Demons of the deep state: how evangelicals and conspiracy theories combine in Trump's AmericaS Jonathon O'Donnell, University College Dublin
Are demons active forces in American life and politics? That is what a large number of evangelicals in the US believe and are increasingly vocal about.
Since the 1980s, growing numbers of evangelicals have given the fight against demons a key role in their spirituality and their politics. Known as “spiritual warfare”, this views demons as central actors in world politics and everyday life. While often seen as fringe, belief in spiritual warfare is common across denominational lines, including among evangelicals close to Donald Trump such as Robert Jeffress and the president’s spiritual advisor, Paula White.
A key idea in spiritual warfare is that demons don’t only attack people, as in depictions of demonic possession, but also take control of places and institutions, such as journalism, academia, and both municipal and federal bureaucracies. By doing so, demons are framed as advancing social projects that spiritual warriors see as opposing God’s plans. These include advances in reproductive and LGBTQ rights and tolerance for non-Christian religions (especially Islam).
In a recent article published in the journal Religion, I explore how these ideas about demons combine with the wider Christian nationalism shown to be prevalent among Trump’s support base. Through a survey of conservative evangelical literature, articles, and television and radio broadcasts released between 2016 and 2018, I analyse how their authors used discourses of spiritual warfare to navigate the changing political reality, and Trump’s victory and presidency in particular.
The evangelicals whose works I analyse vary in their attitudes to Trump, from ardent advocates to reluctant supporters. Yet even the reluctant supporters interpret his presidency in terms of spiritual warfare, framing Trump’s victory as a divine intervention against a demonic status quo.
Trump’s alleged battle against the “deep state” here adopts cosmic meaning, as not only the US government but undocumented immigrants and Black and LGBTQ people are cast as agents of demonic forces.
The deep state has become a watchword of the Trump era, a term used by his supporters to depict Trump as an outsider fighting a corrupted political system. The deep state is central to the conspiracy movement QAnon, which depicts Trump as at war with a “deep state cabal” of devil-worshipping cannibal paedophiles.
Not all spiritual warriors engage with QAnon. But even for those that don’t, the deep state has come to represent broader ideas of demonic control, as demons are imagined as a “deeper state” working behind the scenes. Demons become the source of economic and environmental regulations and of social welfare programmes. The deregulatory ambitions that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon called Trump’s “deconstruction of the administrative state” become imagined as a project of national exorcism.
For many spiritual warriors this project began on election night 2016. Trump’s improbable victory stoked narratives of divine intervention. Comparing the red electoral map of Republican victory to “the blood of Jesus” washing away America’s sins, one evangelical framed the election as overthrowing “Jezebel”, a demonic spirit often depicted as behind reproductive and LGBTQ rights.
Banning abortion is central to conservative evangelical politics. Spiritual warriors often go further, framing support for abortion and same-sex marriage as both causing and caused by demonic control. They portray evil spirits and sinful humans as creating reinforcing systems of beliefs, behaviours and policy agendas. The deep state has become a key representation of these systems.
This spiritual war against the deep state can be understood as part of post-truth politics. While sometimes seen as a politics which delegitimises truth itself, post-truth can also be understood as a destabilisation of mainstream narratives about society. One that allows new narratives to be pushed.
In spiritual warfare, this new narrative is one where God is retaking control of the US from demonic forces. One where God’s truth is being reasserted over competing truths, which are reframed as demonic lies. Spiritual warfare here becomes a struggle over competing narratives about what America is, or should be. Dismantling the deep state is part of this struggle. But it is not the only one.
The demons at work
Spiritual warfare has also come to frame evangelical reactions to ongoing protests. Demonic opposition to Trump has been positioned by spiritual warriors as being behind events from the 2017 Women’s March to the 2020 protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Stances on immigrants and refugees are also included.
In one book, turned into a part-biopic, part-propaganda film called The Trump Prophecy by the conservative evangelical Liberty University, victory over demons is paralleled with the mass expulsion of undocumented migrants. Others have framed the central American migrant caravans as carriers of diabolic “witchcraft”.
Conspiratorial claims that both the protests and migrant caravans were funded by the investor/philanthropist George Soros or the deep state close the circle. They cast demonised groups – such as “nasty” women, Black protesters, refugees and undocumented migrants – not just as agents of corrupt deep state forces but avatars of the demonic deeper state behind them.
Spiritual warriors are often keen to separate the demons they battle from the people they claim to be saving from them. But today such deliverance from evil has been shown to never just be about the spiritual salvation of individuals, if it ever was. It has profound and lasting material consequences for both those individuals and the nation.
By imagining demons behind social welfare, economic and environmental regulations, or legal protections for marginalised groups, spiritual warriors frame the dismantling of these systems as ridding the US of demons. More than this, they frame the people and groups they see as benefiting from those systems as agents of evil incarnate. Only after such people are removed can there be a national rebirth.
Ein deutschsprachiger Bericht von St.Corona
Apologies to my English readers - most material presented is in German
Auch Monate nach dem Lockdown hat sich eines nicht geändert: Wer eine andere Meinung hat und die Maßnahmen kritisiert, wird totgeschwiegen. Prof. Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi gilt als renommierter Wissenschaftler und Kritiker der Behörden im Umgang mit dem neuartigen Virus. Mit seinem Buch „Corona Fehlalarm?“ hat er einen Bestseller geschrieben, der besonders von den klassischen Medien, ebenso wie seine Meinung, bis heute ignoriert wird. In einer Zeit, die von dem fragwürdigen Wettstreit um einen Impfstoff dominiert wird, zieht der Wissenschaftler eine Zwischenbilanz. Vier Monate nach ihrem ersten Interview: Ferdinand Wegscheider im Gespräch mit Prof.Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi.
Prof.Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi spricht im obigen Interview unter Anderem auch über Impfstoffe, besonders über den "Oxford" Impfstoff. Um was es hier genau geht erklärt der Biologe Clemens Arvay in seinem neuesten Video.
Biologe Clemens Arvay fordert das Aus des „Oxford-Impfstoffs“ und belegt die erheblichen Gefahren der laufenden Verkürzungen bei Impfstoff-Zulassungsverfahren gegen COVID-19, auf die er bereits im März 2020 hingewiesen hat. (Video-Coverfoto: Tatevosian Yana, Quelle: Shutterstock)
 Clemens Arvays Artikel in der Schweizerischen Ärztezeitung
 In Phase III des „Oxford-Impfstoffs“ trat eine schwere Komplikation auf (transverse Myelits)
 Frühere Videos von Clemens Arvay:
(a) Bill Gates und Covid-19: RNA-Impfstoffe als globale Bedrohung
(b) Genetische Impfstoffe gegen COVID-19: Hoffnung oder Risiko?
(c) Gefahr Corona-Impfstoff: Verheimlichte Nebenwirkungen bei Favoriten
 Die Antikörper waren bei Primaten beim "Oxford-Impfstoff" nicht ausreichend funktionsfähig:
(a) Doubts over Oxford vaccine as it fails to stop coronavirus in animal trials
(b) ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine prevents SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in rhesus macaques
 Genetiker William Haseltine über mangelnde Wirksamkeit des „Oxford-Impfstoffs“
 Bill Gates stellt im April 2020 die Teleskopierung der Zulassungsverfahren vor
 Die Gates-Stiftung ist Investor des Jenner-Institutes in Oxford, wo das Unternehmen Vaccitech gegründet wurde, welches das Patent auf die „Oxford“-Impfstoff Plattform besitzt. Außerdem tritt die Gates-Stiftung als Investor der Oxford Vaccine Group auf, die an der Entwicklung des Impfstoffs beteiligt ist: (a) Funders & Partners (b) Oxford Vaccine Group
 Vorläufige Auswertung der teleskopierten klinisches Phase I-II durch die überwiegend mit Interessenkonflikten behafteten Studienautoren des "Oxford-Impfstoffs" zeigt signifikante Häufung von Nebenwirkungen: Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial
 Deutschland hat 80 Millionen des "Oxford-Impfstoffs" gekauft
 Österreich hat 8 Millionen des "Oxford-Impfstoffs" gekauft
 EU-Länder (Großbritannien nicht mitgerechnet) haben 400 Millionen Dosen des "Oxford-Vakzins" eingekauft
 Genetiker William Haseltine warnt vor den Gefahren der teleskopierten Zulassungsverfahren
 Lobbyverband der pharmazeutischen Industrie, Vaccines Europe, räumt erhöhtes Risiko durch verkürzte Zulassungsverfahren ein und fordert daher Haftungsübernahme durch die Staaten:
Covid-19 vaccine makers lobby EU for legal protection
 vorläufige klinische Auswertung zweier mRNA-Impfstoffe, die neben dem Oxford-Impfstoff ebenfalls als Favoriten gehandhabt werden (jedoch von Deutschland und Österreich nicht eingekauft wurden):
(a) An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report.
(b) Phase 1/2 study of COVID-19 RNA vaccine BNT162b1 in adults
 140 nationale Wissenschaftsakademien kritisieren Verkürzung der Zulassungsverfahren
ein verwandter Artikel über den Oxford-Impfstoff (Englisch)
A related article about the Oxford Vaccine
News that a 'vaccine' might be available in Australia as early as the start of 2021 caused a wave of excitement this week. But don't go booking your overseas travel just yet.
The development of the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine – which offers Australia's best hope of returning to a level of normality – began long before anyone had heard of COVID-19. It started with Disease X.
In 2017, a coalition of governments, universities, research institutions and philanthropic organisations formed the view that a major global pandemic was a matter of when, not if, and they wanted to be prepared.
.......READ MORE IN FINANCIAL TIMES
Cartoon von © David Rowe (link to his twitter account) - image and Financial Times article excerpt published under Fair Use
In diesem Zusammenhang ebenfalls interessant:
Unklarer Trend bei Corona-Fallzahlen
von Dirk Jacobs
Zurzeit ist keine zweite Welle erkennbar - das zeigt auch die Reproduktionsrate r, die beim 7-Tageswert unter 1 liegt, was darauf hindeutet, dass die Fallzahlen leicht sinken.
Video verfügbar bis 27.08.2021
It has been a while since I reported last. The fall numbers are rising everywhere, and some are beginning to panic. The second wave is coming ...... but should we be worried? Two months ago Drosten speculated the virus is mutating and weakening (related article in German). I believe I already passed another article on, but to recap, here it is again: Will mutations soon make COVID-19 less harmful?
Apparently so, if one follows the numbers. More and more people are getting tested, are positive, but have no symptoms or only very mild symptoms. The death rates are flat, hospitalisations are down as well. Below, I republish an article from THE CONVERSATION.
My previous post also talks about not to panic:
CORONAVIRUS REINFECTION – WHAT IT ACTUALLY MEANS, AND WHY YOU SHOULDN’T PANIC
Coronavirus: why aren’t death rates rising with case numbers?Danny Dorling, University of Oxford
It is a conundrum. For much of the past two months, many people have been convinced that mortality associated with COVID-19 would rise as the number of people testing positive with the disease increased. But this has not happened so far. Why? A look at government data from England and Wales can provide some clues.
By late summer 2020, the UK government had finally managed to produce a consistent definition of precisely what constitutes a positive case of coronavirus. It is defined as a person with at least one lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 test result (individuals who tested positive more than once are only counted once, on the date of their first positive test).
The first graph below shows cases by the day on which they were initially reported – represented by the blue line. Cases peaked at 5,451 on April 5, reached a low of 101 on June 10 and very recently have appeared to be rapidly rising again. The most recent rise in cases, to more than 2,600 a day, is particularly unsettling. The red line shows deaths per day, which have been very low for many weeks now and also still falling in number.
It’s important to remember that the number of cases has not been rising because the number of people carrying the disease has been increasing, but instead because more tests are being carried out, and especially in areas where the rate at which people have the disease is found to be higher.
The main reasons why we know that the number of deaths has not been rising is that the actual number of cases in the population has not been rising when measured per million people tested. We know this because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is running a properly constructed surveillance programme which estimated that by August 25 only one person in every 2,000 in England had the disease, and each week only one person in every 27,000 was catching the disease (this proportion having been essentially stable for several months). The proportion in Wales was even lower at one in 2,200.
The ONS is currently increasing the sample size of its surveillance programme to 400,000 people in England with 150,000 being tested each fortnight in October.
A question of demographics
It is likely that among the steadily rising number of people who have tested positive for the disease since June, an increasing proportion are young and a declining proportion are older, so that having the disease is dramatically less lethal for each person with it. In March and April (before the June minimum was reached) younger adults aged 18-34 had the highest prevalence in antibody testing so we should not be surprised that outside of the most rigorous lockdown, cases are higher among the young.
Your chances of dying with COVID-19 depend primarily on age. Those chances are greatly reduced if you are younger – as the table below shows.
According to this data, by the end of August, someone aged 20-24 had a one in 100,000 chance of having died with a mention of COVID-19 on their death certificate; that risk doubles to one in 50,000 for people aged 30-34 and is more than one in 1,000 for men by age 65 and for women by age 75.
Another way of describing what the table reveals is that a grandmother in her early 90s is 120 times more likely to have died of the disease than her daughter aged 52 who, herself, is 259 times more likely to die than her 14-year-old daughter. Currently, mortality rates for all ages are very near zero as deaths per day are so low.
Cases increasing in the young and decreasing among the elderly is how the number of deaths can continue to fall even if cases found by the ONS surveillance study remain the same or even rise slightly, as long as fewer older people have the disease as compared to more younger people over time.
There is growing concern of younger people passing the disease to older people, but if a young person has had the disease, and is then very unlikely to have it in future, their chance of passing it on to an older person in future is much diminished. This is another reason for not hitting the panic button when case numbers rise.
Reaching a true mortality rate
Eventually, mortality rates from COVID-19 will fall as the proportion of people who have had it rises. The final graph below tries to illustrate just how far away from that point we are, but how we have clearly been moving towards it over the course of the past two months.
The graph shows the ratio of deaths to every 1,000 cases recorded each day. This is a crude measure, as mortality lags behind positive cases, but it is still a useful guide.
We can see that the number of people dying of COVID-19 falls from 217 for every 1,000 testing positive across all of England and Wales on June 24 (when so few people were being tested), to four by the end of August and just two per 1,000 by September 4. The fall is so fast and so great that a log scale is required to encompass it in one graph.
The fall cannot continue at this rate for much longer, and where the ratio eventually settles will be below the theoretical upper limit for the actual final overall mortality rate from this disease; a rate which we do not yet know.
The above is from the UK. From my own perspective in Austria, I see similar, the numbers tell the story on the site of the Austrian Ministry of Health.
Benefiz Ausstellung bei De Es Schwertberger
Eröffnung FREITAG, 18. SEPTEMBER 2020 Um 19 Uhr bis 22 Uhr
Die Galerie ist am Samstag 19. SEPTEMBER 2020 von 13 Uhr bis 19 Uhr offen.
Webgasse 41, 1060 Wien
liebe FreundInnen von De Es,
wie viele von euch/Ihnen vielleicht schon wissen, ist De Es seit einigen Monaten auf Pflege angewiesen und aus diesem Anlass haben ein paar FreundInnen von ihm eine Benefiz-Ausstellung organisiert.
Bitte leitet die Einladung an alle weiter, die hier helfen könnten und zu sehr fairen Preisen eines seiner Werke erstehen wollen.
Vielen Dank im Namen seiner FreundInnen und Familie.
Ernst Fuchs Museum BetriebsgmbH
Tel. +43 699 10135425
Am Freitag, 18.9. 2020 um 19 Uhr ist die Eröffnung im Studio SINNREICH.
Die Ausstellung wird von Michael Fuchs eröffnet.
Das Studio SINNREICH
ist am nächsten Tag, Samstag, 19.9.2020 von 13 bis 19 Uhr ebenfalls geöffnet.
UPDATE, SONNTAG 20.9.2020
Die Ausstellung war erfolgreich, für mehr Information über Kunstwerke