The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club – Chuck Palahnuik
We live in a Club. Pretty much all of us, whether we like it or not. We need to know that. And we need to talk about it.
The Club is the System – the first level of evil in the teachings of the prophets.* The System is necessary for our complex and ever-expanding race called humanity to survive and thrive. The System doesn’t give a toss about the rest of the world, or Nature, because it believes that it is the only Club that is valid. Worse, it believes that it is the only Club that exists. The System will bleed Nature to the bone without a second thought (some parts of the Club will be very sorry about that but it will keep on doing it while donating to charity to salve its conscience).
Many of us do protest against the actions and the beliefs of the Club but, unless we truly realise that it is a Club (and with a capital C for sure), and that our protests sometimes even strengthen that Club, which is not what we wish to do, then we’re probably not going to get very far.
The Club has been named. Finally. It is called White Male Supremacy. This is a start.
Obviously, I need to add the ‘not all whites; not all males’ blah blah blah stuff because our defence systems understandably hit the roof when the Club is named and many, many, MANY of us want to deny that we have anything to do with it.
But if we are white; even if we are female, if we are heterosexual, if we are sexually binary, we are automatically in the Club. We may be on the fringes of the Club, for sure, but we are in the Club.
Women in the UK, USA and many other places can be ordained now. Who said so? The White Male Supremacy. They let us into their Club. How nice.
People of colour can vote and have their ethnicity honoured now. Who said so? The White Male Supremacy. They let us into their Club. Good for them.
Gay folk can get married in some places in the West. Jolly good. Who let them get married? The White Male Supremacy. They let us into their Club. Whoopee.
It is still their Club.
With the best will in the world, the folk who are trying to help those who are not, automatically, in the Club, to get into the Club (and I have to include myself in that) are always going to be in the establishment, looking out. We may well be asking ‘Who’s not being heard? Who’s excluded? How can we open the doors and make the Club more hospitable and inclusive?’ We may be solicitous, even alert to the fact that we don’t want to make the non-white/gay/transgender/non-Christian etc. etc. person the default spokesperson on ‘their’ matters. And yes, I know, I’ve probably excluded someone there – sorry.
We know that we have a lot to learn about racism, sexism, whatever-ism. We hear that narrative loudly and clearly. Yep. For people in the Club, we pretty much get it.
But we are in the Club all the same and the Club is rotten to the core.
How do we know that the Club is rotten to the core? Because of people like Sarah Palin and Clarence Thomas. Because of all the women and the people of colour who benefit from being in the Club as ‘suitable representatives’ who actually support the Club by making us believe that it isn’t actually a Club. They can have just enough power as long as they are bona fide Club members, honouring Club rules. If they step outside the Club, like Liz Cheney or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or Martin Luther King Jr., or Jesus, then other outsiders will love them but those inside the Club will deride, discount, re-write or vote them out.
Yes, I did include Jesus there. Jesus is horrifically used by the Club. But if you actually read the Gospels instead of thinking you know them, you’ll see quite clearly that Jesus was never in the Club and that’s the whole point of the Gospels. Jesus lived and worked with others who were outside the Club and again, and again, he called the Club out. He got crucified. Let that be a lesson to you if you want to speak against the Club!
St. Paul was truly a mystic but even he was in the Club. He was happy to inform us that he was a Roman Citizen and his (alleged – there is some genuine doubt about the provenance) diatribes against homosexuality and women priests are Club statements, not Christian ones.
And three hundred years later, after even Pauline Christianity had been mocked, despised, tortured and discounted, suddenly, the Emperor Constantine realised that Christianity could be used as the perfect Club. He began the change from a faith of the despised and the outsider to a religion of Empire. He took the teachings of humility and forgiveness and turned them into a (suitably edited) religion of power and war. He took the story of one wandering Jew and turned him into a War God ruling the world. If you think for one moment that Jesus would support the Holocaust, the Inquisition, anti-refugee policies, you are not Jesus-inspired; you are a Primary member of the Christian Club.
The very fact that non-white members of the Club, like Kanye West, can be anti-Semitic demonstrates this. Jesus was a JEW.
The Club likes it when we fight back because fighting means that we lower ourselves to the Club’s own energy. ‘Fighting evil’ is a very popular pastime in the Club. Even in our secular world, some of the most loved films and TV shows are of ‘good’ people, flawed detectives, even gods, who always resort to fighting evil. They don’t transform evil; they attack it with swords, hammers and guns. They fight the Club with clubs and end up (briefly) with a new-and-improved Club that makes us all feel relieved and contented. That version of the Club will, pretty soon, fall part (after all, if it didn’t, where’s the franchise?)
As for those of us who believe we are not in the Club; those without medical help, refugees, those who need benefits to survive, those who still can’t acknowledge their sexuality in public, for starters, guess what? You are living under the rules of the Club whether you support it or not. Who decides on the benefits? Who holds the power on what medical treatment you can legally receive or the vitamins you can take? Who says whether or not you can marry or divorce? The Club. And no, we didn’t escape the Club with Brexit. Brexit was 100% Club mentality.
So, what can we do? We can’t leave the Club if we rely on its fuel, its food supply chains, its medicine, its take-aways, its self-satisfaction at giving to charities that apply Band Aids to horrendous problems or on its laws to protect us. Unless we go 100% off-grid, we have to rely on it in some way – and even if we do go off-grid, we have to buy the land to do it on, from the Club and the Club retains the right to rehome us if it wants that land back for Club purposes.
Don’t patronise yourself by saying ‘yes but I grow my own vegetables; I forage; I run marathons for charity; I offset my carbon footprint…’ Terrifyingly, even though those things bring us satisfaction and, hopefully put us in more touch with Nature, they too actually support the Club. How? They keep us going within the Club which means they keep the Club going itself. Without our frantic swimming, it might actually fall apart.
As long as we go on swimming instead of drowning, as long as we hold the others who are genuinely drowning up with our own strength, the Club remains. I know … I know… Yes, of course, it’s our good nature to try and help – to donate to the food banks, to keep up that monthly donation to Water Aid, to give money to the homeless ones, to support the refugees. We have to do it. But…
We are sinking even as we swim. So we just go on swimming underwater. And the Club survives.
Here’s the one spot of good news. The Club is evil – unconsciously evil which is one of the scarier kinds – and all evil is chaotic. We are beginning to see that chaos. We are beginning to say ‘something is seriously wrong here…’
All evil eventually destroys itself. But it takes a very, very long time…
Do I have any answers? The Club is a problem far bigger than one fringe priest (not approved of by the Club), can solve. But I have some suggestions… They are in the next blog here.
*For more on the three levels of evil, click here.