Youth Culture, Possession and Music

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While it is common knowledge that the “teenager” was invented in the 20th century and that youth in particular have been targeted with revolutionary ideology, I just ran across an interesting quote from Socrates in the Phaedrus  on poetic madness or “furor,” which “seizes a tender, pure soul.”

Is their something special about a young soul making it especially susceptible not just to the moral, emotional, and psychological effects of music, but even the spiritual ones as well?

Ficino and Music as a Demon


Marsilio Ficino famously writes in his book of natural magic De vita libri tres, “music is almost nothing other than a spirit [i.e., a demon.” This quote is especially interesting considering some music’s origins in shamanism and possession and the relationship between the contemporary music industry and occultism as well as how music has served as a catalyst in the recent mass shootings. Finally, many exorcists have noted the music can be a source of demonic infestation. One should thus be careful what he or she listens to.

A god Is in the TV

Dear Reader,

Have you noticed a certain queerness to electronics and mechanical things? Do you think that such things are more of an oppressive burden than a help?  As Nicholas Carr has pointed out in his work The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, the psychological effects of 21st century technological are almost overwhelming. Novus Ordo conservative Catholics argue ad nauseam of the good of TV that allows them to watch EWTN’s daily servings of Vatican II Catholicism. Even Jay Dyer has made the argument that the internet could serve as a koine Greek for contemporary evangelization. However, let’s take a look at what both Catholic visionaries as well as occultists say about technology. For usually when both are in agreement (from radically different perspectives) on an issue, there is truth.

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In the Bible, the Children of Cain are those who build cities and develop technology. In Genesis, it is Cain who founds the first city, city named “Henoch” after the name of his son (Genesis 4.17). Cain’s descendent Tubalcain develops metal working; he “who was a hammerer and artificer in every work of brass and iron” (Genesis 3:22). Thus, from the inception there is a clear divide between high and low technology peoples–the latter being more noble. Babylon and Egyptian as well are both places of high technology and evil in the Bible, and apocalyptic discussion of the end times describes the wicked world of the future as being filled with technology. The prophet Daniel is told that in the end times “knowledge shall be manifold” (Daniel 12.4). Clearly this has been the effort of masonic forces who have pushed for the distribution of any and all information to as many people as possible.

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Catholic mystics as well have pointed to technological advance as a sign of man’s diabolical pride and separation from God. Our Lady of Good Success famously said, “Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to insure general corruption.” This is clearly a reference to the American and French revolutions as well as the transformation of the world with American and French liberalism over the past several centuries of wars for democracy , but it is also a clear reference to the transformation of the world through technology, which has enabled the spread  art deliberately meant to stir up the passions—this is one of the ironic and unintended messages of the movie Cinema Paradiso in which a small Italian town’s morals are destroyed by American movies that the Church can no longer censure.

Our Lady further stated in Quito, “In those times the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license.… Innocence will scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.”  This image of the “saturation” of “the atmosphere” with impurity is a probably reference to advertisements distributed via billboards, television, the internet, that are now almost universally impure.

Our Blessed Mother makes a clear reference to the luxurious abundance that modern technology has enabled as well as the impurity inspired by modern technology: “Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury, which will ensnare the rest into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls, who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” How many children of the most recent generation have viewed pornography on their phones–even before the age of puberty?

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St. Elizabeth Anne Seton also prophesized in the eighteenth century: “Every American would have a black box in their home through which the devil would enter.” While many have suggested that St. Elizabeth is talking about TV,  Emmett O’Regan has suggested that these black boxes are smart phones, but it is my view that it is both, for both technological objects have accomplished the same goal: the destruction of souls.

Conservative Catholics might plug their ears or laugh off such accusations of their precious toys as the product of the fevered minds of traditionalists who always bring up fuddy duddy books like the Bible or messages from the Mother of God. Or they might retort that Game of Thrones or Fifty Shades of Grey has some redeeming value. Or, perhaps, they might respond that the scandal-riven EWTN network has some good content sometimes. However, lets take a look at what the forces of evil themselves say about technology.

In mythology, it is the Luciferan character such as Prometheus or Thoth or the Watchers of the apocraphal Book of Enoch who give technology to men. Prometheus in the Greek playwrite Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound boasts to the daughters of Ocean:

Hear the rest and you will be even more

amazed at the arts and inventions I

devised. The greatest was this: before,

if a man fell sick, there was no remedy—

nothing, no pill, ointment, nor drink—and without 480

drugs they wasted away. I showed them how

to mix healing medicines that could ward off

all diseases. I also gave them skills so that

they could predict the future: I showed them

which dreams were true; how to interpret

strange voices and sayings, and how to

understand chance meetings during travel.

I taught Man to understand the flight of the

taloned bird, what was beneficial, and

what meant harm, their daily lives, loves and hates, 490

and how they mate. Then I taught about the

smoothness of entrails, the right color of gall

so that it please the gods, and how to read

the liver’s lovely mottled lobe. I showed Man

thighbones wrapped in fat, and how to burn

the long backbone, and thus I taught Man the

obscure art of prophecy, sacrifice, and

the language of fire, which had not yet been

understood. But so much for that. Who could claim

before me that he discovered the hidden 500

treasures that lay buried under earth: bronze,

iron, silver and gold? No one. That’s clear,

unless some fool babbles nonsense. I’ll make

a long story short: all the arts and crafts

that Man possesses came from me, Prometheus,

the god you see suffering before you now.

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Iamblichus, the 3rd century AD, Egyptian Neoplatonist writes in his On the Egyptian Mysteries of theurgy or “god working”, a type of magic that normally one associates with wizards and magicians such as Faust who summon spirits to help perform some task. He further discusses the phenomenon of statues becoming animated by spirits in ancient Egypt. These animated statues sound remarkably like robots or machines, and what is especially weird is that throughout much of the modern period, many scientists have attempted to recreate this phenomemon.

Recently, reading Frances Yates’s masterful The Theatre of the World, I came across an interesting discussion of early modern thinkers and scientists and their attempt to revive theurgy that paralleled  their efforts to revive ancient science, math, and technology—the magus John Dee produced some sort of mechanical flying bug at a performance of Aristophanes’s Pax. Of course, Enlightenment thinkers and inventors such as Robert Fludd, Rene Descartes, Francis Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, and in our own time Robert Parsons all saw magic and theurgy as means of obtaining technological and scientific information.

The occult-infested pop culture of our own time also verifies this idea of advanced, industrial and electronic age technology as being essentially (yes, essentially) demonic. The popular and deeply Satanic Puppet Master 80s horror film series is about a group of murdering puppets animated by “Egyptian magic”, which means that the directors and writers of these movies were likely dabbling in theurgic magic when they were directing and writing horror films.

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 In his song “Rock is Dead” from Mechanical Animals and The Matrix soundtrack, Marilyn Manson croons, “god is in the TV.”—this is also a title of a Marilyn Manson live album.  The suggestion here is that the content of television teaches and molds the people of the world who worship the television as a good, but there also could be a suggestion that there is some sort of demonic force animating television–and all electronics. You and I both know enough to recognize the ironic posturing of shock rockers, but you and I also know that if the mystics of the Church as well as the servants of the devil both are saying the same thing: we should listen. Iamblichus, John Dee, Cornelius Agrippa as well as our own beloved American St. Elizabeth Anne Seton would agree with Marilyn Manson: there is a “god” in the TV.

The Francis Files

As everyone knows, the greatest science fiction show ever was The X Files. Sci-fi geeks the world over were treated with as good as it gets television drama every Sunday evening for much of the 1990s. Agents Scully (a practicing Catholic in the show) and Mulder chased paranormal activity and alien abductions throughout the prosperous and immoral Clinton America in which many of us grew up. Perhaps the best thing about the X-Files was that it was only partially true: many of the episodes were based upon folk legends and only somewhat true real life conspiracies. Watching “Paper Clip” one of the highlights of the series, we knew that, yes, the United States government had smuggled in German scientists after World War II, but, no, they did not come to American to engineer alien-human hybrids. It was this ability to distance oneself from the spookiness that made that X-Files more of a Sunday cathartic relief than an actual lesson in government espionage. However, times have changed. With the advent of the internet and alternative gonzo journalism, we have learned that a lot of stuff in the X-Files actually was true. There are secret government camps. Members of the American political elite do worship giant thirty foot owls in the California woods. The Catholic Church has been infiltrated by some sort of homosexual modernist cult, and, yes, they finally have elected a pope—maybe.

 

Like Fox Mulder, many Catholics “want to believe” that Pope Francis does not really do the things he does. The reception of a crucifix sculpted from a hammer and sickle by a pope sounds like something from either a sedevacantist radio show or a militant Protestant website (probably the same website that suggests that George Washington was a Jesuit agent). Like watching the classic X-files “Fluke Man” episode one, should say to him or herself, “no, that’s not really true; the pope did not really receive a communist crucifix from Evo Morales just like there is not a giant fluke man living in the New York sewer system.” But, unfortunately, Pope Francis is very, very sympathetic to Marxism, and there are lots of weird things in the New York sewer system. Hopefully, the debacle of the synod as well as various cartoonish collaborative efforts with eugenicist neo-pagans was just Pope Francis trying to be extra merciful and nice, and the Holy Father is not a front man for a cabal of goat’s head worshipping globalist lunatics who like to watch animal light shows projected on St. Peter’s Basilica when they are not worshipping owls or decapitated livestock. The problem is that with Pope Francis’ continued stream of outrageous, scandalous pronouncements and acts, one does not have to be on the Dimond Brothers email list to suspect that Pope Francis maybe working with nefarious forces to bring down what is left of Christendom. Like the internet photos of the surface of Mars that seem to depict humanoid forms ambling about NASA surveillance equipment, most people want to believe that the picture of Pope Francis embracing a gay couple in Washington DC is really a forgery or some sort of light trick. 

As recent comments from everyone’s favorite dissident German theologians (why is it that every evil idea in the past four hundred years has come from Germany?), indicate, Laudato Si, Amoris Laetatia and every scandalous and extra goofy interview that His Holiness has given are just the appetizers for the main course that is coming round the mountain. Like internet illiterate 90s kids waiting through the haunting opening credits of The X-Files, we can only guess what new horror Pope Francis has planned for us. However, while we have every reason to believe the contrary, let us hope for the best: Pope Francis is just a very confused poorly catechized modern man, and deep down inside our Holy Father knows that the truth is out there.

 

 

RCGS Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

budapest

Dear Reader,

I want to begin this post with the comment that The Grand Budapest Hotel contains two or three or four scenes that are so disgustingly vile, nihilistic and offensive to God that a sober Christian, in good conscience, could not watch the movie without it having been lightly edited beforehand. That having been said, Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest is, from an artistic perspective, a very good movie that stands out amidst the septic tank of 21st century cinema. While you will be treated to Anderson’s visual appreciation for outlandish pastels, nihilistic pranks, and clever dialogue, what is most pleasing about the movie is how decidedly conservative it is.

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Nihilists like Wes Anderson famously have very bad manners, but more than anything, The Grand Budapest Hotel, set somewhere in sonorous and snowy early 20th century mitteleuropa, is a love song for the death of European manners and culture, and maybe if the door is closed, and after a few drinks, Anderson might admit the movie is a dirge for the death of Europe herself. Yes, there is the madcap zaniness you would expect from a Wes Anderson movie. The movie tells the story of a death and squabble over an inheritance and involves prison escapes, ski chases, and cross-ethnic sweethearts. But it is more about the slow death a hotel, which itself is an image of the slow death of Europe.

In The Grand Budapest, we pass from the post-Habsburg era through something like World War II and even encounter Nazis. However, thankfully the movie is not about how terrible World War II was and as a result how terrible Europe, Christianity and the old order was. The movie is about how awful war is and how the moronic, fratricidal wars of 20th century destroyed our civilization. The Nazis are appropriately shown in their vulgarity, but that is exactly what they should look like from the perspective of old Europe—the new Europe is even more vulgar and evil than the Nazis ever were.

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As I have warned you, reader, it is a Ralph Fiennes movie, and as a Ralph Fiennes movie it has a few good looking, talented and witty Europeans committing impure acts on screen. But, in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fiennes demonstrates why he is a great actor—even though his palpable arrogance prevents him from reaching the level excellent acting. Fiennes is able to immerse himself in his character but always reminds  his audience that he is Ralph Fiennes acting. As the plot escalates, the usual suspects of a Wes Anderson arrive, including a William Defoe, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Adrien Brody, who plays a mad aristocrat, is a little shaky as he appears to be trying really hard to be in a Wes Anderson movie.

What the movie needed more than anything is the deep Christian manners rooted in an even deeper system of moral virtue rooted in a profound incarnational theology. As RCGS has written before, Christianity is not nihilistic, but there a number of paradoxical similarities between such obviously opposing world-views. This grounding would have perfected the movie. There are moments where, like Peter Jackson in the Hobbit, Wes Anderson is trying a little too hard to make a Wes Anderson movie, but an edited version of The Grand Budapest Hotel is worth watching for a very select, mature audience trying to come to grips with the last whimpers of European Christian civilization.