Subliminal BBC indoctrination

Here’s an example of why it’s getting harder to sit through mainstream media programmes without either being indoctrinated into woke ideology, or if one has the slightest insight into the ideology, being exasperated to the point of switching off.

The case in point is a potentially excellent series of archaeology programmes called Digging for Britain, starring a pink-haired Dr Alice Roberts (we’ll perhaps forgive her that, as she first gained the attention of TV executives by being the attractive digger on Time Team with the bright red-dyed hair long before it became a flag for gender-queer folk: she is in fact married and a mother, as well as an academic, TV personality and sometime President of the British Humanist Association). The series airs annually on the BBC, reviewing significant discoveries in archaeology in the past year. Apart from the usual science-documentary drone-views of the presenter strolling mistily through beautiful scenery not necessarily related to the stories, this is all good, and indeed very valuable to all lovers of our past.

But one story from a recent episode demonstrates how programme makers just won’t leave post-modern ideology alone, even when they’re talking about the deeply pre-modern past. The dig was a relatively minor one, but interesting for all that: it was at the Benedictine nunnery of Ankerwycke Priory in Berkshire, founded in 1160 and dissolved when Henry VIII dissolved everything with his universal acid. The evidence from the ground was augmented by a useful document in the archives of Lincoln diocese, in which it once lay, recording an episcopal visitation.

This document tells the human story of a house apparently mismanaged by its corrupt prioress, to the extent that six of the thirteen nuns had absconded. As the programme suggested, the records may suggest that the prioress’s replacement with one of the nuns who gave the best account of the abuses, a couple of years later, was a result of the visit. The interest largely lies in the transcripts of the individual accounts of each of the remaining nuns, evidently gathered in confidentiality and treated seriously when compared, say, to whistleblower accounts of child-rape gangs nowadays.

Now, what the research actually seems to show is, from the archaeology, some interesting insight into daily life in a mediaeval nunnery – articles of apparel, a few coins and so on. From the historical documentation comes the record of a conscientious bishop not only going through the motions of his duty of annual visitation, but acting decisively to reform abuses as a result. The prioress comes across as an unworthy appointment (compare the recent experience at Yale University!), and the nuns as being willing to present their case to the bishop, and being heeded when they did.

But the way the story was told on TV leaves a subliminal message that the really important thing is the rich, white, male patriarchy suppressing the voice of women. We began with scenes of the nearby field of Runnymede, which of course has a much more celebrated story about a little thing called Magna Carta. But after sketching that episode, Alice Roberts seemed to suggest that it is well known because it’s very much a male story, and that we ought to be interested in the next dig because it tells women’s story. Now, I may be a poor historian, but I’ve always thought the importance of Magna Carta is that it laid the first foundations for a State that supports the individual rights of men and women against arbitrary rule. It surely takes a rather jaded mentality to see the most important issue of Runnymede as the fact that the barons and the king were all male.

After all, not long before the anarchic period of the Empress Matilda’s bid for the throne had shown contemporaries that she was of “the stock of tyrants.” It might easily have been a queen needing to be constrained by the barons.

If one thought this feminist slant was accidental, the impression was reinforced by Alice saying, as she looked at the excavated ephemera such as a small clothing pin, that the finds were particularly poignant because these women “don’t have a voice.” Now, it ought not to be news to an archaeologist/anatomist that scarcely anybody who has been dead for six hundred years has a voice. That’s kind of what death is about. As some wise soul pointed out, every grave is eventually unvisited, if we exclude the pyramids at Giza or the Holy Sepulchre.

And in this case, as the programme itself went on to show, these particular women have an unusually well-preserved voice in their personal accounts of the state of their nunnery. In fact, the main lesson of the visitation is that the views and experiences of women were taken seriously by rich and powerful middle-aged white males like the Bishop of Lincoln.

There isn’t much about money in the story, in point of fact. But the insinuation common in Digging for Britain, that things religious are really all about money, turned up early. When a small coin or two were found in the dig itself, Alice observed sagely that the priory was not just about spiritual things, but was involved in business dealings as well. Now I’m unsure how much Benedictine nunneries generated wealth when compared, say, to Cistercian monasteries, which certainly did become big business by dint of innovative and energetic land-use. But the fact that the corrupt prioress was accused of wearing gold rings and so on, at the expense of the nuns being denied decent habits and the younger novices missing the education required by the Rule, suggests that it was scarcely a lucrative business.

The mention of this accusation against the prioress seemed to be what piqued the interest of the mandatory DEI black presenter on the team (they also have a mandatory DEI disabled presenter), who was up in Lincoln. This is not the first time in the series he’s latched on to the revenues of the mediaeval churches and monasteries as if it were the secret key to their existence, rather than some unlikely idea that people were actually religious.

In this context, the total impression given was that, in some mysterious way, a dishonestly acquisitive senior nun was somehow the inevitable outcome of a male-dominated society. It shouldn’t really need pointing out that Ankerwycke Priory ought to teach us something more nuanced: of nuns who knew right from wrong and were willing to complain about it when one of their number was in the wrong; of a bishop who took his pastoral duties seriously even when what was at stake was only the welfare of half a dozen poor Benedictine women several days journey away; of the existence of free education for poor women; and of the undercurrent of true piety that existed despite the shortcomings of mediaeval theology and praxis.

All of that (and I’m sure I’ve missed some) might give us a broader vision of the way men and women related in a far-off age, rather than everything being squeezed through the sieve of phase-3 atheistic feminism, albeit at a somewhat subliminal level.

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

(L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between).
Avatar photo

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
This entry was posted in History, Politics and sociology. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Subliminal BBC indoctrination

  1. Robert Byers says:

    Amen. Yes here in nOrth america and from BBC shows i see there is nothing but preaching and insisting on left wing conclusions especxially identity ones. Toin some way presume they are wrong would get someone fired. it is absolutely a demand of obediance to conclusions. The bBc is to proppagate them .They also propagate the evils of smoking and eating healthy. it is about conclusions in serious matters that reveaks a monopoly and a aggresive agenda ti promote them.
    by the way i loved tIME TEAM. the new one is really a correction of the old because of identity and thus worthless. BBC is oppresive with feminism and the foreign races and peoples arrive in britain since WW11. Its invasion and takes string men to oppose it. Thanks for doing your bit here. You could not do it however almost anywhere else in your country. Your country is under occupation . sure it is and so is mine.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      The phenomenon has all the trappings of a religious cult intent on becoming the State Religion. Or rather, in an odd way it is two religious cults, as woke folk wave the flag for militant Islam and seem determined to welcome Muslims in numbers that will soon enable them to claim an effective religious majority, and impose Sharia Law and blasphemy codes formally. We’ll see what happens to diversity and inclusion then!

      One of the mysteries of the current world situation is why those two entirely incompatible religions find common cause – and the best one I can think of is that they are co-belligerents against Christianity, which suggests there may be an invisible third force behind them… what did that man say about our enemy not being flesh and blood, but powers and principalities in the heavenly realms…

      • Robert Byers says:

        Yes i agree satanic influence has been behind much of mankinds history.
        I am not surprised these two groups agree. its a proforeign agenda that simply is made obvious with muslims in britain. i do conclude its a desire to replace the English people by enough other peoples.
        For many reasons. The muslim culture is seen as irrelevant and seen as never having any influence. for example homosexuality agenda is one of the most important movements of the left wing. Islam is not supportive of it. they conclude they will have no influence in opposing the gay agenda. they have it worked out.
        They count heads and are the children with thm or thier muslim parents!! English and british people simply must demand no more immigration of anyone or of anyone peoples they do not desire. Its thier country and they must be strong enough morrally to demand they decide who, ho many, come in to what accumulated result. Britain was conquoree by the anglo Saxons, Vikings, normons and now itsa a moral invasion. The English man must say NO MORE and repent of those who came. Otherwise he is a slave once again .

  2. shopwindows says:

    Would it not seem there is a basic flaw in all rationalising these days? Send three and four pence we’re going to a dance is according to many, the legitimate message, not send reinforcements we’re going to advance. Because the values of humane civilisation, are not generally agreed upon and indeed the new activists concurrently propose dissonant values. Democracy demands 99% of views are suppressed, saving humans demands exorcising their lifestyles to the point of starving them, freezing them, neutering them, pitching them into battle, conducting experiments on all of them.

    This is because at times of cultural instability, failed assimilation, essentially subversion of values as in national identity, nuclear family, institutions, everything has become propaganda, lies, malinformation, in the eyes of all opposing sects to the extent any sect has any cohesion.

    Fukuyama was 180 degrees wrong. Farage during the Brexit shenanigans referred to losers consent being denied. Walesa reigned in triumph but Tusk has other ideas. Kind of reminds me of many other revolutions often followed swiftly by counterrevolutions.

    Later this year Mark Twain may well say that reports of the truth are much exaggerated.

    Pink hair, tattoos, piercings are symbols. OK I’m making far too much fuss. We had Rupert trousers, platform shoes, and punk rock hairdos. But yesterday in a Michelin restaurant, these days not unusually, one male diner sported a Pawnee shaved head with braided pony tail. These are indeed ephemera. The chances of me understanding
    that persons mindset are zilch but a thousand times greater than understanding the values, thoughts of a prioress from centuries ago. My brash contention is that despite his erudition mnor could Niall Ferguson conceive those thoughtwaves.

    However if we survive say another three decades I’m not ruling out discovering what it means to draw our water from a well

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      We looked at a couple of houses with wells before we bought this place, which I was quite surprised to find on mains water… though I have located an old well down the lane which could be dug out come the revolution, if necessary.

      It is fascinating how our current omni-deception (that of 2 Thessalonians?) is not just about the imposition of untruth, but the loss of truth and reason themselves as concepts. Islam shows (if you look at the recent discoveries about its origins) that you only need influential people to keep telling a lie for it to become true, however disparate from reality or internally inconsistent. And so it now seems plausible to a substantial minority that, for the first time in history, a large percentage of people are born with souls in the wrong body, even though there is no God.

      One example of that power of persuasion (for Islam) is that at Mecca you now stone three pillars, which are said to represent three temptations Satan put in the way of Abraham. And yet those pillars were only put there in the last few years to accommodate the larger numbers on the Hajj, and the story was simply changed to accommodate that – previously there was just one pillar, and one temptation.

      The astonishing thing is that (as one Muslim convert to Christ recalled) he did the Hajj without even clocking that it had been completely different when his own parents did it. “We have always been at war with Eastasia.”

      On the political scene, a US politician was ranting about how when Putin has conquered Ukraine, he has said that Poland and Finland are next, and of course her message was that we should bomb him to oblivion to stop it. The fact that he has never said such a thing – not even that conquering all Ukraine is a war aim – is irrelevant, but of course persuasive because all Russian media was censored at the start of hostilities to limit access to what Putin actually says.

  3. shopwindows says:

    I followed up your reference to Thessalonians 2 and as usual you were able to improve my shallower less eloquent probing of contemporary developments. Lawfare, mandates, coercion, browbeating, programmes and programs are in the wrong hands subversive devices to overtly or subliminally subvert basic humanity. The truth above is being dissimulated including quite obnoxiously by the likes of “honoured” CEOs, clad in gowns imbuing false trustworthiness.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      False trustworthiness is worth a blog at some stage. As a taster, think about how academic disciplines almost guarantee groupthink, whilst the major changes in what is taught in these disciplines over time demonstrates that most of the groupthink is wrong.

      It’s not just universities, of course – take a political class in its bubble, big corporations developing global strategies (ie consolidating groupthink) at Davos, and so on.

Leave a Reply