Sunday, July 29, 2012

Funnybook Prophecy: Spectacle and Control

Madonna should really lay off the steroids.

I wrote recently in "Fool Me Twice" that I'm increasingly uncomfortable in covering some of the spectacle being broadcast out there, just as it was during Bread and Circuses era of the Roman Empire. Why? Because it gets to the point where you start to feel like an accomplice. That's not a feeling I enjoy.

That era was recreated during the Super Bowl halftime show, as Madonna and a cast of hundreds revisited the Egyptomania of Classical Rome, as well as the ancient ritual of having subservient peoples dance suggestively for their masters. Last night, the British Empire looked back on its glory days during the Olympics ceremony, which was also sprinkled with the increasingly ubiquitous quasi-Masonic symbolism that even the dumbest YouTard can spot a mile away these days.

I haven't been quite been able to put it into words yet, but I almost wonder if we're not seeing a new quasi-Masonic civic religion being rolled out, with stunning parallels to the roll out of Constantine's church in the early Fourth Century. It sounds absolutely crazy, but history is full of crazy.

And here's some crazy- Constantine made his move roughly 300 years after the birth of Christ, even though Christianity was based on religious ideas that had been circulating for much longer. Freemasonry was officially born about 300 years ago, even though it was based on esoteric ideas that had been around for much longer.

Constantine too faced a empire in crisis and sought to consolidate it with a one-world religion his predecessors saw as a breeding ground for conspiracy, witchcraft and sedition. But it became alluring to an oppressed people with its promises of eternal life, just as "Illuminism" is so utterly fascinating to so many people with its promises of a life of privilege, pleasure and hidden knowledge.

Even the people who profess to oppose it. Hell, especially the people who profess to oppose it. The so-called exposés are just part of the sales pitch; viral marketing at its finest. And what's a soul, really, in these days of poverty and economic collapse?

But there's a simple explanation for why I don't blog much on that stuff anymore: I'm sick of it. I'm sick of looking at those symbols, I'm sick of the stories and I'm sick of the game. I've been studying this stuff since before a lot of you were even born. It gets old.

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers 10

But I also know my history too well. Sure, we're talking about an extreme possibility. But I've seen a lot of extreme possibilities become dreary, everyday realities. And cartoonists trade in extreme realities-- oh dear, I meant to write "extreme possibilities." Check out this story from 1984 and look at the spectacle and how that spectacle is the mask behind which the iron face of control hides.

Sure, a lot of this kind of thinking was in the air back then too. But something about this story seems especially prescient to me. How about you?

UPDATE: I should explain what I mean by "civic religion," since it's not exactly the kind of religion that Constantine's church evolved into, concerned with personal salvation and the rest. A civic religion is largely ceremonial and largely involved with rituals of state, like oh, the Super Bowl and the Olympics.

It's about unifying disparate peoples under a commonly understood yet not particularly tightly-held system of symbols, rituals, codewords, oaths (the Pledge of Allegiance, for instance) and public works and monuments. I don't know if the Romans invented it, but they perfected it.

This is why I pointed out that Madonna's ritual was straight out of the Temples of Jupiter and Juno- not the "mystery schools" (sic) as some gross historical illiterates would have you believe. America once had a civic religion based on the various national anthems and the mythology of the Founding Fathers, but that is being phased out to make ready for a new model.

So why do so many huge transnational corporations- McDonalds, Visa, TimeWarner, Microsoft, GM, etc etc etc- stuff so much money into the pockets of Vigilant Citizen?
I don't know. But maybe it's because that site is doing more to initiate the uneducated into the rites and rituals of the new civic religion than any lodge could ever dream of doing.

UPDATE: How do old religions die? Like this:
Ronald William Brown of Largo, Florida, the 57-year-old proprietor of “Puppets Plus,” has been charged with the possession of child pornography and of conspiring with another man to kidnap and then eat a child.

The Christian Television Network kids program Joy Junction regularly featured Brown and his ventriloquist dummy “Marty,” who would warn about things like… pornography.

Brown, an active member of the Gulf Coast Church in Largo, and an accomplice, Michael Arnett, were planning to abduct a specific child who was a member of the church and who took part in Brown’s “Puppet Ministry Kidz Zone” youth ministry program.

Homeland Security agents who searched Brown’s home and tool shed yesterday discovered images of bound and gagged kids, photographs of dead children and a flier for a missing child.

According to a Tampa Bay Examiner blogger:

Brown and Arnett chatted about murdering children as young as two. In one chat Arnett described to Brown what it is like to drown a little girl and what different body parts taste like if roasted or fried in a pan.

Brown revealed to Arnett in another chat regarding the little boy at Gulf Coast Church that he would enjoy strangling the child to death.
Not even the most powerful organization can withstand too many stories like this. You'll never see this on Christian propaganda sites like Alex Jones or Vigilant Citizen or any of the other mouthpieces for the so-called "right wing" of the status quo like WND or Drudge, but stories like this can't be quashed in the age of email and Facebook.


  1. I remember reading this stuff back in the day...what a mind blower. So timely is the message conveyed with this post. Thank you for being 'responsible' enough to write it. Too many cultural bloggers are 'taking the bait' and not stepping back far enough to see a larger picture of the monolithic, corporate, control system currently in operation...and growing. Bravo! As tempting as it can be to report on certain specifics to agnostic readers, I feel the result is often continued/increased sensationalism of the event itself...another system of control?!

    1. no such thing. Freewill and free thought are real. So with that in mind feeel free to know and to choose to read this and understand. "Control" and freewill/thought & to choose are opposits and one in the same. Expl.. free will & free thought. Inform all that it was, it is still, it can be ahead for those that dont know what it is or dont know how to let the worlds mind go/move back and forth thru its maddness and not lose yyourself or forget that truth is real and 100% (and one more thing, nothing is a concept thats all, think if everything came to be to fill nothing or to overtake it or to balance. That means nothing and everything changed each other becoming 1 but sparate and contected all at the same timetobe truth. (Im known as tornnstone i live in the dfw area. Those out there i ssay to u. Stay free those that are and u are not alone. To those thhat dont know or see.hey there is someone and ssomething right here with A gate across the maddness and info to bright the way for those that have.lost there way &/or feel and think they are alone.evenif it is just u now u see theres a us atleast. U and i are not alone think bout it we are free. when one understands and knows the differance of all and nothing truth shines a light that just IS.!! Anyways stay metal long live living long free or hope we all depart fast from the suffering to whatever next maybe.

  2. What we're seeing these days reminds me less of Christianity than of late Roman syncretism -- that mashup of every religious and philosophical tradition in the empire in an attempt to restore the jaded spiritual sensibilities of an elite that had long since embraced materialism in every practical sense. In much the same way, what we're seeing now jumbles together a little bit of neo-paganism here, some New Age-y woo-woo there, and the kind of superficial Masonic symbolism that's been around for a couple of centuries.

    Christianity, in contrast, started off as a popular religion before it was coopted -- a promise of redemption in another life for the oppressed and deprived. There's nothing like that around today, and "Illuminism" sure isn't offering much in the way of privilege and pleasure to the coal miners of Appalachia or the dispossessed of Camden. It may be a tool that the elite hope to use to slide us all back into an uncomplaining state of neo-feudal submission, but I truly can't see it working.

  3. Also bear in mind that Changing Images of Man (the 1974 SRI report on the apparently impending collapse of everything coming out of the 60's), proposed a wide-spread embrace of Freemasonry as a substitute for the dissolution of traditional religion.

  4. Re:
    " I'm sick of looking at those symbols, I'm sick of the stories and I'm sick of the game."

    It's probably a good thing for your time management skills,because you could write a whole book and then some about the opening ceremony of the Olympics and it's symbology.
    One of the darkest opening ceremonies I've ever seen.
    I'd hate to see what the closing ceremony will look like.

  5. Hey Chris,

    Fascinating thoughts. You know, I think what you're describing is in some way connected to the idea of the New Corporate/Feudal gods trying to convince us that they can serve the Richness of the Image. I mean to say, we're living in a hollowed-out world where depth and texture and richness of soul has almost been been bred out of us. And that leaves a psychic wound; a shattered attention-span, a dependence on gross stimulants, a fetishized hunger for power.

    And so the new corporate gods imply that, hey, you can get all that internal magic simply through a Richness of Image. For example, illuminism evokes candlelight, mahogany-paneled rooms, wealth, distance from the day-to-day struggles, etc. Also it hints at the sating of sexual fantasies and contact with ancient magic that makes us somehow cooler, sexier, less pathetic.

    These are all placebos for internal spiritual fortitude, intelligence and self-appreciation. Our new lords tell us, "You can't come to these things yourself, but we can design them, build them and sell them to you, all with a frisson of transgression. Tempting, huh?"

    Perhaps the New Age World Order is concept is nonsense, but perhaps we're being primed for a new syncretic civic ideology that is supposedly exoteric, like Cory mentions in the comments above - a mash-up of all kinds of shit - whilst still being essentially authoritarian and abrahamic?

    But perhaps the Big Bad Global Elite of conspiritainment is actually intended to be us? I mean, where's the spiritual seriousness in any of this spectacle? I love cool visuals as much as the next guy, but I also like me some resonant story - and that seems to be lacking.

    Perhaps all this imagery is being set up in such a way that we're supposed to begin coding it much like a visual tone poem. It's so defocused and oblique and garbled that our subconscious minds kick in and start weaving strands together. What I'm suggesting here is a kind of figurative gene-therapy through repeated fragmented images.

    I mean, we can make the argument that certain interested parties are attempting to plunge large swathes of humanity into a kind of forced psychosis; through defiling art on the one hand and science on the other. For money and power and kinks at the end of the day. You've made these points before when you talk about dehumanising, disempowering art. This quasi-masonic folklore idea seems to feed into that. It's only fools gold, right? Not alchemical gold.

    Finally, Chris, I think that you've hit on something incredibly potent when you mention "the ancient ritual of having subservient peoples dance suggestively for their masters." And I think this kind of bullshit masonry is titillating us with that implicit ritual.

    It's a complex control mechanism that exploits our sexuality and our psychology; playing on twined riffs of domination/submission. "Submit to us, the masters, and you might one day become a master yourself. But we'll sell your submission to you as a liberation and a transgression, a rich image, so as not to offend your provincial sensibilities."

    To become a pimp, you first have to become a whore. Real power is internal, it's not power over others. Discipline, diligence, creativity, playfulness, fearlessness and love. That's power, and magic. It's not checkerboard floors and all-seeing eyes.


  6. I'm reminded that the standard policy of the elites has always been one set of "inner" teachings for them and another for the masses. This probably goes back to Egypt and Sumeria, but it was first stated explicitly by the Greeks. It's implicit in Plato, but I think it was Plotinus who explicitly recommended philosophy for the aristocrats and superstition and rituals for the hoi polloi.

    In the Middle Ages, the elite were expected to believe what everybody else believed or risk being charged with heresy. But with the revival of Hermeticism in the Renaissance, the same old division came back round again -- and it was imposed all the more strongly after the shock of the French Revolution. In the early 1800s, decadent aristocrats might toy with occultism, but English booksellers were being arrested for selling the common folk anything that might shake their faith in a simple-minded form of Christianity.

    These days, the Neocon followers of Leo Strauss believe in the same division -- though I think that in their case, the inner teaching is that there are no ultimate truths and it's all a shuck to keep the masses in line.

    I'm not sure where the story goes from there -- but you can be sure that the elites will always to do their best to prevent the people at large from getting their hands on anything that leads to personal liberation. Whatever is fed to the masses -- whether it's Christian fundamentalism or pop neo-paganism -- will always be booby-trapped to make sure it serves as one more distraction and never leads to real enlightenment.

  7. According to the DHS website, it was formed in 2002. How did Homeland Security become involved in this 1984 story? That's not clear from what you wrote here.

  8. "Discipline, diligence, creativity, playfulness, fearlessness and love. That's power, and magic. It's not checkerboard floors and all-seeing eyes."

    you're so there Raj, great comment.

  9. Very fascinating. This might have always been part of the agenda.
    After all, masonic symbols have been dominating several public spaces for centuries. It's a validation of power. Why wouldn't the freemasons love to have their “cult” becoming the next world religion? They did fight a battle against the Church, and against most nations, and they won. Now is their time.

    But there are also other people, not just the freemasons, who might be looking forward to this global masonic religion. The Dispensationalists, for instance. If the masonic cult they perceive as "satanic" becomes the new world religion-- well, that would only bring closer the return of their God.

    And then, there are those who believe that the one supposed to "die like a sheep to the slaughter" is not a divine being, but a certain *State* that today has a masonic Supreme Court. The Jacob Franks and the Sabbatai Zevis don't necessarily have to be a thing of the past...
    Just wild speculation, of course :)

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  11. Hey Chris,

    I'm reminded of your statement that "there is no longer any occult, it's all out in the open." This sets my mind a-racing. Could this new quasi-masonic folklore be connected to this fact in deeper ways than most people realize?

    I mean, in an age of real-time information sharing, social networking, etc, maybe the easiest way to conceal a sleight-of-hand is by making the supposedly esoteric into an exoteric multi-tool? A conspirtainment-fueled Swiss-Army knife that purports to 'Reveal the Method' and 'unlock the mystery', whilst actually concealing the sleight-of-hand.

    I mean to say, "If you can't beat them, join them - or better yet, have them join you."

    To go even further with this idea, suppose we are entering into a strangely crucial nexus with regards to our spiritual survival? What if there is some kind of high-weirdness crossroads energy gathering around us?

    Loren Coleman theorizes in some of his recent Twilight Language posts about a blurring of fiction and fact; a Red Dawn event. And others talk of a thinning of the veils, often in reference to all the 2012 mythology out there. But as an intuitive and an artist I understand that veils can indeed sometimes become thinner, become permeable - but it is ALWAYS closely connected to storytelling and the Psyche, of individuals and of the collective. Psychology is everything, really. Empiricism is nothing without it, although that's a hard notion for some scientists to consider.

    My point being, if veils ARE thinning, or to put it another way, if humanity is undergoing an initiation/trauma that is poising them somewhere between psychosis and revelation - perhaps a new Civic religion full of 'occult' ideas is an ingenious way to siphon, collect and control those energies.

    After all, the elites are still pumping huge amounts of money into all the same religions. Except that they're also playing all sides; life has become horribly convoluted, and so maybe now they need a new Public Tabernacle; a sub-space manipulator, a hoaxed tarot card slipped into the deck. Controlling public axioms, meta-texts and frames of reference...perhaps it's a way to attempt control in such a fast, information-saturated environment.

    Just food for thought.


  12. There's definitely a move to have 'secular hallowed grounds'. I don't even have to point out the most obvious one, do I?