Originally published in Propaganda in Focus
Understanding the bizarre social and economic transformations afoot in the world today requires a considerably wider view of history than is presented in contemporary corporate media. In this present era of an emerging Bio-Nano Age, we can see, if we squint at history, the faint contours of ancient cultures practicing mystic rites, medicine, and alchemy. It is hardly a stretch of the imagination to witness traces of the mythological past expressed in the present and to see the use of symbols as integral to such practices.
Mass consent to these radical changes is due, in large measure, to powerful forms of propaganda and the effective use of key symbols working on populations terrorized consistently by authority figures issuing ominous warnings of certain societal doom. Why are signs and symbols in the hands of power structures so elemental to a particular social order?
Public consent in democratic societies necessitates that power and authority manufacture or maintain the significance of symbols that will, in the popular imagination, help regiment perception, thought, and behavior. The people must be conditioned to recognize and perceive in the symbol shared meanings, whether consciously or unconsciously, and think about or respond to them in the approved and appropriate ways. This is the job of integration and agitation propaganda — to agitate emotion and enfeeble human reason to sufficient degrees so as to integrate the mass public into approved plans of acceptable social practice.
“Because of their transcendent practical importance,” Walter Lippmann noted, “no successful leader has ever been too busy to cultivate the symbols which organize his following”. This article examines the history of the symbol as an organizing material principle of social control central to the purpose of propagandizing acceptable social practices and conditioning the masses to follow — in the present age — the dictates of an emerging bio-secure global economy. The aim is to show how symbols in ancient cultural practices wield significant influence in the new tyrannical normal and what this kind of social reproduction might portend for the future.
Ancient Concepts & Practices
Since nothing of productive value can come from chaos, efforts to organize social control are not always rooted in some hidden sinister scheme. “What privileges do within the hierarchy,” Lippmann observes, “symbols do for the rank and file. They conserve unity”. A unified people, however, can be both a blessing and a curse.
Some of the earliest recorded instances of a culturally unified response to symbols can be found in the Biblical record of Numbers. Here, it is recorded, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness of Sinai for years, and some — struck by pit vipers — were instructed to look upon a bronze serpent crafted by Moses as a symbol of Yahweh’s miraculous power to attend personally to the afflicted. Though the faithless masses had failed to see their own offence of unbelief — even as they had witnessed their own unlikely freedom from bondage — Yahweh made a way to atone. The overtly futile act of simply gazing upon a bronze serpent for an ailing Israelite, immensely humbled, served as a material lesson in the curative powers of repentance.
The symbol of the serpent in time became a powerful point upon which to focus attention for necessary healing. “From the totem pole to the national flag, from the wooden idol to God the Invisible King, from the magic word to some diluted version of Adam Smith or Bentham,” Lippmann says “symbols have been cherished by leaders, many of whom were themselves unbelievers, because they were focal points where differences merged”.
Over the years, however, the bronze serpent also became for the Israelites a mysterious expression of magic that, for them, morphed eventually into an idol of worship. The story of the cult of the serpent cautions us to consider today the claims of corruptible mortals who, with overweening pride, arrogate to themselves unassailable powers of complete healing.
In ancient Greek narratives, too, the serpent figured prominently in the development of medical practice. The Staff of Aesculapius, an ancient Greek symbol of healing and medicine, depicts a serpent entwined around a wooden sceptre. The symbol is associated with the Greek demigod Ascleplius, a master healer who, according to legend, acquired his powers through the whispering of snakes.
The medicinal power of snakes in myth and scripture is said to emanate from the dual ability of their venom to both kill and heal, just as drugs can poison or cure and incisions wound or repair. Biblically, whether the serpent exerted its deadly or curative power rested with the faith of the follower. According to Moses’ account, the snakes that plagued the Israelites served as chastisement for their loss of belief in Him who had called them out of captivity. Cure for the deadly snake bites came only by virtue of faith in Moses’ bronze serpent, which brought healing through the redemption of restored faith. Thus, the serpent’s medicinal power is historically infused with penance for sin, and salvation through a return to devotion.
In these ways, the serpent and the staff combine the authority of a king’s sceptre and the magic of a wand with the menacing creature whose deadly venom turns magically medicinal in the hands of a saintly healer. Together, the two symbols signify an alchemical transformation of the flesh from condemnation to redemption, poison to potion, curse to cure and death to life, through faithful belief in the anointed staff-bearer.
Current Concepts & Practices
As Lippmann notes, “the leader knows by experience that only when symbols have done their work is there a handle he can use to move a crowd. In the symbol emotion is discharged at a common target, and the idiosyncrasy of real ideas blotted out”. Consistent exposure to society’s key signs and symbols in education, advertising, and public discourse conditions us to heed the warnings offered by authorities who embody the associated “mythologies” of contemporary medical practice. In this sense, the individual’s psyche is subdued and with it each unique human perspective and idea subordinated to the plans and demands of leadership.
The Staff of Aesculapius is today an internationally recognised symbol of medicine. Just as Moses and the temple of Asclepius brought physical transformation and staved off death, so too do doctors in today’s medical temple — the hospital — whose powers of healing may appear equally as miraculous. We, as anesthetized patients, may be put to sleep in one broken physical state and awakened to another renewed. We enter a doctor’s office bearing suffering and exit with a recipe for relief. Our doctors fathom the mysteries of the invisible world inside our bodies, our cells, our organs, our brains, with nearly magical insights divined from arcane realms of knowledge known only to the initiated. They make us better, stronger, safer, and keep us alive. We sin. We eat too much, we drink too much, we sit too much, we become too stressed. Our doctors redeem us. They forgive us. Our only responsibility is to trust them and to do what they say without question. Follow doctors’ orders.
As a key symbol of medicine, the Staff of Aesculapius codes for these medicinal and healing powers, and for the roles and relationships that sustain them, with all the attendant expectations those roles require, on our doctors and ourselves. Doctors are expected to know and understand. The lay public are not. Doctors are expected to lead. We are expected to follow. Doctors are expected to be god-like. We are expected to place our life in their hands.
Under the current invocation of serpent and staff, since the advent of the COVID-19 narrative and the global medicalisation of politics, the roles and responsibilities of doctors have been fused with those of the state. Medical interventions have morphed into political expedients implemented by the world’s powerbrokers on a worldwide scale. The doctor-patient relationship has migrated from the interpersonal privacy of the doctor’s office to a geopolitical stage. Along with it, the archetypal good-liness and godliness of doctors (hand-selected by The State and The Plutocracy) has been projected onto our governing institutions and authorities. Whole societies are now cast in corporate media as vectors of infectious disease wards, and citizens as patients whose primary responsibility is not to be functioning members of society but merely potential carriers of pathogens. The new role foisted upon citizens is that of the perpetual patient who follows, without question, the doctor’s orders synthesized in the orders of the state.
Thus, under the blue and white staff of Aesculapius, the citizen-patient’s unquestioning faith is summoned from on high by the World Health Organization. Of course, we cannot help but recall a corollary during the post-9/11 hysteria when Tucker Carlson claimed that David Ray Griffin’s critical analysis of the official 9/11 Report was “blasphemous and sinful.” Perhaps one of the main permutations of this present form of “unquestioned fealty to authority” is that it is now a call for global deference rather than a deification of nationalism.
With social interactions medicalised today, the social contract and the very nature of citizenship — and even human existence — has been radically restructured in the name of the pandemic, the virus, and the holy ‘case’. The high priests of politico-medical alchemy call all adherents to publicly signal the latest virtues of devotion to the state: “Attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science,” sayeth Anthony Fauci, posing as Moses. Thus, the mere mortal, whose FDA and its brethren receive billions from, and enjoy patent and profit rights to, the pharmaceutical giants and products they purportedly oversee, elevates himself from a lowly human prone to greed, grandiosity and power-hunger, to a status on par with an infinite order underpinning reality itself: The Science™. Obedient disciples of the vaccination cult of COVID-19, with its official state-sanctioned rites and remedies for healing, can purchase devotional candles casting Fauci as a holy being, and even, reportedly, view the objects of veneration on his own bookshelf. This cult of personality, as Mark Crispin Miller observes, is reinforced by the celebrity hero-worship of Anthony Fauci. Although public support for the cult appears to be waning somewhat, as of this writing, we suspect that its influence and presence will re-emerge during whatever “next one … will get attention”, just as Gates had forewarned.
In this reconfigured global order founded on governance-by-health-emergency and health czar, the politico-medical prescription is drawn not from the repository of medicine but from that of totalitarianism, in the form of social control, with the dispensaries our social institutions: schools, police, the military, the media and the courts. Heavy doses of censorship and oppression are administered daily; strict adherence to the political regimen in medical disguise is imposed. Questions, critical thought, debate, and dissent threaten to neutralise the prophylactic control mechanisms and are assessed as public health threats to be eradicated. The active citizen, the beating heart of democracy, is the noncompliant patient who must be restrained. For their own good. Only following doctor’s orders.
Symbolically and archetypally, to question the word of public health bodies in this context is to question the word of the Lord: it is a feeble uninformed attempt by the unwashed masses to strip the staff-bearer and serpent-tamer of their godly powers. Dissent, the currency of a vibrant democracy, becomes blasphemy. Curiosity and critical questioning become heresy. Disrobing the high priests of political medicine leaves the faithful forsaken and unprotected, at the mercy of certain death in the viral wilderness, as the Israelites plagued by serpents in the Sinai. By these symbolic mechanisms, the medical bureaucracy of today assumes the role of the Holy Roman Empire in Galileo’s age. Unbelievers who seek to hold their governing institutions accountable are sinners who must be shunned and excommunicated. Scientists bearing evidence and reason are heretics to be damned.
Future Concepts & Practices
That this fundamental restructuring of governance and citizenship unfolded in 2020 is worthy of note. 2020 is the year that had been earmarked by the national security state as the commencement of a Bio-Nano Age. This new Bio-Nano era was to be ushered in under social and economic disruption that would pave the way for innovations including tele-everything, genetic modification of human beings, AI, synthetic biology, smart dust, cyborgs, and nanotags, for “everything, everywhere”. The endeavour, outlined in a 2001 NASA document citing DARPA, the CIA, DIA, the Australian Defence Department, NASA itself, and others, amounted to a roadmap toward a transhumanist future.
If the serpent that beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden was a key symbol of supernatural deception, it is ironic that the symbol serves today in this global movement toward a hyperrational transhumanism. The ideology, in fact, has an ancient past grounded in man’s wish to live forever — to transcend by his own power the physical limitations of the flesh. To reach this unattainable goal, faithful adherents believe the human body must be “upgraded” through technological innovations. Transhumanism can be understood today as a global scientific and social movement focused on the development of technologies aimed at enhancing the human condition. Practitioners summon the alchemical powers of biotech to integrate human beings with new technologies that “upgrade” sense perception, cognitive capacity, and to solve issues in maintaining constant connectivity to the “global central nervous system” — the internet.
As the head of the World Economic Forum has suggested consistently over the years, we must all prepare for a future that sees the convergence of biological life, synthetic technologies, and digital currencies.
This sort of future, however, is unfolding now. In the context of COVID-19 ‘vaccines’, Broudy and Kyrie trace the connections between COVID-19 and NASA’s Bio-Nano blueprint. They note that the mRNA technology rolled out in response to SARS-CoV-2 bears transhumanist footprints, from its origins with DARPA, the US Defense Department’s R&D arm, and NASA’s Bio Nano collaborator, to mRNA technology’s transhumanist applications in genetic engineering and nano-biology, to the fact that key actors behind both transhumanist research and COVID-19 interventions are one and the same.
Should 2020 have delivered on the national security state’s roadmap for social disruption, heralding a new Bio-Nano transhumanist age, the compliant patient-citizen is today’s perfect creature made fit for a post-human tomorrow. Primed for worship and blind faith, the all-too-human devotees offer up their arms, and those of their children, in a self-sacrificial ritual of obeisance and virtue. No questions asked. For the betterment of humankind. In the name of Pfizer.
The good patient-citizen takes their politico-medical sacrament by donating their body to science, shot by shot, booster by booster in infinitude for purification and atonement. Practicing the rite of receiving a piercing puncture and risking a life-altering injury atones for the original sin of an unclean, diseased, infectious bodily state. The infusion with state-of-the-art nanoparticle gene-based agents cleanses, at the molecular level, all biochemical traces of selfish human indulgence from the sins of social intercourse: travel, work, friendship, love, conversation, affection, sex, reproduction. Thus, man as a carbon-based life form can practice in self-righteous faith the new state rituals of self-loathing and self-denial by despising, as he is instructed to do, his own carbon footprint. Furthermore, the pain of the injection site, the fatigue, the headaches, the nausea, the blood clots, the heart attacks, the strokes, all hallowed suffering — marks of martyrdom — punish the flesh to chase out the demons of infectiousness.
The needle in this context becomes the instrument of a holy flagellant act, a symbol of the virtue of self-sacrifice and the miracle of medicine. Smallpox, polio and diphtheria all exorcised by the magic of the jab. The ultimate real-world impact of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 matters not, even as it is revealed to be snake oil in the premier medical journal the Lancet. It is the act of submission to the needle that keeps the faith alive, the magic of medicine intact, and viral damnation at bay. The mask, in all its futility and discomfort, symbolises the humiliation and shame of the perpetually fallen and infectious human state.
As a first psychological step toward transhumanism, the imposition of regular and routine genetic nanoparticle-based injections may seem like a small step for humankind, but it is a giant leap for synthetic biology. The zealous disavowal of natural immunity in response to COVID-19, contrary to evidence and pure reason, has not only fuelled the Cult of Vaccinatus, but has opened the door to perpetual improvement upon the natural human state, via synthetic immunity, in genetic bio-nano form.
The underlying psychological erasure of our human biology (natural immunity) has fostered mass consent to a foundational shift toward perpetual (six monthly) injectable technological, bio-nano upgrades, in the guise of vaccines. Thus, the symbol of Aesclepius has served its global masters by mobilising emotions capable of nudging humanity ever closer to a transhumanist existence. The staff and serpent have, thereby, functioned as a symbolic camouflage of sorts, behind which those directing bio-nano tyranny can hide: the refuge of mad scientists.
As we suggested at the outset, symbols are central to the organization of disparate peoples pursuing conflicting interests. Stanley Milgram had famously contemplated the symbolic powers of fascist authority embodied in official lab coats calmly handling clipboards, taking notes, and issuing insights on how to conduct this or that experiment or examination. He had wondered how perfectly ordinary people, seemingly possessed of sound mind and intellect, could obey orders to participate explicitly or tacitly in the slaughter of millions of their fellow human beings.
Milgram’s experiments were horrifying because they confirmed not just the banality of evil, but the power of symbols to embody the connotations of accepted authority. When used in the right situations among people sufficiently primed to receive directions or commands, symbols represent key focal points of attention where the masses can direct shared emotions at material forms of official power or disgust.
As with Nazi Germany when Jewish people were recast in public discourse as vermin to be marginalized then eradicated, so too do we see today in state-corporate propaganda the casting of recalcitrant masses as infectious rodents rejecting mandates with untested mRNA platforms. Like the serpent’s venom, the lauded mRNA technology comes with the threat of death. It is only, however, the positive connotations associated with the WHO’s ubiquitous serpent and staff that are reinforced daily in corporate media.
The aim in this purposeful repetition is to organize a global following under the banner of the WHO, with the compliant passivity of a medicalised social order. As history shows, because symbols serve to organise and subordinate people to a common cause, and because they are so common to human experience, their significance to our willing submission goes largely unnoticed, leaving the subliminal imagery to whisper, instead, to our unconscious mind, like the somnambulance of a hypnotist’s trance.