The Elder Gods
(Hildago Trading Company; FisTemple of the Wrath of Popeye the Sailor Man; Church of the SubGenius)
The Elder Gods (so named by H.P. Lovecraft) are a race of multidimensional beings who intervened in the processes of the material universe until they were rendered nearly inert by a catastrophic accident in the remote past. Mankind possesses the means to reanimate them, but as their goals and interests are not compatible with our own, this is an inadvisable course of action. Nevertheless, the Elder Gods are continually being invoked by agents of what has been called the Conspiracy, the Black Iron Prison, the Man, the Empire, etc. This invocation is not necessarily performed on the conscious level; it is normally done by people who have no idea what they are doing. The invocation takes the form of subliminal clashes of wills and ideologies -- in language, the media, physical activity, etc. In a sense, the Elder Gods are composed of information, and can be given strength through the right combination of symbolic imagery, emotional energy, and temporal control.
The primary danger posed by the Elder Gods stems from the fact that they are highly abstract in nature. The apparent complexity of their actions is an illusion created by their interaction with the physical universe. They may manifest in the mind of a contactee as simple, obsessive concepts and Gestalts such as Power, Law, Fate, Willful Perversity, etc. Human contactees tend to recieve information and plans through their encounters, but when they attempt to make use of this information it leads to destructive actions because the underlying intent of these plans is incompatable with the normal course of events in the universe. In order to carry out the directives of the Elder Gods, the `tools' must be made weak enough not to resist. In `human' terms, this results in dehumanization, both figurative and literal. Other results in the physical and cultural worlds include wholesale destruction of all kinds, pollution, rigidity, standardization, and polarization. The Elder Gods deal in absolutes, since their nature is monolithic, but when humans adopt these attitudes, they begin to see all choices as all-or-nothing decisions, which do not exist in this universe. This leads to extreme action `against the grain', i.e. destroying the opposition, brainwashing, and the use of offensive force. Such actions are destructive, both immediately and over the long haul, and eventually lead to genocide and Armageddon-like showdowns. This may have been the cause of the fall of the Elder Gods, as Dobbs and Lovecraft suggest.
The Elder gods do not `act' the way they do out of moral (or immoral) considerations; the concept of morality is foreign, and possibly unknown, to them. They are blind and deterministic (see Lovecraft's references to the `blind idiot god' Azathoth); a human in their thrall sees himself caught up by an impersonal Fate that forces his hand. In fact, he has been neutralized and has become a tool. The intentions of the Elder Gods are `evil' as far as we are concerned because of their incompatibility and their superior power. It may be that we increase their power by increasing our own; if they need us as a medium through which to act, it may be that they smote themselves by smiting us once too often, reducing our numbers to the point that we were no longer useful to them. The fact that the population of Earth has regenerated itself does not insure an automatic takeover by the Elder Gods; it merely restores the initial conditions necessary for such an occurence. A large-scale informational assault is still needed in order to summon them, and the mass electronic media now have the potential for doing so. An important advantage the media now have over more `primitive' magickal techniques is that it is now possible to synchronize the mental processes of hundreds of millions of people at once. Fortunately, such electronic invocations have so far been on a minor scale -- but there is no guarantee that more effective invocations will not be used in the future.*
It would be a mistake to believe that only traditional, formalized rituals can be used to summon the Elder Gods and/or lesser `beings'. The important element is the specific mental trigger, which can be imbedded in anything from a `mainstream' book to a television commercial. Television will be the major invocational medium of the future, as the Conspiracy clarifies its goals and gains mastery over the new technology. Most of the more direct anti-Conspiracy campaigns are destined to fail, because they will use force rather than information. The audience must be won, and if the Conspiracy controls the media, the audience will percieve only what the Elder Gods require them to percieve. The Conspiracy took advantage of the political assassinations of the 1960s to experiment with propaganda/historical-editing techniques, although the assassinations were performed for other reasons.
Whereas most practitioners of invocation attempt to summon the Elder Gods and their minions, the SubGenius calls on the Rebel Gods (JHVH-1, THE FIGHTIN' JESUS, ERIS DISCORDIA, NUNU, etc.), who are much more "down-to-earth" -- more alive and sentient -- than the Elder Gods, and whose intentions are least inimical, and perhaps even helpful, to the population at large.
*Many people equate invocations with other forms of sympathetic magick such as money magick, sex magick, and the various forms of induced PK. Although invocations do produce some PK effects, the mechanism of invocation operates on a different principle.