Kevin Annett returns to discuss the nature of evil and the extended consciousness realm.
photo by: Skeptiko
I have an interview coming up with Kevin Annett, it’s actually a second interview, but I had to go back to Kevin and ask a couple more questions about evil.
Here are some clips.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:00:12] And even in preparing for this interview, I have to say, these doubts started creeping in again and I had to go back and had to go and kind of start from ground zero.
It’s part of the whole system of how this is hidden, isn’t it? I mean, the whole discrediting of people without much, really evidence to discredit them?
Kevin Annett: [00:00:33] Well, yeah, they always say, the bigger the crime, the bigger the cover up and the main cover up begins in our own minds. We don’t have to be told not to read something or listen to somebody, our own fear or conditioning shuts that off before the sensor comes in to do it.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:00:49] I just took something really simple that I remembered you said first time around and that’s that you name names, but you go to the “Truth and Reconciliation Committee,” and the first clause, the first edict is, we will not name names, we will not subpoena, we will not… and it just is so stark.
You want to start talking about these kinds of crimes under the umbrella of religion, it forces them to confront the possibility that these deep beliefs that they have may not hold up to the kind of careful examination.
Kevin Annett: [00:01:33] In psychology, when you’re in a state of dissociation, you cannot connect your own behavior with the world around you, you live in a bubble world. I remember talking to a survivor of the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City doing exactly the same crimes against their children that the Catholics do, and this woman said, when she was a girl, she used to be excited when her dad would come home. She’d stand at the door waiting for him, then he’d take her off on rape her in the bedroom. But she was always excited to see him. To me, that’s by analogy what we’re dealing with, because these religions have been covers and masks for the worst crimes in human history and yet people get in bed with them all the time thinking there’s something else.
So, it’s a very difficult thing to look at our own conditioning and our own complicity in these crimes, but we all are complicit in some way or another.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:02:22] On the other hand, as your life work just dramatically screams out is, we do feel a certain drive to, at the very least, expose this evil.
Kevin Annett: [00:02:35] Absolutely, but it’s not the bastards I’m stopping, it’s the thing that possesses them, which also possesses me. After World War II, Robert Jackson, he was the Chief American Prosecutor at Nuremberg, her had put all of the top Nazis on trial, prosecuted them. He was speaking at a Jewish synagogue in Brooklyn, he said, “The SS were no different than you or I, if you put us in the same circumstance, we could have done exactly what they did.”
Any whistleblower faces the same dilemma? It doesn’t matter if you’re vindicated, it doesn’t matter if they say, “Look, Kevin Annett’s been proven true, Canada’s admitted to genocide.” You’re always blacklisted, it never lifts. No one wants to be around somebody who’s been a whistleblower because they might do it again.
[00:03:20] Stay with us for Skeptiko.
Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Kevin Annett back to Skeptiko. Kevin is a former United Church of Canada clergyman, who became a whistleblower of crimes by his Church in which he later discovered were crimes of the Canadian government and later discovered were also connected to crimes of the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church and other various parties.
Now, in the previous episode, if you haven’t heard it or if you haven’t heard of Kevin’s amazing story in general, we talked about the horrific nature and scale of these crimes. We’re not going to talk so much about that today, but his excellent movie, Unrepentant, is out there available. You can definitely watch it for free on YouTube as well as other places. And his book, Murder by Decree, is available on Amazon. By the way, it’s also available for free on his website by the same name. I think Kevin is really interested in getting the word out there and less interested about the revenue stream that this stuff generates.
So, it’s a very, very important story. I think it touches on so many topics that we cover here, and that’s actually why I wanted to have Kevin back, because the first interview on Skeptiko generated a lot of different reactions and I’m not surprised. It’s hard to hear about the systematic abuse of children, very young children, the sexual abuse of children by these institutions. But we have to get to the bottom of the reality to it, and that’s what I think we’re going to try and do today. And we’re also going to try and broaden that discussion and maybe talk about what the implications are for that.
And for those of us who do look into the abyss, you know, what is our responsibility and maybe what is even our challenge/opportunity in doing so? These are all questions that I have and I’m so thankful that Kevin has joined me to hash some of this stuff out. Kevin, thanks for coming back on.
Kevin Annett: [00:05:48] Thanks for having me. It’s good to be back.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:05:50] So, as I outlined there, you know, this is old hat for you, you’ve been at this for a long time. I just have to tell people because you are a lightning rod figure and anyone who goes and researches you on the web will have the same reaction that I do, in the sense of disbelief, kind of in two different ways. One disbelief that you’ve so carefully documented these unbelievable crimes that have still been managed to be kind of hidden and swept under the rug. But then that is also accompanied with… and I go through this myself with you and with other guests, but where I’ll get to a point where I’ll go, “Could that really be true? Could I have been duped, if you will?”
And I went through that again, and even in preparing for this last interview, I have to say, these doubts started creeping in again, and I had to go back and had to go and kind of start from ground zero. And that’s a process, I think, I’m sure you’ve encountered with many, many people who’ve come across your work and it’s part of the whole system of how this is hidden, isn’t it? I mean, the whole discrediting of people without much, really evidence to discredit them.
Kevin Annett: [00:07:15] Well, yeah, they always say, the bigger the crime, the bigger the cover up and the main cover up begins in our own minds. We don’t have to be told not to read something or listen to somebody, our own fear or conditioning shuts that off before the sensor comes in to do it.
I found that as a minister in the congregations that I serviced that people wanted to hear the things that comforted them and they didn’t want to necessarily hear the truth, and that’s true, whether you’re talking about people going through divorce, people who have lost a child, anything. We’re always looking for the things that makes us feel secure.
So a topic like this is not going to be a popular one and it’s never a question Alex, about the presence of evidence or not, you can have all of the evidence in the world and if you’re challenging the way somebody looks at the world, it won’t convince them. Whereas, if I tell you something that you agree with, you won’t need evidence, I won’t need evidence to convince you.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:08:16] It’s such a tough process right now, especially with all of the “fake news, disinformation, misinformation.” So much of it we can trace back is intentional in so many ways, which it is in your case as well. But I just took something really simple that I remembered you said first time around and that’s that you name names. And that really struck me because you name names and then I looked through Murder by Decree and in 1998 you’re sitting in front of people as a witness who are giving sworn testimony that they’re signing their name to, and they’re saying, “Here is the perpetrator, here is that name.”
And then I went to, and people have to dig into this a little bit to understand it, but I know you could talk at length about it. But you go to the “Truth and Reconciliation Committee,” and the first clause, the first edict is, we will not name names, we will not subpoena, we will not… and it just is so stark, it just stopped me, literally, like, “How can this be?” Do you want to speak to that at all?
Kevin Annett: [00:09:29] Well, that’s exactly how you operate when you’re the criminal and you’re covering up your crime. The churches and state and government that ran these residential school death camps were the ones who set up the so-called Truth and Reconciliation Commission. So it’s like the serial killer picking his jury and his judge.
You know the story about the emperor walking around naked and everyone in the crowd thought he had clothes on. Well that’s how Canadians view their own genocide. They say, “Oh, well we’ve talked a little bit about the issue, therefore it’s all resolved,” even though they’re under orders never to implicate anybody. It’s a joke and yet no one’s willing to laugh about it, let alone object to it because it’s too uncomfortable.
As I mentioned earlier, we pick the truths that suit us and that reaffirm our view of the world, we don’t want to have new truths that upset that view of the world.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:10:21] So, you know, I alluded to this a little bit in the intro, but it was kind of interesting to me and interesting in a way that it’s kind of sad and disappointing, but also, in a way motivates me to kind of continue this little quest that I’m on, of personal discovery that is Skeptiko. Because I received one particular email from someone who’s been a longtime listener of Skeptiko, big supporter of the show, a very open minded guy, can listen to a lot of different opinions about spirituality, even about some conspiracy, but this show really hit him. You know, you want to start talking about these kinds of crimes under the umbrella of religion in some kind of organized way, and I think it really puts a lot of people, it forces them to kind of confront the possibility that these deep beliefs that they have may not hold up to the kind of exact careful examination, or this kind of deep conspiratorial look that it might take.
Kevin Annett: [00:11:31] Well, you know, with everyone, I often say, it doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as it’s not harming somebody. And when you have a system of religion that says it’s okay to wipe out anybody if they’re not of your faith, and the Catholic Church has said that for many centuries, they said that from the very beginning, and it was the justification for genocide all over the world.
I say, just do a body count. What institution has killed more people in history? The Roman Catholic Church. Well then how can they believe in the love of God and Jesus and all of this nice stuff? How do you hold those two contradictory realities together in your own mind?
Well, you do that by leading a completely dissociated insistence, right? And in psychology, when you’re in a state of dissociation, you cannot connect your own behavior with the world around you, you live in a bubble world. You can be harming your own children. This is classic in child rapists. They’re considered to be, very often they’ve got a sterling public reputation.
I remember talking to a survivor of the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City doing exactly the same crimes against their children that Catholics do, and this woman said, when she was a girl, she used to be excited when her dad would come home. She’d stand at the door waiting for him, then he’d take her off on rape her in the bedroom. But she was always excited to see him. And to me, that’s by analogy, what we’re dealing with because these religions have been covers and masks for the worst crimes in human history and yet people get in bed with them all of the time thinking there’s something else.
So, it’s a very difficult thing to look at our own conditioning and our own complicity in these crimes, but we all are complicit in some way or another, and that’s the painful part. We’ve been raised from a young age to kiss the hand that abuses us, to think that we need these leaders telling us what to believe, telling us about God, mediating the truth to us. You know, Jesus said, “The Kingdom’s within you,” ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” that means you don’t need somebody to tell you about it.
So I don’t really understand, at the end of the day, how people can be part of institutions, knowing they’re doing these horrible crimes to children, not past tense but present, and secondly why they don’t take that simple saying of Jesus to heart that if it’s within us, we don’t need churches, we just do it ourselves? That’s how the church started, in little house church communities.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:13:55] But do what by ourselves, I think is the question? And the other thing is, you know, I really want to push that a little bit. Do you really not understand it? Because I understand it. I can’t believe it to a certain extent, but on the other hand, and this sounds contradictory, I do understand it.
You know, my friend from the show who emailed me and was so upset, and by the way, the first thing I did is, I said, “Well let’s dive into it. Dive into it with me. We’ll look at the data together. You want me to do a second interview with Kevin? You can be part of that second interview. You can ask him all of the tough questions,” and you know where that lead right? Of course, he backed down, because he has everything to lose and nothing to gain.
In the first interview you described, I thought so painfully beautifully, how you were forced to go all-in as a whistleblower, even though it was going to destroy your life and it did destroy that life. So why would we expect anyone, this guy who has a successful career, family, friends, kid who’s getting married, an elder in his church? He has to think at some point, I think a lot of people do, I think a lot of people run the whole thing in their head in a split second and they go, “I can’t go there. I have to find some way to defend my believes because so much is at stake.” I mean, we get that, you get that, I get that.
Kevin Annett: [00:15:31] Sure. I understand it intellectually, I’ve worked in psych wards, I’ve worked in street ministry for over 30 years. I understand it intellectually, but I do not understand it morally. I don’t understand how people can claim humanity and be part of a system that tortures and kills children.
What I understand from that is that we are not the moral beings we think we are, we are much more animal like than we realize, and when you put a lot of animals together in a confined space, they start killing their young. Just watch gerbils in a cage. And I think we’re experiencing that, that under the pressure of modern civilization, we’re destroying ourselves.
So, I mean, I get how it happens, but we can’t have it both ways. We can’t claim to be moral beings and then be complicit with these crimes.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:16:22] You know, that’s an interesting point you bring up and it really kind of segues into what I really wanted to talk about, and that is the nature of evil. Because, I have to tell you, how I even stumbled into looking at these crimes against children thing, is very different than I think most people do. Most people are either confronted with it head-on, like you were, or even worse, are victims of it who are trying to recover from it.
My journey was just a guy who started out trying to answer big picture questions, who are we, why are we here, and was confronted with a false reality that was being painted for me and I kept following those falsehoods as they popped up here and there and that led me to this reality of the abuse, widespread abuse of children and all of the political connections that it has and all of the deep power connections that it has, and then that brought me to your doorstep. But at the same time, I’ve always been interested in the extended consciousness and the spiritual part of it and one of the things, it’s unfortunate but it’s true, is that the abuse of children, particularly young children. When you think of a five year old girl or a four year old boy being raped, there’s no other way, you can’t put it in nice terms, being raped and in some cases raped and then rented out and at the end put in a snuff film and kill.
This is horrible folks, and I realize, and I know that people will just cringe or will just turn off as soon as they hear that, but we have to understand that this is happening, and we do have documentation of it happening.
But that brings us to the brink of the evil question, and it does it in a way that is stark that most people can’t get away from it. So people will debate, “Oh, is there really evil?” Like you mentioned the animal kingdom, “Are tornados evil?” Of course they’re not evil. But you kind of talk about that and you get people to a different level and they go, “No, that is fricking evil.”
I guess I wanted to use that as a segue into, what do you think about the question of evil? Some of the stuff we’re talking about, is it evil in that sense? And then we’d have to describe what that means to be evil.
Kevin Annett: [00:19:00] Exactly, you need to say what you mean by evil, it’s a very broad term. Anyone who’s killing anyone else is convinced that they’re good and their enemy is evil. So the term is thrown around. It’s really meaningless, a meaningless term. We have to talk about this specific evil or that specific evil. We all have a gut understanding of what something evil is. It’s mindless destruction, especially of the innocent. And you see that everywhere in society. It’s so prevalent, that’s why it’s so protected and so commonplace, is because, for one thing, if we’re talking about the evil and violence done against innocent children, it is something that is a multibillion dollar industry. It’s got a lot of big money behind it, so naturally it’s going to carry on.
That’s kind of the material explanation, but within us, my understanding, after many years, including in the ministry and having engaged in exorcisms and encountering the spiritual reality up close, that I know that for a fact we are facing an entity which has the ability to possess all of us, that I consider the human race in the state of group possession. You just don’t have to look around very far to see the proof of that. People who start coming out of that possession are enemies and they’re targeted, and they’re destroyed, anyone who tries to break from that.
I’ve been through that to some degree and others have even more, but the reality is, unless we awaken up to that condition we’re in, we can’t understand it, we can’t get loose of it. It’s like one cancer cell trying to figure out, “Well, why is the whole body dying?” We have to understand our nature, not just individually but as a group. That’s kind of the diagnosis. It’s a bigger problem than just simply there are some perverts who hurt children, the question is, why do we all allow it to happen?”
You know, you watch a bird’s nest and when a crow shows up to eat a newborn baby bird, 20 starlings are swallows will show up and bomb the crow and drive it away from the nest to protect the baby, that’s wired into every animal to protect its young. Then, how come we don’t do the same thing, why aren’t we breaking down the doors of these child killers, shutting down these churches that are trafficking children, to protect our young? We don’t, we help and make it happen, we pay for it. We may object to it in the abstract, but we keep putting money in their collection plate on Sundays, we keep paying taxes to these institutions that do it. So for me, that’s the bigger question of group evil, not simply individual evil.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:21:31] I think it’s a really interesting point. You know, you talk about the crows attacking the baby bird and the other birds protecting against the crows. Boy, I don’t know about that, that seems to meet it go in this other direction. Like so much of this stuff to me seems to be boiled down to whether we accept some kind of extended consciousness that includes both the divine, the infinite love, what Christians associate with Christ consciousness, but also seems to include this other darker malevolent force that seems to be in partnership in some way we don’t completely understand, with these other forces.
Now, I don’t know if you buy into that or if you take a more humanistic, like it’s group evil kind of thing. How do you parse that out for yourself, what do you think?
Kevin Annett: [00:22:27] One of the things about our Judeo Christian heritage is, it really worships two gods, not one. It believes in two equal forces of good and evil in the world. A Manichaean, kind of bipolar view of divinity where there’s good versus evil.
Biblically, if you go back far enough into the traditions of many other religions, they understand good and evil in a kind of yin-yang relationship, that it’s a manifestation of the same deity.
So yes, God ordains evil, just like he ordains good. In The Book of Joel, Satan is the servant of God sent out to test Joel. And that’s the way it is, when you look at the so called evil in our life, there’s a golden lining to it in that we grow from it, we become more aware by it. You know, the old saying of, “Give thanks for your enemies,” because they show you who you are. So I appreciate all of this evil that’s fallen into my life because I’ve learned to go through it and learn from it and instead of being afraid of it or fighting it, I realized it was part of my growth, to go through that darkness.
So I think we need to have a healthier and more balanced view of good and evil rather than, they’re evil, they must destroyed. Satan must be destroyed. No, Satan and God psychologically are projections of our own light and shadow.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:43] Hey, I totally get you, but on the other hand, as your life work just dramatically screams out is, we do feel a certain drive to, at the very least, expose this evil and to a certain extent, wage a war against it. I mean, you are not this kind of passive, sit back, try and understand the shadow part, you’ll get in there and stop in bastards.
Kevin Annett: [00:24:10] Absolutely, but it’s not the bastards I’m stopping, it’s the thing that possesses them, which also possesses me. After World War II, Robert Jackson, he was the Chief American Prosecutor at Nuremberg, her had put all of the top Nazis on trial, prosecuted them. He was speaking at a Jewish synagogue in Brooklyn and he called a real scandal, this was like 1951 or 1952. He said, “The SS were not different than you or I. If you put us in the same circumstance, we could have done exactly what they did.”
I think happening in America at that time, the the developing Cold War and the nuclear arms race, that was a very wise thing to say because any of us are capable of doing almost anything and morality is a very thin restraint, I’ve seen that. When I was growing up as a young boy I watched my friends, they used to capture prairie dogs and beat them to death and break their bag and watch them to try to crawl away and they’d all be laughing and taking bets how long it would take for the prairie dog to die. But these same kids would be really kind and gentle with their brothers and sisters and they were my friends and everything. We have both in us.
And yes, when you say we have to fight these things, absolutely, we have to fight the thing that allows it within ourselves and around us. It’s like inward and outward struggle. But what we’re up against is so heinous because it’s a huge global industry.
So, for example, our focus has always been attacking the institutions and the mindset, not individuals. Yeah, we put the Pope on trial because he’s a figurehead, and the Chief Executive Officer of a murderous corporation. But the reality is, is that we all keep it going and we need to look systemically at what’s causing it.
So, I don’t know if that answers your question, but you have to do it with great humility but at the same time great awareness of the system of evil that we’re all immersed in.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:06] Let’s take another stab at this from a slightly different angle. I’m always interested and amazed at the same time, with folks who deny the existence of evil, and it comes from a lot of different sides. I mean, you talked about religious people, they do get the dichotomy that you spelled out, but when you move into the scientific/atheist crowd, a complete denial, of evil. And even when you get into some of the magic crowd, very loose on the evil question, ‘Well, it’s just this and that.” Even if you move over to the Buddhists sometimes, their understanding, at least the way it’s come filtered through us to the West, is this kind of softening of this evil, as we seem to most often understand it in the West.
What do you make of that denial of evil? What do you think about that in general?
Kevin Annett: [00:27:02] Well, it’s interesting, your first point. There have been a lot of studies made on the people who are more prone to commit violence, whether in war or individually. And you’re far more likely to commit violence when you are religious than when you’re not. Atheists are less willing to commit violence because they don’t have a belief in a God, this invisible deity who will forgive them for their wrongs. That psychological defense allows you to do anything in the name of God, you can kill in the name of God because you know you’ll be forgiven. Whereas an atheist knows, “Well, there’s just me and the universe, I guess I have to be responsible for myself.”
That’s what Friedrich Nietzsche said when he wrote his book, Beyond Good and Evil in the 19th century, and he said, “These are meaningless terms. They’re just morality.” Your morality is evil, my morality is good, it’s a totally subjective term, it doesn’t mean anything.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:27:57] Hold on a minute, we have to drill into that because now we’re flipping back to the other side. And I want to try and pin this down, I know I’ve bounced around on it. If there is this extended consciousness realm, and that’s what I have 200 interviews on, you know near-death experience, out-of-body experience, after-death communication, all of this stuff is confirming “scientifically”, I put that in quotes because the science really breaks down as soon as we get past this material reality kind of thing, which all of that stuff is. But, nonetheless, the best evidence we have coming back suggests that there is this extended consciousness realm.
So Nietzsche is not really totally right there in that it’s purely a morality play. There do seem to be these other forces that are in play, and then if we switch over to the experiential accounts, we have serial killers, murders, rapists, all sorts of people of all kinds saying, “I was influenced by spiritual beings.” We have those in the near-death experience accounts, we have those all over the place.
So there do seem to be these other forces at play, that are outside of what Nietzsche is saying.
Kevin Annett: [00:29:06] There could be, yeah, I’m not a Nietzschean by any means. Well, physicists today say somewhere around 90% to 95% of the universe can’t even be observed, it’s what’s called dark matter, dark energy. And since we’re the universe, then that means 90% to 95% of us cannot be known
So I think The Mystery, and that’s why native people often, they don’t have a name for God, they just call it The Mystery, The Great Mystery, that cannot be known. And I’ve never had a problem, when I was giving sermons I would say to people, “I don’t have answers, none of us ultimately knows anymore about God than anybody else, it’s all a great mystery.” So we don’t really need religion, we’re all kind of exploring this together and we certainly shouldn’t use that as a means to kill somebody else or tell anybody else what to believe.
But ultimately it comes down to what you think is real or not and there are different philosophical schools about that. To me it’s a question of, well show me the evidence, I mean tangible evidence, not somebody’s subjective experience but something that can be demonstrated. I guess you’d call me a free thinking skeptic in that sense, but also a spiritual one because I’m open to the reality of that, I just need to see the evidence.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:22] Yeah, that’s a tough one because people who usually espouse that belief are not very familiar with scientific evidence and how it works, and they’re looking for a particular kind of evidence and they’re wanting to discount other evidence. We all understand pain, we accept that there is such a thing as pain. We only understand that from personal experience. Grief is another thing. We do all sorts of studies on grief and how to relieve grief. Depression would be another one. All those things are experiential. So if you go into the medical/scientific literature, it is experiential literature. We’ve just done the best we can to try and understand it scientifically.
So it’s no different when we go into a near-death experience, if it’s done in the right way, and it is, like the study I always do, you go to a cardiac arrest ward and someone has died and you say, “Recount your resuscitation process?” Well, neurologically we have no means to explain how anyone would have any recollection of their resuscitation. But when we compare people who have had a near-death experience to those who haven’t, in the same cardiac arrest ward, there’s a dramatic difference. So this is evidence.
Kevin Annett: [00:31:35] It’s not really evidence in the legal sense. I’m talking about evidence like as we define it in a court of law, that can be verified with two or more people according to a subjective standard. Because even experiential stuff can vary. Like, I agree that knowledge is experiential based, experience is our best teacher. But at the same time that experience can vary a lot and is interpreted differently. Like, if you stimulate different parts of the brain, you can have what people often see as a near-death experience. Is that more real than another? What is the ultimate standard of reality? I don’t think anyone has an answer for that.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:32:11] I guess that’s what I’m saying. I mean, if we’re going to go into the science of that, they do have an answer for that, and I’ve talked to a bunch of them on the show, and these are doctors for the most part. You know, you talked to Dr. Jeff Long, he’s a radiation oncologist in Houma, Louisiana. He’s not a Christian. He’s not trying to pedal some kind of Christian message. He’s just investigating near-death experience.
The same with Dr Pim van Lommel, a cardiologist in the Netherlands. A 20 year study. And those people will come back and they’ll tell you, kind of what you just said there, it doesn’t really hold up. No, we can’t stimulate parts of the brain and create a near-death experience. It’s never been done, and the results that we get from that, that people do compare it to, they don’t compare well.
So again, I don’t have to take any kind of a philosophical stance on that, I just look at the peer review 200 studies and it kind of takes me in a different place.
Kevin Annett: [00:33:09] It’s like interpreting the Bible, like we can all come at this from a different angle because it’s ultimately interpretation. I mean, your interpretation of that data could be different than mine. But for me, the bottom line is, where does it all lead us in the end?
Human beings seem to have a need for absolute standards, and that comes out of, what I believe is a lack of responsibility for our own experience and our own reality. I mean, if you’re going to take full responsibility for your life, you don’t need proof of an afterlife experience. It doesn’t really matter what happens to us after, that isn’t some kind of standard, like the way people use the word God.
We have to be responsible in the here and now, at every moment for our actions and that’s really the reality that we should take seriously, because if we don’t, all of these crimes can happen, and people just don’t feel they need to do anything about them. And I think that comes from not being able to tell the difference between something that’s real and imagined, right?
We know children are being killed as we speak. That’s where our energy needs to go to stop these crimes, and that to me has always been the bottom line. And that’s why I tend to use legal standards for things because that’s how we are supposed to operate according to justice in our society, according to the law, which has certain very set notions of what’s evidence and what isn’t. Right?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:34:25] Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, as you well know, the law is equally problematic. A couple years ago, I guess it was, I interviewed former undercover FBI agent, who had infiltrated NAMBLA. You know that phony baloney association, man/boy love association, it was really just an organization for pedophiles to get together and have these little outings where they would go and collectively rape a little kid.
And FBI agent, 20 years, infiltrated it, it took him a couple of years to do it Kevin, and he was on the inside now, helping them organize and being there while they planned these events. And he arrested a bunch of them and some of them were convicted. But his biggest complaint was, that the legal standard that he had to apply to is very, very difficult to match up with the reality that he saw.
So, he goes on an outing in New York City at the old ToysRUs in Time Square and these men are leaning over the railing, saying the violent acts they would like to do to these little children and he’s there witnessing it and he says, “It took everything I could not to just toss these guys over the railing.” But not all of those people went to prison because he didn’t have the evidence to do it.
So when we say, just like you’re kind of begging off the scientific evidence in favor of the legal evidence.
Kevin Annett: [00:35:58] No, not at all.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:34:59] It doesn’t really get us anywhere closer to the truth that we must find.
Kevin Annett: [00:36:04] Yeah, I didn’t back off from the scientific, I was just interpreting that differently than you are. And in terms of the law, the reason people aren’t prosecuted is because in our society child killing and abuse has never been a crime in practice. The whole society is based on child abuse because you have to traumatize people of a young age to control them, that’s how elites have been governing for the last 5,000, 6,000 years, by traumatizing a population at a young age. That’s why genocide, child trafficking, it’s not a crime, it’s why people go to jail for a year, get their wrists slapped and they’re let out.
So that’s not what I mean by the law. I’m talking about when you’re in court, you have to product evidence based on an assumption of innocence, not guilt, and that’s why so many people get away as well, because you have to have hard evidence, not only that they did a crime but that what they did led to the harm. And that’s where everything breaks down, that chain of causality, and that’s what makes it so difficult and the child killers know that and that’s why they get away with it legally and we need a different mechanism than the law. I’m not trying to put everything on that, but it’s ultimately what your aim is, I think, that’s what it comes down to. What is our aim in all of this?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:37:21] What should our aim be?
Kevin Annett: [00:37:22] Life, protecting the innocent. I mean, that to me has always been the bottom line. You know, if we don’t, we have no future. And I think that’s one of the reasons our society is falling apart because we’ve not broken from that tradition that children are expendable and can be used and thrown away.
I remember, there was a Cowichan native man I used to work with on Vancouver Island, Delmar Johnny, and I said to him, “A lot of us kind of romanticize Indians that things were fine until the white people showed up and then we messed you up. Was there child abuse in your culture?” He said, “Sure there was,” and I said, “How do you deal with it?” He said, “In our villages we had a special group of men and whenever anyone harmed a child those men would take that person away into the woods and you’d never see him again, they would just dispose of him.” And I said, “Well, that’s kind of brutal, isn’t it?” And he said, “No, it isn’t because the life of that child is more important than the one who harmed him, because if you don’t value children above everyone, you don’t have a future, our society would die.” And proofing up, that’s why the children were all carted away to the death camps they called residential schools, they know that’s how you break a culture, you destroy the children.
Well, we’re doing that to ourselves now, right?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:36] Yeah, but Kevin, this isn’t a recent thing in history. As far back as we can go in recorded history, we find this. So I just always bristle at the idea that we’re in some special time, there is some big turmoil or that the system is at a breaking point. It doesn’t seem to me to be at any kind of breaking point.
Kevin Annett: [00:38:59] It depends on who you are. It depends where you are in the Titanic, right? But what we see, what we experience every day, I think it’s just intensifying now because we can’t seriously compare what we’re in now to say 1,000 years ago, because there was a lot more flexibility back then. Everything is so centralized, you know, we have how many days’ supply of food if all of the electricity went out? We’d die within two days, people would be at each other’s throats. That’s not a traditional agrarian society, you wouldn’t have that problem.
So, it’s a lot more unstable now and people know it and I think it’s one of the reasons that psychosis and disassociation and everything is on the rise rampantly. Suicide is the third cause of death in the world today. Third highest cause of death is suicide.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:39:46] Yeah, I don’t know, so that’s a little factoid there, I’d love to drill into that and find to what extent that’s true, because the data I see a lot of times presents an entire different picture. Poverty down across the world on a grand scale. Violence down consistently on a grand scale. I’m not supporting or pushing that data, I’m saying, unless we’re going to have that kind of level of discussion of digging into the data, I’d be uncomfortable saying that this special time that we’re in is pointing this way or that way.
Instead, I think, what I’d return us to, because I think this is another interesting kind of tidbit I pull out of your story is, what you originally got in trouble for, as the minister that you were, is letting people tell their truth, letting people tell their story. And I just wonder what you think about truth seeking and truth telling as it relates to, maybe this counterbalance to evil that likes to hide behind the truth.
Kevin Annett: [00:41:05] Well, I think it’s like democracy. It’s a wonderful idea, but in practice it’s very subversive and truth telling is fine as long as you’re not stepping on certain toes. I could have had a fine career in The United Church, I just mentioned the wrong truth. You know, we’re talking about the big money behind the church, robbing of native land, its killing of children. Those are unacceptable truths. And it wasn’t I who first articulated that, it was the native people themselves standing up in my pulpit and I was told to…
Alex Tsakiris: [00:41:36] Exactly. Let me make that clear because maybe I’m kind of getting into a little bit of inside baseball, but I want you to kind of pick up at that point. I mean, my read of your story is that you, more or less, innocently found these people’s pain and you said, “Let me try and help all of us, collectively heal from that pain. Come to the Church and let’s let you at least talk about and verbalize and publicly get out what has happened.” And that truth telling is what we all say we want and then when it really happens to a whistleblower like you, who facilitates that, it’s off with your head, kind of thing.
Kevin Annett: [00:42:15] Very much, and it was in my naivety and if I hadn’t have been naive, I wouldn’t have done any of that, because if you know what you’re walking into, you tend not to do it. But I thought, I believe the big lie that the truth wanted to… You know, it was a humane institution, they wanted to take responsibility and all of that. So I didn’t think there’s be harm in raising this stuff.
But when they went so far as to destroy my life and then scapegoated me and tried to make an example of me publicly, I know, okay, that’s how you act when you’re in damage control. That’s what you do when you’re a corporation and you have to make an example of somebody, scaring these other truth tellers off.
So, as soon as that process began, it became clear to me what was going on, but in that naive stage you’re going, “Hey, what’s happening to me? I’m just doing the right thing.”
Alex Tsakiris: [00:43:01] One other thing I wanted to kind of jump over and talk about, and I haven’t really heard you talk about it, but what do you think of the idea of, you know, kind of staring into the abyss? We’re talking about evil, are we running the risk of immersing ourselves in the darkness, and to an extent, closing ourselves out from the light? What is our role in both balancing the evil but also transmuting it, by continually trying to connect with the light? Or maybe you don’t think of things in those terms, so tell me what your thinking is.
Kevin Annett: [00:43:44] It’s a practical question, we had to face that question, especially when I’d been involved in exorcisms, because whatever it is you want to call it, an entity or that force that possesses a person, when it leaves, it looks for other hosts and you have to be protected in yourself or it will affect you, and in fact it always does affect you, regardless.
I’ve spoken to other people who’ve done exorcisms and I met a guy in Ireland who had done it. He’s only done three in his whole life, and he said to me, “Every time I did one, it took something out of me.” It’s one of the prices you pay, you realize you lose something in yourself when you confront genuine evil, this entity, whatever you want to call it, Satan some people call it, the adversary.
So yeah, there is a loss involved, just like when you go to war and you lose a limb or you lose your legs, you’re not going to pretend you can run the 100 meter after that, right?
So you willingly have to go into a situation like any warrior does, knowing that you’re going to lose something and may die but not let that deter you.
So I think it’s part of the price you pay. I don’t think there’s a healthy way to come out of something like that. You know Alex, any whistleblower faces the same dilemma. It doesn’t matter if you’re vindicated, it doesn’t matter is they say, “Look Kevin Annett has been proven true,” you know, Canada’s admitted to genocide. You’re always blacklisted, it never lifts. No one want to be around somebody who’s been a whistleblower because they might do it again and everybody’s got things to hide and they make them uncomfortable.
So we never get vindicated, we never recover our old lives, and you learn the hard way that that’s the price you pay and there’s no easy way out of that.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:45:23] That’s excellent, and I had not thought about that before, in terms of the whistle blowing process, because as I mentioned in my first interview, one of the things I so respect and admire, there’s no other word about it, is when someone studies your journey, they understand that you have gone through that experience that very, very few people have done, especially for as long as you’ve done it. And one of the things that you can share with us, like you just did, are some of those kinds of insights that immediately ring true to me. No, you will never recover from the whistle blowing process. It will take something out of you.
I want to return though, to the question of transmuting the evil, getting past the evil. So again, my journey on this, it really started with science. And one of the scientific points that I looked at was this whole thing of after-death communication, psychics, mediums. It turns out that has been studied scientifically, the University of Arizona, and then later by a woman named Dr Julie Beischel, who has her PhD in pharmacology. So she’s someone who knows how to set up a double blind, triple blind, quadruple blinded experiment, and that’s what she did. And it really isn’t that hard to do experiments on after-death communication with someone who wants to connect with someone on the other side. You can look at her research, published in peer review papers, and you can see how it’s done and then statistically analyzed.
The net of all that is that she is not only established, at least to my satisfaction, that there is a reality to after-death communication, but she’s been able to identify certain people that seem to be able to do it better than other people. And one of those is a woman named Claire Broad, who I spoke with a few months ago, and she’s a medium in England. We had an awesome conversation, and I did come around at some point to this question of evil. A lot of people, when they’re talking about after-death communication, they kind of get into talking about the spirits that maybe aren’t on such… I have that different kind of vibe that you just kind of alluded to with the exorcism thing, and she said, “You know, Alex, that really isn’t a big thing for me.” She goes, “I’ve done this for 20 years. I’ve only come across it a couple of times on rare occasions,” and she says, “the reason is because I’m always just focused on the light, the positive. I just put my mind in that place.” And I think that that’s where we need to be as individuals, is to transmute, to transcend that evil, that darkness.
Now that’s her, that isn’t exactly my experience, but I wonder if I could kind of throw that question out there again. Do we run a risk at looking at evil, of being consumed with the process of understanding it? Even if we’re battling it, we are somehow aligning ourselves with that darkness in a way that may not be healthy for us?
And Kevin, I’m not talking about you personally here, so I just mean that, kind of in a general sense.
Kevin Annett: [00:48:46] Well, it’s kind of like the thing that came to mind when you were telling me that, was whether all the folks in Hiroshima would’ve stopped A-bomb by thinking positively? No. I mean, evil is concrete in the world, it’s massive, mindless violence against the innocent.
If we fear something, like the term negative, it’s pejorative. Negative is simply the opposite of positive. It’s neutral, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just an opposite. Just like night is the opposite of day, we wouldn’t try to banish nighttime. It’s this kind of Daoist way of looking at things that there’s a higher unity of good and evil beyond it all, and it’s working for a higher purpose, I know that. But you don’t understand that purpose by denying half of it and saying, “I’m only going to focus on the light.” That’s a dissociated way of thinking and operating. It’s fear-based and it’s doesn’t embrace our total realities as human beings.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:49:44] I’m with you and I think that’s an excellent point. And on top of that, I want to come back to this and try at it one more time, because I think the denial of evil, we get that, it’s the happy faced, fundy religious person. I won’t put any particular religion on it, but just, “Hey, everything’s bright and shiny. Don’t ever, don’t ever show me anything negative because I can’t deal with it.” But there does seem to be this other risk too.
Right now, you can find it on the internet. I mean, you want to go into the satanic ritual abuse thing, which I have several guests coming on, and I think to me, it’s undeniable that there’s some reality to that, but there’s also some reality to people who get consumed with looking for that and exploring it and collecting data on it and have some kind of compulsion that draws them further into it, that maybe isn’t so healthy and productive for leading a good life, if you will.
Kevin Annett: [00:50:49] Well, if you want to lead a good life, you definitely shouldn’t get involved in trying to defend children in that situation. It’s a question of what is more important to an individual.
It’s like I find, in the work I do, the people who stay with us are the ones who’ve done a shift internally. They go from the normal response of somebody, which is, “I better not do this because something might happen to me to me,” to “I better do this because look what’s going to happen to that child if I don’t.” And when you do that kind Copernican revolution shift, where you’re not the center of the universe anymore, but somebody else’s, you acquire a wisdom and a strength and a peace really, which doesn’t allow yourself to be consumed by that because you understand the nature of reality.
My Irish ancestors thought that we’re actually, what we call, life is a dream and that when we die, we go back to reality. So it’s a very kind of stoke way of operating when they said, “Well, there’s war and famine and all of that, but ultimately it’s an illusion. We’ll go back to the source eventually and then all things will be clear.”
So that’s personally the way I approach this evil because when you’re getting involved and really looking at this, I’ve done prison ministry where I’ve worked with serial killers. They don’t think anything they did was wrong. They don’t think of it as evil. They thought they were doing it for a good cause, they feel self-justified. Normally they feel that they’re the victim because of their narcissistic personalities. Good and evil doesn’t mean anything to those people, in the real situation it’s a question more of power. Like, how do people exert power over others? Usually because they let themselves be used because they’re trained to be used in that way. So, you can say that the victim is willing to be the victim, they’re not just acted upon, they are attracted to the darkness and want to be used in that way, to some degree.
Now, I don’t mean little babies or children who are just attacked, but what you’re talking about, the way people interact with the darkness and they’re drawn to it, definitely. People I know are into it because they want to be the big boss, they want to be the torturer and they has this fatal attraction to the darkness, to that darkness in themselves. So we have to understand ourselves, we have to really understand and know ourselves to do this work.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:53:16] That’s really good stuff Kevin. But it’s interesting, you know, because even in your answer, you had to carve out a little exception there, and I think that exception is really interesting, because we understand both to be true. We understand that our fascination with evil isn’t always of the purest of heart, if you will, but we also understand there’s a reality to the real darkness, of just, you know, raping a three year old child. That child didn’t have any say in it. Raping anyone, they don’t have any say in it, that’s kind of the definition of rape. But certainly there’s an innocence there that we kind of can’t get past.
Tell me what you think about this and I’m sure you’ve heard this because it floats out there in various ways. But there’s this kind of diffusion of responsibility thing that goes along with the, “Well, it’s all an illusion, it’s all karma. I chose this existence as a victim because it’s a balancing out of me being a perpetrator.” I don’t know what you do with that, I don’t know how you handle it. But again, I just kind of throw it on the table there. What do you make of that?
Kevin Annett: [00:54:31] Well, I know, I would get that a lot from people when you confront them about it.
There’s this thing I read it a long time ago, it was a saying it said, “We’re all dead souls waiting to be born.” And I used to think that I was alive and then looking back I realized I wasn’t because things that move me now didn’t before, I was like frozen. And it took a lot of pain and struggle to awaken to something. And I wasn’t awoken by a pleasant experience, I wasn’t awoken by love or family or positive affirmation, no, in a way that all kept me in limbo. What awoke me was suffering and that’s a hard word for us to accept in our culture because Western culture is based very much on the denial of death and suffering. But suffering is an essential part of growth and evolution.
It’s interesting, the word Jesus uses in Aramaic, when he’s talking about do not resist evil, and when he’s talking about loving your enemy, his words in Aramaic and then translated into Greek actually means, do not be like the evil person. That doesn’t embrace and let evil go on unchallenged, it means literally, turn 180 degrees away and walk in a different direction. It means don’t be like it. And that’s the way you fight it, you do not share its energy, and that’s easier said than done because we’re all sharing it to some degree.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:56:01] You know, the last topic and you just kind of led us into it by referencing Jesus and a wonderful teaching that we can all relate to. It sounds good, it feels good, it makes sense in this context. But what are we to make of historically, our understanding of Jesus, our understanding of Christianity? And I know you’ve kind of covered the gamut here because clearly that history is littered with social engineering/mind control by the Romans. There’s no question from the beginning it was at play and we have to tease that out of it. At the same time there do seem to be some deep, deep truths there. When we go looking for the man, Jesus, he slips through our fingers. When we go looking for the Christ consciousness, I don’t have any doubt that we find it in people on this planet today, who can kind of communicate that and connect with it.
But what are we to do with the historical Jesus and this early Christian tradition that from the beginning seems to have all the same mistakes that we see in churches and religions today?
Kevin Annett: [00:57:22] Well, it’s like any idea, any beautiful idea, it starts up great and then people corrupt it. That’s kind of the blithe superficial answer, so don’t quote me, I mean, that’s kind of obvious to everybody, I think.
The truth is, is that it’s no accident that the Pope carries around a corpse on a cross because they murdered Jesus, that’s what the Church of Rome did, they murdered the early Jesus tradition and they replaced it with something. What Catholicism and what grew out of it, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox as well, was based on the destruction of Christ’s spirit, and the replacement, it was like this weird synthesis. The formal teachings, most of them combined with the Roman Empire, you had a new entity created called Christendom and it combined the violence in the Empire with what they called Christianity. But really what it was a denial of the most basic spirit of Jesus, which was non-violence and acceptance and respect. Seeing God in all people and that’s the one thing Christianity has never been able to do. It’s seeing equality with other faces as a threat to itself. That’s how empires think, making everybody part of the same religion, that’s how empires think, not how Christ thought. And it really has nothing to do with Christianity, it’s that, whatever you want to call it, struggling in each one of us to win out over that kind of corporate view that it’s about power, it’s about what you believe and control over the masses and all of that garbage which has nothing to do with his simple teaching and spirit really.
I don’t know, maybe that’s all kind of obvious.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:59:06] I don’t think it’s obvious. Let me kind of hone right in on a question that I don’t know if you think it’s important, but a lot of people do. What do you think about the historical Jesus? Are you okay with maybe Jesus being historical, but the teachings, the wisdom being real in some way, or does there have to be this person, Jesus, that was born at that time and was in this sense that is more than others, a son of God, kind of thing. Where do you come down on that, I’m interested?
Kevin Annett: [00:59:45] Well, it’s interesting because the Romans were meticulous record keepers and there’s no record of him anywhere. The only reference to Christ, Tacitus and Josephus, the Roman philosopher Tacitus and the Jewish historian Josephus refer to a Christ, but they’re quoting Christian sources. There’s never any objective evidence that he ever existed.
At the same time, being who he was, which was this poor itinerant landless peasant, why would there be a record of him? He’d be talking to people. He wouldn’t be writing anything down and was probably illiterate. It would be sayings passed around people. And that’s what a lot of the bible scholars now agree, that there was sayings period in the 30 years after his life, where people were passing around his thoughts and that god codified and then the Church stepped in and turned it into a cannon and weeded out a lot of stuff including things like The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gnostics, all of that was destroyed.
But no, I could very much believe, because I know people like him all the time. These anonymous people who have that light in them, who’s touching something very basic in all of us, the best in us, right? And that’s why the Church has always used that to suck people in and keep them, as if they somehow embody that spirit and they’re also selling arms and dealing drugs and children, as if the two could coexist.
So I just think, yes, absolutely he could have existed, he exists, I meet him all the time.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:01:18] Yeah, well said, I love it.
So this has been absolutely awesome. I love getting together with you. You always have so many interesting deep, deep thoughts on some of these fundamental questions. Like you said a couple of time, “Heck, people have been kicking around these ideas for hundreds of years, so it’s nothing new here.” But there always is something new because there are always different things going on.
Maybe we can wrap up and you can tell us some of the things that are going on in your world and how people can learn more about… I love your show. I think you have a great show and people can tune into that. But what other things are going on and how can they find out more about your amazing life and your work?
Kevin Annett: [01:02:04] Well, I want to thank you to Alex. It’s always, you know, you’re one of the few really intelligent interviews I ever connect with. I mean, you go a lot deeper, so I do appreciate our interviews together.
And generally people can find out what I’m doing by following two things, murderbydecree.com, that’s the website, and like you mentioned, the radio show on Sundays, actually it’s on in just half an hour, 6PM Eastern time, bbsradio.com/herewestand. In the new year we’re starting a whole new round, we’re doing a whole new campaign on several different fronts, one having to do with child trafficking, especially in America now, the whole network that we’re exposing in the Mormon Church, involving these crimes, directly tied to the Vatican. There’s a strong link there.
But also in Canada, we’re doing workshops constantly, the movement to establish a common law republic.
I’m on the road half of the time giving lectures and workshops, so if people want to get ahold of me, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll certainly keep you updated Alex.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:03:11] Great, Kevin, I’ll look forward to it, and by the way, folks, if you do go to the website and you sign up, your sermons are fantastic. They are absolutely fantastic and insightful in so many different ways. Unlike other sermons people will read because they connect some of these biblical stories that we’re familiar with, to current events in a very unique way, but in a very enlightening way. So I don’t know how you find the time, among all of your other things to do this kind of writing, but it’s impressive.
Kevin Annett: [01:03:45] Well, thanks Alex. Well, I don’t know, it’s in my blood, my father and grandfather were writers, so I find it easy. But thank you. I appreciate all that.
Thanks again to Kevin Annett for joining me today on Skeptiko. The one question I guess I’d tee up from this interview, what is our moral responsibility to stand up to what we see as evil? And at what point do we become complicit if we don’t stand up to it? Wow! Those are some really challenging questions for me.
So, let me know your thoughts. Come on over to the Skeptiko Forum, make a post, read other people’s posts or send me an email or comment on YouTube or do whatever, but let me know that you’ve heard it and that you have a thought about it and share it with me and other folks who listen to the show.
Well that’s going to do it for this episode. I have some great episodes coming up. Please stay with me for all of that. Until next time, take care and bye for now.
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