Recently, Trade, Industry, and Investment Minister Honourable Vincent Seretse reiterated his stance that he was not going to buckle to spirited entreaties and grant South African chain store magnates a waiver to widen their footprint in the country by opening new outlets. Unless they partnered Batswana and gave them a controlling 51 percent stake in their businesses in the interests of citizen economic empowerment, he simply would not budge.
Now, hang on folks: only a few months ago, President Ian Khama was quoted as saying Government was not going to dictate equity terms of engagement to investors lest they be scared off at a time when we desperately needed them. As such, I am at a loss as to which of the two pronouncements takes precedence over the other.
If we were to go by what the Trade Act provides for, then Honourable Seretse is spot-on. But the Act is not a single-track proviso: it allows the minister discretion to act as he sees fit. It does not oblige him to religiously adhere to the Act’s every canon. In the past in fact, the minister even has had to overrule a High Court decision that the law as laid down be strictly enforced. In the 80s, I was part of a supermarket establishment called Tsogang Investment (Pty) Ltd.
When the then Trade & Industry Minister Honourable Mout Nwako moved to relax the Trade Act and allow unqualified participation by chain stores domiciled in South Africa, we litigated against the gesture and the High Court ruled in our favour. The minister countered by invoking his administrative powers and stuck to the status quo. In the event, the High Court decision did not come to bear.
So, should Honourable Seretse have his way or must the President intervene by issuing an “Open Sesame” directive?
THE ECONOMIC VOLKSTAAT
Let us first recognise that the retail industry is foreign dominated. This state of affairs I too have decried in my book, Delusions of Grandeur Vol. 2, the eighth chapter of which I have titled Foreign Retailers Run Riot in Botswana in revulsion. The last time I checked, over 60 percent of the retail business in Botswana was in the hands of chain stores emanating from across the Limpopo. That is an economic volkstaat in a sovereign country.
Even the swashbuckling home-grown Choppies offers very little solace: it is preponderantly foreign-owned folks. According to its 2015 annual report, 96 shareholders out of a total of 8,277 own 92.34 percent of the blue chip grocery titan.
The overwhelming majority of these are institutional shareholders all of whom hail either from South Africa (e.g. Sanlaam) or across the Atlantic (e.g. Citibank). Of the top ten shareholders, who account for 72.3 percent of the total stock, only Farouk Ishmael, with a stake of 14.6 percent, is Motswana. Choppies may command 35 percent of the local retail market but that should not be interpreted to mean the citizenry controls 35 percent of the same market.
In the normal way of things, sectors such as retail should be an arena in which the citizenry ought to rise and shine. It should be the means by which breakout citizen entrepreneurs escalate to higher economic heights over time so that they can strut their stuff alongside the Pick & Pays and Pep Stores of this world.
In Botswana, on the contrary, the retail sector is a virtual killing field: venture into this minefield as a citizen, and you will be instantly blown to smithereens. Mzansi retail behemoths rule the roost and so sinewy and muscle-bound are they you will be turfed out with little more than a sardonic jerk of the thumb.
Ours is a classic case of what Haris Bijoor calls “Retail Darwinism” – where the fittest endure, the fittest in terms of “offerings, deep pockets to survive wafer-thin margins, and the fittest in terms of the tenacity to fight competition that is irrational in its attack”.
Why have we booby-trapped our own economic cause? Well, the index finger should stiffly and angrily point in the direction of the Government enclave. For donkeys’ years, Government has been so suicidally lax in enforcing the Trade Act that we’re now toast to the mercantile impis from down south.
WRONG TIME FOR REDRESS
Yet as much as we would love to tip the scale of proprietorship in the retail sector in favour of the citizenry, it is advisable that we tread with caution. A Chinese proverb that I like to quote says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. That should be our catchphrase too. Rash and impetuous measures are invariably counterproductive in the long term. We should be wary that we do not compromise overall macroeconomic salubriety by resorting to mercantile actions that play to the gallery of populist impulses.
At this point in time, we’re developing the Central Business District (CBD), potentially the country’s largest commercial centre, in the capital Gaborone. Dozens of supermarkets and shopping emporiums will soon arise there. If the entrepreneurs who are putting up structures at CBD using hefty bank loans have to make a return on their investment, they will need well-resourced tenants from across the border. Otherwise, the structures are certain to be white elephants and the banks will not hesitate to foreclose.
The entrepreneurs who acquired plots at CBD and borrowed millions to develop them were counting on take-up by the likes of Game and Woolworths. Maybe Government did not make an express undertaking to them that it would exercise flexibility on the Trade Act but they did trust to its sense of judiciousness. It would therefore be unfair and insensitive on the part of Government to now dictate terms that are certain to torpedo prospects of recouping their investment.
Their fate is similar to that of citizens who heavily invested in tertiary educational infrastructure – the Raja Ram’s and Odirile Gabasiane’s of this world: they did so in the belief that Government would enrol students in their institutions. If Honourable Unity Dow now was to say she would restrict student bursaries to Government-run institutions, it would spell disaster for them.
Progressive Government policy should not be unilateral and arbitrary: it has to take account of the likely impact of that policy on those bound to be adversely affected. Thus, whilst Honourable Seretse’s stance is laudable as it is long overdue, the timing, regrettably, is most inauspicious.
LET’S ADMIT THEM WITH STRINGS
Since at this juncture we need the big-bucks foreign retailers in view of the clothing and grocery infrastructure we’re mass-constructing, I would recommend that we fling the doors open for them. Let them have total ownership but with preconditions that will proportionately compensate for denying the citizenry a slice of the total stake. Exactly what must these be?
South Africa and India offer a little food for thought.
India’s retail market generates annual revenues of about $600 billion according to the 2015 statistics. Until 2012, the market was closed to foreign participation. Then in November 2011, cabinet enacted a law that allowed foreign ownership ranging from 51 to 100 percent depending on whether the venture was multi-brand or single-brand. But several conditions were spelt out to prospective foreign investors.
Among these was that 50 percent of the stipulated minimum investment was to be set aside to assist in the development of back-end infrastructure (e.g. storage, warehousing, distribution, and agricultural produce) in order to nurture an efficient supply chain. Another was that 30 percent of overall operational expenditure was to be devoted to sourcing produce from SMMEs whose plant and infrastructural development was less than $1 million. That way, foreign investment into the retail sector would be a win-win situation for foreigners and locals alike.
In May 2011, Walmart, the US retail giant, acquired a majority stake in South Africa’s Massmart for $2.4 billion. Before the South African Competition Commission gave the nod to the take-over, it pronounced that Walmart orient R100 million toward a special fund for developing local suppliers in the next three years amongst other conditionalities. Surely, there’s no reason why that should not happen in Botswana.
There are multiple ways in which a nation could gain from compromising in one way or the other with the wishes of the foreign investor. What you lose in one respect you could subtly gain in another for as long as you do your math properly. For example, if foreign chain stores were to be prohibited from vertically integrating, whereby they keep a stranglehold on the entire supply chain including horticulture, warehousing, and transportation, that would open up a host of highly lucrative business opportunities for the citizenry.
CEDA SHOULD NURTURE MARKET COUP
Meanwhile, Government should put in place a viable strategy to spawn citizen retail entrepreneurs of the scale of the Wharton’s, the owners of Walmart, using CEDA as the primary lever. A benchmark that immediately comes to mind in this regard is Singapore.
The government of Singapore lent substantial technical and financial assistance to prospective local retail entrepreneurs, a far cry from the pittance our CEDA extends. The entrepreneurs were encouraged to band together and form their own franchises and cooperatives so that they could benefit from the economies of bulk purchases of stock-in-trade.
The Singapore government established enterprise promotional centres to impart entrepreneurial competence. It ran special training programmes that focussed on a productive and efficient mindset for employer and employee alike. A highlight of this training was exposure to requisite cutting edge technology, which included appropriate hardware and software.
Finally, the Singapore government made available business premises and sold it to the entrepreneurs in sectional titles which made it possible for them to steer clear of steep rentals private developers typically imposed.
China pretty much replicated the Singaporean approach. The strategy has paid off: of China’s top ten retailers today, only Walmart is foreign-owned.
In our case, CEDA has been reported to reject over 95 percent of applications from the retail sector on the pretext that the market is saturated. It isn’t at all. The 2014 Africa Retail Development Index says retail saturation in Botswana amounts to a mere 17 percent. The AT Kearney Global Retail Development in fact asserts that Botswana is the most promising retail market on the continent of Africa. A market is hardly ever fully saturated. For example, it is always said the South African retail market has virtually no room for new entrants but Choppies made the leap into the market anyway with highly promising results reportedly.
For citizens to stand toe to toe and trade blow for blow with a Game or Pick & Pay, they need funding in tens of millions of Pula and not the SMME-size sums CEDA routinely doles out. Otherewise, they would never progress from selling “magwinya for breakfast and seswa and paleche for lunch” as Professor Roman Grynberg aptly lamented in an op-ed piece.
Fellow Citizens, I greet you all with love from South Africa. I have been requested by one of your respectable journalists to express an opinion in regard to a number of questions touching on current affairs in Botswana. I have decided to provide this in-depth advice, which subsumes all the questions any one of you may have.
There are many things happening around society today. They are mesmerizing because many of you don’t have a clue of what is going on in the bigger scheme of things. Much more is coming your way soon, which will bring radical changes, and more anxiety in your lives. It may catch you be surprise, unless you heed this advice. Your biggest disadvantage as a people today is that you reject wisdom, and destroy your maze runners. You do not make time to read, seek and find the truth for yourselves. Rather, you have a tendency to dissipate time and energy on petty talk, and useless peripheral matters of the day. Most of that stuff is pure distractions from the very core of all issues, which I have been communicating for the past ten years. I have written two books so far, and others are on their way. I have also posted certain blog essays in 2014. Read my books and blog essays. Focus on that, and you will have a clearer picture of what you face today moving forward.
The world is evidently changing fast all over. This happens because of cosmic cycles of time, where one Age passes with its civilization, and a new one emerges. The End of Ages which Jesus Christ foretold is truly upon us. We are living in a moment of prophesy, where each one of you will see the things foretold unfold before our eyes. It is also a moment of opportunity, when all karma accumulated from the past and present is resolved within this time band. Every one of you will surely reap what you have sown, individually and collectively as a Nation, because that is the law of nature – what goes around comes around. You can be sure of this truth by simply observing significant events unfolding around, where everyone who has caused Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela II pain, is experiencing that same pain, and will endure worse of that which they intended to do, but failed. As a Nation, you will reap the full consequences of rejecting your forefathers (Dikgosi) in preference to following leadership of the Beasts of Revelation 13, disguised as a democracy. The book of Revelations Chapter 13 (the blasphemous beast from the sea) foretold this future, revealing in advance the colonists’ 500 year old agenda you experience today. Rev 13 verses 1,2,8 &9 says:
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast that I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority…And all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundations of the world. If any man have an ear. Let him hear.
The Beast out of the Sea is the colonists of Africa, North & South America over the past 500 years to date. It is symbolically described as a mixed creature that appeared to be a leopard, with paws like a bear, and a mouth like a Lion. A leopard is a symbol of Bogosi. We have here, a horrific mixed creature that mimics Bogosi, and camouflages in disguised ‘democracy’, when it is not a democracy, but a monstrosity ill begotten of the worst human error in history. It captivates humanity in slavery of a Consciousness Time Bubble built from fake ideologies. It uses scientific mind control techniques of the highest order in Black Magic. Revelations 13 says that Beast (colonists) exercises his powers by delegation, to yet another Beast, that came out from the Earth:
And I beheld another beast coming out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast that the image of the beat should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or name of the beast, or the number of his name (Rev 13 verse 11-17).
This Beast from the Earth symbolizes post-colonial republican governments of today. These so called ‘democratic’ republican governments are (the living beast) from the Earth, acting out delegated authority, for and on behalf of the Beast out of the Sea, whose seven heads represent the colonial powers. This is the reason why all post- colonial governments in Africa are still hostage to their ‘former’ colonial masters, whilst their elite is eternally captured in a colonial mindset. The relationship between those two Beasts carries on to date, exactly as foretold in Revelations 13. Therefore, all of you supporters of fake ‘democracy’; you who proudly call yourselves democrats, socialists, communists, or whatever ideological isms available; you are in fact trapped inside a 500 year old dream, where the Beast is the dreamer.
You are living in his Consciousness Time Bubble. You are mere dolls at his puppet show, playing out a script wearing rags of different colors of your political parties; dancing about and pretending to be opposites whilst the Beast pulls his invisible puppet show strings. His Chief Agent (a funder) is always lurking somewhere, funding all that dancing you see at political rallies, and the decay that follows in governance. Indeed, the Gods that you have created rule your destinies. You find yourselves spinning endlessly in cycles of misery every time you vote for the Beast of the Earth and sustain his consciousness. You don’t pause a moment to ask yourselves why quality of life keeps declining despite your votes, huge money investments in political parties, political campaigns, government budgets – and all that dancing you see at political gatherings.
However, and whatever you may believe, the inconvenient truth confronting society today is that you are all going to reap the full consequences of your blind obedience to wicked authority who serve Revelation 13 Beasts. An event, or series of events, shall mysteriously befall 21st century mankind, which will be pre-meditated in accordance with agendas for the future written clearly within some high profile (think tank) documents, and monuments such as: Protocols of the Elders of Sion, Iron Mountain Report, Project for the New America Century, Georgia Guide Stones etc. All the information on these reports has been available online. You need to read them for yourselves to appreciate what is going on. In one of my blog essays, I wrote and told you about the Georgia Guide Stones. In another, I forewarned you about The Sleeping Giants. Meanwhile, we have been preaching the same mantra: A re ithulaganyeng. Revelations 14 Verses 6-20 is relevant in these times. Verses 14-20 say:
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another Angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the Angel thrust his sickle into the Earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridle, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
All these factors of disease (real or imagined), unbearable inequality and injustice, fear, poison, devaluation of money, economic & infrastructure collapse, natural disasters & war abound, will raise society stress levels to breaking point, and converge to bring about the world depopulation foretold in prophesy (Isiah 24, Matthew 24, Revelations 14, 20 &21, Quran prophesy, Georgia Guide Stones, Nostradamus, Hopi & Maya tribe prophesies etc. and the think tank documents referred above). A civilization that is totally dependent upon money, and fake democracy as their god, will certainly collapse into oblivion once their god (Beast of Revelations 13) is removed from the equation of life. We are already seeing a domino effect of that taking place today. Only those who reject that god will make a new civilization. Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 24 verses 1-12) clearly warned:
Behold, the Lord maketh the Earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, and the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the Earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left…The city of confusion is broken down: every household is shut up, that no man may come in…In the city is left desolate, and the gate is smitten with destruction.
Every individual, society and nation who continues to live within this Consciousness Bubble of fake democracy, must know that they effectively sustain the Beasts of Revelation 13. You are all going perish soon, with the end of that Beast, as foretold in Revelations 14-21, unless you change your attitudes towards life fast. It will happen in our lifetime, before your very eyes, as the people of Sodom & Gomorrah witnessed. Because you worship the Beast, and you refuse to see that glaring fact that you sustain the Beast, you will do everything he says you should do. You will follow him to your own death, like the Pan Piper rats to the river. When he says fear this or that, you will cower in fear. All your decisions will be based on fear consciousness and not love. When he says shut yourselves in your houses, close down your hard earned businesses, don’t move about save with my permission; you will oblige. When he imposes masks over your faces, and says you should put a social distance between yourself and brother, inject your bodies with poison or substances that you don’t know; you will do that (unquestioningly). You will even coerce everyone else to oblige, because he the Beast is your leader. He is your substitute father, after you have forsaken your Dikgosi and forefathers.
You have even expelled one of your most important Kgosi Kgolo from the country. Everyone seems comfortable with that state of affairs, as if it is normal, when it represents a very dark omen of serious karmic consequences. You have sustained the Beast continuously, against all wise counsel, even as you see him destroy society, and display all the characteristic forewarned in Revelations 13. We did warn in The King’s Journal – From the Horse’s Mouth, that every society and nation is going to reap the full consequences of the leadership they follow, unless they change fast. Ngwana yo sa utlweng molao wa batsadi o utlwa wa manong. You will listen to nothing else of value, other than what comes out of your father’s (Beast) blasphemous mouth, which has been lies and hypocrisy all the way, however convincing such lies may be. You will not receive wisdom, because you block it out, until the end of your civilization.
No amount of Constitutional reform will alter this fate, for so long as those reforms simply endorse the Beasts of Revelation 13 in a different fashion. South Africa made that tragic error in 1994, and they pay a heavy price today. That is why we are clear, and remain steadfast, that we Bakgatla Ba kgafela must recover our stolen country, become an independent State, and start a new life of a New Age that does not endorse those Beasts of Revelations 13. We may consider being part of the greater Botswana; but (only) a Botswana which has conspicuously rejected the Beasts, as we Bakgatla have done. Therefore, due vigilance must prevail to guard against a new Botswana constitution being trapped in the same Consciousness Bubble of the Revelations 13 Beasts, in different disguise. We must emphasize the point that you have a most beautiful country, with the best traditions available. You have potential to become a safe foundation for a new civilization; a true shining example of order in Africa. You stand in a moment of great opportunity. You only need to realize your worth, recognize quality in your Tswana heritage, and stop allowing yourselves to be devalued by dangerous foreign norms.
Everyone who internalizes this truth, will readily see that everything else that is happening around you in politics, social events, and social media platforms, is of peripheral importance. It is a spiritual distraction orchestrated from very high above to keep you trapped and looping in that terrible Consciousness Bubble driven by fear energy. It is distracting you from focusing your much needed time, energy and resources upon the one and most important activity within your control today, to affect the fate and destiny of your civilization: Seeing the Beasts of Revelation 13 for what they are. Stop energizing them to your own detriment. Break the hypnotic spell that blinds you to their authority. Step outside their Consciousness Bubble. Remember Albert Einstein’s philosophy that: You cannot solve problems with the same consciousness/mindset that created them. Uphold honest leadership that vibrates a new consciousness compatible with a New Age of truth & justice foretold in prophesy. Stand firm with the truth. Then you will see the light, and manage to ride this wave of current tribulation- however it comes. PULA! Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela ii
The Lord’s wife seeks refuge in a European“Wilderness”
In March 37 AD, General Atiku, Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar died after 23 years in office. He was succeeded by his nephew and adoptive heir Gaius Caligula.
Caligula had forged a fraternal bond with Herod Agrippa, a grandson of Herod the Great, whilst hitherto cash-strapped Agrippa worked at Emperor Tiberius’ court in some capacity. It was on the basis of this mutual affinity that Caligula installed Agrippa as King of the Middle East territories his uncle Phillip the Tetrarch, who passed on in AD 34, had ruled over.
In 39 AD, Agrippa’s regal tentacles spread even wider when he was given the Herod Antipas domains after he politically poisoned the latter to Caligula. Thus it was that Agrippa became Rome’s client King of the whole of Palestine minus Judea. Meanwhile, the tiny territory of Chalcis in Syria was given to Agrippa’s brother Herod, best known to history as Herod of Chalcis, on the pleadings of Agrippa.
It so happened, General, that during the rather short, six-year reign of Agrippa, four Jewish High Priests took turns in office, all appointed by he himself as per authority vested in him by the Emperor. One particular appointment, of a Boethusian High Priest at the expense of the incumbent Mathias Ben Ananus (the apostle Matthew), rankled with radical Jews.
Mathias was replaced in 43 AD, when he was scarcely one year in office. Given that the Boethusians held the Davidic dynasty in contempt, it goes without saying that the apostolate band were irate. In the event, Simon Peter and James the son of Zebedee with typical Zealot radicalismconveniently saw common cause with Simon Zelotes and set about plotting the assassination of Agrippa.
Somehow, General, the Herod establishment got wind of the plot and Herod of Chalcis had James executed and Simon Peter thrown into the slammer pending his own turn at the scaffold.Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas were quick to hit back. First, Simon used his guile and connections to have Peter spirited out of prison, whereupon Peter sought refuge in Rome.
Simon Zelotes is the “Angel of the Lord” spoken of in the relevant passage (ACTS 12:7) asthat was his emeritus title as one of the Essene top brass. Second, Simon Zelotes had Agrippa assassinated by way of snake poison. Although Simon Zelotes got away with this intrigue, Barabbas, General, was not so lucky: as he made his getaway across the Jordan River and bogged down by age-related lethargy, he was seized and summarily executed by decapitation on the orders of Herod of Chalcis.
Simon Zelotes set up a new base in Cyprus, leaving his step-daughter Mary Magdalene in the lurch in Judea. What would be her fate, General, now that she was associated with a fugitive from justice?
SCHISMS IN THE CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT
The accession and rather untimely demise of King Agrippa, General Atiku,had quite significant ramifications on the nascent Christian movement. Of particular import was the relocation of the Qumran community to Damascus in Syria. Indeed, the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Damascus Document makes a point of highlighting “the New Covenant in the Land of Damascus”, which now the Essenes propagandised as the place where the awaited Jewish Messiah would appear and not in Jerusalem as the Old Testament prophets had foretold.
The change of scene, General, was spearheaded by James the Just, the immediate younger brother of Jesus and the incumbent leader of the Christian movement. It was necessitatedby the fear that the perpetually impecunious Agrippa (whilst he was alive, that is), who at some stage had been declared bankrupt, might eventually deplete the Qumran kitty (a portion of which the Herods were entitled to), of which James was the custodian following the ignominious death of Judas Iscariot.
James had also served notice that the Herods wouldhave no part to play in a sovereign Israel, that the conduct of its affairs would be the preserve solely of the Davidic dynasty, which he now headed. As if to underscore this apartness,James even went on to reprise the Star &Sceptre political tag team with Theudas Barabbas (before his assassination), which harked back to a similar partnership of yesteryears between his father Joseph and the same Barabbas, who was still revered as the iconic Zealot revolutionary.
The likes of Simon Peter (who had returned from Rome a free man since his alleged crime had lapsed with the death of King Agrippa as was the practice those days),however, set up their base at Antioch in Syria, which suggests that there was a bit of dissonance between James and Peter at the time. Peter was reinforced by Paul and the latter’s personal doctor Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. The Peter faction was also anti-Herod but in its formative stage it touted Peter as the successor to Jesus at the expense ofJames.
In sum, General, there was a three-way split in the Christian movement after Jesus went into obscurity. This was the James party at Damascus, the Peter party at Antioch, and the Simon Zelotes party in Cyprus. It was the Peter party that with the benefit of hindsight stole the thunder in that it was at Antioch that members of The Way began to call themselves Christians. This was in AD 44.
MARY MAGDALENE IN FRANCE
Meanwhile, General Atiku, Mary Magdalene was in a very precarious position. At the time, she was already pregnant with Jesus’ third child, having conceived in December AD 43.It is not clear though whether she too had incurred the wrath of the Herods in view of what her step- father Simon Zelotes had done to King Agrippa, but taking precautions, she sought the protectionof Agrippa’s eldest son, Agrippa II. Agrippa II was only 17 years at the time and was based in Rome under the auspices of Claudius, who had become Roman Emperor in AD 41.
A former student of the Apostle Paul, Agrippa II was well disposed toward the Jesus family and so he readily acquiesced to Mary’s entreaty, whereupon he arranged for her safe passage to the famed Herodian estate in Gaul, France, in collaboration with his other brother Aristobulus. It was in Gaul that the brothers Herod Archelaus and Herod Antipas had by turns been banished by the Roman Emperor after their ouster in AD 6 and 39 respectively .
Mary Magdalene, General,was not all alone on the ship that conducted her to France. She was accompanied by her step-father Simon Zelotes; her mother Helena-Salome; the apostle Philip; the three sisters of Jesus; the wife of James the Just; and Trophimus, who is mentioned in ACTS 20:4; ACTS 21:29; and 2 TIMOTHY 4:20. In his book The Life of Mary Magdalene, Archbishop Rabanus Maurus partly documents the voyage thus: “And favoured by an easterly wind they travelled on across the Sea between Europe and Africa, leaving the city of Rome and all the land of Italy to the right. Then, happily changing course to the right, they came to the city of Marseilles in the Gaulish province of Vienne.” Upon arrival in France, Mary Magdalene had the privillege of being welcomed by the Queen of Marseilles. Once in
France, Simon Zelotes, whobecame known there as Lazarus the Great One, wasted no time in setting up a mission in Provence in south eastern France.
MARY MAGDALENE Vs ROME
Unbeknownst to much of Christendom, including the Christian clergy itself, General, the fate of Mary Magdalene is cryptically documented in the Book of Revelation! It is unfortunate that Revelation is placed last in the New Testament corpus when by rights it should have come immediatelyafter the Book of Acts and not after the21 epistles in between since it is actually a continuation of the Jesus story. Although it is called the Revelation of Saint John, that is a misnomer.
It is a revelation by Jesus Christ himself, who we now know was very much in existence and in circulation more than fifty years after his sham crucifixion. That is exactly what REVELATION 1:1 states,although Christians have naively taken this to be no more thanfigurative language. It was Jesus in his physical, blood-and-fleshform who related much of the contents of Revelation to the apostle John, the literal author of the book. Jesus dictated the account; Johnsimply was the scribe.
The relegation of Revelation (literally “The Unveiling”, the true meaning of the Greek world apocalypse from which the term “Revelation” is translated) to the very extremity of the biblical canon, General,was contrived by Roman Emperor Constantine as the teachings of the Roman Church were founded, primarily, on the writings of Simon Peter and the apostle Paul. Says authoritative historian Laurence Gardner in his book The Magdalene Legacy:The Jesus and Mary Bloodline Conspiracy: “At first glance it appears baffling that The Revelation was included in the New Testament at all, since it follows the post-Resurrection lives of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their offspring through a balance of the 1st century.
However, the inclusion of The Revelation proved to be a remarkable strategy in that its very esoteric nature enabled Rome to turn it to considerable advantage by misrepresenting its text from the pulpits; this, of course, was at a time when the general populace did not have Bibles to read for themselves.” Gardner goes on to say, “The Church has done its best to put people off this book ever since by portraying it as a sinister work of foreboding and doom. By way of propaganda from the 1662 Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, even the very word apocalypse has become emblematic of disaster.”
REVELATION CHAPTER 12, General, is particularly pertinent with regard to the saga of Mary Magdalene. It talks about a pregnant woman“clothedwith the sun” and with a “wreath of 12 stars on her head” (Verses 1 and 2).This woman is being pursued and tormented by a “great fiery-red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads seven diadems” (Verse 3). The dragon’s aim is to “devour her child when it is born” (Verse 4). The woman “fled into the wilderness, there where she has a place made readyby God” (Verse 6).
Despite her trials and tribulations, the woman at long last “brought forth a son, a male, who is about to be shepherding all the nations with an iron club. And her child is snatched away to God and to His throne” (Verse 5). The dragon, though, will never relent: itis “angry with the woman, and came away to do battle with the rest of her seed, who are keeping the precepts of God and who have the testimony of Jesus” (Verse 17).
As wehave reiterated time and again,General, much of the New Testament was writtenin a coded language with a view to keeping the Romans in the dark. Thus in the Book of Revelation, Mary Magdalene is simply referred to as “the woman” and Rome as “the dragon” or “the serpent”.History documents that the Romans did display a reddish dragon on their imperial banner.Moreover, Rome itself was known as the City of the Seven Kings in that this was the total number of Roman emperors before the empire became a Republic in 509 BC.
The woman is of royal pedigree because she is “clothed with the sun”,anage-old symbol of both royalty and divinity. The 12 stars on her head obviously refers to the 12 tribes of Israel, for whom she was the de facto queen being the wife of Jesus,the Davidic King, and the wreath on her head denotes the fact of the nation of Israel’s enduringsubjugation to the Roman yoke.The “wilderness” in this context is France, where Mary Magdalene as related above sought refuge with the assistance of Agrippa II.
The pursued woman did give birth to a male child, which Mary Magdalene did as we shall relate in the next instalment. As a youngster, the child himself met no harm, but his relations, the broader Jesus family and their scions,who became known as the Desposyni or the Sangreal, were continuously harassedby Roman emperors, with some of them put to death, a detail we shall go into at the appropriate stage.
Curiously, General, the Revelation passage indicates that the woman was transported to safety on “two wings of a large vulture”. This suggests an aircraft, and a hideous, military-type for that matter, and not a ship as official history documents. This is not exactly far-fetched considering that the Anunnaki, who flew in aerial vehicles, have been ruling Earth from behind the scenes despite their official departure in the 6thcentury BC. If Mary Magdalene had been earmarked as the progenitor of the planet’s blue blood, which she indeed was, then the Anunnaki had cause to ferry her to France in an aeroplane to make doubly sure she got to France inone piece. It may explain, General, why upon her arrival in France she was welcomed by no less a figure than the Queen of Marseilles herself.
When I was growing up dinosaurs didn’t exist.I don’t mean I’m so old I pre-date the days of the prehistoric beast, simply that in those days, nobody bar a few nerdy scientists, gave them much of a second thought.
But in 1993 all that changed.Movie buffs amongst you will immediately recognise that year as the release year of the original Spielberg Jurassic Park movie.That’s not to say there hadn’t been films portraying these ancient beasts before – several had come and gone, seemingly without a trace, the oldest being from 1933 and filmed in black and white.But what set Jurassic Park apart, aside from the impressive special effects and the sprinkling of magic Spielberg dust, was the relatively recent discovery of DNA and its genetic significance.
The scriptwriters exploited this concept with the quasi-credible discovery of a living lizard species, derived from dinosaur DNA, captured from an ancient mosquito, and preserved for millennia in a chunk of amber.From there several other species are cloned and kept on an island which acts as a dinosaur game reserve, now open to the public.But that wouldn’t have made much of a story, so of course some of the more dangerous dinosaurs had to escape and cause mayhem and murder in the modern world.
The film grossed over a billion dollars and won 3 Oscars for sound and visual effects.And more importantly it generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of palaeontology experienced a record increase in applications.
So that’s where all the dinosaur hype and fascination started and since then it has spawned more movies from the same franchise, animated series such as Ice Age, andled to a global fascination with finding out more about these beasts of the past.
But only recently something quite fascinating emerged concerning these creatures, and that is that they began life as much smaller creatures and it was a major climate event on earth which led to their monster growth.This finding is the result of a study between scientists from the UK’s Birmingham university in conjunction with their Chinese counterparts at the China Institute of Mining & Technology. Their joint team of researchers recently presented compelling evidence that massive volcanic events probably helped the dinosaurs diversify and thrive, reaching their monumental sizes.
Their results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and explain that the Triassic Period, which began roughly 250 million years ago, was a time of massive ecological change after the largest mass extinction event on record.Earlier dinosaurs had been skinnier, more reptilian, less of the massive, marauding Spielberg monsters but it was during this time period that dinosaurs diversified until they became wondrous beasts such as T. Rex and Triceratops, dominating ecosystems all over earth.
Scientists looked at a phase spanning 2 million years during the Triassic Period known as the Carnian Pluvial Episode or CPE, ‘pluvial’ deriving from the Latin word for rain, meaning it was a period of warm, moist, cloudy meteorological activity . During that episode, from 234 million to 232 million years ago there was a huge increase in global temperature, humidity and rainfall — a climate often referred to as a “mega-monsoon.”
Researchers analysed sediment and plant fossil evidence from a lake in Northern China and were able to match four intense phases of volcanic activity with the changes of the Carnian Pluvial Episode.The study links the timing of the episode with four distinct peaks in mercury levels, a well-established indicator of volcanic activity,which led to changes in the vegetation.
“We’re often able to link volcanism to global warming, but our study is unusual in that we’ve also linked it to periods of intense rainfall,” said Jason Hilton, a paleobotanist at the University of Birmingham in England and co-author of the study. “With each pulse of volcanism, we see an increase in plants adapted to wet and aquatic… settings.” Jing Lu, a researcher at the China University of Mining and Technology and also a co-author of the study, added that these eruptions “were powerful enough to drive evolutionary processes during the Triassic. During the episode, plant species that couldn’t adapt to the more humid environment went extinct, as did a number of animal species, from large reptilian herbivores on land to small gastropods in the water. “These changes freed up ecological space for other groups of organisms such as dinosaurs, to thrive”
But every dog, and every dinosaur, has their day and the dinosaurs also faded away, most likely due to a massive meteor strike on the surface of the earth in what is now modern-day Florida, which set up a massive tsunami and eventually resulted in a global Ice Age, temperatures too cold for dinosaurs to survive.
If there’s a moral to all this paleo-historical research it is that earth’s climate is governed by many factors, one of which may indeed by petrol fumes in the atmosphere but many of which are completely beyond our control.Another massive meteor strike may occur next week or it may not. We could see a sudden surge in volcanic activity again or we might not.But most of all the lesson is that talk of what is good or otherwise for the planet is based on a false premise.Whatever happens on the surface of the earth, it keeps on spinning round and round the sun every 365 ¼ daysas it has done since the Big Bang and there isno reason to suppose it will cease to do so, even if it were to transform into a an arid desert in its entirety.That is the embodiment of perpetual motion, a force which man has yet to master.
No, what people really mean is ‘good for trying to keep the planet just the way we like it’ which is rather different and may be a complete impossibility.Indeed mankind, like the dinosaur, may become extinct at some point in the future as part of the natural way of the world.