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Culture War Roundup for the week of November 28, 2022

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Well guys, it turns out we are ruled by satanic pedophiles. While the Epstein saga really cemented this as true, the most convincing thing I saw was some pieces in John Podesta's art collection. The worst stuff is from Kim Noble. You'll know we're undergoing a regime change when these people are rounded up and disposed of. Until that time, nothing has changed.

This is an interesting topic because it is one that can't be discussed with cool heads. Most people completely shut down, others more partial to Alex Jones style talk completely buy in. There's not a lot of fence-sitters when it comes to this question. What are we supposed to do if it becomes undeniable though?

Some in here might make the case that this p_do s_tan stuff including Epstein is a mutual blackmail ring that keeps elites from defecting against each other. I could buy that. But I'm not sure I could buy the case that this state of affairs is better than a less stable one without it.

  • -19

Eh, so what? First, to some extent this could very well be in a feedback loop at this point, where it is merely edginess that derives its coolness from the fact it triggers the right sort of people like Tucker Carlson, as opposed to any attraction to children. If Tucker keeps getting triggered it keeps being cool. Not very high brow, but I could imagine that dynamic being real. Similarly, Satanic symbols most frequently don’t evince any genuine belief in or worship of Satan, as opposed to simple desire to trigger Christians.

Twenty years ago gamers were revelling in this same sort of behavior, and perhaps the art world isn’t any more mature.

Even if Podesta’s art collection was indicative of genuine pedophilia, I guess there are a couple follow up questions. Is the rate of pedophilia for “the elite” any higher than among any other group of people? You get a big enough group together and you’re bound to have a few pedophiles, so finding one sus art collection doesn’t mean much.

Wait, I thought everyone learned about this during pizza gate? James Alfentis instagram (comet pizza and ping pong owner) at that time was similarly sketchy.

Also, Tony Podesta is the art collector brother.

I don't think anywhere near "everyone" learned about this during Pizzagate. The mainstream takeaway was something more like "wow, Republicans are so crazy these days that a guy shot up a pizza joint because he thought it was a pedo ring", or at least that's how people I know seem to remember it.

Yeah, they got me with that line too.

Sure normies thought that, but I'd have thought the online set (ie folks here) to have researched this at least enough to have found that out.

That’s how I remember it, more or less.

To be fair, it's actually my main impression too, just with an "also that pizza owner guy is fucking weird" bolted on.

I think a lot of the mainstream was dimly aware that the outgroup had dug up the owners' weird taste in art, but dismissed it as a slander that ought to be buried because yes our elites will sometimes do embarrassing things but dammit they're our elites and it's not the outgroup's station to attack them over it.

(Also, artsy elites being into weird shit for the sake of being into weird shit is known and considered normal among a very large sector of society. I imagine the colour would drain from your face if you heard some stories about the stuff students openly get up to at liberal arts colleges.)

I'm a bit worried that excessive detail will constitute an opsec issue, but for example a former student told me of something like "lesbian theatre play with a masturbation sequence (optional audience participation)".

That's not entirely wrong with "The Vagina Monologues", but there's a bit more to it.

Your leading evidence for “rule” is a Twitter thread skewering a gross, tasteless photo shoot.

Had you ever heard of Balenciaga before they decidedly to cut themselves with that edge? I know I hadn’t; I needed to google it when someone made a joke about buying stock. What makes them a ruling class?

Years ago, when I was first reading Wheel of Time, I caught how many of the villain names were suspiciously Christian. Be’lal, Asmodean, Sammael, Shay’tan. And that expensive new series was pretty woke. Are you going to take that as evidence for your Satanist conspiracy?

Balenciaga is a huge luxury brand. Most better airports have some shops, the flagships in major cities have big lines waiting to go inside. Although around for a century, their primary innovation you're sure to have seen imitations of was sneakers with overly wide bottoms:

Over the past decade, short atmospheric art films have been huge in the luxury industry. They did one with the Simpsons:

Why are we talking about child sex trafficking when they should already be serving a lifetime sentence for making those shoes? Priorities, people.

As a pedophile, if they were really pedophiles (or at least the only kind I've ever interacted with), they:

A. would have hired more sexually attractive children. (I'm not insulting the kids' appearance overall per se; they are cute as children, but they don't have the explicitly sexual appeal of the types of nymphets (yes, including some as young as the girls featured who can indeed have "that look") that tend to be posted on boards where pedos congregate. It's not just because they're not in particularly sexualized outfits either.)

B. would have put the kids in the bondage fetish gear also at least. When you have a MILFy office worker fetish photoshoot, is it the desk chair in the tiny pencil skirt or the woman?

C. wouldn't have put anything about "child porn" in the picture. Most pedos who make non-nude erotic photography of children are quite worried about crossing a line and getting in trouble, and when that line is based on vague criteria like "Whether the visual depiction suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity." and "Whether the setting of the visual depiction is sexually suggestive", the last thing you want to do is be like "Yep, this is child porn!" It's always modeling, simply modeling.

I know lust for children, and nothing about a teddy bear in bondage by itself suggests a lust for children to me (maybe a lust for stuffed animals, which is a thing).

Now perhaps that's just how specifically Satanic pedophilia works (but I don't know as doesn't Satan in many if not most interpretations (not necessarily mine) probably like lust, sexy poses, tiny bikinis on young girls, etc.?) in which case I want nothing to do with it. Praise PedoJesus!

As a pedo, what is your expert opinion on this song:

Is he genuinely being 'satirical', just trying to own the cons or sarcastically expressing a genuine desire for pedophilia? Or does the homosexuality throw a spanner in the works?

I get really creeped out by the guy's eyes and face. Even 10 seconds of looking at him is too long.

Definitely just trying to own the cons (though that doesn't mean he couldn't be a pedo/hebe/ephebo as some do unfortunately lean left and homosexuals tend to be more likely to experience youth-directed chronophilias on average, just that the video isn't much evidence either way). His ears look decently symmetrical though.

I keep wanting to write a post about the difference between honest paedophiles and the "we're coming for your kids to own the cons, hail Satan" cruelty- & dominance-motivated trend that's so popular on the left now. I feel really bad for all the people being tarred by association with that stuff.

Sounds like you could do a better job explaining it to conservatives, as long as you don't start explaining the mechanics of closing German hell portals.

I think this is it. Child sexual abuse is a problem, but what would be a way worse problem is if pedophilia/sexualizing children becomes normalized among segments of the population to own the cons.

I think there's a general trend that people don't actually know how their professed enemies behave, despite the fact that they think they know, and they don't want to actually find out. Pedophiles have this problem the worst because anyone who wants to investigate pedos with even the tiniest air of neutrality and doesn't already assume they should be condemned with no exceptions are instantly speculated to be pedophiles themselves.

I think in the case of pedophiles people know. They just want to pretend they don't because of what's similarly lurking inside of them.

Bronze Age Pervert and his associated tribe love the word n*****. Amongst other things, it means that any engaged member cannot cash out their ingroup following for mainstream success. Much can be forgiven, but the sacred cows remain sacred. Yet their fondness for hate crimes is constitutively distinct from performing said hate crimes IRL. It’s an affectation, albeit an expensive one, and it help keep the clique weird and interesting and marginal.

If you’re a cool staffer in DC, pedophilia memes are a great way to distinguish between the back and front of house, like the cultural demarcation between chefs and waiters. If you’re a center left dem policy wonk, you spend most days providing obedient assistance to a public official who wields real power. But you are free from the scrutiny pointed at your boss, by and large, and you can engage in taboo violations that would utterly outrage your enemies and discomfort your boss’s base. Those taboo violations aren’t necessarily child abuse, just child abuse memes; art, fashion, jokes. You might get in trouble whenever the peasants kick up a stir, but that’s just proof that you are a debonair cosmopolitan with refined taste.

It’s quite possible that this encourages or facilitates the evils it’s poking fun at. But I’m not sure this explains more of Epstein et. al. than the simpler Mossad blackmail thesis. Powerful people are great targets to exploit, and so there are lots of people who would like favors. On the other side staffers direct a lot of attention towards deniability and message control. Bill Clinton had tons of affairs and is likely a rapist, but he’s known for one event, which occurred in the middle of his presidency. Who cares if John Podesta buys sketchy art, or Hunter Biden smokes crack? Maybe these pedo memers are terrible people, but morality is a pretty weak indicator of job competence; compare LBJ to Jimmy Carter. These days, it all boils down to sides. ‘MAGA’ was a meme aimed straight at the liberal icons, insinuating that things were at least better before the First Black President, or maybe the before all liberalism downstream of the Civil Rights act. This is a heresy, and so we get Trump derangement syndrome. Protecting Children is a similar idol to the right, and so this too triggers an auto-immune type disorder that appeals to the craziest and most engaged audience, sucking up all the oxygen from normie-type political concerns.

‘MAGA’ was a meme aimed straight at the liberal icons, insinuating that things were at least better before the First Black President, or maybe the before all liberalism downstream of the Civil Rights act.

Two can play the interpretation game: MAGA was a meme aimed straight at the progressive left’s icons, insinuating that things were at least better before the smooth-talking radical with plot armor, or maybe before all the socialist economics bundled together with anti-racist legislation as a moral cover.

Or, in the spirit of this subthread and as argued by this account at some point, "maga" means witch in Latin, thus serving just yet another small proof about the fact that Donald Trump is the Antichrist.

It's an interesting angle, but the owners of the abuse art (e.g. Podestas) would be best described as at the top, as opposed to staffers. Ditto for the spirit cooking type events, this is not staffers LARPing in their time off, it's their bosses. Furthermore, the memes in the Balenciaga ads were done by designers who work for themselves for their customers. The choices made there were for the benefit of the client.

That being said, I have no explanation for why elites would engage in this behaviour and then advertise it in these escape-room style random puzzle piece ways.

The Podestas are very much not the top, they don't hold the office. They are campaign managers and chiefs of staff and fund raisers not office holders. They're at/near the tip top of that totem pole, but office holders are on a whole other totem pole.

They are campaign managers and chiefs of staff and fund raisers not office holders. They're at/near the tip top of that totem pole, but office holders are on a whole other totem pole.

Why do you have to hold office to be "the top"? We're not exactly short on "grey eminences".

Because the President's Chief of staff is like a butler, they may manage all the other servants or manage the president's schedule like an executive secretary, but the buck stops with the President.

Putin gave the presidency over to Medvedev before declaring himself Dictator For Life, or whatever his position is, but no one pretended the buck stops with Medvedev. American officials openly admit to lying to Trump about the numbers of troops in the Middle East, because they didn't want him giving orders to pull them. This "butler" model seems completely false.

That being said, I have no explanation for why elites would engage in this behaviour and then advertise it in these escape-room style random puzzle piece ways.

Why wouldn't they? You still seem to be thinking of it from a "this is obviously evil, they must know it is evil, so why would they do that?" perspective. The parent poster already gave one motivation (it mindkills a vocal subset of their opposition); the other aspect is that making obscure references for the benefit of those who get them feels intrinsically rewarding to many people, and the art you are talking about does not actually register as evil to far more people than would be willing to even admit it on the public stage. (I'm one of those people, so feel free to question me to understand this attitude. If I actually actively liked this kind of stuff, I imagine I would also enjoy planting random references to it everywhere. Compare to the Kabbalah jokes all over SSC.)

Podesta is at the top of the Consigliere ladder, but he’s never been elected and never will be. He might be more powerful than Joe Biden de facto but de jure he’s just another employee. This matters only in the political show, but that show is what decides who wins or loses elections. A producer or an agent is only as good as the talent they represent.

The Balenciaga thing seems to be either directly downstream of politics as straightforward trolling the normies, or as pretentious highbrow edginess to differentiate themselves from the mainstream fashion brands. Haute couture does weird stuff for the sake of weirdness, and we’re all talking about Balenciaga now instead of Louie V. Probably a pretty successful and campaign.

This isn't directly connected, but there's a lot of conspiracy theory blogs that concentrate on occult symbolism in music videos, photoshoots and such. Of course there is a fair bit of that stuff going around; occult symbolism has been a part of art for ages, guys like Jonas Åkerlund surely know their occult symbolism front and backwards, and it's an easy way to provide a cool, mysterious aesthetic to things.

However, one thing I wonder is if the conspiracy theorists realize how much they themselves contribute to this dynamic. Most conspiracy theorists seemingly operate under the assumption that they're voices in the wilderness, ignored by all but the select few; however such discourses are actually quite popular in certain circles, not only among true believes but those who read them as "conspiritainment" (I admit I probably fit into the latter crowd). Surely artists and companies are also aware that just dropping a few hidden one-eye signals and masonic checkboards into a video will be an instant ticket to quite a bit of free publicity, sure to be shared by committed concerned citizens.


I confess to scrolling Vigilant Citizen for schizotainment. I don't really believe the conclusions he draws, but I kind of want to in a weird way, and I think it's fun to temporarily suspend disbelief (in the same way that watching a horror movie is fun).

I mean it's definitely weird art but I'm not really sure how it proves we're ruled by satanic pedophiles. As far as evidence goes I find it more likely Podesta just likes the shock value or these were a handful among so many pieces as to not even comment on his individual taste than that he's a satanic pedophile. And even if this was conclusive proof that he's a satanic pedophile it doesn't really follow that we're ruled by satanic pedophiles in any kind of organized way. My model is basically that you need to be kind of weird to want to do politics at all and even weirder to want to do it badly enough to get to the national level. Normal people who work a nine to five, spend time with their family and relax don't become congressmen.

OK, so they have disgusting p_do art and do weird gatherings where they pretend to drink blood and jizz off dead people but that's just edgy and for shock value.

OK, so this one dude who knows all of them was found to be running a literal p_do island and got suicided in prison, but that's just... well maybe they weren't all participating in that. You need to be weird to want to be a leader anyway.

What's proof for you?

From what I understand, you need to do a survey where you ask our leaders about their religious beliefs, and sexual preferences, and if, and only if, a majority of them check the "satanism", and "pedophilia" boxes, then you will be allowed to make your claim.

Ah, glad to see you've adopted some healthier epistemic practices comrade!

Goodhart's Law, that's an unlikely method to get at any secret or hidden beliefs if they're hidden or secret to allow them to maintain power.

He's butthurt about this one. I specifically said it'd be pretty unreasonable to get that kind of data:

I assume we're never going to get (4) short of some really impressive investigative journalism, so I think it'd be an interesting conversation what kinds of evidence could stand in for it. If you want to convince me that some significant fraction of people involved in the trans debate are fetishists, I need some kind of evidence that a bunch of them are fetishists. Maybe really widespread reports of children who say they are not trans who were being pressured into it? Some kind of internal slack channels being leaked? The FBI busting some kind of pedophile ring implicating a bunch of these people? Maybe something like your post implicating just a few people, but it happens again and again for months on end?

But he's clearly still upset about it. /shrug

At this point it's amusing, not upsetting. Opening with a demand you don't expect to be met, to make a slightly-less-extreme one appear more reasonable is a good tactic, but not when you overplay your hand during the opening, and go full Dr. Evil. Nothing you say after that will make you look reasonable.

It was a joke.

At the current rate things are going, we might get to "satanism is good, actually" in just a few years from now

Reddit is already there. "Satanists don't even think Satan is real, rube. It just means Logic and Science and rebelling against oppressive authority!"

Well...yeah. Not just nothing about Satan, check out the last FAQ:


A: Please look elsewhere.

I don’t even want to call it a motte and bailey between Satanist humanism and Laveyan occult stuff. That implies plausible deniability. The former is just way, way more popular, especially among the terminally online.

OK, so they have disgusting p_do art and do weird gatherings where they pretend to drink blood and jizz off dead people but that's just edgy and for shock value.

From my atheist perspective every Christian who receives communion and believes in transubstantiation "[does] weird gatherings where they pretend to drink blood" of dead people. Somehow I'm skeptical you think Catholic communion is as sinister as whatever this is.

That's a pretty hot take with some pretty weak evidence.

It's wild that there's 4chan-styled "user was banned for this post" flairs here now lol. Very lindy

Tony Podesta (not John) is probably a satanist. But, he's a satanist in the real world sense of the word, i.e. he an annoying edgelord that either pretends or actually does believe in christian fanfiction (where the bad guy is actually the good guy).

There is no evidence that satanism is actually widespread in political circles enough to warrant the conclusion that we are "ruled by satanists".

The Epstein thing is more concerning but it's unclear what it means (was he actually procuring for a cabal of rich pedophiles? was he trying to create a compromat for powerful people by tricking them into pedophile sex? was he a different CIA op that went rogue, Barry Seal style?).

Also, I have to say that wherever someone uses the word "satanic" I cringe really hard, as a atheist that was raised roman catholic it makes me think less of actual christians I have known and more of a parody of a christian fundamentalist. The kind of fire and brimstone christianity that exists more in the Binding of Isaac than in reality.

Where exactly is the reservoir population of this style of Christianity? It often reads like the fanfiction of someone who pieced together Christianity from some Children's Bible Stories, three Chick Tracts, and daytime TV.

This comment racked up a bunch of reports, including: Low effort, inflammatory, building-consensus, boo-outgroup, violence, and antagonistic.

I generally agree with all of those complaints. My own personal complaint is that you don't follow one of the engagement rules:

"Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion."

Your post is mostly written as if we are all on board with ideas and theories that very few people are actually on board with. I was about to list them all out, but I realized you were saying something in just about every sentence that is controversial enough to be its own full discussion.

In general this post doesn't badly break any particular rule, but it breaks so many at the same time that I think it makes for a good demonstration of what we don't want. 1 day ban as well.

You think the Epstein clients didn't know? Why did they make so many return trips and continue associating? These aren't all 17 year olds, the original accusation came from a 14 year-old and later went as low as 11.

How is this related to the Balenciaga stuff? Because it's the same set of people.

Whether they knew or not, it seems like being in the habit of screwing barely legal serving girls is not a good excuse for having sex with a highschooler.

We can also probably all agree that it is not pedophilia to sleep with a teenager who looks like an adult.

I think Epstein ran younger than 17. It went to 14.

You think the Epstein clients didn't know?

It probably runs the whole spectrum of guilt.

I like to imagine that if we got all the Epstein regulars in a room and dosed them with a (real) Truth Serum, there's at least one guy who would say something like "I don't even like teenage girls! You ever try to make cocktail small talk with a 15 year old? It was awful! But the contacts I made at these parties? I couldn't afford to stop going! Where else could you meet five billionaires who are instantly your new friends? You'd make money at these parties just from hanging around and hearing scuttlebutt. So I went, had a few drinks, tried to avoid the girls, then went home and fucked my wife. Occasionally, hey, when in Rome ya gotta do what ya gotta do to show you're one of the boys, but it wasn't something I liked, and it wasn't why I went."

Greed, power, fashion, sexual perversion are all bound up together in the same psychoses. Some probably had more of one than the other. If you take out the prostitution bit, I can't imagine how awesome and glamorous some of those parties must have been. Scientists, academics, lawyers, billionaires, politicians, geniuses. The absolute top tier. Elegance, luxury, total impunity. You know these men by reputation, by the news, by their publications; you know they aren't in prison. That atmosphere produces a strange effect on a lot of people.

Where else can you meet 5 billionaires?

You realize they do that every weekend in Palm Beach or NYC? They have dinner parties where the invite list is billionaire only and sometimes a service provider whose got a $100 million (like their art or real estate guy).

You didn't quote the rest of the sentence.

Where else could you meet five billionaires who are instantly your new friends?

Nothing binds like vice and crime. That's why the best initiations from the Agoge to my frat to gangs always involve a crime. A crime is a secret, and nothing bonds people together like a secret.

Given, I'll cop to never going to some billionaire's cocktail to-do in Palm Beach or NYC. Maybe they're super duper fun and everybody bonds super close. But I'll guess that even if a relatively "normie" academic could get in, they wouldn't get the same bonding.

The bonding occurs because you are both in the billionaires club.

I'll ignore the "p_do" part for now.

But anything described as "satanic" makes me roll my atheist eyes to the back of my head and back and then to the back again.

recently uploaded a disturbing video with bags that had babies in blood. This is not by coincidence. Lotta Volkova uploaded this picture on her instagram with the hashtag #Moloch which is an ancient Pagan god where they sacrificied children

Seriously I am supposed to be scared of this clown? Do you know who else refers to said child sacrificing God all the time? Us Mottizens!

Maybe I watched too many ISIS and Narco executions (actually scary) during my time but I read Volkovas shenanigans as an obviously intentionally "edgy but artsy" curated aesthetic. Real satanic shit has a look and feel to it, and its not this.

But I am sure there are some sheltered 40-year-old housewives who will lose sleep over this.

Why would you ignore the p_do part?

Because other people can/did comment on that. I can comment on the part of the post where I have something meaningful to talk about.

Not him, but I'd ignore the pedo part (why are we censoring ourselves here again?) because the "satanic" art is pretty much not evil without the pedo part, and the pedo part would be exactly as evil without the "satanic" art part.

Just Satanic -> 14 year old goths, nobody cares

Pedo -> evil for-pleasure acts, deserves death

Satanic ritualistic pedo -> WTF is even going on here

Satanic ritualistic pedo -> WTF is even going on here

Satanic ritualistic pedo -> Right wing Boogeyman

Real satanic shit has a look and feel to it, and its not this.

How on earth would you know? Especially as a self-professed eye-rolling atheist?

Of course, I don't mean actual satanism or occultism, whatever the fuck that means. I meant 'real' malicious things being done behind the scenes. And really supernatural beliefs let that be literal or allegorical are of no consequence to how I model good/evil. This of course rests on the assumption that we are speaking plainly enough to agree that "satanic" is just a loaded way to say evil.

How on earth would you know? Especially as a self-professed eye-rolling atheist?

Easily. Real satanic shit IRL looks like these organic losers or these astroturfed losers.


You and GP still have yet to explain how the cases that you linked and how whatever GP is vaguely alluding to are "real" and why. The "organic losers" you linked could be explained away as low IQ criminal edgelords and sociopaths doing stupid shit without much thought about ramifications. Maybe there was a serial killer in the mix. They were allegedly "deep into the occult and Satanism" but no details are given, and the fact that they were into the death metal scene strongly suggests that all the occult stuff was just part of their chosen identity. Or as they say nowadays, it was a LARP that got out of hand.

If they qualify as "Satanists," then certainly people who have no real incentive to engage in demonic "haha just kidding" cannabilistic blood feasts and hang (ironic?) paintings and sculpturs of mutilated, dead or sexual abused children all of their house (and who also coincidentally? hung out with a known pimp of underage sex slaves*) seem mighty suspicious as well? They didn't kill anybody, but why bother if you can just tell them that nobody will ever believe them? An evil mind might enjoy the fact their victim has to live the rest of his or her life bearing the wounds that were inflicted. And then these are massively wealthy and influential people we're talking about -- surely they have the means to make inconvenient people go away, non-violently or otherwise.

What I was getting at in my original post is that so-called theistic Satanism with black masses and all that isn't really Satanism at all. It surely evil, but mostly it's just a confused mockery of Christianity, and it does a poor job of serving Satan. People who sneer at Christianity without bothering to understand Christianity often miss this point.

What's real Satanism, then? Christians are called to imitate Christ, we do this by practicing obedience, among other virtues. Satan doesn't want worshippers, he doesn't want obedience. He wants a world of little Satans exercising raw amoral power to gratify their own desires and above all simply exercising it for its own sake.

This, to me, is what causes people to recoil from Podesta, Epstein, et al. and label them Satanic. None of them have a pentagram smeared in blood that they pray to nightly (or if they do, it's ironic and they think it's funny or edgy). But their apparent complete libertinism is quite Satanic indeed.

Side note: For a great portrayal of modern Satanists, read "That Hideous Strength" for the characters of Dr. Frost and Dr. Wither. Another excellent example is Dr. Weston in "Perelandra".

Side note 2: Yes, I think Nietzschean will-to-power stuff is essentially Satanic. That shouldn't be a surprise since Nietzsche himself would approve -- he wrote a book about his ideas called "the Antichrist".

* Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist -- were they free to leave any time they wanted?

don't christians believe that god created the devil? who else could have? weird that god would create a immortal being with magical powers whose purpose is to advance the cause of evil. seems like god and the devil have more in common than christians like to admit...

You mention the ironic, edgy use of the name Moloch by mostly atheist rationalists to describe a mindless yet malevolent emergent societal process.

I don’t believe it to be good faith to deliberately conflate it with the ancient Canaanite deity which inspired the reference. Its worship involved the abandonment or sacrificial murder of children.

Given the nature of the art, which do you think is being referenced in that Tweet? Here’s a hint:

Here’s an old photo of Bohemian Grove where the worlds most elite men gather each year and worship an effigy of moloch

EDIT: Since I've gotten several replies on the same basic theme, I'll elevate one of my later comments to here: The point is they’re not physically gathering around a symbol of society losing all the mutually-observed bits of politeness and turn-taking which kept us from all-out culture war. The conflation I pointed out does nothing to serve the conversation.

There's enough otherwise normal seeming elite involvement in weird paganism/satanism larping to sense a pattern, and it doesn't seem particularly schizo to point it out. Bohemian grove as probably the most prominent example.

And this isn't just Marylin Manson shouting hail satan- a lot of the people doing this stuff are distinctly non-edgy.

Bohemian Grove

"The Bohemian Grove, which I attend from time to time—it is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine, with that San Francisco crowd." Richard Nixon, 1971

You see scary shadowy figures, I (and Nixon) see silly people doing silly things.

In short, I dont buy inti any of your premises. I can explain in detail if you wish.

Bohemian Grove people «worship» an owl.

I am entirely open to the idea that, as in the past with Freemasonry, there exist powerful conspiracies driven or unified by unorthodox metaphysical beliefs, including Satanism and the Cult of Saturn, rather than regular self-interest of concentrated power and information asymmetry.

I've yet to see good evidence of it. In any case, calling people Canaanite cultists because they're celebrating a statue is the peak of unfelpful peasant-with-a-pitchfork attitude. We have creepy sacrificial effigies at home.

I liked seeing Butter Lady burn when I was little. Doesn't make me a spiritual descendant of Carthaginians.

The point is they’re not physically gathering around a symbol of society losing all the mutually-observed bits of politeness and turn-taking which kept us from all-out culture war. The conflation I pointed out does nothing to serve the conversation.

Oh for sure, pointing to our/rationalist use of Moloch is either a joke or a bad faith deflection.

I am comparing the tweet hashtagged Moloch with the rationalist use with full sincerity.

My priors for Volkova being an edgelord is much more numerous than anything insidious.

"Rationalist" repurposing of occultist terminology might sound edgy, but it is massive own goal.

When normie, even secular educated normie who might be interested in rationalist ideas, hears "moloch" "egregore" etc... he imagines in his mind weirdos dancing naked around black altars with pentagrams and goat heads, and tunes out. Just make new words for new concepts, it is not hard.

There is a reason why Dawkins called his new idea "meme", not "demon possession".

I found out recently that my great grandmother was deep into the Eastern Star cult/lodge/social club. Named role in some of the rituals, of which there were a variety.

Now I’m seeing its symbology on bumper stickers. They’re coming for me next.

Also worth noting that there is no real historical basis for connecting 'Moloch' with an owl. In fact it's a question whether there ever was a deity called Moloch. One line of thinking is that in the Hebrew Bible, 'moloch' actually refers to the process of human sacrifice, rather than the recipient (of which there were many, including Yahweh himself).

Ah, so they’re really just way too into jinchuuriki?

This is just "The Pyramid and the Garden". People aren't good at properly adjusting for the level of cherrypicking and degrees of freedom possible when you have thousands of people scouring a large world for evidence matching their pet theory.

A photoshoot for a fashion company reuses a "legal documents" prop from the shooting of a television drama as "office documents", the same company sells fashion that is vaguely leather-daddy inspired and didn't segregate it from photoshoots with children, and you conclude that "we are ruled by satanic pedophiles". (And they are deliberately embedding evidence about this in fashion photoshoots for some reason.) If you lived in a tribe of a few dozen people and happened to personally notice two coincidences like that about a single person, maybe that would be reason to be suspicious. But you don't, you live in a society of hundreds of millions where thousands of people spend time hunting down and broadcasting stuff like this for your perusal. As a result this doesn't even really tell us about Balenciaga's marketing department, let alone "society". But people's brains don't adjust like that, so give them a few coincidences like this and they'll either come to believe false things or dismiss it out of hand as a conspiracy theory. And then the ones who do the latter are still vulnerable to the same mistakes in reasoning when packaged in ways that don't register as "conspiracy theory", especially ones spread by mainstream media sources.

The court documents on their own are excusable, sure. But in the same picture they have "BAALENCIAGA" on a prominently featured prop.

Baal as in, the demon.

And Whitewolf let themselves die and completely fail to capitalize on the D&D craze and the Vampire trend because one guy had a few 1488 jokes hidden in the text of the new edition.

I thought accusing people of dogwhistling and being crypto-____-ists was retarded hysterical crap that smart people should ignore.

All this is doing is adding evidence that this brand had some edgelord on their art team. This isn't really showing that even artsy media design people have a higher preference for either child sexualisation or Near East paganism than the baseline, let alone the ruling classes in general. I guarantee I would have an easier time finding the same sort of material on 4chan or even YouTube (between kids doing lascivious tiktok dances and that viral song with names of Goetic demons, usually paired with freeze frames of people's dogs...) than you would in a fashion catalogue or Washington DC office.

And anything selling to non-edgelords should pay a heavy price when an edgleord is found with decision-making power. That's what keeps edgelord signaling power strong.

I mean, if people want to boycott this handbag brand or whatever it is we're looking at, more power to them (and the edgelords, apparently, who get to preserve their street cred). We're not debating whether to start funnelling EA donations to Ba(a)lenciaga, just whether to update our own models towards anything like "satanic pedophiles secretly run the US government", and possibly what, if anything, one ought to do about that depending on one's utility function.

(It's actually not at all clear to me that the subset of right-wingers who claim to value sexual propriety orders of magnitude higher than anything else are actually best served by opposing "the Cathedral". All things considered, the woke tribe is pretty puritan in its own ways; pulling the balance of power further away from it will certainly at least intermittently take us through a local minimum of a stalemate which is actually likely to look more libertine than the current situation, and it seems overly optimistic of those right-wingers to assume that they can carry their victory all the way past that minimum to establish some sort of Evangelical Saudi Arabia or whatever is the ideal there.)

Puritans are the same sort of degeneration of proper western values as modern progressives, actually. Yarvin of all people, who coined "The Cathedral" makes this point. It's all downstream from militant Protestantism destroying sensible Catholic institutions.

Traditional society shuns these excesses as the heresies they are and so do traditionalists.

Quantities of sex qua sex are immaterial, it is quantities of sin that are of import.

(It's actually not at all clear to me that the subset of right-wingers who claim to value sexual propriety orders of magnitude higher than anything else are actually best served by opposing "the Cathedral". All things considered, the woke tribe is pretty puritan in its own ways

Yes, the woke tribe is very Puritan when it comes to any healthy sexual expression - their rules are basically "if it forms families and produces children it is to be condemned and if it makes that less likely, it is to be promoted".

"Less sex" isn't a terminal right-wing value.

Okay, but why is that small child holding a teddy bear in bondage gear and a ball gag in the same photo as the pedophile legal document? At some point it isn't our hyperactive pattern matching fooling us and someone purposefully made some sort of joke (?) or reference to child sex abuse.

See my post here. And note the document is from a completely different photo shoot.

It's meant to be shocking to stand out. Fashion brands do weird stuff all the time to stand out. It worked well, I bet this was the first time you've ever talked about Balenciaga in your life.

According to them those were separate photos, and separate campaigns.

Okay, maybe that Twitter presentation fooled me. Or less likely, they are in damage control mode and lying about their photoshoots.

If you think this was cherrypicking, not only would you have to reject the theory that it was done by pedophiles, you'd also have to reject the theory that it was done by edgelords. Doing it because they are being edgelords is still doing it deliberately, and that's inconsistent with being cherrypicking.

(My conclusion is that yeah, it was probably done by edgelords, but while that's not as bad as being pedophiles, it's not exactly exoneration, either. It shows horrible judgment on the topic of sex and kids. And I never see this excuse accepted when someone's accused of white supremacy. "Oh, he just said the N-word because he was being an edgelord.")

If you lived in a tribe of a few dozen people and happened to personally notice two coincidences like that about a single person, maybe that would be reason to be suspicious.

Surely this is an overstatement. Whoever set up those "legal documents" was definitely doing so deliberately.

Also the teddy bear is dressed in fetish gear and ball gag. Once might be happenstance, but twice in one photo was on purpose.

Edit: it may have been two different photos. Still two strikes from the same people.

A photoshoot for a fashion company reuses a "legal documents" prop from the shooting of a television drama as "office documents",

  • This is just a damage control statement, I don't see any evidence in it.

  • Even they say it's only "most likely".

  • Why would anyone order a prop like that from a third party when you could just print some random document templates on the spot?

Why would anyone order a prop like that from a third party when you could just print some random document templates on the spot?

I don't know, why would anyone order a prop like that if they were actually doing what's written on the prop? The Occam's Razor answer remains that they're edgelords and that the fashion industry looks fairly pathetic from an outside view.

Still not sold on the idea they actually ordered this as a prop.

The Occam's Razor answer remains that they're edgelords and that the fashion industry looks fairly pathetic from an outside view.

The explanations that they're into pedo stuff, thought it would be hilarious, and that no one will notice (and if they do, they won't do anything about it) is just as simple.

I said it that way specifically to convey that the nature of a corporation rather than an individual means the key decision likely was an inaction, rather than an action. A search finds the bear bags were accessories made for Balenciaga SS23 Paris Fashion Week.

The Balenciaga SS23 show at Paris Fashion Week was staged in a starkly dystopian setting and challenged the fashion industry’s focus on restrictive categories and boxes, while exploring what it means to be a luxury brand.

Similar to the clothing associated with cyberpunk and with other dark-future settings like Mad Max or The Matrix, it sometimes drew inspiration from leather fetish clothing:

Throughout the collection, muted tones infrequently gave way to shocks of pink, red and yellow to stand out against the background. The cameos of black leather were dramatic and determined, with a long apron dress sporting buckles, zips and large hand-sized grab handles to arouse fetish sensibilities in the aether.

See this outfit - it is obviously fetish-clothing inspired, but it is not sexy and if you saw it in a dystopian science-fiction movie I doubt you would consider it particularly remarkable. But people doing fashion shows in 2022 are too deep in artsy signalling of their sophistication to do something as straightforward as "make costuming for a dark science-fiction movie", so they also contrast with various incongruous elements:

All of the looks became muddier the longer the cast walked in them, almost adding to the intentional deconstruction of ‘the collection’ as a concept. Snake-like, full body-length scarfs in bright colours added a knowing smile to the darker undercurrents, along with fake babies strapped to chests and teddy bear bags highlighting as accessories. In other places, constructions that seemed to integrate giant tote bags into the shoulder will never not be subjects of debate.

So now they have some bear bags meant to ironically contrast with the overall dystopian vibe of the fashion show dressed in miniature leather outfits inspired by science-fiction movies that were inspired by punk/etc. fashions which was in turn inspired by leather fetish outfits. That's not the key action, plenty of movies and fashion shows have done this with zero controversy. The key action is that the people involved didn't ensure there was some sort of memo or note saying "Some elements of the collection were indirectly fetish-outfit inspired, do not include in photoshoots with children." Frankly it wouldn't have occurred to me to do that either.

Then the photographers are handed this collection of nonsense - sunglasses meant to evoke The Matrix, random chains that are supposed to look like Mad Max or cyberpunk, bear bags dressed in leather meant to be among the elements adding an ironic note to the dystopian sci-fi. They are presumably told to create some photos in a more relatable context than a sci-fi fashion walk through a muddy ditch "deconstructing 'the collection' as a concept". I assume they don't actually sell any of those accessories, so this is not so much actually advertising specific items as tying together the high-fashion and consumer-oriented parts of the SS23 Collection on some conceptual marketing level. So they do some photos in a normal-looking house with a kid, and someone suggests the kid hold the bear. The people involved either don't associate the bear-bag's outfits with sex (plenty of people have never seen leather fetish outfits in any context other than maybe news footage of a gay pride parade), don't consider it their job to ask about it, or consider the connection so abstract that it doesn't occur to them it might be controversial.

I already linked The Pyramid and the Garden but I also liked this elaboration from "You Are Still Crying Wolf"

I want you to read those last eight points from the view of an Atlantis believer, and realize that they sound really weaselly. They’re all “Yeah, but that’s probably a coincidence”, and “Look, we don’t know exactly why this thing happened, but it’s probably not Atlantis, so shut up.”

This is the natural pattern you get when challenging a false theory. The theory was built out of random noise and ad hoc misinterpretations, so the refutation will have to be “every one of your multiple superficially plausible points is random noise, or else it’s a misinterpretation for a different reason”.

We started with some sort of artsy but coherent message, the "dystopian sci-fi with ironic contrasting elements" of Balenciaga SS23 Paris Fashion Week. Remove the context of the dystopian sci-fi vibe and it turns into incoprehensible noise, the bears no longer having enough to ironically contrast against. If it happens to combine with a photoshoot with children then suddenly the noise sounds like something specific. This is exactly the sort of thing we would expect from people combing through pictures until the noise fits what they're looking for.

Pizzagate had the same thing, some people from /pol/ looking through Instagram pages and taking note of the suspicious stuff they found. Since this was noticed a month after Kanye West was dropped by Balenciaga that might be what inspired someone to look, though I don't find any mention on 4plebs before it was on Twitter so it probably wasn't posted on /pol/ this time.

they do some photos in a normal-looking house with a kid, and someone suggests the kid hold the bear. The people involved either don't associate the bear-bag's outfits with sex (plenty of people have never seen leather fetish outfits in any context other than maybe news footage of a gay pride parade), don't consider it their job to ask about it, or consider the connection so abstract that it doesn't occur to them it might be controversial.

This does not fit at all with who would be doing a high end fashion photo shoot.

I won't pretend to understand modern art, but your links for 'satanic' appear to be... that. I imagine a boomer trying to parse Doom Eternal would have a similarity freaked out reaction.

As for Podesta's art collection, he's the campaign manager for a failed presidential candidate from a while back. Him having off-putting art is hardly proof of some grand conspiracy.

This is an interesting topic because it is one that can't be discussed with cool heads.

I would actually say that it's more a case of people with cool heads not bothering to engage with it because it because there's so little to actually engage with.

so little to actually engage with

If it was just Podesta's art and that's it, then sure. But we have Epstein. The guy who was constantly rubbing shoulders with the absolute upper echelon, was conclusively found to be running a p_do ring out of his private island and massive ranch and most expensive house in NY using hundreds of millions in ghost money, given a pass by the highest level of government when he was first caught in 2005, later commited suicide was suicided in an ultra secure prison while the guards were sleeping and cameras were malfunctioning. Closest associate was the Ghislaine Maxwell, recently convicted of sex trafficking to nobody. Daughter of Robert Maxwell, sisters run a firm that does cybersecurity for governments including the US. That's "so little"?

Podesta? Failed campaign manager? That's selling him a bit short.

John David Podesta Jr. (born January 8, 1949) is an American political consultant who has served as Senior Advisor to President Joe Biden for clean energy innovation and implementation since September 2022. Podesta previously served as White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001 and Counselor to President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2015. Before that, he served in the Clinton Administration as White House Staff Secretary from 1993 to 1995 and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations from 1997 to 1998.

He is the former president, and now Chair and Counselor, of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a think tank in Washington, D.C., as well as a Visiting Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.[1] Additionally, he was a co-chairman of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.[2][3][4]

In his current role as senior advisor to President Biden, Podesta oversees the disbursement of $370 billion in clean energy tax credits and incentives authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.[5]

That's "so little"?

That's.... set of true facts. But yeah, at the end of the day, it's one guy who used his ability to develop kompromat to leverage himself into a situation where he could live the amoral child rapist lifestyle he craved.

I wouldn't expect a Netflix documentary about him or Maxwell if he was just the tip of the iceberg. I would expect either his victims to be missing (they aren't) or the supposed Bill Gates/Hillary Clinton victims to exist (as far as I know, they don't.) Best I have for you is that prince from England; he done it. But I don't think it's a case of 'the elietes' all being secretly pedos or whatever. At least, not based on Epstein.

Epstein's connections got him out of jail, so someone somewhere is complicit. I don't think you can make the magical leap that everyone is complicit, or that they all partake in his crimes.

That's selling him a bit short.

My threshold for caring about this guy after trawling through his email is incalculably high. He's just not that interesting, as his resume indicates. I wasn't able to find anything spicy and neither, apparently, was anyone else, so now we're looking at his... art collection?


If you really believe that there's a grand conspiracy of elietes, find another one to pick on, otherwise it seems like there's just a fixation on this one dude that leads to fanfiction being written about him. It's a lot like with the fixation on Trump, except of course Trump was actually important for a while.

You can say "pedo," this isn't TikTok.

Eh. I'll put down for the record that I'm a bit suspicious that this may be a troll post, but taking your observations at face value, I think you are being confused in the face of a set of aesthetics, values and social mores which are foreign to you. You are conflating two things which are a priori separate and don't even strike me as particularly correlated once you control for socioeconomic grouping - edgy art flirting with sexualisation of children (by the looks of it in the one-digit age range) on the one hand, and Epstein's harem of 16+ year old girls on the other. Out of these, the latter seems to stand in an ancient tradition of rich and powerful men surrounding themselves with young girls to whom they can make offers they can not refuse, remarkable only for its violation of, ironically, California values (like half of the US, to say nothing of the rest of the world, doesn't actually have 18 as the age of consent!) that say if you look at a 17 year old funny you might as well be raping toddlers, and the blackmail element that it acquired thanks to the creeping intra-American universalisation of those. The former, on the other hand, stands in a seemingly almost as old tradition of affluent subcultures going down costly aesthetic spirals to signal commitment, like architects tiling old towns with concrete-filled abuse of the nurbs tool or French aristocrats getting lead poisoning and corset-induced intestinal impactations.

You know another elite aesthetic preference that has always disgusted me? Blue cheese. If I attempted to craft a similar narrative around it, it'd be probably something about our rulers' worship of rot and decay, and I'd be exhibiting a highly suggestive array of grainy photos of people in white tie awkwardly shuffling around at Oxbridge wine-and-cheese parties, closeups of Stilton (the worst stuff!), "memento mori" oil paintings and corpses of soldiers in the muddy trenches of Ukraine. The analogy is of course somewhat exaggerated (as you may be right to argue that 50 year olds enjoying the suggestion of sexualised 8 year olds and 50 year olds sex-trafficking 17 year olds are more similar than enjoying rotten cheese and enjoying actions which lead to the rotting of young men), but qualitatively I think it is similar enough.

("Satanic" is doing no work here apart from being your "disturbing outgroup stuff" signifier of choice, right? I don't see any pentagrams, goats or even dark angelic beings in there.)

A quick google says Epstein girls were as young as 11, often in the range of 14. Agree this is separate from toddlers, but I don't think you have a lot of good reason to claim that it's just guys interested in young girls as they were in ages past. Except that the age of marriage in Europe has been mostly 18-22 pretty much since they started writing this stuff down.

Marriage is not the same as sexual intercourse, and Epstein or his guests didn't marry (de jure or de facto) his girls.

I would imagine that historically age of marriage in Europe was more bottlenecked by the ability of the man to provide for the family, not prohibitions against intercourse at a younger age. Matter of fact, the Wikipedia page of the very first historical European ruler I sampled for a lazy argument said,

Less than a year after his marriage, Charlemagne repudiated Desiderata and married a 13-year-old Swabian named Hildegard.

There's not a lot of fence-sitters when it comes to this question.

I'm a fence-sitter. The amount of material and disturbing nature of it is so utterly beyond the pale, so absolutely ridiculous, that it's impossible to just shrug it off as nothing. On the other hand, I still find it plausible that it's just art-school, shock-the-normies, absolutely cringe bullshit. If it's the latter, these people are merely gross and pathetic rather than unbelievably evil. I guess that's a pretty weak form of fence-sitting, in which the object of the conspiracy is definitely awful in some way, but it does make a pretty big difference when thinking about what sort of people are actually in the ruling class.

That MartyrMade thread you linked originally had a podcast episode associated with it, discussing the Pizzagate conspiracy, that I don't see on the Substack anymore. Hmmm...

Personally Epstein's ring existing was enough to make creepers very suspect in my view.

it's just art-school, shock-the-normies, absolutely cringe bullshit

Another point in favor of this interpretation is that it has no aesthetic redeeming value whatsoever; the works are just... flat out ugly. I'd expect a desire to glamorize the object-level to produce results far superior to, uh, the average art commission; but instead these pieces are of the quality I'd expect from medieval period artists. Which, considering this is modern "art", might be the entire point.

That's not to say that ugly art isn't absolutely a valid critique of the ruling class simply because their preference for expensive garbage to anything of actual quality tends to be a running theme in their preferred policies. "Intentionally preferring artwork with terrible visual aesthetics" should permanently end one's political career regardless of the object-level details; one should be booted from office for having an affair with someone less attractive than one's wife for that reason too.

That MartyrMade thread you linked originally had a podcast episode associated with it, discussing the Pizzagate conspiracy, that I don't see on the Substack anymore. Hmmm...

I can see it on my Apple Podcast app, released on June 27th and named BONUS The Jeffrey Epstein Series, pts. 1 & 2 (of 3) He released the third episode on October 17th. I do have his substack subscription so I do have access to extra episodes but these are from his free podcasts.

Yeah, I see that one too (also a Substack subscriber). I would have sworn there was another one that came out right when that Twitter thread did though. Lots of shared material with Epstein Part 3.

On investigation, it looks like I was thinking of an episode of the Pete Quinones show that came out in late October.

On the other hand, I still find it plausible that it's just art-school, shock-the-normies, absolutely cringe bullshit. If it's the latter, these people are merely gross and pathetic rather than unbelievably evil. I

I do think it's more likely that "artsy" types who are under constant pressure to be creative and put out new things and push boundaries, and who rely on public acclaim (or at least on not being too widely hated) for their career, are in fact pushing boundaries, than it is that they are subtly admitting to possibly the most despised crimes in modern culture.

Like with bullies and mass shootings, the best way to discourage it is to just not take it seriously. Outrage and engagement are what they're looking for. Just roll your eyes and pretend to be bored while saying "don't cut yourself on all that edge" like they're a 13 year old writing poems in black eyeliner and swearing on counterstrike.

Maybe I just find it hard to get outraged about a child holding some stuff they probably just didn't understand, when earlier this week an 11 year old was killed because someone modified their truck, the brakes failed, and so far they've only been charged with misdemeanors. Where's the pearl clutching and outrage here? Why can you speed and ignore signs, kill someone, and get a misdemeanor?

Outrage and engagement are what they're looking for

Based on all the damage control Balenciaga is doing, I don't think this is accurate.

In this case the company realizes they went too far, but a little bit of outrage is usually good (especially depending on who it comes from). And the actual creator might not care at all--short term, it's not great, but long term, it might still be a benefit. "There is no such thing as bad publicity" as the saying goes. Not literally true, but pretty close.

They were presumably looking for outrage and engagement among the people that would engage in outrage on the level of telling their edgiest friend that surely this time the art veered a bit too far in gross territory, whereupon the edgy friend would be like "now I'm intrigued" and go pay for a ticket - not among a mob of Twitterers with pitchforks.

Suffice to say that accidents are unintended consequences of doing things in the world, which is a very different phenomenon than elite satan pedo parties.

elite satan pedo parties

When this was described by the OP, I figured they were being sarcastic, or maybe going for shock value (ironically, not unlike what I suspect Balenciaga of doing). If I had realized people were serious I would have been clearer that I think it's horseshit. Certainly a photoshoot by 1 company proves nothing--and there's no need invoke satan to justify going after Epstein's clients.

accidents are unintended consequences

While this is technically true, it also points you towards entirely the wrong policy. Negligence is an old and standard legal concept, and so is manslaughter. If you are operating a several-thousand-pound vehicle in public, you had better be in control of it. If you modify said vehicle, you had better know what you are doing. We would not tolerate "oh it was an accident" for any other context which resulted in the death of an innocent person because of negligent or reckless (and in this case, criminal) behavior. The excessive focus on the word "accident" even makes people think that car crashes are unavoidable, even though their frequency and danger is heavily influenced by behavior, infrastructure design, etc.

I agree with what you've said. Further to this, I think the 'satanic' labeling is playing itself out.

I get it, I'm right-wingish, but the 'literal satan' memes in the right social media sphere aren't bringing people to their side. They reek of 1980's dungeons and dragons moral panic.

It could be just rhetoric vs rhetoric on twitter, but it feels like a bridge too far.

Edited: making sure I wasn't directing at comment above who I agree with.

Yeah I agree the literal s_tan stuff definitely hurts the sales pitch, but it shows up in too many places for it to be some fake spicy detail added by the more conspiracy minded.

You can write pedo and satan without self censoring, bloody mary isn't going to appear in the mirror.

I like to not go too heavy on the special keywords.

What’s going to happen if you spell out Satan in full?