WHO'S GUIDING THE OLYMPIC VISION?
By Berit Kjos
August 9, 2008
"The public does not fully understand the world into which it is going. Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision." Henry Kissinger, a change agent within the International Olympic Committee
"We must commit ourselves to the work of imagining our common humanity... and of enacting civic rituals that resonate with the music of our ancestors." Dr. Benjamin Ladner, speaking on "Solidarity" at the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements.
Ancient myths, human might, a massive marketing system!. These visible signs of the modern Olympics stir the imagination and draw the masses. They also hide the global politics and the cold-hearted pragmatism behind the scenes. For Olympic masters celebrate the strong and mighty, but they show little compassion for the poor and weak, whose homes are razed to build stadiums, beautify surroundings, impress visitors.
The history of the Olympics takes us back to about 776 B.C. -- the apparent birth of the original Greek games -- when superstitious mortals worshipped ancient gods on Mount Olympus. This extended family of promiscuous deities was ruled by Zeus and birthed by Gaea (Gaia), supposedly the mother goddess of all.
In that other-worldly realm, Zeus' oldest sister, Hestia, guarded the sacred flame on Mount Olympus. Meanwhile, in the real world, a sacred fire was lit on an altar to Zeus in front of his massive temple. At four-year intervals, nude athletes would compete for the victor's wreath, honor and material gain. But the light of those early games flickered out in AD 394 when Emperor Theodosius, apparently a Christian, could no longer condone such occult celebrations.
The Olympics were revived in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. His humanist philosophy and love for myth were summarized by Sigmund Loland in his report on "Pierre de Coubertin's Ideology of Olympism:"
"These goals are underlined in what is seen as a very important aesthetic framework consisting of symbols, rituals and ceremonies. Whereas the Ancient Games were part of a cult to the honour of Zeus, a key goal in their modern version ought to be to worship human greatness and possibility."
Loland then quotes Coubertin, giving us more revealing glimpses of the values behind the games:
“There are not two parts of a man... there are three -- body, soul and character: character is not formed by the mind, but primarily by the body."
"The first essential characteristic of ancient and of modern Olympism is that of being a religion. By chiseling his body with exercise as a sculptor chisels a statue, the athlete of antiquity was 'honoring the gods'. In doing likewise the modern athlete exalts his country, his race, his flag. I therefore think I was right to recreate from the outset, around the renewed Olympism, a religious sentiment transformed and widened by the Internationalism and Democracy which distinguish the present age, but still the same as that which led the young Greeks, ambitious for the triumph of their muscles, to the foot of the altar of Zeus.”
Coubertin's idealistic vision of international peace and spirituality is still the public theme of the Olympics. But his point on character-building has been tainted by the moral realities of the new millennium. While there are many admirable heroes among the athletes, their "village" is also known for its rampant use of free condoms, its obsession with the human body, its shameless delight in all kinds of promiscuous sex, and its illicit use of drugs and steroids in former years.
That's not surprising. Our culture is changing fast, and popular entertainment is racing to stay ahead of the trends it helped create. Like the mainstream media, the forces behind the Olympic vision have been reshaped by changing values, national interests, international politics, global economics, etc. And with the guidance and participation of globalist power-brokers such as Henry Kissinger -- who was rewarded with the title, "Honour Member," by the Olympic Committee -- its global networks will surely increase.
In fact, the Olympics have always been entangled with contrary goals and tactics. The most blatant demonstration of such political compromise was pushed by Hitler in Berlin:
"...in 1936, Adolph Hitler had co-opted the Games... making them a showcase for the Nazis' hollow facade of a new and better Germany."
"Creating impressions of grandeur and potency was one of Hitler's foremost talents.... The Games would launch with lavish and spectacular ceremonies.... The sacred flame would ignite from the focused rays of the sun in the ruins of ancient Olympia, then be borne to Berlin by a relay of runners.... By this transfer of fire from the oldest Olympic site to the newest, the past would touch the present. A spirit would move across the ages...."
"The glorious scheme was set in motion amid the tumbled stones of Olympia. ... A 'high priestess' attended by 13 Greek girls in classical costume held a wand above a sun-focusing mirror supplied by the Zeiss company, Germany's famed optical firm. The wand burst into flame and was carried to an altar. ... A German delegate declaimed: 'O fire, lit in an ancient and sacred place, begin your race....'"
Hitler's fascination with ancient myth and mysticism fueled the fervor behind this ritual and prompted its inclusion in future ceremonies. According to the official website of the 2002 Olympics,
"The Olympic Flame first became a tradition of the modern Olympics at the 1928 Amsterdam Games.... A torch relay has been held, in one form or another, at every Olympics since. The flame is first lighted during a ceremony at the site of the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia. Women dressed in robes similar to those worn by the ancient Greeks use a curved mirror to light the torch naturally with the sun’s rays.... The high priestess then presents the torch to the first relay runner."
The lighting of the torch -- and later the cauldron -- sets the stage for pagan celebrations befitting the grandiose visions of global pacesetters. They know that images and suggestions, rather than facts or truth, will best change values and establish symbols that serve the global agenda.
So does the influential spiritual leader, James Morton. This former "Dean" (pastor) of New York's infamous Cathedral of St. John the Divine, has been a guiding member of the interfaith Temple of Understanding. Speaking on Solidarity at the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul, he offered his pathway to global peace. Notice how well it matches the Olympic vision:
"What's needed is ...something analogous to the ancient acropolis, where today's diversity of national and ethnic customs and religious traditions can be celebrated and upheld for the enrichment of everybody....The new acropolises will... provide opportunity for sacred expression needed to bind the people of the planet into a viable, meaningful, and sustainable solidarity."
The new acropolis is here! It's making a difference! For whenever groups of people tune their hearts to a shared experience, their personal values tend to change and blend -- be it ever so slightly each time. Change agents in churches as well as in government, community organizations, the UN, or the Olympic Committee are counting on it! Whether true or false, enticing stories and visual images can plant transformational suggestions in the collective mind.
We see the results in today's growing consensus -- the common perceptions that it's okay to love and celebrate gods and rituals that reigned in ancient times. Such idols and practices are now considered good, not bad. And woe to Christian children or teens who dare to argue against that among their peers and teachers.
Genuine unity comes through Jesus Christ, not myth, marketing, or the human imagination. Only He can build in us the kind of character that can withstand all the temptations to cheat, lie and compromise the truth. Only His light can shut out the false light of seductive illusions and misleading visions.
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"Beware," He warns us, "lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
But only a few are likely to listen. As Dr. Stanley Monteith so wisely said, "...reality is usually scoffed at and illusion is usually king, but in the battle for the survival of Western civilization it will be reality and not illusion or delusion that will determine what the future will bring."
Hugh Sidey, "Majesty, Poetry and Power," Time, October
2, Berit taped this message in Istanbul during the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, June 3-14, 1996. See "Global Solidarity."
3, Sigmund Loland, Pierre de Coubertin's Ideology of Olympism from the Perspective of the History of Ideas, pp. 31, 38,
4, Pro-Lifers protest Olympic Condoms
5, Olympic Scandals: From Bribery to Steroids
6, Mr. Henry Kissinger and Kissinger receives Olympic Award
7, XI, XII & XIII Olympiads (Los Angeles: World Sports Research & Publications Inc., 1996), page 103.
8, Ibid., pages 7, 8, 9.
9, Official site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games
10, Dr. Stanley Monteith
© 2008 Berit Kjos - All Rights Reserved