Category Archives: Social Engineering

The Law Of Attraction – Not An Absolute

For many years now, this law has been predicated as the key to ultimate success – attracting positive elements into one’s life by visualising them or reaching certain levels of inner peace.

To an extent, it’s verifiable, as is the reverse – pessimism is likely to keep attracting the negative, perhaps because an individual is unwilling to take steps in the other direction. However, there are limits to this theory, as there are limits to the idea that one chooses which body to incarnate into, which I don’t find particularly plausible.

There are methods of improving one’s chances which apply to anyone anywhere, yet they’re mostly related to physical care or skill development.

Hope also seems to help people stay alive; however, it doesn’t guarantee survival when greater forces are at play, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee the accomplishment of a person’s highest aspirations. There’s a theorising of hope going on at the moment, with systems of rules being developed and paces one must presumably go through in order to successfully apply it. It’s a coping mechanism and raw human emotion, not  an up-the-ladder strategy which is subject to regulation.

  1. This “thriving theory” is aimed at people with a pre-existing level of comfort. A level of subsistence (at a minimum) is necessary.

Whenever I hear a seemingly uplifting video on how life can be turned around through sheer attitude, I can’t help but think of all those who are stuck in famine-stricken countries or otherwise desperate situations they cannot change. I doubt a copy of “The Secret” would make a difference in their lives when they are struggling to subsist. Wishing on it will not fix a draught or a corrupt political regime.

Hence I conclude the theory is addressed to those who are doing well enough in terms of survival, but not well enough compared to their aspirations.

I hear people in conferences, in well-ventilated venues, going on about how each individual should live in order to achieve their full potential. How most people “are doing it wrong”. And I can’t help but think of those in a mud hut or a tent in a refugee camp, unable to access the “life-saving” advice on “how not to do it wrong anymore”.

This cannot be a universal principle if it doesn’t apply to every single person. If “the universe wants you to thrive and it’s all up to you”, why are so many trapped in hopeless situations?

2.An individual is, sometimes, not able to subtract him/herself from the conditions of a community.

Connected to the point above – we often hear that “it’s up to the individual to improve their chances in life through their attitude”. This certainly doesn’t apply to those living under genuine oppression, extreme danger, in war zones etc. An individual can only do so much but cannot help the impact of their environment, not even to the point of guaranteeing personal safety, let alone thriving. It certainly cannot be said they attract negative things into their lives when those things are common occurrences around them.

3.Hazards are a real issue.

There are, according to some theories, children “choosing to incarnate” into bodies which die before birth, during birth for lack of medical attention, or shortly after, when bombs happen to strike their houses. The only spiritual explanation would be the one religion is trying to forge – “God’s will, God knows what he’s doing”.

Whilst the real explanation is that some fuckers gave the orders for the bombs to be dropped. Are those people a part of God’s plan? I don’t think so. They make their own decisions. They could always decide differently.  If “the supreme creator” gives everyone free will, those bastards upon whom hundreds or thousands of lives depend also have free will. It’s human, not divine action. It happens in real time, not as a part of a “divine plan” “every soul agreed to beforehand”.

The same goes for natural catastrophes – was there a plan “up there” for thousands to incarnate in a certain area just so they could all be struck by the same tsunami? Or was it a random event created by tectonic plates, because this is the kind of planet we happen to be living on?

If this happens at all, it must only happen to some (I can’t dismiss a possibility I can’t invalidate). There are case studies overwhelmingly in favour of reincarnation. But there is nothing to indicate, to my knowledge anyway, that it is voluntary down to details.

4. It implies blaming the victim (of hazard, other people’s actions etc), just as religion does.

Fundamentalist Christians, some of them anyway, are of the conviction that if someone has enough faith, they will be healed of just about anything, and will thrive financially. That is how the “prosperity gospel” operates, church upon church collecting pensioners’ last savings, promising a better future through faith.

In a similar fashion, there are alternative healing methods out there, based on “making peace with life and everyone around you”. There are testimonials from those who claim to have been healed from deadly diseases simply by forgiving everyone who had ever wronged them.

I’m not disputing the role of the psyche in healing the physical body; a positive attitude certainly seems to help.

However, let’s not slide into (and some Christians do) insulting theories about how people who weren’t healed “just didn’t have enough faith”, or alternatively, “were not at peace with life and those around them”. Not everything, and surely not every disease, can be solved in such manners.

In conclusion, this doesn’t seem to work universally, regardless of a person’s conditions. It works for some people sometimes and that’s about it.

 

Embracing The Right Is Not The Answer To Disavowing The Radical Left

The past couple of years (at least) have seen a surge in criticism towards the radical left and the left in general, with media channels, big and small, suddenly erupting out of the ground like mushrooms after it rains.

Much of it, in its initial phase, was justified – it was, as declared, a campaign against speech policing, thought crimes, false accusations of bigotry based on imagined microaggressions, exacerbated feminism, the safe space culture, the doxxing and swarming of ideological opponents and so forth.

However, with all the political division and impending elections in a few countries (the US, the Netherlands, France), this freedom-loving camp started shifting right, too much for comfort, from a neutral humanist and fairness-loving position. And fairly rapidly, it ended up in the far right camp, taking its large fandom with it, where it all continues to this day.

I apologise for the anecdotal nature of this post – however, I am sure that many, at least in my generation, have undergone this process through this sudden rise of the right. Since mainstream media has become highly distrusted, people have turned to alternative media channels and got burnt just as much.This alternative media tide seemed organic at the time, yet in hindsight, seems increasingly suspicious, given how it played out.

Some of us genuinely did not see it coming. This was meant to be about standing up to feminist fury, man-hatred, irrationality and SJW demands. But it turned out to be about the worst aspects of conservatism, promotion of Christianity, xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment and race instead (yes, race, in the very worst way).

 

Choosing to only follow channels of a certain ideological persuasion can guarantee just that – being trapped in a bubble and poorly informed, potentially missing out on crucial data. What makes you think your favourite news commentators would be fair and impartial and wouldn’t outright deceive you, for their own purposes?

Some people saw this early on. The “fight for freedom and individualism” turned into the formation of another tribe, which allowed itself to coalesce with an ideology which is so extreme and unrelated to the issues initially stood for. An ideology most people would not associate themselves with, yet in droves, were incrementally dragged into. Day by day, “anger pill” after “anger pill”.

So below I will detail some of the commentators and channels which have led people down this path, week by week and month by month, while seeming rational and innocuous at first. To my knowledge, anyway, as there must be many more. However superfluous it might seem since they only operate on social media; they do have substantial influence, especially over young people (young voters, more like it). The numbers listed represent YouTube subscribers alone. The real figures must be much higher, since not everyone listening is an actual subscriber.

This is not an attempt to throw invisible spitballs at successful people, from the small standing of a nobody. It’s an attempt to paint the picture of gradual radicalisation, now that time is putting it in perspective.

Paul Joseph Watson, with a following of 1 114 637.

First appearing to be the sane and articulate side of Infowars, he became very popular by putting together scathing videos on feminists, nihilistic art, pop culture and so forth, which were excellently done. When the Trump campaign was set in motion, however, everything became pro-Trump propaganda, to the point of nausea. After the election this continued, with him supporting the Alex Jones mandated narrative and attacking everyone who disagreed with Trump’s measures or behaviour, down to fine details. Whereas his perspective on Islam seems accurate, coupled with the dehumanisation of refugees it reveals a clear xenophobic agenda. Not surprisingly, he activates in the newly tightened group on social media (with some of the individuals mentioned below), pretending not to be far right yet approving of everything the far right tries to push.

Rebel Media, with a following of 861 033.

This channel rose to popularity by claiming to defend freedom of speech, opposing the PC culture, censorship and the so-called Neo-Marxist agenda. They brought cases of political persecution to light, feminists overreacting, the gender pronoun issue etc. It was easy to agree with them on many of these carefully chosen matters. Fast forward to the height of the Trump campaign, and shortly after (and ever since), they’ve been busy spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric and defending the so-called “identitarian” movement (translation, white). They even took a trip to Israel promoting the expansionist policy and even claiming “it’s crusade o’clock in Jerusalem”; “let’s take Jerusalem back for Jesus”. One of their activists interrupted a play last year, about Julius Caesar (with some Trump elements included) by rushing onstage to cause a scandal, in the vein of SJWs protests. She was arrested and their founder, Ezra Levant, tried to rip donors off for her legal costs, by attempting to ask for more money after they’d been covered by donations. Two of her colleagues followed suit and interrupted the play on subsequent occasions (it makes you think whether mooching off Rebel fans was Levant’s intention). Another former reporter, Faith Goldy (specialising in xenophobic rhetoric), was at the Charlottesville incident, on the side of… you guessed it; the white supremacists. Rebel Media has lost many of its prolific propagandists, who were let go or left around the same time.

A few months ago, Rebel Media put out a video criticising white supremacy, presumably to distance themselves from it. The response was as amusing as it was predictable – down-votes in droves, and definitely not from leftie anti-racists. But from racists themselves – their own followers.

Lauren Southern, recently departed from Rebel Media to go independent, with a following of 391 0817 (which will increase due to her popularity there).

At first, Lauren Southern was seen as a courageous young woman who stood up against the far left, even being physically attacked at protests at times. And whilst she remains all that, presumably, she has congregated with the likes of Richard Spencer, a declared white supremacist, and has participated in anti-immigrant activism in Europe with a bunch of folks describing themselves as “identitarian”. Adding to that, she often pushes Christian traditionalism to the point of inducing vomit, and reminisces about the “good old days” which were long before her time, and were anything but good in terms of how minorities were treated. She seems preoccupied with how everyone should live, claiming to have found the answer to human happiness (Judaeo-Christian values).

Gavin McInnes, recently departed from Rebel Media onto the money-making machine of Infowars, with a following of 176 660 (which will increase, presumably).

To start with, as usual, he was a freedom of speech advocate, decrying the uber-feminised PC culture and resulting tense atmosphere. He was sharp, witty and humorous, and his rejection of censorship seemed appealing to many. However, his perspective had a clear streak of misogyny. Overtime, he obviously “campaigned” for Trump and subsequently went to Israel on the above-mentioned trip, lauding an eventual takeover of the entire Palestinian territory… “for Jesus”. He seems to glorify the “angry alpha male” the identitarian movement and so forth, which means that his entire rhetoric was actually meant to stir up anger and fuel this unhealthy drive, step by step.

 

Steven Crowder, with a following of 1 029 115.

The former abstinence campaigner, set on Christian values (hypocritical, impossible, artificial standards of behaviour), portrays himself as a comedian, often ridiculing the excesses of the left. He is very successful in that regard, sometimes infiltrating leftist circles and exposing their superficiality. His core message, while so many are enjoying his comedy, should not be overlooked. A conservative Christian message, blending in with other conservative-turned-far right voices.

The first time his commentary made me sick was when he made fun of deported undocumented immigrants to the US, some of whom were brought there as minors. “It’s not our problem they decided to have kids here…” That is so far removed from how life works, how relationships and having children works. And pardon my french, so un-Christian.

Tommy Robinson, with a following of 59 345.

There was a high degree of sympathy for him, which I did share for some time, based on the conditions of his imprisonment and what happened after, in terms of what he described (being targeted by authorities for opposing radical Islam). What he described, basically, was political persecution and anyone with a sense of fairness would feel compassion for him.

However, the guy truly is far right. He is participating in setting up outposts in other countries. In Ireland he was recorded encouraging his mates to use violence on intruders to their meetings, provided the cameras were off. There’s no doubt in my mind that his claim that “the EDL had been infiltrated by unsavoury violent characters” was a lie. Violence is what he supports, even against innocent people, such as dissenters at a far right meeting.

Dave Rubin,with a following of 555 842.

He used to be a part of TYT (The Young Turks). Back when he was a liberal. I’m not sure where he stands anymore, as he claims to be sort of in the middle, yet increasingly gives a platform to the right and far right, wherever that differentiation may stand nowadays. He does so pretending to give a platform to any opinion, yet increasingly siding with the right.

Stefan Molyneux, with a following of 697 501 (and a community of ex-cult members describing his real intentions in detail).

Well, what transpires out of Mr Molyneux’s endeavour is a modern day cult, with him positioned as a leader. It’s quite frightening actually, the influence he has managed to have over his young disciples. Mr Molyneux is quite intricate in terms of delivering a political message. By not vocally assuming a stance he is well understood to have assumed before his interviews and  half-surreal talks, increasingly focused on the so-called white genocide, so-called race realism (with an emphasis of presumed IQ differences between races), giving a platform to the extreme right as often as he can.

This guy must think he is able to put a verbose mask over his racist, xenophobic and extremely mysoginistic message. Someone can well be lost in his well-acted, hours-long monologues, mimicking emotion and often outrage. However, he fails to share the emotion regarding the lives he has ruined or nearly ruined with his indoctrination. He is a strong proponent of cutting contact with family members by default (or should I say de-foo, as in disengaging from one’s family of origin), as well as anyone who does not share his anti-statist views).

His rhetoric is laden with cognitive dissonance, on the one hand rejecting the idea of a state and law enforcement, and on the other hand, using “law and order” as a justification for pushing hatred against minorities, going as far as praising Trump’s authoritarianism. It should be obvious that the two perspectives cannot coexist. The far right, which he’s been supporting for a good couple of years (at least), is far removed from libertarian ideas, as authoritarian and libertarian are diametrically opposed concepts.

He’s full of shit, to put it bluntly. He gives his followers a radical perspective to embrace, and some of them end up destroying their lives over it. And unfortunately, that pays off.

Dave Cullen (Computing Forever), with a following of 266 616.

He started out, as most on this trajectory, by criticising the far left, or cultural Marxism, through the exposure of people being victimised for not joining the ranks in their left-dominated environments. An honourable thing to do, in and of itself, of course. However, as his audience shifted to the right and far right, so has his content, a technique which I trust proved rather profitable.

To his credit, he has criticised far right groups such as Britain First. It wasn’t for their hateful ideas though, but on a tangent (in this case, Christianity). He does argue, as a non-believer, that “secularism lacks moral fibre”.  This is a very strange position to take (and increasingly, I am seeing it in a variety of environments). He is very much “in that camp”, minus his reaction to the rhetoric of fake religious zealots such as Britain First.

Milo Yiannopoulos, with a following of 692 000.

Milo can be charismatic, at first, with his unapologetic criticism of “special snowflakes”, although he has gone too far on many occasions. His activism tends to be regarded as flamboyant trolling for the sake of it; some of the ideas he puts out there, however, are far from innocuous.

What sets him aside from other content creators, who might just be surfing the wave of the market, is his collaboration with Breitbart – a far right publication known to distort events in a manner likely to manipulate people and stir up anger towards minorities. And whilst you might think Milo might be kidding at times, seeking to superficially stir up debates in a bid to elevate his self-absorbed persona, those at Breitbart are certainly not kidding in their endeavour. They don’t just marginally support the far right; they are the far right.

Alex Jones, with a following of 2 190 754.

I left this guy for last, even though it appears he’s had the largest impact, because he is not surreptitious in the slightest; people find his channel when first figuring out “things are not as they seem” and usually don’t stay long, when realising he is inducing hysteria in order to peddle his bullshit products. Some, however, get addicted to fear porn and stay, to be told daily that the world is just days or hours away from imploding.

Whether Alex Jones believes a tenth of what he puts forth is a good question, given that his enterprise is geared towards selling worthless paraphernalia, in the vein of those who peddle post-apocalypse merch in churches.

His propaganda, however, is very dangerous, given his large platform.  What he does is manipulate any major event (murders in particular) in order to suit his narrative of conspiring “enemies of the people” who “must be defeated” by a communal effort of his listeners (voting for whomever he tells them to, for his own purposes).

The reason behind listing the audience count, on YouTube alone, is merely to prove that these people do have considerable impact.

It should be evident to anyone that what started out as the rejection of groupthink and authoritarianism should not end with the formation of a “warrior tribe”, willing to compromise on crucial issues (getting into bed with white supremacists while claiming to disavow racism, for instance).

These people are contributing to the normalisation of the far right, whether they share those views all the way or not (and I have a feeling many of them don’t).

They have gone from criticising identity politics and the resulting division, to supporting “identitarianism”. Orwellian, what can I say.

Their followers must have a short attention span. They shouldn’t.

Identitarian Religion – A Small Conundrum

Increasingly, there is talk of people abandoning mainstream religions, particularly in Europe, to return to ancestral traditions, namely Paganism. And whilst that sounds interesting (a return to communion with nature and spirituality without the constraint of dogmas), something does puzzle me.

It concerns the enmeshment between this revival and present day ethno-nationalism.

Namely, it is not uncommon for Pagans to believe in reincarnation. Which entails accepting the possibility of having been born multiple times in multiple locations, overtime. In fact, many people who describe their past life memories recall having lived in a different country than the one they were born in in their current lifetimes.

Obviously, that is at odds with claiming to have roots in a single ethnicity, culture and tradition. Not to mention claiming racial purity (which, when tested, often doesn’t prove biologically accurate anyway, not in one lifetime, let alone many).

It seems to me those who believe in reincarnation and spirituality based on natural archetypes (not a limited dogma) should logically be more inclined to consider themselves “citizens of the world” than those of other religions.

Just a thought.

The Far Right Purity Test – Funny As Fuck

I guess nothing spells “irony” like a metastasised hate group eating itself up from the inside, becoming the very thing it claimed to detest.

For a good couple of years, if not longer, the right has played the persecuted ideological minority card, by denouncing censorship attempts, all along displaying unity – from moderates to extremists, those leaning right have agreed on basic issues and supported each other, until the first could not be differentiated from the latter.

Nowadays however, in their – sometimes almost literal – crusade, activists have started cannibalising each other based on devotion to the cause, or perceived lack thereof, akin to the far left. It seems some activists are more zealous than others and are starting to demand that their fellow crusaders apply the principles they declaim in their own lives, lest they be considered hypocritical.

These three stories speak for themselves.

Lauren Southern is being called out for promoting a traditionalist lifestyle she doesn’t lead yet. She is also being called out by Richard Spencer for not being/ declaring herself racist enough.

The 22-year-old has come under attack for constantly promoting Judaeo-Christian family values (or the appearance thereof), without being married or having started a family herself. She recently put up this video as self-defence, explaining things of a personal nature, which no one should ever have to explain to the larger public. Unless, perhaps, they are making generalisations about how others should live and what their happiness should stem from. The irony is that she is such a fan of a paradigm which restricts women in many ways, and although she now knows what it’s like to be grilled on one’s personal choices, she continues her advocacy.

Puritanism is detestable not only because it forces human nature into a box, in a Procrustean manner, but also because it is utterly neurotic. Its wannabe enforcers are often carrying the load of repressed emotions and desires; through their activism they are often trying to rein themselves in, rather than other people.

With regards to the racial stuff, I sympathise with Miss Southern to a point. When one picks a side based on traditionalism and potentially religion, they don’t exactly expect to join the ranks of white supremacists. However, Spencer is right when questioning her so-called ignorance while joining an identitarian movement. There’s no way she joined and spent time with these people without knowing what they’re actually about.

Kim Davis, the “traditional marriage” advocate, was targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church for being “an adulterer”. Arguably, not everyone in the Christian right can be associated with Neo-Nazis; however, they share the homophobia and the purity requirement is very similar for all extremist ideologues.

Whilst Mrs Davis’ actions were no more significant than refusing to issue a marriage licence to a gay couple, organisations opposed to same sex marriage have hailed her as a hero for two years. In fact, she now engages in activism abroad, as if she had anything but bigotry to show for her position.

What is hilarious is that in 2015 she was targeted for picketing by the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, for advocating traditional marriage whilst being on her fourth one, which breaks the no-divorce fundamentalist rule. She was also criticised by the Mormon leader for that same reason. In conclusion, when one chooses to wank off about their righteousness and role in the so-called army of God, they should be prepared to be ripped to shreds by fellow believers. In case she didn’t know, there’s no love or fellowship of any kind in a cult.

Tara McCarthy, an ethno-nationalist (white supremacist), now decries the treatment of women in the far right by male counterparts.

This is particularly funny, not just because the far right has made a good case against modern feminism in order to lure in sympathisers, to gradually lead them down the path of ethnic and racial hatred. It’s funny because the women congregating with such men were well aware of their views on the female sex in general. And while they were more than happy to see other women targeted by these men in said manner, having it turned on themselves proves less than savoury.

It is apparent to anyone outside of far right circles that the movement has a strong misogynist component. Why these women though they were special is a good question.

There are now Red Pill Christians as well, congregating not as the loving meek and mild, but as supporters of what the Bible mostly transmits about women, which is in line with Red Pill-ers in general (women are inferior, weak, manipulative and should be put in their place).

Not an anti-Semite? Too bad, you Zionist shill.

It’s really funny how, although they purport to reject most people different from them, certain “identitarian patriots” are still classed as traitors simply because they don’t hate Jews as well (the word antisemitism is actually broader yet has come to be understood simply as hating Jewish people).

I don’t know what it is, but to be respected by the cream of that crowd, you simply have to hate them, down to the last one. I mean I do know – apparently, they “own everything on the planet” and are looking to “destroy the white race” by promoting white people “breeding with inferior races”. Never mind that the theory makes absolutely no sense, from start to finish, being littered with illogical claims and clutching at straws to demonise an entire group, Nazi-style.

To be fair to the accusers, many evangelical Christians and commentators catering to them, as well as politicians whose voter base they constitute, are actual Zionists, or at least propagandise as such. The recent response to Trump’s initiative of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, against international consensus, has proven that. There were sickening propaganda pieces from the likes of Molyneux or Paul Joseph Watson (sickening in terms of one-sided, ignoring the very complicated situation over there).

However, it should only take a brain larger than a chicken’s to realise disagreeing with Israeli policies should by no means involve blaming all Jewish people on this planet for them, let alone hating them.

Many of those accused of “shilling for Israel” in crusade mode are in fact raging xenophobes and racists. But presumably, they just don’t go far enough.

All in all, the right is no different than the left in terms of activism and extremism. Certainly not in terms of division or puritanism.

Things The Religious Should Never Say To A Non-believer Reloaded

Since the last post on the subject is comprehensive but by no means complete, here is another list of common retorts which, if you’re lucky, will not cause a aneurysm.

  1. It doesn’t matter if the claims of my religion are historically accurate.

You cannot expect anyone to respect the so-called validity of your claims given that you yourself don’t even care if they are true. How’s that for arrogance?

Your presumably 100% correct values come from the same sources as those tales you don’t care to verify. And yet you want them to remain unchallenged, as if you could somehow arbitrarily separate what matters and what doesn’t in your dogma.

Your religion is based on characters which either exist or don’t and events which either happened or didn’t. You can’t subtract part of the story and still hold on to the claim of absolute truth.

You can’t claim to know the nature of the seen and unseen world, the afterlife and the future based on a book which, well, just might’ve got part of the past wrong.

2. It’s actually just a metaphor.

If some absurd-sounding stories are simply metaphors, what should we make of the rest? Who decides what’s a metaphor in there and what isn’t? Maybe the bearded man in the sky, presumably possessing hands, is just one big metaphor as well. Face it – you have no certainty regarding any aspect of it, and yet you promote it all as truth.

3. Only idiots would try to verify the Bible by taking it literally. It was written for enlightened minds which can actually decipher it.

How about you keep it for yourselves then (oh enlightened ones) and stop trying to convert the world. Face it, that makes no sense, for a god trying to reveal himself to the masses to pass down such cryptic information that only a few, with great mental strife, can make sense of it. It is either simple enough to be passed around in mass conversions, to be understood by anyone, or reserved for a fortunate few. You can’t have it both ways

4. All religions actually worship the same god under different names.

How is it then that the god of some commands them to kill those worshiping a different god then? And that the so-called sacred principles between religions are so at odds with each other they have caused wars? If everyone is inspired by the same deity, how come dogmatic differences constitute the sole reason for clashes between confessions and sects, let alone different religions?

5.You should shut up and respect the majority opinion. The majority is always right.

I bet you wouldn’t claim that if the majority opposed your views; I bet the persecuted minority status would suit you quite well then. The majority was not right when engaging in lynchings, witch burning or, should your claims have any validity, crucifying Jesus.

6. Pascal’s wager is valid.

In other words, if you believe in God to play it safe, just in case there is a judgement in the afterlife, you can’t lose.

I mean, it’s not like in the event of it all being false, you would lose anything by organising your entire life (presumably, the only life you have) around a lie and letting it dictate your smallest choices. It’s not like that would limit you needlessly and ruin your chances of truly understanding the meaning of life, right?

The cognitive dissonance is just so blatant; their ideas are so contradictory they cannot maintain a coherent thought pattern in a single conversation.

 

Things The Religious Should Never Say To A Non-Believer

This list (pardon the tacky title) is the result of a few years of fairly frustrating interaction with religious people,

some of whom, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, had the best intentions and were either seeking to build a bridge or give helpful advice (the latter, presumed as such).

You will understand why sanctimonious remarks from otherwise intelligent and affable people, friends included, provoke more nausea than the knee-jerk reactions of zealots who simply wave you off to Hell. Many of these remarks come in the current socio-political climate of the “West fighing for its values”; some, however, are unrelated.

And yes, I’ve heard or read all of the following, quite recently, as a response to discussing my apostasy. Perhaps at the time I answered in a fairly polite manner; however, the intrinsic reaction would have translated better as follows.

Parenthesis here – I’m not even an atheist/ materialist, as I know there are phenomena worth exploring on the level of energy use, transcendental experiences etc, which cannot be reduced to mere coincidence. Foreseeing a future event with great accuracy in a dream would be a good example. However, the term atheist is often cast on me as a label (many believers cannot tell the difference; there is a clear line between those worshiping their god and the rest; specifics are often unimportant). I can’t say I mind, though it’s not entirely accurate.

1.”You must be miserable without God; you must feel so alone; atheists are dark and suicidal. They need our help and our prayers.”

My honest but less than polite response would be stop masturbating. Psychologically and emotionally, of course – at the thought that you’re in a much better place, than, conceivably, a non-believer could ever be. That what gives you elation must give everyone else elation and lacking it must equate depression and dark moods.

Needless to say, these people have their own emotional struggles – yet if you dare mention one of your own, however common among humans, they immediately make a connection between that and your lack of belief. Everyone struggles with issues at some point, regardless of religion or the lack of it.

I find this assumption and afferent compassion disgusting. First of all because it is divorced from reality. Former believers experience relief, at least in the long run (some do feel lost for some time); certainly not misery, at the realisation that there is no sky goblin perked up in the attic, listening to their every word and thought and potentially condemning them for it (much like the Stasi, I might mention). I do feel alone in that sense. In a good way. That my thoughts are my own and there’s no one writing them down in a “book of judgement” which notes my brain’s activity more arduously than a corporate accountant.

Stop assuming the role of a benevolent saviour in my direction. Stop masturbating, that is.

2.”Atheism is a fad nowadays; a cool label. You’re just going with the trend. It’s trendy to attack religion. You’ll get over it.”

Might I mention, you totally inconsiderate person (which came to replace some other term), the many years I’ve spent reflecting on all this, feeling doubtful, guilty and fearful, and endlessly analysing my decision, with all the internal struggle that involves.

I didn’t just “sign up to another club”. I had a lot of life-changing reconsidering to do. I had to question all I’d previously thought, in terms of moral applicability. You don’t just give up your religion because a new fad has arrived on your doorstep.It’s far more complex. Far more intimate and far deeper than that.

To cheapen, reduce and trivialise someone’s decades-long experience of religion can only be the product of a fairly simple mind.

3.”God has a plan for all of us, yourself included. If things go wrong in your life, it’s because you have not accepted his plan for you.”

Although I know the thought of a divine plan gives people comfort in times of struggle, such as bereavement, one has to think of the cognitive dissonance of praying to and worshiping a God who allows all imaginable atrocities.

You’re expecting your life decisions to fall out of the sky, instead of employing your brain. And then you delegate your own mistakes or misfortunes to God’s plan, while thinking someone else’s are a result of their absence of faith and being misled by the devil. How arrogant.

4.”I’ll pray for you to find your way back to God; he will help you if you just let him. I just know you’ll be back someday.”

Of course you think so; you can’t possibly imagine people existing separately from your divine Sim Farm. “It matters not. He is your king.” (Braveheart).

In your mind we’re all ants depending on his mercy, on his benevolence, on his tolerance. We are all ant-like in the sense that we cannot successfully oppose physical forces greater than us (illnesses, earthquakes, the weather, accidents, other people’s use of force etc). However, what we think and feel is ours and ours alone and not lorded over by someone else, earthly or otherwise. At least that’s the capacity we have. Of course, brainwashing gets in the way.

When you interact with me and at the back of your mind have fantasies of converting me, perhaps you should look for like-minded company instead.

5.”You’ve been brainwashed by cultural Marxists, who seek to attack our traditional values; you’re giving up your religion so you can embrace the ideology of sexual minorities.”

Look who’s talking about brainwashing. And by the way, opposing bigotry is not an ideology and neither is belonging to a minority the religious love to pick on. It’s someone’s nature, not a doctrine others convinced them to adopt.

These proponents of falsehood project by seeing artificiality in other people’s attitudes; everything is a conspiracy meant to upturn the religiously-inspired order of society. It’s called being reactionary, not objective or realistic. History has had its fair share of reactionaries and, like it or not, cringes when looking back on their views.

6.”You’re just not ready to understand that the world could not function without religion; we would all become animals; someday you will (this coming from a self-declared fellow agnostic).”

Really now? I could cite five hundred sources disproving that claim, since the beginning of time to present day, when murderous religious fanaticism is perhaps the greatest danger we all face. I could list religious wars, genocides and atrocities; torture and maiming which goes on to this day, witch hunts, the delaying of scientific progress for centuries, slavery and what not.

But something else comes to mind first – you must have little love or respect for the people around you, to claim that they are not capable, on mass, to behave decently towards one another without adopting a fairy-tale as their moral pillar. You basically argue that it doesn’t matter whether those beliefs they organise their lives around are true, as long as they can, presumably, be deceived into better behaviour.

In other words, you place yourself way above them. You don’t think they can handle the truth with their measly minds; only enlightened people such as yourself can. And those trying to make them see it are doing them a disservice, leaving them prey, heaven forbid, to their own nature (which you also share but distance yourself from). In that regard you demean the species far more than you might perceive an evolutionist does.

7.”Something terrible must have happened to harden your heart, so now you see only darkness in the world and blame God for it. You’re just angry with life; someone must have let you down, and now you reject God’s love.”

There’s such desperation to think apostasy could never be the product of an honest intellectual endeavour and sincere self-reflection. Anything but the kitchen sink is envisaged as the potential cause. Such desperation to think intuition is completely valid when resulting in faith (this is what I believe and feel in my heart, therefore God exists), yet invalid when renouncing it, and that apostasy is caused by flimsy external circumstances.

Darkness has its role, or should I say realism. I could not, without vomiting, raise my arms to praise God’s love in my direction for, let’s say, having survived a shipwreck, when everyone else around me drowned. It’s a matter of being honest about things. Survival is a matter of luck and/or resilience, not God’s presumed love. Other people’s love or altruism towards me is of their own doing, not something planted in them by the supreme puppeteer.

8.”Your preoccupation with religion shows your heart is actually crying out for God, otherwise you wouldn’t give it a second thought and you wouldn’t be talking about it to others.”

It should be common sense to realise that when someone has spent decades believing and regurgitating lies, when they do eventually abandon them, they have a natural drive to deconstruct all previously held falsehoods, especially when those around them keep spouting them.

When someone starts to see how much religion has affected their life, from their perception of themselves to their interaction with others and propensity for falling into political traps, they naturally reflect on every single aspect.They seek information regarding these falsehoods and often share it.  Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist) explains this in all its complexity.

The needless guilt and mortification, the needless fear of being spied on every second of the day by an invisible bookkeeper, to the degree of censoring their thoughts. The bigoted things said to others, which cannot be taken back. People who come out of cults often turn against them vocally – and who can blame them? Brainwashing causes anger.

There is, of course, a degree of anger – not necessarily towards those who unwittingly carried out the indoctrination, having been subjected to it themselves as children, yet towards the phenomenon per se.

9. “There are simply people who don’t concern themselves with matters of greater importance than their measly day-to-day experiences and pleasures… “

And then there are those with such delusions of grandeur they think they are among the chosen who will inherit the Earth. There are those who engage in social engineering in their own heads – who should have rights and who shouldn’t, which categories deserve respect and which deserve ostracism (sexual minorities for instance) etc. The world is a board game for them and they think they have it all figured out.

They are preoccupied with conspiracies upon conspiracies by those who seek to “upturn the natural order” (as if laws and cultures had not evolved throughout time, from one generation to the next, and their understanding of things were flawless). And in the end, these illusions only produce a thin smoke around them, if not gas, in some cases, as only a negligible minority of wannabe social engineers actually reach positions of influence.

Rejecting such futile arrogance is not, in any way, based on reducing one’s preoccupations to trivialities, as non-believers are often said to do. It’s simply the awareness of one’s limited perspective and limited possibilities of influencing reality – not to mention the quest to develop as much empathy as possible, as to avoid seeing enemies everywhere.

10. “I don’t think you’ll actually go to hell; you’re a good person; Jesus will take that into account. I’ll pray for you and God will listen to me.”

This is a poor way of saying “the afterlife system I believe in is so grotesque it involves the people I like (even love) spending eternity in a pit of boiling tar, with imps shoving pitchforks up their behinds, while I spend eternity in peace and harmony”. Instead of admitting that, they give imaginary passes to those they want to maintain a relationship with in their earthly lives.

Either admit there is no such place or shut up about it. You might actually think you’re doing me a favour by interceding on my behalf to your imaginary sky goblin.Your condescending benevolence and ad hoc advocate/saviour role, from a presumed position of superiority, is so delusional it is sickening.

11. “You’re doing God’s work without being aware of it.”

This patronising remark comes when a believer is confronted with actions which fit the moral pattern they adhere to, at the hands of a non-believer. Since morality supposedly comes from God and atheists or agnostics are “of the devil”, the only way to get around approving of non-believers is to think they are secretly on God’s pay role; secretly carrying out his plan.

I hate to tell you but I don’t want a place in your imaginary Sim Farm where everyone is a property of your God. I know you built this whole world in your head, allocating a small plot to each individual you know, according to your God’s criteria – the saved, the potentially saved and the rest. Either like me for what I am or leave me alone. I don’t belong in your fantasy.

Years ago, Christopher Hitchens made this claim, seen as hyperbolic by many – that religion poisons everything. Upon analysing it, though the claim might seem exaggerated or frightening to the struggling-to-be-religious-and-get-along-with-others type, it is very accurate.

God is in your family, in your marriage, in your bed, in your community, in your likes and hobbies, in your intellectual ventures, in your state policy, in your country’s international affairs, and first and foremost, in your head and heart, like a ballooned Stasi, judging and censoring everything down to your most intimate thoughts.

And therefore, religion does affect, or should I say poison every aspect of your life, or at least has the capability to do so, if you take it seriously enough.

Ex-Red Pill Members Describe Cult-Like Indoctrination

However organic and benign a group might appear to begin with, it seems most, when co-opting a large number of members, end up in roughly the same manner.

The Red Pill, based on the Men’s Rights Movement, appeared (at least from the outside) to counter toxic feminism, which has been an intensely discussed topic over the last few years (many times, deservedly). At first it seemed to base its line of thought on the fact that men are not what modern feminists claim (dangerous, led by instincts only, angry, prone to raping, abusive, manipulative, sociopathic, set on dominating women etc). And of course, any sensible individual can agree this is not what half of the human species stands out through, and that extremes should never be used for generalisations.

However, things quickly escalated.

This Reddit page details the effects of belonging to such a group on men who initially thought they were joining the “cool and strong crowd”, becoming empowered by its attitude.

To start with, the group attracts men in a vulnerable state of mind, freshly out of a failed relationship or marriage, or frustrated over not managing to secure a female partner. These guys already carry a substantial amount of anger and use the group for venting (much like some women who mistakenly end up on forums about narcissists and psychopaths after a hurtful experience).

From there on they are led to believe women are naturally infantile, that “no” should not be taken as a “no”, and later on, that women actually get something out of being raped, on a subconscious level.

After enough brainwashing, some guys have ended up divorcing or abandoning their male friends who apparently shared the views of “beta cucks”.

You only need a short dialogue with a proponent of this line of thought to understand the venom; anger oozes out of their words; they are no different than Antifa or other leftist extremists, but merely at the other end of the spectrum. Politically, since they hate the left and afferent “beta” culture, they tend to be right wing or libertarian; many are angry enough to embrace the far right.

Akin to any group based on an iron-cast ideology, diverging an inch results in ostracism. After taking the bait of “enlightening” (red-pilling) themselves and experiencing a sense of empowerment, men who don’t want to go far enough are shamed with accusations of being covert betas, and are thus made to think they are the abnormality, and not the limiting, extremist group they are part of. Which is classic cult manipulation. “You’re with us or against us.”

And labels come to be taken very seriously when coming from people the holders have placed a lot of trust in. Even if the rest of society would discount them and would not regard these men as weaklings. Some sort of attachment keeps them going back to the group for feedback. A dynamic many of us have experienced with one group or another.

As this article in the New Statesman details, abandoning this guarded approach to women is equated with imminent failure.

By following the subreddit’s advice, its subscribers are promised a life of successful sexual encounters. If they ignore the Red Pill, they will undoubtedly be rejected, cheated on, and dumped.

In the same article, a former member describes a well-known dynamic.

“I believed everything, everything. And if you didn’t believe everything… if you go on Red Pill Reddit and you disagree with someone they either delete your comments or they try to make fun of you and shame you. You can’t criticise anything because people will quickly try to diminish you. So I really believed every little thing.”

Needless to reiterate, as the article’s author remarks, everyone has a story and these men should not be taken as a monolith. Their movement is fluid; people come and go on a frequent basis, and whilst what they say might be identical at one point in time, they, as human beings, are not identical.

It’s the philosophy that is toxic, akin to any that is fuelled by bitterness.

The Men’s Rights Movement: A Misguided Octopus

In the vein of other political octopodes, this movement started with the apparently benign quest of countering toxic feminism, yet quickly developed into its “other side of the coin”, joining members not through calm and rationality, or hope for a better world, but anger, frustration, residual disappointment, entitlement, cultural claims of superiority, “regressivism” and in some cases, pathological hatred.

It is thus fair to claim that this movement, just like feminism, plays an active part in a manufactured tribal war of the sexes, as opposed to simply countering the extreme views it claims formented it in the first place.

If we engage in a rather grotesque exercise of imagination, we can compare both these movements with the human centipede envisaged in the creepy film bearing the same name. Once the tribal bond is established, the head of the centipede merely engages in an act of bowel relief, the contents of which pass through everyone attached. Such is the case with toxic ideas. I am attached, therefore I receive and pass on the message, without processing (digesting) it first.

The octopus analogy refers to the many subdivisions of this movement, each emphasising a different issue. On the whole, the MRM pushes forth the following ideas:

  • Western societies favour girls and women over boys and men, in terms of declaring them superior in nature;
  • Education is geared towards the needs and formation of females;
  • Women have legal advantages over men in terms of conceiving and raising children;
  • The job market favours women;
  • Women often make false claims of victimisation by men, especially when sexual misconduct is involved;
  • Feminism seeks to infiltrate Marxist ideas into western states;
  • Women have become undesirable to men through fashion fads and their lack of interest in pleasing men through their image or behaviour;
  • Women are deluded in thinking they can fill positions only men can;
  • Women are generally labile, hysterical and untrustworthy;
  • Women have unwarranted and delusional demands of men;
  • Women use their sexual prowess in order to prey on men;
  • Women seek to demean and demonise men;
  • Marriage is a prison;
  • Masculinity as a concept is under threat.

Needless to say, as in the case of feminism regarding all men with suspicion, there is only a thin line between making these assertions about some women and ending up making them about all women, not to mention male feminists (“betas” or “castrati” as they are sometimes referred to, the latter referencing eunuchs).

What is so disengaging about feminists today is precisely the generalisation and acrimony; the intention to dominate. Sadly, the same is present in the men’s rights movement.

It seems that neither side is actually looking for a better understanding and a harmony-conducive compromise through open discussions, but plain and simple dominance. This is achieved through righteous anger, demonisation, derision and solipsism.

The blind fighting the blind, so to speak.

Perhaps no advocate of this movement is better known than Paul Elam. To see the drive behind this individual one only needs to read a few of his “best quotes”:

Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.

There is nothing left to interpretation or fit for whitewashing. Fortunately, such declarations might see Mr Elam permanently excused from jury duty, yet the encouragement given to others, to do the same, is very poisonous.

Below I will expand on two offshoots of this movement, on a gradient of harmful prejudices and intentions.

MGTOW 

Along the way, the men’s rights movement developed a radical branch known as MGTOW, short for Men Going Their Own Way. This particular group, though not disavowing sexual interactions with women, for short-lived practical purposes only, does swear them off in the sense of commitment and forming families, as apparently, all women are ravenous, manipulative parasites who can exploit men more than ever before due to our current culture of female empowerment.

It’s safe to say personal experience along those lines is a prerequisite for men who adopt this radical declaration. Both in being disappointed and looking for a justification for disappointments caused (that does, indeed, happen).

For a taste  of the group’s attitude (rather reminiscent of bile), here is a collection of fine quotes.

Incel

Although the term itself is gender-neutral, Incel, as in “involuntarily celibate”, is mostly circulated in online discussions between young men who find it difficult to find a female partner. It is often associated with the men’s rights movement and at some point spawned a radical offshoot known as Truecel, which in turn, spawned Elliot Rodger.

In other words, this group is a glorified case of blue balls, pardon the frankness.

They tend to focus on the superficiality of women and their preference for overtly alpha males (the MGTOW type perhaps), arguing women have materialistic and self-gratifying selection criteria when it comes to male partners, and some, such as Rodger, argue the female sex is animal-like in pursuing assholes.

They blend in with the rest of the select MRM gathering through their awful views on women; the only difference is their lack of dignity about it. Whilst the MGTOW crowd tries to display some type of spine, even if the result is members’ own loneliness and nothing more, Incel types declare their desire for vaginas (artificial ones will do, some claim). An infamous Truecel member even came forth with the proposition that it’s the government’s responsibility to provide men with sex, as some kind of social program.

For a taste of this group’s attitude (with a tinge of sour grapes), here is a collection of their intellectual produce. 

Identity politics are not limited to the left. To counteract the plethora of labels and categories the left has consecrated in popular jargon, the right is slowly building a system of its own.

Those who are willing to share their lives with women provided women always obey them.Those who hate women to the point of wanting little or nothing to do with them. Those who hate women but demand sex of them.

And on it goes; it seems all these attitudes, temporary as they may be for each individual, are identities and chosen paths in life now.

 

ICE Detains 10 Year Old Disabled Girl Straight From Hospital – And Some People Still Refuse The Nazi Comparison

Just reading about this, minutes ago, there is no way this action can be justified or interpreted in a somewhat lighter way.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/30/freerosa-supporters-demand-release-10-year-old-detained-trumps-ice

Americans Demand Release of 10-Year-Old Girl Being Held in US Detention Center

A ten-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, who is undocumented, was treated as a priority for detention and subsequent deportation by the US immigration squad. Right off her hospital bed. They have to get them all in the end, don’t they?

Not only do they target schools; it seems they now target hospitals as well. Who knows how many lives the knowledge of that will cost, when people fear they cannot safely go to a doctor in case of an emergency, because even there they are hunted down.

They talk so much about socialism, these folks in the ardent Trump camp.

Not realising socialism is the handing over of human rights and human decency to bureaucrats, which is exactly what they are doing right now in the US, breaking moral codes of any sort in order to comply with the ruler’s directives and fill up targets and statistics.

In cases such as these, we can safely put a “national” in front of the “socialism”.

When entire categories become undesirable and a target for persecution, down to disabled children freshly out of emergency surgery.

It’s not border protection; it’s simply barbarism, to treat a sick disabled child in such ways. Those rejoicing such cases should become aware that as soon as they are done with the outside “undesirables”, this lot, so well trained to be less than human, will be turned against their own people. It’s unavoidable.

Someone was in charge of this decision, to keep pursuing this girl for detention. And this person will soon say “I was just obeying orders”. It’s what they typically say, isn’t it?

On the ACLU website there is yet another chilling story: in 2009, ICE in Boston began a program of outreach, for Indonesians who had fled because of religious persecution. Here’s what happens today with the data ICE gathered:

In 2009, the Boston Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office initiated a program called “Operation Indonesian Surrender,” which it characterized as “a humanitarian effort” meant to “bring folks out of the shadows” and send the message to Indonesian Christian community members that “we will work with you.” Eight years later, ICE is trying to deport all the participants.

It seems the great beam of freedom and hope the US was seen as for many years, through syrupy Hollywood productions, has no moral qualms when it comes to luring people to surrender their information in all honesty, in an outreach program, to then target them for deportation. And fair enough, said data collection may have been done in earnest at the time – yet someone somewhere had no qualms about releasing all those names to the current sharks hunting innocent people up and down every block. Those who gathered this data handed it in, regardless of the moral implications.

They were just obeying orders.

The same with the DACA program, which had the now adult children of illegal immigrants, brought into the US as minors (unable to decide for themselves), register in order to be able to work legally and set foot on a path to citizenship. Because they gave their data to the system, they now face deportation if a decision towards that is reached. These vultures know exactly where to find them now, because they trusted the government with their information.

Who knows how else this alert of someone being undocumented reaches them? Who knows who reports and what? Neighbours, teachers, doctors perhaps? Just like in the days of the third Reich.

Except they have moved beyond receiving reports and now conduct document searches in the street and raids at workplaces. Raids in schools. Searches outside emergency rooms.

The tyranny Alex Jones warned about years ago and is now fully supporting, like a drooling dog at the feet of a drooling monster.

How sick, for lack of a better word.

 

Of Norman Bates And Christian Apologetics

As a non-believer, with no recourse for returning to faith ever again, there is still value in watching debates over the claims of Christianity, if for no other reason than having all I’d taken for granted debunked bit by bit, showing the susceptibility of the human mind to absorb lies, if they are inculcated early enough in life.

I realise why the issue of blind faith is so important in Abrahamic religions – as religious institutions are aware that merely accepting doubt is a guaranteed path to non-theism. If you tear down one brick, admitting that at least one claim of said religion is absurd, the rest will soon crumble, like a house of cards.

It is enough to realise Noah never filled his ark with elephants, penguins, kangaroos and tarantulas, which somehow would’ve made their way from all corners of the Earth and all terrestrial ecosystems to one boat in the Middle East, to understand that some things in the Bible are undoubtedly fictional. And from there, this shadow of doubt is cast upon each claim it makes. Which is why apologists do their best to uphold even such laughable absurdities as Noah’s ark.

Those who still ardently believe do so because that is their core intention and no logical argument seems to be able to shake it. Nonetheless, there are many who took the path of intense Bible study and came out of it as atheists.

Watching Christians debate reminds me of a futile, sweat-inducing strife, the inability to let go of a long disproved concept, hanging on to it by any putrid, disheveling thread. In this strife, so-called holy texts are taken apart letter by letter, in the frantic search for historical facts, logic or meaning. And although the results are always flimsy, there is always some detail to imbue with sheer emotion, to be presented as a wonderful discovery.

It reminds me in a way of the inability to let go of a dead person, taking it to a pathological level.

You can embalm a cadaver, sit in on a chair, groom it, speak to it and even mimic the voice of the dead person to speak in his or her name. You can look for signs of communication, interpreting every trifle with great enthusiasm. You can deprive yourself of sleep to induce a trance and hallucinate, thinking you’ve had a real conversation.Yet undoubtedly, this is the product of your own mind, and you will never achieve this real time communication, as much as you may stage or mimic it.

If this person’s energy or soul exists out there, in a different layer of reality, it’s impossible for you to know with certainty. And whilst this is subject to imagination and speculation, one thing is clear: what you have in front of you and speak to is a cadaver which cannot hear you or answer back. That direct communication is over; it only carries on in your head.

It’s the same with this relationship with an absent, silent God you have no proof of (as by default you cannot have any). You can interpret coincidences as signs; you can thank him for helping you find your keys as someone, the same instant, needlessly dies of cancer across the road from you, but you imagine God is there for your every need, however small. You can engage in role play by praying and pretending to know what God’s message is, when observing what happens next, interpreted as concrete results or lack thereof – either way, “God’s will”.

Needless to say, this is a terrible waste of time and energy.

And century after century, it carries on – the attempt to put flesh on the imaginary bones of an imaginary God; to manifest him somehow.

Many former believers admit to having difficulty letting go of the imaginary friend called Jesus (not very strangely, no one seems to be missing Jehovah that much, when starting to lose their faith). Jesus embodies their hope, their love and feeling of purification through self-sacrifice; their resilience. These are all beautiful concepts and it is heinous of religion to get people to place them outside of themselves, to make them feel that when they let go of this Jesus character they also lose what made life worth living for them.

Ample documentation exists to prove Christianity is yet another man-made system of beliefs, achieved by borrowing elements of older religions. But even in the face of that, Christians refuse to let go of the delusion – because they feel they’d be losing a part of themselves.

That is the surreptitious, perverse nature of it all, which keeps this machine going.