Dystopia Sucks, Bro
Summer – Wk 2: National Pulse Podcast Appearance | Spiritual Tech is the Future of False Religion | Wellcome Leap Forward | H.R. Giger Was Right
Getting Into the Swing of Things
It’s been a crazy month. Most of my energies have been spent adapting to a contributor position at the War Room: Pandemic, with articles going out everywhere from The Federalist and The American Thinker to The National Pulse and Salvo. (Sadly, July is the first month in well over a year that I won’t appear in ColdType.)
Look for more very soon. Until then…
Podcast Appearance at The National Pulse
Raheem Kassam invoked the Queen’s English to ask me what aliens have to do with the price of eggs in China.
Trying (and failing) to suppress my Southern drawl, I explain that UFOs are the ultimate transhumanist symbol.
Listen to the whole thing here (or click the big ol’ green button below)
Spiritual Tech is the Future of False Religion
My latest review: “Spiritual Tech is the Future of False Religion” — at Salvo
Spirit Tech: The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Enlightenment Engineering by Wesley Wildman and Kate Stockly. St. Martin's Press, 352 pgs. (March 2021)
[This is my original intro, before making cuts for brevity]
It's no wonder that people are zapping their brains to see God. Cultural evolution hinges on the development of technique and technology. Through the explosion of advanced tools and increasing social complexity, human beings have been refashioned by their own hands.
Religion is at the core of this process. Dancing, pageantry, chanting, prayer, and ritual are foundational religious techniques. Each incorporates various technologies, from drums to masks to sharpened blades. Each has profound impacts on the brain and body. Wherever innate curiosity met good fortune, psychoactive plants were used to heighten the experience.
With the advent of civilization, new spiritual techniques and technologies arose. Fluid mythologies were codified into written texts. Monumental temple structures were erected to accommodate ever more elaborate rituals. India saw the invention of yogic exercises and deep meditative practices to evoke mystical states and fundamentally alter the psyche. The West converged on similar ascetic practices and psycho-dramas, such as fasting, self-mortification, and the intense conversion experience.
Despite the aura of ancient tradition, all cultural modes have evolved over time. So it should feel natural to see new technologies that augment, transform, and maybe even replace the more ancient patterns. Nevertheless, the inventions presented in Spirit Tech rattle the soul.
The book offers a dizzying panorama of transcranial brain stimulation, neurofeedback devices, digitized community, sacralized virtual reality, psychedelic rituals, and AI-powered gurus. Written by two specialists in the scientific study of religion—Wesley Wildman and Kate Stockly—Spirit Tech explores this techno revolution with barely contained enthusiasm. While the authors are careful to point out potential dangers to both the individual and the wider social structure, their conclusion is overwhelmingly optimistic.
As a student of evolutionary science and world religions—who earned his master's degree under Dr. Wildman at Boston University—I suspect these technologies are an ominous sign of things to come.
Can you imagine a congregation dotted with sleek, three-hundred dollar God-helmets? It's absurd.
That's not to say I don't want to try all of them, though. In fact, I've done a few more than once. …
Read the whole thing there
Wellcome Leap Forward
You know you’re reading a great article when your jealousy increases with every paragraph. That was certainly true while reading Whitney Webb’s latest investigative report at Unlimited Hangout, “A ‘Leap’ Toward Humanity’s Destruction.”
In typical Whitney style, she connects a thousand dots between Wellcome Leap, DAARPA, Google, Facebook, the World Economic Forum, and a little-known genomics company named, perhaps as an intentional provocation, Illumina:
“The world’s richest medical research foundation, the Wellcome Trust, has teamed up with a pair of former DARPA directors who built Silicon Valley’s skunkworks to usher in an age of nightmarish surveillance, including for babies as young as three months old. Their agenda can only advance if we allow it.
A UK nonprofit with ties to global corruption throughout the COVID-19 crisis as well as historical and current ties to the UK eugenics movement launched a global health-focused DARPA equivalent last year. The move went largely unnoticed by both mainstream and independent media.
The Wellcome Trust, which has arguably been second only to Bill Gates in its ability to influence events during the COVID-19 crisis and vaccination campaign, launched its own global equivalent of the Pentagon’s secretive research agency last year, officially to combat the “most pressing health challenges of our time.” Though first conceived of in 2018, this particular Wellcome Trust initiative was spun off from the Trust last May with $300 million in initial funding. It quickly attracted two former DARPA executives, who had previously served in the upper echelons of Silicon Valley, to manage and plan its portfolio of projects.
This global health DARPA, known as Wellcome Leap, seeks to achieve “breakthrough scientific and technological solutions” by or before 2030, with a focus on “complex global health challenges.” The Wellcome Trust is open about how Wellcome Leap will apply the approaches of Silicon Valley and venture capital firms to the health and life science sector. Unsurprisingly, their three current programs are poised to develop incredibly invasive tech-focused, and in some cases overtly transhumanist, medical technologies, including a program exclusively focused on using artificial intelligence (AI), mobile sensors, and wearable brain-mapping tech for children three years old and younger.”
Whitney Webb really lit a fire under my ass in April of 2020, when I stumbled across her fantastic (and utterly depressing) piece, “Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision.” I haven’t stopped writing since I read it.
This chick’s crazy—and by that I mean crazy smart.
If she were sane and single, I’d propose an unlimited hangout.
H.R. Giger Was Right For All the Wrong Reasons
One of the weirdest experiences I had during my first trip to Europe—and I had a few—was visiting H.R. Giger’s museum in Switzerland.
The building is located in the small village of Gruyères, in the foothills of the Alps.
The setting seemed innocent at first. But after my tour of the museum, and a long conversation with the “Brown Sugar” daughter of an iconic Rolling Stones groupie at the Giger Bar afterward, the whole scene seemed less like The Sound of Music and more like The Wicker Man.
As usual, most people hate Giger for being exactly right. He saw the dark techno-totalitarian cloud as an emanation of satanic forces (NSFW). From what I can tell, he was pretty happy about it. For him, the future dystopia is actually a utopian biomechanical BDSM fantasy.
The artist’s funniest appearance ever was in the 1987 documentary The Occult Experience. The whole film is worth a watch, if only to see the Church of Satan’s clownish rituals in action, or hear the neo-pagan Alex Sanders celebrate losing his virginity to his own grandmother.
If you only see one part, though, the late H.R. Giger’s segment is pure gold.
“Zee images een my paintings are evil, but you can't say zat I evil. Zat's just zee paradise for me, it's uhh, Helll...
“I like woman very much, eh, but I'm afraid of them times. I'm afraid about suffering. Womens make me often suffering, so much zat I stops, and maybe I vurk it out on, on painting.”