Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Remembrances for July


Dear friends, if you have time, please pray for these members of the Southern family on the day they reposed.  Many thanks.

But one may ask:  ‘What good does it do to pray for the departed?’  An answer is offered here:

Along with prayers and hymns for the departed:

July 3rd

John Crowe Ransom, one of the leaders of the Vanderbilt Agrarians and
a leading 20th century writer and teacher.

July 9th

Sir William Berkeley, a colonial governor of Virginia whose influence is felt within Southern culture to this day.

July 9th

Pierre d’Iberville, Canadian soldier and explorer, the founder of the first permanent French settlement in Louisiana.

July 9th

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, one of the great figures of Southern literature for his comic work Georgia Scenes, but also an active preacher and a leader of four universities.

July 17th

Gen James Johnston Pettigrew, a good example of a Southern gentleman.

July 23rd

Eudora Welty, one of the South’s best writers.

July 25th

Wilmer Mills, a gifted Louisiana poet who died young.

July 29th

John Slidell, an important diplomat during the War.

July 30th

George Fitzhugh, a helpful critic of the pure capitalist economic system.

Also, to celebrate some of the saints of July from the South’s Christian inheritance of various lands, follow this link on over if you’d like:


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Love the Machines: An Analysis of Xenoblade Chronicles


In typical RPG fashion, Xenoblade Chronicles for the Nintendo Wii and 3DS (and now the Nintendo Switch) tells a lengthy, twisting tale.  What begins as a fight for the survival of some scrappy Homs (human) colonists on the world of Bionis against an invasion of Mechon from Mechonis, ends as some other role-playing games do, as a war of creatures against their creator. 

As usual, there are some esoteric elements along the way.  The ascent of the body of the Bionis by Shulk and his fellows, for example, recalls Dante’s climb out of hell using the devil himself as a ladder, which is a symbol of the rejection of Christian dogma (Drs Joseph Farrell and Scott de Hart, Transhumanism: a Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas, Feral House, Port Townsend, Wash., 2011, pgs. 214-6).

Also, the theme of spirit mediumship is strongly present.  Shulk and Fiora are revealed to be hosts for Zanza and Meyneth, respectively.  The development in men and women of the ability to be mediums for ‘interplanetary beings’ (i.e., demons) as part of the evolution of mankind to a higher stage of life is mentioned several times in the satanist Alice Bailey’s work The Externalization of the Hierarchy.

There is also an interesting play on the name of the character Gadolt.  In the context of this game, with its themes of accepting fate or working to change the future, his name recalls the modernist play Waiting for Godot, whose message is essentially that life has no meaning.  However, in sacrificing his life to save Sharla, Shulk, and the rest of his friends, he provokes Lady Meyneth to act to change the future rather than remaining passive.  Through his act, he shows his belief that life does have meaning, just the opposite of what his name suggests.

The gamers are being conditioned as well for the rollout of the real-world supersoldier with his machine exoskeleton through the Faced Mechon, a homs who has been integrated into a Mechon body:

This rollout has been ongoing.  Similar exoskeletons have appeared in games like Final Fantasy VI, Mega Man X, and Xenogears, and in one of the Alien movies and Iron Man.

But the larger issue we would like to deal with is the messaging of this game about technology in general.  As more of the story unravels, it is revealed that Mechon are not the aggressors but the Homs.  Long ages ago, the Machina (cyborg-like beings from Mechonis) are the ones who offered their advanced science and technology to the creatures of Bionis in a spirit of trust and friendship (for those wondering:  Yes, once again, the theme of ancient technology being more advanced than current technology arises in Xenoblade Chr.).  But later this overture of the Machina was spurned as the Bionis itself (a Titan controlled by the giant Zanza) attacked the Mechonis (a second Titan controlled by Lady Meyneth).

After more of the story unfolds, we learn that the world in which all this is taking place was the result of a science experiment.  Zanza, Meyneth, and others were humans in an orbiting space station who had developed the technology to create a new universe out of the existing one.

--Image from .

Meyneth tried to stop Zanza from using it, but she failed.  In the new universe Zanza created and indwelt Bionis, and Meyneth the Mechonis.  Meyneth eventually gives her life to protect Shulk and his friends, asking them to create a world that doesn’t need gods like her and Zanza.

Zanza shows himself to be a psychopath, choosing to destroy and recreate the universe over and over again in order to keep himself alive.  The alliance of races from Bionis and Mechonis, having learned of this part of their history, rebel, deciding they want free will rather than a predetermined end that only serves Zanza.  Here is more of the subtle message to the gamer:  The existing God you know about in your own life is an evil tyrant.  You should not obey his commands, but live life just like you want to.  Heaven, the good life, is having friends, happy emotions, and so on (i.e., existentialism -  Gods only get in the way of those things.

And what is it that gives the creatures the ability to defeat Zanza, their creator, in their final battle?  AI.  The computer program that helped initiate the recreation of the universe walks about the new world as a human-looking being called Alvis.  His voice and his role recall HAL from 2001:  A Space Odyssey (the one who helps mankind achieve deification; look up Jay Dyer’s review of that film for more on HAL).  The key that hangs around Alvis’s neck denotes precisely what he is:  The ‘key’ that enables creatures to destroy their creator.

--Image of Alvis from .

But here a little bit of a philosophical problem enters in:  If a few imperfect but super-powerful beings were not able to direct the world in a good way, why should we suppose that millions of imperfect creatures, now freed from the directions of their gods, would not drive the world even further into madness?  The answer of Shulk and his friends is . . . evolution:  small improvements year after year.  The underlying assumption, the unstated teaching, is that man is capable of perfecting himself without any help at all from the divine.

What we are left with at the end of the game are the following ideas:

-Reject the authority of God;

-Live life according to your own will, follow your own inner light (the teachings of Aleister Crowley);

-Organic beings (mankind) are the destructive element in the universe; and

-Inorganic beings (machines, AI) are the constructive element in the universe.

In other words, embrace the post-Christian, synthetic biology, transhumanist, cyborg vision of the future preached by the likes of Google’s Ray Kurzweil:

And by Dr Klaus Schwab, who has overshadowed Mr Kurzweil and the other prophets of their company lately.  For those who have not yet encountered any of Dr Schwab’s pronouncements, here are just a few:

 . . . “Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us—they will become part of us. Indeed, some of us already feel that our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. Today’s external devices—from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets—will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains. Exoskeletons and prosthetics will increase our physical power, while advances in neurotechnology enhance our cognitive abilities. We will become better able to manipulate our own genes, and those of our children. These developments raise profound questions: Where do we draw the line between human and machine? What does it mean to be human?” (37)

 . . .

No violation seems to go too far for Schwab, who dreams of “active implantable microchips that break the skin barrier of our bodies”, “smart tattoos”, “biological computing” and “custom-designed organisms”. (40)

 . . .

“Synthetic biology” is on the horizon in Schwab’s 4IR world, giving the technocratic capitalist rulers of the world “the ability to customize organisms by writing DNA”. (43)

 . . .

--, via

Those who think this is simply globalist/technocrat dreaming need to take a look at what has already transpired in little more than a century with regard to mankind and the creation:

 . . . The mass of all the things made by humans — cities, roads, factories, houses, cars, trains, machines, bricks, concrete, steel, glass, tile, asphalt and so on — may have just overtaken the mass of all the living things on the planet.

Among those living things now being outweighed by buildings and roads are all seven billion-plus people on the planet and all their livestock, their cornfields and rice paddies, orchards and gardens.

This conclusion — open to challenge and difficult to establish with immediate certainty — is a fresh and startling measure of the scale of human change to the planet, and of the speed at which it has happened.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the mass of human-produced infrastructure probably added up to just 3% of the mass of the planet’s living tissue: its forests and savannas, wetlands and scrub, its mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects and microbes.

But in the course of little more than a century, says a new study in the journal Nature, two things happened. The human population increased fourfold, and with those numbers so did human demand for manufactured things and built objects.

 . . .

--Tim Radford,

Never dismiss the depths of evil into which mankind is capable of dragging himself and the cosmos in which he lives.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Transhumanism, American-Style


Theosis, the ongoing process by which man unites with the divine energies (God’s Grace) to become a god himself, is the God-given goal of man, as the Holy Apostles and Fathers teach.  However, when mankind tries to achieve Godlikeness outside the Orthodox Church, the results are catastrophic.  Below is just one more ensample from the New Atlantis/[u]nited States/City on a Hill:


 . . . 


All of this thrills Johnson, who continues to harbor the grandest of ambitions for Kernel. He may have given up on computer-interfacing implants, but he still wants his company to help people become something more than human.


A couple years ago, Johnson and I boarded his private jet and flew from California to Golden, Colo. Johnson, who has a pilot’s license, handled the takeoffs and landings but left the rest to a pro. We were in Colorado to visit a health and wellness clinic run by physician-guru Terry Grossman and have a few procedures done to improve our bodies and minds.


The Grossman Wellness Center looked like a cross between a medical clinic and the set of Cocoon. Most of the other guests were elderly. In a large central room, about 10 black leather chairs and matching footrests were arranged in a loose circle. Each chair held a couple of fluffy white pillows, with a metal pole on the side for our IV drips. A few of the ceiling tiles had been replaced and fitted with pictures of clouds and palm trees. In rooms off to the side, medical personnel performed consultations and procedures.


Our morning began with an IV infusion of two anti-aging fluids: Myers’ Cocktail—a blend of magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and other good stuff—followed by a helping of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. Some of the IV fluids can trigger nausea, but Johnson set the drip to maximum and complemented the IV by having a fiber-optic cable fed into his veins to pepper his blood with red, green, blue, and yellow wavelengths of light for added rejuvenation. “I have to experience pain when I exercise or work,” he said, adding that the suffering makes him feel alive.


A few hours later, Johnson went into one of the treatment rooms with Grossman to get a stem cell injection straight into his brain. Earlier he’d provided 5 ounces of his blood, which had then been spun in a centrifuge so Grossman could separate out the plasma and put it through a secret process to “activate the stem cells.” Now, Johnson hopped onto a reclined exam table, lying on his back with his head angled toward the floor. Grossman pulled out a liquid-filled syringe. Instead of a needle at the end, it had a 4‑inch‑long, curved plastic tube, which the doctor coated with some lubricating jelly. He pushed the tube into one of Johnson’s nostrils, told the patient to take a big sniff, then pinched Johnson’s nose shut. They repeated the process for the other nostril. The procedure looked incredibly uncomfortable, but again, Johnson was unfazed, pulling in the stem cells with determination and excitement.


This snorting procedure—designed to improve mood, energy, and memory—was just a small part of Johnson’s overall health regimen. Each morning the CEO took 40 pills to boost his glands, cell membranes, and microbiome. He also used protein patches and nasal sprays for other jobs. After all this, he did 30 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of weights. At lunch he’d have some bone broth and vegetables foraged by his chef from the yards of houses in Venice. He might have a light dinner later, but he never consumed anything after 5 p.m. He went to bed early and measured his sleep performance overnight. Every now and then, a shaman or doctor would juice him up with some drugs such as ketamine or psilocybin. He’d taken strongly enough to these practices to tattoo his arm with “5-MeO-DMT,” the molecular formula for the psychoactive compound famously secreted by the Sonoran Desert toad.


To make sure all his efforts were doing some good, Johnson had a lab measure his telomeres. These are the protective bits at the end of DNA strands, which some Nobel Prize-winning science has shown can be good indicators of how your body is aging. The longer the telomeres, the better you’re doing. Johnson used to register as 0.4 years older internally than his chronological age, but a couple of years into his regimen under Grossman, when he was in his early 40s, his doctors were telling him he was testing like a man in his late 30s.


During one of our most recent conversations, Johnson tells me he’s stopped snorting stem cells and experimenting with hallucinogens. “I got what I wanted from that and don’t need to mess with it right now,” he says. After many tests and much analysis, he’s discovered he operates best if he wakes up at 4 a.m., consumes 2,250 calories of carefully selected food over the course of 90 minutes, and then doesn’t eat again for the rest of the day. Every 90 days he goes through another battery of tests and adjusts his diet to counteract any signs of inflammation in his body. He goes to bed each night between 8 and 8:30 p.m. and continues to measure his sleep metrics. “I have done tremendous amounts of trial and error to figure out what works best for my health,” he says. “I have worked very hard to figure these algorithms out.”


 . . . 


The nuance in his perspective can be tricky to navigate. Johnson wants to both master the mind and push it to the side. He maintains, however, that our brain is flawed only because we don’t understand how it works. Put enough Kernel devices on enough people, and we’ll find out why our brain allows us to pursue addictive, debilitating behaviors—to make reckless decisions and to deceive ourselves. “When you start quantifying the mind, you make thought and emotion an engineering discipline,” he says. “These abstract thoughts can be reduced to numbers. As you measure, you move forward in a positive way, and the quantification leads to interventions.”


Of course, not everyone will want to make decisions based on what a helmet says their brain activity means. Taking the decisions out of thought patterns—or analyzing them for the purposes of market research and product design—poses its own, perhaps scarier, questions about the future of human agency. And that’s if the Kernel devices can fulfill the company’s broader ambitions. While the big, expensive machines in hospitals have been teaching us about the brain for decades, our understanding of our most prized organ has remained, in many ways, pretty basic. It’s possible Kernel’s mountain of fresh data won’t be of the kind that translates into major breakthroughs. The brain researchers who are more skeptical of efforts such as Johnson’s generally argue that novel insights about how the brain works—and, eventually, major leaps in brain-machine interfaces—will require implants.


 . . . 


If Johnson’s theories are correct and the Kernel devices prove to be as powerful as he hopes, he’ll be, in a sense, the first person to spark a broader sort of enlightened data awakening. He recently started a program meant to quantify the performance of his organs to an unprecedented degree. Meanwhile, he’s taking part in several experiments with the Kernel helmets and is still looking for ways to merge AI with flesh. “We are the first generation in the history of Homo sapiens who could look out over our lifetimes and imagine evolving into an entirely novel form of conscious existence,” Johnson says. “The things I am doing can create a bridge for humans to use where our technology will become part of our self.”


--Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg,, via Drudge Report (bolding added)


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!