Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It's Art, Not Magick

Not Baphomet, just a guy dressed up as a goat

Listening to people try to interpret art is usually a huge waste of time. I even think that's true much of the time when it's the artists themselves talking, because I think most art isn't nearly as "designed" as even the people who create it sometimes like to believe.

I know that I can go on and on about the symbolism and so forth in piece of fiction that I wrote, but the reality is that most of the time the story just went where it went because it felt right and sounded cool. If you just tell folks that, they're disappointed. A lot of people have a deep-seated need to feel like they're understanding the "hidden meaning" of a piece, even when it's not really there.

So that brings us to the folks at Vigilant Citizen, a website dedicated to just about every half-baked conspiracy theory rolling around the Internet. They were featured once before here on Augoeides, in my piece on the Georgia Guidestones, a monument designed and erected by a couple of rich kooks, but which Vigilant Citizen insists details the agenda of a massive global conspiracy.

The site's latest target is the seriously weird opening ceremony that was recently performed for the opening of a new tunnel in Switzerland. Vigilant Citizen is convinced that the avant-garde theater piece by German director Volker Hesse was a "bizarre occult ritual." You know, instead of what it really was, a "bizarre theatrical performance." As it turns out, "bizarre" seems to be a description that everyone can agree upon.

As I discussed in my article on the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, the occult elite enjoys putting on full display its agenda and philosophy symbolic, dramatic displays which are reminiscent of dramas re-enacted in secret society rituals. Furthermore, there is no better way to showcase sheer power than putting the “Illuminati stamp of approval” on massive mega-projects such as the Olympics or major constructions.

But the thing is, why would they bother? The word "occult" actually means "hidden." It would seem that the practice described above is entirely contrary to the definition of the word. Naturally, Vigilant Citizen has its own unique - that is, pretty nutty - take on interpreting the performance.

The ceremony begins with workers dressed in orange walking slowly to the beat of a rhythmic military drum.There is something very “New World Order” to this militaristic portrayal of the working force. As the drums get more rhythmic, the workers get more excited, dancing around and jumping through loops.

So... the workers are excited because the tunnel is complete? That seems straightforward, no "New World Order" required.

Then, things get stranger. A train brings a group of young people dressed in white underwear. Dressed in white, these these men and women represent the masses who will travel through the tunnel. For some reason, the ceremony becomes strangely sexual as the white-clad people start groping each other. After portraying the workers as zombie soldiers, the ceremony portrays the general population as a bunch of lascivious people who appear to be extremely suggestible.

Actually, this is pretty straightforward modern dance. And as a point, nothing about the scene involving the workers implies that they are "zombie soldiers." That's all you, man. Describing this scene as "strangely sexual" probably is as well.

Then, emerging from that train is a demonic fallen angel, a baby-faced Lucifer. This scene is meant to "honor" the 5 workers who died during the construction of the tunnel. This scene is meant to “honor” the workers who died during the construction of the tunnel. Why is baby Lucifer creepily flying above them?

So why is the baby-faced angel Lucifer? There's nothing to suggest that, besides that the face is really creepy. I wonder if the director was trying to play on the traditional images of cherubs that look like babies with wings, but I will grant that the effect is pretty weird. But "weird" and "evil" are way different things.

From this point on, the event turns into an all-out satanic ceremony. A man dressed as a goat becomes the master of ceremony as the everybody else pays homage to him.

What does this have to do with the building of a tunnel? Mass media, in its vein attempts at explaining this ceremony, state that there are mountain goats in the Alps … which explains the goat-man. But why is this goat-man in such a position of power? Why are people bowing down to him?

Men walk in a strange procession while holding horned skulls as if they are priceless religious artifacts. Women dressed in white hold small horns on their heads as if saying "We accept the goat man as our god". All the while, the goat man runs around, getting people riled up. All the while, the goat-man runs around, getting increasingly energized.

Now that's some serious projection going on. I seriously doubt that "worship of the goat-man" is the point of this section. Is everyone really bowing down "as if saying" they accept the goat-man as "their god?" Come on, man. That's just ridiculous.

The occult elite is all about power and symbolism. The above ceremony showcased both. Through the opening ceremony of the world’s deepest and longest tunnel, the occult elite tells the world that they control the world’s resources and manpower. In other words, they are the only ones who can make such projects happen because they control politics, finance and business. Furthermore, by creating overtly occult ceremonies, the elite tells the world: “This is what we believe in, this is what we think of you and there is nothing you can do about it.”

But to what end? Why the pointless display? I really don't get what these conspiracists think the "occult elite" is trying to do.

The opening ceremony of the Gotthard Base Tunnel turned a great feat of engineering into a religious ceremony dedicated to Baphomet while somewhat ridiculing the workers who sacrificed their lives and the masses who will travel through the tunnel.

Umm... Baphomet is a very specific image in occultism, and it's not just some guy dressed up as a goat. That's like what somebody who doesn't know anything about occultism thinks Baphomet looks like. There's more to it than that, though, and I see no evidence that any of the rest is intended or implied. So no, this is not Baphomet. It's just a goat-man.

So let me spoil this all for you - this performance was not a magical ritual of any sort. There's no objective, no conjuration, no spirits, and even the dramatic elements allegedly representing various aspects of Swiss culture are far too incoherent to encode any sort of magical or occult objective within the dramatic form. Some of the individual images are striking and memorable, but if this was an attempt to cast some sort of spell it was put together by somebody who knows nothing about magick works.

Compare this performance to something like Aleister Crowley's Rites of Eleusis and you should be able to see what I'm talking about. The Rites of Eleusis don't always succeed as theatrical pieces, but they do contain coherent magical structures and principles. If you imagine somebody who read over the Rites without any understanding of magick and decided to do something "sort of like that," you'll see what I think of the tunnel opening as a magical ritual. That is, a complete failure.

But it should be obvious to anybody who is not a paranoid nutter that a magical or occult ritual was not the intent of this ceremony at all. The point of avant-garde theater is to present striking images and situations, challenge conventional narrative, and offer something truly creative and outside the box. In that sense, the piece is quite successful. You may love it or you may hate it, but I'm willing to bet you'll never forget it.

Furthermore, the whole theory of "the Illuminati" put forth by Vigilant Citizen makes no sense at all. This is apparently a secret society that encodes its symbols into every media representation that it possibly can, in a form that nobody but dim-bulb conspiracy theorists can decipher. That's dumb. Why would a secret occult society of global elites bother? The only real explanation seems to be that they do evil for evil's sake, which is a melodrama plot line, not real life.

About the only marginally plausible explanation I can come up with is that "the Illuminati" are not occultists, because they clearly have no idea what they're doing, but they want people to think they are - a sort of "cargo cult" of magical lore and symbols that are deployed in an essentially random manner. If you are a member of the global elite, I suppose it could be to your benefit to have people think you're an all-powerful evil wizard instead of just some guy who was lucky enough to be born into a very rich family.

Still, that's a strategy for hundreds of years ago, not for the modern world. The problem is that in the modern world, the people who believe magick is even a thing are mostly crazy people like the folks at Vigilant Citizen and practicing occultists. The crazies are never going to be any sort of a threat, and any real occultist can see that the "Illuminati symbols" are being deployed in a completely ignorant, ineffective way. So all that media strategy really would do is out them as idiots to anybody in the know and mark them as weirdos to just about everybody else.

So no, I do not think this tunnel opening ceremony was some kind of magical operation intended to do... well, whatever it is that Vigilant Citizen thinks the "ritual" was trying to do. From the article I can't really tell, aside from them thinking that it was sinister and evil. It was a theater piece, and I imagine the weirdness of the performance was solely intended to make the opening of the tunnel supremely memorable - at which it clearly succeeded.

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Morgan Eckstein said...

Next up, a conspiracy theorist accuses you of writing misinformation.

Scott Stenwick said...

They have never posted anything like that here on Augoeides, but I imagine they probably say that among themselves all the time. To be fair, I am an OTO initiate, which is probably the last vestige of the Illuminati order left in the real world - as opposed to the conspiracy-haunted realm in which these nutters apparently live.