Which Witch? July 2015.

Dear Rowley,

I’ve never been asked to join the boy scouts let alone the Freemasons so have until the grand old age of forty-three been blithely unaware of secret societies and conspiracy theories. But being an admirer of Madonna it’s been hard to ignore Kabbalistic occult overtones in her opus. There’s always been a whiff of sulphur about the lady’s lapsed Catholicism from kissing a black Christ in her Like A Prayer video to the dark witch waving yards of chiffon and dissolving into  a cloud of black crows for Frozen.

Of late M has been even more explicit in presenting her twin hobbies – sex and mysticism – on stage. For the Superbowl performance Madonna presented herself on a winged throne crowned with a demonic mask. At the Grammy’s this year M began Living For Love  cloaked like the Witch of Endor then writhed with masked, horned devils before being hoisted in a supine pose to the ceiling like a sacrificial offering.

Apparently it was all about bullfighting but she broke t’Internet with theories that the entire set was loaded with Illuminati symbolism. One could write this off as online hysteria if it weren’t for a track on M’s Rebel Heart CD that listed who and what was not the engine of the New World Order. To put the Illuminati theory in context, the secret society as old as humanity is allegedly protecting a secret and promoting a new world order.

Everyone from Alistair Crowley and Baron Meyer de Rothschild to Lady Gaga and Queen Elizabeth II has been implicated in recent years. Satanism seems to be the uniting force according to the theorists. It is my theory that pentacles and Baphomet masks are so much pantomime. They play on a primordial fear of a dark side that is as seductive as it is evil but is all too human.

Have you read Agatha Christie’s novel The Pale Horse? It is one of her best. The plot revolves around three witches in the village of Much Deeping who claim they can will a victim to death by ritual. The truth is more prosaic. Each victim is visited by a door-to-door market researcher polling the kinds of cosmetics they use. The true killer then cons his way into the property replacing a pot of cold cream or a some such loaded with the poison thalium.

As Chrisite points out, the operation is nearly infallible because nobody in the chain knows the truth apart from the murderer. The witches are exonerated because no 20th century court of law would believe in death by witchcraft. Of course the evil was real even if the witches were merely for show. That in a nutshell is how I would imagine the Illuminati operate if indeed they do.

Shifting the world order has been on my mind having had the misfortune to see a little of Rihanna’s new video for Bitch Better Have My Money. Rihanna is an idol for young girls of all colours and creeds. In said video Rihanna abducts a rich white woman, strips and outrages her before killing she and her husband. The ‘artist’ is shown with her face dripping blood: an horrific and ugly celebrant of violence and sex.

Now if I were wishing to promote and provoke the dark side of humanity, pop music would be a jolly good start. So too would in the words of Eva Peron ‘getting them while they’re young’. The problem with the young is money. The answer? Free access to as much depravity as a kid can stomach on the Internet. The Internet has essentially given anyone who wishes to influence – for good or evil – a direct line to the world’s impressionable youth.

I am afraid I am one of the increasing number of people who believe t’Internet is a malign force and has already warped several generations for life. Whether this is a singular conspiracy or a failed experiment in liberalising humanity is a question for greater minds than mine. But what I do believe is that something has gone horribly wrong. The greatest evil to come from flooding the virtual world with porn – either explicit or dressed-up as pop music – lies in normalising what would have outraged common decency only a decade ago.

I genuinely believe that the true face of evil men or women is so mundane you’d never look twice. Take away all the horns, smoke and cloaks and the true horror is that those who mean to make great mischief are probably very ordinary. Hence I do not think Madonna, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie or Old Mother Red Cap are puppets of the Illuminati if they even exist. But whoever is pulling the strings to allow pop stars such as Rihanna to celebrate the darkest side of human nature does need to be fought.

If I had a religious bent my money would be on reincarnation. The idea that life is a test and success or failure will influence the next crack of the whip sounds quite sensible to me. What other explanation to the terrible things inflicted and invited by human beings? It would be nice to think that once the test was finally passed you’d graduate to a life not dissimilar to eternity in the spa at the Corinthia hotel.

The criteria for getting it right – or wrong as the case may be – still eludes me but hasn’t made me any less inquisitive to find some basic truths. I do think kindness and empathy for the human condition are a very good place to start as Maria von Trapp would have it. In my youth I was with Eartha ‘I wanna be Evil’ Kitt. Now I’m not so sure. It’s time to put down the toasting fork and quite literally lighten up.