Symbols Rule The World, Not Words NOr Laws
November 23, 2010 10:17 AM   Subscribe

The Vigilant Citizen (Previously) presents an Analysis of the Occult Symbols Found on the Bank of America Murals
posted by griphus (103 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hey, look at that! If you read my bank statements backwards, the walls start bleeding.
posted by zarq at 10:19 AM on November 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


I just loves me some earnest Illuminati conspiracy tome. Good reading for an afternoon. Thanks!
posted by Thorzdad at 10:23 AM on November 23, 2010


Note he mentions the frescoes/ flooring at DIA in a few spots, wait until word of the First Horse of The Riders of The Apocalypse filters down to him
posted by boo_radley at 10:24 AM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


So what I wonder is this: what exactly is that kind of imagery doing in a bank? It's a fair question, all snark aside. A massive inside joke? From bankers? Huh.
posted by dbiedny at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh, but it has, boo_radley.
posted by griphus at 10:26 AM on November 23, 2010


This guy is more lucid than a lot of teabaggers. But I know he won't convert any MeFites because of what I found in the article on removing fluoride from your drinking water:
If, however, you believe that ridding the body of a harsh substance with another harsh substance might be self-defeating, I tend to agree with you. Fortunately there are herbs and spices that naturally act as chelating agents: Cilantro does a great job at it.
posted by DU at 10:26 AM on November 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


Vigilant needs to start taking his meds again.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:29 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good to see Dan Brown's still working.

WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 10:30 AM on November 23, 2010


griphus: "Oh, but it has, boo_radley."

Not since the horse's activation test.

posted by boo_radley at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ok. Ok. You caught us.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:39 AM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


You don't need extensive knowledge of symbolism and historical conspiracies to prove that Bank of America is evil; all you have to do is open a checking account with them.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:40 AM on November 23, 2010 [39 favorites]


Steve Jackson is going to die a very rich man indeed.
posted by Gator at 10:40 AM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Oppressing an endless line of sad people.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:40 AM on November 23, 2010


This is about the most limp and pathetic conspiracy piece I've ever read. It boils down to, "Art is weird and I don't get it. Thus, secret societies are involved?"
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:42 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


So what I wonder is this: what exactly is that kind of imagery doing in a bank? It's a fair question, all snark aside. A massive inside joke? From bankers? Huh.

THAT'S JUST THE START OF IT MAN LOOK AT ALL OF YOUR SENTENCES THEY END WITH THE BLACK SUN AND DID YOU EVER REALLY LOOK AT AN ESCALATOR LOOK AROUND THERE ARE BLOND PEOPLE EVERYWHERE
posted by cmoj at 10:43 AM on November 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


So what I wonder is this: what exactly is that kind of imagery doing in a bank? It's a fair question, all snark aside. A massive inside joke? From bankers? Huh.

LEE: Frederick, say hello to Dusty Fry.
FREDERICK: Hi, Dusty.
DUSTY: Hi.
LEE: He's bought a house in Southampton. He's decorating it.
DUSTY: It's a weird place. A lot of wall space.
LEE: I told him about your work. He's excited.
DUSTY: I'm looking for something big.
LEE: Show him the oils.
FREDERICK: They're in the basement.
LEE: Frederick's done this new series you'd love.
DUSTY: Are they big?
FREDERICK: Some of them, yeah.
DUSTY: I got a lot of wall space.
FREDERICK: I don't sell my work by the yard.
LEE: Oh, Frederick.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:45 AM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


I agree, crazy case. But to echo dbiedny really, um, did you look at those murals? Those are kind of messed up.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 10:45 AM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


So what I wonder is this: what exactly is that kind of imagery doing in a bank?

and what does it say about the mindset and outlook of those who authorized this art? - either they have no clue and the artist put one over on them - or they knew exactly what they were approving

the question isn't whether this kind of alchemical/masonic/whatever magick and symbolism is effective - it's whether certain people believe it is

let's put it this way - the ruling class is probably very comfortable having people believe that they are motivated by mundane greed and power - but if this mural represents some kind of corporate vision, even disregarding the symbolism, one has to wonder just what kind of vision they have and what motivates it - and i wouldn't disregard the symbolism - not when it's this obvious

it's important to remember - we're not dealing with objective truth here - we're dealing with belief, not of the blogger, but of the people who made and approved this art

you shouldn't mock this guy - he's made an interesting catch here
posted by pyramid termite at 10:47 AM on November 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


"Art is weird and I don't get it. Thus, secret societies are involved?"

WHY DO YOU HATE FUN?
posted by everichon at 10:48 AM on November 23, 2010


Yeah. DIA (Denver International Airport) immediately comes to mind when I think of creepy public art.

And, yeah....the construction of DIA was....strange enough to warrant quite a few conspiracy theories, although although I suspect that the only thing being covered up by the government was unbridled corruption and shoddy engineering on a project that was poorly conceived from the start.

Oh, and that creepy horse? It killed the artist who made it. (Seriously)
posted by schmod at 10:48 AM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's nothing--you should see the murals in the Great Hall where the MetaFilter servers are kept. You don't need to be a freemason to understand those...
posted by not_on_display at 10:49 AM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I stopped reading when I got to the first mention of the Masons.
posted by rocket88 at 10:52 AM on November 23, 2010


I love this guy. As conspiracy theorists go, he's pretty harmless.
posted by empath at 10:53 AM on November 23, 2010


DIA is a goldmine. Don't forget that the runways are laid out in a swastika pattern!
posted by thescientificmethhead at 10:54 AM on November 23, 2010


The frightening thing is that he has better web design than Salon.com
posted by Joe Beese at 10:55 AM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


"The nun does not seem very pleased either."

Neither would I.
posted by klausman at 10:56 AM on November 23, 2010


Ok. Ok. You caught us.

No, they caught us.
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:58 AM on November 23, 2010


> Steve Jackson is going to die a very rich man indeed.

Yeah, but it's sad that Robert Anton Wilson didn't.
posted by ardgedee at 10:59 AM on November 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


> I love this guy. As conspiracy theorists go, he's pretty harmless.

It would seem that he's more taking this as an exercise in earnestness rather than actually being an earnest conspiracy theorist, although the former has a possibility to eat one's brain until they become the latter.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:02 AM on November 23, 2010


Also enjoyable is Vigilant Citizen's breakdown of the 2009 VMAs: The Occult Mega Ritual

The VMAs were decisively inspired by dark, sinister and even Satanic ceremonies. Let’s look at those rituals.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 11:06 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


So what I wonder is this: what exactly is that kind of imagery doing in a bank? It's a fair question, all snark aside. A massive inside joke? From bankers? Huh.

You overestimate how much thought is put into artwork that is placed in office buildings. I work in an office that has on of Keith Haring's more abstract works in the lobby. Nobody sees the penis except me, apparently.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:12 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


schmod: "Oh, and that creepy horse? It killed the artist who made it. (Seriously)"

You know there's people who believe he was sacrificed for Some Mysterious Purpose, right? I heard that and laughed: "If the masons were going to herald the apocalypse, yes, fine, I could see the symbolic importance of a horse, fine, but fiberglass? From the Masons? Oh, sweetie."
posted by boo_radley at 11:12 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


i did some further research - it was done for nationsbank in 1992, which was later bought by bank of america - and on this page, you can watch a 20 minute video about the making of it

my conclusion - the artist probably put one over on them
posted by pyramid termite at 11:14 AM on November 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Tinfoil Hat Doofus: It's clear to anyone who has studied the history of occult mystery schools that in this photo, this celebrity/politician/pontiff's left knee is turned five degrees outward and positioned slightly higher than the right, which is the secret illuminati mind control sign for establishing the New World Order!

Reasonable Person: Or, you know, the camera shutter might have clicked at the precise moment they began stepping out of the car, when they would have, you know, had to move their left leg like that.

Tinfoil Hat Doofus: Then how do you explain the secret illuminati mind control sign he's making with his right hand, with the hand raised and palm facing outward, which every vigilant person knows means that Paul McCartney is really dead!

Reasonable Person: Oh, I thought the guy was just waving to someone.

Tinfoil Hat Doofus: WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
posted by usonian at 11:15 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the Masonic conspiracy to heal kids for free through the Shriners Hospitals continued unabated.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:17 AM on November 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


Joe Beese: "The frightening thing is that he has better web design than Salon.com"

That's how yoiu know he's legit. Usually this kinda thing is full of oddly capitalized letters, brightly colored fonts, and pretty much the complete content of the whole site on one page. OK, maybe 3 or 4 pages.
posted by symbioid at 11:20 AM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


let's put it this way - the ruling class is probably very comfortable having people believe that they are motivated by mundane greed and power - but if this mural represents some kind of corporate vision, even disregarding the symbolism, one has to wonder just what kind of vision they have and what motivates it - and i wouldn't disregard the symbolism - not when it's this obvious

Am I missing something? Other than vague and tangled references to Masonic conspiracies and the Temple of Set and "the philosophy of the elite rulers, their occult knowledge and their plans for the future" that it would take a dedicated acolyte to unravel? Really -- what's so obvious about it?

If the artists commissioned by the big evil bank are heavily into Jung, bully for them.

The DIA art is kind of creepy, but it beat the usual pablum you encounter at an airport.
posted by blucevalo at 11:21 AM on November 23, 2010


Well, at least we know the real answer to this AxeMe question!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:25 AM on November 23, 2010


Am I missing something? Other than vague and tangled references to Masonic conspiracies and the Temple of Set and "the philosophy of the elite rulers, their occult knowledge and their plans for the future" that it would take a dedicated acolyte to unravel? Really -- what's so obvious about it?

Ignore the occult stuff entirely -- what's up with the middle panel?
posted by empath at 11:27 AM on November 23, 2010


I just went back and bought a book I had checked out of the library when I was very young, called "Cult and Occult" by Robert Tyge Smith. I think I got it from my grade school lobrary, and it's hard for me to imagine a time when there were histories of the occult in libraries.

I was fascinated by it, and spent a good portion of my childhood as a dedicated occultist. Back then -- the 70s and early 80s -- bookstores had sections labeled "occult," which, over time, transmogrified into the much less interesting "new age" section, and books about satanism and secret societies were gradually replaced by books by Hindu charlatans and color therapy and, before it went completely mainstream, books about yoga.

But it was the occult stuff that excited me. I had quite a collection as a boy. I suspect it's because I had always been a fan of horror movies, and these books suggested that the world of the horror movie wasn't some nightmare given dramatic form, but, instead, a poorly remembered document of actual things. There were supernatural forces at work in the universe, hidden to all but the knowing, and they could be accessed and made use of.

And, once you get into that mindset, you start seeing hints of the occult everywhere. It's like this underground world of magic has set out signposts throughout the world, intelligible to the knowing, obscure to everybody else (and this is why it is called "occult," meaning "hidden.") I liked to believe that beneath suburban tract homes there were Satanic altars, and that the men behind the banks were in collusion with unearthly forces. It's something that Robert Anton Wilson tapped into expertly, and something that Lovecraft constantly drew from. Beneath the shallow, bland surface of this world there is a churning chaos of the incomprehensible, and the occultist had managed, not only to find it, but to render it comprehensible and even to control it, although they did so at great personal risk.

Of course, eventually I grew up. After years of trying to get magic to work in the real world, I gave up, realizing that, while there had been actual magicians in the past, there had never been magic. There was a lot of self-deception, and mental illness, and drug use, but these didn't lead to and sort of power of unseen forces, but instead a diminishing circle of sanity and self-control. The greatest occultists of the 20th century were the Nazis, which, after all, grew out of the explicitly occult Thule Society, and what was their legacy but genocide, war, and self-destruction? Aleister Crowley died bankrupt and a heroine addict. Anton LaVey was an admitted showman and huckster.

And worse still I realized that occultism made extensive use of what seemed to be symbols, but they weren't symbols at all -- they did not represent anything at all, but merely appeared to. These were nonsense phrases and nonsense gestures, strung together the way people speak in tongues, providing the appearance of meaning without the inherent structure or shared understanding that actually produces meaning. There was no hidden world being represented by these symbols, but, instead, the illusion of one, some created by self-deluded, some created by con artists. But there was no reality being represented, only the sense of mystery, and it was an unsolvable mystery.

But I never lost my taste for them, even if I stopped believing them. They might be nonsense, but they're great fodder for the imagination. Occultists might be rather bad world leaders, but they often make dynamite artists, and the sense of an unknowable mystery world is an exciting one for fiction. If it stopped being true, it never stopped being fun.

I don't know if this author is serious or not. But he sure captures the fun of it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:27 AM on November 23, 2010 [29 favorites]


These giant images, on display for all to see, but designed to be understood by few, describe the philosophy of the elite rulers, their occult knowledge and their plans for the future.

The secret elite has this one weakness, you see. They are totally unable to resist the urge to commission gigantic murals depicting their precious occult knowledge and plans.
posted by The Mouthchew at 11:32 AM on November 23, 2010 [19 favorites]


The DIA art is kind of creepy,

It's like an early '70s peace, love & brotherhood mural on a sketchy acid trip.
posted by MikeMc at 11:32 AM on November 23, 2010


Ok. Ok. You caught us.

Matt Taibbi is going to be pissed.
posted by The Bellman at 11:45 AM on November 23, 2010


Also previously.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:45 AM on November 23, 2010


Hmm. Also previously.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:46 AM on November 23, 2010


If you fold both ends of the website together you see Alfred E Newman kissing Glen Beck.
posted by zerobyproxy at 11:47 AM on November 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


...it's hard for me to imagine a time when there were histories of the occult in libraries.

You must now live near some pretty crappy libraries.
posted by DU at 11:49 AM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


The image with the woman in the cube suspended by strings from the sky as a stark black sun looks down upon all looks like it could have come from the Codex Seraphiniaus.
posted by JHarris at 11:54 AM on November 23, 2010


He meant grade school libraries. I went to catholic school. We had AWESOME books about satanism and the occult.
posted by empath at 11:54 AM on November 23, 2010


MetaFilter: Nobody sees the penis except me
posted by Splunge at 11:59 AM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


The three frescoes ruling over the lobby of the Bank of America Corporate Center.
I understand it's a power-sharing arrangement, much like the ancient Greeks used. Each frescoe rules for a four-month period of the year, then hands off the reins of power to the next one.
posted by scalefree at 12:04 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]



Steve Jackson is going to die a very rich man indeed.

Yet I'm still waiting for O.G.R.E. to come back in print. BE MORE GREEDY, STEVE!
posted by KingEdRa at 12:06 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


All right Vigilant Citizen, I live right next door to the new Goldman Sachs headquarters. This is the mural in their lobby. Given the general impression that GS is Satan's Bank, maybe you want to try finding some occult symbols in this one?

I just think it's ugly. And the one in the back lobby is even worse.
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 12:13 PM on November 23, 2010


All I need to know about B of A is that every realtor I know despises working with them.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:27 PM on November 23, 2010


The word "realtor" is most definitely a product of the occultists who control finance.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:29 PM on November 23, 2010


Wait...Elisa from Project Runway season 4 is Luis Jimenez's daughter?
posted by malocchio at 12:32 PM on November 23, 2010


The secret elite has this one weakness, you see. They are totally unable to resist the urge to commission gigantic murals depicting their precious occult knowledge and plans.

I kind of like the idea that there's a global cabal that ties all the evil in the world together, and the only thing that keeps them from total control is that it’s run by the Riddler.
posted by Shepherd at 12:34 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just can't tell you how frustrating it is to be an occultist Freemason working in finance, and not be in on the secret plans.
posted by malocchio at 12:38 PM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


The greatest occultists of the 20th century were the Nazis

I just want to chime in and say that the whole Nazi occultism stuff is pure trash and invented decades after the war. It's crypto history at its worst; it is the Big Foot or Loch Ness monster of modern history. Somehow this trope has made it into popular culture (I'm looking at you history channel), but that doesn't change the fact that it is all bullshit.

Hellboy is still cool though... oh and Indiana Jones. Occultist Nazis make great fiction, but remember that it is precisely that - make beleive.
posted by boubelium at 12:58 PM on November 23, 2010


Challenge: without reading the Vigilant Citizen's analysis, look at the three murals, left to right instead of right to left, and with their *exoterically* expressed themes of "making/building, chaos/creativity, and planning/knowledge" -- and see if they're anything like as creepy as he makes them.

I tried that (having read some Vigilant Citizen before and knowing how he rolls) and honestly they're not any more creepy than any other surrealist art, and much less creepy than some. They're just art, by a modern would-be neo-Salvador Dali type artist (not a bad one either, IMHO).
posted by edheil at 12:58 PM on November 23, 2010


Are you saying The Spear is not a true story?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:02 PM on November 23, 2010


Don't forget that the runways are laid out in a swastika pattern!

That's really a stretch. You want a swastika, check out the Metrodome.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:03 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I just want to chime in and say that the whole Nazi occultism stuff is pure trash and invented decades after the war.

How so? Granted, it's been overblown, but Hitler and many of the top ranking Nazis were members of the Thule society, and believed some weird shit. Most of the weirdness that made it to SS uniforms and regalia was largely window dressing, and the Nazis were really about naked resource and land grabs, true. But the whole notion of ethnic purity is pretty weird and the steps they took can definitely be seen as a kind of black magic, even if they weren't hunting around for lost magical relics. "The Occult Roots of Nazism" is a pretty well-vetted exploration of this.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:07 PM on November 23, 2010


The frescoes bare many resemblances to the murals of the Denver International Airport,...


Bracken House, London. The Black Sun bares the face of Winston Churchill.

Kinda irritating that the writer continually uses "bare" for "bear".
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:16 PM on November 23, 2010


That's really a stretch. You want a swastika, check out the Metrodome.

Channeling Colbert: "Nooooooooo! Not the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis! I'm looking out my window at it right now and my eyes are starting to glow red."
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:18 PM on November 23, 2010


The Black Sun lays all of our faces bare with its occult power to open the doors of perception.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:19 PM on November 23, 2010


Well, as your link to the Thule society wiki page says in the opening paragraph, "There is no evidence that Hitler ever attended the Thule Society." I recall that as early as 1960, William Shirer was trying to combat the idea that occultism and the Nazis were intertwined. The fact is that Hitler had some kooks hanging around with all sorts of varying ideas (Alfred Rosenberg was perhaps the worst of these pseudo-intellectuals), but one has to remember that this largely because Hitler had some pretty kooky ideas on race and history. Once you open the door to embracing concepts like racial purity without any objective evidence, you sort of tolerate a bunch of bogus ideas. But any occult stuff boiled down to the eccentricities of individual people; there was never a Nazi-Occult cabal. In fact, there were far more Nazis involved in trying to create a Third Reich Christianity, by purging the faith of its "Jewishness" and uniting Protestant churches. But that doesn't have the allure of the occult.

The growth of the occult-Nazi connection is, in my opinion, an exercise by many to associate the Nazi with otherworldly evil. They couldn't be just normal horrible people; no, they had to have secret rituals and be in league with otherworldly forces, etc. It's an attempt to explain away through mystical mumbo jumbo the mundane fact the Nazis were a political movement that garnered wide support across Germany and elsewhere in the world by very ordinary people.

I don't study German History professionally, but in grad school I had a number of friends who did. Nothing irked them more than occult stuff and I gathered that was a reflection of their professors' beliefs and the beliefs of professional historians everywhere.
posted by boubelium at 1:32 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Challenge: without reading the Vigilant Citizen's analysis, look at the three murals, left to right instead of right to left, and with their *exoterically* expressed themes of "making/building, chaos/creativity, and planning/knowledge" -- and see if they're anything like as creepy as he makes them.

I tried that (having read some Vigilant Citizen before and knowing how he rolls) and honestly they're not any more creepy than any other surrealist art, and much less creepy than some. They're just art, by a modern would-be neo-Salvador Dali type artist (not a bad one either, IMHO).


Well, the left panel shows a bunch of stoic men with shovels trapped underground (Chilean miners?), while a supervisor carefully watches two men working above ground. A giant sleeps in the dirt. Not super weird, but a bit odd for an institution that transfers wealth from the working class to the investing class.

The middle panel gets weirder and more disturbing - a man splayed like Jesus against a wall; a man or woman in a hazmat suit; blank signs pointing nowhere; military actions against protesters.

That third, right-most panel is the most Daliesque, I suppose, but it's still bizarre: Why are two men in suits conferring with a man in old-fashioned clothing?; why a burning bush in front of a pyramid?

I grew up like Astro Zombie (I read Chariots of the Gods? when I was 6) and I tend to look for this sort of odd imagery.

While I don't necessarily believe (yet) that the Bank of America is engaged in a freemason conspiracy to rule the world (I wouldn't discount the idea entirely), that is one wacky mural.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:55 PM on November 23, 2010


The artist is a customer of mine. I think he pranked the bank. Too damn funny.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:14 PM on November 23, 2010


I'm going to trust Hellboy on the the whole Nazi issue. He has some actual experience with it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:15 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


freemason conspiracy to rule the world

I always laugh when I read these Freemasonry conspiracies. My father became a Freemason a couple of years back. Last time I was back in my home town for a visit, he and his friend (a Master Mason) couldn't conspire to rule the remote controls in order to watch the BBC Planet Earth DVDs I bought him for Christmas, let alone the actual planet Earth. In my experience, Freemasonry's power and influence in global events is comprised almost entirely of angry letters to the editor and cranky phone calls to City Hall about all that damned noise the kids are making out there on the lawn.
posted by Hoopo at 2:22 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


You're all nuts. Freemasons run the country.
posted by Gator at 2:27 PM on November 23, 2010


This kind of hogwash infuriates me - especially because more than a handful of my friends have gotten caught up in this stuff. My father and I and many of the men in our family participate/participated in Freemasonry because it gave us a chance to travel around, meet interesting people, eat at potlucks and get out of the house once in a while. It also helped us connect to some interesting figures from American history in a unique way and get involved in some great charities. We visited blue lodges around the country and my dad was a highly respected Mason. There was never any conspiracy horsepucky bandied about, unless it was the conspiracy to encourage men to better themselves and read about philosophy and rhetoric.

And now I have a bunch of friends who have really bought into the New World Order type stuff and it really pisses me off. Because there is a conspiracy afoot. We saw it during the deepwater horizon spill, during these massive, unnecessary wars, during the G8 talks. It's a conspiracy to take as much money as possible from the poor and deposit it in the pockets of the rich. Put down the "occult" literature and pick up Saul Alinsky, if you're really earnest about learning how the secret world functions. I ask my friends, "why are the evil occult corporations seeking power?" And so often the trite answer is, "Power seeks more power." That's the dumbest shit in the world. They're seeking more power because they want to buy a bigger yacht, fly around in a private jet and have sex with teenagers in said yacht/jet. They seek power because they want money. They want money so they can do what anyone with money can do - get stem-cell treatments to make them live forever. Buy a private submarine. Own a baseball team. Marry a slovenian swimsuit model. The kind of crazy shit that any hairless monkey with a big pile of gold would do. And the conspiracy is that they've purchased the U.S. government (and many other governments) so they can do whatever the hell they want and never, ever get punished for it. The conspiracy isn't in the murals, it's in the lobbying dollars gushing out of the boardroom.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:40 PM on November 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


In my experience, Freemasonry's power and influence in global events is comprised almost entirely of angry letters to the editor and cranky phone calls to City Hall about all that damned noise the kids are making out there on the lawn.

Yeah, nothing dispells the sinister glamor of the Freemasons quite like...well...meeting some actual Freemasons.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:00 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, look at that! If you read my bank statements backwards, the walls start bleeding.

Amateur. If you read my bank statements normally, your eyes will start bleeding.
posted by ersatz at 3:39 PM on November 23, 2010


Because of their normalcy, phew.
posted by ersatz at 3:40 PM on November 23, 2010


Yeah, nothing dispells the sinister glamor of the Freemasons quite like...well...meeting some actual Freemasons.

Any true seeker knows that the 'Masons' you can actually 'meet' in 'person' are actually just meat puppets, put forth into the public eye to bluff suckers into thinking that they're harmless folks just like the rest. When, in reality, these puppets are psychically controlled by the REAL Masons... who, as the well-educated are perfectly aware, are actually Psychic Ghost-Wizards.
posted by FatherDagon at 3:51 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


You want occult? Here's occult. Black Hole Sun.
posted by Splunge at 4:22 PM on November 23, 2010


zarq: "Hey, look at that! If you read my bank statements backwards, the walls start bleeding"

When I read mine backwards, I get richer.
posted by pjern at 4:27 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would scoff at the whole thing but coming from a bank the symbol here is pretty close to the attitude of many banks.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:13 PM on November 23, 2010


Man, I love Illuminati! How's this: The Furries sponsor The Gnomes of Zurich, who are allied with the Phone Phreaks (one of several Black Ops divisions of The Evangelical Lutheran Churh in America) in their struggle for control over NAMBLA against the AARP & The Military Industrial Complex (which are both controlled by New Media and the NASCAR).
posted by KingEdRa at 7:15 PM on November 23, 2010


Wow, all those joke attempts, not one laugh. If you aren't interested in this stuff, why not go elsewhere instead of systematically thread-shitting?

The article appears to be quite accurate - the artist embedded a lot of Masonic symbols in his work. Interesting, worthy of a posting, not sure why this inspires so many lame attempts at humor.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:31 PM on November 23, 2010


(And the Freemasons used to be a force to reckon with... almost every revolution in the Americas was run by Masons, so it's very likely that the person reading this owes his current democratic government to a Masonic conspiracy. It's a little sad that they've fallen on harder days, but, again, not worthy of mockery.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:33 PM on November 23, 2010


"almost every revolution in the Americas was run by Masons"

come again? Whenever anyone says "run by Masons" I think some citations are in order.
posted by boubelium at 8:04 PM on November 23, 2010


The article appears to be quite accurate - the artist embedded a lot of Masonic symbols in his work.

The reason I don't see it as necessarily "Masonic symbolism" is because the Masons didn't invent these symbols, but borrowed many of them from the Judeo-Christian tradition, mythology, and the history of science and physics--symbols which make a lot of sense to include in the context of an abstract painting about knowledge and planning. A lot of his interpretations of the symbols conflate Freemasonry, the occult, Nazism, and stuff he thinks is "PRETTY WEIRD, RIGHT?" in order to suggest there's a massive, malignant conspiracy of elites flaunting their power through coded messages in paintings at corporate headquarters.
posted by Hoopo at 8:29 PM on November 23, 2010


Wow, all those joke attempts, not one laugh. If you aren't interested in this stuff, why not go elsewhere instead of systematically thread-shitting?

Because the current day anti-Masonic movement is despicable, obnoxious and ignorant? Because most of the Freemasons in my lodge laugh at this stuff along with me? Because people would rather form conspiracy theories than reflect up on the symbolism that helps good men become better men? Because those bullshit conspiracy theories do far more harm than good in this world? Because I prefer to laugh, than to cry?

When people attack the Masons, they are attacking me. They are attacking good men that are trying to improve themselves and the world. The "Vigilant Citizen" isn't providing a thoughtful critique on Masonic thought, art, or literature...he his promoting a paranoid worldview that harms me and plenty of good men who have done no wrong.

There are plenty of thoughtful critiques regarding Freemasonry, and the impact our ideals have had upon the world. This is not one of them.
posted by malocchio at 9:02 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whenever anyone says "run by Masons" I think some citations are in order.

george washington, simon bolivar for starters -although i'm not going to claim that their freemasonry was the real motive behind their revolutionary actions
posted by pyramid termite at 9:11 PM on November 23, 2010


Its not like banks need guidance on being evil.
Its just a cheap smear on the occultists.
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:25 PM on November 23, 2010


I just can't tell you how frustrating it is to be an occultist Freemason working in finance, and not be in on the secret plans.

That's because you're either not in on the secret plans, or you are in on the secret plans and therefore (a) cannot tell us about how frustrating it is to not be in on the secret plans as you actually are in on the secret plans and are thus not frustrated about not being in on the secret plans, or (b) the plans are secret and you can't tell us about them anyway.
posted by WalterMitty at 2:06 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The fact that the person holding a particular political office happens to be a Freemason does not equal "run by the Freemasons." (Seriously... why the Freemasons instead of, say, the Jaycees or the Toastmasters?)

We have two 100+ year old fictions to thank for this persistent nonsense: Léo Taxil's hoax and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
posted by usonian at 4:23 AM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


For those of you who haven't had the pleasure:

The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter (Harper's, 1964)
The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization... he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.
posted by ServSci at 8:12 AM on November 24, 2010


When people attack the Masons, they are attacking me.

Can we have a I'm a Mason, ask me anything?

Cause seriously, I'm interested as hell in what masons actually do.
posted by empath at 8:26 AM on November 24, 2010


I'm interested as hell in what masons actually do.

Masons rented their gym to my school.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:38 AM on November 24, 2010


Wow, all those joke attempts, not one laugh. If you aren't interested in this stuff, why not go elsewhere instead of systematically thread-shitting?

Can't we have both? If I wasn't interested in this stuff, I wouldn't have been able to come up with the jokes in the first place.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:40 AM on November 24, 2010


Seconding ask-a-mason!
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:41 AM on November 24, 2010


There was a What the heck is Freemasonry thread on the green last month. (I'm a Mason, ask me almost anything.)
posted by usonian at 10:14 AM on November 24, 2010


There was a What the heck is Freemasonry thread on the green last month. (I'm a Mason, ask me almost anything.)

I'd favorite, but it seems I've hit my limit. Thanks USO.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:30 AM on November 24, 2010


I'm interested as hell in what masons actually do.

They build things out of brick, stone and mortar.
posted by fixedgear at 11:26 AM on November 24, 2010


They drink and talk about their jobs, mostly.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:38 AM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm interested as hell in what masons actually do.

Memail me, but I doubt you'll find anything more interesting than what you'd find if you dropped in at your local bluelodge and just asked them. My freemasonry experience was closely tied in to my relationship with my father and it provided us with a catalyst for discussing "big ideas." On long drives, we would reflect on what we learned in lodge and how these ideas may or may not be universal to the human experience. I came up through a pretty big lodge in a large U.S. city so the degrees were very well attended and were a pretty large-scale production. Nevertheless, even lodges with 15 members create bonds that are fruitful... it's a chance to talk about things with other individuals and have conversations that you just wouldn't have over a beer at the bar. Also I can still smoke at the lodge in doors which is pretty freaking sweet. Makes me feel like a Victorian gentleman.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:24 PM on November 24, 2010


> it provided us with a catalyst for discussing "big ideas."

I'm not a Mason but I'm pretty sure that's exactly it. It's like a social club where they discuss what they're doing in life in the context of larger spiritual ideas, and they try to help each other determine if what they are doing is more self-serving of if it is something that benefits the community, more or less. That and the tiny car parades.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:26 PM on November 24, 2010


The people who bought the mural got "pimped", had a joke played at their expense.

The most public joke I can think of was when AT&T was told to call its new global network "Skynet"

For about 1/2 a month they were sending press releases about how wonderful Skynet was. Then they re-branded it about a year later.

(Hint: Skynet is part of the Mythos of the Terminator movies)
posted by rough ashlar at 1:31 PM on November 26, 2010


Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor

In case one wants an idea of what goes on in a lodge.....beyond poor implementation of Roberts Rules of Order and flubbed ritual work.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:33 PM on November 26, 2010


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