Monday, November 18, 2013

Disciple and Punish

To the Ecclesiast and Alpinist:

I found in the Magus' remains a strange note about aberrations in the Christian movements. Apparently a good many of them in the New World and in Britain seek to "disciple" people.

The note below is uncharacteristic of the Magus' charity and somewhat harsh. I think it may be a quotation from some other author.
Discipling people is an extension of power and control beyond that of oneself. It is stronger and more powerful than any external control, any police state, or the threat of force. It is the most terrible secret of power -- I do not need to control you if you can be convinced to do it for me for yourself. Human beings have not always had an inner life. But the beginnings of the practices of discipling are to convince people to control themselves instead of merely being controlled by force.

'To Disciple' may be identified neither with an institution nor with an apparatus; it is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets; it is a 'physics' or an 'anatomy' of power, a technology. And it may be taken over either by 'specialized' institutions (the churches or 'congregations' of the present age), or by institutions that use it as an essential instrument for a particular end (small groups, emerging Christianity), or by pre-existing authorities that find in it a means of reinforcing or reorganizing their internal mechanisms of power (one day we should show how intra-familial relations, essentially in the parents-children cell, have become 'discipled', absorbing since the classical age external schemata, first educational and military, then medical, psychiatric, psychological, which have made the family the privileged locus of emergence for the disciplinary question of the normal and the abnormal); or by apparatuses that have made discipline their principle of internal functioning (the discipling of the administrative apparatus from the Puritan period), or finally by community apparatuses whose major, if not exclusive, function is to assure that discipline reigns over society as a whole (the small group leader or lead pastor).

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