Thursday, February 19, 2009

Memestream: Secret Societies and Sexy Socialites

Can't we all be brothers?

USNews & World Report whips up some fresh Masonic recruitment propaganda under the dodge of a "Mysteries of History" collectors edition. Ostensibly, it's a look at secret societies throughout history, but the Freemasons get the lion's share of the page-count (and the front and back cover, as well).

With only the slightest veneer of objectivity, Secret Societies includes some very helpful primers for prospective Freemies, including a two-page spread explaining all of the symbols used in the tracing boards. There are also articles on some of the other branches of the Masonic network, including the Templars, Assassins, Rosicrucians, Illuminati, Opus Dei, Scientologists and Skull and Bones, but any controversies concerning the Freemies are glossed over and generally dismissed as the province of cranks. There are some articles on cults and the like, but most of what's covered is old hat in the extreme.

In short, Secret Societies is strictly Snoozeville, Sammy.

Less so is this cover of German GQ, featuring a naked (and obviously uncomfortable) Heidi Klum wearing a giant red Q as a crown. This repeats the motif from the poster for 17 Again, seeing that Q is the 17th letter of alphabet. Note the asterisk (Sirius) and red plus signs resonating Templar crosses.

Speaking of secrets, Heidi played Bond girl Ursula Andress in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, and was a Bond girl herself of sorts, doing voice work for a 007 video game.

Nice blue-and-gold color scheme

Thinking about secret societies and sexy socialites reminded me of Patty Hearst, the publishing heiress who was kidnapped by some absurd agent-provocateur operation/political cult called the Symbionese Liberation Army in the early 70s and morphed into the gun-totin' bank robber known as "Tania."

Even as a kid I got "Tania" mixed up with Madame Hydra, and not just because of the logos. The whole thing just gave off that vibe (maybe whoever was [allegedly] running the SLA op was a big Steranko fan). The Madame was a villian in Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, Marvel's answer to the James Bond craze of the 60s. She was leader of HYDRA, one of Jack Kirby's many super-secret societies.

It's interesting to note that one of the banks the SLA knocked off was a Crocker branch, which ties us back to the recent Karen Carpenter/Klaatu extravaganza. Patty was also lucky enough to escape a siege that shut the SLA down for good:
The next day, May 17th, 1974, a two-hour gun battle between the SLA and the LA police ignited a fire that fatally trapped six "soldiers" in their cramped East 54th Street hideout. Nine thousand rounds were fired when 500 cops descended on the house, and the drama was televised, similar to the Waco fiasco in which the David Koresh cult would be killed two decades later.
Hearst was then "deprogrammed" and went back to being a socialite (she also breeds French Bulldogs) and is living happily ever after. Today, Patty's doe-eyed daughter Lydia has joined Heidi Klum in the supermodel universe. Which brings us to our next magazine cover...

In which Lydia appears as a blonde Bond girl on the cover of GQ with the chav Bond, Daniel Craig. 007 was also the codename of master occultist John Dee when in the service of the first Queen Elizabeth.

Like Heidi, Lydia has done her own nude cover, in which she's trussed up in some bizarre rhinestone-studded bondage apparatus. Anyone familiar with her mother's story will find this image bizarre (to say the least) seeing that she was reportedly bound and gagged for several days after her abduction by Cinque and the SLA. Note the "Cin" in cinema while "ema" is almost invisible. Interesting.

We all know that the fashion industry is sociopathic and misogynistic, but why would Lydia consent to such an image, in light of her mother's ordeal?

As F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, "The rich are different."

Postscript: Well, you gotta love Synchronicity. I was just poking around the New York Post website and what do I see but some game feature called "Scandalous Socialites" with a video of Lydia Hearst...

UPDATE: Since I wrote this before I saw the SpongeBob Masonic Fiesta, I'm happy to note what David reminded us of- that the Hydra logo is actually a Cephalopod.

UPDATE II: Speaking of the damned rites of Chthulu, here's this news item:
HARTFORD, Conn. — Geronimo's descendants have sued Skull and Bones _ the secret society at Yale University linked to presidents and other powerful figures _ claiming that its members stole the remains of the legendary Apache leader decades ago and have kept them ever since.