The Call to Adventure: A 52 Week Project which photographs authenticiy

It was strange recently getting yet another notification from the Ohio courts of Butler County that I’ve been selected for jury duty because my name ends up in the hat so often due to my voting patterns.  I noticed while filling out the form which included my wife and kids that none of them have what you might call—“traditional” jobs.  My wife is a happy housewife, my oldest daughter a professional photographer who is very highly sought after and my youngest is an illustrator.  As I write this she, (my youngest) is doing a commission piece on the Batman villain The Joker shown below.  But none of the ladies in my family have a “traditional” job where they go to work, punch in and sell away their day for cash.  I know that’s the typical way that we measure economic success, but I’ve always been a big supporter of that type of freedom—especially for women because they tend to invest more into children, households and the emotional nurturing of a family as a whole.  When people are free of that primary concern of having to sell away their time for money, it allows them to invest in less tangible aspects of family building, so it makes me proud to see that among the women closest to me, they are all on that type of path.  They don’t have a “boss” out there they must yield to, and that is something I think is very important to family development, because it makes them the authority figures of their own lives which is why that question is asked on a jury selection form.  Attorneys obviously want to know that the people in their pool are “normal” people miserable like everyone else—so the way I answered that question likely will knock me out of the selection process.

My photographer daughter has really impressed me; she is taking her business to a new level as seen in these included videos.  She’s doing something called the 52 Weeks Project where each week she is picking a subject to photograph then she shows how she comes up with the shots and how the editing process goes on arriving at the final product.  She’s a full-time mom, but on both of these efforts she was up at dawn before her little boy woke up wanting breakfast and conducted these pictures for her project squeezing in a lot of creativity into an already packed day.  She’s been busy with booked appearances for several weeks now and coming up shortly after this publication she has a photo shoot in Chicago.  So what you see here is a very developed photographer who is expecting herself to be one of the great ones.  What she does is out of pure passion which I liken back to having the ability to be free of having a “boss” in her life who governs her away from home while on a time clock. That freedom has allowed her to expand her personal life in ways that I think are quite extraordinary—and necessary to achieve the level of art that she is shooting for.

Even her subjects are unique in the scheme of the photographic community.  Her first entry into the 52 weeks project was “A Call to Adventure” which I thought she managed to squeeze a lot out of while working in a very limited area within Cincinnati.   For those who don’t understand why a “Call to Adventure” is important it’s a classic motif most appropriately defined by Joseph Campbell in the telling of mythologies.  Usually after the first act of a movie or the introductory phase of a novel the main character is faced with a jumping off point from the static patterns of their normal life and into the promise of adventure provoked by some dynamic force. For some people the “Call to Adventure” might be as simple as a stranger approaching you from the back of a cab at a stop light while you’re walking to work in New York and asks you to help them get to the airport.  You must then decide to help or not because if you do, the static patterns of your day will be disrupted and that could have unpleasant consequences.  Then for others it might be an opportunity to fly to Cambodia to do sex traffic rescue work in some steamy jungle nightmare, but while there you make a new archaeological discovery that changes the world perspective on our knowledge of history.  The “Call to Adventure” is often how you can dramatically enrich your life for the better with vast experience, but to do so you must step away from your static patterns and allow dynamic forces into your life.

For instance, a friend of mine who worked on the Trump campaign in 2016 called me on a very busy day last week and asked me if I could appear on CNN the next day.  I had scheduled a lot of events and I really didn’t have the time.  After all I had an oversea meeting planned at the very same moment I was supposed to be on with Anderson Cooper.  So did I answer the call and go on CNN which was likely just going to do a hit piece.  As it turned out the CNN people were very gracious and were not the kind of gotcha people who Rush Limbaugh surmised when he talked about the event on his show.  I did the CNN segment along with some other peers and it got people talking and was fun to do.  I still managed to get all my work done—although it was different from my usual day and I could point to many times in my life where answering the “Call to Adventure” directly led to some very unusual experiences which ultimately enhanced my life.

I have learned over time to never get too rigid about things.  The “Call of Adventure” is something I consider so important that I often go out of my way to find it with a very laissez-faire approach to living and personal management.  I may start the day with all kinds of planned activities but by the end of it, I end up doing things I never thought I would at the start and that comes from saying yes to the “Call of Adventure.”  So it made me particularly proud to see my photographer daughter out there capturing not only dramatic photos but articulating that difficult concept artistically.  She, standing at the entrance of a forest goes back to some of the great Arthurian legends of the Middle Ages where the knights would all enter the forest of their various adventures at different points basically to establish that no two paths of adventure were the same for other people.  People must pick their own paths in life to be living truly authentic lives so here was my kid showing this rather difficult concept to explain with a simple photograph.  But as you can see from the editing process, it’s not so simple.IMG_4644

This brings me back to the importance of my girls not being encumbered with a traditional job—especially while raising their children.  If they put their children in daycare, there would be many fewer opportunities for the kids to experience the wonder of a life lived authentically, because the static schedules of daily living prohibit it—and true intellectual learning is often crippled in children as a result.  But for a mother who is there ready to answer that “Call to Adventure” at the slightest provocation a simple trip to the grocery store on a sunny summer in July might lead to a lifetime of discoveries that stay with young people forever because if the schedule of acquiring food is relaxed there may be opportunities for adventure that come up along the way—someone might need help changing a flat tire or a snake may be caught under a car in the grocery store parking lot and need help getting over to the cool grass before somebody runs it over.  You just never know—but there is tremendous value in following the “Call to Adventure” and it makes me feel very good to see that my daughter has matured to a point where she can understand it well enough to photograph.  That takes talent!

Rich Hoffman

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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Giant Humans Discovered in the Miamisburg Mound: Confirmation of a species of human that thrived in North America before the Greeks

Several years ago Fritz Zimmerman contacted me about an article I had written regarding Giants in Ohio: The hidden history of the human race and let me know about some books he did on the subject.  Back then it was to me an extremely pioneering topic—the idea that there were 8 to 9 foot people inhabiting North America well before the people we now call Indians were established the way we know them by our history books.  It continues to be one of my most popular articles introducing many thousands of people to the idea. I ran across the topic while attending the 2009 Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia after picking up a map called “Hidden Ohio” which featured a series of paranormal hot spots and UFO sightings.  I spread it out over my motorcycle seat to read it while my wife got us some lunch from a nearby café stunned by some of the things I was seeing.  In two spots I noticed that there were discovered remains of giant people in Ohio, one across the Ohio River in Augusta, Kentucky and another burial site just to the east of Cleveland, Ohio.  Since then I have kept an open mind to new discoveries and let the evidence take things properly toward a reasonable conclusion and I can report now after nearly a decade of investigation that there is no question a species of giant human who roamed North America many years before Christ was born existed, and they were very organized—even advanced.  And that conclusive evidence was never more apparent than in what I personally discovered at the Miamisburg Mound just up the river from my home in Liberty Township, Ohio.

I grew up in likely one of the richest areas in the world for the Mound Builders.  When I was four years old I remember very specifically a visit my parents took me on to Fort Ancient.  I even remember the smell of the woods that day, so my recollection is very vivid, and it likely set me on a life course that has some unknown climax—but for now just make a note that burial mounds have always been a topic of fascination for me.  I always associated them with little 4’ people who were boring Indians hunting, gathering, and living briefly then dying until civilization came along and built cities on top of their former mud huts.  That is until reports had come through that there was a vast conspiracy started really by the Smithsonian Institute to conceal the many discoveries made by amateur archaeology in the 19th century.  The more I learned the higher the possibility was that it was all true—that early Christian advocates who were also employed by the Smithsonian desired to preserve the evolutionary theories of Darwin so long as it corresponded with the New Testament Bible and backed up the story that Christianized Europe had discovered America.  Any evidence to the contrary was stuffed away into private collections, called a hoax, or put into a museum drawer to be called upon later when more evidence and freer minds could ponder them—likely after grant money ran out and new theories might be accepted by future academics.  But that time was not in the present.

It was way back in 2003 when I read the very groundbreaking book by Michael A Cremo and Richard L. Thompson called Forbidden Archaeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race that called into question many of the previously unchallenged assumptions made about the age of mankind and their capabilities.  I read the book skeptically but quickly started considering the possibilities because two authors had sparked my interests previously, one was the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and the great writer James Joyce with his Finnegan’s Wake—which was one of my favorite all time works in literature.  The Vico cycle is featured in both works—the idea that societies always go through a four-part cycle, a theocracy, an aristocracy, a democracy, then anarchy only to start all over again time and time again.  This idea haunted me because the human trend is always to think that the present Vico cycle is always the first because their egos never want to consider that everything they might be doing politically might be pointless only to crumble away into anarchy to be born again as a theocracy.  I always thought that it might be entirely possible that the Greeks and the Asian minds of the Indus Valley might have started that present cycle beginning with the Sumerians and ending in our present time with the world falling into anarchy and yearning for theocracy to be born again from scripture—just pick the religion.

Hidden Archaeology showed evidence of that Vico cycle being ignored by modern science, so from then on I had my eyes open to new evidence and a fresh look at Ohio’s mounds which were all around my house presently and as I grew up.  So by the time I saw the two burial spots on that map in Point Pleasant, I was already headed in that direction.  Then I saw a report that there were giants discovered under some toppled trees near the Miamisburg Mound near Dayton, Ohio—and in a gravel quarry along the Great Miami River which literally flows at the end of my street so I did a little advanced reading and checked it out for myself.  What I discovered actually pissed me off quite a bit.  At Miamisburg there had only been one excavation of the site in 1881 which went about twelve feet down from the top—which is just under 70 feet tall to begin with—and they discovered some bones—then stopped digging.  Never again did anybody attempt to do any further excavations which I thought was disgraceful given its proximity to so many very good local universities.  I mean the University of Dayton is right in the neighborhood, Ohio State is literally an hour away, the University of Cincinnati just 40 minutes away to the south, and Xavier just a little closer.  The great Miami University is literally a half hour to the southwest—so we’re talking about an intellectual capability that is very close to the best in the world—yet nobody touched the site for over a hundred years and as of this writing still haven’t.  So I put my anger away and carried on with other topics visiting the site several more times over the next few years and thinking about things in more detail.  It was during a recent trip to England while I was walking around Stonehenge and looking at maps of Avebury to the north that I thought again of Miamisburg’s Mound.  At Avebury they have a mound nearly identical to the one in Miamisburg called Silbury Hill.  Silbury is just a little bit taller at 129 feet tall.  Miamisburg is 86 feet, but was probably taller when it was first built but had eroded away a bit over time.  The constructs were exactly the same and I’m pretty sure Adena Indians were not living in England at the suspected time of construction of Miamisburg—which is 1000 BC.  It’s probably much older actually—but who’s counting?

Literally the moment I landed back in Ohio from my English trip I ordered the books Fritz Zimmerman told me he had written on the topic so many years ago—because they had been on my list.  After all, he had spent over 15 years running all over the country chronically what professional academics hadn’t been willing to do—and that was compiling a listing of most of the known mounds in North America which he called The Encyclopedia of Ancient Giants in North America.  I wanted very badly to know what good ol’ Fritz had found on the topic of Miamisburg because I had my suspicions of that 1881 dig even more now—there was certainly more to it.  There was a reason everyone stopped digging and it was in that nice book Zimmerman had written that I found the answer which can be found on page 96 in an old newspaper clipping reported there from The Historical Collections of Ohio, 1881.  You see, Fritz had gone to the trouble to look all these things up so people like me wouldn’t have to—which I appreciate greatly.  And guess what I found—just as I suspected.  I’ll quote from the book:

Digging into the top of it (Miamisburg Mound) he uncovered a few bones at about 10 or 12 feet from the surface when he became frightened by a hollow sound of his pick.  He stopped the work there but the bones were preserved by Dr. Treon, and were of–enormous size, a jaw bone slipping easily over those of the largest man, flesh and all.

I consider that a discovery of importance, I have a report of evidence and a name of the recipient.  It’s at least a starting point for validation.  Now, the best thing to do would be to resume a dig at the site to confirm the report, but in the absence of such a task, we have to go on the evidence we do have.  Not doing something does not constitute a fact—or otherwise not looking for something does not mean it isn’t there.  At present the Miamisburg Mound is just sitting there dominating the countryside and it is worthy of a deeper investigation.  Because like I said, it’s nearly the size of Silbury Hill in England—and they make a big deal about that mound there.  In Miamisburg the current state of the park is disgusting, and it is very neglected even though it is one of our most important treasures in Ohio.  I think it deserves a fresh look and a new excavation at the very least.  And when we find the giant bones inside, we need to rewrite our history books to accommodate what’s there.  But until someone proves it wrong with fresh evidence, we have to go with what was said in 1881—that giant bones that were discovered in the Miamisburg Mound of an undocumented group of people by our written history built the thing, and that is a big deal.  It confirms a long suspicion I have had about these mounds in Ohio—that they are more than just burial sites of Indians—they are part of a vast civilization that existed before the Greeks and likely have an entire undocumented Vico cycle of their own—which is waiting for us to confirm with science so we can avoid the same fate.

To see for yourself what Fritz’s book says, you can get it here.  It’s a worthy travel companion for that space behind the passenger’s seat of your car as reference so you can travel around North America and find the sites for yourself and be mystified by the discoveries.

https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Ancient-Giants-North-America/dp/1516851986/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489845076&sr=8-1&keywords=fritz+zimmerman

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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Rewriting the History Books: The giant prehistoric mound at Dover Castle

Some may think that I’m changing direction a bit too much for their liking as I move more away from the immediate topic of politics and local matters, and toward this global tapestry of a historical conspiracy as to the past and future of the human race—but fret not—there is a point to it all.  The written word is a very powerful thing, I’d argue more powerful than anything from a mind that can utilize it—because it has staying power—and I’ve had plenty of stay in cyberspace from the highest levels of our government to the media that covers it.  Currently, the machine of that power is set forth and doing what I want it to do so now for me it’s time to turn my attention to another issue I care quite a lot about, human migration patterns over time and to reshape the theories of diffusion that were molded under the umbrella of religions to gain a better understanding of where we’ve been so we can cast a good light on where we are really all going.

For years I have occasionally sprinkled in the occasional article about these matters, and even after nearly a decade of writing, they are the ones my readers come back to most.  And I am proud to have at least put some on the path to more discovery to hit the field and ask hard questions by showing for the first time something they didn’t know before—which is the main purpose for the voluminous writing that I do.  So with that in mind, this little article before you is kind of bench mark for me—a journey that started a long time ago and is now coming to a fine point—and it begins with a recent journey I had to Dover Castle in England.

I had always wanted to see the place which rests at the bottom of southeastern England looking across the choppy waters of the English Channel at France which was just over the horizon of the earth but close enough to feel.  Dover Castle is known militarily as the key to England and literally started its modern reign as a gate to that ancient land immediately after the Battle of Hastings by William the Conqueror in 1066 AD.  It was used in that capacity until 1958 and it served well the English people during World War II as a communications bunker hidden away under the vast castle complex.  It was a big place and it was built on a very tall mound which overlooked the Channel giving it excellent views across one of the narrowest points along the waterway between France and England.  But the Romans had already been there of course and that was my understanding before visiting—because they had an old lighthouse built there to show the way to their empire as they migrated north in and around 43 AD.  For people in the States all this history is all very old, but to my eyes, it’s all still recent history so I wasn’t that impressed other than to consider how much work those cultures had conducted to even build the place to begin with.   But as we parked the car and I started looking around things began to change for me starting with my introduction to the English Heritage people who saw my hat and my pockets filled with maps and notes and gave me a hard sale to join their group—which I did.  I didn’t know anything about them at the time but I quickly learned that these people were all over England and that they had done much for the field of archaeology over many years—and they had great literature to give out, and had published many really good books which were accelerating my discoveries in an organized fashion.  And that’s when the bomb hit me as I stood in line getting my membership pass to the English Heritage—which I now cherish—when I learned that the Romans had built their lighthouse on top of a massive earthwork which was reported to be Iron Age in its origins—which put it into the times well before Christ.  That meant that the mound we were standing on, that the Romans built upon and William the Conqueror had fortified—and Henry the II used as a political gateway to the rest of Europe before official visits to London by incoming royalty, had likely already been there for thousands of years prior by a long gone and mysterious people erased from history.  And that was the story I was most interested in.

Being at the site put everything in context for me—a lot can be accomplished by studying all the work that explorers and scientists embark on—and most of what I know comes from those kind of sources.  But I often need to physically stand someplace to get my bearings on what I read—once I do things open up for me rapidly and I can manage to sift through a lot of information quickly.  At Dover Castle I could physically see many of the layers of history all stacked on top of each other very neatly, from the early prehistoric people who likely were interacting with the builders of Stonehenge off to the west, to the Romans, Normans, and World War II periods.  People from an ancient period predating the Greeks had decided that this particular tactical spot was a good place for an early fort so the evidence that we were dealing with a prehistoric people with naval capability was quite obvious to me.

But the item of interest really was the need to build a castle there to begin with because the necessity hasn’t changed over the many years to the reasons we do things now—our political needs are built on the same essential philosophies as our English past gave us as a heritage—so the reasons Henry II used this castle are the same reasons we do things today—and that’s important to understand. Henry II was the same king who killed Thomas Beckett at the Canterbury Cathedral to the north.  He virtually had his French queen Eleanor imprisoned at Old Sarum to the west for over 16 years as he conducted business with foreign powers using the vast castle complex at Dover to impress upon visitors the power of England.  What was ironic to me was that the hill fort complex that had been there for several thousands of years before Norman occupation was nearly identical to Old Sarum.  The Normans recognized in their day the importance strategically of those old hillforts and they built their generation’s fortifications on them for obvious reasons.  But what was stunning was that some ancient people well before had identified those same necessities and had went to so much trouble to fortify themselves against invasion—which of course means that the ancient landscape was much more nibble around the world than we previously have given them credit for.  Nobody in their right mind goes to so much trouble to dig up so much earth with tools made of bones unless they had a good reason to do so and the amount of earth moved at Old Sarum and Dover Castle was extraordinary.

The castle itself was the obvious star of the show and it was well-preserved and interesting to look at.  For many that was the purpose of visiting Dover Castle.  The English Heritage people had done a fantastic job at the site making everything very user-friendly, there were nice restrooms—which was a luxury in England—plenty of gift shops and places to get food which is always important to tourist activities—which then help fund scientific research.  Again, I couldn’t help but think that we needed better organizations like the English Heritage in the States doing what they were doing in England.  I was very impressed with those guys and continue to be.  We have arguably better archaeological sites in the United States than they have in England, but they are not all protected for tourism and scientific discovery the way that the English Heritage people have done in England resulting in a lot of very valuable published information.  In the US we count on mavericks and other enthusiasts to do all the leg work, but it has put us dreadfully behind England in this regard. But I am happy that the English Heritage people are doing what they are, because obviously we have a culture on the English landscape that was clearly much more mature as a group of humans that was interacting with Europe, North America, and even the Middle East—perhaps even Asia at a time nobody thought possible.  In a lot of ways we’ll never know what’s under Dover Castle archaeologically because so much newer culture was built on top of it—and that is the same case at Old Sarum.  But the presence of all these mounds formed just like they are in my home state of Ohio told me everything I needed to know.

All this is important because in modern politics a lot is made about the “Native American” that is supposed to freeze us all in guilt for our westward expansion—and essentially the birth of the nation of America. We are supposed to believe that America was formed at the expense of the natives who lived in North America before Christopher Columbus arrived—and that now in 2017 we must pay retribution for those sins against those people halting our current economic development and turning America more toward European socialism as a penance.  That is the argument of the political left—the modern progressives.  And none of that is true.  The evidence is quite explosive.  Well before the tribes we ran into during the French and Indian Wars, the Revolution, then into westward expansion, there was an advanced group of people who predated the North American Indian who came from Europe and were active trading partners.  They had seafaring ability that nobody has considered possible until the crossing of the Atlantic by Columbus.  So we must look at the evidence and rethink all this because it has a bearing on our current politics to understand our real heritage and not some made up falsehood that was perpetuated to preserve the Christian heritage of the most modern travelers who wanted to make their mark and keep it that way for revisionists to utilize for their current objectives in the field of politics.  There is no such thing as a “Native American” unless you want to go back to the Neolithic people who were using advanced mathematics to plot out the positions of the sun and moon and were obviously part of a vast empire that extended from England, central Europe, the Mediterranean, to Central Mexico, South America and even Asia.  If we’re talking about “natives” we have to include them, but we currently don’t because it would force us to rewrite our history books—which they are open to in England at least.  But in America there is much more at stake.  An entire political movement has been built on the exploitation of Native American people and if they lose that security blanket of social leverage, they lose their entire political movement—which is why I have made this a priority for observation.  And under that definition dear reader my motivations might become a bit clearer and why I was so impressed to visit the site of Dover Castle and literally discover what resided beneath it.  What was there was far more impressive than the massive structure that stared out to the open English Channel.  And that is saying a lot.

Additionally, for those who run museums in America and consider ways of preserving our history best have a look at the website to Dover Castle by the English Heritage people and take some notes.  We should be doing things like this for Serpent Mound, Fort Ancient, Newark, Cahokia and many other places.  There is money to be made, and a whole lot of modern archaeological understanding waiting yet to be uncovered.  And a lot of history books that need to be completely rewritten.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/dover-castle/

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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‘The Crystal Skull of Canterbury’: A new project born from a lot of passion

I have a new book in development called The Crystal Skull of Canterbury and am looking for a good team for its publication.  One thing I have learned after doing this a few times before is that even the best written pieces of work need a good team to get it to readers.  This book is a little different for me, I came up with the idea during a recent visit to the locations featured in the novel—it’s more of a Bridges of Madison County story except more contemporary and featuring an English countryside because honestly they like to read in that country so why not set the story there—for the target demographic.  I’m a business guy, so I think in those types of terms as a first consideration.  This is just a starting point and the story is as follows:

A NASA contractor whose specialty is in preparing mankind for the long-preserved evidence that will be discovered on Mars ahead of a 2030 mission that life much longer than earth’s existed on the Red Planet, is challenged by a former curator of the British Museum to defend claims made by the contractor regarding the authenticity of the popular Crystal Skull exhibit which attracts so many visitors each year. Dorrington Weingarten sees the opportunity as positive publicity for the museum in London, but on a deeper level resents NASA’s Ian Davenport’s theories on the origin of mankind and the revolutionary following that he has been brewing in the United States which stands in stark contrast to the scientific positions established by England’s heritage.

Ian accepts the challenge and during his travels to London and eventually into the ancient streets of Canterbury where a romance brews between he and the curator’s wife–he isn’t just an eccentrically brilliant scientist—he’s determined to crack old Dorrington for reasons that confound everyone whom he refers to as the Crystal Skull of Canterbury. He sees in Dorrington Weingarten the modern embodiment of the wounded Grail King from King Author’s legends and he has set in mind to solve a riddle that has nearly destroyed Dorrington’s wife now madly in love with Ian.  What results is a proposed answer to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Wofram Von Exchenbach’s Parzival contained within the elusive life of a man who did everything right his whole life—except for the things that really matter.  A man drowning by his own success, who had everything but lost it through the years without even knowing it.  But can he be saved, can the Crystal Skull of Canterbury be cracked?  It is a job that may be out of reach for the multitalented Ian Davenport who for the first time in his life may have found something he cannot do as an unconventional romance soon engulfs him as well with emotions new to him. For all his life Ian had avoided life in the Waste Land, but now a siren song beacons him from another man’s wife and the lure to surrender to it is strong—too strong. 

I’d like to keep the page count down although it’s a story with many twists and turns—and emotional complexity. I’m targeting women over 40 with this work first in England then in the United States.  It additionally attaches itself to the modern paradox of the many theories coming from the Ancient Aliens viewer base popularly shown on The History Channel and embraces new scientific concerns relevant to the next decade giving this story staying power as a mass market paperback.  The primary purpose for me was a promise I made to a nice old lady in Ashford, England who was kind enough to give me a very nice meal while my family was in route to Paris.  She asked me what I liked most about the English people, I told her it was that they still liked to read and bought lots of books.  I told her I planned to help show more Americans why they needed to become more literate.  She then pressed me on what I was planning to do specifically about it.  I thought for a moment because I assumed we were just making small talk, then I told her that I’d write a novel that was so good that people would want to read it, and bookstores would see an uptick in sales and therefore hopefully inspire others to do the same so that the industry as a whole could become stronger—in a business sense, and as a general philosophy.  She said OK, we sipped some tea, and  here I am doing it.  I always keep my promises.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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Robert Cushman in the Westgate Tower: Where America was born–and the reason for separation of church and state

img_4159For my wife and I it was a bit of an overwhelming moment, only because we both love history and have a strong reverence for the Holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States. I had known that Robert Cushman who originally commissioned the Mayflower for the famous voyage to North America which of course unleashed the famous Thanksgiving Holiday that we celebrate each year unlocking the Christmas Season, but I didn’t think I’d ever get close to sitting in the cell where he was held imprisoned by the Church for spreading protestant pamphlets.  Yet, while touring the city streets of the ancient city of Canterbury, England at the Westgate Towers I found myself in a room exhibiting the shackles that were used for holding prisoners there and sure enough on the wall was the information talking about Cushman’s ordeal that led to the start of the Mayflower voyage in that very room.

img_4175A lot of people these days don’t really understand the necessity, and context of the argument between American separation of church and state because they have been free all their lives and have a shallow knowledge of history. But for Cushman who’s only ambition in life was to be a grocer on the streets of his childhood home in Kent he was a very passionate religious person who found himself in the crosshairs of the Church and their desire to be the primary vehicle through sacrament to Heaven.  Cushman naturally resented that control and wanted a more passionate relationship with God directly.  So the Church had him thrown in jail and as he sat in the cell at Westgate his young mind set him on a life course that would usher in the first pilgrims into the New World and start the concept of America.img_4161

In a lot of ways, the birth of the United States happened right in that spot in Westgate so it was a little overwhelming. The role that Canterbury played was phenomenal—it was a town that featured at least two major earthwork mounds that are credited to the pre-Roman period, but I personally think are even thousands of years older—likely the same type of people who inhabited the Stonehenge area over 100 miles to the west.  Both St Augustine’s Abby and a gigantic mound the size of the Miamisburg Mound in Ohio sit among the ruins of the great Roman city that set Canterbury on its start.  But then the Romans pulled out a few 400 years later and in came the Anglo Saxons from Germany and elsewhere.  But William the Conqueror from the lineage of the Viking Rollo invaded from France and dominated the countryside. When he came to Canterbury the people surrendered without a fight and thus the great Cathedrals began, first at St Augustine’s Abby, then the great Canterbury Cathedral and the region quickly became known as the Church of all England.  Fast forward another 500 years or so and Robert Cushman was wanting to apprentice as a grocer but as a young passionate man critical of the Church’s role in the issuing of the sacrament found himself locked away in that old Roman tower.img_4169

As many historians understand, the Church of England was always in a perilous relationship with the kings of England and some, especially Henry II and Henry VIII had especially contentious relationships with the power the Church held and pushed up against it. This often put the people of England in the crosshairs of politics whether they wanted to be or not just by their association with needing religion in their lives.   The church and the state were always at war with each other leaving people like Martin Luther and eventually Robert Cushman to make extreme personal sacrifices to be free of the mess.  As he sat cold in the Westgate Tower Robert Cushman made a decision that if and when he was released that he’d escape to someplace friendlier to his religious views.  When he was released, he fled to Holland to live for 9 years but had to leave again because a treaty with Spain was due to expire in 1619 which meant the Spanish Inquisition would soon legislate that little country—so Cushman had to flee again back to his homeland to find some other means of escaping the tyranny of the church and its battles with the state.  So he commissioned the Mayflower in Canterbury to take his small group of protestant followers to a New World where they’d be free to follow their passions which took them to the famous Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.img_4215

When Satanists and radical Islamic lunatics want to claim that separation of church and state allows them to do whatever they want to whomever they like—they have an inaccurate view of the context of the statement. The separation of church and state was to prevent the situation that Robert Cushman and his pilgrim followers experienced on the ancient streets of Canterbury, England—where they couldn’t be thrown in the Westgate Tower just for having a different view of how the sacraments should be administered to the public.  The Church in its insecure position with the kings of England felt that Rome should continue to stand at the gateway to Heaven, and not those heredity selected masses of human flesh called kings—and if they lost that authority for just a decade of their existence, then the kings would push against the church for power over the people—so the poor people of England were caught in that vice between the state and the church.  People in America didn’t want to find themselves in that situation and they certainly didn’t want to be thrown in jail for having a different belief, as Cushman was.img_4160

For my wife and I it’s one thing to know these stories, it was quite another to stand in those spots and walk down the same corridors as Cushman did and to see what he did under similar conditions. If I had been Cushman, I would have been beyond pissed off and I don’t blame him a bit for organizing his pilgrimage to America to escape such nonsense.  It’s also important for those of us in America to honor the spirit of that first journey.   In many ways, this is the big debate surrounding the immigration debate to this day.  Refugees around the world are fleeing broken regions for the hope that America can shield them with freedom of persecution and economic mobility.  However, there are some who flee to America to destroy it from within from that same jealous Europe and all the fallen empires of the past for that first sinful act of defiance which Cushman fled from to begin with.  They do so not with military might, but with that paradox of squeezing society between the church and the state once again—such as what the radical Islamic terrorists have been advocating in their terrorist’s attempts.  The imposing religious beliefs of these modern terrorists are just a modern version of the medieval inquisitions being imposed on the here and now.  Yet the argument between church and state is the same as it was in Cushman’s time, only now we’ve run out of places to run.  So now we have to stay and fight because America is the last place on earth that is free of that type of tyranny.  And that is why we really celebrate Thanksgiving, and why for my family, it’s a very special Holiday.img_4174

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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