Saturday, October 29, 2016

The 11/9 Days and the Weiner Surprise

Here in these United States, many Americans are looking forward to November 9, 2016 and for good reason: This will be first day after the 2016 US Presidential Election. This election has easily been the ugliest and most divisive in modern American political history. Some have tried to find parallels to the '64 and '68 contests, but there is really no comparison in recent years.

While nearly three quarters of US voters see the country as being on the wrong track, there is nothing resembling a general census as to what exactly is wrong with country. One individual's answer can vary radically from another depending upon one's age, race, religion, economic status, education and a host of other factors. There was far more unity in the turbulent 1960s. Nowadays practically the only thing uniting these United States are Star Wars and NFL football, and even NFL ratings have been tanking of late.

This makes the emerging hope of the US populace for things to get back to "normal" after the elections conclude an utter pipe dream, even if one doesn't factor in all the geopolitical shenanigans being played out right now. Putin has recently issued a warning to the West concerning the dangers of nuclear war. Further bolstering this point is the deployment of Russia's largest naval force since the Cold War to Syria. During the third and final presidential debate, front runner Hillary Clinton was directly asked if she would shoot down a Russian jet if violated the no-fly zone US policy makers have been obsessed with initiating in Syria of late, and she opted not to answer the question. This should send a cold chill down the spine of all Americans, even taken out of the context of the power struggling unfolding between the State Department and the Pentagon over the no fly zone question.

These developments alone ensure that the American public will continue to be confronted with tough decisions even after the 2016 election ends. And this of course assumes that the election itself will not drag on after the votes have been cast. To hear the mainstream media tell it, a landslide victory for Hillary is all but assured. But if the election ends up being close, things could get very interesting indeed.

Both Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump have invested a considerable amount of time in parading voter fraud memes in front of the American public for the past few weeks. Clinton and the Democrats have sounded the alarm over Russian intervention in US elections while Trump and his allies have accused the Clintons of rigging the elections in multiple states. Not to be outdone, Clinton backers are now speculating that Russia could plant evidence of voter fraud to steal the election from Hillary. Adding fuel to the fire were Russian calls to place "monitors" in the US to observer the election for evidence of voter fraud.

In other words, the stage is set for one candidate or the other to refuse to accept the results of the vote on November 8. If such a scenario plays out, it is difficult to see where things will go from there. There is already much speculation that the 2016 US Presidential election will be decided by the Supreme Court, but there is one hitch: The Court is currently composed of eight justices, four appointed by Democrats, four appointed by Republicans. Typically a ninth judge sits on the Court to resolve ties, but the vacancy left by the murky death of Antonin Scalia has yet to be resolved. This could constitute a doomsday scenario for the Court if its asked to decide the election but instead offers split 4-4 decision.

Needless to say, the day after Election Day on November 8 could be very, very interesting. And it just so happens the date of 11/9 already has an extensive legacy of political intrigues and shenanigans stretching back to the nineteenth century. 11/9 has especial significance to Nazism:
"And so it was the day of the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, a day that Hitler commemorated forever after with speeches and festivities, and sanctified with the creation of the Blood Order: a society of those men who marched with him on that fateful day, and symbolized by the Nazi flag that they carried and with which all other Nazi flags were 'blessed' by being touched with it in impressive ceremonials presided over by Hitler himself. It was the day of a failed assassination attempt in 1939 on Hitler's life at a meeting commemorating the Putsch... And it was also the day of Kristallnacht, when roving Nazi gangs went on a rampage in 1938, smashing shop windows and destroying Jewish homes, businesses, and temples. If anyone in Hitler's Germany believed in numerology, they would have spent considerable time in analyzing this most pregnant of dates for the Third Reich." 
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pg. 142)
an image of the failed Beer Hall Putsch
Johann Georg Elser's assassination attempt on Hitler actually occurred on November 8, 1939, but otherwise Levenda is correct. In addition to the significance the date had to the Nazi Party, there are other curious events linked to the date, many of them with much significance to various fascist ideologies:

It also interesting to note that the November 9th Society was the name of a British neo-Nazi group that eventually launched a minor political party known as the British First Party. The November 9th Society, which took its name from the date of the end of the Beer Hall Putsch, had been launched in 1977, but did not become politically active until the mid-00s. But in 2010 the party was disbanded and the movement went underground.

the flag of the November 9th Society
Eventually the much more successful Britain First Party was founded in 2011 and played a key role in spurring Brexit, a political movement Trump's campaign has frequently been compared too. This researcher has been unable to find any connection between the two parties, both had close ties to the British Nationalist Party.

Regardless, Trump now hopes to be presiding over a similar "upset" as Brexit on the morning of November 9. But there may well be even more strange and terrible things unfolding on that day. One such scenario is the beginning of a protracted legal battle over the outcome of the vote. Another, if Trump manages to defeat Hillary, is the possibility that foreign policy elites, who increasingly seem hellbent on a war with Russia, may do something rash to ensure such an outcome. Thus, while 11/9/89 witnessed the end of Cold War 1.0, 11/9/16 could witness the moment that Cold War 2.0 turns hot.

Even if Hillary wins by a landslide, domestic civil unrest could be an immediate response from the Right. The Oath Keepers already predicted a civil war back in April of this year if Hillary was elected. October 28, 2016, eleven days before Election Day, witnessed the acquittal of Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their followers for their role in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff. The Bundys are of course darlings of the "patriot movement" after their role in the Bundy standoff orchestrated by the Bundy brothers' father, Cliven.

the recently acquitted
This recent acquittal against the allegedly all powerful federal government will no doubt embolden the patriot movement in much the same way the results of the 1988 Fort Smith Sedition trial did to the movement several decades ago. In the latter case, this ensured that many patriotic Americans such as long time FBI informant and multiple murderer Frazier Glenn Miller (one of the government's star witnesses in the case no less) escaped the clutches of ZOG and were able to continue their noble mission among the general public. The Bundy acquittal may ensure that similar "talent" will be on the streets in the aftermath of Election Day.

Frazier Glenn Miller during his younger days
And in fairness, a Donald Trump victory --contested or otherwise --would likely spur similar unrest. There are already indications that the Black Lives Matter movement, which has received ample funding from Hillary-backer George Soros and his CIA-connected (more information hereOpen Society Foundations, is being manipulated towards similar ends. Militant identity politics increasingly appears to be one of the end games of this election cycle.

It would seem that regardless of whether Hillary or Trump pull it out chaos is inevitable and such a curious date looming over the conclusion of this psychodrama is not a good omen. By weary dear readers.

one big, happy family...

Appendix: Enter the Weiner

Just as I was readying this post for publication another interesting development in this strange and terrible election cycle unfolded: The FBI announced they were reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email leaks. These events were spurred by the discovery of addition emails on a "non related" case. And the case? The investigation of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner's latest sexting scandal. At present Mr. Weiner stands accused of sending illicit texts to a fifteen year-old girl.

Weiner is also the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, a long time Hillary aid currently serving as vice chairwoman of Hillary's 2016 campaign. The computer on which these latest emails were discovered on was owned by both Weiner and Abedin. 

Anthony and Huma
Just how much of an effect these revelations will have on the race is debatable, but even the mainstream media is grudgingly acknowledging that these latest developments could be a real blow to Clinton's bid for the presidency with only eleven days till the election. The public may have a short memory, but a week and a half may not be long enough for this latest scandal to die down. Coupled with the ongoing Wikileaks revelations that remain a thorn in Clinton's side, the public will likely receive daily reminders for the next week and a half of all the reasons why they despise Hillary. 

As I've noted before here, Trump appears to have power deep state backers of his own and they may well have just made their move. Early reports indicate that the Clinton camp was blindsided by these allegations. It seems inexplicable that the FBI would reopen this can of worms eleven days before the election unless they were feeling some powerful pressure. This has all the makings of a textbook October Surprise.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Soft Doctrines of Memphis Sam Part V

"So ladies, fish and gentleman
Here's my angled dream:
To see me in the blue sky bag
And meet me by the sea"
--"Blue Oyster Cult," Blue Oyster Cult

Welcome to the fifth and final installment in my consideration of the Imaginos cycle of legendary heavy metal producer/manager/lyricist Sandy "Memphis Sam" Pearlman. The first installment gave a broad overview of Pearlman's career and influence, with a special emphasis on the bands he worked with outside of Blue Oyster Cult (which he was a co-founder of and managed until 1995). I also began to breakdown the concept of the Imaginos cycle, a process that continued on into the second installment.

The Imaginos concept was based upon a series of poems Pearlman came up with in the mid-1960s known as The Soft Doctrines of Imaginos. Deeply influenced by alchemy, Ufology, weird fiction (especially that of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Chambers), the occult and conspiracy theories, the poems chronicled the saga of Imaginos, also known as Desdenova, a being born in New Hampshire during the early nineteenth century but who is in fact part extraterrestrial.

The concept was designed to run up to the present day and reveal the secret origins of the World Wars that had plagued the West in the twentieth century. While Blue Oyster Cult never totally committed to the Imaginos cycle during their heyday, songs taken from Soft Doctrines... or inspired by it would crop up on their studio albums for years, but especially during the so-called "Black and White" era (which consisted of BOC's first three albums, the self-titled debut, Tyranny and Mutation and Secret Treaties; so-named for their striking black and white artwork) in which Pearlman's influence was at its greatest.

The second and third installments considered the esoteric aspects of the self-titled debut and its follow-up, Tyranny and Mutations. With the fourth and most recent installment I considered Secret Treaties, easily the most Imaginos-centric album BOC would attempt until the 1980s. Treaties was practically a concept album based upon Imaginos, and featured two songs taken directly from the cycle ("Subhuman" and "Astronomy") and featuring multiple other tracks seemingly set in the same universe.

Pearlman's post-Secret Treaties exile

Secret Treaties was at the time the Cult's most successful album date, despite neither of its singles ("Career of Evil" and the Nazi-revering "ME 262") receiving much radio play. Still, it received some critical acclaim and sold better than the previous two combined. Fans had begun to notice the mythos behind many BOC lyrics and a buzz had emerged. The stage seemed to be set for BOC to build upon Treaties and embrace the Imaginos cycle in full. It was, after all, the era of the concept album. Bands like Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull were doing gang busters with concept albums far more vaguely defined and no nearly as innovative as the Imaginos cycle.

Instead, the band opted to push back against Pearlman's creative control. While Pearlman, along with his partner Murray Krugman, were still listed as producers on Treaties' follow-up, Agents of Fortune, much of the actual production was handled by Jack Douglas, most well known for his work with Aerosmith. Pearlman's lyrics were largely abandoned as well. He proved the words to at least four tracks on all of the previous albums, but on Agents of Fortune "E.T.I. (Extraterrestrial Intelligence)" is the only song on which Pearlman received a credit. This is quite a fall from grace for a man who received writing credits for fifteen of the twenty-six tracks that appeared on BOC's three prior studio albums.

Finally, the band took more direct control of its image as well. For instance, Pearlman had largely been the creative force behind the album artwork for the prior three studio albums as well as the 1975 live album On Your Feet or On Your Knees. Agents of Fortune, however, featured album artwork that the band rather than Pearlman had overseen. Gone also was the leather and Nazi imagery of tours past and in its place emerged more of the trappings of bloated 1970s arena rock.

The same could be said of the music BOC was now producing, but enough of the old quirkiness remained for the band to distinguish itself from the slew of hard rock acts clogging up the radio waves by 1976. Agents of Fortune, with the mega-hit "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," became the band's best selling album of all time. Critics hailed this new direction as a refreshing departure from the Pearlman era. Rolling Stone, for instance, proclaimed:
"Agents of Fortune is a startlingly excellent album, startling because one does not expect Blue Oyster Cult to sound like this: loud but calm, manic but confident, melodic but rocking. Every song on the first side is commercially accessible without compromising the band's malevolent stance. One area of clear improvement is in the matter of lyrics; for the first time, there is less emphasis on absurd, cyrpto-intellectual ramblings and more of a coherent attack on a variety of subjects. The former had become simply tiresome; the latter opens up whole new areas for Cult investigation. By dropping the S & M angle and by inserting slivers of genuine rock 'n' roll like 'True Confessions,' their best song ever, the Cult is easing into maturity with integrity. Agents of Fortune's comparative slickness even serves to enhance their dark image: the ominous villainy conveyed by Buck Dharma's agile guitar lines on 'Tenderloin' is far more effective than his heretofore standard thudding madness." 
(review by Ken Tucker; taken from Agents of Fortune, Martin Popoff, pg. 77)

Speaking as a seasoned BOC fan with friends who were followers of the group since the debut was released in the early 1970s, I have never heard anyone describe "True Confessions," a pathetic stab at R & B and 1950s-style rock, as BOC's "best ever song" outside of this review. "Tenderloin," a ode to a special night spent with a groupie and a bag of cocaine, is indicative of the more "coherent attack on a variety of subjects" that Rolling Stone lauded BOC for embracing lyrically at the expense of Pearlman's "crypto-intellectual ramblings."

While enough of the old weirdness was present on Agents to make it a solid outing, it was impossible to deny how far the band had fallen with the next two outings, Spectres and Mirrors. With these two outings the band fully embraced bloated arena cock rock with disastrous results. BOC was never going to be confused with Aerosmith and abandoning what made the band unique in the first place made it increasingly hard for the general public to pick them out in an ever crowded field.

With 1980's Cultosaurus Erectus the band consciously tried to return to the weirdness that had initially gotten them noticed in the first place, but the group was in a very different head space by this time and Pearlman was still being kept at arm's length. He had only contributed lyrics to one track on Spectres and none on either Mirrors or Erectus. Still, Erectus marked the beginning of a brief comeback for BOC which Pearlman played a key role in launching when he had set BOC up with Black Sabbath (whom he was also managing at this time) for the famed "Black and Blue" tour in 1980 (noted in the first installment).

The band came back in 1981 with Fire of Unknown Origin, their most successful album since Agents of Fortunes. Driven by the top 40 single "Burnin' for You" (BOC last major single), the album peaked at #24 on the US charts and was certified gold. Pearlman also got his first songwriting credit since Spectres with "Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver" and on the whole this album is more reflective of the dark but eccentric vision he had for the band.

But it all proved to be a Pyrrhic victory. The band imploded during the tour in support for Fire and drummer Albert Bouchard was kicked to the curb. This proved to be disastrous for BOC, even more so than pushing aside Pearlman for Bouchard was easily the group's best songwriter and had co-written close to half of the group's songs up to this point.

The Return of Imaginos

Bouchard was also the BOC member most tied to the Imaginos concept. Long after the rest of the group had abandoned it in the wake of Secret Treaties, Albert Bouchard was still writing songs based upon the Soft Doctrines poems. Thus, when he was booted out of the group in 1981, Pearlman moved quickly to enlist his services to finally do a full on Imaginos concept album. Here are some more details on these developments:
"Eric [Bloom, BOC frontman --Recluse] provides the missing pieces: ' Well, I'll give you the reader's digest version. When Albert was fired in '81, there was a lot of material he had presented to the band that was written with Sandy Pearlman, that was part of the Imaginos epic. A few of the Imaginos songs... Sandy wrote Imaginos in the '60s, the lyrics, and they were always floating around. There's this whole bunch of lyrics about Imaginos. 'Astronomy' was one of them; 'Subhuman' was one of them. So those two came out of Imaginos and made it onto BOC records.' 
" 'Now over the years Albert kept writing one or two Imaginos tunes and no one else in the band wanted to use them,' continues Eric. 'So when Albert was fired, Sandy approached... we had a demo of "In the Presence of Another World," which I sang. Using that demo, Sandy persuaded CBS to put out Imaginos as a project for him and Albert, because Sandy wrote Imaginos and it was very, very important to Sandy that Imaginos see the light of day. It was his, you know, masterpiece. So Albert and Sandy got to work with this huge advance from CBS. They worked on it and worked on it, using all these different musicians and different singers and different players and it went on and on and on for years. It was like a Meat Loaf record (laughs). It got to the point where --it was a double record by the way --where they finished it. I'd say '81 'til about '84, about three years after they started, they called it done. CBS heard it and hated it. Mostly the vocals, which Albert sang lead. So they shelved it and refused to release it, so it sat. So Sandy, being our manager, and together with his partner Steve Schenck, approached CBS saying, 'Give us some more money and we'll have Eric and Donald come in and sing it.' CBS bit on that, so Donald came in to play some guitar on it, and I went in and sang on it, and they reduced it to one album, and put it out. That's the story.' "
(Agents of Fortune, Martin Popoff, pgs. 186-187)
Albert Bouchard
In a nutshell this is how Imaginos ended up being BOC's final album on the '80s and the last one to feature some semblance of the original lineup. In 1983, BOC had been recording the putrid Revolution by Night in the same studio that Pearlman and Bouchard were working out of. As a result, Buck Dharma, Allen Lanier and Albert's brother Joe dropped by to record some parts and backup vocals for the record, though this were largely erased when Pearlman went back into the studio during the late 1980s to finish the album. At this point Dharma and Eric Bloom, as noted above, came in to record some vocals and guitar parts, enabling Pearlman to market the album as a full fledged BOC album with the original lineup.

In addition to the Oyster boys, an impressive array of guest musicians were enlisted for the album. These included bassist Kenny Aaronson (formerly of early New York heavy rockers Dust), drummer Thommy Price (who has played with Billy Idol and Joan Jett), and guitarists Aldo Nova, Marc Biedermann (of pioneering thrash metal outfit Blind Illusion), Joe Satriani (who famously taught Steve Vai and Metallica's Kirk Hammett before branching out on his own) and The Doors' Robby Krieger. As one might imagine, this album is heavy on overdubs and possess a crisp production clearly meant to highlight the chops of all those involved.

guitar god Joe Satriani
On the whole the Imaginos is something of a mixed bag. Its one of the heaviest BOC albums to be sure, but the Cult was never a band in this researcher's opinion that were at their best with lavish production. The Black and White albums were recorded on a budget and this contributed to the murky and mysterious atmosphere of those albums. Imaginos sounds too clean, and while the production may well have sounded cutting edge in 1988, it sounds rather dated now, as do some of the arrangements (specifically, the over the top backup vocals). Thus, while the songs themselves on this album are easily the best collection of material since Fire of Unknown Origin (and possibly even Agents of Fortune), one is left to perpetually wonder as to how much better this album would have sounded had the Cult recorded it ten years or more earlier as Pearlman had wished.

The artwork fared no better than the production in the 1980s. The cover for Imaginos ultimately ended up being an old picture of the legendary San Francisco restaurant Cliff House as appeared at the turn of the twentieth century, before it burned down and was remodeled. While not a bad album cover, the original concept Pearlman developed with artist Greg Scott (who had done the Fire cover) was far more ambitious. Scott provided some details to BOC chronicler Martin Popoff:
"So what might have Imaginos become graphically? 'Well, the front cover was Imaginos himself, a very kind of apocalyptic image of him, standing in front of a stormy sky with the ship and the pyramid in in the background, holding a mirror out towards you. His Doberman pinscher, which appeared in various versions of my other artwork, was in front of him. That was a very intense and spooky kind of image. The back cover was basically all the same elements rearranged. It was Imaginos as a young boy, and he's standing waist-deep in the water with a model boat, and the dog is behind him in a constellation. So there's this drawing of the dog, where the constellation Sirius is coming through him. So it was basically all the elements; there was a kind of farmhouse, in place of the pyramid. So each of the elements of the front cover were translated in the back cover in different places and in different ways.' "
(Agents of Fortune, Martin Popoff, pg. 189)
Sirius, the Dog star
The presence of Sirius in the original album artwork is most curious. As was noted in the prior installment, Sirius is believed to have been referenced on the Secret Treaties track "Astronomy" (which was redone for Imaginos) in the context of Robert Temple's theories concerning extraterrestrial life having visited Earth in the distant past from the Dog star. The Imaginos character, despite being born on Earth, was of an extraterrestrial origin. The use of Sirius in this case seems to clearly indicate that Pearlman had linked the song "Astronomy" to the star and speculative theories surrounding it by the mid-1980s. Whether this occurred sooner is difficult to say, but it is interesting to note that Temple's The Sirius Mystery was not published until 1976 (the original version of "Astronomy" was released in 1974). This tends to indicate that many of Pearlman's concepts were very ahead of their time.

As for the songs themselves, they finally present the listener with an overview of the Imaginos cycle after over a decade of hints and in that regard they not do disappoint. The problem emerges more with the order in which they are presented. Presumably the record label felt the album would flow better if the tracks were presented outside of their chronological order. As such, the track listing on the final product is thus:

1) I Am the One You Warned Me Of
2) Les Invisibles
3) In the Presence of Another World
4) Del Rio's Song
5) The Siege and Investiture of Baron Von Frankenstein's Castle at Weisseria
6) Astronomy
7) Magna of Illusion
8) Blue Oyster Cult
9) Imaginos

There has been much dispute as to what the actual order should be, but here are the two most compelling accounts, one derived from the linear notes in Imaginos, and the other from the theories of Albert Bouchard concerning the order:
"The correct order therefore becomes: 'Les Invisibles', 'Imaginos', Del Rio's Song', 'Blue Oyster Cult', 'I Am the One You Warned Me Of', 'The Siege and Investiture of Baron Von Frankenstein's Castle at Weisseria', 'In the Presence of Another World', 'Astronomy' and finally 'Magna of Illusion'. It is interesting to note that Albert's perceived correct order begins with the same four placings as above, then offering 'Astronomy', 'I Am the One You Warned Me Of', 'In the Presence of Another World' (with the added note that these two could be reversed), 'Siege', and then back to the same closer with 'Magna of Illusion.' In any event, it is agreed by almost all that the actual running order is greatly flawed, obscuring understanding, or as I say, perhaps forcing the listener to understand the tale's structure on a philosophically tougher level."
(Agents of Fortune, Martin Popoff, pgs. 190-191)
This researcher is more inclined to go with the track order presented in Imaginos' linear notes (which presumably derived from Pearlman) rather than Bouchard's take, primarily because of the drummer's placing of "Astronomy" near the middle. This researcher believes "Astronomy" makes more sense towards the end as Imaginos seems to appear only in non corporeal form (as noted before here) in the track. This shall be touched upon more a bit later. For now let us consider the tracks using the order presented by the linear notes.

Les Invisibles

The first track up then is "Les Invisibles." This track effectively deals with the spiritual forces that inhabit the "New World" shortly before the conquest by the Spanish. These events formed the back drop of the Imaginos saga, as was noted in the second installment. In this track Pearlman offers an interesting series of occult allusions.

The song opens with Pearlman contrasting the Spanish Empress in seclusion ("Along the world axis/The Empress lay sleeping") with the ceremonies apparently being carried out in the New World ("Seven sleepers/Seven sages/Seven ladders to the, to the/Seventh heaven"). Interestingly, the "Seven Sleepers" are a legendary group of Ephesusians who hide inside a cave to escape persecution. In some accounts they are said to have slept for three hundred years inside the cave while being protected by a dog. The "Seven Sleepers" have their origins in Catholic mythos, but they have became even more important in Islam.

The concept of "Seven Heavens" goes back to the Sumerians. Enoch experiences seven heavens in The Book of Enoch. The Koran makes frequent references to seven heavens. That this description appears so frequently is hardly surprising given the power of the symbolism:
"The Heavens are seven in number and so, according to Dante, are the planetary spheres, and these the Cathars made to correspond to the seven Liberal arts... the Seven Heavens should also be identified with the seven notches in the Siberian axial tree, with the seven colours of the Buddha's staircase, the seven metals of the ladder in Mithraic mysteries and the even rungs of the ladder of the Kadosh in Scottish Freemasonry, since seven is the number of the ascending order of spiritual levels which allow the individual to pass from Earth to Heaven."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Jean Chevalier & Alain Gheerbrant, pg. 861) 
With the second verse, things become even more curious. It states:

Seven stars
Had Ursa Major
Tables turning, turning
And rain maker
While the seven
The visitors
All went, all went
A drumming

Ursa Major is another constellation that is ripe with occult, esoteric and extraterrestrial associations. As was noted in the second installment, the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca, whom obsidian mirrors and prophecy were closely associated with, was identified with the constellation Ursa Major. Various other indigenous peoples incorporated Ursa Major into their belief systems as well. Both the Adena and Hopewell built mounds aligned to the constellation, most notably the Great Serpent Mound.

Ursa Major was also important in various Egyptian traditions and was even linked to Sirius, the Dog star. Consider, for instance, this section of Utterance 302 from the Pyramid Texts that Christopher Knowles of The Secret Sun kindly reproduced:
"The sky is clear, Sothis (Sirius) lives, I am a living one, the son of Sothis (Sirius), and the two Enneads have cleansed themselves for me in Ursa Major, the Imperishable. My house in the sky will not perish, my throne on earth will not be destroyed, for men hide, the gods fly away. Sothis has caused me to fly up to the sky in the company of my Brethren…"
Sothis was of course the Egyptian name for Sirius. Lines like "Sothis has caused me to fly up to the sky into the company of my brethren the gods" has caused some Ufologists to link the constellation to ancient astronauts. Given Imaginos/Desdenova's association with Sirius (and being a kind of son of it), this is rather fitting. Theosophy also links Ursa Major to Sirius via the concept of the "Seven Rays." It is quite possible that the persistent allusion to the number "seven" in this track is in fact a reference to the Rays.

It is also interesting to note the thoughts of the Dogon on the number seven. The Dogon, as noted in the prior installment, are the African tribe that alleged to have been given astronomical data on Sirius that modern science has only recently been able to confirm by beings from the star centuries ago. It was these revelations that set Robert Temple on the path to publishing his groundbreaking The Sirius Mystery. As for the number seven, the tribe gives it the following association: "... the Dogon regard the number seven as the emblem of the Lord of the Word, a rain-god, and hence god of storms and blacksmiths" (Dictionary of Symbols, Chevalier & Gheerbrant, pg. 865).

members of the Dogon in ceremonial gear
It is more likely, however, that the references to a "rain maker" and drumming are meant to invoke the various rituals of indigenous peoples that involved dances. In the case of the North American tribes, for instance, variations on a Sun Dance, War Dance, Rain Dance and so on appear frequently. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the Plains Indians developed the legendary Ghost Dance. Frequently these rituals involved drums.

The chorus further reinforces these connections:

Dance a Don Pedro
Do the Don Pedro
Games after death
Night dances 'round
Samedi and Petre
In alchemy

Interestingly, Don Pedro de Alvarado was one of the most notorious Spanish Conquistadors, a man widely responsible for numerous genocides. This is no doubt a further allusion to the arrival of Spain in the New World. Samedi and Petre are references to Loa, the spirits of Vodun. As was noted in third installment, Pearlman seems to have incorporated some Vodun mythos into Imaginos, or at least the "esoteric voudon" variety of Michael Bertiaux. And of course Pearlman had a longstanding interest in alchemy, as has been noted in this series throughout.

Baron Samedi, one of the Loa mentioned in "Les Invisibles"
The final verse uses some interesting imagery as well:

The court of Eve
Beneath the Polar mountain
Rose cross and crosser there
Symbols of the swan
Aerial races
In rotation over the magical casement
Visions of a parallel world

The first two lines clearly seem to be a reference to the Hollow Earth theories that hold that some advanced civilization, typically led by some type of "Ascended Master," exist beneath the surface of the Earth in fabulous cities. It has long been disputed, however, whether these regions were physical or metaphysical. For much of the twentieth century and beyond this ideology was especially popular in Esoteric Nazism.

The third line is obviously a reference to the Rosicrucians (or the Rose Cross) while the swan possess symbolism in keeping with the Imaginos saga: "From Ancient Greece to Siberia, via Asia Minor, as well as among Slav and Germanic peoples, a great mass of myth, tradition and poetry has gathered in praise of the swan, the spotless bird whose whiteness... strength and grace have made it a living manifestation of light itself" (Dictionary of Symbols, Chevalier & Gheerbrant, pg. 953). As was noted in the fourth installment, Imaginos' true name appears to be Desdenova. Supposedly this translates to "eternal light." A swan, then, would be an apt symbol.

a Rosicrucian depiction of a swan
The final three lines are a bit vague. It is difficult to say whether a magical ritual is being performed "Beneath the polar mountain" with a "parallel world" being observed, or if the kingdom beneath the mountain is the parallel world. This researcher leans towards the latter, but it is rather ambiguous.


The next track in the order I'm using (noted above) up is "Imaginos." As the title implies, this track introduces the listener to the Imaginos character in earnest. It makes clear that he possess supernatural powers from an early age ("Imaginos/Approached the sun/In August in New Hampshire/Singing songs/Nobody knew/And stories left undone"). It is even implied that he has the power to change forms, taking on the shape of a bird and even a fish. Imaginos was also a sailor that traveled across much of North America and there are allusions to this wanderlust as well ("The last exit to Texas").

The next track, "Del Rio's Song," continues the narrative of Imagino's travels. "Del Rio" means "of or from the river." This could be a reference to Imaginos' extraterrestrial nature (it is implied that the race Imaginos descends from are water breathers) as well as his travels by ship. There are also further allusions to Native American rituals involving dance ("A true ghost dance/Rehearsal ground"). One is left with the impression of Imaginos as a young man searching the continent for something that he has no concept of ("My destination is secret/And the doctrine is soft") but which he feels a burning desire to search for.

a depiction of a Sioux "Ghost Dance"
"Blue Oyster Cult" would be the next up in the cycle. The song that may have been the band's namesake was already recorded previously, under the name "Subhuman" for 1974's landmark release Secret Treaties (noted briefly in the fourth installment). In addition to being renamed, the Imaginos version also adds and rearranges lyrics, giving it an even more esoteric bent. At the onset of this track Imaginos is initially betrayed by his shipmates ("Left to die by two good friends/Abandoned me and put to sea") in Mexico. As he lays dying on a shore, he appears to have a vision of his true origin:

Recall the dream of Luxor
How fluids will arrive
As if by call or schedule
Resume through the morning tide
Where entry is by seaweed gate
And plan the plan of dreams
To lose oneself in reverb
In all this and all that seems

Luxor is the modern name for the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, an important cult center. And one of the chief religious centers in Thebes was the Luxor Temple. The temple was apparently dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship and was where many of the Pharaohs were crowned. In some accounts Alexander is said to have been crowned here as well, but many believe Memphis was the actual site of his coronation. The use of Luxor here is rather apt --Imaginos is not receiving kingship, but he is remembering his godhood.

the Luxor Temple complex
Imaginos is apparently reminded of his origins by the "Oyster Boys." Whether these are the same entities as the Les Invisibles, or something different, is left rather ambiguous. Nonetheless, Imaginos ends up joining them in the so-called "Blue Oyster Cult" in exchange for saving his life. This researcher suspects that the Blue Oyster Cult is comprised of Earth-bound entities that worship these extraterrestrials whom Imaginos is descendant from, but this is pure speculation on my part. 

References to mercury and green and gold abound in the final two verses of the track. Mercury was thought of as the First Matter by the Alchemists and was a key component in transmuting base metals, such as lead, into gold. The alchemcial transmutation of lead into gold was symbolic of the transformation of man into a god, or at least some type of enlightened being. The color green was also linked to gold by alchemist, especially in relation to the "Green Lion," whose blood was said to constitute "philosopher's gold."

the "Green Lion" of alchemy
Clearly then this track revolves around rebirth and transmutation. Imaginos rediscovers his stellar origins and in the process transforms into a kind of god. Lead into gold indeed.

"I Am the One You Warned Me Of" deals with Imaginos' realization of his stellar origins. Here he also reclaims his proper name, Desdenova, for the first time. As the tile indicates, Imaginos/Desdenova's purpose on Earth is a rather sinister one. This perception is further reinforced by the next track in the cycle, "The Siege And Investiture Of Baron Von Frankenstein's Castle At Weisseria."

"The Siege" is one of the most difficult tracks to interpret. On the whole, this song seems to revolve around Pearlman's interest in science and the parallels cutting edge research had to alchemy (noted in part one). The song speaks of "starry wisdom" providing a cure "from the glare of stars." And the cure? "A drug by the name of World Without End."

This seems to be a subtle reference to the discovery of the New World and the phenomenal advance of technology in the twentieth century. The former lead to a realization that the world was far more vast than many of the ancients had imagined while the latter opened the frontiers of new horizons such as space exploration. A world without end indeed.

In this context then the repeated references to Frankenstein ("Imagine he was me and I was called Frankenstein") gain some traction. Victor Frankenstein is the archetypal scientist trying to play god and who is ultimately destroyed by his hubris. This may be an allusion to the evil Imaginos is destined to bring into the world. There is an insinuation that this technology run amok is of a non-terrestrial source, hence the "starry wisdom" bit. Christopher Knowles of The Secret Sun has written recently on the potential that much of the post-WWII technology had such an origin and that it represented a kind of Trojan Horse.

The Mirror

The next track, "In the Presence of Another World," continues in this vein. Here Imaginos is in the midst of performing a ritual to see the parallel world spoken of in "Les Invisibles." This seems evident from the line "Your master... he walks the world entrail diviner." The vision being received is rather nightmarish:

In the promise of another world
A dreadful knowledge comes
How even space can modulate
And earthly things be done

Your master, he's a monster!
He will come on a bridge of paper
Inscribed with a hundred names of God
But he can count one more
The curse of life eternal
Written of the door

Later on Pearlman goes full on astro-gnosticism:

Your master is a monster
And gentlemanly too
He'll make us some new germ
With pieces of the perfect black
The Alpha and Omega
The double peaks of Mars
The maze of his infinity
The buried city
In the stars

The bit about "pieces of perfect black" is a reference to an obsidian mirror that Imaginos discovered during his time in Mexico. More details on this event were provided in the original Imaginos linear notes:
"Born a farm boy in a place that might as well be nowhere, but, heir to the mastery of faces and names, his trial by drama will take him far indeed: 'Out beyond the Europe's rim,' and further by far, beyond the sphere of light, into a place where darkness is omnipotent and never far from hungry. In Mayaland in the Yucatan he will discover an unheard of temple or pyramid. At the core of the pyramid, with only one way in and no way out, is a chamber of jade, curiously sculpted with impossible angles, itself surrounding something hardly there, a new germ, made from 'pieces of the perfect black.' When thrust in vivo into Europe's all too fertile soil, this new germ will --having grown more powerful and mature, having in fact become an organism--beam riddling voices direct to the brains of the (European) multitudes. The voices call in hunger for absolute darkness and absolute light. They are ready. We are ready. It is ready."

This obsidian mirror, used for divination, was already mentioned in part two. Obsidian has a long history of divination --it was used by indigenous peoples such as the Aztecs and the Hopewell as well as ceremonial magicians such as John Dee and even Joseph Smith. It is known as the "Magna of Illusion" in the Imaginos cycle and is kind of cursed technology that leads to both World Wars. Imagnios discovered this mirror towards the end of his life, as the song "Magna of Illusion" makes clear. I suspect this track then chronicles the actual discovery and the vision Imaginos received from the mirror before he brought it back to Europe. The final verse of this track, noted above, implies that this mirror was of a stellar origin.

The next track up in the order being used by this researcher is "Astronomy." I already dealt with "Astronomy" at length in the previous installment and as it is lyrically unchanged from the Secret Treaties version, I see no need to address it here in depth. Suffice to say, this track appears to take place after Imaginos' physical death. I speculated that a magical ritual is performed in the track in which he is summoned in his "Desdinova" persona. This might mark the onset of the First World War which the obsidian mirror was supposedly the driving force behind.

The final track, the above-mentioned "Magna of Illusion," is essentially a recap of some of the events described in the prior two tracks while providing some details. Here we find Imaginos as an old sea captain living in Cornwall, England "Where witches went mad more than once." Beyond witches, Cornwall was quite a rich mythological tradition.

the tale of Jack the Giant Killer likely originates from Cornwall
According to "Magna," he set out in 1892 for Mexico in a ship called Plutonia. Interestingly, Plutonia was mentioned in the Secret Treaties cover art in the fictitious quote that goes: "Rossignol's curious, albeit simply titled book, the Origins of a World War, spoke of secret treaties, drawn up between the Ambassadors from Plutonia and Desdinova the foreign minister." Plutonia may potentially be the name of Desdinova's actual home and it is employed in the case of Imaginos' ship as a tribute.

As the song progresses the listener leans that Imaginos gives the mirror to his granddaughter for her birthday. The child also lives in Cornwall, thus bringing it to Europe where it begins the process of driving the Continent towards a World War, as noted above. This researcher believes that Imaginos' daughter may have been the infamous "Susie" who appears in "Astronomy" and several other Imaginos-connected BOC tracks and previously addressed in the second and fourth installments. This would certainly help explain why she seems to appear in so many BOC mythos tracks.

Susie, along with "Carrie nurse," appear to have been engaged in some type of ritual (possibly tantric nature) to summon Desdinova in "Astronomy." As I noted previously, this may have occurred at the onset of the First World War. I suspect that "Magna of Illusion" was written later to give some structure to the rather ambiguous "In the Presence of Another World" and "Astronomy," both of which date from at least the 1970s (Imaginos was the first time "Presence" had been recorded, but it was demoed in 1977).


Originally Pearlman and Bouchard had planned on doing Imaginos as a trilogy of double albums. According to Bouchard, the second would have revolved around World War II while the third would have been known as The Mutant Reformation --which presumably would have focused more on the astro-gnostic aspects of the story line. Unfortunately we will never now as Imaginos was an absolute disaster. Pearlman would only produce one more album in his life after Imaginos.

Pearlman was clearly one of the most esoteric-oriented figures of his day in the music industry. As I hope this series has shown beyond a doubt, he clearly had a vast knowledge of occult and arcane subjects. The Black and White albums even appear to hint as some of the dark dealings in the American deep state during that era. Pearlman was likely not only a highly intelligent man, but one with connections. His work provides a one of a kind insight into the murky netherworld where the occult and political intrigues have forged a curious union.

For this reason it should come as little surprise that he has been a long maligned figure. In his heyday during the 1970s the music press loved to bash his influence on the acts he worked with, be it BOC or The Clash. Largely forgotten throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he was reduced to a misnamed caricature on a Saturday Night Live sketch in 2000. And so it goes for one of the most visionary minds to ever participate in the fertile and shamanistic grounds of rock 'n' roll. Could it be any other way?


Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Soft Doctrines of Memphis Sam Part IV

"Call me Desdenova, eternal light"
--"Astronomy," Blue Oyster Cult

Welcome to the fourth installment in my examination of the Imaginos song cycle of recently deceased producer/manager/lyricist Sandy "Memphis Sam" Pearlman. Pearlman is of course most well known for his work with pioneering American heavy metal outfit Blue Oyster Cult, but his contributions to rock 'n' roll went far beyond this. As was noted in the first installment, he also played a key role in the careers of The Dictators, The Clash, Dio-era Black Sabbath and nearly signed the pioneering doom band Pentagram.

Beginning with the second installment I began to break down the "deep background" of the Imaginos story line. Based upon a series of poems Pearlman wrote in the mid-1960s entitled The Soft Doctrines of Imaginos, BOC songs since they debut would incorporate characters and concept from these poems and at times would be based upon them wholesale. As such, Soft Doctrines became something akin to Lovecraft's Necronomicon or Robert ChambersThe King in Yellow in BOC's lexicon, providing the backdrop to countless songs.

Fans of course had been aware of these implied connections for years, but it was not until the release of the Imaginos album in 1988 that part of the story line was revealed to the general public. And even then the sources that inspired Imaginos --alchemy, Vodun, Ufology, conspiracy theories, and so on --would remain obscure to the general public until the 1990s, when the rise of the Internet enabled fans to seriously research Pearlman's magnum opus.

As I was wrapping up with the second installment, I began to consider BOC's self-titled debut, the first album in the so-called "Black and White trilogy" (which also included their second and third albums, Tyranny and Mutation and Secret Treaties). The Black and White trilogy was recorded when Pearlman's influence over the band was greatest and when the Imaginos cycle was explored at the most regular intervals until the release of Imaginos in 1988. Across the debut's A side I considered Pearlman's penchant for sinister secret societies lurking at the fringes of the counterculture.

With the third and most recent installment I addressed the debut's B side and the entire Tyranny and Mutation album. Therein Pearlman's concepts of "transcendental models" as well as the possible influence of "esoteric vodoun" guru Michael Bertiaux on his work were considered, as well as Pearlman's ties to the legendary (or infamous, considering one's point of view) Warlock Shoppe and the heavily occulted substance of the Pearlman-written tracks on Mutations.


BOC's landmark Secret Treaties album, the closet the band ever came to perfection and the most Soft Doctrines-centric album the group would release until Imaginos, was fittingly released in 1974. I say fittingly as 1974 was quite a banner year for high weirdness and political intrigues. Here's a brief rundown of such highlights from that year:
  • On January 29 the Chronicle received the last known letter from the Zodiac killer (and the first the newspaper had received in three years) in which he described The Exorcist as "the best saterical comidy that I have ever seen."
  • Heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped in February of that year by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). In the ensuing months she would actively aid the SLA and appear in a series of startling recordings on their behalf while demonstrating signs of brainwashing.
  • April 5 witnesses the publication of horror superstar Stephen King's first novel, Carrie
  • May Day 1974 witnessed simutaneous pre-dawn raids in San Francisco that allegedly rounded up the perpetrators of the "Zebra killings," a series of racially motivated killings in the Bay area that began in 1973 and ended in 1974, leaving 15 people dead. Much more information on the Zebra killers can be found on this early (and somewhat flawed) series
  • On May 17, 1974, the SLA would engaged in massive shootout with the LAPD and other California law enforcement agencies in what would be the first major use of a SWAT team (and thus the onset of the militarization of America's police forces). The SLA's leader, Donald DeFreeze, was killed during the shootout along with five other SLA members; DeFreeze had previously been a patient at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville, an institution compellingly linked to CIA behavioral modification experiments
  • Occultist and philosopher Julius Evola, who inspired so much of Italy's neo-fascist Renaissance, dies on June 11
  • On June 28 Vannevar Bush, the legendary American scientist who administered the Office of Scientific Research and Development (which oversaw the Manhattan Project, among other things) during World War II, shed his mortal coil. Bush has long been linked to the UFO question with many Ufologist linking him to the highly dubious Majestic 12. As noted before here, there is compelling evidence linking Bush to real UFO study groups and other black projects
  • Argentinean strongman Juan Peron, who had enabled so many "former" Nazis to flee via the "rat lines" using his nation, died on July 1
  • On July 15, news anchor Christine Chubbuck commits suicide during a live broadcast on WXLT in Sarasota, Florida. Reportedly, this was the first on air suicide. In some accounts, Chubbuck's death is held to have inspired Paddy Chayefsky's syncro-mystical masterpiece Network (addressed before here and here) while in others it is claimed Chaeyefsky had already started work on the script and Chubbuck's death was an eerie "coincidence."
  • Italy was rocked on August 4 by the Italicus Express train bombing that left 12 dead and over a hundred dead. This attack was carried out by neo-fascist groups long linked to Operation Gladio. More on information on these groups and Gladio can be found here
  • US President Richard Nixon resigns on August 8 as part of the Watergate scandal, the deep intrigues of which I chronicled before here, here and here
  • On November Ronald DeFeo Jr murders his entire family with a shotgun in Amityville (a village in the town of Babylon, New York "coincidentially") on Long Island, still home base for Blue Oyster Cult during this time. DeFeo's killing spree would inspire the Amityville Horror series, as well as what were almost surely fraudulent claims of hauntings at the murder scene by infamous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren
  • the Arecibo message is beamed out from a radio telescope in Puerto Rico on November 16. This message was intended to give extraterrestrial civilizations information about Earth
  • Andrija Puharich's Uri is published at some point in 1974. While nominally a biographer of Israeli stage magician Uri Geller, this work presented the first public revelation of The Nine, alleged extraterrestrial intelligences that appear to have long fascinated the deep state. Much more information on this bizarre topic can be found here and here
  • Jonestown established at some point in 1974
  • the fantasy tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons, long linked to controversy, is first released in the United States at some point during this year
early D & D books
So yes, there was a lot of strangeness and intrigues abound --presidencies were toppling, cults and revolutionary outfits were growing increasingly violent, Nazism's robust resurgence was more evident and psi and UFOs were seemingly on everyone's mind. And into this fray emerged BOC's Secret Treaties. If there was a more perfect soundtrack to this turbulent era, I know not what it would have been. 

Secret Treaties: Artwork

While the artwork for Treaties was not as immediately striking as the classic Bill Gawlik covers that graced BOC's first two albums, it was no less esoteric. Here's a rundown of many of the key images depicted by the album's artwork:
"The record's Ron Lesser cover art depicted the band posing in front of an ME 262, a World War II fighter yet, pilot's seat filled with the figure of Death. Eric [Bloom, BOC frontman and guitarist --Recluse] dramatically caped, holding the reigns of four German shepherds, which, on the back sleeve are shown mysteriously (ritualistically?) slaughtered. The band is gone and the plane seems to be in motion, although this not clear. Another quirk of the cover art is the shadowy background scene, which appears to depict Mexican farmers, or perhaps images from another time, something like time warpage circa Imaginos
"The inner sleeve contained two slight variations of the outer front and back. The band shot is distinguished by a clearer background of an older city scene, something akin to Washington, D.C. The 'slaughtered dogs' shot depicts the jet parked on what looks like a desolate and dusty, urban Mexican street. Albert [Bouchard, BOC drummer --Recluse], on the credit for the concept says, 'Secret Treaties was created by the Columbia Records art department, because they really wanted to get involved. We wanted to keep control of the artwork, but after the first two records, which they thought were really great, they wanted a shot at it. So we let them do it and we didn't like it. The original cover was what was on the inner sleeve. They thought it was too graphic and so did we, so we ended up with this other thing that they did. They did two versions, the inside and the outside. How it ended up was that Sandy's idea was the front cover and Murray [Krugman, BOC's other early manager/producer --Recluse]'s idea was the back cover, with the dogs being slaughtered. But all in all, Secret Treaties was mostly Sandy's idea.' Another complication is the European release of the record sported red lettering; while stateside the text was green.
"The inner sleeve adds this cryptic note. 'Rossignol's curious, albeit simply titled book, the Origins of a World War, spoke in terms of secret treaties, drawn up between the Ambassadors from Plutonia and Desdinova the foreign minister. These treaties founded a secret science from the stars. Astronomy. The career of evil.' As is well-documented, the book does not exist. But the notation ties nicely the band's (most notably Pearlman's) recurring theme of conspirators (be they Rosicrucians, Illuminati, Masons, Gnostics, Hermetics, or secret divisions of the CIA, FBI and Yale!) causing wars and other human upheaval (i.e. Altamont), in addition to the link with beings from other planets and possibly other times."
(Agents of Fortune, Martin Popoff, pgs. 42-43) 
There's a lot to take in here. Let's start with the final paragraph concerning The Origins of a World War. Citing a quote from a fictitious book is very much in keeping with Pearlman's love of Lovecraft and Robert Chambers. Desdinova is another name of the Imaginos character, given to him after his initiation into the Blue Oyster Cult. Imaginos would make his first appearance in a BOC song on Secret Treaties. But more on that in a moment.

Plutonia is likely a reference to the extraterrestrial race the Imaginos has dealings with. It was also the name of an early science fiction novel by the Russian Vladimir Obruchev. The novel takes place in an underground world known as Pluto (after the Roman god of the underworld) that has its own sun and is inhabited by dinosaurs and other ancient creature. Nowadays this work would be considered in vein of the Hollow Earth mythos. It is unknown if Pearlman knew of this book.

While the faux quote from Origins of a World War hints that the secret treaties alluded too in the title are with extraterrestrial intelligences, another possibility is also presented by the artwork: the Nazis. On the front cover the band is depicted around a ME 262 while a Nazi-revering song of the same name is included on the album. Even more curious, however, are the apparent references to the Process Church of the Final Judgment in the artwork.

The Process Church was a highly controversial group with origins in Scientology. It was founded in the mid-1960s in England and had opened up outposts throughout the United States by the late 1960s. The Process would seek out alliances with both celebrates as well as more unsavory elements such as biker gangs. By the early 1970s the group had been linked to the Manson Family and disintegrated not long afterwards with its original leader being kicked to the curb and much of the rest of the sect carrying on as Christian fundamentalists. The group would continue to be a lightening rod for controversy, however, with offshoots being linked to the Son of Sam killings and the Cotton Club murder. Just how credible all these claims are is highly debatable, but the Process seems to turn up to often in close proximity to one outrage or another with too much frequency to dismiss it all as coincidence. Much more information on the Process can be found here.

the Processians in one variation of their capes --unfortunately no color images of them appear to be available online
As for the references to the Process on the Secret Treaties cover, it comes in the form of frontman Eric Bloom's getup and the German shepherds. Process members were well known for their black capes with crimson insides and German shepherds. They were frequently seen out and about major cities across the US during the late 1960s and early 1970s with both. Curiously, reports of dead German shepherds killed in a ritualistic fashion have also had a tendency to follow the Process around.
"For some reason, there have been reports of sacrifices of large numbers of dogs, mostly German shepherds, throughout the United States in the past thirty-odd years, but notably in areas where we discover confirmed cult activity. This was true in Berkowitz' Yonkers neighborhood as it was in Walden, New York, where a 'total of eighty-five skinned German shepherds and Dobermans were found' in a single year 'between October 1976 and October 1977.' The day of Berkowitz' arrest in Yonkers, the bodies of three slain German shepherds were found in an aqueduct behind his apartment. Two had been strangled with chains; the third had been shot in the head.
"Two days before his arrest, someone phoned an animal shelter using his name and address, inquiring about adopting a German shepherd that had been advertised in a local paper. A few hours later someone else called from the same street in Yonkers, also inquiring about the dog. The caller said he was 'fixing some cars' on Pine Street; an allusion that Terry believes actually refers to the Carr family who figure some prominently in his case. As it turned out, two men did visit the shelter, including one who resembled Berkowitz, but according to Berkowitz himself it was not he, although he acknowledges that someone may have been impersonating him on the phone.
"Why? This was before his arrest and identification in the press as the Son of Sam...
"around the time of the Sam killings, the author heard convincing rumors of the abuse and slaughter of dogs in a warehouse near Brooklyn Heights, within walking distance of the Warlock Shoppe, before Berkowitz was arrested and the connection with dogs was made.
"Terry connects the German shepherd sacrifices with the Process, due to their fondness for the animals. Members of the Process in those halcyon days of the 1960s were to be seen around San Francisco dressed in black and leading German shepherds on the leash. The 'Fear' issue of the process magazine featured a photo spread of twenty German shepherds in a menacing pose. It doesn't automatically follow, however, that the Process would sacrifice the animals.
"Another symbolic association that should be mentioned is the fact that Hitler favored German shepherds above all other animals. That there might be a Nazi or neo-Nazi element ot the Son of Sam cult should not be ignored, especially as mass murderer Fred Cowan --one of the 'Sons' according to Berkowitz --was a neo-Nazi. Further, the Process symbol was a stylized swastika: what some members referred to as 'four P's'; these 'four P's' later contributed to the name of a Process splinter group called 'Four P' after the same symbol. It was this group that remained behind in California after most of the regular Process decamped and went to New York City following the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Four P --and its reputed leader, the Grand Chingon --has been implicated in a number of vile acts, including animal and human sacrifice in northern and southern California. Convicted serial killer and cannibal Stanley Baker claimed to belong to this cult, and Manson Family members were known to refer to Charles Manson as the Grand Chingon. even though the organization was supposedly so secret that its very existence was unknown to all but a few."
(Sinister Forces Book III, Peter Levenda, pgs. 197-198)

the color versions of the Secret Treaties artwork show Bloom with the cape and dogs in more detail (top) as well as the dead German shepherds (bottom)
Again, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt, but there are certainly interesting parallels to Pearlman's work and the allegations surrounding the Process. As was noted in the second installment, BOC's debut featured two signature tunes describing biker gangs subverting the counterculture that are being directed by a secret society/cult within their ranks. As I noted before here, the Process frequently sought alliances with motorcycle clubs during the late 1960s/early 1970s, as did the Manson Family.

Pearlman described the Transmaniacon MC (from the song of the same name) and the Motif of the Rose (from "Before the Kiss, A Redcap") as being based upon French and Belgian fascist organizations (noted before here). While the Process are normally described as hippies, they had ample connections to the far right, as I noted before here, and eventually rebranded themselves as a Christian fundamentalist sect known as the Foundation Church of the Millennium by the mid-1970s.

It would appear then that the possibility that the Process inspired some of Pearlman's early lyrics exists. What's more, it seems all but certain that Pearlman would have been aware of the Process. As was noted before here, the Process frequented Herman Slater's Warlock Shoppe by the early 1970s and there are strong indications (noted in the prior installment) that Pearlman was a part of this scene. What's more, Pearlman was also friendly with Fugs singer Ed Sanders going back to his days at Stony Brook. As a reader kindly informed me, Pearlman was a big Fugs fan and had enlisted the band to play at Stony Brook in 1966 and again in 1967 with Country Joe and the Fish as well as Soft White Underbelly (the first incarnation of BOC) for the so-called "Pot Bust Benefit."

Ed Sanders circa 1968
Ed Sanders would of course go on to publish The Family in 1971. This was the first full length account of the Manson Family and the first time the Process Church was linked to them. In fact, this was the first time the American public at large had been exposed to the Process, though it proved to be quite brief. The Process successfully sued Sanders in the United States and a chapter concerning them was removed from subsequent additions of The Family. The offending addition remained in British editions of the book, however.

So while its rather circumstantial as to whether Pearlman encountered the Process directly at the Warlock Shoppe, it seems highly probable that he could have heard about them and some of the more incredible allegations surrounding them from his friend Ed Sanders. Certainly this seems more plausible than Pearlman "coincidentally" littering the Secret Treaties artwork with imagery closely resembling the fashion and deeds of the Process.

More Pearlman and the Process

If this was not enough, there is also compelling indications that there were more allusions to the Process with the cover of On Your Feet or On Your Knees, a live album that came out the year after Secret Treaties was released. This was the first BOC album to feature a cover in color, but it proved to be no less striking than those from the "Black and White" era. In this instance, a limo sporting a Templar-like flag with the BOC logo on it is shown parked in front of a curious church. A comment left on a previous post I had written about BOC indicated that this church had been used by the Process some time around the early 1970s.

I had been weary of this claim when I had first read it, but after researching the matter I believe that there may be merit to it. The church used on the On Your Feet... cover is St. Paul's Chapel, a part of St. John's Episcopal Parish in the South Salem era of New York state. In 1987 investigative reporter Maury Terry published a deeply flawed work called The Ultimate Evil. This book was based upon Terry's research into the Son of Sam killings and the possibility that some type of cult was behind them. While some of Terry's conclusions are suspect, his raw data is compelling.

Towards the end of The Ultimate Evil, Terry notes that a cult alleged to have been a Process splinter was reputed to have been using a church in the Salem area for black rites during the mid-1970s.
"Another abandoned church offered yet one more meeting site. This edifice was said to have been an 'eastern headquarters' for the group. The informants said it was privately owned (perhaps partially converted) and was located in the vicinity of the northeastern corner of Westchester County, somewhere near (and possibly over) the adjoining Putnam County and Connecticut borders. Vinny couldn't pinpoint the exact location but, quoting Berkowitz, he mentioned 'Salem' and 'Brewster.' 
"North and South Salem, with their historic witchcraft names, were in Westchester, and the village of Brewster lay a few miles north in Putnam County. The area was largely rural, with homes, estates and some farms and stables hidden from the few main roads by thickets of trees. It was a perfect cult site, and a difficult, extensive setting in which to try to locate the old church.
"Vinny said the church's interior (in 1976-77) was adorned with a silver pentagram on one wall; and silver-wire inlays, some in the form of the German SS lightning bolts --a symbol of the cult --appeared on the ends of some pews."
(The Ultimate Evil, Maury Terry, pg. 412)

Even more compelling are Terry's allegations that members of the Process were active in this area during the mid-1970s.
"And the Process itself was even located in that area. In the mid-seventies members of the cult occupied a house off Salem Road in Pound Ridge, a rural community several miles south of North Salem. It was as if the players and environment from the Los Angeles scene of 1968-69 had been magically transported to the specific area Berkowitz and the prison informants referred to."
(The Ultimate Evil, Maury Terry, pg. 419)
The On Your Feet or On Your Knees church is actually located in Lewisboro, near South Salem. And the above-mentioned rural village of Pound Ridge is located right next to Lewisboro, with less than five miles separating the two. In other words, this Process encampment couldn't have been located more than a few miles from the On Your Feet... church.

In Agents of Fortune, the only full length account of Blue Oyster Cult, Martin Popoff sites BOC drummer Albert Bouchard as crediting Pearlman with finding the church used on the cover of On Your Feet or On Your Knees. Thus, Pearlman selected a church located mere miles from a Process Church hub in area in which Maury Terry's informants alleged that a splinter of the cult was using a church for ritual purposes.

the church more recently
Dismissing this as a mere coincidence would be quite a stretch indeed, especially when taken in conjunction with ample Process allusions on the cover of Secret Treaties. But I digress.

Secret Treaties: A Side

With the cover art and my musings concerning the Process finished, let us now turn our attention to the actual music on Secret Treaties. Opener "A Career of Evil" was another BOC song with lyrics from punk poetess Patti Smith, who at the time was dating BOC keyboardist and sometimes guitarist Allen Lanier. Coming off like something of a demented Doors song, this track has at times be linked to the Imaginos cycle, but this seems to derive primarily from the sinister sentiments expressed throughout the track. It was released as the album's first single, but in edited form with the line "Do it to your daughter on a dirt road" being changed.

There is no question that the next track, "Subhuman," is a part of the Imaginos cycle. This another number with a clear Doors influence, this time something in vein of "Riders on the Storm" with a little Dust-style riffing to bring the metal. But it's ties to the Imaginos cycle ensure that its even more sinister and foreboding than anything Morrison and co ever released. In fact, this is the first time the Imaginos figure appears on a BOC song, though he is not mentioned by name in the track. Here are some more details:
"Track two 'Subhuman,' a tune that would be revived 14 years later on Imaginos as signature track 'Blue Oyster Cult,' rightly so as it seems to encapsulate Sandy's complex concept of the band, the character Imaginos, and the intertwining of the two. A type of literal translation of the band's name occurs, similar to graphic artist Greg Scott's approach to the Fire of Unknown Origins artwork, with talk of oyster boys, the sea and the 'blue sky bag.' Overtones of Lovecraft's Cthulhu or 'old ones' can also be spotted in terms of death-like creatures who inhabit the seas. In any event, the occurrences in this lyric seem to mark a traumatic, transformational moment for Imaginos, a character who could change form and traverse time...."
(Agents of Fortune, Martin Popoff, pg. 43)
Yes, this is possibly the song from which Blue Oyster Cult derived its name. In this track Imaginos, a sailor, is betrayed by his shipmates ("Left to die by two good friend") and abandoned as his ship puts to sea. As he lays dying near the sea some rather curious creatures appear to him (the "oyster boys") who offer to save his life if he'll join them. Imaginos accepts ("Just one deal is what we made") but is in for a surprise. Much more shall be said of this track and its themes when I address the even more esoteric "Blue Oyster Cult" that appears on Imaginos.

"Subhuman" is followed up by another track likely a part of, or closely related too, the Imaginos cycle called "Dominance and Submission." This song also features the curious character of Suzie, whom also appeared in "Before the Kiss, a Redcap" (noted before here) and several other BOC songs. This song revolves around the subversive power of rock 'n' roll and the sinister forces that sought to control it. I've already written an entire blog on this song before, which I found to be thematically closely related to Don McLean's classic "American Pie," and as such will not address this song here for the sake of brevity. But this is a very deep track and the reader is encouraged to take in the prior article.

Side A closes out with the Nazi-revering "ME 262." This song revolves around the Messerschmitt Me 262, the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. The ME 262 was to be a kind of super weapon for the Nazis in the closing days of the war, but it was not used to its full potential. The gleeful boogie classic name checks Hitler and Goring and tells of an air battle from Germany's perspective. The main character in the song is a Captain Von Ondine. This is interesting as "Ondine" is close to "undine," a kind of water elemental being similar to a mermaid. As was noted in part three, an undine was also mentioned on "Workshop of Telescopes" off of the self-titled debut.

This track helped further contribute to the group flirtation with Nazism. As was noted in the first installment, despite several Jews being involved with the band and in their orbit (including Pearlman), the group had subtly embraced Nazi imagery from the early 1970s. Pearlman was very much the architect of this and only added fuel to the fire when "ME 262"  was released as a single. Controversy ensued and the band retreated form this imagery as Pearlman's influenced waned. But back to the matter at hand.

Secret Treaties: Side B

Side B begins with "Cagey Cretins," the first of two Richard Meltzer lyrical contributions to Secret Treaties. As was noted in part one, Meltzer was had worked with Pearlman as a rock critic for Crawdaddy in the mid-1960s. He played a key role in the early years of the band and would contribute lyrics to the group for years.

"Cagey Cretins" is probably the closet thing Treaties has to a throwaway track. The lyrics effectively revolve around Meltzer's boredom from his time spent staying at his girlfriend's house in Shirley, New York, in the middle of Long Island. The demented Doors nature of the song and some amusing lyrics ("Being chased around by the neighbor's cat/ Well it's so lonely in the state of Maine!") somewhat redeem the song and the general strangeness of the track is in keeping with the rest of the album.

Next up is Meltzer's second composition, and a much better one, known as "Harvester of Eyes." This song was apparently inspired by a confirmation hearing for LBJ crony Abe Fortas to the Supreme Court that Meltzer watched. At one point during the hearing the medical condition ocular tuberculosis (tuberculosis of the eye) was mentioned and this served as the inspiration for "Harvester." What emerges is effectively a narrative that the great Julian Cope believed could describe Death (who appeared on the Secret Treaties album cover) as a strung out junkie:
"... On a higher plain of existence, however, is the superbly titled 'Harvester of Eyes', Meltzer’s massive ode to the Grim Reaper as a hopeless drug addict. Suffused with imagery that appears to be an Odinist take on Alice’s epic 'Halo of Flies', this tight-assed caffeine blues straddles that bizarre mid-70s hinterland between Joe Walsh’s delightfully clodhopping 'Rocky Mountain Way' and the post-Todd meltdown of The Tubes’ 'White Punks On Dope'. It’s one of Eric Bloom’s finest vocal performances and one which he obviously relished, recounting how the Reaper - so ‘high on eyes’ - needs ‘all the peepers’ he can harvest not only as evidence that the donor of those eyes is truly dead, but also to satisfy his hopeless druglust or ‘ocular TB’ as Meltzer terms it. Nailed it this time, motherfucker!"

While this song was never intended to be a part of the Imaginos cycle, it has been linked to it over the years. It is easy to see why as Meltzer's depiction of a sinister entity is in keeping with the wonders of the invisible world that appear throughout Imaginos.

Pearlman returns to the fold with the next track, the Cult classic "Flaming Telepaths." Drummer Albert Bouchard contributed some of the lyrics to this track, but it is clearly Pearlman's vision. Of it, he noted:
" 'On the new album there's the song called "Flaming Telepaths",' explained Sandy, in conversation with NME's Don Nooger circa spring of '74, 'which deals with the same sort of theme (as "Cities on Flame") but in a scientific way. It's about an attempt to create a mutation, to mutate consciousness. The first lines are, "I will have opened my veins too many times, poison's in my mind, poison's in my bloodstream, poison's in my pride," and that's they key line, "poison's in my pride." It's about this scientist who attempts to mutate consciousness and he just can't do it; he's failed too many times. But the scientist has this poisonous pride and he's got to keep on trying, beating his head against this barrier. And just because he's doing it, that's good enough. It's a very, very noble song...' "
(Agents of Fortune, Martin Popoff, pgs. 47-48)
What's most curious about this song as how it alludes to the militarization of psi that was this currently being undertaken by the deep state. Stanford Research Institute's famed remote viewing experiments, funded by the CIA and military, had just kicked off in 1972. By 1978 Project Grill Flame, the military's first formal effort to weaponize psi, was launched and would remain active for almost 20 years despite persistent claims that the research was baseless.

Was Pearlman telling tales out of school, as Chris Knowles is fond of saying? Certainly the scientist described in "Flaming Telepaths" could be an effective stand in for Andrija Puharich. Puharich, a man with ample interest in esoterica. played a major role in the first psi experiments undertaken by the deep state in the 1950s (as noted before here). His Uri was released in 1974 superficially to legitimize the psi phenomenon to the general public (though as noted above, it is mostly remembered in this day and age for revealing The Nine) and in the years leading up to this he had become something of a minor celebrity in certain sectors of the counterculture. Given Pearlman's fascination with science, mysticism and their merger, Puharich have likely interested Memphis Sam greatly. I have no evidence of any formal contact between the two men, but certainly "Flaming Telepaths" is an apt account of Puharich's work with the deep state. But moving along.

"Flaming Telepaths" bleeds directly into closer "Astronomy," possibly the greatest song that band ever came up with. A long time fan favorite, "Astronomy" was a key piece of the Imaginos cycle and a new version of the song appeared on the 1988 Imaginos album. But nothing can top the original 1974 version, which was co-written by the Bouchard brothers (drummer Albert and bassist Joe) using lyrics (that were slightly rearranged) from Pearlman.

"Astronomy" is another track featuring the character of Suzie, along with Imaginos. The meaning to this track is rather obscure, but a key clue comes from the repeated references to the "four winds." The four winds are of course rich with symbolism.
"On the other hand wind is synonymous with breath and consequently with the Spirit, a heaven-sent spiritual influx. This why both the Book Psalms and the Koran equate winds with angels as God's messengers. Wind even gives its name to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God moving across the face of the primordial waters is called Ruah, 'Wind', and it was a wind which brought the Apostles the tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit. In Hindu symbolism, the wind, personified as the god (Vayu) is cosmic breath and the Word. It rules the 'subtle' world which lies between Heaven and Earth, the space which was filled by what the Chinese termed a breath, k'i. Vayu imbues, shatters and cleanses, and is related to the points of the compass, which were generally speaking termed 'winds.' Hence Classical antiquity talked of the four winds and the Athenians built the eight-sided Tower of the Winds.
"The Four Winds, furthermore, were related to the seasons, the elements and the 'humours' in a pattern subject to slight variation..."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Jean Chevalier & Alain Gheerbrant, pgs. 1110-1111)
Native American symbolism for the four winds seems especially relevant in this case as indigenous mysticism seems to have heavily influenced the Imaginos cycle, as shall be explored in the next installment. For our purposes here, it is interesting to note that Native Americans frequently associated the four winds with square, and frequently used this design in their sacred places.
"Links across time in the symbolic meanings of the square are also found on a smaller scale. For example, shell gorgets recovered from Mississippian sites are found to have cross as well as bent-arm cross designs carved into their surfaces. According to historic Indian accounts... these designs were meant to symbolize the four cardinal directions, the four world quarters, and the four winds...
"Mississippian designs like the Spiro gorget look very similar to some of the designs found in earlier Hopewell contexts, especially those which incorporate cross and bent-arm cross features... Moreover, a clear geometric relationship can be demonstrated between the cross, the square, and the bent-arm cross... Given this relationship, as well as the close proximity in both time and space between the Hopewell and Mississippian cultures --including the southern Ohio-based, Mississippian-influenced Fort Ancient peoples --my thought is that the symbolic meanings of the cross, the square, and the bent-arm cross were the same for historic Indians of the Southeast, the prehistoric Mississippians, and the Hopewell: namely, symbols of the sky, the world quarters, the four cardinal directions, and the four winds.
"To summarize this section in another way, we know from ethnographic accounts that many historic southeastern Indian people laid out their ceremonial grounds in the shape of a square and that these square grounds were thought of as symbolic microcosms of the universe. Moreover, these square ceremonial grounds were oriented to sky phenomena, including cardinal directions."
(Mysteries of the Hopewell, William F. Romain, pgs. 176-180)
a depiction of the four winds in the Seven Nation's symbolism
The four winds then are closely associated with both the sky and the heavens. In the case of "Astronomy," both are rather fitting. I digressed above on Native American sacred space oriented towards this "sky phenomenon" to help explain the reference to the "four winds bar." This reference appears in the second. third and fourth verses of the song:

Come Susy dear, let's take a walk
Just out there upon the beach
I know you'll soon be married
And you want to know where the winds come from
Well its never said at all
On the map that Carrie reads
Behind the clock back there you know
At the four winds bar

Four winds at the four winds bar
Two doors locked and the windows barred
One door let to take you in
The other one just mirrors it
Hey, hey, yeah! Hey, hey
In hellish glare and inference
The other one's a duplicate
The queenly flux, the eternal light
Or the light that never warms
Yes the light, that never, never warms
Yes the light, that never, never warms
Never warms, never warms

The clock strikes twelve and moon drops burst
Out at you from their hiding place
Miss Carrie nurse and Susie dear
Would find themselves at the four winds bar
It's the nexus of the crisis
The origin of storms
Just the place to hopelessly
Encounter time and then came me

As noted above, the Joe Bouchard some what altered the original Pearlman poem. The opening verse, which is a variation on the fourth ("The clock strikes twelve...") originally was the third verse and thus would have come after the "never warms" bit. Thus, Susie and "Carrie nurse" would have been the focus at the onset of the song.

Some fans have interpreted this song to be about Susie having a lesbian experience, presumably with Carrie. There may be some merit to this. I believe the "four winds bar" designates some kind of sacred space where Susie ventures to for a certain kind of marriage --a sacred marriage. Carrie is there to initiate Susie. In the process two gateways are opened ("Two doors locked and windows barred/One door let to take you in//The other one just mirrors it"). One of these gateways is a kind of shadow world ("In hellish glare and inference/The other one's a duplicate") from which entities emerge ("The clock strikes twelve and moon drops burst/Out at you from their hiding place"). But it is one particular being that most interests us and who is mentioned in the final verse:

Call me Desdenova, eternal light
These gravely digs of mine
Will surely prove a sight
And don't forget my dog, fixed and consequent

This marks the first time Imaginos (who was given the name Desdenova by the Blue Oyster Cult) is directly mentioned in a BOC song. I believe the preceding verses dealt with the efforts of two women, Carrie nurse and Susie dear, to summon Desdenova in some type of ritual, potentially tantric in nature. And indeed they succeeded, enabling him to enter their world.

The final line of this verse ("And don't forget my dog...") is interesting as well. Some fans have interpreted it to be a reference to the Dog star Sirius. In ancient times it was often used for navigational purposes because it appeared to be at the same point in the sky ("fixed and consequent) and the Imaginos/Desdenova character worked as a sailor for a time. As noted above and shall be addressed in much greater detail in the next installment, he was also said to have originated from another planet. And indeed there are theories that extraterrestrial intellgiences originating from Sirius visited the Earth in ancient times. 

The basis of many of these theories originate with Robert Temple's The Sirius Mystery. A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Temple's presents a compelling account of the detailed knowledge of Sirius that the Dogon tribe of Africa has possessed for hundreds of years despite science only being able to confirm much of this information in the last century. The Dogon claimed that their knowledge of Sirius was brought to them from beings from or near this star centuries ago.

Temple believed that other traditions also possessed accounts of these beings from Sirius and that it had been closely guarded by various secret orders for centuries:
"Temple believes the Contact (which he tends to portray as physical, involving actual space-ships) occurred in Sumeria around 4500 B.C. The knowledge thus gained, he argues (and this is the major theme of his book), was passed on via various secret societies of initiates in the Near East, Egypt, Greece and so on, at least until the time of the 5th century (A.D.) neo-Platonist Proclus. Thereafter, Temple loses track of it, and suggests that it petered out, although he mentions that offshoots of it appeared in 'such bizarre and fascinating figures as Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, John Dee and even Sir Philip Sidney and the Earl of Leicester --not to mention the troubadors of Provence, Dante in Italy, and the massacred tens of thousands of Albigensians in France, the Knights Templar and an infinite range of hopeless causes over two and a half millennia....' "
(Cosmic Trigger Volume I, Robert Anton Wilson, pg.s. 186-187)
Clearly Temple's premise bears more than a passing resemblance to Pearlman's Imaginos cycle. But even more curious is the fact that The Sirius Mystery was not published until 1976, a good two years after Secret Treaties had been released. And if "Astronomy" had been a part of the original Soft Doctrines... poems, then Pearlman may have come up with this concept nearly a decade before Temple's work was published. Was this merely a coincidence, or was someone (or something...) feeding Pealrman this information?

the Dog star
On the topic of telling tales out of school, it's also interesting to note that parallels to Secret Treatie's final two tracks and the above-mentioned sage of Andrija Puharich and The Nine. "Flaming Telepaths" mirrored Puharich's involvement with the deep state to weaponize psi while "Astronomy" deals with the contacting of nonhuman, allegedly extraterrestrial intellgiences through occult means. In "Astronomy" this is accomplished through some type of ritual, while Puharich relied upon hypnotism and mediumship.

It is curious how these two tracks run into one another, with "... Telepaths" being literally cut off in the middle of its "And the joke's on you" refrain to make room for "Astronomy"'s opening keys. Clearly these two tracks are linked and the strange saga of The Nine makes for one of them sot compelling connections this researcher has uncovered. More information on this strange tale can be found here and here.

Before wrapping up, I would like to return again to the fictitious quote concerning the equally fictitious Origins of a World War on the album's inner sleeve: "Rossignol's curious, albeit simply titled book, the Origins of a World War, spoke in terms of secret treaties, drawn up between the Ambassadors from Plutonia and Desdinova the foreign minister. These treaties founded a secret science from the stars. Astronomy. The career of evil."

Taken in the context of what we've explored in this installment, it seems clear this quote is indicating that Secret Treaties is a kind of concept album. It references both the opening and closing tracks while indicating the "secret science" of astronomy has a rather sinister purpose (a career of evil). The opener "Career of Evil" seems to outline vaguely this sinister purpose while track two, "Subhuman," presents the listener with Imaginos/Desdinova's human death and his realization that he is from the stars. The album then ends with the summoning of this reborn, incorporeal version of Imaginos ("Call me Desdinova, eternal light").

In between the listener is presented with accounts of the subversion of popular culture and mass movements ("Dominance and Submission"), re-emerging Nazism ("ME 262") and the weaponization of consciousness itself ("Flaming Telepaths"). The cover art, with its thinly veiled allusions to the Process Church of the Final Judgment, points to the sinister secret societies addressed in prior albums (noted here). I suspect this is the meaning of the "These gravely digs of mine/Will surely prove a sight" bit in the final verse.

On the whole Secret Treaties presents a chilling picture, one of which with much basis in reality circa 1974. Certainly the whole album has the air of Pearlman telling tales out of school. As such, it should come as little surprise that this marked the last time Pearlman would have creative control of a BOC album until 1988's Imaginos, when BOC was beyond irrelevant. The band opted to go in a more commercial direction for which they were critically acclaimed for while Pearlman was largely kicked the curb (at least until their former patrons began to turning on them towards then end of the 1970s). More on this in the next installment as well as Imaginos itself. Stay tuned dear reader.