Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tricksters V Gods - Satanism V The Rest

The Pedophocracy as Sacrament

Spare a thought for Dave McGowan. It seems he's being done over by the IRS. It was bound to happen of course - anyone as good at calling bullshit as McGowan is was always going to cop it. Still, it could be worse, he could have been hacked to death at a ranch outside of Matamoros. I touch wood/stone/steel, and God forbid and all that, but as Dave himself has made only too clear none of that saved all those others. And those thousands, as they died screaming, did they call out to their Gods? And did their killers call out to theirs?

In McGowan's discussion of serial killers / mind-control
/ the pedophocracy it seems that satanism is never far away. Struggling to think now, but is there a single case in amongst all of that monkey business that doesn't involve satanism? We call it the pedophocracy, and not without reason, but it's also a fact that any number of those involved in it were perfectly happy having sex with adults. Just ask Brice Taylor. Hmm... could we have been sidetracked by the sex? What if we've confused a sacrament for the church? Imagine if we were all het up about a cult of, I don't know... 'confessionalists', a great number of whom seem to have strong links to the Catholic Church. We swap stories about various wicked episodes of confession: rent-boy confession, confession-for-hire, confessiongate etc. etc. but the church? We don't take that too seriously. There are stories of course, but it's all bullshit...

Can you dig it? So let's turn it around again. If one was to argue that the paedophilia of the pedophocracy was merely a sacrament within a satanist totality, provided you cracked enough jokes and winked at the adjudicator you could win that debate no problems. And that might be all very well in the debating club (from hell!) but in the real world no one wants to know. It's bad enough that we're ruled by sexual preverts - but devil worshippers? Honest to God satanists? Bloody hell, there's no end to that. Whether we go so far as to clap our hands over our ears and yell LA-LA-LA-LA-LA or not, either way it's just too bloody unlikely.

Besides which we need merely read the newspapers. Satanism is just teenagers having a lark. Except that it's not just teenagers, and they're not having a lark neither. It's true that any number of them thought they were having a lark, right up until they got a knife in their neck and then had their brains smashed out with a piece of concrete - "Gosh, I didn't expect a satanist execution." - and whilst it might have come as a surprise to the dead guy it was just business as usual for his friend who introduced him to it. Apart from the bit about ending up dead, it's what his parents did for him, and theirs for them, and on and on back into history.

Fine, fine, satanism, whatever. But just because people are actually getting sacrificed with the full gory art-direction, that doesn't mean that it's real. Okay so maybe it is real, like Catholicism is real, but there isn't actually anything to it and when they sacrifice people and eat their hearts and lips and fingers etc nothing actually happens. It's just them being deluded or something. When they summon the devil he doesn't actually appear... does he?

The Exorcist and a 300mm lens

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on exorcism: "Superstition ought not to be confounded with religion, however much their history may be interwoven, nor magic, however white it may be, with a legitimate religious rite." But they would say that wouldn't they? They'd have to, otherwise... where's their monopoly?

I know it's only a movie but even within that understanding The Exorcist has some very revealing moments. Keep in mind that apart from the two stars Jason Miller as Karras and Max von Sydow as Merrin, all the priests in it were real priests with each scoring a dual credit as technical consultant. As such The Exorcist gets the Roman Catholic tick of approval. Besides which, between Ratzinger performing an exorcism right there in the Vatican, and that priest in high school who got all flustered and weird when he caught me reading The Exorcist under my desk in the middle of the class about exorcism (a complete fluke, I swear), within the church you won't find a single person prepared to declare that demonic possession is bullshit.

So, it's not bullshit - but - within Catholicism the rite of Exorcism is a truly lonely orphan. Whilst the New Testament tells of Jesus performing an exorcism, really the Church would love to see the back of the whole caper. As is, the Office of the Exorcist always stood outside the sacrament of Holy Orders, the act was never considered a sacrament, and Vatican II saw the church do its damnedest to disappear the whole thing completely. Let's imagine exorcism as some unkillable strain of underground travelling bamboo that constantly bursts out and ruins the otherwise beautiful symmetry of the church's perfect formal garden. If only it didn't exist! And if only they could ignore it! But sadly, it does, and they can't.

Back to the movie now, my favourite scene comes towards the end just after the first round of the exorcism proper. It consists merely of Father Karras and Father Merrin both somewhat shell-shocked, sitting on the stairs outside the room. Apart from the terrific performances and the immaculate composition and lighting, it contains a gem of a line: says Karras, "Why this girl? It doesn't make any sense." To which I would reply, "EXACTLY!" But I can do that because, faced with a choice between two mutually exclusive things, a demon-possessed girl and a religion that says she shouldn't exist, I have no preference. Unlike Karras, I'm happy to plump for whichever one makes the most sense.

Merrin of course, as the man not given to doubt, offers up some waffle perfectly designed to console a predisposed fellow as long as he doesn't think about it. And unsurprisingly perhaps, William Friedkin, in what must easily be the most tedious director's commentary ever offered on DVD, does the same. It's some guff about faith, and being tested, and whatever: blah, blah, blah. It's the kind of rubbish people are forced to come up with to avoid the inevitable conclusion that perhaps they're bullshit.

Or to put it another way, in amongst everything the church has to offer there's nothing that isn't supposition. Every single thing they got, all of it, is just somebody's say-so. God, Jesus, the Trinity, heaven, hell, the devil, angels, all of it - nothing more than the word of man. The gig is: we take their word for it and then find out if it's true or not when we die. Fingers crossed. Actually, let's rewind. When I said 'everything' before, I should have said, everything except for demonic possession. In amongst it all, the only thing that's truly tangible and can reach out and grab you by the throat, the only aspect of supernature that comes in 3D cinemascope is demonic possession. You can see why they'd hate it can't you? Its unarguable realness makes them look like bullshit artists.

The Exorcist and an 24mm lens

Never mind Catholicism, let's step back and widen our view. Let's misuse that line from Dire Straits, when two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong, albeit with 'God' (take your pick) standing in for Jesus. Following that logic, in this world of infinite disparate religions, each with their own version of the-world-is-thus, at least one of them has to be bullshit. That's just me being generous you understand. Most people simply by being a member of a religion would be forced to agree with the statement - every religion is false except for mine. Not that they'd care for their religion reduced to a probability, but with 'every religion' equating to a truly staggering number, and 'mine' equalling 'one', the likelihood of any randomly chosen religion being true makes picking the correct lotto numbers look like a doddle. Ayah, it's Pascal's wager arse-about. Never mind!

As for those fuzzy types keen to avoid specifics and preferring to find some vague spiritual commonality between all religions, I'll put it to you that the only hard-and-fast, cannot-be-denied thing that all religions have in common (apart from gods who are always elsewhere), is demons, possession, and exorcism. No expert me, but it seems this nasty little hairball is the universal gig - Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Animists, whomever - exorcism seems to take place amongst every people, on every continent, and for as long as records exist. Says I, it's the only unarguable thing every religion has in common.

Speaking of which, let's wind the clock back. To be honest, religion = priests = those with a wee bit more knowledge than the unwashed masses who feed them, provide them with somewhere nice to live, and hell... suck their dick, why not? It's good to be a priest. And way back when, what with science not having been invented, there were any number of things a priest could know about, or claim to know about, that would place him in an exalted position: why the sun comes up; why the wind blows; and why that white stuff that comes out of my willy has to be swallowed by a virgin. But never mind the gags (or the gagging, ahem), without a shadow of a doubt, in amongst this plethora of nonsense would have been the cold hard certainty of demons and possession.

I bring this up because it's tempting to argue that what with demons being real, and what with priests being the only ones capable of dealing with them, that this must speak to the priest's credibility: demons are real; priests really deal with them; thus the priest's knowledge must be real also. Sorry folks but I'm going to call bullshit on that one too. Exorcisms often as not take months. Imagine a rain-maker who did his jiggery-pokery over and over, and over and over, and over and over, and then eventually, months later, it rained. Um, okay, how impressed should we be? Press a for very, b for somewhat, and c for get fucked!

Ha! Welcome to Catholic exorcism! But don't take my word for it - I'm just taking William Friedkin at his. In his excruciating DVD commentary he says that there is in fact nothing special about the phrase that Karras and Merrin repeatedly shout at the demon, The power of Christ compels you. Apparently exorcists are instructed to repeat any phrase that seems to have an effect. I'll admit that it's unlikely, but if someone popped into the room saying, 'Hey, pull my finger!' and the demon recoiled then that would be the ideal thing to yell at it. Or to put it another way, it's whatever works and Rites of the Exorcism be damned. Best I can make out, no religion has any idea what they're doing. It's all hit or miss, and the main thing is to keep a stiff upper lip, pay no attention to the demon's lies, and be resolute in telling it to get out. That's all there is to it. And yeah, it could take months. The only reason the priests score the gig is because they long ago declared that all things supernatural belonged to them, and if they shy away from it then - shrugs shoulders - "What good are they?"

Says I, the orphan nature of exorcism in every religion is due to the fact that in any battle between a trickster / demon who's real, and a church built with nothing but the word of man, only one of them has their fingers crossed.

The Nihilist's Dilemma

So what am I saying? You'd half wonder if I wasn't declaring myself a Satanist. If demons are the only things that are real, and all the churches are bullshit, then I must be a satanist. No?

Hardly. I'm just a guy who read too much over at Rigorous Intuition to walk away thinking nothing of it. Besides which, I like to describe myself as a nihilist. Okay, so do I believe in tricksters or don't I? If I don't believe then I have to declare all those otherwise sober and honest people who've encountered them to be liars. I don't think so - they and their stories were possessed of too much credibility for me to be so flip. Besides which it's hard to argue with the 70,000 people at Fatima who saw the sun turn to silver and fly around like a UFO. Speaking of which, and apropos the above discussions of exorcism, no surprises that the Catholic Church responded to the whole Fatima affair as if they wished it hadn't happened. That's the problem with tricksters. They're too real to ignore and too unpredictable to shoehorn into a doctrine.

Why don't I lay it on the line, define what we're dealing with, and then do the full circle trick, and bring it back to the beginning. Which is to say, let's see if that doesn't tell us something about the relationship between satanism and the pedophocracy / death cult.

Let's just start with the basis that demons / tricksters are real but merely in and of themselves. Let's not plug them into any religious world-is-thus. Do that and you instantly enter the realm of Father Karras and It-doesn't-make-any-sense. Thus we view them as a non-denominational forces of nature. They just are. And never mind me concentrating on The Exorcist. It just happened to be on the telly with me deciding to make it the vehicle for the discussion. Anyone who's hung at Rigorous Intuition will know that whatever these entities are they come in every shape, size, and description: aliens, dwarves, elves, pixies, leprechauns, kitsune, coyote, djinns, demons, poltergeists... honestly, the list is endless. They exist like rainfall exists and tuppence for anything beyond that.

So, what are we talking about exactly? Rather than dwell on the differences, as per usual it's best to gun for commonalities.
- they are tricksters with a spectacular propensity to lie.
- they are not from 'here' and may come and go.
- they are not serene and are possessed of human-like egotistical attributes, even pointless and perverse ones.
- they take advantage of the young, the weak-willed, the foolish.
- they are possessed of powers and abilities that are greater than those of any individual human but this fails in the face of people acting in concert.
- they may be summoned and likewise sent away.
- they are (Mythago-Wood-style) empowered by belief, which is to say attention, ie. come the day everyone refuses to have anything to do with them, they will be gone.
- they are not an avatar of any religion, and anything they say to the contrary is merely a manifestation of the first point in the list.
So! Have I rolled over and become a believer in all things supernature? Fat chance. I'm a Buddhist of the zen variety who wishes only to cast off all desire. What could these creatures offer me? Oneness with the universe? Not bloody likely. Besides which, is there a shortcut for nirvana? And more to the point why would one believe them even if they were to offer it? If I desire nothing from them and likewise give them nothing, neither fear, nor reverence, nor awe, then not only is our business done, but it will never start. A fig for them.

At long last satanism

And then there's satanism. Unlike every other major religion satanism embraces the tricksters. The punters in a Catholic mass, say, can spend an hour and see nothing very remarkable. Satanists on the other hand...
According to Ohio vs. Estella Sexton, February 13, 1995, 1995 Ohio App. Lexis 1413, one of the children stated that family members were involved in satanic rituals, invoking spirits, and "baby thingies and things like that." “We will hold hands ... it mostly takes place after my grandmother died. They will bring her spirit back. Sometimes they bring devils back. They come out of the table and you see them floating around in the room ... we all hold hands while it’s happening.”

Has anyone reading here ever seen anything like that in any church they ever went to? No, me neither. The best it ever got for me was choir practice in an ancient church I wandered into in the middle of Venice many years ago - the acoustics were mind-buggering. And then there was that time with a gamelan orchestra accompanying four ethereal women doing a traditional dance in a temple in Ayutthaya. And I nearly fainted once from the power of a two hundred voice choir doing Carmina Burana at the Sydney Opera House. Oh wait, that's not even religious now that I think about it. But! Had I gone to a black mass, a good and proper one that didn't involve me as human sacrifice, I suspect I'd have been odds-on to see some truly spooky shit.

It doesn't mean anything of course. Yes, it is supernature but that doesn't mean it can't be a bullshit at the same time. A supernatural dog and a supernatural pony is still a dog and pony show. It'll impress the mug punters but in the grand scheme of things it isn't worth a pinch of shit. Supernature entities are not so different to human performers: if the audience has no time for them their balls will shrivel to raisins. The magic? I snap my fingers. Or I turn the house lights up. Either one will do.

And never mind me, here's as neat a summary of the real world power of satanists as you'll find anywhere-
March 25, 1998, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, Elio Hernandez Rivera, David Serna Valdes and Sergio Martinez Salinas, Sentences for Murder, Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking and Weapons Violations. The group thought their self-styled religion, which drew from the Caribbean Santeria and the African Palo Mayombe traditions, would render them bulletproof and protect them from police and rival gang members which was the rationale for why they “sacrificed” Mark Kilroy and others.
Yeah, so much for that. And they only had to slay thirteen people to figure out it was crap.

That of course is why the occult is hidden. In fact occult means hidden. There are those who'd argue that magic is somehow naturally hidden and that's why it's right one should spend one's life searching. I don't know about that. What if I said that any hiding was done as a deliberate act by the dog-and-pony-show proprietors keen not to lose their livelihood? If it ain't hidden, there ain't no show. "Please don't take away my dog and my pony! Without them I'll have to work for a living!"

Now factor in James 'The Amazing' Randi, famous debunker, paedophilia accusee, and board member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Sorry Amazing, but you hang with those fuckers you get tarred with that brush and that's all there is to it. So there's Amazing with a sign over his head proclaiming satanist spook affiliations, all the while running around debunking everyone else's magic. Sure. That's makes sense doesn't it? God forbid the wrong people should avail themselves of the tricksters.

Oh, and Satan? He's bullshit, just another lie, one that suits not just the trickster but the dog-and-pony bullshit artists who want to piggyback their way into being our masters. Thus, if one was actually to encounter Satan it's only because the trickster has settled on that as the thing we're most likely to be impressed by. Remember Satan appearing to Jesus in the New Testament? What if I said he wasn't Satan at all but just another trickster talking to him in a language he knew he'd understand? Otherwise, should anyone ever encounter a trickster there's only one thing to keep in mind: believe nothing about what they say, or how they appear. Nothing. And then you tell them to fuck off and you turn on your heel and leave.

But to hell with the dog and pony. The truth is that the heavies at the pointy end of the satanist pyramid know that it's all bullshit. The only part of it that counts is keeping it all hidden. Provided you can keep your shit hidden, you can walk on water. Believe it or not, I've done it. And I built the rig myself.

And so, the tricksters are pissweak nothings that, in the right secluded setting with the lighting just so, function as a cheap trick to impress the credulous and trick them / trip them across the line. Then, once in and up to their necks in blood and illicit sex - belief, disbelief, it no longer matters - they cannot leave. And the beauty of it is, it's all non-denominational - Micks, Proddos, Jews, Mormons, whomever. And here we are scratching our heads as to whose shitfight is this? The beauty of satanism is, we'll never figure it out. 'Hidden' is the core of their DNA. And there you have satanism: the perfect recruitment vehicle, the perfect corruption mechanism, the perfect don't-argue compliance enforcer, the perfect thing-that-doesn't-exist. And all piggy-backed on a low-rent magic act that in and of itself is good for nothing. Think about it - if the magic was powerful why do they skulk around in the dark? Fact is - it has no power, not beyond it's ability to impress dupes. Dupes = slaves, and slaves are things worth having.

Black and White, Babies and Bathwater

I understand that I might be accused of... um, 'throwing the baby out with the bath water'. ie. as in all things, there is good and bad and so it is with supernatural entities. Thus by rejecting all supernatural entities we miss out on that which is good. The key word here is 'good' - 'good' as in a baby is good and thus to throw it out would be 'bad'.

Let's stop. We'll stop because the above metaphor is bullshit insofar as it's a classic case of begging the question. And no, I'm not 'prompting the question', rather I'm 'asking a question possessed of an assumption' and God knows 'baby with the bath water' is precisely that. The assumption is that an encounter with a spirit who is not a trickster is inherently good, good like a baby is good, unimpeachable like motherhood is unimpeachable. Yeah, says I? Bullshit.

Frankly we'd be closer to the mark if we were to compare it to throwing out the good bath water with the bad bath water. And sure, anyone hearing such a daft non-expression would rightly shake their head since it doesn't make any sense. Besides which, bathing is good isn't it? Exactly, we're still begging the question. So! Let's chuck out the baby and the bath water, certainly as an expression, and come up with a new one. Thus, me declaring that one should have nothing to do with any supernatural entities is like 'throwing out the white chess pieces with the black ones'. This will never catch on as a phrase but it's not meant to.

Rather it's a discussion of what's the point. Who in their right mind would declare that, yes, black chess pieces are bad but that white ones are good? Why not just skip chess altogether? Haven't we better things to do? And for the sake of the chess fans out there let me declare that this is an allegorical chess. Instead of being a pleasant hour long diversion, it stands for what's-in-it-for-me, with 'me' as an entity opposed to 'them'.

Forget what's-in-it-for-me. Imagine yourself in the world, and all without intermediaries. Well, not beyond the wind in your face, that is. No gods, no devils, no heaven, no hell, and yep, above us only sky. Is that too terrible? That would work wouldn't it? In the presence of nature what need is there for supernature? Apart from selfish reasons? Why would one look out on this temporal world with its infinite intensity and say they want more? ...that they want to look beneath? ...that there must be something beyond this? What is there beneath a crested bronzewing apart from the sound of its wings beating the air? Such a magical sound ...and no magic in it! Me, I rejoice. Why the hunt for belief with the world so full already?

A tuppence for tricksters, their handlers, hell, all those goddam priests, and everyone else with their magic act world-is-thus. They're completely superfluous the lot of them and exist only in, of, and for themselves. Like the non-god / non-trickster Buddha said - there is only here and now. Anything beyond that is bullshit.