Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Correspondence and sanctuary (Part Two)

"Silencio." - Mulholland Drive

It's hard sometimes to justify what I do here, and for a number of reasons.

I worry about my writing becoming nothing but morbid entertainments, like evangelical tracts that decry the Devil and his ways and then indulge the reader's unadmitted fantasies with details of the dark worship. I worry that maybe I'm compounding distraction and a sense of futility. Most of all, I worry that I'm right. Even a little. And again, for a number of reasons.

I've begun logging unusual phone calls. Frequent untraceable silences, odd beeps, industrial noise and strange voices. Maybe, as most mothers might say, I just read too much. Maybe I simply have a lousy phone line. But I'm starting to keep a record nonetheless.

Our car was broken into the other night. Other than some change it seems that nothing was stolen. Not exactly high drama in the big city. It happened before, when the world was more or less recognizable. Still, for a moment I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach, and couldn't help but wonder.

I get that feeling sometimes looking at how IPs of frequent visitors to the blog resolve to defence agencies and installations, and such concerns as Mitre Corp, Booz Allen Hamilton, Dyncorp, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Los Alamos and Brown Brothers Harriman. But I can't know who's on the other end, or why. The military-industrial-financial complex is just that, and it's foolish to presume that everyone in its employ is in on it. Some may just be looking for a glimpse of a bigger picture drawn from an alternate map. Some may want something else. Hundreds of hits from the Pinkerton division devoted to government computer security suggests something else. Perhaps that they want me to know they're watching. And why on Earth would they want to do that?

Paranoia's the Black Lung disease of miners down the rabbit hole. Once you obsess that they're out to get you, they've got you. Often, I would think, without their even knowing it.

Perhaps that's what got Woody shot. There are lots of good minds out there broken by the evil of the world. And there's something about the Bush family that brings it out in people. The Web is littered with exquisite examples.

But of course, they are out to get us - aren't they? Certainly they mean to stop us from stopping them, and will use any means necessary to do so. But short of that, maybe not. They may even want us to do our thing, and stoke the paranoia, because that suits them just fine.

There's an aspect of the UFO phenomenon that I find very suggestive of this, though I don't know whether it's possible anymore, after the Will Smith movies, to have a serious discussion about "Men in Black." Still, I'd like to give it a shot.

The usual interpretation of these bizarre encounters is that of threat. Cryptic and dreadful warnings are spread to UFO witnesses to "keep quiet" about what they saw and what they know, even if they saw little and know even less. Yet the threats never appear to be carried out. As with the phantom clowns, social workers and census takers, the sense of menace is delivered, but that's the end of it.

John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies and Jacques Vallee's Confrontations record accounts of "Men in Black" visitations so strikingly similar, they perhaps provide keys to understanding the nature of the phenomenon.

Keel tells of a tall man with pointed features and "thyroid" eyes, wearing an ill-fitting and out of fashion black suit, sat in a booth at a New York City restaurant in the summer of 1967 and said he wanted something to eat, but could be no more specific than "food." The waitress brought a steak, which he stared at for a long while, then picked up his knife and fork and observed the other patrons. He did not know how to use the utensils. The waitress watched him fumble for a while, and then showed him how to cut the steak and spear it with his fork. She asked him where he was from. He answered, "Another world." Hardly the actions and words of someone whose mission is dissuading people from an interest in UFOs.

In May of the same year, a figure identifying himself as "Major Richard French" of the US Air Force entered the restaurant of a Mrs Ralph Butler in Owatonna, Minnesota. French had an olive complexion and pointed features, and dark hair that was much too long for an air force officer, Mrs Butler thought. He was dressed in civilian clothes that seemed brand new. Butler saw the soles of his shoes and they absolutely unscuffed. Otherwise, he appeared unexceptional until he complained about an upset stomach, and Butler brought him some Jello.

"Did you ever hear of anyone - especially an air force officer - trying to drink Jello?" Butler asked. "Well, that's what he did. He acted like he'd never seen any before. He picked up the bowl and tried to drink it. I had to show him how to eat it with a spoon."

One of Vallee's investigations in Confrontations takes him to Happy Camp, a small lumber town near Mt Shasta in Northern California. In the Fall of 1975 a rash of UFO sightings, entity encounters and abductions rattled the community, which already had a Fortean reputation for Sasquatch spotting and "local legends about the Puduwan, strange beings with paranormal powers." (And as in Roswell and Point Pleasant and Hopkinsville and similar towns across America, the Chamber of Commerce sees a buck to be made in the legacy of weirdness. The lead story of the latest edition of Happy Camp News is "Bigfoot Video Cameras Are Down.") In one bizarre incident, five disparate witnesses claim to have been led from a foggy canyon, in confusion, onto a craft by beings which spoke to them about the Bible. Their next conscious memory was, unaccountably, driving down the mountain singing an old Gospel chorus. Vallee writes that he finds it "interesting that the hymn they were singing was 'There is Power in the Blood of the Lamb.'"

Vallee continues:

The Happy Camp events encompass abductions, suffocating fog, large birds, small beings with welder helmets, chases by jets, poltergeists [and] gravity anomalies.... But it would not be complete without its own Man in Black episode.

Thus I was almost relieved to learn how, early in 1976, a stranger who had never been seen in town happened to stroll into Lois's Cafe. Helen and Pat [two contactees] were there, quietly having dinner at different tables.

All conversation stopped when the man came in. He ordered a steak dinner but proved unable to use a knife and fork, and eventually left without paying, a sure way to be remembered by the local people. Pat told me that he had pale skin and "oriental" eyes. He wore a bizarre sort of shirt and no coat, although it was the middle of winter. He smiled constantly at people in a strange, forced grimace. Among the peculiar things he did during his extraordinary dinner was a brave attempt to drink Jello out of his glass.

Keel's and Vallee's restaurant stories are separated by eight years and thousands of miles. If it were virtually anyone but Keel and Vallee telling them, I would presume them to be hoaxes or urban legend. But they conduct their own investigations on site, rigorously avoid leading witnesses, and are skeptics in the best and proper sense of the word.

Such incidents are typically described by observers of the phenomenon as "slip ups." Keel writes that "a few, like Richard French, almost pulled off their capers without drawing attention to themselves. But in nearly every case there was always some small error, some slip of dress or behavior."

Perhaps, instead, we ought to consider that there is a correlation between effect and intention. These aren't slip ups. These are displays. Rather than dissuade people from thinking and talking about UFOs, they encourage speculation and breed paranoia. Many witnesses hadn't thought much about their sightings, or told many people, until visited by odd figures who say "we know what you saw" and warn them not to speak of it. Instead of turning attention away from the phenomenon, these characters draw attention to it. Just like UFOs, which act as though they want to be seen rather than not, the "Men in Black" make spectacles of themselves. Why?

"Men in Black," when they appear to be men at all - some outstanding encounters describe comically robotic figures - are often said to have ruddy or olive complexions and "oriental" or "thyroid" eyes, speak in "sing-song" voices and walk in a halting manner as though out-of-sync with our reality and strangers to our time and space. Keel says they often claim to be representatives of the "Nation of the Third Eye."

This is one of those many times when I've believed I've had an original idea, only to find it's already on the table: perhaps what we call the "Men in Black" are entities manifesting themselves as representatives of Shamballa, the Great White Lodge of Sirius linked to Tibet and Eurasian mythology. (Also see this post, and these two threads, for recent studies of the significance of Shamballa and Eurasian mythology to modern apocalpytics such as Richard Heinberg.) I would suggest, though, the possibility that this appearance is assumed not because it reflects reality, but because these are tricksters adapting to the contours of belief of elite occultists, whose energies call them forth.

Perhaps this is why they often assume the guise of government agents, or are mistaken for such, because they are mimicking their occultic human complement. They also share an interest in inducing paranoia, even as they make a pretense at doing the opposite.

There are things of which we should be afraid, but we can be smart about it. Paranoia is fear bred in ignorance, which only serves the interest of the would-be rulers of the world. Paranoia is not knowing what we're up against. As weird as things get, if we can see it coming then we may in a position, and on our feet, in order to do something about it.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Correspondence and sanctuary (Part One)

"No hay banda! There is no band. It is all - an illusion!" - Mulholland Drive

I was thinking last week about the other Bob Woodward, and that started a train of thought which hasn't yet come to a complete stop.

The other Woodward is the young man who's bizarre plea for political asylum in a Vermont church the morning of December 2, 2001 was met with a hail of police bullets and a circuitous ambulance trip to the hospital - three miles in 40 minutes - that conspired to take his life, though Woodward, armed only with a pocket knife, had threatened no one but himself. (He'd said he would rather die than be tortured.)

I won't repeat the story here that's well-told at justiceforwoody.org. (There's also a recent thread about the case on the RI discussion board.) But let's note these things:

  • Woodward worked with mentally disabled children, and told the congregation so.
  • He claimed he had been receiving threats of torture and death from federal agents, apparently for his environmental activism.
  • He said "I'll never rile against the Bush Administration again, or the military or any of these other things. I just can not leave here, I am in danger."
  • Some of what he said sounds impossibly bizarre, though he made his most bizarre and disturbing remarks lying in his blood on the floor of the church sanctuary. For instance, "The CIA killed Jeb Bush." A police officer replied, "Well, Jeb Bush isn't dead yet." Woodward answered "No - the other Jeb Bush."
I can't assess Woodward's claims. (Though "Neighbors maintain they saw two men, apparently government agents, visit his apartment Saturday evening.") I don't even know them. He was extremely agitated that Sunday, desperate for witnesses with whom to share his story and tell why his life was in imminent danger, but once he had them it appears he didn't know where to begin. And I think that's something to which everyone who has gone down a rabbit hole, no matter which one and no matter how far, can relate.

To me, the lesson of Woodward's tragedy is obscured by the question, How do we begin telling people what we've learned, and what we suspect, without sounding crazy? Where do we start? And how can we before we find ourselves in similar desperate circumstance?

Perhaps we need to resign ourselves to sounding mad to most people. I expect that to many still comfortable with the established paradigm, whether we're talking about assassinations or MKULTRA or UFOs, it's all just different degrees of paranoia. There's a steep learning curve to secret history, and without knowing some of it our talk of present and future mysteries will sound like gibberish. CIA, aliens and mind control: isn't that the usual constellation of delusion?

And yet we need to admit there are such things as madness and delusion, and avoid the corresponding conceit of the so-called, and sometimes rightly so, fringe: just because it's out there doesn't make it right.

And it's often complicated, especially off the High, Weird End, when genuine correspondences are also mad.

More than the account of odd sightings of a strange flying creature with glowing red eyes, John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies is a record of an eruption of all manner of occult/trickster phenomenon in West Virginia in the mid-sixties. Animal mutilations, poltergeists, mechanical voices on telephones, UFOs, monsters and "Men in Black."

In late October, 1966, on one of his regular pre-dawn strolls, Leonard Elmore of Duncan Falls, Ohio came upon a "strange building." He was only two blocks from his house, but he had never before seen the L-shaped structure that "looked like a galvanized iron shed" sitting in a large field. He walked a little closer to get a better look, and saw no windows or doors. He was overcome with a sense of dread, that he not explain later, and began to turn back. It was then, Elmore claims, that he "distinctly heard a normal male voice" come from inside the structure, saying "Don't run...don't run." When he returned soon after, it was gone.

Keel writes:

When he showed me the field I was perturbed to find that it was right next to the Duncan Falls Elementary School. An unusual number of sightings an Fortean events seem to be concentrated around schools and the largest percentage of witnesses consists of children between the ages of seven and eighteen. Another statistical oddity is that the majority of the adults who claim their autos were pursued by UFOs or monsters are schoolteachers, especially teachers specializing in abnormal children - the very bright or the mentally deficient.

Remember the phantom clowns and social workers? During the Mothman flap, homes in the Ohio Valley of West Virginia were visited by phantom census takers, who were also chiefly interested in the numbers and ages of children.

The other Bob Woodward, we've noted, worked with mentally disabled children. I'm not saying he was being hounded by monsters or UFOs. I'm simply saying there is, it seems, a correspondence of interests among the human and inhuman monsters of our study. So perhaps it doesn't matter a great deal what exactly was hounding him. (The correspondence extends further: alien entities are always passing on dire warnings of environmental calamity, just as Woodward was warning the congregation.)

And here's something else.

Keel also writes that UFOs and bizarre entities "all appear to have the ability to ferret out human females during their menstrual period." He also notes that "the phenomenon has an almost pornographic preoccupation with our mating practices."

Now, consider the mission of the "Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis," the branch of the OTO founded by Aleister Crowley's purported spiritual heir Kenneth Grant:

The Typhonian OTO is concerned with effective transmissions and communications from 'outerspace' for the purpose of opening Gateways. The Typhonian 'deities' denote specific operations of psycho-physical alchemy which involve essences or elixirs secreted (thrown out and/or considered unclean) by the human organism. Its formula is that of the XI° involving kalas that are entirely absent from the masculine organism.

Grant's Typhonian OTO is principally concerned with "opening Gateways." The Gateway through which, Grant holds, LAM entered Crowley's world. (Concerning the Babalon Working of Jack Parsons and L Ron Hubbard, Grant has written that "Parsons opened a door and something flew in.") These dark entities Grant likens to the "Old Ones" of HP Lovecraft, whom he regards as a "natural adept."

Crowley's XI° degree of the OTO pertained to anal intercourse: the sex magickal meaning of the Eye of Horus. The XI° degree of Grant's Typhonian OTO "is based on intercourse during menstruation and is considered by some as the true reversal of the IX° i.e. being a part of the same cycle. It is regarded that Crowley was unaware of the true formula as the Typhonian XI° involves specific kalas that are entirely absent from the masculine organism."

So there's John Keel, scratching his head at how manifestations of UFOs and alien entities seem linked to menstruation, and an occult order of sex magic concerned with "opening Gateways" which, for its final degree, entails ritual intercourse during menstruation.

It's crazy. But as crazy at it sounds now, just imagine trying to explain it to a church congregation as police snipers take aim.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Fearless Vampire Killers

A gypsy with a broken flag and a flashing ring
Said "Son, this ain't a dream no more, it's the real thing."
- Bob Dylan

In Tuesday's Necronomicon post I briefly referred to the "Vampire Clan" of 17-year old Roderik Ferrell. In my haste I didn't closely read Ferrell's confession, but thankfully "Dream's End did:

Dewey: Rod, you talked about a, you said that Scott never saw a murder before, did you see a murder before then?

A: I've fucking seen murders like all my life, every since I was five cause my grandfather for one, he's never been caught either.

Q: You saw these people murder other people?

A: He's part of an organization called the Black Mask. Whenever I was five they chose me as the Guardian of the Black Mask and the Guardian has to become one with everybody. In other words, they raped me. And they have to sacrifice a human to the Guardian so they sacrificed someone right in front of me.

Q: What city was that in?

A: It was in Murray.

Q: Would you call that a cult?

A: Yeah.

Q: These guys that are with ya, are they, have you indoctrinated them into the ways of the cult or you just ah their friends that your run with? What about Scott?

A: No, I never became part of them.

Q: Kind of tough even when you're hard core, isn't it man?

A: Two things bother me: what happened whenever I was five and the fact that I never will get to see Che after this... I've been hanging around gangs and cults and all that shit all my life, so I've seen like sacrifices and drug buys...

Q: I'm just asking, Rod.

A: Killing is a way of life, animals do it, and that's the way humans are, just the worst predators of all actually.


Q: To be straight up with ya, yeah, it's probably going to entail the death penalty.

A: Petty.

Q: Yeah, there you go.

A: I'm sorry, this is just like a big fucking joke. My life seems like a dream. My childhood was taken away at five, I don't know whether I'm asleep or dreaming anymore so whatever, for all I know I could wake up in five minutes.

Ferrell had been raised by his young mother, Sondra Gibson, and her parents after his father abandoned the family and joined the military. Besides the rape, occult torture and human sacrifice Ferrell alleges he'd suffered at the hands of his grandfather's circle, Gibson's second husband is also said to have been "engaged in satanic rituals," and his mother sought to become a vampire herself. The Smoking Gun has one of Gibson's love letters to the 14-year old brother of Stephen Murray, who had "crossed" Ferrell over to vampirism. Murray's mother turned the letters over to the police. Gibson wrote of longing for him to cross her over, to make her his bride, and so "become a vampire, a part of the family."

Ferrell was the youngest ever consigned to execution by the State of Florida. (He left death row in 2002.) Most who remember his name likely regard him as just another eff'd-up Goth who played Dungeons and Dragons too many times. Prosecutor David Harrington said "I think you had a group of kids that just wanted to be a part of something, wanted to belong to a group, and it went too far. Hopefully, it's over." At his sentencing the judge declared Ferrell proves "there is genuine evil in the world." I'd like to know how long that judge has served on the Bench, because I'd say the case was made somewhat earlier. It must have been made rather convincingly to the five-year old "Guardian of the Black Mask," delivered by his grandfather into paedophile rape and torture. ("Two things bother me: what happened whenever I was five....")

Another generation, another generational cult.

Ferrell, testified a psychologist at his trial, "felt he was able to get powers from this book." That would seem to have been the lesson of his abuse: obtain power, and make it stop.

"The Black Mask," "The Hand of Death," The Atlanta child murder ring, the "Friends of Hecate," the Four Pi Movement and the "Black Cross" and more: they go by many names, and some by none at all. And too frequently for it to be coincidence or fantasy we read how members include "well-known" and "respected" citizens of the community.

From prison Ferrell said he never expected there to be consequences to his crimes. A reasonable assumption, given his grandfather and the "Black Mask" have apparently never faced any themselves. ("I've fucking seen murders like all my life, every since I was five cause my grandfather for one, he's never been caught either.") Prosecution of occult crime seems to match the conduct of the "War on Drugs": arrest the end users of narcotics and child porn; make showcase arrests, frequently of patsies; and never implicate the respected figures at the top.

In his 1978 essay entitled "Some Considerations on the Paperback Publication of the NECRONOMICON" (quoted in Harms and Gonce's The Necronomicon Files), William S Burroughs said that "with some knowledge of the black arts from prolonged residence in Morocco, I have been surprised and at first shocked to find real secrets of curses and spells revealed in paperback publications for all to see and use." Burroughs concludes with the thought that this is a good thing: public disclosure will keep the dark secrets from being monopolized by corporations and government agencies.

There is a certain logic to that. But there's certainly madness, too. Because, I would expect, whenever the dark secrets are employed, the result will always be darkness. That's what Ferrell did when he took up the Necronomicon in occult imitation of his abusers. It was learned behaviour.

From an email I receieved this week from a reader recounting his experience with the Necronomicon, and reproduced with permission:

Once I realized I wouldn't be hearing much about Cthulhu in the book, my interest waned somewhat, but I finished reading anyways. That was when things started to get odd. I began hearing noises, and by noises I mean loud ones, such as feet running over the roof of the house while I was home alone, noises outside my bedroom window, etc. The belief was that until a person burned the book, they would be plagued by the demons released by reading it. I sought to endure this as long as possible, but eventually I reached my breaking point, and after a couple weeks of "haunting" that never exceeded what you have refered to as "prankster behavior", I burned the paperback in my grandparent's front driveway, which was where I lived at the time, and bringing the episode to and end.

One last thing about this experience, and one I was highly reticent to admit in your blog, was when I burned this book, I stood and watched it go up. What I saw I've never sufficiently reconcilled with my "understanding of things":

The pages burned blank. By this I mean that as the book burned and page after page burned off the top, each page beneath the last was completely empty of ink.

No words.

Magick is something of an intermediary between psychology and religion, and it's hard sometimes to know where the psi ends and something Other takes over. Teens experiment, and sometimes find power, and may not ask from where it comes. But the occult is recognized as its battery. And not just by teens.

I'll quote again Dion Fortune, from her book What Is Occultism? (a compilation of essays published in the 1920s):

Black occultists may be divided into two classes, those who deliberately say to Evil, Be thou my good; and those who stray onto the Left-hand Path more or less unintentionally, and having got there, stay there, often deluding themselves.... Fortunately, the Christs of Evil are as rare as the Christs of Good. Supreme achievement in any walk of life is attained by but few.

That's one consolation, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Day John Kennedy Died

by Lou Reed

I dreamed I was the president of these United States
I dreamed I replaced ignorance, stupidity and hate
I dreamed the perfect union and a perfect law undenied
And most of all I dreamed I forgot
The day John Kennedy died

I dreamed that I could do the job that others hadn't done
I dreamed that I was uncorrupt and fair to everyone
I dreamed I wasn't gross or base, a criminal on the take
And most of all I dreamed I forgot
The day John Kennedy died

Oh the day John Kennedy died...

I remember where I was that day
I was upstate in a bar
The team from the university
Was playing football on TV
Then the screen want dead
And the announcer said:
'There's been a tragedy
There's are unconfirmed reports
The president's been shot
And he may be dead or dying'
Talking stopped, someone shouted: ' What?!'
I ran out to the street
People were gathered everywhere saying:
'Did you hear what they said on TV?'
And then a guy in a Porsche with his radio
Hit his horn and told us the news
He said:
'The president's dead
He was shot twice in the head
In Dallas, and they don't know by whom’

I dreamed I was the president of these United States
I dreamed I was young and smart and it was not a waste
I dreamed there was a point to life and to the human race
I dreamed that I could somehow comprehend
That someone shot him in the face.

Oh the day John Kennedy died....

From Two Boats in the Night by Paranoid Larry:

CI-Al Qaeda
NB-See nothing
JF-Came and went
'cause he stood up for something
Who remembers just what
We all know what happened
But at least he stood up
That's when they tried to take over
Changing the rules of the game
They cover their tracks but it's all in a name

There was the Bay of Pigs fiasco
Which spoiled the relations
Of the chain of command disappearing up the line
They insisted upon his complete cooperation
But he respectfully declined
That's when they tried to take over
But he didn't die in vain
Since he stood up we know some of their names

Weird Tales

"A dangerous book. The theological equivalent of a loaded gun." - William S Burroughs on the Necronomicon.

Into the Mauve Zone

The Necronomicon isn't supposed to exist, but - like so many things that shouldn't - it does. And how it's come to exist makes an interesting, and troubling story.

But first, let's talk about HP Lovecraft, who imagined the book into fiction. I've mentioned previously his influence upon occultists of the Left Hand Path. (And Erik Davis, author of TechGnosis, has written an excellent overview of Lovecraft Magick here.)

Figures such as Michael Aquino, who composed a "Call to Cthulhu" ritual before he left the Church of Satan to found his Temple of Set, have adopted aspects of Lovecraft's mythos and imagery of hungry, tentacled gods in order to stimulate their own magick. (Also by Aquino, the "Ceremony of the Nine Angles" includes an evocation of Lovecraft's Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep and Shub-Niggurath.)

Kenneth Grant, a living disciple of Aleister Crowley who believes himself to be his rightful heir , founder of the "Typhonian" OTO and the first apostle of the Cult of Lam, takes things much further. Grant believes Lovecraft, a self-described "mechanistic materialist," to have been a "natural adept" who was able to unconsciously enter the abyss. (Lovecraft claimed many of his ideas came to him in disturbing dreams.) According to Grant's understanding of Qaballah, and following the Crowley model, the abyss is entered by Daath, the 11th circle of power on the tree of life. Grant calls it the "Mauve Zone." The Necronomicon Files co-author John Wisdom Gonce III describes it as a "kind of Sephirothic worm-hole allowing access not only to the Qlippoth [the shells of horror and disease that mirror the Sephiroth as a Tree of Death], but also to other nonhuman worlds." To Grant, the Qlippothic universe is connected by 22 "Tunnels of Set" - sort of a underworld autobahn of demons and sundry horrors. And to Grant, it's all good. Gonce writes: "the universe of the tunnels is perceived as evil only by those who are unenlightened about their real importance. In Grant's view, the abhorrent entitites lurking in the Tunnels of Set are not 'evil spirits' per se, but primal atavisms within the human consciousness, which the magickal practitioner can access by means of sex magick rituals."

Grant makes much of what he regards as unaware correspondences between Lovecraft, Crowley and others. Elizabethan occultist John Dee mentioned an Enochian demon called "Choronzon" who he said may interfere with a magician's work. Crowley called Choronzon "the Breaker-Down of all Thought and Form," and said he was the guardian of the gateway of Daath. Grant says Lovecraft knew him as "Yog-Sothoth," for this line from The Dunwich Horror: "Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and the guardian of the gate."

Occultist Barry Walker elaborates on the correspondences, and on the "Mauve Zone":

To illustrate this link here are some examples cited by Grant: Al Azif [Lovecraft's Arabic title for original manuscript of the Necronomicon], the book of the (mad) Arab. This book is referred to as all powerful in a magical sense corresponds to Crowley’s Al vel Legis. Crowley claimed this book to contain the supreme spells. The Great Old Ones from the Mythos = The Great Old Ones of the Night Time, a phrase which occurs in rituals of the Golden Dawn. The Cold Waste, Kadath = Hadith, the Wonder of the Waste, a title taken by Crowley etc. etc. There are many other parallels but these point out the path for you to follow if you want to find others.The above list shows how there are indeed links between what was understood to be only “fictions” and a “real” occult tradition. It seems that Lovecraft was a channel, chosen or random, for ideas to ooze into our reality from beyond. The place where these ideas come from has become known amongst Typhonian occultists and others as the Mauve Zone, a place where the concepts such as “real” and “unreal” lose any meaning, a zone which can spill from the pages of a book into the mind of its reader, opening up a gate though which the Great Old Ones can, once again, gain a footing on our world.

Simon Says

But that's enough of that for now. What was this about the Necronomicon?

Even if you haven't read Lovecraft you must have heard of it. It's a supposedly 1,200 year old text by the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazrad (a name Lovecraft coined as a boy), containing fearsome spells for invoking the "Old Ones" of the Cthulhu Mythos. And of course it was Lovecraft's invention, and it provided a nice linking device for his fiction. But apart from a few quotes salted in his stories, he didn't write it.

So what is that paperback book that hasn't gone out of print for 25 years?

There have been a number of claimants to the title, but by far the most popular - and also, seemingly, the most "magickal" - is known as the Simon Necronomicon.

The legend of this Necronomicon is that in 1972, two monks who had been stealing precious books from university libraries across the United States delivered a copy to "Simon," a translator of rare manuscripts who was also involved in international espionage. Simon took his translation to New York City's Magical Childe bookshop. The shop's owner was Herman Slater, described by Daniel Harms in The Necronomicon Files as a "showman-occultist of the old school." William S Burroughs dropped in and "after going through the pages and a few lines of powder, he offered the comment that it was 'good shit,'" illustrator Khem Caighan told Harms. The Simon Necronomicon went through several small print runs with occult presses, before being picked up by Avon Books in 1980, where it has served as the Joe Camel of chaos magick to American youth ever since.

There is considerable dispute about the book's provenance. Particularly the identity of "Simon."

Alan Cabal's "The Doom that Came to Chelsea", published in the New York Press, June 3, 2003, offers an answer:

Into this bubbling swamp of spiritual fecundity stepped Peter Levenda, aka "Simon." Charming, soft-spoken and aloof, well-versed in all aspects of occult theory and practice, he eased his way to the center of the scene. The Necronomicon was a team effort. Herman provided the sponsorship, while the design and layout were the work of Jim Wasserman of the OTO, a raving cokehead from Jersey named Larry Barnes whose daddy had the production facilities and a fellow who called himself Khem Set Rising (who also designed the sigils). The text itself was Levenda’s creation, a synthesis of Sumerian and later Babylonian myths and texts peppered with names of entities from H.P. Lovecraft’s notorious and enormously popular Cthulhu stories. Levenda seems to have drawn heavily on the works of Samuel Noah Kramer for the Sumerian, and almost certainly spent a great deal of time at the University of Pennsylvania library researching the thing. Structurally, the text was modeled on the wiccan Book of Shadows and the Goetia, a grimoire of doubtful authenticity itself dating from the late Middle Ages.

"Simon" was also Levenda’s creation. He cultivated an elusive, secretive persona, giving him a fantastic and blatantly implausible line of bullshit to cover the book’s origins. He had no telephone. He always wore business suits, in stark contrast to the flamboyant Renaissance fair, proto-goth costuming that dominated the scene. He never got high in public.

In short, he knew the signifiers and emblems of authority, and played them to the hilt. He hinted broadly of dealings with intelligence agencies and secret societies operating at global levels of social influence. He began teaching classes in the back room, and showed a genuine knack for clarifying and elucidating such baroque encrypted arcana as John Dee’s Enochian magick system in such a way as to make it understandable even to a novice. He also lacked the guts to let a woman know when he was through with her, or so Bonnie said. She was positioned to know at the time, despite her failing marriage to Chris Claremont, the comic book author who put the X-Men on the map. Chris was her third husband. I was her fourth, and last.

As Simon, Levenda threw parties with various forms of live entertainment and staged rituals presented by the various groups that swarmed around the shop. He had no political enemies on the scene, owing to his adamantine and resolute refusal to affiliate with any one group. There has always been a very heavy crossover factor between the Renaissance fair/Society for Creative Anachronisms crowd, the science-fiction fan circuit and the occult/wicca scenes. Simon had friends throughout all of these arenas, and they all showed up to support this effort at unity.

In case you missed it, that's Peter Levenda, author of Unholy Alliance and Sinister Forces.

Levenda is forthcoming about his involvement in the publication of the Simon Necronomicon, however he hasn't yet mentioned it in his other published works, despite frequent references to the cursed book. He has usually claimed his efforts were limited to translation. Asked on his Sinister Forces Q&A forum about his alleged authorship, he responds: "There is a lot of speculation on the Net and everywhere else about this, most of it in error as can be expected, but a book will be published next year that will clarify my role and the role of Simon in the controversy. In short, however: Did I have something to do with it? Yes. Did I write it? No. Other than that, I guess we will all have to wait for the book to come out next year." (I presume that book will be the third volume of Sinister Forces: "The Manson Secret.")

Levenda added more detail in this interview a few years ago with the editor of Dagobert’s Revenge:

My involvement was on the translation side. I've been around occult groups in New York since the late Sixties. I was a friend of Herman Slater of the old Warlock Shop in Brooklyn Heights before it moved to Manhattan and became Magickal Childe. I was around during the famous Witch Wars of the Seventies, when it seemed that everyone was casting spells on everyone else. I was there when Gardnerians and Welsh Trads and Alexandrians and Sicilian Trads sat down around a table in the back of Herman's shop to settle the War and make peace once and for all. Herman had once interviewed neo-Nazis in New York in the 1960s and we had a lot of interests in common. I never joined any of the groups, that wasn't my intention or inclination, but I was a familiar face around the campfire, so to speak. My fascination has always been on the degree to which religion and occultism influence mainstream politics; Unholy Alliance began as an academic study of this before it turned into a Nazi history. As for the Necronomicon, it was part of a stash of stolen books. The story is told, I think, in other places and I have been asked this before -- also on the Internet -- so to summarize: in the 1970s a couple of Eastern Orthodox monks pulled off the biggest rare book heist in the history of the United States. It was a continuing crime, the books being taken from libraries and private collections all over the country (and, it was said, Canada and Mexico). They were finally busted, and did federal time, but most of the books were never recovered. The Necronomicon was part of this swag as were a lot of occult books. It was in Greek, handwritten, but the problem was that much of the Greek was unintelligible. My modest contribution to this was recognizing that some of the Greek was an attempt to phoneticize Babylonian and Sumerian words. I am not one of the people arguing that this Necronomicon is THE Necronomicon, or that Lovecraft was even aware that it existed. I think Lovecraft heard the name through one of his friends in the Golden Dawn, and used it creatively. If the Simon Necronomicon is a hoax, I think it would have been better done and more closely followed the Cthulhu Mythos. I kind of like the fact that William Burroughs was into it, and wrote Simon and L. K. Barnes a letter praising it as an important spiritual breakthrough.

He went a bit further some time later in conversation with Daniel Harms: "My role in the Necronomicon affair was as a general editor of the translated text. I also did much of the background research....I researched Sumarian lore at the NY Public Library, for instance, and provided some of the bibliography for Simon's introduction."

Harms adds:

Levenda also wrote a short promotional article on the Necronomicon, which has turned up at the American Religions Collection at the University of California at Santa Barbara's Davidson Library. Next to his byline, someone has written in "Simon (Editor of Necronomicon)" Levenda was receiving half of the royalties from the Simon book, so he must have had an important hand in the book.

It is fiction. But saying "it's only fiction" isn't much of an argument when it comes to magick, which could be called the science of make believe. Tibetan magick, for instance, includes the creation of "tulpas": entities willed into existence by disciplined acts of imagination. Many of the classic grimoires are falsely attributed to figures of antiquity or myth - The Key of Solomon, for instance - but that's irrelevent to the occultists who use them to release the power of their own will. That the Necronomicon could be invested with a similar authority by those who believe should not surprise. (Gonce writes he has known some who use its spells to have experienced similar poltergeist-like phenomenon, including ominous rappings on walls, as though something were trying to pass through.)

Jack Parsons' inspiration wasn't found only in figures such as Aleister Crowley and the great occultists; it was also in pulp fiction such as Jack Williamson's Darker Than You Think, a story of hereditary werewolves that revive the old gods under the leadership of the "Child of Night," the product of a magickal birth. A story like that would naturally bear considerable frisson for an self-styled Antichrist trying to crash the world system by invoking "Babalon" as a magickal "moonchild." John Carter's Sex and Rockets quotes Williamson as saying that, on meeting Parsons, "I was astonished to discover he had a far less skeptical interest in such things than I."

Seventeen-year old Roderik Ferrell was leader of a Kentucky "vampire clan," guilty of occult-inspired animal mutilation and murder, and a good deal of that inspiration was drawn from the Necronomicon.

Gonce writes:

Investigations into the background of Roderick Ferrell revealed that his interest in the Necronomicon was far more than casual. His possession of the book at the time of his arrest was no coincidence. According to seventeen-year old Audry Presson, a friend of Ferrell's at Eustis High School, Ferrell often discussed the Necronomicon with her over the telephone. Presson testified under cross-examination by defense attorney Candice Hawthorne that she and Ferrell had shared an interest in the book, although he took it more seriously than she did. Psychologist Wade Myers III testified that Ferrell "felt he was able to get powers from this book."

Gonce adds that "Simon's" book, particularly the section "The Conjuration of the Watcher," may have influenced the Vampire Klan's animal sacrifice, by advising readers

...to not make their sacrifices to demons neither too large nor too small for fear that the evil spirits will not answer when summoned or else grow too powerful. He follows this with an anecdote about a priest from Jerusalem who worshipped the "Old Ones" and sacrificed sheep to demons. Human sacrifice also seems to be encouraged by the Simon Necronomicon, as seen on page 19: "strive ever onward...though it mean thine own death; for such a death is as a sacrifice to the Gods, and pleasing.

I learned of Levenda's disputed but clearly significant part in the Necronomicon only Saturday evening, after writing that day's post praising the second volume of his Sinister Forces. My opinion hasn't changed, but it's been informed.

There is at least a terrific irony that the author of a study of evil and occult influence in American life can also be credited with a how-to book on demonic invocation marketed to the young and impressionable, which advocates animal and human sacrifice.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Carlucci's spellcheck

TrineDay surprised me Friday with an advance copy of the second volume of Peter Levenda's Sinister Forces, so I'm afraid I haven't had time for much more than having my mind blown.

I found Book One: "The Nine" a little halting in parts as Levenda began mapping his project, but Book Two: "A Warm Gun" finds him at full-stride, and there's some wonderfully compelling writing here about the occult/intelligence nexus of subjects such as the Manson Family, the People's Temple and Mark David Chapman. (And "the Nine" are back.) It's an exhilarating trip over some rarely-viewed Americana.

Just one little for instance.

In a post last June regarding the Symbionese Liberation Army I referred to a letter that then-Deputy Director of the CIA Frank Carlucci (later Director, and later still the Chairman of the Carlyle Group) had written Congressman Leo Ryan in response to Ryan's inquiries concerning the question of whether Donald DeFreeze - "Cinque" - had been subjected to mind control experiments while incarcerated at Vacaville State Prison.

Levenda reproduces Carlucci's letter to Ryan, dated "18 Oct 1978":

Dear Mr Ryan:

Thank you for your letter of 27 September to Admiral Turner requesting confirmation or denial of the fact of CIA experiments using prisoners at the California medical facility at Vacaville.

It is true that CIA sponsored testing, using volunteer inmates, was conducted at that facility. The project was completed in 1968....

You letter referred to Donald DeFreese [sic], known as CINQUE, and Clifford Jefferson, both of whom were inmates at Vacaville. In so far as our records reflect the names of the participants, there is nothing to indicate that either was in any way involved in the project.

Exactly one month after receiving Carlucci's non-denial denial, Ryan was dead on the tarmac in Guyana while investigating another mad experiment in mind control, the People's Temple.

I like how Levenda dismantles Carlucci's carefully constructed obfuscation, starting with the misspelling of DeFreeze's name:

[A]s any lawyer knows [misspelling] is a way to cover one's ass in the event that the denial is proved false. It means that there was no one at the facility being tested who bore the name "Donald DeFreese." The CIA has used this tactic before. Yet, let us allow that it was an honest mistake, a typographical error by a typist. Then there is the question of "our records."

In the first place, the key MK-ULTRA records, of which the vacaville experiments would have been a part, were all destroyed in 1973 (except for four boxes of accounting and bookkeeping records.) So, the CIA had no records of it all. In the second place, the letter is very careful to hedge even further: "In so far as our records reflect the names of the participants." Very clever, considering that in all likelihood no records existed and, anyway, the name of DeFreeze was misspelled.

Then there is the statement by future-CIA Director Carlucci that the project which had drawn Congressman Ryan's scrutiny "was completed in 1968." DeFreeze did not become an inmate at Vacaville until 1969. Thus, we are left with the distinct impression that the CIA had nothing to do with DeFreeze. But from 1970 on, DeFreeze was in twice-weekly contact with Colston Westbrook, former intelligence officer under AID cover, psychological warfare officer, and Vietnam veteran, who created and ran the Black Cultural Association at the facility. By running an operation at the prison at arm's length, the CIA had what is known as "plausible deniability." When DeFreeze was being sought by police during the SLA fiasco, he repeatedly warned that Westbrook was a CIA officer, but his warnings were taken as the ramblings of a deranged Communist and black revolutionary, and few paid his charges any attention.

"Mysterious synchronicities" is how author Dick Russell describes the subject of Levenda's work, and it's apt. Most of the mysteries, naturally enough for a study of evil, are quite horrible. And when horrible things fit together, and make eminent sense, I can't help but think of Charles Fort's remark: "If there is a universal mind, must it be sane?" Maybe not, but that shouldn't stop us. And Levenda, commendably, knows how to keep his head in the madhouse.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What about Bob?

In the Federal City you've been blown and shown pity
In secret, for pieces of change. - Bob Dylan

It keeps happening. No matter how often Bob Woodward telegraphs his true heart, American liberals and their fabulists who still believe there's something like a separation of powers, and in some storied dragon slayer called WoodwardBernstein, find themselves crushed again beneath the weight of collapsed expectations.

Woodward dropped his Plame bombshell with precision. ("A Boon To Libby Defense?" reads today's CBS headline.) Democrats who may ask "What was he thinking?" either haven't paid much attention to Woodward for the past, oh, 30 years, or confuse the establishment Yalie-ONI vet with Robert Redford's white knight. He was never on our side, he was just played as one in the movies. And it's unconscionable that anyone should be surprised by Woodward anymore.

Perpetuating the myth of Woodward and Bernstein was fine by all sides. Americans in their waking dream-state could console themselves by their example, that if things got really bad, then they would be told so. And the conspiratocracy's enabling chattering class could say, as they have recently about 9/11, that there are Pulitzers to be won by investigative journalists who can prove the attacks were permitted to happen. That no nominations have been forthcoming is embraced as tautological evidence for the bogus character of "conspiracy theory." (Pulitzer nominations, of course, are reserved for shills such as Gerald Posner, who received one for Case Closed, while weightier works like John Newman's Oswald and the CIA and Dick Russell's The Man Who Knew Too Much are fortunate to receive even limited distribution.)

The problem with dismantling Woodward's reputation - a process which he seems happy to oblige - is what comes next? Liberal bloggers are now championing Walter Pincus, the "CIA's house reporter" who worked for the agency in the Sixties and has been an asset ever since. Pincus was a major player in covering-up the CIA's crack-dealing, and in assassinating the professional character of reporter Gary Webb, after Webb's "Dark Alliance" exercise in truth-telling managed to find a rare toehold in the mainstream.

For the most part newspapers are money-sinks. They are not operated for profit so much as to manage opinion and dictate the parameters of respectable discourse. Perhaps we could say that Warren Buffett, former patron of Omaha's Larry King, actually is a Director of the Washington Post for the good of his health. Anyone who ascends as high as Woodward has within the machinery should be presumed to be part of the problem, just as anyone who falls as low as Bernstein fell following his 1977 Rolling Stone exposure of the CIA's subversion of the press in "Operation Mockingbird" must have done something right.

America has seen a lot of good journalists die prematurely in recent years. Typically they've worked independently, pursuing trails most editorial boards have decided to leave cold. But there's another kind of journalist sometimes spotted suspiciously close to crime scenes, especially those scenes which aren't officially called crimes.

Judith Miller for instance, who was the media contact for the doomed Dr David Kelly, and who was the recipient of his last email in which he bemoaned "dark actors playing games." JFK conspirator David Ferrie's last known visitor was Washington Post national security reporter George Lardner Jr. As Lisa Pease writes in The Assassinations, "Lardner claimed he left David Ferrie at 4 a.m. the day Garrison had decided to call Ferrie before the Grand Jury. There is no reason to suspect Lardner had a hand in Ferrie's death, but the coroner thought the body indictated an earlier death, and claimed 4 a.m. was the 'latest possible time' of his death." And investigator Edward J Epstein, who has long enjoyed a cozy accord with the CIA and argues for the cover story that Lee Harvey Oswald was a KGB agent, just happened to be the last person George De Mohrenschildt saw on Earth before apparently shooting himself in the mouth prior to an interview with Gaeton Fonzi of the Select House Committee on Assassinations.

And speaking of Webb, for what it's worth, in a recent interview, 9/11 whistleblower Indira Singh mentions she's been told by DEA sources that he was murdered. Singh also tells that her research into the terror economy is now encompassing child pornography and human trafficking. The three-part audio can be heard here, here and here.

Singh is a whistleblower with respect to Ptech and its implications for 9/11 complicity, and I think it needs to be said that when whistleblowers address broader issues, and move beyond the scope of their witness, their words assume a different aspect. She speaks instead as a researcher, one I believe to be on solid ground, but researchers must speak with a different authority than whistleblowers.

And here's something else that needs to be said: Indira Singh should not have to do this. We should not have to do this. But we have to. Because Bob Woodward, Walter Pincus and their peers aren't going to do it for us. There are no Pulitzer prizes awaiting the exposure of these crimes. There's just escaping with our lives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Higher Coincidence

They must like something 'bout the number eleven,
Kinda like November 22.
And Flight 11 and 77
Hit a pentangle and a giant 11 - Paranoid Larry

Everyone seems an armchair numerologist these days. Following the Jordan bombings, CNN's house curmudgeon Jack Cafferty ranted "Don't think it wasn't a coincidence!" that the attacks occured on 11/9. Also last week, Knoxville's John Gilmore predicted to local columnist Ina Hughes that the "Illuminati" were going to deliver something very big, and very bad, last Friday, 11/11.

"Here," writes Hughes, "Gilmore offers a bit of spooky new math":

It was on Sept. 11, 1990, that the senior George Bush mentioned before Congress the phrase "A New World Order" for the first time. Eleven years later to the day, the World Trade Center was destroyed. The Madrid bombings were on March 11, 2004 - 911 days after Sept. 11, 2001. [Regarding last Friday] look at that date: 11-11-2005. Add 1+1+1+1+2+0+0+5, and what do you get?

The answer is eleven. But as we almost always are when we try to read the tea leaves before the tea has been poured, Gilmore was wrong. And more than wrong: fired from his job "after he repeatedly appeared in local media espousing his belief in a coming apocalypse and a shadowy, all-powerful secret organization called the 'Illuminati.'"

Still, they do like something about the number 11. (Though I think we dig several cognitive holes for ourselves by calling them the "Illuminati," even if that's what they are.) "Eleven is the number of revelation," writes David Allen Hulse, and "symbolizes inner vision that contains a message that must be communicated to the world in the form of an inspired text, a religious or philosophical doctrine, or a new teaching." It is a number of high power to occult science, particularly to schools of magick influenced by Aleister Crowley. Consider The Book of the Law, the founding text of Thelema, which Crowley claimed was dictated by a "praeterhuman Intelligence" named Aiwass who appeared to him near the Great Pyramid of Giza in 1904.

The 60th line of the first chapter reads

My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red. My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing. Also I have asecret glory for them that love me.

Who's speaking, and who's number is it? The narrative is in the voice of "Nuit," or Nut, the Egyptian sky goddess, one of the Great Ennead, or "the Nine".

Jack Parsons echoed this in his Book of Babalon, written in Babalon's voice:

65. Gather together in the covens as of old, whose number is eleven, that is also my number. Gather together in public, in song and dance and festival. Gather together in secret, be naked and shameless and rejoice in my name.

66. Work your spells by the mode of my book, practicing secretly, inducing the supreme spell.

A number of websites collate the elevens of 9/11. For instance, from The Forbidden Knowledge:
  • September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2 + 5 + 4 = 11
  • 119 is the area code for Iraq/Iran. 1 + 1 + 9 = 11
  • Flight 11 had 92 on board. 9 + 2 = 11
  • Flight 11 had 11 crew members onboard
  • Flight 77 had 65 on board. 6 + 5 = 11
  • "New York City" has 11 letters
  • "Afghanistan" has 11 letters
  • "The Pentagon" has 11 letters
Though it's not nearly as arcane, such material is close in spirit to James Shelby Downard's essay King-Kill/33°: Masonic Symbolism in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. From an excerpt, here:

President Kennedy and his wife left the Temple Houston and were met at midnight by tireless crowds present to cheer the virile "Sun God" and his dazzlingly erotic wife, the "Queen of Love and Beauty," in Fort Worth. On the morning of November 22, they flew to Gate 28 at Love Field, Dallas, Texas. The number 28 is one of the correspondences of Solomon in kabbalistic numerology; the Solomonic name assigned to 28 is "Beale."

On the 28th degree of latitude in the state of Texas is the site of what was once the giant "Kennedy ranch." On the 28th degree is also Cape Canaveral from which the moon flight was launched-made possible not only by the President's various feats but by his death as well, for the placing of the Freemasons on the moon could occur only after the Killing of the King. The 28th degree of Templarism is the "King of the Sun" degree. The President and First Lady arrived in Air Force One, code-named "Angel."

The motorcade proceeded from Love Field to Dealey Plaza. Dealey Plaza is the site of the Masonic temple in Dallas (now razed) and there is a marker attesting to this fact in the plaza.

Important "protective" strategy for Dealey Plaza was planned by the New Orleans CIA station whose headquarters were a Masonic temple building. Dallas, Texas is located ten miles north of the 33rd degree of latitude. The 33rd degree is the highest in Freemasonry and the founding lodge of the Scottish Rite in America was created in Charleston, South Carolina, exactly on the 33rd degree line.


For many years Dealey Plaza was underwater at different seasons, having been flooded by the Trinity River until the introduction of a flood-control system. To this trident-Neptune site came the "Queen of Love and Beauty" and her spouse, the scapegoat in the Killing of the King rite, the "Ceannaideach" (Gaelic word for Kennedy meaning "ugly head" or "wounded head").

Now, let's take a deep breath and say, "Duuuude...."

It's one thing for Jack Cafferty to assert that the bombs of 11/9 were not a coincidence, and another to see magickal purpose in the numbers of passengers listed on flight manifests and the latitude of Dallas. After all, these are largely synchronicities and anomalies which precede consciousness. What can be gained by their study, when we study the High Crimes of State?

"As above, so below," is the great summation of Hermetic science.

I wonder whether when we see synchronicities and a confluence of occult symbology about the National Security State - particularly those beyond the capacities of its mundane faculties to order - what we see are something like etheric signatures of correspondence. That is to say, JFK was murdered by the CIA, the mob and the Cubans. But on another level, one which is just as real though usually immaterial, it was a ritual slaying of the King, attended by Freemasonic imagery and incidence for its being the principal body of transmission for Western Hermetic lore.

A few months ago I saw this interesting piece by "investigative mythologist" William Henry on the symbology of the 2004 GOP Convention. Henry writes, "Little did any one notice that when the president gave his speech he was standing in the Seal of Atlantis combined with the early Christian symbol of the Messiah":

"Expressing the power of his might in the emblem of Atlantis"

Henry adds: "This is pure ancient messianic imagery. In ancient Iraq and Iran the reigning king, a divinely appointed monarch, was portrayed at the center of the world ring. The President is portrayed as the Ring Lord in a traditional gesture of blessing. It’s silly to think this symbolism was not [sic?] chosen by chance."

No, not chance. But perhaps not chosen consciously, either. I could be wrong, but I doubt the convention's art director knew to which archetype he was conforming the platform. Perhaps, because Republican figures holding great material power have themselves become enthralled by supernatural powers, there was a semiotic bleed-through: a subconscious drawing down of symbols representative of their true devotion.

Here's what I'm coming to think: they know what they're doing, but they don't know everything that they're doing. This is one of the reasons why I don't like the term "Illumnati," because as it's come down in conspiracy literature it suggests that the elite are superhuman puppet masters who have it all together. Though they may think they do, they don't. George Hansen makes an interesting contribution in this regard in The Trickster and the Paranormal:

When the intelligence agencies toyed with the paranormal and with mythologies, they had little idea what they were dabbling with. Engaging supernatural powers can lead to problems in distinguishing fantasy from reality and right from wrong.

One thing, perhaps, they didn't count on, was the eruption of signs, for those who can see.

It's very late, I'm quite tired, and looking back over this I don't know if I've made any sense here.

All I know is, it's not all straightforward. It's up and down, and backwards, too.

Released June, 2001:

Saturday, November 12, 2005

American Leviathan (Part Two)

"They won't let me testify. I told the cops that you saved my life and they just acted like I was crazy.... They got it all backwards." - Sin City

You may be familiar with the case of attorney Richard Hamlin, who claims his life was threatened by a generational Satanic cult to which his wife Susan belonged. If you only know it from corporate journalism, then something like this, which appeared October 26 in the Sacramento Bee, must be close to the sum of your knowledge:

A well-known veteran defense attorney and former Sacramento County prosecutor, Richard Hamlin is charged with 18 felony counts of torture, spousal abuse, making death threats, negligent discharge of a handgun and child endangerment. If convicted, the 45-year-old faces a life term in prison.

In opening statements to the jury of eight women and four men, Deputy District Attorney Vicki Ashworth said the case had nothing to do with conspiracies or devil worshippers.

"This case is about domestic violence and abuse," Ashworth said. No one else connected with the case has been charged.

But there's more, of course.

There's much worth reading regarding the case you won't find in the mainstream press, which is lazily playing to the state-sponsored consensus that conspiracies and ritual abuse simply do not exist, and for the defense to argue they do is to invite either a conviction or a ruling of criminal insanity. I won't reproduce all the material here, but three sites that should be of interest to those who know enough to maintain an open mind concerning such allegations are the official site for Hamlin's trial defense, Virginia McCullough's extensive coverage at Newsmakingnews.com, and this thread on the RI discussion board, to which Hamlin's brother Bradley is contribuing.

The case against Richard Hamlin follows upon a retraction by wife Susan of her February, 2004 confession to police of having sexually abused three of her four children and conspiring with members of a Satanic cult, including her father, Dr Sydney Siemer, to ritually murder her husband. (The police report can be read here. From the report of Deputy Murphy of the El Dorado County Sherriff's Office:

Susan originally told me that she is a Satanist and has ritually molested their four children, including digital penetration, under the instruction of her father (Sydney Siemer). Susan said her whole family is involved in a Satanic cult and that her father had raped her when she was a young girl and "passed her around to whoever else wanted to rape her."

Susan said there are child porn and snuff film tapes in her dad's house in Fresno and in a self storage center in Indio (Southern California). Susan said she started molesting her kids in 1996 and that her dad Sidney taught her how to put her kids in a "trance like or hyper relaxed stage." ... When we asked Susan if any of her kids knew about these incidents, she replied that in kindergarten in EDH, _____'s teacher had asked him to complete the sentence "I WISH MY MOM ____." _____ completed the sentence by telling the teacher "WOULD STOP LICKING ME."

Detective Hoagland, Lensing and I then re-interviewed Susan alone while tape-recording the interview. Susan waived her miranda rights and again made the same statement and confession during questioning.

Two letters Susan sent her father in 2003 are reproduced by Virginia McCullough here. The first, addressed "Dear Dad" and signed "Your baby," was composed while she struggled to make sense of childhood memories suggestive of abuse. Significantly, not all the memories are those she'd lately recovered: "One memory that I never really gave a second thought to in the past, but that has begun to cause more concern for me lately, is one that you could shed some light on for me. I don't need help reconstructing the memory -- that has always been very clear in my mind." (That particular memory concerned his molestation of her young friend during a sleep over. In Richard's open letter he writes that the friend has been found and will testify in his defense.) Siemer responded with an application prohibiting harassment and an application for a temporary restraining order. Susan's next letter was simply addressed to "Sid," and is far more assertive:

The first clue you had was in your kitchen when I mentioned that I had so many gaps in my memories of childhood. We were specifically talking about when we lived on Colonial. I was in junior high and high school. You got such an odd look on your face. You were studying my expression to see if I was just stupid, or if I was doing a really good job of playing along with the secret. I was really convincing, wasn't I? You were worried for only a second though, and recovered very well with your comment about Mom's "multiple" suicide attempts during that period in my life. Of course I would want to put those little unpleasantness out of my mind, you told me. The problem is that the version of the family myth that I was told was limited to only one such attempt? and, now even that is in question since I have recently learned that, upon her release from the hospital a day or two later, she went to the YWCA ?a shelter for abused women, where she stayed for approx. 2 weeks.

And all the while I kept remembering more and more....

McCullough adds that "individuals who wish to remain unidentified have said that Dr. Sid Siemer is a high ranking member of a CIA sanctioned child molestation ring called "The Finders" and also a senior member of the Order of the Trapezoid, consisting of worshippers of the Temple of Set."

The case gets weirder, and yet more familiar.

Did you catch the reference to Indio in the police report? Does Indio sound familiar? Does Indio sound like Casolaro? At one stage in his research into the guns and drugs and worse nexus that dominates America's parapolitical life, Danny Casolaro considered calling his book "Indio."

The man who led Casolaro into the world of the Octopus was Michael Riconosciuto, who claimed to have been research director of a joint venture of the Cabazon Indian tribe of Indio and spook-heavy security giant Wackenhut, where he modified PROMIS software on behalf of the US government which had stolen it from the Inslaw Corporation, in order to create a "back door" with which to spy into the files of PROMIS's client nations.

As Riconosciuto stated in his sworn affidavit on the Inslaw case, filed March 21, 1991, "the sovereign immunity that is accorded the Cabazons...made it feasible to pursue on the reservation the development and/or manufacture of materials whose development or manufacture would be subject to stringent controls off the reservation."

Last March 30, Riconosciuto sent a Letter of Judicial Notification to the Chief Judge of the Superior Court in El Dorado, with regard to the Hamlin case, though he will not be permitted to testify. He has informed the Hamlin defense that "Dr. Siemer worked on illegal biological warfare research for the CIA and US Intelligence groups in Indio in 1982." Richard's brother Bradley has posted that Siemer "doesn't deny working for any particular place, but Susan denied in court that Sid had worked in Indio, CA where supposedly her worst abuse took place--during the time of the whole Indian Cabazon Wackenhut controversy was going down.... Again, when asked, Sid freely admitted that he had worked in Indio during the 80s. So even between Sid and Susan they can't keep their story straight." Yet he adds that "Susan Hamlin was the first person to mention Indio. That's rock solid. We have it in writing. She said her father took her to Indio, California and torturted her in a cold storage facility. When I looked into Sid and his friend Wayne Reeder who was supposed to also be there at the time...the Cabazon situation popped up." Wayne Reeder, an "alleged CIA operative" writes Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith in The Octopus, was a business partner to both Dr John P Nichols, who developed the Cabazon venture, and Neal Bush, defaulting on over 14 million dollars to the Silverado and the San Marino Savings and Loan companies.

If you're wondering where Ted Gunderson may be in all of this, you don't know Ted Gunderson. But more interesting is the question, where was Ted Gunderson? Bradley Hamlin writes that "I was already looking into Indio/Cabazon before I contacted Ted, but one of the very strange 'coincidences' that happened was finding out that Gunderson was there in Indio, too, during the same time period. I had no idea he was there until after I contacted him! Very strange."

Very strange. And not just this story, and not just Gunderson's mercurial knack for choosing his spots. There are too many threads to have been woven together by chance. And too many bodies.

Cheri Seymour wrote in The Last Circle, her samizdat sequel to Casolaro's manuscript, the sole copy of which was stolen at the scene of his murder, that "according to Riconosciuto, they [the circle about CIA op Robert Booth Nichols, Casolaro's highest placed source on the Octopus] all called themselves 'The Chosen Ones,' wore skull and crossbones rings, and shared a common interest, if you could call it that, in the old German SS occultism, its tribal and inner circle rites."

Should we call it an octopus, or something worse? Can this thing possibly have only eight tentacles?

Readers of The Sacramento Bee are likely to call all of this a paranoid delusion. Especially since Gary Webb doesn't job in Sacramento anymore.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

American Leviathan (Part One)

"The box. You opened it. We came." - Hellraiser

Dr Hal Pepinsky is a professor of criminal justice at Indiana University in Bloomington. I know this because a few days ago I discovered a paper he'd presented in 1999 at S.M.A.R.T.'s ninth annual conference on the subject "How I Bring the Voices of Survivors of Ritual Violence and Mind Control Experimentation into My Classrooms."

It's interesting reading, but more than that, it's also one of those strange comforts to find professional and academic support that says things may be as bad as I suspect, and I may not be as crazy as I hope. Know what I mean? There are a number of things I'm persuaded of about which I like to think I'm wrong. (Speaking of which, remember the 1993 interview False Memory Syndrome Foundation board members Ralph Underwager and wife Hollida Wakefield gave Paidika, the Dutch journal of paedophilia? Well here's something that feels like a kick in the head: Dr Vern Bullough, board member of the debunking Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and its Skeptical Inquirer, served from 1988 to 1998 as Paidika's consulting editor.)

One thing I appreciate about Pepinsky's paper is his wrestling with the implications of a hidden crime, the scope of which invites incredulity:

You know, you could believe every now and then that maybe an official engages in a little political corruption. But if you talk about the drug war for example, how easy it was it for people to believe. We used to talk about this a fair amount. The evidence indicated that the CIA was probably the biggest actor in the legal drug trafficking in the world, and the US military. What do you do with that? It becomes really almost impossible for people to conceive of that. And so this is what I ran into when I tried to convey to others that there might be such a thing as people in high positions, maybe even including presidents, who maybe occasionally even killed and ate people and got away with it? Or who consistently molested children, or who trafficked in child prostitution; who did all the kinds of worst things, that if you haven't lived through the experiences that so many in this room have lived through, then you may never imagine? Worse things than are in a movie. And that maybe the people who are in trusted positions - police, therapists, any one you might want to turn to, teachers, principals, politicians, business leaders - that at all of those levels, you could have worse crimes being carried out than you have ever allowed yourself to imagine before. That is the hardest thing, the hardest thing to accept.

Another is Pepinsky's description of how the abstract became immediate, and what it did to him:

It hit me particularly hard when, three years after I started teaching the seminar, I wandered through some woods. I'd lived in Bloomington for twenty years and a couple of blocks from where I lived, I'd walked through these woods. I was enjoying an early spring day in March and as I was out in the woods I suddenly saw what looked to me, now that I've heard so much and seen so much about ritual abuse, like what used to be a ritual altar. And I went exploring further. It went on for hundreds of yards down the creek bed. I called a survivor and had him walk through it with me. We came upon what appeared to be a human grave covered over with cement in the creek bed. We found a bag of anti-coagulant that was in the creek bed. We tried talking to a police detective. Then I saw helicopters go over for a couple of days. And then he told me, "The Deputy Chief of Police said that there is really not much more that they can do to pursue it."

The people who own that particular property kind of own it in little packages. They all live on one-half street and this included some pretty prominent people in town. Then I found out that one of the co-owners of that property was my someone I had sought for professional services. I got scared. It was scary enough to begin with, but suddenly it got really personal. And it became further validated by the fact that people were leaving calling cards around the house regularly, once I began to try to talk about it.

People knew that I was on to something. Once I tried to pursue the history of this. Actually, once I worked out the geography I said, "There are some other high spots in town. Let me go get ‘em." And the next one I went to, there was a ritual site. So all of a sudden it was right here. It wasn't just something that survivors from out of town were bringing to me; it was right next to me. It could involve people who were very close to me.

Pepinsky adds that "people said at the time that they thought that I might be going psychotic and they probably weren't far wrong. But what I do know is that I became deeply depressed."

Linda Blood tells in The New Satanists of being called in to help counsel a 14-year old girl and her family in 1988 after they had been forced to flee their comfortable home in the "suburb of a major southeastern city that is a center for scientific research and military operations." The girl was trying to leave a cult that had ritually raped her and forced her to participate in animal sacrifice. When Blood contacted a police source, she was told she had "stumbled into an ongoing investigation that traced back to similar complaints 20 years before, indicating that the cult was probably generational." Further police consultation informed Blood the cult was "engaged in serious criminal activity ranging from drug trafficking to pornography and prostitution to multimillion-dollar white collar crimes such as insurance scams"... and its members included "doctors, lawyers, judges, police, engineers."

In her 1985 report on ritualistic child abuse, reprinted in Cults That Kill, Detective Sandi Gallant of the San Francisco Police Department included synopses of then-current investigations in California to substantiate its credibility.

Cases included
  • A 17-year old male in Atherton who claimed to have been drugged by injection and forced into S&M pornography by his stepfather, compelled to drink blood, witness animal mutilations and a murder.
  • A 5-year old boy in Fremont who claimed two men repeatedly injected him with something that made him drowsy and forced him into sexual activity in what might have been a church with black candles. Said he was sometimes photographed, and forced to watch the mutilation of animals and human beings.
  • Seven children between 5 and 7 who claimed that at a day-care in Fort Bragg run by a church they were forced to drink blood and urine, witnessed the killing of dogs and cats and one infant, "saw things and possibly animals" suspended from the ceiling, and were injected and then photographed in sexual acts. Black candles and pentagrams were observed.
  • Two children, 13 and 8, claimed to have been injected with drugs and photographed having sex with adults chanting in black robes, and to have witnessed the murder of a small child. Room was lit with black candles, and eldest child claimed room "really stunk."
Six months after submitting the report, with the request that it be forwarded to federal authorities, Gallant's chief returned it, saying "Do you really want me to send this to the FBI? Do you really believe this stuff goes on?" They thought that I might be going psychotic....

Like Pepinsky suggested, it's crazy-making to see this stuff when the same material is there for others to see, yet all most see are people who must be crazy or uneducated making impossible claims for a phenomenon long since debunked by respectable and well-funded institutions such as FMSF and CSICOP. (And let's acknowledge this: sometimes all the crazy-making makes us see things that really aren't there. When this happens and we know it, we need to act like we know it and revise our judgement.) But the phenomenon, like so many others that aren't supposed to exist yet do, like unaccounted for cattle mutilations, never went away. The abuse continued, but below the surface of general perception. And as anyone who's paid attention to even the mainstream news should know, the surface of perception has been broken again and again this year.

But this time, maybe, it's different. There will be no Geraldo specials, no Oprah, no hyperbolic evangelism and hysteria about black-clad teens. (Though, on the other hand, there is still Ted Gunderson.) This time it doesn't sound so incredible to suggest that "there might be such a thing as people in high positions, maybe even including presidents, who maybe occasionally even killed and ate people and got away with it." This time it makes a certain kind of sense, because we have something approaching a hermeneutic to interpret occult politics' intersections of power and perversion.

One other difference: this time, there seems less a regard on the side of the High Perps for maintaining appearances. The mask slips more readily, even proudly. And one of the things these days I'm not crazy about is the implication of that.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

In the Colosseum

There's no cause to taint the sweetest taste of blood
And greetings from the nation
As we shake the hands of time they're taking their ovations - Tom Waits

I haven't wanted to think about John Kerry - like, ever again - but his flat denial last Friday of having admitted the election was stolen is now stuck in my head like that image above of Poppy Bush and his amazing technocratic dreamcoat. (And just so you know, I did paste Kerry's head in the picture, but I didn't do a thing to the jacket.)

Kerry's sister Peggy invited author Mark Crispin Miller to a fundraiser for the expressed purpose of pressing a copy of Fooled Again into the hands of the Janus-faced Bonesman. "You were robbed, Senator," said Miller, and Kerry replied he knew it, and with a "gesture of extreme frustration" described how the issue wasn't finding traction with colleagues on the Hill. (He said he'd recently argued with Chris Dodd about electronic voting, who held "there's nothing there.") The likelihood of his spearheading a Senate investigation into 2004 was doubtful, said Kerry, because of the "sour grapes" factor. Then, I expect, Kerry took his glad hand elsewhere, and didn't give his remarks another thought until his office needed to retract them:

I know Mr. Miller is trying to sell his book and he feels passionately about his thesis but his recent statements about his conversation with Senator Kerry are simply not true.... Make no mistake, after pouring his heart and soul into the campaign and seeing George Bush continue the mess he created, if the election had been stolen John Kerry would be fighting them today to reverse the outcome.

I don't know if Miller really expected Kerry to publicly stand by his private words, though I'm sure Kerry never expected to be called on them. Miller isn't a fabulist; the conversation happened, and good for him to stand against the slander of Kerry's people to report it. (By the way, who can imagine Kerry fighting quixotically and supra-constitutionally today to reverse the outcome, when he capitulated before the outcome of the tainted election was even known?)

But of course, what could Kerry say? If he knows the general election was stolen, then he should also know his peculiar ascension in the primaries cannot be attributed to charisma and dumb luck. He should, but he probably doesn't, because without the ego that could blind him to such a self-evident truth he would never have risen to such a place of utility within America's equestrian class.

You know, it's often fun, and sometimes even appropriate, to try on historical periods, and see how they fit our weird times. And there's more than just the Is it 1939 yet? Nazi comparisons. The Roman Empire is an old favourite for students of America, and it's a good one, too. After all, history repeats, but not necessarily in chronological order.

Roman senators in the early empire still conducted business as though they were governing a republic. The emperors indulged them. Following Augustus, who remembered what the Senate did to the dictator Caesar, the emperor affected humility, and called himself Princeps: "First Citizen."

American presidents will always be presidents, even now, after Americans have stopped electing them. And Americans will still be told anyone can grow up to be one, when even those who win the office are not allowed to take it.

Senators have their fictions, too. Senators, Roman and American, serve at the pleasure of the imperial machine, but to exercise their power within its limits they have to act as though the machinery doesn't exist. Americans of all privileged classes - and these days, let's call that anyone with shelter and food - participate in the fraud by exercising their right of disbelief.

Judging by reactions when the pre-retraction story broke last Friday on Democratic boards, it appears a lot of people are still waiting for Kerry. Waiting for somebody. When they don't come - when they say they're on their way, and never arrive - what happens next? John Lennon sang, "There ain't no Jesus gonna come from the sky / Now that I found out I know I can cry."

Many people have done much crying for America. But I'm just wondering, what comes after after that?