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If Nothing is True, Then Everything is Permitted
Occult Eschatology in Our Time
By Michael Hoffman
Our first two Substack columns (here and here) have concerned epistemology — a fifty dollar word for the study of how we think and how our thoughts are directed. It’s a neglected discipline and indispensable for those who undertake pattern detection and the study of the psychological warfare stratagems of the western secret societies. If you’re new to the Revelation of the Method process we invite you to read those columns before proceeding to this one.
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The Calvinist polymath Douglas “Doug” Wilson is a gifted educator and one of the founders of the Classical Christian Academies and Idaho’s New Saint Andrew’s College. Just when you think you’ve successfully confined him to the acerbic dimensions of H. L. Mencken’s observation that Puritanism is “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy,” he disabuses you of your preconceptions with an essay expressing his esteem for the Roman Catholic philosopher G.K. Chesterton (among other 20th century savants to whom he has been known to turn are C.S. Lewis and the Catholic philologist J.R.R Tolkein). Rev. Wilson writes the “Blog and Mablog” column from which we extract the following:
“You cannot deny the existence and authority of objective truth, and still keep truth. Your denial will eventually work its way into everything…In a world with no truth, something must take its place, and what takes its place is ‘the narrative.’ The current narrative is whatever the leftists grasping for power want you to believe. And that is what they will tell you over and over, regardless of facts, because in their worldview a repeated lie can establish a narrative just as readily as anything else. In fact, for their purposes, even better.”
Wilson nails the crux of the post-modernist ethos, “It’s true because I choose to believe it’s true,” expressed by everyone from the father of the Elizabeth Shaw character who is the heroine of the sci-fi movie “Prometheus,” to the Harvard theologian supposed to be responsible for the “Jesus Had a Wife” hoax (hawked by the New York Times), as her alibi for the imposture.
According to claims by Ariel Sabar in Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife (Random House, 2020), one of the principals who was allegedly instrumental in promoting the “Jesus had a Wife” papyrus fragment hoax was Karen King, who at the time was Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University. In an assessment of Sabar’s investigation, James Lasdun writes in the London Review of Books (September 24, 2020) concerning King:
“She had little interest in hearing what Sabar had found out…Nor did she offer any mea culpas when her fragment was discredited. You could read this as the product of a lofty post-modern sensibility, unbound by crude categories of true and false. King’s statements over the years certainly support that. ‘History is not about truth but about power relations,’ she wrote in one paper. Sticklers for the former were guilty of ‘fact fundamentalism.”
Nonchalant ambivalence like King’s is sometimes said to owe its inspiration to boundary-breaking quantum physics, but it has a less exalted origin that we must not dodge if we wish to grasp its root. While it is infra dig to say so, we venture to note that it was ancient sorcery that presupposed a calculus in which reality, facts, and truth were whatever the sorcerer declared them to be. That gnosis was summoned into modernity by novelist William S. Burroughs. Beginning in the early 1960s in the “Beat” anthology Minutes to Go, he popularized the apothegm of the old priestly caste of magi, that if nothing is true then everything is permitted.
Burroughs ascribed the saying to the dying words of Hassan ibn Sabbah, the legendary ruler of a Persian fiefdom which he had organized through the controlled bestowal of drugs and sex, into a legion of nearly unconquerable hit-men. (The word “assassin” is derived from the Persian term for a hashish user, hashashin). In the 1930s Betty Bouthoul in her book Le grand maître des Assassins (“The Master of Assassins”) quoted the liquidator’s terminal words as, “Souviens-toi…souviens-toi : rien n’est vrai, tout est permis…” (“And remember, remember, nothing is true, everything is permitted”).
Whether we take the fable of Hassan literally or not, the message imparted is clear. The portal to the Thelemic philosopher’s anything-goes-utopia is the notion that when nothing is true everything is permitted. The fact that the origin of this manifesto for mendacity is said to be an occult master who perfected the craft of assassination, links truth-denial to Satan, the being who was “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).
Faith in Truth Itself Abrogated
The origin story predates Burroughs and Bouthoul, however. In his 1887 book On the Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche canonized Hassan ibn Sabbah’s Order of Assassins as the “Order of Free Spirits” (Freigeister-Orden). He equated what he believed was the Assassins’ abrogation of faith in the truth, with human liberation:
“Als die christlichen Kreuzfahrer im Orient auf jenen unbesiegbaren Assassinen-Orden stiessen, jenen Freigeister-Orden par excellence, dessen unterste Grade in einem Gehorsame lebten, wie einen gleichen kein Mönchsorden erreicht hat, da bekamen sie auf irgend welchem Wege auch einen Wink über jenes Symbol und Kerbholz-Wort, das nur den obersten Graden, als deren Secretum, vorbehalten war : “Nichts ist wahr, Alles ist erlaubt”…Wohlan, das war Freiheit des Geistes, damit war der Wahrheit selbst der Glaube gekündigt …”
(“When the Christian crusaders in the Orient encountered the invincible order of the Assassins, that order of free spirits par excellence, whose lowest ranks followed a rule of obedience the like of which no order of monks ever attained, they obtained in some way or other a hint concerning that symbol and watchword reserved for the highest ranks alone as their secretum: ‘Nothing is true, everything is permitted.’…Very well, that was freedom of spirit ; in that way the faith in truth itself was abrogated…”)
Notice that Nietzsche doesn’t say “nothing is true.” Rather, he proposes that it is the abandonment (abrogation) of faith in the truth which makes every act possible—freeing humanity from guilt and the conviction of having transgressed the law.
Has the conspiracy theory community eluded this mental contagion, or succumbed to it? To answer the question we have scrutinized the impact of 21st century conspiracy theory on its adherents and hangers-on. In our experience we have discerned a “directed evolution” at work; what one might term a conspiracy theory virus—a mental contagion whereby one loses faith in the efficacy of truth, rather than an outright disbelief in its existence.
This is a sin against hope without which mankind descends into despair, defeatism and self-murder. Hope is the virtue that expects God’s help. Truth is the witness we bear in order to receive it. The iconographic Alchemical Man, the recrudescence of the primal androgyne Adam Kadmon, was reanimated by the Rosicrucian Brotherhood in the early 17th century, engraved for posterity by Michael Maier (cf. Twilight Language pp. 247-252), as the psychopomp herald of a once-and-future imperium of humanoid creatures for whom reality is whatever is prescribed by a “select group of human beings” who are “almost extraterrestrial,” in the words of Skull and Bones Sentient Master John Kerry (Davos, Switzerland, January 17).
“Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted” famously became the “Creed” referenced in the title of a hugely popular video game
The ubiquity of the revolutionary cultural transformation of American society and mores is conspicuous. One vessel of that transformation has been popular youth culture as manifested in video games and comic books. Arch Stanton reports:
“X was a one eyed vigilante with a padlocked mask that stalked the streets of Arcadia…Steven Grant was at the helm, a writer who revived the Punisher (character) in the mid-1980s into an early 90’s tentpole of the Marvel U…Starting with issue #6 of X from July 1994, Grant began a two issue arc featuring an army of brainwashed assassin warriors led by Lord Alamout, the modern disguise for historical figure Hassan-ibn Sabbah, credited by Grant as the ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ and the undying leader of the Persian Hashashin since the time of the crusades. The arc was based on a legend of Hassan propagated through several books and stories: that he used drugs and a fake garden of paradise to trick his disciples into believing he had special religious powers, thus acquiring their undying loyalty.
“In the 1936 French book, The Master of the Assassins, Betty Bouthoul tells the story of Hassan and may originate the legend. Bouthoul was heavily championed by famous beat writer William S. Burroughs, who frequently mentioned Bouthoul’s descriptions of Hassan, the assassins, and elements of their legend in interviews and his books. Burroughs often refers to ‘Alamout,’ an alternative spelling for the name of the Assassin’s home base. According to Steven Grant, ‘I did crib the Lord Alamout name from Burroughs, but I’d been reading Hassan ibn Sabbah lore since I was little, which drew me to Burroughs rather than vice versa.’
“…In X #6, Steven Grant finally brings it all back together and is the first to recombine elements of modern sci-fi, the legends of Hassan, character traits of The Master of the Assassins and Alamut, and Burroughs’s translation of the famous motto: ‘Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted.’
“…Grant’s mashup of sinister technology and ancient Hashashin later became a massive success when (the) ‘Assassin’s Creed’ video game took this concept and ran with it in 2007; the phrase ‘Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted’ famously became the ‘Creed’ referenced in the title of the franchise, and some of Grant’s new sci-fi plot devices became pillars of the series.
“The ‘Assassin’s Creed” franchise features ‘Apples of Eden’ or ‘Pieces of Eden’; devices of great power left over from a previous civilization. The idea of the Apple is fundamental to the story of the Garden of Eden, this symbolism also featured in the work of Grant and team in X…”
As of 2022, in its various exemplifications and sequels, approximately 200 million units of the game have been sold.
Theseus must have the string
Douglas Wilson: “In a world with no truth, something must take its place, and what takes its place is ‘the narrative.’ The current narrative is whatever the leftists grasping for power want you to believe.”
This is true but requires context. Wilson insinuates that Leftists are the operating engineers of the conspiracy. He probably doesn’t believe that they constitute an exclusive category of control, but he leaves his statement hanging without the explication it requires. Victor Davis Hanson puts forth a sweeping generalization when he writes that the Left:
“…now controls the very institutions of America that it once mocked and attacked—corporate boardrooms, Wall Street, state and local prosecuting attorneys, most big-city governments, the media, the Pentagon, network and most of cable news, professional sports, Hollywood, music, television, K-12 education, and academia…Apple, Google, Facebook, and other tech companies are not 1980s and 1990s “alternative” media geeks and hipsters creating neat gadgets for the people…The current generation of techies is effectively Stalinist. Big Tech now colludes with the FBI, the Democratic Party, and the bureaucratic state to suppress free expression, warp balloting, and serve as contractors of government surveillance.
“The Left, in viral fashion, took over the DNA of America’s institutions, and used them to help destroy their creators…The corporations are the Left and in service to it. Disney, American Airlines, and Nike are revolutionary icons, always ready to divest, cancel, fire, hire, and propagandize in service to woke commissars…”
How soon Hanson forgets that in the wake of the “9/11 Terror Attacks” the Cryptocracy wore a Right wing mask and advanced a Fascist police state by means of draconian legislation vastly expanding the power of the intelligence agencies. It was sponsored by Right-wing President George W. Bush and assorted Right-wing “patriots.”
The waxing and waning of the fortunes of the Establishment Right and Left offers no white hats/black hats dichotomy. The monster we confront is a shape-shifter with zero commitment to Left or Right. Those seating arrangements from the 1789 French National Assembly are symbols of yin and yang energies: acid and alkaline; centripetal and centrifugal. To demonize one and exonerate the other is an act of misdirection.
This is not a matter of splitting hairs. As Hanson the ancient Greek scholar and Wilson the Bible exegete understand, our knowledge turns on our capacity for making and maintaining precise distinctions, and it is in the increasing tendency toward compression of thought, and of slogans substituting for analysis, which vitiates that capacity.
It is our vocation to shatter the alchemical transformation of humanity and gain mastery of an epistemology that can afford us powers of discernment—to borrow an analogy from Prof. Hanson’s bailiwick—so that we may provide the string whereby Ariadne guided Theseus through the Labyrinth. This effort offends entrenched networks of pundits and pedants who have staked their egos on obstinately clinging to failed models of engagement with the Minotaur, consequently it probably won’t win us any popularity contests, and that’s fine. On the infernal clock by which the US and NATO are treading toward atomic fire with Russia over Ukraine, personal considerations of who we do or do not please, decline into trivia. Theseus must have the string.
Douglas Wilson: “As the ongoing releases from the Twitter files are demonstrating, the critics were right all along. I am referring to the critics of the censorship, the lockdowns, the masks, the vaccines, alternative treatments, the whole shooting match. …These critics were shamelessly censored, and hounded out of the discussion. An orthodoxy formed on the virus within weeks, and that smelly little orthodoxy—to use Orwell’s phrase—was enforced with a club. This naked power move was BRAZEN. And now that the Twitter files are proving all of this to have been true, what is their move? It is exactly the same, to BRAZEN it out.”
The Twitter Files unveil the dictatorship of the US government’s intelligence agencies over social media. Rev. Wilson’s anger is justified. However, what is most notable about his healthy instincts is his emphasis on the shamelessness of the affair, and as he does so he approaches the perimeters of the Revelation of the Method.
The Twitter Files data dump was followed in a matter of days by harrowing new details of the US government’s silencing—through assassination—of child molestation ring-leader Jeffrey Epstein. He was in high-security Federal custody on Right-wing Attorney General William Barr’s watch when he was strangled to death.
Another follow-up shock-of-the-week was the disclosure by Project Veritas of gain-of-function (“directed evolution”) intentional mutation of the COVID virus by Pfizer pharmaceutical corporation. Jordon Trishton Walker, Pfizer Director of Research and Development, Strategic Operations—mRNA Scientific Planner—stated to an investigative journalist with a hidden camera, “One of the things we're exploring is like, why don't we just mutate it [COVID] ourselves…[Pfizer scientists] are optimizing it [the COVID mutation process]…”
The speed of the making manifest of what is hidden is accelerating, yet the public is increasingly exhausted rather than energized by these truths. This is only baffling to those who discount the synchronous confluence of our time—the ceremonially prepared zeitgeist—with an equivalent alchemical conditioning process which induces the continuing degeneration and bestialization of the human person.
“No longer bothering to hide their evil deeds”
Wilson: “…we are being governed by scamps and miscreants of the highest order, and we are at the stage where they are no longer bothering to hide their evil deeds. They are just doing what they do, right out in the open, where people can see it if they want to.”
Here Pastor Wilson has his finger on the pulse of America. He may not know it yet, but he’s pointing to the programmed ritual manifestation of secrets. This dangerous truth is dawning on our people—dangerous because of what the Cryptocracy seeks to induce by means of it: the abrogation of faith in that which is true and necessary to the maintenance of our spiritual and mental health, and of reality itself. We’re hundreds of years down the alchemical brick road, headed toward High Noon. Of what does that noontide consist? A choice.
We can ride the dazzling carnival sideshow all the way to Palookaville and burn our brains to a crisp spectating at the wizardry of our now unconcealed masters, who reward our addiction with dopamine neuro-transmissions, courtesy of the Society of the Spectacle.
Or we can study, evaluate and then withdraw focus and energy from the televised and digital Spectacle, embracing family and organic community in its stead. There will be a period of withdrawal after which we may be able to see that the Cryptocracy consists of virtuoso risk-takers—gamblers whose time of greatest vulnerability is the present. They have wagered everything on our final descent into their hallucination.
They project an image of invincibility. Yet many would be surprised by how weak they actually are. As they endeavor to bring the magnum opus of the western secret societies to fruition in our time they are haunted by the specter of the poisoned chalice which they have commended to their own lips—as Macbeth foresaw, the “bloody instructions” they have taught which have the capacity to “return to plague the inventor” (Macbeth, Act I, Scene 7).
Shall we cause them to drink that chalice to the dregs? By the grace of God we have the ability to doom them. Or we can shrug like Atlas and remain props and extras in their Revelation enchantment; pretending we don’t know what went wrong, and howling in self-consuming rage.
Copyright ©2023 by Independent History and Research
Michael Hoffman, a former reporter for the New York bureau of the Associated Press, is the author of Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare (2001), The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome (2017), Twilight Language (2021) and six other books. He hosts the podcast, Michael Hoffman’s Revisionist History® and is at work on a new book-length study of unfree labor in Britain and colonial America. Michael is an independent scholar without corporate or university affiliation.
Michael Hoffman's Revelation of the Method is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.