What is the Temple of Chrysalis?

Another day on Facebook, another day of stumbling onto some weird vaguely culty new religious movement with gothic overtones. This time, instead of Hyperianism, it’s this movement called the Temple of Chrysalis, which seems to have been around since 2018. I heard about them through a sponsored post advertising them on Facebook, and, to tell you truth, there are many things in that post that make it sound like a grift. Led by a woman calling herself Luminary Blackthorn and dressed like someone who got rejected from Heilung for being too horny on main, this group is a strange case wherein it simultaneously feels mildly culty and even calls itself a cult, but at the same time it almost doesn’t seem like one at all. How does that work exactly? I’ll do my best to explain as we go forward.

First there’s the opening statement: “What the f is this “Temple of Chrysalis” and why are they on my feed? Is this some sort of cult?”. I love the fact that they already anticipate being called a cult, and it honestly makes me wonder what would motivate someone to refer to it as such. Perhaps the line “Use 5 minutes to read this post, and your life might take an important step towards astounding change.” is probably a weird sign in itself. The first idea we get about what they are and what they stand for is the sentence “We are an online community that explores the concept of reality and how it can be affected by your own actions and surroundings. And we are opening our doors to a LIMITED number of new members.” Essentially we get the impression that they have a vague interest in mysticism and spirituality (let’s face it, “reality and how it can be affected by your own actions and surroundings” could refer to any number of doctrines), and they seem to be an esoteric club of sorts, judging by the . Even stranger is “And why did I spend my money to reach YOU?¬†ūüßź I am not yet sure, to be honest.”. Pro-tip: nobody cares. They seem to lean very keenly on the perception of difference in society, and by that I basically just mean they like to exploit alternative subcultures as a source of membership, just like Morgue does with his Hyperianism cult. That message is summed up in “But you also know that dimming yourself down will leave you feeling empty, not being true to yourself. We know we are different. And I believe that you are too. Because this is how I targeted this post: to people with extraordinary and peculiar interests.”. It’s a pretty positive message, at least on the surface that’s what it seems to be about, but obviously that’s not all there is to this. We’re led on by the author to ponder the real reason why you’re being targeted with this message. Ostensibly not because you happen to be the group’s target demographic, but because “this is the exact turning point of your life to cut down all the bs and finally start actually doing something to change things”. Vaguery seems to be the order of the day here, as suggested by the description “Temple of Chrysalis is for those of you who wish to consolidate enjoyment, the moments of pleasure and the energy of your core to be part of your life.” What does that mean exactly? Your guess is as good as mine. But apparently it might have something to do with individual self-fulfillment in that the group promises the freedom to be alternative and different (as if we don’t already have that to some extent), as well as ritualism and some sort of support community. But the strange thing about them is that they openly bill themselves as a secret society and even a cult. “Because that cult thing was not a joke. You are being recruited.”. I wonder what’s up with that. Then the post ends with an encouragement to “take the red pill”, which honestly is a surprise to still see in 2020 let alone outside of online overtly right-wing political circles, and it kind of tells me that we’re in for some pretentiousness and stupidity going forward.

Then again, I’m pretty sure people have been doing this shit for years now.

So that’s the first impression I got from them on Facebook, but what are they really all about? On their Facebook page, there’s a post called “What is the Chrysalis Path?”. What does that tell us? Well it tells us for a start that they bill themselves as an “occult philosophical paradigm”, based on the goal of discovering “the Ideal self” and “multiplying ones potential, through powerful transformation and influencing of the mind”. The name Chrysalis comes from the fact they draw inspiration from the metamorphosis of the catterpillar in which it transforms into a butterfly or a moth. Indeed, their logo, in keeping with this theme, is a moth, but it also has a skull on its back, much like the poster for the movie Silence of the Lambs, as well as the cover art for the novel of the same name. Obviously this is just for aesthetic edge. The group claims to adopt a more scientific approach to things like ritualism or the supernatural, which is something I could get behind in theory but I honestly wonder what exactly their approach to that is. Certainly not Scientific Illuminism, that’s for sure. All I know is that it invovles ” the concept of reality and how it can be affected by your own actions and surroundings” and consolidating “enjoyment, the moments of pleasure and the energy of your core to be part of your life”. The stated goal of the Chrysalis community is to allow you to eventually reach the “Imago”, the “ideal self”. Membership of this group is free, meaning anyone can join in, but of course there’s an “inner circle” whose membership has to be earned somehow, and the group makes money by selling various courses, packages and retreats among various other products, including an online academy. All of this billed under the label of “socially positive cult”.

On their website they have a list of principles that they purport to operate by, though the page for it is really just exposition of what they’re all about. We get the sense that the Temple of Chrysalis is, more than just a religious group, seems also to be a self-styled magical order of sorts, whose occult paradigm is called “Naos tis Chrysalis”. The rationale given for the name Chrysalis is elaborated here in that it refers to the cyclical process of spiritual metamorphosis, which is to say that the Chrysalis refers to the pupa, which is thus symbolic of the phase in which the metamorphosis can begin with the transcendence of that which came before, which would be the caterpillar, and the butterfly represents the Imago or ideal self which is then the end goal of that metamorphosis. It’s a tad more complicated that the website lets on. Contrary to what the page is titled, though, the object of discussion is not actually principles so much as themes, and what are these themes? Well here they are?

  • Realities ‚ÄstThe exploration, questioning, and utilization of them.
  • Mind ‚ÄstInfluencing it, playing with it, and modification.
  • Change ‚ÄstHarnessing and utilizing it.
  • Pleasure ‚ÄstUnderstanding it, and increasing your own well-being through it.
  • Rituals¬†‚Äď Reality shaping, amplifying transformation and sealing of decisions.
  • The life cycle of the Buttefly ‚Äď The symbolism of transformation, the finality of the process, the pain of giving up and rebirth.

It is at the same time vague and clear. It is vague in the sense that these themes, for the most part, tell us nothing. But it is clear in the sense that we get an idea of what the movement is. When they talk about reality, they actually mean “realities”, and these “realities” are things that can be in some way manipulated. Ritualism is established as a means of shaping reality, amplifying personal transformation and “sealing” decisions, which tells me that ceremonial magick plays a major role in this belief system and that it is a means by which to transform either reality or the “realities” of others. So what we get is something of a magickal group, with a bit of hedonism in the mix what with pleasure as a means to increase well-being. With this and its dark aesthetic in mind I can’t help but wonder if this is some sort of quasi-Satanic or quasi-Luciferian group, but then the gothic aesthetic could be just that: gothic aesthetics. However, we also find that Change, Mind, Chrysalis, Imago and Reality have their own dedicated pages on their website, which means there’s further elaboration on these concepts as they are to be understood in the context of the Temple’s belief system.

Change seems rather self-explanatory in this regard. Change is the basis of all progression and from there the foundational block of spiritual transformation, which is then encapsulated in the metaphor of the butterfly life cycle. The butterfly life cycle metaphor is also elobarated on in much more detail, giving us four stages. The first is the Egg stage, which represents the aspirational stage (that’s weird, I would think the Imago would be the thing to aspire to but oh well). The second is the Larva stage, which is just when you decide to commit to your goals and consecrate tha decision through sigils and ritualism. The third is the Chrysalis stage, which also involves ritualism but also is summed up as just whatever action is required to cultivate the Imago. The fourth and last stage is the Imago stage, which was already estasblished as just the higher self, but in this page it also seems to just mean whatever goal you’re aspiring to. So the cycle of Egg-Larva-Chrysalis-Imago can just be summed up as, you have a goal, you set yourself to it, and you accomplish it, but with rituals in between. Essentially, this is a basic bitch self-help program for people who don’t think there’s enough mysticism or goths involved. Mind here refers to the “intrinsic being of an individual, that contains, processes and directs consciousness, thoughts, and feelings”. This sort of makes it out like Mind is an entity separate from the being of the individual. The being is the individual or the living creature, and mind is one of its constituents. Anyways, Mind is central to the Chrysalis belief system, with the reaching of full potential being predicated on exploring the layers of mind, and indeed even reality itself is predicated on mind, since they believe that reality is merely a subjective image of mind and the senses. In other words, they are idealists, which I suppose is to be expected of the average magickal group. There’s a page on Chrysalis but it’s in Finnish so unfortunately I can’t read it, and so is the Reality page (keep in mind, these Finnish-language pages are on what is still the English language version of the site). Imago is explained in its respective page as “the version of you, where all the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place nigh perfectly, and where the mind and the vase which carries it are in harmony with one another”. It is essentially a mystical summary of an individual’s maximum potential, a state in which mind and body are in perfect harmony, and the awakened mind can dictate reality and his/her own emotional state as per desire, and individuals who attain this state essentially become godlike. This godlike potential is supposed to reside in every human, though merely in slumber, waiting to be awakened.

A butterfly emerging from its chrysalis

We get another window into the nature of the Chrysalis doctrine through their Edict, particularly in the five Pillars (wait, you mean like the five pillars of Islam?). The first pillar is Reality and says “The universe consists of vibrations, frequencies and energies. Reality is an interpretation of sensory feedback. Shaping reality is the key to self-improvement.”, which is essentially an affirmation of typical New Agey doctrine. The second pillar is Mind and says “The mind is the most important tool for shaping reality. Limits of the mind can be exceeded. With control, primitivity is freedom and chaos is power.”, and I’ll be honest the last part of that statement sounds pretty quasi-Taoist, which would be pretty cool if I had some evidence that they could draw effectively from Taoism. The third pillar is Metamorphosis and says “Each person has an Imago, the ideal self that can be achieved. The larva can be offered food, but it must make the decision to begin the Chrysalis. Resurrection requires death.”, which is all a pretty weird way of saying “you must commit to being your best self”. Of course “resurrection requires death” isn’t really wrong, after all life does derive from life, and ironically this can even be applied to the teachings of Christianity, in the sense that the new life in heaven requires the death of Jesus. The fourth pillar is Morality and says “Do as you desire, bear the responsbility. Goodness is reality and situation dependent. Evil is an anomaly in reality. Happy person doesn‚Äôt deliberately cause harm, hence happiness is an aspiration.”, and here we come to a problem: goodness is reality, and evil is an anomly of reality, but reality as was already established is also ultimately just an illusion because it’s just a projection of thoughts and senses. So which is it? Either reality is a real thing on the basis that morality is real and a reflection of reality, or reality is an illusion which would then mean morality is an illusion. The fifth and last pillar is Ecstasy and says “Joyful experiences increase happiness. Ecstatic experience brings you closer to reality shaping. The relationship of two people is what they agree with one another.”, and to be honest I think it has some pretty bad lessons in life. How good you feel doesn’t have any bearing on your ability to affect your surroundings, and love cannot be measured in the fact that two people agree with each other, particularly when opinion can be such a fickle thing in that people generally do not hold the same set of opinions in perpetuity.

Now, one thing I haven’t elaborated on yet is the Chrysoteria, which is their online academic program. There’s not much I can get into without paying for it, since their material will likely be behind a paywall, but supposedly it’s the means of accessing the “secret knowledge” of the Chrysalis sect. One wonders why it has to be a secret. It sounds like something that could be just given out for free, and particularly when for all I know it’s just more elaborated lessons on what is the same “knowledge”. It’s probably just some occult works that you could probably already find anyway without shilling out some money for what could just be a Google search’s worth of knowledge. In an introductory video on the Chrysoteria found on Blackthorn’s YouTube channel, she explains that being a member gets you access to monthly packages of information pertaining to spells, chants, seals and rituals, and from what I could glance on the video it looks stuff you could find on any blog or another YouTube channel, or just about any magick-oriented book, although I’m guessing the difference is that here the content is more specifically oriented towards Chrysalis doctrine (not that this makes a difference considering that Chrysalis doctrine doesn’t seem particularly original). It also mentions you finding blog posts and articles there alongside courses and “community”. Tell me, why exactly do you need to pay money to enroll on some online academic course in order to access articles and blog posts? Especially when you can just read articles on the Temple’s website for free anyway? And just what kind of quality articles would necessitate such a paywall in any context? Oh, never mind, what makes it all different is that she promises that you’ll learn how to become a God, because they believe that God is in you. OK, but I still don’t see why you need to pay for everything else, particularly just so you can learn Panentheism 101.

And since we’ve already established that all this isn’t for free, how much does it cost to be in the Chrysoteria? Like so many other things in this day and age, Chrysoteria comes with multiple payment plans, each with a different price and a different set of services. The Seeker membership plan costs ‚ā¨29 a month (or ‚ā¨25 a month when billed annually), and is pretty much just the basic membership plan in that it offers pretty much all the basic features (a community network, monthly “Knowledge Scrolls” and member-only articles). The Devoted membership plan costs ‚ā¨35 a month (or ‚ā¨29 a month when billed annually) and as additional content offers “Chrysalis Dark Arts”, which consists of “dark magic” (whatever that means) and sex magic courses (which honestly you can find anywhere on the internet or better yet in books that cost much less than a Chrysoteria membership plan), as well as 5% discounts on courses, merchandise and events, which I suppose is a perk and a half. It’s also worth noting that this plan is billed as the Launch plan and is presently reduced from its normal price of ‚ā¨49 a month. The Chosen membership plan is limited, with only ten placements available, and costs ‚ā¨150 a month (or ‚ā¨125 a month when billed anually), and as additional content offers 10% discounts on all courses, merchandise and events, VIP status for all events, and a 30 minute personal video call with Blackthorn (the latter of which I’m sure you could pretty much just get from her adult video service (more on that later)). Typically, though, membership is expected to cost ‚ā¨29 a month assuming you go with the basic plan. Therefore, you are going to spend a total of ‚ā¨348 every year for something that you can probably find for free, get in a book that you can buy for much cheaper, or hell write about yourself at no cost to yourself. If you’re having to fork over that much money just to get in a community where you get to learn about some lady’s personal rebranding of concepts that, if we’re very honest, already exist elsewhere (“Triagas”, for example, seem to me like just another name for what we already call sigils), not to mention that their whole system of magick is just them taking the basic concept of magick itself and claiming it as their own, I’d say this is a good sign that what we’re dealing with is a textbook scam.

This section of the Chryosteria web page is interesting because it’s basically telling me what I’d rather do than pay for this dumb “academy”.

But while we’re on that subject, I would also like to get into the whole theme of cult identity, because as I established earlier the Temple and its founder really likes to lean in on the idea that they’re running a cult, and even though they call themselves a cult it’s honestly difficult to tell if they actually mean that or if it’s just some sort of tease. Blackthorn refers to her organization as a cult, specificallly she refers to it as a “socially positive cult”, which is a very strange term considering that every example of a cult that I and just about everyone else can think of is the complete opposite of “socially positive”. Given their rebranding of existing spiritual concepts, their leaning on exclusivity and not to mention cult identity, and not to mention the whole Chrysoteria program, it’s easy to see why they might seem like a cult. Another thing that would usually be a telltale sign is a Facebook post about the group’s Discord server wherein they say “It is a support network that offers you a family. People to share with, to laugh with, to cry with”. Now, that could mean something else entirely but I recognize in cults a tendency to offer a family-like community as part of their religious movement, especially with the intent to replace your existing family bonds. Not to mention, “At times we do very cult-like things, such as testing people’s loyalty by closing some of their favorite channels and allowing access only to the devoted.”. But, on the other hand, something’s amiss. I mean, of all the examples of cults that I’ve seen in my time, I’ve never actually seen them call themselves cults. Cults, and religious movements more generally, like to try and avoid the cult label as a rule, and for good reason. Cults are dangerous, predatory, manipulative, socially corrosive and spiritually degenerative phenomenon that no one in the right mind should want to consciously identify with, and the people that wind up joining cults don’t really consider them to be cults until after some time being in one it finally dawns on them that’s what it is. But the Temple of Chrysalis, seemingly, is a lone exception – it identifies itself as a cult and Blackthorn identifies herself as a cult leader, all while subject to no reproach for it (not yet, at least). You would think that somebody openly identifying as a cult or cult leader would be instantly called out for it, but apparently this hasn’t happened, and perhaps it’s from this that I’m left to suspect that something else is going on.

When I watch Blackthorn’s videos, I get the sense that she is not always a particularly serious person. She puts on some fairly comical affectations as part of her persona in her videos, which I have to admit is a much better touch than in Morgue’s videos where it’s just Morgue reciting a point-by-point argument that he wrote before-hand and in general he just seems to take himself way too seriously for a guy who probably goes to bed in the make-up he wears. She even has her own outtake reel, of sorts, in the form of a video of her trying to do her videos unscripted. That suggests that, perhaps, she doesn’t take herself or her witchy persona entirely seriously, or at least that she’s a light-hearted person who just happens to lean in on some rather dubious thematic ideas as part of some sort of act. And if that’s not enough, in the same Facebook post I mentioned before, the group also says “As I have always said, the Temple of Chrysalis is a human experiment. It is a game where you gain more levels.”. A game where you gain more levels? That is certainly an interesting angle, one that makes me wonder about the nature of the movement in that it opens up the possibility that even the whole cult identity isn’t ultimately sincere, and that it’s strictly for entertainment purposes. I think one of two things is certain: either this really exactly what they say it is, which is to say that it is a cult, or it’s a couple of irony-loving goths who larp as a cult because they think the idea of them being in a cult is fun to play with.

Last, but not least, let’s take a good look at the founder of this group: “Luminary” Blackthorn. Just who is she exactly? Her Linkedin and Twitter pages tell us that her real name is Ida-Emilia Kaukonen, and that, aside from being the leader of the Temple of Chrysalis, she’s also a game developer, a “community expert”, a “Community and Communications Consultant”, and, most hilariously of all, an online sex worker (well, an adult content creator to be more accurate, but let’s face it that’s what her video service amounts to). Her game development career seems to have been fairly extensive, having worked for a company called Nitro Games for a total of about six years. Most of her roles in that capacity focus on “community” skills, which basically means that she managed the social media accounts of the company, and generally was involved in the company’s media campaigns, PR, and marketing. Of course, she did do some level design, and apparently was the voice of one of the characters in a game called Medals of War, but the bulk of her role has been to essentially market her company. She had a similar role as the promotion lead for OldTown, a post-apocalyptic larp festival based in Poland, where she essentially managed their social media and visitor community for two years. She also has scores of acting and other roles from many years ago, often linked to universities. Her adult content can be found on a website called Only Fans, where she offers erotic videos, photography and audio for subscribers, typically at a rate $25 per month, as well as direct message chats for personalized content. In addition to this, she encourages her subscribers to pay her tips, and in typical e-girl fashion these are tips for things that you could just as easily do with a real person for free by having an actual relationship with said person. I’m not joking. She encourages you to tip her $5 just let you know she liked a direct message. For the “boyfriend experience” (which, by the way, is a service I’ve heard about being offered by prostitutes) you can tip her $150. Just read about the tips she encourages people to give, I could not help but laugh at it all. And, look, if you want to be one of those sex workers on the internet offering chumps the privilege of seeing your pussy via a camera for money, don’t let me stop you, same for if you want to be one of the suckers that pays for it. I just think it’s funny that this “cult leader” is also basically an internet whore (although I do look down on this profession at the end of the day, especially when you’re asking people to give you stupid amounts of money).

At present, she is the CEO of a company called Blackthorn Visions, which appears to be some kind of social media consultancy firm. According to her Linkedin profile it specializes in community management, social media algorithms, networking, public speaking, and social media psychology. All a fairly interesting resume, albeit in the field of what sounds like bullshit jobs with extra steps, but what’s really interesting is that the branding for this company is remarkably similar to the aesthetic seen in the Temple of Chrysalis. In fact, one of their Facebook posts mentions a company being involved in their community network or something to that effect, and given what we know, while there isn’t much information about the company (at least in English) I think it’s safe to assume that Blackthorn Visions is essentially a corporate vehicle for the Temple of Chrysalis in that it serves to facilitate their social media and community ventures, or at least serves as a satellite company for them. All-in-all, it’s eerily fascinating to see just how much experience Kaukonen seems to have under her belt, how many fields and careers she’s worked in, and how it all kind of seems to blend together into one picture, and to be honest it rather feeds into a certain sense that the Temple of Chrysalis, rather than a “cult”, is probably just an elaborate marketing scheme.

For all this, though, as funny as a lot of this is, I also sometimes feel distinctively negative about it. After all this is still someone seeking to profiteer off of alternative spirituality, particularly the occult or more or less the realm of pop-occultism. The belief system she promotes is a hodge-podge of New Age mysticism, gothic subculture, elements of Left Hand Path spirituality or at least aesthetics, some aspects of chaos magick, and contemporary neopaganism, which is carefully designed to appeal not only to people interested in alternative subcultures but also people who are interested in things like occultism and alternative religion, and just the fact that she charges people money to learn about this sort of stuff, let alone as part of some greater marketing bullshit, tells me that she treats this sort of shit as some sort of business venture, just a way to make money off of people who probably do have sincere interests in such things and feel alienated from society as a result. In a way I’m ultimately somewhat disgusted by all of this, and I actually think it reminds me of what Jacob McKelvy was doing, both in the Greater Church of Lucifer and with his evangelical ministry, except for the fact that Kaukonen is a lot more brazen about her money-hungry ways (and also being basically a whore on top of that). At any rate she certainly knows how to market just about anything, including her own body.

So is she a cult leader? To tell you the truth, I still consider that to be a grey area, but to my mind it looks like she’s less a cult leader and more or less a businesswoman or a shill, and while I’m sure her interests in video games, religion and alternative subculture are somewhat genuine, I also think she views them as things that can be effectively commodified and sold out as instruments of marketing. Mind you, to be quite honest, I didn’t think I’d find a person with such intersecting interests. I must admit that, if I had known about her at around 2015 or 2016, while I was still a game design student, maybe I would have been interested in networking with her for business-related purposes. But other than that, I can’t really respect what she’s doing, even if the Temple of Chrysalis isn’t a cult.

What the hell is Hyperianism?

I remember stumbling across something about this new religious movement called Hyperianism one day, reading about how it was a cultic religion started by some guy named Morgue (I shit you not, that is what he calls himself) who believes that death isn’t real and neither is science. I couldn’t believe that such a religion would possibly have any appeal other than to a limited section of Gnostic occultiniks, but since then I cannot stop seeing promotional content and videos for Hyperianism on Facebook – in even comes up on a tab of related pages for my blog’s Facebook page for some bizarre reason. I’m guessing that Hyperianism is being picked up by some Left Hand Path contingents as an exciting new philosophy championed by a social outcast, and given the nature of the doctrine that I’m about to explain to you, I find this to be quite a problem. Even more concerning is the fact that, in the midst of all this, there seems to be very little information about this movement that doesn’t come from Morgue and his media (namely his YouTube channel and the Hyperianism website). I am left, thus, to write about this bizarre movement and why I believe it to be a cult.

The basic premise of the philosophy of Hyperianism seems to be that the universe, meaning material reality of course, is an illusion, and the true source of reality is, well, math. Hyperian doctrine holds that the universe is an illusion generated by mathematics, or “mathematical frequency patterns” (I may suck at math but something tells me something is very wrong here), which would mean that the universe is a mathematical construct and so are all beings within it, meaning you yourself are a mathematical being, made of mathematics. Exactly how maths is the source of everything isn’t entirely clear. The Hyperian religion has two basic goals: the first is to somehow exit the material universe by understanding the mathematical code that is the source of reality, and the second is to “create a new humanity and a new Earth”. Right off the bat, this feels a little bit like a mixture of neo-Gnosticism and transhumanism, which tells me we’re in for a high dose of ontological idealism and generally some very weird territory. The founder of Hyperianism, the man calling himself Morgue, used to be a member of the cast of a reality TV show called Freakshow, which was aired by AMC and set in the Venice Beach Freakshow (hence the name). In this capacity, he was part of the Venice Beach Freakshow line-up as a stunt artist who swallowed and regurgiated swords and inserted hooks, drill bits and pins into his body for the entertainment of onlookers.

Morgue, seen here during his Venice Beach Freakshow days

One rather unique aspect of Hyperian doctrine (and in this case unique for all the wrong reasons) is the opposition not only to organized religion but also to science. Because they despise religion in general, they don’t like to call themselves a religion (even though that’s very obviously what it is) and instead insist that their belief system is based entirely on rational thought, but they also seem to oppose the scientific method in the same way they oppose religion despite this, which is definitely something I’ve never seen in other cults or religious movements. And it’s not like how in some New Age or Hindu revivalist movements you find criticism of both science and the mainstream religions accompanied with some airheaded spiel about how science and faith can be brought together – for Hyperians, both science and faith are irrational and harmful and should be opposed. Why do Morgue and his followers oppose both religion and science? Well for them science itself is just another religion. Yes, the scientific method, based on empirical observation of phenomenon and not faith, is just another “irrational religion”, and scientific materialism is derided as a “primitive and childish view of reality”. What irony, then, that Morgue and his fellow Hyperians consider themselves to be hardcore rationalists, and sometimes refer to Hyperianism as a “cult of reason”! Indeed, their Facebook page bears the subtitle “Logic and Reason Above All Else”, which makes them sound like cringey New Atheists. Anyways, the argument for this can be summarized as the premise that people believed in wrong things in the past and empirical materialism is apparently one of those things, because he says so. Well actually because science is based on empiricism and sense data, which for some reason he believes must be necessarily opposed to reason and logic – which is senseless (no pun intended) because very often you find that rationalism and empiricism have a habit of working together rather than conflicting with each other. In fact, the only time that they do come into conflict is in the field of epistemological discussion and the particularities thereof. In every other practical sense, they compliment each other, and this complimentary relationship is necessary for the function of scientific thought – without it, you wouldn’t be able to derive an authoritative body of knowledge from science and we’d be stuck with religious faith as the primary source of authoritative knowledge. In other words, the only time when there is real conflict between rationalism and empiricism is if you’re really nerdy about philosophy.

And while we’re here let’s address Morgue’s attitude regarding deductive reasoning, which he holds to be opposite to inductive reasoning since deductive reasoning is purely rationalist and inductive reasoning is purely empiricist. Deductive reasoning is a method of reasoning that involves reaching a conclusion through a statement or set of statements within a field of epistemic certainty (often total certainty, leaving no room for uncertainty) while inductive reasoning is where a conclusion is reached through a series or pattern of cases from which a conclusion can be extrapolated. Morgue’s claim about deductive reasoning is that, through the method of deductive reasoning, you arrive at claims about reality that are 100% true, at all times, without fail. This is absolutely retarded. Think about it. That would mean that whatever claim you make using deductive reasoning would thus have to be true in all contexts, in all places, at all times, regardless of new information concerning your surroundings that might cause problems for maintaining such a claim, in a universe that is intrinsically defined by change, meaning that the conditions that we live under, the data about the world that we receive, and hence the facts of the world we live in, are constantly subject to change, meaning that our understanding of reality itself is constantly subject to necessary reassessment. How the fuck does that make sense to anyone? And the big joke is that in his video about science being a religion, he doesn’t even use deductive reasoning to arrive at his conclusion, and instead uses the very inductive reasoning he derides as being incapable of revealing the truth.

Morgue also takes the fact that mankind has been constantly re-assessing its perception of reality as a sign of the inferiority of the scientific method and its equality with religion, even though the whole point of empirical science is that it allows us to re-assess reality by means of concrete information about the external world (you know, the gathering of evidence?). It’s shallow, subjectivist nonsense designed to cultivate the idea that Morgue’s ideas cannot be understood through the lens of science (which is sure sign that you’re dealing with an unfalsifiable belief system). Just what does the fact that people believed different things at different times prove other than the very point that proponents of empirical science make all the time – that we are constantly experiencing new data and new conditions pertaining to the world around us and thus we have to make different conclusions about the world – or that the general philosophy of thought, shockingly for Morgue I’m sure, is not a static phenomenon and, like the humans it emerges from, it too evolves with time, and at a faster rate than humans themselves I might add. And on top of that, it’s not even salient or well-founded. One of his main examples is how classical mechanics was supposedly replaced by quantum mechanics, when in reality this is simply not the case. In fact, you can still take university courses on classical mechanics.

And if that sounds crazy to Morgue, consider the fact that we don’t have flat earth courses. Because, unlike classical mechanics, flat earth theory was phased out centuries ago.

Another aspect that sticks out is that Hyperians deny the existence of death. Most religions that believe in either a soul or some concept of a metaphysical reality that transcends the physical one still maintain that death is a real phenomenon in life, and indeed the concept of death is the necessary precursor of life after death. But not Hyperianism. Morgue instead insists that death is nothing more than an illusion created by the senses, on the grounds that everything else about the material world is an illusion, and because you are actually an immaterial mind made up of the same “mathematical waveforms” that make up the universe itself. This in Morgue’s view means that, even after the body perishes, you, being an eternal mind, will continue to exist. At first this seems like the most outrageous and absurd claim of Hyperianism, but really the basic premise is not too different to his overall assessment of the cosmos – that material reality is fake. In fact, if we consider that Morgue believes in a disembodied Eternal Mind that lives and exists in its present state forever, and that you are identical to this Eternal Mind, we are basically just dealing with another version of the doctrine of “soul” that is found within Christianity and many other organized religions (very logical and rational I’m sure). All of this Morgue bases on the idea that our senses, the primary means by which the human brain collects information about its surroundings, are fundamentally unreliable. Now, I know that most of us (myself included) are definitely very inexperienced when it comes to death, and I don’t know anyone who can tell me what death is like, but I think that unless you’re a Hyperian we can all agree that death is real. For a guy who did dangerous stunts for a living, Morgue sure seems sheltered from the harshness of life that would normally attune him to the spectre of death in the world. Besides, whilst it is true that the senses are far from perfect, imperfection is by no means to be confused with unreliability (perfection is a thing that barely exists within the human realm), and it is definitely possible to improve the senses in everyday life so to talk of them being imperfect is rather moot – imperfect beings may be imperfect, but they are capable of self-cultivation, self-improvement and self-transformation. This, coupled with the fact that senses consist much of what we have insofar as the basics of understanding the world around us are concerned, renders it very improper for us to simply dismiss the senses. But of course, this is just me invoking the sensibility of scientific realist thought, and that’s a big no-no for Hyperianism, or really almost any form of philosophical idealism.

Now, here’s the part I want to stress. Science is considered an irrational and primitive religion according to the Hyperian doctrine. The irony in this is that the Hyperian doctrine retains all manner of religious ideas that are then re-imagined through his lens so as to sound less like their original forms and more like his own brand of pseudo-scientific jargon. For example, Morgue believes in something called “higher entities”, which sounds rather New Agey and which Morgue himself relates to ideas such as the Watchers, but instead of being angels or bodhisattvas or aliens, Morgue identifies these as “highly evolved mathematical beings”, beings that have surpassed the limits of physical reality and thus exist outside of space and time, and who sometimes take an interest in “increasing your level of consciousness” and to that end they incarnate in the physical world as humans. It’s very much like the idea of guardian angels, Watchers, bodhisattvas, and Ascended Masters, but reinterpreted through the lens of “mathematics”. Then there is the belief that humans, rather than being material beings, are in fact “Eternal Mind”, which means that we are actually minds that control the bodies that are seemingly ours, and this also somehow means that we are the universe experiencing itself, which taken together reads like an idealistic form of pantheism, such as Hinduism (Brahman, of course, being the divine mind or consciousness that is God itself), and Hinduism would probably be a strong, albeit subtle, influence on this doctrine in that identification with the Eternal Mind that controls the body would be a key component of Hyperian praxis, and thus I am reminded of Hindu spiritual praxis which stresses identification with the Godhead, the eternal, immutable, divine mind that is the Brahman. What’s more, I’ve heard Morgue get compared to William Lane Craig on the grounds that both use deductive reasoning in service of their own version of the god of the gaps argument, and when your ostensibly anti-religious philosophy nonetheless shares key philosophical arguments and methods with fucking William Lane Craig, you know you’re into some really bad philosophical territory because William Lane Craig is basically just a creationist without the honesty. He even quotes Kurt G√∂del, a philosopher who is sometimes cited by theists and creationists in their arguments against atheistic rationalism and empiricism, when he says “I don‚Äôt believe in empirical science. I only believe in a priori truth”.

Even the fundamental premise about maths being the source of everything reads like it could just be a replacement of spirit with math, thereby a pseudoscientific rendition of the premise that all things in the universe can be reduced to spirit. It doesn’t help that maths here seems to refer chiefly to some idea of immaterial wavelengths that supposedly explain the soul. Now I realize that seems like a pretty bold statement on my part, but consider the fact that Morgue never actually explains the nature of the mathematics in any of the material he puts out in public. In his video about science, for example, he shows us some mathematics when referring to mathematics as the basis of deductive and rational philosophy, and he never explains to any of us just what that math is and why it proves his point. And given that the rest of his philosophy is recycled New Age, neo-Gnostic doctrine anyway, in the absence of an actual explanation of that math or its connectivity to anything I’m left thinking that “math” for Morgue is just the redressing of ideas about the pure spirit in pseudo-scientific language. It’s not called mathematics because it actually is mathematics, but because calling it maths makes what you’re talking about sound scientific even if it’s not. And the way in which Hyperianism leans on mathematics as the answer to all problems and indeed cognate with spirit itself reminds me very starkly of what the great physicist Roger Penrose talked about when he complained out people embracing certain ideas about physics on the basis of the mathematics, namely how aesthetically pleasing the math is. So on the whole the project of Hyperianism strikes me as a pretty embarrassing example of the principle of style over substance.

What I assume Morgue thinks the universe looks like

The Hyperian philosophy at first glance sounds a lot like the philosophy of Plato, who held that the universe was inferior to the immutable principle of The Good that exists beyond it. The Hyperianism website even makes reference to Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave when it says “You will be as one who walks out from a dark cave to behold the light for the first time”. Its premise of the believer exiting reality by understanding the nature of reality in accordance with its teachings reminds me of some interpretations of Buddhism and its doctrine of Nirvana, and specifically Mahayana Buddhism with its premise that an individual can become a higher being capable of emancipating others by transcending reality (in this case a Bodhisattva), or Gnosticism and its doctrine of the material world being the creation of a false god and with the True God (or Bythos) replaced by mathematics. In practice, the Hyperian movement contains many aesthetic and rhetorical trappings similar to the kind employed by groups such as the Assembly of Light Bearers (formerly known as The Greater Church of Lucifer). For example, on their Facebook page their logo says “No Master, No Slave”, which sounds like something you’d see on some Left Hand Path memorabilia (ironic, considering the symbol of Hyperianism looks like it’s intended to resemble the symbol of BDSM). Then there’s the fact that his numerous videos evoke similar tropes such as “Why Loving Everyone Doesn’t Work”, “The REAL Meaning of the Garden of Eden”, “Struggle Leads To Power and Growth”, “Why Mainstream Religion Should Be Eradicated”, “What Christians Don’t Want You To Know”, “Lightworking Is a TRAP”, “Integrating Your Shadow And Light”, and quite a few videos about the ideas of Carl Jung (lord knows if he actually understands them). I’m almost sickened by how much of this stuff reminds me of contemporary Luciferianism because it seems like he’s pretty much just ripped off stuff that Michael W. Ford talked about while insisting that it’s his own doctrine. In fact, in the Hyperian Q&A, there’s a question that asks “Is this Satanism?”, and the answer to this is this:

No. In general LaVeyan satanism is a materialist, hedonistic system. We embrace our light as well as our darkness. We are about both the individual and the whole. Our system is underpinned by the most advanced mathematics in history, revealing our purpose and the trajectory of the universe.

Other than the part about mathematics, most of this is pretty much identical to the doctrine of the Assembly of Light Bearers in that it’s basically the answer that they would give when asked about the difference between their philosophy and Satanism. Not to mention they claim to be “life-affirmers”, not “life-deniers”, and oppose Eastern religion in particular for this reason, and they also tend to draw from Nietzsche. But there’s a bit of hypocrisy or contradiction here: how can you hold to a life-affirming philosophy when the goal of your philsophy is to exit or transcend the material universe? There’s also the misanthropy, as suggested by how in one of his videos Morgue compares humans to dogs “begging to be pet”, and brands them as pathetic, and the classically elitist sentiment that only a few people (likely meaning Morgue and his followers) know the truth while everyone else lives in mental slavery. The irony of said elitism, of course, is that he and his fellow Hyperians like to bill themselves as a kind of populist religious movement, railing against the 1% and aiming to create a system for the people and by the people, which to me is strange because they’ve already established they are the only ones who know the truth of reality. I mean, why complain about a 1% when you have practically defined yourself as the 1%? Are you the elite or aren’t you? And if you read the Age of Unity page on their website, it doesn’t seem like they really desire to be a movement for the people, as in the masses at large. It says, “When 10% of the world population supports this vision, it can be realized throughout the world, and we will reset the calendars to year zero, marking the beginning of the Age of Unity.”. That means that although Hyperians sometimes complain about being ruled by an elite, they still basically just want a new society that is still lead and controlled by an elite movement, a minority ruling over the majority like shepherds over sheep. How exactly is that anti-elitist?

In any case, this seems to be a belief system designed to appeal to alternative subcultures and from there certain corners of the populus that might be attracted to Left Hand Path ideas – in fact, I dare say it’s probably a new manifestation of Left Hand Path doctrines in itself, just that it’s a really shitty one. In fact, given all this plus his background as freak show entertainer in California makes me believe he’s trying to become the next Anton LaVey, and besides the mallcore goth look I’d say there are some similarities. Both of them have some backgrounds in the entertainment industry, specifically beachside freakshows/circus acts, both of them dabbled in the occult and magic, both of them cite Christian backgrounds (in LaVey, it is his claims to see Christian congregations repent of the sins they indugled in carnivals, and in Morgue, it is his direct upbringing in a conservative Christian household), and both of them seem to have this idiosyncratic hodge-podge of self-created, semi-occult philosophy. However, unlike Anton LaVey, Morgue has a knack for taking the justifiable contempt for organized religion into the realms of ultra-progressive woo, such as the idea that religion is responsible for all sexism, homophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry in human history, which I’d say appeals to intersectional audiences in a way that I doubt LaVey ever could have. On the whole though, he does bear similarities to LaVey and his belief system isn’t very out of place in the contemporary Left Hand Path. The major distinction is that it bases itself not on an archetypal current or a magickal or spiritual tradition (modern or ancient) but instead on “mathematics”, or more or less his vague rendition of quantum mechanics. In other words, despite him basically ripping off Luciferian ideas in some ways, I can’t actually call him a Luciferian because he doesn’t position himself in relation to Lucifer as an archetypal idea, or at least not openly so anyway. But to tell you the truth, I’m not at all certain what Jungian psychology, the Garden of Eden, lightworking and Nietzschean philosophy have to do with mathematics, let alone this grand mathematical wavelength that is supposed to be at the source of the cosmos. I’ve gone through whatever material I can find on Hyperianism and it doesn’t seem to be clear what the connection is, which leads me to believe that there is no connection between them Morgue is just copying various ideas from various places and putting them together, with no point of connectivity between them. In other words, he’s not so different from your average New Ager.

Then again, goth subculture and New Age spirituality haven’t always been mutually exclusive

Now, why is Hyperianism a cult? Well there are numerous signs. For starters they insist that their belief system is not a belief system but a “knowledge system”. What is a “knowledge system” exactly? Just another way of saying they think they have all the answers. They claim to have a unified theory of everything, superior to empirical science, based 100% on logic, reason and deduction (note that evidence never comes up, because the need to produce evidence comes from the premise of empiricism, does it not?), that teaching is pretty much just from Morgue’s word, meaning that Morgue is the source of the truth of everything, he and his followers are the only people with the truth. Literally, he believes that everyone is brainwashed except himself and his followers. How is that not a cultish tendency? And, why “knowledge system” exactly? Atheists tend to not think themselves as having a belief system, but they would otherwise just call it a philosophy, rather than a religion. But with Hyperianism, these guys hate religion and the idea of having a belief system, but what they call themselves really isn’t so different just that they swap one word with another to just to say “our belief system is better than yours because reasons”. Then there’s the way that, as we’ve established, Morgue goes around taking existing concepts and not really re-defining them except through “mathematical” window-dressing. According to one observer he even makes use of the “as above, so below” hand sign, and owns it as though it were his own creation. He’s basically taking a collection of pre-existing religious ideas and billing them as purely rationalist and indeed anti-religious ideas; this itself would not be cultic but he doesn’t really have the honesty to admit that this is what he’s doing, and he’s really keen on the idea that he’s communicating a unique and new spiritual doctrine. But oh wait, it’s not new is it? It’s “timeless knowledge”, we’re told. Well, I suppose it is, in the sense that it’s just rehashing tropes of Plato’s philosophy and New Age nonsense and filtering it through the lens of goth subcultural sensibilities.

Then there’s the fact that, apparently, in order to become a member, you must first purchase one of Morgue’s books, Book Zero, and even then it seems that this book is infrequently released – it is only sold for one hour (3am-4am PST) of each day, or each week depending on who you ask. I mean, why? What is the point of such a practice if not solely to gratify your own ego by generating an air of pomp and event around your stupid books? But that’s not all. You have to buy that book because, by buying that book and becoming a member, you apparently gain access to more information about the movement that isn’t found in the website for non-members or in Morgue’s videos. Such access is granted via a code that is given to those who apply for membership, answer a questionnaire and then buy Morgue’s book. Furthermore financial donors seem to gain access to additional content. This, contrary to the movement’s attempt to claim to populism, further cements the elitist nature of the movement, and is suggestive of the possibility that Hyperianism is just a grift designed by Morgue to make money. And apparently his rationale goes something like (as one Satanist recounts) ‚Äúyou pay colleges to learn more why wouldn‚Äôt you pay to learn more of this?‚ÄĚ – funny, he goes on and on about the 1% and can’t even bring himself to oppose the logic of privatized, paid tuition (as it turns out, he is an elitist and personally stands to benefit from it). And of course, there’s one classic sign of cult tendency – the isolation of its members from their loved ones. On a Reddit called r/cults, one person reported that his younger brother joined the Hyperians after becoming an avid follower of Morgue’s philosophy, and that since then he began isolating himself from even his closest friends on the grounds that he would never be understood because he possesses “secret knowledge”, and conversation between the two brothers became all but impossible.

Their believers also have an apparent proclivity towards violence, or at least some of them openly talk about killing people who criticize their belief system and its founder. One believer posted about how he would like it if he could “gut” critics of Morgue like a fish. Other members/supporters do not push back against such tendencies, and some even encourage it. Then there are the accounts of certain Hyperians who are referred to as “Hyperian Outcasts”, meaning people who may often still sympathize with the spiritual philosophy of Hyperianism, but have left the Hyperian movement out of dissastifaction or disillusionment with either Morgue or the “Revenants” within the group. Revenants, a term that used to refer to a spirit of the undead, is the name given within Hyperianism to people who take part in something called Project Fallen Star (named for a Nietzsche quote, of course). Now what is Project Fallen Star? It’s a project aimed at uniting all “Synth Minds” (whatever the fuck that is) by spreading the doctrine of Hyperianism on social media – basically it’s a hyped up PR project. Revenants are required to have social media outlets, particularly Facebook and Instagram accounts, which tells me that the main purpose of these people is to function as social media influencers on behalf of Hyperianism. Anyways, Outcasts typically complain about mistreatment by these Revenants, which seems to consist primarily of gaslighting Hyperians who have concerns about the leadership. Other Outcasts draw their attention towards the leadership of Morgue himself. They frequently complain about Morgue having high-ranking Hyperians verbally abuse people in order to viciously undermine the self-confidence of members who might question him, as well as Morgue’s apparent lack of financial transparency. Some Outcasts used to be Revenants with the Hyperian movement but left because a lot of the Revenants weren’t being paid by Morgue, and with no explanation. One such Outcast recounted that she donated money to Morgue’s group and never received payment for any work done for the movement. No one in the group knows how much money Morgue has, or what he’s doing with it, or why he isn’t paying anyone in his movement. All they know is that he clearly has enough money to spend on a nice apartment, some fine wines and jiu-jitsu lessons. And if that sounds familiar to anyone in the Left Hand Path, it should, because that’s basically the same shit Jacob McKelvy got up to. When he used to be leader of the Assembly of Light Bearers (then called the Greater Church of Lucifer), he embezzled money from the organization to spend on himself, which resulted in GCOL members and supporters asking about delayed transactions and product deliveries. He never told anyone where that money went, and he resigned his leadership post before we all figured out what he was doing.

I’m sure my readers remember this asshole

But it’s here we get to the other major sign of cult behaviour. Not only do Revenants deny the veracity of the claims made by Outcasts, stating them to be outright false, they also accuse dissenters and Outcasts of cultivating a personal vendetta against Morgue, even though many bear no visible ill will towards him, and warn that they have eyes and ears inside group chats. That’s right, the Revenants are basically spies. They infiltrate the groups and chats of Outcasts by sending one of their own into them disguised as Outcasts so that they can spy on the Outcasts and send what goes on in those chats back to the other Revenants. This reminds me of something I would expect from Scientology, what with the “Squirrel Busters” who harass former members of the Church of Scientology who then go on to publicly criticize the organization. Morgue, of course, denies any involvement or oversight over this practice, and insists that many of the Outcasts are simply trolls who are trying to make Hyperianism look bad, which is hilarious because frankly you don’t need outside help to make a science-denying New Age cult run by a low-budget Marilyn Manson look bad. And when asked about financial transparency, Morgue whined that living in Los Angeles is expensive, while never doing the thing his critics want him to do, which is to address the question of how much money he has, how much of it goes to his organization, or why he isn’t paying any of his Revenants. In general I’m forced to conclude that Morgue is, like every other cult leader, hiding misconduct by deflecting away from the issue, which tells me that he is in fact guilty of the things his critics accuse him of doing.

Now, to be fair, so far we don’t know a whole lot about Hyperianism, and what we know so far tells me that, although it probably is a cult, it isn’t one of the most dangerous cults around. And, ostensibly, other than the maths and the opposition to science, Morgue does play on some interesting themes that, outside of the context of Hyperianism, would be good ground for expanding upon. But that should not be reason for anyone to let their guard down. If you were to search on Google or YouTube about Hyperianism, you might find a few critical voices here and there, but most of the information you will find about Hyperianism comes from Morgue, via his YouTube channel and the Hyperianism website. The extent of information about Hyperianism that doesn’t come from Morgue consists of two Patheos articles by David Gee on his No Sacred Cows blog, an Uloop post by Jared Hammer, a few YouTube videos from people criticizing Morgue, and the Outcasts. The rest of the information about it comes from Morgue, especially if you’re searching on YouTube. This, combined with the fact that Morgue paywalls additional information about Hyperian doctrine, rendering it exclusive to people who become members and buy the book or donate to his organization, means that Morgue basically has the monopoly of information and narrative control as regards Hyperianism, and that’s very bad news considering I don’t believe Morgue to be a reliable narrator.

Just trust me on this one. Don’t take him seriously.

It is my advice therefore that people should stay away from Hyperianism, stop spreading it everywhere and show this post along with the writings of David Gee and others to anyone who might be considering joining Hyperianism.

Suella Braverman, Cultural Marxism, and the Triratna sect

In March last year, the Conservative MP Suella Braverman was under fire for stating that “as Conservatives, we are engaged in a battle against Cultural Marxism”, leading to accusations of anti-semitism. Cultural Marxism is basically a conspiracy theory that alleges that “left-wing” ideologues and academics are taking over national institutions in order to subvert the nation by undermining its supposed ideological and cultural foundations. The reason she was accused of being anti-semitic for promoting this idea is because the idea has its origins in the Nazi idea of Kulturbolshevismus (or, quite literally, “Cultural Bolshevism”), which was a term the Nazis used to refer to modernist culture and art which they deemed to be degenerate and therefore a destructive Jewish influence, and its early proponents from the late 1980s to 1990s included people like William Lind, who for some reason felt compelled to note that the Frankfurt School’s membership was “to a man, Jewish”, not to mention the fact that the connection between Cultural Marxism and Kulturbolshevismus is often barely hidden by its proponents (for example, the alt-right wiki Metapedia used to publicly refer to Cultural Bolshevism as another name for Cultural Marxism, only to later change the article to remove all references to Cultural Bolshevism, presumably to hide any connections to Nazism). Although this does not entail that Suella Braverman is an anti-semite by itself, given that there are many people who believe in the Cultural Marxism theory who merely associate it with progressivism and modern “left-liberal” tendencies with no knowledge of its connections to Nazi ideology (perhaps Suella Braverman is one of them), the fact remains that Cultural Marxism is an idea that does have anti-semitic connotations and premises not least because of its Nazi origins.

But why am I talking about all of this? Because it turns out this same Suella Braverman was recently revealed to be a member of a “controversial Buddhist sect” – and by “controversial sect”, we literally just mean a cult. The cult in question is known as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, otherwise known as the Triratna Buddhist Community (or just Triratna). This sect was created in 1967 by a man named Dennis P. E. Lingwood, also known as Sangharakshita (a Sanskrit name that was given to him in 1949 by Buddhist monks), after he spent many years of his life in India, where Triratna members claim he grasped the full doctrinal essence of Buddhism and where Sangharakshita claimed he spent most of his days as a wandering asectic. Triratna was one of the fastest growing “new religious movements” in the UK, and claims to be the only real vanguard of Buddhism in the Western world. To this end they sometimes bill themselves as Western Buddhists, attack Asian schools of Buddhism as “merely ethnic” and therefore somehow inauthentic (despite apparently claiming to be linked to said Asian traditions), and claim that their local Buddhist centres are the only official ones (for instance, they call their Birmingham branch “The Birmingham Buddhist Centre”).

There are numerous distinctions between the doctrine of Triratna and that of other Buddhist sects. For starters, the aim of Triratna meditation is to transform the individual into a “higher being”, whereas the aim of almost every other form of Buddhist meditation is to achieve nirvana through the realization of the ontological reality of sunyata (emptiness) in all things, in accordance with Buddhist teachings. The idea of becoming a higher being through mediation is not itself outside of Buddhist teachings, but the aim appears to be “to become a higher type of being than you were before you began practising it”, which doesn’t seem to have much relevance to the core of Buddhist doctrine, and it seems to be drawn more from the philosophy Friedrich Nietzsche than Buddhism, and it’s worth noting that Nietzsche was apparently one of Sangharakshita’s favorite philosophers, and that the Triratna sect itself made numerous efforts to reconcile Nietzschean philosophy with Buddhism, such as in Sagaramati’s “Nietzsche and Buddhism”. There is also a codified sexism within the sect, based on Sangharakshita’s belief that “angels are to men as men are to women”, which seems to suggest that men are superior to women. In fact, Sangharakshita believed women to be less capable of spiritual evolutuion and enlightenment than men due them being lower in his “Hierarchy of Being” than men. Although there may have been some sexism in early Buddhism, there is no “Hierarchy of Being” in Buddhist doctrine. Furthermore, while the Triratna sect uses the ostensible existence of “a strong women’s wing” as proof of not having a sexist attitude towards women, consider for a moment that even other traditionally patriarchal religions, such as Islam, Christianity and Hinduism, don’t have “women’s wings” within their sects. Indeed, why the need to separate women and men in this way in any religion, if not for the purpose of constructing a strict gender segregation within your movement that doesn’t even exist within traditional Buddhist monasticism.

But the most striking distinction found within Triratna, the thing which sets it apart from all other forms of Buddhism, is the sect’s attitude towards the family and in particular towards heterosexuality and homosexuality. Whereas the old Buddhist texts and philosophers established the honoring and establishment of the traditional family unit as a foundation of Buddhist virtue, the Triratna sect despises the nuclear family, its founder and members believe the nuclear family to be a profound source of artificial social conditioning and even child abuse, as well as believing that heterosexuality (or heterosexual relationships) traps humans in the animal state. Sangharakshita even went so far as to say that the nuclear family and people who live in nuclear families are enemies of the spiritual community who need to be destroyed. His solution, therefore, was the establishment of homosexual (or “single sex”) communities as the basis for a new society, on the grounds that he believed that such communities were the best way of counteracting conditioning and thus paving the way for enlightenment. And in true cultish fashion, he advises heterosexual people to avoid contact with their heterosexual partners, and the sect even advises members to cheat on their partners by having sex with mutiple strangers in order to destroy their sense of attachment. The justification for all of this comes from Sangharakshita’s belief that heterosexual behaviour is nothing more than the result of social conditioning, and that social conditioning acts as an impediment to enlightenment. He tries to stress that both homosexuality and heterosexualtiy are equally the result of social conditioning, but this is simply a cop-out that falls on its face when you consider that he and the Triratna sect seem to hate heterosexual relationships in particular, the fact that they advise that heterosexuals cheat on their partners but not homosexuals, the fact that they favour the establishment of “single sex” communities against heterosexual communities, and the fact that homosexual sex is widely encouraged by the sect’s inner circle.

And here we come to the main reason why the Triratna sect has been in the news, both in the past and now in the present – under the aegis of Triratna doctrine regarding heterosexuality and the family as an obstacle to enlightenment, Sangharakshita sexually abused several young men within his inner circle through the use of psychological suggestion supported by religious pressure. Men such as Mark Dunlop, whom Sangharakshita seduced and manipulated into having sex with him by convincing him that many men, including him, were actually bisexual (and thus compatible with homosexual sexual activities) but were unable to admit that to themselves because of social conditioning. Dunlop is certainly not the only case, not least considering that a report produced by Triratna members (of all people) contains many accounts of sex crimes carried out by Sangharakshita and his coteries. Sangharakshita preys on young men by convincing them that they are nothing more than a mess of social conditionings, ironically conditioning the young men under the guise of trying to break their social conditioning (we used to call this brainwashing), and from there convince them that their heterosexuality is nothing but a result of this conditioning, and that in order to fight this conditioning they must participate in homosexual sex even if they were not actually homosexually inclined. After this, the next step is to convince them that it is possible to transcend mundanity through a type of homosexual sex that involves a male Triratna member and a “mitra” (a word meaning “friend”, in this case they claim it refers to someone who has contact with the group or something) – in other words, a male Triratna member having sex with a male “friend” for whom they have sexual urges. This doctrine creates the set-up for sexual abuse that is lubricated through brainwashing and psychological conditioning.

And if that’s not bad enough, the Triratna sect also encourages the indoctrination of children. In fact, not only do they try to push their ideas about the evils of heterosexuality and the virtues of having sex with “mitras” as a way of fighting social conditioning and attachment to adults, they also try to push it on teenagers. In 1996, they listed “avoiding over-identifying with one’s sexuality” as a major principle of Buddhism. When you know nothing about Triratna, this seems vague and sounds like you could apply it anywhere else, but when you remember that Triratna encourages adultery and enforced homosexual sex as a means of overcoming attachment to heterosexuality, it becomes clear that this is Triratna trying to subtly convince kids to accept their doctrine on sexuality so that they too might become amenable to the abusive sexual practices of its leadership.

All of this makes me wonder what exactly Suella Braverman, a conservative MP who says that her party is engaged in a war against “Cultural Marxism”, is doing in such a sect. There is nothing conservative about many of the Triratna sect’s most distinctive beliefs, other than maybe Sangharakshita’s contempt for feminism. In fact, the sheer contempt for the Triratna sect towards heterosexuality and the nuclear family is completely antithetical to what we would recognize as socially conservative politics, whose ostensible aims include precisely the preservation of the nuclear family rather than its destruction. If anything much of Triratna’s beliefs on sex resemble exactly the thing that we would expect “Cultural Marxists” to believe, given that they are supposed to be advocating for the destruction of the nuclear family and the delegitimization of heterosexuality for the purposes of making society more pliable for communist takeover (which is, of course, an absurd premise). But I suppose if we take into account Cultural Marxism being a fascist idea, I could take note of how Triratna’s doctrine about spiritual evolution had been compared to Julius Evola’s The Doctrine of Awakening.

So we have a strange incidence in which a Conservative MP is found to be a member of a Triratna sect, which is pretty much just a front for Sangharakshita’s predatory sexual desires, which are then carried out by the sect at large through its doctrine and practices. As the Attorney General of England and Wales, she has an important position in the current cabinet as the main legal advisor to the government. That potentially means Triratna gains some influence over the government’s decision-making, at least depending on the extent of her involvement with the sect. We could have in our midst a situation similar to South Korea, wherein the then-head of state Park Geun-hye was involved with a weird shamanistic cult known as Yeongseygo (or The Eternal Life Church) and through this the cult gained an influence over the government tbrough bribery and intruige.

Sangharakshita, pictured in black and white

The rise of neo-Gnostic psychobabble

Recently I’ve encountered some new spiritual movements that embody a particular kind of world-abnegating solipsism derived from what is likely a form of Gnostic philosophy, though obviously in a new and particularized form not explicitly wedded to Gnostic Christianity. I am not talking, this time, about the Chaos Gnostics found within such movements as the Temple of Black Light, although they would certainly qualify in a 2edgy4me sort of way. Instead we’re talking about a disparate collection of ideas that, to some extent, could broadly be described as “New Age”, at least for the lack of a better cohesive label. Unlike Chaos Gnostics, whose solipsitic worldview is defined by militant nihilism and outward embrace of total darkness and maleficence, these are movements that wrap themselves up in a kind of New Age or post-New Age milieu and bill themselves as positive, salvific doctrines. You will find such neo-Gnostic tripe in many corners of the internet, at least if you know where to look for it.

One movement in particular centers around the concepts of “organic portals” and “soulless people” – the latter concept in particular should prove awfully familiar for reasons that will become clear as you read this post. The concept of “organic portals” is very much connected to the concept of “soulless people”, and in fact it seems as thought the former springs out of the latter. According to this belief system, about half of the world’s population are people who are born into this world without souls, without the ability to see past the Matrix and perceive the true reality (as opposed to this one, presumably). These people are the “organic portals”, who serve the purpose of keeping the rest of humanity unaware of the truth of reality by preoccupying them with the mundane aspects of life, and are hence an integral part of “the Matrix”. They are described as essentially puppets, cardboard cutouts, possessing artificial consciousness, commanded by demonic beings from other dimensions, and lacking a higher self, a soul. In fact, the more read about the subject the more you find that the terms “organic portal” and “soulless beings” are basically interchangeable and refer to the same concept.

It’s hard for me to ascertain just where these ideas got their start and it’s unclear if there is necessarily a cohesive movement around them as opposed to just a scattered network of blogs, but it seems that people have been talking about them for the last decade, though they seem to have gotten somewhat more attention within the last four years. However, it strikes me that this idea is awfully similar that theory on 4chan about how a large continent of the world’s population are “NPCs”.

The main connection to Gnosticism seems to be outlined in an article from a website entitled “Piercing the Veil of Reality”, in which it is stated:

According to ‚ÄúGnosis‚ÄĚ, as transmitted by Boris Mouravieff, there exist two kind of humans: adamic man and pre-adamic man. One type with soul potential, the other has no individual soul. Only the former has the inherent capacity to evolve esoterically and build the magnetic center by fusing the lower with the higher centers. The latter does not have the possibility in his current evolutionary cycle to bridge to the higher centers and no access to higher knowing/awareness/love. ‚Ä®Looking at the Indian chakra model, one could say that pre-adamic man only exists on the lower three chakras without any access to the higher ones, while adamic man also mostly exists on the lower centers, but has the ability to activate and bridge the higher centers through conscious esoteric work.

These “pre-adamic” people seem to line up with the rest of the mythos surrounding the “soulless ones” and “organic portals”, leading me to think that Boris Mouravieff, who was a Russian mystic philosopher whose trade was largely in esoteric Christianity, might be a primary source for these ideas. Mouravieff’s ideas are also echoed by the writings of a self-described “PalaeoChristian Shaman” named Laura¬†Knight Jadczyk, who considers¬†Mouravieff’s theology to be the closest thing to the truth. Jadczyk ties the idea of “organic portals” to psychopathy, citing it as the reason why some people are psychopathic, and of course ties it to gnosticism by citing what is apparently Gnostic doctrine.

Gnostics divide humanity into HYLICS, PSYCHICS, and PNEUMATICS. HYLICS (from Greek uAq (hyle) “matter”) are earthly, hidebound, ignorant, uninitiated. The lowest level of human thought – the fleshly, instinctive level of thinking. They are the opposite of Psychics (from Greek i]mX T ] (psyche) “soul”). So humanity comprised matter- bound beings, matter-dwelling spirits and the matter-free or immaterial souls. Hylics are also called Somatics (from greek oxopa (soma) “body”) or Sarkics (“Fleshly” from greek sarkikos). “The Book of Thomas the Contender” quotes Jesus as saying some men are beasts. ‚ÄěHylic” seems to be the gnostic term for “Organic Portal” or “Pre-Adamic Man”. “Hylic” can be thought of as a level of thinking and dealing with the lowest portion of human nature. It is considered living by instinctual drives with no sublimation. They were deemed completely bound to matter. Matter, the material world, was considered evil by the gnostics. The material world was created by a demiurge, in some instances a blind, mad God, in others an army of rebellious angels as a trap for the spiritual Ennoia. The duty of (spiritual) man was to escape the material world by the aid of the hidden knowledge (gnosis). Hylics were human in form, but since their entire focus was on the material world, such as eating, sleeping, mating or creature comforts, they were seen as doomed. The pneumatic saw himself as escaping the doom of the material world via the secret knowledge. Hylics were thought to be incapable of understanding. For consideration of these dynamics, see for example the Gospel of Judas, believed to be a gnostic text, where Jesus is posited as a pneumatic and the other disciples, non-gnostics, as somatics.

These ideas are also undergirded throughout the New Age conspiracy theorist blogosphere by statements made by many spiritualist thinkers, such as the occultist¬†G.I. Gurdjieff, who describes a certain type of people as “actually already dead”¬†Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian spiritualist who created the doctrine of Anthroposophy, who described cases “in which children are born with a human form, but are not really human beings in relation to their highest I” and in which people were born as “natural demons” who did not reincarnate, and Sri Aurobindo, who describes these sorts of people as “like vampires”. Aurobindo’s inclusion strikes me as somewhat conspicuous because, apparently, he was a nationalist, and in particular one who based his nationalism on religion (which, given what we know about Hindutva, doesn’t fill me with confidence). In fact a simple Google search will yield quite a few videos on YouTube that discuss “organic portals” and “NPCs” interchangeably. And given this plus the obvious similarity between the idea of “organic portals” and the idea of “NPCs” (really they’re the same idea but presently differently) that makes me wonder if the spectre of nationalism is driving some of this neo-Gnostic stuff. Then again, given that the “organic portals” discussion goes at least as far back as 2011, predating the NPC theories that emerged on 4chan, it makes me think the 4chanites have simply adopted spiritualism as a vehicle for their worldview.

There’s another form of neo-Gnostic pop mysticism afoot lately in the cult of¬†Bentinho Massaro, a self-styled spiritual guru who also happens to think that 9/11 was an inside job and that we can communicate with aliens. Here’s one thing he said in one of his lectures (as featured in a VICE mini-documentary) that, for me, kind of gives away the scent of neo-Gnosticism:

“So one of the most important things to make this whole life sustainable, especially when you start waking up, spiritually speaking, and you start seeing through the illusions of the matrix, both the matrix as well as the grand matrix, the grand illusion, a form of matter, of that which changes, which comes and goes…”

It’s worth keeping in mind that I’ve paraphrased this slightly, due to the actual speech being rather jittery and not so well articulated, but I believe we can grasp his central claim nonetheless. His essential claim is the material world is an illusion, that in fact the material world is comparable to the matrix from the Matrix films, a claim that you can also find among believers in “organic portals” (in fact it’s central to the premise). This is in many ways a form of the Gnostic premise repackaged in a vague New Age language, one that perhaps seems more palatable or more “Zen” for a broader audience. To be honest, however, even this comes across as a possible opportunism of sorts, because his belief system appears to be a mish-mash of random spiritual and religious concepts, most likely drawing especially from Hinduism and/or some bastardization of Buddhism, mixed in of course with wacky InfoWars-lite beliefs about aliens.

What is far more worrying however is that Massaro has a fairly wide audience – he has many social media accounts that have followers/subscribers in the tens of thousands, and he has his own university called Trinfinity Academy where people can pay hundreds of dollars to take courses to pursue his particular brand of woo. Perhaps a part of this attraction can be attributed to the perception that he is a relaxed and carefree spiritual leader, owing to his reputation of off-colour (though likely still inoffensive) humour and his aloof attitude to organized religion. But to be honest, I get some NXIVM-esque vibes from this guy, considering his whole schtick of “let’s make money off of my indoctrination retreats”, which from what I’ve seen seem to have a high concentration of women in them, and the fact that I’ve seen him denigrate people for their relationships for no reason (yeah, totally not cult-like at all).

These are just a few examples of what could be referred as a kind of neo-Gnostic current within various modern spiritual-religious movements, and I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones that have come under my radar as of late. I can’t help but wonder why some form of Gnosticism is proving to be so influential in alternative religious currents, and why it plays into New Age and often conspiracy theory based systems without much trouble.

“Sophia” by Alex Grey

A shady cult may be influencing the South Korean government

A couple of weeks ago I heard an interesting story from South Korea that I think is worth sharing due to is interesting quasi-religious dimensions. At any rate I like a good story of that nature coming out of Asia.

Anyways, apparently the current president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, is at the centre of a peculiar scandal surrounding her involvement with a close confidant named Choi Soon-sil. Park is being accused of being directly influenced by the younger Choi, particularly allowing her to edit some of her speeches and granting her access to confidential government information. Why is this a big deal? Because Choi Soon-sil’s father is Choi Tae-min, who happened to be the leader of a shady shamanistic and pseudo-Christian cult.

The cult in question is known as Yeongseygo, also known as the Eternal Life Church. Yeongseygo was started in the 1970’s by the elder Choi, and is said to combine elements of Christianity, Buddhism and shamanistic beliefs –  specifically a Korean system of shamanistic beliefs known as Cheondoism, which emerged in the 1900’s and is characterized by a belief in God as being present in everyone and everything at all times. The premise of the cult itself is that Choi Tae-min is the “Future Buddha” (a.k.a. Maitreya) and a messenger of God and that he had the ability to communicate the dead and with God, produce magical protective objects and act as a spiritual liaison for believers. Even stranger, the elder Choi claimed that, unlike ordinary Koreans, his blood was white instead of red. Both Choi Tae-min and Choi Soon-sil claimed that they had prophetic powers as well. For instance, the younger Choi reportedly told Park that North Korea would fall within two years. Opposition politicians think that Park may have been captivated by the younger Choi and the cult by her claims of prophetic powers.

Choi Tae-min served as the spiritual mentor of Park Geun-hye until he died in 1994, and there is suspicion that he used this role to secure bribes and gain political influence in the South Korean government. By convincing her that they had the ability to communicate with the spirit of her deceased mother, Yuk Young-soo, who was assassinated in 1974, the Chois were able to close to Park and exert their influence over her. This has lead to Choi Soon-sil being treated by the Korean press and public as a Rasputin-like figure – referring, of course to the fact that Grigori Rasputin was both an alleged mystic and faith healer and the trusted friend of one of the last Czars of Russia. There were even rumors that he had essentially complete control over Park Guen-hye during his time as her spiritual mentor, and those rumors seemed to be among the myriad of diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. In addition to this, it is claimed that the Chois have been able to amass large amounts of money from not only the government, but also charitable organizations through embezzlement. It is believed that the influence of the elder Choi on Park Gyen-hye continues through the younger Choi, and so his cult continues to have great wealth and power via the South Korean government.

The entire affair has severely damaged the reputation of Park Geun-mye, with her polling numbers dropping. The South Korean public is now very resentful of Park, with some calling for her to resign or even for her to be impeached. There is deep concern among opposition politicians and citizen that the South Korean government is effectively run with theocratic influence, as well as in a somewhat dictatorial fashion. Given that South Korea has presidential elections next year, I can guess it does not look good for her party, though she herself is not running for election. Not only that, the North Korean media seems to be loving this development. North Korea hates Park Geun-mye, partly because of her hawkish stance on the North and plans by the South Korean government to reduce the capital, Pyongyang, to “ashes” should they attack the South, and the media even claims that she will meet the same fate as her father and mother.

A protester holding up a sign depicting Park Geun-hye as the puppet of Choi Soon-sil
A protester holding up a sign depicting Park Geun-hye as the puppet of Choi Soon-sil

Why I hate football/soccer culture

If soccer was just a little game¬†where you kick a ball to the goal and it’s only for fun, then I don’t really have a problem. But as a sport, let alone this huge national or global competition, I hate it.

It irks me how people waste their emotionality on the game of soccer, how tons of people get obnoxious and even violent over common sports that really don’t need so much money spent on them. It’s especially true in my home country where it’s a goddamned national cult. Parents raise their boys as sports-obsessed, to see soccer (and often other sports) as the ideal of masculinity, and to see the players as heroes as though their personalities actually mattered. All these guys do play soccer, and they get paid hundreds of thousands, if not millions! Meanwhile, their salary could be used to do so much good for the world as a whole, and we waste it on soccer-playing celebrities!?

And I’m not even going to dignify the culture surrounding this whole thing with personal commentary, or even a goddamn picture.

Why I hate religion as a concept

This is about religion in general, as you can guess. I am anti-religious, that much is already clear from previous posts (that doesn’t make me an atheist). Though I respect some religions, like Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto,¬†pagan religions, and even Satanism to a small extent, along with¬†other religious ideas, I still very much hate religion as a concept. Why? I’ll tell you.

It turns virtues into moral obligations

Virtues, by definition, are characteristics that make one admirable in people’s eyes. They are¬†characteristics of moral excellence, not necessarily laws of morality. What religion does is socialize, if you will, virtues and turn them into codified moral laws outline how you should behave or not behave.

It turns mythology into doctrine

Mythology and religion are not the same. Mythology is great. At it’s heart it’s about storytelling, an art form as old as mankind himself, right down to when we first started gathering around fires and telling each other stories, long before the English language had been invented. Religion, on the other hand, is designed around creating a moral doctrine or dogma for you to follow in hopes of acheiving salvation or so-called spirituality (religion doesn’t real spirituality, but rather uses spirituality as a hook to lure fools in). To do this, it transforms mythology from almost spiritual storytelling¬†to a matter of faith.

It socializes tradition into law

Traditions are customs that different people have and that have been passed down by enough generations. Religion, however, turns that into a religious law for all people to follow. Even little beliefs among religious people become full on doctrine, such as when the belief in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary became dogma, and thus mandatory.

It furthers social control and the power of the state

It seems as though religion has always had a special relationshop with the state, the authorities, and the ruling classes. Those sorts of people have always use religion to falsely justify their authority, especially when their authority unjustified. Popes, Lamas, Ayatollahs, and other such religious leaders have attempted to impose their dogma on whoever they see for ages now, and they work within secular authoirty. Religion has been in bed with state for so long, that separation of religion and state is an important issue of modern times.

It ruins war

War is always spoilt and corrupted when you try to use religion to support it. I’m not saying that war is never right, but I’m saying wars can be unjust if religion is used to support it. Through religion, war is turned into a campaign of religious cleansing on the part of both sides (if both sides are religious), with only the religious viewing it as “fighting the good fight”.

But in the end…

All religion ever was is a mass cult

All religion has ever consisted of as a concept is the idea that if you worship our god, follow our dogma (moral or othwerwise), and believe what we tell you, you’ll get into heaven, achieve enlightenment, or some other form of salvation or spirituality. In fact, salvation has always been the hook to lure in those who aren’t strong or wise enough to save themselves or forge their own path. It’s nothing but a cult-like entity, with no worth other than to the desperate, the weak, and the gullible.¬†The sad thing is, even if we get rid of religion, what’s stopping other dogmatisms from replacing it, as long as people are weak and in need of a voice telling them what to do so that they can save them, rather than take the initiative to save themselves. I wonder what the next religion will be?

That sounds likely, don’t you think?

Christianity: End of the world cult?

Note: This post is aimed at Christianity as a religion, not Christians.

It seems I’m back sooner than I thought. Not much happened, but it was a decent Christmas nonetheless. Anyhow…

What do you expect? I do not hold back when it comes to this sort of thing, so if you get offended, that’s your problem, not mine.

I never really liked Christianity, you could tell from my posts. I am aware of all that stuff about love they neighbour as you would love thyself, only that’s just a layer.¬†Just so you know this has nothing to¬†do with my view of the Biblical god.¬†Tear away the layers of Christianity’s¬†image as a compassionate institution, or even an institution politically involved in preserving the status quo (something that Jesus would actually decry for reasons that will become apparent later on), and you’ll know it’s original form.

Jesus was famous (or infamous from the point of view of the Romans, Pharisees, and some Jews in Ancient Rome) for his subversiveness in Ancient Rome (which I could probably admire). What was he preaching? Oh, the end of time, and that, according to him, it was imminent.

Christ the Lamb here becomes Christ the Warrior, and thus sets the scene for a really anti-climatic final battle, though it does make a great scene.

Before Christianity even started, Jesus was a Jewish man preaching about a new “kingdom of God”, and that god would one day save his people at the end of the “wicked” world if they repent. Naturally, the Romans didn’t like his presence one bit, though I can’t understand why they took him so seriously. After all, if he’s a guy preaching about end times, he’s no threat right? But then he got attention.¬†Miracles had became attributed to him. Then the Romans, and the Pharisees after Jesus ransacked the markets and money-changers at the temple, began to see him as a threat to their authority. And then you know the story: Judas betrayed Jesus, the Romans arrested Jesus, Pilate sealed his fate, and he was crucified. But according to Christians, he was then resurrected, before zooming back into heaven until the end of time. If people saw that happening, they might believe that yes, the end was coming, and soon.

After¬†Jesus’ death,¬†his apostles (except Judas, who committed suicide) set out spreading the message he left behind. The message that the¬†end was nigh¬†and that if people repented and rejected the pagan ways of Rome, god would save them, and that if people did not, then they would be damned for all time. This would lead to the creation of a new religious movement that set out to convert Jews and gentiles alike, which would later be called Christianity, though the Bible might have been¬†compiled much later.¬†Followers might expect the apocalypse to happen within a few years, or any time for that matter, they might have thought the signs were everywhere. In¬†66 AD, the Jews had eventually grown fed up of being under Roman rule and attempted to overthrow them in a revolt and establish independence. Four years later, this would end in the sacking of¬†Jerusalem and¬†its Second Temple, thus Jerusalem had returned to Roman rule. Some interpreted this as a punishment from God, perhaps for the crucifixion of Jesus, among other reasons that could prompt divine vengeance. Still, the event was so shocking that people began to believe that the apocalypse had begun, and to this day Jews commemorate the event as the fast of Tisha B’av.

If you think about it, how would you feel if you saw this going down?

Getting back to the main point, Christianity as an apocalyptic religion has always been at the core even today, with any time in history (including the Black Plague and the Great¬†Fire of London) being believed to be the apocalypse. Hell, there was a medieval belief that witches were a sign of the apocalypse coming (thinking about it, witches can’t seem to get¬†a break). If there is any notable¬†difference between the Christianity of now and¬†the Christianity of Ancient Rome, for which many followers and saints died for, is that the church these days seems to be a politically active institution, often for preserving the status quo, aside from their somewhat humanitarian image, whereas Jesus wouldn’t feel there to be much point for structure considering that he believed it would all be destroyed by the time God showed up. Otherwise, think about it: back then they must’ve waited forever for God to show up, and even today, despite the more liberal and¬†sugar-coated interpretations and Christian¬†messages¬†in the modern day (mainly designed to appeal to modern times anyway),¬†people still¬†wait and pray that they go straight to¬†God when they die, or when the world ends, and we have Christianity becoming the main religion of the Roman Empire to thank for us being so ingrained in its ideas.

The fact is, 2000 years on, Christianity is still the same as it always was, and that’s not something to be proud of.