By Apuleius Charlton
Special guest blogger
There’s a lot of accusations of brainwashing thrown around these days. Fox News is meddling with the minds of old people, teachers are indoctrinating the young, podcasts are spreading disinformation, universities…don’t even get me started on the universities.
As someone who has been initiated into several secret societies (pseudo-cults) and works for the establishment, I have always been sorely disappointed by the lack of conspiracy. None of my college classes managed to turn me into a Marxist or an anti-white activist. The Masons neither offered me power nor required me to recite my sexual history (you better believe I did anyways) and if you can find two educators that agree on most things, well, chances are you’re talking to two math teachers. As far as news and podcasts go…Tom linked to a tweet last week that compared “the media” to a cereal aisle; we have many options and we pick our own.
Yet there is ample evidence for some sort of mass brain-change or brainwashing occurring. It seems the last few weeks have been anti-vax themed in my personal life. I’ve talked with more people who believe the vaccine contributes to COVID deaths and causes a variety of godawful side effects lately than during the entirety of the pandemic up until now. I usually nod and hum until I can change the topic. The headlines emerging from halls of Congress are disheartening, to say the least. I would draw upon Eric’s musings upon Chapel Perilous to suggest again that the moment is ripe for brain-change. We are passing through a cultural Chapel Perilous that will determine the course of the remainder of the century. This Chapel Perilous is decentralized and resembles a castle filled with broken mirrors- full of distortion and sharp edges.
My beloved wife brought up a tweet early this week while we were discussing matters as they lay, that read: “we were never meant to know this many people existed, let alone their thoughts.” So I’ll return to my dead horse and say that most of this tumult is due to information overload. The human brain, while it is an impressive electro-colloidal information processor, wasn’t necessarily designed to deal with such a dearth of meaningful tasks, superfluous-yet-flashy distraction and high anxiety combined with inability to act upon it. Many of the events in our world are like the weather- for most of us they just happen. Unlike the weather, we know that these seismic events are caused by the choices of other humans and we decide who or what to focus upon. When man believed the gods caused the weather some would gnash their teeth and curse the heavens when their lives were wrecked. Now we do the same with our fellow man; this is inevitably an alienating action wherein another human becomes powerful and nebulous. What this does to our self images, I cannot say for certain.
Brainwashing and anger seem to go hand in hand. Is there such a thing as gentle brainwashing? I can easily recall the alleged victims of MK-ULTRA, the Manson devotees, Patty Hearst and the various cults of the late twentieth-century. In fiction we have Winston Smith loving Big Brother before the bullet goes through his brain and Frank Sinatra trying to kill the President or some-such. I guess that brainwashing is in itself a violent and violating act so violence is a natural outcome of the process.
Sometimes, thinking about the world reminds me we were awful brazen crawling out of the seas.
Carthago delenda est.