Diana Johnstone’s new book Circle in the Darkness: Memoir of a World Watcher is an lucid, courageous, elegantly-written, uncommonly well-informed reflection on post-World War 2 American and European history. The author traces her journey from Vietnam-era antiwar activism in the 1960s to a nearly five-decade-long career as one of America’s best alternative journalists.
Unlike most writers associated with the left (and the center and right for that matter) Diana Johnstone is not afraid of pursuing the truth about controversial topics, including political assassinations such as those of Issam Sartawi and Olaf Palme; neoliberal bankster dictatorship and the lies that sustain it; NATO’s criminal wars on Serbia, Libya, and Syria, and mendacious demonizations of Russia and China; the interminable crimes of Zionism; and false flags including the Lavon Affair, Operation Ezra and Neremiah, the USS Liberty, Operation Gladio, “the Russians tried to kill the Pope,” and more.
The most controversial topic she tackles is the Holocaust Religion’s replacement of Christianity as the official state religion of Western nations: As she observes, French law “legally establishes the Holocaust as a sacred event above ordinary human history—not so much the event as a whole (as nobody questions the persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis) but specifically the use of homicidal gas chambers. Instead of the Holocaust, the French have adopted the term Shoah, with even more religious connotations. In all of history, this is the only version of events which is protected by law from revision or even questioning. This amounts to a religious dogma…The Shoah is celebrated officially and unofficially, not only in the annual Shoah commemoration but almost constantly in school rooms, trips to Auschwitz, radio and television programs, books and films. It has de facto replaced Christianity, which indeed had succumbed to laicité over a century ago, as the State religion. It has its martyrs and saints, its holy scripture, its pilgrimages, everything that Christianity had except redemption.
“The proof that a doctrine is a religion is when any questioning of it is regarded as heresy. Any challenge to the Shoah faith is blasphemy and can be punished.” (p.172)
In this interview Diana Johnstone discusses the absurd but highly profitable heretic-hunts of the Holocaust Inquisitors. She also recounts the the horrific assassination of the great Palestinian resistance fighter and peacemaker Issam Sartawi, discusses the collapse of the Left into identity politics and sinister clown shows like Antifa, and holds out hope that ordinary people can make the world better by seeking out and standing up for the truth:
“The fight for truth is the most critical battle in our emerging civil wars. So long as people fail to distinguish between manipulation and honesty, between truth and falsehood, they can neither define correctly what is wrong nor find solutions.” (p. 423).