In a previous piece I explored the path of studying parapolitical/conspiratorial insights as akin, though distinct from, the path of spiritual awakening. It’s not coincidental that the classic metaphor used in conspiracy world is “going down the rabbit hole”, which is after all reference to shamanic initiation and journeys to the underworld.
Relatedly, I’ve written about social movements as initiatory phenomena (on both Men’s Rights Activism and the #metoo movement). In particular I explored what happens when initiations fail or are left incomplete. Failed initiations leave a person (or group) in a kind of zombie-like state where they are both dead and not dead simultaneously (“undead”). They can no longer go back to the way they were prior to the initiation and yet have not moved forward into a new coherent state of being.
Initiations move in three stages: 1. initiating crisis/trauma leading to disorientation; 2. the path of disorientation and finding a new way forward (the crucible); 3. resolution into a new way transformed way of being.
If a person fails to reach the third stage of completion they cycle back and forth between phases one and two.
The path of awakening to the reality of the para-political, deep state, conspiratorial is it’s own kind of initiation. It has it’s own stages of processing which may or may not be completed. Initiations are the ending of one way of being that hopefully lead to a rebirth into a new one way of being. As such the path of the conspiratorial is a death-process and consequently brings up a significant amount of emotional intensity, which if not properly dealt with, can lead to an incomplete or failed initiation (i.e. a death without a rebirth).
In this piece I'll explore Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ stages of grief model in relationship to the conspiratorial/para-political path. Coming to realize the conspiratorial and the hidden hand at work is a very real psychic form of death. It is the death of a more innocent conventional worldview. It is emotionally jarring and can be deeply traumatic if not properly modulated. Kubler-Ross’ model can help to support a person along the pathway of this political/social awakening.
Kubler Ross’ model famously has five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. (Recent scholars have added a sixth stage of meaning.)
Often the Five Stage model is taught in a very linear fashion when in reality a person can move back and forth between various stages (from anger to bargaining back to denial back to anger, to depression, back to bargaining, etc.). So instead of treating them sequentially I think of them more as key elements necessary in the initiation which can move in a non-linear fashion. That is, there will be a time of anger that must be resolved, as there will be a time of bargaining or depression, etc. Each must be dealt with and resolved or else one stays stuck and cycles around endlessly.
In other words if we compare the 3 stage initiation model to Kubler-Ross’ 5 stage model of grief, the correlation looks like this:
Initiation Stage 1: Disorientation = Kubler Ross’ Stage 1 Denial
Initiation Stage 2: Re-Orientation = Kubler Ross’ Stages 2-4: Anger, Bargaining, Depression
Initiation Stage 3: New Way of Being = Kubler Ross' Stages 5 & 6: Acceptance & Meaning-Making
In other other words, a failed initiation/grief process stays cycling between Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression, never reaching Acceptance/Transformed Being.
Furthermore, we can bring a trauma-oriented lens (which I’ve argued is crucially missing from much exploration of the occult and the highly strange) to correlate with these models. In trauma, dysregulation occurs as fight, flight, and/or freeze. If we overlay that with Kubler Ross we get: Fight = Anger; Flight = Bargaining; Freeze = Depression.
The implication of which is that the path of political awakening to the conspiratorial is a traumatic, alchemical, grief-soaked, initiatory path. An awareness of the proper means of support to help people through this emotional turbulent period as they “go down the rabbit hole” is absolutely crucial.
In the piece on Men’s Rights Activists I explored it’s three main sub-groups and how each represented one of the three dysregulated traumatic responses: Fight/Rage from the main body of Men’s Rights Activists; Flight from the MGTOWs; and Freeze from the Incels.
The same goes for much of the conspiracy world. There are the Ragers/Fighters, there are the Flight/Terrorized types and there are the Depressed/Desolate/Black Pillers (see Ezekiel73's post on how not to fall into the latter trap of the black pill). In a sort of Pilgrim’s Progress type way each of those three moments are “way stations” or “characters” on the road that one must pass through to continue on the journey.
The last few years have shown that the conspiratorial world—at least in it’s wiser moments—has been deeply accurate. I’ve written elsewhere on the site about how to spot the false conspiracy thought versus more grounded (and accurate) conspiracy theories. This piece is a kind of emotional parallel to that one--ensuring that one has a grounded, embodied relationship to the alchemical, initiatory conspiracy path versus an ungrounded, problematic one.
Just consider: things that seemed totally insane and tin-foil hat rantings have time and time again turned out to be true. The US government acknowledging the existence of UFOs. The ongoing public revelations of deep rings of sexual slavery and blackmail in churches, sports (e.g. Penn State), media (Jimmy Saville, Harvey Weinstein), cults (NXIVM), and high level politics & finance (Epstein).
It’s gotten so mainstream that Neal Brennan can now makes jokes about Hugh Hefner being a “mild sex trafficker” while comparing him to Jeffrey Epstein at the Mark Twain Comedy Prize Awards honoring his pal Dave Chappelle.
As more and more layers of this apocalypse (“unveiling” “revelation”) take place, more and more people are going to be thrust into the path of awakening/initiation. More are going to be sent down the rabbit hole and placed in the traumatic first phase of realization. As wider understanding comes out about things like geo-engineering and weather modification, the sinister occult forces at play in and through major tragedies, and the breakaway civilization(s) this is only going to get more intense. It’s only getting weirder, more chaotic, and bizzaro from here on. Buckle up.
A deep intention and desire on the part of us involved in Limited Hangout is to be a support for people entering this initiation. It can otherwise be very isolating and painful, even dangerous (in the case of failed initiations). While discussions of Kubler Ross, initiation models, and trauma models are theoretically of interest, make no mistake they are of critical, existential importance. The conspiracy world is tragically littered with the bodies of those who have taken their own lives (not the ones made to look like a suicide, but the real actual suicides).
The processes at the core of traumatic re-regulation: slowing down, creating resource, titration, and pendulation are utterly key in this regard. Going down the rabbit hole as safely as possible rather than headlong and dangerously is an absolute necessity.
Which brings us back to Kubler-Ross.
Within each of the first four movements of Kubler-Ross’ model there is a potential for transitioning through that phase in a (relatively speaking) healthier or unhealthier way. There are characteristic forms of deep pathology that can accrue in each of them as well. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of these is crucial to navigating this passageway with as much grace and coherence as possible.
Denial is the conventional state of the veiling of the history of social and psychological engineering, or the fascist corporate interface, the weaponization of psychic phenomenon under the guise of a supposedly materialistic secular society, the missing trillions, the nexus between intelligence agencies, criminal underground, and the deep(er) state, etc.
Denial is getting caught in the endless media-created controlled dialectics of left vs. right and the fauxtrage machine fueled by the intentionally psychically de-stabilizing and destructive dynamics of social media (described here).
When one first beings to encounter these things there are huge amounts of psychological self-defence mechanisms that cannot allow that information in. It’s simply too much. It’s overwhelming. Best to say it’s all crazy talk. Unfortunately as the veils continue to thin that is less and less effective. Instead one may need to resort to addictions of various kinds in order to zone out and numb.
But for some people, eventually—for whatever reason—they move beyond the resistance and start to go down the rabbit hole and start the initiation proper.
For that person, their companions are going to become Anger, Fear/Bargaining, and Depression.
It may not be in that exact order for everyone but those three will come and each of them must be properly handled and resolved in order to reach completion (stage 3 transformed being, stage 5 acceptance). With that proviso in mind, I still will treat them in the more classic Kubler Ross order.
As one begins to learn more and more of the occulted forces at work, the insanity of power, the brutality that drives the world there will be a rising of ferocious rage. It can fuel deeper study as well as a desire to combat it and “fight the good fight” and seek to do something good in the world. That can work for awhile but it can also lead to burnout (and a quick descent to depression).
As I mentioned in the Men’s Rights Activist piece this is also a time where hatred can form and individuals can look to pass their own rage and trauma onto another, thereby replicating the power structure itself—namely hurt another person down the chain (e.g. underling at work, children, etc). The person may want to go back to the numb serenity of “not knowing”—of going “back into the Matrix”. But they know a bit too much. To try to forget would require heavy chemical substances so addiction is here a very real danger.
In severe cases of pathological rage it can lead to a deep act of seeking to place all the blame on some “Other” or misdirecting the fire of one’s rage onto the wrong target. In the MRA example that would be blaming women as such and turning misogynist. In the history of conspiracy literature this would be the anti-Semitic traditions of conspiracy (e.g. Protocols of the Elders of Zion).
Wide is the road to perdition, narrow the path of Life. —Jesus (the Galilean Jew).
With anger there must be also be fear. The realization of what is going on and how horrifically people are abused intentionally and systematically by a structure of sociopathology brings up rage no doubt but also fear. It is a terrifying realization.
Hence bargaining because no matter what else may be going on with this path, one still has to earn a living, have relations, and must take care of oneself in the midst of this world that they are by the day (and hour and minute) becoming more and more alienated from. It’s understandable why bargaining would arise at this point. Choices based out of bargaining are ultimately futile attempts but the mind stream tries to engineer and game plan a way out of this. “If only I know about X but focus on my life, it’ll all work out.” Various masks and compromises have to be made with oneself about what to share and what not, and with whom and when.
The death and extraction of one’s identity from the Matrix is growing the by the day. But remember, as I’ve said before, the Red Pill is not enough. In fact the Red Pill itself is typically co-opted. The anxiety can really rise at this point. Being able to ground oneself, to find connections to goodness not sullied or corrupted by the corrupters—connection with nature, with good humans, remembering the importance of creativity and art is key. Those are not magical bypasses but they are crucially sustaining.
In terms of more serve pathological forms in this phase there’s paranoia. The line around paranoia is hard because as the saying goes, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not trying to kill you." The realization of how deep infiltration and disinformation goes can lead to a real “Gnostic spin out”, questioning the very roots one’s own mind, thoughts, etc. While there’s the classic stereotypical image of the conspiratorial kook there’s a reason that stereotype exists, and there’s a reason, sadly, why such beings have existed and continue to exist.
Here one may encounter what Col. Kurtz called “the horror.” Particularly as one begins to understand the ways in which sinister and highly strange forces of an occult nature are participating in and feeding into the evil. The danger here is a slip into a kind of Lovecraftian terrorized stance that leads to freeze and immobility.
Being able to deepen into one’s own sovereignty is vital here. As is titrating. Taking breaks from the study and investigation and the path. Listen to some yacht rock. Dig in for a long haul because the next stage is usually the hardest.
There comes a point where there’s no fight or no energy to run or compromise. There’s simply a raw encounter with the brute fact of domination and having been lied to one’s entire life. No tricks, no gimmicks are going to work at this point. There’s just having to face directly into the belly of the beast.
In the Bargaining and Anger phases there can be moments of arrogance—thinking one better than others (“the sheeple”) and looking down in disgust on those “still in the Matrix.” Here in this phase there’s no such arrogance. One sits in the ashes and weeps. The rage and the fear are done and all that is left is seemingly endless grief and sorrow.
I think Kubler-Ross’ choice of calling this phase Depression was a poor one. Depression, from a nervous system point of view, means collapse and overwhelm (“freeze”). I believe lament would have been a better term. A deep existential cry and recognition of the immense nature of the brutality. The path here is to do the lament without collapsing into depression/despair.
As a Buddhist teacher once said, “The key is to surrender without giving up.”
Giving up equals despair and collapse. In the conspiracy path, as mentioned earlier, the danger of self-harm or suicide here is significant. If anyone is suffering in that way find genuine support. We need each other to be here for this work.
In the anger phase there’s often still a residue of naivety, thinking one can change the world. In the compromise stage there’s still ego-laden striving to engineer or control outcomes in a world of utter chaos. The lamentation and surrender of this phase wipes those away, so long as we don’t tip over into the place of total bleak despair (Black Pill).
To surrender without despairing or collapsing, that is the art. To come through and out the other end is a real alchemical crucible; it is a work of true mastery (as well as grace).
Here are the death rattles of one’s old worldview. Embracing and befriending Lady Death is core to this moment. In shamanic initiations the shaman is dismembered and torn apart only to be put back together in a different, more cohesive way.
Only by going through such fundamental death/unbecoming can one truly be reborn into a stage of acceptance, renewed creativity, and meaning-making. Otherwise there will be faux or false initiations: e.g. a Gnostic flight from the world; utopianism; a belief in a secret group of “good guys” who are going to save us and defeat the villains (whether human or from higher dimensions and/or Outer Space).
Acceptance in Kubler-Ross’ scheme corresponds to the beginning on stage 3 in the initiation model: fulfilled transformation. In an initiation the initiation has to be recognized and affirmed by some competent elder or the tribe at large. This affirmation can be hard to come by in the conspiratorial initiatory path as individuals are typically very spread out and it’s rare to meet someone who has first of all entered this path and even that much rarer to find someone who has already walked their own version of these stages and would be the proper person to recognize and affirm a fellow initiate.
Acceptance means that the person is at a core level at ease in their own being and able to regulate themselves while still in contact with this world. Not succumbing to despair, collapse, rage-induced burnout, or terrorized shut down. Humor is a key element throughout the entire process. It’s a sign of sanity in an insane world. The ability to laugh and smile in the midst of the horror of this all is a sign of the goodness—what C.S. Lewis called the deeper magic (deeper than even the deep magic of the occulted powers).
Acceptance revives the ability to act in seemingly small but nevertheless vitally important ways. To tend one’s own garden: emotionally, mentally, physically, energetically, spiritually, even literally. Tending one’s own garden is not a matter of disconnecting from the world though it may well involve disconnecting from conventional modes discourse, controlled media, and other unconscious collective ways of being. Tending one’s own garden radiates a presence and different form of information to those in the nearest vicinity—what is known as satyagraha (“soul force/power”). One offers their medicine, whatever that is. They simply do the work.
As this phase deepens, such persons may find themselves becoming mentors or guides to others earlier along the way. As at each point in the process, humility is here key. To remember what it was like when one when through their versions of this moments is key. In fact, they never ultimately end—anger, bargaining, depression, denial—can come back around in a spiral-like fashion as one undergoes the process at different layers of depth. So humility and openness and self-regulation, as always are key.
From this place of deeper self-regulative acceptance of the process and from renewed action comes the ability to find one’s own understanding of this highly strange path. As shamans say, people must draw their own maps.
The core of the occulted powers’ game is the destruction of inborn intrinsic human energetic sovereignty. So the path of transmuting that poison and turning it into medicine requires one to stand in their unique articulation, the singular expression and understanding of their path and of the wider process. Those views need not be oppositional to others along a para-political/conspiratorial way. They could be complementary or exist in a kind of creative tension. But ultimately one must come to their own view. This conspiratorial path teaches, if nothing else, that if we do not consciously cultivate our own worldview then the hidden hand will form it for us.
Image courtesy here via Creative Commons License.