OKLAHOMA CITY — A middle-school student has made a shocking discovery that political scientists say questions the very idea of representative democracy.
Jameria Willis, a seventh-grader at Brink Junior High School, was given an assignment by her civics teacher to diagram the three branches of federal government. What she discovered is chilling to even the most cynical political observers: from a secret chamber in the nation’s capital, a cabal of wizards has been manipulating the legislative process for hundreds of years.
Lawrence Popper, Jameria’s teacher, said the assignment was part of a unit to learn how a bill becomes a law.
“Jameria kept asking questions, like, what if some people don’t like a law that’s been passed. I was stumped, so I sent her into the school basement to fetch some old textbooks. That’s when she found out about the Council.”
The textbooks, some of which were printed in the 1960s, allude to a supreme council of nine wizards who spend the days meditating and subsisting off a simple diet of fermented yak milk. A few times a year, usually during a full moon, they materialize in Washington D.C. Dressed in black cloaks, they can, with the wave of a hand, allow a law to live — or make it vanish.
It seems that only five of the nine wizards are needed to cast such a spell.
Constitutional scholars are scrambling to understand who these wizards are and why they are allowed to trump the legislative and executive branches of government.
“From what we know, there’s no way of undoing what the Council deems must be, or must not be,” said Denise Kobayashi, a law professor at Duke. “No veto from the president, no national referendum — not even a unified Congress. No one may contest the Council.”
“It was kind of creepy when I was looking through those old books, figuring everything out,” Willis said. “I was thinking, okay, you have these laws that disappear, and these old robed people running the show. I felt like I was in a movie, like someone was hiding in the corner watching me. I got scared, seriously.”
Despite waves of protest, some people are appealing for calm, saying the wizards exist for a reason — that they might have superhuman-like intelligence. One notable voice of support for the wizards is the American Bar Association, which issued a statement saying members of the Council are not “nobodies from nowhere,” but are among the “wisest of men and women whose judgement comes not from within themselves, but from the sapient buzzing of the universe.” The statement also noted that prior to joining the Council, the nine individuals were not “courtroom svengalis or law-school psychics,” as many critics say, but were “respected, professional lawyers.”
Below are rare portraits of the Council.