Vile Bodies – mutual secrets, mutual blackmail

“Success in this world depends on knowing exactly how little effort each job is worth…distribution of energy…”
Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies


After all the jokes we’ve shared over Mr Cameron’s alleged initiation activity, I started thinking a bit more of its implications

What are initiation ceremonies for?

To enable individuals to get into “ elite groups”
These elite groups consist of rich, upper-class young men from prestigious families, who know one another and who will go on to be rich and powerful.

What do initiation ceremonies consist of?

Acts of a painful, humiliating, transgressive or sexual nature which the person wishing to be admitted to the group performs in front of other members

What’s the dynamics?

By overcoming humiliation or pain, initiates deepen their commitment to the group.

Internally they reason that if they are willing to endure such an ordeal, it must mean that the group is important and deserving of loyalty (otherwise, they would have made a terrible mistake and gone through all of that suffering for nothing).

Initiator – members (bystanders) – initiate  – are inextricably linked. They share in a mutual secret, mutual blackmail,  thus instantly creating trust, accelerating and deepening shared bonds

What are the interests?

It’s a community of mutual self-interest and reliance, bonded together by embarrassing private information.

People in the group to promote the careers of their fellow group members, precisely because they have control through their knowledge of that person’s transgressive acts.

What are the advantages?

Membership of that group essentially secures success in life.

The cost of entry, paid by all members of the group, is participation in humiliating acts.

These acts bind them to the group forever.

Should they later act in a way contrary to the group’s interests or desires, their “indiscretions” can be brought back to destroy their careers or personal lives.

How does the mechanism survive?

The structure survives and is passed down to successive generations of elite young men precisely because it is self-policing, self-sustaining and remarkably effective.

What do you mean by “remarkably effective”?

We saw the same type of psychology being used
1)to recruit and control “Informers” in NI’s dirty war

2)to  cover-up

a) the Kincora scandal
b) the expenses scandals,

expenses cover-up

c) cash for access to VIPs,

d)  “losing”  all evidence in the “alleged” pedophile ring in Westminster, except for allegedly dead members.

Query: Shouldn’t we know what those guys have on the others that allowed them to keep on getting away with it?

e) the awareness of former prime ministers of these acts,

f) the phone hacking scandals,

g) the BBC’s awareness of sexual predators like Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris  within their corridors

h) Jimmy Savile’s friendship with the Royal Family

and Margaret Thatcher. Savile, who was knighted in 1990 for services to charity, became a regular visitor to Chequers, spending New Year’s Eve with the Thatcher family on a number of occasions.


In other words, the real story here is the culture of grooming, exploitation, hypocrisy and intimidation – backed up by political and economic capital . power/

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