Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Electronic Magnetic Witchcraft?

I really do try to stay away from political posts these days. It's not like there aren't extremists at both ends of the political spectrum, but when assertions this ridiculous comes along I have to say something. It's courtesy of two right-wing evangelical kooks named Sheila Zilinsky and Pat Holliday, who I hadn't previously heard of. They apparently believe in every single fundie bugaboo out there, and on a recent "Miracle Internet Church Radio" podcast they put them all together into one big glob of "what the fuck are you two talking about?" But don't take my word for it - read it for yourself.

“The government had a plan called Blue Beam back in the ’80s where they were going to fake a rapture of the church through blue beams and being able to shoot holographs up into the sky,” Holliday said, insisting that this was evidence of the “electronic magnetic witchcraft” that controls the world through everything from satanism and astrology to holistic medicine and sports. “Did you know that the witchcraft powers in America had total control under the NFL over Obama?” Holliday asserted. “What Trump is doing and has done is he has disconnected the NFL from the powers of the former government.”

First off, why would the government "fake a rapture?" In the 1980's, evangelicals like Jerry Falwell had unprecedented power in the Reagan White House. Maybe they could have suggested it in order to somehow shill for more donations to their ministries, but that's about the only moderately plausible explanation I can think of - and it's not a very good one. People would never be fooled by holographs in the sky, even credulous evangelicals in the 1980's. To this day they still look transparent and really can't be mistaken for people or even solid objects.

Second, if somebody has worked out how "electronic magnetic witchcraft" could possibly work, I'm all ears. I'm familiar with techniques like radionics, but it's not like they're that widespread or popular. Charles Cosimano has some designs that might qualify, but I suspect if he really were supplying his devices to the oligarchy he would be a lot better off. And anyway, you can build one of his radionic devices by learning a little about electronics and modifying an old radio or stereo. It's not like it's technology that's unavailable to most people.

Third, "witchcraft powers" in America barely have enough money to buy more than a few hundred copies of my books in a year. I find it laughably hard to believe that they have any influence whatsoever over big-money organizations like the NFL. Minnesota got conned into spending more than four hundred million dollars on the new NFL stadium in Minneapolis, and that's enough money to buy thirteen million copies of Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy and Mastering the Great Table. In the real world, my sales are A LOT lower than that.

“Trump is doing a lot of things,” she said, including saving the world from certain calamity. Claiming that there is an “educated and refined witch or a wizard that is pulling the strings” over America, Holliday asserted that a Hillary Clinton presidency would have resulted in a world war that would have killed nearly the entire human population.

"An educated and refined witch or wizard?" Hey! Are they talking about me? Seriously, though, with these idiots it probably is better to not joke about that, even if I am a wizard and do consider myself "educated and refined."

As far as the war issue goes, some voters did think that Trump's "America First" ideology would lead to a more isolationist foreign policy and therefore make war less likely than if Clinton were elected. Given Clinton's history and what Trump was saying at the time, that wasn't necessarily unreadonable. But Trump's first year in office has pretty much demolished that idea. He's increasing the military budget, antagonizing even our allies around the world, escalating tensions in the Middle East, and picking pointless fights with North Korea. It's hard for me to believe that Clinton, even with all her baggage, could have done much worse.

“If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency of the United States of America, we may not even be here talking to you,” Holliday said, “because they did have a World War III planned where they were going to destroy 90 percent of the people. What they wanted to do was take control over the world by going down into their underground cities, we would all be dead and then, when it was time, they could come out of their underground cities and rule the world with Satan. That was their plan and they were almost there, but God has intervened.”

And why would anyone want to do this? One of the most bizarre things about right-wing Christians is that they really do seem to believe that there are people in the world who want to do evil for evil's sake. I challenge any of them to find me one. The worst villains of the twentieth century all thought they were doing the right thing - they were just entirely (and in many cases horrifically) wrong. People really do pursue their own self-interest, pretty much all the time. They don't run around randomly murdering people and cackling about it. That makes absolutely no sense from any reasonable point of view.

But the trouble with these folks is that they're not reasonable at all. They think that the world is caught in a battle between good Christians (the quarter of all Christians that identify as right-wing evangelicals, about eighteen percent of the American population) and occultists (a tiny subset of the one percent of all Americans who are grouped under "other religions," along with New Agers, indigenous religious practititioners, and so forth). It should go without saying that when the first group there feels like they could possibly be oppressed, or really, in danger in any way from the second, there's some serious crazy going on.

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