The High Society Princess, Gone But Not Forgotten
As I start to prepare this article for our monthly newsletter, it is coincidently the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in France. In an article I wrote some years ago, I pointed the finger of suspicion at the appearance of various government secret agencies from the U.K and elsewhere, seen in that city that day to be lurking in the shadows. Their presence has never been satisfactorily explained!
Looking at my calendar today I notice that next week (September 13) is the 35th anniversary (can you believe?) of the death of her serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco in 1982; I remember it well.
So, it seemed to me that I needed to examine the circumstances as far as possible that led up to her death and see if perhaps there were any parallels with Diana's ‘accident’ in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. There is, however, some similar personal issues between both the princesses’ lives. For instance, both women seemed to have been adrift in their own world of lonely days and stifling nights well into their problematic marriages, both had five letters in their Christian names.
Both married older men, probably for the usual royal purpose of providing an heir to their husbands' respective thrones. Both had to go through the humiliating process of being medically examined (although Grace seems to have got round this problem) before their nuptials, either to confirm their virginity and to confirm medically that they were not barren. Well, that was the reason given. This had happened many years before to Princess Soraya, the beautiful and sad-looking wife of the late Shah of Persia. I remember him before the terrible and agonizing ayatollah years were ushered onto Iran.
Both royals, we are informed, were not wearing legally required seat belts at the time of their car crashes. So, two beloved princesses were killed or murdered by not wearing safety belts. This is a bit of a coincidence, isn't it?
Now the mysticism or magic of the movies has never been so relevant today as it would have been, say, some 40 years ago. But much has changed for the worse in the "Tinseltown" of shame.
(Grace, during happier Hollywood days)
I'm also old enough to recall the so-called "decent age" of the movies, and I still enjoy watching an old black-and-white "flick." They boasted no nudity and very little blasphemy or swearing, as you may recall. Praise the Lord for that age of innocence and some ideals.
Today, the slime that seeps from the sewers of sin in "Hellywood" to the silver screen proclaims nothing but a devotion to the wicked occult and glorification of its vile practices, especially through witchcraft and gratuitous pornography and violence. We also hear all the time the disgusting blasphemy of our Saviour’s blessed and sacred name. This seems to be standard practice now from willing scriptwriters, and I do wonder whether or not they get extra remuneration for this!
Also, the sordid sexual practices of actors and the continued wicked and immoral corruption of young child actors of both sexes by their willing greedy parents and perverted film producers of both sexual orientations! This feasting on foul, forbidden flesh reaches back to Biblical times, no less. The degrading exploits of Salome or the unnamed girl as recorded in Mark 6:21-28 confirm the unquenchable lasting lust of wicked Herod.
At the time of researching this article, the Harvey Weinstein scandal has hit the media like a meteorite. However, there's nothing original in this trashing or trading of the flesh as paraded in the celluloid jungle of the movies. It has always thrived and will continue to survive, I guarantee.
Grace Kelly was to star in only eleven films of which I confess to having seen all of them. One I did enjoy has to be High Society where she plays the spoilt Tracy Samantha Lord. I remember where she proclaims joyfully to a puzzled Sinatra and Holm that: "English history has always fascinated me... Cromwell... Robin Hood and Jack the Ripper, where did he teach?”
Also to be mentioned as well has to be her dramatic performance as the dowdy plain Georgie Elgin in The Country Girl of which she coveted an Oscar for herself.
In The Swan she performed gracefully as Princess Alexandra with courtly gestures throughout the film's completion with that fortuitously uttered line where she proclaims: "I want to be queen," which for her dream, did came true. This starring role, I suggest, must have been useful training in presentation and etiquette for her performance that was to arrive later in Monaco in 1956.
In High Noon she portrays a Quaker girl alongside Gary Cooper, playing the town’s marshall/sheriff, as she laments: "There's got to be some better way for people to live." So, was hers just a brief career in films interrupted by marriage to a prince, or perhaps would her career have eventually waned? Later she would have perhaps discovered a chosen niche in the American theatre as so many other actresses have sought refuge in, excelling, I suppose, in those heightened and dramatic Chekov or Dostoyevsky passions, or maybe as Lady Anne in Richard III, all roles so admired and sought after, it seems, by all consummate actresses who even today yearn to tread the board.
Both High Society and To Catch a Thief feature her behind the wheel of fast sports cars, executing some frightening cliff driving. Was this an omen of what was to follow in 1982 on those frightening twisting roads in the south of France when her car tumbled 120 feet from the serpentine roads to Monaco? Well, who knows!?!
Another batch of her well-known films was under the direction of the Jesuit-schooled Alfred Hitchcock. With both being Catholic, the chemistry between them seems to simmer in her performances under his tutelage. Hitchcock would later refer to actors as “cattle," an unkind remark I suggest, but of course he was like this in his sarcasm and anger towards others, especially women who he saw as weak and needing to be discipled by him, of course. He was always a complex man to understand as well. Grace would refer to herself in a personal letter to Hitch as “one of your sacred cows.” A clever girl, it seems, taking the master on at his own wit, and at her own peril.
(Rare used stamp)
There are two revealing lines from the script of To Catch a Thief worth mentioning here. The first is when Cary Grant refers to her "as an insecure pampered woman." So, did he know something of his co-star’s temperament? Later she would remind him in the film that: "Palaces are for royalty." An interesting line in that prepared film’s script, or did she perhaps insert it herself for some obvious reason? I do wonder.
(Another rare unused stamp)
I first visited Monte Carlo in 1959 and remember it being rather like a friendly fishing village with small shops offering fresh fruits, cool drinks and delicious welcoming patisseries with delicious fondant cakes and delicate meringues and baguettes. Outside cafés were always a welcome detour from that town’s daily hectic life, as the sometimes sickly aroma from the tropical exotic plants pervaded the bustling boulevards. I do recall watching convicts leisurely working the municipal gardens and being watched by a solitary guard smoking a disque bleu cigarette; it seems these boys had no wish to escape. Then once seated in the town you could relax and read a three-day-old English newspaper and sip a coffee and cognac, later to watch and admire those sleek yachts almost gliding into the harbour like storks. I do remember seeing that splendid yacht The Christina O, then owned by the late Aristotle Onassis, being securely berthed by his crew. It was referred to then as the floating Xanadu, but you can't cling to the past forever, can you?
Yet through the art of the celluloid delusion I suspect Grace found some inner resilience in taming her demons, perhaps from her Hollywood years or her important teen years.
However, had Grace realized by then that her marriage into the house of Grimaldi was now for life, with no remission for good time for her? After all, this wasn't some sought-after Hollywood seven-year contract you could sleepwalk through at rehearsals, as so many actors did and perhaps still do. For Grace Kelly, this was a role she would perform for life. And yet life is transitory, is it not?
The crash: September 13th 1982
According to Grace Kelly's family, it seems they did not wish her to drive on busy roads, especially when they were in the passenger seat themselves. Later in life, her eyesight had apparently deteriorated, resulting in her being involved in two road accidents. Even the prince had some years before been involved in a car accident himself. So there was, it seems, some suspicion of cars from the family’s point of view and maybe in Grace too. Later, the young Princess Stephanie had announced to her shocked parents that she had decided to become a formula racing car driver, of all things.
It’s rather ironic to me that the Monaco Grand Prix is now the most famous and possibly lucrative/dangerous sport that the principality is proud to host. All very strange.
On Monday morning, September 13 at 8.15 am, Princess Grace loaded her Rover 3500 with a variety of costly personal Dior fashion items. She also announced to her chauffeur that she would drive herself to Monaco, jokingly saying to him, "However, you may run behind us if you like.” Yet some palace observers later claimed that "her license had expired." So, why was she allowed to be a danger on the roads in Monaco and France to herself and others?
At about 9.45 am an exhausted Princess Grace entered the car, along with her then-cranky daughter Princess Stephanie who had complained: "Why did I have to wake up so early?". Grace then turned and waved adieu to her family not knowing that she will never set eyes on them again. She then accelerated towards Monaco and towards her waiting death. Life is never permanent, of course, because none will ever know the time or the place when each will be called to give an account of their words and deeds before God. How terrible if you are not saved and washed in the precious blood of Christ.
We learn from a transport trucker who was following the car that something was wrong on the D37 road that leads into the principality of Monaco. He later reported to the police how he had seen the royal car meander across the road and that it seemed out of control.
It was in this location that a concerned Grace was aware of and had fears about. Interestingly, some years earlier she had expressed to a friend with concern that: “One day someone will have a dangerous accident here. Someone will die, I can see it." She had always felt that she possessed ESP. She had also been interested in astrology and the occult (very dangerous, we say) and had always felt intuitive and a strong believer in Karmic law as well as a psychic ability. So, obviously the Catholic faith she had nourished and perhaps later neglected was not enough, it seems, to satisfy her spiritual needs even with pilgrimages to Lourdes and Croagh Patrick in Ireland. Later, somehow the dubious order of the Solar Temple was added to her religious résumé, it seems. Such people appear to have a wealth of time and money on their hands!
A witness driving behind the palace car watched in horror as it careened back and forth, then crashed through a safety wall known locally as "the devil’s curse."
It would fly over one hundred feet and crash into a villa below, landing on the car’s bonnet. Amazingly, none of the householders were killed. As this witness later exclaimed: "My breath was taken away for whoever was inside," and this from a seasoned truck driver.
Soon after that, the French police and a shocked Prince Rainier will arrive. He could only watch helplessly as his wife and daughter were dispatched to the Princess Grace Hospital by ambulance. It seems this hospital did not boast a CT scan machine, which would later mean that the princess had to be crudely removed to a suitable hi-tech infirmary (soon after this, the Grace Kelly Hospital would naturally be equipped with one, and wouldn't the administrators insist on it?).
The following day Grace would expire. Her husband gave his reluctant consent for the life support machine to be switched off. "Let my wife die," he later informed the subdued and waiting hospital doctors. Only then would the Monegasque people mourn for Grace. Then, from "Stephanie's room a scream could be heard, loud and blood curdling." She would later say in an interview: "I know that I did everything that I could do for it not to happen, for the car not to go off the road." Unfortunately, the gardener working in the garden when the crash happened remembered that Grace had whispered to him: “I want you to believe that I was driving." Yet his story ignites the flames of controversy or as Prince Rainer put it: "Based on the information supplied by the wretched gardener who says he found the car, rumours spread very quickly".
(A mournful prince Rainier flanked by son and daughter)
Today, those rumours still swirl around the castle corridors of Monaco and beyond into YouTube conspiracy channels.
Yet Princess Grace Kelly still lives on through her films (does she not?) and amazingly her face never seems to age. That's the curse or charm of the cinema, is it not?
So, assorted formulated theories and recent important (perhaps incriminating) evidence has arisen since the 1982 accident that should be examined, namely, the suspicion of Stephanie’s involvement in the accident and the suggestion that she was behind the fatal wheel of the car, rather than her mother.
Those whispers surfaced soon after the accident, and those seeds of suspicion sown by someone (we know not who) as well as by the gardener would come to haunt the young princess for years to come. Maybe perhaps they still do! Did she accidentally kill her mother by driving the car that September morning? Should she not have been in the car in the first place? And was there later a palace cover-up? These were all offered as the reason for the crash. Evenly more suspicious to the watching media and adding even further fuel to the flames of suspicion was that the French police never officially questioned Princess Stephanie because protocol between France and Monaco exempts members of the royal family from being questioned by French police during an official investigation, and amazingly no blood test was ever authorized or performed. Normally, even during the 1980s, blood tests were done after an accident.
The wrecked car was later examined by Rover mechanics. They said via a press release that brake failure was the cause of the accident. Yet one of the engineers who went to Monaco to study the car claimed that the car he was told Grace Kelly was driving was not that the car shown in the press pictures as the one that had crashed.
Later this controversial car would be conveniently crushed and dumped into the blue Mediterranean, sinking without a trace and taking all the evidence of a crime scene into the deep.
And what of the rumours that Rainier was being blackmailed by the Mafia? They too were also doing the rounds of cafe society in France and beyond, and then considered to be very likely. Later attention should be drawn to the possible involvement of the shady secret Order of the Solar Temple and their possible plotting in this tragedy that blighted the Grimaldi family and still does.
The Order of the Solar Temple
(Spooky ritual by unrepentant sinners)
There still seems to be some confusion about Grace Kelly's state of health at the time. There is even a claim (from somewhere) that she suffered a stroke at the wheel before the car swerved into space. Yet Grace Kelly's heredity was good. Her parents lived into their eighties. Later we learn from somewhere: "That over the previous years Grace Kelly had undergone intense cortisone treatments." Cortisone has various side effects. So was it a cerebral apoplexy, an aneurysm, a vein burst in her head? These medical suggestions were never substantiated. Or had she suffered two brain lesions? One, it was suspected, shortly before the fatal crash!
"In September 1982 Grace Kelly was 52. She was in good health though she was plumper than in her days as a Hollywood star." Contrasting statements concerning the lady about her health that did not seem to disappear even then.
Well, it seems the medical jury is still in closed session on this (perhaps perilous) health assumption concerning Princess Grace. But we probably will never know the truth, nor will an explanation ever be offered.
Some years ago, a so-called espionage expert (as I recall) claimed that in “the secret corners of any realm is an assassination bureau." In other words a group of trained men or women who will make any problem just go away. The understanding is if a sordid scandal damages or harms the realm or the crown of any country, then it’s a priority and must be removed immediately. The government/establishment must survive at any cost.
So, a scenario has to be presented concerning the two tragic princesses and their deaths. For this we must now enter into the dark espionage of the practised dark arts enjoyed by all who perform them and with relish, it seems.
Certainly the assorted French intelligence services and other interested international intelligence services (with apparently over 20, from Pakistan N.P.F. to South Africa, the Belgium D.G.S.E., as well as M.I.5, F.S.B, Mossad ‒ maybe Shin Bet ‒ and the Monaco intelligence service; oh and don't forget the Vatican secret intelligence agency as well) would have all shown eager gruesome interest in Princess Grace in the early 1980s, especially her nocturnal and financial activities concerning that secretive cult known as the Order of the Solar Temple (OST). Obviously, if her whims or anyone else's soiled the Grimaldi name and reputation and of course the honour of Monaco, this could not and would not be allowed to happen or even to be contemplated.
The OST, or as it’s also popularly known "the suicide cult" (not much fun in joining this I suggest), seems to have hit the conspiracy circuit in the 1980s. They seem to welcome the return of Jesus Christ as a solar god, which is rubbish. The cult draws on teachings from Alistair Crowley, the Freemasons, some Jesuit rites, the Rosicrucians and the old Knights Templar. One author described them as thus: "The order of the Solar temple was an exotic muddle of Catholic and old Egyptian rituals and most certainly a scam." So, now you know! Be that as it may be, it certainly attracted some notable clientele willing to give their obedience and their money of course to the then founders, these being Jo Di Mambro and co-founder Belgium homeopath Luc Jouret.
(Cult leader Jo Di Mambro)
One figure of interest was Jean-Louis Marsan, a leading figure in the Sovereign Order of the Solar Temple, apparently a sister order of the OST. He had been a school friend of Prince Rainier and a financial advisor to the prince as well. It seems he had also been a paid-up member of the Templars since 1970. He was fascinated by the philosophy of the Templars and brought it to Monaco. One journalist remembered him "as one of the most influential individuals in Monaco.” Amazingly, he would die in a car crash in August 1982, just a month prior to Grace’s death on that notorious stretch of road, it seems. I wonder if the order still maintains a temple in Monaco today, and if it is flourishing with its tentacles even reaching into the swamps of the Brussels bureaucracy.
The order attracted the rich and the famous and the benevolent, with such figures as Camille Pilet, a multimillionaire associated with Piaget watches in Geneva. He would willingly pour millions of dollars into the obliging cult purse. Other followers would be Guy Berenger, of the nuclear research facility CERN, as well as assorted bankers, senior civil servants, musical conductors and archbishops. I had heard confidently that one of my all-time favourite characters “Tin Tin” had asked to be considered for membership; happily he was rejected. It seems they weren't keen on him bringing "Snowy" along to their absurd rituals. Other phony parasites and practicing perverts would just go along for free sex and wine that will take them all to the gates of Hell anyway.
So, the cult must have been delirious when her serene Princess Grace showed an unlikely interest to be initiated herself, and maybe on the advice and urging of her friend, the actress and singer Colette Dereal. There is a story concerning this lady that is unconfirmed, namely, that when Grace’s car plunged into the villa from the highway it belonged to Colette Dereal of all people. This lady would die in 1988 in Monaco of natural causes.
"An eye-witness in the late 1970s remembers seeing both women drive past him in a grey jaguar" to the society’s temple in southern France, in Beaujolais in a priory in Villa-Morgan, then the society’s working temple.
However, before her initiation the princess would part with 8 million dollars, this being her subscription fee, it seems. In all probability, this was quickly paid into a private bank account in Switzerland or Panama, the account owned and managed by Di Mambo or his partner in crime "the gifted psychic healer" Luc Jouret.
For Grace’s initiation, Di Mambo created some stunning son et lumière (sound and light) effects, as reported by a witness at the ceremony. "The princess now lay on an improvised altar in the basement as religious music played. The spooky sexual ritual didn't end there." Now it gets creepy, because we learn that: "Luc Jouret lay down on her. It was a spiritual union, the princess and the healer. Then carpets of gold dust slowly descended onto the couple." Only then could Di Mambo announce that Grace was the supreme princess of the order."
(Grace Kelly lays in state)
Wow! Even Alfred Hitchcock couldn't have orchestrated this, I suggest, although I suspect he would have liked to do so if requested.
Later, apparently greedy "Di Mambro demanded that princess Grace pay more money, a further 12 million dollars in fact." She naturally refused, a brave woman it seems, and she threatened to expose the order to the media, a silly thing to suggest on her part. Her murder/accident on that winding road on that Monday morning when she left the family mansion at La Turbie outside Monaco was somehow staged to look like an accident. Other automobile accidents initiated against those who had also fell afoul of the order’s rituals had been used, it seems, with encouraging success in other parts of Europe.
The art of espionage seems to serve two masters: for example, the state who naturally funds their nefarious deeds, and of course themselves. If the public are unaware of what is happening in the heart of the spy castles, then senior government ministers are also very much kept in the dark of what is being carried out for the supposed security of their country.
In a recent interview, the head of MI6 simply known as "C" remarked that: "We do things in defence of national security that would not be justified in pursuit of private interests. We break the rules, certainly we do not break the law."
I can only speculate (perhaps foolishly) how many innocent men and women who have perhaps fallen afoul of these so-named guardians of the government have rightly or wrongly been eviscerated silently and secretly. Death will visit each of us one day and maybe at the pleasure of these servants and spies of the state who, it seems, use and promote their own rules of engagement. But that's the way of this fallen world, isn't it?!?
If indeed these unaccountable agencies can murder and maim presidents, popes and kings with ease, it seems, how easy is it to remove two embarrassing “snipping" princesses from the world stage, with ease and without too much effort, apparently.
In David Cohen’s 2004 book Diana, the author recounts that he was approached professionally by a man mysteriously known only as "Guy." It seems, he had been the personal driver and enforcer to the OST leader, the late Jo Di Mambro. Then recounts David Cohen that: "Guy let slip the fact that Grace Kelly had joined the Order of the Solar Temple in 1982. She was unhappy in her marriage and had grown quite fat [an addiction to spaghetti it seems if such an addiction exists]. I was able to confirm much of Guy’s information and it formed the basis of a film Secret Lives: Grace Kelly which the author made for Channel 4. We showed that Grace had joined the Order and paid an initial subscription fee of $8 million."
Later, the author claims that Di Mambro demanded that "princess Grace pay more money, a further $12 million. She was killed in a staged car accident after threatening to expose the Order."
Now it gets interesting, I suggest, because "Guy" reveals that a nerve agent simply known as VX makes a deadly appearance into this Monaco melodrama.
According to "Guy," on the night of Princess Diana's death in 1997 "a pin-like device was planted on the chauffeur Henry Paul's uniform" which later, of course, caused the terrible crash that night in Paris when activated by a remote control.
It seems that the lethal nerve agent VX was initially processed by the notorious I.G. Farben conglomerate in 1936 in Germany. They, of course, used the notorious Xylon B gas in Auschwitz, murdering many in the planned "Final Solution."
"VX is far more lethal than mustard gas. It wreaks havoc with the way the brain cells communicate with each other. So if brain cells don't communicate, you lose the ability to perceive and to act. Or one of the effects of VX is to destroy acetylcholine in the brain." Sounds nasty and dangerous to me but almost foolproof in avoiding detection. This may have caused Henri Paul and Princess Grace to lose control of their respective cars.
Of course, if this method was used on Grace, the perpetrators could not have known that Princess Stephanie would be a passenger later added to her mother’s car. The young princess would subsequently remember her mother losing control of the car. “I pulled on the handbrake but it wouldn't stop. I tried but I just couldn't stop the car." So, it seems there was possible tampering with the brakes by someone in this frightening scenario. And what of the nerve gas and its sinister uses? Had that possibly been slipped into the box of Christian Dior designer dresses then resting in tissues on the back seat of the car?
Was the drug manufactured in Syria or maybe Romanian laboratories "or then being smuggled across Turkey" perhaps with the designated amount being then shipped to the Marseilles docks, there to be retrieved by a person or persons unknown for use against Princess Grace and with deadly accuracy, it seems?
But life is fleeting, even for princesses who live most of the time in a bubble of vanity and self-justification, and seemingly serve no other purpose than to add expenses to the royal purse.
Today the houses of Windsor and Grimaldi have survived without their "troublesome" princesses. Indeed, both establishments may even be flourishing in popularity and finance, if we are to believe the media.
In Monaco, the popular palace band can now be heard performing musical selections from Star Wars and Rocky outside that castle on the hill. My, how times change! These orders to the bandmaster to modernize their repertoire have come from the desk of Prince Albert II, no less. Change is also blowing in London for the Windsors, it seems, as the gradual succession of royal powers slowly passes from the queen to prince Charles. Only this week we learn that her majesty will not be laying the traditional wreath at the Memorial Cenotaph on Armistice Day, a first for her.
In conclusion: we cannot know the true story of the deaths of two popular princesses. But remember: "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested" (Mark 4:22)!
If you haven't repented and become born again or washed in the blood then your name will not be in the Lamb's book of life. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the Lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15). Terrible but true!
Postscript: There is still confusion of the sinister role of the American Catholic priest Francis Tucker who seemed to be a Vatican matchmaker in Monaco and Europe as well as Prince Rainier's confessor and confidante. He it seems was instrumental in successfully bringing the couple together in 1955. Without his efforts and (papal motives) I suggest Grace Kelly might not have married Prince Rainier.
Once Upon a Time, J. Randy Taraborrelli
Diana: Death of a Goddess, David Cohen
Grace, Thilo Wydra
10-DAY BRISTOL OUTREACH
This October saw our little team travel from various corners of the earth to meet in Bristol, a city which has seen and heard varying degrees of the gospel over the centuries.
Each morning before we left for a day's outreach, James gave us a daily Bible study, which Lord willing, will be uploaded in November.
During our stay, this was brought to mind several times. For instance, the very first day, our third preaching spot found us right in front of John Wesley’s first meeting room, and another day we recalled that Bristol was the city where George Muller, friend of Hudson Taylor, had his famous faith-based orphan work in the 1800s. (We would later visit the Muller museum, which sadly seems to be now run by secular/ecumenical humanists.)
A fresh look at the city in 2017 shows that the gospel is now sadly missing in most corners, misunderstood in many others and absolutely despised in others. We met many religious people: charismatics and pentecostals (some of whom were openly ecumenical and saw nothing wrong with that), several who believed in baptismal regeneration (“baptism saves”), at least one man who was studying with the JWs, another of “black Hebrew” persuasion, a number of people involved in paganism, witchcraft or atheism, and plenty of people who claimed to be Christians. Some of these apparently don’t bother to base their beliefs on the Bible, but some seemed truly born again and we were blessed to have met them.
Our first day was spent in Bristol city centre. James and Patrick brought the megaphone, and preached in a couple of spots. During the lunch hour, there were plenty of people out, as the weather was warm and sunny. We are sure that many saw the banner and heard some words of his preaching. Certainly, there was enough said for them to be convicted of sin and righteousness by the Holy Spirit, if they so choose.
On that first day, brother Patrick spoke with two law students who had seen our Hebrews 13:8 banner “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” and took a tract. These two knew little about the Bible, but more about religion and asked a few questions about Mary and such stuff, but Patrick encouraged them not to go down the religion route or be corrupted by Satan’s wicked ways, but rather to repent and be born again. Perhaps they will find themselves keen to read the Scriptures and find it is a living book that will lead them to salvation. They would not be the first to read it for its literary value or try to debunk it, but do an about-turn and find themselves believing on the Saviour.
Brother Enrique spoke at length with four young men who claimed to be born again but spoke quite a lot about the power of the Holy Spirit and their school of prayer, and the unity they have with all the churches in Bristol. It’s always a bit disturbing when people explain their gospel in terms of the Holy Spirit and neglect to mention the life, work, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and these gentlemen, although nice, did seem to have a little of that approach. They spoke of “all the boring little denominational differences” and said that Protestants and Catholics were now coming together. Sister Helen joined the conversation and interjected that Catholicism defines grace as something you earn from good works and the sacraments and that the pope recently claimed that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ outside of ‘Mother Church’ is dangerous, also mentioning how it is impossible to get along with anyone who follows that kind of system, what did they think about that? Many of the topics addressed seemed to indicate that these people were involved in dominionist-type theology (that there will be soon revival and the Lord will retake the earth). Of course, our alarm bells go off, but we politely attempt to dig a little more, without spending undue amounts of time with people who consider themselves to be already well-versed in Bible topics and not too teachable. Our best hope is that they take a good hard look at the Scriptures and perhaps visit ETC’s YouTube channel for a more detailed Bible study than they are used to, to turn their focus from “signs and miracles” to the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus. Certainly, it was clear that they were surprised to find someone attempting to gently challenge them in some of their preconceived ideas about how the Lord is working in the here and now!
There was also a nice chat with a young man who admitted he was studying with the JWs and was obviously very interested in understanding the Scriptures. To his credit, he said that although he was studying with them, he wished to keep an open mind and be convinced by the Bible itself. He seems to be reading the King James Bible and not the JW perversion, and he is concerned about his soul but is also being drawn by the kindness and interest he finds in the JW group. James and Helen encouraged him to continue reading the Scriptures and to reject the JW twists and turns on the Scriptures. James also offered to write him if he takes the time to watch some of his verse-by-verse studies and has further questions. It’s extremely rare that a person seen in street work ever writes, but you never know!
On the second day, we drove to Bath, a very pretty city slightly southeast from Bristol. We arrived around lunch time, and there were many who accepted a tract and many who did not. Brother James preached for some time, and then we walked toward a different section of town, where some buskers and dancers were entertaining the crowds. Although he preached for a few minutes, the area was far too noisy to make our mark, so our little group, with banner held high, proceeded to stroll slowly upward. James saw Bath Abbey, a building of Late Medieval-Perpendicular Gothic style toward the right, and decided to enter the square occupied by several buskers, long queues of visitors and other assorted people. James spoke loudly against such a religious system and against its fees for entry, proclaiming that salvation through Jesus Christ is a free gift. It wasn’t too long, however, before the manager came out and conspicuously challenged him, saying the fees were “donations” and “are you blind or something”? (of course, we know “no donation, no entry”). James stood his ground and kept preaching and in fact, the whole scene drew more attention than it would have otherwise. (A Google search on the building history found this anonymous review: “inside isn't so great, staff very pushy in trying to get money from us”. So, James really wasn’t so over the top, was he?) Be sure to watch the video!!!!
On Saturday, brother Martin came to spend some hours with our outreach in Bristol city centre. He gave out many tracts, speaking to people in his usual winsome and fervent way, and preaching a short time at the end of the day. He did a good job standing his ground when approached by a man who wished to convince him to come under the law and the Old Testament and said we had ‘a false gospel’.
Brother Patrick was approached by one irate man who pointed to the “Unless you repent, you shall likewise perish” banner and said, “That’s negative thinking and won’t work, I work in sales and it’s always much better to have a positive message.” Patrick answered, “But those are the words of the Lord Jesus!” to which he replied, “Don’t be rude, I’m talking”. Patrick offered to “talk later, come back later and we’ll have a quiet talk on a bench”, but he replied, “I’m not talking with you” and left. Now, it’s not quite true even in advertising, as multiple messages are meant to strike absolute terror in our hearts about computer trojans and viruses, about traffic accidents, hurricanes, earthquakes, thieves and many other tragic events. But this man obviously wished to have the last (negative!) word, leaving us to ruminate that mankind’s heart is hardened and that rejection is the usual response to salvation messages, whether positive or negative.
After the live Sunday morning service, we returned to Bristol city centre where James briefly spoke with a homeless man about God not being just love, love, love, but holy, holy, holy! Many tracts were given out, but the crowds were thinner and reception was slower.
On Monday, we drove to famous Glastonbury where the weather was gloomy, and so was the atmosphere in the town. It was astonishing how much English legends and mythology, new age practices, and paganism/witchcraft permeated the town. It felt like a scene out of some kind of horror film (The Wicker Man movie certainly comes to mind), and there were clearly many there who have fallen for such dark arts. Buddhas, dreamcatchers, “Magik” paraphernalia, Halloween gear, and stores with pagan and bewitching names abounded. We set up the banner and James began to preach a bit farther down from Glastonbury Abbey, rumoured to be the oldest Christian spot in England (certainly, there is nothing Christian about this town anymore, if there ever was), but surprise, surprise! A delivery truck positioned itself immediately in front of the banner and preaching, such that it was difficult to see or hear James’s efforts on the other side. Some tracts were given across the street, but there were many rejections. Still, one gentleman grabbed some tea from a cafe and sat at an outside table, clearly interested in speaking. He said he was Gnostic and believed we all had “the Christ” and that Jesus was simply another man who had realized it. Many verses were brought to his attention, but he seemed to be on another wavelength (literally!). Still, he said perhaps he really should break out his Bible once again.
One elderly gentleman sitting at the bus stop looked and listened intently to the preaching. Maybe we were sent all this way just to reach him.
Some of the comments we heard in Glastonbury were: “I’m a fallen angel” (pointing to a tattoo); “I’m already saved” (jeeringly); “I’m a devil”.
On Tuesday, we drove to Cardiff, in Wales. It was cloudy and rainy on the way, but the sun came out just as we exited the building to find a spot to stand and it stayed nice for the entire time. Thank the Lord for His small and great blessings!
Brother Patrick spoke with a man who worked near the city centre and was on his lunch break. He said he is born again, has a very devout Catholic wife but a young son who is showing interest in the Bible. He said there are 1500 people at his office and only 8 of them saved. And yes, those are typical ratios in England.
One fellow claimed to have studied physics and to follow materialism (concept that only what’s “material” or “natural” is real) and that the rest was make-believe. What is a laughable philosophy! And had he thought about love, beauty, ideas, information? He said it was all atoms and molecules, all neurons swirling around people’s heads, and so forth. Any attempt to explain the gospel fell on a deaf ear. He stuck around quite a long time, left, then came back and seemed generally intent on getting under our skin. Everyone stood their ground, and he eventually left but it is our hope and prayer that he will consider his standing with the eternal creator-God whose material and nonmaterial universe it is.
Overall, we found Cardiff a very pleasant city, with good reception, even from the few Muslims we saw. Of course, the devil thought we were disturbing his efforts, and we had many mishaps on the way home, most notably slow GPS service that led us to miss many turnoffs and take the “scenic route” through farming country in southeast Wales, tacking an extra 150 minutes onto what should have been a simple 90-minute journey back home!
Back in Bristol on Wednesday, brother James met a man who had spent a couple of years in seminary and had been born again over 30 years earlier. This gentleman mentioned that the Catholics have some kind of outreach on Saturdays in Bristol. James offered him some tracts to give to these lost souls, and he said he would pass them out! A goal right up our alley (to encourage Bible believers to do what they can)!
We drove to nearby Weston-super-Mare on Thursday, a small seaside community with pensioners, most who seemed to have already had their fill of “religion”. Younger students were much more open, but there were not too many.
Enrique spoke with an older gentleman, born again, who was very happy to see us sharing the gospel in town. He said there is one man who goes out tracting every day, but we didn’t see him. In any case, this man said his church has only one person younger than 60, an Iranian he said was recently saved, and that funerals are among the most common events. A very sad, very common situation in England and in Europe in general.
Sister Tantri spoke with an older lady who declined the tract, telling our sister that she had just attended church service and didn’t need the gospel tract. Sadly, this older lady will not have this excuse on the Day of Judgment!
Sister Helen spoke a long time with a rather elderly gentleman who seemed to be rather educated but now has some cognitive decline. She asked if he had a Bible and what books did he like... He told her “the short ones!” She made her best attempt to point him toward the Bible and perhaps he will make some headway in his understanding of it.
James street-preached for some time at the pier, where the scenery was beautiful but there were few going by. Still, one lady listened very intently as he spoke about the pagan holiday of Halloween and a number of people accepted tracts. She later asked for a tract and DVD. There was one young African gentleman, perhaps the only one from the whole outreach, who gave a hearty “Yes, please!” to our offer of a gospel tract. A fitting and blessed ending to our last day together in England for the gospel.
Overall, we estimated that 5,000 tracts were given out, many thousands saw the banner, and much street preaching was heard. It’s always hard to tell if people are listening or not, but on at least two or three occasions, we noticed several people sitting at a short distance, taking pictures and very intent on catching every word. None of these people approached us, but we trust that the word of the Lord has not gone out in vain, whether in preaching, in conversations or in tracts!
Evenings were spent letter-boxing. We estimate maybe 1,500 were distributed this way. And Bristol train station was also covered, albeit once, due to very poor weather and it being on private property.
Here are some of the brief conversations we had:
message, sir?” “Not in my life!”
--“Don’t you realize how silly this is?”
--“Will you recognize Jesus when you see Him?
--“I’m a Christian; I believe in God’s grace” [we replied, “yes, but the other side of the coin is our sin”]
--“God bless you, darling”
--(reading the banner) “that’s saying like we’re going to die or something”
--“I’m Catholic, I believe we’re reincarnated, Jesus taught us love”
--“I don’t believe in that [blankety-blank]”
--“I’m glad I already have eternal life in Jesus Christ”
--“I just came out of the church, I don’t need that”
--“Ex-catholics, what does that mean?” (reply: Grace alone) “Where do you hang out? Are you a large organization?” (reply: “Just the name of the website”)
--“I’m already converted (with a whiff of smoke)”
--“I’m not far away from that, I was raised Church of England, I was a Sunday school teacher”
--“I’m catholic, I go to mass everyday”
--“Too late for me, luv” (reply: no, not too late, you’re not dead yet)
--“I be unsaved, me luv”
--“I’m not local”
--“Convince the others to change the banner message”
--“I’m one of those that don’t believe in anything” (reply: so do you believe that nothing made everything?). “Well, who invented gunpowder?” (reply: God didn’t make gunpowder, man did). “Yes, but why did He make the materials to make gunpowder?” (reply: gunpowder is make of basic chemicals like carbon that are also necessary for life; God made many things that can be used for good or evil; it’s man who turns them to evil)
--“I don’t believe in a god who’ll send me to burn if I don’t believe”
--“I know God exists, He’s my friend”
--“No, I’m not from around here”
--“No, I’m an unbeliever”
--“Are you JW?” (reply: No, are you?) “No”
Make the Lord bless His word as it goes out, and may many consider the destiny of their souls and seek salvation. Amen and amen.
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