Thursday, May 31, 2007

Riddle Me This (Part Two)

"Metaphor is one of a group of problem-solving medicines known as figures-of-speech which are normally used to treat literal thinking and other diseases." - Grant Morrison, The Filth

George Orwell concluded his 1940 essay on Charles Dickens by describing him as "a man who is "generously angry....a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls." The same of course could be said of Orwell, who is inclined to piss off any party which thinks its ideology can delimit the breadth of his thought. That's not at all a bad thing to be - a generously angry individual - but it's a hard thing to be, and no less so with the many little orthodoxies of our age which still stink up the place.

Cindy Sheehan's another. She was, she wrote on Monday, "the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party." But when she began to hold Democratic feet to the fire of Iraq (and surely at least since the 2006 midterms and the concession on funding and no timeline for withdrawal, the war is as much theirs as it is George Bush's), "support for my cause started to erode and the 'left' started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used."

Sheehan observes she has been "deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike," but I think that misses the mark. "Bipartisanship" is the smelly orthodoxy of American political life that safeguards unelected and non-representative power from serious challenge. What the United States desperately needs are more partisans - not party activists or "Yellow Dog" Democrats, but militant irregulars who can no longer hold their nose.

But even without parties, and beyond the buffers of the consensus-building system, little orthodoxies take root and quickly rot, but their true believers cover the growing stink with perfumed affirmations. Today's "New Truth" movement is innervated with examples. Should you challenge any of them - take your pick - you invite upon yourself the characterization of a defender of the official story, even if you contend a constellation of great criminal interests, including American, share culpability for the attacks.

It may be shorthand to write "state-sponsored," and even shorter to say "Bush knew," but one is an imprecision while the other a mischaracterization, and both have been handed-down since 9/11 as hobbling orthodoxes.

What can "state-sponsored" mean, when much of the United State's security apparatus has been contracted out to private cartels? And if criminal interests are sponsoring the state, rather than the reverse, then is there a phrase more accurate than our repeating that 9/11 was an example of state-sponsored terror? If so, then "Bush knew" becomes even less sensible, and helpful. Pedagogically it's served a purpose, but the purpose expires in 2008 while the crime of 9/11 will remain unpunished.

Then there's the orthodoxy of Zionist power theory, in which the Israeli tail always wags its American dog. As I've said before, that doesn't explain the motivation and influence of Dick Cheney. Nor, now, how the Vice President's war party means to "nudge Israel" into provocation with Iran to tie Bush's hands, as an "end run" around administration hesitance to strike Tehran.

Interestingly, last month Interpol issued warrants for three Israelis "sought on charges of criminal conspiracy and instruction in terrorism" for their work training Colombian drug cartels and the far right death squads. It's been long enough coming, though don't hold your breath for the arrests. Yair Klein, Melnik Ferri and Tzedaka Abraham also trained the Contras in Honduran camps, and the genocidal Guatemalan army as well. Now, does this represent a crime of Israel, or Mossad, or "the Jews," or an example of something else? Peter Dale Scott, in Drugs, Oil and War, quotes Klein on his training of the Medellin Cartel: "We are positive that what we are doing is within the interests of the Americans, and so far it was always like that." Scott adds: "This work drew the comment from a general in the Israeli Knesset that 'Israel is the 'dirty work' contractor for the US administration."

I think the "white van" of 9/11, and the Mossad agents who are known to have shadowed al qaeda cells on US soil, make best sense as evidences of work contracted out by Criminals Without Borders, rather than, as in, say, Eric Hufschmid's school of blood libel paranoia, more examples of Jewish perfidity. (And here too, perhaps, we see the parapolitical prominence of drug trafficking. It's instructive to note how the pre-9/11 flap of Israeli "art students" targeted the facilities and the personnel of the US Drug Enforcement Agency.)

UFOlogy, too, has its orthodoxes, no less so for its being even further marginalized. In his introduction to Visitation, Peter Hough describes falling into conversation at a party with a nuclear physicist who told him, emphatically, that he didn't believe in UFOs because the distances between stars was too vast for travel. Hough agreed, and said it made more sense to him to consider the quantum possibilities of incursions from extra-dimensions, rather than by extraterrestrials. But Hough's response made no impression on the man, who had bought into the dueling orthodoxes of UFO skeptics and true believers alike, that the choice is between "misperception, hallucination, wish fulfilment and fraud," or spacecraft. And then there are those who see no high weirdness beyond that induced by mind-controlling technologies of human agency. But whatever the phenomenon may, it is too vast and too old and too strange to be solved with a single answer. Which is what orthodoxes demand.

(This, in part, is why I highly value the judgement of Jacques Vallee, who's written that sometimes he feels he must be the only person in the world who doesn't know what UFOs are.)

Our inquiries need a system to evaluate the evidence, but the assumptions of our system should be provisional. Otherwise we have a closed loop, and our system hardens into orthodoxy. And orthodoxy is the death of imaginative inquiry.

By the way, until the book is out of my hands (and I'm afraid it's already late), I'm afraid I won't be able to do much better than a weekly post. I think I need to say that to keep from making myself sick with work. Upside is, it should be a pretty good book.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Riddle Me This (Part One)

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit - Bob Dylan

It may be that there are no stupid questions - though I wouldn't bet on it - but some questions are smarter than others.

Like the questions Peter Dale Scott asks. It's the quality of his decades-long inquiry into Washington's culture of conspiration - what he's called the "collusive mentality" of power and crime - that make his investigations so compelling. Because Scott knows the context and back-story to an event such as 9/11, he can see the threads of secret history rather than the apparent and disconnected anomalies of, say, Dylan Avery, and so he knows which questions need asking in order to deepen our comprehension of our time's covert narrative. And a smart question can accomplish this even when it remains unanswered.

For instance, Scott's presentation last February 25th before Arizona's 9/11 Accountability Conference, in which he examines the contradicting timelines for Dick Cheney's whereabouts between the second attack on the towers and the Pentagon strike. And of course, at the heart of this, though not standing alone, is former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta's testimony of finding Cheney in charge at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center at 9:20, and Cheney's notorious "Of course the orders still stand!" exchange with an anxious young aid counting down Flight 77's distance from the Pentagon, who was evidently second guessing some astonishing command of the Vice President's.

Mineta's assumption that this was an order to shoot down a civilian aircraft doesn't accord with any of the accounts of when authorization for a shoot-down was given. That his testimony was an awkward fit is evident by its exclusion from the 9/11 Commission Report. That its dissemination was unwelcome is suggested by Mineta's abrupt and poorly-explained resignation the morning after Jim Fetzer aired it on Fox News.

Stupid questions aside, Fetzer has provided many stupid answers in the application of his curious conspiracy science. From moon hoax advocacy to a faked Zapruder film to beam weaponry at the twin towers, he couldn't be more injurious to a cause if he tried, so perhaps it doesn't matter whether or not he actually has been. But Fetzer that day raised an excellent question, one that tapped into the deep politics of the day and names names, but relevance was soon lost again in his bloviating noise of exotic weaponry and rococo hoaxes; subjects which lead not to justice, but only to hermetic and picayune circle jerks.

Truth's only agenda and advocacy should be itself, but we'll always bring our own agendas to it however benign and well-intentioned they may be. A true Truth Movement should care only about getting things right, but we also, and rightly, want to see indictments against high state criminals. Yet getting things right doesn't mean sexing-up the evidence in order to make a damning case more dramatic, which has been the fast and loose course of Dylan Avery.

This presents a serious problem, both for justice and for truth, as Nietzsche suggested in The Gay Science when he wrote that "the most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments." And it entails a bit of schizophrenia for 9/11 Truth, which presumes to play both prosecutor and judge; saying on the one hand that we're only asking questions, while on the other offering up a superfluity of contradictory and clumsy answers.

For the most part, I find the questions more penetrating than the alleged answers, some of which are to questions that don't even exist in their own right.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Principalities and Powers

Well, God is in heaven and we all want what's his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is - Bob Dylan

You know Jack Kirby? Even if you don't, there's an old, rare interview with him here worth watching. Because Kirby, like few others, helped shape America's popular imagination. Which is, perhaps disturbingly so, the universe in which we often find ourselves.

"Everybody else had their gods," he asked. "What are ours?" Kirby made comic books, but he made them out of myth and religion. He found Galactus in the Bible, and Silver Surfer became his fallen angel. And though the costumes and the muscles may look absurd, his source materials were that which have made and broken civilizations. Which arguably, right there, is another absurdity.

Alright then; but what's that to do with Jerry Falwell, and why is his head on the body of the "Madman from Sudan," Abdullah the Butcher?

Well, Abdullah the Butcher is actually Larry Shreve from Windsor, Ontario. He runs a rib and Chinese food joint outside Atlanta now, though at 70 he still wrestles. He's older than Kirby's Captain America, who also was someone else when he set aside his cowl and shield. Shreve's said to be a nice guy outside the ring, but inside he'll still fuck you up.

"Who are our evil gods?" asked Kirby. To many on America's liberal left, Falwell was one. He was the christofascist nightmare who was to mandate prayer and criminalize abortion. Falwell's religion was a modern, Anglo-American dispensationalist cult befitting a comic book - Jack Chick was his Jack Kirby - and it was an angry shout to secular and pluralist America: You're going down!

Through seven years of Bush and many years before, Republicans have spent Falwell's support as electoral capital, and Democrats have held it up as a scary lightening rod to animate their own base. But Falwell's dead, and the Handmaid's Tale remains a fiction. (Though a fiction within the meta-fiction of contemporary America.) Perhaps, after all, he was more Larry Shreve than Galactus.

To liberal and progressive Americans, Falwell has been the man you love to hate. And he sure knew how to put on an entertaining show. ("The pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians" were responsible for 9/11? That's some conspiracy theory.) But Falwell was not the force he pretended to be, nor the power most begging for contention. Falwell was, in the end, another asset of Sun Myung Moon, whose influence upon the life of America's elite remains largely unsuspected and invisible. Thirty years ago, the Congressional Investigation of Korean-American relations reported

During the investigation, the subcommittee found it very difficult to obtain reliable information about the extent to which Moon industries were involved in weapons production and sales. The Moon Organization has self-proclaimed goals of controlling political and secular institutions and a strident ideology which envisions the formation of a “Unification Crusade Army.” Moon’s speeches forsee an apocalyptic confrontation involving the united States, Russia, China, Japan, and North and South Korea, in which the Moon Organization would play a key role, Under these circumstances, the subcommittee believes it is in the interest of the United States to know what control Moon and his followers have over instruments of war and to what extent they are in a position to influence Korean defense policies.

Falwell was a wrestler in a ring, but if that's all you saw you were missing the best part.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Little School of Horrors

And says, "How does it feel to be such a freak?"
And you say, "Impossible" As he hands you a bone. - Bob Dylan

He stopped doing it years ago, because if he hadn't he'd have killed himself or someone else by now, but New York artist Joe Coleman used to blow himself up.

As "Professor Mamboozo" - either his geek avatar or, as he described it, a raging spirit that would take possession of his body - Coleman would arrive uninvited at the house parties of strangers, provoke a confrontation and ignite the mass of firecrackers he'd strapped to his body. In the confusion, smoke and fear he would slip away before police arrived. When Mamboozo debuted on New York's avant garde art scene in a 1981 performance at the Kitchen he also rolled in bloody meat, bit the heads off live rats and pressed a shotgun against the forehead of the woman who had booked him and asked, "How'd you like the show?" The traumatized crowed was an audience no more, Coleman having yanked them out of their art house detachment through horrification ritual and the sudden shock of their own possible, imminent death. ("I told them as hard as I could without killing them," Coleman told Re/Search in Pranks.)

I thought about Coleman the other day when I read of the teachers of an elementary school in Tennessee who convinced their sixth graders a gunman was attacking, and repeatedly told the hysterical children it wasn't a drill.

One hooded teacher pulled on a locked door, "pretending to be a suspicious subject," and another told the students there had been a shooting, and that they were to lie on the floor in the dark and keep quiet. Twenty kids started to cry and tremble and beg for their lives. Some held hands.

"I was like, 'Oh my God,'" said 11-year old Shay Naylor. "At first I thought I was going to die. We flipped out - I was freaked out. I thought it was serious."

School officials cite "poor judgment," but it's a prank worthy of Joe Coleman. They told them as hard as they could without killing them. And when Coleman would lead his classrooms beyond endurance and up to the edge of their own oblivion, he didn't do it simply because he was an artist, but because he had also had visceral contempt for his audience and all of humanity. "You say the man who hates his fellow man is the problem," he wrote in a poem/rant. "But they ain't the problem. You're the problem. The sexual deviant, the murderer, the serial killer, the taker of human life is the cure. You're the problem...."

Teachers and staff may tell themselves and the parents of their charges that it was an exercise in preparedness, but it takes a special antipathy for an adult to terrorize a child, even when they have already told themselves they're terrorizing the children for their own good. And this is often what children brutalized by ritual cult abuse and trauma-based mind control are told: that it's for their own good, and that it will transfigure their minds and flesh into something which mundane experience is incapable of producing. As perhaps other teachers in another small town told themselves and their nursery age children before they drugged and raped them and forced their participation in candle-lit ceremonies.

Naggingly, there is transfiguration in trauma, and it can be communicated through both art and ritual. Coleman calls himself an "alchemist - I'm trying to transform base emotions into a kind of gold." Together, art and ritual are the nucleic acids of religion, which intends to remanifest naive states unknown to us in our current nature, whether that mean union with the divine, with our deeper selves, or with something else. (I hadn't heard the term before I typed it, but I now see "remanifest" is one of the "Aeon-supporting Words" of the Temple of Set.)

The artist and the priest are often tormented by what's missing; by the absence of God and the silence of spirits. But Chesterton, writing of Yeats' "concrete mysticism," said it was "not abnormal men like artists, but normal men like peasants, who have borne witness a thousand times to such things. It is the farmers who see the fairies. It is the agricultural labourer who calls a spade a spade, who also calls a spirit a spirit." It has been those most connected to the Earth who have also found the invisible, visible. Modern life made even the Earth invisible. Now that Earth is recognized to have fallen into crisis worthy of a super villain, and everyone in the "developed world" is seeing green and increasingly experiencing the trauma of a life out of order, we shouldn't be surprised if we start to see stranger things, again, as though for the first time.

The New York Times, reviewing a retrospective of Joe Coleman's paintings last September, wrote that, "in a startlingly prophetic vision of his from 2000 the twin towers burn."

By the way, a provocative post last Sunday from Joseph Cannon on the latest DC hooker scandal. A former high-priced escort he knew "became convinced that the high-powered individuals she saw (she did not name any names and I did not press) were possessed by demons. Literally. She was so persuasive that I could not bring myself to disbelieve her - and I'm not the kind of guy who buys into tales about demons.")

And I apologize again for the irregular updates. Blogging, while getting a book together, while keeping down a day-job, while keeping up a family has been harder than I'd thought. I wasn't thinking.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Many Dimensions (Part Two)

Beyond the horizon across the divide
'round about midnight, we'll be on the same side - Bob Dylan

The Secret Faith

A hundred or so years ago, poet and Golden Dawn adept William Butler Yeats wrote an encouraging letter to author W.Y. Evans-Wentz, who was then researching his landmark Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. (An e-copy of the book may be found here.) "I am certain that it [the "Celtic fairy kingdom"] exists," said Yeats, "and will some day be studied as it was studied by Kirk." That's Robert Kirk, author of The Secret Commonwealth (also available at, a 17th Century Scottish Minister whose work is a sympathetic bestiary of elves, faunes and fairies, as well as an accounting of related paranormal phenomena.

"The men of that Second Sight do not discover strange Things when asked," Kirk writes, "but at Fits and Raptures, as if inspyred with some Genius at that Instant." In other words, those whom Kirk knew who could visit the invisible realm and return with knowledge of it did so by entering trance-like states.

Thus I have frequently spoke to one of them, who in his Transport told he cut the Bodie of one of those People in two with his Iron Weapon...yet saw nothing left behind of that appearing divyded. His Neibours often perceaved this Man to disappear at a certane Place, and about one Hour after to become visible, and discover him selfe near a Bow-shot from the first Place. It was in that Place where he became invisible, said he, that the Subterraneans did encounter and combate with him.

Invisibility, teleportation, slayings and subterranean entities: these are universal Shamanistic tropes, shared also by modern UFOlogical mythos. (Jose Antonio Da Silva described being carried by hairy dwarves into a stone chamber where he saw human bodies stacked; even the Dulce disinformation of underground battles with reptoids follow the pattern.) Credo Mutwa has said about his own experience of communicating such profound liminal encounters that "Everything was put down to black superstition, and it still is, [but] Africans simply tell what they know. " Perhaps the Irish were simply doing the same for Kirk, who died suddenly at 48 while walking up the sacred mound of Fairy Knowe. It had been his daily practice to lie upon it with his ear to the ground, listening for sounds from the secret caverns beneath. "Locals," writes Alan Richardson in his introduction to the 2005 edition, "aware of his keen interest in what he termed their 'Secret Faith,' believed that the Sithe, or faeries, had taken Kirk into their realm, leaving a 'stock' or double behind." So in death, Kirk became his own abduction account.

Evans-Wentz's book, compiled from his own fieldwork at a time when the "Secret Faith" was even more secret than in Kirk's day, contains dozen of eyewitness accounts from respected and prominent Celts, and has the feel of a Disclosure Project about it minus the background noise of covert agendas.

TC Kermode, a member of the Lower House of the Manx Parliament, declares he considers belief in fairies to be "based on an actual fact in nature, because of my own stange experience." Forty years before, walking with a friend "on the Glen Helen Road, just at the Berry Farm," he looked across the river and saw a "circle of supernatural light, which I have now come to regard as the 'astral light' which spirits become visible." His companion said, "Oh look, there are the fairies. Did you ever see them?" Into the circle entered "in twos and threes, a great crowd of little beings." They were dressed in red, and moved like a troop drilling. After watching for a few minutes his friend struck the roadside wall with a stick and shouted, and the vision and light faded. Kermode also notes that he had "much evidence from old Manx people, who are entirely reliable and God-fearing," that they had seen many such things also, and consider the fairies a "world in themselves, distinct from our world," and provocatively adds "where the fairies actually exist the old people cannot tell, but they certainly believe that they can be seen here on Earth." One hundred years later and he might have added that he was prepared to swear before Congress that his testimony was true.

James Caugherty, a 58-year old witness from Peel, told Evans-Wentz a reputed child abduction story. A young friend named Robby with whom he often played was walking home one evening across the hills, "and suddenly saw a little boy and a little woman coming after him. If he ran, they ran, and all the time they gained on him." Upon reaching home he was speechless, his hands and feet twisted, and remained like that for a week. The family, and Caugherty's father, believed Robby had been replaced by a changeling. He returned while they were out seeking a doctor who could work charms for his recovery. "As soon as Robby came to himself all right, he said a little woman and a little boy had followed him, and that just as he got home he was conscious of being taken away by them, but he didn't know where they came from nor where they took him." Robby was still alive, Caugherty added, and was known as Robert Christian of Douglas.

Disconcertingly, the little people don't always keep themselves to old Ireland. There are, of course, the unexpected "machine elves" that populate DMT's hyperspace, as described by Terrence McKenna.

From Erowid's ayahuasca "Experience Vault":

It may be that Terrence McKenna has simply seeded the meme-space that surrounds some tryptamines with his famous tales on self-transforming machine elves that proffer various alien objects/machines/languages with an almost malignant glee. But I certainly know what he is talking about, and these fellows now haunt the tryptamine realm for me. Tonight they leaned in quickly: “Oh you are back. We suckered you in here once again!” And they proceeded with their mischevious chittering bee-dance, as if they were coaxing me into some kind of hyperdimensional circuit that would leave sanity far behind. I never “gave in” though, whatever that means, and by the end of the trip, I was utterly tired of their cavortings.

Is there a correspondence between the elves of Kirk and Evans-Wentz and those that haunt the tryptamine realm? At least to the degree that they are both the subject of human vision. And perhaps, if their nature is exterior to our own, then it is one which is no more contained by the hyperdimensional than are we. Because, via shamanism, out-of-body experience and near-death trauma, we have found ourselves there as well.

And still, today, these old, weird tropes bleed through into our mundane modern world.

Patrick Harpur, in Daimonic Reality, notes how the President of the Wellington Women's Institute and her daughter, vacationing in Cornwall, were both struck "cold with terror" at the sight of a small man by a gate "all in green with a pointed hood and pointed ears," who was silently watching them. And a couple of years ago, discussing Budd Hopkins predisposition to pass all things weird through his ET filter, I wrote this:

Hopkins tells the story of two credible witnesses who, while driving through the wheat fields of Iowa in 1952, "came upon an eerie sight: a little old man on a bicycle, wearing lederhosen and sporting a long white beard, like something one might see rendered in wood in a Bavarian souvenir shop." About a half hour later, when they drove over a gentle rise, they encountered the same little man, "pedaling happily along in the same direction, many miles ahead of the place they had first come upon him." There were no sideroads or short cuts the cyclist could have taken, and the men had not been overtaken by a vehicle which could have given him a lift. Hopkins isn't content to let the story stand on its own strangeness. Without any justification other than his presumption of an extraterrestrial hypothesis, he posits that the figure was actually a screen memory to mask an abduction and missing time episode. After all, we can't have odd, little elfen figures bending space-time in Iowa, now can we?

Mid-morning on September 6, 1989, hunter Juan Maestas was stalking a herd of elk up a hillside in Colorado's San Luis Valley. Suddenly a twig snapped to his left and he turned to see "a fat, ugly little guy, about three feet tall," staring at him from 50 feet away. "I know how this sounds," Maestas told journalist Christopher O'Brien, as O'Brien later recorded in his Enter the Valley, "but he even had on green overalls with suspenders and a flat-topped floppy hat."

His hair was kind of reddish, and it was sticking out from underneath his cap. He had little eyes, and they seemed red and bloodshot. I could not believe I was looking at a three-foot little man! My heart was going a hundred miles per hour.... We locked eyes, and it seemed I surprised him as much as he surprised me. He sort of gave me a smile, almost like he was embarrassed, and darted behind a tree... He moved really fast - one second he was smiling at me, the next instant he was gone.... I was over there in a flash; it couldn't have been over fifty or sixty feet. I was right there. I kept my eyes on the spot so I would see him if he moved. I got to the tree and he was gone.

O'Brien adds that two weeks earlier, a quarter mile down the hill from Maestas's sighting, a family of five also reported having seen a strange little figure in green overalls and funny hat.

Curiously, early contactee reports of the modern UFO era are perhaps suggestive of transitions from traditional folkloric "little people" to the familiar "gray." For instance, 1957's John Tasco case, in which a young man saw a "brilliant egg-shaped object hovering in front of his barn" and a being who told him, in broken English, "we are a peaceful people, we only want your dog." The entity is described as dwarfish, dressed in a green suit with shiny buttons and a tam-o'-shanter like cap, but its skin was also putty-coloured and its eyes "frog-like." (Researcher Coral Lorenzen, in Charles Bowen's Humanoids, further notes that its eyes were said to be "large" and "protuberant.")

UFOs and grays are one thing, but does the phenomenon want to make fools of us? Almost certainly.

The Secret Ceremony

San Luis Valley is famously a locus for many strange congruencies. It was home to Snippy the horse, America's most celebrated, strangely mutilated beast.

Snippy died 40 years ago but the mutilations continue. Though the "newsworthiness of the subject has died down," according to a rare, recent report in New Mexico's Gallup Independent, "there are still hundreds, if not thousands [of cases] reported worldwide each year."

How can this not be news? Perhaps because our modern world lacks the categories with which to make sense of it. Stories of mythic scale and significance can fall through the cracks because our newsrooms simply don't know how to tell them anymore, or even recognize them.

Investigator Robert Allen explains to the Independent that "people just can't grasp this unless they have actually seen the mutilated animal themselves.... You can either pretend that these things didn't happen or you can look at it with an open mind." Though Allen is arguably guilty of narrowed vision himself by presuming the simplest explanation for the mysterious desanguinqtion and anal and genital coring must be extraterrestrial R&D.

Similarly, though seemingly unrelated, a month-old story from the Guardian that has also fallen through the cracks:

Devil worship links to mystery man

Police in northern Italy are wrestling with a mystery that brings together a man with memory loss, evidence of devil worship and a blood-drenched flat. One evening a young man wandered into a police station at Vercelli, between Turin and Milan. He said he had no idea who he was, or why he was there. Three days earlier, on March 16, the owner of a bedsit outside Bergamo, more than 70 miles away, had broken into her flat. The tenant had not paid his rent and she wanted to know if he was still there.

She found signs everywhere that it had been used for a Satanic rite. There were upturned crosses, and the place was smothered with symbols written in blood. Forensic experts estimated that as much as three litres had been splashed around.

Only later was it established that all of it belonged to the confused man. He has since been identified as a 22-year-old called Daniele, who, until recently, worked in a factory. His family said his only hobby was UFOs. They told police that, last September, he had suddenly left his job and spent his savings, though his relations with his parents, who he now says he cannot recognise, continued to seem normal.

According to a report in the daily Corriere della Sera, doctors have found he has punctures on his body. But there is no evidence that Daniele had taken drugs. Among the puzzles are how a man who had lost almost three litres of blood could have made his way 70 miles across country - and what happened to him in the three days that he was missing. Prosecutors are treating it as case of attempted murder.


Psychiatrists who have examined Daniele are convinced he is not feigning amnesia. Doctors, meanwhile, have found he has a scar, about an inch long, on his right arm and a series of smaller punctures on other parts of his body.

But there is no evidence that Daniele had taken drugs, and the marks do not correspond to those left when blood is extracted in the normal way by medical staff.... As for the young man himself, all he can offer them is the faint recollection of an abbey.

A young man, noted only for his interest in UFOs, is found scarred and desanguinated; an amnesiac who can only account for what befell him with the "faint recollection of an abbey." And more recently, another story from Italy has three female teachers - churchgoers who also taught Sunday School - arrested for sedating and sexually abusing their students. Children's pictures of the "games" they had been forced to play included "a 'man in black' who wore a hood and drank his own blood, and said they had played a game in which 'a wolf chases a squirrel and eats it.'"

All of these stories, including the cattle mutilations, imply ritual and sacrifice. No wonder the media doesn't know what to do with them, how to connect them, or even whether they are "newsworthy." These are religious stories. And religious ritual and sacrifice pertains to intercession and the opening of doors.

The Large Hadron Collider, with its smashing of countless particles in order to make inference of another side (literally, with respect to extra-geometric dimensions), will also tell religious stories. As Patrick Harpur writes, "the so-called New Physics smelled a rat long ago. they began to compare the whole enterprise to oriental religion or to suspect that its reality is primarily metaphorical, not literal or factual." Whatever the "elves" or the "aliens" may be, I doubt what they represent to us is a representation of their literal nature. If we're being spoken to, or toyed with, the medium is metaphor.

Richard L Thompson in Alien Identities recalls the story of UFO contactee Pat Price. (Note that this is not the same Pat Price as Menlo Park's most accomplished remote viewer and "Operating Thetan IV," who was himself fascinated by UFOs and claimed to have remote viewed several. Though interestingly, John Keel has observed how the phenomenon is occasionally shared among those who share the same names.) Price, in conversation with Berkeley researcher James Harder, described his telepathic conversation with the "leader":

Price: He drew me a circle, and he showed me some lines, and he told me "people can coexist - and not no it."
Harder: What kind of lines did he draw in the circle?
Price: Parallel lines.
Harder: What did he mean by this do you think?
Price: He said, "What we do, destructively, will affect them too." [sigh] I don't know what he was talking about - he just scared me.

"You cannot lift your hand without influencing and being influenced by hordes," wrote Yeats.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

We have ourselves a situation

He says, "Ya want a gun? I'll give you one."
She says, "Boy, you talking crazy." - Bob Dylan

A few, brief late-to-the massacre observations about Virginia Tech.

First of all, I think it's necessary that we admit the possibility that sometimes a lone nut is just a lone nut. Mental illness is not always induced and simulated, and people can be complex and screwed-up enough in their own right to imagine reasons for going to the slaughter.

Further, as Lisa Pease wisely comments, "all official narratives are always just stories." So, when we come to episodes like V Tech, perhaps it's legitimate for us to deconstruct them as episodes. We should ask, Who wrote this?, and Is the storyteller also the director? We should try out different scenarios, and see which makes the best sense of the action and the characters. We have an interpretive edge because we know other scenarios exist. Most viewers - and let's admit it; that's all most of us are to such scenes - are content to be told what they're watching, and don't own the responsibility to interpret events, or even to remember what they've seen before.

I'm not going to argue the case here that Cho Seung-Hui was a mind-controlled assassin. Kevin at Cryptogon has already done it. I won't say, this is what happened, but I will say, especially thanks to what else we know of America's shadow history (and not just America's), that this is a plausible scenario.

So, admitting this account into our circle of probabilities, let's then ask, Why? What could be the motive here? And perhaps not just here, but for other eruptions of violence that may only appear random.

The most frequently cited I've seen - usually from theorists on the right who like to say left and right is a NWO hoax - has been provocation for crackdown. (Or, Look out - they're a-comin' for our guns!) In this scenario, Dennis Kucinich is one unlikely head of the Beast. "Kucinich is seemingly willing to entertain the notion that 9/11 was carried out by a ruthless gang of bloodthirsty Neo-Fascists within our own government," writes Paul Joseph Watson, "yet he thinks we should all hand in our only means of defense against such thugs when the men in black ski-masks come knocking." To some, Kucinich represents confirmation: "Conspiracy Planet's previous assertion that gun control extremists will use the latest so-called 'school shootings' to move along their anti-American agenda to disarm US 'civilians' has proven to be correct."

I don't see that. But then, neither do I envision the Libertarian's American nightmare of over-governance , martial law and mass detention. What I see instead is federal authority withdrawing from civilian oversight and replaced by for-profit contractors because it has better things to do than improve the lives of its subjects; things which usually make them worse. And maybe not incidentally so.

The occasional slaughter and ineffectual response of authorities presents portraits of order breaking itself down, and creates the impression We're on our own. Such episodes provoke the purchase and the secreting of firearms by citizens, and not their removal by the state, however scary Dennis Kucinich may seem. So perhaps, as in New Orleans, the point is not a crackdown, but a crack-up.

Why? America is an unsustainable venture, but its ruling class means to survive well beyond the exhaustion of its public wealth, oil and water. This may now depend upon how well it induces and exploits the misery of its people, even as it extricates itself from the expectations of its alleviation.

Just a scenario.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Many Dimensions (Part One)

"They come in at a funny angle." - The Invisibles

In the conclusion to their 1975 conversation The Edge of Reality, J Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee brainstorm various UFO theories, although then and now, "UFO" is both too imprecise and too fraught with pop baggage to convey much more than its own parody. But in that case, what should we call them, and how might we explain manifestations and liminal phenomena as broad, and untidy, and bizarre as the mile-wide disc sighted over the English Channel last week and Joe Simonton's pancakes?

Vallee begins by asking, "What if we were writing 'The UFO in the Year 2000'?" He then hypothesizes, correctly, that the next 25 years and more will pass much as the 25 before. "Every two or three years there's a flap somewhere. There is no visible effect on society, there is no direct threat, there is no mass landing; that's one scenario." Hynek notes dryly, "Well, the theory that they are going to invade us would have to change." To which Vallee comments, "If they are hostile, and they've been hostile for 25 years, they're certainly not doing a very good job of invading us!" True enough, but invasion is one thing - and it is the one thing disinformation repeats ad naseum from Roswell to Dulce for the benefit of those who mean to hoax and exploit UFO events - and hostility something else.

In the course of their discussion Vallee suggests that it needn't be the US government as such which serves as the Earthly master and keeper of secrets of the phenomenon, as assumed by many of those championing "disclosure." Rather, he wonders whether that role of contact or channel or controlling agent might be assumed by an "occult society" (Though of course, if that's true, it could be expected that there would be considerable overlap between the occult order and secular governance.)

Vallee continues:

Much of technology is very linear. The reason we have radio telescopes and the reason we have radar is because of World War II - because someone was already an expert with radio waves and happened to think of the right configuration along the lines of technological development. If somebody, say way back in the fifteenth century, had found an entirely different science on that basis....

Suppose a group had investigated along the lines of rational thinking and finally contacted other forms of consciousness? They would have kept it secret, because their leaders were worried of the consequences of releasing it into an unprepared world.... What's wrong with my scenario, then? Well I'll tell you what's wrong with that: we know that occult organizations in the US are usually groups of crackpots, idealists and little old ladies. But then, maybe there are groups and occult societies that really have kept themselves secret. If so, a group like that could have the motivation and the means to manipulate public opinion on a grand scale.

Vallee's mention of somebody, say way back in the fifteenth century is almost certainly an allusion to John Dee, Elizabethan scientist, occultist and court spy. Dee's Enochian system of "angelic" evocation - an entirely different science - was preserved and embellished by esoteric, Masonic-born orders such as the Golden Dawn and the OTO, and has entered both UFO lore (for instance, the Naval Intelligence officer who, in 1959, channelled an alleged alien entity by the Enochian name of "Affa") and cyberculture ("lonelygirl15" flees "the Order" and its mysterious Enochian rites).

The alchemical opening of "portals" and the crossing of dimensions - we've been over this weird ground before. Something different, though, is that the linear science to which Vallee referred may soon reach the point at which it could do the same.

Last week, CERN's Large Hadron Collider received its final "megamagnet," though because a smaller superconducting magnet failed during a expectedly routine pressure test in March its start-up date will likely be pushed back several months from its anticipated November launch.

The LHC will search for the Higgs boson which, it's theorized, determines the mass of other elementary particles, and is the last unobserved component of the "Standard Model." But physicists like Harvard's Lisa Randall believe the Standard Model isn't all there is, as CERN's new collider may demonstrate. Secrets it may make manifest include extra and even infinite spatial dimensions to which we are routinely oblivious.

UFOs are frequently observed performing actions that defy an explanation in three dimensions. They swell and contract, split and come together, as strange as a 3-D figure would appear to Flatlanders if it penetrated their 2-D world. Witness Jane Chapin claimed to have observed an egg-shaped UFO pass through the trees, as though they didn't exist, and not above them as she'd initially told researchers. ("I could see they wouldn't believe me if I told them the truth," she explained. "They were such nice people. I didn't want to shock them.") Abductees too, often describe violations of three dimensional space. Sandy Nichols told author Brent Raynes that "It doesn't matter how many times they've taken me through the walls, or the windows, my mindset is that, 'Oh I'm going to hit this wall with the top of my head and it's gonna hurt,' but then the next thing I know is I'm actually going through the wall":

It's really weird because all of a sudden I see the outside and I can move my eyes and I see part of my body still in the wall or the window. But my head, and say shoulders, are already outside.... Then I see a light.... and it's like I get in this light and it's like a light elevator that takes me up.... here comes this metallic looking craft...and then the next thing I know I'm already in the craft.

Of course this sounds an awful lot like an Out-of-Body-Experience, and perhaps it was. Or perhaps extra physical dimensionality is a persuasive mimic of astral states. If so, then intelligences native to such dimensions could easily masquerade as gods and angels, and Earthly orders committed to their devotion could keep them well fed, depending upon their appetites.