A brief introduction here, before I turn you over to my colleague, Lyttenburgh. But continuing with our arcing theme of early summer, mysterious happenings, frolics in the forests, deep cabals and, of course, the Bard!
Today being the holy “White Sunday” in Russia, known as “Nightingale Day” in pagan times; aka “Pentecost Day” in the West. “Pentecost” being the Greek word for “50th”, as in the 50th day following Passover and/or Easter.
And now for a little Bible reading this Sunday morning (New Testament, Acts II)
By chance it happened to be Pentecost Day (more known for harvest feasts than for Language Lab on the Jerusalem Campus) when Saint Peter was busy preaching to a congregation in the capital city of the Roman province of Judea. Bringing the people the good news about Jesus Christ. Suddenly giant tongues of fire descended on the congregation. Several people started to chatter away in foreign tongues: Parthian, Mede, Elamite, Mesopotamian, Phrygian, Egyptian, Cretan, even Arabic. Peter explained to the masses what was happening: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
So, there is my Sunday sermon for all of you, Amen, and now, without further Ado, [whether Much or Little] about Something, here is Lyttenburgh to further engage your sense of awe:
A short musing on the Deep State and the likes of it….
“They are the faction. O conspiracy!
Shamest thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O, then by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles and affability…”
– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
It looks like the Stars themselves are conspiring for me to address one important issue. Signs and Portents were everywhere. First, a fellow Kremlin Stooge blog commenter Moscow Exile (native of the Misty Albion, now safely settled in Russia) mentioned a week ago the holy feast of Whitsuntide – that’s a fancy name for the Pentecost, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit of Christ’s Disciples and the formal creation of the Christian Church (4 June this year). This feast, borrowing heavily in its imagery from earlier pagan times, is also very important and memetic in British Isles.
Then – we had a bohemian semi-orphan wandering through Moscow’s streets reciting the Bard’s immortal verse. By pure coincidence, a distinguished member of the kreaklian perpetually kvetching masses of This Country, one Lucia Stein (former “Radio Liberty” employee and staffer in the electoral HQ of the highly handshakable liberast candidate Gudkov) was there to garner all possible hype and self-PR for her own political aims. Now Lucia is trying to get herself elected as Deputy in one of Moscow’s districts – all because of one “talented boy” (and her Instagram photos of the “sky-clad selfie” variety).
[yalensis footnote: This Lucy Stein may indeed have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, but as of currently, there is no evidence, photographic or otherwise, that she was out there on the Arbat, so this case remains an open mystery. Look for my post tomorrow, which will have a lot more info on the Skavronski family!]
And, finally, I’ve stumbled upon one particularly crappy, inane commentary on one particular pretentious and self-important blog, where one of the “intellectuals” ventured forth with the “brilliant” idea that the so-called “Deep State” is the characteristic of only a full fledged democracy – a pinnacle of Western Civilization’s “Development”, so to speak.
Stranger and more trivial things have spurred Muses to guide one’s writing – Leo Tolstoy, for example, was inspired by the sight of a half-crushed yet still defiant thistle to write his “Hadji Murat”. While my short writing here does not warrant too much, especially in the way of “groundbreaking” revelations, being not entirely serious and relying sometimes too much on the Aesopian tongue to speak of the present, while talking about the past, I suggest that it be treated as appropriately– i.e. as a commentary. Nothing more.
“O Time, thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me t’ untie.”
– William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
The “Deep State”, by whatever name it goes, is neither a sole prerogative of the so-called “democracies”, nor did it appear just recently. Its history goes much, much deeper into the mists of times and coincides with the formation of the nation-states, where the ruling elites finally grew attached to the land where they and their clans of relatives and clients “served” their monarch, while ruling over said country. This crystallization of the top of the ruling elite had become the proverbial “wheels within wheels” (self oiled, by the way) which assured that after the mournful proclamation “The King is Dead!” there will be a smooth transition to the more joyful “Long live [another] King!”. To put it bluntly – they were the people who ensured that the shit gonna be done no matter rainstorm, flood, war or dynastic crisis. They were these often unaccredited people who ensured that.
But this line of logic down the road did get a logical development. If they are ensuring the smooth transition and continuation of country’s policies in the time of no rule, they can also ensure the same thing during the mis-rule. In the case when the monarch is lacking in, well, just about everything and cannot rule to the greater betterment of the Land, then it befalls to these fine specimens of the national elite to Do the Right Thing – rule as appropriate at the minimum, or replacing the monarch in question. And then you have to stretch the term “incompetent ruler” just a little bit once in a decade/century to end up with the ruling elite thinking itself indispensible. Welcome to the Deep State.
On the surface, the “Deep State” is good for the common people, because it proclaims itself the Mechanism of the State and oils it well for it to run to the betterment of the subjects. If we look at Russian history, it was certainly a case for the most of the time. No matter what happened in Moscow during the Times of Troubles, in the provinces the stuff was indeed done – taxes were collected, Tatar raids were fought off, Siberia got settled little by little. This detached bureaucracy was, indeed, a godsend for that era. Nizhny Novgorod, very important trade hub on Volga (needless to say – rich and yet unplundered by the vagaries of the Civil War) stayed loyal to this abstract idea of the Russian State embodied in whoever embodied said bureaucracy.
Nizhny Novgorod never supported any of the numerous claimants or pretenders, never sided with the foreigners in the hope to get something for itself – it has always rooted for the legitimate Czar of Russia, no matter how shitty he was, whether Boris Godunov, False Dmitry or Vasily “I’m totally not a crook” Shuiskiy. It was the betrayal of the part of said ruling elite in the form of “semiboyarschina”, who called the Polish prince Vladislav to become a ruler of the land, while toppling crappy but legitimate czar Vasily Shuisky (whom they forcibly made him a monk) which rose the ire of the entire of Russia, i.e. of the provinces which were up to the moment mostly silent as to what happened in Moscow and the Western part of the country. This resulted in the unlikely alliance of the well known and prosperous merchant Kuzma Minin and the battle-hardened noble prince Pozharsky, who, combining the resources of the (spared by the Troubles) parts of Russia and the military power of those willing to fight, saved Rus from the follies of its Deep State… Only to step aside and not interfere in the consequent events, when the same old crystallized upper layer of the ruling elite was “electing” a new dynasty to “serve” under.
The so-called “Deep State” with a different collection of actors kept working in/for Russia as time went by. From Peter the Great’s death in 1725 till his daughter Elizaveta’s enthronement in 1741 the Russian Empire lived through a series of palace coups, which gave the name to the entire Age and became a symbol for “Russian XVIII century”. Young and pretty Elizaveta Petrovna, upon toppling Anna Leopoldovna and the baby ruler Ivan VI, inherited not only the crown, but also several ongoing wars from her predecessors. And while the war with Sweden was hard to miss (with Swedish troops being just a few miles away from Saint Petersburg) it surely came as a surprise for the young empress when she was informed that Russia is at war with… Chukchi. In Chukotka. A rather vicious and brutal war, because Chukchi defined as the “people” (read: humans) only themselves, viewing all other human beings (be they other native tribes or the Russians) as “non-humans” and thus feeling nothing about massacring them in the most brutal way. But the thing is – no matter who was on the throne, the so-called “Deep State” kept functioning and ensuring that even a war in such far away province will be sustained and prosecuted to the greater good of the Land.
Now, for conspiracy,
I know not how it tastes; though it be disht
For me to try how.
– William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale
That the West (or, speaking pointedly – its leading Anglophonic part) has a Deep State that ensures the smooth run of the policy (defined, by sheer coincidence, by the members of the Deep State) for the betterment of the Land, is an obvious fact. When any (really – any) shrieking pundit of the West cries about Russia and “non-replaceable Regime” in any country which incurred the so-called progressives wrath at the moment (e.g. – Russia, again, we do that often), I only laugh. Who are these people to criticize the “Regime” here and wish for its downfall, if their countries are run by the same old persons and agglomerations of lobbyists no matter what the sham (and in capitalist countries they are mostly sham) election results tell?
One question you might ask though is when any particular country acquired a “Deep State” and whether it managed to survive via line of succession to this present day. In the case of kingdom of England, now politically correctly called the “United Kingdom”, it’s rather easy. The date would be the second half of XVI c. The English, former second-tier power-players of Europe, suddenly awakened to the chime of the Age of Exploration and Great Discoveries and shouldered their way into the New World. At the same time with the self-alleged “Virgin Queen” on the throne the question of “what’s next?” became indeed a life or death dilemma for many in the ruling elite. Even while the “Good Queen Bess” was still among the living, a certain number of the top-most nobles became engrossed in their (and their country’s) future prospects in the transition period… and beyond. This proto-Deep State (or, more likely, one of its elements) was known as the “School of the Night”, and it listed among its conspirators Sir Walter Raleigh, who in 1584 received a charter from Queen Elizabeth I allowing him to claim any territories in the New World that he explored which were currently outside the rule of “any Christian Prince”. They were also called a “school of atheism” (most likely due to study of natural philosophy, which in those days included things like anatomy lessons performed on stolen corpses, alchemy, and occultism).
O paradox? Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the school of night
– William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Walter Raleigh was a pirate, an alchemist, Warden of the Stannaries (who supervised tin mines of Cornwall), a grandstanding gigolo turned conspirator, and one of the leading lights of this group of occult and “atheistic” studies. Other co-conspirators of the “School of the Night” included Henry Percy the “Wizard Earl of Northumberland”, Christopher Marlowe (born in 1564, the same year as Percy – and Shakespeare), John Dee, poet Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Francis Bacon and other poets, mathematicians, alchemists, and explorers. Before Percy joined the group in the early 1590s (and moved its headquarters from Raleigh’s house at Sherburne in Dorset to Percy’s euphoniously named Sion House in London), its leading aristocratic figure was Lord Fernando Strange, the Earl of Derby. Lord Strange holds yet another qualification – he may have been the first patron to employ William Shakespeare.
Sir Francis Bacon served as Lord Chancellor of England, betrayed his benefactor Essex to a charge of treason, pled guilty himself to bribery and corruption, wrote books of essays and histories, codified the scientific method in Novum Organum and The New Atlantis, and died on Easter Sunday after catching pneumonia trying to freeze a chicken.
Sir Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, was known as the “Wizard Earl” for his scientific (including alchemical) experiments and enormous library. He patronized poets Marlowe and Hariot. He was also a crypto-Catholic, and seventh in line to the throne. Percy collected the manuscripts of the Italian heretic and astronomer Giordano Bruno, who may also have been a spy for Walsingham (“turned” during his visit to England in 1583-84), and who may also (along with John Dee) have been a model for Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.
Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, which tells the story of a band of aristocrats (led by a “King Ferdinand”) who withdraw from the world to study arithmetic, astronomy, and geometry, may have been a coded reference to the School of Night – or it may have been written as a private performance for them, and encoded certain mystical symbolism within its discursive allusions (much as The Winter’s Tale might have).
They were the Elite and the top-tier of the intelligentsia, a stratum which lends its intellectual and artistic acumen to those who are paying, for them to propagate the ideas of their paymasters. The magus John Dee, a “supernatural” advisor to Elizabeth I, seems to have invented the concept of ‘magical imperialism’ and infected an entire generation with it. Dee coined the phrase “British Empire” (note – “British”, not “English”!). Thus The Tempest was a propaganda-piece for the new ideology.
One thing the School liked was tobacco – an addictive weed which still keeps the people in its thrall while enriching its producers. Raleigh introduced it in court, and Marlowe and his crowd made it popular in lower society. Tobacco, of course, is the primary crop of North Carolina and Virginia (where England strived to set up its first colonies with… mixed results).
So here before you are the types and characters of the people that usually make up the Deep State. Not a beautiful sight. It’s fortunate to observe them in the “wild” before they manage to cloak themselves from the external observance, becoming all too powerful and invisible, so the people have to guess now – which of the public figures DO belong to the Cabal?
The only way for us to peek behind a curtain is by the valiant efforts of the “whistleblowers”, laying bare all nefarious schemes and secrets of the Establishment. They tend to have very short and messy lives though. Which brings us to the crux of the matter and to a person I wanted to talk about for all these weeks.
“If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.”
– William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Christopher Marlowe, aged 29, the father of English blank verse and the most successful playwright of his day, was a playwright and poet, reputed atheist (granted in XVI c. England “atheism” covered more than simply lack of belief in God, as any unorthodox, even unorthodox Christian, religious fell under that term), bisexual, magician, rakehell, duelist, tobacco-user, spy, and counterfeiter. He fit into the “School of Night” right like a hand fits into a glove. On 30 May 1593, just over 424 years ago, he died in a tavern fight over, allegedly, the trivial issue as to who’s gonna pay the bill (“recknynge” in that time’s parlance). An accident – nothing to see here. Move along, citizens!
Only there is a lot to see here for those who know how to look (mere possession of eyeballs in our time is no guarantee for that). Kit Marlowe worked for the famed spymaster of the Queen – Sir Francis Walsingham (whose daughter was married to another member of the “School of the Night” – Sir Philip Sidney) and then to his nephew Sir Thomas. Among his bosom buddies with whom he gathered in that tavern were Robert Poley (a senior case-officer and agent provocateur in Sir Robert Cecil’s spy network) and Nicholas Skeres (performed a similar function for the eventually treasonous Earl of Essex). His killer (who acted in “self-defense”, no doubt!) Ingram Frizer was a confidence man, loan shark, and general lowlife with intelligence connections of his own.
Ironically, it’s not Marlowe’s spying that got him into this predicament and required for such a gathering the representatives of various spy agencies. It’s through his presumed “atheism”. Marlowe, at the time of his murder, was on parole under a charge of atheism, incitement to riot, and treason. When Marlowe, a confidant of the powerful people and who was privy to some very sensitive data, proved too adept at using his own court connections to avoid the frame, someone called a “summit meeting” of spies connected to the various court figures: Poley for Cecil, Frizer for Walsingham, Skeres for Essex, and Marlowe for Raleigh and the School of Night. Either as a preplanned assassination (in which Poley and Frizer turned their coats, and not for the first time), or an argument over politics, Frizer stabbed Marlowe through the eye with his dagger (a common killing maneuver in Elizabethan knife-fighting, not the “accidental blow” of the inquest at all) and the three survivors concocted a plausible cover story (also not for the first time).
When a man’s verses cannot be understood, nor a man’s good wit seconded with the forward child Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.”
– William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Even at the time, some people didn’t believe in the official version. The poets George Chapman and Thomas Nashe referred to Marlowe’s “divine Muse” (subtly refuting the charges of atheism) and implied that he died “for liberty of speech”. But the most opaque such epitaph (and keep in mind that defending someone who died under investigation of treasonous atheism was an exceptionally brave thing to do, and an exceptionally stupid thing to do openly) comes in Shakespeare’s (himself a client and money receiver from the School of Night folks) As You Like It, in the form of the above riddle spoken by the “wise fool” Touchstone. The “great reckoning in a little room” is the killing of Marlowe (whose “verses cannot be understood”), ostensibly over the “reckoning” but in actuality over some “great” cause. The play specifically alludes to Marlowe (quoting and referring to his poem Hero and Leander), to make sure the allusion hits home with the audience. The name of the fool also alludes to Marlowe’s careers as spy and counterfeiter: a touchstone is a black stone that changes color when rubbed against true gold – a veritable “tool of the trade” for such a person.
There’s even more going on than that in As You Like It. It has a symbolic Duke with an exiled court and this Duke, significantly unnamed, rules the Forest of Arden living “like the old Robin Hood of England”. Shakespeare’s audience knew that the Robin Hood plays are associated with Whitsuntide – the season of mock kingly sacrifices and fertility rituals when Christopher Marlowe was killed for a “great reckoning”. Now, it’s true that May 30 was a Wednesday in 1593, four days before Whitsunday. It’s interesting that the main document in the government’s case against Marlowe, the so-called “Baines Note”, was delivered three days before his death – and dated three days after it by the clerk of the Privy Council, i.e. on Whitsunday’s eve.
Deep State Conspiracies are usually very careful to erase all traces to them, lest the ignorant and unwary would raise a hue and cry about such discovery. We are incredibly lucky to know about the “School of Night”, but what we know are just parcels and pieces of the whole picture – but we still see its ears, like the ears of the rabbit in the magician’s hat.
Just as Shakespeare was not at liberty to disappoint his paying customers, only occasionally managing to “get the crap past the radar”, so was his rival Marlowe, who had to resort to Aesopian language when trying to talk about the nature of the group of the influential individuals he was stuck with. Best example – his Doctor Faustus. The play has been seen both as an attempt to understand the Renaissance scientific mindset epitomized by Raleigh – and as a bitter reaction to it, identifying Dee-style magic (and entire unnatural state of the proto-Deep State of the “School of Night”) with Satanism. Was this why Marlowe’s protectors turned on him? To cover up their secrets and cynicism of “the ends justify the means” without any moral compass to guide them, a thing barely any different from the Devil-worship for any Christian person of the time?
We don’t know. For 424 years Marlow has been dead.
As I said in the beginning – IT exists. It goes by a number of names – Deep State, Regime, Cabal, Conspiracy, Oligarchy, Establishment etc. Barring a Revolution and a total purge of the power structure, you (personally – you here, dear reader) can do absolutely nothing with it. And you shouldn’t. IT exists for you. IT is your, ha-ha, “friend”. IT is the reason you have a state around you, and not a war of all against all (read: libertardian utopia) due to its failures at one of the bifurcation points in your country’s past. Embrace IT. Live with IT.
Look out your window. I hope you will see something nice here, reminding you of the upcoming summer. Whitsunday is upon us, but the 30th of May was also a feast day – of sorts. It was the beginning of the Ancient Roman festival honoring Hecate the Three-Faced, Queen of Magic, Crossroads and Underworld. On that day Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, falsely prosecuted for “heresy and witchcraft” only to be rehabilitated centuries later and proclaimed as a Saint. Oft quoted here “Twelfth Night” despite referring to a Winter holy feast takes place during the height of Summer. Go gather your friends, no matter how many, and form a “conspiracy” of your own – to go out to nature and enjoy the summer to the fullest. As you like it.