Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Warding-off the evil eye of the mass media

In the ancient world there was a belief that written words or symbols, or pictures or statues, or words spoken in a particular way, had objective power for good or ill - a potentially immense power.

I think this is correct, and I feel it strongly from the mass media, whose activities feel so much like an evil spell, or a curse. That, I suspect, is precisely what they are. How else could a single picture, a video clip, a phrase, do so much harm?

From time to time this seems undeniable - like the recent deceit-full and irrelevant usage of a three-year old drowned boy to destroy the resistance of Western societies to their annihilation by mass population migration. As I read the headlines of that 'story' I felt a vast and transfixing malice approaching: the evil eye being directed directly at me - and no doubt tens of millions of others felt the same.

It was instantly clear that we were catapulted beyond the realms of argument - we were all just about to be hit with the strangling chains of a double bind. It was a case of: embrace the narrative instantly, or be destroyed by concentrated hatred.

How to respond? By warding-off the demonic assault: by an instant prayer - fired-off like a crossbow bolt, by crossing oneself, by making a sign (whether overt or secret) to repel the shock-wave.

This seems to me the only valid response, and indeed the best response - because it self-signals our recognition of what is going-on, and unambiguously shows our attacker (by supernatural routes) that we know what is going-on, and demonstrates our faith that we are perfectly safe from such satanic attacks - safe, that is, unless we yield, capitulate to the jinx, invite the vampire through the door and into our own house...

I intend to do this more and more - and I think it is more and more necessary; because the mass media cannot be altogether avoided, and they have henchmen everywhere.

When the curse is launched at you, there is always a moment of awareness before impact; and that is when you can respond with a shield charm. Train yourself not to be drawn into an argument which is pre-rigged for you to lose. But ask for divine help. And if you are seen to do so - then so much the better.  

Our defences are, indeed, impenetrable - so long as we actually deploy them.


Albrecht said...

The mass media as evil eye. Brilliant. Vigilant holiness is our surest stronghold. It sees yet is inscrutable to evil.

John Fitzgerald said...

Spot on Bruce I can think of so many images of horror, tragedy and brutality from 2014/15. Some have gained traction in the media while others, sometimes surprisingly, haven't. Why is this? It's hard sometimes to avoid the feeling that you're being played and that agendas -conscious or otherwise - are at work. My problem often has been that I've then found myself sucked into verbal brawls, where I always struggle, I'm grateful then for the perspective you offer and the suggestions you make for seeing things as they are, refusing to be drawn, and framing our response from the basis of a heartfelt appeal to Divinity.

John Fitzgerald said...

The mass media is like a master boxer. It jabs away patiently - almost boringly at times - before flooring you with a thunderous combination. I can give an example from early 2014. I was having breakfast in the refectory of the University where I work. I wasn't aware that there had been an episode of a popular UK soap (Coronation Street) the previous evening in which a terminally ill character opted for some form of what is now called 'assisted dying.'

Anyway, I got the gist of things soon enough. A bloke on a nearby table was reading The Sun. The headline on the front page screamed 'Let Us Die', supported by a byline which said that in a snap poll taken after the TV show a majority of Brits had expressed support for assisted dying/suicide. I can still feel how disorientated, stunned and sick I felt. My head and body were totally scrambled. I felt the very clear presence of a laughing, mocking Evil. It's no exaggeration to say that in that moment I saw Satan enthroned.

I can't remember now how I warded it off, but I did tell my wife and a priest as well.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Albrecht and John - Thanks. I wrote this because it struck me that (to put it crudely) supernatural attacks require a supernatural response - a merely human response will be inadequate.

Ann Kellett said...

Yes, a thousand times! Thank you for this profound insight. In recent months, the tide of mass media (and politics) has become so blatantly perverted, superficial and, yes, evil, that I am astonished the general public has not revolted. What more could it possibly take to open people's eyes? I suppose the good news is that now or shortly in the future our answers to the question "Who do you say that I am?" will become crystal clear, whether we like it or not.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Why don't you just stop watching it? I don't even know about these mass-media stories until I hear about them from you.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - It is impossible to avoid the news headlines - they are flashed up everywhere, people ask/ tell me about things, plus of course I am sometimes not able to resist finding out what people are talking about, or (being feeble) at times I succumb to idle curiosity.

For example, in reading about cricket (which is, obviously, necessary) I have to click through the Daily Telegraph (to get at my favourite writer - Scyld Berry) - and the article I am reading may be surrounded by headlines and links.

My media exposure can be reduced considerably, but it cannot be eliminated.

David said...

Yes, I was also appalled by the image on the headlines you mention. I prayed for the little boys soul, for the family and those countless thousands involved in the current crisis; sometimes the scale of human suffering out there is too much for me to process. The double-bind for me at least seemed to be, how to engage with this from the position of Christian Charity being a cardinal virtue and an essential requirement at the level of personal moral agency (As Dr Martin Luther King reminded us, neutrality and just crossing-the-street to looming ethical problems can often be the linchpin of securing a widespread vice to begin with) but also without being herded into a Sinking boat situation which is far worse a possibility (and increasingly a reality) of excessive unsustainable migration and a free-for-all on already clearly very limited resources. I don't know the answer but perhaps that is the 'point' of the double-bind to force an untenable position upon the British public by the mass media?! If I could I would gladly give a room, food and shelter to a fellow human being in need of charity, but of course the impotence of the thing is also that the media largely reports remote things over which we have little or zero influence as citizens of this country except to gawk at headlines or avoid them.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - I think you may have misunderstood my point here. But either way there is no Christian problem here, Christian societies of the past have had no difficulty in knowing how to manage such problems. Indeed, in a non-psychotic society, such problems would not have arisen in the first place. Today's is a problem caused by the collapse of Christianity, the utter lack of personal responsibility at every level, moral grandstanding; and the application of universalist, hedonic secular ethics combined with tacit self-hatred and willed suicide consequent upon generations of nihilist and socialist propaganda.

Bruce Charlton said...

@John F - In case you had not noticed, your above comment was approvingly posted on John C Wright's blog:


ajb said...

"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."

If your profession or associates (or favourite cricket writer, even!) are putting your soul at risk, time to change your profession or associates.

The biggest error I see is in people underestimating 1. the power of mass media, and 2. their own power in limiting it.

1. Reduce one's own contact with mass media. 2. Let people you know, know that you're not interested in MSM stories (either explicitly, or by changing the topic whenever they bring up the latest topic du jour). 3. Network with other people who have similarly reduced their contact with mass media.

Anonymous said...

Wm jas, a person can disconnect from the media, but their insidious effects, whether overwhelming or subtle, shape every aspect of life beyond the individual, from politics to social mores to mainstream religion, and on and on. It truly is a web.