The Reason For the “State of The ReUnion™” Essay Series
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
“And how shall they hear if no one tells them?” – Romans 10:14
“If so-called ‘believers’ fail to give you an honorable hearing after two attempts, then let them be treated by you thereafter as people outside faith.” – Matthew 18:17
“Alexander the Coppersmith did me much harm. Be on guard against him, yourselves. When I first defended myself against him, no one else rose to my defense; even so, the Lord was on my side of the matter.” – 2Timothy 4:14-16
OPENLY SPEAK TRUTH TO CORRUPTED POWER (1Samuel 24 and 26)
This series is not after only two attempts at sound process: it is after two decades of such attempts.
One of the great ironies of rape cases is that the rape victim almost always looks worse to the jury than the rapist. Slander is, by the way, the reputational and vocational equivalent of rape – and according to the Talmud and New Testament, murder (TB Arachin 15b32, Romans 1:32).
This is because the victim is the one who was violated; the victim’s emotional well-being was the thing harmed or destroyed. The rapist feels fine about himself, and is composed, well-groomed, and calm in the presence of his loud, complaining, disarrayed victim.
Scripture acknowledges the dilemma that the less-empowered victim is an irritating inconvenience (Luke 18:5), crying out for attention and time – therefore, volunteer tribunals automatically resent victims for adding time-demand to their schedules already crowded with their actual livelihoods, families, and recreations. This is why there is a legal profession. Without it, justice would be reduced to a part-time affair, dependent on people whose hearts and minds are not only elsewhere, but instantly inclined to look for ways to dispose of the inconvenient Plaintiffs (those making the complaint).
THE SCRIPTURAL MODEL FOR THIS SITUATION
I do not propose to allow myself to be buried until I am dead. – Noah Webster
What do you do when those in charge are the perpetrators of wrongful harm?
Before psalmist and shepherd David of Israel rose to the throne, he was socially and vocationally raped and his murder attempted by King Saul while Saul was in power.
Saul was the king: betraying him was treason. Accusing the King of crimes could easily be “spun” into a crime against the State and King.
Saul had more followers, many of whom used to love and admire King David, and follow him into battle; but who were willing to hunt down and kill their former captain at the present power-holder’s whim.
What does Scripture tell us was King David’s means of handling this kind of mess?
1Samuel 24 and 26 tell us of two separate times King David used the “mass media” of his era to speak the truth openly in front of Saul and all his former comrades-in-arms; and held up visible proofs what he said was true.
Without newspapers and the internet, King David used two opportunities where the army and Saul were encamped in an open area surrounded by elevated plateaus Saul’s archers could not reach with their arrows.
From that safe perch, visible and audible to Saul and the entire army, King David pleaded his case: he announced the wrong King Saul was doing, described his own innocence, pointed out the ambitious scoundrels who were trying to use the situation to rise in the present king’s favor – and publicly held up the proof of Saul’s guilt and his own innocence, for all to see. The fact it made the present person in charge look ridiculous, evil, and cowardly was merely a by-product of the truth.
The core-purpose of the SOTRU Essay Series is to do exactly these Scriptural things in regard to the present highly-corrupted state of the Messianic Jewish associations in North America and some beyond.
Since all honorable attempts across twenty years toward due process by me have been thwarted by overtly unethical, anti-Biblical, anti-Constitutional, and anti-normative conspiratorial obstructions of justice ––– treat the perpetrators in line with Yeshua’s directive once “so-called believers” (1Cor. 5:11) clearly show they are void of any likely participation with honorable resolution: “Let them from that point forward be to you like those who do not believe.” (Matthew 18:17)
HISTORY’S MODEL FOR THIS SITUATION
Historian Santayana wrote, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” What lesson does history have for the Messianic Movement’s present state of high governmental corruption?
When French Jewish army Captain Alfred Dreyfus was railroaded into an unjust exile on Devil’s Island by corrupt French government officials who had, themselves, committed treason – Dreyfus would have died on Devil’s Island if not for French novelist, Emil Zola.
Zola wrote the most famed newspaper article in history, J’Accuse – in which Zola took King David’s approach, and publicly named the crimes, the criminals, and the falsehoods that sent Dreyfus into undeserved exile, while allowing genuine criminals to remain free and in power.
Zola simply refused to be silent, or silenced.
He literally wrote and spoke himself to death, saving Dreyfus.
Zola poured out truth – facts – and sound thinking into the public via the printed word, and by so doing, rescued an innocent man from prison, disgrace, and disenfranchisement. And, in false and ridiculous attempts by the government to harass and ruin him with fake and biased “judicial” proceedings that were obvious perversions of justice, Zola continually publicly stated the abuses for what they were, and exactly how they violated all accepted civilized norms, and the law.
THE EXPECTED RESPONSE FROM THE POWERS-THAT-BE
Here is what history and experience teach us will be the response from the corrupted centers in the Messianic association world. It will not be pretty – and it will not be honorable. It will be intended to distract, hijack the conversation and turn it towards things other than themselves, and further harm “The Whistleblower” they have been trying to exile-to-death since March 1999.
- Invalidating Name-Calling: their accuser will be called, “a division-maker,” “a bad person,” “trouble-maker,” “a small-time loser who is just angry or jealous at being a failure,” “not well,” and any other epithets outside due process or proof that ascribe the pathology to the whistleblower citing crimes by those in power. In the Dreyfus case, they called Zola “a traitor,” “a man without love for The Republic,” “one who troubles and divides France,” and “dishonoring great men who serve our country.” Zola was describing specific criminal deeds by specific people – which harmed a specific person and betrayed specific laws. The name-calling was a meritless diversion-tactic – but the ordinary citizens of France bought it for a long time, and smeared Zola in concert with the criminals trying to invalidate him so he would lose ability to make his case.
- Silence: John Adams said, “There is no pain in the world quite like being ignored.” They will do their best to convince everyone around them they are wonderful people by not responding to the charges. This will be advertised as them having “self-control” – and in classic rape/slander case form, will be an attempt to weaponize the fact they feel fine and are comfortable, and make their victim’s discomfort appear to be unspiritual discomposure or lack of self-control. This tactic is often accompanied by painting the Plaintiff as an irritant everyone wishes would just shut up and go away – because of the inconvenience handing his/her case poses.
- Denials of Documented Facts or Testimony: The accusations will be called “baseless” and “lies” – even when documentary evidence is staring the reader in the face. This already happened with David Chernoff’s re-write of Joe Finkelstein’s long sin-history. See previous SOTRU Essay #3 on “Hijacked Associations.”
- They will lie and forge documents: the MJAA, in particular, are documented as having done so in previous cases where the ruling core’s interests were threatened.
- They will allege “God is ‘with’ them’” – so anything that would hamper, decrease, or demote them is de-facto breaking of God’s will. Like any rapist, they will point to their own better condition than their victim, alleging it is “proof” God likes them far more than their lesser-supplied accusers.
- Distraction: They will go rummaging for personal information about their accusers to use as topics turning attention away from themselves and their already-accused conduct. This is a technique called, “moving the show.” Joel Chernoff already did this when he fomented the October 1999 “kangaroo court” attack on the accuser of his brother David – an illegal and out of order abuse of Joel’s office as General Secretary and the entire Executive level, which even the corrupt IMJA could not avoid having to shoot down as invalid, so grossly obvious was it as a deflection-tactic and improper it in every aspect.
Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; light the most efficient policeman.” – Justice Louis Brandeis
King David is my Scriptural role-model.
Emil Zola is my inspiration in the recent historical world.
I am a kind of “Alfred Dreyfus” of the modern Messianic Movement.
I have been exiled from my corps, from my milieu, from the fruits of my highly recognized and honored body of work; all to cover for the crimes of high officers, so they can go about their lives and comforts, while I and mine are left to suffer on Devil’s Island. I have endured this criminal mistreatment and sought remedy in honorable due process – and only encountered more and more criminal conduct in reply.
I am going to do my best to do the following honorable things with the SOTRU Essay Series.
- Keep it business. My goal is to put the truth of the current state of the Movement, and my own situation “out there” for people to know; and possibly, in hope-against-hope, deliver myself Zola-style from my own unjust exile and deprivation of my social and vocational spheres of my entire adult life.
- Resist the Temptation to “Go Personal” – despite the fact that I know a huge amount of personal and embarrassing information about the people involved in these matters; and could indulge my outrage at their conduct by simply flinging embarrassing personal information and stories out there to hurt them; I am going to do my very best to put out ONLY information and history that (A) bears on criminality or unjust harm-doing, (B) illustrates precepts bearing on the matters, (C) instructs how possibly to bring repair, healing, or necessary justice/restitution.
- Persist until things change. F.R. Mendel of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance (IMJA) said in Virginia Beach in 1999, “We’ve all been hearing these things about the Chernoff’s conduct for years – but they always somehow outlast their accusers. Nothing gets done, because the Chernoffs stay around, and their accusers eventually leave.”
MJAA Executive Charlie Kluge of Florida said to me when I first filed charges against David Chernoff nearly twenty years ago, “These things are ‘out’ now – and they can’t be put back. They’re going to have to be handled. But Bruce, how are you going to feel if you’re ‘the korban’ (sacrifice) so these things can get dealt with?”
My reply was along the lines of telling Kluge that putting a cute Hebrew label on throwing me under the bus, just to please the Chernoffs and their circle, will not make me feel any better about MJAA Executives showing cowardice in the presence of such corruption. I do not need to be “the sacrifice” any more than Dreyfus was a necessary sacrifice to protect the career of criminals like Esterhazy, or to guard “the honor of France.”
Dreyfus was the victim of a social and vocational gang-rape and robbery.
Everyone knew who the criminals were.
They just needed the courage, clarity, and resolve to face them down.
They didn’t have it.
No one had the courage to face them down except Emil Zola.
And – no Zola has risen to my aid – not in twenty years.
Not even from people who owe me their lives in their present forms.
And – frankly – I am a professional writer as well as the primary harmed party – so, there is probably no one who can state the case as accurately and clearly as can I.
One of my colleagues keeps telling me as the years go by, “Just let the Lord be your justifier, Bruce.” Whenever I have heeded this advice – years simply go by. Nothing changes. This is because justice is not reserved by God for His own actions: only vengeance. Justice is put firmly into the hands of responsible human beings: like my colleague, who has official duty to enact justice in this sphere, but does not do so because he frankly lacks the expertise and energy to do so.
There is no substitute for courage.
And there is no alternative quality to take the place of expertise.
There is no equally acceptable option rather than truth or justice.
Forgiveness is not – Biblically – letting unrepentant and dangerous criminals get away with ongoing criminality, just because it makes your own life easier than confronting them.
The Messianic Jewish Movement will not heal gradually.
It will not heal automatically.
The most politically-empowered President in modern history did not resign office because he had a pang of conscience, any more than King David repented of murder, adultery, and his year-long cover-up crimes without being confronted: these empowered leaders repented or resigned because their crimes were made public by the free press of their eras: in ancient Israel, by the unhampered power of Prophets to police the King and Priesthood – and in America, by two obscure journalists whose relentless investigative journalism made it clear America’s chief executive was a crook.
Messianic Judaism will heal as every realm with a government heals:
when the citizens rise up and demand it function in a healthy and harmless manner.
Montesquieu wrote in The Spirit of The Law: “Governments should exist in such a form that no man need fear another man (having imbalanced power to do improper harm).”
The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) has a Constitution and By-Laws that create such a “safe” government; but The Constitution and By-Laws are being ignored, even as Nixon ignored America’s.
The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) has a Constitution and By-Laws that create such a “safe” government; but The Constitution and By-Laws are being ignored, even as the MJAA inner-core is ignoring theirs, and for the same reasons (covering up for corrupt leaders like Jamie Cowen (now James S. Cohen in Israel) (portrait at left), Russ Resnick, Elliot Klayman, Rich Nichol and their entire Cowen-connected Judiciary apparatus) .
The International Messianic Jewish Alliance (IMJA) has a Constitution and By-Laws that create such a “safe” government; but they are being ignored. National Alliances run amok are not held accountable, even as before World War II, German aggression into Czekoslovakia, France, and Poland was ignored by the Allied powers who simply did not want to go through the effort and costs necessary to stop Hitler’s violations in their era.
In my next essay, I will explain specific steps the Movement’s citizens can take toward health. Let all remember this simple precept spoken by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Until next time,
Rabbi Bruce L. Cohen
New York City • 4 March 2017