Slick, Paranoid Tea Party Video Aims for Violent Insurrection
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Many modern fundamentalists have been taught that government is the "Beast” of prophecy, a Satanic and dictatorial force which may be given a human form or an artificially synthesized persona in order to beguile and doom humanity:
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Millions of Americans were taught that Evil’s earthly reign will begin with a mysterious and charismatic figure who has no real background. Birtherism, anyone? No wonder Sarah Palin wowed the same CPAC crowd with her line, "More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President -- should've started with yours."
Some evangelical Christians believe that the End Times will be at hand when this prophecy is fulfilled: "... he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Any centralized database or tracking system can be the Mark of the Beast. Bar codes were a source of particular fear when they were first introduced, as can be seen in this scene from 1980s Image of the Beast:
The programmer/protagonist stays up all night unlocking the secret patterns beneath bar codes, until she realizes their true meaning and buries her head in her hands. “It was there all along,” says a preacher’s voice in the background.
Now consider these scenes from “Movement On Fire,” which appear as rapid-fire image: A police car pulls up, the Development Party’s fascistic logo on its side. (The logo looks a lot like the gunsights Sarah Palin used to target Democratic congressional districts before the Gabby Giffords shooting.) Inside a “Development Center” our brooding young hero watches his neighbors line up for handouts. A man carrying boxes bearing the Party symbol into a Development Center, guarded by a burly man whose black suit and dark glasses make him resemble a Secret Service agent. People chatter into their cell phones, each of which bears the Development Party’s mark.
A police car. A Secret Service agent.
Inside the “Center,” bear Development Party slogans: “We meet every need.” And more cryptically, “Developing Every Need.”
“Our progress will not be stopped,” says dictator Marcus, “because when we provide for every need, then you will be fully developed.”
“Opposition to the new policies is on the rise,” newscasters announce.
“Something’s very wrong with our city,” he says portentously. A young woman looks shocked. “How can you say that? Look at all they give us!”
“Don’t you see? The more they give us, the more they control us.”
A government ID card is scanned each time a citizen can receive his or her handout. Remember that image.
“I can’t live like this anymore,” says the young man.
Soon we see him breaking his ID card in two. Then comes a violent knock on his door by armed government agents – “Mr. Arthur, you did not pay your contribution yesterday!”
By breaking his ID card in two, the “Movement on Fire” hero is declaring his independence from the Beast, the monster to whom you must surrender or be condemned. That choice is familiar to viewers of Years of the Beast, in which the once-kindly sheriff makes the following announcement: