The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Hypothesis on the Story of Exodus

Strap yourself in, because this is going to be a long one.

I don’t speak directly about my faith too often.  For me, faith is like the air I breathe or the sun in the sky.  It is just there, a constant presence, exerting an influence in more ways than I could count or quantify.  It doesn’t need to be talked about, it is just there.

This week I have finally gotten around to watching The Bible on Netflix.  This is the History Channel miniseries dramatizing the Christian Bible.  It is pretty good even if at times it shows its budget.  Also it keeps making me want to play Mass Effect (a joke only gamers will fully get).

But it made me think of a hypothesis I have about the story of Exodus and I thought I would share it with you.

I call it a hypothesis because one should always be careful attempting to know guess any part of God’s plan.  By definition God is omniscient and omnipotent and so we are a bit like cave men trying to understand nuclear physics when it comes to these things.  “Hypothesis,” therefore, is a precisely chosen term: it is an educated guess, and not even raised to the level of theory.  But I think it is a good one.  Maybe.

The additional complexity is that I cannot read the bible in any of its original languages.  And we all know that translation can go hilariously wrong.  But with all those caveats in mind, let me share my hypothesis.

You know how the story goes, and for your benefit I will give you a Cliff’s Notes version.  Moses was born of Jewish slaves, at a time where the Pharaoh was murdering Jewish sons for fear of rebellion.  Moses is spared and raised as the son of the Pharaoh, only to find out that he was actually Jewish and to escape after killing a slave driver.  Then God spoke to him in the form of a burning bush and told him to set his people free.  I was always amused in particular by this passage in Exodus 4:

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well.[”]

So you see, dear reader, when Moses needed a lawyer, God suggested Aaron.  I am well-named, indeed!

So Moses goes back to Egypt and confronts the Pharaoh (now his former adoptive brother, Ramses).  And there is a bit here that I don’t see anyone highlight.  Over and over again, God says that he will harden the Pharoah’s heart.  For instance, from Exodus 4:21:

The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.[”]

(Emphasis added.)  These are all NIV translations, but I have seen several translations and they agree on this point.  You can see a similar theme in Exodus 7:

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”

(Emphasis added.)  Even after they are freed, God tells Moses he is going to harden the Pharaoh’s heart again, in Exodus 14:

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.

Even as the Jews were trapped against the Red Sea, God was urging the Pharaoh forward, also in Exodus 14:

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

And over and over again, we see the Pharaoh’s heart get hardened, first going back to Exodus 7:

8 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

Later in same chapter, the Nile was turned to blood, but his court magicians convinced him it was a parlor trick:

22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.

After the plague of frogs, Moses appeals to God to stop it and the frogs died out.  And even then Pharoah’s heart becomes hard, in Exodus 8:15:

But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.

And you get the idea.  In Exodus 8:19, the magicians try and fail to recreate the plague of gnats and tell the Pharaoh that this is the power of God, but his heart is “hardened” as the Lord said.  Moses relieves Pharaoh from the plague of flies, and in 8:32, the Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened again.  Similarly the Egyptian livestock died in the fifth plague, but in 9:7, the Pharaoh’s heart was still hard and he still wouldn’t like the Jews go.  In 9:12, in the plague of boils it even says specifically that “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron.”  And so on through 9:34-35, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27...  the point is that it is said over and over again.  The Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and it was God who was hardening it.  Even if some events helped, God was ultimately responsible.

Seems like a contradiction, doessn’t it?  On one hand, he has Moses saying, “let my people go.”  On the other hand, God is making the Pharaoh not want to let them go, and even when he did let them go, He made the Pharaoh pursue them onto his ruin.  If God can and was willing to change the heart of the Pharaoh, why didn’t he just soften the Pharaoh’s heart and simplify the whole thing?

Well, here’s my hypothesis.  It has something to do with this:

If you cannot watch the video, here’s what it is: a rendition of an old slave spiritual called “Go Down Moses.”  Although this version is by Louis Armstrong, and thus there is a little more “swing” to it than the original, you get the idea.  Imagine an American slave singing it on a plantation:

You need not always weep and mourn,
Let My people go!
And wear these slav’ry chains forlorn,
Let My people go!

To say that Exodus influenced abolitionism is an understatement.  Although the slaveholders cherry picked portions of the Bible to justify their cruelty, for those opposed to slavery—be them slaves, or mere abolitionists—this entire chapter in the bible was seen as God’s condemnation of slavery, for all time in all places.  Slaves in the South were forbidden from reading that chapter in the Bible, lest they get the wrong idea and I am willing to bet any slave singing that song would be beaten.  But in secret meetings, Exodus was read, and songs like that were sung.

It is common for atheists to attack Christianity because once Christians held slaves and some even claimed that it was sanctioned by God.  But every religion has done that, and for that matter many of the most significant reappearances of slavery has been under atheistic regimes such as the Soviet Union, proving atheism is no barrier to slavery, either.  Those in power will warp every institution in society to keep them in power, including religion; there is nothing new about that.  What makes Christianity unique is that it was the first time the class of people who were not enslaved rose up against slavery.  I mean slaves deciding that slavery was evil was nothing new: you have to think Spartacus, for instance, believed that all slavery was always wrong, but there was no successful movement among free romans to end slavery.  By contrast free Americans, indeed White Americans rose up against slavery—and they were explicitly motivated by their faith.

It happened, indeed, twice.  First, peacefully in England under the leadership of Wilberforce, and then in America through our Civil War.  Even the suffering America felt was seen as some to be God’s plan.  For instance, in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural he spoke of how both North and South read the same Bible and sought God’s aid in the war:

The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

Lincoln didn’t mention the book of Exodus, the plagues, or the pillar of fire in that speech, but he didn’t have to.  That book teaches that slavery is an offense against God and there is a price to pay for it.  It doesn’t have to be said.  Every  American knew it.

And in the aftermath of the American Civil War, we see a strong consensus that slavery is wrong and evil.  This is not to say every person believes it.  Not even every American believes this.  But even with Boko Haram, ISIS and China engaged in sexual slavery, what is remarkable is how many people are absolutely horrified by this, and, at least in the case of ISIS and Boko Haram, many are speaking of military action for no other reason than to stop them.

This is unusual in human history!  Up until the last few centuries slavery and involuntary servitude has been the norm and few people questioned the rightfulness of it.  This is a revolutionary change in how humans think and behave and only time will tell if it is ever returned back to the horrifying “norm.”  As Mark Steyn once wrote when discussing the movie Amazing Grace (about Wilberforces successful crusade against slavery):

'William Wilberforce,' writes Eric Metaxas in Amazing Grace, 'was the happy victim of his own success. He was like someone who against all odds finds the cure for a horrible disease that's ravaging the world, and the cure is so overwhelmingly successful that it vanquishes the disease completely. No one suffers from it again -- and within a generation or two no one remembers it ever existed.'

What did Wilberforce 'cure'? Two centuries ago, on March 25, 1807, one very persistent British backbencher secured the passage by Parliament of an Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade throughout His Majesty's realms and territories. It's not that no one remembers the disease ever existed, but that we recall it as a kind of freak pandemic -- a SARS or bird flu that flares up and whirs round the world and is then eradicated. The American education system teaches it as such -- as a kind of wicked perversion the Atlantic settlers had conjured out of their own ambition. In reality, it was more like the common cold – a fact of life. The institution predates the word's etymology, from the Slavs brought from eastern Europe to the glittering metropolis of Rome. It predates by some millennia the earliest laws, such as the Code of Hammurabi in Mesopotamia. The first legally recognized slave in the American colonies was owned by a black man who had himself arrived as an indentured servant. The first slave owners on the North American continent were hunter-gatherers. As Metaxas puts it, 'Slavery was as accepted as birth and marriage and death, was so woven into the tapestry of human history that you could barely see its threads, much less pull them out. Everywhere on the globe, for 5,000 years, the idea of human civilization without slavery was unimaginable.'


But the costume dramatics [in the movie] and the contemporary emotionalizing miss the scale of the abolitionist's achievement. 'What Wilberforce vanquished was something even worse than slavery,' says Metaxas, 'something that was much more fundamental and can hardly be seen from where we stand today: he vanquished the very mindset that made slavery acceptable and allowed it to survive and thrive for millennia. He destroyed an entire way of seeing the world, one that had held sway from the beginning of history, and he replaced it with another way of seeing the world.' Ownership of existing slaves continued in the British West Indies for another quarter-century, and in the United States for another 60 years, and slave trading continued in Turkey until Atatürk abolished it in the twenties and in Saudi Arabia until it was (officially) banned in the sixties, and it persists in Africa and other pockets of the world to this day. But not as a broadly accepted 'human good.'

Steyn goes on to discuss the “reformation of manners” that was required to achieve it and it is worth reading the whole thing (in this reprint), but the point is that slavery was the norm and suddenly now there is a competing norm for freedom.  I think it is a little optimistic to say that slavery is as ostracized as Metaxas says—ask a billion Chinese if they are free to work as they choose—but he is right to say that it is not nearly as accepted as it was even five hundred years ago.

So we circle back around to my hypothesis.  Why did God harden the Pharaoh’s heart, even leading him to military disaster as the Red Sea poured in on his troops?  Why not simply will the Pharaoh to let his people go?

My hypothesis is—with the recognition that again, I am like a cave man trying to figure out nuclear physics—that maybe this was why.  Maybe His purpose was not simply to free the Jews, but to create a story that would echo down through the ages.   Perhaps in his omniscience he knew that if he did this, Wilberforce would be able to end the slave trade in England, and the Republicans would agitate on the question until there was a war over it.  Maybe His goal was even the “reformation of manners” ushered in by Wilberforce.

I cannot pretend to know God’s mind.  There are dozens of passages in the Bible that will tell you it is a fool’s errand to try to understand his full plan.  But for what it is worth, this is a hypothesis that seems to fit the facts: the events in Exodus—presuming as one of the faithful that it happened the way the Bible said—was almost like a form of “performance art,” where God made a dramatic statement in favor of freedom and in opposition to slavery that more than three thousand years later, comforted slaves hurting from their labor and motivated free men and women to labor and even bleed for their freedom.  And more than that God anticipated and intended those results and to make us better people in the process.  I cannot pretend to be certain this was His plan, but I believe it is a reasonable guess.


My wife and I have lost our jobs due to the harassment of convicted terrorist (and adjudicated pedophile) Brett Kimberlin, including an attempt to get us killed and to frame me for a crime carrying a sentence of up to ten years.  I know that claim sounds fantastic, but if you read starting here, you will see absolute proof of these claims using documentary and video evidence.  If you would like to help in the fight to hold Mr. Kimberlin accountable, please hit the donation link on the right.  And thank you.

Follow me at Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for snark and site updates.  And you can purchase my book (or borrow it for free if you have Amazon Prime), Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History here.  And you can read a little more about my novel, here.



I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct.  In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  This kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  That this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.

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