Sit with me now for a few minutes in the most dangerous room of Chapel Perilous: The Black Lodge.
The motto of the Assassins was “Nothing is true; Everything is permitted.” But here in this room, distortions of despair and reflexive reflections present an even more frightening existential enigma:
Everything is true; Nothing is permitted.
Please consider carefully what this means.
Everything is true because all paths through Chapel Perilous are equally valid maps with equal power to enslave. As long as the path you have chosen ends in the Black Lodge, everything will add up to reveal the terrible truth of your helpless entrapment at the hands of whatever Dark Forces your plot level has allowed you to fear.
Nothing is permitted because no Dark Forces actually have the power to enslave you. Permission to dominate does not come from some Cosmic Authority or omnipotent Conspiracy overlords. It is all up to the empowered individual, who must willfully give his or her soul to the denizens of the Black Lodge. There is no Illuminati mind control except the Bafflement that you allow.
Many are called to this room; few ever choose to leave.
As a chilling illustration, I offer the tragic tale of Iris Chang.
In 1998 I first saw this soft-spoken Chinese-American journalist on a Sunday morning talk show called History Center. Iris was promoting her groundbreaking book The Rape of Nanking, which revealed for the first time the atrocities of the Imperial Japanese military’s brutal invasion of Manchuria in the late 1930s. Her quiet dignity blew me away, as she recounted both the actual war crimes and the official cover-up that was still being perpetrated. Japanese “historians” denounced Iris, obviously, and her tale of scholarly battles in academia was utterly fascinating to me. One young woman had ended decades of institutional lies with a shining sword of truth, forcing the world to face the horrors that everyone- except the victims- had already agreed to forget.
Iris made powerful enemies, as her campaign caused a Conspiracy to form in Japan dedicated to discrediting her. The original print run of excerpts from her book for Newsweek magazine was delayed, she believed, by Toyota advertisers pressuring the editors to not allow ads for their cars to be seen among the same pages that described Japanese soldiers bayoneting pregnant women and hanging people by their tongues. It was an ugly story to be sure, one that the United States government was less than thrilled to see dug up, as it made international waves with an important ally.
Washington was therefore utterly outraged by the next subject Iris brought to light, namely the Bataan Death March of US soldiers during WWII and their subsequent enslavement as POWs forced to work in concentration camps for the benefit of several Japanese corporations. In 1951 the US State Department had quietly agreed to let Japan have a total pass on these obvious war crimes. The Japanese companies, unlike their German counterparts, were never compelled to make reparations to the soldiers or even publicly admit that the slavery had ever occurred. When the Bush administration blocked the lawsuits of American soldiers against these companies, Iris became their very vocal advocate. Her op-ed piece for the New York Times, published on Christmas Eve 2001, was entitled “Betrayed by the White House”. In it she publicly shamed the President for selling out the heroes of the Greatest Generation just to secure cooperation with Japan in the War on Terror.
Now she had two governments out to get her.
All this non-stop exposure to the hell of war combined with real pressure from the Conspiracy started to send poor Iris on a one-way trip into the Black Lodge. While trying to research the State Department files on Bataan at the National Archives, she was met with a long series of confused, befuddled responses and claims that the documents she requested were missing or misplaced. Of course, this was further evidence of Conspiracy influence to her mind. How could the National Archives be that poorly organized? It was obvious, Iris knew, that They were preventing her from getting at the truth.
It seems clear to me, after reading the touching book Finding Iris Chang by her friend Paula Kamen, that Conspiracy interference was probably not involved with this episode of the saga. Kamen went to the National Archives in 2005 and discovered that, yes, the bureaucracy really is that poorly organized. Old files are routinely mishandled by overworked federal employees, especially when the original filing done in the 1950s was rushed and inefficient.
But none of that would have mattered to Iris. Her journey through Chapel Perilous had already left her in a state of mind where everything bad that happened “was” caused by the Dark Forces her plot level had focused upon. Demons from the Black Lodge were filling her dreams and imagination with all the worst assumptions. She was losing the ability to separate real perceptions from impish flash cards.
And then she made the mistake of researching the Conspiracy on the internet, falling down the rabbit hole of Illuminati propaganda. For hours every day Iris would drift through cyberspace, finding ghastly “proof” for her worst fears. Soon she was not sleeping or doing much of anything but obsessing on Them. In the midst of this silently escalating frenzy, she finally managed to get out and go to the movies, presumably as a distraction from her psychic battle with the Conspiracy. The film that she chose to see, unfortunately, was the new remake of The Manchurian Candidate. Iris could not help but see parallels between herself and Denzel Washington’s character Ben Marco, who is used by an evil corporation- Manchurian Global- in Their sinister plot to take over the United States government, with the help of the precise sort of right wing faction that Iris was currently battling. When Marco tries to get the authorities to listen to him, using pages of internet propaganda to “prove” his theories, he is threatened with hospitalization and being turned into a medicated zombie.
This is the point where fantasy bled too disturbingly into reality. After seeing the film, Iris continued her work of interviewing veterans who had been victimized by the evil corporations and Their right wing protectors inside the US government. Like Ben Marco, Iris was looking haggard and crazed, up for many days at a stretch, substituting sleep with more internet time in Chapel Perilous. In August 2004 she went to Louisville, Kentucky to interview a retired Colonel about his personal horror story. At the conclusion of their discussion he asked her to “join our organization”, meaning, to become directly involved with his particular group of Bataan POWs. But Iris, in her desperately Baffled state of mind, interpreted this to mean that she was being asked to become a member of the Illuminati! It was all downhill from there. Her strange refusal, when coupled with her dubious physical condition, persuaded the Colonel to have Iris put in a mental hospital for psychiatric observation. She promptly had a nervous breakdown.
Plot level and reality had become one for Iris Chang. She was now living in a script wherein high level government officials were doing to her precisely what was done to Marco in the film. After getting out of the hospital, she went straight back to the internet, finding plenty of Illuminati tales from the Black Lodge to confirm all her fears.
In October things went totally off the rails thanks to another movie that Iris saw, National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage. By this time she had no doubt come across that particular crop of Illuminati conspiracy theories concerned with the Cryptocracy. The thesis of this dubious plot angle is that Hollywood is partnered up with the Illuminati in a scheme called “The Revelation of the Method”, wherein popular films are made just to infect the minds of the public with scenarios of Conspiracy control, psychically enslaving the collective consciousness through glammer campaigns against which the audience has no defense. Now, consider the effect this Bafflement was having on poor Iris.
In National Treasure, Nicolas Cage’s character Benjamin Franklin Gates is a direct descendant of an Illuminati family on the trail of Templar secrets. When Cage is “allowed” to break in to the National Archives and steal the Declaration of Independence, Iris could only see this tale in one way: Since she had refused to become a member of the Illuminati, she would now never be able to gain access to the “treasures” of documents in the National Archives that she so desperately needed. The Cryptocracy had “obviously” released this film just to rub it in her face and confirm that she was now doomed.
The final straw came a few weeks later, when President George W. Bush was re-elected. There was now nothing left for her to do but buy a gun. Iris Chang was found in her car on November 9, 2004, dead of a self-inflicted head wound.
Her suicide note read as follows:
“There are aspects of my experience in Louisville that I will never understand. Deep down I suspect that you may have more answers about this than I do. I can never shake my belief that I was being recruited, and later persecuted, by forces more powerful than I could have imagined. Whether it was the CIA or some other organization I will never know. As long as I am alive, these forces will never stop hounding me.
“Days before I left for Louisville I had a deep foreboding about my safety. I sensed suddenly threats to my own life: an eerie feeling that I was being followed in the streets, the white van parked outside my house, damaged mail arriving at my P.O. Box. I believe my detention at Norton Hospital was the government’s attempt to discredit me.
“I had considered running away, but I will never be able to escape from myself and my thoughts. I am doing this because I am too weak to withstand the years of pain and agony ahead.”
And so the doors of the Black Lodge closed.