by Gabrielle Levy
May 24, 2016
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As Donald Trump unleashes a no-holds-barred attack on Hillary Clinton over the scandals that rocked her husband's presidency, former President Bill Clinton was being praised by an unlikely source: former federal prosecutor Kenneth Starr, the lead investigator of the alleged misdeeds that led to the president's 1998 impeachment.
Speaking at a panel discussion hosted by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia last week, Starr praised the 42nd president for his post-presidential philanthropic work, calling him "the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation."
"His genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear," Starr said. "It is powerful, it is palpable and the folks of Arkansas really understood that about him – that he genuinely cared. The 'I feel your pain' is absolutely genuine."
Starr was Bill Clinton's chief antagonist as the special prosecutor appointed to examine a range of scandals – Whitewater, the suicide of Vincent Foster, the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit and the Monica Lewinsky scandal – that tainted Clinton's legacy.
While lamenting the "deep anger" that has taken over politics, Starr, now the president of Baylor University, said he regretted that so much of Clinton's legacy was tainted by what Starr called "the unpleasantness."
"There are certain tragic dimensions which we all lament," he said. "That having been said, the idea of this redemptive process afterwards, we have certainly seen that powerfully … "President [Jimmy] Carter set a very high standard, which President Clinton clearly continues to follow."
Jung regarded his own visionary experiences as the path to redemption -- "individuation" as he called it after 1916 -- that could be taught to others. Analysis became an initiatory process, a descent into the unconscious mind in order to spark a process of individual transformation through a direct encounter with the transcendental realm of the gods. Just as the Last Supper became the central event upon which the mystery of Communion in the Roman Catholic Mass was based, Jungian analysis became a ritualized reenactment of Jung's own inner drama, a story of heroic confrontation with the gods that is enshrined as the sacred myth of analytical psychology. For those who survived an encounter with the god or gods within, Jung promised rebirth as a true "individual," free from all the repressive mechanisms of conventional beliefs about family, society, and deity. The successful survivors of such pagan regeneration became reborn, spiritually superior "individuated" beings.
But there is much more that Jung isn't telling here. In the troubled times of the First World War when Jung forged the Jungian mysteries, they had a deeper significance for his core group of disciples, most of whom were Swiss by birth but German through the deeper bonds of blood and soil. ...
Jung regarded Christianity as a Jewish religion that was cruelly imposed on the pagan peoples of Europe. Since Judaism was the product of an older and higher level of civilization than that of the European pagans, it had separated people from nature. The Aryans of Europe, especially the German peoples, had been civilized only a thousand years ago and were therefore closer to their ancestors and their Ur religion of the sun and the sky and sacred groves of trees. Semitic cultures, cut off from the primordial source of life, did not have mysteries in which a direct experience of the gods could be attained through initiation rituals. They were, therefore, cut off from the renewal and rebirth that such mysteries offered the Aryans. In his book on the Mithraic Liturgy, Albrecht Dieterich compares the central image of rebirth in ancient India, the mysteries of Isis, and other Aryan cultural contexts but notes that "the Jews do not have this image."  Only Aryans could receive the sacrament of redemption....
Even then they knew they were to be the first of a new spiritual race of saviors. Even then they knew that the work they did on their own individual souls would bring all of humanity to a higher state of consciousness. Many were called but few were chosen for special redemption in Zurich, while brother rose against brother and Death rode triumphantly across Europe. "The great problems of humanity were never solved by general laws, but only through a regeneration of the attitudes of individuals," Jung wrote in December of 1916.  The spiritual rebirth of the human race would begin in Zurich with them....
In the spring of 1916, Jung was only forty years old, but already to many he was a wise old man. As a healer, his powers were, by all accounts, extraordinary. Jung did indeed bring light and life back into the souls of many who came in contact with him. As the guiding light of the Psychology Club, Jung was the incarnation of the spiritual principle of their sacred order. And he promised redemption to his redeemers.....
If there was ever any doubt that Jung was quite self-consciously the charismatic leader of his own mystery cult, this private letter to his disciple should dispel it. Jung considered himself a heresiarch of the first order, a redeemer who offered redemption to others so that they, too, could be involved in the grand work of bringing to life the new god that was trapped within everyone, waiting to be released....
But one thing is clear. Jung here was also using Volkish ideas about liberating the German god within so as to make one powerful race of spiritually superior human beings. Such imagery blends easily with his corruption of some of the ideas of the Hellenistic Gnostics about the divine essence being trapped in matter, and that to release the god a process of redemption must take place. Once the dispersed divine essence is released, it can rejoin itself and achieve a primordial unity.
-- The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung, by Richard Noll
"Bill, you are Mr. Casey's fair-haired boy. But you do have competition for the job you seek. We would never put all our eggs in one basket. You and your state have been our greatest asset. The beauty of this, as you know, is that you're a Democrat, and with our ability to influence both parties, this country can get beyond partisan gridlock. Mr. Casey wanted me to pass on to you that unless you fuck up and do something stupid, you're No. 1 on the short list for a shot at the job you've always wanted.
"That's pretty heady stuff, Bill. So why don't you help us keep a lid on this and we'll all be promoted together. You and guys like us are the fathers of the new government. Hell, we're the new covenant."
-- Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: How the Presidency was Co-opted by the CIA, by Terry Reed & John Cummings
A former federal judge and solicitor general under President George H.W. Bush, Starr was the independent counsel appointed by the D.C. Court of Appeals tasked at investigating the Clintons' real estate investments in the Whitewater Development Corporation in 1994.
He expanded his probe to examine the suicide of Foster, a deputy White House counsel, who conservative politicos claim was the victim of a murder orchestrated by the first couple; the firing of White House Travel Office personnel in a scandal known as "travelgate;" Jones' claims the Clinton had propositioned and exposed himself to her; and eventually, Bill Clinton's sexual relationship with Lewinsky, a White House intern.
Starr accused the president of perjuring himself before a grand jury, and his report led to the House vote for impeachment.
At the time of the investigations, Starr's critics accused him of acting as a political hit man going after the personal instead of prosecuting for criminal activity. And some of his peers have since expressed regret that the investigations may have prevented the White House from focusing on more serious issues, including the rising threat of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
Meanwhile, Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, is mining Starr's work to attack both Clintons now – calling Bill Clinton "the worst abuser of women in U.S. political history" and Hillary Clinton an "enabler" of her husband.
"Whether it's Whitewater or whether it's Vince or whether it's Benghazi. It's always a mess with Hillary," Trump said Monday. He also released a grainy, black-and-white attack ad on Instagram featuring audio from two of Clinton's accusers, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey.
In his Philadelphia speech, Starr did not refer to Trump by name, but said he was concerned at the "deep anger" and "almost radical populism" that analysts say has fueled both Trump's rise and the insurgent campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"The utter decline and erosion of civility and discourse has, I think, very troubling implications," he said.