Tuesday, August 21, 2007

East of Eden

Here is my review of Ian Wishart's Eve's Bite, from this week's Craccum. And, in case you are wondering, the redhead with the exotic pet in the picture is not Eve but Lilith, Adam's first wife.

It's all gone horribly wrong. They don't teach proper history in schools anymore. They promote the homosexualist agenda. They teach Evolution. They say that sex, any kind of sex, is alright. They are destroying the family. They are brainwashing us with their ideologies. They are leading the West to its destruction.

Ian Wishart's trade is investigative journalism. He publishes a glossy monthly, Investigate, which does what it says on the cover. Every month he finds a new scandal, as often as not involving the Government. Wishart doesn't like the Government. He doesn't like what is happening in this country or in the West generally. He doesn't like modern society.

In this book, Wishart gathers up all his concerns about the modern world and attempts to create a grand theory that explains what is going on. Although Eve makes a striking appearance on the front cover, showing her usual seductiveness, she doesn't have a part to play in the book. Wishart avoids making many Biblical references but this is a book written from a Conservative Christians standpoint, addressing the fears that his fellow believers share. Its argument is that the West is declining, because our Christian values have been supplanted by those of atheism and Marxism. Meanwhile, Islam is gaining strength and one day will overcome us all.

He knows who is to blame. It's the Marxists; and the Darwinists; and the Eugenicists. These atheistic doctrines, we are told, are the Trojan Horse ideologies which are destroying the West. Like Eve, they are seductive, deceptive and dangerous. They have brought us to our knees and (ironically, given their atheism) exposed us to a greater evil still, Islam. The enemy within has allowed us to fall prey to the enemy at the gate.

To persuade us of the validity of his argument he has searched Internet for evidence. This is very much an Internet book. Most of his references come from websites like his own Briefing Room, where Christian Conservatives discuss the ills of society. He has also drawn on the work of Conservative megastar writers, such as Mark Steyn and Tammy Bruce; the chapter on Evolution is preceded by a quotation from Ann Coulter, who probably is not recognised by many as an expert on Biology. However, despite the multitude of sources from which he quotes at length, Wishart preserves enough of his own breathless and indignant style to make this a readable book.

So, what's it all about then? Here's a summary. The left are using the propaganda techniques of the Nazis; the Media is biased towards liberal opinion; Evolution is wrong; Richard Dawkins is wrong, both about Evolution and the Bible; the separation of Church and State is a myth; there is a Homosexual Agenda - and Wishart has read it; Homosexuals should not have children; Homosexuals are not born that way; the Government is indoctrinating our children; safe sex is a myth; birth control, abortion and euthanasia are all wrong; Eugenics is alive and well - and wrong. All this is weakening the West, fatally. Meanwhile Islam is resurgent. The Muslims are outbreeding us. Theirs is a political religion. Muslims pretend be peace-loving but that is all part of their plan. They are determined to take over the West.

What can be done? Apparently nothing; it's late. This book offers no solutions, only the hope that readers will awaken from their slumbers; the question of whether anything can be changed at this late stage is neither posed nor answered.

This is an ambitious book, to say the least. It is also written with an extraordinary degree of certainty. Wishart is a prophet with a message. There is no space here for any doubt or reflection. Whether or not he is right is another matter. His argument is a selective one. He concentrates on those aspects of history, science and sociology which interest conservative Christians, not quite succeeding in his attempt to create an overall theory out of these various discontents. Quite how the Theory of Evolution, for example, is part of the decline of the West is something of a mystery. Wishart stamps it with the label 'atheistic,' a characteristic it shares with Marxism and Eugenics, and that is seemingly enough to condemn it. He does try to show that almost everybody working in biology is a fool for believing the theory but, even if he were right, that would hardly be enough to claim that Evolution is contributing to our moral decline.

At times, Wishart's ambition gets the better of his understanding. For example, he attempts to get the better of Richard Dawkins by claiming that Dawkins does not understand the nature of the universe. Wishart sneeringly laments that Dawkins did not consult Stephen Hawking, who apparently would have told him that "when we talk of 'natural' laws, they apply only inside the natural universe. Outside the universe is a timeless realm, something we humans simply cannot conceive. It has no past, no future, only an enduring present." Apparently, "we know this because we know all the laws we take for granted came into existence for the purpose of this particular universe." Of course, A Brief History of Time is not an easy read, but Wishart here is under the misconception that there is something outside the universe. He is also claiming that the nature of this outside is inconceivable to us mere mortals, although he writes about it with the certainty of one who has witnessed it first hand.

For much of this book, Wishart's technique is not to engage in argument but to suggest guilt by association. He is convinced that there is a ruling elite of Marxists who control everything. To demonstrate this, he shoves great blocks of text into his narrative, quotes from infamous Marxists. So a diatribe against the content of the school curriculum is interrupted temporarily by a quotation from Trotsky about supporting atheist propaganda. Other than that, he has no real claim against what is being taught in schools. He just does not like children learning about Confucius or the Suffragettes, so he suggests it is all part of a Marxist plot.

The Nazis are everywhere in this book as well, quoted mostly for their views on propaganda and indoctrination. At one point Wishart even suggests a correlation between statements made about the Exclusive Brethren by Government Ministers and comments made by Hitler about the Jews. Far from being a telling argument, Wishart's analogies collapse into bathos, such as when he suggests that teacher training in modern New Zealand is "centralised at state facilities" and thus is similar to the Third Reich's requirement that all teachers belong to the Nazi Party.

It is a facile way to make an argument, which does not stand up. For all his outrage and indignation, Wishart fails to make the case that all of us, except the author himself, are being fooled by a cabal of Marxists, using the propaganda techniques of the Third Reich.

Still, this book is a best-seller and there will be many who take Wishart's warnings to heart. No doubt, we will be hearing them repeated relentlessly on talkback radio and in the letters section of our papers.

35 comments:

Owen said...

Does he violate Godwin's Law?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_Law

HORansome said...

Didn't you heed my warning not to read that tripe?

What's the point of a blog if you can't persuade people not to get the brain cancers...

Anonymous said...

horansome, Paul no longer has it as his tagline, but back in the old days of the FundyPost when it was an email newsletter his strapline was 'we read this stuff so you don't have to'. It is a dirty job but it is good that someone is doing it. You should be thankful to Paul that he has read this stuff and told us about what crap it is, leaving thee and me free to read some better stuff.

Besides for Paul it is a longer running raison d'etre than beating up the NZARH. So if he stopped doing it he would be lost...

Peter
In Cloudy, but previously Sunny Dundee

HORansome said...

Well, my point is that Paul reads my blog, and I read 'Eve's Bite' and then warned the world not to.

Anonymous said...

What tossa this Wishart is !!conservative christains point of view you say ?? deluded more like it !! .Blames everyone else huh !? of course its got nothing to do with the child molestors ,deceit ,and money hungry pricks within christianity today making a mockery of it all has it ?? . No ! i guess its just so much easier to blame it on Islam and everyone else isnt it !! .
And talking about propaganda techniques of the Nazis , has he forgotten the exclusive brethrens way of working under the covers of darkness !its quite easy for him to that of course .Yet here he sticks up for a group that blatantly use deceit and have been the cause of much pain and even suicides ! and their leader has the same cult like following as Hitler him self did ! with the congregation needing to all rise as he leaves the room .
I guess if somebady felt like a laugh at such deludedness they might buy this book ,hopefully the paper isnt shiny so you can use it to wipe your butt with afterwards .
You`d need to be able to so you got something for your money ! L.o.L !!!!

Sam Finnemore said...

Mea culpa. I got hold of a copy of the book for Craccum and Paul agreed to review it. He is a kindly soul, our Paul. I won't punish him like this again.

Anonymous said...

Well, one shouldn't. The poor lad'll be having nightmares about screeching sock cons being chased down darkened corridors by giant Maori lesbian DPB claimant deconstructionist genetic engineer devils waving pitchforks...

Craig Y

Paul said...

I know I was taking a risk but someone had to do it, for the good of humanity. Jack Bauer does this sort of thing every 24 hours, so I am no hero.

Sam made it up to me by giving me a couple of books about Art for review.

Anonymous said...

I hope you buried it down a deep, lead-lined mine shaft after finishing it, mate.

Craig Y

Jake said...

Once again, you've missed the point, Litterick. One does not need to understand something to know that it is contributing to the downfall of the West. One does not need to understand the West to know that it is falling down. One does not need to be able to demonstrate links between the things one does not understand to know that they are working together to downfall the thing that one doesn't understand that is falling down.

One only needs to feel very strongly about it, and have a public profile.

Anonymous said...

A very perceptive and generous review, Paul (Wishart doesn't deserve it).

But shouldn't "it is a bestseller" be "it WAS a bestseller" (for about a month after publications, if I recall correctly)? Simon and Alison Holst's slow cooking recipe book is still hanging in there at number 10, but Eve's Bark is long gone.

dad4justice said...

Slow cooking at number 10, so what who cares, as Eve's bite has opened the eyes of the ignorant who can't get the bark out of their silly anonymous heads !!

The Silent Majority said...

I gave up reading your review after para 3 it is just so blindly biased. I am not a Christian Conservative, yet a daily reader of Ians blog. You really need to get out less and stay in and read more, many of Ians points are dead on, and supported by many "thinkers" of today, of both the left and right persuasion. Added to that, your comments on Islam portray a blinding ignorance of massive proportions.

Anonymous said...

Well there you have it from "The Silent Majority" we are all biased thats our problem . If we used Exclusive Brethren deceitful tactics we would not be biased and from the "thinkers" of today we would recieve a good report .Wonderful isnt it !! simple really !! just go with the flow and maybe even back Bush in his war for the oil ! besides these muslims and Islams are all evil .Talk about ignorance !! the pot calling the kettle black ??

dad4justice said...

Oh yes, a twisted anony bleating on about the nasty Exclusive Brethen and the George Bush Oil War , oh well some things never change , silly leftie twits seem to be running out of straws to grasp . Please understand Ian speaks the truth and you all will find out soon enough . Go Putin go , but what the leftie twits are silent about the launch of the Russian operational bombers ?Just imagine the whinge about Bush putting six B52's up in the air !!! The double standard is just sheer hypocrisy !

Neil Morrison said...

I thought the review was spot on and entertaining.

dad4justice said...

Take the right eye patch off Neil, because it's much better to enjoy the sunlight of truth with two eyes .

Anonymous said...

Could I correct one error of detail? Ian Wishart is not a 'journalist' and certainly not an 'investigative' journalist.

Craig Y

dad4justice said...

Craig Y can I correct one thing, and ask does your wayward neuron transmitters ever connect with your keyboard before you push the keys and post ??

Anonymous said...

Dad4justice manages to forget what Bush did that proceeded Putin launching the bombers ...What a twat !! L.o.L !!

dad4justice said...

Another anonymous gutless , spineless , jellyfish , Russia and China playing war games is good stuff ? eh Liarbore Lickspittle ?
God help this country as backstabbing socialist women can never make mistakes in women town . You can shove your marxist matriarchy you twisted people.

Sam Finnemore said...

Oh yes, those terrifying operational bomber launches - a single specimen of the 50-year old "Bear", one of the noisiest aircraft in the world, which turned back when accompanied by a couple of British fighters. The free world has been shaken to its foundations.

Hardly polite, but not exactly the end of modern society. At least when Bush launches bombers they actually drop a few bombs.

Paul said...

Dad4justice: how did the Bears come into this? I fail to see why the lefty twits should be blamed for not speaking up about this. These planes come from a country with a vibrant free-market economy and a democratic system of government.

Morningside4life

Sam Finnemore said...

"Dad4justice: how did the Bears come into this? I fail to see why the lefty twits should be blamed for not speaking up about this. These planes come from a country with a vibrant free-market economy and a democratic system of government."

Oh snap.

Paul said...

The common Cormorant, or Shag,
lays eggs inside a paper bag.
The reason, you'll see no doubt,
is to keep the lightning out.

But what these unobservant birds
have not noticed is that herds
of bears may come
with buns,
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

Anonymous said...

"Vibrant free market economy with a democratic system of government?" I thought it was the United States...

Craig Y

Anonymous said...

Dad4Justice is a happy chappy isnt he !L.o.L i can just see him dribling and frothing at the mouth !! dont be so hard on him guys .. You know Russia and China should just let the protection of their countrys intrests go to rack and ruin ! shouldnt they ? . I mean just look at Iraq ! Bush is not likely to attack for nothing is he !! . Bush is a paecful bloke .
Quick somebody send Dad4justice a copy of goldylocks and the three bears cause he`s one of the "thinkers" of today!! L.o.L !!!

Sam Finnemore said...

Best not to hassle him overmuch. He is battling massive corruption and Satanic influence throughout our police, governmental and legal systems, and could probably use a little less stress in his life.

dad4justice said...

Quite the contrary Sam ,my injustice is now stress free, ask a few Judges or Police- boyo and do remember every act is a boomerang . Do kind ones.

Anonymous said...

"No doubt, we will be hearing them repeated relentlessly on talkback radio and in the letters section of our papers."

Or in flyers to be distributed around universities...

http://menz.org.nz/2007/flyers-to-be-distributed-around-universities/#comments

Anonymous said...

Too funny, they can't even get their acronym right. It's not MTGOW (men to go own way), but MGTOW (men going their own way).

http://wiki.mensactivism.org/index.php/MGTOW_-_Our_Aims

Or maybe there has already been a split in the global movement....

Paul said...

Anonymous, thank you. This is excellent stuff. Perhaps MGTOW means Men Get Their Word Order.

Sam Finnemore said...

From the Rules Of The Internet:

#3: We are Anonymous
#4: Anonymous is legion
#5: Anonymous never forgives
#6: Anonymous can be a horrible, senseless, uncaring monster
#7: Anonymous is still able to deliver

Anonymous said...

I haven't read Eve's Bite and don't intend to. But I did pick it up in Whitcoull's yesterday and spead-read the chapter on Dawkins. What a dope Wishart is! He is everything I hope my children will not be. If I had a son like Wishart I would revert to some of his pet hates like Eugenics to correct the situation. Nasty, mean, narrow-minded, anti-intellectual puritan pervert! Not even a good journalist either.

Damian said...

Hey, great review.

Like the previous poster, I flipped through the book in Whitcoulls and unfortunately opened it to a page where Ian attempts to attack Dawkins for his references to the Gospel of Thomas where Jebus is supposed to turn mud into sparrows or something. Ian challenged the reader to try to find any mention of it and so I did. And find it I did. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas apparently.

I corresponded with Ian by email pointing this out and he wasn't man enough to admit his errors.

Anyway, on that alone I decided not to bother buying the book. Ian's just one of those special little guys and my life is just that much richer for not reading any of his 'literature'.