This episode of The Invisible Hand features Part 2 of my recent interview with Christopher Knowles, artist, blogger, psychonaut, and author of Our Gods Wear Spandex, as well as The Complete X-Files. Knowles publishes The Secret Sun, a website that analyzes ancient symbolism in modern society from a Jungian perspective.
Last week we taxied through the byways of the collective unconscious to explore ancient religious symbolism in the memes of modern culture. This week we’re going to leave the launching pad and blast off into the unknown, as we ask: are the dystopian worlds of science fiction, as well as the dystopian reality of neofeudal debt slavery, hypnocratic illusion, and police state oppression we live in today really a reflection of a larger cosmic order that is also flawed? Are we enslaved just as much by our skewed perception of reality through time and space as we are by our corrupt political and economic systems? We are going to navigate through some particularly dangerous, uncharted territory today, getting into Judeo-Christian, Gnostic, and Sumerian creation myths, exploring the very nature of time, space, and reality, testing the boundaries of the experiential prison that we find ourselves trapped in, and challenging the powers, both on Earth and beyond, which keep us locked in these fetters.
Also, here are some of the news stories included in this edition of the podcast:
- Just barely a week after passing legislation that the President said would put an end to bank bailouts, the US government is being told by its parent company, the International Monetary Fund, that the banks may need an additional $76 billion in capital injections to keep from buckling anew. This comes after a new IMF report was issued following stress tests simulating potential problems in the coming 4 years, including a looming commercial real estate collapse. Presently there are about $1.4 trillion worth of commercial mortgages set to mature before 2014, and over 50% of these are already either delinquent or underwater. While the IMF did not formerly call for a new round of bank recapitalization through government bailouts, as the report stated, “pockets of vulnerabilities linger.”
- The CIA and Google are both making headlines this week because, as Wired Magazine’s Danger Room reports, they are both making heavy investments in the same signals intelligence firm simultaneously, prompting talk that the internet giant is merely a front for the spy agency, like BCCI or Air America once were. Just like something out of the Philip K. Dick novel The Minority Report, the company, Recorded Future, analyzes web searches and internet posts through a sophisticated cross-referencing algorithm to predict future events, which the CIA hopes to employ as an enforcement tool against precrime: crimes that have not yet been committed. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden is quoted by Wired as saying “there’s a real satisfaction in solving a problem … with information that someone was dumb enough to leave out in the open.” The company uses “spatial and temporal analysis” to identify who you are, where you are and what you are planning on doing. “Sentiment analysis” allegedly identifies how you feel about it, and what your motivations are. Of course, this reporter cannot help but wonder if the government and corporate spooks can pick up on the sarcasm and incredulity of this report.
- A huge cache of secret papers in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland has been released to the public, revealing the existence of a secret anti-communist US intelligence organization during WWII that predated the CIA and existed alongside the OSS or Office of Strategic Strategies. The group, known initially as the “Special Service Branch” and informally as “The Pond”, was less an official government organization and more of an private circle of unpaid informants who operated behind the cover of multinational corporations like Chase Bank and American Express, and reported directly to the State Department. At their height, they operated a total of 40 chiefs handling over 600 agents in 32 countries. They participated in contracting mobster Lucky Luciano to attempt an assassination of Mussolini, attempted to negotiate Germany’s surrender to the Allies, and gathered intel about atomic weapons research. The group was viewed with mistrust by the OSS, and was relegated to the role of a private contractor after the war when the Central Intelligence Agency was formed. The CIA pressured the government to terminate the Pond’s contract when the group’s head. Col. John V. Grombach, began cooperating with Joseph McCarthy’s investigation in search of communist spy infiltrators, fingering several high-level CIA officers as agents of Moscow. The CIA continues to withhold several thousand pages of documents pertaining to the Pond, and has denied a Freedom of Information Act request from the Associated Press, which is being appealed right now.
- This year’s Bohemian Grove encampment in Northern California begins tonight, kicked off with an address from the governor himself Arnold Schwarzenegger. Other speeches at the retreat, which lasts for 17 days, will also include addresses from former secretaries of state George Schultz and James Baker, along with media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The secretive resort encampment, which includes neo-Druidic rituals and a controversial mock burnt offering called the Cremation of Care, is open only to the 2000 members of the private Bohemian Club. The list includes some of America’s most powerful politicians, businessmen, and media personalities, who are all sworn to absolute secrecy about the events that transpire there. The mainstream press typically blacks out all mention of the event, and this year is no exception.
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