The Liminalist # 218: Theater of Abuse (with Alison Miller)

Return conversation with Alison Miller on the Satanic Temple & the Grey Faction’s harassment & disinformation campaign against victims of organized child abuse.

Part One: Day Child/Night Child (0 – 28 mins)

The Satanic Temple, filing a complaint against Miller, (2:50 blip) Evan Anderson & the Grey Faction, stirring up a hornet’s nest, Temple-spin, survivor testimony, the College of Psychologists, monitoring members, why Miller resigned, Ed Cara at Gizmodo, targeting therapists, Neil Brick, questioning therapeutic models, memories stored in the body, Grey Faction mandate, dissociation vs. repression, the day child & the night child (26 min edit)

Part Two: Resurrecting the Witch-Hunt Narrative (28 – 56 mins)

Allegations of Grey Faction’s harassing survivors, examining the motives, the public image of the Satanic Temple, the satanic panic, organized abuse convictions, shutting down the conversation, validation of recovered memories, “ISSTD Kills” Logo, using the popular press, writing about the Mafia, creating a counter-narrative, survivors speaking out, a poisoned well, sexual abuse in Catholic Church, cross-institutional abuse, bad news, sophistication, the satanic element & use of theater & deception.

Part Three: Identity Confusion Training (56 mins – 1 hr 23 mins)

Cognitive dissonance, how dissociation works, abuse theater, everybody has parts, Wormwood, growing awareness, belief without understanding, understanding fragmentation, the Jason Bourne films, the Hollywood spell of violence, mind control research, superheroes & trauma, an Internet-powered narrative of Illuminati mind control, the primary abuser groups, Wendy Hoffman, implanting elements of absurdity, identity confusion training

Part Four: The Voice of the Victim (1 hr 23 mins – end)

A focus on mainstream, the skeptical mind, the Illuminati conversation, two wings of propaganda, how the psyche fragments, survivor honey pots, Whitley Strieber, the false context of conspiracy theory, internal colonization, global warming, climate refugees, the problem of mind control, the production of false narratives,  demonizing the Russians, people who have lived through things, the testimony of victims, abusing the victim card, a false dichotomy of belief & disbelief, identifying the threats, awareness of abuse, Jeffrey Epstein, exposing a paper tiger.

Songs: “Pirates” & “Sirens # 1” by Entertainment for the Braindead; “My Own Private” by Rabbit Island; “No Place to Fall” by Isobel Campbell; “Change” by Short Hand.

42 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 218: Theater of Abuse (with Alison Miller)”

  1. I’m very optimistic that this information will be able to refute the claims these Grey Faction people are making. I think people have had enough of these Adversary apologetics in the form of fake dialectics like”our religious freedom is under attack”, which is what I observe these satanists doing constantly. Their religion is based on atheism and nihilism and as such doesn’t even qualify as a religion in my mind, which makes all their arguments these sort of perverse strawman attacks that are all self refuting. Anyway thanks for another great podcast with another tough subject.

  2. Jasun, long-time lurker coming out of the shadows… 😉

    I’ve spent many hours the last two weekends reading/watching the links you provided in your Polanski video. I listened to this podcast as I thought it might be helpful to hear a professional’s experience with child abuse victims, especially those that either are or use the facade of satanism. I remember that at the time of the McMartin preschool trial I didn’t know what to think about it. On the one hand I am loathe to question a victim; on the other, the story was so preposterous. Then about eight years ago I came across information that there actually were tunnels (among other types of evidence) that jibed with the children’s accounts. Opening up that can of worms led me to reading about the Presidio child care abuse and after that came the Dutroux story and then Savile.

    Having said that, I felt a bit of deflation when Dr. Miller referenced Dr. Mengele. I felt even more deflated when she talked about her co-author’s memories of “illuminati, nazis and Muslim terrorists”. These are cartoons. Dr. Miller claims skepticism and yet she, by her own conversation on this podcast, reveals herself to be completely believing what the mainstream media tells her. Russian influence through Facebook? Climate change panic? Random shootings taking place (all hoaxes)? The irony of her thinking that people are nonsensical to believe there is an elite controlling things or that there are lizard people and yet wanting the public to believe the incredible stories her clients have told her is rich.

    She is to be commended for taking her clients seriously, and I think that’s wonderful. I guess my disappointment is that she has heard really awful things in her professional career but doesn’t seem to have looked about the world and the incredible events that we are told are true and that have shaped our lives and used her skepticism to look into the truthfulness of them.

    • No one person has all the answers. Consider the nature of her work, and the positions it is necessary for her to take publicly to best help her (former) clients.

      Are you completely thorough in your thinking? How credible are your beliefs? How would you modify your own language if working within a professional body and subjected to public scrutiny?

    • If you really listen to the what Alison says she says that these groups are a possibility and she doesn’t know. She does not say that she is completely believing.

  3. Grey Faction, Satanic Temple and Lucien Greaves Fact Sheet:
    For almost a decade using several aliases (including Douglas Mesner and Lucien Greaves) has harassed groups helping child abuse, rape and trauma survivors. He has also harassed groups providing research in support of child abuse, rape and trauma survivors.

    In 2013, he and others created a group called the Satanic Temple. One part of this group is called the Grey Faction. The Grey Faction states they “invade” conferences. These conferences are provided to help and educate child abuse, rape and trauma survivors and their helpers.

    Alison Miller’s reply to Evan Anderson, Grey Faction Director of The Satanic Temple (TST)’s Grey Faction

    “The reason I discontinued my membership in the College of Psychologists has nothing to do with the Grey Faction’s harassing complaint about my writings and online videos. I left the College because I am 78 years old. I retired two years ago.” – Alison Miller

    “That is why I resigned, not because I was about to be found guilty of promoting unscientific conspiracy theories. Anderson has posted his complaint and the College’s response, distorting the story by omitting the College’s letter to me and my response to it. As for not being allowed to call myself a “psychologist,” that is the situation for every retired psychologist. It is similar for other health professions, and it does not indicate that the work I did was inferior or that I was found guilty of unethical behavior.” – Alison Miller

  4. Information about Alison Miller and Her Research

    Online Conference Presentations:

    Deception by Organized Abuser Groups: Helping Your Front People and Your Insiders Recognize the Lies and Tricks Which Keep You Enslaved by Alison Miller

    Alison Miller – Survivorship Conference 2017 – Confronting the Spiritual Issues in Ritual Abuse

    Alison Miller – Survivorship Conference 2017 – Working Through Your Traumatic Memories and Destroying the Mind Control

    • Oswald, this was a conference put on by Ivory Garden, a self-help organization belonging to dissociative people. They do have an annual conference at which I spoke once. I did not know that Ross funded this conference. He and I have only met a few times, at conferences. Our approaches to ritual abuse differ.
      The website you referenced belongs to Fiona Barnett, an Australian who says she is a fully integrated survivor of ritual abuse and mind control. I have not met her and we only spoke once on the phone. I am not happy with her use of my name or with some of the things she has done.

  5. Recent exchange at YouTube video clip from this conversation:

    Highlighted comment
    dev null
    14 hours ago
    People have went to jail for these foolish conspiracy theories. To perpetuate them is objectively evil behavior.

    It presents an image of a person who would rather innocent people lose their freedom than to admit they were conned by a hoax.

    Jasun Horsley
    42 seconds ago (edited)
    I wonder if you think you’re more qualified to comment than Ross Cheit, who has a law degree and wrote The Witch-Hunt Narrative for Oxford University Press demonstrating the proven reality of many of the charges in the 1980s? Or if you have convinced yourself there’s no truth to the convictions and confessions of Colin Batley’s Kidwelly sex cult in the UK? See:

    Or to the massive, interlinking rings of child abuse in the UK that came to light in the last decade? Or maybe you think you are better informed on the question of organized ritual abuse than the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who gave a speech in 2017?

    “The crimes of ritual sexual abuse happened in schools, churches, youth groups, scout troops, orphanages, foster homes, sporting clubs, group homes, charities, and in family homes as well. It happened anywhere a predator thought they could get away with it, and the systems within these organisations allowed it to happen and turned a blind eye. It happened day after day, week after week, month after month, and decade after decade. Unrelenting torment.”
    I suppose in your mind he’s the victim of mass hysteria too?

    Ironically, the only excuse for your rank ignorance is something much worse: conscious complicity. So your commenting here either borders on, or actually is, criminal irresponsibility. My goal of raising awareness about this reality (such as by posting these videos) means engaging both with conscious agents of abuse and their unwitting dupes, and I honestly don’t know which is worse (i.e., talking to a total moron or to the worst kind of human slime). So, either get better informed and prepare to experience severe remorse for your actions, or look deep into your soul and repent, because either you are a useful well-meaning idiot, or you are a very twisted and toxic individual. There’s no third option that I can see, though I suppose there’s a sticky spectrum between these two lamentable positions. The ideologically poisoned can only spew poisons as they sicken and die.

  6. Hi Gwen
    I wouldnt be so quick to rule out the Nazi connection here. Operation Paperclip and its Japanese equivalent delivered many Nazi psychologists to the US and Canada, and no doubt it was they who guided Cameron, Gottlieb and Hoffmann et al.

    With a large and captive population of untermensch and no ethical framework or oversight, these people were able to make huge strides in the creation of MK-Horcruxes, and other unsavory things such as decompressing chambers until human bodies exploded or vice versa, with great military applications in aviation medicine and such like. These things were further developed under cover of the Korean and Vietnam wars.

    Dr Miller sounds to me as though she has come to this late, reluctantly and gradually, and has had to come out of retirement for this confrontation. She doesnt seem to me to profess expertise nor be widely read on these arcane topics, and from the podcast i got a certain sense of shock and disbelief, as though she cant quite believe she is here talking about these things. Thank you doctor.

    In terms of film, the gradual intrusion of the far right can be observed through the work of Alan J Pakula a Polish Jew who no doubt p…d some Nazis off. The Parallax view trilogy and Sophies choice seem to delve subtly into these matters and he was eventually killed in a car crash.

    There is much speculation that MK Technologies were and continue to be fed into the social media and other internet platforms. It is so 1953 to assassinate someone with a gun or a car, these days they just assassinate them online, as (we have just witnessed with Jeremy Corbyn). It is all so easy now with everyones face glued to a screen all day in a state of continual anxiety, paranoia and sexual excitement.

    One suspects we might be in a bit of bother when sickos such as this Gray Faction are out and proud with their websites and actively pushing their pro-Wolf narratives while Riding Hood is cowering under the couch pumped full of Ritalin and Xanax.

  7. “ISSTD Kills” explained:
    “Satanists Call for Investigation into ‘Satanic Panic’ Killing of 8-Year-Old Boy”
    “The Satanic Temple has started a petition asking for a proper investigation into circumstances surrounding the headline-grabbing death of an eight-year-old autistic child, Jude Michael Mirra, who was killed by his mother, Gigi Jordan, in 2010. The Satanic Temple alleges that Jordan was influenced by a Satanic panic–obsessed therapist who had been treating her child”.

  8. Jasun, I believe you misrepresented Ross Cheit when you said this:
    “I wonder if you think you’re more qualified to comment than Ross Cheit, who has a law degree and wrote The Witch-Hunt Narrative for Oxford University Press demonstrating the proven reality of many of the charges in the 1980s?”

    It’s problematic to generalize about all of the cases Cheit analyzes in detail, in fact that’s part of his complaint with what he calls “the witch hunt narrative” – that he didn’t find convincing evidence for these cases to be grouped together the way they were by people like Debbie Nathan.
    With some of those cases, Cheit is fundamentally in agreement with satanic cult abuse skeptics, finding that later (not the original) allegations about satanic cult involvement in the case or supernatural phenomenon/intervention were clearly “impossible” [his word] and false, or that later interviews with children were leading or otherwise problematic, or that additional (not the original) allegations against unrelated persons in the community could not be valid. Still, however, in most of these cases Cheit maintains original allegations were spontaneous and untainted, or medical evidence of abuse was valid, or some child’s ‘testimony’ (out of many) was not invalidated. In other words, Cheit claims there remains valid evidence that child sexual abuse occurred in that case.

    And he might be right, although in many of these cases Cheit presents no conclusive evidence that the person or persons convicted or accused in the case were in fact the real or only possible perpetrators of that abuse. For example, in McMartin Preschool Cheit acknowledges the later CII interviews were a disaster, but claims the initial allegations and medical evidence were valid and implicate Ray Bucky. But there’s a far better suspect for any abuse Judy Johnson’s son or McGauley’s daughter might have suffered, a man who had access to both children and left an infamous CSA images publication in McGauley’s basement – by far more damning evidence of sexual interest in children than anything Ray Bucky was accused of.
    It’s not true, that the satanic panic investigators position in all the cases cited by Cheit was: NO ABUSE occurred, period. It is fair to say, our position was: no evidence of satanic abuse cult involvement in any of them – and Cheit presents no evidence that anyone convicted or accused in those cases WAS involved in a satanic/ ritual abuse cult.

    The primary problem with the concept of satanic abuse/ritual abuse, is that those terms are not and never have been valid terminology for child sexual abuse crimes. Child sexual abuse is specific acts of violation; it can be voyeurism, molestation, fondling, oral sex, sodomy, rape, assault, prostitution, pornography, invitation to touching, penetration by digit or object, etc. but “satanic abuse” or “ritual abuse” just don’t belong in the category of specific acts of violation.
    They are much more complex concepts with specific social/ religious/ political implications –
    and those implications are what people want to communicate, and want their audience to focus on, by using them. They are, inherently, DISTRACTIONS from the very real and pervasive acts of violation that are the reality of CSA.

    • I highly doubt Ross Cheit would agree that there was no evidence of Satanic ritual elements; there certainly was & it is documented in the book, so to say so knowing that many people wont have read the book strikes me as sneaky and disingenuous. The above comment is superficially reasonable but all the more deceptive because of it.

      IMO, it’s simply absurd to try and make a distinction by saying, “child sexual abuse exists, sometimes it is organized, OK, but there is absolutely no evidence that there was ever a ritualistic element.” The only reason anyone would even try to make such a case is if they are attempting to exclude a whole body of testimonials that are inconvenient to someone. Otherwise, if you allow that there is some evidence for this (which clearly there is, as cited in my above comment), then the whole “satanic panic” dismissal falls down and you are left with having to look at each and every individual case, which the GF and ST clearly are not interested in doing, no doubt because they know that their malicious agenda would run out of steam in no time.

      While I would agree that there certainly was some hysteria around this, and continues to be so, there is a world of difference between attributing the hysteria to the criminal acts (a natural enough response, even no doubt factored into the crimes), and attributing the belief in those acts to hysteria and nothing more.

      There’s no reason I can think of to want to discount the evidence for an occult or ritual element in some abuse cases, when this has been proven to have happened, none besides ignorance or complicity. It is not victims of unethical Christian psychotherapists that are being protected by the Satanic Temple’s campaign, but practicing occultists & satanists, whether or not they are consciously complicit with any child abuse.

      • I’ll be more specific. “The Witch-Hunt Narrative” pg 88, Cheit is deconstructing “Charlier and Downing’s List of Thirty-six Cases”, derived from a series of articles those journalists wrote under the banner of: “Justice Abused: A 1980’s Witch-Hunt”, considered seminal, core cases of that alleged Witch-Hunt.
        Pg 89, Cheit says: “One problem that becomes clear on researching secondary sources is what I call satanic exaggeration. As it turns out, fewer than one-quarter of the thirty-six cases actually fit the primary theme of the series, which combined the idea of witch-hunts over child sexual abuse with claims of ritualistic or satanic overtones. Some of the cases Charlier and Downing discuss had nothing to do with satanic or ritualistic abuse”.
        Pg 93; “The claim that all thirty-six cases are bound together by satanic or ritualistic allegations is summarized in a dramatic table labeled Similar Tales…But a close examination of the table reveals several problems. First, the “elements” used to weave these cases together are extremely over-inclusive. Some are not remotely satanic or ritualistic”.
        That’s Cheit speaking – down-playing, dismissing, debunking “evidence for an occult or ritualistic element” in those thirty-six cases. You can’t be saying Ross Cheit ‘reason for doing this’ is either ignorance or complicity?
        He continues: “…the authors do not explain what is unusual, let alone ritualistic, about children reporting Barbie-dolls at their daycare centre. Other elements in this table reflected aspects widely known to be involved in the most ordinary child sexual abuse cases”.
        Cheit is deconstructing claims that these thirty-six cases must involve (satanic panic) false allegations or fraudulent convictions, because they all involve “satanic, occult or ritualistic elements” – he’s doing this by debunking/dismissing that any such elements existed at all in some of the cases, and dismissing claims that some specific alleged “elements” are truly satanic, occult or ritualistic.
        Cheit’s analysis and discussion of 12 cases from that series, and several other major cases, repeats this debunking/dismissing of “satanic or ritualistic” elements in those cases, where Cheit believes they don’t exist. He also talks about such elements in those cases where he believes they DID exist – mostly non-daycare, criminal cases in chapter: “History Ignored”, under “Fantastic” elements in Real Cases”.
        I could dispute/debunk labeling dozens of supposedly “ritualistic” “elements” as satanic or occult-related, myself, (and not for reasons of ignorance or complicity), but that’s not my point.

        This whole idea of child sexual abuse having “elements” to it, is an artifice concocted specifically to accommodate theories about satanic abuse/ritual abuse cults and perpetrators (analogous to the supposed ‘parts’ of dissociated or multiple personality). No one talks about “locker room-istic elements” of youth sports initiation rapes/assaults, or calls such cases “football abuse”, and there are no such “elements” inherent in the specific acts of violation that constitute CSA crimes. There’s no “satanic sodomy” or “ritualistic sodomy”, its just acts of sodomy – and this is reflected in the charges actually laid in supposed ‘ritual abuse cases’, including Batley. None of the perps in that case were charged with “ritual abuse”, they were charged with rape, indecent assault, pimping, etc.

        The purpose & point of introducing this artifice of “elements of abuse”, I believe, is to distract from the reality of the acts of violation – i.e., CSA, and put the focus onto the supposed satanism, or occult practices & organizations.

        • Justin:

          On page 89, the “series” Cheit is referring to is “Justice Abused: A 1980s Witch-Hunt,” the aim of which was to push the witch-hunt narrative and create the false impression of a Satanic Panic. Cheit’s point here, then, is the very opposite of the one you are using it to make: he cites the 36 cases that are being used by this series as evidence of a Satanic Panic (not as evidence of ritual abuse) as spurious because three quarters of them never claimed to be about ritual abuse or Satanism to begin with. Others that did involve these elements were left out of the series, however. The same applies to your citation of page 93, which refers to the same spurious series, and for the same reason.

          You write: That’s Cheit speaking – down-playing, dismissing, debunking “evidence for an occult or ritualistic element” in those thirty-six cases.

          Yes, that’s Cheit speaking, but Cheit’s point is that these cases should not have been included in a series supposedly exposing the satanic panic, because either no one was claiming they were cases of ritual abuse to begin with, or no one was charged and abuse seems to have occurred:

          “The authors never explain why this case was included in their ‘Justice Abroad’ series. A dead body was found, the children ‘were believed to have been sexually abused,’ and nobody was charged. the injustice appears to have been to the victims.”

          And so on..

          Anyone reading these comments who has read Cheit’s books knows that, while he admits there has been some exaggeration, and while he (in my view prematurely) rejects some elements as too fantastic to believe, the overall thesis of the book is that of “the witch-hunt narrative,” namely, that there was no “Satanic Panic” because there was a large body of evidence for ritual abuse, even if it was all mixed up with hysterical overreactions and (possibly) child sexual abuse that was non-ritual in nature. In my podcast discussion of the book, I point out that it’s plausible, likely even, that some of this hysteria, panic, and exaggeration and even falsification was generated by abusers themselves, or those wishing to protect them, precisely in order to both seed and water (make credible) the witch-hunt narrative.

          Maybe your placing these lines from Cheit’s book out of context in order to create a false impression of the book’s argument was a simple error, based on excess zeal; or maybe it was intentional. Either way, you need to clarify your reason for posting here and state any affiliations with the Satanic Temple, the Grey Faction, or any other occult groups, as well as your position on whether there is such a thing as organized ritual abuse or not, before I will let any more of your comments through. As I have said clearly a number of times now, the only excuse for downplaying the reality of organized ritual abuse is ignorance or complicity; if you have really taken the time to read Cheit’s book, or if you have read & listened to my own material, then any claims of ignorance become pretty untenable, or at least inexcusable. If it’s for the latter reason, kindly fuck off back to your devil parties & stop wasting my time.

      • The anthropologist Roy Rappaport wrote a very influential book with the title “Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity”, where rituality and religious feeling are seen to be intrinsic to what humans are. If you combine this notion with the contemporary emphasis in clinical psychology and psychotherapy on affect regulation, then the very purpose of rituality and religious feelings (awe based feelings) is to regulate the existential dimensions of a humans being.

        People (Satanists) who claim that there is no ritualistic aspect are trying to dumb down the conversation so that its most significant and meaningful aspects remain unexplored. In fact, and in reality, the ritualistic dimension is precisely that which entrains both the doer (perpetrator) and done-to (victim) to the same regulatory regime – or value system (or in systems terms, an attractor).

        The spiritual part is real insomuch as human beings are regulated by the ideal ways-of-being they believe in. For Satanists, the attractor which they have first hand experience in – the dissociative, withdrawn, only-the-now-is-real attitude – feels like a metaphysical power that is more than simply the developmental dynamics and ecological correlates – or semes – underlying their experience of self.

        Satanism is the triumph of the triviality of social convention over the eternal truth of the dynamical symmetry and oneness of the biosphere – of which we ourselves are an emergent property.

  9. Jasun, excellent interview.

    An explanation why professionals have difficulties defending themselves against disinformation and misinformation on the Internet.

    Common Forms of Misinformation and Tactics of Disinformation about Psychotherapy for Trauma Originating in Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

    Misinformation and disinformation about ritual abuse and mind control trauma and psychotherapy to treat such trauma appear in both paper and electronic media, but are particularly abundant on the Internet on websites of individuals and organizations, bookseller reviews, blogs, newsletters, online encyclopedias, social networking sites, and e-group listservs.

    When allegations of malpractice are made or when lawsuits are brought against psychotherapists or institutions for (a) inducing or implanting false memories of ritual abuse or mind control in clients, (b) inducing or implanting false memories of ritual abuse by family members that then alienated clients from these family members, (c) inaccurate reporting of ritual abuse to child abuse or law enforcement authorities, or (d) the suicide of a client based in therapists treating the client’s psychological problems as originating in a history of ritual abuse or mind control, etc., inaccurate, exaggerated, or malicious information about these therapists and institutions can be circulated unopposed.

    This is because treating therapists and institutions cannot legally or ethically reveal anything related to a client’s psychotherapy as it is protected by confidentiality and psychotherapist-patient privilege.

  10. Really, Gwen, how stupid do you think I am? You don’t even know me.
    I work hard on sorting out the fake from the genuine news. Climate change is undoubtedly real, and if you think it isn’t, you have been duped. There is pretty good evidence that the Russians influenced both the US and the UK elections via Facebook. Just what media do you consume to get your opinions?
    My clients didn’t tell me stories. They came to me fragmented, and memories that they put together did not come out the way that pre-planned narratives would. Many of those memories involved deliberate deceptions by abusers. I have worked hard over many years to sort out the real from the deceptive.

    • Gwen could have been more diplomatic in her criticism, but I don’t think she’s wrong about there being a massive amount of disinfo around these topics; climate change may be real but the causes being claimed and the solutions being offered may not be. What about sunspot activity, for example? Why go straight to man-made causes? And cui bono? I personally don’t believe the official version here (or anywhere), mostly because a) it is being pushed so hard by mainstream media; b) the solutions being shoehorned in always tend to relate to more social controls & restrictions, in keeping with the overall social engineering program of the past hundred years or so. Note that there is never any focus by these corporations who are pushing the climate change narrative on changes that hurt their own profit margin. The changes being demanded are all bottom-up ones that effect the little people.

      It also serves as a great distraction & displacement activity for people who might otherwise be focusing on a lot more inconvenient truths, such as organized ritual abuse or hourly deep state lies and propaganda turning our brains to mush. Ditto with the alleged Russian hacks: considering it’s the CIA and (again) the mainstream media who are providing this narrative, and considering the narrative includes the CIA’s miraculous reinvention in the public eye-mind as a necessary, even heroic, presence, it seems too convenient to be anything but a fabricated narrative. Even the idea that Trump is some sort of wild card/loose cannon dragging the western world back to the dark ages seems just absurd to me, as if who is in the Whitehouse ever changed national and international policies. I think he is only the latest empire figure-head who happens to be useful in a time of unusual destablization.

      What I observe is that these sorts of narratives aren’t taking hold of people’s beliefs via hard evidence, but by a sort of mass hypnosis/mass hysteria, ironically somewhat similar to the alleged “satanic panic.” To say “there is pretty good evidence that Russians influenced both the US and UK elections via Facebook” may not be that different from the uninformed debunkers who continue to insist “there is not a shred of evidence for the existence of ritual abuse.” I haven’t spent time researching it, but I suspect there is a set of significantly more reliable evidence that the Russia-hack is a CIA-disinfo campaign, one that naturally fabricates its own “evidence” and then spreads it around like fairy dust, relying on word-of-mouth fueled by a collectively desperate need-to-believe and to have someone to blame who isn’t fundamental to the running of our economic system. It’s worth considering anyhow.

      The same thing that makes my readers & listeners aware of organized ritual abuses makes them pretty discerning about other sorts of cover-ups. It’s never too late to learn new angles.

      • That a problem is exploited to oppress and confuse people does not also mean that the problem itself does not exist, but rather that it is being amplified and distorted for political purposes and to make money. Both man made climate change ‘belief’ and ‘denial’ have corporate backing (sometimes the same corporations backing both) as both provide avenues for profit. The climate change ‘denial’ that surrounds the Trump camp is a front for environmental deregulation to permit greater corporate exploitation.

        It seems fairly self evident to me that if one releases the stored energy from sunlight that has been sequestered in the Earth over many millions of years into the environment in only a hundreds years, then the energy (temperature) of that environment will increase. Either way none of us here are experts on the matter.

        An effect both of corruption and disinformation is to diminish confidence in expertise and institutions. There can be both corruption and expertise within institutions, but people generally are not able to acknowledge both simultaneously and so are divided into two camps of believers and non believers.

        Disinformation can as easily pull the sceptical or disbelieving person into useless fantasy as lead the ‘true believer’ around by the nose. Indeed the disbeliever can become a different kind of ‘true believer’. Finding that corruption exists within institutions that provide evidence based accounts of reality, a person can then turn to narratives that are unsupported by evidence because they appear to be beyond corruption. Consider the function of ‘Lizards’ within Ickeian ritual abuse narratives, ‘No planes’ within 9/11 ‘Truth’, and ‘Flat Earth’.

        Equally the same can be applied to accounts of hacking originating in Russia.

        • I thoroughly agree, Martin.
          Sorry I wasn’t more clear about the Russian thing. It is outside my area of expertise. One of the companies that got into trouble for such behavior (affiliated with Cambridge Analytica) is in my city. Even if such hacking has links to Russia, I’m not convinced that that country’s government is responsible. I agree that there is massive disinformation around many topics, and it’s hard to sort out. I’m not at all convinced that nation states run the world. My work with survivors of organized abuse has suggested that there are covert groups who have their own agendas and have infiltrated the visible centres of power.

          Jasun’s observations about mass hypnosis or mass hysteria ring true with me. I am amazed that seemingly intelligent adults in positions of leadership appear not to think for themselves at all. What is the source of this?

        • I don’t think you need to be an expert in climate change to understand the gist of what the modern sciences have revealed about the structure of reality with physics. The basic point is: greenhouse gases absorb more energy than other gases. Water (H20), methane, and c02 are the primary molecules in the atmosphere that vibrate at a faster rate when hit by thermal radiation. Coal, oil and natural gas are three different ways that the planet has stored carbon. Deep sea methane cathrates are another form; as are various plant life. The earth is a massive dynamical system which regulates its composition in many different forms, seemingly with the result that life is optimized (life may itself be a path of least action vis-à-vis the hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere).

          There is really nothing mysterious to the claims of anthropogenic climate change for a person who is sufficiently educated in the basic sciences and has a deep appreciation for the principle of sufficient reason (i.e. occams razor). It is nothing more than symptomatic of the individualism of the day and age we live in that some people prioritize their need to “feel right” than recognize the urgent nature of the problem created by climate change.

          The reason we are not understanding or accepting the evidence is primarily because of Satanism, which if we can think metaphorically, and know a bit of Hebrew (Satan means ‘adversary’) is nothing more than the incompatibility between the brain of a person who has grown up believing in the unreality of the external world (a deluded belief) and the fact that the very external world that these people have changed – via Protestantism and capitalism – is changing at a rate that is forcing a much larger number of people to become aware of not only the reality of climate change, but of the presence of a force in this world that is essentially parasitic and virus-like in its relatedness to the natural world around it.

          Satanism colonizes human minds in the same way that a virus colonizes a cell. The cell – the person – is the real thing; the virus, or deluded belief – can only propagate itself through the machinery of a self-sufficient structure.

          This is not a metaphor but a description of a fractal-dynamic which has cognates at the biological and semiotic levels. ‘Evil’ is real insomuch as it propagates when it is not addressed or understood for what it is. Loving a virus will not make it go away; understanding it is necessary, but so is using some serious anti-viral medication, and although an individual is often killed by the virus, it remains vital that we develop some sort of ‘vaccine’ – which in this case, or in my own study of this matter, entails describing the vulnerabilities of a human being to being taken in by these sorts of viruses to begin with.

      • Thank you so kindly, Jasun. As always, you are able to put a response in the most gentle way but still get the point across. You are correct, my response could have been more diplomatic (a result of zeal not intention to hurt or insult).

  11. Gwen, you’re right that I felt insulted. I had a neighbour last year who consumed Rebel Media as the absolute truth, and when you appeared to accuse me of consuming ideas in the popular media without thinking, I wondered whether you might be affiliated with such a group. Sorry if I misjudged you.

    And if Illuminati and Nazis are “cartoons” it doesn’t mean there isn’t some reality behind them. As for Muslim terrorists, the point I was making is that organized groups deceive their victims, and in this particular memory, the client was being told via costumes etc. that the abusers were Muslims but when she reviewed her experience she was able to discover that they were white (and probably anti-Semitic). (She is Jewish.)

  12. RIP, Russiagate: The implosion of the collusion theory is a humiliation for everyone who promoted it, by Aaron Maté:

    The outcome is no surprise to those who scrutinized the facts as they emerged. Time and again, the available evidence undermined the case for such a conspiracy. None of the characters presented to us as Russian “agents” or Trump-Kremlin “intermediaries” were shown to be anything of the sort. None of the lies that Trump aides or allies were caught telling pointed us toward the collusion that members of the media and political figures insisted they were hiding. None of the various pillars of Russiagate—the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting; the fanciful assertions of the Steele dossier; the anonymously sourced media claims, such as Trump campaign members’ having “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials”—ever led us to damning evidence. And all of that is likely why Mueller never charged anyone with involvement in (or covering up) a Trump-Russia conspiracy.

  13. I’m not sure if you ever got around to reading Brian Hayden’s “The Power of Ritual in Prehistory: Secret Societies and Origin of Social Complexity”, but I’ve since pursued this narrative deeper with his two other books, Shamans, Sorcerers and Saints: A Prehistory of Religion; and The Power of Feasts: From Prehistory to the Present, and I’m pretty much sold on the widespread prevalence of ritual abuse as a tradition with a history that goes extremely far back into human prehistory – indeed, the Bible itself seems to refer to this time period by the term “heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.” Also known as Nephilim. In anthropology, they’re known more simply as ‘big men’ – social and political elites in transegalitarian hunter-gatherer societies. Hayden emphasizes in all three books the ecological manner in which these sorts of individuals emerged from the less complex hunter-gather egalitarian societies via positive feedback loops related to surpluses in food – hence, he has the whole process where we find ourselves today in the practice of feasting.

    I try to wed Haydens narrative with my own work in biosemiotics, the neurosciences, relational psychoanalysis, philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences to show how the supervolcanic explosion of mt. Toba 74,000 years ago (see “When Humans Nearly Vanished’ for the evidence of such an event) effected a transformation in the ontological or metaphysical status of our species vis-à-vis the structural tensegrities that link the organism to the natural world around it. In effect, to evolve or become what humans became 315,000 years ago (this being the oldest fossil evidence of homo sapiens, in Northern Morocco) entailed not merely a physical process, but a semiotic process which was all about regulating the stress processes of our physical bodies in relation to the complexities of intersubjective dynamics, as well as the existential dynamics of our communal being-in-the-world.

    There is indeed an objective meaning to human existence which has everything to do with Peirces emphasis on Thirdness. We exist on the third planet for good reason: its a metaphysical symbol of the selection processes that evolution has moved through to create life, mind, and meaning out of a mostly chaotic background.

    Thus, for at least the las 74,000 years (at the minimum) Humankind as a whole has been struggling with alienation from the natural world, resulting in a high-entropy mode of existing that has fostered amoral belief systems that nurture sociopathic sensibilities in its elites, and thus creating a culture that is primarily built around manipulating the ignorant – or those ignorant of the ‘supernormal’ character that human existence takes on when suffering is fully encountered and the individual self realizes its continuity with the universe around it. More or less, society is (not fundamentally, but in all the versions we know of, has been) a semiotic prison created by secret society memberes privy to a ruling ideology that more or less reduces to this: the self is the masculine principle from the ‘abyss’, and the female principle is the created or conditioned order; hence, in such societies, males rule over females, children and lower status males’; these males form an elite which controls others through economic and social surplus; these societies are hierarchical or heteroarchical; are usually violent and rely upon terror in either physical or emotional form via taboos.

    The entirety of the western philosophical tradition expresses just these sorts of beliefs, whereas Judaism and Christianity have been efforts (as Buddhism has been in the East) to transcend the ‘big man’ epistemology and ontology which more or less reifies an imaginal realm designed to negate the real natural world which actually structures how it is we feel, think, and believe.

    • Yes I read Power of Ritual & it has become central to my latest book-thesis on Hollywood; I spoke to Brian & it will be the first podcast of2020. So thanks again for that rec.

      • Awesome. Glad that worked out for you.

        I know Brian just had a serious surgery and I was wondering how he was doing.

        Very much looking forward to that podcast.

        In what way has his thesis influenced your understanding of Hollywood? I suspect its central to the whole project of it all – the existence of secret societies, the ritual nature of human being-in-the-world – all of this dovetails very obviously with what Hollywood is involved and interested in.

        Its natural for humans to miss the forest for the trees. The content of Hollywood is far less important than the morphological, or formal, structuring its material embodies in its message.

        Media theorists are so clever in this way. When McLuhan said “the medium is the message”, he wasn’t kidding. The medium for speech is tonality, facial expressions, body language i.e. AFFECT. That is the medium underlying every message. The art of occultism is to manipulate the medium while getting your interlocutor to focus on the webs of the language content.

        If you want another interesting recommendation, the anthropologist Michael Taussig (definitely not a good guy like Brian Hayden; but a postmodern exponent of Rene Girard type positions) has given me a lot of food for thought with his writings (such as Shamanism, Colonialism and the Wild Side: A Study in Terror and Healing). He is so clearly on the insides of things, describing very clearly the role Nietzsche has played (in particular) in helping to craft the way myth and illusion constructs the world we exist within today (his article in Magic and Modernity is a must read).

        The issue is exactly as my experience has suggested it is: a fear of reality that derives from the dissonance between the ecologically extended body-mind (which links us up into a larger intersubjective ontological structure) and the reflective consciousness it emerges from. Since affect, and motivation, is the basis of our being – and we can’t act without having a regulatory basis for our acting, imagine the dissonance a person raised in the mythology of being above ‘good and evil’ must experience? It’s impossible to imagine, as early life interpersonal ritual abuse is so fundamental to how people like this operate, they have been raised to eventually take in a dissociative, derealized, depersonalized personality to the world. The personality they’ve evolved is the regulatory structure which protects them from the intersubjective mayhem – or referents – which hold this particular structure in its place. Its like pulling out the struts which holds the tie in place.

        Hayden has a deep understanding of the structural and ecological processes that led the aggrandizer to become what we see in todays world, but has very little to say on the psychological processes which mediate these ecological relationships. Indeed, the psychological process is in itself an ecological process of internalized self-states correlated to individuals experiences of self-with-other. Hence the prevalence of DID in todays extraordinarily split world. How can a person manage both the mainstream niceties of Oprah and the Today Show with the sorts of things they do at night? Never has there exists such a tension between the formalities of day life and the realities of night life. A therapeutic mainstream culture never existed in the ancient world. Todays world and culture is veritably inducing an even greater unconscious strain on the functioning of people committed to this fantasy.

        At a conceptual level – at the level of reasoning – such fantasy suckled from notions of a platonic ideal realm which precedes the emergence of the real. Such idealism entails a prioritization of ideality for the simply reason that they must believe that their actions in the real can be protected and justified by some prior existing amoral ideal realm. Intersubjectivity precedes and formulates the logic behind metaphysical reasoning, via the phenomenological effects of dissociation/idealization (idealization being the protective mechanism), and then with ones attentional focused biased away from knowing reality in a correlated way, epistemological fantasies and ontological fantasies of a solipsistic mind and a static reality that never changes is made – or is needed – to feel more real.

        Its a coping mechanism which a coherent understanding of reality shows to be a coping mechanism. That is to say, things are primarily symmetrical and organized within the real – because we were all once BABIES – before we ever have fantasies about us being cyborgs or aliens in a strange world.

        Why this fact has so little weight with some people simply astonishes me. Why – I know why, but rhetorically I need to ask – do people think that they are not animals, simply reacting to the actions (intentions/motivations) of others so that if the other punishes this expression, I’ll become ever-so-attuned to whatever it is that they reward? Reward and punishment explains the directionality of a humans relationship to the world. It’s good and evil; feels good or feels bad. This in turn derives from the symmetry dynamics of a cellular system seeking nutrients (good) and avoiding toxins (bad).

        When the Bible talks about the confusion of tongues and a tower of babble, look at the world around you: the confusion is the confusion of nominalism; and the tower of babble is the various stories – platonic idealism above – which places imaginary worlds ahead of the sensory world which structures our motivational processes from the beginning.

        • In what way has his thesis influenced your understanding of Hollywood?

          West coast secret societies who used spectacle, altered states of consciousness, and a belief in the supernatural realms (both the promise and threat of accessing it), both to terrorize communities and to attract, lure, and spellbind them. I could say more but very busy currently getting the thesis ready to “pitch”….

          here’s a somewhat random outtake from the book:

          There can be little doubt that ideologies can be used to create false narratives—and vice versa. Such false narratives serve to compel our perceptions and insights to conform to them, rendering them (and us) distorted and dysfunctional. Social control begins with perception management, and perception management is about seducing people to believe things that are untrue and to perceive things that are unreal. The net result is that a heavily propagandized people will act in ways that are antithetical to their natures and interests, that are essentially insane. This process of cultural engineering may be similar to how irrigation works: by creating grooves that cause water to flow in certain patterns. In this case, the water equates with people’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and the grooves are ideological narratives embedded in (and spread by) culture. As to what’s being irrigated, perhaps it is a Garden of Earthly Delights, a Promised Land, open only to the Elect?

          Fragmented mythologies, divide and conquer, within and without. This part of predictive programming, at least, is fairly predictable. As I explored with my own past in Seen and Not Seen, these primary ideological narratives go so far back, and run so deep in us, that they may predate—because they inform—our sense of identity. Like the pod people in The Matrix, we will fight to defend these fragmentary myths even when they are killing us, or preventing us from living. Possessed by artificially implanted values—which may sometimes approach pseudo-memories—we become like movie heroes on a revenge-mission who, in any other context (a real one), would be diagnosably psychotic. Like the protagonist of Christopher Nolan’s breakout movie Memento, before he graduated to unironic depictions of vigilante violence with the Batman franchise, we wind up lost in a nihilistic dream world.

  14. Understanding the true nature of Satanism as the opposition to symmetry (hence Blakes “fearful symmetry”) is incredibly significant when its understood how grisly the truth of the social world around us really is.

    Having the proper conceptual relationship to reality, but operating from a body that has been organized by asymmetrical social processes, creates a very profound experience of alienation for a person. As a rule, the bigger and more effective your ego is – that is, the more socially powerful you feel – the more difficult and painful it will be to reconcile the true nature of your self (as continuous with the social world around you) with the self you have developed from conception onward. Said otherwise, the biosemiotics of your lower brainstem regulation of your heart (the polyvagal theory explains this process) regulates how you perceive threat and safety in your environment, and therefore precedes your ever conscious moment of meaningful relationship to the world with a prefabricated construction that enters your prereflexive experience, so that your every reflection is already structured by an expectancy of what your body predicts the social cues around you mean (in terms of past experience with like-social experiences).

    It is no freaking joke to say that the body is the basis of our personality, and so, if human beings have come to see the body and the external world as unreal, then you should very well assume that the dynamics which underlie those very processes – symmetry – are in some sense antithetical and even more so, tormenting, to the individuals who have come to believe this way.

    DID describes nothing more than the most extreme expression of what already is always the case: the mind dissociates threatening objects from reflection. We are therefore inclined to think, or reflect upon, what is comfortable and safe – not threatening, to exist within.

    DID is a very real thing. It is astonishingly convincing – that is, the parties in question really are amnesiac to and unaware of dimensions of self-experience which would overwhelm them with psychotic states of perception if they were to know them without some transformations in self-structure to accommodate the meanings of what has happened to them.

    If psychosis exists, it is, in effect, a sort of forensic evidence for a traumatizing intersubjective context. If lapses in self-state exist, the lacunae need to be accounted for – their presence implies the need for an absence of knowing in between states. My uncles wife (herself raised by a Satanist grandmother) exhibits such lapses between states all the time as a self-protection mechanism; for instance, if I say “relationships construct us”, the semiotic incongruity between that claim and her own regulatory need to believe in the unreality of the external world and her own complete self-sufficiency compels her to do something to get away from me; she’ll go to the washroom, or just get up and pretend like we weren’t just talking. This has happened enough times now for me to get the point: her unconscious traumas (what she can’t know because she doesn’t have the self-states to metabolize it) rejigg the organization of her conscious ‘me-states’ so that she becomes focused on objects that are not related to the dysregulating object of conversation.

    Mentioning this to her is pointless as she feigns (or confabulates is a better word) ignorance of what just happened. She simply switches states and settles comfortably in the safety of not knowing. She prefers ignorance to truth, and feeling right in everything she does to the shame, guilt and suffering that lie within her.

    This is the human legacy. It’s all our legacy. Maybe you or I were one of them in a previous life? It’s plausible. It’s certainly not possible to attribute falseness or deliberateness to any persons action when we’re all a structure reflecting the intentionality of the other people who related with us in our development. How can you attribute blame when such circularity is at the root of our being?

    That said, the evil is real, and there, and not recognizing it or realizing the need to use words in the right ways to orient our attention towards the problems-that-matter is vital.

  15. From Michael Salter’s Twitter:

    The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is officially dissolved tomorrow. It was launched 27 years ago, claiming that adults disclosing child sexual abuse were suffering from a “syndrome” of vivid false memories of abuse.

    4:23 PM – 29 Dec 2019

    No such “syndrome” exists – it is, ironically enough, a false syndrome. The organization arose to contest law reform in the United States that expanded opportunities for sexual abuse survivors to pursue civil or criminal charges, and then quickly spread to other countries.

    Much of the intellectual heft of the “false memory syndrome” movement came from FMSF-aligned academics and lawyers who were paid to defend men accused of CSA in court. The FMSF played a central role in matching accused abusers with defence lawyers and expert witnesses.

    This obvious conflict of interest went largely unchallenged by journalists at the time. The FMSF catalyzed a 180 degree turn in global media coverage of CSA so that, by the mid-1990s, news stories about CSA focused predominantly on the threat of false allegations.

    If you are interested, @jennykitzinger published a fantastic book in 2004 examining media sympathy and journalistic advocacy for the “false memory” movement throughout the 1990s.

    Almost every CSA survivor that I’ve ever interviewed has discussed the destructive impact of widespread media coverage of “false memories” on their lives.

    The notion that CSA memories are particularly untrustworthy has become a widespread “common sense” that destabilizes police investigations and prosecutions, and obstructs access to healthcare and social supports.

    Once it was successfully mobilised against trauma survivors, the notion of “false memories” has been used to undermine other truth claims by vulnerable groups, including survivors of the Stolen Generations and ethnic cleansing.

    The field of trauma therapy is only now emerging from the culture of fear and silence engendered by the FMSF and their journalist and academic champions.

    By all means, trauma practice should be scrutinized and held to the highest standards. But that scrutiny should also be extended to lobby groups of people accused of abusing children, and lawyers and academics earning hundreds of thousands of dollars defending them in court.

    The FMSF closes with a whimper rather than a bang. They have been inactive for many years, with almost half of their advisory board deceased, and many of those still alive in their 80s and 90s.

    But the legacy of their lies and distortions remain, alongside unanswered questions about media ethics and academic accountability.

    • I have contacted the publishers to see about getting a copy; I see he’s a Frankfurt school follower; any thoughts about that particular trending c-theory?

  16. Sounds interesting.

    I just looked up ‘c-theory’ and read an article titled “I want to hate and I always will” about a piece Donald Trump wrote in 1989 in the new York times. I also just watched The Rise of Skywalker yesterday so the philosophy of the dark side is fresh in my mind.

    In the article, the author contrasts Trumps ‘seemingly’ religious devotion to hatred with the religious Jew’s devotion to love. Interestingly, the word ‘Jew’ – in Hebrew, Yahud, derives from the root ‘hod’, “to acknowledge”, which is related to the word ‘da’ath’, “knowledge”. Yehud, or Jew, could actually be read as “He will acknowledge”, with “He” symbolically understood as the reflective mind-vis-à-vis the feeling body.

    It got me thinking of an unusual tidbit which claims that just before the rise of Christianity, 10% of the Roman empire followed Judaism. For moderners, we cannot help but read Judaism in an ethnocentric manner; but what if Judaism was never ethnocentric, and that the modern emergence of it as an ethnocentric orientation is an epiphenomenon of the 1800 or so years of being dominated by Christianity and Islam? Most people – myself for instance – would be impressed by the mystic-philosophical connotation of Jew as “one who knows”, or “one who will acknowledge the Other” – that is, the body (as other to the reflective mind) or the intersubjective Other whom every self grows with reference to. The denial of the other seems to be at the root of humanities infatuation with the self – which is to say, their dissociation from the traumata which prevents them from realizing a deeper connectedness to Others.

    What if the representation of Judaism as nemesis in Christian and Islamic history has been an effect of its civilizational agenda? I don’t mean to say all Jews are good – clearly that is far from what I mean. Indeed, Judaism and Jews in general are as ripe for being infected as any other religion – and by that, I don’t mean to imply either that Christianity is evil or wrong or Islam is evil or wrong. In general, any social or religious movement is bound to be coopted by sociopaths dedicated to the “dark side”, or anger. But it is interesting to me that both Christianity and Islam are ideologically and philosophically descended from Judaism; and Judaism – in the form of its allegorical traditions (the Torah, Writings, and Prophets) – essentially embodies a knowledge of human functioning which, from my modern, science influenced perspective, has very little that is wrong with it (although culturally I could never countenance living as an orthodox Jew). In fact, I find myself astonished sometimes by the profundity of the Hebrew Bibles apparent understanding of things. So much of what we think to be the case about traditional or conventional religion is essentially a product of the mass medias spin on it. One cannot in fact but feel a little bit of shame about the self-pretentiousness of modern psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy (never mind the depressingly off-base “new atheists”) in their neediness to present reality as random, inherently meaningless and that the human being is simply a “stranger in a strange land”. One in fact could be excused for seeing much of modern philosophy – analytical, postmodern – as operating from a gnostic dualistic perspective which a priori assumes that language is separated from the biodynamics of our connectedness to our environments. One cannot help but feel that we are being hoodwinked and tricked into a way of thinking that – perhaps its creators are too stupid to realize – is only going to hurt us in the end.

    Idealization incidentally seems to be the same as the concept of an “idol-worshipper”. The person who idealizes is overlooking their own motivated reasoning processes – overlooking the referents that their feelings are working from, and not realizing, or accepting, that their rebelliousness amounts to nothing more than a childish temper tantrum about something which, to begin with, is emergent and dependent on its relata to exist. Feelings are just like that: they’re quite illusory. CS Peirce is such a profound influence on my thinking because of just this clarity of thought: he realizes that structure speaks more about the real than my feelings do; and indeed, if I feel shitty about something now, why not chalk that shittiness up to the relata behind the high-entropy organization that my brain is in? If we’re dyadic systems which self-organize with reference to others (Buddhism has a very non-linear, emergent understanding of this as well; probably why Judaism and Buddhism get along so well in the minds of ‘BhuJews”) than my system will only be as efficient in processing relational information as the systems around me are. The Boddhisatva, for instance, forsakes the clarity of living in a pristine human community because he recognizes the existence of a selfishness in abandoning the other humans who still live in confusion. Indeed, it is a mockery of the real to abstract yourself from the largest context – humans on the planet earth – and pretend you’ve reached enlightenment when all you’ve really done is separate yourself from the damaged others whom you are equally apart of.

    So, for me, the beauty of the real can only be realized when all of us are equally awakened to our natures. Time cannot be appreciated for the gift that it is until all of us equally stand awakened within its contours. Our bodies delight in symmetry, and in a world full of anger, sadness, and shame, people cannot feel good in their bodies; they cannot feel sufficient as selves; and indeed, seem to prefer the abstraction of being “no one” (like Arya Stark when she gets caught up in the cult of the faceless men) to the fact that being a body with its own unique history of interactions and marks necessitates their being someone – a person with a name, a history, a set of penchants, etc.

    I don’t know what Yochai Ataria means by his subtitle “towards the end of humanity” (seems a bit misanthropic to me), but perhaps a generous interpretation would be, “towards the end of humanities belief in its self-sufficiency”. The idea that humans don’t require the presence of the Other is a ridiculous fiction of an un-self-aware mind.

    Even Buddhists need to posit an imaginary other to regulate themselves. The fact is, the existential structure of our awareness necessitates that we place ourselves in interaction with an ideal – a Thought, which is essentially an Other – and perhaps CS Peirce said it best that the Best Other is God, or said differently, a sense of the Sacred, or a relatedness to the Universe as a sacred, unified, entity. God is not a random or arbitrary concept, but a concept that demands and exacts from us the highest discipline – or self-control – that humans are capable of. The less aware we are of this concept as a scalar category for self-regulation, the more likely we are to be careless and aloof in the way we regulate ourselves with others. And since we’re all the same in terms of having the invariant need to have our feelings recognized by others, not being able to discipline your relatedness towards the sensitivities of others simply sows interpersonal conflict, which is basically where humanity is today.

    Liberalism in this light is a monstrous pipe dream. Liberty is a one-sided representation of what we are that ignores what Victor Frankl well understood it needs to be complemented by: a sense of Responsibility to the real. Frankl suggested long ago that America should (and probably will) build a statue of Responsibility on the west coast to complement the statue of liberty on the east coast. Liberty without a sense of structure fosters arbitrariness – as if whatever a person does can and should be tolerated, “so long as no one gets hurt” (which is the most speciously tolerated platitude I can think of). Reality doesn’t work that way. Facial expressions matter; body movement matters; vocal tone matters. Most of what we do and are is unconscious and implicit, and so, without respecting these constraints, liberty means didily shit. It’ll lead to where we are today – a needy, greedy society that has no sense of spiritual connection to the world or people around them.

  17. They’re just 25 million away (170 of a projected 195 million) from building it.

    It’ll be an important psychological achievement for the human species.

    • to paraphrase the Tao Tze Ching: the responsibility that can be represented by a fucking great cooperate-sponsored statue is not true responsibility. I am a bit puzzled by your belief that something enacted so grossly on the world stage by the powers-that-be could be anything but a cynical and/or delusional counterfeit for the real inner change required, which, if it is happening (I think it is), currently creates ripples so much subtler and tinier than this that to all intense and purposes they do not exist. Which is as it should be: The Tao that can be tracked is the Tao that can be coopted.


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