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Thursday, January 25, 2018

"The Secret Society"

Well, you knew it would come to this. The entire right -- not just the Alex Jonesian cray-cray wing but the entire right -- has gone into quivering fits of conspiragasm. Why? In part, because paranoia has become Trump's only refuge and strategy. But the immediate cause is the release of a text message containing a reference to...

(Sound FX: Discordant musical sting...lightning strike...horses neighing...cats yowling...)


The email was part of the exchange between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. I call them "Mulder and Scully" because the proper spelling of Strzok won't stick in my brain and I'm sick of looking it up every damned time. Those emails are a godsend to the Republican propagandists, who are intent on squeezing out every drop of juice -- and then they'll pump in more juice and squeeze again, the same way I keep printer cartidges going and going.

The actual message came from Scully:
"Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society."
Context is missing, so I don't know what the reference to "calendars" means. But it sure seems to me that this message is un-serious.

On the right, of course, this reference is being treated as a rare glimpse into the workings of Illuminati Central. I'm sure that some conspiratards think that the missing texts contain references to Weishaupt.

My opinion may be of value here, since (as regular readers know) I have long taken an interest in the mythology and lore surrounding secret societies. Moreover, I'm probably the only writer commenting on the Mulder-Scully affair who has actually dated a member of a secret society -- a group widely considered fearsome, even though it's really rather inconsequential.

It's true. That part of my infamous April 1, 2006 post was on the level. (Please keep in mind that one can see a woman romantically without sharing her beliefs.)

Never forget that Alex Jones fell for that post hook, line and sinker -- as I knew he would, because I know how right-wing conspiratards think, if "think" is indeed the right word. They are addicted to insane theories about occult organizations, which they believe to be extremely powerful -- and they will fasten upon any shard of pseudo-information which can be used to make a beloved hallucination seem real. In their ravings, the spirit of Leo Taxil lives on.

That's why they're going crazy about that "secret society" message from Scully to Mulder. The poor creatures don't know whether they should dance a jig of triumph or scramble into the bunker and wait for Jesus.

It falls to me to make a point which everyone else has missed.

If you search the lore of actual secret societies -- from the Wieshaupt-ians to the KKK, from the Carbonari to the Holy Vehm, from Utile Dulci to Odessa, from the Priory of Sion to the ever-dreaded OTO -- you will never once discover an instance when members refer to their little group as a "secret society." To the best of my recollection, those words (and cognate words in other languages) are simply never used, probably because the initiated consider that label a bit tawdry. For example, Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy quotes extensively from correspondence between Weishaupt and his followers, who never once use the phrase. Yes, it is used by outsiders, but never by those inside.

Near as I can tell, this rule obtains in all instances. The Priory of Sion was a tiny group of (apparent) surrealists who amused themselves by pretending to be much more influential than they were. We have many of their writings, and I can't think of one time they referred to themselves as une société secrète. (No, I'm not going to spend this morning reviewing all of that abstruse material just to confirm my memory.)

Spokesmen for Freemasonry tend to say: "We are not a secret society; we are a society with secrets." I can recall no other example of an alleged secret society using anything like that terminology.

(If you can cite an example that my memory banks failed to store, please share.)

Bottom line: I think that Mulder and Scully were engaging in jesting banter. Either that, or some hacker inserted that line into the text-stream, knowing full well that any reference to a "secret society" would send all the paranoia junkies into a volcanic paroxysm of Feargasm.

(I have just enough of the conspiracy buff left in me to consider the latter idea possible.)

Finally, I direct your attention to Kevin Drum:
The hell of it is that there was a sort of secret society in the FBI. It was a bunch of agents in the New York office who were obsessed with destroying Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. And they had enough clout that they were able to effectively blackmail FBI director James Comey into releasing the infamous letter that, in the end, did destroy Hillary Clinton.
Just so. As I've said many times: The only genuine conspiracies are the ones perpetrated by the right, and the right-wing conspiracy theorists are the foremost conspiracy practitioners. This scenario was true of Edouard Drumont, Pyotr Rachkovsky, Henry Ford, Adolf Hitler, Joe McCarthy, General Walker and Jim Angleton. It is true today.
I'm sure the text wasn't tampered with. That might come out, which would disrupt operations.

Calling them Mulder and Sculley is more confusing because I keep confusing Sculley with Strzok.

Weishaupt et al. referred to secret societies numerous times in their official dogma (rituals and directives). A few examples from "The Secret School of Wisdom," the recent English translation of all known Illuminati rituals and directives:

Do you understand at all what it means to rule and to govern, to govern within a secret society? Not over the common or noble rabble, no ! to rule over the best men, men of all classes, nations, and religions, without any external force, to unite them permanently, to breathe one spirit and one soul into them.
Are secret societies, if they are harmful to the state and its interests, therefore unlawful at all times?
XIV. It is very important to explore the systems of other secret societies and to govern them. Indeed, if it is possible without burdening oneself with weighty obligations, one shall join them with the permission of one’s Superiors. For this also, secrecy will prove to be advantageous.

And when the Illuminati spoke of Freemasonry in their rituals they were mentioned in the context of being one of those other secret societies which existed in their day and which should be controlled by the Illuminati.
FBI agents and their lawyer lovers aren't allowed sarcasm?
Or is it a mocking condescendation(?) of those perceived as believing the Trumps, Jones, and Limbaughs of Hate.
When Bush the Lesser slouched out of Washington he had attaboys near 30%. I suspect if pollsters asked instead of pushing the Great White Dope's numbers would be the same.
30% of us are lost to reason, Secret Societies, Buildabears, or Illinois Central working in the shadows absolve us our fail.
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Terry: Am I correct in presuming that I have the honor of addressing Terry Melanson? I admire your book "Perfectibilists," a copy of which is hiding SOMEWHERE in this household. I made a half-hearted attempt to search for it this morning while writing this post. After a while I gave up, figuring that a citation of Robison would suffice for present purposes.

You may not know that I've referenced your work in a previous post...

That post once contained a link to a photo on your old site -- a photo now missing. Damn! The photo showed members of the Bohemian Club in 1904 or thereabouts arranged semi-worshipfully around a large painted image of Gustav Mahler, who was then very much alive -- in fact, his best work was ahead of him. I LOVED that photo. Y'see, Mahler and Bruckner are my two favorite composers, so I was quite tickled to see dear old Gus find his way into the world of conspiracy theory.

(Bruckner, of course, was a Catholic who hailed from Hitler's birthplace, so he's already a lint-trap for paranoid speculations.)

I have to ask: How and why did the BC glom onto Mahler? In 1904, he was a famous conductor, but I don't believe he ever played in California. Maybe my memory is at fault here. His compositions did not find a wide audience until the 1960s.

At any rate, to your point: I will of course defer to your expertise, but you can't really blame me for not being familiar with "The Secret School of Wisdom" since it was published just a couple of years ago. To be honest, I thought I was done with my reading in this area. Then again, are we EVER done? There is always something new. I see that the late Jim Marrs upchucked a final book about the Illuminati. Probably garbage. I met Marrs once and sadly missed my chance to remove his hat and check for concavities in his skull.

Even though you have cited a counter-example from roughly two-and-a-half centuries ago, I don't think that my general point is invalidated. People in secret societies do not refer to their particular secret society as a secret society. That'd be like a terrorist organization in a spy movie calling itself "Evil Villains Internationally Linked." It's just not credible.
I think I recall reading that the (Cambridge) Apostles refer to themselves as a secret society. I mean internally.

(They also have the angle that their own affairs and doings are "real", whereas those in the outside world are "phenomenal", which chimes well with the attitude of certain members of the elite at Trinity College, Cambridge.)
b, whatever they call themselves, do they really count as a secret society? I mean, I never paid much attention to the Cambridge Apostles because, judging from the very little I've read, it always seemed that they don't DO anything except talk. I seem to recall that they had an association with the Guy Burgess thing. Presumably, one could scour their ranks in search of the dreaded Fifth Man. Or Sixth Man. Or Seventh. I'm not sure what "Man" we are up to these days.
Yep, Guy Burgess was an Apostle, as were Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross. At their regular meetings they probably mainly talk, but they keep in touch with each other in later life. They and their "Angels" (not-so-active graduate members) hold big get-togethers, which used to be annual but apparently now happen every few years. As far as I'm aware, not one of these has ever been infiltrated as the Bohemian Grove has been, or publicised by critics in advance as Bilderberg always is.
Thanks. I admire your blog posts. I make it a priority to read everything you post; been that way for years. You have mad skills as a writer too.

Back in its heyday Bohos were artists. Not sure when the overclass took over.

You can find a bunch of photos of Bohemian Club at the site. If I remember correctly it was part of set that was shared around, starting at the cryptome site, I think.

Haven't read one of Marrs' books, but some people in the JFK research milieu kind of give him credit for Crossfire.

Yes, you are right, most secret societies don't adverstise the fact they are secret. Weishaupt and company are the exception. He had an idealised notion of of what a secret society entailed or should be and was naive due to his staunch catholic upbringing.

I have studied every so-called secret society since the Enlightenment. The Illuminati were unique in thinking themselves as some sort of cabal. It's really unprecedented.
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