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The Messianic Character of the NSA

Written by Gary North on November 1, 2013

The modern state is messianic. While denying the existence of God, it seeks to replace God.

My father-in-law, R. J. Rushdoony, used to say that the state wants to predestinate mankind, because the state wants to become the god of this society. Exactly half a century ago this month, his book appeared: The Messianic Character of American Education. The founders of public education in the United States really did believe that the agency of the tax-funded school could redeem individuals and the American social order. They said so repeatedly, and Rushdoony assembled the citations and provided the footnotes.

The same analysis can be applied to the intelligence community. Its impulse is messianic.

Also half a century ago, I studied under philosopher and theologian Cornelius Van Til. Van Til had many aphorisms, and his aphorisms were far more powerful than his prose. One of them was this: “Autonomous man believes that he can know anything truly, only when he knows everything exhaustively.” In a universe in which anything can conceivably affect anything else, a person who wants to understand anything needs to know all of the potential causal relationships involved. But these relationships are inherently infinite. This is the so-called butterfly effect. If a butterfly in California can flap its wings and cause a hurricane in Miami, then it behooves the weather services in Miami to monitor every butterfly.


In recent days, another release of information accumulated by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has been monitoring telephone calls of Western European leaders for a decade. Why did the NSA do this?

It had to do with two factors: the inherent bureaucratic commitment to expansion vs. the price of expansion. Pricing is always at the margin. Someone pays something extra for a little more of something else. The NSA pays a little more, or perhaps a great deal more, in order to accumulate more information in its databases. There is an economic law that says the following: when the price falls, more is demanded. The price of information, and especially stored data, has fallen as nothing else has in the history of mankind. It will continue to do so.

There is a theory known as the technological imperative. It says the following: “If it can be done, it must be done.” Why should this imperative be true? Why should something be done merely because it can be done? That was the response of Bill Clinton with respect to Monica Lewinsky. This was not a technological imperative, but it certainly was what appeared to be a psychological imperative. In neither case should we regard such an imperative as legitimate.

The bureaucratic imperative, the statist imperative, and the falling price of data collection and storage have combined to create a snooping state. It cannot be reformed so as to overcome these three imperatives. It can only be de-funded.


The NSA, the CIA, and the FBI are not simply following a supposed technological imperative. They are following a messianic imperative. They are pursuing exhaustive knowledge, on the assumption that they cannot know anything accurately unless they know everything exhaustively.

Much the same can be said of the healing arts. There was a time when men believed that God can heal sick individuals. Today, most people believe that medical science can heal sick individuals. Given such a view, the state is sure to intervene. The state seeks control over medicine. Its agents assert both the authority and the capacity to serve as the functional gods of society, and therefore the state cannot allow medicine to be governed by free market agreements. The state is seen as having a moral imperative, which is ultimately a religious imperative, to intervene into the relationship between the healthcare provider and the customer.

The NSA, the CIA, and the FBI will continue to accumulate as much data as they can afford, and far more data than they admit to possessing.

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13 thoughts on “The Messianic Character of the NSA

  1. Texas Chris says:

    I have long suspected that the Biblical Antichrist may not be an actual, single individual. That it may, in fact, be the state specifically, and the person in charge of the state at any given moment, generally.

    The state seeks to depose Christ as God, since God is the determiner of morality, and because that position legitimizes the authority of the being wielding it. The state desires that authority, that absolute ruling power, as Smeagol desired The One Ring, an in that desire the state seeks complete knowledge of our most personal lives, because to know every aspect of a person is to quench the desire to judge, and from there the desire to control. That desire puts the state at odds with God, at odds with Christ, or anti-Christ.

    The Founding Fathers dealt a near fatal blow to statism in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence, with the statement that all human rights originate with God, and the just purpose of the state is to safeguard those God-given rights. A near fatal head wound… Now where have we heard THAT before…?

  2. Phillip the Bruce says:

    But then the Constitution came along and proposed a new god, "We, the People." If you have not read "Conspiracy in Philadelphia, I recommend it.

  3. Gotta love RJ Rushdoony!

  4. Victor Barney says:

    Nothing new under the sun. The first, first-born blood covenant was made 6,000 years ago with DEATH, NOT life! Now it is about over with the RIGHT verbally-superior "women-alone elected" elected "Anti-Christ"(Marxist) predicted in the scroll of Isaiah that is dated from 100BC, showing that this time "we the peoples" have put over us the right non-Anglo-Saxon & Marxist(Anti-Christ) to get us kicked off earth, just like what occurred 6,000 years ago in Eden. No? Just watch a little while longer folks because you just can't make this stuff up! Ouch…

  5. You can't get much more messianic, than claiming that your law is the supreme law of the land, as per Article 6 of the Constitution.

    For more, see online Chapter 3 "The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH" of "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective", followed by Chapter 9 "Article 6: The Supreme Law of the Land." Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Online Books page, click on the top entry and scroll down to Chapter 3.

  6. Amen!

    You might also be interested in our "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective." Take our Constitution Survey and you'll receive a complimentary copy of its 85-page "Primer." Click on my name, then our website. The survey will be found in the right-hand sidebar.

  7. The problem is the people who work for the NSA (with the exception of Snowden) grew up watching too many episodes of Star Trek.

  8. There are many antiChrists here, always have – with the state promoting the worship of ANOTHER god over truth & with many tentacles on the beast

  9. The messianic view may be the ultimate explanation, but on a day-to-day basis, for most of those people doing this work, isn't it simply pragmatic and prosaic? They're just information pack-rats (because it can be done): "This might be useful some day."

  10. The state has become "god" to most people. Your "god" is who you obey ("worship"), whether in part or in whole. Think Statutes, not Statues.

    The god created by "We The People", demands much, much more than The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of The Bible really does have a much, much, much better offer.

    “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, And I will give you rest. Take My yoke (i.e., His Law 1 John 5: 2 & 3, as well as His tithe [tax] system) upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and ‘YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.’ (Jer. 6: 16). My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11: 28 – 30.

    There's less than 1,000 of His Laws in Scripture!   How many draconian "laws" and "monitoring" are all of the "freedom and liberty valuing", "conservative", Constitutionalist and "Christian", crowd burdened with ?

    Boy, talk about a no brainer. Hey, maybe that's why the majority has gone after the god "We The People".

    Come to think of it, wasn't there something in The Scriptures that said something about sin (lawlessness) making His people stupid ?

  11. Victor Barney says:

    If only our nations "gatherers," our 74%er's, agreed with you. However, they want MORE-MORE, and More! Did I yet mention even MORE? Welcome to Adam's world, even before the 1st murderer was even born. Of coarse, I'm not generally speaking about the women who post on this site! I'm just saying…

  12. Van Til's quote sounds like it could have been said by Francis Schaeffer. One of his memorable lines is, "Man cannot know exhaustively, but he can know truly." This was in reference to the Bible's giving true information, true knowledge, regarding God, man, the universe, and morals. We CANNOT know all the particulars. There are just too many. But we CAN know the Universal. The Universal gives meaning to the particulars, anyway. Without the Universal, the particulars have no meaning. They are just endless facts, relating to nothing. The NSA is trying to assemble and store endless facts, without reference to any Universal. That's where they, and other post-modern men, go wrong. BTW, I use "man" and "men" in the 1970's sense of "mankind", not the male gender. In retrospect, the '70's were eons ago.

  13. Tea party
    Whether you are involved in the tea party or are not, you may have heard about the government shut down of LDS canneries that were assisting hurricane victims on the east coast. The recent federal ruling against prop eight is also an attack on moral values and our constitutional liberty.
    I am sending material from an apostle today concerning the subject of unrighteous dominion from in section 121 of the D&C. We can apply this same subject to governmental authority manifesting itself within behavior patterns as witnessed in domestic abuse. You may have experienced a degree of abuse sometime in your own life. Some who survive abuse may have become more able to discern good from evil in their new acquaintances. The outcome may bring them added spiritual understanding to discern good from evil.
    Is it possible that many Americans today are like an abused spouse who returns to her abuser over and over again and expecting a different result? Is it not a common observation that such abused persons seem to forget the evil they witnessed in their abusers and thereby return to that abuser again? Why? They seem to feel sorry for the abuser and allow themselves to become re injured again in a never ending cycle.
    The tea party hopes to awaken large masses of people by disseminating strong political arguments well-articulated. Perhaps tea parties might overlook a deeper need for a spiritual awakening process to break the massive blindness which darkens the minds of millions of our citizens. How do you penetrate that mist of darkness strongly in betted into people’s inability to discern good from evil?
    Could Obama have a bewitching priest craft power whereby he blinds the hearts and minds of millions causing them to hypnotically forget the evil practices they saw yesterday, only to then turn and trust him again like that abused spouse who takes back an tyrant in false sympathy? You can plainly point out the evil Obama is doing all day long and the truth is suddenly swallowed up by the mist of darkness. Until the tea party gets a strong handle on this dilemma as a spiritual problem they may fail to awaken such masses.
    A living apostle has revealed something from the Bible which is intended to awaken people to this actual evil and perhaps provide the only way to save America from mass mind and media manipulation.
    Churches must never consume themselves with political causes alone, so these words must be considered as a political opinion and not coming from any church directive. The scriptures however do deal with political matters on a spiritual plane. Today, Christians are also being deceived politically within that mist of darkness to the point many of them no longer care about constitutional lines of demarcation. Many Christians and non-Christians are distracted by their personal pursuits in life and are politically asleep. Because of such massive political apathy the wicked believe they are no longer accountable to constitutional law.
    Idaho and much of the western states have a large LDS population much of whom are also politically distracted and spiritually asleep, growing apathetic to today’s political trends warned of within their own scriptures.
    A level of confusion also exists among LDS ranks as to why church members accept doctrinal truths revealed through prophets while remaining more skeptical about the need for revelation to inspire political and secular affairs. All worthy LDS members adhere to the fact that only the prophet can receive revelation for the church while forgetting that other revelation is also essential for our salvation.
    “Let every man act according to the moral agency that I have given him. ”D&C 101:77”
    When I was younger I wondered why I felt the spirit so strongly when I listened to President Reagan expound upon political issues. Reagan was not a priesthood holder exercising any priesthood keys to teach by the spirit yet he was doing so. How? After studying and asking questions I was able to discover that a righteous President praying for guidance is entitled to speak through the powers of heaven to direct our political affairs.
    The Lord directs us to elect “honest and wise men” and uphold such men. D&C 98:9.
    Such righteous leaders have seldom been priesthood holders and yet have righteously directed our nation similar to how prophets direct the church. Honest men can be directed by revelation to uphold our constitution which protects the churches freedom to grow and prosper. After studying this matter it became clear to me that honest political leaders are of great value to deity regardless of their church affiliations.