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Confessions of an Atheist Buddhist Communist


When I was a child my father developed an interest in Buddhism. It was the late 60s, so it wasn’t so unusual. In those days you were regular society or counter culture. My father chose counter culture. So, for about a decade, I lived in my father’s world. It was, to say the least,  an unusual one. Along with Buddhism he decided to become a communist. As a result, I grew up as an ABC: an Atheist, Buddhist, Communist. What did that mean for me, and why am I now a dedicated conservative? Good question. To answer them we have to look at my childhood. My story is important for those who went through it too, and it’s part of the reason our society is in so much trouble.

A Proudly Radical House

 Our house was proudly radical. Books on Buddhism were piled on top of Communist newspapers. Mao’s little red book was everywhere. At one point my father put up a mural of the Chinese communist revolution. Everything Eastern and Communist was good. Everything Western and free enterprise was bad. Everything Buddhist was enlightened. Everything Christian was demented. But, in the end, it was just left wing propaganda.The effect it had on me, however, was profound. In fact, I don’t think I could have fought my way out of it even if I’d wanted to. It was everywhere. At one point I even forgot  the Lord’s Prayer after repeating it for years in elementary school. I was living in Lantzville B.C., but I could have been living in China or Soviet Russia.

Supported by Pop Culture and the Media

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had just been learning about other cultures, but that wasn’t what was happening. My father’s radical beliefs were unrealistic. There’s no other way to describe it. He loved me, and thought he was doing his best to help me be more open minded, but that wasn’t what was happening. Instead he was creating an anti Western, anti Christian dream world in his son’s head, and he was getting help from a lot of sources. In the 1960s mass media, Hollywood, and the educational system were all going left. They  glamourized groups like the Weathermen, the Student Democratic Society and the Black Panthers all of whom were calling for armed revolution. It was a struggle against “the man.” No one really knew who “the man” was, but he was bad. The fact that communism had enslaved millions, or that the North Vietnamese swept down into the south after the Vietnam war and killed one million people wasn’t mentioned on the C.B.S. news.

The Carnage of It All

 The conditioning I went through was profound. I turned out all right, but not without a struggle. I was saved, in the end, by my naturally conservative nature, but a lot of damage was done along the way. The counter culture just added to it. It was the 1960s and 70s, and the emphasis was on “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.” It was never on making society better or helping people have a better life. I finally realized that the heroic struggle of the “Movement” against the “Establishment” was nonsense. And, in the end, it critically wounded our society and me along with it. All it accomplished was to separate me from my cultural roots, and immerse me in a false narrative. Buddhism wasn’t my historic religion, Christianity was. Communism wasn’t an egalitarian system. It was a nightmare that had killed millions. I was Western, not Asian, and I was Canadian, not a “Citizen of the World.” It was all an illusion.

What Got Me Out

 A series of revelations got me out of the ABC (Atheist Buddhist Communist) world. To use  a recent term, I was “red pilled.” The first step was to realize that the conduct of radical liberal progressives was suspect. At a certain point that became obvious to me. The head of the Buddhist sect that I belonged to, for example, repeatedly slept with other people’s wives, and told their husbands to “get over their attachment.” His successor did the same, knowingly passing on the AIDS virus to female practitioners. Not surprisingly, his son is now involved in a massive sex scandal. Such scandals aren’t limited to Buddhism, but they were common in the morally relativistic world I lived in. Cracks in the wall, to say the least. After a while, I began to look at my conservative friends. They seemed healthy, prosperous and happy. My liberal progressive friends not so much so. More cracks. This revelation made me look at things more closely. My liberal progressive friends were immature, indulgent and practiced situational ethics, sometimes hardly qualifying as adults. My conservative friends, although not perfect, were responsible and adult. “The State rests,” I said to myself.

The Final Nail

 The final nail in the proverbial coffin was when I realized I didn’t need to be ashamed of myself. I didn’t need to be ashamed of my interest in the Bible and my belief in God. I didn’t need to be ashamed of where my ancestors had come from. I didn’t need to be ashamed that I found conservative thinking attractive and believed in traditional values. When that happened I realized that my days as an ABC were over. I could no longer pretend that I was a liberal progressive. It was one of the most liberating moments in my life, as it should be for all those who have walked away from untruths and destructive ideas. I loved my father, still do, and I still revere his memory, but he was wrong. By way of advice I would say this to you: Be proud of your heritage and who you are. That’s what it means to be a committed person and a good citizen.  You don’t want to have to go through what I went through. Lies are never good, and radical liberal lies are the worst.

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Reed Elley
Reed Elley
3 years ago

This is quite a story Perry. It would not be something that most of us would identify with but is probably becoming more common. I must confess that I started my political life as a Young Liberal who actually voted for Pierre Trudeau when he first ran for PM. It did not take me long to switch however as I saw his true colours when he brought in no fault divorce,legalized homosexuality and made it easier to get an abortion. All of these things went counter to my Christian upbringing and so I became a conservative politically and socially. But… Read more »

Ken and Irene Oakes
Ken and Irene Oakes
3 years ago

This helps to explain how you can see so clearly the faults in the progressive liberal propaganda we are hearing all around us and why you can so articulately defend conservative values. Anyone who has been part of falsehood can see its faults more clearly than those who have never been a part of it.
Thanks for your courage and transparency.

Michael Groenewold
Michael Groenewold
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story, Perry! It is very thought provoking to say the least! It seems as if your growing up years were like a microcosm of the cultural turmoil of the the 60’s and 70’s all of which contributed tremendously to the mess we are in currently. Many people seem to be unaware that the slide towards darkness began many years ago. In fact the slide can really be traced significantly back the the 17th century and the so called ‘Enlightenment’ which shed very little light at all! The French Revolution in the late 1700’s sealed the trend… Read more »

Rick Higgins
3 years ago

Perry, thank you for this brief history of your life. I appreciate that you have arrived at the place where you can say unabashedly that you are a Bible believing Christian.The scientific method for discovery  involves the three well known phases of thesis, antithesis and synthesis . The fact that you have arrived at a determination of what is truth, by comparing facts and observations,  lead you to the truly radical conclusion that you have described. It was not based upon a laissez- faire acceptance of what others thought, but came from a personal struggle within. That struggle has deeply validated your beliefs… Read more »