An excellent parable for our time. In this episode of Star Trek, an inhuman machine using machine logic forces a people into compliance with its picture of a conflict-free world – achieved Grand Inquisitor style by suppressing free will. All are incorporated or “absorbed” into “the Body.” “Are you with the Body?” asks Bones after he is absorbed. Spock objects that without creativity, our humanity is lost. He could have added that without free will, love and goodness are lost. At one point in the episode, the robot-like people grab implements or handy pieces of wood that happen to be lying about after a kind of frenzied Dionysian revelry the night before that seems to be designed as a kind of release valve, and begin to stalk the “Archons” – the Enterprise core members, in the manner of a sinister, zombie lynch mob.
Our politically correct overlords banish freedom of speech and thus largely freedom of thought, especially among those with no alternative models to follow, and periodically generate lynch mobs against miscreants. Perhaps the loveless, hook up culture, is the release valve for the young.
Detracting from the picture is what appears to be a veiled negative reference to Catholicism/Christianity. “Are you with the Body?” is strongly reminiscent of a combination of “the body of Christ” and “the peace of God be always with you” said at Communion and the agents of the Overlord are dressed in monk’s robes. On the other hand, since Landru is thought to be a god and he is a false idol, perhaps the monklike nature of his henchmen can simply be taken as of a piece with his religious pretensions – and likewise, “Are you with the Body?” could be interpreted as the sort of mimetic gobbledygook of pseudo-religions, of the pagan type dreamed up after the French Revolution.