Friday, March 8, 2024

#2745: John Dawson

Patricia Davis, proponent and inventor aromatherapy, ostensibly a form of vibrational healing (vibrational medicine that uses essential oils to (a) heal the “physical body” by affecting the “subtle body” or “energetic body”, or (b) contribute to personal and spiritual growth, is apparently British, and hence formally disqualified for an entry, even though she thoroughly deserves one.

John Dawson, however, is a champion of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and Seven Mountains Dominionism, and the founder (with Alaskan Apostle Mary Glazier) and leader of something called the International Reconciliation Coalition (the words making up the names of these organizations appear to have been chosen more or less at random). And he is American enough, even though many of his organization’s efforts to promote hate, evil and insane fundamentalism are taking place abroad. Dawson himself apparently originally hails, like Ray Comfort, from New Zealand.


To give an indication of what kind of guy we are talking about, Dawson wrote (together with Jane Hoyt) the foreword to Cindy Jacobs’s book Women of Destiny: Fulfilling God’s Call in Your Life – taking Cindy Jacobs’s claims seriously is more than  enough to qualify you as a loon on its own. But Dawson is, in fact, the author of numerous books himself, and some of them have been frighteningly influential in dominionist circles, including Taking Our Cities For God and Healing America’s Wounds. Now, given the rather violent antics of the New Apostolic Reformation, you may sort of have an idea what the former might be about – and Dawson’s book was indeed one of the early guidebooks for applying the rabid fundie idea of spiritual mapping of cities to identify demonic strongholds (“you should have the census in one hand and the Bible in the other”) before using looting, violence, rage and prayer to expunge said demonic influences. Prayer is an important weapon in their arsenal: “The prayer of a human being can alter history by releasing legions of angels into the earth. If we really grasped this truth, we would pray with intensity, and we would pray constantly”; given its power, one would have hoped that people of Dawson’s ilk would restrict themselves to employing that one; unfortunately, they don’t.


As for Healing America’s Wounds, it might superficially look like a book calling for apologizing for the harms caused by genocide against Native Americans, slavery and other atrocities, but the angle it takes is … well, lunatic: what Dawson calls for is application of the principle, later central to the NAR, of Identificational Repentance and Reconciliation, a spiritual warfare tool to be used to overcome the resistance of ethnic, racial, and religious populations to converting to evangelical beliefs: you see, their resistance is really caused by demonic “strongholds” – that is, the groups in question (and their resistance to Dawson’s brand of religious fundamentalism) are really controlled by demons due to sins they or their ancestors have committed: Native Americans are controlled Baal, and Roman Catholics and Muslims by Leviathan and the demon the Queen of Heaven. And removing the demons to facilitate mass conversion requires the “taking of territory” along the lines of the tactics outlined in Taking Our Cities For God. At least unofficial NAR leader C. Peter Wagner recognized Dawson’s book as an crucial spiritual warfare textbook; his Fuller Theological Seminary students have been required to read it, and it served as the foundation for NAR’s “Reconciliation Walk” in the Middle East to apologize to Muslims and Jews for the Crusades and then convert them, in order to – in Wagner’s words – tear down the “primary [demonic] stronghold to blind the minds of Muslims and Jews to the gospel for centuries.”


Apparently, Dawson has a background as as a leader with Loren Cunningham’s organization YWAM, which continues to produce insane fundamentalists to this day, and he has even enjoyed a stint as president for that organization. Dawson is also deeply involved in the organization Toward Jerusalem Council II, which is devoted to establishing cooperation between NAR fundies and Messianic Jews for the purpose of converting Jewish people in large numbers, something that is crucial to ushering in the End Times.


Diagnosis: Though less obviously visible in the today’s loon landscape, perhaps, the lunatic fringes of the Taliban remains a force to be reckoned with in the US, and people like John Dawson continue, despite being raving lunatics, to wield a lot of influence. Still scary as hell.

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