I mentioned a while back about a book written by George Orwell called Nineteen Eighty Four. It was written way back in 1949 and set in the “futuristic 1984.” It is about a dystopian society, Airstrip One, formerly Great Britain, where the individuals are watched by the governing party in every moment of their life. There is government surveillance everywhere and the citizens are monitored that they may be controlled in their every action. In the book, there is also a division of the government called the Ministry of Truth which has the responsibility of revising history and creating propaganda, to make sure it is aligned with the system of the governing party of the privileged elite. There is the Ministry of Love, which is actually for torture and brainwashing.
The main figure that represents the government is Big Brother. It is the central figure that puts fear in the citizens and is the one that people follow when he spoke. Hence, we get the term “Big Brother is Watching”. Even the reality show “Big Brother” came from that book. In short, the story is about tyranny in an authoritarian state.(Apple computers even did a commercial on it in 1984 – see end of article)
Before I end up sounding like a secondary school book report, let me explain that I am discussing this because of the immense parallelism of 1984 and what is actually taking place in the Iglesia Ni Cristo. As I write this, I have to turn on my VPN or Virtual Private Network for fear of getting caught by the ACTIV group, the in-house hacker’s group of the INC.
Some may think that this is stretching it and we are desperate to write things to simply attack the current Administration. Fine. Think what you want. Or is that really your OWN thought? Was that idea placed there? This is exactly what this article is for. I want you to THINK and not simply utter what was placed in your head.
Many may find all this hard to swallow especially when you are out in some quiet congregation, peacefully performing your church duties, greeting your fellow brethren. The world of spying, tracking, monitoring seems so far fetched doesn’t it? It is as far fetched as the fictional story of George Orwell. Surveillance? Propaganda? Brainwashing, Abductions? All nonsense you mutter to yourself. This is NOT part of the Church that we belong to. Is it really? First of all, have you been to the Central office lately? Have you tried entering in the double walls in Quezon city? Have you submitted all your electronic devices yet and got your face scanned by the high tech computers and cameras to be put on file? Look around that place! It is 1984 city. You would not be able to walk 2 metres in any direction unless you had authorisation.
How about online? Try LIKING or SHARING a post that may be “controversial”. What goes through your head? Afraid to do that? Why would you be afraid? Doesn’t that show that your brain has been conditioned to be afraid already? Why are there so many brethren that have questions yet just remain silent while their friends and relatives are expelled? Because they were warned to stay away from them or they too would suffer the same consequences.
Suppose you do “Like” a certain post or a blog. Would you get a visit from your Resident Minister? No? Would they call you in the office? Would the District Minister invite you for a “talk”? Do you have to write an affidavit with “I am One with EVM” explicitly stated? What does this all mean? It means you have been “MONITORED”. We probably have read of some brethren or families being expelled for posting or sharing online. And we often think that these are unusual stories. It is becoming more and more common. Those who choose to ask questions are “marked” and closely watched. Those who say things online are spoken to or warned. There are those who may have been deemed as “Defenders” are rushed to expulsion.
All these things I have described are all part of today’s reality in the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Ministers are monitoring you on Social Media. The Church group ACTIV is watching the Web and trying to find all the “enemies” of the faith. They are also responsible in “cleaning up” certain sites. Hacking has become part of the Church. If you think this is my scare tactic, then why don’t you read this below:
This is “supposedly” a conversation of Sister Lottie Hemedez and Rovic Canono. Think about this carefully. This is either a FAKE, which the Church made up (courtesy of ACTIV) OR it is really TRUE. Which brings us to the question, how did they get it? By HACKING of course. So which is it? They FAKED the conversation, OR they HACKED the accounts? Either way, it simply demonstrates my point: BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING. The book 1984 has come to life in the form of the present Church Administration. (for the record, it does look FAKE and amateurishly done)
The past is slowly being erased. No? Then why emphasise what EVM has done? What is the point of announcing that 1356 chapels were built since 2009? Was the Church established in 2009? Why not simply declare the accomplishments SINCE 1914, when the church re-emerged, that these are the number of chapels? This is called PROPAGANDA, which the privileged leaders are pushing for their own self interest. Do you still remember the names of the old Ministers? Starting to forget them? Look around you. Everything is about the accomplishments from 2009 onwards.
They will declare that everything is fine and this handful of trouble makers are nothing and yet, more and more brethren are learning the truth. The Districts and Locales are in financial trouble, many are getting expelled, officers stepping down, but it will be masked with all kinds of “happy” events to keep up the image.Keep everyone busy that you won’t have time to read or think.
There is a darkness in all of this and it is not the Defenders. The darkness looming is from the lies that lurk just underneath the skin. That feeling you know that is there just below the surface that not everything is right. That is why our former Executive Minister taught that “Corruption is like a person with cancer. You may think they look healthy on the outside, but underneath is a disease that is rotting the body away” So what is the solution? Just stay silent and hope it all goes away? That’s not how you cure cancer. You must be aggressive in finfing the disease. Find out what is wrong. Examine everything. I am sure the Administration will say that the Defenders are the cancer. But that is up to you to figure out. I cannot and will not force you to believe anything. My point is we are not meant to be simple minded and blindly accept everything. We are meant to study and learn and then decide for ourselves what is correct. Isn’t this how we became Church members? We compared teachings. We investigated. We cannot be forced to blindly follow. How do we know this? The Apostles wrote about it. (And I won’t even use some exotic never-heard-of translation)
1 John 4:1
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Do you notice anything? It says DO NOT BELIEVE EVERY SPIRIT. Apostle John was talking to those who were already Christians. Even Christians are obligated to TEST THE SPIRITS. We don’t blindly follow. We test. But what if our teachers are telling us don’t compare? If we are told “NO, turn off your Facebook, don’t read anything, don’t look at this or that!” Do you know why the Ministers state the Book, chapter and verse they are reading? Because that was what Brother Felix Manalo intended from the very beginning. He never forced us to believe or to accept what he preached. He stated the chapters and verses for us to look it up ourselves. He did not threaten us to be united with him. He taught and allowed us to think about it to find out the truth.
Think carefully. This is what we are commanded:
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!”
The warning is clear; IF WE OR AN ANGEL should preach a gospel OTHER than the one we preached – meaning if it is different from what you have learned in the Bible. We have to be aware! Apostle Paul even warned WE – meaning it could be anyone, even those preaching – which is why there is nothing wrong with examining what we are taught. If some may try Fear or Propaganda or whatever ways to change what we have been taught, then you need to know. I am not saying that all that we are taught are false. But we need to have the freedom to think for ourselves, to decide for ourselves and not to be pressured to be One with you-know-who. But just beware… Big Brother is Watching.
(courtesy of Apple computers – from 1984 commercial)