Committee dysfunctional; it cannot function as this would be unlawful. Participation of the opposition is a legal requirement. Even if it can meet, it would lack legitimacy; it cannot be taken seriously. The President should therefore act on the oversight demands and reform the DIS if he is to be taken seriously.
For years I have trained people about paradigm shifts – those light-bulb-switch-on moments – where there is a seismic change from the usual way of thinking about something to a newer, better way.
I like to refer to them as ‘aha’ moments because of the sudden understanding of something which was previously incomprehensible. However, the topic of today’s article is the complete antithesis of ‘aha’. Though I’d love to tell you I’d had a ‘eureka ‘, ‘problem solved’ moment, I am faced with the complete opposite – an ‘oh-no’ moment or Lost Leader Syndrome.
No matter how well prepared or capable a leader is. they often find themselves facing perplexing events, confounding information, or puzzling situations. Confused by developments of which they can’t make sense and by challenges that they don’t know how to solve they become confused, sometimes lost and completely clueless about what to do.
I am told by Jentz and Murphy (JM) in ‘What leaders do when they don’t know what to do’ that this is normal, and that rapid change is making confusion a defining feature of management in the 21st century. Now doesn’t that sound like the story of 2020 summed up in a single sentence?
The basic premise of their writing is that “confusion is not a weakness to be ashamed of but a regular and inevitable condition of leadership. By learning to embrace their confusion, managers are able to set in motion a constructive process for addressing baffling issues.
In fact, confusion turns out to be a fruitful environment in which the best managers thrive by using the instability around them to open up better lines of communication, test their old assumptions and values against changing realities, and develop more creative approaches to problem solving.”
The problem with this ideology however is that it doesn’t help my overwhelming feelings of fear and panic which is exacerbated by a tape playing on a loop in my head saying ‘you’re supposed to know what to do, do something’. My angst is compounded by annoying motivational phrases also unhelpfully playing in my head like.
Nothing happens until something moves
The secret of getting ahead is getting started
Act or be acted upon
All these platitudes are urging me to pull something out of the bag, but I know that this is a trap. This need to forge ahead is nothing but a coping mechanism and disguise. Instead of owning the fact that I haven’t got a foggy about what to do, part of me worries that I’ll lose authority if I acknowledge that I can’t provide direction – I’m supposed to know the answers, I’m the MD! This feeling of not being in control is common for managers in ‘oh no’ situations and as a result they often start reflexively and unilaterally attempting to impose quick fixes to restore equilibrium because, lets be honest, sometimes we find it hard to resist hiding our confusion.
To admit that I am lost in an “Oh, No!” moment opens the door not only to the fear of losing authority but also to a plethora of other troubling emotions and thoughts: *Shame and loss of face: “You’ll look like a fool!” * Panic and loss of control: “You’ve let this get out of hand!” * Incompetence and incapacitation: “You don’t know what you’re doing!”
As if by saying “I’m at a loss here” is tantamount to declaring “I am not fit to lead.” Of course the real problem for me and any other leader is if they don’t admit when they are disoriented, it sends a signal to others in the organisation stating it’s not cool to be lost and that, by its very nature encourages them to hide. What’s the saying about ‘a real man never asks for direction. ..so they end up driving around in circles’.
As managers we need to embrace the confusion, show vulnerability (remember that’s not a bad word) and accept that leadership is not about pretending to have all the answers but about having the courage to search with others to discover a solution.
JM point out that “being confused, however, does not mean being incapacitated. Indeed, one of the most liberating truths of leadership is that confusion is not quicksand from which to escape but rather the potter’s clay of leadership – the very stuff with which managers can work.”
2020 has certainly been a year to remember and all indications are that the confusion which has characterised this year will still follow us into the New Year, thereby making confusion a defining characteristic of the new normal and how managers need to manage. Our competence as leaders will then surely be measured not only by ‘what I know’ but increasingly by ‘how I behave when I accept, I don’t know, lose my sense of direction and become confused.
.I guess the message for all organizational cultures going forward is that sticking with the belief that we need all-knowing, omni-competent executives will cost them dearly and send a message to managers that it is better to hide their confusion than to address it openly and constructively.
Take comfort in these wise words ‘Confusion is a word we have invented for an order not yet understood’!