My first real encounter with the Thought Police.
This essay, part of a series applying Jean Baudrillard’s simulation theory to contemporary events, has been suppressed by WordPress. The piece evoked a series of mass-shootings in 2011-12, viewing them in the light of the document usually referred to as The Report from Iron Mountain. It sketched a timeline of these events, juxtaposing them with cinema films which were in either in production at this time or related to a particular theme in the Report that I introduced in this passage:-
“A brief look at some defunct premodern societies is instructive. One of the most noteworthy features common to the larger, more complex, and more successful of ancient civilizations was their widespread use of the blood sacrifice. If one were to limit consideration to those cultures whose regional hegemony was so complete that the prospect of ‘war’ had become virtually inconceivable – as was the case with several of the great pre-Columbian societies of the Western Hemisphere – it would be found that some form of ritual killing occupied a position of paramount social importance in each. Invariably, the ritual was invested with mythic or religious significance; as with all religious and totemic practice, however, the ritual masked a broader and more important social function.” (p40)
The purpose of the Report is to explore the implications of a successful transition to an oligarchical collectivist World Government under a global Pax Romana. It occurs to me, as it must have to others, that in the era of mutually assured destruction these conditions are already essentially fulfilled; the superpowers cannot go to war with each other except through proxies. While Western society functions against a backdrop of permanent ‘war’ in far-off places, these are in truth (to paraphrase Jean Baudrillard) no more than atrocities masquerading as wars. Without military conscription, and with most of the killing done from the air, often using pilotless drone aircraft, these ‘wars’ can no longer fulfil the life-and-death sociological function of conflict in the past, and so the need for a ‘credible substitute […] capable of directing human behaviour patterns’ remains. Alternative models must be found, whether real or fictive, capable of motivating basic allegiance through an ‘immediate, tangible and directly felt threat of destruction, [justifying] the need for taking and paying a “blood-price” in wider areas of human concern’. The Report goes on to lament the poverty of futurological thinking within government as it notes with interest the rise of such models in futuristic fiction.
“Games theorists have suggested, in other contexts, the development of ‘blood games’ for the effective control of individual aggressive impulses. It is an ironic commentary on the current state of war and peace studies that it was left not to scientists but to the makers of a commercial film to develop a model for this notion, on the implausible level of popular melodrama, as a ritualized manhunt.” (p54)
This would appear to be an allusion to Elio Petri’s La Decima Vittima, or The 10th Victim (1965), in which a blood-game called ‘The Big Hunt’ has been instituted as a surrogate for large-scale conflict. The plot, in common with Battle Royale and Hunger Games, seeks to create effect by inverting traditional roles, as the beautiful Caroline Meredith (Ursula Andress) homes in on her tenth victim, Marcello Poletti (Marcello Mastroianni); in later iterations of the theme, the sense of a perversion of the natural order is taken to the next level by casting children as cold-blooded killers as well as victims.
This led naturally into a discussion of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and its relationship with Kinji Fukasaki’s film, Battle Royale, based on the novel by Koushun Takami. I juxtaposed these fictional narratives with the story of what happened in 2011 on the island of Utøya on Tyrifjorden lake, Norway, while The Hunger Games was in production, and gave an account of the trial of Anders Breivik.
And that was about it. I didn’t give any explicit commentary of my own, and merely juxtaposed accounts of events and fictional works. In this form the essay was up on my website for two years.
Recently I reviewed the Utøya piece, adding some other events from 2011 and 2012 to the weave. I gave brief accounts of the mass shooting which occurred in a cinema in Colorado on the release of the third film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. I referred to a name-change in the topography of Gotham City which connected that event to a later mass shooting at a school in Connecticut. The new name has the same initials as ‘South Hinkley’, its original name on the Gotham City map.
Again, I refrained from editorialising or theorising, and stuck to my task of presenting a plain timeline of events. Nor did I question the reality of these events, presenting them at face-value. I was trying to use a more oblique style, hoping to intrigue the uninformed while not boring those in the know. I drew no conclusions, and even the questions are implicit.
When I’d finished these additions, I updated the version on my website, but the moment I hit SAVE everything simply disappeared. I tried multiple times, using different browsers and even computers. Same every time: my work disappears into the memory hole. Nor could I revert to the original version of the piece. Any other text can be uploaded, previewed and saved without any problem to the same page. So it seems pretty clear: this essay is being algorithmically suppressed. The problem is presumably that I put the name of this place in the title and the tags.
Many much more significant writers, researchers and presenters, such as Jon Rappaport, Mike Adams of Natural News and Henrik Palmgren and Lola Lokteff of Red Ice TV, Aaron and Melissa Dykes of Truthstream Media, Sean at the SGT Report, Stefan Molyneux and countless others, have been going through the mill for a year and more, deplatformed or demonetised, shadow-banned, their subscriptions and view-counts continually sabotaged.
First they came for Alex Jones. And he was a CIA doppelgänger so we didn’t care. And that was his job, to take the fall and establish the precedent. And to ruin the name of one Wolfgang Halbig, a retired schools safety inspector.
But it really brings it home when it happens to you.
Obscurity won’t protect you. Insignificance won’t hide you. Truth is no defence. There are certain things you simply will not be allowed to discuss. And the list will steadily grow. And you know what will be on the list of forbidden topics? The list of forbidden topics.
It is what it is.
And this is what it is:
The original essay is here.