An interview with Gary Lachman on occult politics, nihilism, and the dangerous potentials of the imagination

 

Just published here at The Teeming Brain: my interview with Gary Lachman on his new book Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump. As many Teeming Brain readers are already aware, Gary is a noted writer on occultism and esotericism who contributed to my paranormal encyclopedia a few years ago. In this new interview, he expands on the themes of his latest book, in which he examines the role of New Thought, meme magic, Chaos Magick, and other occult and esoteric movements in shaping current geopolitical affairs, involving everything and everyone from Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to the rise of the Alt-Right and the advent of a “post-truth/alternative fact” world.

Here’s an excerpt:

MATT CARDIN: What’s your basic argument in Dark Star Rising?

GARY LACHMAN: Dark Star Rising is about the strange “occult politics” that seem to be a part of both Trump’s presidency and that of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. As I say in the book, I first became aware of this when I read a post on Harvey Bishop’s New Thought blog. Bishop was commenting on the speech Richard Spencer, founder of the alt-right, gave at the meeting of the National Policy Institute in Washington, following Trump’s election. Spencer greeted the crowd, hailing Trump’s victory, and saying that they — he and his comrades — had made it happen. They had “dreamed” Trump into office, had “willed” him into the White House. Bishop noted that turning dreams into reality, making your wishes come true, is a central aim of New Thought, mental science, and other teachings that emphasize the power of the mind to affect reality directly. Trump, we know, has been a lifelong devotee of “positive thinking;” Norman Vincent Peale, who popularized the “power of positive of thinking,” was a mentor. But now it seemed that people in Trump’s fan base were practitioners, too.

With this, I began to follow a trail which led around the world and involved things like “meme magic” (using the internet as a way of affecting reality), gurus, demagogues, and how some rather radical ideas about a new world order — or disorder — are informing some of the most powerful people on the planet.

Read the full interview.

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD; GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES; and HORROR LITERATURE THROUGH HISTORY.

Posted on May 24, 2018, in Government & Politics, Paranormal, Psychology & Consciousness, Religion & Philosophy, Society & Culture and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Excellent interview. I finished the book in one day. The Russian material was particularly fascinating in light of the ongoing Trump/Russia revelations.

  2. Like so many others, I was surprised and disappointed by his recent championing of Jordan Peterson, but I still intend to read this book on the strength of his prior work. And the fact that Matt Cardin approves of it definitely helps.

  3. hauberrisser

    I hope that this is not as unbalanced as it sounds… Let us not forget that, during the last two centuries in the West, “occultism” and alternative spirituality were often aligned with the forces of progressive subversion and social justice and were thus a force for good, whereas it was mainstream organized religion that was aligned with the right-wing reaction.

    Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that alt-right and their Russian imperialist mentors are indeed stranger and scarier than most people would like to think.

  1. Pingback: ¿Se puede reforzar las fronteras frente al cambio climático con concertinas? Violencia, clima y derechos humanos

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