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THE FAUSTIAN OF MODERN SCIENCE
PART 5


by Phillip D. Collins
August 15, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

Understanding the Epistemological Foundations of Scientific Totalitarianism

One of the earliest exponents of the scientistic Weltanschauung was Sir Francis Bacon, who coined the famous aphorism: "Knowledge itself is power." According to Carl Raschke, this dictum is thematically underpinned by Gnostic occultism: "The well-known maxim of Bacon, nam et ipsa scientia potestas est ('Knowledge itself is power'), is often commemorated as the credo of the new science, but it also suits quite precisely the magico-religious mentality of Gnosticism" (49).

Bacon was a member of a secret society called the Order of the Helmet (Howard 74). The organization's name was derived from Pallas Athene, the Greek goddess of wisdom who was portrayed wearing a helmet (Howard 74). Although regarded as an innovator of science by orthodox academia, Bacon's studies mostly embraced occultism. In his youth, Bacon was "a student of Hermetic, Gnostic, and neo-Platonist philosophy and had studied the Cabbala" (Howard 74).

Allegedly, Bacon was also a Grand Master of the secret Rosicrucian Order (Howard 74). The Rosicrucians were closely associated with Freemasonry (Howard 50). In fact, a Rosicrucian poem written in 1638 voices the organization's close ties with the Lodge (Howard 50). It reads, "For what we presage is not in grosse, for we brethren of the Rosie Crosse, we have the Mason's Word and second sight, things to come we can foretell aright. . ." (qutd. in Howard 50). In other words, Rosicrucians knew the "inner secrets of Freemasonry and possessed the psychic power to predict the future" (Howard 50).

In 1627, Bacon published a novel entitled The New Atlantis (Howard 74). The pages of Bacon's book were adorned with Freemasonic symbols, such as "the compass and square, the two pillars of Solomon's temple and the blazing triangle, and the eye of God, indicating his association with the secret societies who supported his Utopian concepts" (Howard 75). The novel "describes the creation of the Invisible College advocated in Rosicrucian writings" (Howard 74). This Rosicrucian mandate for an "Invisible College" was realized with the formation of the Royal Society in 1660 (Howard 57).

Fischer synopsizes Bacon's "Utopian concepts":

For Bacon, the defining feature of history was rapidly becoming the rise and growth of science and technology. Where Plato had envisioned a society governed by "philosopher kings," men who could perceive the "forms" of social justice, Bacon sought a technical elite who would rule in the name of efficiency and technical order. Indeed, Bacon's purpose in The New Atlantis was to replace the philosopher with the research scientist as the ruler of the utopian future, New Atlantis was a pure technocratic society. (66-67)

Not surprisingly, the socialist revolutionaries of the Promethean faith sought to tangibly enact their own conception of Bacon's New Atlantis. Sociopolitical Utopians, their various ideological permutations notwithstanding, have always strove to establish a "pure technocratic society." Sociopolitical Utopianism is, in turn, derivative of Gnosticism. This derivation is illustrated by sociopolitical Utopianism's rejection of pistis, which the early Gnostics considered inferior to gnosis.

Yet, the sociopolitical Utopian's derision for cognitio fidei led revolutionaries to conclusions that were even more radical than those of traditional Gnosticism. For traditional Gnostics, the transcendent held primacy over the immanent. The sociopolitical Utopian, on the other hand, re-conceptualized transcendent objects of faith as objects of immanent experience. This re-conceptualization began with the Gnostic desire to draw knowledge that was commonly associated with the transcendent "into a firmer grip than the cognitio fidei, the cognition of faith, will afford" (Voegelin 124). The resultant Weltanschauung, however, bestowed metaphysical primacy upon the ontological confines of the physical universe. Thus, sociopolitical Utopians attempted to transplant objects of faith within the finitude of human knowledge and experience. In this sense, the sociopolitical Utopian qualifies as a new Gnostic whose immanentist impulses find affirmation in scientific materialism.


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One object of faith that this modern incarnation of Gnosticism sought to draw into human history was the Eschaton (i.e., the End of Days): "In place of an Eschaton which ontologically transcends the confines of this world, the modern Gnostic envisions an End within history, an Eschaton, therefore, which is to be realized within the ontological plane of this visible universe" (Smith 238; emphasis added). Herein is the conceptual basis for the Utopian vision of a "heaven on earth." It is premised upon Gnostic epistemology and, as such, is inherently occult in character. Its adherents spawned secular revolutionary movements that, sociologically, behaved like religions:

In this century, with the presentation of traditional religious positions in secular form, there has emerged a secular Gnosticism beside the other great secular religions--the mystical union of Fascism, the apocalypse of Marxist dialectic, the Earthly City of social democracy. The secular Gnosticism is almost never recognized for what it is, and it can exist alongside other convictions almost unperceived. (Webb 418)

Secular Gnosticism has manifested itself throughout the 20th and 21st century in a myriad of forms. Of course, the two most prominent examples are the ideological kissing cousins of communism and fascism. Other variants include neoconservativism, neo-liberalism, secular progressivism, and technoprogressivism. While many of these secular Gnostic permutations have superficially feuded with each other over the years, they all have shared a core dialectical commonality: the Utopian vision of "heaven on earth." In turn, this vision is couched in the anthropocentric dictum of Protagoras: "Man is the measure of all things." This dictum echoes the promise of the serpent in Eden: "...ye shall be as gods." In The Hypostasis of the Archons, an Egyptian Gnostic text, the serpent in Eden is portrayed as humanity's benevolent "Instructor" and "incognito savior" (Raschke 27). Meanwhile, the Hypostasis caricatures Jehovah as "the archon of arrogance" (27).

Gnosticism's veneration of the serpent and misotheistic view of Jehovah bespeaks the perennial ambition to usurp the throne of God. The aspiration to achieve apotheosis was a defining feature of the Mystery cults of pagan antiquity. It is also lies at the heart of Gnosticism. While Gnosticism's origins with the Ancient Mystery cults remain a source of contention amongst scholars, its promise of liberation from humanity's material side is strongly akin to the old pagan Mystery's variety of "psychic therapy" (28). In addition, the Ancient Mystery religion promised the "opportunity to erase the curse of mortality by direct encounter with the patron deity, or in many instances by actually undergoing an apotheosis, a transfiguration of human into divine" (28).

It is interesting to recall Billington's observation that the young Marx venerated Prometheus as the allegorical embodiment of science (6). Science, according to the Promethean faith, was the new lantern of salvation that would "lead men out of darkness into light" (6). Given this Promethean reverence for science, it is interesting to recall that Engels described Marx's theory as "scientific socialism" ("Scientific socialism," Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia). Again, Engels' selection of this appellation was predicated upon the common epistemological foundations of Marxism and modern science: radical empiricism. Saint-Simon's functional class analysis, which "prepared the way for Marx," stemmed from the extension of "radical empiricism into the altogether new field of social relations" (Billington 212-13). Herein is the epistemological foundation for all modern totalitarianism. In turn, that epistemological foundation stems from the Gnostic rejection of pistis. Thus, Gnostic occultism constitutes the epistemological heritage of almost all modern socialist totalitarian regimes.

Returning to Marx's preoccupation with Prometheus, it is interesting to recall that the mythic figure's name shares the same meaning with the term "Lucifer," as translated by St. Jerome from the original Hebrew Helel ("Lucifer"). Marx's possible flirtation with Satanism is an often overlooked, yet controversial topic. It is not this researcher's contention that Marx was a Satanist in the traditional sense. In all likelihood, Marx probably denied the existence of Satan as a literal metaphysical entity. Yet, it is important to remember that the Luciferian conception of Satan is premised upon the same existential contention. From Marx's neo-Gnostic vantage point, Lucifer or Prometheus was probably rendered immanent by the cognitive powers of man. Ultimately, whether or not Marx was a Satanist is irrelevant. Essentially, one needn't accept the existence of Satan if one accepts the principles embodied by the Fallen One. In his poem "Human Pride," Marx expressed the Luciferian aspiration to achieve apotheosis:

With disdain I will throw my gauntlet full in the face of the world,
And see the collapse of this pygmy giant whose fall will not stifle my ardor. Then will I wander godlike and victorious through the ruins of the world
And, giving my words an active force, I will feel equal to the Creator. ("Human Pride"; emphasis added)

Ironically, Promethean revolutionaries, whose Weltanschauung was heavily informed by Marxism, murdered millions of the very species that they sought to apotheosize. Marx's words, when given "active force," apotheosized the State. The State, in turn, subordinated the individual to the collective. The individual could no longer lay claim to any intrinsic value. Instead, meaning and purpose were only found in the group. Thus, Marxism actually devalued humanity. Again, it is extremely ironic that such devaluation stemmed from an anthropocentric belief system. Yet, such contradictions proliferated the Weltanschauung of the Promethean radicals and still persist in the minds of the modern purveyors of socialism. Chesterton enumerates the various internal contradictions of the revolutionary Weltanschauung:

All denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind and the modern skeptic doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then writes another book, a novel in which he insults it himself. As a politician he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then as a philosopher that all of life is a waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. A man denounces marriage as a lie and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie.

The man of this school goes first to a political meeting where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts. Then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes to a scientific meeting where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is forever engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt becomes practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything. (41)

Thus, when the modern revolutionary tangibly enacts his Utopian vision, it automatically qualifies as a dystopian nightmare for others. Promises of unlimited freedom begin to fade as the apotheosized State confiscates the citizenry’s wealth in the name of socioeconomic egalitarianism and imprisons dissidents. In the name of facilitating evolution, a theory that the orthodoxy of science has deemed infallible, those members of the human species who fail to meet the arbitrarily established standards of biological and genetic purity are expunged through eugenical regimentation. Fanatical as they are in their scientism, modern revolutionaries view man himself as a quantifiable entity. The irreducible complexity of humanity is overlooked as man is gradually transformed into a paint-by-numbers schematic. Society, by extension, is also considered a quantifiable entity. Thus, modern revolutionaries work to install their own bowdlerized form of democracy: the democracy of “experts.” By virtue of their own purported scientific and technical expertise, these policy professionals calculate and systematize the motivations of the populace and develop economic and technological stimuli that can produce the desired patterns of mass behavior.

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The final and most tragic casualty of this form of governance is not the political dissident or the marginalized “dysgenic.” Ultimately, the final victim of scientific totalitarianism is the human soul. Man, from the scientistic vantage point, is little more than amalgam of behavioral repertoires. He is a tabula rasa whose value depends entirely upon the final portrait rendered by the brush strokes of his “enlightened” conditioners. If he cannot or does not conform to the paint-by-numbers template of the “experts,” he is deemed a product of retrograde evolution. Because man’s soul defies quantification, the content of his character is appropriated absolutely no currency in the scientistic Weltanschauung. Again, it is indeed ironic that, in their hopes of apotheosizing the human species, modern revolutionaries devalue man. This is the Faustian face of modern science: the inhuman human race.

Click here for part -----> 1, 2, 3, 4,

Sources Cited

1- Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologiae. Pt. I, Qu. 86, Art. I, in Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Ed. Anton C. Pegis (New York: Random House,1945), I.

2- Baigent, Michael, Richard Leigh, & Henry Lincoln. Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Delacorte Press, New York, 1982.

3- Bramley, William. The Gods of Eden. 1989. New York: Avon Books, 1990.

4- Billington, James H. Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith. New York: Basic, 1980.

5- Chambers, Mortimer and Barbara Hanawalt et al. The Western Experience. 1974. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

6- Chesterton, G.K. Eugenics and Other Evils. 1922. G.K. Chesterton's Works on the Web. Ed. Martin Ward. U. of De Montfort 3 April 2000---. Orthodoxy. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday 1959.

7- Coomaraswamy, Rama. "The Fundamental Nature of the Conflict Between Modern and Traditional Man--Often Called the Conflict Between Science and Faith." 2001. Coomaraswamy Catholic Writings. 26 August 2005.

8- de Hoyos, Linda. "The Enlightenment's Crusade Against Reason." The New Federalist 8 Feb. 1993

9- “Denis Diderot.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia 8 June 2009

10- "Encyclopedie." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia 7 June 2009

11- Fischer, Frank. Technocracy and the Politics of Expertise. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, 1990.

12- Goeringer, Conrad. "The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and the Illuminati." American Atheists 2006

13- Guenon, Rene. The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times. Trans. Lord Northbourne. Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books Inc, 1953.

14- Hirschman, Elizabeth. "Legends in Our Own Time: How Motion Pictures and Television Shows Fulfill the Functions of Myth." The American Journal of Semiotics 17 (2001): 7-46.

15- Hoffman, Michael. Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho: Independent History & Research, 2001.

16- "How the Venetians Took Over England and Created Freemasonry." The American Almanac 29 November 1993

17- Howard, Michael. The Occult Conspiracy. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1989.

18- Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World Revisited. New York: Bantam Books, 1958. "Lucifer." Answers.com

19- Martin, Malachi. The Keys of this Blood. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.

20- Marx, Karl. "Human Pride." Marxists.org

21- Melanson, Terry. Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati. Walterville, OR: TrineDay, 2009

22- Pesce, Mark. "Ontos and Techne." Computer-Medicated Magazine April 1997

23- Raschke, Carl A. The Interruption of Eternity: Modern Gnosticism and the Origins of the New Religious Consciousness. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1980.

24- Russell, Bertrand. Religion and Society. Oxford University Press, London, 1947. "Scientific Socialism." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia 5 November 2007

25- Shermer, Michael. "The Shamans of Scientism." Scientific American. 13 May 2002

26- Skinner, B.F. Beyond Freedom and Dignity. New York: Bantam Books, 1972.

27- Smith, Wolfgang. Teilhardism and the New Religion: A Thorough Analysis of the Teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Illinois: TAN Books, 1988.

28- Voegelin, Eric. The New Science of Politics: An Introduction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1952.

29- Webb, James. The Occult Establishment. Open Court, 1976.

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Phillip D. Collins acted as the editor for The Hidden Face of Terrorism. He has also written articles for Paranoia Magazine, MKzine, NewsWithViews, B.I.P.E.D.: The Official Website of Darwinian Dissent, the ACL Report, Namaste Magazine, and Conspiracy Archive. In 1999, he earned an Associate degree of Arts and Science. In 2006, he earned a bachelors degree with a major in communication studies and a minor in philosophy. During the course of his seven-year college career, Phillip has studied philosophy, religion, and classic literature.

He has recently completed a newly expanded and revised edition of The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship (ISBN 1-4196-3932-3), which is available at Amazon.com. He is also currently co-authoring a collection of short stories, poetry, and prose entitled Expansive Thoughts. It will be available late Fall of 2006.

E-Mail: collins.58@wright.edu


 

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For Bacon, the defining feature of history was rapidly becoming the rise and growth of science and technology. Where Plato had envisioned a society governed by "philosopher kings," men who could perceive the "forms" of social justice, Bacon sought a technical elite who would rule in the name of efficiency and technical order.