Megachurch Fusion Or Solar Encounter?

When two men meet whose predecessors turned their backs against each other a millennium ago, does it make a sound? Easy one: If it were two comets passing by the Sun in that frequency, the public anticipation would have been swelling for years at least. But the meeting of the two Christian Bishops – Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox – in a Cuban airport transit area – as secular a territorial status as one might imagine – was a surprise first of all to themselves. By the letter of the law, as activists are familiar with it, it is to be rated as a truly spontaneous demonstration.


As I pondered this in the morning, Von Grimmelshausen came in view of my tree circle, carrying a day-load of water bottles. I looked up, and just as spontaneously decided to turn my eyes neither inside nor along his vector of passage, but to the limits of my circle. He stopped and as well faced the invisible line connecting my trees. We looked up to each other, and he approached. “You here?” – “Are you expecting someone specific?” – “I just remember you from the last time our ways crossed.” – “Now I do as well.” A beam of sunlight made it through the clouds. “Want to put down your load for a moment?” VCVG put the bottles in the shadow of one of my trees. I showed him a place inside. “Valentin, can you tell what this spontaneous Bishop hug is all about? Paul Lafargue has nothing specific about it.”

“To understand the spirit of the Caribbean, I recommend taking a deep look into the encounter of Leo Trotsky and Imam Thorwald al-Abgar, the uncle of the renowned austerity doctor and later children´s books author, in Mexican exile during the Second World War. Trotsky, approached by the Imam for expertise on wage slavery issues, referred him to read Das Kapital. But al-Abgar declined. He gave an explanation for it that mirrors the situation of the transit area meeting. The Imam argued in order to remain loyal to his roots he wanted to read Das Kapital only after reading Mein Kampf. And in order to remain loyal to his community he would only read Mein Kampf after the defeat of the Nazis. Which Trotsky unfortunately never experienced.”

“As a result of the Crusader Effect, the armed struggle and the universalistic approach of the Soviet Union collided, and it cost Trotsky´s life as well. Al-Abgar´s later writings indicate he has read both after the war and exile.” – “The Crusader Effect?” – “Yes. The Crusaders, the medieval aristocracy of Central Europe, with only a handful of exceptions exterminated themselves in the Crusades. It was more dangerous to be a Crusader than an infidel and that not because the latter were brutal. The Soviet Union, which was intended to be as little specifically Russian as the United Nations is specifically American, experienced the same under Stalin.”

“And here we get the two Bishops, who have parted ways just when the infighting began to be exported that way, spontaneously close up to each other. The remarkable detail about it is that it happens above the heads of the Evangelical and Protestant and Episcopal churches, all of which have somehow split off or emerged after the Crusades ran dry and the Enlightenment dawned. As a result of the Havana Bishops Handshake all these Christian churches in between, namely all that anchor themselves in scripture handed down by the earlier churches, and to some extent these anchoring in pre-fall of Rome traditions or apocryphal scripture as well, do have to regroup and purge their ideas of what they are in order to become capable of peace.”

“So much for these of us who believe in their saviour. And forth?” – “Politically, it has a context far beyond Christianity, as the Bishops said themselves. They called for peace in Yemen! Remember these diplomats that travelled to Riyadh – but not to Raqqa – without even mentioning Yemen? That´s where the oldest internal schism – that between Sunni and Shia Islam – plays out with the worst brutality disguised by the fiercest ignorance. The second oldest schism spontaneously closes in order to put the oldest one into your focus! Have the Bishops brought up the courage to talk of the assassination of the Shia Imam of Arabia by a Sunni regime, or of the siege against the Shia Imam of Nigeria by a Sunni regime? Sunni regimes propped up by the same Christian regimes also assassinating Sunni Imams. No, but peace in Yemen is important, it is just as far away from Syria as Syria is from Europe or Russia.”

“Are Syria and Yemen the same? What a question. Germany and India both have high-profile cases of odd mass rape, and both have auctioned off their fiscal sanity to the cellphone industry, does this make the two countries the same?” – “I see the two Bishops missed an opportunity to name names, never minding their patron saint.” – “Indeed. Their encounter mirrors an event inside Sunni Islam, namely the issue of a common instruction manual on the handling of the prisoner dilemma for the faith-based fighter by Taliban and Islamic State together bridging over the remnants of the former al-Qaeda and the Sunni vassal states.”

”It was not the deepest schism closed but the deepest possible schism that was prevented by this link-up, and it is here where the Christian Bishops received their inspiration. The text says, the bigger the prison, the higher the probability that guards have to balance conflicting interests as well, and in case of a prison planet that´s international politics. Global jail, as in people getting yelled at for launching their own satellite to see the storm approaching that might drop a tree on their heads while they are dancing in the streets, instead of buying a trap street feed. We share the insight that the abolition of state terrorism requires the abolition of prisons before the abolition of the death penalty, as the other way round is a dead end.”

“Do you think the two Bishops understand the Crusader Effect?” – “Scientifically? You understand the Crusader Effect when you understand the origin of the Crusades.” – “The infighting?” – “The origin of the infighting.” – “Which is?” – “The last time these two churches have been united, they already had certain problems some of which we still can face in detail.” – “Such as?” – “The monasteries left from the era, the sites and sometimes even the architecture at the time represented the style and materials of the super-rich.”

“They were erected with the intent to corrupt rebel leaders in favour of social roaming before they could live from the support of their sympathisers, and harvest their legacies to be used as instruments of the ruling class in the next generation. The two churches vary at this point only in the detail of a distributed versus a centralised approach. Do not only look at their sermons but at the career records of their appointees as well to see through the entire hypocrisy. Now these monasteries are dying out one after another, and even the occasional Abbott capable of uniting four generations under one vision is apparently incapable to leave a permanent mark. The ruling class does not even use them as a decoration any longer.”

“Is it a loss?” – “If the small animals in the ground die out because the water level drops, the big animals come around to plough it for food. The former role of the monasteries in society is nowadays being taken by the apparatuses of the totalitarian state, hence unlike in the animal kingdom the system has gone from bad to worse. The loss is not expressed in what the Crusade-bearing infrastructure was, but in the issues it was incapable to resolve though these who walked in first intended to.” – “Which are?” – “Probably as far away from today´s imagination as the concern that his beard might get hurt by a zipper was to the pre-industrial man.”

“I see the remainder of the beard is still useful, but not so the remainder of the factory product.” – “Exactly. We have so little reliable information there that it is more fruitful to look at another example. The Christian monasteries had just reactivated the economic role of the Roman imperial garrisons, having the saturated gravitate around their influence. The origin of the monasteries was entrapment, and the function of the result reached, if one can describe it like that under these conditions, was to avoid the Indian Temple Hair Problem. The Abrahamic deity does not take hair as a sacrifice, unlike Hindu deities. Their practitioners have the problem that the temple hair can neither be declared commercial debris like in a barber shop, nor sold as a commodity for the production of wigs and other purposes, without spoiling the spirit of the temple.”

“Besides a transcendental purpose of sacrificing accumulated hair, it can only be done with a material purpose as well, like feeding a community by the sacrifice of an animal in herder cultures. The problem to be solved is to find such a purpose without commercial self-immolation. Avoiding it has only resulted in ever more complex problems, all the more so when it was done for the price of getting corrupted by these the avoidance thereof was meant to escape. Such as the koan says: Had the honourable prophet Jonah emigrated to India after getting out of the whale, would we know of him?”

“There´s a theory that it has already happened.” – “Hahaha. That one is available for the Bishop encounter as well. Let´s keep our revolutionary perspective on the front lines between commerce and faith. You know Trotsky respected al-Abgar´s choice because he saw history as a whole, and he remained true even though he did not live to see it. The focus for us is what is wrong with commerce regardless whether you believe in it or not. If these two had met nowadays – instead of the two Bishops – they might have taken captured carbon storage as an example. Fossil CCS, lacking workable collection systems, is just a lame excuse for big carbon spending leaving toxic assets without a need to collect.”

“Renewable CCS means using the chemistry of the fire to transform a part of the carbon inserted into it to a long-term storable form instead of spending it, like the natural forest fire, or like the chemistry of the swamp incredibly sped up. You will need more biomass for the the same energy output or produce less. Economised upon it would be a danger for the forest such as forest fires for money are. `Biochar´ is like running a restaurant where your goal is not to feed the guests, but to keep the visible waiting line as long as possible, with the dishes served being only a tool to achieve that purpose.”

”By waiting line we mean the trees in the woods. Such a business could either advertise with promises it cannot keep, or fulfil promises it does not make, and be either a perpetrator or a target of plagiarism. The economic incentive mechanism is incompatible with the principle of collateral accumulation that is behind the idea. Organic carbon capture only does make sense in a forest so revered that no live wood is cut to be burned outside, but some of its dead wood is being burned inside instead if being left to rot. Then and only then you can collaterally accumulate without destructive commercial irritations invalidating your effort.”

“You mean if I have no current use for pure ash then I can use my fire-fighting water to store away a little carbon in the Earth surface?” – “Yes. And whether you want to believe in the spiritual beauty of trees or not, the economy of it is the same.” VCVG took a look over his shoulder and noticed the refraction of sunlight in the water bottles, which the moving shadow of the tree now was leaving to warming. “Let me say a closing word for all who have seen these religions abuse children with symmetry and integration.”

“What comes out at the rear end of megachurches? Recently, I visited a Christian cemetery. The part of the soil taken out of the graves that did not fit back in after the coffins took their places was thrown on the other side of the road. The heap had been paved, covered with a pick-up load of pebbles, and equipped with a few fence posts plus the sign: “Clerical parking spot.” Yes, burying your grandfather might get your great-grandfather under the wheels. And that´s not an observation from Yemen.”