Memes, and Grinning Idiot Press
Or
Why I have been studying Vampires since 1972

1993 Grinning Idiot Press
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(813)321-2120
Why GRINNING IDIOT PRESS?
      At one time I was involved in a somewhat extreme version of Christianity; I joined in my innocent and ignorant teenage years when I was vulnerable. The group I fell under the sway of is in the outer territory of cultdom; I will not name names. Somewhere along the line I forgot to turn off my bright and inquiring mind, which led to no end of trouble for me. At first I simply wanted to learn all about the faith, but after I learned a thing I thought about it and what it meant and how it related to other things in the faith I was taught.
      After discovering that when I criticized certain ideas and doctrines and tried to analyze them logically in debate with respected authorities in the faith, I elicited irrational behavior from them, which surprised me immensely. At the time, I associated with this group, and considered myself one of the good guys, like them. My motive was to dispel apparent contradiction; it never dawned on me (how naive) that there were things thou shalt not question. When I criticized or questioned certain things or pointed out apparent contradictions, the results were amazing and VERY traumatic. I thereafter did my research in private and slowly came to certain conclusions and discoveries which were NOT approved right thinking. I came to the conclusion that they were not very sane, and that a few of them were downright irrational. Further research led me to understand the compartmenting behaviour, where a cultist leads one part of their life by one definition of logic, which is NOT applied to all parts. If I fixed my brakes by this sort of sanity, the ride would be exciting, to say the least. In short, I burned out.
      This led to a year long bout of depression and internal conflict as my rational mind came to grips with habitual mental behavior that was difficult to stop. I came to understand that I had to some extent been programmed, and that I had assisted it, if only by default. It took some time to come to trust and like myself after that, and to understand what happened and how. I had been ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN I was right, only to later discover I had been in error. Self trust, and faith in general, became VERY iffy things.
      It was easy to ascribe evil intentions to these people, but on examination of several with carefully worded questions and long term observation of their behavior, I satisfied myself that they in fact were as programmed as was I, or more so. This left me wondering how such things come to be, until I read certain works by Robert A. Wilson, Dawkins, and others.
      After I had learned and discovered many things, got my facts and head (a little more) straight, and developed a measure of understanding, I engaged in a series of discussion groups and debates with several members of this community of like minded individuals, some of whom were respected scholars in their system of thought. At this time, my theories were still quite primitive, and I was not very certain about what would happen, which was part of why I did it. The results were remarkable. They displayed an amazing selective blindness to evidences, a fascinating selective memory concerning evidences produced, and utterly defective recall of the evenings in question several months later when I spoke to the organizer at a party. I remain convinced they were being spontaneous and NOT intending to deceive me.
      An associate insists they are liars, and dishonest men pursuing an agenda of power. Concerning 90% of them, I disagree. People do not react that quickly when their reactions are not preplanned (as they did not know what to expect), and are deliberately chosen to play a role supporting some ulterior motive. Their emotions do not become so intense when faked as to raise blood pressure (with attendant flushing), produce sweat, fidgeting, and other body english. These people really meant it, however irrational their favored persuasions. They are in effect captives of coherent information systems which have subverted their ability to deliberate, to THINK; they are `possessed' by what are called MEMES, information viruses. A popular counter culture term for such is robots. Those with limited or total immunity who use them to control robots, and are to some extent aware they are doing it, are termed vampires, a term invented by an author. PSYCHIC vampires, as they drain off free will and enslave minds. I refine such terms in a moment. Cult lords are vampires.
      When I spoke to these robots, they seemed to ignore anything I said and spoke and acted as if I was somehow mentally impaired (improperly programmed?), and had to be led to the truth gently by the hand, like some sort of a grinning idiot (a term I heard descriptive of simpletons in my child hood from my friend next door Carl Cleback). Fascinating. Were they truly liars, or fools who really and truly mean it? (Yes, I later found out.)
      Investigating further, I came across more of the writings of Robert Anton Wilson which pointed out to me that there is in men a thing Leary calls the reality grid, a system of information whereby we interpret all raw information coming in from the senses as important or trivial; it also helps us determine WHAT the information means. I was on to something. Another work, The Selfish Gene by Dawkins introduced an idea and a word, the MEME, a coherent system of information which tends to `hang together' and propagate through society, existing pretty much for its own sake. Some are harmless, or even beneficial, such as the `stop, drop, and roll' poem and song invented by the Canadian government. (IN BRIEF, it reminds people whose clothing is on fire to NOT run in panic, but instead, stop, lie down, and roll the fire out. Cool?)
      I came to believe that many people are robots controlled by memes. A few are partially or totally immune to their chosen virus, but continue to associate with them and the participating robots for the bennies of prestige, power, money, and sometimes even nookie, these I term vampires. Highly successful ones I call Vampire Lords. The ones who are infected without knowledge of it are the robots. Some admitted the programming but did not know what they were doing. They are still robots. They are not particularly awake. Vampires have some partial awareness of what is up at least; robots do not. They are oblivious, and are controlled by whatever got into their minds. If that data included some defensive software, they will resist further programming by unauthorized sources. The control loop for a robot is externalized with random sources and programming, or a specific source and program for the `possessed' robot, the lackey of a vampire, a predatory neuromancer. Some of them are very good at it. Jim Jones was one such. Unfortunately, he was not immune to his virus, and succumbed to the self destruct program he created. He would not have been executed; we would have certainly found him insane. Half assed neuromancers are dangerous. To themselves.
      People who control the programming of their own minds are called occultists or heretics or neuromancers or free spirits. People whose programs are sourced and defined by outside agents are ROBOTS. People WITHOUT programs in their subconscious minds are totally insane, or dead. People who define other people's programming may be consulting technicians, but if they do it to define that other person to their tastes, particularly to their benefit, they are practicing vampires.
      Preprogrammed behavior which preserves life is VERY useful when you are filled with panic and the deliberative mind is running in circles screaming. The meme which allows you to remain standing erect while lost in thought is a complex and carefully structured meme. You invested years of work in developing it. It is a benign, unaggressive, and useful program dwelling now in the subconscious mind. Such skills are very useful. Everything they teach you in boot camp is ideally engraved on your brain stem for when seconds are far too long to take to decide and the wind from the grenades is blowing your sweat soaked hair dry and you're so scared the urine is running down your pant leg -- THAT is why you drill and practice until you DREAM how to field strip a rifle blindfolded. MAYBE your D.I. knew what he was doing?
      Others have NOTHING to do with the well being of persons they infect, and are simply self replicating for their own sake. The simplest was invented by Dawkins, and is titled `Say me'. SAY ME! There; I've done it; you are now infected with an information virus, a harmless one. Say me. Granted, it's so simple there is little to no reward for playing the sayme mind game, but there it is, and even so simple a meme has surprising persistence and propagation. Others are indeed seductive, even enjoyable to the mind they are subverting, but are irrational say me and harmful, either to the host, those around the host, or both.
      Obviously there are many sorts or religion (and politics) which are unrational systems of self propagating information systems `riding' host humans. Nazi fascism is such a meme, a large and complex one; so is irrational compulsive screaming emotional manipulative socialism, the sort that is sacred and therefore may not be criticized; it is politically incorrect to question it, disagree with it, or question it critically. (There is a conservativism like this too, a feminism, a macho masculine male superiority thing, a white thing, a black thing, an Islamic thing, an Atheistic thing, and so-on; each is equally irrational, and is also a meme; I am sure you can name religious groups like this. They are sometimes thought of as cults, but ALL of them are memes.) These memes invade using pseudo-rational trickery, outright brain washing, punishment for criticism, and anything else that bypasses rational examination, such as mental ignorance or sloth.
      Many are subverted simply because they do not know better, such as the uninformed, the naive, cowards who prefer not to perceive than to resist emotional pressure, those who cannot stand the emotional stress of rejection, and children. The politely courageous one who knows that there are no propositions which may not be doubted and examined, who is willing to risk rejection, who trusts in the process of thought, who knows that ideas have consequences and that words have meanings, such a person is highly resistant to memes -- and very rare. They are declared nonexistent, called every name in the book, and lied about by meme infested persons. The meme victim even believes their own dishonest statements, because they are being enslaved to illusions, and the more so the easier it is to believe one's own lies. Technically, they are insane; they cannot differentiate between reality and unreality, good and evil. As their compartmenting of the mind progresses, actual multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia is quite possible, although few push it this far. Instinct is a powerful counterbalance, and keeps many souls alive mostly on autopilot, while they keep repeating approved programs and mantras. Lest I be be received as an arch-Atheist, I also mean programmed robots such as slavish fans of many popular figures, such as Rush Limbaugh, Ayn Rand, Anita Bryant, Jim Jones, Ronald Reagan, and Jane Fonda.
      Rational analysis, PAYING ATTENTION, and an unwillingness to accept on a basis of emotional pressure are strong serums say me against these viruses. Say me. Of course, some say me viruses are harmless and even fun SAY ME to play with. Maybe. JUST REMEMBER: If you know you're doing it, you're not schizophrenic.
      Some memes are without a doubt destructive, such as those associated with Jim Jones, Herr Hitler, Bulemia, Anorexia, `BoB', and Alcoholism rooted in psychological disturbances. Almost everyone is to a limited extent controlled by memes not of their deliberate choosing, just as we all carry viruses we are partially resistant to (and some we are not but are benign; they simply get in, reproduce, we spread them, we evict the current crop, they take root elsewhere, and life goes on). There are many types of memes. They exist for their own sake. Usually.
      As in organic life vs. viruses, destructive memes which are too toxic destroy their hosts so well they edit themselves out of the informational `gene pool'. However, if they could be engineered, contained, and released in local areas, such information structures would make excellent weapon systems. I believe this is being inefficiently explored by many parties who only partially understand what they are about. I believe this has been more or less the case for some time. The cult outbreak of the 60's and 70's was simply a particularly toxic and obvious example of memes, in this case memes spread by persons who to some extent knew what they were doing.
      Several of these leaders are now in jail or are deceased, yet their memes live on, with the organization attendant being shaken out and purged of corruption; the vampire lord has died, so the robots cleanse the order of the traces of corruption left behind, inventing new memes to explain these puzzling evidences (one of the sacred ideas is that the leader was not in it for the money, egoboost, power, or nookie).
      Someday these `cults' will be old established religions, with long traditions, carefully worked out theologies, and ficticious but very seriously affirmed and believed histories. The meme at such future date will only superficially resemble the one the founder was teaching. If Rabbi Joshua Bar Nazareth were to pop up today in a time warp and go to a church (ANY CHURCH), he would not be approved of; nor would he approve of them. Krishna would be appalled with people talking about him, Siddhartha (the Buddha) would either laugh or cry, at what his people have made of what he left behind, Bless Me if I know which.
      Now, before I get lynched, I do not mean to suggest any of these people were corrupt. Into suffering maybe. No one dead more than 500 years is of anything but the highest order of saintliness or the most vile of evilness, which these were not, unless they are simply no longer recalled at all. These most excellent teachers were simply edited and spin doctored and interpreted to beat hell after they departed. But I digress.
      Memes can be useful tools to govern human behavior, yours or mine. They can be harmless, beneficial, or toxic, slightly or greatly. Best of all, they could be disseminated to the target audience with leaflet drops and radio broadcasts on shortwave or AM radio from outside the target audience. And Freedom of Speech protects it. If you think this is nuts and that you cannot talk people to death, please go refresh your memory of Jim Jones' body count. Then visit Auschwitz. When some people shoot their mouths off, they get a body count.
      The more I learned, the more I liberated myself, and the more annoying to robots and dangerous to vampires I became. Both tend to shun me like the plague once they begin to know me. I guess they like their viruses more than mine. Perhaps censorship in time of war is simply a sort of public hygiene?
      Since then I have been exploring the dynamics of this, keeping track of the performance record of vampires who make public declarations and promises. I also explore how to deprogram the robotic thinking in myself and others, and enable them and myself to replace it with chosen planning which is more enabling, more centered on personal well being and liberation, and more resistant to infection by information viruses by society. This generally pisses off robots and their vampire lords, and authoritarians in general. Free spirits leaning to reading and writing and words (left brain dominant) love this sort of trip. Wanna play?
      Anything which radically challenges the popular reality interpretation reference grid of ideas is dangerous, because it could destroy it, and without a grid we would be lost in a sea of meaningless information, the plight of a new-born. We all have such grids. HOWEVER, not all of us are emotionally involved in them; we are willing say me to revise and critically examine them, remove defects as we find them, improve them, even discard useless or harmful parts of them. Those who do not want to are the vampires. Some vampires understand all of this, if in different terms; they use this lore for their own benefit. These are vampire lords (and ladies, if I may abuse the term?); those who do not even understand this are robots, deeply, even hopelessly, under the sway of a meme.
      It is possible to reprogram the grid with calm and deliberate rational thinking and meditation and self monitoring, although old habits die hard. It is generally best to do this carefully and only concerning specific subjects or subject groups, so the grid is restructured one section at a time; a total melt down is both very difficult to achieve and totally paralyzing, probably causing a psychotic episode if achieved. The idea is self liberation, not immolation. You have to have the subconscious programs you use to live; us neuromancers redesign them to suit our tastes and needs, redesign them to be more appropriate and fun and efficient for our particular lives. This of course makes us heretics to all the robots and vampires. We do well to keep a low profile.
      Final shot: a quote from Robert A. Wilson: ``If you are not programming your own trip, who is?''
      Shameless plug-Book:Snow Crash. Try the science fiction section. Mine is an oversized paperback. It explains the Sumerian concepts of ME, NUB-SHUB, meme, and lots of other interesting things; it's also one HELL of a read. Enjoy.