As of recent, out of complete curiosity, I decided to follow the music industry tag on Tumblr. Some of it is good but wow, there’s been an uptick in “I saw so-and-so with the devil” type accusations of Illuminati connections as of recent. Stuff like this:
I swear, people have such a limited concept of how fame and the music industry works. The entertainment industry too but we’re focusing on how folks are confused on the on-goings of the music industry. I think the twinge for me is that, as aforementioned in the original “Okay, Mr. Illuminati” and “Okay, Mr. Illuminati: Redux“, I have friends in professional music and in the occult and let me tell you, the two never overlap.
Alright, let’s start from the top of why worldwide success does not mean you joined some secret society that dispersed back in the 1800s. The music industry, as some of you could believe, is remarkably hard to get into and very, very easy to never get as so much as a nick of notoriety, regardless how much time, effort and money you put into it. Given the industry (and its outdated ways) like to hype up to about 10 different people and leave the rest to float for themselves practically, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that some artists have much more stage and media time than others. However, this is due to a lot of people that you don’t see, the managers, the board members discussing who’s numbers are doing well and who’s numbers are slipping, the execs who decide which albums go on the shelf if certain changes won’t be made and who will get the okay no matter what. There are no evil sorcerers or warlocks or whatever have you killing goats and chatting it up with the devil just so Beyonce’s album can sell well. That’s really ridiculous.
I’ve already defined the Illuminati in previous posts as defined by Watkins’ Dictionary of Magic. So you can read up there but you can also read the book International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders which, if not available in your local library, you can order online because holy gods, the stuff people come up with shows that there’s a lot of misinformed (and scared yet dimwitted) people. Usually, I’m glad to hear some creativity but assuming who is part of some secret handshake club is one place where it is brutally misapplied! The book International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders really goes in further depth about Illuminati and other secret societies to put all your conspiracy fears to rest. Seriously, go read!
Alright, moving right along!
As I said prior, I have friends in the music industry and I have friends in occult fields, including secret societies. The two NEVER overlap. Ever. At all. Not under any circumstances. Never. Ever. Evvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver. Not ever.
If that happened, there would be folks having heart attacks all around because my music friends would freak the hell out since this stuff spooks them too. Legit terrifies them. The music friends I already have are already squicked out by the magick stuff considerably. It’s a non-topic when I’m around them. The most I mention is “My Yule/Winter Solstice was nice, how was your Christmas?” and even that is pushing it! Good Gods, I get texted heavy duty bible quotes and Christian prayers that are familiar to what my Grandma would probably memorize from multiple music friends, no metaphysical chicanery happening here. One music person I know is currently on Henny Penny mode after asking his Siri about July 27 and it responding that it is when the Gates of Hades will open and he took “Hades” for “Hell”. Here’s hoping he won’t shovel out a bunker and start shouting about how the end of times is nigh while stockpiling on survivalist guides and canned foods. There’s little room for any magick and occult among my music friends. Some still believe the Boondocks’ wildly inaccurate version of the history of Christmas. With the rest of my music friends that don’t go on high alert around Halloween, they really don’t care. If it has nothing to do with them personally or requires waaaaaay more work than what already being in the music business entails (which is recording, writing and performing), they mainly give nary a whit about it. That includes secret societies.
And this is my music friends. Oh man, my occultist friends would freeeeeeaaaaaak out if someone remotely famous came to their meetings. I’d prolly be the first to hear because while my friends in that group are great at keeping rituals secret, let Jay-Z or Lady Gaga show up, all they would do is squawk. Still keep it silent about rituals and stuff, of course, but squawk like a parrot on a loudspeaker about their brush with fame. They’re not used to interacting with high-visibility music folks like me and trust, it would show. I know this. People in secret societies are pretty normal and thus are also prone to being star struck. My friends wouldn’t communicate secrets, they would be too horrifically bashful and incoherent to make it happen. Or ask a million and three questions about the music and become that annoying, over-doting fan. Even if the musician asked for the secrets of that order, it still wouldn’t happen because of the fangirling/fanboying.
Dude, I could totally see this happening:
Me: Dude, we’re gonna meet [random hi-vis musician], try to be cool about it.
Secret Society Friend: Ey, they’re people. I get it. They’re just like you and me.
[Random hi-vis musician]: Hi, I -
SSF: OH GAWD. I JUST- YOU’RE – FDAGOFUDA
Me: You said you were gonna be cool about this!
SSF: YOU’RE [RH-VM]! YOU’RE [RH-VM]! DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE [RH-VM]?!
SSF: [hides behind me]
SSF: [whispers] I think you’re awesome.
[RH-VM]: I heard you were in a secret order or something. So how would I join? What are the secrets to fame, money and adoration?
SSF: [thoroughly riveted to the spot]*Mumbles incoherently*
[RH-VM]: Did you hear me?
SSF: I HAVE FEELZ, OKAY?! YOUR RECORD. GAVE. ME. FEELINGS. FEELZ. I HAVE TO EXPRESS MY FEELZ.
SSF: YOUR ALBUM…I HAD NO FEELZ. THEN I HEARD YOUR ALBUM…NOW I HAVE FEELZ. YOU HAVE GIVEN ME FEELZ. Y U DO DIS? I HAVE TOO MANY FEELZ, NAO. MY FEELZ, THE FIRST: WHEN YOU MADE -
Me: And now it’s time for my friend to go, I told them they had to be on their best behavior when backstage and now they’re foaming at the mouth. Did you really think they were gonna be calm? Just sell cds, do well on Soundscan and read your contract, there ya go. Secrets. Should have already known this by now.
Seriously, that’s how it would go down. No secret handshakes or incredible information. Just one person having a psychobilly freakout moment meeting someone they’ve only seen on their tv or on the cover of a magazine. It would be ridiculous to assume otherwise. Nothing outrageous or ominous would occur. No matter what, people are very much not the cardboard cutout stereotypes that movies and media would like to paint them as and that includes occultists. Besides, I would be major surprised if any of my music friends were doing occultist stuff just to generate fame and fortune on the sneak tip.
Actually, I can imagine that, too:
Me: [Enter dressing room] Ey, dude, I got my pictures from earlier today. You want me to send them to your phone or email…them….what are you doing?
Music buddy: [sitting on floor in full ritual regalia, complete with wand, drawn circle, everything] Shut the door! You can’t knock?!
Me: Fine, sure! What are you trying to do? Did you see The Craft or something?
MB: I’m trying to make sure I have a good show tonight and keep my album sales up so I’m studying occultism. I’m joining the Illuminati. I gotta get up there somehow. Beyonce’s doin’ real well, I – stop laughing!
Me: I’m dyin’! Ha! Seriously? You not prankin’ me about my religion? Some of this stuff looks expensive to prank people with.
MB: No! I’m really tryin’ to summon a spirit to give me a good show and keep my sales up. Why you think this is funny? You’re ruining the ritual! I thought you were a witch!
Me: Are your sales that bad? Geez. Is the tour underwater like that? Why aren’t you talking to your lawyers about that instead of summoning – is that a cat?
Me: … Why do you have a caged cat? Are you about to kill that cat? You know how I feel about animal abuse, right?
MB: I’m tryin’ to summon somethi-
Me: Oh my gods, you tryin’ to kill that cat ‘cuz you can’t sell a record or some tickets? No. You not. I’m takin’ the kitty. Fluffy don’t need to pay just ‘cuz you selling wood in record sales, apparently. What Illuminati gonna let you just kill animals, you dingbat!
MB: You’re ruining my ritual! I read on the internet that you gotta have a sacrifice -
Me: Who are you sacrificing a cat to? And why a full blown ritual now? You know these things take about 45 minutes at least. You have soundcheck! Wait, have you had soundcheck yet?
MB: Gimme the cat, I thought you’d be understanding! I gotta sacrifice it to Beezlebub so I can -
Me: WHAT? Oh my gods, you ain’t makin’ any sense and now you’re trying to murder animals. Illuminati was about illumination of the mind as based on the Christian bible. It was about enlightenment, fool! They believed it could be achieved through the arts and sciences in addition to devout Christian practice. Why would they focus on devils and demons if that’s what they’re trying to not focus on? It was started by a Bavarian law professor centuries ago, they’re not even around! I’m takin’ the cat, dude.
MB: What about my show?!
Me: Have a prayer circle for a good show like everyone else does! And do your soundcheck instead of havin’ ritual! Wait… Have you been killing animals regularly? Dude, are you turning into Tony Jaa?
MB: I just -
Me: Dude, no. I’m about to go CNN about this. Get a therapist, talk to your label about why you not sellin’ well, talk to your tour guy about why your shows make you so insecure that you’re murdering defenseless animals in your dressing room and get a press packet done up for all the animal rights people that are about to get on your case!
Yep. That’s most likely would happen. That’s why I’m glad that the two are deftly separated.
So, in case you’re still mentally lagging: fame ≠ Illuminati or any other secret society. The music industry and the occult are two very different things. You don’t need one to have the other. There are a lot of reasons why some rocket to fame and some don’t. Look at documentaries or interviews about how A&R and Artist Management works and how the music business is doing. There are some really good ones out there, I even found a few on Tumblr under the music industry tag. And I assure you, they won’t talk about secret societies or anything of the sort. Because they aren’t a part of any. If any musician was trying to be like Y. B. Yates or William Blake, that’s more so for their own personal reason, not for their professional career. Even professional musicians have personal lives. Watch this awesome video of Jeff Fester, A&R of Jive Records, he details a pretty good bit of how the industry realistically works.