Bias comes from the inside and only becomes bias when we ignore it or are compelled to act upon it. Agency comes from the outside and seeks to leverage ignorance. Bias is the prejudice of the individual. Agency is the awesome insistence of the club. Agency is that intent which seeks virtuous godship over a lesser person or at-risk stakeholder.
What is Agency?
As part of my studies of mythology and in particular Gnostic Christianity, I made an effort to transliterate my way through some of the Nag Hammadi codex material and in particular The Hypostasis of the Archons. These Second Century early-sect Christian texts were not discovered until recently, inside buried and sealed clay jars, in upper Egypt in 1945.1 2 In this version of early Christian mythology the ‘God’ which created the original failed prototype of mankind on Earth was named Samael. Pistis Sophia, the celestial and true God, took pity upon the suffering creature and made him into a fully sentient being – much to the indignation of Samael. As a result, Samael enslaved the new creature back into servitude under the Archons, or Rulers.
Samael, also called the ‘demiurge’, was a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being (Pistis Sophia), that was considered to be the absolute Ruler (Archon or Archangel) of the Earth – antagonistic to all that is celestial, enlightened and/or spiritual. Samael eventually came to be known as Ha-Satan,3 the one who in Levant mythology tempted Christ, the Son of Man, by offering him rule over all the kingdoms of Earth if he would only subjugate himself (and the coming Mankind) unto the authority of the Archons.
This Gnostic version of ancient writ was regarded as holy well before that Canonical consensus which was assembled three centuries later and eventually came to be called the Bible.4 It is no mystery why those in charge of developing that World power which would become the Christian Church would have sought to exterminate this version of scripture – causing it to flee into Egypt – because in its texts as compared to the Bible, the roles of God (Pistis Sophia, Eternal Wisdom and Faith) and Satan (Samael, Ruler of Earth) are reversed in many regards:
Of primary importance to know, is the core principal that the Chief Authority of the Rulers, Samael is spiritually blind. Because his spiritual vision was very limited in this regard, because there was apparently no one to challenge him from what he could see, and finally because he was also arrogant, he concluded that quod erat demonstrandum, he must be the most powerful entity which exists. He therefore declared himself manifestly, to be God. But as a good man knows, it is the gravest of sins to adorn one’s self in the costume of God over a fellow or lesser being.
Thereafter, the Rulers took the man Pistis Sophia had rescued from their inept hands and mercifully transmutated as well into a fully sentient being, Adam, and placed him into a great garden situated adjacent to their abode in the Levant. They tasked him to maintain and cultivate the garden. But in this garden, they had hatched another plan as well – that of a trap. The Rulers had decided to plant a Tree in the center of the garden, and to subsequently instruct their ‘Man of the Clay’, “From every tree in the garden shall you eat; yet from the tree of understanding what is not-evil and what is evil, do not eat. For in the day you eat from that tree, you will again fall under our dominion and may no longer claim this Earth which has been so unworthily bequeathed to you. You will again die like the service animal you are.” Of course the Rulers knew, that once man was told to not do something, that is the exact thing which he would elect to then do.Nag Hammadi – The Hypostasis of the Archons (Consolidation and Transliteration)
Now of course, this cache of ancient mythological writing bears no more credibility nor lack thereof than does any other (also known as ‘noise’, see below). However such mythology can stand as a form of analogue or parable relating key messages. What interests me in these passages of the The Hypostasis of the Archons, are three key inferences:
- Adam bore an exploitable bias, however Samael bore its exploiting agency. Each bears a different ontological consequence.
- Relative to the array of misdeeds which can be undertaken there exists no morality, there is no virtue – as every and any intent is actually good, when compared to that intent which seeks to enact godship over a fellow or ‘lesser’ being. It is not the costume one wears, nor how one appears to regard self, but rather what one does to others – which betrays the narcissist.
- In this mythology, the urge to godship on the part of the Archons was what actually constituted the original sin.
As the reader may observe, one cannot enslave mankind under a burden of racial guilt, if this last element of inference sustained as a part of holy writ. Thus, such a parable had to be exterminated – or the house would be divided against itself.
Moreover, implicit in the Nag Hammadi mythos is the understanding that, avoiding regarding one’s self under the agency of god, and treating others accordingly is actually rather straightforward in its application:
First, there is a higher wisdom, knowledge, and faithfulness (Pistis Sophia) to cherish and hold dear above all else.
Second, hold those within your reach just as worthy of this as you do yourself.
That is pretty much it. One does not have to save the world. One does not need to put on a fake humility. One does not need to extract money from hard-working people in the name of helping the oppressed refugees championed in some virtuous narcissistic fantasy. These are merely forms of godship over those ‘lesser’ than us. We are deceived often in this – that between the at-risk laborer who is harmed, and the lowly victim who is blessed, there exists an enacting, ‘humble’ and ‘virtuous’ third party who has made an implicit claim to godship inside this entire sordid play. Part of treating others as you would want to be treated, also involves holding all accountable to do their share and not simply sexually reproduce beyond sustainability and confiscate the workfruit of their fellow beings (through that third party). This does not serve to invalidate acts of taxation nor mercy of course; however, there is no mercy in this particular social play act – rather only opportunities to claim godship over one’s fellow man.
Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.Karl Popper
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.Lord Acton
One does not conduct deception for the sake of deception itself. It is always conducted as part of a conflict or in a competitive context, intended to support some overarching plan or objectives of a participant.Robert Mitchell and William Mitchell, Intelligence Specialists5
Therefore the mere biases of suspicion, skepticism, sponsorship, hunch, predilection or conspiracy theory are one thing – but evil is known by one signature and one signature alone – and that is agency – the intent which seeks a position of godship over a lesser being or at-risk stakeholder. To costume this intent in virtue, goodness, morality, justice, science, religious or academic robes or any other urge of the poseur, stands only to compound such evil.
Evil is known by one signature alone – agency –
that intent which seeks godship over a lesser being or at-risk stakeholder.
To costume this intent in virtue, goodness, morality, justice, science,
religious or academic robes serves only to compound its evil.
Yes, an ethical skeptic recognizes the risk inherit in bias – but also understands as well that bias, is not really our preeminent problem. Agency possesses a raison d’être or telos which does not inhabit bias. This is why the First Duty of Ethical Skepticism is to oppose agency. But first, a few definitions.
Tradecraft – refers to the techniques, methods, habits, concealment, and touch-points employed in modern espionage.
Agency – refers to an individual or entity’s consistent application of tradecraft, as opposed to mere bias.
Predator – a person or entity whose tradecraft is social virtue or conformance, and whose agency is selfishness, harm, and cleverly concealed self-aggrandizement.
Any form of development in epistemology which is conducted under a lack of epoché or skeptical neutrality. Bias is not something that one holds – as everyone possesses this form of ‘bias’. Rather bias is an action which has succumbed to such inclination, whether conscious or unconscious. It is a set of actions, postulates, questions, observations, analyses, portrayals, manipulations, methods, omissions or conclusions which are influenced in any way by a premise of non-neutrality concerning a question of inquiry or science. It can be considered an inherent variance in accuracy.
The range of variance or inconsistency in a set of measures or systemic outcomes which result from error, lack of precision, misperception, low clarity, or other deleterious contributors to the involved process. Noise presents a difficulty in that it can conceal signal, bias, and agency from being detectable. The employment of noise so as to obscure a result or bias, is a method of agency.
The manipulation of persons, institutions, procedures, risks, ignorance, biases or social message such that they bring to effect a particular surreptitious or manifest outcome. The seeking of godship over lesser, disdained or at-risk stakeholders in the form of power, virtue, moral authority, conflict, positional authority, defamation, control, retribution, sequestration, harm, death, justice, extermination, extraction of wealth, oppression or enslavement.
Bias introduces error. Agency enforces it.
Bias is Tau. Agency is Indigo. (*see here)
Bias does not seek to govern. Agency does.
Bias does not seek to exploit other bias. Agency does.
Bias can be mitigated and worked around. Agency can not.
Bias will be acknowledged and surrendered by an honest researcher. Agency will not.
Bias can be discerned from noise. Agency uses it as camouflage.
Bias does not form a syndicate (cartel, mafia, cathedral, cabal, party). Agency does.
Bias counters its potential error by means of skepticism. Agency entrenches its correctness by joining a skeptic club.
Bias can be countered by in-context methodology and researcher discipline. Agency can not.
Bias does not celebrate, exploit, nor seek to wallow in ignorance. Agency’s argument grows stronger as ignorance increases.
Bias is identified through knowledge. Agency is identified through intelligence.
Bias will seek to protect its own. Agency will seek to harm those different.
Bias might involve standing up to a bully. Agency is the bully.
Bias does not see the full set of ramifications. Agency sets those as its goal.
Bias does not seek to bolster an institution. Agency is the institution.
Bias comes from inside. Agency comes from the outside.
Bias appeals to a higher authority aside from itself. Agency implies that it is the higher authority.
Bias can detect and deliberate an impact upon stakeholders. Agency does not care – or is even worse when it does.
Thus I have outlined as faithfully as I can muster, the threshing tool of the ethical skeptic allowing a distinction between bias and agency. Wise is he or she who understands and can master the difference.
The Ethical Skeptic, “The Distinction Between Bias and Agency”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 4 Jan 2020; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=42966
- The Gnostic Society Library: The Nag Hammadi Library; http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html
- Wikipedia: Nag Hammadi Library; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nag_Hammadi_library
- Wikipedia: Samael (Archangel) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samael
- History.com: The Bible; 28 Jan 2013; web, https://www.history.com/topics/religion/bible
- Clark, Robert M.; Mitchell, William L.; Deception: Counterdeception and Counterintelligence; CQ Press, 2019; London, UK