TF: Gang of Four

Tribulation Force, pp. 248-251

Even with mind-control and other supernatural powers, setting up a one-world government would seem to be an enormous logistical challenge. It would require, among many other things, a massive bureaucracy in every nation, province, city and town.

Granted, in some countries where an authoritarian regime has already been in place, the pre-existing bureaucracy might serve this role with only relatively minor adjustments. In places like Burma or some provinces of China, it might be possible to enlist that existing bureaucracy into the service of your new OWG with little more than a memo informing provincial officials that they will now be receiving orders from Central Office X rather than the former Central Office Y.

Unfortunately for any prospective OWG dictator (but fortunately for the actual world) such places are rather few in number. And even many of the more authoritarian states that do exist wouldn't be susceptible to such a smooth transition. Saudi Arabia and Iran, for example, already posses some of the infrastructure and apparatuses (apparati?) of police states, but their religious ideologies could not easily be replaced — or reconciled with one another. In such places the existing authoritarian bureaucracy would be more likely to form the structure for organized resistance to a OWG than to set the stage for its takeover.

So for most of the world, the massive Antichrist-OWG bureaucracy is going to have to be created from scratch.

What I'm getting at here is how enormously labor-intensive Nicolae Carpathia's Antichrist OWG will need to be. Just consider the Mark of the Beast and what it would require to administer that to the 4 billion or so people remaining on earth in which no country has a reliable post-Event census. That's going to require an army of loyal bureaucrats functioning as a kind of global census bureau/IRS/DMV. This vast bureaucracy will have to be staffed very quickly — we've only got a seven-year window before history runs out — and that staff will have to be maintained somehow throughout the coming End Times plagues and their relentless fractioning of the population.

That Mark of the Beast bureaucracy will have to serve alongside and in addition to the actual WG of the OWG. Nicolae Carpathia's goal here isn't some loose federalism or something like the EU writ large. He wants a centralized global dictatorship micromanaging every aspect of every life everywhere. In every village or hamlet on earth there will need to be officials who serve in a long, unbroken and unfailingly loyal chain of command that reaches all the way to Nicolae at the top. And those officials — and ultimately Nicolae himself — will be held responsible for every problem and every solution in every place on earth.

Former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode likes to joke that being a big city mayor is a tougher job than being president, because no one calls the president to complain if a pothole goes unfilled or if trash pickup is late. This is pretty much the job Nicolae is angling for — mayor of the world. He's going to have to make the trains run on time everywhere — even in places where they don't have trains. And every intractable global problem, every insoluble dispute, every hot-spot and trouble-spot on the globe will become his problem.

Kashmir, for example. And California's budget. And Iraq's electrical grid. Somalia. Afghanistan. Waziristan. All his to deal with.

This is one reason I'm not worried about the rise of a global dictatorship. Anyone smart enough to be able to attain such a position wouldn't be stupid enough to want it.

Anyway, I bring all this up because today we're reading passages in which both Rayford and Buck encounter the woeful structural inadequacies and general unpreparedness of the nascent Carpathian OWG.

Rayford agrees to pilot Air Force One for Nicolae's trip to Israel, but only as a trial-run during which he will deign to allow the secretary-general of the United Nations and the president of the United States to try to talk him into accepting the pilot's job against his better judgment. Nothing demonstrates humility more than insisting that world leaders must beg you to work for them.

Rayford's boss, Leonard Gustafson, has already arranged to have him picked up at Baltimore-Washington and driven to the White House for his job interview. Before flying to BWI, he stops by his mailbox and finds this note:

"Thanks for your endorsement on my early promotion. I really appreciate it. And good luck to you. Signed, Captain Nicholas Edwards."

And here I thought that the only correspondent who used "signed" as a valediction was Epstein's mother. Edwards was the first officer who had filed a religious harassment complaint against Rayford. This note is either an ominous reminder that Nicolae has manipulated Gustafson into paying off Edwards to drop his complaint or else, since it's also God's will that Rayford pilot Air Force One, it's a comforting reminder of benevolent providence, demonstrating that the Holy Spirit has moved Gustafson to pay off Edwards to drop his complaint. Mysterious ways and all that.

Rayford arrives at the White House where:

… he was quickly whisked through the gate. A guard welcomed him by name and wished him luck. When he finally got to the office of an assistant to the chief of staff, Rayford made clear that he was agreeing only to fill in as pilot for the trip to Israel the following Monday.

"Very good," he was told. "We have already begun the character and reference check, the FBI probe and the Secret Service interviewing. It will take a bit longer to complete anyway, so you'll be in a position to impress us and the president without being responsible for him until you've passed all checkpoints."

So my friend Dave used to work for this IT company that landed a contract with a local nuclear power plant. Turns out that you can't work on the computers at a nuclear power plant without an FBI background check (probably prudent, that). This meant that I was interviewed by the FBI for about half and hour on the phone. Their questioning was impressively, somewhat creepily, thorough — particularly the last bit, where they asked me for the names of other people who knew Dave. I couldn't come up with anyone they didn't already have on their list. As far as I could tell, they had an exhaustive list of anyone and everyone he'd ever spoken to and they intended to interview all of these people.

That, in my experience, is what an "FBI probe" is like. I'm guessing the background check for the president's pilot is even more thorough than the background check for an IT subcontractor at a nuke plant. And I'd guess the Secret Service process is even more thorough than that.

I'm not sure that Rayford or his co-conspirators in the Tribulation Force or the authors have really thought through what it might mean for Rayford to face that level of scrutiny. The FBI is going to be interviewing Chloe, Bruce and Buck, asking all of them about their meetings together and what they talk about in them. And they'll be interviewing Earl, Nicholas Edwards, Hattie, Loretta and everybody else who's ever worked with Rayford at Pan-Con or sat near him at New Hope Village Church.

At least that's what the real FBI would be doing. Here in LB-world, their background check seems to consist only of a computer check to make sure that Rayford doesn't have an arrest record or any outstanding parking tickets.

Rayford doesn't seem at all worried by the prospects of these investigations. He's just surprised that the White House is more concerned with secu
rity for the president than for the U.N. secretary-general.

"You can authorize me to fly the U.N. secretary-general with less clearance on me than you'd need for the president?"

"Precisely. Anyway, you've already been approved by the U.N. …"

"By whom?"

"By the secretary-general himself."

Here in reality, there's nothing odd about the idea that White House staff wouldn't feel particularly responsible for an international diplomatic figurehead whose every step is subject to U.S. veto power, but in the alternate universe of LaHaye World, the secretary-general of the United Nations is the Most Important Person in the world — ouranking every head of state including the American president, and it troubles Rayford that the U.S. Secret Service isn't also protecting the Romanian president.

It's worth noting, again, that this idea of the secretary-general outranking the president isn't part of LaHaye's fictional story of the rise of the Antichrist. This is how LaHaye believes the real world really works. He believes that the U.N.'s relationship to any given (non)sovereign state is roughly analogous to the relationship between Washington, D.C., and Trenton, N.J.

That neither the U.N. nor any of its member states perceive their relationship this way because it is not, in fact, the case does nothing to lessen LaHaye's insistence that this is so.

What mainly strikes me here, though, is that Nicolae still doesn't have his own versions of the FBI or the Secret Service. He's still handling his security background checks the same way he seems to be handling everything — either first-hand personally, or else by delegating it to Hattie, Steve or Chaim Rosenzweig. At the very least you'd think he'd have brought over a few dozen minions from the dark days of his early political rise, but no, he doesn't even have a basic entourage of thugs from back in Cluj. It's just the four of them.

The guy really needs to get cracking hiring that massive OWG bureaucracy.

Buck Williams also doesn't have an entourage or a full staff, but he doesn't need one. He's got Marge Potter to handle all his basic research and to line up all the interviews he has planned for his string of religion stories. We cut back to Buck's point of view with those five words we've come to love:

Buck was on the phone …

That's our Buck.

Buck was on the phone to Marge Potter at Global Weekly headquarters in New York when he heard the news. The entire world would go to dollars for currency within one year, the plan to be initiated and governed by the United Nations, funded by a one-tenth of one percent tax to the U.N. on every dollar.

"That doesn't sound unreasonable, does it?" Marge asked.

"Ask the financial editor, Marge," Buck said. "It'll be gazillions a year."

Actually, the world's GDP in 1996 was around $34 trillion, so 1/10 of 1 percent would be about $34 billion. And that's assuming the disappearance of all children and hundreds of millions of adults and the abrupt abolition of all military spending hasn't had any negative effects on the world's economic growth. And assuming that the devaluation and abandonment of all but one of the world's currencies over the next 12 months wouldn't have any negative effects either (which seems an unlikely assumption).

I'm not entirely sure what a "tax … on every dollar" means or how such a thing is to be assessed or administered. My point here, though, is that assessing and administering this tax while overseeing the rapid global conversion to a single currency seems like more than Nicolae, Hattie, Steve and Chaim will be capable of handling on their own.

This seems to me like another project that will require yet another army of bureaucrats and technocrats and the determined work of a few million other people who aren't botanists, PR men or flight attendants.

Tribulation Force and this entire series of books was written by and for people who are terrified of a OWG and who are certain such a thing is an imminent reality. But every mention of it here in these books just provides further evidence that such a thing is unimaginable. Precisely unimaginable — the authors are unable to imagine for us a plausible OWG. They cannot imagine how such a thing might come to be created nor how such a thing might be sustained, and their every attempt to imagine such things only reinforces their actual impossibility. And yet they are still terrified.

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