Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches

This past week a Florida Senate panel approved a bill that will surely warm the collective heart of the aged, yuppiedom, and other 'decent' people across this fine state:

"A bill to mandate drug tests for welfare recipients was unanimously approved by a Florida Senate panel earlier this week, putting the proposal one step closer to coming up for a full Senate vote of approval.

"The legislation, S.B. 556, would also require that welfare applicants pay for their own drug test before they can be approved for any state assistance.

"As draconian as that sounds, it enjoys solid support by the state's Republicans and recently-elected GOP Governor Rick Scott. It was proposed by Republican Sen. Paula Dockery 'on Scott's behalf,' according to The Miami Herald.

I must say, I find it bizarre so many public figures have been going with the Observer-from-Fringe look of late.

Anyway, Scott also found the time to issue an executive order requiring many state employees to be piss tested as well:

"Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order Tuesday that will require random drug testing of many current state employees as well as pre-hire testing for applicants.

"'Floridians deserve to know that those in public service, whose salaries are paid with taxpayer dollars, are part of a drug-free workplace,' Scott said. 'Just as it is appropriate to screen those seeking taxpayer assistance, it is also appropriate to screen government employees.'"
For those of us that have dealt with hard drugs and piss testing the statement by Scott will come off as highly amusing, to say the least. The thing about piss tests and illegal drugs is, they rarely catch anyone other potheads as most harder drugs such as cocaine/crack, meth, heroin, etc are out of an individual's system within days and even hours of consuming said drugs. I've personally witnessed individuals do rails of cocaine up to 12 hours before a probationary piss test and pass with flying colors. Unless a regular hard drug user is a total fuck-up (which isn't as common as many non-drug users may think) a piss test will do nothing to weed them out of the work force. It will also do nothing to get them off the doles. In fact, the only thing this piece of legislation will likely accomplish if passed is to push more and more marijuana users toward harder drugs to pass those piss tests.

And that's a damn shame, because Florida does have a epidemic of drug abuse, which is largely subsidized by both the State and Federal governments. It's just that this epidemic caters more to 'respectable' and 'decent' people, and has the backing off legitimate doctors with ample corporate dollars at their disposal.

Yes, I'm talking about prescription meds and the hordes of pill factories that cover Florida like a pack of ticks and leeches. Prescription meds within the state have taken a heavy toll upon the populace:

"An analysis of autopsies in 2007 released this week by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission found that the rate of deaths caused by prescription drugs was three times the rate of deaths caused by all illicit drugs combined.

"Law enforcement officials said that the shift toward prescription-drug abuse, which began here about eight years ago, showed no sign of letting up and that the state must do more to control it.

“'You have health care providers involved, you have doctor shoppers, and then there are crimes like robbing drug shipments,' said Jeff Beasley, a drug intelligence inspector for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which co-sponsored the study. 'There is a multitude of ways to get these drugs, and that’s what makes things complicated.'

"The report’s findings track with similar studies by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which has found that roughly seven million Americans are abusing prescription drugs. If accurate, that would be an increase of 80 percent in six years and more than the total abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, Ecstasy and inhalants.

"The Florida report analyzed 168,900 deaths statewide. Cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines caused 989 deaths, it found, while legal opioids — strong painkillers in brand-name drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin — caused 2,328.

"Drugs with benzodiazepine, mainly depressants like Valium and Xanax, led to 743 deaths. Alcohol was the most commonly occurring drug, appearing in the bodies of 4,179 of the dead and judged the cause of death of 466 — fewer than cocaine (843) but more than methamphetamine (25) and marijuana (0).

"The study also found that while the number of people who died with heroin in their bodies increased 14 percent in 2007, to 110, deaths related to the opioid oxycodone increased 36 percent, to 1,253."

We in Florida are also working hard to spread this epidemic to the rest of the United States:

"According to federal data compiled by the Broward Sheriff's Office, Broward County, Fla., has become the painkiller capital of the United States, feeding a brazen black market sprawling through the South and New England. With little or no regulations holding accountable pain management clinics in Florida, drug addicts and drug dealers cross state line to 'fill up" with impunity.

"The area is rife with pain clinics that advertise legitimate medical treatment, but in reality are little more than "pill farms" where an individual can arrive with a credit card and leave with a doctor's prescription for all the meds they wanted. No state agency regularly monitors many pain clinics where narcotics are dispensed. The state Department of Health regulates health care professionals, not facilities. The Agency for Health Care Administration oversees only the clinics that accept insurance, and many pain clinics take only cash.

"The result is what some experts believe is a small portion of the country that may be responsible for almost half of the illicit distribution of prescription painkillers in the United States. In 2006, these clinics handed out 85 percent of all the oxycodone distributed by doctors nationally."
Obviously I'm not a great political leader like Governor Scott or the rest of the Florida Senate, but if curving government subsidies for drug abuse was as big an issue as they claim that it is, they would do something about prescription meds. The thing is, when most people think of 'drug addicts', they think of minorities, metalheads, hippies, and other assorted social outcasts. That grandpa could be the new face of drug addiction, to say nothing of drug-addled welfare recipients, is just to unsettling for most normal Americans to consider. Yet evidence on the ground continues to paint a most unsettling picture:

"Prescription drug use is rising among all coverage for seniors starting January 1, 2006 (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2003). Americans and use increases with age due to chronic health conditions that require pharmaceutical medications for treatment (CDC, 2004). The sizeable segment of Florida’s population over age 65 contributes to the state’s high demand and consumption of pharmaceutical products. In 2003, Florida ranked fourth in the nation in retail prescription drug sales with a total of $10.57 billion spent, a 9.9% increase over the previous year (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005).
"Moreover, prescription drug coverage is one of the benefits for Florida’s Medicaid recipients and Medicaid is the single largest payer for prescription medications in the state (Agency for Health Care Administration, 2004). In the 2001-02 fiscal year, Florida spent a total of $1.65 billion for prescription drug coverage among Medicaid participants representing 10% of all prescriptions in the state (Agency for Health Care Administration, 2002). The federal government passed Medicare reform legislation in 2003 that established prescription drug coverage for seniors starting January 1, 2006 (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2003)."

Whenever I'm confronted with these staggering double standards nowadays I can't help but be reminded of Timothy Leary's 8-Circuit Model of Consciousness. In brief, those eight levels consisted of:

"The first Four:
  1. The Bio-survival Circuit
  2. The Emotional-Territorial Circuit
  3. The Dextro-Symbolic Circuit
  4. The Ethical-Social Circuit
The later, more recently developed and developing brains:
  1. The Neurosomatic circuit.
  2. The Metaprogramming circuit
  3. The Neuro-genetic Circuit
  4. The Non-local Circuit"

As they relate to drugs, Robert Anton Wilson, in conversation with Leary, notes:

"...Timothy started to outline his ideas about the higher neurological circuits turned on by psychedelics. It was his opinion that these circuits evolved for use in outer space, not merely for getting blissed-out on the earthside trip. All the shamans and mystics who opened these circuits knew they had something to do with cosmic energy, he said, but they didn't know the why, the how, and the next step.

"We potentially have eight circuits, he said. The first four are linear and designed for use on Earth. They underlie Euclidean space, Newtonian time, the whole 'square' mentality. Imprinted with the local, 'tribal' games or value system of coordinates -'usually conservative and mildly paranoid, to mesh with conservative and mildly paranoid local value-system,' he said ironically.

"The four later, still-evolving circuits activated by shamans and mystics are not just an 'escape' from the anxiety of the dualistic ego, he said."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume 1, pg. 117)

Specifically Leary assigned drugs to levels of consciousness as follows:

  1. Biosurvival -Opiates
  2. Emotional-Territorial -Alcohol
  3. Symbolic -Caffeine, speed, cocaine, etc
  4. Domestic -Sex (some later researchers applied MDMA and the like here)
  5. Neurosomatic -Marijuana, some types of yoga, Tantra, etc
  6. Neuroelectric -Peyote, magic mushrooms
  7. Neurogenetic -LSD, high doses of peyote and mushrooms
  8. Psychoatomic -high doses of LSD, ketamine, DMT
Back in the 1960s and 70s some researchers viewed the Drug Revolution (or rather, the shift away from downer/upper type drugs to 'head' drugs) as a step of evolution that was guiding us toward a higher consciousness.

"Thus far, there have been two alternative explanations of why the Drug Revolution happened. The first is presented in a sophisticated way by anthropologist Weston LaBarre, and in an ignorant, moralistic way by most anti-drug propaganda in the schools and the mass media. This explanation says, in essence, that millions have turned away from the legal down drugs to illegal high drugs because we are living in troubled times and many are seeking escape into fantasy...

"A more plausible theory, devised by psychiatrist Norman Zinberg out of the work of Marshall McLuhan, holds that modern electronic media have so shifted the nervous system's parameters that young people no longer enjoy 'linear' drugs like alcohol and find meaning in 'non-linear' weed and psychedelics."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume 1, Robert Anton Wilson, pg. 207)

This theory is down right comical in the context of what is happening now in the 21st century, but the writing has been on the wall since the time these theories were first devised. If anything, the public at large has been driven back to the 'earthside' of the consciousness circuits with all the subtly of a low budget slasher film. Despite all the media crowing about the medical marijuana industry in California, it seems inevitable here in sunny Florida that prescription meds (especially opiate based ones) will replace marijuana as the drug of choice amongst the youth in a decade or less. And why not? They exist in a far hazier legal climate than pot, and its relatively easy to get government cheese for their purchase.  And even Grandpa Smith, who would have potheads dragged from the back trucks until the corpses are thoroughly mutilated, can smile in approval at Oxies as he passes one to his grandchildren.

Bulletproof Cyrus

I just wanted to give a shout out here to Bulletproof Cyrus, who has been posting some most interesting videos on YouTube of late. I have one of his most recent, called 'Melvinism', displayed on my right side bar. I suggest all my readers check out his YouTube page -I can't endorse all of his theories, but the passion and uniqueness of these videos should speak to the heart of all noble truth seeker.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Tool Shed

The American rock outfit Tool is one of the most enigmatic and challenging bands to gain widespread commercial success over the course of the past two decades. The music itself is hard to classify -despite normally being described as a heavy metal band I've found Tool's fan base are just as likely to be die hard Pink Floyd, Radiohead or Flaming Lips fans as they are to follow Sabbath, Metallica, or Korn. Despite the layers of distortion on Adam Jones' guitar many of the leads are quite psychedelic and atmospheric. In the era of file sharing Tool is one of the few bands left that rigorously sticks to a 70s-style album rock format that consists of long, extended tunes that often bleed into one and other. Despite being phenomenal individual musicians a typical Tool song normally employees a few basic chords which the band plays endless variations on in terms of the time signature and so forth. All in all their sound is darkly atmospheric, hypnotic and supremely druggy.

Despite these challenges Tool has built one of the most loyal followings of any group in the 'post-rock' era -Perhaps to loyal. Outsiders, baffled by the dedication Tool inspires, often view their fan base as over zealous and overly sensitive to any criticism of the group. I shall direct my readers toward online music reviewer Mark Prindle's somewhat overly critical Tool page for some fine examples of the kind passion this group invokes in their supporters and detractors alike.

On account of the zealous fan base in addition to other factors Tool is considered a 'cult band', one in theory outside of the mainstream despite enormous commercial success and countless establishment props, such as winning two Grammy Awards. To those of us that deal in the esoteric, the tag 'cult band' is far more apt than many could possibly imagine -The artwork of a typical Tool album alone could initiate an individual that knows what to look for. The symbolism and philosophy Tool has worked into their music puts them at the forefront of occult culture. Despite their enigmatic reputation Tool is much more blatant about their occult aspects than most other artists until relatively recently. For instance, while the age of Lady Gaga has made ceremonial live performances rather common place, Tool has incorporated heavily ritualistic aspects into their live performances for decades and has made little attempt to hide their meaning.

The background's of several band members should raise major red flags amongst veteran researchers, yet the bluntness of Tool's approach is strangely refreshing. Unlike the typical pop tart diva Tool at least encourages their fans to seek out the significance of their symbols. But to what purpose is so much revealed?

The band members themselves seem a logical place to start in this examination. Lead singer Maynard James Keenan, like many 'anti-establishment' rockers before him, comes from a military background. He was also born in Ohio, an area of the country that's seen more than its fair share of High Weirdness and covert military projects over the years. I've recounted some of those events, mainly in relation to the neighboring state of West Virginia, here. He lived in Ohio with his mother until 10th grade, when he moved to Michigan to be with his father.

Keenan has generally described the time he spent with his mother, a devout Baptist, as intolerant and suffocating. When Keenan was 11 his mother suffered a paralyzing cerebral aneurysm which left a deep impression upon him. He would reference his experiences living with his mother several times in lyrics for both Tool, and his side project, A Perfect Circle. Consider the opening lines from the song "jimmy" off of AEnima.

"What was it like to see,
The face of your own stability,
Suddenly look away,
Leaving you with the dead and hopeless?

"Eleven and she was gone.
Eleven is when we waved good-bye.
Eleven is standing still,
Waiting for me to free him,
By coming home."
I find Keenan's association with the number 11 fascinating. While undeniably drawn to it because of his mother's paralysis, 11 also happens to be the number of magic. Of it, Aleister Crowley writes in 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings, "The great magical number, as uniting the antitheses of 5 and 6 etc. AVD the magic force itself." I've speculated before that certain numbers can have odd ties to each individual. I myself have had a lot of odd coincidences in my life revolving around the number 17. Keenan, incidentally, was born on April 17th, 1964. For more on 17 and my synchs with it, check here.

Anyway, back to Keenan. After bouncing around the country for a few years after completing high school, he joined the US Army in 1982. By his own admission, Keenan was a standout soldier. In this old interview with The San Diego Union-Tribute he states:
"At the end of basic training, I received a 'distinguished graduate award,' " Keenan recalled. "Out of 3,000 guys, I was apparently the best. Then, the same thing happened in advanced training, and they singled me out to go to West Point's prep school. I received my appointment and declined it to pursue this career (in music)."

Born simply James Keenan, it was during his time at West Point that the singer adopted the name Maynard on what he described as a 'whim' in this interview. Was the Maynard handle also a way of adopting a new identity? Maynard would hardly be the first individual to emerge from the Service changed -Consider the escapades of two soldiers already chronicled on this blog here and here.

Interestingly, West Point may have partly inspired the Tool name as well. According to this website, a tool is:

"A term used to describe a cadet who operates by the book; someone who sees everything in black and white. Usually, a tool is a cadet who appears to make decisions that please senior leadership, instead of making decisions that appease other cadets."
In other words, someone that follows orders without question. Tool can also be slang for the phallus as well, something that appears time and again in the occult in the form of the obelisk. In this guise the phallus, or tool, represents the generative force in nature.

As to the other members of Tool, guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor don't have the same kind of deep backgrounds, at least based on the biographies of them I've been able to find. Jones did get around, however -an Illinois high school band named Electric Sheep that he belonged to also featured future Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Upon arriving in L.A. he began working in special effects, eventually finding employment with legendary FX man Stan Winston. Jones would go on to work on such films as Ghostbusters 2, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and Dances with Wolves before Tool became his regular thing. Jones' rather rapid rise from high school garage rocker to Hollywood special effects to rock star is typical of Tool as whole: They signed their first record contract with Zoo Entertainment a mere three months into the group's career.

Drummer Danny Carey surely must have the most interesting bio. From the biography of Carey on Tool's official website:

"Danny grew up in Paola, KS. Relatively normal, an element of mystery was added to Danny's childhood when one day he spied his father with a large sword conducting a Masonic ritual. Danny would later notice himself performing similar movements when he began playing drums at the age of thirteen. As Danny progressed through high school and then college at the University of Missouri in Kansas City he began supplementing his studies in percussion with speculation into the principles of geometry, science, and metaphysics. A commitment to life as an artist brought Danny to LA where he was able to perform as a studio drummer with projects like Carole King and play around town with Pygmy Love Circus. He would later find an outlet for addressing a fuller scope of his potentials in Tool and another project operating under the title of Zaum. Despite not becoming a Mason or aligning himself with any other school of religion, Danny has maintained his heritages interest in occult studies. Endeavors into this realm have manifested periodically, such as the time he achieved insight into a hidden aspect of the unicursal hexagram utilizing an astral journey initiated through meditation and DMT. Danny then set up his drums into proportions utilizing the circle and square of the New Jerusalem and uttered a short prayer relating to the principles of the ace of swords from the book of Thoth. He then performed a ritual utilizing his new found knowledge of the unicursal hexagram to generate a pattern of movement in space relating to Fuller's vector equilibrium model. The resulting rhythm and gateway summoned a daemon he has contained within "the Lodge" that has been delivering short parables similar to passages within the Book of Lies. Danny recommends as a device of protection and containment a thorough study and utilization of the underlying geometry of the Temple of Solomon for anyone purchasing their next record."

'The Lodge' itself seems to be some kind of recording studio. It's mentioned in the credits of Lateralus as being located in North Hollywood. I've found listings online for several recording studios dubbed 'the Lodge', but none in California, so I suspect it's a home studio. Essentially some kind of macrobe is being invited through the gateway by Carey in his home studio -I suppose it gives the recordings that extra something. More on these beings, as well as the folly of contacting them, can be read here, here, and here.

If Carey's ritual magick leaves little doubt the band's occult posturing is more than just image, the lyrics drive home this point with a sledge hammer. Carey's daimonic ritual seems to have been partly referenced in the AEnima closing track, "Third Eye."

"Dreaming of that face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes...

"Shroud-ing all the ground around me
Is this holy crow above me.
Black as holes within a memory
And blue as our new second sun.
I stick my hand into his shadow
To pull the pieces from the sand.
Which I attempt to reassemble
To see just who I might have been.
I do not recognize the vessel,
But the eyes seem so familiar.
Like phosphorescent desert buttons
Singing one familiar song...

"'So good to see you.
I've missed you so much.
So glad it's over.
I've missed you so much.
Came out to watch you play.
Why are you running away?'

"Prying open my third eye.
So good to see you once again.
I thought that you were hiding.
And you thought that I had run away.
Chasing the tail of dogma.
I opened my eye and there we were."

The entire album Lateralus seems to be conceptually dedicated to initiation into the occult.

The album opens with "The Grudge" in which the would-be magician has just seen his latest attempts at initiation defeated. Initially he has no response other than to curse the macrocosm, to harbor the grudge at the divine for refusing to reveal itself to him:

"Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

"Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip 'em to the lonesome end.
Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Terrified of being wrong. Ultimatum prison cell.

"Saturn ascends, choose one or ten. Hang on or be humbled again."
Freemason's always begin their temples with a cornerstone placed during a ritual. In alchemy Saturn is the planet that rules nigredo, the blackness that symbolizes the first step toward the philosopher's stone. Nigredo is putrefaction and decomposition, the death of the old self so that the new can be born. Saturn is the god of death and putrefaction with his scythe and hourglass. In alchemy, Saturn also represents chaos from which order will be built. In the Qabala the number one represents unity, the positive and the divine being. Ten represents the divine end, the return of the positive (1) with negative (0). In "The Grudge" the magician cannot advance because his cornerstone is one of negativity. Thus the chaos of Saturn continues to brush aside his house of cards until he can achieve divine unity. Yet the path to the stone begins to emerge as the song continues:

"Saturn comes back around to show you everything
Let's you choose what you will not see and then
Drags you down like a stone or lifts you up again
Spits you out like a child, light and innocent.

"Saturn comes back around. Lifts you up like a child or
Drags you down like a stone
To consume you till you choose to let this go.

"Give away the stone.
Let the oceans take and transmutate this cold and fated anchor.
Give away the stone.
Let the waters kiss and transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.
Let go."

The magician is commanding himself to give into chaos and let it take him where his path is destined rather than trying to resist destiny. The nest song, "The Patient", represents the magician accepting the trials he must face during the course of initiation.

"A groan of tedium escapes me,
Startling the fearful.
Is this a test? It has to be,
Otherwise I can't go on.
Draining patience, drain vitality.
This paranoid, paralyzed vampire act's a little old.

"But I'm still right here
Giving blood, keeping faith
And I'm still right here.

"Wait it out,
Gonna wait it out,
Be patient (wait it out)."

In track five, "Schism", the path becomes clear to the magician as well as what he must do to stay on it.

"I know the pieces fit cuz I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering. Fundamental differing.
Pure intention juxtaposed will set two lovers souls in motion
Disintegrating as it goes testing our communication
The light that fueled our fire then has burned a hole between us so
We cannot see to reach an end crippling our communication.

"I know the pieces fit cuz I watched them tumble down
No fault, none to blame it doesn't mean I don't desire to
Point the finger, blame the other, watch the temple topple over.
To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication"
Tracks six and seven, "Parabol/Parabola", delve deeply into Gnosticism. Gnostic, which means wisdom or knowledge, was derived from the Greek word gnosis. The Gnostics are generally associated with early Christian sects, though they likely hailed from pagan origins. Beliefs among the gnostics varied widely sect to sect, but essentially the believed that the spirit of man had been enslaved in matter by the god of the Earth, which they referred to as the Dermiurgus:

"The Gnostics were divided in their opinions concerning the Dermiurgus, or creator of the lower worlds. He established the terrestrial universe with the aid of six sons, or emanations (possibly the planetary Angels) which He formed out of, and yet within, Himself. As stated before, the Demiurgus was individualized as the lowest creation out of the substance called pleroma. One group of the Gnostics was of the opinion that the Demiurgus was the cause of all misery and was an evil creature, who by building this lower world had separated the souls of men from truth by encasing them in mortal vehicles. The other sect viewed the Demiurgus as being divinely inspired and merely fulfilling the dictates of the invisible Lord. Some Gnostics were of the opinion that the Jewish God, Jehovah, was the Demiurgus."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P Hall, pg. 57)

"Parabol/Parabola" describes the magician remembering his existence as pure spirit before being encased in matter, yet recognizing a purpose behind his prison of flesh.

"So familiar and overwhelmingly warm
This one, this form I hold now.
Embracing you, this reality here,
This one, this form I hold now, so
Wide eyed and hopeful.
Wide eyed and hopefully wild.

"We barely remember what came before this precious moment,
Choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside...
This body holding me, reminding me that I am not alone in
This body makes me feel eternal. All this pain is an illusion...
"We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment,
We are choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside
This holy reality, this holy experience.
Choosing to be here in

"This body. This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in
This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal
All this pain is an illusion.
"Alive, I...

"Twirling round with this familiar parable.
Spinning, weaving round each new experience.
Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing.

"This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality.
Embrace this moment. Remember. We are eternal.
All this pain is an illusion."

The next track, "Ticks and Leeches", is one of the hardest the interrupt in the alchemical context that I'm using. Superficially it seems like a put down of the unenlightened, the so called 'sheeple.'

"Suck and suck.
Suckin up all you can, suckin up all you can suck.
Workin up under my patience like a little tick.
Fat little parasite.

"Suck me dry.
My blood is bruised and borrowed. You thieving bastards.
You have turned my blood cold and bitter,
beat my compassion black and blue.

"Hope this is what you wanted.
Hope this is what you had in mind.
Cuz this is what you're getting.
I hope you're choking. I hope you choke on this."
The lyrics here could also be a rejection of pacting with macrobes, as the relationship with a familiar spirit is one of a parasitical nature.

"Ancient spiritual teachings from a wide range of cultures tell of hosts of disembodied beings inhabiting a dimension, which lies closet to the Earth. This is the lower astral realm, a gloomy cesspool of the dead peopled by the spirits of those who have lived base, ignorant, or selfish lives. Afflicted with all manner of craving for terrestrial pleasure, their decadent existence thrives on attachment to needy and unsuspecting individuals on Earth. And so they masquerade as guides or teachers, developing emotional attachments to the earthly humans and recycling the erudition available to all who inhabit the non-material universe. Their thinking processes are as rapid as they are Machiavellian; their vampiric need of human energies is boundless."
(The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts, Joe Fisher, pg. 272)

I disagree with characterizing these beings as 'ghosts,' but otherwise this description is apt, and could apply to the rejection of bottom feeders in "Ticks and Leeches." Still, given drummer Danny Carey's pact, this is most likely a Crowley-ian proclamation of social Darwinism.

Track nine, the title track, brings it all together as the magician completes his initiation.

"Black then white are all I see in my infancy.
red and yellow then came to be, reaching out to me.
lets me see.
As below, so above and beyond, I imagine
drawn beyond the lines of reason.
Push the envelope. Watch it bend."
As previously mentioned, black represents the first step in the quest of the philosopher's stone. The second stage, dubbed albedo or whiteness, represents when the alchemist has discovered the divine light within. Rubedo, or red, is the third stage in which the inner light is made a reality. For this reason white and red are often depicted together such as in the case of the White Queen and the Red King. The final stage of the great work, yellow or gold, is the proverbial philosopher's stone: the new man, the Illuminated Man. The inclusion here of "As above, so below" here is in reference to the macrocosm and microcosm in which man is the little god, or Microprosophus.

For more information on colors in alchemy, check this website.

"Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition, missing opportunities and I must
Feed my will to feel my moment drawing way outside the lines."
Here the magician reflects on his early follies of trying to force illumination, to impose order upon chaos. But finally, he gives in to chaos.

"Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line.
Reaching out to embrace the random.
Reaching out to embrace whatever may come.

"I embrace my desire to
feel the rhythm, to feel connected
enough to step aside and weep like a widow
to feel inspired, to fathom the power,
to witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain,
to swing on the spiral
of our divinity and still be a human."
Against the surging finale Maynard proclaims:

"With my feet upon the ground I lose myself
between the sounds and open wide to suck it in,
I feel it move across my skin.
I'm reaching up and reaching out,
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.

"Spiral out. Keep going, going..."
Most seem to think Maynard says 'sounds' in the second line of the above verse, but I believe he is saying salt. In alchemy salt is the third and heaviest of the three theoretical substances. It also represents the manifestation of the perfected stone. The spiral, or circle, represents the infinite, eternity. The circle is order and chaos in one, endlessly.

Just as the magician has seemingly completed the process of initiation, doubt begins to creep in again in tack 11, entitled "Reflection"

"And in my darkest moment, fetal and weeping
The moon tells me a secret - my confidant
As full and bright as I am
This light is not my own and
"A million light reflections pass over me
Its source is bright and endless
She resuscitates the hopeless
Without her, we are lifeless satellites drifting

"And as I pull my head out I am without one doubt
Don't wanna be down here feeding my narcissism.
I must crucify the ego before it's far too late
I pray the light lifts me out
Before I pine away."
The moon can represent the female aspect of nature, thus this could be seen as final acceptance of Matriarchy, which in many occult traditions preceded Patriarchy. However, I view this track in keeping with the spiral theme of the song "Lateralus." On that track the magician seemed to triumphantly hail his transformation at the end of initiation. Here disillusionment has set, as if the magician realizing that far from passing initiation, he is merely entering another stage. This is in keeping with Crowley's view of initiation.

"Obviously, the first shamans had no teachers; they simply went through the illness-rebirth transition accidentally, as it were. Later, schools of shamans developed techniques (psychedelics, rituals of terror, yoga, etc.) to catapult the student into such experience. In most of these schools there is a great reliance on an entity in the initiatory process, sometimes for years ('A real initiation never ends,' Crowley said once.)"
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume 1, Robert Anton Wilson, pg. 139)
As the magician realizes that the initiation process never truly ends he is cast back into "The Grudge" as his negativity again brings down the Great Work, leaving him to start over again. Thus the song cycle comes full circle, or an endless spiral as the title track implies.

I also find it most interesting that "Reflection" is placed at track 11, which as previously noted is the number of magic. The track numbers for all the songs with vocals -1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 13, are interesting when applying the Qabala to the readings I've set forth. I shall leave this up to the curious, however.

The final track on Lateralus, "Faaip de Oiad," means 'Voice of God' in the Enochian language. I've written a bit on the Enochian language here. "...Oiad" itself is not an actual song, but a scratchy broadcast from Coast to Coast AM involving the confession of an alleged Area 51 employee.  It is deliberately made to sound like a weak radio signal threatening to give out at any moment as though the magician was almost out of its sway. Taken in the context of the epic process of initiation depicted in Lateralus, "...Oiad" seems to represent the kind of false illumination that many seekers are seduced by.

A song off of the later 10,000 Days album, "Rosetta Stoned," presents a similar message.

"10 to 2 AM, X, Yogi DMT, and a box of Krispy Kremes,
in my "need to know" pose, just outside of Area 51
Contemplating the whole "chosen people" thingy
when a flaming stealth banana split the sky
like one would hope but never really expect
to see in a place like this.
Cutting right angle donuts on a dime
and stopping right at my Birkenstocks,
and me yelping...
"Holy fucking shit!..
"And after calming me down
with some orange slices
and some fetal spooning,
E.T. revealed to me his singular purpose.
He said, "You are the Chosen One,
the One who will deliver the message.
A message of hope for those who choose to hear it
and a warning for those who do not."
Me. The Chosen One?
They chose me!!!
And I didn't even graduate from fuckin' high school."
The Rosetta Stone was instrumental in the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs, providing one of the first keys to that long forgotten script. In this case the key, be it DMT, X, or Yogi, has been squandered on purely hedonistic pursuits and thus the initiate is presented with a tabloid instead of illumination. This is certainly quite in contrast to the depiction of entheogens given in the AEnima track "Third Eye" from a decade before. The former did a remarkable job of capturing the terror of a true spiritual trip. The later reeks of disillusionment and cynicism seemingly at the way the tools of initiation of casually abused.

In general 10,000 Days is much more straight forward than the two prior albums, AEnima and Lateralus. The death of Maynard's mother (whose decades-long paralyses served as the inspiration for the album title) between Lateralus and 10,000 Days is generally sited as the reason for the more direct and personal lyrics. Yet the underlining disillusionment of tracks such "Rosetta Stoned" as well as "Vicarious" and "The Pot" strongly hints at deep frustration. Did Maynard and company begin to suspect that their fan base were bigger tools than they imagined?

Or perhaps the band themselves have been the tools in attempting to spread illumination, yet only leading to further confusion.

For a different take on Tool's occult aspects, check out this article by Greg Taylor taken from Dark Lore Volume II , which can be read here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sammy Hagar -Mind Wars Causality?

A few days ago I noticed an especially curious headline on MSNBC's homepage: "Sammy Hagar says he was abducted by aliens." Concerning the claims of the former Montrose and Van Halen singer, the article states:

"In an interview for his new book, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock at, Hagar lets go of what even he admits might make him 'sound like a crazy person' to some readers.

"He and the reporter are talking about dreams he claims to have had about UFOs, and when asked whether he believed he had been abducted, Hagar answers: 'I think I have.'

"The reporter seemed surprised. 'What? Really? I was kidding. You seriously believe that?' he asks.

"Hagar laughs and goes on to explain that a passage in the book described as a dream in which he is contacted by aliens from outer space in California was, in fact, reality.

"The tale describes how the beings tapped into his mind through a wireless connection.

"'It was real,' Hagar told the reporter, according to the story on MTV's Hive website. 'They were plugged into me. It was a download situation ... Or, they uploaded something from my brain, like an experiment.'"

In a marvelous bit of synchronicity I just happened to be finishing up Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno's eye opening Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense just as I stumbled upon the Hagar story. I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities between Hagar's description of his 'mind download' to technology DARPA is allegedly shepherding into the developmental stages.

"DARPA is trying to push brain-imaging technology further. A clutch of projects DARPA funded in its 2003 call on the possibilities of functional brain imaging. One contract awarded to a company in Eugene, Oregon, was for development of a 'Head Access Laminar Optoelectronic Neuroimaging System.' The idea is to implant tiny sensors in a 'head web' so that brain activity can be detected, transmitted, and reconstructed at a 'Cognitive Workload Assesment' station. The dual use aspect of the device is especially attractive, as it can track the neural functioning of patients in the medical setting, even if they are ambulatory, and fits under the helmet of a soldier in combat.

"A project from a Hawaiian firm, 'Wireless Near-infrared Devices for Neural Monitoring in Operational Environments,' also involves the uses of new technologies such as wireless network chips and miniature lasers that permit 'wirelessly monitoring neuronal activity.' The abstract for this project summarizes in the painfully prolix lingo common to military contractors why several fields would be interested in such a device, including military research, medical care, and basic research...

"English translation: They're going to combine into a single system techniques for measuring brain activity and wirelessly transmit all that information to a computer that will interpret the information for various purposes."
(Mind Wars, pgs. 100-101)

Moreno is quick to assure us that this technology is highly speculative and years off, at best. Yet reports of mind infiltration have been coming out since at least the 1970s. Further, Sammy Hagar would hardly be the first alien abductee to describe experiences, such as 'brain dowloading', that closely resemble theoretical mind weapons DARPA and other elements in the DoD, CIA, etc al, have been working on for decades.

Also, like many alleged victims of government sponsored mind control, Hagar was apparently first 'contacted' at a very early age. From the same MSNBC article:

"Hagar goes on to describe another experience at the age of four where he believes he saw an alien space ship in broad daylight hovering over a country field where his family lived."
Hagar first cut his teeth as a rock 'n roller in the late 1960s L.A. music scene, which was swarming with unsavory characters at the time, as I've chronicled somewhat here and here in the context of Charles Manson. For the ultimate deconstruction of the L.A. music scene, I strongly urge my readers to take the time and read David McGowan's 'Laurel Canyon' series. Part one, as well as a link to the rest of the series, can be found here.

As for Mr. Hagar's alien claims, I suggest he consider a more earthly perpetrator.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Speaking in Tongues Part II

"And after calming me down with some orange slices and some fetal spooning
E.T. revealed to me his singular purpose he said, 'You are the Chosen One
'The One who will deliver the message
'A message of hope for those who choose to hear it and a warning for those who do not'
Me? The Chosen One?
They chose me!!!
And I didn't even graduate from fuckin' high school!"
-Tool, Rosetta Stoned

So, now that we've established that many influential and important people have claimed contact with entities over the years we can focus in on the important question; namely whether or not this is a wise idea. Previously we examined Narby's contact with the Cosmic Serpent earlier in the prior post. Now consider another experience on the DMT-laced ayahuasca that an earlier anthropologist named Michael Harner had:

"...he asked the Amazonian natives to tell him about their religious beliefs. They told him that if he really wished to learn, he had to take a shamanic sacred drink made from a hallucinogenic plant known as ayahuasca, the 'soul vine.' He agreed and after drinking the bitter concoction had an out-of-body experience in which he traveled a level of reality populated by what appeared to be the gods and devils pf the Conibo's mythology. He saw demons with grinning crocodilian heads. He watched as an 'energy-essence' rose up out of his chest and floated toward a dragon-headed ship manned by Egyptian-style figures with blue-jay heads; and felt what he thought was the slow, advancing numbness of his own death.

"But the most dramatic experience he had during his spirit journey was an encounter with a group of winged, dragonlike beings that emerged from his spine. After they had crawled out of his body, they 'projected' a visual scene in front of him in which they showed him what they said was the 'true' history of the earth. Through a kind of 'thought language' they explained that they were responsible for both the origin and evolution of all life on the planet. Indeed, they resided not only in human beings, but in all life, and had created the multitude of  living forms that populates the earth to provide themselves with a hiding place from some undisclosed enemy in outer space (Harner notes that although the beings were almost like DNA, at the time, he knew nothing of DNA).

"After this concatenation of visions was over, Harner sought out a blind Conibo shaman noted for his paranormal talents to talk to him about the experience. The shaman, who had made many excursions into the spirit world, nodded occasionally as Harner related the events that had befallen him, but when he told the old man about the dragon-like beings and their claim that they were the true masters of the earth, the shaman smiled in amusement. 'Oh, they're always saying that. But they are only the Masters of Outer Darkness,' he corrected. "
(The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot, pg. 267)

33rd degree Freemason and occult scholar Manly P Hall took a much dimmer view of the messages received from nonhuman entities.

"Those who sought to control elemental spirits through ceremonial magic did so largely with the hope of securing from the invisible world either rare knowledge or supernatural power. The little red demon of Napoleon Bonaparte and the infamous oracular heads of de Medici are examples of the disastrous results of permitting elemental beings to dictate the course of human procedure. While the learned and godlike daemon of Socrates seems to have been an exception, this really proves that the intellectual and moral status of the magician has much to do with the type of elemental he is capable of invoking. But even the daemon of Socrates deserted the philosopher when the sentence of death passed.

"Transcendentalism and all forms of phenomenalistic magic are but blind alleys -outgrowths of Atlantean sorcery; and those who forsake the straight path of philosophy to wander therein almost invariably fall victim to their imprudence. Man, incapable of controlling his own appetites, is not equal to the task of governing the fiery and tempestuous elemental spirits.

"Many a magician has lost his life as the result of opening a way whereby submundane creatures could become active participants in his affairs. When Eliphas Levi invoked the spirit of Apollonius of Tyana, what did he hope to accomplish? Is the gratification of curiosity a motive sufficient to warrant the devotion of an entire lifetime to a dangerous and unprofitable pursuit? If the living Apollonius refused to divulge his secrets to the profane, is there any probability that after death he would disclose them to the curious-minded? Levi himself did not dare assert that the specter which appeared to him was actually the great philosopher, for Levi realized only too well the proclivity of elementals to impersonate those who have passed on. The majority of modern mediumistic apparitions are but elemental creatures masquerading through bodies composed of thought substance supplied by the very persons desiring to behold these wraiths of decarnate beings."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, pg. 317)

Those that have actually dared click on the 'Field Work' section of this blog know that this writer is also an amateur paranormal investigator as well. Based on my experiences in the field I would have to agree strongly with Hall's assessment that the vast majority of entities claiming to be 'ghosts', the spirits of the dead, are nothing but out and out liars. At best what appear to be 'ghosts' are but minor fragments of the astral bodies of the deceased. Most likely they are simply macrobes playing off the thoughts of the investigators. I have yet to encounter such an entity that holds up under intense questioning as an actual spirit of the dead. I suspect this is also true of the vast majority of alien visitations -that what appears to be extraterrestrial has a much more earthly origin.

Thus, if these beings are not even honest about what they are, then what can be said of the 'wisdom' they supposedly wish to pass on to human beings. The best apologists have been able to come up with is that something is simply 'lost in translation.' Consider Robert Anton Wilson's explanation of John Keel's 'Mothman Prophecies':

"If objectivity fails and there are parallel worlds... it is easy to see how communications from here to there could be bedeviled by incoherence and confusion. Various humans who had turned on to the universe next door or to various universes two or more quantum jumps away might carry back signals which they would organize into such Gestalts as 'I talked to God,' 'I traveled in time,' 'I met an extraterrestrial,' etc. In particular, they might bring back both prophecies that succeed and prophecies that fail, our universe being tangent to the parallel universe at some point but not at all points.

"The 'Mothman Prophecies' of John Keel, remember, worked out that way:

"Prophecy #1: The Pope will be stabbed fatally in the Near East in 1968.
"Result: The Pope was stabbed, non-fatally, in Manila, in 1969.

"Prophecy #2: Robert Kennedy was in danger in a hotel kitchen
"Result: Robert Kennedy was shot to death in a hotel kitchen

"Prophecy 3: All the power in the U.S. will fail at noon on December 24, 1968
"Result: The power didn't fail, but a bridge in the center of Mothman territory collapsed at that moment, killing 100

"Keel interprets this mindfuck to mean that the communicating entities were mischievous, had a nasty sense of humor, and are deliberately misleading and tormenting those who get involved with them. Although he calls them 'ultraterrestrials,' his concept of them is not much different from what earlier centuries meant by 'demons.'

"In terms of the multi-universe model, however, the entities could be totally honest. All of their predictions came true, in one universe or another. Keel just happened to be in one of the universes at a tangent to theirs, where only part of the prophecies came true."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume 1, pgs. 195-196)

So, we'll give the entities the benefit of the doubt -they only appear to be lying to us because they're trying to pierce a multi-dimensional reality that we as humans can scarcely understand. It still begs the question, is it especially wise for humans to follow the instructions given to them by these beings? Given the track record of those that have dabbled in the other side, a simple observation can be put forth: Regardless of the value of this wisdom, it can be very dangerous to seek for it.

Consider the plight of one of the authors featured in part one of this series, Joe Fisher. Fisher wrote a book called The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts that documented the effects that dabbling in mediumship had on his life. Fisher became convinced that he was in contact with the spirit of a Greek woman he had been married to in the 18th century. Fisher became obsessed with this entity to the point that he drove away his current girlfriend in addition to close friends. Finally, when he headed to modern Greece to search for evidence of his 18th century soul mate, he found none. What he did find was that vast chunks of the story she had told him could not have possibly been true based on the age of certain cities and towns she described.

Fisher was devastated. He would eventually go on to commit suicide in 2001. From his publisher's website:

"Troubled by personal problems - as well as by the spirits he claimed to have angered in writing the Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts - Joe Fisher took his own life on May 9, 2001. That he would do so is all the more surprising considering what he had written earlier in The Case for Reincarnation: 'As much as the suicidal personality feels able to escape the world by getting rid of the body, reincarnation's revolving door ensures that all hope (of escape) is short lived. Those who learn that they have killed themselves in past lives are quickly brought to the realization that suicide, far from being an answer to life's problems is (instead) the violent breaking of the lifeline. If the (suicide) could only realize the resulting intensification of difficulty which must enter the life to come, (suicide) would never be (attempted).'"
Apparently Fisher changed his mind after a decade or so of contact with the macrobes.

He is not the only author featured in this series that died prematurely. Michael Talbot presents another fascinating case. Aside from writing and dabbling in metaphysics, Talbot also claimed psychokinetic powers that manifested themselves as poltergeist activities.

"...I mentioned that I had experienced firsthand many of the paranormal phenomena that would be discussed in this book and would relate a few of my own experiences... when I was a child, the house in which my family had recently moved (a new house that my parents themselves had built) became the site of an active poltergeist haunting. Since our poltergeist left my family's home and followed me when i went away to college, and since its activity very definitely seemed connected to my moods -its antics becoming mo malicious when I was angry or my spirits were low, and more impish and whimsical when my mood was brighter -I have always accepted the idea that poltergeists are manifestations of the unconscious psychokinetic ability of the person around whom they are most active.

"This connection to my emotions displayed itself frequently. If I was in a good mood, I might wake up to find all of my socks draped over the house plants. If I was in a darker frame of mind, the poltergeist might manifest by hurling a small object across the room or occasionally even by breaking something. Over the years both I and various family members and friends witnessed a wide range of psychokinetic activity. My mother tells me that even when I was a toddler pots and pans had already begun to jump inexplicably from the middle of the kitchen table to the floor."
(The Holographic Universe, pg. 149)

Michael Talbot died at the age of 38 from leukaemia, a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow.

In general, cancer seems to be a reoccurring theme amongst those in contact with macrobes or displaying some kind of psychic ability. I have already drawn attention to this in several prior blogs. Consider the fate of the men and women involved in the US Army's remote viewing program:
"...many of them had seemed to die before their time. Had they been living too far out on the shamanic edge of things? Did the act of remote viewing, or even being near a remote viewer, produce some kind of hazardous effect on the human nervous system, or immune system?.. There were Pat Price and Jackie Keith, who both died of heart attacks. (Alex Thomas would later die of a heart attack too.) Rob Cowart and Hartleigh Trent had developed serious cases of cancer; Cowart had been severely disabled and Trent had died. Cancer was currently gnawing at Jim Salyer and Hella Hammid, neither of whom would live through the decade. Even the lab secretary at SRI, young and attractive Martha Thompson, was about to die from melanoma."
(Remote Viewers, Jim Schnabel, pg. 325)

Similar results plagued Rick Strassman's DMT experiments in which participants claimed to make contact with a host of nonhuman beings. More on that can be read here at the end of the post.

It goes without saying that being in contact with the other side doesn't always lead to the healthiest lifestyle either. Both Aleister Crowley and Philip K Dick were plagued by lifelong drug addiction. Dick, a sci-fi writer who became convinced he was in contact with a being known as VALIS, was also plagued by the mental instability that characterizes many individuals that have had long contact with the other side, eg Joe Fisher.

To recap: the fallout from entity contact and other psychic manifestations can result in crippling drug and/or alcohol addiction, insanity, bizarre psychic phenomena, and terminal diseases. There's probably more effects that I'm forgetting at the moment, but you get the idea. And this is all to receive messages that, at best, may have no relationship to our own dimension whatsoever.

But can we simply dismiss these experiences in consciousness as out and out evil? Can certain individuals avoid them even if they want? In answer to both, I would have to state a hesitant no. Speaking as someone who has dabbled in divination, psychedelics, and other aspects of metaprogramming, I feel that I gained something valuable from them... Namely, the ability to see through the illusions. Unfortunately, many are easily seduced. And worse, few even consider the implications when trying to make contact, or falling into contact, with the other side.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Suffer the Children III

'Satanic Ritual Abuse' has been officially discredited since the early 90s, yet evidence of its existence keeps emerging, if only fleetingly. Consider this tragedy from Wales:

"Cult leader Colin Batley, 48, was found guilty of more than 35 offences against children and young adults...

"The court heard how the cult operated from a number of homes in a cul-de-sac, Clos yr Onnen, in Kidwelly.

"Batley, his wife Elaine and two other women who all lived in the street took part in a catalogue of abuse against children and young adults.

"Victims said the group used occult writings and practices to 'brainwash' them, and justify their abuse.

"Batley used his position as the cult leader to rape boys and girls.

"One of his victims told the court that when she became pregnant as a young teenager, Batley told her the unborn baby was a 'child of the occult' and threatened to kill her if she spoke out.

"Batley was found guilty of 35 offences, including 11 rapes, three indecent assaults, causing prostitution for personal gain, causing a child to have sex and inciting a child to have sex."

In another article from the same day hints are given at the techniques used by the cult to brainwash the children:

"Ian Haworth, general secretary of the Cult Information Centre, said the group led by Colin Batley appeared to show many of the classic traits...

"Mr Haworth has worked as a full-time specialist, consultant and expert witness in cultism since 1979, informed by his own experience as a former member of a cult.

"He told BBC Wales that cult leaders often used techniques such as food and sleep deprivation to break people down."

Food and sleep deprivation were favorites of the interrogators at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo as well. From this MSNBC article:

"Medical examinations of former terrorism suspects held by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group...

"Those examined alleged that they were tortured or abused, including sexually, and described being shocked with electrodes, beaten, shackled, stripped of their clothes, deprived of food and sleep, and spit and urinated on."

Sleep and food deprivation have also been used by shamans and Mystery School initiates for centuries to induce visions of nonhuman entities as well. A vision quest would be a classic example of this.

Unfortunately, the media seems to already be in full tabloid mode as far as the revelations of Wales cult ring is concerned. From a prior cited article:

"Mr Haworth said between 500 and 1,000 cults were operating throughout the UK.

"'It's a growing phenomenon and each person that's recruited becomes an automatic recruiter of others,' he said.

"'They are in major cities and they are in quiet, rural areas as well."

While I certainly do not question the existence of SRA, I'm extremely skeptical of the scale of abuse many self-proclaimed experts state. In the U.S. unwanted children from broken homes are a dime a dozen, as tragic as that may sound -Why go to the trouble of abducting children from WASP-y backgrounds where the parents more likely than not will frantically search for their loved ones? I've yet to find any details on the type of children that were initiated into the Wales cult, but the backgrounds of the convicted cult members imply that they were not from the best circumstances -two of the three women convicted were prostitutes. I would tentatively speculate that the Wales cult was some kind of paedophilic prostitution ring to the elite. I doubt much will come out concerning their clientele.

Another issue I have to take with Mr. Haworth is that cults of this type are a growing phenomenon. If anything, their heyday seems to have passed at some point in the late 70s or early 80s. By the time the 'Satanic Ritual Abuse' panic was in full swing in the late 80s and early 90s the Cryptocracy had largely wrapped up those types of operations -Our culture had changed to the point that cult indoctrination was no longer necessary to destabilize the masses. Former Process member Thomas Wyllie sums up this view quite nicely in this interview:

"Q: During the Process salon at the Anthology Film Archives right around when Love Sex Fear Death came out you mentioned that cults could be a good thing, that there were many benefits to you spending time in one. Could you describe examples of what a good cult experience would be?

"A: The biggest benefit is that one gets to experience a kind of life that isn't available under normal circumstances. This especially applies to reincarnates, who require an accelerated learning curve. Most western societies these days are both risk and pain averse. Cults allow those who need to go through their own pain and anger to do it in a safe situation. Cults can become a microcosm of society, so people in cults can experience a far wider array of possibilities like service, obedience, leadership, as well as what it's like to live without personal possessions, money, and personal freedom. Celibacy for a period is also a necessary psychic/emotional antidote in an over-sexed society. Possibly the greatest gift a cult bestows is when one leaves it. One emerges back into life with the opportunity to follow one's own drummer--free of parental etc influences, and understanding the dire consequences of ever giving away one's power again.

"Q: If you were involved in the start of a new cult now in 2011 what would change compared to the Process? What would you focus on?

"A: I wouldn't. I feel cults have had their day. At this point in time and in a spiritual sense, it's every person for themselves. Cults in the sixties and seventies were a kind of clean-up contingency. The were so many reincarnates who needed to work on themselves (and be worked on). The kids these days are different--they don't really need cults the way we did."

Wyllie's statement is very apt -increasingly fewer children need brainwashing to engage in childhood prostitution, for instance. Consider this lovely incident from this blog's namesake county:

"A 76-year-old DeBary man is being held on $1 million bond, accused of repeatedly trading prescription pills for sex with a teenage girl. Arnold McDermott already is facing drug charges after he sold 15 Oxycodone pills to an undercover narcotics agent back in September. On Friday, McDermott’s legal problems got significantly worse after Volusia County Sheriff’s investigators arrested him for unlawful sexual activity with a minor and lewd or lascivious battery."

Cult's just don't have the mojo they once did with the rise of what I like to think of as Occult/MK culture as the driving reality shaper in our society. At this rate the Cryptocracy's paedophiles will not need the cult network much longer to feed their appetites.