by Geoffrey Jones

Classic authors in our English language have come up with some really splendid titles for their works, and the above is a good example. The original title was even longer as it was prefaced with the words “A Journal of..” Charles Mackay, Scotch jounalist and songwriter compiled the work in 1841.

What I like best about Mackay’s collection is that I can cite it without being accused of loading the deck against the usual stacking deck of our times that I seek to make “transparent.” (It’s much too old and classic to be considered in that way.)
Mackay illustrates fads and economic get rich schemes from over the ages. He shows frauds like the South Sea Bubble and shows how again and again people have believed in and invested in ideas that were hoked up fakes  from the get go.
Now to bring ourselves forward, imagine you had invented the most effective machine in the world for beaming out messages to the populace.  You could begin and continue a program of mass broadcasting  at the flip of a switch. Let’s for fun call it “The Wublee Machine.” Let’s  suppose what might happen with the “Wublee machine” if Mr. Wublee were a good spirited seeker after truth, anxious for the good of mankind. Such a machine might disseminate powerful lessons from the fruit of our world’s history, both historical and spiritual.  But what if……..?
What if Mr. Wublee and his partners are garden variety self-serving sociopaths. What then?

He would probably think to himself, “Wow, this is great, my machine could be the greatest vehicle for mass hypnosis ever seen. I could tell things to people and they would believe them, simply because I tell them to believe them. Not only will I become ridiculously wealthy but I can control the thinking of millions and aim it all toward my own aggrandizement.”

“Now let’s see… he continues, “What might hinder my scheme..”   “I know, 9,000 years of recorded history and art could throw a slight crimp in things, but hey, power is on my side…”   “I’ll simply use my machine to beam out the idea that my 20 years of huckstering my products out does the whole of history and it’s spiritual growth.” “Ambitious plan you say? Hey nothing is beyond my program for personal success.”  “I have to laugh” (he continues),  people will all walk around like gullible Lil Abners saying, “We must realize that the Wublee Machine Age has changed all of history. There is nothing else now and we have no choice but to accept it” ….”and where will they have gotten this concept? From the Wublee Machine!.”  (Mr. Wublee would then laugh and  walk off to make another huge deposit into the Bank he owns.
His next scheme, to make gifts of Wublee machines to all the schools and invent a system for the children to study “The Common Wublee” approach to the core of acceptable Wublee truth, (or words to that effect.)
My little story is all fictional, of course. Following a train of ideas sparked by Mr. Mackay’s 1841 book. Any resemblance to our times is “purely historical.”
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