Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If You Know What I Mean

Sometimes I think it is more important to have a great friend than a great lover. This doesn't apply to the people who are lucky enough to have both of course. Terry Robinson of New Zealand is such a friend for me. I am also close to other people on the interwebz and am lucky to have a family I love more than my own life, and a few friends left in Arizona and elsewhere that I have known in the past and present who haven't abandoned the Good Ship Devin as he has taken on a bit of water in the last few years. But for this article and others to come, hopefully, I would like to just say a little about what I have learned from Mr. Robinson through his writings. He has changed my outlook on life tremendously when I needed it most. Tonights article about him and his thoughts will be short. I need to re-charge my insomnia addled brain before I say more!

Terry Robinson is the handsome fellow in the second image from the top and the pretty young ladies are members of his family. The images are from his new book of poetry which he was kind enough to send me along with a beautiful short letter that was in perfect synch with some thoughts I had as I was struggling to fall asleep this morning. I received the book today and was actually shocked at how much both some of his poems (I haven't had the chance to read all of them, but am enjoying the ones I have immensely) and his letter were in step with some thoughts I had about human existence, and the enormous beauty and wonder of our ephemeral lives.

Terry Robinson is also the author of A Walk With An Irishman published in 2008 by Moonshine Press. It was this book which provided me with a sort of lifeline to sanity a matter of nights ago. Those of you who know me, know that the last few years-2009 in particular have been rough ones for me. God only knows I have bitched about and moaned about things enough to fill a balloon with hot air-(hopefully this balloon would not be one belonging to the horrible Heene "I want my 15 minutes of fame to turn into an hour" parents!) This is one aspect of my personality I hope to change and work on immediately-and this desire to change in a positive manner came from reading Terry's book. Thanks by the way to those of you who have stood by me through my various meltdowns-this past year especially! Good think I'm not a nuclear reactor eh? I woulda Chernobyl'd us all by now!

A Walk With An Irishman is about Terry's life. One might think -ok a book about one of us regular workaday people with no murders, no vast accumuations of fortunes gained and lost etcetera-how interesting could that be? My answer-extremely interesting! Terry Robinson has a great gift -a way-of talking about the events and people in his life that makes you want to turn the next page.

Terry had a breakdown at the age of 53 that lasted quite some time. But what he couldn't have imagined at this point in his life-this nadir and bottomless pit of hopelessness, was that he was to emerge like the mythical Phoenix triumphantly after a series of globetrotting adventures. Terry describes perfectly the way I was feeling a matter of nights (and well into the early am) ago. That night I was in a state of desperation. Getting the paperwork together for my disability case was turning into something that felt like being in a Woody Allen movie directed by David Lynch! I don't know how many of you will have seen "Inland Empire"-but at one point when I was talking to one of the people who were supposed to help me I wouldn't have been surprised if the soundtrack to that movie started in the background along with the dancing girls and rabbits. I truly felt on this night that after the day I had had, that I might be having a mental breakdown. Not only that but my body felt like the proverbial wet dishrag. I was in pain and had barely enough energy to make it to the bathroom

I had this thought- "I know we aren't supposed to kill ourselves but what if one truly feels that they have nothing left to give to others-and at the same time feel like an enormous mountain -sized burden on the people that you love. Would it be such a horrible thing to do? Would it be such a karma- soaked basket of consequences in the next world (if there is one) or another human existence (if there is one)?" Then I remembered the struggles of Terry Robinson. I remembered he had an awful time and had come through his difficulties and strife with a beautiful new outlook on life. I went to the page where he describes his initial breakdown: "I woke up one morning feeling as though my body had completely given up on me. It was the most horrible feeling of hopelessness to ever touch my being. I could hardly move my limbs and my body felt as if all the blood had been drawn from it...Later in the day I dragged myself out to the back door steps and sat there completely demoralized. I felt as if I was living in a void. In my shattered state of mind I found it hard to relate to anything except anxiety."

Terry's words describe my own state of a few nights ago perfectly. However, even though I was still in quite a state-questioning the value of continuing on -somehow I knew I would find something in his words and thoughts to get me through the most "nightus horribilus" of my life. Sorry for the lame take on QE2's "annus horribilus"! And Terry Robinson being the treasure he is, provided me with a lifeline-a rope to lift myself up-whereas before I might have found an object to hang myself with! So obviously I can't understate the value of his friendship and his books (2 of them now-A Walk With An Irishman is about his life (with some wonderful poetry from the soul thrown in! and the book pictured above is a book of poetry) to me!

I will close with a poem by Terry from his latest book. I hope to return in the future to some thoughts Terry has shared in his book, poetry and correspondence that resonate with everything from Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions and philosophies to certain modern (and ancient) seekers of truth.

To Guide:

The word educator comes from
the Latin educare meaning to guide, to lead,
but I have to ask who's guiding who, where,
and who's leading who, where?

I will never be able to thank you enough Terry! Sending love and hugs to you and your wonderful family from Arizona to New Zealand!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In The News...

March 1974
People walking by a homeless, shabby-looking man, who routinely sat on a wall outside the railway station at Kingston, Surrey, ignored him completely. Something-deep inuition-perhaps made Ron Hallard look up. The man was his father who had vanished in 1958 without a word to anyone. The elderly gentleman had been traumatized by the blitz during World War 2. Ron had made many attempts to find him over the years in between 1958 and 1974.FT5:15

May 1976

"The Wildman of Hubei Province" was spotted by an expedition sent to look for him on the 14th. Two researchers from the Insitute of Paleoanthropology, gave Fortean Times magazine an account of the sighting. The Chinese version of Bigfoot was seen by a team travelling in the Shennongija forest region. The reddish-furred, man-like animal had walked through the beam of one of their vehicle's headlights. FT31:2

February 1985

Maya Bykova of Moscow's Darwin Museum sent an account of a "water monster" sighting to Fortean Times magazine. A sighting from an underwater laboratory of a "huge serpent of silvery hue" was included. This unknown animal had casually swam up to the porthole of the submarine vessel and looked in with huge eyes, but couldn't be identified by the crew. FT51:59

May 1986

David Fassold, an American marine surveyor returned to the spot on a mountain, near Uzengili, Turkey, where he believed Noah's Ark had been buried. The Turkish Air Force had photographed a strange, boat-shaped formation there in 1957. Fassold said it was a reed boat about 515 feet (157m) long and 137 feet (42m) wide. Ground penetrating radar reported objects 16 inches (40cm) apart; Fassold said these were iron nails. The expedition was stopped when the governor of Agri province refused non-Turkish archaeologists permission to dig at the site. FT54:27

March 1994

The U.S. embassy in Guatemala was advising Americans not to travel there after rumors spread that Americans were kidnapping local children for their body parts. One tourist, Melissa Larson, had to be rescued by police from a potential lynching. The next day a mob burned the police station down, and the army was called in for riot control. Two other foreigners had narrow escapes with death from enraged mobs. In April, a woman was hacked to death after stopping to talk to a child. Rumors also targeted "bandit clowns" and unregistered nurseries." FT76:48

January 1995

On 6 January, a British Airways 737 passed close to a wedge-shaped craft over the Pennines, according to a report by the Independent Joint Airmiss Working Group. At 6:48pm Flight 5061 from Milan was eight to nine nautical miles southeast of Manchester Airport with 60 people aboard. The encounter took place when the jet was at 4,000 feet, just above the clouds. It was dark, but visibility was at least six miles. Captain Roger Wills saw the speedy craft approach and pass silently on the starboard side of the plane in the opposite direction. Wills tracked it for about two seconds through the windshield and side window. He thought it had a number of small white lights on it. The craft passed so close to them that his co-pilot, First Officer Mark Stuart, involuntarily ducked. Stuart remembers seeing a black stripe down the objects side. The craft did not leave any apparent wake in its trail.

The two pilots were questioned independently and drew what they had seen. They agreed exactly about the shape, but disagreed about the lighting. Stuart thought that the object was only illuminated by the 737's landing lights which were switched on at that stage. The captain estimated the craft's size as between a light aircraft and a small jet, but he emphasized this was pure speculation. Radar didn't detect any strange craft, but the pilots are positive that the craft was solid and not a balloon, model aircraft, or even a military Stealth aircraft-both because it made no noise and Stuart had seen before and would have recognized. The official report said, "Enquiries into military activity did not reveal any aircraft in that area at the time, and it was considered inconceivable that such activity would take place so close to a busy airport without some sort of prior notification." The report concluded that the incident "remains unsolved" and also commented: "To speculate about extraterrestrial activity...is not with the Groups' remit." Civil Aviation Airmiss Report No 2/95; Times, 2 February 1996; Daily Mail, 3 February 1996.

May 1995-?

71 people were killed in a Bosnian Serb mortar attack on 25 May, 1995. The mortar shells have long stopped falling in Bosnia, but for a time (maybe still) no one drives by Kapija Square in Tuzla's old town after midnight. A ghost with no legs has been seen at the bombing site. The ghost was spotted last December 1995 by a military police officer, Mustafa Piric. At first, not realizing what he was dealing with, he asked the female apparition for her identification papers as she was out after curfew. She had long blond hair, but when she turned around he saw that she had no face, and then he heard her cry: " Give me back my legs!" Alma Ahemedbegovic, a 20-year-old radio operator said, "A lot of people here believe in ghosts and spirits. They believe this girl's spirit can't rest because she was buried without her legs." Ahmedbegovic had helped to pull dying friends from the rubble in the square. The mass funeral for the victims was held secretly in the middle of the night for fear of another attack. The mortar attack had an enormous impact on the town, as almost everyone knew someone who was killed. Many have woken from nightmares to see their dead friends standing before them as if they were still alive. Hartford Courant, 14 January 1996; Guardian, 30, January 1996.

February 1996

Stephen Rees, a 36 year-old truck driver from Great Horton, England was supposed to fly to the Phillipines to start a new life as a chauffeur. On the way, he stopped and looked at such cities as Munich, Madrid, New York, Singapore and Bangkok. On the flight from Thailand to the Phillipines, he fell asleep and missed the stopover in Manila. When he woke up the plane was approaching Tokyo. He phoned his new employer only to be told he had lost the job. Mr. Rees only had the equivalent of about 80 US dollars and the clothes he was wearing since his suitcase had been taken off in Manila.

The British consul was unable to help. Rees spent the night at the airport until he was befriended by 3 Canadian construction workers who gave him work to raise money for his flight home. He flew to Seoul, South Korea, thinking this would be the easiest route back to the UK. Unfortunately, he had no visa and was deported to Hong Kong. Officials in Hong Kong sent him right back to Seoul. Mr. Rees fought with the South Korean immigration officials, and finally Korean Air agreed to fly him home. Before leaving Seoul, he telephoned a friend in Bradford to pick him up at Heathrow. He arrived back in England 17 days after he had set out. Immigration officials in the UK didn't believe he was the same man as the well-dressed person in his passport photograph. Special Branch held him for several hours on suspiciion of being an illegal immigrant. By the time Rees finally convinced them that he was indeed Rees, Rees's friend had assumed that he had missed his flight and left. Mr. Rees had travelled about 30,000 miles and had to hitchike home. Daily Telegraph, 5 February 1996

April 2003

On 19 April 2003, Sandra Duffield, 43, of Gloucestershire, UK, was babysitting when her charge swallowed something and began choking. As luck would have it, there was no phone in the house and Mrs. Duffield didn't have a mobile phone. The child was turning blue and she decided to drive to a phonebooth. In her panic, she crashed into the back of a van, which dislodged the object the child had been choking on and probably saved its life. Daily Express, 21 February 2004; FT 190:13

December 2005

Emma Blackwell had been drinking for hours on a ferry off the coast of France. She struck the famous outstretched arms pose of Kate Winslet from the movie Titanic. She lost her balance, plunged from the ninth deck and drowned. New York Post 21 December, 2005. FT209:26


Lastly, I hope this link will go to a fascinating article about the CERN project and how some scientists are saying that maybe all of the trouble getting the thing going is due to information -maybe a warning-coming back in time!! How cool is that? I just spotted this article at Universe Today yesterday and wanted to put the link here -this is not woo-woos saying this but actual scientists (I consider myself a proud card-carrying woo-woo anyway;-) so that wouldn't be so bad! link to CERN The link to the article works. It takes from 7 to 10 seconds for the page to load on my computer.

I thought I had better mention that when I tried to log on today I think I got what computer folks call "the blue screen of death" only my screen was black. If this means my computer's days are numbered I do not know what will happen. Obviously I will leave the blogs up. Of course I also would hope to respond to other people's blogs when and if I am somewhere that I can. Just thought I had better mention this as the two screens I got today I hadn't ever seen before. The second screen at least gave me some options which thankfully worked. Hopefully this was just a "one off " type of thing, and I can at least be online regularly for a while longer! All the best to anyone stopping by!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.9

The beings of Lovecraft's mythos often have human (or mostly human) servants. Cthulu for example, is worshipped under various names by cults amongst both the Eskimos of Greenland and voodoo circles of Louisiana, and in many other parts of the world. These worshippers served a useful narrative purpose for Lovecraft, many beings of the Mythos were too powerful to be defeated by human opponents, and so horrific that direct knowledge of them meant insanity for the victim. When dealing with such beings, Lovecraft needed a way to provide exposition and build tension without bringing the story to a premature end. Human followers gave him a way to reveal information about their "gods" in a diluted form, and also made it possible for his protagonists to win paltry victories.

Lovecraft, like his contemporaries, envisioned savages "as closer to the Earth," only in Lovecraft's case, this meant, closer to Cthulu. Inherited guilt-another recurring theme in Lovecraft's stories is the idea that descendants in a bloodline can never escape the stain of crimes committed by their forebears, at least if the crimes are atrocious enough. Descendants may be very far removed, both in place and time (and, indeed in culpability), from the act itself, and yet blood will tell (The Rats in the Walls, The Lurking Fear, Arthur Jermyn, The Alchemist, The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward). An example of a crime that Lovecraft apparently considered heinous enough for this consequence is cannabilism-The Picture in the House, and again The Rats in the Walls.

Fate often plays a role in Lovecraft's stories. The protagonist is not in control of his own actions, and finds it impossible to change course. Many of his characters would be free from any danger if they simply managed to run away; however, this possibility either never arises or is somehow stopped by some outside force, such as The Color Out of Space and The Dreams in the Witch House. Often his characters are subject to a compulsive influence from powerful malevolent or indifferent beings. As with the inevitability of one's ancestry, eventually even running away, or death itself, provides no safety: The Thing on the Doorstep, The Outsider, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, etc. In some cases, this doom is manifested in the entirety of humanity, and no escape is possible: The Shadow Out of Time.

Though little is known about his fan base, Lovecraft was familiar with the work of the German conservative-revolutionary theorist Oscar Spengler. Spengler's pessimistic thesis of the decadence of the modern West formed a crucial element in Lovecraft's overall anti-modern, ceonservative worldview. Spenglerian imagery of cyclical decay is present in particular in At the Mountains of Madness. In his book titled H.P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West, S.T Joshi places Spengler at the center of Lovecraft's political and philosophical ideas. Lovecraft wrote to Clark Ashton Smith in 1927: "It is my belief, and was so long before Spengler put his seal of scholarly proof on it, that our mechanical and industrial age is one of frank decadence." (see China Mieville's At the Mountains of Madness, Modern Library Classics, 2005). Lovecraft was also acquainted with the writings of another German intellectual who dealt with civilized decadence in philosophical terms, Friedrich Nietzsche.

Lovecraft frequently dealt with the idea of civilization struggling against more barbaric, primitive elements. In some stories this struggle is at an individual level; many of his protagonists are cultured, highly educated men who are gradually corrupted by some obscure and feared influence. In such stories, the "curse" is often a hereditary one, either because of interbreeding with non-humans (e.g. Facts Concerning Arthur Jermyn and His Family, 1920, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, 1931.) Sometimes through direct magical influence -The Case of Charles Dexter Ward- physical and mental depredation often comes together, this thereof 'tainted blood' may represent concerns relating to Lovecraft's own family history, particularly the death of his father due to what Lovecraft might have suspected was a syphilitic disorder. In other tales, an entire society is threatened by barbarism. Sometimes the barbarism comes in an external threat, with a civilized race destroyed in war (e.g. Polaris). Sometimes, an isolated parcel of humanity falls into decadence and atavism (evolutionary throwback-think George "Dubya" Bush-yuk yuk) of its own accord (e.g. The Lurking Fear). But most often, such stories involve a civilized culture being gradually undermined by a malevolent underclass influenced by inhuman forces.

A Buddhist monk named Robert Ernst Dickoff brought together different aspects of Lovecraftian thought using both sets of "Gods" and Lovecraft's mountain of "Kadath" in a book he wrote in 1951 called Agartha. Richard Shaver, the Pennsylvanian welder of "deros" fame and a long time Weird Tales reader, employed very similar thoughts in his writing about the underground "deros" who inflict pain and suffering on humanity and are opposed by the "teros."

Very interesting also, is that a case could be made for Lovecraft anticipating John Keel's theory of "windows"-areas through which extradimensional beings and their influences can come through by decades. And also giving a glimpse of Erich von Daniken's theory of "ancient astronauts" also decades before ancient astronaut mania swept the world. It is not being suggested that Keel or von Daniken were directly inspired by Lovecraft -only that their 'real' theories follow behind the 'fictional' course set out by Lovecraft. After certain sects of people involved in the occult and esoteric began buying in Lovecraftian themes, it was only a matter of time before rumors began of sects of various occultists practicing Lovecraftian magic. Two works published in 1922 brought Lovecraft's 'magic' to an even wider audience. Anton LaVey's The Satanic Rituals included rituals also by the dark and controversial (and I think seriously disturbed -and worse)- Michael Aquino to call Lovecraft's gods Shub-Niggurath and Cthulu into consciousness.

Hopefully I will get to more about Aquino, The Church of Satan, Jonestown and some other horrific and disturbing subjects in the future. LaVey and Aquino said that these cermemonies and rituals were only acts of psychodrama. However, if true, this fact was lost on many people (their followers and others who practice them. Kenneth Grant, Aleister Crowley's supposed "successor" published The Magical Revival, which celebrated Lovecraft as a contemporary of Crowley who also believed in the start of a new aeon. Those who followed magical or occult beliefs have never generally been shy of giving birth to their own traditions, but the acceptance and incorporation of an acknowledged fictional pantheon began a great firestorm of controversy that hasn't let up to this day in some circles.

For all the misgivings, Lovecraftian magic will be here for a long time. In thse seemingly most fictional or perhaps derivative of times, of the late 20th and early 21st centuries I think it would be fascinating and a great insight into human psychology if Lovecraftian theories and magic outlasted them all.

There are groups of spiritual seekers who even use hallucinogens to get in touch with Lovecraft's "Old Ones." I can't imagine what kind of enlightenment they are trying to find-but as long as they don't bring the "Old Ones" up from the Pacific or down (perhaps interdimensionally?) from "Beyond the Stars" more power to them. Black Moon Publishing provides photocopies of an enormous collection of Lovecraftian conjurations, rituals, Tarot decks and even theoretical speculation. Chances are very good that as more people find out about H.P. Lovecraft and his work, that more and more will practice magic based on his fiction. The Necronomicon is no doubt by far the most widely known and alluring offshoot of this imaginal magical tradition. In a fascinating excercise of "bootstrapping"; people continue to "write" the book invented by Lovecraft long after his death.

This ends the parts about H.P. Lovecraft the man and his times, thoughts etc. As always, I am somewhat confused about where to go next. I was going to continue in the vein of "real" seemingly Lovecraftian inspired horrors that take place here on Earth. But now I want to call the next series if there is to be one, something different-I just don't want to attribute -or mislead? anyone into thinking the writing of H.P. Lovecraft inspired these terrifying people and events-in fact it is the very sickness of some of these real-life horror stories that is preventing me from wanting to continue in this way at all-I will have to think about it.

I wanted to do a bit about the Necronomicon, and still might. This series was inspired by various sources: Jeff Wells' excellent book Rigorous Intuition and Daniel Harms with his superb article about Lovecraft in the July 2004 issue of Fortean Times magazine called Dreamer of the Dark. Harms is the author of The Encyclopedia of Cthuliana, and the co-author with John Wisdom Gonce of The Necronomicon Files. Best to anyone stopping by and thanks again for your thoughtful and intelligent comments and links! Almost forgot-a great deal of information for this series- especially this article and a couple of others came from wikipedia. Wiki entry on S. T. Joshi here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.8

In the opening of his 1926 tale The Call of Cthulu Lovecraft wrote: "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little, but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position theirin, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

Lovecraft's protagonists are nevertheless driven to this "piecing together," which becomes a primary plot device in many of his works. When such vistas are opened, the mind of the protagonist-investigator is often destroyed. Those who actually encounter "living" manifestations of the incomprehensible are particularly likely to go mad, as in the case of the titular character in The Music of Erich Zann. The story features an insane mute vilola player virtuosos sixth-floor aparment, whose window is the only one high enough to see over a wall on a mysterious disappearing Parisian street-a wall whose other side contains unexplainable horrors. Those characters who attempt to make use of such knowledge are almost invariably doomed. Sometimes their work attracts the attention of malevolent beings; other times evoking the spirit of Frankenstein, they are destroyed by monsters of their own creation.

The death of Howard Phillips Lovecraft on 15 March 1937, caused his writer friends to offer their condoloences in a very big way. The friendships and almost 100,000 letters Lovecraft had formed and sent were well remembered. This initial wave of grief was the beginning of Lovecraft's true fame. Like so many other people involved in the artistic sphere of life, his contributions were only acknowledged posthumously. Weird Tales which had never granted Lovecraft a cover illustration in his life, went into a frenzy of reprinting his old stories and searched for new ones. August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, two of Lovecraft's close friends founded Arkham House to publish his works in book form. The first Arkham House edition, The Outsider and Others, compels prices of $3,000 and higher these days.

One effect of Lovecraft's posthumous fame was the introduction of Lovecraftian lore and concepts into occult practice. The Hollow Earth believers is the unusual starting point that Lovecraft's star in the occult sky took off from. Morris Doreal of the White Temple, referred to a "Yog-Sog-Thoth, as the gateway to the cycle below" in his deciphering of the Emerald Tablets published in 1948. Other occultists found Lovecraft's work through the stories of August Derleth. Derleth not only made his own additions to the "Cthulu Mythos," as they came to be known, but he also transformed Lovecraft's alien, insanely amoral beings into the evil "Great Old Ones" who are opposed by the protective "Elder Gods."

Sorry that is all for the day-we are close to the end of the directly "Lovecraftian" part of this series, as far as the man himself goes. It seems like every other word I type is a typo and I am still not feeling quite myself. Thanks to all of you who are commenting on this series and giving links!

Anadae Effro had sent me a wonderful image that would really go with this series that I tried to save to my pics and post here, but I couldn't do it-going to try to find the image on the net (I am pretty 'puter incompetent-as well as other things!) and if I do will post it for this article. Justin Russell from the wonderful Semioticology blog (BTW-fantastic new article there!) sent me this-( Edit on 14 October: the link Justin provided is excellent but after researching the site for a matter of hours now I thought I had better also say that there are very disturbing images at the site -and I found some extremely emotionally disturbing-I do not have a strong stomach or psyche- but folks may not want to go to this link unless they have an actual interest in the subject -just thought I should do a little "extra" warning in case!) Here is the LINK --in the comments section under article 2 of this series which I consider the most important article in this series, because it is about something which is still happening-every day-around the globe. The material at the link may be hard to look at and I have just barely started going through it myself. It concerns "The Reality of Protected Child Abuse and Snuff Networks" and of course may be extra disturbing to those of you with young children-or any kids at all.

I just have never been the kind of person (although I wish I was many times) who can shut my eyes and mind and pretend things aren't there -real "monsters" -that I wish like hell weren't there! Peace and be well to anyone stopping by! PS-I notice that the site at the link mentions donations. Speaking for myself -I would happily donate to that site, the Rigorous Intuition forum places that speak the "Unattractive Truth"-but I feel Truths that need to be told and also purchase work that my blogfriends have published and other books people have suggested here and there-WHEN not IF-but WHEN- I WIN my disability case! Sorry-goin a little nutso with the bold/italic thingy tonight;-) -We just heard today that the date of the actual hearing on it will be December 17th, 2009-so I will be asking my blogfriends and others to make a "spiritual" donation to me on that day for nice thoughts and victory.

I actually did not want it to come to this. I have struggled with my various struggles starting big time in 2001. That is when the back pain part really took off late that year. I thought I would always be able to work-hold down a job-of some sort for the rest of my life. It wasn't to be-in the summer of 2007 I just couldn't do it anymore-by then I was probably taking 300 Percocets a month to keep my back pain at bay-and this of course is just one of my "three challenges" as I have come to call them. I may do an article here or there about it before and after December 17th-although I do not like talking too much about myself -as I am rather boring! But I would like ideas and thoughts about some issues confronting me -especially one that has gotten quite strong lately of feeling absolutely worthless. Perhaps also if anyone has heard even a crazy-as long as its not illegal way to make a little money that I can physically do. Sorry to go on and on-I do that sometimes and can't stop-all the best to anyone stopping by!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.7

Much of Lovecraft's work was directly inspired by his night terrors, and it is perhaps this direct insight into the unconscious and its symbolism that helps to account for their continuing resonance. All these interests naturally led to his deep affection for the works of Edgar Allan Poe, who heavily influenced Lovecraft's earliest macabre stories and writing style known for its creepy atmosphere and lurking fears. Lovecraft's discovery of the stories of Lord Dunsany with their gallery of mighty gods existing in dreamlike outer realms moved his writing in a new direction, resulting in a series of imitative fantasties in a 'Dreamlands' setting.

Another inspiration came from a totally different kind of source-the scienctific progress of the time in the fields of biology, astronomy, geology and physics all contributed to make the human race seem even more insignificant, powerless and doomed in a materialistic and mechanical universe, and was a major contributor to the ideas that later would be known as cosmicism, and which gave further support to his atheism. Cosmicism is the literary philosophy of H.P. Lovecraft-there is no recognizable divine prescence such as God in the universe and humans and particularly insignificant.

The cult in Red Hook worships such demons as the ancient (and mythologically real) Ashtaroth and Lilith. Lovecraft's story is a monkey-puzzle of occult lore, and there is a very good rationale for this. Lovecraft got most of his information, including a chant to the Greek goddess Hecate from the Encyclopedia Brittanica on demonology and magic-an authority on many subjects perhaps-but not esoterica! The Horror at Red Hook brought Lovecraft to the realization of how little he really knew about magic. He even asked his correspondents for any books they would suggest reading to help him learn more: "Are there any good translations of any mediaeval necromancers for raising spirits, invoking Lucifer, and all that sort of thing?" he questioned in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith.

By the end of his short life, Lovecraft had read several books about magic. The problem was that most of these were overhyped works of a secondhand lineage. These included Arthur Edward Waite's Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, Lewis Spence's Encyclopedia of Occultism, Sax Rohmer's Romance of Sorcay, and The Mysteries of Magic by Eliphas Levi. The latter book came in very handy when Lovecraft wrote The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Ward is a scholar who discovers that one of his ancestors, Joseph Curwen, was a wizard with a library full of books about alchemy and mysticism. A mob of Providence's citizens lay siege to Curwen's farmhouse and kill him. During the attack, Curwen chanted two spells taken straight from Levi's The Mysteries of Magic. However, when it came to the final incantation that raises the dead, Lovecraft couldn't find one he liked enough so he wrote one in his own "R'lyehian" language.

As time went on, Lovecraft came to a fascinating turning point. In yet another letter he said that he thought the language of esotericism was "flat, childish, pompous, and unconvincing." His opinion was that any writer worth his or her salt could make up occult books every bit as alien and terrifying as any that actually existed. History has certainly vindicated Lovecraft in this respect! Lovecraft's literary device-the Necronomicon has inspired an enormous number of phony versions, none that have the power of Lovecraft's original.

A huge amount of falsehood surrounds any connection that Lovecraft had (or didn't) with the infamous magician (BTW today is A. Crowley's B-day) Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Some researchers say the two men actually met or even claim that Lovecraft's wife, Sonia Greene dated Crowley before marrying Lovecraft. All of this is untrue. Lovecraft had heard of Crowley, but didn't know anything more about him than what newspapers of the day said about him. Lovecraft never corresponded with Crowley or read any of his work, and thought Crowley to be "rather over-advertised." Lovecraft's tale The Thing on the Doorstep makes reference to an English cult leader, but this seems to be the entire extent of Crowley's influence on Lovecraft.

One person of interest that Lovecraft may have met was science-fiction author and Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Both men wrote for the pulp magazines at the same time, and both attended a Fiction Guild dinner in June 1936. In a letter to Robert Bloch-author of Psycho, Lovecraft mentions Hubbard's name, but can't remember actually meeting him.

The most famous of Lovecraft's occult correspondents may have been Brian Lumley (1880-1960). Lumley was a night watchman from Buffalo, New York. Earlier in his life Lumley had been a sailor who heard strange stories in ports around the world. Lumley told Lovecraft that he had met Eastern men of esoteric knowledge, and that one of them had even visited him for a short time in Buffalo. He also told Lovecraft about ghosts and spirits that haunted the houses and valleys of western New York. Lovecraft was skeptical, but the two men became good friends and corresponded often until Lovecraft's death. Lumley had written a story called The Diary of Alonzo Typer that Lovecraft revised for him. It was about a haunted house near Attica and reads like an actual account of a paranormal investigation. Perhaps Lumley was describing a true event-at least the way he saw it? Sadly, most of Lumley's papers have disappeared so there is no way to tell.

Lovecraft read some Theosophical literature on and off for over ten years. In 1926, he read W. Scott Elliot's Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria. This book is about lost continents and a description of their geography, history, culture and inhabitants. A short time after reading this Lovecraft wrote one if his most celebrated tales, The Call of Cthulu. In this story poets and authors the world over have strange dreams of an underwater city in the Pacific. The psychic disturbance is, interpreted as a good thing by some, including the Theosophists. But one student of ethnology slowly learns the real truth behind the visions. The dreams aren't sent out into the ether by a loving, spiritual being-quite the opposite! If the utterly alien lifeform that is sending the dreams out is allowed to leave its sunken city in the Pacific, it will destroy all of humanity. E. Hoffman Price remarked in his memoirs that he was unimpressed with Lovecraft's understanding of Theosophy. Maybe if Lovecraft had delved deeper into their literature instead of reading around the edges of it for over ten years, his work would have had more resemblance to Theosophical concepts. This isn't to say whether Theosophy is a good or bad thing in and of itself. I have only read one of the people who subscribed to this philosophy that I have enjoyed-a Rudolph Steiner, but I have hardly read all Theosophical works!

Many issues discussed within Theosophy-Lemuria, Atlantis, "Hidden" masters who secretly rule humanity, an the Imperishable Sacred Land -supposedly in the far north, could have resonated with Lovecraft's work. Even reincarnation-a key Theosophical concept is a theme in a number of Lovecraft tales, including The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. The Theosophists had in common with Lovecraft that they had almost the same goal of uniting myth and ancient knowledge with modern science-the difference being that Lovecraft's approach was purely fictional. Some researchers, the wonderful and prolific Colin Wilson among them have wondered whether Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's Book of Dzyan could have been the inspiration for the Necronomicon. Here again, Lovecraft's letters are priceless in revealing the truth. We know from them that Lovecraft didn't know of the Book of Dzyan until E. Hoffman Price told him about it in 1933. Apparently Price's account of the book interested Lovecraft and it is actually mentioned along with the Necronomicon in his later stories, including The Diary of Alonzo Typer and The Haunter of the Dark.

Henry Kuttner, a Californian science-fiction author sent one of Blavatsky's books-either Isis Unveiled or The Secret Doctrine to Lovecraft in 1936. Lovecraft thanked his fellow author for the gift and mentioned he had always intended to read Blavatsky, but hadn't done so. Lovecraft died only four months later, so if he had finally read the "other" HP;-) any thoughts he might have had about her and any new views on the Theosophical movement he might have had were lost forever.

OK-feeling a bit rough today-but even if I am halfway able to do so -tomorrow I will post another article. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by and thanks again for the fantastic comments and links! I appreciate them very much!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.6

Many modern horror writers, including Stephen King, Bentley Little, Joe R. Lansdale, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, have cited Lovecraft as their primary influence. Lovecraft himself was relatively unknown during his day. His stories appeared in the pages of prominent pulp magazines, such as Weird Tales (often eliciting letters of outrage from regular readers of the magazines), not many knew his name. He corresponded regularly with other comtemporary writers, such as Clark Ashton Smith and August Derleth, people who became good friends of his, even though they never met in person. This group of correspondents became known as the "Lovecraft Circle," since they all freely borrowed elements of Lovecraft's stories-the mysterious books with disturbing names-the pantheon of ancient alien gods, such as Cthulu and Azathoth and "eldritch" places, such as the New England town of Arkham and its Miskatonic University-for use in their own works with Lovecraft's blessing and encouragement.

After Lovecraft's death, the Lovecraft Circle carried on, August Derleth was probably the most prolific of these writers, having added to and expanded on Lovecraft's vision. Derleth's contributions have been controversial to say the least; while Lovecraft never considered his panthon of alien gods more than a mere plot device, Derleth created an entire alien cosmology, complete with a war between the good "Elder Gods" and the evil "Outer Gods" (such as Cthulu and his ilk), which the 'good' gods were supposed to have won, locking Cthulu and others up beneath the earth, in the ocean etc., and went on to associate different gods with the traditional 4 elements. Lovecraft's fiction has been grouped into three categories by some critics. While Lovecraft did not refer to these categories himself, he did once write, "There are my 'Poe' pieces and my 'Dunsany' pieces-but where are my Lovecraft pieces?"

1) Macabre Stories (approx 1905 to 1920) 2) Dream Cycle Stories (approx. 1920 to 1927) 3) Cthulu Mythos/Lovecraft Myths Stories (approx. 1925-1935). Some critics see little difference between the Dream Cycle and Mythos, after pointing to the recurring Necronomicon and subsequent "gods." A frequently given explanation is that the Dream Cycle belongs more ot the genre of fantasy, while the Mythos is science-fiction. Also, much of the supernatural elements in the Dream Cycle takes place in its own sphere or mythological dimension separated from our own level of existence. The Mythos on the other hand, is placed within the same reality and cosmos that humans live in.

In "The Dreams in the Witch House," a witch named Keziah Mason is imprisoned in the Salem jail. However, she escapes from this cell by drawing a strange design in blood on the wall of her cell. This type of magical representation is a common motif in horror fiction. However, there is a fascinating twist to the Keziah Mason story. The "witch" Mason's control over space and time is not due to any knowledge of magic in the traditional sense. This unique witch enters other dimensions through her use of advanced mathematics and geometry, and comes back to our world centuries later to find converts and sacrifices. She decides that a mathematics student would be the perfect acolyte, and uses her powers and those of her familiar-the rat-like Brown Jenkin to draw him deeper into her web of sorcery. Fritz Leiber, a well-known science fiction and fantasy author, pointed out that this story contained one of the first uses of the concept of "hyperspace" in fiction.

"The Shunned House" is not by any means, Lovecraft's most famous story. However, it does embrace one of the most impressive uses of folklore in a horror story. Lovecraft didn't write about any aspect of the story from just one source, but put together various elements to fit the needs of his tales. The Shunned House is about a building on Benefit Street in Providence that is remarked about because of the ill health of its tenants. The narrator of the story begins his tale at a time when the house has been abandoned. He visited the place as a child and noticed its foresaken atomosphere and a strange man-shaped patch of phosphorescent mold in the basement. As he digs deeper into the house's past he finds stories of lurking madness and physical illness that have overcome its inhabitants through the years going back to the days of the house's builders. Xenoglossy is employed in this story and I wonder if Lovecraft heard about this concept from Charles Fort, as former tenants of the house spoke in French, a language of which they have no knowledge. Later in his investigation, the narrator of the story discovers that the house was built on top of the Roulet family graveyard-which unfortunately for the future tenants wasn't moved when Benefit Street was straightened.

He tells his uncle, who is a historian of the eerie results of his investigations. In an older-day version of "Ghost Hunters" the two pay a visit to the house with scientific instruments, and one item I've not seen the kids at Paranormal State carry-flamethrowers! They mean to take the spirit of the shunned house our or put it to rest, yet the spirit that resides there isn't so easily dislodged.

In one of his letters, Lovecraft mentions a house that one of his aunts lived in that had a dark atmosphere. One might expect this to be a place that no longer exists or is an eerie tumbled-down ruin by now. Nothing could be further from the truth. The house is now painted a bright cheerful yellow, its cellar doors still open directly onto the sidewalk, and part of the house's overgrown yard is now a community garden. An American "76" flag hangs over the front door which is reached by a steep walkway. If anything the place looks quite inviting, and I wonder if it is a private residence or a bed and breakfast?

Many scholars thought the tale of The Shunned House could have been inspired by local legends of vampirism. An example of this that Lovecraft would definitely have known of is the Brown family of Exeter, Rhode Island. The "Mercy Brown" case is mentioned on this blog under the label "Fortean History"-a 14 March 2009 entry. The Brown family from this 1892 case is now thought to have been hit by tuberculosis. But the Brown father and the locals had become convinced that the dead family members were spiritually feeding on the living to eventually bring them to the Land of the Dead too. When Mercy Brown's corpse was exhumed, her body was found to be fresh and oozing blood (this aspect of the case is now thought to be from the fact that she was buried in the dead of winter-no pun intended-and the cold had preserved her corpse well.) The family burned the corpses heart to ahses and fed them to her young brother in a quest to save his life. This effort failed and the young man died a short time later.

Interestingly, neither the house that Lovecraft's aunt stayed in for a short time nor the Brown (and other New England vampire legends) played any part in Lovecraft's construction of The Shunned House story. Lovecraft actually demolishes these theories in one sentence, a sentence that paraphrases a book of folklore in his own library, Charles M. Skinner's Myths and Legends of Our Own Land (1896). When this volume is studied more closely a much more likely source of Lovecraft's inspiration turns up. Skinner tells of a house on Green Street in Schenectady, New York, said to have an area of mold shaped like a human body. Other details in The Shunned House story can be found in this same entry in Skinner's book: the illness of the tenants and the unearthed and forgotten body below. How do we account for the terrifying nature of the lost tomb's occupant in the story?

Here again Lovecraft had been inspired by a legend in a book. John Fiske's Myths and Mythmakers (1872) recounts an event that is said to have happened near the French town of Caude in 1598. A group of men said they saw two wolves devouring the body of a young boy. The men gave chase and they found a man stained with blood and guts all over his body hiding in the woods. This man's name was found to be none other than Jacques Roulet, who claimed to use an ointment to shapeshift into a wolf. Roulet was convicted of murder and sentenced to be executed, but before this happened the French government intervened and put him in an insane asylum instead.

Part of Lovecraft's genius was to find inspiration and ideas for his stories in books about folklore, the esoteric and occult and real historical sources and to use them as ideas or even the foundation of his own stories, although he had no belief whatsoever in the paranormal aspects of these cases. Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook" was his first tale to use genuine magical beliefs as the basis of his story. Witchcraft, vampirism, black magic and forbidden books have been a common theme in European folklore for centuries. Once Lovecraft saw the power of using these ideas in his stories there was no turning back. His tales could now have plots where magical keys opened doors to other dimensions, ageless wizards plot revenge against their enemies and a book called the Necronomicon prophesies the doom of the human race by the tentacles of the "Old Ones." The Horror at Red Hook is about a policeman's fight against an evil cult based in Brooklyn's seedy Red Hook district, which of course, Lovecraft had personal knowledge of from living there at one time. The cult uses a variety of diverse belief systems such as Nestorian Christianity and Tibetan shamanism and welds them together somewhat like the Santeria religion in parts of Africa, the Carribbean and the southern United States.

OK-can't type anymore! Peace and be well to anyone stopping by and this series is going to go on a bit more about HP Lovecraft and his writing and his circle of friends-before getting into what I hope will be some actual articles about "Lovecraftian" events happening in our world today. I hope to have more here tomorrow if all goes well.

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.5

H.P. Lovecraft's extreme skepticism of all things occult almost brought him into an alliance with Harry Houdini! The famous stage magician was quite the skeptic and debunker himself. The two had come into contact when Lovecraft revised a fictionalized account of one of Houdini's adventures. In this story the famous magician escapes bandits and much worse in the tunnels beneath the Great Pyramids ("Imprisoned with the Pharaohs".) Houdini was enthusiastic about Lovecraft's rewrite, and the two exchanged letters talking of possible future collaborations. They were to write a book with the title The Cancer of Superstition, with another Providence based author, C.M. Eddy. The three men thought this book would bring a sledge-hammer sized blow against superstition and the occult. Harry Houdini's untimely death in 1926 stopped the project.

However much of a hard-nosed skeptic Lovecraft may have been, he had to have had some familiarity with the literature of occultism. This familiarity grew as Lovecraft got older. When Lovecraft died at the young age of 46, his library had books such as Lewis Spencer's Encyclopedia of Occultism, Sir Walter Scott's Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft, Camille Flammarion's Haunted House in it. There were also numerous books on subjects like folklore, mythology, and ghosts. Lovecraft also borrowed books on occult matters from his friends and libraries-among them were Charles Fort's Book of the Damned and New Lands. Lovecraft even mentions Fort by name in a couple of stories. So as anti-occult and anti-esoteric, as Lovecraft may have been, he did have more than a passing interest in these subjects to imbue his tales with their bone-chilling otherness.

Another very important way to understand Lovecraft the man and Lovecraft the writer is to know of the love he had for New England. I have already mentioned the unhappy time he spent in the hustle and bustle of New York City. I think his antipathy towards the city also had a lot to do with his affection for the ancient as opposed to the new-besides just the hard times he experienced with employment. Lovecraft always returned to Providence and New England. He worked hard at looking into the region's folktales and discovered some legends that found a way into his fiction. An old edition of Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americani held pride of place in Lovecraft's library. Mather will be familiar to some of you and maybe not so to others. Cotton Mather (1663-1728) was a renowned New England minister. His sermons and writings helped to foster the belief in witchcraft and played an indirect role in the Salem witch trials. Mather devoted on section of his book to the witch trials and another to various paranormal happenings-from ghosts, poltergeists and supernatural warnings.

In a sermon Mather delivered that was reprinted in Magnalia, he talks of the punishments God inflicted upon sinners. A young man that stands out in the story commits bestiality. The young man had a very noticeable blemish in his eye. His sin is exposed to all when a farm animal gives birth to an abomination bearing the same mark. The young man confesses to his sin and is executed by the authorities.

Lovecraft received great pleasure when he visited Salem in 1923. Salem's old houses and charming colonial squares boosted his spirits tremendously. In Salem's Charter Street Burying Ground, he found a willow growing around a shattered gravestone, with a disintegrating old house behind it. This particular house, which still exists today, was once the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiancee, and served as the spark for that author's "Dr. Grimshawe's Secret." This house had a lasting impression on Lovecraft, and because he had been familiar with the folktales of New England families who kept ill or deformed children hidden away, Lovecraft was able to mesh these elements together with Mather's tale to write "The Unnameable."

Two men, in this story, talk about whether anything can be "unnameable"-in a cemetery. One of them, Joel Manton, maintains that nothing can fit this description-can be unnameable. The only place this might happen, he says is in a cheap horror story. But the narrator of the story insists that such a thing can exist, and refers to Mather's story. In this version of Mather's tale, the half-human beast grows into a monster that terrorizes the countryside. It also assaults people on the roads and slays the parson and his family. The townsfolk lock the hybrid beast in the attic of its father's house, where it dies. The grand finale to this story is that the narrator reveals that he found the creature's bones and buried them-in the grave right beneath the two men. Once this fact is revealed the monstrosity reappears and ambushes the men.

Lovecraft, of course, didn't believe in witches, but the Salem witch trials of 1692 held a fascination for him, and are a common motif in Lovecraft's stories. He was intrigued by what he saw as the morbidity of the Puritan way of life, and was all too aware that the executions happened just a short train ride away from Providence. Lovecraft never wrote a story directly concerning the trials, but he mixed them with other occult beliefs to create his own literary version of such events.

In "Pickman's Model," Richard Upton Pickman is a talented painter from an old Salem family. Several of his ancestors were hanged during the witch trials. The problem is that Pickman's paintings show pure genius at work, but they are so grotesque and morbid that all of the local artists shy away from him-even reject him. Hurting inside from the rejection by his fellow artists, Pickman invites his friend Thurber to a secret apartment in Boston's North End, where he shows him a series of paintings. These paintings put forth the idea that the witches had business with corpse-eating monsters that burrow beneath cemeteries and cities. In the final analysis, it is revealed that they have quite a bit to do with Pickman's own dark ancestry.

I am going to try to do one more article today. I am getting really fumble-fingered so can't promise anything. Best to anyone stopping by!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.4

A few weeks after his mother's death, Lovecraft attended an amateur journalist convention in Boston where he met Sonia Greene. Born in 1883, she was of Ukrainian-Jewish ancestry and 7 years older than Lovecraft. They married in 1924 and the couple moved to Brooklyn. Lovecraft's aunts may have been unhappy with this arrangement, as they didn't like him being married to a tradeswoman (Greene owned a hat shop). Initially Lovecraft was enthralled by New York, but soon the couple was having financial difficulties. Greene lost her hat shop and suffered poor health. Lovecraft could not find work to support them both, so his wife moved to Cleveland for employment. Lovecraft lived by himself in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn and came to dislike New York life intensely.

Indeed not having been able to find work among the large immigrant popuation-especially irreconciable with his opinion of himself as a privileged Anglo-Saxon, has been theorized as galvanizing his racism to the point of fear, a sentiment he sublimated in the short story "The Horror at Red Hook." A few years later, Lovecraft and his wife who were still living separately agreed to an amicable divorce, which was never fully completed. He returned to Providence to live with his aunts during their remaining years. Back in Providence he lived in a "spacious brown Victorian wooden house" at 10 Barnes Street until 1933. This is the same address given as the home of Dr. Willett in Lovecraft's "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward." The period after his return to Providence in the last decade of his life was Lovecraft's most prolific. During that time period he produced almost all of his best-known short stories for the leading pulp publications of the day (primarily Weird Tales), as well as longer efforts such as The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and At the Mountains of Madness.

Lovecraft's stories continue to inspire readers because of their convincing tying together fact and fantasy. His tales produce visions of extremely phantasmagoric realities that are somehow believable at the same time. Much of Lovecraft's work centers around varied tales of the "Old Ones"-creatures beyond human comprehension from other worlds and dimensions. The Old Ones include Cthulu, a winged octopus-squid like god who lives in a city beneath the Pacific Ocean, the mindless chaos Azathoth, and the Black Goat of the Woods, Shub-Niggurath. In the Earth's distant past, the Old Ones lived and ruled the planet. However, they eventually fell into an aeons-long sleep. Their worshippers include the fish-men known as the "deep ones," and the odd crustacean like fungi from the planet Yuggoth (Pluto). These beings are still awake and occasionally threaten humanity.

When Lovecraft introduced the Necronomicon into his writing he started a fascination that is still going to the present day. The Necronomicon was one of the most influential plot devices in all of horror. It is said to be a secret grimoire written by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, and contains spells and rituals to invoke the Old Ones. Many practitioners of magic and cults around the world work with a supposedly "real" Necronomicon that was produced many years after Lovecraft's death and I would like to talk about this famous-or-infamous book just a bit later in the series.

Due to the lasting power and influence of Lovecraft's vision over the years, many have wondered just how much he knew about the occult. Some occultists believe him to be a "natural adept" and claim that his fiction contains genuine traces of ancient knowledge and re-emerging archetypes from the depths of our collective unconscious. However, Lovecraft would have vehemently denied this. During his 46 years of life he wrote about 100,000 letters, perhaps making him the best documented author in literary history. It is very clear from these communications that Lovecraft himself had no belief at all in the occult -period. In his youth, he had come to doubt the Christian faith of his family. This led him to explore the beliefs of the Greeks, Muslims, Hindus, and Egyptians. Not one of these belief systems compelled him and he turned to atheism and scepticism as the only possible alternatives.

In 1925, he wrote to his friend Clark Ashton Smith: "I am, indeed, an absolute materialist so far as actual belief goes, with not a shred of credence in any form of supernaturalism-religion, spiritualism, transcendentalism, metempsychosis, or immortality". If a fan wrote a letter to him asking if the gods and occult books in his tales were real, they would receive a polite letter stating his disbelief in these things. In fact, Lovecraft was an active disbeliever in all of these occult and pseudo-scientific notions. He wrote many letters to local newspapers attacking everthing from astology to spiritualism to Hollow Earth theories. If he were alive in our time, Lovecraft would probably be a strong supporter of James Randi and CSICOP. To be continued...

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.3

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (20 August 1890-15 March 1937), was an American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction-back then known simply as weird fiction. Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror, the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe if fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason-like his protagonists, gamble with insanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his "Cthulu Mythos," a series of loosely interconnected fiction featuring a pantheon of human nullifying entities, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical rites and forbidden lore. His works were deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Christian humanism.

Lovecraft's protagonists usually achieve the mirror-opposite of traditional gnosis and mysticism by momentarily glimpsing the horror of ultimate reality. Although Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century, who together with Poe has exerted an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction. Stephen King has called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."

Lovecraft was born in his family home at 194 (later 454) Angell Street (kind of a cool name considering the type of fiction he wrote!) in Providence Rhode Island. The house was torn down in 1961. He was the only child of Winfield Scott Lovecraft and Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft who could trace her ancestry in America back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. His parents' marriage was the first for both when they were in their 30s-unusually late in life given the time period. In 1893, when Lovecraft was 3, his father became acutely psychotic in a Chicago hotel room while on a business trip. The elder Lovecraft was taken to Providence and placed in Butler Hospital, where he remained until his death in 1898. Lovecraft maintained throughout his life that his father had died in a condition of paralysis brought on by "nervous exhaustion" due to over-work, but it is now almost certain that the actual cause was general paresis of the insane-a neuropsychiatric disorder brought on by an infection from the syphilis virus.

It is unknown whether the younger Lovecraft was ever aware of the actual nature of his fathers illness and its true cause, although his mother likely was, possibly haven been given a tincture of arsenic was "preventative medication." After his father's hospitalization Lovecraft was raised by his mother, his two aunts (Lillian Delora Phillips and Annie Emeline Phillips), and his maternal grandfather, Whipple Van Buren Phillips, an American businessman. All five resided in the family home. Lovecraft was a prodigy, reciting poetry at the age of three and writing complete poems by the age of six. His grandfather encouraged his reading, providing classics such as the Arabian Nights, Bulfinch's Age of Fable, and children's versions of the Iliad and The Odyssey. His grandfather also got the boy interested in the weird by telling him his own original tales of Gothic horror.

His mother, on the other hand, worried that these stories would upset him. Lovecraft was frequently ill as a child-some of which was certainly psychosomatic, although he attributed his various ailments to physical causes only. Early speculation that he may have been congenitally disabled by syphilis passed on from father to mother has been ruled out. Due to his sickly condition, and his undisciplined argumentative nature, he barely attended school until he was eight years old. And then was withdrawn after a year. He read voraciously during this period and became especially enamored of chemistry and astronomy. He produced several hectographed ( a printing process that dupicates by using gelatin dyes) publications with a limited circulation beginning in 1899 with the Scientific Gazette. Four years later, he returned to public school at Hope Street High School. Beginning in his early life, Lovecraft is believed to have suffered from night terrors, a rare parasomnia disorder. Much of his later work is thought to have been directly inspired by these terrors.

His grandfather's death in 1904 greatly affected Lovecraft's life. Mismanagement of his grandfather's estate left his family in such a poor financial state they were forced to move into much smaller accomodations at 598 (now a duplex at 598-600) Angell Street. Lovecraft was so deeply affected by the loss of his home and birthplace that he contemplated suicide for a time. In 1908, prior to his high school graduation, he himself claimed to have suffered what he later described as a "nervous breakdown," and consequently never received his high school diploma (although he maintained for most of his life that he did graduate). S.T. Joshi suggests in his biography of Lovecraft that a primary cause for this breakdown was his difficulty in higher mathematics, a subject he needed to master to become a professional astronomer. This failure to complete his education (he wished to study at Brown University) was a source of great disappointment and shame even late into his life.

Lovecraft wrote some fiction from 1908 to 1913, his ouput was primarily poetry. During this time, he lived a hermit's existence, having almost no contact with anyone but his mother. This changed when he wrote a letter to The Argosy, a pulp magazine, complaining about the insipidness of the love stories of one of the publication's popular writers

The ensuing debate in the magazine's letters column caught the eye of Edward F. Daas, President of the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA), who incited him to contribute many poems and essays. In 1917, at the prodding of correspondents, he returned to fiction with more published stories, such as "The Tomb" and "Dagon." The latter was his first professionally published work, appearing in W. Paul Cook's, The Vagrant (November 1919) and Weird Tales in 1923. Around that time he began to build up a huge network of correspondents. His lengthy and frequent letters would make him one of the great letter writers of the century. Among his correspondents were Robert Bloch (Psycho), Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian series).

In 1919 after suffering from hysteria and depression for a long time, Lovecraft's mother was committed to Butler Hospital just like her husband before her. Nevertheless, she wrote frequent letters to Lovecraft, and they remained very close until her death on 21 May 1921, the result of complications from gall bladder surgery. Lovecraft was devastated by the loss. The first image is a photo of H.P. Lovecraft taken in 1934 and the second image is a poster of a documentary about him. I am going to start working on the next article about Lovecraft and his life right now and hope to have it here soon. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.2

Thanks to several sources for the following information: Jeff Wells in his book Rigorous Intuition, Alex Constantine's Blacklist blog and Religion News Blog. The following information is a continuation of my thoughts about what evils the global syndicate, Illuminati, N.W.O-whatever you want to call them get up to. I have no doubt that not all of the cases here go as high as the "real" power players on planet Earth, but I think we can detect a pattern here-an evil and disgusting pattern, of those in power who ritually murder or abuse children in some way, either because they think they are gaining power from these horrible acts-or more terrifyingly-because they know they gain some sort of power from these despicable acts.

From Rigorous Intuition comes information from pages 330 to 332 that are actual news dispatches from around the globe. Portugal: Portugal Rocked By Child Sex Scandal. Allegations that a child sex ring has been operating out of state-run children's homes in Portugal for decades has prompted intervention by President Jorge Sampaio. BBC 29 May 2003: "The developments sparked an outcry in Portugal, particularly when it was reported that a former president and several government ministers, as well as the police, knew of the allegations as far back as the early 1980s but failed to take action.

"Faced with the horror that so many children, who were entrusted to us to be educated and cared for, were victimised, it is necessary to declare here that the president is certain that the guilty will be severely punished." President Sampaio said in a speech.

The latest high-profile arrests are of men publicly accused of sex abuse by former children of Casa Pia, Portugal's largest network of homes for troubled children.

Casa Pia first made the headlines following allegations that an employee at the institution allegedly helped wealthy child molesters to meet young boys in his care for over two decades.

Chile: Chilean Elites Caught In Child Porn Ring from the Boston Globe, January 12, 2004. Valparaiso, Chile--Congresswoman Maria Pia Guzman is a strait-laced conservative who has suddenly and unexpectedly become an outcast at the Congress building here. Sometimes her fellow legislators murmur an insult when she comes within earshot: "Witch!"

Guzman did not unleash the sex scandal now rocking Chile's political and social elite, a sordid tale centered around a millionaire businessman and some runaway teenagers.

But she did publicly link a handful of congressmen and senators to the case, suggesting some of her own political allies might be involved in an alleged ring of prostitution and child pornography. And for that, some of her fellow legislators will not forgive her.

When she gets in an elevator with other congressmen, they often step out. "There is a very strong psychological warfare going on," Guzman said in an interview in her Valparaiso office. Lighting a cigarette, she added: "Before this case, I had stopped smoking."

Mexico: Mob In Mexico Burns Two Federal Agents Alive from the AP, November 24, 2004. Mexico City--"A crowd angry about recent child kidnappings cornered plainclothes federal agents taking photos of students at a school on Mexico City's outskirts and burned the officers alive, the latest example of mob justice in a country beset by corrupt police and high crime.

The violence began in the early evening when locals collared three men staking out a school in the San Juan Ixtlayopan neighborhood. The area has been tense since two youngsters disappeared and were feared kidnapped from the school. Some in the crowd appeared to believe the agents were kidnappers. When asked about complaints that authorities had failed to respond to demands to investigate the disappearances, Figueroa said a full schedule had prohibited federal authorities from concentrating on the case.

The next story is from the Religion News Blog: "In Argentina the trial of Cesar Beguiristain has begun, the 20 year old leader of an afro-Brazilian Satanic cult accused of carrying out the ritual street killing of a 12 year-old street boy. 28 January 2008-Last week Beguiristain confessed to killing "Ramoncita" a street boy who the cult leader said "had agreed to sell his soul to the devil." He was captured in a city near Buenos Aires and has been on the run for over a year after fleeing the city of Corrientes where he was accused by a 14-year-old boy of the murder. According to prosecutor Gustavo Schmitt, Beguiristain "broke down and confessed to decapitating the boy, but he claimed that it was not his idea and that he was hired to do the killing during a Satanic game." [my emphasis]

Schmitt said 7 people have been detained in the case, but that authorities are still seeking other individuals "who organized and financed the murder." "Ramoncito disappeared on Friday, October 5, 2006, and his body was found on October 7th in the morning near the bus station where he would often sell stamps and sleep on cardboard boxes. According to the investigation, the boy was raped, decapitated and dismembered in the Satanic ritual. The witness to the killing said the method of killing caused the boy immense pain and was a source of excitement for his killers. "At that moment everyone was screaming and crying. Afterwards they all joined hands bloodied by "Ramoncito." Before the boy died, two of the cult members performed a Satanic dance and another member who remains at large proceeded to decapitate the boy.

"The boy's head was placed on top of a black host," the witness said. Authorities say the boy's description matches those found in a black magic manual obtained from the suspects.

The next story I found on Alex Constantine's Blacklist blog. September 11, 2003, Brasilia, Brazil, Cesio Brandao aka Cesi Favio Caldas aka Sergio Brandao was sentenced for murder and attempted muder. Five influential members of Brazilian society went on trial in 2003 for the torture, castration, and murder of five children, aged eight to thirteen, whose sexual organs had been removed and used in rites of black magic between 1989 and 1993.

Amailton Madeira Gomes, son of a businessman, Carlos Alberto Santo, policeman, and two doctors, Anisio Ferreira de Souza, and Cesio Brandao were charged with the crimes. The fifth defendant 75-year-old Valentia Andrade, a fortune teller and leader of a UFO group called the Superior Universal Alignment was tried for these crimes and not convicted. The five defendants, including Andrade, allegedly used their influence in efforts to stop the case from going to trial, intimidate victims, and destroy evidence. The prosecution asked for the trial to be moved to another state in Brazil.

A total of 19 boys, aged 8 to 14, were victimized. Five were mutilated and died, three escaped with horrible injuries, 6 escaped before they could be harmed and 5 have never been seen again. Some victims had their eyes gouged out, wrists slit, and sexual organs cut off. The two doctors were accused of selling the internal organs of the children and using their genitals in Satanic rituals. Two mutilated survivors-now adults, escaped from Brazil's Amazon region when they had been tied to trees after being doped and castrated. They both ID'd Carlos Alberto Santos as the man who kidnapped them when they were 9 and 10 years old.

Brazil's Special Secretary for Human Rights said their trial had symbolic significance because of the influential professions of the defendants. The trial was seen as a test of Brazil's ability to bring justice to isolated areas where it was suspected the legal system might be influenced by powerful locals.

Carlos Albert Santos was sentenced to 35 years, Amailton Gomes was sentenced to 57 years, Anisio Ferriera de Souza was sentenced to 77 years, Cesio Brandao was sentenced to 56 years. The link to Alex Constatine's blog entry about Satanic cases HERE

I hope to have the next article in the series here soon-perhaps tomorrow-and not to worry the next couple of articles won't be as dark as this horrible aspect of evil in our world is. I just think the horrible evil that is perpetrated by some of the powerful people in our world needs to be talked about-if nothing else as a signpost of what we who wish our world to be a better place are up against. As I stated, for whatever reason these awful acts are perpetrated, the people who perpetrate them either believe or know that they gain power by them and that is an awful thought to contemplate right there. The image is a version of H.P. Lovecraft's mythical "Cthulu" -now that I think about it I don't know that it is an image appropriate to the subject matter of this article and maybe I will change it. All the best to anyone stopping by!

Our Lovecraftian World: Is The Kingdom Opening? Pt.1

We live in a world that is one of tremendous beauty and wonder. Unfortunately we also live in a world where some pretty scary and evil things happen. I have often wondered about the question-What is the strangest thing I believe? Here I get a bit lost because over the last five years I have come to believe in some very strange, and probably unbelievable to most people, things. Item #1: I believe our world is some sort of matrix. I do not know the ins and outs of how this matrix is projected-or who might be projecting it. There are several theories here. One is that our world is not only a matrix-it is a computer generated three dimensional "reality" created by some sort of awesomely powerful computer. The word "computer" is probably somewhat misleading in that it might give people the wrong idea of that our world is some sort of program -Earth V 2.0 or something on somebody's laptop.

The number of calculations per second a computer generated reality would have to generate is truly "off the charts" so to speak-if memory serves at least 10 to the 42nd power of calculations per second-that is 10 followed by 42 zeros. I have never cared for this theory much, but I certainly can't discard it. This theory would explain many things in quantum physics that currently can't be explained. The physicists and others who believe in this theory (or at least give some credence to it) usually base their beliefs on that they think if humanity survives into the future long enough; that they will want to do what they call "ancestor simulations" which would be "us" once their technology achieves the appropriate level of computing power.

I tend to go towards the view that the "matrix" aspect of our world is produced by the fact that most human beings don't see the world or reality for what it "really" is-including me-hell I have a hard time operating the damn microwave at times! I believe if we could see our beautiful world and reality for what they really are -we would see a vista that would be infinite in all directions and aspects. A poem by William Blake comes to mind here-and I will try to come back with it for this post as I don't trust my memory to quote it offhand. Here is where the problem comes in-the people who really run the show on earth know how blunted our vision and feelings are. They use this against us at every turn. Here is an instructive quote supposedly given to reporter Ron Susskind by a senior Bush White House aide: "We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality--judiciously as you will--we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors--and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Item #2: This follows from what I believe about our "matrix" creators from item #1. I think that the men and women who really rule the globe are in touch with some extremely scary extra-dimensional beings. Considering that the men and women who really run the planet hardly have our best interests at heart it comes as no surprise to me that the beings/entities/forces they are in contact with may not only not have our interests at heart, but might even want to see the consciousness of humanity extinguished permanently.

Sometimes when I am depressed with the way things are going here in the USA-the world-and my inability (or hopefully just seeming inability to do fuck-all about it) here is a thought in comic book form that I cheer myself up with: I imagine the dark actors of politics in the United States, the men and women who control them, and their assorted lackeys and despots around the world. I imagine this group of people standing around a pentagram type thing somewhere in the basement of a beautiful castle in a deep forest in old Europe. The work of these folks is pretty much done. The world is depopulated by 90 percent. There are barely any species of the animal kingdom left. The rainforests and many plant species are dead too. A great evil fog hangs over the planet. Picture kind of a "28 Days Later" scenario mixed with "The Night of the Living Dead" and "They Live" for what our world is like. The chants of this group of folks rises and they sacrifice a poor soul or two. These people are really salivating now-they are about to get their "just" reward for a job well done. There will be no one to oppose them now, and for all eternity their bloodlines will rule what is left of earth absolutely.

Now we can see a shape forming in the center of the pentagram. O boy, O boy! The Master is about to pay them a visit. Dr. Henry Kissinger rubs a hard-on through his ceremonial outfit (a rather grotesque thought in itself dontcha think?) he notices that his fellow death cultists are in a similarly aroused state. Jean-Marie Le Pen is about to start rubbing Maggie Thatcher's privates, The "Silver Fox" none other than Barbara "Babs" Bush is getting ready to lower herself over Rush Limbaugh's probing tongue-thanks to the late great comedian Bill Hicks for this thought however disgusting it may be! These folks will have to wait just a little bit for the real fun to start. Maybe dismembering and ritually eating a couple of children just for starters? For the Master is about ready to acknowledge them and reward them for all eternity. The Master-it is rather ugly. It has multiple eyes, tentacles and many opening and shutting mouths about 3 feet wide on the end of some of these tentacles. Hey-its a big fuckin pentagram OK? Thank goodness for our evil elite it is trapped inside the pentagram-eh? The chanting and excitement of our participants at this ritual is really reaching a fever pitch.

The Master's body is no longer shrouded at all now. Funny-it seems like its body doesnt seem to have a fixed three dimensional form at all. One minute it is shaped like one thing and the next another. The same with its various appendages-they seem to flow in and out of an extra dimension and completely new grotesque body parts will take their place. The thing is really indescribably ugly and unfathomably "other."

Suddenly a booming voice -aeons old-echoes along the castle walls. The various heads of state, royalty, their paymasters and their servants look up in reverance. "You have served me well!" the multi-dimensional, multi-tentacled, multi-mouthed monster says, as ichor starts to flood out of the pentagram along the castle basement's stone floors. "Now I am going to reward each and every one of you for your obeisance and duty towards me. These rewards will be personal and suited to the mind and character of each one of you," the great multi-dimensional beast intones. Man it is really huge-its wriggling, writhing undulating mass must stretch 40 feet into the air (big fuckin castle too-it needed a high basement ceiling for just these ceremonies!) Our leaders and their puppeteers are so lucky it can't get out of the pentagram! The Master gestures to a Belgian prince and an American industrialist who have served it particularly well with two of its monstrous, scriggly tentacles with their three foot wide mouths, now salivating a putrid dark foul-smelling liquid. "Wow!" a dark- robed and sexually aroused Dick Cheney thinks-"If these two losers are going to get a special prize just imagine what I am going to get!"

The American and the Belgian approach the Master with their heads bowed. They are ready to receive their portion of the powers and principalities that will be theirs to rule as true emperors. The power they will have will make Stalin's and Hitler's look like that of a down and out door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman in comparison (don't ask me where I got that analogy:-). Well I'll be damned! (or them hopefully), for the beast inside the pentagram swoops down on the two men it has summoned with its grotesque tentacle-mouth things and eats the Belgian prince whole and chews the Amercian industrialist's body so that all that is left of him are the feet-and those are quickly consumed by a second swipe of the probing mouth-tentacle!

WTF!!?? Our unholy death cultists think. This wasn't in the script! A disconcerted and soiled underweared George Herbert Walker Bush says, "Now just a minute Mr!" (with that twerpy-geeky voice of his) "I don't know who pissed in your cornflakes this morning but you are a guest in this castle. All of us here have done your bidding and this is the way you treat us? I mighta made a mistake or two. It wasn't my fault if Hinckley was such a bad shot! But Jesus-my family alone directly participated in or gave you events that almost gave you the keys to the kingdom! BCCI, Franklin-Omaha, the Octopus-BTW Mr. Snappy Jaws-now that we see what you really look like that was an appropriately named scandal heh-heh, the October Surprise, the savings and loan debacles. I thought you of all multi-dimensional beasts would appreciate my little surprise to Saddam with my "go ahead invade Kuwait-we won't do anything" surprise. Not to mention September 11th and the way my son intentionally fucked up Iraq, the American infrastructure, economy and Constitution. Eat all of these other fuckers if you must-but I as the head of my great family demand our place at the table."

"George Herbert Walker Bush," the awful beast says ominously, "what exactly did you think my ultimate plan was all this time? I ask to be worshiped in the bloodiest, most despicable manner your puny minds can contemplate. And believe me they can't contemplate very much. You are about to find out what one of your so-called writers said about "there are things much worse than death". People like you and the others here follow through no matter how inhuman and insane my demands were. You back-stabbed, butchered, lied and committed atrocities all in the name of receiving some great and un-named reward to rule this slaughterhouse you call Earth. Did you think you were serving Mr. Rogers all this time?"

I was building a bridge, and with this statement one of the beast's tentacle-eyes looks at William Jefferson Clinton, who for once seems not be having any problems keeping his sexual arousal under control, but this bridge wasn't to the fucking "twenty-first century" as your lame-ass campaign slogan stated. This bridge was a bridge to your reality-now thanks to all of you traitors to your fellow human beings that bridge is fully operational. All of you before me now are nothing more than skid marks on my many-dimensional underwear. As far as ruling your puny little backwater planet-sorry I ride alone as far as rulership goes. I knew you'd fall for the "pentagram protection" racket-thats been one of my best and most believed lies with up and coming civilizations. My only problem now is deciding which of you to eat next. The nice thing about getting eaten by me is that your consciousness is fully integrated into mine. You all would have been a lot better off in the Christian hell for eternity than what you are about to witness and feel spending "quality time" with me."

The crowd, now terrified starts to run away. They are far too slow. The tentacles of the beast from beyond make quick and bloody work of the fifty odd "worshipers" that are now screaming in horror. There is a kind of justice, for they are experiencing what the terror of their victims felt like when they were the powerful elite of the globe. Only their terror will never end and will get worse as time goes on and the chaos and insanity of their dark Master spreads around what is left of the world, and flows out into the universe beyond.

Sorry for this bit of silliness -or the story silliness anyway. Didn't even know I was going to try to post something tonight much less the "story" that I tried to make up as I went along. I do have some other things about ready to go in this series. Anyone wanting to look at future articles don't worry they won't be anything like this. I got sidetracked as usual. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by!