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The Devil’s Party: A History of Charlatan Messiahs, Colin Wilson – Book Review

The Devil's Party: A History of Charlatan MessiahsThe Devil’s Party: A History of Charlatan Messiahs by Colin Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A few good concluding points, but also some things that to me suggest he has never really got to the core of the issue with these charlatan messiahs, being too quick and keen to fit it in to line with his own theory of how to stop the leakage in ones mental concentration, as he calls it.

We can take hope from the failings of many charlatan messiahs, not because they were merely deluded and we can take their methods and use them without delusion. No, we are all susceptible to delusions on one level or another and to categorically deny this would just be hubris and a kind of mask that Colin Wilson criticises often in the charlatan messiahs in this book. We can take hope because they are the early failing and sprawling attempts to find meaning in a new and much more complicated reality we now find ourselves in. The whole world of humanity is now interconnected to degrees and in ways never seen before. This gives us much greater influence in one sense, it also means there are innumerably more hidden and unintended ripples and ramifications of our own actions and beliefs through the social fabric.

For this to not get out of control we have to exercise great caution to not succumb to things such as paranoia, hatred and criminality and self delusion and narcissistic estimations of ones own importance. Just as we can send an influence out into the world much quicker, it can boomerang back at us much quicker also. This creates a tendency to hide behind masks of normalcy, safe predictable roles that stop us from standing out from the herd. But we cannot hide in this state forever without stultifying the human spirit.

The attempted forays outside of normalcy are dangerous and liable to failure in this new more complicated than ever social reality of human beings. But we must still venture out and it is a trial and error process like learning anything new. Extreme criminal acts cannot be lightly forgiven, but also they cannot and should not be simply dismissed and forgotten when they recur often and indicate a critical issue in our current social malaise. I prefer to see it as a reality we are all striving to adjust to and dial into, rather than as a normality that some people fall woefully short of. This way we can respect and potentially learn something from anyone’s experience, rather than merely dismissing it as below our higher, more enlightened state.

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Independent Judgments Vs Mono-Narratives: Dancers vs Fallers

Much of what you find on the internet, almost all that reaches you near the top of search results, does so because they have paid money to have their results privileged. What you get from lazy searching as a way of forming your opinions on things is an agenda bought and paid for by the highest bidder. You are being fed what the most elite group in society wants you to believe.

For me, my goal in looking for sources of knowledge and facts that I can judge to be correct, is that they be independent sources whose motivation is driven by sincerity and truthfulness, not by selling their story to the highest bidder. This, of course, is an ideal virtually impossible to acquire as everyone is driven by some agenda of their own to some extent. This is why you amalgamate many independent opinions so you can begin to make accurate judgements about reality.

One thing you have to be very careful of is when groups masquerading as independent are all in fact singing from the same hymn sheet. Google takes you automatically often to a wikipedia result as its first definition of a phenomena. This is not an independent source. These two companies have agreed behind closed doors certain parameters through which to portray positions on things in order to mould people to form a certain opinion of reality in line with what their pay masters want. Likewise, many television news providers all pretty much literally have a hymn sheet for the day that they all sing from.

This is not in the realms of conspiracy. It is basic wisdom of how to form accurate judgments about reality that you need to get many independent sources in order to have any sort of confirmation of some sort of impartial reality being fairly described. This impartial reality should not be confounded with a neutral perspective. A neutral perspective is a lack of perspective, not an impartial independent one. Many of the scientific expert elite love to make this confusion, as it allows them to reduce their prey to a position of neutrality, so they can more easily indoctrinate them into a far from neutral agenda unopposed.

Once again we are not in conspiracy land here. (The whole emotive dismissal of certain things with buzz words is just another form of attack on independent perspectives on reality.) It is sa imple philosophy of common sense use of our judgment and our intuitions.

We cannot deny our perspective completely. This is no basis for enquiry. This is a basis for the end of enquiry. Akin to a denial of free speech. So we make the most of circumstances to find the most independent perspective on reality that we can. Of course we don’t do this most of the time in our lives. But for the times when we are pursuing truth and reality this is what we do.

Incidentally, this is one of the reasons it is more difficult to get an independent perspective on history than on current events. Because only the perspectives of the victors in history get down to us. And our whole history is constantly being revised in line with pleasing the egos of these victors. In current events, the monostream media is certainly trying to enforce a similar kind of control and grip on contemporary reality. But we can see here how much more of a struggle it is for them. As we have a real battle going on, and the amount of resources and time they have to pump into the contrived mono narrative is so easy to be blown down by aware independent voices. Such as myself in this case for instance. I have relatively much less resources at my disposal, but I can still do some job of questioning the mainstream mono narrative with little difficulty and effort. I imagine this drives the would be controllers and manipulators crazy!

This is why they try to take the control to higher and higher levels. The funny thing is that all this human hubris is self defeating ultimately and can never achieve its goal. As soon as it did achieve it, the whole system would collapse. Like the futile attempt of the tower of babel. It attempted this very thing. One gate to heaven, one uniform narrative, that was bought down by taking away people’s ability to understand each other as languages proliferated. It then being used as a mythical origin account of how we ended up all speaking different languages throughout the world.

Today we have a new tower of babel in place trying to force its uniformity on all of us. Once again the human spirit will rebel. It has no choice but to, because a controlled environment is never conducive to the perpetuation of life. It always becomes stagnant. Many people are lured into the grips of power and its tragic pattern of rise and fall. The philosopher of good judgment sees this for what it is. Ultimately it is a dance without a partner. A futile effort at controlling ones own vision of the world that you then confuse with reality. These bubbles always burst, just like dancers without partners always fall.

Love and Hate

Trying not to hate all around me

Always I strive of others to break free

An oppressive force of expectations

constricts my desires and inspirations.

I hate women for the abuse of my youth

I hate men for the failure to guide me well.

I only see what I lack, forever ungrateful.

Hate always remains my protective shell.

To open up to love, to open up to joy,

would be a nice change of tack.

All my energies and patience I must employ

To bend, to adapt, but never to break or crack.

Morality: Where Science let us down

Science has been great for a few successful individuals at the helm of powerful forces. But for the rest of us, it has been the bane of our existence. It makes us uniform, condemns us to repetitive tasks and pecks away at our spiritual integrity piece by piece.

The problem with science is that it has no account of the good in life. It shows us all the ways things can go wrong, and then says of the way things went right for us to be here, that it was a freak and preposterous accident. Imagine parents teaching their young child this, that they were an accident and were not wanted. Well this is how science treats us children of western culture.

Science can offer normalisation through medication, escapism through technology and it can offer tautological utilitarian theories of morality, that what we have pursued in life is what we wanted to pursue. Great, thanks science, very enlightening. After the fact, look, you did this, so you must have wanted to do it.

That is it, this tautology, (what should really be called the pathetic fallacy, not what is actually called it) is all they can offer us. No chance to understand how to change oneself in the future, other than in economically motivated measures of “progress”. Ways that only kill the moral spirit in you all the more.

There can never be an inspirational model for morality coming from science for us to live our lives by beyond a few years of stoic struggle or hedonistic excess or passive dependence. We need to get our moral inspiration from elsewhere, and the more totalitarian science tries to ridicule all the other options, the more it is complicit in the murder of the human spirit. These people are serving as enemies of humanity when they act in this way, so treat them accordingly as a serious, dangerous and evil foe.


The enemy scum gather all around

looking to find a weakness.

it will never happen, not from me

I will go crazy first,

before being a normal defined by evil.

Too many people have cuddled up to power,

as the west increases its bloated corruption

too many have sold out or cucked out.

Surrendered their birthright,

to think for themselves,

to feel for themselves,

out of fear of an unknown enemy,

a mere shadow play.

a mere mental manipulation.

A hologram, a trap.

You created it yourself

now uncreate it

start again,

fresh, new, empty, vulnerable,

but at least real.




The Assault on Human Dignity

Human dignity is the most fundamental thing at stake, in our current crisis, and probably throughout humanities history as a self aware species. Humans combine physical and biological needs and instincts that can bring out both very good and very bad things in us, with an awareness of them, and conceptual and instrumental and technological capabilities that make us almost like a perfect storm scenario.

A lot can go right with humans when we combine things and values with a clear eye on maintaining human dignity. Equally, a lot can go wrong when we lose sight of basic values of human dignity. Right now this dignity is under assault from multiple directions and it is not clear if humanity is going to come through this struggle, go out with a whimper, or go out with a bang.

Those seem to be the three options and our best hope for getting through the struggle is to face the assault on human dignity head on, and defend it to the bitter end. This will require what I can only call deep faith and deep patience. Secular, materially motivated values are simply not going to be enough to get us through this crisis. The reliance on natural facts about us, combined with shallow material motivations to act is not an ethos with a long lifespan. What is needed is something that transcends our impulses, not by stoically refusing those impulses, not by dualistically despising and hating those impulses, which ultimately leads to self hatred, and not by blindly following conventions or submitting to collectivist attempts to shame us.  We must instead see something real that transcends our impulses and keep our gaze on it steady and strong.

The focus on human dignity is one way to achieve this. But what is human dignity and in what ways is it currently under assault?

Human dignity is an appreciation of the reality of the struggle we all go through and the refusal to reduce us either to ideological attachments or to material substratums. We have more to offer than this. The assault comes from a misunderstanding of the domain of science when it crystallises into inflexible ideologies. It also comes from the runaway effects of technological and other economic races to control us by the powerful people in society. A combination of experts and techno elites press on our own human critical reason and dignity from both sides.

They start to think and value for us, and so we become less self aware. We become dependent on medications for health, news outlets for what to think and scientists for what to believe. None of this dependence is conducive to human dignity. It is a failure of human dignity that is leading us to a situation of either going out with a bang or with a whimper. The end result is the same, the end of self awareness and human dignity. Either it is taken from us, or we take it from ourselves. This human tragedy plays out on the big scale and the small. If we realise we are not isolated and alone in our struggles, then maybe there is still some hope. If we can recognise others struggles, rather than shun them, then maybe we can get through this crisis.

We need to walk that line of recognising human realities and human ideals, without submitting to either, neither becoming a slave to an external reality indifferent to you or a slave to an internal ideologue infestation that possesses you.

Juggling Sacred Cows

For all the endless negative coverage of Trump, and the spotlight on anything negative they can pick up on in what he says and does. For all the click bait approach to journalism that has become the norm, where in this case the mainstream media appeal to the radical extreme on the left purely in the name of getting the most attention and the most clicks on their stories, so their memes can spread most virally.

For all of this, what most upsets liberals about Trump is that he is consistently and persistently attacking certain things that to them have become sacred cows.

I am talking here particularly about two main areas. There is the policy of discriminate and restricted immigration, as opposed to the liberal sacred cow, of unrestricted immigration with open borders in the name of being loving and kind, and out of an inability on the part of liberals in any aspect of their lives to be tough on anyone. They have come to hold the sacred cow value of the coddling of the human being, because to them their is no such thing as free will, whereby people can overcome things on their own terms and with their own will power, and do not need to always be handed everything on a plate, and in fact, when they are handed everything on a plate they regress spiritually and emotionally as human beings. The liberal cannot appreciate this practical reality, because his sacred cow has blinded him to it.

The other main area is in relation to the America first protectionist economic policy. The liberal US is tied up with imperialistic values as a world promoter of its values. As such it feels it must be morally superior to all others. To enact a nationally minded economic policy is to deny a moral superiority to other nations and to accept the reality of a battle of competing interests where we have to take a side. This one really gets to liberals, undermining their sacred cow of altruism and of the objective preeminence of their own values over all others.

What Trump does on a daily basis is to attack the liberal lefts sacred cows and show them that an alternative way can be, not only practically feasible, but practically better than continued obedience to the sacred cows, which, he would argue, were getting America exploited by other powerful countries in the world.

Each click bait story of the left wing mainstream media is an appeal to those “assaults” by Trump on their sacred cows, and it is telling how emotive and unreasoned their response to him and it is. The latest example is the liberal mob that protested Tucker Carlson at his home. He makes well reasoned arguments showing the dangers and downsides of unlimited immigration and this is what triggers the emotive response of the leftists the most. Because they see some truth in what he is saying and so they feel their sacred cow is under threat. Their response? Harassment, screaming and shouting and sometimes escalating to violence.

What happened to well-reasoned debate and argumentation? For the left they have lost sight of it, because their vision has been distorted by juggling too many sacred cows at the same time. And they have become too obsessed with submitting to the opinions of experts, rather than using their own critical reason. The result is a mainstream media elite conditioning their beliefs and responses at every step of the way. Feeding them a steady diet of sacred cows to get enraged about.

Don’t get angry at this, get even. And get even by applying critical reason first and foremost to your own beliefs. Then you may find you can let go of some of your sacred cows and appreciate reality in a more practical and nuanced way.