Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage…
Music for the ride. Smashing Pumpkins, Bullet with Butterfly Wings at You Tube.
The truth is the world really does look different from the penthouse, or the mountain top. And the ministers never tell their congregations the truth. I know that, having relatives who were ministers. The laymen leaders of congregations have their own agendas, certainly, which they also don’t disclose to the unwashed masses, and are often powerful enough to lord it over the clergy. Clergy which they choose to shepherd the flock. And the clergy? Whether they’re bitten or biting, they just don’t tell, and don’t tell what the penthouse view is. The congregation is as much an Other to them as the citizenry is to the police. They will smile and embrace you, and you will think you know them and that they serve you absolutely and are your friends, but they will never let on what transpires in the inner sanctum.
Systematic lying creates what communications scientists call a “disinformation situation,” in which everybody eventually begins to distrust, demonize and diabolize everybody else. Paul Watzlavik, among others, has performed classic experiments in which totally sane people will begin to behave with all the irrationality of hospitalized paranoids or schizophrenics–just because they have been lied to in a calculated and systematic way. This sort of “disinformation” matrix is so typical of many aspects of our society (e.g., advertising and organized religion, as well as government) that some psychiatrists, such as R.D. Laing, claim it is the principal cause of psychotic breakdowns. When the politics of lying becomes normal, paranoia and alienation become the “normality” of the day.
Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger Volume 1
Ah, you didn’t know that I have read RAW, did you? But of course I have. Certain interests of his like cryogenics and the reach for physical immortality, I never had much use for, but RAW dovetails nicely with Philip K. Dick.
A problem with the above quotation is that it’s expressed in such a way that it makes everyone sound like raving, isolated paranoids, which the normal mom or pop or teen isn’t going to recognize in themselves. Because people are imminently adaptable, whether rewarded with the occasional door prize or the threat of loss of something dear, like income, and succumb to the status quo, whatever is handed down by the paramount threat/god in their lives. They build community and personal nests at the base of the mountain from which the law is handed down so the news of what’s good/bad for the day is readily available, and the system becomes theirs, becomes normal, is the way to conduct your affairs, and the paranoia is directed against out-of-towners. Thus the horror flicks of vacationers happening on the town from hell.
But the problem with RAW also is that that the townies aren’t going to want to read RAW because he is the out-of-towner. If I handed RAW over to any of my conservative relations or friends, they would, at their best, take a glance at the Eye of Horus on the cover and knowing that the Eye of Horus is all superstitious myth they would promptly discount as without merit and laughable. At paranoid worst, they would see the Eye of Horus and the words “Final Secret of the Illuminati” and without a clue as to what is within the covers they would distrust, demonize, diabolize–all based on that Eye of Horus or Ra. The wdjet, wadjet, udjat. Which was/is a symbol of protection and a mathematical representation of the Egyptian Kingdom.
Curiously, we now have widgets (whether there’s a relationship, I don’t know) as nothing sort of whatevers, objects that are mute as to their value or meaning when not in direct context, and maybe even then. You just know that you don’t want to spend your life making widgets which are mysterious dark critters as compared to gadgets that are obviously not widgets. Except that widgets, if you know their function, may be just what the doctor ordered. Such as with different widgets I can install in my sidebar that make blogging more convenient.
So one way of describing most religions and governments is that they’re paranoid systems which make paranoid living a comfortable situation by giving people concrete somethings (everything outside the system) about which to be paranoid. The thing is that there are multiple paranoid systems that have every right to be paranoid of each other, and even if there weren’t multiple paranoid systems, just one is enough as everything exterior becomes adversarial by reason of its place in the paranoid system, which is the diabolical, free-wheeling Other that is out to corrupt the status quo. In other words, the paranoid system takes everything prisoner. Everything must have its reason and place in the system, even those things which are not remotely connected with it ideologically.
America was already paranoid before Bush, before 9/11. It just felt more in control and less worried about the Other, such as weary travelers who just happen to have a brief pit stop in Los Angeles and must fill out lengthy forms and be fingerprinted and photographed before heading on to that Not-A-United-States-Place where they plan to have some fun, because who wants to vacation in a police state?
What’s to be questioned is what the leaders are paranoid about, both Democrat and Republican. Do they buy the same fears they’re selling, which are used to justify the information gathering and over-the-top controls? Do they buy their hype?
I’m not saying that the overlords don’t fear. I just believe they’ve got their own set of fears, which they keep reserved for themselves, while feeding the general public a special set of fears, just like you have your skin cream products that are for the general masses and then you’ve got the specialty stuff which the general public doesn’t need as it’s just security camera time for them rather than High Definition TV. After all, the general public is part of the Other, the Adversary. And are the Priests of Fear going to take the General Public into their confidence and let them know what keeps their cogs oiled and the home fires burning with their own rarefied paranoid fuel?