Tuesday, March 08, 2016

a postscript to an earlier post on Pussified Nation and Dead Men as agitation and integration propaganda within Ellulian terms


Since we've already looked at how Mark Driscoll's stint as William Wallace II could be interpreted in light of Jacques Ellul's taxonomy of propaganda ad the propaganda of agitation (and how!) while Dead Men could be presented as a propaganda of integration, it seems worth revisiting some very particular posts Mark made as William Wallace II in the notorious Pussified Nation thread.


William Wallace II
posted 12-30-2000 08:20 PM

This string is simply a work in law. [emphasis added] Now that it is beginning to evoke a bit of response we will be moving forward with clarifying further the general roles of men and women as defined principally in Scripture, and practically in our present culture (hence the post for single men on how to get a wife). Our gatherings will deal in greater specificity with accountability and male relationships centered in Scripture, governed by grace, and empowered by the Spirit as one of the multiple means by which we grow up in Christ. This posting site is good for kicking up some interest and laying out some information but simply cannot do the work that a local church was intended to and is therefore limited. [emphasis added] Lastly, in each time and place we must speak in a way that can best penetrate the noise of the present age. While Nathan has been exalted as the example, I would also remind you that most Old Testament prophets, all but one disciple, and the Lord Jesus Christ all died at the hands of religious people. While I would not seek such martyrdom I would suggest that whispering gently in therapeutic tones has been well tried and proven a failure as Promise Keepers and the like have demonstrated. Pelagian theology and psychology are very poor substitutes for law and gospel.later.P.S. irony and sarcasm are our friends. Laugh a little and scale down kids. If you don't get the humor, I promise you it's not because it isn't funny, but because you are way too serious. For therapy you may want to read a couple bits in Ezekiel about cooking a meal and scan the law for how to take a dump in a hole.


I would propose that the biggest mistake pretty much almost everyone has made in reading Pussified Nation and the writings of William Wallace II in general (assuming they even really did that) is to focus "just" on the ways in which Mark Driscoll, using the pen name, described men he considered too womanly and gays.  That was all, as they phrase has it, problematic. 

But it seems necessary to bring this up again in light of observations made by Ellul about propaganda of agitation and integration because it seems as though the ONLY way to make sense of what Mark Driscoll THOUGHT he was doing and SAID he was doing, even in character, was to interpret the entire thing as a mostly calculated fa├žade that may have let slip a whole lot more of reality than was intended on the one hand, but on the other hand that was most likely a calculated propaganda campaign, too.  Why would Driscoll express regret about the "how" he went about addressing the young men while still bragging even ten years later in the 2011 fundraising film God's Work, Our Witness about the great results that nonetheless happened if nothing he was aiming for came to pass and he made himself look like a jer in the process?  Sure, ten years ago Driscoll expressed some mild regret that he cussed and sinned a lot but he ultimately concluded that somehow God drew a straight line with a crooked stick.

With a little help from the writings of Ellul on propaganda and some succinct quotes from Driscoll himself under the guise of William Wallace II it seems relatively safe to propose that "Pussified Nation" was firmly in the realm of "agitation propaganda".  The point was to blow things up in cyberspace in a way that could test the waters to see which guys at a local level were responsive.  Driscoll seems, in retrospect, clumsy but clear that it was all a stunt to get attention and then to recruit men to be on mission at Mars Hill locally.  This could be a potential explanation for why Driscoll felt so embarrassed that it ever managed to stay or return to the public sphere.  It wasn't intended, necessarily, that "Pussified Nation" or "Using Your Penis" would become part of his long-term legacy. 

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