When it comes to covering supernatural explanations, The Washington Post doesn’t go by the standards of James Randi. The news industry has been losing its patience with believers in conventional Western faiths quite awhile. People calling themselves Christians are making embarrassingly big deals out of the occasional penis swinging around in girls’ junior high locker rooms. No wonder the FBI had to be sicced on them. Splainin’ to the lasses, that the unsheathed sword on someone claiming to be a lass is none of their business while undressing, somehow fails to cut it as “mansplainin.’”
Going full “Double double toil and trouble/Fire burn and cauldron bubble,” on the other hand, is just staying in touch with the cosmos. Well, that’s where the WP stands anyway.
Some Bible thumpers have been known to push their luck with both the media and the public. 1986, according to the Los Angeles Times, was when God first tried to shake down Oral Roberts. The Savior, this faith healer said, was leaning on him to cough up 8 million so that a supposedly charitable project could be completed. After seeing how well death threats were working for gangsters amassing funds – the godly preacher would have us believe the almighty took a page from a then still thriving John Gotti. The good Rev told us he would be “called home” if he didn’t come across in the next 12 months.
Jehovah must have reconsidered the idea of having Oral underfoot quite so soon. The Pentecostal parson failed to deliver, but mysteriously stayed put for another 23 years. This delay could leave skeptics thinking that heavenly button men, maybe, should have watched more Joe Pesci films? Or, more likely, the conclave above had second thoughts and realized… that we below had done more to deserve the man’s presence than they ever had.
Now, In your wildest imagination, can you see Oral Roberts placing a sermon on the pages of The Washington Post? Has any other writer claiming to face personal threats from the Deity himself ever landed there? The possibility seems remote. Kook warnings can be found in the beltway daily’s news and editorial features just about every day. They like to be thought of as serious and reliable. The copy is written with a tone suggesting…but our readers are not ones to believe anything like this. A substantial number of the ones I talk to feel that way too.
The ubiquitous danger of letting misguided cranks run around loose is a major theme of 21st century journalism. There is a specter haunting the US. It is no kin, according to our professional informers, of the one comrade Karl said was spooking the old countries one hundred plus years ago. It’s the old fashioned, religious beliefs that some Americans cling to that threaten decent society. Murder rates that surpass inflation, infinite national debt, carjacking and violent felons who get walking papers cheap are just so much fascist propaganda. That, without much exaggeration, is the official line of the media/academic complex. The hierarchies of supposed good sense and able reasoning are at the end of their tethers tolerating pugnacious peasantry.
The peripheral vision of DC’s ruling editorial class gets blurry where class is concerned. Sally Quinn became Ben Bradlee’s third wife in 1978. Bradlee became managing editor of The Washington Post in 1965 before moving on to the executive position. They were married for 36 years until his death in 2014. Sally was the daughter of renowned general “Buffalo Bill” Quinn who participated in laying groundwork for the CIA…a development that the Washington Post itself was not far distant from. She graduated Smith College in 1963. Going by her own words she was a major force in high DC society for decades. If she has any familiarity with the rabble no bio info has recorded it.
Wikipedia describes Bradlee’s widow as once writing “a religion blog at The Washington Post.” It might not be what most of us think of as “old time religion.” Whatever it was, it can bring up a question or two.
The society hostess placed “A new climate for a new king” on the Tuesday opinion page of the WP May 2, 2023. Quinn is immediately upset that monarchs don’t have the leeway they were granted in the days when divine right was recognized. Charles had planned ”to deliver a major address” at “COP27, the UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt” and “Liz Truss”… nixed it.” Quinn goes on: “Truss, who would be prime minister for about 20 minutes until she blew up her government and got thrown out of her own party, was not a climate change activist.”
Truss, however, does have an edge on King Charles. She was elected as an MP by the population of South West Norfolk in 2010 and was chosen to serve in numerous government positions afterward by other, popularly elected, government officials. The king’s distinction was being born. Limiting his capacity to speak on behalf of the British people, at a conference intended to influence the whole world, falls a wee bit short of totalitarianism. The people of England, who don’t have more estates than they have time visit, can’t speak as they like either. But the Bobbies don’t show up at Windsor Palace when Chuckie offends people.
In fairness, Quinn does express slight reservations in mid-gushing for the new, improved Royal Highness.
“He has also been criticized for what his detractors call a double standard, living a life of wealth and privilege, flying on private planes while opining on the need to cut down on carbon emissions. He has refused to allow wind turbines in the Duchy of Cornwall, calling them a “horrendous blot on the landscape.”
“This is the king’s moment to carve out his own role as a pragmatic spiritual leader,” she tells us. “Spiritual” isn’t one of the easier words in English to pin down. When someone tells you they are “spiritual but not religious” is it anything like being horny but not sexual? Is there any ruling principle or cognitive force in new age magic? Whatever “spiritual” means, Bradlee’s better half – who Quinn claims to remain in contact with – hurls her “amens” from the pews of that congregation. There are powers that be out there and, after hearing more from Sally, you’d better be wary of them.
The Washington Post’s most renowned editor was at the gravitational center of DC high society for decades. How much cosmic philosophy he shared with wife three is worth some consideration.
We are not talking about checking your daily horoscope here. The lady who claims to have taken over where Perle Mesta left off makes Shirley Maclaine look like June Cleaver. This is a peer of Aleister Crowley, Madame Blavatsky, Madame de Montespan and Alice Bailey. She shuffles the tarot, questions the Ouija, reads palms, knows ghosts personally and communes with Ben at séances. And her whole Scottish clan is psychic too.
None of that is what placed her at the center of the sacred circle. It was the fatal voodoo hexes Quinn cast, that took her out of minor league quackery. There are at least three notches on her amulet. One was a young vixen that got too much attention from her boy toy in the 60’s. The nameless vamp did herself in only days after Sally’s ritual curse. Next was New York Magazine editor Clay Felker. First she got him fired. The second whammy was cancer. At this point you can envision the sorceress rubbing palms together cooing “excellent”! The third victim was a fellow psychic. The clash must have been something like Endora facing off with Aunt Clara in a Bewitched episode
How seriously should we take any of this?
“Now and again, Quinn stresses that she doesn’t take her psychic abilities too seriously. “I still don’t know whether I believe in hexes or not,” she writes. “All I can say is that there always seemed to be some cause and effect.””
So, not too, according to the Washingtonian article by Michelle Cottle. Quinn claims to have practiced these arts regularly for decades. At least one home had an out building where she did her magical work. Her nickname at Smith was “Witchy.” If the lady is a dilettante she must not bore easily. Very few of those “born again Christians” we are supposed to be scared of devote near as much effort to their piety.
Did Quinn ever have a confrontation like the one depicted in the 1938 Best Picture “You Can’t Take It with You”? In it, the high society Kirby’s reluctantly agree to have dinner at the home of the off-the-wall family of son Tony’s prospective bride. Penny Sycamore, mother of the bride-to-be, tries some small talk with Tony’s snooty socialite Mom, Meriam.
“Have you any hobbies Mrs. Kirby?”
“As a matter of fact I have, I am a student of occultism,” the matron replies gravely serious.
”That’s spiritualism, dear,” answers Mr. Sycamore.
“Why Mrs. Kirby, I’m surprised, why everybody knows spiritualism is a fake.”
The exchange leaves Tony’s father beaming with delight. It is the high point of the Wall Street Banker’s catastrophic evening. Eighty-five years later Variety would be charging Frank Capra with a hate crime.
Some metaphysical beliefs have been fairer game than others in every historic age. At one time you could get the stake for translating the Bible into a native tongue. Nothing in that book’s codicil, The New Testament, justifies such a course of action.
Defending the rationality of any faith is no simple proposition. Personally, I have a hard time with the one that tells us that WWII, space travel, the Renaissance, modern medicine, mass communication, indoor plumbing and “the whole bag of tricks” as Orwell called it, came about from a single cell floating down a primordial river so many eons ago.
Maybe, there is something to the convictions of people like Aleister Crowley. If so, the idea that a stronger counterforce isn’t out there, has got to be scarier than any crime recorded in the annals of Christianity. Crowley and comrades kept at it for some reason. The Faustian angle was played quite successfully by Al’s pal Walter Duranty, to name one.
Jefferson wrote about the book of Revelation, which he had not read in over half a century, about a year before his death: “I then considered it as merely the ravings of a Maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.”
Could any recent developments have an impact on that view? Lot’s wife was said to have met her fate for looking back. Now things the Gomorrahan’s never dreamed of go on in every direction you look. If the hypersexual priorities of corporate, media and academic juntas wouldn’t bring TJ around… their transactional policing demands just might.
Nobody can use Nostradamus to ply the stock market or say when the next war will spark or who will be fighting in it. How the author of Revelations told us that the world banking community would be hell bent to impose – with the capacity to do so — worldwide control of every trade 2000 years ago, is the elephant in the metaphysical room. At least thousands of people’s incomes have already been restricted or even cut off by collusion between high tech and big banking. The practice is far too rampant to even track with any accuracy.
Only 20 years ago no one imagined that the financial sector and Silicon Valley, rather than the government, would be the largest obstacles standing in the way of US citizens and free expression. That is not to say the government doesn’t play a major role in the silencing campaign. Look at the visceral rage of Stacey Plasskett, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Dan Goldman questioning Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger during the House Hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on the Twitter Files. It is no exaggeration to say those reps loathing for the first amendment exceeds the wrath exhibited by the Nuremberg Tribunal at sentencing.
In any case, what dystopian threat looms larger, and more imminently, than a scenario where the likes of Klaus Schwab, Larry Fink, Christopher Wray, Jack Dorsey, a UN panel, Alphabet Corporation and others looking at you like a specimen in a jar, rule on what can be said aloud? If they get their way, the first notice of being censored would arrive when your groceries are put back on the shelf, as cash is no longer negotiable. The sojourn home would be plagued by concerns of whether or not the key still fits the lock.
No corroborating facts verify that Sally Quinn’s rites and incantations brought on the early demise of anyone real or imagined. But it is a provable certainty that the world’s most powerful forces have converged on the plan of having absolute say-so over all financial transactions – and the power to render any unconnected person without means instantly, if they so choose. They make no secret of it.
What have we seen in the prelude? Google stacking the deck of hits like a river boat card sharp, for one thing. The three pages of superficial information found in most searches are repeats before page four. In depth research is back to the days when books were faster… while libraries have been hemorrhaging books since Google’s ascendancy. The only times librarians seem to mind empty shelves is when kids might miss out on sodomy lessons. In the new age of religion, information and inquiry will be sealed up tighter than in Galileo’s day. You’ll still be able to pay for some but who will have the purse strings? If you ask anything authority doesn’t want questioned, you’ll pay one way if not another. These are developments already visible.
Being as livid as Debbie Wasserman Schultz is, with things she hasn’t approved reaching a wider audience, fits an agenda. It is one that is exactly the kind of totalitarianism Jefferson and Madison feared. Both men are fully deserving of opprobrium as slavers. They were too weak and keen on cushy life to follow their consciences. Their writings prove they knew right from wrong and Bordeaux from locally produced drinks. Granting a new, improved “elite” – rarely familiar with the daily travails of the “proletariat” – extra rights is no way to fix the past wrongs of aristocracy.
Too many of the people who think like Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” are without a qualm about running reckless into a future with more slaves ruled by less slavers. They’d never recover from the knowledge that their pristine demands on society… came not from Rousseau, Marx, Montaigne, Adorno or Foucault. But rather the very textual tenets of Christianity they insist on upending.
However unhinged you might find beliefs ranging from Christian Science to Scientology there are bigger fish to fry. The absolute materialists share a lot of common ground with the spiritualists. Killing the nation state off with the bludgeon of censorial control is one example. They won’t need Grand Maitre to do their dirty work anymore with an electronic godhead at the helm.