Perhaps it is the significant overlap between gamers and conspiratainment that has led to the widespread ‘alternative’ belief that the Large Hadron Collider has been built as some sort of portal to bring a demon or demons back to earth.
I suspect that the concept of the ‘boss level’ has influenced conspiratainment more than we realise. There is this expectation that once we’ve sleuthed our way through leftover Nazis, FBI agents, Katy Perry for some reason and then a few SVPs of New York banks we’ll come face to face with Dick Cheney and a Rockefeller spilling blood into some glowing pentagram on the floor of a German castle… and we will thwart their summoning in the nick of time.
The reality is that it is not that difficult or expensive to summon a demon. Not even European governments -monstrously profligate though they are- would spend billions of francs/marks/euros over sixty years (CERN was founded in 1954) for something that a few kids can accidentally accomplish with an ouija board and the house to themselves of a weekend.
Which isn’t to say there is nothing to the notion of ‘portalness’, of ‘hellmouthness’. I’ll go you one better… just as we saw with sacrifice and abduction, recent psi research even tentatively points to a possibility that we may model and build on such concepts. And, just as with sacrifice and abduction, magicians will grumble about this because it potentially violates some cherished personal beliefs about ‘energy’ or something.
Consider the humble poltergeist phenomenon. Eric Ouellet, in his recent and mostly quite interesting turn on Binnall of America (it’s nice to see Tim have a new guest at least once every two years), points out that poltergeist effects are commonly ‘phased’.
- Phase 1: low-level effects typically experienced by the person/child at the centre of the phenomenon. These are then related to the parent/others. Eventually the parent witnesses or experiences something and then help is called.
- Phase 2: Help can be either a priest or an investigator. What is interesting is that the effects increase in ‘spectacularity’ once a believer is present to see them. The opposite happens -just as it does in clinical psi trials- when skepdicks are around. They are extradimensional Buzz Killingtons who appear to have a dampening effect on psi.
- Phase 3: A higher proportion of poltergeist episodes than we could care to admit involve lying or faking the effects, even in instances where ‘real’ effects were previously observed. Most commonly, these occur toward the ‘end’ of a poltergeist ‘event’. Often the person at its epicentre cannot sufficiently explain why he or she would resort to fakery, especially after so many people had witnessed effects that patently weren’t fake.
Let’s look at this from an extradimensional perspective. Phase 1 is the ‘thin end of the wedge’. It is the attraction of, manipulation of and subsequent capture of human consciousness. It is a toehold. Phase 2 is the prying opening of that first ‘crack’, creating -at least on a localised level- conditions of reality where very-low-probability events happen with increased probability. This shift appears to be associated with increased ‘belief’ in the initial effects…. ie further ‘capturing’ of consciousness. Phase 3 -once the portal or window area closes of its own accord or is closed by someone/thing- may represent a last lingering attempt to reassert control over the captured consciousness… to re-trigger Phase 1, so to speak. One idly wonders whether similar ‘phase 3’ happenings occur after large-scale psi events that follow the same pattern as Phase 1 and Phase 2, such as the Fatima Miracle.
I assume we are all broadly on board with the description of the first two phases. Phase 3 -especially given its overlap with the Trickster- merits further analysis.
On a practical level, certain considerations thus present themselves:
- Does this point us in the direction of a model for how covens might ‘work’?
- What are the implications of permanent versus temporary ritual areas/temples?
- Are these better/worse than using nearby permanent or former ‘window areas’ as the location of your enchantments?
- Are there patterns to spirit contact -particularly group spirit contact- that we are neglecting. I’m thinking of Phase 3. Most of us will have had experiences with group work that seems to fall apart once it becomes clear that at least one person is in some sense ‘faking’ the experience. Were they always?
Food for thought.