Posts in Cults
Crowley's Children

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog-post analysing the video for Blondie’s Rapture, and pointing out the voodoo, occult and mystic symbolism in it. I wondered if Blondie were into that sort of thing, or perhaps I was seeing things. It turned out they were, and one of them - the bassist Gary Lachman - had even become a historian of the occult. He was kind enough to give me his time for an interview.

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The Master: self-help, and the Puritan longing to escape the past

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, The Master, tells the story of drifter Joaquin Phoenix’s relationship with the head of a New Age sect, which looks suspiciously like Scientology. The group, called The Cause, aims (like Scientology) to clear its members of the karmic traces of their past lives, and return them to their inherent perfection. They do this by hypnotising their members to retrace their past incarnations, or by subjecting them to a b

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A manifesto for the mass intelligentsia

A few newsletters back, I talked about the idea of the ‘mass intelligentsia’, and posted an interview I did with Melvyn Bragg about the term (he used it in this programme on class and culture back in March). I’ve been digging into this idea a bit more since then, for an academic research project I’m doing on philosophy clubs. I’d like to unpack the idea some more, if that’s alright by you.

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