MADRID, SPAIN– Two weeks ago, the biggest stars of the Transhumanist universe gathered at the Madrid College of Medicine for the fifteenth edition of an international conference called Transvision, which was born on the occasion of the merger between Europe’s most established transhumanist organizations, Transcedo and Transhumanistka Föreningen, ALEPH in 1998.
Led by the Swedish philosopher, Nick Bostrom and his British homologue David Pearce, the pair of self-styled futurists brought the groups together as the World Transhumanist Association (WTA) at the Transvision98 conference in Weep, The Netherlands, marking the true beginning of a global movement mostly comprised of computer scientists, biotech engineers and academics, who subscribed to the notion of a post-human world, where the fusion of technology and biology would lead us into immortality.
“is…an outgrowth of secular humanism and the Enlightenment. It holds that current human nature is improvable through the use of applied science and other rational methods, which may make it possible to increase human health-span, extend our intellectual and physical capacities, and give us increased control over our own mental states and moods.”
Bostrom’s paper was directed at critics of the Transhumanist philosophy, such as political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who has railed against the cult on the basis of the threat it poses to civil rights and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, whose own ideas about the future are not entirely divorced from many of the same technologies advocated by the biohacking fanatics, but stops short of endorsing their “scientific utopianism“.
Deceased underage sex-trafficker and child-rapist Jeffrey Epstein, on the other hand, was among the concept’s most enthusiastic supporters and provided the WTA, by then renamed Humanity+, tens of thousands of dollars to run their transhumanist advocacy operations, including paying for the vice chairman’s $100,000 salary. Now CEO, Ben Goertzel, was among the speakers at the Transvision conference in early October, along with Google’s director of engineering and “singularity” evangelizer Ray Kurzweil, cryonics industry celebrity Max “More” and author of the foundational “Transhumanist Manifesto“, Natasha Vita-More, to name just a few.
Vita-More, whose real name is Nancy Clark, links to the deep-state intelligence origins of the transhumanist agenda. In 1982, Vita-More began the transhumanist art movement (Transart) in Los Angeles, California with notorious CIA mind-control asset, Timothy Leary and Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, a.k.a. FM-2030 – a former corporate consultant for Lockheed Martin, who became an icon of transhumanist thought and “predicted genetic modification, in vitro fertilization, teleconferencing, telemedicine, teleshopping, and 3D printing”, according to a profile by The Daily Beast.
Esfandiary is one of the many members of the transhumanist pantheon frozen in cryogenic chambers, awaiting resurrection at some unspecified future date. Indeed, he was among the first men in history to undergo the novel mummification procedure. The son of career diplomat, A. S. Esfandiary and Iran’s first ambassador to Saudi Arabia is suspended in liquid nitrogen at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, headed for nearly a decade by Max More.
The institute also hosts the disembodied head of fellow Extropian, former stockbroker for Bechtel’s financing services division, and data-commodification pioneer, Phil Salin, along with Hal Finney, recipient of the very first Bitcoin transaction. Notably, Salin’s American Information Exchange (AMIX) – the first information market software ever created – was acquired by Autodesk in 1988, which continued to finance its development. Known primarily for its architectural drafting software, AutoCAD, the company is at the vanguard of the construction of the so-called Metaverse.
If all this seems like a set up for a bad Hollywood sci-fi flick, with dead techno geeks rising from their sub-zero, cryogenic suspension tanks to usher in a brave new world of biotech-enhanced cyborgs worshiping at the altar of a scientifically-sanctioned, quasi secular religion, you might not be too far from the truth.
Transvision 2021’s choice of venue at the largest medical college in Spain, which traces its history to the Spanish Enlightenment at a time of significant reforms, opens a window to the past, when the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Iberian kingdom set the stage for a parallel exercise in syncretism as Catholicism’s agents of colonialism sought to forge a national identity of the conquered populations in the “New World”, once and for all, by subsuming the indigenous culture’s conception of death under the Church’s paradigm.
Debt of the Dead
In the cosmology of the Mesoamerican civilizations, mourning the dead was considered an insult to their memory. Sadness had no place in the month-long celebrations that took place in the summer all across the domain of the Mexica, on the eve of Hernan Cortes’ fateful arrival on the shores of what would later become the port of Veracruz (literally, the real cross).
It was, perhaps, no accident that the defeat of the Aztec empire is recorded as having occurred on August 13th, 1521, right in the middle of when the processions, parties and various festivities celebrating the departed would have been unfolding. The fall of Tenochtitlan was an historical event so traumatic, that its repercussions still resonate in the still-fractured relations between the people who inhabit the country called Mexico today. The divide among the indigenous, mestizos and minority European-descended Mexicans is palpable even now and underlies many of the problems that make social cohesion a persistent challenge, despite a long and deliberate effort by Jesuit priests in the early part of the 19th century to manufacture ‘Mexicanness’ through a concerted campaign to fuse indigenous beliefs and cultural practices with Western religion and paternalism.
After members of the Jesuit order were allowed to return to Mexico upon the death of Charles III, who had expelled them from the Spanish Crown’s territories, they took on the task of promoting a central doctrine that governed one of the Catholic Church’s largest revenue streams – Purgatory. Death’s waiting room had long-been an opportunity for the priesthood to earn their keep by exploiting grief and vulnerability to extort believers and fatten the coffers of the global institution.
Almsgiving, land bequeaths and endowments in perpetuity for priests to live on a rich benefactor’s property to speed up the dead patron’s transit through the various stages of torture, torment and misery, were all major drivers of a growing clerical class, which thrived and depended on a negative view of death.
The Mexica culture’s beliefs about the afterlife were far more sophisticated, and even though a purgatory-like in-between phase was a part of it – as it was in many other ancient civilizations – it lacked the critical element that allowed the exploitation of emotions for profit, since the whole point of the Aztec’s journey through the 9 regions of the underworld that followed physical death was to purge all worldly attachments and emotions. To make matters worse for the Catholic priesthood, women, children and warriors were spared these travails of the spirit and attained a state of eternal rest automatically.
It was in an effort to stamp out the inconvenient aspects of indigenous conceptions of death and marry them to the Catholic Church’s business model, that symbols and legends associated with the pre-Columbian celebrations of the dead became co-opted by the Catholic clergy. Members of the Jesuit order were at the forefront of this campaign, regularly engaging in sermons to associate the various local beliefs with concepts of purgatory and shifting the consciousness away from the celebration of the memory of passed loved ones to a paradigm of suffering and fear.
Over time results have been spotty, to say the least, and while Catholicism certainly managed by and large to establish itself in the country, assimilation was never truly achieved on that pretty crucial part about what happens after we die. The colorful Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, declared by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2003, is in many ways a testament to the Church’s failure to inculcate its necrotic belief system in a country, whose millions of indigenous people still hold fast to their cosmologies, however distorted by centuries of cultural warfare.
However, the merchants of death are on the march again trying to sell us a new pay-to-play model of life. In the latest iteration, death has been eliminated altogether and the eternal life that once could only be granted by an invisible man in the sky through his intercessors, is now on offer as an ersatz digital copy.
Brought to you by the new universal church of science and technology and born in the bowels of the military and defense sectors, a transhumanist religion that promises to deliver the wonders of heaven on earth through biotechnological ‘enhancement’ and computationally-aided virtual realities will seek to continue profiting from a society held hostage in a culture that has fostered a pathological relationship with death for millennia.
Nothing can better express this reality than the collective madness unleashed by the media-driven pandemic narrative, which is fast-tracking technologies necessary for the functioning data economy required to trigger the so-called Singularity. Perhaps only the words of an eminent Mexican author are more pertinent:
“A civilization that denies death ends by denying life” – Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude