Book 8, part 1. The New Civilization (2005)
The science of imagery, and
who governs the country’s ideology
Throughout history national ideologies have been created through devices which exert an influence on human society through images, through the clandestine ancient knowledge of the science of imagery Some of our learned chaps might object that there is no such science. But there is. And its
existence is determined not by the will of academics, but by the very nature of Man. Man is created to think, and thoughts in turn form images.
In recent times we are wont to associate the science of im-agery with Ancient Egypt. We learn from history how priests created images to liberate nation-states or seize power over whole peoples.
It was the same kind of knowledge that the SS troops attempted to master in Hitler’s Germany, or the KGB’s Division 13 in Soviet times.
Certain elements of this science are intuitively employed by modern political technologists in the West, and more recently in our own country Hence the terminology image-making, way of life, way of thinking1 a candidates image.
To the political technologists it is quite unimportant what a candidate’s inner aspirations are, what kind of Man he is, whether or not he is good at his job. Money and the mass me-dia help them create an image which will appeal to the public. And what people end up voting for in elections is not so much the Man himself as the image created for him by the political technologists. It won’t be long before we’ll all be voting for cardboard cut-out politicians and a papier-mache president!
As for the shaping of images of whole nation-states and their peoples, these are the masterpieces of an incomparably higher-rank species of political technologists.
Centuries of human history have borne witness to a host of examples of controlling a nation-state through images. The most salient and obvious example for people today of the work of these top-ranked political technologists — or
‘modern priests’ — may be the history of our country and its peoples over the past century
We all know about the downfall of the Soviet Union, one of the mightiest empires in the world. But what preceded the formation of the USSR and what gave rise to its subsequent collapse?
Precedent to the formation of the USSR was the creation of an attractive image of a socialist future and then of a com-munist state. Landowners and manufacturers were cast in the image of bloodsuckers of the proletariat. The tsar still reigned in Russia, and the monarchy seemed unshakeable. Tet at the same time an image was at work which was busy attracting followers, and these in turn found all sorts of ways to bring down the monarchy and create a new state — in the new image.
The fall of the USSR was also preceded by the creation of an image — an image of the country as a totalitarian state, along with a discussion on the need to replace it with a new one — a happy, free democratic state along Western lines. The government and leaders of the communist state were cast in the role of bloodthirsty thugs trampling on freedoms and on the people themselves. The socialist order was painted as intolerable and leading nowhere. The image of communists created by theatre and cinema directors, actors and artists, on which whole generations of the populace had been raised, was now summarily shunted aside. But what was there to take its place?
The resulting vacuum began to be filled with images of flourishing businessmen, gangsters, prostitutes and Hollywood starlets. Our young people strove to imitate their habits and morals. There is no disputing the fact that material wealth is fast becoming the criterion by which prosperity is measured. Who attains it and how — that doesn’t enter into the picture. The need to build a developed democratic state has been proclaimed to all, but not a word has been (or is being) said about the insurmountable problems in other ‘democratic’ countries — drug addiction, colossal corruption, environmental degradation, mental depression, decline in birth-rate and a whole lot else besides.
Women naturally refuse to have children when they see no future for their offspring.
Never mind that people in democratic countries have no clear picture of their own future — our modern ‘priests’ find it necessary to present democracy in its present form as the only acceptable order for the structuring of human society. Why? Because the conditions of democracy as we know it make it the easiest system to control. It is all too easy to hide behind freedom of speech, freedom of business, freedom of choice and meanwhile throw the public a black lie. And this is done not by happenstance, but deliberately and with considerable forethought. Whatever image you latch on to, you yourself will become.
These political technologists know what will happen next with the whole population. It’s not a difficult task to determine who’s behind the disasters happening in Russia. All one has to do is track where the country’s precious human and financial resources are being siphoned off to each time.
The huge flood of emigration which fled Russia following the 1917 revolution took with it not only a significant amount of capital along with historical treasures and traditions, but, most importantly, human resources.
After the collapse of the Soviet empire, a combination of reforms and a tempting image of prosperous, civilised coun-tries siphoned off (and continues to siphon off) our financial and intellectual resources.
The saddest part is that the latest image of our state is being summoned in the interests of annihilating the whole country and the peoples living therein. No military intervention is required at all. A more significant force than military weaponry is at work here. An image is at work. A combination of factors already perceptible to analysts has been put into operation. Quite a simple combination at that. Let’s try to reason it through.
What are we building today? Where are we heading to? The political technologists tell us they are building a democratic state on the Western model. And so, once it is built, we shall all be rich and happy.
“But,” millions of our fellow-citizens quite reasonably argue, “if there already exist on the Earth developed states that are both democratic and happy, then wouldn’t it be easier simply to go and live there now?” And millions have left — and contin-ue to leave — for Germany, Israel and America, putting their intellectual and financial capital at the disposal of these coun-tries. And they become slaves there. The image is working!
But what about those left behind in Russia? What are they to do?
“Build a developed democratic state and become rich,” says the image. But what can a traffic cop, say, do to build such a state? Or a sales clerk in a store? Or a civil servant in an administrative office? That’s not clear to many people. Neither is it clear how one is supposed to become rich on a salary of three to five thousand roubles a month. But quite a number, after all, have somehow managed to wangle their way through. They drive around in expensive cars, build themselves luxury mansions and holiday at fancy resorts. Somehow they’ve wangled their way through...
And now the whole country is beginning to follow their example. Sales clerks and customers, traffic cops and office administrators, army officers and private soldiers, teachers and students. But those who know the science of imagery merely scoff at such efforts.
“Come on,” they say, “catch a few scapegoats among the officers’ ranks. Then you can create a security service within the security service.”
Here we are fighting not against causes, but against effects. The image has already done its work. It is capable of entering unhindered into the minds of politicians and generals, high- ranking government officials and ordinary people. Because it is image, it knows neither border guards nor closed office doors. It lures young girls from isolated Russian villages to faraway lands with its promises of a happy life, and then forces them to work as prostitutes in Cyprus, Israel or New York.
For the sake of this promise of a happy life, officials are ready to take bribes and policemen to go into cahoots with criminals. This image has tremendous energy. In the mean-time, all our politicians can do is keep mouthing over and over hackneyed phrases like developed democratic countries, the civilised West, thereby serving to reinforce the image that is so destructive to our country
People are aware there’s something wrong with the country, and so they understand when you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, attempt to impose order, but how to accomplish this? Just consolidating your hold on power is not enough. In doing this you are strengthening not just your own power, but the power of the images too.
Thousands of government officials now have more power, but being under the influence of the image, they will unwit-tingly act in the interests of the image, i.e., in the interests of the image’s creators. But the creators have already decided that Russia’s fate is sealed. Their actions have become unbridled and brazenly bold. Specially trained personnel have been sent to Russia for the purpose of strengthening the creators’ power by supporting an image which can only destroy the country. I can officially state that right at this moment specially trained people are operating on Russian territory — people whose job it is to keep track of, and correct where necessary, the ideological component of the state. I have a feeling you, Mr President, are aware of this, too.
Let us give some thought as to why there have been so few positive images over the past few years in our nation’s litera-ture, film and TV programmes — images capable of inspiring people, setting a pattern to follow and helping build a marvel-lous future for their children. We still remember and live by those images, but our children?
We are assured that this is the demand of the majority, that everybody wants to watch only Hollywood starlets, gangster showdowns and sensational reports on bloody happenings. Nonsense! That’s not what people want! We are told: if you don’t want it, then don’t watch — if you don’t like it, don’t listen. That is called freedom of choice. But that’s not quite the way it is. Or, rather, that’s not the way it is at all. There is no choice here! Not for children, not for adults and certainly not for senior citizens. And unless you happen to be cold- hearted, cynical and soulless, you’ll discover the road to the promised prosperity is blocked. And there is no other road. Isn’t that the case all around you? Or all around us?
All this depravity is being deliberately foisted upon us. Special covert selection mechanisms were put in place long ago. Any poets, innovative educators, writers and directors who have dared create positive images for Russia are cruelly persecuted. Everything is simply closed to them.
This is partly the work, too, of Western spy agencies that claim to be fighting sectarianism. You can hear such declarations coming from the mouths not just of Russian special-service agents, but from social and political activists as well, including the highest officials of the Russian President’s administration — your administration. For example, Mr Surkov,10 your Deputy Chief of Staff, said during a newspaper interview:
'A secret war is being waged against Russia by circles in America, Europe and the Orient, who still regard our country as a potential enemy They consider themselves to have rendered a service in fostering the virtually bloodless collapse of the Soviet Union, and now they are attempting to capitalise on their success. Their goal is none other than the destruction of Russia and the filling of its vast spaces with a multitude of petty quasi-states'.
Such a statement is entirely plausible, even if just because the forces that overthrew the USSR still exist and, quite natu-rally, not satisfied with having achieved victory at one stage, they will definitely continue with a stepped-up offensive.
And it is especially important here not just to state facts but to understand the mechanism by which the destructive influence operates.
We already know that the collapse of the USSR was brought about not through armed invasion but as the result of an ideo-logical manipulation of our people. Ideology — that is the principal means of either annihilating or reinforcing any na-tion-state. But any ideology can be used to influence masses of people if it has a well-built and efficient operating structure. It exists and it is not ours. It is not our images that are acting through it. But where has our own structure disap-peared to? We destroyed it!
In the USSR, apart from its ideological institutions and broadcast centres, the ideological departments of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, the Ministry of Culture and the press, there was a huge network including so-called ‘Palaces of Culture’ and ‘Houses of Culture’,11 along with urban and rural district activity clubs.
Such institutions afforded the opportunity for millions of young Soviet citizens to engage in amateur artistic and per-formance circles, including the holding of lectures and meet-ings, as well as the opportunity for the accepted state ideol- ogy to get through and be explained to the masses.
At the beginning ofperestroika, when the ideology changed, this network of institutions was liquidated — their financing was cut off
It is difficult to imagine that a driver motoring along the highway who suddenly realises he is heading in the wrong di-rection, instead of turning around and heading the right way, begins to dismantle his car on the spot. But something like that is what has happened in our country. When the decision was taken in society (not without the aid of certain forces, of course) that we were heading in the wrong direction, instead of turning around and using existing institutions, they were simply dismantled. And what was there to take their place?
It was proposed to hand over the basic task of spiritually educating the population, especially the youth, to Russia’s Orthodox Church. However, more and more testimonies are indicating that, first and foremost, it is necessary to educate the majority of the clergy itself.
As an institution of spirituality, Russia’s Orthodox Church was catastrophic in its failure to justify the hopes placed in it. Why? Simply because, through the help of the State, it only took a few years to open twenty thousand churches, while it requires centuries and a host of strict conditions to educate twenty thousand highly spiritual clerics who are truly capable of comforting and educating other people.
And not the kind of conditions as when the state pours forth grants and favours, which only corrupt and attract op-portunists and vagabonds. In that scenario the winners are not those pastors who are rich in spirit but those who are more devious and position themselves closer to the trough. It is not the congregation led by a spiritually minded prior that comes out on top, but the one that manages to obtain financing.
After all, the process of attracting parishioners and raising their level of spirituality is a lengthy one — it can drag on for years. So the village priest is obliged to mend his own frock, unable to afford a new one, while his urban counterpart drives around in an expensive foreign car.
This acquisitiveness and covetousness already plaguing the clerics of Russia’s Orthodox Church was brought up during a speech at the annual meeting of the Moscow Diocese in the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour12 on 15 December 2004 by Alexei II, the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, when he said:
Today we are obliged to confront a series of negative phe-nomena — including the general static state of the church’s activity, the absence of dynamics in congregational life, the low attendance by worshippers at temple services and the lack of interest in religion on the part of the rising genera-tion.
The growing commercialisation of many aspects of con-gregational life is an alarming indicator of the dying out of the Orthodox consciousness, spiritual blindness and the disparagement of ecclesiasticism. Material self-interest all too often comes to the fore, overshadowing and stamping out everything living and spiritual. All too often temples deal in ‘church services’ as though they were commercial firms.
Nothing pushes people away from the faith as much as the selfishness of priests and others who serve in the tem-ples. It is with good reason that covetousness is termed a hateful, murderous passion and the only treason in respect to God — in other words, a hellish sin.
The Patriarch outlawed taking payment for performing church sacraments — the rituals of communion, marriage, last rites and burial services — as well as commercialising the ‘services’ of the Church. But will clerics heed the ban imposed by the supreme church hierarchy, if they already transgress a higher law — the commandments of God?