What they don’t teach you in high school social studies

illuminati pyramid

(via Memepulp and Chaoflux)

The big secret about secret societies – a review of The Secret History of the World by Mark Booth

Booth is forever intimating that he’s about to explain something important to the reader and then abruptly dropping the subject. He has all the smoke and cymbals of the Great and Terrible Oz, but can rarely muster even the fake disembodied head as a crescendo. He makes a promise, for example, in the caption to a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” — “It has been suggested that this painting alludes to suppressed secret doctrines regarding the feminine role in Christianity. We shall see shortly that this is true, but not in the way proposed by ‘The Da Vinci Code'” — that is never fulfilled; he never mentions the painting again.

Furthermore, much of the “information” Booth chooses to supply is either incorrect or, frankly, untrue. Some of these errors seem to be the result of simple ignorance. He has, for example, the idea that the “laws of probability” dictate that “a coin flipped in strict laboratory conditions will … land heads up in 50 percent of cases and tails up in 50 percent of cases.” (Probability only indicates that a coin is equally likely to land on either side on any single toss.) He entirely misconstrues the thought experiment known as Schr?dinger’s Cat — not an uncommon confusion, it’s true, but since Booth chooses to make “modern science” the villain of his secret history, complaining incessantly that it fails to understand the “deeper” philosophical issues of existence, he should at least make some effort to grasp what it does understand.

Full Story: Salon.

(Thanks Danny!)

U.S. image abroad handled by old Texan women. I’m not kidding

Was reading my new issue of Print — a design magazine I subscribe to — and the new issue is dedicated to “global graphics that inform, incite and inspire.” Anyone interested in propaganda might wanna check it out, as design has played a huge part in swaying public opinion for well over a century now.

On pg 72 (Print, Feb 2008), in “From Despotism to Destination,” Ben Carmichael writes about rebranding nations. He exposes American propaganda in the Middle East:

Countries that try to fake an image are countries that court disgrace — which is precisely what the U.S. got as a result of a disastrous recent campaign. Shortly after September 11, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell hired Ogilvy & Mather veteran Charlotte Beers to launch a pro-American advertising and public relations effort in the Middle East. As Powell put it, the goal was “to rebrand American foreign policy.” As a part of her “Shared Values” campaign, in 2002 Beers launched Hi magazine, meant for modern Arabic youth, Radio Sawa, an Arabic-language radio station, debuted the same year, and Alhurra, an Arabic-language satellite TV station, went on the air in 2004. Both are funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, formerly known as the United States Information Agency. So negative was Arab countries’ reaction to Beers’s programs that she left in 2003 before many of them got off the ground, though Radio Sawa and Alhurra are still on the air. Her successor, Margaret Tutwiler, lasted five months; Karen Hughes, who remained in office for two and a half years, announced her resignation on Halloween.

Karen Parfitt Hughes (born December 27, 1956) is a Republican politician from the state of Texas. She served as the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of State with the rank of ambassador. She resides in Austin, Texas.

Karen Hughes To Work on The World’s View of U.S.
Can Karen Hughes help US image abroad?

Charlotte Beers (born July 26, 1935 in Beaumont, Texas) is an American businesswoman and former Under Secretary of State.

She was the first female vice-president at the JWT advertising firm, then CEO of Tatham-Laird & Kudner until 1992, and finally CEO of Ogilvy & Mather until 1996. In 1997, Fortune magazine placed her on the cover of their first issue to feature the most powerful women in America, for her achievements in the advertising industry. In 1999, Beers received the “Legend in Leadership Award” from the Chief Executive Leadership Institute of the Yale School of Management.

From October 2001 until March 2003, she worked for the Bush Administration administration as the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Bush’s Muslim propaganda chief quits
The invasion of Iraq hasn’t begun, but the U.S. marketing machine has been going strong

Aside from noting a few critical mistakes that they seem to have made with their Middle East propaganda efforts, it’s just that public image abroad is flagrant propaganda maintained by really old Republican Texan women. Ugh.

I came across Hughes name a second time in two days in the Washington Post article having to do with “Persistence of Myths Could Alter Public Policy Approach“:

Similarly, many in the Arab world are convinced that the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 was not the work of Arab terrorists but was a controlled demolition; that 4,000 Jews working there had been warned to stay home that day; and that the Pentagon was struck by a missile rather than a plane.

Those notions remain widespread even though the federal government now runs Web sites in seven languages to challenge them. Karen Hughes, who runs the Bush administration’s campaign to win hearts and minds in the fight against terrorism, recently painted a glowing report of the “digital outreach” teams working to counter misinformation and myths by challenging those ideas on Arabic blogs.

The Internet Repository of Free Hidden Information Videos

The Internet Repository of Free Hidden Information Videos.

(thanks Trevor).

Discordian Society Acquires Limbo from Catholic Church

Follow up to a previous post for those of you who have friends still in limbo. The Discordian Society has stepped up to take over operations.

In a surprise move today, the Discordian Society, a small neo-religious group which worships the Ancient Greek Deity of Chaos called “Eris” (and known to the Ancient Romans as “Discordia”), have announced that they have acquired the non-corporeal realm known as “Limbo”.

Limbo, the theological concept previous belonging to the Christian Catholic Church, was abandoned by the Church last Friday.

Although the Discordian Society is anarchic in structure, a self-proclaimed spokesperson for the movement who identified himself only as “His Wholiness the Rev.DrJon” made the following statement:

“The Discordian Society, in line with previous acquisitions, welcomes the arrival of Limbo into the fold. We look forward to giving the place a clean sweep, a good polish and a nice redecoration. We’d like to thank fellow Pope* Benedict XVI for making this opportunity possible. We’d also like to offer the hand of friendship to those tenants of Limbo who chose to stay. We assure all who do wish to stay that they are welcome to continue to reside in the manner to which they are accustomed, however we will also be undertaking a rolling series of improvements over the coming eons, which should see a marked increase in liveability benchmarks.”

There is no word yet as to what purposes, if any, the Discordian Society plan to put Limbo to, however opinion is divided amongst the Discordian faithful.

(* Discordians believe that every man, woman and child is a Pope.)


Inside a secret society: A gay African American Freemason’s story

As a gay African American man, how do you feel about allegations that the Masons have a history of racial and homophobic policies or practices?

Things vary from lodge to lodge. The city I live in has a few dozen lodges. I know that in the past, and speaking on a global level, there are lodges that have not allowed blacks, lodges that have barred Jews and lodges that have kept out Catholics.

What about gays?

I have not heard of any lodge that has a policy that does not allow gay men in.

You believe that in the past or present, there have never been lodges that discriminated against homosexuals?

I’m not saying that. But I will say that I have not heard, before or after my induction, of a lodge that openly discriminates against gays. However, my friend who is a Mason is gay, but he is not out, and feels that if did come out, that it would be a problem in his lodge. There are people being inducted in my lodge who are surprised that I am allowed in as an openly gay man.

None of that bothers you?

American society does not accept gay people or black people. But I don’t wake up every day and walk out of my home thinking about that. I don’t live my life that way.

Full Story: The Advocate.

(thanks Trevor).

Masons struggle with racial separation

Nationwide, Masonic groups operate in a separate-but-supposedly-equal system in which whites typically join one network of Masonic groups, called Grand Lodges, and blacks typically join another, called Prince Hall.

But in the South, it goes further: White-controlled Grand Lodges in 12 Southern states do not even officially recognize black Masons as their brothers – the Masonic term is “mutual recognition” – and in some cases, black lodges have taken similar stands.

Full Story: Associated Press.

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