In order to successfully navigate the raging seas of the media storm, one must be ever-mindful of the overall designs of mass media without getting lost in endless details and rabbit trails that will be forgotten in a month. Remember Bowe Bergdahl? The press furiously researched his back story to make details match up, all of which proved a futile effort. Remember the Malaysian planes? These recent reality-television news events come to mind because they are so illustrative of the present Ebola crisis, playing in all theaters 24/7 near you. Just as the details of the Bergdahl stories didn’t matter – he went right back to a military post – so Al-Ebola, our new minuscule terrorist organization, presents details that do not and will not match up. Al-Ebola will probably fixate the mass gaze until vaccination season ends, when a new lineup of all-stars for Team Fear are announced.
In usual form, we’ll analyze the emergence of the formation of the mass consciousness through mass media from its ritual and cultic connections, paying close attention to the pop symbology, but this time around, we shall consider ritual itself. Let us travel out of the media circus for a moment to the realm of liturgy, or communal ritual working. Comparative religion luminary Mircea Eliade sheds light on this primal art in the following section of his The Sacred and the Profane:
…[S]ince religious man cannot live except in an atmosphere impregnated with the sacred, we must expect to find large number of techniques for consecrating space. As we saw, the sacred is preeminently the real, at once power, efficacy, the source of life and fecundity. The religious man’s desire to live in the sacred is in fact his desire to take up abode in objective reality, not to let himself be paralyzed by the never-ceasing relativity of purely subjective experiences, to live in real and effective world, and not in an illusion…But we are not to suppose that human work is in question here, that it is through his efforts that man can consecrate a space. In reality the ritual by which he constructs a sacred space is efficacious in the measure in which it reproduces the work of the gods. (pg. 28)
Eliade is invoking the primal urge in man to consecrate sacred space – a space where the gods of old come to communicate meaning, morality and telos to mankind, where upon the high places, the heavenly realm of celestial intelligences might make a theophanic manifestation to shape earth into the form of the above, imposing order upon unruly chaos. Yet modern man is no longer superstitious, we are told, and with the dawn of the “Age of Reason,” he abandoned ritual and liturgy for the reasonably rational life of being an “informed citizen” of his Enlightened Democratic Republic, intimately involved in forming and shaping his local, social-contracted propositional government covenant. However, if we reflect a little further on Eliade’s comment, we begin to see that space age man is just as religious, if not more so, than ignorant, savage ancient man. The difference emerges as merely one of form and medium, not substance.
Most of us do not seek out the village shaman or hierophant for messages from the spirit realm, yet do we not daily gaze into our handheld magical mirrors and screens that transmit the messages of the priests, shamans and ascended media masters, with little opprobrium? The liturgical icon of old is now become the moving icon of the vivacious info-babe and the holy mothers of Channel 5 Monastery. From the towering cathedrals of the major films studios, CNN and Fox, the word of the gods issues forth to guide the supplicant masses with a bevy of tales on the lives of new patron civic saints and mythologies of Hollywood heroes who subsist in the realm of the unattainable forms.
Our new gods do not always issue messages of hope and salvation, unfortunately. Our devas are very much gods of wrath and vengeance, inflicting upon the mass psyche a continual barrage of spells and incantations geared toward confusion and hysteria. Just as the priest’s ritual dagger divides the sacrifice, so the priests of our day divide the psyche on the edge of the ritual athame, channeling endless streams of fear and destruction. As the sacrifice is cut in half and “doubled,” the mass psyche is divided into incoherent double-mind and double-think.
Rather than concern for the virus of media mythology and mind control, the populace is concerned about a few cases of so-called viral Ebola. Few are those concerned with the virus of programmed liturgical psychodrama by which their magical mirror screens enchant them as they are lulled under the voodoo spell of the zombie. It should never be forgotten that the zombie mythology arises from the shaman’s ability to drug the unlucky victim, causing the unwitting to become subject to the suggestions of the shaman’s new narrative – that he is under the shaman’s mind control. In this regard, the explosion of the zombie phenomenon the last decade is a manifestation of this divine revelation from our rulers on high – you are under the spell, under the thumb of the obeah, a doll for the media voodoo worker’s nefarious machinations. Shamanic Network, Inc.’s designs are not the mystical unknowns of a deus absconditus: the zombie is a parasitical entity that feeds on the living. The designs of the media papacy are to divide and slaughter your psyche, transforming you into a zombie who in turn divides and consumes his fellow man. Thus, the zombie is under the spell that death is life, that parasitism will grant power, that sex is death, when in reality zombies are death feeding their own death, the fullest blossoming of the covenant of death, which is self-destruction.
Eliade illustrates this well with an example from African comparative religion:
Among the Mandja and the Banda of Africa, there is a secret society named Ngakola. According to the myth told to the candidates during their initiation, Ngakola was a monster who had the power of swallowing men and then disgorging them renewed. The candidate is put in a hut that symbolizes the monster’s body. There he hears Ngakola’s eerie voice, there he is whipped and tortured, for he is told that he is now in Ngakola’s belly and is being digested. More ordeals follow; then the master of the initiation proclaims that Ngakola, who had devoured the candidate, has disgorged him. (Ibid., 192)
There is no Ngakola – he is the invention of the deviant priest-class that sought total mind control over his candidate through the ritual psychodrama of torture, deprivation and (I feel sure) drugging. The “secret society” of priests exercise their control of the tribe through dividing the psyche of their supplicants and devotees with the very same ritual psychodrama the mass media mavens of our day utilize, only our ascended Hollywood hegumen are more technologically sophisticated. For them, the wires and waves of electrical signals and currents are the medium for their message, and the medium’s message is the medium – to further its own existence as the source of meaning through its faithful presentation of its own mystagogical psychodrama. A striking example of this form of psychological operation is found in Ian Fleming’s Dr. No, where the villainous Dr. No constructs a “dragon” out of a tank and flamethrower to scare the local superstitious populace from snooping his organized crime racket. Fleming’s imagery recalls a real-world example mentioned in Victor Marchetti’s classic The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, which describes a manipulation scenario in the Phillipines. As always, the tactics 007 and his handlers attribute to Dr. No’s crime syndicate are the very tactics those handlers utilize in the real world for their crime syndicate:
When I introduced the practical-joke aspect of psywar to the Philippine Army, it stimulated some imaginative operations that were remarkably effective…One psywar operation played upon the popular dread of an asuang, or vampire…When a Huk patrol came along the trail, the ambushers silently snatched the last man of the patrol…They punctured his neck with two holes, vampire-fashion, held the body up by the heels, drained it of blood, and put the corpse back on the trail. When the Huks returned to look for the missing man and found their bloodless comrade, every member of the patrol believed that the asuang had got him and that one of them would be next…When daylight came, the whole Huk squadron moved out of the vicinity.
With that in mind, and the intelligence agencies’ associations with media have long documented, think now of ritual. Liturgical ritual is the continual re-presentation of some primal event of timeless significance, and for this reason mass media is our new liturgy, re-presenting the self-perpetuating mythos that it is our source of meaning and gnosis. Is it not all one and the same process? The drugs of today’s obeah are not the poison of a blowfish, but the tinctures and potions of big pharmaceutical pharmakeia. Its saints and monastics wear suits and sing the chant of the TaylorSwiftianGagaMileyCyresian serpentine doxological refrain. Its priests are the dramaturgical actors who play the role of incarnating our gods and goddesses.
While we gaze into our screens and await the latest download and update from our overlords on what the orthodox consensus reality is, let us not forgot it is a ritual psychodrama that is playing out, lest we be swept up into the religious rapture of the beatific television. The iconography of the screen is the crafted narrative and mythology of the establishment’s choosing. It is the cacophonous echo chamber of the Holy Mammon Foundation and is under the think-tank theologians’ purview. Its ritual is the one in which we daily tithe our time and thoughts and attention, as we await with mystical gaze for the new revelations Olympus will dictate from its metallic stellar satellites. Its present soothsaying word from beyond is that of viral doom and zombie programming, a flagellant torture and scourge as it howls the eerie voice of Ngakola. What is the solution? The realization the real virus is the psychical belief that for truth and meaning to be obtained, we must gaze at the gods of mass media and kneel as neophyte communicants at the tele-altar techno-theatrical cathedrals, like zombies or sorcerer’s apprentices. Modern man is far from being irreligious. He has, as Foucault said, simply changed his old priests and gods for new ones.
Read all of Jay Dyer’s work on theology, geopolitics, science and the cryptocracy at Jay’s Analysis.