Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dr. Faust and the Harvard Black Mass

Yes, the name of the president of Harvard is Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust. Savor that for as long as you like.

Don't know why that's a funny coincidence? Because Dr. Faust was the president of Harvard during the affair of the Harvard Black Mass.

Thank heavens, the event was moved off campus, postponed indefinitely by the sponsoring organization, though Satanic Temple members claim to have still held some part of it in an off-campus restaurant. But the whole affair is instructive in a number of ways.

The response of the Archdiocese of Boston.

One of the oddities of the whole affair is the purported distinctions being made by the so-called Satanists between themselves and people who actually believe in the Devil. Excerpts (links in the original):
...The Satanic Temple is a kind of stepchild of LaVeyan Satanism, which also is not Satanic. LaVeyan Satanism–the “Church of Satan”–was founded by a ridiculous fraud named Howard Levey, who assumed the name of Anton LaVey and made himself up to look like a cartoon Mephistopheles in one of the least-convincing attempts to appear menacing since Kermit the Frog stuck a pair of vampire fangs in his mouth...

LaVey was a sham psychic/occultist and musician who hit San Francisco with his act at just the right time in the 60s and became a celebrity because he seemed transgressive. He saw Lucifer as a force of freedom and liberation (and thanks for that, John Milton), but mostly as a way to make money and annoy the squares.

He cobbled together an asinine philosophy from scraps of Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, and a book called Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. It’s all the usual will to power, do as thy wilt, fascistic, watered-downed Crowleyite hokum designed to empty pockets and get women naked. (Say what you will about Aleister Crowley, but the man was no idiot and he took things seriously. He would have eaten these frauds for breakfast.)

In other words, American neo-Satanism is all just a big act from people who want attention...

The problem, however, is that their deep ignorance and hatred has left them stumbling around in a very serious, very dark place.

And even though the Satanic Temple is a fraud, Satanism is quite real. It’s just that real Satanists don’t advertise the fact...

See, they may not believe in Satan, but Satan believes in them, and he knows Useful Idiots when he sees them...
This is a beautiful summary of the whole, screwy situation. Excerpts:
Ok so let’s get this straight then:

The Harvard Cultural Studies group is hosting an event on campus that includes a Satanic Black Mass from a group that claims not to actually believe in Satan never performed a Black Mass and when called on to explain the university’s position  equated a Black Mass to a Shinto tea ceremony and Buddhist meditation.

FYI if you google “diversity & “tolerance” at harvard this is the gum that comes up from the Harvard School of Public Health
we are committed to tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect everywhere within our community, and we hereby affirm our promise to provide a welcoming place for one and all. 
Meanwhile we are further told that the Satanic Temple does not only doesn’t actually believe in Satan, really isn’t going to use a consecrated host after confirming that they were and it’s all just a misunderstanding that wasn’t meant to offend anybody even though the claim a it’s no big deal either way.

Maybe it’s just me but these people don’t seem trustworthy. In fact I seem to recall a expert on Satan noting some credibility issues concerning those who follow Satan in the past:
You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.
As Harvard has a divinity school I trust they can figure out the source of this quote....
The Satanic Temple (apparently a group based out of New York) is also behind the attempt to get a statue of the devil in an Oklahoma courthouse. Tom McDonald has an important run down of the consequences of their actions:
Catholics have been reminded of something important: our precious Sacrament is the target of wicked people, and even though this incident was stopped, others continue. Now more people are aware of that fact, and are offering acts of reparation for this wounding. That would not have happened if this incident had not forced the issue into public consciousness.

We also needed to be reminded that these people–both fake Satanists and real–are also children of God. They’ve invited demons into their souls, almost certainly without realizing what that means. Jesus did not curse the possessed: he exorcised them. We, too, should pray for these tools of the enemy, that they may be freed from their bondage to evil and welcome into the light of Christ, where they shall always have a loving home.

More than one Satanist has found his way to Holy Mother Church, and if we are to be Christians, we must not lose sight that it’s our job to lead them back, while also fighting the evil they wish to bring into the world

And while we do this, we must remember that the battleground of Satan is within us as well. As Solzhenitsyn wrote, the line separating good and evil passes right through every human heart. I’d rather not lose a single soul to Hell. Not one. Not even the soul of my worst enemy..

One of the key aspects of the whole event is the attitude which the Harvard group sponsoring the event was taking toward the opposition. Excerpts:
“While it is unfortunate that many people took personal offense at rituals for which they have little or no understanding of their context, what we find most disturbing have been the demands that the rituals and beliefs of marginalized members of society be silenced,” the club wrote in the emailed statement. “It is gravely upsetting to us that some people feel vindicated on the basis that they have disingenuously mischaracterized our invited guests as being part of a hate group.”
And this, as well. Excerpts:
...Members of the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, who posted fliers and notices on campus and online about the Satanic worshipping happening on May 12, said the event is educational and meant to add historical context to a lecture on the subject that will precede it. “Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices,” the group said in a statement. “This performance is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture.”...
The language is echoed, to a certain extent, by the Satanic Temple spokespeople, as well.
...Given the group’s insistence that they are engaging in an intellectual and educational exercise meant, as Greaves put it, “as an expression of personal independence from overwhelming cultural influences”, I asked if obtaining a Consecrated Host through stealth — and using it for an “intellectual” exercise that would constitute grave abuse to believing Catholics — would pose an ethical dilemma for them which could affect their credibility. Greaves wondered whether anyone connected with the group “would waste time going to all that trouble. The odds are almost zero...”

Speaking anonymously, a spokesman added, “please understand, there is in fact, respect for the beliefs of others, and our intention was not to be in anyone’s face. We did not mean to mislead...”

They appear to me to be more interested in advocating against belief of any sort, and pricking the culture, than in actually pursuing supernatural interests. That they are more, as it were, “seculo-politico-atheo-satanists” rather than supernaturalists.

Having spoken with several people within the organization, I am not entirely sure they fully understand what they’ve gotten themselves into, with this “re-enactment”. When I asked Greaves what he would do if, in the midst of their exercise, something from the etheric plane made itself known, he laughed and said, “well, then I’d have to reassess.”

Greaves says his Satanism is “a metaphorical construct” meant to unshackle the world from belief in supernatural good or evil because belief has “led to horrible things” and “the idea of Satanists as deviants has never done the world any good...”
And here. Excerpts:
...As Mesner tells Vice writer Shane Bugbee, "While the original thinking was that the Satanic Temple needed to hold to some belief in a supernatural entity known as 'Satan,' none of us truly believed that. I helped develop us into something we all do truly believe in and wholeheartedly embrace: an atheistic philosophical framework that views 'Satan' as a metaphorical construct by which we contextualize our works.

"We've moved well beyond being a simple political ploy and into being a very sincere movement that seeks to separate religion from superstition and to contribute positively to the cultural dialogue."

Apparently, for the Temple, "contributing positively to the cultural dialogue" consists of taking the "source and summit" of the Catholic faith, the Eucharist, and using it in some sort of quasi-historical/theatrical evening of entertainment...
Dawn Eden did some digging and perhaps found what exactly motivates some of the members of this organization. Excerpts:
...All things considered, when I read that Greaves says he intends the “Black Mass”  to be “an expression of personal independence from overwhelming cultural influences,” I have to ask, from what kind of cultural influences does he seek independence? From where I can see, by engaging in a hateful mockery of the Catholic faith, he seeks to declare independence from the teaching that human beings should be protected from all forms of harmful exploitation. He seeks to declare independence from the one institution in the world that has, for two thousand years, defended the dignity of the human person against those who would use and abuse others for their own ends. Finally, in his vituperative attacks against victims (which, from his Internet trail, are clearly personal and go far beyond “debunking” psychological theories), he declares himself independent from the Church which teaches not only that intrinsic evils exist, but that one of those intrinsic evils is rape...
The language of the Harvard sponsors and, to a certain extent, the Satanic Temple folks, is entirely in conformity with the pedagogy of the oppressed. The logic can be simplified thusly:
  • The status quo is imperfect/evil/actively oppressive (pick which one applies)
  • Those with power/money/etc. (whom we shall call the "oppressors") benefit from the status quo, for they are at the top of the heap in the midst of it. 
  • Those without power/money/etc. (whom we shall call the "oppressed") do not benefit from the status quo.
  • Since the status quo is imperfect, it is the source/maintains the existence of evils.
  • In order to fix those evils, the status quo must be overturned/dismantled/deconstructed.
  • The status quo will be ended when those without power/money/etc. struggle to acquire said power/money/etc. from those who currently possess it. 
  • Any evils done in the course of the struggle are the products of the status quo, and the fault of those who benefited from/maintained the status quo. 
  • Thus, the oppressors are to blame for everything wrong/evil, and the oppressed are always and forever the victims/innocent/free from guilt for anything done in the name of the revolution.
It's a tempting way to think, and to be. There truly are the situations and people where intolerable oppression generates violent reactions. But to work to "raise the consciousness" of every group into the mindset of the oppressed, setting everyone into jealously guarding every bit of power, money, influence, privilege, what have you against the demands or depradations of anyone else always and at all times--that's a recipe for hell on earth.

In many ways, this is the basic structure of Marxism--the oppressed/proletariat must rise against the oppressors/bourgeois to achieve the revolution which shall usher in the end of the status quo and the dictatorship of the proletariat, which shall eventually resolve itself into the classless society without haves or have nots.

I call it the politics of envy. Why? It leads to an endless cycle of violence. The dictators after the revolution shall be the new haves, and the former bourgeois, the new have nots. The only real way out of the cycle is forgiveness, charity, and supernatural grace.

But Marxism has no room for God, or grace, or forgiveness--at least, ideologically. And so you get the strange hells of the gulag archipelago and the culture of the life, the lands where deception reigns and all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

And then there's what happens when you take this Marxist framework and attempt to stretch it over a Christian worldview. What happens? Well, think it through: those with power who maintain the status quo are evil. Those without power who challenge the status quo are good.

God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, the source of all that is, the Lord, the One who gives all free will and metes out justice and mercy. The Devil is the rebel, the revolutionary, seeking to wage war on heaven, overthrow the Power that be, and redistribute power.

Who, then, becomes good, and who evil, according to the politics of envy?

How do I know I'm not just being paranoid? Simply, Saul Alinsky.
“Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins - or which is which), the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer.” ― Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals
This is a concatenation of the dictatorship of relativism (also called the culture of the lie, populated by the people of the lie) and the politics of envy. The Anchoress sums it up well. Excerpts:
Breitbart News: What is your overall impression of the entire affair?

Scalia: I think it's demonstrative of how comfortable we as a society have become with lying to ourselves and being lied to. Harvard Extension can convince itself – and others – that all it's doing is hosting an intellectual exercise; the Temple folks can convince themselves, and some, that they're not really tempting a supernatural, or etheric plane; but we know that there are "things seen and unseen" constantly at work.

It is so much easier to believe these over-rationalized-into-fantasy lies than to do the hard work of saying "no" to someone, or of respecting others, even if it involves some self-denial. It's a human condition, common to us all, but it seems to me to be in ascendance. The easier way always is.

And in thinking about and responding to the Harvard Black Mass, the Anchoress's son pinpoints the weakness at the heart of the politics of envy. Excerpts:
“But, it’s a Gift,” Buster said, “So they only cheat and hurt themselves.”

I was a little confused. “What do you mean, which is the Gift, the Holy Eucharist, or sexuality?”

“Both,” he said. “They’re both gifts, but I’m talking about the Gift of the Body of Christ. Christ gave himself to us, feely, of his own free will. A Gift freely given. If someone takes the Gift and spits on it or whatever — they’re only destroying what was given to them, they are destroying what is “theirs.” They don’t in any way destroy the Giver of the Gift, or lessen the Giver, or the Gift. So they have no power over it, they can’t dominate it. All they can do is destroy themselves within themselves.”

“Yes,” I agreed. If I freely give you a car, and you decide to smash it up, you’ve lost out, not me. If I give you my life, and you are unappreciative, it doesn’t lessen what I have done, but reveals the void within you.”

“That’s why even during the Passion, those who wanted Jesus dead could not have victory over him,” Buster mused, picking up on today’s Gospel reading. “So, no matter how they mistreated Him or misjudged Him, or tortured Him…He had consented to it. And so they lost, and He won.” The Power was always His.”

“Right,” I said, wondering what I was thinking about when I was 16 years old.

“And so, these people at the black masses — they have an illusion of power, but the power is always Christ’s, because He is the Gift.”


“It doesn’t make me feel any better to think of anyone desecrating a Host,” he mused. “But if they don’t realize that the power they think they have is only an illusion, then really…’they know not what they do.’”


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