Even acute observers, noting the numerical weakness of the Communists,
have taken false hope from this fact. Such people fail to understand that
the Communists are able to rally into their service multitudes who are
completely unaware that they are serving the Communist cause. Our purpose
here is to study those attitudes which transform well-meaning, patriotic,
Christian people into the allies of Communism.
No matter how clear the evidence is, people can always find an interpretation that will allow them to cling to what they want to believe. This is well illustrated by the story of the priest and the rabbi who were driving along the road, the rabbi in front and the priest behind. As they approached the intersection, the rabbi gently stood on the brakes and brought his car to a halt. The priest, however, had been gazing all round the countryside. Noticing at last that he was right on top of the rabbi's car, he jammed on the brakes, but to no avail. He crashed into the rear of the rabbi's car.
The priest and the rabbi were surveying the damage when along came an Irish policeman. After he had examined the wreck and had ascertained the respective owners of the two cars, he was clearly a man in great mental and emotional distress. He found himself in the grip of two simultaneous, conflicting duties, his duty to the Church and his duty to the law. He began to tremble and stammer. Suddenly the answer to his prayer came. The wrinkles left his brow, and a look of confidence and serenity came over his face. He looked sternly at the rabbi, and then, turning to the priest, he asked, "Father, what speed was this man going when he backed into you?" How often the wish begets the thought.
The situation confronting us is dark and fearful. To face the true situation requires courage and honesty. The vast majority of people are quite unwilling to acknowledge the truth, preferring to ignore the evidence, or to select only those facts which will support their preconceived ideas and will not threaten the fulfillment of their desires.
Some time ago I met a man I had long admired. As a journalist sympathetic to the Soviet government, he had been sent to Russia in the 1930's. There he discovered what was really taking place, and set out to inform the world of the truth about Communism. He wrote splendid books which influenced me profoundly when I read them some years ago. When I met him, I thanked him for what he had done, and told him how greatly his books had influenced me. He looked at me with a gloomy expression and said, "It didn't do much good, did it? When I wrote those books, the Communists had a hundred and sixty million. Now they have a billion. Western civilization is doomed. We are as certain to become extinct as the Indian civilization was before the advance of the white man."
You may dismiss this man as an abject pessimist if you will, but you cannot so easily dispose of the facts. If we weigh the evidence of impending Communist conquest by any of the standard methods of judging human knowledge, it is very difficult to escape the conclusion which he reached. This evidence may be considered under five headings:
These figures are the more frightening when they are examined as any honest businessman would examine them. I spoke in St. Louis, Missouri, to the management club of a small but very prosperous firm. The president of the firm told me that he wanted to show me the secret of their success. Taking me into a room, he showed me an electronic computer. Said he, "We are not satisfied to know the past and the present. We need to know the future. At last we have found how to discover the future. This machine is the answer. We feed into it the figures of the past and we get from it the predictions of the future. Those predictions are so accurate, that upon them we base our production and marketing schedules." The machine was so valuable that they were paying over $2,000 a month rental for it though they were a small company employing only about three hundred people.
I said to him, "Here is a set of figures to feed into the machine. Lenin established Bolshevism with seventeen supporters in 1903. He conquered Russia with forty thousand in 1917. Today, the party of Lenin has conquered one billion. The population of the world is two and three quarter billion. By what year will that figure be reached?"
He replied, "I'm frightened to try it."
He had every reason to be frightened. The result would have been terrifying
Richard Arens, director of the House Un-American Activities Committee, tells how they called before their committee the military man they considered best equipped to deal with the subject of Communism, General Wedemeyer, aide to General MacArthur in the Far East. Arens asked him, "General Wedemeyer, how late do you consider it to be on the Communist timetable for world conquest?"
General Wedemeyer thought for a few moments, and then replied, "Too late. If I were advising the Communist leaders, I would say, 'Don't change one thing you are doing. You are winning as certainly as any group ever won any battle in the history of mankind.'"
At the conclusion of the general's testimony, Richard Arens asked, "General, in the light of these frightening things that you have told us, what do you advise that we should do?"
General Wedemeyer replied, "Had you asked me that question fifteen years ago, I could have answered it with ease. Had you asked it ten years ago, I could have answered it with difficulty. When you ask it today, the only honest reply that I can make is that I do not know."
Big business in America takes considerable trouble to make long range
future predictions. In one city they have established what in known as
a "think center." Here they have gathered together the finest electronic
equipment and shill personnel to make these predictions. Into the equipment
they fed all the data they were able to collect related to the relative
war-making capacities of America and Russia to determine by what year the
balance of power would be favorable to Russia in a future war. The date
delivered by the machine was the year 1965.
A common reaction to this information is to draw comfort from the fact that in Communist countries there is no academic freedom. One of the great delusions of American educators has been that academic freedom is necessary for the achievement of material results. If a child is trained in habits of study, and then forced to study mathematics, science, and foreign languages, he will learn a low whether the system is free or not. Regimentation and tyranny have always been able to achieve great things. The pharaohs built the pyramids; the Chinese built the Great Wall of China; Hitler achieved miracles in Germany, and there is no evidence whatsoever that he had any trouble controlling his educated classes. Under an authoritarian system of regimented education, the Germans made tremendous progress in the science of rocketry and electronics, and in the development of the jet aircraft. In a similar way, the Communists with their emphasis on science, foreign languages, and mathematics, are making tremendous progress. It is not a question of which system of education develops better balanced personalities. The question is: Which system of education will win this universal war?
I was visiting an American college. Before I had been there ten minutes, the president told me with great pride of a young man who had brought glory and honor to their school. Wherever I went on the campus, I heard his praises sung. At last I met him, and a fine young man he was. His body was lithe and slender, and he stood some six feet two inches tall. He was their leading basketball player. His skill at the game was to great that he had been chosen to go to Melbourne, Australia, to represent the United States in the Olympic Games in 1956. What an honor for the school!
Frequently I asked, "Who is your leading science student?" He looked at me in wonder and amazement. He could not answer the question. To find out information like that a careful study of the records would be required.
I want to make it quite clear that I have nothing against basketball.
I think it is a splendid sport. The ability to project accurately an inflated
spherical ball through an iron hoop is a remarkable gift indeed. However,
it is difficult to envisage how ballistic missiles can be effectively stopped
with basketballs. Faced as we are with a struggle for survival against
an enemy who spares no effort to educate the young in those fields which
will help to secure victory, it would seem that the scale of values in
the American educational system might well be revised.
The problem, however, is not merely that the Russian total economic product may soon equal that of America. The great problem lies in the percentage of the Russian economic product that is available to the Communists for class warfare. Because the Communist Party has a monopoly ownership of the entire Russian economic product, it can use the economic product as it will. Because of their monopoly ownership, the Communists can decide how much the individual Russian may have, and how much of the total product will be retained to be used in economic warfare against the United States. By keeping the people at a very low standard of living, they are able to use a large proportion of their economic product to destroy American foreign markets by underselling the American product.
Monopoly has a tremendous advantage in competition with small industry. Unprotected by law, no small concern with only a few employees could stand against any of the great national corporations. Were it not for the protection afforded by antitrust laws, a big chain store could very easily put out of operation the little grocer on the corner. All the chain store would need to do would be to open up a market nearby. Since this market would be only one of hundreds owned by them, they would not need to make a profit. They could undersell on every line. Their little competitor, however, has limited financial resources. He has to make a profit to pay his debts and to carry on his business. The time he can compete is limited. In time his resources are exhausted and he is forced to close down.
The Communists are doing a similar thing on a world scale. They can move into any American foreign market they consider desirable. They do not need to make a profit; their profit is in the chaos they create in the American economy, in the agents they infiltrate into the country through their trade.
An example of Communist techniques of economic warfare may be seen in their activities in Iraq. Iraq had vast sums secured from oil royalties to be invested in developmental projects. A large number of the contracts for these projects went to Russia. To secure a contract, the Communists followed this simple procedure: they found out from pro-Communist elements in the Iraqi government the lowest bid made by any Western firm, and tendered a bid twenty per cent below it. They did not need to make a profit directly for their profit was in the Communist agents they infiltrated and the subversive literature they distributed, as well as in the weakening of the American economy. It is difficult to see how any concern that must make a profit to survive can compete against them.
The advancing Communist economic penetration is causing grave concern
among business leaders and the government authorities. The situation grown
more serious year by year.
The peoples of these countries are being wooed and won by the Communists, not with bombs and bullets, but with words and books. One hundred people are being reached with Communist lies for every one being reached with the Christian or the democratic truth. The Communists are engaged in the greatest literature crusade mankind has ever known. They are producing beautiful literature in almost every language and distributing it in every corner of the earth. In many countries this literature costs practically nothing. An example of this is Problems of Leninism by Joseph Stalin. This book of more than eight hundred pages may be purchased in a Communist bookstore in America for four dollars: in Canada it costs a dollar and fifty cents; in Australia, it costs seventy cents; in India or Japan it may be purchased for ten cents. The price charged has no relationship to the cost of production; it is related merely to the economic capacity of the purchasers.
An example of their beautiful color magazines is China Pictorial which is printed in Peking every two weeks in Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uighur, Korean, English, Russian, German, French, Japanese, Viet-namese, Indonesian, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic and Burmese. Every face wears a radiant smile. The color photography is beautiful. The moral tone is excellent: there is no violence, no crime, no nakedness, no sex, and no alcohol. Every page portrays abundance, beauty, prosperity, liberty and peace. You cannon look through such a magazine without being impressed.
How thoroughly the Communists are carrying out this literary crusade is indicated by the children's books which they are producing in practically every language. Visit any Communist bookstore in the United States and you will find books printed in Moscow and Peking in English for one, two and three-year-old babies. These have titles such as The Rose and the Earthworm, The Golden Ass, The Little Bird Who Hurt His Wing, The Caterpillar, Punchy the Elephant, Chickens and Ears, The Lamb and the Wolf, The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Adventures of the Little Swallow, How the Monkeys Reached for the Moon, Beautiful Leaves, Wow-wow's House, Tolstoy's Short Stories. The Communists want the children. They do not care so much about the adults whom they consider as already contaminated with the disease of Capitalism and consequently of little use to them. When the Communists rule the world, the diseased social classes will have to be eliminated. But the children are different. They can do something with them. This children's literature is a preliminary step towards winning the children of the world.
An examination of some of the children's literature produced by the Communists induces bewilderment in most loyal Americans, for they can discover nothing wrong with these books. The stories are well told, beautifully illustrated, and do not teach Communism in any way. The trouble with these books is that there is nothing wrong with them.
If a kidnapper wishes to gain the confidence of a child to entice her into an automobile for dreadful purposes, he does not give a long lecture about what will happen after she gets into the automobile. He gives her candy to win her confidence. The candy he gives is not bitter or poisoned candy, for the sweeter and better the candy, the greater the likelihood that the child will get into the automobile. These children's books are the Communist literary candy with which the Communists are endeavoring to entice the children of the world into the Communist automobile for their journey into slavery and death.
The Communists divide their literature into two categories: Propaganda and Agitation. Propaganda they define as that which conveys many ideas to a few people. Propaganda teaches Communist theory, philosophy, organization and doctrine. It is designed primarily for the thinking, student mind.
For the many, they publish Agitation. Agitation they define as that which conveys one idea to many people. The Communists' great literary crusade is designed to convey to the people of the world the simple idea that whenever Communism comes to power, the people immediately become happy, healthy, prosperous and free, whereas America is evil and degenerate, and a threat to the peace of the entire world. The Communists are reaching one hundred people with these blatant lies for every one being reached with the Christian or democratic truth.
The truth is very simple. No matter what promises Communism makes, this fact stands out with crystal clarity: wherever people can escape from Communist rule, they do it by the million. Try to imagine what it would take to cause parents to gather together their children and what few articles they could carry in their arms, and go on foot into the night, not to a bright future, but to the bleak unknown. How bad would things have to be to cause people to do that? Millions are doing this wherever Communism comes to power. When faced with these unanswerable facts, the Communist spokesmen are helpless.
During his visit to the United States, Nikita Khrushchev was asked the following question by Karl Feller, president of the International Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink and Distillery Workers of America: "Mr. Chairman, I cannot understand, since the Communist Party proclaims itself to be the liberator of the working class, yet we see a mass exodus of workers in other countries following the Communist seizure of power. You have the example of three million workers fleeing from East Germany to West Berlin, and about three million fleeing from North Korea to South Korea and, as mentioned a moment ago, three hundred or so thousands of Hungarians braved arrest and death in escaping to freedom. Mr. Khrushchev, can you tell us of a single instance where, following Communist seizure of power, there has been a mass influx of workers from surrounding non-Communist countries into the Communist country? If the Communist Party is the liberator of the working class, why don't we see this phenomenon?"
Mr. Khrushchev: "Is that all? Think it over. Drink your beer. Perhaps that will help you to find the answer to your question."
Mr. Feller: "That certainly is no answer, and apparently nothing will make you understand why millions want to escape from Communism-"
Mr. Khrushchev: "I've told you, I'm not even afraid of the devil."(1)
There are many things which may be said by way of criticism of America, but when all has been said, the fact remains that America is the magnet that draws to its shores people from all over the world. It is still the land of hope and promise, a vision living in the hearts and minds of millions. The unfortunate thing is that these facts do not speak for themselves. They must be made known by the means of communications. By an extensive and effective use of the means of communication, the Communists have convinced two thirds of the people of the world that the exact opposite of these facts is true. A lie that is believed has great power for evil.
An honest consideration of the evidence-numerical, military, economic, educational, and communicational-is frightening indeed. The most comforting thing to do is to put it out of the mind or to refuse to believe it. This is the attitude adopted by a large number of people.
While visiting Philadelphia, I went to a radio station at eleven o'clock one night to be interviewed. A psychiatrist was to be interviewed at the same radio station on the subject of mental health. His interview was to follow mine. He arrived early, and we talked for some minutes before I went on the air. During that time, I gathered that he was quite unsympathetic towards my position and viewpoint.
When I went on the air, I explained, as I frequently do, that my greatest problem is to persuade people that Communists are Communists. Just as the Catholics are Catholics and have certain beliefs and programs, the Communists are Communists and have clear beliefs, and a very well developed program. The aim of their program is to conquer the world. The realization of the plan necessitates the encirclement and demoralization of the United States, leading finally to surrender. I pointed out that many intelligent people are unwilling to acknowledge that these things are so, even though all the facts point in this direction.
I went on to describe how the program of the Communists is being fulfilled. While America is being lulled to sleep with a false picture of friendship and talk about co-existence, the Communists are making devastating progress in many parts of the world. They are operating in all the Asian countries, in Africa and the Near East, and are looking forward to the time when Western Europe will be economically strangulated and defenseless; they are invading South and Central America by their infiltration of the colleges and universities. When these countries have been taken, America, isolated, confused, and demoralized, economically and militarily encircled, will be offered the choice of surrender or annihilation. The Communists are certain that she will choose surrender.
As I was speaking, the psychiatrist seethed. At last he could stand no more and spontaneously came onto the program to try and counteract the damage I was doing. When a man's evidence cannot be discredited, the simplest alternative is to discredit the man himself. This he proceeded to do. He told the listening audience that I was apparently the victim of certain deep-seated, inner emotional conflicts which I was projecting into my external environment. Out of this inner conflict sprang this vision of a great encircling force. The inference was clearly my need of psychiatric treatment.
When he had finished speaking, I thanked him very much for giving me the perfect example of what I had been talking about. Here was an apparently intelligent man who was quite unwilling to face the truth. I had with me the good How to be a Good Communist. I showed him that the author was Liu Shao-chi, President of Communist China. I opened the book and asked him to read: "What is the most fundamental and common duty of us Communist Party members? As everybody knows, it is to establish Communism, to transform the present world into a Communist world."(2) On another page I showed him the following passage:
. . . the cause of Communism has become a powerful, invincible force throughout the world. There is not the slightest doubt that this force will continue to develop and advance and will win final and complete victory. Despite this, however, the strength of the international reactionary forces and of the exploiting classes are still more powerful than ours, and for the time being are still predominant in many respects. Consequently, we shall have to go through a long, bitter, circuitous and arduous process of struggle before we defeat them.(3)When he had finished reading, the psychiatrist indicated that I was putting my own interpretation on these passages and giving my own opinion as fact.
"In the name of all that's honest," I replied, "please tell me what other interpretation these words can have, 'the fundamental duty of Communist Party members if to transform the present world into a Communist world'?"
We have always had people in our midst who thought that fire would not burn, that if you jump out of a tenth story window, you may go down, but then again, you may go up. We used to call it insanity. Only recently has it taken to itself the name of mental health.
The malady of intellectual dishonesty has afflicted large segments of
the educated and the religious groups leaving them quite unable to face
the unpleasant truth. Intellectual dishonesty is one of the greatest allies
of Communism. Like cancer, it cannot be treated adequately till its malignancy
As I travel throughout America lecturing on Communism, I am frequently asked if I have visited Russia. The inference is that if I have not, I cannot possibly understand very much about Communism. To audiences which pose this question, I reply that I have not been to Russia and that I realize that this is a serious disadvantage. I then express the hope that after I have outlined my qualifications, they will all feel moved to contribute generously in order to send me. To prove my qualifications for such a visit I proceed to give them the fruit of my acute observations concerning America. I have been in America, on and off, for about nine years. I have traveled in forty-six states; I have addressed hundreds of thousands of people, and have enjoyed complete freedom of movement and freedom of speech. As far as I know, I have never been followed by an agent of any investigative group, or by the police. As an Australian, I speak the English language exceedingly well, though I have great difficulty persuading Americans that this is so. During this time, therefore, I have had ample opportunity to observe America and Americans.
The first thing that astonished me when I arrived was that apparently nobody approved of the character or record of President Roosevelt. In Australia we had thought him to be a universal
American hero. When the first fifty people to whom I spoke unanimously castigated him, I received the shock of my life. During my nine years in this country, I have never heard a Negro complain of discrimination though I have addressed thousands and conversed with hundreds of them. I have never seen a violent crime; I have never witnessed a major automobile accident; I have never seen a basketball match; and as far as I know, I have never seen a professional gambler or a prostitute. After ten years of personal, first hand observation, I make my report: "Inside America" by Fred C. Schwarz. "Nobody in America voted for President Roosevelt; no Negro is concerned with discrimination; there is no violent crime; there are no automobile accidents; nobody plays basketball; there is no gambling and there is no prostitution." This is the truth because I have been there and have seen it for myself.
If someone would just send me to Russia for three weeks or so, I could bring back the truth about what is happening over there. Admittedly I would be slightly handicapped because I cannot speak the language. However, this is not really important because the Communist government thought of it long in advance and has made adequate provision for it. They have trained as interpreters some of their finest young Communists who are totally dedicated to the Party, and very quick of mind and tongue. These interpreters have a three-fold task. In the first place, they are to take me round and supervise what I see and whom I meet. Secondly, they are to keep an eye on the contacts I do make so that if any of them get out of line they can be dealt with later. Thirdly, they are to misrepresent my questions and misinterpret the answers. I approach a group of people and ask the interpreter to ask them if they love the Communist government. He turns to them and utters a stream of what, to me, is unintelligible gibberish. They answer in a similar vein. He turns to me and says, "They love Communism with all their hearts." The only difficulty is that I have no way of knowing what he asked them or what they said in reply. He may have said, "He wants to know what you had for breakfast." They may have said, "You know very well that we didn't have any breakfast." Since he is a devoted Communist, utterly dedicated to the interests of the Party, it is highly improbable that he will repeat anything that reflects badly upon it.
Ninety-nine out of a hundred people who visit Russia and come back to tell their friends and acquaintances all about it are in exactly the same position I would be in if I went. They have no way of knowing how much of what they have been told is really true. The tragic part is that most of them do not realize this. They quote authoritatively what they have been told by the Communist interpreter as the objective truth.
A well known businessman, a prominent clergyman, or a politician goes to Russia for a brief tour. On his return he is met by representatives of the press at the airport where he gives his impressions of the present mood of the Russian masses. He is whisked off to a radio station where he discusses the changes that have occurred in the personal relationships of the Presidium of the Communist Party. He may even appear on television where he talks at some length about the present attitude of the Red Army towards their Communist masters. The only people who are bigger idiots than he are those who take any notice of what he says. By the very nature of things, he can be nothing but an unconscious agent of Communist propaganda. He can report only what he saw and heard. What he saw was limited and superficial, and what he heard was channeled to him through the Communist Party.
It has been well said, "A fool learns by his own experience; a wise man learns by the experience of others." The major portion of our knowledge is gained through the means of communication. In Russia these are completely controlled by the Communist Party. Every newspaper is a Communist propaganda sheet. All radio and television programs are designed to convey messages selected by the Communist Party. Every textbook, every novel, every play and movie is designed to advance the ideas approved by the Party. Thus information which is the raw material of thought is fed to the Russian people by the Communists. Public opinion in Russia is carefully molded by the Communist Party.
If a tourist realizes the serious limitations of his situation, in certain specialized fields, he can obtain valid information from his trip. For example, he can secure clear information about the Russian boast that they have equalized the status of women. Their boast is quite justified. Americans do not really treat their women with equality. They do not allow them, for example, to mine coal or to perform heavy manual work on the roads. Such tasks are kept solely for men. There is no such bourgeois discrimination in Russia, and tourists to Russia may observe that this is so. One tourist told me that when he came out of a theatre at eleven o'clock at night he saw a group of old grandmothers working in the rain laying blacktop on the roads. As he travels in the train, the tourist may see women swinging their picks in the railway gangs, usually under the supervision of a male foreman. Such things a tourist may see, but to secure a genuine insight into the minds and feelings of the people is an impossibility in the situation existing in Russia.
Discussing this with some wide-eyed innocents recently returned from Russia, I made the statement that tourists returning from behind the Iron Curtain are very frequently the instruments of Communist propaganda. They were horrified at the suggestion. As we continued in conversation, one of the women commented on the encouraging progress being made by Russian Baptists. Said she, "They now have seven thousand churches."
"Here is the very kind of thing to which I was referring," I replied. "You are unconsciously giving Communist propaganda."
"I resent that very much," she said.
"Let's consider your statement," I said. "You tell me that there are seven thousand Baptist churches. How do you know?"
She mentioned the name of a friend of hers as the source of her information.
"And how does he know?"
"He knows the Baptist preacher in Moscow and has known him for years," was the reply.
"I know one of the Baptist preachers here in Los Angeles and have known him for years. Were I to go to him and ask how many Baptist churches there are in California, what would he do? He'd pull down a Baptist yearbook, seek the information, and give me the answer for the different Baptist segments. Somebody has to take the statistics. Who do you suppose took these statistics that you are giving me?"
She said, "I don't know."
"The Communists took them, of course. Whether they are true or false, we have not the faintest idea."
No tourist of Russia can get any idea whatsoever of the strength of Baptist work in Russia. All he can do is to go and see one or two Baptist churches, usually those in Moscow or Leningrad. When Bob Pierce, President of World Vision, was in Kiev, he asked the guide to show him the Baptist church there. The guide was at a loss. Tourists do not ask to visit the Baptist church in Kiev. They go only in Moscow and Leningrad. In the city of Kiev which has a population of a million people, she did not know where a Baptist church was to be found. By the following day, however, she had discovered one. It consisted of a mere handful of people meeting in a house. When we consider that the Protestants of Russia are all in these Baptist churches, the complacency of Christians is appalling.
The statistics regarding the strength of Baptist work in Russia vary greatly from time to time. When the leaders from the Russian Baptists toured America about 1955, they quoted the number of Baptists then in Russian as being three million. In 1959, the number was given as five hundred thousand. Either the Baptist in Russia backslid greatly in those few years, or someone manipulated the statistics.
In Indianapolis, I spoke to the farm editor of the television station who was about to visit Russia. I told him that he would come back a propagandist for the Communists. He replied, "I know I will. How can I help it?"
"Oh, that's easy," I said. "As soon as you get there, overthrow the Communist government and re-establish freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of the press, and freedom of communication. Abolish all the psychological inhibitions Communism has produced in the people during their rule of forty years. Then go round and dig under every child's playground and see what you find."
In the Ukraine, the Germans were welcomed by the Ukrainians as liberators. In the city of Vinnitza there were discovered mass graves of ten thousand bodies. Over some of these graves the Communists had built Parks of Culture and Rest including a child's playground and a sporting arena. A tourist going there at normal times would see nothing except excellent recreational facilities for the citizens and particularly for the children.
Delegations are the source of dangerous delusions indeed. What we see with our eyes is limited. Observation is no substitute for understanding. A man can learn more about Communism in an hour by taking a book like How to be a Good Communist by Liu Shao-chi or Problems of Leninism by Stalin than he can in a year as a tourist who sees nothing but what the Communists show him. Observation may be minutely accurate and interpretation completely erroneous.
A visitor went on a tour of a tuberculosis sanitarium. He walked through the grounds, first of all, and there he was greatly impressed by the well kept lawns and the beautiful landscaped gardens. Upon entering the building he was met by a charming receptionist who smiled at him warmly and took him on a tour of the sanitarium.
In the spotless kitchen, he found the finest cooking equipment he had ever seen. He examined the plumbing and found it exceptional in quality and efficiency.
After duly admiring the facilities of the institution, he was escorted into the wards. In preparation for his coming, the patients had all been given a dose of anti-pertussive mixture, otherwise known as cough syrup. The peaceful atmosphere was not disturbed by undue coughing. The patients were propped up neatly on snowy white pillows. Many of them had a becoming flush on their cheeks. Hovering around were nurses who were giving them personal attention far better than any service available in the best hotel. When mealtime arrived, each patient was served with tasty food which have been carefully prepared and attractively served on individual trays.
When his tour was ended, the visitor was duly impressed by all he had seen. Said he, "There are many good features about tuberculosis, features which are at least equal, if not superior to the features of a healthy life. The patient lives in an environment of cleanliness and beauty. He has economic security. He does not need to rise at six o'clock each morning to battle his way through the teeming traffic and compete in the struggle to earn a living. Food, clothing, and shelter are all provided. Every need is supplied by attentive young female nurses. He has reached the goal of economic security for which we all strive. I think that the dangers of tuberculosis are grossly exaggerated. We can at least co-exist with it."
Hearing this, some puzzled person might turn to him and say, "But what about the tuberculosis germ?"
"I didn't see one."
"Did you look?"
"Of course I looked. I looked everywhere-in the drawers, under the beds, behind the doors, everywhere-and I swear I did not see a single tuberculosis germ. I don't believe they exist."
Suppose that such a report was made by a medical man who had been trained to know that what he saw was merely superficial, and that out of human sight was an evil, patholgical organism doing its fearful work; who should have known that behind the apparent calm, there was a world of agony and racking coughs which would cause the patients to spit up their lungs in pus and blood and would send them to their deaths. A medical man who made a report like that would be judged criminally insane.
Preachers should be physicians in the realm of the spirit as medical men are in the realm of the body. When preachers report only the superficial things they see, and, by inference, minimize the gravity of the germ of godlessness, they betray their responsibility as Christian leaders. The tragedy is that they do it all unwittingly.
A preacher visited Russia in 1938. He saw some splendid new buildings going up, and he reported that Russia was fulfilling the kingdom of God on earth. What was going on at that time was horrible to imagine. It was the period of the great Stalinist purges, when Stalin was watering the soil of Russia with the blood of the Communist elite. As a visitor, the clergyman did not see one execution or one trial. He saw only magnificent new buildings and on the basis of this he made his report. Seeing without understanding is the certain pathway of delusion.
Seeing is not necessarily believing. If seeing is believing, you cannot tell me anything about American football because I have seen it with my own eyes. I want to describe to you what I saw. If you do not believe me, I am prepared to go into any court in the land and swear under oath that this is what I saw.
It was in Los Angeles at the Coliseum. The University of Southern California was playing the University of California in a home-coming match. It was a magnificent spectacle. A hundred thousand people were gathered together. A hundred thousand people is a huge crowd. They must be entertained because the devil finds work for idle hands to do. Clowns have always been found to be very entertaining, so with typical American genius the organizers hit upon a remarkable scheme. They dressed all the football players up like clowns. They put them in the most ridiculous and grotesque garments I have ever seen. They were padded and patted in every direction like an Eskimo bride at a winter wedding breakfast. They had baggy pants. They protruded at the rear and at the knees. They wore enormous helmets with protruding jaws. It was the funniest looking sight I had ever seen.
About fifty of these clowns ran on to the playing field and a strange thing happened. Instead of bursting out laughing as would have been quite natural, everybody began clapping and cheering. I admit bewilderment at this incomprehensible manifestation of American psychology. After these clowns had run around throwing the ball to one another for ten or fifteen minutes, most of them became weary or bored and went to sit down on some benches at the side of the field. Eleven clowns remained on each side of the line running across the middle of the playing field, and seven of them knelt down opposite one another and started to pray. When they had said their prayers, one of them flicked the ball back to a guy standing behind. He apparently took a liking to it, and thought he would take it home, so he cut across that field like a streak of lightning. The others saw what he was doing and rushed after him. He swerved and weaved. He approached the sideline. It looked as though he was going to get away. But suddenly, hurtling through the air came a massive body which crashed into him and knocked him right over. This was rather cruel, but maybe it was fair enough since he was trying to steal the ball like that.
At this point nobody seemed to know quite what to do. A clown in a costume all of his own with up and down stripes which made him look like a convict blew a whistle and the game stopped. One side called a committee meeting. What took place at this committee meeting, I do not know exactly. One thing they did was to interchange a few of the clowns who had apparently grown tired in the struggle.
They resumed with another session of prayer. I feel that this recurrent prayer in American football is one of the hopeful signs of the day. When the center man flicked the ball back to the one standing behind him, he played them a dirty trick. In all my living days, I have never seen a dirtier deed. How he had the gall to do it before two hundred thousand staring eyes, I will never know. Right in the middle of the game, he changed his side. Instead of running forward, he turned and ran round backwards. When he had gone back about ten yards, however, someone caught him and knocked him over. Wasn't that a dirty trick to change his side in the middle of the game like that? I know he did. I saw him with my own eyes.
You say to me, "Oh, you're crazy! That man hadn't changed his side at all. He'd gone back to get in a good position to make a forward pass and they trapped him." You know this because you know the rules of the game. You know its purposes and you know its motives. You are in tune with its spirit. But if you knew none of these things, if you came, as I do, from another land where the rules for football are quite different, where the game has no forward pass, and if you took the rules which were familiar to you and interpreted what you saw in terms of them you would be apt to make conclusions very similar to those which I reached.
When we observe what the Communists do without knowing the rules of the game, without knowing Communist doctrine, morality, objectives, and methods, when we project upon them our own basic Christian standards, our conclusions are as ridiculous as my interpretation of an American football match. They are far more dangerous. There must be assiduous study of the doctrines of Communism if the necessary understanding of their psychology, morality, and program is to be achieved. There is no substitute for knowledge. Ignorance is evil and paralytic.
The greatest ally Communism has is the existing ignorance concerning
its true nature. War must be declared on this ignorance.
1. U.S. News and World Report, October 5, 1949, p.95. Excerpts from a discussion between Nikita Khrushchev and American labor leaders at a meeting in San Fransisco, September 21, 1959.
2. Liu Shao-chi, op.cit., p. 37.
3. Ibid., p. 41.