Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pyramid = Dead Horse

Résidence La Pyramide, Foix
Foix.  Unless you're a Medievalist, you may never have heard of it.  But Foix dates back to the time of Charlemagne, and its rulers, the Counts of Foix, once ruled a County larger than the Kingdom of France....and were certainly more powerful.  That is, until they weren't.  Simon de Montfort, dickhead supreme, never took its famous castle.  As we still happily celebrate in these parts, Old Simon got his head crushed by a stone flung from the ramparts of Toulouse, from a catapult operated by women, so they say, during another of his unsuccessful sieges.  Fortunately for the Toulousains.  "Kill 'em and let God sort 'em out"?  That's a paraphrase from de Montfort, who put some 20+ thousand residents of Béziers to the sword after he captured that unfortunate burg.

Foix is well-known to French kids due to the following lil' ditty, which is a way of illustrating the weirdness of French:  four spellings, four different meanings, with the same pronunciation:

Il était une fois,
Dans la ville de Foix,
Une marchande de foie,
Qui vendait du foie...
Elle se dit : Ma foi,
C'est la première fois
Et la dernière fois,
Que je vends du foie,
Dans la ville de Foix

In English is makes less sense, but this is what it means:

Once upon a time
In the town of Foix
A liver merchant
Selling liver [like, duh!]
Said to himself:  My lord
This is the first time
And the last time
That I sell liver
In the town of Foix

Foix is a sub-Prefecture of the Ariège, a mountainous department on the Spanish border.  It's coat of arms features red and yellow stripes, resembling that of both Catalonia and Aragon.  Historically, this area has longer links with Spain than France.  It's deep in Occitan country, not far from Montségur, where the Albigensian Crusade came to its horrible end as hundreds of "heretical" Cathars were burned alive, en masse.

There are also caves galore around here, a paleolithic paradise.  People have been living here for a very, very long time.

Monuments aux Morts, Foix

Anyway, I just wanted to show a photo of an HLM, or public housing building, called "The Pyramid" with a pyramid-shaped entrance, just down the road from the WW1 monument, an obelisk, which marks the entrance of Foix's town center.  As the title of this post suggests, I've flogged this topic a lot, but it never ceases to amaze me how the French still work the pyramid into their architecture in all sorts of contexts:  parks, monuments, border crossings and here, public housing.  I'm not sure I even need to go into the irony of using a pyramid in the design of public housing.

So, follow my tag for "pyramids" and you'll find more discussion.  At this point, I'm just cataloging examples.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Revelation of the Method

With the exception of my introduction, coda and a few comments in the text itself, this post is a reprint of a post from Skilluminati Research, a blog that delves sensibly into conspiracies both real....and imagined. As the author puts it:

Skilluminati Research is devoted to unraveling the system of social control in the Western World. This is not motivated by fear, moral outrage or a desire to "expose the truth" -- I'm just curious about how The Machine works. Here, I study the past century of overlapping currents in economics, behavioral psychology, education policy, marketing and persuasion, media theory, classified technology, and the operations of intelligence agencies. We study the current landscape of computerized surveillance, decentralized warfare, asymmetric conflicts, disaster capitalism, and "Psychological Operations." 

I first referred to the Skilluminati's The Revelation of the Method in 2011 ("Their ashes were then ground up and dumped into the Seine, so as to leave no relics behind.") and had cause to refer to it once again in my last post, about the move Frozen (Queens of the Ice Age).  The second time I cited it, I got the notion that I'd like to reprint the post in full, so I contacted Skilluminati and explained why.  This is an edited version of what I wrote [Bracketed small italics not included]:

I write a blog with a friend called Laws of Silence.  We write about all sorts of things.  I personally focus on folklore and history, folk saints, church architecture, etc., but occasionally we (my partner and I) venture into areas that might be labeled "conspiracy theory" and even "synchromysticism".  Usually we’re a bit ironic with these latter two.  I rarely venture into synchromystic territory without evoking apophenia, the Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon, confirmation bias etc., so, I’m not a wild-eyed "true believer".

Like many people interested in synchromystic-style conspiracy theory, I came to the subject via Burroughs (the 23 enigma, specifically), the Principia Discordia, and especially R. A. Wilson [His Cosmic Trigger series--especially tome I--and Illuminatus! trilogy are must-reads for anyone interested in the topic].  There is also a healthy dose of Surrealism and Stimes Addisson in my approach.  King Kill-33 was something that blew my mind and, once read, the effect it had on me could not be undone. 

[King Kill-33 is by one James Shelby Downard, but it is more akin to Hoffman's work in Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare than Downard's awful The Carnivals of Life and Death; I want to say say "allegedly" because although Hoffman and Feral House publisher Adam Parfrey claim to have met the man, and although I have no reason to believe these men are lying, I still wonder if we're being hoaxed.  One of the two known photos of Downard seems like a fake and Adam Gorightly's disappointing biography turns up nothing new or concrete about the man.  Which is par for the courseDr. Richard B. Spence, used public records to prove that Downard did, in fact, exist and presents more verifiable information in one short article than Gorightly manages in one short book, largely cribbed from other sources and barely about Downard at all....  So, with Spence's lengthy-enough citation of public records, why do I still have doubts?] 

I am also pretty familiar with Michael Hoffman.  I find him extremely intelligent, and he writes well-researched work, but still, he comes across as a mad hatter.  I’m just not down with his extreme right program, especially his obsession with the evils presented by whom he calls “Judaics” and "sodomites"-- sometimes both for the same person.  My latest post is a jest about the film Frozen, which a couple of religious folks (a Mormon and an Evangelical) have decried as a kind of homosexual indoctrination tool.  I ran with the idea one night, a bit drunk, and popped out (perhaps "pooped out") an absurd text on the same theme.  Previous posts were about bell towers in the Southwest of France.  So you can see, my topics are varied. 

What I want to reproduce is your text on the Revelation of the Method.  I could simply review it and link to it, but when I initially contacted you I was all keen to reproduce it on my blog.  I can see why you might not want that.  I figured though, that whatever “regular” readers I might have would be more likely to read the entire thing if it were on my blog as opposed to something I linked to.  I’m actually not sure that's true and I don’t have that many readers anyway.  Perhaps 150 hits a day or so, according to the blogger stats.  I really like your post, the best thing I’ve read on the topic.  So many people evoke the “Revelation of the Method” without knowing exactly where it comes from!  I’ve argued with people about confirmation bias and synchronicity and they write me off as simply “not getting it, man."  My hope is that by re-printing your article, more people might read it and because quite frankly, you’ve expressed your critique better than I, all in one place, as opposed to scattered across several posts. 

It’s a great article, an antidote to the synchromystic/twilight language virus which, though valid in a poetic sense, seems over-wrought and played out as a truly useful tool for de-masking the goings on of a pre-supposed “cryptocracy”.  Hey, there are obviously power elites, but this psychodrama theory of Masonic/Rosicrucian/Jewish origin seems a bit….counterproductive? 

Skilluminati responded:

A delightfully unexpected angle.
I gladly grant permission to reproduce that in full.

So, with no further ado's or a go-go's, here's the beef. 

Originally posted on Skilluminati Research, 27 Nov, 2010

I've been in love with that phrase for years: The Revelation of the Method is not my own invention, but borrowed poetry from the world of conspiracy theory. Although it gets referred to as an actual Masonic concept, it's actually a very recent fabrication from a Catholic "Revisionist Historian" named Michael Hoffman. In his original formulation, the Revelation of the Method is an occult ritual, specifically a "Masonic psychodrama."

Used casually, the implication is always the same: when the Cryptocracy commits major crimes, they will broadcast their intentions in advance, through popular movies and television. Hoffman himself was iffy on the actual order of the process: "it's my contention that these are occult rituals and that like the Rosicrucian Manifestos of the early 17th century they are accompanied by anonymous statements of intent like the original Unabom manifesto, as well as scripts that precede the ritual." Later in the same interview, though, he deviates from his own script: "Look at the movie "The Matrix" in the wake of Columbine. Look at "The Wicker Man" movie in the same time frame as Son of Sam. The themes of the killings are in the movies." Whatever its actual merits, the end result of this theory is pattern recognition in the service of a pre-established conclusion. The Revelation of the Method is how the Illuminati, or the Vatican, or the CIA rub it in our faces.


Of course, Michael A. Hoffman II is also a man who devotes a large portion of his life to questioning the historical veracity of the Nazi Holocaust. He's a religious fundamentalist with weird hobbies, and much like myself, badly in need of an honest editor. I'm not discussing him because he's important or correct on much of anything: he is not. He just happens to be the first source using this particular phrase.

As you might expect, he equates Masonry with Judaism and both with pure pagan Evil, which makes for some eloquent and exquisitely researched nonsense. The evidence boils down to drawing connections between violent crimes and violent media, with no actual chain of causality or conspiratorial links involved. Common themes and overlapping symbols are taken as sufficient proof.
Although this approach is similar to the recent "Synchromysticism" movement [I would argue it's pretty much exactly the same, but that quibble is certainly open to debate. --Daurade], it's important to note that the more grounded minds in that field reject Hoffman outright. When Christopher Knowles from the (outstanding) project The Secret Sun addressed The Revelation of the Method, he was blunt enough to bear repeating:

"First of all, there is no such thing as "Revelation of the Method," it's a speculative concept coined by a extreme-right conspiracy theorist and has no basis in esoteric history or doctrine. Second, I have no interest in talking to people who automatically identify ancient mythological symbols with conspiracy or evil. I'm talking to open-minded people who are looking for a deeper narrative in all of this." -- source link


Christian and Conspiratainment commentators who take on the weighty topic of Hegelian Synthesis usually present it as something invented, an intellectual technology that was unleashed upon the world. Actually, Hegel was diagnosing a pre-existing condition of the human species. The endless iterations of Thesis and Anti-Thesis stretch back throughout the history of human culture. It is a binary trap that has always shaped us: East and West, victors and victims, war and peace. Us and them.  [Not quite sure I agree here, but for the parts of this post which I am interested in, it's not critically relevant.  Plus, I haven't read Hegel in 20+ years.  --Daurade ]

Carl Fucking Jung

"History is a nightmare from which we are trying to awaken." It's a great quote, pure poetry, but I can't get with that particular Thesis, when I really think about it. Humans are incredibly adaptable creatures, our brains are robust sense-making machines, and that's how we quickly come to view these nightmares as normal. History is normal days just like this one. "Business as Usual" is exactly what we need to get involved with. You know, just like the Socialists did.


On the Conspiratainment front, as always, we find a new set of answers. In the Infowars archives, the "Revelation of the Method" is a college essay by Hillary Clinton about the work of political realist Saul Alinsky. Alinsky, much like George Soros, has recently achieved Bond Villian Status in the cosmology of popular Mormon/JBS theorist Glenn Beck. Alinsky is the author of "Rules for Radicals," an explicit guide to achieving and exercising power in the tradition of The Prince, The Arthashastra and The Art of War.


Alinsky is worth being afraid of. He is clearly far sharper than any of the conservative propagandists, because in recent years they've simply stolen his material verbatim and re-named it "Rules for Patriots." (Matt Kibbe, you are lazy as fuck.) Besides, no matter what Hillary Clinton thought about Alinsky in College, she got further illuminated during the 1990's orchestrating the push for Health Care reform. Hillary wasn't cynical enough yet, she couldn't process how easily the American electorate could be motivated to become activists against their own interests. Pretty soon, she was talking about "a vast Right wing conspiracy," too. It was documented in a 331 page portfolio of clippings and connections titled "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce."

Take America Back | Glenn Beck | LMFAO

It's catching. The most remarkable thing about Conspiracy apophenia, to an amoral free agent like myself, is that it's distinctly contagious. Once infected, we always tend toward greater certainty. This is not lost on Michael Hoffman himself, who proclaims: "Give me two hours with any group of average intelligence and I'll have them reading twilight language and decoding occult rituals for the rest of their lives." I see no reason to doubt him.


Of course, Hoffman himself is a Catholic, a willing subject of the single most successful occult conspiracy in the known history of mankind. The Catholics, it should be noted, are the exact reason why the Freemasons and the Perfectibilists were "secret societies" in the first place: because of vulgarians like Tertullian, Torquemada, or Michael Hoffman. Men who could look at Sacred geometry and basic science, the very language of nature, and see only Satanic evil. Men who would torture and murder for the glory of God's Love. [I think this is a bit harsh on Hoffman, whose rhetoric, though strident, if not seething, doesn't seem  advocate violence; I could be wrong, but I see Hoffman someone who would rather convince with words rather than torture. --Daurade] It's pathetic. And it's catching.


Then again...it doesn't exactly help that Saul Alinsky dedicated Rules for Radicals to Satan Himself: "Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history... the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer." You can imagine what the NWO fighters make of a quote like that, but to me, it doesn't read like Sympathy for the Devil...it's more like a sly curse. Perhaps Alinsky was winking at young idealists who are charging headfirst down a road paved with good intentions? Che and Lenin both come to mind, for essentially opposite reasons.


It's not like Socialism has a monopoly on horrifying unintended consequences. In fact, human history teaches something far bleaker: every formalized system of government we've created has been perfectly capable of facilitating mass murder, class warfare and repressive regimes. Conspiracy critics like Michael Hoffman allow themselves the luxury of a solution, an answer, a promised land. An honest study of reality allows for no such sentimentality, and recognizes that the only way out of Hell is through it. This is where we stand in the modern world, and no amount of symbolic connections and "Twilight Language" is going to change these naked facts of our condition. Finger-pointing is a cop out. It is not sufficient to merely expose or destroy the Freemasons: it also falls upon us to replace them.

[Full disclosure:  I am a Freemason, so I hope Skilluminati is merely rhetorically directing this to the "NWO fighters" as an example of what they should be working on if they are serious about their mission, not what people as a whole should be working towards! --Daurade]


We don't have to look far for real life examples of power elites committing crimes out in the open, and sneering at the general public every step of the way. It's technically known as the Banking industry and they have been stepping up their game dramatically over the past two decades. More audacious and socially destructive than any "occult ritual crime," the spectacular theft of American wealth by a privileged few has been conducted in plain sight, documented through sober PBS documentaries and bestselling books. These are crimes everybody knows about, yet nobody seems to have the power to stop them.

Why can't the Revelation of the Method be about the actual science of social control? Movies and mass murder is such a tiny, schizoid slice of the entire spectrum of control that shapes our waking lives. Fields like political science and sociology have mostly been philosophy and horseshit, but in recent years they've been able to get ahold of serious data -- sufficient "Big Picture" numbers to start recognizing patterns instead of merely creating theories. The kind of headlines that emerge are grimly predictable but undeniably important: "Low incomes make poor more conservative, study finds" or "UT Professor: Economic Inequality is Self-Reinforcing" or more cheerful material like "The Poverty Trap: Why the Poor Pay More."


"Lee had a great knack to visualize. His whole thing was wedges and magnets. What pulls people apart...and what attracts people? You find ways to bring people to you, and ways to divide the people who are against you. This was his bottom line practical theory." -- Richard McBride

I would like to create a Revelation of the Method that functions as real Political Science, something to replace a field which is currently neither Political nor Scientific. As it stands, it's history, with no science involved, and far too little discussion about actual politics -- the technical details of the ongoing Cold War known as Everybody vs. Everybody Else.


There will always be an eye in the pyramid. The human race is a global superorganism managed by a self-selected Elite, thousands of competing and conflicting conspiracies. The goal of Skilluminati Research is to encourage active engagement instead of opposition and resistance...or as Graham Summer observed: "If you live in a country run by committee, be on the committee." I'm not talking about "Democracy" so much as the whole corrupted and invisible System itself. Money, power, religion and war. We need to be engaging with it, because there is no question of working outside of it -- that's a rhetorical flourish, a concept that exists only on paper. Here in the flesh and blood, bombs and bullets, money and food Real World, the System is everywhere at once and consumes all that it touches.

The most dangerous thing about excuses is that they're technically true. There's not much difference between Democrats and Republicans, there's not many avenues to exercise our power safely, and there's way too many problems to deal with simultaneously, it's all true. There's not much hope for the forces of peace. It's also true that all human innovation happens in that tiny space between "not much" and "nothing" -- because we are powerful, and tiny differences will be enough to enact huge changes. Remember, you only ever need 51% of the vote...and best of all, actual voters are already a minority to begin with.


Mark Meckler, the datamining and direct sales guru who created the Tea Party Patriots, has a 40 year plan. Over the weekend of October 2nd, 2010, he got to give a sales pitch the Council for National Policy, asking for a head start on the $100 million dollars it will cost to save America. His "in" was Gary Aldrich, who now sits on the board of TPP. Meckler claims to have 20 million email addresses and he's clearly stated his goals: "Tea Party Patriots plans to convert sixty percent or more of the population to support our core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets."

I know: Braindead horseshit. This frat boy has a 40 year plan, though.

Do we?


* * * *

Coda:  Daurade here.  Like I said in my letter to Skilluminati, I find synchromysticism to be a poetic game of sorts.  When I play it--and I apologize because this sounds terribly pretentious--I tend to think of it as an exercise in mapping both symbols and my own mind.  There is something out there--a shared reality--but I feel like I'm also uncovering something inside me.  A synchromystic "analysis" has different nuances for each individual, as the connections we make are reflections of our own obsessions, the coincidences reflect our own perceptions and what is "important" reflects our own prejudices.  It can be fun and playful, and some synchromystics are quite good at the game.  Da Black Whole and Aferrismoon are clever wordsmiths, with outrageous puns, a wide range and a sense of humor.  I used to read them regularly.

If you want to play, a broad knowledge of pop culture and the the humanities is essential.  Familiarity with the Bible, Freemasonry, religion and the occult are likewise fairly important areas of knowledge.  Even though I regularly feel I've played out the exercise to its logical conclusion, I still come across essays like this one which remind me why I started doing it:  There's a lot of fun it it and our conclusions are not really the point.  What is ultimately interesting is the process.  Synchromysticism is not an accumulated body of knowledge, but a type of exegesis.

For a while, every time I went off on a synchromystic bender, I'd run across something by Loren Coleman on his blog Twilight Language and I thus felt compelled to contact him.  In this post he answers my question about what he's actually trying to do on his blog.  Why twilight language?  His gracious response marks hims as more of a Fortean than a "conspiracy theorist" and you might find more merit in his approach than in its results (again, looking at the process rather than the product).  His mindset doesn't seem to involve the strident political or social motivation as the "NWO fighters", so I'm not sure if he's a target of Skilluminati's critique of would-be revolutionaries fooling about with symbolic connections and "Twilight Language".  

Coleman's blog was once called The Copycat Effect, however, so at some point he caught the virus.  With nearly 3 million (!) hits on his blog, he, rather than Hoffman, may be the synchromystic virus' (SM-23?) index case.   

Another of Coleman's posts reveals that several years ago he corresponded with Hoffman and one William Grimstad about Downard.  (We also learn that "synchromysticism" was coined in 2006 by Jake Kotze).  In yet another post, Coleman quotes and identifies Grimstad's Weird America (written as "Jim Brandon" in 1978), as one of the urtexts of the synchromystic "movement".  (He refers to Downard, Hoffman and Grimstad as the founding "triad".  Good luck finding Brandon's book, btw, though if you can find one for a reasonable price, I'd love to hear from you).  Coleman must be a much more open-minded guy than I am, because nowhere does he flinch at Hoffman's religious fundamentalism and bigotry, Grimstad's Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi affiliations, Downard's perplexing influential masochistic gibberish or the admittedly Discordian writer Adam Gorightly's uneven take on his subject.  I know this sounds like I'm smearing Coleman, but this is not the case.  He seems to be saying that this particular branch of esoteric study makes, or made, for strange bedfellows.
Exchanging ideas with Grimstad....all went hand in hand with being a Fortean in the 1960s-1970s, especially if an interest in assassinations and strange suicides fit into the mindset.
He also says:
Downard's modern influence on Forteana, assassination studies, occult symbolism decoding, twilight language research and synchromysticism is so deep that he must be acknowledged as the Godfather to many of the points of view that inhabit those arenas.
Coleman deftly, almost imperceptibly, sidesteps the question of Downard's existence, but he does leave the possibility of his "non-existence" open, which, given the nature of the synchromystic game, might qualify as a brilliant move.  It's certainly appropriate that the godfather of synchromysticism may only be the invention of a couple of obscure anti-Semitic writers with the perplexing complicity of a secular Jewish publisher (Parfrey).  I've always found it odd that Hoffman would allow his work to appear in an anthology of texts, Apocalypse Culture--that includes so much content Hoffman would almost certainly categorize as vile perversion--published by a house which has also published the writings of celebrity/Satanist Anton LaVey (a mythomaniac of impressive proportions).  Not only that, but the two seemed to have some sort of friendship; the Tridentine Catholic....and the card-carrying member of the Church of Satan.  Wouldn't that be a hoot, if the conspiracy theorist extraordinaire was himself a the product of a conspiracy?  A meta-conspiracy?  A joke making fun of the gullible?  A group alter-ego? 

A revelation if you will, of the method?  More, perhaps, like an accumulation of methods.  An artwork in a genre which has been shaped by the workings of the Internets and is turn informing a large share of its culture.  Burroughs, Wilson and Downard have been influencing the fringe for years and now seem to be moving towards the center.  Sad to say, I'm not entirely convinced that's a good thing.