Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Law As Ritual Magic

I read things like this and wonder whether there's some segment of society that views "the law" as something akin to a religious/magic practice. This fascination with the admiralty flag, for example, only makes sense if you view the flag as some sort of a ritual prop. If you've got the wrong flag then, obviously, the magic ain't going to work.

It'd be one thing if this were confined to the "OMG CAPITAL LETTERS enslave us to the banksters!!!!" crowd, but I've seen this from people who should know better. My wife recently had to transact some business with the State of Alaska; one of the documents she had to provide was a "certified true copy" of her birth certificate. So she went to our local notary, who looked up the appropriate endorsement in eir notary book and certified the copy accordingly.

Not good enough; the State of Alaska wasn't happy. It seems like people must screw up the endorsement all the time because they sent back the birth certificate, attached to which was a strip of paper stating the following:

Seems like the actual wording of this particular endorsement varies somewhat from state to state; you'd think that Alaska wouldn't be so persnickety. Perhaps this can be chalked up to bureaucratic pedantry, but the conception of the law as ritual magic represents a plausible, alternative explanation. The second paragraph sure sounds a awful lot like ritual instructions1.

1 Funny enough the first thing that sprang to my mind was Aleister Crowley's frog crucifiction.


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