When Joseph Caiaphas stood up in the Sanhedrin there was hate and jealousy in his heart.
He was the High Priest of the Temple of Israel.
And there had arisen a man in Jerusalem and its environs who threatened his vaulted position.
A man who people called the true High Priest of Israel.
This man was a man of peace and of truth.
And the people were flocking to him in droves, intent on hearing his message, bent on obtaining from him the courage to turn away from the bondage of the Law and accept the freedom of salvation through Grace.
This man was telling the people that they didn’t need earthly middlemen to tap into a true fellowship with God.
They didn’t need ancient institutions.
All they needed was themselves.
Because God resided in them as He did in him.
And if they understood and accepted his gospel of love through contrition, surrender and acceptance of salvation through grace and not works, then they would be saved eternal and purified enough to be one with the true Divine.
Joseph Caiaphas knew that if he didn’t act fast the message will spread far and wide and soon, the people, will turn against him and the Sanhedrin and strip them of all power, authority and wealth.
So as he stood and stared at the men in the Sanhedrin his mind swarm with righteous angst.
This man who had risen up in Nazareth and journeyed to Jerusalem with his peaceful army of twelve and a bevy of women preaching about the salvation of love was their enemy.
And not the enemy of the people.
But for him to stop him from turning the people away from the leadership of himself, the Sanhedrin and Herod the king of the Jews Caiaphas knew he had to deal him a masterstroke.
He had to frame the carpenter from Nazareth as the enemy of the people.
And he knew just how to do that.
So with his voice raised high he announced his position.
The men looked up at him.
He was their Nasi.
He was the one who would lead them out of the quagmire they found themselves in.
He was the one who had whipped them up into an orgy of hate by blowing his foghorn of fear about the impending rise of the people against their leadership.
They were confused.
Joseph Caiaphas could see it in their eyes, so he continued.
This time his voice was lower and colder. He needed the words he spoke to pierce deep into their minds and hearts, like a seed being planted in the soil in order to germinate into a big plant. He wanted his words to be seeds. A virus. An organism to completely take over the host and make the host a full replica of itself. A living clone.
“We will use his words and actions against him. We will change the context. We will twist them. We will make the people not hear what he said, but hear what we said that he said. When he says he loves them and he hates us, we will tell them he said he hates them but he loves himself. We will edit his words constantly. We will blame him for what we did and take the glory for what he did. And when we cannot hide the good he has done, we will ignore it and drown it out by screaming to the high heavens any mistake he makes or his people make, so that the people will have no choice but hear about the bad that concerns him instead of the good that comes from him. We will make the people not hear what he plans for their future but instead, we will make them focus on their present and every hardship they can find in it, we will blame it on the Carpenter of Nazareth. We will make him the enemy of everyone. The poor, the rich and the powerful. We will do this by piting him against the beliefs of the people and using his words to provoke the primal fears of the people. The call him the Messiah, we will hijack their perception and change it so that they will call him the Devil. We will make the man they call their friend, be perceived as their enemy.”
The Sanhedrin still looked at him in consternation, so he changed tacts.
“How many people are in all of Israel? Millions. How many people truly go to listen to him speak? Ten thousand at most. You see, the others hear about him and what he says from others who hear from others, who hear from others. It is the news from the grapevine. We have to capture that grapevine and create the news. He will be the subject, but we will be the authors of the news that concerns the subject. Whatever he says to the ten thousand, the millions will hear something different. What they hear will make them harden their hearts against him. They will hate him so deeply and completely that they will prefer the most hated man in all of Judea to him. They will despise his message, or what they think is his message, since they will never get to hear his true message because we would have changed it, so that if they were given a choice they will choose the devil in flesh over him.”
Joseph Caiaphas could see the light of understanding come up in their eyes as they stared up at him.
He smiled and continued.
“Is Barabbas not the most hated man in all of Judea?”
The men nodded in agreement.
“When we are done with the Carpenter from Nazareth and his message of salvation through peace, love, and grace, the people would choose the most violent and reviled Barabbas over him.”
There was a murmur of awe amongst the men as the brilliance of the plan sunk into them.
Joseph Caiaphas could hear it emanate from them and it pleased him deeply.
“This plan of mine, I call it Fake News.”
Fake News – the phrase was whispered by one man to the other and it raced around the room.
“Fake News will destroy the one who the people call The Messiah.”
The men who listened beamed in joy and agreement as Joseph Caiaphas continued.
“What is real we will call Fake news. And what we create we will call real news. Their real news will be the fake news we create. We will call it alternative facts. We will persist in it so that in due course, the people will not be able to differentiate the difference. And it will be the one that is shouted loudest and repeated most, that the people will believe is the real news. We will not tire. We will outshout and out repeat the Carpenter from Nazareth and his followers and the people will end up believing what we said that he said instead of believing what he said that he said. And because they believe what we said that he said, they would be only but be too joyful but to help us kill him and in killing him, they would have saved us and kept us as their lords and masters, instead of freeing themselves as the Carpenter from Nazareth wants them to. We will win.”
The applause that broke out was thunderous as they men of the Sanhedrin gathered shouted his name over and over again.
Caiaphas! Caiaphas! Caiaphas! Caiaphas! Caiaphas!
And Joseph Caiaphas stood there in all majesty and smiled.
He was deeply pleased.
And so it was that through that plan of Joseph Caiaphas, the Carpenter from Nazareth was crucified at Golgotha in place of the notorious prisoner and insurrectionist called Barrabas.
The lies of man won the battle, but in the end, the truth of the Divine won the war.
That which happened more than two thousand years ago still happens today.
There are many Joseph Caiaphas in our midst.
And the internet, the newspaper, the radio, the television are their Sanhedrin.
Through it, they disseminate their fake news.
In order to shape our perception.
So that the one who has come to save us, we will crucify.
And the one who has come to destroy us, we will crown.
And then like the men and women of old, who in their ignorance and inherited hatred and prejudice, had said the infamous words – Let His blood be on us and on our children – we will in the same ignorance gloat as we flaunt our hatred and spread our malformed opinions online.
When unbeknownst to us, all we are doing is giving more power and authority to the Joseph Caiaphas of our time, and handing the destinies of our children unborn, to the Devil who sent him.
Before you share this, think. Authenticate. Re-authenticate.
Before you share the next news headline you see, think. Authenticate. Re-authenticate.
Stand on the side of the TRUTH.
It might lose the battle, but it will surely win the war.
Do not be deceived Fake news is not alternate facts.
Fake news is well conceived and crafted LIES.
Lies never win at the end.
Fake news is a virus.
Do not be infected.