Controversy and the Gothic metal project Babylon Mystery Orchestra go hand in hand. If in doubt then consider the subjects covered on recent BMO releases: Divine Right Of Kings (America’s role in Biblical prophecy as the doomed “Mystery Babylon The Great”), The Great Apostasy (Satanic infiltration of the church) and Axis Of Evil (how violence is not a part of Islam but is essential to Islam). The Godless, the Godforsaken & The God Damned, the latest from BMO, follows the trend by focusing on its share of problematic topics, including hate crime legislation, collectivist politics, Ernesto Che Guevara and the Islamic "Antichrist Superczar”. Angelic Warlord had the recent opportunity to conduct an online interview with founding member Sidney Allen Johnson, who provides his insight into these issues and others.
For those not familiar with Babylon Mystery Orchestra would you please go into more detail about the project. Specifically, when did you develop the vision for BMO? And what inspired you to start BMO?
Babylon Mystery Orchestra was probably born with the KISS reunion in 1995. Part of the wave of memorabilia that flowed from that tour was the reissuing Ibanez PS 10 guitars. I always liked them so I went ahead and bought one. That initially got me back interested in playing music again. However I never was all that keen on being involved with any bands. I slowly started acquiring all the gear necessary to record by myself. Digital recorders were getting inexpensive and easy to obtain and I eventually ended up with what you could call a studio. When I was growing up I loved Deep Purple records that all seemed to be recorded at some location with the Rolling Stones mobile studio. I figured I was at least in a position to attempt to record in that manner.
From there it was essentially a matter of deciding what I wanted to do with the music. I was pretty disinterested in everything that happened after the fall of all the hair metal bands. Therefore I had really not followed the music scene too closely for a large part of the decade. When I joined the internet world I started to get interested in bands like Therion, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. You can probably see how the sounds of those bands crossed with my love of Hair Metal and a little Blue Oyster Cult could result in the Babylon Mystery Orchestra sound.
After that it was just a matter of figuring out how to make that sound come to life. However a large part of what makes Babylon Mystery Orchestra is the subject matter I approach. I am a very contrary person. Knowing that religion and politics are particularly divisive subjects makes them irresistible to me. If you are going to take on the role of an artist, then I think you should be obligated to invest yourself into the music and not just try to play what you think people want to hear. Babylon Mystery Orchestra was never intended to operate on the level of musicians that crave adoration.
BMO just released its new album, The Godless, the Godforsaken & The God Damned. How does GGFGD compare musically to past BMO releases?
I have been telling people that The Godless, The Godforsaken and the God Damned is my Rock and Roll Over where Axis Of Evil was my Destroyer. I never run out of KISS references. I feel as though Axis Of Evil will probably be regarded as the definitive Babylon Mystery Orchestra record. I like everything about how that record was done. As a conceptual work, it achieved everything I had been trying to do from the beginning of BMO.
However, considering the controversial and political nature of Axis of Evil, you could say that this record is a natural fit as its successor. If anything, you could say that this record has a definite anger about it that may not have been as dominant a force on previous records. From the point of the sound and the music, I think that Babylon Mystery Orchestra has now established itself and this record certainly follows that formula. There was no attempt to re-invent the sound, only to advance it through familiar territory.
How did the songwriting and recording process go?
My intention going into this record was to step back from the concept record format and just write a collection of songs about many subjects that I wanted to write about but couldn't work into the previous records. That idea held together for awhile. I finally got around to writing about abortion, which I always intended to do as well as get into the world of extraterrestrials and UFO's. Then a very disastrous thing happened...the United States elected the most dangerous, childish and collectivist person they could find to the presidency. Suddenly I was discarding other ideas in favor of writing material in reaction to that turn of events. The songs fell together quickly. I was not lacking in inspiration...however, my bluegrass/metal experiment, a song called “Devil Anse”, never got off the ground. And still hasn't. But I'm gonna get to it one day.
The recording process for Babylon Mystery Orchestra is a continuing process. I am always recording something. Even as I write this I have a song awaiting me to finish. The very next week after I get it mixed down like I want it, I will be starting to record another one. Its one long recording session that started in 2002 and just never stops. I have to stay consistent to get the work done. I do not make a living doing music; therefore, I have to constantly fight to create time to keep the recording process going. I have made that a priority. I should spend more time trying to promote the releases but I long ago decided I wanted to create as much music as possible even at the expense of getting it noticed.
What are your favorite songs off GGFGD and why?
“Hate Crime” is probably my favorite song. That song precisely represents my feelings on the subject of "victim politics" and the fiends who profit from it. I am proud to attach my name to those sentiments. Of course I am proud to attach my name to all of my sentiments but this song really appeals to me. I always like the BMO songs that alternate between heavy and acoustic parts and this is one of them. I also am particularly fond of “Catspaw”. That is another song that has been a long time coming. It is particularly inspired by the likes of Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi but, in reality, there are too many inspirations to list. These people are the creations of wealthy collectivists. The "benefactors" who gave them the money to record their records and build their careers own them. They will always owe their fame and fortune to those people and they will always speak for them. They are not artists. Do not let their pleasant and meaningless songs fool you, they are useful tools for the destruction of freedom in this country. In a word...a catspaw!
The truth is there are no songs on this record that don't appeal to me. I write the kind of records I would like to buy. However, I have been told that “We Is Killin' Me” comes across much like a conversation with me. I guess that is probably true.
You made a very strong statement about how Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are useful tools for the destruction of freedom in this country. Would you please expand upon this.
These "artists" are not self made. The huge amount of wealth and adulation that has found them was a direct result of other people investing in them. Investing large amounts of time and money. They will always owe their benefactors. There is a reason why one political point of view dominates the entertainment industry. It is no accident. When someone else invests their money in your fame, then you cease to be an artist and instead are a mouthpiece for their interests. Rock musicians are a treasure trove of useful idiots for socialist/collectivist causes.
I'm rather fed up with Bono forcing his bloated self-serving conscience on the rest of us. This "social conscience" in and of itself is a fabrication of his benefactors. Do you know how much in taxes he pays in his native Ireland? Bono may travel the world campaigning for the world's poor, but he and his band are taking advantage of the same tax avoidance schemes that rob impoverished countries of billions. Yet he continues to soak American TAXPAYERS to fund his pet African debt relief project? It is one thing to forgive someone of a debt they owe to you. It is quite another to attempt to forgive the debts of another. But that is the way of the political "progressives." They always want to play with someone else's money. Bono lobbied President Bush for AIDS relief money for Africa and he got it. The United States under Bush gave 500 million to African AIDS relief. Yet Bono gets all the accolades as a conscientious artist and almost no one is aware that Bush has done more for Africa than any American president. However, neither deserves any credit as it was all taxpayer money! Once again we see how easy it is to be charitable with OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY. And don't get me started on how much of that money found its way into the hands of the very people oppressing the populations of those countries. Many a dictator feasted on taxpayer largesse and used it to actually commit atrocities against their citizens. LIVE AID was one of the worst catspaw festivals as mismanaged and unsupervised money was funneled to "community organizers" that actually killed people rather than feed them. But in la-la land all that matters is that they meant well.
Worst of all, Bono brags about how he stiffed President Bush out of a hug at a public function because he claims he had so many political differences with him. So he is GW's friend when he is passing out taxpayer money but can't be bothered with him when he needs to appear to be a "conscientious" liberal? Perhaps GW deserved the rebuff since he was negotiating Bono's friendship with our money. Still, the lack of gratitude in Bono is sickening.
Then there is the "Boss." If you are foolish enough to believe in anthropic global warming (I certainly do not) then you may as well lay as much of the blame for it as you can on this man. He was one of many catspaws in the music industry that joined up with "Musicians United for Safe Energy" back in 1979-80 to do a series of concerts against nuclear power. Combined with the fraudulent movie "The China Syndrome" they managed to successfully lobby and scare the government out of granting any more licenses for new nuclear power plant construction. If you buy into greenhouse gas emissions as a contributor to global warming then stifling the cleanest burning of fuels has to make all of those conspirators guilty of contributing to the problem. This man is an intolerably vocal supporter of all the worst politicians that run for office and feels compelled to use his fame as a tool to campaign for them. Most notably John Kerry and Barack Obama. In an episode of 60 Minutes Springsteen glowingly reminisced about his childhood in New Jersey and then asked himself out loud: "What happened to the country I grew up in?" Back when he was in school, you could pray in school, recite the pledge of allegiance and abortion was not a constitutional right. He and his generation of "progressive" thinkers took to the streets and "improved" things. Did they really think their causes would not have effects? So to answer his own question: Bruce Springsteen is what happened to the country he grew up in.
Jon Bon Jovi is not the kind of guy that should be sticking his nose into political activism. Not when his contributions amount to going on the David Letterman show and saying that Obama is a "cool" president. But then he too used his fame to raise millions for the Obama campaign. Now he is bothering us with his campaign to "volunteer" for the United We Serve Organization. An Obama pet project. Perhaps Jon is enthusiastic about being one of this president's pets but I certainly am not. I always react negatively when wealthy entertainers encourage others to "volunteer" by saying "we're all in this together." That was the entire purpose of the health care fiasco. To get us all in that together. The core of American way of life revolves around our freedom to choose not to be in this together. Sorry Jon, I'm opting out.
If any of these people were supporters of conservative politics would they have ever been given the enormous sums of money needed to start their careers? Do they realistically know anything about politics at all? Are they merely doing and saying what they are told? Could they say anything different? This is the problem with people who are owned...and these people are owned. Prince was telling you something when he wrote "slave" on his face. Believe him.
And I haven't even mentioned Patti Smith. She was always one of my favorite catspaws. I have a wonderful picture of her from the 1970's sitting amongst a bunch of signs in support of the then brewing Iranian Revolution. One even said: long live the anti-imperialist struggle of the Iranian people. That worked out well for them didn't it? Now, of course, she is showing her support for OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN IRAN as a new group of young people take to the street to fight the oppressive government she supported putting in place of the Shah 30 years ago. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Don't let these people do your thinking for you.
What are your feelings about GGFGD? Are you happy with the way the album turned out? And how has the response been so far?
Absolutely! I am as pleased as I could be at the way this record turned out. I feel as though I now have a complete understanding of what Babylon Mystery Orchestra should sound like and this record is really straight down the middle of that definition. That is one reason why I compare it to KISS' Rock and Roll Over record. That record for them is a straight down the middle KISS record. Not often picked as a "best" or "favorite" of their records but I do not know a KISS fan who doesn't like it. I was trying to accomplish the same thing for BMO with this record. A straight down the middle Babylon Mystery Orchestra record.
The initial responses have all been favorable and in many ways I think the reviewers are confirming my assessment and intentions with the record. Those who have been favorable to BMO in the past should be comfortable with this record...HOWEVER...there are those who despise Babylon Mystery Orchestra. So far the despisers continue to do so as well. Unlike a lot of artists that find themselves under the "Christian" umbrella, I see to it that BMO releases are sent though-out the metal community at large for reviews. The fact that some places are predisposed to dislike my approach does not deter me. I quite enjoy the fact that there are those people out there who don't like it and hate my point of view. Some reviewers are actually quite funny about it. There are a lot of reviewers that were very favorable to The Great Apostasy. On that record I was, of course, critical of certain elements of Christianity as manmade or Satanically influenced. Yet on the very next record the ratings suddenly drop to 0 out of 10 because I switched my criticism to the far more dangerous and damnable religion of Islam. To me that is very revealing of how anti-Christian bias has become institutionalized within the metal community. It also reveals the cowardice, political correctness and outright fraud that runs rampant in metal. The poseurs are still with us. They cover their bodies with tattoos and body piercings to look tougher than they are as they sing songs about war and violence...but only against those who offer no resistance. Heavy Metal is scared of Islam. Still, everyone who assailed the last record will get a chance to do the same with this one. So far, one place has lived down to my expectations. I expect most reviewers will be consistent one way or the other. After all, I have been consistent.
How is heavy metal scared of Islam? Also, perhaps you could go into more detail about your statement regarding the cowardice, political correctness and outright fraud that runs rampant in metal.
Heavy Metal has pretty much institutionalized the imprecation of Christianity. Over the last 20 years it has become entrenched in the genre and not just in Black Metal.
But it is worse than that. I would accuse popular music and particularly Heavy Metal as a genre of ENABLING the enemies of freedom. For over 20 years now heavy metal bands have been openly and viciously deriding Christians, Christianity and Jesus in a childish Satanic vendetta as they pursue a mirage of rebellion. The fact is that almost all of them know nothing of either Satanism or Christianity and have merely excoriated Christianity as a means of avoiding gainful employment. This genuine hypocrisy makes them no different than the average religious charlatan that fraudulently bilks believers in God out of their money. However, in spite of all this phony posing and posturing, these heavy metal bands did, quite accidentally, accomplish one very important thing: They exposed Christianity as a very TOLERANT religion. How many times have Christians reacted violently to these openly Satanic bands? The answer is...never! This in spite of the fact that at times these musicians used violence against Christians, as in the Black Metal church burnings of Norway. At best you might have a few particularly brave Christian souls venture to a Black Metal show to hand out pamphlets. These are not the actions of intolerance. Not only that but one should notice that all of this anti-Christianity has been achieved largely because post-reformation Christianity has promoted the type of tolerance that Western Civilization now considers a fundamental precept of it's moral standards, yet with almost no acknowledgement of where that tolerance emerged from...CHRISTIANITY!
However we have the blatantly intolerant religion of Islam endorsing violence over cartoons depicting Muhammad and movies ACCURATELY portraying Islam as a religious and political institution that abhors freedom. Islamic leaders annually petition the UN for blasphemy laws to regulate free speech against their prophets. They stand in open opposition to not only freedom of speech but also freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and the rights of women and non-Muslims throughout the world. They not only threaten violence when challenged, but carry out their threats with regularity. You would think Heavy Metal "artists" would be chomping at the bit to get at these people who represent everything they claim to oppose. THESE are the people actually oppressing and imposing an intolerant moral code on their societies, and trying to do the same in the West. Unfortunately these same "artists" that feel such indignation when confronting Christianity suddenly get all touchy and feely when confronted with the real oppression of Islam. After all Islam, unlike Christianity, does not take offenses lightly. They strike back. Hard. As can be evidenced by the murder of movie maker Theo Van Gogh in broad daylight. Yet when one lone artist (that would be me) speaks up against this sort of thing it is either simply dismissed as just being another religion's turn or, worse, decried as some sort of intolerant hate speech. This is childish and reflects the tendency of Heavy Metal artists and media personalities desire to "fit in" with the general political and religious philosophies of the entertainment industry at large. So all those tattoos and body piercings are certainly not emblematic of any streak of independence among the metal community. Conformity reigns supreme. In this case it is a conformity to pure ignorance.
Read some of the negative reviews of the "Axis Of Evil" CD. The red hot language of a heavy metal genre that loves to hate Christianity or any other representation of authority is reduced to cliché and foolish statements like "I dare say that many of the quotations are taken out of context." Empty, evidence free rhetoric is the language of the coward. Perhaps someone could explain how statements such as "God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the Mujahadeen," could possibly have a more loving and tolerant context. But then at the heart of it all is really the difference between Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus asked forgiveness FOR his killers. Muhammad demanded death for anyone who dared to offend him. Most of the followers of both do a decent job of fulfilling their particular prophet's wishes. And that is why Heavy Metal is scared of Islam. They value their lives. The "courageous" artist is a myth!
This isn't just about the musicians or the journalists who cover the genre. You should visit the message boards all over the internet and you will see a strange sort of elitism among heavy metal fans as well. Nowhere is this more obvious than the debates raging around Varg Vikernes and the release of his new record. Many heavy metal fans are more offended by Varg's ideas than they are his actual deeds. That he is a racist is seen as a far greater crime than the fact he murdered his one-time friend. Do metal fans consider racism a higher crime than murder? Where does this come from? I will tell you. It comes from the highest crime at all. Self-worship. Too many people are convinced of their own enlightenment and since, by their own definition, they are superior to racists, they glorify themselves. In fact, I would argue that it is just another form of racism. It leads them to see racists wherever they find opposition to their own ideas and world view. That is one reason why so many are trying to portray the opponents of Barack Obama as racists as well. You don't have to acknowledge those who are "inferior" to yourself. It is an elitism of the worst sort and it is perpetrated by politically correct group thinking. Heavy Metal is infested with this type of politically correct conformity. That heavy metal artist, fans and journalists would use this self-serving elitism to defend a vile hateful institution such as Islam even as they condemn Christianity is as God-Damnable an act as you will ever witness.
You describe Christianity as being exposed as a very tolerant religion. Specifically, would you please expand upon your statement that “all of this anti-Christianity has been achieved largely because post-reformation Christianity has promoted the type of tolerance that Western Civilization now considers a fundamental precept of its moral standards, yet with almost no acknowledgement of where that tolerance emerged from...CHRISTIANITY!”
I am going to take you somewhere you might be uncomfortable going with some of this answer.
Christianity is often unfairly branded as intolerant. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Do you know what the penalty was in the city of Athens in the Apostle Paul's day? Not only was the marriage automatically broken once the affair was discovered but also the children of the mother were stripped of both inheritance AND citizenship. They could not even marry a citizen. The Roman law of the time even allowed for the husband of the adulteress to kill the man who slept with her. Does this sound tolerant? This is the world of Christianity's birth. It was an extremely permissive society where sex was open and available through either legal prostitution, the lax morals of the time or legal rape. How would some of our "tolerance" worshiping friends like to live under that authority? Why wouldn't Paul encourage Christians NOT to engage in a reckless behavior with so many unpleasant consequences for so many people, many of whom were not even involved with the offending act? If you truly do believe in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you wouldn't you discourage such selfish relationships?
Paul, and therefore Christianity, is also often falsely maligned as sexist and oppressive to women. Why do we let people get away with this? When Paul urges that women should have their heads covered in the church he is doing something unheard of in Roman times. In the Rome of his time only certain women of the highest stature were ALLOWED to wear veils or head covering. Woe to the non-citizen, adulterer slave or prostitute that gets caught with her head veiled...and yes, they most definitely did police such things. By saying that all women should wear covering on their heads he was bestowing upon all of them the highest possible status within the church. Regardless of whatever the world outside thought of them. Is it any wonder that women were among the most eager to listen to what this new religion had to say? This was the first step in women's rights...ever.
And what of the accusation that Christianity is intolerant of homosexuality? Once again, consider the Greco-Roman world that Paul was from, a world where homosexuality was open, tolerated and even in many instances promoted. Young male slaves were often purchased entirely for the purpose of pleasuring their masters. Rape was common in this world and the victims were chastised for their weakness. Wealthy families bought slaves for the sole purpose of escorting their young male children so they wouldn't be raped. There were even certain kinds of parties called Komos, where groups of drunken men would wander the streets looking for someone to kidnap and rape. This was Paul's world and this is what he was not willing to tolerate. His message that Jesus died so that everyone could inherit the kingdom of God was a radical idea to that world. That all people were of value to God and that mistreatment of anyone was an offense to him was unheard of before. This is the real birthplace of the concept of individual worth, individual rights and the concept of equal treatment. In Rome, only Roman citizens had rights or value. Not so to Paul and the then new Christian movement. It is no coincidence that these values became the central defining features of what would become Western Civilization with its rule of law and due process.
Paul was well aware that unrestrained tolerance for behavior leads to intolerance for an individual's right to be left alone and unmolested. In fact, Roman and Greek tradition always abhorred the passive and "effeminate" homosexuals that allowed themselves to be penetrated. Whether by rape or by choice, you could not retain your citizenship if you were known to have been penetrated. In another interesting and radical assessment of equal treatment Paul, and therefore Christianity, would be the first to condemn the penetrator as being just as guilty and immoral as the society already viewed those that were penetrated in the transaction. The social status of neither party mattered. To a society where sex and violence were indistinguishable and most lives worthless to the state, the concept that all people have value and that the strong are wrong to exploit the weak was a...Godsend!
The concept of rights, justice and due process have always been attempted and never achieved until our founding fathers had the foresight to apply the concept of natural law and natural rights as having come from God. Rights adjudicated by man are as temporary as they are arbitrary...as those who believe health care is a right will soon find out. Equality is not achieved by petitioning the state for quotas, set-asides or protected legal status. You cannot create rights for political advantage, but the Biblical concept of freedom likewise cannot be taken away. Christianity is the only truly "progressive" philosophy.
How much importance do you place on lyrical content when writing a BMO song? And where do you get your subject matters from? Also, why isn’t GGFGD a concept album (unlike past BMO releases)?
I consider the lyrics to be the most important part of any song for it is the lyrics that impart a personality and a purpose. Even though I love hair Metal, with all of its hedonism and nonsense, I tend to be unable to write such lyrics anymore. Fortunately, no one has ever seen or heard the ones I did write, which is probably a good thing. It is hard to be taken seriously if you weren't seen as serious before. Therefore the lyrics I write are about things that are very important to me. Sometimes the subjects, like abortion, have always been there, waiting for me to approach them. Other times it can come from something as simple as the books I read. Viva Cristo Rey was the result of reading a book called "Exposing The Real Che Guevara" by Humberto Fontova and Apollo came from reading "Dark Mission: The Secret History Of NASA" by Richard C. Hoagland. Both of these books I found to be very interesting and in the case of Hoagland's book it actually fed into some of my suspicions of what life was really like in the days of Noah. Now I am not going to say that I totally believe that NASA is hiding evidence of civilizations that have had contact with the moon and Mars...BUT...if it were to turn out to be true, I think my Bible will inform me of who they were and how they got there.
As far as why The Godless, the Godforsaken and the God Damned is not a concept record...it was simply time to do a record where I could get some other ideas into songs that wouldn't necessarily fit or require a bigger storyline to convey them. Considering the fact that the current political climate became such an influence on this record, it is probably a good thing that I wasn't committed to a bigger theme.
Speaking of lyrics, I would like you to go into further detail about several songs off GGFGD.
Of course...let’s have at them...
On “Apollo” you are focusing on a conspiracy by NASA to hide their discovery of remains of previous extraterrestrial travelers in our solar system. Does this claim have any credibility? Also, where do these travelers originate?
Actually a lot of that depends on how you interpret certain photographs and whether or not you believe that NASA could be hiding such evidence. According to Richard Hoagland in his book "Dark Mission: The Secret History Of NASA" they are actually in possession of actual physical evidence of an advanced civilization that was retrieved from the moon. This man worked at NASA for years and claims that it was actually NASA that created the fictitious story that the moon missions were filmed on earth to cover up what they were really doing. Accordingly they didn't go to the moon so much to explore as to find something they believed was already there.
You have probably seen the infamous image of the Cydonia face that was taken on Mars, and recently they released some interesting photographs that show some "anomalies" on the planet's surface that do look, at least possibly, unnatural. So as far as conspiracy theories go, this one is interesting and has some fruit for the imagination. Now I can't say that it is true but I find the possibility intriguing. I am not as interested in the parts that focuses on the "occult" nature of the NASA missions as much as I am interested in the actual possibility of extraterrestrials traveling throughout the solar system.
With that comes the best part of the story...at least for me. As you may recall the second BMO record, On Earth As It Is In Heaven, dealt with the theme of Rock music being an ancient music that originated in the world of Noah prior to the flood. I have always been fascinated by the possibilities of that time in world history. For some reason people have the misguided idea that the civilization of that time was a less advanced one than ours. Often time’s people are "astounded" at the technology used to build Noah's ark. Ask yourself: where does it say in the Bible that these people were a primitive people? That is OUR arrogance. Does it imply that the Ark was a technological achievement? How could it be? It was designed to float and be difficult to overturn in a storm. It had no propulsion system and nothing to steer it. Now we know why it did not need those things and how irrelevant they would be considering the magnitude of the flood. But anyone who could build such a boat would probably have known how to power it and steer it and certainly Noah was aware that those things were left off. The ark was not the highest technological achievement of that time...in fact, it most likely was the biggest joke of its day. Until, of course, the world started tearing apart and water came from everywhere.
Geologists tell us that at one time the earth consisted of one super continent called Pangaea. The evolutionists contend that the continents have been slowly separating for hundreds of millions of years. They base this solely on the rate of continental drift that we currently witness as the earth's tectonic plates pull and push against each other. How many people know that the theory of tectonic plates and the belief that all the continents were once merged as one is actually a creationist concept? The evolutionists and creationists disagree on the time frame. The creationists will tell you the continents were broken apart as part of the mechanism of the flood that destroyed the earth of that time. Count me among the creationists. I know a great deal and probably more than most people about geological and biological evolution as taught in modern schools. I understand it. I reject it. I highly recommend people read "The Genesis Flood" by Whitcomb and Morris as well as the recently published "Earth's Catastrophic Flood" by Andrew Snelling. And while you are at it read everything you can about geological, astronomical and biological evolution, especially that written by secularists who deny God any role in these events. Don't let it be said I told anyone not to read anything. Read everything!
There were roughly 1600 years from Adam to the flood. 1600 years with everyone speaking the same language and living within a reasonable proximity of each other. According to the Bible, the lifespan of these people was in the neighborhood of 900 years...assuming you weren't murdered. Imagine how much technology can be developed with life spans that allow for that much accumulation of knowledge. Think about how fast science could develop if Copernicus, Newton, Edison, Einstein, Teller, Sagan and Hawking all could have lived within each others life spans. It doesn't matter if they acted in co-operation or if they competed against one another. Their influence on each other would have accelerated scientific development exponentially. There is NO reason to assume that the world God destroyed with Noah's flood was technologically inferior to ours. In fact, it almost certainly was superior.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. This is the Bible's way of addressing what scientists call the second law of thermodynamics. All processes tend to decay and disintegrate, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. In other words evolution, the arising of complexity out of randomness and disorder is completely unnatural and violates this basic scientific law. I say this to make a point. The people in Noah's time lived on an earth that was far better suited for life than it is today...and it was populated by far superior humans. Do to the sorcery of 4000 years of technological development we have managed to extend the average human lifespan back up to a paltry 78 years. Without modern medicine it would be a lot less. This against the 900 year life spans that naturally occurred for earth's original inhabitants. Not only is evolution completely untrue, the exact opposite is true. We are an inferior human compared to those original settlers of the earth. The earth itself has decayed considerably from that time. In 4000 years we may not have yet achieved the technology that was lost in the flood. That is something to think about.
It does not take so catastrophic a disaster such as the one God unleashed on the earth in those days to destroy a civilization as advanced as our world was just 100 years ago. The very extreme level of destruction implies a highly developed civilization with, shall we say, very sound building codes. If you wanted to eliminate all trace of New York City, how would you do it? You could break open the ground underneath it and swallow it and then cover it with a new and deep ocean...or you could crush it between two colliding continents and bury it under the tallest mountains in the world. Mountains, such as the Alps or Himalayas, which did not exist when Noah walked into the Ark.
Such a society certainly could have made visits to the moon or Mars. After all, we have done that ourselves. Therefore ANY evidence of previous visitation to other planets though-out our solar system would seem most logically to have originated from the pre-flood world of Noah's time. It is just waiting there for us to find. Therefore it certainly is within the realm of possibility that NASA could have found, and retrieved evidence of extraterrestrial space travelers. They are just mis-interpreting that evidence to fit their godless world-view that says human life isn't special, it's just one of many of species of intelligent life in the universe. Rubbish! An advanced civilization of billions of people was destroyed in Noah's flood. Perhaps we are just now in a position to see how much was lost in it.
I have not even dealt with the interference of the angels that took earth women as wives and whose influence in that world was a great contributor in its downfall. That was an incredible time to be alive...while it lasted. That was the main theme of the On Earth As It Is In Heaven CD.
How's that for a long-winded answer?
”Benai Elohim (Semjaza’s Return)” seems to build upon a similar theme- that extraterrestrials are real (the Bible speaks of them) but they do not come from outer space. Again, where do they come from? And who are these extraterrestrials in question?
The Bible clearly speaks of extraterrestrial visitors and extraterrestrial meddling in the affairs of the earth. Everything attributed to what we now call space aliens is consistent with the influence of fallen angels on the earth. In the days of Noah these angels came to earth and initially were worshiped as gods. They conveyed forbidden knowledge and encouraged abominable behavior in the world of that time. Angels travel at the speed of thought, therefore any technologically impressive tricks you see a supposed UFO perform are being done to deceive you into believing you are seeing signs of an advanced civilization. The "ship" is for your benefit. The angels don't need it.
There are verses in the Bible that should be an obvious warning that in the last days of the world WE live in that we will likewise have to contend with a significant involvement of these angelic extraterrestrials:
REVELATION 12:7-9: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Now how do you think that will present itself to us? The people of the past were easily led by angels purporting to be a god. We don't believe in gods. Those who don't believe in any God are extremely vulnerable to this deception. The devil knows the Bible better than any man who will ever live...and he understands it thoroughly. He knows there is coming a time when he and his angels will be forced upon the earth and their fates will be intertwined with ours. If you KNEW such an event was coming, don't you think you would arrange to be "welcomed" with open arms? We have been undergoing social conditioning to prepare us for such an event. But it won't look like the devil and his angels to our eyes...it will look like benevolent extra-terrestrials claiming to have come to the earth from another planet...to "help" us of course. Be scared...be very scared. They will make all sorts of false claims. They will say they are Jesus, Buddha, Al Mahdi etc. and many people, most in fact, will believe it. False prophets anyone? That is why the song has those lines:
I'm the reason they teach you in Sunday School
Test the spirits lest you be fooled...
Of course nothing says that these spiritual beings will necessarily have to be any more "visible" to us then than they are now. And I am not saying that spaceships are necessarily going to be a part of the end-times deceptions of which the Bible speaks. However you should prepare yourself for the possibility. There is no intelligent life on other planets. Sorry, but that is a non-Biblical fantasy.
The two song suite “A Constitutional Right” and “Jesus Save…” talks about abortion. What inspired you to confront this issue?
I have always viewed Babylon Mystery Orchestra as a vehicle for addressing the kind of subjects that are controversial and that other artists would not touch for fear of offending a potential customer. I have always wanted to deal with the abortion issue I just haven't felt comfortable injecting it into the other records. It seemed as though it was more of a stand alone topic that may have been a distraction from the other themes that previous records were addressing. This subject is one of the reasons I wanted to stray away from the concept record format this time.
The first part, A Constitutional Right, was done to convey the nature of the violence being perpetrated in an abortion. I am essentially describing a saline injection type of abortion and trying to give voice to the point of view of the victim as well as impart the magnitude of the crime...the destruction of the bond between a mother and a child. This is perhaps the strongest bond possible between humans.
The second part, Jesus Save..., was an attempt to bring the one person whose point of view has been missing into the debate...Satan. We have heard from everybody but him...and now you know his side of the story. The song was built around the last words in it:
At Calvary the innocent died to set your spirit free...
...now the innocent die for me
This was meant to convey the hatred Satan has not only for Jesus, but also for the rest of us. We often speak of the victory at Calvary, but if you were the one defeated by the sacrifice of the one perfect and innocent death of Jesus you might try to find some innocents to kill for yourself. There is only one place on earth to find a sinless life...in the womb. It makes perfect and logical sense from the vengeance-minded point of view of our favorite fallen angel.
On “Ruin” you discuss collectivist politics and how strength is not found in numbers. Would you please go into more detail here?
As a Christian you can have no doubt that strength does not come with numbers. The Bible is full of stories where the few (Gideon) or the one (Noah) prevailed over the many. In fact, I would suggest that the Bible is the perfect argument against pure democracy. Even a casual understanding of the Bible should reveal to you the majority is inevitably wrong. Whenever the majority is allowed to run things unchecked the result is...Biblical Disasters. Strength does not require company. Virtue can stand alone...and the truth will inevitably win out over lies believed by the many. The trouble with a collective is that it averages everyone into a group at the expense of the individual...and groups are easily misled.
It is a fine thing to say that all men are created equal, but they do not stay equal and it is un-natural and evil to force equality on people. Aristotle once said "the worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." This is the problem with collectivism in any form. You can call it socialism, communism or Obama-ism. Equality will destroy a society. It seeks to create an average. Equality is a poison spread by moral relativists and political demagogues to exploit the weak and conquer the strong. When politicians start promoting or promising equality, it immediately appeals to half of all people. The very nature of equality is to create an average and by design half of everybody is below the average. Instantly they think they have something to gain from equality. But what of the above average? It only takes a few of them to be convinced of the nobility of their "sacrifice" and then its game over. Aristotle warned of this. There is nothing new or "progressive" about equality.
Isaiah 5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
This is the poison of equality. Of course evil wants to be seen as good. So people will tell you homosexuals should marry because its equal to real marriage. Of course the poor will be willing to have money taken from the wealthy and given to them. Certainly the lazy will see that they are rewarded just as well as the productive for nothing. The uneducated? Why bother, you are equal to the most educated man. You can see how poisonous this is. It is the evil of equality and the mythical "level playing field." What is most troubling is how many wealthy and successful people will promote these ideas to give themselves a feeling of nobility in the name of "giving something back." Beware of these people. Freedom will produce winners and losers...but never equals. Where there is equality there is oppression. And keep this in mind:
Matthew 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. Notice how Jesus says you will always have poor people. You can get rid of the rich, but you will never get rid of the poor. So anyone promoting equality is ALWAYS going to bring everyone down.
I am not suggesting that equal opportunity or equal access to opportunity isn't necessary. Everyone must feel that the law gives them a chance. But everyone must also know that the rewards of life are not going to be evenly split. Why is it that the most godless, immoral people are the ones who insist on "social justice" and "fairness?" Divine Justice tells us the wages of sin is death.
If a convoy travels at the speed of the slowest ship then the fastest ships will be just as easy to sink. Would not the fastest ship be better served to travel alone? Forcing people into groups of equals is every bit as dangerous. The strongest cannot help the weakest if the strongest is forced to operate as weak. Equality is not social justice so much as it is social damnation. You cannot help the weak by increasing their numbers. One at a time you help them by reducing their numbers.
Jesus did not die for everybody on that cross, he died for every ONE. The difference is important. One at a time, you either accept his gift or reject it. Remember that the next time a collectivist attempts to disguise himself in the foliage of Christianity. Jesus was not a Marxist hippie out to save everyone from themselves. He let you walk away from him. These modern day collectivists in our government are legislating mandates that demand your participation. There is nothing Christian about mandated participation! You must know evil when you see it.
I don't know if that answered the question but it goes a long way to describing the thinking that went into that song!
How does the new health care legislation tie into collectivist politics? Do they go hand in hand? And what are your thoughts on HC reform in general?
The Health Care Reform legislation just passed by congress had absolutely nothing to do with health care. It is simple socialist/collectivist redistribution of wealth. They confiscated the Health Care system from the private sector and have placed it under the control of the federal government. Since EVERYONE either needs, or loves someone who needs, health care the apparatus to create a "compliant" and "obedient" citizenry has just been put into place. The bill was two thousand pages of controls and restrictions on who can access health care and who can administer it. Every sentence in every piece of legislation passed by congress deprives someone somewhere of some part of their freedom. This law is the end of the United States as a free nation if it stands.
Health insurance was a private transaction between free citizens and free corporations. Now no one can buy health insurance tailored to their specific needs. All insurance policies must be approved by the Federal Government. For instance, young people generally only need catastrophic insurance to cover them in the event of a major calamity. Therefore they used to be able to buy high deductible insurance that was very inexpensive and they would just pay the doctor for the average visit. Such policies are now illegal. The law mandates that all insurance policies cover the kind of "politically correct" procedures that many people will never need. In theory their scheme forces the healthy and the young to join the "risk pool." But why? Where is the freedom in this? President Obama and his collectivist benefactors would have you believe health care is a right and that everyone is "entitled" to it. As a result they are compelled to force everyone to participate to have even a slight chance of paying for it. However even THEY do not believe in this scheme. You are not entitled to the knowledge, skill and property of another. As many people are finding out, you cannot force doctors to become government civil servants. However, as I stated, this has nothing to do with health care. This was a socialist redistribution scheme designed to place all the citizens of this country at the mercy of their government. It is about control.
You could have bought health insurance for all the uninsured people in this country for 30 billion dollars a year. They admit to spending at least 970 billion dollars for this new Health Care apparatus and the 16,000 IRS agents that will be needed to enforce the mandatory purchases. The true cost is more like 2.6 TRILLION! Do you really believe this was done out of a noble concern for the plight of the uninsured? Now "we are all in this together," which is exactly what the collectivists want. Some people are paying for this...some people are not. Some people will gain access health care...270 million people will have the access they currently have altered. Some people will have their health care benefits taxed...people in unions will not. Once again we see unequal treatment is necessary to promote the foolish concept of equality. And this they call "social justice." The reality is this has more to do with vengeance for those people who have been educated to believe they have grievances against the United States and are entitled to recompense from those they have been educated to hate.
Essentially they are successfully dividing Americans into two classes of people: the ruling class and everybody else. Congress's willingness to pass unpopular health care legislation against the will of the people is direct and irrefutable proof of that. This arrogance combined with a genuine animosity to private property rights and private business is the same recipe that cooked Cuba's goose. Isn't it amazing how these "progressive" equality policies have the effect of returning us to a system that looks remarkably like the old "Divine Right Of Kings" style of government...minus the "divine" of course. This can't end well
You wrote a song about Ernesto Che Guevara (“Viva Cristo Rey!”). Why?
I despise seeing foolish people wearing with his face emblazoned across their chests. It is a trendy thing among the youth to look at him as some sort of "Rock and Roll Rebel." Fools like Carlos Santana walks around wearing this guy on a shirt. Che Guevara hated rock music and hated long haired people. It's absolutely ridiculous to see the very people he would have murdered running around promoting this guy. He was not a "complicated" person that requires deep understanding. He was a communist murderer...and nothing more. That Barack H. Obama had at least one of his campaign offices decorated with his photographs is atrocious. I realize he may not have been responsible for the photo being there, but these are the kind of people who are among his most enthusiastic supporters. But if you point this out you are, of course, a racist.
I was moved to write the song after reading the book "Exposing The Real Che Guevara" by Humberto Fontova. Almost all the lyrics are direct Che quotes. This was actually the first song recorded for the record long before anyone knew we were going to have a bunch of Che sympathizers swept into the government in the 2008 elections. It is a fine coincidence how well this song fits in with all of the political songs that I later felt compelled to write.
By the way, Viva Cristo Rey is Spanish for long live Christ the King. It was very common for these to be the last words of Che's victims. That is why the song is built around those words.
Why do you take offense at President Obama's statement about being “God's Partner in matters of life and death” (from the song “You’re On Your Own… This Time”)?
How could anybody not take offense at these words? Even ( and perhaps especially) an atheist should recoil at such a thought as a partnership with God. Remember that this is the same guy who, when questioned by Rick Warren in a Presidential debate, deferred to answer the question of when life begins by flippantly saying such knowledge was above his pay grade. Apparently sometime after he was elected he entered us into this "partnership" with God. I would sure like to know the terms of the negotiations. Since he claims that we are God's partners in matters of life and death I think someone should ask him the question of when life begins again. Apparently he now has the answer.
This was the most arrogant and absurd statement anyone could possibly make. That it was made by the President Of The United States is inexcusable. No Christian would dare make such a statement so rid yourself of any illusions that he is one. On the first Babylon Mystery Orchestra CD I indicted the United States as the most likely candidate for being the infamous Mystery Babylon The Great that will be destroyed in one hour. Foolish statements of that magnitude by an ELECTED official certainly go a long way to our earning, and deserving, such a quick and thorough death...after all, somebody out there voted for him. I can assure you I wasn't one of them.
How and why is the United States the most likely candidate for being the infamous Mystery Babylon The Great?
You don't believe in giving me questions that can be answered quickly and easily do you? I will try not to write a book this time. Entire books have been written on the subject and it was, in fact, the subject of the very first Babylon Mystery Orchestra CD..."Divine Right Of Kings." There are a lot of different interpretations of what constitutes Mystery Babylon as well as where it would be...even when it would be is something to contend with.
The apostle John was given a vision of the future around AD 60-90. In it he saw the events leading up to the Day of the Lord and his return and a 1000 year reign afterward. There is a lot in this vision. In chapter 17 and 18 of the vision (Revelation) he sees a future place he calls "MYSTERY BABYLON". Since it is referred to as a city you should know that it is what we would call a country or empire as they commonly named empires after the main city of power. This City is described as a Great Whore who has apparently been very meddlesome in world affairs (referred to as fornicating with the nations of the Earth). This nation apparently knew God and was blessed with riches like the world had never seen. It was entirely too proud of itself and turned is back on God. The scary part is the descriptions of her wealth. It doesn't take a genius to see there is only one place in the entire history of the world that truly describes. The United States is that place. God DESTROYS this ENTIRE NATION in the space of one hour. If you claim to be a Christian you MUST believe this will happen.
I don't know how you can get past this:
REVELATION 18: 9-17:And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
Absolutely a physical location. An economic powerhouse of consumption, and absolutely destroyed in one hour. Likewise it must be visible from the sea. Though I agree there are a lot of spiritual components to how we arrived to this condition, there is a physical consequence. I am a Biblical literalist for the most part. With the president we have now, we are essentially a non-nuclear power as he would never order a counterstrike if attacked. I don't believe he would use nuclear weapons under any situation. That makes us vulnerable and therefore this a very dangerous time for a very literal fulfillment of this one hour destruction. However the Yellowstone super volcano could, by natural means, accomplish the exact same thing. Perhaps an attack on the volcano to blow it open? A small terrorist attack, well targeted with a small nuclear device may even accomplish this. The point is...we can see it happening without much difficulty...if this is the appointed time.
However, like many Christians before me, I have this presumption that the events of our world are so arrogant and catastrophic that it can't get much worse and therefore these must be the Biblical last days. For 2000 years Christians have been consistently wrong about this. Societies have repeatedly arrogance upon arrogance and devolved further away from God rather easily. Therefore this interpretation of modern America as Mystery Babylon could have an expiration date should this not be the time. Vigilance is needed in dealing with such prophecies. However as time goes by I see less symbolism and more literalism in the fulfillment of prophecy. It is a desire for a literal interpretation of the Bible that leads me to The United States as Mystery Babylon. We, as the largest consumer market, are the only nation whose destruction could cause all the merchants of the earth to mourn for its passing. At least we are today...that too could change over time. If this is not the time...then conditions in the world could move the likelihood to some other location.
There is one extremely impressive co-incidence I have always enjoyed. The ancient city of Babylon only exists as an archaeological dig site. Currently there is only one operating city on earth called Babylon. It is located on Long Island in New York. Right across the harbor, looking over her is the statue of Liberty. Liberty, of course, is the Roman name for the same Babylonian God known as Ishtar. Co-incidence? Or is God making it all too easy? Sometimes things are meant to be as obvious as they appear.
What is in the future for BMO? Have you started work on the sixth album? And when do you anticipate it being released? Any specific songs you can talk about? Will it be concept related?
Actually I am always recording something. There is one completed song already and I just have to make time to record the vocals and do the final mix-down on another one. I am leaning toward doing a concept record but I am also leaving myself open to recording songs in reaction to events that are overtaking our country. These are desperate times. I have never seen such an assault on individual liberty and in such a lawless manner as has been perpetrated by this president and his Democratic sycophants. I am not too sure that the making and recording of music in such an environment isn't rendered somewhat pointless. I fear we are going to be in need of people capable of carrying the fight with something more formidable than a guitar. However up and until that point is reached, I will continue working toward record number six. There is always hope so long as there is another election. It is when they find a reason to "postpone" an election, or alter the electorate in order to guarantee the results, that hope has to give way to stronger action. But 234 years of freedom was a good run by anyone’s standards.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell