Saturday 13 October 2018

"Should we be worried" about SJW witches?

This is one of my rare topical posts - triggered by something written by Rod Dreher - about literal witchcraft among the SJWs - this something that I have noticed myself over the years in the media (perhaps especially in Mind, Body, Spirit section books); although I have no personal knowledge of any such thing, so the whole thing could be a type of fake news.

In other words it is possible that the phenomenon of Social Justice Warriors witches is not real, just as the phenomenon of Alt-Right black magic used to elect Donald Trump is not real. In other words, that there is not-really any genuine widespread attempt, by people who believe in its reality, to use real black magic (summoning the aid of demons) to harm people.

Although the very fact that made-up stories of genuine White Nationalist Fascist Fundamentalist Christian magic terror groups is so mainstream media discussed and apparently acceptable suggests that here we have projection at work; with Leftists loudly and pre-emptively accusing their enemies of doing whatever they themselves are doing.  I personally find this persuasive: that SJW witches are real precisely because the left have invented 'right wing' bogeyman they accuse of it.

So should we be worried? Yes - but Rod Dreher's worries are probably not my worries. I don't think there is any doubt that evil-motivated magic will harm the magic-user - harm in a spiritual sense: self-damn them. But many tens of millions of Westerners have already done this, have explicitly chosen moral inversion, and self-damnation, and advertise the fact and engage in active propaganda for the evil side of the culture war: the mass media is full of such people, and so are the ranks of the ruling elite in all major social institutions.

Those who summon demonic aid in their political activism might become willing dupes, obedient servants or even hand themselves over and be possessed by demons - by their own choice - and as such they do great evil (again, just look at the leaders of most Western nations and international organisations and mega-corporations). And that those engaged in this kind activity can harm innocents - by torturing, sexually abusing, or killing them as part of rituals.

But - despite the evidence claiming otherwise - I don't believe that magic users can do anything that demonic forces would not otherwise be able to do; such as remotely hexing or otherwise magically harming people unaware of them; casting a spell on someone to make them sick, or inflict pains and the like.

I'm not going to argue this - but personally I just don't believe it is possible in this world - it would be a denial of free will, which is a given; a denial that creation is of God.

And this seems to be the aspect that most worries most people about magic; that it will be used at a distance to influence and compel, to inflict pain and kill, to change weather, cause plagues to materialise, make bad luck, to defeat armies at a distance... that kind of stuff. I just don't think this can happen. 

I'm pretty sure that evil magical rituals work only on the souls of those engaged in them; that individuals can gain pride, motivating lust and hatred, sadistic pleasure etc. as they surrender to evil - but they don't gain supernatural powers of surveillance or control.

So we should be 'worried' - or rather not 'worry' (not worry about anything at all, ever) but acknowledge. Indeed we probably ought to anticipate this kind of thing happening in these End Times. I think the valid prophecies seem to suggest that at an advanced stage of the End Times, mainstream evil will - indeed must - become explicitly demonic, and positively-evil.

We are currently in a transitional phase (an Antichrist phase) when witchcraft is practiced openly at a huge scale but where magic intent is denied; where demonic symbolism and rituals are routinely deployed but made a joke of; where the inversion of virtue, truth and beauty are normal but claimed to be merely an evolutionary advance upon The (same old) Good - much as modern conceptual art (e.g. Damian Hurst, Tracy Emin) is supposed to have evolved from Rembrandt. This corresponds to the Antichrist pretending to Be Christ.

This current phase of open-but-deniable Black Magic is presumably trending towards a situation in which the motivations are admitted; and that which is evil is pronounced to be Good. The Antichrist unmasks as Satan; or is replaced by Satan - and Satan is pronounced to be God, to be worshipped as God.

Unlike this current era of (feigned, dishonest) materialism; the final phase will be openly supernatural; the reality of God, angels and demons; souls; and continued life-beyond-death will re-enter mainstream public discourse - the truth of Spiritual Warfare will be acknowledged... but all inverted in value. However, this can happen only when enough people have become very thoroughly corrupted.

So, we've got that still to look forward too, I suppose. 


Chip said...

Yes, I worry more about recent group frenzies potentially unleashing something real and sinister. Not nearly as bad yet, but intimations of the Cultural Revolution in China, National Socialism in Germany, and certain elements in the French Revolution. These may have tapped into and/or triggered "something in the air."

Hagel said...

"But - despite the evidence claiming otherwise - I don't believe that magic users can do anything that demonic forces would not otherwise be able to do; such as remotely hexing or otherwise magically harming people unaware of them; casting a spell on someone to make them sick, or inflict pains and the like.

I'm not going to argue this - but personally I just don't believe it is possible in this world - it would be a denial of free will, which is a given; a denial that creation is of God."

People can clearly hurt and enslave each other from afar without using magic. That it's possible to do the same with magic doesn't infringe on free will any more than what is already proven to be possible.

Free will can only apply to what one attempts to do, not what one accomplishes; otherwise, there is no explanation for the rapist's free will taking precedent over the victim's free will (who wanted to escape, but wasn't free to). When there's a conflict between two wills, both were free to choose what to attempt, but only one was free to accomplish. This is the case with magic and without, so you're wrong about this.

Seijio Arakawa said...

My own thinking on this matter (it jumped out at me as well!) went roughly as follows. Demons have no power to act in the real world, except by communicating with other thinking beings (human or not). The nature of demonic magic would have to be completely backwards from the Goetic picture of demons lending their talent and power to a willing worshipper. Instead, a worshipper would lend their own native magic and talent to the demons -- and the demons use their (significantly!) longer experience, connections, and influence over other people to amplify the effect of that power. And perhaps benefit the worshipper, or perhaps not.

So e.g. any person, even a supremely untalented one, could be made-into a celebrity whose utterings have great impact and influence... but a talented celebrity is obviously more valuable to Screwtape's bureau.

Needless to say, since the agreement is accomplished not (primarily) by rituals but by thinking-with the demons and demonic thinking is inimical to talent (their manner of thinking is what makes them demons, which is what makes them powerless on their own), any worshipper of demons tends to get used-up, often fairly quickly.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Seijio - Seems like a reasonable line of thinking. I need - perhaps - to think this through a bit more.

By my (Mormon-derived) understanding, demons are pre-mortal humans - in other words they are spirit beings who are not able/ allowed to incarnate; and this is a significant limitation.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Seijio is quite right, people who consciously serve demonic powers and agendas give them actual abilities (particularly the power of physical action in creation, in which demons would otherwise be significantly deficient) which demons would not otherwise have.

Classic witchcraft is a form of secret society, derived from the legacy of Cain, which was that in order to actually benefit from a murder for gain, you must keep your role as the murderer a secret. This leads to both the use of murder in covering up previous crimes and to use of intermediaries to commit the actual murder, leaving no physical evidence tying the original culprit to the crime. Creating a secret society of criminals facilitates both these goals, but with a focus on the latter. "Wiccan" means "one who knows", and what is known is the secret code by which witches exchange information on individuals to be targeted.

Most classic witchcraft spells have the form of an arcane petition to 'demons/spirits' to do harm to another person. The idea that the actual harm will be done by supernatural means is a cover story, the actual mechanism is that other witches will take up the case and secretly cause harm (with no readily apparent motive). This does not need to be a conscious conspiracy, simply by associating together as a secret society that holds enemies in common, small acts of sabotage or discretely enacted direct attacks will result in a string of "bad luck" for the victim. The witches may even believe that they have supernatural aid at this point, given that the attacks are not consciously coordinated, each witch taking action will see many results that cannot be explained by what they personally have done, and thus can claim the excess of visible effect as supernatural in origin.

The secondary mechanism of harm is suggestion. Humans are vulnerable to becoming cursed by believing themselves cursed, and this is traditionally treated by having a counter-charm to avert the cursing. Christianity serves as such a counter-charm, and a particularly powerful one because it can be licitly invoked by "simple faith" of every Christian rather than complete dependence on arcane priestly/shamanic credentials. However, for non-Christians (especially atheists), it is not at all true that suggestion can be combated so easily. Where a belief in the efficacy of witchcraft takes hold, and is not countered by sincere Christianity, the belief itself generates sufficient effectiveness to serve as proof that curses are real, even when witches refrain (or more likely are restrained) from subtle but real attacks themselves.

Chiu ChunLing said...

The attempted mechanism of the anti-Kavanaugh movement is instructive in some ways. First, Ford's own accusation of a non-criminal (if uncouth and distasteful) act that supposedly happened over three decades ago was never intended to be of itself sufficient. It was mostly intended as a signal, encouraging a flood of similarly vague and unprovable accusations which in their aggregate effect would make Kavanaugh untenable even if nothing were ever proven. This ended up (overtly) failing largely because it turned out that Kavanaugh could actually effectively disprove what should have been an allegation that should have been nearly impossible to disprove, and because the signals were misread by the followers, whose accusations all focused on greater spectacle at the expense of disprovability.

However, at the unconscious and covert level the attacks were successful in creating a large pool of people who intensely hated Kavanaugh for no forensically valid motive, and who will certainly in the future take opportunities to 'accidentally' carry out 'random' acts of hatred against him and his family. It becomes impossible to live in a civilization when you can count on a substantial fraction of the populace committing small crimes against you should they happen to encounter you. Of course, all public figures know this already, that's why they have bodyguards and carefully source their personally used goods and services from safe sources rather than relying on the general economy. But the actual fraction of people who will note your name and face and the degree of their hostility do make a real difference.

And this is where demons have real power. A person who is a willing servant to demonic powers and agendas is enabled to hate more persistently and intensely, forgetting that their hatred has no possibility of doing them personally any good. My hatred of truly vile political figures on the left is just adequate that I would not be eager for a chance to shake their hand. That is not enough for me (or anyone else) to overtly do anything to them personally.

In the end, civilization functions not through an abundance of overt formal police activity but because the individual citizen internalizes the moral norms of the laws of their civilization. If you have a significant fraction of the 'civil' population who does not share those moral norms, they will commit crimes whenever they think they can get away with them, and sometimes even when they know they cannot. The only way for civilization to combat this is to impose some degree of police state/martial law, and it is a stop-gap measure unless you focus on identifying and removing those internal enemies even before they overtly commit any crimes.

An overwhelming 'moral majority' has recourse to informal means of discouraging the growth (through immigration or conversion) of a substantial counter-culture, though neglect or reluctance to shun 'the wicked' might mean that it doesn't happen until their share of society is too great to be much affected by shunning. Western Christianity has long since passed that point, through a neglect of Christ's teachings relevant to the subject.

Fortunately, Christianity was always supremely well-suited to be a minority religion that has power despite being despised and persecuted.

whitestone said...

Broadcasting spells through the mass media would be one example of witchcraft having tangible ill effects upon the body, mind and spirit of the nation and individual.

William Wildblood said...

These SJW witches are lost souls motivated by hatred. Luckily for them their magic is mostly ineffectual because they don't know what they are doing. However any form of magic put into operation by hatred will rebound on the operator.

Their understanding of spiritual just amounts to non-material and ignores that this includes the demonic. They need to purify themselves of their hatred and resentment but they define themselves by these, regarding their strong feelings as signs of virtue and confirmation of themselves as virtuous people. The only hope for them is that they wake up but since they consider themselves already 'woke' that is most unlikely without suffering. The only self-proclaimed witch I know suffers from chronic ill health, familial problems and various psychological troubles. If you told her that the solution was in Christ she would look at you appalled.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - The nasty aspect is that such people are praised, pandered and promoted as victims and/or leaders by The System - and this vicious combination probably makes it much less likely that they will repent. It becomes a matter of self-identity.

My hope is that this will reach such an extremity to genuinely awaken people to what is going-on - but it seems that people can take an awful lot of this without realising how much they are damaging themselves (as well as everybody else).

Chiu ChunLing said...

Well, and the more of this people 'take', the more it damages their ability to realize just how spiritually damaging it is.

One of the reasons that most public witches are women is because hardly anybody would take this kind of nonsense from a man.

Hrothgar said...

My belief is that demonic magic can indeed affect others - I will try to explain how I think this works:

Demons, precisely due to their incorporeal and perhaps (though I suspect that there are exceptions) never-incarnated natures, must be supposed to lack the high degree of individual distinctiveness that is common to incarnate humans. This is to say that a particular demon, though obviously possessing some kind of individuality, does not perceive itself like we usually do, as an entirely isolated, autonomous and unique individual, separate from all others. (Angels probably do not either, the essential difference between the two types of spirit being that they have chosen to align themselves with God’s will, and Demons to oppose it.)

Presumably the very advanced and powerful demonic presences - such of the diabolic leadership as our annals and folklore are wont to name, if at all, in hushed and fearful tones, and would-be evil magicians seek to directly invoke by these names or those more occult - have a more highly developed sense of self, but at the lower levels of the demonic heirarchy the great mass of demons must be creatures with extremely porous personal boundaries; conscious perhaps of a certain degree of individual will, desire, and capacity to experience, but more fundamentally united (for want of a better term I shall call them “telepathically bonded”) with all their demonic kin into a great thought-being-collective which governs and links together everything they do and experience; a kind of demonic overmind in which all participate, united by a common framework of hostility to God and his goals; and to the role of incarnate beings in fullfilling them.

Total withdrawl from this collective is not really possible for purely spiritual beings which lack the more defined physcial and mental boundaries of the incarnate, nor would it be desirable for them, unless they were to change their alleigance.

This has important consequences for evilly-inclined incarnate humans who choose to align themselves, wittingly or otherwise, with demonic thought and objectives – particularly if you believe that demonkind and humankind (and presumably angelkind too) possess spiritual beings of the same essential type:

Firstly: Inasmuch as demons experience themselves as partially autonomous beings within a collective geared towards the greater goal of undermining God and his work; so must those humans who cultivate the demonic potential in their nature. (The increasingly institutionalized, depersonalized, and collectivist nature of visible evil as it gains traction in our present society, and the increasingly individualistic and fractured responses of the remaining good-inclined people towards it, simply mirrors this supernatural reality, though this is not really at the core of my case for now.)

More than this: Inasmuch as demons participate in the collective thought and concerted action of the demonic overmind, then so must humans who have given themselves wholly over to the demonic ideal of opposing God and his works participate; the little personalities subsumed by it almost entirely, acting largely as the overmind directs; but the greater personalities, those who can most fully retain their individual wills, ideas, and identities while immersed in it, gaining some power themselves to influence the collective, and even to direct lesser demons to do their bidding.

What their fate is after death, I do not know (it may well be different for once-incarnate than never-incarnate beings, the former having essentially reneged on their original choice of incarnation in order to gain the opportunity for theosis, and all that follows from this) but I believe that while alive, certain evilly inclined humans of strong ego may indeed gain a degree of mastery over weaker incorporeal demons and be able to use them to do their bidding, or at least some part of what they desire. In many, probably most, cases, this will involve the infliction of suffering on others.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Hrothgar - Very interesting thoughts.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I wouldn't say that demons are "fundamentally united" by any special telepathic ability, but rather that they are fundamentally lacking in strength of individual personality sufficient to meaningfully divert from their common hatreds. I think this is what you really mean.

But in particular, I would bring out what I think you are implying, that demons lack the natural capacity to give specific direction to their hatred of all God's Creation. And so to curse a person really means, not that those demons are doing anything they wouldn't be doing anyway, but that they are focused on a given target as would otherwise be difficult for them to achieve. A demon's normal acts of random hatred are so distributed that hardly anyone experiences them as anything more than the background noise of life.

To some degree, I think this is the case, when a witch goes so far as to harbor demons personally and let them work through the witch's actions. But I mean that is the most likely way for it to happen, though I doubt it is really the only way.

Hrothgar said...

CLL - No, I meant what I said, so far as it went. I was reluctant to use the word "telepathy" due to the quite different connotations it has when applied to living humans, but decided to anyway (with qualification) for the sake of making the immediate sense of what I meant partially intelligible, rather than spending some time trying to describe it.

I would like to emphasise now that for demons this linkage, which I referred to as the "overmind", is definitely not any kind of "special" ability, nor does it imply the sharing of thoughts between individual minds at a distance as it would with humans. Most individual demons are probably nearly mindless by our understanding in any case, so there would not be a great deal to communicate between specific individuals. Also, demons neither occupy or require physical space in their natural incorporeal forms; hence the overcoming of its limitations is probably no significant achievement for them as it would seem for us.

The phenomenon I am talking about is simply how fully incorporeal beings naturally communicate and relate to others of their kind. They must needs do so because they lack the physical location or clearly defined boundaries to the individual self (the existential isolation of one mind and soul in one body) which are the consequences of incarnation.
Being itself is therefore partially individual, partly communal; the balance of these depending on the strength of an individual's will and ego.

So far as I want to speculate on what demons actually experience (which I will admit is not very far), I would imagine that for most of them it is something like a shared sense of being, of integration into something beyond the self containing a multitude of other, similar beings; and goes no further. I don't think the overmind is capable of making individual demons more "intelligent" than their native capacity allows for, but it does serve as a means for the more potent beings to direct the lesser, and formulate more complex thoughts between themselves. (Thinking itself being a significantly communal activity for such beings, unlike us.)

If they do not have a bond to their kin which works something like what I have tried to describe, I think they must be presumed not to be capable of communicating with each other at all. (How would they actually do so?) They would simply be isolated spirits of malice, incapable of concerted planning or action, and able to act against the living only according to individual whim and opportunity. The evidence (for those of us who believe in their existence in the first place) appears heavily against this conclusion, so far as I can see.

Hrothgar said...

I agree that most demonic acts of malice are going to be relatively futile, unless given direction, and that this is due to their relative individual weakness. The question then becomes one of how they can be directed at all (unless they can communicate with one another, or demon-consorting humans can communicate with them).

Demon-consorting incarnate humans may actually have an inherent advantage over discarnate demons, in that they have already developed via their incarnate experiences stronger individual characters and wills than most demons possess. If not overwhelmed by the experience of temporary integration into the overmind (and thus simply demon-possessed, as will almost certainly be the fate of weaker characters who dabble in such matters), they retain enough individuality and sense of purpose to occupy a relatively high position in the demonic hierarchy (which must, since there can be no real deceit among demons, be ordred strictly according to the capacity of its members, unlike human hierarchies).

Chiu ChunLing said...

I see what you mean about "a bond to their kin which works something like what I have tried to describe". I will point out that all the spiritual creations of God much also share this bond, and that experienced by humans for each other is categorically stronger (though still varying in degree).

Humans appear to have a greater diversity of motive than demons because we live amongst that diversity. The hatred of God's creation to a degree that would make it impossible to functionally live as a human thus seems more united than not, observing it from without. But they equally regard humans and angels as abject lackeys without any individuality, for that same reason (as well as because they do not especially believe in real individuality).

But the bond they share with each other as spiritual beings engendered by God is one of the things they hate. They like having spirits, they don't like having them from God nor do they like each other. But they hate us far more than each other, and angels and God even more.

To the degree that demons can be considered conscious, their consciousness is an awareness of hatred of pretty much everything unlike themselves and especially anything reminiscent of God (which includes consciousness). But mostly they are experiencing a state more like particularly chaotic dreams, or perhaps I should call them nightmares, though the context is different since they do not value much of anything humans would fear losing (except for pride, but even the most prideful humans associate pride with goods that are blessings of God, demons cannot experience most of this odd conflation).

Hrothgar said...

I largely agree. I was mainly trying, though, to address the narrower question of what in the demonic nature could leave them open to being influenced or controlled by evilly-inclined humans, rather than the converse.

One thing I am fairly certain of is that demons view incarnation as a far less desirable state of being than incorporeality. I therefore presume that much of the antipathy they bear towards living humans comes from feeling a potent combination of contempt, disgust, and envy towards their incarnated state.

Contempt, because they view incarnation as essentially inferior to remaining as an incorporeal spirit, and consequently the choice of lesser beings than themselves. Disgust, because the notion of permitting one's being to be incorporated into physical matter (itself God's creation, which they reject) and bound by its limitations is to them utterly repellent; as though a human were to allow himself to be transmogrified into a heap of animated dung while remaining conscious of what he is and smelling his own reek, in the hope (but not certainty) that its material would eventually be transformed into a beautiful flower. Envy, because they have some (albeit probably only very partial) awareness that humans have the potential to grow far beyond themselves (or anything they can really imagine), by their very acceptance of what they see as a contemptible and disgusting fate.

I think it can be inferred from this that the primary and overriding source of demonic pride (lacking, as you say, almost all goods available to humans) is simply their knowledge that they are demons, and have chosen to be such. They doubtless derive considerable secondary satisfaction from the corruption and torment of lving humans, particularly when they are able to sucessfully thwart God's hateful plan in any measure by luring them astray from the path of theosis/divinization.

More important to them, though, is that they willingly choose to remain as they are, rejecting the process of incarnation and its attendant goods, for the sake of preserving what they presumably regard as something like the unsullied purity of their spiritual beings. Such knowledge as they have of their own state being radically unsatisfactory (it surely cannot be pleasant to endure), may only serve to confirm them in this pride by leading them to believe that they have taken the truly honourable, if harder path.

Chiu ChunLing said...

That seems about right.

Particularly that there are upsides and downsides to incarnation, and the demonic view is that the downsides essentially outweigh the upsides. Even when demons do take possession of a human body, they do not seem very concerned with maintaining it in proper working order rather than using it to do as much harm as possible.

I think that in the long term humans have little lasting influence on demons by cooperating with them. Too much activity proven effective in consorting with demons is already demonic in its attitude of hatred towards the divine and life generally. Those who would consort with demons must align their interests with those of demons rather than swaying the interests of demons to align with theirs. But demons are merely neutral on some points, like on whom in particular to focus their hate. As long as it is someone closer to God than to them, they'll allow a witch to indulge in personal hatreds.