In times of universal deceit, telling
the truth is a revolutionary act.
         - George Orwell


Napoleon once observed that "history" is a set of lies agreed upon. In an era of ubiquitous fake news and information warfare, this has never been more true. The very concept of objective truth in history is fading out of our world. Pure propaganda and outright lies are passing into our history textbooks as unquestioned truth, condemning future generations to false views about historical reality. But the task of sifting through the lies and propaganda is overwhelming, limited by the ambition and time constraints of most observors. Only those who have dedicated their lives to sorting reality from falsehood are qualified to rewrite "consensus" history as a duty to humanity. The contributors to this site endeavor to do just that.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Rise of the Dream-State: Transhumanism, Postgenderism, Brain-Centricism, Psychic Fragmentation

 Part 2 of 3, By Jason Horsley, June 6, 2017, reposted on Kunstler.com

“Transhumanism and Transgenderism enjoy a close relationship
 due to mutual interest in enhancement technology.”
–Hank Pellissier, “Transhumanism and Transgenderism”

      The overlap between transgenderism and transhumanism is fundamental, and because of that it seems to be invisible to many people. I think this overlap between the rejection of gender and the rejection of the body (and therefore of humanness) shows an underlying fabric to modern ideology. This is probably why so many intelligent people support the “trans” movement without really understanding it. With transhumanism, the message is writ large enough that no one can miss it.


The above quote comes from The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. This is their Mission Statement:

“The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies is a nonprofit think tank which promotes ideas about how technological progress can increase freedom, happiness, and human flourishing in democratic societies. We believe that technological progress can be a catalyst for positive human development so long as we ensure that technologies are safe and equitably distributed. We call this a ‘technoprogressive’ orientation. Focusing on emerging technologies that have the potential to positively transform social conditions and the quality of human lives–especially ‘human enhancement technologies’–the IEET seeks to cultivate academic, professional, and popular understanding of their implications, both positive and negative, and to encourage responsible public policies for their safe and equitable use.”

The site promotes “Posthuman Gender: A Non-Binary Future,” and states that “Transhumanists extoll transgender people as prescient pioneers of morphological freedom and technological enhancement” (Benjamin Abbott). Postgenderism has its own Wikipedia page. It is described there as

“a diverse social, political and cultural movement whose adherents affirm the voluntary elimination of gender in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assistive reproductive technologies. Advocates of postgenderism argue that the presence of gender roles, social stratification, and cogno-physical disparities and differences are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Given the radical potential for advanced assistive reproductive options, postgenderists believe that sex for reproductive purposes will either become obsolete, or that all post-gendered humans will have the ability, if they so choose, to both carry a pregnancy to term and ‘father’ a child, which, postgenderists believe, would have the effect of eliminating the need for definite genders in such a society.

“Postgenderism as a cultural phenomenon has roots in feminism, masculism, along with the androgyny, metrosexual/technosexual and transgender movements. However, it has been through the application of transhumanist philosophy that postgenderists have conceived the potential for actual morphological changes to the members of the human species and how future humans in a postgender society will reproduce. In this sense, it is an offshoot of transhumanism, posthumanism, and futurism.”

Apparently, one of the earliest expressions of postgenderism was Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex:

“[The] end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. . . . The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would be born to both sexes equally, or independently of either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally” (1970, p. 11).

Wikipedia’s description continues:

“In regard to potential assistive reproductive technologies, it is believed that reproduction can continue to happen outside of conventional methods, namely intercourse and artificial insemination. Advances such as human cloning, parthenogenesis and artificial wombs may significantly extend the potential for human reproduction. Many argue that posthuman space will be more virtual than real. Individuals may consist of uploaded minds living as data patterns on supercomputers or users engaged in completely immersive virtual realities. Postgenderists contend that these types of existences are not gender-specific thus allowing individuals to morph their virtual appearances and sexuality at will.”

Both transhumanism and the majority (though not all) of the arguments for transgenderism as a lifestyle seem to be dependent on a pretty much total (100% total in the case of transhumanism) denial of the existence of the unconscious, i.e., the psyche. This is more than a little strange, if we consider that the idea of an identity-self independent of biology most obviously corresponds with the religious idea of the soul, and soul = psyche. Yet the new trans-ideology is secular and irreligious, even anti-religious or (dare I say) “satanic,” insofar as it effectively denies the existence of any reality beyond that of the personal self and its (culturally conditioned) preferences.

So what is this identity-self that’s supposedly independent of biology? What is it that is supposed to have the “right” to be able to “choose” what sexual or other identity it is given, by society, surgery, and technology? Who is this hypothetical “person” in search of a true identity independent of the cruel impositions of biology and/or a blind and indifferent God?

The question of the need for sex-change related to “being a woman in a man’s body” (or vice versa) surely requires the existence of something pre-existing conception, or at least pre-existing the determination of gender in the fetus, albeit a mysterious something that itself has gender (or sex). The idea that souls are gendered is not one I’ve heard of in metaphysical or religious systems, and as far as I know, people who believe in reincarnation generally believe they have had (or that it is usual to have had) past lives as both sexes.

For various reasons, however, the existence of a soul-psyche (which one trans-commenter at this blog called “ephemeral rubbish”) would seem to throw into disarray most if not all of the arguments for surgically and chemically induced sex change as a 100% healthy life choice. Not the least of these reasons is that a psychological view invariably brings up questions as to what may have caused an individual to feel they were born in the wrong gender body–what sort of early trauma, sexual interference, psychic enmeshment with a parent, or other cultural factors might be behind such feelings.

At best, the “trans” argument is zero psychology and all biology, and yet it is largely reliant on the biology of the brain, i.e., on neurology. It argues that biology–in some individuals–is literally divided against itself, that the brain has somehow ended up in the wrong gender body. In this imagined confusion of interests, the brain is boss, and the body becomes its bitch, to be re-engineered into whatever forms best suit the brain’s particular needs. Where those needs come from, if not biology (i.e., the body), is left unaddressed. In fact, as the psychologist quoted in part one testified, all such essential questions go out the window once the notion of a choosing identity-self independent of biology replaces that of an unconscious psyche indwelling the body, or trying to, and as the many, myriad ways in which that psyche can become fragmented through trauma are redacted by the Sovereign Identity Police.

The Trans-Agenda is everywhere. The primary newspeak-doublethink premise of the Identity Police is, like my brother’s satanic credo: you are what you pretend to be. There is no biological difference between the sexes, they argue, because biology is a state of mind. Do not try to ask, “If there is no difference then why do you need a sex change or hormonal treatment?” To do so will only identify you as a thought criminal in need of correction and re-orientation. The only acceptable response to the Identity Police is “Lovely, lovely, lovely!”

So what are the real world results of the trans-mantra of “Don’t dream it, be it”? Besides the socially enforced insanity that gives male predators access to female bathrooms simply if they wear a dress (or say they are women), and access to children by self-identifying as six-year old girls, and so on; besides the countless children being roped into corporate greed-fueled medical programs for sexual reorientation; there is also a growing pressure for the rest of us–otherwise impartial observers to a fascinating cultural trend that threatens to pull the rug out from underneath our every idea of what is real or true–caught inside an ever-shrinking social space where it becomes harder and harder to say–or even think–the things we feel are true for us to say and think. These of course are the things most essential for us to say, even to the point it may be tempting to say them when there is no one specific to say them to, to say: “No, I will not accept this version of reality simply because I am told I must, or that I am filled with hate if I do not accept and affirm it. I will not ‘get with the program’ when the program is designed to strip me of those last cubic centimeters between my ears (or is that legs?) that even George Orwell let Winston Smith keep. In a word: No.”

What I am personally saying No to is not people who want to relieve their suffering via medical-corporate intervention. I have neither the power nor any business telling these people what they should or should not do to or with their bodies. What I am saying No to is much larger than that. I am saying No to the essential goal of Total Disembodiment, to the drive to become digitalized data with synthetic bodies, or synthetic bodies with digital data, or whatever the technology is offering us. I am saying No to those toxic ancestral fragments that wish to ride us like donkeys into an eternal life of living hell in which every last vestige of humanness has been replaced by an inorganic machine’s idea of perfected identity freedom of choice. I am saying no to a Brave New World, cerca 1984, in which humans have become the unrecognized endangered species on the planet and where our conquerors are invisible, subtle, and pervasive. I am saying No to the rise of the Dream State–without any illusions that my No will make the slightest bit of difference to anyone but myself; but content that that difference is enough.

Photo of gender reassignment surgery taken down on request, for being too “shocking.”

“Why one has to have a body, I don’t know. A necessary appendage to the head, I suppose. I always wished I didn’t have a body. I suppose everyone does.”
–Paul Bowles, in 1984

From the–admittedly problematic–more metaphysical view, there are questions about whether a person experiencing gender-identity confusion might be possessed by the soul of an ancestor or other non-physical/inorganic entities with their own agendas, and so forth. As far as I know, none of these questions are being raised in the mainstream debate about transgender, since they are “unscientific” questions, and never mind that the idea of a gendered self is itself rather unscientific. The scientific or pseudo-scientific rationale for transgender surgery and chemical intervention has to do with–surprise surprise–the brain, and the belief that sometimes a person may be biologically hardwired wrong, as a male brain in a female body or vice versa. Here are some of the arguments I found in a huffy Huffington Post article, one that is admittedly mostly ideological gas, posing as science: “Do Your Homework, Dr. Ablow”:

“Gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender), sexual orientation (hetero-, homo-, or bisexuality), pedophilia, and the risks for neuropsychiatric disorders are programmed into our brain during early development. There is no proof that postnatal social environment has any crucial effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.” Swaab and Bao, Neuroscience in the 21st century, 2013

[Why is it important to stress this “no proof for environmental factors”? The same reason the Wikipedia page on homosexuality insists–countless times–that homosexuality is never caused by negative environmental factors (while admitting it might relate to positive ones): because the goal is normalization, and the means is the abolishment of all psychological interpretations of human behavior in favor of purely mechanistic ones that, paradoxically, emphasize the idea of human beings’ right to choose to pursue their happiness.]

“However, when the process of genital development and of brain sexual development does not match the same sex, females with a male brain and vice versa can arise. These transsexual people have problems with their gender identity and have the conviction of being born in the wrong body.” Worrell, Master Thesis, Faculty of Medicine, Universiteit Utrecht, 2010

“It thus appears conceivable that due to local hormone dependent changes during development at least some areas of the brain may follow a different course than the genitals during the process of sexual differentiation. A partial or even complete brain-body sex reversal may eventually be the result.” Kruijver, Dissertation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Amsterdam, 2004

The author of the article concludes by saying “It’s very unlikely that we will develop a ‘soul-o-meter’ that measures the gender of a person’s inner essence. However, the body of evidence showing biological origins of gender dysphoria, of having a mis-matched brain and body, is overwhelming.”

This is basically a lie. There may be some evidence but there is also lots of evidence showing the reverse, that there is really no such thing as “brain-gender.” When it comes to brains, there seems to be a free market on theories. See for example “Debunking the ‘gender brain’ myth,” from August 2013: “many pop science presentations claim that neuroscience has shown important differences between boys’ and girls’ brains, and sometimes suggest the two should be taught differently, and possibly separately. “These commentators appear to be getting a lot of attention” [but] there are three problems with this trend, which can have damaging consequences–not only in classrooms, but at home and work. [C]laims are often made on the basis of isolated brain imaging studies that have not been replicated, and in some cases have found to be wrong.”

Or “Men and women do not have different brains, claims neuroscientist,” from Mar 2014: “Neuroscientist Prof Gina Rippon claims male and female brains only differ because of the relentless ‘drip, drip, drip’ of gender stereotyping. . . .  ‘The bottom line is that saying there are differences in male and female brains is just not true. There is pretty compelling evidence that any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology,’ said Prof Rippon. . . . ‘What often isn’t picked up on is how plastic and permeable the brain is. It is changing throughout out [sic] lifetime.’”

Or “The brains of men and women aren’t really that different, study finds,” from Science Mag November 2015: “The majority of the brains were a mosaic of male and female structures, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

And from the New Scientist that same month, “A welcome blow to the myth of distinct male and female brains”: “A major study that undermines the damaging idea that male and female brains are fundamentally different could be a game-changer, says Gina Rippon. One of the biggest barriers to equality is crumbling, thanks to a study that blows away the misconception that male and female brains are distinct. . . . Continuing to think in terms of simple male-female dichotomies is flying in the face of the evidence and will lead to poor research and misleading findings.”

And so on. Ironically, this data is probably as ideologically fueled as the data supporting gendered brains. For people still interested in the cause of women’s rights and asserting their absolute equality to men, these findings are cited as “an overwhelming body of evidence” that there is no difference between women and men outside of their reproductive organs. I don’t personally believe that either, and fortunately, none of my arguments depend on proving or disproving the idea of “brain gender.” For one thing, even if someone’s brain might sometimes be hard-wired for a different gender body than the one it ends up in, this still leaves the question of how and why (to what end) unanswered.

A more complex and nuanced attempt to source the transsexual phenomenon in human brains is Ramachandra’s work on phantom penises:

‘‘We hypothesise that, perhaps due to a dissociation during embryological development, the brains of transsexuals are ‘hard-wired’ in manner, which is opposite to that of their external morphological sex. In other words, they are not merely being metaphorical when they claim there is a mismatch between their internal gender-identity and their external somatic gender.

We also predict that some female-to-male transsexuals will have a phantom penis even although there is not one physically there. We believe that this is an easily testable hypothesis, which, if correct, would offer insights into both the basis of transsexuality and provide farther evidence that we have a gender specific body image, with a strong innate component that is ‘hard-wired’ into our brains. This would furnish us with a better understanding the mechanism by which nature and nurture interact to link the brain-based internal body image with external sexual morphology. We would emphasise here that transsexuality should not be regarded as ‘abnormal’ but instead as part of the spectrum of human behaviour.’’
This last line seems a little odd for a scientific paper and suggests that, once again, there is an ideological motivation (or funding) behind Ramachandra’s research. The question of normality and abnormality is a sociological and philosophical question, but it is beyond the scope of science, which works by proving hypotheses via amassing empirical data, not by making social judgments. Showing a psychological and social phenomenon as having correlations with observable brain function does not prove it is normal, obviously; to do that one would first have to prove that the particular brain function being correlated to is itself normal. And if making a case for commonality equaled normality, then it could be argued that child sexual abuse or domestic murder is normal. The only way I know of to prove normality, so-called, is to show that it has some evolutionary or social benefit. So far, I know of no evidence being offered for the social or evolutionary benefits of transsexuals, besides, ‘‘live and let live’’ and ‘‘variety is the spice of life,’’ which, while laudable sentiments, fall short of scientific arguments.

Nonetheless, Ramachandra’s proposal of an infant body-image whose gender sometimes contradicts the biological gender of the infant is certainly an interesting one. But once again, no cause is being offered for this strange phenomenon; a curious anomaly is being presented as the cause of another curious anomaly, then signed off with a nonscientific assertion aimed at promoting tolerance of social anomalies (once again, I am not arguing against tolerance of social anomalies, only pointing out that this isn’t a scientific question but a moral, social, and philosophical one). In an interview given by Ramachandra, he presents his phantom penis hypothesis and then talks at length about mirror neurons (a subject of much interest to me, which I have written about elsewhere). I am not entirely clear as to what connection he is drawing between infant body image and mirror neurons, but it does raise the possibility of this body image (whether or not it is at odds with the infant’s biology) being sourced outside of itself (as Lacan suggests when he equates body image with the development of ego, during the mirror stage of a child’s development). As Ramachandra describes them, mirror neurons ‘‘dissolve the barrier between you and other people.’’ How much more might this be the case with an infant watching its mother, out of whose body it emerged, and with whom it is still psychically entangled? Of course, there are many variables to consider here, and much of this information is new to me. I am currently just ‘‘brain-storming’’ in an attempt to keep this exploration as comprehensive as possible, and with the hope of more fully exploring these ideas later.
Regarding all the brain talk so popular today, a fundamental problem, in my view, is that it fails to address the (particularly western) assumption that we can be more fully identified with our brains than our bodies, i.e., that our brains determine how we experience ourselves more than our total bodies do. This is a very recent idea, and one for which there is no particular basis, only an unquestioned emphasis on neuroscience in explorations of consciousness, and the assumption which led to that emphasis. (Investigate closely many of the brain-centric arguments and you will find yourself alone inside an empty circle of logic.) Very few traditions besides the modern western scientific (or scientistic) one sees the brain as the sole center of consciousness, and there is plenty of evidence for the heart, intestines, and other organs–not to mention the cells of the body–containing awareness. This seems to me so self-evident that it feels odd even to have to write it down. But for some reason, we in the west are quite sold on the idea of the brain as the location of the “self.” Probably because it is located behind our faces.

As others, such as Jordan Peterson, have pointed out, there is an inherent contradiction in the entire rationale of transgenderism, which is that it rests on the assertion that an individual can be whatever sex they say they are–even without the surgery–because sex-gender is a state of mind. But if this is really the case, why are transsexuals insisting on the need–and the right–for surgery and hormones? For that matter, why insist that others go along with our beliefs if we are so sure of it ourselves? The transgender movement is contingent not merely on a few individuals changing their gender, but on changing everyone else’s ideas about–and experience of–gender. In this sense, the transgender movement may be a kind of delivery device designed–consciously or not–to infiltrate society and upturn one of the last bastions of certainty we have left–that of our biological makeup and function. If so, then what appears to be the means (normalizing gender confusion) may in fact be the end.

In the meantime, there is a massive amount of data–albeit largely denied, suppressed, or ignored by mainstream commentators–that points towards centuries of psychological and emotional incest, child sexual abuse both organized and random, and government programs of trauma-based mind control for the creation of alters or sub-personalities. There is evidence that all of this suffuses our culture at the deepest and widest of levels, and that no one born into our world is immune to it. So to imagine that a phenomenon such as transgenderism, transsexuality, or gender confusion emerged whole and pristine from inside our culture, without in any way being symptomatic of it, is a feat of doublethink of Promethean proportions. What sort of society embraces a program of corporate-financed mutilation and drug dependency posing as spiritual emancipation and individual empowerment? One that is made up of traumatized and fragmented individuals who can’t tell the difference between wholeness and fragmentation, and who prefer to get behind technology that allows for the effective suppression of all fragments that interfere with the will of the fragment most driven–or socially empowered–to create its own reality. The fragment that chooses to reign in hell, rather than serve in heaven.

Of course, there is still the possibility that gender confusion, as a more flamboyant and lurid expression of neurodiversity in general, is something other than, or as well as, a pathological response to a fractured culture and is really a spiritual-alchemical solution to it. But if so, then we might well ask why it is currently feeding into the very same economic and political social engineering programs that most benefit from perpetuating the fragmentation? We might also ask, what is the evolutionary gain of individuals born into the wrong gender body who must then have surgery to fix the mistake? The only systems this seems to benefit are corporate systems of control such as the medical, governmental, and media industry. It’s certainly feasible–likely even–that such anomalies might have something to bring to the species in terms of an experience of dual-sex consciousness inside a single-sex body. Some people have claimed this in relation to Native American beliefs, suggesting a correlation between transsexual types and shaman types. But those early forerunners–if they existed–didn’t have surgery to switch sexes, and surely the point of such an anomalous experience of consciousness is not to switch from one sex to the other, but to find a way to reconcile that tension and allow for the harmonization of masculine and feminine principles within the body? (And anyway, wouldn’t it make more sense for these two-spirit people to be surgically transformed into hermaphrodites?) If we are to believe that Nature/consciousness is attempting to mutate and evolve in some way via this gender confusion, then how exactly is it a good thing for human ingenuity to intervene and “correct” Nature’s experiment by surgically altering the bodies involved? Is it all about proving once again how necessary humans are to get Nature back on track–back towards capitalist expansion, space travel, chemical dependency, and total disembodiment?

Transhumanism, little and large, does away with all these annoying questions by bringing it down to a viewpoint in which the body is simply a machine that can be tinkered with however necessary or possible, in order to better suit the needs of its “driver.” But in the absence of a soul-psyche or unconscious self (or Self), who or what is this driver? The answer, once again, is the constructed identity or socialized alter-self. But if this constructed social identity is a fragment of the greater psyche, then on its own terms (as an autonomous, independent self), it’s not even real because it’s only an unconscious vehicle for the greater drives of psyche and body. While it remains unconscious and under the delusion of a separate autonomous existence, its wants and needs cannot be healthy or constructive wants and needs. They are drives rooted in trauma, a fight-or-flight reaction that was so severely and repeatedly triggered in early childhood that it got stuck at the “on” position, until the body armor became the wo/man, the fragment the whole.

I grew up watching it happen (I think we all did, but then we forgot). I have seen the consequences up close and personal. My late brother’s credo was: “I am a lie who points to the truth, and the truth is that we are exactly what we pretend to be.” I agree with the part about the lie, but I don’t hear any truth in it. All I hear is a shrill and protracted wail of human despair, hoping desperately to pass for a victory cry.

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