Monday 28 May 2018

Negative notice of Dark Star Rising: magick and power in the age of Trump (2018) by Gary Lachman

First I will reproduce a comment I published on Steve Sailer's blog a couple of days ago:

I read Dark Star Rising a couple of months ago, in a review copy; but have been holding-off publishing my thoughts until the official publication date. 

Gary Lachman is a very solid and well known writer on ‘occult’ topics – I have read quite a few of his previous books (e.g. on Rudolf Steiner, Swedenborg, and historical surveys of sixties spiritual counter culture, Western esotericism etc). All are very good. 

He also wrote a really *excellent* biography of Colin Wilson called Beyond the Robot (indeed, I first came across Lachman around 2000 when we both used to contribute to a small, Colin Wilson oriented magazine). 

Having said all that positive stuff, and to my surprise and disappointment – I found Dark Star Rising a poor book; far below the high standards I have come to expect from GL – lacking both (minimal) objectivity; and with a meagre, distorted, and fundamentally mistaken factual basis. Histrionic and sloppy. I’ll say more specifically, when I review it properly on my blog. 

But I would say: please don’t be put off reading Lachman’s earlier work by this book; which is probably, unfortunately, going to get a fair bit of publicity… 

I now find that I have not the heart to review Dark Star Rising in any kind of detail, as I intended. It's not just that it is a very poorly researched book - in which all the evidence about the 'Alt-Right' comes from its mass media/ party political enemies (amazingly; nothing at all about the roots in Mencius Moldbug nor the current domination by Vox Day and his gang, to mention two egregious omissions).

This means that the straw man which Lachman is attacking is essentially just another variant of his own secular progressivism.

(Trump himself is, of course, a progressive and a sexual revolutionary - a child of materialism, utilitarianism, economism, big business, public relations and propaganda; a figure of the mass media, advertising, social media... He also has virtues (including courage and independence of mind); and Trump's enemies are far worse than Trump himself; and Trump is almost always attacked most viciously for what he does right, not for his flaws. But Trump Just-Is A Man of the Left, by world-historical standards. Obviously!)

Lachman leaves out genuine religious reactionaries - or rather, explains-them-away; I think because he personally does not believe that people could genuinely and primarily be motivated by a religion (especially not Christianity) but that it is a front for reactionary (i.e. racist, sexist, 'phobic' politics). In his comments on Russia, it is clear that he regards the massive Christian revival there as a complete fake; a cover-up.

It's not just that all kind of prejudicial assumptions are built-into this book's argument - unexamined, undefined, untested - especially about key concepts like 'extreme right wing', 'white supremacists' (that mythical power bloc, consisting mainly of false flag operatives, subversive infiltrators and agents provocateurs) and the like: the slur words of the billionaire/ big-finance-subsidised Social Justice Warrior activists in the mass/ social media; in pressure-groups, NGOs and 'charities; and dominating all powerful or well-funded institutions...

It seems just a waste of time to be specific in analysis and critique, because the book is written from that point of view of moral inversion which is mainstream among the Global Elites - so it is clear that Gary Lachman has been corrupted.

However valuable I found Gary Lachman's earlier work; it is clear that he now has crossed the line, abandoned all his earlier standards of scholarship and fairness; and joined the forces of darkness. He has been confronted by a moment-of-truth, he has made a decision, he has taken a crucial step; and the process of corruption has apparently been very rapid.

But there is a lesson to be learned here. Lachman's previous stance was broadly 'agnostic' - at least, that was the perspective from which his books were written. He seems like a decent kind of man, worked hard, wrote clearly, did useful stuff...

Yet it was always clear that Lachman shared the mainstream 'anything but Christianity' kind of reflexive leftist/ progressive/ pro-sexual revolution perspective... which is all-but universal among those active in the perennialist, spiritual, esoteric, neo-pagan, self-help, personal development world.

Here and now, this agnostic stance of suspended judgement is non-viable: things have come to a point; because of the pervasive domination of New Left/ Political Correctness in all major social institutions everyone is incrementally being brought to a fork in the path, a decision yes or no.

I see this all around me. We live in a world of spiritual warfare. It cannot be hidden from, choice cannot be evaded. We cannot 'keep our heads down' because everyone is located and they must stand-up and raise their hands (and voices) to endorse and promote the current, evolving Leftist totalitarian narrative in all its respects - or else...

For the past decade and more, I have been seeing people whom I have known (sometimes for decades), very suddenly and swiftly (so fast I only see the after-effects) become fundamentally-corrupt - becoming allies, servants and advocates of evil.

The number who make the right choice is very small indeed - and I am talking about a really tiny percentage.

That's how it is.

These times are times of clarity - clarity so long as we don't imagine there is anything like a quantitatively-equal division between those who choose good and evil.

So long as we are prepared to see what ought-to-be obvious - that nearly-everybody is choosing evil. It may well be that every-single-person in your social group has chosen evil: it is that common, it is that kind of proportion.

Then, if we have been noticing; we will be dismayed and disappointed but we will not be at all surprised - when friends and relations, as well as bosses, colleagues and public figures - when they nearly-all get it wrong.

Given what they believe and disbelieve; given what they prioritise in Life: what did we expect?


Lyon said...

This is the first of your writings I have ever read. IT certainly won't be the last. I found you through Vox. Thank you for getting this out!

William Wildblood said...

Gary Lachman's interests have always seemed to be in occultism rather than genuine spirituality so based on the search for experience, knowledge and/or power rather than inspired by true love of God. Practically all occultists are spiritual materialists really.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Lyon - thanks.

@William - As I said, I have found value in Gary Lachman's work up-to the Colin Wilson biography - which I liked very much: I was grateful that Wilson had found such a biographer.

So I perceive a big change.

@BW - I wouldn't go so far - for example, children have typically not decided Not to become Christians.

But things are more black and white, and there is proportionately more black, than perhaps ever before.

William Wildblood said...

I haven't read the book so you are no doubt right about the change but I would say the seeds of it were always there. In the two or three books of his that I've read (and enjoyed) they've been noticeable.

You've often made the point that things are coming to a head. Perhaps this is an example of that. Real motivations are being brought out.

Unknown said...

"It seems just a waste of time to be specific in analysis and critique, because the book is written from that point of view of moral inversion which is mainstream among the Global Elites - so it is clear that Gary Lachman has been corrupted."

I think that says it all.This is in no way a review of my book, but an exercise in knee-jerk reaction. If the author is as au fait with my other books as he says he is, he would know that I am certainly no fan of leftism, globalization, and assorted other bogeymen and windmills. But that hardly matters. I've hit a nerve, and that's good. You might be interested in my piece on Jordan Peterson in New Dawn magazine, which should give you an idea of my take on social justice et al; here's a link: But I'm glad this has kicked up a storm, or, more likely, a teacup tempest. My job as a writer and critic is to present my findings as clearly and as forcefully as I can. I must be doing that right. But finally. I'm corrupted. What a relief.

Unknown said...

I should have added that I've been accused of exactly the opposite, of cosying up to occult fascists because of my association with New Dawn magazine, which takes a sympathetic view of DT, VP, AD and that posse.It seems you can't please anyone these days. Actually I'm working on a follow up book about the return of Holy Russia. I look forward to your comments.

Unknown said...

I have only started the book but Lachman does say in the preface that this is to balance out his earlier work Politics and the Occult which looks at the Left side of the spectrum?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Gary Lachman

I respect your decision to reply here.

This was not an easy review for me to write; in fact I found it a painful experience; because I like your earlier work and have seen you on various YouTube vids, read your blog - and felt as if I 'knew' you a bit, and liked what I knew.

Far from being a knee jerk reaction, I have been re-reading and brooding over Dark Night Rising for two months, in a state of indecision about what to do. After all - I took the initiative; I did write and ask you for a review copy to be made available - and I only do that when I feel that I am very likely to give a positive review.

This indecision also because I so much appreciated your Colin Wilson biography, which I have read more than three times and often consulted (I five star reviewed it on Amazon). I am grateful for that book.

Another favourite, often consulted, was the Steiner biography... I positively reviewed Secret Teacher on another blog of mine:

I seriously considered not doing a review of DSR rather than a hostile one - but when I saw the positive reviews in the mainstream media, and heard and read your recent interviews on the book - that made my decision.

So - no I am not pleased to do this! I am terribly disppointed, and dismayed; but - as I write above - this kind of thing has happened with many people I once appreciated, over the past couple of decades. It is a pattern; and it needs to be made sense of.

Unknown said...

I would like you to either confirm or deny a couple of things about this book. I've read the introduction which is freely available on Kindle, and I've noticed two pop truths that are popular in the lefty media. One is that Bannon is influenced by Julius Evola, another that Dugin is a practitioner of Chaos magick. I would link to a Counter-Currents article that thoroughly debunks the former claim
Has he approached those claims critically in the following chapters, or is he taking them for granted?

Bruce Charlton said...

@AP - As I said, I don't want to go into point by point analysis, or there will be no end to the business.

When assumptions are incommensurable, then what counts as evidence, as well as the interpretation of what is supposed to be evidence, will naturally diverge widely.

For instance, Gary Lachman thinks he has 'hit a nerve' to provoke my powerfully negative reaction to DSR; but my interpretation is that we are deeply engaged in spiritual warfare with eternal stakes, and he has (but probably quite recently) firmly chosen to fight on the wrong side.

To be clear - Trump's isn't the right side of the spiritual war! - merely a less-extremely-wrong one than GL's. Both are on the same side. And *that* is a major part of the problem.

How can there be a discussion about evidence in such circumstances?

Michael D. said...

One ought cut him some lack in this case, i think. This was obviously written to cash in on the current craze for such books - far-left crowd is seemingly willing to cash out endless sums of money for an endless stream of them. Heck, you have the nominally "conservative" figures tappin in the very same market - see Flake's "Conscience of a Conservative" or Goldberg's "Suicide of the West". And, given the nature of their target audience, it is too much to expect that the authors of these releases would dare go against the MSM narrative.

Bruce Charlton said...

@md - Well, I expected more and better from Gary Lachman; or I would never have bothered reading it!

Even the basic thesis of DSR is wrong, and not just wrong but the inversion of true.

It comes over as reflexive SJW 'projection'; in the sense that the *real* (famous/ powerful/ rich/ influential) paedophiles/ Satanists/ ritual black magick-ians are strongly Anti Trump.

And the activities of pro-Trump meme-manipulators are overwhelmed a thousandfold or more by the mass/ social media giants, government propaganda, and global-finance-funded NGO/ charity/ pressure group/ 'activist' megaphone.

But - from that perspective - the vast ocean of psychotic-evil Leftism is just 'normal' and it is those who in Any way dissent from it (even as mildly as does Trump) who get accused of being evil/ dumb/ crazed/ fanatics.