Who Worships An Evil God?

  • One of the most alluring themes in HP Lovecraft’s mythos is the concept of “knowledge that drives you insane”
  • People often think of this as creepy mind-control magic, but indoctrination is a more apt analogy
    • People who read “red-pill” forums and see everything in terms of sexuality and sexual conquest
    • People who become heavily influenced by gender studies and start seeing everything in terms of intersectional oppression
  • People in the rationalist community have deified abstract forces like Moloch or Ra
  • While Moloch and Ra are impersonal forces, we can explore what happens when people give themselves over entirely to these sorts of impersonal forces
  • Each Lovecraftian being can be seen as the symbol of a “mind-consuming belief” - a belief that is so powerful it can completely redefine your values

Cthuga, The Living Flame

  • Being of fire, imprisoned in a star
  • Worshipped by people who believe that there is an essence that makes each person who they are, and as long as that essence is preserved, the person is preserved
  • This is the god of the anti-deathism movement
  • People who believe in uploading are especially strongly aligned with Cthuga
  • People aligned with Cthuga want to meet other people as minds, not bodies - intensely extraverted in online spaces while being introverted in reality
  • Cthuga views people as a collection of memes and masks - the space most aligned with Cthuga today would be 4Chan

Yog Sothoth, The Lurker At The Threshold

  • Yog Sothoth is an endless mass of glowing orbs, eyes, and tendrils
  • The egregore representing natural laws
  • Represents the miracle of “fine tuning” (i.e. that the fundamental constants of the universe are precisely those that allow intelligent life to develop)
  • Yog Sothoth is the promise that mysteries of the universe can be known
  • People strongly interested in understanding the world for the sake of understanding itself are aligned with Yog Sothoth

Hastur, The Unspeakable

  • Hastur is the god of Grand Narratives
  • Manifests as a character in a play: The King In Yellow
  • Symbol of stories that are more important than reality
  • People aligned with Hastur are those who wish their lives would be part of some kind of epic story
  • Hastur’s promise is that your life can have the same level of epic meaning as that of the protagonist in a story

Ithaqua, The Wind Walker

  • Ithaqua is the egregore of isolation and introspection
  • It is the spirit of self-expression, of doing your own thing not because society approves of it or it brings you some practical benefit, but because it is the thing you want to do
  • Ithaqua and Cthuga oppose each other - Cthuga values community and communication, whereas Ithaqua values isolation and introspection
  • Ithaqua pushes for having one or two very strong connections, whereas Cthuga pushes for many weak connections
  • Those aligned with Ithaqua value personal autonomy above all else

Cthulhu Lies Dreaming

  • Cthulhu is by far the most famous of the egregores
  • Cthulhu’s worshippers have faith that their god will one day awaken and set them over the rest of the world
  • This closely corresponds to the faith in the eventual victory of one’s tribe or nation in tribalism and nationalism
  • The notion of a “silent majority” supporting your position is very closely aligned with the notion of a sleeping Cthulhu
  • Cthulhu is the egregore of sentimentality, chauvinism, and “my country right or wrong”

Shub Niggurath, The Black Goat of the Woods With A Thousand Young

  • Shub Niggurath is the egregore of “animalistic” drives
  • Not just lust and hunger, but also mercy and compassion
  • People aligned with Shub Niggurath see the civilization as a thin veneer over people’s primal drives
  • People who want to destroy civilization and return to a more “pure” state of nature are aligned with Shub Niggurath
  • This includes both eco-terrorists and people who idolize Tyler Durden

Nyarlythotep, The Crawling Chaos

  • Nyarlythotep is the egregore of manipulation
  • Not just book-smart like Yog Sothoth, but clever - can make people pay attention to them and convince them with words
  • People aligned with Nyarlythotep value “elegant” social engineering of “crude” brute force
  • Values manipulation for its own sake, because it’s fun and challenging

Azathoth, The Nuclear Chaos

  • Worst and most powerful entity of the Lovecraft mythos
  • Knowledge that everything is an approximation, and thus, a lie
  • People aligned with Azathoth are people who’ve been let down by models
  • People who insist on dealing with the full complexity of the world, even when working with simplified models would make them happier or more effective
  • Azathoth is also the knowledge that the world is meaningless and that all attempts bring meaning are convenient lies we tell ourselves
  • Devotees of Azathoth are active nihilists, in that the deliberately oppose any attempts to impose meaning on the world or on natural processes

Epilogue: Tsathoggua

  • Tsathoggua is the last and least threatening of egregores
  • Represents the spirit of not caring
  • Ultimate disaffected hipster
  • While all the other egregores have serious, intense worldviews, Tsathoggua sits back and uses its wit and irony to make fun of them
  • Charming in small doses and addictive in large doses
  • Tsathoggua and Azathoth are both nihilist egregores, but while Azathoth is an active nihilist, Tsathoggua is a passive nihilist
  • Tsathoggua will make fun of you for trying to introduce meaning, but won’t try to stop you, unlike Azathoth