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'Live Not By Lies' Documentary Needs You
Fourteen more days to turn prophetic book into film series to wake up the churches
I’m sending this to the entire 15,000+ subscriber list, because now is the time for all fans of Live Not By Lies to step up if y’all want to see it become a documentary film series.
You’ve heard of Angel Studios, most likely. They’re the innovative crowdfunding organization that harnesses the power of the masses to fund film projects that people actually want to see, and believe in. They’ve had a massive hit this year with the blockbuster Sound Of Freedom.
Now Angel Studios has partnered with me and the production team behind the Live Not By Lies documentary to raise money to fund it. You can learn more about the campaign, the proposed film, and invest in the film, here. We are thrilled that Angel Studios is our partner, but the documentary only happens if we the people click on the link and commit funds.
Since Live Not By Lies was first published in 2020, it has sold 200,000 copies in the United States, and has been translated into at least ten foreign languages. The book has been a smash despite being almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media. Why? Mostly word of mouth.
I first started working on the project when people who emigrated to America from the Soviet bloc to escape totalitarianism began telling me, starting in 2015, that what they saw happening in America reminded them of what they had fled in the old country. The book examined their claims, explained how the emerging totalitarianism in the West is like — and unlike — the Soviet version, and featured storytelling and interviews with faithful Christians who stayed behind and stood up to the Communists. In the interviews, these heroes — most of them now quite old — offered valuable practical advice for Christians today, on how to prepare to live faithfully under persecution.
Live Not By Lies came out three years ago this month, into an America that was deep in the throes of the Covid regime, and that had gone through both the Summer of Floyd and the woke ideological oppression that followed. It was also an America where transgenderism, especially among children, had become the sacred cause for the nation’s elites. By then, what had first only been seen by immigrants with experience of totalitarianism was becoming clear to millions of Americans.
I have heard from so many of you that Live Not By Lies put into clear words what you had been seeing and feeling, but could not name. And it gave you useful counsel on how to prepare, spiritually and otherwise, for what may be coming.
Now we have the opportunity to reach millions more with this message, through a video docuseries. If our team secures the funding, we plan to travel through the former Communist countries of Europe, interviewing these heroes for the camera, putting their stories down on film while they are still alive to tell them. This is also important because when the Cold War ended, all the true stories about Communist atrocities went down the memory hole. Hollywood still cares about Nazi oppression — and it should! — but the murderous grinding down of hundreds of millions of people by Marxism-Leninism in power is not on the entertainment elites’ radar.
This is not simply a case of remembering history, and giving honor to those Christians who were brave and faithful when it counted. This is a story for today, and for tomorrow. I live in Hungary now, and believe me, it’s easy to find older people who lived through the dark days of Communism, who say they never imagined that the same kind of thing would be coming back. But it is — not in the harsh form pioneered by the Soviet occupiers, but in a softer, gentler form that disguises its totalitarian nature by presenting itself as a system of safety and comfort administered by angels of light.
These veterans of Communist persecution can see through the lies, and they are warning us. But they won’t be with us much longer. It is urgent that we start the cameras rolling as soon as possible — while they are still alive, and while we all still have the freedom to send their message out to the world.
The Live Not By Lies message has reached many, many people by now, in spite of the media blackout. If we can render it in video form, with the compelling stories of these heroes — some of whom bear the scars of their suffering for the faith in their faces and on their bodies — visible and audible for people who don’t have time to read the book, then we can reach millions with this urgent message of faith, hope, and resilience.
I dedicated Live Not By Lies to the memory of Father Tomislav Kolakovic, a Croat priest who in 1943 escaped Nazi secret police and hid in Bratislava, Slovakia, where he taught in the city’s Catholic university. He told his Slovak students that the Nazis were going to lose the war, but that the Soviets were going to rule their country when it was over. And the first thing the Soviets were going to do was persecute the church. Against the criticism of some Slovak bishops, who thought the priest was being too alarmist, Father Kolakovic and his allies, both among the priests and the laity, worked diligently to build the underground church while Slovakia was still free.
And so, when the Iron Curtain eventually fell over their land, the Christians of Slovakia who had listened to Father Kolakovic, who prophetically read the signs of the times, were ready.
Friends, we are in a Kolakovic Moment in the West today. We have no time to waste. There will always be Christians who say it’s not going to happen here, that somehow God will spare us. The Christian men and women, including the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who lived through Communist totalitarian testify that this is a dangerous, self-deceiving lie. It could happen anywhere on earth, under the right set of circumstances. We cannot afford to be complacent.
We have only fourteen more days to send a message to Hollywood and the soft totalitarians in power who seek to suppress and even take away freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and other precious gifts that we have assumed were ours forever. This is not a drill. Come do your part to wake up the churches, and also those outside of the church who are men and women of courage and honor, who do not want to be slaves. As Kamila Bendova, one of the Christian heroes of the Czech anti-communist resistance, told me, many Christians in their time kept their heads down to stay out of trouble. She and her late husband knew they could count on the unbelievers, like playwright Vaclav Havel, who may not have shared their faith, but who did share their valor and their unwavering commitment to live in truth.
Can we count on your help? Please say yes — and don’t put it off, because the fundraising window is narrow. Here again is a link to the fundraising page, where you can watch a short film about the project, and add your investment:
I appreciate y’all,
Rod Dreher, for the Live Not By Lies documentary team.
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