It is interesting how some individuals make a radical about-face as they wake up to inconvenient truths and unpleasant realities. That was true of so many people who endured the Covid years. They came to see that something was not right, and that so much of what we thought to be true just wasn’t. They came to realise that they were being lied to. They were being conned.
Many such people can be mentioned, but American writer Naomi Wolf is certainly one of them. She has been on a real journey in this regard. In her brand-new book, Facing the Beast: Courage, Faith, and Resistance in a New Dark Age (Chelsea Green, 2023) she continues to speak out on vitally important issues that she has addressed in previous volumes.
For example, in 2007 she released The End of America, and in 2022 she came out with The Bodies of Others. See my review of that later volume here.
Everything that happened in 2020-2022 really turned her world even more upside down than it had been. Like so many others, she came to see that something very sinister – even Satanic – was happening. She had been such a key part of the woke, progressive left for so many years, but the Covid Wars made it clear that most of the left was NOT on her side anymore. Or rather, she was no longer on their side.
Her new book deserves a proper review, which I hope to do soon. But just alerting people to it, in the form of quoting from her Introduction, will have to suffice here. It alone is worth sharing far and wide. Early on she speaks of how the world changed, pre- and post-Covid. She says this about how things so radically changed:
This story begins in the “Before” world.
“Before” the years 2020 to 2022, when a set of policies based on abject lies posed an existential threat to our democracy and our way of life….
“Before” the Left – the subculture that used to stand for human rights, freedom of speech, real science, critical thinking, and scepticism about Big Government and Big Corporations, let alone about their merger, and that used to fight against discrimination and inequality—fell into a trance in which that same group became champions of censorship, and of a two-tier society in which some people, as the pigs declared in Animal Farm, are “more equal” than others; and fell prey to magical thinking and cult like behaviour.
“Before” the media—which used to see itself as the source of investigation of elite powers; which used to ask questions about received narratives; which used to demand that its journalists produce evidence and independent verification before drawing conclusions in print—were bought out by Big Government via the CARES Act, and by Big Pharma directly, and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to the extent that almost all legacy media became unquestioning stenographers for interested parties aligned with the global powers who dictated the harmful nonsense.
I miss the “Before Times.”
She goes on to discuss in detail how she was cancelled by the very people and organisations she was once such a big part of:
The moment I began asking basic questions on my Twitter feed specifically about the novel mRNA injections—the kinds of questions I had asked for three decades about silicone breast implants; about high estrogen levels in birth control pills; about dangerous IUDs; about vaginal mesh, or industrial hospital birthing practices and high for-profit C-section rates—my bio changed everywhere, online, and all at once. Instead of being described as a leading voice of Third Wave feminism, with a string of honours, degrees, and awards after my name, I was now identified from the first sentence, on Wikipedia and everywhere else, as a “conspiracy theorist.” Not being aware yet that Al had already been deployed journalistically, I did not even understand how that overnight change in my reputation had been accomplished.
I began to be left out of the social events that had resumed, in New York, after almost everyone had rushed to get vaccinated; I was cut off the guest lists that had once sought to have me. Hostesses told me that I was no longer welcome, as the hosts were “being careful.” It was as if a hex had been cast over everyone I loved, and over the entire culture in which I had, till so recently, felt so at home.
As she increasingly became public enemy No. 1 by her former friends and colleagues, she discovered that her ideological home was now with those from the right, not the left:
This global reputational attack proved to be both a heartbreak and an opportunity. My life completely changed. I thought that no one would ever want to hear from me again; but, paradoxically, conservative, libertarian, and independent news outlets and podcasters—a whole world of citizens who cared, as I did, about the Constitution, and about women and babies—sought me out. My life changed even more powerfully when in early 2022, the Pfizer documents were released via court order—the FDA had asked the court to keep them hidden for seventy-five years—and I was prompted by Steve Bannon on his podcast, WarRoom, to organize scientists and physicians into a phalanx of experts to read through the highly technical documents and to write reports explaining what was in them.
She goes on to describe what it is she seeks to achieve in this book:
What readers will find in this book is a story of a world that changed, bit by bit, into its dark opposite. I am sure it mirrors many of their own stories.
On looking back, I see that I sought to describe three things. First, I wanted simply to be an accurate and reliable witness to a world in a state of degradation and, I hope, also to testify to seeds of its rebirth. In this task, I bore in mind a work by an “ordinary citizen,” a German scholar of French literature, Victor Klemperer, who kept a journal during the descent into barbarism of the Nazi years. It was published as I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933–1941. When I read that book, I realized how important it was to have such journals, since they record indeed how fascism does not descend overnight, but moment by moment, loss by small loss. I was also very moved by and related to Klemperer’s stance squarely in the ideals of the Enlightenment—in his belief that culture and literature, the ideals of civilization, cannot be abandoned and must ultimately surely save us again. His faith in the ideals of the Enlightenment, and of a civilized culture, heightened his shock and outrage when those ideals were trampled before his eyes. I too feel, as I witness the destruction of our world today in the West, that we must cherish the memories of a civilized and literate society if we are to save one another and rebuild. So, one task I set myself was simply to, as Klemperer did, “bear witness.”
A second theme that drove the writing of this book was my slow-dawning realization that we were not in a normal time of normal bad human politics and normal bad destructive material choices. I realized gradually that the degradation taking place on the material plane simply reflected or manifested a much larger battle—indeed a spiritual battle; one between Good and Evil themselves, and that God—whom till now I hesitated to mention in public—was of course central to what we were witnessing; and He is central, I slowly realized, to whether or not we will survive.
Lastly—relatedly—this book is about how I realized that the pandemic, lockdown, and mandate policies strove to destroy human love, care, and intimacy; that it was human love, care, and intimacy that have saved us, individually and collectively, and that will save us again, if we are to be saved. And I discovered that it is only in human love, care, and intimacy, ultimately, that God lives, and moves in, and rescues, if they are to be rescued, our lives.
The two final paragraphs of her Introduction are also worth featuring here:
This is the story of my cancellation, my survival, my witnessing of an all-out attack on humanity, and my stumbling into an awareness of what holds us and upholds us all.
And this is an account of the unseen gifts and energies and presences along our way; the help and resources—especially as they derive from within our own hearts, deeds, and consciences, human actions that apparently call forth angels—that I believe, in spite of it all, still can save us.
As mentioned, a proper review of this important new book will hopefully be forthcoming soon. But it is hoped that just by quoting parts of the Introduction, I have encouraged many of you to go out and get this book. And it is nearly Christmas, so why not buy a second copy and give it to a friend?
Bill Muehlenberg teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. His independent blog, Culture Watch, has over 5,000 articles commenting on the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. Bill's podcast is exclusively produced for Good Sauce readers and fans.
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