All hail the Dark Enlightenment!!!

Apparently the Manosphere is now, according to certain breathless and all too easily startled poltroons over on the left side of the pond, run by Sith Lords of the Dark Enlightenment who all want to do Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Things to human society by bringing back (gasp!!! shock!!! horror!!!) traditional values:
Blossoming on the Internet like a fetid rose, a mysterious new political movement has generated a serious and not un-terrifying critique of modern society. Its members are loud and growing in number, and they demand nothing less than the elimination of the democratic system. Mostly white, male and angry, they lie in wait for the imminent collapse of civilization. 
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Dark Enlightenment. The Empire is striking back.

Much as Christianity grew out of the cult-sodden ferment of the Roman-occupied Middle East, the Dark Enlightenment has sprouted from the hyper-anxious anti-liberalism precincts in the darker recesses of the Internet. 
So we’ve dug deep into the Web, where the movement lurks. We’ve talked online to its philosopher king, Nick Land, and we’ve conversed with his faceless adherents.
(Courtesy of the greatest and most badass Sith Lord of all, Darth Vox.)

Wait, it gets better:
Where does the term Dark Enlightenment come from? Inspired by the pugnacious writings of Mencius Moldbug, the prolific blogger who serves as the movement’s unofficial center of gravity, the neologism is the creation of philosopher Nick Land. In 2012, Land wrote an impressively thorough manifesto titled simply The Dark Enlightenment, which boldly articulates the movement’s central thesis: “For the hardcore neo-reactionaries, democracy is not merely doomed, it is doom itself. Fleeing it approaches an ultimate imperative.” The essay continues, ”[Neo-reaction] conceives the dynamics of democratization as fundamentally degenerative: systematically consolidating and exacerbating private vices, resentments, and deficiencies until they reach the level of collective criminality and comprehensive social corruption.” No, this isn’t your grandpa’s conservatism. (Unless your grandpa was General Franco.)
Now if this doesn't have you falling off your chair laughing, then here is something that surely will (again, courtesy of Vox):
The Dark Enlightenment Exposed 
I first heard about the Dark Enlightenment (aka “Neo-Reaction” or just “Reaction”) last year, the year after I graduated from college and was interning at a conservative think tank. I briefly become involved with the Dark Enlightenment and then left the movement in disgust. Here is what I learned: 
- The Dark Enlightenment is controlled by what the media call “Sith Lords”. You have more public Lords like Mencius Moldbug and Nick Land, but there are even some Lords up higher whose names are not revealed. They say the Master Lord says ‘Et Ego in Arcadia’ which is an anagram for ‘Tego Arcana Dei’ (“I hide the secrets of God”). 
- But only the media call them ‘Sith Lords’. In Inner Speak, they will often use phrases like the Men of NĂºmenor or the Eldars. 
- I never met any of the higher Eldars, but I did once meet an Eldar in Training. I don’t know his real name but people called him Legolas. He had long blond hair, was dressed like a 19th century count, and wore a pendant that had both a Christian Cross and Thor’s Hammer on it. 
- The movement is a weird mixture of ethno-nationalists, futurists, monarchists, PUAs (“pick-up artists” like Chateau Heartiste), Trad Catholics, Trad Protestants, etc. They all believe in HBD (what they call “human biodiversity” i.e. racism) but disagree on some other minor points. 
- The religious people in the movement (both Christians and pagans) practice what is called “identitarian religion” (religion that doesn’t deny ethnic identity). 
- Some of the rising stars of the Dark Enlightenment on the internet seem to be Radish Magazine, Occam’s Razor Mag, and Theden TV. 
- The Dark Enlightenment allegedly has millions of dollars of money to play with. They have a couple big donors. One is rumored to be a major tech tycoon in Silicon Valley. They actually had a private 3-day meeting on an island which was furnished with a French chef, etc. Different forms of formal attire were required for each day (tuxedos, 3-piece suits, etc), and some weird costumes were required too (capes, hoods, etc) — which sound like a pagan cult. (I wasn’t at this function but heard about it.) 
- I was initiated into the first stages of the Dark Enlightenment, which involved me stripping down naked so people could “inspect my phenotype”. I was then given a series of very personal questions, often relating to sexual matters. I was then told to put on a black cape. (I really regret doing this but at the time I was younger, more impressionable and eager to please.) 
- For the initial oath taking, everyone must swear on a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species, just to show their fidelity to HBD. After that, for the later oaths, seculars will swear again on Darwin, while Christians will swear on the Bible, and pagans on the Prose Edda or Iliad. 
- At one of the meetings I heard someone continuously chanting “gens alba conservanda est” (Latin for “the white race must be preserved”) and then others were chanting things in Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse and Old German, but I don’t know those languages so I can’t remember exactly what they were saying. 
- They also have all their own secret handshakes, and their own terminology [like the Cathedral ("political correctness"), thedening ("re-establishing ethnic group identity"), genophilia ("love of one's own race"), NRx ("neoreaction"), etc.]. 
- On the philosophical level, this movement is not entirely original. Much of it is borrowed from the Identitarian movement in Europe. They also all detest democracy. They are not trying to be a “populist movement” but are only trying to convert other elites to their way of thinking. 
This whole movement is like a secret cult, which is why I left. Also, because of the valiant and brave efforts of people on the net exposing this movement, I saw this cult for the evil it truly is. Please stay away from it.
If you were at all worried that we here in the 'Sphere have lost our ability to troll the idiots of this world, then fear not, for Mark Shea got trolled so hard, it's something of a wonder that he's allowed to show his face in public. The sheer anxious earnestness of his article is utterly hysterical to read- I nearly caused an incident at work when I read the whole thing, I was laughing so hard that the coffee in my hand was in serious danger of ending up on someone's desk. It all reminds me of being in the 8th grade again, when I was a founding member of the Star Wars club and we used to run around referring to each other by military titles (I was Commander Didact and fancied myself as an X-wing pilot, like my hero, Wedge Antilles) and pretending that what we were doing was of the slightest relevance to the world around us, with the earnest eagerness that only the very young and the very dumb can summon.

The difference between that 13-year-old and Mark Shea, of course, is that the 13-year-old had the good sense to grow the f*** up.

Speaking as a (very very very junior) Sith Lord myself, I found the use of phrases from The Master's lexicon to be particularly funny. I'm thinking that the next time we have a meetup, we all wear dark robes, speak in sinister British accents, and refer to each other by the names of ancient Eldar kings- I claim dibs over the name Fingolfin!!! Anyone else down for this?

Two remaining thoughts:
  • I'd love to hear what other junior Sith Lords like The Observer- who shall henceforth be referred to as Turgon, in honour of the founder of the hidden city of Gondolin- and Sith Ladies like Tempest have to say about this highly amusing batch of bat-brained stupidity. Should make for some absolutely hilarious commentary.
  • My thanks to our unintentionally kind counterparts over there on the left bank for providing us with endless hours of amusement at their expense. There is literally no end to how far we could go with this whole Sith Lord/Eldar/Men of Numenor thing, we'll keep ourselves cracking up for weeks.


  1. I wanna be a millionaire Sith Lord. It sounds like a lot of fun. And a cape? Way cool!

    1. You want dibs on "Darth Sidious", then? Just remember, you'll have to sound extra-sinister. And you'll need a big nose and wonky teeth to pull it off.

  2. Turgon? Well, seems like I have to brush up some on my Middle-Earth.

    In all seriousness, though, the hoax was perpetrated by Occam's Razor (, just for reference. It really wasn't that hard - as was pointed out, the hoaxer simply showed Mark Shea what he wanted to see. As the old adage goes: "to benefit others, tell them the truth, to benefit yourself, tell them what they want to hear."

    It's a simple rehash of efforts to alternately paint DE/NRx as both dangerous racists or pimply-faced boys playing D&D in their basements, never mind the contrast of both groups. Of course to this, Radishmag came out with the tongue-in-cheek heroes of the DE playing cards, which only served to fuel the whole cycle. It's true that DE/NRx doesn't seek to be populist - if anyone is turned away by the likes of Shea's article, we don't want them in the first place.

    I do sort of wish I had access to a private island and French chef, though.

    In any case, the twitter inner circle is having a jolly laugh, as are many other associated blogs, from which Occam's has linked. Check out the reporting and opinions on the hoax at your leisure.


    1. You're an engineer who is interested in building things and protecting great ideas; Turgon built the city of Gondolin in secret for his people and preserved the culture and nobility of the Eldar for nearly 500 years from the forces of the Great Enemy. It seemed to fit.

      The best comment I have read so far comes from CarpeOro over at Vox's place:
      "These are not the Eldar you are looking for."
      "Move along."



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