Form Ranks


People around me often tell me they know I hold back a lot and am very careful and measured in what I share. That is true, but it is usually not for the reasons they think (or at least mostly not). Back in the days when I was writing for newspapers, then doing talk radio I learned that what I said was often not what people heard. I was popular and respected in the local coverage areas I worked. I was often startled to hear myself quoted in support of something I opposed or in opposition to something I supported. In time, I got used to it. Of course, everyone operates from the filter of their own experience and background, so what they hear is sometimes an absolute misquote of what you said and at others a complete misunderstanding of what you meant. Besides this, when you speak to a general audience, you have to hit some points that are intimately understood by some and completely alien to others – and in a way that reaches both. This presents the author with a perverse problem: get into insufficient detail and those completely unfamiliar with the concepts you discuss remain baffled, but anything more than a cursory explanation of those concepts irritates many of those familiar with them, who think you are belaboring the obvious.

People who do not speak frequently to a general audience think that their experience and knowledge is nearly identical to everyone else’s – which is why, even if they speak well, they are usually a flop the first few times they try to speak to a crowd. Their perspective is narrow and they are unconscious of what items must be covered to get the whole crowd up to snuff on the topic before you can really make your point. If you do write or speak for a general audience you know exactly what I am talking about. Early on you are utterly astonished at how badly and frequently you are misinterpreted. Once you adjust to make what you say more easily accessible, you are often astonished (and a little irritated) at how frequently those who are intimate with the concepts you cover criticize you for covering material they already know.

These are just some problems with temporal communication. I thank God I was forced to gain expertise in temporal communications and am good enough at it to still help others get their message across accurately and effectively. Were I not, I suspect I might give up completely on trying to describe and explain heavenly things, experiences and visions which I cannot describe with words adequate even to my own satisfaction. Over the years, I have been frustrated that people who are well-informed on the things I have seen all too often almost completely miss something I tell them is very important while simultaneously treating some goofy off-hand statement I make as if it is Holy Writ. Even the smartest people have a tough time wrapping their minds around the everyday reality of what complete collapse (or crash) means. People often ask me how to protect their investments. The reality is, you can’t, which is why I partly tell them to do what they ordinarily would, but with extra prudence and emphasize getting durable goods. People’s minds really can’t accept that their money, their investments, their stocks, even their hard valuables are going to have precious little utility – and I waste far too much time when I really try to get the concept across – and usually still fail. It is why I emphasize that what matters is to take the next right step and be a sign of hope while acknowledging God. When people are surprised by everything else, that will remain and can be a lodestar. Even if I was capable of getting everyone to understand exactly how things will be, what daily life will be, that would not be more useful to them then just burning the idea of taking the next right step into their heads.

There is a significant downside to trying to explain more than is necessary. The more I say, the more opportunities for people to misunderstand or misinterpret what I say – and the more opportunity for me to say things sloppily in a way that causes such misunderstandings. I have told people for a year and a half that all systems were about to collapse. Now, Catholics in England are told they may not live their faith and also be obstetricians or gynecologists, American entrepreneurs are put out of business or fired if they will not actively pay for abortions and publicly support the homosexual parody of marriage, in much of the western world reciting the Bible affirmatively can get you charged with a hate crime, the simple advocacy of traditional marriage or leaving a Bible on your desk is a career-killer at best in the military and might land you up on charges. Meantime, the monetary system is propped up with paper clips and rubber bands, Jihadists have completely taken over the Mideast, gleefully torturing and murdering Christians and girls who dare to study, the U.S. is regarded as irrelevant as either opponent or ally throughout the world – and people ask me when collapse will come. It HAS come. All the safety systems are completely shot. In part it is my own fault. When I speak of collapse, people think collapse has not even begun until the full crash happens. But crash is not the beginning of collapse; it is the end of it…and the beginning of the hard work of reclamation and rebuilding for those who are serious.

Some even seem to look forward to full crash with an unseemly eagerness. I suspect some think those other bastards are going to get it while they will be safely protected in a little cocoon of righteousness. But, as the fifth chapter of Matthew notes, God sends the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. This Storm will come the same way. The unjust will wail and complain while the just will take the next right step and be a sign of hope. I wonder how many who wail and complain will be those who eagerly awaited the Storm to crush others. I do not tell anyone they will live and prosper through the Storm. If you gird your loins, it cannot be in expectation that you will be exempt from the terror that comes. Rather, it must be with the unwavering resolution that you will take the next right step and be a sign of hope until death comes. If you think you will be exempt, you have a terrible surprise coming. If you determine to be faithful until death, you have the right mindset to be useful in the reclamation. So please, do not think your faith, however abundant, will provide you with a get-out-of-jail free card from the temporal suffering that has begun and will soon be mortal.

But some people assume that because I am reticent about many details it must mean near total annihilation is ahead. That is not so, either. Many will die in the trials to come, but half the population of the earth will NOT be wiped out in a single blow…or even in a sustained series of blows. In fact, for such a widely comprehensive crisis, the death toll will be relatively small – barely more than half of all military and civilian casualties in World War II. The difference is that this will truly be worldwide, there will be no place of safety, and no family will be left untouched by the Storm. It is the sustained, unrelenting terror that is the hallmark of this crisis, not the death toll. There is no place of safety except to give yourself entirely over to God, which means dedicating yourself to being a sign of hope to those around you – and the guarantee of safety is for your immortal soul, not for your temporal safety. All those who count on themselves and their own cleverness will perish, body and soul.

I am profoundly thankful for those who are dedicating themselves even now to preparing shelter, food and hope for the refugees of the Storm. These are heroes and saints in the making.

Over the last few months, I have faced serial spiritual assaults in waves. Just as I think things are calming, more huge explosions come. It has been intense, but as my sister recently said, thieves don’t assault empty vaults. Remember that when you are under attack. In the midst of these things, while sometimes reeling, I have had cause for great rejoicing – for I see the hand of God moving things together, making important connections and bringing people to understand what is at stake while simultaneously filling them with a great resolve. You have been seeing it, too…both the terminal dysfunctions of a culture bleeding from every pore – and in the surprising resolve of many people you know to make a stand for what is just, what is beautiful, what is true, what is godly.

Time is terribly short now, so I have two pieces I must cover in the next few days. First, I have a piece coming for Bishops and religious authorities. It is from me in my role as ambassador, not prophet (though it would be better if they heed this now rather than wait for God to command me directly). The second is on why I find so much to rejoice over in the midst of things falling apart, on how God is visibly deploying His cavalry.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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9 Responses to Form Ranks

  1. johnmcfarm says:

    Thank you Charlie, as usual your posts like this one leave me determined with some fear mixed in.
    Sometimes, I just shut my mind to everything but what is directly at hand. That gives me comfort, prayer long and thoughtful also helps. Oftentimes I relish the idea of a comfortable old age. Other times I am grateful for the opportunity to serve God in such important times.


    • charliej373 says:

      Ha, John! For a time you and I get an uncomfortable old age! My dream has always been to have a cabin in the woods in the mountain. But after the Storm has been broken and we are delivered, I will spend the time left here raising funds for and helping get the Shrine built. Perhaps God has a nice little cabin waiting for me in the next life – with one for you on a ridge nearby.

      For those who don’t know, John is one of those heroes and saints in the making I speak of. Visit his site, The Peppy Prepper, which I have a link to at the right of this page.


    • Beckita says:

      JOHN!!! Congratulations on your Confirmation again. I thought of you and prayed as I remembered it was your special time of anointing.


  2. Luanne Chihoski says:

    Hi Charlie! This is Luanne, from Lisa Fixler, Gina Fisher, etc. rosary group. My husband travels a lot for his job. He is scheduled to be away most of the summer with a possible week, once a month at home here, in CO. Do you have any advice/suggestions for us? He is in China this week, but next week he hopes to be back working in California. We are not sure when he will be working where. Supposedly he’ll be allowed to work from home one week a month. Thanks to God Who Is our hope, and to you, our help 🙂


  3. This might be the most irritating question anyone ever asked you, but I have a bunch of blades. Should I get rid of them or keep them? I can’t stand the thought of defending myself or my family to the point of killing another person in the midst of a world growing more and more in chaos where I can die instantly with that on my conscience, but it sounds like that is a responsibility to take on at certain times. I just don’t know if I should be weaponless and trust in God to provide what is needed for defense or if what I have is what I am meant to have…. I mean, I could arm at least twenty people if it was necessary. Sorry Charlie. I usually always get stuck with the stupid man role. But that’s just because I’m a stupid man. I’m just nervous because I can imagine a lot of people killing needlessly out of blind fear. Sometimes, perhaps because those they killed had weapons and they felt threatened and a need to act before taking chances. The other thing that I can’t help wondering about is whether or not Catholics should stay as close to churches as possible or to not make plans of that sort since I don’t even know exactly what will happen. I just remember some prophecy about how things would get so horrible that lines for confession would be so long many would not get the chance the actually make their confessions. Would you also suggest people getting a bunch of scapulars and rosaries gathered to pass out. That’s about the best plan I can come up with (and of course acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope to others). I also started writing some of Archbishop Sheen’s talks down in a blank book. I figure old footage might just disappear so it could be good to have some handwritten talks, kinda like how biblical corporate authorship worked. Thanks.


    • charliej373 says:

      Daniel, if you are not suited to a particular work, then that is not the work you are called to. I do not discourage anyone from being prepared to actively defend others, if they are suitable and qualified. Many of my relatives and friends have weapons – and I am thankful for it. I, myself do not…not because I don’t approve of them, but because that is not what I am called to.


      • josephw123 says:

        Hi Charlie, I seem to remember you talking about some type of coordinating between places of refuge. Can you point me to the resource(s)?


        • charliej373 says:

          No, I never did that. I recommended that families tell each other of a general place where they could meet if they got separated under duress. It is good that some are preparing to help others, but the only place of real refuge is under the mantle of Mary on the way to her Holy Son.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Beckita says:

        Phew! Thanks for asking that question, Daniel, and thanks for this answer, Charlie. Our renter is my age and she is getting a gun and taking lessons and I am so happy she’s ready and willing ‘cuz it ain’t my post to be sure.


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