20 Jun 2010

He’s a Crafty Devil

Conspiracy, Religious 4 Comments

My favorite line from The Usual Suspects is when Verbal explains about Keyser Soze, aka “the Devil”:

He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

So for years I thought this was a very profound statement about the real Devil. But as with most things that one learns from 20th century pop culture, this actually is quite old, as this website explains:

This [line from The Usual Suspects] was first said by the famous French poet Baudelaire in an unusual short story about meeting the Devil and having a grand old time.

He did not complain in any way about the bad reputation he enjoyed all over the world, assured me that he himself was the person the most interested in the destruction of superstition, and admitted to me that he had only been afraid for his own power one time, and that was the day when he had heard a preacher, more subtle than his colleagues, shout out from the pulpit:

“My dear brothers, never forget, when you hear the progress of enlightenment vaunted, that the devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist!”

In the last few years, I have come around to at least some of the conspiracy views that think there is an elite group “running the show” behind the scenes–and that (for example) it’s really absurd for us to get all worked up “about that tyrant Obama!” I’m not saying I agree with every last theory coming down the pike that has this flavor, I’m just saying it’s not nearly as wacko as I would have thought ten years ago.

Now let’s suppose for the moment that it’s true, and there are a group of elites who control banks, major media, and key governmental positions all over the world. The most obvious way to protect themselves is to do everything they can to keep their very existence a secret. They would be perfectly happy to choose which candidates the parties run against each other, and they would laugh themselves silly when x million Americans got so riled up about the other y million who were voting for the monster Republican/Democrat instead of the obvious angel Democrat/Republican.

These shrewd players behind the scenes, many of whom were from families that for generations had been pushing the entire society in the direction of more centralized power–controlled by them and their allies–would of course run from the spotlight. They would look with contempt on the insecure politicians who needed the rush of adoring masses. In fact, if at all possible, these shrewd puppetmasters would want their underlings to fool themselves into thinking they were calling the shots. Remember that great Goethe line: “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe themselves to be free.”

OK I think many of you are at least with me so far. Maybe you don’t agree that this is how the world really is, but I’m hoping you see the plausibility in what I’m saying.

Now just take it one more step. Suppose there were a malevolent being who had been around for thousands of years. His goal is worldwide domination. He has steadily been steering human affairs to that end. Wars and other events come and go, apparently at random, but gee whiz it seems like the mechanisms of centralized authority and coercion just keep getting more and more powerful, as if they have a life of their own. I mean, heh heh, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say that some very powerful force were transforming the entire global society so that it would be institutionally possible for one person to literally seize control of the entire planet. Go figure, what a weird coincidence.

Now if this were the case, what would be an incredibly crafty thing for this supreme deceiver to do? He would try to convince his lieutenants–the humans at the top of the various secret societies around the world–that they were at the top of the pyramid. He would be manipulating them exactly as they were doing to the politicians, central bankers, Nobel committee members, editors of Time magazine, and let’s not forget all the impressionable but incredibly influential movie and rock stars.

These reflections by themselves don’t prove anything, of course. But I am just pointing out that if your immediate answer is–“But Bob, reason and science have proven that the Devil doesn’t exist”–that that’s exactly what the Devil would want you to think.

4 Responses to “He’s a Crafty Devil”

  1. Michael says:

    I’ve always thought that Satan really loved the “devil in red pajamas” image that he has recieved over the centuries. It may have scared some people in the medieval period, but it the Pitchfork n’ P.J.s That we know today is a great way for us to laugh at the audacity of such a person.

    I guess what I am saying is, if Lucifer is an actual, thinking being, then the red horns and trident that we mockingly use to shrug off such an impossible creature is just the thing he would want. as long as people laugh at the very idea of him, he is doing his job.

    • Michael says:

      I wish there were an edit button, because even I am confused at what I wrote. What I meant was, We deny that the devil exists because when we think of him, we think of the silly childish images you find in cartoons. If the Devil truely is real, this is great P.R. for him; as long as we think he doesn’t exist he doesn’t have to do anything else.

  2. Doc Merlin says:

    Rofl, thats great, Robert.

  3. fundamentalist says:

    While I accept the existence of the Devil, I think he gets way to much credit. It seems to me that his purpose is to deceive those who want to be deceived, but not much else. Those who want the truth cannot be deceived, so Satan deceives those who have rejected the truth and want an alternative to it. As for the great evils in the world, I think they would all exist without Satan because the problem is man, not Satan.