The ideology of the Satanic Ritual Abuse conspiracy theory

I have been meaning to write about this subject for quite some time now, and was originally planning to write this post in autumn of last year after having begun to notice certain patterns about right-wing conspiracy theories, but for some reason my mind got carried away and I never wrote it. However, after seeing my old friend and comrade Satanicviews return to blogging in order to once again do battle with our favourite butterfaced retard Becki Percy, it occurs to me that the whole SRA scare is still going on, even after the Hampstead hoaxers were defeated. So, for my part, I’d like to join the fight in some small way by detailing my thoughts about the subject of SRA conspiracies and what I believe to be their historical and political roots. I intend to demonstrate that such conspiracy theories are often the product of reactionary conservative politial narratives and often an integral part of the harder core of right-wing politics in Western countries, particularly the United States of America where Percy milks thousands if not millions of boomers for all they’re worth.

Before we begin in that pursuit, however, it is best that we start by giving a solid definition for what we’re discussing. The term “satanic ritual abuse” refers to a number of conspiracy theories that all center around the premise that there is a cabal of Satanists or devil worshippers who go around abducting children for the purposes of sexually abusing them or sacrificing them as part of supposed Satanic rituals. This cabal is typically believed to be a part of much larger organization, which usually is held to be part of the ruling elite. Such ideas about elite devil worshipping predators are also frequently tied to the conspiracy theory that Hollywood, the media, the music industry and popular culture promote Satanism. And often times, you will also find all of this attributed to Jews in various iterations of this conspiracy theory. As you’ll see, that last part isn’t a coincidence, and in fact it has links to old traditions of anti-semitism that go as far back as early Christianity. The SRA mythos has been an entrenched part of the politics of the Moral Majority movement, as well as other fundamentalist Christian movements within the United States, and also seems to be a staple in InfoWars and numerous pro-Trump circles, where you will find all manner of related conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate, the spirit cooking nonsense, and the Qanon conspiracy theory, and where you find people like Becki Percy eeking out some profit from it all. The fact that Satanism as an actual belief system expressly forbids child abuse and pedophilic behaviour doesn’t seem to matter to these people. The modern Satanic Panic, which famously gripped the imagination of the 1980s, begins with the publishing of a book called Michelle Remembers, a glorified horror novel that claimed to document instances of ritual abuse allegedly suffered by psychiatric patient Michelle Smith, as well as the hysteria surrounding the McMartin preschool, which culminated in one of the longest criminal trials in US history and yielded no evidence of Satanic Ritual Abuse.

Many have pointed out that modern conspiracy theories about Satanic Ritual Abuse are related to much older ideas surrounding the concept of blood libel, which refers to the belief that Jews capture children in order to use their blood as part of their rituals and ceremonies (an accusation that flies in the face of Jewish law on human sacrifice). These ideas are not solely the product of the Middle Ages, but instead have a long history within the Christian movement. One of the earliest forms of the blood libel trope comes from Eusebius of Caesaria, who accused Jews of crucifying Christians during their Purim celebrations as a rejection of Jesus. Other Christian fathers similarly accused Jews of barbaric religious practices. John Chrysostum accused the Jews of worshipping the devil and described their religious practice as “criminal and unchaste”. Ambrose of Milan also accused the Jews of devil worship, and even went so far as to defend Christians who burned synagogues – Martin Luther would later support the burning of synagogues centuries later. Justin Martyr claimed that the Jews went around torturing and killing Christians and blaspheming God or Jesus, and also that they were behind every persecution faced by the Christians. Now, it would be unfair to solely ascribe this anti-semitic tendency to the early Christians, given that Hellenic authors like Apion and Democritus (not the philosopher) also claimed that Jews captured Greeks and murdered them as part of their rituals, but I find that it is this early Christian anti-semitism that has so undergirded the anti-semitism of later Christian movements, as well as the old medieval passion plays, and eventually inspired more modern anti-semitic ideologies, including Nazism (Adolf Hilter and many of his NSDAP cadres were open in their admiration of Martin Luther).

An 18th century anti-semitic engraving depicting Jews performing an orgiastic ritual involving pigs, goats and the Devil

Although the accusations of Jews carrying out ritualistic sacrifice were almost certainly false, the blood libel trope  served to inspire hatred of Jews across Europe, which often resulted in the persecution of Jews. In England, during the 12th and 13th centuries, the Jews were often falsely accused of ritual murder, which led to them being massacred by mobs and eventually deported from the country by King Edward I. Jews continued to be accused of devil worship as well, often through the image of the Judensau, which depicted Jews kissing, suckling, or having sex with a pig, which sometimes was intended to refer to Satan, thus mocking Judaism as a diabolist religion. Accusations of ritual murder were frequently invoked by the Nazis in their paper Der Sturmer. In the 21st century, the blood libel trope continues to be invoked not only by much of the Western far-right and especially neo-Nazis, but also Hezbollah, Hamas, and throughout Middle Eastern television as well as the Russian Duma.

That anti-semitic tropes such as blood libel would be embraced by the hard right is not surprising in the least. Much of the right is presently engaged in rehabilitating the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory, which is a rebranding of the Nazi concept of Kulturbolshewismus. Its anti-semitic roots are echoed in the fact that William Lind, a who spearheaded the development of the idea of Cultural Marxism, said in 2000 that the members of the Frankfurt School were all “to a man, Jewish”. Considering that he describes Cultural Marxism as the process of corrupting Western countries by promoting the abandonment of Christian morality and conservative values, it’s quite clear that this is but a rehabilitation of the idea of Jews promoting degeneracy that the Nazis once espoused. Another proponent of the conspiracy theory, Pat Buchanan, is notorious for his anti-semitism, having once said that there were too many Jews in the Supreme Court and even engaged in some Holocaust denial by claiming that Treblinka was not an extermination camp but instead merely a “transit camp” that prisoners passed through. In fact, the link between Cultural Marxism and anti-semitic conspiracy theories is still barely hidden, and the neo-Nazis will very often just let the cat out of the bag themselves, as for example this image that was originally taken from the neo-Nazi website Rightpedia where they just outright say that Cultural Marxism is a Jewish project. Outside of the far-right, the term resurfaced this year in British politics when Conservative MP Suella Braverman stated that the Conservative Party was engaged in a struggle against Cultural Marxism. Ostensibly this reference seems separate from the far-right, but it’s worth noting that, around the same time, a pair of Conservative MPs allegedly referred to themselves as “Grand Wizards” (which seems like reference to the KKK), possibly as a joke, and not for the first time either, while others called for the formations of a “blueshirts” movement within the party, which instantly calls to mind the blackshirts of Oswald Mosley. Sometimes this theory enters mainstream politics under slightly different iterations. One example of this is Ben Carson, who is currently Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who last year claimed that those who believed that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was guilty of rape during his college days were basically just the stooges of the Fabian Society, a British left-wing think tank that advocates for gradualist methods of acheiving socialism through the current system. He argued that the Fabians sponsored the accusations against Kavanaugh in the hopes of somehow taking over the United States of America in order to implement socialism. He also claimed that the Fabians already control the American education system and media, but lost control of the courts when Trump was elected.

There is, however, another ideological element that think may be present in the SRA mythos, though likely an unstated one, not obvious to most people. Many conspiracy theories involving a devil worshipping elite center around the Illuminati, a largely fictitious organization that conspiracy theorists believe orchestrates many key events in world history and engineer developments aimed at de-Christianizing Western societies. Although the Illuminati in a modern context is a purely fictitious organization, there was actually a group that existed in the late 18th century in Bavaria that was called the Illumanti, which is for historical purposes referred to as the Bavarian Illuminati. Founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776, the Bavarian Illuminati was a secret society that was formed in order to challenge religious ideas and particularly prejudices that were prevalent in German society at the time, believing them to generate social repression and serve as obstacles to freedom of thought and happiness, their ultimate goal being to create a society of ideal liberty and equality. The society didn’t last long, having been torn apart by internal leadership disputes as well as proscribed by the Catholic Church, and after several edicts the group was eventually disbanded in 1785. But it wasn’t terribly long after its disbandment that people started to claim not only that the organization never actually disbanded, but that it was the direct cause of all manner of major historical events that served to upend the traditional order of society.

After the French Revolution occurred and deposed the monarchy while establishing a liberal republic, the Bavarian Illumanti was accused by its conservative enemies as being the cause of the revolution. . In addition to this, before the French Revolution, there were some who believed that the Bavarian Illuminati would lead a revolution in Bavaria in order to overthrow the government. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence of this, but in 1793 the Illuminati’s opponent’s became convinced of this anyway once they discovered that one of its members, Johann Christoph Bode, met with French Freemasons, some of whom allegedly became participants in the French revolution. They supposed that, because of this, the Illumanti instigated the French Revolution and formed revolutionary cells. The claim that the Bavarian Illuminati caused the French Revolution was initially popularized by Augustin Barruel and John Robison, both of whom were staunch opponents of the Enlightenment and Freemasonry and believed that the Illumanti had infiltrated the Freemasons with the intent of promoting revolutionary violence. Barruel in particular is notable for his association of the Illuminati and the ideas of the Enlightenment, which he considered to be a threat to the authority of the Catholic Church, with not only Freemasonry but also occultism and even paganism, an idea that has apparently continued to be propagated by some modern reactionary thinkers such as Gerald Warner and Jason Josephson Storm. Although the Bavarian Illumanti most likely had nothing to do with the French Revolution and certainly did not play any role in starting it, that basic idea came to be the seed for a number of paranoid right-wing conspiracy theories. In the 1960’s, groups like the John Birch Society blamed the long-dead Illuminati for all manner of things – from the welfarist policies of Lyndon Johnson’s presidential administration, to central banking, to both World Wars, to the rise of communism and to the birth of the United Nations. Today, conspiracy theorists like Mark Dice accuse them of wanting to establish a new world order based in Luciferianism, Satanism and communism by infiltrating the media, with both major political parties of the United States (Democrats and Republicans) supposedly being their minions and major world events, including the assassination of John F Kennedy and the 2008 global financial crisis.

The reverse of the Great Seal of the United States as it appears on the one dollar bill, which for some reason people believe is the symbol of the Illuminati.

The idea of the Illuminati as being a threat to civilizational order, a shadowy force of tyranny responsible for several world-changing events behind the scenes is often dismissed as simply a manifestation of paranoia. But in my view this ignores the very question of why the Illuminati is taken up as the central antagonist of this paranoia. In my view, the myth of the Illuminati represents an obvious manifestation of contempt for the gains of the Enlightenment, chiefly the institution of secularism and the expansion of liberty and universal human rights. That basic contempt is not found solely in the more conspiracist elements of the right, but in more “acceptable” conservative intellectuals such as Yoram Hazony, a neoconservative who espouses the “virtues” of nationalism as a conservative ideology that rejects the doctrines of universal human rights and international law. But even the conspiracists aren’t completely relegated to the fringes. Gerald Warner, for example, is an influencer within the Conservative Party and a major opponent of its Cameronite wing on the grounds of its more modernist outlook. US conservative politics in particular is very prone to conspiracism and as such the conspiracists hardly fail to break into the mainstream of politics, such as the earlier mentioned Ben Carson. As such, the conspiracy surrounding the Illuminati is to be taken as a manifestation of the reactionary conservative view of societies and how they ought to work. In essence, the Illuminati is the bogeyman that threatens what is otherwise a timeless social order rooted in religious hierarchy whose power is not to be questioned. Social freedom and just about any progress away from this order, therefore, is to be treated as the work of shadowy, evil forces set against civilization itself. For modern conservatives, this order also represents free market capitalism and the hierarchy it generates, so of course moving away from free market capitalism would also be seen as part of a larger conspiracy. Indeed, Ben Carson’s conspiracy theory about the Fabians can be counted as something of a variation of the Illuminati conspiracy theory on those grounds.

As such, the SRA mythos is to be taken not merely as paranoid delusion in isolation, but as a primary narrative of conservative and reactionary politics, its content consisting of a synthesis of age-old anti-semitic tropes and 18th century anti-Enlightenment conservatism. When you see Trump supporters like Becki Percy parrot SRA tropes, don’t be surprised. It’s all part of that reactionary, conservative impetus to oppose the cultivation of a society based in liberty, universal human rights and equality under the law, or indeed a society that seeks to expand these ideas by going further to the left, by casting such efforts as diabolical conspiracies.

The latest smear against Satanism

The media has a new line of attack against Satanism in its efforts to tarnish its status within the public consciousness. This line of attack is different from the old days in that it doesn’t seek out to smear Satanists as psychotic, anti-social, criminal elements in society, but instead to smear them as basically pussies who act tough but are scared to death of Christians. Predictably, this smear centers on The Satanic Temple.

Numerous news outlets, ranging from liberal outlets like The Hill to conservative ones like The Daily Caller, reported that Lucien Greaves, co-founder of The Satanic Temple, said that Mike Pence “really scares” him, with The Daily Caller in particular running with the ludicrous title of “Co-Founder Of Satanic Temple Lives In Mortal Terror Of Pence“. Russia Today even joined in for some bizarre reason with the article “What keeps Satanists awake at night? That would be… US VP Mike Pence“.

What is the subject of these articles you might ask? While promoting a new film entitled Hail Satan?, which this week premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Lucien Greaves gave an interview with The Daily Beast in which he describes his views on Donald Trump and Mike Pence. The main story seems to be this statement:

“Trump is too stupid to predict; the guy has no concept of his own limitations. The thing that makes me most comfortable with Trump is the fact that he has no vision. Mike Pence really scares me: Pence has a clear, theocratic vision for the United States.”

I think this is an entirely reasonable statement, and Greaves is ultimately correct on this point. Donald Trump, while an ally of evangelical conservative interests, is inconsistent on almost every issue, religion being one of them. While he clearly is a Christian (he even said that the Bible was his favorite book), he is not an active member of his church and doesn’t know if he ever asked God for forgiveness. Also, during his campaign he often deviated from conservative tradition by billing himself as a protector of LGBT rights (a point that would find itself incredibly hollow as his administration dragged on considering its attempts to legally erase trans people, rolling out “religious freedom” laws and appointing arch-conservative judges to the Supreme Court). While Trump’s beliefs are often ill-defined and sentimental, Pence is far more consistent and clear about his intentions. He calls himself a Christian above all else, literally does not believe in evolution, is a consistent friend of Christian fundamentalists and can be trusted to act upon their interests, as well as numerous other conservative interests (let’s just say I think the push for war in Iran or with Russia might go faster under Pence than under Trump).

The reason why I think the articles from the likes of The Daily Caller and Russia Today among other outlets constitute a smear of Satanism is that they try to paint Greaves’ obvious concerns as irrational and from there based on irrational fear of ordinary Christians, overlooking the fact that Mike Pence, if he were to become President of the United States, would have much more control over social policy than he presently does and the fact that the possibility of him taking over from Trump remains a possible contingency.

Russia Today even tries to slyly compare The Satanic Temple to the witches who attempted to hex Brett Kavanaugh, asking “Maybe Pence will be next?”. Actually, come to think of it, why is Russia Today wading in on this development? I seem to see them chime in from time to time on Western culture war bullshit, with a fairly recent example being them publishing an article written by Slavoj Zizek about the errors of liberal thinking concerning “toxic masculinity”. It is at least understandable why American outlets join in on the story, but Russia Today seems like it doesn’t have any real connection to any of this.

The main takeaway I guess is that the subject of Greaves’ views on Pence hardly qualifies as a news story, or at any rate a development worthy of being treated as such. Which only really begs the question of why it is.

The colossal failure of Donald Trump

Remember in 2013 when under Obama the Republicans managed to get the government shut down over the Affordable Care Act? Well last month Trump pretty much plunged America into a government shutdown for the third time in his presidency, as well as the third one within 2018. This shutdown lasted from December 22nd 2018 until January 25th 2019, making it the longest government shutdown in US history. This meant that US federal workers had to go without pay for over a month in what for them must surely have been the worst holiday season they can remember while Trump and his cronies chowed down on a buffet of fast food.

Within that time Trump downgraded his famous proposal for a wall on the southern border, instead asking Congress for about $5 billion to pay for a “steel barrier” – a barrier that it turns out is so weak that you can cut through it with a saw. Effectively, Trump turned his “big, beautiful wall”, an already wasteful vanity project good only for show, into an even more useless barrier that whatever wave of immigrants he’s trying to keep can probably just smash through just to be able to pay for anything close to a wall.

Finally, after air traffic controllers and flight attendance threatened to not go to work until they got their pay check, the shutdown officially ended and Trump backed down. However, technically speaking, the shutdown doesn’t appear to be over yet. Trump only seems to be suspending the shutdown for 21 days, and in that time he is still going to try to push the wall through and get it funded, and if he doesn’t get his way he will either shut down the government again or invoke emergency powers. But that wall is probably never going to be paid for anyway. In suspending the government shutdown, Trump did not receive any of the $5.7 billion he demanded to pay for his border wall, and in fact the government shutdown seems to have cost the US government $6 billion minimum, which exceeds the budget Trump wanted for his steel barrier proposal.

Nonetheless, the concession to the Democrats has led to many of Trump’s supporters being outraged at Trump, and in many ways you could say rightfully so, for backing down. This to me is a realization on the part of the MAGA movement that they’ve been swindled, that Trump is not the politician they thought he was, and that he in all likelihood will not give them the wall. With roughly a year to go before the next presidential election, it remains interesting to see where his supporters are going to go from here, though I imagine they will only really stick with Trump over inane conservative culture wars and generally the desire to desperately avoid a Democrat winning the presidency – and, keep in mind, this is his base I’m talking about, most of the moderates or orbiters who still supported Trump before will likely desert him if they haven’t already because he can’t get anything done. Or perhaps the MAGA movement will be kept alive by the kind of insufferable zoomers who still believe GamerGate was a success after Gawker announced its resurrection the auspices of Bryan Goldberg.

You know, between this entire development and everything else we’ve seen of him (his commitment to non/anti-interventionist foreign policy and economic populism having shown themselves to be falsehoods), we could well be looking at one of the biggest political failures in recent memory. Ever since 2015 when Trump began campaigning for the presidency, that “big, beautiful wall” was one of the cornerstones of his campaign, it was dumb but it was also probably he most important promise he made over than the moratorium on Islamic immigration. Since he got elected that wall has not been built and it should now be empirically clear that the wall is never going to be built or paid for, no matter how many autocratic measures he takes he takes to make sure that it does.

And that’s not getting into the other stuff. Trump advanced his campaign on an isolationist and nationalist attitude, particularly on the basis of skepticism towards foreign military interventions carried out by the US and towards free trade deals that have left the average person behind. In reality, however, Trump’s administration last year broke the record for the amount of bombs dropped on Afghanistan, continues to ally with Saudi Arabia even after major international outrage concerning the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, backed out of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty with Russia, scrapped the Iran Deal on behalf of neoconservative interests, is now planning regime change in Venezuela, and is even floating the idea of privatizing the Afghanistan campaign by handing it over to Erik Prince, the former CEO of Blackwater which oversaw the massacre of innocent of Iraqis. He did recently decide to pull US forces out of Syria, but only to eventually backpeddle on that promise and soften the pullout schedule (if such a schedule even exists).

Added to that, despite his commitment to draining the swamp and fighting the deep state and what not, all he’s done is shuffle around his cabinet with more and more neocons and elite cronies each more disgusting than the last. He’s also never done anything to oppose the NSA dragnet, and in fact he’s expanded it as I’ve covered last year. Oh, and you can forget about him being the man of the people because his tax cuts have only really benefitted the rich, real wages haven’t grown at all under Trump, in fact they just might be falling. Not to mention the fact that outsourcing has continued under Trump, and perhaps even been encouraged too, despite his supposed commitment to keeping jobs in America. And I haven’t forgotten when he hinted that the US should reconsider the TPP, after nixing it within his first week! Trump has broken much of the core of his campaign. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he’s done nothing of worth for the people who voted for him.

The only reason Trump had that ounce of credibility necessary for me to begin supporting him after I hated him for most of 2016 is that the establishment that opposed him got caught with their pants down trying to play every sleazy and manipulative card against and every alternative to him had been discredited by their deference to said establishment, and I feel disgusted by the fact that I allowed myself to be blindsided by all of that because, even with all that, Tump’s still just another horrifically dumb, dishonest, mentally degenerated neoliberal/neoconservative, just that he expertly disguised his actual politics in a convincing veneer of paleoconservative populism, semi-truthful hyperbole and the lamentations of his enemies. That there are people who still believe in him is a testament to how there’s no God watching over us and modern civilization is a joke!

I kind of mean it. Seriously. If you still support Trump at this juncture you might most likely be hopelessly gullible and stupid. It’s hopelessly clear by now that Trump has done nothing of worth and in fact betrayed many of his promises. The only reason you have to still believe in Trump at this point is if you’re too stupid for your own good, you just love the idea of getting suckered your whole life, or you’ve built your career on shilling for Trump and get paid to peddle to obvious bullshit for him. – the irony of that being that even hardened dumbasses like Mike Cernovich are starting to turn on him.

Now since 2020 is already being talked about, I’d like to mention that I’ve been told by friends that it’s very likely that Trump won’t win on account of the fact that he’s basically broken his core campaign promises. However, as much as I’d like to believe that, I’d put a qualifier on that: the only way Trump could possibly win in 2020 is if the Democrats find a way to shit the bed even harder than Trump does. And while I’m not making any promises to that effect, I look at what I see of the Democratic candidates and my gut feeling tells me that they just might unless they actually run Bernie Sanders as their nominee. And given that the Democratic establishment looks ready to dismiss Bernie again in favour of Kamala Harris just to get another shot at first female president (who also happens to be non-white) even though (apart from a few of her positions like support for Medicare for All) she is by and large another Clintonite, another moderate Republican dressed up as a Democrat, one who also happens to have a police background which means she’ll likely carry out the interests of the ruling class anyway and has done in many of her prosecutions as the Attorney General of California. You could argue that Tulsi Gabbard would make for an easy win but, I’ve already talked about her.

But on the whole, even though I think Bernie might be the best option Americans have, in my view he’s still not enough. Hell, as far as social democrats go (and I am no social democrat) I consider him inferior to people like Jeremy Corbyn in most respects. In fact, given that Trump’s failure follows sort of the same pattern as Obama’s – that flashy populist formula where a guy promises profound political change and then not only doesn’t change anything but actually makes things somewhat worse – I can’t help but be critical of the idea that Bernie won’t just turn out the same way. It’s past time that Americans realized that their political and economic system doesn’t serve them, and to be honest the same could be said for almost the rest of the world.

Donald Trump, seen here in utter decadence

Kek is dead

In October 2016, I devoted a Mythological Spotlight to an obscure Egyptian deity of darkness named Kuk. The reason I decided to do so was because I became fascinated with the development of what was called the “Cult of Kek”, a memetic movement based around the meme of Pepe the Frog cast as a deity named Kek, who was also treated as somewhat identical to the Egyptian deity Kuk (who at this point is now just referred to as Kek anyway). Such fascination was partly fueled by the idea of a god of darkness being propelled to prominence via meme “magic” and the political arena through the US presidential election in 2016, and in a seemingly rebellious context given not just the chaotic nature of the Internet, let alone the imageboard culture the meme spawned from, . For that, at the time, I praised the Cult of Kek for taking such an obscure deity and giving Kuk new life and quite possibly more prominence than he ever had in ancient Egypt.

My post was written the month before Donald Trump’s election in America, and since then interest in the obscure Egyptian deity has grown in the aftermath of Trump’s election, and it seemed that there was something energizing about the Kek meme deity. Even during the beginnings of the Kekistan meme, which looking back now seems utterly pointless and cringeworthy, it appeared as though the meme was growing and gaining a new mythology, one that seemed to have a purpose – namely, to parody identity politics from both intersectionalist liberals and right-wing ethno-nationalists by the creation of a “nation of ethnic shitposters”. Of course, Kekistan has since morphed into either nothing more than a new millennial habitat for boomer generation conservative thought (as in the kind of shit you see from the likes of Dinesh D’Souza) or UKIP style right-populism – which considering the slide of the Sargonites towards full-throated, unquestioning worship of Donald Trump should probably come as no surprise. I swear I’ve seen a few actual fascists and/or neo-Nazis operate under the Kekistan banner as well, which really goes to show the failure of the Kekistan meme at ridiculing or repelling such figures.

Despite what some self-styled “rational skeptics” on the Internet wanted to believe, there’s a reason the Kekistan movement, Pepe the Frog and by extension Kek got dismissed as purely right-wing momentum or even racist propaganda. It’s not because Pepe or Kek are inherently racist or reactionary symbols to begin with (by all accounts Pepe the Frog started as a politically neutral comic character), but because the symbol was so mercilessly co-opted and capitalized on by right wing movements: conservatives, libertarians, right wing nationalists, alt-righters, across the wing really. And the funny thing about right-wing movements in the current climate is that, with right-wing movements rising across the West and winning elections across Europe, not to mention already controlling the government in the USA, the transgressive nature, or rather the mask of transgression, of such a movement became stale and wore-off as it became clear that the Kekists, alt-right or not, were simply culture warriors fighting alongside inane political issues, in so doing failing to truly challenge society. But how can they truly transgress and challenge society when, after gaining political power across the board, the only thing the new American right lacks is respect? And so the Kekistan movement descends into a movement that exists solely to own the libs, and fittingly enough the politics of the man who propelled the Kekistan meme, one Carl Benjamin, has openly admitted that his politics is now basically the same idea. Before the end of 2017, Kekistan was established as a den of losers and failsons, not the bold, transgressive cultural rebels they thought themselves to be, and a few neo-Nazis who stuck around to co-opt the idea.

Returning to Pepe the Frog in general, the creator of the character, Matt Furie, obviously wasn’t too happy seeing his creation take on a life of its own and turn into a mascot for right-wing politics that he didn’t agree with, so at one point he tried “killing” his character within his universe, thinking that the rightists who appropriated him for their own ends would go along with it. But of course, they didn’t. Instead they took exception to it, condemned Matt Furie, and predictably memed the shit out of Pepe’s death (not to mention “resurrecting” Pepe the Frog by creating new memes). More recently, however, Furie succeeded in getting the Daily Stormer, the flagship news outfit for neo-Nazis everywhere, to remove images of Pepe the Frog from their website.

So where does this leave Kek, exactly?

Before we answer that, I think it’s worth addressing where exactly the transgressive power that fueled Kek’s modern day rise came from. In broad terms, it was fueled by the stagnation and declining legitimacy of modern liberalism. By allying itself with the hollow internationalism of big capital, liberalism became a very establishmentarian ideology, and this has lead to a widespread contradiciton within society at large. It’s quite obvious when you think about it: how can one preach about how equal we all are as many liberals do while economic inequality remains a feature of capitalism and runs rampant particularly in the USA? How does one preach of how free a society we are while we face increasing restrictions on our civil liberty in response to terrorism, “hate speech” and new technological developments? How does one preach of the integrity of our democratic values as the machinations of the political system appear increasingly corrupt, and our leaders so distant from the people? But for the right, one concern in particular is set on immigration. Namely, the perception that the ruling class of liberals values foreigners above native citizens. This is of course the product of the juxtaposition of immigration pursued for cheap labour, alongside the challenges of the European migration crisis, alongside the dislocation and alienation of the native working class.

The problem, of course, arises in the failure to trace all of this contradiction back to its economic roots in capitalism. After all, so long as capitalism must transcend the borders of the nation state it can never, ever, remain tied to the nation and its people. And all the while it also does a good job of fucking over the third world through neo-imperial economic policies, contributing to the conditions that generate mass migration from third world countries into first world countries. Not to mention the widening contradiction between free market capitalism, with its emphasis on the private individual’s ability to amass wealth and property, and democracy, with its inherent emphasis on the ability of the people as a mass to act and be represented politically. Instead of piecing this together, the right is distracted by culture war politics, national chauvinism, identity politics, and political correctness, placing them far above the material issues faced by society. However, to be honest, the left (or at least what passes for a left these days) did a poor job of answering this, with the dominant social-democratic movements more or less allying with modern liberalism while consolidating around the very phantoms the right fixates itself on, without truly addressing the material issues. And so the alliance of liberalism and social-democracy creates a polite, politically correct consensus for bourgeois interests, creating the framework for right-wing politics to appear transgressive where it wasn’t so transgressive before outside of maybe libertarianism.

These conditions fed into was what was at the time a delightfully transgressive movement, promising to destroy the old order of things. But of course, the reality is that they are incapable of such a task. If the UK is any indication, all that Europe will get from a Brexit from the right is a menagerie of countries seeking new masters. Or, if Hungary is any indication, one overbearing political order shall be replaced with another. But, in any case, Pepe the Frog will continue to be utilized as the symbol of the various right-wing movements consolidating around Europe and America, already the new symbol of this broad coalition dubbed “The New Right” (perhaps it should be The New New Right given the pre-existing New Right of the 1980s). But in the process it will be nothing more than that: just the emblem of a preset political movement that, ironically for a god of chaos, values the authority of the state to be exercised in order to uphold its own sovereignty (not the sovereignty of the people of course because right-wing nationalism only gives a shit about state sovereignty) and promote what they believe to be the traditional values of the given countries. The god of darkness and chaos will just be an emblem of strident, overbearing order.

And so Kek will stand as a bastardized idol, bereft of the transgressive power it briefly attained as the movements who appropriate him lose their transgressive qualities as they gain power, and the meaning of this obscure frog deity will be paved over by his new identity. And then, when these right-wing strivings die off in the end, and these movements lose their former momentum, Kek will fade from memory, as just another absurd symbol of the radical right, and he will die as a perverted husk of his former self, indeed he will be just as perverted as many pagan symbols that had become co-opted by fascistic movements in the past. And all the while, the party we had for him was already over.

Matt Furie’s comic wherein Pepe dies, created in response to Pepe’s relentless co-option by the alt-right

The coming war

I’ll try to talk less about politics on the blog in the future (that is, let’s be real, if I get around to writing much at all), but what I am about talk about is of perennial importance.

This week, it was announced that in light of a chemical attack in Syria, and the unverified accusation that it was caused by Bashar al-Assad, America looks set to engage a military campaign in Syria to “punish” Assad for allegedly killing civilians in Douma. Basically, Trump has gone from punitively striking Syria once and saying America won’t invade Syria again, to sending military forces to attack Syria in spite of this position, to openly suggesting a military response to Assad. Remember when people like me supported him instead of Hillary Clinton partly on the grounds that her proposal for a no-fly zone would lead to war with Russia because Russia’s interests are aligned with Syria’s? Well now it appears we’re likely to be involved in conflict with Russia anyway. Thanks a lot Trump.

And it looks like my country, the UK, is going to be in on it as well, as the Prime Minister Theresa May joined Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron in calling for military intervention, without a vote from the House of Commons. Because of that, I’ve officially gone from hating Jeremy Corbyn (even as a recently converted socialist) to supporting him just because he might be the only viable alternative to the decidedly pro-startting World War 3 agenda of the Conservatives. Of course, Theresa May did say on Wednesday that she would be making our participation in the Syrian war conditional depending on if we have more evidence of Assad’s role in the chemcial attack in Douma. Only for her to send submarines to Syria anyway.

So why am I so appalled by this development, you might ask? After all, muh North Korea! Kim Jong-un is a mad man, right? Well, considering that denuclearization is actually on the table with North Korea, and the North Korean state is shedding is Songun (military first) policy, you would frankly have to be a sheep if you still believe by this point that North Korea is the biggest threat to world peace. Not to mention, even I didn’t believe that North Korea was even capable of blowing everyone up. With Syria, however, if NATO presses against Syria long enough, if they depose Bashar al-Assad, and if they consequently encroach upon Russia for long enough, they will not be able to defeat NATO in a straight fight, and so the only option left for Russia will be to use its nuclear weapons against the West. The difference in the level of threat involved is quite clear. We knew this when the American people were making their choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but for some Trump himself isn’t aware of this and even many of his supporters seem to be lining up like dogs to support his actions, although some of them are outright condemning him (of all people, Alex Jones has outright said “fuck Trump” on the issue).

We are on our way to World War 3 any moment now, and it could well end with nuclear fire, and I wish I were being hyperbolic, and I don’t even know how many people care because people still think North Korea is the one that will destroy us all, even as all pretense of that idea fades slowly and Syria and Russia (and Turkey to some extent) become much more relevant. Just goes to show you that despite all insistence from conservatives that the media is left-wing, they still want you to be threatened by the more communist nations out there (despite the fact that the North Korean state technically no longer positions itself as communist).

I, for one, will oppose my country’s involvement in Syria to the last. I do not want to have any part in this carnival of greed, unjust violence and needless human suffering just so the congloms can make money off of developing missiles to lob at Syria and so that the political establishment can take out anyone who poses a threat to their global economic interests. Even if the Douma attack was Assad’s fault, for which there hasn’t been any investigation, it is not our business to oust him from power in Syria – America already tried that bullshit in Iraq and Libya in recent memory, and it ended up getting taken over by Islamist regimes who proved to be even worse than the dictators that were removed by military intervention. When the time comes, I will do what is necessary to avoid participating in the abomination of a war that is to come, perhaps agitate against it.

If it comes to war and either I drafted (which I hope can be avoided somehow) or bombs drop where I live before I have the chance to get a bunker then, well, it was nice knowing you guys.

(PS: Don’t take the last comment to hard, I do still intend to write some posts, though the pace will likely be as slow as it’s been recently; at any rate, I’ll try not to let my readers think that the worst has happened)

I’m sick of Trump, among other things

I was going to post about this in a larger post about politics in general, but I’ve decided instead to make this post about Donald Trump, considering all the recent developments concerning his administration, and then try to cover some other things I want to write about as related tangents.

I have arrived at a point where I am officially tired of Donald Trump. Over the last year I have seen him make a lot of blunders, and I’ve even seen him pretty much go back on some key promises. For instance, during his first week of office, he scrapped the TPP, and I was quite excited about that, but then early this year I found out that he was considering revitalizing that very deal. Before that, back in April, Trump’s administration bombed Syria after his daughter fucking bauled her eyes out on Twitter over what she saw on CNN, one of the very news outlets Trump rightly identified as being essentially a glorified propaganda outlet, and then (if I recall correctly) said that America would not be going to war with Syria, and then what happens? Last month American forces attack Assad forces in Syria. Not to mention, I’m informed that under Trump, the very same guy who promised Americans an age of isolationism compared to the foreign policy of both Bush and Obama, military spending looks set to go up. Because why the hell not if you’re dealing with Republicans, I guess? Oh, and America is still dropping thousands of bombs across the world. Because that’s isolationism now, apparently.

And more recently, after the Parkland shooting, Donald Trump makes a surprise announcement to implement stronger gun control legislation, even going so far as to say he will basically take your guns and think about due process later (I wish I were exaggerating here), only to basically walk away from that shortly afterwards right after talking to the NRA. Now let me make something clear here: on principle I am not for gun control, but if you’re going to pursue this, no, if you’re going to be the guy who does it and then talks big about how he’s not afraid of the NRA, you almost immediately cucking to the NRA is proof to everyone of how easily influenced by lobbying interests you are, after running against the queen of lobbying interests herself. Let’s face it, that’s what it is: he talked big about doing something that would go against his voter base and the standard Republican Party line, only to chicken out. Even as a supporter of gun ownership, I think this is pathetic. Oh, and on top of all that, it seems his views on violent video games haven’t changed since 2012, going on record to blame violent video games for the shooting. Not only that but he goes on to have talks with video game companies to discuss possibly regulating the video games industry because somehow that is totally consistent with being an economically right wing guy who opposes regulation and also Jesus fucking Christ why couldn’t we just have Bernie Sanders instead. I’m not kidding. At this point I would rather that America had Bernie Sanders as the President, even though I think he’s a foolish, senile old social democrat who touts the mainstream political line.

But one of the worst developments I’ve seen so far is that his administration has become incredibly neoconservative, more so than ever. Before his cabinet seemed to be just filled with his wealthy friends, that was questionable enough for me (not to mention Jeff Sessions who frankly can go fuck himself). But now Trump has a new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who is not only an active Russiagate shill, but he was the director of the CIA, is also a supporter of the NSA, believes Edward Snowden should be given the death penalty, wants to crush Wikileaks, wants to invade Iran and wants regime change in North Korea, and is opposed to shutting down Guantanamo Bay. And let me just emphasize for a moment: it was Wikileaks who exposed just how corrupt the Democratic Party was, particularly how they set up the Democratic primaries so that Bernie Sanders would be rigged out of the Democratic Party nomination, and now Donald Trump wants the man who wants to crush Wikileaks as his secretary of state. I supposed I should have been more shocked to find out he was the director of the CIA. Still, what a back-stabbing slimeball. But that’s not even the end of it. The person replacing Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA is Gina Haspel, who was directly involved in the Bush administration’s torture program as well as the concealing of torture. Fuck it, it’s so well known that you can just Google “Gina Haspel torture” and you’ll find among the image search an infamous photo of her standing besides a victim of torture whilst smiling and giving the thumbs up. That’s the kind of sadistic bitch Trump’s got as director of the CIA. And then there’s John Bolton, the man who could be Trump’s national security adviser. This guy was one of the main ideologues behind the Iraq War, and still believes the Iraq War was the correct decision for America despite the all the chaos it caused in the region after it ended and the fact that it was unjustified to begin with. He has also expressed a desire for the United States to “make the Russians feel pain” in response to Russia’s alleged attack on the American elections, and right now he’s talking about how NATO should pursue a “strong response” to Russia after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia. That’s right: Donald Trump, the isolationist president, has one of the biggest war hawks in America in his administration. And do you want to know what the biggest joke is? Trump has gone on record to say he likes his commentary in the past. Hell, speaking of Trump, I swear he himself is looking more like a neocon what with him expressing a willingness to execute drug dealers. Why does he like that idea? Because Singapore does it apparently.

In addition to all this neoconservative slime, he’s hiring a guy named Larry Kudlow as his economic advisor. Now this is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae. First of all, this guy was a host on MSNBC, one of the major mainstream media outlets, the ones Trump hates, remember? And now he’s bringing him into his administration. Secondly, he is a pure free market ideologue. So much so in fact that he predicted that there wouldn’t be a global recession and that the Bush boom would never end. And we all know how wrong he turned out to be. But even after he was proven to be wrong, he continued to deny that there was even a recession. He is the free market capitalist equivalent of Paul Krugman, the Keynesian economist who notoriously predicted that the Internet would not have any significant impact on the economy whatsoever, and now Trump wants him on his team. What a disgraceful and idiotic display.

Between all this it hit me: this guy, although useful in uprooting the order of things and paving the way for something else to come in later on, is just another neocon in a suit. Not to mention, I’m becoming convinced that this guy might just be a culture war president. I mean think about it: he managed to get into office partially because of not just the Democrats’ failure to provide a meaningful economic message (which Sanders might have succeeded in doing if he weren’t rigged out of the Democratic primaries), but also because the Democrats instead insisted on a cultural message consistent with the unpopular social justice warrior version of left-wing politics, which by now is only being kept alive as a relevant political force by the mainstream media occasionally paying them lip service or by obsessive right-wing ideologues who want to do nothing but basically profit off of liberals being offended at everything. Apparently making America great again has not so much to do with fighting globalism (how can he? he said before he’s both a nationalist and a globalist) or helping the forgotten man as much as it is to do with signalling to your voter base how patriotic you are. That’s partly what his Twitter activity is for.

I mean think about it: the people whining about his Twitter being divisive and hateful and all that good crap are missing out on the fact that he does it to piss off the right people. I am not convinced that Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing at this point because he must have figured out ages ago that whenever he does anything on Twitter people go nuts. Hence you have all manner of perennially triggered liberals within the media who do nothing but whine about his tweets. Christ, for a lot of last year the American news cycle was dominated by things said by Trump on Twitter. He’s using his Twitter to wind people up with his rants, as well as appealing to conservative wedge issues and the culture war, so as to distract everyone from what’s actually going on in the world, to obfuscate the fact that he is not only not the reformer he and his supporters billed him as but also just another neocon except less consistent.

And finally, I’d like to add some miscellaneous criticisms. I already mentioned the NRA basically getting him to back off from his shock gun proposals, but would you believe that the NRA talked to him within a day of those proposals being announced? Then there’s the Shayrat missile strike, for which I am convinced the influence of Jared Kushner, who is now known for being massively corrupt, as well as his more neocon-leaning friends in the White House. If you don’t like the Obama era net neutrality protections being repealed, it might interest you to know that the guy Trump picked as the chair of the FCC is tied to private/corporate interests, specifically to the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is also becoming increasingly known for its political bias towards the right. And right now his administration looks set to deregulate Wall Street in a bipartisan effort between Republicans and Democrats, and it’s getting paid by Saudi Arabia to give them nuclear reactors. For a man who promised to drain the swamp, this administration has gotten pretty swampy over the last year.

Because of all this, at this point, I have pretty much decided to give up on supporting Donald Trump, because, frankly, I can’t take much more of all this happening, particularly while, in addition, I keep seeing his supporters address very little of this and constantly rally behind Trump even as it’s increasingly clear that he is a neoconservative fraud who tactically utilised otherwise legitimate populism and nationalism simply to elevate himself to power. Hell, I keep seeing his supporters act like he saved Christmas simply by being in office instead of Obama. Because having a Democrat president ruins Christmas, somehow, for some reason. You know what, I’ll spare you the bullshit: they’re snowflakes who give the left crap for being snowflakes. The only difference is that there have been snowflakes on the right for decades and their talking points have almost never changed in that time.

Finally, I would like to mention I realisation that I have made, which I might like to cover in more detail in a later post. The fact that Trump is so easily beguiled by corporate and establishmentarian interests despite being an ostensibly anti-establishment character to me suggests not only that Trump is a compromised and unreliable politician, but also that the American political system at large is the primary problem here, as those loathsome interests of corruption are simply far too entrenched within the system for a man like Trump to change them without radicalism. Furthermore, I have begun to think that the kind of populism that I might like to see will not be realized under Trump, or even the current capitalistic economic order because the incentives present within it, namely profit, do not allow for anything other than the ruling economic class to influence the state and corrupt the democratic order. This also means that the economic right does not have any answers, because all they seem to want is more capitalism. But like I said earlier, I will explain this in a future post.

The Church of Satan? Progressive?

A rather fascinating article from The Guardian caught my attention, titled “Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool”. And by fascinating I mean this was just a puff piece. The article in question goes on about how the Church of Satan suddenly got hip and cool in the eyes of progressive commentators because some imbuing of left-wing radicalism into the Satanic zeitgeist (by the way, please no), and lamenting the fact that Chelsea Clinton isn’t a Satanist. I don’t see why that last part is a problem: the last thing Satanism needs is the Clintons tarnishing its image.

And a strange puff piece indeed. As you’ll see in the link I’ve left at the end of the post, most of the article deals less with the Church of Satan and more with a Los Angeles Times article (which I will also leave a link to at the end of the post). The LA Times article in question makes the case that  ̶a̶ ̶b̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶e̶d̶g̶y̶ ̶C̶a̶l̶i̶f̶o̶r̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶h̶i̶p̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶  a new breed of Satanists are channeling their affinity for the dark side towards progressive political causes to unite against Donald Trump.

Yep, it’s more bourgeois left-wing political activism with a layer of pop occultism on top. Just like last year, when you had “witches” casting “spells” against Trump and then nothing came of it other than they looked ridiculous.

Essentially, these people buy into the idea that the world is going to hell, that American life is never-ending chaos, and that, because of this premise, they’ve decided to mix Satanism with feminism. They earnestly believe that without a sense of magical community centered around their version of Satanism, you’d have the rise of groups such as The Proud Boys (Gavin McInnes’ no-fap PUA brigade), and they, seemingly without any sense of irony or  self-awareness, describe the fact that people have those groups as “black magic”. It’s so bizarre to hear that complaint when that’s what you’re into. I mean, the idea of just people forming social clubs as a form of magic is stretching, hard, but even if it’s true, why are you complaining? Is it good when you have black magic, but not when they have it? For me but not for thee, is it? They also talk about how one of their main advantages is being more well-versed in Internet culture, which is ironic because, anything, the anti-leftist political circles seem more savvy than they are in Internet culture because of their skill in making irreverent memes – the right arguably helped a President get elected through memes for shit’s sake. And then later on, the article goes on about how it’s all connected to African belief systems like Voodoo (which have nothing to do with Satanism) and how, predictably, The Satanic Temple is promoting inclusivity in Satanism and that sort of thing. I must say, for a bunch of spiritual rebels they certainly are very politically correct. But we’ll get to that later on. And to say that the new direction is more feminist than nihilist is rather accurate: there’s really nothing intrinsically nihilistic about it, because the progressive movement is, fundamentally, one that vies for its own brand of meaning, however vapid it may be.

But I see no sign that this current has anything to do with the Church of Satan. In fact, the funny part is how in the LA Times article they actually acknowledge that supporters of the Church of Satan believe in resisting liberal pieties as well as Christian ones, referring back to LaVey’s opposition to the hippie movement. So The Guardian went and promoted the Church of Satan as being more feminist, based on an article where they outright say The Church of Satan is still against liberal and progressive orthodoxy. The Guardian article just goes on to extoll the virtues of autistically responding to everyone casually using the phrase “satanic” in a manner not consistent with their beliefs. Funny, I’ve seen them accuse all Christians of being pedophiles just because a bunch of Christian priests came out to defend Roy Moore, who was accused of child molestation during the Alabama special election. I wonder, is that just a part of their “laconic” wit? Because to me it sounds like the take of a bitter teenager who still unironically listens to Antichrist Superstar and thinks he’s got religion all figured out. And the way they quote the FAQ section is rather pretentious. They seem to be under the delusion that the universe being indifferent to humans and values being subjective doesn’t apply to their own brand of progressivism as well: as in, surely it’s just as meaningless as Christianity? But hey, self-serving leftists rarely have that consistency about them.

What I find really, almost insultingly hilarious, is when at the end it says that “Satanism’s latest mutation is something else, a contrarian uprising against a patriarchal world order that deserves its comeuppance”, which gives you a very good idea that these people have no idea what contrarianism is. Feminist progressivism? Contrarian? Well I mean it has to be, that’s why in my country you have an entire political party embracing the zeitgeist. No, two! Labour is now thoroughly progressive in its socialism, and the so-called Conservative Party are actively in the business of diversity hiring with their most recent cabinet reshuffle. I mean it’s definitely contrarian, because you see so many Hollywood celebrities virtue signal about equality. Yeah, that’s what contrarianism is: going with the flow!

Whereas, here’s what Anton LaVey had to say about his conception of the “modern Black Mass” in The Satanic Bible:

Any ceremony considered a black mass must effectively shock and outrage, as this seems to be the measure of its success. In the Middle Ages, blaspheming the holy church was shocking. Now, however, the Church does not present the awesome image it did during the inquisition. The traditional black mass is no longer the outrageous spectacle to the dilettante or renegade priest that it once was. If the Satanist wishes to create a ritual to blaspheme an accepted institution, for the purpose of psychodrama, he is careful to choose one that is not in vogue to parody. Thus, he is truly stepping on a sacred cow. A black mass, today, would consist of the blaspheming of such “sacred” topics as Eastern mysticism, psychiatry, the psychedelic movement, ultra- liberalism, etc. Patriotism would be championed, drugs and their gurus would be defiled, cultural militants would be deified, and the decadence of ecclesiastical theologies might even be given a Satanic boost.

It amazes me how no Satanist movement that I have seen seems to be interested in tapping into this, because the simple fact is that we don’t live in the 1980s anymore. Even in America, the age of people like Bob Larson or Pat Robertson is long over. There’s still Satanic Ritual Abuse themed conspiracy theories spread around today, but it’s not the media phenomenon that it was until the early 1990’s. And despite the left’s fears in the wake of Trump getting elected, we see no signs of theocracy in the United States. If anything, despite the government being in the hands of the GOP, the zeitgeist of the wider establishment seems to be against him (including most media outlets). The idea that anyone’s being contrarian by embracing progressivism is dubious at best, and incredibly deluded at worst. It’s disappointing that there are no Satanists out there, that I know of, who are exploiting things like the reactionary movement as a form of rebellion against contemporary culture. Whatever your opinions on them, you can’t deny that they are at the opposite end of the establishment political zeitgeist, and exploiting the energies of such movements would play right into the kind of thing LaVey was talking about. But nope. If the LA Times and The Guardian are to be believed, it seems that modern Satanism is looking to embrace an ideology that, frankly, oozes with not just conformism and moral purity, but also (that’s right, I’ll say it) Christian universalism.

I fear that this will lead to the loss of a chaotic, rebellious edge that was classically associated with the Satanist movement, and if that happens, then I think it will be the end. Satanism’s primary impact and appeal came from the fact that it was rebellious towards the establishment, it placed the individual in opposition to outside social forces and institutions aligned against it, intent on corralling it into conformity in opposition to its will, and dared the individual to think for himself, treat these ideas with derision and mockery, and laugh at those stupid to embrace such hollow dogmas. But whereas in the 60’s it was Christianity and the hippie movement, and in the 80’s it was fundamentalist Christianity, in the 2010s, the popular zeitgeist is progressivism. You can be fired for publicly expressing ideas contrary to progressive ideology, that alone should be enough of a reason to channel rebellious intent against it. But instead a new breed of Satanists are embracing it. This will undo the original spirit of Satanism, rob of its chaotic, rebellious vitality, and turn it into just another whiny progressive movement based on what is, ultimately, feminist emotional porn. It would be sad to see such a defiant movement fall like this.


Link to the Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2018/jan/08/chelsea-clinton-church-satan-got-cool

Link to the Los Angeles Times article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-satanism-music-20180105-story.html

You bastards!!

I woke up after July 4th to find this fresh pile right before us. During the weekend before hand, Donald Trump posted to his Twitter account a GIF of him brawling with WWE chairman Vince McMahon with the CNN logo superimposed on McMahon’s head. Trump posted it not long after the investigations into his alleged collusion with Russia found no substantial evidence for such collusion, after non-stop accusations by the press that he was the agent of Russia. By this point, it has also been revealed that some on CNN’s own team know that the Russia story is not supported by any solid evidence – in other words, it’s bullshit and they know it. So the GIF can be taken as Donald Trump essentially gloating over the fact that his side of the story is winning over the mainstream media.

And how did the media take it? They thought that Trump was signalling a violent, authoritarian crackdown on his critics. Over a fucking meme!

That’s right, anti-CNN memes are considered to be a form of incitement to violence. Before this, there was a whole other shitshow from the right about how Kathy Griffin and the Trumpesque Caesar of Shakespeare at the Park and how these were supposedly violence against the President, and now I find the media and their liberal supporters proclaiming that their lives are in danger because Trump shared a meme on his Twitter. There are few richer hypocrisies than this!

And CNN were so offended and scared by the meme it was their top story, their reporters and their friends screeching all day about how Trump reemed them in the ass with simply a moving image that mocked them. But, that’s where the fun ends. Since they wouldn’t take being mocked by a meme for all to see, or perhaps because they believe memes are incitement to violence, CNN decided that it would be appropriate to try and track down the person who made the meme to begin with. At first it had emerged that the maker of a meme was a Reddit user named HanAssholeSolo, who may or may not have been either a teenager or a 40-year old man depending on who you ask. They dug up some information about the Reddit user, contacted him and were apparently able to get an apology out of him. He promised not to do another anti-CNN meme again, and CNN said that they would reveal all the information they dug up if that changed. In essence, they cyber-stalked a guy they thought was responsible for nothing more than creating a meme that offended them that was shared by the President, and threatened to dox him if he made more memes. That is fucking reprehensible! You’re putting someone’s privacy on the line because of what is just a meme.

The journalistic class can cower all they like behind the excuse that he made other memes that they reckon think are Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic or whatever, but none of it changes the fact that there was no reason for CNN to go after this guy. He committed no crime, he hurt no one, all he apparently did was offend some powerful people. So-called journalists and media pundits actually think they have a right to expose someone and take away their anonymity in order to expose their “hate”. What the fuck kind of thinking is that!? In a different time, these people might have been aristocrats looking for seditious critics of the monarchy, Catholic elites searching for suspected heretics, or imperial Romans going after Christians. “We have the right to expose people for their subversive thoughts and expressions” is their mantra, and to that end they will stop at nothing, even if it means targeting innocent people, to satisfy their lust for control. And they’re proud of what they do.

Oh and they haven’t just been acting unethically either. They are likely criminals as well. According to Julian Assange of Wikileaks, CNN has violated Section 135.60 of New York’s criminal code, which prohibits coercion in the second degree, specifically the part which prohibits exposure of a secret or publicizing an asserted fact which would subject a person to ridicule or contempt. Senator Ted Cruz also thinks that CNN may have violated the criminal code of the state of Georgia, specifically § 16-8-16 which deals with theft by extortion, in which the public dissemination of any information relating to any person in order to ruin his reputation is prohibited. What’s more, section 241 of the United States Code prohibits conspiracy against a person exercising their legal rights as provided by the laws and Constitution of the United States. I think it’s possible that CNN broke the law and that a legal case that could be brought against CNN, and I hope there is a case brought against them because it couldn’t happen to a more deserving organization. They can pretend to be defending their freedom of the press all they like, but what press freedom entitles people to threaten to dox an innocent person exercising freedom of expression online over a meme?

And to add insult onto injury, it’s possible that CNN got the wrong guy. Buzzfeed claims that the meme wasn’t actually created by HanAssholeSolo, or was a version of HanAssholeSolo’s meme that was edited by someone else. I don’t trust Buzzfeed as a source, but if this is true then it’s entirely people that CNN went through all that trouble only to get the wrong guy. I can’t help but wonder who they’ll go after next. CNN now claims that they still don’t know who the memester was, but they also claim that it’s not the most important issue in the world. Really? If that’s true, why the fuck would they go through all the effort of digging up the personal information of someone who committed no crime or wrongdoing if it was all just nothing!? Better yet, why were you so outraged about the meme in the first place!?

And in the wake of this something’s been nagging me. A professor named Josh Chafetz tweeted that, in his view, freedom of speech only protects you from government censorship and not public censure from private entities. Aside from the fact that, as I’ve mentioned, there are probably laws against that, there’s a bitter hypocrisy associated with this because of how I see this argument from some on the left. I always thought the left as a political umbrella was generally opposed to the power of big business, right? They don’t like big corporations having too much power and doing whatever they want, right? So then why do left-liberals now seem to think it’s OK for CNN, a major media corporation run by a multi-millionaire, to threaten a private citizen’s right to freedom of expression? Because the government isn’t doing it? But then they go on about how right-wing billionaires such as Peter Thiel are supposedly silencing the freedom of the press for whatever reason. And I’ll tell you something else: I bet the makers of Nobody Speak, a pile of utter apologia that asserts that Gawker was innocent of wrongdoing despite outing several private individuals without their permission, probably don’t have anything to say about Jeff Zucker’s organization censoring a private law-abiding individual. Of course they don’t, because it’s not Donald Trump or Peter Thiel doing it. You’ve got someone who’s basically being censored over memes by a multi-million dollar corporation, and the left is telling us that’s perfectly fine even though they’re supposed to be against big business! Almost like they don’t actually care about that on principle, after all it’s OK when they’re being fascists isn’t it!? If you think you’re fighting the rich and billionaires because you think they’re coming after the freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but you’re OK with this shit from CNN, your cause is frankly fucking worthless to me!

Finally I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a man at the centre of the HanAssholeSolo debacle: one Andrew Kaczynski. After all, he’s the guy who dug up his information in the first place and he was the author of the article wherein CNN gave their veiled threat to begin with. And for this service, he is congratulated by his media colleagues who, like the fascists they truly are, laud the fact that he gave CNN leverage to dox a man over a meme by proclaiming that those who oppose them will “change their tune once identified”. This is not the first thing Kaczynski has done. He has ruined the life of another private citizen, one Justine Sacco, over what was supposed to be a joke tweet about her being a white person in Africa by publicly outing her for an angry Twitter mob to target, which led to her losing her job. But even worse was when, in 2013, he gave out the identities of two people – Mike Mulugeta and Sunil Tripathi – who he falsely believed were the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings, and he reported that falsehood as fact. One of them, Sunil Tripathi, committed suicide after the false accusation resulted in him and his family being constantly harassed and threatened. All he’s known for otherwise is digging up dirt about politicians. So CNN basically hired a professional muckraker who is also known for ruining people’s lives for a paycheck. He is a scumbag, and I hope one day he gets what’s coming to him.

CNN is the most immoral company in media, and they’re what’s wrong with journalism today! They spin either lies or half-truths constantly, their journalists have no fucking clue what’s going on and make shit up but they expect you to take them as fact, but they consider themselves an untouchable class of people who cannot be criticized or else you’re against the free press. And for that reason, CNN and others like them think they can just do whatever they want, even if it’s flagrantly unethical. Can’t imagine why so few Americans trust the media. Can’t imagine why Trump is their President to begin with. Anyone who defends them, in my view, is not worthy of my time or trust. I don’t think I’ve been so outraged as I am about this whole thing.

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And the new face of the resistance is…George W. Bush?

For the first of the political posts I want to get out of the way, you might not believe what the American media has been up to this past week: promoting America’s 43rd president George W. Bush: the man who got America into a war in Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 while never going after Saudi Arabia in any way, effectively lied to the American people about Saddam Hussein having chemical weapons so that he can destabilize Iraq and whose administration instituted the PATRIOT Act, diminishing civil liberty in the name of patriotism and security, and paving the way for the Obama administration’s own legacy of authoritarianism, all while pontificating about the higher power of Jesus Christ.

Yes, that man has gone from being the face of everything wrong with the GOP to being adorable in the eyes of the left. In the last week or so he spoke of his “affection” for Michelle Obama, with whom he scooped an opportune photoshoot, he made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show (with whom he had another photoshoot) where they talked about some stupid wet poncho photo that was taken during the Trump inauguration ceremony, as well as on the Jimmy Kimmel show for laughs, and I’ve seen lots of articles promoting his paintings. And the Guardian, the supposed bastion of journalism and left-wing commentary? They are hailing Bush as a “welcome return”.

What the fuck happened here? I mean I get that you can’t go around hating George W. Bush all the time given that he’s no longer President and up until now he was pretty much not active in politics, not even pressuring the Obama administration as far as I’m aware. But now I find the “liberals” lifting up a man who they should’ve been opposed to. And why? Apparently because he is opposed to Donald Trump. Because he called insinuated that Trump was a racist and because he thinks Trump is attacking freedom of the press by not allowing media organizations into his press conferences – which is exactly what the media thinks as well. George W. Bush, it seems, is being embraced by the liberals and the media for one crucial reason: the rationale that the enemy of their enemy is their friend. And to that end, the left will ignore the ramifications of the policies of Bush’s administration, which they themselves opposed, to wage their ineffectual war on Trump. And don’t kid yourself. Bush’s policies had considerable ramifications in the eight years that Obama was president, namely that it gave the state more power over the rights of its subjects. Obama was an authoritarian, sure, or at least very illiberal, but upon election he ultimately just jumped a machine that was already geared towards the erosion of civil liberty. I have to wonder if “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is such a good reasoning to have.

Bush and Obama, united at last

Sounding off on that “mass spell”

So I guess, better late than never, I ought to briefly comment on that “mass spell” nonsense from this week. Last week, a group of “witches” (specifically Wiccan fluff bunny style witches) announced that they planned to cast some kind of “mass spell” on Donald Trump and, presumably, his supporters in order to “bind” him and cause him to fail in some dubious, ill-defined way.

Seriously. How do they want him to fail? What do they want to have happen to him? There’s no specification. I’ve looked. There’s nothing. I would’ve thought that typically a magician or an occultist would design a ritual tailored to a specific desire, but this “mass spell” is vague as shit as far as specific desires go. The only clarity is that they want Donald Trump to fail, but not how.

But that’s not the only thing I find wanting here. Insert magical cliche here, colored candles and heavenly hosts, even a reference to demons, for good measure, with generic progressive political platitudes thrown there. It is, without question, a joke for people who aren’t interested in all the magickal things in any way, and an embarrassment to those who are. And then there’s Michael Hughes, the man who spread this. Looking at his website, he’s the kind of guy who shills textbook pop superstitions alongside some stuff about psychedelics and UFOs (at least one of the latter two is at least actually worthy of some interest). And apparently he’s also a DJ and “psychic stage entertainer” who makes a living performing at parties. I can’t help but wonder why I’ve never heard of him until this whole Donald Trump “mass spell” shit. Hmm…

By the way, pop singer Lana Del Ray was also involved in this buzz, and is planning on conducting other ceremonies later this year. Apparently her involvement is still getting headlines, including on The Independent, and celebrity and entertainment magazines have picked up on the story, including one magazine involved another celebrity criticizing her for her anti-Trump witchcraft shenanigans.

You know, I’m starting to wonder how much of this is all about accruing attention from wide audiences. In Lana’s case perhaps even to promote a new album? I suppose it worked for Gaahl (a former lead vocalist of the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth) didn’t it?

I honestly think this is one of those make me think “magick isn’t one of those things that you can use to influence world politics or affect the seat of power”. But then I’m reminded of the pro-Trump meme magick courtesy of the Cult of Kek and the wonderful world of 4chan. I’m still not entirely sure on the veracity of that by the way, but I am fascinated by the memetic stuff all the same. At the very least I’m more fascinated with memetics than I am with the New Age/Wiccan fluff that this “mass spell” constitutes. Then there’s all the conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary Clinton and alleged devil worshipers. Bear with me for a moment. Let’s assume it’s all true: that Hillary Clinton has a whole network of devil worshiping magicians at her disposal (or that of George Soros, of course). If that’s true, then given the results of the US presidential election on November 9th, I am guessing that either these magicians are practicing pure unadulterated woo, given that one of the “devil worshippers” is the performance artist Marina Abramovic, or they are incredibly crappy magicians. Either way, we can assume that whatever magic they may have practiced was no match for the might of Kekist memetics. Satanicviews assured me that her only magicians were her PR team (which is arguably true), and it looks like they failed all the same, funny enough possibly proving that a mainstream media isn’t exactly mind control. Ultimately I remain pretty skeptical about the whole magick and politics thing. All’s I know is that traditional witchcraft, let alone New Age Wiccan fluff, won’t do anything to influence politics.

As I said before in my post about a Bustle article on social justice witches, if a bunch of brujas (practitioners of Mexican witchcraft) in Mexico couldn’t hex Donald Trump, what chance do these witches let alone Lana Del Ray have?

Possible opportunist Lana Del Ray leads a trustafarian drum circle lighting candles to pray the Donald away.
Possible opportunist Lana Del Ray leads a trustafarian drum circle lighting candles to pray the Donald away. Also those people next to her look like they were dragged out of the 1990’s.