There was a great deal of ideological preconditioning before any official accusations of Russian interference with the 2016 election were made and today Barack Obama is set to announce retaliatory measures in response to the alleged cyber attacks.
In varied aspects of culture, there’s always the ‘alternative’ to the ‘mainstream’. The mainstream is the superficial, less intellectual and less informed side of a given aspect of culture. The alternative is the less regulated and often more intellectual and informed side. In regards to occultism, the mainstream would be individuals such as the charlatan Aleister Crowley or performance artist Marina Abramović. The alternative would be individuals like Albert Pike, Rudolf Steiner, or Manly P. Hall.
The alternative side of occultism is interested in scientific, historical and applicable forms of esotericism and philosophy, whereas the mainstream is concerned with pseudo-science and superstition. For example, Aleister Crowley claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural being Aiwass, which provided the basis for The Book of the Law. Meanwhile, Marina Abramović throws a mixture of sperm, breast milk, and blood on the wall in her “Spirit Cooking” so that ghosts can feed off of intangible things. On the other hand, real occultists like Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall concerned themselves with subjects like astrotheology which lead to fields like archaeoastronomy or the study of the death and resurrection mythology, which is significant in anthropology as discussed in The Denial of Death by famed anthropologist Ernest Becker.
It’s also quite evident that pseudo-occultism is a mere imitation of other things. Abramović’s Rhyme 0 isn’t much different from the Milgram experiment that was done nearly eleven years prior by the psychologist Stanley Milgram. In fact, a lot of her “performance art” appears to be lifted from other sources, whether it was intentional or not. Likewise, Aleister Crowley stole the vast majority of his works from other occultists and orders that he was kicked out of for his juvenility. Even Crowley’s most famous saying “Do What Thou Wilt” was a stolen line that traces back to the Hellfire Club and François Rabelais.
The worst thing about this branch of pseudo-occultism and pseudo-intellectualism is that it attracts equally stupid celebrities and politicians, which only further validates it in the minds of average people who believe in things like the modern Illuminati ruling the world and controlling the music industry. It’s so embarrassing and silly in contrast to legitimate esotericism.
The mainstream occultism of the past and present is simply juvenile and meaningless. There is no science to it nor is there any intellectualism to it. It is all based on the subjectivity of things, such as that of art, but lacks objectivity in all regards. It’s a bunch of pseudo-intellectual nonsense from people who have no clue what they’re doing or saying but want to feel as if they do. In other words, true occultists have applicable knowledge and power, whereas pseudo-occultists only maintain an illusion of knowledge and power.
In a recent Alex Jones video on potential inaugural disruption, Roger Stone appears to have a Freudian slip in regard to the investigation of Hillary Clinton. Of course, anyone who studies psychology understands that a Freudian slip may or may not even mean anything. Sometimes people simply make a mistake based on other conditioned patterns of thought, it doesn’t necessarily mean that what they accidentally say is their true intention. However, sometimes it really is. . .
At 3:46 of the video, Mr. Stone says “and you want to stand up for Donald Trump during these investi… during these protests to show that we have the proof.”
This apparent Freudian slip would imply that Donald Trump is going after Hillary Clinton after all but we shall see.
The Hill released an article reflecting the perspective I had taken seven days prior, in our article on “fake news” and internet censorship. I concluded the article stating that “Both sides are guilty of bias, both push false and misleading narratives, but only one side is calling for internet censorship, only one side has unveiled an incredibly deceitful and destructive agenda.” Of course, I’m referring to the agenda of controlled media to discredit the alternative media as “fake news”.
The war between alternative media and controlled media has become apparent but alternative media has already won this war before it began. The controlled media is acting in a reactionary way to that which it perceives as a threat to its legitimacy, whereas the alternative media has acted in a preemptive and prevailing which is more persuasive. For that reason, the alternative media will continue to prevail over the controlled media and the statistics back my perspective on this matter.
Trust in the media ( mainstream media ) has dropped to an all-time low.
“WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.
Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.
Republicans Fuel Drop in Media Trust
While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year. With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press. Republicans who say they have trust in the media has plummeted to 14% from 32% a year ago. This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years.
Democrats’ and independents’ trust in the media has declined only marginally, with 51% of Democrats (compared with 55% last year) and 30% of independents (versus 33% last year) expressing trust. Over the past 20 years, Democrats have generally expressed more trust than Republicans in the media, although in 2000, the two parties were most closely aligned, with 53% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans professing trust.
Trust in Mass Media Falls Across Age Groups
Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to say they trust the media, but trust has declined among both age groups this year. Currently, 26% of those aged 18 to 49 (down from 36% last year) and 38% of those aged 50 and older (down from 45%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.
In 2001, younger Americans (55%) were more likely than older Americans (50%) to express trust and confidence in mass media. This gap emerged again in 2005 when 53% of 18- to 49-year-olds had trust and 45% of those 50 and older expressed the same sentiment. Yet in the past decade, older Americans have mostly had more confidence than younger Americans, and this year, the gap between these age groups is 12 points. And 2016 marks the first time that confidence among older Americans has dropped below 40% in polling since 2001.” – Gallup
The democratization of information has lead to the democratization of truth, therein lying the distrust of controlled media among the youth of America. There is no reason to believe that this trend won’t continue, especially with the popularity of alternative media skyrocketing in contrast to controlled media, which is only experiencing temporary surges.
Controlled media has already lost the youth, which created the necessity for alternative media and that necessity will drive the future of media focus and that’s why alternative media is more likely, in the long-run, to overtake the controlled media. However, efforts are being made to curve this phenomenon. For example, CNN recently purchased the social media app Beme, to cultivate the millennial audience. I am predicting that these type of efforts will ultimately fail and will not curve this trend because it does not provide a solution to the problem that created this trend, to begin with.
At some point, controlled media and all media, for that matter, will have to submit to a more informed age of individuals, who will be more capable of deciphering fact from fiction for themselves.
“THE WASHINGTON POST on Thursday night promoted the claims of a new, shadowy organization that smears dozens of U.S. news sites that are critical of U.S. foreign policy as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” The article by reporter Craig Timberg — headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” — cites a report by an anonymous website calling itself PropOrNot, which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian “misinformation campaign.”
The group’s list of Russian disinformation outlets includes WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report, as well as Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute.
This Post report was one of the most widely circulated political news articles on social media over the last 48 hours, with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of U.S. journalists and pundits with large platforms hailing it as an earth-shattering exposé. It was the most-read piece on the entire Post website on Friday after it was published.
Yet the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics. It was not surprising to learn that, as BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel noted, “a lot of reporters passed on this story.” Its huge flaws are self-evident. But the Post gleefully ran with it and then promoted it aggressively, led by its Executive Editor Marty Baron:”
Reddit has banned the PizzaGate subreddit, which was gaining thousands of subscribers a day, under the grounds that it has violated its terms of service agreement.
According to a moderator of r/uncensorednews and former moderator of r/PizzaGate, the PizzaGate subreddit was banned after outside influences forced the moderators of Reddit to shut down the PizzaGate investigation.
“As a previous moderator of /pizzagate, I’d like to say that we did absolutely everything we could to abide by the rules set forth on us by the admins.
No rules were intentionally broken nor did we try to ignore what they told us.
The pizzagate issue is a very sensitive topic and I don’t believe that this was not a clear conscious decision by the admins. After speaking with the rest of the pizzagate mod team, we strongly believe there was a very powerful outside influence which caused the subreddit to be shut down. We believe this due to some information we received outside of Reddit.”
According to another moderator, Reddit was pressured by external sources to shut the subreddit down.
“Amidst the cries of censorship, keep in mind that the admins are simply applying existing sitewide rules, and it’s more than likely that reddit (and its majority owner Avance Publications*) have been pressured from external sources, with threats of litigation, removal of advertising revenue, etc.”
If you do not know what PizzaGate is, do not Google it! You will be directed to completely biased sources that do not acknowledge key elements of the investigation and dismiss it as a conspiracy theory. Anyone in their right mind, who examines the evidence, couldn’t possibly conclude that these findings are normal and do not amount to a legitimate case for inquiry. That is not to say that the allegations are true but that they at least warrant investigation and that the findings are certainly abnormal.
You should research “PizzaGate” yourself before coming to any conclusions.
The PizzaGate investigation is migrating to Voat, a non-censorship alternative to Reddit.
Aaron Swarts, a co-founder of Reddit and activist who was bullied into committing suicide, warned us about social media companies pushing to censor the internet. His fear of censorship was not unwarranted as it’s already being planned by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and many other big movers and shakers of the digital media world.
Under the guise of protecting people from “fake news”, legitimate news sources that do not conform to the desired narrative of these corporate and political entities can be targeted and accused of illegitimacy.
These entities have witnessed the effectivity of censorship in China and other countries and want to slowly adopt the same type of censorship in the United States.
The most disturbing part of this push for censorship is that it’s clearly coming from leftist controlled groups that are blatantly combating the “far-right”. For example, in this New York Times article ( Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News), it’s painting an obvious narrative. They’re pushing the narrative that the “Far-Right” is spreading fake news stories, that these people are scammers, and that they are a problem that must be handled.
The obvious irony of these media groups targeting “fake news” is that most if not all of these groups are undeniably guilty of pushing fake news. In fact, former U.S. representative, Ron Paul, took the liberty of exposing many of them. Ron Paul’s list features journalists and media outlets that are provably guilty of fake news via WikiLeaks documents. For example, WikiLeaks revealed the collusion between Democrats and CNN, as well as many other media outlets which are listed below.
For the purpose of clarification, both Left and Right-centric media are guilty of creating fake news. Both sides are guilty of bias, both push false and misleading narratives, but only one side is calling for internet censorship, only one side has unveiled an incredibly deceitful and destructive agenda.
“President-elect Trump reportedly called Alex Jones, a radio host and noted “conspiracy theorist”, to thank him for his support during the presidential campaign, according to a video on Infowars.
Trump promised to appear on Jones’ Infowars radio show soon. He previously did a 30-minute interview with Jones in December.
“He said, listen, Alex, I just talked to kings and queens of the world, world leaders, you name it but I wanted to talk to you to thank your audience and I’ll be on in the next few weeks to thank them,” Jones said.”
Is something wrong with Freemasonry? Should Freemasonry undergo changes? These type of questions have become increasingly common as Freemasons struggle to explain the decline in membership amidst the mounting pressure to modernize the order.
First and foremost, I want to admit that Freemasons claiming that Freemasonry doesn’t have to change and that there isn’t anything wrong with it aren’t wrong. Freemasonry doesn’t have to change and in fact, there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with it. Rather, it’s culture in general that has changed and thus created a necessity for change. If say, these cultural changes had not occurred then Freemasonry would be just as relevant as ever. However, culture HAS changed and those changes should be adapted to in order to spur the growth and continuation of the order.
Should Freemasonry Change?
Asserting the necessity for change implies that something is broken but outright stating that Freemasonry is broken would be disingenuous. Freemasonry isn’t broken but it has become quite dated and needs to change with the times.
A lot of Freemasons believe there is no need for change and assert that we should preserve the traditions of Freemasonry. The problem with preserving certain traditions of the order is that some of them are regarded as prejudicial in modern times. To continue those particular traditions is counterproductive to the tolerant and progressive beliefs that Freemasonry once prided itself on.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Change
From gradual changes in the Old Charges, the shift from operative to speculative masonry, the formal establishment of the order, the spread of Grand Lodges, countless changes in the content and structure of the degrees and rituals, the establishment of branches such as the Scottish Rite and York Rite, to Albert Pike’s revisions of the Scottish Rite. The history of Freemasonry is full of changes that benefited and even sparked resurgences in Freemasonry and it is, therefore, counterproductive to fear and reject changes in the order.
The Loss Of Interest
The loss of interest is reflected in the decline in membership that is echoed by various orders and institutions. This indicates a cultural change has caused these declines and therefore, only by adapting to these cultural changes could these declines be potentially reversed.
There are those who claim the order experiences periodic rises and falls and therefore, its current decline is of no concern as it will presumably rise again. That’s a misleading and speculative claim, not to mention that it doesn’t explain the declines corresponding in other orders that weren’t corresponding in previous times. There is also the fact that this decline has lasted longer than any of the former declines.
Here is a great article discussing some of the misunderstandings in regards to the membership statistics and what they could imply.
There are many cultural changes and Masonic regulations that could be the cause of these declines or at the very least, certainly aren’t helping the growth of Freemasonry. For example, the general loss of religion, the exclusion of women from Blue Lodge and its extended branches such as the Scottish Rite and York Rite, its exclusion of homosexuals in areas such as Tennessee and Georgia, it’s exclusion of nontheists, its separation of regular Freemasonry from Prince Hall Masonry, etc.
The majority of Masonic allegories are based on a religious narrative and therefore, it’s understandable that Freemasons of former times would believe that nontheists were incapable of relating to or appreciating its allegories. However, that belief is outdated and prejudicial in modern times. A nontheist is fully capable of appreciating the morality, philosophy, history, allegory, and esotericism of Freemasonry.
While concepts such as the ineffability of deity may not be of interest, a nontheist may fully appreciate and understand the concepts of duality and equilibrium or the esotericism of Freemasonry in general, such as the revealing of similarities in various religions and how it ties to astronomy or the depth of symbolism for the purpose of expression.
Women & Freemasonry
“The Freemasons’ attitude towards women seems extraordinarily out of date. They are outstandingly kind to their wives and to their female employees, who are far less likely to encounter harassment or disrespect from Freemasons than from many employers or higher business executives. But the Freemasons not merely exclude women from their own ranks but also refuse to have any dealings with any other society that accepts women.” – pg. 292 of The Freemasons, Jasper Ridley
There is a lot of disingenuous placation in regards to the admission of women into Freemasonry. For example, women are not able to join regular Blue Lodge Freemasonry and thereafter join branches such as the Scottish or York Rite, but instead, are relegated to side branches that are often perceived as watered-down branches of Freemasonry. These branches are not regarded as equivalent counterparts nor do they contain the same level of substance. Despite what many Freemasons might claim, it’s simply not the same as regular Blue Lodge Freemasonry and its extended branches.
It would do a great deal of good if women were allowed in all branches of Freemasonry, meaning regular and officially recognized branches of Freemasonry, not simply side orders.
The main issue with the admission of women into these regular bodies of Freemasonry is its opposition by Freemasons themselves. Freemasons, especially older Masons, will conjure an endless stream of irrational excuses and pseudo-arguments with hints of prejudice to prevent anyone from making progress in this area.
“Perhaps it is a sound instinct of self-preservation which makes the Freemasons exclude women; for by the year 2030, if not earlier, no one will believe that a society which excludes women, and consists solely of old and middle-aged men, can possibly exercise any influence in political or public life, either for good or for evil.” pg. 293, The Freemasons, Jasper Ridley
Interestingly, other groups have found a lot of success in allowing and encouraging the admission of women. Lions Club International is the perfect example.
“Lions Club International reported 20,000 new members last year after decades of decline. It has 1.35 million worldwide, says spokesman Dane La Joye.
Reaching out to women has been key, La Joye says. “Women are the fastest-growing segment of our membership today,” he says.” — USA Today
Lions Clubs International has experienced a gradual decline in interest that is echoed by other orders and societies. However, it also experiences dramatic upticks of interest that are NOT seen in other orders and has more general interest. For this reason, other orders should consider following the exemplary nature of Lions Club as its appeal to women has clearly shown a difference in membership, interest, and the general acceptance of people.
Homosexuality & Freemasonry
While the Grand Lodge of Tennessee and Georgia have enacted Masonic laws to forbid homosexuals from Freemasonry, most Grand Lodges do NOT support this decision and have urged both Grand Lodges to lift the ban on homosexuality. However, this ( as well as many other things ) affirms the outdated nature of the order and its dogmatic behavior.
The following quotation on the issue from an NPR article about this ruling is precisely the type of thing I’m referring to as dogmatic behavior in Freemasonry.
The issue of race in Freemasonry is complicated. While most Freemasons aren’t racist and welcome men of any color to their lodges, there are areas that won’t. This has been admitted and discussed in many posts that are inquiring about Freemasonry, such as this Reddit post.
The problem is obvious. There are men of differing races that want to join regular Blue Lodge Freemasonry and not Prince Hall Freemasonry. However, because of various stigmas and issues, it makes that endeavor problematic at the very least.
There will no tradition of PH or BL Freemasonry if Freemasonry does not survive. It’s in their best interest to preserve Freemasonry itself than to allow it to dwindle into darkness by separating variations of the order. If Freemasonry unites many of its variations and branches, it will do a great deal of good for the order.
Skull and Bones suffered similar reactions to their lack of diversity and progression. However, Skull and Bones decided to make some changes and have experienced positive results. Freemasons should not fear those type of changes as the pattern emerging is that making these type of changes has resulted positively.
Stop Blaming Millennials
Ironically, older Freemasons often blame the decline in Freemasonry on Millennials despite the fact that the decline in Masonic membership started before the Millenials were even born. There are also claims that the Millennial Masons are just too lazy and expect the degrees, rituals, and relative literature to be simplified to accommodate their needs. In truth, it was in the early and mid 90’s that most of the simplification of the craft occurred. For example, the abandoning of Morales & Dogma for A Bridge to Light with the admission that Morales & Dogma is a “tough” read and that “The vast majority of today’s candidates neither enjoy nor comprehend”, its complexity. (Rex R. Hutchens, A Bridge to Light, Introduction To The Revised Edition )
I’m a Millennial and I’ve read both Morales & Dogma and A Bridge to Light countless times. I don’t feel that Morales & Dogma is a tough read nor did I find it difficult to understand the Latin, Hebrew, Greek, or Egyptian references. In fact, I believe Millennials are better equipped to understand these references than past generations considering that we’ve grown up during the age of the internet and are used to researching things online at the click of a mouse.
A Bridge to Light is a simplified and more politically correct version of Morales & Dogma which is ironic, considering that the two major complaints Millennial Masons receive are that we’re supposedly expecting simplification and political correctness. I believe Morales & Dogma was and still is better at expressing and alluding to the meaning and historical narratives that the degrees are based on. Morales & Dogma does avoid the admission of particular things but is more forward and outright, whereas A Bridge to Light dances around particular subjects.
The Matter Of Transparency
The only major change that Freemasons have made that appears to be working is the act of becoming more transparent. This is a step in the right direction and beats embarrassingly silly “solutions” like telling older Masons to “smile more”. Trivialities of that nature aren’t going to do any good for Freemasonry when it’s in need of real changes despite an endless amount of good intent.
I’ve long believed that transparency is not only a principle but an obligation of Freemasonry.
“Rather than being a secret society, Freemasonry is a revealer of secrets.” — pg. 1, A Bridge To Light, Rex R. Hutchens
An Uncomfortable Truth
The perception that Freemasonry is failing has done a lot of damage alone and regardless of where you stand on the matter, doing NOTHING about it will only allow that perception to inform reality and therefore, the only answer is to create positive changes that will stimulate the growth of the order and break that stigma.
An important thing to understand is that saying Freemasons should fully accept women, men of any race, people of any sexual orientation to all branches and variations is only a radical idea to Freemasons. To most of our modern society, these ideas aren’t the least radical, which shows how much Freemasonry is lacking in its sense of moral progression. If Freemasons are so concerned with preserving tradition, it should preserve the progressive principles it was once known for.