Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Channel 23

For interested parties, English Heretic will be guesting on Channel 23 radio show tonight (10pm -11pm).

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Le Délire de Négation

At a recent event called the "Weird Symposium", James Trafford and Dr. Ray Brassier gave an extremely interesting talk on the writer Thomas Ligotti. As Dr. Brassier detailed the mental habitat occupied by the narrator in stories by Ligotti, my immediate thought was that it sounded like Ligotti was either describing incredibly accurately or, is suffering from some kind of recognised psychopathology. Dr. Brassier then went onto discuss Ligotti's diagnosed Anhedonia. However, there is also an unusual psychiatric syndrome called Cotard's Syndrome (Le Délire de Négation) that also seems to be well apprehended by Ligotti. I thought it might be useful to give a few quotes from the book "Uncommon Psychiatric Syndromes".


"Cotard's syndrome is a rare condition of which the central symptom is nihilistic delusion which, in its complete form, leads the patient to deny his own existence and that of the external world."

The book goes onto give the following case of a 38yr old woman who exhibited a change of personality after an operation, probably for an ovarian neoplasm...

"She became extremely withdrawn and was admitted into another clinic where she protested that 'all is dead within and outside me'... On rare occasions she would respond to questioning and revert to making spontaneous remarks. Once she pointed to the surrounding countryside and said that all that encircled her 'the sun, earth and the very stars do not exist'. She believed that she alone survived the initial explosion that created the world, and that she wandered in the empty world as 'a carbonized star'. She believed that even time had been consumed and that she was thus condemned to wander eternally in this form."

In another case, that of 67 year old alcoholic man, who was admitted in a severe depressive state with evidence of organic deterioration. "He stated, 'I am already dead','I am finished', 'I am poisoned'. He was preoccupied with his bowels. After 25 days in hospital he asked to be buried because he was 'a corpse which already stinks'. A month later he said that he had no flesh and no legs or trunk. The ideas were unshakable, so that the clinical picture remained unchanged for months."

"[Another] patient who had developed syphilis at 37 years and paranoid ideas at the age of 39 years which then cleared completely. At 62 years years his paranoid ideas recurred and gradually worsened. He was in poor physical health and extremely despondent, 'because people are dead and corpses are on the wall'. He was convinced that he too was dead, that this bowels did not work and that they were calcified. He insisted his toes were dead. He was extremely depressed and although when treated with antidepressants he initially improved, after a few days he relapsed and again stated that he was a 'living corpse with no stomach and bowels; which do not exist'."

Describing other clinical aspects of Cotard's the authors state:
"Accessory symptoms may include analgesia, mutism, self-mutilation urges, suicidal ideas, illusions and, in some cases, hallucinations. The latter may be visual but are much more commonly auditory... one patient 'hears the preparations for his execution, the guillotine being erected.'
Others may have hallucinations of taste and smell, believing that they are rotting away, that their food is completely changed, or that they are being offered filth, faecal matter or human flesh."

Paradoxically, because the sufferers believe themselves to be 'already dead' then there can in some cases be a concommitant delusion of immortality,
"When the patient comes to believe that he is not only dead but also immortal, it means that he will remain in his 'I am dead' state for ever, with no possibility of release through death; in effect a state of 'ever lasting death' and hence everlasting despair..."

More worryingly it has been claimed that,
"In 1968, a study describing 10 cases of Cotard's syndrome drew a distinction between a 'genuine' Cotard Syndrome occurring in depressive states and what he described as a 'pseudo-nihilistic or pseudo-Cotard Syndrome; the latter being a feature of what he termed 'coenaesthetic schizophrenia', which he claimed, had demonstrated as being caused by atrophy of basal ganglia."
A study in 1984 described "a series of patients in whom a sense of being dead or of being close to death was associated with temporal lobe or limbic seizures."

So could a pseudo-Cotard syndrome be experimentally induced? Does this mean that devices like Persinger's Koren Helmet might have the ability to simulate an altogether more unpleasant pleroma?

Worse still might these experiments already be taking place? Is what we perceive as our conscious lifespan, merely the lunch break of some cosmic neuroscientist dabbling with our basal ganglia? Fortean researcher John Keel's concluding paragraph in Disneyland Of The Gods, seems in no doubt:
"We are biochemical robots helplessly controlled by forces that can scramble our brains, destroy our memories and use us in any way they see fit. They have been doing it to us forever. We are caught in a poker game being played with marked cards. Yet, in the closing years of this century[written in 1988] , we are like the inverterate gambler who when informed that the game is crooked, shrugs and says, "I know... but it's the only game in town!""

Put another way by Arthur Machen in the story 'N':
“I believe that there is a perichoresis, an interpenetration. It is possible, indeed, that we three are now sitting among desolate rocks, by bitter streams. And with what companions?”

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

English Heretic Research proposals for 2008












English Heretic will be carrying out extensive and cavalier research into the neuropsychological bases for Godhead. To this end Dr Champagne will be purchasing the following apparatus from Shakti technology:

One 8 Coil Shakti headset - with the explicit intention of understanding Life after Death, Visions of God, Romantic Love, Enlightenment, Deja Vu, and even Out Of Body Experiences".

http://www.shaktitechnology.com/

http://www.shaktitechnology.com/god_helmet.htm

"Thus far, about 20 or so people have reported feeling the presence of Christ or even seeing him in the chamber (The acoustic chamber where the experimental sessions took place). Most of these people used Christ and God interchangeably. Most of these individuals were older (30 years or more) and religious (Roman Catholic). One male, age about 35 years old (alleged atheist but early childhood RC (Roman Catholic) training), saw a clear apparition (shoulders and head) of Christ staring him in the face. He was quite "shaken" by the experience. I did not complete a follow-up re: his change in behavior. Of course these are all reports. What we did find with one world-class psychic who experiences Christ as a component of his abilities was we could experimentally increase or decrease his numbers of his reported experiences by applying the LTP pattern (derived from the hippocampus) over the right hemisphere (without his awareness). The field on-response delay was about 10 to 20 sec. The optimal pattern, at least for this person, looked very right hippocampal.By far most presences are attributed to dead relatives, the Great Forces, a spirit, or something equivalent. The attribution towards along a devil to angel continuum appears strongly related to the affect (pleasant-terror) associated with the experience. I suspect most people would call the "vague, all-around-me" sensations "God" but they are reluctant to employ the label in a laboratory. The implicit is obvious. If the equipment and the experiment produced the presence that was God, then the extrapersonal, unreachable and independent characteristics of the god definition might be challenged."

We intend to use this device at Rendlesham Forest, at night, at the site of the suspected UFO landing, whilst performing the Mithraic Ritual and listening to George Crumb's Black Angels.

"Please God Fuck My Mind, For Good" - Coil...

Volunteers very much welcome...

Saturday, 10 November 2007

The Journal of Death And Dying

Perhaps the strangest most (necessarily though) obsessive science journal I came across a good few years ago was OMEGA: The Journal Of Death And Dying. Aimed at professional thanatologists and the like, there is something immensely sobering yet surreal about the nature of some of the articles. Below is a list of abstracts from the journal. They provide a fascinating gamut of Saturnine studies often from the most oblique of perspectives on a single dominant theme.


OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 50, Number 4 / 2004-2005
Pages: 267 - 280
URL: Linking Options
DEATH IN DISNEY FILMS: IMPLICATIONS FOR CHILDREN'S UNDERSTANDING OF DEATH
MEREDITH COX A1, ERIN GARRETT A1, JAMES A. GRAHAM A1
A1 The College of New Jersey, Ewing
Abstract:
This study examined the potential influence of Disney films on children's concepts of death. A content analysis was performed on 23 death scenes from 10 selected full-length Disney Classic animated films. The portrayal of death focused on five categories: character status; depiction of death; death status; emotional reaction; and causality. The findings indicate that some animated Disney films present scenes that eclipse the permanence and irreversibility of death and often leave deaths (especially those of villains) emotionally unacknowledged. Previous work has shown that many children tend not to discuss death with their friends or parents for many reasons. More importantly, the films may serve as catalysts to introduce the concept of death into discussions between children, peers, and adults.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 53, Number 1-2 / 2006
Pages: 37 - 49
URL: Linking Options
ARE THEY HALLUCINATIONS OR ARE THEY REAL? THE SPIRITUALITY OF DEATHBED AND NEAR-DEATH VISIONS
L. STAFFORD BETTY A1
A1 California State University, Bakersfield
Abstract:
The focus here is mainly on visions of deceased relatives and friends that persons near death often report. Are they visions of real people who live in an afterlife environment or are they hallucinations? Most social scientists assume they are hallucinations, but a thorough and careful analysis of the evidence does not point to this conclusion. The argument for the reality of such visions is muddied, however, by aspects of the visions that are dependent on the personal histories of the percipients and suggest, in some cases, illusory content. A theory that makes sense of all aspects of these visions is developed and defended, then tied into our theme: the spirituality of death.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 53, Number 3 / 2006
Pages: 249 - 262
URL: Linking Options

DEAD MEN TALKING: EVIDENCE OF POST DEATH CONTACT AND CONTINUING BONDS
CRAIG M. KLUGMAN A1
A1 University of Nevada, Reno
Abstract:
Post Death Contact (PDC) is when a living individual feels that a person who is deceased is reaching out to connect with the living. Such experiences may be part of a model of grieving called Continuing Bonds. In order to further investigate the relationship between PDCs and the grieving process, a random telephone survey was developed to determine the ways in which PDCs are experienced in the United States. Most commonly, subjects reported PDCs that included dreams, sounds, feeling a presence, and having conversations. The results suggest that experiencing PDCs may be a lifelong phenomenon and more widespread than previously thought.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 53, Number 3 / 2006
Pages: 243 - 248
URL: Linking Options
NICKNAMES INCREASE LONGEVITY
ERNEST L. ABEL A1 and MICHAEL L. KRUGER A1
A1 Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Abstract:
We investigated the effect of having a nickname on the longevity of major league baseball players. Ages of death, birth year, and career lengths of major league baseball players who debuted prior to 1950 were obtained and we compared longevities of players with nicknames with those who did not have a nickname. After controlling for these factors in analysis of covariance, there was a statistically significant increase in longevity of 2.5 years associated with having a nickname. Players with nicknames (N = 2,666; 38.1%) lived an average of 68.6 (±15.1 S.D.) years compared to players without nicknames (N = 4,329; 61.9%) who lived an average of 66.1 (±16.1) years. We attributed this nickname-related effect on longevity to enhanced self-esteem.
OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 49, Number 4 / 2004
Pages: 287 - 297
URL: Linking Options


OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 47, Number 3 / 2003
Pages: 221 - 244
URL: Linking Options
ROADSIDE MEMORIALS
CHARLES O. COLLINS A1 and CHARLES D. RHINE A1
A1 University of Northern Colorado
Abstract:
Roadside memorials or descansos have diffused from a Mexican/ Southwestern regional Hispanic hearth to increasingly draw the attention of motorists and public officials throughout the United States. In the current context, the authors' attention is on privately and spontaneously erected memorials placed at the sites of fatal events. Typically these result from automobile accidents, though not exclusively. The intent of the present article is three-fold: 1) to identify meaning and significance in the precise placement of contemporary markers; 2) to directly investigate the motivation and purposes of memorial/descanso builders; and 3) to survey issues of traffic safety, highway maintenance, landscape or visual blight, and church/state relations arising from the placement and maintenance of these roadside memorials.
This is where I see him best. (Father of traffic victim)
This is holy ground. (Mother of teenage rollover fatality)



OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 39, Number 3 / 1999
Pages: 229 - 232
URL: Linking Options
Suicide among Carpenters: A Multivariate Analysis
Steven Stack
Abstract:
Previous work on broad occupational groups has noted that suicide rates are higher among manual workers than nonmanual workers. However, it is not clear if this is due to occupational strains per se, or the covariates of manual worker status such as gender, and marital strain. The present study explores suicide risk among a group of skilled manual workers: carpenters. Data are taken from the U.S. Public Health Service Annual Mortality Detail File tapes for 1990. A bivariate analysis finds that carpenters are 1.996 times more likely than the rest of the working age population to die of suicide. However, once controls are introduced for gender, race, marital status and other socio-demographic variables, carpenters are only 1.15 times more at risk of suicide than the working age population. The results are consistent with those of an earlier study of laborers. While working class occupations are marked by suicide risk, the risk may be due more to the covariates of these occupations than the occupations themselves.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 37, Number 2 / 1998
URL: Linking Options
The Sympathy Card as Cultural Assessment of American Attitudes Toward Death, Bereavement and Extending Sympathy: A Replicated Study
Charmaine Caldwell, Marsha McGee, and Charles Pryor
Abstract:
In 1980, Marsha McGee conducted a study to evaluate the content of sympathy cards to view the American treatment of death, bereavement, and sympathy. She surveyed eighty-seven college students to determine their use of and attitudes toward sympathy cards. Fifteen years later this study replicates that undertaking in an attempt to determine what attitude changes have occurred, if any. One hundred thirty-seven sympathy cards were analyzed, and ninety-three people competed a questionnaire. Data gathered were compared to the original results with the determination that in fact there have been subtle changes in many respects; however, the reluctance to confront death in our expressions of sympathy and to use "that word" remains as staunch as ever.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 36, Number 1 / 1997-1998
URL: Linking Options
The Death of Jesus, Christian Salvation, and Easter-Week Atrocities Against Jews: A Suicidological Approach
Kalman J. Kaplan
Abstract:
A question ignored by suicidologists is the degree to which major Christian theologians have stressed that Jesus gave up his life voluntarily as an act of salvation for mankind and that it was not taken by another. Indeed His death, in Durkheim's terms, is an "altruistic suicide" and is offered as a standard of love for others. Nevertheless, the Jewish people have been historically blamed for His death with many anti-Jewish persecutions occurring coincidentally with the Christian Holy week. The believing Christian can be seen as a survivor of "altruistic suicide," certain New Testament passages as s suicide note, Easter Week as the anniversary date of Jesus' death, and anti-Jewish persecutions during this period as displacement of survivor guilt into aggression toward Jesus' family of origin.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 34, Number 3 / 1996-1997
URL: Linking Options
Lassie Come Home: A Study of "Lost Pet" Notices
Allan Kellehear and Jan Fook
Abstract:
This is a report of a qualitative, content analysis of 100 "Lost Pet" notices. The aim of the study was to identify what literary techniques people employed to express their loss given a highly diverse public that may, or many not, be sympathetic to expressions of grief over pets. Four notice types were identified: The simple public notice [impersonal] (20%); the simple public notice [personalized] (55%); the personal appeal notice (21%) and; the owner's story notice (4%). The relationship between these styles of writing and public sanctions against open grief are discussed. Directions for future research are identified.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 33, Number 4 / 1996
URL: Linking Options
Graveside Deaths
Bruce L. Danto, Mark L. Taff, and Lauren R. Boglioli
Abstract:
Cemeteries are designed to provide mourners with a semiprivate place to express their grief. The cemetery is symbolic of the reunification of the living with the dead. Deaths, particularly suicides, occurring in cemeteries are a rare phenomena. Graveside suicides represent an exaggerated form of pathological mourning and grief reaction. Graveside suicides are analogous to a death pact between two persons in which the second death occurs as a reaction to the first, in the cemetery where the first is buried, and without the knowledge of the first. Case histories of graveside suicides are presented, as well as a brief discussion of other types of injuries and deaths occurring in cemeteries. A profile of the graveside suicide victim, the psychodynamics of grief reactions, and the medicolegal implications related to a cemetery security are also presented.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 24, Number 2 / 1991-1992
URL: Linking Options
Through a Glass Darkly: Images of the Dead in Dreams
Deirdre Barrett
Abstract:
This study examined dreams about the dead. There were four categories of activities reported in these: the deceased described the state of death, delivered messages to the living, sought to change the circumstances of their death, or gave loved ones a chance to say 'goodbye.' Some of these categories occurred at a particular point in the grief process; others occurred at any time after the death. A remarkably large number of the dead telephoned. These dreams are discussed in terms of what they illuminate about attitudes toward mortality and loss.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 20, Number 3 / 1989
URL: Linking Options
Themes of Death and Violence in Lullabies of Different Countries
Kalle Acht , Ritva Fagerstr m, Juha Pentik inen, and Norman L. Farberow
Abstract:
Lullabies are often divided into mourning songs describing the death or funeral of the child and threat songs which threaten the child with violence if he does not go to sleep. Threat songs are considerably more common then lullabies with death themes; according to results of the present survey, the former were found in many parts of the world. Lullabies with death themes are frequent in Finno-Ugric and Slavic cultures but not in most others. The survey covered twenty-six countries as well as certain ethnic groups.

OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying
Issue: Volume 20, Number 2 / 1989
URL: Linking Options
The Distant Mourner: An Examination of the American Gravedigger
Gay Petrillo
Abstract:
Despite innumerable thanatological research, little has been done concerning the gravedigger and his role in the mourning process. What is known about him, consequently, is based primarily on myths, superstitions, and prejudices. To examine the validity of these myths, a preliminary investigation was undertaken into the gravedigger's function. A mail survey and personal interviews were conducted, which focused on the psychological dimensions of the gravedigger in relation to his job. Of concern were the ways in which he views his job's positive and negative characteristics and the degree to which he is affected by the daily encountered sadness of his job. The findings show that several issues are of concern to the gravedigger; the sadness of his job is multi-faceted; its intensity varies and is managed accordingly. Results indicate that the gravedigger who emerges from this study's profile and the gravedigger of popular myth are incongruous

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Dunwich Tapes I



Early Pioneers of The Miskatronic Workshop: August Derleth.

Shortly after moving to Suffolk, Wyard, retired on grounds of ill health from a career in the software industry, began to comb the beach at Dunwich. He wasn't sure what he was looking for but in a strange way felt in conversation with the doleful rhythms of the waves eroding the cliffs of this once mighty port. Mostly his findings consisted of no more than a trivial detritus jettisoned from the shipping lanes of the North Sea. Occasionally he would discover a more titillating memoir of some weekend seafarer: once he found a discarded cigarette lighter from a brothel in Holland. He like to imagine this cargo to be the assets of some reckless subconscious removal company, the tangible salvage of a neurotic past, washed upon the rippled beach of his cerebellum. Towards the end of August that year, however, Wyard started to notice changes in the composition of the seaweed among which he would often search for an entangled relic. It seemed to have taken on a more sinewy texture. At first he attributed these changes to the affects of a little reported oil spill from a forgotten tanker -the ghost galleon of Amoco Cadiz. But,over the following days, as the seaweed continued to inundate the beach, he saw that these new fronds contained none of the familiar gas filled bladders of common kelp. On closer inspection, Wyard realised this was no exotic hybrid of algae and petrochemical, but in fact spools of slimy cellulose actetate - more exactly, magnetic recording tape. Excited by this discovery, as he sat in the rotting remains of a rowing boat, back near the beach hut, drying his booty over the sides, Wyard fantasised about the contents of the tape. Might these contain the lost hymns and bells of Dunwich's sunken monasteries? Or could these reels have come from somewhere altogether more ancient: the record shops of Atlantis, the occult sound libraries of HP Lovecraft's Cthulhian mythos.

In the nearby fisherman's cottage he had rented for his recuperation, Wyard set about reassembling the morass of tapes. He purchased a second hand reel to reel recorder from an Internet auction site, fashioning a rudimentary splicing apparatus from two blocks of drift wood and a disposable razor blade. To his surprise the contents of the recordings were in relatively healthy condition. Indeed it seemed that the tape came from a single composition and though no ethno-musicologist he recognised a calypso like quality to the reconstructed song. The discernible musical idiom of the piece was given an edge by its arrangement and ornamentation. Offset against the lilting South Sea melody, there was an electro-acoustic hollowness to the production. More disquieting yet, barely audible in the background of the recording, Wyard was sure he hear could the nervous chatter of a Geiger counter. This anomaly, presumably an artefact, gave the piece an oblique aesthetic - as if it were the lofi radiophonic theme to a post-atomic thriller filmed on location at Bikini Atoll.

Buoyed by the success of this initial operation, he returned to the beach to collect further samples. This time he found the foam inundated with a brood of nematode like celluloid tape. Some exhibits were still attached to their partially intact plastic spools. Like exoskeletons of a strange crustacean species, Wyard felt a sense of unease as he gutted the magnetic tape from their broken housing. It was as if some ancient submarine creature was reconstituting itself from his unconscious memory. Perhaps his sonic extrapolations had reawakened an evolved specimen of his earlier invertebrate sample? Revolted and yet intoxicated by this notion, Wyard, in a state of agitated impatience, became desperate to extract the latest sounds from these new discoveries. Neglecting to properly dry out the tape, Wyard carelessly hacked at the damp cellulose, the blade of his knife sliding out of control and cutting his right index finger at the knuckle. Spurts of watery blood oozed over the clutch of material in his hand. The salt stung considerably as he washed the wound in the spawn of ocean spray.

Back in the rotting boat, sucking on his still bleeding knuckle, Wyard was enveloped by a feeling of foolishness. The cut would require a couple of sutures to stem the flow of blood and heal properly. The meaningless of his endeavour would only be exacerbated by him turning up at casualty to waste the resources of some overburdened A&E nurse - and for what purpose, the extraction of these tapes based on his fantasy of discovery of some mysterious sound library. It was around this time that Wyard also began to sense and worry that someone was overseeing his baleful adventure. A couple of times in the boat, he had turned around quickly hoping to catch the presence of a watcher on the cliff face. By nature hypersensitive, Wyard had a tendency to invent fictional plots in which he would be at the centre of some grand conspiracy. These delusions would grow as he isolated himself within a self mythologizing quest. Clearly the sharp focus of the previous days in the desolate cottage had only served to heighten Wyard's paranoia.

***

Derleth watched the figure slumbering in the husk of the rotting boat on the beach below. For years he had walked the tenuous cliff path between the monastery ruins and the eroding shores of Dunwich. He was used to, but always interested in the eccentricities of vagrants scavenging on the shingle midden, and the behaviour and preoccupation of this latest itinerant was no exception. For days the figure had moved between the flotsam and a small rowing boat hauling copious amounts seaweed to the vessel, painstakingly cutting them into slivers, before holding small samples of the fronds to his ears. Now he had started collecting the brittle fossils of starfish around which he had proceeded to wrap the strands of seaweed. It was as if he were trying to assemble some kind of primitive tape recording of the deep. That morning, events had taken a disturbing turn as the beachcomber, clearly in some state of mental distress, started slashing uncontrollably, with what appeared to be a fisherman's knife, at a cat's cradle of seaweed entangling his hands. The man had then struggled from the foam to his boat where he had passed out.

***

When Wyard awoke, he was lying on a sofa in an unfamiliar room. In front of him was a large french window overlooking a garden that ran a short distance to a cliff edge. Stirring from a heavy, coarse blanket, he surveyed his environment. Tucked behind the ageing brown leather sofa on which he had been sleeping was a sparsely stocked bookshelf. To the left of the room was a mantelpiece on which stood an Art Nouveau clock. It was early afternoon. In the corner between the mantelpiece and the french window was a television set. It had a wooden veneer of the type popular in the 1970s. Wyard felt somewhat disappointed by the room. He remembered the sense of presence he had experienced before passing out in the rowing boat. If someone had been watching him and had now taken him in,or more worringly taken him captive, he had hoped at least they would have displayed more flamboyance than was represented by this rather meagre room. In some imperceptible way, the arrangement of the television set and the clock on the mantelpiece particularly annoyed Wyard. Was this really the kind of room that his host or kidnapper felt would suit Wyard? Perusing the book shelf, in the hope of discovering some intellectual enrichment, he was further ired to see it contained the standard library of the holiday cottage : mediocre local histories, weathered paperbacks - of middle brow spy fiction and dynastic romances. Still, there was something not quite right about the arrangement of the room - it was over cliched in its interior design, as if it were a fake representation of a kind a dullness designed to provoke a hostile reaction in Wyard. In this respect Wyard's mentation was following the same pattern as it had shortly before his collapse in the boat. It was Wyard who was attempting to embroil himself a fantasy of incarceration and psychological torture. Perhaps whoever had brought him here had benign motives? Comforted and yet, at the same time, shocked by his own deep seated suspicion, Wyard walked to the french windows and opened them to the patio beyond. He noticed for the first time the bandages strapped over his left wrist. The sunlight was nearly too much for him to bare.

"Ah the sleeper wakes..."

Derleth stood on the patio to the left of Wyard. Observing the hunched figure, dishevelled, hiding his face from what was in reality a rather pallid sky, Derleth felt a certain pity for the man.

"I do hope you had a comfortable rest?"

Annoyed by Derleth's over mannered yet vaguely sinister tone, Wyard complained "As a matter of fact, I don't take to kindly to sleeping in a room with a television, never have, I am not a 'television' man".

"Oh I do apologise Mr... I am sorry I don't know your name." Clearly enjoying the effect of his charming yet threatening repose,Derleth stretched out his hand. Wyard stepped back, disturbed by the elongated limb, hideously Dalinian and flaccid. Regaining his senses, Wyard attempted to get the hand in perspective. A curious phenomenon Wyard had noticed in his perceptions since embarking on these tape experiments were these momentary distortions of the visual field.

"I suspect you already know my name, where are my tapes and what happened to my wrists?"

"One question at a time, dear man".

Smirking, Derleth nodded in the direction of the cliff's edge. "I can show you..."

Wyard presumed this was a threat - a myth of Christ tempted in the desert by Satan. He wanted to run but sensed his escape would be blocked, by his captor or an agent of his captor.

In a curious manner, as if rewinding himself Wyard, retreated towards the French windows.

"Get thee behind me..." he emitted in defence, his voice garbled like a backward masked message.

***

Returning to his quarters, Wyard was overwhelmed with despair. He sat on the sofa, looking out at the garden, the shadows of clouds passing across the lawn. He was by now sure that his discovery of the tapes on the beach was part of some elaborate entrapment and that by processing the sounds contained therein, he had created the conditions for the curious prison he now inhabited. Although the topography of his immediate landscape suggested he was but yards from the actual beach, Wyard was quite convinced this realm was an artifice of the real Suffolk hamlet.

Around four in the afternoon, he noticed the movement of the shadows of the clouds had stopped. They were no longer basking sky ships, but penumbral watchers, monolithic guardians at the boundaries of an encroaching agoraphobia. Wyard remembered back to his adolescence, the same darkening of his sensibilities reflected in a pathological reclusiveness, an English hikikomori. Perhaps Derleth was actually a phantasm of his more extrovert self, lurking on the limen of the patio at some eternal garden party, goading Wyard into the unbearable light and the ensuing bipolar precipice which undoubtedly would beckon a borderline personality such as his?

For some unfathomable reason he felt the urge to dismantle the room. In the last hour of light, he set about creating himself a lifeboat. Pulling the television set to the centre of the room, Wyard turned the unit on its side. No doubt as a gesture of his innate masochism, he imploded the screen with a forceful stamp of the right foot, severing an artery as he did so. Barely conscious, he limped to the fireplace and smashed the clock against the marble mantelpiece. Retrieving the buckled dial from the debris, he was pleased to see it was decorated with a nautical typeset. With his last strength Wyard fell into the guts of the broken television set, holding the clock face to his ears.


Hearing the commotion, Derleth ran into the room from some ante chamber within the complex. His appearance was strangely farcical, an amateur dramatic clatter of feigned concern. In reality Derleth was not at all surprised to see Wyard slumbering in his make shift rowing boat holding the imagined auditory apparatus to his face. This was not an uncommon response from his experimental subjects once they had started manipulating the music tapes that he would leave on the beach. Wyard was exhibiting a repetitious behaviour in which he would attempt to reconstitute the same reality time and time again with whatever objects he had at hand. The disemboweled television set as rowing boat, the clock face as tape spool or starfish fossil, the recidivist impulse to self wounding all pointed to Wyards mind operating as if he were living within some kind of tape loop. Indeed Derleth had noticed Wyard's earlier revulsion when he had ostensibly offered his hand in greeting. Presumably that was due to a warp or kink in the tape recording, a momentary slur in time - another completely explicable and demonstrable effect entirely within the predicted parameters of the experiment. Soon Wyard would be jump cutting back to the patio, the boat on the beach, the sofa, his adolescence, the clouds would reverse at speed across the lawn, and Derleth's hand would cease to be flaccid before slurping uncannily back to his trouser pocket.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Rampton Weekly Disco


This week's News Of The World ran a lurid interview with Lee Harrington, the ex-boyfriend of Beverley Allitt. Seeing the headline and the photo of this heavily facially tattooed individual who had fallen for Ms Allitt I was puzzled as to how they met. It turns out they met at the Rampton Disco which is held every Friday. Harrington, it seems was also a member of the Kaotian Cult at the time, which treats women as slaves. According to Harrington, Allitt was quite happy to fulfill this role. The article goes onto say prior to meeting Harrington, Allitt had another boyfriend, Michael Heggie, a blood drinking murderer known as "The Vampire"... who she met again at the Rampton Weekly Disco. Now I am not trying to celebrate Allitt, Harrington or Heggie, but my mind absolutely boggles at the imagery conjured by this article and the truly Lynchian nature of the Rampton Weekly Disco. I think what is so disquieting about the story is the juxtaposition of the most normal human extincts - of sociability, courtship and dance, in the context of a place (Rampton) so utterly associated with pathology and with people who have acted on impulses of the most diseased and abnormal kind.

It is also interesting how the just the name Rampton has become a lurid brand name for the media and in particular the NOW and The Sun.

A look at the list of recent entries in the press complaints commission reveals the following:

Neil Syson The Sun "Fire maniac lives it up at Rampton"

Martyn Sharpe The Sun "Rampton holds gay disco for psychos"

The last entry is interesting because what we have is almost an incantatory use of trigger words similar to a grimoire: "gaydiscopsychos". Lots of harsh "K" sounds. On a similar theme it's interesting to note the frequent use of Xs and Zs both in barbarous names of evocation and brand names for anti-psychotic drugs, contraceptives and sanitary towels. It is as if the advertising industry is unconsciously attempting to demonise our relationship with such products: Prozac, Tampax, Durex,Seroxat,Abrasax, Azathoth,Pazazu all could as easily come from the pages of a medieval grimoire as from design teams of an advertising agency.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

LAM and Lieutenant 70

It's interesting to note in Ballard's condensed chapter "Lieutenant 70", that the isolated incident at the strategic air command takes place on December 25th, 197-. Of course the allusion is that the mysterious figure is Christ, "with the set of plates of a human fetus evidently taken some thirty years previously". But also are there not some neat correspondences with the Rendlesham incident, which took place on December 25th 1980... another example of JGBs precognitive powers. Further, the human fetus could also relate to the ufo abductee experience. Michael Persinger has suggested that the fetal like appearance of aliens in ufo encounters might be as a result of the neurophysiological phenomenon of self proprioception of memories of the womb. Further doesn't LAM also exhibit fetal like qualities. Fianally, JGB just misses the Qabalistic figure of LAM by 1, LAM being 71 and his lieutenant being 70, though no doubt with a little bit of creative qabalistic accounting we could make sense of that too....

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Make your own Ghost Cosmonaut

As an addendum to the previous post, I've always wanted to create my own ghost. One idea I had was to buy a Russian Cosmonaut suit and set up some fake debris in a field, late at night. Then from the early morning, donning my outfit I would wander around the field near my crash landed module, looking terribly dazed.
Indeed Cosmonaut Anatoliy Levchenko's `Sokol` suit would seem to have the right degree of poetic resonance about it. This can be bought from the USSR-Russian Aviation & Space Collectables web site...
As the catalogue states:
"Sokol space suit worn by research cosmonaut Anatoliy Levchenko during his flight aboard Soyuz TM-4, Soyuz TM-3 ships and space station MIR during the period 12.21.1987-12.29.1987. Buran test pilot and MIR cosmonaut A.Levchenko died of a brain tumor only few months after his return from MIR....."

Britain At Occult War: Folk Songs of the Near Future

Found this strange database of aviation ghosts which reads like a rather Ballardian catalogue of dead airmen. I am always struck by the fact the JG Ballard refutes the significance of the paranormal while his stories are replete with the spectral presence of dead airmen and military personnel (most explicitly perhaps in a piece like "One Afternoon at Utah Beach").

Reading this database I can't help but be impressed by the poetry of these hauntings and indeed they made an odd juxtaposition with the songs of Shirley Collins which I was listening to, as I browsed the database. Here are some of my favourites, like snatched vignettes - verses from a folk song of the near future, inhabited by pipe smoking scarf wearing RAF ghosts, the drones of phantom fighters, trenchcoated revenants and the lost widows of forgotten WWII runways.


Some favourites of mine from the database:

Pipe Smoking Man
Location: Burscough - Burscough airfieldType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: Circa 1950s / 1960s?Further Comments: When farmers worked the land where a WW2 airfield once stood, it was reported that they would occasionally be approached by a young man smoking a pipe. This figure would wish them a good evening before vanishing. It was said that this ghost was once a pilot who worked here, though no one can be quite sure of his true past.

Officer on Bike
Location: Digby - RAF DigbyType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: Post World War Two Further Comments: Cycling along on an old bike, this phantom RAF officer once stopped and asked two guards for the control tower to be opened for him. When they agreed, the officer vanished. On other occasions, lights were reported moving around the control tower, though it would be locked and empty.


Airman with Hand Grenade
Location: Grimsby - Former RAF WalthamType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: 1982
Further Comments: Several former pilots walk this old RAF base, both along the aging airstrips and the perimeter road. One of the ghosts that has chosen the perimeter to haunt is said to have blown himself up with a grenade after being declared unfit to fly. Another spirit has appeared by the memorial laid for the Number 100 squadron.


Headless Airman wanting Lift
Location: Hadstock - The B1052 leading into HadstockType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: After losing his head in a flying accident, the apparition of an American pilot has been seen thumbing a lift on the roadside.

Capt. Scholz
Location: Little Walden - Little Walden Airfield, near Saffron WaldenType: Post-Mortem Manifestation Date / Time: November 1993
Further Comments: Fifty years after dying when his Mustang crash landed, Captain Scholz dressed in his flying suit appeared in the back seat of a car as it drove past the airfield, disappearing after a few seconds.

Crashing Planes & WWII pilots
Location: Ridgewell - Ridgewell World War Two AirfieldType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Now little more than a collection of old huts, the area is haunted by the sounds of crashing WWII aeroplanes, shouting airmen, and other noises.

Faceless Motorcyclist
Location: Waddon - Roundshaw Housing EstateType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: 1971
Further Comments: The motorcyclist was seen early in the morning, dressed in old clothing. It is thought he was stationed on this site during World War 2, which was a RAF base. Other airfield ghosts reported around the area include a Dutch pilot killed when his airplane crashed in fog in the 1930s and three nuns who died when their plane crashed in 1947. Phantom singing has also been reported on the estate.

White Haired Woman Standing in the Corner
Location: Woodbridge - RAF Woodbridge, Bar and ClubType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: The club has a reputation for being haunted by ex-service personnel, but an old woman dressed in a night-shirt has also been seen here, standing in the corner of the bar.

Hitchhiker
Location: Felixstowe - Crossroads controlled by lightsType: Haunting ManifestationDate / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: For several days, a car driver found himself giving a lift to a World War 2 pilot, who would suddenly appear in the back seat of his car when he reached a certain point of his journey. This stopped once the driver started taking a different route.
***
Now compare these with this condensed chapter in "You and me and the continuum", by JGB.
"Lieutenant 70. An isolated incident at the Strategic Air command, Nabraska, December 25th, 197-, when a landing H-bomber was found to have an extra pilot on board. The subject carried no identification tags and apparently suffering from severe retrograde amnesia. He subsequently disappeared while being X-rayed at the base hospital for any bio-implants and transmitters, leaving behind a set of plates of a human fetus evidently taken some thirty years previously. It was assumed that this in the nature of a hoax and that the subject was a junior officer who had become fatigurd while playing Santa Claus on an inter-base visiting party."
My feeling is that this excerpt would fit seemlessly into the aviation ghosts database...

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Carry On The Apocalypse

The apocalypse seemed to be the flavour of my week.

Hired out the League Of Gentlemen film which of course had an apocalyptic theme and saw The Simpsons Movie which saw an eco-Armageddon coming to Springfield. It's interesting to me the way these film versions of TV programmes have changed... say from the 70's format, where a film version might encompass something like a holiday... like Holiday On The Buses, or the Only Fools and Horses Xmas specials... from road movie to eschatological denouement in 30 years. It be might amusing to recast Rising Damp into some kind of Drowned World scenario, given the current great deluge.

On this theme there was a Killer Cults doc on Sky last night. It covered Branch Davidian, Order Of The Solar Temple, Aum sect and People's Temple. There was quite alot of chilling footage I had never seen. Schlocky but riveting. In keeping with this, perhaps English Heretic shop should start selling Emergency Kits for the coming rapture ... Or maybe it's time to set fire to the web site and create a SAS scorched version of the homepage.

There are a couple of interesting depth psychology books I am reading at the moment:
Archetype of the Apocalypse by EF Erdinger which is a Jungian study of the Book of Revelation
&
Dreaming The End of The World by Michael Ortiz Hill which is a study of end-of-the-world dreams collected by the author from patients etc.


Finally, I had the pleasure of doing an interview for journalist Will Stone's radio show "The Hour Of The Apocalypse" that runs on resonancefm. Hopefully to be broadcast in the next month or so.


Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Ideal light reading for the summer holidays...

aha... re-published just in time for the summer holidays...
The beaches will be full of people posing with this popular piece of easy reading


at least its sheer size will block out most of the hole in the ojas layer...


I like this correspondence by Bertiaux, especially the "current interests" of his Choronzon Club

(6) a secret method of control of the Quantum mechanic world of physics via fellatio ...

Your passport to the Qliphoth - coming soon...














from English Heretic
Track Listing:
1] Threnody For The Energy Spectres Of Horishima (recorded at Orford Ness) - 24 mins 22 secs
2] Time Outre: London's Qliphoth (recorded beneath Tottenham Court Road)
- Introduction 3 mins 24 secs
- In Parfaxitas 13 mins 52 secs
3] Open The Mithraic Stargate (recorded in Rendlesham Forest) 16 mins 54 secs
4] The Brundish Horror (recorded in St. Lawrence's churchyard, Brundish and at the ruins of Greyfriars Monastery, Dunwich).





Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Dreams And The Underworld

James Hillman on retardation and punctuality in dreams: (following on from the Bookshop dream and it's ambiguities over time and lack of time - to browse):
"If, as Freud said, the underworld knows no time, then punctuality and retardation do not belong there. Yet, these are common experiences in dreams... These emotions of hurried anxiousness need to be read from the image. Then we learn that the dream-ego is terrified of slowness... We learn that images of punctuality are ideal adjustments to the time of others, fixations on the clock that keep the dream-ego ticking. Dream-punctuality shows a dream-ego in accord with daylight consciousness, and retardation shows a dream-ego drifting into the disorientation of underworld timelessness, despite panicked efforts..."
"If the dream does not unfurl in time because the underworld is timeless, then there is nowhere to go with it, in the sense of goal. We have to abandon our hopes for the future when working on it. The dream stops time, and we have to stop too, else it slips into a story and carries us into the stream of time. We can stop time by not reading the dream as a story. Then the dream has no end. This means both that it is not going anywhere else and that it is always going on. A dream is stuck within itself, its actual imagery, and has to be read in terms of what is going on in it. It is stuck within the limits of its framework, like a painting in which nothing comes first and nothing comes later and which is read by articulating and deepening the internal relations of its image."
"By concentrating upon the image in which time is embedded, part of which imagery is number symbolics, we are stressing the quality of time, as did Artemidorus and other ancient dream interpreters who always asked about the hour when the dream took place... time qualities refer to distinct psychic moments: at breakfast, when school is out, after the late show. They present moments of feeling consciousness, matutinal,post-meridional, toward evening and the close of day..."
"I am trying here to regain a feeling for the differences among the hours. They too are mythical persons (Horae), with distinct personalities. Time in dreams refer to regions of the night, places with qualities, like the twelve subterranean domains traversed by the Egyptian sun God in his ship of the night."
Comment:
Caveat... these quotes come from the paradoxical and insanely tricky chapter "Praxis", in which he warns "Reader beware, this chapter will not tell you what you dreams means..." It also shows Hillman displaying his Neoplatonic side and captures the "feeling" that a dream is essentially about itself.
Interestingly, last year at the John Dee day event hosted by Atlantis bookshop, a "living" alchemist called Gary Nottingham gave a talk on spagyrics, from an entirely "practical" point of view. I asked if he found carrying out all these experiments helped in a psychological way in "dealing with reality". He looked a bit taken aback and said when he was working with a plant "that became his reality." Coincidentally there is a chapter in Nottingham's book "Ars Spagyrica" also called "Praxis".
At the beginning of the chapter is the quote from Paracelsus:
"Let the stars heal the stars".
So perhaps you could say more generally "The Work is about itself". Rather than Jung's "alchemy is like the process of individuation" it might be closer to the truth that dreaming and alchemy are synonymous. The word 'individuation' to me has the etymologically calcified reek of a neologism, a jargon barnacle encrusting the soft matter of the soul.
"The insidious and pathological use of prescription words brings upon a demyelination of the myth making system, a degenerative process ultimately leading to the sclerosis of psyche's potential".
Agrippa's Dictionary of "Word Diseases".



Monday, 9 July 2007

The Word Made Flesh – A Hillmanesque Rebuke.

In hurriedly and lazily making all those inferences with the Bookshop dream of the previous post, I fell into a classic trap that Hillman points out. I made my inferences based on the waking mind’s perception and desire to codify the image… stick with the images dummy. So to relive the dream in the form of a Q and A.

Q: There was a choice of books in the dream, what were the books like?
A: There was a book with a gaudy purple and yellow cover and another with a black ,white and red cover. The black, white and red book was thinner than I expected.
Q:Why did you choose the gaudy purple and yellow one?
A: I don’t think I did, but I already had a number of books by the same author with red,black and white covers, so I thought the purple and yellow cover would be more interesting. Unable to choose I decided to ask about the Vampire Book.
Q: What was the pig like in the Vampire book?
A: I can’t really recall, all I can remember really is the zebra. It was lying on the ground with a great big wound in its side.
Q:Describe the wound.
A: An almost triangular shaped wound, a large chunk of the abdomen had been taken out. There were flies on the wound,
Q: Was the wound fresh.
A: Yes, glistening.

Q: Describe the bookshop proprietor
A: Dark hair, younger than myself, with a beard, not a thick beard, he has glasses on. An earnest look about him.
Q:How did he speak?
A: Quietly, though quite assertive when telling me the shop was closing. I was surprised because it was still early.
Q: What made you think it was early?
A: I am not sure, I had the clear impression it was two thirty
Q:Was there a clock then?
A: Again I am not sure, It was light outside, overcast, no shadows.

Q:Where was the boy in the dream?
A: My Son was standing by the entrance to the shop
Q:Why do you think the boy in the dream was your son?
A:He was called David
Q:Did he look like your son?
A:I think so, he had fair hair. He had fair hair and was called David.

Q:Who was the co-author of the book?
A: I can’t recall. All I can remember of the text on the title is that there were two author’s names separated by an ampersand on two lines. David Ashton (if that was his name) was on the lower line.

Q:Describe the layout of the shop.
A:Single story, or possibly not, there looks to be a spiral metal stairwell at the back of the shop. The books that I was originally looking at were on a low shelf opposite the counter. This shelf seems to separate the shop into 2 halves. The other half of the shop seems to have pamphlets; it’s quite untidy, musty. Some of the pamphlets and documents seem to have perished.

***

So no great message here, no great revelation, but this is entirely the point of working with the image: the image is its own revelation, no qabala, no complexes, no hyperlinked or copy and pasted quotes from esoteric sources. However, I feel I should point out the entirely natural flow from the red, black and white book cover to the wounded zebra: white and black striped, with a fresh red wound…. “The word made flesh”.

Mr Benn's Necronomicon: The Vampire In Nature

Last night following the Heuristic Catalogue post I had an interesting recurring dream.

I was in an independent bookshop on the outskirts of a Northern steel town. I had found a number of Kenneth Grant books including "Beyond The Mauve Zone". I couldn't make up my mind which one to buy, but was particularly taken by the cover of BTMZ which had a gaudy yellow and purple colour scheme. When I got to the counter, I remembered a book about vampires that I had recently seen advertised. In fact it was an offshoot coffee table publication from a David Attenborough type wildlife series concerning vampiric animals. Asking the proprietor about the book, he answered somewhat surprised.

"Off course we have"... Immediately in front me on the counter was a pile of books called "The Vampire In Nature". The book was co-authored, one of the authors being David Ashton. Browsing through the book, I recalled seeing the first episode of the television series which concerned African vampire pigs. There was also some photos of zebras which had been attacked by vampiric animals (hyenas?)

I paid for the book and wanted to browse some more, but the owner told me they were closing early and had been doing so recently, during the "off-season". I left to join my son David who was standing outside, bored that I had been in the shop too long.

Inferences:

I have always tended to consider these dreams which happen in book/record shops to be deficit dreams, so it's interesting to have one immediately AFTER constructing an imaginary catalogue. There is also something quite Mr. Benn about them, the shop keeper has a distinctly guru role about him.

The Vampires in Nature reminds me of a strange documentary film about the Argentinian Vampire Bat. It was a black And white, possibly even a silent film, that I recall seeing on a double bill with Les Yeux Sans Visage - an equally bizarre French horror film, about a face transplant.

http://www.boxofficeprophets.com/hyde/lesyeuxsansvisage.asp

Ironically, recently French plastic surgeon's performed the first successful face transplant... another case of Science following horror.

The vampire pigs call to mind Kenneth Grant's extrapolation on Chozzar - a flesh eating pig in Atlantean lore ... allegedly. Apparently the term Rozzer for a policeman comes from Jewish slang... chazer being pig in Hebrew. The vampire pigs might also allude to the disturbing Wild Bores that terrorise the house, in William Hope Hodgson's nightmarish "The House on The Borderland".

The vampiric hyenas may also from Grant's Nightside of Eden and his discussion of the Cult of The Spectral Hyena - associated with the tunnels guarded by Zamradiel and Parfaxitas.
Interesting qabalastic stream between David Attenborough, David Ashton and my son David (who's middle name is Andrew).

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Heuristic Catalogues 1

While visiting Orford Ness, I was amused by how some of the signs around the buildings could be easily manipulated into hackneyed post industrial album art. It was quite obvious that with the smallest effort you could construct an imaginary discography for some terrifyingly earnest military obsessed record label, specialising in Cold War music. What would the label be called and what ridiculously over codified concepts would their roster of bands (sorry "research units") dish out . Well below are some only so slightly doctored photos from Orford Ness that have been used to construct the latest catalogue from the "Delmer Institute" record label.

The Delmer Institute Catalogue 2007.
About us... The Delmer Institute is named in commemoration of the Great British Black Propagandist, Sefton Delmer. Operating from a renovated WWII decoy site in Norfolk, England, we are global specialists in the manufacture and distribution of Cold War Music. Leading up to our annual "Horishima Day" festival at Orford Ness, we are delighted to provide our comrades the opportunity to purchase the following items from our renowned roster of Research Units.



Control Room - Space Time Ritual (CD)
Legendary UK, psych death noise unit, Control Room return with a live recording at Nagasaki, on 8th August 2005. Comes with a 12 page sermon by chief "propaganda priest" for Control Room, Brian Lam, in which he states: "This event was a chemico-magickal (re)aktion carried out by Control Room, with the intention of reversing time to August 1945, in order to prevent the dropping of the atomic bomb". With copious photographic documents, musically influenced by the ancient Buddhist Madhyamaka Sect of Bhutan and Hawkwind.



Prohibited Area - Forbidden Photography and Sketching: Music for Blue Danube(CD)
Controversial self-styled Nuclear missile fetishists, Prohibited Area, were commissioned to provide the soundtrack for "Blue Danube": a hardcore pornography film set on location at Orford Ness. A blend of Erotic Funk and samples from 1950's U.S Nuclear propaganda documentaries, Prohibited Area, once again show themselves to be at the fore front of the Cold War music scene.



Information Building - Throat songs from the Terminal Wards of Pripyat. (CD)
Information Building present a heartbreaking album of Mongolian Throat songs, performed by a choir entirely composed of patients at a Sanatorium near Chernobyl Nuclear power plant. All victims of terminal thyroid cancer brought upon by the disaster of 1986, the songs mix together liturgical texts concerning Wormwood and Revelations along with bleak minimal electronics taken from Geiger Counter readings at the infamous "Red Forest" in the immediate vicinity of the reactor. First 66 copies come with a vial of soil samples from Chernobyl.



Testing Environmental - The Wreck Of The Rainbow Warrior (2XCD)
Anarchist Circus Troupe, Testing Environmental, follow up their acclaimed release "Songs And Cabaret of The French Resistance", with a musical concept album, concerning the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, in 1985, by the French Secret Service. Mixing Polynesian Sea shanties with Funeral Doom, Wreck of The Rainbow Warrior weaves together the history of nuclear testing on Pacific Atolls with Lovecraftian themes of a sunken city of Rl'yeh. Each copy comes with a stylish Beret adorned by a hand stitched "Testing Environmental" logo.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

eWyrd Tales: The Beltane Working (Part One)

As I look from my study window to the street below, the lines painted on the road marking the scene of the crime, that so unexpectedly occurred here, have all but faded. The disturbing epidemic of youth violence that I can’t help but feel indirectly responsible for began as I prepared for a short break during the May Day bank holiday of 2005.

For some years I had been an aficionado of British horror films and my passion for the subject had become almost obsessional. Indeed, earlier that year, I had even joined an Internet forum, which discussed the minutiae of the film genre. Within the forum, a clique of buffs had formed who were especially interested in tracking down the locations used in classic horror films, particularly those of the late 1960s and early 1970s. A zealous, pedantic and somewhat cantankerous cabal, I felt drawn to this near Masonic order of the online community. Wishing to gain acceptance within the group, I decided to track down the locations used in an obscure cult film from 1969, called "Blood On Satan's Claw". What better way of flexing my mono-maniacal musculature to the fraternity than visiting the desolate Berkshire vale of Assendon, in which key scenes from the film were shot. More symbolically and yet with a degree of pragmatism, I decided I would use the May Day Bank Holiday weekend to carry out my research. I would present my findings to my peers as a video collage, using a combination of footage and sound from the film, spliced together with my own audio visual field recordings.

And so it was, on the Friday night before May eve, that the first ripple in the wave of uncanny and ultimately horrific crimes took place. Engrossed, in capturing sound bites and stills from the film, I was oblivious to a fracas unfurling in the road outside, until my wife rushed into our attic study.

"Have you seen what's happening, darling? There's police everywhere!"

Stirred from my solipsistic endeavour, I joined my wife at the window. In the road below, a chase had come to a climax, with the collision of a four wheel drive jeep and a police pursuit car. Two youths were being hauled violently from their stolen vehicle by a scrum of heavy handed members of the local constabulary. Close behind the collision a White Mariah of police reinforcements completed the somewhat melodramatic cordon to what was obviously merely an incident of joy riding. Dog handlers and their growling German Shepherds poured from the caged van. At this point, I feel it is necessary to note that this incident took place not in the nihilistic abyss of the modern city, but in a quiet rural town, and moreover not even within a more disadvantaged locale. Indeed my wife and I shared amusement at the fact it appeared that the entire town's law enforcement resources had been called to this pursuit. As one of the young ne'er do wells was tussled to the ground and hand cuffed, my wife yelped excitedly.

"My God, that's Neal Collins, I taught him!"

A teacher of some years, at a comprehensive school in one of the less desirable catchments, my wife had encountered and nurtured many of the town's future petty criminals. Recognising the hapless arm-locked youth as a former pupil we watched as he was escorted painfully toward one of the squadron of back up vehicles the police had deployed to the scene. As with the careers of most of our spouses, names of colleagues and acquaintances often pass by in a blur of half-listened-to diatribes. However, the Collins family were above the mundane radar of thievery having achieved more than local notoriety a few years previously, when the older brother in the clan had been convicted of the brutal murder of a local man on waste land near the town centre. Pursued from a drinking establishment this unassuming student had been bludgeoned with a chair leg in an homophobic attack by an anomic gang of sociopaths led by Neal Collins' sibling.

Now it is probably worth mentioning the rough outline of the plot of the film, I had been so assiduously deconstructing before this nocturnal interruption. A low budget cult film released in 1969, Blood On Satan’s Claw told the story of murderous rural coven of teenagers led by an alluring yet manipulative vixen named Angel Blake. Set in the C17th, the director, Piers Haggard used the then contemporary case of Mary Bell as inspiration for the character of Angel Blake. In addition, the freshly spilled blood of Manson’s Spahn Ranch cult, some commentators feel, was not far from Haggard’s consciousness, as he sought to weave the horrific denouement on the 1960s into the age of maleficium.


As I drove down to Berkshire the following day, I couldn't help but fantasise, somewhat pompously, that my splicing of the soundtrack to the film, may have acted as an accidental trigger to the incident of youth offending in the street. Having studied experimental occultism, on a somewhat superficial level, it must be confessed, I was aware of certain theories of so called “Chaos Magicians”, who purported that it was possible to affect mundane reality through "cut up" experimentation with tape recordings. Of course, this theory developed originally in literary circles with the methodology espoused by Beatnik authors such as William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Indeed it was Burroughs’ aphorism "When you cut word lines the future leaks out" that nagged away at me like an over familiar refrain as I journey toward Assendon.

The main focus of my day's activities centred around woodland bordering a nature reserve and the ruins of a Norman Church. Both locations nestled in the valley of Assendon at the achingly timeless hamlet of Bix Bottom and featured prominently in what most would agree is the most unsettling scene of the film. The scene concerned the abduction and ritual murder, by the coven, of a teenage girl. Lured from a meadow by members of the cult, she is crowned in the woodland with a laurel of blossom: the film's most chilling moment arguably being the emergence of the coven from behind birch trees as she is led to the group's leader, Angel Blake. The maiden is forced to consummate a mock marriage, with a black breeched youth - her dead elder brother, earlier sacrificed by the cult. The climax of the scene sees the abductee stabbed to the death by Angel Blake as she is raped by the ghost of her sibling in the nave of a ruined church.

Overall, I felt the day's researches were rather successful. I was particularly impressed by my detective work in unearthing the precise location of the coven's woodland procession. However, my attempts at filming in and around the church were, to begin with, obstructed by the rather anomalous intrusion by a family of picnickers. Seemingly suspicious of my interest of the church, the clan's elder even interrogated me on its history... though only after I had feigned an academic motive for visiting the place. The family, I found out from polite if somewhat diversionary conversation, came to the area regularly, finding it a peaceful haven from their urban habitat in the nearby town of Reading.

In a strange way, no doubt a little uneasy about my somewhat autistic voyage, I sensed this family were playing the role of perverse imps, unconscious sentinels of St James' Church. Or perhaps, more spectrally speaking, were they actually puckish remnants of the film set intent on preventing me from carrying out my researches? In fact, I temporarily abandoned my field recordings at the ruin to visit the woodland, only to return a couple of hours later when they had left. Even then, as evening drew in and I finally could carry out my research, another young family stopped briefly to look at the church. While studying the chancel, I was amused to eaves drop their conversation, as the mother informed her daughter that local witches would gather here at Midsummer. Clearly unaware of it being Beltane Eve, I wondered what tacky hybrid of rustic detective series and half remembered Hammer horror had conjured this urban myth. Perhaps the images of Blood on Satan's Claw had seeped from their celluloid reels into the fabric of local lore? However, my smug sense of superiority at her vague conjecture was tempered by a disturbing discovery when I downloaded photographs from the day onto my laptop, later that evening...

From Bix Bottom I drove the short distance to West Wycombe and booked into a modest bed and breakfast. I had decided to stay over here and take advantage of the long weekend to visit Medmenham abbey and the Hellfire Caves of Sir Francis Dashwood. Though unrelated to my film studies, I felt it would provide a good opportunity to dovetail the visit with other interests in occult history. Indeed my kudos within the online community of cinemaphiles could only be augmented by a casual addendum about Dashwood's decadent order. In fact I must have been in half a mind to cleverly link in the Hellfire Club with Blood On Satan's Claw, by an oblique reference to the film's cinematographer Dick Bush. Bush, I had noted, seemed to me to have a flair in framing particularly ornate scenes of a ceremonial nature. In his portfolio Bush could boast another truly memorable scene - another diabolic invocation - in the otherwise risible vampire film, Dracula AD 72. Concerning the exploits of an aristocratic Satanist, Johnny Alucard, Bush choreographed the film's one highlight: a classic calling down of count Dracula in the form of a nightmarish amalgam of Grimoirium Verum and drug culture happening - filmed in the ruins of St. Bartolph's church. Indeed I felt the character of Alucard was heavily modelled on one of Sir Francis Dashwood's debauched monks, namely one George Selwyn. Selwyn was a necrophile with a sanguine thirst, expelled from Oxford for drinking blood at a college soiree; he fornicated in graveyards, wrote pornography and watched public executions wearing women's clothing.



At the risk of diverting your attention from the main thrust of my adventure, I feel it necessary to give you an indication of my hyper-sensitized state of mind, when I made the unsettling photographic finding. Flicking through my digital archive of the day, tired from the long drive and rape-field pollen, I thought at first my eyes were deceiving me when I noticed, on a photograph of the chancel arch, clearly daubed in thick charcoal - that most taboo of symbols - a Swastika! Incredibly, on site, I had overlooked this most ominous motif. Indeed, ironically enough, whilst there I had been somewhat under whelmed by the ubiquitous graffiti that seems to spread like vulgar lichen over even the most remote of sites. But here in the quiet, musty and drab confines of my hotel room, the sabbatic yarn of the woman at the church came back to mock me. Perhaps she was correct: maybe the church was employed for sabbatic congress, and if so, what kind of perverse Wiccan splinter group would worship the fylfot, that most hideous sigil of C20th inhumanity?

A worrying theory boiled to the surface - I was vaguely cognisant of the work of one Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke a pre-eminent scholar who had done much to expose the occult roots of Nazism. In a recent study, he had followed the noxious branches of right wing mysticism to their disturbing modern day offshoots. Allied to the British National Front was an alarming magico-fascist group called The Order of the Nine Angles. I knew from Goodrick-Clarke's studies this bizarre fraternity employed Nazi paraphernalia within their ceremonies. Could it be that the church had been utilised within a ritual context for such a sinister faction as the ONA?

Visitors Guides

Presenting four visitations

There'll be Deep Ones under the white qliphoths of Dover...

i] Orford Ness: HPL Airport - a runway for the arrival of the outer ones, where depleted canteens serve nuclear energy for holidaying yuggoth. A threnody for the Energy Spectres of Horishima, where the welcoming committee sing paeans to irreal aliens, the national anthem of Rl'yeh, a hymn to Lam.

ii]London's Qliphoth, Centrepoint and Post Office Tower. Beneath Transplutonian pylons we complete Grant and Gardner's aborted 1949 rite.
Section 1... Gardner's Party
Section 2... Avenue Of Parfaxitas, a time stretched rendering of the
qlipha who inhabit the subways of Tottenham Court Road... Accordion playing
busker, begger, Hare Krisna drummers,station announcers...insectival chatter of pedestrians, snatched conversations are descontructed and reverse to create the language as described on the hexacontalithos, by Solinus.


Parfaxitas - Starless Mire And Necronomicon Noir
Beneath Tottenham Court Road lies the venereal reflex of Soho, Parfaxitas, black light district of Atlantis, where Krisna Cult, house bands play Maat rock in the brothels and red temples, where free-ojaz outfits purge their engrams in the cellars of scientology.
One such offering is The Last Mushrooms, it is difficult to know how long they have been in residence here, perhaps they always have. Their music battles over the drumming buskers' petro throb, the ixaxaar gibber and alien beggars, the ludicrous catechisms of station priests... jobsworth Imams ullulating from their smoked glass minarets, these are the demons of dispersion, the choronzons of the commuter, spouting qabalastic spin to guide us through the tunnels of Set... a malfunctioning Cthulhu of electric teratogens, of atavistic sweat and psychiatric debris...
A Starless Mire, Necronomicon Noir


iii] The parallel pastoral world Of Pantruel - Butley and Rendlesham as mirror of Crowley's hideous air brushed art, near progressive rock, laudanum soaked vision - The Amalantrah Working.

From Amalantrah Working.
I began by asking for a vision containing a message. I first heard gurgling water and saw a dark farmhouse in among trees and green fields. The house and other things disappeared and a dark yoni appeared just where the house had stood. I then asked where will a message come from? Immediately soldiers with guns appeared lounging about the place and a king on a throne where the house had stood. I then asked again for a message and saw an egg in which were many many tiny convolutions of some flesh-like substance which would form something. The egg was placed in an oblong as in a picture

The Rendlesham incident... took place near the farmhouse
soldiers with guns lounging around... Bentwaters...
king on a throne? the seat of Anglo Saxon king RedWald at Rendlesham
the egg in which there were many tiny convolution... the crashed landed craft...

Astral Suffolk
T. and I entered the astral plane. I draped in a diaphanous virile yellow green, he in a brilliant red with gold braid. In one hand he had a sceptre and a ring on the other. We went through the ceiling and up about 900 feet in the air and looked up and saw an eye in the clouds. We went to the place of the eye and saw a platform-like building. There were many doors with signs of various sorts on them, such as the Swastika etc., etc. We went to a distant door at the end of the corridor on which there was no sign. A dwarf stood to the right and a girl to the left of the door. I asked the dwarf where the door led to. He did not answer but showed a column with a blazing top. I asked the woman and she said ``Heaven.'' Interpreted, it meant where we wanted to go. I opened the door easily and saw a corridor in darkness. We passed through and saw light outside at the end door. A sheep was just inside the door. (Also sheep down on the ground below.) We went outside and looked down a few hundred feet upon a beautiful pastoral scene and some villages. We dropped down to this scene. A beautiful lady came. She was blonde and dressed in creamy white. I asked her her name and she answered ``Eve.'' This seemed wrong for her to say. I asked her where we were to go to. She said ``France.'' I asked about the message and after some time she lay upon the ground with her head toward us and waved her hand, which looked like the fins of a fish, toward a village. We all went there. On the way a man who looked like a Greek philosopher walked a little behind us as if he were in a shadow. He had a staff and was in Greek costume.

When we came to the village which was called Pantruel, we saw a church in front of which was a square in which there was a cone-shaped fountain. The fountain was made of metal and water spurting from each petal of the cone. Later the fountain showed that it was also flaming. The dwarf was now with us and we asked him who was the fountain keeper.



iv] The Brundish Horror... New England superimposed over Suffolk, marriages of locals and old ones at Leiston, under the orb of Sizewell B (Reactor or Egg of Lam?)
Songs And Ceremonies of the Old Ones a discovered recording ala John Levy An Anthropology of Cthulhu.. Rl'yeh as Dunwich.

Spagyric London

Archibald Cockren's explosion causes an epidemic of vegetal architecture and chymical conundrum: The Asparagus-like Post Office Tower and Foster's Erotic Gherkin; the misshapen egg of city hall - Livingstone's glass testicle.

Grass and Glass neophiliac and neoplatonic...
A verdant nightmare of London, the vegetable kingdom....


From
http://www.golden-dawn.com/temple/index.jsp?s=articles&p=alchemy

Both Gerard Heym and Langford Garstin were friends of Archibald Cockren, who was the greatest British alchemist of this century. Cockren was a genuine adept living in London in the 1930's and seems to have been a member of Alpha Oméga. He wrote Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored (1940). Ithell Colqhoun wrote that when Garstin visited his wonderful laboratory, Cockren showed him "the Philosophers' Egg, a glass vessel of ovoid shape containing layer upon layer of basic matter in the traditional colors of black, gray, white and yellow. At the top these had blossomed into a flower-like form, a pattern arranged like petals around a center, all of a glowing orange-scarlet. By keeping his basic matter for a long time at a constant gentle heat, Cockren had caused it to grow; it had branches like a tree."


According to Miss Colquhoun, Archibald Cockren was killed during the Second World War when a bomb destroyed his laboratory; but according to C. R. Cammell, Cockren survived the wartime 'hit' on his laboratory which was protected. Cammell says that "when his laboratory was wrecked by the nearby explosion of a bomb, the glass retorts, containing the elixirs, in all states of transmutation, were unharmed - which seemed to be a miracle, as indeed it was". According to Cammell, Cokren moved to Brighton "where on the threshold of final triumph (to discover the Philosophical Stone), he died some years since - about 1950".





Could this be Red Ken, future king of London, within his giant glass testicle of castle?