Paranoia is the Serious Business of Heaven

Here’s a piece I wrote long ago for The Wittenburg Door, the Evangelical satire magazine that the Babylon Bee once dreamed of being before they whored out their souls for thirty pieces of silver and a pot of MAGA message:

JFK, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley, AND C.S. Lewis all died on same day. |  by Great Epicurean | The Great Epicurean | Medium

One of the many advantages Christians have over those who live in the world is the range to which we can extend our angst. Secularists, forced by their own principles to live in a one-floor ranch style universe, inevitably wind up wasting time on neuroses which are small beer in the Grand Scheme of Things. That’s why a secular media is unable to conceive of any higher conspiracy than the hackneyed “Who Killed JFK?” question.

But suppose Oliver Stone was a good Fundamentalist filmmaker with a truly cosmic conspiratorial perspective. Then we might be reading film reviews like this:

Stone Breaks the Silence on the Silent Planet

Whether you love him or hate him, agree or disagree, you’ve got to concede that Christian fundamentalist filmmaker Oliver Stone has once again made a forceful movie which commands our fascination almost against our will. Indeed, his most recent Chick Production release, CSL, is in many respects superior to his recent films (e.g. the ardently pro-Israeli Wailing Wall Street, the powerfully evangelistic Born Again on the Fourth of July and the satiric musical The Door) in that it dares to grapple with the unforgettable events of November 22, 1963.

True to form, Stone does not mince words. From the opening scene (in which a prophetic Loraine Boettner warns a sleepy Lausanne Conference of a sinister “secular-papal-pantheist” complex) to the closing eulogy by maverick Christian investigators Dave Hunt and Constance Cumbey (played by Kevin Costner and Kathy Bates), Stone relentlessly implicates President John F. Kennedy and pantheist philosopher Aldous Huxley in a vast Catholic/New Age conspiracy to assassinate Christian apologist and fantasy author C.S. Lewis on that fateful day in Oxford.

Of course, some will undoubtedly call Stone the real fantasy author here, yet his challenge to the official story is, to say the least, disturbing. For example, Stone strenuously attacks the conventional wisdom that “Lewis died of natural causes after a period of extended illness”, citing as his evidence Lewis’ ongoing correspondence with a mysterious “American Lady” throughout the period of his so-called “declining health.”

“Writing to a total stranger about cats and sinus infections?” says Stone, “Not what I’d be doing if were as sick as the official story makes out. These notes were clearly some kind of code. Why else would Lewis, anAnglican, be so concerned (in his letter to the “American Lady” of June 10, 1963) over ‘the removal of such a Pope at such a time.’ What did Lewis know about the “removal” of Pope John XXIII? Is it a coincidence that as Vatican II was in full swing the United States under the Catholic Kennedy was escalating its military presence in Vietnam and the Beatles (who were from Lewis’ native land) were preparing their godless assault on our shores?”

Why did Lewis have to die? Stone says there were two reasons: envy and fear. “Lewis,” says Stone, “threatened the papistical pantheist powers who purposefully pervert and persecute the Remnant.” How? First, Lewis’ best-selling lucid, orthodox books had long driven the “Babylon Mystery Cult” (as Stone calls the Roman Church) to murderous jealousy. And, of course, pantheists and proto-New Agers like Aldous Huxley bitterly resented Lewis’ intransigent Christian theism.

But more than all this, the Catholic Church was spurred to action when Lewis stumbled (via a correspondence in Latin with a Catholic priest) on to the Dark Secret: a vast satanic Roman conspiracy which had already successfully engineered the creation of Islam, assassinated Abraham Lincoln, pushed through the publication of the Origin of Species, fostered the rise of Stalin, tampered with theinspired King James Version of the Bible, placed a pyramid and the words “Novus Ordo Seclorum” on the back of the dollar bill and minted the notorious Proctor & Gamble logo in its centuries-old war on the saints. In 1963, Stone says, having failed in its attempt to seduce Lewis into “Romish idolatry” through the influence of Special Jesuit Agent J.R.R. Tolkien, the Roman Curia contacted Catholic President Kennedy with a secret sealed request for “special action” in the Lewis matter. With the usual unquestioning Kennedy obedience to Vatican superiors the 35th President, in coordination with Huxley and members of the Theosophical Society of Great Britain, engineered a complex plot to eliminate Lewis before he blew the lid off Rome’s plan to subvert true Christianity by means of a demoralizing southeast Asian war, backward masking and pro-drug propaganda. (“Remember ‘Paul is dead’ on the Abbey Road album?” asks Stone, “They meant the Apostle Paul! And ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’? Huxley used LSD! And then they started leading our youth toward pantheistic eastern cults! Don’t you see the pattern emerging?”)

Yet, asserts Stone, unknown to Kennedy and Huxley, the conspiracy was wider in scope than they themselves knew. Having outlived their usefulness to their faceless overlords, both Kennedy and Huxley were themselves eliminated, says Stone, within hours of the assassination of Lewis—eliminated by the very forces they sought to control.

Of course, Stone (and screenwriters Alberto and Geraldo Rivera) do not answer all the lingering questions: Who was the mysterious “American Lady”? (Although speculation has long ranged from Lady Bird Johnson to then-debutante theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, Stone ventures no opinion.) When did Lewis first make the web of connections between the Fab Four, Vatican II, the liquidation of John XXIII and the Vietnam debacle? Were the “elvish tongues” which Tolkien used in his stories demonically inspired? What role did the sinister Rosicrucian Charles Williams and the radical feminist Dorothy L. Sayers play in the events leading up to Lewis’ liquidation by the forces of darkness? All these issues are raised by Stone but not answered, leaving the viewer tantalized by ominous possibilities.

“Sure, there are some loose ends,” says Stone, “We don’t have all the facts because the conspirators are very, very clever. But by and large the basic theory behind the movie is sound. After all, look how much it explains. The Vietnam War happened, just as it would have if my conspiracy theory is correct. And the Beatles … how else can we explain the immense popularity of that group? And look at this startling fact: the overwhelming majority of songs by that youth-seducing crew were written by “John” and “Paul”—which just happens to be the name of the two Popes of the 60s. Coincidence… or something more?”

In fact, insists Stone, the longer you look at it, the more pieces fall into place. Why, for example, is the binding glue on all of Lewis’ MacMillan paperbacks now so cheap that the books disintegrate when they are opened? “Could it be we’re not meant to read his work?” asks Stone. How is it that Profiles in Courage and Brave New World are available at every high school in America but the Chronicles of Narnia are relegated to elementary school libraries? Most frightening of all, “Why is it that all those who purport to wear Lewis’ mantle as Christian writers are, one by one, succumbing to Rome? Walter Hooper, Sheldon Vanauken, Peter Kreeft, Thomas Howard and the list goes on.”

“It’s eerie, I tell you! Eerie! The fact is, I don’t think these are the same men we knew and loved in the past. They couldn’t be! It’s insane!”

And it is also the subject of Stone’s sequel to CSLThe Stepford Christians. (Watch for it at a theatre near you.)


4 Responses

  1. Oh. My. Gawd. You wrote for the Door! My favorite ‘zine throughout my 20’s! I so miss Brother Biddle, Pietro and Madeline, Dogs Who Know the Lord. I kept a stack of back issues for decades, finally tossing them only with my most recent move three years ago. I loved it in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but they seemed to lose their way after that.

    My best claim to fame with them is that they once published my letter to the editor (concurring with their view that Christian TV was even more morally toxic than mainstream TV). But you wrote a real article for them! I bow to you, sir!

    – joel

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