WARNING: The following story deals with America's only "sacred" figure; Santa Claus. It contends that, far from being an innocent and harmless mythic figure, a bringer of joy to children, it is actually something far more sinister…
I've tried and tried to keep this "professional" but, unfortunately, there turns out to be no way. Because of the claims and accusations I'm about to make, and the incredibly pervasive implications and intractable depth of the "problem", the arguments and information presented herein will most likely seem scattershot and hysterical. The only hope will be if you, regardless of your feelings for Santa Claus and Xmas, just hang in till the end.
It's not that I'm a Scrooge or Grinch, in fact, till now I never questioned the fact that it was me who had a "problem" with Xmas. After all, what could be wrong with kids smiling at gifts received or families coming together no matter what the disruption to their personal lives?
What fault could be found with Peace on Earth and Good Will to man, even if it's only one day a year? Thanks to my slight dyslexia, however, I can now say that there's a hell of a lot wrong with Xmas. For starters, Santa Claus, no matter how cozy you feel about "HIM", is actually SATAN.
That's a risky thing to say at the start of an article but I don't want to "trick" you or "lie" to you (like everyone else does about Santa and Christmas). If you keep reading, by the end, you too will understand the "reality" of the claim. For our intellect's sake, though, let's start slower. Let's start with the simplest fact. This Christmas, 2006, our American Santa Claus (fat, jolly, dressed in red) turns 85. And it's time for him to retire.
There is no disputing the historical fact that our American Santa Claus was completely created by Coca-Cola during the 1930's as part of an advertising campaign aimed at children. In fact, the original Santa is housed at the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta. The original artist was a Coke employee named Haddon Sundblom;
"A hard drinking Swede whose work was brilliant but usually late, "Sunny" made himself indispensable, regardless of his habits, by creating the classic Coca-Cola Santa Claus in 1931. Sundblom's Santa was the perfect Coca-Cola man; bigger than life, bright red, eternally jolly, and caught in whimsical situations involving a well-known soft drink as his reward for a hard night's work of toy delivery. . . Prior to the Sundblom illustrations, the Christmas saint had been variously illustrated wearing blue, yellow, green or red. In European art, he was usually tall and gaunt, whereas Clement Moore had depicted him as an elf in "A visit from St. Nicholas." After the soft drink ads, Santa would forever more be a huge, fat, relentlessly happy man with broad belt and black hip boots- and he would wear Coca-Cola red."
We'll return to the Coca-Cola/Santa Claus connection later. At this point its enough to know that Santa is 85 and, should we find it necessary to pull the plug on him, then we can resort to "mandatory" retirement if the old bastard doesn't go willingly.
For many readers, however, I'd guess that it's a little surprise that Santa Claus is "only" 85. That he doesn't have a longer and more historic tradition. It would then come as even more of a surprise that the entire English/American tradition of Santa and Xmas is really no older than about 150 years old.
In my "research", which yielded an absolute lack of any "historical" work on Santa, but a zillion "kid's" books (read; brainwash materiel) about Old Nick, I came across a Xmas history book called The Trouble with Christmas, by Tom Flynn. It turns out that Flynn's book is the single most authoritative historical account about the Yule season. Flynn himself claims to be in his 11th year of a "Yule-free" life.
Flynn, who is the senior editor of Free Inquiry, the Secular Humanist magazine, was raised Catholic and didn't learn about the Santa "lie" till he was 10-years old. Rather than just passively accept the lie and move on, Flynn decided to unmask what he considers to be the psychologically devastating, environmentally abusive, mind-controlling, diversity intolerant festival of Xmas. For those readers who have always had "questions" about Xmas and its roots, or who've had personal traumatic memories from childhood, Flynn's book will read like a breath of fresh air.
Some points covered in his book include; the actual history of St. Nicholas, the reasons why December 25th is not Jesus' birthday, the pagan roots of all the fall holidays, how Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer was completely fabricated by Montgomery Wards in 1939 (man, that bummed me out) and just about everything about every aspect of Xmas that is bogus.
Which is almost everything.
His assault on this holiday, however, is delivered with humour and good will (if you can believe it). In fact, if you get the A&E channel and have seen their Biography series, you can get a glimpse of Flynn on the Santa Claus episode.
In researching what turned out to be their highest rated episode ever, the Biography staff turned to Flynn as the foremost authority on the Holiday. Much to Flynn's chagrin, rather than credit him as a "historian" or some such, they give him the credit of "folklorist". They also edited out his cheeky "Hey kids! Your parents are lying to you about Santa!"
According to Flynn, Xmas was pretty much killed during Oliver Cromwell's Puritan reign in England. It seems the Puritan's had a problem with a holiday which purported to celebrate the Holy event of the Saviour's birth into the world but which turned out to be a mammon-worshipping, pagan-oriented Saturnalia of debauchery and hedonism. Unfortunately, they did not kill it dead enough.
Fast forward to the Victorian age and, as documented in his book, we find that "modern" Xmas was pretty much re-invented by a mere 6 people;
1) Washington Irving and his Knickerbocker History,
2) Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol,
3) Queen Victoria and her habit, from her German husband, Albert, of putting up an indoor Xmas tree,
4) Clement Moore, who wrote "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" (better known to us as "The Night Before Christmas"),
5) Thomas Nast, American illustrator, who depicted the first of the chubby Santas (modelled after Bacchus, god of Revelry), later finalised by Coca-Cola, and, finally,
6) Francis Church, a hack journalist who answered Virginia's famous letter, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
By the time you're done with reading Flynn's humorous yet fearsome book, there's no doubt left that Xmas has gots to go. The only problem, as Flynn notes, is that most people that celebrate Xmas already have some idea that it is a fairly bogus holiday. They excuse it, however, on behalf of the children. It sounds innocent enough.
Even famed child psychologist Bruno Bettleheim defended the idea of sustaining the illusion of Xmas. But the reality is that Santa Claus is not a harmless "myth" or fairy tale. There is no "once upon a time" here, no "Long ago and faraway". Our entire society, since the dawn of World War II, has unquestioningly, and consciously, invested massive amounts of energy into perpetuating the "fact" of Santa Claus.
For the victimised child, Santa Claus is REAL. More real than God and more real than Jesus. Actually, Santa is way cooler than Jesus. I mean, Jesus got killed (wimp), but Santa seems immortal. Jesus hung out in Israel, Santa lives at the North Pole. Jesus walked and occasionally rode an ass, Santa travels the world in his rad reindeer powered sleigh and hangs out at the mall. Best of all, Santa GIVES you toys and stuff while Jesus only gave his life and asks you to bear a cross to boot.
Eventually, however, the kid finds out that Mom and Dad and EVERYBODY lied. Granted, the kid (yourself perhaps?) is young and will recover. But what about the "damage"? Can we ever really know the depths of intellectual and spiritual damage that has taken place in honour of this pathetic, collective contrivance? It happens before you even know how to think for yourself.
So Flynn's book takes no prisoners as far as pulling the sanctified veil off the myth. The only problem is that, as a self-professed atheist and a rabid intellectual (those kooky secular humanists, always insisting on rationality), his work falls short of actually providing the reader with a sense of urgency in overthrowing Santa.
Rationality is seldom cause enough to take action for us Americans who consciously pursue self-deception as a lifestyle choice. If it were, no one would smoke anymore. Rationality would say that the "cure" for alcoholism is to get rid of alcohol. Logic dictates that "All Men are created Equal" means that there should be no prejudice or racism. But, alas. . .
The "key" to understanding Santa, therefore, which will allow you to fill in the blanks for yourself, is as simple as thinking about Fat Boy's inclination to go down chimneys. Hhhhmm. Fireplace. Fire. Down chimney. Could this be a very obvious decent into Hell?
Is it not conceivable that into the Hellish experience of the average American home Santa/Satan brings little trinkets once a year that make our subservience to the massive engines of commerce bearable? The great Anglo/American social pacifier.
In my very unprofessional research I came across a trilogy of "studies" on the history of Evil/Devil/Satan, from pre-Jewish times through the present, by Jeffrey Burton Russell, a hard-core "square" and total academic. Buried in the third book, a little paragraph revealed itself about one of the Satan myths;
"The Devil comes from the north, domain of darkness and punishing cold. Curious connections exist between Satan and Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas). The Devil lives in the far north and drives reindeer; he wears a suit of red fur; he goes down chimneys in the guise of Black Jack or the Black Man covered in soot; as Black Peter he carries a large sack into which he pops sins or sinners (including naughty children); he carries a stick or cane to thrash the guilty (now he merely brings candy canes); he flies through the air with the help of strange animals; food and wine are left out for him as a bribe to secure his favours. The Devil's nickname (!) "Old Nick" derives directly from Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was often associated with fertility cults, hence with fruit, nuts, and fruitcake, his characteristic gifts. This odd connection indicates how freely associative folklore becomes and how tangential to the essential point. The permutations of the folklore Devil are almost limitless; for the most part they do little to penetrate the problem of evil." (Jeffrey Burton Russell, The Prince of Darkness 1988, Cornell University Press)
Within the context of Russell's work the above is only a curious side-note. In context of this thesis, however, the implication is severe.
Of the few sociologists and child psychologists who've bothered to look at the function of Santa belief in children, almost all have identified an innate mental/spiritual faculty in humans that is most operative in the early stages of development. They allege that it is this "faculty" that allows for the belief in "God".
In essence, what they've discovered is that with the presentation of Santa as "real", Santa fulfils the human need to "know God". When one gets older, however, and finds out Santa is a lie, that faculty has already been effectively neutralised and the next step of attempting to fill that void becomes the mechanism that fuels the great American consuming drive.
In short, Santa Claus is the major deity of Western consumer religion.
Returning to JB Russell, we find that the word "Satan" derives from the Hebrew word for "Obstructer". That's all it really "means". Drawing from the New Testament (if you don't mind too much), most of us remember when Jesus tells Peter, who is his number one fan, "Get thee behind me Satan". What did he mean? That he had horns and hooves? No. He just meant that, in spite of Peter's good intentions, he was obstructing Jesus's message.
To that end there's plenty of Satans to be found.
The so-called Christian preachers, standing before admiring throngs, quoting scripture to suit their angle, hypnotising believers with sing-song lyricism and a bunch of emotional clap trap. Slap some horns on Swaggart's head when he's getting all red-faced with emotion and, zappo, you've got the classic picture of Satan. Where better to work from than in the midst of those who believe that they're true believers (oh, vanity, all is vanity). Just jumble up the gospel, add some cloven hoof, and sell your own version. Even so, all combined, Swaggart and his ilk are no Santa.
How about those satan worshipping heavy metal kids? All the spooky pentagrams, skeletons, black clothes, etc? Aren't Aleister Crowley and Anton Levay, high level Free masonry and Witchcraft the true stomping grounds of Old Jack? Shyah! What a weak imagination we've all been given.
Worship the images that the churches themselves created, the lore they handed out, and then think that you've entered the Prince of Darknesses secret club? Silly (I don't mean to insult you devil kids out there).
It's a great distraction from the real satanists that are methodically and irrevocably turning this blue-green paradise into a genuine hell of toxic waste, perpetual war and crippling social dysfunction. These are the one's cloaked in the Armani tailored sheep's clothing of rational, cutting edge, economic interests. At least the devil children make it clear where their interests lie.
And if Satan is an "obstructer", what better obstructer to the message of Jesus than Santa and the whole Xmas scam. The Jehovah's Witnesses know it, it's what they teach their kids, but they in turn are so greedy about being the "elect" that they also teach their kids not to burst anyone else's bubble.
"John Lennon once said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ. He was wrong. That honour belongs to Santa Claus. An estimated 85 percent of American four-year-olds believe in Santa. Only 82 percent of adults in a recent poll told Gallup that they were Christians. Among their respective target audiences, Santa out-pulls Jesus by a nose." (-p. 128, Flynn)
The qualities that Santa belief cultivates, versus the qualities that bible-derived Jesus beliefs cultivate, are diametrically opposed. Santa's focus is purely material, Jesus' kingdom spiritual. Everything else flows from that. Yet, when laid out side by side, Santa's M-O is almost an exact parallel with Jesus. And because this pagan rite has been irrevocably affixed to the name of Jesus, once the Santa myth bursts then so too does the hope of finding any "real" meaning in Jesus.
The biblical Jesus was a trouble making, non-conformist who valued people over oppressive institutions. He took on those who alleged to be his superiors and called them on their claims to moral superiority and their tacit assumption of power in society. He basically held killer parties by the Sea of Galilee, bread, fish and wine for all, and brought everyone together by word of mouth. Didn't even use flyers. He entered the houses of worship and turned over the moneychangers' tables. He gave all glory to God (probably would have abhorred having his birthday celebrated in the first place, but that's a different story) and enjoined on his disciples to shake the worldly dust from their feet.
Now the churches that claim to derive their authority from Christ display sacrilegious, idol worshipping nativity scenes with no basis in the gospels and a traceable root to ancient worship of pagan gods. This is why "X"mas is a much more correct way of spelling the holiday. We actually celebrate Mr. X on this day and not JC.
Even still, with all this yammering, who really cares? It's no big deal, right? It's only "symbolic", the whole thing. But an image comes to mind. An image about how we Americans look at foreign cultures and their "symbolic" celebrations. How we quickly find them odd and primitive. ("Let he who is without sin cast the first stone").
We look at those wacky Indian Hindus and their lavish parades where individuals dress the part of the various incarnations of Krishna as well as the different godheads. What's the difference between that and the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade with, at the climax, the Prince of Darkness, Santa, waving his blessings, like the pope of pop culture to all the tasty kiddies who line the streets.
And how about the ancient Incas and Aztecs and their deplorable rituals of child sacrifice? How horrible the image of the high priest at the top of those ziggurats, flames burning, and children lined up waiting to be hurled down the steps or thrown into the fire. Is it any different than our entire society investing billions of dollars and billions of hours and the utmost creativity to keep children lined up at the malls come the holidays to pay homage and beseech his highness, Santa, for the trinkets and gifts that they've been taught to ask for?
If, as Flynn's studies indicate, most children's initial exposure to Santa is traumatic; filled with fear, filled with tears, sometimes peeing on Santa's lap (and everyone knows it is so), then there is actually some kind of dynamic taking place that is not unlike a "sacrifice".
Something instinctive in the child attempts to resist this relationship with Big man, Pig man (Ha, ha, charade you are). To protect the child it makes him pull away. But mom and dad, since they went through it themselves, adult children of Santaholics, very lovingly but unwittingly shove their kid into the arms of the man who will, ironically, take all parental value away from them.
Once Johnny sits on Santa's lap then A) Mom and Dad become liars and deceivers, B) Mom and Dad are no longer the source of good things but, rather, Old Nick is the provider, once a year, of the toys and joys that Johnny wants, and C) Johnny now experiences paranoia for the first time because, "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake", except that, unlike God, whom you can't see, and Jesus, who's dead, if you mess things up in relation to this guy, you're gonna get it come Dec. 25th.
Oddly enough, the African and Oriental traditions of ancestor worship and communing with the spirits of the dead, are perceived as "primitive" by Christian missionaries who've sought to stamp out such superstitious nonsense. With the best intentions, and a heavy hand, they scare the piss out of these jungle saps enough to get them to "accept" Jesus and the Gospel on pain of eternal fire and damnation should they reject their message.
Obviously traumatic to these "wild savages", the missionaries are not insensitive. As a fringe benefit, special incentive, emotional salve they provide the surrogate bogey man of Santa. To bring them into our "fold". Giving them what amounts to a spiritual version of the Clap.
It's almost like a virus or bacteria traveling in a host cell. Only this virus travels in the Lord of Hosts cell. It's so incredibly clever (isn't Satan just sooooo clever?) that he should piggy back on Christ's back with the blessings of Church and Christians no less. Doesn't have to lift a finger, only deliver gifts once a year and, hell, the parents take care of that anyway. What a fat, lazy bastard.
Once Christ gets in the heart, it can barely be enjoyed before Santa takes over. If you think this is ridiculous you need only reflect on how cancers and viruses "appear" to us from the outside. Everything looks fine and dandy, the picture of health, but within everything is slowly being consumed. And of course, there's also spiritual and mental viruses.
Like David Duke and Donald Trump. From the outside they look fine, their messages can sound good, but the virus of racism infects their sensible politics. Like the Communist dream of equality for all but injected with the virus of materialist man. Imagine Billy Graham's surprise when Richard Nixon, a guy he diagnosed as righteous, whom he promoted at religious revivals, his very good friend, turned out to be infected by a liar, thief, deceiver virus. And all this right before his eyes.
The case for Santa as Satan is a no-brainer compared to these other examples. And most of the damage that exists, like a far along cancer detected all too late, is already done and quite extensive. Radical therapy, as soon as possible, seems to be called for at this point. It's right before our eyes, if we'd only choose to see.
But still, this is all to no avail.
There's a very big obstacle, obstruction, etc. that exists when the majority of us were part of this insidious process. Who would dare admit that the leap from Rockefeller Centre angels to Roswell aliens and UFO sightings is miniscule.
That these last 50 years of increased sightings might be an unwitting side effect of "seeing" Santa as a child and hearing those sleigh bells. That X-files is really only Xmas files once removed. If not angels, maybe elves then. Whatever. That possibility would be too embarrassing to entertain.
How stupid would you feel if, contrary to everything else we're taught in these enlightened times, the Santa you believed in was actually, honest to goodness, the Devil, Mr. Lucifer? Why not? We believe every other kind of crap don't we? Could you believe? It's so incredulous. Yet...
In all the lore, isn't the Devil precisely the one that tempts us with pleasing shapes and forms? Isn't hell pictured as the place where the sumptuous banquet laid before us metamorphoses into crawling creatures and slugs, and the beautiful dancing women become festering hags with snake tongues?
Wouldn't all the Devil imagery of Heavy Metal and suburban youth pentagram jewellery amount to nothing but a quaint little exercise in dysfunction compared to the idea that Santa and the whole commercial production of Xmas, once you lift the curtains, is the conscious handy work of the agents of mammon?
Balding, sweaty Madison avenue types creating new jingles to suck the kids in. Drunk, pathetic shopping mall Santas who probably harbour sodomite fantasies about the kids who sit on their laps. Toy guns and Barbies and Cars and Goosebumps and Morphin Rangers and Ninja Turtles and X Box, etc, created and marketed by spiritual elves with reptilian souls and cynical intellects obliviously churning out the rubbish that, for all intents and purposes, comes from "Santa's workshop". The Wizard of Oz is instructive in this regard, but child's play compared with the genuine madness of Xmas.
Alright, enough then. It's either clear by now or not. But lets do one last historic exercise and return to our friends Coca-Cola.
Here's a mental exercise. Take Santa's Coke birth in Atlanta, 1931, as a starting point ("The Devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal, he was in a bind, 'cause he was way behind, and he was willing to make a deal") and look at Coca Cola's global expansion.
Correlate that with the escalation in everything awful and evil that has come about as the environmental by-products of the incredibly ravenous commercial growth that has been the hallmark of the latter half of this century. It's just another way to "look at things" and it could fill volumes.
And before anyone from Coke calls up claiming libel, etc., there is no accusation here. Just observations. The observation of Coke's 1946 billboard with a smiling bare-midriffed girl being offered the phallic Coke bottle by a male arm and the sole copy being the word "Yes".
The observation that early Coke contained cocaine and yet the company marketed it to mothers and children. The observation that, even though it started as a medicinal drink, it became more lucrative to market it as a "refreshing beverage". The observation that Coke created our American Santa. And there's a jillion other oddities, all of which can be scanned in Mark Pendergrast's book.
Ultimately, however, at the end of all this haranguing and blah-blah, I feel the absolute failure at my attempt to raise any meaningful warning to the masses of my fellow citizens who will again, this year and the next and the next, continue to offer up their children as willing fodder to the "In God We Trust" blasphemy of over-bloated commercial interest.
The seeds of this insidious pathology have been sown so deep, the threads woven so tightly, within our current consciousness that to exorcise this demon from our midst would entail nothing less than fundamentally uprooting and overturning virtually every element of American society as we know it.
Everyone is invested in this venture and, just like the mythic midnight contracts of old, there is no way out of this deal other than killing the Beast itself and letting things come undone as they may.
It's pretty much the Golden Calf Story.
A first commandment issue.
A Bible sized problem.
A final thought (just so you know I don't take any of this too seriously). As I showered the other night in my frightful manic state, wondering how I'd tie these infinite strands of perception into the minute finitude of an article, I heard the words "HO, HO, HO" coming from every side... How odd, I thought? Isn't "Ho", in rapper lingo, the word for "whore"? Yes, but so what? That's a stretch. And again, "HO, HO, HO!"
"HO,HO,HO" - And I thought of a Satanic Santa. How obvious it all is. But what could this "HO,HO,HO" business be? And I thought of the letters of our pointless alphabet, reproduced here for your enjoyment:
Just a bunch of meaningless lines and curves. Just a bunch of lines. So I looked at the letter H. And I went through the rest of the alphabet. It turns out, if you take the crossing line of "H" as a bisector, "H" is the only letter that bisects into five equal lines. Five. Hhhhmm.
So "H" and "O". And then, like a bad special effect from a Clive Barker film, the "H" undid itself into five separate lines and, in slow motion, reconfigured itself within the "O" as an upside down pentagram. I know, silly. I mean, could that be the actual pronunciation for the Satanic Pentagram? Nah, couldn't be.
I guess I'm really thankful that my apartment has no fire place.
(Note: For you sticklers; Actually the "A" could be seen as having five segments it you split the top triangle. That would be "AO" which can't really be pronounced. Strange. Oddly enough "A" & "O" seem like they could stand for Alpha and Omega. Hhhhmmm. Unpronounceable. Kind of like the olden days. Kind of like the opposite of "HO". But again. . . I'm probably stretching a bit).