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Popular esotericism: I do actually think there is such a thing as a “conspiracy theory”. I once spoke to someone, someone who was very into the idea of “paedo elites”, who refused to use the term because “the CIA invented it”. He was not a sincere or a truthful man, and the CIA didn’t invent the term (it predates the CIA)—and even if they did it’s irrelevant (just because someone or something is “bad” doesn’t mean everything they say is untrue, most of what they say will be true—if people just fabricated everything it would be easy to pick out lies, the dangerous lies are half-truths).

Anyway, what constitutes a “conspiracy theory” is not really about the content. People say all sorts of outlandish things every day—most of what is in the media today would have been considered outlandish even 30 years ago. Just to say “odd” things does not in and of itself constitute a conspiracy theory. What makes a conspiracy theory is really the attitude to the belief: your genuine “schizo conspiracy theorist”, whether really schizo or not, is characterised by their absolute certainty as regards their theory and their attachment to the belief. These people will just twist the facts to fit the theory, get reaction formation if you contradict them, and evince a black/white worldview.

When I read these people I always get the sensation “the walls are closing in”, it’s a really cramped worldview that isn’t, in my view, real. So they’re only too keen to say “it’s all Freemasonic theatre”—but they take that literally, not in the sense there’s a crafted media narrative. They are also, despite their self-righteousness in “the pursuit of truth”, careful to arrange their theory so as to blame “lizard people”, not, say, “Jews”, because they know to name the latter, even if they mean the latter, would get them in trouble and diminish their social standing. Further, their overly solicitous concern for “the kiddies” also reveals that they are modern sentimentalists—caught in the sentimental myth of the child, of the victim.

And, indeed, they also usually have an envious regard for “the lizard elite” and their wealth—so that their narratives almost always end in some quasi-socialist story. I saw that with a French popular esotericist I read the other day. He made some sound points. However, his meta-narrative was “Elon Musk is actually part of the good elite, the ‘ante-666’ people (i.e. ‘before the Christ, not against the Christ’) and he will use crypto technology and Starlink to usher in an age of total abundance where we can clear up all crime, like ‘the paedos’, and devote ourselves to spiritual contemplation and improvement.”

This is the same as these leftists you see who say, “We need Universal Basic Income so we can be artists—I can be an artist then.” In other words, “to be an artist what I want is a secure middle-class income first, plus public approval”. Well, you can be an artist right now, you can start today—but it may involve public rejection, poverty, and struggle (perhaps that is what makes great art). In the same way, if you want to be spiritual you don’t have to wait for Elon Musk to provide universal material abundance—you can start right now, today. You might not have a middle-class life and social approval—but, again, perhaps that’s what makes great spirituality.

So I could tell that this guy was still on the left. For him, matter > spirit. You can only develop the spirit if you have enough bread—and that will happen when we have some kind of socialism, perhaps not Marxist socialism but this “techno-socialism”. And there are black/white elites—and, conveniently, you just have to sit around and wait for Elon Musk to save you (so you can then contemplate your pineal gland—these people taking spiritual ideas down to the material, so that the spiritual literally derives from the brain; again, the person is just an atheist materialist who envies wealthy people and wants socialism—he just put a “third eye” gloss on it).

Hence the first man I spoke of, the “paedo elites” guy, made his living and derived his sense of self-worth from his stories about “the wicked elite”—but, just because I used the term “purity spiral” with him, and because he then googled it and found it on a neo-Nazi website, he decided “he’s a neo-Nazi”. Well, not much commitment to the truth there. “He used a word like these bad people; therefore, I will not listen”. I’m a seeker after truth, as it happens. I don’t claim to have it, I’m just looking for it—and I’ll look anywhere.

There’s a “Protestantism” to popular esotericism too, an iconoclasm. They get that there are these symbols everywhere and then they decide “symbols = bad”. So, a few years ago, I took apart a Katy Perry music video and examined all the symbolism in it. For the popular esotericist, it’s all just “paedo symbols, Satanic symbols” but the symbols, like the all-seeing eye in the US seal, are not evil in and of themselves. They relate back to a primordial tradition and can be found in all religions—they are misplaced, misused, and inverted now (the gnosis has been scattered) but the symbols themselves are not malevolent.

But the popular esotericist sees them as all “Satanic”, usually because they turn out to be modernists and materialists—they’re very incurious about the symbols, don’t do any research. It’s because they’re envious democrats—“rich and powerful people use these things = bad”.

So, yes, popular esotericists often make perceptive observations but their meta-narrative is almost always modernist, materialist, and socialistic—and also anti-symbolic and iconoclastic. The hysterical aspect in these people derives from the fact they are at heart materialists who think “the elites will eat us” and so have no sense “it will all turn out in the wash”, a genuine spiritual position.


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