Language is a Virus: A Study in Memetic Warfare
Thoughts on Weaponized Memes
I picked up a copy of the Revised Boy Scout Manual- An Electronic Revolution at Labyrinth Books in Princeton when I was 19, it was May Day.
I devoured that book.
This was a few months after I started MemeAnalysis, this is the book that pushed me over the edge.
One can’t read it and come away thinking that viral images and words do not have a severe impact.
Cursed media has been a popular motif in horror for a long time. The dawn of Technology has simply provided us with a super effective way to spread these curses, what was once a runic curse passed by hand became a VHS tapes that could be replicated, and now?
A .jpg that can kill.
I’m not going to devote much more explanation to the basics here, this article is about a particular form of Memetic Warfare.
If you want to dig deeper check out this early MemeAnalysis video:
The Fault in Ourselves
On memeanalysis.com you will find a symbolic framework for Conspiracy Theories based in the Zodiac.
While each respective form of fear is significant and capable of being weaponized, I am going to focus on the one I believe is the most dangerous.
Taurus, Sign of the Body, rules conspiracies of bodily insecurities.
Victims feel like bugs are crawling under their skin. They have little blue fibers, and black specks and white threads coming out of their skins. Under the skin, those fibers are connected to what appears to be a cluster of fibers or in some instances, parasitic looking organisms.
-Samuel Feldman, Morgellons The Aliens Bugs
Estrogen in food
Over the past few months I have found a growing Taurean sentiment on Twitter in particular.
There are communities forming around avoiding certain very common substances, namely seed oils, soy, and one of my favorites, receipt paper.
Each of these is a deathly material, soy will make men into women, seed oils will destroy your body and give you diabetes, and receipt paper will disrupt your hormones by touch alone.
I’m not going to speak on the truth of these claims, it’s not really important to the piece; what matters is why these are effective memes.
They can influence the believers diet and daily routine.
To break down these effective Taurean conspiracies, we can treat them as a disease, a language virus.
Obviously the primary vector of the belief is posting, images, words, videos, etc. But I care about the meta-vector.
How infinite in faculties
Touch- Receipt Paper, my favorite of the Taurean fears, disrupts hormones on contact.
Taste- Eating soy products and food with seed oils plagues the consumer.
Smell- The popular idea that when you are in a toilet and smell excrement, you are literally inhaling particle of said excrement. What is believed outside is dreadfully inside.
Sight- This is a less common one, but cursed images have been known to paralyze or cause physical discomfort, generally not lasting.
Sound- Less common in modern times, but bodies were once prone to dancing plagues spread by mystick musics. While this seems silly to the pure Apollonian modern, these explosions of Dionysian dancing plagues were often a sickness unto death. Dance till ya drop.
The receptive, unconscious part of you that interacts with the fear is generally a tendency toward obsessive compulsive behaviour (I may write more on the relation obsessive compulsives have with religion, ritual and the internet) or hysteria.
These latent bodily neuroses, once activated through a sense vector will wreak havoc on the believer.
Is it the one about the little girl who lives down the lane?
What makes these common sensory vectors so effective is their ubiquity.
The average person eats garbage, handles receipts, sees hideous things, listens to music, and smells shit every day.
Our senses are relentlessly flooded with horrendous inputs.
This is the breeding ground for horror stories.
Every good urban legend spreads according to these ubiquitous phenomena.
Bloody Mary lives in every mirror.
Alligators are in every sewer.
There’s a dead man on every silent phone call.
There’s a hook on every car door and a killer in every backseat.
The Red Pill
Through the internet we’ve found a community of likeminded individuals. This is true of every possible fear, desire, hate, and passive care. There are hundreds, if not more, who have felt like you and posted about it online.
And all of those sleeping masses? The ones who aren’t bothered by the screeching of nails on chalk board, and the chewing on tin foil they engage in daily…
They have taken the blue pill.
You have woken up, escaped the sensory matrix and…
Stopped eating garbage and touching receipts?
Maybe you take some cool vitamin supplements or something.
More importantly, you have found a community online. You spread the memes, you enlighten the sleeping masses.
Perhaps I sound a bit mean. It’s only because I see what these pet paranoias grow into if you feed them after midnight.
The late stage Taurean paranoia looks like Morgellons, there’s a portrait of this here:
Morgellons is a popular delusion which consists of (sometimes sentient or alien) fibers that wrack the body. Similar to common drug induced delusions of insects burrowed in the flesh. Both lead to compulsive tearing and scratching.
The late stage believer in a Taurean conspiracy is terrified of their own body and the things that infect it, because no matter how you fight the sickening inputs, things will slip past.
All that having been said, here’s a fear for you, it’s my favorite.
The artificial nature of Tick borne diseases. Lymes, alpha gal, and all those to come in the future.
I foresee the tick borne disease becoming mainstream within the decade, there are already quickly growing communities. It’s only a matter of time. We will dread the tall grass and shade of a tree.
There will be worse tick borne diseases, and they’ll do more than induce meat allergies, lethargy, and chronic pain…
Fortunately, I’ve already developed the curative meme!
Possums are the greatest devourers of Ticks, and they will save us.
For each terrifying fear there must be a somewhat silly cure. Laughter is the antidote for a horror of forms.
For an article titled “Language is a Virus: A Study in Memetic Warfare” I really haven’t touched much on the “warfare” element.
I’ve just outlined an anatomy of the weapon.
Consider the amount of labor, and legitimate apocalyptic threat carried by any weapon of mass destruction, be it a biological weapon, nuclear or otherwise. Because these are “real” they are extremely difficult to control or avoid.
Weapons of Memetic Destruction on the other hand are cheap, easy to spread, and most importantly, they can be overcome very easily with an effective counter-meme.
The trouble is that any skilled individual can manufacture one and spread it uncontrollably.
Imagine a massive population convinced of the reality of some nonexistent (memetic) biological threat, taking insane precautions, and an unprepared government infrastructure.
The effect would be devastating and entirely localized. The infected would tear themselves apart, and often succumb. The rest would live in fear, until offered an effective enough counter meme, which would likely come in the form of a therapeutic or alternative, external fear.
This is the future of warfare.
If you can recognize that memes matter, you can begin to immunize yourself against these coming memetic viruses.
(If you want to hear some discourse on what Memetic Immunity looks like, give a listen this episode of my podcast, Meme Intelligence Agency)
Is this real?
i am thankfull for your work. it is a delight. helpfull and insightfull.
I love to start my morning with a nice goddisk substack post