Church of Euthanasia

The One Commandment:
"Thou shalt not procreate"

The Four Pillars:
suicide · abortion
cannibalism · sodomy

Human Population:

Snuff It #2

The Memory Hole

Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past.

-George Orwell, 1984

If George Orwell were alive today, he would be astounded, but not by the fact that so many of his predictions came true. The fact that there is at least one television for every person in the United States would not surprise him, of course. The presence of televisions in airports, rail and bus terminals, and even subway stations would also be expected. The lack of two-way interactive television would puzzle him, though he might correctly assume that the technology was being developed. What would really stump him is the total absence of coercion. "Where are the thought police?" he would ask, confused. Nothing could possibly prepare Orwell for the enthusiasm with which Americans embrace Big Brother. Truncheons are rarely required, and sudden disappearances are almost unheard of. Complete, voluntary conformity to the ideals displayed on television is observed. Instead of Double-Think, No-Think. Instead of the Ministry of Truth, a corporate media system. Instead of the Party, a liberal elite who actually believe that they are free. Freedom is American, and Americans are truly free, in a limited sense, free to consume. Human rights are reduced to freedom of choice. McDonald's and Burger King, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Democrats and Republicans, the choices are all without meaning.

Why did the Soviet empire fail, while the American empire survives? Because mind control under freedom is more efficient! There's no need to waste money torturing dissidents. Fears of nakedness and excrement are instilled during infancy, and are soon followed by strict gender roles. The boys practice competition, aggression, and conquest, while the girls wear dresses and learn to play house with dolls. The schools teach that what is unmeasurable does not exist. Fear of the unknown becomes fear of life, and death. The student is encouraged to regard those beneath him with contempt, and those above him with envy; success is measured in terms of winners and losers. Sophisticated advertising carefully reinforces the desired belief system. "The one who dies with the most toys wins," reads a popular bumper sticker. So long as the flow of merchandise is uninterrupted, law and order prevail. In Orwell's world, dissent led to Room 101. In America, dissent is merely ignored, or sold, if it's popular.

One of Orwell's great maxims was that control of the present enables control of the past, which in turn controls the future. But here there is no need for armies of bureaucrats revising old newspapers, adapting history to the changing party line. In America, the present is controlled by reducing the attention span. The invention of television wasn't enough by itself. It was the introduction of the hand-held remote that finished the job. Before the seventies, people had to get up from their chairs to change the channel. Laziness was an extremely powerful deterrent. People might watch the same channel for an hour, or more! In the age of remote control, concentration drops steadily. The attention span of the average adult now approaches thirty seconds, by coincidence the duration of a typical advertisement. Among teenagers and children, attention spans reach single digits, as they become synchronized to the pulsating hypnosis of MTV. When the attention span finally reaches zero, there is no past, and no future, only the endless, instantaneous gratification of the present.

Ancient military strategy says "divide and conquer." Where have humans been more completely divided than in America? Land once occupied by the same tribes for thousands of years is paved over, to become cities and sprawling suburbs. How many of the inhabitants will know their neighbors? Citizenship becomes a series of numbers in computer systems. Deaths and births are recorded, and taxes paid, by mail. Leaders are selected anonymously, in tiny booths, from lists of names. How many citizens know their leaders personally, or have even met them? How can a society that never interacts be expected to select its leaders? Youth is worshipped, and the elders, once the most respected members of society, are banished to "nursing homes." They die miserable deaths of loneliness and boredom, abandoned by their "families." Wisdom cannot survive where there is no one to remember it. In the ultimate triumph of individualism, even the family is atomized. Single mothers are commonplace, and children are entrusted to institutions at the earliest possible age. Americans become a nation of orphans, with no allegiance to anything but themselves. Complete alienation makes them ruthless, and thirsty for power. "Everybody wants to rule the world," goes the popular song.

The fourth Key of the Tarot is Heh, The Emperor. He signifies reason, and sight. In the age of reason, technology eliminates the senses, one by one, leaving only sight, the most detached, impersonal, "objective" sense. Smells are eliminated with deodorants and climate control. Taste and touch turn into commodities, to be marketed. The universal acceptance of the telephone substitutes the disembodied voice for physical presence. The advent of computers completes the sterilization: communication is reduced to words on a flickering screen. To avoid misunderstandings, it becomes necessary to introduce a system for representing sarcasm on computer networks, using combinations of punctuation known as "smileys." In the words of computer guru Paul Hoffman, "the Internet offers a great deal of anonymity, but weakens the social bond between the people using it." Welcome to the so-called "cyberfuture".

Orwell's two-way telescreens become widely available, hooked up through telephone lines to every imaginable service. Americans no longer have to leave their living rooms, let alone their houses. Every conceivable need is satisfied, at the click of a mouse. Viewers are able to project themselves into "virtual reality" and interact with their entertainment programming. Elaborate games promote a state of permanent masturbation, in which selfishness, domination, and violence have no consequences. For a species without a past, there can be no consequences, no sense of responsibility. Without continuity, and rootedness, the future makes no sense. Without hope, humans become like a swarm of locusts, scouring the earth from their living rooms, destroying their host. The native Americans taught that the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. Their truths die with them, and the world spins out of balance.

To the future or to the past, to a time when men are different from one another and do not live alone--to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother...greetings!

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