a reply to: ArtemisE
Put yourself in the shoes of a charter member of the conspiracy and see how it looks.
Let us suppose that I was from one of the oldest and richest families in our society with many important connections, living sometime around WWI.
I've got everything I could individually want, except for a guarantee that I will never lose it, and the ability to put my equally wealthy rivals in
their place when they cross me- everything's great but starting tomorrow I might spend the rest of my life in a miserable struggle to defend it and
never get anything else constructive done as a result.
I've seen my fellow tycoons cut eachothers throats for control of new industries, I'm watching the Ottoman Empire die, I'm watching the birth of
communism and realizing that there could be a newer more dangerous heir to William Jennings Bryan over here soon, I've seen Asians beat Europeans in
a war now they are offering to send an army to Europe to help right the balance of power.
If I'm that guy, I know something has to be done if I don't want to be the end of a dynasty. And I know that the way such matters have been handled
in Europe for the last hundred plus years is a balance of power system- a series of shifting alliances specifically intended to keep all players in
the game and prevent any one player from dominating. A central authority is not needed or desirable to my type, but there must be a framework of some
kind to keep everyone in bounds.
I ask myself how I can make people not follow rational self interest all the way to world domination. I decide the rules must be sacred. Christianity
will no longer serve however, because for a couple hundred years already the European elite have been rewriting those rules to suit themselves and now
even the people feel free to do so- a cross of gold has already been the metaphor for my class abusing the poor. Occultism is all the rage though. My
rivals' wives are holding seances and discussing the curse of the Hope Diamond, the curse of the Pharaoh is in the news, the fortune from the
Winchester rifle is being used to build a home for the spirits of the men it shot... yes Occultism is exactly the type of undefined fear that will
keep people in line. And furthermore the Satan story gets right to the heart of what I want to prevent- a war in heaven caused by the ambition of the
second most powerful figure in the picture.
So now I've decided to build a community of power, with an occult mythology that teaches wise cooperation rather than ambitious struggling between
the powerful. But how do I let people know what this new God wants them to do? I can't convert all of western civilization, and I can't be seen
practicing a different religion than my subjects.
But we've dealt with this before. It's unusual in western history for the peasants to really understand what religion means for society- it's
enough for them to know what is expected of them personally if they don't want to be punished. The masses have normally been held in dead languages,
the deepest secrets have usually hidden in the symbolism of architecture and medieval style art (wherein one does not look and recognize as we do to
the photograph and the printed word, but instead must study and interpret based on an agreed system of symbolism and references). Now people are less
able than ever before to read this stuff for themselves, because it's deader than it's ever been, but the people I want to talk to are still being
classically educated and being exposed to stuff like this.
So after I get my fellow plutocrats together at a lavish resort, open the doors of perception for them, tell them a few mystic-tinged parables, pick
out a few promising high priests among the group, and schedule another meeting, we're on our way.
The end result is that if I want to put up a sign that says, "this is where we discuss terms for our conflicts- don't come if you aren't party to a
dispute, don't bring your servants, weapons, or anything else, and never mention what happens here or we'll kill you" but I don't want the janitor
to read that sign and mention it to a reporter, I can put up a statue at the entrance that references a relevant part of the new mythology.