Sr. Helena Burns: Beware the trail that is built on lies

  • September 1, 2021

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Beware the trail that is built on lies

Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

When the Russian dissident and author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet empire in 1974, he wrote a famous exhortation to his countrymen entitled “Live Not By Lies.” Solzhenitsyn spent years doing hard labour in prison camps, survived and dared to write about his experience in The Gulag Archipelago. Not only did he write his own story, but he gathered and recounted the tragic stories of those who didn’t make it out alive.

The tales of torture and deprivation in Archipelago are hard enough to stomach, but the ludicrous charges levelled at citizens and lengthy sentences of incarceration are mind-numbing and heartbreaking. No one outside the USSR really knew the harsh recriminations it was visiting upon vast swaths of its own population until that book.

Not only that, I remember that when a contingent of high-level Muscovite politicos visited my home state of Massachusetts, they were given a tour of our General Motors assembly plant. As they looked out the window they saw an enormous parking lot filled with cars. “Are these the finished products?” they asked. “Oh, no. Those are the employees’ cars.” The visitors burst out laughing.

Why? Two reasons. First, they simply couldn’t fathom that that many private citizens owned cars, and second, when the Iron Curtain rolled back for carefully selected guests, the visitors would be shown staged semblances of glowing, prosperous Soviet life. In other words, those who lie for a living think everyone else does as well.

The freedom-loving West (perhaps the U.S. and Canada in particular) has always been the goal and prize of communism. Communists of variegated stripes have never, ever let up scheming and clandestinely operating regarding how to best infiltrate “the minds and hearts” of our populace so that, as former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev said: “We will take America without a single shot being fired.”

Bella Dodd, ardent communist and author of School of Darkness, explains what communism really is. (After decades of unflagging work infiltrating teachers unions and Catholic seminaries, Dodd left the party and was reverted back to the Catholic Church of her youth, in part by Bishop Fulton Sheen.)

Dodd knows that most people think about communism in a narrow way: an overt political movement limited to certain parts of the globe. But she tells us that it’s far greater than that. It’s a many-tentacled system that hides under many names and organizations. It is raw, brutal totalitarianism, relentlessly pursuing the subjugation of the entire world to serve as little more than slaves for a handful of elites.

Communists are patient, far-sighted and fiercely dedicated to their cause. The individual knows they probably won’t see The Revolution dominate the world in their lifetime. It’s a matter of faithfully passing the torch to future comrades who will. The Italian communist, Antonio Gramsci, called it “the long march through the institutions,” subverting a country from within.

And what is the number one tool to accomplish this? Lies. Sugar-coated, high-minded lies promising equity, equality, justice, meaningful labour, decent wages and freedom for all, when the exact opposite is the intention and outcome.

Let’s never forget that communism/Marxism/socialism is ultimately about abolishing God. (See Pius XII’s encyclical Atheistic Communism — and don’t be fooled, there’s no other brand of communism.) Communism doesn’t need to broadcast its name, only its principles to accomplish its bloodless takeover.

Students in U.S. public schools are systematically and subtly being taught to hate America. When Cubans recently took to the streets to protest their stifling and abusive Communist government, they were waving American flags (for now, still a sign of freedom). Brainwashed American youth were confused and asked: “Why are they waving a symbol of hate?!”

Perhaps we have grown too spoiled, too lazy, too ignorant, too complacent, too trusting, too conditioned, too lulled and even too arrogant that we can actually believe “it can’t happen here.” According to a fine new book, it can and is. Author Rod Dreher used Solzhenitsyn’s own title: Live Not By Lies.

Dreher, a journalist, wrote the book in response to being contacted by concerned individuals who had lived under communist regimes, asking him to investigate and write about the radical societal restructuring and restricting of civil rights they observe taking place in North America: “The way communism took hold in my country? It’s unfolding here in the exact same way.”

(Sr. Helena, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA.  Twitter: @srhelenaburns)

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