I once heard a man call this age the age of demagogues. Of this I can only say, in the admirably sensible words of the angry coachman in “Pickwick,” that “that remark’s political, or what is much the same, it ain’t true.” So far from being the age of demagogues, this is really and specially the age of mystagogues. So far from this being a time in which things are praised because they are popular, the truth is that this is the first time, perhaps, in the whole history of the world in which things can be praised because they are unpopular. The demagogue succeeds because he makes himself understood, even if he is not worth understanding. But the mystagogue succeeds because he gets himself misunderstood; although, as a rule, he is not even worth misunderstanding.
— 

Gilbert K. Chesterton "Demagogues and Mystagogue"s  @ Classic Reader

On an academic listserv today, I read a post which referred to those who peddle natural disasters as the portents of end times. Those who prey upon emotions to compel people to dramatic action or unusual opinion we call demagogues. Those who mystify or obfuscate to promote some sense that they have secret knowledge in order to do the same are profitably understood as mystagogues. This is a term I’ve just learned and will put it in my kit bag.

Watch on joggingmymemory.tumblr.com

I have this tape somewhere….

anonymous said:

whats your opinion on each of the pentacle orders?

An intriguing questions though overall, a ship of deluded fools. As to each, let me begin with the Atlantian Diamond.

There are none so proud or so arrogant as those who join the Silver Ladder. They proclaim themselves leaders as a matter of traditional right, using ways thousands of years old, wondering why the things they supervise crumble and wither. They arehollow, pompous princes-blind leading the blind.

It is often the curious ones whose hungers were a bit too much that I see of the Mysterium. They come with books looking for more books and really-they do nothing with it. They sit on that knowledge and guard it like coin-all to the better. I find them especially pathetic. Mystagogues and Panopticon have more in common than I suspect they might like.

Adamantine Arrows are sadly outmoded, outdated and laughable in ideals. They are hilarious to see in a long war, but their skirmishes are sometimes a thing to behold. Their sword is rusty and it’s time they use it to end their order’s sad existence. Hopefully, they might bring another down with them but that would be a futile hope.

I can respect what the Guardians of the Veil do. I could pass for one with ease if I had the stomach to. Maybe I do already. Paranoiacs who guard themselves-who watches the watchmen? More blind watchmen? But there are fewer of the pentacle I would trust less. The ones that come to us get very thoroughly debriefed, though it may be more prudent to simply shoot the magic secret police in the head-or to blackbag them and see in just how many ways one can be broken.

And then there’s the Free Council. In my area, they are pathetically weak, but that is not the case everywhere. They are second in line of orders I trust least-they can turn knowledge to their use with an astounding ease, turning the Lie into wisdom, blasphemous sleeper religions into magic and all while their power wanes just like the rest of us. I hate them but I can find them less contemptable than the Diamond.

My daughter seems to have become a Councilor, a fact I cannot approve of but her station there may yet be of use. Even a minor pop star of note cannot easily hide. It only amuses me so far. I have too much hanging over her to truly turn her back on me and she knows that my patience only runs so far.

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