Thursday, June 19, 2008

Secret Star Trek: Where Are We Boldly Going?

The Federation Council- 
note the preponderance of Starfleet Admirals

In Star Trek: The Next Generation and beyond, the Federation seems like nothing less a new Mother Church with Starfleet being its new Knights Templar. The Federation logo is essentially the same as that of the United Nations, a circle bordered by laurel leaves, but adds typically Solar motifs. The (Masonic) blue spacefield features planets and three cruciform stars and a (Masonic) gold ring.

The Federation is ruled by an Assembly and a High Council, a very large number of whom seem to be Starfleet admirals. The Council reminds you not so much of a democratic assembly, but more of the leadership you would see in a rigid, hierarchal organization like the Freemasons or the Jesuits. 

These people always seem to be highly idealized- nothing like the idiots in our own Congress. And a lot of them seem to wear the kind of robes you'd associate with monks or clergy.

Here's the kicker for me, though: There wasn’t much mention of the Federation Council in the original Star Trek series. But after Roddenberry’s experience with the Council of Nine, the Federation Council became ubiquitous.

Under the smiley veneer of humanism, politically correct pandering and New Deal-vintage liberalism, the Federation certainly feels like a socialist military dictatorship. At the core of the Federation and at the core of Starfleet is the presence of a expansionist philosophy (the Federation must grow to survive) and a Masonic, heirarchal world view. 

And these stories are all told exculsively from the point of view of elite military officers on spaceships armed with world-destroying arsenals. Think about it- what military would ever depict themselves as aggressors? They'd always be the out-numbered good guys getting by on their wits and nerve, fighting enemies who are belligerent, alien and treacherous.

I admit I haven't watched the shows in a while and I'm nowhere near as fanatical as your average Trekker. But thinking back on TNG or DS9, I find it difficult to distinguish transmissions from Starfleet vs. transmissions from the Federation. There always seemed to be a Starfleet admiral onscreen, no matter where it was coming from.

This logo speaks for itself, doesn't it? But it reminds me not only of the recent proselytising scandals at the Air Force Academy, but also of Hogwart's, which itself has always seemed to me like a military academy for young, aspiring sorcerers. Which is one of the reasons I'm not a big Harry Potter fan. The British "public school" system is based around separating children from their families at too-young age and transforming them into servants of the ruling class and/or the military. Not all that different from Sparta, in more ways than one.

But there's a larger issue at hand.

In today's media-saturated environment it's very difficult to convert secular young people to a religious viewpoint. It may turn out to be much easier to convert someone from one religious viewpoint to another. I noticed that many of the people in the group at Esalen had fairly potent religious upbringings, as did I.

I'm sure a lot of you out there already suspect as much, but is all of this highly esoteric pop culture acting as an intentionally pre-designed surrogate for religion? Or is this all part of the process of unconscious revelation? We all can speculate, but I'm after the smoking guns. Outside of these symbols (which are open to many interpretations) is there any compelling evidence of some greater design behind this? 

Now that Star Trek is being relaunched, what might the specifically militaristic and Masonic values of the Star Trek Universe be attempting to prepare the average young viewer for? I mean, face it; most of your Trekkers seem pretty harmless, and very few I've seen seem like military material. 

So what- if anything- is this all about?