Matthew Parris

Matthew Parris: Atheists deserve better opposition

Piers Paul Read did not make a good case for miracles. Let me do it for him

19 October 2013

9:00 AM

19 October 2013

9:00 AM

I wish I were a religious conservative: the field’s wide open. It must be dispiriting for believers to encounter so little intelligent support for belief. It’s certainly infuriating for us non-believers, because there’s hardly anyone left who seems capable of giving us a good argument. In search of a stimulating conversation about religion, we are reduced to arguing with ourselves.

Which, still seething at a Spectator article purporting to be a serious examination of the case for miracles, I shall now do. I cannot argue with Piers Paul Read because he never produces an argument to answer. The magazine tagged his piece ‘I believe in miracles’, which was accurate because the essay was not a reasoned case; it was simply an attestation.


Arguing about mircales then, and now

What drew me into it was the implicit boast thatMr Read was about to answer the greatest British philosopher of all time, the 18th-century Scot David Hume. Indeed he refers to Hume’s essay ‘On Miracles’ as the leading case against the veracity of miraculous occurrences. But he doesn’t explain Hume’s argument. He simply asserts that it has been ‘refuted’ (he means ‘challenged’, or ‘countered’) by philosophers like Anthony Flew and the Catholic G.E.M. Anscombe. He adds that C.D. Broad ‘made mincemeat’ of it.

Mincemeat of what? I cannot suppose that Piers Paul Read does not understand Hume’s ‘On Miracles’, because its reasoning is stunningly simple and can be summarised in three sentences. So let me do Read’s job for him:

1 A ‘miracle’ claims to be a divine intervention which temporarily overturns a law of nature, so faced with such a claim we must weigh our habitual assumption — massively and anciently supported — that the laws of nature always hold, against a single report that they have been overturned.

2 People are notoriously deceitful, gullible and liable to mistake what they see, so it will always be more rational to conclude that the evidence for a miracle is unreliable than that the laws of nature have been overturned.

3 It follows that no person relying on reason alone can ever conclude that the evidence for a miracle outweighs the evidence against it.

Let’s hear Hume himself speak. To conclude (he allows) that apparent eyewitnesses were under a misapprehension may strain credulity, but…

When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened. I weigh the one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority, which I discover, I pronounce my decision, and always reject the greater miracle. If the falsehood of his testimony would be more miraculous, than the event which he relates; then, and not till then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion.

Hume goes on to remark that the world’s religions support their central claims with minor claims to miracles. But these religions believe their rival religions’ central claims to be false. If we are to follow one religion, we must discard as false the miracles claimed by the others. From the start, therefore, any Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew has to believe that the witnesses to many miracles were fooled, even if the witnesses to his religion’s miracles were not.

Having explained the argument Read is rejecting, I shall now attempt the second task he left unaccomplished, and point to weaknesses in Hume’s reasoning. I can think of two, of which the second is more interesting.

The first is that, on one interpretation, Hume’s argument is circular. He starts from the premise that we have overwhelming evidence that natural laws cannot be overturned; he goes on argue that this accumulated evidence must outweigh any isolated report of the overturning of a natural law; it follows, he says, that we can never rationally believe such a report; and he concludes that… er, natural laws cannot be overturned. Tautological? I have to say that Hume lays himself open to the charge by suggesting that his is a logically necessary case, rather than an empirically compelling one. Were he to restrict himself to noting that the evidence of every generation since the dawn of man, in innumerable instances, is most unlikely to be outweighed by the claims of a handful of witnesses in a single instance, he would be on surer though less philosophically exhilarating ground.

The second objection is this. Even if accepted on its own terms, Hume’s essay does not prove that no miracle could ever occur. It proves that no claim to a miracle could be reasonably believed. Hume strikes me as curiously unmindful of the distinction between saying that on the balance of probabilities a claim is false, and saying the claim must be false. A court of law, finding a prisoner guilty beyond reasonable doubt, does not exclude the possibility that he is innocent; but deems the possibility negligible. Miscarriages of justice occur, even in cases where the agents of justice reached their conclusion reasonably.

To caricature the Scottish philosopher, Hume is saying to God, ‘You cannot perform a miracle, Lord, because any report of it must logically be discredited’ — to which God might reasonably reply ‘Try me, David’; or, more patiently, ‘You may be right, Mr Hume, that no reasonable person acting on reason alone would believe I rolled away the stone, but that does not mean that I did not roll away the stone.’

…which brings us, I believe, to an interesting truth contained in Hume’s essay — and a thought on which he does touch. In remarking that ‘no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish’, he makes the point that the act of believing in a miracle is, in itself, a minor miracle, for in accepting a miracle the believer must forsake the laws of probability.

You could put it more simply: one needs faith before one can believe in miracles. A claimed miracle cannot be a justification for faith, but faith can justify believing the claim. Herein lies the theists’ own circular argument: to have faith, you must have faith; to make the leap, you must make the leap.

There we are, Piers Paul Read: your job done for you. A pity it’s all bunkum.

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Show comments
  • Alex Smith

    Dear Matthew

    I understand your scepticism. I share it. But I have always wondered how a wholly materialist and determinist scientific outlook works with my daily experience of feeling myself to make free choices. It’s like a little miracle every time I make a free decision in a scientific, deterministic world. And yet if my choice is an illusion, then the is nothing to live for – I am not a person, just a bunch of atoms obeying natural laws under an illusion of freedom.

    So I tend to make a bit of space for religion otherwise I can’t explain why I believe myself to be a person. Do you see what I mean?

    I’m not a great philosopher, but I think this is a deep question.

    Anyway – good article.

    Alex Smith

    • JoeDM

      This is just a Sraw Man. None of us make ‘free choices’. All our choices are constrained in one way or another.

      • Jackthesmilingblack


        • “Jackthesmilingblack”, the Japanese unfunny pedant, clutching at, the multiple thereof.

  • Daniel Deyl

    Dear Mr Parris,

    let me disagree respectfully – I must insist that you seem to disprove yourself. The simple beauty of the line “try me, David”, combined with the intellectual honesty of the argument, is as satisfying – both intellectually and emotionally – as any poetry I know.

    You may suggest now that my reading choices are seriously limited, or that it just goes to show that some people simply are very good writers. You may well be right on both counts.

    And yet – you mentioned once that your writing is the only thing that had never failed you. What exactly do you call that? Given what your writing does to me, and lacking a better word, I settle for miracle.

    Thank you.

    Daniel Deyl, Prague

  • Bonkim

    If they were intelligent, won’t be believers in the first place. Moreover, belief does not require rational discourse for justification to the faithful – so Mr Parris – stop the wishful thinking.

  • Yank In Slough

    I think only one miracle is central to the argument for theism. That is the miracle of our existence. As a scientist I have been led to the conclusion that the architecture of the Big Bang, the Logos of Creation, was/is such that it leads directly to the evolution of water-based hydrocarbon life forms with minds. This is so bizarrely improbable that I am led to the conclusion that the force which created the Big Bang was not only omnipotent (from our point of view) but omniscient. Call it what you will, the quantum vacuum, the Absolute, Existence, it is in accord with the New Testament view of “Abba” and the teachings of Christ Jesus. I would have liked to remain a materialist atheist. I cannot.

    If you read Teilhard, Barrow&Tipler, Polkinghorne, A. McGrath, Collins (Human Genome Project), or E.E. Harris, they can explain this better than I.

    • itbeso

      Scientist, you. /snort

      • Yank In Slough

        Sorry. I confess that my doctorate is in a squishy science, information science and computing, but I was trained in experimental design, regression analysis, graduate maths, etc.

        I was also trained that a scientist must go where the evidence leads. My observations and what I accept as evidence have led me to the conclusion that whatever existed before the Big Bang clearly programmed our universe, both the physical and transcendental realms, by setting parameters which created Goldilocks zones in which mind could emerge. These immanent parameters create emergent actual noumena which through cosmic evolution, lead to us.

        As I said, read Barrow and Tipler, Teilhard, Polkinghorne, and Collins (all much better scientists than I) for more detailed arguments.

    • Chaotopia

      “miracle of our existence”

      Not really a miracle though is it when one considers the sheer ubiquity of organic chemicals throughout the universe then “life” is something that was bound to happen within this incredibly large space and within this immense passage of time.

      Factor in the random indeterminacy of subatomic particles, chaos theory and the 2nd law of thermodynamics (that everything in existence is gradually unwinding into disorder) and the whole idea of teleological framework (that existing has an underlying purpose or “design”) for reality becomes untenable along with that of a celestial “designer”.

      “Why is there anything at all” is a superficially interesting question but an even deeper one is simply to ask “why not?”

      Hume asked such questions and this is why he is the most important philosopher ever and why his Empiricism (validating truth claims by systematically testing the supporting evidence for them to destruction and beyond) is the basis of the modern scientific method, the legal system and high quality journalism.

      • Yank In Slough

        Several problems here. If life is “bound to happen”, why do we have no evidence of it elsewhere? If “the immense passage of time” was enough time, why is the night sky not white from the light of innumerable universes?

        Given that there was enough time to randomly create self-replicating molecules, which I can accept, how can you show definitively that there was enough time to randomly create DNA? You can’t even show the mechanism for that happening, let alone how many random combinations it would take.

        More basically, what is the process by which the code is created? The only experience we have with codes is that they are imprinted on a medium by conscious minds. Show me how a random process creates a code.

        Your second paragraph does not make a logical argument. Your premises are not only not shared, they do not support your conclusion: “given x, y, and z” does not lead to “no teleology”.

    • Andrew Daws

      I think only one miracle is central to the argument for theism. That is the miracle of our existence.

      What a deliciously circular argument.

      • YankInSlough

        How is that circular? It’s just a restatement of the Cosmological Argument, as argued by B&T, Harris, Flew, and many others.

        The first premise is that consciousness exists, for which there is ample evidence.
        Second, that this is extremely unlikely, requiring a very specific framework to the origins of the universe at the BB.
        Third, that this unlikely framework allows the evolution of consciousness.
        Fourth, that evolution has passed from the physical realm into the realm of consciousness, the noosphere.
        Fifth, that consciousness is now playing the key role in the evolution of the universe, leading to a completion (the Teleological Argument).
        Sixth, that therefore an argument can be made that the universe was designed for completion, requiring the evolution of consciousness, by a prior, external consciousness.

        I recognize that the conclusion is a stretch, and I have not stated the argument as well as others have. However, it is a powerful explanatory argument, and it certainly is not circular.

        • Andrew Daws

          Your argument is that we exist, so there must be a God. We are told we are created in the image of God, so if we exist, so must God. Is that not circular?

          An atheist would say that the world is so random, so cruel, that it can’t possibly be the product of a loving God. Even the complexity of creation can be seen as the result of natural selection rather than divine design. Existence surely just proves that we exist?

          Neither of us was there at Big Bang, and I certainly can’t comprehend the vastness of space and time involved. It seems to me eminently reasonable to posit the presence of God from existence, but it’s hardly proof. I have had a few interesting discussions with atheists recently, pointing out that atheism is a belief system, in that they believe, with no proof, there is no God, but it always elicits howls of derision. Neither theists nor atheists can conclusively prove their position to the satisfaction of the other. I am personally convinced of the existence of God, but I can’t prove it to you. Thankfully I am not a philosopher or scientist, which is of course pretty obvious, so I don’t need to prove anything.

  • Alex Smith


    I read my previous comment and it was rather incomprehensible. Let me have another go.

    If (and I’m not sure of this) an atheist is a materialist and determinist – i.e., someone who believes in the laws of nature and nothing “supernatural” – then presumably he is worried by the experience of his own free choice. I certainly think I make choices in the sense that I think I could have deliberately acted differently. It’s what makes me think i am a moral person with duties and rights, rather than an amoral collection of atoms obeying the laws of quantum mechanics and gravity.

    Does an atheist feel the same way and, if so, how does he explain the sense of his own freedom in a deterministic and materialist universe? As an illusion? Then why is he moral?

    Sorry to belabour the point, but I worry about this whenever I hear confirmed atheists make whatvarevotherwise strong arguments.

    • Chaotopia

      “materialist and determinist”

      Wrong – as an Atheist, I am certainly a materialist but not a determinist.
      Anyone familiar with Quantum Mechanics or what Chaos Theory did to Laplacian determinism will understand why.

      BTW, the Existence of an Omnipotent, Omniscient (properties that actually contradict each other) all powerful God invalidates individual free will – such a God would have contrived your entire existence well aware of every last single choice and decision that you will make before you even had the chance to exist and make those decisions and choices!

      I wouldn’t worry about Free Will since Science has shown that is an illusion anyway and you may as well sit back and make the most of what your brain has already decided to do 100 – 150 milliseconds before you become aware of it.

      • Alex Smith


        A couple of quick points. I thought quantum mechanics was deterministic (in the sense that the evolution of a state is known precisely without any random element) and chaos theory certainly is – its just a complexity question.

        More importantly, I and most other people appear to behave in a way that assumes we have rights and duties. Why do we do so? Is it just that the laws of quantum mechanics and gravity result in humans doing things that seem to be moral?

      • Hugh

        Why do omniscience and omnipotence contradict each other?

  • Jonathan Douglas

    Matthew Parris is right, much of what religious non-sceptics present in favour of faith is either circular or specious nonsense, but I believe there are things to be said which are not bunkum, but you’d struggle to do it in the context of a forum post. Religious conviction is always based on something which the believer perceives as miraculous, without that he’d be agnostic, but the arguments of the sceptics can be countered from their own ground. On the other hand most of what anti-religious people throw at me does not seem to me to be about religion at all, at best it is about human institutions which have grown up around religion, which may have their faults, of course. Quantum mechanics is quite mind-blowing; it tells us that existence is not what it seems (and has dire consequences for the pet cats of scientists 🙂 ), but knowing about it doesn’t really make me any more or less human.

  • pa55word

    When I see a bloke carried off to heaven in a flaming chariot pulled by flying horses I’ll believe in a religion.

    Until then I’ll be certain that people who believe that two thousand odd years ago some notable bloke was carried off to heaven in a flaming chariot pulled by flying horses, is unfit for positions of responsibility.

  • Rockin Ron

    Dear Mr Parris
    You have written previously of seeing Christians in South Africa making a real difference to the lives of so many needy people. You acknowledged the power of faith to transform society in the country of your birth.

    Yet, despite seeing faith in action, you still choose not to believe. The evidence is before your eyes and the choice is yours – to believe or to reject the claims of Christ. But be sure of this – one day we will all have to account for our choice. So, I implore you, to be reconciled to Christ.

    • RobWatkin

      Because christians do good does not mean that their beliefs are true. People of all religions and no religion go good (and bad) things, Your arguement is unconvincing.

      • Rockin Ron

        Of course you are right Robert. Christians do not have a monopoly on goodness anymore than athiests have a monopoly on evil. My point was that Matthew had acknowledged in his article that the motivation for Christians in South Africa, in their transformational work was their faith. I’m not saying they could not do it without their faith, but Matthew was clear that no-one else was showing the sacrificial love that he witnessed in the country of his birth. They lived out their faith because they believed it to be true. You can dismiss that or act upon it, the choice is yours. But, be sure you will have to answer for that choice.

        • RobWatkin

          don’t believe that I will have to answer in the hereafter, and I don’t do good because I am afraid of punishment in the hereafter if I am bad.

          • Rockin Ron

            Fine – the choice is yours. As you have said you ‘don’t believe’, that is a choice you have made. The choice not to believe requires faith as well as the choice to believe.

          • RobWatkin

            No it doesn’t ! I accept things that there is evidence for and make sense to me. The claims of religion do Neither of these things.

          • Jonathan Douglas

            I think you are both missing a slightly different point, which is more important : Why am I a Christian ? – because no-one has demonstrated a more clear-sighted view of how human relationships should work than Jesus. What is God ? I don’t really know; Is there an afterlife ? I am not really sure; How should we behave towards one another ? Jesus is THE guide. Not being hugely expert in other religions, I don’t know to what extent they also give extremely good guidance and inspiration about human relationships, so possibly Jesus is not the only guide, but his message is so simple and complete, you might as well use it.

          • Andrew Daws

            yes it does. You believe there is no God. You have no empirical evidence to confirm your belief.

          • RobWatkin

            Your reply proves Matthew’s point. Of course I have no empirical evidence to disprove the existence of god, as you have no empirical evidence to disprove faeries at the bottom of your garden.

  • Icebow

    ‘Scientific materialism’ (a contradiction in terms) is of the nature of criminal insanity: criminal in that it locks injustice into the universe; insane in that it is complete irrational (part of the delusion is the claim to rationality). I may well get peevish or furious replies from science groupies, and will probably not reply. I’m sick of trying to reason with such people, as with Mohammedans.

  • Rilman

    Even if there were a God, how could anyone be so arrogant to profess to know what it did or did not do, at the very beginning of the Universe, or at any time up until now, or even that it exists?

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      When you have faith you don`t need proof.

      • RobWatkin

        That’s scary isn’t it !

  • Zimbalist

    I’ve never seen an egg cook itself.

    Why then do you expect that a Universe 13 billion light years across just popped into existence from nothing? Doesn’t add up.

    Look up to the sky at night. Then realise that God is so much bigger than you and whatever your mind can come up with.

    • Fasdunkle

      yet you are happy to believe that a being capable of creating the universe exists without a beginning.

      The universe is certainly much bigger, more complex and more full of wonder than is told in any tale of god yet invented

      • Yank In Slough

        Does the quantum vacuum exist without a beginning? Did it precede the BB?

        At any rate, the term “beginning” only makes sense within a space-time continuum such as ours. Before the BB, there was neither space nor time, so there were no “beginnings”, no “before” or “after”, no causality, no way to use our logic to analyse it, whatever “it” was.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Unlike religious headbangers, astrophysicists don`t claim to have all the answers, yet.

  • Don Fallon

    Dear Matthew

    The Evidence is Overwhelming!

    What would you think of a judge who passed sentence without examining the evidence? You may reasonably say, “Not a very good judge!”

    It’s reasonable to ask, “How can anyone make a right judgment without first examining the evidence?” The truth is no one can, and that’s why concerning the most important question “Why am I here?” we must examine the evidence for the meaning and purpose of life.

    The evidence for God is all around us – but His word the Bible gives us overwhelming evidence for its truth.

    Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events in detail centuries before they occurred. Anyone can make a prediction. Having them fulfilled is another story.

    Bible prophecies foretold in detail the persecution and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    1. That Jesus would be betrayed by a friend was prophesied in Psalm 41:9 about 1000 years before it happened, in 1000 BC.

    2. That Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver was prophesied in Zechariah 11:12-13 about 500 years before it happened.

    3. That Jesus would be spat upon and beaten was prophesied in Isaiah 50:6 about 700 years before it happened.

    4. That Jesus would be silent before his accusers was prophesied in Isaiah 53:7 about 700 years before it happened

    5. That God’s servant would die for our sins was prophesied in Isaiah 53:4-6 about 700 years before it happened.

    6. The fact that Jesus would be pierced was prophesied by Zechariah 12:10 about 700 years before it happened.

    7. That Jesus would be “numbered with transgressors” was prophesied in Isaiah 53:12 about 700 years before it happened.

    8. That God’s servant would be buried in a rich man’s tomb was prophesied in Isaiah 53:9 about 700 years before it happened.

    Professor Stoner and his students examined these eight prophecies according to the science of probability. The chance of ONE Man fulfilling ALL 8 prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. How BIG is that number??

    If you covered the ENTIRE state of TEXAS with silver dollars, then dropped in a single marked dollar? And then mixed them all up? Your chance of finding that marked dollar, on your FIRST try, WEARING A BLINDFOLD would be 1 in 10 to the 17th power. This very large number is: 10,000,000,000,000,000.

    Isn’t it amazing? God came to earth in human form to save you and me. To redeem us from the sin that separated us from God.

    Peter the great Apostle of Christ preached on the day of Pentecost and this was part of his message: “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do to be saved?”

    Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2: 36-39)

    The righteousness that is by faith says: “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:8-10)

    • pa55word

      “but His word the Bible gives us overwhelming evidence for its truth.” B’llocks.

      “the Bible accurately foretells specific events in detail centuries before they occurred” Sweaty B’llocks.

      There is no repeatable demonstrable evidence: it’s all a fiction.

    • Don Fallon

      Dear pa55word

      You have obviously not examined the evidence. You cannot therefore make a true judgement. Serious judges never use the word B’llocks.

      Thank you for your comment anyway. It made me smile and then made me sad to think on such a serious subject you had no intention of examining the evidence.

      Please study the evidence and come back to me. Read this for a start and I will then take your comments – your judgement more seriously.

      What do you think of this

      Science Speaks reveals:- Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible

      Don Fallon

  • Don Fallon

    Dear Matthew

    Its just not true to say that there is “so little intelligent support for belief”

    Read Professors Stoners online book “Science Speaks”:-

    Listen to the world famous Bible teacher David Pawson MA:

    View the website of Scientists who believe:-

    Read this website:-

    And these are only a few!

    Then admit that there is plenty of intelligent support for belief.

    Every good wish

    Don Fallon

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    You get gay Atheists which is a tad more logical than Christians for 9/11 truth.
    Smell up and wake the coffee, when you draw your last breath it`s “Game Over”. Glorious Afterlife is for the weak-minded that can`t handle mortality. Face it, the world`s wall-to-wall gullible Muppets.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    There was this Gaijin preacher blathering away out here in the Japan Alps telling the gullible that God made the vegetation green so it would be restful on our eyes. What a crock. Any thinking person would immediately realise that our eyes adapted to the prevailing vegetation colour. You feel like interrupting the service.
    Time to raise your game, preacher.
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • Jonathan Barfield

    Bravo Mr Parris for calling out Piers Paul Read’s use of “authorities” to claim Hume has been “made mincemeat” – the use of such arguments from authority, and the assumption the reader will be unquestioningly impressed, is reasonably common in academic theology.

    Hume acknowledges some of the potential flaws you identify. He gives an example of an “Indian prince” who has never experienced ice or frost – Hume says that the prince is reasoning correctly when he doesn’t believe others who tell him about the existence of ice and frost, even though ice and frost exist, due to it being so different from his experience. It follows that it is rational to not believe that miracles occur, even if they in fact do.

    Secondly, at the end of the chapter, Hume writes that he has only shown that belief in miracles cannot be supported by reason, but that this will not deter the true believer because true believers will claim to ground their belief in miracles in faith not in reason. Though this can read like Hume conceding the limitations of his argument, he is of course being rather subtle – if the believer now has to say “I believe in miracles and I have no reason to do so”, Hume would be very pleased.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The Jodie Foster movie “Contact” was on cable last night here in Japan. It`s on YouTube, so you might want to check it out. A few discrepancies which may be due to clumsy editing, but worth a watch. The irreconcilability between organised religion, sub-section Christianity, and science and technology is laid bare. So for any Aliens planning contact, give religious head-banger US a miss.

  • bluedixie

    A great example of narcissistic, intellectual bigotry. It’s a question of faith you poor ignorant man.

  • Fay

    Bunkum?…Hullo? Get out more man, then you might meet a robust argument for faith. Martin Amis said that the Hitch spoke like a genius but thought like a child. You write like a child.

  • Beth Swain

    Miracles in my experience can happen, but not always in the way you might expect from Biblical accounts. If you can’t measure something doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  • Matthew Parris is still an odious Euro-Integrationist, the shameless apologist of Call-Me-Dave and Lynton Crosby and their deceptions (and they are now unraveling tonight), and one of the higher priests of the New World Order based in Brussels.