NSPIC - The "Royalty" Illusion

Freespeak (f-prime@activist.com)
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 11:39:48 -0700

At 11:41 AM 9/22/97 -0400, Keith Elis wrote:
>NSPIC is a nice catchy little title, but if you're going to post
>something that long, at least give me some specifics about the theory.
>Words have meanings. Sometimes more than one. You're suggesting that by
>using a word in a certain way, I may be reinforcing the illusions of
>Looking for a bit more,


My intention is to introduce a number of political
illusions, one at a time, over a period, allowing
some time between illusions for debate.

>From time to time I also plan to introduce other topics
relevant to the debate.

The "Royalty" Illusion refers to the illusion that certain
people (sometimes said to have "blue blood") belong to a
"special" class variously called "royalty," "aristocracy,"
or "nobilty."

"My name is Alice, so please your Majesty," said Alice very
politely; but she added to herself, "Why, *they're only a
pack of cards*, after all. I needn't be afraid of them!"
[emphasis added]

...The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring
at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming,
"Off with her head! Off with--"

"Nonsense!" said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the
Queen was silent."

-- Lewis Carroll, 'Alice in Wonderland'

These people are supposed by some to be "royal," "noble,"
or "aristocratic" because they're the offspring of a supposed
"royal" or because they received a "royalty title" from a
supposed "royal."

In "England" (so-called) they have a "Royal Parasite List"
they call the "Civil List," which is a list of the "royal"
parasites and how much each gets from the "public treasury"
every year.

"When *I* use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather
scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean --
neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you *can* make
words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "***which is to be
master -- that's all***." [***emphasis added]

-- Lewis Carroll, 'Through the Looking-Glass'

The following story may assist you to transcend this
"royalty" illusion:

Two Tribes

Consider two different isolated tribes somewhere in the jungles of South
America. Call them Tribe 1 and Tribe 2. Each has its unique language
with its own structure. The language of Tribe 1 (Language 1) tends to be
very literal. A man who fishes, for example, is called "man-who-fishes."
The same man, while sleeping, is called "man-who-sleeps"; while talking,
"man-who-talks"; while running, "man-who-runs"; while eating,
man-who-eats"; while writing, "man-who-writes"; while making a chair,
"man-who-makes-chair"; while giving orders, "man-who-gives-orders"; etc.
In Language 1, distinctions are made between different kinds of words:
"Thing-words," "Do-words," "How-words," "Story-words," "Funny-words,"
"Order-words," "Panic-words," "What-words," "Who-words," "Why-words,"
"When-words," "Where-words," etc. High-level abstractions are rare in
language 1. To the people of Tribe 1, any word that doesn't refer to
something physically perceivable, is highly suspect. Their test for
reality is *physical*.

The language of Tribe 2 (Language 2) is very different. A man who obtains
his wherewithal mostly by fishing, is called "fisherman." (This system of
nomenclature would seem absurd to the people of Tribe 1 -- how can you
call someone a "fisherman" when he is not fishing, but sleeping?)
Language 2 contains many high-level abstractions -- like "happiness."
People from Tribe 2 can talk for hours about "happiness." (To someone
from Tribe 1, this would be incomprehensible -- they only talk about
"woman-who-is-happy" while she is happy, and "woman-who-is-sad" while
she is sad. The notion that you could separate "happiness" from a real
person being happy, and talk about "happiness" as if it existed by itself,
would be completely unthinkable to someone from Tribe 1.)

To the people from Tribe 2, any word being used is automatically assumed
to be part of existence, otherwise people wouldn't use it. (To someone
from Tribe 1, the word "existence" would be a meaningless absurdity,
because in their mentality only particular objects exist.) In Tribe 2,
the test for reality is *agreement*. If other people agree with a word
and the way it seems to be used, then that word is automatically accepted
as valid and useful.

One day a strange man arrives at the place where the people of Tribe 1
live. They ask him: "Who you?" He: "I King." They: "Your name King?"
He: "No; my name John." They: "Why call self King if name John?" He: "I
special person, agent of God." They: "You look different but not special;
who God?" He: "God creator of world." They: "Where God?; How create
world?" He: "God everywhere; God all-powerful." They: "How we see God?"
He: "Can't see God." They: "You speak crazy." He: "No; I special; I show
you." Whereupon the stranger performs various tricks like apparently
making objects appear and disappear. They: "You clever man-who-tricks."
He: "I special; I King." They: "You speak funny; you clever John-who-tricks."
He: "I King; my word law." They: "What law? -- special word?" He: "Yes;
my word law -- you must obey." They: "Ah! You mean order-word!" He:
"Yes; I King; I make law." They: "No; you speak order-word?" He: "Yes;
I special." They: "What special? -- Anybody speak order-word?" He:
"You not understand." They: "No."

Eventually John-the-stranger gives up trying to convince the people of
Tribe 1 that he has a "special status" and that his words are different
from the words of anyone else -- so he leaves, to search for more gullible
and impressionable victims elsewhere...

For many days and nights he trudges through the jungle before discovering
the people of Tribe 2. They: "Who you?" He: "I King." They: "Your name
King?" He: "No, my name John." They: "Why call self King if name John?"
He: "I special person, agent of God." They: "You look different; what
God?" He: "God creator of world." They: Where God?; How create world?"
He "God everywhere; God all-powerful." They: "Show special?" Whereupon
the stranger performs various tricks like apparently making objects appear
and disappear. They: "You King, agent of God." He: "Yes, my word law."
They: "What law?" He: "Law special word of God through me; you must
obey." Whereupon the people of Tribe 2 bow down and kiss the feet of John
-- they do not habitually test abstractions against reality, so they
readily accept John-the-stranger as their "King" and his word as "law."
Thereafter all he has to do to subjugate, control, and dominate them, is
open his mouth...

"Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us."

-- Robert Anton Wilson , Introduction to 'The Tree of Lies'
(by Christopher S. Hyatt. Ph.D.)

The people from Tribe 1 reject the Slavespeak words of John the
would-be-terrocrat -- making them impossible to subjugate, control, and
dominate. To them the terrocrat is merely a clever liar and trickster.

The Tribe 2 people accept John's word "King" to describe himself. They
believe that "King" John has special powers because of the tricks he
performs and because of his connection to "God." By accepting John's
terrocrat words they automatically place him in a superior position and
themselves in inferior positions. Just by accepting, believing, and using
the terrocrat word "King," they yield their power to the terrocrat -- they
subjugate themselves.

It's worth emphasizing that just by accepting the concepts/words of the
would-be tyrant, you place yourself at a huge disadvantage. By doing so,
you relinquish your power, enabling the would-be tyrant to become an
actual tyrant. Instead of laughing at his silly notions, you'll probably
end up begging him to "change the law" so you can be free. And guess who
has the last laugh!

""What's the use of their having names," the Gnat said, "if they won't
answer to them?"

"No use to them," said Alice; "but it's useful to the people that name
them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?""

-- Lewis Carroll, 'Through the Looking-Glass'


Recently, on another list someone posted a message on
"branding" -- a marketing term for creating and spreading
an image of a person or product. Branding is a synonym
for "positioning" yourself or your product in the prospect's

The post on "branding" spurred me to think some new thoughts.
I realized that when "royal" or "aristocratic" cheaters call
themselves "king," "queen," "prince," "princess," "His/Her
Royal Highness," "duke," "duchess," "lord," "earl," "lady,"
etc., they're engaging in a form of "branding." Part of the
brand ploy is to brand those not "royal" or "aristocratic"
or "noble" (those with red blood as opposed to blue blood!)
as "commonors." So this branding ploy makes an unwarranted
distinction between "aristocrats" (the supposed "nobility")
and "commoners" (supposedly "common" people) and elevates
"aristocrats" above "commoners" in the minds of those who
"buy the brand."

This branding ploy succeeds because of the gullibility
of the naive who allow themselves to be branded as
"commoners." Another factor in maintaining the ploy
is that most people, feeling that they lack personal
exellence (maybe including the inability to think
original thoughts), have to create the illusion of
"special" people to put on pedestals, through which
they can vicariously enjoy something "special."

"She looked at the Queen, who seemed to have suddenly
wrapped herself up in wool. Alice rubbed her eyes,
and looked again. She couldn't make out what had
happened at all. Was she in a shop? And was that
really -- was it really a sheep that was sitting on
the other side of the counter?"

-- Lewis Carroll, 'Through the Looking Glass'

(In other words, the person you've been "illusioning"
as a "Queen" is really a sheep! -- a major theme of
the 'Alice Books.')

A most important factor in maintaing the "nobility"
branding ploy is the "quest for external authority."
See 'The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown
of the Bicameral Mind' by Julian Jaynes. People
who've not yet become the authorities of their own
lives "need" the illusion of "external authorities."
They "need" to brand themselves as "lowly commoners"
who look up to and bow down to "elevated royals."

The main reason for the "royal" and "aristocratic"
and "noble" cheaters to practice this brand ploy is
that it enables them to live like parasites off the
production of others; they live in great splendour
and wealth, enjoying fame and fortune, without having
to work and produce for a living.

I have long recognized the "royal"/"aristocratic"/
"noble" illusion, though I've never cut a supposed
"noble" to see whether his or her blood is blue or
red. My common sense tells me that it's extremely
unlikely that these pretended "nobles" have blue
blood or that they're particularly "special" or
"elevated" people.

But it was only after reading the branding article
that I integrated the "nobility" illusion and the
branding phenomenon.

How difficult is it for people who unwittingly brand
themselves as "commoners" to "unbrand" themselves
and cure themselves from the need to vicariously
experience "excellence" by branding rather common
imposters, pretenders, parasites, and adulterers
(even though some do perform actions of excellence
from time to time) as "kings," "queens," "princes,"
"princesses," etc.?

The Diana phenomenon bears witness to the power of
combining the "nobility" illusion with branding.
Diana's brand owes its power to three further important
factors: beauty, empathy, and martyrdom. During her
life she openly shared her trials and tribulations,
causing people to feel empathy for her. She also
demonstrated genuine empathy for the poor, sick,
and disabled. She "touched" many people deeply.

Mother Teresa also had a strong empathy brand,
but she had neither the "nobility" illusion nor
the beauty of Diana. She's also not considered
a martyr.

In terms of attention, Diana is 100 to 1,000
times as powerful as Mother Teresa. Diana's
combination of the "nobility" illusion, beauty,
and empathy made her the most photographed person
in life. In death, martyrdom has added further
to the attention lavished on her image (brand).

Frederick Mann

PS. I would appreciate any suggestions as to what
can be done to make it easier for people to grasp
and overcome the "royalty" illusion.

Furthermore, what can be done so that people who
do grasp and overcome the "royalty" ilusion can
use what they did as a model and then utilize the
same model to grasp and overcome other political

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