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100 THINGS YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW
SECRETS, CONSPIRACIES, COVER UPS, AND ABSURDITIES
By Russ Kick
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2014 Russ Kick
All rights reserved.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WE ALWAYS SEE AREN'T THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
First Amendment battles continue to rage across the US over the posting of the Ten Commandments in public places — courthouses, schools, parks, and pretty much anywhere else you can imagine. Christians argue that they're a part of our Western heritage that should be displayed as ubiquitously as traffic signs. Congressman Bob Barr hilariously suggested that the Columbine massacre wouldn't have happened if the Ten Commandments (also called the Decalogue) had been posted in the high school, and some government officials have directly, purposely disobeyed court rulings against the display of these ten directives supposedly handed down from on high.
Too bad they're all talking about the wrong rules.
Every Decalogue you see — from the 5,000-pound granite behemoth inside the Alabama State Judicial Building to the little wallet-cards sold at Christian bookstores — is bogus. Simply reading the Bible will prove this. Getting out your King James version, turn to Exodus 20:2-17. You'll see the familiar list of rules about having no other gods, honoring your parents, not killing or coveting, and so on. At this point, though, Moses is just repeating to the people what God told him on Mount Si'nai. These are not written down in any form.
Later, Moses goes back to the Mount, where God gives him two "tables of stone" with rules written on them (Exodus 31:18). But when Moses comes down the mountain lugging his load, he sees the people worshipping a statue of a calf, causing him to throw a tantrum and smash the tablets on the ground (Exodus 32:19).
In neither of these cases does the Bible refer to "commandments." In the first instance, they are "words" which "God spake," while the tablets contain "testimony." It is only when Moses goes back for new tablets that we see the phrase "ten commandments" (Exodus 34:28). In an interesting turn of events, the commandments on these tablets are significantly different than the ten rules Moses recited for the people, meaning that either Moses' memory is faulty or God changed his mind.
Thus, without further ado, we present to you the real "Ten Commandments" as handed down by the LORD unto Moses (and plainly listed in Exodus 34:13-28). We eagerly await all the new Decalogues, which will undoubtedly contain this correct version:
I. Thou shalt worship no other god.
II. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
III. The feast of unleavened bread thou shalt keep.
IV. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest.
V. Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
VI. Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
VII. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
VIII. Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
IX. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.
X. Thou shalt not seethe a kid [ie, a young goat] in his mother's milk.CHAPTER 2
ONE OF THE POPES WROTE AN EROTIC BOOK
Before he was Pope Pius II, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini was a poet, scholar, diplomat, and rakehell. And an author. In fact, he wrote a bestseller. People in fifteenth-century Europe couldn't get enough of his Latin novella Historia de duobus amantibus. An article in a scholarly publication on literature claims that Historia "was undoubtedly one of the most read stories of the whole Renaissance." The Oxford edition gives a Cliff Notes version of the storyline: "The Goodli History tells of the illicit love of Euralius, a high official in the retinue of the [German] Emperor Sigismund, and Lucres, a married lady from Siena [Italy]."
It was probably written in 1444, but the earliest known printing is from Antwerp in 1488. By the turn of the century, 37 editions had been published. Somewhere around 1553, the short book appeared in English under the wonderfully old-school title The Goodli History of the Moste Noble and Beautyfull Ladye Lucres of Scene in Tuskane, and of Her Louer Eurialus Verye Pleasaunt and Delectable vnto ye Reder. Despite the obvious historical interest of this archaic Vatican porn, it has never been translated into contemporary language. (The passages quoted below mark the first time that any of the book has appeared in modern English.)
The 1400s being what they were, the action is pretty tame by today's standards. At one point, Euralius scales a wall to be with Lucres: "When she saw her lover, she clasped him in her arms. There was embracing and kissing, and with full sail they followed their lusts and wearied Venus, now with Ceres, and now with Bacchus was refreshed." Loosely translated, that last part means that they shagged, then ate, then drank wine.
His Holiness describes the next time they hook up:
Thus talking to each other, they went into the bedroom, where they had such a night as we judge the two lovers Paris and Helen had after he had taken her away, and it was so pleasant that they thought Mars and Venus had never known such pleasure....
Her mouth, and now her eyes, and now her cheeks he kissed. Pulling down her clothes, he saw such beauty as he had never seen before. "I have found more, I believe," said Euralius, "than Acteon saw of Diana when she bathed in the fountain. What is more pleasant or more fair than these limbs? ... O fair neck and pleasant breasts, is it you that I touch? Is it you that I have? Are you in my hands? O round limbs, O sweet body, do I have you in my arms? ... O pleasant kisses, O dear embraces, O sweet bites, no man alive is happier than I am, or more blessed." ...
He strained, and she strained, and when they were done they weren't weary. Like Athens, who rose from the ground stronger, soon after battle they were more desirous of war.
But Euralius isn't just a horndog. He waxes philosophical about love to Lucres' cousin-in-law:
You know that man is prone to love. Whether it is virtue or vice, it reigns everywhere. No heart of flesh hasn't sometime felt the pricks of love. You know that neither the wise Solomon nor the strong Sampson has escaped from this passion. Furthermore, the nature of a kindled heart and a foolish love is this: The more it is allowed, the more it burns, with nothing sooner healing this than the obtaining of the loved. There have been many, both in our time and that of our elders, whose foolish love has been the cause of cruel death. And many who, after sex and love vouchsafed, have stopped burning. Nothing is better when love has crept into your bones than to give in to the burning, for those who strive against the tempest often wreck, while those who drive with the storm escape.
Besides sex and wisdom, the story also contains a lot of humor, as when Lucres' husband borrows a horse from Euralius: "He says to himself, 'If you leap upon my horse, I shall do the same thing to your wife.'"
Popes just don't write books like that anymore!CHAPTER 3
THE CIA COMMITS OVER 100,000 SERIOUS CRIMES EACH YEAR
It's no big secret that the Central Intelligence Agency breaks the law. But just how often its does so is a shocker. A Congressional report reveals that the CIA's spooks "engage in highly illegal activities" at least 100,000 times each year (which breaks down to hundreds of crimes every day). Mind you, we aren't talking about run-of-the-mill illegal activities — these are "highly illegal activities" that "break extremely serious laws."
In 1996, the House of Representatives' Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a huge report entitled "IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century." Buried amid hundreds of pages is a single, devastating paragraph:
The CS [clandestine service] is the only part of the IC [intelligence community], indeed of the government, where hundreds of employees on a daily basis are directed to break extremely serious laws in countries around the world in the face of frequently sophisticated efforts by foreign governments to catch them. A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) DO [Directorate of Operations] officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law) that not only risk political embarrassment to the US but also endanger the freedom if not lives of the participating foreign nationals and, more than occasionally, of the clandestine officer himself.
Amazingly, there is no explanation, no follow-up. The report simply drops this bombshell and moves on as blithely as if it had just printed a grocery list.
One of the world's foremost experts on the CIA — John Kelly, who uncovered this revelation — notes that this is "the first official admission and definition of CIA covert operations as crimes." He goes on to say:
The report suggested that the CIA's crimes include murder and that "the targets of the CS [Clandestine Service] are increasingly international and transnational and a global presence is increasingly crucial to attack those targets." In other words, we are not talking about simply stealing secrets. We are talking about the CIA committing crimes against humanity with de facto impunity and congressional sanctioning.
Other government documents, including CIA reports, show that the CIA's crimes include terrorism, assassination, torture, and systematic violations of human rights. The documents also show that these crimes are part and parcel of deliberate CIA policy (the [congressional] report notes that CIA personnel are "directed" to commit crimes).CHAPTER 4
THE FIRST CIA AGENT TO DIE IN THE LINE OF DUTY WAS DOUGLAS MACKIERNAN
As of the year 2000, 69 CIA agents had died in the line of duty. Of these, the identities of 40 remain classified. Former Washington Post and Time reporter Ted Gup spent three years tracking down information about these mysterious spooks who gave their lives for the Agency. (His resulting publication, The Book of Honor, names almost all of them.)
The first to die was Douglas Mackiernan. Undercover as a State Department diplomat, the US Army Air Corps Major worked in the capital of China's Xinjiang (Sinkiang) province, which Gup says "was widely regarded as the most remote and desolate consulate on earth." He went there in May 1947 to keep an eye on
China's border with the Soviet Union and to monitor the Russkies' atomic tests. In late September 1949, during the Communist takeover of China, Mackiernan left, but it was too late to use normal routes. Incredibly, he decided to go by foot during winter all the way to India, which would take him across a desert and the Himalayas. He, three White Russians, and a Fulbright scholar slogged the 1,000-mile trek in eight months. On April 29, 1950, they managed to reach the border of Tibet, but guards there thought the men were commies or bandits, and opened fire on them.
Hitting the ground, the bedraggled travelers waved a white flag, which stopped the gunfire. They slowly walked toward the border guards with their hands over their heads, but the Tibetans shot them, killing Mackiernan and two of the Russians. To add insult to injury, the guards cut the heads off the corpses. Their remains are buried at that spot.
Excerpted from 100 THINGS YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW by Russ Kick. Copyright © 2014 Russ Kick. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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