The director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, died May 2, 1972. For 48 years, under eight Presidents, J. Edgar Hoover oversaw the Federal Bureau of Investigation, becoming famous for his dramatic campaigns to stop gangsters and organized crime. Hoover established the use of fingerprints in law enforcement and successfully tracked down well-known criminals.
FDR gave Hoover the task of investigating foreign espionage and left-wing activist groups.
J. Edgar Hoover stated:
“The criminal is the product of spiritual starvation. Someone failed miserably to bring him to know God, love Him and serve Him.”
In 1981, Chuck Colson stated:
“Imprisonment as a primary means of criminal punishment is a relatively modern concept. It was turned to as a humane alternative to the older patterns of harsh physical penalties for nearly all crimes. Quakers introduced the concept in Pennsylvania…”
Chuck Colson continued:
“The first American prison was established in Philadelphia when the Walnut Street Jail was converted into a series of solitary cells where offenders were kept in solitary confinement. The theory was that they would become ‘penitents,’ confessing their crimes before God and thereby gaining a spiritual rehabilitation. Hence, the name “penitentiary”-as a place for penitents.”
J. Edgar Hoover is quoted in the introduction of Edward L.R. Elson’s book, America’s Spiritual Recovery, 1954:
“We can see all too clearly the devastating effects of Secularism on our Christian way of life. The period when it was smart to ‘debunk’ our traditions undermined…high standards of conduct. A rising emphasis on materialism caused a decline of ‘God-centered’ deeds and thoughts.”
J. Edgar Hoover continued:
“The American home…ceased to be a school of moral and spiritual education. When spiritual guidance is at a low ebb, moral principles are in a state of deterioration. Secularism advances when men forget God.”
This is similar to Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky who, in his book The Brothers Karamazov, had the character Ivan Karamazov contend that if there is no God, “everything is permitted.”
“Everything is permitted” not only gives license to criminals on the street, but also to criminals in government.
An amoral political strategy developed, as espoused by Niccolo Machiavelli in his book, The Prince, 1515. Five hundred years ago, Italy consisted of many independent city-states: Venice, Genoa, Naples, Florence, Sienna, Amalfi, Milan, Corsica, Pisa, San Marino, Cospaia, Gaeta, Lucca, Noli, Trani and Papal States.
These were primarily noblemen’s republics, each with their own armies and navies, and they continually fought.
Machiavelli thought that if once prince could control all of Italy, it would stop the in-fighting.
He observed the ruthless tactics of Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), who reputedly used intrigue, deceit, seduction, incest, poisoning and assassination to usurp power.
Machiavelli wrote that in politics, “one must consider the final result,” a phrase more succinctly remembered as “the end justifies the means,” an adage which dates back to Ovid’s Heroides, 10 BC.
The ‘end’ of one prince controlling all of Italy was such a good end that any ‘means’ necessary to get there was justified.
If the prince wanted to conquer a city, in his quest to unify Italy, the people would hate him.
But if the prince paid criminals under the table to burn barns, kill cows, smash windows and set buildings on fire, thus creating crises and terror in the streets, the people of the city would cry out for help.
The prince would come in, dispatch with the “useful idiot” criminals he paid, nobody would know the better for it, and the naive people, unaware of his subterfuge, would praise the prince as a hero.
It is good marketing, create the need and fill it: go around the back of a house and set it on fire, then go around to the front door and sell them a fire extinguisher – they will pay anything for it and thank you for being there.
Termed “Machiavellianism,” it is using cunning duplicity to create or capitalize on crises to concentrate control, or as it is more popularly put, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
H.L. Mencken wrote:
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
Notorious tactics recorded by Machiavelli include:
“Politics have no relation to morals.”
“A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.”
“The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.”
“A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.”
Machiavelli explained how people actually want to believe lies from their leaders:
“Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.”
“Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.”
“One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”
“No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.”
“It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.”
Machiavelli promised “change”:
“I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.”
“One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.”
“Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.”
Machiavelli continued his remarks:
“It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.”
“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”
“Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.”
“Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.”
Machiavelli’s counsel was ruthless:
“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”
“Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed out drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more.”
“The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.”
“Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.”
“Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries – for heavy ones they cannot.”
“Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.”
What type of society will fall victim to Machiavelli’s stratagems?
William Holmes McGuffey warned in his Newly Revised Rhetorical Guide, 1853:
“If you can induce a community to doubt the…authenticity of the Scriptures… whether there be an eternal state of retribution beyond the grave; or whether there exists any such being as God, you have broken down the barriers of moral virtue, and hoisted the flood-gates of immorality and crime.”
“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…
We neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible.“
Samuel Adams stated January 17, 1794:
“A virtuous education is calculated to reach…the heart, and to prevent crimes… Such an education, which leads the youth beyond mere outside show, will impress their minds with a profound reverence of the Deity.“
Noah Webster wrote in his History of the United States, 1832:
“All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
U.S. Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen wrote:
“The Bible… Seal up this one Volume and in a half century all these hopes would wither and these prospects perish forever. These sacred temples would crumble or become the receptacles of pollution and crime.”
President James Buchanan proclaimed a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer, December 14, 1860:
“In this the hour of our calamity and peril to whom shall we resort for relief but to the God of our fathers. His omnipotent arm only can save us from the awful effects of our own crimes.”