Version 0.8: August 15, 2019, 2:43pm
There is a lot in this novel. My commentary is basically finished, but it needs a lot of editing, so I am commpleting this by instalments in the same post. There are more references to be added.
Crome Yellow is a novel published in 1921 by Brave New World author Aldous Huxley .
According to commentators, this novel is a satire concerning Aldous Huxley’s real life stays at Garsington Manor, the home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, where he met up with other cultural influencers .
Denis Stone, the main character, is vacationing with familiar friends at a house called “Crome” in the village of the same name.
Chapter 2: Mrs. Priscilla Wimbush, the hostess, is introduced as spending her time in New Thought, the Occult, horoscopes, and gambling on horses and football. She talks to Denis about how exciting faith is, believing in “the next world and all the spirits, and one’s Aura” and refers to Mrs. Eddy, the “Christian Mysteries” and “Mrs. Besant” .
Chapter 4: Anne likes Denis and they talk. Denis worries about philosophy, ideas and “ratiocination”. Anne has “always taken things as they come. . . One enjoys the pleasant things, avoids the nasty ones . . . .” Denis says he has to “invent an excuse, a justification for everything that’s delightful. . .” Anne tells him that he needs a “nice plump young wife” and “a little congenial but regular work.” At this point, Denis fails to express what he really wanted to say to Anne: “What I need is you.” He was in despair. The opportunity passes. He repeats this mistake in a more dramatic way at the end of the novel.
In this case, the words of the character seem to explain the problem because his thoughts, his mind and his rationalizations prevent him from doing what every other part of him feels he needs to do. Towards the end, Denis starts to wonder whether his ideas are even his own. I think we should ask the same question about where our ideas come from. I think this is a significant 20th century pop culture trope: for example, Charlie Brown is too scared to talk to the “little red-haired girl”. I think it would be a healthier story if the famous comic strip showed Charlie Brown resolving his fear, but he never does. In real life, this is a happiness-reducing, dis-empowering and population-reducing pattern of behavior . Considering some of the themes of the novel, I think it’s reasonable to speculate that the author was aware of the consequences and causes of his character’s attitudes and behavior patterns.
We take these very simple things for granted in stories–to us, pop stories of romance are very entertaining and simple–and I think many of us would find it distasteful to consider that we are being observed like domesticated animals and manipulated in a clinical way (via entertainment for example) by other classes of society who are counting the number of children we produce:
Chapter 5: The residents are gathered round looking at a sow nurse her fourteen young. Henry Wimbush wants to slaughter the other one who had only five and also the boar who was getting old. Anne thought it was cruel, but Mr. Scogan praises the practicality of it. He compares the farm to a model of sound government, and so we get an idea of the line of thought Huxley encountered in his circles [Ref. Bertrand Russell]:
Make them breed, make them work, and when they’re past . . . , slaughter them.
The character Gombauld, who Denis sees as a rival, speaks up in favor of everyone having as many children as possible:
Lots of life: that’s what we want. . . .
The author explains Gombauld’s thoughts:
Sterility was odious, unnatural, a sin against life. Life, life, and still more life.
Mary is angry at what Gombauld says because she was a “convinced birth-controller.” [Ref: Besant]
Scogan starts in on how love is now dissociated from “propagation” and “Eros” is now an “entirely free god” and eventually humans will succeed in separating reproduction from sex:
An impersonal generation will take the place of Nature’s hideous system.
The he talks about “state incubators” and “gravid [pregnant] bottles” (producing bottle babies or what we eventually call test-tube babies, or maybe we can call them “incuba-tots”), which produce the population that the world “requires” as if the world thinks as a collective all-knowing entity–like a fake AI or H. G. Wells’ World Brain [Ref: H. G. Wells & other formulations of this]–that decides how many is too many. It’s just a genocidal and imperial attitude of domination dressing its hocus-pocus culling decisions as “science.” [Ref. Malthus quote]
The family system will disappear; society, sapped at its very base, will have to find new foundations; and Eros [Ref: Authoritarian Personality and post-WWII world re. neutralizing protective, family-generating characteristics]
Eros . . .will flit like a gay butterfly from flower to flower . . .
And this is very similar to major aspects of Huxley’s novel Brave New World. Anne thinks it sounds “lovely”. Mary is astonished about the “bottles”.
I think Huxley’s use of this Russell-like Scogan character–a sociable extremist–is an example of a media technique for introducing the public to controversial ideas. Gombauld, who I agree with, is presented as the opposite extreme, and I bet many readers have tended to adopt a position–like Mary’s–somewhere between Gombauld and Scogan.
Chapter 6: Another guest is introduced–Mr. Barbecue-Smith, an author of books of “comfort and spiritual teaching. So the literary interests of the guests, including Denis, remind us of the crowd Huxley was part of. He implies the “astral world” in this scene. Mr. Barbecue-Smith tells Denis the secret of writing professionally is “Inspiration” and you need to learn how to get Inspiration to function. He explains that he shouldn’t bother with the intellectual labor. He claims to hypnotize himself and write in a trance state. So it’s automatic writing. Was it nonsense? “Certainly not”. That’s how he writes his inspirational and financially successful spiritual books. He turns off his conscious brain and writes with his subconscious. Huxley later develops these themes of hypnosis and religious mysticism in his fiction and non-fiction writing and talks, and so we have our current version of the modern world filled with similar influences [Ref below on New Thought, Huxley lecture, related posts.]
Chapter 7: Mary talks to Anne about “sexual repression” and about whether to pick either Denis or Gombauld. Anne refuses to advise.
Chapter 8: Mary decides on Denis because he seems “safer.”
Chapter 9: Mr. Bodiham is studying a pamphlet he had presented as a sermon four years earlier during the War (World War I) about Bible prophecy and the Second Coming in relation to world events, for example the capture of Jerusalem by the British and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire [Ref. sequence].
He believed at the time that the war would end with Armageddon and the return of Christ. He identified the symbols in the Book of Revelation such as the Beast or Woman as the “Papal power” or Roman Catholic Church, and the False Prophet as the ‘Society of Jesus’ (the Jesuits). Mr. Bodiham interprets one of the evil spirits in the Book of Revelation as the spirit of German Higher Criticism (modern biblical analysis: [Ref]).
When I was younger, this type of prophecy-oriented religious teaching–powered by the fear of nuclear annihilation–was a huge part of my life and the decisions I made–or failed to make. It crosses the boundaries of different Protestant sects (orthodox and heterodox) and has permeated mainstream evangelical Christianity for decades. Even Roman Catholics via Malachi Martin on The Art Bell Show have been presented with their own version of the Apocalypse [ref], and it has been mixed with aliens and UFOs for New Age believers [ref to 2012]. The “zombie apocalypse” is a common theme in entertainment.
Now I believe that these parts of the Bible are used for social engineering–to destabilize society by unsettling people, and to put large numbers of people out of action–to have them surrender this life and this world for either heaven or a future utopia. I think Huxley was probably very interested in this. I think the ruling class has been very interested in this as a device to use for foreign policy goals in the Middle East.
Mr. Bodiham is frustrated. It was four years later and England was at peace, the people of Crome were “as wicked and indifferent as ever.” He wanted to understand but there was no answer. He felt like screaming, he gripped his chair. He felt hopeful (!) that there was another world war brewing so that all the prophecies would fall into place as he interpreted them. But he remained dissatisfied with his reasoning.
This kind of distortion–his being hopeful about there being another war—is the sort of attitude that can occur with this kind of apocalyptic belief system, especially when people are trying to see their beliefs vindicated in real life events. A healthier approach to religious values would involve focusing on living a good life, which includes holding ground in this world against destabilizing forces so that everyone can have some hope of stability and peace.
Also, Mrs. Bodiham complains about the village of Crome becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. So Huxley manages to caricature those who are opposed to the lifestyle of his circle (which he probably white-washed in this novel out of necessity [ref re. affair]) as a bitter couple obsessed with interpreting prophecies.
I think there is a lot of good in many of the teachings of Christianity, but it is clear to me from my own experience that these dispensationalist beliefs about the “End of the World” cause many to give up on this world. Because of the sense of inevitability–of God’s will–they feel that everything is falling apart, so why should they bother doing anything to build a system that represents their own values.
Instead of focusing on the many potentially harmful issues which Christian values could contribute to resolving, major evangelical movements now go all the way with the politics involved in promoting the continued domination of the Middle East.
For whatever reason, historical or not, slave-state plans are encapsulated within the Book of Revelation. Ironically, regardless of why they are there, I hope that Christians and others become more conscious of the parallels between the “Mark of the Beast” (can’t buy or sell without it) and the potentially literally soul-destroying, transhumanist (Julian Huxley), cashless system being built around us of Smart City surveillance sensors and high-frequency cell towers interacting with neural implants [references include recent article on Elon Musk].
Do WE plan this system being built around us? No, but Christian or not, many of us have been involved in building and supporting it to various degrees–in contributing to the technology. Maybe it’s time to stop. Technology is supposed to be morally neutral–it could be used for good or bad we say–OK, but on the other hand, are Christian values supervising the direction? No. Many of us got involved in producing it. There was a lot of prosperity for a time. [Ref Brzezinski about expected military-industrial prosperity] but none of us have put a lid on it and directed it.
Historically, the cable networks started streaming pornography and then the Internet eventually was streaming free pornography. Couldn’t there be a better situation than this if people cared to stop it? What about in your own home and with your own family?
Was our technology designed only by good people with good intentions? Where do the wars come from? What about World War I mentioned in the novel? The same government-media-corporate complex also promotes the wars–and if you send your children–male and female!–into these wars-what happens to them? Damaged bodies, damaged spirits, damaged families. None of this is pro-family, pro-human or pro-life.
I’ll point to the film Apocalypse Now as an example of nihilistic cultural programming. “Apocalypse” is another name for the Book of Revelation. The point of the Vietnam War in my opinion is the feeling of the movie–the chaos that resulted–of all kinds–death, drug trafficking [ref] and cultural destruction. The featured song is The End, whose lyrics claim that it’s “the end” whether you take that literally or not. The song claims the “children are insane,” which seems to parallel how more and more of us are being diagnosed with supposed disorders and put on psychotropic drugs. The name of the band, the Doors comes from Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception which promotes the use of psychedelic drugs. The lead singer, Jim Morrison, was the son of an admiral involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident that began the Vietnam War [ref].
Everything’s falling apart supposedly, people are depressed–because of things we can identify and things we can’t–and there are casualties of all kinds. And the solutions offered to our fears are distractions, drugs and surveillance.
We can’t do anything about it, or can we? If we feel that it’s all over, I believe that’s part of the psychological warfare. If we feel that we can’t let go of a major aspect of it–if we love the wars, or we love the technology, or we love the sexual revolution, or we love the drugs, or we love the entertainment–then, it’s harder to stop Brave New World. But I hope that the more we learn about it and experience it, the less we love it.
Chapter 10: Anne is dancing with Gombauld, so Denis is frustrated and not interested in Mary’s approaches.
He was not just unhappy about Anne:
he was wretched about himself, the future, life in general . . .
Chapter 11: Henry Wimbush talks about the original builder of the Crome house (described as a rebellion against nature) writing a book (“Certaine Privy Counsels . . . “) about where to put the bathrooms (at the top of the three towers but long gone) and how to design them to counteract the “degrading effects” and remind us that “we are the noblest creatures of the universe”. The bathrooms should all have the noblest books:
the Proverbs of Solomon, Boethius’s Consolations of Philosophy, the Apophethegms of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, the Enchiridion of Erasmus, and all other works, . . . which testify to the nobility of the human soul [ref].
I don’t know what Huxley’s sincere opinion was about human beings, but I believe that he was getting this idea through from some of the elite people in his life who would have laughed hard at this caricatured effort and would have attacked the nobility of human life and human beings in general — the majority, not themselves. Actually, it is very interesting and maybe we shouldn’t see it as funny that some of us will try to make our lives and the lives of others as dignified as possible because of and in spite of the pressures that tend to pull us down–in contrast to those who would just let the majority of us live in mud and freezing cold and degradation—which is where we are logically headed when—based on “scientific” claims from social engineering think-tanks– major energy sources such as coal are discontinued and when we are taxed on carbon–since we are made of carbon, we emit carbon, and we need carbon fuels for basic survival. Think of the cost in maintaining proper sewage and septic systems to mention a relevant example. Less energy, more expensive energy, less carbon emissions, taxes on carbon applied to products and services, less of everything for us, less health care, more euthanasia, less children, less grandchildren, less of us. Along with endless drugs, cheap entertainment and simulations of sex. Do the arithmetic for yourself and explain how I’m wrong. It’s all one big series of minus signs going down. Degradation. The Club of Rome called it “Limits to Growth” and explained what they had in mind with “global warming” [ref]. Answer: stop going along with the propaganda that deliberately seeks to confuse and devalue all of us.
Mr. Scogan goes on about the necessity of eccentric artistocrats who can think and do whatever they please:
you must have a class of people who are secure, safe from public opinion, safe from poverty, leisured, not compelled to waste their time in the imbecile routines that go by the name of Honest Work.
Chapter 11: Mary realizes that Denis had “deliberately repelled” her efforts to have a “serious discussion” so she turned her attention to Gombauld, who spent many hours each day painting. Mary dropped in on Gombauld and she was disappointed to see his more realistic painting, having expected to see a cubist work. Gombauld sent her on her way after finishing his cigarette.
I don’t know if there is any connection Huxley is trying to make between Gombauld and one of the socially conservative modernist personalities such as Wyndham Lewis, or G. K. Chesterton who was a cubist painter [ref].
Chapter 13: Henry Wimbush had written a book about the previous (fictional) lords of the Crome mansion, one of them being Hercules, a dwarf, who had been rejected by his father. In the story, Hercules was a scholar and a poet. The book recounted one of his poems, which basically expresses the Great Work, the underlying mystery, the masonic agenda, the same goals that Julian Huxley had expressed in his transhumanist ideas:
We also have a reference to the ancient Nephilim story which is a popular story today. It starts out referring to the “blacksmith” Tubal, and how corrupt humans brought forth “obscene giants” and God drowned them all in the Flood. Then he refers to Tellus bearing two huge brainless brawny brothers. Then the idea is that man’s mind became vaster as his muscle became slighter. He wielded the pen instead of the sword. Art and intelligence increases as our bodies get smaller and weaker.
A time will come . . . / When happy mortals of a Golden Age / Will backward turn the dark historic page, / And in our vaunted race of Men behold / A form as gross, a Mind as dead and cold, / As we in Giants see, in warriors of old. / A time will come, wherein the soul shall be / From all superfluous matter wholly free; / When the light body, agile as a fawn’s, / Shall sport with grace along the velvet lawns. / Nature’s most delicate and final birth, / Mankind perfected shall possess the earth.
But they will still be unhappy because there will still be “monstrous” “stupid” “giants” “who think themselves divinely born”. The ones who are supposed to be precursors of the nobler breed point to heaven but “live themselves in Hell.”
And this is all very interesting. In this story within a story, the small man sees himself as superior. One thought that occurs to me is that the popular alien stories (presented as non-fiction by authors such as Whitley Strieber) show a very slightly built type of creature – thin body, legs and arms. Maybe that’s a representation of the ultimate human in someone’s mind–because it is an idea expressed by H. G. Wells in his stories–and I suppose Huxley may have been referring to that.
And so we arrive today with some people totally starving their bodies of essential nutrients as they attempt to reach “spiritual” perfection by not eating meat. And this comes up later in another of the stories.
Anyway, Hercules finds a wife of the same size. They despair, however, when they give birth to a normal sized son. When the son gets older, he and his dog menace everyone in the house, and his friends would ridicule his parents and the servants. In one extreme case of mockery, Hercules and his wife decide to end their lives together. He reads a passage in Suetonious unexpectedly disparaging dwarves before he takes his life.
Although it is possibly a satire of a personality (such as Wells, I don’t know), here we have an example of the potentially destructive suicide theme in fiction. I think we have too much promotion of death as a “solution” in modern pop culture, and in my opinion there is likely to be social engineering behind a lot of it.
To be continued here
References and Additional Information
This information will be sorted for the final edit
Note: unless specified otherwise, web references are cited as accessed on or before July 22, 2019.
*Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
Online copy: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1999 http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1999/1999-h/1999-h.htm
*About the novel, published in 1921. The following articles are about the novel, published in 1921, and explain the connections between the setting and characters in the novel and real-life individuals in Huxley’s circle.
*Post where I referred to Huxley’s relationship with the Bloomsbury Group, Garsington Manor and Lady Ottoline Morrell: http://canadianliberty.com/commentary-on-brave-new-world-by-aldous-huxley-part-1/.
*Aldous Huxley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley
*Bloomsbury Group: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomsbury_Group.
*Lady Ottoline Morrell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Ottoline_Morrell
Morrell had a long affair with philosopher Bertrand Russell, with whom she exchanged more than 3,500 letters.
Wikipedia sources include articles from McMaster University:
Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies: https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/russelljournal
The Bertrand Russell Archives: https://bracers.mcmaster.ca/ https://www.mcmaster.ca/russdocs/russell.htm
*Her husband Philip Morrell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Morrell
*Garsington Manor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garsington_Manor
*Post where I discuss some comments about Bloomsbury by Marshall McLuhan: http://canadianliberty.com/satanic-war-on-identity-analysis-letters-of-marshall-mcluhan-part-6-4-his-awareness-of-masonic-gnostic-occult-and-secret-society-influence/
*Annie Besant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Besant
Annie Besant (née Wood; 1 October 1847 – 20 September 1933) was a British socialist, theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer, orator, and supporter of both Irish and Indian self-rule. . . .
She fought for the causes she thought were right, starting with freedom of thought, women’s rights, secularism, birth control, Fabian socialism and workers’ rights. . . .
How can theosophy be called secularism? This post http://canadianliberty.com/points-brave-new-world-policies-part-9-aldous-huxley-religion-drugs/ has other reference links on Annie Besant, the Fabian Society and Aldous Huxley’s promotion of mystical New Age spirituality.
*Mary Baker Eddy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Baker_Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy (July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) was an American writer and religious leader who established the Church of Christ, Scientist, as a Christian denomination and worldwide movement of spiritual healers.
*New Thought: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Thought
The New Thought movement . . . is a movement which developed in the United States in the 19th century, considered by many to have been derived from the unpublished writings of Phineas Quimby. . . . The contemporary New Thought movement is a loosely allied group of religious denominations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization, and personal power.
*[To add: reference to Peanuts]