From your own experience, ask yourself this honestly: how successful are surprise parties?
How about this one: how long does it typically take for a workplace-based extramarital affair to become common knowledge? Even ones that ruin marriages and (more importantly) careers seemingly have the inevitably of avalanches.
We are shit at secrets.
Gossip is an evolutionary advantage. Endless, pointless nattering solidifies social bonds in primate groups. (Yes, I just gave you an evolutionary explanation for the Kardashians. Nobel Prize, please.)
Most of the time we understand this. Most of the time, Peter J Carroll’s observations in Psybermagick ring true:
Any conspiracy lacking internal conspiracies will rule its world… In practice the power of any conspiracy rises and falls in inverse proportion to the power of its internal conspiracies. Mutual guilt and bribery mainly hold together conspiracies whose ideologies command insufficient loyalty, but this makes them vulnerable.
Never join a conspiracy that you could possibly betray, because if you could, someone else will.
The trouble is… when you look at the Fortean world for long enough you inevitably, erroneously -and hopefully temporarily- reach the conclusion that a vast conspiracy of the powerful and hegemonic is allied against you… against the truth.
Because how else could it be possible that the Egyptian authorities have steadfastly refused all global attempts to explore the chamber under the left paw of the sphinx that is unequivocally there as proven by independent ground penetrating radar?
How else could it be possible that the potentially unavoidable proof of ancient structures on the moon -which you can see in publicly published photos- hasn’t reached the mainstream without generations of sustained, complex and active suppression? What happens when people who have actually been into space tell you there are structures on Mars?
It’s kinda a big deal.
And so you start to think unhelpful thoughts. You start to think like a character in the last few pages of a Lovecraft story.
You start genuinely entertaining the notions that astronauts have had their memories erased and rogue academics have been offed in suspicious plane crashes. You start to believe in -paraphrasing PJC- a conspiracy devoid of internal conspiracies.
That being said… there is only so much instant dismissal, mockery and shrill counter propaganda -rather than the eminently reasonable and scientific examination- of these oddities before you start feeling a little disturbed… a little bit moved around the board. Something is evidently going on because, clearly, the lady doth protect too much.
If you’ve ever worked in a large company or government organisation you will instantly recognise the absurdity of the very idea of a vast conspiracy maneuvering in concert to keep mankind ignorant of what’s really going on. My old company couldn’t manage to keep a few layoffs (including my own) secret. Everyone knew about it six months in advance.
This is basic Organisational Theory.
Large organisations -especially bureaucracies- can barely do the job they are supposed to be doing let alone a whole extra one, executed flawlessly, that nobody knows about.
Our helicopters crash into each other in broad daylight, we are declared dead by the tax man in a phone call on our way to work, human resources overpays us for a year without noticing and then wants it all back, diabetics are injected with methadone rather than insulin in hospital.
If you don’t believe me then just look at the person in the cubicle next to yours. The one talking about last night’s [insert talent/singing show here]. Do you think they are keeping the secrets of an alien civilisation from you?
The seeming coordination of factors contributing to the “suppression” of unorthodox facts and ideas can be more elegantly explained as the summary of competing mutual agendas. After the fact -thanks to the narrative fallacy- it looks like an alliance of the powerful working together to keep us ignorant.
Market-wide coordination, however, is extremely rare which is why price fixing is also such a rarity. It’s really only OPEC countries, utilities like gas and electricity and government contractors that manage to do it. And they do it boldly, in broad daylight, right in front of everyone’s nose. A conspiracy it is not.
Other examples like Big Tobacco’s patchy and unsuccessful attempts to suppress the health effects of smoking only look like coordinated activity. They are instead dozens of smaller suppressing actions taken for localised reasons. It might look like a ship but it is a ship without a captain.
Sidebar: This dovetails neatly into my nascent Demiurge-as-Egregore theory. It’s a narrative fallacy… it’s a mental shortcut -convenient on the spiritual path- that implies intentionality and complexity when the reality is much more likely to be banal. There is no great Sauronesque being seeking to keep you chained to the earth… there is just the bureaucrat having a bad day and the business development director at a weapons manufacturer trying to make his quarterly target. Multiply by six billion and you have a potent enemy.
Thus true gnosis is escaping the inevitable false narrative of dominant power structures. The narratives would have been different in the second to tenth century when the notion of the Demiurge crystallised but the ‘inevitability of the banal explanation’ would have been the same. It would have been the untalented, ambitious priest, the shrill, petty king and the local burgomeister who insists on a bribe but… just like in the modern era… if you add together all these horrible little factors you inadvertently build an implacable, continent-spanning egregore of darkness, a high emperor of the radioactive wasteland, an astral Simon Cowell, who whispers in your ear that you should buy The Sun and keep that job in the call centre and watch reality television all night because your world is devoid of magic and your starlit sky is devoid of teachers and companions.
Except that’s not the case. That’s an observational error.
Conspiracies don’t have to be the suppression of knowledge. Conspiracies are simply those moments when the currently inexplicable meets the unwillingness to change. They don’t trickle down from the Bildebergers conference… they are the side effect of encountering that unhelpful employee at the DMV.
Where we are going in this series it’s important that we bring this up first. We will be swimming at dusk in some very murky waters and the bull sharks of ignorance are always hungry.
Intentionality is not always necessary for suppression. Sometimes it’s just another day in the cubicle for the Demiurge.