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The Shootings


Virtually every talking head in the business goes through this obtuse and convoluted exploration of the motivation of mass murderers each time this happens. The other day, it was the Empire State Building. Not too long ago, it was an attempted massacre at a homosexual liberation office (or whatever parlance might render it). A bit farther back, and some jackass attacked a bunch of Sikhs, as though that would ever be reasonable in the continental United States. Am I implying that it would be reasonable in the territories, or Hawaii, or Alaska? Of course not. Sikhs are among the most inoffensive subsets imaginable. How about Aurora? Did that make sense? Or the Giffords shooting? Did Columbine make sense? Did this guy make sense?

The more efficient and effective the killer, the more likely they are to be characterized by the term, pseudo-commando. And while that's a cute way of getting posthumous revenge of an ontological sort on a killer, the explanation is flatly wrong. We know better in the mystical business. The seemingly crazed, seemingly random shooter is not locked into a psychology of revenge and obliteration; this rage has direction and purpose and clear intent. There are no innocent victims from the standpoint of a killer like Seung-Hui Cho
whose weird life experience in the American Public Educational system (APE for short) was characterized by years of labeling, special education, and sickeningly repetitive rounds of behavioral modification. Add to this the sense of total societal alienation brought on by his general difficulties with social interaction, and girls become as inaccessible as guys. Such a character ends up with no emotional or sexual outlets, no or few friends and little in the way of anything to keep him from training for war and destroying his enemies.

 But what is this war, and who is the enemy?

The mass murderer is not a mystery, and neither is the kind of motivation behind these killings. It is our refusal as a social organism to admit our flaws - and our individual and personal roles in coming to socially ostracize individuals - that causes news casters, social workers, psychiatric professionals and politicians to look mournfully into the cameras and murmur horrified platitudes of hopeless confusion. The mass murderer kills "indiscriminately" because they have come to various realizations. From the point of view of such individuals, society exists as a monolithic organism. Think of an ant farm, and think of how we commonly see only ants, rather than thousands of separate identities. Who has kept an ant farm and named each individual ant, tracking their movements and their day-to-day personal struggles and triumphs? 

Individuals who are wracked by the negative results of alienation generally kind find outlets. There's indie rock and a variety of literary movements and genres like the Beats and more modern therapeutic and soothing nihilisms like what springs from the word processor of Palahniuk or the late David Foster Wallace. Let's be clear - some of the escapists that offer people struggling with the nausea of daily existence can appear to be every bit as crazy as those who eventually act out. But it seems that for a high percentage of the alienated and disenfranchised, the opportunity to read or hear or watch someone else struggling with the hardly bearable irritation of living is sufficient. Bullets are not required in order for most of us to feel justified. To the tiny percentage of people prone to acting out violently against the controlling systems and structures, however, the people in the world are not validated or validating in their struggles for normalcy, acceptance or balance. They are as likely to be seen as cogs in a machine, or agents in a matrix. We can readily be seen as part of the prison - the bars themselves.

The mass murderer sees us in precisely this way. We are a faceless, soulless mass, and we are the enemy, our ranks forever closing him off from the possibility of inclusion. Hope is lost; connection is impossible or at least very unlikely. And if one is surrounded by beings that seem set on preventing the fulfillment of our most basic human desires, then it makes sense for one to eventually decide to make a point about one's isolation and alienation. Arguments of this sort are best written in blood, and the more that blood is perceived by the social organism to be "innocent", the better. So the mass murderer becomes drawn to philosophies of annihilation and destruction - white supremacy, Islamofascism, anarchism, conspiracy-thinking and other ideologies that deny meaning or significance to social integration and cooperation while exalting the perfect isolation of the lone, right-thinking individual.

We think little enough of things that underlie the bulk of these events, concentrating instead on our own thoroughly predictable narcissistic responses: It could have been us or those close to us in each case. This kind of revolutionary activity is so extreme, it takes careful consideration to even detect the casus belli and the secret declaration behind each act of terrible, vengeful independence. To shoot up a venue or location; to butcher one's co-workers, one's fellow audience members, one's classmates is to engage in the supreme statement of "Fuck You" imaginable.

The baffling thing to so many who are fed up with "the System" in whatever form they perceive it to take is the fact that these people attack relatively inoffensive targets. Clearly, shooting one's boss makes a far better impact on the mainstream consciousness than shooting the guy from cubicle 290. Even if said guy was an asshole who screwed you out of a promotion - or else always stole the last apple danish - the real obstacle to immediate success is always the person holding the keys to the executive washroom. There is no literal link between slaughtering middle or upper management and an improved working environment, but if one is going to take one for the team and go out in a blaze of so-called glory, at least kill somebody who deserves it in the view of a certain percentage of Americans. How many would mourn the loss of a major CEO or a reviled political figure, after all? The mainstream media would trumpet the usual platitudes and soundbites, but the revolutionary message would be far better carried and its underground influence would be significant indeed.

But that is the point, isn't it? The whole motivation of the mass murderer becomes obvious when we realize that the killings are essentially target-less. Or that, more correctly, all persons are valid and equal targets; everybody is equally deserving of death in the mass murderer's mind. We all have it coming. Such a decision is reflective of some deeply internalized state in which the social organism itself is the enemy.

This is revolutionary activity. The individual who seems to the majority of people to be crazy is in fact of the same opinion regarding the rest of us. A brief interview with folks of this bent reveals this fact in glaring - and frightening - detail. In a real sense, the unconscious and manipulative systems utilized by pseudo-democracy to control individuals results in an equally unconscious and uncontrolled revolutionary response. The bottom line? They can see the strings, the pulley systems, the levers and chains and gilded cages the rest of us can't, and from a very early age it drives them to madness. What for many of us are simply social systems, microcultures and rituals of daily life and daily interactions are for them unoriginal and programmed subroutines that clearly identify the majority of the masses as somehow less than human. As such, our role in trapping these folks - in oppressing and limiting them - is met with violent outrage. 

So that's why.

In the Hermetic world, we speak of such things with certainty and clarity of vision: Men are what they have always been and women too. The ability to simultaneously understand and believe conflicting concepts is the union of opposites. When the oppositional concepts cannot resolve due to faults or flaws in either the individual or his or her environment, then chaos results. It may be that the mass murderer's mind tries to resolve the individual with the collective and ends up with a novel - and destructive - answer. The cure for this is of course a total overhaul of civilization as we know it. Either that, or we learn to tolerate living in a world where something like a trip to the grocery store may result in death or a debilitating injury.


Satan Said So

“Satan Said So” is the sort of phrase one might associate with “I was just following orders” but there is great power in the will of an ancient discarnate intelligence. We are not just talking about an excuse when we speak of this phrase. We are talking about the power of spiritual puppetry. We may as well have quoted “Satan Said Dance” and explored the idea that the world dances to Satan’s beat.

I’d like to give a shout out to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for their wonderfully titled song, “Satan Said Dance” and their excellent work overall. We should all pause to consider the possibility that artists of every stripe are now what they have always been --- born resistors, designed by a God many of them do not even recognize as real to identify the faults and flaws in Authority’s Armor. Perhaps Athena’s Men had influence in the construction of these lyrics; one will find the Orders of the Quest engaged very often in covert efforts to liberate all of humankind. A song like “Satan Said Dance” very easily evokes the metaphor of a world dedicated to evil where the most basic social systems and functions demand that people “dance” to the proper “tune” if they would receive even the most basic needs and benefits. Satan tells men to dance to his tune and to forsake God. Messages of power need powerful names.

This essay is similarly titled for varying reasons. 

The song stands on its own merits and it’s worth listening to. These lyrics are power; they convey ancient truths and modern satiricisms that cannot be denied. This material reality asks much of those who would be successful by the standards of the world; it takes a rare and powerful spiritual intellect to see the ultimate trick within the game. Moreover, we are encouraged to live in practicalities and obey the dictates of the material rather than the ideal. Herein lies the secret message of the Orders of the Quest: Strive for the Ideal Reality, no matter what another force or will may intend. When we live only for material things, our lesser nature surfaces, and darkness reigns supreme. But when we seek the ideal, we raise the bar; even if we cannot achieve perfection, we are improved by striving for it.

The commandment of Satan is a different matter entirely; it is worthy of note that artists may start out down the road to salvation through revolution and somehow end at perdition. Cairbre mac Ethne employed satire against Bres, the Firbolg King, causing him to lose his throne. And his satire was equally powerful against the Fomorians, who fled rather than risk battle once their morale had been broken by Cairbre’s biting songs

What’s afoot in the world today is so dark and so clearly operational on levels behind the scenes that it has birthed a kind of mass obsession with paranoia and conspiracy. This is countered by the jabbering and virtually endless diatribe of pseudo scientists and false skeptics who confuse the issues by belaboring meaningless points and engaging in base sophistry. The central cores of arguments are ignored in favor of straw men. There are many with the gall to exalt a legal and criminal justice system that charges people with conspiracy on a regular – perhaps even daily – basis, yet simultaneously decry any suggestion that conspiracies might exist at the highest levels of power and wealth. While stupid, this kind of argument can be particularly persuasive to those who deeply desire to remain asleep, comfortable, and passively under domination.

Mysticism, song and magical power have long been linked. The projection of will into the physical realm is a complex affair, and it is often not observable from the standpoint of the skeptic, whose fear and loathing of the unknown causes them to retreat within the safe boundaries of a well-constructed fantasy world. It is fear that produces all these weird and convoluted explanations by the skeptical community; whether addressing ghosts, the paranormal, cryptids or UFOs, the average skeptic can hardly been seen to shave with Occam’s Razor.  

The Vicar is not alone in finding this odd and ironic: A good sorcerer relies upon Occam’s Razor in the resolution of dichotomies and the transformation of will into action. It is absolutely essential in creating a functional union of opposites. Yet the scientific community – as marked by schism and sect as any religious family – cannot actively employ this essential tool without becoming just as obfuscating and complex in its efforts to identify and codify causes. Athena’s Men have discussed this at length, and we are told, so too have our ancestors. Doubtless it is the same amongst the other mystic Orders of the Quest. 

The world around you is motivated by powers rarely accepted by officialdom, at least in an overt way. That an Occult Elite exists at the pinnacle of things cannot be doubted, if only because great wealth will inevitably yield great boredom, and in short order. It is the idle hands, hearts and heads of the supremely wealthy and powerful that provide fertile ground for the Devil’s seeds. And he has a great many seeds. So the most comfortable of all human beings will also end up being the ones who go in search of more perverse and profound forms of diversion --- a thing Bret Easton Ellis inadvertently explains with his Less Than Zero.
Thus we come to the notion that "Satan Said So - the essential truth that the most powerful and most wealthy are often those who least deserve their successes, save that they are the ones most willing to obey the dictates of the oldest and most evil of intelligences other than the Creator. Satan is as sufficient a name as any. It has many names.

Not very long ago, Roseanne Barr told Craig Ferguson that she had made a deal with the Devil to achieve fame and fortune. This would explain a great deal about her successes, which are hardly deserved from the standpoint of virtue. Granted, both the society and culture in which she thrives are deeply lacking in virtue. She is also by no means the first or only celebrity to have openly engaged in a deal with the Devil, and she is in august company when we widen the field to include heads of state and other individuals who have advanced to the fore of their areas of expertise &/or times. Indeed, whether this is metaphor or literal reality means little; when Satan Said Dance, then society did its best to keep in time. We must remember that the human psychosocial drama is predicated upon limitation of our better natures and the assumption that evil fundamentally motivates many of our actions. There are those political philosophers who deny the truth, but they are fools. The reality is that a civilization does not need laws if human beings are generally good.

These are the realities that Athena’s Men are dedicated to revealing, that Communism and Capitalism (now Consumerism) are two sides of the same coin. That the coin in question is for Charon, and the ferry riders are all mankind. That the limited thinking of the masses is imposed upon them by a variety of systems; the bottom line is control, not wealth. Wealth is already in the hands of those who would keep it. Domination is the game. Those who accept the domination also accept the status quo; they are slaves by choice and deserve the Great Dying, which is still, by the way, coming. Those who rise and will fight will taste freedom and see eternity. Those who accept chains are forever lost; slavery destroys spirit and body in one blow. 

Management of large numbers of servants is tiresome, and eventually there get to be so many of them that it becomes expensive to feed and house them all. It is far better that they starve – or barring that – a mechanism of population management must be engaged by any and all means necessary. Too many ruled turns quickly into too many rebels under the proper conditions of exploitation &/or privation.

It is best if we learn to ignore the vile mysticism and the false idolatry of our temporary masters. Rest assured, those in the pinnacle of the pyramid are not very strong, since they rely so very much upon deception and misdirection to maintain their place. They are easily undone and overwhelmed, as the very systems they rely upon may be shut down by the collective will of people with great ease. If we do not pay taxes, there is no money for anything; if we do not pay taxes en masse, there is no way to enforce the laws at all. If we would undo the fabric of their power we would do well to find Weezer’s sweater string and pull as we walk away. All systems have weaknesses. Every fortress has secret entrances and unforeseen flaws in the defenses.

Civil disobedience and nonviolent or passive resistance are fine starting points, but it is the power brokers themselves who have seen to it that these deceptions are propagated and popularized by the mainstream media. The purpose is obvious: If we seek a Gandhi, we will not follow a George Washington. If we identify with a martyred Martin Luther King, we will not see the value and importance of following a warrior rebel like Andrew Jackson. Virgil sang of arms and the man for good reason; the warrior gets what he wants or dies trying. No honor exists in any other course. Brave people are free people, as the song says.

Power has traditionally been achieved through violence. Very little else can be used to motivate the inherence of power, although sometimes it is more violence that is implied than violence that is actually employed; this is the model demonstrated to the world by America’s cunning and highly effective use of MAD – known by its more fun name, Mutually Assured Destruction. Either way, it was a crazy idea that still holds America firmly in the seat of global power today, along with the world's greatest operational conventional military – though for how long is anyone’s guess. But the threat of global slaughter is certainly persuasive. What we can be sure of is that a class of rulers willing to wipe out humankind to avoid defeat would not hesitate to engineer mass starvation, chaos and enslavement.

Human sacrifice is the key to the door to prosperity for the few at the top.

After all, Satan Said So.


Corn Demon Field Investigation

August 4, 2012 - Carmi, IL near Maple Ridge Cemetery - Off County Road 1000

The Vicar decided to leave the old wizard tower last weekend and actually go In Search Of... since it's hardly proper for a sorcerer to fail to undertake a good adventure. For good measure, he took along an adequate guide - here called Sam - because the man knows the terrain, the migrant workers who tell these tales, Mexican and Guatemalan Spanish... and because he reported to me one helluva story.

Cemetery and adjacent corn field - Carmi, IL
The Vicar's contacts undertake social services work for migrant laborers in the Midwest, in part because raising the standard of living and access to relevant community resources for these people means that they are more on par with American workers. In other words, improving the lot of migrants leads to a more competitive labor market overall.

That's the Vicar's sociopolitical commentary for the day.

My primary contact Sam reported to me that two of his colleagues were told of a recent hair-raising experience at night on the outskirts of Carmi, IL. He provided several pictures, some of which are included here. We decided to travel to the location and attempt to interview local migrant workers, but they had cleared out - whether because the drought is killing the need for labor or because the Corn Demon is killing the laborers is hard to tell.

The social services representatives recounted via a phone conversation on site that four migrants were crossing a corn field around 11 PM, headed back to their camp after walking to the CVS on Main Street to purchase various basic needs. As they emerged from the edge of the corn and were about to travel alongside the Maple Ridge Cemetery, one of the unnamed men realized he had dropped a rolled up piece of plastic sheeting that was evidently of some importance. He turned back, and headed into the drought-battered corn only to return seconds later at a run - with something dark, silent and utterly unnatural hot on his heels.

The social services workers insisted that there was no specific or detailed description of the thing that pursued the men to the edge of the cemetery. The men claimed that after they got in among the headstones, the thing broke off pursuit, apparently disappearing around the corner of a nearby brick house. They were totally prepared to write the story off, except for a few compelling details.

First, the men claimed that they had scaled a chain link fence in an effort to get away from the creature, and that the thing had promptly pulled down several sections in order to continue pursuit. That struck me as unlikely, so I asked to see the location.

As evidenced, the chain link fence was positively mangled. The question remains as to what actually did this, however.

What struck me immediately was that the corn in the corner by the fence was torn up and dislodged as though the story were true: Men having run frantically through the area pursued by - for lack of a better term - a Corn Demon. But if it is such a creature that tore down this section of fence, it is something possessed of astonishing strength.

I thought at once that perhaps the fence line had been destroyed by something more pedestrian, like a tree. The only problem with that theory is the fact that no tree is in the immediate vicinity, and there is nothing remotely like tree-related debris that one would expect to be there. The site is reasonably far from any kind of serviceable road, and there is nothing to immediately suggest that a vehicle or heavy earth moving equipment was on site. The Vicar has done honest work in his life, and the fact is that the ground would be chaos if someone had brought a backhoe through there. Moreover, I've installed fence in my day, and this is the sort where the posts are set in concrete. Yet two of them are significantly shifted and almost have been uprooted.

A different view of the fence, facing the cemetery, shows how odd this damage really is; it really does look as though something over eight feet tall reached up and pulled the chain link fence over in order to get across.

But the story didn't begin to get really creepy until we came across this at the far end of the field where the men were said to have initially doubled back: A plastic tarpaulin or piece of sheeting, bundled for carrying, had apparently been cast down in this odd location - just as the migrants had said. Or so it was reported to us. Were these casual artifacts - fence and plastic bundle - somehow observed by the social services workers and then artfully spun into a compelling story? And if so, what pulled down the fence?

Furthermore, note the long, fairly straight but slightly sinuous path in the image. It doesn't quite look like the result of machinery, given that the edges of the track seem wavy, as though something perhaps serpentine crossed the ground here. And there is only one track, whereas farm machinery typically has more than one wheel...

A close look at the soil in the suspicious track or path reveals an odd, rippled pattern in the soil that makes little sense in the absence of rain over the past several weeks. The United States is currently experiencing the worst drought it has seen in a 56-year period. On a side note, those of you with Hermetic awareness will no doubt identify that this is a numerological 11, and we are in the 11th year after the 9-11 event. But I digress...

A wider view of the soil in the track area shows what seems to be wave-like patterns - pointed up by my expert photo editing wherein I have inserted a red rectangle. The two facts taken together - mottled, rippled soil in a wavelike pattern - seems to suggest a reptilian skin and an undulating motion... Assuming we weren't just being put on by some social workers who found some random weirdness and were having a slow week.

But the Vicar and Sam weren't quite done. We looked around the edges of the corn field and the cemetery, and located a brick house. Our information was of course second hand at best, and Southern Illinois communities are well known for brick construction - just ask Ray Bradbury via seance, since this story felt like it came from his typewriter. But the migrants had claimed the creature disappeared around the corner of a brick house, and we looked for any signs that might suggest something had happened in the immediate area. We found this:

Visible between the slats that protect the underside of the porch was a large burrow-like hole. These are not uncommon under porches and are usually the work of large rodents like raccoons or badgers. But Sam was not to be put off and he snapped this photo. About this time, we realized we had attracted the attention of a representative of the White County Sheriff's Department as he pulled his cruiser up near us on the edge of County Road 1000.

Once it was established that we were not up to some nefarious business, the officer - who prefers to remain nameless - told us that the story "Sounds like a bunch of bullshit, to be honest." We were informed that migrant labor is scarce in White County - a claim which Sam politely declined to contest directly to the officer's face. The officer further informed us that the handful of migrants around were "almost always drunk", and that there was no legend of anything in the corn. Any such legend would be the result of acute intoxication. He then stated that Carmi is in fact a nice town with a golf course and a college.

The Sheriff's Deputy turned to go, but I had one more question. I pointed to the damaged fence. "What do you think brought that down?" I asked.

The deputy eyed the fence and then looked me over once as though to be sure I wasn't an attorney or a legitimate journalist of some sort. "The wind," he replied with a shrug. And then he drove away.

His answer sounded like "a bunch of bullshit" too, for the record. The things I note as significant in this investigation are as follows:

  • The incident is supposed to have occurred in and near a cornfield, which lies close by a cemetery.
  • There is immediate physical evidence in the form of a downed section of chain link fence.
  • A piece of bundled sheet plastic was actually still on site, and this was supposedly dropped by one of the migrant workers.
  • A suggestive burrow is in the immediate vicinity of where the creature was said to have disappeared, although how it got under that porch would be a whole other story. We were not able to continue our examination of the house because we were not able to obtain permission... And we had thoroughly annoyed a local Sheriff's Deputy.
  • There is not rational or clear explanation of what brought down the fence or of what left the curious track in the field.
None of this is particularly ideal in terms of evidence. I'd far rather have the body of Cecrops to put on display, but alas, it isn't so. El Diablo Del Maiz may have eluded us last weekend. But this is in part because we didn't really look for him all that hard. Once the Vicar saw the fence, I began to think discretion might be the better part of valor in monster hunting as well as in all other things.


"Planet Weird" promises a new take on the strange

An intrepid band of Canada-based Fortean researchers has a fresh outlook on Forteana in the new documentary, "Planet Weird".

The link lets you see a bit of this well-made and evidently well-handled piece. It's easy to see that these young people have a strong enthusiasm for their subject and a great determination to succeed that has "bright future" written all over it.

Brought to you by Greg Newkirk and company, the people behind Who Forted and The Bigfoot Hunter: Still Searching - the documentary apparently takes us on a bit of an odyssey around North America in the search for the unknown. This includes experiences of the paranormal, the cryptozoological and the UFOlogical. And the quest occurs against the backdrop any and all of us in the business have come to understand as both essential and perilous - Pop-Cultural acceptance of the weird as a sales-marketing milieu and an entertainment venture.

The Vicar has had brief and casual dealings with the folks out at Who Forted? since Mr. Newkirk and I met electronically a few weeks back. They seem to be a respectful and tight-knit group of fairly serious researchers who are not afraid to enjoy the lighter side of the Great Unknown. Their sense of humor is refreshing in a field where so many personalities take themselves and their subject matters entirely too seriously. After all, it's not as though we can really be expected to believe in things like the Mongolian Death Worm, is it? For the category of "believable-unbelievable", the Vicar personally draws the line at the Corn Demon.


Anyway, if the kids at Who Forted can do enough good work for a long enough time, I think it's entirely possible that we might end up with a real life Scooby Doo Mystery Machine Gang on our hands, and that's no joke. It's not even a laughing matter. Although it's anyone's guess who gets to be the dog and who gets to be the pot smoking, dog-treat scarfing hippie. But beyond the obvious fart joke title of the webzine and the tongue-in-cheek tone of the team's work, there's a hard-hitting and self-aware group of young investigators that actually think outside the box. Which means they've read their Fort, since Fortean Philosophy is definitely about unconventional thinking. It's a mix of traits that almost can't fail.

I proudly support the Who Forted team and I wish them fortune in all they do. They are a fresh wind much needed in a closed room filled with stale air. So let's open the windows and see what blows in. If we're all very lucky, it might even be an owl.