Monday, June 8, 2009

This Is Calvin

by Zygmund Dobbs

John Calvin (1509-1564) was a French lawyer-politician. He was not a clergyman at first. It is true that he studied theological matters at the Sorbonne of the University of Paris, but this was primarily a training ground for political techniques used to control populations .

What came to be known as Calvinism grew out of the policy and writings of John Calvin after he became the ruler and dictator of Geneva, Switzerland (1541-1564). Calvin originally had picked the losing aristocratic faction in a power struggle to control France. Since all these intrigues bore a religious complexion, the losers often were branded as heretics. Calvin was forced to flee his native France and eventually found refuge in Geneva. A man of tremendous political and organizational talents, he manipulated himself, and his fellow refugees, into absolute control over the city which gave them protection against the brutal Catholic Inquisition. Calvin had been condemned by the Inquisition, in absentia, to be burned at the stake.

Within 48 months of his rule in Geneva, John Calvin caused 48 people to be executed. His victims ranged in age from 16 to 80. The most common capital offense was the opposition to infant baptism. Today, baptism only for accountable believers, is a Baptist burning at the stake, or beheading. All thls was done in public, with city residents compelled to watch the butchery. The executions were spaced out so as to exert a continuing policy of fear and terror.

Others were killed for advocating local church autonomy; opposing the tie-in of church and state; and preaching that Christ died for all sinners (unlimited atonement).

In 1545, the bubonic plague swept through Geneva. Calvin and all his pastors had previously convinced their congregations that Geneva would be spared by God because they were the elect and that other cities in Europe, which had suffered, were reaping the harvest of sin reserved for the eternally damned. Calvin and his cohorts had to come up with a quick theological gimmick to explain away the plague in Geneva.

Calvin caused a number of derelicts to be thrown into the dungeon and tortured on the rack. While the victims were having their arms and legs pulled out of their sockets, the torturers kept repeating names of those suspected of having baptistic views. Under such incredible torture the victims responded to the promptings and confessed that the plague was spread by conspirators who caused it, "by smearing the door latches with an ointment prepared from devil's dung." The calvinist slaughter was so great that the smell of burning human flesh permeated Geneva for days on end.

On March 1545, Calvin wrote in a letter, "A conspiracy of men and women has lately been discovered, who for three years had spread the plague through the city. After fifteen women had been burned (by the state council), some men punished more severely, some suicides in prison, and twenty-five prisoners still held, the conspirators do not cease to smear the door-locks of houses with their poisons."

In Geneva, a secret police was forged under the name of The Consistory. Every home was compulsorily examined and searched once a month. The City was divided into districts and committees of the Consistory were empowered to search and interrogate all residents without previous notice.

How did Calvin manage to transform Geneva from a traditional democratic republic into a theocratlc dictatorshlp? The answer lies in a skillful use of terror, both of the earthly variety of torment plus the threat of eternal damnatlon by invoking God's vengeance. This Gallican lawyer, was a genius in fashioning a political psychology of terror. At the top was a Congregation of the Clergy. Calvin carefully filtered out all pastors and teachers who did not submit to his personal domination. Those who opposed him were dealt with a ferocity that even shocked the leaders of the Catholic Inquisition. In fact, when Calvin tipped off the inquisitors in France with information calculated to lead protestants who disagreed with him to be burned at the stake by Catholics, the leaders of the Inquisition sometimes mercifully allowed the victims to escape.

All printing presses in Geneva and other swiss cities were firmly controlled by Calvin's obligarchy. Only approved books were allowed in Geneva. All letters leaving and entering the city were read by the Consistory. A body of Professional evesdroppers was employed not only in

Geneva but was lodged as far away as Paris and Lyons, where Genevan merchants might be spied upon and their attitude towards Calvin reported. Any serious criticism of the Calvinistic dictatorship was punished by the fiery stake or beheading. In all cases Calvin managed to skillfully embellish his moves with scriptural quotations.

He had difficulty in reconciling his ideas of election and predestination with the books of James, Jude and II Peter. So, privately, he told his pastors that he doubted the authenticity of those books of the Bible. Even the Word of God had to be twisted to fit the tyranny of Calvin.

Baptists, [who have historically stood for] the principle of soul liberty, should be on guard against a system that caused the slaughter of more humans than were killed during the bloody terror of the French Revolution of 1789.

It is a matter of history that left-wing socialists have been extremely interested in the techniques employed by Calvin in controlling an entire society. There is an extensive literature dealing with the lessons of calvinistic operations for socialism.

In 1903 and 1908 a lawyer named Nicolai Lenin, the future Dictator of Bolshevik Russia, spent hundreds of hours in the libraries of Geneva studying these terror techniques for his own application. This alone should give all Christian believers a good reason to pause and examine the nature of Calvinism.

(The above is a fragment of a fully documented manuscript being prepared for a book on the history of Calvin and Calvinism).

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ct said...

This post is full of absolute historical untruths. Christians are supposed to value the truth and follow the 9th commandment to not give false witness. I'm ashamed that a fellow Christian has written this post.

Bro. Jeff Hallmark said...

Greetings CT, this article was emailed to me from a friend. I did check out a number of these facts mentioned in the article. Here is just one of many that I check out -

Year: 1531 John Calvin
1000s of religious nonconformists are killed and witches burned after John Calvin (1509-1564) turns Geneva into religious police state.

Year: c1531 Michael Servetus
Calvin orders execution of popular physician Michael Servetus for doubting Trinity.

Year: c1531 Jacques Gruet
Calvin orders beheading of Jacques Gruet for blasphemy.

Year: c1531 Witches
Calvin urges burning of witches.

There were more facts concerning Calvin's persecution of others.

Even some Calvinist agree, yet they are quick to say "calvinism does not go back to John Calvin."

Thank for you comment, Bro. Jeff

Jeph said...

Who cares about Calvin?