Season 5 of Netflix’s political hit takes the devious President Underwood into the shadows of a secret club in California. Filled with the most powerful men in the world, the President participates in bizarre rituals that defy the rationalism valued by the intellectual elite.
But all is not as it seems. The club depicted in the show is modeled on a real-life organization called the Bohemian Grove.
The archetypal model of such clubs is the Christian church. It is an hierarchical organization with Christ as its head (Col. 1:18), ordained officers in the form of pastors, elders, deacons (1 Tim. 3:1, Titus 1:5, Acts 14:23), and the remainder of the body which consists of the general members (1 Cor. 12:27).
The Church initiates its members with the baptismal oath of allegiance. It renews this membership often through a group meal (the Lord’s Supper) which it shares with its head. The members are granted eternal salvation, but they must also abide by certain rules in the form of God’s commandments and laws. This is in order to fulfill Christ’s institutional goal: the extension of his kingdom across the face of the earth (Hab. 2:14), and to put down all rival authorities (1 Cor. 15:24).
Christ’s rules are ethical. As the head of the Church, He is omniscient and omnipotent. He coordinates all things in the universe in order to bring to fulfillment his plan for history. He does not necessarily guarantee his members earthly wealth, success, and power for obeying his rules for life. However, they may earn those things as a result since good things generally happen to good people. Those are the rules of the universe, instituted by the creator of the universe (Prov. 16:3, Deut. 30:8-9).
On the other hand, there are rival institutions created by power seekers in an attempt to challenge this power and authority. They seek to rule the world, but on their own terms. So, they form secret organizations that mimic the structure of the Church. There is a hierarchy, usually one part that is visible to the whole organization, or even to the members of the general public. They hide the true hierarchy, even from most of the members.
There are secret oaths and ceremonies that are kept hidden from people outside the organization. This is similar to how college fraternities swear their members to secrecy regarding the details of their rites and rituals. There are rituals that imitate the Lord’s Supper. The members come together to corporately renew their commitment to the organization’s goals.
This is the model followed by the Bohemian Grove which, according to Wikipedia, “hosts a two-week, three-weekend encampment of some of the most prominent men in the world” in mid-July of each year.
Secret organizations like the Bohemian Grove, depicted in House of Cards, gather together the world’s elite, the rich and the powerful. They also pull in new initiates who show promise and desire. They are the people who yearn to crawl, climb, and slip their way through the corridors of power and authority woven together by the club’s masterminds.
Such organizations promise that, if the members obey the group’s rules, then outward success in the form of power, wealth, and women will follow. It’s a crude imitation of God’s promises, and the group’s rules generally violate the rules established in the Bible.
Humans, however, do not possess the same traits as God: omniscience and omnipotence. They must collaborate and put their minds together. Power-seekers try to imitate God’s providential arrangement of history. But they can’t do this satisfactorily on their own. They know they can’t, so they need a little help.
They may claim they are atheists, or that they don’t believe in spiritual things. But in reality, the secret (occult) rituals performed by these organizations, bizarre as they may appear to outsiders, are attempts to tap into the spiritual realm for grants of power from spiritual beings.
The Clinton campaign was caught by Wikileaks grasping for this spiritual power. The liberal media dismisses the practitioners as “performance artists,” but the most powerful people in the world seem to have a different understanding of things.
Stories about Hillary Clinton seeking occult knowledge have been around since at least 1996. For example, see this article in which she is said to have been talking to the dead.
Neither the lower-order members of these occultic organizations, nor their Establishment media apologists, may acknowledge the spiritual realities under-girding the members’ quest for power. But the high-level members do. Unfortunately for them, while they may acknowledge the existence of the spiritual realm, they close their eyes to its ruler.
These people plot in vain and take counsel together. They conspire, but “he who sits in the heavens laughs” (Ps. 2:4). They build a house of cards out of lies, occult mystery, and deceit. But even then, the deck is stacked against them.