Newsletter of the District of Asia

 March 1998

Former TV Broadcaster
Opens a Can of Worms

The following interview (published in the Angelus, March-April 1991) was conducted by Fr. Bourmaud, SSPX, professor at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary (RR 1, Box97A-1, Winona, Minn 55987 U.S.A.) who providentially came across a young couple recently, converts from a very wordly lifestyle to traditional Catholicism. Their experience makes their testimony authoritative in the area of T V still very disputed even in traditional circles. The story of their conversion was later published by the Angelus (July-August 1991).

Part One: The Can and the Canners

Q. Mr P, before getting into the heart of the matter, would you please tell us what your credentials are in relation to the broadcasting world?

A. I had worked in the TV business from 1972 to 1988. During college, I worked in radio for one year and then went into TV, making films, TV shows, a lot of news-production shows, and information packaging, as well as doing live TV editing. I think I have a broad enough knowledge of the business to affirm that all I have to say applies to all networks worldwide. I climbed the ladder from props to executive producer working for five different TV stations in North America. I have worked with major networks in Europe, in the U.S.A., and in Canada. Most of my experience is as a technical producer and director of news: I know how TV operates, how it works, and who the people are behind the screen.

Q. Could you please give us some information precisely on that point: the nature of TV?

A. How many people own a TV set and understand how it works? Once upon a time, people thought there were real men in the box, and that they would get personally involved with the show. They do not understand that it is all false, that it is unreality.

Q. Yet, any show will be taken from real life, won't it?

A. But, it is all structured, cut off and sifted, time and again: "The way I see it, is the writer. The way I interpret it, is the producer, The way I shoot it, is the director." To produce, write, direct and edit makes it entirely your own production; but, the fact that you created it doesn't mean that you are not going to be influenced by it.

Q. What makes TV different from other teaching tools, like books or the radio?

A. TV puts all the emphasis on the visual and disregards the intellectual part of instruction. Many times they will come up with news stories which are just non-stories. But they make stories out of them because what they like are the pictures of girls taking their clothes off, etc. If the pictures are good they will appeal to the public even if the script is not interesting. See, TV appeals to the senses more than to the mind.

The Big Lie

Q. Do you think it could be used for educational purposes?

A. I doubt it seriously. Even if the content is morally acceptable, TV presentation is essentially a manipulation of time and space. It is unrealistic, regardless of the purpose. That is how the technology works. Take a book or a speech that you want to put on video; for that, you have to process it. I don't know if "interpret" is the right word, but at least you have to produce some of it: now, that is my work, my interpretation.

Q. But wouldn't you say that a book of history or a speech gives also one's own interpretation of the reality?

A. It does, however, technically, it doesn't attack you in the same way. You can study the book, but TV manipulates the time element and makes you see in 30 seconds the wildlife which highlighted a whole day's hike in the mountains. It is not the same thing to breath nature's fresh air in the mountains for a whole day and to stare at a 30-second show lying on a sofa. TV desensitizes people to reality. Its pace is unnatural. Twenty-six images per second in films (30 in videos) is too much. You absorb it more quickly than you realize.

Q. You have certainly heard of the backmasking messages on rock albums. I read that President Mitterand in France was put on trial for having used similar techniques on TV at the time of his elections in '87. Are you familiar with such a thing?

A. I know this type of subliminal frames. They go into the machine just one at a time and no one watching the screen notices it. I have seen a lot of strange things at times. It is legally forbidden, and it is supposed to be screened, but who can catch it?

Q. But, besides these subliminal pictures, how can you say that TV is artificial?

A. It distorts the reality it was meant to show. Everything is bigger on TV than in real life. That is a fact that has to be true, because it fills up the screen. I don't know how many people have told my wife, who is a former broadcaster herself, "Oh, you are very tiny, I thought you were a lot bigger." That is because she fills up the screen on the evening news and looks as big as her male counterpart.

Q. Are you trying to say that TV is not reflecting reality, and that it is deluding people?

A. Indeed, and more than that, it is now influencing reality. Soon after its appearance, TV stopped reflecting what was happening in the world, and the world started reflecting what was on the screen. The kids in situation comedies don't dress like the kids in schools, but the kids in schools now start to dress like the kids in situation comedies! It is time to question who is the mirror image and who is the true being. Everybody who has seen the "Ten Commandments" with Charleton Heston thinks Moses looks like Charleton Heston. "He must look like him: I saw it on TV."

Are people so naive as to believe anything appearing on the screen? "If I see it on TV, then that is what I believe!" You may say, "People have weak minds." Well, there are a lot of weak minds out there! And, it is so because it goes right in like a dart with no time to check it. People don't understand it is all a lie, right from the word, "Go!"; it is a lie, a comedy.

"Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that people of all ages are losing their ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. They also frequently find the televised image to be a more satisfactory experience.

The Canners

Q. Did you get to know well the "comedians-in-chief"? Who ultimately runs the show?

A. The news business. The news that we all watch is controlled by big business. All editorial policies are dictated by a board of directors. They are not present every day, but a framework is set up of what will or won't be carried.

Q. Is there a "Ten Commandments"of the perfect broadcaster? Are there topics which are taboo on TV?

A. The people who run the station have to abide by certain governmental laws. But they all are faulted to the system and will give more time to one political party and favor it while showing all. You can't run something on TV contesting people like the Jews. It is a fact that a lot of media is controlled by the Jews.1

Q. Can the Jewish Question or the Holocaust even be raised?

A. It has been done, but in such a way as to make the opponents look radical, and to make a show out of them so as to please the Jewish community as has happened in town here.

Q. How about the "comedians"? Do they buy it all?

A. The people who are out there are so...

Q. Artificial?...

A. No! They are real, and also genuinely sincere. They are persuaded that they are rendering mankind a service. In doing a show when a notorious rapist was in town, I thought I was helping women from being raped. You are used by people above you who offer you more money and more status if you do the "right thing." Promote "The Lie" and you will be promoted. If you don't toe the party line, so to speak, then it is very clear where you'll end up: outside the door.

Q. Do you have concrete instances of insiders promoting "The Lie"?

A. Yes. For example, one speaker was given an enormous wage just for reading what was in front of him. People watched him, believed him, and applauded his name. He couldn't know that much! He was just a puppet, but that, and other things, made the "Big Lie" still credible. When they would receive complaints, then they would use reverse psychology. "If most other people didn't like the show, we would not have made it. The complainers can always turn off the channel." Big lie! You can't, and you don't. And the liars know that.

Q. What about the morals of the people you used to work with?

A. They were the typical business people living according to the law of the jungle. "If I can't get him, he will get me." People filled with hatred, and crooked, lying as naturally as they breathe, hypocrites, setting themselves up while setting you lip; playing all those vicious games. Just before leaving the business, the hardest thing for me was to hear the blasphemies just about every other word... in a place where words are not considered, really. Words in vain or pornographic language were bad enough, but I could not stand those curse words. Also, there is the use of drugs.

Q. You mean that you were producing programmes under the effect of drugs?

A. Are you kidding? Everybody does it! Half the time, it is best if you are not with your senses because the pressure you are under is inhumane, unbelievable. The consumption of drugs is incredible in that business, and alcohol too, especially in the creative end of it, because they are creative forces.

Q. Alcohol and drugs, creative forces?

A. That is the gasoline! There is one glaring statistic which graphically illustrates the degree of moral corruption running rampant in the television industry. "How many traditional Catholics work in the broadcast industry's mainstream?" After fifteen years of working in every aspect of the industry from studio assistant to executive producer, at eight different stations over two continents, I've never had the pleasure of meeting one.

Q. You told me that the movie industry is manipulating time and space. Is there any other area which it is also deforming?

A. Yes: ideas, mentality. It can change your moral and intellectual standards. It is all-powerful. Why is it that, whereas for any other business you only need money, in broadcasting you also need a license from the government? Why does it have to be approved, that is, to be supervised by the government? Because it is so powerful. The news is the most heavily politicised - and the most watched - business.

Q. I understand that the manipulators will give their message (the world's message) and make it...credible. But why is it that so many people will listen to it rather than think or read for themselves?

A. It is the easy way. You have just ro flip a switch and push a button, and you have millions and millions of dollars worth of work, technology and research on a golden plate, right here, in the corner of your room. People c;on't realize the massive machine behind the screen before the product gets to them. And, there is all the psychological research. If you saw what they go through with the consultants to get the right programmes to the right audience... now, wouldn't that be dangerous?

Q. Would the danger be diminished by the fact that more channels are available with TV cable?

A. Besides providing a greater selection of well-deformed junk, the cable industry is most pernicious. There is a new cable system that I'm aware of, where a company will advertise a product in New York City and then rate the number of people watching it. They have two ways of finding out who watches what on is cable TV. Afterwards, they will graph the sales of that product to know how much the ad affected it.

Q. What a great marketing tool!

A. "Great tool," you said it! So great, that now they have the means of finding out who you are by what, when, and how much you watch. They know exactly who is the extremist on the right, or on the left: the violent, the immoral, the patriot or anti-patriot... think about how much information is in the hands of the powers-that-be. Now, when has there been that kind of control over man in a single instant? Never has the world been a "global city" as it is now. 1957 was Satan's biggest step: the launching of the first satellite, which gave instant communication. The accelerating process of degradation can be tracked down to the satellites. TV is just the appliance tool. We have no privacy. Soon, we all will be synchronized, programmed. TV is obviously main-streaming the people. Never before were you able with the movies or the radio to have a huge audience together at the same time and absorbing the same thing. It is overpowering.2

Q. Would they ever be able to manipulate people's minds on a large scale?

A. Nothing seems easier. I remember the rape special we ran to get people aware of the dangers in the city. I got a raise after that show. It was great, terrifying! Women were afraid of going to their cars after they watched the show. They got escorted! But all was fake: the lighting, the dramatization, the music taken from the movie Alien with "Boom... Boom" and the shadows. I was the rapist myself! But people believed it. Now, that was a silly little thing on a local show. But put that on a network scale if you want to misinform people. Take, for instance, the news in East Germany. Where are you getting your information for that?

Q. Probably from Western reporters on the spot.

A. You're right. Let's take the fall of the Berlin Wall. You get it through your TV newscasts. But whose words are you going to hear? Who is the professor giving the lecture? It is a reporter controlled by an editor, himself controlled by a news director, and ultimately by a board of directors with a certain number of editorial policies. He's standing before a thousand people, but on TV they look like a million. The Berlin Wall was knocked down in certain places. But the reporters come up with "The whole of Germany is truly happy today. People are jumping and climbing over the wall. Freedom is come to their country. Tyranny descended today." From the sight and sounds, you could never believe that Germany was not dancing that day. It will take quite a while for people to get the truth.

Q. Dangerous, indeed.

A. So, it is not difficult to imagine the typical scenario. Tomorrow, while people are being entertained watching their favourite game,3 at the appropriate time, Comrade Gorby comes on the screen and with many smiles and honeyed-words, tells them any lullaby and he has got it made. All are going to believe him. "He was so nice, so sincere. No man can talk like him." People are sheep, and more so in front of the smiling screen." To have a revolution, you need a crowd and a message. TV offers both at any given opportunity. The mind manipulators know exactly the best times and the best days to send such a message.4

Q. I should think that TV by its very nature will promote a very selective type of program.

A. Yes and no. Anything that will get public attention is a program. It doesn't matter whether it is a good story, but it has to be catchy-news . . . news even about non-stories. The more sensational, the more cruel, the better. It is no wonder the message of a traditional Catholic priest won't be broadcast on TV. Two people who worked for me wanted to do a story on our traditional church. It never came out. Why? Because it goes against the grain, against the nature of TV, which is to offer the newest, the most original, the most sensational.

Q. What are the typical criteria of the ideal show?

A. The more bloody, the more obscene, the more glamorous and shocking, the better the show. What sickens me the most is when they give a message introducing a story: "We warn you that these pictures are very upsetting. If you have any children, take them out of the room." Why are they running it if it is that bad? They know exactly that by announcing it that way, they will rivet people to the screen. It is the way it works.

Q. Is there any relation between the TV age and the increase of immorality?

A. Certainly. You hear children of five years of age saying things that adults alone used to say. Obviously they didn't learn them from their parents, but from TV. And, then they are relating it and talking about things they have no business to talk about: that is unnatural! The shows always have a radical views, and it cannot but get worse. Look at the shows of the '50's up to the '90's, and see what you can run on a TV. Go to the censorship board and see.

A. They couldn't show Presley below the waist when he was on Ed Sullivan. Now look at what they do! Semi-nude love scenes in the afternoon, and all that in less than 30 years.

Q. Is the destruction of Christian morals a constant among producers?

A. Christian morals and Christianity altogether are under attack. A Jewish observer, columnist Don- Feder, recognized that "no other group is so consistently maligned on prime-time television.". Another Jewish film critic Michael Medved, mentioning some of the recent anti­religious movies like "The Last Temptation of Christ," "King David," "The Mission," etc., comments, "Hollywood filmmakers vehemently deny any anti-religious bias. Instead, they are only providing the public what it wants. But there is no one gigantic flaw in that line of reasoning: all of the movies I've mentioned above - every single one of them - flopped resoundingly at the box office. Taken together, these pictures lost hundreds of millions of dollars for the people who made them. Hunger for money can explain almost everything in Hollywood, but it can't explain why ambitious producers keep launching expensive projects that slam religion."

Q. What-about "trash TV"?

A. On "trash TV," just when I was leaving, they had a live show at the Coliseum with "gladiators," supposedly superior specimens of mankind, who would fight people in the audience. People would want to fight to overthrow the gladiators' position, so as to win the prize. In another one, the losers were thrown into a pool swarming with alligators.

Q. You mean, real people volunteered to fight them in real life?

A. Exactly, that was all the sensation of it: real people, real alligators, and filmed live. I imagine the next to come will be a live execution, somebody at the stake. I am sure that would be the hottest-rated thing ever seen on TV. I have seen it in the studio but not live. Imagine the thing live! "Phone in. Call the following number. How should he go? Should he be burned, shot or hung? Think about it! We'll be right back after this message." This is awful, but it is not that far away. TV desensitises people, so that if the picture of the first plane crash shows one body, in the next, people want to see two or more bodies. It must get worse and worse every day. TV is an incentive to sin. TV is a sin.

TV is a popular tool and at times a dangerous one. How can something so harmful have at the same time gained free entrance in the poorest and remotest homes right from its origins? I don't think that the souls at stake are aware of its poison. Had they known it, they might have never used it. But they think of it only as a means of entertainment. They know they can turn it off if it becomes offensive. That is how they rationalize it. They want to have fun and will gladly spend three and four hours watching the afternoon game. Meanwhile, they are certainly giving up their faith, but that is secondary compared to giving up their TV set.

Q. Why can't people do that nowadays: get rid of their TV's? Would they be afraid of being bored?

A. That is probably the point where many of them stop short of getting rid of it. What will they do to kill the time? Yet up to less than forty years ago, TV was not around. What did the farmers in the Mid-west do throughout the long winter months? If you ask them now, they say "Well, I don't know how I survived without TV."

Q. And now TV is the universal saviour because it gives you many thing to watch and think about?

A. So they say. In reality TV is appealing essentially to people's senses, and today is an age of dissipation: "Whatever distracts me, entertains me, keeps my mind occupied, even if it be something I have no point knowing, I will like and will pay for." Little things please little minds. Modern man has a little mind and doesn't want to think. With TV, modern man doesn't have to think any more, because it has taken away the precious moments where man finds himself a man: the times when he can think of himself. "I don't want to philosophize"; it is how the modern age works.

Q. Do you have any objection to the use of TV as a leisure?

A. Leisure refreshes, rejuvenates you, TV doesn't. See how many couch potatoes fall asleep in front of the screen. Figure it out! They sleep while they are being entertained! I've never fallen asleep hiking, fishing or playing football.

Q. But, besides being entertaining, TV is used as a tool of information so people can be in touch with the world, right?

A. You said it; in touch with the world! That is the whole question. TV sells you the world like the devil did when he tempted Christ. TV is intrinsically worldly, materialistic, and humanistic. It can only say, "The world is the world is the world. That's all that is and that's good enough!" It trains us not to see God's hand. Yet. I grant that man should be informed about the society in which he lives: I'll give you that one. What you see on TV, however, is not the truth. It is altered, manipulated, and that's not how you inform yourself.

Q. Isn't TV a good educational tool despite its potential to be misused?

A. If it is, I haven't seen it yet. That is one of the greatest lies. If I left my child in front of the TV for two years and another one in front of flash-cards and the alphabet, the first child will be years ahead of the the second, but where is he going? We aren't meant to live that fast. It isn't right. But the TV puts you in the competition, and you become addicted to the refinements. Then the mother of the first child comes and gloats over how much smarter he is than yours and, of course, no mother wants to admit that her children are left behind. Meanwhile this whole TV circus leads us to the abyss: because never does the TV say, "Make sure you say your prayers before you sit down for the show; now, it's time to make an act of mortification, and then Big Bird will lead us in the Rosary!"

Q. G.K. Chesterton once said that there is always an inverted proportion between the importance of the message and the means used to spread it. Wouldn't you say that TV is giving out a futile message?

A. I must say I disagree with that. I think the message is quite powerful. They have something to say. Do you want to know what it is? "On sale! Buy, go in debt! Become somebody! Look like J.R. Ewing! Be what you see on TV and be real! You must have a new car, imitate the hairdo of your favorite TV star, her clothes..."

Q. What is the profile of screen heroes?

A. They must be people who are young, efficient, affluent and urban. If added to that, they are immoral and boastful, that will help, but never humble or obedient, the loudest, the most original, the most extreme in the claim of his own rights, the most violent. Look, teenagers today are literally worshipping a Ninja turtle! From one extreme to the next! Where will TV end?

Q. Can the presence of TV in the homes have some unifying value, since everyone is busy watching television together?

A. In former times, people at home used to talk. They had serious talks. If people get together today, they don't talk. They just get the government's message, the world's message. At home with the TV, you don't have to go out and visit, or pick up a book and read it. Today, the most elementary laws of hospitality are broken without scruple thanks to the dear screen. If Mr. and Mrs. Johnson try to visit you in the middle of an interesting programme, you hardly have a look at them, let alone a word.

Q. America's pediatricians have found that "children watch far too much TV* That is what makes them aggressive and promiscuous."

A. You don't have to be a doctor to discover that. Yet, besides the obvious immoral influence of TV, it erodes the family bond and very subtly sometimes.

Q. See, the typical hero offered to our children is Sargeant Muscle, rewarded especially for his immoral success. Dad is just Mr. Loser Carpenter"5, a regular worker, a "Joe" who just looks like an idiot: a third class citizen.

A. Your son won't be long in asking you, "Dad, why can't you come home from work and look like a Zorro? Why can't you be like him? The hero image is implanted there, which has all the values that the world wants you to have; but Dad is not the hero.

Q. TV makes children whimsical and fat couch-potatoes doesn't it?

A. Yes, because by constantly watching commercials, they find themselves wanting things which they don't need. The child watching TV will come to his parents with demands. The parents, to satisfy him, will meet these demands, whose parameters are pre-set by TV. That is scary, because there is no bond between the children and their parents. If the State at one stage ever wants to place a wedge between them, TV is it.

Q. TV: a narcotic? Can you control TV?

A. We tried it in our home. We resolved to be very selective. "We will look at the TV guide, we will see only certain TV shows, and then we will turn it off." We allowed only one TV. But as soon as you walked in the house, a voice said, "Turn it on; you don't know what you are missing." To me it is diabolical. Not because of the voice but because it has such a powerful attraction.

Q. Why does it have that? Is it habit-forming, or addictive?

A. I believe it is addictive, not like alcohol, because you drink at your own pace, as much as you want. This addiction is more like an intravenous drug, where someone else controls the drug dosage. TV has all the effects of a drug, and it may well have the same cause. There have been articles written on it. How is it addictive? In that people can't avoid turning it on. They have to admit this. Why is that? And, especially, why do they still do it? Certain drugs like heroin end up killing their users.

Q. TV, an opiate?

A. In effect, it is a dope, a spiritual dope for deadening the pain of modern living. It is the marijuana of the masses and the opiate of the people, the god of modern man. Television like narcotics, works on the brain, inducing a stupor. "My father is turning into a vegetable," it was said in the `50's, "He just sits watching that screen every night." No wonder the first TV generation became the first to commit widespread drug abuse. Mere coincidence? Researcher Marie Winn in `Plug-in Drug' notes: "The television viewing state of consciousness is not far removed from that state described by drug users as `pure awareness' in which ` ....the person is completely and vividly aware of his experience, but there are no processes of thinking, manipulation [of data], or interpreting going on.' (Charles Tart, in Altered States of Consciousness).

Q. How can you speak of stupor when the senses of sight and sound are obviously involved?

A. TV has an hypnotic power of centering the attention of a person on the screen because the pictures are racing too fast.

"An evening of TV viewing is a typical example of perceptual overload which initiates some level of hypnotic trance. Being bombarded with so much information over such a short time, people sit like somnambultists, staring blankly at the screen." "The horror of television . . . is that the information goes in, but we don't react to it. You are training yourself not to react and so later on, you're doing things without knowing why you're doing them or where they came from."6

Q. Do you think that TV is baptizable?

A. Well, if it were, it has had plenty of opportunity to prove itself as such. It came in at a time when the Church was still on its feet, before Vatican II, when there was strict censorship. TV had its chance. It started out like an infant, more or less innocent. Look where it is now; and there is a good argument against it in that it helped the world to become what it is today. If TV did have some kind of redeeming value, I think it would have somehow come through. It hasn't!7

Q. What you say seems strange. TV is a material tool, a work of technology; there is nothing evil about it.

A. Yes, like an atomic bomb. People said that the atomic bomb was the same as the other ones; but it is not controllable, only destructive. It is too powerful for a man to fight. It is too powerful a tool to have any positive effect.8 What do you gain by using it? Has anybody ever answered that question?

Q. Couldn't Catholics have their own station and their own program and "sell God"?

A. A Catholic Broadcast Corporation, A CBC? That is forgetting that we live in a pagan world. My first question is "Why would you have to use a TV?" Is it because the devil uses it? Does that make it a good tool? It is like talking to the serpent: "I'm going to use you to do good because I am more cunning than you think." Stay away from it! It has never worked. TV is so much in the hands of the devil that you are never going to use it as a tool to convert people! It is like casting pearls before swine. Suppose you had a traditional Catholic show on one channel: people will watch it between the 6:00 pm news and the ball game. "Oh! Bishop Sheen is on at 7:00. We must watch him!" If you invite your parishoners to watch TV, you are going to end up closing your own parish. "Why should I come to church and bring all my kids, crying in the back? Why go through so much hassle to hear just my parish priest, if the bishop is coming on TV at 7:00 pm?" That is increasing the temptation to be lazy.

Q. VHS is an off-shoot of TV and is widespread in homes. How about watching videos? Would you object to them as you do to regular TV shows?

A. "Look, Ricardo Montalban starring with the children of Fatima!" Do you think you can use movies to edify? You can't. The children of Fatima and Ricardo Montalban - that shady character in the movies - are not the same thing. And the children themselves have to have curly hair and rosy cheeks. People want to see and believe that. Look at "The Greatest Story Ever Told." It is pure Hollywood!

Q. Movie videos are one thing; lectures or catechism on video are another thing, aren't they? `Keep the Faith' has come up with a large selection of highly educational videotapes, available to a public who otherwise would never be exposed to them. That sounds like a very positive apostolate.

A. I don't know, Father, but unless I am missing something, I cannot ever imagine traditional catechism being taught on TV. "Chapter II. Baptism. There will be questions following, but you've got to come closer to the screen, because I can't hear you well." You see, there would be no interaction. To have any impact on one's life, catechism must be live, personal and authoritative. Nothing can replace the exchange between professor and students.

Q. What would you think of making home-made movies?

A. Here I see another type of problem. It is my own production; there is always the pride involved. And of course, you will be taking only selective shots, the most original, the most interesting; but again, you are missing 95% of the picture.

Q. I must say that, given even my little experience with VHS, when I produce anything, I have to think "catchy," "sensational," "punchy." The dull shots will necessarily be eliminated.

A. But again, that is not so realistic. There are boring speakers, and I suppose that they serve a purpose. Who knows whether St. Alphonsus de Liguori was a great orator? Maybe no one would have listened to him on TV, but look at the great books he wrote!

Q. I always think that Archbishop Lefebvre comes across great on TV!

A. I think that if you can't be present at the Bishop's Mass, then it is God's will. But if you want to be there, then you will get priorities straight and make some room in your activities so as to be able to go and see him. TV is not a channel of God's grace. It stultifies the sacred and belittles good, while enhancing evil. You cannot televise Christ's Mystical Body.

Christ is in our neighbour, and we can find Him better in real life than on the screen.

Q. But don't you think that Bishop Sheen's TV programme in the `50's converted many people?

A. I know I am going to shock you, but I personally believe that he would have converted them with or without the show. Those people who want to find out will go to church and spend the time THERE. It is not while lying down lazily on a sofa that one is apt to receive the grace of conversion. Conversion supposes an urge, an active search for the truth. People must want to convert. You can't push conversion on them! Why would you have to squeeze the graces of conversion from Bishop Sheen between a soap and a beer advertisement? And why couldn't conversion happen in the same way as it did before the `50's? It all boiled down to the same false argument: "If it is there, then I must use it."

Q. What remedies do you suggest to cure the TV addicts? Some books suggest that people take the resolution of turning the TV off for two weeks in order to find ways of filling the time they were so afraid of facing before. What is your opinion?

A. Yes, of course, two weeks will be enough to find the right leisure. Others speak of forbidding TV for important social times, like meals. I personally don't think that there can be a gradual withdrawal.

Q. So, "Get rid of it!" is your only advice for the detoxification of TV watchers?

A. It is the same as breaking a cocaine or heroin addiction. Stop altogether, and then live a life of faith and prayer. As a priest friend of mine used to say, "The TV? `Raus' (it] out of the house and be `schnell' about it!" No, you can't compromise by having even one TV in your house. You can't have the TV in the corner with the statue of the Blessed Mother on top of it! You've got to make up your mind. Mary does't have her place on top of the "devil's box."

Q. Of course, it is a difficult choice, and I don't think people can give up their set up without having the true Faith.

A. Well, many people don't have the true Faith, like the Amish, and they have no TV. But of course, they have certain values of faith which are higher than the world's. The TV is the world, serves only the world, and not God. Itcan be despised only by the souls whose goal is above that of materialism.

I think itwould be really unbearable for a non-believer to be deprived of TV while at the same time knowing that it is available. But a Catholic can bear the deprivation of TV, because he knows that he is made for a much more elavated life. The Faith is attractive only as long as we quietly think about it. Television is attractive only as long as we think about nothing. The ever-widening void encouraged by TV is an open invitation to the 1001 devils who are abroad these days.

1. Jewish historian Alfred Lilienthal, in his book The Zionist Connection II, declares that the most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control. "In radio and TV, one finds an almost overwhelming presence of key Jews . . . RCA, NBC, and ABC are Jewish controlled. Virtually all national and international news is filtered, edited and broadcast by these three corporations." The same is to be said of the "distinct majority of TV writers and producers" (Ben Stein). Three out of five of TV's elite have a Jewish religious background " (New Dimensions, Sept 1990). No wonder the screen has been nicknamed "the Jewish Tabernacle."

2. As someone wrote forty years ago with prophetic accents, if motion pictures can be transmitted from the studio into people's living rooms, why shouldn't it work backwards, bringing the sights and sounds of the living room to a central police bureau? TV will be the ideal spy for Mr. Tyrant!

3. "CBS estimated its 1987 Super Bowl audience at 130 million, all controlled from a single studio in New York at the same time!" (Jerry Mander, Jewish)

4 Former Senator and Presidential hopeful Gary Hart declared "It is a frightful thing, if you think about it enough. A Hitler, a dictator, could rise in a matter of a few days with the proper use of TV." Jacobson, a subliminal technician

Top TV sitcom producer Norman Lear said, "People accept information much more readily when they're being entertained." In other words, after we have put your conscious mind on hold, we can plant our anti-Christian values into your subconscious mind. The (sick) comedy which we create is just our tool to anesthetize your brain.

5. According to Marie Winn in her book, The Plug-in Drug, the weekly average for an American is 20 hours (World Almanac Nelson Research Feb. 89). At 60 years of age, an American will have spent six years in front of a TV set. " Mr. P. left his job when he converted, becoming a simple carpenter. Together with another convert to the traditional movement, he founded the J.M.J. Company, "The Jesus, Mary & Joseph Carpentry Shop."

6. "Quoting professor Wilson Bryan Key in Clam-Plate Orgy," he tells us that: "Preceptual overload is another subliminal media strategy: bombarding individual perceptions with sensory stimuli in heavy quantities or intense volume thus initiating some level of hypnotic trance and sensory anesthesia . . . This is exactly what TV's are intended to do."

7. Parents should recreate with their children, in the presence of God. It is one of the most essential duties of education: to live and to do things together during the short span of time that the children are at home. TV invades that last refuge.

8. The evil is not that man possesses technology, but that technology possesses man and makes him a slave. With TV, it is a pleasant one, the easy-chair slavery." (In tegrity Magazine, Feb. 1951)

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